Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Mnangagwa moves to criminalise exposing identities of CIO agents

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime says plans are afoot to criminalise publishing of identities of state security members including names of confidential informants and sources, through the new provisions that will be added to the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa inspects Russian honour guards during a welcoming ceremony upon his arrival at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport on January 14, 2019. (Photo by Alexander NEMENOV / AFP)

Last week Cabinet approved seven broad amendments to the law meant to criminalise campaigning against the country and making false statements with the intention of influencing any dispute between Zimbabwe and a foreign government.

Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi told The Sunday Mail that it was easier (to amend an existing law) because in the code the country already has crimes against the State and this is one of them.

Cabinet noted that legislation to protect the identities of security services personnel was common in most jurisdictions, including the United States.

Speaking during a post Cabinet briefing on Tuesday, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Section 30 of the constitution would be amended to protect identities of state security agents from being published.

“In the process of reviewing the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, it has been further identified that the current provisions do not cater for the protection from publication of the identity of members of the security services, including informants and sources.

“Furthermore, it is proposed that Section 30 be amended to include the act of publication of the identity of members of the security services, including that of informants and sources as an offence of causing disaffection of officials.

“It is further proposed that “informants” and “sources” also be defined in terms of the Act,” she said.

This comes at a time when suspected state security agents are being implicated in the torture and abductions of dissenting voices.