Vigil welcomes new path

The Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF), gathering after the Vigil, offered support to people at home seeking a new political path as the situation there continues to worsen. The meeting follows recent talks in Harare that Vigil founder member Ephraim Tapa had with some leading politicians.

During a lively debate, it was noted that the Zimbabwe Vigil Coalition originally included the MDC but under the leadership of Morgan Tsvangirai the MDC withdrew its support because we were critical of some of its decisions. For our part, we believe that in a democracy you have an obligation to be critical when you disagree.

The following resolution was passed: “The Vigil notes with great interest the developments in MDC-T. The Vigil will work with any organisation whose aims are compatible with our mission statement to secure free and fair elections and end human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, while maintaining our own identity.”

A second resolution was approved expressing concern at the growing number of failed asylum seekers being sent home at a time when the Zimbabwean economy is collapsing.

It was decided that the next ZAF meeting on 3rd May will discuss sending a delegation to the Home Secretary, Theresa May, to present a petition on the asylum issue. It would also form a steering committee to carry forward the diaspora’s engagement with the emerging new political force in Zimbabwe.

The British government has expressed concern at the corruption in Zimbabwe. Their comment came in a letter to the Vigil in reply to one we had written to Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to boycott the recent EU / Africa Summit in Brussels because Mugabe had been invited.

In the end neither man went to the meeting. Mugabe stayed away, saying it was because Grace was refused a visa. Cameron was represented by his Foreign Secretary William Hague.

The letter spoke of serious concern ‘about the significant weaknesses identified during the 2013 elections and the lack of transparency identified by the Southern African Development Community, African Union and domestic observation missions, which call into doubt the credibility of the elections’.

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