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Proposed Zambian law to ‘regulate’ online media

Zambia’s government plans to further intensify a vicious crackdown on press freedom.

Zambia plans to introduce a law to regulate online media amid a vicious crackdown on freedom of the press in the country.

Minister of communications Yamfwa Mukanga said the Zambian government is working with the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) to introduce the law to make online media ‘accountable’.

“We have to find a way of controlling them because they are tarnishing the image of our country. Of late, we have seen a lot of things published by online media that are every negative because they publish anything,” Mukanga said.

The Zambian government through ZICTA has already blocked online media such as the ‘Zambia Report’ from being accessed in the country although they have continued publishing through facebook.

In addition, the Zambian government has been arresting and detaining journalists working for online media as part of a crackdown.

Last week, Zambia’s deputy minister of commerce and industry offered a reward of up $2,000 to anyone with information that will lead to the arrest of journalists working for online media after they published stories and pictures about his secret love affairs.

Thereafter, the minister of information and broadcasting service called a press briefing at which he denounced online media organisation and called for responsible journalism in the country.

While the Zambian government controls the country’s mainstream media, online media have merged as the only option for alternative news and views.

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