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Chinese-Ambassador-to-Zambia-Zhou-Yuxiao

Biofuels
Biofuels
THE Biofuels Associations of Zambia (BAZ) has described the decision by a Chinese firm, Kaid Bio Mass to pull out of Zambia, as unfortunate because the move will deny the country of the immense economic benefits.

Kaid Biomass Zambia Limited was supposed to undertake a US$6 billion four-phased investment programme in Nakonde and Isoka but decided to pull out after four years in Zambia.

BAZ chairperson Thomson Sinkala said in an interview yesterday that it was saddening that the company had decided to pull out its investments from the country.

“It is unfortunate that KBZ has decided to pull the investment out of the country. It is sad because the project is something that people in Nakonde and Isoka accepted,” professor Sinkala said.

Professor Sinkala said the $6 billion investment was meant to benefit not only the people of Nakonde and Isoka but the rest of the country.

He said the benefits of the investment were going to accrue to the people as they were to be part of it in terms of participation.

Last week, KBZ executive vice-president Kumbukilina Phiri said the company was pulling out of Zambia because the amount of land which had been offered for the project was too small to justify the investment required and what had been spent.

Mr Phiri said that the company had decided to pull out of the country because the parent company felt that it was not possible to change the inititial plan considering that the investment was huge.

Mr Phiri also said the company felt that the project would not be viable considering the amount of land that had been offered.

KBZ is part of Suneshine Kaid New Energy Gruop of China that has been in the Renewable Energy business for over 20 years.

By 2010, the group had total assets to the tune of RMB 18 billion (US$2.7 billion) and sales revenue amounting to RMB 7 billion Yuan (US$1.1 billion).

Government and KBZ signed an investment Protection Agreement (IPPA) for the development of US$450 energy project.

The project which was expected to create 10,000 jobs in Nakonde and Isoka, was to cover about 1.8 million hectares of land.

Of the total investment, US$218 million was meant to be used in Isoka, while US$233 million was to be invested in the Nakonde project.

President Michael Sata
President Michael Sata

President Michael Sata has reaffirmed his government’s commitment to the empowerment of youths in the country.

In a speech read on his behalf by vice president Guy Scott during the youth day commemorations, President Sata says it is the desire of the patriotic front government to enhance the participation of youths in the development of the country’s economy.

And Dr. Scott has commended political parties that took part in the youth day celebrations.

He says it has to be appreciated that the commemoration of the day is not political.

Speaking earlier, youth and sport minister Chishimba Kambwili assured youths in the country that the youth empowerment plan will be ready by 30th June this year.

This year’s youth day is being commemorated under the theme “Opportunities for youths through Enterprise”.

Earlier, vice president led dignitaries in laying wreaths at the freedom statue in honor of the youths who died during the struggle for the country%u2019s independence.

Meanwhile, about five hundred opposition Movement for Multi Party Democracy (MMD) youths calling themselves true-blues have turned up at this year’s Youth Day Commemorations.

This is contrary to the earlier directive by the MMD leadership that all youths in the party shun the commemorations.

MMD True-Blues National Youth Secretary Leslie Chikuse has told Qfm in an interview that the youths who came from across Lusaka Province and part of the Copperbelt chose to take in this year’s Youth Day because they did not want to be detached from the rest of the youths taking part in the celebrations.

Mr. Chikuse has noted that youths in the country need to speak with one voice and go beyond politics by participating in important events such as the Youth Day commemorations.

He also urged youths in the country to come out strongly and take charge of the country by interacting together and engage in constructive debates on matter of national development.

