Zimbabwe’s new spying law was “rushed in” and is possibly a reaction to the Kenyan Westgate Mall attack, according to Nigel Mugamu, creator of the 263Chat social media crowdsourcing platform.
HumanIPO reported earlier today a new law to monitor phone calls, text messages and emails of citizens had been introduced in the Southern African country.
Speaking to HumanIPO Mugamu, who set up and managed the 263Chat platform, said he did not think public monitoring of this kind should be a priority for the government right now.
“Perhaps this programme is linked to what happened in Kenya with the recent Westgate Mall,” he said. “If it is and there is an imminent threat or even just a threat to us, then perhaps we the people might be advised so we can also assist by being more ‘vigilant’.”
Mugamu, who is involved with setting up the capital Harare’s first tech hub, said it is likely to cause debate because privacy is a sensitive subject.
“Sadly it seems it was law rushed in to enable them to spy on us essentially,” he said. “Issues of privacy are important to people.
“Just imagine if I had just invented or created some unique in tech for example, was planning on organising patents and approaching investors. Now I have to worry that someone may listen in on my conversations, read my emails and perhaps copy my idea. That wouldn’t be fair.”