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Cabinet approves Electronic Transactions and Electronic Commerce Bill

CABINET has approved the Electronic Transactions and Electronic Commerce Bill which will help to align the country’s legal framework to technological changes.

In her post Cabinet briefing on Tuesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the bill will address current deficiencies in most of the country’s existing laws which were designed for paper-based transactions.

“Cabinet considered and approved the Principles for the Electronic Transactions and Electronic Commerce Bill. The Electronic Transactions and Electronic Commerce Bill will first and foremost attune the country’s legal framework to technological changes by addressing the current deficiencies in most of the country’s existing laws, which were designed for paper-based transactions.

“The Bill will promote and advance the business environment in Zimbabwe by establishing a legislative framework that enables fair, accessible, responsible and sustainable online transacting. The Bill will, in whole or in part, consolidate and harmonise existing electronic transactions-related legislation, such as the Consumer Contracts Act (Chapter 8:03),” she said.

Minister Mutsvangwa said the bill provided the use and regulation of electronic contracts and electronic transactions. She said it will establish a predictable, accessible, safe and transparent online trading environment, which is necessary for e-commerce to flourish.

Minister Mutsvangwa said the bill will also result in business innovation, while simultaneously empowering consumers supported by well-resourced, effective and efficient regulatory institutions.

“The development of information communication technologies in cyberspace requires that the legal and policy environment be adapted to take into account the relevant changes. In particular, there is need for a holistic electronic transaction regulation regime in the face of the opening up of markets and movement of goods and services across borders, and growing incidences of scams and unfair practices, which leave the end-user at risk,” she said.

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