Mugabe explains functions of Cyber Security ministry

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe has created the Cyber Security, Threat Detection and Mitigation ministry as an instrument to deal with abuse and unlawful conduct in cyberspace, his spokesperson said yesterday.

This comes as the creation of the new ministry has sent shivers down the spines of pro-democracy groups and ordinary social media users who fear it is targeted at suppressing free speech.

The new ministry will be headed by Patrick Chinamasa, who has been the Finance and Economic Development minister for the past four years.

Mugabe deployed his spokesperson, George Charamba, to explain Chinamasa’s new role to the media yesterday.

Charamba said Mugabe wanted Chinamasa to study how authoritarian and communist regimes such as North Korea and China have successfully legislated against “cyber terrorism” and implement the measures here.

“I have just been talking to the president about the role of that ministerial portfolio and the president was very clear in his mind that he is dealing with an emerging threat to the State of Zimbabwe, a threat that is founded on abuse and unlawful conduct on the cyberspace and a threat which is unusual, which is quite new and therefore which needs a development of a new body of law,” Charamba told journalists soon after the swearing-in ceremony of ministers at State House yesterday.

“I want you to say it in his own words. The president said the ministry is like a trap used to catch rats. It is targeted at mischief makers who abuse the cyberspace and it needs law development which is precisely why he thought of no other than a person who is legally competent in that area.”

Meanwhile, Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko appeared in a jovial mood as he teased the new ministers, particularly former Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) director-general, Happyton Bonyongwe and Mashonaland West resident minister Webster Shamu.

“Hello Bonyongwe, you have lost the DG (director-general) position, how does it feel?” said Mphoko, whose remarks were met with a smile by the recipient.

Mphoko proceeded: “It’s back to business Shamu. Ndakanganwa shamu yekurovesa manewcomers aya (I forgot a whip which I would use to beat the new ministers),” exclaimed Mphoko, this time attracting laughter from the small crowd.

At the end of the ceremony, Mugabe turned to Bonyongwe — who has earned his first ministerial role — and said: “I hope you are now ready for this new era.”

Bonyongwe, who until now operated underground as Mugabe’s chief spy, subsequently addressed an eager press corps.

“It is my hope that I will be able to make some positive contribution to my country,” Bonyongwe said. “That is something that has always motivated me.”

Comments (7)

ndine mubvunzo kuna ishe wangu makandipindura matondigonera

g40 - 11 October 2017

A whole ministry here vakomana, why waste resources like that, do you need to put up such a massive structure for that ? Is that necessary. This is work done by IT experts, why set up a ministry, this should just be department in a ministry.

budha - 12 October 2017

It should be a department under the ministry of ICT.

J - 12 October 2017

If the fool had any concept of management and running an efficient government this could quite easily and naturally fallen under the ministry of information and communications!! The rats he talks about are part of who he is and the nest of corruption he has created and we as Zimbabweans need to deal with this decisively!

Sabistar - 12 October 2017

So like what happenned in Rwanda genocide,the poor people are now being reffered to as rats that should be trpped by the zanu pf dictator?Some people become more human when they are old,but this old Bob is somehing else.Like what most dictators do ,he is always crafting and devising new ways of making life hard for the ordinary people.

Janana wa Bikaz - 12 October 2017

So like what happenned in Rwanda genocide,the poor people are now being reffered to as rats that should be trpped by the zanu pf dictator?Some people become more human when they are old,but this old Bob is somehing else.Like what most dictators do ,he is always crafting and devising new ways of making life hard for the ordinary people.

Janana wa Bikaz - 12 October 2017

And if it's true that Zimbabwe has the highest literacy rate on the continent. If this is thrue.... then Africa is in TROUBLE...!!

Marshalls777 - 12 October 2017

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