Falling from the sky – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 20th June 2015

News that Mali is to donate $300 million to avert starvation in Zimbabwe would be warmly welcomed by the worried Zimbabwean diaspora, scrimping to send money home to help our suffering families. But such manna from heaven is unlikely to say the least.

Mali’s President Keita is all big talk. On a three day state visit to Zimbabwe, he was shown over one of Mugabe’s collection of farms and said he was amazed by the ‘success stories’ of the land reform programme.

Urging other African countries to emulate the land seizures, he said ‘This is the way things should be done if we want to be independent’. As he put it: ‘Giving land to the people is one of the ways in which African countries can gain full economic independence (see: http://www.news24.com/Africa/Zimbabwe/Mali-leader-hails-Zims-successful-land-reforms-20150618– Mali leader hails Zim’s ‘successful’ land reforms).

Unfortunately it turns out that – despite giving land to the people – the crops have failed because of Western-engineered climate change. Mugabe’s heir apparent Vice President Mnangagwa says $300 million is needed for food imports and Zimbabwe hasn’t got the money because Western sanctions have destroyed the economy.

The Vigil sees the dilemma. Mugabe – Chair of the African Union – says Africa should have nothing to do with the exploitive West (see: http://www.thezimbabwean.co/opinions/opinions-and-analysis/76140/mugabes-empty-au-speech.html – Mugabe’s empty AU speech). Anyway, Western food aid would probably be genetically modified togive Africans AIDS, Ebola and a low birth rate.

His exhortation to Africa at the recent AU Summit to reject the West suggests he believes that Mali and South Africa and other like-minded brothers will provide food for our people reduced to poverty by the odious self-serving capitalist, neo-imperialist, colonialist West.

He must see that if Africa wants to claim its rightful role with a permanent member on the UN Security Council it can at least give $300 million to Zimbabwe to save us from the evil aid from the West. As President Keita observed, Mugabe is ‘a great Pan-Africanist’. Indeed, despite the hunger in Zimbabwe, he has just donated 300 head of cattle to the AU.

As we gathered for our weekly Vigil outside the Embassy we mourned the death of an African refugee – reportedly from Zimbabwe – who fell to earth from a plane approaching London’s Heathrow Airport. Another man was found in the plane’s undercarriage and is critically ill in hospital.

They had obviously been taken in by the odious Western propaganda that it’s better to fall from the sky onto a roof in London than live in an Africa besieged by intrusive NGOs and their tools like President Obama.

After the Vigil we went down the road for our bi-monthly Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) at which we discussed the presentation of a petition to the Prime Minister Mr Cameron next Saturday. We agreed to the following letter to accompany the petition:

Dear Mr Cameron

Zimbabwean exiles in the UK wish to disown racist comments by our country’s illegitimate ruler Robert Mugabe, the current Chair of both the Southern African Development Community and the African Union.

On a recent visit to the SADC headquarters in Botswana Mugabe referred to the latest xenophobic violence in South Africa and said Africans should direct their anger at whites rather than fellow blacks.

The Zimbabwe Vigil and our associates Zimbabwe Yes We Can and the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe wish to assure you that Mugabe’s racist tirade does not represent the views of the Zimbabwean people. Indeed, his comment is anembarrassment to Zimbabweans forced by his misrule to seek the hospitality of other countries.

We take this opportunity to also repudiate Mugabe’s anti-Western tirade at the AU summit in Johannesburg this month in which he accused the West of fanning wars in Africa so that it can exploit the continent’s natural resources.

The Vigil believes that Mugabe should be arraigned before the International Criminal Court like Sudan’s President al Bashir who had to flee the AU summit after being threatened with arrest under an international warrant. Although Mugabe’s South African and other friends might refuse to arrest him, an indictment by the ICC would alleviate an intolerable burden on Zimbabwe’s finances by his incessant world travels

You will no doubt be aware of the continuing human rights violations in Zimbabwe highlighted tragically by the abduction in March of the activist Itai Dzamara. According to the latest rule of law index, Zimbabwe is ranked 100 out of 102 countries (see: http://www.theindependent.co.zw/2015/06/19/zim-ranks-lowly-on-rule-of-law-index/ – Zim ranks lowly on rule of law index). No doubt the British taxpayer will be asked to help the millions of Zimbabweans facing starvation because of the ruinous policies of Mugabe who, we believe, is helped to survive by the European Union’s policy of appeasement.

It does not surprise us that a desperate refugee, apparently from Zimbabwe, has fallen from the sky to his death in London after an attempt to reach the safety of the UK by hiding in the undercarriage of an airliner from Johannesburg.

We respectfully submit the enclosed petition: ‘Exiled Zimbabweans, supporters and friends, at the Vigil outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, record our disgust at the anti-white rants of Zimbabwe’s illegitimate President Mugabe. We wish to affirm our unwavering support of Zimbabwe’s constitutional requirement for non-racism.’

Other points

• At ZAF the following six people were chosen to present our petition to 10 Downing Street next Saturday: Mary Muteyerwa, Epiphania Phiri, Catherine Masinge, Lazarus Matiyenga, Muchineripi Chigwedere and Nogukhosi Moyo. Special thanks to Esther Nyambi who stood down as a petitioner to allow others to participate. For timings of the day see ‘Events and Notices’.

• The Vigil drew a lot of attention as we were on the route of demonstrators who processed from the Bank of England to Westminster in protest at the government’s ‘austerity’ welfare cuts. There were so many participants it took several hours for them to pass.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: 44 signed the register.


• Presentation of petition to 10 Downing Street. Saturday 27th June at 4 pm. Please could participants arrive at the start of the Vigil at 2 pm to help set up so that we will be ready to gather at 3.15 pm for a prompt move off to 10 Downing Street by 3.30 pm.

• Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 27th June at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

• Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds monthly meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.

• ROHR Middlesbrough General Meeting. Saturday 27th June from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Teesside University, Student Centre, Clarendon Building TS1 3BA. For more information please contact Angeline Huni (Chairperson) on 07871367239 Levinia S Ncube (Secretary) 07404772407, Ndumiso Ncube (Organising Secretary) 07532080247.

• The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.

• Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 27th June from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

• Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 4th July from 6.15 pm. Venue: StrandContinental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It's between a newsagent and an optician. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

• Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.

• Vigil’s Itai Dzamara Protest. Saturday 11th July from 2 – 6 pm. The protest is to mark 4 months since Dzamara’s abduction by the CIO.

• Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2014 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/642-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2014. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2014 Highlights page.

• Facebook pages:

Vigil: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts

ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515

ROHR: https://www.facebook.co/pages/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights/301811392835

• SW Radio Africa’s website and sound archive is being hosted on www.archive.org. Go to the site and type in swradioafrica which will link you to snapshots of their site over the years and at the top of that page a link to their website where, under podcasts, you will find the audio.

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.

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