Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema last week fired the country’s Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Information And Broadcasting Services Amos Malupenga for his role in shutting the internet during Zambia’s elections in August.
President HH promised to respect the rule of law and said the move was in line with the promise to deliver servant based leadership that is centred around the citizens’s rights
“We will foster a better democracy… rule of law, restoring order, respecting human rights, liberties and freedoms,”President HH said.
In the lead-up to election day, Malupenga aligned himself with the Patriotic Front and shut down the internet citing a desire to stop the spread of election misinformation.
The move resulted in Zambians being blocked from accessing social media platforms throughout the nation’s August 12 election, including WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
The government had argue that it was carrying out social media restrictions and internet shutdowns to maintain security during election
However civil society organizations slammed the move which they said was a means to curb the spread of vital information among voters and the media within and outside the country.
Access to the internet was only restored after the High Court of Zambia ordered the government to end the internet shutdown following a lawsuit put forward by Chapter One Foundation (Ltd) challenging the decision.