Chinamasa’s Ministry the pot of gold for internet censure

 

By Tariro Senderayi

Lets us not be fooled into getting carried away with trivialities. The cabinet reshuffle was orchestrated by his Excellency who has been the chief orchestrator of many things successful since the 1980 administration. The new Ministry of Cyber Security, Threats and Mitigation might just be a blessing that Zanu-PF has been waiting for to descend on regime change agents and activists who have been a painful thorn on the ruling party’s heel for some time. Let us view the ministry and minister in charge of the ministry from the vantage point of what Zanu-PF stands to gain.

As we make fun of Chinamasa’s apparent ‘demotion’ from Minster of Finance to that of a new ministry we should keep in mind that Chinamasa is one of the sharpest legal minds that Zanu-PF has. His expertise has been utilised before in the Ministry of Justice and recently in the Ministry of Finance, now it is time to delve into unchartered waters for the comrade.

Cybersecurity and regularisation of the cyberspace is a global phenomenon as we are in the technological era and Zimbabwe has apparently laced up for the task. The cyberspace has begun to have a bearing on the politics of the day and to leave that lid open would entail some serious repercussions for the Government especially with the youth bulge that seems forgotten.

Some jurisdictions have seen the cybersecurity ministry working hand in glove with intelligence services. Thus, this is a potentially powerful ministry which if utilised right can pass of as an extension of the intelligence ministry of which whose underestimation will be at the detriment of many. It is a public secret that if he spins this one right he will obviously liaise with security apparatus.

The wording alone of the new Ministry…Cyber Security, Threats and Mitigation is self-explanatory. There is the Cyber Crime Bill in waiting which just needs the right nudge for it to take full effect. Maybe this might just be that nudge. If Chinamasa manipulates this ministry for its supposed intended purpose this would mean that issues of cyber surveillance come into the fold and we are all aware of what that means.

Thus, such a reshuffle should not waste much time in making Chinamasa the brunt of bad jokes but instead should be scrutinised as to the effects of such an appointment. Knowing the man that he is, Chinamasa is not one to pass up a good challenge and is probably gloating at the jokes being spewed in the halls and corridors of Twitter and Facebook. Let us be guided accordingly because this ministry did not just fall into his lap from heaven…it is the product of precise orchestration by the master of orchestrations.

Will The Winning Politician Have Asocial Media Account In 2018?

 

By Wisdom Mumera

Social media has been the chief catalyst for increased political discourse and the rise of activism by bringing politics nearer and engagement being done within a ‘safer’ context.

According to Ciara McCorley, Research Fellow, African Development and Democracy, University of Sussex the number of social media users has increased providing an easy to reach source of disgruntled people.

“WhatsApp has been widely used as a tool to mobilise. It accounts for 34% of all mobile data used in Zimbabwe, Facebook reports 260,000 daily users, of 890,000 Zimbabweans online which accounts for 3% of mobile broadband usage in the country. Newsday, an independent news outlet, increased its Twitter network by 10,000 followers in the past month alone”, she says.

2018 elections, however, provide a litmus test for the effective use of social media to influence political discourse and indications on the ground don’t point towards a period of hashtag politicians tweeting jabs on social media fighting for voters as the precedent of activists hinted.

ZANU PF has seemingly ignored the techno-savvy way of soliciting for supporters and rallying them through social media.

Few who have harnessed or found themselves on social media have been primarily using it for internal wars, (Jonathan Moyo, Justice Mayor Wadyajena) or have been hijacked in their unguarded moments (Psychology Maziwisa on jobs, President Mugabe’s infamous sleeping videos on Twitter).

ZANU has been engaging youths through traditional ways, holding rallies and marching in the streets. Youth Interface Rallies have been testaments to the ruling party’s powers to mobilise people sans tech-gimmicks, and a direct middle-finger snubbing of social media capers.

The opposition has also not dived into social media with the zeal of activists but has been guarded having it both ways with a strong emphasis on traditional methods just like ZANU PF.

A select few of its members like MDC-T VP Nelson Chamisa, Tendai Biti leader of PDP on Twitter and Jessie Majome on Facebook have been utilizing social media with any consistency.

The party’s social platforms such on Facebook and Twitter are seldom updated, and then, usually with pictures from rallies already held.

Thus for the politicians, social media is yet to be a core instrument as exhibited by activists from 2016 remaining largely the gadgetry for the adventurous only to be used sparingly.

For online activism government has crafted the Cyber Crime Bill which will increase monitoring.

A July report by the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) says 18 African governments requested for information on over a hundred people on Facebook in 2016.

“The leading countries are Sudan which made 35 requests for information on 39 Facebook users between 2013 and 2016 followed by Egypt and South Africa which both made 33 requests.

