'Don't fight party battles on Twitter' - Mugabe

2016-12-17 13:00
Robert Mugabe (File: AFP)

Robert Mugabe (File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Harare - He might not have his own Twitter account after all, how many 92-year-olds do?

But Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe knows some of his top officials are using Twitter - and it's not helping his fractured party's reputation.

A tough-talking Mugabe opened a conference of his ruling Zanu-PF in the central city of Masvingo on Friday with an astonishing swipe at social media platforms Twitter and Facebook - and what he thinks is the gutter press.

"We do not run or organise matters of the party or send our grievances through Twitter and Facebook," Mugabe said.

The Twitter dig was likely aimed at members of G40, Zanu-PF's so-called Young Turks who are keen to push themselves into position to succeed Mugabe when and if he dies or steps down.

Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo is active, vocal and at times critical of other party officials on Twitter (he has 105K followers).

Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere tweets slightly less than Moyo, but still has 60.1K followers.

G40's rivals are the faction of the ruling party led by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa. This is a grouping of mostly older officials who are less visible on social media but who have a strong voice in the official Herald newspaper, which falls under their control.

Mugabe's jibe at the press - he said some papers "only deserve to go in the bin" - was probably not aimed at the Herald. The private press in Zimbabwe has closely followed the factional fighting within Zanu-PF this year, just as it has followed the social unrest that was sparked by #ThisFlag founder Evan Mawarire in April.

The longtime president allowed that there was "a measure of unhappiness" among Zimbabweans. But he also spoke out firmly against regime change, which is what he believes #ThisFlag was trying to achieve (with the West's backing).

“There has not been regime change and there shall not be regime change. They stand defeated on that one,” he said.

Mugabe has previously spoken out against the "filth" on social media. But he may face resistance from his nearest and dearest: earlier this year his son Robert was an avid user of Instagram.

Both Mugabe's sons were at Friday's conference opening. The Chronicle snapped a pic of the pair of them. Chatunga was scrolling through his smartphone.

Read more on:    zanu-pf  |  jonathan moyo  |  robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.