EDITOR — Citizen journalism is a great tool if handled with responsibility. It, however, becomes a lethal weapon if used recklessly.
Lately, social media users have been happy to click the ‘forward button’, ‘share button’, the ‘like button’, commenting and spreading falsehoods on issues not verified. Inboxes are full of false alarms fanning despondency.
Self-proclaimed prophets, not to be outdone, stand in public spaces spreading false visions and prophecies.
According to them, Zimbabwe ‘died’ long back if any of the prophecies had a shred of truth.
One prophet, who shouts himself hoarse along First Street in Harare has provoked the Government without success.
His wish to get arrested has not materialised.
He claimed to be trailed by State agents several times.
His near-death encounter along the Harare-Masvingo Highway due to negligent driving had social media attributing the accident which claimed his wife’s life to the Government’s bid to eliminate him.
This was all false; eyewitnesses who were overtaken along the road by the ‘flying vehicle’ were not surprised when a few minutes later they saw the vehicle wheels in the air — all in a bid to get a visa to a country of his dreams.
Passport application fees have not gone up; an ordinary passport still costs ZWL$53 to process.
Social media has hiked that figure to ZWL$253 with the emergency passport now over ZWL$1 000.
With self-broadcasting now rife on facebook, damaging clips based on falsehoods have found their audience singing ‘Zimbabwe is burning’.
If not sure, do not share!
If you have not verified, do not share!
Do not be a preacher of alarm and despondency!