ICTs and Political Activism - a Zimbabwean Experience

Posted by MarkWeingarten on Mar 08, 2011
ICTs and Political Activism - a Zimbabwean Experience data sheet 1174 Views
Burrell, Brenda
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper
Publication Date: 
Dec 2010

To counter the Zimbabwean government’s tight grip over the traditional media, activists integrated old fashioned tactics of leaflets, graffiti, and small covert meetings with electronic media: short wave radio, pocket sized video cameras, digital cameras, fax machines, the Internet and email.

An early adopter of this mix of ICTs was Kubatana.net, a locally based non-profit which became an important aggregator of civic and human rights information on Zimbabwe. Its free online archive, established in 2001, offered articles, reports, documents and interviews with much of the information sourced from local civic organisations and international watch dogs. Its electronic NGO directory made civil society organisations accessible at a time when contact details were extremely fluid. Its email newsletter mailing list kept thousands of ordinary Zimbabweans regularly informed of events, opportunities and newly added resources to the web site. And its early adoption of SMS proved crucial to keeping Zimbabweans informed during the critical 2008 elections.

Calling in for Content: Freedom Fone

Posted by PrabhasPokharel on Sep 14, 2009

(This is part of a series of posts reporting on mobile media project from Highway Africa 2009 and Digital Citizen Indaba 4.0. Both were held in Grahamstown, South Africa, September 2009).

Brenda Burrell of Kubatana.net in Zimbabwe runs Freedom Fone, an audio tool for information services. She presented Freedom Fone in a workshop titled “Bringing down the barriers: Interactive audio programming and mobile phones” at Digital Citizen Indaba 4.0.

FreedomFone comes from the desire to deliver information to “those who need it most,” people with simple phones without GPRS connections. Freedom Fone integrates a content management system (such as Drupal) with information services via SMS and voice.

SMS as Alternative Media in Elections

Posted by admin on Apr 07, 2008

As the standoff in Zimbabwe continues after the election a week ago, mobile phones are used as a vital communication tool to disseminate news and information - sometimes to the point of jamming the networks. We have previously written about how jokes are used as a way of political expression. Dumisani Ndlela, in Zimbabwe, writes about this as well, and how the networks are overloaded with both messages from abroad and with the county. She also describes the jokes circulating:

MobileActive07 Preview! Mobiles as Alternative Media in Zimbabwe

Posted by CorinneRamey on Nov 17, 2007

MobileActive07 is quickly approaching, and as we get ready, we bring you a series of sneak peaks of some of the interesting people, projects, and technologies that will be at the conference.

Brenda Burrell, who will be joining us from Zimbabwe, is one of founders of Kubatana.net. Brenda sat down with MobileActive for a discussion about her work using mobiles as an alternative media source in Kubatana and Dialup Radio.