POLICE say they have opened an inquiry to ascertain the conditions under which the phone conversation between Information Minister Chishimba Kambwili and Kitwe district commissioner Chanda Kabwe was recorded before instituting investigations into the matter.
And National Revolution Party (NRP) leader Dr. Cosmo Mumba has charged that the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA’s) inability to identify or block phone tappers was a source of worry to the Zambians as their security and privacy was at stake.
Police assistant spokesperson Esther Katongo yesterday told the Daily Nation that officers were studying the matter to have an understanding of the circumstances under which the recording was done before an investigation into the tapping and publication of the conversation could commence.
“We are studying the matter. We are trying to establish the circumstances under which the recording was done. We have not yet instituted investigations into the whole matter but this is just a preliminary inquiry,” Ms. Katongo said.
The phone conversation between Mr Kambwili and Mr Kabwe was secretly recorded and published in the Post Newspaper before the same went viral on social media.
And Dr. Mumba said there was need for combined efforts from the security wings and ZICTA to ensure that the criminals behind the scheme were identified and jailed because Zambians were now living in fear as their security over the usage of mobile phones was not guaranteed.
He said punitive measures should be taken to end the scourge and implored the police to do all they could to find out the criminals behind the barbaric acts that undermined the privacy of Zambians.
“If ZICTA cannot manage to block or identify who are tapping into our phones, then our freedom to privacy and security is compromised and at stake. This is why ZICTA and police should find a common ground from which to fish out these people because we cannot continue to live in fear that our privacy is not guaranteed.
“The tapping of Mr. Kambwili’s conversation has sent fear among mobile phone users. People are now scared to strike business deals on phones because they fear that they may be tapped into and exposed. As a result, their businesses suffer and the earlier we find a solution to this, the better because this is a criminal act which deserves punishment,” Dr. Mumba said.
In March this year, the conversation between Mr. Kambwili and Mr. Kabwe over the Presidential Initiative Empowerment Fund for marketeers and vendors was tapped and published by the Post newspaper and the sound bite uploaded on social media.
Consequently, Mr. Kambwili reported the matter to the police seeking an investigation into the matter to know who was behind the tapping and recording of his conversation.