Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 24th June 2006

Zimbabwe Vigil Diary - 24th June 2006

LONDON - The deposed mayor of Harare, Engineer Elias Mudzuri, was a welcome support at the Vigil this week. He was introduced by Washington Ali, the Chair of MDC UK. Mudzuri was thrown out of office by the Mugabe regime, wh

ich installed its own commissioners to oversee the collapse of local government. He is now the General Organising Secretary of the MDC and is in the UK to help sort out the MDC UK structure.

He was very supportive of the Vigil and urged everyone to attend. He signed our petition, which he said was in line with the MDC agenda. “A petition to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan about human rights abuses in Zimbabwe: We are deeply disturbed at the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe. It seems as if the international community does not care that a rogue government can hold its people hostage. In the past six years up to a quarter of the population have fled the country. Half of those remaining face starvation. Any dissent is stamped on. The UN’s special envoys have seen this for themselves and condemned the regime. We urge the UN Security Council to take measures to help free the suffering people of Zimbabwe.”

We were relieved to see our homeless Zimbabwean street sleeper, Munyaradzi, again. He was with us two weeks ago and was helped to find shelter by the Zimbabwe Association. He then disappeared and we were worried what might have happened to him. But he was back today in better heart. We are seeing so many people in need of our help.

In recent weeks, the Vigil has been approached by contacts in South Africa and Botswana about starting Vigils. We are thinking about how to advise them but realise their situation is totally different to ours. We have the freedom to hold regular protests – and the police and local authority give us permission. As our friends in Botswana say “How can other Zimbabwean refugees in other countries of exile like us here in Botswana form a vigil? We are not allowed to embark on any political activities.”

For this week’s Vigil pictures: http://uk.msnusers.com/ZimbabweVigil/shoebox.msnw.

FOR THE RECORD: 36 signed the register.

For your diary: 24 hour Vigil of Solidarity, 2 – 3 July: The United Network of Detained Zimbabweans, Zimbabwe Action Group, Zimbabwe Association, Free Zim, Zimbabwean Women’s Network, Zimbabwe Vigil in conjunction with the Refuge Council invite you to spend time at their Vigil of Solidarity outside the Asylum & Immigration Tribunal. The fresh hearing by the Asylum & Immigration Tribunal into the ‘AA’ case takes place this week. The hearing will consider new evidence presented by the Home Office to support its contention that it is now safe for Zimbabweans who have sought refuge in the UK to be forcibly returned to the hands of Mugabe’s Zanu PF regime. The organisations involved call on the British government to: a) Recognize the risks faced by Zimbabweans who are deported, b) Halt deportation to Zimbabwe and c) Allow asylum seekers to apply for judicial review. Venue: Field House, Breams Buildings, Chancery Lane, London EC4A 1PR. Time: Sunday 2nd July 5.00pm until Monday 3rd July 5.00pm. Contact: Noble Sibanda – 07888 643 689, [email protected].

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