Celebrities have taken to social platforms to express their concern over the alleged human rights abuses in Zimbabwe prior and post the anti-government protest last week which was blocked by security forces since it was not cleared.
This has sparked a #ZimbabweanLivesMatter campaign demanding the release of investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, human rights activists and opposition figures who are being arrested, intimidated and assaulted in the country. It’s also calling for the end of human rights abuses in the southern African nation.
“#ZimbabweanLivesMatter For years South Africa has been accused of ‘Quiet Diplomacy” when it comes to political affairs in Zimbabwe. Conditions continue to deteriorate, citizens flee to other countries to seek a better life. Zimbabwe, You deserve the dignity you are fighting for,” South African writer, poet, journalist and radio presenter Khanyi Magubane wrote on twitter.
“The situation has reached a point where all Zimbabweans regardless of political affiliation, race, or religion need to sit down and say how can we make Zimbabwe better. Human rights must be respected COMPLETELY. #Zimbabweanlivesmatter,” Zimbabwean broadcaster Sam Mussa, better known by her stage name MisRed tweeted.
Rapper AKA tweeted: “Sending love to the megacy in Zimbabwe. I hope y’all good. I would say, ‘I’m praying for you’ but that’s a bit overdone. I’d rather just say you’re on my mind, and I hope you will be victorious soon.”
“Imagine your fellow Africans are too busy focused on #BLM happening 15,000km away to care about those very same black lives next door. Black is King my a**. Stay strong Zimbabwe,” he wrote.
“My prayers this weekend have been with those that have been tortured and arrested in the intended peaceful protests back home. Constitution rights should not be criminalized!! #FreeZimbabweans Flag of Zimbabwe,” Tendai Mtawarira tweeted.
The Economic Freedom Fighters political party advised the government to focus on protecting human rights and end “state-sanctioned” violence against citizens. Critics accuse the authorities of clamping down on dissent under the guise of enforcing anti-Covid-19 lockdown rules.
However, the police and government officials have repeatedly denied allegations of human rights abuses, saying those arrested or being sought by the police were inciting people to revolt against the current regime.