Friday, 31 December 2010


Lusaka Economist Oliver Saasa says Zambia should be proud and applaud major investments that China has continued to undertake in various fields of the country’s economy.
Professor Saasa says it is heartening that Government has continued to embrace investments from China which he said has a large presence in sectors such as manufacturing, construction, communication and transport among others.
He told ZANIS in an interview in Lusaka today that Chinese investments in the country should be recognised and appreciated by well-meaning Zambians.
Nevertheless, Prof. Saasa stressed the need for Government to ensure that investors coming to invest in Zambia adhere to and respect Zambian labour laws and regulations.
He said Government should firmly deal with investors flouting Zambian labour laws and compel them to adhere to and respect the country’s labour statutes. 
Prof. Saasa who is also Mulungushi University Chancellor emphasised the need for Government to ensure that Chinese investors and other foreign investors investing in the country’s economy adhere to the laws in order to dispel controversies surrounding Chinese investment in Zambia.
He added that Government needs to ensure that there is transparency in awarding of licenses to investors and bring to book investors that flouted the law.
He also noted that it is Government’s role to ensure that laws are not only respected but followed by both local and foreign investors.
Prof. Saasa said this will enhance investor confidence as Zambia is a safe haven for conducting business.


A Crocodile is reported to be terrorising the residents of Mufurila.  
Mufurila District Commanding Officer, Stephen Simasiku, confirmed the development in an interview with ZANIS in Mufurila today, adding that  the beast has so far killed five dogs and nearly killed one person within a short period of time.
Mr. Simasiku said  the crocodile has been terralising people for the past two weeks now.   
He said the police have moved in to try and locate the crocodile before involving the Zambia Wild Life personnel for an appropriate action.
Mr. Simasiku has cautioned the residents of Mufurila living around the area the beast is prowling, to be careful when carrying out their daily chores.
Meanwhile, the police have apprehended a woman believed to have dumped a day old baby at Kamuchanga Hospital on Monday.
He said the woman whose names were not given, was now under police custody for questioning.


Kabwata Member of Parliament (MP) Given Lubinda has disclosed that 10, 000 trees are targeted to be planted in his constituency next year.
Mr. Lubinda said he would lead all Kabwata Constituency residents in conducting the exercise.
He said this when he led the Reformed Church in Zambia (RCZ) Chilenje congregation in planting 300 trees in Lusaka’s Chalala area today.
Mr. Lubinda said trees were very important as they did not only add beauty to society but also assisted in protecting the environment in the country.
The Kabwata MP further advised people to desist from indiscriminate cutting down of trees to avoid deforestation and soil erosion.
Mr. Lubinda called upon the private sector to ensure that they came on board to sensitise people on the need to plant trees.
Meanwhile, RCZ Chilenje Congregation Pastor, Reverend Penias Mbewe said the planting of trees in Chalala area was in a bid to encourage people in other parts of the country to desist from cutting down trees but plant more.
He called upon the residents to safeguard the 300 trees in the area as the planting exercise was done in good faith and for their own benefit.
On December 19, this year Republican President Rupiah Banda launched the 2010 tree planting programme in Ndola on the Copperbelt.

Thursday, 30 December 2010


From Victor Hachimbi in Cairo, Egypt
President Rupiah Banda
President Rupiah Banda has called on African countries to embrace dialogue and peace, if the continent has to develop both politically and economically.
Mr. Banda says Africa is a blessed continent with a lot of resources but could only develop, if peace and harmony is embraced by everyone.
ZANIS reports that the President was speaking in an interview in Cairo, Egypt yesterday.
“We have wasted a lot of time fighting which is unnecessary, Let us use this time to dialogue and together we can propel Africa to a higher level,” he said.
On the meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak in Cairo, Mr. Banda disclosed that the meeting focused on building peace in Africa and developing its economies.
He said he was confident that the confusion surrounding the signing of an agreement on the Nile Basin Common Framework will soon be resolved because all the countries sharing the Nile River are ready to dialogue.
Mr. Banda said President Mubarak assured him that he was ready to dialogue with all the countries sharing the Nile River to find a lasting solution to their differences.
The President said the two also discussed how Egypt could play a role in harmonising peace in Sudan as the country goes to the referendum next year.
On the issue of Ivory Coast disputed election results, Mr. Banda said the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has all the wise people who will find a lasting solution to the problems in that country.
Mr. Banda who is the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security cooperation said there was no bigger problem that Africa could fail to resolve.
However, the President said he was impressed with a number of African countries including Zambia who want to develop their economies and infrastructure.
Mr. Banda also said he was impressed with the determination of the people of Egypt in developing their country.
He said Zambia should emulate the spirit of hard work from the people of Egypt, if the country has to achieve economic and social development.
The President is in Egypt for a State visit at the invitation of his Egyptian counterpart, Hosni Mubarak.
Mr. Banda is accompanied to Egypt by First Lady Thandiwe, Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane, Minister of Foreign Affairs Kabinga Pande, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Felix Mutati, Minister of Energy and Water Development Kenneth Konga and other senior Government officials.


