Archive for the ‘Zambia’ Category

source: allAfrica
Africa-Asia Confidential (London)
25 October 2010

Mayhem broke out on 15 October at the Collum Coal Mine in southern Zambia after Chinese owners shot workers protesting over dangerous and difficult working conditions.

The workers were demanding higher salaries and an explanation as to why they had not been paid for two months. The tense relations between Chinese managers and Zambian workers is a critical issue ahead of 2011 national elections.

Asian investments are an emotive issue in Zambia. Chinese mine managers have clashed with protesting workers several times before. India’s Vedanta Resources has also come under fire from civic groups for refusing to renegotiate its low royalty and tax obligations when world copper and cobalt prices soared.

Opposition leader Michael Sata accused Chinese companies of gross exploitation of Zambian workers at the last election, and delighted in goading Beijing’s ambassador to Lusaka into some very undiplomatic utterances. Within hours of the shooting, Sata sprung into action again, having earlier softened his [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

LUSAKA: A five-member International Press Institute (IPI) delegation is in the country to help resolve differences between media practitioners and the Zambian government over planned media regulation.

Headed by acting director Alison Bethel McKenzie, the IPI delegation hopes that the visit will yield the desired results. The government has maintained its stance to regulate the media through an Act of parliament, while media practitioners advocate self-regulation.

Lack of progress on the issue has thus prompted the IPI to intervene, in a bid to end the stalemate cause by President Rupiah Banda’s administration, which seems to be pandering to the gallery ahead of the 2011 general election.

IPI’s press freedom advisor, Naomi Hunt says the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel) to connect a fibre optic cable network with that country through Kazungula.

The joint telecommunications project will cost US$258, 000.00 and is expected take between three to four months to be built.

Speaking during the signing ceremony of the MoU in Lusaka, the Chief Commercial Officer of Zamtel, Amon Jere, told Zambian media that once effected, the project would make Zambia a telecommunications hub in the southern African region.

Jere said the project would help reduce the cost of international connectivity and improve the quality and speed of Internet services. He disclosed that that the company was considering connecting another fibre optic cable with Namibia through Kazungula.

“We are working on providing high quality but affordable high-speed Internet for all Zambians”, Jere said. “Every Zambian must have access to affordable high quality broadband Internet through mobile Internet and fixed Internet through ADSL.”

BTC, which provides the country’s national and [continue reading]

source: The Botswana Gazette
Wednesday, 29 September 2010 12:00

In an effort to facilitate regional trade the country is forging ahead with the establishment of a railway line with Zambia. The rail link will add to the Namibia and Mozambique connection which are also in the pipeline, Minister of Transport and Communications Frank Ramsden revealed last week.

The new rail link between Botswana and Zambia, bypassing Zimbabwe was first mooted in 2005. The line was envisaged as running south-westwards from Livingstone, crossing the Zambesi, then continuing to a junction with the existing BR tracks at Mosetse. The proposal arose following the serious loss of traffic suffered by BR following the opening of the Beitbridge-Bulawayo line. The suggested line, Ramsden pointed out, would provide important alternative routes linking South Africa, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ramsden said the country has started negotiations with Zambia and through the route Botswana will export soda ash, coal and be able to bring more imports from outside the country and create more outlets. “The rail line will be included in the planned Kazungula bridge and is currently at feasibility study. We hope by next year the study should be [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

After months of waiting Air Botswana (AB) direct flight to Lusaka finally took off from the newly built Sir Seretse Khama International Airport on Sunday morning.

The launch, which brought the number of the national airline’s cross border destinations in the region to three, was greeted in mid-air with cheers by both AB staff and passengers on board the historic flight.

Before launching the Lusaka route, AB operated direct flights to Johannesburg, South Africa, and Harare, Zimbabwe.

