Government to clamp down on illegal Internet Cafés in Zambia

Farmer' s Association Internet cafe in Kabwe
Farmer' s Association Internet cafe in Kabwe

Government has said that it will not hesitate to shut down any internet café operating illegally. Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Minister Yamfwa Mukanga sounded the warning following the mushrooming of internet cafes.

Mr Mukanga said all those who want to venture into the running of internet cafes should first register their company with Zambia Information and Communication Authority (ZICTA).

He said it is illegal for any Internet café to operate without a trading certificate from ZICTA. Mr Mukanga said all internet cafes which are not registered risk being closed by government.

The Minister explained that it’s important for people dealing in information transfer to be registered with ZICTA and get trading certificate.

He said government will soon send inspectors to go round inspecting internet cafes operating without trading certificates.

Mr Mukanaga said he expects internet café owners to abide by the laid down procedure.



  1. If you ask me, this is a waste of money and resources. Why is this government scared of anything to do with the Internet. In fact you are already behind the curve, with the availability of 3G many people in Zambia will be accessing information their their Laptops and cell phones. In fact most kids in Zambia access facebook using their phones and not INTERNET cafes.

    Any sensible government should rejoice to see their citizenry embrace the Internet and create a booming industry in cafes, why should you start adding another layer of bureaucracy to a young and growing industry to stifle it.

    Are you are scared that somebody from the unregistered cafe will change the biography of the president on Wikipedia?

    Come on guys we can do better

  2. I totally disagree with you Mr. Minister. Zambia has so far the lowest internet outreach in Africa. We have not yet reached that level where Internet Cafes should get regulated as most of the chaps running these are unemployed youths yearning to survive. And equally most of the customers that frequent these cafes are not privileged and are equally unemployed but striving to have the world wide feel of internet technology. Time will come. At the moment try to pursued all ISPs to bring down the cost of INTERNET so that the outreach could grow and then start thinking about regulating them. We need to take a leaf from BOZ which has put in place financial regulations meant to regulate Loan Shacks so that the borrowers are well protected. This is against the backdrop where 

  3. Lolest…is this in an effort to reduce the number of people accessing news from the internet? This won’t work unless they suspend all internet services in the entire country. Which is not possible again? AGONY?

  4. Information flow is ket to progress and development so we should be thinking of getting more people to access information via internet. Internet cafes are a sign most people have no access to internet in their homes, schools and colleges. People need broad band in their homes so it should be standard procedure to have access in homes, on phones and other mobile diverses. Internet cafes are a business just like any other business so government should give the unregistered ones time limit by which to register or face closure. When information flows there is movement in currency, services and products and that is what a healthy and progressive economy does. The government isn’t wrong they should just be advised about information flow.

  5. Now Now Now! I smell a rat here. Forcing for registration of internet cafes, so that they take stock and possibly trace who peddled the on- line lies of the death of H.E. the President. That rumor was truelly unfortunate, but regulating the cafes wont do. It is tantamount to violation of an insential right of citizens to information. Mr. MInister, you have lamentably failed to regualte the selling of ‘TUJILIJILI’. And we know why. So that your cadres are in a permanent state of drunkness, so that you can control them. Similarly you want the people to be in a permanent state of ignorance, for lack of information, so that you can control them. We caught you!

  6. I think the minister was testing the waters. The above comments am sure will make him think twice. Just inform the operators to register their businesses. This government really thrives on threats starting from the presido. As Bootlicker has mentioned these cafes are run by youths trying to curve out a living in this country where the government day in day out is blundering without giving direction on how to reduce unemployment and improve the general welfare of the most vulnerable of its citizens

  7. @ MMD bootlicker, I sometimes disagree with you on some of ur blogs coz they sound polically inclined but on this one you are spot on, you have made my day.This is the information age and ICT is becoming the driver of business and we should embrace it. I smell a lot of ”BBC’ ( born before computers)’ in our PF government.

  8. Do these people deliberately want to send people back to the dark ages? Do they think they can? Wake up!!! The internet is here and if you were to put it to good use you would be using it to research how other countries dealt with the problems they faced and learning something rather than putting up retrogressive draconian methods of denying people access. Also of all the problems faced by the communications sector internet cafes are last on the list. There is the issue of the mobile operators, their charges, their choddy services and whether ZICTA is an effective enough tool to combat their folly. SMH On one hand you are trying to acheive MDG’s and bring this country into the 21st century yet on the other you want to clamp down on access? On a scale of 1 – 10 this gets an 11 for Retarded

  9. Over regulation pa Zed ZICTA is a pain makes business difficult for ISP’s and now they want to harass sme’s will the govt employ all these youths? We are going backwards not forwards.

