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A professional Zambian Policeman showing off his skills


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By Lady C

There is a growing, vibrant and strong Zambian community here in the UK and most of them consider this to be their adopted home. Apart from providing financial support to family in Zambia, a majority only have fond memories of the good times they had in Zed before coming to the UK and perhaps send old clothes to Zambia to help the less privileged in Zambia.

Very few have sound investments and projects to pursue or protect as things don’t always prove to be straightforward as there are always draw-backs with ‘unnecessary and ancient’ red tape bureaucratically installed to simply be a hindrance rather than a deterrent for unwelcome activities. Ultimately, they just deflate one’s hopes of improving the ‘standard’ or just simply helping the needy back home.

Let’s look at our African colleagues right here in the Diaspora who face the same issues abroad in Africa as they strive to make a living here in the UK. This is a land of abundant opportunities and it doesn’t take long before you see how well the numerous South Africans, Ghanaians, Ugandans, Nigerians, Ivoirians, Kenyans and Congolese are progressively setting up several small businesses and rallying around each other, helping one another to get things up and running for a common cause. Goodness me, even the newly despatched refugees from Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea are already establishing themselves here in the UK by setting up small shops and other businesses, serving large cohesive communities for a better standard of living all round. A healthy picture of self-empowerment indeed!

What on earth happens to us Zambians as a ‘people’ or even a community when it comes to starting small businesses or running successful organisations? Do we really feel that brotherly/sisterly bond with each other or are we always ready to stab one another in the back at the first opportunity to stop a newcomer from progressing because one feels they got here first and a newcomer shouldn’t be progressing faster? To what end? Opportunities and ideas can come from any situation so why should one deny oneself of blessings when they are surely hidden in another person’s progress/success?

These are questions that constantly come to the surface as we are yet to encounter big strong signs on the streets of the UK that ‘Zambians have arrived’. Perhaps one or two restaurants, a pub, a growing football team (ZedUnited) and that’s about it! Apart from UKZAMBIANS, there’s no other Zambian website/mag that serves the Zambian community here with such brilliant ideas and serious issues being addressed.


There are several Zambian beauty queens making their mark and representing Zambia as very strong and serious contenders on the beauty circuits but beauty should not only be on the outside. What do Zambians have to show for a lovely country to everyone else? You only have to go to the local high street to be faced with so many Ghanaian or Nigerian food stores, wine bars and restaurants selling their local foods and wares or offering their products and services from ‘their’ music, videos, cultural events and Friday night boogie spots to a strong cohesive presence as they gather together to honour and support their own. There’s a very strong sense of unity, support and warm-hearted love amongst one other. Talk less of the several money transfer outlets providing very good products and services for their local communities here but most importantly stimulating their own economies back home with much increased foreign exchange activities. Surely isn’t this something Zambia can benefit from?

Are we content with the likes of Western Union and MoneyGram dominating our money transfer markets when a local money transfer outlet could provide a very competitive service at very low rates and give back to the local community in Zed, via a small percentage of the profits to help the local communities in Zambia through local projects? Would this not steer the local economy in the right direction and give everybody a chance to get up and ‘just do it’? Could this attitude help Zambians realise their own potential at self-empowerment as folks who are willing to help themselves and not rely on other entities to provide vital services. We are yet to hear about that the two giants in the money transfer market embarking on local projects in Zed or ploughing some of the profits obtained from Zambians in the Diaspora flowing back to their families in Zed. Or is it a case that Zambians do not need to be empowered as other ‘nationals’ can always do this for them at a small price? Perhaps Zambians do not believe in standing up and doing things for themselves? If that’s the case, then what really happened to all the teachings instilled in us from our founding father Dr David Kaunda? “Be a Humanist! One Zambia! One Nation!”

