The mysterious visit to Zimbabwe this week by former South African president Thabo Mbeki, a long-time Zanu PF supporter, is a clear sign that things have reached crisis point in Zimbabwe.
The South Africans say that the hurried visit was at Mugabe’s invitation but Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba said Mbeki had requested a meeting with Mugabe and the discussion was strictly private.
But an unprecedented feature of the lightning visit was a meeting between Mbeki and Zimbabwe’s security chiefs at a time of growing differences between them and Mugabe over the succession issue.
Service chiefs are believed to be pressing him to name Vice-President Mnangagwa as his successor and they were reported to have had a meeting with Mugabe on Monday urging him to settle the issue to end the increasingly bitter conflict in Zanu PF.
Last week, Mugabe publicly berated the generals for interfering in the political process. ‘There are secret manoeuvres going on’, he said. At the same party meeting Grace Mugabe called on him to name his successor, saying the party would rally behind his anointed ‘horse’ (tiudzei bhiza ramuri kuda timhanye naro muone henyu) – clearly a reference to herself!
Further drama this week came as soldiers beat up police in Harare in apparent retaliation for the police’s use of spikes to halt a military vehicle after an alleged traffic offence.
With more bond notes being pumped into the bankrupt economy and Zanu PF equally bankrupt of ideas to halt the downward spiral, the Vigil turns to veteran observer Cathy Buckle in Marondera for a snapshot of Zimbabwe on the eve of Heroes’ Day. ‘The ordinary people are Zimbabwe’s real heroes in 2017’, she concludes (see: http://www.cathybuckle.com/index.php?id=236)
- The Vigil welcomes the agreement to reunite the MDC in an alliance with other parties to confront Zanu PF in next year’s elections. It will support Morgan Tsvangirai for president.
- We were sorry to hear that one of our key supporters, Phillip Mahlahla, has been detained and served with a deportation order. We are trying to help but were left with little time to organise an effective campaign.
- Thanks to the large group who arrived early to help set up – too many to mention individually. Thanks to Roseline Mukucha, Josephine Jombe, Mavis Chisvo and Patience Muyeye for looking after the front table, to Chipo Parirenyatwa, Nancy Makurira, Nomusa Dube, Sally Mutseyami, Newman Richard and Rumbi Sambana for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Alfredy Mukuvare, Comfort Zibwowa, Flemming Diza, Simbarashe Mutero and Charles Mupawose for putting up the banners.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. 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) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) 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: 61 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
- Zimbabwe Action Forum. Saturday 12th August from 6.30 pm. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. We will move to the RFH at the end of the Vigil at 6 pm.
- ZAF meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
- ROHR Reading branch BBQ fundraiser for ZimPAP. Saturday 19th August from 2 pm till late. Venue: Pakistan Community Hall, London Road, Reading RG1 3PA. Bus 17 from Reading Station. Variety show, music and dance, raffle. Indoor dress code: males black and white, females red and white. Tickets £20 adults, £10 children to include BBQ meal. Contact: Sihle 07985712749, Alice 07462067504, Charles 0796473172, Josephine 07455166668, Shylette 07828929806, Deborah 07578894896 and Mercy 07492061376.
- The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization 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.
- Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 19th August from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
- Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
- Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2016 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/843-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2016. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2016 Highlights page.
- Facebook pages:
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.