WASHINGTON DC —
Hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans are believed to be on Facebook, Twitter, Whatsup and other social media platforms.
This has become a mouth-watering public sphere for a special breed of human beings – politicians – who have literally invaded these platforms to seek political mileage.
With Zimbabwe preparing for crucial general elections this year, this has become a hunting ground for politicians who want to easily reach large audiences at virtually no cost.
In this first edition of a two-part series, VOA Studio 7’s Gibbs Dube looks at how political parties and individual politicians are effectively using these media in the run up to the polls.
The Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe says there are more than 2 million mobile internet subscribers on the country’s three major mobile phone networks.
This has enticed politicians to use these media for sending personal public messages and sell party ideologies in order to gain political mileage as the country prepares for crucial general elections this year.
One of those politicians is Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere who says these social media platforms are currently shaping the country’s electoral process.
Nhlanhla Dube, spokesman for the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Industry Minister Welshman Ncube, agrees saying politicians have realised that the traditional media have lost a bit of sting and that is why they have switched to social media platforms.