Journal of Social and Political
ISSN 2615-3718 (Online)
ISSN 2621-5675 (Print)
Published: 23 February 2021
Retweeting Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill Number 10 of 2019: Support and Outrage
Brian Chanda Chiluba
University of Zambia (Zambia), University of North Carolina (United States of America)
Download Full-Text Pdf
Keywords: Bill 10, constitution, Twitter, social media, retweeting, Zambia, thematic analysis
At least to the majority of tweets, the Zambian Constitution of Zambian Amendment Bill number 10 if successfully passed into law could have greatly created uneven impacts on key sectors of society within Zambia. In trying to review the support and outrage of Bill 10 on Twitter, this article uses thematic analysis to investigate 600 Bill 10-related tweets from 21st June 2019 to 21st June 2020 that were retweeted at least 500. The statistical cybermetrics and thematic approaches used generated quick insights into widely resonating subjects of Bill 10 related issues at the time of debate in Zambia. The findings in this article are highly suggestive of the value of Twitter for disseminating information and in this case more especially about understandings, contents and contexts of governance issues of Bill 10. Twitter also offered or requested for support, the ability of many citizens with divergent views and different political affiliations to adjust to the process of the amendment of Bill 10, and information about the contents of the Bill in Zambia. This article highlights, that as gathered from Twitter, it is key to entrench fundamental principles in constitution amendment processes and such principles in a constitutional text, the idea is to firmly embed them, making them very difficult for any governing body to change for their own advantage. Bill 10 retweets shows that amendment procedures are vital for the protection of the underlying constitutional principles, and are generally considered to have a somewhat unassailable status. As shown by many tweets analysed, a government supporting amendment to the constitutional amendment procedure, could in itself be considered an abuse of power.
Boyd, Danah; Golder, Scott; Lotan, Gilad (2010). “Tweet, tweet, retweet: Conversational aspects of retweeting on Twitter”. In: 2010 43rd Hawaii international conference on system sciences (pp. 1-10). Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Press.
Braun, Virginia; Clarke, Victoria (2006). “Using thematic analysis in psychology”. Qualitative research in psychology, v.3, n. 2, pp. 77-101.
Ellis, Katie; Kent, Mike (eds.). (2016). Disability and social media: Global perspectives. Oxford, UK: Taylor & Francis. ISBN:978 1 472458452
Gale, Fran; Bolzan, Natalie (2016). “Online ghettoes, perils or supernannies? Australian young people with chronic illness and disability challenge some moral panics about young people online”. Disability & society, v. 31, n. 8, pp. 1112-1126.
Lachlan, Kenneth A.; Xu, Zhan; Hutter, Emily E.; Adam, Rainear; Spence, Patric R. (2019). “A little goes a long way: serial transmission of Twitter content associated with Hurricane Irma and implications for crisis communication”. Journal of strategic innovation and sustainability, v. 14, n. 1, pp. 16-26.
Metaxas P, Mustafaraj E, Wong K, Zeng L, O'Keefe M, and Finn S, “What do retweets indicate? Results from user survey and meta-review of research,” in Proceedings of the 9th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, Oxford, UK, May 2015.
Ndulo, MB. (2020) "Bill 10, if Enacted, Will Install a Constitutional Dictatorship and Undermine Democracy in Zambia," Southern African Journal of Policy and Development: 5 : (1), Article 7.
Ndulo, M. 2003. “The Democratization Process and Structural Adjustment in Africa.” Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies. 10 (1).
Savage, N. 2011. Twitter as medium and message. Communications of the ACM, 54(3), 18–20.
Scaramuzzino, Gabriella; Scaramuzzino, Roberto (2017). “The weapon of a new generation? - Swedish civil society organizations’ use of social media to influence politics”. Journal of information technology & politics, v. 14, n. 1, pp. 46-61.
Suh, Bongwon; Hong, Lichan; Pirolli, Peter; Chi, Ed H. (2010). “Want to be retweeted? large scale analytics on factors impacting retweet in Twitter network”. In: 2010 IEEE Second international conference on social computing (pp. 177-184). Menlo Park, CA: IEEE Press.
Sweet, Kayla S.; LeBlanc, Jennifer K.; Stough, Laura M.; Sweany, Noelle W. (2020). “Community building and knowledge sharing by individuals with disabilities using social media”. Journal of computer assisted learning, v. 36, n. 1, pp. 1-11.