Hopewell Chin’ono is in jail in Zimbabwe. And, his crime is posting articles criticising Zimbabwe’s government. Frustrated, Twitterati appeal to ANC’s Cyril Rampahosa to assist in forcing a change in President Mnangagwa’s regime. However, Zimbabwe is a sovereign state meaning, only Zimbabweans can force change in their land. Furthermore, people outside of Zimbabwe wonder why Zimbabweans don’t change their government.
Zimbabwe is a sovereign state- good or bad
Whilst protest in South Africa is a legal and legitimate human right, it is not in Zimbabwe. Recently, people protesting for better treatment in Zimbabwe were arrested. Notably, Booker Prize nominee Tsitsi Dangarembga was amongst those jailed. Seemingly, any sign of Zimbabweans voicing unhappiness against the government is quickly, sometimes brutally, shut down.
South Africans are deeply concerned. Clearly, life in Zimbabwe is hard. Currently, Zimbabwean refugees pour through South Africa’s leaky border. Additionally, South Africa’s unemployed nationals insist these refugees take jobs away from them. Recently, Mmusi Maimane, former DA leader, tweeted an appeal to the ANC government to intervene after the recent second arrest of Hopewell Chin’ono. However as Zimbabwe is a sovereign state, South Africa has no right to intervene.
Mr president @CyrilRamaphosa and even @MYANC this man has been arrested and intimidated all year for having sources, for reporting on corruption by @ZANUPF_Official and @edmnangagwa. This is wrong, please do something, your comrades are going too far. pic.twitter.com/pGnpknkWEy
— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) November 6, 2020
Foreign nations are concerned
Importantly, proposed legislation in Zimbabwe outlaws locals approaching or speaking to foreign ambassadors or consuls. However, the United Kingdom’s Ambassador to Harare is quick to express her concern.
Hearing that Hopewell Chin’ono was charged in court today and is again in custody tonight. He’s consistently spoken out about corruption in #Zimbabwe. I’m concerned about the signals the case against him sends to journalists here.#defendmediafreedom #protecthumanrights
— Melanie Robinson (@HMAMelanieR) November 5, 2020
What is to be done?
Currently, millions of Zimbabweans live abroad. Sadly, only these people, the educated and financially better off Zimbabweans can make a difference. Firstly, by stopping the monthly remittances to family thus preventing income of foreign currency. Secondly, to ensure they are eligible to vote against the current government and go home for elections. Only Zimbabweans can change their government.
Imagine if we had diaspora vote,
Vote by mail,
And an electoral commission with integrity.
It can happen in Zimbabwe.
We need a revolution.#ZanupfMustGo
— Thandekile Moyo (@Mamoxn) November 6, 2020
Meanwhile, Zimbabweans rely on the brave few to voice their concerns. Furthermore, the treatment meted out to the brave gives rise to terror. Importantly, the war for freedom from colonialism was financed by China and Russia. Since then, China continues to take the mineral wealth, backed by ZANU-PF. Consequently, the only option is to go home and vote in the next election. After all, there is not enough jail space for everyone.
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