A new protest movement known as #ThisFlag is gaining momentum in Zimbabwe after one of the biggest stayaways in cities for a decade on 6 July. At the head of #ThisFlag is Evan Mawarire, a 39-year-old pastor who launched a social media campaign in April to make Zimbabweans proud of their country again.
the latest economic crisis bites harder, this raises the prospect of a
powerful wave of anti-government action across the country. Activists
were encouraged by the start of a strike by doctors, teachers and
nurses on 5 July over the delayed payment of last month's salaries. The
day minicab drivers clashed with police over bribery at checkpoints.
And on 1 July, activists burned down a bonded warehouse at Beitbridge
near the border with South Africa
to protest against new import bans
introduced by the government.
These signs of deepening political
trouble were at the centre of the conference organised by Africa
Confidential on 5 July in London – Zimbabwe: Rebooting and
which brought together a range of figures from the government, the
opposition, business and civil society. Finance Minister Patrick
Chinamasa insisted the government's plan to clear its arrears
international financial institutions was going ahead and there was no
plan B. Yet former Finance Minister and opposition leader Tendai Biti
said that there would have to be a transitional government to restore
public confidence and implement reforms.