ZR Comment: Hot story over the weekend was President Sata’s sudden sacking of the Director-General of the Zambian Public Procurement Authority Samuel Chibuye. The rumors going round say that the termination of Chibuye’s contract had to do with the Bank of Zambia tenders. We are told that the Ministry of Finance directed the PPA to handle the tender procedure and the early stages of the process indicated that he was pushing Gieseeke & Devrient instead of the usual Thomas De La Rue. Back in September following the election, the Patriotic Front accused the former ruling party MMD of printing illegal currency in the run up to the elections and also said money printed by Gieseeke & Devrient was in circulation illegally, while the MMD denied the accusation as pure fiction. Other possible reasons for the dismissal of Chibuye may be connected to a controversial no-bid tender for the renovation of State House passed to Apollo Enterprises, a company owned by the current PF Minister of Finance.
MMD Will Seek Legal Intervention Over Removal of Banda’s Benefits
George Kunda, the former vice president and current chairperson for legal affairs of the MMD, has announced that the party will seek the court’s intervention if the Patriotic Front (PF) ruling party decides to freeze the constitutionally granted entitlements to former President Rupiah Banda.
In a press statement released to Muvi TV, president Sata through his Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations George Chellah stated that cabinet will soon give its position regarding the former president Rupiah Banda entitlements.
President Sata denies making any statement on Rupiah’s immunity
President Michael Sata says he has not made any statement over former President Rupiah Banda’s immunity because it would be prejudicial.
Mr Sata says there would be no justice for Mr Banda if he as President made a statement over the former head of state’s immunity.
Mr Sata said this at State House on Monday morning during a meeting with Paramount Chief Mpezeni and chief Mazdimawe of the Ngoni people of Estern Province.
Sata has failed to use experience to run the country says Dr. Mutesa
Opposition Zambians for Empowerment and Democracy (ZED) president Fred Mutesa has charged that president Michael Sata has failed to show his political and governmental experience in his governance system.
Dr. Mutesa says the continued changes in the ministry portfolios is a source of concern because likely to cost more at the expense of other developmental programmes.
He noted that Zambia had been implementing the public service reforms which have over the years seen structural changes made in line with operations of the governance system.
Dr. Mutesa described the recent changes in the ministry portfolios as experimental and questionable.
Recently President Sata renamed the Ministry of Local Government as Ministry of Local Government and Housing and Ministry of Education as Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education among other changes.
No respite as dragnet tightens around MMD
The Movement for Multi-Party Democracy in Zambia has been served with a $78000 (K390-million) bill for outstanding statutory fees.
On February 22, the investigators recorded a statement preliminary to the prosecution of former works and supply minister Gabriel Namulambe in connection with 20 bicycles that are said to have been meant for small-scale miners but that he allegedly diverted to his election campaign.
Namulambe is the MMD chairman for elections and was active in the recent by-election in the Eastern Province, which was won by the PF.
Shortly after the same team took a statement from former minister of finance and national planning Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane in connection with about 1000 bicycles which were confiscated from his farm.
And Boniface Nkhata, the former deputy minister in the Mines Ministry, has been arrested and charged with diverting 20 bicycles, again meant for small-scale miners to his election campaign.
There seems no respite and the dragnet appears to be tightening.
Zambia is on the right track in economic development
The Private Sector Development Association (PSDA) has called on the government to strengthen institutions that are critical to the country’s development.
In an exclusive interview, PSDA chairperson Yusuf Dodia however observes that Zambia is on the right track in achieving economic benchmarks.
Mr. Dodia explains that it is therefore important for the government to sustain and build on the economic achievements the country has recorded.
He further explained that the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP) was an important economic document that could promote accelerated development in many sectors of the economy if the benchmarks set were attained within the stipulated timeframe.
CSOs call for the setting up of the Referndem Commission
The Civil Society Constitution Coalition (CSCC) has urged President Michael Sata to immediately begin the process of constituting the Referendum Commission.
The coalition has noted with concern the lack of immediate appointment or direction to that effect of a Referendum Commission, after the mode of adoption through referendum was made apparent by the technical committee.
Coalition spokesperson Father Leonard Chiti said it was important that President Sata appointed a referendum commission so that the body can immediately begin preparation for holding of a Referendum as well as the voter registration exercise.
Father Chiti also says that President Sata should immediately announce the members that will constitute the Referendum Committee.
Zambian mine sector to boom
Mines Deputy Minister Richard Musukwa says the mining sector is on the verge of a boom following increased investments.
Mr Musukwa says the projected growth in the mining sector will result into new job opportunities and more revenue for the national treasury.
The Deputy Minister however, said mine owners and workers should embrace a spirit of give and take in order to avoid any forms of industrial disharmony.
He says the PF government will support new investments that focus on wealth and job creation for the people.
Mr Musukwa said this in an interview today.
Zambian population and economy too small for a Federal System of Government-Kabimba
Patriotic Front Secretary General, Wynter Kabimba has said that the Zambian population cannot allow for a federal system because it is too small.
Mr Kabimba said that the country and its economy are also small and can not be compared to countries like Nigeria and the United states of America which have huge populations.
He said that Zambia has not yet reached the level to move from central government to federal system of governance because of limited resources.
Mr Kabimba was reacting to a suggestion made by Zambia Direct Democracy president Edwin Sakala who called on government consider introducing Federal system of governance.