NDC SAYS SORRY TO ZNBC'S BRIAN MWALE
The opposition National Democratic Congress has issued a half-hearted apology after its cadres attacked ZNBC journalist Brian Mwale.
Mwale on Thursday morning survived lynching by NDC cadres that accused him of being behind a story published by a Patriotic Front aligned social media Smart Eagles....
“The National Democratic Congress NDC wishes to sincerely apologise to the media fraternity in the country following the harassment of media personnel from three public institutions,” Emmanuel Maili, the NDC deputy media director, states.
Mwale, two other journalists from the Times of Zambia and the Zambia Daily Mail were allegedly harassed at the media briefing called by our party consultant Dr. Chishimba Kambwili.
“The attacks on scribe’s are unfortunate and unprecedented. We want to assure our colleagues from the forth estate that NDC abhors violence and fully supports media freedom,” he writes.
Maliti has however complained that the journalists from the three state owned institutions only appeared to cover its leader when there was something negative happening.
Meanwhile, NDC national youth leader Kabwita has accused Mwale of being a PF cadre.
“Yes we asked him to leave because he is just a cadre, we did not harass him as it is being purported. It’s not only him, we sent away all journalists from public Media this included Times and Zambia Daily Mail so why is he the only one complaining. We are going to put up a notice to ban from them covering our events,” said Kabwita.
The behaviour of NDC cadres drew condemnation from media houses including MISA Zambia.
ZAMBIAN EMERALDS TAKE HOLLYWOOD BY STORM
Coloured gemstones such as the emeralds from Zambia’s world-beating Kagem mine in Lufwanyama were in the spotlight at this year’s glittering Oscars Awards in Hollywood.
A regular on red carpets everywhere, fine emeralds have taken on renewed popularity thanks to the promotion by London-based Gemfields, which owns 75 percent of Kagem in a model partnership with the Zambian government....
US TV host and style blogger Louise Roe, who took over Gemfields’ Instagram Stories for the big night, gave us a rare glimpse behind the scenes at the Oscars, to share her favourite looks.
QUESTIONS OVER HOW MUCH LUNGU ACTUALLY SPENT IN NEW YORK CONTINUES
Following reports published by Diggers News showing excessive unnecessary spending by the President whilst in New York attending the UN, Amos Chanda has lashed out claiming the documents are in forged.
Mr. Chanda explains that the publication obtained the false information from a bank statement which was illegally obtained and doctored on the alleged extravagant expenditure during the trip....
He clarified that the Head of State never undertook any boat cruises and did not have a dinner dance among other activities.
However these rumours are not new, and Diggers News are not the only ones who have published evidence to counter Amos Chanda's statement, photos surfaced nearer the time showing a number of Africa delegations including members of the Zambian delegation on shopping trips and parked outside notorious Saks Fifth Avenue - a luxurious shopping mall.
Perhaps though the most concerning element of this story is no one knows what's real and what isn't anymore, and trust is dwindling in the government's integrity day by day.
ZAMBIA SCHOOL STANDARDS SLIPPING, LACK OF DORMITORIES LEAVES STUDENTS SLEEPING IN CLASSROOMS
Pupils at Myooye Secondary School in Mumbwa district of Central Province have been spending nights in classrooms due to lack of dormitories at the learning institution.
However, Central Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kabwe has said government is committed to addressing the challenges facing the pupils that are a result of years of neglect....
Speaking when he conducted an impromptu visit to the school this afternoon, Mr Kabwe said challenges facing the school need urgent attention and assistance from partners.
“We have seen the challenges that the boys and girls are going through, as government we won’t allow it to continue, the good part is that Central Province is part of the World Bank school project and this school will be given priority,” he said
He added 'I think as leaders especially those elected like Members of Parliament even as they sit in parliament should know that they have a responsibility to work for the people who put them in office. This area has had MPs and Ministers it is sad that upto now no amount of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) has ever been allocated towards improving the infrastructure at this school which has existed even before independence.
