Â What a wonderful present this would be!Â With Christmas around the corner our thoughts were on our suffering families back home.Â In the words of the Advent hymn, we pray to God to save a ruined nation.
Â We have received a reply from the British government in response to the petition we sent the Prime Minister on our 5th Anniversary calling on the EU to suspend government to government aid to SADC countries until they carry out their obligation to protect Zimbabwean human rights. We will put the letter on the Vigil Diary during the course of the week.
Many new faces again in a crowd which spilled from between the four maple trees and spread over most of the piazza outside the Embassy.Â The few embassy staff around on a Saturday looked daunted.Â Despite the icy cold, everyone was buoyed by the success of our demonstrations at the Lisbon Summit.Â We were glad someone brought at extra drum as we have beaten yet another one to death.Â In between the magical singing and dancing, Stendrick Zvorwadza, Fungayi Mabhuni and Rose Benton reported on the Lisbon trip. It was also announced that 3 extra people had been appointed to the Vigil management team to help cope with the increasing attendance. Gugu Ndlovu-Tutani and Arnold Kuwewa will be looking after the back table, keeping an eye on the register in particular. Fungayai has been put in charge of security. (Vigil dog Chai will report to him!)
This new setup worked well today.Â Gugu noticed someone studying the information in the register. When asked he said he was looking for a relative’s phone number.Â She asked Fungayi to deal with this.Â Fungayi explained to the person in question that the register was not available for general study as we had a duty under the Data Protection Act to keep confidential any personal information given to us.Â The procedure should be that the enquirer approaches the Vigil management team to phone and ask whether the person in question wished to be contacted.
We are pleased to let you know all the pictures for last and this week’s Vigil and for the Lisbon trip are now posted on our photo website, check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/.
FOR THE RECORD: 188 signed the register.
FOR YOUR DIARY:Â Monday 17th December at 7.30 pm. Central London Zimbabwe Forum. Tor Hugne of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum and a surprise guest will give us feedback on the just ended Human Rights Council. This is the last forum of 2007. Venue: downstairs function room of the Bell and Compass, 9-11 Villiers Street, London, WC2N 6NA, next to Charing Cross Station at the corner of Villiers Street and John Adam Street.
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, Londdfdon, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk
Zimbabwe Vigil Diary - 15th December 2007
The sight of the day was a group of Father Christmases signing our petition demanding that the UN Security Council investigates human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.