A bad week for Zimbabwe began with a total cut off of water in Harare and concluded with the tortured doctors’ leader Dr Peter Magombeyi having to fight to be allowed to leave for medical attention in South Africa.
UN Special Rapporteur Clement Voule said after a ten-day fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe: ‘the repression of protestors, the attempt to ban protests, the excessive use of force and the restrictive application of legislation regulating the rights of freedom of peaceful assembly and association gravely overshadow efforts to democratically transform Zimbabwe.’
The UN envoy spoke of fear, frustration and anxiety among a large number of Zimbabweans and said hopes were fading of an improvement in living conditions, with the economic environment deteriorating.
For its part, the IMF said inflation in Zimbabwe was now the highest in the world. It put it at about 300%, although the American economist Steve Hanke, who closely watches Zimbabwe, believes it to be much higher.
An indication of the corruption now endemic in Zimbabwe is the suspension of 36 officials of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority who can’t explain why they are so rich. Zimra boss Faith Mazani said: ‘We found out quite a number of cases where our officers are building houses, going on holidays and buying cars beyond their expected lifestyles’.
Zimra is seeking to forfeit property acquired by its former accounting officer Tapuwa Evans Chidemo including two mansions in Glen Lorne, Harare, a flat in Harare city centre and a Mercedes (see: https://www.herald.co.zw/zimra-lifestyle-audit-36-suspended/).
- Sad to see the respected University of Harvard humiliated by having to hastily backtrack on an unwise honour bestowed on President Mnangagwa’s wife Auxilia.
- This faux pas was rivalled by the gushing welcome of the President by the boss of the Commonwealth, Baroness Scotland. The Vigil is campaigning for Zimbabwe to be refused readmission to the Commonwealth until real reforms have been made.
- We doubt whether the baroness has come across the following post on WhatsApp: “The current banking crisis explained by a Zimbabwean. Young Tendai bought a donkey from a farmer for $100. The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day. The next day he drove up and said, ‘Sorry son, but I have some bad news. The donkey’s died.’ Tendai replied, ‘Well then just give me my money back.’ The farmer said, ‘Can’t do that. I’ve already spent it.’ Tendai said, ‘OK, then, just bring me the dead donkey.’ The farmer asked, ‘What are you going to do with him?’ Tendai said, ‘I’m going to raffle him off.’ The farmer said, ‘You can’t raffle a dead donkey!’ Tendai said, ‘Sure I can. Watch me. I just won’t tell anybody he’s dead.’ A month later, the farmer met up with Tendai and asked, ‘What happened with that dead donkey?’ Tendai said, ‘I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at $2 each and made a profit of $898’. The farmer said, ‘Didn’t anyone complain?’ Tendai said, ‘Just the guy who won. So I gave him his $2 back.’ Tendai now works for the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.”
- Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners today: Abigail Chidavayenzi, Delice Gavazah, Deborah Harry, Jonathan Kariwo, Marian Machekanyanga, Patricia Masamba, Margaret Munenge, Esther Munyira, Mary Muteyerwa and Hazvinei Saili. Thanks to Mary and Deborah for looking after the front table, to Abigail, Patience Chimba and Tapiwa Muskwe for handing out flyers, to Margaret and Hazvinei for drumming and to Patricia and Jonathan for photos.
- For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimb88abwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.
FOR THE RECORD: 19 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
- The Zimbabwe Vigil’s 17th Anniversary. Saturday 12th October from 2 – 5 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, London. The Zimbabwe Vigil started on 12th October 2002 so this will be 17 years to the day that the Vigil has protested against human rights abuses and for democracy in Zimbabwe. Please join us for this auspicious anniversary.
- ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 12th October from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Esther Munyira 07492058109.
- ROHR fundraising dinner dance. Saturday 2nd November from 6 pm till late. Venue tba. ROHR is hosting a dinner dance to raise funds for a Zimbabwe peace building initiative. Tickets £25. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Hazvinei Saili 07857602830, Margaret Munenge 07384300283, Pamela Chirimuta 07762737339.
- 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.
- 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. 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.