February 2009


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Zambia and Senegal qualified for the semi-finals of the African Nations Championship as Group A concluded on Saturday.

 

Senegal drew 0-0 with hosts Ivory Coast, while a last-gasp strike from Dennis Banda earned Zambia a 1-1 draw with Tanzania.

 

Tanzania took the lead in the 88th minute with a penalty from Shadrack Nsajigwa, and the Taifa Stars seemed to be heading into the last four of the first major competition that they have played in since 1980.

 

But Banda latched onto a corner kick and scored with a spectacular overhead shot in the fourth minute of stoppage time to put the Chipolopolo through.

 

A crowd of only 2,000 at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan watched Ivory Coast earn their sole point of the competition.

 

It was a slightly better performance from Ivory Coast, who lost their first two games, but they still failed to score at the tournament.

 

Zambia finished top of the group on goal difference, ahead of Senegal.  Group B concludes on Sunday, with all four teams in with a chance of reaching the semi-finals as DR Congo play Ghana and Zimbabwe take on Libya.

 

Story from BBC SPORT:

 

Copyrights © 2009 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom. 

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Zambia National Team - Chipolopolo ...

Zambia National Team - Chipolopolo ...

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Researchers seeking a vaccine find that the virus that causes AIDS quickly evolves into different strains to battle different populations’ genetic makeup.

 

By Mary Engel – Los Angeles Times

 

HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is one of the fastest-evolving entities known. That’s why no one has yet been able to come up with a vaccine: The virus mutates so rapidly that what works today in one person may not work tomorrow or in others.

 

A study published Wednesday in the journal Nature confirms that dizzying pace of evolution on a global scale.

 

“It’s very clear there’s a battle going on between humans and this virus, and the virus is evolving to become unrecognized by the immune system,” said Dr. Bruce Walker, one of the researchers and director of the Ragon Institute, at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “It does make clear what a huge challenge making a vaccine is.”

 

HIV evolves to escape the immune system, much in the same way that bacteria mutate under pressure by antibiotics, Walker said.

 

Researchers looked at HIV genetic sequences in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Botswana, Australia, Canada and Japan to see how they evolved in response to a key set of molecules in the human immune system, called human leukocyte antigens. These molecules direct the immune system to recognize and kill HIV and other infectious diseases.

 

 

Genes that encode human leukocyte antigens vary among humans, and even small differences can dramatically affect a person’s response to HIV infection. For example, an adult infected with HIV will survive on average about 10 years without anti-HIV drugs before developing acquired immune deficiency syndrome. But some people will progress to AIDS within a year, and others can survive without treatment for 20 years.The study published online Wednesday found that mutations occurred not just in individuals but on a population level. That is, if a particular genetic immune sequence was common in a population, the HIV mutation that evolved to escape it became the most common strain of HIV, even in those without that particular human leukocyte antigen gene.

 

“What this study does is give an explanation for why there are different HIV strains in different parts of the world,” Walker said. “The genetic makeup of people in different regions is influencing the virus in specific ways.”

 

This would appear to be bad news for the director of the newly opened Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, which was founded to develop vaccines for HIV and other infectious diseases.

 

But Walker saw the results as hopeful. He said that mutations can actually make the virus less fit — that is, unable to replicate as quickly or do as much damage. His challenge is to find what kind of pressure results in this kind of mutation.

 

Researchers from the Ragon Institute, Oxford University in England, Kumamoto University in Japan, and Royal Perth Hospital and Murdoch University in Australia analyzed the genetic sequences of HIV and human leukocyte antigen genes in 2,800 people total.

 

Zambian Chronicle has therefore concluded that the people should avoid sleeping around like dogs; stick to one partner and save their own lives. Those trying to be hoggish would simply end up with devastating sexually transmitted quagmires beyond human capacity to eradicate …

 

mary.engel@latimes.com

 

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CHINHOYI, Zimbabwe (AFP) — President Robert Mugabe told followers on Saturday at his lavish birthday party to respect the new power-sharing government but vowed to press on with seizures of white farms.

 

 

Robert Mugabe With Wife Gracia At His 85th Birthday Party

Robert Mugabe With Wife Gracia At His 85th Birthday Party

The extravagant celebrations were held against a backdrop of economic ruin and came weeks after the veteran leader joined a unity government with long-time rival Morgan Tsvangirai.

 

“Under this arrangement I want it known, as some of you were thinking we are no longer in power, we have an inclusive government with the president at the top, followed by the two vice-presidents, then the Prime Minister Tsvangirai and two deputy prime ministers.

 

“This is a result of the vote in which we did not do well. Let us not complain too much about it. Let’s accept things as they are,” said Mugabe, who turned 85 on February 21.

 

But he also stressed that his controversial land reforms policy launched nearly 10 years ago and involving the seizure of farms from whites for redistribution to landless blacks, would not be forsaken.

