LONDON – Zimbabweans in the UK gathered in force outside the Embassy to mark Mugabe’s 91st birthday. There was a festive atmosphere amid confidence that this would be his last birthday in office.
The increasingly confused tyrant was supposed to be in South Africa attending to his duties as supreme leader of SADC (and Africa in general) but seems to have caught the wrong plane and turned up outside the Embassy, where he demonstrated how Mai Mujuru hid under the carpet and almost caused him to fall.
‘This is very underfoot behaviour’ he said ‘This is why we have kicked her out’.
The demonstration brought together a wide range of diaspora groups united in a demand that Mugabe must go. Pride of place went to a new banner commissioned by Makusha Mugabe of MDC T which listed all the participating groups:
Zimbabwe Vigil, MDC-T UK (also USA, Canada, Australia and South Africa), Zimbabwe African People’s Union UK (ZAPU-UK), Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR), Occupy Africa Unity Square (OAUS UK), Zimbabwe Yes We Can, Zimbabweans United for Democracy (ZUNDE), Zimbabwe Social Democrats and the Swaziland Vigil.
Among the speakers was Ephraim Tapa, President of ROHR, who said that, for the sake of Zimbabwe, it was time for the diaspora to come together and ‘sing a new song’.
For his full speech see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/662-ephraim-tapas-speech-at-the-21st-february-2015-demonstration. David Mbinga of the Occupy Africa Unity Square group said ‘Today we declared total warfare against Mugabe’.
· Thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu who donned our Mugabe mask and demonstrated Mugabe’s fall to the assembled media. Fortunately, unlike Mugabe, he had lots of friends around to prevent him crashing to the ground. Thanks to Epiphania Phiri for putting an advertisement in her local paper (the Luton and Dunstable Herald and Post) to encourage Zimbabweans in the area to attend the protest.
· Among the people with us today was the former Zimbabwean diplomat Clifford Mashiri who has written an open letter to the EU Head of Mission to Zimbabwe, Mr Philippe Van Damme, calling for some of the EU’s money going to Zimbabwe to be used to put in place measures to ensure free and fair elections in future.
· We remind supporters to write to their MP calling for a parliamentary debate on Zimbabwe. For sample letters, see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/659-letters-to-mps-re-parliamentary-debate.
· Thanks to ROHR members: Fungisai Mupandira, Sally Mutseyami, Xoliso Sithole, Deborah Harry, Shylette Chipangura, Hilda Gwesele and Patricia Masamba for selling snacks and drinks to fundraise for the Vigil. Thanks also to Cephas Moswoswa for bringing a birthday cake.
· Thanks also to Mavis Chisvo, helped by Eunice Mucherechedzo, for taking care of the Vigil table on a very busy day.
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: 98 signed the register but there were many more at the protest.