Elias Chipimo jnr questions Dora Siliya on Twitter. Dora only replied she is holding some press meeting sometime this week.
We have known each other for a long time so no need for introductions. I have a series of questions that I would like you – as a public servant responsible for government communications – to answer. I will list them one by one.
1. Of the $273 million that was borrowed for phases II and III of the digital migration, was there any counterpart funding from GRZ? In other words, did GRZ provide any of this money directly rather than borrowing it all from the Chinese Bank that gave the loan?
2. TopStar is charging for a local bouquet in the region of K40 per subscriber. Is it true that there are around 1.4 million subscribers?
3. If these numbers are correct, it means that TopStar is earning in the region of $4,900,000 every month when you remove the TV levy. Assuming costs of $1 million per month, this gives a balance of nearly $3,900,000 per month.
4. This would mean that the loan would be repaid in less than 5 years and even less of we take our any counterpart funding. Could you please state whether these figures are correct and if not, what are the actual figures in terms of loan amount and the repayment schedule?
5. Are you aware that advertising revenue is the main and in lost cases source of income for the local content providers (Prime, CBC, QTV etc)?
7. If you are not aware of these things, I and the people of Zambia would like to knowwhy you are not aware and if you are aware, we would like to know what you are doing about it.
8. Were there bids from Huawei, ZTE and Muvi for the Phase II and III of the digital migration process? Is it true that these were in the region of $15 million and $21 million compared to the $273 million that was borrowed and given to a Chinese majority-owned company to rollout?
9. Because this is a public debt, we have a right to know how much of this has been paid to date, what are TopStar’s monthly operating costs, Who is overseeing this expenditure since ZNBC is only a 40% shareholder in TopStar?