Zanu PF seek social media control within party ranks

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By Kingston Ndabatei

A Zanu PF provincial leader in Mashonaland West has summoned party activists signed up to a popular social media platform to attend a meeting which could see WhatsApp group admins harangued for allowing members to abuse President Emmerson Mnangagwa and other top party officials.

In a statement Tuesday, Mashonaland West provincial youth league chair, Vengai Musengi said the party is worried about the vilification of senior party leaders on social media platforms run by Zanu PF activists.

“We have noted with concern the rampant and gross social media abuse in Mashonaland West Zanu PF structures where party members are disrespecting, vilifying leaders through politics of patronage.

“Disciplinary measures will be taken against those found on the wrong side of the law. Thus, we are inviting all group admin(istrators) for a meeting on Saturday 09 March 2019,” said Musengi.

He said the popular communication platform should not be an instrument for dividing the party but for uniting it.

In January this year, Musengi called for stiffer penalties against “people who abuse social media”, especially those who insult Mnangagwa.

Unlike his predecessor, President Robert Mugabe, Mnangagwa has signed up to popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter which have allowed ordinary Zimbabweans direct access to him via the electronic channel.

However, the platforms have turned into arenas where the President is abused by ordinary citizens angry with the Zanu PF administration.

Since the innovation became a common communication tool in the country past few years, dozens of locals have been arrested and charged for allegedly insulting then President Robert Mugabe via social media.

Mnangagwa has used the same law and the arrests of citizens continues unabated.