Diaspora calls for 88 year old Mugabe to go
By Alex Bell
As Robert Mugabe was celebrating his 88th birthday in Zimbabwe on Tuesday, hundreds of Zimbabweans across the Diaspora gathered to call for an end to his control of their country.
Expensive celebrations to mark the ageing ZANU PF leader’s birthday are expected to take place this weekend. He has already marked his 88th year by vowing to stay in power and insisting elections will be held this year.
Mugabe told the state run ZBC on Monday that even at his age he “can still go some distance.” He said ZANU PF would choose his successor at the right time, but he had no intention of stepping down for now.
“Our members of the party will certainly select someone once I say I am now retiring, but not yet,” he said in the interview.
In the Diaspora this sentiment has been greeted with anger and discontent, and on Tuesday Zimbabweans across the world called for Mugabe to go.
Tuesday was round two of the monthly Free Zimbabwe Global Protest, dubbed the 21st Movement, which are calling on South Africa’s government to make good on its promises to usher in a new, democratic era in Zimbabwe.
The protests, which are organised outside South African embassies and consulates around the world, kicked off last month and are going to continue on the 21st of every coming month. Protesters from around the world will be calling on the South African government to help solve the ongoing crisis as well as force ZANU PF and Mugabe to honour the Global Political Agreement (GPA). Petitions with these and other demands will be handed over every month to embassy and consular staff during the demonstrations.
In London on Tuesday, scores of people gathered outside the Zimbabwean embassy, the starting point of a peaceful march to South Africa house where a petition with their demands was handed over.
Protesters told SW Radio Africa that they have had enough of Mugabe’s grip on the country, and it is time for South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma to ensure that Zimbabwe makes a proper democratic transition.
Waving placards that said ‘Mugabe must go now!’ and ‘Zuma, Enforce the GPA!’ the singing group of Zimbabweans said these monthly protests are only the start of what they hope will be an ongoing, well supported movement.
One protester said: “We are tired of this. We have had enough. Enough is enough!”
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