The Zimbabwe African People’s Solidarity Network (ZAPSON), a new social movement group based in Johannesburg, South Africa, has launched the Zimbabwe Solitary Day meant to highlight the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe.
The solidarity day will be held every last Friday of the month at different cities across the continent.
The spokesperson of the social movement’s central volunteer team, Msongelwa Ndlovu, said the social movement is a “fluid network of African activists who believe that Zimbabwean problems are Africa’s problems.”
“We acknowledge that there is a crisis in Zimbabwe,” he said.
“We seek to put the challenges facing Zimbabwe at the agenda of every African forum, movement or union worth its name. To that end we seek continent wide support towards declaring that, unless otherwise stated, the last Friday of every month from August 2020 to July 2021 shall be Zimbabwe Solidarity Day.
“This declaration will see civic and political activists across Africa engaging in Zimbabwe solidarity protests in their own countries.”
Ndlovu said the Zimbabwe Solidarity Day will be organised under the theme: Africa in Solidarity with the People of Zimbabwe.
“We envisage that the inaugural Zimbabwe Solidarity Day will be hosted in South Africa on Friday 28 August 2020,” he said.
“Subsequent Zimbabwe Solidarity Days will be hosted rotationally across African countries and regions. Where deemed appropriate, Zimbabwe Solidarity Day may be scheduled to coincide with key national events like the official opening of Parliament, a national holiday or other such days.
“There being no such key event in the host country, Zimbabwe Solidarity Day shall be on the last Friday of the designated month. Thus, a coordination mechanism within identified host countries shall be established.”
Ndlovu said the major aim of this day is to bring spotlight to the situation in the country.
“We want to put the plight of the people of Zimbabwe on the agenda of discussions across the African continent,” he said.
“Solidarity activities associated with Zimbabwe Solidarity Day may include, for faith based or religious groupings, the declaration of the last day of worship every month as their Zimbabwe Solidarity Day and modelling their theology in a manner that encourages their membership to wish Zimbabwe well.”
In terms of regalia, Ndlovu said, the events could include the wearing of khaki prison garb and other prison regalia in solidarity with all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Zimbabwe.
“It may also include the wearing of material branded with the prevalent hash tags such as #ZimbabweanLivesMatter, #ZANUPFmustgo in solidarity with Zimbabweans who are not allowed to do so,” he said.
“There may also be protests, either as group or solo protests in solidarity with those that are not allowed to protest within Zimbabwe, attending to their normal business with pockets out in solidarity with the working people of Zimbabwe whose incomes are eroded by runaway inflation leaving their pockets empty within a few days.”