Harare – Political organizations and Zimbabwean journalists have condemned the recent move by the government to stifle social media and through the amalgation of draconian laws.
The People Democratic Party (PDP) led by former Finance Minister Tendai Biti said it was a clear sign that Zanu PF are an authoritarian regime who fear the citizens and wanted to stop social movements.
“It is only authoritarian regimes like, Zanu PF that fear the people. Zanu PF should know that social movements such as, #tajamuka, #thisFlag and #thisgown are not terrorist organisations. These social movements are not committing any crimes against the regime for speaking on behalf of every Zimbabwean. They are ordinary citizens who want to change and improve the lives of the people,” said PDP spokesperson Jacob Mafume.
Mafume noted that these movements that the government sought to ouster were using social media hence they was an attemot to muzzle citizen voices.
“These social movements have used platforms such as; Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp to rally Zimbabweans to peacefully demonstrate against the ruinous leadership of Robert Mugabe.
As the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), we strongly condemn the behaviour of ministers, Christopher Mushowe and Supa Mandiwanzira who want to use repressive and unconstitutional methods against ordinary citizens for using social media platforms,” they said.
“For Supa, a journalist, disc jockey and owner of a radio station to make an unconstitutional proposal and attempt to push through Parliament the Computer Crime and Cyber Crime in order to infringe on the people’s lives boggles the mind,” they added.
They said the two Ministers were working to deny the rights of the journalists.
“Mushowe and Mandiwanzira want to deprive the people their rights and freedoms. However, it is sad that the attitude of Mushowe and Mandiwanzira is a reflection of the calibre of all the ministers in Zanu PF. As right thinking Zimbabweans, we wonder why the government wants to spend its energy on controlling the use of social media when the country currently faces significant challenges,” said the prominent lawyer.
MDC-T youth secretary general Loveremore Chinoputsa described the move as an attempt by a failed government cornered by angry citizens.
“It is just a desperate attempt by a regime that has been corned by an angry people and they will not succeed,” said Chinoputsa.
“That’s hogwash. Its only meant to criminalise people’s concerns and grievances and that’s the last resort that all dictators have gone to before they finally go,” he added.
Journalist Tafadzwa Muranganwa said it was unfortunate for the freedom of expression and access to information in the country.
“It is very said because people had opted to use social media to vent they anger on the government was because of lack of a free media. By trying to stifle social media it shows that government cannot stand criticism.,” said Muranganwa.
Award winning journalist Watmore Makokoba said the government needs to embrace globalization and not threaten its citizens but instead embrace various ideas.
“This is exposing the government’s failure to embrace globalization for we live in a global village were it must embrace ideas especially through technology. They must engage the citizens who are aggrieved rather act carelessly for this will affect the spirit of dialogue,” said Makokoba.