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Lusaka

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

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.

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.

Chirwa at Government Complex in Lusaka
Chirwa at Government Complex in Lusaka
GOVERNMENT has released a US$120 million grant to Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) to enable the railway firm to rehabilitate the railway network, chief executive officer Clive Chirwa has said.

Professor Chirwa has also announced that the railway firm would introduce fast trains to operate on the south-north route.

He said following the release of the funds, rehabilitation of the railway line would commence soon.

Prof Chirwa said apart from reconstruction of the rail track, ZRL would build another railway line alongside the existing one from Chingola to Livingstone.

“We already received a grant of $120 million money from the Government. We know just rehabilitation is not good enough because we need to build a railway line of tomorrow to a standard of moving locomotives and trains,” he said.

He said ZRL would ensure that the railway system promoted national development and ensure people travelled safely for work between towns.

Prof Chirwa said coming from a highly sophisticated technological environment, he did not see how he could not design wagons, a railway line as well as a passenger coach and advanced locomotives.

“Today [January 31, 2012], I will be presenting a document to Government in Lusaka at 18:00 hours to highlight especially how the design will be done. The design is already on the computer and people will see the model,” he said.

Prof Chirwa yesterday in Livingstone launched an extra passenger train in addition to the existing one.

“We are trying to offer more services to customers. It is unacceptable to operate one train per week.

“People want more than one train and hence we are launching this extra service so that the people of Southern Province can benefit from the extra service,” he said.

On job creation, Prof Chirwa said about 100 to 150 people would be employed during the rehabilitation period of three years.

About 980km of the railway line from Chingola to Livingstone would be rehabilitated in three years.

He said the new ZRL commercial department would revamp all the stations which were currently deplorable.

Zambia’s kwacha
Zambia’s kwacha
Zambia’s kwacha retreated for a third day, reaching the lowest in almost four years, amid speculation mining companies refrained from selling dollars in the market.

The currency of Africa’s biggest copper producer fell 0.5 percent to 5.3772 a dollar as of 4:23 p.m. in Lusaka, the capital, the lowest level since May 2009. The kwacha has retreated 2.9 percent in the past three days, the worst performance of all currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

Mining companies, the source of almost 80 percent of Zambia’s foreign earnings, are the biggest suppliers of dollars, the currency in which copper is globally traded. Higher demand for the U.S. currency from the manufacturing, telecommunications and energy industries is being countered with lower supply from copper producers, according to Stanley Tamele, head of global markets at Standard Chartered Plc (STAN)’s Zambian unit.

“A good number of them have good balances of local currency so there is no need for them to be selling dollars,” he said in a phone interview today.

The kwacha will probably strengthen to 5.30 if the Bank of Zambia intervenes, Nema Ramkhelawan-Bhana, a Johannesburg-based Africa strategist at FirstRand Ltd. (FSR)’s Rand Merchant Bank unit, said by phone.

“You will see strengthening in the short term,” she said. “The central banks wants to keep the kwacha focused and centered on that 5.30 level.”

Emmanuel Pamu, economics director for the central bank, declined to comment on any specific action taken.

“We intervene in line with our policy, which is to smooth fluctuations in the exchange rate,” he said by phone from Lusaka. The central bank will intervene “either way” if the kwacha appreciates or depreciates sharply, he said.

Zambia’s central statistics office is scheduled to announce the January inflation figure tomorrow, after prices accelerated 7.3 percent in December, the fastest in a year. A weaker currency puts further pressure on inflation, as the land-locked country imports goods from road-building equipment to fertilizers.

The kwacha will probably strengthen over 2013 as Zambia’s copper production grows, ending the year at 4.80 to the dollar, Nema Ramkhelawan-Bhana said.
Source:bloomberg.com

Chisamba businessman Joshua Matongo in the middle
Chisamba businessman Joshua Matongo in the middle
A victim in the defilement case involving famous a Chisamba farmer and businessman of Baba Joana Church, Bishop Joshua Matonga, yesterday narrated the ordeal.

The 14-year-old girl of Chipata Compound in Lusaka who appeared before Lusaka Magistrate, Betty Malupenga, told the court that Bishop Matongo told her that he had been having sex with all the women at his farm, a situation which he said made the women to have soft skin.

The girl told the court that bishop Matongo told her that since she moved to his farm women at the farm did not respect her because she did not have sex with him.

The girl, who is currently in Grade Eight, told the court that she joined the Baba Joana Church sisterhood as per condition that her father left before he died.

She said her father told her that at the time she would turn 14 years old she should join sisterhood at Baba Joana’s Church.

She said last year when she turned 14, her mother prepared all that was required for her to join the sister hood.

The girl narrated that on February 10, last year, she went to Baba Joana Church to join where she was welcomed and introduced to the church as the new sister.

She further said after a week of staying at the church in Marapodi Compound in Lusaka, other sisters from Mr Matongos farm came to congregate and later went with her to the farm.

She explained that during the first week of her stay at the farm in Chisamba she was meant not to help out in doing any household chores or farm works.

Further, the girl said after two weeks, Bishop Matongo asked her to accompany him to the farm where she first touched her breast.

