Of Social Media and Price Hikes in Zim


The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Dr John Mangudya blamed the recent price hikes of basic commodities that hit Zimbabwe on social media for spreading panic message to the people of Zimbabwe. Today, TechnoMag found out from Zimbabweans whether it was appropriate for the governor to assign blame to social media.

 Mr Kudzanai Shito said social media is not to blame for our economic woes of late.

By Pearson Mbendera

“Mangudya must leave social media alone. There are bigger forces behind shortage of foreign currency and other economic problems in Zimbabwe,” he said.

But some people actually went ahead to point out that all is not well in Zimbabwe and that social media simply spread the news of what was happening and what is to come and that it is not fake news.

“Maybe we did spread the panic messages on social media platforms, but there is actually reason to panic. If there weren’t any reasons for people to panic, the panic news would have been ignored,” added Shito.

Given all the videos and pictures of people queuing in shops and at service stations for fuel weren’t made up by social media, they showed what was happening in the country. Still, there are queues especially those of fuel, symbolising that all is not well in Zimbabwe as the government is failing to put an end to the panic rumours that still linger on social media.

Tamuka Mureza actually agrees with the governor saying that, to a larger extent, social media is to blame for activating panic mode in people.

“Someone thought about this at home and shared it on social media, went to OK Mart and saw people with trolleys full of groceries, took pictures and shared them with people and they thought it was a regular supermarket where people rarely fill their trolleys, thus setting up panic in people to hoard, driving prices upwards”

Social media simply echoes the voice of the people, they are just platforms that have provided people with a larger audience. Blaming the social media makes the governor

“Does gossip cause things to rise?” was one question someone else asked? Maybe the governor can answer that one.

People are watching and on the look out of what will happen next, whether the price hikes and empty shelves were just a wave of panic orchestrated by social media activists or if the economy of the nation is about to crumble. Social media will always be there to capture it when it happens.

So what do you think, can we blame social media for the price hikes? We would love to hear your thoughts.

Tari Mudahondo

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