Tuesday 27 June 2017
(AFP (eng) 04/20/17)
Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema will remain in custody until at least next week after a court said Thursday it would rule on his application to have treason charges against him dropped. Hichilema was arrested last week for allegedly blocking President Edgar Lungu's motorcade while both were travelling to a traditional event in Zambia's Western province. Hichilema's lawyers asked the court to throw out the treason charges. Magistrate Greenwell Malumani said he needed time to study the submissions and would rule on the application next Wednesday. "The issues involved are many and complex and therefore I cannot hurriedly make a ruling," Malumani said. Hichilema, a wealthy businessman, has been detained since police raided his Lusaka home on April 11. He...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start operating in Kenya, where the London-based business sees Africa’s highest number of individual transactions. “In the next two years we should be doubling our volume every year,” Ahmed said in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The continent accounted for half the company’s...
(AFP (eng) 04/19/17)
Lawyers for the Zambian opposition leader arrested last week after allegedly refusing to give way to President Edgar Lungu's convoy have asked a court to throw out an associated treason charge. Hakainde Hichilema has been jailed since the police raided his home outside Lusaka on April 11 on charges of breaking the highway code and using insulting language. But the businessman-turned-politician is also accused of treason. According to court documents, Hichilema "on unknown dates but between 10 October 2016 and 8 April 2017 and whilst acting together with other persons unknown did endeavour to overthrow by unlawful means the government of Edgar Lungu."
(Bloomberg 04/19/17)
Zambia, Africa’s second-largest copper producer, plans to reach an aid deal for as much as $1.6 billion with the International Monetary Fund by the end of April, Finance Minister Felix Mutati said. Bond yields fell. “At the moment we know that we can get up to $1.6 billion -- if you ask me, I’d go for the maximum,” he said in an interview Monday in the capital, Lusaka. “Hopefully the program can be presented to the board sometime end of June, beginning of July.” The country has been talking about getting IMF aid since 2014, but resisted after two presidential elections since then made the required reforms politically unattractive. The country’s fiscal deficit has risen, foreign-exchange reserves have declined, and...
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
The Zambian government will complain to the Nigerian authorities following a statement from that country's former President Olusegun Obasanjo over the political situation in the country. Last week, the former Nigerian leader appealed to the Zambian government to adhere to the rule of law and human rights principles in dealing with opposition political parties following the arrest of the country's leading opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema who has been charged with treason. In a statement released by his media aide, Obasanjo said it was in the best interest of the country to maintain the rule of law and human rights principles which were a recipe for peace, stability and development not only in Zambia but the entire African continent. But Amos...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/19/17)
Zambia opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, arrested last week on suspicion of treason, was charged in a magistrate's court on Tuesday with trying to overthrow the government. Relations between the government and opposition have been raw since last August, when President Edgar Lungu's Patriotic Front (PF) party beat Hichilema's United Party for National Development (UPND) in a vote the opposition says was rigged. Police in Africa's No. 2 copper-producing country raided Hichilema's house on April 11 to arrest him and he was initially charged with treason for obstructing Lungu's motorcade. In court on Tuesday, he was charged with treason in that "(he together with other persons did prepare or endeavored to overthrow by unlawful means the government" between Oct. 10 last...
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, will convene Wedesday the first UN-AU Annual Conference. The two leaders will look into how to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations to face common challenges and opportunities in the continent, on issues of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, said Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman, at a daily briefing. "They will also sign the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security," said Dujarric. It will be the first conference Mahamat will address with the United Nation since he was elected as chairperson of the African Union Commission. Although he had brief talks with Guterres in Addis...
(AFP (eng) 04/18/17)
Zambia's main opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema on Tuesday claimed he was assault by police during his arrest as he appeared in court on charges of obstructing the presidential motorcade. The leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND), who appeared before a magistrates court, is facing two separate charges over the alleged incident, which occurred on the weekend of April 8-9. One of the charges is treason which will be heard at a later date in the High Court. Police went to arrest him on April 11, with Hichilema telling the magistrate that they had attacked and tear-gassed him in an ordeal that lasted 15 hours. "We were attacked by criminals in police uniforms," he said. "They came without...
(Bloomberg 04/18/17)
Zambia’s main opposition party called for the immediate release of its leader, Hakainde Hichilema, who was charged with treason this week for failing to move off the road for the president’s motorcade. Hichilema wasn’t driving the vehicle that allegedly obstructed the president and the charges are politically motivated, the United Party for National Development Vice President Geoffrey Mwamba told reporters Thursday in the capital, Lusaka. Mwamba said he’s also being targeted for arrest. “This was a pre-planned move to arrest Hakainde Hichilema,” he said. “I’m also on the chopping board. They’re also coming to arrest me.” The treason charge followed months of tension between the opposition and the government.
(AFP (eng) 04/18/17)
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday forecast 2.6 percent growth in sub-Saharan Africa this year, aided by a modest recovery in large economies South Africa, Nigeria and Angola. "Growth is projected to rise to 2.6 percent in 2017 and 3.5 percent in 2018, largely driven by specific factors in the largest economies, which faced challenging macroeconomic conditions in 2016," the IMF said its latest World Economic Outlook report. A slump in commodity price in 2016 and devastating drought had affected growth in several countries in the region, resulting in 1.4 percent growth of gross domestic product (GDP). Nigeria, the continent's most populous nation and a leading oil producer, was expected to return to growth in 2017 after a challenging 2016...
