Struggle for power – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary

Coming up for Christmas, Zimbabwe is facing a serious electricity shortage because of low water levels at Kariba.

Energy Minister Zhemu Soda spoke of a crisis and said he was looking for assistance from Zimbabwe’s neighbours (see:

It is an unfortunate Christmas present because the neighbours are also stricken – not least South Africa which anyway has a low opinion of Zimbabwe and its perpetual problems. A close ally of President Ramaphosa, James Motlatsi, has warned him not to resign because of his present troubles ‘or he will risk South Africa turning into another Zimbabwe, run by criminals!’ (See:

Ramaphosa is facing possible impeachment over his handling of an alleged theft of cash from his farm. The problem is that many of his possible successors are involved in damaging scandals of their own (see:

It’s a great disappointment to see the party of Nelson Mandela being drowned in allegations of corruption. Not that things are better in Zimbabwe, where the chair of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Justice Loyce Matanda-Moyo, has called for united efforts by enforcement agencies to beat back corruption.

Addressing a national anti-corruption committee in Harare, she says it was disheartening to know that court officials who should get rid of corrupt activities were the ones spearheading corruption. ‘Let me say that I was very disappointed by the results from a survey which was done by Transparency International of Zimbabwe which showed that our court officials are now very corrupt,’ she said (see:

For its part, the Residents Association Coalition for Electoral Reforms (RACER) says next year’s general elections could be compromised by civil servants’ declaration of allegiance to President Mnangagwa. RACER spokesperson Marvelous Khumalo asked how civil servants could be impartial when they have declared their support for the President (see:

Other points

  • A very lively and interesting Vigil today. London was heaving with people: Christmas shoppers, tourists and groups out for theatre visits or to watch the world cup together. The Vigil attracted a lot of attention as one of our activists had brought a karaoke sound system which galvanised the singing and dancing of our activists. It had the advantage of drowning out the man who bellows out faith messages into his mike every week. It was good to have beautifully-made new cloth banners in vibrant Zimbabwe colours to replace the banners that were stolen from an activist’s car. A big thank you to Vigil Co-ordinator Esther Munyira who made the banners. At one stage we were passed by scores of big shire horses pulling small carriages. As it grew dark the maple trees in our space were lit up by Christmas lights. In our twenty years of protest outside the Zimbabwe Embassy this is the first time these trees have been festooned by lights. Thanks to those who came today: Beverley Mutandiro, Charity Mahuni, Delice Gavazah, Ephraim Tapa, Esther  Munyira, Jonathan Kariwo, Kudzai Chikowore, Locadia Meda, Margaret Munenge, Mary Muteyerwa, Patricia Masamba, Philip Maponga and Rose Benton. For photos, check:


Events and Notices:

  • Next Vigil meeting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. Saturday 17th  December from 2 – 5 pm. We meet on the first and third Saturdays of every month. On other Saturdays the virtual Vigil will run.
  • 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 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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