Social media ban gets thumbs up

Cde Matemadanda

Cde Matemadanda

Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter—
The Zanu-PF Politburo’s ban on the use of social media by members to communicate party issues or denigrate each other is progressive and will help instil discipline in the revolutionary party, analysts have said.The ban — which is with immediate effect — is contained in the resolutions of the party’s first Politburo meeting for 2016 held on Wednesday.


The ban was triggered by the unprecedented behaviour of some party members who were engaging in frenzied tweeting, attacking fellow Politburo members and leaking classified information.

This attracted brickbats from party organs such as the Youth League and affiliate organisations like the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) and Zilwaco. The police also voiced concern over the same matter, saying abuse of social media could destabilise the country.

ZNLWVA secretary-general Cde Victor Matemadanda described the ban as progressive. He, however, said it was saddening that some Politburo members had already resorted to Twitter barely a day after the ban.

This, Cde Matemadanda said, was retrogressive to the party’s operations. “If followed, this will bring sanity in the party,” said Cde Matemadanda. “Unfortunately, someone who was in that Politburo meeting today (yesterday) has already tweeted something about the party and attacking The Herald.

“I think what the party should focus on at the moment is teaching its members discipline and party ideology. Discipline is important at all levels to avoid careless speeches that we saw some people presenting yesterday. “People should be taught discipline and not what we are seeing today where one making the loudest noise is the one who carries the day.”

Cde Matemadanda said differences might occur in the party, but they should be addressed through party channels.

“Differences might be there, but they should be resolved amicably using structures of the party,” he said. “The public spats that we saw recently by senior members of the party are not good for the country’s image. It actually scares away investors. No one wants to invest in a country where there is discord in the leadership.”

Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo was already on twitter early in the morning yesterday discussing the outcomes of the Politburo meeting.

“Great & brutally frank PB till midnight,” he said in one of his tweets. “Slept like a log. Use not abuse but USE of all PRESS & MEDIA to express grievances was condemned!

“Rega vaite. Very happy with how PB meeting went. Going foward actions will speak louder than words. Handei tione! It was agreed after brutal debate that internal fights should not be taken to the press including twitter & Herald!

“If people who are not PB members get funny in the Press we shall deal with them here. Make no mistake about it!” Prof Moyo charged. Prof Moyo, who is also the party’s secretary for Science and Technology, tourched a storm before the Politburo meeting by attacking fellow members on his twitter account.

Prominent Harare lawyer Mr Jonathan Samkange said constitutionally, there was nothing wrong with banning members of a political party from using social media. “Zanu-PF is like a club and if you want to remain as a member of a club then you have to abide by the rules and regulations of that club,” he said.

“It is proper and it does not contravene the Constitution in any way. We have freedom of association in this country and anyone who is not happy with that is free to leave the party. There is nothing unconstitutional unless if Zanu-PF had said it was banning everyone in this country from using social media.”

Political analyst Mr Godwine Mureriwa said: “The ban (on social media abuse) is a step in the right direction. There are various departments in the Politburo such as the commissariat, information, production and administration, but it is important that people stick to their portfolios.

“This also helps to maintain the idea of one centre of power in the party. It is important to note that the President himself categorically spoke against the use of social media.

“The behaviour of abandoning party structures and being quoted in the private media is tantamount to indiscipline of the highest order. These Politburo members are also leaders in Government and they again meet in Parliament, so then we wonder why they choose to communicate through social media when they work in the same office almost every day?”

Mr Mureriwa hailed First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe for reminding party leaders that they had a mandate to work for the people rather than engaging in petty and peripheral issues.

Zanu-PF spokesperson, Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, on Wednesday, said party members who failed to heed the party’s directive would be dealt with in line with Zanu-PF’s disciplinary procveddures.

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  • Zarura Zimbabgwe

    Move on with the times people, banning this banning that always becomes the first testing ground and next everyone will be banned. Thats ZANU way….

  • Legal Expert

    He tweeted yesterday? Can’t be true.

  • Cde Nyandoro Kunzwi

    Cde Matemadanda should balance his position by equally condemning those Cdes, including those who used the Herald to attack other comrades. Its not only those who used the social media who were reprimanded by the Politburo. Even kutukana pa rally kana mu streets is condemned. That is the clear message from our top leaders. Threatening to attack government ministers using the Herald or ZBC was very , equally condemned & lambasted. We don`t need to be lectured by our top leaders , let alone Women`s League , on how to discuss our differences in house, behind our revolutionary doors. Don`t give the impression that its only those who wrongly used the social media who brought our party into disrepute. Ndatifundiseyi our young cadres correctly not by threatening to use violence against them. A more important point to send to our Liberation War heroes leadership is that they should give more time in dialoguing with our government on our welfare. That should be the focus of our relevant new Ministry and leaders , in addition to giving young cadres guidance in politics in a manner conducive to unity in ZANU PF! Mbuya Nehanda inspire our leaders!

    • ruffson

      i totally agree with you cde nyandoro. what is wrong should be condemned regardless of who did it, it is wrong for war vets to threaten a minister let alone a politburo member. herald seem to to mum on these issues. was it allowed to continue denigrating ministers……..remember ministers were voted into power by the people in their constituents.

    • nhubu

      i agree with you comrade its not only on social media where these ills were happening even on radio. the message sent by the leaders was follow proper channels to air your grievances not through the media including social media. it is such misinterpretations to suit others which will end up bringing the discord which was obtaining as one will seek to respond when attacked.

  • Sam Zikomo

    The party condemned the use of the Press, including social media, to discuss party issues. So someone at the Herald is clearly factionalist!!!

  • Observer gonzo

    I read more shocking unprecedented stuff from Herald than on tweeter.

