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TODAY'S EDITORIAL COMMENT: Sale of government vehicles to ‘eligible officers’ is nothing but looting

Works and supply minister Yamfwa Mukanga has put on hold the sale of motor vehicles to “eligible senior government officials” until all outstanding concerns raised by stakeholders have been addressed.

Following a Cabinet directive last May to approve the sale of motor vehicles to senior government officials above the position of chief planner or equivalent, a total of 1,405 go...

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TODAY'S EDITORIAL COMMENT: Sale of government vehicles to ‘eligible officers’ is nothing but looting

Works and supply minister Yamfwa Mukanga has put on hold th...e sale of motor vehicles to “eligible senior government officials” until all outstanding concerns raised by stakeholders have been addressed.

Following a Cabinet directive last May to approve the sale of motor vehicles to senior government officials above the position of chief planner or equivalent, a total of 1,405 government automobiles were due to be sold. But the move raised talk that government drivers would lose their jobs in the process, prompting Lusaka Province permanent secretary Sturdy Mwale to assure the drivers last week that none of them would be laid off.

Mukanga said some of the concerns raised include the fact that government will remain without any pool vehicles to facilitate its work and that government would lose money as a result. Mukanga assured that the sale of government motor vehicles was being done in the interest of the public and that it would lead to a significant reduction in costs.

We don’t seem to learn the lessons from the selling of government assets. If the sale of government motor vehicles was truly intended to reduce government expenditure, no one would have issues with it. But this is not the main purpose. The sale of government vehicles to the so-called eligible officers is simply a continuation of the practice of looting, stealing government assets. It did not start today. It has been a practice over the last two decades. Under Frederick Chiluba, government-owned houses of all sorts were sold to the so-called sitting tenants and others working for or connected to government.

The reason given at that time was cost reduction. But has that cost really reduced? The answer is a categorical no. Those who bought government houses sold them, rented them out and in many cases, left government service. New officers who had to be employed were forced to rent the same houses that once belonged to government at very high rentals. And it was government paying those rentals. Government still pays rentals for its senior officers and officials. What cost has been reduced? Government has been made to rent the houses it previously owned at rentals that are far much higher than maintenance costs it used to incur on those same houses. So where is the saving?

It is the same with the automobiles. This government has been selling motor vehicles to ministers, permanent secretaries and other senior government officials for almost nothing. And these are not old vehicles; these are usually automobiles under three years use. And immediately the vehicle is sold, a new one is bought for the same person who has acquired a government vehicle for nothing. Even now, this government is still buying new automobiles. And here, we are not talking about cheap motor vehicles; they are buying top of the range 4X4 automobiles of all makes - Toyota Land Cruisers, Nissans, Jeeps, Hyundais, Fords and so on and so forth. And some of these automobiles are being bought with the sole intention of them being appropriated by those who are buying them in a few months’ time, a year or so. So every new model that comes on the market, the government is made to buy.

The question is: why should government vehicles be sold to the so-called eligible officers? Why not sell them on the open market? After all, these motor vehicles do not belong to those so-called eligible officers, they belong to all Zambians. These are motor vehicles bought with money raised from humble workers and other poor citizens of our country. These are vehicles bought with taxes paid by the workers and all citizens. In this country, even the poor pay taxes. Value Added Tax does not exempt the poor. Whenever they buy an item on which Value Added Tax is levied, they have to pay it. Today, if you give a poor person one kwacha, you have effectively given them 84 ngwee because when they go to buy something, in most cases, they will have to pay Value Added Tax at the rate of 16 per cent.

If the workers and other taxpayers of this country were asked to make a decision on how government vehicles should be handled and disposed of, we doubt if they would allow the so-called eligible officers to buy these vehicles at almost nothing.

If there is anything that is actually scandalous in government expenditure, it is the amount of money this government spends on expensive and luxurious automobiles. Just take a look at the type of GRZ vehicles on the street! Most of them now don’t even bear GRZ number plates anymore. There are so many expensive government- owned automobiles that are now in private number plates. Why? They will tell you it is for security reasons! Why should a private number plate be more secure than a GRZ number plate? It is simply because even they themselves are ashamed of what they are doing, of spending so much poor taxpayers’ money on such expensive automobiles. The other reason is they are not comfortable with the way they are using government-owned vehicles. In most cases, government vehicles are not being used for government business. They are being deployed on personal business.

