HARARE - The Zanu PF propaganda wars — and misinformation campaigns — have reached fever pitch amid claims that Vice President Joice Mujuru has launched a Facebook account to fight off Grace Mugabe and push her succession agenda.
This comes as internal party dynamics and infighting are set to worsen after Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa — one of the alleged factional kingpins — was involved in a car accident on Wednesday and thus stoking widespread fears of organised hits across the movement.
In one of the alleged posts made under the mujurujoice Facebook account and first captured by a United Kingdom-based website, the beleaguered Zanu PF number two is said to have hit back at Grace for repeatedly excoriating her since three weeks ago.
“Loyal to the president… loyal to the people; muridzo haticheuke (we will not be swayed by those whistling in the dark),” it was reported on newzimbabwe.com early yesterday before the story was quickly nicked or pulled down around midday.
“Kana benzi rikabata pito…,” (If a madman has the whistle) it said.
While Zimbabweans have been used to a daily dosage of “Zanu PF titbits” and ever since the elusive Baba Jukwa hit the market early last year, it remains to be seen whether this avalanche of social media platforms — especially in the name of President Robert Mugabe, Information minister Jonathan Moyo and Mujuru — are genuinely owned by these top government officials.
As it is, no single politician — except the likes of Environment minister Saviour Kasukuwere and his Tourism counterpart Walter Mzembi — has come out to claim or defend these surreptitious accounts.
For instance, a search for Mugabe’s name on Facebook has turned in no less than 13 accounts, while Mujuru has four-plus pages and with two of them having been created between December 2013, and October 18.
Their authenticity, though, remains in doubt.
On the other hand, there are at least three accounts in Moyo’s name and in particular one with 11 000-plus likes, and allegedly calling for his election as president in 2018.
While the phenomenon of impostors and identity theft — especially of high-profile people — is rampant on Facebook worldwide, this process has earned the name or been dubbed “catfish”.
Grace, the comical First Lady who has caused Mujuru sleepless nights in recent weeks, also has up to “three pages with her biography”.
However, it is the drivel, hate speech and corrosive nature of postings that always give away the fact that some of these accounts are not owned by the people they purport to represent.