Look East for Aid
Zimbabwean exiles in the UK are calling on the European Union to follow the lead of the United States and continue sanctions against the illegal Mugabe regime. They also want all government aid to the 15 member countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to be suspended.
The call comes from the Zimbabwe Vigil which has been demonstrating outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London every Saturday for the past eleven years in support of free and fair elections.
The Vigil is to launch a new petition on Saturday addressed to European Union governments. It reads:
‘Following the rigged elections in Zimbabwe, we urge the European Union to reimpose the targeted sanctions on Mugabe and his cronies. We further call on the EU to suspend government aid to all Southern African Development Community countries until they abide by their commitment to uphold human rights in Zimbabwe.’
Vigil leader Ephraim Tapa said ‘Zimbabwe has been betrayed by SADC which has turned a blind eye to blatantly rigged elections. The choice of Mugabe to be their next Chair at the age of 90 underlines that SADC stands for the Southern African Dictators’ Club.’
Tapa went on ‘SADC has swallowed Mugabe’s propaganda that Zimbabwe’s economic woes are caused by sanctions and has demanded that they be lifted. We question why they are siding with Mugabe against the suffering people of Zimbabwe and the sanctions he has imposed on them: poverty, disease and violence. Why should the tax payers of Europe pay for these Mugabe puppets in SADC?’
‘The UK gives Zimbabwe alone about $100 million a year in government aid despite constant insults from Mugabe, as well as giving hundreds of millions more to the other members of SADC. Altogether the EU gives billions of dollars each year to pay for the misgovernment and corruption of Southern Africa. Why? Let them look East for aid.’
The launch of the petition is part of the global diaspora protest which has seen demonstrations outside Zimbabwe embassies around the 21st of the month since the beginning of last year.
Contacts: Ephraim Tapa 07940 793 090, Fungayi Mabhunu 07746 552 597, Rose Benton 07970 996 007 and 07932 193 467.
Zimbabwe Vigil Co-ordinators
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.