Zimbabwean Lives Matter hashtag forces reaction from Ada, Lecrae, UN & more
Protests against economic woes, arrests and human rights abuses in Zimbabwe have moved online with a hashtag that plays on the #BlackLivesMatter Movement.
The Zimbabwean Lives Matter hashtag was launched last week after security forces blocked a street demonstration. It highlights the success of the global movement that condemns racial injustice and gained popularity after the police assassination of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota in May.
The online campaign resulted in more than 700,000 tweets on Tuesday, including from outside the country, sports personalities and celebrities. Those who have endorsed the hashtag include Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira, South Africa’s Rugby World Cup winner from Zimbabwe, Cassper Nyovest,, one of South Africa’s top pop stars, and Pearl Thusi, who Starred in Africa’s first Netflix film, Queen Sono. Nigerian Gospel singer Ada Ehi also shared a tweet saying:
“Black Lives Matter? Which ones? Blacks in the USA only or Everywhere? Zimbabwe don’t loose hope, You deserve More, Better…#ZimbabweanlivesMatter“
Also Gospel rapper Lecrae has shown his support for the movement tweeting:
“Prayers and solidarity for my family in #Zimbabwe”
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has called the organized street protest “an insurrection” to overthrow his administration. In a televised speech on Tuesday, he said “dark forces” inside and outside the country were undermining the economic recovery.
“Bad apples who have tried to divide our people and weaken our system will be flushed out,” he said.
Zimbabwe is facing an economic crisis with 737% inflation, food and fuel shortages and a falling currency. According to Zimbabwe’s human rights lawyers, at least 60 people have been arrested for protesting in the Southern African country, including the 2020 Book Prize-winning novelist Susie Dangarimbga.
Government spokesman Nick Mangwana said the state’s primary role is to protect its citizens and it has never been less than its responsibility.
Following the Zimbabwean Lives Matter protest on social media, The UN Secretary General António Guterres has responded to the protest saying that he “urges the Government of Zimbabwe to ensure the protection of all fundamental human rights, notably the freedom of opinion and expression and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.”
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