Zimbabwe’s 2016 year in review: Hashtags, protests & bond notes

By Daniel Chigundu 

Some said 2016 was the year of exams since we were coming from 2015 which was dubbed the year of learning (gore rezvidzidzo), others however said it was the year of hunger in reference to the climate change induced drought that was reported by government.

The creative ones used Zex Manatsa’s gore renzara video in trying to justify their case.

However, in our view while we went through the various challenges to justify the exam tag and even the drought to justify the hunger tag, we think 2016 should go down as the year of Zvihuta (quails).

These little birds did really make some noise and even exposed the sick amongst us who went after the perceived healing powers of tiny, but expensive quail eggs.

Quails caused a scene not only on social media platforms, in the streets, residential areas but remarkably found themselves being discussed in Parliament, with a minister and a whole Vice President taking time to discuss these small birds.

So every time we will remember 2016, surely it will be an act of injustice and sabotage not to remember these tiny birds.

Away from the little birds, the year 2016 could still go down as one of the most volatile years in the history of the country on the social, economic and political front. 

MDC-T President Morgan Tsvangirai rekindled the spirit of demonstrations that had been forgotten in the country when he led a back to back demonstration in Harare and Bulawayo against the introduction of Bond Notes and biting economic hardships.

The demonstration was followed by “Beat the Pot” protest that was led by MDC-T Vice President Thokozani Khupe in conjunction with several women’s organisations in Bulawayo. The protest according to Khupe was a message to government that the poverty and suffering being experienced in the country was affecting women the most.

Prayer Network Zimbabwe (PNZ) also took to the street to demonstrate against Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Lazarus Dokora for introducing the National School Pledge, banning the popular Lord’s Prayer and barring The Gideons from distributing their bibles in schools.

In 2016, Zimbabwe saw the rise of social movements, taking advantage of such social media platforms as facebook, twitter and Whatsapp, the movements are now popularly referred to as the #Hashtag movements.

Hashtag movements sprouted mostly after the success of exiled Pastor Evan Mawarire’s #ThisFlag campaign on twitter which he used to shutdown the country in a way that shocked government.

2016 also saw the introduction of the proposed Computer Crime and Cyber Crime Bill which has received wide condemnation, from those who understand it and those that do not know what it talks about. 

We cannot wrap the best moments of 2016 without mentioning Sten Zvorwadza the self-styled board chairperson of National Vendors Unions of Zimbabwe (NaVUZ).

Zvorwadza together with #Tajamuka ensured that police were kept in the streets from morning till evening with their sporadic demonstrations.

The NaVUZ boss, caused police headaches and sleepless nights with his heroic acts of bravery to the extent that he has written a petition the UN Security Council appealing to them to ban ZRP from peace missions.

While many things worth mentioning happened in 2016, our kudos goes to MDC-T officials who requested the escort of Police Band in their demonstrations against police brutality.

We cap 2016 however with the news of three MDC-T officials who have been jailed 20 years for alleged murder of a police officer.

To the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Dr. John Mangudya, we say congratulations for winning the war on Bond Notes; we hear people are actually clamouring for more.

Lest we forget, President Mugabe in his State of the Nation Address, advised us to pray to God that he graciously open the heavens and give us more rains.

However we close the year with no news of civil servants bonuses, the Finance Minister was mum about the issue in his 2017 Budget statement.

Did we miss any highlight from the year. Share with us in the comments section.

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