TRANSPORT and Communications Minister Mutotwe Kafwaya says UPND president Hakainde Hichilema’s suggestion that he will reverse the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Bill when he forms government shows that he has dictatorial tendencies symptomatic of a lack of understanding of how laws are repealed.

During a meeting with truck drivers on Sunday, Hichilema pledged that the Cyber Security Bill would be one of the first laws he would reverse when ushered into office.

But in an interview, Kafwaya insisted that the Bill was safe for the country, cautioning citizens that Hichilema had dictatorial tendencies because he lacked understanding of how laws were repealed.

“It is not for him to reverse and that is the problem. That law has not been made by the President, that law has been made by the government. And this is what I laugh at when I listen to HH where he says, ‘he will reverse it!’ Is he the one who will be sitting in Parliament? Is he the one who will be Minister of Transport? Is he the one who will be Minister of Justice? Is he the one who will be in the Committee for Cabinet legislative? Is he going to be alone in the Cabinet? Those are dictatorial tendencies. You are just part of the process, you are just a leader. There will be other people who will think otherwise. So, he is even better off saying, ‘I will scrutinise, or amend this clause’ and not deleting like the way his members of parliament were suggesting in Parliament, that is being dictatorial. The government system creates a law, which is making people safer then someone is saying he is going to reverse. Is that inspiring people?” Kafwaya questioned.

And commenting on Hichilema’s remarks that his party would not sleep until change was effected on August 12 because Zambia had suffered under the PF, Kafwaya wondered what would change when he had previously lost five times.

“Where is he going to take over? How many times has he lost elections and what will change this time? He is just busy promising to sell government property, he is arguing with Zambia Air Force (ZAF) professionals on selling the (Presidential Challenger) jet, are those promises that inspire people?” wondered Kafwaya.

Speaking when he met truck drivers, Sunday, Hichilema bemoaned that President Edgar Lungu was itching to assent the Cyber Security Bill into law.

“The Cyber Security Bill…nga uyu munyamata asayina olo akalibe ku sayina niziba afuna ku sayina inkale law ngati sanasayine kudala (if this gentleman has signed the Bill or not, I know he wants to sign it so that it becomes law, if he has not signed it already). One of the first laws we are going to reverse is the Cyber Security Bill, we shall reverse it. Iyi (this) Cybersecurity Bill bafuna muleke kusebenzesa (they want you to stop using the) Internet, Facebook, this is modern technology, which we want to use to deliver medicines in hospitals and consultancy. A doctor is seated in Lusaka, he is consulting to help a patient in Kaputa through social media, through the electronic media, how can we shut and restrict such services? We will use the technology, Internet to deliver agricultural services; to deliver educational services; to deliver credit, soft loans to marketeers. Manje ndani afuna kuleta (but who wants to bring this) Cyber Security law so that we cannot deliver ulupiya for namayo (money for our women) in the markets to grow her business? Mwachepa sana imwe (you are too small),” said Hichilema.