He urged the pupils to work hard and not be discouraged by the existing poor conditions which has made learning very difficult
“His Excellency, President Lungu knows that education is the best equalizer that is why I want to assure you all that before the end of this year I will be back with my colleagues from the Ministry of General Education to attend to your needs,” Mr Kabwe said.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary instructed the two District Commissioners from Mumbwa and Shibuyunji who accompanied him to ensure that the 100 bags of cement that the school requested for towards the completion of a staff house is delivered by Friday this week.
POLICE RAID KAMBWILI’S RESIDENCE AFTER HE STORMS OUT OF ACC
More than twenty police officers are reported to have raided the Woodlands Lusaka residence of NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili in the early hours of this morning.
In the absence of a clear purpose the officers were initially denied entry until the former minister’s lawyers had arrived. At this point they were granted entry....
The episode comes after Kambwili was yesterday seen storming out of the Anti-Corruption Commission in protest at the ACC’s lack of explanation for his detention and failure to provide for his basic needs. As a diabetic, Kambwili said he could not be kept long hours without access to food.
The Roan PF MP has today been addressing press and his followers via a live feed on Facebook.
SACCORD ADVISES STRONGER LAWS TO TACKLE TRIBALISM
SACCORD Executive Director Boniface Chembe has addressed the issue of tribal politics, acknowledging that in the past political leaders have engaged in “campaigns based on tribe”.
Chembe advocated stronger laws to outlaw hate speech that borders on tribalism, laying blame at the door of politicians, stating “Politicians should not be allowed to continue using tribalism to bring about tension and division in Zambia and blame ...it on something else. Our political leaders must refrain from doing that. It is on this basis that we actually believe that if we were to put in place much more stronger laws to outlaw hate speech that borders on tribalism, it will go a step further in helping reverse this particular spectre because it is a creation of our politics as opposed to the creation of anything else. Zambians interact with one another. It doesn’t matter which part of the country you come from; we eat together, we congregate together.”
In reference to recent comments made by President Lungu during a visit to Rwanda, Chembe also made clear that SACCORD sees no connection between National Registration Card identifiers and tribalism, explaining: An NRC from our view is a unique Zambian document that traces one’s history that is part of our culture and cultural heritage. Therefore, it must be respected and must be celebrated as opposed to seeing it as a negative that is bringing about tension and division in our country. We have lived with this unique cultural aspect of ours since independence and it has been used well.”
ICC ELECTS NIGERIAN JUDGE CHILE EBOE-OSUJI AS PRESIDENT
The judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) have this week elected Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji as President of the court for a three-year term, starting immediately. He will be supported in his duties by Czech Judge Robert Fremr and French Judge Marc Perrin de Brichambaut.
On his appointment Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji said “I am deeply honoured to have been elected by my peers as President of the International Criminal ...Court. As I take up my duties, I feel encouraged that I am able to rely on the wide experience of the two Vice-Presidents, Judge Robert Fremr and Judge Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, both of whom I have closely worked with previously.”
“I look forward to working together with them as well as with all the judges, all the Officials and the staff of the Court in a spirit of collegiality. I also look forward to collaborating with the Assembly of States Parties, civil society and the international community at large, acting together to strengthen and reinforce the Rome Statute system, the 20th anniversary of the adoption of which we celebrate this year,” he added.
Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji has served as a Judge of the ICC since March 2012, having previously worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) from 2005 to 2007, before working for the Special Court for Sierra Leone. In 2008 he returned to the ICTR as Head of Chambers for two years, then joining the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights in 2010.
He holds an LLB from the University of Calabar, Nigeria (1985), an LLM from McGill University, Canada (1991), and a PhD in international criminal law from the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2011).
MOBILISING MEMBERSHIP VERSUS CAMPAIGNING
PF Secretary General Davis Mwila last week revealed that the PF had embarked on a programme to distribute over 18,000 bicycles across the country in preparation for the 2021 general elections. Mwila has defended the move however by stating that this is not a case of the PF campaigning for 2021 already but rather an exercise in mobilising members.
“We are doing party mobilisation in all the provinces. It’s not a campaign; this is not ca...mpaign time. We are going round mobilising the party…yes. So we are preparing our officials for 2021, we are giving them the tools for them to become mobile. We have been doing the indoor meetings,”Mwila explained.
