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Mrs. Grace Chibwa – on her 50th birthday

Given a variety of circumstances, for many of us in the UK, Mrs. Grace Chibwa, the wife of the former High Commissioner to the UK, His Excellency Anderson Chibwa, was an exceptional hospitable person.

In this week: 60 Seconds interview, we dedicate this space to the interview that UKZAMBIANS had with her before she left the UK. Mrs. Chibwa, as usual, opened up about herself and share some of her charitable efforts.

She is currently in Malaysia on another important tour of duty for Country.

UKZAMBIANS: Please tell us about yourself, family and educational background

MRS CHIBWA: I am the first born in a family of 10, 6 girls and 4 boys and I am a mother of 6, 3 boys  and 3 girls. I did my secondary school education at Fatima Secondary School. I then went to the University of Zambia where I got a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, with a minor in Business Administration.  A few years later, I came to the UK to do my masters degree (MSc) in National Development and Project Planning at The University of Bradford.

I worked for the Small Enterprises Development Board, where I rose to the position of Senior Regional Manager in charge of Central Province.  Almost all my working life has been in the promotion of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs).  I have also done several short courses as well in SMEs.

UKZAMBIANS: When did you come to the UK?

MRS CHIBWA: We came to the UK in May 2003 when my husband was appointed High Commissioner to the UK.

UKZAMBIANS: What are your main responsibilities as spouse of the High Commissioner?

MRS CHIBWA: As spouse of the High Commissioner, my role is to compliment the job of the High Commissioner.  We don’t have an official ‘ job description ‘ if I may say so, but there are certain duties that are expected of me as the high commissioner’s spouse.  I have to accompany the High Commissioner to state functions such as the Foreign Secretary’s dinner, the Queen’s reception at Buckingham Palace, the ceremonial Opening of Parliament by the Queen etc, not to mention the numerous national day events at other embassies.  I also do a lot of entertaining at home.

UKZAMBIANS: We understand that as the wife of the High Commissioner, you are not allowed to take any paid work in the UK.  How does that affect your personal career?

MRS CHIBWA: Spouses of diplomats in the UK are allowed to work.  London is one of the very few stations where diplomat’s spouses are allowed to work.  However, in my case I cannot take any paid job because this station is so busy and being High Commissioners wife is almost a full time job.  I have functions and meetings to attend on a weekly basis so that a full time job is out of the question. This has obviously affected my personal career as I have not been in formal employment for over six years.  I don’t know where I will start from when we go back to Zambia.

UKZAMBIANS: Given that this is a diplomatic occupation, i.e. you have to meet the Queen, Prime Ministers, and other Heads of state, do spouses of Zambian diplomats receive any training or orientation, for example in international protocols and etiquette, and other important areas to prepare and enable them to carry out their roles effectively?
MRS CHIBWA: Yes, we do but it too brief to cover all these aspects.  The Ambassadors as well as other diplomats receive very detailed briefings, but the one I attended was just for one morning.  It covered the most important things though, but for many other issues, you just have to learn on your own, with a few mistakes in the process of course!  I am still learning up to today.

UKZAMBIANS: Since coming to the UK you have held some very important positions in the diplomatic community in the UK.  Can you tell us what those positions have been and your duties as office bearer? For example there is a charity group for wives of African diplomats.

MRS CHIBWA: The London diplomatic community is truly vibrant, so there are always exciting things to do.  There are always tours, lunches, lectures, fairs and fundraising events to organise.  The Association of Spouses of African High Commissioners and Ambassadors, (ASAHCA) was formed in 1982 and draws its membership from 34 African countries represented in the UK.  Its objective is to foster a spirit of understanding and cooperation among African countries represented in the UK.  We hold an annual fundraising event and donate the money to charities in our home countries.  The beneficiary of ASAHCA funds in Zambia has been the Lions Club of Kabwe of which I am a member and past President.  We have been buying hearing aids for children at the Broadway School for the Hearing Impaired.

I have been elected President of ASAHCA twice, in 2004 and 2008. Being a member of ASAHCA has been very rewarding indeed.  We are true sisters, and I know that when I go back to Zambia I will have a friend in almost every African country.  I visited Ghana in 2006 when I went for the Global Compact Conference and the former High Commissioner and his wife looked after me very well.  I am now planning to visit Nigeria and Egypt.

