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Alba Iulia
Friday, April 16, 2021

Zambian government should leave social media alone: It is not cybercrime to use social media to criticize the government

Feature Politics Zambian government should leave social media alone: It is not cybercrime to...

The government with a clear agenda to silence critics shouldn’t be given a chance to assemble any cyberspace law. Specifically laws that must serve the interest of all citizens.

Cyber fraud, cyberbullying, computer hacking, piracy, identity theft, and invasion of privacy are some of examples of cybercrime. In general, Zambians don’t commit these crimes.

What Zambians do is use social media to put the government on checks and balances. How that amounts to cybercrime is a mystery to some of us.

Is using internet to criticize the government a cybercrime? In other words, is it a cybercrime to say the Patriotic Front (PF) government has failed?

No, it is not a cybercrime to say stop bullying and intimidating the opposition. Neither is one using his computer to demand the right to freedom of expression and assembly committing cybercrime.

Just like the failed bill 10, the introduced cyber security and cybercrime bill should be rejected by Zambians.

Though it is important for Zambia to have a strong cyberspace law, the current government can’t be trusted to process such a law.

Being anti-critics as it is known to be, the PF government would want to use the proposed law to fix critics.

Especially that most of Patriotic Front (PF) criticism are done on social media platforms. Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and the like.

The PF government has unachieved open agenda, which is to weaken the opposition. Social media is making it difficult for the agenda to be achieved.

It is a reason why there is no doubt the push for the proposed cybercrime bill is an effort to do the same; weaken the opposition. Is it too late?

The PF seem desperate and angry. The August 2021 general election is getting closer and the opposition is not getting weaker but stronger because of social media.

As a result, social media is the biggest threat to PF government. Though not in details, President Edgar Lungu confirmed it in his speech to parliament on Friday, 12, February 2021.

On the declining morals and ethics in the country, President Lungu listed social media abuse on top of the list.

On patriotism and national unity, the President went on criticizing people who denigrate the image of Zambia.

“Whether you live in Zambia or not, you only have one God-given country. Therefore, don’t flaunt adopted countries as yours. God gave each individual only one country and when the right time arrives you will run to that country.”

These were the exact words from the president and no doubt he was speaking to Zambians in the diaspora. Is he accusing them of not protecting the image of Zambia?

No, his government is the one denting the image of the country. For example, Zambians are not criminals but his government is trying to mark Zambians criminals in the name of fight against cybercrime.

Cybercrime is being exaggerated in the county. By the very Lungu’s government. What message is being sent to the outside world?

Is the PF government trying to place Zambia on top of the list of countries leading in cybercrimes in the world?

By Venus N Msyani
Concerned citizen

20 COMMENTS

  1. That is the Problem with the ECL Govt. It doesn’t listen to criticism no matter how constructive that Criticism is. The Govt is told to stop Printing and dishing Money out to buy votes. The Govt is told reckless printing of money causes hyperinflation and inturn sharp increases in consumer prices. The PF is now telling its Cadres to continue dishing out printed money secretly and not under Camera. The Govt is in denial and now claim that higher prices are caused by Businesses sabotaging the Govt. They think closing Social Media will make those commodity prices fall. That’s fantasy.

  2. It’s clear they just want this law to silence critics of government on social media. Let them bring it because after August they will be in the opposition and will be unable to criticize the government because of the same law they brought.

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  3. Very shallow article. Only the second paragraph makes a bit of sense, the rest is gibberish. Who told the author that Zambians don’t commit credit card theft, identity theft, phishing attacks, cloud jacking, sophisticated and targeted ransomware attacks, mobile malware, insider threats and other online crimes? The problem with some people is you want to make statements that violate civil laws using the internet and call it freedom of expression or criticizing the government. Am glad the bill has passed the second reading

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  4. There is a video of Lenje heroes transporting a sick woman across a bridge less PF road to get to a health center.
    PF are disputing saying it’s fake, it is “social media “. They don’t want their Inonge to know.

  5. Critics of government should not hide behind the keyboard but voice out. This is why we vote for MPs to take our complaints to parliament. Those that are hiding behind the keyboard are doing so because what they talk about can not be proved or cannot back it with evidence. Insults and malice are the order of the day of social media abusers. Who told this illiterate that Zambians do not commit Cyber fraud, cyberbullying, computer hacking, piracy, identity theft, and invasion of privacy? If you have little knowledge on the subject, it is better to shut up. The people scared of the bill are criminals and probably those addicted to things like p0rn.

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  6. COMEON PEOPLE I DARE ANYONE TO GO TO A COUNCILOR OR LOCAL MP AND COMPLAIN ABOUT THE PF AND THE DAMAGE THEY HAVE CAUSED OR ABOUT THE PF THUGS ……… GET REAL FOLKS >>>>>>>
    DON’T PASS GO DONT COLLECT YOUR MONEY AND HEAD TO PRISON

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  7. This govt of dander heads who don’t understand computers, meno meno still uses a type writer, that theiving c*nt… Useless ka worst president on earth from p0rn stup1d party of id1ots

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  8. Very shallow article with no backbone, you cannot support insults on social media in the name of freedom of speech.

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  9. ZESCO, why is half of nkana east not having power in Kitwe since 15hrs today and it is now going to 20hrs. Are we back to load shedding?

  10. For those whose idea of letting out steam is insulting the government, let them do it. I don’t do it myself because it’s beneath my dignity. I remember one memorable statement by Jimmy Carter during the 1980 presidential election in USA. He said simply,” after this election they won’t hv Jimmy to kick around anymore “, in reference to vitriolic attacks from conservative journalists.

  11. The PF Govt failed to pass Bill 10 into law. Now they are determined to pass the Cyber and Security Bill into law becoz they only need a simple majority. The Cyber Security Law will assist PF to restrict the Opposition from freely Campaigning during the current Election Season. The Law will enable the PF Govt to close the Internet and Social Media so that they can rig the 2021 Election secretly infavour of ECL and PF. This Law is an Election Rigging tool for PF that’s why the PF Govt is fast tracking this Bill less than 2 months b4 Parliament is dissolved. PF can’t win this thru a Popular Vote hence they are scheming various ways to rig the Election in 2021 and retain Power.

  12. This bill is good so that Upnd stops creating fake stories, e.g. story on foreigners getting NRCs, now its fake videos of PF cadres showing off huge sums of money. I know Tongas are good at creating stories, but didnt know its to this extent!

  13. Don’t trust any law formulated in a hurry by a PF government that gassed its own people……..

    Every bill they bring out is made up 70% of articles meant to protect them , the PF and perpetuate their stay in power , the other 30 % is just sweeteners…..

  14. The biggest problem in Zambia is that the Corrupt ECL Govt has messed up the Economy and it’s Governance. They have made themselves very unpopular and unelectable. They fear loss of Power and retribution for past wrongs by a New Govt. As a result the ECL PF Govt’s Strategy is to rig the 2021 Elections by any means to stay in Power. One of the means is to protect itself from losing Power by enacting bad laws. Hence Bill 10, Cyber and Security Bill etc. The Cyber Security Bill is crucial to the ECL Govt to help it close Media,Civic and Political Space as we approach the 2021 Election Campaigns. The intention is to close the Internet and Social Media around Election Day to enable it rig the Voting, Vote Counting and the announcing of Election Results. Will this Election Plan work? Time…

  15. If we start using sign language to criticize the govt what will they do??
    No offence to the disabled.

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