Wednesday 20 September 2017
(Bloomberg 08/24/17)
Every African nation that’s sold dollar debt now has at least one junk rating, but it would be hard to tell by looking at the bond market. The average yield on sovereign Eurobonds in Africa has hovered near the lowest level in two years this month, according to a Standard Bank Group Ltd. index, even after Moody’s Investors Service cut Namibia to below investment grade on Aug. 11. The world’s biggest producer of marine diamonds had been the continent’s only dollar-bond issuer without a junk rating. A low interest rate environment in the developed world has encouraged investors to look past the problems plaguing African economies, including low commodity prices, dollar shortages in some of them and rising political tension...
(Bloomberg 08/23/17)
Glencore Plc’s copper unit in Zambia said a dispute over electricity fees that has already led to reduced power supply may result in the dismissal of 4,700 workers. Copperbelt Energy Corp. lowered supplies to Mopani Copper Mines after the company refused to pay new power prices introduced by the government at the start of the year. Mopani said the fee increase wasn’t part of its agreement with Copperbelt. Mopani, which employs about 15,000 people including contractors, has notified the government of the planned job losses, Labor Minister Joyce Nonde-Simukoko said by phone. “It has become necessary for Mopani Copper Mines to curtail some areas of its operations due to the restriction of power,” the Glencore unit said in an emailed...
(APA 08/23/17)
Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, 56 may have been in detention for 127 days charged for treason after a row over the presidential motorcade, but several players say, the detention has instead bolstered his chances of winning the 2021 poll. Hichillema, the perennial rival in the country’s past six polls, having closely trailed and marginally behind late Rupiah Banda and Michael Sata, narrowly lost last year’s August 16 poll to incumbent, Edgar Lungu, 60 on 47 percent, against the latter’s 50.1 percent under the new constitution’s provision of 50 +1 percent-winner taking the seat. In the aftermath of the detention and subsequent release of Hichilema by The Lusaka High Court Judge, Charles Chanda, after Lilian Siyuni, Director of Public Prosecution...
(Xinhuanet 08/23/17)
China is dedicated to enhancing its cooperation with Africa in human resource development through knowledge and technology transfer, a Chinese diplomat said Tuesday. Liu Tao, Charge d'Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, made the remarks at the Chinese Government Training Program Fellowship Reception in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. He said China, since the year 2000, has sent over 2,000 agricultural experts and over 7,000 medical personnel to Africa, and has trained more than 80,000 Africans from more than 50 countries. China has pledged that it would, in three years, train 200,000 technicians and provide 40,000 training opportunities in China, and will offer 30,000 government scholarships, he said. Stating that 1,100 Ethiopian candidates are invited this year to attend short-term...
(Lusaka Times 08/22/17)
Trial has failed to take off in a case in which Veteran Politician William Banda and 10 other United Party for National Development (UPND) cadres are charged with the offence of obstruction of police officers. This is because one of the suspects and the prosecutor handling the matter were not before the court. The suspects include William Banda, Gilbert Liswaniso, UPND Leader Hakainde Hichilema’s press Secretary Brian Mwiinga and others. In this matter, it is alleged that the suspects obstructed police officers when they tried to stop them from arresting Mr. Hichilema on April 10, 2017.
(Lusaka Times 08/22/17)
Mopani Mines has announced that it will have to close several areas of its operations which may affect a total of 4,700 direct employees if power supply restrictions continue. In a statement, Mopani says it has become necessary to curtail some areas of its operations due to the restriction of power by Copperbelt Energy Corporation. It says the decision has been necessitated by the unilateral action by CEC to restrict power supply without notice and against the provisions of the Power Supply Agreement. “We are operating under a Power Supply Agreement dated the 31st March 2000, that was most recently amended on the 6th March 2015, and is valid until 2040. The PSA strictly sets out the agreed tariff and...
