Minister of Transportation and Communication Mr. Brian Mushimba has disclosed that the country is in the process of introducing a bill that will compel citizens to pay for weather.
Mr. Mushimba said that the bill has already reached an advanced stage at the Ministry of Justice where the legal framework is being formulated to compel citizens to pay for weather information.
When queried why government was introducing such a tax, Mr. Mushimba said was sad that we throw criticism at everything even when you have not taken time to study the subject matter.
“Why should government gather weather data across the country at a huge cost and give it to British airways or Kenyan airways for free? Does that even make sense? I was surprised we have been doing this since independence.
Commercial farmers that have the ability to pay for this information receive it for free. The airlines that have money to pay for this information get it for free.
So the MET bill proposes to partially commercialize the weather information for those sectors that must pay for the information and allow government to recover its costs.
Peasant farmers and others that are vulnerable will continue receiving information as they have been receiving for free. Let’s not play politics with this item that is really not contentious.
And yes the bill is at Ministry of Justice for drafting and I will gladly present it to parliament so that government recovers its costs from the aviation sector, the banking sector and the commercial farmers.
During consultations on this bill at parliament, it received overwhelming support from both PF and UPND. Kwasila. Napita mukwai, Mr. Mushimba said.