Vigil marks anniversary of stolen elections

The Vigil marked the anniversary of the stolen 2013 elections by staging a tableau mocking the victory banquet in Harare this week held by Mugabe for his mafia henchmen. Fungayi Mabhunu, wearing our Mugabe mask, presided at a Vigil banquet flanked by supporters wearing red devils’ masks amid posters reading: ‘EU sups with devil Mugabe’, ‘Wake on anniversary of Zimbabwe’s 2013 stolen elections’, ‘One year on, six years backwards’, ‘No rule of

Human rights activist Ben Freeth has written to the Vigil with information supporting our demand for the recall of EU Ambassador Aldo Dell’Ariccia because of his support for the Mugabe regime.

Dell’Ariccia was widely quoted as criticising NGOs in Zimbabwe, describing them as AGOs – anti-government organisations – and he was also reported as saying there was no leadership crisis in Zimbabwe.

The EU told us in a letter that Dell’Ariccia had been misquoted. Freeth says he spoke to the Ambassador and he repeated that he did not believe that Zimbabwe had a leadership crisis (although he did distance himself from some of the comments he is reported to have made). Freeth said that Dell’Ariccia told him there would be ‘blood on the streets’ if there was a leadership crisis.

Freeth writes: “I disagreed with him and said that by his definition of a leadership crisis Italy (his home country) did not have a leadership crisis in the 1930s under Mussolini and nor did Germany under Hitler because they were strong leaders – dictators in fact. The fact is though that, as dictators, they led their countries and the world into a war that killed tens of millions of people and, against the Jews, they also committed the worst genocide in world history.

“It is clear to me that a leadership crisis continues to exist in Zimbabwe: our leaders continue to lead our country dictatorially against international law; our leaders ignore international agreements like the Abuja Agreement; our leaders ignore bilateral investment treaties and take over private property – so that almost nobody wants to invest their money in Zimbabwe to rebuild its shattered economy; our leaders ignore international conventions like the United Nations Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination; our leaders ignore international treaties like the SADC Treaty and the SADC Tribunal – and in the “Zanufication” of SADC they managed to get the SADC Tribunal closed down.

“When dictators lead their countries into evil nobody, in truth, can say that there is not a leadership crisis, however much they want to appease those dictators.

If all these crimes against humanity that have led to such poverty and suffering in Zimbabwe do not constitute a leadership crisis I have to wonder what a leadership crisis really is – by the definition of the European Union?”

The Vigil agrees with Freeth’s comments and again calls on the European Union to recall its ambassador for re-education in its policy on Zimbabwe outlined in their letter to us: ‘The objective of the EU is, and has always been, to support the Zimbabwean people in achieving a more prosperous and democratic Zimbabwe. The EU will continue to gear its relations with Zimbabwe with a view to promoting necessary reforms.’

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