The Zimbabwean army is ready to deal with those using the Internet to destabilise the Southern African country, the state-owned Herald newspaper reported on Friday.
Zimbabwe National Army commander, lieutenant-general Phillip Valerio Sibanda, warned they were training their officials to detect and deal with internet threats.
“As an army, at our institution of training, we are training our officers to be able to deal with this new threat we call cyber warfare, where weapons, not necessarily guns, but basically information and communication technology, are being used to mobilise people to do wrong things. We will be equal to the task when the time comes,” Sibanda was quoted as saying.
The country has in recent months been hit by a wave of protests, as Zimbabweans demand that the government deal with the ongoing economic decline.
On 6 July, the country came to an abrupt standstill as Zimbabweans downed tools, demanding better services. Many businesses, shops, schools, government departments and courts were closed. Public transport came to standstill. The protests were reportedly organised through social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp.
A cleric in the southern part of the country galvanised thousands of Zimbabweans to stand up against the malfunctioning government of longtime ruler Robert Mugabe through a video he posted on his Facebook page in May.
Baptist pastor Evan Mawarire, 39, unwittingly began the This Flag movement when he expressed his frustration at the state of his nation, wearing the Zimbabwean flag around his neck.
Since then, a number of other social media movements have sprung up throughout the country.
This resulted in the ruling Zanu-PF government accusing the governments of Britain, the US and France of interfering in the country’s internal affairs.