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Lusaka

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Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika
Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika
Over $130 million (about KR 650 million) is required to recapitalise the Tanzania-Zambia Raliway Authority (TAZARA) into a self sustainable railway line.

At a TAZARA Board of Directors and Council of Ministers meeting in Lusaka recently, management revealed that the bi-national railway system faced a huge challenge of working capital and sustainable capacity.

TAZARA Managing Director, Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika, said the company has since identified a three phase strategy comprising of an immediate injection of $32 million (about KR 160 million) working capital, a Medium Term Investment capital of $100 million (about KR500 million) and long term capital whose exact cost is yet to be determined.

Mr Mbikusita-Lewanika said the immediate injection of $32 million would positively impact on TAZARA to attain self sustainable operations of about 700, 000 tonnes per annum within seven months.Mr Mbikusita-Lewanika said this in a statement issued to ZANIS in Lusaka yesterday.He stated that the medium term investment of $100 million would provide TAZARA with a self sustainable capacity of over one (1) million tonnes per annum within two (2) to three (3) years.

He stressed the need for determination, preparation and implementation of long term capitalisation, adding that the cost for the third phase of the investment should be taken up by the shareholding governments.

Mr Mbikusita-Lewanika disclosed that the company has outsourced experts to work on business and strategic plans to position TAZARA as a good investment venture.

Meanwhile, Mr Mbikusita-Lewanika’s contract as Managing Director for TAZARA came to an end on 20th February and has since written to President Michael Sata to thank him for the opportunity to serve the people of Zambia.

In his letter dated February 22, 2013 and headlined “Completion of Contract: Gratitude and Appreciation for Opportunity and Support to Serve as TAZARA Managing Director,” Mr Lewanika said he was grateful to President Sata and the government of Zambia for the public service opportunity given to him and the financial and political support accorded to TAZARA during his tenure.
He explained that he had completed his three years contract of service as Managing Director of TAZARA as well as the one month extension period given up to the 20th February 2013 meeting of the council of ministers.

Mr Mbikusita-Lewanika also informed the Head of State that TAZARA’s biggest constraint was poor availability and reliability of locomotives and wagons which he said triggered a vicious cycle from a shortage of operations and reinvestment to inadequate and untimely provision of fuel, spares, and other materials.

[ZANIS]

Proflight Zambia's love in the clouds. Picture by Nico Bourgault.
Proflight Zambia’s love in the clouds. Picture by Nico Bourgault.

Airline launches Valentine two-for-one flights

Love-struck couples wishing to reaffirm their passion are being offered the chance to take their relationships to new heights with a special two-for-one Valentine’s Day fare from Proflight Zambia.

Love is definitely in the air as the country’s only scheduled airline encourages passengers to say “I love you” and affirm their affection for one another – at 10,000 feet above the ground.

Romantic travellers can book with Proflight at any time between now and Sunday February 17, 2013, for travel between Valentine’s Day on February 14 and February 17.

“Relationships are about friendship and teamwork – two qualities that we also hold very dear at Proflight Zambia – so it seems fitting that we offer this great two-for-one deal to our passengers to mark Valentine’s Day,” said Proflight’s Director of Government and Industry Affairs, Capt. Philip Lemba.

Booking is easy through the Proflight website at www.flyzambia.com, booking in the usual way and then inserting the code VALENTINE2013 in the e-voucher box. Bookings must be made as a couple only in order for the evoucher to be applied.

Alternatively, bookings can be made through any Proflight sales office or by contacting the Reservations Department on 0211 845944, 0977 335563 or reservations@proflight-zambia.com.

The offer provides for the second return fare to be free on all of Proflight’s routes: Lusaka, Livingstone, Mfuwe, Ndola, Solwezi, Chipata, Mansa and Kasama.

About Proflight Zambia

Proflight Zambia was established in 1991 and is the country’s only domestic scheduled airline. From its base in Lusaka it flies to Livingstone, Mfuwe, Lower Zambezi, Ndola, Solwezi, Chipata, Mansa and Kasama.

The airline prides itself in providing a safe, reliable, efficient and friendly service, and offering good value to business and leisure travellers locally and internationally.

The airline operates two 29-seater Jetstream 41 aircraft;  three 18-seater Jetstream 32’s; two 12-seater Caravan C208; nine-seater Britten Norman Islander; seven-seater Cessna C401/C402; and two five-seater Beech Baron.

