Zimbabwe military wants “to listen” to make people safe

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, with 25-plus years of dictatorship under his belt, is now cracking down on cell phones in the name of national security. His military, with a record of expropriating land, torching and looting small businesses, and police brutality, now says that Zimbabwe’s citizens are endangering national security by having independent connections to the outside world.

According to their military spokesperson, the mobile phone providers should have to route their international calls through the state-owned TelOne so that people couldn’t “communicate without our knowledge.” This crackdown comes on the heels of a proposed law to monitor mail and Internet communications — again in the name of security. If the proposed law is passed by Mugabe’s hand-picked parliament and the new initiative goes through, then the military could monitor all forms of communication — in the name of security.

Says the military: “We want to listen, to make sure the nation is safe.”