#ThisFlag: Exiles besiege Zimbabwe embassy in London
By Tatenda Dewa
#ThisFlag: Zimbabweans living in the UK on Wednesday demonstrated at their embassy in London as Evan Mawarire, a preacher mobilising against President Robert Mugabe’s government, was brought to court on treason charges.
Mawarire was released after a trial that lasted into the evening when the magistrate ruled that the charge against him was unconstitutional.
The demonstrators, some of them draped in the Zimbabwe flag, called for the charges against Mawarire to be dropped, according to the Zimbabwe Vigil, a London-based pressure group.
They waved posters denouncing the Mugabe establishment, one of which read: “No more injustice, no more corruption, no more poverty, no more Mugabe”.
Some 150 protesters in London pushed for a halt to western aid to Zimbabwe, saying the money would be abused by the ruling Zanu PF to prop itself up.
Mugabe’s government was reported by Global Witness in 2012 to have used proceeds from diamond mining in Marange to oil its systems to remain in power.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank are reportedly planning to resume financial aid to Harare after more a decade, a possibility that has also riled local opposition parties.
“About 150 people were there to hear a demand that there should be no western aid to prop up the Mugabe regime. The demand was made by Ephraim Tapa of the Zimbabwe Vigil who is also president of ROHR (Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe),” said Zim Vigil.
‘We say no to money for Mugabe and Zanu PF. We don’t trust them. They will buy more tear gas, more water cannons, more military weapons, more helicopters.
“Any loans from the west must be given only to a legitimate regime or they will not be honoured. We want political reforms, economic reforms. We want Mugabe to go and a transitional authority to organise free and fair elections monitored by the international community,” said Tapa.
He also urged the release of protesters who were arrested during recent demonstrations against corruption, poor governance and a ban on a selected number of imported commodities.
Female demonstrators at the embassy clanked pots to voice their anger with the Mugabe regime during the two hour protests. Nehanda Radio