Showing posts with label Zambia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zambia. Show all posts

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

10 Zambian Ministers In China For Developmental Tour

The Zambian ministers upon arrival in China last week
By Paul Shalala

Zambia’s 10 Provincial Minister are on a 10 day visit to China to learn how that country has pulled millions of its citizens out of poverty.

According to Zambia's constitution, Provincial Ministers, who are either elected or nominated Members of Parliament, are at the same level with Deputy Ministers and they do not attend Cabinet meetings.

The Ministers, who left for the Asian country over a week ago, are meeting various delegations of Chinese investors, learning how they are boosting that country’s manufacturing sector.

And China’s Assistant Commerce Minister Bingnan Wang told the ministers on Tuesday that trade volumes increased by 18.4% between January and September 2015 pushing the amount of trade between the two countries to $US 2.1 billion

According to Zambia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Dorcas chileshe who is travelling with the Ministers, Mr Wang said 570 Chinese companies had invested in Zambia in agriculture,  manufacturing,  mining, ICT and other sectors.

And Zambian delegation leader Nathaniel Mubukwanu expressed appreciation to the Chinese government for having extended an invitation to the Zambian delegation to participate in the 2016 Ministerial workshop.

Mr Mubukwanu, who is also Western Province Minister,  informed the Chinese Minister that the increase in trade volumes in 2015 was as a result  of Zambia 's business reform improvements.

He expressed confidence that the workshop would accord his delegation  a deeper appreciation of how China had accelerated her development over the last 30 years.

Part of the ministers in class in Beijing
Last week, Copperbelt Province Minister Bowman Lusambo shared on social media some of the lessons he and his fellow ministers are learning in China.

“I was elated to learn that Agriculture is a vital industry in China, employing well over 300 million farmers. The country is the number one producer of rice, wheat, potatoes, tomato, sorghum, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, cotton and oil seed including soyabeans,” said Mr Lusambo in a posting on Facebook.

During the visit to China, the Zambian delegation will visit various companies in and outside the Chinese capital Beijing.

The ministers have since concluded their tour of Beijing and have moved to Shandong province on their continued tour of the Chinese countryside to meet more potential Chinese investors.
Zambia and China have been long standing partners since the southern African country’s independence in 1964.

China built the TAZARA railway which links Zambia to the Tanzanian port of Dar Es Salaam which handles the country’s oil imports.

The Asian giant has also invested millions of dollars in infrastructure projects in sectors such as agriculture, roads, stadiums, schools, mines and health.

Over the past 10 years, China has become a major player in Zambia with its ruling Communist party forging closer ties with each successive government.
On a tour of Beijing Guchuan Food Company

This has included exchange visits by party functionaries to learn various political theories and policy issues in China.

High level Chinese delegations, including the visit by that country’s Vice President in 2014, have been to Zambia to cement the two countries’ relations.

Zambia has also benefited from several concessional loans and currently, Chinese companies are building two modern international airports in the capital Lusaka and in the second city Ndola.

Within Ndola, the Chinese built the 60,000 capacity Levy Mwanawasa stadium which they gave free of charge to the Zambian government a few years ago.

Meanwhile, the number of Chinese nationals living and working in Zambia has increased over the years.

Last year, the Zambian Ministry of Home Affairs disclosed that there were 19, 845 Chinese citizens in the country.                                                 

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Ex-Tanzania President Kikwete To Lead Commonwealth Observers

Former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete
By Paul Shalala
Former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete has been appointed by the Commonwealth to lead a 17-man team of election observers to Zambia for the country’s August 11 general elections and referendum.
In a press statement, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland hopes that Zambia will conduct an inclusive, peaceful and credible poll to demonstrate the country’s culture of democracy.
She has disclosed that an advance group of Commonwealth observers was deployed in the country on 22 July while the rest of the team is expected to arrive on 4 August. 
“In solidarity with the people of Zambia, the Commonwealth will be present to observe these polls and will continue to work with relevant Zambian institutions towards further strengthening the country’s democracy,” said Ms Scotland.