Ten Indian nationals were arrested in Johannesburg today for being in possession of home affairs asylum seeker documents, the department said.
South Africa’s Home Affairs spokes person Ronnie Mamoepa said the 10 were arrested at a house in Fordsburg in the early hours of the morning, during a special operation by the department and police.
The South African Press Agency (SAPA) reports that a few contraband videos were also found on the premises.
He said the 10 men, including the owner of the house and a woman, were taken into custody and are being held at Johannesburg Central.
Mamoepa said investigations indicate this may be a clearing house for illegal immigrants awaiting documents to be issued to them.
He said the department working with police 'will not rest until those implicated are brought to book and face the full might of the law'.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010


By Geoffrey Phiri
A Condom, as many people know, is a protective sheathe made from rubbery substance such as latex or polyurethane, closed at one end and open at the other.
When used correctly and consistently during sexual intercourse, a condom can help in avoiding unwanted pregnancies and also reduce the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STI) s, including HIV and AIDS.
In Zambia where the majority population is the youths who are sexually active, the condom is often used as a protector against Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) and has proved to be a people’s ideal choice for protection.
It is available free of charge in most public health centres, youth resource centres, lodges, non government organization dealing in reproductive health  and many other places although the same product can be bought at an affordable price elsewhere in chemists, night clubs, bars  and even grocery shops.
The first batch of the latex male maximum condoms was introduced in Zambia in the 1990’s and has since gone through a number of transformations. All this has been done with the hope of making it more effective both as a contraceptive and for disease protection.
Zambia being one of the countries most affected by HIV and AIDS with 14.3 percent of the population estimated to be living with HIV and approximately 690,000 children orphaned, the disease poses a threat to the economic and social gains the country has achieved.
This has made government working with other stakeholders both local and international to develop a multi-sectoral national response to fight the disease and this has started reaping rewards.
The UNAIDS report for 2010 has shown that Zambia is reducing the rate of new  infections and this is partly because young people are delaying entrance into sex, using condoms as well as significant reductions in the number of sexual partners.
Statistics have shown that about 40 million packs of condoms have been sold since it was first introduced.
Meanwhile Zambia Health Demographic Survey (ZHDS) of 2009 has also shown that the country is making progress concerning the use of condoms among the people, and there is also an indication that there is an increase in the percentage of people using condoms in the country.
 According to the ZHDS of 2009 which was released this year, about 40 percent of the people who were surveyed, confirmed using a condom compared to only 35 percent in 2005.
 The survey also showed a slight increase among the youths who are sexually active using a condom within the same period at 34 to about 40 percent, while 29 percent of the youths indicated that they used a condom the first time they had sex compared to 21percent who used a condom in 2005.
Recently the Society for Family Health (SFH) Zambia, who are producing and distributing the male maximum condom in the country, re-launched a new version of the condom which it described as strong; triple tested, and does not break.
