Tuesday 5th July 2016

By: Mandulo Pasichigare

Just a day after the beleaguered duo of Zimbabwean

Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa and the governor of The Reserve Bank ofZimbabwe, John Mangudya were besieged by Zimbabwean activists at ChathamHouse, London, they were in for a rude awakening on Tuesday 5thJuly, 2016 when an even bigger crowd of Zimbabwean protesters awaited them at DLAPiper UK LLP, 3 Noble Street, London EC2V 7EE in London.

The more than sixty drumbeating and vociferousprotesters, mainly from The Zimbabwe Vigil, Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR)Zimbabwe, Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) International, MZYWC (MaZimbabweans Yes We Can), MDC-T, MDC –N and Zimbabwe African Peoples’ Union(ZAPU) descended on the venue early in the morning with placards and starteddistributing pamphlets denouncing Chinamasa and crew’s visit to delegates, observers and passers- by.

When Chinamasa and Mangudya eventually arrived, they weregreeted with deafening jeers.  Metropolitan Police officers struggled toclear a passageway for Chinamasa and crew as the angry protesters advanced fromall directions jostling to get close to the beleaguered Zimbabwean delegation. The shouting of words like “Murders, Thieves” rose to a crescendo as the visibly shaken Chinamasa and Mangudyafinally managed to squeeze past the blockaded entrance with the assistance ofPolice Officers, whimpering and “with tails between their legs”.

The protesters maintained a vigil outside the venue andcontinued their song and dance denouncing Chinamasa and the entire governmentof Zimbabwe as thieves and murderers. The protesters drew a large crowd ofonlookers and spent most of the time distributing pamphlets and waving placardswhich carried the underlying message that the world should not listen toChinamasa and Mangudya, the epitome of the kleptocracy that the ruling elite ofZimbabwe is. They were on a mission to beg for aid that would only benefit an oligarchy. Neither the country nor the ordinary Zimbabwean citizen would benefit, allegedthe demonstrators.

The original team would have included Patrick Chinamasa (FinanceMinister), Obert Mpofu (Minister of Macro Economic Planning and InvestmentPromotion and unaccountably one of the richest men in Zimbabwe, Mike Bimha (Ministerof Industry and Commerce, infamous for the recent banning of imperativeimports) and John Mangudya (the Governor of The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and architectof the worthless bond notes). However, Obert Mpofu and Mike Bimha failed totravel because they were denied visas by the British authorities.

Patrick Chinamasa and John Mangudya spent the rest of themorning holed up in the conference, one of a series billed “Zimbabwe Conference2016 ‘Rebooting and Rebuilding’”
Courtesy of the demonstrators, the infamous duo’scollective reputation had preceded them into the conference. Their hosts andpotential benefactors must have viewed them with commensurate disgust and theconference could not possibly have yielded the intended results for themission.

As if that was not enough, on their way out from theconference venue for the lunch break, Chinamasa and Mangudya were faced with anow more agitated crowd. The demonstrators mobbed the car in which Chinamasahad got into and hurled more insults. Some threw raw eggs, one or two of whichlanded inside the car before the driver could wind up the windows. Two of thedemonstrators, Arnold Dube and Nkosiphathise Cakes Vundhla, both of ZAPU, layon the ground in front of the car. Most of the demonstrators followed suit, therebyeffectively immobilising the car.  Thecrowd loved it, with their quary in sight, with only the window glassseparating them, the demonstrators took turns to make their point. A visiblyshaken Chinamasa could only sit still, ashen faced, as he absorbed the ire ofthe crowd.

It was not until more than an hour and a half later, whenthe Metropolitan Police brought in some much-needed reinforcement that theymanaged to haul the ZAPU duo out of the way and chaperoned “Chinamasa’s car” away from the angry demonstrators.

Chinamasa and his Mangudya were supposed to return forthe afternoon session, but quite understandably they never did, at least not asa team. Only John Mangudya turned up, probably sent to communicate apologies tothe conference, but still, he failed to make it into the conference room. Theentrance was completely barricaded by combative demonstrators and he had toturn back to the duo’s hotel rooms, wherever they were.

Adios John Mangudya, adios Patrick Chinamasa, – missionaborted.
Viva the demonstrators, viva the right to demonstrate, viva the rule of law.

Notable Quotes and milestones from the demonstration; –
Pythias Makonese (ROHR Zimbabwe /MDC-T / MZYWC); – “TheDiaspora is a constituency that the Zimbabwean government seems tounderestimate. We are out of reach of the murderous Zimbabwean state machinery. We live in a democracy and we exercise our rights at will, in support of thesuffering masses back home in Zimbabwe”.
David Kadzutu (MZYWC): – “It is very encouraging to seeZimbabweans of different political persuasions coming together for a commoncause. This should be inspirational to people on the ground at home. United westand, divided we fall”
Delina Mutyambizi (ROHR Zimbabwe): – “I am happy we havemanaged to expose the Zimbabwean government’s representatives for the hypocritesthey are and that we stopped the conference. We will carry out similardemonstrations in future should the regime find the audacity to dispatchsimilar missions to the UK”
Mary Muteyerwa (MZYWC); – “The disingenuity of theZimbabwean government is infuriating and shameful. They come here with abegging bowl as if they would put the money to good use if they were to get it. Yet we all know that they would share the loot. What happened to their lookeast policy anyway?
Saziso Zulu (MDC-T / ROHR International); – “Theseministers are selfish. They looted until the economy ground to a halt. Now theyare coming here to beg, yet the money that they corruptly accumulated inZimbabwe could be enough to fund the immediate needs of the country.”
Fungai Mabhunu (Zimbabwe Vigil); – He was the first tospot Zim1, the ambassador’s car that brought Chinamasa to the conference. Heimmediately confronted Chinamasa demanding to know what Chinamasa had done withthe $15bn that Robert Mugabe alleged to have disappeared from governmentcoffers. He set the tone for what was to be a nightmarish day for Patrick Chinamasaand John Mangudya.

For pictures and videos taken and recorded at the scene click here or followthe link