Tuesday, 29 October 2019

ZIMBABWE DIASPORANS HAIL PEACEFUL PROTEST A SUCCESS


DIASPORANS HAIL PEACEFUL PROTEST A SUCCESS

"SADC SHAME ON YOU"

A throng of ordinary Zimbabweans met and participated in a march dubbed, "SADC Shame on You."  This was a clear move to defy the ruling ZANU PF junta in Zimbabwe, on the 25th of October 2019.  It started at the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, at 429 The Strand London and ended at the Tanzanian High Commission at, 3 Stratford Pl, Marylebone, London, W1C 1AS, near the Botswana High Commission London, at 6 Stratford Pl.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zhro-uk/48959860687/in/album-72157711500014498/
ZIM DIASPORA AGAINST SADC AT TANZANIA HIGH COMISION 
The march was predominantly in retaliation to and clearly against the planned anti sanctions march and gathering in Zimbabwe, which was planned by ZANU PF.  The ZANU PF ruling Junta had apparently booked one passenger train from Mutare to Harare, another from Bulawayo to Harare, with a further over 100 buses from all over Zimbabwe to assist those who support them in the rural areas to go and support them.  The destination of the ZANU PF planned march and gathering was the National Sports Stadium of Zimbabwe, which holds some 60000 people.

The ZANU PF planning and flyers are said to have promised popular musicians, various artists, other heads of state and a football match between Highlanders of Bulawayo and Dynamos of Harare.  The attendance and event was described by Nick Mangwana as a success.  In contrast, with less than 10 000 people attending according to our count, and the BBC estimating some 15000 to 20000,  (The BBC Zimbabwe and other Zimbabwe based correspondents will no doubt be thinking of their lives and that of their families when reporting in Zimbabwe.) the popular opinion is that the ZANU PF event was the flop of all flops.

Those in attendance in London met at the Zimbabwe Embassy from 11am and stayed there until shortly after 12 mid-day.  The event was officially opened with a prayer.  Some speeches were made and then the march was on.  The first stop was at the South African Embassy.  Some speeches were made, which included a request for the acting Ambassador to come out and explain his countries position, (on the Sanctions on human rights abusers, murders’, rapists and dictators and their ill-gotten gains) in the same way he explained it, when there was Xenophobia in South Africa.  He did not come out to address the people gathered this time most likely because he felt ashamed of SADC.

The group then went on through the west end and stopped, rather poignantly in front of musicians who were singing Bob Marley’s song, “Stand Up for your rights.”  

The group then kept on marching, stopped at the BBC headquarters London.  When they got there, 5 out of the 6 who were doing Facebook live Blogs and had videos running on their phones were refused access past the barriers.  It seems the BBC has very good and tight security that does a great job in curtailing broadcasting. 

The reason for being at the BBC is, it seems to be giving ZANU PF's or the Governments side of issues that affect Zimbabweans on an almost daily basis to the detriment of the ordinary Zimbabwean. The toppling and Death of Mugabe seemed to be the only events that have been covered by the BBC where they focused on events which are Zimbabwe focused in the UK.  The rest of the media coverage is done by Zimbabweans in the Diaspora.

The crowd left the BBC and then finally made it to the Tanzania High Commission.  The speeches that were made, had no political inclination, they were calling for change, they were calling on the Tanzanian President to change.

Those gathered signed a petition and sent letter to the SADC head His Excellency, President John Joseph Magufuli which was handed in to the Tanzanian High Commission.  The letter was read by Salani Mutseyami.

She also said, "The fact that we have allowed you (President John Joseph Magufuli) to have an opportunity to address our concerns, we are giving you the ability to have time to think about it once more.  Without ZANU PF interference, as we are all citizens of Zimbabwe.....,  in the next coming weeks we want to see change....., in the way they (SADC) address the situation in Zimbabwe (sanctions). 

At the end of the event, those gathered took photos.

A big thank you goes to those that planned the event and even more so to all those who attended, as without them the day would not have been the success that is was.  Since the 25th of October 2019, the USA has added a further name to the sanctions list.  Owen Ncube, Zimbabwe's State Security Minister amid human rights concerns has been added to the sanctions list.  Thus making it clear to the Ruling Zimbabwe Regime that they might have been better not demanding for an end to sanctions.      
Since the protest, there have also been constant calls by ZANU PF media folk and ZANU PF apologists for the sanctions to go.  They have clearly continued to ignore the human rights abuses and lack of the provisions of basic human rights by the State in Zimbabwe, caused entirely by self imposed sanctions by the state through its refusal to thoroughly clamp down on Kleptocracy.  Zimbabwe's people have thus been shoved over the proverbial cliff and have gone into abject poverty, whilst the ruling elite and their most hardened of supporters especially those in the diaspora, enjoy a life of luxury, on the backs of the ordinary peoples real and actual suffering.  

By Thabo Makuyana

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