Anonymous targets corrupt Zimbabwe government

Anonymous targets corrupt Zimbabwe government.

On Tuesday, after reports of brutality and a lawsuit against Zimbabwe’s Standard newspaper started to circulate on IRC, a small group of people decided to protest. It wasn’t long before there was a complete takedown of the ZANU-PF website, the Zimbabwean government portal, and the Zimbabwean Finance Ministry website.

By Thursday afternoon, the Zimbabwe African National Union (Patriotic Front) was partially online, after more than 40 hours of downtime. The government portal,, was still offline, and the Finance Ministry website had returned, but was unavailable to the public.

In addition to Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks launched against the three domains, the Finance Ministry was also defaced. The defacement stripped all other news content and offered a message that said simply: “We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”



The message also included a declaration of love for someone, signed by the individual who is said to have performed the defacement.

So why pick Zimbabwe as a target?

First it should be made clear, that the actions performed by those who joined Operation: Zimbabwe were unofficial. This was not an action taken by people associated with the widely-known Operation: Payback. Moreover, it was not related to the recently botched Operation: Bank of America.

The targeting of Zimbabwe was completely random and sudden, and, after some internal organization, the small group moved forward with its plan. Unlike Operation: Bank of America, where small numbers led to failure, this operation succeeded due to selective targets and Zimbabwe’s poor infrastructure support.

The reason for Operation: Zimbabwe is two-fold, and those who participated took an issue with the brutal tactics employed by the ZANU PF.

Seen here (Semi-NSFW), it is said that the ZANU PF attacked and forced its own people from their homes and businesses. The propaganda website’s claims are backed by a confidential embassy cable dating from 2007.

In the embassy communication, Ambassador Christopher W. Dell said Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has remained in power for as long as he has because he is “more clever and more ruthless than any other politician in Zimbabwe.”

In reaction to losing the 2000 referendum on the constitution, Ambassador Dell commented that, “a vengeful Mugabe unleashed his “Green Bombers” to commit land reform and in the process he destroyed Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector, once the bedrock of the economy. While thousands of white farmers saw their properties seized, hundreds of thousands of black Zimbabweans lost their livelihoods and were reduced to utter poverty.”

“In 2005, having been forced to steal victory by manipulating the results of an election he lost, Mugabe lashed out again, punishing the urban populace by launching Operation Murambatsvina. The result was wholesale destruction of the informal sector, on which as much as 70-80 percent of urban dwellers had depended, and the uprooting of 700,000 Zimbabweans,” he added.

The second reason for Operation: Zimbabwe centers on freedom of press and a lawsuit.

Those who took part were offended by news reports of a pending $15 million USD lawsuit against a newspaper, after President Mugabe’s wife was exposed for her role in illicit diamond trades. Details of the shady profiteering were brought to light in an embassy cable released by WikiLeaks on December 8.

The cable, seen here, said that Grace Mugabe and nine other high-ranking Zimbabwean officials, including Mugabe’s sister, were “profiting from the purchase and sale of Chiadzwa diamonds.”

“...high-ranking Zimbabwean government officials and well-connected elites are generating millions of dollars in personal income by hiring teams of diggers to hand-extract diamonds from the Chiadzwa mine in eastern Zimbabwe,” the embassy message explained.

“They are selling the undocumented diamonds to a mix of foreign buyers including Belgians, Israelis, Lebanese, Russians and South Africans who smuggle them out of the country for cutting and resale elsewhere.”

When the Standard newspaper reported on the cable, quoting it in part, Grace Mugabe, the “mother of the nation”, filed a defamation suit against the media outlet. More details on the lawsuit can be read here.

Operation: Zimbabwe is a classic example of how things work when watching Anonymous. Someone had an idea, others agreed, and collectively they ran with it. Sometimes these fly-by-night operations gain massive support, other times they fade into obscurity.

Despite the label of anti-Americanism used by some, Anonymous is neither for nor against a single country or person. It supports free ideas and information, and many object to its methods. However, it's the view of Anonymous that Mugabe is an obstacle that must be removed.

Operation: Zimbabwe is still active, but there are no new targets. We’ll update this story if that changes.

Defacement image courtesy of Anonymous.

Like this article? Please share on Facebook and give The Tech Herald a Like too!

From our Other Sites

McLaren 675LT Pictures

Some great shots of the forthcoming McLaren 675LT. This coupe will get you to 60mph in less than 2.9 second and go all the way to 205mph.

McLaren 675LT Details

McLaren’s 675LT will debut at this year’s Geneva show and promises some eye-popping performance. The coupe only 675LT has a 3.8 liter V8 that will get you from 0-60mph in less than 2.9 seconds and to 124mph in less than 7.9 secondsMore than a third of the parts have been changed compared with its stable mate […]

Octopus hunts on land, grabs crab (Video)

This crab is minding its own business searching the rock pools for food when suddenly an octopus leaps out of the water and grabs it. The amazing thing is that the octopus does not just jump on the crab it actually pulls it all the way back to the rock pool it came from. If you check the second video you will see it is not unknown for octopus to come out of the water and the one in the second video has a crab with it, though is not hunting one! Octopus Walks on Land at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve The video was taken by Porsche Indrisie in Yallingup, Western […]

Stunning Mars Rover Selfie

This image by the Curiosity Mars rover is not exactly your typical selfie. It is made up of a bunch of images taken by the rover during January 2015 by the Mars Hand Lens Imager. This (MAHLI) camera is at the end of the robot’s arm. For a sense of scale the rover’s wheels are about 20 inches diameter and 16 inches wide. Check the annotated image below for more information on the surroundings. Also if you really want to see some detail click this very large image, 36mb, at NASA.  

How the Sahara Helps Feed the Amazon (Video)

Sahara to Amazon
This cool video from NASA shows how dust is transferred across the Atlantic to the Amazon rainforest and helps nourish the plants growing there. For the first time scientists have measured the amount of dust and the amount of phosphorus in the dust. The later acts like a fertiliser and helps replenish the phosphorus the rainforest loses each year, around 22,000 tons. Amazing how something we perceive as being desolate like a desert actually has an important role in sustaining somewhere we see as teeming with life. Image and video from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Bouncing Laser Guided Bomb (Video)

This amazing video shows a laser guided bomb bouncing back up after hitting its target. We actually think this is a non-explosive bomb designed to test guidance systems but it is still pretty remarkable and somewhat scary.

South Koreans Swallowed by Sinkhole (Video)

Thankfully the couple survived their adventure.
This amazing footage taken from the CCTV on a passing bus shows the moment two pedestrians in South Korea fall down a sinkhole in the street! Rescue workers managed to save the pair, who were treated in a nearby hospital for minor injuries. According to reports the city authorities and the Korean Geotechnical Society are looking into the cause.

Cheetah Pictures

Some Cool Cheetah Pictures Cheetahs are found mainly in Africa but also some parts of the Middle East. These sleek animals are the fastest land mammals in the world and can hit 60 mph in about 3 seconds, though they cannot maintain this speed for long. Cheetahs prey mostly on antelopes and smaller mammals but occasionally go for something bigger. We hope you enjoy these photos and don’t forget to check out the other speedy land mammals on our list of the fastest.

Sherlock Holmes Quiz

Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes was a man who absorbed information like a sponge and had a razor sharp mind. How much do you know about the famous fictional detective from the books?

22 years without Ferruccio Lamborghini

Lamborghini posted this photo today saying: “22 years without Ferruccio Lamborghini.” Ferruccio passed away on February 20th 1993 aged 76. Interestingly he started out making tractors!