ZANU PF’s Mzembi to be greeted by protesters at London talk

via ZANU PF’s Mzembi to be greeted by protesters at London talk | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell  November 7, 2013 

Zimbabwe’s Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi will be greeted by protesters when he arrives at a London based think-tank for a talk on Friday, amid criticism that his presence serves to ‘normalise’ the allegedly fraudulent elections in July.

Mzembi, who is also ZANU PF’s Masvingo South MP, is in London for the World Travel Market, an international travel and tourism event. He will be at Chatham House on Friday to discuss Zimbabwe’s regional cooperation on tourism and investment, and to present his views on the investment climate back home.

The ZANU PF Minister has already indicated he hopes that ties between Zimbabwe and the UK can be renewed, telling the BBC that a new relationship could be forged “as long as the UK dispensed with its master-servant approach and recognised that the former colony was now an independent and equal partner.”

But his presence is not being welcomed by all, including activists with the London based Zimbabwe Vigil. Demonstrators from the group will be gathering at Chatham House on Friday to protest what they say is an attempt to normalise the situation in Zimbabwe, after the elections that saw ZANU PF resume power.

Vigil co-ordinator Rose Benton told SW Radio Africa that Mzembi is “presenting to the world the façade that everything is well in Zimbabwe” now that ZANU PF is back in power.

“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,” Benton said.

She continued that the Minister should be addressing more serious issues before trying to bait tourists back to the country. Benton said he should be pressed to answer questions on issues like the rampant poaching of elephants in the country, deforestation and destructive mining practices.

Demonstrators will greet Mzembi and other visitors to the Chatham House event with posters asking questions like: ‘Who poisoned the elephants?’, ‘Who is destroying the forests?’ and ‘Who is stealing the diamonds?’

“We don’t want people to be taken in by Mzembi… what we want to do is be there and tell people that things still aren’t right in Zimbabwe. There is more starvation, deprivation and this movement to accept this government just shouldn’t happen,” Benton said.

She added: “Having him come here to a high profile venue does normalise this situation and makes it seem like he is a person that has a right to be heard and is genuine. I don’t think he’s genuine, the elections were totally fraudulent and none of these people should be allowed in.”

The protest will take place from 12pm until 1pm outside the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London on Friday.



  • comment-avatar

    Anodei ikoko…

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    Kubota Binga 9 years ago

    Zimbabweans need to portray Zimbabwe in a positive manner, should we tear it apart coz Mugabe is still in power?

    Now its about the elephants!!

    Help me God

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    Tjingababili 9 years ago


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    Arrest him and pack him off to the hague

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    munzwa 9 years ago

    why should we accept zanu and their members just because they are “in office”? They stole an election and will(are) reverting to form. Take a holistic look at what is happening in the country before trying to appease one small section of it.

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    Bhola 9 years ago

    This is such a shame. How can people let their hatred for Mugabe cloud their judgement so? I know that the seasoned noise makers need to keep making noise to remain relevant, but they are really not helping. It is so disheartening to hear people tarnish our image while we work to hard to try and change the lives of people. He is a tourism minister, going to the UK to talk about tourism. And all people can think to do is to protest?

    This Zimbabwe Vigil thing is evil in its form and intent and have no goodwill towards Zimbabwe. They have resorted to making noise just so that they can remain relevant.

    This is so disappointing… Robert Mugabe is not Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe is not Robert Mugabe. We have a minister going to spread the news that Zimbabwe is ready to receive tourists. While the money from tourism does go into government coffers, it also goes into the pockets of the man selling Curios in Vic Falls to feed his family, it goes into the pocket of the traditional dancers who entertain people while they eat,it goes into the pocket of the small business owner selling his wears and offering activities. Just beware… The things you think you are doing for the benefit of the country, could be hurting your own countrymen. Again I say, do not let your hatred for Mugabe and ZPF cloud your judgement. Zimbabwe is not Mugabe and Mugabe is not Zimbabwe…

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      How Come 9 years ago

      @Bhola ZANU PF stole elections, they are in power fraudlently, they poisoned elephants for monetary gain to put in their pockets. This demonstration is for the world to see what a fraud ZANU PF rulers are ! ! ! One day Iheard Mugabe at a rally shout in the microphone, “Zimbabwe is mine, mine , mine,” so we hate Mugabe because of that.

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    Haruna 9 years ago

    Gara kumba kwako iwe, look east.

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    munzwa 9 years ago

    Bhola, Bhola, the money is also going to subvert the will of the people.Let us have a truly democratic system and Govt. that we ALL can be proud of.Why should some elite hide behind the suffering of the majority.

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    Kubota Binga 9 years ago

    Bhola,you speak well, unfortunately some people’s anger towards Mugabe is so big and deeply entrenched they will see no good trying to promote activities that help the people. Most of us here are demonstrating less than childish behaviour just so they can be seen to be an opposition. Opposition should also be contructive guys.

    Its a real shame what the vigil or those that are hoping to show up against the minister in UK.

    If this is what the opposition ismade of, then thats real cheap material, really shallow minded and very very selfish, more selfish than the Government they purport to oppose.

    Wayowa MuTonga.
    Kubija Vigil.
    Kubota Zimbabwe

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    Zuwaaaa Tsvaaaaaaaaaa 9 years ago

    And you think that Democratic system and Government is in the name of MDC. How do you define Democracy by the way????? then after your correct definition I think it will knock to your mind also that Zimbabwe has a ‘democratic government’ in the name of ZANU PF and no in the name of what you wished for, the Zimbabweans spoke on that 31st if July 2013 and it was louder enough for everyone to hear. Anyway. we are past that election mood era and we are now on ‘ZIMASSET’ sorting out the economy which was ripped open nema sanctions amakatiza ma cowards, we will get there, you remain there demonstrate there not here along Julius Nyerere, Samora Machel, Nelson Mandela, Robert Mugabe ways, kuno tinosunga we need peace.

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    Zvichapera 9 years ago

    Bhola Bhola shame on you brother, doesn’t you’re the only one who is right, everyone has a right to express themselves. You seem to be on a mission to muzzle freedom of expression, who do you really represent. Come out and state your case but not by being bullies you and your party Zanu PF stand for. You got to be the Mampara of the week!!