Zhing zhong elections

Supporters of the Vigil and associated groups have agreed to arrange an all-stakeholder meeting in October to give the diaspora an opportunity to discuss ways of working together to reclaim Zimbabwe.

The Forum was addressed by Dewa Mavhinga, Senior Researcher for Africa with Human Rights Watch and a former regional co-ordinator for Southern Africa of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition.

“Zimbabweans must liberate themselves. You can’t sub-contract it. If you expect action from regional bodies you need action in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Ephraim Tapa, head of ROHR Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement, said he’s been approached by several groups keen to join forces behind a diaspora initiative.

The meeting applauded the response by the poet Chenjerai Hove to an article congratulating Botswana for rejecting the results of the elections. Mr Hove said: “Botswana is giving a great example in order to reject the notion that we have something called ‘free and fair elections by African standards’. We are not sub-humans…We cannot allow ourselves to be treated as ‘savages’ who don’t have to comply with simple and reasonable ideas of justice.”

The meeting also challenged the MDC to refuse to take up their seats in Parliament – although there was a feeling that the more likely outcome would be that the MDC would throw in its lot with another Zanu (PF)-dominated GNU.

We also urged the British government not to recognise the election results and, if necessary, suspend diplomatic relations and the UK’s aid of about £100 million a year.

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