Fleet Street journalists and Zimbabwean activists in Britain have raised a ruckus over the invitation of Zimbabwe’s ambassador to the United Kingdom to the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The Daily Mail called the invitation of Gabriel Machinga and exclusion of former Labor Party prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown “mind-boggling.” The paper called Machinga a servant of President Robert Mugabe’s “murderous and kleptocratic regime.”
The Mail and other papers along with anti-Mugabe activists said Machinga’s invitation should be rescinded like that of the Libyan ambassador to London.
A British Foreign Office Spokesman said all heads of missions representing countries whose ties with Britain are normal were invited, declining further comment.
Zimbabwe Vigil Coordinator Rose Benton said her group has asked Queen Elizabeth to withdraw Machinga’s invitation. “We sent a letter of protest to the British Foreign Office and we hope that they will liaise with Buckingham Palace," Benton said.
Media and political analyst Admore Tshuma said Machinga is unlikely to be disinvited.
“There are slim chances that the invitation will be rescinded despite the fact that the ambassador’s presence at this important event puts the wedding into disrepute as he represents a party that is guilty of mass murder,” Tshuma said.