Monday, May 15, 2006

Cross Posted on Global Voices Online

Zimbabwe:A whirlwind tour of Europe by Arthur Mutambara the leader of the "pro-senate" faction of Zimbabwe's oppposition the MDC was the center of the nation's largest "cyber controversies" over the last two weeks. In an attempt to reach out to Zimbabweans in the diaspora, Mutambara, the robotics scholar-cum-politician stumbled into the center of diasporans' sharply divided opinions of him.

It all started after Mutambara addressed what turned out to be a poorly attended rally on his first leg through the UK in Manchester and online newspaper Zimdaily posted a citizen authored report from a Zimbabwean who had attended the rally claiming,
I have always read contrasting news in many publications on, Mutambara, Mugabe and Tsvangirai and didn’t know what to believe. As to whether Arthur is popular or not I don’t know but, certainly he didn’t draw any crowd in Manchester and i bet our boozers team (Zimbabwe Saints) of Moston Cemetery Park draws huge crowds than Mutambara and guess what, this was right on a bank holiday weekend only 35 Zimbabweans turn up when thousands live in the same area.
This in response to reports by NewZimbabwe and Zimbabwe Journalists claiming the rally had drawn an attendence of over 300 people.

What followed in the comments of the Zimdaily post was an impressive barrage of opinions from Zimbabweans on either side of the Mutambara divide which impressed Enough is Enough
This is a milestone in Zimbawe’s journey towards democracy. Zimbabweans care about the politics of their country. They have opinions, and want to have a say about what’s going on. Most importantly, Zimbabweans in the diaspora are showing that they care deeply despite their physical absence from home.The internet is the next frontier were the Zimbabwean battle will play out and there ordinary Zimbos will have their say.
When Mutambara returned to the UK for a second rally, the rally was under close scrutiny. Zimdaily liveblogged the event complete with video clips here.

Meanwhile back in Zimbabwe the controversial interception of communications bill faced increasing opposition as Reporters Without Borders released a statement condemning the proposed. The bill also came under fire at the 39th session of the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Sokwanele announced the "Dignity. Period!" campaign.

Burundi: On the ninth annivesary of the Buta massacre, RW calls for "Justice for the Victims of Buta."

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