President Robert Mugabe has challenged Zanu-PF youths to use information communication technologies to defend and promote the ruling party as well as for the development of the country.
President Mugabe told the zanu-PF Youth League National Assembly at the ruling party headquarters in Harare on Saturday that social media should not be used negatively to attack party rivals.
Social media has been used positively in other countries to raise awareness of developments at home among the Diaspora as well as a medium to raise funding for businesses.
However, regime change agents and activists have of late been using social media to mobilise street protests in a bid to destabilise the Government.
The organisers distribute information through Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp messaging platforms on how to evade security forces who try to disperse them.
Said President Mugabe: “In promoting the party, our youths should use social media to defend the party and promote the party and develop Zimbabwe through ICTs. You all have a role to play in promoting our production and Zim-Asset Brand Zimbabwe.
“Brand Zimbabwe, the image of Zimbabwe, a Zimbabwe that is s democratic, hardworking and peaceful. That’s the image, the Brand of Zimbabwe you should project outside. And also to defend it from its detractors. Our youths should learn from the youths in China, Cuba and Russia that economic success stories have resulted from proper and constructive use of ICT,” he said.
President Mugabe said quarrels in the party should not be taken up on the Internet.
“Tsvina idzodzo dzatinonzwa. Get off it.
“You should not be part of it, we should remain clean, clean, clean,” he said.
He said he was happy that the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services was drafting a law (Cyber Bill) to guide the proper use of social media.
He urged party cadres to unite the party as well as steering away from factional tendencies.
“So twuma factions zviya zvandanga ndichitaura, keep away from it. I’m pleased that the Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology has begun its lectures that will equip our youths with ideas, that will make them understand the history of the party and its ideology.”
“When ideology is instilled into our minds tinenge tavakufamba tirimunzira yomusangano and that is what we want to see.
“And also, huori, corruption, tinenge takusiya, tokanda pasi. Then, of course, there will be that understanding in regard to the respect that is accorded to seniors, even amongst yourselves, seniors to you who are within the party and even seniors outside the party,” he said.
President Mugabe said the Youth League was zanu-PF’s vanguard and had the mandate to further the interests of the party as well as defending the revolution by engaging in mobilisation ac- tivities.
He said he was happy that party youths managed to control themselves in the face of provocation by the “so-called protesters who have gone about burning and looting property”.