A few days ago, the Minister of Justice Ziyambi Ziyambi told the Daily News that the government was prioritising the Cyber Crime Bill. In fact, parliament hopes to “cover a lot of ground on it” this week.
It’s normally a good thing when legislators prioritise bills that govern the digital space. In our case, there are concerns regarding the motivation of our government. The Minister said the following regarding their reason to fast-track the bill;
People are now using foreign numbers to attack the government. The majority of those attacking the government use foreign numbers.
They know they are perpetuating falsehoods and we are going to deal with this soon. We just need to speed up our Cyber laws and we will be able to deal with them after passing the bills.
Now, all things being equal if this was not Zim and the political climate not what it is, this statement would not be scary.
Many of the existing fears that this legislation would be used to silence government opposition will only have grown over the past few months. Rights organisations like MISA Zimbabwe have raised concerns that the Cyber Bill actually entrenches surveillance.