This morning I’ve been experiencing sluggish social media connectivity, and was immediately overcome by a disturbing sense of déjà vu, as I remembered these days in January when the Zimbabwe regime shutdown the web within the wake of violent protests that rocked the nation – and the next, brutal and murderous crackdown unleashed on the individuals by safety forces.
I began questioning if this cowardly regime had resorted to its newly found device of repression – web shutdown – particularly, contemplating that just lately, there had been renewed calls for an additional stayaway scheduled for in the present day, 11 February 2019.
Nonetheless, it seems as if there is no such thing as a web shutdown in the present day, because the connectivity velocity did finally enhance.
I simply hope didn’t communicate too quickly!
Nonetheless, the few moments of eerie remembrance of these January web shutdown days, made me query why a regime could be so fearful of social media affect – particularly, once they may so simply counter with their very own propaganda?
As an alternative, of shutting down the web because of the anti-government messages being despatched or posted, would it not not be clever for the regime to maintain the web on, in order that they will additionally utilise it to ship and put up their very own model of occasions?
However, then one thing hit me!
The reason being fairly easy, however very telling – the ZANU PF regime doesn’t have sufficient supporters on social media to broadly carry their messages!
All these messages which were essential of the ZANU PF regime and its blatant brutality had gone viral on social media – and, there may be one very important ingredient for something to go viral on social media…enormous numbers of followers.
That is one ingredient that ZANU PF doesn’t possess, and but the opposition has in abundance!
How many people have ever been inaudated with pro-ZANU PF messages on social media?
Probably, only a few!
Nonetheless, I’m certain most of us are flooded with anti-ZANU PF messages, jokes, footage and movies almost each minute, such that a few of us have to modify off knowledge connection to be able to have some respiration area.
Why is that?
As, already alluded to, for any message to go viral on social media, there may be want for enormous numbers of followers.
So, does it imply that ZANU PF doesn’t have an enormous help base?
It is a get together that garnered two thirds of all parliamentary seats in final yr’s harmonised elections – though, the presidential election consequence continues to be contentious.
So, why would a celebration that enjoys such a huge help base unable to unfold their social media messages like wild hearth?
Ought to the state of affairs not be the opposite approach spherical – whereby, ZANU PF social media messages could be those going viral, and the opposition left standing on one leg?
Ought to the opposition not be those crying foul over social media messages, and wishing the web could be shutdown?
Why would a celebration with an entire two thirds parliamentary majority fail to have social media dominance?
Why would they be those who’re really crying foul – like massive Goliaths being relentlessly pelted by little Davids?
The reply can also be fairly easy, however revealing – ZANU PF help base is principally composed of rural illiterate people, while the opposition is comprised of savvy educated individuals.
As such, social media is dominated by the opposition, while the ruling get together sits on the sidelines whining.
Nonetheless, the problems go deeper than that – as that is extra than simply about social media.
What this implies cuts via the very essence of Zimbabwe as a rustic, and why we’re at all times in a multitude.
We, as Zimbabweans journey everywhere in the world, and there may be one very disturbing query that we’ve at all times encountered – why do you guys maintain electing such an incompetent get together?
Sure, we will reply with the same old ‘rigging of elections’ drivel – however, as anticipated, we’re at all times instructed that if we had the numbers, there is no such thing as a approach ZANU PF would efficiently rig any elections.
…and that’s the unsavory fact!
ZANU PF has the numbers behind them – however, what sort of persons are these who would proceed voting into energy a celebration that clearly doesn’t give a hoot about them, abuses, brulises and even kills harmless residents, and plunders the nation’s assets until atypical individuals don’t have anything to dwell on?
The illiterate can simply be lied to and they’re going to consider ZANU PF yarns hook, line and sinker.
As they don’t have entry to constructive data, nearly all of ZANU PF help base can consider something, at the same time as daft as sanctions being the supply of their struggling.
On account of their illiteracy, most of ZANU PF supporters shouldn’t have actual ambitions, and a suggestion of meagre goodies, as a number of groceries, baggage of seed, fertilizer and pesticide, could be greater than what Santa may ever present.
Even city ZANU PF supporters could be greater than grateful to be offered funds for a small poultry ‘challenge’.
Nonetheless, the savvy literate opposition supporters need extra from their training!
They count on to be high-earning engineers, personal the most recent Ferrari, a mansion within the leafy suburbs – one thing that the failed ZANU PF regime may by no means ever allow the nation’s economic system to offer…not even in a thousand years, not to mention earlier than 2030.
As such, it’s simpler for ZANU PF to galvanise two thirds parliamentary seats, as nearly all of Zimbabweans could also be ‘literate’ so far as studying and writing are involved, however are usually not ‘world literate’.
Nearly all of Zimbabweans have no idea what to demand from their authorities.
Nearly all of Zimbabweans don’t perceive what heights they will soar – if solely that they had a reliable authorities in place.
Nearly all of Zimbabweans have no idea that the president is their servant – in each sense of the phrase – and will please their each want, and be at their Beck and Name.
As an alternative, Zimbabweans consider that they’re answerable to the president – no surprise they name high authorities officers ‘shefu’.
They’d moderately sit within the blazing solar, chilling chilly, or drenching rain – throughout a rally – while, the ‘shefus’ sit within the shade, consuming and consuming.
…or, being made to take a seat within the scorching solar, simply to observe a street in Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe being tarred!
The president and his deputies can fly, everywhere in the world, in employed tremendous costly planes – while, atypical individuals cannot even afford kombi fare to city – and that can nonetheless be ‘regular’ for ZANU PF supporters.
They may let you know that “sure, these are ‘shefus’, they deserve all these comforts”.
Appropriate me if I’m unsuitable, however these had been the identical individuals who noticed nothing unsuitable with the White individuals’s privileged life throughout Rhodesia – as a result of, “varungu ka ava”.
Even throughout these colonial days, they’re the identical individuals who wanted the educated savvy individuals to point out them that there was the whole lot unsuitable with the established order.
After all, there are a number of which have ‘woken up’ to the fact of ZANU PF’s incompetence and callousness, however as a consequence of that very same illiteracy, they will simply be intimidated – even with essentially the most daft issues like, “we will inform who you’d have voted for, through the use of your voter registration numbers”.
As I respect that in the present day there may be, a minimum of, web connectivity, I cannot assist however really feel so unhappy that our nation continues to be at that stage within the evolution of world improvement.
Zimbabwe nonetheless has an extended approach to go, so far as actual literacy is anxious, and as such, it’s as much as all of us to teach all our fathers, moms, brothers, sisters, little kids on what it means to have a very progressive authorities.
We have to go on that data on what lifestyle we deserve, and will try for.
With out nearly all of Zimbabweans possessing such an understanding, we might be within the doldrums of the worldwide village for many years to return.
Taurai J. Pachena is a Zimbabwean political and social commentator and analyst
Supply – Taurai J. Pachena