Zimbabwe Vigil Diary January 30, 2010

vigil_coldLONDON - With the failure of the SADC-mediated talks to resolve differences over the Global Political Agreement, the Vigil has launched a new petition calling for elections as soon as possible. (Pictured: Another freezing day at the vigil)

The petition reads: Petition to President Zuma of South Africa: After a year of the Zimbabwe interim government it is clear that it is going nowhere so we call on President Zuma as mediator for the Southern African Development Community to arrange free and fair elections as soon as possible.

It is our intention to submit the petition to the South African High Commission during President Zumas state visit to Britain in March.

Zanu (PF) has made clear it will not honour the GPA; in fact it has shown that it will sabotage any reform that endangers its hold on power, including the constitution-making fiasco.

The MDC is apparently asking SADC to step in and resolve the impasse. The Vigils view is that SADC must set a date for new elections and take steps to ensure that these are free and fair. This could include seeking help from the African Union and the United Nations. After all, elections have been organised in Afghanistan and Iraq in even worse circumstances.

We were puzzled by Tsvangirais remarks at the international meeting in Davos about easing sanctions. He spoke of rewards for progress. Reward Mugabe for obstructing the GPA? Reward the MDC for caving in to Zanu (PF)? Tsvangirai said Its not as if I am here as a salesman for Zimbabwe. He sounded like a salesman for appeasement.

It was another freezing day. Several people joined us straight from supporting the first Swazi Vigil outside the Swaziland High Commission near Buckingham Palace, including Thobile Gwebu, the organiser of the Swazi Vigil. They noted that the Swazi flag was lowered when they started drumming and that they were filmed by people inside the building. Hero of the day was Fungayi Mabhunu of our management team who carried a heavy table and a drum on public transport to help our Swazi friends. Supporters of the Swazi Vigil are puzzled how the Swazi government can afford to maintain a High Commission in London while its people starve.

There has been good progress on the delivery of goods to our selected schools in Zimbabwe. Pupils and staff at Gwinyai Primary School were delighted to received sports equipment and stationery. A video of the occasion is being sent to us. We will report when the rest of the goods are delivered.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/.

FOR THE RECORD: 185 signed the register.

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