April 2009


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 By Alastair Reed and Brett Foley

 

April 29 (Bloomberg) — Glencore International AG’s Zambian unit, Mopani Copper Mines Plc, will keep mining at its Nkana and Mufulira mines in the country after metals prices rebounded.

 

A “slightly improved copper price” and a review which achieved “significant cost reductions” will allow the division to drop its plan last month to place the mines on so-called care and maintenance starting April 14, Mopani said in a statement e- mailed today.

 

Baar, Switzerland-based Glencore, the world’s largest commodities trader, was in dispute with the Zambian government on plans to shutter the Nkana underground and open-cast mines and the Mufulira mine, Mines Minister Maxwell Mwale said last month. The government was prepared to let other investors take over and operate them, he added.

 

Copper has gained 40 percent this year, spurred by Chinese purchasing that helped the metal rebound after its 54 percent price decline on the London Metal Exchange last year, the biggest drop since at least 1987.

 

Glencore owns Mopani alongside Vancouver-based copper producer First Quantum Minerals Ltd. which holds 17 percent.

 

To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Brett Foley in London at bfoley8@bloomberg.net

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By ZamChro Correspondent,

Zambia found itself on Forbes list of the “Best Countries for Business 2009” ranking fairly well around the world and close to leading on the African continent just ahead of Egypt. The Zambian Enterprise came in 7th on the continent of Africa as Mauritius led the continent followed by Botswana.

Notable on the list among other emerging markets, it beat countries like Argentina, Russia, Algeria and even Pakistan which until recently was just behind India according to other rankings.

 indexpicZambia’s economy has experienced strong growth in recent years, with real GDP growth in 2005-08 about 6% per year.

Privatization of government-owned copper mines in the 1990s relieved the government from covering mammoth losses generated by the industry and greatly improved the chances for copper mining to return to profitability and spur economic growth.

Copper output has increased steadily since 2004, due to higher copper prices and foreign investment. In 2005, Zambia qualified for debt relief under the Highly Indebted Poor Country Initiative, consisting of approximately USD 6 billion in debt relief.

Zambia experienced a bumper harvest in 2007, which helped to boost GDP and agricultural exports and contain inflation.

Although poverty continues to be significant problem in Zambia, its economy has strengthened, featuring single-digit inflation, a relatively stable currency, decreasing interest rates, and increasing levels of trade.

The decline in world commodity prices and demand will hurt GDP growth in 2009, and elections and campaign promises are likely to weaken Zambia’s improved fiscal stance.

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By ZamChro Correspondent

Shangombo long known as the most primitive sport in the Zambian Enterprise has seen light following the construction of a thermo power station by ZESCO. 

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Western Province Minister, Adonisi Mufalali, said there was need to build a power station at the Siyoma Falls in Shangombo district.  

 

Siyoma Falls in Shangombo

Siyoma Falls in Shangombo

Mr. Mufalali said the power station could help avert the looming electricity shortage in the SADC region.

He further disclosed that the infrastructure can earn Zambia revenue through export of power to neighboring Angola.

He said the hydro power station at Siyoma Falls would also boost agriculture and tourism along the banks of the Zambezi.

Meanwhile, an Indian investor is to spend more than K17 billion on the establishment of a medical diagnostic centre in Zambia.  BHARAT Scans Managing Director, Rajamani Emmanuel says the centre will cut down on money spent on seeking medical attention in South Africa.

Dr. Rajamani was speaking in Lusaka when he met Professor, Neil Nkanza who runs Nkanza laboratories. And professor Nkanza said the diagnostic centre will also help save lives. The company signed a memorandum of understanding with government on Saturday.

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40 swine flu cases in US; agents checking borders

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama declared Monday that spreading swine flu infections were a concern but “not a cause for alarm,” while customs agents began checking people coming into the United States by land and air. The World Health Organization said there were 40 confirmed cases in the U.S. but no deaths.

