STATEMENT: THE CASE AGAINST REGISTRATION OF SIM-CARDS IN ZAMBIA!
[By Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda – 6th January 2013]
I hasten to prematurely respond to some on-line comments on my statement titled “The Sim-card Crusade in Zambia”; prematurely because the idea was first to prepare grounds to persuade citizens (at home and in the diaspora) to support the case against the State and its agencies. We are preparing the said grounds. However there is some misunderstanding about the statement. My issue is against arbitrary action against those who may NOT register. Ordinarily I do not participate in “blogging” because of the intemperate, personal and abusive language, mostly unrelated to the topic under discussion! Due to the fundamental issues raised by the State action I am making an exception and responding through this statement.
Of those on-line media that I have read so far, about 10 or 11 per cent are against my statement and 80 percent in support (I have not yet read the 85 comments posted on the Lusaka Times as I was not aware of that debate till now (apologies). I consider these 10 or 11 per cent quite important and will seek to persuade them to review their positions if not now but even later when the full grounds are presented. All these 10/11 per cent fall in the following summary of objections: 1. That sim-card registration will fight and/or prevent crime. 2. That those objecting have something to hide. 3. That millions of Zambians have registered. 4. That those objecting are criminals or supporting crime. 5. That other countries are doing it. 6. That give Sata a chance to develop Zambia.
Clearly all these are fallacious conclusions which will be addressed as we present the main grounds. Suffice to say that we must NOT do things because others are doing them. The millions that have registered are not doing so because they are happy or are supporting the exercise but because they have been intimidated and are afraid to lose a vital means to keep in touch with other human beings. My statement makes the point that there has been no justification by the Government before the introduction of sim-card registration and the arbitrary disabling sanction. For instance, you bought the phone/ipad/laptop/modem and paid for the sim-card/wifi; it is your property and no one should prevent you from using it without due process of the law. Disabling your means of communication is denying you your right to communicate with other persons just because President Sata suspects that you might be a criminal – imagine 10 million criminals or suspects in Zambia!
I have tried to avoid being political or partisan hence why I wrote in my own name and NOT that of the Heritage Party. I am definitely NOT looking for votes!
Last but not least President Sata took the Oath of Office, swearing to “uphold and maintain the Constitution and Laws of Zambia”, in addition to his own solemn but voluntary Declaration to rule Zambia by the Ten Commandments! This crusade is about constitutionalism and the protection of constitutional safeguards.
A CONCERNED CITIZEN
[6TH JANUARY 2014]