WRONG MOVE BY BOZ…WHO OWNS FOREX?
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The current wrangle caused by Bank of Zambia (Boz) to introduce a bill to control foreign exchange outflows and inflows is a big blow to a liberalized economy.
The move by our bank of Zambia governor is totally unnecessary and ill conceived .It is based on unsubstantiated reports by some obscure NGOs that Forex is being siphoned out of the country. REALLY IS THIS TRUE?
To understand the problem let’s ask the question what is Forex and who owns it? Forex is a currency other than your own currency. Forex is earned by those exporting goods or services to other countries. And can come in many forms dollars, pounds, rupees etc. Forex can also be bought on the market from those who own it.
Forex is owned by those who earn the currency .It is NOT OWNED BY THE STATE as some erroneously believe. And this is the reason why all developed countries have no exchange control. Why control something you don’t own? Besides Forex is just like our own currency Kwacha. Why control the usage?
There is absolutely nothing wrong for companies that have brought money from outside to develop this country and use the money they have earned by remitting to Their own countries in form of management fees, profit sharing etc.
I think it is a question of the Boz governor compromising his professional ethics for political expediency .In the long run as has been proved in our countries past the effects of this move will be disastrous for this economy.
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THE ORIGINS OF FOREX CONTROLS
After the end of the Second World War and the coming in of the cold war most countries in the world went for armaments building programme. Eastern block countries due to their poor economic performances found themselves short of hard currency (Forex) to carry on and compete in the arms race.
What was worse most eastern block countries faced food shortages .To address these problems the eastern block countries banned the holding of private Forex accounts and ordered the companies to surrender to the state.
After the demise of communism/socialism almost all countries have reversed legislation governing control of Forex.
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STATE PAPERS DECLARE WAR ON INVESTORS…

currently the daily mail is running a series entitled “STEALING FROM ZAMBIA” an extract from a BBC documentary poverty in Africa. A closer scrutiny of the article reviews that one of the methods used by multi nationals in stealing from Africa is transfer pricing.
The article describes what transfer is pricing but falls short of substantiating this discovery with facts. Nothing is mentioned but the article next sentence talks about pollution in the mines. Are we so hopelessly gullible!
The fact is transfer pricing cannot happen when the commodity being sold in this case copper whose price is determined at the London stock exchange. All export documents are verified by Zambian authorities who will ensure that the price reflected on invoices is on par with the London stock exchange. Needless to mention the task of preparing mining accounts in Zambia is done by Zambian accountants.
The notion that multinational companies don’t bring back Forex earned should also be dismissed. The mines need the money back and convert into kwacha in order to pay their operational costs which in the case of Konkola mine are 90%of sales.
Just who is fooling who? Please note in the recent past BBC has been criticized by the British parliament for their leftist views…

Barclays
Barclays
BARCLAYS Bank Zambia Plc is set to merge the Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SME) banking with local business in an effort to provide an offering that meets the needs of small scale businesses.

Speaking on behalf of company managing director Saviour Chibiya, Retail director for Barclays Bank Simangolwa Shakalima said this was in line with the bank’s commitment to investing in the growth of SMEs across the country.

Mr Chibiya said this when he officiated at a one day Barclays bank financial litreracy and business planning workshop in Lusaka yesterday.

“In line with our ever growing commitment to investing in the growth of SMEs across the country, Iam pleased to announce that during the course of the year, Barclays Bank Zambia will merge SME banking and local businesses, in an effort to provide a wider range of superior products and services that include lending services which will be beneficial to our customers,” Mr Chibiya said.

He said Barclays was confident that this initiative would lead to a sustainable relationship with its customers, as a result of the great value that they would derive from the workshop which can enhance participants with a good command of business management tools that would further assist in driving economic growth.

Mr Chibiya said in a bid to offer top class service to its customers, the bank had continued to offer training opportunities for local entrepreneurs in financial literacy and business planning, which he said, was aimed at preparing local business owners to promote sustainable business management practices in their day to day business operations.

He explained that Barclays Bank partnered with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA),SME Toolkit to the project and Elif Business Solutions in 2011, in an effort to empower its valued SME customers with knowledge of best practice to carry out financial accounting and business planning by introducing them to the useful SME toolkit, tools, business forms and training resources.

Mr Chibiya also acknowledged the presence of women, to whom the bank extended an invitation to be part of the important programme as a way of assisting them to increase their entrepreneurial skills which would help them to expand their cooperative.

Lusaka (Zambia)
Lusaka (Zambia)
Zambia has clinched a deal with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the Cable News Network (CNN) in which the two international news networks will begin marketing Zambia’s tourism ahead of the UN World Tourism Organisation general assembly slated for August this year.

This came to light in Berlin, Germany on Friday when regional heads of the BBC and CNN met Tourism and Arts Minister Silvia Masebo at the Zambian stand at the ongoing World travel trade show.

