ICT Minister says Zimbabwe’s Cybercrime Bill not targeted at campaigns like #ThisFlag, #Tajamuka

Posted by Read 9 Comments

Supa Mandiwanzira

Zimbabwe’s draft Computer Crime and Cybercrime Bill has attracted a lot of attention this past week and people have questioned some of its provisions which can stifle social media expression.

It contains provisions that deal with the use of digital platforms to incite violence and to cause civil unrest that seem like ideal tools for quelling any mass movement.

The government has however denied this. In an interview with the BBC, the Minister of ICT Supa Mandiwanzira said it would be wrong to assume that the Cybercrime Bill is targeted at campaigns like #ThisFlag and #Tajamuka.

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In response to a question on whether or not people supporting these campaigns would be targeted Mandiwanzira highlighted that as long as people were maintaining communication within the confines of the law they would have nothing to worry about.

He also defended the timing of the introduction of the bill, pointing out how it has been in the works for years.

Despite all these assurances it’s hard for a lot of Zimbabweans to take the Minister’s word and the government’s statements on social media abuse as anything but threats against online political expression.

Online activism has spiked in Zimbabwe over the past few months and the statements from the government regarding its efforts to control the cyberspace, including words from the army sound like intimidation.

No matter what is said over and over again by the authorities,  the Cybercrime Bill will seem like a threatening and oppressive legislation brought up in response to the developments in the political environment.

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9 Comments

  1. Muzukuru says:

    This colour is not black. It is #000000.

  2. #BringBackOurLikes says:

    EnCt2f504e31ffeeea3a2583663f3962e07d582ad30a8f504e31ffeeea3a2583663f3IqterCeDKgB
    q5iM4rld98QHNqQ+AJNL9Yt8AR1huyW4JOWFrq/SeI+K4h0+4/SKoV49qnCyrzBLtdwxf0pM0U62xzG3
    VD0b2QCphtDDZ/d7NJXGLzmfLke5kAzJrwzX8xVojvHi1y5Ru2aB9p9kxD88PV9/t4063AZBdo/PmUMY
    GV49mk5BXJTmyQmQjxdonQncDXcg6tkgvVKVkht5SJPxAvHn8bHaZYuwQTcYOo92dNw==IwEmS

    *Comment secured with 96bit encryption in case the bill is enacted and enforced retroactively. On that note, blackberry should start selling that new DTEK50 phone here before it’s banned!

  3. Macd Chip says:

    We needs such bill to protect our citizens!! With the growth of internet access and plastic money(read backend infrastructure – B2B transactions), we cannt auto filter crimes which comes with it unless there are rules to do so.

    The problem with us is that everything is looked via political eyes, even our politicians and ministers do not help to calm the situation. There seem to be lack of insight for citizen concerns when laws are being announced.

    What is the point of announcing such law at this time when everyone is being sensitive about social media? I just feel Mandiwanzira ill timed this but the law is very noble and needed

    1. Warlord says:

      You sir, are an idiot.

      1. Macd Chip says:

        Thank you, guilt as charged. But one day when you wake up and all your money gone in your bank account, and no law to prosecute the offender, then you will realise who is idiot and who is not

    2. Muzukuru says:

      I take it you have not read the draft. You have been in a coma for the past decade or something

      1. Macd Chip says:

        I have in been in coma yes, in countries which actually now have a real police squad tasked to deal with such issues.

        It is you who lives in fantasy utopia world who needs to migrate into the real world. I understand that Zim in still 50years behind technology wise so l will pardon your ignorance

    3. blaq says:

      one person I feel thinks like me…we will never have progress w this attitude, instead we shuld be engaging to see how to protect ourselves, Mandiwanzira made the call n all we do is tweet how disappointed we r, TYPICAL Zimbos. Mawarire came we tweeted our support, the bill is coming we are tweeting our anger.
      Nobody cares about the good side of this bill all we are worried about is our social media…the gornmt will be digitalized soon and without this bill in act we may see a lot of criminal activities but I guess who cares, right?

      1. Macd Chip says:

        one day when their salaries disapear from their bank accounts they will be the one crying loudest and accusing the minister of not doing enough to protect them

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