  10. Kaponyas at state house are at it again. Send them for computer lessons and they will not be jealousy anymore. LT and Zambiam Watchdog are here to stay. That is the next campaign media come 2016. The post news is rotten and our only hope is Zambian Watchdog and Lusaka times.

  11. another ploy to keep the voiceless youth quiet, and unemployed try banning every one with smart phones of a basic phone with internet access,In what era are these pathetic front sychophants coming from ?

  12. Again busy mumbo jumbo-ling like monkeys in the zoo. Awe mwandi. Let them people make a living instead of stealing. How many unregistered businesses are there in Zambia you idi0ts? Beating about the bush, you kaponyas are really shocking people.

  13. ….and then the Honourable minister get to work and “create more jobs for the youth”…. We’ve since given up on the “more money”….

  14. It shameful the government thinks this way. Gosh! That’s exactly KK era. I know now why Zambia is so backwards, it’s the leaders!! They are completely clueless and without a scrap of understanding of information technology. Please, embrace it and not thwart, thump and thrash it! And please don’t embarrass us in the eyes of the world, and please again don’t be STUPID!!!

  15. Zambia, is it the follow-up to the reference to colonial era a few days ago? The PF administration is all for the Stone Age. Seriously if the country is to develope, the degree clause for all presidential aspirants needs to be reactivated and adopted.

  16. Yes, Boko Haram, just as you are disempowering people where you are bombing them for going to school… Actually I am looking forward to a new dispensation where the focus is not on punishment but on facilitation. I would expect that government would advise those running cafes to abide by whatever it is, with an amnesty period for those who have not yet done so. This is like clamping down on vehicle importation massively when you have no car plant in sight – or any plan for that matter. Lets promote information access via these potentially accessible and available technologies.

  17. Most useless ever thing that PF want to get involved in. Where is your Opportunity creation? People now have 3G and buy bundles as they call them?? Way behind Yafwa, you are young and we expect you to be open minded??

  18. U small boys and girls, any place or business centre must be registered
    Wats wrong with that, even weakleaks was monitored, wen it became clear that only shit was coming, the guy was freedom is absolute

    • Who cares? This is not a place for personal vendettas.Did she jilt you or give you the cold shoulder? Or are you jealous coz you can’t be her?

  19. In some countries Internet access is a right. The PF government should actually be seeking ways to provide Internet access to citizens, not the other way round. These pack we voted in are completely clueless compared to the previous corrupt batch. It makes RB look like Jesus.

  20. Interesting!!! These ministers seem to talk about things before consulting. ZICTA doesn’t have any licensing policy for Internet Cafes as at today unless I don’t really understand how they operate. ZICTA should only regulate Internet Service Providers and not internet cafes. I guess there are in for a great shock cause I foresee a lot of new information delivery platforms being built to further help people connect and share information.

  21. Honourable Minister Sir You might as well ban the use of CELL PHONES …..stone age thinking izativuta. The Cafes are providing employment which u have lamentably failed to provide after conning us! You can run but u cant hide!

  22. The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century is an international bestselling book by Thomas Friedman analyzes globalization, primarily in the early 21st century. The title is a metaphor for viewing the world as a level playing field in terms of commerce, where all competitors have an equal opportunity. As the first edition cover illustration indicates, the title also alludes to the perceptual shift required for countries, companies and individuals to remain competitive in a global market where historical and geographical divisions are becoming increasingly irrelevant….reason…INTERNET…wake up bane!

  23. In the book, The World is Flat, Friedman recounts a journey to Bangalore, India, when he realized globalization has changed core economic concepts.[1] In his opinion, this flattening is a product of a convergence of personal computer with fiber-optic micro cable with the rise of work flow software. He termed this period as Globalization 3.0, differentiating this period from the previous Globalization 1.0 (in which countries and governments were the main protagonists) and the Globalization 2.0 (in which multinational companies led the way in driving global integration).

  24. Another empty rhetoric in addition to numerous previous statements from a govt without clear objectivity. These clamping down news media outlets statements bear the hallmarks of an act of desperation in a ‘Found Out Schemes’ of failure to govern. It seems the PF govt is determined to afface all evidence of free democratic principles. The official agenda in democracy is free flow of information and spending public money to stiffle free expression of Zambians is not money well spent and on wrong priorities.

