The online publication, which exposes alleged government corruption, was blocked by the Zambian government on Monday last week, according to Lloyd Himaambo.
The blocked online publication blames president Michael Sata directly for the attack and referred to him as Zambia’s “ailing dictator”.
“The actual website, which we always use is blocked, but we have sort of overridden what is blocked,” said Himaambo. This was done through moving the site to a hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS) domain.
The site is still accessible in countries other than Zambia.
With regards to the alleged collusion between internet service providers (ISPs) and the Zambian Government to block the site, Himaambo said: “So far we haven’t found any evidence because the ISPs... are not saying anything, we tried to contact them, but they are not saying anything to us.”
According to Himaambo, the Zambian government has always wanted to block what he calls a critical website.
In response to questions asked by opposition lawmakers in parliament pertaining to the blocking of the site from within the country, Guy Scott, vice president of Zambia, said he did not have sufficient information, but that the government would celebrate the closing of the site.
“This is the website that has accused everyone of being adulterous, a thief, terminally ill, corrupt, and so on, so we would [be] glad to have it shut [down] because it is denting our image abroad,” the Zambian Watchdog quoted Scott as saying, to which opposition MPs reportedly murmured their disapproval.
In terms of press freedom in Zambia, Himaambo said the government controls the country’s two largest daily newspapers, namely the Times of Zambia and the Daily Mail, both of which publish Patriotic Front (PF) pro-government propaganda.
According to Himaambo, the two pro-government newspapers are “always attacking the opposition and making fun of them”.
Furthermore, Himaambo said any media platforms in Zambia that criticise or oppose the government are threatened with closure.
“So press freedom (in Zambia) has really gone down this time around,” he said.