Nyanga South legislator Supa Mandiwanzira (Zanu PF) has encouraged the Zimbabwe government to consider taking action against Elon Musk for allowing people to use X (formerly Twitter) to criticise government.
X (Twitter) is owned by Elon Musk, who also own Tesla and the popular Star Link. X has proved to be an important tool for free expression in Zimbabwe.
Many people who are not happy with the status quo in the country have taken to the platform to vent their anger and this has not gone down well with the Zanu PF government.
Honourable Mandiwanzira is of the view that there should be consideration to express concern to Musk particularly with regards to the content that is disparaging Zanu PF leaders and even President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Speaking in the National Assembly during a question and answer session, the former Minister of ICT said government should consider consequences on Musk for failing to regulate content on X.
‘’I would like to thank the Honourable Minister for her eloquent response to my question. My supplementary question is, what the EU has done is to warn Elon Musk that if X continues to fail to regulate the content, they are going to incur a penalty of 6% on their revenues.
‘’So my question is that, we continue to be bashed even by people locally and those who are outside on X and there are no consequences.
‘’Will the Minister, consider consequences that will include billing them or charging them a penalty on their revenues because of its problems,’’ he said.
The journalist-cum politician also checked whether the government can consider the issues of the penalty when considering an application for a licence by Star Link which is also owned by Elon Musk.
However, in her response, ICT Minister Tatenda Mavetera said the country will employ provisions of the Cyber and Data Protection Act to deal with the issues.
‘’Thank you Honourable Mandiwanzira for the follow-up question. I am sure as a country, we are governed by the Cyber Protection Bill (Cyber and Data Protection Act) and it also entails such acts and if ever they are going to act like that, we will adhere and use the Cyber Protection Bill to also take charge,’’ she said.
Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda also implored Minister Mavetera to consider looking at Section 61 of the Zimbabwe constitution.
‘’Honourable Minister, you may also want to look at Section 61 of our constitution which is the supreme law of the land, which will also speak to your answer,’’ he said.
Section 61 of the Zimbabwe Constitution talks about freedom of expression and freedom of the media