Government Bureaucracy Delaying Cyber Bill

The Ministry of ICT, and Cyber Security has completed drafting the Computer Crimes and Cyber Crimes Bill. It was submitted to the Attorney General’s office, but due to government’s bureaucracy the bill is yet to be passed.

ICT and Cyber Security Minister, Hon Supa Mandiwanzira appeared before the parliamentary committee on ICT, Postal Services and Cyber Security sharing his ministry’s progress in  formulating and drafting the bill.

“The bill has been drafted and submitted to the Attorney General’s office so as to be aligned with other existing laws to ensure that there is no conflict with the constitution of Zimbabwe. We hired outside consultants to help us draft the bill,” said Mandiwanzira.

“The ministry worked with various organizations particularly POTRAZ, in making sure that we have done what is necessary to take this bill through the correct procedures.”

The minister noted that the AG’s office was fairly happy with the draft but also advised that there were pieces of legislature that were pending.

“The update we have is that they (the AG) were fairly happy with the draft but also advised that there were pieces of legislature pending, particularly the e-transaction bill and the data protection bill, which the Attorney General felt these two must be combined into one” said the Minister.

Committee member Honorable Gift Chimanikire, asked the timeline for completion considering the creation of the Computer Crime and Cyber security bill started in 2010 when Hon Nelson Chamisa was at the helm.

“People will commit cybercrimes now without any laws governing them,” noted the Southerton MP.

Replied the minister, “We have already subitted the bill and have followed procedures. The government’s bureaucracy, certain procedures have to be followed before the bill gets passed.”

The Cyber bill law for Zimbabwe was conceived by Chamisa in 2010 but is yet to realise fruition with Parliament itching to get their hands on it.

 

In 2015, it was reported that the drafting of the bill had been completed, but after changes in the cyber environment, some additions were entered into the bill. The minister also noted the various changes in the cyber environment and also in the legal environment, factors they considered while drafting the bill.

 

Because of these factors, the ministry engaged outside counsel of people with knowledge of technology and law to help with the bill. A cost of less than $10000 paid out of POTRAZ went to the consultants whose services ensured the ministry was able to complete the drafting of the bill after consulting various groups and members of the public.

 

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