Felex Share Senior Reporter
TODAY’S eagerly-awaited Zanu-PF Politburo meeting will proceed as scheduled, despite threats from some party elements to disrupt it.
The Politburo, the revolutionary party’s supreme decision-making body outside congress, is widely expected to discuss social media abuse amid concerns the actions of some party leaders were reminiscent of the shadowy Facebook character Baba Jukwa who cultivated social media followers at the party’s expense.
The Politburo is also expected to deal with officials who leak the party’s classified information to the private media and those fanning factionalism by challenging and denigrating the leadership appointed at the party’s Sixth National People’s Congress in December 2014.
- Demo against party bigwigs exposed
- Factionalism, social media on PB agenda
- Politburo meets next Wednesday
- Politburo to tackle social media abuse
Analysts yesterday urged the Politburo to act on those denigrating President Mugabe’s appointments, saying their actions were akin to Baba Jukwa who used social medium to post subversive articles and denigrate Zanu-PF leaders.
Party national spokesperson Cde Simon Khaya-Moyo and secretary for Administration Cde Ignatius Chombo said the meeting would go ahead as scheduled.
“It is on tomorrow (today), definitely, and more details will come to you after the meeting,” Cde Khaya-Moyo said.
Cde Chombo, who has the mandate to craft the Politburo agenda in consultation with the President, said: “The meeting will start at 10 o’clock and it is the first meeting of the year. We will obviously have a post-mortem of the 15th National People’s Conference we had in Victoria Falls last December and any other issues relevant to the party.”
Apart from the abuse of social media, also likely to be discussed are outstanding disciplinary cases, preparations for the 21st February Movement celebrations in Masvingo and a brief on the African Union Summit held in Ethiopia recently.
Cde Khaya-Moyo, this week said there was no way social media and factionalism would escape attention after national commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere downplayed the issue last Friday, claiming the Politburo had more serious issues to discuss.
Political analysts said it would be “ruinous” for Zanu-PF to ignore the abuse of social media, which has seen some Politburo members expending more energy there, instead of assisting in the achievement of electoral promises made to the people during the 2013 harmonised elections.
President Mugabe has repeatedly warned party cadres against back-stabbing other officials at any fora, saying the party had channels of addressing grievances.
There has been frenzied tweeting by Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo, who has been making crazed attacks against fellow party members, including Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, using the Twitter handle @ProfJNMoyo.
Just yesterday, he threatened Cde Khaya-Moyo for stating to The Herald that the Politburo would be seized with issues affecting the party, including abuse of social media.
Prof Moyo tweeted: “SK Moyo is my brother. Did they (The Herald) quote him (Cde Khaya-Moyo) right? If so, then he’s going the Rugare Gumbo way as party spokesman!”
Prof Moyo has also clashed with Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba and War Veterans Minister Christopher Mutsvangwa using his Twitter account.
Some of the Politburo members have also become darlings of the private media, being quoted daily and granting interviews against President Mugabe’s counsel.
Political analyst Mr Alexander Rusero said for the benefit of the masses who trusted Zanu-PF with their votes, the Politburo should deal with the abuse and discord being parroted on several social media platforms.
“Instead of running Government, it seems some ministers are running Twitter accounts,” he said.
“You cannot have party cadres spending more time on Twitter and Facebook than in constituencies, fulfilling the party’s economic turnaround blueprint, Zim-Asset. It’s of no use to both the party and the entire citizenry.”
Mr Rusero said while it was a democratic right for anyone to own social media accounts, Politburo members should abide by the party’s constitution.
He said the Baba Jukwa debacle should be a lesson to party members adding that having more followers on these platforms did not translate to being “holier than thou, sacrosanct and more correct.”
“Joining a group or political formation means that you adhere to that political party’s idiosyncrasies first, before satisfying your own egos,” Mr Rusero said.
“A clever and loyal party protagonist does not intensify tweeting at a time some are raising concern. Zanu-PF has got a spokesperson, it has got a mouthpiece, it has got several platforms to iron out differences, and it doesn’t need Twitter or Facebook to settle grievances. It ought to be a mature party that should take a cue from its mature leadership.”
Political analyst Mr Goodwine Mureriwa said by attacking the party and Government’s senior leadership on social media, such party leaders were defying the directive by President Mugabe, who is the Zanu-PF First Secretary and President.
“The Politburo should deal with those with factional interests and undermining the President. This is a sign of indiscipline, which should be dealt with,” he said.
Added another analyst Mr Alexander Kanengoni: “The issue of social media is quite serious and it’s like we are heading back to the Baba Jukwa era. So, the Politburo has to discuss this because it seems some people with the Baba Jukwa mentality are furthering their interests through attacking Presidential appointments.”
The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA), Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators Association (Zilwaco), Zanu-PF Youth League and other affiliate organisations have condemned the abuse of social media saying it was tantamount to “usurping and defying the President.”
The Zimbabwe Republic Police has also expressed concern over the same issue.