Internet tax may be a daylight swindle – a cry from the wilderness

President Edgar Lungu chairs Cabinet meeting at State House on Monday, 18th June, 2018. Picture by Thomas Nsama

Taxing people left right, and center does not develop a nation.The money collected does not genuinely bring any development. It is a hindrance to development.

In the current era, all governments should be fighting to make internet access cheap, fast and accessible to all throughout the country.

No government can fight Technology and win. Technology is changing every minute. If what Ba Dora’s government representative is saying about protecting jobs was right, then we shouldn’t have done away with typing pools, typewriters in favour of computers because it killed jobs. We shouldn’t have done away with switchboards because most of our vision impaired who mostly operated them lost jobs.

Taxing people left right, and center does not develop a nation

We shouldn’t have allowed digital watches in the country because all those watch repairers who lined up corridors of shops lost jobs.

Why is the government so concerned about internet communication for the private enterprises when the Post office could also ask to impose Tax on each email to compensate for the snail mail people have stopped sending through post “Forget me Not pads don’t sell too”.

I am conflicted with the message the government is sending out. If they go ahead with tax, what are they going to do if people start using satellite phones and by-pass the local ISPs. Or local businesses start to sign up with South African ISP and by pass local ISP through satellite communication. Zambia does not have the capacity to rival technology.

Dora and the government should instead concentrate on advising Zamtel and others to pull up their acts. Bring back phone land lines to almost all home so that people can start using Home/Office internet using ADSL which is cheaper. You can’t do business with data bundle of a phone anywhere in the world.

Countries have internet through broadband network eg cable, ADSL etc. In countries like Zambia we can think outside the box and introduce community WIFI, where broadband network can run along Zesco poles to a specific area, then through a local modem houses can connect through WIFI. Of course each house has to pay to be able to connect and consume such a service.

All the reasons put across by ba mama Dora are wrong. An Economist will die listening to such lies.

On a Second note, TOLL on roads not fit for TOLL.

TOLL has a purpose, mostly recovery of money already spent on creating a good road. It should also have a recovery period and cease. TOLL should only be applied where people have a choice of alternative route if one cannot afford. TOLL is paid for convenience.

In Zambia, we are collecting too much from the same person on same day. Since we don’t have alternative routes, one should only pay once for a day and can use the receipt to drive from on other TOLL gates. The price should take into account regions one wants to go in a day. Paying full per each gate is too much. That’s why in western countries you find day pass. This to make sure you don’t pay too much if you have to go through so many gates.

One other observation is that, where people are already paying a lot like those going to Luapula, K30 at Mikambo,+ K30 Chembe, +K20 TOLL-Chembe, we should think twice. Why burden these people with TOLL when there is no new road Mansa to Chembe except the old Wilensky road tarred by UNIP, and now full of pot holes. Ba Chitotela, and all MPs from Luapula, how can you allow this to be? Are you indirectly trying to charge for the half done road from Mukambo to Somewhere in Congo. After all the road from Mufulira to Mukambo is the worst a road can be. I don’t know if we are sleeping, if a very important road can reach such a state and we have MPs and ministers traveling on it and can’t see.


Seriously, does anyone understand what is priority in development?

Concerned Zambian

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    • Carlos
      This is a lopsided view there is no problem with taxation the problem we have in zambia is how the money is used there is a lot of stealing and misuse. Now if all roads will well maintained using the money from tollgates no one will complain but when the money is used on more by elections and chagwa aimless trips abroad then we have a problem. Council tax in the UK is a pain in the uss but councils work in one way or another!
    • Nostradamus
      I don't think Chitotela is MP from Luapula, which constituency had shortage of people? That sleepy Chitotela from Luapula, it can't be true.
    • Jay Jay
      Surely how can you appeal to your Chitotela...the man is a corrupt thug..its likened to an impala going to complain to the pride of lions about the Cheetahs terrorizing their family.
  1. upnd cadre
    I like this citizen's analysis, all factual. But what stands out most is his luck of tribo- politico bias. Wait for Lazy Jay j and his tribal brother Spaka to comment. And that is where critics lose it, if you bring tribo-politico bias to a public discussion in Zambia, that is the death of your argument, especially if you are suggesting the trib.alist h.h as the solution. Zambians just hate loathe triba.lism as you can see from the h.h whose political career was a still born in 2006 for precisely that reason.
    • Musonda
      Your mother told you HH is tribal and you really believe it.What proof do you have?You more tribal yourself than HH.A cadre who supports all the wrong things those in goverment are doing.This is the reason Zambia is so poor.Its because of people like you.
    • Planzo
      Zambia can not develop with such mindset, u praise the author for not using any reference on politicians /tribe, and u yourself go tribal /politicical by attacking hh.even u are a paid blogger its worthy be smart.
  2. peters
    Lets just be real cadre.HH is not a tribalist.You are much more of that yourself than HH.The Zambian economy is sinking yet you are here talking about HH.How low can you go just to bring HH down.You are a cadre who supports your party blindly regardless of the wrong things they are doing.Wake up dont let tribe and jelouse control you.Leave HH alone.I dont belong to any political organisation just simple reasoning
  3. Kalok
    When a people have had it... just saying. You cannot continue to siphon pecuniary gain without putting something back. Eventually there will be nothing left but a population cowered against the wall. Politicians - you are warned.
  4. Harold Muna
    You cannot say there is no problem with taxing. There IS such a thing as over taxing. You cannot tax people to such an extent where there is nothing to save, invest into something or left to contribute to a quality of life. The writer ie right about the Toll gates, for example. There more Toll gates now in Zambia than in the UK which has more numerous highways and cars. The gates are meant to re-coup very high expenditures on some investments. Otherwise roads are built and maintained from the normal taxes and road tax. Why aren't enough people debating the actual need of all these Toll gates - before we can even think of how the money is being spent? Facilitate more production and hence jobs to collect money more legitimately. Not by being a mere dumping ground for all manner of goods.
  5. Jay Jay
    Toll gates are a scam...I dont know why Zambians do not challenge the govt in court to either remove them or build alternative can drive around the UK without driving through a toll gate because a toll is just that an alternative shorter route to easy traffic..not a money generator on an already existing road which you pay road tax on....everything is pointing to increasing the cost of doing business in the country instead of reducing it given that we are a landlocked country.
  6. Razor
    Very good analysis and reasoning by the author. I hope there are some future leaders out there who are reading this. We have lost all hope in the current regime.

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