No rule by extension cord – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary

A triumphant Grace Mugabe, having drawn the Crocodile’s teeth, has promised great things for Zimbabwe. She told thousands of Zanu PF supporters in Harare: ‘I love my president . . . he was annointed by God . . . I will help him make this country prosper’.

Source: No rule by extension cord – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 11th November 2017

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Soon we may all have diamond rings the size of ostrich eggs like hers and be able to pour $250 bottles of champagne over $60,000 watches like son Chatunga Bellarmine Mugabe. ‘My daddy run the whole country’, he was quoted as saying. Soon it will be his mummy (see: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5062367/President-Mugabe-s-son-pours-champagne-45k-watch.html).

Vice-President Mnangagwa, who suddenly left Zimbabwe with a stomach ache, has reportedly promised to return and put an end to the Mugabe regime. The Vigil is not so sure. Mnangagwa may be the hope of the West, but he has shown himself to be toothless. The Vigil’s bet is another electoral triumph next year for Zanu PF. The votes have already been counted.

Having renamed Harare airport after the President, all that remains is to rename the country. Perhaps Mugabia – or more likely Graceland.

Women at the Vigil wore Grace Mugabe masks at our protest outside the Embassy, displaying posters such as ‘No rule by extension cord’ and ‘No to ‘President’ Grace.

Other points

  • Thanks to all the Graces, in particular Bianca Monicah Mpawaenda who suggested the protest, and to Cephas Maswoswa who acquired the masks for us.
  • We are very concerned about the safety and welfare of one of our activists who was sent back to Zimbabwe on Monday.  She was taken to the airport four times and at the last attempt there were fifteen personnel (from the security company contracted by the Home Office) to ensure she was put on the plane. Ten of them made the journey to Zimbabwe with her, apologizing to the other passengers in advance for any disruption caused by our activist’s distress at being sent back against her will. She was handed over to Zimbabwean immigration who were surprised at the number of people accompanying one deportee. Who picks up the cost of this? We are in contact with our activist, who was sent back with only the clothes she was wearing. As we write, she is in hiding and afraid of what might happen to her. She is thinking of fleeing to South Africa. We made a collection for her at the Vigil. Thanks to Fungisai Mupandira who collected the money and to all those who contributed:  Audry Chamangira, Audrey Chihoho, Tawanda Chitate, Miriam Gasho, Epiphania Kamuruko, Valerie Karimakwenda, Sikhanyisiwe Kaziboni, Peter Lakatika, Junior Madzimure, Alice Majola, Heather Makawa Chitate, Nancy Makurira, Barnie Mandimika, Jacob Mandipira, Theodora Mandishaya, Rosemary Maponga, Roseline Mashongamhende, Shiella Matiza, Tsana May, Bianca Monica Mpawaenda, Getrude Mudede, Agnes Mukumba, Fungisai Mupandira, Charles Mupawose, Patience Muyeye, Anna Mwanza, Alberta Njenje, Tsitsi Nyirongo, Hazvinei Saili, Rumbidzayi Sambana, Maddy Sesay, Jaqueline Thomsen, Caroline Witts and Dennis and Rose Benton.
  • Fungayi Mabhunu attended a run through of a play featuring Vigil founder member Patson Muzuwa and his meeting with fellow activist Kathleen O’Dea in the early days of the Vigil. Kathleen’s book ‘Marshmallow Fishes’ (available on Amazon) is an account of her capture along with Roy Bennett’s wife Heather by Zimbabwean ‘war veterans’. Fungayi reports that the play dips in and out of the Vigil and features the songs we sing.  We are waiting to hear about future performances so we can all attend.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up and stayed to the end to pack up: Miriam Gasho, Babula Gwatiringa, Jonathan Kariwo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Junior Madzimure, Theodora Mandishaya, Rosemary Maponga, Shiella Matiza, Bianca Mpawaenda, Fungisai Mupandira, Patience Muyeye, Anna Mwanza, Tsitsi Nyirongo and Hazvinei Saili. Thanks to Bianca and Patience for looking after the front table, to Junior, Rosemary, Nancy Makurira, Patricia Nyamunda, Jacqueline Thomsen, Heather Makawa Chitate and Tawanda Chitate for handing out flyers and selling ‘Mugabe must go/ has gone’ wristbands, to Fungayi, Hazvinei, Fungisai, Jonathan, Junior, Babula, Anna, Tsitsi, Alice Majola, Jacob Mandipira, Jacqueline, Valerie Karimakwenda, Charles Mupawose and Agnes Mukumba for putting up the banners at the start and to Tawanda, Heather, Chido Makawa, Phillip Maponga, Jonathan, David Makuyana, Peter Lakatika and Eric Eluwasi for taking down the banners at the end.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR.

FOR THE RECORD: 52 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 18th November from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. Contact: Daisy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 25th November from 11 am. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 25th November from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • MDC-T UK and Ireland Christmas party. Saturday 9th December from 2.30 – 11.30 pm. Venue: Redbridge Town Hall, 128-142 High Street, Ilford IG1 1DD. All Zimvigil activists are invited.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded over the past 15 years as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil for £10. All proceeds will go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe’s work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available on Amazon.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2016 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/843-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2016. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2016 Highlights page.
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