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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Zambia may shut down internet during voting period if Zambians fail to correctly use cyber space-Malupenga

Headlines Zambia may shut down internet during voting period if Zambians fail to...

The government has admitted that it may shut down the internet if Zambians fail to correctly use cyberspace during this year’s election. Lusaka Times last week exclusively revealed that the government has resolved to shut down the internet from Thursday, the voting day until Sunday, a day after vote-counting is are expected to be concluded

Government through Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga immediately issued a statement dismissing the report and described it as malicious.

But Mr. Malupenga has u-turned and admitted that an internet shutdown is an option. Mr Malupenga charged that government will not tolerate abuse of the cyberspace by Zambians. He added that if there is any mischief in the use of the internet and those found wanting might end up inconveniencing not only themselves but the rest of the country when government invokes the necessary laws.

Mr Malupenga said Government will not hesitate to invoke the relevant legal provisions if some people decide to abuse the internet to peddle falsehoods that could destabilise the country during this time of elections. He added that Government has a duty to ensure peace and stability are maintained and will not allow any breakdown of law and order.

“Government, therefore, expects citizens to use the internet responsibly. But if some people choose to abuse the internet to mislead and misinform, Government will not hesitate to invoke relevant legal provisions to forestall any breakdown of law and order as the country passes through the election period,” Mr. Malupenga said.

Mr. Malupenga was speaking when he handed over a video camera and a mobile phone to a Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) reporter based in Ikeleng’i District in North-Western Province, Victor Mwila, who was attacked by alleged UPND cadres in his course of duty in the area.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services bought the items as a replacement of the same that were stolen from Mr. Mwila during the attack.

On political violence, Mr. Malupenga observed that President Edgar Lungu’s decision to deploy the military personnel to support the Zambia Police in maintaining security is bearing fruit.

He said Government is happy that since the military were deployed, there have been no serious incidences of violence.

And Mr. Malupenga said the Ministry decided to replace the video camera and mobile phone that were stolen from Mr. Mwila in order to avoid disruption in his reportorial work especially this time when electoral activities are at their peak ahead of the August 12 General Elections.

“I wish to send a strong warning out there, however, that the law will not spare anyone that harasses the media in the course of their duties. The freedom and safety of the media to inform, educate and entertain the public is to be respected and upheld by all, as guaranteed in the laws of the land,” said Mr. Malupenga.

Mr. Mwila thanked Government and fellow media practitioners for the support during the traumatic ordeal he went through. On 23rd July, 2021, Mr. Mwila, while on duty, was attacked by alleged UPND cadres.

During the attack Mr. Mwila suffered serious physical injuries in which a video camera, a mobile phone and some money were also stolen from him. This is according to a statement issued by the Press and Public Relations Unit at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services.

31 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t know if he saw, but USA has pretty much what Mapulenga and company would term as abuse of cyberspace, did they shut down internet or block social media? NO.
    Instead of doing that shutdown, why not arrest and prosecute individuals who will abuse cyberspace, since like he said we have the necessary legislation – legislation that was enacted less than a year ago?
    Shutdown down access to internet or social media is what despotic rulers do, we saw it in Burundi, Togo etc. Countries only shutdown the internet because they want to control the flow of information not the reasons he’s outlined. The reasons he’s outlined are big a lie.

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  2. MALUPENGA ,NOTE THAT PARTIES COME AND GO , SO IS PF IS SOON GOING , AFTER ALL YOU
    EVEN INSULTED SATA WHEN AT THE POST , LUCK THAT YOU ARE NOW EATING
    FROM HIS SWEAT .

    NOTE PF’S DAYS ARE NUMBERED , AS YOU ARE NOW WORKING AS A MERE CADRE THAT YOU
    ARE , NOTE CIVIL SERVANT AT ALL, SO WAIT AND SEE AS WE CHANGE GOVERNMENT , US WHO VOTED PF
    AND NOW VOTING IT OUT WITHOUT FAIL ,AS WE BRING IN HH & THE UPND

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  3. I don’t know if he saw, but USA has pretty much what Malupenga and company would term as abuse of cyberspace, did they shut down internet or block social media? NO.
    Instead of doing that shutdown, why not arrest and prosecute individuals who will abuse cyberspace, since like he said we have the necessary legislation – legislation that was enacted less than a year ago?
    Shutdown down access to internet or social media is what despotic rulers do, we saw it in Burundi, Togo etc. Countries only shutdown the internet because they want to control the flow of information not the reasons he’s outlined. The reasons he’s outlined are just not true.

  4. I have said it before and I will repeat it. The internet is not power without control. It’s power with control. It can therefore be shut down but with a prior notice to subscribers, the reason for the shut down and how long the shutdown will last. That’s how public officials who are comfortable in their own skins operate.