 

The land reforms have been blamed for the food crisis in the former grain exporter as many of the beneficiaries lack both the skills and means to farm.

 

“There are farms which have been designated in accordance with our land acquisition laws and offer letters given to the new farmers, let not the original owners of the farm refuse to vacate those farms,” Mugabe told thousands gathered to celebrate his 85th birthday.

 

An offer letter is the document given to successful applicants who have applied to take over farmland.

 

“We are not going to listen to the excuse that some farms went to the SADC (Southern African Development Community) tribunal. That’s nonsense. We have our own courts here,” he said.

 

Mugabe lost the simultaneous first-round presidential poll but won a later run-off unopposed after Tsvangirai pulled out citing violence against his supporters.

 

The veteran president, who has ruled Zimbabwe non-stop since independence in 1980, blamed former colonial power Britain for his party’s poll defeat.

 

“They (British) imposed sanctions which resulted in some basic commodities being unavailable so that the people would be disgruntled with the party.

 

“Some of you thought about your tummies and children and sold out the country,” he blasted.

 

Mugabe supporters raised more than 250,000 US dollars (200,000 euros) for Saturday’s celebrations which included a birthday cake weighing 85 kilogram’s (187 pounds).

 

The party was held north of the capital Harare in the town of Chinhoyi in Mugabe’s home province of Mashonaland West.

 

Crowds arrived in lorries, singing songs in praise of Mugabe, while banners proclaimed him a “great leader who never lets his people down.”

 

Mugabe’s old foe and current Prime Minister Tsvangirai, who has been rallying the donor community for five billion dollars in aid and investment, was not at the celebrations despite initial reports he would attend.

 

The country desperately needs money to rebuild schools, hospitals and sewers after a decade of economic collapse compounded by country’s long political travails.

 

Several members of Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party have farms in Mashonaland West and conditions are considerably better than the rest of the shattered country with a university and one of the best-equipped state hospitals.

 

Zimbabwe‘s healthcare system has fallen apart with over 83,000 people affected by a cholera epidemic that has killed more than 3,800.

 

The country is also battling severe food shortages amid hyperinflation which has rendered the Zimbabwean dollar useless. The World Food Program reported last month that the number of people without food was estimated at 6.9 million — more than half the population.

 

Copyright © 2009 AFP. All rights reserved.

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PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda has demanded that Zambian Airways pays back the US$30  million debt that it owes public institutions. 

Zambian President Rupiah Banda

Zambian President Rupiah Banda

The president said that with such a colossal sum of money, the Government would be able to improve the health and education infrastructure in the nation.

 

 

President Banda said this when he addressed MMD cadres who marched to State House to show solidarity with his leadership in Lusaka yesterday.

 

He said that it was not him that asked the directors of Zambian Airways and its shareholders, Post Newspapers, to borrow public funds and neither did he ask the lending institutions to offer such resources to the airline.

 

“Now that I am president, I want this money back. With $30 million we can build schools and hospitals. Forgive me we want this money back,” Mr. Banda said.

 

President Banda said he had information that Post Newspapers had wanted former Finance and National Planning minister Ng’andu Magande to stand as presidential candidate last year because he had promised to write off the debt.

 

“I have a document to prove that Magande was going to allow them to get away with this money. The Post has attacked me from the time that you chose me as presidential candidate up to the time I became the president,” Mr. Banda said.

 

The president said that The Post had always accused him of wanting to close the institution but it would close itself because of the debt owed to Zambian Airways.

 

President Banda said that he did not have any intentions of closing any media institution even if people were to ask him to do so.

 

“I have refused to do what they want me to do; they will be closed down by the debt they owe. I just want to say that this party was elected by people and it is internationally recognized,” Mr. Banda said.

 

He said that he detested corruption and that was why he allowed the chief justice to set up a tribunal to investigate the conduct of Communications and Transport Minister, Dora Siliya.

 

The president said that immediately he received the letter from the chief justice on the setting up of the tribunal, he instructed the treasury to ensure that funds were made available to enable it carry out its investigations smoothly.

 

The president said The Post had always accused him of condoning corruption despite the fact that he was totally against it. He challenged the newspaper to transform into a political party so that it could compete with the rest on equal footing.

 

Mr. Banda said that he would not tolerate corruption in his Government and would therefore not hesitate to part company with those perpetrating the vice.

 

The president said Post Newspaper managing director, Fred Mmembe and Patriotic Front (PF) leader, Michael Sata had lately become close friends all for the sake of fighting his Government.

 

“The Post has got to choose to remain a newspaper or a political party. I want to ask the party members to be vigilant and nobody should destabilize the peace. If Mr. Mmembe wanted the NGOs to audit him he should have done that earlier,” Mr. Banda said.

 

The president said he respected Mr. Sata but the PF leader did not want to reciprocate that.

