The Vigil is not allied to any political party although most of our supporters are MDC members. Indeed, we have happily worked with the MDC in the UK, most recently during last week’s demonstrations of encouragement outside the Tanzania and Botswana High Commissions in London.
After reading our last diary, a leading MDC figure in the UK, while thanking us for our help over the demonstrations, complained that we were again criticizing the MDC. Here is our reply:
‘We would like to assure you that we are not against the MDC. But we feel an obligation to be critical when the leadership is failing the party’s members. To do otherwise would be following the example of Zanu PF.
If you were thinking of our criticism in the diary of Tsvangirai’s romances, we would point out that many people have expressed disappointment at his judgment – not least because of the Zanu PF connections of some of the ladies in question.
If you were thinking of our comments about the Youth Assembly’s infantile toadying up to Tsvangirai (see: http://www.mdc-youthassembly.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/congratulations-dad-welcome-mummy.html), we feel strongly that this reflects a type of ‘big man’ politics which surely has no place in a modern democracy.
We readily acknowledge that we have criticized the party’s leadership over a range of issues: principally for their failure to see that the four-year-old GPA has been implemented and the alacrity with which some have jumped on the gravy train (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/sep29a_2012.html#Z6 – Politics a stepping stone to gravy train).
The Vigil believes that our leaders must be held to account and if they are found wanting they must be replaced. This is a common experience in the UK: we think most recently of Tony Blair and before that of Margaret Thatcher – both very successful politicians who were dumped by their parties.
Despite all this, the Vigil applauds the many MDC members working bravely and unselfishly for change. Without the support of these members the party would not exist. They and you have every right, if not a duty, to criticize the leadership when it fails.
Yours in solidarity – Vigil Co-ordinators’
Despite our comments about the Youth Assembly, the Vigil would like to express our admiration for its imprisoned Chair, Solomon Madzore, who writes: ‘The Zanu PF machinery can only imprison our bodies and never our spirits. We are free inside ourselves. They are the ones shackled in a perpetual prison of fear, guilt and shame. Sizafika Nomakhanjani!!!’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/sep28_2012.html#Z15 – Solomon Madzore Message from Chikurubi Prison).
The Vigil wishes it could share brave Solomon’s confidence that Tsvangirai will lead Zimbabwe to a better future.
- Vigil supporters were entertained by the analysis of Mugabe’s UN speech by UK-based lawyer Alex Magaisa (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/sep29_2012.html#Z20 – Mugabe’s alternative UN General Assembly speech).
- Today saw the relaunch of ROHR’s Cambridge branch. ROHR has been steadily recapturing ground lost when subversive elements claimed ownership of the organization.
- We were happy to be joined by Patson Muzuwa from Leicester. Patson was a vibrant founder member of the Vigil after he fled Zimbabwe following torture for his support of the MDC. It was wonderful to hear his distinctive voice singing again after his health problems.
- Patson brought with him a traumatised young woman who had just arrived in the UK after being raped by members of a Zimbabwean youth militia.
- This the last week you can see ‘The Rain that Washes’, which has had excellent reviews. See ‘Events and Notices’ for details.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.
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