Social media abusers to be jailed


Those abusing the social media to instigate violence, banditry, sabotage and general instability in Zimbabwe will soon be jailed in terms of new regulations being crafted by the Government.

These provisions contained in the draft Computer Crime and Cyber Crime Bill empower police to intercept private communications and to search and seize electronic gadgets used for criminal activities.

The provisions also bring general use of phones, laptops and desktop computers under scrutiny while protecting law-abiding Internet users from harassment, fraudsters and bullies who now face at least five years’ imprisonment

All violations and penalties stated in the Bill apply to Zimbabweans both at home and outside the country, and offenders can be extradited in terms of the Extradition Act (Chapter 9:08).

Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira is gathering stakeholder views on the proposed law after which he will take it to Parliament.

Two more legislation pieces – the Electronic Transaction and Electronic Commerce Bill and the Data Protection Bill – are also being fine-tuned to back the National ICT Policy and manage cyber space which has for long been abused to foment social disobedience and attack private citizens.

Part of the Computer Crime and Cyber Crime Bill reads: “In this part, the crime of illegal access to or use of a computer, illegal interception, illegal data interference, illegal system interference, and illegal devices is committed in aggravating circumstances

if —

(a) committed in connection with or in furtherance of the commission or attempted commission of the crime of insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism, theft, unauthorised borrowing or use of property, extortion, fraud, forgery, malicious damage to property, damaging, destroying or prejudicing the safe operation of an aircraft, concealing, disguising or enjoying the proceeds of the unlawful dealing in dangerous drugs, corruptly using false data or defeating or obstructing the course of justice; or

“(b) the computer, computer network, data, programme or system is owned by the State, a law enforcement agency, the Defence Forces, the Prison Service, a statutory corporation or a local or like authority; or

(c) the crime occasions considerable material prejudice to the owner of the computer, computer network, data, programme or system; or

(d) the crime disrupts or interferes with an essential service.”

Police, according to the Bill, are required to apply to a magistrate for permission to search and seize electronic gadgets, and to intercept private communications to prove criminal cases.

“(1) If a magistrate is satisfied on the basis of an application by a police officer, supported by an affidavit, that there are reasonable grounds to suspect or believe that the content of electronic communications is reasonably required for the purposes of a criminal investigation, the magistrate may:

(a) order an Internet service provider whose service is available in Zimbabwe through application of technical means to collect or record or to permit or assist competent authorities with the collection or recording of content data associated with specified communications transmitted by means of a computer system; or

(b) authorise a police officer to collect or record that data through application of technical means.”

The Bill also says: “Any person, who unlawfully and intentionally generates, possesses and distributes an electronic communication with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, threaten, bully or cause emotional distress, degrade, humiliate or demean the person of another person, using a computer system or information system shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 10 or imprisonment not exceeding five years or both.”

ICT expert Mr Tonderai Rutsito said: “Our law-makers need to be proactive in terms of coming up with legislation and not react to situations obtaining on the day and make laws based on that. We need a broader approach where law-making is independent of circumstances of the day.

“The law is, however, a step in the right direction as it complements others such as AIPPA which talk to issues of publishing falsehoods and publishing content that may incite violence. Compared to international standards, the draft is, indeed, a step in the right direction.”

Since July 2016, some shadowy groups going by names like #Tajamuka and #ThisFlag have been trying to instigate civil disobedience under the pretext of “protests” tailored to destabilise Zimbabwe.

United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Harry Thomas and his French sidekick, Ambassador Laurent Delahousse, were outed as the architects of the sporadic violence that occurred in pockets of Harare and Bulawayo which was triggered via social media.

Zimbabwe’s security chiefs are on alert, with Zimbabwe National Army Commander Lieutenant-General Phillip Valerio Sibanda saying his charges were ready to deal with cyber-based attempts at destabilisation.

A good number of private citizens have also suffered at the hands of cyber bullies, and one such victim was Harare-based model Tafadzwa Mushunje who was falsely accused of having injected a toddler with HIV-infected blood only for the story to be disproved later.

In June 2016, a suspected paedophile circulated images of two semi-nude girls on WhatsApp, and police are still hunting for him.

143,412 total views, no views today

  • zimdondi

    Kkkkkk start with zimpaper first

    • Nooshie

      Sssh this discussion is also on a censored social media platform.

