Zambia’s High Court Orders Restoration Of Internet Services

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By Anna Chibamu

THE High Court of Zambia Friday ordered President Edgar Lungu to restore internet services to the populace.

Lungu, who is trailing opposition candidate Hakainde Hichilema in Thursday’s general election blocked internet services to the people but was immediately challenged by Chapter One Foundation (Ltd).
The organisation made an urgent chamber application against Zambia Information, Communication Technology Authority’s (ZICTA) closure of WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Messenger platforms.
Part of a court order seen by reads, “Upon hearing Counsel for the applicant and upon reading affidavit verifying facts deposed to by Sarah Hlupikile Longwe: It is hearby ordered that the applicant be at liberty to commence commercial judicial review proceedings against the respondent and further that the decisions dated 12 August, 2021 to block access to WhatsApp, Facebook,Instagram and messenger services in the entire country and ordering all mobile service providers to cease providing internet services be stayed pending determination of the matter and that each party shall bear their own costs.”
Meanwhile, after a delay in releasing the election results on Thursday, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has started announcing results where Hichilema is leading.
From 15 constituencies announced so far,  Hichilema has taken an early lead in the polls with 171,604 votes while Lungu’s Patriotic Front (PF) has 110,178 votes.
Lungu has already made allegations that voting processes were marred by violence in some provinces of Zambia