Lunatics in charge – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary
Four years after the vaunted new constitution was approved in a national referendum, Zanu PF has forced through an amendment restoring the President’s power over the choice of the Chief Justice and other top judges.
Considering that much of the 2013 constitution has still to be implemented, including the right of a vote for the diaspora and the right to demonstrate – it is ominous that the first amendment further undermines the rule of law.
The amendment was moved in the House of Assembly by Vice President Mnangagwa, who is favoured by the West (and China) to take over from Mugabe as the ‘sane’ element in Zanu PF.
The MDC in Parliament found Mnangagwa anything but reasonable. It pointed out that the parliamentary move was clearly violating the express views of the nation, the independence of the judiciary and the principle of separation of powers.
Eddie Cross, MDC MP, who fought against the constitutional amendment said: ‘I despair of sanity in this mental Institution where the inmates seem to be in charge’.
The Vigil was opposed to the waste-of-time constitutional process from the beginning. It lasted years, cost millions and diverted the energies of the MDC during the so-called government of national unity from the need for electoral reforms. The shambles of the 2013 elections was the result.
Now, once again, the MDC is faced with the dilemma of taking part in a charade or declaring to the world: there is no democracy in a lunatic asylum.
- An annual London cycle event meant massive road closures around the Strand. Both sides of the road were completely barricaded which meant some supporters couldn’t cross the road to get to the Vigil.
- Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Vimbayi Chambara, Josephine Jombe, Jonathan Kariwo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Theodora Mandishaya, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Pearl Shambare and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Roseline, Josephine and Pearl for looking after the front table, to Bianca Mpawaenda and Alice Majola for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Alfredy, Jonathan, Fungayi, Vimbayi, Theodora and Ephraim for putting up the banners and tarpaulin.
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: 21 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
- ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 5th August from 11 am. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.
- 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.
- Zimbabwe Action Forum. Saturday 5th 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.
- Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 5th 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.