De-campaigning Zim through falsehoods

De-campaigning Zim through falsehoods – NewZimbabwe 26/03/2016

TO say that opposition politics in Zimbabwe is unimaginative and wholly uninspiring is an epic show of restraint with words out of respect. There is this very restricted and rigid view of the role of the opposition; what they intend to achieve and how they are going to achieve those outcomes. The opposition has this ‘whatever-it-takes’ attitude when it comes to fulfilling their barren ambitions of dislodging the ruling party as the next government.

Opposition parties in Zimbabwe are very limited when it comes to policy and punch, they offer no shadow strategy for the country and their primary objective is a feeling of entitlement to get into ‘power simply because the ruling party has been in power for too long’. There is a disastrous and destructive overreliance on disinformation deliberately intended to mislead and deceive the electorate.

There is a high level of desperation to tarnish, misinform and create the impression of utter ruination about the country even in cases that do not warrant such depiction. It is unfortunate that some within the opposition will go to extraordinary length to present the country to the world with such bleak outlook for their singular yet infertile ambitions to get to be the next government.

It is a shameless charade to tarnish the name of Zimbabwe through outrageous invention and having to import images from other countries to dishonourably illustrate perceived failures of the ruling party. There recently was a picture of a road with many potholes which was being circulated on social media and being deviously portrayed as being in Harare. It is offensive to say the least and a disservice to the nation.

The picture is clearly not from Harare or any part of Zimbabwe. The cars are driving on the right hand side and that car number plates have white backgrounds and black font. In Zimbabwe cars drive on the left hand side and number plates are yellow. This distorted depiction of Zimbabwe is clearly and carelessly presented to fool the electorate into exchanging their vote for such blatant half-truth.

What person in their right mind would want to represent their own country with such an incorrect and damaging impression? The picture is clearly not from Zimbabwe and those who are circulating this picture and claiming this is Harare are intending on appealing to a particular funding circle to help prop up their very slim chances of convincing the electorate that they are made of real governing stuff.

Instead of a heartfelt and genuine connection with the electorate at grassroots level and seriously challenging what they perceive to be the ruling party’s policy flaws, they are busy trying to outdo each other in de-campaigning and denigrating Zimbabwe through fictitious images rented from somewhere else other than Zimbabwe.

No one is denying that there are potholes in the country or the fact that the country is facing economic challenges, but to import and fabricate images and pass them on as Harare is pitiful. Those who have circulated and shared this image are deliberately destructive and reckless. The country is going through many challenges as we speak, there are real problems to contend with and any opposition worth noting should be focusing on policy alternatives not rented images.

The Zimbabwe electorate is highly sophisticated and can easily sift through to distinguish facts from fabrications. This deliberate deception and disinformation is not going to win over the electorate. Those in the opposition who are fuelling this misleading narrative lack foresight. They present the country with such negativity and forget that even if, by some miracle, they get to become the next government that negative perception about the country will stick for a very long time. You cannot delete social media posts once shared and that is it.

The opposition accuse the government of scaring away investors but, if the truth be told, they themselves are doing the real job of misrepresenting Zimbabwe to potential investors. The picture they are circulating on social media and the never-ending negative portrayal of Zimbabwe goes a long way in discouraging investors into the country.

Again, no one is suggesting for one second that we should camouflage problems and paint a rosy picture, but to fake images for effect is just dishonest and dishonourable.  The perception this creates is that of absolute ruin and gloom and very few countries, if any, molest themselves in this manner. Yes, Zimbabwe does have potholes on some roads but not to the extent suggested in that fake image doing rounds on social media.

This disinformation campaign against Zimbabwe is a concerted effort by the local opposition who are desperate to get into power. There is nothing patriotic about continually trying to put your country down. In fact, that is substandard patriotism. There are social, political and economic implications associated with persistently and publicly disgracing your own country and they are indeed disastrous.

It is a never-ending onslaught against Zimbabwe. There was a very dodgy ‘survey’ entitled ‘3rd Annual Africa Wealth Report’ published by the equally dodgy New World Wealth publication which claimed that Zimbabwe was the poorest country in the world based on inaccurate data. The disheartening thing is that it was Zimbabwean nationals who picked up on such a meaningless survey and shared that online as a matter of fact. Even online publications printed such shallow data.

