Thursday, 28 November 2013


Anna Chifungula

The Auditor General’s Office has reported five government ministries to Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for investigation for alleged corruption cases involving huge public funds.
Auditor General Anna Chifungula, who announced the development, could however, not disclose the names of the affected ministries. 
Chifungula told journalists at the Cathedral of the Child Jesus in Lusaka today that the ACC is currently carrying out investigations in the five government ministries.
She said her office has a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ACC to report any cases involving corruption for possible investigation.
The Auditor General further stated that her office is finalising the 2012 audit report which will be released to the public on December 31.
And the Auditor General’s office is unable to fully undertake audits in government ministries and parastatals because it has a shortfall of 100 members of staff.
Chifungula has bemoaned the low staffing levels in her office which  has made it difficult for the auditors to adequately cover all the audit areas.
She said her office still has 100 vacancies and that although interviews for the recruitment of more staff were conducted a year ago no one has been recruited.
Chifungula said there is need to speed up the recruitment exercise for new auditors to ease the pressure on the current staff which she said was strained.
She said things would have been different had her office been given the authority to recruit its own staff than waiting for the Public Service Management Division-PSMD to conduct the exercise.
Meanwhile, the Auditor General’s office has donated a cheque worth K10, 000 to the Cathedral of the Child Jesus towards the construction of a pastoral youth centre.
 Chifungula said her office is committed to playing a critical role in raising the welfare of the less privileged in society.
She told Cathedral of the Child Jesus Administrator Father Albertus Chitoshi that auditors could also contribute more to society other than publishing the audit reports every year.
Cathedral of the Child Jesus Finance and Fundraising Committee Chairman Michael Mabenga assured the Auditor General that the donated money will be used for the intended.
Dr Mabenga said the Church was undertaking various projects which will require further support from well wishers. The construction of the pastoral youth centre will commence next year in 2014 at a cost of K200, 000.


THE Attorney General is wrong to halt the Masebo Tribunal, Heritage Party president Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda has observed.
Commenting on the Attorney General’s appeal against the Masebo tribunal, Brig. Gen. Miyanda stated that the action was unconstitutional and irregular as it opposed the public policy.
Find below the full statement by Brig. Gen. Miyanda.

[27TH NOVEMBER 2013]

The purported appeal by the Attorney General of Zambia to halt the Masebo Tribunal is unconstitutional and is highly irregularas it contradicts or opposes current public policy. I therefore call upon the Attorney General to withdraw the said appeal forthwith. Since the Masebo Tribunal is active I refrain from commenting on the merits or demerits of that case.

Ordinarily all persons involved or affected by a decision of a court in Zambia are entitled to appeal and must be allowed to do so if they so choose.Hon Masebo is entitled to appeal but I am NOT aware of such appeal by her or through her lawyers.  In this specific case of an inquiry established under the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct Act, it is my humble opinion that the Attorney General CANNOT be and OUGHT NOT to be her lawyer.  If he feels strongly he should use his private law firm to represent her!

The Attorney General’s appeal is an abuse of office and a departure from custom and practice as his action is attacking the very core of public policy of the Zambian Government, as reflected in existing laws. It is unconstitutional and irregular because the Attorney General has purposed to prevent the enforcement of Section 13 of the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct Act 16, as read with Article 52 0f the Republican Constitution. Public policy, as promulgated in the stated provisions, is that whenever allegations are raised by any concerned person and are submitted to the Chief Justice, the Chief Justice SHALL establish the tribunal; the holding of the tribunal is mandatory.

According to Article (52) “all Ministers and Deputy Ministers shall conduct themselves, during their tenure of office, in accordance with a code of conduct promulgated by Parliament”, end of quotation.  Pursuant to this Article Parliament enacted the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct Act 16. The complainant, former Cabinet Minister William Harrington, has alleged that Hon Masebo has breached Section 13 of the said Act and has provided information to support his allegations.

Under Article 54 (2) of the Constitution one of the constitutional functions of the Attorney General is “to represent the Government in courts or any other legal proceedings to which the Government is a party”.I contend that the Government is NOT a party to the Masebo Tribunal; so whom is the Attorney General purporting to represent? In any case and strictly speaking Hon Masebo has NOT been sued nor is she being prosecuted. She is to be investigated in order to establish the truth or otherwise of the complaints submitted to the Chief Justice. Why should the Government pre-empt a mandatory investigation? This act borders on interference with the course of justice and may qualify as abuse of office.

