Never has this country been so bombarded with fake news Opposition politicians have gone out of their way to sponsor and pay for social media groups that are fully dedicated to spewing hateful messages and lies. This is done from the safe comfort of foreign domiciles and in anonymity to avoid detection and subsequent legal retribution. These same politicians have bought local media outlets and in some cases pay for air time on radio and television to convey hateful propaganda with incredible impunity. Anybody is fair game for attack as long as the attack is seen to promote opposition interest. Social media has truly become the Wild West where anything and everything goes, as if there is no regulation or control to ensure decency, honesty and truth. That the ongoing daily dosage on alleged corruption by government officials that the nation is being fed on is not merely a question of sour grapes is quite obvious. It is a planned programme of action that has been drawn up designed to destabilise not only the government but to cause civil disobedience in the country. It is a mixed breed of all shades of characters who have taken advantage of, but opted to abuse the freedom of speech obtaining in the country. Theirs is a multi-pronged media propaganda war. The perpetrators of this propaganda have not only embraced the print media, though not wholly, but social media that appears to be their favourite domain – for obvious reasons. But hopefully, their so-called abuse of social media will soon be over. And the sooner this is done the better. We are glad that Government is looking at enforcing laws against cybercrime, including online falsehoods. The unfortunate part is that these lies on social media have no breaks. As Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Kampamba Mulenga has warned, it was just as criminal online as it was in hard copy to write and publish lies purported to have been authored by another individual. Surely, when these characters resort to issuing and fabricating stories online with a seal of the Chief Government spokesperson so as to pit the public against the Patriotic Front leadership, then action should be taken. We want to see Government take a proactive campaign against those abusing social media than merely promising to take action. We are all aware of the technological advnces that have made it easy for anyone to purvey lies and all sorts of nonsense online, smug in the belief that they would not be identified. But we all know, as former UPND deputy spokesperson Edwin Lifwekelo notes that all this is part of a smear campaign targeted at State House operatives and ministers. The bottom line though is that anyone who resorts to underhand methods when the system allows open discussion of ideas, does not mean well. If and when the exe falls them, they should not cry foul, and we do hope that the appropriate authorities including Zicta will exercise their authority and expertise to save the people of Zambia from this evil.