The unprovoked war has helped boost Zimbabwe’s inflation rate to 132% with sharp rises in the cost of imported food, fuel and fertilizer (see: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-05-26/currency-slump-132-inflation-no-cause-for-panic-in-zimbabwe).
The faraway war is also causing lost jobs. Elina Ncube, a former housekeeper at one of the prime lodges at Victoria Falls, now survives by getting up at 4 am to go to the municipal dump in the hope of scavenging food and anything to sell. She said: ‘The war in Ukraine has made the situation even more desperate because most of the tourists that booked at our lodge were from Russia and we were told that most of them had cancelled their bookings.’ (See: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/campaigns/giantsclub/ukraine-conflict-economic-crisis-zimbabwe-b2087743.html.)
Zimbabwe’s financial crisis has not stopped Mnangagwa paying US$30,000 a flying hour for a luxury jet to take him to the Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland. His spokesman, George Charamba, has said the President will continue to use hired private jets for his trips until Air Zimbabwe has planes that are reliable enough to fly in! (See: https://news.pindula.co.zw/2022/05/26/president-mnangagwa-hires-us30-000-per-flying-hour-plane-to-davos/).
His attendance at Davos is waste of time and resources says the Fight Inequality Alliance, a network of Zimbabwean organisations seeking a fair distribution of resources. It said: ‘History tells us that Zimbabwe’s participation at such forums will be driven by the need to attract foreign direct investment under the Zimbabwe is Open for Business mantra. What is however worrisome is the quality of investors we attract since we have had cases of multinational corporations violating the basic principles of business and human rights with impunity.’
It went on: ‘Furthermore, the World Economic Forum has proved to be a platform to consolidate financial and corporate power at the expense of the suffering masses worldwide. We therefore contend that Davos is yet another congregation of elites meant to share ideas and propose policies which favour the corporate world and maximise profits.’ (See: https://www.263chat.com/zimbabwes-participation-at-davos-summit-questioned/).
The Herald boasted of success at the summit and pictures showed a number of Zanu PF supporters greeting the President at Davos. Simba Mavaza, a Zanu PF ‘programme co-ordinator’ who is based in the UK said he was confident that Mnangagwa’s efforts to attract foreign investment would have tangible results – presumably enough to pay him and the other Zanu PF supporters (see: https://www.voazimbabwe.com/a/6589461.html),
The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition describes the Zanu PF regime as shameful saying that, through state-owned media, it was accusing them of attempting to destabilise the country and effect regime change. ‘The malicious allegations contained in the state’s propaganda pieces are but a desperate attempt to find a scapegoat for the ZANU PF government’s inability to run the country and its economy,’ it said. (See: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/shameful-crisis-in-zimbabwe-coalition-says-in-damning-response-to-zanu-pf-onslaught/.)
- The Masvingo Mirror says Zanu PF supporters have been brought in by school bus at night to get the documents needed to vote. They have their pictures taken and get birth certificates and IDs and are added to the voters’ roll. CCC Vice President Tendai Biti said bringing in government workers at night and in secrecy was illegal (see: https://masvingomirror.com/zanu-pf-buses-supporters-to-get-ids-at-night/).
- We will be joined at next week’s Vigil (4th June) by members of Twoco Woja, Women of Justice Arise. They are campaigning for Marry Chiwenga, the wife of Vice-President Constantine Chiwenga who they say has been abused by her husband during their divorce case.
- Our virtual Vigil activists today were Enniah Dube, Charles Mararirakwenda and Esther Munyira who all kindly contributed to Vigil funds. See: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720299336621 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:
- Next Vigil meeting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. Saturday 4th June from 2 – 5 pm. We will continue meeting on the first and third Saturdays of every month. On other Saturdays we will continue the virtual Vigil.
- ROHR Fundraising Walk for a Free, Fair and Credible Election in Zimbabwe. Saturday 18th June. ROHR UK chapter will embark on a 13-mile sponsored walk staring at Leytonstone at 9 am and ending at the Vigil, to raise funds for voter registration mobilisation and education to ensure all eligible citizens exercise their right to vote without fear or manipulation.
- Next ROHR Meeting. Saturday 2nd July at 11 am.
- 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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