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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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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

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Home Affairs Minister Edgar Lungu says it is shameful and embarrassing that 50 years after independence, some officers in his ministry still operated under trees and tents.

Mr Lungu noted that it was high time that the welfare of police and immigration officers across the country was improved to enhance their performance.

And some Indunas at Mwandi have appealed to the government to improve police presence in the area to contain and prevent escalating levels of crime.

Speaking when he toured Mwandi district today where police officers are still operating under a tent, Mr Lungu said the situation needed quick government intervention saying it was embarrassing that 50 years after independence police officers could operate under a tree and tent.

He said he was dismayed that police officers were operating under a tent while, immigration department was manned by one officer who operates from his house due to lack of an office.

Home Affair Minister-Edgar Lungu
Home Affair Minister-Edgar Lungu

Mr Lungu who toured the area for the first time vowed to ensure that the welfare of police officers and the condition under which they work were improved in order to enhance efficiency and professionalism.

He also said people should learn to respect and appreciate the work that police were doing even under extreme difficulties all for the love of the country.

“We need to give respect to our police officers who work under difficulty situations like in this case here where they work without water, proper accommodation and as long as I remain Minister I will
ensure that police officers are not only protect from unwarranted criticism but work to improve their conditions as well,” said Mr Lungu.

Mr Lungu who also inspected the Police post being constructed at a tune of K1.1 billion(KR 1.1 million) said he was happy that government has started making efforts towards alleviating office space challenges officers were currently facing in the area.

Earlier during a courtesy call on several indunas at Mwandi Royal palace, Mr Lungu appealed to the government to improve police presence in the area to contain and prevent escalating levels of crime.

Induna Wamulwa said there was a lot of crime in the area owing to its vastness which further poses challenges to officers who are operating without a vehicle and often use their own resources to carry out operations.

“Our most pressing problems here in Mwandi is inadequate police officers, lack of police post and vehicles for officers to conduct effective patrols and as a result the officers are overburdened as
they have to cover large swaths of land,” Induna Wamulwa said.

He also stressed the need to expedite the construction of the police post so as to improve security in the area.

Meanwhile, Induna Ambanwa implored the government to revamp training facilities for crafts men and teachers’ colleges in Sefula, Lukulu, Mongu, Namushakendi and Senanga to provide life survival skills to the youths.

He explained that people in Mwandi were also excited when government announced it had plans to put a training college.

“We were very excited when we heard that government would put up a college here and we immediately allocated land for that purpose but up to now we are still waiting whether that promise will be fulfilled,” Induna Ambanwa said.

And reacting to concerns raised by the indunas, the Home Affairs Minister said the Patriotic Front government was eager to engage every Zambian on developmental issues adding that government therefore values the role that traditional leaders play in ensuring that desired development was brought to people as close as possible.

“As government we shall not work in isolation and we shall continue to engage everyone more especially the traditional leadership to ensure that the desired development is brought to the people,” Mr Lungu said.

He pointed out that government also would want to engage the opposition parties to see how best development can be attained but that the opposition always accuses government of wanting to poach its Members of Parliament.

Mr Lungu however, cited Mwandi MP Micheal Kaingu for showing willingness to engage with government on how best his area could be developed.

Mr Lungu assured the indunas who represented Senior Chief Inyambo Yeta that all their concerns under his ministry will be taken care of as soon possible.

“I can assure you that very soon you will have a boma, police station, prisons, a hospital and other government departments to complement Mwandi as a district status.

He further urged the people in Mwandi to respect and accept government’s decision to elevate Mwandi to district status saying the move was aimed at accelerating development in the area.

But Sesheke District Buildings Department Work Supervisor Kapanda Kapanda expressed worry over delays by the government to release the K1.1 billion meant for the construction of the police post saying any further delays will jeopardise the construction works.

Mr Kapanda explained that the contractor, Kamunje Enterprise has so far used its own resources to buy bricks and work on the foundation of the police post expected to be completed in five months time.

ZANIS

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