The Sunday News
THE advent of social media has seen a rise in cases of fake news and transmission of hurtful and otherwise subversive messages.
While the phenomena of social media has had both positive and negative effects across the world, what is worrying is the growing culture of abusing social media for dirty political gains by merchants of violence. The violence that broke out in the country early this year instigated by MDC Alliance and its partners was orchestrated through social media, leading to massive destruction of property and losses in business.
We have noted that those eager to cause chaos and mayhem in the country have not changed their ways and neither have they taken a back seat. Instead, they have gone into overdrive sending messages across social media platforms campaigning for a job “stay away” and violence against those who want to continue with their daily business.
What Zimbabweans must bear in mind is that staying away from work will not bring food to the table and stopping children from going to school will not better their lives in anyway. The so called stay away witnessed early this year left a trail of destruction, with shops looted and property burnt, and that is surely not a culture we want to cultivate in the country.
We therefore applaud Zimbabweans for ignoring such calls and choosing to work for their families and joining the Government in its efforts to turn around the economic fortunes of the country. And last week, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Government was aware of machinations to destabilise the country and was ready to protect innocent citizens. She also called to order those bent on destabilising the country.
“Government has an obligation to protect all citizens including those who wish to carry on their daily lives undisturbed. We therefore wish to assure the public that the security services will be ready to fulfil their constitutional mandate to maintain law and order as well as protect lives and property, from insurgent behaviour. Zimbabwe is known for its peacefulness and Government wishes to encourage all citizens to maintain that peace as they fend for their families.”
The messages inciting people to engage in violent behaviour came immediately after MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa repeatedly called on his party supporters to effect illegal regime change.
Nonetheless, Minister Mutsvangwa said Government understood and empathised with hardships experienced by the people. She said safety nets were being put in place to protect the vulnerable from the pain “of the necessary reform we have to undergo”.
“The President and the Government are fully aware of the many challenges facing our economy.
“They arise from decades of gross mismanagement. We are going through the overhaul of our economy so it can finally deliver the goods and jobs we all desire. The ongoing pains are a passing phase. The Government warns any bad apples in our business community to desist from cruel price hikes. It is immoral to create shortages and gauge prices in order to create discontent among the populace,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
She added that those engaged in industrial subversive activities will have themselves to blame when authorities react. In addition, police said they were ready to deal with anyone who engages in any form of violence.
The ZRP which is now on high alert to thwart any disturbances countrywide has since started conducting investigations on the source of this alarming message.