MMD candidate Rupiah Banda has bullied all cellular phone companies in Zambia forcing them to surrender mobile phone numbers and confidential personal details so that he can use them to threaten voters 48 hours before the September 20 elections.
The ugly scheme is coordinated by a team of five hired voter riggers disguised as image makers, led by a retired soldier in the British Navy, Major Luke Chaveau. They are residing at an exclusive lodge on Kabulonga Road in Lusaka. The group is coordinated by a former minister in the UK government.
These people will record Rupiah’s message and make ‘robo calls’ to Zambians via this number: +12345678901, which will carry recorded message from him extolling his fictitious performance and asking for the receiver of the call a vote.
Rural voters will them be followed up with a recorded message of threats from William Banda urging them to obey the president who had just spoken to them a while earlier.
The mobile companies’ surrender of personal numbers of their clients is a violation of privacy in the absence of a court order to that effect. Given that Zambia’s mobile connectivity has reached six million people, it is shocking that a president can invade the privacy of his citizens for political expedience.
Fears abound that these numbers will be used to send threats to the less enlightened rural voters who will believe that it was possible for the president to know that one did not vote for him and since he had called, he would call again to deliver punishment.
PF lawyers will examine the effect of this violation on the privacy of citizens and ask mobile companies whey they gave away customers’ phone numbers to the MMD who now control the central database of phone numbers from the telecommunications companies.
Zambians are now not safe in their own country as they will constantly live in fear of state intrusion in their private lives on scale never seen before, not even under the oppressive surveillance of the one party dictatorship under UNIP.
Rupiah Banda was one of the gang leaders that eves-dropped on people the UNIP regime considered enemies of the state and he was often at hand to organise their beatings as he did against the revered late Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe at Luburma Market. He led thugs to attack the man simply for resigning from his post as Vice-President to lead an opposition group.