Wednesday 25 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/28/18)
A former Zambian minister and a leading critic of President Edgar Lungu appeared in court on Wednesday to deny charges that he had profited from the proceeds of crime. Chishimba Kambwili has emerged as one of the most prominent voices speaking out against Lungu, who is accused of increasingly authoritarian rule and of cracking down on dissent. Lungu had been due to face an opposition motion of impeachment in parliament on Wednesday but the process was delayed by officials who claimed more time was needed to consider the process. Kambwili, who has been in hospital for undisclosed condition since his arrest on Thursday, appeared in court under heavy police guard. "I understand the charge and...
(AFP (eng) 03/23/18)
Zambia's main opposition party has filed a motion to impeach President Edgar Lungu for violating the constitution, the presidency said Friday, in the latest development following a disputed 2016 election. The impeachment motion will be put before parliament on March 28 by the United Party for National Development (UPND). Although it could win support from some members of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF), such as former minister Chishimba Kambwili, a leading Lungu critic who was arrested on Thursday, it looked set to be easily defeated. For an impeachment motion to succeed, the constitution requires a two-thirds majority in parliament. The UPND has 58 of the 167 lawmakers. "They do not have the numbers and the motion will not go anywhere,"...
(AFP (eng) 03/22/18)
A former Zambian minister and a leading critic of President Edgar Lungu was arrested in Lusaka on Thursday over allegations of making profits from criminal activity. Chishimba Kambwili has emerged as one of the most prominent voices speaking out against Lungu, who is accused of increasingly authoritarian rule and of cracking down on dissent. "He has been charged with 37 counts of being in possession of properties suspected to be proceeds of crime and two counts of obtaining pecuniary advantage," Kambwili's lawyer Keith Mweemba told AFP. Mweemba said that Kambwili was detained by police and would appear in court on Friday. Kambwili, a lawmaker from the governing Patriotic...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/21/18)
TORONTO/LONDON (Reuters) - Canada’s First Quantum Minerals said on Wednesday that it disputes a 76.5 billion Zambian kwacha ($8.07 billion) bill by Zambia’s tax agency for unpaid duties on imports to its Sentinel mine between January 2012 and December 2017. Zambia has reduced “significant” tax assessments against it in the past, First Quantum said on a conference call. But the company would not speculate on any outcome of a review of the government’s claim, which could take up to six months. The bill comprises $150 million for higher import duties, $2.1 billion in penalties and $5.7 billion in interest, said First Quantum, which owns two copper....
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Forty-four African countries have signed an agreement establishing a free trade area seen as vital to the continent's economic development, the head of the African Union said Wednesday. "The agreement establishing the CFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area) was signed by 44 countries," said Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the AU commission. The creation of a free trade area -- billed as the world's largest -- comes after two years of negotiations, and is one of the AU's flagship projects...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/18)
The EU warned African and other countries on Wednesday that their citizens will find it harder to get visas to Europe if they refuse to readmit economic migrants under the bloc's efforts to curb migration. Brussels has been seeking greater cooperation from such countries to take back irregular migrants since Europe was hit in 2015 with its worst migration crisis since World War II. "I cannot understand how a country can refuse to take back its nationals" when they have...
(AFP (eng) 03/12/18)
No one sells them openly, no one admits to owning one, and no one has been arrested -- but Zambia is waging a fierce campaign against sex dolls. The government launched the crackdown on the sex toys last month, threatening offenders with heavy jail terms over the dolls which, it says, are "very unnatural". The action has propelled the issue of sex dolls to the top of the news agenda and made them a hot topic of conversation and debate on social media, dividing opinion in the largely conservative southern African country. "Being a Christian nation, obviously we are anchored in Christian principles and one of the values is morality...
(AFP (eng) 03/09/18)
A thousand artists from over 50 countries will gather in Ivory Coast on Saturday for a week-long festival of African music, theatre, dance, comedy, slam poetry and storytelling. The 10th edition of the biannual Market for African Performing Arts, known by its French initials as MASA, will mark the 25th anniversary of the event. This year's crop of artists come from all over Africa and the African diaspora in Japan, Haiti and Canada, performing in the economic capital Abidjan and...