“It is a similar story for Google which had 10 African countries requesting information about online users”, it said.

Without a legal provision equipping her with power, Zimbabwe is still lagging but the passage of the bill will surely see an increase.

As for the elections, the tools are still mainly the same old ones and the winner may not need to be tweeting his winning speech.

The Best Of 5 : Zimbabwean Presidential Candidates

 

By Simba The Comic King

Every five years or so, we have a comedy show we call “Presidential Elections.” We desperately try to bulls**t ourselves into thinking the reigning champion Robert Mugabe is all of a sudden going to say the sacred words, “I think it’s high time I quit.” There’s a better chance of Jesus coming back in a Lamborghini before that happens but it’s ok to dream, even Joseph was a dreamer and he got thrown into a pit for it. As our comedy show…sorry I mean elections are right round the corner we take a look back at some of the men who have had the nerve to run against ZANU PF’s immortal sole candidate…

Morgan Tsvangirai (Movement for Democratic Change)

A man whose tombstone should read, “Here lies a man who won but lost at the same damn time, life’s a b***h.” Morgan has been beaten so many times both literally and figuratively you’d think the soundtrack to his life is, “Beat It” by Michael Jackson. Morgan is the only dude in history to defy the ZANU PF odds. Tsvangirai first ran in presidential elections in 2002, an election which he obviously lost. He then contested again in 2008 and this time actually won by a 47.9% margin against Mugabe’s 43.2% but of course ZANU insisted that no candidate had the necessary 50% plus one vote to be declared the winner because they are sore losers like that. A run off was announced and initially Morgan was set to contest once more with the condition that international observers would be called in to do what they do best: international observing of course. Tsvangirai eventually withdrew from the run off fearing that his supporters may “get more than their a**es whooped” for voting for him. Not that he said it in those words exactly but that was the implication. Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara met with Mugabe for the first time in over a decade on the 22nd of July 2008 to broker a power sharing agreement which came to be famously known as the “Government of We Won The Elections Douchebags…But We’ll Take Whatever You’ll Give Us” or simply, Government of National Unity.

Mark Baard (Zimbabwe Republican Front)

Zimbabwe’s first ever aspiring white presidential candidate, Marky of the Zimbabwe Republican Front (ZPF) is like the reverse of Obama. We say aspiring because unfortunately he never officially ran. He simply threatened to run. To be fair though, out of the five delusional beings who submitted their names to run for presidency in 2013, his was never considered. If you look at it being a white presidential candidate comes with a lot of hustles, for starters even if he did win the elections, motherf***in’ ZANU would nevertheless take 51% of his votes and he’d have a tough time attending rallies as his jurisdiction is Borrowdale.

Kisinoti  Mukwazhe (Zimbabwe Development Party)

Now this dude’s last name should have been “My A**” but alas life isn’t a place where you could everything you want. Kisinoti Mukwazhe is the leader of Zimbabwe Development Party and just like Mark, almost ran for the 2013 general elections but withdrew cause his party was broke as f**k.  At the time Mukwazhe claimed his party had 780 000 supporters. If my primary school mathematics calculations serve me well, this nigga could have made 780k simply by asking all his supporters to part with a buck each. Mukwazhe’s sad story begins when he filed an application for funding at the Constitutional Court. The application was dismissed citing that it would be grossly “irresponsible and dangerous for government if all political parties were to be funded.” The judge might as well have raised his middle finger while he was at it. Mukwazhe eventually settled for rallying behind Mugabe instead, the leader of the same government that threw out his application, geez, talk about f**ked up priorities.

Simba Makoni (National Alliance for Democracy)

Apart from being the Lion King’s namesake, Simba’s other claim to fame is running in the 2008 presidential elections as the frontman of Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn which only became a formal political party on the 22nd of July 2008 and was renamed National Alliance for Democracy. Makoni who is a former ZANU PF member originally wanted to contest as a ZANU candidate but hey, it’s a one man show nigga. Simba was Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister from 2000 but was kicked out and got his a** replaced by Herbert Murerwa simply cause he had enough common sense to support the devaluation of the Zimbabwean Dollar, which Mugabe obviously did not like, no rocket science whatsoever.

Welshman Ncube (Movement for democratic Change without the”T”)

Try and imagine a team member of Voltron, the guy who pilots the red lion gets tired of the other guy who pilots the lion that’s kinda red and therefore decides to unform Voltron rendering him a D**k Of The Universe. That’s exactly what happened when Welshman Ncube and Morgan Tsvangirai broke up and split MDC in two. Tsvangirai would go on to lead MDC-T and Welshman went on to lead MDC supposedly because MDC-W would be the uncooolest name ever for a party. Welshman ran in the 2013 elections and came third after Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

Now that you know about past presidential delusionists, please do go register to vote, next year might just be the year gaddhemeti.

