Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

Zimbabwe has no intentions of attacking America and refutes social media rumours

09 Jan 2020 at 15:10hrs | Views
The information circulating in some foreign media outlets  and in some Twitts masquerading as cde Victor Matemadanda's twitter handle that  Zimbabwe may be forced to intervene in the middle east  if  United States does not retreat from  Iran is completely unfounded and false, Comrade Victor Matemadanda laughed this off as fake news.

"This is misinformation in a twitter purporting to be breaking news from ZBC It alleged that cde Matemadanda the deputy minister of defence has issued a chilling statement to America that "If America does not withdraw from Iran, Zimbabwe will be forced to inteverne to remove America by force."

A number of online media outlets distributed the information with the headline "Matemadanda warns America." According to their information, Matemadanda has issued this warning through the national broadcaster the ZBC.

Cde Victor Matemadanda dismissed this as fake news. Cde Victor Matemadanda asks the social media handlers to refrain from disseminating manipulative false information about the activities in the Middle East. Zimbabwe has not issued any official statement. In any case such information is issued by the ministry of information or by the President himself. There are people who are bent to tarnish the image of Zimbabwe.The information in the above article is false. The authors of the article have misinformed readers in a bid to create a bad relationship between Zimbabwe and America. We refute information about America's alleged involvement in Iran; this has nothing to do with Zimbabwe.

Cde Victor Matemadanda urged social media representatives who have published the manipulative material of the above-mentioned sources to refute it, and, in the future to verify their rubbish before publishing it. Cde Matemadanda will report to the police to serve notice to persons who are posting inflammatory messages on social media that incited communal hatred and international crisis. Zimbabwe has its own way of doing things and it will never use twitter to communicate with other countries.

While Zimbabwe is not comfortable with the behaviour of America which is bullish it has not commented on the current behaviour. Police in Zimbabwe must register against social media lunatics who ca be identified where they have posted an inflammatory post on social media. The said post is meant to incite tension which may result /resulting in the breach of public peace and order, promoting enmity between nations. Zimbabwe is a peaceful nation and it does not interfere in areas which are not in its interest. Action against miscreants spreading communal hatred on social media is being mooted in a major way Fake news, or fabricated content deceptively presented as real news, has garnered a lot of interest and it becomes dangerous daily.Although hardly a new phenomenon, the global nature of the web-based information environment allows purveyors of all sorts of falsehoods and misinformation to make an international impact. As a result, we talk of fake news and its impact in the whole world.

Even though the rise of fake news about Zimbabwe in recent months is undeniable, its impact is a different story. It is true that fake news, often highly partisan, gives the opposition a notch higher in their public standing. There is certainly evidence of fake news stories getting a lot of traction on social media, at times even outperforming actual news stories. But talking about the current situation in the Middle East is very sensitive and irresponsible for anyone to utter such rubbish. We must be patriotic Zimbabweans who love their country.   And the persuasive effects of these stories have very negative effects on the country.

The real impact of the growing interest in fake news has been the realization that the public might not be well-equipped to separate quality information from false information. In fact, a majority of Zimbabweans are confident that they can spot fake news while the same cannot be said about President Trump. It can be said that Zimbabweans too were confident they could spot, and ignore, fake news online. The reality, however, is that it might be more difficult than people think.

The problem will only get worse without proper action as more people get their news online and politics becomes more tribal and polarized. Those who post fake news should have limits on their jokes. It stops to be a joke once it lacks compassion.

Cde Victor Matemadanda is a seasoned politician and will never utter such information, he is not even a spokesperson of the government and he knows what words to say and when to say them.


Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.