ZR Comment: The bitter debate over media independence in Zambia has finally hit the front pages this week, as the Daily Mail is running two separate articles attacking former President Rupiah Banda over his accusation that the press is biased against the opposition, serving as a mouthpiece for the Patriotic Front. From the rumor mill: Is Post editor Fred M’membe currently fighting with President Michael Sata? A says that the new president became annoyed with M’Membe for boasting that his newspaper “took down” former presidents Kaunda, Chiluba, and Banda. M’Membe is also apparently angered at Sata for having poached so many of his staff for government appointments (seen as rewards for their coverage of the PF campaign). This source also says Sata wouldn’t hesitate to take down M’Membe.
— HEADLINES —
RB will not be paid his retirement benefits if he remains in active politics – Shamenda
Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Labour Fackson Shamenda has said that former President Rupiah Banda will not be paid his retirement benefits as long as he remains in active politics.
Mr Shamenda said this following Mr Banda’s remarks that he will continue to be president of MMD until a new leader is elected at the convention in April.
He said the law was clear regarding the payment of benefits to former Presidents.
Mr Banda declared that he will continue to support the former ruling party even after a new leader is elected. But Mr Shamenda said Mr Banda should be wary of the consequences of his decisions.
“It’s up to him (Mr Banda). If he wants to continue participating actively in politics, he should bear the consequences of doing so,” he said.
RB has become a liability – Muteteka
MMD national youth Chairperson Moses Muteteka says party president Rupiah Banda has become a liability to the former ruling party and should immediately resign.
Mr. Muteteka said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that the former president was not adding any value to the party.
He was reacting to president Banda’s insistence that he would remain party president until the party holds elections in April.
“First of all I must say that president Banda is not adding any value to the MMD, and secondly he has become a liability to this great party. It is behavior like this of not listening to people that made the
party lose the last general elections.
Mr. Muteteka urged Banda to step aside so that he can receive his benefits from government as a former President.
He said the party was now looking for a leader that would move the party forward and redeem it from the dent of corruption.
Government on track in development says Kabimba
The patriotic front says failure by its ministers to articulate the party manifesto does not mean that the party in government has failed to deliver development.
PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba said critics especially from the opposition claiming that the PF government has not delivered in the past four months were not being realistic.
Mr. Kabimba said the PF had reviewed and realigned some government programmes and departments in order to re-align them with the party manifesto.
Mr. Kabimba is optimistic that his party will deliver to the expectations of the Zambians during its tenure of office.
Sata reshuffles deputy ministers
President Michael Sata has made a mini reshuffle to his government at deputy minister level.
President Sata has moved Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports John Kafuna to Western province as Provincial minister to replace Mr. Nathaniel Mubukwanu
who has since been transferred to the Ministry of Youth and Sports as Deputy Minister.
Deputy Minister of Youth and Sport Rayford Mbulu has been transferred to the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and Labour in the same capacity.
President Sata expressed confidence that the transferred deputy ministers will satisfy the functions of their offices.
This is contained in a statement made available to ZANIS by President Sata’s Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations George
President Sata has been making adjustments to his Cabinet and ministerial departments almost every month since his election in September 2011, attracting condemnation from his critics who accuse him of lucking consultation in his style of leadership.
PF to attract more donors – EIU
Zambia will attract stronger ties with the international donor community following Government’s spirited fight against corruption embarked on by President Michael Sata’s administration, says the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
According to the latest report released by EIU, the stronger ties would result in an increase in grants and similar donor aid.
“Zambia is not expected to face any external threats over the period under review (2012-2016). Relations with Western donors are expected to remain stable and could improve if Mr. Sata lives up to his pledge to tackle corruption,” the report reads in part.
It says President Sata’s first term in office is likely to be dominated by three issues; redistributing wealth, creating jobs and tackling corruption.
On the economic front, the report forecasts that growth in the mining sector will soar in 2014 and 2015, as investments at the Kansanshi, Lumwana and Konkola mines as well as the new Trident mine nears completion.
US team completes tour of its projects in Zambia
A delegation of United States Congressional staff representing elected officials from both the Senate and House of Representatives has completed a one-week tour of Zambia during which they reviewed projects supported by the United States through the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
The visit, organised by the US embassy and UNAIDS in cooperation with the Zambian Government, highlights the strong partnership between the US and Zambia in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
Public Affairs Officer at the US embassy, Priscilla Hernandez said in a statement that the delegation visited sites and people in Chongwe, Lusaka, Mazabuka, Monze and Livingstone.
She said the delegation’s observations would help inform the US elected officials of successes and challenges faced in the effort to attain an AIDS free generation.
“The US congressional staff delegation observed the application of recent scientific discoveries and advances in HIV and AIDS control pioneered in Zambia,” she said.
Mines call for fair tax system
The Chamber of Mines of Zambia says Zambia needs a fair tax system that will create an environment that will see Government and the mining companies benefit from the mining companies taxes.
Visiting professor from Duke University of the Unites States, Robert Conrad said Government needs to audit and monitor its passive investments in the mining sector.
Speaking at the Economic Association of Zambia (EAZ) public discussion, Chamber of Mines chief executive officer Frederick Bantubonse said with nationalisation and subsequent privatisation, the industry, which had collapsed, went through a re-birth, re-investment and a time lag before companies became tax liable.
Mr Bantubonse said many Zambians fail to invest in the mining sector because mining is a long-term, capital-intensive and risky business.
He said tax contribution from the mines is expected to increase as a number of mines start paying tax when their investment maturity is met.
Zambia, South Africa trade soars – Budget
ZAMBIA’s trade with South Africa rose by one third last year, the 2012 South Africa’s national budget has shown.
The budget presented to Parliament in Pretoria by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday last week, showed that imports from South Africa to Zambia rose by 37.2 per cent in the first 11 months of 2011, compared with the same period in 2010.
Zambia’s exports to South Africa were up by 34 per cent in the same period. This is opposed to the 15 per cent overall growth in South Africa’s exports to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region recorded during the year.
Aviation spirit topped the list of South Africa’s exports to SADC countries, accounting for six per cent of value, followed by iron and steel structures, electricity and diesel-powered trucks.
Zambia to post 6.3 pc economic growth
Zambia’s economic outlook this year is bright and is posed to post an economic growth rate of 6.3 per cent despite the bleak global economic trend, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has predicted.
In its February country report for Zambia, the EIU foresees Zambia still cashing in on high copper prices and huge investments in the power and mining sectors.
Amid effects from the global trend, a sharper economic slowdown is not likely for Africa biggest copper producer because of a strong agricultural growth, investments in power and mining, a big increase in public spending and continued high copper prices on the international market.
Growth in the mining sector will soar in 2014-15 as investments at the Kansanshi, Lumwana and Konkola mines, as well as First Quantum’s new Trident mine, approach completion.