Q & A:
+HON. SEN. CHIEF GAMPU: My question is directed to the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, Hon. Mlambo. Deputy Minister what is Government policy regarding problems which may be under police investigation or before the courts? As ordinary citizens, can we use the information from our cell phones as evidence in court? We have had problems in the past accepting evidence from the courts.
THE HON. ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE (HON. SEN. CHIEF. CHARUMBIRA): The Hon. Chief is asking you to make a public statement to the people of this country that if one is arrested by the police, one can use evidence from messages or phone calls in court.
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES, (HON. MLAMBO): Thank you very much Mr. President. Firstly, my Ministry is Ministry of ICT which means Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services. There is a distinction with the Ministry of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services.
Secondly, it appears the question relates more to the police rather than the Ministry of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services or the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services. Be that as it may, to assist the Hon. Sen. allow me, Mr. President to furnish the august House with information regarding the use of technology in court during defence.
Yes, I think on the cell phones I have stated on many occasions that it is a very dangerous tool. We love it but with technology comes danger. Anything that emits electro-magnetic waves can precisely locate, if there is a lot of information that is kept in servers the voice and the text messages which you love very much to pass around. Tomorrow we are finalising the revised National Policy on ICT and in there, we state very clearly that we are trying to protect the unaware civilian about the use of these nice gadgets. Protection of personal information against abuse because of the danger it has, including giving impeccable evidence in court about a case. Firstly, it can nail a criminal, but it can also assist in many ways because it can precisely assist the judge regarding the person who will be under trial. The information on a cell phone as I will be sending is meeting electro-magnetic waves and anybody who has the appropriate gadget can precisely locate where I will be. If I am moving, it can trace wherever I will be going.
I might inform this august House that during Ebola outbreak in West Africa, they used a cell phone to track a person who would have been in West Africa so that they quarantine him or her. This was done because people were not willing to give information to the effect that they would have visited West Africa and were exposed to Ebola. They used technology to track those people and when they landed in other countries, they were kindly told that they had been in West Africa through the use of technology. However, the information on cell phones can be used in court.