    On a different note, I not sure if the overdue retirees at ZANU even know what social media is? Communication around the world is going internet and social media is leading this march. Not sure if they have thought through this ban. It is only the “shocking” tweets (instead of official stuff like ZIMASSET) that get a huge crowd following, even more than the printed media. BIG advantage is you also get feedback unlike Herald forcefully sold to Gvt departments/hotels/parastatals or ZTV where many now have DSTV subscribed on South African bouquet!

    Only with a huge crowd following drawn by the shocking stuff will it be possible to start injecting veiled propaganda poison slowly and tactfully! JM has seen this well ahead of the grandpas. And in complaining about his tweets, they have been pushing up his following. I am now on tweeter out of curiosity to see what the prof was saying…and he is entertaining!

  • Munya

    haha… Is this story not itself an example of what was banned? i.e. attacking Prof. Moyo for continuing to (mis)use social media in The Herald. Why not use party procedure to air that grievance… The line was surely drawn in the sand

  • Department 6

    kwaniwani…there will raise bab jukwa & mai jukwa. in truth banning social media serves only to make pple (ab)use it more/

  • G Tichatonga

    The Herald keeps attacking Prof Moyo and so what do you expect him to do? Besides, is the Herald a member of the party? No one banned Moyo from using Twitter….the ban is on discussing party grievances via Social media

    • Judas Iscariot

      Well said Tichatonga. What was banned is abuse of social media,not use. I don’t see anything abusive,about the professor tweeting he slept like a log. The question is why is Matemadanda and herald following Moyo on twitter?

      • Tarupiwa

        moyo abuses social media for his political ends. He openly opposes mnangagwa without apologies BUT sadly we never hear Mnangagwa attacking anyone be it social or public media. Moyo acts like a rejected wife pabarika. Yes, people who also oppose moyo, are equally right to counter his arrogance. He is not the only zimbabwean capable of diatribe and vomiting in public. Nobody needs to be a professor kufamba, denigrating others openly with impunity. We all can abuse the media, so moyo must never rest and think he is the only one with a prerogative.

      • Cde Njelele

        Cde Matemadanda is becoming schizophrenic ! He must be politically lucid! He is not even able to see how he proved a toothless bulldog after failing to effect his threat to humiliate Cde Prof Moyo, at al. We need leaders who are level headed. Yes you are right that Cde Moyo is just being advised not to abuse the social media. Would anyone who enjoys logs cutting complain if Cde Moyo uses the media to attack opposition parties? Question mark nga!

    • DickBalls&Sons

      well said, maybe the fact that Herald is controlled by some Individuals, an attack on it means attacking that individual

    • MadzibabaJoshua

      Correct G Tichatonga.The actual using of social media by party members for any of their personal issues was not banned.
      The following is what was banned:
      1) Discussing party issues thru social media.
      2) Abusing social media by attacking other party members.
      3) Airing one’s(party-related) grieveances thru social media.
      So Motormouth,by continuing to tweet is not breaking any party rules.But he has to be careful that he is not lured into verbal altercations with other party members otherwise he will be caught offside.

  • chinos

    Its not about social media but its about content, just regulate the issues to be discussed. If the like of Baba Jukwa & Prof Moyo can use social media to the extent of shaking Zanu PF so much, it shows how much power it has. Instead of castigating it, why not use it in the proper way. Just because some people have used it in a way you do not approve does not mean it is bad. The flood that destroyed the world raised Noah.

  • Kuta Kinte

    The ban is the most appropriate action to take and this was necessitated by all the events leading to the PB meeting. ZANU-PF solves its problems internally and it never fails to discipline anyone who then crosses the agreed line no matter who thinks is above everyone. You can create your future in the present and if you fail to adhere to the rules of the game, it is the future which holds your fate.

  • Brigadier Siyasutha Belamba

    I would rather allow people to say what they have to say freely than assume that there are happy only to discover late that there are in fact seething. Why overlook freedom of speech

  • Difficult Munetsi

    Ever since JM left the Ministry of Info, he has become a ridicule of Newspapers. Hahaha, it only says one thing: JM was a dictator in that Ministry

  • chakutareal

    Please Herald could you be explicit on what actually was banned by our revered party’s Politibro. At one time you seem to suggest that use of social media has been banned, at another you say its the use of social media to discuss party issues and yet on other forum we here that using social media, private media or the Herald to attack other party members as well as leaking party information has been banned.

  • Dade

    You people are shameless! still peddling lies. Your own story yesterday said attacking each other in MEDIA (that includes Herald) was condemned yet you still insist on trying to mislead the public. This might come as a surprise but we’re not idiots and can recognise bias when we see it. This is why most of us end up supporting Prof Moyo depsite him having been responsible for creatign the monster that is the Herald.

    • hondo

      He created the monster, why do you cry when his monster eats him???

  • Major Mupfupi WeGogwe

    Why applaud a retrogressive move of that nature…In this day and age who bans social media communication…In fact the self sustaining burgeoning technology can not be banned …..

  • Gary WekuZviyambe

    Ban ZANU-PF for the good of this country

  • Kingongo

    Clearly, you’re not a “legal expert” because you cant tell the difference between “use” & “abuse”.

  • joseph

    This is the true ZANU PF that Zimbabweans know.Anachronistic in nature and brutal in action.Miswe yose yapera kugurwa. See nothing,hear nothing, say nothing. It’s tough to be a member of ZANU PF, this party of madhalaz.

  • truths

    If anyone, its the herald with its lies
    that is fuelling all this nonsense. However knowing Zanu pf vs the silly reporters, heads will roll at the herald. There is a 2 headed snake there, & by march it will be over. Watch this space.