Biti said the failure to implement the recommendations of the commission of enquiry headed by former South African President Motlanthe and to deal with perpetrators of political violence had encouraged a culture of impunity. ‘Only last week, we had activists who were thoroughly beaten up in Mutoko for just putting on yellow t-shirts,’ he said. ‘A week ago, my car was stormed in Muzarabani. We have had the murder of Moreblessing Ali last month. We have the incarceration of the Nyatsime 13, that of Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole. It is quite clear that things are going to be worse than 2018.’
Biti continued: ‘We urge the SADC leadership to intervene. The situation in Zimbabwe is abnormal, the situation in Zimbabwe needs international intervention.’ He added that violence was in the DNA of Zanu PF and now that social and public services had collapsed there was likely to be a greater acceleration of closure of the political space as the election approached (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/biti-urges-international-intervention-in-abnormal-zim-situation-warns-that-things-are-going-to-be-worse-than-2018/).
The Zimbabwe Election Commission has rejected a request by CCC for a bilateral dialogue on alleged electoral malpractices. It said it did not have meetings with individual stakeholders to the exclusion of others. CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said there was no law prohibiting ZEC from engaging bilaterally on electoral concerns (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/08/zec-shuts-out-ccc/).
These concerns have worsened with the appointment to ZEC of more relatives of Zanu PF leaders. The latest is former Vice-President Kembo Mohadi’s daughter, Abigail Millicent Mohadi Ambrose, as one of its electoral commissioners. She joins at least two other children of ZANU-PF stalwarts on the commission like Cathrine Mpofu, the daughter of former mines minister Obert Mpofu and Kudzai Shava, son of current foreign affairs minister Frederick Shava.
Civil society groups have warned of a conflict of interests. ‘The fact that Abigail Ambrose’s father Kembo Mohadi is an interested party in Zimbabwe’s elections is enough to dismiss her appointment as part of a patron-client relationship which is detrimental to the conduct of credible elections,’ a report by the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute says.
‘The credibility of ZEC has been thrown into question,’ Harare-based political analyst Rashwhit Mukundu told Al Jazeera. ‘The nomination of individuals who have notable conflict of interest demonstrates the lack of commitment to genuine electoral reforms by Emmerson Mnangagwa.’ Stephen Chuma, CCC interim spokesperson was even more scathing. He said ZEC was now the ‘Zanu PF Electoral Commission and called for a wave of protests to press for electoral reforms (See: https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2022/8/1/zimbabwe-electoral-appointments-spark-controversy-ahead-of-2024.)
- Civil Society organisations operating in Zimbabwe say the government has reneged on a promise to reform the Private Voluntary Organisations’ Bill. They said the bill will have the consequences of restricting civic space and access to humanitarian support services (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/civil-society-statement-on-amendments-to-the-pvo-amendment-bill-2021/).
- The Vigil met outside the Embassy today. For the moment we are meeting on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month. There will be a virtual Vigil on the other Saturdays. It was good to have with us today Wilbert Mukori, a long-term supporter of the Vigil and regular commentator on the political situation in Zimbabwe. Also attending were: Ephraim Tapa, Kevin Wheeldon, Richard Munyama and Rose Benton. For photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720301106007.
- 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:
- ROHR Beach Party. Saturday 13th August at Frinton-on-Sea, Essex. Frinton’s railway station’s post code is CO13 9JT. For more information, Contact: Chido Makawa 07413024807, Enniah Dube 07367504747, Esther Munyira 07492058107 and Delice Gavaza 07752653891.
- Next Vigil meeting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. Saturday 20th August 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.
- The Zimbabwe Vigil’s 20th Anniversary. We will mark this at the Vigil on Saturday 15th October.
- 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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