Secret recording: illegal, criminal

THE Patriotic Front (PF) has described as illegal and criminal the spying and secret recording of a private conversation of Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda by the Post Newspaper and has called on the law enforcement agencies to immediately institute investigations into the matter.

The ruling party has said the invasion of citizens’ privacy and the recording of their private conversations was a criminal offence that could call for the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators.

Former PF Lusaka district vice chairmanJulius Komaki said following the dismissal of Wynter Kabimba as Justice Minister and secretary-general of the ruling party, the Post Newspaper had launched a vicious campaign against Cabinet ministers and senior party officials they suspect could have caused the sucking of Mr Kabimba.

He said what was currently happening in the PF was a wake-up call for President Michael Sata and the new secretary-general Edgar Lungu that the ruling party still had individuals serving at various levels of the party and government.

Mr Komaki said it was a reality that the cartel that almost hijacked the leadership of the PF and that of the country had infiltrated all key government institutions such as the judiciary, police, the intelligence and other security wings and that it was time to cleanse the system without delay.

He said in some advanced democracies, the Post Newspaper with its editors would have been arrested and prosecuted for illegally invading the privacy of a senior citizen such as the Minister of Finance.

He said Zambians should be worried that the Post Newspaper had appointed themselves the country’s intelligence or secret service and were threatening the privacy of private and public citizens.

“The PF youths in Lusaka would like to condemn in the strongest terms the illegal and criminal invasion of Mr Chikwanda’s privacy at his home where a spy reporter conducted an illegal act of recording a private conversation. In any country, illegal invasions of citizens’ privacy and illegal recordings of citizens’ private conversations is a criminal offence. In view of what has happened to Mr Chikwanda, we call upon the law enforcement agencies such as the police, the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) and other security wings to institute investigations against the Post Newspaper for spying and recording private conversations illegally,” Mr Komaki said.

He said that invasion of citizens’ privacy like tax evasion and avoidance were criminal acts government should always discourage.

Mr Komaki said President Sata and Mr Lungu who is the acting President should immediately chart a plan of action which should include holding elections from district, constituency and provincial levels so that all those loyal to Mr Kabimba were weeded out of the party.

“The real issues Mr M’membe and the Post should concentrate on are the K27 million unpaid taxes to ZRA, the K14 million Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) loan and the K16 million ZRA debt which was dubiously written off.

In old currency, the Post Newspaper owes Zambians close to K60 billion which could have gone into infrastructure development, job creation, medicines in hospitals and schools,” Mr Komaki said.