Jonathan Moyo “the Goebbels of Africa” has used social media to exploit a gullible Zimbabwe media to remain relevant


Moyo, however, won the Tsholotsho seat as an independent and retained the seat three years later in 2008, as an independent again. But he rejoined the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front a year later and was appointed to the party’s powerful politburo.

He was later to warn those who wanted to leave the party and stand as independent candidates: “it’s cold outside ZANU-PF”.

This time he made sure that he remained in the party and that it won the 2013 elections hands down. It did. Although Moyo’s sidekick Edmund Kudzayi was later said to be the person behind the facebook character Baba Jukwa, The Insider, believes, Jonathan Moyo was  the main player and it pointed this out way back in 2013 in a series of articles that argued that despite his exposes, Baba Jukwa was a ZANU-PF propagandist.

In just four months Baba Jukwa has amassed 257 520 likes and 42 568 people talking about him. The Insider argued that although Baba Jukwa seemed to be de-campaigning Mugabe and his ZANU-PF ahead of the 2013 elections he was actually campaigning for him.

It quoted Germany and Adolf Hitler’s propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, as saying: “It is not propaganda’s task to be intelligent, its task is to lead to success.”

Jonathan Moyo was singled out by Mugabe as one of those who had ensured his victory and was rewarded by being given back his Ministry of Information and he was back in the driving seat. This time, he aimed even higher and was reportedly the mastermind behind the G40, a campaign for the younger generation to take over ZANU-PF using Mugabe’s young wife Grace.

This time, however, Moyo turned to the short messaging platform Twitter. He joined in February and, just like Baba Jukwa, he used his twitter so effectively that his twitter handle became a source of news for privately-owned and online publications which swallowed whatever he wrote.

He had built a following of 81 000 by 7 August 2016 and a day after the military intervention in November 2017 he had increased this to 206 000 followers.

Although he was forced into exile following the military intervention, Moyo has managed to build his following and remain one of the most relevant exiled G40members. He had more than doubled his following by the second anniversary of the military intervention to 524 000 and now has 660 000 followers.

Moyo is s prolific twitterer. He has posted more than 42 000 tweets so far and has started threads that were reproduced by publications as stories.

Even though he has been in exile for three years now, Moyo remains one of the most quoted Zimbabwean politicians largely through his effective use of twitter.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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