Institute of Directors under fire for retweeting ‘Chamisa is slow’ statement

by Tulip Charowa

KNIVES are out for the Institute of Directors Zimbabwe (IODZ), a non-profit membership-based association for professional business leaders in the country, after it retweeted a statement by Zanu PF which said opposition MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa “is politically slow”.

Zanu PF posted the statement saying “Chamisa amowanza dzungu” after the opposition leader in 2018 shared photos with former war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda in his home.

Sibanda has since rejoined Zanu PF and is seeking an active role by contesting for the ruling party’s Bulawayo provincial chairperson post.

After Sibanda’s much reported comeback, a Zanu PF youth league Twitter handled hit back to Chamisa for his “youthful exuberance” saying he was politically slow. But all hell broke loose the moment the Institute of Directors retweeted the politically charged statement.

Leading the charge against IODZ was prominent journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, who said “the level of unprofessionalism” was heartbreaking and makes the IODZ partisan.

“It is tragic that some institutions in Zimbabwe fail to understand that they become contaminated once they become partisan.

“For the Institute of Directors Zimbabwe to retweet ZANUPF propaganda, it makes it partisan and an unprofessional body!
The level of unprofessionalism is heartbreaking,” said Chin’ono.

The Institute of Directors (IoD) was founded in the United Kingdom (UK) in 1903 and was granted a Royal Charter in 1906. However, the Zimbabwean chapter was formed in 1956 and plays an influential role in the business sector.

The IODZ has not been reachable for a comment. On its website, IODZ says its mandate is to support businesses and the people who run them, doing that mainly through training.

“The Institute of Directors Zimbabwe is a non-profit membership-based association for professional leaders which has a mandate is to support businesses and the people who run them. The IODZ does this mainly through training,” says IODZ in its mission statement.

IODZ has no open disclaimer on its Twitter account regarding whether it takes retweets as endorsements or not. Although many organizations or individuals write “Retweets are not endorsements” disclaimers on their Twittwr bio, many people believe the statement is irrelevant as tweets and retweets are generally regarded as endorsements anyway despite the disclaimer.

Patrick LaForge, an editor at the New York Times, is credited with coining the retweet disclaimer.

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