(Lusaka Times 08/22/17)
United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema says he is not an angry man despite being in detention for four months on trumped up treason charges. And Hichilema says he has paid the price for agitating constitutional basic rights through his four-month detention over alleged treason charges. Meanwhile, the opposition leader has also said he wishes no one to be imprisoned because prison life is so horrible such that even prison warders are prisoners. Hichilema, Hamusonde Hamaleka, Muleya Hachinda, Laston Mulilanduba, Pretorius Haloba and Wallace Chakawa who were arrested in April, charged with treason, walked to freedom after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Lillian Siyunyi discontinued their case on August 16.
(Lusaka Times 08/22/17)
Seven mining companies in North western and Copperbelt Provinces have started paying the revised electricity tariffs. These are Konkola Copper mines, Barrick, Luanshya Mines, Kansanshi, Chambeshi Mines and the Non-Ferrous mining Company among others. The Chambers of Mines has confirmed the development to ZNBC News. And First Quantum Minerals Country representative General Kingsley Chinkuli says negotiations are currently under way with the Ministry of Energy over the revised tariffs. General Chinkuli says First Quantum Minerals the owners of Kalumbila and Kansanshi mines will issue a comprehensive statement on the matter today. Meanwhile, stakeholders in the mining sector have urged Mopani Copper Mines to pay for the revised electricity tariffs to foster economic development and job creation in the Country. The...
(Lusaka Times 08/22/17)
Former Chipata Mayor Jealous Phiri has committed suicide. Eastern Province Police Chief Alex Chilufya confirmed the death of Mr. Phiri 66 in a statement. Mr. Chilufya said Mr. Phiri ended his life after taking Doom pesticide. He said the Former Civic Leader was facing several cases of obtaining money by false pretences and was on police bond in one of the cases. “He was found dead in his car this morning around 05:00 hours. Mr Chilufya said he was found on the driver’s seat in his car with foam coming out of his nostrils and an empty container of doom pesticides was found besides the body. “He parked his car in Chipata primary school football ground before taking his life...
(Xinhuanet 08/22/17)
African officials on Monday called for urgent infrastructural development and regional integration to boost the continent's economy. At the Infrastructure Africa 2017 in Johannesburg, Zambian Minister of Finance Felix Mutati encouraged Africans to speedily address infrastructural deficit. "We have to inject some sense of urgency in ourselves. If we remain captured by business as usual, we are headed for disaster," said Mutati at the opening ceremony of the two-day event. "Competitiveness in Africa is being constrained by infrastructure deficit. We need about 93 billion U.S. dollars every year to address the infrastructure gap in the continent. We need to urgently implement projects," he said. Mutati said Africa has to narrow focus to innovative financing and design, better use of existing...
(Lusaka Times 08/22/17)
Zambian Photographer Chellah Tukuta Rancen was awarded the African Photographer of the year and the Lens Awards in Nigeria. He had this to say on social media: ” This is the beginning of hard work and am happy to have represented my country Mother Zambia at Continental level. I would love to dedicate this award to the woman who has seen me work my nose out Chanda Chibs, to my lovely and beautiful daughter Malumbo Joy Grace Tukuta, My mother Blesta Mpundu Mulenga who always told me one day I will be great, Yonah my new son adopted, to our leaders both in the ruling and opposition parties and above all to our current president Edgar Chagwa Lungu and to...
(Xinhuanet 08/21/17)
The Zambian government on Monday backed down on its earlier decision to introduce mandatory HIV testing, saying testing will not be forced on citizens. Last week, President Edgar Lungu declared that his government had introduced mandatory HIV testing and that anyone who visits a health facility for any ailment will be tested for HIV as well. But the announcement caused an uproar, with some stakeholders saying it was against human rights as testing should be consented to by the individual. But Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya said in all HIV testing, the health practitioners will be seeking the consent of the patients and that patients will have the option of opting out if they do not want to be tested...
(Xinhuanet 08/21/17)
The following are news highlights in Zambia's major media outlets on Monday. -- Trade between Zambia and the European Union (EU) stood at 142.26 million euros in the first quarter of this year representing a decrease from the 187.79 million euros recorded during the same period last year. The EU imported goods worth 59.6 million euros from Zambia and exported goods worth 82.66 million euros during the first quarter of the year, according to figures released by the EU office in Zambia. (Times of Zambia) -- Zambia has signed the Southern African Development Community (SADC) protocol on gender and development aimed at promoting 50-50 gender parity in political and decision-making positions. President Edgar Lungu signed the protocol during the just-ended...
