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ZICTA SUED OVER INTERNET SHUTDOWN


By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA


CHAPTER One Foundation Limited has sued Zambia Information Communica- tion Technology Authority (ZICTA) in the Lusaka High Court seeking an order that it resume all internet ser- vices.


The Non-Governmen- tal Organisation (NGO) in its notice of application for leave to apply for judicial re- view filed yesterday seeks an order of certiorari to remove into the High Court for the purpose of quashing ZICTA’s decision directing that inter- net services be blocked or shut down.
It contended that the ZICTA’s decision is plagued with illegality, unreasonableness and procedural impropriety.


Chapter One Founda- tion stated that on August 12, ZICTA decided to shut down the provision of inter- net services and communi- cation in Zambia on Social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
It contended that ZICTA acted illegally and exceeded its powers to block provision of internet services.


Chapter One Foundation stated that ZICTA acted on want of jurisdiction by pro- ceeding to make a decision that were not supported by any law.
It stated that the said deci- sion is not supported by any provision of the enabling Act being the Information and Communications Technol- ogy (amendment) Act No.3 of 2010.


“In fact , the decision is counter-productive to the stated aims of the statute to “ protect the rights and in- terests of service producers and consumers” as stated in the preamble of the ACT,” it stated.


Chapter One Foundation claims that ZICTA’s decision to shut down provisions of internet throws citizens into panic, allowing the spread of disinformation and preventing citizens from accessing vital services.


It further contended that the disruption of internet services would have immen- surable social and economic effects on the Zambian public.

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