It is shameful and disheartening that in a country where most clinics and hospitals have no ambulances, the government has so many motor vehicles given to individuals, the so-called eligible officers. Today we have some government officers with two, three, four, five or even more government automobiles to themselves - one to take the children to school, one to take the spouse around, the other for their own use, and a few more spare ones to change in like clothes. Look at how many other services the government is supposed to provide that it is failing to provide because of transport!

- See more at: http://postzambia.com/news.php?id=15606#sthash.CEsW0iNU.dpuf

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Works and supply minister Yamfwa Mukanga has put on hold the sale of motor vehicles to “eligible senior government officials” until all outstanding concerns raised by stakeholders have been addressed.
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Severe drought in Zambia has left the country grappling with electricity shortages as hydro power accounts for over 90% of the nation’s grid supply. In the midst of energy-saving blackouts, SunnyMoney’s sales have soared – as savvy Zambians choose to invest in reliable solar power.

Zambia Online Network added 12 new photos from January 20, 2015 to the album: Zambian Presidential By-Election 2015 — in Zambia.
January 20, 2015

Congratulations to Hon. Edgar Lungu, his campaign staff and the PF for winning the 2016 presidential by-election (scooping up 54.3% of the total number of votes cast).

Voter turnout was very poor, with less than half the total number of voters who participated in the 2011 elections (more than 1.8 million) taking part in the 2016 by-elections (only about 760,000). Judging from the numbers, it is obvious that the PF has gained ground against many odds or at least has kept its ...popularity intact and constant. Clearly, HH and the UPND have lost the race for the presidency, but it is important to also note that they have actually gained popularity or ground as mirrored in their percentage of presidential votes grabbed nationally (42%), compared to the percentage (not necessarily numbers!) of votes they got in the last general elections in 2011 (less than 20%): This time around, the UPND has more than doubled its amount of votes and strengthened itself even more as the main opposition party to reckon with.

Above all, however, it’s been a very steep and dismal fall for the former ruling party MMD, which got voted out of power and finished off second in the last general election in September 2011. The party that was in power for almost two decades from 1991 until just 3 and a half years ago now has less than one percent (or only 0.84%!), of the nationwide presidential votes cast — which is a very steep fall indeed from the 645,521 nationwide votes Rupiah Banda and the MMD got in 2011 to only 6,449 votes Nevers Mumba has won for the MMD in 2016. That’s a shameful way for a former ruling party to go: From 36% to a negligible 0.84% country-wide!

I think intelligent Zambians must analyze the meaning of voting tendencies across barriers such as tribe, region, party affiliation, even personal apathy, social class and so on. Looking at the election results, one may immediately jump to say this party or that party or that province or those tribes are tribalists, (or that leader but not this leader is a tribalist), but I think it is essentially the votes that influence these decisions. An ordinary person simply follows what he or she is purportedly offered on a silver plate by any political party via its leader or figurehead, public relations mechanisms, campaigns & campaign slogans, and so forth. In general, politicians will normally play to people’s sensibilities, be they concepts such as tribe or tribalism, demographics and so on.

If any province voted influenced by tribe or tribal sentiments, then about every other province (or tribe) did the same because that was most likely the hidden messages sold to people through the heated campaigns as conceived by their leaders. People buy the politics peddled by the leadership of the political party they think best represents their interests and appeal to their emotions, whatever those “interests” or “emotions” may be, irrespective of whether real or imaginary, appropriate or otherwise: Until our party politics pays close attention to that in strategizing for future unity across tribal, economic, class and regional lines, Zambian party politics will be alleged to stay blinded by tribalism, regionalism, greed, tribal voting and even tribal rigging.

With more than 70 tribes, Zambia will need leaders and functionaries that don’t speak with a forked tongue: Leaders that understand the richness, complexities and diversity of our country’s demographics. Zambia will need a leader that can articulate non-tribal hopes, fears and aspirations of most sensible Zambians in simple terms that other Zambians can easily understand, and blend them with developmental ideals that can motivate people and really bear fruit for the benefit of ordinary Zambians or for Zambia. In short, Zambia needs a president that can unite Zambians across “ideological”, tribal, regional, linguistic and social class lines.

