Here we bump into one of the great myths of our age: ‘Zimbabweans are the best-educated people in Africa’. If this was ever true it is surely impossible to claim this today with our run-down schools and malnourished pupils and our premier university’s two-month doctorate for Grace Mugabe.
This is not to say our people are stupid. Far from it. Zanu PF is proof of this. Their well-oiled 2018 election strategy is already underway. It is felt everywhere. Mbare for instance is out of bounds to the MDC. Not that there is anything new in the strategy, but they have the intelligence to just go on repeating what works.
This is shown in the experience of our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe which was given the old run-around when they applied to the police for clearance for their constitutional right to stage a peaceful demonstration in Harare at the end of May. For weeks they were made to report to Harare Central to receive clearance only to be turned down at the last minute and threatened with arrest.
Activist Linda Masarira, a member of ROHR, has posted a facebook article titled ‘The election manual: how to rig an election in an Idiocracy’. It begins: ‘Have you noticed that the ruling party is not concerned about the 2018 election? Do you often wonder why? The answer is simple, they have the election bagged!’ (See: https://www.facebook.com/lindatsungiriraimasarira/posts/712376948964776.)
The Vigil thinks the best hope for Zimbabwe is the ousting of Mugabe’s disciple President Zuma. His blatant corruption has eroded support for the ANC which may be forced to sack him. This would clear the way for a reformist South African president who would probably have little patience for genocidal geriatrics like Mugabe, whose latest anti-White rants about South Africa can only help this process (see: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.za/2017/06/03/mugabe-speaks-out-against-white-capital-in-sa-and-zimbabwe_a_22123777/).
Vigil Co-ordinator Fungayi Mabhunu agrees with Linda Masarira’s conclusion that the answer to election rigging lies with the people. He said they must be empowered to overcome the fear instilled by Zanu PF. But he has little trust in opposition politicians who he believes only want to rejoin the gravy train. ‘The way forward must be a transitional authority to take over from Zanu PF, for which the Vigil is asking for UN support,’ he said.
- Our book on the history of the Vigil is with the publishers. We would like photos of current attenders / supporters and will be taking group photos at the next two Vigils (10th and 17th June) to put on the back cover.
- ROHR President, Ephraim Tapa, speaking at the regular forum after the Vigil, urged people to use their own initiative to help Zimbabwe. He applauded Daizy Fabian’s new project to help raise funds for the Zimbabwe Peace Actors’ Platform (ZimPAP). Over 30 people have signed up to walk 15 miles from Ilford (starting at 8 am) to the Vigil on Saturday 1st July. They will be asking for sponsorship from their churches, work places, families and friends. For sponsorship forms contact Daizy Fabian, 07708653640, [email protected] and she will post or email a sponsorship form to you. ZimPAP aims to train 100,000 civilian peacekeepers to overcome fear and intimidation during next year’s elections.
- Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Patrick Chatukuta, Mavis Chisvo, Flemming Diza, Isabell Gwatidzo, Sibongile Kadzima, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Michelle Makoni, Nancy Makurira, Nyarai Masvosva, Lawrence Mbamarwo, Darlington Mlambo, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Virginia Mutyambizi, Patience Muyeye, Aivet Phiri and Maxmus Savanhu. Thanks to Roseline, Mavis, Patience and Catherine Musa for looking after the front table, to Nancy, Deborah Harry and Ben Tsikwa Jnr for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Alfredy, Maxmus, Darlington and Lawrence for putting up the banners. A special thank you to Nyarai Masvosva who brought sadza and stew to sell to raise funds for ROHR’s ZimPAP project and to Rose Maponga who helped her serve and sell the food.
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: 46 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
- Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 10th June from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
- MDC demonstration on the Diaspora Vote. Wednesday 14th June outside the Zimbabwe Embassy London. Further details when we have them.
- ROHR Central London Peace Walk for ZimPAP. Saturday 1st July. Starting at 8 am, a 15-mile walk from Ilford to reach the Vigil by 2 pm. For sponsorship forms contact Daizy Fabian, 07708653640, [email protected] and she will post or email a sponsorship form to you.
- 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) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
- 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.
Facebook pages:ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/