The Computer Crimes and Cyber Security Bill is now at the Attorney General’s (AG’s) office which is the second final stage of a draft bill before it goes to Parliament.
Legal watchdog Veritas Zimbabwe in its Constitution Watch series revealed that the Bill is at the AG’s office but is not sure how long it will be there.
“The final legal draft of this long-awaited Bill is being prepared by the drafters in the Attorney-General’s Office.
“Once agreed between the Attorney-General’s Office and the responsible Ministry, the Bill will go to the Cabinet Committee on Legislation for final approval. We are not able to predict when the Bill will eventually reach Parliament,” said Veritas.
The AG’s Office is reportedly short-staffed and has been castigated on countless occasions for delaying drafting of important bills such as the Public Health Bill which took forever to be finalised.
The Bill has been set as part of the legislative agenda for the ended Fourth Session of the Eighth Parliament of Zimbabwe but the Bill failed to come through and expectations are that he will put it on the agenda of the Fifth Session which he will officially open on the 12th of September.
The proposed Bill, whose draft was circulated last year, is widely seen by many as government’s measure to close the country’s cyber space ahead of 2018 general elections.
While there is a general agreement that there is a need for a Cyber Bill of some sort, there are however fears that the opportunity might be abused to infringe on humans rights.