BBC Director for Africa, Katie Waxman and CNN Director for Europe, Middle East and Arfica, Imran Ahmad discussed with Masebo a number of strategies that will be employed to market Zambia’s tourism.

The two international news networks demonstrated to the minister how Zambia’s tourism will be showcased to the international community and how the country stands to benefit from this marketing strategy.

Zambia and Zimbabwe will be co-hosting the 20th session of the 186 member UNWTO general assembly in Livingstone and Victoria Falls Town.

And speaking in an interview with Zambian journalists in Berlin, Zambia Tourist Board (ZTB) managing director Felix Chaila said the contract with BBC and CNN has already been signed.

Chaila said Zambia has initiated advertising programmes on both BBC and CNN in which the country will be showcased as the preferred tourism destination.

“This is a ground breaking development because Zambia as a preferred destination will be viewed internationally as BBC and CNN are high profile international media organisations,” he said.

Chaila said Zambia has employed marketing strategies in which advertising will be done using a combination of media platforms.

“We are going to also place adverts on BBC online as you know that most tourists rely on internet search engines to get information,” said Chaila.

Chaila said Zambia wants to create a long term relationship with CNN and BBC as it seeks to increase visibility through the international media audience.

“We want tourists to choose Zambia as the best destination,” he said.

Source: ZANIS

President Michael Sata
President Michael Sata
President Michael Sata has warned that his government will start regulating online media in an effort to put a stop to the habit of insulting women on the internet.

President Sata said his government is concerned that some online users are in the habit of targeting insults on women.

“There is a plague at the moment with internet abuse aimed very largely at women. There is a lot of bullying, slandering and insulting on certain social media sites. It’s a problem worldwide but in Zambia we also have this problem,” President said.

“The government will do everything it can to regulate this out of existence.”

President Sata was speaking in Lusaka today in a speech ready by Vice President Guy Scott during the commemoration of this year’s International Women’s Day under the theme, the gender agenda: gaining momentum.

He said the PF government is also concerned at the rate of gender based violence targeted at women.

“Hardly a day passes without reports of rape, defilement, spouse battering and gruesome killings of women, this trend is unacceptable and cannot be allowed to continue.”

“As government, we are making all efforts to combat the scourge through enhancing security, establishment of one stop centre across the country and engagement of the media to create more awareness and encourage responsible messages aimed at behaviour change,” he said.

President Sata also stated that another emerging issue among women in the prevalence of breast and cervical cancer which has increased tremendously in recent years.

“My government is determined to address the situation and will continue to focus on preventive and control measures by scaling up of awareness raising activities and provision of breast and cervical cancer screening services across the country.”

“In this regard, I urge you all to take voluntary cancer screening seriously,” President Sata said.

At the same event, NGOCC Vice Chairperson Mary Mulenga commended the PF government for ratifying the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women but called for a fast track approach to domesticating the convention.

Mrs. Mulenga also called on government to domesticate the SADC and AU gender protocols in order to advance the status of women in Zambia.

She reiterated the demands by the women’s movement for the PF government to adopt the next constitution through a referendum.

“As a matter of urgency, we urge this government to set up the Referendum Committee to start preparatory work towards the referendum, we also want to appeal to government to make defilement non bailable offence and increase sentencing powers of the Magistrate.”

The event was shunned by women from the key opposition parties.

Accident
Accident
After last month’s tragic Chibombo road traffic accident which left more than 50 passengers dead, Government plans to procure more than 200 ambulances to boost emergency response during accidents, Health Minister Joseph Kasonde has said.

Dr Kasonde was speaking during a Chibombo accident stakeholders’ review meeting at the National Malaria Control Centre in Lusaka this week.

It has been noticed that emergency response at accident scenes was still poor and raised a high risk of victims dying at accident points.

The 200 ambulances to be equipped with basic and advanced life support machinery would be distributed in all the districts countrywide.

This is amidst increasing accidents in most parts of the country.

Also on cards was to improve aero-medical services by the Zambia Flying Doctor Services (ZFDS) to efficiently evacuate the injured by air.

“The setting up of national, provincial and district emergency response teams and centres will improve response time and the teams will be thoroughly trained in emergency response. The need for appropriate and reliable transport in emergency response can’t be overemphasised,” Dr Kasonde said.

He said his ministry would create a trauma rescue service that would respond to emergency cases resulting from accidents.

