When you think of Zimbabwe, chances are you are not likely to think of it as a country with the highest literacy rate (90% of the population) in Africa. No, you are likely to think of a country under the grip of the strongman President Robert Mugabe, who has been ruling since 1980.
Though the premonition of the late political scientist Masipula Sithole who once said that by spreading education across Zimbabwe, President Mugabe was in fact “digging his own grave.” The youths in Zimbabwe though educated, the authoritarian and dictatorial rule of Mugabe, which has been perpetuated through uncanny violent thwarting of opposition and dissent, have not been galvanized enough force to resist their president.
In each presidential elections held in the Zimbabwe since Mugabe lost a referendum in 2000. The exercise has been marred by electoral malpractices and violence aimed at oppressing the opposition and their supporters. The international election observers have consistently claimed the elections (2002, 2008, 2013) were not free and fair.
Mugabe is accused of abusing the powers of the Presidency and using State Machinery to continue holding office illegitimately. The country is set to go for another round of presidential elections in 2018, and the Mugabe has announced he will run for another term in office.
Political observers and the majority of Zimbabweans are of the view, if the election could be free and fair, Mugabe will not see himself reelected for another term. However, the reality of the situation is, Mugabe will reelect himself by abusing State Machinery and the powers of the Presidency.
There is, however, a brewing revolution on social media by mostly the youths who want to take back their country and see it prosper again. Under the hashtags, #ThisFlag and #Shevotes2018, a social media movement is garnering up support to see Robert Mugabe out of office come the 2018 presidential election.
Under these hashtags, Zimbabweans are also voicing their discontentment with other organs of the Mugabe administration. The following is a short sample of some of the tweets Zimbabweans are making:
— ZIMBABWE HAS DECIDED (@BMahlanguLive) April 27, 2017
Today at 11am we the citizen movements are issuing a joint statement about the crisis in our nation. Power is in a United people #ThisFlag
— #ThisFlag E Mawarire (@PastorEvanLive) May 2, 2017
Who Will Be Zimbabwe’s John Magufuli? #ThisFlag
— Nkosilathi (@colinmakams) May 2, 2017
— garie.tunhira (@garietunhira) May 2, 2017
— howard ketero (@HKetero) May 2, 2017
— Zenzele (@zenzele) May 2, 2017
— ZHRO (@ZHRO_Zimbabwe) May 2, 2017
— Lameck waStembeni (@zimleague) April 30, 2017
— Alice Hill (@Alice_S_Hill) April 22, 2017