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Sata
Sata

PRESIDENT Michael Sata has appointed two more UPND members of parliament as deputy ministers.

Meanwhile, re-elected PF Mpongwe member of parliament Gabriel Namulambe yesterday sat in the deputy ministers’ pew, showing that a ministerial position has been given to him.

Sinjembela’s Poniso Njeulu and Kalabo central’s Chinga Miyutu have been appointed deputy ministers in the ministry of information and broadcasting, and sports respectively.

Njeulu confirmed his appointment yesterday saying as far as he was concerned, he had not broken any law in the UPND.
“If anything, as members of parliament, we are already in government. We just use our parties as tickets to get there. This is an added responsibility.

I will now do two jobs, making of laws and implementing government programmes through the fostering of development. Even the UPND, I don’t think they have said it is an offence to accept a position in government,” he said.
Njeulu also said he had no disciplinary case pending with his party.

“I will be direct now with the government and it will be easy now to develop Sinjembela, Sioma and Shan’gombo unlike what was obtaining when I was in the opposition. I will be in direct contact with government,” said Njeulu.
And Miyutu, who could not confirm, said whatever appointment would come his way would benefit the people of Kalabo.

“I have not yet attained that position. You attain that position when you are sworn in, before swearing in, it means it is not something that you should talk about. I have capacities and many roles to play in life. When I feel that there is need to act in a positive way, I act in a positive way. I represent the multitude in Kalabo who must also benefit through that person who they sent to Parliament. So if the appointment has to come, we have to look at the people who I am representing. How are they going to benefit because of this appointment?

To me what is in my heart is the people of Kalabo,” he said.
Miyutu said his interest was to serve the people of Kalabo.
He said there was no way he could decline something that would benefit the people of Kalabo.

“It is better for me to resign as a member of parliament. I should not look at myself, the salary that I get is from government, so I have to work for the people of Kalabo in many ways. The people of Kalabo need someone who can work for them. I am not looking at myself because I am physically fit myself, I can fend for myself. I have to consider who is going to benefit from this position if it is to come. I have to be wise if that is to come my way.

My prayer is that whatever comes should be directed to the people of Kalabo,” said Miyutu.
Earlier in the afternoon, the UPND party spokesperson Charles Kakoma told journalists at a briefing that the party was aware of the appointment of two of its members of parliament by President Sata as deputy ministers.

And Namulambe who resigned from the MMD and was re-elected last week Thursday under the ruling PF, sat right behind the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
During the same session, Monze UPND member of parliament Jack Mwiimbu rose on a point of order asking the whereabouts of Njeulu and Miyutu.

“Mr Speaker, I rise on a serious point of order to find out where our outspoken and critic of this PF government and also about my friend Njeulu, whose microphone has also been disabled (removed), I have looked around and can’t see them in this house,” said Mwiimbu.

But Speaker Patrick Matibini responded that his office only keeps records of MPs doing parliamentary work.
“I don’t keep track of MPs’ personal engagements but I am sure they will be coming,” said Dr Matibini.
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By Honourable Saka

Ghana And Zambia In Perspective From the political, economic and cultural perspectives, Ghana and Zambia have a lot in common. Having established a strong foundation of peace, stability and relatively good governance (there is still more room for improvement), there are strong indications that the future prospects of our two countries are far brighter and more promising than ever.

Aside these, in the area of sports, our beloved countries currently stand tall as role models to the admiration of the entire African continent despite a few challenges. For this reason, there is currently no doubt that a Ghana-Zambia football encounter at any level will always be a delight to watch. As I write this piece, I can’t wait for the next day when Ghana and Zambia will meet on the football pitch for a serious “revenge” where our dedicated young men from Ghana, will finally prove to the entire world the difference between the “boys” and the “men” out there. In fact, I simply can’t wait for that day!

Like our Zambian counterparts, the people of Ghana, are naturally peaceful. All previous and recent elections which were held in Ghana (2008, 2012) and Zambia (2011) attest to our peaceful nature and our political maturity at a time when many African countries continue to battle with electoral violence and political instability. In the case of Ghana and Zambia however, the whole world have seen a successful and peaceful transfer of power from an incumbent party to the opposition. With this and many more of such attributes, we have a cause to cherish our nations and to realize that there are more opportunities we can share by further enhancing our existing relations and to possibly lead the way as the two shining examples of good governance and democracy in Africa.

