MISA-ZImbabwe has called on the government, Parliament and stakeholders in the media industry to rise above narrow-minded polarisation in order to come up with legislation that promotes citizens’ constitutionally guaranteed right to access to information and privacy.

Speaking at the multi-stakeholder meeting on Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill, Misa-Zimbabwe national director Tabani Moyo said the recent report released by Parliament on the Bill showed that Zimbabweans yearn for the enjoyment of their constitutionally given rights of access to information and privacy, both online and offline.

“We call upon Parliament and stakeholders to summon the same spirit that collapsed walls of party polity, narrow-mindedness, personal gratification and other isms in favour of progress, giving birth to the FIA,” Moyo said.

He said the committees of Media and the ICTs had progressively kept the people’s view as part of the agenda of the law making process.

“Beyond security concerns, the cyber-security and Data Protection Bill must reflect the business sense, in terms of the government’s mantra of promoting easy of doing business, it must be alive to the digital rights that are guaranteed through the constitution through sections 57, 61 and 62 of the same,” Moyo said.

“The task before us requires us to collapse our narrow interests and put those of the citizens and country ahead of ours. Failure of which will further entrench the unnecessary polarisation and disputes, where in all of us will emerge losers,” Moyo added.

In February 2019, following the approval for the repeal of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act by Cabinet, the Data Protection Bill was one of the Bills that were proposed to address data protection and privacy issues in alignment with the Constitution.

The Cyber-security and Data Protection Bill’s objective is to increase cyber-security in order to build confidence and trust in the secure use of information and communication technologies by data controllers, their representatives and data subjects.

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