Countries across the globe increased their vigilance amid increasing worries about a worldwide pandemic. Obama told a gathering of scientists that his administration’s Department of Health and Human Services “has declared a public health emergency as a precautionary tool to ensure that we have the resources we need at our disposal to respond quickly and effectively.”

The acting head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Richard Besser, said that Americans should be prepared for the problem to become more severe, and that it could involve “possibly deaths.”

The quickening pace of developments in the United States in response to some 1,600 swine flu infections in neighboring Mexico — and reports of over 100 deaths — was accompanied by a host of varying responses around the world. The European Union advised against nonessential travel to the U.S. and Mexico, while China, Taiwan and Russia considered quarantines and several Asian countries scrutinized visitors arriving at their airports.

U.S. customs officials began checking people entering U.S. territory. Officers at airports, seaports and border crossings were watching for signs of illness, said Customs and Border Protection spokesman Lloyd Easterling.

The borders are open,” Easterling added. He said officials were “just taking a second look at folks who may be displaying a symptom of illness.”

If a traveler says something about not feeling well, the person will be questioned about symptoms and, if necessary, referred to a CDC official for additional screening, Easterling said. The customs officials were wearing personal protective gear, such as gloves and masks, he said.

The CDC can send someone to the hospital if they suspect a case, but no one is being refused entry. Also, the CDC is readying “yellow cards” with disease information for travelers, in case they later experience symptoms.The border monitoring resembles that done during the SARS epidemic earlier in the decade.

Multiple airlines, including American, United, Continental, US Airways, Mexicana and Air Canada, said they were waiving usual penalties for changing reservations for anyone traveling to, from, or through Mexico, but had not canceled flights.

The CDC’s Besser said that while the U.S. hasn’t advised against travel to Mexico, it has urged people to take precautions, such as frequent hand-washing while there.

He also said he did not believe that the EU’s inclusion of the U.S. in its travel warnings was warranted “at this point.”

A private school in South Carolina was closed Monday because of fears that young people who recently returned from Mexico might have been infected.

“We are closely monitoring the emerging cases of swine flu in the United States,” Obama said. “I’m getting regular updates on the situation from the responsible agencies, and the Department of Health and Human Services as well as the Centers for Disease Control will be offering regular updates to the American people so that they know what steps are being taken and what steps they may need to take.”

“This is obviously a cause for concern and requires a heightened state of alert, but it’s not a cause for alarm,” he said.

World stock markets fell as investors worried that the outbreak could derail economic recovery. Wall Street, too, dipped in morning trading but stocks regained their footing and posted modest gains by midday.

The U.S. declared a national health emergency in the midst of uncertainty about whether the mounting sick count meant new infections were increasing or health officials had simply missed something that had been simmering for weeks or months. The declaration allowed Washington to ship roughly 12 million doses of flu-fighting medications from a federal stockpile to states in case they are needed.

Besser said he was not reassured by the fact that so far in the U.S., no one had died from the disease.

“From what we understand in Mexico, I think people need to be ready for the idea that we could see more severe cases in this country and possibly deaths,” he said. “That’s something people have to be ready for and we’re looking for that. So far, thankfully, we haven’t seen that. But we’re very concerned and that’s why we’re taking very aggressive measures.”

Meanwhile, officials of Newberry Academy in South Carolina said Monday that seniors from the school were in Mexico earlier this month and some had flu-like symptoms when they returned.

State Department of Health and Environmental Control spokesman Jim Beasley said test results on the students could come back as early as Monday afternoon. The agency has stepped up efforts to investigate all flu cases in South Carolina. There have been no confirmed swine flu cases in the state.

A New York City school where eight cases were confirmed will be closed Monday and Tuesday, and 14 schools in Texas, including a high school where two cases were confirmed, will be closed for at least the next week. Some schools in California and Ohio also were closing after students were found or suspected to have the flu.

In Mexico, the outbreak’s center, soldiers handed out 6 million face masks to help stop the spread of the virus that is suspected in up to 103 deaths. Most other countries are reporting only mild cases so far, with most of the sick already recovering.

