Mushohwe warns so­cial me­dia abusers

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Zva­maida Mur­wira Harare Bu­reau

THE Gov­ern­ment has warned Zim­bab­weans in and out­side the coun­try against abuse of so­cial me­dia through cir­cu­lat­ing sub­ver­sive ma­te­rial that had the ef­fect of un­der­min­ing the State.

Ad­dress­ing jour­nal­ists in Harare on Tues­day night, the Min­is­ter of In­for­ma­tion, Me­dia and Broad­cast­ing Ser­vices, Dr Christo­pher Mushohwe, said Gov­ern­ment was aware of Zim­bab­weans cir­cu­lat­ing mes­sages of ter­ror against the State among them Victor Dube (res­i­dent in South Africa,) Jeff Ju­dah Hos­sana (South Africa) and Tapiwa Marimbe (Aus­tralia) rid­ing on so­cial me­dia.

He said some of the ele­ments were fronted by po­lit­i­cal par­ties and in­cluded the so-called #Ta­ja­muka and #This Flag.

“Of­ten their ac­tiv­i­ties have been co­or­di­nated with dis­grun­tled ele­ments in the di­as­pora who think their di­as­pora sta­tus gives them both im­mu­nity and im­punity. The link be­tween th­ese ele­ments and in­tel­li­gence ser­vices of hos­tile na­tions is now well known, much as some of them vainly seek the cloak of re­li­gion, or other pro­fes­sional iden­ti­fies,” said Dr Mushohwe.

“One such char­ac­ter, Evan Mawarire has since shown his true colours, and is now where he truly be­longs, namely in the arms of his han­dlers.”

He said while Gov­ern­ment had enough le­gal in­stru­ments to deal with those mis­chief mak­ers, it was im­por­tant for or­di­nary and un­sus­pect­ing Zim­bab­weans to be wary of the “shady char­ac­ters who be­have traitorously against their own coun­try and peo­ple.”

“Let all well mean­ing Zim­bab­weans be warned and keep away from as­so­ci­at­ing with pro­grammes and ac­tiv­i­ties that fall out­side of the law and le­gal po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties. Gov­ern­ment is aware of ac­tivists in the coun­try col­lab­o­rat­ing with the di­as­pora cy­ber ter­ror­ists. They must be warned that the long arm of the law is en­cir­cling them,” said Dr Mushohwe.

Dr Mushohwe chal­lenged those coun­tries that pre­tended to fight ter­ror­ism to ex­plain why they were aid­ing those peo­ple “squat­ting” in their cy­ber-space and how the pro­vi­sion of haven au­gured with those coun­tries’ self pro­claimed pub­lic stance de­nounc­ing ter­ror­ism.

“Zim­babwe does not in­ter­fere in the in­ter­nal af­fairs of any coun­try. By the same to­ken, it brooks no such in­ter­fer­ence in its own in­ter­nal af­fairs by any coun­try, how­ever, might­ily that in­truder may think of it­self. Norms of good, in­ter­state re­la­tions re­quire that na­tions col­lab­o­rate in the global fight against ter­ror­ism in all its man­i­fes­ta­tions, and at all stages in its evo­lu­tion. In­deed, Zim­babwe has played its part. It ex­pects no less con­tri­bu­tion from other coun­tries,” said Dr Mushohwe.

“I also wish to cau­tion the me­dia not to be pro­mot­ers of hate, di­vi­sive and defam­a­tory mes­sages, es­pe­cially and con­stantly tar­get­ing the char­ac­ter and per­son­al­ity of the Pres­i­dent, as well as the First Fam­ily un­jus­ti­fi­ably, all out of mal­ice.”

Re­spond­ing to al­le­ga­tions of ha­rass­ment against jour­nal­ists by law en­force­ment agents dur­ing demon­stra­tions, Dr Mushohwe said while Gov­ern­ment did not sup­port their ha­rass­ment, me­dia prac­ti­tion­ers should po­si­tion them­selves well dur­ing such dis­tur­bances to avoid be­ing caught up in cross­fire where un­ruly ele­ments would be at­tack­ing the po­lice.

“Jour­nal­ists should never be part of a demon­strat­ing mob. You must al­ways be on the side of the law en­force­ment agents,” said Dr Mushohwe.

He warned peo­ple against be­ing used by regime change mer­chants like Mawarire who was now housed in the United States mak­ing money for him­self while his sup­port­ers con­tin­ued to toil back home.

Dr Mushohwe said po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity did not help any­one as ev­i­denced by what was hap­pen­ing in some coun­tries like Libya, Syria and Iraq where sev­eral in­fras­truc­ture had been de­stroyed ow­ing to hos­til­i­ties.

“The rich and the poor will be the same in des­ti­tu­tion. It is not in any­body’s in­ter­est,” he said.

The Min­is­ter de­fended the de­ci­sion by the po­lice to in­vite News­Day jour­nal­ist, Richard Chidza to as­sist on the ori­gin of a com­mu­niqué cir­cu­lated dur­ing a press con­fer­ence by the Zim­babwe Na­tional War Veter­ans’ As­so­ci­a­tion which de­nounced the Gov­ern­ment and Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe.

“Richard Chidza was said to be cir­cu­lat­ing the pa­per to other me­dia houses. He was asked to ex­plain where he got it. We are not say­ing he orig­i­nated the doc­u­ment, but must ex­plain where it came from. In fact, we must thank him for that,” said Dr Mushohwe.

Dr Christo­pher Mushohwe

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