Samantha Chigogo Herald Correspondent
Government has warned that anyone caught generating or sharing abusive and subversive material on social media will be disconnected from using the country’s mobile networks.
In a statement yesterday, the Postal and Telecommunications Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) said, anyone caught on the wrong side of the law will be dealt with ruthlessly.
Further, the telecommunications representative body reminded the public that perpetrators using sim cards registered in Zimbabwe can easily be identified.
This followed deliberate proliferation of subversive messages on WhatsApp by some rogue elements bent on destabilising the country.
“We would like all Zimbabweans to know that we are completely against this behaviour and therefore advise that anyone generating, passing on or sharing such abusive and subversive materials, which are tantamount to criminal behaviour, will be disconnected and the law will take its course,” said potraz in a statement.
“Potraz, together with all telecommunications service providers in Zimbabwe have noted with concern, the gross irresponsible use of social media and telecommunication services made through our infrastructure and communication platforms over the past few days.”
Social media platforms were also awash with fake reports meant to fuel violent confrontations across the country with reports that Choppies supermarket in Chitungwiza, and other parastatals had been burnt down by angry protesters.
Another fake image of a burning train also went viral on the WhatsApp platform, as part of the harmful messages circulating on the social media platform with intentions to provoke tense emotions among the public.
The telecoms body further made stern warnings to individuals taking advantage of social media to incite their regime change agenda.
“We are therefore warning members of the public that from the date of this notice any person caught in possession of generating, sharing or passing on abusive, threatening, subversive or offensive telecommunications messages on WhatsApp or any other social media messages that may be deemed to cause despondency, incite violence, threaten citizens and cause unrest will be arrested and dealt with accordingly in the national interest.”
Several people yesterday failed to report for duty at their work stations following instructions posted on WhatsApp and Facebook by some unidentified people.