I would have expected it to be common sense for anyone making such grave accusations – which have the potential of causing civil unrest, instability, and even the curling of human rights (under the pretext of maintaining law and order, as well as peace and stability) – to, at least, provide substantial and substantive evidence.
Yet, what the people of Zimbabwe have had shoved down their constricted throats have been unsubstantiated allegations after another – leaving most scholars and analysts with only one plausible explanation…the government has no leg to stand on, as far as its claims are concerned, and these highly sensitive statements are meant as an excuse to silence the increasingly dissatisfied and disgruntled dissenting voices in the country, who are fed up with their continued brazen oppression and impoverishment, at the hands of a leadership whose insatiable greed for power and looting has pushed the citizenry off the edge.
If there are those abusing social media for their own selfish nefarious ulterior motives, which pose a genuine security threat to the nation, why have they not simply been prosecuted using the current laws?
Yet, we have not heard of any such prosecutions and convictions – except for the usual arrests on largely spurious charges, that have seldom resulted in any meaningful trials, in fact, have witnessed embarrassing and shameful persecution of human rights, political, and anti-corruption activists, such as Hopewell Chin’ono, who have been hauled before the courts on laws that no longer exist.
How about real charges, on real crimes, that pose a real security threat?
Even someone who posts an insulting, or untrue (defamatory), statement on social media (which may not even be a security threat) can be charged under the country’s present laws – so, why has not anyone faced a similar fate, if indeed, there are those truly inciting any activities that are threatening to our peace and order, peace and security?
The only conclusion that analysts, like myself, can come up with is that, the repressive and brutal Zimbabwe military junta is thoroughly irked, frustrated, and even infuriated with social media, purely because of its role in exposing their rampant criminality, as they would rather plunder the nation’s vast resources, whilst impoverishing the masses, as well as committing untold atrocities against any dissenting voices, under cover of a media blackout.
In simple words – the criminal gangs that run this country do not want their wicked activities to be known – and, social media has been a painful thorn in their flesh, as it has scuttled such hopes.
Let the government of Zimbabwe remember that, this is no longer the 1980s – whereby, they could massacre tens of thousands of innocent civilians in utter media darkness – when the North Korean trained 5th Brigade, and the ruling ZANU PF youths, unleashed a bloody reign of terror, which was largely not known, even in parts of the country, especially the northern regions, as the Genocide occured mainly in Matebeleland and Midlands provinces, and the severely constricted and constrained nature of the media landscape in those days, rendered it impossible for such information to be reported.
ZANU PF is ZANU PF – and, a leopard does not change its spots.
As such, the regime has never abated its thirst for human blood, and its perverted enjoyment in seeing the people’s suffering – but, now it is a whole different ball game, than in the 1980s, since the country, and the world, no longer have to rely on the unashamedly biased state-controlled media – who are too glad and submissive to the ruling elite, such that can not be seriously expected to tell truth to power.
On the other hand, social media has made nearly anyone with a smartphone an amateur journalist – who can easily capture videos or images of any state-sponsored brutality, or publish evidence of high-profile corruption.
That is what the Zimbabwe administration truly fears, and has the gall to call a “security threat”!
Security threat, my foot!
The only threat posed by social media is towards those who believe that they can massacre, brutalize, and impoverish the people of Zimbabwe with impunity.
That, to me, can hardly be described as a “security threat” – but, it would be more fitting to call it, “a threat to state-sanctioned impunity”.
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and political commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263733399640, or email: [email protected]Post published in: Featured