Minister of Technology and Science Felix Mutati has announced that the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act will be tabled in the next sitting of Parliament for Amendment.
Speaking at the Government Engagement Discussion on Cloud and Cyber Security today, the Minister said Cyber Security and Cybercrime are among the biggest threats to Zambia, hence the need to amend the laws.
He said that once amended the law will ensure that people who abuse cyberspace are dealt with and has called on stakeholders in the sector to submit their input before the Act is presented before parliament.
And Liquid Intelligent Technologies Chief Executive Officer Mark Townsend said the government needs to provide clear positions around data storage and Cyber Security Laws.
Mr. Townsend said there is also a need for the establishment of a data protection office that will provide the administrative framework of how organizations dealing with data and data storage should be compliant.
On Tuesday, 23rd March, 2021, former President Edgar Lungu assented into law the Cyber Security and Cyber Bill of 2021 and hoped the law will bring sanity to the way the internet is used in Zambia.
“This is purely to protect citizens from abuse by people who feel they can do or say whatever they want using the veil of cyberspace. This law is aimed at protecting all Zambians, including those who are against it,” President Lungu said.
The President said the Bill was brought to his office and he scrutinized it before he assented to it.
“l could not have signed it if I was not convinced it is for the good of all Zambians. I have read through and it is perfect, ” he noted at the time
The objects of the Bill were to ensure the provision of cybersecurity in the Republic, provide for the protection of persons against cybercrime, provide for child online protection and facilitate identification, declaration, and protection of critical information infrastructure.
Others are to provide for the collection of and preservation of evidence of computer and network related crime, revise the admission, in criminal matters, of electronic evidence, provide for the registration of cybersecurity services providers; and provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.
Immediately after the bill was signed, UPND Spokesperson, Cornelius Mweetwa announced that President Hakainde Hichilema had set the repealing of the infamous Cyber Security and Cyber Crime Bill NAB2 as his number one priority once he is ushered into office on August 12.
Mr Mweetwa at the time called on party members to be wary of sharing information that has the potential to land them in trouble with the authorities.
“We want to tell the nation that HH has committed to repealing the Cyber Security [and Cyber Crimes Bill]. That’s one of the things he will do ever. He has committed to that. Look! The freedoms of the people of this country have been invaded,” he said.
He also alleged at the time that the PF has turned the public media into its tool for propaganda, accusing the ruling party of feeding Zambians on a menu of lies.
“When you talk about the public broadcaster, it is not what people say that should be heard, it is what the State want people to hear. Feeding the nation on a menu of lies. The only platform that remained for people to communicate information was social media and now they have gone into that space to shrink it,” he charged Mweetwa.