The suggestion that the Zimbabwean government is looking at ways of â€˜taxingâ€™ the diaspora may be fanciful but it is clear that both Zanu PF and the opposition are looking hungrily at the money earned abroad by the millions of Zimbabweans who have fled Mugabeâ€™s economic Armageddon.
The government, we were told this week, has drafted a Diaspora Policy which seeks to tap into exilesâ€™ remittances estimated at $1.8 billion a year â€“ way more than the country is attracting in foreign direct investment (see: Zim Citizens Working Outside The Country To Be Taxed â€“ http://zimmetro.net/index-id-front+page-zk-19691.html).
It is typical of the Zanu PF mentality that the government should think it has a claim to any of this money. Itâ€™s bad enough that hundreds of thousands of family members in Zimbabwe have become so dependent on remittances â€“ indeed appealing for ever more help.
We now learn from a prominent opposition member that their attempt to raise money from the diaspora for an election war fund has met with little response. Can they be surprised given their dismissive attitude to the diaspora down the years? To them the diaspora has only ever been a cash cow.
If the government does try to â€˜taxâ€™ the diaspora we must consider how we can pay in â€˜bondâ€™ notes. After all they are apparently good enough for the people of Zimbabwe. We will have our notes made by the same German printer.
We note that so many have fled Zimbabwe that Mugabe canâ€™t even get good cooks. The Vigil laughed at an article about this in NewZimbabwe, and particularly at this comment on the story: â€˜It seems that this report is inaccurate. Both Robert Mugabe and Grace Mugabe are excellent cooks. They have been cooking the books on the diamond sales and the Printing Press for years now. There is nothing that they cannot cook with the help of Gono and Scoones â€“ from the money supply and the wild success of the Land Reform Programme to the report on the massacre of 20 000 civilians in Matabeleland. The numbers and facts are always exceptionally well cooked. The latest dish from Master Chef Bob was to tell Patrick Anthony Chinamasa to tell the people that the Bond Notes are going to happen. The Bond Notes will flood the market â€“ again â€“ and then the close inner circle of Zanu will dupe the people of Zimbabwe to swap their genuine US dollars (held by the people) for some Zanu Bond Toilet Paper that Mugabe, Gono, Chinamasa and Scoones will sell as a worthy form of currency! If 10 million Zimbabweans have an average of US$100 each in their mattress â€“ then these cooks (or crooks?) want to get their greasy little paws on it â€“ to the tune of $1000 million US Dollars. The Diasporans need to be careful about feeding the Zanu Fat Cats in their quest to feed the families and friends. The new marketing line for Bond Notes will be â€œZanu Bond Toilet Paper â€“ the luxury you cannot afford to pay for in US$.â€ Once Bob has the US$ he needs he will then use the bond toilet paper to wipe his *#*# and be done with it, like the Matabeleland Massacres.â€™ Â (See: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-mugabe-complains-about-graces-cooking/).
At the Vigil supporters wrapped themselves in Zimbabwean flags to express their support for the campaign for freedomÂ launched by Pastor Evan Mawarire which has captured public imagination (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2016/05/20/thisflag-idea-whose-time-come/).
- We were pleased to be joined by two Danish students, one of whom Anna Bestle spent six months working for the Womenâ€™s Resource Centre in Harare.
- A large group from the Vigil is marking Africa Day on Wednesday 25th May by going to see the play â€˜After Independenceâ€™ set in Zimbabwe. We are taking our drums and are having a collaborative event at the theatre afterwards. See â€˜Events and Noticesâ€™ for more details.
- Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Rashiwe Bayisayi, Isaac Chawasarira, Benjamin Chigamba, Mavis Chisvo, Isabell Gwatidzo, Barbara Kachidza, Etines Kapiya, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phylis Magejo, Phillip Mahlahla, Nancy Makurira, Rosemary Maponga, Cephas Maswoswa, Sharon Moyo, Eletha Mpofu, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Edward Murota, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Eva Sanyahokwe, Benjamin Semwayo, Michael Sirewu and Elector Zvorwadza. Thanks to those who looked after the front table during the Vigil: Roselone, Elitha, Sharon and Nancy. Thanks also to the team that put up the high banners and tarpaulin: Phillip, Cephas, Alfredy and Mduduzi.
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: 45 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
- Play: â€˜After Independenceâ€™. 4th â€“ 28th May at the Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL. The play is by May Sumbwanyambe and tackles the issues of independence and government in Zimbabwe. Tickets are available from the Box Office: 020 7503 1646 or online from: http://www.arcolatheatre.com/event/after-independence/2016-05-04/.
- Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 28th May from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
- ROHR South Yorkshire Launch. Saturday 28th May from 1.30 â€“ 8 pm. Venue: Christ Church, Armley Ridge Road, Leeds LS12 3LE. Contact: Patricia Nyawo 07443897919, Gladys Muduve 07956430115, Oscar Ndlovu 07474185307 and Rosemary Mupunga 07446380110.
- ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 4th June from 11 am to 1.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.
- The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigilâ€™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 Vigilâ€™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.
- Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 4th June from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil itâ€™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 a shop. 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.
- Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 11th June from 2 â€“ 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark fifteen months since Dzamaraâ€™s abduction by intelligence agents.
- Protest at Zimbabwe Conference 2016 â€˜Rebooting and Rebuildingâ€™. Tuesday 5th July from 8 am onwards. Venue: outside DLA Piper UK LLP, 3 Noble Street, London EC2V 7EE. More information as our plans firm up.
- Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
- Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2015 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/746-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2015. Links to previous yearsâ€™ highlights are listed on 2015 Highlights page.
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