Encouraged by widespread coverage in the British press, more than 60 exiled Zimbabweans and supporters last Friday took part in a protest outside a clinic in Nottingham run by a Zimbabwean immigrant doctor who has seized one of the last white-owned farms in Zimbabwe.
Dr Sylvester Nyatsuro, a British citizen, claims that the Mugabe regime told him he could have the farm although he has been resident in England for more than 15 years. The farm had been besieged by hired thugs for months but armed police forced their way in on 29th January and forcibly removed the owner Zimbabwean-born Phillip Rankin.
Demonstrators were not surprised to see a notice on the front door saying the clinic was closed because of ‘unforeseen circumstances’. But people were in the building because someone from the clinic called the police and complained we were taking pictures of them through the window. We replied that pictures were being taken of us from the clinic.
Rashiwe Bayisayi posted the following through the clinic’s letter box:
Letter to Dr Sylvester Nyatsuro of the Willows Medical Centre, Nottingham
‘As fellow Zimbabweans we wish to express our disgust at your abuse of British hospitality. You work as a doctor for the NHS but feel free to steal a white-owned farm in Zimbabwe in your spare time.
We have tried to meet you to discuss this matter but all we got were lies, evasion and legal threats. So we return to your clinic to draw the attention of your patients and the wider community to your greed and hypocrisy.
If you wanted to have a farm in Zimbabwe why are you here? Get out of the UK and don’t come back.
On Wednesday we put the following petition online. Within hours it had drawn an enormous response.
Petitioning Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Rt Hon David Cameron MP
Revoke the citizenship of a British doctor who has seized a Zimbabwean farm
Zimbabweans in the UK and sympathisers are appalled by the behaviour of Dr Sylvester Nyatsuro and his wife who run a clinic in Nottingham. He is a British citizen yet he has illegally seized a farm in Zimbabwe owned by a white Zimbabwean farmer who bought it with the approval of Mugabe.
The Nyatsuros are connected to Grace Mugabe. Why should a British doctor want a farm in Zimbabwe when he is in full-time employment here and has no known farming expertise? We ask that Dr Nyatsuro’s citizenship is revoked on the grounds that it was obtained by means of 'fraud, false representation or concealment of any material fact' (file:///Users/GG/Downloads/SN06820%20(1).pdf). We also question his suitability to run an NHS clinic in Nottingham while farming in Zimbabwe.’
Many motorists hooted in support of the demonstration when they drove past and the Vigil engaged many local people about the issue. We have already written to the local NHS Commissioning Group drawing attention to the matter with copies to the General Medical Council and the Department of Health.
Ironically another white farmer has also been driven off the land. But we have no sympathy for this farmer, Yvonne Goddard. She had been funding Zanu PF until the party bigwigs simply decided to take everything – a fate we fully expect to be visited on them in due course (see: (see: http://www.southerneye.co.zw/2016/02/03/zanu-pf-grabs-benefactors-farm/).
· Among those who took part in the Nottingham demonstration were: Arnold Dube, Audry Chamangira, Barbara Kachidza, Benjamin Chigamba, Benjamin Semwayo, Blessing Kaseke, Catherine Musa. Cephas Maswoswa, Chamunorwa Chisuko, Charles Dumisani Ndlovu, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Danny Kadiki, Dennis Benton. Edward Mukuze, Edward Murota, Elector Zvorwadza, Ellah Mhere, Enniah Dube, Ephraim Tapa, Esther Nyambi, Esther Munyira, Etines Kapiya, Flemming Diza, Fungisai Mupandira, Gladys Muduve, Hilda Gwesele, Irvine Huni, Jackson Magaya, Janemary Mapfumo. Jean Kawara, Joana Kwenda, John Burke, John Chipudhla, Jonathan Kariwoh, Julius Tanyaradzana Matera, Linton Magume, Marjory Kunaka, Mercy Chapepa, Minienhle Sibanda, Moline Nyabonda, Nicodimus Muganhu, Nobukhosi Moyo, Patricia Masamba, Paul Chipamhadze, Percy Chagwiza. Phylis Magejo, Piyo Choga, Rashiwe Bayisayi, Reuben Waretsa, Rose Benton, Rosemary Mupunga, Sally Mutseyami, Sharon Moyo, Sharon Zimuto, Simba Chengeta, Taurayi Tsandukwa, Tecla Bandawe Thulani Chagwiza, Tino Mashonganyika, Yvonne Makombe, Zenzo Siziba and Zondiwe Gumede. Thanks to Enniah Dube and Catherine Musa for getting people to sign the demonstration register and petition.
· At our regular action forum after the Vigil it was agreed to hold another demonstration outside the clinic on Friday 26th February. In the meantime Zimbabweans living locally will continue to leaflet the areas around Dr Nyatsuro’s clinic and home. We are planning to submit the paper petition to 10 Downing Street on Saturday 27th February.
· Today we marked eleven months since human rights activist Itai Dzamara was abducted. Nothing has been heard of him since.
· We were saddened to hear of the death of Vigil founder member Sue Shaw. She was a faithful supporter until she became ill some years ago.
· Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Isabell Gwatidzo, Kevin Gondo, Vimbayi Karumbidza, Esther Munyira, Patricia Nyawo, Rashiwe Bayisayi and Fungayi Mabhunu. Thanks to Catherine Musa who, with the help of Isabell and Vimbayi, looked after the front table. Thanks also to Rashiwe for serving the food provided by ROHR Central London branch to raise funds. Another member of the branch, Chipo Parirenyatwa organised a lucky dip. The branch raised over £100.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.
FOR THE RECORD: 42 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
· ROHR Slough branch general meeting. Saturday 13th February from 11 am – 1 pm. Venue: Upton Lea Community Hall, Wexham Road, Slough SL2 5JW. For further information contact Patricia Masamba (Chair) 07708116625, Fungisai Mupandira (Organising Secretary) 07758958803, Sharon Zimuto (Secretary) 07950837841.
· ROHR Leicester Branch fundraiser. Saturday 13th February from 3 pm to late. Venue: The Salvation Army, Kildare Street, Leicester LE1 3FY – opposite the Peking Chinese Restaurant in the city centre. Come and enjoy a home-cooked Zimbabwean meal. Admission: adults £20. Children over 8 £10. Contact : Linton Magume 07577 55568, Moline Nyabonda 07961 250525, Tafadzwa Mushakwe 07551 873 256, Yvonne Makombe 07453 909247.
· ROHR Reading branch community outreach and general meeting. Saturday 20th February. Community outreach from 12 noon – 1.30 pm: Venue: Broad Street. Awareness campaign on deteriorating human rights in Zimbabwe. General meeting from 2 – 5 pm: Venue: RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. For further enquiries contact: Deborah Harry 07578894896, Charles Mararirakwenda 07964731721, Joshua Kahari 07877246251, Shyline 07827493930.
· The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
· Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 20th February from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see above. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It's between a newsagent and an optician. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.
· Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
· Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 20th February from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
· Nottingham demonstration against racist Zimbabwean doctor. Friday 26th February from 12 noon – 3 pm. Venue: outside The Willows Medical Centre, Church Street, Carlton, Nottingham NG4 1RJ.
· Submission of petition on Dr Nyatsuro to 10 Downing Street. Saturday 27th February. Arrangements to be advised.
· ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 5th March from 11 am to 1.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see above
· Protest to mark anniversary of the disappearance of Itai Dzamara. Saturday 12th March from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark one year since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
· Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds monthly meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
· Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2015 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/746-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2015. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2015 Highlights page.
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