And there we were thinking the Zambian Constitution was always there for our protection and progress as a people. A Constitution quite outdated, it seems, as it offers nothing concrete or holds no real substance for the protection of its own people living in the Diaspora. It reminds us all that should you live outside Zambia for a period of ten years, you are not eligible to run for presidency; It also forbids dual nationality amongst several other ‘hot’ topics. Ultimately, it promises to protect our civil liberties and rights in unison with ‘Human Rights Laws’ but as we read on and dig deeper, we are forced to acknowledge that most of these rights are violated as a matter of course rather than the Constitution serving its purpose to protect us all. Surely, individuals living in the Diaspora become exposed to much more in terms of acquiring knowledge, law, education, political science, wealth management, business ideas, international travel, international economic and social awareness, encountering various nationals from all walks of life from around the whole world – Surely folks would benefit much more from an exposed progressive individual, rather than one with inherited vision, archaic rules and limited social, economic and management skills – wouldn’t they?

And why are we still having a debate on dual nationality? Comments from individuals from commonwealth countries find it astonishing that we are still ‘dithering’ on this matter. And most Zambians who are very passionate about investing heavily in Zed would feel better equipped to do so if they were awarded dual nationality like their African colleagues. They believe it’s all about having the freedom to travel very freely and set up businesses and send money to Zed much more frequently. Does this not ring a bell that should 5000 individuals send £200.00 per month to Zambia for 2 years, the amount of foreign exchange this would stimulate would stir up huge economic activity that would positively ‘affect’ the country’s national income. (And by the way, there are thousands of Zambians living in the UK – both officially and more so unofficially), so small things like this would have a huge impact on our economy and it’s our responsibility to start changing the history books as we move forward and make a statement right here in the Diaspora.

We all have relatives in Zed, and the powers that be in Zed also have relatives here so why are we hurting ourselves and stumping the future growth of the next generation? Why should the Constitution and other selfish individuals put a spanner in the works and prevent Zambians from outshining other Africans and start to put poverty behind us? Why can’t we just stand united and change the history books for a better Zambia?


By Business Reporter

THE Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) has introduced a Graduate Empowerment Programme for students in universities, secondary schools and other higher learning institutions to promote an entrepreneurship culture among youths.

CEEC director general Marble Mung’omba said students would be trained in risk management, financial literacy and business sustainability skills.

The commission would engage commercial banks to educate students in financial literacy.

The CEEC would develop an open framework to allow partners to bring in more modules and Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO) was already developing modules for secondary schools.

Speaking during the launch of the Graduate Empowerment Programme in Lusaka yesterday at Munali High School, Ms Mung’omba said the programme would be rolled out to other schools including those in the rural areas, as the programme was national.

“We have partnered with  a number of institutions like Barclays Bank, British Council, Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), Patents and Companies Registration Office (PACRO) among others and we will soon be in Chongwe, Southern Province, Copperbelt and Kabwe and it’s our job as CEEC to ensure that Zambian youths are empowered,” she  said.

Education Permanent Secretary Andrew Phiri said the objective of the programme would be to foster entrepreneurship skills among the young people.

This would be through encouraging them to explore entrepreneurship and sel-employment techniques.

In a speech read on his behalf by assistant director at the ministry Nalituba Mwale, Mr Phiri said the programme would support two pillars in the empowerment strategy and these would be transformation of society and skills development.

Students would also learn about the structure of the Zambian enterprise system, the benefits and challenges.

“Students will be encouraged to use innovative thinking to learn business skills that will support positive attitudes as they explore and enhance their career aspirations,” Mr Phiri said.

The Government through CEEC was committed to ensuring that an entrepreneurship culture through empowerment strategies was provided to Zambian youths.

“The commission will continue to spearhead the empowerment policy on behalf of the Government and this is aimed at increasing meaningful participation of citizens and citizen empowered companies,” Mr Phiri said.

He implored stakeholders to work together and develop modules that would be adopted in the curriculum.

The module programme would be followed with a complimentary business plan to be assisted by the business development advisory.


Some of the participants of the meeting

Zambians living in the UK representing various interests met on Friday, 30th July 2010 at a collaborative meeting co-ordinated by UKZAMBIANS to discuss the draft constitution.  Here is the final report submitted to the National Constitution Conference (NCC).

We Zambians in the Diaspora, UK/Europe wish to join other Zambians in acknowledging your efforts and commitment in the development of a new Republican constitution for Zambia.

