ZAMBIA’s main student bodies have called on Government not to shy away from enacting the Cybercrimes Bill as it will protect persons who are victims of cybercrimes.

And students said there must be no room for violence in 2021 elections but only be a competition of ideas which students must promote.

During a joint media briefing this morning at Copperbelt University by hosted by Copperbelt University Students Union (COBUSU), University of Zambia Students Union (UNZASU) and the student umbrella body Zambia National Students Union (ZANASU), COBUSU President Lawrence Kasonde said those who use online media platforms without infringing on other people’s rights have nothing to worry about as their rights to freedom of expression remain guaranteed by the Constitution.

“Government must not shy away from enacting this Cybercrimes Bill in order to protect innocent persons who have been maligned by various social media platforms. Social media today has the power to build or destroy our country and can be a serious source of confusion as we head to the polls,” said Kasonde.

Mr Kasonde said no amount of constitutional protection of civil and human rights will be held to be more important than the protection of citizens against criminals and their activities.

“The protection of rights of children and other online users against crimes is more paramount than the fear that the State will eavesdrop on those who commit atrocities using the veil of social media,” he said.

The students noted that the Bill may infringe on the so-called rights of those who use online platforms to commit crimes against children and other online users but said the Bill is worth exploring.

“It cannot be denied that cybersecurity is improving every day, but at the same time, hackers are constantly coming up with ways to break into systems. Undoubtedly, this situation calls for the enactment of robust cyber legislation.”

Meanwhile, students have commended the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) for remaining on course with preparations to hold the August 12, 2021 General Election.

The Unions have called upon students who registered to verify their details in order to exercise their right of franchise in the August polls.

“We ask students to get more involved in the democratic process of this country through voting and participation as candidates in the forthcoming elections,” he said.

“Unlike what Zambia has witnessed were rich politicians front youth in the violent crashes, we ask students to provide leadership by engaging in issue-based campaigns which the Republican President, His Excellency Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has called for,” he said.