Zimbabwean Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa was besieged in London by angry Zimbabwean exiles and had to be rescued by a vanload of police.
Chinamasa was speaking at the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House on a desperate visit to Europe to try to raise money for the bankrupt Zanu PF regime.
Protestors from the Zimbabwe Vigil and its sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe picketed Chatham House with posters reading:
‘No to Mugabe’s lies’, ‘Don’t prop up the Mugabe regime’, ‘Don’t lend money to thieves’ and ‘Zimbabweans reject odious debt’. While the meeting was under way an impassioned Cephas Maswoswa sang protests songs.
It became apparent that Chinamasa and his companions were afraid to come out and face the music. The demonstrators deterred an attempt to exit from a side door of Chatham House and eventually the police arrived and provided a safe corridor for Chinamasa and his friends to access the Zimbabwean Ambassador’s car amid jeers from protestors, fired up by messages from home of mounting unrest in all urban areas.
- We were not impressed by the Chatham House official who refused to allow our supporter, journalist David Wilkins, to sit on the steps. David is blind and has hearing difficulties. Part of his condition is that he has weak ankles. They said he could sit in the park across the road but he wanted to stay with us. We arealways so encouraged by his support.
- Thanks to those who attended who made such a spirited protest: Alfredy Mukuvare, Cephas Maswoswa, Chipo Kamhunga, David Wilkins, Deborah Harry, Dennis Benton, Eldridge Culverwell, Emmaculate Tshuma, Fungayi Mabhunu, John Burke, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Rose Benton and Sandra Kudenga.
- The Vigil and ROHR will confront Chinamasa again tomorrow when he speaks at a conference in the financial heart of London to announce that Mugabe is now prepared to allow the reviled West to lend him money as long as they never expect to be repaid. Protest at Zimbabwe Conference 2016 ‘Rebooting and Rebuilding’. Tuesday 5th July from 8 am onwards. Venue: outside DLA Piper UK LLP, 3 Noble Street, London EC2V 7EE. For more information: http://africa-confidential-meetings.com/.
Zimbabwe Vigil Co-ordinators
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.