(Bloomberg 08/21/17)
GreenWish Partners, a renewable energy company run by a former Morgan Stanley executive, is planning to invest $800 million on solar-powered telecommunications towers across Africa. The project could fuel economic growth by providing power for essential services. Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest rates of energy access in the world and is home to about half of the world’s 1.2 billion people without reliable electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. The problem extends to businesses as well as households, cutting into productivity and growth. “We reduce the total cost of power by 30 percent,” said Charlotte Aubin-Kalaidjian, the founder and chief executive officer of GreenWish, who was formerly a managing director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. “Smaller towers can run...
(Lusaka Times 08/18/17)
Opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has given a chilling account of his 127-day stay in prison describing his experience as terrible torture. And Mr. Hichilema has refused to state whether he will now recognize President Edgar Lungu as duly elected Head of State now that he has been freed. In an interview with the BBC’s Kennedy Gondwe from his New Kasama residence, Mr. Hichilema said his stay in prison was dehumanizing. He said a lot of torture goes on in Zambian prisons describing the facilities as death chambers. Mr. Hichilema who was released on Wednesday disclosed that a lot of deaths occur in prison and go unreported. The UPND leader said his stay in prison was terrible and that he was...
(Lusaka Times 08/18/17)
President Edgar Lungu has challenged people threatening to take the newly introduced compulsory Testing, Counseling and Treatment for HIV to court to go ahead. Speaking to the media at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport before departure for Rwanda, President Lungu wondered why some people are lamenting that their human rights are being violated when he is concerned about their welfare. The President said that there was no need for Zambians to worry over the newly introduced compulsory Testing, Counseling and Treatment for HIV because there will be strict confidentiality. The President said that individuals’ privacy is guaranteed because their results will remain between them and the health practitioner. The President said those found to be positive will be treated so...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema walked free from prison Wednesday after treason charges against him were dropped, averting a trial that threatened turmoil in the southern African nation. Hichilema, whose trial was due to begin in the morning, had been in custody since April over allegedly failing to give way to President Edgar Lungu's motorcade. After his release, he described his detention as "brutal" and vowed to use his imprisonment to bolster the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) that he leads. "This is where we commence our walk to true freedom," he told cheering supporters.
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
Hakainde Hichilema, who was released from custody after treason charges against him were dropped, is a self-made entrepreneur who has made five unsuccessful attempts to become the Zambian president. He alleges that the 2016 election was rigged and, as leader of the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND), he has refused to recognise President Edgar Lungu. Hichilema, 55, accused the authorities of election fraud, and of undermining his campaign by banning rallies and allowing violent attacks on his activists. An articulate speaker, he drew large crowds to his rallies, ran a slick social media campaign and worked hard to shed his image as an elitist lacking the common touch. But he again failed to win office by a slim...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/16/17)
Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema was freed by a judge on Wednesday after the state prosecutor dropped charges against him of plotting to overthrow the government. Hichilema and five others were arrested in April and charged with treason after his convoy failed to make way for President Edgar Lungu's motorcade. His release could help defuse tensions in the southern African country, where Lungu imposed a state of emergency in July. "The DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) has decided to terminate these proceedings by virtue of her constitutional powers. Therefore, you're hereby discharged," said high court judge Charles Chanda. The case has heightened political friction in Zambia, seen as one of Africa's more stable democracies, after a bruising election last year...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/16/17)
Private equity house EMR Capital has purchased an 80 percent stake in a Zambian copper mine from African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) and its partner for $97.10 million, ARM said on Tuesday. The 80 percent indirect interest in Lubambe Mine, held equally by ARM and Vale International includes the equity holding in Lubambe Mine as well as loans to the mine, and will be settled in cash contingent on certain conditions being met, ARM said in a statement. "We are pleased to enter into an agreement to acquire Lubambe which offers exceptional quality and growth potential and which will substantially enhance the value and depth of our copper portfolio," EMR Chief Executive Officer Jason Chang said. EMR has closed its second...

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