Members of the Zimbabwe Vigil protest group wished to voice their anger at recent comments made by President Sata in support of President Robert Mugabe his Zanu(PF) party.
President Sata reportedly shouted “Pamberi ne Zanu PF (Forward with Zanu PF)” several times at the most recent SADC meeting, embarrassing even the Zanu(PF) ministers present.
Dumi Tutani, a coordinator of the Vigil, said only someone with a poor understanding of Zimbabwe could make Sata’s comments.
“He is ill-informed. He hasn’t got a clue about what is going on in Zimbabwe. We would advise President Sata to go and research the situation in Zimbabwe,” Tutani said.
The group was also sure that President Sata’s comments were damaging to Zambia’s reputation, but thought that more attention needed to be brought to Sata’s behavior.
“Each time he opens his mouth he denigrates the MDC and champions ZANU, and from what we gather the other SADC leaders were embarrassed by his comments. Unfortunately, from what he know about Sata he probably wasn’t embarrassed, so we’re trying to draw attention to his comments and build pressure against him,” Tutani said.
The first demonstration took place outside Marlborough House, where the Queen attended a lunch for Commonwealth leaders. The demonstrators carried posters reading: "Zimbabweans protest at Zambian President’s support for Mugabe", "Sata loves Mugabe", Sata – no interference in Zimbabwe", "No to Mugabe, No to Sata" and "No Satasfaction".
The group then went to the Zambian High Commission to deliver a letter and a broom to President Sata.
In the letter the group wrote: “Your repeated expression of support for Zanu PF and your slanderous denigration of the MDC make us wonder whether you are in the pocket of Robert Mugabe….We are confident that your opinions do not reflect those of the vast majority of our brothers and sisters in Zambia for whom we have great respect.”
Tutani explained that the broom was a satirical reference to President Sata’s early life as a platform sweeper at Victoria Station in London.
The Zambian High Commission refused to accept the letter or the broom, though its representatives remonstrated with the group outside, telling the protestors they had “no right to be there” and asking why they were “trying to embarrass” Zambia.
The group clarified that they were protesting against President Sata, not Zambians.
“We want the whole world – especially Zambians – to know that Zambia has a clown for a leader,” said Tutani.
Before leaving, the protesters posted the letter to Sata and informed the Zambian High Commission that the right to protest is enshrined in British law.
When asked by The Zimbabwean why President Sata was supporting the Mugabe regime, representatives of the Zambian High Commission claimed they could not speak on behalf of the President but suggested they were aware of his comments.Post published in: Africa News