She added that holding peaceful and successful elections is a high responsibility for the people and institutions of all Commonwealth member states.
“All Zambians including the election management body, political parties and their leaders, the citizenry, civil society, security agencies, the media and voters have a duty and responsibility to ensure a peaceful process and a credible outcome.”

According to the statement, the Commonwealth Observer Group will consider the pre-election environment and election preparations.
On August 11, the team will observe the voting, vote-counting and the results procedure.
The Commonwealth joins other international observers like the African Union, SADC and the European Union who have already deployed their observers.
Zambia has seven million registered voters who will be electing a President, Members of Parliament, Mayors, Council Chairmen and Councillors.
Voters will also be casting ballots in a referendum to amend the Bill of Rights.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Zambia To Hold Its First Ever Climate Change Media Awards

A flooded village
By Paul Shalala

Zambia is this year expected to hold its first ever media awards to celebrate excellency in reporting  on climate change issues.

According to a press statement issued by the Interim Climate Change Secretariat (ICCS), the awards will honor reporters who have written and published stories in photography, print feature, print news, radio and television.

"The ICCS is hosting these awards under the theme “Increasing awareness levels of the general public on issues of climate change. Journalists from all across Zambia are invited to submit climate change-focused works," said Chama Nambeya who is the Communication and Administration Manager at the Interim Climate Change Secretariat,

She says the Climate Change Media Awards are aimed at promoting examples of high quality reporting in Zambia that gives prominence to climate change issues and provides accurate, informed and knowledgeable reporting that not only informs but educates and sensitises the nation.

"Entries close at 17:00hrs on Friday 17th April, 2015 so start preparing your entries now!
You can download the entry form here and submit your entries to awards@znccs.org.zm," she stated.

The ICCS is a recommendation postulated by stakeholders during consultations of the
National Climate Change Response Strategy, and an endorsement by two meetings of Permanent Secretaries on June 2, 2011 and January 27, 2012.

The establishment of the Interim Climate Change Secretariat was to facilitate the implementation of climate change activities by bringing together stakeholders like government, private sector, civil society and cooperating partners in achieving the aims and objectives of the National Climate Change Response Strategy and the forthcoming Climate Change Policy

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Ex-Mauritius President Uteem Leads EISA Poll Observers To Zambia

By Paul Shalala
Former Mauritius President Cassam Uteem


The Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) has deployed a 14 member  election observation mission to monitor Zambia's presidential election scheduled for 20 January 2015.

Former Mauritius President Cassam Uteem will lead the mission which is the forth the pan-African organisation has deployed in Zambia since 2006.

"EISA notes that the by-elections take place in line with the provisions of article 38 of the Zambian Constitution, which grants Zambians the rights to choose another president after the sudden death of President Michael Sata on 28 October 2014. The Institute views the by-election as another crucial step in the democratic consolidation process in Zambia," reads a statement from EISA.

The mission is composed of 14 short term observers drawn from civil society organisations and electoral commissions across the African continent.

The EISA observers will be deployed to five of Zambia’s ten provinces to consult with electoral stakeholders and observe the final phases of the pre-election period.

According to a statement from EISA, the observers will be equipped with computer tablets for the collection and transmission of their findings in real time.

The Mission’s activities will be guided by principles and standards set out in the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance; the African Union Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa; the Declaration of Principles on International Election Observation and the Principles for Election Management, Monitoring and Observation (PEMMO) as well as the Zambian legal framework governing the elections.

EISA becomes the third international organisation to deploy election monitors in Zambia after SADC and COMESA deployed their respective election teams earlier this week.

Monday, 12 January 2015

SADC Deploys 65 Observers Ahead Of Zambia's Presidential Election

By Paul Shalala


The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has deployed its observers ahead of Zambia's presidential election on January 20, 2015.

