ZR Comment: President Michael Sata has once again shaken things up in the Patriotic Front administration with a series of new cabinet appointments and demotions of key staff. The frequent reshuffles are being seen as “rash” and “impulsive” character traits of the president, who makes these decisions without consultation with any staff, when he is impressed or disappointed with any official at a given moment. This is seen as a weak point of the president, and one that the opposition is likely to take advantage of. The reshuffles have become problematic internally as well, as many ministers are angling to become the PF candidate in the 2016 elections, which Sata has said he will not stand for.
Sata reshuffles cabinet yet again
President Michael Sata has upgraded the Gender in Development division into a fully fledged Ministry.
The President has also transferred Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister Inonge Wina to the new Ministry of Gender as cabinet Minister and promoted Gender Deputy Minister Emerine Kabanshi to the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs as Cabinet Minister.
The President made the announcement when he officiated at the International Women’s’ Day at Lusaka’s Show Grounds on Thursday afternoon.
He also called on women to compete for positions because he does not believe in rewarding women, for the sake of it.
Parliament ratifies changes to Cabinet
Parliament has approved the abolition and establishment of four government Ministries and departments.
Parliament yesterday unanimously approved the abolition and establishment of The Ministry of Education, Science and Vocational Training which has now become the Ministry of Education, Science and Vocational Training and Early Education.
The Ministry of Lands, Energy and Water Development is now the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection while the Ministry of Local Government, Housing, Early Education and Environmental Protection is now Local Government and Housing.
Parliament also approved the changes at the Ministry of Mines and Natural Resources which is now Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development.
Vice President Guy Scott says in terms of Article 44 of the constitution the President has power to realign certain Ministries and departments.
PF brings back abuse of office
THE PF government has taken back the abuse of authority of office clause that was removed by the Rupiah Banda administration from the Anti-Corruption Commission Act prior to last year’s general elections.
According to the Anti-Corruption bill, 2012 tabled by justice minister Sebastian Zulu in the House yesterday afternoon, the Abuse of authority of office clause is in Section 21 of part three of the bill.
The bill states that a public officer commits an offence by doing or directing, in abuse of their position, office or authority any arbitrary act prejudicial to the rights or interests of the government.
The Anti-Corruption bill 2012, which came up for first reading yesterday, seeks to deal with any public officer concerned with any matter of transaction connected to their office who corruptly solicits to receive any gratification in relation to the transaction.
“A public officer shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, to have used that public officer’s position, office or information for an advantage or benefit where the public officer takes any decision or action in relation to any matter in which the public officer or a relative or associate of the public officer, has a direct or indirect interest,” the bill reads in part.
PF honeymoon is over – Dora
Former ruling party MMD spokesperson Dora Siliya says the PF’s honeymoon is over.
Siliya who is also Petauke member of parliament urged the government to stop blaming the MMD for every problem they encountered because the people of Zambia gave them the mandate.
“They gave the people campaign promises. Our role now is to remind the PF of the promises they made on their own so that they don’t forget them,” she said.
“We want to be a reasonable opposition that will give the right checks and balances to government. We respect that the PF won the elections. They had the 90 days and an extra 90 days to make it six months in March so the honeymoon is over for them,” she said.
Sata appoints Lusaka economist to head ZNBC
President Michael Sata has appointed Chibamba Kanyama as new Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation Director General, taking over from Joe Joe Chilaizya who has been redeployed into foreign mission.
Announcing the appointment, Information Minister Fackson Shamenda thanked Mr Chilaizya for the dedicated service and welcomed Mr Kanyama who was until his appointment, cooperate affairs director for Zambia Breweries.
He said Mr Kanyama was also a media personnel with vast experience in media issues capable of contributing to the uplifting of the national broadcaster.
Resource nationalism driving investors away from Zambia to the DRC
Zambia and other copper producing countries across the African continent are demanding greater shares in profits from the country’s natural wealth and the rights of mine workers in the region are coming under closer scrutiny.
But such moves by African governments have led resource nationalism to become one of the biggest international concerns for the world’s top 30 miners, according to a survey by Ernst & Young.
In fact Investors should be increasingly wary of changes in mining tax policies, as the possibility of labor unrest affecting output may increase.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), meanwhile, is attracting more investors after years of civil unrest, including mining entrepreneur Robert Friedland. The Executive Chairman of privately-held Ivanplats, and CEO of Ivanhoe Mines said in early February that Ivanplats will be developing the Kamoa mine, Africa’s largest copper project in the country.
The Congo is also attracting the attention of Chinese investors, including Minmetals Resources, which completed its $1.3 billion bid for Toronto’s Anvil Mining in February.
Zambia has doubled its royalties on copper to six percent and such resource nationalism is slowly driving investors to the DRC, according to Resource Investing News.