Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 21st July 2007

A wet Vigil. As you may know there have been storms all over the UK with torrential downpours causing widespread flooding. We outside the Zimbabwe Embassy were fortunately spared the worst of it but one deluge drenched the lens of our digital camera so the quality of the pictures this week is not as

good as normal and not all the photos we took came out. Despite the weather there was another very good turnout including many “first timers” joining us under our tarpaulin. Everyone got soaked once or twice but the warm sunshine dried us out. It was heartening the number of bus drivers who hooted in support of us as we struggled with our tarpaulin.
Unfortunately the bad weather prevented us handing out letters for signature written by the Zimbabwe Forum asking Mbeki to ensure that Zimbabweans in the diaspora have the right to vote in next March’s elections. They will be handed out next week. In the meantime Julius Mutyambizi-Dewa, Secretary of the MDC UK, told us the MDC were making strong representations on this issue.
We have also agreed to collect signatures for a petition “Strangers into Citizens” campaigning to allow immigrants without papers to work in the UK.
For most of the afternoon we were filmed by an Iranian-based television company PressTV. They interviewed many of us as background material for a programme ‘The Agenda’ discussing Mugabe and Zimbabwe. Partlicipants will include Julius and Wilf Mbanga of the Zimbabwean. It’s good to know that the Iranians are taking a serious interest in Zimbabwe. The programme will be broadcast within the next week – check: www.presstv.com.
The Vigil has been asked to help with a world-wide event in support of democracy and media freedom in Zimbabwe organised by a German organisation. It will involve appropriate readings, including poems by Chenjerai Hove and others ,on 9th September. More on this later.
We were happy to be joined at the close by a Mexican sympathiser who brought his own drum. When he left he gave us an interesting metal resonator to fix to one of our drums.
For this week’s Vigil pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/.
FOR THE RECORD: 104 signed the register.
Saturday, 28th July, 2 – 10 pm. Fourth World Music presents “GET UP STAND UP”. Venue: Union Chapel, Compton Avenue, London N1 2XD. Benefit festival to help raise funds for charities working with women and children in Zimbabwe affected by the economic crisis. Performers: Coco Mbassi, Celloman, Thabani, Anna Mudeka, Claudia Massera, London City Groove, Dudu Saar, Begotten Sun, DKR, The Wells, Tha Tha Ensemble, DJ Dece, Boogie Brothers. Tickets: £10.00 from Ticketweb (Tel: 08700 600 100 or book online at www.ticketweb.co.uk ). Nearest station: Highbury and Islington. Bus routes: 4, 19, 30, 43, 271, 277and 279. For more information, contact: 07914 697 694 or email [email protected] .
Monday, 30th July 2007, 7.30 pm. Central London Zimbabwe Forum. Upstairs at the Theodore Bullfrog pub, 28 John Adam Street, London WC2 (cross the Strand from the Zimbabwe Embassy, go down a passageway to John Adam Street, turn right and you will see the pub).

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