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Interception of Communications Bill - Index of articles
passes spying Bill
June 14, 2007
the Index of articles on the Interception of Communications Bill
The House of
Assembly on 13 May 2007 passed the controversial Interception
of Communications Bill without amendments despite opposition
to some of its provisions by opposition MDC legislators.
National Director Rashweat Mukundu said the passing of the Bill
marks yet another sad and retrogressive chapter in the country's
unfolding crisis as it has serious implications on the citizens'
fundamental right to freely express themselves without any hindrance
in the form of the envisaged spying law.
Section 20 of
guarantees freedom of expression, freedom to receive and impart
ideas without interference with one's correspondence.
this Bill let alone without any amendments, the House of Assembly
has regrettably and sadly contributed yet another devastating blow
to the country's deepening human rights and political crisis
which is being duly recorded by historians and will be judged accordingly
by posterity," said Mukundu.
viability and development of the telecommunications sector will
also be seriously compromised by this draconian law considering
that internet service providers will have to bear high costs as
they will be expected to install the enabling spying equipment in
a country that is experiencing acute foreign currency shortages."
Under the Bill
service providers will be compelled to install the enabling equipment
on behalf of the government while empowering the Chief of Defence
Intelligence, the Director-General of the Central Intelligence Organisation,
the Commissioner of Police and the Commissioner General of the Zimbabwe
Revenue Authority to intercept telephonic, e-mail and cellphone
The Bill which
seeks to empower the government to spy into telephone and e-mail
messages was presented to Parliament on 26 July 2006.
It also proposes
to establish a monitoring centre or agency which shall be the sole
facility through which authorised interception shall be effected.
to the debate during its reading stages Bulawayo South legislator
David Coltart who was elected on an opposition MDC ticket said the
judiciary and not the Attorney-General should be empowered to review
the exercise of the powers of the Minister of Transport and Communications
in the issuing of warrants for interception of communication.
argued that the decision on the right to grant a warrant should
be the preserve of the judiciary and not the Executive.
the MISA-Zimbabwe fact
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