Former Finance minister Tendai Biti has accused the government of plagiarising the proposed Computer Crime and Cyber Crime Bill from Lesotho, warning it will not stand the constitutional test.
By Blessed Mhlanga
State media last week claimed the government wanted to introduce the new law to deal with alleged cyber terrorists.
“I have had a look at the Bill produced and it is a poorly drafted cut and paste Bill plagiarised from Lesotho,” Biti told a press conference addressed by eight opposition party leaders in Harare on Friday.
“I have absolutely no doubt that it has not gone through the office of the Attorney General. I have absolutely no doubt about that,” Biti said.
“The point is, no one has got a right to infringe on a constitutionally given right, right to freedom of communication, of freedom of expression and of freedom of speech,” he added.
“The new Constitution we have is unique in that for the first time, it has another freedom, the freedom of the media.”
He said the right of communication was part of human dignity.
“There are two rights in the Zimbabwean Constitution which cannot be infracted upon. It is the right to human dignity and the right not to be subjected to torture,” Biti said.
“I don’t believe that a Constitutional Court will uphold an infraction on the right to human dignity and the right to communication; this is why I stated very strongly [that] there will be a legal challenge upon any attempt to encroach on our values and our rights.”
Meanwhile, Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn leader Simba Makoni, speaking on behalf of the parties, said they were behind Zimbabweans using social media to take on President Robert Mugabe’s government.
He said those leading online movements such as #ThisFlag and #Tajamuka had a constitutional right to do so.