It is undesirable and politically ill-advised for the Attorney General to act in this manner in the light of the contentious appointment of the Acting Chief Justice which is itself under question. Literary within hours of the Acting Chief Justice establishing the Tribunal the Attorney General obtained an injunction! Under the prevailing circumstances, the least the public would have expected was for the Acting Chief Justice to recuse herself from all judicial functions until questions concerning the constitutionality and legality of her appointment are resolved; this is the injunction which the Attorney General should have been busy with to stop Her Ladyship from superintending any court activities.

For the foregoing reasons, I urge the Attorney General, in effect the Government, to step aside and let the Tribunal to carry out its mandate to enforce public policy as envisaged in Article 52 of the Constitution and Section 13 of the Act and as ordered by the High Court for Zambia.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013


The 3rd African Union (AU) Conference of Ministers Responsible for Mineral Resources Development will be held in Maputo, Mozambique from 13-17 December on the theme: Leveraging the Africa Mining Vision for Africa’s Renaissance towards broader ownership. The conference will be preceded by a meeting of Senior Officials, which will take place on 3-15 December.
The theme has been deliberately chosen to deepen the participation by member States and their institutions in the implementation of the African Mining Vision and it takes place in the context of a sector characterized by complex relationships and competing demands, rights, and claims.
The Conference has become the premier forum on the continent for African Ministers Responsible for Mineral Resources to address issues related to the development of the mineral resources in the continent. There will also be a subtheme on “Mineral Resources Governance and community Engagement.”
The objectives of the conference include: Proposing to African leaders approaches and policy options on the execution of the Action Plan for the African Mining Vision (AMV) with the aim to promote sustainable development in Africa in line with 2015 Development Agenda and 2063 Africa’s agenda;
-       Reflecting on the adequacy, relevancy and gaps in the Business Plan for the AMDC as an institutional framework which seeks to support the implementation of the AMV;
-       Enhancing ownership and participation of Member States and Regional Economic Communities in the implementation of the Action Plan for AMV and enhance the understanding of its implications on Africa’s mineral development; and Launching the African Mineral Development Centre as a project;
-       Considering modalities to strengthen forward planning and information exchange on the Action Plan for AMV among Member states and stakeholders;
The Experts in their official session will prepare and adopt a concise report on the main recommendations, Declaration and decision of their meeting, and submit it to the Conference for adoption.
In attendance will be African Ministers and Senior Officials responsible for mineral resources development, AUC and RECs’ officials. Participants will also be drawn from a broad spectrum of stake-holders including, Development Partners, representatives of UN agencies, African private sector, African Chambers of mines and industry, NGOs and CSOs, AfDB, and the World Bank.
Delegates will brainstorm on how African countries could design and implement effective strategies and policies of Mineral Resources through the African Mining Vision, which could include the promotion of value addition and economic transformation, which can reduce dependence on commodity exports, thus promoting sustainable long-term growth. This, according to the organizers will ensure that the benefits of such growth are widely shared in order to reduce poverty and improve the standard of living for all Africans.
The AU Executive Council, in Decision No. EX.CL/Dec.368 (XI), instituted a statutory Conference for the African Union Ministers Responsible for Mineral Resources Development with the aim of developing common and consistent positions on issues pertaining to the management of Africa’s mineral resources.
 The Conference of African Ministers Responsible for Mineral Resources
Development (CAMRMRD) has taken deliberate steps to address challenges in the mineral sector, inter alia, the formulation of the Africa Mining Vision (AMV) and its Action Plan and endorsement to establish an African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC) to provide strategic technical support capacity for implementing the Action Plan for AMV.  
In October 2008, the first Session of AU Ministers Responsible for Mineral Resources Development, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, considered the AMV as a strategic framework for the management of Africa’s mineral resources in order to promote growth, poverty reduction and sustainable development in Africa. The AU Heads of State and government, at their assembly in Addis in February 2009, welcomed the AMV and requested the “AU Ministers in charge of Mineral Resources Development to develop a concrete action plan for its realization”.

Thursday, 21 November 2013


UNIVERSITY of Zambia (UNZA) students are rioting following the death of their fellow student from suspected typhoid. According to sources at UNZA, the students ran amok after news broke out that one of their colleagues had died from suspected Typhoid this morning. The students trooped of the classrooms and boycotted lectures before starting to chant slogans in condemnation of the sanitation condition at the highest learning institution. Some of the students blocked and stoned some vehicles on the Great East road, prompting some motorists to divert. There was panic among UNZA workers and motorists as the students caused commotion.
Quick action by armed paramilitary police officers prevented the students from causing damage to property and vehicles. After the police arrived at the campus, some of the students who had gone for lectures were fished out of the lecture rooms and told to retreat to their respective rooms. There is currently heavy presence of armed police officers at the campus. The name of the student who has died is yet to be established.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013


In his continued reflection of the country’s independence anniversary Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda, who is Heritegy Party president, called for the removal of treason offence from the statutes.
Brig. Gen. Miyanda further asked President Michael Sata to release the Barotse activists.
“Let him release the Barotse activists forthwithand ‘deport’TREASON back to England where it is hardly heard of today!,” stated Brig. Gen. Miyanda.
Bellow is Brig. Gen. Miyanda’s reflection in full.

