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.
Turns out Supa’s “SocialMedia” bill’s a copy & paste job of Lesotho Bill. Y not follow cutting edge countries? https://t.co/Oxzi18HAZH
— mmatigari (@matigary) August 11, 2016
— #thisflag (@ArthurHove) August 11, 2016
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.
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.