Worry over spy agency's surveillance

HARARE - Zimbabweans are demanding an explanation amid indications citizens’ electronic communications have been placed under surveillance by the country’s spy agency.

The remarks were in response to a report in a State weekly newspaper on Sunday suggesting Elizabeth Macheka, the wife of the outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai had an inappropriate relationship with her ex-husband.

The paper published several e-mails detailing exchanges earlier this year between Macheka and her ex Kennedy Ngirazi, father to her five-year-old daughter.

The report suggested there has been monitoring of her telephone and e-mail activity.

The scandal has already sent shock waves in Zimbabwe amid fears spy agencies were routinely intercepting cell-phone short message service, and hacking into computers in their search for scoops.

It is not immediately clear if legal-but-secret warrants were used to compel communications companies to turn over information about Macheka’s calls and e-mails for analysis.

Macheka’s damning article inadvertently outlined the extent of Zimbabwe communications’ monitoring activity at home and abroad.

Following revelations about Macheka, attention has now turned towards the State media’s intrusion into privacy, with its judgment now under the spotlight.

Many Zimbabweans the Daily News spoke to were surprised at the precarious position the outgoing PM and his wife have found themselves in.

Some people are calling for the urgent reprimand of the power hungry State media.

MDC spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said the story was a “diversion” to deflect attention from the “stolen election”.

Lawyer Kudzayi Kadzere said the phone hacking into Macheka’s private communications was “totally unconstitutional.”

“No one can do that save under the Interception of Communications Act,” he said.

The September 2007 Interception of Communications Act, empowers the government to open private postal mail, eavesdrop on telephone conversations and intercept faxes and e-mails.

The legislation gives powers to Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organisation, the commissioner-general of police and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority to spy on citizens’ phones and e-mails and use the information gleaned through spying for its operations.

But the law only authorises the Transport and Communications minister to issue a warrant to State functionaries to order the interception of information if there are “reasonable grounds for the minister to think that there is a threat to the safety of the country”.

The phone hacking scandal rocking Zimbabwe extends well beyond the media industry and has prompted soul searching on what extent politicians’ private lives are off-bounds for surveillance.

“I want to see more accountability amongst the media,” said university student Shame Moyo.

“At the moment there’s not enough accountability, not enough transparency. And really I think the hacking scandal of Mrs Tsvangirai’s phone and e-mails, coming to light as it has, has shown obvious difficulties.”

Many called for new legislative reforms to rein-in the domestic spying programme, and to reprimand the State media for intruding into the private communications.

The new Constitution has explicit guarantees of protection against intrusion into privacy.

Comments (21)

I thought everyone knew its obvious we under surveillance. How else do you think ZANU knows everything about everyone? Ndizvo zva zviri...

Makarau - 14 August 2013

From election rigging to mail rigging

sparky - 14 August 2013

The whole world is doing that, where do you leave my friend. If you were shocked this does not count to whole Zimbabwe. Here there was surely a security threat, if Mr Tsvangas does not have her woman under control, who else then??

Pachena - 14 August 2013

Asi mavekumudawo kani makajaira kudya zvevamwe gadzirai nyika hamunyare

Bester - 14 August 2013

It is not a secret that ZANU is big brother in that they snoop in every activity hence some messages do not reach their intended destinations. For those who did not know watch out coz they are capable of identifying where crude messages which are not favourable to them originates from.

Eric Ara - 14 August 2013

A happily married wife will not find herself in this position. Lets respect our wives and not parade in front of them an endless list of girlfriends, lest they do worse than that. Also a wife like Elizabeth is not worth keeping one more day unless if its for the purpose of leveling the score. The ball is in your court Tsvangson, not with the so called spies!!!!

Mundamurefu - 15 August 2013

Bester, ikoko kuona kuti mukadzi waprime minister atasvwa nani ndiko kugadzira nyika ikoko. Nyika inoenda kana tose tikave nemukadzi anenge waTsvangirai. Elizabeth anofanira kubwandira nguwo, ogwanhidzira pakati pemakumbo ake kuti nyika ichengeteke. Tsvangirai, CHIRO chemukadzi chinochengetwa, wakaitaseiko iwe?????