Officials from the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA), security wings, and health institutions attended the review meeting.

The meeting was aimed at reviewing the performance of emergency response during the Chibombo accident and map out a stronger approach to respond to future calamities.

Dr Kasonde said Government had a passion to increase emergency health services and as such trained paramedics would manage the rescue services.

He said pre-hospital care of trauma victims was needed by improving on response time and by providing such care at the site and in transit up to the referral facility.

To this effect 139 staff had been trained in critical care while 69 were trained in trauma management in all the provinces.

His ministry planned to establish a command and communication centre which would improve coordination and communication in an emergency situation.

Dr Kasonde said emergency health services had been non-existent with no trained personnel to transport victims which had resulted in poor emergency response systems due to poor communication.

According to a RTSA’s report of 2012, the country recorded an average of 1, 200 fatalities from road accidents annually and 80 percent of these occurred in Lusaka.

In 2011 RTSA recorded 1, 670 fatalities, in 2012, a total of 2,265 fatalities were recorded indicating an increase of about 26% in the number of fatalities from road traffic accidents.

It was for this reason that Government had seen the need to streamline the emergency preparedness and response with full participation of all stakeholders including the private sector.

And acting director mobile and emergency health services, Chabwera Shuma said if all emergency needs were in place, the number of deaths in the Chibombo accidents could have been reduced.

Dr Shumba said it was for this reason that the ministry saw the need to intensify emergency needs for the country to mitigate the number of emergency deaths.

And Government yesterday told parliament that it will soon procure motor vehicles for all police stations across the country.

Minister of Home Affairs Deputy Minister Winfridah Kasembe noted that government wants to enhance and easy the operations of the police.

Ms Kasembe said this in response to a question by Mwinilunga Member of Parliament Steven Katuka who wanted to know when government will provide a motor vehicle to Mwinilunga Police Station for operations.

The Deputy Minister said once government procures the vehicles they would be distributed immediately to the police stations.

Ms Kasembe said once the vehicles are distributed government through her Ministry expects the vehicles to be used for their intended purposes.

And Ms Kasembe pointed out that Mwinilunga Police Station has a vehicle which is operational but was currently going through maintenance.

She however said that an additional vehicle will be procured and provided to enhance productivity at Mwinilunga Police Station.

UPND president Hakainde Hichilema
UPND president Hakainde Hichilema
United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema says Zambians must rise to the occasion and restore integrity in the country’s politics.

Speaking in an interview with Qfm News, Mr. Hichilema says Zambians have an important role to play in cleaning up the political system, which he says has been dented by greedy and irrelevant leaders.

Mr. Hichilema says the ongoing developments on Zambian political scene have clearly exposed the PF’s lack of understanding of the ideals of a politically plural society.

He says it is unfortunate that the PF government is preoccupied with a self propensity of political dominance in the country at the expense of development.

The UPND leader says politics demands dedication and leadership and should not be used as a source of livelihood.

He has since challenged Zambians to use their power of the ballot to bring integrity to the country’s political system

Bob Sichinga
Bob Sichinga
Government says there is sufficient maize stocks in storage facilities being held by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) amounting to over 900,000 tonnes as of the beginning of January this year.

He said a maize stock verification exercise was undertaken two weeks ago to ascertain quantities of maize stocks held by FRA which showed that, at the beginning of January 2013, there was 916,934.44 tonnes of maize in storage facilities throughout the country.

“In order to mitigate the rising maize and mealie meal prices, on the domestic market, the agency was allowed to offload some maize to millers from its new maize stocks commencing December 2012.

“In an effort to contain maize and mealie meal prices, the agency was authorised to sell a total of just under 184,000 tonnes (183,405.28 tonnes) to millers and communities between January 1 and January 26 February 2013 which left a balance of 733,529 tonnes of good quantity maize grain purchased in 2012,” he said.

He said the balance of maize grain was more than sufficient to last up to the 2013/2014 farming harvest based on current average consumption of about 100,000 tonnes per month and to meet contractual obligations, both private and public.

Mr Sichinga told the House that there were sufficient maize reserves for FRA to export some of the excess which could deteriorate due to poor storage.

