But a canvass of opinion among Vigil supporters showed that the affair was more than a laughing matter. People were alarmed that Tsvangirai appears to have walked blindly into a Zanu (PF) trap and has become a laughing stock. There were nods of agreement when someone said ‘Angagotonga seyi nyika ari mumagumbeze?’ (How can he rule the country when he’s always in bed?)
Although there is respect for the Prime Minister’s heroic work leading the MDC for the past 12 years, it was felt that he should – as the saying goes – consider his position. Zanu (PF) has been paralysed by its inability to renew its leadership. The MDC should not make the same mistake. We believe there is no shortage of talent in the MDC and, with elections unlikely in the foreseeable future, there would be time for a new leader to make his mark.
But somehow we doubt Tsvangirai will make way. One of the Prime Minister’s characteristics was suggested in another poster in the Embassy’s advertising campaign: ‘Wonder what an elephant’s skin feels like?’ . . .
Thanks to Abdul Conteh from the Gambia who spent the afternoon (in the Embassy doorway) restringing and tuning our drums with great skill. The resultant sound was a revelation. It attracted a member of the anti-bankers protest group which has been camping outside St Paul’s Cathedral, who joined in the dancing and said she wished we could go drumming at St Paul’s.
The Vigil was joined by an activist from the DRC carrying a placard reading ‘Stop the rape in the DRC’. He said he supported us because Mugabe supported President Kabila. ‘He is a killer like Mugabe,’ he said.
Next Saturday we are to be joined by the Zimbabwe Europe Network to mark UN International Human Rights Day. Two speakers from Zimbabwe civil society will be coming: Gideon Shoko, Deputy Secretary General, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, and Fadzai Muparutsa of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe.
FOR THE RECORD: 64 signed the register.
• The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: www.imusicafrica.com and to watch the video check: http://ourvigil.notlong.com. To watch other Zim Vigil band protest songs, check: http://Shungurudza.notlong.com and http://blooddiamonds.notlong.comPost published in: Africa News