News

Zimbabwean Activists Protest From Outside

Zimbabwean opposition activists in the United States chose the South African embassy in Washington as the target of their latest protest demanding reforms in their home country.
Zimbabwean opposition activists in the United States chose the South African embassy in Washington as the target of their latest protest demanding reforms in their home country.
Nico Colombant

Opposition activists in the Zimbabwean diaspora are pursuing a year-long worldwide protest movement demanding reforms that have already been agreed to, but have yet to be implemented.  Saturday's demonstration came just a few days after Zimbabwe celebrated 32 years of independence with President Robert Mugabe in power the entire time.

Protesters sang opposition songs and beat drums outside the South African embassy in Washington on a warm spring day.

They called for the full implementation of a power-sharing deal reached in 2008.  The so-called Global Political Agreement, or GPA, did help set up a national unity government, but has yet to bring about promised changes in many areas, including media, security, political and election reforms.

Protest organizer Den Moyo, from the Movement for Democratic Change-USA, had a direct message for South African President Jacob Zuma, the main mediator. "We are saying Mr. Zuma, we do not have time. You have asked us to be patient but it has been four years since the GPA has been signed. Let me remind you Mr. Zuma it has been 32 years that our people have been suffering, have been tormented, have been killed, have been murdered, have been maimed, and we are saying we have run out of patience. Patience is no longer with us," he said.

This week, a spokeswoman for Mr. Zuma promised that Mr. Zuma would go to Zimbabwe's capital Harare soon.

Protesters also called for the estimated five million Zimbabweans living outside the country the right to vote in upcoming elections, even though they said they doubted they would get this opportunity.

A Zimbabwean living in the southern U.S. state of Florida, Chris Kwangwari, said that would make it impossible for President Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party to win elections. "Most of the youngsters here they understand what freedom means. They understand what choice is and the people back home are not very open to new ideas and change so the diaspora is definitely a threat to them," he said.

Many of the protesters travelled from across the United States to celebrate Zimbabwe's independence together.

But for Maggie Bonda, who came from Dallas, Texas, celebrations are bittersweet. "I am in solidarity with my brothers and sisters to demonstrate against what we see as an endless road to nothing. We need independence, real independence in Zimbabwe," she said.

Zimbabwean protesters in major capitals around the world have been holding demonstrations every 21st of every month this year, hoping these will help make the yet to be scheduled upcoming elections free and fair. While many of the protesters said they wanted to return to Zimbabwe one day, they said if they held similar protests in their home country they could be beaten, jailed or even killed.

Mr. Mugabe says he needs to stay in power to continue correcting the wrongs that still need to be overcome from the time of what was then white minority rule in Rhodesia. Previous elections have been marred by violence, fraud, intimidation and opposition boycotts.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs