10/08/2020

#ZimbabweanLivesMatter

Blog / By ZAM Reporter

The Mnangagwa regime responds to protests with violence and the arrests of activists and journalists. A call for solidarity with those fighting for social justice has gained the support of many.

With hyperinflation, mass unemployment and increasing violence under the guise of corona lockdown policies, many Zimbabweans now say: enough is enough. The Mnangagwa government, welcomed after the fall of Robert Mugabe in November 2017 as a new promise for the country, has now lost its credibility. Emmerson Mnangagwa behaves like a re-enactment of his predecessor - some say he is even worse.

In times of corona and with a deep understanding of the Zimbabwean police and army's ability to brutally oppress any protest, the people's  anger and their calls for change manifested themselves in subdued and peaceful ways. Still, it was countered by a violent security clampdown and arrests. A day after her nomination for the 2020 international Booker Prize was announced, writer and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga got detained after she walked the Bulawayo streets with a banner. She was released on bail after two days but journalist Hopewell Chi'nono, once a staunch supporter of Mnangagwa, is still behind bars.

On August 5, #ZimbabweanLivesMatter got momentum and went viral after South African hiphop sensation AKA announced to his more than 5 million followers on Twitter: 'I doubt if I will ever come to Zimbabwe until the people have freedom of speech and human rights.' His message was shared by half a million people. His fellow rap artists IceCube and Lecra, actress Thandie Newton as well as Pearl Thusi, who played the lead role in Netflix first ever African original Queen Sono, added their voices to the new solidarity movement.