Under-reported cybercrime piles on pressure for Zimbabwe

Under-reported cybercrime piles on pressure for Zimbabwe

Country's weak legal framework to blame claims local ICT sector representative organisation.

Zimbabwe has lost about US$40 000 to cybercrime during the first quarter of this year, according to the latest crime statistics reported by police.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has reported a decrease in the amount of money lost to cybercrime compared to the same period last year (US$63 726)

The police report also stated that of the 4 001 official accounts of cybercrime, there were at least 1 132 convictions.

It added that US$1 468 077 was recovered from cybercrime compared to US$1 680 119 in 2018.

ICT market focused organisation ZICT lambasted the country's poor legal framework and claimed this was the reason for under-reporting.

ZICT Chairman Jacob Mutisi said various cybercrimes are under-reported including the abuse/misuse of personal information, agent malpractices, remote withdrawal and abuse of websites or computer networks, inciting hate speech and inciting terrorism.

He added: "Several cybercrimes in Zimbabwe are under-reported because there is a weak legal framework, and the definition of crime is flimsy."

"The only area they (ZRP) can actually say they have been successful is on fraud. But, if you talk of someone doing card cloning ... they can't put it on any other section besides fraud, card cloning should be a crime on its own," said Mutisi.

He also warned of an escalation in crimes including child- pornography, mobile money fraud, card cloning, illegal SIM swaps and identity theft.

In 2017, the Zimbabwe government drafted the Cyber Crime and Cyber Security Bill, which is currently before parliament.