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CYBER SECURITY ACT SAFE, INSISTS STATE

By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA

THE State has argued that the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act does not contravene the constitution.

Thus, the State submits that the five Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) should not be granted their application for a conservatory order, halting the prosecution of people found wanting pending the determination of the petition.

In this matter, the NGOs have petitioned the Lusaka High Court alleging that the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act threatens the right to privacy and the freedom of the press.

They also allege that the Act seeks to facilitate wide scale and interception of private communications with insufficient safeguards for constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedoms.

The five are Chapter One Foundation limited, Bloggers of Zambia limited, Alliance for community action, Governance, Elections, Advocacy, Research Services (GEARS) Initiative and People’s Action for Accountability and Good Governance.

In an affidavit in opposition of summons for a conservatory order, deputy chief state advocate, Comfort Mulenga, stated that the provisions of the Act were within the limitation to the rights and freedoms provided by the constitution.

“That the relief being sought by the petitioners to preserve the status quo and prevent any prosecution under the Act’ has the same effect as granting an injunction against the State which is contrary to the provisions of the State proceedings Act,” he stated.

He stated that article 28 of the Constitution guarantees the rights and freedoms of the people of Zambia.

Mr Mulenga said that it also provides redress in the High Court in the event that the rights and freedoms were violated.

“That however, article 28 of the Constitution makes no provision for interim orders and that the application must first be determined before an order is issued,” he said.

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