GOVERNMENT has warned of stern action against individuals, especially youths, who want to use social media platforms such as Facebook to commit criminal activities such as defamation of character.
Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo said Government will not entertain individuals who want to turn social media into platforms for breaking the law with impunity.
Mr Kampyongo’s warning is in the wake of the arrest of a 35-year-old student of DMI St Eugene University in Lusaka for allegedly defaming the President, Cabinet ministers, other senior government and Patriotic Front (PF) officials on his Facebook page.
Speaking to journalists yesterday, Mr Kampyongo said Government has observed with regret the continued abuse of social media platforms by some youths with impunity.
“If you defame someone, for example, by word of mouth, it is not any different when you use social media to commit the same crime. No-one is going to hide behind social media. Youths should use their energies and their information and communication technology intelligence to seek solutions for the challenges they are facing,” Mr Kampyongo said.
He said it is sad that intelligent youths have unrepentantly resorted to using social media platforms to concoct fake stories aimed at defaming innocent citizens.
“Most of these youths are educated and so they should use their energies and utilise social media platforms much more meaningfully. They can use it as a platform to exchange ideas which should be meaningful to the youths themselves and to the nation as a whole,” Mr Kampyongo said.
He said law enforcement agencies will pounce on members of the public who want to use social media for mischievous activities that threaten social order and cohesion.
Can kampyongo give us the legal definition of what amounts to abusing social media. If a person can take social media accounts of private individuals seriously then there is something mentally wrong with that person . This guy comes across as very petty. I would be surprised if he is married because men as petty as him get cheated on all the time. Very naive little man
Each time he opens his ministerial mouth he speaks nonsense. Forgive the cluless minister of home hostility.
@NEZ, You are the next to be cornered. You think you will hide forever?
The baboons are feeling the heat in the kitchen
Freedom of speech is God-given right, NOT a PF given privilege.
Stop intimidating Zambians into being oppressed brain-washed zombies like North Koreans.
If I was in Zambia I would have arrested Kapyongo a month ago.
Ni social media ya nyoko?
Bakamushi aba they’re taking us back to the 17th century. What’s wrong with these people? Do you understand what freedom of speech means? Or are you just deliberately trying to act dumb? You want to be called dictators, the reputation that you have already started showing to the whole world? Why are you trying to turn Zambia into North Korea? Insults should not be classified as a criminal offense. And if you feel libeled or defamed that’s what the courts are for. Arresting people for speaking their minds is dictatorship and a violation of freedom of speech, which is a human right. Stop intimidating people and concentrate on building the country. We are all Zambians and we should have a say in how our country is being run. So stop intimidating people.
What level of education has Steven Kampyongo attained? He makes hollow and empty statements.
This time last year, he was a Katondo Street Conman/dealer.
The calibre and epitome of PF cadres and its brutal dictatorial attitude towards innocent Zambians.
TOO MUCH OF WARNINGS, JUST START ARRESTING THEM. AND HAVE ARRESTED MWETWA IN THE FIRST PLACE. MWETWA SHOULD BE YOUR FIRST EXAMPLE.
Imwe ma fonteene! Criticism is not a crime.
Let the people talk!
To the legal minds and ZICTA, does Zambia have a legal framework for managing Social media? Also do the citizens have the right to confidentiality? Is it in order for ZICTA to devulge user information without following due process? The legal framework of it is there will go a long way in helping all to live in peace without the fear of intimidation. It will help to define the roles and responsibilities of ICT providers and users. One thing for sure is we need some form of moderation of ICT use as opposed to policing. For example, Lusaka Times Administrators and other online news media should know it is their responsibility to moderate what comments are suitable for public consumption and which ones are not. Only a good legal framework will resolve Zambia’s Social media headaches!
People should be FREE to call a spade a spade. Govt should not snoop on innocent citizens
What about all the other criminal activities police should be dealing with? Like rape and murder and unworthy vehicles driven by incompetent drivers who are drunk? Oh and arson… What happened to those 14 suspects who were picked? Do your job, leave students alone. Or resign and let someone take over if you don’t now other jobs than boot licking
Puzzling!Why are people condemning a man who is simply warning citizens about breaking the law?
We are not Europeans.Our African culture does not allow us to insult others online or offline.
You can not insult or defame others in the name of freedom.
Then go back to wearing skins……
It’s A safeguard against excesses and abuse of public office, upholding citizen freedoms and God-given rights and the right to question our servants we elected – our leaders. That is how democracy works! There is a professional way of doing things than always issuing warnings to the general citizenry. People who want to use threats to rule are usually not competent enough for those leadership roles. To my Bemba friends, don’t allow yourselves to be used to do dirty work by some Easterners! Learn your lessons from Kambwili! He was used and dumped and that is when he is realizing what we were telling him. Too late!
Ati our African culture.
