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