Headlines 12 March 2012

ZR Comment:  Our apologies for the late delivery today.  Zambia may be the best kept investment secret in Africa, but its broadband connections still have a little way to go.  In other news, Sata’s attack on the political opposition appears to be taking a new turn this week, with firings of most civil servants who aren’t party members and a vague attack by President Sata that leaders of the opposition parties are “thieves.”

MMD, UPND led by thieves, says Sata

President Michael Sata has accused the country’s two major opposition political party leaders of being thieves.

The president said this when he addressed youths at Lusaka’s Freedom Statue square during youth day cerebrations which were shunned by the former ruling party and the UPND who instead opted to stage demonstrations in Southern and Copperbelt provinces.

Sata noticed the lack of representation from the two parties and expressed gratitude that despite their absence, the occasion was successful.

“The MMD and UPND thought if they stay away from this event, it would be a flop, but they have seen how inconsequential they are so let us all applaud them,” he said.

President Sata went on to say the PF was determined to create jobs for the youths against criticism from UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and MMD’s Rupiah Banda whom he described as thieves.

The UPND and MMD are being led by thieves, the populist head of state charged amid cheering from his supporters who chanted though out his speech in support.

Zambia today is commemorated Youth day under the theme ” accelerating youth empowerment for sustainable development”.

Various activities were held in different parts of the country.

Exclusive for Zambia Reports. Full speech can be found here.

PF wants more time to deliver campaign promises

The Patriotic Front-PF- has asked Zambians to give government time to deliver on its 2011 election campaign promises.

PF Chairman for Labour , Davies Mwila who is also Copperbelt Provincial Minister says the PF government will be able to deliver to the expectations of Zambians but needs a little more time.

Mr. Mwila has assured Zambians that government will fulfill all its election campaign promises.

Source: ZNBC

Government to fire MMD civil servants

Vice President Guy Scott says the PF government is working hard to get rid of MMD cadres who are still serving in the civil service.

Dr Scott said this was because the MMD cadres were making attempts to sabotage the PF government operations.

And Dr Scott has defended the appointment of PF cadres in the civil service.

He said the PF government cannot neglect cadres who ushered it into power.

The Vice President advised PF cadres to have confidence in the government as it was determined to develop the country.

Source: ZNBC

Barotseland issue should not be ignored, says Kaingu

MICHAEL Kaingu says ignoring the Barotseland Agreement will not help the country because it needs to be faced head-on.

In an interview, Kaingu who is Mwandi MMD member of parliament said whatever the government does, the agreement would “resurrect”.

“The question of ignoring this piece of paper will not help us; we just have to face it head-on. We have been ignoring it since 1964, it will resurrect.

“The President is losing an opportunity here. For me really I don’t see the mischief in the Barotseland Agreement. When you look at the objectives of the Barotseland Agreement, they are not far from decentralisation or the policies of government. All you need to do is just to harmonise,” he said.

Source: The Post Newspaper

Anti-Corruption Bill to ease through parliament

OPPOSITION Members of Parliament have pledged to support the Anti-Corruption Bill which was presented to Parliament on Wednesday last week.

The Bill seeks to restore the abuse of authority of office clause that was repealed by the MMD government as it comes for second reading on March 23, this year.

Justice Minister Sebastian Zulu tabled the Anti-Corruption Bill 2012, which among other issues, seeks to deal with any public officer concerned with any matter of transaction connected to their office and corruptly solicits to receive any gratification.

Some MMD MPs, the United Party for National Development (UPND), and Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) have said they would support the Bill.

Source: Times of Zambia

Labour minister pleads against looming national strike

MINISTER of Labour Fackson Shamenda has appealed to public service workers to remain patient and allow for the smooth conclusion of negotiations for improved salaries and conditions of service.

Mr Shamenda said workers in the public service should not rush into an illegal strike but wait for Government and public service unions to conclude the bargaining process for new conditions of service.

He said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that Government was doing everything possible to ensure that negotiations are completed before the existing collective agreement expires this month-end.

“I want to assure our workers that we are doing everything possible to ensure that negotiations for improved conditions of service are concluded on time.

Source: Zambia Daily Mail

Government will not nationalize companies – Commerce minister

Commerce minister Bob Sichinga says government has no intentions of nationalizing companies. Mr. Sichinga said that the commissions of inquiry that were set by the government should not be mistaken as a nationalizing process.

He said that the commissions of inquiry are just conformity to what the Patriotic Front government made to the people of Zambia during campaigns.

Sichinga however said government would not allow companies that were sold illegally to continue operating in the country.

He said that government is committed to ensure that lawlessness is not allowed to continue operating in the country.

Sichinga said this when he officially opened a second COMESA-SADC and the East African Community tripartite meeting in Lusaka.

Source: LusakaTimes

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