Just when Zimbabweans thought the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe(Potraz) was playing the angelic role of protecting mobile network operators’ subscribers, in reality the regulator was taking the gruesome role of infringing upon the United Nations Human Rights.
Last year, UN declared that Internet is a basic human right which, “condemns unequivocally measures to intentionally prevent or disrupt access to or dissemination of information online.”
By Kudakwashe Pembere
While internet is so embedded in the lives of so many people, acting as the main way for information exchange, that to deny or inhibit access with the floor price to Zimbabweans is a breach of human rights.
Based on the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this resolution calls upon all governments of the world to adhere to fifteen points to ensure that human rights are respected on the internet.”
The resolution later calls on governments to “promote digital literacy and to facilitate access to information on the Internet,” as it can be “an important tool in facilitating the promotion of the right to education.”
Related to this, the UN called on all states to “bridge the gender digital divide and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of all women and girls.
The UN Council denounced “unequivocally measures to intentionally prevent or disrupt access to or dissemination of information online in violation of international human rights law.”
By this move, Zimbabweans’ activity on the internet is likely going to be phenomenally reduced. Worse still, it seems Potraz is contravening the national constitution’s Section 61.
"Every person has the right to freedom of expression which includes: a) freedom to seek, receive and communicate ideas and other information," reads part of the Constitution.