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Muzamuziba Yesu! Zambians angry about new Whats App tax

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ZAMBIA’S Cabinet has introduced a passed the new law requiring Zambians to pay taxes for internet calls media. Zambia’s taxman will charge a 30 Ngwee per day tariff on internet phone calls.

It is not clear when the new controversial and seemingly draconian tax law will take into effect. However, many people have expressed their frustration over the new tax. Many took to the same social media platforms to express their rage.

Journalist and media studies scholar Clayson Hamasaka in his post on social media wrote;

“The question is: Will WhatsApp and Skype allow this since they promised clients free calls? In fact all internet calls are not free because charges are incurred through internet connection fees. E.g. two ways to get internet connection which allows one to make internet calls: a) through sim card bundles, and b) WiFi, When one uses WiFi all internet activities will be borne by the WiFi subscriber and it is calculated in bytes used rather than in type of activity. To download a huge file or update might be more expensive than making a call depending on the bytes involved. So how will the K0.30 be triggered since a call is just bytes used? Does Zamtel, MTN, Aitel, etc have a monitoring system for WhatsApp activities for every subscriber? Will they be able to print the WhatsApp call list to determine my usage and receipt my costs incurred on WhatsApp calls? Will WhatsApp or Facebook or Skype or Boom allow the Zambian Government to hack their sites for such private information? And we are told the taxes on whatsapp calls are meant to save jobs at the mobile phone providers. When taxes are collected, they are used by government. So how does the money get to the mobile service providers since government will be collecting the money as taxes and going into the government treasury and not mobile service providers.” He posted.

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Bus Fares Reduced, RTSA says

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FOLLOWING a drop in the fuel pump price announced recently by the Energy Regulation Board (ERB), bus fares have also been reduced.

Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) Head Public Relations Fredrick Mubanga says the reduction will be effected tomorrow.

“RTSA wishes to announce the reduction in bus fares, following the drop in fuel pump price announced by ERB recently.From the foregoing, the new bus fares are as follows:Approved Bus Fare Reduction Average percentage Intercity Long Distance14.0 percent, Copperbelt Local and other towns K5.00,Lusaka Local and other towns K5.00, Inter-Mine/Peri-Urban Copperbelt K7.00,Lusaka Peri-Urban K7.00. The new bus fares are effective 7th August, 2022,” he said.

Mr Mubanga said further, bus operators are guided to revise the bus fare charts and display in all the buses accordingly.

(Mwebantu, Saturday, August 6th, 2022)

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Transport and Logistics Minister Hon. Frank Tayali gives Yango A Nod

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On 31st of July 2022, a Yango delegation led by Ms Kabanda Chewe, the Country Manager for Zambia and Anton Zykov, Yango Head of international government relations projects, was granted an audience with the Minister of Transport and Logistics Hon. Frank Tayali accompanied by Acting Director Planning and Monitoring Mrs. Irene Tembo and Public Relations Officer for the Ministry Mr. Ndubi Mvula. During the courtesy call current changes in legislation and basic topics concerning ride hailing industry regulation were discussed.

The Yango delegation made a comprehensive presentation of its business model in Zambia. Ms Chewe offered to share best practices from across 20 Yango geographies in the field of urban transport. Yango underlined that affordability and digitalisation are very important for sustainable development of modern transport means such as online taxis.

Minister of Transport and Logistics Hon. Frank Tayali noted: “Zambians are enjoying the convenience of Yango, the fact that it provides better service. We see that its presence on the market benefits the creation of new job opportunities with local transport operators which partner with Yango. It gives access to an unprecedented level of earnings for young people. The new regulation will not limit these opportunities”.

Yango hopes that the new statutory instrument will give online taxis an affordable, simple, and fully digital way to continue operating but also allow the government to get its stipend from the rapidly expanding ride-hail sector.

Discussing the business model of Yango, Ms Chewe emphasized a fundamental difference between electronic platforms such as Yango and transport operators: “Yango is an electronic platform, a smart solution for connecting local Zambian transport operators and their clients. We work only with local independent partners – Zambian transport providers who aggregate drivers or have their own fleet.”

Another important topic raised during the meeting was price regulation. Ms Chewe noted: “There is a big change that happens on the market with Yango, the international business, launch. Due to fare competition that benefits all parties, for the first time in the history of the country, taxi rides become more accessible to everyone, which increases mobility and promotes economic growth. For further development and growth of the local market the government should not regulate prices artificially.”

Yango, an international informational service for ordering rides online was launched in Zambia in 2022 on March 29. Today it successfully operates in Lusaka helping facilitate a digital platform for local partners that provide affordable transportation for thousands of passengers every day. Yango has been operating mobility and delivery businesses in 20 countries across Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa since 2011.

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MultiChoice Announces Expansion of MultiChoice Talent Factory

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AS part of its ongoing commitment to grow the African film industry, MultiChoice announced the expansion of the MultiChoice Talent Factory. The announcement was made on Wednesday at an event attended by the Minister of Information and Media, Honourable Chushi Kasanda.

The MultiChoice Talent Factory will expand its skills development offering to practical, industry expert-led skills workshops outside of its academies. This affords local broadcasters as well as film and television professionals the opportunity to learn and upskill their film making abilities. This project which the organisation intends to roll out to the rest of Africa was launched in Malawi and now Zambia.

This expansion will formalise MultiChoice’s long-standing efforts to address concerns such as accessibility, opportunity, and quality in local productions. All training will be conducted by leading African and international industry experts and will offer holistic learning through online learning courses, masterclasses, and practical training which will focus on critical production skills such as production Management, sound, screenwriting, cinematography and 3D Annimation.

Speaking at the launch event, the Minister of Information and Media, Honourable Chushi Kasanda said: “Skills development is Key in unlocking Zambia’s immense potential in the film industry. In this regard, it is gratifying that MultiChoice has taken the initiative to invest in the growth of Zambia’s film industry through its Corporate Social Investment Initiative – the MultiChoice Talent Factory, an academy that trains young people in film making and production.”

Also speaking at this event MultiChoice Talent Factory Director Nwabisa Matyumza emphasized the company’s commitement to building Africa’s film industry.

“The MTF Expansion Programme is a new training initiative set to revolutionise the African TV sector, taking industry skills to a new level and boosting the quality of content for audiences across the continent. This initiative is a collaborative project between MultiChoice, local television channels in various African territories and the MultiChoice Talent Factory,” said Matyumza.

Ms Matyumza further emphasized the importance of working with local film broadcasters to further grow talent, create jobs and boost local content production

“Local broadcasters are the grassroots of the TV industry in every country. By investing and partnering to train and upskill the producers and filmmakers, we can make a direct, immediate impact. The training has been curated and will be presented by industry leaders with the focus on training that is fit for purpose and meet the needs of the television stations in Zambia,” said Ms Matzuma.

The MultiChoice Talent Factory is MultiChoice’s Corporate Social Responsibility. It is a shared-value initiative that provides a platform for the creative industries to develop their talent and engage with one another through their shared passions.

It has a multi-tiered approach namely the MTF Portal, the MTF Academies and MTF Industry Masterclasses.

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ZAMBIA: COVID-19 STATS

07 Aug 2022, 6:15 AM (GMT)

Zambia Stats

331,074 Total Cases
4,016 Deaths
325,897 Recovered

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