In yet another example of the burgeoning digital authoritarianism of President Emmerson Mnangaga’s post-Mugabe Zimbabwe, police recently charged a Twitter user for retweeting a tweet parodying Priscilla Chigumba, the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
In a recent cabinet reshuffle, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe unveiled a brand new ministry of Cyber Security, Threat Detection and Mitigation. The ministry further extends the dictator’s authoritarian agenda and ability to conduct repressive activities into cyberspace.
Members of Zimbabwe’s growing army of Internet-savvy freedom fighters “can easily be identified” by Mugabe’s all-seeing surveillance state, according to the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ), Zimbabwe’s telecommunications regulator.
On July 12, 2017, a coalition of websites, technology companies, digital rights organizations, and Internet users in the United States joined forces to defend a democratizing idea that matters for Zimbabwe, especially in the final months of Robert Mugabe’s dictatorship: net neutrality.
As law enforcement and counterterrorism agencies of leading democracies and authoritarian countries relentlessly push for back doors to secure encrypted messaging apps such as Signal and WhatsApp, strong encryption is needed in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe now more than ever before.