Zimbabwe Vigil protest royal wedding invite
Members of the Zimbabwe Vigil in the United Kingdom have sent a letter to the UK Foreign Office protesting the invitation of Zimbabwe’s ambassador to London Gabriel Machinga to the royal wedding.
Prince William and Kate Middleton will be tying the knot next week and protocol dictates that Clarence House should invite ambassadors and high commissioners in London unless there is a diplomatic problem between the two countries. A spokesman for Clarence House said “All heads of mission in London representing countries with which we are in normal diplomatic relations have been invited.”
The Zimbabwe Vigil however expressed their disappointment with Machinga’s invitation saying “President Mugabe and his corrupt coterie have rightly been placed under EU sanctions for their human rights abuses and Mr. Machinga has always made it clear that he represents Mugabe and not the people of Zimbabwe or even their coalition government.”
The UK Foreign Office advise on who should be invited on the diplomatic side and they have already said the Zimbabwean ambassador is still “accredited” and so qualifies. A spokesman said “We have diplomatic relations with them. They are not great but they have an ambassador here and we have an ambassador there.”
Meanwhile the Libyan ambassador to London has had his invitation revoked because of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s attacks on civilians. The Zimbabwe Vigil however believes Zimbabwe should fall into the same category as Libya since members of the regime there are also subject to sanctions and a travel ban.