SPECIAL ASSISTANT to the President for Press and Public Relations Mr. Amos Chanda has bemoaned the rampant fake news that has continued to flood the nation noting that the false propaganda is costing the nation millions.
Speaking at the 2019, ZAPRA Conference in Livingstone Mr. Chanda said the pervasive threat of disinformation has threatened election results and democracies all over adding that the false information has cost institutions such Zesco millions of expected funds because some people had peddled falsehoods about the institution.
“Those deceptions and manipulations are most damaging when packaged and reported as though they were truths,” he said.
“The pervasive threat of disinformation threatens election results and democracies all over.”
He told the hundreds PR practitioners gathered from both the public and private sector that they needed to help government ‘confront the fake news monster’ by equally being on social media platforms and telling the truth.
Mr. Chanda observed that peddled fake news mostly by the opposition political parties has caused an attack on GDP, exchange rate, encouraged anarchy attack on market as well as threatened the nations democracy.
Mr. Chanda noted that the only way to fight back against this is with more freedom, more openness, more traceability, more accountability and more transparency.
He told the gathering that the PF government wants to work closely with public relations and communications industry and announced to Public Relations Practitioners in public institutions that they have State House backing to defend the truth without waiting for clearance.
“All public relations practitioners in public institutions have express permission from State House to respond to fake news as it is given out without waiting for the ‘clearance’ which could render the response irrelevant,” Mr. Chanda said.
“And that is why I am here with you, not only to pay tribute to your valuable work that this group has done but to show that this Government is committed to this issue and committed to protecting democracy,” Mr. Chanda said.