Zimbabwe #ThisFlag supporters are calling for massive change in Zimbabwe. What started off with protests in the small town of Rusape, spread to a major riot in Beitbridge over new import restrictions. A warehouse was burned down and the border with South #Africa was closed this past week.
Riots in Harare
Monday 4th July saw riots in the streets, reports of live ammunition being fired and videos and images of police brutally rounding up and beating protesters who were fed up with road blocks and corruption found their way onto YouTube. Today army were deployed to schools where teachers are on strike. Nurses downed tools, and in the Midlands city of Gweru police stood around central downtown as helicopters from the nearby airforce base provided an air-show as they deployed to strife ridden areas of the country.
The road between Zambia and Zimbabwe has reportedly been closed and there are calls for clarity on a 7.00pm curfew tonight. Tomorrow is the country-wide call for shutting down Zimbabwe via massive stay-aways. The cross-border traders association has requested no traffic through the border later tonight and the #Government workers union called for a strike. In the meantime Zimbabweans in South Africa are arranging to meet and travel to the Zimbabwean Embassy for a sit-in.
Reports emerge that the Zimbabwe government is looking to find a 3rd force they can blame for the massive protests and support for fast change. In the meantime delegate Chinamasa is in London, where he was reportedly heckled by Zimbabweans in the diaspora as he goes about trying to get aid to stabilize the economy which is termed as about to implode. #ThisFlag supporters are hoping he comes away empty-handed as money is seen as something the government can use to arm their forces against their own people.
#ThisFlag, yeh yeh third force, yeh yeh protests political, which political party, its citizens bro!!!— Lovemore Fuyane (@LovemoreFuyane) July 5, 2016
Calls for peaceful protest.
For the first time in decades, the long-suffering people of Zimbabwe are letting it be known that they have had enough of corruption, propaganda, police brutality, hunger and poor fiscal mismanagement. The police have sent out notices that they will be out there to crush any violent protest, and leaders of the various movements are calling for peaceful protest. Zimbabwe is going through what might be a people – powered change and the international media is not picking up on it.
There seems to be a lockdown of government media coverage, but so far they are not able to shut down the Tweets that have the #thisflag hashtag trending. Is it possible that social media could help turn around a country where the people are ready to demand change? Internet data is expensive and everybody is broke, but they are trying to keep the momentum going. A leading church has encouraged the people to keep up the momentum, and keep pushing for change. In the meantime hundreds of people have been beaten or arrested thus far. More can expect to suffer the same treatment, but they are bravely tweeting that anything is better than what they have now.
International media slow to react.
International Media and their readers have been hearing about disasters in Zimbabwe for many years now and frankly, they are tired of it too. This time, however, the normally incredibly peaceful and tolerant people are working towards lasting change – even if that change is just realistic dialogue.
Calamity has befallen Zimbabwe. Why is there no on-the-ground coverage from Int. Media? They happy to throw shade most of the time #ThisFlag— Nigel J. (@nigelonius) July 5, 2016
The #ThisFlag hashtag seemed to ignite people into uniting over a common cause – and it is about a people wanting change for the good of the people rather than people bickering about political stances this time around. The original #ThisFlag hashtag started when Pastor Evan Mawarire sat down in front of his camera one day and poured out his feelings about the state of his country. From there it took off on YouTube and became a trending hashtag. He has said that even if they kill him, they cannot kill what #ThisFlag stands for.