The frenzy for presence on social media platforms by politicians as we approach the poll is fascinating as these folks apparently seek to ride on the back of Baba Jukwa’s popularity.
Yet the “short bursts” of information limited by a platform such as Twitter for some still cloaks ambitions to use social media space to replicate how it’s been harnessed in other countries, recalling of course that Obama’s first election into the White House is widely celebrated as being thanks to his campaign team’s use of social media platforms to reach out to younger voters.
For us here, only a while ago, Zanu PF’s Rugare Gumbo was bamboozled when asked about Baba Jukwa, responding that Zanu PF had no business being on Facebook!
Now Gumbo has changed his mind.
He says his party will use all platforms available, “everything that is there, we’re going to use,” Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and this is obviously informed by one of many recent reports.
Gumbo is no doubt a late convert, and this could indeed play against him as chief spokesperson, and also Zanu PF’s attempts to win over the youth vote, youths of course being purportedd to have a large social media presence in Zimbabwe.
But it is still curious that Zanu PF would require a World Wide Web-based campaign that targets that demographic considering the revolutionary party has long claimed disgruntled young unemployed urban youths – the born-frees the party calls them – have seen the light of British machinations as the cause of their suffering!
So why stalk them online, hmm? Or Zanu PF seeks new converts?
This youth vote has certainly been bagged going by the conflation of “urban grooves” and the Third Revolution where desperate youngsters took to the microphone to eulogise an aging politician as the source of their inspiration. Why hell, the youngsters even performed duets with the party’s political commissar slash Minister of Information! It doesn’t get any better than that surely.
Never mind that thousands of their colleagues have over the years been unable to graduate from university and polytechnics after failing to raise tuition fees and know pretty well the author of their misery.
And you should see some of the youths’ sentiments on these social media platforms Zanu PF is only embracing now.
I looked up some of the Zanu PF senior officials who are on Twitter for example and was tickled by the frugality of their “tweets.”
Years after the “invention of Twitter” a chap who fancies himself the epitome of propaganda only posted a couple of Tweets and went to sleep, surely now that a campaign for political survival is here, will these men and women be equal to the task? Or like everything else the power of social media will turn out to be nothing but misplaced hype as Zanu PF knows a better manual of “how to win an election”?
Would love to read one day that Zanu PF’s imminent loss of the 2013 election was saved by its use social media!
I am laughing already.