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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
steps up mass citizen surveillance
Mambo/Paidamyo Muzulu, The Independent (Zimbabwe)
August 30, 2013
Mugabe’s government, through the dreaded Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO), has stepped up mass surveillance on private
citizens’ lives, particularly those perceived as political
threats, as the monitoring has widened beyond phone-tapping and
e-mail interceptions to scrutinising activities on social media
such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.
sources said the intensified abuse of state apparatus for partisan
political agendas is a result of Mugabe and his party’s paranoid
fears of civil unrest following their disputed
victory in the July 31 general elections.
security forces were also put on high alert after polls.
The main opposition
party MDC-T claims the elections were rigged, and their position
has received support from international powers such as the United
States and European Union members.
after elections, the situation was unpredictable as Zanu-PF was
unsure of the people’s reaction, so CIO tightened surveillance
to intercept communications. There is paranoia because Zanu-PF is
not sure of the mood of the people following allegations of rigging
leading to his party’s controversial landslide win,”
said a senior government official.
targeted groups and individuals’ communication activities
are being monitored by CIO from designated listening posts in Harare,
mainly in Mount Pleasant.
groups and individuals’ communications and social media activities
are being monitored and at times the CIO obtains recordings of voice
calls from local cellphone providers under the guise of carrying
out state security operations,” the source said.
The recent publication
of Elizabeth Tsvangirai’s private correspondence with her
alleged lover a fortnight ago exposed abuse of the state security
apparatus to target opponents for political reasons and not national
episode is not an isolated incident as CIO has a history of snooping
or deliberately setting traps for private citizens perceived as
anti-Mugabe and Zanu-PF.
minister Tendai Biti of the MDC-T and former Roman Catholic archbishop
of Bulawayo Pius Ncube are prominent victims of such state surveillance.
private SMS correspondence with a female staffer at Treasury were
splashed in the government-controlled Sunday Mail while Ncube was
recorded by cameras in a compromising position with female church
congregants at his official residence through use of closed circuit
Zimbabwean law, where closed circuit television cameras are installed
this should be accompanied by a public notice of the presence of
paranoia about reactions over polls stretches back to 2005 when
he ruthlessly unleashed Operation
Murambatsvina, a purported urban clean-up, but actually a pre-emptive
strike triggered by fears of an urban revolt.
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