Govt groping in the dark on social media

Social media and the internet are a reality and the sooner the government appreciates this the better, as they cannot pretend we are living in 1982

Source: Govt groping in the dark on social media – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 11, 2016

NewsDay Comment

The government is now pressing full steam ahead with the promulgation of cybercrime laws, which are nothing but a ruse to spy on citizens and scare them from organising online.

Not to be left out, the military has also been dragged into this façade, with a number of statements being issued in an effort to cow Zimbabweans, following a number of protests, which have been magnified by social media.

State media have even gone onto the extent of identifying so-called cyberterrorists, a chilling reminder of the Baba Jukwa episode, an elaborate and costly sideshow with no results at all.

Two issues emerge from these latest episodes, firstly, the government is running scared and has no idea how to respond to social media-inspired protests.

Authorities are used to a uni-directional flow of communication, from the government to ordinary people, with very little resistance, but now, with social media, Zimbabweans are generating their own content and this frightens the authorities, who seemingly loathe an informed citizenry.

Instead of also joining the technological revolution, President Robert Mugabe’s administration is responding by issuing unhelpful threats and crafting Stone Age era laws — that every threat must be met with harsh laws.

Social media and the internet are a reality and the sooner the government appreciates this the better, as they cannot pretend we are living in 1982, where most people’s source of information were the odd radio in the village and the occasional pungwes that were used as indoctrination schools.

Secondly, the obsession with social media and the internet could be nothing more than a diversionary tactic by a government that has failed to address Zimbabweans’ concerns.

The government knows it has failed on its electoral pledges and has now identified social media as a red herring they can focus their attention on instead of addressing the people’s grievances.

Top military officials may wage the most sophisticated cyberwar and ICT minister Supa Mandiwanzira may come up with the most draconian internet laws ever, but this will in no way mitigate the problems that Zimbabweans face.

Zimbabwe’s problem is not free speech, social media nor the internet, but rather it is the government’s failure to provide an enabling environment to create jobs, authorities have also allowed the economy to go into a tailspin and they have no clue how to get this country out of this mess.

If the government were to spend as much time on the economy as it is chasing social media shadows, the country would be in a far much better State than it is now.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 1
  • comment-avatar
    TJINGABABILI 6 years ago

    Not only Social media BUT EVERY TO DO WITH RUNNING A GOVERNMENT! THE COUNTRY IS ON FIRE WHILE THEY ARE BUSY WORSHIPING THEIR DEAR LEADER! !!