The Zimbabweans were protesting president Michael Sata’ support for dictator Robert Mugabe.
Sata is the only president in the Southern African region who supports Robert Mugabe’s obsession to rule Zimbabwe forever despite the country melting down and most citizens going into exile.
Late Zambian president Levy Mwanawasa once was described Zimbabwe under Mugabe as a ‘sinking Titanic’.
The first demonstration took place at Marlborough House where the Queen attended a lunch for Commonwealth leaders.
The demonstrators carried posters reading: ‘Zimbabweans protest at Zambian President’s support for Mugabe’, ‘Broom or bust’, ‘Sata loves Mugabe’, Sata – no interference in Zimbabwe’, ‘No to Mugabe, No to Sata’ and ‘No Satasfaction’.
The protesters wanted to give Sata a symbolic sweeping broom to remind him of his former job as sweeper at a railway station in UK.
Even though Sata likes to present himself as a former freedom fighter during the liberation struggles, there is no written record showing him as such. What is on record is that he was working in UK in the late 1950s and early 1960s before returning to Zambia where he joined the colonial police.
When the Zambian officials saw the protesters approaching with brooms, they just locked the gates. But the protesters managed to stage a vigil outside the Zambian embassy for two hours showing placards denouncing Sata.
After the Zambian diplomats refused to accept the letter which was attached to the gift of a broom and a bag of gems. the protesters posted the following letter in a letterbox outside the High Commission:
‘Dear President Sata
The Zimbabwe Vigil deplores your interference in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe.
Your repeated expression of support for Zanu PF and your slanderous denigration of the MDC make us wonder whether you are in the pocket of Robert Mugabe.
We hear that your parroting of “Pamberi ne Zanu PF (Forward with Zanu PF)” at last week’s SADC meeting even embarrassed Zanu PF (see: Fireworks at Angola Summit – http://www.zimbabwesituation.
We are confident that your opinions do not reflect those of the vast majority of our brothers and sisters in Zambia for whom we have great respect.
We are surprised that you have seen fit to come to London considering the negative comments you have made about this country which gave you sanctuary as a platform sweeper at Victoria Station. We have presented the High Commission with a new broom to hand on to you so that you can resume a profession for which you seem better equipped than your current one.
The Zimbabwe Vigil has been protesting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London for the past 10 years in protest at human rights abuses at home which have forced us into exile (see: www.zimvigil.co.uk).’