The Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) has warned members of the public to desist from circulating fake and unverified information regarding the Coronavirus using various ICT platforms.
The Authority has since urged everyone including bloggers, various whatsapp and facebook group administrators, editors and reporters of mainstream and social media platforms as well as all citizens to only get reliable, official and verified information from the relevant authorities before sharing it.
ZICTA Corporate Communications Manager, Ngabo Nankonde says this is to avoid circulation, broadcasting and publication of fake and alarming information.
In a statement made available to ZANIS in Lusaka today, Ms Nankonde stated that the circulation and publication of falseholds with intent to cause fear and alarm to the public, is an offence and is prosecutable under the Penal Code.
She indicated that the Authority will support law enforcement agencies such as Zambia Police Service to ensure that those who break the law by circulating falsehoods or misleading information on COVID 19 on any ICT platform are brought to book.
Ms Nankonde added that ZICTA is mandated by law to oversee safe and responsible use of ICTs.
She explained that the Minister of Health, Chitalu Chilufya and his Information and Broadcasting Services Counterpart, Dora Siliya have announced that government will be issuing timely statements and hold press briefings regularly to update the nation on any development with regards to COVID 19.
She pointed out that combating COVID 19 pandemic requires the involvement of every Zambian, hence the need for everyone to come on board and play an active role and use social media wisely.
And Ms Nankonde has further encouraged members of the public to consider using digital platforms for transactions to avoid close contact whenever they can.
She added that consumers must also remember to always sanitise their hands, mobile phone handsets as well as computer keyboards as an added pre-caution.