BANK of ZAMBIA

Announcement of the Bank of Zambia Policy Rate

 October 2012

At its September 2012 meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee decided to maintain the Bank of Zambia Policy Rate at 9.0% for October 2012.

During its deliberations, the Committee noted the following upward risks to overall inflation:
Labor related cost-push factors;
Rising international oil prices;
Rising feedstock prices; and,
The anticipated global grain deficit.

In addition, the Committee noted some weakness in the external performance of the economy owing to a slowdown in the global economy as a result of the on-going Euro zone debt crisis and the slow growth in China, India and the United States of America. However, the Committee was of the view that these threats may not have an immediate effect on the exchange rate and subsequently, inflation in the coming month.

Further, the Committee noted downward risks to inflation, to arise from the stability in the prices of vegetables and fish, reflecting an improvement in seasonal supply, coupled with relative stability in the exchange rate.

In view of the above, the Committee anticipates annual overall inflation in October 2012 to remain steady around the September level.

Given the foregoing, the Committee was of the opinion that inflationary pressures during the policy-relevant period will not pose a significant threat to the end-year inflation target of 7.0%. The Committee, in this regard, decided to maintain the Policy Rate at 9%.

The next meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee to review the Bank of Zambia Policy Rate will be held at the end of October 2012.

Issued by:

Head of Public Relations
Bank of Zambia
P.O. Box 30080
LUSAKA

Email:      pr@boz.zm
Website:   www.boz.zm

28 September 2012

PRESS RELEASE

 

AUDITORS VINDICATE MISA ZAMBIA

 

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia successfully held its 16th Annual General Meeting on 27 September 2012 at Palmwood Lodge in Lusaka at which Financial Auditors, AMG global presented an unqualified financial audit report.

The financial audit report presented at the AGM did not indicate any financial irregularities at the institution as opposed to some recent media reports.

MISA Zambia members from all around the country were satisfied with both the chairpersons’ report and the audited financial report which was presented by auditors, AMG global.

Meanwhile, the AGM resolved that the organisation would continue with its mandate of defending media freedom, freedom of expression and access to information.

The AGM expressed disappointment over some members who were issuing unsubstantiated reports and called for measures to be taken to address such issues.  The membership further called for continued support from the organisation.

And MISA Zambia Acting Chairperson Nalumino Nalumino said that MISA Zambia recognizes government as an important partner and will continue working with it but will not hesitate to give constructive criticism to either government or any other political party when need be.

The institution will therefore, remain resolute in championing media freedom and freedom of expression in its efforts to try and build a democratic culture, where views, opinions and freedoms of people are respected.

Nalumino Nalumino

Acting Chairperson

MISA Zambia

28 September 2012

 

“Go well my girl” KK bids farewell to Betty

“Go well my girl,” first republican president Kenneth Kaunda said in his farewell message to his wife Mama Betty Kaunda who was also Zambia’s ever first lady after independency in 1964.

Mama Betty Kaunda who was interred at Dr Kaunda’s State Lodge home has been eulogized as a beacon of peace and a woman who contributed measly to the liberation struggle in Zambia and other countries in the region.

Dr Kaunda in his eulogy read on his behalf by a Mr Pius Kasutu said he would not have achieved what he did for the country and himself without the support of Mama Betty Kaunda.

“You were my great companion in the last 66 years of our marriage. I would not have achieved what I did for the country and for myself without your support and participation. Go well my girl,” Dr Kaunda said.

In his tribute, Dr Kaunda said the death of his wife was unexpected because Mama Betty had only travelled to Zimbabwe to visit her daughter in good health.

Dr Kaunda who arrived at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross around 12:00 hours today was looking frail and was ushered inside the church through the back entrance.

Dr Kaunda narrated that his marriage of 66 years was in fact an arranged one as it was his mother who had chosen Mama Betty Kaunda for him in 1946.

Mama Betty Kaunda, 83 died on 19th September 2012 in Zimbabwe.

The requiem mass that took place at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross today was free of violence which characterized the same last week when unruly Patriotic Front (PF) thugs beat up UPND cadres in full view of the police.

This time around, the PF cadres who entered the Cathedral of the Holy Cross grounds dressed in military replica uniforms were kept at bay by the police and could only chant their slogans from far.

And Government has described Mama Betty Kaunda as a humble and selfless person who did not want to be in the glare of publicity after she became the first lady in 1964.

Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda who is the acting President said Mama Betty Kaunda inexplicable in her commitment to serving the country and the region as a whole.

Mr Chikwanda said Mama Betty Kaunda has left a legacy of hope, peace and harmony and that other women should learn to emulate such kind of attributes.

Among the people who attended the requiem mass were opposition UPND president Hakainde Hichilema who entered the church under tight security.

Others were former president Rupiah Banda, Vice-President Guy Scott, the wife of former Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere Maria Nyerere and other foreign diginitries as well as cabinet Ministers that included Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM), Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba and Sports Minister Chishimba Kambwili.

Soon after his arrival, police attempted to persuade him to use the back entrance of the church but the UPND leader objected and insisted that he was going to enter the church using the door everyone else was using.

 

 

29,000 passports disappear

 Over 29,000 Zambian passports have disappeared

The 32 –paged Zambian passports valued at over K9 billion disappeared from passports office in 2010 and to date there has been no explanation on how the documents were lost.

According to the latest audit report, 366 000 passports were issued in the year in question but only 336.026 were accounted for, the rest simply disappeared.

The report further said that the passports that were not accounted for were those that were issued at K320, 000.

But when contacted Home affairs permanent secretary Max Nkole declined to comment stating that the loss occurred before he assumed office.

The auditor general’s office has insisted that to date the passports have not been properly issued and accounted arguing that the report was sent three times to the passport office without being denied.

Many foreigners especially West Africans have been caught travelling on Zambian passports.

Recently a notorious murderer who was on the most wanted list in the United States of America, Abraham Mpaka, a Nigerian was travelling on a Zambian passport.

Power concentration will lead to dictatorship

The opposition UPND has charged that the concentration of powers and responsibilities in the hands of the President is a recipe for bad governance and should not be allowed.

UNPD leader Hakainde Hichilema said that as a party, it was disappointed by President Sata’s decision to transfer the Road Development Agency (RDA) from the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication to State House.

Mr Hichilema said “as a party we were for the considered view that if President Sata was genuinely interested in strengthening the national capacity to effectively respond to the challenges of improving road networks and other related infrastructure, the best way would have been to strengthen capacity of government agencies instead of centralizing such powers and responsibilities to himself.”

The opposition leader charged that the fundamental principles of accountability and transparent in procurement of road works were even at a more risk of being seriously compromised at State house.

He said this contrary to the argument by Mr Sata that there was lack of accountability and transparency at RDA in the procurement for road works as a reason for his unilateral action.

“There is genuine fear that most road tenders will be given to those perceived to be politically correct and have access to the President at the expense of deserving contractors who may not have access to State House.

This is likely to breed corruption, nepotism and favouritism because the tender process is likely to be at the mercy of Presidential Decrees,” Hichilema observed.

Mr Hichilema further observed that it would be difficult for an institution that was controlled from the Office of the President to be genuinely audited.

He said this would also create difficulties for the investigative wings to question any suspicions of corruption or fraud since most activities under that office were highly classified.

“As UPND, we demand that the responsibilities and abilities of government service delivery agencies, such as RDA be strengthened and later decentralized to Local Authorities with the necessary capacity building support as part of the devolution process.

Good Governance demands reposing of resources, powers and responsibilities in institutions that are closer to the people and can easily be held accountable,” he said.

Mr Hichilema claimed that when UPND comes to power in 2016, it was going to run a government of the people which would devolve the procurement, rehabilitation and construction of roads and other infrastructure development to capacitated Local Authorities as a matter of good governance for sustainable socio-economic development.

“We however do not want to wait until 2016 and see damage being done to the road sector which is the back bone of sustainable economic development.

It is for this reason that we are appealing to PF not to continue paying lip service to the decentralization process but to demonstrate that they are willing to devolve powers and resources to the lower organs of government in order to strengthen the local government system which is closer to the people,” Hichilema said.

He said as UPND, this appeal was in the best interest of the nation and sincerely believed that measure taken by President Sata was not sustainable because it was built and centered around one person, which was an exact opposite of facilitating sustainable development through decentralization.

He observed that there was need to build credible and durable institutions and systems of good governance instead of building individual empires that may produce undesirable dictatorial and corrupt practices.

Work professionally, Milupi tells police

Alliance for Development and Democracy (ADD) says police must show professionalism in the execution of their duties and avoid working under instructions from PF cadres.

