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Cyber Security student cites corruption, political intimidation as key challenges to media freedom in Zambia


Bethsaida Chileshe, a second-year student pursuing cyber security at Kapasa Makasa University, has cited corruption as one of the major challenges facing media freedom in Zambia.

Weighing in on media freedoms in Zambia, Chileshe also pointed to intimidation from politicians as another significant obstacle affecting the performance of journalists and their media houses.

Chileshe added her voice to the many Zambians who have expressed their concerns and appreciation regarding the Cyber Security Act and media freedoms in an interview in Chinsali.

While acknowledging the existence of media freedoms in Zambia, Chileshe noted that this freedom was often dependent on the issues that journalists and their sources were discussing and wish to disseminate.

“Media freedom is just a concept of allowing journalists, media houses and other media forms to operate freely without government interference,” she said.

Chileshe commended the mainstream media for being inclusive in their information dissemination and coverage of various issues.

Read More: Claims of freedom of expression deceptive, says teacher living with disability (video)

However, she stated the need to do more, especially for rural areas.

She pointed out that mainstream media houses often work with non-governmental organizations to highlight the plight of the downtrodden in society, underscoring the importance of supporting them to continue on this trajectory.

“The impact is significant, ensuring the protection of individuals’ information, preventing harassment, and avoiding identity theft online,” Chileshe highlighted regarding the impact of the Cyber Security Act.

On the introduction of taxes for online political content, Chileshe noted that this would negatively impact the operations of organizations or entities running businesses online.

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