As Zambians living abroad representing wide spectra of interest such as business, media, religion, professionals we met on Friday, 30th July 2010 to deliberate the draft constitution.
Herewith, we wish to make some few comments and suggestions in the hope that this will create an acceptable, fair and lasting constitution for all Zambians including those living abroad.

We would like to join other Zambians in the Diaspora in welcoming the introduction of Dual Citizenship Clause.

We observed that while the draft constitution recommends that a Presidential candidate should have been a resident of Zambia for a continuous period of 10 years immediately preceding the election, the draft constitution was silently ambiguous on the status of those who were domiciled abroad for while studying; on diplomatic duties; working in multinational corporations and international organisations; and children of parents living abroad.

We feel that being resident in Zambia for 10 consecutive years preceding any given presidential election takes away the hopes and dreams of young Zambians living abroad.
We are asking the NCC remove this discriminatory clause which serves no purpose in the development of our country. We feel that this clause was targeting certain individuals and will serve no purpose in the future development of our country.

Qualifications of Presidential Candidates (Article 108): The requirements that presidential candidates should have a bachelor’s degree as a minimum academic qualification is disturbing in a country which does not have many institutions of higher learning in that it sends most of its tertiary students outside the country, given that the minimum period of higher education from a first degree to a PHD is seven years.
We join numerous fellow Zambians including President Banda who have said that a Zambian Presidential candidate does not need a degree to become a good leader of our beloved country.
Our Zambian traditional Chiefs do not have degrees but they administer the affairs of their people better than some degree holders who are on record as having failed to run some companies.
As Zambians we should not be carried away by a person’s academic qualifications because it has been proven in the history of the world that even people with minimum qualifications can make good leaders.

To become a Zambian Citizen, a new Article 20  requires a woman married to a man who is a citizen, or a man married to a woman who is a citizen, may, upon making an application in the manner prescribed by an Act of Parliament, be registered as a citizen of Zambia. Clause (1) shall apply only if the applicant has been ordinarily resident in the Republic for a continuous period of not less than fifteen (15) years immediately preceding that person’s application to become a Citizen.  A 15-year period is too much, we ask the NCC to reduce this to a meaningful period say maximum 5 years or less.

There is always a contradiction between customary and statutory laws in Zambia which means that many laws in Zambia are disjointed and some of them do not address issues relating to children.
We ask the NCC to address this clause to adopt the age of consent from 21 years to 18 years inline with other developed nations considering also that Zambia has a low life expectance compared to developed countries.

Religions such as Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, or Jainism have a genuine stake in the Republican constitution and, therefore, deserve to be respected in spite of the fact that they are not currently as large as their Christian counterparts. The Republican constitution should be a neutral document that should not appear to discriminate.
In a globalised world we cannot afford to isolate ourselves in one religion. We suggest we call ourselves “A God fearing Nation”.

We also feel that the NCC should have gone as far as recommending that Zambians in the Diaspora should be given the right to vote, as they are a constituency in their own right, given the population of those in the Diaspora.
Throughout the history of Zambia electoral processes the Zambian Diaspora have constantly been denied voting rights, even though most other nations, i.e. South Africans,  Britain , America, have long ensured that their Diaspora are allowed to vote in their elections.
Zambians in the Diaspora see no real plausible reason why they should be disenfranchised.
While the government is calling on Zambians in the Diaspora to invest in the economy of the nation, it should at the same time empower them to participate in decision making by allowing Zambians in the Diaspora to vote in the general and local elections.

OTHERS – (Economic & Social Empowerment)
We also urge the re-introduction of weekly or fortnightly wages for lower working class up to junior management to ease the strife for waiting to be paid until the month end.  Workers on low wages and those unable to work due to circumstances beyond their control should be given greater financial support in Zambia for Ill/Disabled Adults & Children and Tax Credit type for low paid workers etc.

Morris Tapalo
Cynthia Veitch
Connie Mubanga
Pazu Shamboko
Beauty Kaluba
Ethel Gondwe
Chibwe Henry
Morgan Nkumbula
Daniel Mwamba
Justina Mutale
Domino Champe
Constance Luipa
Simon Mwansa
Greatford Kamona
Fredrick Chileshe
Friday Nyambe – Zambia High Commissioner Observer

The issue of the K261 billion loan on mobile clinics from China has raised a lot of concern to organizations, political parties and the general Zambian public.