The so-called survey uses per capita rankings and claimed that Zimbabwe’s wealth per capita was US$200 per person. The report surveyed 20 countries and from those 20 countries concluded that Zimbabwe was the poorest country in the world! One is left wondering where they obtained the data for such a dubious survey. A quick look on the data sets from Zimbabwe Government ZNSA, RBZ, ADB, IMF, Credit Suisse or World Bank will give you a Zimbabwe wealth per capita of over US$2,000 per person.

That figure could be even higher given that Zimbabwe’s economy is still incorrectly measured and still to be rebased. These rankings of poorest and richest country are just pointless and misleading. It is inaccurate to rank world economies because some countries measure economic activity that others do not factor in. Some countries measure informal activities whereas others do not, some countries have rebased their economies and others are still to rebase theirs. Thus, when the size of the different countries’ economies is inconsistently measured then the rankings among countries are inconsistent and mostly inaccurate.

The tragedy is that as erroneous and destructive such disinformation is, the Zimbabwe opposition clutch onto such ridiculous surveys and run off with these as facts to further their faint hopes of becoming the next government. The rent-a-fake photo of potholes brings the desperation to new heights. Even the newly formed People First has been desperately ‘renting’ pictures of crowds to present a picture of bumper crowds at their poorly-attended gatherings.

The opposition is and has always focused on faulty step ladders towards power hence the preoccupation with trying to dishonestly undermine government. The electorate will not be easily swayed by blatant lies as fake pothole pictures and fraudulent surveys. With such opposition, Zanu PF is on course to register another landslide in the 2018 elections.


  • comment-avatar

    Nobody needs to create potholes. There are simply no roads in most urban areas. All that is there are police waiting for vehicles to develop faults due to bad roads. No story there. ZANU just has to go. Should have gone 15 years ago when it lost the vote. This propaganda will no longer fool anybody.

  • comment-avatar
    C Frizell 6 years ago

    What he says is very true. I helped Trudy Stevenson campaign way back in 2000 – and was thouroghly disillusioned at the grasping and greedy nature of nearly all the supporters.

    It seemed ironic that White Afs like me, and Trudy who wasn’t even born in the country were far, far more patriotic than our black Zim compatriots.

    To be honest, a miserable nation lacking moral fibre. No one spoke out against the Land Grab, though they knew it was illegal and immoral. A few black friends did, but zero was said in public. Same with ZPF’s unceasing racism – no counter-attack.

    But yet these people expect help from others?

  • comment-avatar
    Tiger Shona 6 years ago

    That is not a well balanced article. And a lot of half truths in it too.
    Sounds like Bernard feels a pity for these Zanu PF gangsters.

  • comment-avatar
    Michael 6 years ago

    The writer of the above article is clueless about the economy. Any country where people starve because of foot shortages or people cannot afford food and where more than 80% of the workers are not in formal employment cannot have a per capita income of $2000 per annum. That is why millions of working class people has fled from the country in a desperate attempt to escape starvation.

    The problem is the difference between the income of the political elite and that of the ordinary people is monstrous and Zimbabwe is rated as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Where is the missing $15 billion in lost diamond revenue and why is Zimbabwe importing maize from Zambia, where the maize is produced by farmers who left Zimbabwe when the greedy elite stole the farms under the guize that the forms are expropriated to give to the landless?

    To try and cover the negatives in a country where the people now is worse off than they were 30 years ago is a serious case of ZANU-PF propaganda and is effectively a joke.

  • comment-avatar
    Only Fools 6 years ago

    Excuse me!!!. What a load of hogwash!. Who you kidding? ZANUPF has brought about this disinformation themselves. Who’s painted the bad portrait of Zimbabwe. ZANUPF that’s who! Scandal after scandal, and then the farms, now the mines, and followed by this 51% take over that’s why Zimbabwe has been painted this way. To say the annual per capita is $2000 is totally false! The current GDP stands at $475. That’s about $40 per month. You think I would believe information stats from the Government!!!! They will lie and lie as they have been lying all this time. MDC don’t have to lie about anything, as anyone can see what a poor state this country has been reduced to. And all thanks to Mugabe’s ZANUPF. Wait for the 51% company take over and let’s see how the World Bank and IMF react. If anything this ‘clown’ Zhuwao will do this country it’s worst de-campaigning, ever!

  • comment-avatar
    Mwanawevhu 6 years ago

    Accuse the victims. Pathetic!!!