I have also been a member of the executive committee of the Commonwealth Countries League Fair Committee.  The fair committee organises the Commonwealth Fair in which we all participate as Commonwealth countries to raise funds to sponsor needy but academically gifted girls into secondary schools.  I have also while representing ASAHCA, been on the executive of the Federation of International Women’s Clubs in London (FIWAL).  FIWAL has a membership of about 35 women’s clubs from all the five continents thereby giving its members cultural exchange and networking on a very big scale.

The spouses of Zambian diplomats have also formed Tushuke Club which has been in existence for many years.  I have been Patron of Tushuke Club as wife of the High Commissioner.  Tushuke Club has also embarked on several fundraising events and has been making donations back home.  We have made donations to Grace Ministries Orphanage, Children’s Road Safety Trust Fund, University Teaching Hospital Children’s Ward and the Maureen Mwanawasa Community Initiative just to mention a few.

Tushuke Club is currently sponsoring a student at Lwitikila Secondary School.
I am also happy to say that I have been a founder member of The Fatima Alumni- London which held its first fundraising lunch last year.  We have made a donation of £1000 to the school for buying printers.

I am also Patron of the Zambian Catholics and Friends UK.  We are currently fundraising for the Zambia Catholic University in Kalulushi.

UKZAMBIANS: The High Commissioner was awarded the ‘Freedom of the City of London ‘, what did this mean to the High Commissioner?

MRS CHIBWA: The ‘Freedom of the City of London ‘given to the High Commissioner is a very big honour for us.  As you know, this status is bestowed on someone in recognition of their work, in my husband’s case, he has succeeded through hard work and commitment, to increase and strengthen ties and investment between Britain and Zambia.

UKZAMBIANS: What have been your proudest and most memorable moments while serving the diplomatic community in the UK?

MRS CHIBWA:  I guess my husband’s Award by the City of London is one of them.  The Presentation of Credentials are also very memorable ones.  Meeting with Pope John Paul II and going to Buckingham Palace in a horse drawn carriage was very exciting.  As you may know, the High Commissioner is also Ambassador to the Vatican and The Republic of Ireland.

UKZAMBIANS: We know that you will be leaving the UK soon, what words of encouragement do you have for Zambians in the UK?

MRS CHIBWA:  I would like to encourage my fellow Zambians here in the UK to remain united and to work together.  I am happy to say that there has been an improvement in interaction among Zambians either as associations and individuals.  This is a good thing, but we are not yet there.   We must continue our efforts to foster a spirit of working together and patriotism towards Mother Zambia.  As we say in Bemba, ‘Umunwe umo tausala inda‘.  As a group we shall achieve more than if we keep to ourselves.  Everyone here is an ambassador for Zambia so let us all work for a better image of Zambia abroad. I wish to take this opportunity to thank the Zambians in the UK for all the support they have given us during our stay here.

UKZAMBIANS: Many thanks for your time.

MRS CHIBWA: You are welcome.

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Mrs. Chibwa’s 50th Birth Day Cutting the cake

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The children welcoming First Lady Mrs. Banda, at Greenbanks when she came for a lunch in her honour


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Welcoming the First Lady Mrs. Banda,

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Dinner with the First Lady Mrs. Banda.

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    This book is about the life of a district medical officer who worked in Botswana, looking after African patients admitted to the wards with various tropical conditions including HIV infections, TB and AIDS.

    This is a true life story of an African medical doctor who wanted to prevent new HIV infections and to give better care and support to people living with HIV infections, TB and AIDS. It is a story of an African teaching intervention strategy that was called and labelled “…controversial…radical…shock tactics…alarmist…” and other names by foreign consultants coming to Africa to assess Africa’s AIDS Control programmes.

    The unique teaching strategy was born in 1989 at Livingstone General Hospital in Zambia with very little support. Livingstone is the home of the Victoria Falls and the birth of AIDUCATION 20-10 Taking Control of AIDS.

    The book, ‘AIDUCATION 20-10 Taking Control of AIDS’ is about prevention of new HIV infections and support for people living with AIDS. AIDUCATION 20-10 is about Dr Edwin Mapara’s story as a medical doctor in Africa in the 1990s and as a teacher in Europe in 2010 – implementing a teaching strategy that several “Western Consultants” from Europe and America said was not workable – the several challenges met locally, nationally and internationally – barriers to teaching about health encountered – culture, language and communication – strengths of the teaching strategy – the growth of the teaching strategy – sexually transmitted infections – the A-Z of AIDS – the A-Z of tuberculosis (TB) – the teaching strategy now being used in universities in Europe while Africa waits due to recommendations from foreign consultants to wait – African ‘best practice’ programmes – Botswana’s success story in controlling HIV infections and AIDS – the teaching strategy that is now twenty years old and is used to teach in the universities of London (Europe) in 20-10 and not in African universities as advised by “Consultants” The use of clinical pictures from Teaching-aids at Low Cost (TALC) to raise AIDS awareness in the local communities, outside the healthcare sector, started in the early 1990s as part of the Athlone AIDS Awareness Project in Athlone Hospital, Lobatse, Botswana. The aim was to combat the denial, dismiss the myths and to AIDucate where there was lack of AIDucation.

