Mashudu Netsianda/Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporters
ZANU-PF is set to come up with provincial social media teams to defend the party and Government programmes on social media following campaigns by opposition elements fomenting violence while tarnishing the country’s image.
Last month, the opposition working with some western embassies and non-governmental organisations, used social media to try effect regime change through violence disguised as demonstrations against corruption.
The opposition has also deliberately misconstrued the signing of the Global Compensation Deed (GCD) designed to compensate white former farm owners as a reversal of the land reform programme by the Second Republic.
Speaking during a Matabeleland North Provincial Co-ordinating Committee (PCC) meeting yesterday, Zanu-PF Politburo member Cde Munyaradzi Machacha, said while many people were spreading misinformation about the country on social media, party members were slackening in defending the party’s programmes.
He said land reform will never be reversed but the Government in signing the GCD was following the dictates of the Constitution.
“We therefore should come up with provincial social media teams to articulate the party and Government policies. While some people would be going to the farms while others work in industries, we should also have a cyber unit which will be involved in defending the party’s programmes on social media platforms. Social media has become the new battlefield for control, but the opposition is using it to portray the country in bad light which is not the situation of the ground,” said Cde Machacha.
“We have facts and statistics of what is happening on the ground. While they send lies on social media our teams should counter that with facts and we expect each province to be doing this.”
He said the Politburo has resolved to set up District Co-ordinating Committees (DCC) in eight provinces as has already been done with Bulawayo and Harare. “Remember we had DCCs in the past but they became more powerful and influential than what they were designed to be. They became more powerful than their superior structures that is why the party resolved to disband them. But we have observed that there is a gap that has been caused by their absence in the districts that is why we are bringing them back,” he said.
“We had cases where the PCC would go and ask for permission from them yet the PCC was superior. When we set up the new structures, we will allow them to fly but we will clip their wings so they will not fly like eagles. They would not assume the same powers as they did previously.”
Speaking at the Bulawayo PCC meeting at Davies Hall in the city yesterday, party Secretary for Administration Dr Obert Mpofu challenged the party’s newly elected Bulawayo provincial executive to play a leading role in mobilising support to ensure that the party resoundingly wins in the 2023 harmonised elections.
He said the interim provincial executive committee should also help instil discipline among members and strengthen structures in preparation for the 2023 harmonised elections.
The province had been without an executive following the dissolution of structures in 2019 and had been operating under the chairmanship of Politburo member Cde Absalom Sikhosana who died in May.
The 15-member Bulawayo provincial leadership, which is led by Cde Obert Msindo comprises elected District Co-ordinating Committees (DCC) members.
Dr Mpofu urged the executive committee to work as a team and shun factionalism in line with the thrust of the new dispensation.
“We are here to build Bulawayo and therefore we should all work together towards achieving that goal.
“Zanu-PF is a mass party and therefore we expect the leadership to work with everyone in the party and mobilise enough support for us to win the next elections, which are due in 2023,” he said.
Dr Mpofu also urged party members to desist from the divisive politics of tribalism, saying Zimbabweans were one people regardless of language and cultural diversity.
“Bulawayo is a cosmopolitan city and don’t discriminate against anyone basing on the language they speak or region they come from,” he said.
“We want to build strong provincial structures and this can only be possible if we work as a team because power is the people not individuals. Our focus and energy should be channeled towards winning elections. We want to reclaim those parliamentary and council seats come 2023.”
Dr Mpofu also revealed that the ruling party’s supreme decision-making body, the Politburo will be meeting South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) leadership in Harare on Wednesday.
A 10-member delegation is expected in the country tomorrow to meet its Zanu- PF counterparts as part of the revolutionary parties’ efforts to strengthen mutual cooperation and apprise each other of developments on either side of the Limpopo.
“President Mnangagwa and his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa including myself and my ANC counterpart Ace Magashule are in constant touch, which is why we are meeting at party-to-party level on Wednesday. In fact, as Zanu-PF, we raised our concern about the issue of alleged gross human rights violations in Zimbabwe being discussed at government to government level. We then agreed as Zanu-PF and ANC to first discuss it at party-to-party level,” said Dr Mpofu.
“Presidents Mnangagwa and Ramaphosa agreed on the date, and we are now meeting as Zanu-PF Politburo and ANC NEC to discuss. We are aware that there are G-40 elements who are actually peddling lies about the situation on Zimbabwe and they are hiding in South Africa.”
“While there is a dedicated onslaught on Zimbabwe and Zanu-PF in particular to disfigure the political situation in the country, we hope our ANC counterparts will be better acquainted with the genuine state of affairs in our country beyond the sinister propagandas of our detractors,” he said.
Zanu-PF Secretary for Legal Affairs, Cde Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana, who was also part of yesterday’s meeting, explained to members the significance of the GCD.
“There has been a lot of talk and distortions about what is happening regarding the land reform programme. In 2009, we had a constitutional reform programme under the Copac (Constitution Parliamentary Committee), a constitution select committee of the Parliament mandated with the drawing up a new constitution for Zimbabwe during the inclusive Government,” he said.
“When we entered into the negotiations for the constitution, we agreed that we will not buy the land which was taken from our forefathers. President Mnangagwa is a lawyer, and he knows that for as long as we have not completed what is contained in our constitution, we will continue to have problems with Zimbabwe continuing to be under sanctions no matter how much we try to solve our economic challenges.”
Cde Mangwana said when President Mnangagwa signed the compensation deed agreement with the former white farmers, he only agreed to pay for improvements on the land, not to buy the land. — @mashnets/[email protected]