Thursday, April 18, 2024

Emerged hate speech arrests jeopardize the benefit of repealed criminal defamation of the president


By Venus N Msyani

President Hakainde Hichilema has repealed the criminal defamation of the president, which is a good thing, but the effects of its absence are being jeopardized by the emerged hate speech arrests.

On 26 December 2023, three days after the defamation of the president law was abolished, a Zambian by the name of Allan Phiri was arrested for hate speech. He is heard on one of the recorded voices in a local language saying only a full can agree that HH is performing well.

Mr. Phiri spent six days in custody. Meaning he celebrated the first day of 2023 (New Year) in police custody.

On Sunday, January 29, 2023, Economic and Equity Party (EEP) leader Chilufya Tayali was arrested for the offense of Hate Speech, contrary to Section 65 of the Cyber Security and Cyber Crime Act No.2 of 2021.

Between January 1st and the day of his arrest, Mr. Tayali is alleged to have posted on social media platforms various inflammatory remarks. It is alleged he had been insulting and accusing people of being used by the new dawn administration.

Chimbwi pakulila nishi pali uko ashintilile. Will leave it for Bembas to help you with the meaning. It appears the new dawn administration has abolished criminal defamation law because they have Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act 2021 in place.

This must be repealed as well. May never happen if pressure is low. Zambia is under a leader acting out of force even on his own promises.

If it weren’t for pressure, the defamation of the president law would still be here. In March 2022 Amnesty International Secretary General Agnes Callamard had to fly to Lusaka to persuade Hichilema to move with speed to honor his promises, which include criminal defamation of the president law.

Nine months later, President Hakainde Hichilema succumbed to pressure. On December 23, 2022, he abolished the defamation of the president law. Zambians may have to go through the same for the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act 2021 to be repealed.

Whatever it will take the law must go. Hate speech arrests are jeopardizing the benefit of the repealed criminal defamation of the president law in the country.


  1. Learned people had noticed loop holes in the so-called repeal of the infamous defamation law. Supporters of the president pretended not to see. If you take tea with bread it is the same as taking bread with tea.

  2. When you look at HH’s character at the helm of the UPND and how he has dealt with opponents or dissent within the Party, you’d notice that he’s a man that doesn’t entertain criticism nor those that don’t toll his line. You can start with his election when Sakwiba and his supporters were beaten for merely contesting an election that Tongas declared only their own could succeed Andy. Tien Kahenya was shown what HH is made of. When I review his remarks about the ConCourt, especially Judge Sitali, I shiver. It seems the repeal of the defamation of the President Law has just increased the number of people to benefit like Defense Chiefs and Traditional Leaders. I don’t know what he’ll make of the Christ of Kabushi comedy. There are many that’ll shun him when he retires

    • And the you label Kalaba and Kambwili as chief tribalists. Ayatolah has given a scenario which vindicates Kalaba and CK! Think about this seriously and censor comments about these two Zambianc, that is CK and HK.

  3. HH says one thing and does the exact opposite. Meanwhile the praise singers will defend him but they are suffering just like any other Zambian.

    • So true. He didnt want a Presidential jet but he flies in one every two days.. He has repealed defamation but he told Kajoba to arrest Tayali on a renamed charge. Sean Tembo is receiving similar sh+t from Kajoba. He said he wanted a free press but he is still holding on to ZNBC as a State Broadcaster. Having lambasted PF cadres who harrassed him in Northern Province as opposition he allowed UPND cadres to storm Kokoliko FM in Chingola and Mufulira to harrass Tayali. UPND cadres beat up a journalist in Katete radio station, His party through Imenda cries that a weak opposition isnt good enough for democracy but they rigged elections in Kabushi and Kitwe so that those in opposition who could have won were barred.etc etc. Who sang that song about Hypocrites? He may have been studying HH

  4. Hate speech and criticism of a government or those in power are two different things. Ethnic inflammatory language, misinformation and hate speech is what brought about the sad and dreadful events in Rwanda and should not be condoned. Tribalism and racism are one and the same evil ideology. To treat it otherwise is hypocrisy.

  5. The current talk about tribalism in Zambia has been tilted against certain people in the nation while the other has been tolerated and gone un punished by the powers that be .
    Iam meant to think that the practical tribalism is being treated as if it is an innocent tribalism , however it’s manifestation has always produced devarsteting effects on the people , such as people saw in one province when their prefered candidate lost elections here people who opposed the losing candidate suffered loses to their property including bodily harm and became refuges in their own country.
    Zambians must be practical in their thinking , saying something doesn’t always mean that you have done what you said .

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