Spain reported its first confirmed swine flu case on Monday and said another 17 people were suspected of having the disease. The European Union health commissioner advised Europeans to avoid nonessential travel to Mexico and the United States. Also, three New Zealanders recently returned from Mexico are suspected of having it.

“It was acquired in Mexico, brought home and spread,” Nova Scotia’s chief public health officer, Dr. Robert Strang, said of Canada’s first confirmed cases.

___

Associated Press

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
We reported below yesterday:
Swine Influenza (swine flu) caused by type A influenza, regularly leads to influenza outbreaks among pigs.
USA
In USA Napolitano Says,
a public health emergency has been declared in the U.S. to free up resources to deal with the swine flu, Janet Napolitano, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said at a White House briefing today.

No official travel advisories have been issued by the U.S. State Department in relation to the disease, Napolitano said. A follow-on flu outbreak is possible in several months, she said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vincent Del Giudice in Washington at vdelgiudice@bloomberg.net

Click for Updates on deadly flu
http://www.newfluwiki2.com/frontPage.do
Spain also Reported
“Panic spread across Mexico City, where schools were closed and church services cancelled in an attempt to contain the virus.”
The report states,
“Educators in America are advising worried patients to buy painters’ masks as a precaution against the global outbreak of swine flu that appears to have spread from Mexico to the United States, New Zealand and possibly Europe.

With the worldwide death toll standing at about 81 and with about 1,300 people infected, authorities across the globe are torn between the desire to slow down a potential flu pandemic and the need to avoid bringing major cities on every continent to an economic standstill.

As of today, the US was still allowing people to cross the border from Mexico – where it is thought the swine flu emerged last week – although customs officials at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa border crossings were given protective masks. It is thought that eight people in US border towns have gone down with swine flu, and tonight Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that a further eight cases have been confirmed among students in New York.

There have been no deaths north of the Mexican border, however, and as of today the anti-viral drugs Tamiflu and Relenza were readily available from pharmacies in major cities. Several of those affected in the US have made full recoveries.

A spokesman for the White House said yesterday that President Obama’s health had not been endangered by his trip to Mexico City last week, in spite of reports in the Mexican press that Felipe Solis, an archaeologist who met the US leader, died soon after from “flu-like symptoms”.

Earlier today the European Commission said that there were no known cases in Europe, but within hours three suspected cases were being investigated in Spain, which has a large Mexican émigré population, in the cities of Bilbao, Valencia and Albacete. All three sufferers returned recently from Mexico. Spanish authorities are contacting passengers who were on the same flights.

Two suspected cases have been also been reported in southern France.

A suspected British case, a member of a British Airways cabin crew who started to experience flu-like symptoms on a flight from Mexico to Heathrow, was given the all-clear this morning.

However, ten teenagers from New Zealand who returned home from Mexico yesterday are thought to be suffering from the disease. None is seriously ill, the country’s Health Minister said.

One of the greatest concerns over the new strain of flu is that it is seems to target young, healthy adults – the same group affected by the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, which killed up to 100 million people.

Medical experts will meet on Tuesday to advise the World Health Organisation (WHO) on whether to raise the current pandemic alert level.

Also Demfromct at Dailykos reported this
Swine flu news continues to catch people’s attention. There are suspect cases in Israel, NZ (confirmed), Spain and France that were airline travelers from Mexico (KS and NYC has similar cases, both now confirmed.) The news hounds at Flu Wiki have all the up-to-date news. Official information from CDC is here (20 confirmed cases in 5 states – CA, TX, OH, NY, KS.) There will be a CDC media briefing today preceded by a just-concluded WH briefing with the “team” (DHS and CDC).
http://demfromct.dailykos.com/

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article6

A 26-year-old Israeli man has been hospitalised after returning from a trip to Mexico on suspicion of contacting swine flu, hospital officials told AFP on Sunday.

