Fuel shortages, the general increase in prices, black markets: all these problems are what Zimbabweans are facing right now. And Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has just said that some people on social media are making these problems worse. With these remarks, The Vice president echoed the same sentiments President Mnangagwa said three months ago when things started to get ugly. The Vice President said:
We are currently facing problems with fuel and some are now hoarding the commodity. There are some who are now abusing social media to exacerbate the situation, resulting in people rushing to stock the commodity. We should avoid that because there is no journey that does not have obstacles. It is not right to cause unnecessary panic and we urge Zimbabweans not to panic. We expect that fuel be used in productive sectors. As Government, we are looking at ways to alleviate the problem so that it is solved in the shortest time possible, but we should use our resources responsibly.
Although its hard to quantify whether social media is contributing to making things worse but I’m sure social media is being used to spread fake news that ordinarily can cause panic. What we just fear is that I hope these statements by both the President and his deputy won’t be used as an excuse to try to regulate the internet or infringe the freedom of speech on the internet.