Malawi's President, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, has warned those that use social media for both hate speech and tge spreading of 'forged' government documents that they will be punished.
President Mutharika said this at a meeting with contractors from Huawei who were briefing him on the progress of Malawi’s fibre optic cable project. The Huawei team was led by the Chinese ambassador to Malawi, Shi- Ting Wang.
He is reported to have said that ICT is now the way of life and that social media and the Internet are here to stay. As such, he said "it is sad that some people [are] taking advantage of these critical tools to insult others, let me warn you that your days are number[d], very soon the law will catch up with and you will be brought to book, let’s use these tools with patriotism, integrity and high sense of responsibility,"
Mutharika also acknowledged the importance of the Internet saying that it plays a key role in any country's social and economic development.
These warnings by Malawi's President come at a time when Cameroon is on a three month (as at 19 April 2017) Internet shutdown in its north-west and south-west regions which came as a result of protests. Added to this, Lesotho's government is contemplating social media, adding to the concerning trend of Afrikan governments shutting down the Internet or looking to regulate it.
Cover Image: 2016 photo of Malawi's President Mutharika.