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Due to rising social media activist and fear of an Arad Spring in Zimbabwe. Since social media activism in Zimbabwe has ignited with the likes of self exiled Pastor Evan Mawarire and the like of #tajamuka. According to stats from Portaz most Zimbabweans are on WhatsApp, a mobile messaging service ,which has been widely used as a tool to mobilize activists during demos. Whatsapp accounts for 34% of all mobile data use in Zimbabwe.About 7 million adults now have access to the internet and most people have mobile phones. Facebook reports 260,000 daily users, of 890,000 Zimbabweans online, but this only accounts for 3% of mobile broadband usage in the country.
After seeing the impact of the social media in Zimbabwe, the government has fast tracked the Computer Crime and Cyber Crime Bill, to control online activism. The new legislation will allow the police to intercept private communications, search and seize any “electronic gadgets,” and send any “abusers” to jail for five years.The new law will also help the extradition of Zimbabweans in other countries who use social media to organise protests at home. But they might find it difficult to keep track of services such as WhatsApp, since it now uses end-to-end encryption.
Hence the introduction of a National Central Subscriber Information Database System (NACSID) .NACSID will keep records of all mobile phone subscribers and the police will not have to issue any warrants to mobile network operates in case they need a subscribers details.
However, there are concerns that the database could be used for monitoring private telecom communications inside the country. The government said it will use Chinese technology and expertise to gain control of social media platforms and while authorities intend to control and monitor Over the Top (OTT) services, officials say social media will not be banned.
Growth of social media has seen the political environment becoming more and more hostile. On August 5, all mobile phone operators suspended data promotions meaning internet access has become more expensive to most Zimbabweans.
As of this writing we don’t know why the promotions have been stopped even the regulator has not spoken of the issue.
The number one question is how far will the government go to control internet access?
Pardon has been a technology enthusiast his entire life and has spent the better part of last decades in information technology and security, and he writes with an aim to remove some of the "mysticism" from the cyber world. He’s the Editor at Techunzipped. Away from the keyboard, you're likely to find him playing with the latest gadgets or the latest Game.