This explains the reason why our political leaders MUST take immediate BOLD STEPS to ensure that our people are able to explore our beautiful countries without unnecessary border restrictions so that we can enjoy the existing cordial relationship between our two nations in a free and more welcoming manner.

Economic Prospects: Zambia vrs Ghana

Michael Chilufya Sata, President of Zambia

Zambia and Ghana are the 27th and 28th countries the World Bank has reclassified as middle-income since the year 2000. Since then, there has been a tremendous improvement in our economic indexes. Ghana and Zambia have recently been named among the top fasters growing economies in the world. Meanwhile in both Zambia and Ghana, the number of children in basic and secondary school has climbed along with literacy rates, whereas infant mortality has fallen drastically. If Ghana and Zambia strengthen the rule of law, good governance and avoid domestic instability characterized by elections, then we will continue to get gradually more prosperous and our people will continue to have better lives.

Economically, Zambia is endowed with many resources. Zambia can boast of a very wonderful and well-talented human resource. Also, natural resources such as copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, coal, emeralds, gold, silver, uranium, hydropower are in abundance. It is expected that a lot more strategic resources are soon to be discovered in Zambia in the near future. The fact is, even without copper, Zambia is still very rich! For instance, coal is the largest source of fuel for the generation of electricity world-wide. This is another mineral which Zambia has in abundance.

John Mahama, President of Ghana

Ghana, which was referred to as the Gold Coast (before independence), can also boast of many such resources as: gold, cocoa, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, hydropower, petroleum (oil & gas), silver, salt, limestone, cotton, palm oil, and many more which are still in abundance.With good governance and proper management of resources, the construction industry can transform our beloved countries into industrialized states by the next 15 years, creating more job opportunities for the youth and thus bring unemployment to the barest minimum. It is highly possible that the construction industry, agriculture, science and technology are key sectors that can completely end poverty in our respective countries.

A second look at above list of natural resources shows that both Ghana and Zambia possess a lot in common in the mining sector and hydropower. I therefore suggest that our governments must create a common platform for the people of Ghana and Zambia to share their experiences/knowledge and exchange ideas in these common areas so that we can better manage our resources for the benefit of our people whiles learning from each other. With a joint well-committed effort, we can set up a common educational/research institution that will be tasked with the responsibility to train our own people to manage these common resources for the benefit of our people.

It must however be understood that in the 21st century, economic growth in Africa is no longer dependent on the oil, copper, cocoa, timber and other natural resources. Science and Technology is one key area that has the potential to bring about our economic transformation.

According to the Zambian Economist, though Zambia is exporting some $3bn of copper, the tax revenues from these exports are a mere $100m. The global copper boom has benefited the Chinese who own the copper company far more than it has benefited ordinary Zambians. This is the reason why we must focus on training our own people and setting up the necessary institutions for ourselves so that we can be the managers and the beneficiaries of our resources.

Most importantly, Ghana currently boasts of her ability to manufacture cars, mobile phones, laptop computers, tablets, smart TVs and many more. Thanks to Apostle Dr Safo Kantanka and RLG communications, Ghanaian innovations has recently been applauded by the former president of Zambia, Rupiah Banda, on his recent visit to Ghana where he was scheduled to lecture on the theme: “Democracy and good governance in Africa,” held at the University of Ghana.

It was very encouraging how the former Zambian President lauded the unique contributions being mad by Ghana’s and Africa’s premier electronic assembling company, RLG Communications, in solfving the huge unemployment issue facing the continent. Dr Rupiah Banda was truly impressed during his interaction with the Chief Executive of RLG Communications, Mr. Roland Agambire, when he paid a working visit to RLG’s ultra-modern Assembly plant in Accra last year. Today, thanks to another ambituou project by the Ghanaian company. Ghana is now set to become Africa’s pioneer in ICT by 2016.

