Sanday Chongo Kabange in BERLIN, Germany
The fast-paced emergence and growth of social media as a tool for communication, revolution and democratic change has inspired Zambian President, Rupiah Banda to join ranks of whose who on Facebook.
Prominent world leaders like U.S President Barrack Obama, Kenya’s Mwai Kibaki and recently Nigerian’s Goodluck Jonathan have used social to reach-out to their supporters during elections.
Zambia’s Banda has decided to hit the keyboard and sign-up a Facebook fan page ahead of this year’s vote in which he is re-contesting the presidency.
His main rivals in the poll, Patriotic Front’s Michael Sata and United Party for National Development’s Hakainde Hichilema already have Facebook presence.
According to a release issued by his public relations aide, Dickson Jere in Lusaka, Banda has decided to sign-up for a Facebook fan page following demands from his followers and supporters on his private website.
“Following the success of www.PresidentBanda.com, there have been numerous requests by site visitors for His Excellency, Mr Rupiah Banda, President of the Republic of Zambia, to launch a Facebook page. Responding positively to these requests, the President’s official Facebook Fan Page was unveiled,”
State House adds, “Since launching his website and the subsequent successful ‘Map of Development Page’, there has been massive pressure for the President to have his own dedicated Facebook presence. Visitors to the new Facebook site will be able to discover much more about the President and his family”.
Social media has not only been used by socialite as a tool to stay in touch but it has become a platform that has influenced democratic change in countries where press freedom is gagged.