Zimbabwe Vigil Diary

1st MARCH
With just four weeks to go, the elections dominated talk at the Vigil.


Vigil Co-ordinator Dumi Tutani and Mercy Mwakipesile lead the singing. (left)
Doubt Chimonyo talking to supporters about Tendai Chishanu. (right)

Members are phoning home all the time to find out what is happening on the ground and are planning to make polling day a big occasion in London.   
The Vigil will be outside the Embassy during Zimbabwean voting time and will run its own election for the Zimbabwean diaspora.  After all, members say, so many Zimbabweans have already voted with their feet that any election that does not take this into account cannot be representative.
Support from passers-by at the Embassy is always welcome. This week, a group of Austrians joined in the singing and dancing and bought the Make Mugabe History bracelets. The Vigil was also filmed throughout the day by Cinema Action, who are making a film entitled Lethani Ilizwe Lethu (Give us back our country).  
Doubt Chimonyo paid tribute to a dear friend of the Vigil, Tendai Chishanu, who died last week. There was a collection for her family and members prayed for her.
There will be two media events outside the Embassy, the first at 11am and the second at 3pm, both featuring the Mugabe mask members used at the Lisbon summit last December and the giant plastic ballot box used at successive elections. There is an open meeting on Saturday March 15 for all who want to be involved.
In Glasgow, Ancilla Chifamba and Patrick Dzimba are making progress with their plans to start a Vigil. They are in touch with the local council, which has agreed they can hold a fortnightly Vigil at the Argyle Street Precinct starting on election day.
Vikki Farrell’s 5m by 2.5m tapestry collage, which expresses what is happening in Zimbabwe, is now on show at the University of Brighton public gallery.
For this week’s Vigil pictures:
www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/
For the record:
175 signed the register.  
For your diary:
Monday, March 3 at 7.30 pm. Central London Zimbabwe Forum. Speakers including Adrian Lunga of WEZIMBABWE will debate the chances of the presidential candidates. Venue: 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.
Saturday, March 8, 12-1.30pm. Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) Rally for Dignity! and Democracy in Zimbabwe on International Women’s Day in Trafalgar Square, London. Speakers include: Lucia Matibenga, Vice-President Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions; Takavafira Zhou, President, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe; Maureen Kademaunga, Gender and Human Rights Officer, Zimbabwe National Students’ Union. The rally is followed by the Vigil outside the Zimbabwe Embassy at 2pm, and then at 3.30pm by the Million Women Rise Rally in Trafalgar Square to end violence against women. More information on www.actsa.org. Please contact [email protected] or phone 020 3263 2001 to let ACTSA know if you are coming.
Saturday, March 29, 6am-6pm. Zimbabwe Vigil’s diaspora polling station and mock ballot.
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 2pm tp 6pm 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. More information at www.zimvigil.co.uk.

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