by Tawanda Musariri
The ruling Zanu PF party has gone a torque up in conducting personalised marketing of the party, its policies, ideologies and candidates ahead of the election coming in three weeks.
This follows President Mnangagwa’s lead on social media and other internet based publicity crusades.
President Mnangagwa is the Zanu PF presidential candidate.
Following his assumption of the highest office in November 2017, President Mnangagwa went on to launch his personal website, a window through which the public could peek into Zimbabwe’s first techno savvy president’s life.
Zanu PF has lately been a huge extrovert on the social media expanse with the loudest being the Twitter Hash tag #EDhasMyVote which has attracted a lot of necessary publicity around President Mnangagwa’s candidature on his first trial on the ballot for the top job. Away from the Twitter hash tag, a lot of well wishing Zanu PF lobbyists have also designed their own social media handles to market the party and individual candidates, with the President as the lead. The Zanu PF Youth League has not disappointed either as it has built the equally eloquent hash tag #Zanu PF Patriots.
The party is also represented in many other hash tags, designed and driven by declared and undeclared sympathizers of the party.
President Mnangagwa’s Facebook Page has 416 000 followers and 404 000 likes. On Twitter alone, the President has 156 000 followers. The President, who makes daily updates of his activities within and outside the country, both at Party and Government level, reaches more than a million people using Twitter and Facebook alone. The President also launched himself on Whatsapp the final week of June and has created a Whatsapp broadcast list where he sends both audio and text messages to his legion of followers. Joining the broadcast list is voluntary and a member of the mailing list has the option to leave the list at his own volition.
The party has also gone a notch further as it has started narrowcasting into people’s individual phone numbers, politely canvassing for support. A typical such message reads, “Hello Cde Name, please vote for me on July 30 and MP (name and contact number supplied) and councillor (name supplied).
President Mnangagwa has followed the latest global trends in political marketing, below are his various cyberspace addresses:
Hash tag: #EdHasMyVote
Whatsapp: +236 776 910 469
On July 8, President Mnangagwa wrote on his Twitter Page, “Since opening my whatsapp, I have received tens of thousands of messages. I’m reading as many as I can & while I cannot answer all of them, I continue to use it as a medium to listen to your views and comments. Together we are building a new Zimbabwe of dialogue and listening.” During the students’ convention in Harare, President Mnangagwa told tertiary education students that he is “a listening President”.