“Social Movements have Transformed Zimbabwe’s Politics,” wrote Kingston Jambawo in The Zimbabwean.
Yes, social media has brought a lot of Zimbabweans into active politics who would otherwise have remain the usual deaf, dumb and blind passenger just going along with no clue where they are going. The only problem is these social media savvy Zimbabweans are, at the very best deaf, dumb and very partially sighted. They now think they know and are the wisest of the wise when in fact they do not.
“Zimbabwe regularly holds elections whenever they are due, with the winner consequently taking all. On that basis, the current government is, therefore, “legitimate”. This has rendered Zimbabwe’s own version of Arab Springs impossible,” he continued.
“How then can social movements and activism be called upon to make a difference in Zimbabwe?”
Of course, only someone whose vision is so limited they can hardly see beyond the tip of their nose would call the Zanu PF regime “legitimate” given all the evidence of how the regime has rigged past elections. What was the GNU for if not to implement a raft of democratic reforms designed to dismantle the de facto one party state and stop it from rigging elections.
Most social media activists are dumb, they have no clue what the GNU was about and, most important of all, that it failed to get even one reform implemented. When SADC leaders warned MDC leaders not to contest the July 2013 elections with no reforms in place, they were warning the Zimbabwean people too.
Of course, it was foolish of Tsvangirai and friends to contest the July 2013 elections with no reforms. It is totally unforgivable that there should be any Zimbabweans out there who have still not picked up on the MDC folly of contesting flawed 2013 elections, even now with the benefit of hindsight. And yet there are many such Zimbabweans and many of them are the social media activists per-excellence!
Many of the Zimbabweans out there feverishly promoting voter education, voter mobilisation, opposition grand coalition and many such political activities are all doing it through social media. They have seized these activities and they are now running with them without knowing they are all exactly what Zanu PF would want them to do.
Zimbabwe’s problem is not one of the voters do not know how to vote but that they are threatened, beaten and raped, many have even been murdered, to force them to vote for Zanu PF. The regime does not want the nation to even talk about implementing the reforms designed to stop vote rigging. And so by focusing on voter education instead of reforms social media activists are doing Zanu PF’s bidding!
The Arab Spring you are wishing for will never happen in Zimbabwe because the Arab activists were not deaf, dumb and blind what they were twitting about was not voter education but regime change. The Arab Spring activists would not be hoodwinked into contesting yet another flawed election; #Tajamuka, #Thisflag, etc. activists are the one campaign to get the nation to do just that.
If those in the social media are serious about changing Zimbabwe for the better then they must up their game; they must understand the real big issues affecting the nation. What we need is to reform ZEC, the Police, etc. so that they all their statutory duties without fear or favour and stop fooling ourselves thinking we can still have free and fair elections by increasing our social media twits!