Addressing journalists in the executive lounge of the Lusaka International Airport, AB’s business development manager Dikagiso Matshaba apologised for the delay in departure from Gaborone. The flight was scheduled to leave at 11 am and arrive in Lusaka at 1pm. But because of a few hiccups, the flight was delayed and arrived in the Lusaka 40 minutes late.

“We are sorry for what has happened but we can assure our clients this will not happen again,” a confident Matshaba said, adding that AB would [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Times of Zambia (Ndola)
15 March 2010

IN recent times, the Government and in particular President Banda have come under criticism for embracing and developing the relationship with China.

The opposition parties have taken every opportunity to criticise the Government even for issues that have nothing to do with government to government relations.

For instance, any mistake committed by a Chinese owned company is blamed on Government even when it is clear that the Government has nothing to do private companies.

Many have also criticised Government for seeking financial and other forms of aid from the Chinese Government.

But the recent words by International Monetary Fund (IMF) which encouraged Zambia and other developing countries to seek aid from China, proves that Government decision to continue dealing with the Chinese government was correct.

China is a growing power in the world and its financial and political muscle cannot be ignored. Its influence in [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The project that came into being to give Zambia a lifeline to the seaport of Dar-es-Salaam after Ian Smith’s Rhodesia closed the border with its ‘black’ neighbour and grew to become a vital inter-SADC link is being revitalised, thanks to Chinese intervention, writes PETER CHISHIMBA

NDOLA: Despite the criticism of Chinese investors in Zambia, Beijing has once again come to the rescue of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) – a vital link inter-SADC link – by availing a $39-million interest-free loan.

TAZARA, which is jointly owned by Tanzania and Zambia, has been teetering on a knife-edge with worn out tracks and wobbling wagons. The firm, which operates the 1,860-long railway line from Zambia’s central town of Kapiri-Mposhi to the port city of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania, has been providing a vital passenger and cargo service for both countries.

Zambia’s Communication and Transport minister, Geoffrey Lungwangwa, announced in Lusaka that the funds would be used to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Times of Zambia (Ndola)
5 February 2010

THE Government has paid the French oil firm, Total Outre’Mer, US$5.5 million for the acquisition of the 50 per cent shares in Indeni Oil Refinery but still owes it $16.7 million in other obligations, Ministry of Energy and Water Development Permanent Secretary Teddy Kasonso has said.

Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Mr Kasonso said the Government paid $5.5million as at the end of November last year but still has to pay outstanding debts amounting to $16.7 million, which it owed the former shareholder.

He was, however, happy that after acquiring 100 per cent ownership in Indeni, the firm was now running more effectively.

Mr Kasonso, who was accompanied by Director of Energy at the ministry Oscar Kalumiana, Indeni Oil Refinery managing director Maybin Noole and finance director Thompson Chikumbi however said, he regretted that [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
United Nations Development Programme (New York)
5 January 2010

In Zambia, any change in climate can spell disaster. With a majority of Zambians depending on agriculture, even a slight change in temperature can affect crops like maize with catastrophic consequences for livelihoods.

In the village of Lusitu, in the south of Zambia, the returns from farming have diminished due to severe droughts. According to Eva Chipepo, a local villager, “rainfall is insufficient to give us a good crop yield” and “wild animals have started to wander in the fields”, further destroying crops. Another Lusitu resident confirms that life has become more difficult. “In the past”, he says, “we were able to find solutions to whatever challenges we were faced with. Rivers never ran dry.”

With more frequent droughts, but also floods, says Catherine Namugala, Minister of Tourism and Environment, “the government must look for resources to provide relief to the people”. The country was already struggling to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Times of Zambia (Ndola)
4 January 2010

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda has with immediate effect fired Science, Technology and Vocational Training Minister Gabriel Namulambe.

President Banda said, in exercise of the powers vested in him pursuant to the provisions of Article 44(5) of the Constitution of Zambia, has revoked the appointment of Mr Namulambe as Cabinet minister.

This is according to a statement released by Special assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Dickson Jere in Lusaka yesterday.

