This study is an exploration of the use of technology-mediated interventions by the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) in checkmating the countryâ€™s insidious culture of political violence and impunity. It disentangles the ZPPâ€™s strategies and the composite reactions they triggered from state functionaries and the aligned security apparatus.
The ZPP exploited and deployed an Internet-circulated monthly newsletter, bulk short message service (SMS) alerts, smartphones, radio and Facebook to shine a spotlight on injustice. It is argued that the ZPPâ€™s whistle-blowing strategies used against human rights violators were not necessarily intended to secure immediate perpetrator conviction; rather, they were a partial but exigent attempt at using perpetrator exposure to reveal extralegal activities and checkmate the countryâ€™s culture of impunity.
The ZPPâ€™s cybernetic naming and shaming strategies embarrassed some offenders, as evidenced by the intelligence operatives and the policeâ€™s constant harassment and arrests of ZPP-affiliated activists. The state-controlled media compounded this pressure by casting aspersions on the ZPPâ€™s bona fides, labelling it a foreign-funded organisation that was attempting to destabilise the country. Finally, this study is informed by a broad evidentiary base that includes ZPP reports on its e-archive, oral interviews, policy documents and newspaper accounts.