The man checked into the Laniado hospital in the coastal city of Netanya with flu-like symptoms and doctors were trying to determine whether he had contracted the potentially fatal flu strain, they said.

“He came back from Mexico on Friday night and was hospitalised on Saturday night,” a hospital spokeswoman told AFP. “He is running a high fever.”

It marks the first suspected case of swine flu reported in Israel and the Middle East.

The new flu epidemic has killed up to 81 people in Mexico, with health officials fearing it could reach “pandemic” proportions and spread worldwide.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=92603&sectionid=351020603

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By ZamChro Correspondent

China is of great help to African countries in their efforts to deal with the current global financial crisis and the worst world economic downturn since the Great Depression in the 1930s, Zambian Minister of Finance Situmbeko Musokotwane revealed in the USA.

 

Dr. Musokotwane, who is in Washington to attend the two-day annual spring sessions of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua that the Chinese assistance includes efforts to save jobs for Zambians by the Chinese mining company, and offering the low-interest loans to African countries including his nation.

 

“The Chinese mining company in Zambia is not going to lay off any one,” he said. “They are not cutting jobs.”

 

Due to the current global financial crisis, the mining industry in Zambia is the hardest hit as African countries are feeling the effect of the financial crisis, which started some six months ago in the United States, said the minister.

 

 “For us, the biggest pain is in the mining industry,” he said. “Our ability to ensure the financial stability also declined.”

 

The mining industry has been the economic and social backbone for Zambia since the 1930s. Since that time a wide spectrum of other metalliferous and non-metalliferous resources have been discovered in the East African country.

 

Zambia is internationally recognized as a major producer of copper and cobalt. It ranks as the world’s seventh largest producer of copper, generating 3.3 percent of the western world’s production, and world’s second largest producer of cobalt, which accounts for 19.7 percent of the world total.

 

Meanwhile, the minister said that after the November 2006 China-Africa Summit in the Chinese capital Beijing, China had offered low-interest loans to Africa, including Zambia.

 

“Obviously, China is providing low-interest loans to Zambia, (and) not just Zambia, but Africa,” the minister said.

 

The two-day Beijing Summit, highlighting “friendship, peace, cooperation and development,” drew 41 heads of state or government and senior officials of 48 African countries that have diplomatic ties with China, as well as representatives from regional and international organizations.

 

The Summit was held within the framework of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum (CACF), which was jointly proposed and established by China and some African countries in 2000, with the aim of “equal negotiation, enhancing understanding, increasing consensus, strengthening friendship and promoting cooperation.”

 

The CACF is a mechanism for China-Africa collective dialogue and cooperation to cope with new challenges and facilitate common development.

 

In the Saturday interview, the Zambian minister also said that he hopes to see more Chinese investment in Zambia and other African countries.

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GENEVA (AFP) — The death rate from malaria has fallen by 66 percent since the year 2000 in Zambia, where treatment has made the country a role model for Africans, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

 

“Zambia’s efforts will be promoted as models for other countries to follow on the occasion of World Malaria Day, on 25 April,” the UN agency said, stating that the distribution of 3.6 million long-lasting insecticidal nets in recent years had helped to fight the disease.

 

From 2006 to 2008, “malaria deaths declined 47 percent and nationwide surveys showed parasite prevalence declined 53 percent from 21.8 percent to 10.2 percent and the percentage of children with severe anemia declined 68 percent from 13.3 percent to 4.3 percent,” a WHO statement said.

 

In 2008, malaria claimed 2,157 lives, less than half the total of 4,765 registered by the WHO in Zambia in 2004.

 

“This is a remarkable achievement and a tribute to the hard work and commitment of the Ministry of Health of Zambia and its partners to combat malaria” said Dr Luis Gomes Sambo, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

 

Notable among those partners is the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which from 2003 helped to distribute nets to kill insects and to launch artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), including a anti-malarial drug, in seven pilot districts.