    The other goal was to energise and jump start the Lobatse community to drive its own HIV infection prevention initiatives and to own the home-based care and support programmes for people living with and affected by AIDS. The strategy to teach HIV infections and AIDS with pictures (AIDucation) started in 1992 after a group of students from a local school came to Athlone Hospital wanting to see patients living with AIDS, so as to believe that AIDS was real and not an American Ideology to Discourage Sex (AIDS)! The students were not shown the patients on the wards as that would have been unethical, so the next best option was colour pictures of African patients with AIDS.

    That was the beginning of AIDucation that twenty years later, in 2010, has become part of the AIDS’ modules in London universities, used to teach medical doctors, nurses and volunteers going to work in Africa and amongst the Africans, who gave birth to AIDucation. Pictures stimulate discussion, provoke debates, introduce sensitive topics, catch attention and most important break and stop sexual cultures that fuel the spread of AIDS. Pictures visibly provide hard evidence of the realities of sexually transmitted infections including HIV infections, TB and AIDS. Pictures make AIDS that is ‘invisible’ too many people to become visible.

    Pictures give AIDS a human body.

    This was a challenge of the approach, but was made lighter by explanations using imagery, metaphors, songs, drama and true African stories in English or the local language. Initially, the presentations received a mixture of responses including shock or disgust at the explicit images, vulgar language and frank discussions! However, the understanding and learning promoted by using pictures to explain HIV infections and AIDS soon demonstrated the value of the Pictures in AIDucation intervention strategy.

    By the year 2000 and over 150 events later, the Athlone AIDS Awareness Project was documented as ‘…one of the best practices in Botswana’ as Athlone Hospital helped other hospitals to set up similar AIDucation programmes. In this book, Dr Edwin Mapara writes as an enlightened African man and a medical doctor who has been in the front-line and has been hands on in dealing with the early AIDS and TB epidemics in Zambia and Botswana. He has endeavoured to show some examples of where participants in the AIDucation workshops in Botswana used their imagination to understand medical concepts that were translated into their day-to-day words, materials or beliefs.

    He has also described how the pictures stimulated the most enthusiastic discussions in small groups of fifteen to twenty-five participants using a slide projector to picture AIDS.

    Pictures talk! Pictures are louder than words in the picturate world.

    The book is about AIDS projects and programmes that were developed as a result of AIDucation and faith in this small African medical doctor called Dr Edwin Mavunika Mapara. The year 2010 is an important milestone in AIDucation, as it is now twenty (20) years since the “controversial” Pictures in AIDucation came on the scene, with ten (10) very fruitful years in Botswana. AIDUCATION 20-10 is about Taking Control of AIDS.

    Follow this link to buy the book: http://www.xlibrispublishing.co.uk/bookstore/bookdisplay.aspx?bookid=300067

    Dr Edwin M Mapara BScHb, MBChB (Zambia), DTM & H (South Africa), DLSHTM, MSc. (England) is a medical doctor and Public Health Specialist with a passion in the management of HIV infections, TB and AIDS in the developing countries. He was born, schooled and grew up in Zambia.

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    Former Tanzania President Benjamin Mkapa said: “If you fool me once, shame is on you, fool me twice shame is on me.”

    The East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) has resolved that the Council of Ministers should delay the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) framework.

    The resolve was reached at the just-ended Eala session in Mombasa, following a motion by Dr James Ndahiro (Rwanda).

    The Assembly decided that negotiations on EPAs should be delayed so as to urge the EU to work with the EAC partner states to review and revise the framework in order to include interests of both parties.

    The Assembly also resolved that the draft framework be subjected to the parliamentary approval process both within the partner states and at the regional level.

    The Eala resolve comes only weeks after former President Benjamin Mkapa warned East Africa that the EPA, championed by the European Union, was another Berlin Conference aimed at the scramble for Africa.

