A series of warnings from Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe and his government officials continue to be directed at online activists for recent anti-government demonstrations facilitated on social media.
The latest of threats were issued on Tuesday at a press conference by the Minister of Information, Christopher Mushohwe, who warned that online activities are being monitored.
“They should be warned that the long arm of the law is trying to encircle them and the authorities are watching closely the activities of such subversive elements,” he said in Harare.
That's why you see most Libyans and Syrians drown each day in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe to find the peace that they had destroyed in their country. There was a time when they had peace as here in Zimbabwe.
He warned against imitation of the so-called Arab Spring and cautioned activists “working with the diaspora of cyber-terrorists”.
“Zimbabweans know this: if it happened in Libya, if it happened in Iraq, if it happened in Syria, this can happen anywhere, so do not encourage them,” he repeated President Robert Mugabe’s reference to the Arab Spring some weeks ago.
“That’s why you see most Libyans and Syrians drown each day in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe to find the peace that they had destroyed in their country. There was a time when they had peace as here in Zimbabwe,” he added.The Zimbabwean government is drafting a law to penalize “abusive” usage of social media with five-year jail terms.
The legislation contained in the Computer Crime and Cyber Crime Bill is part of the government’s response to recent anti-government protests largely organized and mobilized via social media. Hashtags such as #ThisFlag have attracted large numbers of followers.