MISA Condemns Internet Calls Tax

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) has aired its concerns on the proposed tariff in internet voice calls.

MISA Zambia has labelled the move as double taxation on clients and also questioned the rapidity with which the tax has been implemented.

The Zambian citizenry has risen up in arms to protest the proposed tariff by government.


Joint Press Statement

August 14, 2018

For Immediate Release

MISA Zambia and Bloggers of Zambia express concern over internet calls tariff

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia and Bloggers of Zambia have noted with trepidation the cabinet decision to pass legislation that will increase the cost of internet use by introducing a 30 Ngwee tariff on Internet voice calls in Zambia.

We are also worried with the fast speed at which the government is moving to enact the Cybercrime and Cyber Security Bill aimed at regulating Internet usage, especially social media in Zambia.

We are concerned about the proposed tariff of 30 Ngwee per day because it is a major threat to freedom of expression, access to information, media rights, freedom of assembly online an affront to the enjoyment of digital rights.

The cabinet approval of the issuance of a Statutory Instrument that will facilitate the introduction of the tariff to be charged through mobile phone operators and internet providers is an affront to net neutrality, and affordable connectivity.

This is a form of double and punitive taxation and taxing individual users in lieu of the social media companies that actually make money. We are concerned about this proposal because it falls within a pattern of government clampdown on online expression as we have noted of late.

We want to state that the proposed 30 Ngwee tariff on Internet calls will limit access to basic rights and it will harm businesses.

The proposed tariff on Internet calls is a threat to entrepreneurship and innovation as many youths and other citizens are using the Internet platforms to advance their socio-economic activities. Citizens across the country mobilise themselves using Internet calls. Why should we make this expensive in the midst of already over-taxed residents, coupled with high poverty levels?

We are of the view that the underlying objective in the passing of this legislation is to stifle free expression rights of millions of Zambians who increasingly depend on online tools to communicate. We believe that this is a systematic attempt of censoring online platforms.


Recently, the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) fined Zambia’s three mobile phone service providers for offering poor services. This is evidence that citizens have been receiving expensive and low quality services, hence taking advantage of cheaper Internet calls.


We challenge telecommunication companies to comment on the proposed tariff and state whether they are not making profits from the current business environment.


Additionally, we ask whether there been any complaint from service providers citing major loss of business because citizens are making Internet calls. Citizens pay for both data and airtime. We also request for statistics and the evidence to warrant the tariff.


With regard to the Cybercrime and Cyber Security Bill, our view remains that the process of enacting these laws must be made open and transparent for input from citizens, bloggers, journalists and activists.


The process of drafting internet laws has been closed and non-participatory, prompting suspicions that the laws contain clauses that will close internet spaces. We have noted that similar Internet laws in Egypt, Tanzania and Kenya have caused so much consternation as some of the clauses in the laws are purposely vague and they do not promote free speech and freedom of assembly online.


We demand that the process of enacting the Access to Information law and operationalisation of the Media and Communications Policy be expedited together with the cyber laws.


We call on government to withdraw the tariff and rather consider investing in the sector to ensure that all Zambians have access to affordable, reliable and open Internet.


We also call upon bloggers, journalists and activists to join our clarion call for a free, open and safe internet ecosystem for all, including women and girls. Our campaign both on Facebook and Twitter is using the hashtag #OpenSpaceZM.


Helen Mwale


MISA Zambia



Richard Mulonga



Blogger of Zambia


  1. Concerned citizen

    Good move by MISA

  2. Mr Peace

    ETHICS.Technology is one is one spice that tastes sweet and bitter at the same time.In as much as it comes with initiatives,it also robes opportunities from the underprivileged.As you debate it’s effects,you discover that either sides are ethically right and wrong but I think the fact is that just as we are doing away with one technology to another,the use of talk time is yet to become history.In this case,it’s just a matter of regulating the voice calls in a given Internet bundle as we are waiting for the time of direct calls without talk time and those in the business or employed in the talk time transaction will find other things to do….Pathako panga.