With the launch of Africa’s Hope City project (to commemorate Ghana’s 56th independence), a world class ICT project aimed at bringing all ICT players under one roof and to engender paperless business practices in the country, Ghana is gradually taking up her rightful place as a global player while creating economic opportunities for over 300 million youth across the whole of Africa between the ages of 15-24 at the same time.

The writer seriously commends the CEO of RLG Communications, Mr. Roland Agambire, for setting up another assembly plant in Oson state to serve the whole of Nigeria to implement the paperless systems in Nigerian schools. RLG Communications is one example of how just a little commitment from the Government of Ghana, can help transform the lives of millions of people in Africa.

RLG Project for Accra in 2016

The project, a six high rise towers designed with the architecture of Ghana’s mud houses in mind will house over 25,000 people and create over 50,000 jobs when completed in 2016.One of the buildings will be the tallest building in Africa.

We the people of Ghana dully welcome our Zambian brothers and sisters who desire to build a career in the field of mobile computing to make Ghana their preferred destination for their career aspirations since RLG Institute of Technology offers such great opportunity. With such initiatives in place, it won’t be long; we will be able to train our own people in areas of science and technology to set up the industries that will convert our abundant raw materials to the desired products here in Africa. Yes, it is very possible for our dear nations to lead the way for the African people to be the managers of our own destinies.

We Must Strengthen Existing Diplomatic Relations

Friendship Pins with the flags of Ghana and Zambia Since the overthrow of Nkrumah’s government in 1966, diplomatic relations between Ghana and Zambia came to a halt; though Zambia as a country continued to honour Kwame Nkrumah on many occasions. In 1971, Zambia named one of her tertiary institutions, the Kwame Nkrumah Teachers’ College in honour of the first President of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah for his contribution to Africa.

At some point, Ghana High Commission was operating in Zambia in 1976 only to fold up again in 1982 due to numerous coup de ta and political instabilities. It was until 2008 that Ghana’s diplomatic relations were normalized to translate the cordial political relations existing between Ghana and Zambia into mutually beneficial gains, expanding the sphere of engagement between the our countries. Therefore the Zambian Government facilitated the process by fulfilling its promise to establish a High Commission in Accra immediately. Since then, our two countries have enjoyed wonderful diplomatic relations while the bond between our people becomes stronger year after year.

According to the mission statement of the Ghana Embassy in Zambia, our bilateral cooperation is currently aimed at: -Trade promotion -Investment promotion -Tourism promotion -Wildlife exchanges -Collaboration in mining -Intensification of exchanges in education -Experience sharing in social and health matters.

I am therefore appealing to Ghana and Zambia’s foreign ministers to strengthen our bilateral ties by easing the existing border restrictions to properly facilitate the above mission so that our people can fully and effectively explore the existing opportunities in our two countries and a to properly appreciate our cultural diversities.

I urge the Government of Ghana and Zambia to consider signing a Visa Abolishing Treaty as they have done with many other African countries, to make travelling to Ghana-Zambia a complete visa-free for both of our citizens to be able to do business with ease and to share the little expertise together for the benefit of our countries.

This would eliminate all the unnecessary delays in our desire to interact with our brothers and sisters in Zambia whom we love so much. Besides, it will further enhance the cultural and economic ties between our beloved countries as envisioned by our revolutionary leaders: Kwame Nkrumah and Kenneth Kaunda. After all, Ghana and Zambia are both standing on equal economic and political grounds so there should be no need to restrict the pace of our economic progress.

Besides, with our current promising economic prospects, Zambia and Ghana stand a lot to benefit in the long run if trade, economic and political relations were further enhanced to the highest level for the benefit of the ordinary citizenry.

May this passionate appeal touch the hearts of the Presidents and the Foreign Ministers of our dear nations, to respond to our humble desire. Happy 56th Birthday to Ghana my motherland, Long live Zambia, my second home!

