Econet Wireless has distanced group chairman Mr Strive Masiyiwa from a fake Facebook account, Liberty Party, which has been posting messages and statements of a political nature.
In a statement, Econet disassociated Mr Masiyiwa from the page and assured stakeholders that he does not have any links with the account.
“All the stakeholders, employees and regulatory authorities are hereby advised that an imposter has opened a Facebook page bearing a picture of our group chairman Mr Strive Masiyiwa, and the name of what seems to be a political party called the Liberty Party.
“Mr Strive Masiyiwa is not in any way associated with that page,” reads part of the statement.
The account has since been reported to Facebook.
Technological experts have warned public figures and users in general to be vigilant against accounts that use their images or names as they may be used for sinister activities. Mr Chris Musodza, the Zimbabwe Digital Society of Zimbabwe director, said pretenders who pose as public figures usually have different agendas including fraudulent activities. He also urged the public to only trust accounts verified by social networks.
“People impersonate for different things, especially agenda setting and fraud. In this case Mr Masiyiwa is a known businessman the people behind the account were trying to use his reach to get people to join the page.
“If the people at Econet were not swift to respond to the page, it would not have been surprising if a bogus account number had been placed in an attempt to fleece people of their hard-earned money,” Mr Musodza said.
Mr Masiyiwa becomes the latest public figure in Zimbabwe to become a victim of cyber impersonation. In 2012, musician Willbroad Muponda also known as Willom Tight fell prey to imposters when a dubious page was opened by unknown people without his knowledge, attracting thousands of followers.