As the Zambia National Students Union (ZANASU), the students unions’ mother-body in zambia, we wish to comment strongly on the voice byte circulating on social media where Hon. Chishimba Kambwili’ and Kitwe District Commissioner Chanda Kabwe’s conversation was illegally tapped into by unknown persons. We feel this has not received the necessary attention it deserved from investigative wings of government and must be condemned strongly.
Phone tapping is illegal because it infringes on the rights of privacy of private citizens and even more so a cabinet minister’s phone being tapped. We understand that cabinet ministers are under oath and whatever is discussed in cabinet is secret and privileged information and disclosing such is treasonable, hence tapping into their phones must be equally treasonable. This is very dangerous and criminal to the say the least, and it has left the majority Zambians wondering what sort of security and safety there is in our society. From which ever angle the tapping was done whether by security wings or just by people it must be stopped and those involved charged.
This is wrong and what type of country are we living in, where ones private conversation is not safe. There is no safety, even for business, because even banking transactions are now going mobile. The world is becoming mobile phone friendly for all sorts of transactions and yet we have no protection to counter such criminal offences. We allow such nonsense and wonder why people are being attacked and robbed, this will scare off even would-be-bank customers from using these mobile banking platforms.
We are even surprised that ZICTA through it’s PRO Ngabo Ndabo says that ZICTA doesn’t have the capacity to counter phone tapping. Surely, we demand that ZICTA must issue a comprehensive statement on whether phone tapping is a reality and whether they are pursuing this matter to find the culprits involved.
ZICTA must come out in the open and protect us the citizens from this criminal act, and must warn explicitly the mobile communication providers involved against these weaknesses in their system otherwise people will begin demand from govt for a fourth cellular network provider that is safer and addresses this criminality. We also demand that the telecommunications companies involved between the two in the conversation must come out in the open and tell the nation what transpired.
Zambia is a peaceful and safe investment destination and these criminal acts of phone tapping will scare investors from investing in a country were business conversations can be tapped into and shared on social media or one may be attacked on their way to bank or withdraw money. If this nonsense is not stopped soon we shall hear the President’s phone calls circulating on social media and what does that say about national safety and security of a nation. If this is allowed tapping will be extended to our security officers and that will be a mess on national security and stability.
It is indeed horrifying and regrettable that our investigative wings are not seen to be doing anything, it’s as though they are waiting for someone to go to the police and report. With this targetive and unprofessional online media platforms we must take a serious stance or else it will be you that is next. This call is not for politicians only but for all of us especially civil society dealing with human rights and freedoms because we are all not safe at all, we must call for enhanced digital security systems on these cellular mobile networks.
Lastly, we warn in the strongest terms possible all those involved whether it’s the intelligence with whoever authorised or private citizens, that they must desist from this criminality. Civil society must not allow our freedoms of privacy to be tramped upon by whoever wants to target people for whatever reason. We must not allow our country to degenerate into a policed state.
LONG LIVE ZANASU!
THANK YOU, AT STUDENTS SERVICE.
GOD BLESS OUR GREAT NATION ZAMBIA!
By PRINCE J. NDOYI
ZANASU V. PRESIDENT