After series of loud protests against the Mugabe administration, Zimbabwe’s nationwide stay away protest takes shape. Zimbabweans have taken up a more quiet way to still speak out loud. Zimbabwe’s Harare is literally shutdown.
Companies and businesses in Zimbabwe’s metropolitan streets are closed and the entire work area is left deserted. This will be a first since 10 years that the nation took the path of a peaceful shut down protest against corruption and poor governance in the country.
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This is coming after series of protests against the ruling government. The most recent protest was on Monday, which saw a clash between the police and taxi drivers. This led to the arrest of about 95 people.
Adding to that, there has been series of strikes from different civil servant groups- doctors, teachers and nurses. These groups have been agitating over delayed salaries.
There isn’t quite a lot to be happy about in Zimbabwe’s governance in the past years. The African nation which is popular for having the oldest dictator in the continent still have to battle with severe drought, high unemployment rates and unequal wealth distribution.
Zimbabwe’s nationwide stay away protest is just one out of a number ceaseless ways to express discontentment with the mode of governance in the country.
#ThisFlag campaign on social media was propounded by Zimbabwean pastor Evan Mawarire in April. The idea is to protest against government’s nonchalant attitude to issues of “corruption, injustice and poverty”. The social media platform has attracted thousands of followers.
According to the 39-year old,
“We have got to a point now where everyone is saying enough is enough. The response has been outstanding … this is what we all needed, something that we can all do together.”
The Wednesday Zimbabwe’s nationwide stay away protest has caused the arrest of several. In Mufakose, west of Harare, youths barricaded roads to stop people from going to work.
The quiet protest is said to have been engineered via social media- Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter. Activists on Twitter are supporting the protest with the #ShutDownZimbabwe2016 hashtag.
Report says that President Mugabe attended a scheduled meeting with senior Zanu-PF executives on Wednesday. However it is not clear if the protest will form part of their deliberations.