Chinamasa To Champion New Cybercrime and Cybersecurity Bill
Zimbabwe has been ranked number 18 in Africa on the Global Cybersecurity Index 2017 for cybersecurity commitment. This was the second edition of the Global Cybersecurity Index 2017, released by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an agency of the United Nations, measured the commitment of ITU Member States to cybersecurity and highlighted a number of illustrative practices from around the world.
From a Security Standpoint, the Creation of this new ministry by President Mugabe shows how cybersecurity is taking center stage, it is imperative that companies all over the world implement solutions to provide a safe space for internet users. The increase in internet penetration in Africa brings opportunity but so does it bring threat.
Ever since the appointment of Honourable Supa Mandiwadzira as the Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services, he has been pushing for the Cybercrime and Cybersecurity Bill to be passed a bill. The Bill seeks to arrest, extradite and prosecute Zimbabweans who are based in foreign lands, for causing harm back in Zimbabwe, by “abusing” social media or any other computer-based system.
Chinamasa was appointed finance minister in 2013 and his move to head the new Ministry of Cyber Security, Threat Detection and Mitigation was unexpected.
The President’s focus on cybersecurity follows U.S. election that was overshadowed by intelligence agency claims that Russia tried to exercise influence over the outcome, favoring the winning candidate Donald Trump.
The creation of the new ministry comes after President Robert Mugabe blamed panic buying and a crash in Zimbabwe’s currency caused by social media as a security threat after accusing users of spreading rumors about shortages of basic goods, which caused panic buying and price increases.
Addressing the second South Africa-Zimbabwe Bi-national Commission meeting in Pretoria last week, Mugabe said cyber-technology had been abused in both Zimbabwe and South Africa “to undermine our economies”
He proposed that the two countries work together to protect themselves “against those who would destroy us using information and communication technology”.
Mugabe added that Zimbabwe didn’t have the technical means to do this and he didn’t think South Africa had. “But some of our friends do,” he said and suggested South Africa and Zimbabwe should borrow from them to protect their economies.
Advanced South African digital technology is likely to be used by the new ministry to track down the identities of people who allegedly posted messages on social media. Last month the government would now treat social media as a security threat after accusing users of spreading rumors about shortages of basic goods, which caused panic buying and price increases.
The government has been nervous with social media after activists such as pastor Evan Mawararire and #ThisFlag movement
Chinamasa, a lawyer by training, will also be responsible for bringing to parliament a long-awaited cybercrimes bill that criminalizes false information posted on the internet, revenge porn, cyber-bullying and online activity against the government.
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.