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Gvt denies reports that it is spying on citizens leaving the country

The government has denied claims that it intends to spy on its citizens leaving the country after introducing a new system where nationals have to provide detailed information about their destination.

In a statement dated December 6, government said the collection of such data through the recently introduced exit cards was a standard practice and did not violate citizens’ right to privacy.

“Collection of this data is not unique to Zimbabwe as suggested by some media platforms but universal to all countries,” the Home Affairs ministry said.

“The difference may only be the level or point at which data is collected. The collection of this data does not in any way violate provisions or principles of the Cyber and Data Protection Act as alleged.”

The ministry said the use of exit cards was not new.

“Their utilisation has been part of the department’s exit formalities since 1998, and is provided for in Immigration Regulations Statutory Instrument 195/98,” the ministry said.

“The absence of the exit cards from exit counters at various ports of entry has only been on account of their non-availability due to resource constraints.”

The ministry said the purpose of the exit cards is to assist the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency in gathering vital data for national statistical purposes.

“This is the national agency mandated by law to collect, collate, analyse and disseminate integrated, relevant, reliable and timely official statistics of Zimbabwe.”

A number of Zimbabweans are leaving the country in search of a better life abroad as the country’s long-running socio-economic crisis shows no signs of abating.

Over the years, the government seemingly exhibited a strong dislike for Zimbabweans going abroad, accusing some of them tarnishing the country’s image.

Newsday

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