Technology-shy Zanu blocks MDCs voice

HARARE Was it fear of technology or fear of the Movement for Democratic Change that led Zanu (PF) to block a mass communication scheme designed by the party

A new audio service, the Voice of Real Change, was meant to give the people of Zimbabwe a new platform to hear about events in the country.?

In a statement, the MDC said it noted with concern attempts by Zanu (PF) to derail the partys efforts to provide the people of Zimbabwe with a new information platform launched last week. However, the service has since been terminated and suspended after Zanu (PF), through the regulatory authority put pressure on Econet to block some of the lines used for the service.

The new MDC information system involved a user calling a mobile phone number. The call was immediately cut off and the user called back in the language of their choice. Information options included a news round-up, President Morgan Tsvangirais weekly message, the MDCs position on the constitution-making process, party events and a feedback option for people to leave their messages to the party.

Within three days of operation, Zanu (PF) threatened cellular phone service providers, Econet Wireless, Net-One and Telecel with closure following the MDCs use of cellular lines for the audio service, said a statement from the MDC.

It is heartening to note that the other lines, Net-one and Telecel lines, used in the audio service have not been blocked and continue to operate without any hindrances. The Telecel and Net-one numbers such as 0734 142600 and 0713 102917 have not been blocked.

The statement went on to say: It is telling to note that our service was disrupted hard on the heels of a threat to one of the cellular phone service providers by one Nathaniel Manheru, who is widely believed to be a senior but misguided civil servant in the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity.

These political threats on our audio service are a threat to plurality and the basic freedoms of speech and association and we will not take them lightly. As a party, we value the need for Zimbabweans to have many platforms to converse and interact. Our audio service is not a violation of any laws of the country, but provides a new, unique and exciting platform for Zimbabweans to exercise their basic freedom of speech within the law.

Post published in: News
  1. Amber

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