    Speaking in Nairobi during a media conference that also doubled as part of the Nation Media Group (NMG) 50th Anniversary, Mr Mkapa said the fact that the EU was bracing for equality of trade agreements with the East African block, means that it was seeking to weaken the regional bloc which is striving to strengthen itself economically.

    Referring to the famous 1884 Berlin Conference, Mr Mkapa said: “If you fool me once, shame is on you, fool me twice shame is on me.”

    He said Africans were taken for a ride during the Berlin Conference and that should serve as an important lesson when they negotiate trading partnerships with developed nations.

    He said Africa should not be cajoled into EPAs because there was no way underdogs could engage in fair business deals with developed nations.

    He said Africa will not emancipate itself from poverty and chains of colonialism until it chooses to reconsider its position in the world today through regional integration aimed at building a United States of Africa.

    Mr Mkapa said Africa must embrace self-reliance and denounce the culture of seeking charity. He also added that civil societies must hold accountable both the society and its leaders in order to be able to develop Africa.

    Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are being negotiated by the European Commission on behalf of the European Union, with six groups of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. The negotiations started in 2002 and were expected to end by Dec 31, 2007.

    African countries are represented by four groups. The two other groups are the Caribbean and the Pacific regions.

    According to EPA, ACP-EU trade relations are supposed to be based on arrangements that do not need waivers or derogations from the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

    Trade relations between the ACP and EU, under the Lome Conventions from 1975 up until now, have mostly been covered by waivers or derogations from WTO rules, but it is felt by the EU that the international economic order has changed and requires trade arrangements that comply with WTO rules.

    The Eala resolve has also come at a time when EU is pressing EAC to end a stalemate and give a clear timetable for signing a new trade deal with the union.

    The deal was meant to be signed in July 2009, but the deadline passed due to a standoff over trade and development issues.

    The EAC has a gross domestic product (GDP) of $73.3 billion and a population of close to 127 million. It has a customs union, and a common market is due to take effect in July.

    Meanwhile, the East African Legislative Assembly on Thursday passed the East African Community budget for the financial year 2010/11 at its session held at the Mombasa Municipal Council Chambers.

    The Budget, amounting to $ 59,963,040, (about Sh84 billion) was passed after the chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers and Tanzania’s minister for EA Cooperation Dr Diodorus Kamala had answered nearly all queries raised by legislators.

    Under the chairmanship of  Abdirahin Haithar Abdi, the Speaker of the Assembly, Dr  Kamala urged the members to support the budget which is geared towards propelling the gains attained in the regional integration process.

    Dr Kamala commended Eala members for their oversight role in bettering the Community and quest to speed up the process towards widening and deepening the integration process.

    Themed Operationalising the Common Market and Laying the Foundation for a Monetary Union, the East African Community budget for 2010/11 focuses on 24 priority areas, among them is finalisation of the 4th EAC Development Strategy and Information and Communication Policy and Strategy and consolidation of the Customs Union.

    Others include operationalising the EAC Common Market; tabling before the Eala such Bills as required for the implementation of the Common Market; tabling before the Eala Bills on counterfeits and piracy, one-stop border posts, HIV/Aids and public-private funding of infrastructure projects; setting the ground and launching the negotiations of the EAC Monetary Union; and strengthening the integration of Rwanda and Burundi into the Community.

    Deepening co-operation in defences, security and political matters; promotion of sustainable management and utilization of environment and natural resources; enhancing the implementation of the Lake Victoria development programmes and continuation of the construction of the EAC headquarters in Arusha are other areas which the budget would facilitate.

    Also among priorities are conclusion of both the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) negotiations with the European Union and the Tripartite Free Trade Area arrangements of Comesa-EAC and SADC.

    Other items which featured prominently in the budget include the enhancement of the capacity of the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) towards realisation of a better working East African education system and putting in place the EAC-Development Fund.

    The current budget exceeds the previous one by 11 percent. The EAC budget for 2009/10 was $54,257,291.

    Budgetary allocations are directed to the East African Community Secretariat ($26,836,651); Defence Liaison Unit ($910,244), Customs and Trade ($3,696,411), Eala ($10,520,361), East African Court of Justice ($2,841,777) and Lake Victoria Basin Commission ($15,157,596).

    The current budget is to be financed by contributions from partner states to the tune of $30,748,369; development partners’ will inject $29,141,051; and the rest will be obtained from miscellaneous income totalling $73,620.

    By Kaela B Mulenga

    Millions across Africa and the rest of the world are glued to TVs watching 2010 soccer world cup being staged in South Africa (RSA). Africa has never hosted this international tournament before, ever.

