Protesting is one way to get attention, and in Zimbabwe the #ThisFlag stay aways and protests have certainly managed to get that. As the #ThisFlag movement for change and #Government accountability spread from within Zimbabwe into the Diaspora, people on all sides of the racial spectrum in Zimbabwe are questioning where the movement should go next.
Where is Pastor Evan?
Social media is a great way to spread the word and to demand accountability, but like any movement – if the kingpin is removed from the scene, the momentum is lost and people who relied on their leader to motivate them fall away. Shortly after his release from a magistrate’s court on treason-related charges, Pastor Evan Mawarire travelled to South #Africa.
His message to #ThisFlag supporters.
The government of Zimbabwe were quick to point out that he had fled the country, saying he was on his way to the USA but Evan has in fact, been having meetings in South Africa and has made a number of interview appearances on both radio and television. He told the people that although he will be returning to Zimbabwe – that his supporters must ‘own” their flag. To give credit to the #ThisFlag movement, which has been dubbed the Quiet Revolution, the momentum has not slowed significantly.
The #WhatNext hashtag.
Instead of waiting for Pastor Evan to return to Zimbabwe, the leadership has called for Zimbabweans to participate by submitting their ideas. Using the #WhatNext hashtag they have been posing questions, and inviting ideas to get everyone actively involved, and take personal ownership of the future of Zimbabwe. They might have to change the #WhatNext hashtag which is already overloaded with questions about Europe and terror attacks.
Participation across race and status.
Nevertheless, ideas are coming in. The ideas are not confined to those who live in Zimbabwe. The Zimbabweans in the Diaspora have supported the protests in countries as diverse as the whole world. Protests in Scotland, elsewhere in the UK, Australia, DC Washington and in Canada were well attended. The Diaspora is important to the movement for change as many of them represent what has been termed as the intellectual export of Zimbabwe.
Many of those in the Diaspora left their country as the economy crashed, recovered slightly, teetered and crashed again. Others left during and after the farm seizures. Many people who left were suddenly unable to return home even if they wanted to, after laws reclassifying citizenship – even by birthright - left many of them the unwilling passport holders of foreign countries. Unable to return home, these people are now adding their voice and ideas to the way forward. Others – especially those who have taken up employment in South Africa, are actually returning “home” to Zimbabwe to participate in the Quiet Revolution.
Some questions that have been put forward include.
- What is the proper way for the church to engage with the movement?
- How to get the message to people in the rural areas?
- What can those in the Diaspora do?
- Should there be a board opposition coalition?
One of the most useful comments is shown below:
Some ideas include:
A push to engage with family in rural areas about the grievances of the movement, pamphlet drops in rural areas, encouraging the youth to register to vote and educating them towards voter awareness and demanding that the fractured opposition form a broad coalition.
As the movement for change continues to demand the end of police brutality, corruption, better health care and payment of civil servant salaries, the Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe (92) is in Singapore, along with his wife Grace and at least one of his children. In the meantime, the August pay day for the National Army and Police has been set for the last week of September,while pensioners cannot expect their money for August until the end of October. Zimbabwe flags are hot selling items.