“May I, take this opportunity to thank you most sincerely on behalf of the Zambian people, for the service that you have rendered to the nation during the period that you served in various portfolios in my Government,” President Banda said in a letter to Namulambe.

The president would announce the replacement of Mr Namulambe later.

Recently, Mr Namulambe came under fire from some sections of society for his [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Times of Zambia (Ndola)
28 December 2009

THE position of UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema on Chinese investment is one which his pact co-leader and partner Michael Sata should emulate.

It is something to be emulated because political leaders must learn to differentiate between what is partisan and what is in national interest whenever they take positions on issues.

The notion that opposition leaders must always disagree with Government is one which must be discouraged if not totally discarded.

There must be issues which all political leaders agree on and one such issue is that investment which benefits the greater good of the society must be supported.

Mr Sata, like his co-leader, must admit that the investment which Chinese firms have poured into the Zambian economy is benefiting the country and there is absolutely no need to rubbish it just for the sake of scoring political points.

What is important is how Zambia, as a country, harnesses the investment to maximise benefits for the local economy and citizens and this can be [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Kelvin Kachingwe
22 December 2009

Lusaka — The impending privatisation of the Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel) is being opposed by civil society organisations and opposition political parties, who accuse the government of lacking transparency in selling one of the last remaining state-utility firms.

Early this year the cabinet decided to sell 75 percent of the Zamtel shares, and appointed RP Capital, of Cayman Islands, to evaluate its assets.

RP Capital is an investment firm specialising in identifying intermediate and long-term investment opportunities on behalf of institutional investors, and qualified high-net-worth individuals in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India.

But the evaluation report has never been made public, and was the subject of a tribunal, as it was alleged by civil society organisations that Dora Siliya, then Minister of Communication and Transport, had ignored the advice of the attorney general in awarding the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

NDOLA: The late Local Government and Housing Minister Ben Tetamashimba startled the nation early this year with claims that there was rampant corruption during the reign of Zambia’s third president, the late Levy Patrick Mwanawasa.

To many people in the region and beyond, Mwanawasa had come to rid Zambia of corrupt practices especially those perceived to have happened during the reign of his predecessor Frederick Chiluba; so the nation was shaken by the statement from outspoken Tetamashimba.

The controversial minister even went to the extent of saying that he did not regret having issued the statement that there was corruption in Mwanawasa’s government.

Tetamashimba served as [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Times of Zambia (Ndola)
7 December 2009

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda is optimistic that Zambia will soon become the economic hub of the continent because of the extensive investment in the education and construction sectors.

Speaking at State House yesterday when a Malaysian delegation presented 11 Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) signed between institutions of learning in Malaysia and Zambia as well as the construction industry from that country and their counterparts here, President Banda said that it would not be long before many investors on the continent considered investing in the country.

The Malaysian delegation was led by Senior Economic Advisor -JICA and the Government of Zambia Dato’ Jegathesan.

“In my inaugural speech, I said Zambia remains a hub of Africa. Whenever others in Africa think of where to go, they will come to Zambia. Perhaps by receiving these MoUs, we are [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Times of Zambia (Ndola)
26 November 2009

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda has with immediate effect made changes to his Cabinet in a move that has seen Deputy Defence Minister Eustarkio Kazonga being appointed as Local Government and Housing minister.

In a statement released in Lusaka yesterday by special assistant to the president for Press and public relations Dickson Jere, the president said that Dr Kazonga replaces Benny Tetamashimba who died in September.

The president has appointed Chitambo Member of Parliament (MP) Solomon Musonda, as the new Deputy Minister of Health, taking over from Mwendoi Akakandelwa who has been moved to the Ministry of Energy and Water Development in the same capacity.

Mr Banda has also appointed Kalabo MP Sikwibele Mwapela as new deputy Minister of Western Province, replacing Adons Mufalalai who has moved to [continue reading]