MOVEMENT for Democratic Change (MDC) secretary general Lucky Mulusa says the Cyber Security Bill gives a lot of space for harassment from the government.

And Mulusa says the party will hold a general conference on March 17.

Speaking during a press briefing, Thursday, Mulusa said there was no comfort that the government would use the cyber bill for its intended purpose.

“I think we can take an opportunity to comment on the Cyber Security Bill and say that we do appreciate that there are some nice clauses in the bill especially the clauses that protect our children as well as our women from cyber harassment. But we also, we want to point out that given the history of the PF in terms of abusing the POA, we don’t have comfort that when this law is promulgated, the government will use it for the intended purposes of protecting the vulnerable grouping that I have spoken about. We feel that it gives a lot of space or harassment from the government. And in line with that, we would like to urge the government to put in place the access to information act so that at least we do not have a lot of situations that can be tilted against the citizens in terms of harassment,” Mulusa said.

And Mulusa said the general conference would be held next month.

“The inaugural national conference will be held on the 17th of March 2021 which is next month. This is in line with the dictations of our republican constitution as well as our party constitution for us to be able to participate in the forthcoming elections at presidential level, it is incumbent upon us to that we go through the congress and have leadership elected at that congress. And it will be a virtual conference, it will take place in 11 centres from our party secretariat here as well as the 10 provincial headquarters. It will be virtual more or less the way it was done by the UPND. I think we can congratulate the UPND for hosting a very successful virtual conference and actually setting the stage by which everybody should at least emulate and probably beat. And we would also thank the government in the recent acts for having relaxed the Public Order Act which was actually being used to disadvantage the rest of the opposition political parties,” he said.

When asked if the party would join an alliance ahead of the August election, Mulusa said it would depend if another party shared the same values.

“The MDC at the moment is not in alliance with any political party. Like we have said before, why form a political party? Nobody forms a political party in order to go into an alliance worth anybody. So at the moment we are not in alliance with anybody but obviously going forward, you might find that a situation calls for you to be in an alliance with a political party who when you evaluate your positions, maybe find yourself having a good degree of shared values,” Mulusa said.

“So we are not a rigid political party that says we are not going to be in alliance with anybody but if the situation calls for it, we will gladly have a discussion with people who we feel are able to be flexible enough for us to have an intersection of values. Like I said, sometimes the people might encourage political parties to come together in order to achieve a certain objective, we would listen to such voices.”

Meanwhile, Mulusa said the dishing out of money by the ruling Patriotic Front was disadvantaging them.

“The trend of dishing out money we do have confidence that the dishing out of money does not disadvantage opposition political parties at all because we have lessons in the past that political parties such as the MMD at one time did the same, dished out monies, gave out gifts but at the same time failed win elections. Now, the worry of dishing out money is that it is a double edged sword in the sense that it destroys the model of democracy by which we have chosen to govern ourselves and it doesn’t give any assurance that the best leaders amongst ourselves actually get elected. What happens is that people buy their way into leadership positions even if they are not suitable to be in charge of people’s welfare. On the side, it actually shows myopic thinking of some leaders in the PF,” said Mulusa.