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Opposition party criticises Zambia SIM registration

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Zambia , 09 Sep 2013

Opposition party criticises Zambia SIM registration

Zambia’s political opposition, the Heritage Party, plans to sue the Zambian government if it goes ahead with its planned SIM card registration deadline of December 31, 2013.

The Zambian government has set December 31 as the deadline for the SIM card registration exercise, which started almost a year ago.

But the the Heritage party has said the Zambian government should be discouraged from going ahead with the deadline amid calls for a number of adjustments.

Heritage Party president Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda has warned that if the Zambian government goes ahead with the action, the party could lodge a court case against the SIM card registration exercise.

The country’s SIM card registration is being carried out by the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA).

And so far, the Zambian government has said that just over four million people have registered their SIM cards. Zambia has close to eight million mobile subscribers.

“We are convinced that the Patriotic Front regime cannot fairly superintend this piece of legislation because of how serious we view the constitution breaches that have so far taken place. We propose to prepare the case against SIM card registration in the courts of law,” Miyanda said.

Miyanda said the Zambian government announced the deadline on SIM card registration based on the reason that four million people had registered their SIM cards.

Miyanda said the timing of the SIM card registration is ‘highly suspicious’ and he called for the process to be reversed or suspended.

Miyanda also said that before any law that has the propensity to curtail civil rights is introduced, there not only must be formal policy published, but it must be followed by a formal and prolonged public debate.

He said that this process should then be followed by a formal response by the government to all concerns raised and then a submission and debate in parliament.

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