INFORMATION Communication Technology (ICT) Minister, Supa Mandiwanzira on Saturday took time to roast critics who have turned to social media to attack him and Zanu PF without suggesting solutions for the country’s myriad problems.
The Zanu PF MP for Nyanga South was speaking to dozens of ambitious Zimbabweans who turned up at a local hotel to hear popular South African radio celebrity, DJ Sbu, speak about entrepreneurship.
DJ Sbu, real name Sibusiso Leope, was in the country at the invitation of Zanu PF loyalist and black empowerment lobbyist Chamu Chiwanza’s motivational initiative – The Shift Zimbabwe.
Mandiwanzira’s appearance was a gesture to support Chiwanza, his former Affirmative Action Group buddy.
But in his address, Mandiwanzira had a strong message for those who have allegedly taken ‘permanent residence’ on social media to spite their enemies.
“I didn’t know what trending is until I saw that I was actually trending…but trending for the wrong reasons because I dared put my views across about other people’s views.”
Mandiwanzira was apparently referring to the diatribe he was exposed to on twitter when he, last week, confronted #thisflag campaigner, Pastor Evan Mawarire for allegedly misleading listeners when the latter took part in a heated debate with Tafadzwa Musarara, a Zanu PF loyalist, on ZiFM radio station.
“We have become such a society that does not tolerate other people’s views and it’s so negative,” Mandiwanzira said.
When somebody puts out their point of view and especially if it undermines my point of view, I must be able to put the other side across because it does happen that in our society, we have those that are uninitiated, uninformed, sometimes uneducated and we don’t want them to be misled.
“So we put our views also but, hey, if you dare put your views, then you trend.”
Mandiwanzira continued: “You can use social media for all you want, what is important is before you click, before you tweet, how much is it going to change your life, other people’s lives; is it going to change the price of bread in London? What impact is it going to have?
“So why don’t you do something positive that is going to change your life and other people’s lives.”
The former ZBC and Aljazeera journalist said tweeting and complaining about the country’s problems had become an unproductive occupation among some Zimbabweans who, unknowingly, were providing hints to more enterprising Asians, Indians and whites to come with solutions, in the process, making money out of the problems.
“A lot of people can say as much as they want.
“They can hate Supa Mandiwanzira, they can hate Zanu PF, they can hate President Mugabe, they can hate as much as they like but for as long you are not waking up to do things that are positive for the country…”
“I can leave today as Minister of ICT but that doesn’t change your life; that doesn’t put money in your mobile phone account. So let’s do things that change our circumstances as a people; positive things.”