With dictatorship at its peak in Zambia, social media will be a target of monitoring by state agents. Although WhatsApp is impervious to the PF state encroachments, it is still advisable to put extra safety measures especially if you are politically active. Many people now communicate via WhatsApp and the enemies of free speech are targeting this social platform. So here is our suggestion if you are really worried that the PF could be monitoring your communication. Use a foreign number.
Here is how to do it:
- Ask a friend who resides outside Zambia to buy a sim card.
- Tell your friend to insert the new sim in a handset
- Tell your friend to send you the new number (from new simcard)
- On your WhatsApp, go to ‘change number’
- Enter the foreign number which has been sent to you by your friend and follow prompts
- WhatsApp wiil send a verification code to your friend (through new number)
- Tell your friend to send you the verification code
- Enter the verification code on your WhatsApp as required
- You are done. Tell your friend to discard the simcard. Your WhatsApp account information, groups and setting will have been migrated to the new, foreign number but your phone handset will retain your Zambian number and you can communicate as usual.
- You can now seat at Arcades and use your WhatsApp as if you are in Afghanistan, but using Mtn or Airtel bundles .
And then there is this laughable undertaking by the PF regime where they think they can extradite Larry Mweetwa or any other Zambian to face the vengeance and wrath of PF in Zambia.
We think that this is untenable. Zambia’s reputation is currently in tatters. We doubt there is any civilised country that can surrender a person to go and be jailed in Zambia and be subjected to mock justice.
The Zambian judiciary has no credibility in the eyes of the international community at the moment. Gogo Inonge Wina thinks that just by signing an extradition treaty with other countries then those countries can simply handover to Kanganja any Zambian living in that country. Sorry great grand ma, other countries have uncompromising governance institutions. An extradition treaty is subject to the interpretation of judges of the country that is requested to extradite someone. In the case of Zambia and Larry, all he needs to do is go to court and show the judge that if he is surrendered to Zambia, he will not receive a fair trial. The evidence of this lack of fair trial in Zambia right now abounds. The leader of of the opposition has been in jail for more than 90 days without being tried.
Several opposition supporters are in various jails around the country. Opposition MPs who are supposed to provide oversight to the government have been chased from parliament. The dictator who is running the country has just declared a state of emergency and human rights of the opposition members have been suspended. Before the police have concluded investigations, government ministers including the so-called president and vice have declared blame on members of the opposition for burning of markets when evidence suggests that the markets were torched by government agents. The International media is awash with news of how Zambia has descended into a dictatorship. And in the middle of this, you think there is a British judge who can handover Mweetwa to these dictators? We doubt.
If Zambia, when it had some credibility failed to extradite Henry Banda a thief with a public track record of embezzlement, how can they manage to extradite a person who has committed no crime?
It is a fact that the PF created fake facebook accounts in the name of Larry Mweetwa in an effort to incriminate him. Extraditing Mweetwa from UK will start with a full trial in UK. And those fake accounts will be unmasked and will be shown where they were actually created from. The way we see it, this will be another futile but expensive project. Remember how Zambia embarrassingly lost the extradition court case in Europe involving Shasonnga Atan?
The human rights of members of the opposition may have been suspended in Zambia by dictator Lungu, but their international human rights remain intact. Lungu can abuse the rights of people in Zambia, for now, but he will not be allowed to extend his foolishness to Europe.
We also wish to inform Lungu, in case he does not know, that declaring a state of emergency does not make him immune to international criminal law. Whatever crimes he will commit during this time he will be operating his state of emergency; he will still be liable under international criminal law.
We don’t even have to go far to remind Lungu that he has not right to abuse Human Rights in his useless and unnecessary state of emergence.
The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights does not allow countries like Zambia to derogate from their treaty obligations during emergency situations. In fact, even a civil war cannot be used as an excuse by the regime to violate or permit violations of rights.
Lungu must read this charter as he will soon find himself at one of the International Criminal tribunals. Lungu must be aware that, under international criminal law, he has a responsibility not just to avoid abusing rights of citizens but also to make sure that no rights of citizens are abused under his guard. At one of the international tribunals, the former leaders of Chad (now in jail) were told that, even where it could not be proved that violations were committed by government agents, the government had a responsibility to secure the safety and the liberty of its citizens, and to conduct investigations into murders. The civil war could not therefore be used as a legal shield for failure to fulfil the legal obligations under the African Charter.
We are telling Lungu all these things hoping that for once he will use his brains not alcohol to reason and do the right thing, even at this late hour.
The state of emergence will end badly, for Lungu. That we know.