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Activist Musonda x-rays Zambia’s media, digital rights space; calls for greater sensitization (video)


As discussions on media freedoms and digital rights gain foothold among stakeholders in the country, Geoffrey Musonda, Executive Director of Change Mind Set Zambia, offers his perspectives on the matter.

In his review of media freedom, freedom of speech, and digital rights, Musonda opted to examine both sides of the divide.

He shared his thoughts in an interaction with Zambia Monitor in Ndola District, Copperbelt.

When asked if media freedom, freedom of speech, and digital rights were guaranteed in Zambia, Musonda presented a nuanced viewpoint, acknowledging both affirmative and negative aspects.

Musonda acknowledged that individuals had the liberty to express themselves freely through various media such as radio, online platforms, and live broadcasts, indicating the existence of freedom of speech, digital rights, and media freedoms in the country.

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He elaborated, saying, “The ability for individuals to freely express their views on any platform demonstrates the presence of freedom of speech in our nation.

However, Musonda also pointed out the limitations and repercussions faced by individuals after expressing their views.

He noted instances where criticism of the government or expressing dissenting opinions resulted in adverse consequences, highlighting the lack of guaranteed freedom after speech.

Moreover, Musonda drew attention to the recent backlash faced by a Catholic priest following a sermon on Good Friday, underscoring the limitations on freedom of speech and the importance of protecting media freedom.

Regarding digital rights, while Musonda acknowledged their guarantee in Zambia, he emphasised the rampant abuse of digital platforms.

He advocated for educating young people on using social media responsibly and within the bounds of freedom of expression.

“Let us encourage young people  to use  social  media to educate and inform and they should also know that  freedom of expression has limits, there  is need to avoid bad language and using abusive language on  online media platforms,”  Musonda said.

He criticized the decision to tax online platforms, labeling it as an infringement on freedom of expression and a form of double taxation, particularly for those live streaming on platforms like Facebook.

Musonda also emphasized the need to raise awareness among the populace on the significance of three crucial governance pillars: freedom of speech, media freedoms, and digital rights.

He asserted that without proper education on these matters, the country’s development may be hindered, urging people to refrain from insulting others and embrace positive change.

“Few  people have information on media freedom and education on national issues, the country will not develop if people have the wrong mind-set, stop insulting and embrace change,” Musonda said.

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