For two decades he endured everything the Mugabe regime could throw at him: attempts on his life, the murder of his wife Susan, beatings, imprisonment, trumped-up treason charges and constant CIO manoeuvres to undermine him. He became a beacon of resistance around the world. The UK Times newspaper yesterday published a laudatory obituary spreading to two pages. It was a worthy tribute to a great man (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/923-morgan-tsvangirai-obituary).
Morgan inspired us as members of the MDC in the UK to launch the Vigil in 2002. We organised public meetings for him in London but fell out with him when we believed he was overriding party structures. (Now is not the time to go into our differences: anyone interested can see our version in the Vigil book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’.)
Despite our differences, the Vigil continued to work with the MDC and MDC members were with us outside the Embassy today to mourn his death. Many were in tears as, dressed in red MDC colours, they laid flowers in an Embassy doorway and sang a farewell in Shona to the old Scottish tune of Auld Lang Syne (times long past).
They left a handwritten placard reading: ‘Morgan R Tsvangirai. We salute your courage and heroic determination. The struggle continues. We all revere you father of the nation’.
Vigil founder member and head of our sister organisation ROHR Ephraim Tapa, who helped start the MDC with Morgan, paid this tribute: ‘What a life and what a journey! Rest in peace comrade leader Morgan Tsvangirai’. Ephraim recalled how, when he was abducted and put in a torture camp in 2002, the MDC rescued him and put him in a safe house. While there Tsvangirai regularly visited him and the MDC organised his escape from Zimbabwe.
- Have things changed after Mugabe? The Zimbabwean writer Cathy Buckle, in her latest article, speaks of how she has again been denied the vote, although she was born in Zimbabwe and has lived there all her life (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/924-of-course-youre-going-to-vote-its-a-clear-case).
- A reporter in Johannesburg was filmed getting some frank comments about ousted President Zuma from passers-by when news spread of his downfall (see: https://www.timeslive.co.za/tshisa-live/tshisa-live/2018-02-15-twitter-has-a-field-day-with-enca-zuma-is-a-motherf-clip/ – warning: contains strong language).
- Thanks to all those who helped out today: to Bianca Monicah Mpawaenda and Rosemary Maponga who looked after the front table to David Makuyana, Bianca and Rosemary for putting up the banners, to Isaac Chawasarira for handing out flyers and to Isabell Gwatidzo for selling Zimbabwe caps kindly donated by a friend of the Vigil who has just returned from Zimbabwe.
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: 54 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
- ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 3rd March from 11 am – 1.45 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. Agenda: adoption of the ROHR 2018 programme of action and completion of appointments to the ROHR National Executive Committee.
- ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 17th March from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall,. Contact: Daisy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
- 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.
- Mike Campbell Foundation ‘Zimbabwe after Mugabe’. Tuesday 6th March at 6.30 pm for 7 – 9 pm. Venue: the Princess Anne Theatre, 195 Piccadilly, London W1J 9LN. The event is free and tickets will be allocated on a first come first served basis, email: [email protected].
- The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded over the past 15 years as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil for £10. All proceeds will go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe’s work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
- Zimbabwe Action Forum 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.
- Facebook pages: