President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday warned that the dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) which has the infamy of clamping down on dissent is making investigations to identify the source of fake social media reports insinuating that he has announced an extension of the national lockdown.
Apparently fuming, the 77-year-old Zimbabwean strongman told journalists at his Precabe Farm in Sherwood after assessing levels of lockdown compliance in the Midlands capital of Gweru, that those who peddle Covid-19-related falsehoods will face a 20-year jail sentence.
Mnangagwa said he has not announced any extension of the mandatory lockdown, and dismissed the fake social media messages as ‘absolute nonsense’.
“We now have a law, which punishes those who produce fake news and I have ordered an investigation into those behind the fake statement and if found, we want that person to be an example by getting up to 20 years in prison. It’s bad to peddle falsehoods, especially about a President,” said the septuagenarian.
Zimbabwe will end it’s three-week lockdown early next week.
Mnangagwa said he is going to tour five provinces to asses lockdown compliance before he and his two deputies Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi convene a meeting on April 20 where the decision of ending or extending the national lockdown will be made.