Debate on the abuse of social media by some zanu-pf members to deride others and factionalism will top the agenda of the revolutionary party’s first Politburo meeting for 2016 slated for tomorrow, a senior official has said.
The meeting comes against the backdrop of frenzied tweeting by Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo, who is attacking fellow Cabinet ministers and Politburo members as well as journalists on social media daily.
zanu-pf spokesperson Cde Simon Khaya Moyo yesterday said although it was not his intention to pre-empt the agenda of the Politburo meeting, there was no way social media and factionalism would escape attention.
The Politburo is the revolutionary party’s supreme decision-making body outside congress.
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Yesterday, the Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators Association turned the heat on Prof Moyo and Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, calling for their expulsion over the continued abuse of social media like Twitter.
Cde Khaya Moyo said there will be a robust and frank exchange on several other issues, after which he would give a detailed briefing to the media as per tradition.
The party spokesperson’s revelations of part of the Politburo meeting’s agenda comes after national commissar Cde Kasukuwere downplayed the matter last week, claiming that the Politburo had more serious issues to discuss, and accused the media of attempting to craft the agenda for the party.
But Cde Khaya Moyo yesterday said: “I don’t want to pre-empt the agenda of the Politburo meeting. I will speak after the meeting, but there will be a lot of discussion on those issues (social media and factionalism), among other discussions.
“It is better that I talk after the meeting where I will give you a comprehensive briefing.”
Over the weekend, Cde Khaya Moyo told our sister paper The Sunday Mail that the party was alarmed that the notorious practices (of abusing others on social media and factionalism) were still going on, adding that President Mugabe condemned them.
“We cannot go on with this disease called factionalism. It does not help us to attract investment and bring stability and unity, which is our motto as a party. It must be weeded out and those responsible must be dealt with, without fear or favour,” he said.
Cde Khaya Moyo said Zanu-PF had one centre of power in President Mugabe who was the only leader elected at Congress.
“The person who is at the centre of all party activities is, naturally, the President. He is the head of the party, the centre of power; the reason being that he is the only one, in terms of our amended constitution, who is elected at Congress,” he said.
“The rest of the people, including the VPs and the Politburo, are appointed by the President from elected Central Committee members. Given that scenario, naturally, he is the centre of power.
“This is why some of us have always been bewildered and surprised when we hear that there are factions in the party.
“A faction obviously has a leader, and if you are a leader of a faction, it means you are also a centre of power. This is totally unacceptable and abominable.”
Other Zanu-PF organs, affiliate organisations and concerned groups have since condemned the abuse of other party members on social media and warned that could destabilise both the party and the State.
The Zanu-PF Youth League and the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association have voiced their concern over the abuse of social media, while the Zimbabwe Republic Police have weighed in expressing serious concern over the same issue.
President Mugabe, in his official capacity as the party’s First Secretary, has on many occasions implored party members to desist from abusing social media to attack each other.
Ziliwaco secretary-general Cde Jabulani Mbetu said they were fully behind the position taken by the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) calling for the sacking of Prof Moyo and Cde Kasukuwere.
The comments by Ziliwaco followed a position announced by war veterans secretary-general, Cde Victor Matemadanda who said Prof Moyo should be expelled from the ruling party, for his abuse of social media, where he is denigrating senior party members, in defiance of a directive by President Mugabe.
Cde Kasukuwere weighed in last week when he said the revolutionary party had no time discussing social media issues in its Politburo meetings.
Cde Kasukuwere, who is also Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister told journalists last Friday that the party had more serious issues to discuss.
“As liberation war collaborators of this country, we are not happy with the utterances of Jonathan Moyo. We are in support of ZNLWVA national chairperson Christopher Mutsvangwa’s stance that the party should expel Jonathan Moyo. We want to remind our fellow comrade that the liberation struggle was not fought through Twitter. As war collaborators, we will not allow Twitter to destroy our revolutionary party,” said Cde Mbetu.
He said Prof Moyo, who is also Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister was attacking the President indirectly.
“We are aware of the utterances of Jonathan Moyo when he promised the nation that ‘to destroy Zanu-PF one has to fight while being inside it.’ As war collaborators, we will not sit back and watch Jonathan Moyo destroy the party,” he said.
He rapped Zanu-PF national political commissar, Cde Kasukuwere, for condoning the abuse of social media, saying uprisings that have occurred in other countries were spawned by the abuse of social media.
“That is not our culture as a party. Cde Kasukuwere should know better as the political commissar. Mind you, social media has been a recipe for uprisings in many countries,” he said.
The meeting was attended by Ziliwaco national executive and provincial chairpersons across the country.
Organs of the party such as the Youth League have also expressed grave concern over the abuse of social media.