MULTICOLOURED flags floated into the Perth CBD today as Zimbabwe-born people gathered for a solidarity march.
About 100 people attended the event in Forrest Place, singing and dancing while waving flags for a couple of hours this afternoon.
The event was organised at short notice as news from the African country came through overnight that Zimbabweans would gather in the capital Harare to march in support of the army, which took control of the country earlier this week.
The events, which have so far been peaceful, resulted in house arrest for president Robert Mugabe (93) while negotiations take place for him to step down.
Kardinya resident Keith Makuni said Zimbabweans were excited the army had taken over.
“They have given the citizens a platform to air our view,” he said.
“People in Zimbabwe will be marching to State House.
“We are here in Perth showing our joy and our expression of what’s happening in Zimbabwe.”
Mr Makuni said the Zimbabwean army had done “everything right” by not repeating violence seen there a decade ago, and the people did not want other African countries interfering to prevent Mr Mugabe from stepping down.
Spearwood resident Munya Nyandoro attended the November 18 event with his family and said they stood in solidarity with the people still living in Zimbabwe.
“Even though we are far away, we are happy to support them as we try to effect a smooth transition in Zimbabwe,” Dr Nyandoro said.
“We would like to see an all-inclusive government; a government that is accountable to the people.”
Wellard resident Shumi Tsungu said her generation had been affected by the political and economic issues that had plagued the country since 1999, when she had been writing high school exams.
“Everything took a downturn; there were riots; there was looting,” she said.
“It really affected us – the future that we had turned into no future at all.”
Mrs Tsungu said she moved to Perth in 2005 but never really felt like she moved on her own terms, and most of her family still lived in Zimbabwe.
“We are thankful to Australia for being able to accommodate us,” she said.
The town planner said she wanted to see an end to the corruption in Zimbabwe and opportunities for young people like her sisters to become leaders in their fields.
“We want to see transition in government,” she said.
“We are standing with people who are going to be protesting in Zimbabwe.
“We just want to see change – it’s going to be a long process.
“This has happened in a way we haven’t expected – we want to thank the soldiers for stepping in.
“We are also trying to identify who our possible leaders can be – they need to create opportunities for the younger generation.”
Zimbabwe-born people in Perth are holding a solidarity event as the country marks a week of political upheaval. Update to come at www.communitynews.com.au
Posted by Joondalup-Wanneroo Times/Weekender on Friday, 17 November 2017
The march in Harare was planned for Saturday morning and events similar to the one in Perth were planned in the UK and other countries for Zimbabwean diaspora to show their support.