27th October 2015 saw the Zimbabwe Vigil and its sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) hold a protest against Dr Sylvester Nyatsuro and his wife Veronica outside their Willows Medical Centre in Nottingham. Veronica is said to be related to the First Lady Grace Mugabe, and the couple have reportedly invaded the 2,000 acre farm in Mashonaland Central belonging to white farmer Philip Rankin. The farmer is a Zimbabwean citizen. Exiled Zimbabweans, friends and supporters expressed their disgust and disapproval of the Nyatsuros’ claim to the farm whose market value is now between US$400,000 and $600, 000. Mr Rankin purchased the farm from the government decades ago.
Protestors held banners demanding the racist farm looters stop trying to take over the Rankin farm. Attracted by the anti Mugabe singing, drumming and dancing, motorists stopped to collect flyers denouncing the farm invasion. Neighbours of the Nyatsuro medical centre, passers-by and patients also stopped by to enquire about the protest and expressed their disgust at the Nyatsuros’ hypocrisy. They commended the protesters for exposing the evil deeds of the Mugabe regime and its Zanu PF cronies.
Mr Tapa told protesters that as human rights defenders, the Vigil and ROHR believed that human beings were born equal before God and the law and that genuine freedom would be achieved in our lifetime. He stressed that Mugabe and his relatives could not be allowed to operate above the law. He said as a human rights group, it was right to take a principled stance against the manmade poverty gripping Zimbabwe today because of the violent and reckless approach to the land reform programme by Mugabe’s regime. He called upon the British government to be consistent in its policy – if in 2008, they took away the knighthood bestowed on Robert Mugabe in 1994, following a violent election, they surely could revoke Dr Nyatsuro’s citizenship for causing mayhem and violence in Zimbabwe. Mr Tapa added that Dr Nyatsuro could not have his cake and eat it. He declared that the protests would continue until Dr Nyatsuro and like-minded Mugabe cronies started respecting the rights of others in Zimbabwe. In his closing remarks, Mr Tapa reassured the boisterous crowd that peace, freedom and justice was possible if progressive forces remained united and resolute, and that a free Zimbabwe was on the horizon.
Esther Nyambi, ROHR UK Information & Publicity Team