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.


10 African Films That Deal With Protest Culture & History

African countries have a long history of protests and demonstrations against forces of oppression, and this has been represented significantly in cinema.

Around the world, Nigerians in the diaspora have picked up the mantle of protesting peacefully against police brutality and violence. These gatherings are a direct extension of the nationwide protests that were brought to a tragic halt in Lagos after soldiers of the Nigerian army fired guns at peaceful protesters at the Lekki tollgate venue.

African countries have a long history of protests and demonstrations against forces of oppression and this has been represented significantly in cinema. This list, while not an exhaustive one, attempts to contextualize this rich cinematic history, tracing the complex and diverse ways that protest culture have been reflected in African film. From influential classics that are now considered required viewing to fascinating portraits of individual resistance, these films are proof that the struggle continues, regardless.

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