According to the London-based Zimbabwean newspaper, the demonstration is directed at President Robert Mugabe who has launched an assault on his partners in Government through arrests and violence. In 2008 the world witnessed Mugabe using the same tactics to hold on to power. Having failed to gain recognition from the African Union, he was forced to form a Government of National Unity with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who had boycotted the election because of pre-election violence.
“Mugabe now realises that he cannot win any free and fair election in Zimbabwe, so he has resorted to the same repressive tactics by arresting MDC officials, Ministers and MPs, detaining them, denying them bail, and making them rot in his filthy cells,” the MDC said in its call for the demonstration.
No less than five MDC MPs have been under incarceration in the last three weeks, including Energy Minister Elton Mangoma, Gokwe MP Costin Muguti, who was granted bail on Wednesday, but remained detained after the state invoked the repressive Section 121. Muguti is facing charges of threatening to assault Chief Samuel Samambwa of Zhombe. Another MP Hon. Rodgers Tazviona was arrested last month on the same charges and is in remand prison at Kwekwe Remand Prison, due for a bail hearing at the High Court on 23 March.
“It is clear that these arrests are being used to whittle down the number of MDC MPs available in the House of Assembly for the election of the Speaker, following another controversial decision by Mugabe’s Supreme Court to strip Lovemore Moyo of the position. Zanu (PF) is now relying on violence, a biased police force, biased soldiers and a biased judiciary to win what it failed to win in elections. Zimbabweans have been so cowed by Zanu (PF) intimidation at markets, on buses, and even in their homes and villages that they no longer speak out.
“I am appealing to you to all MDC members and Zimbabweans in UK to come and join us in London in great numbers send this message together. A clear message should be sent to those who allow Mugabe to continue his onslaught on innocent Zimbabweans while they nicodimusely engage with him and prolong the people’s struggle.”
“The South African Government, the Mediator, the SADC and African Union, the guarantors of the Zimbabwean GNU must see the plight of Zimbabweans. The Conservation/Liberal Democratic government’s obsession in returning Zimbabweans back to a country that is gripped with political violence and in meltdown should be questioned. How can the Immigration and Asylum Upper Chamber say it’s safe to return Zimbabweans when the world media is clearly hi-lighting the violence in Zimbabwe and unrepentant Mugabe?”
“The odds are against us, both at home and in this country. The new country guidance case on Zimbabwe is going to put our vulnerable fellow Zimbabweans at great risk of persecution by the Mugabe regime. Let’s stand up and protect each other, our community is under siege. See you on 21st March in London at the Zimbabwean Embassy at 1200 noon.”