HARARE – Over a year since a devastating wave of civil unrest swept across North Africa leaving in its wake a string of deposed long-time dictators, President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF is still worried about the prospects of such an action here.
Panicking, the party is now fighting the world — literally — after it declared at its recent annual conference that latest technology gadgets and wireless telephone applications embraced globally are the work of detractors out to get Zanu PF.
In resolutions passed at the close of the 13th Zanu PF annual people’s conference in Gweru at the weekend, the former guerrilla movement appears petrified by the spread of social media which has hooked the young generation.
In countries such as Egypt and Tunisia, youths and democracy campaigners successfully used social media to mobilise against governments they accused of being repressive.
Under the media, science and technology resolutions, Zanu PF reacted with panic at the growing number of gadget users in Zimbabwe, expressing fear these could be used to oust the party from power.
“Noting the strategic advantage of information communication technology (ICTs) and the comparative advantage of connectivity in political mobilisation as critical tools for advancing the development of knowledge-based economy. Concerned about the widespread abuse of social media by regime change seeking countries for purposes of propaganda to fan disunity, hatred and engender instability.
“Conference condemns the European Union, America and white commonwealth countries for supplying ICT gadgets such as mobile phones, decoders and radios to communities to create conditions for the broadcast and spread of falsehoods to distort so as to undermine confidence in the electoral process and trigger Arab-style civil unrest,” part of the resolutions read.
But youthful ICT minister Nelson Chamisa says Zanu PF ageing politicians are panicking for nothing.
Chamisa, who is Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC organising secretary, said the resolution by Zanu PF is against government policy.
“It is only thieves that will fight tooth and nail to stop the proliferation of police stations or the expansion of the police force. Information technology is friendly,” said Chamisa.