Saturday, 29 October 2011


Mission press director Father Miha Drevensek has died.
Father Miha died Saturday 10/29 afternoon after a heart attack.
The Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) spokesperson Father Paul Samasumo confirmed the death of Father Miha.
Father Samasumo confirmed the development but could not give much details.


Information Broadcasting and Tourism Deputy Minister Forrie Tambo says the Patriotic  Front (PF) government has de-politicized newsrooms in the public media and enabled them to operate independently.
Mr. Tembo says government has taken a number of reforms since coming into office last month which have seen the public media operate independently.
He stated that the changes that his government has taken in the media include changing of management at various public media institutions in the country.
He said the changes the government has made has resulted in the public media to stop operating as propaganda tool for government but give balanced coverage to different stakeholders.
He said the public were now testifying that the public media had become very objective adding that his government would not interfere in the running of the institutions.
“This is in line with the government vision of freeing the media in the efforts to have objective media,” he said.
Mr. Tembo who is MMD Nyimba Member of Parliament (MP) said this in parliament yesterday when debating the President’s speech during the official opening of the National Assembly.
The Deputy Minster has further said the merging of the Ministries of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources and Information and Broadcasting Services will also help the country to market its tourism potential.
He said the change has already shown results by making Zambia win the joint bid with Zimbabwe to co-host the United Nations World Tourism Organization General Assembly in 2013.
The public media came under serious attack from stakeholders prior to last month’s general elections as it was accused of being biased and used as a tool for propaganda by the former MMD government.

Friday, 28 October 2011


President Michael Sata has appointed Berlin Msiska as Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) Commissioner General.
President Sata made the appointment in accordance with the provisions of Section 19 [1] of the Zambia Revenue Authority Act, Cap 321 of the Laws of Zambia.
And Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda has expressed happiness with the appointment of Mr. Msiska as Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) Commissioner General.
In statement issued to ZANIS in Lusaka today, by Ministry of Finance Public Relations Officer Chileshe Kandeta Mr. Chikwanda said he was confident that Mr. Msiska would work well at ZRA as he was qualified and competent in issues of revenue collection.
“Our new Commissioner General has impeccable credentials. It is for this reason that I have a deep sense of confidence in his professionalism and competence,” he said.
He added that “I have looked at the records and I am fully satisfied that he is a hardworking and patriotic Zambian as manifested by his record of service during his initial tenure as the first indigenous Commissioner General of the Zambia Revenue Authority,” said Mr. Chikwanda.
Mr. Chikwanda, pointed out that ZRA was the nerve centre of resource mobilisation in the country and on which financing of development programmes depended on.
He said this was why there was need to support ZRA without any undue influence by people working at the treasury, adding that they should not tolerate smugglers and tax evaders.
He also pledged to support ZRA should they need re-enforcement in streamlining areas of Value Added Tax refund administration, Customs and Mines Audit Operations among others.
“In this regard, you will fully be supported to execute your mandate without fear, favour or undue influence by all of us at the treasury. Do not tolerate smugglers and tax evaders. Streamline areas like VAT refund administration, Customs and Mines Audit Operations and let us know the areas in which you might need re-enforcement”, Mr. Chikwanda said.
The Minister has since urged Mr. Msiska to maintain high levels of integrity and seal the loopholes across all tax administration operational areas in order to collect resources thereby uplifting the welfare of Zambians and eradicate poverty through efficient.  
Mr. Msiska is currently the International Monetary Fund (IMF) resident Advisor at the Mauritius based Africa Regional Technical Assistance Centre [ARTAC] representing thirteen African Countries.
The countries include Angola, Botswana, Comoros Islands, Lesotho, Mauritius, Madagascar. Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
He has also served as ZRA Commissioner General as well  as Permanent Secretary for Financial Management and Administration at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.


