ZR Comment: LAP GreenN, the holding company owned by the Libyan Investment Authority, has today filed a lawsuit in a Zambian court against what they describe as the unlawful and unconstitutional expropriation of their 75% share in the telecom company Zamtel. People have been talking about this property seizure for months, with widespread speculation that the re-nationalization had spooked investors and contributed to Fitch Rating’s downgrade of the economy. Wafik Al-Shater, Chairman of LAP GreenN, said: “LAP GreenN is very clear that the seizure of our shareholding in Zamtel by the Zambian Government was illegal and unconstitutional, and to the detriment of both Zamtel and its customers. In the 18 months that Zamtel was under LAP GreenN’s management, we increased its total subscriber base by 600% – to over one million at the start of 2012 – and significantly increased the company’s market share, leading to a 50% increase in revenues. The growth and prosperity that Zamtel saw under our management was unprecedented.” Mr. Al-Shater concluded by alluding to the possibility of international litigation to recover damages from the Zambian government.
Rupiah Banda speaks out
Rupiah Banda has told off former MMD National Secretary Katele Kalumba for suggesting that the past presidents were to blame for the party’s deregistration. Kalumba recently described Banda’s resignation from the party leadership as deceitful efforts to cover up for his failure to be responsible for the mess he created in the former ruling party.
But the former head of state pointed out that it was not him who convicted Kalumba on corruption charges. Banda also accused Kalumba of trying to win favours from the PF government with his utterances.
Featuring on a privately owned Television station in Lusaka yesterday, Banda urged Zambians to give the Patriotic Front government ample time to implement their policies.
He said it would not be realistic to judge the new party in power after only five months of assuming office.
Source: Exclusively written, similar story at QFM
HH calls for quick electoral reforms
UPND Leader Hakainde Hichilema says the country needs to have electoral reforms as soon as possible.
Hishilema says the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) should start operating in a more independent manner by being freed from the dictates of the party in government. He said doing so would help restore public confidence in the Electoral body.
The opposition leader noted that it was therefore important that the country puts in place a system that would allow independent stakeholders such as the church, CSOs and any other non- partisan organizations to second the commissioners to the ECZ as opposed to the current system where the ECZ commissioners are appointed by the head of state.
And Mr. Hichilema has also observed that the new constitution should also focus on reducing the excessive power of the executive as a way of curbing possible abuse of authority by a head of state.
Sata in Botswana on three day State visit
President Michael Sata has left for a three day state visit to Botswana. The President left on Monday morning at 08:35 hours aboard the presidential challenger.
The President handed the instruments of power to Finance minister Alexander Chikwanda shortly before departure at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport leaving him in charge as acting President his absence.
Vice-President Dr. Guy Scott, Home Affairs minister Kennedy Sakeni and secretary to the cabinet Evans Chibiliti also witnesses the president’s departure.
During the state visit, President Sata is expected to have official talks with Botswana President Sir Seretse Khama Ian Khama with whom he will discuss bilateral and regional issues.
The President is also expected to officially open the Mogoditshane Senior Secondary School on Tuesday.
Chief registrar offers to resign if found guilty of abusing office
CHIEF Registrar of Societies Clement Andeleki says he is ready to resign if the courts of law will find him guilty of abusing his legislative powers.
his de-registration of the MMD has nothing to do with politics.
Andeleki announced the de-registration of the former ruling party on grounds that it had failed to meet annual returns amounting to K390 million (about US$78000)
His action is being challenged in court where the former ruling party has obtaining a stay from the High Court.
Featuring on Cross Fire Blog Radio monitored on Zambezi Radio in Livingstone yesterday, Mr Andeleki said despite suffering persecution at the hands of the MMD government, his action to de-register the party was purely in the public interest and that he will resign if that is proved to the contrary.
“This action of the MMD in court will give us a better opportunity, especially my office. I have already offered that if my action was improper, like I did at police, I would even quit my position.
Mutati explains why MMD lost last elections
THE MMD leadership got so consumed in the luxury of their offices and ended up losing the elections because they forgot about the people, says Felix Mutati.
During the Southern Province card renewal exercise at Livingstone’s Victoria Hall yesterday, Mutati, an aspiring candidate for the MMD presidency, said ministers in the previous government got consumed in the luxury of government-paid-for expenses.
He, however, said the party leadership had learnt lessons from their past mistakes and would “bounce back into power in 2016”.
“We are going to re-emerge because we have learnt from our own past mistakes. Come 2016, we are bouncing back and I don’t see the doubt even here in Southern Province,” he said.
He said the party had become congested with people who wanted to make a living out of the MMD but had since abandoned it after losing last year’s elections to the PF.
Mandatory subscriber registration debate continues
Zambia Consumer Association (ZACA) has welcomed the drafting of a law to compel mobile service and electronic communication network providers to record their subscribers’ personal details.
ZACA Executive Director Muyunda Ililonga says recording personal details of subscribers would go a long way in enhancing security in the nation.
He says Zambia will not be the only country that would practicing this law as many African nations were already doing the same.
Mr. Ililonga noted that communication networks and mobile service providers are often abused because some subscribers buy sim cards to settle personal differences and later subject the sim cards to refuse.
Sichinga asks investors to partner with locals
COMMERCE minister Robert Sichinga says it is important for foreign investors to partner with Zambians in various business ventures.
Sichinga was speaking in New Delhi on Friday when he met Indian investors, including Varun Beverages, who have already invested in Zambia.
He said partnership would enhance citizen’s economic empowerment and contribute to poverty reduction in the country.
Sichinga said while Zambia welcomed investors, it was also important that Zambians be embraced as investment partners.
Tight copper supply to push price over $9,000 a ton
The growing resource nationalism in Copper producing countries is threatening low production, potentially pushing prices to above $9,000 per ton this year.
This is according to the Chile’s Centre for Copper and Mining Studies (CESCO).
CESCO’s Executive Director Juan Carlos Guajardo told Reuters he expected a 200,000 ton deficit this year as supply falls short of demand particularly from top consumer China, adding the mining industry needed coordinated action to ensure future supplies.
Foreign mining firms face growing opposition from politicians, workers unions and indigenous rights groups in host countries seeking a greater share from lucrative mining activity, pushing up mining costs for international companies.
“If the copper market is to be balanced, the industry needs to do things differently and face this challenge,” Guajardo said. “And only this way do I see more chances of getting the projects on time, or else the structural imbalance will continue for many years.”
Zambia and other copper producing countries across the African continent are reportedly 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. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is rather attracting more investors after years of civil unrest.