Burundi parliament earlier this week passed new law on what it called an increased cybercrime related cases in the country, the law was passed by both parliament and the senate pending the country’s president Evariste Ndayishimiye to put it into force.
Burundi’s minister for Internal Affairs Gervais Ndarakobuca while presenting the bill to the parliament indicated that there have been increased number of cybercrime cases in the country for the last four years.
“It is becoming more and more considerable and it is appropriate to put in place rigorous regulations in order to follow up the computer system movement in Burundi,” said the Internal Affairs minister.
According to the government there have been galloping rise in cybercrimes in the country, statistics indicates at least 1373 complaints were made in 2018 and rose to 6123 in 2019, 6894 in 2020 and 7532 in 2021.
In 2018 at least 462 people were arrested while 126 people were sentenced for cybercrime related charges.
“Anyone who disseminates rumors that may cause fear, uprising or violence among the population or that may cause a person to lose credibility will be punished with penal servitude of 5 to 10 years and a fine of 5 to 10 million Fbu,” reads Article 42 of the law reads.
Burundi had experienced an increase of internet users since 2015 resulting to mass sharing of unverified information.
Article 35 of the same law stipulates that anyone who usurps the digital identity of a third party and uses it to disturb his peace and damage his honor, “is punished with a penal servitude of 2 to 5 years and a fine of 10-20 million Fbu.”