Head of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission to Zambia Maite Nkoana-Mashabane says 65 election observers have been deployed in all of Zambia's 10 provinces.

Mashabane, who is also South Africa's Minister for International Relation and Cooperation,  has told the media that the mission is in Zambia to monitor and ensure the polls are held in a peaceful and transparent manner.

Below is the full statement issued by Mashabane:


On behalf of the Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, H.E Jacob G Zuma, the President of the Republic of South Africa, I wish to take this opportunity to welcome you all to the launch of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) to the 2015 Zambia Presidential elections.

Ladies and gentlemen;

It is with great humility and respect that I take this opportunity to convey, once more, the Region’s condolences to the Government and the people of Zambia on the sad passing of H.E President Sata. We in particular extend our profound condolences to his dear wife and family. May his soul rest in eternal peace!

Ladies and gentlemen;

Following the proclamation of 20 January 2015 as the date to hold the Presidential Election; the Government of the Republic of Zambia, as per our region’s tradition and in accordance with the provisions of SADC Protocols, invited SADC to observe the Elections.

It was in honour of that invitation that the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, His Excellency Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, constituted the SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) to observe the Presidential Elections in Zambia; and appointed me as Head of Mission.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We note with great pride that election observation has become a norm in our Region, and is very much in keeping with the democratic values which underpin and define SADC. As a Region, we long recognised that in a democracy, elections are part of a process rather than being an end in themselves. They are avenues through which the countries of the region regularly seek mandates from their people.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As the SADC Electoral Observation Mission, we have a responsibility as representatives of this Region to observe whether elections have been held in a manner that is peaceful, transparent, credible and free and fair. We hope that this election will continue to attest to our Region’s track record of upholding credible democratic elections.

While this SEOM is guided by the Constitution and the Electoral Laws of Zambia, it is most importantly underpinned by the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.

As part of its Terms of Reference, the SEOM’s assessment will be informed by the following guidelines which SADC has deemed conducive to an environment for free, fair and peaceful elections.

We will observe the adherence to:

(i)               Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and  rights of citizens;

(ii)             Non-discrimination in voter registration;

(iv)       Existence of an updated and accessible voters’ roll;

(v)        Timeous announcement of the election date;

(vi)       The funding of political parties, which should be transparent and based on the agreed threshold in accordance with the laws of the land, where applicable;

(vii)      Neutral location of polling stations;

(viii)     Counting of votes at polling stations; and

(ix)       Establishment of the mechanism for assisting the planning and deployment of electoral observation missions.

These guidelines are our regional benchmark, and embody the aspirations, norms and values of our Member States.

In this election, we will deploy 65 observers, representing member states from our region. They will be deployed in all the Provinces. Their task will be to observe and consider the general conduct of the elections against the following principles:

•       Full participation of citizens in the political process;

•       Freedom of association;

•       Political tolerance;

•       Equal opportunity for all political parties to access the state media;

•       Equal opportunity to exercise the right to vote and be voted for;

•       Independence of the Judiciary and impartiality of the electoral institutions;

•       Voter education.


The Mission will continue to observe post- election reactions in order to determine the:

·       Acceptance and respect of the election results by political parties as proclaimed by the competent National Electoral Authorities in accordance with the laws of the land.

·       Any challenge of the election results to be conducted as provided for in the laws of the land.

Following today’s launch, members of the Organ Troika led by South Africa’s Deputy Minister Molekane supported by the representatives of Namibia (as the outgoing Chair of the Organ) and Lesotho (as the incoming Chair of the Organ), will engage with the leadership of Zambia, political parties, civil society organisations, the media as well as the ECZ to be appraised of preparations ahead of the election.

The Troika will meet with other election observer Missions to share notes on our observations.

Ladies and gentlemen,

SADC observers will be visible on voting day to affirm SADC’s commitment and support for democracy to the people of Zambia. As we head to Election Day, the challenge and responsibility of peaceful, free and fair elections will lie in the hands of the Zambian people.

