President Lungu

On Friday November 8th, while addressing journalists, President Edgar Lungu asked a question: Do our people believe everything they read on social media? He didn’t state his position but like it is said, actions speak louder than words. Social media clampdown by the government through arbitrary laws and in the form of Friday’s press conference is a clear indication that the President believes people believe everything they read on social media.

For one who follows Zambian politics closely, will agree that Friday media address to journalists was about reaffirming the fight against social media, which seems to be the biggest threat to the PF government future.

Remember, from day one, the day when President Edgar Lungu assumed office as Zambian President to date, social media has been received very negatively by his government. I do not recall a single day when PF government gave credit to social media apart from threats, warning, and arrest after arrest.

Again, if I have failed to grasp the point, please help me:

“You need to create a chasm between journalism and social media craze. This, no one can do apart from yourselves. Social media is for all; while journalism is for trained communicators. But if you allow all and sundry to masquerade as journalists, your profession will perish.”

Stay away from social media is my own interpretation of the passage. I may not be right. If I am right, isn’t advising journalists to avoid social media same as advising fishermen to avoid water? What is the major source of information for journalists?

Social media and journalism need each other. Running away from this truth is doing Zambia more harm than good. We must encourage the two to work together if we must make a better Zambia. Effort and energy must be spent on trying to accommodate social media instead of fighting it. It would have been very helpful if social media fans were represented at the recent Lungu’s media address to journalists. This negative approach is not working, why not try to approach social media in a positive way. Remember, social media is an industry like any other industry. If well managed, it has potential of playing very important role in our democracy process and the development of the country.

During his interaction with journalists, President Edgar Lungu also emphasized on the importance of individuals, groups, and organisations to lobby for themselves. As a fan of social media, I want to conclude by begging the government of Zambia to start working on a positive relationship with social media fans. Please consider social media fans a positive community.

By Venus N Msyani
Concerned citizen in the diaspora

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Social Media has rattled the traditional propaganda machinery to the core. So it is like while they are busy saying they have pants while speaking behind a podium some smart alec is already picturing them from behind with only their underwear and socks while showing their shirt and tie to the front that people can see. Mu limbe a mambala. This is the new world; this is not the 60s or 70s. Ba makaka.

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    • Is this an issue to discuss….Lusaka Times you’ve become useless….why allowing such nonsensical topics when you can report on very important issues about Zambia….topics like finding solutions to the current load shedding….topics about solar energy etc not these social media bullshi%$#t

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    • Social media is news almost in real time fake or real. It’s like breaking news.
      Only a fraction of people have smart phones tablets and computers.
      Social media can’t be compared to TV or Radio broadcasting – mass media.
      So if fewer people will be on decoders for TV or on Radio it’s a far fetched dream for one to claim that social media in Zambia is taking a toll on the entire Government and freaking them out. Real politicians in Zambia understand tha real people with real feelings are out there hustling not LTing or whatapping or facebooking or Twittering. Eyes on the ball.
      The only worry for social media is national image the outside world.

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    • @Anonymous. Who is supposed to find solutions to problems created by PF? Why are you blaming LT when it was Lungu himself who found time to talk about social media instead of addressing the problems he created

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  2. Why are you pre-occupied with such a not-extremely important issue for the country at the moment. Is social media your priority at the moment? Ba Lungu-sha icalo.

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  3. The only problem is that instead of social media being the fastest way of spreading valuable information that would be developmental, some Zambians use it as a platform to let their insults out to the public about the Government and his Excellency. We really need change. This should be a chance for us to learn more, do more and evolve fellow Zambians.

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    • Venus, SM has no ethics. SM may have facts while on the other had may not. Like he said SM is for all. Who get sued for libel on SM. SM is mainly operating like a platform for gossip, where one won’t be held accountable for there actions. Yes people tend to believe what is in public domain. Journalists are professional. Usually they will only put something they are able to defend in public domain. You should be able to read how individuals haul insults to people mainly becauase they know no one will hold them accountable. They insult people Apobafwalile with impunity! Without even debating the issue at hand

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  4. Get used to it! Social Media is here to stay and for good!
    If you have things to hide, then you will have problems with social media!

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  5. Social Media is a very important platform for spreading information. The best way is to focus on the generative information and discard the useless one. Most lazy people waste their time gossiping on social media, searching for lies and scandals. Smart people use the same platform to spread innovative ideas. L

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  6. Social Media has today become a place where lies and false allegations are being generated when in most cases it should be a platform where people share innovative ideas, an environment of good speech, a place of comfort and all that but it’s all the other way round.
    Social Media plays an important role in a country’s Growth so lets therefore be mindful on how we use it.

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