Call to capacitate law enforcement agencies, judiciary to effectively deal with Cyber bullying offences

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Bulawayo (New Ziana)-There is need to capacitate law enforcement agencies and the judiciary to effectively deal with cyber bullying and online violence related offences, a gender advocate has said.

In an interview with New Ziana on Tuesday, Katswe Sistahood programs manager Debra Mwase said although the law was now in place to deal with offenders, there was need to capacitate police and judiciary officers to enable them to gather enough evidence and effectively prosecute.

Recently the Postal Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) expressed concern at the rise in cases involving the sharing of intimate images and videos without consent.

The regulatory body reminded those who continue to engage in such practices that they risked being imprisoned for up to five years under the Cyber and Data Protection Act of 2021.

The law prohibits the collection, transfer and broadcasting of intimate images and or videos without the consent of persons concerned.

A number of socialites including popular comedian Felistas Murata popularly known as Mai Titi have been humiliated and embarrassed after their former partners allegedly posted their nude pictures and videos on social media.

“We are happy that a law has been enacted but what we want now is the capacitation of the law enforcement agencies and judiciary officers so that they will be able to gather evidence and produce it before the courts for prosecution of offenders,” said Mwase.

“We don’t want a situation where offenders will escape justice as a result of technicalities and some loopholes in the investigation process. This warrants our officials to be effectively capacitated in terms of knowledge and tools of the trade”

Mwase underscored the need to effectively raise awareness on the new law to communities so that those offended can use it for their protection.

She said cyber bullying impedes women`s full and equal participation in decision making processes in the society.

To fight online violence against women, she said they are running a programme called Zivo, Ulwazi, Knowledge to help women access information regarding issues of violence in their communities.

Mwase said so far they have established knowledge hubs in Bulawayo, Harare and Bindura in Mashonaland Central.

She said they have partnered the Women Resource Centre and Network and the Institute for Young Women Development to successfully implement the project.

“The knowledge hubs will be equipped with information in both print and digital. Laptops connected to high-speed internet will be provided and each hub will accommodate 10 women at a given time,” Mwase explained.

New Ziana

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