Netizens lash out at govt’s planned move to regulate online broadcasters


Various social media users have reacted to the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) amendment bill which criminalises the posting of content by unlicensed online broadcasters.

The bill which is currently in Parliament wants the Authority to have additional regulatory power which would impact on online broadcasters.

Currently IBA only regulates the radio and television space.

Read more: Govt announces plans to regulate online broadcasting services

This impending act has received numerous reactions with some people accusing government of trying to suffocate online media outlets.

One X, formerly Twitter user said the law will be a danger to democracy.

“That ATI law is useless & dangerous to democracy, the proposed amendments & inclusions in the IBA Act are a danger to our democracy. This govt is losing it.”

Another X user described as unacceptable for podcasters to be required to have a license.

“It’s unacceptable for the government to support the IBA Act that would require a podcaster to have a license.

“That would be unconstitutional because we all have a freedom of opinion and expression,” posted one X account holder.

Someone else on X even suggested that the move was politically motivated to stop an opposition politician who runs podcast.

“Mmm apa Pene because of Emmanuel Mwamba’s Podcast?,” questioned yet another X user.

However, another X application subscriber defended the decision.

“The amendment to IBA act will actually unshackle ZNBC from political control and put necessary restrictions on online broadcasters…healthy for a young democracy like ours!”

Minister of Information and Media, Cornelius Mweetwa, was quoted on Zambia Monitor defending the initiative saying it was a move meant to act on the proliferation of online media.

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