The goal of protesting is usually to force and push for change. Zimbabwean youths in the town of Kadoma planted banana trees and grass in potholes as a way of protesting the bad roads. The youth activists are members of Vision Africa Initiative in Zimbabwe. The activists, fed up with poor service delivery, and the potholes in their community decided to be creative in their activism.
According to RhizeUp, a global community that supports and connects nonviolent social movements to re-imagine and build inclusive, peaceful democratic societies, the city officials were embarrassed by the planting of banana trees and grass.
The initiative was led by Admire Marufu, Mathias Rwakonda, Trinity Matendere, Lawyer Chikwangani, David Njira and Herbert Makoni of Vision Africa. The police summoned the members of the initiative but later released them without charge.
Almost immediately, after the protest, the roads were fixed. Kadoma Municipality is now rehabilitating most of its roads after residents protested by planting trees in potholes.
Youth Leaders in Kadoma summoned by Law & Order CID Section tomorrow; over their action to the Council to mend dilapidated Roads #OpenSpace @NAYOZimbabwe @DougColtart @CatrionaLaing1 @OpenParlyZw @HealZim @NAYOZimbabwe @cdegwenzi @bvtatrust @BAMutingwende @TrinityMatender pic.twitter.com/VmD6ZoQMND
— Open Space (@OpenSpaceZW) March 2, 2018
Vision Africa said, “We thank the City Council of Kadoma for hearing our plea by fixing the road.” They also thanked also the various organisations such as the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, and the National Association of Youth Organisations for their solidarity.
The brilliance of the protest has been hailed by many on social media. However, such forms of protest can only work because the local government was embarrassed and pressed to act. In countries where local governments simply ignore the pleas of protesters, creative forms of protests such as the one employed in Kadoma, Zimbabwe are needed.
its victory for us the road was fixed after our action you can see for yourself @DougColtart @NAYOZimbabwe @OpenSpaceZW @povonewsafrica @CitManifesto @NAYOZimbabwe @GondoGizim @kubatana @263Chat @ComradeBomba @cotradinfo @ACTIVISTA_ZW pic.twitter.com/N8lB9fJzO1
— Vision Africa Zim (@VisionAfricaZim) March 3, 2018