Under the proposed Cyber Crime and Cyber Security Bill Zimbabweans who are based in foreign countries face extradition and prosecution if they cause harm back home by “abusing” social media or any other computer based system. All those who “abuse” social media also face up to 10 years in prison while plagiarist websites which steal content from reputable publications face imprisonment for up to 5 years. These measures are contained in what was originally the Computer Crime and Cyber Crime Bill but has been “refined, upgraded” and renamed the Cyber Crime and Cyber Security Bill. The bill is currently at the Attorney-General’s office but will be going to Parliament soon.
Speaking to the Sunday Mail, Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services Supa Mandiwanzira said:
We have upgraded the Bill in a number of ways, and it is currently with the Office of the Attorney-General for further scrutiny. The changes are in line with Sadc guidelines to harmonise cyber security laws.
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Numerous crimes are being committed in cyber space. It is now time to take action against perpetrators of these offences. We are waiting for the AG’s Office to scrutinise the Bill so that it goes to Parliament as soon as possible. We have done all the necessary consultations to push ahead with the Bill, and now await due process to follow.
Part IV of the Bill says: “
Any person who unlawfully and intentionally, by means of a computer or information system, generates and sends any data or message to another person, or posts 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, harass, threaten or demean the person of another or to encourage a person to harm himself, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding Level 10 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years or both such a fine and imprisonment.
More: Sunday Mail