President Mnangagwa – 20 years in prison for spreading Fake News: Video. Peddler or originators of falsehoods claiming that the Government had extended the national lockdown by any time-frame face a 20-year jail term if caught, President Mnangagwa warned yesterday, adding that he had since ordered an investigation into the origins of such messages circulating on social media.
He hinted that Cabinet would meet on the 20th of this month to review whether or not to extend the 21-day national lockdown which expires early next week.
The President dismissed as nonsensical, reports that were doing the rounds on social media purporting that he had extended the lockdown, saying he alone cannot extend without first consulting with his two Vice Presidents and Cabinet.
Spreading fake news on social media and mainstream media about coronavirus (COVID-19) has been categorised as a Level 14 offence, the highest in the country and people liable will be jailed for 20 years, officials have confirmed.
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi told Sunday News yesterday that the measure to categorise spreading of fake news about the pandemic as a Level 14 offence was part of Government’s efforts to ensure that the country effectively contains the spread of COVID-19.
“This is part of a Statutory Instrument (SI) under the Public Health Act, which now criminalises the peddling of falsehoods relating to this pandemic. The reason we had to come up with that SI was after we noted the proliferation of fake news, which were hindering the fight against the spread of the pandemic. We are using the Public Health Act which according to Section 68, empowers the Minister of Health and Child Care to make such regulations in times of emergencies, to help contain such viruses,” said Minister Ziyambi.
Watch video of the president condemning fake news and explaining the penalty for the offence
Source – The Herald
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