Zimbabwe a ‘banana republic’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary

Source: Zimbabwe a ‘banana republic’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 1st January 2022

The opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has described Zimbabwe as a banana republic and urged the Southern African Development Community to ensure the 2023 elections are fair.

Speaking on Namibian Desert Radio, Chamisa said Zanu PF acted as if Zimbabwe was a one party state. ‘They want to throttle us to make sure they advance the consolidation of authoritarianism.’ He said that a disputed election would add to the region’s frail democratic outlook, adding ‘there cannot be economic development without political stability’. (See: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/zimbabwe-a-banana-republic-chamisa/.)

Unsurprisingly President Mnangagwa took a different view in his New Year message. He says Zimbabwe’s economic growth last year was one of the highest on the continent, at a projected 7.4%.

Mnangagwa said 2022 must be a year in which the country moved from recovery into growth towards achieving the goal of being a upper middle income country, which he has put at 2030 (see: https://www.herald.co.zw/we-must-remain-optimistic-full-of-hope-president/).

Newsday say unions disagree with Mnangagwa’s optimism and are gloomy about the prospects  for 2022. Japhet Moyo, Secretary-General of the Congress of Trade Unions, said there was nothing to be expected from the government and w  orkers must hope for ‘a miracle from God’. David Dzartsaunga of the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions, said civil servants would continue to push for payment in US dollars, which Newsday said is a general feeling among workers complaining they want a stable currency to survive a harsh economic climate (see; https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/12/gloomy-2022-beckons-workers-unions/).

The Covid crisis has increased the international demand for health workers and many are reported to be leaving Zimbabwe for greener pastures abroad. The Vigil, for once, agrees with Vice President Chiwenga, the Minister of Health, who argues that countries receiving these qualified health migrants should compensate their country of origin for their training costs (see: https://www.herald.co.zw/brain-drain-gvt-seeks-recompense-through-un/).

Other points

  • South African President Ramaphosa paid tribute to former Archbishop of Cape Town Desmond Tutu at his funeral today. A Vigil delegation had a meeting with Tutu when he visited London in 2008. He graciously accepted a petition we presented to him at St Martin-in-the-Fields Church near the South African High Commission and the  Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The petition called for South Africa to stop supporting Mugabe and to allow a change of government in Zimbabwe. Archbishop Tutu said: ‘Zimbabwe used to be a showpiece in Africa. It has now turned into the most horrendous nightmare.’ (See: Zimbabwe Vigil diary of 9th June 2008.)
  • Because of concerns about the Omicron Covid variant, the Vigil Co-ordinators have decided to suspend the physical meetings at the Embassy. We will review this when the situation improves. In the meantime we will continue to run the Virtual Vigil as we did during lockdown. The Virtual Vigil shows the powers-that-be that we are still campaigning against their iniquitous behaviour and enables our activists to continue our protest and allows us to support them individually. To participate in the Virtual Vigil, activists who wish to participate virtually should pose in their Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia with a relevant poster and take a photo / selfie during normal Vigil hours (Saturdays between 2 and 5 pm). The photos will be labelled with your name and uploaded onto the Vigil website, the Vigil’s Flickr photo page and Facebook. You will also be listed on the Vigil diary as having participated in that day’s virtual Vigil. There will be a small charge to cover admin costs, the ongoing upkeep of the Vigil and our support for the human rights work of ROHR, our sister organisation in Zimbabwe.
  • For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

Events and Notices:

  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded 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. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe’s work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Facebook pages :

Vigil : https ://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil

ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/

ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515

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