So Minister Chombo has appointed a Board that will inter alia try to police free speech and curb “social media abuse”?
Guess what Mr Minister, I will not be censored. No amount of appointing the President’s daughter (if allegations to that effect are true) or any person for that matter to a Censorship Board can override the fundamental right to free speech, artistic expression including artistic protest, free conscience and the political right to challenge government policy.
Section 61 of the Constitution guarantees the freedom to seek, receive and communicate ideas and other information while section 60(1) guarantees freedom of conscience which includes freedom of thought and opinion.
Thankfully, the rules are no different when it comes to criticising government policy and political parties. Section 67 enshrines the right to campaign freely for any cause and the right to challenge the policies of Government or any political party or cause.
If this is intended as a scare tactic, one rests in the comfort that the effect of section 2 of the Constitution is that this Censorship Board and its individual members will be subject to the Constitution. That they disagree with the views we freely express is of no moment. They are bound not to gag us. And for the record, calling out flawed and irrational government policy is not social media abuse.
On that note, may someone please notify the Minister that the Constitution does not empower the Censorship Board to block or arbitrate free speech. It is for a court of law to decide what’s proper and what’s not.
Mind you, the Censorship and Entertainments Control Act is itself unconstitutional and itching to be challenged in court.
As the elections draw near, our voices will only grow louder. We refuse to be silenced.
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