Beyonce, Ice Cube not on Zimbabwe electoral register

In this Wednesday, June 5, 2019, file photo, Beyonce walks to her seat during the first half of Game 3 of basketball's NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors in Oakland, Calif. Beyoncé did not let Juneteenth 2020 pass without dropping one of her signature surprises in the form a new single called “Black Parade.” The singer's website says the song released late Friday, June 19, 2020, will benefit black-owned small businesses. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)
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The Bishop laughed his lungs out last week when he saw the desperate efforts of some activists who were trying to foist their latest hashtag movement on US singer Beyonce.

By Bishop Lazarus

There was a lot of euphoric back-patting and ecstatic high-fiving from political activists who thought  and still think  that they had found the most novel and potent hashtag that would mortally wound their arch-enemy  the Zanu PF Government.

Naïve earthlings who are not attuned to the rigmarole of vertiginous bare-knuckled politics must have thought that the country was under tremendous siege and the sky was falling.

Well, they cannot be blamed.

A story is told of how a very senior politician, who had been invited as a guest at one of the army drills, once suffered an embarrassing episode of temporary incontinence when he was exposed for the first time to the numbing and chest-thumping roar of army tanks. Kikikiki.

But this only happens to the uninitiated.

Those who braved the poisonous fangs of the settler colonial system during the period of nationalist activism in the 1950s and early 1960’s, including the unconscionable and gory blood-letting of the 1960s and 70s period of armed struggle, remain serenely unflappable. They cannot be moved easily.

They know, as they did back then, that the current strident anti-Zimbabwe chatter is ephemeral and, like the morning dew, will soon dissipate with the changing political seasons. Bishop Lazarus often chuckles each time he reads screaming headlines that seek to portray such men of consequence as fickle, lily-livered and easily susceptible to being pressured and cornered.

How naïve!!!

You see, lies run sprints, but the truth runs marathons.

Changing Terrain

When Donald Trump’s top national security adviser Robert O’Brien told American Broadcasting Company (ABC) on May 31 that Zimbabwe was one of the “foreign adversaries”  who also include Russia, China and Iran  trying to stoke protests in the US in the wake of the cold-blooded murder of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, by white police officers, not many took a nuanced view of what this actually meant.

Most importantly, Bishop Lazi thinks that not most people reflected on what he said the US would do to the so-called adversaries.

“ . . . And we have got a number of tools in our toolkits, working very close with our allies … there will be a response and it will be proportional. This is not something that our adversaries are gonna get away with for free,” threatened O’Brien.

So what are these “tools” and what kind of “proportional” response could be meted out to countries that are accused of “heavy social media activity” supposedly meant to interfere in America’s internal affairs?

It is a no-brainer.

Put simply, Zimbabwe is currently under a co-ordinated multi-frontal assault, and the latest hashtag movement is just but one of the weapons of an ongoing soft war that is feeding off the smouldering embers of abortive July 31 protests.

Before the planned protests, one political activist who spent a considerable stint in the underworld of Non-Governmental Organisations rightfully warned that July 31 was largely expected to create “dilemma scenarios where they (activists) score normative leverage through public sympathy”.

If you hadn’t noticed, it is this “public sympathy”  which ironically has been contrived and stoked by the same forces that once ran the ZimbabweansMustFall hashtag that went viral on Twitter on June 21 this year  that has become the soul of the latest glacial hashtag movement.

And not surprisingly we are being told to sympathise with activists that are supposedly being persecuted through prosecution, but if they are so innocent and have the courage of convictions, why are the same activists deactivating their social media accounts or denying that such accounts belong to them?


You see, the current movement is more about creating as much bluster and optics as is possible in order to ostensibly bring diplomatic pressure to bear on Harare and justify further measures to asphyxiate the local administration.

We have entered a new phase of the struggle where the terrain has changed from hard war to soft war.

This is why when you log on to social media platforms you would think Zimbabweans are butchering each other with machetes on the streets, and yet if you so much as step outside the gate, you would be presented with a totally different country altogether.

