Mugabe Urges Zanu PF Youths To Use Social Media To Defend His Regime

Mugabe Urges Zanu PF Youths To Use Social Media To Defend His Regime
Published: 2016 September 05 10:55:18 (1312 Views)

President Robert Mugabe, a fierce critic of social media, has unleashed Zanu PF youths to use social media platforms to defend the Zanu PF party, the government mouthpiece, the Herald reported today. 
Zanu PF and government has since the emergency of #ThisFlag movement popularised mainly on Twitter and WhatsApp, been critical of social media usage by Zimbabweans. On many instances government officials have threatened to arrest and jail what the State media terms “social media terrorists”. 
The Cyber Bill, which is yet to be approved by parliament, is one recent effort by Mugabe’s administration to curtail freedom of expression and assembly.  
Ironically, addressing his party youths, who are now his trusted defence mechanism within the party, Mugabe urged the use of social media but warned that it must not be abused to attack rivals or divide the party. Mugabe said Zanu PF youths must use information communication technologies to defend and promote the ruling party.
 “In promoting the party, our youths should use social media to defend the party and promote the party and develop Zimbabwe through ICTs. You all have a role to play in promoting our production and Zim-Asset Brand Zimbabwe.
“Brand Zimbabwe, the image of Zimbabwe, a Zimbabwe that is democratic, hardworking and peaceful. That’s the image, the brand of Zimbabwe you should project outside. And also to defend it from its detractors. Our youths should learn from the youths in China, Cuba and Russia that economic success stories have resulted from proper and constructive use of ICT,” Mugabe was quoted saying by the State-owned but Zanu PF controlled Herald.
Mugabe said quarrels in the party should not be taken up on the Internet. “All the dirty things we hear. Get off it. You should not be part of it, we should remain clean, clean, clean,” he said.
Mugabe came out in strong support of efforts to criminalise cyber activism, saying he was happy that the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, was drafting the Cyber Bill to regulate social media usage.
So far efforts to jam communication systems through WhatsApp services have come to naught, a result of alert and technologically savvy Zimbabweans who have been able to bust firewalls installed to block communication on social media. 
However, the Cyber Bill if approved will certainly mark the end of the freedom of expression for many Zimbabweans irked by Mugabe’s misrule. 



- ZimNet
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