The deafness with which calls for a probe into the phone tapping of the conversation between Information Minister Chishimba Kambwili and Kitwe district Commissioner Chanda Kabwe have been met is not only surprising but also frightening to phone users.
While we do not know the circumstances under which the conversation was recorded and later published in the media, it is clear that there was no authority from both parties for the discussion to be made public, especially in a newspaper.
If one of the parties to the conservation had come out in the open to admit responsibility for the phone conversation leakage, perhaps this episode could have been understandable.
But to the best of our knowledge, both the minister and the Kitwe district commissioner have denied being responsible for the leakage or indeed tapping of the conversation and later making it available to a newspaper.
In fact, listening to the conversation and the story generated from it, reveals distortions.
And this complaint has been in the public domain since one of the media houses hit the headlines with the story.
It is our belief that the phone service providers and the regulator, the Zambia Information Communication and Technology Authority, (ZICTA) have all read the stories or have heard the cries of the people.
It is from this premise that we expected the telecommunication service providers and the regulator to swing into action to find out the erring parties.
It is important to know the erring party in this phone tapping scandal so that the citizenry can rest be assured that their phone subscription to service providers is safe.
The culture of waiting for a complaint before acting is certainly a wrong way of doing things when the matters are in the public domain.
Stakeholders in the telecommunication service provision should be proactive to arrest the apparent mischief in the industry.
If indeed there are employees of some telecommunication companies involved in the tapping and sale of private conversation of citizens to adversaries, then they should be identified and flushed out of the system.
All employees working in sensitive departments of information take oath and should be made to live by their undertaking.
Those who breach such oath should be made to answer for their transgression.
This is the only way that telecommunication users who are not a security risk can be made to feel safe as they go about talking to their associates, business partners and their loved ones.
It is for this reason that we are urging the telecommunication service providers and the regulator to take a proactive stand over the phone tapping of Mr Kambwili and Mr Kabwe’s conversation and the subsequent publication in the media.
The telecommunication regulator should know that phone users will never be safe until there is a reasonable explanation over how a private phone conservation found itself in a newspaper.