It is our expectation and hope that all political parties will, as usual, conduct themselves in a manner that contributes to a peaceful and democratic elections. This country has over the years conducted peaceful elections and has thus become a beacon of hope in democratic practice and culture.

SADC electoral observation missions have made a meaningful contribution to the consolidation of democracy in the region, through sharing lessons learnt and best practices. In the same vein, it is our expectation that these elections will continue to contribute to the enhancement of democracy in the region.

We further take this opportunity to extend our warm wishes to the people of Zambia as they exercise their right to vote, through their constitutional provisions of universal suffrage.

May this election be an indication of true citizenry participation in the political process; as the people of Zambia decide the party of their choice.

In conclusion, we wish to inform you the SADC preliminary statement on the electoral process will be released on 22 January 2015.

Let me take this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment and support to the people of Zambia as they prepare for these elections, and to wish them a successful election.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Chair of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, H.E Jacob G. Zuma, I declare the SADC Electoral Observation Mission to the Republic Zambia officially launched.

Thank you for your attention.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Zambia Maintains Corruption Score But Drops On Global Rankings

An Anti-Corruption poster in Zambia
By Paul Shalala

Zambia has maintained its score of 38 points on the 2014 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) but dropped two places on the global rankings.

According to the CPI results released early this morning by Transparency International in the Germany capital Berlin, Zambia is now ranked 85th in the world out of a total of 174 countries surveyed this year.

The CPI has revealed that Zambia has dropped two places on the rankings from 83 last year to 85 this year despite having scored 38 points in both years.

At 85 in the world, Zambia is ranked alongside Burkina Faso, India, Sri Lanka and The Phillipines.

In Africa, Zambia has been ranked 12th.

Botswana is the highest ranked African country at number 31 despite it having dropped from 30 last year when it again outshinned other African countries on the global rankings.

Other better performing African countries on the 2014 Corruption Perception Index global rankings are Cape Verde (42th), Seychelles (43rd), Mauritius (47th), Lesotho (49th), Namibia (55th), Ghana (61st), South Africa (67th), Swaziland (69th), Sao Tome and Principe (76) and Benin (80th).

On the global stage, Scandinavian countries have dominated the top 5 least corrupt list.

Denmark has maintained its top ranking as the least corrupt country in the world at number 1, a rank it held even last year.

The Scandinavian country is followed closely by New Zealand at number 2 which jointly held number 1 last year with Denmark.

Finland is ranked 3rd, Sweden at 4th and Norway at 5th in the world.

In the worst corrupt list, lawless Somalia and the Stalinist North Korea have maintained their last position 174th  in the world just like last year.

Omar al-Bashir's Sudan is the least ranked African country on the global rankings at number 173 making it the second most corrupt country in Africa followed by its break-away neighbour South Sudan at 171st and Libya at 166th.

The Corruption Perception Index is based on thousands of interviews Transparency International conducts with citizens of specific countries worldwide on how they perceive corruption in their country's public sector.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Police Confirm Bonnie Tembo's Death

Bonnie Tembo


By Paul Shalala

The Zambia Police Service has confirmed the death of civil society activist Bonnie Tembo who passed away yesterday.

Mr Tembo, who served as Anti-Voter Apathy Project Executive Director for several years, left the organisation soon after the 2011 General Elections.

Below is a statement from the Police over Mr Tembo's death.



PRESS RELEASE

TO                   :         ALL MEDIA
FROM            :         PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICE       
DATE              :         7TH NOVEMBER, 2014
SUBJECT        :         PRESS RELEASE

"Police at Matero Police Station are holding on to female Gwendolin Chanda aged 41 years for both her safety and circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Bonny Tembo.
Brief facts surrounding the death of Mr. Bonny Tembo are that yesterday he was travelling from Chipata to Lusaka who upon reaching Luangwa sent a text message to Ms Gwendolin Chanda informing her that he was unwell and was coming back to Lusaka.
When he arrived Mr. Tembo went to her house and found a daughter to Ms Chanda who gave him the keys to the house. Mr. Tembo later went to lay in the bedroom.
Upon reaching the house Ms Chanda decided to take Mr. Tembo to Matero Reference Clinic where he passed on at 13:20 hours.
We are awaiting the response from the family of Mr. Tembo as to when they intend to bury so as to conduct an autopsy to ascertain the actual cause of death."