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  5. Malupenga sit down.you will regret your words when you start walking pamakasa, pembela. I sometimes wonder just how unfortunate we are as a country to have these types of people

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  6. As the Pirelli tyre company’s advert says ” power is nothing without control”. Go ahead and shut the internet down but truth does not depend on the internet.

  7. These PF minions will follow ECL this Thursday. We tired of these little dictators popping up everyday to impress ECL the chief dictator.

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  8. You can’t issue two contradicting statements within such a short period of time. It’s an indication that you’re not being sincere. If you stand on the truth you don’t have to be moved by running commentaries from some quarters. How will the shutdown of the internet help you to govern? That act alone will lead to speciation which is a recipe for strife. The ECZ must be left to do their job, unless you have something to hide. We’ve the Intelligence, Police, Army, ZAF, ZNS and maybe G4S all trying to protect us them you want to shut off the internet as well? What kind of panic is this?

  9. You guys were busy denying last week! Can the govt define what proper use of the cyberspace means, who will monitor this and what threshold will be used to determine if Zambians are not using it properly.Why is this restricted to the election period and how will counting of votes be transparent if communication systems are shut down? This smells of rigging and dictatorship.

  10. In this day and age, information age, to gag a whole nation. Anyway you may go ahead. My 10 year old daughter has already prepared herself and knows her way around circumventing any shutdown. Technology is way ahead of you. Just up your act in tracing abusers of the law.
    We all by now know and have made up our minds who we are voting for; so if it so happens the party in govt. starts seeing it is trailing in the count on Friday 13th and you interfere with internet we’ll certainly assume your intentions are to tamper with the true decisions of the majority Zambians.
    Internet shutdown will not assist you at all.

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  11. ..let alone the economic cost an internet shutdown could bring to a failing economy like Zambia’s’ would be a major reason, if I had none at all at this stage of not voting for PF. And just you statement here has solidified my decision that yours is not worth my vote. I have been vindicated. Thanks, but no thanks.

  12. It’s high time countries which shut down Internet are penalised or blocked completely from using Internet. Mostly countries that have reportedly shut down Internet are ruled by dictators e.g Zimbabwe and Uganda

  13. Guys, mapulanga (or whatever his name is) is just a messenger, do not waste your “bullets” on him.

    He is being told what to say by that drunkard thief. The same thief that champions thuggery and corruption.

    Vote wisely.

  14. First it was total denial ” those are false and malicious rumors, we will never shut down the internet” and now it’s ” we may shut down”. Next it will be we are shutting down. Signs,of a chipante pante government with no clue as to what they want to do and yet they want to come back. Vote wisely.

  15. Is it only social media or total shutdown? Won’t that affect the Banks & commerce. This is another one of the many failures of the govt. Shutting down anything has become a norm when you are used to power loadshading, water blues, wage freeze, it’s pathetic that Zambia has reduced to this.

  16. Dictator with yellow ugly teeth, the ka thieving worst president on earth is behind this, this ka party of id1ots pathetic Foools… Party of id1ots and dander heads

  17. Shutting down they’re Internet is UNDEMOCRATIC,TOTALLY UNDEMOCRATIC.
    This was always Part of this Criminal Enterprise of a Government’s Plan ,to impede the Electoral Process.
    We cannot have another 5 Years of this DICTATORSHIP

  18. …these nitwits have no grasp of what an Internet shutdown does to an economy. Its all tunnel vision for them. The economic fallout is way to heavy; banks, e-commerce will screech to a halt, national and international trade halts and you just ping a big red dot on your country as risky to do business with. If you see the list of countries which do that you will note one thing..all led by psychopaths’ (Burma, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Belarus, Sudan and the like).
    Well the great thing about IT, its ever 100 steps ahead. So they can go ahead we will circumvent it. It is very easy to track an abuser of the cyber laws…very easy. Maybe the GRZ IT guys are just not willing to pursue fellow Zambians. Free flow of information is what advances a people and here you come nga ichipuba ati we will shut…

  19. Proper boot-licking cadre instead of a professional civil servant acting for all Zambians. They are using him to prepare the ground for their schemes – testing the ground before they try and unleash the plans that are in the pipeline. Don’t start something you may not finish – because you will then have to face the consequences.

  20. Closing the Internet and Social Media is done by Dictators who want to silence People. If ECL closes the Internet tumoro while we are in Voting queues he will make me angry. I intended voting for ECL but if he closes the Internet while I am in a voting queue I will change my mind and vote for HH. I don’t wish to vote for a Dictator. Period. ECL has to consider this downside.

  21. PF have never been truthful to the nation today they will refuse and later admit there ill plans to Zambians. The other time when Zambians were being gassed imagine they even came publicly to refuse that there is no gassing and later admitted. And, up to now no report has come out or jailing of terrorist acts against Zambians.

  22. The PF party is full of cowards including the president why are you afraid of social media it’s free and fair elections shame on you all government officials who have supported the shutting down of internet that’s muyenda no more PF God will not see you through this time.

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