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Falling from the sky – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary

LONDON – News that Mali is to donate $300 million to avert starvation in Zimbabwe would be warmly welcomed by the worried Zimbabwean diaspora, scrimping to send money home to help our suffering families.  But such manna from heaven is unlikely to say the least.

Mali’s President Keita seen here with President Mugabe
Mali’s President Keita seen here with President Mugabe

Mali’s President Keita is all big talk. On a three day state visit to Zimbabwe, he was shown over one of Mugabe’s collection of farms and said he was amazed by the ‘success stories’ of the land reform programme.

Urging other African countries to emulate the land seizures, he said ‘This is the way things should be done if we want to be independent’. As he put it: ‘Giving land to the people is one of the ways in which African countries can gain full economic independence.

Unfortunately it turns out that – despite giving land to the people – the crops have failed because of Western-engineered climate change. Mugabe’s heir apparent Vice President Mnangagwa says $300 million is needed for food imports and Zimbabwe hasn’t got the money because Western sanctions have destroyed the economy.

The Vigil sees the dilemma. Mugabe – Chair of the African Union – says Africa should have nothing to do with the exploitive West. Anyway, Western food aid would probably be genetically modified togive Africans AIDS, Ebola and a low birth rate. 

His exhortation to Africa at the recent AU Summit to reject the West suggests he believes that Mali and South Africa and other like-minded brothers will provide food for our people reduced to poverty by the odious self-serving capitalist, neo-imperialist, colonialist West.

He must see that if Africa wants to claim its rightful role with a permanent member on the UN Security Council it can at least give $300 million to Zimbabwe to save us from the evil aid from the West. As President Keita observed, Mugabe is ‘a great Pan-Africanist’. Indeed, despite the hunger in Zimbabwe, he has just donated 300 head of cattle to the AU.

As we gathered for our weekly Vigil outside the Embassy we mourned the death of an African refugee – reportedly from Zimbabwe – who fell to earth from a plane approaching London’s Heathrow Airport. Another man was found in the plane’s undercarriage and is critically ill in hospital.

They had obviously been taken in by the odious Western propaganda that it’s better to fall from the sky onto a roof in London than live in an Africa besieged by intrusive NGOs and their tools like President Obama.

After the Vigil we went down the road for our bi-monthly Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) at which we discussed the presentation of a petition to the Prime Minister Mr Cameron next Saturday. We agreed to the following letter to accompany the petition:

Dear Mr Cameron

Zimbabwean exiles in the UK wish to disown racist comments by our country’s illegitimate ruler Robert Mugabe, the current Chair of both the Southern African Development Community and the African Union.

On a recent visit to the SADC headquarters in Botswana Mugabe referred to the latest xenophobic violence in South Africa and said Africans should direct their anger at whites rather than fellow blacks.

The Zimbabwe Vigil and our associates Zimbabwe Yes We Can and the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe wish to assure you that Mugabe’s racist tirade does not represent the views of the Zimbabwean people. Indeed, his comment is anembarrassment to Zimbabweans forced by his misrule to seek the hospitality of other countries.

We take this opportunity to also repudiate Mugabe’s anti-Western tirade at the AU summit in Johannesburg this month in which he accused the West of fanning wars in Africa so that it can exploit the continent’s natural resources.

The Vigil believes that Mugabe should be arraigned before the International Criminal Court like Sudan’s President al Bashir who had to flee the AU summit after being threatened with arrest under an international warrant. Although Mugabe’s South African and other friends might refuse to arrest him, an indictment by the ICC would alleviate an intolerable burden on Zimbabwe’s finances by his incessant world travels 

You will no doubt be aware of the continuing human rights violations in Zimbabwe highlighted tragically by the abduction in March of the activist Itai Dzamara. According to the latest rule of law index, Zimbabwe is ranked 100 out of 102 countries. No doubt the British taxpayer will be asked to help the millions of Zimbabweans facing starvation because of the ruinous policies of Mugabe who, we believe, is helped to survive by the European Union’s policy of appeasement.

It does not surprise us that a desperate refugee, apparently from Zimbabwe, has fallen from the sky to his death in London after an attempt to reach the safety of the UK by hiding in the undercarriage of an airliner from Johannesburg. 

We respectfully submit the enclosed petition: ‘Exiled Zimbabweans, supporters and friends, at the Vigil outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, record our disgust at the anti-white rants of Zimbabwe’s illegitimate President Mugabe. We wish to affirm our unwavering support of Zimbabwe’s constitutional requirement for non-racism.’

Other points

·       At ZAF the following six people were chosen to present our petition to 10 Downing Street next Saturday: Mary Muteyerwa, Epiphania Phiri, Catherine Masinge, Lazarus Matiyenga, Muchineripi Chigwedere and Nogukhosi Moyo. Special thanks to Esther Nyambi who stood down as a petitioner to allow others to participate. For timings of the day see ‘Events and Notices’.

·       The Vigil drew a lot of attention as we were on the route of demonstrators who processed from the Bank of England to Westminster in protest at the government’s ‘austerity’ welfare cuts. There were so many participants it took several hours for them to pass.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. 

FOR THE RECORD: 44 signed the register.