ADD President Charles Milupi charged that President Michael Sata was not sincere when he called for the country to push for peace and yet he allowed F cadres to intimidate and instigate violence at the slightest provocation.

Speaking to the Daily Nation yesterday, Mr Milupi said the action by the PF cadres to instruct Police without being arrested simply showed that they were acting under instruction.

“If Mr Sata says he is pushing for peace, then he is not sincere because his cadres follow what he says and if he stood firm and condemned them in public, the cadres will ensure they behave and respect the law,” Milupi observed.

He said Mr Sata detested violence but, it was sad and disappointing that people who were involved in the act of violence were from the ruling party.

“It was just a day before when President Sata in parliament was talking and appealing for peace and unity, but the PF cadres do not understand his language, he needs to talk to them” he said.

Mr Milupi expressed shock at the levels of intolerance in the country, especially among the political leadership, adding that the language used by the President was posing threat to democracy and was bound to put the security of the nation at risk.

He explained that for as long as President Sata continued targeting people with divergent views, the PF cadres would not stop threatening innocent individuals, a situation he described as unfortunate.

He advised the law enforcement agencies to be vigilant and execute their work professionally rather than being used to fight political battles.

Mr Milupi condemned the police officers for failing to protect the citizens because of the manner they were conducting their duties, adding that “an arrest could have been carried out on the PF cadres who perpetrated violence during the funeral service of Mama Betty Kaunda at cathedral of the Holy Cross but nothing has been done.”

He said the police have failed to act professionally adding that even if the church bans cadres from any church gatherings, they will not stop perpetrating violence because they believe that they have the support of their leaders.

Agriculture: price stabilisation on the way

The government is to establish a price stabilization fund to cushion farmers when global prices collapse.

This was announced by minster of agriculture Emmanuel Chenda in parliament following complaints that cotton farmers were in financial distress as the result of poor prices.

Mr Chenda admitted measures had been put in place to establish a fund to help cushion farmers in time of price challenges such as the one face by cotton farmers this year.

The minister could not say how soon the funds will be established but indicated that his ministry was determined to support local farmers against valgaries of incremental weather and poor prices.

Cotton farmers have been complaining about the low prices, saying despite having a lot of cotton harvested this farming season they were not willing to sell their harvest because of low prices offered.

The farmers were complaining about the high labour costs which they said would result in a huge loss if the cotton price was maintained at K1500 per kg.
Mr Chenda said there was need to promote and diversify in agriculture to benefit the local farmers.

Youths desert Mine

MORE than 200 youths, who paid K150, 000 to be employed at Kantobo Mine in Kapiri Mposhi have come back and vowed never to go back to the mine because they were subjected to a lot of hard work, hunger, lack of clean drinking water and had not been paid anything.

The 200 youths were part of the youths who paid K150,000 to a named  pastor who  promised  that they would be employed at a new mine called Kantobo mine in Kapiri Mposhi District.

The same youths on September 1, 2012 blocked the road at Wusakile roundabout and protested that the pastor had swindled them because he was not giving them employment as he had promised.

The youths, who were found at the District Commissioners office in Kitwe, told the Daily Nation that they had decided to come back because they had suffered a lot during the period they had worked in the area.

Speaking on  behalf of the others, Lawrence Kanyanta said when they arrived at the purported mine on August 22, 2012, they were told to start cutting trees, making the road using the hoes and shovels and only used to have one meal per day which was a small rump of Nshima in a cup and a table spoon of beans.

Kanyanta said they tried to persevere and endure because they were promised that they would be getting K2.8million per month, but they could not manage because they were just being used without being paid.

He said, it was after realising that there was nothing good coming up at the mine, that they decided to sell some of their clothes, cellphones to raise money to come back to Kitwe.

The youth narrated that when they arrived at the mine, they were assigned to cut tree and make access roads to the prospective mine. They had one meal a day made up of a cup of Nsima with beans

“We were very determined to work because we were promised a salary of K2.8million but we never got this money and the people who were supposed to pay us were never seen, so we ended up selling our  clothes, cell phones and other belongings to find money for food and transport.” He said.

“We have suffered very much big man. We were among the first groups that went to the mine.” He said.

Another youth, Steward Kabwe said they when they arrived at the mine, they found that there were already 500 youths in the area who were working and had told them that they would not cope with the hard work, the hunger and lack of clean water.

Kabwe said they used to walk for three hours from Chief Ngabwe’s palace where they were sleeping to the purported mine and by the time, they reached the working place, they were already tired.