However, as some public commentators have noted, the exercise may prove of limited value and even damaging if the PF concentrates its energies too much in the area of give aways at the expense of the business of government, and in particular securing economic turnaround in time for the majority to benefit in terms of jobs and lower prices. While the bicycles will no doubt be welcomed, countrywide improvements in the state of education and healthcare are more urgently required.
Meanwhile, others have questioned where the money is coming from to fund such extensive distribution. Earlier this week NAREP leader Elias Chipimo was quoted as follows: “It is clear that the amount of money that is being amassed is being amassed purely for the sake of ensuring the perpetuation of power of the current PF leadership. There is probably a connection and we should be asking ourselves ‘what is the source of these funds that are able at this stage to generate so much that they can start to produce such lavish campaign material?’ We should also ask ourselves what the PF’s focus is if at this point in time, three years before the next election, they are already in heavy campaign mode.”
SACCORD COMMENDS PRESIDENT LUNGU AND HH FOR COMMITMENT TO NATIONAL DIALOGUE PROCESS
Following the announcement of the upcoming launch of the steering committee for the National Dialogue Process expected on 26 March, SACCORD commented as follows:
“SACCORD would like to commend both Republican President Edgar Lungu and opposition President Hakainde Hichilema for showing the correct political will and commitment to the National Dialogue Process that is being spearheaded by His E...xcellency Professor Ibrahim Gambari the Commonwealth Special Envoy for Zambia. The dialogue process that will begin in earnest on 26 March 2018 with the launch of the Steering Committee will offer an opportunity for Zambia to create a model of resolving post election disputes, tension, and conflicts in Africa and other parts of the world. The process will further start a culture of institutionalizing peace in Zambia as the ultimate goal will be the establishment of the National Peace Architecture that will be a permanent body that will ensure Zambia's ability to resolve conflicts of a similar nature internally. It is therefore Paramount that all Zambians and stakeholders support this National Dialogue Process as the results will be in the interest of the Republic and her people.”
KAMBWILI SUMMONED BY ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION
NDC leader and former PF Minister of Information and Broadcasting Chishimba Kambwili has been summoned by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). The summons follows an investigation into corruption allegations involving Kambwili that was concluded in December 2017.
Irritated by the prolonged investigation into his conduct during his time as a PF minister and police presence outside his house, in July 2017 Kambwili challenged the ...ACC to arrest him if they could find grounds for doing so stating: “I would appreciate if the police or the ACC could either leave me alone or arrest me.”
Last week Kambwili appeared in court where he pleaded not guilt to three counts of forgery in an ongoing trial.
PRESIDENT LUNGU MEETS WITH PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA
President Edgar Lungu on Tuesday met his counterpart, the new President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa. The two leaders met during working lunch in South Africa.
President Lungu was accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Joe Malanji, Presidential Affairs Minister, Freedom Sikazwe and Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Emmanuel Mwamba....
President Lungu congratulated Mr Ramaphosa for his election as ANC President during the 54th ANC Conference held at NASREC Johannesburg in December 2017.
President Lungu also congratulated President Ramamphosa on his eventual election by Parliament as President of the Republic of South Africa.
President Lungu also reaffirmed the two countries close relations and mutual cooperation between Zambia and South Africa. He said the two enjoyed trade and investment relations.
And President Ramaphosa said Zambia and South Africa enjoyed good historical, cultural and economic relations. President Ramaphosa is the current Chairperson of SADC while President Lungu is Deputy Chair for SADC Organ on Politics and Defence
VOTER EDUCATION MUST TACKLE PF MATERIAL CAMPAIGNS
The leader of the People’s Alliance for Change Andyford Banda has accused the PF of prioritising campaigning instead of the work of government, such as repairing the economy.
Banda has also proposed that voter education efforts are needed in order to counteract the material nature of the PF’s campaigns....
Speaking to News Diggers Banda said: “The pictures that we have seen of the PF branded bicycles with the face of Edgar Lungu, plus the distribution of [branded] books is a clear indication that the PF want to win the next elections at all cost. The PF wants to use money, power to win the next elections. If we want to play their game, I don’t think we can make it. The best way is to devise other means of educating the voters because clearly the PF have failed.”
