letters to the Editor

Fourth mobile phone service provider a must

The disparity between mobile phone network availability and its absence in Zambia is evident in Lusaka’s plush buildings that exude an aura of prosperity that unfortunately evaporates as one travels a few kilometers away from the nerve centre of the city to reveal the non-existence of reliable networks from Airtel, MTN and ZAMTEL.

This sharp contrast between the mobile phone network service haves and have-nots in Zambia is something  to be concerned about by the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA).

But do Airtel, MTN and ZAMTEL have what it takes to foster viable and congestion-free network service provision that could bring about an equitable balance of network coverage in both urban and rural Zambia?

What have they done to eradicate the network coverage imbalance?

Literally quite unsatisfactory.

Would the government’s option to introduce a fourth mobile service provider bring about any improvement and network service change? Absolutely (Daily Nation, October 21, 2015).

People have been watching and waiting to see how much rural Zambia has been adequately covered following ZICTA’s roll-out of scores of telecommunication towers in the country’s chiefdoms.

If  indeed telecom facilities have improved in these chiefdoms, it would also be a stamp on the reputation of the PF government and determine how serious ZICTA is regarding the availability of network coverage in chiefdoms.

Needless to say, mobile money is an innovative success story that has completely changed the country’s business terrain.

It has empowered the local people, from the capital city Lusaka to rural outposts, by giving them what had hitherto been impossible owing to a banking regime with strict regulatory frameworks. It has empowered citizens to be able to engage in financial transactions turning the banking industry upside down.

A person no longer needs to walk into a bank to undertake costly money transfers, open a bank account, weather long queues, and wait for hours or days for a single transfer to be effected.

All they need is a mobile phone and reliable network. The mobile phone has become a bank account, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) gadget and an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) all rolled into one.

Perhaps most profound of all is the democratizing influence of mobile phones. In 2011, Zambia ended 20 years of MMD rule when President Rupiah Banda accepted defeat at the polls.

The customary vote rigging was made impossible by journalists and election monitors armed with mobile phones relaying the count from each polling station to independent tallying centres and commercial radio stations as part of the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT).

And so will the fourth mobile phone service provider be able to transform the telecom status quo in rural areas? Try it.

But let it focus and provide network service  in far flung areas.

Mubanga Luchembe,



Hichilema’s absence at show

grounds political suicide

It was political suicide for HH who is so close to attaining the presidency to behave in an unchristian, unpatriotic and undiplomatic way as he did on October 18.

He decided to shun the show grounds as a designated area for national prayers to join a few Catholics elsewhere.

Psychologically I think this man thinks he is defeated for good,

So why should he listen to Lungu’s decrees; a man he claims stole his election anyway?

For Hichilema to shun national prayers and fasting (I even wonder whether the man even fasted on that day) in show grounds was a serious manifestation of personality flaws.

HH’s rigid, cold, and harsh character is too much for him to be rational, flexible and adaptable.

Mr. Levy Mwanawasa and Mr. Michael Sata (may their souls rest in peace) wanted to work with him and this time he could have been ruling as republican president but HH refused to cooperate with the two presidents due to his personality problems.

This is what is troubling HH. For him to attend prayers with President Edgar Lungu, the man he envies so much would have sent him towards a downward spiral and a mire of bitterness, self-pity, and wounded pride.

HH is a distressed man; he is hard-headed and is seething with petulant anger for never making it to Plot One in January 2015.

His decision to attend with the Catholic community at St Ignatius  Catholic parish for mass was to save his face; to be proved right that he is a Christian.

Until he becomes an older in thought and humbler man HH will never be the president of this country.

HH cannot copy and paste late Sata’s political styles (lapses).How do you copy wrong things?

Enock Mukosha, Kitwe.



Musokotwane’s attacks on Govt baseless

I have always held Dr Situmbeko Muskotwane in highest esteem because he is an intellectual, sober-minded and man of reliability.

He is a seasoned economist with vast experience in his field and indeed a living asset to Zambia’s economic battles.

However his accusing Government of having killed the copper industry made my hair stand on the edge.

I say so because Dr Musokotwane knows very well that the main problem with our copper is not merely production challenges but prices on which we have no word whatsoever.

The Government does not run the mines apart from giving direction in terms of policy.

In fact in terms of policy Government has on a number of times bent its back to allow for the good wishes of the mines. Loyalty tax is a living example of this. So for as long as copper prices remain low, there is absolutely nothing that Government can do.

Indeed if Dr Musokotwane has ways of making copper prices rise, he is perfectly free to advise Government instead of being an armchair critic.

Frankly speaking I did not expect such remarks from him because he is not in that class of politicians who speak first before thinking.

Josiah Soko,

Salima Road, Matero.


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