Village Rhapsody: Zanu PF’s social media onslaught a double-edged sword

Zanu PF Headquarters

Denying and erasing one's own understanding of development projects is the most efficient way to harm people.

Transparency may always be promoted by providing a clear picture of how things are done in the country without overstating the impact and people would be aware of priorities.

Social media propaganda, misinformation, and false news have the capacity to polarise public opinion, encourage violent extremism and hate speech and in the end, damage democracies and destroy trust in democratic processes.

The ruling Zanu PF party has been working tirelessly to disseminate propaganda in relation to development issues across the country.

However, unfolding events might reveal that Zanu PF’s social media propaganda is no longer effective as it was.

It is high time that Zimbabwean citizens demanded explanations and access to the values of some the so-called developments that are highlighted on social media to suit the government’s Vision 2030 agenda.

If people cannot come together to unmask the Zanu PF administration’s propaganda, misinformation, and fake news then development will remain a myth than reality.

But as Geoge Orwell said in his novel 1984: “And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth.

“Who controls the past, ran the party slogan, controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”

An interesting conversation has been raging on social media after Qatar Airways announced that it would make its maiden landing in Zimbabwe this month.

Zanu PF members and some government officials considered that as one of the achievements of the administration and therefore decided to make as much noise as possible about the development.

Of course, this is lovely for Zimbabwe, but there is no reason to get overly excited about it.

Similar to Emirates, there are no significant concerns about aviation fuel because it only adds a layover on the Lusaka side.

Airlines will do this now that Zimbabwe's air traffic control is supposed to have an operational radar.

Zimbabwe launched its first satellite last year, ZimSat-1 in the United States

The launch, which was done by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), was initially set for November 6, 2022, but was postponed due to a fire alarm.

The project received criticism with some claiming that Zimbabwe is giving priority to space projects while the health sector has outdated equipment.

However, government representatives and several senior Zanu PF figures defended the project on social media, claiming the country will get many advantages from it.

Some Zimbabweans have disseminated messages from the ruling Zanu PF on social media, blaming sanctions and the opposition for the country's slow pace of development.

Zanu PF social media users popularly known as Varakashi sanitise and justify mismanagemen while campaigning for Mnangagwa ahead of the 2023 election.

Now the cyber-contestation has become evident between Citizens' Coalition for Change leader Nelson Chamisa and Mnangagwa’s followers exaggerated development projects  that are meant to push the vision 2030 agenda.

Fake news and mudslinging have turned out to be defining elements during these digital propaganda battles.

“The truth is the best propaganda,” Adolf Hitler once said and Zanu PF influencers seem to be missing that point.

The grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down.

It is always far easier to inform those who are not misinformed than to re-educate the misguided. Zimbabwean politicians must consider that social media propaganda must be extremely motivating in order to be believed, as well as credible and, most importantly, extremely true.

*Evans Mathanda is a journalist and development practitioner who writes in his personal capacity. For feedback email: ev[email protected] or call 0719770038 and Twitter @EvansMathanda19

Related Topics