  3. Chezi

    Us in remote areas we face problems after buying internet data you find that no internet network those they just expire losing money pliz even us in remote area’s we need good network help us.

  4. faultless

    As time goes by theyll introduce the tax of being a zambian citizen

    • National councillor

      It is there already called personal levy taxed at 1% of your income

      • Peter

        There are 10 000 000 registered mobile users in Zambia….30 Negwee per day = $ 10 000 000 ?

        • marlon

          Point of correction of peter, if there is about 10,000,000 internet subscriber who are registered in zambia which means the government will be getting K 3,000,000.00 per day from internet call and whatsapp.

  5. Bruno mars the moonshine jungle master

    Well spoken

  6. palata minina

    Good thots please go a head achieving us

  7. Gogimy

    This government is too much love of money

  8. Zambian citizens

    very soon you Will hear of TRIBAL Taxation

  9. HOMMIE 24

    U might aswel hear of sex taxation

  10. Truth man

    They.need the money to pay for the Euro Bond loan.It is due for payment in 2020.Youmust be aware that this is a lot of money 2billion dollars plus plus . If they dont pay, there will be karfurfule.And the Chinese also are waiting for their money almost at the same time bwana! When you borrow money to revamp Zambia airways and Zambia Railways and construction of roads how do you pay it back ?It is through taxation of the poor you and the rich me! That is directly or indirectly. So Zambians don’t cry too much when you can see the roads and the revamped Zambia airways and also Zambia Railways!

  11. Chrispine nyirenda

    That’s a good move MISA we are behind you.

  12. Zimandola

    This new tax scum is completely unnecessary and unethical. As if we don’t buy talk time using real money to make bundles?


    Do not worry,as whatsapp is not willing to have a reduced usership in zambia,the tech company has alreadymobilised us to train on how to legaly bypass such moves the zambian government has enacted.
    We the stealth legal hackers in zambia will ensure that no one is deprived of their degital rights,more especially by this corrupt thievling government of Edigar Lungu.
    Should Grz go ahead with this taxation,we here by promise all government officials that We will attack their personal bank accounts starting with their secret overseas accounts as the local accounts we easily access at any give time as we may please,we therefore warn this administration to stop this habit of disadvantaging the poor zambians from accessing the globle digital platforms.
    On This one you have taken a wrong move.else will expose the dirty political fraudes that has been used to keep you in power.

  14. HOMMIE 24

    they have stocked millions in banks milking all the little revenue the country had leaving us with big soms of money to settle thats why they came up with these unreasonable taxations

  15. Emmanuel

    Whr ar we heading to?

  16. Waddy

    It is indeed double taxing because if you buy internet bundles you are taxed as well.

  17. political leader

    What exactly do you want from innocent Zambian souls sure?you are busy increasing theft strategies and avoid salary increments,you want us to die of hunger and who is going to vote once we all died? Isn’t enough sure?this too much we are paying double taxes on TV which is TV levy and also subscription fees again you want us to buy talk time for bundles which you taxed and also paying another tax what kind of thieves are you?this is total madness.ati pf ukokwine.

  18. Leon

    What do PF supporters say?

  19. Mugabe

    This is stilling from Zambian

  20. alberto

    is mark zuckerberg aware of this!!!

  21. KEFYU

    Iyo yamene mufuna ku yamba muzaziletelela!!!
    When u r enjoying ka beer drinking mu mahotel ati tiyeni tifake tax.TAXES MY ASS!
    I thnk nakubala mumanyumba kuzakankhala tax…sinawona bwino mwe…
    Mufuna kusokoneza,musativundule 2021 nimazo maza apa.Banchot !

  22. Mr. K

    Zambians are highly taxed in the whole southern. African region gggggaaashhho9o. Why? God bless

  23. Razor

    Yes tax them even more. This is what we voted for. Higher taxes and less money in our pockets. Pro poor government.

