No to helicopter for Mugabe: Vigil

Russian diplomats peeping out from behind the curtains of their London Embassy must have been surprised to see President Mugabe at a demonstration against Moscow’s reported plans to supply helicopter gunships in return for Zimbabwean platinum deposits.

Mugabe – in the form of Vigil management team member Fungayi Mabhunu wearing our Mugabe mask – was there carrying a poster reading ‘I want a Russian helicopter’.

The demonstration was part of the seventh monthly Free Zimbabwe Global Protest. While the EU prepares to ease sanctions, we went to the Russian Embassy to underline the need to prevent Mugabe using violence to steal another election. The demonstration, in which we were joined by many MDC supporters, caused quite a security stir as the Embassy is in a sensitive location near Kensington Palace. There was a heavy police presence with appropriately enough a helicopter overhead.

To turn to another matter, it is with great sadness that the Vigil reports the death of Bernard Hukwa, a faithful supporter who was also a member of our sister organization ROHR and the MDC. We were horrified to hear his body was found in the Thames. Bernard was a gentle, thoughtful and caring person and all who knew him are grieving at the loss of such a good friend. He was living on his own in accommodation provided by the Home Office while his asylum case was being processed and we know he was worried about being unable to support his family in Zimbabwe.

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