Potraz declares war on cyber criminals

Criminals abusing cyberspace should be fished out and exposed for people to feel safe in using the Internet productively, Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe Director-General Dr Gift Machengete has said.

Speaking after meeting with the Japanese Ambassador Toshiyuki Iwado and the delegation from NEC Africa in Harare, Dr Machengete said people should be safe on cyberspace, hence the need to invest more in cyber security sector.

“As regulator, issues to do with cyber security are central to our work because we are mandated to regulate and also promote the same sector for growth, ensuring that there is development. Trust in ICTs can only be there when people believe that they are safe and that is where you bring in things like cyber security,” said Dr Machengete.

“For example right now, we have shortages in terms of cash, so we have moved more than any other African country. In fact, I can say that Zimbabwe has taken up mobile money ahead of many countries because of the situation we found ourselves in which is now an advantage to us. For that to continue we need people to have confidence and that can be found if they are safe, and criminals are accounted for and those who want to abuse cyberspace to commit crimes should be accounted for,” he said.

Dr Machengete said cooperation with partners like Japan will help in that regard.

“As regulator, we feel this is opportune time to embrace technology that Japan has. We would want to know whose sim card it is by recognising even the face. There are many criminal activities people do using sim cards and we do not want to let them go scot free.”

Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security Minister Supa Mandiwanzira said cooperation with Japan and other partners in the area of cyber security was vital to protect the people.

“It is my appeal that we find again ways of reconnecting and where possible get some assistance from the Japanese government in terms of investments in the ICT and cyber security space where I think we have a huge task to build infrastructure that will protect our people from cyber criminals,” he said.

Minister Mandiwanzira said cyber security was a new baby added to the ministry of ICT. Cyber security is being given prominence because of its importance in commerce and general use of ICTs by the people.

Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Toshiyuki Iwado said his embassy will continue to push Tokyo to promote cooperation with Harare especially in the area of cyber security.

“We discussed on how we can promote co-operation in this important area. We exchanged views on how we can help promote cyber security and safety for the people and we are really satisfied with the response from the Minister,” he said.

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