According to the Herald, a state owned newspaper in Zimbabwe, Charity Charamba, chief police spokesperson, confirmed this during her address to the African Union observer mission members in Harare last week ahead of the elections due to commence on Wednesday.
Charamba said social media in the country is being used to peddle hate speech through the use of insults and vulgar language.
“An MDC-T activist was arrested last night (July 28). He is an airtime vendor based in Chegutu. He was in the habit of phoning senior government officials abusing and insulting them using obscene language. If you look at him, you actually feel sorry for him as you can see that he is being used,” The Herald quoted Charamba as saying.
Charamba also issued a warning to the Zimbabwean public: “We shall continue to monitor the cyberspace to ensure people use it for building relations and progressive intent as well as countering subversive material.”
Charamba added: “We have received some reports to the effect that there is a political party which, in partnership with some non-governmental organisations and some foreign intelligence, is abusing the social media to peddle, use threats and intimidation to senior government officials of different departments.”
Furthermore Charamba also issued a warning to election observers, saying they must be careful of making statements, which have the potential to incite political violence.
She said election observers need to adhere to principles set to guide their conduct during the “harmonised elections” and to report their concerns on the police force’s conduct and obtain a response before arriving at their own conclusions.