‘A better Zimbabwe tomorrow’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary

Mugabe is said to have thwarted a coup attempt by supporters of Vice-President Mnangagwa. This comment came from the political analyst Ibbo Mandaza in an interview by the journalist Violet Gonda.

Dr Mandaza said Mugabe had been forced to step in and save beleaguered Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere whose G40 Group is openly battling Mnangagwa’s Lacoste faction. 

The President had apparently been warned by security agents that a Lacoste coup was in the making after soldiers had been bussed in civilian clothing from Harare to Bindura, where Kasukuwere was at a party meeting fighting for his political life.

Dr Mandaza said those such as the British government who were supporting Mnangagwa as a progressive alternative in Zanu PF were stupid. ‘It’s self-serving nonsense’, he added. ‘Those who have been making loud noises about Emmerson Mnangagwa being the reformer have got egg on their face.’ Mnangagwa, he maintained, was part of the architecture of the pathological state.

‘If the succession takes the route that these merchants of stability are proposing, it would be a worse nightmare, I can tell you that.’ Dr Mandaza poured scorn on Professor Stephen Chan of London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies and on the London Chatham House think tank, which he said were misguided.

Like the Vigil, Dr Mandaza supports the idea of a national transitional authority to take over in Zimbabwe and introduce reforms to prepare for free and fair elections. He said the opposition parties were opposed to this because they were primarily interested in getting ‘back into office, back into salaries and state cars’. However, some Zanu PF elements had been more responsive to the idea because they saw their party was mortally wounded.

Dr Mandaza said he did not expect next year’s elections to actually take place as scheduled. ‘We are a torn country. We are in crisis.’ To have elections next year would simply ensure more of the same.

He said a conference was planned at the end of June on Zimbabwe transition, reform and reconstruction, which he hoped would mobilise the region and the global community to begin planning for ‘a better Zimbabwe tomorrow’ (see: http://www.violetgonda.com/2017/04/hot-seat-mugabe-thwarts-coup-attempt-says-political-scientist-ibbo-mandaza/).

Other points

  • Zimbabweans are among the poorest people in the world according to a report this week by Afrasia Bank. It puts Zimbabwean wealth per person last year at US$200. By comparison, wealth per capita in South Africa was US$11,300, Namibia US$10,800, Botswana US$6,700, Angola US$3,600, Zambia US$1,200, Mozambique US$800 and the DRC US$400. (The index didn’t include Malawi, Lesotho and Swaziland.) The report said: ‘Notably, back in 2000, Zimbabwe was one of the wealthiest countries in Sub Saharan Africa on a wealth per capita basis, ranked ahead of the likes of Nigeria, Kenya, Angola, Zambia and Ghana. However, now it is ranked well behind these countries.’ The report continued that contributing factors to Zimbabwe’s poor performance included the erosion of ownership rights which, it said, were key to facilitating wealth creation. ‘Business owners are unsure as to whether their businesses or property will still belong to them a year down the line, which creates a situation where no one will take the chance of investing in the country.’ The report went on to speak of political intimidation, election fixing and the banning of independent media which made it impossible for investors to tell what was happening, and pointed to a brain drain caused by 20% of the population fleeing the country (see: http://www.afrasiabank.com/en/afrasia-bank-africa-wealth-report).
  • A British academic Hazel Cameron, says the UK attempted to cover up the Gukurahundi massacre in the 1980s. She has published a report in the International History Review which she says is based on previously unpublished diplomatic communications from the British High Commission in Harare (see: http://www.iol.co.za/news/africa/zim-massacre-a-british-cover-up-claims-academic-8808460). ‘Cameron found a gold mine, mainly from the US’, says Professor David Moore of the University of Johannesburg.
  • The Vigil knows that the Herald is hardly a reliable source. But we were interested to note its report that national vendors’ chairman Stendrick Zvorwadza is allegedly facing 40 counts of fraud involving the sale of residential stands. The Vigil knows to its own financial cost the dangers of any involvement with this charlatan, who spuriously claims to be head of our sister organisation ROHR (see: http://www.herald.co.zw/zvorwadza-faces-over-40-counts-of-fraud/ and the third bullet point in ‘Other points’ on our diary of 6th August 2016: http://zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/810-vigil-petitions-un-for-transitional-authority–zimbabwe-vigil-diary-6th-august-2016).
  • Our condolences go to Cephas Maswoswa and his family on the loss of his 22-year-old son. While Cephas was with us at the Vigil yesterday he told us his son had been admitted into intensive care at a Johannesburg hospital. We were all hopeful for his recovery so the news of his passing came as a great shock. We will take a collection at next week’s Vigil.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Joseph Chivayo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Chido Makawa, Cephas Maswoswa, Edna Mdoka, Alfredy Mukuvare, Charles Mupawose, Faith Ndhlovu, Sibusiso Ngwenya and Pearl Shambare. Thanks to Pearl, Faith and Cathrine Musa for looking after the front table, to Chido, Isaac Chawasarira, Faith and Cathrine for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Phillip, Alfredy and Joseph for putting up the banners.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR.

FOR THE RECORD: 28 signed the register.


  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 6th May from 11 am. Venue:  The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.
  • 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.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 6th May from 6.30 pm. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. We will move to the RFH at the end of the Vigil at 6 pm.
  • 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.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 13th May from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2016 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/843-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2016. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2016 Highlights page.
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