My nudes my business – Parliament discusses laws on revenge porn

By Pretty Chavango.

Members of Parliament recently held a closed door session with Katswe Sisterhood, a movement of young women fighting for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for women, to consider its petition against revenge porn.

The meeting which had been postponed since last year finally took place with popular actress Tinopona Katsande ‘Tin Tin’  who is also a victim of leaked pornographic materials also taking part. Katsande presented to parliamentarians on the need to create cyber laws protecting people’s right to privacy.

The Justice and legal Parliamentary Portfolio committee has been urged to enact a sexual privacy law protecting against the publishing of captured explicit material without the subject’s consent, in what is termed revenge porn.

A campaign was started over the issue dubbed , “My nudes my business , do not distribute”.

A year ago Honourable Misihairambwi and Honourable Thabitha Khumalo joined with Katswe sisterhood in the crafting of a petition against Parliament for failing to create a law which protects women against the misuse of technology, which they said was now working as a tool to denigrate and violate their rights to privacy. .

The petition was finally delivered to Parliament in February after a few mishaps and on the 6th of June a meeting was conducted by the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to consider this petition. We wait to hear of the outcome of the debate and to see whether a law will be drafted.

Postal and Telecommunications Regulation Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) acting director-general Baxton Sirewu last year spoke on  three drafts laws aimed at protecting internet users  which were compiled and were to be deliberated on in Parliament. Up to now no law is yet to be passed concerning the abuse of persons using the internet and social media. Cases were people are charged for using social media to ridicule or pass offensive messages are usually against the person of a public official.

An analysis of the proposed computer and cyber crime bill by legal practioner David Hofisi noted that the bill creates several new offenses and then provides for the procedure and jurisdictional consequences.

“It is, to a significant degree, influenced by the contents of the Cyber-crime Convention. This is laudable. However, it expands some definitions and introduces some broad and sweeping new crimes to the detriment of the right to freedom of expression. To that extent, it represents a serious threat to the rights to freedom of expression and privacy as enshrined in the Constitution”noted Hofisi.

Popular cases of revenge pornography in Zimbabwe include the recent Acie Lumumba sex tape, dethroned beauty pageants and local celebrities leaked nude pictures.

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