The PF regime has warned that it will get tough on mushrooming internet-based publications that have deliberately chosen to ignore the basic rules of journalism and continued to libel citizens. The stern warning comes from chief Government spokesperson Kennedy Sakeni, who is also Information Minister, but recorderd in the Daily PF.
Mr Sakeni said the on-line publications [he did not name] are clearly “abusing media freedom” and trying to fuel anarchy and divisions in the country. He said online publications mostly choose to “concoct stories” to defame people without verification. He said some online publications have “gone over-board” as their news coverage is often cheap slur, slander and libel while they continue to hide behind the veil of the cyberspace. “The freedom of the internet must not be used to twist facts….let them do the right thing and not insult people who have families and people who were elected. They must not continue to push Government because it’s just a matter of time before the law catches up with them,” said Mr Sakeni. He said the internet and other forms of media must be used to debate progressive ideas that can help the country to develop, as opposed to “insulting” those in leadership and infringing on people’s rights. Mr Sakeni said the PF administration is committed to media freedom where everyone is at liberty to comment on national affairs using civil language. “The internet is very important and you need it to comment on national issues, not to insult people, some of whom have made valuable contributions to this country which must be appreciated,” said Mr Sakeni. He urged the publications to “avoid publishing messages of hatred, malice and toeing tribal lines. Just because we do not agree on something or you belong to a different grouping does not mean we should insult one another”. Mr Sakeni challenged the “cyber bullies” to identify themselves as they insult people so that they can be held responsible for their actions just like the traditional professional media do instead of continuing being cowards.