(AFP (eng) 02/26/18)
Zambian Justin Shonga scored a brilliant goal Sunday as Orlando Pirates beat Chippa United 4-2 and became the leading challengers to South African Premiership leaders Mamelodi Sundowns. The away victory for the Soweto Buccaneers after a thriller in eastern coastal city Port Elizabeth lifted them to 36 points, four less than the pacesetters with eight rounds remaining. With Pirates holding on to a 3-2 lead deep into stoppage time, Shonga unleashed an angled shot from the edge of the box...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
About 224 million people are suffering from malnutrition across Africa as climate change and conflicts heighten food insecurity across the continent, a top UN food agency official said Monday. The official, speaking at a conference on Africa organised by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said the situation was a "cause of concern" as the continent's population was expected to reach 1.7 billion by 2030. "Under-nourishment appears to have increased from about 21 percent to nearly 23 percent between...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/09/18)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Poor rains and crop infestations in southern Africa are threatening deeper hunger across the region, with millions of people, particularly children, at risk, the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday. “Given that the region has barely emerged from three years of very damaging El Nino-induced drought, this is a particularly cruel blow,” Brian Bogart, WFP’s regional program advisor, said in a statement. Large swathes of land across the region, from South Africa to Zambia,...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU's Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. "I don't see it is in the...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Israel began warning thousands of African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Immigration authority spokeswoman...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Megastar Rihanna vowed she would "never stop fighting" to get millions of children back in school on Friday as French President Emmanuel Macron promised a major boost in foreign aid for education in developing nations. Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation's global ambassador. "We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Rihanna on Thursday used her star power to urge key governments to commit to ensuring education for the world's poorest as she takes part in an international conference in Senegal. The chart-topping singer arrived in the capital Dakar where she on Friday will join the Global Partnership for Education talks co-hosted by Senegalese President Macky Sall and French leader Emmanuel Macron. Rihanna, the fourth most followed person on Twitter with 86 million followers, took to social media to urge Macron,...
(AFP (eng) 01/31/18)
Zambian police are searching for two young women suspected of breaking the conservative country's tough anti-homosexuality laws after images of them in intimate poses surfaced on social media, officers said Wednesday. The photographs, published by local media, show two young women relaxing together apparently in a bar or club and include a shot of one of the pair resting her head on her companion's chest. President Edgar Lungu, who was re-elected in 2016, has spoken out strongly against gay rights, despite pressure from donor countries that provide essential aid to the country.
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
A former Zambian minister and fierce critic of President Edgar Lungu will face trial after pleading not guilty to fraud charges on Monday following his arrest last week. Investigators accuse ex-foreign minister Chishimba Kambwili of forging a signature on an official document and he appeared in court surrounded by hundreds of police officers who blocked access to the hearing. "I understand the charges your honour and I plead not guilty," lawmaker Kambwili, 50, told the court, denying the alleged offences which court documents showed date back to October 2013. Magistrate David Simusamba set the trial date for March 6. Kambwili has previously accused Lungu of corruption and theft and, while still a member of the president's party...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
President Donald Trump said the United States "deeply respects" Africans and will dispatch its top diplomat to the continent, in a letter to African leaders seen by AFP on Sunday. The letter sent last week comes after Trump provoked a firestorm of indignation among African nations earlier in January when he reportedly called them "shithole countries" during a meeting with lawmakers in Washington. While Trump has denied the remarks, they are expected to be formally condemned by the 55 member states of the African Union during their ongoing summit in the Ethiopian capital. "I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa, and my commitment to strong and respectful relationships...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
US President Donald Trump on Friday asked the African Union chairman to pass on his "warmest regards" to other regional leaders at a summit this weekend, after sparking outrage with a reported slur against Africans. Trump met Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some African business leaders say they are planning to boycott Trump's closing speech later Friday. The outspoken US leader congratulated Kagame on taking over as chair of the 55-nation African bloc, which Trump said was a "great honour". "I know you're going to your first meeting shortly. Please give my warmest regards," Trump told Kagame after they held a one-on-one meeting at the forum.
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
The oldest remains of a modern human outside Africa have been dug up in Israel, offering evidence of what genetic studies have already suggested -- that humans migrated out of Africa some 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. Facial fragments, including a jawbone and several teeth, were found at a site called Misliya Cave in Israel, one of several prehistoric cave sites located on Mount Carmel. The bones date to between 174,000 and 188,000 years old, said the report in...

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