Zimbabweans in the United Kingdom have petitioned British prime minister David Cameron to deport a relative of dictator Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace Mugabe who used brute force to evict Centenary farmer David Rankin and his family last week.
On Saturday, Zimbabweans held demonstrations in Nottingham, where Grace Mugabe’s cousin Veronica Nyatsuro lives with her doctor husband and three children.
“A petition will soon be going to PM David Cameron, and the House of Commons is being challenged to debate the issue,” said Gerry van Tonder, one of the demonstrators. “It is not about race as this protest initiative is by black Zimbabweans who want fellow white Zimbabweans to be treated as equals.”
The demonstrators also called on the Zimbabwean government to ensure that the Rankins were restored to their farm, where a $500 000 tobacco crop has been destroyed as a result of the intrusion. The family’s losses are estimated in the region of $1 million, excluding land, after Zanu PF militants were seen damaging property and stealing household goods and farm equipment with the aid of the police, who maintain a heavy presence at the property.
The Rankin family was evicted on Grace Mugabe’s orders. Heavily armed riot police last week burrowed under a security fence and entered the farmhouse, handcuffed Rankin and drove him away with his wife Margaret, who is critically ill because of the assault.
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