 

The WHO has recommended that a change to ACT treatment should be made wherever the malaria parasite has developed resistance to the formerly used drug chloroquine.

 

Copyright © 2009 AFP. All rights reserved.

 

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The Best of Zambia Newsletter
Issue 6 Apr09

Layout 1

The Zambia International Travel Show 09*
is only a few days away!
The best of Zambia is exhibiting at the Show  and we look forward to meeting you there.
Julia Brown, Editor
*at Mulungushi Conference Centre, Lusaka

 

Lower Zambezi – honeymoon choice for Travel Africa editor

When Travel Africa’s editor, Lonely Planet author and intrepid traveller Matt Phillips, and his wife-to-be were choosing their honeymoon location, I guess it had to be Africa. But where? Not surprisingly Matt had been to quite a few, if not all, of the great destinations in Africa. They settled for the Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia! And Matt voted it his all-time favourite safari destination! Why? Because in the Lower Zambezi you have “the ability to enjoy one of Africa’s most beautiful natural environments in so many different ways”.matt-phillips002-thumb
“…with several hippos lit by the full moon, grazing a few yards below, and the rumble of lions in the distance, romance went out the window, replaced by muted gasps of every order….”

The Phillips stayed at Chongwe River House, Chongwe River Camp and Royal Zambezi Lodge. They flew from Lusaka to the Lower Zambezi with Proflight Zambia.
To read Matt’s honeymoon article ‘A river runs through it’, subscribe to Travel Africa. Packed full of reviews, reports and great adverts, the latest Spring ‘09 Travel Africa also includes an article by Kate Humble on appropriate giving as you travel (we did a blog on her initiative last year).

 
Living with the Global Downturn

It is often said when a hurricane sweeps through a forest it knocks down a lot of the older, weaker trees. The younger ones survive and prosper. The micro level might just be the key….
Even if President Obama’s trillion $ economic stimulus were to work miracles, the benefits would take at least 12-18 months to trickle down to countries like Zambia. Citigroup has been warning that copper prices, which have gained over 36% over the past 2 months, are soon likely to lose steam. Against that high level of uncertainty in the future of the global economic dynamics, I think it is crucial to start preaching radical adjustments to peoples’ lifestyles. Africa may not have been party to the ignition of this problem, …. but it is engulfed in it.
From an article by Chiwoyu Sinyangwe writing in The Post, courtesy of the Zambian Economist

 

Africa’s Largest Copper Mine now operational

rbcommissioning-lumwanaLumwana Copper Mine in Solwezi, in Northwestern Province of Zambia, the largest open pit copper mine in Africa, went into operation on 17 April 2009.

Commissioning the copper mine, President Rupiah Banda said “We are proud and feel indebted that during the twelve years of the project development, [Equinox Minerals] sacrificed to pump in one billion US dollars which includes the development of modern Lumwana town. This shows the trust you have in our mining industry regardless of the ups and downs,” he said.

The Lumwana Mine is expected to produce 140,000 tons of copper concentrates every year.

From a post in the Zambian Chronicle blog
HOT NEWS: FIFA World Cup 2010
fwclogoThe random selection draw for the first phase of ticket sales for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ took place last week. Over 500,000 tickets were drawn successfully. The most popular team was England and not surprisingly the most heavily oversubscribed match was the final – by a factor of 3,000 per cent.

“We will continue to encourage other South Africans as well as fellow Africans to apply for their tickets during the second phase so as not to miss out on this once in a lifetime experience,” emphasised Danny Jordaan, CEO of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa.

The Best of Zambia online directory will shortly be featuring special World Cup news and tourist offers in Zambia. See our latest World Cup blog post.
FEATURE:
And now.. 
..the good news

We welcome 3 relatively new online initiatives that seek to promote Africa and its people in a more balanced way than we’ve seen in the past…

sadAfrica Good News – intended to offer a fresh perspective on Africa, to highlight stories of progress and positive developments in the continent, without ignoring her challenges. “Africa is not one country, and for every failed state that grabs the news headlines, there are countless success stories waiting to be told.”

