A Clueless Cabinet? – Elias Chipimo

28
2,917 views

NAREP leader Elias Chipimo
NAREP leader Elias Chipimo

It has to be said: if for some reason the world’s most incompetent thinkers came together to develop policies that made absolutely no sense, they would be hard pressed to match some of the outcomes of the recent cabinet meeting in Zambia.

It is tempting to describe the goings on in our country as a circus. However, that would be giving the circus a bad name. A circus is, after all, well-intentioned, properly planned, carefully coordinated and can generally pay its own way. Some circus acts are indeed clumsy but they only act that way to entertain the audience. The Cabinet circus that is unfolding before our very eyes, is not, unfortunately, an act. Clumsy decisions (like the “WhatsApp tax”) are probably a product of unconscious incompetence as is the decision to create a completely new cyber crime agency at a time when we should be reducing our public expenditure footprint in order to meet our colossal debt obligations. Cyber crime is indeed an issue but this can be dealt with in a much more cost-effective manner.

So why do these recent Cabinet decisions make no sense? First of all, since when was it government’s responsibility to tax citizens on behalf of an industry (telecoms) that is perfectly capable of raising its own revenue to build infrastructure and employ citizens?

Secondly, accessing WhatsApp calls requires one to pay for data anyway, so the telecoms companies are not losing out at all. In fact, the more internet calls people make, the richer the mobile operators whose data is being used.

Thirdly, as a revenue generator for mobile network operators, data has increased tremendously since the uptake of free services like WhatsApp. The technology used to offer calls over the internet is even used by the very call centres that the Zambian Cabinet seems overly eager to protect.

Finally, how exactly will WhatsApp calls be monitored? This requires very sophisticated equipment coupled with the legal authority to tap phones. Was this perhaps why the “WhatsApp tax” was announced hand in hand with the planned measures to tackle cyber crime?

Zambia has to get its act together. We are not going to do it by taxing our citizens to death and ignoring the real enemy of development: complacency. We are complacent when it comes to corruption, theft, immorality, laziness, drunkenness and incompetence. As a result, these have become the attributes by which one can advance rapidly in public life if you grovel before the right people. We have a Cabinet that is more worried about taxing its citizens to death than addressing the serious crimes highlighted in official reports by organisation like the Financial Intelligence Centre.

Surely the words of Scripture ring true in this instance: “You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.” (Matthew 23:24 NIV). Our Cabinet has no problems ignoring the theft and corruption and ordering expensive vehicles for officials, yet they are ready to fleece the poor citizens of the little money they make through their hard work and unsupported enterprises.

If incompetence was an author, the story of the recent PF decisions would probably not be it’s masterpiece but it would sure come close. Let us just accept the fact that we have a cabinet that is in over its head. The sooner we wake up to this reality and resolve to turn the tables in 2021, the better for everyone.

Elias C. Chipimo
President
National Restoration Party

Loading...

28 COMMENTS

    • They are a bunch of corrupt thieves.

      They are not interested in working for Zambia. They just want to get very rich.

      Their days are truly numbered. Karma is real.

      11

      0
    • Elias Chipimo makes a good point about this so called WhatsApp tax.
      Shall we expect government to tax shopping malls to help zambia manufacturers also?
      We are slowly walking into what UNIP was in its last days over burdened by debt and short of ideas yet busy spending large with a delusional leader surrounded by bootlickers.

      14

      0
    • Every economy is supported by its consumer base, you take away $22 million from an economy which is on life support – how cruel can that be. You do not need to be a genius to figure this out.

      3

      0
    • Ineffective administrations like the one clueless Lungu is running usually have no idea how to create wealth in the country. Thus the only options they have left are endless borrowing and overtaxation of their fellow countrymen and women. A country that overtaxes its people never achieves meaningful development and never grows the economy. If people have no money to spend, because you’re taking away all their money through heavy taxation, it means businesses in the country will have fewer consumers of their products. And if businesses have fewer consumers, they make less money, will not employ new workers, and will pay less taxes themselves. Eventually, the businesses will begin to close down, and the economy suffers over all. I’m not an economist, but this is common sense. And yet…

      1

      0
    • (Continued)… clueless Lungu has decided the only way to raise revenue in Zambia is by overtaxing the Zambians–even if it means overtaxing them to death. What a shame.

