July 7 2021 , Africa Meetup

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Africa Meetups

Date: NEW DATE Wednesday, July 14th

Time: 3pm UTC+2 / CAT

Who: Facilitated by Tawanda from Digital Society of Africa

Where: BigBlueButton link will be shared in the following rooms on the IFF Mattermost one or two hours before the start of the meeting: Sub-Saharian Africa.

Notes: Please put notes here: https://pad.riseup.net/p/africa-meetup

Countries Represented: - Uganda - Kenya - South Africa - Sudan - Zimbabwe - Nigeria - Swaziland

1. Swaziland Protests - What's actually happening? What are the citizens doing, what triggered all this, is there a way forward, who is to blame and naturally how can we help? - Mary Pais from the Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Network shared whats happening in depth especially as she has been a frontliner in Swaziland.

Summary Points

ANALYSIS | Eswatini, Africa's last absolute monarchy, reaches a point of no return https://www.news24.com/news24/analysis/analysis-eswatini-africas-last-absolute-monarchy-reaches-a-point-of-no-return-20210715

Eswatini representatives of civil society organizations, political parties, business, in particular indigenous business and concerned citizens as convened by the Swaziland/Eswatini Crisis Multi-Stakeholder Forum, articulated their decisive position regarding the convening of the Sibaya meeting by the King on Friday July 16, 2021.

At the meeting held today (July 14, 2021) at Tums Waterworld, the meeting noted that:  The King summoned the nation to the Kraal, despite being aware of the planned national march by all citizens of Eswatini on Friday, 16 July 2021 in Manzini.

 The call by the King, is a ploy to mislead SADC TROIKA into believing we are a dialogue driven nation and to create an impression that the national authorities do engage the people on issues of national importance, which is not the case.

 The call of the Sibaya meeting is a means to distract the advanced preparations of the MARCH for ‘Change and Justice’ by the people through their legitimate organisations.

 The national authorities have been silent about the massacre which took place 2 weeks ago, resulting in the death of over 70 Swazis and crippling hundreds, many of whom are still in hospitals which lack basic medical facilities and equipment.

 Throughout the injuries, burials and pain suffered by the nation, there was no remorse nor assistance from the government, hence, the people have lost confidence in the leadership of the King and the Tinkhundla governance system.

 Sibaya was a super spreader of COVID-19 as was experienced during the last Incwala ceremony where many lost their lives. It is highly irresponsible to expose the people to the existing conditions of the confined kraal, for the anticipated hours in a situation where there is still a total absence of vaccines in the country.

 The nation was forced to adhere to a curfew citing COVID-19, so it is not understood why the King would be an exception to this regulation by summoning people to the kraal. What is more, Government banned the nation from legitimately delivering petitions to their elected representatives in the various Tinkhundla.

In light of the above, the meeting resolved that:  The planned MARCH for ‘Change and Justice’ by citizens of Eswatini, in Manzini on Friday July 16, 2021 will continue as planned. The march aims to reiterate the demands of the people for a genuine, honest and all-inclusive dialogue, to honour the deceased comrades and to show solidarity to the mourning families and friends.

 It has been proven over the years that Sibaya has no significant value in shaping the destiny of the country and as a people. There is absolutely no reason to suggest that this time, the meeting will be better. We have long lost hope on the efficacy of Sibaya as a meaningful process except as a political chess game.

 We are ready to engage the SADC TROIKA on the 5 historical demands that were reaffirmed by the PPA leadership as well as the broad spectrum of civil society which remain the foundation for a peaceful, long-lasting solution for the future of this nation.

More reference links to the talking points shared by Mary are below: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-07-06-new-evidence-confirms-allegations-of-murder-and-torture-by-eswatini-military-and-police/






2. #FreeZuma or #DemLoot: South Africa has just turned into something now from a peak of Covid19 cases to #FreeZuma protests to now people looting. Zamatungwa Mbeki gave us an update on what's actually happening . Is this still a protest or something else?

Summary Points

- Former president of SA, Jacob Zuma in summary failed to be present during his court hearings and also failed to follow court procedures i.e. not using proper channels or documentation to support his position. This being said, he eventually had to hand himself to the police after a warrant of arrest was issued.

- After his arrest there were peaceful protests that started in the KZN province but these were short lived as they shiftly turned into burning of haulage trucks on the major highways.

- Within a day these 'protests' turned into looting from major malls and warehouses especially in KZN province and some parts of Gauteng. Burning of shops and buildings was also on a rise.

- Question asked: - Any comments of the SANDF operations? how are they going? The South African National Defense Force, was eventually deployed to calm things down only after a few days. This positively slowed down and stopped looting in some parts of the country.

- Is there a genuine conversation about inequalities or is the middle class uninvolved while other people are in the streets The issues around inequality have always been there in the country and yes you will see that most of the people who are looting are the people who are struggling but there have been reports and evidence too of middle/high class people looting too. Several videos and pictures have been shared of such.

Conversations can be done but the main issue here is how these inequalities can be dealt with especially in a country were corruption is on a high, the rich are becoming richer whilst the poor get poorer and being in the Covid19 pandemic era also where jobs were lost by many is not even helping the situation. People are hungry and this might have also made things escalate from a peaceful protest to burning of trucks to looting.

More reference links to the talking points shared by Zama are below:





3. Nigeria #TwitterBan for what, for who , are we saying in Nigeria people can't use Twitter or what. Aumarh a holistic security specialist gave us a quick update on what's actually happening in Nigeria.

YES! It is VERY true, there is a ban of the use of Twitter in the country:

How did it all start:

On the 1st of June, 2021, President Muhamadu Buhari made a tweet, understood to be referring to and threatening the southeastern secessionists in Nigeria.

The tweet read, Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.

This then sparked alot of debate and talk which then eventually made the Ministry of Information and Culture to ban the use of Twitter. For more details please refer to: https://www.lawhub.com.ng/twitter-ban-in-nigeria-what-happened-current-state-of-things/

What then happened: - Media Organisations published a joint statement: https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALeKk02HmmQavaN9UtcY5dn-mg26HXXY-Q:1626268958379&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=june+12+nigerian+newspaper+frontpage&client=firefox-b-d&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjSxcr80-LxAhUryoUKHS6uAh0Q7Al6BAghEA8&biw=1138&bih=650#imgrc=bw6nrJwzffUoZM

- People then started to use VPNs to enable them to Tweet

- Supported the #KeepItOn Campaign by AccessNow

Questions Asked:

   - What has twitter itself said about the ban. Are they working to provide alternative ways to engage with Nigerians?
   Twitter has not made an official statement to respond to the ban, however folks had said the next update after the ban made changes to location and allowed some Nigerians to get on twitter without VPN. 
   - Has there been any prosecutions of Twitter users in Nigeria?
   Not at the moment. The AG who had released the statement about prosecuting Nigerians who continue to use twitter was caught using a VPN so there has been silence since then.  There is also the issue of buhari goverment enforcing the controversial ban on Twitter with wider regulations reining in the press and social media companies.
   - Have you also partnered with orgs like TunnelBear, Psphion etc within the Internet Freedom community?
   Yes, some of us activists are using tunnelbear but most Nigerians use ExpressVpn and NordVpn.  Also TunnelBear gives Nigerians 10GB every month.

More reference links to the talking points shared by Aumarh are below: https://www.techcityng.com/twitter-ban-in-nigeria-what-you-need-to-know/