Hon Patrick Antony Chinamasa, the outgoing Finance Minister was just reappointed as the new Minister of Cyber Security, Threat Detection and Mitigation. As he takes on this role in this newly created ministry the nation looks on, clueless as to what his role will be but hoping he will do that job well.
As the Cyber Security minister one would expect him to have a presence online and as luck would have it, he does. Or does he?
If you are to look for Patrick Chinamasa on Facebook you will find a total of five profiles in his name. Now, Facebook cannot force people to change their names so it is possible to have many different profiles with the same name but belonging to different people. In Patrick Chinamasa’s case though four of them claim to be his, unless there are other Patrick Chinamasas in government.
The question then becomes, which one is his or are all four his? It is important to know especially as we all have seen the effects and impact of fake news. We wouldn’t want someone to peddle whatever news they have as coming from the Cyber Security minister.
Techzim got in contact with the minister to confirm which one is his. Listen ye because he assured us that NONE of them are his. Do not believe anything that is shared on those accounts, it is not coming from him. He also confirmed that unlike the notorious Twimbo Jonathan Moyo, he is not on Twitter either. He is not on any social media, period.
It is not hard to understand why he is not on social media. Until recently he probably thought of it as a teenagers’ plaything. That was until he saw its power when a few messages on WhatsApp were enough to cause hysteria as people panic-bought cooking oil causing temporary shortages and price hikes. I am sure he now knows social media is a powerful tool.
The hope today is that although he is not on social media, he knows enough about how it works to be able to properly regulate it. Yes, I said regulate. It is coming. There is going to be some form of social media regulation in this country just like there is in Tanzania whether we like it or not. President Mugabe’s remarks revealed as much. Will that be effective? Well, that’s another story.
As Hon Patrick Chinamasa tackles social media abuse and the fake news phenomenon it is somewhat funny that there are fake accounts on social media claiming to be his. It is a long road that the minister is going to be taking. Is he tech savvy enough to lead the Cyber Security ministry? Does he have to be? It doesn’t matter, does it, because he is all we have.
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