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that all the information people give them before they start their journey are wrong," said Nantcha. The group’s leader Sylvie Nantcha was born in Cameroon. She has lived in the German town of Freiburg for 25 years. She arrived as a...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/14/17)
Zambian police denied on Thursday that opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema had been refused access to his lawyers and family since his arrest this week but his attorney insisted this was the case in an intensifying political crisis. Hichilema was arrested on Tuesday and charged with treason for allegedly obstructing President Edgar Lungu's motorcade, raising the political temperature in Africa's No. 2 copper producing country. Relations between government and opposition have been tense since August, when Lungu's Patriotic Front (PF) party beat Hichilema's United Party for National Development (UPND) in a vote the opposition says was rigged. A hearing is to be held on Tuesday to determine
(Xinhuanet 04/14/17)
Chinese telecom giant Huawei on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding with Zambia's biggest public university for an Information Communication Technology (ICT) development program aimed at boosting knowledge in learners. The Chinese firm signed the deal with the University of Zambia (UNZA) for the establishment of a Huawei Authorized Network Academy and Practice Center at the learning institution situated in Lusaka, the country's capital. Thomas Hu, the company's country director, said the program includes the provision of wireless, transmission, optical fiber access and solar power courses and equipment from Huawei as well as a laboratory to allow students to get hands-on practices. The program, he said, will enhance the empowerment and skill transfer of the ICT talents in Zambia. Under...
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
The Zambian opposition UPND party called Thursday for the immediate release of its leader Hakainde Hichilema, who is due to appear in court next week on treason charges. The treason charges relate to Hichilema's convoy allegedly refusing to give way to President Lungu's motorcade on a main road in the west of the country at the weekend. Hichilema's arrest has fanned political tensions in Zambia, where the United Party for National Development (UPND) refuses to accept last year's election result when President Edgar Lungu retained power. Hichilema, known as "HH", has been denied access to lawyers, his party said, calling for supporters to protest outside court at the hearing due on Tuesday. "We are demanding the immediate and unconditional release...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/13/17)
Detained Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, who has been charged with treason, has been denied access to his lawyers, his United Party for National Development (UPND) said on Thursday. "Hakainde Hichilema has now been denied access to see his lawyers, which is a basic human and constitutional right for detainees to meet their clients," party spokesman Charles Kakoma said in a statement. Police could not be reached for comment.
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
Africa's Matabele ants, fierce predators of termites, rescue their wounded soldiers and bring them back to the nest where they are "treated," a new study showed Wednesday. This helping behavior for the injured is the first to be detected in the insect world, according to an article in the US journal Science Advances by a German research team at the University of Wuerzburg's Biocentre. The ants, formally known as Megaponera analis, are widespread south of the Sahara on the continent. Two to four times a day, they set out in long files on raids to kill worker termites at their foraging sites. But the attacks meet strong resistance from soldier termites guarding the worker termites, which have powerful jaws that...
(AFP (eng) 04/12/17)
Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has been charged with treason after allegedly refusing to give way to President Edgar Lungu's motorcade on a main road, police said Wednesday. Hichilema, who says he does not recognise Lungu as president, was accused of deliberately endangering his life in the high-speed incident at the weekend. "The opposition leader disobeyed police orders to give way to the presidential motorcade in an attempt to put the life of the republican president in danger," police chief Kakoma Kanganja told reporters in Lusaka. "The actions... were unreasonable, reckless and criminal." Hichilema and five aides from the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) have been
(Reuters (Eng) 04/12/17)
Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has been arrested and will be charged with treason for allegedly obstructing President Edgar Lungu's motorcade, the national police chief said on Wednesday. On Saturday, Lungu had passed through Mongu, 500 km (300 miles) west of the capital Lusaka and his motorcade was obstructed because Hichilema's refused to give way, police said. They raided Hichilema's house early on Tuesday took him in for questioning. The two men are old rivals, with Lungu beating Hichilema narrowly in two presidential elections. The Patriotic Front (PF) leader only just won last August's vote, which the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) says was rigged. "It has been established that the opposition leader disobeyed police orders to clear...
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
El Nino, the cyclical climatic phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, is linked to shifts in cholera cases in Africa, providing an early warning that could save lives, scientists said Monday. During the years when El Nino is warming the eastern Pacific, East Africa has about 50,000 additional cholera cases a year, new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests. By contrast, the years when El Nino is not active, there were 30,000 fewer cholera cases in East Africa, according to the study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers analyzed more than 17,000 annual observations from 3,710 different locations between 2000 and 2014 in Africa, which has the most...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/07/17)
Access to off-grid solar energy in rural areas of Africa goes beyond lighting up homes - it also enables people to connect to the wider world and boosts their economic prospects, said the head of one of the continent's biggest solar companies. Azuri Technologies' entry level solar system - for which customers pay a one-off installation fee, then use scratch cards or mobile phone payments to top up on a weekly or monthly basis - provides eight hours of lighting each day. Having power at home for the first time encourages customers to also buy mobile phones, radios and televisions, giving them regular access to the media and the internet, said Simon Bransfield-Garth, chief executive officer of UK-based Azuri. "This...

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