GOVERNMENT has said the misinformation and disinformation being peddled on social media platforms have become a security threat amid plans to introduce laws to curb the practice.

Information minister Jenfan Muswere said this yesterday while giving a public lecture at the Zimbabwe National Defence University with special focus on the evolution of information systems in the context of media and national security.

“The reality that any citizen of this country can be able to broadcast whatever they would want to broadcast whether positive or negative, automatically means that we need to refine our laws,” Muswere.

“National security also defines the way we communicate with citizens of our country as a government, but the future government elected whether on a political platform through campaigning or electioneering will have to use various ICT and social media platforms and this poses a great danger in terms of national security.”

A few days ago, Presidential spokesperson George Charamba urged authorities to craft laws targeting Zimbabweans abusing social media.

Charamba was referring to cases where some fake statements purported to be emanating from State organs such as the army circulated on social media platforms. Muswere said abuse of social media platforms should be stopped.

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“We need to ensure that we come up with sustainable ICT and information publicity and broadcast services and a legal framework to protect citizens of our country,” Muswere said.

“So we need to broaden and redefine what national security is with emphasis on media and social media platforms and also in terms of cyber security.”

Muswere appeared to suggest that Zimbabwe’s economic problems that critics blame on the government corruption and economic mismanagement stem from abuse of social media.

“Economic instability can be caused by negative online media platforms,” he said.

“Hyperinflation and hoarding of foodstuffs can be caused by misleading information that is being channelled via online, print and social media platforms.”