See Africa Differently – an acknowledgement by UK’s Comic Relief that there is and has been a less than balanced representation of the beautiful continent and its people. In their own words “In these times of economic gloom and doom, let’s celebrate the good news for once! Isn’t it time we started to See Africa Differently?”

‘The Africa They Never Show You!’ group on Facebook. “You’ve seen the images on tv about africa: the huts, the famine, disease, wars and suffering but they never show you that Africa is beautiful, has happy people and that not every part and person in Africa is poor…..PLEASE INVITE ALL YOUR FRIENDS TO JOIN THIS GROUP AND LET THEM TELL THEIR FRIENDS!!!” It currently has nearly 135,000 members.

 
The Best of Zambia
Lusaka Office: 202, Alick Nkhata Rd, Kabulonga
UK Office: 1 Tudor Place, London Rd, Yaxley
Peterborough PE7 3HU, Cambridgeshire
Tel: +260 (0)9550 51235     +44 (0)1733 242756

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Jacob Zuma swept into power as South Africa’s fourth post-apartheid president last night, but was facing a formidable challenge of uniting his country behind him.With around 12.2m votes counted, the African National Congress (ANC) was narrowly ahead of the two-thirds majority it needs for the parliamentary freedom to rule unrestrained, and a celebratory rally thronged the streets of Johannesburg last night.

 

“The people have spoken with their vote,” Zuma told the crowds, switching from English to Zulu to Sotho. “We are not reading newspapers. We are talking to the people. We are not yet celebrating victory. The counting is still going on. The real celebration is on its way.”

 

But then a bottle of champagne, and a giant replica bottle, were produced on stage and a blizzard of confetti unleashed, as the man treated the crowd to another rendition of his signature tune, “Umshini Wam”, meaning “Bring me my machine gun”.

 

Yet the impression of Zuma as a polarizing figure has been reinforced by an unexpectedly strong showing by the Democratic Alliance (DA), whose voters are largely white or of mixed race. Zuma, 67, who will be South Africa’s first Zulu president, scored heavily in the tribe’s traditional heartland of KwaZulu-Natal. But the ANC looked likely to lose control of the Western Cape to the DA.

 

“I think a lot of people have voted for the ANC reluctantly,” Steven Friedman, a political academic, said. “Zuma will take office having to deal with a skeptical electorate and will be judged on how far he goes to allay skepticism and show that politicians care more about the people than looking after themselves.”

 

The ANC had accumulated 8.2m votes by last night compared with 1.9m for the DA (16%), and 939,000 (7.7%) for the ANC splinter group the Congress of the People (Cope). It was a bad day for one of the veterans of South African politics, 80-year-old Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, whose Inkatha Freedom party was marooned on 4%.

 

The ANC, which has governed South Africa since the first post-apartheid election in 1994, was down from its 69.69% share five years ago to 66.4%.

 

Zuma will be sworn in as president in Pretoria on 9 May and can expect close scrutiny of his inauguration speech. Andrew Feinstein, a former ANC MP turned critic of the party, said: “What he will do is make overtures to minority groups who didn’t vote for the ANC.”

 

Experts predict that Zuma will tread carefully in his first 100 days, seeking to reassure the financial markets and show continuity in policy.

 

Among his first tasks will be to select a cabinet. There is speculation that he will reward those who helped him win the presidency, including communists and trade unionists. Feinstein said: “He’ll use his cabinet announcement to send a message. I think it’s going to be a mixed cabinet, rewarding some close confidants with jobs and including some competent people as well.”

 

Feinstein said in his opinion it was a “worrying sign” that those in contention include Zuma allies Blade Nzimande, the general secretary of the Communist party, and General Siphiwe Nyanda, former chief of the national defense force.