Naison Nyereyegona - 15 August 2013

Bester, ikoko kuona kuti mukadzi waprime minister atasvwa nani ndiko kugadzira nyika ikoko. Nyika inoenda kana tose tikave nemukadzi anenge waTsvangirai. Elizabeth anofanira kubwandira nguwo, ogwanhidzira pakati pemakumbo ake kuti nyika ichengeteke. Tsvangirai, CHIRO chemukadzi chinochengetwa, wakaitaseiko iwe?????

Naison Nyereyegona - 15 August 2013

kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. Sure pakakanganiswa apa. Asi ichokwadi here kuti mukadzi waPM anofamba asina bhurugwa?

muvengwa munondivengerei - 15 August 2013

Please lets not try to protect the idiots. To start with its not her ex husband but its someone else's husband with whom she has a child, a pending high court case for adultery charges point to that fact. Then the open zip shut mind former prime minister- how is he going to handle this infidelity if at all he thought that he can rule Great Zimbabwe. Those are answers we want and not all this idiotic demands from blind foolish supporters.

reason - 15 August 2013

kkkkkk haaa reporter kana neniwo ndobvuma kuti washaya nyaya apa, ingawani kenny unemukadzi wake akabvirira kare kuenda kuhigh court achiedza kuti Eriza uyu asiyane nemurume wake saka azoita ex husband waEriza pakayi? Pedzezvo hauti Zimbabweans are demanding ndava vazhinji vaposter macomments varikujogodwa nezvakaita mukadzi uyu kunamukuru. Ivo mukuru ngavasareverere matakanyanya akadai angaakuzivikanwa nemunhu wese. Isu taitoshaya kuti chavanochengetera mukadzi asingarare kumba achitasva mumwe murume chii? Pls mukuru dispose of this woman.

Watsva - 15 August 2013

Mukadzi mukuru wemunhu mukuru ngaazvibate mhani furustop. Mari anayo, murme anaye chaari kutsvaga kumurume wemunhu chii? Filthy bitch!!!

Ma One Hundred - 15 August 2013

I hate inappropriate surveillance.. But worse, I hate prostitution by married persons especially those in high offices.... If its true that she cheted on the PM, please do not sue this paper unless it was an ordinary zimbabwean

onslo - 15 August 2013

bva ichokwadi? yaaaa, ma1 chaiwo. iye mudhara akariwana kupi bhebhi rake iri? Wish the 1st wyf was alive eishhh, ma1 chaiwo.

kitsi - 15 August 2013

PFAMBI

MUNYA - 15 August 2013

iih! if this is true it is very embarrasing. Truly the world has turned upside down.To Mr Tsvangirai its imperative that the two of you live for God you do not have the panacea on your own to solve this mysterious sexual pleasure that your wife has gone into.

mambo - 15 August 2013

l think who ever linked this information is right,if it is true then pasi nemahure akadai.chaanoda chiyi pakunyadzisa murume wake

washington - 15 August 2013

I think Macheka achiri paLUV WILDERNESS somurume wake nguva dzose. Murume haana nguva nomukadzi mumwe saka anotsvakawo mafuro manyoro. This is utter madness mumba umu.

ndire ndire - 15 August 2013

Mr "More-Girls" Tsangirayi.... What goes around comes around... You have spent every minute chasing around young girls, leaving them pregnant, requesting them to have abortions, proposing marriage and leaving them high and dry... It is unfortunate that life has a way of giving as good as it gets.... Sort your life out More-Girls!

Zebra - 16 August 2013

Madodha ndiyo nyaya yatagarira pano here? hapana nyaya apa.

mutape - 16 August 2013

ko indava vakatadza kuziva baba jukwa, nxa

fellysher - 20 August 2013

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