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Zimbabwe: Bloggers invade mainstream media

With the world's eyes focused on events in Zimbabwe, the country's blogosphere has come of age over the last two weeks. Zimbabwe's bloggers have claimed their rightful place among the leading re-tellers of the Zimbabwean story.

All of last week, popular group blog This is Zimbabwe was the guest blog featured on Sky NewsInsider Blog. In their introduction to the week long feature, Sky News explains why Zimbabwean bloggers are a critical source of information thus;

What is life is like in a country where any sign of dissent or defiance to the Government can result in beatings or jail? Where media is either state-owned or regulated? And where blogging is dangerous.

All this week the Sky News Insider Blog comes from inside Zimbabwe – where activists hoping for democracy are beaten or killed; where HIV/AIDS is rife; where life expectancy is low.

Many of Zimbabwe's bloggers are living the experience that the rest of the world only hears about.

In this article titled Bloggers turn up heat on Zimbabwe, the BBC takes notice of a variety of perspectives on the Zimbabwean crisis coming from the country's bloggers. Another Zimbabwean blogger, Zimpundit was interviewed by the BBC, and made several appearances on their World update program.

Angry about South Africa's complicit role in the prevailing crisis in the country, the aforementioned This is Zimbabwe have posted this telling cartoon following the appointment of Thabo Mbeki as the mediator of Zimbabwe crisis.Sokwanele cartoon

At Kubatana blogs, this post titled “Under the cover of darkness,” describes the reality on the ground in Zimbabwe yesterday

Zimbabweans who ventured out of home this Sunday morning will have been greeted by the front page news in The Standard of more officially sanctioned violence by members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).

What they wouldn’t know at this juncture is that all 9 detainees bludgeoned whilst in police custody and ordered off to hospital by the presiding magistrate, were last night abducted around 11pm from their hospital beds. An army doctor and a clutch of men in the ubiquitous blue uniforms of youth militia forced the injured into prison garb and dragged them off to destinations not known at this stage. Why? Under what authority were they acting?

Ostensibly our law enforcement agents are trying to bring the perpetrators of a series of petrol bombing incidents to book. They must do this at 11pm at night?

In a normal democracy, there is a separation of powers to ensure that no single arm of governance overreaches its authority. In a normal democracy the police would be out of line. But here they have been given carte blanche to do whatever it takes to beat Zimbabwe’s citizens into submission.

Now, according to the public face presented by SADC’s leaders, Zimbabwe’s democracy is functioning within the norms set by the region.

Zimbabwe:Outpost of Tyranny has a post about a motion introduced in the U.S. congress condemning Zimbabwe.

The bearded man posts multiple updates everyday.

3 comments

  • This can’t be the only side of the tale. Surely there are many bloggers in Zimbabwe who are supportive of Zimbabwean policies. I am suspicious of such a seemingly orchestrated effort to influence public opinion by these bloggers, who are mostly disgruntled people inside or outside of the country (I dare say, most of them outside the country).

  • kudzai

    I am living in Zimbabwe. We can not be in denial of the reality that is happenig here. Yes, the beatings and abductions do happen. There is a lot of fear among the people but our lives are continuing. What can I say, wellcome to Africa.

  • kudzai

    Personally I support most of the government policies just not the manner they are being carried out in. The farm issue and the new company laws are all just ways to empower the people. After all what did our ancestors fight for, I don’t see how any nation can claim independence if it’s people do not own anything or have anything to show for it. The haphazard and corrupt way these policies have been reduced to are the main causes of our problems.

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