MDC-T officials rapped for abusing social media

Five MDC-T officials here have been suspended for allegedly abusing social media platforms to attack the party's top leadership and fanning factionalism, reports Southern Eye.


The party’s secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora confirmed the development. Swithun Chimuta and Boaz Manganiso are among the five who were suspended two weeks ago by the party's standing committee.

"It is true that as a party, we have suspended some of our members for abusing social media platforms. We are not saying they must not use social media, but we are encouraging them to use it responsibly," Mwonzora said.

"The party has set an ad-hoc committee that will look into the issue. For now I cannot shed light over the matter, but soon they will appear for the hearing," Mwonzora said.

"We are reprimanding perpetrators of this whole thing and the idea behind this is not to punish them, but to simply correct them so that they would see that their deeds are not acceptable in any way," Mwonzora added.

Early this year, MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai banned members from using social media, claiming the platform was fuelling divisions in the opposition party.

The ban by the party, which has long touted itself as a champion of freedom of expression, has been attacked by pro-democracy activists who accuse Tsvangirai of hypocrisy.

He demanded that all WhatsApp groups administered by party activists should be closed. "The proliferation of this abuse (social media) has reached alarming proportions and cannot be ignored any longer. I, therefore, issue the order that any WhatsApp group administered by anyone who is an MDC member without exception, be shut down," said the statement, which bore Tsvangirai's signature.

"Any party structure which needs to run a social media group should access forms from the office of the president. Those who have been found on the wrong side must consider this as an official first warning."

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