Zambia’s inflation rate for the month of October, 2011 has slightly reduced by 0.1 percent to 8.7 percent from 8.8 percent in September last month. 
The decrease is attributed to reductions in some food and non- food prices.
Central Statistical Office (CSO) Acting Director John Kalumbi announced reduction at a press briefing held at his office in Lusaka today. This was during the CSO monthly bulletin.  
Mr. Kalumbi further disclosed that Zambia recorded a trade surplus valued at K923.3 billion in September 2011 representing a nominal increase of 4.4 percent from K884.2 billion recorded in August, this year.
He said Zambia exported more in September than it imported in the same month in nominal terms. 
He stated that the country’s major export products in September were intermediate goods, raw materials, capital goods and consumer goods.
He named Zambia’s major export destinations as Switzerland, China, South Africa, Congo DR and the United Kingdom which collectively accounted for 60.6 percent.
Mr. Kalumbi said Zambia’s major import products were intermediate goods, capital goods and raw materials goods that came from South Africa, Congo DR, China, India and the United Arab Emirates collectively accounting for 15.3 percent in September.
And Mr. Kalumbi has said poverty levels in Zambia were still very high despite recording some decline in 2006 and 2010.
Mr. Kalumbi said poverty had continued to be more predominant in rural areas than urban areas where he said people were wallowing in extreme poverty in Luapula, Western, Eastern and Northern province.
He explained that the poverty gap is rural areas especially in remote provinces, has continued to widen despite recording some reduction.
Luapula is leading in poverty levels which increased from 73.9 percent in 2006 to 80.5 percent in 2010 while Central province recorded the highest reduction in poverty levels during the same period from 70.7 percent in 2006 to 60.9 percent last year.
Lusaka province also recorded the lowest poverty indictor of 0.3 percent from 24.7 to 24.4 percent.  
The CSO Chief expressed happiness that rural poverty declined from 80.3 percent in 2006 to 77.9 in 2010 while urban poverty was less than 3.0 percent from 29.7 percent to 27.5 percent during the same period under review.

Thursday, 27 October 2011


President Michael Sata
President Michael Sata has threatened to revoke the constitution and dissolve parliament if the opposition members of Parliament (MP) continue shooting down bills government is presenting in the house.
The President said his government will then call for a fresh election and tell the Zambian people that the opposition was not interested in fighting corruption.
He explained that the opposition MPs had given his government a first vote of no confidence by shooting down the motion for the constitution of the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) stating that his government would not hesitate to dissolve parliament if the MPs continue voting against progressive bills.
Mr. Sata wondered how the opposition Movement for Multi Party Democracy (MMD) and United Party for National Development (UPND) voted against the bill that when most of the proposed names of the committee members were from the opposition.
“How do opposition MPs vote against the motion to constitute members of the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) when the committee was dominated by themselves with only one MP from the Patriotic Front,” he asked.
He charged that the opposition MPs voted against the motion because they wanted to protect the removal of immunity of former President Rupiah Banda.
He has however explained that that his government is not in a hurry to remove the immunity of the former Republican President Rupiah Banda.
Mr. Sata said this  when he swore in Secretary to the Treasurer, Fredson Yamba,   Copperbelt Province Permanent Secretary (PS) Christopher Mutembo and Permanent Secretary  in Charge of Administration in the Office of the Vice President Annie Sinyangwe at State House today.
The President has meanwhile observed that the civil service in the country has deteriorated.
He said the civil service which should be the hub of government had gone down over the year owing to the appointment of cadres by the former MMD government into the civil service.
Mr. Sata said the civil service was important in running of government adding that countries like Italy did not have political appointments to man government but was using the civil service.
He expressed concern at some District Commissioners (DCs) on the Copperbelt who he said had continued to boast of government’s fertilizer support programme describing them as being of former president Rupiah Banda.
Mr. Sata has since directed the newly appointed Copperbelt PS to ensure that he deals with such DCs.
He has also directed the PS and the Secretary to the Treasurer to ensure that they fight corruption which he said was disadvantaging a lot of people.
“We want to fight corruption in order for us to take the money to the people,” he said.
He advised them to desist from engaging in any corrupt activities either concerning money or any other things.
The Opposition MPs on Tuesday voted against a motion which was tabled in parliament by Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda to constitute members on the Parliamentary Accounts Committee for the first session of the eleventh national assembly.


