Popular Zimbabwean personalities have shed light on how Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume was hacked on WhatsApp.

The revelations come after the City of Harare took to its official X (formerly Twitter) account to announce that the mayor’s WhatsApp account had been hacked.

In a statement released last Friday, the City of Harare urged Zimbabweans to exercise caution and disregard any messages sent from the mayor’s WhatsApp number until further notice.

“Please note that Mayor Cllr Jacob Mafume’s WhatsApp platform has been hacked. Kindly disregard and ignore WhatsApp messages sent from his number until further notice. @JMafume,” the statement reads.

After successfully hacking Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume’s account, the hackers began sending messages to his contacts, enticing them to join a group and invest in forex trading.

Following this announcement, entrepreneur Kuda Musasiwa and journalist Hopewell Chin’ono took to their respective accounts on X to expose the tactics employed by the hacker, shedding light on the process by which Jacob Mafume’s WhatsApp was hacked.

The hacker, posing as South Africa-based former Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Dr Walter Mzembi sent messages to Musasiwa and Chin’ono individually. The hacker informed them of his participation in an ambassadorship course at an online influencers program. The hacker then asked if they could vote for them.

Instead of providing a link, the hacker instructed the targeted individuals to expect a code, which they were then asked to send back to him. The hacker claimed that he needed the code so that he could send it to his sponsor.

However, unbeknownst to the victims, this code is the WhatsApp verification code, granting the hacker unauthorised access to their WhatsApp accounts and contact lists.