Cy­ber Min­istry a high se­cu­rity brief: Charamba

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Harare Bu­reau

THE newly cre­ated Min­istry of Cy­ber Se­cu­rity, Threat De­tec­tion and Mit­i­ga­tion is a pro­tec­tive port­fo­lio aimed at pro­tect­ing the na­tion from cy­ber threats posed by the abuse of so­cial me­dia, Pres­i­den­tial spokesper­son Mr Ge­orge Charamba has said.

Mr Charamba said the Min­istry, which is be­ing headed by former Fi­nance Min­is­ter Cde Pa­trick Chi­na­masa, was a high-se­cu­rity brief given the grav­ity of the threat posed by so­cial me­dia abuse.

He said the ap­point­ment of Cde Chi­na­masa to the port­fo­lio was in­formed by his rich his­tory as a lawyer since there was need to de­velop laws to deal with cy­ber crime and set up new struc­tures in that area. “I want to give these words from the Pres­i­dent. He said that Min­istry, one, it’s new, will help us in nail­ing those who do mis­chief us­ing cy­ber space,” he said.

“He (Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe) is very clear be­cause this is a new Min­istry; it needs law de­vel­op­ment, which is pre­cisely why he thought of no other than per­son with le­gal com­pe­tence to han­dle that area. Then, of course, he also wants the new Min­is­ter to be able to draw from the ex­pe­ri­ence from other coun­tries.

“He specif­i­cally made ref­er­ence to Rus­sia, he made ref­er­ence to China, and he made ref­er­ence to the Kore­ans as coun­tries who have done ex­ceed­ingly well in terms of en­sur­ing some kind or­der and law­ful­ness in that area.

“He then spoke about the struc­tures to make sure that the Min­istry then takes a work­able form. And of course, to use his (Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe) words again, it’s called a pro­tec­tive Min­istry, which means to pro­tect the in­ter­ests of the State.”

Mr Charamba said the Min­istry comes in the wake of so­cial me­dia mis­chief aimed at caus­ing in­sta­bil­ity in the coun­try.

He also dis­pelled so­cial me­dia re­ports sug­gest­ing that the Min­istry was use­less and was some kind of de­mo­tion for Cde Chi­na­masa.

Said Mr Charamba: “This is com­ing against the back­ground of the abuse that we saw not too far back on so­cial me­dia, where the so­cial me­dia then causes some kind of ex­cite­ment to the coun­try, not on the ba­sis of fact, but gen­er­a­tion of copy which is in fact cal­cu­lated to trig­ger a sense of panic in the econ­omy, and that in it­self sug­gests that it is in­deed a ma­jor threat to State se­cu­rity.

“But you also recall that when we were do­ing the Bi-Na­tional Com­mis­sion in South Africa, that sub­ject mat­ter came up and it was also a sub­ject of dis­cus­sion be­tween the two Heads of State of South Africa and Zim­babwe, be­cause we need to evolve a joint strat­egy to deal with that mis­chief.

“So the mis­chief mak­ers be warned. It is ac­tu­ally a very strate­gic re­spon­si­bil­ity that the Min­is­ter has been given. He has been given that re­spon­si­bil­ity pre­cisely be­cause he has le­gal skills. It’s a new area that needs to de­velop a body of law.”

In the Cab­i­net reshuf­fle an­nounced on Monday, Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe ap­pointed eight new Min­is­ters and re­as­signed 10 oth­ers.

Three were dropped.

The Di­rec­tor of Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and Mar­ket­ing at the Na­tional Univer­sity of Science and Tech­nol­ogy, Mr Felix Moyo, (left), reg­is­ters to vote us­ing a Bio­met­ric Voter Reg­is­tra­tion kit at the univer­sity cam­pus in Bu­l­awayo yes­ter­day

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