This week, Mushimba assured Zambians that the country would not be following Uganda’s example. The Zambian government had no plans to introduce a levy on social media because the country already has enough laws to protect Zambians, he said. New policies would not infringe on Zambians’ rights, Mushimba added. The lack of clarity around the new regulations means the process could be drawn out or become obfuscated, making it difficult for Zambians to respond.

While the discussion took place in a parliamentary debate, there is still concern that Zambia’s space for public discourse is shrinking. In the current political climate, opposition politicians were arrested and harassed under arbitrary laws and critical newspapers have been silenced using the tax system. If Zambia clamps down on social media and curtails citizens’ freedom of speech, it will probably be completely legal.

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