 

Other contenders for cabinet posts include Zweli Mkhize, the ANC chairman in Zuma’s home province, Lindiwe Sisulu, touted as a possible foreign minister, and Jeremy Cronin, a member of the Communist party. There is speculation about whether Trevor Manuel will remain in his post as finance minister, providing stability in the face of global recession and a conservative voice in the cabinet.

 

Zuma has attempted to soothe investor concerns by promising that he will not veer to the left. But fears persist that, with a two-thirds majority, he might be tempted to amend the constitution, despite his assurances to the contrary.

 

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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By ZamChro Correspondent,

The Zambian Chronicle has learned that the first phase of investigations into the Zambian Airways saga has been completed and the docket has been forwarded to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for consideration.

 

Inspector General of Police, Francis Kabonde, revealed that the probe looked into the alleged failure by Zambian Airways to remit passenger service charges to government as agents of the National Airports Corporation.

 

za1He also disclosed that a warn and caution statement has been taken from all directors of Zambian Airways.

 

They include the two Nchito brothers and Post Newspapers Editor, Fred Mmembe.

 

He said investigations into other areas of operations by the airline are continuing.

 

The investigations are being carried out by the police, the Anti Corruption Commission and the Drug Enforcement Commission.

 

And Mr. Kabonde has reiterated that the investigations are not targeting any individual and appealed to the public to be patient. He also said the investigations have nothing to do with politics.

 

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By ZamChro Correspondent,

Communications and Transport Minister, Dora Siliya and ally of the president quit on Tuesday over a graft scandal, a sign that Rupiah Banda’s government is stepping up its fight against corruption in Africa’s biggest copper producer.

 

The tribunal appointed to probe her found that the minister breached the constitution by not complying with the legal advice of the Attorney General when she awarded a tender to RP Capital Partners Limited to valuate the assets of the state-run Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel). 

 

Former Minister of Communications and Transport, Dora Siliya

Former Minister of Communications and Transport, Dora Siliya

The tribunal that was investigating three allegations of abuse of office against Siliya, however, found that the minister did not breach the ministerial and parliamentary code of conduct in relation to the other allegations brought by the petitioners.

 

Siliya is alleged to have awarded a contract to RP Capital Partners of Cayman Is land to value Zamtel at a contract sum of US$ 2 million with total disregard of advice from the Attorney General’s office.

 

In the second allegation, Siliya is said to have 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.

 

And in the last allegation, Siliya was alleged to have claimed K12.5 million refund from Petauke District Council Committee in Eastern province where she is a member of parliament, for two hand pumps for two boreholes in one of the wards called Nyika, when in fact the hand pumps were procured at K5 million. (1USD=K5,700).

 

“After considering all the evidence, we have found that allegations number two and three have not been proved against Hon Dora Siliya.

 

“But we have found that the first allegation relating to the failure to comply with the legal advice of the Attorney General and failure to observe tender procedures has been proved,” the tribunal stated in its recommendations obtained by PANA on Friday.

 

“In the present case, we leave Hon Dora Siliya’s breaches to his Excellency the president to deal with,” the tribunal recommended.

 

And President Rupiah Banda, who received the tribunal’s report on Thursday, said he would immediately study the report and make his reaction known to the nation.

 

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

 

Consequently, Banda’s spokesman Dickson Jere said Transport and Communications Minister Dora Siliya had resigned after a tribunal found she breached the constitution over a $2 million contract she awarded to a foreign firm.

 

Siliya is the first minister to resign from Banda’s six-month-old government, which has faced several accusations of corruption from the opposition and privately owned media.

 

Banda has vowed to continue a crackdown against graft begun by his predecessor Levy Mwanawasa, who won plaudits from western donors and international agencies for his tough stance.

 

Siliya was investigated over a contract she awarded to a Cayman Islands firm to evaluate assets of the state telecoms firm, Zamtel Ltd., which is due for partial privatization.

 

A tribunal headed by Supreme Court Judge Dennis Chirwa said in a report to Banda that she had breached the constitution.

 

It was not immediately clear whether Siliya would face prosecution.

 

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