This, says Sydney Mwansa (Programme Officer-Debt, Aid and Trade), arises from the fact that Zambia has continued to ignore the fact that it needs a more consultative, transparent and accountable debt contraction law. Debt has serious implication on poverty and sustainable development of the country as it takes away the country’s resources to debt servicing rather than on social service provision, infrastructure and developmental activities.

It is for this reason that the Jesuit Centre Theological Reflection (JCTR) made a submission to the National Constitution Conference (NCC) to include a law that gives power to parliament ( and not the Minister of Finance and National Planning as provided by the current law) to oversee and approve all loans to be contracted by government on behalf of the Zambian people.

This, of course comes from the background of indebtedness prior to the debt cancellation in 2006 for which the JCTR with other Civil Society Organizations championed. The NCC, however, failed to reach an agreement (two thirds majority votes) on this very important proposal from the JCTR and referred it to a referendum.
If Zambia had such a law, we would not have such a debate as parliament which consists of members of parliament who are the representatives of the Zambian people would have debated on the need of the mobile clinics and their sustainability and thus ensuring we were borrowing for the right reasons (Responsible borrowing). With this process, the Zambian people would have confidence in the loans contracted as it would have gotten majority votes if parliament deemed the loan as needful. On the other hand, if the majority members of parliament felt it was in no way beneficial to the Zambian people, public resources would have been saved as Zambians would not have to bear the cost of repaying a loan that was not beneficial to the country.

Moreover, this law would ensure that the loans contracted are in line with the development plans of the country and thus avoid unnecessary debates and especially, justifications as we are currently having on the mobile clinics.
Issues of debt are always public matters that affect Zambians.

As soon as a loan is contracted, it becomes a public resource and as such it becomes of public interest as repayment of loans uses public resources derived from taxes. The current law allows the government to contract loans without consultation and without transparency. As we talk about the mobile clinics or indeed, the hearses and any other loans contracted, let us all reflect on what we are doing to ensure that we have a debt burden free future. Is it the debates we are currently having that will solve the problem? With the draft constitution out and the time for comments already elapsed, there is surely something that could be done to ensure such loan deals and the debates that follow do not occur again.

Having suffered under the debt burden, it was imperative that we learn a lesson as far as debt contraction was concerned. With the greater part of Zambia’s debt written off, Zambia had chance to not only re-organize and direct her resources towards poverty reduction and infrastructure development but also ensure it borrowed for the right reasons and maintained the debt stock within sustainable levels.

To achieve this, all Zambia needed and apparently still needs, is to “Finish the work!!” We says Sydney Mwansa, need to ensure the comprehensive, transparent and accountable debt contraction law is put in place to protect the Zambian people from the burden of paying for unnecessary loans that just worsen the poverty levels.  



OUT-GOING Zambian High Commissioner to India Keli Walubita has urged Zambians engaged by Pepsi Plant to be committed to their work and contribute to higher productivity levels.

Mr Walubita said this will ensure rapid growth and expansion of the company.
He said this in a statement released in Lusaka this week by first secretary for press, Bwalya Nondo.
Mr Walubita said the investment by Varun Beverages is a product of economic diplomacy, which the Zambian leadership is taking seriously to stimulate economic development. The Pepsi plant, established under the auspices of Varun Beverages of India, is expected to open in Lusaka soon.

Speaking when 11 Zambians attached to Varun Beverages for orientation in New Delhi at the weekend paid a courtesy call on him, Mr Walubita urged the participants to guard their jobs jealously by being disciplined and perform their duties diligently.

The Zambians are earmarked for technical positions at the firm and are currently undergoing orientation in beverage technology in India.
He stressed the need for Zambians to promote a good work culture as this is key to achieving economic development.

The Zambians, who have been undergoing orientation for the past one month, are drawn from professional back grounds ranging from technicians to chemical engineers. A total of 21 Zambians have so far been trained, with the first 10, having already left India.

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