19 April 2007
In his weekly TV programme, Talking With Tatchell, Peter Tatchell interviews Washington Katema, National Coordinator, Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU).
Zimbabwe Independence Day on 18 April should have been a day of national pride and celebration. Instead, it was day of mourning and protests – in Zimbabwe and by Zimbabwean refugees across the world, including in London.
The protests were against President Mugabe’s misgovernance, which has resulted in 2,200% inflation, 80% unemployment, an average life expectancy of only 35 years and over 1.5 million orphans.
This mass impoverishment of a once prosperous African nation is compounded by the bloody suppression of opposition parties, trade unions and civil society organisations. Mugabe maintains his tyrannical rule by means of beatings, censorship, bans on strikes and protests, disappearances, detention without trial, torture and even murder.
Despite this barbaric repression, tens of thousands of Zimbabweans are involved in the resistance, determined to secure democracy, human rights and social justice.
Zimbabwe’s students are playing a key role in these protests against the Mugabe regime – and being systematically targeted for arrest and beatings by the President’s secret police and security forces.
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