ZR Comment: The continuing secessionist pressures in the Southern Province should be carefully monitored, as they pose a challenge to the Patriotic Front’s management skills.
Ruling PF acknowledges leadership crisis
PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba says the PF government has teething problems in finding a group of men and women that would drive its economic agenda.
Featuring on a privately owned TV programme on Sunday, Kabimba said not everybody in the civil service was a PF supporter.
“Yes, PF has teething problems, in terms of trying to find a group of men and women outside the civil service that are going to drive this social and economic agenda in the interest of the Zambian people,” he said.
Kabimba said the PF would take action against union leaders perceived to be pro-MMD.
He further defended President Michael Sata’s decision to appoint him to chair the repossessed Zamtel board saying “it is in line with their party manifesto.”
Speaker warns of genocide if tribal conflicts persists
SPEAKER of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini has said people of various cultures should respect and accommodate each other to avoid conflict which could degenerate into genocide.
Dr Matibini said tolerance and swift conflict resolution techniques should be employed whenever there was a potential of conflict in any environment.
The Speaker said it was important for people to learn that all people were equal despite differences in cultures.
“Cultural differences have led to civil war. Most of you still recall the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda which was among other reasons caused by cultural differences between two ethnic groups.
“Therefore, if people of various cultures do not accept and respect each other, conflicts such as the one experienced in Rwanda can occur in Zambia,” he warned.
PF owes youths jobs, says minister
EASTERN Province minister Charles Banda says the PF government owes the youth job opportunities.
Speaking during Youth Day commemorations at Chipata’s David Kaunda stadium yesterday, Banda said the PF’s electoral victory last year was largely owed to the youth.
He said job opportunities would be provided for by creating employment opportunities both in the formal and informal sectors.
“The challenge of my government is therefore to improve the quality of life of the youth through sustainable economic activities in order to uplift especially the lives of youths in rural areas,” he said.
Southern Province politics heat up
SOUTHERN Province is slowly turning into a political hotbed following yet another suggestion that the region be split into two.
The proponents of the provincial divide are chiefs in five districts that lie in the Kafue Flats, who suggest the creation of the country’s 11th province to be called Kafue.
This new province should encompass Kafue, Itezhi-Tezhi, Mazabuka, Mumbwa and Namwala, the chiefs say. Among the five districts, Itezhi-Tezhi and Mazabuka are economic hubs, the former having a power station; the latter a sugar plantation.
The chiefs’ council chairman, David Diangamo, who is no stranger to Zambia’s political and economic landscape, wrote to President Sata on March 8, 2012 to buttress the proposition.
In his letter, Mr Diangamo highlights issues which the chiefs believe would improve service-delivery if Southern Provinces was divided.
Build investor confidence, MMD challenges PF
Former finance minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane has advised the PF government to quickly address the country’s dwindling investor confidence.
Dr. Musokotwane said the ruling party was pursuing misguided economic policies, which he said was worrying investors
The MMD Liuwa constituency member of parliament said some investors had expressed concern with the PF’s uncertain economic direction.
Dr. Musokotwane who is aspiring to lead the former ruling party as president is under investigations for alleged abuse of power while he served in the immediate past government.
Zambia Poised For Economic Growth
The Seventh Day Adventist Church President Dr. Ted Wilson says Zambia is a blessed nation which is destined to enjoy economic prosperity in the near future.
Speaking shortly after his arrival at Kenneth Kaunda International airport yesterday, Wilson who is visiting Zambia for the first time said as a Christian nation, Zambia would enjoy Gods protection and blessings.
Dr. Wilson joined the country in commemorating Youth Day and urged young people to stand firm in the lord if they were to achieve their goals.
Fitch rating underlines value of consistency – IMF
FITCH’s downgrade of Zambia’s prospective economy to negative from stable underlines the importance of the government implementing its policies in a consistent and transparent manner, says the International Monetary Fund.
Fitch Ratings has revised the outlook on Zambia’s long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) to negative from stable and affirmed both ratings at ‘B+’.
Fitch has simultaneously affirmed Zambia’s short-term IDR at ‘B’ and Country Ceiling at ‘BB-’.
The downgrade of the economic outlook which comes barely a few months before Zambia issues the US$700 million bond was attributed to Fitch’s concerns about the direction of economic policy.
Commenting on the development, IMF resident representative Perry Perone said Zambia needed to streamline its communications to the market as the government would be subjected to the “discipline” of international markets.
Last June, the World Bank reclassified Zambia a lower middle-income country, a move analysts say would see traditional donor concessional financing gradually diminishing while the country relies more on international capital markets for borrowings.
Perone said Zambia was looking to access international capital markets and it was to be expected that potential investors would increasingly scrutinise government policies.
Kwacha down-trend harms consumers, producers
THE Consumer Unit and Trust Society has expressed concern on the continued depreciation of the Kwacha against the major convertible currencies saying it has adverse effect on both the producer and consumer welfare.
The consumer body has called on Government to put in place mitigation measures aimed at strengthening the local currency, which has been sliding against major foreign currencies.
The Kwacha has continued to depreciate against the United States dollar (US$) since last September from the post-election K4,800 to now K5,300.
“Government can enhance the country’s trading capacity utilising the market access opportunities of export goods and ensure that trade strengthens the Kwacha,” the consumer unit stated.