ZR Comment: President Michael Sata has undertaken some rather surprising and extensive reshuffling of his cabinet this week. It is interesting to note that he has moved his nephew, Miles Sampa, to Deputy Minister of Finance. This coincides with the appointment of another one of his relatives, Alexander Chikwanda, as Minister of Finance, who Secretary of the Treasury Fredson Yamba, who is Sata’s wife’s cousin (thus is seen as his brother-in-law in Zambia). At this point, the entire Finance Ministry is controlled by members of Sata’s family.
— HEADLINES —
President Sata reshuffles government again, appoints new Minister of Mines
President Michael Sata has reshuffled three government ministries. The Ministry of Local Government will now be called Ministry of Local Government and Housing with Professor Nkandu Luo carrying on as Minister. This is according to a statement released by State House Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations, George Chellah.
President Sata has also announced that the Ministry of Education will now be known as Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education and will be presided over by Dr John Phiri as Minister. Additionally, the President has transferred Christopher Yaluma to the new ministry to be identified as Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development. Meanwhile, Wilber Simusa will be the Minister in-charge of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.
President Sata has also transferred Dr Ngosa Simbyakula from the Ministry of Justice to the Ministry of Home Affairs as Deputy Minister with a special responsibility of spearheading the creation of district attorneys’ chambers countrywide.
President Sata says the move is meant to enhance and guarantee professionalism in the prosecution process by speeding up the dispensation of justice.
Dr Simbyakula replaces Obvious Mwaliteta who has been transferred to Southern Province as provincial Minister taking over from Miles Sampa who has been brought to the Ministry of Finance as Deputy Minister.
Sata has also reassigned Finance Deputy Minister Alfreda Kansembe to the Ministry of Justice in the same capacity.
Guy Scott a dummy VP, charges Kunda
Former Republican Vice president George Kunda says the first five Months of the PF in power have subjected members of the MMD to untold sufferings adding that law enforcement agencies are on rampage brutalizing former Cabinet ministers.
He says Zambia was headed for a one party state system given the rate at which the PF government was presiding over national matters.
Mr. Kunda said it was surprising that PF General Secretary Winter Kabimba would go on national television and defend the President’s U-turn on the Barotseland agreement even before the matter is subjected to Cabinet for scrutiny.
“Mr Kabimba and Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda wield power more than Vice-President Guy Scott. Guy Scott is a dummy president, there is nothing he does, he does not even act as president in the absence of Mr. Sata, ask him what his position is we want to know,” said Kunda.
President Sata has in the past handed over instruments of power to Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda as acting President when leaving the country.
Rupiah abused public media for himself, says Masebo
Continuing with the counter-attack to the former president over his complaints of pro-government media bias, Masebo says Rupiah Banda was the worst president in terms of abusing the state-owned media.
In an interview, Masebo, who is PF Chongwe member of parliament said the former president should not complain about the state media being a government mouthpiece because his leadership was poor in terms of media operations.
“The former president is the wrong person to talk about public media becoming a mouthpiece for the government because he himself, out of all the presidents Zambia has had, he’s been the worst.
Rupiah willing to step down – MMD
MMD National Vice Chairman Kabinga Pande says former President Rupiah Banda is not holding on to the party presidency.
He says Mr. Banda is willing to relinquish his position but will only do so after the party convention.
Mr. Pande, who is also former Foreign Affairs Minister, said the former ruling party has procedures to be followed on such positions.
He was responding to Journalists at a media briefing held at the party secretariat in Lusaka on Wednesday.
MMD National Youth Chairman Moses Muteteka recently challenged Mr. Banda to stand down from the position of party president.
President Sata is a flip flopper-Hichilema
United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema has labeled President Michael Sata a flip flopping President.
Mr Hichilema in a statement said President Sata had changed positions on many national issues such the windfall tax, street vending and now the Barotseland agreement.
He says it is President Sata’s past statements, his alleged flip flopping habits and his deafening silence on UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s advocacy on gay rights that is worrying.
Mr Hichilema has demanded that President Michael Sata gives the nation his position and that of the PF on gay rights as advocated for by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon who visited the country last week.
Britain backs gay rights
British High Commissioner James Thornton says the free choice of sexuality should be regarded as human rights. And Mr Thornton says such rights needs to be respected by African countries including Zambia. He says it is sad that in some African countries homosexuals and lesbians are not allowed to express their sexual rights.
He was answering questions from journalists soon after calling on Southern Province deputy permanent secretary Alfred Chiinda at his office in Livingstone.
Government spent K3.8 billion on Commissions of Inquiry – Parliament
Government has revealed that K3.8 billion was spent on the four commissions of inquiry constituted to look into various national issues between 20th September and 30th November, 2011.
Deputy Minister in the office of the Vice President Edgar Lungu told Parliament yesterday that there was no provision for the Commissions of Inquiry in the 2011 budget.
Mr Lungu however said that a supplementary budget was required to account for the expenditure as the programme came after the 2011 budget was approved.
Source: Qfm Radio (http://www.qfmzambia.com/blog_details.php?idx=7236)
Zambia backs Zuma for AU top job
Foreign Affairs Minister Given Lubinda is hopeful that South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Nkozazana Dlamini Zuma will assume the African Union Commission Chairmanship at the elections to be held in June, in Malawi.
Mr Lubinda says the campaign for Mrs Zuma should not be just for South Africa but for the entire SADC region.
The Minister is sure that other regions will accept the out come of the elections just as the SADC graciously accepted the defeat of Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika in 2008.
This is according to a statement released by First Secretary for Press at the Zambian Mission in Pretoria, Patson Chilemba.
‘Poor Kabwe road network may scare away investors’
The poor state of roads in Kabwe, Central Province has the potential to scare away investors.
Kabwe Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) president Sydney Tembo says Government should seriously work on deplorable roads in Kabwe so the roads can be user friendly.
Speaking in an interview in Kabwe yesterday, Tembo urged Government to come up with a short-term plan to make the most affected roads passable.
“Bad roads are negatively affecting business in this town and are also increasing the cost of maintaining vehicles. Otherwise the situation is not good and this is where we need Government to urgently step in without further delays,” Mr Tembo said.
Experts expect kwacha to trade at K5,700
FINANCIAL market experts have warned that the local currency is in the short term expected to trade at K5,700 against the US dollar due to ‘inactive’ export revenues and a strong import growth.
CitiBank Zambia stated in its daily market update that recent price action has been poor as the K5,700 level was breached previously and it took Bank of Zambia intervention to prevent further depreciation.
“We continue to view K5,200 as a key level to watch…,” stated Citibank in its Monday bulletin. “Despite this, the Kwacha has weakened above K5,200 again and this makes us think the next move is likely to target K5,700, since trade account data shows strong import growth and stagnant export revenues, leading to a compression of the trade account, which previously had been key to our bullish kwacha.”