      1

      0
  1. Elias is slowly vanishing in thin air by making himself irrelevant on political podium. He began well with so much hope for the young generation, but the degeration is happening at supersonic speed. Is there any hope for the opposition in Zambia as govt in waiting? The thing is Elias is treading the same path like HH of not capturing any ray of hope but see darkness always hovering on mother Zambia.

    11

    26
  2. First and foremost i want to strongly condemn the opposition leaders for letting down the people of zambia, all of you are useless in that, you want all of you to become presidents . why don’t you come together , what we say the unity of purpose , you form one party to remove aba bamambala. what is surprising is that every one of you wants to be Presidents, this is idiocy . then it show that you are corrupt your selves . give Zambians hope first, that you are united as opposition, form one political party. We are sick and tired listening to this thieves who always think of what to steal every day, they entre their offices . your are too fragmented and Lungu is capitalising on your weaknesses . Let us come together and remove this *****s who live on nkongole

    12

    2
    • Mpanga Yasapa
      In fact the opposition should stop talking about dialogue with PF.PF has failed in everything even with dialogue,they even want to blame the opposition for the failure to dialogue.The opposition should dialogue among themselves to the exclusion of PF,and this is the right time when the whole wide world is condemning this incompetent and corrupt lot

      6

      0
    • HH will NEVER be President! None of this young boys can unseat a president who has been developing this nation and we all love him and the people of Zambia! Hatribalisms will NEVER win in Zambia.

      0

      0
  3. The worst political blunder President Sata(MHSRIP)made was to take over Zamtel from private hand into public hand.Zamtel in, it’s current state, is being run by incompetent people.The public is not supposed to subsidize incompetent organisations like Zamtel.Ever since it changed hands,it has never declared any dividends to the government.But government has continued throwing money in an institution that is not viable.Even this whatsapp tax,is being imposed to save the declining Zamtel.What jobs are they going to protect in Zamtel?It is an institution that is run by incompetent management.Let Zamtel be privatized because it has failed to survive on it’s own.Most of the resources Zamtel make goes towards financing of the wage bill for directors and top managers.

    2

    2
  4. I am PF but did not expect this from my party.A citizen subsidizing the operations of a company? Has MtN ever complained in South Africa, Airtel in India that they are making losses in Zambia? Is it only in Zambia where people have become so advanced to use internet in comparison to the rest of the world?
    Figures that are available are showing that foreign companies like MtN and Airtel are actually making profits here in Zambia!!!
    Mama Dora Siliya leave something good for Zambia to remember you with.You have been made to announce and support a wrong decision.Think about it as a mother of your child when you will be out of the sysytem

    2

    0
  5. Social Media Tax is not different from any other tax. Tax is determined by competent Government officials. It makes sense to get some public revenue where the financial transactions are taking place. This market dynamics. In this case, it is social media. TV tax? Yes, of course. Social media? No, thank you. Sectors need sector taxes. ICT equipment is coming in at low tax. There is need to balance that with a bit of tax at social media level. Give it a try. If social media fails, then abolish it.

    3

    1
  6. The only thing I like about this boy is his acceptance of the the fact that they cut so many deals with Hichilema during the privatization exercise. He doesn’t pretend that he didn’t benefit. Apart from a good education that his father accorded him in Bulaya, there’s nothing much to write about him. I used to wonder what he wanted to do when he began to accompany Sata on foreign trips

    1

    0
  7. The opposition leader, Elias Chipimo, says the Zambian cabinet is “clueless”, but
    the French Ambassador says Zambia is on the right “development lane”.

    5

    3
  8. This bill passed through the noses of UPND MPs in Parliament …they couldn’t bother to read it as they were more concerned about which side-chick they were taking to Parliament Brothel Motel. The media was asleep as well as they only report statements from politicians.

    1

    0
  9. In other countries, the same mobile phone operaters are giving free calls on weekends to invite more subscribers. Zamtel should be giving free calls if you subscribe to its broadband service. What a load of chicken manure from Dora Siliya!

    1

    0
  10. He does make a point. How can the companies that sale 2 services namely data and voice calls complain that their other service which is voice call is being threatened by another service which is data of which all of them provide at an exorbitant rate. Help me understand, it’s not like they face an external threat, it’s not even a technological threat since it’s the 2 primary services they are all providing that are competing against each .

    0

    0
  11. People of Zambia its very difficult to have opposing views, we just agree to what Lung says. You can be fired if you challenge some of these decisions and who is going to feed my children if I am fired?

    0

    0

Comments are closed.