Exiled Zimbabweans are to appeal to the United Nations to prepare to intervene in Zimbabwe as the bankrupt regime teeters on the verge of violent unrest.
The Vigil today (Saturday) launched the following petition to the UN Secretary-General:
With mounting unrest in Zimbabwe, we urge you to appoint a Special Representative to prepare the ground for a UN Transitional Authority to take over from the failed Mugabe regime. We look to the Special Representative to initiate comprehensive negotiations so that the UN Transitional Authority can assume control of Zimbabwe’s administrative structures – foreign affairs, defence, security, finance and communications – to ensure a level playing field conducive for credible national elections.
The petition is the fruit of the late Vigil supporter Clifford Mashiri, an academic and former diplomat whose funeral took place in London on Tuesday.
Clifford said ‘Arguably, governance would change in Zimbabwe by virtue of a UN Security Council resolution giving mandate to the UN Transitional Authority in Zimbabwe (UNTAZ) which will only withdraw after free and fair elections have been conducted.’
Clifford said the proposed Transitional Authority would be similar to that created in Cambodia. Acknowledging the wide range of political opinions in Zimbabwe, Clifford argued that, in order to wiggle out of the current economic crisis, Zimbabwe must eat humble pie.
In recent months there have been proposals from various quarters in Zimbabwe for some kind of transitional authority and – in the absence of any initiative by the Southern African Development Community – the Vigil believes Clifford’s ideas offer a way forward (see: https://nehandaradio.com/2016/07/30/former-diplomat-mugabe-critic-clifford-mashiri-dies/).
- The Vigil marked seventeen months since the abduction of human rights activist Itai Dzamara by government agents in Harare. It also expressed support for Linda Masarire of our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe, who has been behind bars for the past month awaiting trial on trumped up charges. We received the following message today: ‘I went to visit Linda at Chikurubi prison. She said to me that she wants to go home to her children and that she especially misses the youngest of them who is only two years old. She smiled and chatted away happily despite it all. But still I was so heartbroken.’
- Linda’s next court hearing is on Thursday when we will hold a special Vigil outside the Embassy from 11 am – 2 pm. There will be surprise visitors to wish good luck to ROHR and Vigil walkers who are to set off from Brighton on Friday on a fundraising walk to end at the Vigil on Saturday. Thanks to John Burke and Rashiwe Bayisayi who have walked 100 miles to plan the best routes for the walkers.
- Supporters might have seen an article on the dodgy Zimeye website in which the Vigil was criticised for not allowing Stendrick Zvorwadza to address us last week (see: http://www.zimeye.net/zvorwadza-flies-to-uk-blocked-by-rose-benton/). Our refusal to give a hearing to this charlatan was because he still pretends to be the leader of ROHR and has yet to account for £2,000 we entrusted to him in 2008 to hand over to an orphanage we were supporting in Zimbabwe, as well as computers, phones and cameras for the ROHR office in Harare.
- Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Rashiwe Bayisayi, Isabell Gwatidzo, Etines Kapiya, Jonathan Kariwo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Nancy Makurira, Marian Mangani, Rosemary Maponga, Bianca Mpawaenda, Eletha Mpofu, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Esther Munyira, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Salom Nkiwane, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Eva Sanyahokwe and Sihle Sibanda. Thanks to Roseline, Esther and Etines for looking after the front table and to Phillip, Alfredy, Mduduzi and Cephas for putting up the banners. Chipo P was once again very effective in getting donations for ROHR Leicester’s joint project with ROHR in Hangwe to provide food and school fees for the children there.
- Martin Chinyanga made a video at the Vigil last week, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK7AnHxh-q8.
- For video and photos of the protest in Harare on Wednesday, see http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/08/zimbabwe-police-violently-break-anti-mugabe-protests-160803135758077.html and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-36968995.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. For videos of Vigils and other events, check the ROHR facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos?fref=photo.
FOR THE RECORD: 54 signed the register.