  25. the minister is very correct,he says all those running such facility should be registered and whats wrong with that you people?where you live in the diaspora do you see any business running which is unregistered? don’t be silly gentlemen,besides when registered they will pay tax which is the source of revenue.please be realistic people!

  26. This is what happens to country when a minority of its citizens opt for a Grade 7 in state house. PF is a despotic regime that does not appreciate the benefits of the internet. If anyone is using the internet to commit crime then the government has the right to clamp down on those subversive elements. The use of the Internet offers an assortment of benefits to everyone who is willing to use it. Mr Sata does not use the internet so he sees no need for it. But the Sata regime cannot willy-nilly stop the use of public cafes without FIRST getting permission from a PF stooge at ZICTA.

  27. Please guys let us use a bit of commomsense before we register our ignorance on issues.I may not support the PF but what the minister is saying makes a lot of sense.The issue is about getting a trading liecence. I have lived in this part of the world and I know how the system works. You can not just go to Oxford street and start trading without a permit.The trouble is that we politicize everything even if it is done in the national interest.
    The minister is not trying to stop the use of internet cafes in Zambia just like you can not just open a bar without sanitation facilities etc. Please grow up and think before you expose your ignorance.Go to Manchester and just open an Internet cafe without permit and see how quickly the council will shut it down

  28. I have noticed too that the guys who blog often are in the Diaspora and most of them have very little knowledge about issues. The fact that one is abroad does not make one any wiser.Please guys lets blog constructively.Look at Korean Websites and see how matured the bloggers are.They do not insult each other nor are they partisans in their thinking.They aim to share opinions to make Korea a better place.What value do the Zambian Diaspora add to the country’s development? It is very sad indeed

  29. se7en,am sure you know that street vending has been banned,maybe am wrongly informed tell me but officially its illegal.i stand to be corrected though.

  30. Lubinda and Don @ 41-44, Thank you for bringing some sanity to this discussion! It seems that every issue in Zambia has to result in a long drawn out debate and speculation over motive. Even simple and clear issues of governance appear to be beyond comprehension by our people; no wonder we have so much chaos!

  31. U only need a business registration to run an internet cafe or secretarial services. the idea here is for ZICTA pushing to cash in, a method zambians are so good at in killing their own industries. ZITCA want to get survival money and corrupt kick backs through bereaucratic controls of internet cafes. 

    Zambia is the only country in africa that has lowest internet domain names in its registrations partly because they made this to be controlled by ZAMNET which introduced bureacracy and most zambian companies have ended up using .com and not as most african countries do.  Think of any company u know even lusakatimes. They are all not patriotic names.

    its a that SHAME pipo want to eat small money through corruption at the expense of national  development for all???

  32. Thats why we are sometimes called kaponyas. Iwe chi Minister, concetrate on real issues. Trading licences yes NOT registering with the ZICTA. Please ask your ZICTA to look at issues that will improve access to the internet etc. Most of the people running cafes are decent citizens just trying to earn a living. We have alot of challenges. We did not put you in office to waste time and resources on such issues.

  33. This government is busy clearing paths for the next election, they condemned others for rigging elections but it looks like they are busy working on extending their grip on power. This man wants a news blackout in the country so he can carry out atrocities unchecked. Next elections may seem too far away to save our country from these lunatics.

  34. next thing they’ll be telling us is that we need to register all wireless routers sending out signal within a certain radius.

  35. So he has realised that pf has failed to perform? Well, you can never silence disaffected people, certainly not us Zambians. Why don’t you consult KK?

  36. If Lubinda #43 is implying that all internet cafes in great Britain are registered with Ofcom and given an Ofcom permit for them to operate then he telling a total fabrication. If Lubinda’s analogy is correct what about universities and libraries with thousands of computers that have internet connectivity?

    I am surprised that Lubinda lives in England and yet does not how business works in this country. I HAVE NEVER heard the prime minister condemning “mushrooming” internet cafes. Sata is a dictator whose intention is to cripple all media outlets and the likes of Lubinda should not prop up a serial dictatorship.

  37. Who is he cheating? If he really wanted track down these chaps all you can do is contact the providers who will furnish you with the details. Having an internet cafe is classified as a commercial internet user which in turn means more charges reminds of someone who doesn’t like to pay bills? Yes Street Vendors.  
    Yamfwa Mukanga you shouldn’t waste your time on trivial but talk about pulling/ connecting fiber optic cables via Angola and Nambia, now we will be talking cheaper Broadband tarriffs and there is maybe your answer for job creation and more opportunities for SMEs which equates to more tax revenue. Why is it you are unable to see the bigger picture; Zambians are fluent in English what’s stopping us having Customer Services jobs for Global banks apart from ZESCO load shedding.