It would be folly to say that this campaign is not registering on some of the impressionable folks among us.

It definitely is.

Not many simpletons know that a hashtag can be made trendy on social media platforms by being pushed by a network of automated bot accounts.

Well, bots are simply autonomous programmes on a network that can interact with systems or users.

This strategy has been known to be deployed by Washington against its adversaries.

And the clues are there for everyone to see: How is it that the hashtag that began trending on Twitter misspelt the word Zimbabwean as Zimabwean? Kikikiki.

But this is not what matters the most; what matters the most is winning the war  the end state.

There is nothing novel about soft war, especially ever since the advent of the US-driven social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter around 2006.

Four years ago, Professor Bruce Mutsvairo, in his book “Digital Activism in the Socia Media Era: Critical Reflections on Emerging Trends in sub-Saharan Africa” made very important observations insofar as the efficacy and potency of social media activism in this part of the savanna is concerned.

“The opportunities and challenges presented by social media to Africans should best be understood, the book argues, from an African perspective . . . Africa has its own history.

“Understanding digital activism in Africa requires a firm commitment to contextualising the concept within a broad and diverse framework that underpins the continent’s cultural, economic, geopolitical and historical backgrounds. . .

“Besides, activism in Africa is hugely dependent on external donor funding, which provides another constraint as without foreign funds or links, locally bred ideas may continue to be seen as lacking credibility and legitimacy,” claimed the scholar.

Strategic missteps

In 2011, the riots that plagued the UK between August 6 and August 11, which claimed five lives and resulted in 3000 being arrested, spotlighted the role that Twitter and Facebook, among others, played in organising the unrest.

A four-member panel  the Riots Communities and Communities Panel  led by Darra Sigh was subsequently formed to investigate the role played by these platforms.

It notably concluded that while they actually did play a role, “mobile communications technology is continually evolving and new developments may benefit the police and authorities rather than rioters”.

Many foolishly thought that Government would shut down the internet on July 31 to stop the planned protests, but the joke was on them.

The most strategic misstep that one can make in warfare is to underestimate the capacity and capability of their enemy.

This is fatal.

As Bishop Lazi told you before, the coronavirus and its fallout were largely going to present a national security threat to some countries, not least Zimbabwe.

As the Bishop also told you before, while ordinarily the pandemic was supposed to unite the world in fighting a common enemy, there were likely to countries that would interpret it as a God-sent opportunity to degrade and destroy their enemies (read adversaries).

They obviously think that the circumstances are now propitious enough to deliver a telling blow.

The world seldom works that way.

God’s will always prevails.

Isaiah 55: 7-9 reminds us: “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts;

Let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; And to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Silent majority

If the country needed any inspiration to yet again overcome the renewed onslaught on its sovereignty, as it has always done, it will simply tap into the spirit that is encapsulated by the Heroes Day and Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day commemorations tomorrow and Tuesday, respectively.

This is sacred land.

Many comrades who shed their blood for a free Zimbabwe lie in some disused mineshafts where they were dumped by the same people and countries who now want to lecture this nation about human rights and freedom.

What nerve!!!

We all have a covenant with our fallen heroes to ensure that their sacrifices were not in vain.

Neither the streets nor Facebook and Twitter will ever be arbiters of local politics.

The silent majority, who are slogging away in maize, wheat, tobacco and sugarcane fields, including mines dotted around the country, will have the ultimate say.

Their will can never be subverted by the tyranny of a minority on Twitter.

While they might be far away from the madding and raging crowd on social media, they always stand ready to deliver their assertive voice through the ballot in 2023.

The Bishop laughed his lungs out last week when he saw the desperate efforts of some activists who were trying to foist their latest hashtag movement on US singer Beyonce.

Argh!!!!!!! Kikikiki

Beyonce will never vote in Zimbabwe.

July 31 marked the first two years of the current administration, which means there are three more years on its mandate.

It is a marathon, not a sprint.

Bishop out.

Source: Sunday Mail