Transport Minister Brian Mushimba
Transport Minister Brian Mushimba

Transport and Communications Minister Brian Mushimba says innocent citizens have lost over K600,000 collectively through internet-based scams. Speaking when he issued a ministerial statement yesterday, Mr Mushimba said government was concerned about the abuse of social media platforms.

“As at the end of 2017, the total number of mobile telephone subscribers stood at almost 14 million, representing a penetration rate of 82 percent. This represented a 12 percent growth from the previous year. The sector has been recording a significant increase in the usage of mobile internet with eight million active internet users in the first quarter of 2018 representing a 47 percent internet penetration and a 16 percent growth from the previous year for the same period.”

“As the ministry responsible for communications, we wish to see this number grow as it encourages connectedness, social and commercial interactions and allows innovative individuals and businesses to thrive with increased access to their customer base at affordable rates. We want as many Zambians as possible to embrace the digital transformation, to get onto social media and e-platforms and for them to use these platforms productively,” he said.

The minister said a small group of people was notoriously using the platforms to steal identities, spread false news, cyber bullying, and to transmit pornographic images among other crimes.

“I want to emphasize that this is a very small group of people and as government, we don’t want this group or we won’t allow this group to grow. This small group is notoriously using the platforms to steal identities, spread false news or fake news, cyber bullying, transmit pornographic images, perpetrate hate speech and plainly abuse other consumers online. Most users of the internet in Zambia can testify to the offensive or inciting nature of some messages found in our digital eco-system,” Mushimba said.

Mushima said over 627 people had been duped on social media by scammers.

“In the recent past, ZICTA and the Zambia police have recorded an upswing in the number of cases known as affinity fraud cases. These are cases in which unsuspecting members of the public are duped into believing [that] they are communicating with someone in position of authority or a politician on Facebook such as a minister and they are being offered assistance in getting employment, loans, contracts or scholarships. To date, a total of 34 cases have been flagged with over 627 victims, over K600,000 has been stolen from victims with the majority of the moneys sent outside the country through commercial banks.”

“It is clear that a lot of unsuspecting members of the public are falling prey to these scammers using social media platforms such as Facebook. The scammers are stealing small amounts of money from a large number of people and when added up these amounts are becoming significant.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. No, Brian, you should be more concerned at other things,

    Media platforms should be the least of your priority as s functioning Government.

    Thanks

    BB2014,2016

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    • Ba Brian I have never heard you speak so consistently about poor ICT development in Zambia no word about concern of how many programmers, coders , integrators, developers etc. For a young person who is an Engineer in that portfolio u need to consistently show more concern in these areas of dearth than what u have turned into…. another ranting politician just bent on stiffling freedoms. Ba Mushimba show us u are different it is never too late don’t be remembered as another PF cader towing the line we already have a gigantic disappointment in Miles Sampa

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  2. You government should be more concerned about upping the standard of education and reduce illiteracy levels so people don’t fall prey to these vices.

    Such are results of buying ineffective firetenders and the like at the expense of poor education systems haunted by poor infrastructure and working conditions.

    We would not have such scams if people were literate enough to know that you can’t win $1million online if you didn’t enter any competition.

    Your misplaced priorities are costing the Zambian masses heavily and any law you bring in now has a punitive face because you are not realistically and genuinely approaching issues affecting people.

    Let us be real… Enhance on sensitisation, enough regulations are already there!

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  3. I am concerned as well. I could not be here had it not been for HaJJ, HaSpakata and Nose demons. These guys are painting my beloved country black because of the team they play in Hatribes Utd.

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    • Oscar agreed.you can tell from him using words like ‘Utd’, ‘guys’ its just some stupid boy trying to cause controversy like Mushota, jay jay but this kid is just a dull man. Likely with a pot belly.chipuba ichi mu boys ichi. waste of sperm. just ignore him. even mushota in unpredictable aba bapuba

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    • No, it is not a man. Just used and abused transgender h00ker in search of Brian’s attention

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  4. There is more to your fake concern sir. You just want to shut down social media. If people who use social media are naive enough to fall prey to such things it should not be the government s concern. The government needs to look into more serious things. Leave social media alone you want to put us back 60 years in time.

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  5. We the people on the other hand are very concerned about GRZ’s abuse and wastefulness of taxpayers funds.

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  6. This campaign is a devil strategy, who advertises an apple meanwhile the is death behind it. Just intensify awareness programmes on the negative effect of monetary deals involving social media. Just as we know that a Kitchen knife is handy but deadly at the same time.

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  7. Hon enough has said about the same already. Please its time forensic team did its work. Social media is not a bad initiative per se. its only bad eggs trying to abuse it. So let your forensic team go for them period. Its time to act and less talking please. when proof is there no one will complain.

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  8. Please protect eplatforms and social media from criminals. Hunt them down. Enact strict laws. Unleash cyber police onto them. We want to enjoy this powerful invention without risking some ***** stealing our identities or cyber bullying our children. Good move muusa.

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