Honourable Saka

The writer is a Ghanaian national who is so passionate about the need to strengthen relations between Ghana and Zambia. He is the coordinator for the Project Pan-Africa (PPA), an organization that was set up to foster unity among Africans to live together in harmony. The PPA seeks to create the biggest media platform that will give exposure to all the hidden talents in the youths across Africa. Visit us at: www.projectpanafrica.org. E-mail him at: honourablesaka@yahoo.co.uk

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Chavez
Chavez
Most of what you read or hear in mass media about President Hugo Chavez is always negative, his faults exaggerated, his discourse distorted and his achievements ignored. The reality is quite different.

Hugo Chavez was beloved by millions around the world. He changed the course of a continent and led a collective awakening of a people once silenced, once exploited and ignored. Chavez was a grandiose visionary and a maker of dreams.

An honest man from a humble background who lived in a mud hut as a child and sold candies on the streets to make money for his family, Chavez dreamed of building a strong, sovereign nation, independent of foreign influence and dignified on the world scene. He dreamed of improving the lives of his people, of eradicating the misery of poverty and of offering everyone the chance of a better life — the “good life” (el buenvivir), as he called it.

President Chavez made those dreams come true. During his nearly 14 years of governance, elected to three full six-year terms but only serving two due to his untimely death, Chavez’s policies reduced extreme poverty in Venezuela by more than 75%, from 25% to less than 7% in a decade, according to statistics from the Center for Economic and Policy Research. And overall poverty was reduced by more than 50%, from 60% in 1998 when Chavez first won office to 27% by 2008.

This is not just numbers, this translates into profound changes in the lives of millions of Venezuelans who today eat three meals a day, own their homes and have jobs or access to financial aid.

But the dreams don’t stop there. Chavez dreamed of a nation filled with educated, healthy people, and so he established free, quality public education from preschool through doctoral studies, accessible to all. In fact, for those in remote areas or places without educational facilities, schools were built and mobile educational facilities were created to bring education to the people.

Chavez also created a national public health system offering universal, free health care to all, with the help and solidarity of Cuba, which sent thousands of doctors and medical workers to provide quality services to the Venezuelan people, many who had never received medical care in their lives.

To strengthen and empower communities, Chavez propelled policies of inclusion and participatory governance, giving voice to those previously excluded from politics. He created grassroots community councils and networks to attend to local needs in neighborhoods across the nation, placing the power to govern in the joint hands of community groups.

His vision of diversifying his nation and developing its full potential transformed into railways, new industries, satellite cities and innovative transport, such as MetroCable Cars soaring high into the mountains of Caracas to connect people in their steep hillside homes with the bustling city.

The centuries-old dream of Independence hero Simon Bolivar to build a unified “Patria Grande” (Grand Homeland) in South America became Chavez’s guiding light and he held it high, illuminating the path he paved. Chavez was a driving force in unifying Latin America, creating new regional organizations like the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). These entities have embraced integration, cooperation and solidarity as their principal method of exchange, rejecting competition, exploitation and domination, the main principles of U.S. and western foreign policy.

Chavez inspired a 21st century world to fight for justice, to stand with dignity before bullying powers that seek to impose their will on others. He raised his voice when no others would and had no fear of consequence, because he knew that truth was on his side.

Chavez was a maker of dreams. He recognized the rights of the disabled, of indigenous peoples, all genders and sexualities. He broke down barriers of racism and classism and declared himself a socialist feminist. He not only made his own dreams come true, but he inspired us all to achieve our fullest potential.

Don’t get me wrong, things are not perfect in Venezuela by any stretch, but no one can honestly deny that they are much better than before Hugo Chavez became president. And no one could deny that President Hugo Chavez was larger than life.

The first time I flew on President Chavez’s airplane, he invited me to breakfast in his private room. It was just me and him. I was nervous and felt anxious and rushed to tell him about the results of my investigations into the United States government’s role in the coup d’etat against him in 2002.

After all, that’s why I was on the plane in the first place. I had been invited to participate in his regular Sunday television show, Alo Presidente (Hello Mr. President) to present the hundreds of declassified documents I had obtained from U.S. government agencies through the Freedom of Information Act that exposed U.S. funding of coup participants. The date was April 11, 2004, exactly two years after the coup that nearly killed him and sent the nation into spiraling chaos. (Editor’s Note: The U.S. government denied involvement in the 2002 coup.)

