Zambian Watchdog gets ultimatum
By Edith Mwale, Lusaka, Zambia
Zambia’s Registrar of Societies, Clement Andeleki, has given the Zambian Watchdog online a 48 hour ultimatum to provide him with a physical address or face deregistration.
Attempts by Zambian government officials to locate the physical address of the Zambian Watchdog have severally proved futile with Andeleki now warning he would deregister it within 48 hours if it will not provide its physical address.
According to the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) TV2 news, Andeleki said the Zambian Watchdog should also pay K18 million (about $4, 000) to his office as statutory obligation.
Andeleki told journalists during a press briefing in his office this week that the Zambian Watchdog was registered in 2002 but did not provide a physical address.
Several senior government and the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) part officials including President Michael Sata and his wife have all been calling for the closure of the Zambia Watchdog because of its content that is so critical to the current government.
But despite being registered in Zambia, the Zambian Watchdog operates outside the country where the owner fled almost two years ago following a court order that sought to have him arrested by the previous government.
The Zambian Watchdog website is further hosted outside the country, making it difficult for the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) to shut it down.
The editor of the Zambian Watchdog online Lloyd Himaambo, has however, responded to the ultimatum by Andeleki by stating, “Our address is www.zambianwatchdog.con, our contact detail is email@example.com.”
The Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, Nkandu Luo, and deputy minister of Finance Miles Sampa were caught on camera two days ago keenly browsing the Zambian Watchdog during a full council meeting.