Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 23rd April 2011

It’s been a busy week for vigil supporters, with our Independence Day demonstration against violence and our appeal to the Foreign Office to withdraw the invitation to attend the Royal Wedding unthinkingly issued to Mugabe’s Ambassador in London.

A protestor wearing a mask which resembles the face of Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe stands outside Harrods retail store in London on October 10, 2009.

Naturally we follow the doings of the Foreign Office quite closely and this week proved an unusually interesting one – one which gave us hope of a more robust approach to Southern African despots. This is how it developed:

  • Monday: word from Malawi that the British High Commissioner was to be sent packing for privately criticizing the government of Mugabe’s ally, President Mutharika – who has been given a stolen farm in Zimbabwe and in return name a highway after his hero.
  • Tuesday: the Foreign Office whispers in Mutharika’s ear that his country is bankrupt and kept afloat by the generosity of British taxpayers.
  • Wednesday: grovelling apology from Mutharika – Britain is our best friend (what about Mugabe). 

What about Mugabe indeed! The Vigil wants the Foreign Office to spell out similar home truths to the other Mugabe acolytes receiving handouts. Even the most obtuse of SADC leaders knows the sanctions issue is a nonsense but nevertheless it has surface again in Harare’s submission to President Zuma for his roadmap for elections. 

The Vigil suggests that – to save the obtuse faces – it might be an idea to offer to suspend the targeted sanctions if the EU, US etc are satisfied with the elections arrangements and are allowed to send observers. After all the aim is to achieve free and fair elections. We can always deal with the crooks later. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check http://www.zimvigiltv.com/.