Can a social media movement enact real change?
The people of Zimbabwe say they are fed up. For weeks, citizens from across the African nation have held demonstrations to protest the worsening economy, bad governance and corruption. Many believe it is time for a change and are demanding a new form of government. Evan Mawarire, a pastor, launched a social media campaign in May using the hashtag #ThisFlag. Draped in the flag of Zimbabwe, he expressed frustration at the state of the nation. The video went viral and a movement was born. Mawarire was arrested and charged with treason, but has since been released.
Meanwhile, protestors have participated in demonstrations that led to complete closures of schools, businesses and shops throughout Zimbabwe. As one activist put it, “Social media has opened democratic space where we can directly confront officials and disseminate information quickly.” So what’s next? Can this social media movement bring about actual change? Join the conversation at 1930 GMT.
On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Jacquelin Kataneksza @ZaklinyK
Contributor, Africa Is A Country
Alex Magaisa @Wamagaisa
Law lecturer, University of Kent
Psychology Maziwisa @Hon_Maziwisa
Member of Parliament, Highfield West, (ZANU PF)
Farai Moyo (not real name) @concernedZimcit
Concerned Zimbabwean citizen
What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.