The President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, has announced that a new ministry for cyber security has been created. Zimbabwe appoints ‘Minister of Whatsapp.
Mugabe said the essence was to control internet use in the country and is set as a trap to catch “rats” misusing the internet in the country.
Zimbabwe appoints ‘Minister of Whatsapp
According to him, the minister is reported appointed to clamp down on indiscriminate use of social media apps like Facebook and Whatsapp.
This all comes as Zimbabwe finalizes a Computer and Cyber Crimes Bill that has already attracted criticism from human rights and freedom of expression campaign groups, Quartz reports.
Following this, a former Zimbabwean finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa, was named the minister who will head this new Cyber Security, Threat Detection, and Mitigation ministry.
The appointment has raised a lot of controversy over the president’s attempt to clamp down on freedom of speech and the controversial appointment has been criticised by many who believed it is a way for the president to clamp down on freedom of speech and expression in the country.
However, the ministers has since been renamed as “minister of WhatsApp and Facebook” by the locals.
Zimbabwe has in fact, issue new rules on the use of Whatsapp in the country. Before a Whatsapp group could be formed in the country, the rules required the group to be registered and for the administrator of the group to have government level clearance.
While Mugabe and the government describe the new ministry as “protective” i.e. acting in a defensive role, there are worries it is really aimed at attacking, like controlling social media use locally.