Team Pachedu challenged ZEC to explain several issues, including a massive redirection of voters from their registered polling stations to those outside their constituencies – some as far as 100 kilometres away. It demanded to know why ZEC officials contravened the law and accepted registrants with unknown or unnamed residential addresses. Analysts say the alleged changes were likely to disenfranchise millions of voters (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/02/zec-taken-to-task-over-doctored-voters-roll/).
Despite rural poverty, an analysis of the voters’ roll shows Zimbabwe’s voters include the oldest people in the world. The analysis showed the roll included 3,253 people aged 100 or more, including 11 who were older than the oldest acknowledged person Japanese Kane Tanaka, who was 119 in January |(see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/zec-brews-shocker-as-eleven-120-year-old-people-appear-on-voters-roll/).
While on the subject of old age, the Vigil was interested in the argument in court that former Permanent Secretary for Mines Professor Francis Gudyanga should be spared jail for fraud because he is 75. The ancient professor had allegedly been receiving payments for meetings with himself. If we have more than 3,000 people on the voters’ roll aged over 100, one would have thought that the professor was not too ancient for jail – where he could have lots more meetings with himself at government expense (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/02/please-dont-jail-me-l-am-old-ex-perm-sec-proff-gudyanga-pleads-in-court/).
Although the European Union has now lifted sanctions on Grace Mugabe, Vice President Chiwenga and the army chief General Sibanda, it says respect for human rights has not improved in Zimbabwe (see: https://www.news24.com/news24/africa/news/eu-removes-grace-mugabe-zimbabwes-vice-president-and-army-commander-from-sanctions-list-20220222).
The EU says: ‘Intimidation of the political opposition and other government critics has continued to restrict the democratic and civic space, which is under threat of shrinking further, through the Data Protection Act and ongoing legislative processes such as the Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill and the envisaged so-called “Patriotic Act”. The EU is concerned about these developments.’ (See: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2022/02/21/zimbabwe-declaration-by-the-high-representative-on-behalf-of-the-european-union/.)
- Zimbabwe has been ranked as among the worst countries in the world for censorship of the internet (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/02/zim-among-worlds-3-leading-internet-censors/).
- The leader of the Vigil and ROHR Ephraim Tapa is due to return to London soon after a discrete visit to Zimbabwe. We will report on his findings. In the meantime Vigil supporters will be interested in an article, in which the Vigil features prominently, about the Zimbabwean diaspora by Acacia Reading published in Huck magazine (see: https://www.huckmag.com/perspectives/zimbabwes-diaspora-is-continuing-to-fight-for-freedom/).
- Our virtual Vigil activists today were Nolanga Ndlovu and Mildred Chidarikire who both kindly contributed to Vigil funds. See: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720296994477 for today’s photos.
- For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.
Events and Notices:
- The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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.
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