Social media use increases this election season

Society Reporter
In keeping with trends worldwide, this year’s election will see an increased use of social media as a campaign and information dissemination platform.

In a tweet on Tuesday, the Zimbabwe Election Commission said: “A total of 71 9387 registrants have checked their details using the USSD code during the past four days while 3 256 440 bulk SMS were sent by Zec to registrants who supplied their mobile numbers during registration.”

Whilst the electoral body has set up inspection centres countrywide, the same centres which will be used as polling in the upcoming elections, it has gone a step further by assisting voters to check if they are registered, by sending information to voters through mobile phones.

The option that has been used by Zec proves that social media platforms are fast becoming an integral part of information dissemination.

In its third quarter report last year, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) noted that subscriptions across all the country’s three networks had risen to a total of 13 799 648 from the previous second quarter standing of 13 311 223 subscribers.

The increased mobile penetration rate will see mobile platforms become a critical role in campaign strategies as this year’s election beckons.

It is to this end that President Emmerson Mnangagwa, cognisant of the increasing influence of social media, has opened highly interactive Facebook and Twitter accounts.

His official Facebook page has 294 299 followers whilst the official Twitter account has over 126 000 followers.

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