  24. Criminol line

    We can put a demostration by switching off our phone between 11 and 14 hour….tht way government will hear us

  25. Mr dundumweenze

    If I say president lungu is a great thieve and stupid leader people will say why because pf government is full of thieves but president is there,pf is taking us to the high level of poverty wait and see,the foolish people enjoying on our tears,some are jumping from upnd to pf because the gate is open for the robbers in pf government,thats why the real Zambians will remain opposite pf. Ba council balibize kubela muma ntemba no nsoni sure,bakapokola,masikulu kudula,mps kuba,ma doctors kuba minkwala bagulisa muma chemistry,ma pastors bonse kubela mipingo,awe sure nabo ba misa kanjila bakawona,but pf awe mwandini.

  26. hasty

    Comment Insecurity ,luck of insight and foresight is making these morons blind.I can’t c the light at the end of the tunnel..May God thrush the gullets of these bullies .. Where are the PF supporters who support blindly?

  27. Joe

    Og ba MISA. …Tafweniko

  28. paul bliss

    it is what
    it is…

  29. Chanda

    Lovely country but fall of boxers n Napoleon’s


      misa is a toothless bulldog which cannot even fuck a bitch

  30. Kangwa Gabriel C Jr

    What a government???? Shame on youuuuu!!!!

  31. Jithe

    Koswe mumpoto zoona…. I belive tht ths koswe cn eat everything all night b4 sun rise/daylight cames… Atase bana jst bcoz u’re in power u cn tll us whatever u want?

  32. Chipe

    If you are alistening goverment please listen to the peoples reaction to the bill you have passed.Do something to help poor suffering Zambians. You can not see the suffering be cause you ate on top there.

  33. Coolguy

    Guys how much do doctors earn in Zambia

  34. Fkay

    We have been praying for internet service like wifi elo iwe who does not even know siliza works come and put ifya tax. Betubelesha aba abantu, they think they own this country and us are just being kept

  35. gunduzani chilepule baibe

    Enuf is enuf, it’s like crossing boundaries now.let’s all put our hands together to clear such nincompoops who toughens our life. Them don’t feel the heavier budden we are going thru.

  36. HOMMIE 24

    fuck this goverment

  37. DD

    It’s not good

  38. Kedrick siame

    If it was upnd people u would hear insults from their cadas chakuti chako and the farmers are crying for price of maze.

  39. Zambian

    Think of the poor is this more money I n
    our pocketsure

  40. seth

    This z just too much think of the poor plz govt

  41. Shaka

    when God created man, there was peace, after the existence of a woman war emerged. Women cause a lot problems in the world.Let a woman lead and experience hardships, fyakufwaila.

  42. Shakab

    when God created man, there was peace, after the existence of a woman war emerged. Women cause a lot problems in the world.Let a woman lead and experience hardships, fyakuifwaila.

  43. Nkonkosheni

    I think pf its 2 much.ECL look in 2 that mwalailetelela am a pf but not in this way.

  44. one Zambia one nation? mr hazard

    our president please don’t let your ministers to be controlling u awe do something to stop siria ofyo no some of us we love pf nomba awe fyachilamo

  45. Mr dundumwenze

    Dollar siliya Ni girlfriend wa lungu,so lungu can not understand what we are saying,if not so he will use another tactical with a same woman.

  46. Elly

    This is not fair. Zambia let’s speak out.
    Zambia will not introduce tax on social media – Mushimba
    July 5, 2018 11 1,622 views

    Transport and Communication Minister Brain Mushimba
    Government says it has no plans of introducing a levy on cyber space on social media.

    Transport and Communication Minister Brain Mushimba said Zambia has adequate laws binding the cyber space to benefit the Zambian people.

    In a ministerial statement in parliament today, the Minister said that Zambia is and will not copy from neigbouring Uganda that has introduced a levy on social media abusers.

