Power and Politics

Govt labels Bishop Mpundu agent of division, decries attempt to rubbish country’s reputation


Government has expressed concern with the increasing appetite by certain segments of society to try and damage the reputation of the new dawn administration.

Chief Government Spokesperson, Cornelius Mweetwa, said at a time when Zambia’s democracy was starting to take root, certain individuals had assigned themselves role of merchants of misinformation.

Mweetwa said this during the weekly government-media engagement in Lusaka on Thursday.

He stated that government remained confident that citizens appreciated the democratic credentials the country had posted in the last two years.

“Government is constrained to comment further on the purported letter that Bishop Telesphore Mpundu allegedly wrote to the American Embassy, indicating that key government officials ought to be sanctioned,” the Minister said.

Mweetwa assured that government would continue embracing and honoring the opinions of Our-Civic-Duty Association (OCIDA)and other Civil Society Organizations in the governance of the country.

He stated government finds it challenging and unsettling that Mpundu, a man of God, who ought to serve as a beacon of love and harmony had instead served as a model for political animosity and a source of misinformation and division.

“Even if the letter that was written by OCiDA was a genuine product of consensus, which it is not, it fails to meet the minimum requirements for an individual to trigger international involvement in internal matters, ” the Minister said.

Mweetwa appealed to opposition political parties and civil society organisations not to attempt to damage the nation’s democratic credentials and image.

He reiterated that President Hakainde Hichilema remained steadfast to serving the citizens while adhering to the rule of law.

“On the cyberspace, government is not undertaking any maneuvers to regulate and legislate social media or its utilisation to the point that anyone who wants to publish content on social media would be held accountable for breaking such a supposed legislation,” Mweetwa said.

Read More: Crack in the walls of Bishop Mpundu’s group? OCIDA ‘member’, Mbula, faults calls for sanctions against Hichilema, others

He added that the use of social media in Zambia was already regulated under the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act of 2021 which was enacted by the Parliament before the 2021 general elections.

The Minister stated that the issue at hand was actually the regulation of broadcasting using internet and this was a topic that was first raised by the former administration in 2015, not the current administration.

“Assertions that government intends to regulate social media at individual level on social media is gross misinformation to the nation,” Mweetwa said.

He assured that there was no maneuvering on the part of the government to curtail the freedoms of speech and expression that are enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia.

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