As things currently stand (and even obvious from the election results themselves), it will be a good opportunity for Mr Edgar Lungu to prove his leadership abilities in uniting Zambians for the common national good and convincing Zambians from all walks of life, tribes, social classes and regions that he and the PF truly stand for “One Zambia, One Nation” in deed… But the same applies to HH and his (mostly) Tonga-dominated UPND also: If HH and UPND want to unseat the PF twenty months from now in the 2016 elections (and that is plausible, now more than ever before!), then I think their chances will depend, to a greater degree, on how well or badly the PF rules Zambians to the general satisfaction of Zambians until the 2016 elections, according to most Zambians who will vote in those 2016 elections.

From the 54% the PF got and 42% the UPND got, among other contestants, it is fair to say Zambia is not a political party and must not be confused by any narrow-minded, selfish individuals as such. Zambia is bigger than any political party, tribe, province, or political or traditional or social leader yesterday, today and tomorrow. Ultimately, what counts is how well or badly the country is ruled by the politicians in leadership positions and their representation in parliament or the national assembly, after campaign promises and winning and losing elections have long passed. What counts will always be the effectiveness of the quantities of votes cast and after they are counted and collated!

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News has broken that President Michael Sata has passed away. Our Heartfelt Condolences to the Sata family.


http://zambiareports.com/…/…/29/president-michael-sata-died/

The latest news, politics, business, and opinion from Zambia
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Happy 50th Independence Anniversary, Zambia. More Unity, Peace, Freedom & Prosperity!

Protest call out! Join us at Vedanta’s AGM, 1st August. Friday 14:00-16:00

The Lincoln Centre, 18 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3ED

Join us for our major annual demonstration at Vedanta’s AGM.

...

We will bring the defiant energy of the Dongria Kond tribe, the miners and the people of Zambia to London.

Parallel demonstrations are already planned in Odisha and Delhi in India on this international day of action.

Bring drums, placards, banners and lots of energy!

JOIN OUR GRASSROOTS SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT TO STOP THIS KILLER CORPORATE!

Vedanta Resources is a FTSE 250 British-Indian mining company guilty of thousands of deaths, environmental devastation, anti union action, corruption and disdain for life on earth. They have become one of the most hated and contentious companies in the world.

In Odisha, India they were trying to mine a mountain inhabited by the Dongria Kond, the indigenous people and Dalits who have successfully fought them off for more than 10 years. Vedanta is kicked out of the Niyamgiri mountains forever.

Since last year’s AGM Vedanta are guilty of a major toxic gas leak affecting thousands of people at their Sterlite subsidiary copper smelter in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu. At their Jharsuguda Aluminium complex they released fly ash over farmland polluting rivers and villages. In Zambia they tried to fire 2000 workers from their Konkola Copper mines and smelter before being stopped by the Zambian Government. One Zambian employee was shot dead at the plant.

At Niyamgiri, Odisha, Vedanta with it’s cronies in the Odisha state government have tried to force their mega bauxite mine through at any cost. They used police harassment, manipulation, threats and distortion of the legal system to prevent the Dongria Kond from voting against the project in the coming weeks. Forces have even opened fire on women and children threatening them not to oppose the mine. But the Dongria stood stronger than ever and prepared to fight tooth and nail to save their mountain. They have won their battle against this rogue corporation. Now they demand reparation and dismantle the illegal refinery that is right below their mountain.

Vedanta are supported by the British government, as well as our banks, pension funds and financial institutions. Vedanta is 65.59% owned by Anil Agarwal and his family via various tax havens. Top shareholders include Standard Life, Blackrock inc. and JP Morgan – the same financiers of South African miner Lonmin who shot and killed 34 protesting mine workers in August 2012.


https://www.facebook.com/events/549610881810889/

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Fri 2:00 PM UTC+01The Lincoln Centre, 18 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3ED
141 people went

Could this be the reason why Zambia may fail to develop?

Zambian Watchdog

TOO MUCH INTELLECTUAL DULLNESS IN ZAMBIA

By Bill Chanda

Government should introduce logic as a subject in schools…

...

