Photo by Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP) (Photo by JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP via Getty Images.

A crowd gathered after the arrival of Zimbabwean opposition leader of the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) Alliance, Nelson Chamisa, at the Morgan Tsvangirai House, the party headquarters, in Harare, on November 20, 2019. - Nelson Chamisa was due to address party supporters in his Hope of the Nation Address (HONA). The public address was blocked by riot police who beat up several people as they dispersed MDC supporters and other curious onlookers.

SADC Meeting Leaves Zimbabwe Crisis Off African Union Summit Agenda

SADC failed to address the current Zimbabwe crisis and instead welcomed President Emmerson Mnangagwa to the four-day summit.

The Southern African Development Community recently held a four-day consortium to consider agenda items for the forthcoming African Union summit and the current Zimbabwe crisis does not feature on the agenda. President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who chairs the troika (which is responsible for promoting peace and security in the SADC region) was in attendance. This comes days after President Cyril Ramaphosa sent an envoy with parliamentary speaker Baleka Mbete to meet with Mnangagwa amid violent political demonstrations and mass arrests.

Read: #ZimbabweanLivesMatter: Calls for African Union to Respond to Zimbabwean Government's Violence Against Citizens Strengthen

"The envoys brought in their message, which was duly delivered to the host president. In return they received a briefing from President Mnangagwa. The reciprocal messages are the property of the respecting leaders and it is their prerogative as to how they can be handled or disseminated," Zimbabwe's Information Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, stated before Zimbabwe attended the SADC meeting on Friday, August 13th.

During the SADC meeting, President Mnangagwa reportedly stated that "there is no crisis" and that news outlets had been inflating ongoing political unrest.

Political unrest in Zimbabwe has been ongoing following the arrest of investigative journalist Hopewell Chin'ono who exposed the Zanu-PF led government's coronavirus corruption scandal. Zimbabwean activists wrote a public letter to the African Union earlier in the year condemning the arrest. Citizens planned for mass protests to take place at the end of July against government's violation of human rights and silencing of journalists but police forces disrupted the mass gatherings culminating in multiple arrests including that of Booker Prize Nominee Tsitsi Dangarembga.

As a result, Zimbabwean Lives Matter has been trending on Twitter, the African Diaspora in both America and the UK have been involved in raising the alarm which has led to calls for the African Union to intervene.

While President Ramaphosa, chair of the African Union, sent a South African envoy to Zimbabwe, other political players such as the MDC were excluded from meeting with the delgeation. The MDC Alliance accused Mnangagwa of preventing the envoys from hearing from them in a recent statement. Mnangagwa also reportedly called the Zimbabwe crisis "driven by falsehoods". Further details of the meeting were not publicly released.

Mnangagwa is expected to hand over the chairmanship of troika to Botswana's President Mokgweetsi Masisi as the consortium comes to an end today.


6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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