Former republican Vice President Enoch Kavindele
Former republican Vice President Enoch Kavindele has described as shameful the sale of 75 percent shares in ZAMTEL to Lap Green at 257 million United States (US) Dollars.
Mr. Kavindele stated that at the time of ZAMTEL’s sale, the market value for the telecommunications service provider was estimated at over 3 billion US dollars saying selling the parastatal company at a giveaway price of 257 million US dollars was unreasonable.
Mr. Kavindele who served as Vice President in the Chiluba and Mwanawasa governments said this in Lusaka today when he made his submissions before the Sebastian Zulu led Commission of Inquiry on the sale of ZAMTEL and the 98 million US dollar NAPSA deal.
And a former ZAMTEL employee Victor Mulenga has called for the immediate repossession and nationalization of ZAMTEL.
Mr. Mulenga who is among the over 2000 workers who lost their jobs after the sale of ZAMTEL said the transaction was not made in the interest of the nation hence the need for its speedy reversal.
“The previous government promised to protect our jobs and improve service delivery but after the transaction the opposite happened, over 2000 workers lost their jobs and the service became pathetic,” he pointed out.
And a former ZAMTEL Technical Director Wood Simbeye submitted that the previous government was responsible for the losses ZAMTEL made in the two years prior to the company’s sale to Lap Green.
Mr. Simbeye who worked for ZAMTEL for 22 years told the commission that the previous government was the worst settler of debts which in most cases exceeded K100 billion stretching over long periods of time.
He noted that during the time he served in ZAMTEL, the parastatal never made losses but instead accrued significant profits saying the previous government’s pronouncements that the service provider had been making losses for many years were baseless and unjustifiable.
And ZESCO Project Director for Kafue Gorge lower Christopher Mubemba narrated how ZESCO was forcefully made to sign an indivisible right of use agreement with ZAMTEL to make the telecommunications provider more attractive to potential buyers.
Mr. Mubemba said under the agreement ZAMTEL was to use ZESCO’s optic fibre network because ZAMTEL’s system was non functional.
He complained that the agreement which was signed on 17th December 2009 under extreme coercion from the previous government had stifled the expansion of the ZESCO network.
He told the commission that ZESCO got a raw deal from the agreement and intends to terminate the agreement by following the due process.
Submissions in the matter continue until Monday next week when the commission concludes its sittings.
Former Minister of Communications and Transport Dora Siliya who headed the ministry at the time of ZAMTEL’s sale is expected to appear before the commission tomorrow afternoon.


Former ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) National Executive Committee (NEC) is inviting bonafide members to apply for the position of acting party president.
And the UPND/MMD working alliance has come to the fore where the two parties will not compete against each other in Magoye and Nakonde constituencies.
MMD outgoing party President and immediate
past republican president Rupiah Banda
The UPND will contest the Magoye parliamentary seat while the MMD will vie for Nakonde constituency.
The move follows indications by outgoing party President and immediate past republican president Rupiah Banda to retire from active politics.
MMD National Secretary Richard Kachingwe said the decision was arrived at by MMD Lusaka based National Executive Committee members who met today at the party secretariat.
Major Kachingwe announced that members wishing to lead the party should write to the secretariat and will be required to pay K 10 million non-refundable application fee by Friday, 11th November, 2011.
He said this in a press statement released to the Zambia News and information Services (ZANIS) in Lusaka today.
Major Kachingwe stated that only one of the successful applicants will be elected as acting president by the full NEC of the party at its next sitting.
“The National Executive Committee has realized the need to find a successor to Mr. Rupiah Bwezani Banda who is going into retirement and directed that applications be invited from bonafide members who wish to be elected as acting president”, he said.
And Major Kachingwe has disclosed that the meeting also looked at the continued post election harassment by government agencies which have created a difficult atmosphere for the party to operate freely.
Major Kachingwe further explained that NEC has since appointed a standing political committee to engage government, international community and the public on matters of governance.
He added that NEC has also tasked the political standing committee to access the possibility of participating in the Chongwe Bye election in view of the alleged intimidation taking place in the area.
Major Kachingwe said NEC has directed the party to participate in 18 out of the 36 local government elections countrywide.
The elections for Magoye and Nakonde were deferred following the deaths of NMP candidate and that of PF while the Chongwe seat fell vacant after the resignation of newly elected MMD MP ,Japhen Mwakalombe.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011


Minister of Lands, Energy and Water Development Christopher Yaluma has warned that he will vigorously fight corruption which he says has engulfed the Ministry of Lands for a long time now.
Mr. Yaluma also warned Ministry employees that the Government of President Michael Sata will not entertain corrupt and lazy employees in all Government Ministries in the country.
The Minister sounded the warning when he addressed Ministry employees at Ministry Headquarters in Lusaka today.
And ZANIS reports that Mr. Yaluma regretted that the former Ministry of Lands had earned a negative image associated with corruption from the members of the public across the country.
Mr. Yaluma said as a new Minister of Lands, Energy and Water Development, he would want to see the Ministry transform to a corrupt free and hard working Ministry in the country.
He said he had a lot of expectations from workers at the Ministry and further warned workers that corrupt and non performers will be  flashed out of the Ministry when found wanting.
“We need to transform the Ministry of Lands to a better Ministry. Gone are the days when workers embraced corruption at the Ministry at the expense of serving the Zambian people”, Mr. Yaluma said.
Mr. Yaluma explained that it was saddening to see title deeds taking three (3) years to be given out to people, a thing the Minister said should not be the case.
He also warned workers at the Ministry to stop the trend of reporting for work late saying this were retrogressive to the development of the country.
He said Public workers in the country needed to put in their best in serving the Zambian people because they were paid from the public coffers.
“What is happening at the Ministry of Lands is an eye sow .You find people queuing as early as 07:00 hours waiting for employees who always report late for duties,” Mr. Yaluma said.
Mr. Yaluma also revealed that Government through his Ministry will investigate all corrupt cases which previous happened that the Ministry of Lands.
He said there would be no sacred cow and has since appealed to workers to assist in reporting corruption cases to his office so that those involved in the scourge were brought to book without delay.
He said the Ministry of Lands would be cleaned up and that bad workers would be dealt with in the best interest of all Zambians.
And Mr. Yaluma has assured workers at the Ministry of Lands that Government would seriously look into the issue of shortage of manpower at the Ministry.
Mr. Yaluma said the issue of manpower was critical in service delivery of any Ministry.
Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Energy and Water Development Matondo Yeta said the Ministry would soon make an overhaul of the information and land management system in the entire Ministry departments to make it more efficient.
Mrs. Yeta said Cabinet had already granted authority on the matter and that the procurement Authority had since put up a tender to that effect.
She said the delay had been due to the fact that Management wanted to ensure that the laid down procedures were followed to avoid breaching the procurement Act.


