Zimbabweans scream plagiarism after discovery that proposed Cybercrime Bill resembles Lesotho’s draft

Nigel Gambanga Avatar

Zimbabwe’s draft Computer Crime and Cybercrime Bill has drawn a lot of attention and it’s not just about its tough provisions.

Earlier today a number of people on social media were quick to point out the striking similarities that exist between Zimbabwe’s own draft bill and Lesotho’s own Computer Crime and Cybercrime Bill.

You can access a copy of the Lesotho draft Cybercrime Bill by following this link here 

Ever since this was brought to light there’s been a lot of criticism online and some people have called it an act of plagiarism.

Both drafts are from 2013 so we aren’t sure which government had the draft bill first. There hasn’t been any clarification offered yet and the Minister of ICT, Supa Mandiwanzira, who is active on Twitter is yet to offer a response.

However, it might be too early to call out either Zimbabwe or Lesotho for having a Melania Trump type of inspiration.

It turns out there are other countries in the region like South Africa and Swaziland with drafts that have similar structures and closely related wording.

This could mean that countries in the region that are yet to adopt their own cybercrime legislation were using a framework, perhaps provided by a regional body like the ITU as is the case with Swaziland’s own draft.

This sort of approach is used for a lot of specific policies that countries in specific regions roll out at the same time.

Any close resemblance is just a case of the respective government waiting to make the necessary changes at a later stage.


  1. christopher musodza

    Its not plegarism. Both the lesotho and the Zimbabwean draft bills are based on the SADC model law. The SADC model law was done by ITU and is available online.

    1. Contrast & Compare

      Thanks for that. Now I can see what ‘local content’ was added

  2. christopher musodza
    1. Nigel Gambanga

      Thanks Chris for that clarification and that link.

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