    Mr. Mushimba said government notes that the communication sector is making a positive contribution to the nation’s economic development from both the private and public sector investing on the electronic ticket.

    He said government will not infringe the rights of people, individuals, public and private sector using social platforms.

    And Mr. Mushimba has warned individuals and people abusing social media for selfish gains as the law will catch up with them.

    He disclosed that his Ministry is working in conjunction with the Zambia Information and Communication Authority (ZICTA) and will continue sensitizing the people on productive usage of the platform.

    Facebook, what’s up, Twitter are the common electronic platforms used by people to communicate not only in Zambia but globally.

    • Francis

      Icalo chalila, they are now free free and free from stealing

  47. Elly

    I qoute. ‘government will not infringe the rights of people, individuals, public and private sector using social platforms’

  48. Elias

    Government should think about it again that’s very bad.

  49. Mat

    We are heading to distraction, government is killing people. President is quite, busy partying. Should I say we are doomed to have such government to lead citizen of Zambia. Of, where are we going in this taxation, daily climbing high and high, government players are witches and money love. Very well, going on do as you please. But remember, it will turn. Call to upnd to speak…… Economist were are they? Lung said they have economist to lead us, and is this the plan?
    Shame on us who support the government’s foolishness and money swiftly.

  50. Bols dry no mixer na chi cigarette

    Pf supporters were you, atase you see now , ba mi ndyela muzelu you even know, but those kankoyos and chitenges you are being given and bought for has made you poor people shame!!!!!

  51. Mr dundumwenze

    Bakazi mu pf nabo bapakisa MPs, do you think that there is a quality leadership mubakazi than ise bafuna imwe mashilu ya pf,southern African countries like Zambia,zimbabwe,malawi and Congo , tulina mpofu Zama leaders,selfishiness

  52. how many taxes are we going to pay,count all these taxes at the bank accounts you have introduced t*pins,toll gate how many are they,when we are buying any we paying tax,at schools you have increased fees we are even failing to go to school whilst you where busy promising us lower taxes,more money in people pockets but you are introducing something to withdraw more money in peoples pockets,think about that please


  53. Benny

    PF government without Sata is really heartless how can they introduce such taxes?it seems as if everything is taxable next time it will be same as earlier where it was mandatory 2 pay dog, bicycle tax

  54. Abraham

    Next tax, its pregnate tax.

  55. Tule

    Iwe chi Dorah you should retire politics ataseh

  56. phiri joul

    Comment please us zambian thats not gud u are making money from toll gats na phone try to make money using prisoners to make money by farming, making gud roads, building hospitals schools etc

  57. Joseph chishimba

    Mwebantu everything ni Tax ai. wre r we going with This Government ai?

  58. dzo

    I beg you my president stop this nonsense!!!!!!


    Ngabatila mulifipuba BA pf mwilafulwa ubu bupuba .mwachita.

  60. Voice of the voiceless

    The government must be asking people before doing any thing because we voted for them if they put the so called 30gwee they violeting other people who can not manage the 30gwee to access information


    Mwebantu mwipapa bushe mwaishiba shani IULE pandalama? Dora chililo rubbish

  62. ICT

    These are so called potential threats or malicious software.

  63. Kongo

    ZRA pin tax, pay as u earn,dog levy, TV levy, borewall tax,teacher tax, tollgate,road tax, landlords tax and now tax on every Internet and WhatsApp call. If u still don’t no the meaning of failure check out the PF govt. More taxes will follow.

