For example, the draft Cybercrime and Cybersecurity Bill’s main focus is to
consolidate cyber-related offences with due regard to the Constitution’s
Declaration of Rights as well as the public and national interest. Furthermore,
the Cybersecurity Committee to be established when this draft Bill is gazetted
into law, has a mandate to produce annual reports on how national
cybersecurity initiatives/activities impact on fundamental rights such as the
right to privacy and the right to freedom of expression.
However, as Zimbabwe inches closer to the 2018 general elections, a gap is
emerging between the proposed cybersecurity policies and the government’s
actual intentions. One example of this discrepancy came in the wake of
remarks by presidential spokesperson George Charamba in clarifying the role
of the Ministry on 10 October 2017.
Charamba was quoted saying:
“… ndiyo riva redu kubata makonzo aya anoita mischief using cyber space [it
is the trap to catch mischievious mice …..This is coming against the
background of the abuse that we saw not too far back on social media, where
the social media then causes some kind of excitement to the country, not on
the basis of fact, but generation of copy which is in fact calculated to trigger a
sense of panic in the economy, and that in itself suggests that it is indeed a
major threat to State security.”
Charamba also revealed how President Mugabe had drawn lessons on
controlling cyberspace from countries such as Russia, China and “the
Koreans.” This is a chilling admission given the fact that these three nations
are notorious for clamping down on online rights and freedoms, with China
going as far as setting up its own parallel internet network from the rest of the
global internet.

Select target paragraph3