Tags Posts tagged with "Zambian government"

Zambian government

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Bishop John Mambo has charged that the rejection of the constitutional bill by parliament on Tuesday is the beginning of the process for a people driven constitution.

Bishop Mambo says time has now come for the Zambian government to realize that people are bigger than political motives.

Bishop Mambo says he feels exonerated after being referred to as a prophet of doom when concerns were raised over the National Constitutional Conference.

He has restated that what happened in parliament signals a wind of change that is taking place world over, especially in the Middle East.

He has however stated that Zambia has yet again been handed a bounced cheque in the constitutional making process.
In an interview with QFM, Bishop Mambo says any government should work to the expectations of the people, and not the opposite.

Bishop Mambo has commended the opposition parliamentarian for representing the views of people who elected them into office./muvitv

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By Zumani Katasefa

THE strike by Shoprite checkers workers in Zambia has entered day two with workers vowing not to resume work until all their demands are met by management.

Check by the UKZAMBIANS at Kitwe Shoprite outlet found workers seated along Matuka Avenue while the shop was closed.
Irate workers had also put up placards denouncing labour minister Austin Liato saying that he had failed them.

‘We want jobs for Zambians, no muzungu malonda’ read one of the placards stuck just at the entrance of the shop.
They were also singing songs to denounce the Zambian government.

One of the workers told the UKZAMBIANS, that they were not happy with the meagre salary increment that has been awarded to them but he could not disclose how much management has offered.

“One of the things that we are annoyed about are poor salaries, prices of essential commodities in this country have gone up, and yet these so called investors have continued subjecting us to poor working conditions and salaries,” said the worker on condition of anonymity.

In Luanshya the situation was similar and workers demanded to be addressed by management.
ENDS

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By DARLINGTON MWENDABAI

CENTRE for Global Dialogue (CGD) has urged Government to remove import duty on solar energy equipment to discourage over-dependence on charcoal and wood as domestic fuel.

 

CGD programme officer Phingiwe Shonga said the country should exploit alternative and renewable energy sources such as solar.

 

Ms Shonga said the challenge has been that most Zambians do not afford to buy solar equipment hence relying on charcoal and wood as alternatives.

 

She, however, said that such alternatives have adverse effects on the environment, especially in light of climate change.

 

“Dependence on charcoal and wood as fuel by some communities in Zambia is contributing to climate change. Government should intervene by reducing or removing import duty on solar products,” she said.

 

Ms Shonga said communities should be encouraged to participate in climate change mitigation initiatives adding that Government should also expedite rural electrification programmes as one way of reducing theses effects. Climate change includes heat waves, floods and drought, which have become a dominant feature in parts of Zambia.

 

“Environmental awareness must be encouraged on the dangers of uncontrolled and unattainable activities such as bush fires, charcoal burning, and unsustainable agricultural practices,” she said.

 

Ms Shonga said climate change causes land degradation, which undermines the soil’s capacity to store carbon, particularly for most Zambians who are engaged in farming.

 

“With the majority of Zambians depending on agriculture as a source of livelihood and income, a slight change in temperature can affect crops like maize with catastrophic consequence on lives of people,” she said.

 

Government decided to zero rate import duty on solar panels from 15 per cent as contained in the Customs and Excise (Amendment) Act No.4 of April 1999 to make solar power accessible.

 

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By CHISHALA MUSONDA and CECILIA NAYAME

A CHINESE contractor, Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group (AFECC), has appealed to Government to urgently construct access roads to the sports arena currently being built in Ndola before works are completed.

AFECC vice-president Cheng Ju reiterated his appeal in Ndola on February 15 that Government needs to construct the two access routes to the giant sports structure as his organisation is almost done with the construction works on the project.

Speaking through an interpreter at the construction site, Chen said 80 percent of the works have been completed and the infrastructure could be handed to Government before the scheduled date in October as stipulated in the contract.

“Our appeal to Government is to speed up works on the construction of access roads which are beyond the perimeter of the stadium construction site as this is not in the contract that we signed.

“Access roads to be constructed by the Zambian government have not yet been done,” he said.

The government has to build two roads – one on the eastern side of the infrastructure and another on the north, parallel to the Ndola-Kitwe dual carriageway for easy access to and from the stadium once it is complete.

Construction works of the roads have not begun although access routes are shown on the artistic impression plan of this mega structure.

