Zimbabwean demonstrators lay down in the road outside the conference in London addressed by Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa preventing him from leaving for more than an hour.
The minister had hoped to escape in an ordinary taxi after his arrival in the ambassador’s car ZIM 1 was ambushed by Zimbabwean exiles picketing Zanu PF’s fundraising conference in the heart of London’s financial district.
The minister’s taxi was backed up by other cars so was unable to escape the one way road and he had to wait until the demonstrators were lifted bodily by the police to clear the way.
The demonstration at the conference began before 8 am and ended at about 7 pm. Chinamasa was expected back for the last session but did not reappear, having failed by diplomatic car and taxi and declining a bicycle on grounds of corpulence,
Sources at the conference told the Zimbabwe Vigil that Chinamasa had been challenged by Professor Stephen Chan of the School of Oriental and African Studies: ‘Why are you begging money from the British government’.
Tendai Biti, the coalition’s finance minister who expressed support for our demonstration when he arrived, is said to have told Chinamasa bluntly that he was lying.
Zimbabwe Vigil supporters and others from ZAPU and MDC agreed to hold another demonstration outside the Zimbabwe Embassy from 10.30 – 12 noon on Wednesday 6th July in response to the myflag call for ‘Shut Down Zimbabwe.
They are calling for everyone to stay at home but in our case we won’t stay at home but will be outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in solidarity with our families at home.
For videos of today’s protest check: https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos?fref=photo.
A full report on the week’s events will be given in the diary on Saturday.
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.