As I began pulling out papers and spreading documents on the table that separated us, he stopped me. “Have you had breakfast yet?” he asked. “No,” I said, and continued fiddling with the revealing paper before me. “We can discuss that later,” he said. “For now, tell me about yourself. How is your mother?” he asked me, as though we were old friends.

A flight attendant came through the door of his private room with two trays and placed them on the table. I quickly gathered up the documents. “Let’s eat,” he said. I started to protest, trying to explain that his time was so limited I wanted to take advantage of every minute. He stopped me and said: “This is a humble breakfast, a breakfast from the barracks, what I most love.” I looked at the tray for the first time. On it was a small plate with an arepa, a typical Venezuelan corn patty, a few shreads of white cheese, a couple of pieces of canteloupe and some anchovies. Beside the plate was a small cup of black coffee. No frills and not what you would expect on a presidential airplane.

“After all, I am just a soldier,” he added. Yes, Chavez, you are a soldier, a glorious soldier of a dignified, proud and kind people. And you are a maker of dreams for millions around the world. CNN

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lusaka_water

Residents of Lusaka’s townships have received little attention from government, whom they claim has done little to improve water and sanitation facilities in the peri-urban areas of the city.

LUSAKA, 11 August 2011 (IRIN) – Charity Muyumbana, 45, has spent her entire adult life contending with recurrent flooding, poor drainage, and a lack of toilets in Kanyama, the sprawling Lusaka township where she lives.



“Most of the people use plastic bags to relieve themselves during the night. They find it more convenient because some toilets are up to 200m away from the house,” she told IRIN.



The situation in Kanyama represents a countrywide problem. According to a 2008 study by local NGO the Water and Sanitation Forum, only 58 percent of Zambians have access to adequate sanitation and 13 percent lack any kind of toilet. 



While the government has improved water and sanitation in urban areas, this is not the case in unplanned, high density peri-urban settlements like Kanyama where residents complain that lack of space and poor soil make it difficult to construct latrines, and a haphazard road network has contributed to a serious drainage problem. 



The over-used existing latrines attract vermin, and in the rainy season overflowing sewage pollutes wells causing water-borne diseases like diarrhoea, dysentery and cholera.



A 2006 study of the water supply and sanitation situation in 570 peri-urban and low-income areas of Zambia carried out by the National Water Supply and Sanitation Council, a government agency, found that Kanyama was by no means unique. 



The links between poor sanitation and poor health are well known, said Amanda Marlin from international NGO, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council. “Sanitation at a basic level is making sure we separate human excreta from any contact by people or by animals.” 



Corruption 

Kanyama’s poor drainage has made it prone to cholera during the rainy season, but a partially completed project by the government to construct a proper drainage system in the township was abandoned in October 2010. 



According to research by the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR), a local network of civil society organizations which advocates pro-poor development policies, the Treasury allocated 20 billion Zambian kwacha (US$4.05 million) for the construction of the drainage system, but only a fraction of that amount was paid to the contractor who completed about a third of the project. 



The abandoned construction site has created another problem for the residents of Kanyama, said Diana Ngula of CSPR. “During the rainy season, water collects in those holes, creating a breeding ground for mosquitoes.” READ MORE…

Africa News released an article previously on the hazardous conditions residents of Lusaka’s Kanyama township find themselves in due to the lack of sanitiation facilities.

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Rupiah Banda
Rupiah Banda
Former Republican President Rupiah Banda has refuted assertions that American Ambassador to Zambia Mark Storella and first Republican President Kenneth Kaunda persuaded him to concede defeat when he lost the 2011 presidential elections.

Mr Banda told Radio Phoenix in an interview from Kenya monitored in Lusaka yesterday that contrary to reports, at no time did Mr Storella nor Dr Kaunda persuade him to concede defeat.

“I have never had a visit from Dr Kaunda…I haven’t seen him other than at the funeral of our late mother, his dear wife. As for the American Ambassador, he is there in L usaka, you can check,” he said.

Mr Banda said fortunately both Mr Storella and Dr Kaunda were in Zambia and was hopeful that they would one day come out in the open and tell the people the truth.