I see a lot of intellectual poverty in people. In Zambia intelligence is measured by passing exams, which entails cramming, but no learning (development of the mind to think beyond) takes place.

No wonder 95% of people go to school to get a job instead of inventing one. Sad but call me what you can most of us a dull and parrots of Biology or chemistry class with very shallow and limited thinking.

I challenge you fellow youth to begin to open your minds and think outside the box. Question everything, question your parents let them be accountable how they keep you, you not a property, question your teachers at school and college and university. They also bloody ignorant and know little.

Question your beliefs too. Most of you are Christian because you were born in that family but in behaviour you are just pagans who drink and fornicate. I am not saying its right to live like a pagan but if you say you gonna be a Christian be serious coz Christians today buy all the condoms and finish beer at COMESA market…refine your beliefs and be your own person, don’t let society think for you, think independently or you will die in poverty and misery living a common boring life. Dare to be different…2016 we as the youth will decide our future? Question the government and hold our leaders accountable..2011 people got carried away shouting donch kubeba and now see the effect. Today I checked the net and the dollar is 6.2-6.3 fuel is 10.74 jus put it 11. There is a wage freeze meaning little will be done and the government is not jus borrowing money stupidly saying they launching 1 billion dollar euro bond. Proud beggers..50 years down the line we still not independent, we still thinking like villagers….I challenge you to wake up and see reality for what it is..am not saying we blindly embrace HH or Chipimo or Frank Bwalya..what am saying is the youth must start thinking! Think bane, think think think..not jus posting fancy pictures on facebook..Let’s use this as a tool to bring about revolution and change.

Am tired of seeing dull youth, parrots if shallow education, hero in beer with no sense of purpose or direction!

Let’s break free of this slavery and work hard…Japan is a secular nation, compare it to Christian Nation Zambia where leaders are always in court for theft, abortion among church going youth is rampart as hell.. You can call me what you want but something is wrong somewhere, we need a revolution, of thought, of attitude towards work and know the right time do recreation…am it is 99 percent of youths are zombies with very indoctrinated minds…am sorry to upset so many but I refuse to follow blindly and to be chained in a system that doesn’t set free but makes more prisoners…you can either wake up or continue to follow blindly. The choice is yours…..

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Please ‘like’ this Facebook page: Foil Vedanta ... Or show support for their noble efforts in raising awareness. Or at least inform yourself or spread the word in any possible way. For anyone at UNZA, CBU or any other Zambian university or institution of higher learning who would like to spread the word there about the carelessness going on in the mining sector and how our country is being exploited for the benefit of (mainly) foreign multinationals ravaging our mine-based economy and (in some cases) degrading the environment and making people sick, you may contact Samarendra Das. Share, share & again share. Thanks.

Foil Vedanta is an independent grassroots campaigning organization focused primarily on the British-Indian mining giant Vedanta Resources PLC. Foil Vedanta targets the company in London where it is registered.

The vernacularization of primary school education in Zambia: Media Network on Child Rights Executive Director Henry Kabwe says—while tentatively supporting the move—that the introduction of local languages as a teaching language in our primary schools has the potential to bring about tribalism if necessary measures are not put in place.

How is the introduction of local languages as a medium of instruction in Zambian primary schools (up to Grade 4, is it?) designed to work? Have all necessary preparations been made in advance, all checks and balances? What are the ramifications, considering that Zambia has 70+ indigenous local languages, or what languages are being introduced (and where)? Are all languages being introduced in their distinct localities? Could anyone explain what is so far known about this development? What’s your take?

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Please take a moment to read this article. It is clear that president Sata will not rule Zambia beyond 2021. Two obstacles stand in his way, the Constitution and age. In 2021 he will be 84 years-old, adding another five years of reign will be a strain on his health and unfair to a progressive democratic Zambia. Since this is a scenario that cannot be changed, it is our duty as Zambians to begin now, to prepare a Zambia for the future generation so that whoever succeeds the in...

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But as things stand, this is unassailable because we are a divided people. In his quest to consolidate his power, our president is creating and encouraging divisions, and fostering enmity in opposition parties so as to weaken them. We are witnessing the arrest of opposition leaders on flimsy grounds...
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