London: Zimbabwe Vigil marks third birthday

 The Zimbabwe Vigil, is three years old this week. Each Saturday, come rain or shine, Zimbabwean exiles and their supporters, have gathered outside the the Zimbawean High Commission in the Strand to appeal for free and fair elections and the respect of basic human rights in Zimbabwe. Many Catholic justice and peace groups and members of other churches have lent their support to the vigil. Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo has lead prayers there on each of his recent visits to the UK. There are two events to mark the anniversary. Tomorrow, at 3pm, MP Kate Hoey, chair of the all-party Parliamentary Group on Zimbabwe will present the Vigil petition to 10 Downing Street, calling on Mr Blair to bring the Zimbabwe situation to the attention of the UN Security Council. The organisers have appealed for supporters to take part in the symbolic 'walk to work' from the Zimbabwe Embassy in the Strand to Downing Street to present the petition. The walk is is in solidarity with those in Zimbabwe, including the leader of the Zimbabwean opposition Movement of Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai, who has been walking five miles to work from his home to his office in Harare each day in solidarity with people suffering from the collapsing economy. Last week an MDC MP and about 20 supporters were arrested on a walk to work and accused of demonstrating against the government. At 1.45pm, demonstrators will meet at Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London WC2 (nearest station: Charing Cross). The group will start walking to 10 Downing Street at 2.15pm Kate Hoey will join the group and with six others to present the petition to 10 Downing Street at 3pm. The official Third Anniversary of the Zimbabwe Vigil is on Saturday, 15 October, meeting from 2-6pm. For more information see:

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