The new version of the condom is a three (3) ply lubricated latex condom which gives the user a peace of mind when using it.
The re-launch was done in Chipata at David Kaunda Stadium and was graced by Health Minister Kapembwa Simbao during the commemoration of the 2010 world AIDS day celebration.
The 2010 re-launch of the maximum condom under the theme, ‘trusted protection’, was the third time that SFH was re-launching the condoms since its inception in 1992. It was first re-launched in 1998 under the theme, ‘It’s My Life It’s My Choice’, it was then re-launched for the second time in 2004 as a maximum classic, and scented condom with the later specifically designed to provide a choice and encourage non-users to adapt to the use of the condom.
The 2010 launch was done in style where a couple who presented the scissors to the Minister of health for cutting the ribbon clad in attire made from expired condoms at an event that was witnessed by government officials, donor agencies, AIDS activists, Non-Governmental Organizations involved in the fight against Aids and  scores of Chipata residents.
The lady’s dress was entirely made of condom where 864 condoms were used while the man’s waist coat used 432 condoms.
The designer, Monde who also wore the dress and presented the knife to the Minister, said she came up with the idea of designing the condom dress just in time for the launch of a new version of the condom.
And speaking during the re- launch of the condom Mr. Simbao called on people to embrace the ABC strategy to fight the pandemic.
He said although there was no known cure for the disease world over, the disease could be controlled by observing the Abstinence, Being faithful and using Condoms every time one has sex which is the (ABCs) strategy.
 He explained that there was no cure for the disease world over although people with the disease could still remain healthy through taking the Ant-Retroviral Treatment (ART) which government is currently offering free of charge in most clinics and health centres in all the nine provinces of the country.
The Minister encouraged people to remain faithful to one sexual partner and always practice safer sex with the use of the condom even in marriages.
He said there was need to remove the misunderstanding of condom use in married life where people think that it’s only those who are unfaithful in their marriages who should use it.
There is a wrong perception that has been created by people in marriage that it’s only those who are promiscuous who use condoms. But what you should know is that even you who are in marriage can use this to protect yourselves from disease” Mr. Simbao said.
He also emphasized on the need for abstinence for those who are single and faithfulness to one sexual partner to those in marriage and asked people to go for Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) to know their HIV and AIDS status stating that government was providing free medicines to those infected with the disease.
Although a condom can be used to protect one against disease, it should however be emphasized that condoms in themselves cannot guarantee 100 percent protection.
Make sure that you read the instructions, check for all the necessary information like the expiry date before using the condom,” Mr. Simbao advised.
Research shows that condoms slightly offer about 90 percent of protection from disease. This is because of the risks of breaking, and in other cases not following instructions, like the expiry date.
It should be emphasized that we should not take chances, never have sex with someone you are not married to, those who are in marriage should stick to their spouses, while those who are single should wait till they are married to have sex to avoid risks of contracting the disease.
As they say abstinence ili-che ‘Abstinence is the best’ no one will surely go wrong with it.


