Movement for Democratic Change deputy treasurer Charlton Hwende made a huge twitter gaffe this morning when he tweeted that party followers must be encouraged to ditch the country’s largest mobile network operator Econet because its founder and chairman Strive Masiyiwa backed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s efforts to revive the country’s economy.
Masiyiwa told CNBC Africa this week that Mnangagwa was sincere in his efforts to resuscitate the country’s economy and should be given a chance to do so. He also said sanctions against Zimbabwe must be lifted because people could not expect the country to prosper with the hands of its leaders tied behind their back.
“What if the @mdczimbabwe encourages its supporters to ditch Econet for @NetOneCellular or @Telecel_Zim? If the owner of Econet is aiding repression why should our 2.6 Million supporters who voted @nelsonchamisa continue giving money to @StriveMasiyiwa?” he tweeted.
Hwende, who is the legislator for Kuwadzana East as well as the chairman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services hastily deleted the tweet after several of his followers blasted him for, for example, not knowing that NetOne and Telecel which he wanted MDC followers to switch to were owned by the government.
Others said he should step down as chairman of the ICT portfolio committee because his tweet demonstrated that he was already biased against Econet.
Independent Member of Parliament Temba Mliswa tweeted: “@hwende as intelligent MP, my dear Honourable brother, I think you should 1st show you have power by convincing the electorate to vote for you & not say the election was stolen. It’s unfair for us to use politics to think we can dictate how people make choices.”
Weston Mugocha wrote: “We have always told you that these mdc thugs enjoy the suffering of Zimbabweans and begged for the extension of Zidera. Look, they now want to punish Strive for calling tor the lifting of sanctions. Shame on you mdc! Why didn’t you boycourt econet any other time before he called for the removal of this evil vice upon our nation?”
Another tweeted: “You can’t even mobilise your supporters to pay off your legal fees following your loss at Concourt..furthermore, you can’t even mobilise your supporters to pay-off your arrears to employees etc which have resulted in the sheriff attaching MDC property at Harvest House…so stop this buffoonery.”
Hwende failed to raise enough money to hire election agents to man all polling stations in the 30 July elections which the MDC lost but claims to have won but was robbed by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
The party needed only $225 000 to deploy 45 000 election agents.