Food for Embassy – Zimbabwe Vigil

After learning that Zimbabwean diplomats were going without pay because of lack of funds at the Foreign Ministry the Vigil arranged an emergency Christmas food drop for Zimbabwe House in London. We left a pile of food and other supplies in the Embassy’s doorway with the notice:

Christmas Appeal:

· Zimbabwean diplomats starving,

· Leave food for them here,

· (Sorry – no GM foods)

We also pushed under the door the following letter:

Dear brothers and sisters in the Zimbabwe Embassy

We Zimbabwean exiles in the UK who have gathered outside the Embassy every Saturday since 2002 are worried at hearing that Zimbabwean diplomats have apparently not been paid for the past 20 months (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_zim-diplomats-abroad-yet-to-receive-salaries/ – ‘Zim diplomats abroad yet to receive salaries’).

It pains us to think of you going hungry at Christmas so we have brought some food and left it in your doorway as you have not answered your bell to us for twelve years. We trust that John the caretaker will give it to the Ambassador so that he can divide it fairly among you.

We know it is not much but you will understand that many of us struggle financially as we are called on to send money home to our starving families from the little we earn as, in your words, ‘bottom wipers’ in the UK.

We are comforted, however, that you at least have the Embassy to sleep in and do not have to make do with cardboard boxes to keep out the cold, which is the lot of some Zimbabweans here.

Be assured that when Zimbabwe has received the $50 billion or so it has claimed for damages caused by illegal sanctions, the government of his Senile Excellency will once again be able to pay your salaries.

Until then, we fear, there is scant hope so we suggest you apply for assistance from your nearest benefits office which we trust will smile at your request.

The Vigil urges you not to pursue the way of the Gambian High Commission which has been turned into a tax-free tobacconist and has seen four of its diplomats jailed here (see: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2868771/Gambian-diplomats-jailed-running-tax-free-tobacconist-Kensington-embassy-cheated-British-taxpayers-5million.html).

Best wishes for Christmas and may 2015 bring the 2.2 million jobs promised for last year.

We had thought of the food drop as primarily a symbolic gesture to show up the failures of the Mugabe regime, with people supplying unwanted food from their own resources. But one supporter went to the supermarket to buy food specially and another brought sanitary towels and condoms. In addition, two passers-by went and bought extra food.

This is our 13th Christmas in the cold outside the Embassy and, despite the Herald proclaiming ‘there is hope the country will soon claim its rightful position as an economic giant in the region’, all we see is massive delusion (see: Economists hail Congress – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-economists-hail-congress-the-herald/).

Amid the charade of the Chinamasa budget and the Zanu PF Congress, we hear of hunger reaching further even in the towns (see: Starvation strikes Zim’s urban dwellers – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-starvation-strikes-zims-urban-dwellers/). ‘“The current inability of the economy to address people’s basic needs is leading to hunger in most urban households, with almost none of urban residents affording three meals a day nowadays,” said Philip Bohwasi, chairperson of the Council of Social Workers.

The recent budget devoted more than 80% of government revenue to Civil Service pay but every ministry, except that maintaining the President, complained they were not getting nearly enough money. The Mugabes however, gobble up money. We learn that the amount spent on them so far this year is 75 times more that the capital spending on every school in Zimbabwe (http://www.theafricareport.com/Southern-Africa/zimbabwes-president-mugabes-holiday-spending-under-the-spotlight.html – Zimbabwe's president Mugabe's holiday spending under the spotlight).

http:/www.zimvigil.co.uk.

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