AU must act on Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary

A protest vigil outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London every Saturday from 14.00 - 18.00 since October 2002. The Vigil will continue until internationally - monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.

The MDC says that the African Union must take action before the situation in Zimbabwe spirals out of control. It urges the organisation to exercise the UN recognised ‘right to protect’.

The party’s deputy spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka said the situation provided a test for Africa. ‘Our brothers and sisters on the continent cannot just watch while citizens are brutalised and harassed by their own government when they have adequate legal safeguards to take action.’

In a letter to the African Union, the MDC says that, under the AU’s own constitution, it has the right to intervene in a member state in grave circumstances.

‘Grave circumstances are an apt summation of the situation in Zimbabwe. It is our humble submission that there are crimes against humanity being committed by the State in Zimbabwe, given the abduction of innocent citizens, the proscription of the right to demonstrate and the callous murder by State security agents of over 20 citizens on August 1, 2018 and in January 2019,’ the MDC said.

For his part, a US spokesman has repeated American concerns over the Zimbabwe situation. He said: ‘We have great concerns over the space that’s available for democracy and governance in Zimbabwe. We have been alarmed at how the government has treated its own citizens.’

If, as suggested, Zimbabwean bank notes are introduced next month they will soon show the real rate of inflation. The Vigil remembers that its barely a decade ago when wheelbarrows were used to go shopping – not to bring back goods but to carry the bank notes. The wizards at the finance ministry and the reserve bank must explain how you can import if you don’t export, except with the money we in the diaspora send home or foreign aid and loans.

Among those feeling the pinch is former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko who has gone to the High Court seeking payment of his pension. Mphoko, who was in office for three years until last year, said that so far he hadn’t received a cent in pension and was now owed US$308,000. We hope he doesn’t get a bean because some time ago one of our activists said he was a family friend but had raped her.

Other points

  • Next week marks the 17th anniversary of the Vigil – 17 years outside the Embassy every Saturday . . . and the situation at home gets ever worse.
  • Special thanks to Rosemary Maponga and Heather Makawa who brought a brilliant new banner which reads: To save Zimbabwe, Zanu PF must go. No to Zanu PF – no to abductions and torture.’
  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners today: Jonathan Kariwo, Patricia Masamba, Tarisai Matambanadzo, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Washington Mugari, Tsitsi Nyirongo, Hazvinei Saili and Rudo Takiya. Thanks to Hazvinei and Tsitsi for looking after the front table, to Tarisai and Patience Chimba for handing out flyers, to Delice Gavazah and Rangarirai Chivariro for drumming and to Patricia and Jonathan for photos.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: 25 signed the register.



  • 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 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.
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