On the 31st of July Zimbabweans were supposed to take to the streets and protest against bad governance and corruption…
The 31st came and went but the streets were empty. Zimbabweans could not protest because the government banned the protests. Why? Well, different government officials said different things. Home affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe said the protests were “not about corruption or about other well-meant intention.” How he knew this I’m not exactly sure.
31 July is a planned insurrection and a naked, illegal and unconstitutional attempt to seize power.
Another government official stated the protests would be taken by COVID-19 positive individuals as an opportunity to spread the virus;
Protests have been banned the world over. Why would people risk their lives participating in demonstrations? There are risks of infected people joining these illegal protests to spread the virusMary Mliswa-Chikoka – Provincial Affairs Minister for Mashonaland West
Long story short – very few people took to the streets on the day. Zimbabweans have however continued voicing their displeasure on social media over the past few days and on Twitter the hashtag ZimbabweanLivesMatter is currently trending.
At the time of writing the hashtag has over 290 000 tweets most of which are Zimbabweans taking a stand against corruption, bad governance, police brutality and the state’s attempt to silence journalists and activists who have been exposing corruption.
Other topics trending on the social media network that are part of this virtual protest include the following;
Whilst some have labelled social media protests is ineffective, it seems governments generally fear these platforms as evidenced by Tanzanian government’s decision to ban social media protests. The legislation bans organising, planning or even supporting any form of demonstration online.