@Beyond Reproach, you’re right about our African culture. That’s not the problem here. The problem is CRIMINALIZATION of insults and criticism. That kind of behavior is typical of dictatorships. In dictatorships like North Korea, people are scared to death to say anything negative about their leaders. Zambia is supposedly a democratic state, which is a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” The government leaders are put in office by the people. They work for us, and not the other way around. They are supposed to be representatives of the people’s aspirations and needs, and finding solutions to people’s national problems. If they’re not doing the job they were elected to do, they have to be called out (criticized) and fired if need be using the electoral…
(Continued).. process. That’s how democracy works. If you insist we go back to the African model, then let’s have kings and chiefs rule over us. That way we’ll have no say in how the country is being run, because the king’s word is final. Zambia is not a kingdom. It’s a democratic state. So let the people speak. It’s their country. It’s their democracy. Suppressing their voice is not the way to go. Again if someone feels defamed, they should sue the defamer, and the case resolved in court as a CIVIL wrong, not a CRIMINAL offense. Defamation should never be criminalized. Suppose you’re a preacher and someone says he found you drinking kachasu kwa Kanyama, and the story is not true, is he committing a CRIMINAL offense? Should he be arrested for telling a false story about you?…
(Contiuned)… Absolutely not! But you can take him to court for defaming you, and the case is classified as a CIVIL wrong, and not a criminal offense.
Zambian law enforcement agencies are not effective at combating real crime. They have failed lamentably to resolve a lot of the serious crimes in this country. They are only good at arresting traffic offenses, blocking traffic to allow for VIP passage and quelling planned demostrations. With the help of ZICTA they have now started fighting petty online nuisances.
I thought we are a democratic country which means freedom of speech !
Look this is about negative comments on the government nothing more nothing less. Minister how can you differentiate by reading a post between youth and those that are not youth unless the government, is monitoring posts using the sim registrations.. Does the government have a LEGAL definition of a YOUTH. If you dont, how do u PROSECUTE a YOUTH . If no definition you are applying your gag on all online media to ALL Zambians
You talk too much for too long to be thought of as meaning what you are saying.
Just act. It’s long overdue.
Your threats won’t stop us from complaining, you can’t threaten the whole Zambia what are you going to do arrest everyone else with fake cases? As I said once a currency dealer you always be a currency dealer in your mind this is not Katondo sir! snap out of it….stay in your lane and do your job we will do ours by commenting on how you are doing.
How many times are you going to warn us?warning warning this is the only word you know much in this government
Hot air threats from minister incharge of brutality
Where does Lungu fish M0r0ns like Kampyongo from Kanshi? And he wonders why his government looks like a circus?
From Shiwangandu straight into office.
Threats in the morning, threats in the afternoon, threats in the evening, threats in the middle of the night and threats all the time. I dont think this is the main reason you were voted into power. You are the same people that have made politics in Zambia very dirty. I remember when former first lady wanted to contest Zambian presidency, people from a named party did sponsor thugs on ZNBC TV who warned her to stay out of politics if she should avoid insults and attacks. Now ba Kampyongo why are you trying to deny Zambians their only means of thought expression? I thought you were a tough tasted Zambian politician who can withstand or has stood against those insults associated with your chosen profession. Leave bloggers alone and simply learn what you can from them and ignore what you…
tough tested man
To date, President Lungu’s government has failed to resolve ritual murders that happened 3 years ago. Surely why would a Minister be more concerned about social media than the brutal loss of life? If PF is failing to govern please call an election so that capable people can take over. This level of incompetence and ineptitude is unacceptable.
Dishonerable Minister you and your friends were on your knees begging for votes during election time. Have you forgotten who the masters are? Politicians are our servants. You need that realisation to sink deep in your skull.We shall insult you if you don’t do you job properly. Five years will be over soon and we will show you who the real masters are. You will beg for all you are worth. Can we see more humbleness in you sir.
Zicta is a waste of resources, criticism is not a crime, “f¥ck you” is not an insult, it’s a curse word. People use it every day and don’t go to jail.
Getting locked up for say the “F” word is a sign of bad policing and rotten politics.
Kapyongo must not be very literate, I guess it’s a qualification to be in PF leadership.
Kampyongo is one of the most clueless, useless person who thinks he is going to be a minister forever. He is useless as the buttocks that will never go in front. You can never get a fake US $ seller from Katondo street and expect anything normal. Kampyongo is a reminiscing of a bush product which is roughly done and expect him to behave like a minister his current behaviour is old from the street. His language is violence and anarchy. You can not reason with someone who had never experienced the kind of love and tender. Kampyongo is a bully and a street child. He harbours hatred and in psychiatry we call people like Kampyongo as psychopath with unpredictable behaviour . Anger, threatening behaviour, intimidation, self perversion , self importance even there is no grain of truth and…
Buttocks is an f word LT .
That’s what happens when get people out of the street and give them positions of responsibility. All they say is nonsense!
A retarded bunch of crooks masquerading as a political party who have captured all tools for governance now out to silence the nation against speaking out against their gigantic thefts of public funds. ZICTA personnel are responsible for creating an enabling technological solutions for the PF to suppress freedom of expression and intensify the abortion of our democracy. They are as guilty as the Kampyongos, the Mumbis,etc.
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