By Moses Matenga, Blessed Mlanga and Harriet Chikandiwa
Government has threatened to intensify its snooping into citizens’ social media posts to thwart dissent and any plots to unseat or sabotage President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration.
Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe announced the plans during a media briefing in Harare yesterday where he announced that exiled former Cabinet ministers like Saviour Kasukuwere, Walter Mzembi and Jonathan Moyo, among others, would soon be extradited back home for corruption trial.
He said the country had recently experienced an upsurge in social media abuse, fake abductions and fake reportage on issues, hence the need to monitor messages posted on various social media platforms.
“I call upon all peace-loving citizens to play their part in this journey and help fight violent crime, corruption and subversion spearheaded by malcontents whose only mission is to try to grab power unconstitutionally and violently for their own personal, greedy purposes and against the dictates of democracy and constitutionalism,” Kazembe said.
“… the abuse of social media and the scourge of fake reportage, which are often motivated by subversive intentions, will remain closely monitored to protect peace and stability in the country.
“Let’s be reminded that the peace we are enjoying did not come by accident. There are some among us, some Trojan horses, working day and night to try to cause chaos in our nation.”
The Home Affairs minister’s claims came at a time MPs have rejected some clauses in the Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill, saying that they were meant to stifle citizens’ rights.
Kazembe said there were also attempts to subvert the economy and derail the country’s re-engagement efforts with the international community.
“They are trying to subvert our economic revival efforts. They are trying to prevent our diplomatic engagement and re-engagement efforts. However, they will not succeed in this anti-people agenda of theirs,” he said.
“We have witnessed a number of fake and well-rehearsed abductions. We have also seen a number of people deliberately breaking the law so that they can be arrested and make the headlines, possibly for some reward from somewhere.
We want to assure the nation that law enforcement agents are alert and the peace prevailing in the country will be guarded appropriately and jealously.”
On corruption, he said the government was seized with securing the return of “fugitives from justice” that are scattered in various parts of the globe.
“As for the fugitives, again I’m sure you know that people are out there, a fugitive is anybody who has a case to answer here. We know the likes of Saviour Kasukuwere, Walter Mzembi and a lot more of them are out there.
They have to come and clear their names if they are innocent,” Kazembe said.
Government has of late accused the G40 cabal of working with unnamed foreign envoys to foment chaos in the country and infiltrate Zanu PF ahead of the party’s district coordinating committee elections.
In June, Kazembe accused rivals in the government, military and opposition of plotting to topple Mnangagwa.
State Security minister Owen Ncube recently made similar allegations, saying the government was aware of “rogue elements” that included MDC Alliance and G40 members conniving with some Western nations to smuggle guns into the country and setting up “democratic resistance committees” to cause anarchy. NewsDay