A fake Twitter account purportedly belonging to President Lazarus Chakwera has fooled Zimbabweans after posting tweets supporting Zimbabwe’s anti-government protesters.
The Twitter account using the handle @LazarusChakwara (which has Chakwara rather than Chakwera) in its handle. The account was created in 2012 and has over 10,000 followers.
In the past few days, the account has been tweeting as President Chakwera showing support to Zimbabweans who are protesting against the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“I would like to express my deep concern to the people of Zimbabwe, you deserve to be listened to. #ZimbabweanLivesMatter #FreeZimbabwe #Zimbabwe,” reads a tweet pretending to be President Lazarus Chakwera. The tweet has over 17,600 likes.
Malawi24 tweeted Kayvon Beykpour (@kayvz) at Twitter and Twitter support to report the fake account.
— Malawi24 (@Malawi24) August 4, 2020
Chakwera’s official Twitter account is @LazarusChakwera. He joined Twitter in 2012.
State House spokesperson Sean Kampondeni, in a statement today, has also described the @LazarusChakwara account as fake.
“It is the illegal work of unauthorized charlatans and impostors with no connection whatsoever to His Excellency or his agents,” said Kampondeni in a statement.
He added that the existence of the account has been reported to relevant authorities for investigation and redress.
Both Chakwera and his deputy, Saulos Chilima have unverified twitter accounts
Meanwhile, Malawians have called on Twitter to verify the President and his vice president.
Press statements such as this one are OK but to an extent because it won’t go as far as fake accounts on social media. President @LAZARUSCHAKWERA needs to have his account verified, reachout to @verified you won’t be able to chase many false accounts that may come up. pic.twitter.com/2dzU510rnZ
— Jimmy Kainja 🇲🇼 (@JKainja) August 4, 2020
Kampondeni in his statement today said State House is working on getting the account verified.
“Meanwhile, it should be noted that President Chakwera’s official and authorized handle, @LazarusChakwera, will acquire verified status soon to distinguish it from any current or future counterfeit handles created by usurpers,” said Kampondeni.
Chakwera is yet to comment on the crisis in Zimbabwe.