Zambians now doubts new President

Hakainde Hichilema - Zambia

LUSAKA – Some Zambians are always on social media accusing president Hakainde Hichilema of incompetence. Is it social media abuse? Would strongly agree with those who argue that it is not.

On Friday 11th of March 2022, when delivering his first state of the nation address to parliament on the application of national values and principles, President Hichilema threatened that UPND administration will vigorously enforce laws on social media.

To justify his threat, the president is accusing social media of promoting hate speech, cybercrime and bullying, and circulating fake news and obscene materials. The same excuse former Patriotic Front (PF) government used to muzzle social media.

It is not clear which laws the Zambian president is referring to as his administration has not produced any cyber law yet.

Most of the time, where there is a law there is a warning. By issuing a warning it means President Hakainde is ready to enforce existing Patriotic Front (PF) crafted cyber laws.

These laws left Zambians who posted and commented on social media in a language that appeared to offend the previous government live in fear and UPND victory was a relief.

Unfortunately, not for a long time. HH warning has messed up the relief. The president has planted the seed of fear. Social media fans will no longer be able to engage on social media freely.

It is not true that Zambians are abusing social media. Hate speech, cybercrime and bullying, fake news and obscene materials are scapegoats.

Most Zambians are online 24/7 because of disappointment. UPND is failing to deliver change they prayed and voted for.

Defamation of the president law is perceived by most Zambians to undermine freedom of expression. Nevertheless, UPND has opted to keep it. Citizens are being arrested for insulting HH. It is not the change most Zambians voted for.

Selective fight against corruption is not the change most Zambians voted for. About 99% of corruption cases being delt with in the country at the moment involve the opposition. Not because the rest are not corrupt but because corruption allegations involving the new dawn administration receive no serious attention.

Civil servants continue to be harassed and attacked by cadres. It is not the change Zambians prayed and voted for.

The president is now threating to vigorously enforce condemned PF crafted cyber laws. Again, it is not the change Zambians prayed and voted for. The list is endless.

The point is that President Hakainde should let social media be. Spending 24/7 online accusing him of incompetence is not social media abuse. It is freedom of expression Zambians voted for on August 12th 2021.

Source: Lusaka Times