Rae Hamoonga
DEPUTY POLICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER

Thursday, 23 October 2014

U.S. Government Congratulates Zambia On Its Golden Jubilee

John Kerry
By Paul Shalala

United States Secretary of State John Kerry has congratulated Zambia's 50 years of peace and democracy ahead of the southern African state's Golden Jubilee tomorrow.

Below is the full message by Mr Kerry as posted on the U.S State Department website.




Press Statement

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
October 23, 2014




 Zambia National Day

"On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Zambia on the 50th anniversary of your independence on October 24.

Fifty years ago, when your country was born, thousands of Zambians took to the streets shouting kwatcha – the dawn. Today, Zambia’s dawn and the promise of peace and democracy has become a reality.

As representatives from all over the world gather in Lusaka to celebrate your Jubilee, Assistant Secretary of State Linda Thomas-Greenfield will be there to represent America and pay tribute to your inspiring record.  Time and time again, Zambians have stood up, voted, and let leadership change hands peacefully.

Our two nations are united in mutual respect and responsibility for universal values.  President Obama and I were pleased to welcome Vice President Scott to the African Leaders’ Summit in August, and discuss so many important issues at this transformative moment for Africa.

We will continue to work closely to strengthen democracy, support human rights, spur economic growth, and improve the health and education of the Zambian people.

As you celebrate this special day, the United States stands with you as a partner and friend."

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Politicians Reflect On Zambia's Post-Independence Era

By Paul Shalala
The Golden Jubilee logo


As Zambia celebrates its golden jubilee, it can not be denied that politics has been an integral part of its last 50 years.

To gain independence from the British, Zambian freedom fighters grouped together into political entities to free themselves from colonial dominance.

In the first 8 years of the country's independence, multi-party politics flourished but in 1972, the constitution was changed to the one party state until 1991 when the country reverted back to multi-party politics.

In its reflection of the Golden Jubilee, the Foundation for Democratic Process  says Zambia's politics are not yet mature due to a colonial era constitution.

"We need mature politics devoid of violence or intimidation. Our institutions to support democracy are still weak," said macDonald Chipenzi, FODEP Executive Director.

And Tom Ngenda, an economics lecturer at Cavendish University in Lusaka says political parties have over the past 50 years crafted their party manifestos from their initial socialist inclination to the current economic appeal to voters.

"In the past, political parties used to craft their manifestos in such a way that they wanted to get into office. Now the parties have manifestos that appeal to people to vote for them so that they can bring economic development to Zambia," said Ngenda in an interview at his office.

For the ruling Patriotic Front which has been part of Zambia's history in the past 13 years, Zambian politics has evolved for the better.

"We have alot to celebrate as a nation. We have come a long way politically and it is time the nation got united and celebrated the golden jubilee together," said Edgar Lungu, Secretary general of the Patriotic Front.

But opposition political parties have different views on how politics have impacted the nation since independence.

"There is nothing to celebrate. Fuel prices are high. The cost of living has gone up. Basically, we have nothing to celebrate as a nation because we have no economic independence," said Hakainde Hichilema, President of the opposition UPND.

Mr Hichilema's sentiments are echoed by Zambia Development Conference President Langton Sichone.

"How can we celebrate the so called Golden Jubilee when we still have an old colonial constitution? We have nothing to celebrate in the last 50 years," said Sichone.

The main celebrations for Zambia's Golden Jubilee will be held at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka where various activities will take place.

