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Litigation restores internet in Zambia

Zicta

The organisation started by 2014 Tutu Fellow Linda Kasonde, Chapter One Foundation, has obtained a consent judgement against ZICTA - the Zambia Information and Communication Authority - over an illegal interruption of Zambia's internet service that occurred during Zambia's elections. At the time, President Edgar Lungu was trailing opposition candidate Hakainde Hichilema.  Chapter One filed an urgent application to require the restoration of services.

Linda Kasonde, the Executive Director of Chapter One, said that it is the first case of its kind in Zambia and an enormous victory for internet freedom and freedom of expression in the country.

The Chapter One Foundation is an organisation that promotes and protects human rights, human rights defenders, constitutionalism, social justice and the rule of law in Zambia, primarily through strategic litigation, advocacy and capacity building. 

On 12 August 2021, an internet shutdown affected all social media platforms including WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Chapter One filed a judicial review against ZICTA the next day, challenging the shutdown and obtained an order to have the internet restored.

On 21 March 2022, ZICTA agreed under a consent agreement obtained with Chapter One not to act outside its legal authority to control or interrupt the flow or access to the internet going forward.  It also agreed to inform the public of the reason for any interruption in access to the internet within 36 hours of it happening.

You can read more about the original urgently-filed case last year during the elections at New Zimbabwe News.  A statement on the Consent Judgement is at The Chapter One Foundation's site.

 

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Monday, 28 November 2022

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