Thursday, September 12, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) Jonathan Moyo impostor dupes paper
Fake ... Jonathan Moyo's purpoted Twitter account which appears to have fooled a newspaper
27/08/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

THEY are the bane of many celebrities and other public figures – parody Twitter accounts updated studiously by wags devoted to poking fun at prominent personalities.

Twitter rules say users creating parody accounts must state so, but some just ignore this rule, as Zimbabwe’s former Information Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo recently found out.

Moyo, a senior member of the Zanu PF politburo and the party’s leading strategist who is challenging his loss of the Tsholotsho North seat in the July 31 elections in the Electoral Court, has told of his shock after a weekly newspaper published comments purportedly made by him on Twitter.

The Zimbabwe Independent newspaper, in its regular ‘Muckracker’ column, published an article on August 9 under the headline ‘Moyo is right, this is daylight robbery’ – making reference to the MDC-T’s massive election defeat in the July 31 elections.

The newspaper said: “Moyo unwittingly tweeted; ‘This is daylight robbery’, and demanded a recount. We couldn’t agree more with Moyo, except the daylight robbery is nationwide.”

On August 23, the same column had another piece on Moyo based on his alleged Twitter account under the headline ‘Irony writ large’.

The columnist claimed that “Jonathan Moyo is indefatigable in his quest to overturn his defeat in Tsholotsho North. In his petition for the nullification of the results and a re-run for the election, Moyo described the pro-Zanu PF ZEC’s decision to declare Roselene Sipepa-Nkomo the winner as ‘improper and irregular’. And as usual, the irony is always lost on Moyo who on August 6 ranted on Twitter: ‘They tell the West they have been cheated when they are the worst cheats’. There you have it!”

The only trouble, Moyo told New Zimbabwe.com on Tuesday, is that he has never sent a tweet in his life.

“I don’t spend time on Twitter or Facebook because there is a lot of serious work to do in the real world. I have no Twitter-handle, no Facebook account and no website and I am not about to start any,” Moyo said.

He added: “Whilst being mimicked communicates a kind of pleasure, a social high you’re giving the other person, and I have no intention of spoiling their twisted unnatural fun, I find someone using my name and image to say things that I don’t believe in and that I would never do or say totally unacceptable.

“It’s worse when malicious newspapers with well-known known axes to grind pick this Twitter rubbish and publish it as fact without any shame.”

Moyo – who said he believes that the main author of the Muckracker column is Iden Wetherell, the group senior associate editor of Alpha Media Holdings – charged that, “In typical Rhodie-style, Wetherell has no natural sense of right or wrong and that is why he has all sorts of unnatural fantasies that make him a weird fellow with queer and un-African behaviour.

“What Rhodies like Wetherell say about some of us has nothing to do with facts or reality but it is all imaginary stuff based on hateful falsehoods. In the circumstances, it is foolhardy for Rhodies like Wetherell to imagine that they will get away with their unnatural habits, dirty lies and hateful propaganda under the cover of false Twitter accounts.

“The real irony that is lost to Iden Wetherell is that he does and says things that are just unnatural.”

The offending Twitter account, @Jonathanmoyo, says in the bio: “Jonathan Moyo - Former Minister of Information and Publicity. Currently ZANU (PF) Politburo Member. Tsholotsho, Zimbabwe”.

It appears journalists at the Zimbabwe Independent may not be the only ones tracking the account for interesting bites from the master of put-downs. Other local and international journalists also appear to have been duped and are among the parody account’s 1,950 followers.

The Ducth Embassy in Harare (@DutchEmbassyZim) and leading journalists including the UK Guardian’s Africa correspondent, David Smith (@SmithInAfrica), Reuters journalists Nelson Banya (@nelsonbanya) and Stella Mapenzauswa (@stellamap), 1st TV’s Violet Gonda (@violetgonda) and Southern Eye newspaper Kholwani Nyathi (@kholwaninyathi) all appear to have fallen for the impostor.

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