The tense stalemate following last month's election in Zimbabwe spilled over into the streets of London yesterday. Frustrated by the insistence of Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party to hold a recount, activists from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) - which claims their candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, won the March 29th presidential election - stormed the Zimbabwean embassy on the Strand.
Member's of the MDC-UK women's wing, led by Judith Ngwenya, snuck in after deviously (in a ruse straight out of Scooby Doo) confounding the security guard with a bogus request for information. Once past the lobby, the group sung protest songs and took down a Mugabe portrait, and in general caused a mild ruckus. Police arrived, but no arrests were made and the group moved outside to protest before dispersing.
Anybody passing along the Strand in recent years will be well aware of the Zimbabwean embassy's location - since 2002 the Zimbabwe Vigil Coaltion has held regular protests outside, demanding an end to Mugabe's rule. They have now organised three days of demonstration, beginning tomorrow at 10am and running over Zimbabwe's Independence Day on Friday.
Whether it will make any difference is another matter. Mugabe seems determined to perpetuate his reign - which, at a flabby 28 years long, is approaching the average life expectancy in a now-starving country once known as southern Africa's bread basket. While Bob bashes the Brits and blames colonialism and perfidious Albion for his country's ills (some thanks for that honorary knighthood Queen Liz gave him in 1994), Zimbabwe continues to bleed.
Image courtesy of jcooke's Flickrstream