Authorities in Zambia have arrested and locked up a student in prison for allegedly insulting President Edgar Lungu and some of his government officials on Facebook.
35-year-old male student of DMI St Eugene University in Lusaka identified as Edward Makayi was arrested in connection with Publication of Defamatory Statements on his Facebook page created in the name Royson Edwards M.
Confirming his arrest, Police spokesperson Esther Mwata Katongo in a statement said the suspect is a student in the School of Engineering at the said University.
Mrs. Katongo said the defamatory remarks which were authored and posted between April, 2017 and July, 2017 were targeted at President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, Home Affairs Minister, Stephen Kampyongo, Minister of Agriculture Dora Siliya and Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja.
Others are Deputy Secretary General of the Patriotic Front, Mrs. Mumbi Phiri and Presidential Press Aid, Mr. Amos Chanda.
The Police Spokesperson says the suspect is yet to be slapped with other charges for defaming and use of insulting language against Senior Government officials and other persons.
She further urged members of the public to desist from using social media to make bad remarks against the government.
“We wish to inform Members of the Public that investigations in other cases where people are using social media to make defamatory and insulting remarks have continued. The Zambia Police working in conjunction with ZICTA have intensified investigations in crimes committed through social media and we hope to bring more culprits to book,” she said.
“In view of the above, members of the Public are forewarned to desist from posting insults and defamatory remarks before the long arm of the Law catches up with them,” Mrs Katongo said.
“We also wish to caution all those fond of opening fake accounts on social media using false particulars that such deception will not protect them from prosecution as Law enforcement officers are able to trace your real identity.”
The suspect is scheduled to appear in Court on Thursday, 27th July, 2017 for the offence of Defamation of the President which is contrary to Section 59 of Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia.