GOVERNMENT has voiced concern over the increasing use of social media as propaganda tools for promoting violence and extremism and has urged Sadc security services to work together in taking effective approaches to defend threats posed by terrorism and transnational organised crime.
The concern was voiced by Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe during a video conference meeting of the SADC/Southern Africa Regional Police Chiefs Co-operation Organisation (SARPCCO) Chiefs of Police Sub-Committee of the Inter-State Defence and Security Committee (ISDSC) this morning.
The meeting was attended by the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) secretary general Dr Jürgen Stock, the executive secretary of the SADC Secretariat Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, SARPCCO chairperson and Commissioner General of Zimbabwe Republic Police Godwin Matanga, police chiefs, the SADC Director of the Organ on Politics Defense and Security, MR Jorge Cardoso, the Head of Interpol Regional Bureau Harare / SARPCCO Co-ordination Office, Mr Mubita Nawa, directors of Criminal Investigation Departments and chairpersons of SARPCCO Technical Organs.
Addressing during the conference, Minister Kazembe said the world continues to suffer immensely as a result of extremism and terrorism.
“The irreparable scars caused on society by extremism and terrorism demands that we put into action robust strategies aimed at countering the gruesome phenomenon. As a region, we are alive to the fact that no country is immune to the threat of terrorism, extremism and radical ideologies.
“The internet and the social media have in recent times become favourite tools for promoting extremist ideologies as they are not constrained by any national borders. Indeed, the increasingly sophisticated use of the internet and social media as propaganda tools for violence and extremism are indeed worrisome.
“Furthermore, acts of terror are constant reminders that the only way to effectively confront terrorism is to strengthen counter-terrorism and cooperation at all levels. We strongly believe that a terrorist and extremist-free society requires enhanced regional and international cooperation, including specialized training in security and sophisticated technological equipment as well as the sharing of information, knowledge and technology transfer,” he said.
Minister Kazembe urged police chiefs to tirelessly work together and learn from each other to ensure the region takes an effective approach in defending against common threats posed by terrorism and transnational organised crime.