Zimbabwe has caught on the twittervism bug that began sweeping through the world in 2011 during the much touted Arab Spring revolution in Tunisia.
MDC activists masquerading as human rights defenders have sought to appropriate the intrinsic power of social media to ignite an insurrection pursuant to effecting the western-sponsored illegal regime change agenda.
Citizen journalism, the 5th Estate, has been seen as the most potent tool to destabilise democracies that are averse to America’s unilateralism and foreign policy anchored on world dominance.
Zimbabwe as a country has faced a multiplicity of emerging threats from social media since 2013, which started with the emergence of Baba Jukwa on Facebook.
Gradually, a host of non-governmental individuals such as Evan Mawarire and protest movements such as #ThisFlag and #Tajamuka emerged, resulting in subversive street protests being planned and executed using the agency of Twitter and WhatsApp.
However, in the post-Mugabe era, there has been an exponential rise in the use of social media by opposition political parties, NGOs, civil society, social movements and non-governmental individuals to criticise the Government, with the sole aim of portraying the New Dispensation as worse than the First Dispensation.
A coterie of opinion leaders, acting as agenda setters, have upped the ante in besmirching the New Dispensation, and of late, inciting netizens to forcibly remove Zanu PF from power.
These influencers include Job Sikhala, Nelson Chamisa, Tendai Biti, Jonathan Moyo, Jacob Ngarivhume, Promise Mkwananzi, Shingi Munyeza, Freeman Chari, Noah Manyika, Lynn Mudonhi, Thalitha Dube, Hopewell Chin’ono, Alex Magaisa, Saviour Kasukuwere, Patrick Zhuwao, Walter Mzembi, among others.
These inciters are likely on America’s payroll.
The noticeable characteristic of this lot is that it incites followers by agitating for them to protest on the streets of Zimbabwe’s metropolitan cities such as Harare, Bulawayo and Gweru, while they are comfortably ensconced in their air-conditioned offices and well-manicured homes.
The most toxic of this lot are based in the Diaspora, among them UK-based duo of Mudonhi and Magaisa, US-based Chari and Manyika, Kenya-based Moyo and South Africa-based Kasukuwere, Mzembi and Zhuwao, among others.
They will be safely tucked in and safe from the vagaries of nature such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the hazards of provoking the coercive State apparatus by wilfully breaking the law and resisting lawful orders.
The gullible followers heed these ill-advised inciting messages and invade the streets, looting and attacking citizens who would be freely going about their business.
The virtual commanders are never physically on the ground, they never participate in the illegal and unlawful protests.
In fact, as Chamisa once did, he chastised them for being “stupid” for engaging in the 1 August 2018 demonstration, which he had ironically instigated under the moniker, “defend your vote.”
They disown the masses after inciting them!
Worse still, most of the leading lights who take the incitement a tad too far, banking on the moral, material and physical support from netizens, end up incarcerated, in court, disabled or even dead.
They end up facing the dire consequences of their illegal actions buoyed by mob psychology on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp.
Names such as Mawarire, Mkwananzi, Patson Dzamara, Acie Lumumba, and of late, Chin’ono and Ngarivhume come to mind.
On July 24, 2020 Dzamara raised discontent over the foregoing.
He tweeted that, “on several occasions, after the door of that prison van was closed, while on our way to prison, I would peep through the small windows. I would see people (inciters) going on with their lives, as always. At times it felt like I had been betrayed.”
On the same day, Temba Mliswa echoed Dzamara’s misgivings, tweeting that, “having been arrested during the RG Mugabe days, like what has happened with Hopewell Chin’ono, I have come to learn that in Zimbabwe one has many supporters whilst they are free. After they are arrested, one usually only has immediate family for support.”
Acie Lumumba summed it all with a brutal tweet, saying that, “Hopewell is getting a reality shock that online he has an army of supporters (inciters), but not even closest friends will visit in prison. After many arrests under Mugabe regime I learnt never to be fooled by morari wepamasaisai, you sleep on a cold cement wega and people move on. Unopfurirwa.”
Ngarivhume’s case is even more pitiful.
He was an unknown political quantity. He was used to set the July 31, 2020 demonstrations rolling.
He felt important just like the proverbial house nigger, taking instruction from some ambassadors of MDC’s Western friends.
He felt invincible. As soon as he was arrested, together with Chin’ono, the more loved pawn, he was forgotten.
Western embassies accredited to Harare, Western diplomats across the world, international human rights organisations and opposition supporters fell over each other to give solidarity with Chin’ono.
Ngarivhume is a forgotten pawn. He was used and thrown away. He is wallowing alone in prison. He has been put in his right place — a nobody in the scheme of things.
He is not even on anyone’s profile picture as is Chin’ono.
It would be recalled that 375 looters and protesters who foolishly participated in violent protests in January 2019, were convicted and sentenced to between two and seven years in jail and are currently languishing in prison.
Their families are suffering without bread winners. Marriages have collapsed. Children orphaned. Jobs lost. Livelihoods lost.
The planners, agitators, inciters and sponsors disappeared in the convicts’ hour of need.
Chamisa is nowhere to be found. The only badge of honour they can brandish after being released is a criminal record.
It will be hard to get a loan for anything, seek employment or get a visa or work permit. Your life would be dead in the water.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), which rushes to pretend to represent such victims of incitement, only pitches up for cosmetic purposes to justify funding from the Americans.
This “pro bono” representation is half- hearted, which explains why all the convicts are in prison without any appeal.
They are forgotten, yet ZLHR used their cases to justify more American funding. It is a cruel cycle.
Some people even lost their lives during the ill-fated August 1, 2020 demonstrations. Some lost limbs, yet the gullible rag tag continues to be used as political pawns to line up agitators’ and inciters’ pockets, while simultaneously raising their political stock.
At the moment, Zimbabwe is facing its worst contagion in the form of the Covid-19 pandemic. Cases are spiking. People are dying.
The inciters are hiding behind keyboards, yet they send the “stupid”, gullible and blind followers to the slaughter on the streets.
What is lost on all the gullible is that the inciters are actually at work when they are agitating for an insurrection, while the incitees are actually being exhorted to abandon their own workstations, where they derive their livelihoods.
It is the proverbial “kuitiswa”.
The gullible supporters will either infect themselves with the coronavirus, or will end up behind bars, if they heed the ill-advised inciting messages from the MDC and their cohorts.
Either way, they will be left alone to lick their wounds for the lucky ones either in a cell, or six feet under at a Covid-19-managed funeral with a relative or two in attendance.
The inciters will use those arrests, injuries and possible deaths, arising from the illegal demonstrations to secure more donor money for them and their families.
The cycle goes on and on.
Zimbabweans must wake up and smell the coffee. Musaitiswe, twittervism is a lonely, cold road.