“This will not only contribute to required revenues for repayment of bank loans obtained by FRA under guarantee from the treasury but will also free the much needed storage space to accommodate the 2013 harvest stocks,” he said.

He said the 2012/13 farming season was likely to yield above two million tonnes and that if a total consumption requirement was about 2.5 million tonnes annually, the country would have a shortfall of 500,000 tonnes which would be met by current carry over storage reserves of about 500,000 tonnes.

He said FRA would not offload its maize stocks on the domestic market after the end of April each year since there was normally new output from farmers onto the open market.

“This measure is intended to ensure that maize prices at harvest time, are not dampened by the activities of the agency,” Mr Sichinga said. He said FRA would only be allowed to export about 200, 000 tonnes of excess maize stocks and maintain 500,000 tonnes for strategic reserves.

MMD Petauke Member of Parliament Dora Siliya wondered why some parts of the country were experiencing shortages of mealie meal such as Eastern province, to which Mr Sichinga said the shortage was as a result of insufficient milling firms in those areas.

Mr Sichinga told the House that the challenges on shortages of mealie meal were because of increased demand against inadequate milling firms in some areas.

He was expected to convene a meeting with some millers to find a lasting solution.

Meanwhile, mealie meal traders at Situlu area in newly created Sikongo district of Western province on the Zambia-Angola border have increased the price of the staple food by KR 20.

The increase is with effect from the third week of last February.

A 25 Kilogram bag of Breakfast that was costing KR 100 is now selling at KR 120 while a 25 Kilogram bag of Roller Meal that was costing KR 80 is costing KR 100.

A resident working in Situlu who declined to be named disclosed the development to ZANIS in Kalabo yesterday.

The Situlu resident said that the Mealie meal traders were taking advantage of hiking the price of the commodity in Situlu as the villagers have no maize to harvest since their crops were swept away by the early floods that hit the area this farming season.

The resident said that meanwhile some villagers who were not affording to buy the mealie meal were doing some piece works of weeding in cassava fields in Malundu area in the neighbouring Angola where their payment was either fresh or dried cassava.

He added that only a few villagers in Situlu who planted rice early were expected to harvest their crop this year.

ZANIS

Sichinga
Sichinga
Government has apologized to the farming community and the entire nation for the late delivery of inputs in the 2012/2013 farming season.

Farmers in the country have expressed disappointment over the late delivery of inputs in the 2012/2013 farming season, which is feared will lead to low yields.

In a ministerial statement to parliament today, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Robert Sichinga said there were serious problems on both the government and suppliers side which impeded the early and successful implementation of the 2012/2013 FISP.

He said on government’s side, the delays to make the final decision on whether to pilot the E-Voucher system or not was the main reason, thereby delaying the launch of the procurement process.

Mr Sichinga stressed that there should be no doubt in any farming group’s mind of the commitment of the PF government to supporting agriculture programmes especially for the vulnerable section of the population.

Mr Sichinga said that the ministry of Agriculture and Livestock under the PF government has unreservedly resolved to supporting agriculture in significant and practical ways by improving the implementation of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), as well as in diversifying of crops beyond the challenges of 2012/2013 agriculture season especially in relation to maize.

He told the house that distribution of the 2012/2013 is closes on the 7th of March 2013, adding that as of 27th February, 2013, a total of 180,944 metric tonnes of both compound D and Urea fertilizers, out of a total contracted quantity of 183,634 metric tons had been delivered to all districts across the country.

He added that 179,166 metric tonnes of both sets of fertilizers had been paid for and collected by beneficiary farmers across the country, representing 97.5 percent of the total fertilizer tonnage which had been for distribution.

Mr Sichinga said that the distribution of inputs to farmers for the 2013/2014 farming season will be completed by October 2013.

And Parliament heard today that government spent K25 billion (KR25 million) to rehabilitate the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ).

Mr Sichinga said an additional K250 billion (KR250 million) making a total of KR275 million was channeled towards rehabilitating the Ammonia plant.

Mr Sichinga who is nominated Member of Parliament said in parliament today that government wants the plant to be producing ammonium and urea fertilizers to cushion the demand of fertilizers by the farmers.

The Minister was responding to a question raised by MMD Mwandi MP Michael Kaingu who wanted to find out how much funds was used to rehabilitate the NCZ.

ZANIS

SOCIAL

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