Public consultation on Cyber Crime Bill to be conducted

By Staff reporter | 04 Jan 2019 at 09:31hrs
A PUBLIC consultation process will be conducted for the Cyber Crime and Cyber Security Bill after the festive holidays, the Information and Communication Technology Parliamentary Portfolio Committee has said.

The bill seeks to provide for and to consolidate cyber-related offences with due regard to the Declaration of Rights under the Constitution and the public and national interests.

The bill will also provide for investigation and collection of evidence of cyber-crime, for the admissibility of electronic evidence for such offences, to create a technology-driven business environment, to encourage technological development and the lawful use of technology.

The committee chairperson Mr Chalton Hwende said they are waiting for the Bill to be submitted before the Parliament by the drafters. The submissions are expected to be done sometime in February after parliament resumes business by end of January.

"Immediately after the bill is submitted to Parliament it will be forwarded to my Committee and Public consultations will begin immediately," said Mr Hwende.

"We are hoping to reach every Zimbabwean who has an input to make and we promise to ensure that all the views and opinions will be debated in parliament so that at the end of the day we have a bill that captures the expectation of the Nation."

Officially opening the Ninth Parliament, President Mnangagwa said to mitigate the security risks and cyber-crime related threats, a Cyber Crime and Cyber Security Bill shall be tabled before the Parliament.

The proposed law comes against the backdrop of some Zimbabweans locally and abroad who are using the Internet to communicate subversive material which seeks to unconstitutionally remove Government through violence.

"Cyber crime is a huge challenge now not only in Zimbabwe but the world over. People are losing billions of dollars as most transactions are now done on line. The new bill must seek to contain this scourge," Mr Hwende said.

"Child pornography and cyber bullying are issues that we think the bill should look at. We must also in the same vein ensure that the rights of Zimbabweans to express themselves on social media are not in any way curtailed but encouraged."

The Internet is not only a conduit of nefarious activities, the chairperson said, but a domain of sophisticated crime which any nation would need to regulate. He said other countries have already addressed this by putting in place some kind of governance to that problem and Zimbabwe is only getting there now.



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