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Zimbabwe zeroes in on social media


A newly created Department of Cyber Security in Zimbabwe is supposed to protect state interests and clamp down on social media abuse, but has stoked fears it could lead to an attack on freedom of speech. In a cabinet reshuffle last week Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe announced the formation of the Ministry of Cyber Security, Threat Detection and Mitigation. Appointed to the position was outgoing finance minister Patrick Chinamasa. A Mugabe spokesperson stated that Chinamasa's mandate was to catch 'rats' using social media, and was to follow in the footsteps of countries that had had success in clamping down on social media, namely Russia and China. The announcement made a huge splash on social media. Chinamasa, a well-known figure in Zimbabwe, quickly became fodder for dozens of memes and jokes, centred around the new 'minister of WhatsApp’.