The Defamation Act under article 8 states – while considering privileged material for use in a court of law – that: “nothing in this section shall authorise the publication of any blasphemous or indecent matter”. The Penal Code under article 196 suggests that courts may prohibit “the publication of anything said or shown before it, on the ground that it is seditious, immoral, or blasphemous”.<parliament.gov.zm/sites/default/files/documents/acts/Defamation%20Act.pdf>
Moreover, the Penal Code privileges religion with regard to trespass at specifically religious places under article 130.
And under 131 criminalizes “wounding religious feelings” in very broad terms:
“Any person who, with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person, utters any word, or makes any sound in the hearing of that person, or makes any gesture in the sight of that person, or places any object in the sight of that person, is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for one year.”
A draft new constitution circulated in 2013 singled out “anti-Christian”, excluding them from protection by the general principles of free expression. The new constitution was not enacted, due to the then President Sata’s death. These draft proposals appear to have been motivated by differences between churches (and Sata’s clear preference for the Roman Catholic church), differences which he thought it appropriate that the state might resolve.
President Sata was succeeded by a prominent minister in Sata’s government, Edgar Lungu. There was no indication that there would be any renewed constitutional discussion about limiting free expression of “anti-Christian” views.