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Mai Titi vs Chihera: internet drama setting the pace for new cyberbullying law

Mai Titi Evidence Chihera Cybersecurity and Data Protection

Internet personality and former gospel artist turned comedienne Evidence Chihera appeared before Harare Magistrate yesterday in connection with a Facebook Live where she allegedly claimed that Mai Titi’s children had been raped by a mentally ill person according to a report by NewsDay.

This rivalry (for a lack of a better term) has been rumbling for quite some time now because earlier this year Mai Titi and Madam Boss reported Evidence Chihera to the Minister for Information Monica Mutsvangwa for cyberbullying. Furthermore, last year, Mai Titi reportedly sued Chihera for US$200,000 after the latter said in a live stream that Mai Titi was a “whore and a slut who was a bed-hopper”.

On the other side of things, Chihera claims that Mai Titi had issued death threats her way according to the same report by NewsDay. All of this has set up an interesting precedent for the recently instituted Cybersecurity and Data Protection Bill because in sections 164B and C there are provisions for cyberbullying and defamation on the internet.

164 B – Cyber-bullying and harassment

Any person who unlawfully and intentionally by means of a computer or information system generates and sends any data message to another person, or posts on any material whatsoever on any electronic medium accessible by any person, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, threaten, bully or cause substantial emotional distress, or to degrade, humiliate or demean the person of another or to encourage a person to harm himself or herself, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level 10 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding ten years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

164C – Transmission of false data message intending to cause harm

Any person who unlawfully and intentionally by means of a computer or information system makes available, broadcasts or distributes data to any other person concerning an identified or identifiable person knowing it to be false with intend to cause psychological or economic harm shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level 10 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

Cybersecurity and Data Protection Bill via Veritas Zim

This might be internet drama but what happens affects us all

The Mai Titi vs Evidence Chihera, is to my best recollection, probably the first proper test for this new law. It will be really important for everyone else because it could set the precedent for how issues like this will be dealt with in the future. Social media in Zimbabwe, as it is everywhere else in the world, is a part informative and entertaining while on the other hand being an absolute cesspit.

You can go from seeing a debate about substantive and interesting topics to a mud-slinging contest all within the same timeline. The latter is where the problem now lies because in the heat of the moment what you commit to the post might be held against you because as well all know the internet is forever and screenshots will be taken before you know it. How this goes could be used as a reference point for future cases of this nature.

Anyway, Evidence Chihera was granted ZWL$20,000 bail and the trial will commence on the 30th of June 2022. We’ll be keeping an eye on this case and I’d be really interested to know what you think about all of this.


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7 thoughts on “Mai Titi vs Chihera: internet drama setting the pace for new cyberbullying law

  1. This thing of policing the internet is a bad idea. Technically you can’t really prove anything beyond reasonable doubt. I can wake up tomorrow with a Twitter account with Ed’s name and everything including the blue tick and post whatever I want. There are also deep fakes, people keep getting hacked all the time and all this can be achieved anonymously. Not to mention the internet transcends boarders, so if I “bully someone whilst I’m in another country then come back how will that work. A lot of innocent people will go to jail if you ask me, framing someone has never been easier.

    I also never understood this thing of cyber bullying. You can literally block the said bully before they finish typing, not to mention you can sign out, log off and even switch to another platform. Easy

    1. My brother don’t forget that you verify a lot of things using your personal information. Further to that even if you have your genuine accounts you remain traceable using your IP-address. So the law is not foolish. Take good care of your self bro. I’m sure @Techzim will also add on to my voice one day

      1. No you are not, you can literally download a free VPN from the playstore and change your IP address to wherever you want to in the globe. And I’m not stupid, I don’t even have a phone number

        1. no software ever provides perfect security watch silk road movie it only took 1 mistake and the owner of the biggest drug, hacking, and assassination marketplace was arrested
          he used vpns tor and he was in the dark web and yet he caught and he is rotting in jail

    2. even if yu block they open other accounts and continue with the bullying
      for mai titi the accounts she uses are earning her a buck
      but in ma opinion mai titi is one to talk

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