Zim leader launches WhatsApp account to reach out to youth

2018-07-06 18:15
Emmerson Mnangagwa (File: AP)

Emmerson Mnangagwa (File: AP)

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Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has reportedly launched a WhatsApp account to reach out to young people ahead of elections in the country at the end of July.

According to the state-owned Chronicle newspaper, Mnangagwa, who until recently was a novice when it came to technology, was introduced to the instant messaging platform by a friend who recently visited him.

For one to join the president on his latest adventure they would be required to send a message to his Econet WhatsApp number +263 776 910 469, said the report. 

Mnangagwa confirmed this after the news broke on Wednesday on social media.

"Yes, we now have a WhatsApp number chat platform. A friend of mine came and asked for my WhatsApp number and I told him I was not on WhatsApp.

"He also asked for my email address and I told him that I did not have one. I said I don't need all that and he laughed. He said there was need for me to connect with the modern world and talk to people.

No immediate response to WhatsApp message 

"He came back a few minutes later asking for my mobile phone to install the WhatsApp software. I am now on WhatsApp and I will let it operate for some weeks and see how it goes," Mnangagwa was quoted as saying.

Although the president was online when News24 sent a text to test the WhatsApp number, there was no immediate response. 

It remains unclear who is running the president's WhatsApp account. 

Mnangagwa has broken away from former president Robert Mugabe's hardline stance on the use of social media months after taking over the southern African country's presidency last November.

Mnangagwa has a number of other social media pages on which he regularly posts updates.

According to Africa News, Mnangagwa used his newly reactivated social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter to ask Zimbabweans not to fight in the forthcoming elections.

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Read more on:    emmerson mnangagwa  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa
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