[By Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda – 22nd October 2013]

As Icontinue to reflect on the 49thIndependence Day, I notice the prevalence of the “unity of the camera”, a mirage that disappears as soon as you step away from the “enemy” you were shaking hands with! I also realise that there are many “independences” around: independence of the mind, of judges, of wives, of your children, of the youth, of NGOs, of religion, of ethnic groups, etc,etc. Thus we may severally have been experiencing fleeting mirages of unity but now we mustall make an effort to focus on which “independence”is relevant on this occasion of the 49th Independence Day.

On this second reflection I focus on contentious issues that have to do with citizens’ rights and freedoms as enshrined in the current Republican Constitution that continue to be abrogated and generally ignored. The PF record is abysmal with regard to the Rule of Law.There has been harassment and tampering with the rights of citizens, especially those that have to do with freedom of assembly, free speech as well as the independence of the judiciary.  Such abuse by those in authority is what must become treason today!

The law of treason in its present formhas maintained its colonial character and purpose and is archaic, contradictoryand irrelevant.Therefore it is not reasonably justifiable in our democratic dispensation. Essentially it was designed to preventcitizens from expressing their strong sentiments against the ruling regime. Such a law is anathema to citizens and is a hindrance to the on-going independence journey and subtracts from the quest for unity.

Look at how ridiculous and contradictory this law is today. Before our independence battles, while this law was in full force under the Colonial Power, our Founding Fathers ignored it, actively denounced and challenged the colonial regime and succeeded. Simply put, they committed treason against Her Majesty the Queen! In short we gained our Independence by committing treason – without that action prior to 1964, there would not have been the 49th Independence Day to commemorate! But after assuming power they maintained the very laws that were designed to derail and to stall the independence march of the late 50s and onwards!

Wind forward to 1972 - Dr Kaunda’s regime decreed the establishment of Zambia as a One Party State. Under that decree it was an offence to form or belong to a political party other than UNIP; it was an offence to hold an opinion that contradicted that of the Ruling Party. I classify the imposition of the One Party State as a treasonable act; but its removal from our statute books was the most important and heroic achievement of the MMD. What is happening in our country today, under the PF which is mentored by former President Dr Kaunda,is sending worrying signals about possible re-introduction of that era. The spectre of Hitler or Idi Amin is hovering over the horizon. Dr Kaunda, the architect of the One Party State, appears to be co-President or the lead Consultant for President Sata; so we have a reason to be apprehensive. We do not want to go back to detentions without trial.

To put this apprehension in perspective I refer to some parts of the Zambian Penal Code that deal with sedition.The definition of ‘seditious intention’ is so wide that any form of political sensitisation and even election campaigns qualify to be classified as sedition. There are phrases such as “to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the Government; to raise discontent or disaffection among the people of Zambia; to incite resistance, either active or passive, or disobedience to any law or the administration thereof” (as CSOs are presently doing with regard to the Constitution-making process). Workers are not spared as under Section 92 the President may invoke statutory powersagainst a union and designate a boycott if he so judges by specifying any action he deems fit to control the situation. These sections in their full effect contradict the spirit and letter of the current Republican Constitution.

I therefore urge the people of Zambia to prevail on the PF Government to expunge from our statute books the treason offence and all related derivatives of treason such as sedition. Instead what must be treasonable is to get onto office by telling lies and fostering deception as this is a way of preventing voters from ushering in a government of their choice!

It cannot be treasonable to complain against or criticise the Government. Those who get into public office by telling lies inorder to win an election and who, once they get into power, abuse the laws that they have sworn to defend and protect ought to be the ones charged withtreason. Even when citizens, in their anger, shout and “insult” as they march and demonstrate there are other laws that can properly deal with such conduct.

Our Founding Fathers did more than let out empty invective: they destroyed bridges, schools and telecommunications facilities; they burnt government institutions; they cut off designated areas to prevent Government forces from accessing the areas by blocking them with logs and rocks; they even undressed in public (pornography) to emphasise their helplessness and disapproval of the presence of a detested foreign power. What could be more treasonable than that? But the joke is that that treason ushered in our independence. If it is true, as declared by Dr Kaunda last week, that President Sata was a Freedom Fighter, then he must surely be aware of these activities which led to our independence. Let him release the Barotse activists forthwithand ‘deport’TREASON back to England where it is hardly heard of today!