Over the past year, there has been a lot of talk around Zimbabwean ICT legislation, with a lot of discussion being driven not only by the countless changes in technology but also by a clear need to review outdated legislation.
We attended the Online Ethics and Privacy Indaba at Cresta Jameson in Harare. This event, which was tagged as Zimbabwe’s Cyber Indaba, was organised by The Digital Society of Zimbabwe(DSZ) and the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA).
The event managed to table discussions around the cybercrime legislation in Zimbabwe as well as addressing issues, ideas and trends around cyber regulation that are being considered in the different pieces of draft ICT legislation.
Individuals representing various interests in Zimbabwean cyber activity and services from public and private sector lent their voice to the debates held.
Some of the issues touched on included the cyber crimes statutory matrix in Zimbabwe, the best practices for ICT legislation, a brief review of MISA and DSZ’s position on cybersecurity and cybersecurity resolutions from the Internet Governance Forum.
A huge part of the conversation was centered around what should be considered under cyber legislation, challenges with a lack of awareness on cybercrime, the potential victims of online criminal activity and areas such as the blurred line between State Security and cyber-regulation. Some contributions were on crimes like revenge porn, spamming, cyberbullying and plagiarism.
Also in attendance was Nelson Chamisa, the current Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on ICT and former Minister of ICT, who shared his thoughts on how Zimbabwean legislature is not as attuned to ICT issues as they should be, creating a challenge in progressively debating ICT-related legislation.
Zimbabwe’s draft Cybersecurity Bill is yet to be tabled in Parliament and forums like Cyber Indaba are trying to ensure that Zimbabweans become aware of how they are affected by cyber legislation and can, therefore, make contributions and recommendations to such laws.
MISA and the Digital Society of Zimbabwe will be presenting a position paper with such recommendations to the relevant authorities before the Cybercrime Bill is passed. They intend to complete this position paper over the next fortnight and are keen on input from anyone with an interest in Zimbabwean cybercrime legislation.
Here are some pictures from the event.