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Alba Iulia
Thursday, October 22, 2020

Communication Minister Plans to introduce a Statutory Instrument to deal with Fake News and Online Insults

General News Communication Minister Plans to introduce a Statutory Instrument to deal with Fake...

Government says it plans to come up with a Statutory Instrument (SI) to deal with producers of fake news and those spreading it.

Speaking in Lusaka, Transport and Communications Minister Hon Mutotwe Kafwaya said fake news is a danger to the development of the country.

“This Government of His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu wants to bring sanity in the usage of the cyberspace. What are we doing as Government and as a ministry to deal with this issue? I have proposed that I should sign an SI which will prohibit the generation of fake news as well as it’s circulation,” said the Communications Minister.

“I will happily sign this SI as it will help in the fight against fake news. It will also help us from abusing the cyberspace.”

Hon Kafwaya said it is important that citizens desist from abusing the cyberspace as this can destroy the country.

He emphasized that this is not meant to siphon the freedom of speech for Zambians.

“You can’t just sit and start generating fake news, news that does not exist. Generation of fake news cannot help us in any way as a country to develop this beautiful country,” he added.

He stated that staff in his ministry are already looking at this issue after he gave them an instruction to fight fake news.

He indicated that his ministry is closely working with the Ministry of Home Affairs to deal with people abusing the cyberspace.

“It is out of order to mislead the masses. Even those in the habit of insulting the President and other VVIPs on social media, we want to bring such negative vices to an end,” said the Communications Minister.

13 COMMENTS

  1. This will aid them in hiding their misdeeds as state sponsored media has always been bias in it’s reporting and selective on what they report.

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  2. I have been fighting for stricter regulation of online platforms to fight fake news. I am glad my learned friend is taking this on board. Fake news is worse than coronavirus and terrorism because fake news can be used to lie about coronovirud and terrorism itself. Some will say its freedom of speech. However please note that freedom of speech is a qualified right.

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  3. You can’t make FAKE NEWS illegal. If that is done, religious scriptures/books too should be banned. Some of us identify all religious scriptures as fake, others identify only those scriptures they don’t follow as fake.
    Banning something because ‘some’ individuals identify it to be fake should apply to everything or nothing.
    I’d like to point out that there is indeed malicious news and propaganda (FAKE NEWS) out there, those laws you plan to enact should be drafted with in such a way to only target those that identify as professional journalists and media organisations because media ethics are expected of them.
    I’d also like to state that it’s the responsibility of readership and listenership to stop the spread of malicious news and propaganda (FAKE NEWS).

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  4. Online Insults start with Kaizer Zulu first Mr Minister Kaizer is always insulting HH insults should not only be for PF.

  5. IFUSUMA FINE FITA AMENSHI. Do the right things and fake news will not stick. If PF will explain why the roads cost so much in Zambia compared to other countries, Explain the 48 Houses, Shade more light on the ambulance purchases, Mukula theft, show the whereabouts of the hacker who was found in the election servers, Explain ECL instant wealth on his Salary, Explain sudden Tasilas wealth, Name the people who obtained Seer 1 power, Each PM Minister declare their wealth before appointment, Remove PF Cadres at the Bus stations …. Then you will be entitled to begin the discussion. At this stage you should be ashamed to even start that discussion. Everything that goes up must come down and one day you will be a commoner. You cant see the picture when you are in the frame.

  6. Defining an insult is in and of itself problematic because it will be subjective and sometimes even patriarchically hierarchical. Take a leaf from the UK, your erstwhile colonial masters who have moved to expunge the whole concept of blasphemy and insult from their statutes. I think it is the right thing to do. You create rebels when you subject them to unreasonableness. I know the thumbs down will come thick and fast but this has been proven if you just take the time to read and research widely enough.

  7. Forget the SI will be in bad taste because what you describe as fake news is your opinion which in itself result in fake news to me. How do you intend to distinguish facts from opinions without infringing people’s rights on freedom of speech which includes opinions. You will be treading on dangerous grounds.

  8. When you start hiding the truth then you give birth to speculation which leads to fake news. Stop hiding and the fake news will stop on it’s own.

  9. This law should be opposed. Wht about fake news that appears in print? Why’s there no proposed law against it? Whn a daily newspaper reports that a plane-load of United States dollar bills has been seized at KK Airport with name tags of lawyers associated with opposition political parties. It continues that the money was intended for clandestine activities aimed at destabilizing Zambia. A ruling party MP even comments on the news expressing regret at unpatriotic elements looking for regime change. “Sources” in ZAF even confirm the seizure of the plane. This turned out absolutely fake news but it doesn’t worry the powers that be.

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