Today’s letters to the Editor

The lapses in our Security system worrying

It is worrying that today the security of our country seems to have been traded on the political alter, those who are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the nation is free of security lapses have decided to use their jobs to make money.

How can there be this spying on phones and leaking of secret State documents without being intercepted by the security system? It is very sad that some of these acts are aided by the intelligence officers who were given those jobs by the cartel.

It is imperative that the President steps in and ensures that half of the security team is retired in national interest; he won’t be the first one to do that.

The late president Levy Mwanawasa did that when he realised that some officers were not with him.

The problem with these officers is that they get involved in partisan politics, they are promised all sorts of things by the opposition.

It is understood that President Edgar Lungu wants continuity and wants these officers to continue working but that is not working out.

Some of us are not comfortable with the current crop of intelligence officers, their performance leaves much to be desired, no wonder it is difficult for the police to come up with concrete evidence in cybercrime because the security are not helping.

It is not fair for the intelligence to leak Government documents instead of the other way round; that is not being loyal to the government of the day. Let us be tough on these officers so that others could learn from them. They forget that Zambia spends huge sums of money on their operations.

Because of their behaviour, some of us are forced to discuss their inefficiency in the press. When we had disciplined security officers in the UNIP era, it was unheard of for media houses to have phone conversations tapped. Today even mere cadres are allowed to spy on phones.

Way back we could have security officers even in private companies to ensure that any unlawful activities by the private sector are reported. If that worked well, we can use it now to curb this rampant hacking into accounts and phone conversations.

I will not sit quiet and watch while the people responsible for giving our President the information he can use to seal up loopholes in the information systems are working against him. Let us all be concerned about the lawlessness going on in our country and protect it from both internal and external enemies.

Chulu,  LUSAKA


Nerves of steel at the Post

I recently read the article titled ‘Phone bugging must worry security wings – ZDDM’, (Daily Nation, March 23, 2016). I would like to point out that nerves of steel could soon be a prerequisite for anybody continuing or planning a career in journalism at the Post Newspaper.

That is if the two PF government officials, Minister of Information Chishimba Kambwili and Kitwe district commissioner Chanda Kabwe lodge complaints with Zambia Police regarding their taped and subsequently published conversation which would pose real repercussions to unethical investigative reporting at this erring media house.

The first of these measures is to take legal action against the culprits since unauthorized intercepting of telephone communication is an offence under Zambian laws. It carries a sentence of 25 years imprisonment once convicted.

The second is the involvement of Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) to deal with what the ruling party, PF deems to be a media house that displays an astonishing degree of phone hacking impunity, lack of professional integrity, lack of journalistic ethics and lack of respect for individual rights.

Post Newspaper editor, Fred M’membe, has already had a taste of what  to come. In 2010 he was arrested and sentenced to imprisonment for contempt of court. Last year he was again arrested on charges of fraud and defeating the ends of justice. Apparently he was in possession of an allegedly leaked “State of the Nation” presidential speech from State House that he caused publication prior to its official delivery in Parliament. M’membe is now on bail, but there is a sense of unease at his outfit.

If indeed he is arraigned for intercepting and subsequently publishing a telephone conversation between the two Government officials which is a prima facie evidence of an offence against the State, M’membe and his accomplices could be jailed for up to 25 years.

Worryingly, though, this would include anybody continuing or planning a career in journalism at the Post Newspaper while involved in phone hacking related reportage.

Mubanga Luchembe, LUSAKA.


Painting two suspected thieves unconstitutional

The story which is circulating on social media about two ladies who allegedly stole from Jets shop at Levy Park mall in Lusaka makes sad reading. I am particularly dismayed on the action taken by shop owners to splash paint whose contents we do not know.

I am sure law experts will show interest in this matter. With the little knowledge I have so far gained from the human rights research, I feel the splashing of yellow paint on the alleged ‘thieves’ amounts to inhumane and degrading punishment contrary to the laws of Zambia and other International Conventions on Human Rights to which Zambia is a co-signer.

The Zambian Constitution in Section 15, Part 3 states that “A person shall not be subjected to torture or to inhumane treatment or degrading punishment or other like treatment” and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which Zambia is a signatory in Article 5 states that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”

The alleged offence these ladies committed is a misdemeanour and not a felony and as such they should not have been treated like that. The owners of the stolen goods should have taken them to the police and NOT subject them to that kind of treatment.

May the law take its course. However, I am not supporting thieving but condemning the way they handled the alleged offenders. Firing of the employees who carried out the act also raises more questions than answers. My intuition tells me that those employees were acting on the directives of top management.

Concerned Citizen, Lusaka.

Categorized | Letters

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