No, the pantomime of the President reading out a speech he had already delivered a month ago â€“ indeed, the State of the Nation Address â€“ without seeming to notice that it was familiar says something about our ruling elite.
Zanu PF MPs clapped sagely during the speech, suggesting that anything Mugabe said is alright with them. It didnâ€™t really matter if it was the same speech he had delivered for the past 35 years . . .
The opposition, which had heckled the State of the Nation Address when it was first delivered, had received death warnings to behave this time so they tried to keep a straight face. They knew what to expect: the predictable threats against the free press the next day when Mugabe realised he had been exposed as a stuffed dummy.
We in the diaspora find it difficult to keep a straight face ourselves when we are asked about the situation in Zimbabwe. We will be demonstrating at a Mugabe fundraiser in the City of London on Tuesday 22nd September to try to explain the tragi-comedy to any investors naÃ¯ve enough to attend. We notice that, since we first announced our intention to demonstrate there, Obert Mpofu, allegedly Zimbabweâ€™s most corrupt politician, has decided not to attend.
The Zanu PF delegation, led by Minister of Industry and Commerce Mike Bimha, will also be attending a meeting at the Zimbabwe Embassy on Wednesday 23rd September aimed at attracting investment from the diaspora. We canâ€™t afford the Â£40 or so he charges people to attend the event but we will be outside looking through the window licking our lips at his prawn sandwiches. See â€˜Events and Noticesâ€™ for details of our protests.
Â· Attempts to undermine the Vigil continue as the CIO reacts against the spreading wings of our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR). After last weekâ€™s demonstrations in Harare and Bulawayo, ROHR has constituted provincial structures in Manicaland, Mashonaland West, Harare, Masvingo and Midlands. It appears people are responding to the simple demand for respect for human rights as provided for in the unimplemented constitution. For reports taken from WhatsApp messages, see:
Â· A meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil discussed ways to combat disruption at the Vigil by elements we believe are trying to exploit asylum seekers at the instigation of the CIO. We advise people not to pay lots of money at their tribunal hearings to bogus representatives.
Â· Zimbabwe Yes We Can President Ephraim Tapa congratulated a senior ROHR official and committed Vigil supporter on the favourable decision she received after a court hearing on her asylum appeal at which he and Zimbabwe Vigil Co-ordinator Rose Benton gave evidence.
Â· Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Eunice Mucherechedzo, Humphrey Dube, Livert Zhuwao, Chrispen Ndlovu, Michael Tinarwo, Heather Chitate, Eugenia Mushonga and Fungayi Mabhunu. Thanks to Eunice, Humphrey and Patricia Masamba for looking after the front table. Thanks also to Sister Bev Mutandiro for once again leading prayers. She asked that the following be included in the diary to hearten the Vigil while it is under attack: â€˜Listen to me, you that know what is right, who have my teaching fixed in your hearts. Do not be afraid when people taunt and insult you; they will vanish like moth-eaten clothing! But the deliverance I bring will last forever; my victory will endure for all time.â€™ â€“ Isaiah 51, v7-8.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.
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