ZR Comment: Just one day after President Michael Sata aggressively attacked the leadership of the two opposition parties, calling them “thieves,” as well as the removal of two parliamentary seats held by the MMD by an electoral tribunal on curious technicalities, the country’s largest party is now being forced to dissolve by the registration authorities over unpaid fees. The de-registration of the MMD has all the hallmarks of a politically motivated attack by the ruling party, and will be challenged aggressively by the opposition.
MMD in shock de-registration
The Registrar of Societies has de-registered the former ruling party MMD for non-remittance of renewal fees amounting to K390 million (about US$78, 000). The society has also notified Speaker of National Assembly of the development meaning the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy which had been in power for the past 20 years may lose all its 53 parliamentary seats.
This may further result in an economy-threatening series of unprecedented constituency by-elections across the country. However, the MMD have up to 21 days in which to appeal to the Minister of Home Affairs against the decision.
Party officials denounce the registrar’s announcement as part of President Sata’s campaign of persecution aimed at eliminating competition, pointing out that the MMD is fully paid on their federal fees, and the fact that the ruling Patriotic Front has not paid their registration fees.
At the time of this announcement, the MMD were closed up in a meeting where President Rupiah Banda was expected to relinquish the presidency to the party National Chairman Michael Mabenga.
Experts say this may not hold, but is a move aimed at exerting more pressure on the already depleting MMD bank accounts.
Exclusive for Zambia Reports
Greed will divide Southern Province – Munkombwe
VETERAN politician Daniel Munkombwe says Southern Province risks being torn apart because of greed.
Commenting on revelations that some Southern Province chiefs want another province created out of it, Munkombwe said the greed that was being exhibited by some people would divide the whole Southern Province.
“I get concerned when people say they want to give pressure to the government. I nearly lost my life during the struggle when the Kariba war between the Tongas of the Gwembe Valley and the colonialist, when they were fighting in 1960 and I don’t think we are prepared to go into any war now for whatever reason,” he said.
Munkombwe advised that whoever had issues with the government should explain their position and they should also take time to ask the people of Southern Province for their views.
“If they are going to apply pressure particularly political pressure, no government can succumb to political pressure, I know that. Presidents or governments very rarely succumb to pressure,” said Munkombwe.
Chiefs in five districts that lie in the Kafue Flats have suggest the creation of the country’s 11th province to be called Kafue.
The proponents what the new province should encompass Kafue, Itezhi-Tezhi, Mazabuka, Mumbwa and Namwala.
Sata has no plan for youths – Magande
Opposition National Movement for Progress president Ng’andu Magande has charged that President Michael Sata has no plan for the youth in the country.
On Monday President Sata directed minister of Youth and Sport Chishimba Kambwili to institute an action plan for youth empowerment through consultations with stake holders including United Nations agencies and the Commonwealth youth programme.
But Magande says this is clear indication from the President that he had no ready agenda for the youths.
The former finance minister however said his party would not have problems the PF government delivered to expectations.
Sata appoints new Minister
President Michael Sata has appointed Mpika Member Parliament Mwansa Kapeya as Deputy Minister in the Ministry Information, Broadcasting and Labour.
According to a statement released by Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations George Chellah, President Sata has directed Kapeya will spearhead the establishment of television stations in provincial centres countrywide.
He observed that the current state of affairs was not enough to cater for the growing information needs of the general populace.
President Sata expressed confidence that Kapeya will contribute to the transformation of the media industry in Zambia.
Kapeya was Director of Programmes at the ZNBC before retiring to join active politics under the Patriotic Front.
MMD loses two parliamentary seats
THE MMD yesterday lost the Livingstone and Solwezi East seats after the elections of their members of parliament were nullified by the High Court.
The Livingstone High Court nullified the election of Lukolo Katombola as Livingstone member of parliament while the Kitwe High Court nullified the election of Richard Taima as Solwezi East member of parliament.
Passing judgment in the petition case in which UPND’s Frederick Chuunga and PF’s Akafumba had jointly petitioned the election of Katombola as area member of parliament, Livingstone High Court judge Ernest Mukulwamutiyo said the election was disqualified .
Explain State House renovations, Speaker orders VEEP
Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini has asked Vice President Guy Scott to update parliament on the renovations of State House after the September 20 general elections.
Dr. Matibini says Dr. Scott should be able to respond to the matter within this week.
This was after Monze Central Member of Parliament Jack Mwiimbu rose on a point of order on the floor of the house.
Mr. Mwiimbi questioned whether it was in order for the executive to remain quite on an earlier point of order raised on the renovations of State House.
Sata to commission the US$ 370m mine in Luanshya
The 370 Million US Dollars Mulyashi Open Pit Mine in Luanshya is set for commissioning on March 27. At full capacity, the mine is expected to produce 42 thousand Metric tones of finished copper cathode per year.
The Mine has already created employment for over 1000 youths. Luanshya Copper Mines-LCM Head of Public Relations and Local Business Development Officer Sydney Chileya said President Michael Sata is expected to commission the project.
The project comprises three main open pits, a Heap Leaching Plant and an Agitation Leaching plant.
The Heating Section of the Agitation Leaching Plant will be the largest in Africa.
Residents sue Puma Energy for pollution
TWELVE residents of Chambishi Township on the Copperbelt have sued Puma Energy Zambia Limited and are claiming an order for the oil company to stop disposing acid tar into the environment to avoid pollution.
The 12 residents are suing as first plaintiff while the Centre for Trade, Policy and Development is also suing as second plaintiff and have extended the suet to the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA).
Sepiso Stengu and 11 others, who are subsistent farmers, said they had been living on the land around the Sabena dumping site in Chambishi where Puma is allegedly dumping acid tar.
This is according to a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court.
IMF projects 7.7% economic growth for Zambia
A visiting International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission to Zambia led by mission chief Trevor Alleyne has predicted that Zambia’s macroeconomic performance is expected to remain robust this year, with Real GDP growth projected at 7.7 percent.
Speaking at the conclusion of the visit in Lusaka, Alleyne says the Real GDP growth reflects the strong growth in copper production and non-maize agriculture, and an expansionary fiscal policy.
He also noted that Inflation declined to 7.2% at the end of 2011, broadly in line with the authorities’ target, and is projected to end this year close to its February 2012 level of 6.0 percent.
He further states that despite copper prices rising to record highs, the external current account surplus narrowed substantially last year, mainly reflecting a strong expansion in imports and a decline in grants.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission has been in Zambia from February 29- March 13, 2012.