Bums to the wind – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary

The Zimbabwean economist Tony Hawkins has urged President Mnangagwa to hold talks with the MDC leader Nelson Chamisa on the way forward for the country 

Hawkins said: ‘Ultimately the solution to Zimbabwe’s problems is political.  You can fiddle around with the economy as much as you like but you are not going to get a lasting solution without some form of political and social consensus.’

Mnangagwa has so far rejected bilateral discussion with Chamisa, insisting that the MDC should join in the joint talks he is having with other opposition parties. But Professor Hawkins, speaking at a meeting of the Institute of Directors, said there was no point in the MDC being grouped with people who got less than 0.5% of the vote last year whereas the MDC, he said, took something like 44%.

Hawkins said an agreement between Zanu PF and MDC had become inevitable because of the deteriorating economic situation and predicted an economic collapse if Mnangagwa government failed to build national consensus.

‘We have a very serious issue. We have an extremely fractured and polarised society. We have a rural electorate which supports government and we have younger and urban voters demanding change. How this plays out no one can tell. All we can say is I think the social and political climate will probably worsen as unemployment rises and it will, as poverty increases and it will.’ (See: https://www.thezimbabwemail.com/economic-analysis/solution-to-zimbabwes-problems-is-political/.)

Everyone at the Vigil, even if their families at home are not in danger, has been anxiously following news of the cyclone disaster, which has been given wide coverage here. We have been inspired by those who have rushed to help the victims and the generosity of so many others.

Some Zimbabweans who are now living in Mozambique have kept in touch with the Vigil over the years and we have been worried about their horse sanctuary in Vilanculos near Beira. They report: ‘Thankfully for us and the horses we were totally unaffected but Pat had survived the cyclone in 2007 and during the 250 knot winds he had to untether the horses and let them go. Interestingly enough they made their own plan they moved to higher ground and formed a V formation with their bums and withstood the wind.’ Their website is http://www.mozambiquehorsesafari.com/.

Other points

FOR THE RECORD: 25 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 13th April from 11 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625.
  • ROHR fundraising dinner. Saturday 27th April from 6 – 11.30 pm. Venue Zazas, 108 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1JE. Contact: Sipho Hobane 07400566013, Esther Munyira 07492058109, Fungisai Mupandira 07468504393, Casper Nyamakura 0757766912, Margaret Munenge 0739211743, Bianca Mpawaenda 07400566013 and Patricia Masamba 07708116625.
  • 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.
  • MDC London Branch meeting. Saturday 6th April from 12 noon – 2 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall. Contact: Netsai Makarichi 07592619201 and Flemming Diza 07960838847.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded 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 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.
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