Chen said AFECC was well ahead of schedule on the construction but some works have stalled because of the prevailing rainy conditions.

But workers are still working on the eastern wing canopy.

He stated that some major works should resume in May when the rainy season is over but the company is on schedule to complete working on the infrastructure by September.

Chen said during President Banda’s visit to the stadium, the head of State urged the contractor to complete the works in good time for the nation to be able to host international matches for the Chipolopolo.

The President said Government was considering inviting one African football powerhouse for the inauguration ceremony of the sports arena.

Following the presidential request, Chen said the handover could be before September.

“We are doing our best during this rainy season and have adjusted our working programme and the working times,” he said.

The key feature of the stadium resuming works in May is the mounting of the 40,100 spectators seats which Cheng said will be fitted systematically from one section to another.

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The fuel price hike announced by the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) on 11 February 2011 of 12% will certainly increase the cost of living for many Zambians, especially the poor who are already struggling to meet basic needs, says Geoffrey Chongo Programme Manager of Economic Equity and Development of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR). It is also likely to reverse some of the macroeconomic gains that the country has achieved over the past few years, and make the economic targets for 2011 difficult to achieve.

The fuel price increase has come soon after inflation was announced to have taken an upward trend from 7.9% in December 2010 to 9% in January 2011. The increased cost of fuel will further heighten inflationary pressure. The cost of production is bound to go up forcing producers to increase the price of their final goods and services thereby eroding people’s purchasing power.  Salaries for the majority Zambians are already not meaningful because of high tax rate (PAYE) and low tax free threshold and therefore any price increase in basic needs that may result from fuel price increase will impact on households negatively. The cost of living in Lusaka for a family of six as reflected in the basic needs basket (BNB) for January 2011 of K3, 019, 000 is beyond the reach of many people. Mr. Chongo adds that the burden of fuel price increase will therefore ultimately be borne by consumers; especially the poor who have little or no savings at all to fall back on.

At the macroeconomic level, the fuel price increase is likely to adversely affect trade balance. Cost of production will increase as fuel is a major factor of production. This will translate into higher prices of final goods and services, thereby making our locally produced goods uncompetitive on the international market. Export volumes especially that of non traditional products might therefore decline. Domestic trade activities might also reduce as transportation costs increase to reflect increased cost of fuel.

Fuel price increase is also likely to increase the cost of borrowing from banks as banks factor in possible increase of inflation in their cost of lending. This will increase the cost of doing business and adversely affect the level of investment and ultimately economic growth. Although lending interest rates have shown a downward trend in the recent past, they still remain high and prohibitive especially to small businesses. “Certainly, this is no recipe for a broad based economic growth that seeks equitable participation in the economic affairs of the country that JCTR calls for”, says Mr. Chongo. To ensure a broad based economic growth, Zambia needs to maintain low lending interest rate that allows easy access to capital by all and fuel price increase at this time does not guarantee this process.

We therefore feel the government should have subsidised the cost of fuel by reducing or removing some of the many fuel taxes. This would have enabled the Government to preserve the social and economic gains that Zambia has recorded and maintain the economic growth path the economy is on. JCTR has noted that in 2010 alone, the Zambian government increased fuel prices twice within a period of four months; 15% in January and 13% in May before the uniform pricing mechanism was introduced in September 2010 which effectively increased fuel prices in certain areas. Another fuel price increase so early in 2011 is therefore excessive. It will increase the cost of doing business, make our goods and services uncompetitive on the international market, hinder economic growth and ultimately erode people’s purchasing power and exacerbate poverty. Government should therefore find a sustainable solution to frequent fuel price increases in the country./Press Release

For more information, contact the Economic Equity and Development Programme, EDD at the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia; Tel: 260-211-290410; Fax: 260-211-290759; Email: jctr@jesuits.org.zm, Website: www.jctr.org.zm

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Former Defence Minister George Mpombo has observed that the increase in the fuel prices is a set back to the growth of the economy.

Mr. Mpombo says that the all the economic gains that the country has been recording will be affected in a negative way.

He wonders how the Zambian government will continue preaching about the measures to grow the economy when the cost of living is growing.

He says that good policies that were initiated by the late Levy Mwanawasa will be adversely affected by the current regime.

He added that policies that are initiated by the late president have been bearing fruits, and that it is a pity that the Rupiah Banda administration wants to wipe them out

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