  38. The Zambian government is looking for money from wrong sources. The internet is basically an educational tool. It give you knowledge about anything. Instead of clampnig down on internet cafes the minister will justice by encouraging more people to open internet cafes. That way Zambians can have jobs, get information they need to run their lives.The market forces will resolve your problem mr minister.

  39. Bwana minister go after people who sell tujilijili or whatever you call it – kachsu. These internet cafes are real businesses doing business in Zambia.

  40. PF Regime #56,
    Please realise that there is a very big difference between using a PC in your home,or at any instituition of learning..The internet cafe is a business whereas the use of internet in schools would be looked at as a “sinking cost”.Why do our people always look at issues in terms of politics? Like I said, try to turn your house into a “private club” and see what happens here in the UK.Please my friend grow up and call a spade a spade.Next time do a lot of research before you register your ignorance on the blog. Moreover Library membership in the UK is free in every borough, so try to utilise that facility.

  41. #57, Jay Jay,
    Before you blog, please look at what the Headline says. It is about illigal internet cafes.I am sure you do not need an ounce of intelligence to distinguish Legal from illegal. Please think before you expose your intellect on the blog.I know that the quality of our education (esp the “new deal Generation) is pathetic but I thought you could have improved yours by enlisting in a nightschool for adult education in your borough.Your reasoning is no better than Mushota and I strongly suspect that you are either friends or you are related.

  42. u r all a bunch of quacks……this is notjing meant to censor flow of information but to merely regulate businesses as required by the laws wich YOUR representatives enacted

  43. Internet cafes do NOT need to register with ZCTA because they do not broadcast any information of their own.
    All they need is a trading licence from the council, or is it from party cadres like their street counterparts.

    The minister is only introducing dictorial and draconian rules from his boss as they are scared of events fromSyria, Libya, Egypt etc little men scared of their own shadows, RB was not bothered he just let them mushroom.

  44. Those computers are so old and slow robbing poor Zambians everyday.

    Let it be so that everyone can afford internet connection in the homes.

  45. @ Naine mposepo badala! Internet cafes shud have a trading licence from the council and also be registered with ZICTA for the purpose of knowing how many Cafes a there but not to regulate them. A big Question When is ZICTA going to put in place a system of registering SIM cards and handsets so as to help locate in case of stolen or lost phone; lilke some of our neighboring countries have done.

  46. Big bloggers and viewers, I agree with the minister, If you get the Minister correctly he said illegal internet cafe shall be closed. Not legal ones like mine. What are you fearing? If you are doing something legal why should you fear but if you doing it illegally you should be afraid. People register tu ntemba at the market why not internet cafe? The government should tax them for using ZICTA facilities. No illegal internet cafe. Bwana Minister make sure they are registered. I have my internet cafe along Cairo road I registered it in 2011. Nothing to worry about.

  47. Instead of threatening people, this minister should just encourage ZICTA to roll out a registration exercise. they tell us to create jobs for ourselves but then, they shroud upstart businesses into bureaucratic malaise. Street vendors, Chinese employers, now internet cafes. If this minister wants to antagonise an already burdened population, he is working against his own party’s promises. Learn from dora bokosi and the fallen MMD!

  48. # 40 Lubinda, 60 Njabila (same person) Amazing, defending the indefensible by not only a Zambian but living in the UK. Freedom of sharing information is almost a universal right and this is self evident among other inalienable rights of life, liberty and pursuit of hapiness.
    Dictating how citizens should live and eat, hear or sleep is long outdated Zambia needs to match at the same pace as the rest of progresive world.

  49. I think Erika Napoletano is especially spectacular at pulling this off. She??ll talk about some awesome/shitty/outrageous that happened to her or someone she knows and leads with what happened and then shows you what you can learn from it.

  50. Nice! This is very useful. I could use this right now! Thanks!

  51. I think Erika Napoletano is especially spectacular at pulling this off. She??ll talk about some awesome/shitty/outrageous that happened to her or someone she knows and leads with what happened and then shows you what you can learn from it.

  52. A post to bookmark!These are some bunch of tested headlines that will not only work for blog post but also for email marketing.Big ups

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