    So these games are long overdue and welcomed on the African soil. And judging by the way things are: – in terms of readiness, security, organization and crowds – all appears good. Kudos goes to S. Africa for making us proud.

    Africa is being represented at this world cup by the host country – Bafana Bafana of Republic of South Africa; Indomitable Lions – Cameroon; the Black Stars of Ghana; the mighty Nigerians; Ivory Coast (Còte d’Ivoire); and Algeria. At least three of these teams are ranked amongst the top thirty of the world by FIFA (Cameroon, Nigeria, and Ivory Coast).

    Whether any of these African teams will manage to advance to the group of sweet sixteen and beyond – remains to be seen, and is where the question of productivity comes in. So far it looks as if only Ghana has a slim chance of moving on. Cameroon which is supposed to be the best of the pact, being ranked 19th in the world is already going home. Others are not doing that well either.

    What exactly is the problem? The answer lies in low productivity. What is the meaning of this beast?  There are many ways in which we can measure productivity. In general terms – productivity means: the amount of output per unit of input (be it labor, equipment, and capital). The labor of players in our case.

    In manufacturing, the measure may be the number of hours one takes to produce a good, e.g., a shoe. Fore service industries such as Banks or Insurance Companies, productivity is measured on the basis of revenue generated by an employee divided by his/her salary. Without being too technical – this productiveness: – is the quality of being productive or having the power to produce. As we say in economics, it is the ratio of the quantity and quality of units produced to the labor per unit of time. That is to say this labor productivity measures the ratio of output per labor-hour, which is an input.

    How do you relate all this to soccer? Very simple! Think of soccer (or Basket Ball) players as laborers, ninety minutes (90 mins) as time put in and goals as output or outcome. Anytime when a team walks out goalless, implies zero productivity. Indeed, the world soccer competitive strategies are based on how one team is more competitive (or productive) relative to another. A one-zero final result means that the team which scores one goal is more productive relative to its opponent.

    As examples: In a match that took place between Italy & New Zealand – Italy’s one goal came from at least twenty three (23) shots at the goal. While as, New Zealand’s one goal came from only three (3) attempts at the goal. In short, although both teams ended up with one goal each – New Zealand team was more productive in that game. This means that New Zealand’s shots were of a higher quality (more effective or worth more) than Italy’s.

    And this should not be hard to see since Italy is not only the defending champion, but is ranked fifth (5) in the world compared to number seventy eight (78) for New Zealand. On the African side, those who have watched the games closely would testify that the quality of say, free kicks, has been very poor. Often these were kicked way above the goal bar. No good!

    Yet another example: In the Paraguay/Slovakia match – Paraguay’s eleven (11) shots at the goal produced two goals, to six (6) shots of Slovakia which produced nothing (zero). Quite clearly, Paraguay ended up being the more productive team

    This productivity paradox is dependant on a number of factors. Among those you can include: Skill (inherent or acquired), training and coaching; passing, style or standard of play, and tactics or strategy (i.e., should you have more men in offence or defense?). Another variable is – experience, which helps a player to know about the “do’s” and “don’ts”. For instance, it is experience which tells you that you never ever leave your goal keeper alone (undefended). In addition, experience helps players in arriving at ‘productive’ as opposed to dangerous or ‘unproductive’ decisions. Unless a team possesses some of these attributes, it would not do as good as the one which has them.

    If Zambia wants to do well at the international soccer competitions, it is here where the score card has to be improved. In case of those with plenty cash like Saudi Arabia or China – they can simply buy already trained and refined players or coaches.

    The Republic of South Africa’s team (Bafana Bafana) which joined the world sports fraternity only in the 90’s when Apartheid was dismantled has lesser experience than Nigeria which has had exposure since 1960s. By the same token, Zambia’s Chipolopolo squad aught to be more experienced than say, Namibia which got independence way later. When Nigerians failed to pass Italians in [1990] to qualify for the quarter finals – Italians credited their success to “good thinking” (a product of experience), meaning that had Nigerians themselves used their heads, they would have defeated the Italians – the argument goes. If nothing comes out of experience that is a case of being counter-productive.

    As we can see once again, it is experience – a “I have been there before”, which helps to calm down nerves. Since emotions are also part of the productiveness equation, that is why good teams or clubs make use of the services of psychologists. This is important because each individual’s efforts, make up the total ‘team’s’ output. If one is not composed and calm, panic takes over. Productivity theorists have also observed that – commitment combined with persistence produces top performance.

