FORMER MDC parliamentarian Mr Tongai Matutu has sensationally claimed that US$10 million was released by the American Embassy to fund digital activists like Hopewell Chin’ono.
Chin’ono and a host of digital activists have been on a rampage de-campaigning the country, not only on social media platforms like Twitter, but also on international fora.
Mr Matutu claimed on his Twitter handle that the scheme involving Chin’ono, the Africa Digital Rights Fund of the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa, is being funded by George Soros, HiVOS, Ford Foundation and Global Network Initiative.
Mr Matutu, who has inside knowledge of the opposition and its dealings claimed that in 2019, a former US ambassador met with a group of journalists, Chin’ono included, and strategist how they could promote digital activism following the failed 2019 protests.
“They received a total of US$1,5 million and were tasked to demonise the Government using satire. The Embassy then began some wide consultations with Hopewell Chin’ono who received a share of US$500 000. He was housed at the US embassy in Westgate for the whole month of December 2018.
“The discussion was on the role the independent media and journalists play in any democracy.
“Since then, the US Embassy has been closely working round the clock with individuals like Chin’ono, Simba Chikanza and other digital activists to create political instability for the purpose of unseating the ruling Zanu PF Party from power.
“With our help in the MDC, the US Embassy then released over US$10 million on December 26 2018 to online media houses and civil society in a campaign meant to mobilise people towards an uprising against Government,” said Mr Matutu.
In the wake of continued abuse of the country’s democracy and rights, last week the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade called for the expeditious enactment of the Patriotic Bill to stop unpatriotic and disloyal Zimbabweans from disparaging the country under the guise of freedom of speech. – Herald