Both military and civilian performances will spice up the event which has attracted several leaders from around the world.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Women: The Untapped Powerhouse For Climate Action


Lozi Ndondi in the flood plain in western Zambia. 
By Lubasi Wachata

Climate change is one of the key challenges of our times. Globally, climate change has been recognized as a serious phenomenon with harsh repercussions for human development. Expert assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predict that global warming will have its worst impacts in developing countries particularly in Africa, South and West Asia. As a developing country, Zambia is experiencing the impacts of climate change with an increase in extreme weather events such as droughts, floods and increases in temperature. The country has also witnessed delayed onset of the rainfall and earlier cessation, resulting in shorter rainy seasons with more intense rainfall. The effects of climate change are already widespread and consequential to the country’s key sectors namely agriculture and food security, energy and water, human health, natural resources and wildlife. Due to Zambia’s over reliance on rain-fed agriculture and natural resource exploitation, such climate problems are expected to continue to manifest in future thereby calling for climate action to abate the situation.

While a vast literature exists about the vulnerability of women to climate change impacts, little has been written about how women can play an active role in climate action. Women have generally been perceived merely as victims of climate change and natural disasters.  However, women’s vulnerability has also made them keenly aware of their environments and the devastating impacts of climate change. As a result, women are well positioned to be agents of change in all actions intended to respond to the climate challenge both through adaptation and mitigation.

In the context of adaptation, a number of areas exist for climate action in which women are already actively involved namely the agriculture sector. Statistics show that at least about 80 percent of Zambia’s rural population depends on agricultural related activities. Further, studies show that rural women make up the larger share of the agricultural workforce of about 70 percent. Women therefore bear the primary responsibility for household food security, nutrition and health for families. Despite this fact, it is sad to note that women in agriculture are disadvantaged by their lack of equal access with their male counterparts to essential resources such as land and decision making power. While current laws in Zambia do not discriminate against women to own land, women still lack access to land. The 1995 Lands Act guarantees women the possibility of being land owners with security tenure of 99 years. However the Land Act also allows Customary Laws which mainly confer land ownership on men to apply to the administration of customary land. As a result, women do not have security to tenure as this is reliant on their husband or male relatives.

With respect to mitigation, Zambia’s contribution to the regional greenhouse gas emission level is relatively small. However, emissions from land use change are on an increase due to deforestation and land conversion. Halting deforestation is therefore the country’s primary mitigation action. There is potential for Zambia to reduce or store greenhouse gases particularly in the energy sector where women are already active.  While the energy sector consists of electricity, fossil fuel and renewable energy, wood is the most significant energy source accounting for about 80 percent of domestic energy in the country. Provision of energy for domestic use is typically a woman’s job in Zambia. Women often resort to the energy-inefficient open burning of biomass such as charcoal or firewood. They continue to spend enormous time procuring the biomass and they need larger amounts as they burn it inefficiently. Not only does this give them less time to pursue other income generating activities, the practice also exacerbates deforestation. Studies show that between 1990 and 2000, Zambia had the highest deforestation rate of about 851 000 ha in Southern Africa. This made Zambia account for almost half the deforestation in the Southern Africa Development Community region. Thus, mitigation actions such as the use of efficient energy systems at the household level can not only reduce both deforestation and unhealthy emissions, but also harness the potential of women as actors for mitigation measures. 

Climate change policy that does not address gender fails to utilize women’s potential in climate action. While the need for gender mainstreaming into climate change policy has generally been accepted at the international level, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol lack specific language related to gender. However, numerous other international legal instruments mandate the incorporation of the gender perspective which also applies to the existing climate change framework. Agenda 21, the Millennium Declaration, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification among others are gender-aware initiatives that may affect climate change policy. As political will for a new and meaningful universal agreement at the climate negotiations in Paris in 2015 is being mobilized, it is important that differentiated responsibilities of women and men be taken into account. Integrating gender into mitigative and adaptive policies will better deal with the repercussions of climate change. Empowering women and realizing gender equality are essential goals in themselves, but are in addition vital components of managing climate change and creating a more sustainable future.