Diaspora protests to ‘intensify’ ahead of Zim poll

Tonderai Samanyanga

By Alex Bell
12 February 2013

The heads of a global protest movement that has been campaigning for real reforms in Zimbabwe for over a year has vowed to ‘intensify’ their protest action, before elections expected this year.

The comments have been made as Zimbabwe marks the four year anniversary of the formation of the unity government, which officially came into being when Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn into office in February 2009.

But four years later, there has been little change with the only progress being the recent adoption by the country’s politicians of a draft constitution. This constitution will be put before a public referendum, paving the way for elections this year.

Tonderai Samanyanga, an MDC-T UK official who heads the UK wing of the Free Zimbabwe Global Protest Movement, said that the reforms they have been campaigning for as a protest group have not been implemented.

He told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that the monthly protests, which began last January, will now intensify to ensure real changes are seen before an election.

“We need to ensure this happens. Media reform, security sector reform. These are key to our protest. We also want to ensure there are international monitors on the ground,” Samanyanga said.

The protests, also called the 21st Movement, have been taking place outside Zimbabwean and South African embassies every month around the world for over a year. The protests have targeted South Africa has the mediator in Zimbabwe’s political crisis, trying to pressure President Jacob Zuma to ensure there are real reforms before elections.

Samanyanga also said the four year old unity government should have engaged more with the Diaspora, because “we are an important constituency.” He said the failure to include the Diaspora’s voting rights in the new constitution is a key indicator that the Diaspora has not “had the full engagement we would have expected after four years.”

Meanwhile the Civil Society Monitoring Mechanism (CISOMM), a non-partisan collective of NGOs that has been monitoring and evaluating the unity government’s progress over the past four years, will be giving a report on the situation on Wednesday. A press conference will be taking place at the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights head office at 11am on Wednesday morning.

To contact this reporter email [email protected] or follow on Twitter



8 Responsesto “Diaspora protests to ‘intensify’ ahead of Zim poll”

  1. super mondo says:

    i wish them the very best

  2. Anonymous says:

    These are the barks of toothless dogs. What is this animal called 21st Movement ? What is it representing ? What are they doing outside the country while we are being abducted by these ZANU(PF) greedy leaders? They need to come back home and help us fight this dinousar out of power. If you are unable to come back home , then zip your mouth and go to your strip clubs there.

    • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

      Well said Dumbu, my brother. These guys should pack their bags and go back home. They are making a fool of themselves for being used for a worthless cause by rhodies in the Diaspora.

  3. Chimbwidos Warvets says:

    Which diasporans when they are just clowns bent at finding excuses from their hosts to get financial and housing benefits free of charge for supporting the MDC-T. If you want to claim benefits in the UK, Canada, USA and other countries in the European Union, this is the way to go and you will be listened to quicker than one with a liberal mind. You get things free guys by creating stories to earn a living in the European Union. That is all there is to it and they spent their ill-gotten money and time in pubs drinking beer and eating burgers laced with horse meat from one European country that is under investigation.

    • james wilson says:

      i live amongst a large zim comunity in north london,they love working in uk and paying their rents.so ignore .this lying zanoid.

  4. wilbert_mukori says:

    “We need to ensure this (reforms) happens. Media reform, security sector reform. These are key to our protest. We also want to ensure there are international monitors on the ground,” Samanyanga said.

    Very few thinking Zimbabweans would question for a minute why the implementation of the reforms are absolutely necessary. Without the reforms there can be no free and fair elections; only the very naive would not see that.

    These reforms should have been implemented years ago. The reforms stub at the very heart of Zimbabwe’s de facto one party dictatorship; implement the reforms and you kill the dictatorship. It was therefore not surprising that Mugabe, the dictator, was going to do everything, absolutely everything, in his power to ensure NONE of the reforms were ever implemented. Long behold, not even one reform was ever implemented. “Mugabe akatsika madziro” as one would say in Shona.

    Having resisted reforms for four and half years it is naive to think that Mugabe would suddenly give in now, two months before the referendum. Everyone knows if Mugabe gets the yes vote then he is home and dry; there will be nothing to stop him using violence, his control of the media is total, etc.; the elections would be his to lose!

    Sadly for Zimbabwe Prime Minister Tsvangirai, the man who was supposed to do everything in his power, absolutely everything, to ensure ALL of the reforms were implemented took his eyes off the ball. Let just say he got distracted; all that globe-trotting, chasing all those women of questionable repute, etc.; meant he no time to do the most important tasks the nation had entrusted him to do.

    Not content with letting the nation down Tsvangirai is now lying that the reforms will be implemented just to get the people to vote yes in the referendum.

    Although staunch MDC supporters like Tonderai admit holding elections before the reforms are implemented is suicidal they are clearly agonizing about criticizing much less contradict Tsvangirai by calling for a no vote in the referendum. Zimbabweans are renowned for their blind loyalty to political leaders. It took many Zimbabweans 15 years, at least, before they would finally acknowledge that Mugabe was a murderous tyrant. Tonderai and company have but two months to make up their minds before the referendum to decide whether the critically important reforms should be implement BEFORE elections or the nation should just hold yet another bloody elections and forget the reforms.

    Demanding foreign observers is like calling for UN Peace Observers in Syria knowing fully well the two sides are fighting. The observers will only tell us that there was no free media – we know that already -, that the Police were highly partisan – know that too -, that there was violence – there is violence on the ground right now and no doubt it will get worse -, etc. Call peace observers when there is peace on the ground or at least when there is a chance for peace. Unless the reforms are implemented then there is no chance for free and fair elections; what is it going to take to drive that simple message home!

    • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

      You are a day dreamer if you think Mugabe will simply give the press to the MDC-T and no country in the so-called civilized world can any leader has ever pleased his political opponents that way, mate. Any election is a game of survival and no one will play a silly game that will promote his ouster from the political power, mate and Mugabe like any serious politician worthy his/her name, will play his political game cautiously.

      Secondly, the reforms that you have always talked about were agreed to by three political parties of Zimbabwe at the exclusion of other important political parties in the country. Naturally these reforms only bind these three political parties and as such can not hold the entire nation to ransom. Quite frankly, Zimbabwe is a multi-party democracy whose mushrooming political parties were never given an opportunity to air their views and grievances during the GPA initiative.

      As a sovereign and independent state, Zimbabwe has no obligation to anyone in calling for monitors to observe our elections. The United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Japan, Russia, China to name just a few, have never called for election monitors in their countries. Of course, some of these countries colonized Africa and left an impression in the minds of the stupid and ignorant Africans that without their participation no free and fair elections can be realized by the stupid African states. This is further from the truth, because all these countries want to see is an election that goes in their favour and this is what they will be monitoring only and not the interests of the Zimbabwean people. Election monitors from abroad do not serve our interests mate but that of FOREIGNER CAPITAL.

  5. super mondo says:

    yes wilbert your advice is paramount to f and f elections i hope the people listen hard to your analasys.and best of luck on your new sw programme.

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