PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says fake news on social media is wrecking-havoc in the country.c But President Edgar Lungu says under his watch leadership will not let the Zambian people down. Officiating at the Eastern Province PF conference at Chipata College of Education yesterday, President Lungu said fake news had left a trail of destruction on individuals and families.
“Comrades, I wish to express grief at a trail of destruction that fake news particularly on social media is leaving on individuals, families, political parties and the entire nation,” he said.
“This fake news is wrecking-havoc and it continues to disturb the peace of our nation. It is
indeed a serious concern at the rate that it is
disseminated. Recently, the Holy Father Pope Francis warned against it and I wish to quote “Internet based fake news is fermenting prejudice
and hatred and our culture is losing its sense of truth as it burns with facts to suit particular interest,”.”
President Lungu said it was illogical and irresponsible for people to abuse democracy by using social media platforms to disseminate falsehood against individuals and especially “our economy.”
“It is sad to note that the perpetrators are under the false impression that by using such platforms to fabricate fake news they will win the hearts of the Zambian people to lead this nation ultimately,” he said.
“Tell the Zambian people what you will do for them to steer the economic growth rather than resorting to telling lies which will not put food on their table. You cannot aspire to lead in peace by rising on a platform of destruction. Equally you cannot hope to lead in truth by rising on a platform of falsehood.” President Lungu urged PF members to rise to the occasion and defend the truth.
“It is for the sake of the peace and stability of our nation, it is for the sake of the growth of our economy, and it is for the sake of maintaining our position in the region and the world at large as a beacon of peace and that we have to stand on the truth,” he said.
“Perpetrators of fake news must be condemned in strongest terms and they must
dismissed with utmost contempt. As government we are calling on all those with authority and power to help us to stop this impunity we are
seeing on social media.”
President Lungu urged Zambians not to take peace for granted.
He said tribalism and fake news were enemies of “this peace we enjoy.”
“How I wish all Zambians can have a chance to travel in the region and beyond and see the suffering in some of the countries that we are living along with in the region but you choose to listen to peddlers of false news who want to make you believe that the country is worse than any other country in the region all because of perpetrators of tribalism and fake news,” President Lungu said.
He said the challenges the country faced were not only unique to Zambia adding that most of the country’s neighbours had their own share.
“We are one Zambian family regardless of our tribe, regardless of the region in which we come from. As Zambians we shall rise and fall together but I promise you that under my watch you will not fall,” he said.
“Under my leadership I choose hope over despair, under my leadership we choose faith over fear because that’s what you chose me for to provide leadership and my leadership will not let the Zambian people down. My leadership will not bring PF down.” President Lungu said both old and new party members belonged to the big PF family.
“…and just as the sun rise represents new beginnings, let this conference be symbolic of a new beginning for the Patriotic Front in Eastern Province and indeed the entire the country,” he said.
“We have had no negative effects in the conferences that we have had post elections. We don’t expect Eastern Province to let us down in this respect. May the Eastern Province like the new sun bring us hope.” President Lungu said there was need to knit in the bud the tribalism and tribal sentiments before they escalate to uncontrollable levels.
“After more than 50 years of independence and of peace and tranquility fortified by tribal intermarriages and co-existence it is saddening that we continue to hear tribal sentiments being perpetrated especially in the political arena,” said President Lungu.