THE abuse of social media reached new heights in Victoria Falls when a false message was spread on WhatsApp that a married taxi driver had stabbed his long-time girlfriend to death.
A Chronicle news crew tracked down the supposed suspected killer, Cletus Ndlovu, who people alleged had gone into hiding after fatally stabbing his unnamed girlfriend on Wednesday night.
Ndlovu said the hoax had put his marriage on the line by inadvertently exposing his extra marital affair.
He said he is now at crossroads as his wife is threatening to leave him.
“I’m very disturbed,” said Ndlovu.
“My mother came all the way to see me when she heard about this on Thursday and I wonder where people are getting all this. We only fought but she wasn’t injured at all and as we speak she’s at her workplace.”
Ndlovu operates from Chinotimba Bus Terminus while the unnamed girlfriend reportedly works at a food outlet in the industrial area.
“Right now I’m fighting with my wife because of this. If I had killed her (girlfriend) or let alone injured her, wouldn’t I be in police custody now?” quizzed a seemingly worried Ndlovu who has three minor children with his wife.
Sources said his extra marital affair with the unnamed girlfriend dates back many years.
The officer commanding Victoria Falls District, Chief Superintendent Jairos Chiwona, said they had received no report on the incident by yesterday.
However, rumours about Ndlovu killing his girlfriend became the talk of town as sources alleged he stabbed her with a knife after catching her red handed with another man on Wednesday night.
The message that was being circulated on the WhatsApp platform reads: “Cletus Ndlovu, a taxi driver at erenkini has stabbed his girlfriend to death.”
The rumours spread like veld fire.
His wife, who only identified herself as NaMandlo, said: “I heard people talking about it and some posting on WhatsApp and I decided to call him. He came in the morning and tried to explain to me but I couldn’t understand where it was coming from”.
Abuse of social media is rampant and the government is considering regulating the use of such platforms.
It is already drawing up legal and policy instruments to govern information communication technologies.
Local web developers are also in the process of stitching together products similar to social networking sites such as Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, Skype and Twitter so as to enable greater supervision. These measures are tailored to protect citizens’ rights following a surge in social media abuse through propagating falsehoods, defamation, character assassination and national security threats.