Govt threatens crackdown on fake news about the economy

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Government will launch a crackdown on social media as part of a campaign against fake
news and the spreading of rumours on shortages of basic goods and foreign exchange
meant to cause alarm in the country, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said yesterday

We will take necessary measures to counter those nefarious activities. We are going to
see what counter measures we are going to implement to deal with social media. We can’t
have a nation run on falsehoods coming from social media. The artificial crisis were caused by our detractors who have a regime change agenda,” Chinamasa told a news conference last night.

This comes as shortages of basic goods and fuel have resurfaced, sparking panic buying by
consumers. Prices of imported products have also skyrocketed, which businesses blame on
shortages of foreign exchange.

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Patrick Chinamasa

“The trigger to the artificial shortage was most unexpected, it came to us as a surprise. It
was like a bombshell because of the positive indicators to our economy.
“The economy is growing. We are projecting a 3,7 growth. Most of the sectors in our
economy are growing, mining agriculture etc,” Chinamasa said

Information minister Chris Mushohwe threatened the country’s three mobile phone
operators for hosting fake news on the economy on their platforms.
“Service providers whose platforms are being used must not be caught on the wrong side
of the law because they are not faceless. Government is coming with the Cyber Crime Bill
which is going to address this social media menace,” he said.

The ministers also said government was enacting laws to deal with money changers and
shopkeepers using the three-tier pricing system.
Energy minister Samuel Undenge told an earlier press conference that Zimbabwe has two
months’ worth of diesel and one month worth of petrol stocks in bonded warehouses

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