zamtel-lamyahouseThe Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has opposed the liberalisation of the international gateway saying the move will compromise the security of the nation.

ZCTU Deputy Secretary General, Alfred Mudenda, says the proposed partial privatisation of ZAMTEL should not lead to the liberalization of the country’s only international gateway.

Mr. Mudenda says ZAMTEL has strategic assets which are important to the security and economic development of the country.

He was speaking in Kitwe on Thursday when he officially opened a one day National Unions and Communication Workers -NUCW- workshop, on the privatisation of ZAMTEL.

Mr. Mudenda however said the labour movement supports the partial privatization of the company in order for it to attract capital investment.

Private mobile phone service providers have been pushing the government to liberalise the gate way, a move they say will enhance competition and reduce the cost of communication.

Government says it is carrying out extensive consultations with a view to addressing all concerns from service providers before fully liberalizing the international gateway.

[ZNBC]

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34 COMMENTS

  1. ZCTU and Zamtel cannot have the cake and eat it. If they want private companies to invest in money, then then should know that the gateway is probably the only thing that will attract them. What else do they have to offer.

    And how do other countries operate. What are these security risks they fear. Surely we are no longer in KK days where we fought wars. We cant just cry wolf! If they are not careful Zamtel will go under.

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  2. Iwe chi mudenda enjoy tea with milk and mabanzi at workshop. stop comment on things you do not understand. Explain to us how the security of a country can be compromised by liberalising the international gateway?

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  3. Compromising security? How. Please, don’t comment on things you don’t understand. By monopolising the gateway, Zamtel has ensured that the nation has the highest telephone charges in the region. Strangely, having the lowest tarrifs in the region has been used as justification for increasing them but we have not heard of reducing telephone and internet charges since we have the highest tarrifs in the region. The rest of the world is moving forward and we are busy cocooning ourselves! Shemuna!!

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  4. These fools who think they understand technical matters but dont know their backsides from the back of their hands shouldn’t be allowed to speak. The only reason a private company would invest in that piece of crud called Zamtel is to liberalise the gateway, so that they can reap the benefits of competition and modern technology. We seem to take 2 steps forward in this country but definitely take 5 step backwards immediately after that. We here in Zambia don’t have the “SECURITY” infrastructure that these persons of “knowledge” who want to speak on these matters talk of. GOD HELP US

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  5. no these fools want their hands to be greesed so they can also buy good car and have ka CHICKLONES about 3 or 4 do you remember when cell phones came out they said no cell phone r not good but now v and these fools cant do wihtout it pls when r v going to learn

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  6. National security my foot! same archaic argument as the one advanced for the freedom of information bill. We should learn to be progressive.

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  7. I have known Union leaders to be empty heads.The thing is unionised workers choose their leaders based on who talks the most.From his own words,one can tell he hardly understand the role the gateway plays in the telecom industry.Bamuselela kwakaba!!

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  8. ZCTU!!!! Please talk about labour issues. Please do not comment on issues you have no clue about. Tell me, do all the countries in the world with Private Gateways at risk???? The cost of communication in Zambia is so exploitative due to the monopoly Zamtel has on the Gateway. Any interntional call you make Zamtel has to get a share for using its Gateway. Do you wonder why your Celtel/Zain sim cannot waork in Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya or Nigeria? Do research before you open your mouth.

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  9. I would agree with ZCTU on the level of security if this was 1960 , but they must have missed the memo of how advanced technology is today that such is not needed if you want to breach security. I think ZCTU are colonially traumatised arachaic views which were common place. If ZCTU is worried about national security you might as well detsroy all mobiles phones and home telephone networks because thats why the majority of international intelligence is breached from.

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  10. No 10 Fagge
    You have a valid point there, what needs to be done is to carry out a research/study on countries that have liberalised their international gateways and maybe some of these fears will be cleared once and for all.

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  11. I awoke up one morning in the early 1990’s to find that government Department had been targeted for “restructuring”
    The catch word was corporatisation. The clever folk explained to me that this would increase efficiency. I said oh good.
    I awoke a few morning later to see a new word in the paper. It was privatisation. The learned ones told me that this would increase efficiency, i said good.
    I awoke and upon reading the morning paper, see a new word appear-shares. At this point I smelled a rat.
    Zambia has been sold.

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  12. I can’t get the essence of this story, and even the comments haven’t helped me so far. Let me wait and hear what Maestro has to say about it. His contributions always make a difference.

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  13. The “ZCTU Deputy Secretary General, Alfred Mudenda, says the proposed partial privatisation of ZAMTEL should not lead to the liberalization of the country’s only international gateway ” is useless. In fact, “Mr. Mudenda however said the labour movement supports the partial privatization of the company in order for it to attract capital investment” is the most worse in uselessness. What needs to be done are exact opposites to each of the above two statements.

    GRZ thinking that foreigners will develop Zed?
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    Deut 1:17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; [but] ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment [is] God’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring [it] unto me, and I will hear…

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  14. NINE CHALE.. I M I DISSAPOINTED.. HOW DO YOU TRUST AND TAKE MAESTRO SERIOUSLY.. THAT GUY NEEDS TO BE BANNED FROM THIS SITE.. I DONT LIKE HIS STYLE.. HE IS IRRITATING. BA LT PLEASE DO SOMETHING!