    • Kyle Broflovski

      The faceless charlatans Manheru and ‘Bishop’ Lazarus.

  • murezawarovhu

    When you start seeing your comrades and friends ganging up against you or splitting up because of you it is time for deep soul searching. When it seems like it is no longer just these against you but the entire village, it is definitely time to start walking away before you are forced to run away. No amount of intimidation can work in this CYBER age.

    • wezanu

      There’s a bit of nonsense…

      To all people, Do not bothered by extradition threats.

      1) As long as you are in a country that respects freedoms of expression,carry on doing it.

      2) For Zimbos in Zim and outside,Google anonymous browsing practices and follow them to the book.

      3) When you express yourself, leave out any connotations of incitement and violence. It makes it even harder to build a case against you.

  • Zarura Zimbabgwe

    Mayiwe yokera iya yavora, nezuro data bundle, nhasi jeri mangwana tipeyi foni yenyu tilunguze! Babangu bveniwe, chinokura chinokotama musoro webveni….?

  • eliah

    They have already been doing it thus seizing gadgets in their raids so nothing new here.

  • dude

    Ko vakaba $15b?

  • SimonSays

    Oppression is the order of the day for these fuckers.Instead of bringing laws that encourage foreign investment u want to arrest people exprrssing their views

  • dehwa2


  • Kyle Broflovski

    For justice, we must go to Don Corleone! La Cosa Nostra will always know what to do when faced with a problem. ??

  • Chihuta vs Bond

    Tsve kugadzira economy, sika sika nemafacebook evanhu. Effort yamurikuisa pamafesibhuku dai iri iyo yamurikuisa pa 15 bhidza, dai takatoiwana zve. Point is kana hurumende ichiitira vanhu zvakanaka, hapana anombonyora zvakaipa pamusoro payo nokuti panenge pasina zvekutonyora zvacho. Do good governance and stop corruption, everything will vanish including sanctions.

  • Pankidzo

    Hahaha cry my beloved Zim. We have problems but you want everyone to say all is well. No there is no social media abuse but we call it spreading the truth. Wake up and smell the coffee.

  • Tafadzwa Mangono

    Change is coming,

  • Chibwe.

    The regime is running out of ideas. The more you put restraints, the more you get everyone more militant.
    What is governament scared of???
    Zimbabweans are not pigs in a pigsty, that’ you randomly through laws at willy nilly.

  • Freedom not Independence

    Supa is an idiot. This is madness. Trying everything to make sure you oppress people to their very last drop of blood. Stop it please!

  • yowe

    This is sad!!! Zanu yapererwa

  • Inga

    I hope we will see the bill and how it measures up to what others have done. Check this piece from Kenya.

  • zimbotry

    Freedom of speech and opinion is what our REAL War Vets fought for, not this Dictatorship. We are becoming more like North Korea everyday

  • Mabwe

    Smith uya wadzoka

  • Harare

    supa mandiwanzira we will deal with you when mugabe goes , which is very soon

  • The Patriot

    This is ridiculous, and how many years for stealing 15 billion??

  • bodo_kwete

    tobva tatonyanya kufaka pressure. Manje isusu hatiponje.

  • By the time Supa takes this law to Parliament, it may be too late for the regime.

  • Nooshie

    This Government is better at PERSECUTION than they are at PROSECUTION. This act is not about protecting the people but about intimidating them. Practically, how are they going to make good on their threat to intercept end-to-end encrypted social media like WhatsApp which even International Law Enforcement Agencies abroad cannot crack? And does Zimbabwe now have such awe respect or clout that it can prosecute individuals outside of its borders?

  • x-man

    arrest and jail economy because its the causative of all these things.

  • Moe_Syzlack

    This is just plain stupid. An entire govt intercepting private chats!! You hear those footsteps Zanu dinosaurs? You will soon be history or the dustbin where your ilk belong.

  • Case

    kkk hanzi offenders will be extradited when you cant even catch a thief in the country.

  • Robert Mugabeche

    Mugabe must go now!!!

  • Mr Louis

    #ThisFlag 100% away with corruption, injustice and poverty. We demand our 2.2million jobs that Zanu lied will provide in 2013

  • Ik