Zimbabwean consular official pelted with plastic bottles

| Bernard Chiguvare
MDC T held a protest outside the Zimbabwean Consulate in Cape Town. Protesters wore T-shirts calling for the release of political activist Itai Dzamara and demanded information about Patrick Nyabanyama, missing for 15 years. Photo by Bernard Chiguvare.

Supporters of the main Zimbabwean opposition party threw plastic bottles at a Zimbabwean consular official today after marching on the consulate to hand over a memorandum.

About 50 supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change Tsvangirai (MDC T) marched from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology to Constitution Road then to the Kuiper Street consulate where they were met by two police officers. The gates were closed.

Marchers waved placards with slogans such as “Zimbabwe needs a new leader”, “Mugabe stop violence against humanity” and “Mugabe retire and rest, it is time you leave Zimbabwe to Zimbabweans”.

One of the marchers, Brighton Maravanyika, said it was the third time a petition had been handed to the consulate.

Some of the marchers called for the group to use stronger measures, but MDC T Western Cape District chairperson Dr Tyanai Masiya urged the crowd not to be violent.

However, when a consular official arrived to receive the memorandum plastic cooldrink bottles were thrown at him, soaking his trousers.

Consul Boniface Mugobogobo did not appear. The petition was taken into the consulate by a police officer.

In the petition the protesters demanded:

  • The “immediate resignation” of Robert Mugabe as the state president;

  • The “immediate release” of political activist Itai Dzamara and information about his whereabouts and those of another activist, Patrick Nyabanyama, said to have been missing for 15 years;

  • “An end to state-sanctioned political violence, including the, intimidation, beatings, torture, and abductions of citizens by ZANU PF militia, state security agents and terror gangs”;

  • Immediate investment in infrastructure and power development;

  • A formalised economy and the realisation of the 2.2 million jobs promised to Zimbabweans during the run up to the 2013 elections”.

The protesters also asked for the consulate to be opened at weekends.

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TOPICS:  Human Rights Politics

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