More information is available at www.flyzambia.com.

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greatnorthroadRoad Development Agency (RDA) has announced that plans to upgrade the Great North Road to dual carriage way from Lusaka to the Copperbelt have reached an advanced stage.

In a notice published in the media yesterday RDA said that they would by February 28, 2013 be awarding the contract to the preferred bidder to undertake the project.

In October last year RDA had invited companies to provide consulting services for the techno-economic study, detailed engineering design and tender documents in preparation for the upgrading to dual carriage way of 210km from Lusaka to Kapiri Mposhi.

The tendering documents that were closed in November last year have since been evaluated and the contract would be awarded by February 28.

The construction of the dual carriage way from Lusaka to the Copperbelt would help reduce the high rate of road traffic accidents with the recent one being that involving a Post Bus where more than 50 people died last week in Chibombo.

The move would also make it easier for other road users to overtake trucks which normally use the route to ferry goods to and from the Copperbelt and other neigbouring countries.

Last week more than 50 people died after the bus they were travelling in collided with a truck in Chibombo along the Lusaka Kabwe road.

Meanwhile, the RDA has awarded a contract to Synohydro Zambia Limited to re-engineer the Kapiri Mposhi weighbridge in Central Province at a cost of KR 26.5 million.

RDA spokesperson Loyce Saili confirmed the signing of the contract for the re-engineering of the weigh Bridge in a statement released in Lusaka yesterday.

The Contract was signed on Wednesday February 6, 2013 between RDA and Synohydro Zambia Limited.

Ms Saili said that the re-engineering of Kapiri Mposhi weighbridge would bring relief to bulk transporters who had been complaining about the poor state of the weighbridge for some time.

The scope of work involves construction of delivery and parking areas, construction of a weighbridge house and offices, construction of side and miter drains and construction of filter lanes.

Other works include installation of road signs and road line markings, construction of weighbridge platform and other equipment.

Ms Saili said the works commenced after the signing ceremony and were expected to be carried out within eight months and RDA was confident the contractor would carry out quality work within the contract duration.

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Government has declared a three-day period of national mourning in honour of the 53 people who died in a road accident in Chibombo on Thursday.

Acting secretary to the Cabinet Roland Msiska announced in a statement in Lusaka yesterday that President Michael Sata declared a three day national mourning period to commence on Monday, February 11, 2013.

“The National mourning will commence on Monday 11, February, 2013 at 06.00 hours and will end on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 18.00 hours. During this period, all flags will fly at half mast and programmes of entertainment in nature shall be suspended,” Dr Msiska
said.

And Copperbelt Minister Mwenya Musenge has said the number is expected to increase as some bodies were yet to be identified.

“Thirty five people have so far been confirmed to be Ndola residents, however, the number might increase because we are still waiting for some bodies to be identified,” he said.

He said the Copperbelt Provincial Administration had earlier met with the Post Master General to discuss the possibility of a mass burial for the Ndola accident victims.

Mr Musenge also visited a number of funeral houses for the victims in the city today where he encouraged the families to seek God’s strength and encouragement.

“It’s not easy for anyone to lose a loved one and let’s pray for God’s guidance and encouragement in this trying time,” the minister, who also donated mealie meal bags and some cash to the bereaved families said.

Meanwhile, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) has joined organisations, individuals and political parties that have sent messages of condolences to the bereaved families of the over 50 people who died in the road accident yesterday.

The former ruling party has called on the church to step in and pray for the nation so that the excessive spilling of blood in the country can be stopped.

In a statement made available to ZANIS in Lusaka today, MMD President Nevers Mumba said the continued loss of lives through accidents is a spiritual battle between good and evil which he said must be stopped.

He noted that the church must pray to stop the evil which he said seems to be demanding for more blood.

Dr. Mumba wished the affected family members God’s strength during this period stating that any untimely loss of life is a subtraction from the commonwealth nations which he said leaves a great deficit.

“The MMD grieves with the families and all Zambians on the tragic death of fifty passengers on the Post bus which was headed for Lusaka this morning. Our prayers reach out to all affected family members, and wish them God’s strength during this difficult hour,”stated Dr. Mumba

Yesterday, a passenger post bus headed for Lusaka from Copperbelt was involved in an accident around Chibombo area where over 50 people died on the spot while several others sustained injuries.

