Friday 20 September 2019

Embassy Closure caused by Seniors

Zimbabwe Embassy closes due to actions of UK based Zimbabwean Seniors.

Sibongile Bvungidzire and Molly Ngavaimbe
outside Zimbabwe Embassy London on 18 September 2019
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.  Cliché as the phrase may be, the actions of the two pictured, UK based seniors originally from Zimbabwe, resulted in the effective closure for the day of the Zimbabwe Embassy, at 429 The Strand London. 

ZHRO meets every Wednesday for the pre-planned Vigil, starting at 11am.  On this day, I arrived at approximately 11:30am, to find the two standing outside the doors of the Zimbabwe Embassy, placards in hand and preparing another one for Tendai Muskwe.  “Why are we in the sun instead of under the shade?” I asked.  “I have children and Doctor Peter Magombeyi is young enough to be my Son or Grand Son."  “I can not stand under the shade today, I am protesting here in front of the doors!” answered Molly Ngavaimbe.  “Imagine how much we spend sending children to school, then they (ZANU PF and its Proxies) just take them.  Im also not going under the shade today," was the response Sibongile Bvungidzire gave.  “We will have to support them and not go under the shade today,” suggested Tendai Muskwe as he finished off his placard. 

The abduction of Dr Peter Magombeyi, touched so many Zimbabweans across the world.  The outcry led to protests in Zimbabwe.  The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) which Dr Magombeyi is President of, decided to go on strike and protest by downing tools, in the public and private sector.  With chants of No peter no work, from the striking Doctors, the Government media spin machine has been trying rather unsuccessfully to find a way to explain this common and all too familiar occurrence in Zimbabwe.  With time clearly being of the essence, the two ZHRO seniors, were in no mood to compromise (even with the police and the ZHRO leadership) and those around them, followed where they led.

I all started with just 4 people standing under the baking hot London sun.  Black Africans who are clearly not in need of a sun tan, singing, chanting, holding placards, seemed to be an oddity, to those passing who by now, if they live and work near the Zimbabwe embassy, one would expect them to know, today was different from the other vigil Wednesdays. 

Molly Ngavaimbe initially led the singing and the others joined in.  On the arrival of Philip Mahlahla, ZHRO London chairman, the two ladies moved closer to the entrance and started gesticulating and shouting so that their voices could be heard clearly inside the Embassy.  Shortly after this, 3 police vehicles arrived, with at least 5 heavily armed police in them.  At the same time, Rashiwe and Sarah Bayisayi arrived as well.  Philip Mahlahla tried to set up the tent and table, with the help of Flemming Diza and Plaxidia Mugonde, however this was soon abandoned when he and the police who went to speak to him, saw that the ladies were not for turning.

Shortly after the departure of the police, the Embassy closed its doors, with some who were already inside unable to leave and those who wanted to enter, stuck outside.  This was greeted with applause and cheers by the protesters present.  The rest of the planned protest went on as normal, with Tinotenda Chihope, Rashiwe Bayisayi and Sarah Bayisayi leading the singing. 

A special thank you to all who attended.  Especially to Molly Ngavaimbe and Sibongile Bvungidzire, who initiated the protest outside the embassy doors.  Thank you also to Rashiwe and Sarah Bayisayi who brought the drum and hailer all the way from the south coast of England.  Those who attended as per the register were,

:- Since writing, events have been moving at pace.  Dr Peter Magombeyi has apparently been found.  Apparently he is in police custody, however he is still to make a public appearance, which would most likely be followed by a public statement by himself or whoever he wishes to speak for him. 

By Thabo Makuyana

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