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  15. Zambia will only be developed by real Zambians and foreigners will continue crippling our economy. Foreigners have never had Zambians’ interests at their hearts. This is why our health sector is in a mess as money is sent to South African clinics.

    While “Mr. Mudenda says ZAMTEL has strategic assets which are important to the security and economic development of the country” makes complete sense, the two statements I quoted above are misplaced. I’d rather Zamtel is not privatised in part or in full with time.
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    Deut 1:17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; [but] ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment [is] God’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring [it] unto me, and I will hear it.

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  16. 15 Nine Chale greetings. On your “Let me wait and hear what Maestro has to say about it. His contributions always make a difference.” I am humbled.

    The problem were currently have is that we have semi-illiterates running, by overstepping their capabiities, important matters. I expect to read sentiments on the techinicality of selling Zamtel from qualified Engineers and Scientist who have worked at ZAMTEL before. Zamtel assets have links with ZAF and other security wings system and hence the complexity.
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    Deut 1:17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; [but] ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment [is] God’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring [it] unto me, and I will hear it.

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  17. As for the liberalisation of the International Gateway, this is long overdue. All that is needed is to protect the flow of information like in the case of TV Broadcasting where Europeans demand about 70% or so of progamming to be pro-their culture. We chose to take a free market model economy and so why make restrictions that are causing Zambians to pay higher telephone and data charges?

    Let some GRZ and ZAMTEL people consult the ITU [International Telecommunications Union] on these things.

    Enjoy all.
    _
    Deut 1:17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; [but] ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment [is] God’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring [it] unto me, and I will hear it.

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  18. There is no such thing as an unliberalized gateway! With converging techologies all IP traffic can be international without controls! So wake up and smell the coffee! Swim or die zamtel

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  19. #18 Walai…business, try not to take things quite so personally. Maestro’s comments have been helpful to me when it comes to analysing issues here. We’re all Zambians, we have to learn from each other and merge our ideas to find the best way to serve our beloved country.

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  20. i think mudenda doesnt know how easy and cheaper phone calls would become. someone educate him. he says this coz someone pays for his phone bills. what about the ppor zambians?? wat security risks ar they talking about?? will zed be the first country to do that??

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  21. The question we should ask ourselves is “What do we want?”.I think our goal is low phone call rates. How do we get that? My guess is that Zamtel has to negotiate with other international carriers on how to go about it. Based on what I have noticed, is that the basic law of supply and demand has not been practiced properly. Even if a new investor was to come in, the rates will still be high. The investor has to recover money spent on equipment. Just because Zambians are poor is not a good reason for them to charge us less. Note that phone calls to the Middle East are expensive because the people who make those calls are able to afford. For us, letting the Gateway go won’t change matters. What we need are hard working Zambians and good customer service.

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  22. Can someone explain to me what security risks are associated with the international getway in the worst case!

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  23. everytime iam home iam told by colleagues “nala kupeja ” or ndifye napejing power.please iam on contract phone here and i call free the whole weekrnd .what is wrong with everything of ours .the term gateway seems to be a misnoner to the average politician pa zed.if the idea is more investment in telecoms /electronics what is the real issue .if it is lincence fees ,name the price .zambia is really political in every sense .twanaka na imwe .
    trade unions represents the unclassified workers .period

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  24. Whats an international gateway.? can somebody explain this to me please then I will be able to understand what is being advanced

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  25. BA pushi bambi do not even understand what they tell journalist. B.A.F.I.K.A.LA. fyabo

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  26. Lord deliver us from our selves! What national security will be compromised…no28,an international gateway is basically a bridge between our national telephone network and other international networks..wen u send an sms abroad,its th gateway tht carries it through,all international calls in and out are through the gateway…when you couldnt get any international sms’s or send them last yr it was because the gateway was down…Mudenda what do you knw? clearly displaying your ignorance on issues you have no clue on..Truly save us from such nincompoops Lord!

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  27. Mr Mudenda, either you have no idea what you are talking about,as most of the people have already stated, Zamtel have monopolised the gateway to the detriment of the country. By opening the gateway, you build competition, bring down prices for calls, internet etc and this is what actually builds foreign invetsment.

    One of the biggest challenges in Africa for foreign investors,is the telecommunication costs across Africa, so please Zambia, lets moves with he times and build the country, Mudenda, start thinking logically and progressively. There is no national security risk, besides if the Telecommunication Authority of Zambia were as diligent and knowledgeable as they are supposed to be, such things would not be an issue at all

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  28. IT seems most of you do not understand the role the gateway plays in the security of this nation. The issue was brought out when Mwanawasa was president and he total refused. Why! Why! RB accepting. Is this what you call Mwanawasa Legacy. M.H.S.R.I.P

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  29. am zamtel i agree with mudenda that prvatization of zamtel should not lead to liberalization of the gateway for both security and non security reasons. i will go into details in my next mail so watch out

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