UK govt warns Zim against social media grandstanding

Social-Media-History

Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
The UK Government has warned Zimbabweans against grandstanding on social media which it said will not proffer solutions to problems affecting the country.

In a statement posted on its Twitter account, the UK government said public grandstanding on social media will not proffer solutions to problems affecting the country.

It made the remarks following frenzied Twitter attacks from ousted Zanu-PF member Professor Jonathan Moyo who made “absurd conspiracy theories” that Britain backed President Mnangagwa to win the country’s elections.

UK government in Zimbabwe said it does not support any political party or faction ahead of the national polls.

It stated that the country’s citizens are best placed to decide on the country’s future.

“We’re certainly not blind to Zimbabwe’s difficult past — or to many of the governance challenges that continue to be present today. It’s totally up to Zimbabweans to decide who they want to govern them,” twitted the UK government in Zimbabwe.

“We and our partners want to see that happen through a free and fair election so that Zimbabwe can get back on the path to having its relations with the international community normalised. That surely is the bright future that Zimbabweans fully deserve.”

The UK government said it was engaging both the Zanu-PF and mainstream opposition parties on matters that are affecting the country with their main agenda being the promotion of human rights.

“Our ambassador and senior members of the embassy team engage as often as is possible with officials from all main political parties in Zimbabwe. Our priority is to promote human rights and democratic gains for the Zimbabwean people,” twitted the UK Government.

“We’ve put our money where our mouth is: between 2014 and 2019 the UK will have spent approximately £24 million on strengthening civil society’s support for transparency, accountability, human rights and citizen engagement around the polls.”

It also stated that it has no influence on how journalists employed by the BBC HardTalk frame their questions.

It distanced itself from Stephen Sackur interview with MDC Alliance presidential candidate Advocate Nelson Chamisa where he claimed the ballot papers have been printed.

“As far as the UK embassy in Harare is aware, the ballot papers have not yet been printed. We aren’t privy to any information to the contrary. We’ve made it very clear that the UK does not support any particular faction, party or individual in the forthcoming Zimbabwe elections,” twitted UK government in Zimbabwe. “In the last few days we’ve seen a fair amount of confusion regarding opposition leader Nelson Chamisa’s appearance on BBC HardTalk. In particular, Zimbabweans have been upset by a suggestion from the presenter that ballot papers for the forthcoming polls have already been printed.”

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission recently revealed that it was in the process of procuring ballot papers and indelible ink and the process was at  tender level.

@nqotshili