The government has dismissed, as malicious propaganda, information making rounds on social media, alleging that the Zambian government will shut down the internet from Thursday to Sunday next week.
In a statement released to the media by Amos Malupenga, the Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Information And Broadcasting Services, the government said that the information was false and was calculated to cause alarm among the peace-loving Zambians.
“The Government wishes to assure the people of Zambia, both at home and abroad, that it remains committed to the free flow of information, even during the election period, ” the statement read
The Government also urged what it described as law-abiding citizens to continue using the internet and other social media platforms responsibly and in conformity with the provisions of the Electoral Process Act and other laws, such as the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act and the Penal Code Act, which prohibit the dissemination of falsehoods and inflammatory statements that have the potential to destabilize national peace and security.
Foreign media, including South Africa’s Daily Maverick, has been reporting that the Zambian government has resolved to completely shut down access to the internet beginning next Thursday, the voting day.
The foreign media claimed that a highly placed government source that opted to remain anonymous informed them that access to the internet will be throttled from Thursday in an effort to maintain peace and order during the voting period and that the decision had since been communicated to ZICTA for implementation.
The source that opted to remain anonymous said the decision has since been communicated to ZICTA for implementation.
“Yes internet will go down from Thursday. There will be a total blackout. We will start to slowly restore access around Saturday in selected areas, we may get full access maybe on Sunday or Monday, depending on the situation,” the source said.