Voices from Zimbabwe and the Great Lakes

Zimbabwe: Announcing AI's irrepressible.info and explaining why Zimbabwe badly needs the project, Accoustic Motorbike illustrates the impending fate Zimbabwe's bloggers face owing to the new Interception of Communications Bill;

So it all works something like this:

1) The army, police, or intelligence service decides that Jane Bloggs is a dubious character, and applies for a warrant to intercept her communications. These could include her text messages, cell phone and land line calls, emails to her known email address(es), communications sent electronically via her ISP, and post arriving at her house.

2) She is not told by any authority that an interception warrant has been issued in her name. The friendly technician at her ISP might want to give her a heads up that she is now being monitored, but given the threat of a three year prison term, is unlikely to do so. Similarly the ISP, phone company and postal workers also face a fine and/or three years jail time for not assisting the “MICC” – Monitoring and Interception of Communications Centre—with whatever information it requests.

3) Knowing the risk of her emails being watched, Jane might choose to use some kind of encryption device. But even if she did, she could at any time be instructed to hand over these passwords—or risk a fine and/or five years imprisonment.

4) With all of Jane’s text messages, emails, internet searches, etc, the state is sure to find something dubious with which they can charge her under any one of Zimbabwe’s other draconian laws—the Public Order and Security Act, the Miscellaneous Offences Act, the Foreign Exchange Controls Act, or the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, for starters. And, since it will have collected this evidence in a nicely “legal” manner, it will be able admissible in court, to strengthen whatever case the state might wish to make against her.

Burundi: RW at Agathon Rwasa complains that Burundi's government is arresting journalists, while awarding killers. The journalist, Aloys Kabura, was arrested after writing an expose on the government brutality towards fellow journalists. Visit Agathon Rwasa for more.

D.R.C: Sahara Sarah discusses Katanga “à l’époque” or back in the day highlighting how Belgian copper miners and Mobuto Mobutu pitted Katangans against Kasaians in Katanga.

Adventures of a Retired Armchair Traveler points out a recent WHO report describing the need for 4 million doctors and nurses to ease medical staffing shortages around the world.

Louis at Telegraphe Congolais captures MSM's spiking interest in the DRC as the elections approach by highlighting Time magazine's rare coverage of the country.

Ingrid at Congo Watch posts an email response to the Time article.

Uganda: Dennism, a Makerere University student blogger has a fascinating piece on the “newspaper gazing” culture he alleges is rife not only at Makerere, but in downtown Kampala.

The habit is common in Kampala; keen citizens ring round vendors to rove at the big stories before moving on. The obsession is alarming at Makerere University where I set out to talk to one newspaper vendor about the obsession.

At Mad and Crazy Iwaya tells the moving story of Mary Kagaya, a student at Naalya SSS Bweyogerere Campus who was adopted by her peers in school after her family couldn't afford to send her to school.

Meanwhile Lovely Amphibian at See no Evil, Hear None, Just be a Dork chronicles a frightful journey in a “bodaboda” or commuter omnibus.

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