The African Union Commission Chairperson Jean Ping on Monday expressed his support to the mission that will be undertaken in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire by three eminent heads of state designated by the ECOWAS.
In a statement to the media, Jean Ping hoped that this mission will trigger a salutary dynamic capable of preserving the democratic gains in Cote d'Ivoire, in particular respect for the expressed will of the Ivoirian people and the status of the President-elect Alassane Ouattara, as well as peace in this country shattered by fratricidal strife.
Within the framework of the mandate entrusted to its chairperson by the Peace and Security Council (PSC), the African Union Commission is fully engaged in a series of contacts and diplomats consultations aimed at achieving an immediate peaceful solution to the Ivoirian crisis, according to the statement.


Five years ago last October, an agreement between Sudan's mostly Muslim north and largely Christian south formally ended a 22-year civil war that killed an estimated two million people and displaced twice that many.
The Comprehensive Peace Agreement, or CPA, set January 2011 as referendum day for the south to choose to remain part of Sudan or become an independent nation. The accord allowed for a unity government in Khartoum, the country's capital, prior to the referendum, with local self-government for the south during the transition period.
The pact, signed in neighbouring Kenya, after long, complex and difficult internationally sponsored negotiations, has transformed the lives of the many southern Sudanese who returned home and began to rebuild.
Roads, schools and clinics are being constructed, and a civil society determined to hold any government accountable has begun to emerge, reports pan-African news portal
But the region remains desperately poor, and despite the relative peace, incidents have continued to claim lives. More than 2,500 people were killed in the south last year and over 350,000 were newly displaced, according to estimates.
Concern that conflict will recur is high. Delivery of basic services and emergency food is hampered by lack of infrastructure -- there are still only about 50 km of paved roads in an area the size of France.
Among the most serious areas of contention between the north and south has been how to share the proceeds of the nation's oil wealth. Although located almost entirely in the south, until the CPA stipulated an interim sharing of revenues, oil earnings went to Khartoum.
As the poll approaches, agreement on conduct of the scheduled referendum in Abyei state, where much of the petroleum extraction takes place, seems increasingly unlikely. Although the southern government may agree to a compromise to allow the vote to proceed in other areas, popular sentiment against that path appears strong.
Other contested issues include the future of two other states, traditionally part of the south but not included in the vote, as well as definitions of citizenship and the rights of northern nomads who traditionally cross into the south in their annual grazing circuit.
Alleged abuses in the registration process, which ended on Dec 8, and potential obstacles to voting by southerners living in the north and in four African countries where large numbers of southern Sudanese live, are other potential points of dispute.
Allegations by church leaders and other groups that authorities in Khartoum have been registering prisoners, soldiers and patients at health facilities in the north, but without providing them with voting cards, is fueling fears that the northern government will try to invalidate the referendum.
The CPA requires a threshold of 60 percent participation of registered voters for the results to be certified. The international community, which worked hard to press both sides to compromise to achieve the peace accord, largely turned attention elsewhere after the signing.
A recent high-profile campaign by activists and religious organizations has helped spur renewed diplomatic engagement from Europe and North America.
Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir, who has ruled Sudan since a coup in 1989, is the only sitting head of state to have been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court, stemming from actions by Sudanese militias in the Darfur region of western Sudan, where the United Nations says 300,000 people have died.
The administration of United States President Barack Obama has promised to remove Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism if President al-Bashir abides by the almost certain decision by southerners to become Africa's 54th nation.
In a presidential memorandum on Nov 19, President Obama eased American sanctions to allow the export of US computers for use in voting.
Developments in the remaining days before the high-stakes vote will be closely watched by the people and governments of both north and south, as well as by the world community. But Sudan experts warn that the referendum will not be an end to the story but the beginning of a challenging period, when all parties will need to cooperate to avert a return to a war that could destroy the fragile peace the south now enjoys.

Monday, 27 December 2010


Mrs. Sheila Siwela
Zambia’s Ambassador to the United States of America, Mrs. Sheila Siwela says  she is optimistic  that Zambia will host a successful African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA Forum) summit scheduled to take place in Lusaka from 7th – 8th June, 2011.

Mrs. Siwela said the Embassy of the Republic of Zambia in the United States was engaged in a number of consultative meetings with various stakeholders.

She stated during an interview in Washington DC that she has had fruitful  meetings  with  some African Ambassadors, officials  from the Department of State, United States Trade Representative for Africa as well as the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA)

“Meeting with my counterparts Ambassador David Rantekoa  and Ambassador Amina Ali from the Embassy of Lesotho and the African Union (AU)mission in Washington DC  respectively as well as officials from the United States Trade Representative for Africa (USTR) such as Ms. Flori Liser, Mr. Anthony Newton from the office of Economic Policy, Department of State has created a basis for a positive foundation regarding the 2011 AGOA Forum,” she added.

Ambassador Siwela  was also recently in Lusaka where she consulted extensively with senior government leaders that included Hon. Felix Mutati the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry as well as her opposite counterpart Ambassador Mark Storella, United States Ambassador to Zambia.

Ambassador  Siwela said preparatory meetings  were meant to afford stakeholders an opportunity to exchange views on how best to move forward with the 2011 AGOA Forum.

She also added that the AGOA Forum would afford Zambia a chance to showcase her economic and tourism potential.

“We feel greatly honoured tha the  AGOA Forum will give chance to Zambian business people to engage counterparts from the USA in creating business partnerships,” she said.

This is contained in a press statement released by First Secretary for Press at the Zambian High Commission in Washington DC Ben Kangwa.


