The Royal Institute of International Affairs had invited Mzembi to speak during his visit to London for an international tourism conference.
African diplomats in dapper black suits and shiny black shoes glared poison at the demonstrators as they went into the venue.
Soon afterwards a police van arrived and a policeman went into Chatham House. He quickly re-emerged and gave us a friendly wave before driving off. (We had arranged police permission for the protest.) 1 – 0 to the Vigil.
At no stage did we impede passage into the building. After all there were only eight of us (Bridget Zhakata, Cephas Maswoswa, Dennis Benton, Gift Mushariwa, Grace Rukure, Ishmael Makina, Penelope Murewa and Rosemary Maponga) displaying posters such as: ‘Mugabe stooge: Mzembi’, ’Zim diaspora rejects the stolen elections’, ‘Who poisoned the elephants?’, ‘Who is destroying the forests?’, ‘Who is stealing the diamonds?’ and ‘Say No to Zanu (PF) Mafia’.
Or perhaps they didn’t like our 12-foot-long Vigil banner draped over their railings: ‘No to Mugabe, No to Starvation’. Or maybe it was the leaflet we handed out: Zimbabwe’s Cyanide Tourism: Walter Mzembi presents himself as the reasonable face of Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) mafia. But he cannot distance himself from the ruination that Mugabe has brought upon Zimbabwe . . . the poverty, starvation, despair, the enslavement of the people to Chinese colonisers..
Ask Mzembi ‘Where is the diamond money going?’, ‘Why do the forests have no trees?’ It’s not ‘illegal’ sanctions that have poisoned hundreds of elephants.
As far as the Vigil knows Mzembi is the first of Mugabe’s illegitimate ministers to surface in the UK since the stolen elections.
His message at the tourism conference was: Zanu (PF) wants to re-engage with the UK (in other words wants money) but you must learn your place.
There must be no more master / servant relationship – we are equals (never mind that we have made ourselves one of the poorest countries in the world and you are one of the richest. . .)Post published in: News