Rather than deploying a ‘donchi kubeba’ type strategy, which was used by the PF under former President Sata during the PF’s time in opposition when it faced campaigns vastly better resourced that its own, Banda’s proposal seeks to tackle the heart of the problem: “As PAC what we believe should be done is that we need to engage in civic education with the voters so that money shouldn’t be the idea here. The idea should be the issue of the performance of any government and the key performance indicators of this government, which the PF cannot meet. The PF have not managed to meet those key performance indicators.”
FOUR NATIONS TOURNAMENT COMING TO NDOLA MARCH 22ND
Zambia is set to host a four nations tournament later this month, featuring the Angola, South Africa and Zimbabwe national football teams.
Kicking off at Levy Mwanawasa Satidum on March 22, Angola is set to play South Africa, while Zambia will face the Zimbabwean national team. The two winners will then come face-to-face on March 25....
The Chipolopolo team currently ranks top in the region at 76th place according to Fifa rankings, but only one spot ahead of South Africa. Zimbabwe are at 105 and Angola at 141 respectively.
ZAMBIA MUST DO BETTER WITH TOURISM
Government has challenged the Zambia Tourism Agency (ZTA) to claim a fair share of the 1.2 billion outward-bound visitors that leave their countries annually.
Minister of Tourism and Arts Charles Banda disclosed that Zambia should aim at increasing the number of visitors from the current levels of a million per year....
Mr. Banda said given the opportunity in the tourism sector, it is time to put into action President Lungu’s challenge to the Ministry, following government decision to elevate the Ministry from the social sector to the economic sector.
PF CADRES CAUGHT WEARING MILITARY UNIFORMS
The Zambia Police Service has warned political parties, and in particular PF cadres to desist from wearing outfits similar to that of the Military Personnel.
Speaking through a press statement issued to media in Lusaka today, Zambia Police Inspector General Kakoma Kanganja said he has observed a reoccurring trend where some political party cadres have yet again begun wearing outfits similar to those of the military personnel especial...ly during their respective party activities.
Mr. Kanganja explained that party cadres or any person other than the military personnel are not allowed to wear uniform or anything that resembles the military uniform as doing so is a criminal offence.
He stated that according to the State Security Act CAP 111 Section 6(1)(a) of the Laws of Zambia, any person without lawful authority who uses or has in his possession , imports or manufactures any uniform of the Defense Force or the Police Service or any other official uniform or any dress closely resembling the same as likely to deceive or falsely represent himself to be a person who has been entitled to wear any such uniform, shall be guilty of an offence and liable of conviction to imprisonment for a minimum of fifteen years.
Mr. Kanganja noted that there are pictures of some political party supporters clad in military regalia which are circulating on social media of which he has directed officers to investigate and bring those involved to book.
He said political party leaders at all levels should take a lead in educating their cadres and advise them to desist from engaging in behavior that is contrary to the law.
Mr. Kanganja said any police officer who will find any person wearing such an attire should act by arresting and prosecuting them.
He appealed to all Commissioners of Police through their Officers Commanding Districts and Officers in Charge of Stations in all provinces to ensure that the trend is brought to a halt without any delay.
Mr. Kanganja added that the Service will not sit back and watch lawlessness being perpetrated in the country or allow emergence militia groupings in any part of the country.
The Inspector General of Police has since implored political parties to conduct their activities within the Law.
TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL QUESTIONS INACTION OVER HUGE RISE IN MISAPPLICATION OF FUNDS
Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) Executive Director Wesley Chibamba has raised a warning over the lack of action since the release of last year’s Auditor General report.
The accounts made headlines in November 2017 as they showed that the misapplication of funds increased from around 28 million Kwacha in 2015 to 162 million Kwacha in 2016, while unaccounted for revenues increased fr...om around 500,000 to 3.7 million over the same period.
Chimbaba bemoaned “the reluctance of the law enforcement agencies to move into action by bringing the culprits to book”, noting that “It’s not just about arresting these people, we want to recover the resources lost as well.”
“Our view has been that such people should be quickly convicted and sentenced to hash prison sentences So that we deter people from committing similar crimes. But apart from that we need to recover our resources by confiscating their assets. Once they are convicted, their assets must be forfeited to the state,” he continued.