 

“I took Sata as a friend, I did not know that he was a snake,” President Banda said.

 

Earlier, MMD Lusaka provincial chairperson Cleopas Chimembe said that from the time Mr. Banda assumed office, he has exhibited high levels of tolerance even in the face of provocative actions and statements from opposition parties and other sections of society.

 

He said that it was important that opposition parties and everybody else respected President Banda as the citizenry elected him.

 

Mr. Chimembe warned that the MMD would not sit idle and watch Mr. Banda being insulted by citizens at will.

 

“We appreciate the freedom of expression, but let us remind ourselves that this freedom is not absolute. Freedom is always relative. Absolute freedom is for dictators,” he said.

 

He said despite the personal attacks on the president, the MMD would not lose track and fail to fulfill the promises made during the campaigns running to the last election.

 

He said that the attacks would not destroy the resolve by President Banda to fulfill the promises.

 

Copyright © 2009 The Times of Zambia. All Rights Reserved.

 

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By ZamChro Correspondent,

 

Lusaka, Zambia – Zambia’s Chief Justice Ernest Sakala has constituted a tribunal which will commence sitting on Monday to probe the allegation of

Chief Justice Ernest Sakala

Chief Justice Ernest Sakala

abuse of office and corruption against Communications and Transport minister Dora Siliya.

 

The tribunal, to be chaired by Supreme Court Judge Dennis Chirwa, comprises of Supreme Court Judge Peter Chitengi, High Court Judge Evans Hamaundu and deputy director of subordinate courts Maka Phiri, a statement issued by the director of court operations, Mwamba Chanda, stated.

 

“The tribunal will commence its sitting on Monday the 2nd of March, 2009 at 09.00 hours in Court room No. 2 at the Supreme Court Building,” Chanda announced.

 

The tribunal was constituted following a petition filed recently by former Minister of Communications and Transport William Harrington, urging the Supreme Court to set up a tribunal to probe the alleged breach of the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct Act by Siliya.

 

Siliya is alleged to have awarded contracts for evaluating the state-run Zambia Telecommunications Company, Zamtel’s total assets and the supply of a radar system for the Lusaka and Livingstone International Airports.

 

The Communications and Transport Minister is alleged to have awarded a contract to RP Capital Partners of Cayman Island to value Zamtel at a contract sum of US$ 2 million, with total disregard of advice from the Attorney General’s office whose letter advising the minister not to sign the contract was leaked to the independent Post newspaper.

 

The other allegation is that Siliya overruled the Zambia National Tenders Board and cancelled a duly awarded contract for the supply, delivery, installation and commissioning of a Zambia Air Traffic management Surveillance Radar System at Lusaka and Livingstone international airports.

 

Pana

 

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LUSAKA (AFP) — Thousands of ruling party supporters marched on Zambian President Rupiah Banda’s offices Thursday in protest at the independent Post newspaper, which has criticised his government.

The protesters from Banda’s Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) accused two deputy ministers of fueling negative stories about the president by speaking openly to the paper about disagreements within the government.

After the protesters dispersed, Banda announced that he had sacked the two, deputy science minister Jonas Shakafuswa and deputy energy minister Lameck Chibombamilimo.

“If the Post says you are a good minister, then you are not a good minister to me, but to the Post, and I will get rid of you,” Banda said.

He accused the Post of criticising him in order to pressure his government to bail out Zambian Airways, which suspended operations last month after failing to pay creditors on its 40 million dollar debt.

The Post, Zambia’s biggest independent newspaper, is major shareholder in the airline.

Copyright © 2009 AFP. All Rights Reserved.

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By ZamChro Correspondent,

 

Lusaka (Zambia) The Mine Workers Union of Zambia (MUZ) on Wednesday said it was disappointed at the turn around by President Rupiah Banda on the nationalization of the closed Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM).

 

MUZ president Rayford Mbulu told journalist on Wednesday that it was disappointing to hear of President Banda’s latest statement on the future of the company after the Zambian leader indicated more than a month that his government would nationalize LCM to employ over 1700 miners that had been left jobless with the closure of the mine.

 

LCM ceased operations at the end of last year, citing falling copper prices on world markets. It currently has a skeleton staff providing maintenance and care of the Baluba mine which LCM operated.

 

The former employees at the mine staged a protest about two days ago to press government to quickly take action over the future of the mine.

 

But President Banda, in responding to the petition by the former employees, stated that the re-opening of the mine were subject to negotiations with the owners of LCM, because government could not nationalize the mine.

 

The MUZ president said with this statement from President Banda, it meant that workers at the company could not expect a quick solution to their plight.

 

He said the president needed to be consisted in the statements he made about the mining sector because of the tension that had gripped the copper mining towns which, if poorly handled, could lead to unrest.

 

Copyrights © 2009 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom. 

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