Headlines 7 March 2012

ZR Comment:  Yesterday the PF administration continued its seizure of property belonging to the opposition party with the impounding of a 63-seat campaign bus, which would presumably be used in upcoming campaigns on behalf of the party.  According to several sources we spoke with, the seizure of the bus has no basis in law.

Wendy Sherman commends PF

The US government is happy that the PF-government has peacefully settled down and governing the affairs of the country after last year’s tripartite elections.

Visiting US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman says the US is proud of Zambia because of the peaceful transition of government which took place last year.

Ms Sherman who arrived in the country on Tuesday night and leaves on Thursday was speaking on Wednesday morning when she met Vice President Guy Scott at his office.

And Dr Scott says government is faced with a huge challenge of unemployment.

The Vice President says it is the task of the PF government to create job opportunities.

Source: ZNBC

Masebo ‘mocks’ MMD’s complaints on corruption allegations

Chongwe member of parliament Silvia Masebo says the complaints being raised by the opposition MMD leaders that they are being persecuted by the PF government are strange and an indication that they are still in shock of having been dethroned.

Ms. Masebo says former MMD leaders should not be panicking if they know that the corruption allegations leveled against them are not true.

She also reminded former vice president George Kunda to reflect on how he used the floor of the house to push for unpopular decisions against the citizens.

The former Local government minister noted that MMD leaders had become big headed and were not listening to issues that were being raised by the people of Zambia.

Source: Qfm/LusakaTimes

Former defence chiefs to face arrests

FORMER Zambia Army commander Lt Gen Wisdom Lopa and Zambia National Service commandant Maj Gen Anthony Yeta are facing arrest for allegedly pocketing funds meant for the defence wings last year.

Lt Gen Sakala was two weeks ago arrested and charged by the joint investigative team probing the plunder of national resources for allegedly pocketing K1.5 billion meant for the three defence wings last year.

Sources within the joint government investigative team probing the plunder of national resources said Lt Gen Lopa and Maj. Gen Yeta would be arrested and charged together with former Zambia Air Force commander.

Joint probe team spokesperson Munganga-Chanda said Lt. Gen Sakala was formally arrested and charged on two counts of theft by public servant and abuse of authority of office after interrogations at Woodlands Police Station.

“The particulars of offence is that last year he received K1.5 billion which was meant for operations of the three wings of the defence, that is Zambia Army, Air Force and Zambia National Service,” Munganga-Chanda said. “He decided to use it [K1.5 billion] for personal gain. That is what we have arrested him for.”

Source: The Post Newspaper

Purchasing institute differs with government over procurement

The Zambia Institute of Purchasing and Supply (ZIPS) has opposed government’s decision to reconstitute the Central Tender Committee at the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) to be in charge of public procurement.

ZIPS president Jones Kalyongwe said the government should not waste its opportunity to correct the damage the MMD inflicted on public procurement in the last three years. Kalyongwe said the removal of Samuel Chibuye as director general of ZPPA last Friday was long overdue and it should form the turning point for picking up reforms to improve public procurement.

Chibuye was hired by the former president Rupiah Banda’S regime after David Kapitolo was fired in 2010 for resisting the abuse of ZPPA by then senior government officials.

In an interview, Kalyongwe said it was retrogressive for Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba to reconstitute the Central Tender Committee when the government had prioritized devolution as the anchor on running the country.

Source: The Post Newspaper

Copperbelt youths want Mumba for president

The Copperbelt Province MMD youth wing has endorsed the candidature of former Zambian ambassador to Canada Dr. Nevers Mumba as party president at the forth coming extra ordinary convention.

Provincial MMD youth Chairperson Chicco Chibale announced the youths’ resolve to rally behind Dr. Mumba at a press briefing in Kitwe Tuesday afternoon.

Mr. Chibale says after a thorough scrutiny of four of the five aspiring presidential candidates the youths on Province realized that Dr. Mumba has all the qualities needed to steer the party forward.

The MMD extra-ordinary convention is slated for April, 2012.

Others vying for party presidency are Lunte MP Felix Mutati, Kasempa MP Kabinga Pande, Chisamba MP Muteteka and Liuwa MP Situmbeko Musokotwane.

Source: Flava fm

Wilima accuses Katele of scheming MMD’s demise

MMD Ndola district vice publicity secretary William Wilima has accused the Patriotic Front, Katele Kalumba and Chisamba parliamentarian Moses Muteteka of scheming to kill MMD.

And Wilima says the only mistake former president Rupiah Banda made was to embrace MMD founding members “most of whom were allegedly very corrupt”.

Reacting to former MMD national secretary Kalumba’s statement that Banda was a liability and was not adding any value to the MMD, Wilima observed that Kalumba’s statement was not a coincidence.

“Katele has been saying that Rupiah Banda should leave his position. Muteteka has been attacking Rupiah Banda and the PF government has been threatening to withdraw Rupiah Banda’s benefits, so when you look at all these issues, they are not a coincidence,” Wilima said.

He alleged that Kalumba, Muteteka and the PF wanted Banda to step aside before the MMD convention because they knew that he would help the party mobilise resources for the same.

Source: The Post Newpaper

Zambia-China economic trade attracts $1bn

THE Zambia-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone has attracted 17 companies and a total investment of nearly U$1 billion since inception five years ago, according to Zambia Development Agency.

ZDA says resident companies of the economic zone situated in Chambishi on the Copperbelt have generated nearly US $500 million in taxes and sales revenues of US $4.35 billion.

This is according to officials during a ceremony on Feb 3 in Beijing to mark the zone’s fifth anniversary.

Founded by China Nonferrous Metal Mining (Group) Co Ltd (CNMC), the zone is “another milestone in ties between the two countries following the TAZARA Railway” built by China 40 years ago to link Zambia with Tanzania, said China’s vice-foreign minister Zhai Jun.

The zone is the country’s first multipurpose economic zone and China’s first business cooperation area in Africa.

Source: The Post Newspaper

Zambia’s investment increases

ZAMBIA’s investment has increased by 42 percent, hitting US$182 million as at January 2012 from US$129 million recorded during the same period last year.

The increase in investment is an indication that investor confidence has continued to grow because of the stability of the country’s investment policies.

The increase in investment comes barely a week after Fitch Ratings urgency downgraded the country’s forecast merely based on the reversal of Zamtel privatisation that was found to be illegal.

Fitch also cited announcements that some policy changes could be expected in the mining sector although Government has ruled out nationalisation.

Out of the US$182 million investment pledges, the mining sector accounted for 61 percent of the total investment pledges.

Other sectors that pushed the country’s investment portfolio to its current position include the manufacturing industry at 17 percent and construction industry that recorded 11 percent while the agriculture and service sectors each registered five percent.

Source: Zambia Daily Mail

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