Vice President Constantino Chiwenga is confirmed to have banned his wife, Mary, from using social media. Mary used to be quite active on social media site Instagram whereĀ she used to post pictures of her familyĀ and business but went quiet with no explanation.
Zimbabweās Second Lady, later revealed that she had been forbidden from using social media by her husband. During an interview with the weekly publication, theĀ Daily News on Sunday, Mary revealed that she had never been a fan of Facebook or Twitter. Said Mary,
I donāt go on social media, Iām not on Facebook, I used to be on Instagram my husband told me to close it and I did.
Iām not on Twitter, Iām not on anything, my husband said to me āIf you want to be happy, stay away from searching yourself on the Internet, donāt go on social media you will live a happy life.ā
So I am living a happy life with none of those things.
Top government officials from the Zanu-PF government used to be against social media use, with former President Robert Mugabe in particular, ordering people not to. However, the decrees seemed to have little effect on former cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo who used to use and continues to use Twitter to attack and expose political rivals.
Since coming to power in the November 2017, military coup, President Emmerson Mnangagwaās government seems to have realised the futility of a social media ban. The government has instead tried to use social media to promote its activities as well as to push propaganda. President Emmerson Mnangagwa himself infamously ordered party stalwarts in the youth league toĀ use social media to further the regimeās propaganda efforts. These stalwarts have since been nicknamedĀ āVarakashiāĀ after Mnangagwaās exhortation āVarakashei pa Social Media Ipapoā. Loosely translated this means go after them on social media and vigorously defeat them.
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