The move by the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) to institute criminal proceedings against the three Mobile Service Providers is aimed at intimidating MTN for refusing to block Zambian Watchdog, this website.
A board member and another official of ZICTA have both confirmed that ZICTA is under immense pressure from State House to block Zambia Watchdog.
And in line with the ongoing project of blocking critical websites, ZICTA is looking for a lead person. ZICTA has created and advertised a position of cyber security officer who shall ‘be the lead person in ZICTA on all matters of cyber security especially regarding special projects and working with other government agencies.’
The PF regime is extremely mad with MTN Zambia for refusing to place the blocking technology, which has been placed on Airtel and Zamtel. MTN may lose its licence and senior directors could be jailed and the company itself fined by the same court process that has been started.
ZICTA has issued a press statement in which they state that they instituted criminal proceedings against all three mobile phone service providers namely Airtel Networks Zambia Ltd, MTN Zambia Ltd and Zambia Telecommunication Company Ltd (Zamtel), for failure to meet minimum standards of quality of service.
It says the Authority (ZICTA) has resolved to take remedial measures relating to enforcement of quality of service in order to protect public interest in pursuant of the Information and Communication Technologies Act No. 15 of 2009.
The truth is that Airtel and Zamtel have been mentioned just to hide the true intent, which is to intimidate MTN to place the blocking technology imported from Ukraine.
ZICTA is taking the mobile service providers to court under Section 79 of the ICT Act which says that ‘that a person (or legal person) who fails to comply with a guideline or order issued by ZICTA commits an offence and may be jailed for six months or fined or be jailed and fined and the same time.’
The order by ZICTA to mobile service providers is to block Watchdog.
It is interesting that ZICTA in its press statement does not specify what services the Mobile companies have failed to meet.
It simply says it will prosecute them for offering poor quality of service to the public.
Unless this matter will be handled by a PF cadre sitting as a judge, we do not see how a competent court of law can entertain such stupidity.
A meeting to finalise strategies on how to block the Zambian Watchdog on the Airtel Network was held at Eviva Restaurant along Tito Road near St. Ignatius Church in Lusaka on Tuesday June 25 2013.
A highly placed intelligence source said the meeting was attended by the Zambia Information, Communication and Technology Authority ZICTA Director General Margaret Chalwe Mudenda and new Airtel Chief Executive Officer Charity Lumpa.
The intelligence source said other directors from ZICTA and Airtel attended the lunchtime meeting.
Zicta boss Margaret Chalwe’s contract is expiring July Month end and her workmates says she has agreed to fully cooperate on blocking the watchdog so that she can use it to negotiate the renewal of her contract.
Margaret Chalwe is afraid that Mofia Chisala, the Director Support Services and also a PF cadre wants the job. So she has to do something big to win government support to renew her contract.
It is interesting that Chalwe and Lumpa met on 25 June and the ZICTA board met on June 27, 2013 to authorized Management’s decision to prosecute all the three mobile service providers for offering poor quality of service to the public.
The Watchdog meantime is continuing to urge its readers to get MTN simcards for them to continue accessing the site inside Zambia, at least for now before MTN is also bullied into blocking the most popular website in Zambia.
Readers are also urged to visit our Facebook page. In the event that this site is blocked inside Zambia completely,
You do not need to be our ‘freind’ of Facebook. Just ‘like’ the page and you will continue reading the articles.
For readers outside Zambia and those on MTN, our original domain which we have been using since September 2008 www.zambianwatchdog.com is still accessible. For those still using Airtel and Zamtel pathetic services, they can find us on https://zambianwatchdog.com