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Calls to shut down Zambia's online publications

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Zambia , 27 Jul 2012

Calls to shut down Zambia's online publications

Zambia’s ruling Patriotic Front (PF) has called for the closure of online publications, owing to them allegedly being used by opposition political parties to attack and insult government officials and church leaders.

The country’s opposition political parties have turned to online media for coverage as the country’s mainstream media is now controlled by the PF and gives less favourable coverage to the opposition.

But the PF alleges that the country’s online publications are being sponsored by the opposition political parties to insult and cast aspersions on the government, members of the clergy and traditional leaders supporting the government.

The ruling party also feels opposition political parties are sponsoring some elements in the social media to attack the government.

The PF through its spokesperson Winter Kabimba said it will work hard to close some online publications because their reporting must not go unchecked.

“The Zambian Watchdog has been posting insults online. We must protect against such immoral levels of politics in the misguided name of freedom of speech or press freedom. Its therefore time the PF closed some of the online publications,” Kabimba said.

The country’s president Michael Sata has already directed the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA), the country’s telecom sector regulator to close the Zambian Watchdog, an online publication.

Acting on a presidential decree, ZICTA embarked on a mission to trace where the Watchdog online ( is located.

ZICTA, however, has written to Sata informing him that they have failed to act on his instructions because the Watchdog website is hosted outside the Zambian jurisdiction.

ZICTA also informed Sata they have no capacity to bring down or close the website, which is not in Zambia.

Sata has also instructed the country’s Attorney General Mumba Malila to take an inventory of internet newspapers in Zambia and do make sure that they are registered or close them down.

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