SW Radio Africa (London)

17 February 2012

Zimbabwe: Free National Global Protests on Mugabe's Birthday

Photo: IRIN
President Robert Mugabe.

Hundreds of people worldwide are expected to take part in the 21st Movement-Free Zimbabwe Global Protests on Tuesday next week. This is the day the ageing dictator Robert Mugabe turns 88 years old.

Tonderai Samanyanga, the MDC-T UK and Ireland chairman, said they will not relent on the issue of highlighting the Zimbabwe crisis to the international community.

'The 21st Movement protests are going to be a monthly event as the issues involved are at the heart of the Zimbabwe people. This is the reason why we are not going back on this campaign which we started last month,' Samanyanga said.

In January demonstrations organised by the MDC-T and other pressure groups took place outside Zimbabwean embassies and consulates around the world. The protests are targeting South Africa as the mediator in the ongoing political stalemate in Zimbabwe.

Last month's demonstrations were well received in Australia, America, Sweden, and the Netherlands, where people gathered at the South African embassy at The Hague.

'The reason we have targeted February 21st is because it is Mugabe's birthday. While he enjoys his lavish birthday, we want to remind the world of the suffering masses living in squalor,' the MDC-T UK chairman added.

He continued: 'We know President Jacob Zuma of South Africa has worked hard to get Zimbabwe where it is today, but there is much more he and SADC can do to normalize the situation once and for all.'

It's been reported that Mugabe's birthday bash next week will cost $1million, as hundreds of guests from his ruling ZANU PF are expected to attend the lavish party in Mutare.

According to the Mail and Guardian newspaper the celebrations will include a huge birthday cake, three-course dinner, musical gala and a beauty pageant. A football tournament dubbed the 'Bob 88 Super Cup' is also on offer.

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