Headlines 27 February 2012

MMD Threatens to expel pro-PF MPs

has threatened some of its members of parliament with expulsion from the party for voting with PF over the election of the Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini and for supporting the ratification of Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito.

According to an internal memo dated 22 December, 2011 obtained yesterday addressed to all members of parliament and signed by MMD national secretary Major Richard Kachingwe, the party had observed with disbelief the treacherous conduct of some of its members of parliament against the very principles of the party that sponsored them.

Source: The Post

Zambia will achieve economic prosperity – Ban

UNITED Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon says Zambia has the potential to achieve economic prosperity through its tourism influence.

Ban who was in the country for a two-day state visit said this during his inaugural tour of the Victoria Falls.

“The tourism sector in Zambia has the potential to develop the rest of the country,” he said.

Ban expressed confidence that, following the peaceful transition of power after the September 20th 2011 general elections, Zambia would maintain political stability.

“I was honoured to address the Parliament yesterday (Friday) Through That, I have lied out my expectations from the Zambian government and people on achieving the MDGs and in a broader sense, sustainable development, dealing with the climate change, food crisis and gender empowerment,” Ki Moon said.

Source: The Post 

Low inflation building investor confidence – ZACCI

Zambia Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI says the low inflation trend augments both local and foreign investor confidence in the country’s economic and political stability.

Last week, the Central Statistical Office announced that the country’s annual inflation rate slowed to its lowest rate in at least 10 years this month, to six percent year-on-year from 6.4 percent in January mainly due to food costs.

Zambia’s inflation has been on a declining trend and February’s rate marks the lowest since least January 2002, according to available data on the CSO website.

“The reduction is mainly attributed to reductions in food and non-alcoholic beverages,” the CSO said in a statement.

Commenting on the development, ZACCI commended the government and in particular commerce, trade and industry players for the low inflation rate reported for the month of February.

Source: The Post

Speaker urges increased SADC trade

SPEAKER of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini has called for increased regional trade in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region to foster sustainable development.

Dr Matibini was speaking in Lusaka yesterday when he opened the seventh regional meeting of the African Caribbean Pacific (ACP)-European Union (EU) joint parliamentary assembly.

He said there was need to rationalise overlapping memberships, citing Angola, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe that were members of both the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) and SADC.

Dr Matibini said there were critical developmental challenges in the SADC region that needed to be addressed for poverty to be eradicated.

Source: Times of Zambia

$500m bond to attract investors – German bank

GERMANY’s Bundesbank (central bank) says the US$500 million bond Zambia plans to issue is likely to attract investors despite the economic turbulences in the euro zone because investors are looking for stable markets to yield returns.

Zambia plans to issue a US$500 million sovereign bond in the first quarter of 2012.

The Bundesbank president for the Berlin regional office Claus Tigges has, however, said Zambia needs to exercise caution as it plans to issue the debt instrument as some investors are likely to be reluctant of any Government bonds amid the economic shocks.

“Given all nervousness in the market, it is too early to tell whether (Zambia) should go ahead with the bond or postpone it …some investors are sceptical of Government debt at the moment,” Mr Tigges said.

There are various ways in which developing economies might be affected by Euro zone crisis. Trade is one of them because demand for products from developing countries will suffer, meaning developing countries should diversify their markets if they are to mitigate the adverse impact of the crisis.

Source: Zambia Daily Mail 

Ban on mining licenses costs State K3bn

The Government has lost K3.2 billion in revenue as a result of the suspension of the issuance of mining licenses and non- mining rights last year.

The government suspended the issuance of mining licenses and non-mining rights due to irregularities, litigations and allegations bordering on corruption in the processes.

Mines deputy minister Richard Musukwa said in an interview in Lusaka that the Government had lost more than K3.2 billion between January and March 2012.

“The government should have collected more than K3.2 billion as revenue from mining licenses, application fees and area charges from mining companies,” he said.

Mr Musukwa said currently the ministry was working at resolving the licensing conflicts and irregularities which have arisen.

The licenses and permits in question include; large scale mining, small-scale mining, prospecting license, prospecting permit, gemstone license, gemstone sales certificate and artisan’s mining rights.

Source: Times of Zambia

TIZ dissapointed with political appointments

Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) says it is disappointed with the appointment of cadres as District Commissioners.

TIZ executive director Goodwell Lungu says it is sad to note that President Michael Sata is slowly backtracking on most of the pronouncements he made during campaigns.

Mr. Lungu said TIZ will watch the president very closely so that he does not do the opposite of what he promised.

The President announced that he would not appoint District Commissioners based on education qualifications but rather on ones understanding of the region because the job does not require academic excellence.

Source: Qfm Radio 

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