Open letter to Zambia from Zim Vigil

Vigil supporters were pleased at the impact in Zambia made by our small demonstrations in London on Wednesday against the visit by President Sata. After staging a protest at Marlborough House, where the Queen was joining Commonwealth leaders for lunch, a group of us went on to the Zambian High Commission with a letter protesting at Sata’s abject support of Mugabe. Zambian diplomats refused to accept the letter and a broom we wanted given to Sata so that he could resume his former career as

Vigil members protest outside the Zambian High Commission in London.
Vigil members protest outside the Zambian High Commission in London.

A Zambian website which carried a report about our demonstrations soon had more than 80 comments – mainly supportive of our action. The Zambian Foreign Affairs and Tourism Minister, Given Lubinda, said that we should go home and “participate in various processes aimed at bringing harmony”. He ignored the reasons why an estimated 2 -3 million Zimbabweans out of a population of about 12 million have been forced into exile by Mugabe’s oppression and his destruction of the economy. Nor did Lubinda explain why Sata was supporting Mugabe in his less than ‘harmonious’ brutal suppression of dissent.

The Vigil certainly intends no disrespect to the people of Zambia. On the contrary we are grateful for Zambians’ support during the liberation struggle and admire their democracy.

But these quotes from a news report explain why we will continue to protest at Sata’s interference in Zimbabwe’s affairs: ‘Zambian President Michael Sata stole the show at last week’s SADC summit with his exaggerated antics which bordered on embarrassing, in the process annoying some delegates who felt his remarks were more appalling than comical. Sata appeared determined to indulge in attention-grabbing clowning around when he welcomed President Robert Mugabe with chants like “sekuru, sekuru (old man), pamberi ne Zanu (PF), pamberi ne Jongwe”.

Sata’s remarks on women such as Malawian President Joyce Banda whom he described as an “amateur”, Thokozani Khupe, Priscillah Misihairabwi-Mushonga and a lady in the Botswana delegation, infuriated some delegates – as did his call for SADC to bribe other African countries to vote South African Home Affairs minister into the AU position.’ We urge everyone to look at two useful new websites: which reports on Zanu PF abuses and where people can report corruption.

Post published in: Africa News

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