  64. Kopala

    its not fair everything is taxi, I voted PF by Mr.Sata vision lower taxes & more money but its heading in opposite direction mmmmmm its the worst govn we ever had God help mother Zambia

  65. DINO Maluti


    Hello, My Fellow Zambians?
    As an apolitical individual,the introduction of social media tax has really caught my attention to an extent where I feel I need to say something as a Zambian citizen. I am not speaking on behalf of all Zambian youth but those who deem my arguments as relevant are welcome to support me in speaking against the matter at hand.
    By now it has already been established that Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa was joking about providing free wi-fi and while we all laughed about it Chief Government Spokeswoman Dora Siliya went on and defended the cabinet’s decision on introducing a tariff on internet calls.
    According to the LusakaTimes, Ms Siliya , in a series of tweets mentioned that local jobs in the telecoms industry are threatened by the migration towards internet calls. In a quotation she mentioned “Jobs such as call centre workers, talk time sellers, conventional call technicians will reduce drastically if more Zambians migrate to internet calls and create jobs in America and elsewhere. Let’s keep our jobs. Zambians need them,”
    She also mentioned that “Whatsapp and Facebook internet calls create unfair competition as they don’t pay taxes in Zambia while conventional call providers pay tax and invest in infrastructure in Zambia. Zambian jobs first!”. In her concluding sentence she mentioned “Zamtel, Airtel & MTN invest in infrastructure. Whatsapp, Facebook don’t but are getting richer. Zambian jobs first!”
    Well, I think her proposing points are obscure or rather vague, with all due respect. I don’t understand why the so called youth advocate, Mukuka, Would so boldly mention “ZAMBIAN YOUTHS WELCOME GOVERNMENT’S MOVE TO INTRODUCE SOCIAL MEDIA TAX” as though he’s spoken to us all. In his article we could clearly see that he is a real sycophant of the government and I do not blame my fellow youth for their reactions. In my opinion I think both his article and points of defence which included Cyber bullying and time management are both premature and perfunctory. I will mention why I think so later.
    As Zambians I think we need to know the truth, transparency, Our national anthem says we are a land of work and joy in unity. One Zambia, One Nation. We are a Christian nation, it does us no good saying it and not acting like it. How much tax do we need to pay? Why do we need to pay that much? Is our country in debt? If yes how much? As Zambians we need to know. It is our country, these are our affairs.
    Alexander Nkosi provides a critical analysis and a partial explanation as to why I mentioned that Ms Siliya’s reason which stated that “Let’s keep our jobs. Zambians need them” is a little bit of an overstatement. He wrote ‘We pay tax on airtime whether we use it for calls or data. For those who use data to call, they have to pay the new tax on data calls. What this means is that while the prices of airtime remain the same, the billing for data calls will be adjusted so that we consume more bundles forcing us to spend more. Is this coming from mobile service providers? The answer is No. Mobile service providers have highly qualified teams of analysts and managers. They work with accurate data to set billing systems. If they are losing money as more people make data calls as opposed to ordinary calls, they will not request government to introduce a new tax, they will simply increase billing on data use so as to push more people into making ordinary calls. It is not like data calls are controlled by other firms that are competing with them. Hence the explanation that this move is meant to protect jobs does not hold. So what exactly is happening here?
    Lets not let what is happening in Uganda happen in Zambia too. Lets stand up before its too late. Unlike Mukuka let us think of what this government decision will do to us in the long run, what is the real intent behind it? Think of how the internet and the social networking platforms help you in your activities, advertisements, education and work. Let us put in mind that, the spokeswoman’s personal view about social media cannot be a basis for national tax law.

  66. Being rude

    Yakukorani ma ARVs or bwanji…mulekeletu ndaba ninielepo pano!I wil cam ad fuck u ,den u can tax my ass!

  67. Pushi president

    Siliya please stop what you are doing

  68. lombe

    i have never seen the govt like this since i was born am now 90yrs.this govt likes money too much.next they wil be charging per second in the toilet.

  69. mulenga

    in 2021 we wont vote for u ,we wil vote for upnd.u bite crocodile while u are still in water.

    • Collins shingwe

      That’s only true Ba mulenga….mwati aba bakoswe mumpoto bwafya

  70. Magwaza

    those who are supporting such nonsense are moving grave(chumbwe cheenda).

  71. Collins shingwe

    This government too much love of money…kwashala sex taxation k5 per round….bwafya bakoswe mumpoto

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