The girl said the first time he touched her on her breast she thought she might have had an insect on her shirt that he may have removed from her but to her surprise he did that twice during the same day.

She explained that on that day she did not know what to do about what happened but decided to go in her room and pray.

The girl, who confirmed to the court having not known Mr Matongo on a personal level, explained that after three days from the first field encounter bishop Matongo invited her to the field again where he told her that she should not be crossing her legs when sitting, adding that such behaviour was tantamount to closing up for him.

“Your honour, he told me that he was ever ready. He then told me that just like the mango tree grows and bares fruits so was I as I had started developing breasts, while pointing at the mango tree in the farm,” narrated that girl.

The girl narrated that after a few days, bishop Matongo sent another girl who had also gone there for sisterhood to call her whist he was in the house.

“Your honour when I entered the house I found bishop Matongo sitted on the bed with his trousers below his waist. As I was taught to be obedient as a sister I knelt down and asked why he called for me. He told me that he wanted her to search for his shoe but to my surprise he grabbed me from the back and pulled me on his bed,” narrated the girl.

The courageous girl, who was visibly strong to stand the group of people in an almost fully packed courtroom, explained that bishop Matongo forced himself on her, leaving her to bleed profusely.

The girl explained that from that day she promised herself to find a way to escape that place, adding that there was no one she could share the sad story with as she was told that all the women at the farm had sex with the same man.

She told the court that during the time she was being abused, a group of women were around and could hear her scream but no one could come to her rescue.

“Your honour, after what happened I started limping but he brought some medicine that I should take but I did not drink because I was not happy and safe staying there,” said the girl.

She said as a time came for bishop Matongo to go for a camp meeting in Zimbabwe, he left K50,000 for the five of us that were left to take care of the farm.

It was at this point that the girl and two others decided to run away from the farm and return to Lusaka as they all confessed to have been sexually abused by bishop Matongo.

Meanwhile in cross examination, Defence Lawyer, Kelvin Bwalya, asked the girl if her parents did not explain what it took for one to join sisterhood at bishop Matongo’s church.

Mr Bwalya also wondered how the church lost some money when the girls ran away as they were suspected to have broken into Mama Stephan’s house who was keeping the church’s money.

Bishop Matongo stands charged defilement of two girls contrary to Section 138 (1) Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

Particulars of the offence are that on dates unknown but between June 1 and October 31 while in Chisamba, Matongo had carnal knowledge of girls under the ages of 16.

ZANIS

UPND Secretary General Winstone Chibwe
UPND Secretary General Winstone Chibwe
CONFRONTATION is looming between the police and the United Party for National Development (UPND) as the opposition party says it will defy police and Ministry of Home Affairs advice not to hold a public rally on Sunday in Lusaka.

Police in Lusaka have not approved a notice from the UPND to hold a rally in Kabwata, alleging that the opposition political party could not be trusted to hold a gathering without violence.

Ministry of Home Affairs public relations officer Moses Suwali said in a statement yesterday that if the UPND went ahead with the rally without police approval, the party would be breaking the law.

He said UPND leaders would have themselves to blame for the consequences of their action and they should not claim that they were not forewarned.

“In view of police in Lusaka denying the UPND notice to hold its planned rally at Kabwata grounds, the Ministry of Home Affairs wishes to urge the UPND to go by what police have advised.

“We, therefore, encourage the UPND to respond positively and dialogue with police and come up with an amicable solution,” Mr Suwali said.

UPND, through deputy spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa, has insisted that the UPND will go ahead with the rally with or without the approval of the notice by the police, saying it had followed all requirements.

Mr Suwali urged the UPND to adhere to the police advice and that if the party went ahead with the rally, it would be conducting itself in a manner likely to cause a breach of peace.

He said the ministry was aware that Lusaka Division Police commissioner Joyce Kasosa had invited UPND for dialogue over the rally and that the ministry was in support of the move.

“We, therefore, implore UPND to dialogue with police unlike taking a confrontational approach towards the issue as police are not willing to be at variance with UPND but instead promote a spirit of dialogue as stakeholders,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ms Kasosa warned that police would not allow the opposition political party to go ahead with the rally in Kabwata.

She said she had put it in writing to the UPND that it would not be ideal to hold the rally this Sunday because of recent chaotic happenings in Lusaka.

“We haven’t allowed them (UPND) to go ahead with the rally on Sunday. I wrote to them to say it is not possible to hold the rally this Sunday because the prevailing conditions are not conducive and our position still stands,” she said.

Ms Kasosa said the police will continue to maintain law and order.

“We, as police, are not interested in confrontation. We would rather dialogue. We are, therefore, appealing to the UPND to dialogue with us,” she said. Times of Zambia

UPND_logo-350x292The United Party for National Development(UPND) has vowed to go ahead with a public rally scheduled for Sunday in Lusaka’s Kabwata area.

This is despite police refusing to issue a permit for the event.

UPND Deputy Spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa says the party will go ahead with the rally because the police have not given any reasonable justification for refusing to give them a permit.

But Inspector General of police Stella Libongani says police has already given enough grounds on why they did not give the permit to the UPND.

