Internet to influence next election in Zimbabwe/ bloggers, faceless authors at high risk

Many people have lost their jobs and their livelihood. Many had promising lives ended up on the streets and hopeless. Many men are failing to fend for their families. Yet many other may never own their own homes. Eking a living has by far became the hardest it has ever been in Zimbabwe. Thousands of Zimbabweans children have gone on to become economic refugees in other countries all over the world, even countries we hardly knew existed- Timbuktu, Tajikistan. All housing Zimbabweans seeking a live-hood, however undignified home or away, many Zimbabweans cry the beloved country. Reasons preferred for economic failure, are varied depending on one’s political affiliations and ideologies and these range from smart sanctions, bad governance and poor policies.
Whatever the various divergence points one thing is sure: A democracy deficit is very apparent, giving us bloggers something to write about at-least.
Can Zimbabwe’s media be described as fairly regulated? media freedom is stifled in Zimbabwe we lack a diverse media platform, private and public media never publish freely.
At first the government extended an open internet policy. Authorities chose not to regulate the internet because a very few percentage margin of people had access to the internet compared to today were almost each and every person who owns a mobile phone browse the internet. The Arab spring upraising made the government to change its stance on the internet policy. Instead of taking robust regulatory framework against the internet the government should encourage and applaud the internet in many ways, as it allows individuals to express themselves and this I believe encourages creativity thinking among people, specifically youth.
When liberties through freedom of expression are abused or restricted, Curious people about certain topics and debates out there take the other route, and that’s hiding under anonymity afforded by the internet to express their views and frustration. And once the situation stand this way there is no good out come.
If you are a Zimbabwean in diaspora maintaing a blog were you express your views about the well-being of the country (As you can’t get to be authorized to such a privilege in Zimbabwean soils) You are labelled as being hosted and encouraged to rubbish Zimbabwe by the so called unfriendly country towards Zimbabwe, Britain, USA , Holland and South- Africa naming a few. But the government of Zimbabwe should stop behaving as if they a toddlers and point out the problem that drives people to be faceless authors. Our liberal democracy is in semblance.
With the 2013 watershed elections around the corner I can assure you with confidence that bloggers, faceless authors and the whole private media at large will be in big danger, we will be hunted down and destroyed, for one reason the truth hurts, the private media writes and reports the truth and facts while the public media owned by the state writes or report the truth the opposite. When a blogger or someone from the private media sector writes about anything concerning Zimbabwe, that piece of work is viewed as to achieve a sinister political agenda.
Foreign funded blogs and online newspapers that are not accountable to Zimbabwean authorities but whose content steams daily in Zimbabwe’s cyber space will be a huge challenge to get rid of as the people are enjoying sourcing information, from those than the propagandistic public media.
Blogs like mine which touch the sensitive political topic maybe seen by the elite as being there to undermine the so called legitimate government, NO my blog is there for educational purposes its were I express my views and opinion freely and were friends and family can correct me of certain things thus I will be gaining knowledge about not only Zimbabwe but the world in general. Its very unfortunate when you use the internet to raise your views or create a debate someone out there thinks you are engaging in acts of sabotage, the acts that they believe border to treason.
The internet has became a information hub that people have come to rely on. When foreign nationals search the internet for information on Zimbabwe they find useful information posted by bloggers and faceless authors other than shameless lies peddled by the country’s public media. Can then foreignersUn be blamed for choosing to take their holiday’s somewhere else ? Nor the faceless author or blogger telling the truth as it is ? Unless freedom of expression is restored faceless authors , bloggers and private media will be on the increase and as long as our sacrosanct liberties are stifle people will be forced to into a situation were they can level allegations on anyone but not have the courage to come out in the open to defend themselves for what they have written.
Whether we like it or not the upcoming elections in Zimbabwe will be influenced by the internet’s social networks. The ruling Zanu-PF which turned fifty last year has been relatively invisible on the internet and has earned the moniker of being ” technophobic” as its central chain of leaders are old and seen as old of the growing impact of the internet. The Zanu-PF regime at its December 2011 conference resolved to deal with heavy hand against social networking sites and vowed to monitor their activities. Zanu-PF is cheating it’s self to think that young people will come to rallies.
Article by Ephraim Ntlamo


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