Confusion over Zimbabwean parties’ twitter social media accounts

On social media there are several accounts claiming to be the mouthpiece of Zimbabwe’s governing Zanu-PF party, but it is unclear which, if any, are official, and what links they have with those currently in charge.

The Twitter history of the unverified Twitter account @zanu_pf is full of rants and proclamations about pornography, eggs Benedict and imperialism.

The confusion about who’s running the account isn’t limited to outside observers. At times Zanu-PF officials have publicly wondered who is running the account.

It is not known what contact was made between the account @zanu_pf and the Zanu-PF party.

The @ZANUPF_Official account is another which has seen a popularity boost after recent events in the country.

It had slightly more than a thousand followers in 2013, a few thousand on Wednesday morning, and more than 10,000 by Thursday morning.

Again, it’s unclear what connection the account has, if any, with the party leadership.

The lack of clarity over who is running these political accounts extends to another Twitter account, one claiming to be the youth wing of the party.

Posting between 6 and 14 November, the account @YLZANUPF1 was highly critical of former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa and General Constantino Chiwenga, and supportive of Grace Mugabe’s bid for the vice-presidency.

However, since the military seized power on Wednesday morning the tone of their posts had radically changed.

It sent out tweets praising the “gallant Zimbabwean Army” which was “professionally and peacefully carrying out the National Democratic Project“. Some have been left questioning if control of this account has changed hands.

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