Zanu-PF secretary for administration Cde Obert Mpofu, who is in self-isolation, says he will use his new twitter handle to engage on the Covid-19 pandemic ravaging the country and has since claimed more than 70 lives.
Cde Mpofu placed himself into self-quarantine at his rural home in Nyamadlovu, in compliance with the Covid-19 regulations following his trip to Tanzania recently.
The politburo member, who on Monday clocked his 19th day in self-quarantine opened the twitter account to engage with many Zimbabweans on a bigger digital platform. The Covid-19 crisis has left many people disengaged from friends and relatives as well as national issues.
“The nation is grappling with Covid-19. So I will use the platform to engage on this important issue confronting us,” said Cde Mpofu in an interview with The Herald on Monday.
Some sections of the media and social media platforms claimed that the Zanu-PF politburo member was bedridden after allegedly contracting the coronavirus, a claim which he scoffed at.
“As you are aware there is falsehoods being peddled that am Covid-19 bedridden, yet on the contrary I am fit as a fiddle,” he said.
“The gross stigmatisation is as if being infected and affected by Covid-19 is taboo. I am actually encouraging members of the public to constantly have regular tests as I have been doing since the outbreak of the Covid-19. As it stands, my entire family has gone through similar routines of constant Covid-19 testing.”
He said the social media would also give him room to make contact with people and exchange notes on important national issues. Cde Mpofu said he was taking a cue from President Mnangagwa, who is active on social media platforms and was reaching out to all the citizens.
“It is a modern way of reaching to our friends, loved ones and fellow compatriots,” said Cde Mpofu, who has faced what he described as “tonnes of abuse on social-media”.
He urged leaders in the ruling party to emulate President Mnangagwa and use social media platforms to engage people on various issues of national interests during this Covid-19 period.
President Mnangagwa, said Cde Mpofu, was reaching out to all Zimbabweans through the various social media platforms.
“My own boss His Excellency Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa engages all Zimbabweans on all social media platforms,” he said. “Therefore, as leaders in the ruling party, we must all emulate him and make use of the democratic social media dialogue spaces.”
Cde Mpofu said while on the other hand, social media has been a factory for fake news in some instances the idea is to use “this space to share authentic information on issues surrounding our politics and information on the economy”.
Cde Mpofu also pointed out that their (leaders) absence on the social media has caused national debate to be arrogated by reactionaries and imperialist handled propagandists.
“The prime aim has been to bridge the gap between ourselves and the people,” he said.
“We need to be where the young and the old are. Our national debates are on such platforms and as the secretary for administration of the ruling party, it’s imperative for me to engage all Zimbabweans across the political and ideological divide.”
Cde Mpofu added that social media was now the trend across the world saying the days of conventional communication are coming to their end and through social media “we get to engage on various ideas and share varying points of dissent beyond petty prejudices”.