4 Reasons Why The Cybercrime Bill Sucks And Should Be Re-Drafted

 

by Simba The Comic King

Last year our government whipped out a piece of paper with a couple of complicated words scribbled on it and called it the “Cybercrime Bill.” This bill was specifically targeted at pastors who preach both in the pulpit and their Facebook timelines as well as former ZANU PF youthies who went on to start their own parties and make sextapes in between their hectic schedules.  

To the pre-school dropout eye, the bill looks pretty normal, nothing amiss, but to the PhD wielding nigga (I mean a real PhD not one you can get from dialing dial-a-PhD) they can see that there are a few things amiss…

The Whole Document  Is  Copy/Pasted

That’s right. You aren’t high, you read that whole damn sentence the way it should be read. You know how at the end of some movies they say, “Based On Real Life Events”? If our Zimbabwe’s cybercrime bill was a movie it would say, “We didn’t have enough creativity to make a movie so we just filmed the real life events themselves with a sh**ty phone.” The bill is a copy pasted version of Lesotho’s which was drafted in 2011 and was the template used by ICT ministers of that era. Need we mention the changes that have taken place on the ICT landscape since then? We sure as hell didn’t have Facebook Live, the goddamned function that gave birth to the monster known as Olindastein. Not that has anything to do with anything but you can’t just copy and paste a sum’ing from ions ago, even the Bible has a New and Old Testament. It’s the difference between Adam and Jesus.

The Bill Doesn’t Make Its’ Own Purpose Clear

A sentence in the document reads, “a Bill for an Act to criminalise offences against computers and network-related crime.” Which of course doesn’t make sense to anyone who gives even the slightest f**k. Though seemingly insignificant every word in any legal document is of paramount importance as it can be used to legally f**k you in the a** later on.

It F**ks With A Constitutional Right

Believe it or not, privacy is a constitutional right and the cybercrime bill pays no heed to that right whatsoever. It “authorizes interception of data communication without sufficient oversight and checks and balances to prevent abuse.” In layman’s terms this simply means “We can f**k with your privacy whenever and however we feel like it, any other questions?” It is a clause that’s open to molestation cause who’s to stay the cops can’t concoct fake evidence against you? I don’t know, maybe a button stick here and a helmet there?

It Makes It Illegal To Disagree With The Government On Social Media

This still is the most controversial portion of the draft. Freedom of expression is basically null and void as you can get thrown in jail for a tweet or updating your status and your only defense in court will be, “But your honor, Zuckerberg asked me what’s on my mind!” The clause is vague as it is what the government blatantly claims is “abuse of social media.” I have been alive for most of my life and in all that time I have never come across such a f**ktardish claim. If anything was ever invented to be abused, it’s social media. When people tell us about every little detail including the last time they used the toilet that’s abuse right there. So if one for saying s**t, arrest them for s**ting as well gaddhemeti.

 

Image courtesy of  raconteur.net

Dear Mr President, don’t forget the most under-represented group in our country – disabled people

 

By Kalabash Contributor

For the longest time disability issues have played second fiddle to other matters which are often meaningless with the sole intention of diverting the ordinary person’s attention from bread and butter issues.

Yet a great deal of our population is disabled. Most government buildings cannot be accessed in a wheel chair. This is just one sign that shows how insensitive government is to issues to do with disabilities.

Its 2017 and Harare City Council is in the course installing a wheelchair ramp at Town house which is the city council’s head office has had no wheelchair ramps that make it easy for people in a wheel chair to access the building. While the constitution of Zimbabwe takes note of the disabled the situation on the ground is very little is being done to empower the disabled. Meanwhile the word empower is a word that has been thrown around for a reason different from its meaning. A word thrown around the ordinary people in order to pacify them.

While we are at it deliberating on the issues surrounding people with disabilities, let’s spare a thought for the disabled in the rural areas where the majority rely on subsistence farming. Spare a thought for the stigma in our communities around disabled people. What more of the majority of disabled in urban centres whom government hasn’t done much for them so instead the majority opt for begging in the streets. Surely a lot more can be done to change this.

 

Beggars outside City council in Harare, Zimbabwe

 

The sad fact on the ground is that issues affecting disabled are intertwined to other issues the government needs to address such as the big elephant in the room which is turning around the economy. The disabled are still affected by unemployment and other issues that affect able bodied Zimbabweans, to top it off think of the stigma they have to endure.
As a way forward Zimbabwe need to progress to provide an equal opportunity between able bodied and disabled people. Our national budget allocates 800 000 dollars towards the elderly and the disabled, meanwhile development around the discussion of the disabled is yet to be noted.