The police have apprehended a businessman, Rizwaan Dawood Patel, in connection with the publication of a letter purportedly authored by President Hakainde Hichilema. Patel, a resident of Petauke, has been charged with two counts of forgery and two counts of publication of information, violating the provisions of the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act.
The arrest is linked to a document circulating, claiming that President Hichilema had instructed the Zambia Security and Intelligence Services to monitor the activities of Catholic Archbishop Alick Banda. In addition, the suspect is believed to have forged a document indicating that Home Affairs Permanent Secretary Joseph Akafumba requested the Secretary to the Cabinet to lodge a complaint with the Vatican regarding Archbishop Banda’s actions.
Police Spokesperson Rae Hamoonga has confirmed Patel’s arrest. The 41-year-old businessman has been released on bond but is expected to appear in court soon to face the charges brought against him. Hamoonga further explained that Patel, in collaboration with other individuals, utilized Facebook pages such as “Patriotic Front” and “Grindstone Television Zambia” to disseminate the alleged fraudulent documents.
The arrest has raised concerns about the dissemination of false information and the misuse of social media platforms to manipulate public opinion.