Sleeping on the job – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 6th June 2015

All Zimbabweans will be pleased that the veteran BBC foreign correspondent John Simpson thinks of Zimbabwe as ‘intensely beautiful, calm and welcoming’.

In an article in the British Daily Telegraph, Mr Simpson says he hasn’t visited Zimbabwe for 6 years because he has been banned by the Harare regime but, although its troubles aren’t over, ‘it’s going through a period of relative political stability’.

The Vigil thinks Mr Simpson should get out less. Instead of pontificating in the world’s hot spots and tossing off

trite pieces for the travel pages he should, as Eternal Windbag of BBC Television News, do some research into what is happening in Zimbabwe before he next writes about it (see: – John Simpson: banished from beautiful Zimbabwe).

He could, for instance, Google Zimbabwe and would be surprised to find that Zimbabwe is anything but calm. As for ‘relative political stability’, he will see that the ruling mafia is tearing itself apart, that the unemployed urban masses are facing down the army while starvation again confronts the rural areas – now accused by Second Vice President Mpholo of betraying the revolution by not growing anything on the land seized from commercial farmers (see: – Practiced Hawks or Silenced Prey).

The ‘liberator of Kabul’, BBC oracle Simpleton might even come across an article in the latest edition of the American ‘Foreign Policy’ magazine co-authored by Jeffrey Smith of the Robert F Kennedy Centre for Human Rights and Todd Moss of Global Development (Ominous warning signs resurface in Zimbabwe –

They say: ‘Over the course of the past few months, we have witnessed an ominous series of warning signs: bitter political infighting within the country’s ruling party, the worsening of already deplorable economic conditions, the abduction and disappearance of a prominent human rights activist, and a surge of inflammatory rhetoric and political violence.’

They continue: ‘The latest developments in Zimbabwe come at a time when the country’s economy is again collapsing and the political elite are tearing themselves apart in a battle for succession. Monitors of mass atrocity risk typically watch for ethnic exclusion, hate speech, and indicators of political and economic stress. The greatest indicator of a country’s atrocity risk is whether it has suffered from similar events in the past. All of these factors are currently, and ominously, present in Zimbabwe.’

So ’calm’ and ‘relative political stability’ don’t immediately spring to mind. Perhaps Mr Simpleton is asleep like President Mugabe, wandering the world like the Flying Dutchman, treated in Nigeria a few days ago as a geriatric imbecile even before demonstrating the reality of this by snoring his way through President Buhari’s inauguration (see: and

Other points

A meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil agreed to write to Prime Minister David Cameron disowning Mugabe’s anti-white comments at a recent visit to the headquarters of the Southern African Development Community in Botswana. Mugabe, who is not only the SADC chair but the African Union chair as well, speaking of the latest outbreak of xenophobic violence in South Africa said Africans should direct their anger at whites rather than other blacks (see Vigil diary of 23rd May: The meeting felt that Mugabe’s racist tirade did not represent the views of the Zimbabwean people and were an embarrassment to Zimbabweans forced by Mugabe’s misrule to seek the hospitality of other countries. The meeting decided to run the following petition at the Vigil: ‘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.’ We are planning to present our letter and petition to 10 Downing Street on Saturday 27th June.

· The Forum also resolved to hold a protest outside the Embassy on Saturday 11th July to mark 4 months since the abduction of the human rights campaigner Itai’s Dzamara by the Central Intelligence Organisation. The Vigil does not accept the regime’s claim that he abducted himself.

Thanks to Eunice Mucherechedzo, Muchineripi (Ebson) Chigwedere, Deborah Harry, Esther Nyambi, Nobukhosi Moyo, Roda Majoni, Sukoluhle Sibanda and Fungayi Mabhunu for arriving early to help set up. Thanks also to Deborah and Epiphania Phiri for selling drinks to raise funds for the Vigil and to Elton Mzezewa for his gift to the Vigil of 3 packs of printer / copier paper.

For latest Vigil pictures check: Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: 54 signed the register.

Post published in: Mugabe Succession

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