Members of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change gathered in a park across the street from the White House in Washington on Friday aiming to draw attention to the country's deepening political, economic and humanitarian crisis.
Demonstrators in Lafayette Park distributed copies of a petition containing details of the alleged torture of MDC supporters and ordinary Zimbabweans by security forces. Organizer Nicholas Mada said the petition was presented to a State Department information official who conducted an interview with the demonstrators.
From the White House, the demonstrators marched to the Zimbabwean Embassy where they handed a signed copy of the petition to embassy official Eric Mhende as Ambassador Tachivenyika Mapuranga was not present. No comment could be obtained from the embassy as repeated calls were not answered.
Reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe provided a live report on the demonstration to hosts Ndimyake Mwakalyele and Chris Gande. Demonstration organizer Maxwell Shumba, vice president of the Ohio branch of the Tsvangirai faction of the MDC said the party wanted to focus U.S. attention on Zimbabwe's plight.