He said it had dawned on him that he was losing the elections just after midnight on the day of counting, and yet there were still some flock of people peddling falsehoods that it was not his intention to accept defeat.

“Of course it was my idea to concede defeat in the election results. Nobody could have forced me to do otherwise,” he said.

He said it was in view of the foregoing that he felt that he was in a better position to advise whoever would lose in the Kenyan elections to concede defeat.

Mr Banda said unlike in Zambia, the Kenyan press and the people from that country had rejected hatred as a way of campaigning and was hopeful that Zambia could learn something from that.

Meanwhile, Mr Banda is happy with the resilient spirit exhibited by the Kenyan people in that country’s general elections.

This was according to a statement released by the Office of the Fourth Republican President’s deputy administrative assistant Kennedy Limwanya.

Mr Banda felt the Kenyan elections which took place on Monday had proved that Kenyans were ready to move forward and close the sad chapter of the 2007 elections.

Mr Banda who is in Kenya under the auspices of the Carter Centre International Elections Observer Mission said this when he visited the Elections Observation Group (ELOG) offices where the Mission was shown how the parallel voter tabulation was conducted.

The Carter Centre team also paid a courtesy call on Kenya’s Inspector General of police David Kimaiyo who assured that his officers were ready for any eventuality that might arise after the announcement of the final results.

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 The Nova Cidade de Kilamba, Angola's largest Chinese-funded housing project, remains a "ghost town" as the high-cost of properties proves far beyond reach for the average Angolan.

The Nova Cidade de Kilamba, Angola’s largest Chinese-funded housing project, remains a “ghost town” as the high-cost of properties proves far beyond reach for the average Angolan.

Built at a reported cost of $3.5-billion, it was supposed to solve Angola’s chronic post-war housing shortage and go some way to fulfil a 2008 election promise to provide one million homes in four years.

But the Nova Cidade de Kilamba (New City of Kilamba), designed for several hundred thousand people, is home to barely a tenth of that number, earning it the moniker of “ghost town”.

For the past 18 months the government has been showing off the Chinese-built development to every visiting foreign dignitary, including United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon and former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

But now Kilamba is rapidly turning from a flagship reconstruction project into an expensive white elephant that is mocked on social networking sites and has become a must-see for every visiting overseas journalist.

Since the first batch of 20 000 apartments went on the market more than a year ago barely more than 4000 have been sold, of which fewer than 600 have actually been paid for – 465 outright and 96 with a mortgage. The remainder were “purchased” through a 30-year monthly-installment scheme, known as “renda resolúvel”, which is available exclusively to government employees, some of whom it is understood are getting the properties for free as a salary perk.

Of the flats that have been sold few are occupied, leaving row after row of the newly paved streets empty and much of the 54km2 development bathed in an eerie silence. There are some tiny pockets of life on the estate, mostly around some of the schools that began operating earlier this year, although their pupils are being bussed in from outlying areas.

The slow take-up of properties is blamed on their high cost – between $120000 and $200 000 each – well out of the reach of the average Angolan, an estimated half of whom live on less than $2 a day.

Untested property market
For the country’s tiny middle class who could afford the apartments with a mortgage, most already have homes. But for others a lack of land registry documentation has complicated the access to bank credit and many people also feel uncertain about the viability of investing in Angola’s so-far untested property market.

Paulo Cascao, manager of Delta Imobiliária, a private firm – widely reported to be owned by senior government officials – that is responsible for the commercial sales of Kilamba properties, admitted there had been delays. “It is complicated to get bank credit for properties in Angola; that has been an issue. We don’t yet have land registry title deeds for Kilamba, so we have to use a temporary document, but I believe this will be resolved soon. By the end of the school year we will see more people moving there and the city will start to have more residents.”

The government also insists that Kilamba will be a success and the “city” will soon start to fill up once the renda resolúvel scheme is made more widely available and the title deeds are processed.

But Alcides Sakala, a spokesperson for Angola’s main opposition party Unita, told the Mail & Guardian: “Kilamba is a ghost town, a total political and social failure that has failed to respond to the needs of Angolans.” READ MORE…

image credit: Reuters
Source:
Mail and Guardian