    Top performers are teams like Brazil, Germany, and Spain and to a lesser extent (comparative-wise) – you have Argentina and Italy. Therefore, unless the African teams can improve on some of the productivity components – they’ll, in my view, continue to underperform in the soccer world cup. And the onerous is on the African teams themselves. It is not FIFA’s job to improve African teams.

    Although nearly every African team has improved some, when it comes to the quality of passing and keeping the ball flat with the grass, they’ve a long way to go when it comes to offensive and creativity in front. There is a tendency for forwards to want to stay with the ball longer than necessary. Consequently, few balls are hit at the goalie. Not so much work is needed to improve the back. In fact most African teams were spared humiliations because of strong defenses.

    In my judgment, Africa’s dream team would be to combine Ivory Coast’s strikers with the Cameroon’s middle fielders and backers. Although Cameroon  fell three to one (3 -1) to Brazil, they at least made attempts to shoot at the Brazilian goal keeper. Their shots at the keeper in this one game are probably equal to the amount of total shots at the goal by ALL African teams combined. This is regrettable.

    Therefore, as can be seen from this analysis – the productivity at this year’s (2010) soccer world cup, in spite of noisy encouragement from the ‘Vuvuzelas’, continues to be below par. Unless of course if we were to put hopes by invoking the powers of African juju, voodoo, or mulamkuzi’s. Apparently the Javulani ball, which according to some had some African spirits embodied into it, didn’t help much.

    But if the African sports authorities want African soccer to develop beyond what it is today – they need to attach performance measure (# of goals generated by teams rather than simply pleasing crowds), in all coaching staff hiring and evaluations. It is not enough to have coaches who would simply keep the team going.

    That said, it doesn’t mean that all the other components involved in soccer such as infrastructures and good management should be neglected. It remains to be seen how South Africa will utilize or take advantage of the structures which are now in place and will remain a permanent structure in RSA. We have to wait and see. All in all, if we are not calculating and scientific about these things we’ll continue to be a backward continent even in terms of sports.

    In the next article, I will extend this productivity concept to other practical examples such as – capital, and land. Comments are of course welcome. Cheers!

    Toronto, June 20, 2010

    Kaela B Mulenga

    zbia09@gmail.com

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    By Fred Chileshe

    This One’s 4 lafs,,Rooney will be downing that after being thumped by Algeria tonite.

    I havent reached Joburg yet due to a de-tour via Livingstone to clear my van. ZRA the tax mongers hammered us with a duty levy of K18m!

    No doubt, i’ll land in SA just towards the 3rd round games and 4 the crucial quarters & semis.

    Observing from afar, all my African teams are still in contention. Shaky start yes, but 3 teams should prevail until semi final.

    Nigeria are definetly kissing this one goodbye! My bet is on either Ivory Coast, SA and Ghana to carry us forward with ‘Ja bulala wena ball’

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    The long awaited remains of Lance Mate a Zambian student who died under suspicious circumstances in Russia last November have finally arrived in the country.
    The atmosphere at Lusaka International airport was solemn as Mates heart broken mother cried uncontrollably.

    Mate who had gone to Russia in pursuit of an engineering Degree today comes back as a cargo aboard a South African Airways plane which touched down at the Lusaka International Airport at 13:05 hours local time.

    The Zambian student died in Russia in mysterious circumstances at Kazan State University.

    He went missing on November 6, 2009 after a quarrel with a group of Russians and his body was found in the Kazanka River in Kazan City.
    Meanwhile, the Mate finally has announced that burial will take place on Thursday June 17, 2010 at the Old Leopards Hill cemetery in Lusaka.

    Russian Ambassador to Zambia, Boris Malakhov, has since regretted the death of Mate.

    He, however, underplayed racism against African students in Russia and said all foreign students are safe in Russia and such cases were very rare.

    Zambians in Kazan Students Union (ZAKASU) criticised the Zambian Embassy in that Russia over the manner in which authorities were handling students’ affairs.

    In a letter of protest to the Embassy, the students complained that the embassy had distanced itself from the problems being faced by the students.

    The students alleged that the Zambian authorities in that country had been unsupportive and were quick to distance themselves from circumstances leading to Lance’s death.

    “We hope that in future the Embassy will be more supportive of those who are part of their community. The Embassy’s failure to issue correct statements has undoubtedly injured its reputation and the authorities have an obligation to correct the misconception that has been created,” stated the students.

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