Zambia: Lungu threatens widespread arrests of social media abusers
Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu has warned of the imminent widespread arrests of people accused of abusing social media platforms.
In a public address on 12 February, Lungu said security agents will soon start arresting social media abusers following the introduction of Cyber security and Cyber Crimes Bill.
He said social media should not be used to promote violence, abuse innocent people and propagating insults against government officials.
Lungu added that the USA has demonstrated to the world that those who abuse social media can be stopped.
The Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) has been directed to put a stop to irresponsible use of social media platforms and ensure that only those who use social media for the good of society are allowed to continue using it.
“Here is the good news for social media abusers. Cabinet is introducing a bill in parliament called the Cyber security and Cybercrimes Bill. This Bill aimed at protecting persons from cybercrime will not let you go Scott-free if you do not stop abusing innocent people online. In the coming days, all those abusing social media will be arrested ,” Lungu said.
The government’s main opposition, the United Party for National Development (UPND) believes Lungu is planning to shut down social media platforms ahead of the 12 August 2021 General and Presidential elections.
The party issued a statement in which it said dictators start by shutting down all critical media houses and silencing critical voices, and that is exactly what Lungu is planning to do.
The statement said, “We all know that social media has advantages and disadvantages, but we should focus much on the advantages than focusing so much on disadvantages.”
Government insiders have told ITWeb Africa that ZICTA plans to involve mobile phone operators to assist in disconnecting anyone accused of social media abuse.