By Staff Reporter
NERA Youth Forum will today (30 August 2017) hold a demonstration at the South African embassy in Belgravia Harare to register their displeasure following the granting of diplomatic immunity to First Lady Grace Mugabe by that country’s Department of International Relations.
The youth forum intends to hand over a petition that details their displeasure
a few weeks ago, Grace Mugabe made headlines after she assaulted South African model Gabriella Engels whom she found allegedly partying with her two sons at a Johannesburg hotel.
Nera on the 23rd of August wrote to the police notifying them of the intended demonstration, but Chief Superintendent Chizemo responded on the 28th of August informing them that they had not complied with the provisions of Section 23(1) (a) (b), 23(2) and 25(2) of the Public Order and Security Act, Chapter 11:17.
Speaking during a press conference Yesterday Nera Youth Forum spokesperson Davis Mukushwa said they had since sent a revised letter to the police which they promised to respond to this morning.
Mukushwa said the demo was going ahead despite efforts by the police to thwart the protest.
“The decision by the South African government particularly the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to grant her diplomatic immunity when facts on the ground clearly indicate she was on private business, she’s not a government official and in all probability she didn’t qualify for that diplomatic immunity as specified in the Vienna Convention,” Mukushwa said.
Forum’s chairperson Tawanda Kalonga said he was worried by the decision made by the South African authorities as they are also closely involved in elections monitoring in Zimbabwe.
“We are very worried by what South Africa did because you know our elections are monitored by SADC observers, how can we trust them if they fail to arrest Grace Mugabe in their own country will they be able to say no elections were not free and fair, as Nera Youth we are worried about this selective application of law,” Kalonga said.
Mukushwa also revealed that Nera Youth Forum was keeping in contact with AfriForum which is providing legal representation to Engels.
There has been debate around Grace Mugabe getting diplomatic immunity with some observers saying by virtue of being the wife of a president she qualified for the diplomatic immunity while others were of a different view.
In a similar event, the Zanu-PF youths will also hold a march in solidarity with Grace Mugabe. Nera Youth Forum has since described the march as a counter demo to their protest scheduled for the same day.