She says she supports the stance taken by Lusaka division Commissioner Joyce Kasosa on the denial of the permit to the UPND.

Meanwhile the UPND has given the Zambia police service a forty eight hour ultimatum in which to apologize for allegedly brandishing it to the general public as a violent party failure to which it will seek legal redress.

The UPND deputy spokesperson says the party will proceed with legal redress if the apology is not received from the police within two days.

But Inspector General of police Stella Libongani says she will only react to the ultimatum after it has been served to her by the UPND.

And the Ministry of Home Affairs has said that, in view of Police in Lusaka denying the UPND notice to hold its planned rally in Kabwata on grounds that the opposition political party cannot be trusted to hold a violent-free rally, UPND should go by what police have advised.

In a statement to the media, Home Affairs spoeksperson said that the Ministry is aware that the Lusaka Division Police Commissioner Ms Joyce Kasosa has invited the UPND for dialogue over this development and as Home Affairs, they encourage this move.

” We therefore encourage the UPND to respond positively and dialogue with police and come up with an amicable solution,” the statement said.

“If UPND go ahead with their planned rally with or without Police approval in kabwata this Sunday, they will be breaking the law as they will be conducting themselves in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace.”

” After being informed not to go ahead, they will have themselves to blame for the consequences of their acts and they should not claim that they were not forewarned, ”

” We therefore implore UPND to dialogue with police unlike taking a confrontational approach towards the issue as police are not willing to be at variance with UPND but instead promote a spirit of dialogue as stakeholders, ” concluded the statement

More snow is likely to mean further delays for passengers
More snow is likely to mean further delays for passengers
London, Saturday, January 19, 2013– The Zambia High Commission in London wishes to advise all Zambians travelling to-and-from London, that severe cold weather here has caused serious air travel disruptions that could last deep into next week.
The snow, that has reached as high as three centimetres, caused a cancellation of BA flight to Lusaka on Friday night and consequently the one from Lusaka to London on Saturday morning. Forecasters have predicted snowfall that could rise as high as 14 centimetres.
More than 100 flights in-and-out of Britain’s busiest airport, Heathrow, have been cancelled due to heavy snow that has hit London and most parts of the United Kingdom dropping temperatures to as low as minus 5.
Forecasters have predicted further misery in the coming days stressing the severe weather here can only get worse before it gets better.
Latest forecasts for tomorrow (Sunday) and Monday show a high probability of around 2-6cm of accumulating snow and low visibility at periods throughout the day, meaning the already full-capacity airport will have further reduced visibility between planes.
Following Friday’s deluge of snow, much of Saturday’s snowfall was limited to the North East of England and the east of Scotland. But tomorrow, a blanket of snow is expected to fall across more of the nation, hitting London and the South East of England first before moving north.
British Airways has warned passengers of more disruption at London’s Heathrow Airport.
The Met Office has issued a yellow warning, which means “Be Aware”, for ice across much of the UK.
The flight schedule at Heathrow Airport for Sunday will be reduced by 20%, after 2-6cm of snow was forecast. Cancelling flights in advance of disruptive weather is a procedure used increasingly around the world.
Details of which flights will be cancelled will be announced by airlines when they have finalised their schedules, the airport said.
On Friday more than 400 flights were axed and thousands of passengers ended up sleeping in the airport.
The High Commission will continue to make regular physical checks and monitoring of the situation at the airport in order to provide consular, immigration and other necessary service to needy Zambian passengers.

Issued By:
AMOS CHANDA
PRESS SECRETARY

TALENT Yapa Zed judges listen to a performance during auditions.
TALENT Yapa Zed judges listen to a performance during auditions.

AFTER months of uncertainty and speculations among the viewers and fans about the continuity of Zambia’s first ever multi-talent search reality show Talent Yapa Zed, the show returned to action last Thursday with the Lusaka final cut down.

Last week, executive producer Lawrence Thompson assured the ardent followers of the reality show and participants through Zamtel Entertainment that he would not let the dream of the reality show die out, but he would see it up to its very end.

 True to his words, Thompson’s production team and seven Lusaka finalists were at Lusaka’s Olympic Youth Development Centre on Thursday to make a final choice from the capital’s finest talents.

Two spaces were available for the grand finale and the youthful contestants had to battle it out to please the judges for a slot in the finals.

After a tightly contested battle of talent, the honours of storming into the finals were granted to the 20-year-old NIPA public relations student and songbird Tiwah Phiri and talented group called Protege.

He says the grand finale is in perspective with the exact date not really set though he has confirmed the venue as being Mulungushi International conference centre.

On the prize, Thompson says nothing has changed only that it will from now be announced as RK100,000 as opposed to K100 million.

“The prize from location challenge remains the same only that the winner and the runner-up might win another chance of competing on a continental level.

“If they win on the continental level it will be a double achievement for them,” he says.

Thompson has also clarified that he is not doubling the prize money but that if he finalises modalities on how Zambia can participate in the African Song and Dance competition slated for June 2013 in the Zimbabwean capital Harare, it will be an added advantage to the top two!

The provincial final cut downs continue.

Times of Zambia

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