In the run-up to the 2013 elections, I wrote two articles about Baba Jukwa. In the first one I argued that I did not buy the story that Baba Jukwa was a mole or whistleblower out to expose the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front and to de-campaign President Robert Mugabe.
I saw him as a party propagandist whose sole purpose was to sway Zimbabweans, especially the younger generation, to talk only about ZANU-PF, Mugabe and no one else.
What made me suspicious about Baba Jukwa was the timing of his entry onto the scene. He came onto the scene on 22 March, three days after the release of the results of the national referendum which approved the new constitution by 94.5 percent- the right time to start an election campaign because the referendum was the first step towards the elections.
President Robert Mugabe was the only person who was ready for the elections. He wanted them in March but they were delayed by the referendum. After the results, he insisted that they should be held before the end of the life of the sitting parliament which was 29 June.
In came Baba Jukwa, cleverly pretending to discredit ZANU-PF and the person most people hated. He, some people said it was a she, told them what they wanted to hear- chaos in the party, fights for succession, assassination plots, Mugabe likely to die before the elections. But there was always one constant- Mugabe and ZANU-PF.
Within four months Baba Jukwa had 257 520 likes and some 42 568 were people talking about him. This was 5 000 more people than those who voted for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Mavambo leader Simba Makoni combined in Harare province in the first round of the 2008 presidential elections.
More than 75 percent of the likes were from Zimbabwe and nearly 20 percent from South Africa, I wrote. Who uses Facebook most, the youth. So in my opinion this was a deliberate campaign aimed at the youth- the stronghold of the Movement for Democratic Change.
I even quoted by favourite comedian Eddie Griffin who says: “Think! It ain’t illegal yet. But they are working on it.”
And they were working on it. I wrote: “To me Baba Jukwa is just a clever propagandist. And in Zimbabwe there is only one master strategist. Folks you don’t have to like a person to admire his survival tactics. No one can explain how he has survived the onslaught except to say he is a dictator because that seems to be the easy way out.”
I even quoted Adolf Hitler’s propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, who said: "It is not propaganda's task to be intelligent, its task is to lead to success."
Indeed, ZANU-PF and Mugabe beat the Movement for Democratic Change and Morgan Tsvangirai like never before.
Continued next page