ZANIS

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ANTI-Corruption Commission (ACC) Director-general Rosewin Wandi
ANTI-Corruption Commission (ACC) Director-general Rosewin Wandi
ANTI-CORRUPTION Commission (ACC) director-general Rosewin Wandi has said the letter inviting former President Rupiah Banda for questioning was delivered to his office on Monday afternoon.

“As far as I am concerned, we served the letter yesterday (Monday) in the afternoon. It was delivered to his office,” Ms Wandi said.

She said in an interview yesterday that Mr Banda was summoned to appear before the Government Joint Investigations Team and he was expected to avail himself tomorrow in the morning.

Government Joint Investigations Team spokesperson Namukolo Kasumpa also confirmed in a separate interview that the letter was delivered to Mr Banda’s office and that officers would wait for him tomorrow at the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) head office in Lusaka.

“We decided to interview him at DEC because we are renovating our offices but he is supposed to appear on Thursday (tomorrow),” she said.

Mr Banda, who was defeated in the September, 2011 general elections, becomes the latest high-profile figure to be summoned before investigative wings after several of his former Cabinet ministers appeared before the investigative wing for alleged corrupt involvement.

According to the summons dated February 4, 2013 signed by Ms Wandi, Mr Banda was expected to appear at the DEC head office in Lusaka tomorrow morning.

But his administrative assistant Mikatazo Wakumelo said in a telephone interview yesterday that the letter of summons had not yet been delivered to Mr Banda’s office.

“I don’t know about the summon you are asking me about because I have also just seen that in your newspaper. I am the one in charge of Mr Banda’s office, so I could have seen that summon you are talking about,” Mr Wakumelo said

Meanwhile, MMD president Nevers Mumba has accused President Michael Sata of abusing his office and the Constitution.
Dr Mumba said at a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday that if there was anything wrong Mr Banda had done while in office, it should be pursued through constitutional provisions.

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This is if the recently released MasterCard African Cities Growth Index is to be believed. The index, produced on behalf of MasterCard by Prof. George Angelopulo of the University of South Africa, includes 19 sub-Saharan African cities, ranking them according to their economic growth potential between 2012 and 2017.

Lusaka (Zambia)
Lusaka (Zambia)

The capitals of Ghana, Zambia and Angola have been identified as the sub-Saharan African cities that have the greatest economic growth potential over the next five years. Sudan’s capital Khartoum is expected to show the lowest growth of all the cities included in the study.

Below are the cities and their ranking:

1. Accra (Ghana)
2. Lusaka (Zambia)
3. Luanda (Angola)
4. Dar es Salaam (Tanzania)
5. Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)
6. Nairobi (Kenya)
7. Kampala (Uganda)
8. Johannesburg (South Africa)
9. Kinshasa (DRC)
10. Durban (South Africa)
11. Cape Town (South Africa)
12. Mombasa (Kenya)
13. Lagos (Nigeria)
14. Abuja (Nigeria)
15. Dakar (Senegal)
16. Harare (Zimbabwe)
17. Kano (Nigeria)
18. Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire)
19. Khartoum (Sudan)

To compile the index, Angelopulo looked at various data related to city-level economic growth.

He said that the reasons for the Ghanaian capital Accra’s high ranking is because of its GDP per capita growth in recent years, its projected consumption growth, a strong regulatory environment, and the relative ease of doing business compared to other African cities.

South Africa’s economic hub Johannesburg is lower on the list as a result of sluggish growth expectation due to its relative maturity when compared with other cities on the continent.

The United Nations estimates that Africa’s urban population will triple by 2050, reaching 1.23 billion people. It is expected that by this time 60% of the continent’s population will live in urban areas.

“One of Africa’s key economic and social challenges is how its cities attract significant inward investment by being globally competitive, serving as magnets for investment and growth, hot-spots of innovation and, most importantly, developing attractive and thriving business environments,” said Angelopulo.

Last year consulting firm McKinsey suggested in a report that cities, not countries, should drive investment decisions in Africa, noting that “most companies are still not looking at cities as they calibrate strategy”. The firm found that “less than one in five executives is making location and resource decisions at the city, rather than the country, level”.

“Companies that understand the shifting urban marketplaces relevant to their businesses and build an early presence with sufficient scale are likely to benefit from being the incumbent with better market access and higher margins. Looking at cities rather than countries can be eye-opening. Take laundry care products as an example. We expect to see more sales growth of these products in São Paulo than in either France or Malaysia over the next decade,” noted the report.

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