A Lilongwe based media expert has warned that Joy Television broadcasting from Zambia will be dangerous to President Bingu Wa Mutharika and his administration than leaving the TV station to broadcast in Malawi.
His comments follow an announcement that newly elected Zambian President Micheal Sata has given a green light to Joy Television, which has close links to former President Bakili Muluzi, to operate from Zambia.
Son to the former president, Atupele, told local media that President Sata’s government has given Joy Television permission to broadcast from the Eastern Provincial headquaters of Chipata which borders Malawi.
President Sata is also quoted in the Zambia media to have welcomed the move, saying it is a great investment for Zambians which shall create employment opportunities and open up the Eastern Province of Zambia to new technologies.
Joy Television Station was closed down in 2007 by the Malawi government after broadcasting for four months and has been denied a broadcasting license since then.
Since 2007, Joy Television and the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) have been involved in a never ending legal battle over the license.
Joy Television station will now be beaming its programs via satellite from Chipata after getting clearance from the Zambian Authorities.
But commenting on the development, Jerome Magawa,  said this move shall send wrong signals to the international community that there is no freedom of the press in Malawi.
“What is being demonstrated here is that Malawi is a dictatorship. It has to take the democratic Zambia to give a license to a Malawian private TV to operate from outside Malawi.”
He observed that for Joy Television to seek “refugee” in Zambia, it shows that the TV station had exhausted all the channels in Malawi and cried to a foreign country for help.
“Joy TV  has been closed down for the last four years and it is a long time for anyone to endure. I pity the guys because they are now like refuges seeking media freedom in a friendly democratic country”.
He said the whole drama hinges on freedom and likened the situation to the academic freedom that Chancellor College lectures are fighting for.
“Joy Television has been fighting for their freedom to broadcast, and the government has not listened. It’s the same way the government is not listening to Chancellor College lecturers who are crying for academic freedom. Is the Malawi government waiting for President Sata to give us an academic freedom university in Chipata?”
Magawa also observed that it would also be virtually impossible to regulate Joy TV if it broadcasts its programs from outside Malawi saying, a Joy TV broadcasting from within the borders of Malawi is of less harm.
“MACRA has all the instruments in place to regulate broadcasters. It would be very easy for them to regulate Joy TV if it was broadcasting from within the borders of Malawi. But MACRA cannot regulate a satellite Joy Television broadcasting from outside Malawi. It may end up being a hostile media, while MACRA can do nothing about it.”
He said this development also means it’s the Zambians who shall gain economically from the Joy Television investment, at a time when unemployment in Malawi has reached an all time high.
And a source at MACRA has reviewed that there was no need for any delay in issuing TV licenses.
“As a secretariat, we have no problems with the Joy TV application. Actually, the Joy TV license application is one the best and they proved to us beyond any reasonable doubt that they were ready and capable to offer television broadcasting services to the nation,” said the source.
He said as a secretariat, MACRA was more than ready to issue Joy Television, a broadcasting license even today. But they cannot do it when their superiors (government politicians) are  “so worried, adamant and skeptical of the TV.”
Meanwhile, Joy Television Director General Tailos Bakili has refused to shed light on the new development and when his station shall start its operations in Zambia.
Asked if Joy TV shall withdraw its court battles against MACRA and concentrate on their Zambian license, Bakili said he was not in a position to make any comments as he was at his home village in Machinga attending a funeral.
He however promised Nyasa Times that he would make a statement soon.