This is a provisional transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
Broadcast on September 4th, 2020
JDM: Hi, my name is John Marshall. I’m Director of the World Ethical Data Foundation and CEO of the World Ethical Data Forum. …
By Ray Mwareya, 11 Sept 2019
The avatar might be a cockerel, a razor or, most likely, a beautiful Eastern European or Latino woman. Behind the avatar, there might be a human, a bot or some combination of the two. With Zimbabwe’s ‘varakashi’ it is hard to be sure of much.
Their job, at least, is clear cut: disrupt debate and stymie criticism of Emerson Mnangagwa and his government. The president himself gave this faceless group the name ‘varakashi’, which is the word for ‘destroyers’ in the Shona language. During the last presidential campaign, at a rally of his ruling…
By Ray Mwareya, 21 July 2019
When Robert Mugabe was toppled as president of Zimbabwe by a military coup in November 2017, Emmerson Mnangagwa took charge of the ruling Zanu-PF party and declared a new dawn of freedom and prosperity. Less than two years later, Mnangagwa leads a government that is moving quickly to import foreign surveillance technology and displaying a worrying inclination to limit internet access in order to quell political unrest.
Mugabe had begun to experiment with social media shutdowns in July 2016 when, amid a crippling labour strike, authorities temporarily suspended access to WhatsApp. In January 2019…