|Region||Total affected since Feb||Currently occupied|
|Mash West (South)||84||36|
|Mash West (North)||141||119|
|The Demonstration - Sunday 9th April|
Following is a report of this Sunday's demonstration contributed by "Paul".
As promised herewith a report from your Ipswich
based correspondent !!!
We must have got there at about 1215 and already there were a good 300 odd people gathered. We made our way through the crowds and sat just to the side of Zimbabwe House. I wanted to take some photos (attached) and also I really wanted to sit and write what was going on as it transpired, however the police had other ideas and we were constantly pushed back and told to move even though we were well out of the way. We were all placed behind the barriers and we were right at the front which was pretty handy.
The people were now growing in numbers and from what I could see I would estimate there were a good 500 – 700 people there. Many held banners and wore Zimbabwe clothing. There was a fair amount of press coverage which was very encouraging. I don’t know where the crews were from (i.e. which TV stations) but quite a few people were interviewed and they filmed a fair amount. The atmosphere was warm and almost jovial, the crowds were chanting MDC, MDC, MDC, MDC, MDC. It was that kind of goose bumps feeling that you get when you stand in a crowd of people and you all know why you are there and you all empathise with each other.
There was not much chatter. We had a ‘leader’ of sorts who got the crowd going with WHAT DO WE WANT – crowd then roars MUGABE OUT, WHEN DO WE WANT IT – NOW !!! There were also various renditions of Ishe Komborera Africa which was quite amusing as we all tried so very hard to remember the words ! I was quite surprised Scott had forgotten the whole anthem. The banners and placards were amusing to read and very blunt in their statement ! BAN THE BOB read one. NO FARMERS NO FUTURE. I wish I could have written down the amusing ones but it was difficult to write when you are cramped in a small space. Quite a few made references to Bobs thieving ways. One said BOB’S A GOAT HE WONT LET US VOTE (referring to Zimbos in England), MUGABE SHOULD GO WITH GRACE (excellent!) One banner held by a young black guy read something along the lines of Grace must stop shopping ! VOTE ZANU PF and the F was crossed out and replaced with OFF. MUGABE APENGU INGUTCHENI AWAITS. WHAT DO WE SAY NOW – COME AND VISIT THE ZIMBABWE RUINS ?
I am sure you will be able to pick up more of the banner readings from the photos. There was talk of us marching to Downing Street but the Police would not let us out of the barriers, there was also another protest just up the road. Once the press left the crowd was pretty quiet and no-one really knew what to do. Every now and again someone would break out in to song and others would join in. When ever a tour bus passed us people would wave and show support and the crowd went wild. Cars would drive past and hoot further encouraging the crowds. One guy drove past with his Zimbabwe cricket shirt attached to his car and waving another out of his window. It was great to see such support. It was a very peaceful and controlled day.
I think that most people felt the same as we did – so ineffective but pleased to be doing something. Lets hope it gets reported and has some effect. I suppose the strangest thing for us was to see this crowd of mainly white Zimbabweans and not recognise even one ! It was pretty difficult as you were unable to walk around looking at who was there – we were pretty confined to our pozzie. We could not have asked for a nicer day – the sun shone – though the wind was chilly and not a drop of rain in sight.
People were in their shorts and tee shirts (well the braver ones !!). We hung around for about an hour and a half then we went to Covent garden to the markets and watch the street performers. We ended our day with a fine peri peri chicken from Nandos – a real treat !