[By Chambwa Moonga in Kasama]
DEMOCRATIC Party president Harry Kalaba says President Edgar Lungu is wasting Zambians’ time by preaching about cyber security and cyber-crime, when citizens are drowned in economic stress.
Kalaba emphasises that instead of propagating a cyber-security and cyber-crime bill through Parliament, President Lungu should spend time to earnestly address the hallmarks of his presidency – tribalism and political violence in the country.
The government is proposing to break into two pieces of legislation the electronic communications and transactions (ECT) Act No. 21 of 2009.
The two pieces of legislation are known as the ECT Bill No. 29 of 2020 and the other one is the cyber-security and cyber-crime Bill No. 2 of 2021.
The current governing legislation, concerning cyber security and cyber-crime in Zambia, is the ECT Act No. 21 of 2009.
The other one is Act No.15 of 2009 – the Act that creates the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA).
In an interview in Kasama, Kalaba said before talking about the cyber security bill, there was absolute need to deal with the political violence in Zambia.
“Don’t begin to deal with the cyber security bill before you even deal with tribalism in the country and other core issues which are affecting the people,” Kalaba told those in the current government. “You have also not dealt with the issue of creating industries for our people – those are urgent matters. Our people require industries for them to begin working.”
The opposition leader is displeased that while Zambia continues to produce various raw materials, nothing is processed as a means of job creation for citizens.
“We produce cotton but we are importing clothes, we produce sunflower but we are importing cooking oil, we produce mangoes every year and yet we import mango juices from Tanzania. What type of people are we?” Kalaba complained. “So, those are the urgent issues. They (those in the PF government) should forget about the cyber security bill. What President Lungu needs to do is to ensure that this issue of tribalism…He has been campaigning on tribal lines [and] he is using violence to continue having a hold on power.”
He further said; “the President is forgetting that a bar of Ebu soap now is costing K12 from K4.”
“He is forgetting that a 700 mills bottle of cooking oil is costing K32, the President has forgotten that a bag of mealie meal right now is costing well over K130. He must know that now a 3.5 metres ilata (roofing sheet) is costing K205. How will people build?”
Kalaba indicated that when the cost of living in a country skyrockets as the case is now in Zambia, a worthwhile President ought to lose sleep.
“President Lungu should concentrate his efforts on those areas, in order to ameliorate the challenges the people of Zambia are going through. Let him stop talking the talk on cyber security bill. It’s wasting our time!” charged Kalaba. “There are urgent issues in this country and those issues of cyber security and whatever can come whenever they should come.”