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Are Zimbabwe's Emerging Social Movements Overrated?

By Khanyile Mlotshwa

Bulawayo, November 30, 2016 – THE national shutdown on July 6 this year remains an important milestone in Zimbabwean politics.

This is not only because it shocked the ruling Zanu PF party, but because it shocked all political parties involved in Zimbabwean politics.

The failed bond notes demonstration on Friday 18 November and lately November 30, has proven beyond doubt that even groups like Tajamuka and #thisflag, fronted by exiled Pastor Evans Mawarire, were wrongly touted as the leaders of the July 6, 2016 stayaway.

In a context where people, including journalists, are used to the idea that politics is only possible within political parties or civil society circles, it is, in fact the state media that anointed Pastor Mawarire as the demigod of the July 6, 2016 act of civil resistance.

But in the fullness of time, that has been proven a fallacy.

The success of the July 6, 2016 stay away belongs to the articulation of the discontent of the civil servants, public transport operators and other informal workers – in the form of vendors of all kinds.

It marked a day when Zimbabweans, both the so-called middle class and those at the margins, proved

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