Malawi moves to control social media: Facebook, Whatsapp abusers face severe punishment

Following President Peter Mutharika’s recent remarks against the country’s use of social media, government has disclosed it  has  drafted new cyber laws to regulate social media in the country.

Jappie Mhango:  Social media should promote positive citizenship not defamtory gossips or coup plots

Jappie Mhango: Social media should promote positive citizenship not defamtory gossips or coup plots

Malawi moves to regulate social media usage

Malawi moves to regulate social media usage

Information minister Jappie Mhango has said a bill that will be coming up in parliament soon to regulate the social media provides for stiff punishment for abusers of the media.

In a guided and calculated interview with state controlled Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), Mhango said the aim of the bill is to ensure that people use the social media as a melting point to discuss developmental issues.

The minister and the interviewer were indirectly suggesting Malawi Congress Party  (MCP) publicist Jessie Kabwila, MCP legislator Peter Chakwantha and MCP member Ulemu Msungama currently answering treason and sedition charges, abused Whatsapp chat facility when they discussed a wide range of political, economic and social issues.

“This is a big concern to us. A lot of people are abusing Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and others,” said Mhango in the MBC interview.

Opposition members of parliament have on several occasions made scathing attacks on the tax payers funded broadcaster, the MBC of working for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party  (DPP) as its propaganda radio leaving out its role as a public broadcaster.

Mutharika recently revealed his concern over the use of social media in his southern African country, saying Malawi was becoming too reliant on social media.

picture of Mutharika falling at a tree planting ceremony in Lilongwe went viral on Facebook and Twitter a few weeks ago, with people speculating he was ill.

The Nyasa Times reported  recently that Mutharika urged citizens not to embrace negativity and to stop spreading false rumours about leaders and other citizens.

The President used the example of a recent case whereby social media users grasped onto a false story about a banker in Bangwe Township who was believed to have killed his spouse.

“I heard the story of the banker who was said to have killed his wife and it was just a lie,” Mutharika was quoted as saying.

The government spokesman stressed the need for a new law to regulate social media to curb malicious and defamatory messages.

He said in the present era of internet and social media,  criminal provisions for online defamation has become more relevant.

Mhango said people should not be given free hand to run malicious campaign on social media and a law should is necessary to curb the “misuse” of social media.

How much the upcoming laws could come handy in ensuring that contamination via social media platforms is kept to the minimum while at the same time dealing with cyber criminals—both real and imaginary—is yet to be seen, but one thing that is almost certain is that the government is setting itself a mammoth, if not insurmountable, task.

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mama
Guest
6 months 14 days ago

useless government

kaDausi
Guest
kaDausi
6 months 14 days ago

You don’t have the capacity of China to firewall the country from all internet traffic. Which means you can’t manage to stop people discussing whatever they like on the internet. If you want us to talk good (patriotic as you aspire) start acting good yourselves, like Bingu did up to 2009.

Otherwise stop wasting your time with all that nonsense. Iwe Dausi tinakuuza kale kuti siungatithe pano pa internet. Or chabwino tadzandimangetu, nanga uzingokhalira kusokosa, ala! Zonsezo zikuchokera kwa kaDausi, kachitsiru.

Idiots
Guest
Idiots
6 months 14 days ago

I will not be muzzled or gagged, freedom of speech in any form is my God given right.

David
Guest
David
6 months 14 days ago
this is dictatorship at its best. Do we really need to go backwards? Are you serious? Instead of concentrating on the problems Malawi is going through surely you talk about this? This country has really gone to the dogs. Indeed we have no leader. The car we have boarded has no driver. We are being led by a clueless president. Come on Mr, develop the country, feed the people, provide medicines in the hospitals, improve people,s lives, improve the education system, build better roads, improve security, the list goes on and on. Media is the best thing that can help… Read more »
Mapwevupwevu
Guest
Mapwevupwevu
6 months 14 days ago

Cant happen! Tell them to stop wasting our precious time discussing this stupidity!

Mbani
Guest
6 months 15 days ago

I will tell Chingola to punish u

mxolisi makucpu
Guest
6 months 15 days ago

#MATHANYULAMUSTFALL

Malawian Citizen
Guest
Malawian Citizen
6 months 15 days ago

Dictatorship at its best

beje
Guest
beje
6 months 15 days ago

sometimes our leaders do NOT THINK ! Opposition this is another trash from government show them that you are the next government. a word of advice to GOVERNMENT SIDE MPS. zomangovomereza zili zonse mudzamva nazo kuwawa timaudindo tanuto tikatha u shud know its not permanent . ZIKOMO!!!!!

Che makwemba
Guest
Che makwemba
6 months 15 days ago

Anthu sadzasiya kuyakhula mpaka mutalongosola

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