President Rupiah Banda
President Rupiah Banda is today expected to travel to Cairo where he has been invited for a State visit by his Egyptian counterpart, President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak.
 While in Egypt, the President is due to hold high-level talks with President Mubarak on Tuesday after an official welcome parade to be held in Cairo.
He will later present a keynote address to the Zambia-Egypt Business Forum, which will be attended by Zambian businessmen and women and Egyptian investors.
President Banda said he was looking forward to the State visit to Egypt, a country where he began his career as a diplomat, serving as Ambassador during the reign of First Zambian republican President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda and Abdel Nasser of Egypt.
In a press statement released to ZANIS by State House Special Assistant to the President Press and Public Relations, Dickson Jere, the two countries have maintained high-level bilateral relations and recently signed various Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) in various fields such as agriculture, land, livestock and fisheries, and science and technology.
"It is for this reason that I am inviting Egyptian and Zambian business fraternities to form a Zambia-Egypt Business Council to spearhead trade between the two countries," President Banda said ahead of the visit.
The Head of State and his delegation will also attend a luncheon to be hosted in his honour by President Mubarak.
President Banda will be accompanied to Egypt by First Lady Thandiwe Banda, Defence Minister Kalombo Mwansa, Foreign Affairs Minister Kabinga Pande, Finance and National Planning Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane, Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Felix Mutati.
Others to accompany the President will include Energy and Water Development Minister Kenneth Konga, Presidential Affairs Minister Ronald Mukuma, Lands Minister Gladys Lundwe and other Senior Government Officials.
President Banda and his delegation are due to return to Zambia after completing scheduled business in Egypt.


Kapiri Mposhi Member of Parliament (MP) Friday Malwa has disclosed that the construction of the Dry Port in the district will commence next year.
Mr. Malwa disclosed that feasibility studies have already been conducted by Government through the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry.
The MP who could not immediately state how much money the project would gobble however, attributed the delay in commencing the construction to the tendering process for the contractor to move on site.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Lusaka today, Mr. Malwa, who is also Community Development and Social services Deputy Minister said once the Port was completed it would enhance trade ties with neighbouring Tanzania.
He added that the Port would also help create job opportunities for the local people in Kapiri Mposhi, Central Province.
In a related Development, Chimosoro Milling Group based in Kabwe, Central Province has expressed interest to take over the running of the defunct Kapiri-Mposhi Glass factory whose full operations begins mid 2011.
Mr. Malwa revealed that Chimosoro Milling Group had already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) with two giant business associates from Canada and the United states to revamp the operations of the Plant under the Private Public Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
The Deputy Minister disclosed that 150 jobs were expected to be created next year at the Plant but bemoaned the delayed commissioning which he ascribed to by the delayed arrival of new machinery from abroad.
“Chimosoro Milling Group in conjunction with two other business partners will re-open the Plant in mid 2011. This follows the signing of PPP with Government and over 150 jobs will be created at the Plant. The re-commissioning of the Plant has only been hampered with the arrival of new machinery from abroad otherwise the firm would have been opened by now,” he stated.
Mr. Malwa commended Government for the PPP initiative saying this had helped in wooing foreign investors to the country.
He said former factory employees would be considered for recruitment because they have vast experience in glass products.
“I have been assured that the new owners will recruit the ex-factory workers that will be trained in various modern skills ahead of the re-opening,” Mr. Malwa said.  
Kapiri Glass factory which was State owned folded during the second republic and is among the 244 companies that have now been put into private hands.
Government introduced Privatisation in 1991 in an effort to scale down on its direct involvement in economic activities, to promote competition among local companies and woo foreign direct investment thereby improving the country’s economy.


Zambia’s High Commissioner to Botswana Robin Musakabantu says reliable and efficient transport is key to stimulating economic development in the country.
Mr Musakabantu said it is gratifying to note that Government has continued to create favourable investment climate in order to support and enhance private sector involvement in the economic development of the country.
The High Commissioner said this when he officiated at the end of year party for Thanks Transport Limited, a wholly Zambian transport firm, in Lusaka today.
He said Government is aware that stimulating growth in the transport sector is a critical element of any successful diversification drive in the country.
Mr Musakabantu urged the company to continue investing in its human resource development in order to enhance productivity and contribute to the attainment of a vibrant economy.
Speaking earlier at the same occasion,Thanks Transport Limited Director,Ackim Nyagonye lauded Government for working on road infrastructure countrywide.
Mr Nyagoye attributed reduced maintenance costs and traffic related accidents among the transporters to good roads.
He has since appealed to other transporters to be offering better working conditions to their workers if the sector is to retain good drivers.