Miyanda to take SIM card registration to court

Bregadier General Godfrey Miyanda has advaised the Patriotic Front (PF) government against disabling cell-phone facilities for citizens who would not be able to register their mobile phones subscriber identity module (SIM) cards because the action is an abrogation of the citizens’ liberties.

Gen Miyanda has said that if the government was not going to suspend the SIM card registration, he was personally going start advocating for a class action in court to stop the unjustfied errosion of constitutional rights.

“The scheme must not be implemented and if it has to be, then it not under the presidency of President Sata,” Gen Miyanda said.

Gen Miyanda has called on the general citizenry who value their inalieble rights to brace themselves as they embark on participating in a crusade to restore the rights that are curently under threat.

Gen Miyanda has charged that the PF government was using the public media to take advantage of the ignorant majority by highlighting the security and recovery of lost phones aspect which he said several Zambians had latched on in spreaading misinformation.

He said the circumstances under which government had introduced the latest law on the registration of SIM cards was worrying particularly that President Sata had exhibited the propensity of total disregard of the rule of law.

Gen Miyanda who is the Heritage Party (HP) leader said the record for President Sata had set for himself should convince all Zambians including PF sympathysers tht the current regime could not fairly superintend the new law of SIM card registration.

He said politicians were like vultures with the appetite to devour anything in sight and has cautioned Zambians to fall prey to their false humbleness of the politicians who often fake humility when canivsing for votes from the electorate.

He said his party would be contending that there should be no abridgement of or abitrary derogation from the protected rights in Part Three of the Constitution.

Zambians, including PF members and sympatyisers that the PF regime cannot fairly suprintend this piece of legislation whic bears directly on certain civil liberties,” Gen Miyanda said.

Gen Miyanda said it was disconcerting that  ta a time when President Sata had declared that there was nothng wrong with the Public Order Act, he was determined to have Zambians register their SIM cards.

One thought on “Miyanda to take SIM card registration to court

  1. General,

    Whilst I agree with the intended action, perhaps we should step back and reflect on how the multifarious claw-backs in the Bill of Rights in our Constitution allows for such violation of rights. For instance, although Article 20 provides for the Protection of freedom of expression (including freedom to impart and communicate ideas and information without interference, whether the communication be to the public generally or to any person or class of persons, and freedom from interference with his correspondence).

    The claw-back in sub-Article 3, unfortunately provides grounds for such actions as regulating mobile communication by the State. This claw-back states, “Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this Article to the extent that it is shown that the law in question makes provision- (b) that is reasonably required for the registration of, or regulating the technical administration or the technical operation of, newspapers and other publications, telephony, telegraphy, posts, wireless broadcasting or television”.

    Thus, in agreeing with you it clear to me that, what should be argued on Sim-Card registration is whether the State has provided reasonable grounds for further regulating of mobile communication, in particular Sim-Card registration. In my layman opinion, this, the State has not sufficiently and reasonably done so far. All it is providing are seemingly frivolous grounds of security, crime, et cetera.

    But, in hindsight we must also remember that over years we have consistently argued that our Bill of Rights should NOT have claw-backs. They provide loopholes for legally violating our rights. Perhaps, it is time this issue is pursued with vigour.
    Let us always remember that the wrongs of yesterday that we turned a blind eye to, will always have us as the victims tomorrow.

    Lastly, we should also be cognizant of the fact that the Information and Communication Technology Act No. 15 of 2009 states that its rationale is to, among others, “facilitate access to information and communication technologies and protect the rights and interests of service providers and consumers”. I seriously wonder how de-registering Sim-Cards will facilitate access or even protect our basic right to freedom of expression.

    Thank you.

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