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How illegal is Porn in Zimbabwe?

Recently, we released a list of top 10 websites visited in Zimbabwe.

The list included search engines, social networks, and most notably local news websites NewsDay and The Herald.

From your requests and comments, we decided to also release the top 10 visited local websites.

Unintentionally, one website on the list attracted the most attention, why?

Because it is a porn website!

Yes, a porn website comfortably sits at 9th position.

Whether this statistic has left you cringing or grinning, the fact is Zimbabwe is watching a lot of porn, and in the process found a single favorite x-rated website.

 

Yes, yes and if you still doubting yes again, it is illegal to have porn in your possession, create it and to distribute it.

The Censorship and Entertainment Control Act was first instituted in 1967, and without getting too political, it was used to control any “obscenity and blasphemy” in media.

The Act is enforced by an appointed Board of Censors,  under the Ministry of Home Affairs, whose vision is to “provide moral guidance and advice to the public on entertainment matters in Zimbabwe”.

The board’s functions include:

  • Examining any article or public entertainment submitted, 
  • Make such inquiries as it may consider necessary in regard to any publication, picture, statue, record or public entertainment which is alleged to be or which the Board has reason to believe is of an unsuitable nature to the public.
  • Advise the Minister in regard to any matter arising out of the application of any provision of the Censorship and Entertainment (control) Act.
  • Process results of Publications Committee
  • Gazette banned and prohibited material
  • Catalogue banned and released material 
  • Review films and consider Publications

However, regulating public entertainment in a digital age seems a mammoth task!

As the country moves forward and adopts new technologies, the power of this Board has seemingly diminished with each tech development.

Initially, I would imagine their tasks were easy, the only media around was books, magazines, posters or banners.

So their task force was simply limited to raiding/browsing bookstores and libraries to investigate any “obscene and blasphemous” material.

But how do you do that in 2016, that was 1967!

The most recent update on the Act was in 2001 when cameras used films and phones had aerials.

So how does the Board enforce itself on the public and save us from “obscene and blasphemous” material in 2016, a time where there are smartphones, flash storage devices and cloud storage services?

There’s ADSL, WiMAX, fiber, and public wifi to access the internet.

Surely they cannot by-pass my laptop password, guess my lock code, access my cloud storage or reach into my pockets and take my USB flash drive for investigations.

What could be the probable cause in a porn possession case against you, neighbours complaining?

It’s interesting how we have reacted to this revelation, some have been genuinely surprised whilst others seem to have known all along.

So porn is illegal, but the guys who investigate it, as it stands, don’t have the legs for it.

The internet is definitely the enemy in this situation!

But, this may be where the Computer and Cybercrime Bill comes into effect, which may just have the stamina to weed out all the porn viewers.

The Bill is basically the digital version of the Censorship and Entertainment Control Act.

It has come in to investigate any “obscene and blasphemous” material on the now established internet. 

Once in place, the Cyber Crime team will have enough legal power and resources to monitor your online activities, and this includes pornography.

We will have to see how the law, when it is eventually passed, will target people for investigation, and if porn will be a part of their crackdown on “internet abuse”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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7 thoughts on “How illegal is Porn in Zimbabwe?

  1. The Cyber Bill will stop porn?! Are you a tech writer or what. Legalising morality never works. Look at prostitution and weed. People will get their hands on it however they can.

  2. To be honest i dont think anyone in zim gives a damn about porn watching & distribution. this cyber-crime business zvakutozouyawo because vanhu are using online platforms to voice their disapproval of the government.

  3. Just across the Limpopo river, they have adult stores where you can legally purchase porn or sex toys and other adult stuff.
    Why do we still want to control what people do in their private lives?
    We need to be honest and realistic. Almost everyone had watched a porn video at least once!
    We all deny it in public, but maybe we should all have a criminal record?

  4. ”…But, this may be where the Computer and Cybercrime Bill comes into effect, which may just have the stamina to weed out all the porn viewers…”

    I ask as well, are you a technical writer who understand technology or you are just writing to fill Techzim pages?

  5. I have a friend who has been illegally watching porn since 11 he is now older he has not been caught…..tell me how long it takes them too et caught

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