Cyber Bullying has rarely been a topic of conversation in Africa and Zimbabwe. Maybe it’s because people are tending to more pressing issues such as poverty and this has led to cyberbullying taking a backseat but it seems that might be changing in 2019 after the “Cyberbullying incident” involving the wife of high profile businessmen Strive Masiyiwa –Tsitsi Masiyiwa. It seems other politicians are getting involved with Obert Gutu coming out saying he has also been cyberbullied but he is not bothered.
Strive Masiyiwa is fully standing beside his wife and also claims that he knows who is behind the cyberbullying incidents saying it’s more to do with business rivalry rather than plain old internet malice from ordinary people.
Replying to a question on Facebook from one Jerry Masungo, the founder and CEO of Econet Wireless said:
I would like to give a #ShoutOut of appreciation to Jerry Masungo, and all those who have joined him and others in their campaign of support after the misogyny [hatred of women], cyberstalking and bullying of my wife.
It’s a small group of people who are being financed by a certain businessman that bears a long time grudge. Our lawyers are working on it.
It too will be a learning moment for some of you entrepreneurs out there.
We must never be silent when our own people are being attacked.
Who could be this mystery businessman be?
Strive Masiyiwa has been in business for over 20 years so it won’t be entirely clear who this businessman is unless if Strive comes out and declares who it is. This does not mean there is no room to speculate, however.
Econet recently sent a letter threatening to sue Rutendo Matinyarare who was accusing Masiyiwa of corruption and in that letter, one businessman with a “long time grudge” was copied – Mutumwa Mawere.
Interestingly Econet’s letter also referenced Twitter and a smear campaign:
In addition, it has become clear that you are part of a group of persons engaged in a deliberate smear campaign using, inter alia, the publication of defamatory statements via YouTube, Twitter, the Internet and by way of the distribution and publication of audio recordings. The universal theme of these actions are directed at defaming our clients and causing them both reputational and financial harm.
This might not be related in any way to the prior statement made by Strive but the fact that Strive said the lawyers were on it and referenced a group whilst the lawyers also referenced a group that is the only publicly known link that we have to any businessman.
Member of Parliament Themba Mliswa had a twitter thread regarding the alleged bad blood between Masiyiwa, Mawere along with Daniel Shumba and there were some interesting allegations:
Mawere saw these successful business people as a threat and targeted them with a view to annihilate any perceived competition in the country. As the blue eyed boys of the Party, they had every opportunity to advance their business interests as they were given the opportunity.
However, due to his political interference, he soon lost political favour. Mugabe’s administration became very aware of Mawere’s double playing and so began a systemic attack and subsequent demise of his businesses.
Mawere and Mukoma Daniel have historically been key in the demise of fellow black businessmen. This is what I am disturbed and concerned with. Surely as a nation we cannot standby quietly and allow the demise yet again of Zimbabwe’s successful business flagships.
Business people such as Strive Masiyiwa are not supposed to come under fire due to some other failed business persons bitter and twisted lies. The fight is clearly personalised and about those perceived to be pro current dispensation.
Further to the attacks on business people through the failed Commission, it seems Strive is now a target. Who is next? It’s imperative that such malice is curbed. Both Daniel and Mawere have access to Mnangagwa. It’s important that they dialogue with him and resolve their issues
This thread of tweets seems to also rope in Daniel Shumba who is a former army colonel and businessman. If Themba Mliswa’s statements hold water it seems Mr Shumba and Mawere are banding together and these attacks are very coordinated. Far from the usual run-of-the-mill “Econet ikuba data” allegations that are thrown about every other day
Take it with a grain of salt…
REMEMBER, we are just piecing together information from different sources and we are not sure what the exact situation is on the ground but maybe the fact that Strive has been vocal when he normally keeps his peace means this is a bigger issue than other allegations that have been thrown his way before.