With the ever-growing influence of social media on our day-to-day lives, it is not surprising that world leaders have made it an important part of their engagement with the public.
President Mnangagwa’s affinity towards social media and technology is well documented since he came to power. The President is on Twitter and Facebook and additionally, he has a website and an app. Now he has taken a step further by opening a ‘WhatsApp’ broadcast list. WhatsApp is by far the most used app and social media platform in Zimbabwe, owing to its cheapness. Had it not been for his friend who came up with an idea, the President wouldn’t have set up the Whatsapp platform. Speaking at his Munhumutapa offices yesterday evening, Mnangagwa said;
Yes, we now have a WhatsApp chat platform. A friend of mine came and asked for my WhatsApp number and I told him that 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 the people. He came back a few minutes later asking for my mobile phone to install the WhatsApp software.
How to be in the WhatsApp group
For one to be part of the broadcast list, he or she should send a message on Econet WhatsApp number 0776 910 469.
Good move again by the president. I think being on social media makes our President more approachable and show that he is willing to listen to the people and what they have to say. That is something people today value. ‘Technology-wise’, I think it may be a sign that he can introduce policies and laws that support technology growth in Zimbabwe.