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Mugabe cites U.S. program to justify wiretapping law.

By Matt Corley

"Mugabe cites U.S. program to justify wiretapping law."

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Yesterday, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe “signed into law the controversial Interception of Communications Bill, which gives his government the authority to eavesdrop on phone and Internet communications and read physical mail.” In order to defend the law, which has been called “the dictator’s tool kit,” Mugabe’s spokesperson pointed to President Bush’s wiretapping program:

Human rights lawyer Otto Saki told VOA that the law interferes and undermines the enjoyment of rights enshrined in the constitution and is a sign Mr. Mugabe wants to consolidate his power by “any means necessary or unnecessary.”

But Communications Minister Christopher Mushowe said Zimbabwe is not unique in the world in passing such legislation, citing electronic eavesdropping programs in the United States, the United Kingdom and South Africa, among other countries.

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