Shut Down – The Long Elusive Game Changer

By Nkosana Dlamini

HISTORY will record Wednesday July 6, 2016 as the day Zimbabweans took a stand against tyranny, corruption, hunger, among other ills that have been associated with the current Zanu PF led regime.

Granted, the national shutdown was not of the scale of the 2011 Arab Spring which brought down some of North Africa’s most dreaded dictators, it was nonetheless enough to remind occupants of Munhumutapa Building the nation could not take any more tomfoolery by grown men.

The shutdown was obeyed in many urban areas and we wonder what could be more successful.

The government propaganda machinery, which would usually assume overdrive mode during such periods, for once, stuttered, and was left clutching at straws.

What was more palpable was the power of a nation speaking with one single, loud voice, without even invading the streets to throw stones.

Even earth-shattering was that the shutdown was, for once, organised by forces different from the traditional rubble rousers in the opposition.

The masses have for the past few years placed their hopes for change in traditional opposition but now the game is different.

The young people, who were probably six years old when these parties were formed are now regrouping and organising.

The Tajamuka and Occupy Africa Unity Square movements are central to the success of the stay away and have gained confidence after the 6 July success.

We can only expect more from this new generation and if only political parties could borrow from these young men and women, the energy and honesty, to build a truly people based resistance, one that does not place self ego ahead at the expense of real mobilisation.

The youth have shown that there is no monopoly over the struggle for a better Zimbabwe and it’s a warning for trade Unions and political parties sitting in the comfort zones while Zimbabwe burns.

For once, one can sleep in the full knowledge that Robert Mugabe and his co-conspirators in the current national decay now know of the hazards lying ahead if they continued to take people for granted.

For crying out loud, Mugabe has arrogantly given a blind eye to high level corruption by his cronies.

He has a trove of evidence linking his cabinet ministers, security commanders to massive corruption which has hemorrhaged the country of its scarce resources and if it takes initiatives such as the Wednesday shutdown for him to realise the need for action, one can only wish for more similar action.

And by the way, it is very refreshing it is to welcome Chris Mutsvangwa, Acie Lumumba – and, did you imagine that – to the side of the masses who have long been grumbling against tyranny.

After all, the more the merrier!

But in embracing this new crop of comrades in the struggle of the masses, Zimbabweans should not lose sight of that they could be using different lexicons in understanding the word – tyranny.

Because for some in our midst, it could be sour grapes taking control.


We salute the masses for a principled, non violent stand.

Here is the game changer!