Reality and delusion – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary

Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandi Chimene appears to have been smoking weed again. Only a few weeks after raving about mbanje to Mugabe at his Mutare rally, she has come up with a proposal to lie to attract tourists. This may be acceptable to an advertising agency but should it be government policy?

Mandi Chimene

Chimene urged those involved in tourism in Manicaland to claim that an Indian tourist who mysteriously disappeared three years ago while climbing the sacred Inyangani mountain would return one day. ‘Some of them will wait for him to meet them’ she said, adding ‘this world is so cruel. We need strategies if we are going to survive in this industry’. 

Mandi’s attitude is in keeping with Zanu PF’s deceitful short-termism: when in doubt lie. Reality is an illusion. One minute Vice President Mnangagwa assures prospective South African investors that land invasions are over then, incited by Mugabe, the remnants of a farm developed by a white family over the last 80 years are seized – and by none other than the presiding bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Zimbabwe.

As the Vigil has long pointed out, the delusional world of Zanu PF – with their alternative reality – has gained a foothold in the UK where a professor at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies Stephen Chan has now published a book claiming that, despite opposition complaints of election rigging, Mugabe would have won the 2013 elections anyway – and furthermore the elections had taken place under relatively ‘credible’ conditions.

Asked to justify this conclusion, Chan said he had ‘crunched the numbers’. The Vigil would like to examine his case but can’t afford to pay £75 to buy a copy of his book ‘Why Mugabe Won: The 2013 Elections in Zimbabwe and their Aftermath’ (see:

And, anyway the Vigil wonders how you can ‘crunch’ the voters intimidated into voting for Mugabe or the opposition voters moved off the voters’ roll by the Israeli Nikuv rigging company employed by the Mugabe regime when even the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission says it doesn’t have a copy of the 2013 voters’ roll?

The Vigil is aware that a cabal sympathetic to Zanu PF at London’s Chatham House think tank and Oxford University shares Chan’s delusions but to us a more convincing analysis of Mugabe’s repeated victories was given in a recent article by the MDC Bulawayo MP Eddie Cross who outlines the strategies he says were used to achieve Mugabe’s re-elections (see: 

Other points

  • From delusion to outright lies is a step too far. The Vigil sporadically comes under attack in what could be called the ‘gutter’ websites. The latest rubbish has, of course, no truth in it. (See for yourself: The Vigil says there was no such collection and ROHR President Ephraim Tapa believes that this attack has been prompted by pique at the success of ROHR and the Vigil’s recent fundraising efforts for the Zimbabwe Peace Actors’ Platform (ZimPAP) which seeks to train 100,000 civilian peacekeepers for next year’s elections. See our campaigns page for a more detailed response:
  • The walkers who walked 15 miles from Ilford to the Vigil last Saturday to fundraise for ZimPAP are busy collecting their sponsorship money and hope to raise a good amount. Contributions can still be made via the Justgiving link:
  • Thanks to Sister Bev Mutandiro who led the prayers on the theme of Psalm 124: If it had not been the Lord who was on our side – let Israel now say – if it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when our enemies attacked us, then they would have swallowed us up alive, when their anger was kindled against us; then the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us; then over us would have gone the raging waters. Blessed be the Lord, who has not given us as prey to their teeth. We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
  • On a very hot day London was seething with revellers marking Gay Pride day. Several came past the Vigil and signed our petitions.
  • A newly arrived white Zimbabwean came to the Vigil today. He had arrived destitute in the UK and had slept rough last night. The Vigil rallied round – gave him some financial assistance, bought him a sim card and top-up for his phone and with the help of the local police found him accommodation. Thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu, Catherine Musa, George Chinamora and Philip Maponga who helped him.
  • We were glad to be joined by Vigil founder member and former co-ordinator Dumi Tutani who now lives in Oxford.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Mavis Chisvo, Tafadzwa Gore, Josephine Jombe, Jonathan Kariwo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Heather Makawa, Rosemary Maponga, Eletha Mpofu, Roseline Mukucha, Margaret Munenge, Esther Munyira, Charles Mupawose, Cathrine Musa, Farai Mutumburi, Mduduzi Ndlovu and Farai Tanyanyiwa. Thanks to Roseline, Josephine, Cathrine and Mavis for looking after the front table, to Nancy, Esther, Rosemary, Cathrine, Farai Mutumburi and Faith Ndhlovu for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Phillip, Jonathan, Charles, Eletha, Faria Mutumburi and Farai Tanyanyiwa for putting up the banners. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) ( has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR. 

FOR THE RECORD: 38 signed the register.