The MDC-Alliance registers its concem over the continued increase in the charges for voice, SMS and mobile data.
This comes against the backdrop of another round of increases barely a year ago as the
MDC-ALLIANCE POTRAZ athorized an increase of more than 200% for mobile charges. The exponential increases undoubtedly affect consumers across all networks and platforms.
They are insensitive to the plight of the general citizenry who have been wallowing in abject poverty as a result of economic mismanagement by the Govemment.
Zimbabwe has the highest cost of data and telecommunications in the region. We view this
as an infingement of the fundamental right to access and send infomation guaranteed in
section. It is also detrimental to most business operations as the cost of business increases.
The increase in the cost of communication also comes at a time where there are incessant
closures to schools and other educational institutions. These hikes therefore affect learners nghts to education as enshrined in Section 75 of the Constitution as online teaching and leaning platforms had remained the only altermative of student teacher engagement.
Article 19 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights buttresses the
provisions of our constitution by declaring that “Everyone has a right to freedom of opinion
and expression, including the right to freedom to hold opinions without interference and to
seek receive and impart infomation and ideas through media regardless of frontiers.
Additionally, the UN declared access to the intermet a fundamental human ight in 2016.
We therefore call upon the Govenment of Zimbabwe to make communication channels and platforms not only accessible but also affordable by the generality of the citizenry.
They must create a conducive operational environment for service providers and make the levies and taxes payable in this sector be for the purposes of enhancing and improving the
communications sector infrastructure thereby helpng b reduce the cost of running a
We further urge the State to create a competitive environment for new entrants into the
sector to enhance the free market system which will help to stabilize and reduce the charges
in the products offered by the telecommunications sector.
Lastly, we appeal to service providers to engage in ethical business practices which take intoinformation account the plight of the customer or end user of their products.
Any cost structure must not
unduly impede the nghts to free expression and access to information.
MDC Alliance Secretary for ICT
+263 779 007 530