Zambia To Legislate Against Fake News?

The Minister of Transport and Communication, Mutotwe Kafwaya, stated that the Zambian government intends to legislate against the creation and propagation of fake news.

While addressing a gathering in Lusaka last week, Kafwaya argued that fake news is dangerous which threatens the country's development. The Minister stated that President Lungu wants to “bring sanity” to cyberspace and that it may be necessary to pass a statute against fake news.

Kafwaya contends that his proposal is not intended to infringe freedom of expression in Zambia and stated that he has instructed the Communication Ministry's staff to “fight fake news”. He added that his ministry is working closely with the Ministry of Home Affairs on the issue and that those who insult the President and other public figures would be dealt with.

In February 2020 while addressing a conference, the Minister spoke against irresponsible use of social media and urged journalists and other members of the public to exercise caution before posting online.

Since the beginning of 2020, Zambia has been faced with misinformation, gassing incidents and vigilantism. The government has appealed to citizens to avoid irresponsible social media posts in the wake of the gassing incidents.

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