The Zimbabwe government is planning to arrest and send to prison what it terms social media abusers and that includes sharing messages about #ThisFlag, #Tajamuka or Evan Mawarire.
A draft Computer Crime and Cyber Crime Bill empowers 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 Technology 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.