Zanu (PF) steps up intelligence ahead of 2008 elections

Robert Mugabe's regime is attempting to crack down on opposition supporters with plans to deploy more 'information officers', The Zimbabwean can confirm.
For the last seven years, the Zimbabwe government has used information officers as informers, identifying opposition supporters and passing

on information to intelligence agents.
The state-controlled Herald reported that the government is expected to deploy 60 information officers countrywide by November in a bid to cover rural areas. The officers will work under the Zimbabwe Information Service.
The Acting Director for Rural Communication in the Ministry of Information and Publicity, Regis Chikowore, said the officers were also responsible for putting the mobile video units to good use.
The ministry wants to see the 60 rural districts manned by information officers. We now have 38 officers who are in the field. By November we will have all districts manned by officers,” he said.
He said the ministry was recruiting people with a journalism background to source news from the rural areas.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says the move is meant to intensify propaganda against opposition sympathisers.
“We know the move is just meant to further the interests of the ruling party and fuel falsehoods…as those recruited will be paid to do work for Zanu (PF)”, commented an opposition official.
Political analysts say people likely to be recruited are those who have been working for either of the government mouthpieces, the Herald and Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, as well as new journalism graduate who have had national militia training. – Trust Matsilele

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