President Peter Mutharika on Tuesday called on Malawians to use the social media responsibly, warning that those who use it to destroy others will be dealt with as the country now has laws for dealing with such crimes.
The President said this at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe after being briefed on the Optic Fiber Backbone Project government is implementing with financial support from the Chinese government to the tune of $23 million.
He said that being connected to the Internet should not make Malawians lose their sense of humanity and insult non-suspecting individuals.
He said: “I urge every Malawian to use social media with a sense of patriotism, integrity and responsibility. Social media and the Internet should never be used as an instrument for insulting one another and committing criminal acts.
“We must not abandon our Malawian ‘umunthu’ just because we can speak without being seen. The time where people can commit cybercrime and get away with it is over. Use your WhatsApp and Facebook responsibly. We now have a law to make online criminals pay for their crimes.”
Mutharika said among the laws that can be used to fight cyber-crime are Cyber Security Act, Access to Information Act, Electronic Transactions Act and Communications Act.
According to Mutharika, the coming of Optic Fiber Backbone makes Malawi ready to ably move into the digital age.
In his remarks, Chinese Ambassador to Malawi Shi-Ting Wang said the project will benefit many Malawians economically.
He further said that China is still committed to helping the country move forward as evidenced by many projects his country is supporting in Malawi.
The contractor for the Optic Fiber Backbone project is Huawei Technologies Ltd.
Through the project, the country will be connected to an optic fiber cable from Chitipa to Nsanje, which will enable Malawi to have very fast Internet connectivity, thereby enhancing commerce and trade and other important areas for national development. n