Prof Jonathan Moyo apologises for spreading fake news

FORMER Cabinet Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo who also served for decades as a Zanu PF propagandist has apologized after he was caught speeding fake news on his verified Twitter account.

The self-exiled academic, in his bid to score political points against his life-long nemesis Emmerson Mnangagwa, posted false information that Karanda Bridge in Mashonaland Central Province.

The 180m long bridge crosses over Ruya River, reducing the distance from Bindura to Mt Darwin using Rushinga Rd. It was commissioned in April 2021 at President Mnangagwa’s launch of his government’s Emergency Roads Rehabilitation Programme.

The false information started with a Twitter account called “Children of Zimbabwe War Veterans Association” which was aligned to Zanu PF before Mugabe was toppled in 2017.

“Less than 1 year Old Karanda bridge which was official opened by President ED has collapsed,” the tweet said.

The post went viral. Jonathan Moyo, who also fled the country in 2017, lurched onto the frenzy and posted the pictures, with the caption: “Mnangagwa’s destructive touch”.

However, an internet search of the pictures shows that the damage happened in a previous incident in Msane, Matabeleland South.

According to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development, the picture does not show Karanda bridge, but “a causeway that was washed away in January 2021 in Beitbridge District.”

“Karanda Bridge which was completed last year by DDF is still intact,” the Ministry said on Tuesday.

ZBC TV also dispatched its reporter to the scene and published photos showing the structure intact and local residents passing over the bridge.

Feeling the heat after his followers turned against him, Moyo later deleted his post, and said: “Oops, need to double check this. Not sure this is the Karanda Bridge, source says it is but the protests are too strong to ignore. As you were!”

How to verify pictures?

Assessing features in the pictures is the first step in verifying images. In this case, the designs of the two bridges, as well as the two roads, are distinctly different.

By using reverse image search, you can verify pictures posted online. Upload pictures to Google image search or free apps such as Photo Sherlock or ImageWebSearch.

The apps will then search the internet for places where that picture has been published before.

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