Wednesday 23 August 2017
(AFP (eng) 08/14/17)
International media in Zambia were barred from a court Monday where opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema was due to appear on treason charges in a case that has fuelled political tensions. The High Court in Lusaka issued press accreditation cards to foreign media outlets last week but later withdrew them. "We initially withdrew the cards to activate the barcodes in good faith (but) unfortunately your applications have now been rejected," Neto Zulu, senior assistant registrar at the court, told AFP and other media outlets. A large number of police officers were on duty at the court, where Hichilema was due to enter a plea to the treason charges. President Edgar Lungu has denied allegations of a crackdown on dissent in Zambia...
(AFP (eng) 08/14/17)
Zambia's detained opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema is due to appear in court Monday on treason charges, four months after he was arrested and as political tensions rise in the country. Hichilema, who narrowly lost last year's presidential elections, has been in custody since April over an incident when he allegedly failed to give way to President Edgar Lungu's motorcade. A lawyer from his United Party for National Development (UPND) told AFP that the party expected the charges to be dropped and for Hichilema to walk free. "They don't have a case against him. We are certain that he will come out tomorrow," the party lawyer, who declined to be named, told AFP on Sunday. Lungu invoked emergency powers in July,...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/14/17)
LUSAKA (Reuters) - Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, a longtime rival of President Edgar Lungu, denied plotting to overthrow the government when he appeared in a Lusaka court on Monday in a case that has heightened political friction in the country. Government and legal sources told Reuters on Sunday the government planned to drop the treason charges against Hichilema and release him from prison under a deal brokered by the Commonwealth secretary-general. But a government source said later that the application to discontinue the case would now be made on Wednesday. Hichilema -- commonly known as HH -- and five others were arrested in April and charged with treason after Hichilema's convoy failed to make way for Lungu's motorcade. He...
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead next year, Gates said in an interview in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s commercial capital. “It’s quite clear that they won’t make those drastic cuts,” Gates said. “I’m hopeful they won’t make any cuts at all, but that’s still subject to...
(Bloomberg 08/11/17)
Zambian President Edgar Lungu and jailed opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema have agreed to hold talks to resolve their political differences, a Commonwealth official said. The discussions will be facilitated by the office of the Commonwealth, the intergovernmental organization’s secretary-general, Patricia Scotland, told reporters Wednesday in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka. The country’s main opposition leader has been in prison for more than 100 days awaiting trial on treason charges and refuses to accept Lungu as the winner of last year’s presidential elections. Lungu invoked emergency measures last month in response to a fire at a market the government has blamed on opposition supporters.
(Reuters (Eng) 08/11/17)
British company Tullow Oil on Friday started exploring for oil and gas in Zambia, Africa's No.2 copper producer, as the country pushes to diversify its economy and reduce its reliance on the industrial metal. Copper mining earns Zambia more than 70 percent of its foreign exchange but the southern African state has been trying to move into other commodities to insulate itself from price shocks. Zambia does not produce oil, but the government says soil samples sent to European laboratories have shown good traces of crude. Tullow Executive Vice President Ian Cloke said in a speech during the launch in northern Zambia that exploration would take between two and 10 years, development three to 10 years and production 20-50 years...
(Lusaka Times 08/11/17)
President Edgar Lungu and UPND Leader Hakainde Hichilema have finally agreed to dialogue on the current political situation in the country arising from last year’s disputed general election. Visiting Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland who has brokered the truce has told a media briefing in Lusaka that the two leaders have willingly decided to forget about last year’s elections and engage in meaningful dialogue. Ms Scotland said that both President Lungu and Mr. Hichilema are committed to the values and aspirations set out in the Commonwealth Charter, of peace and harmony particularly in this peace building year of the Commonwealth. Ms Scotland said that the two leaders have agreed to a process of dialogue, facilitated through the office of the...
(Lusaka Times 08/11/17)
‘IT IS DIALOGUE AND NOT RECOGNITION’ The United Party for National Development distances itself from the Times of Zambia headline “HH recognises EL” The headline in the Times of Zambia is misleading and inaccurate, with an intent to create an impression to the people of Zambia that President Hakainde Hichilema has recognised Patriotic Front President Edgar Lungu as Republican President when actually not. The statement made by Secretary General of the Commonwealth Patricia Scotland was very clear and it outlined the process of dialogue pursuant to Commonwealth principles of good practice, governance and rule of law. There was no mention that President Hakainde Hichilema recognised President Lungu as Republican President. I would like to put it on record that the...
(NPR 08/11/17)
You don't have to convince Likezo Nasilele that giving people a small but steady stream of cash with no strings attached may be the smartest way to fix poverty. Just a few years ago Nasilele and her husband, Chipopa Lyoni, couldn't even afford to feed their four children properly. Then Nasilele, who lives in a rural village in Western Zambia, lucked into an experimental government program that has provided her with up to $18 every other month. In the 2 1/2 years since, she and her husband have more than doubled the money by using it to start several businesses. "We've crossed from poverty to a better life," marvels Nasilele. "We're set up now!" Hundreds of other families in the...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
Zambian police on Thursday released the leader of a small opposition party who is a fierce critic of President Edgar Lungu after one week in detention, party officials said. Savior Chishimba, leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP), was detained by plain-clothed police, triggering further accusations that Lungu was overseeing a crackdown on dissent. "Our party president has been released unconditionally, meaning he will not go to court," Mbaita Musendeka, the party secretary general, told AFP. "The police had claimed he defamed the president but they have decided to discontinue the matter." Hakainde Hichilema, leader of the main opposition United Party for National Development (UPND), has been in jail since April and is due to appear in court on treason...
