Cyber ‘ter­ror­ists’ named

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Felex Share Harare Bureau

THE Gov­ern­ment’s probe into cyber ter­ror­ism has be­gun with pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tions point­ing to three Zim­bab­weans based out­side the coun­try as orig­i­na­tors of sub­ver­sive and in­flam­ma­tory mes­sages on so­cial me­dia.

The in­cit­ing mes­sages, sent mostly via What­sApp, are aimed at desta­bil­is­ing the coun­try with the ul­ti­mate goal of ef­fect­ing regime change.

The three ter­ror­ist sus­pects, ac­cord­ing to se­cu­rity sources, are Vic­tor Dube (res­i­dent in South Africa), Jeff Ju­dah Hosanna (South Africa) and Tapiwa Marimbe (Aus­tralia).

The trio — be­lieved to be work­ing with MDC-T of­fi­cials — has been send­ing mes­sages con­tain­ing threats of vi­o­lence, mur­der as well as armed at­tacks against or­di­nary Zim­bab­weans and Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials.

The mes­sages are meant to in­tim­i­date Zim­bab­weans and cause in­sta­bil­ity.

The rev­e­la­tions come in the wake of abortive calls by some shad­owy and face­less groups call­ing for the shut­ting down of the coun­try’s bor­ders be­gin­ning yes­ter­day, os­ten­si­bly to force Gov­ern­ment to lift im­port con­trols on cer­tain prod­ucts from South Africa. Zim­bab­weans, how­ever, ig­nored the mes­sages and went about their busi­ness yes­ter­day.

Se­cu­rity sources yes­ter­day said Hosanna, who is based in South Africa, has been us­ing mo­bile num­ber +27744621779 to orig­i­nate and send sub­ver­sive What­sApp mes­sages.

He claims to lead an or­gan­i­sa­tion called Smoke that Thun­ders Bri­gade which in­tends to wage war in Zim­babwe to re­move the Gov­ern­ment.

In his video, which our Harare Bureau is in pos­ses­sion of, Hosanna has also threat­ened to kill Zim­bab­weans.

On the other hand Dube, us­ing mo­bile num­ber +27736352897, sent a mes­sage threat­en­ing Zim­bab­weans, call­ing them to stay at home on Au­gust 11 or risk be­ing killed.

The sus­pected ter­ror­ist, to­gether with his con­spir­a­tors, threat­ened to kill a thou­sand peo­ple by plant­ing land­mines on var­i­ous roads in the coun­try and other meth­ods.

Marimbe, who is based in Perth, Aus­tralia is be­lieved to be an ac­coun­tant who has been us­ing mo­bile num­ber +61466919413 to cre­ate in­flam­ma­tory mes­sages.

He sent a mes­sage and a video show­ing a man with a cov­ered face pack­ing firearms into a bag.

The man threat­ened to come to Zim­babwe with the firearms to wage war and kill cit­i­zens.

Asked if he was be­hind the sub­ver­sive ma­te­rial and if he was linked to the Smoke that Thun­ders Bri­gade, Hosanna re­sponded: “That is very cor­rect. Ac­tu­ally if you don’t mind, if you want an in­ter­view, if you want de­tails you can phone me to­mor­row (to­day) by 9 o’clock.”

Con­tacted for com­ment Dube first con­firmed be­ing the owner of the mo­bile num­ber but when told that it was a jour­nal­ist from The Her­ald, he dis­tanced him­self from the mes­sages. “I am not Dube. What does that have to do with The Her­ald? Yes, I am a Zim­bab­wean and are you guys des­per­ate for news?” Told that he has to clear his name with the po­lice, Dube said: “To come where? For what? How am I gonna (sic) come there? I am at work.” Marimbe could not be reached for com­ment. Ef­forts are be­ing made to ap­pre­hend the trio, us­ing In­ter­pol, an in­ter­gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion fa­cil­i­tat­ing in­ter­na­tional po­lice co­op­er­a­tion.

A se­cu­rity source yes­ter­day said: “Should the three wish to clear their names, they are wel­come to present them­selves to the Zim­bab­wean po­lice as soon as pos­si­ble. The long arm of the law will reach out to them even if it means us­ing in­ter­na­tional po­lice ma­chin­ery. In­ter­pol is one such agency used to reach out to cross border crim­i­nals. We will work with other gov­ern­ments to ex­tra­dite those who orig­i­nate ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­i­ties tak­ing ad­van­tage that they are out of the coun­try.

“Gov­ern­ment warns Zim­bab­weans to de­sist from com­mu­ni­cat­ing with these and other ter­ror­ist sus­pects. Should any­one re­ceive such ter­ror­ist mes­sages, they are ad­vised to in­form the po­lice and pro­vide de­tails of the per­son from whom they re­ceived such mes­sages. Re­send­ing such ter­ror­ist mes­sages to any per­son is aid­ing and abet­ting the ter­ror­ists. There­fore, those that re­send such mes­sages be­come ac­com­plices of the orig­i­na­tors and will be held ac­count­able.”

In­for­ma­tion, Me­dia and Broad­cast­ing Ser­vices Min­is­ter Dr Christo­pher Mushohwe this week warned a co­terie of in­di­vid­u­als feed­ing on the Western trough against caus­ing con­fu­sion and an­ar­chy in the coun­try as part of the il­le­gal regime change agenda.

He said the West was re­lent­lessly fund­ing op­po­si­tion func­tionar­ies in a bid to ef­fect regime change not only in Zim­babwe but the whole of Africa.

As such, Dr Mushohwe said, the Gov­ern­ment was ready to deal with all so­cial me­dia abusers.

Zim­babwe Na­tional Army Com­man­der Lieu­tenan­tGen­eral Philip Va­le­rio Sibanda last week also warned mal­con­tents and the coun­try’s de­trac­tors against us­ing elec­tronic gad­gets to mo­bilise peo­ple to do un­law­ful ac­tiv­i­ties.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.