Lawyers Want Speedy Adoption Of Cybercrime Bill

The legal fraternity is battling to incriminate cyber criminals due to the slow adoption of the Computer Crime and Cybercrime bill, a lawyer has said. Civil society as well as legislators are eagerly waiting for the Cybercrime and Computer Crime Bill to be tabled before parliament for scrutiny.

Speaking at the Zimbabwe Information and Communication Technologies (ZICT) seminar on Cyber security, Adam Wenyimo from Guti and Chikoyo lamented the slow process of promulgating the Computer Crime and Cybercrime bill in Zimbabwe saying as legal practitioners they are failing to help their clients in court.

By Kudakwashe Pembere

“Its an appeal to government and legislators to speed up the process, so that we are able to represent our clients because as you know that electronic evidence it is really difficult for it to be admissible in courts. Some of those things will make our cases strong or not,” he said.

He added that they have to find other means around this ‘electronic’ hurdle to win their cases. According to Wenyimo, judges and magistrates are having a torrid time in handling ‘electronic’ evidence to come up with judgements.

“Even the bench is finding it difficult to make judgements in terms of other electronically related things.

“I do hope that the cybercrime bill will actually be processed faster in terms of its reading and everything so that we might be able to represent our clients better and the citizens at large will be able to have the confidence of knowing that their rights are protected and their information is protected,” he said.

ICT Postal and Courier Serives Minister Supa Mandiwanzira shaking hands with a high profile attendant of the ZICT Cyber Security seminar

Wenyimo also said that the Criminal Codification Act does not address cyber crime  well enough citing that it was last updated in 2004.

So, you will find out that its difficult to prosecute hackers because the current law last updated way back in 2004.That is a problem in that we have to move with the times.

“We have issues that people want to move to the electronic processes like banking, even conveyancing, they want to make everything electronic. So, it means title deeds and everything have to be electronic. But if the data protection or cybercrime laws are not up-to-date, it will be difficult to protect people’s properties because there wont be any governing law,” he added

ICT, Postal and Courier Services minister Supa Mandiwanzira said the bill might be en-route to the Attorney General’s Office in a fortnight.

“We are hoping in the next two weeks, we will be taking that draft bill to the Attorney General’s Office,” he said adding that from  the AG’s office the bill goes to the Cabinet Committee on Legislation.

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