(Bloomberg 08/10/17)
Zambia’s central bank cut its benchmark lending rate for a third time this year as inflation remained below the government’s target. The Bank of Zambia lowered the rate to 11 percent from 12.5 percent, Governor Denny Kalyalya told reporters Thursday in Lusaka, the capital. That’s the lowest level since February 2014. The southern African nation’s consumer inflation rate is near the lowest since 2013, with this year’s record harvest of corn, which is used to make a local porridge, leading to lower food prices. A reduction in fuel costs this month could also ease inflationary pressure in the continent’s second-biggest copper producer, which has been struggling with ballooning budget deficits as metal prices fell and state spending rose. Inflation will...
(Xinhuanet 08/10/17)
Zambia's central bank on Thursday cut its benchmark lending rate, a key determinant for interest rates, by 150 basis points. The Bank of Zambia (BoZ) cut the benchmark lending rate from 12.5 percent to 11 percent, citing lower annual inflation and subdued economic growth. "Inflation has been declining and we see that it will remain within the medium term target range of 6-8 percent. We also noted that economic growth has been sluggish," Denny Kalyalya, the central bank governor said in a statement. The central bank also reduced the statutory reserve ratio by 300 basis points to 9.5 percent from 12.5 percent, he added. The central bank further said economic growth prospects over the medium term are expected to improve...
(Xinhuanet 08/10/17)
The Zambian government on Thursday said it will foster economic diplomacy with the United States so that the southern African nation can receive the best from President Donald Trump's administration. The Zambian embassy in the United States said the country has benefited a lot from the U.S. government which has remained the country's biggest bilateral partner through programs in education and health. In a statement, the embassy noted that the U.S. government has been in the forefront of helping Zambia deal with serious challenges such as HIV/AIDS through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a U.S. government initiative to address the global HIV/AIDS epidemic and help save the lives of those suffering from the disease, primarily in Africa...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the word for "ancestor" in the Turkana language of Kenya, where the lemon-sized skull was unearthed. The sole specimen is that of an infant that would have grown to weigh about 11 kilogrammes (24 pounds) in adulthood. It had a brain...
(Lusaka Times 08/09/17)
State house has reported that following the conclusion of the Zambian leg of her four-nation tour, Patricia Scotland, QC, the Secretary General of the Commonwealth will today hold a news conference at 17:00 hours Zambian time at Lusaka’s Intercontinental Hotel. The Commonwealth Secretary General will then proceed to Tanzania as a third country of her visit and conclude her regional tour with a visit to Mozambique. Her first point of call was Uganda before proceeding to Zambia. During her visit to Zambia, the Secretary General held a series of meetings with various State and non State actors. According to the statement , she met with His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, Her Honour Mrs...
(Lusaka Times 08/09/17)
Roan PF Member of Parliament Chishimba Kambwili and expelled PF former Chimwemwe MP Mwenya Musenge arrived in Monze today to hold talks with some Tonga Chiefs. They are in Monze to formally apologise to the Tonga speaking people over Mr Kambwili’s anti-Tonga remarks last year. Then as Chief Government Spokesman, Mr Kambwili said Tongas are so tribal such that they would rather vote for Hakainde Hichilema and not for Jesus Christ if Jesus contested elections. His statement enraged many Zambians who condemned Mr Kambwili describing the remarks as tribal. Mr Kambwili has since issued an apology following his expulsion from the PF and promised to travel to Southern Province to formally apologise. Today, Mr. Kambwili in the company of Mr...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
Authorities in Zambia have arrested 30 Tanzanians for working without permits, the immigration department said on Wednesday. The Tanzanians were arrested last Thursday in eastern Zambia's Petauke district where they were conducting illegal mining activities, according to Immigration Department spokesperson Namati Nshinka. The Tanzanians, who are currently in police custody, will appear in court soon, he added. In June, authorities arrested 19 other Tanzanians in the same district over illegal gold mining. The eastern part of Zambia has recorded an increase in foreigners, especially Tanzanians, conducting illegal mining activities. Recently, authorities in the province revealed that about 5,000 people were involved in illegal mining activities in the province.
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal of establishing a true partnership for the future", Lighthizer said. "By lowering barriers and tackling other constraints that impede trade and investment, we are poised to see U.S.-Africa trade flourish", he said, underscoring that "much more work needs to be...
(Lusaka Times 08/08/17)
Former Kafue PF Member of Parliament Obvious Mwaliteta and all his co-accused has been acquitted by the Lusaka High Court on charges of aggravated robbery. Mwaliteta, 47, of Kafue, Evans Mukobela, 45, of Matero, MacMillan Shimukonka, 34, of Twin Palm, Laswell Phiri, 43, of Lilanda, and Emanuel Mumbi of unknown age and address were arrested and charged for intercepting records of election results, a day before President Edgar Lungu was declared winner of August, 2016 elections. The court heard that Mr Mwaliteta was at the ECZ premise though there is no evidence from the state linking him to the crime. The court ruled that it cannot assume that the other co-accused Fred hamaamba was at the scene and found nothing...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Tuesday's action at the World Athletics Championships sees two of the most intriguing races of the program as South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk bids for the first half of his 400/200 meters double and Nigel Amos goes for gold in the men's 800m. World record holder and defending champion Van Niekerk should be unbeatable in the 400m but faces a stiff challenge, not least from Botswanan duo Isaac Makwala and Thebe Baboloki. Another Botswanan, Amos, will also have to be at his best in the 800m, where a clutch of athletes are suddenly dreaming of glory in the absence of Kenya's injured champion David Rudisha. Kenya is expected to continue its dominance of the men's 3,000m steeplechase - though American...

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