He said, apart from walking long distance from the palace to the mine, the working place had no clean drinking water and were forced to drink water from a stream where animals were drinking from.

“When we reached the mine, we were told it is not Kantobo mine, but it was Chief Ngabwe’s mine. The purported mine is located near Chief Ngabwe’s palace and so we used to sleep at the palace. We were taking eight hours to walk from the palace to the mine.

“The place is very far in the bush and it has no clean drinking water. We used to drink water from a stream where animals were drinking from,” Mr Kabwe said.

Mr Kabwe appealed to the government to help them get the money they worked for at Kantobo mine because they were no longer interested in going back to the mine.

He said more youths were planning to come back from Kantobo mine because of the hardships they were going through in the bush which was claiming to be a mine.

“Ba mudala, teifwe fweka tweba bwelako. Nabambi baleisa abanensu umulandu wabuchushi balepitamo meaning we are not the only ones who have come back from that mine, even other colleagues of ours are planning to come back because things are just hard in that place.

“We wasted out time going to that place and so we are appealing to government to help us get the money we worked for at the mine. We did a lot of hard work,” He said.

 

Sata should discipline PF cadres-UPND

UPND youths in Western Province have appealed to President Michael Sata to ensure that PF cadres were disciplined in order to avoid their unruly behaviour that have characterised state funerals and other national gatherings.

Meanwhile FODEP executive director MacDonald Chipenzi has also condemned the unruly conduct of party cadres during funerals and any solemn gatherings.

Chipenzi noted with great concern that it was becoming a trend for political cadres to turn the gatherings into divergence and fighting grounds.

He reminded Zambian people to respect the cultural background during funeral gatherings, saying people no longer showed maturity when paying their last respect.

“It is our culture in Zambia that people should mourn with dignity and respect for the deceased. Each and every country has its own culture and we cannot run away from that,” he said.

He said that political parties have been advised to tolerate one another, which he said was not a case at the moment.

Provincial youth chairperson Shadreck Mungomba has also said that PF cadres should not take the law in their hands adding that PF cadres will not stop exhibiting intolerable behaviours at rallies and funerals unless president Sata instructed them to change.

Mr Mungomba said the violence that characterized the requiem mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka for the late Betty Kaunda and the attack on opposition leaders was uncalled for hence the need for the PF leadership to discipline its members.

He said it was sad that the ruling party had forgotten Zambian morals on how to conduct themselves at funerals and other State functions.

He condemned the PF leadership for the behaviour that was being exhibited by the cadres and accused them of trying to change the culture of funerals in the country.

“As youths we condemn the behaviour being exhibited by the ruling party cadres. For the past 47 years Zambia has been known to be a haven of peace, but with the kind of leadership that we have and the police officers in charge, it seems we will slowly lose the peace that we have been enjoying” he said.

Mr Mungomba noted with sadness that the lack of action by police to discipline the cadres was questionable and that Zambians were worried about the operations of the police under the PF government.

He said this behaviour makes one wonder if the country has been turned into a police State and if so government must come out and “tell all Zambians that we are under police control and not police protection”.

Mr Mungomba has since asked the Inspector General of police to monitor how police officers conduct themselves during political and funeral gatherings.

 

MMD-UPND meet to discuss

UPND president Hakainde Hichilema says the UPND/MMD working group would soon reach consensus on which party will contest the Mufumbwe Constituency by-election as opposed to people suggesting that discussions between the two parties have stalled.

Mr. Hichilema said that speculations going on that the two parties had failed to reach consensus on who should contest the seat were incorrect and uncalled for.

He said both MMD and UPND were determined and committed to working together in order to strengthen unity and the opposition ahead of the by-election.

Mr. Hichilema said that no official communication had been issued to state which party would contest the seat as discussions were still going on.

“We have a small team that we have out in place to look at that issue and it is our hope that soon the people of Mufumbwe will be availed with a candidate who will fully be supported by both parties,” he said.

Mr. Hichilema described the attempts to divide the opposition over the Mufumbwe seat by the PF as baseless and uncalled for.

And Mr. Hichilema has confirmed that both the MMD and the UPND had a caucus meeting over President Michael Sata’s speech in parliament last week on Friday.

“Yes I can confirm that our Members of Parliament had a meeting with their colleagues from the MMD at the (MMD) secretariat where they discussed among other things the speech by Mr. Sata in Parliament last week.

That speech was hollow and lacks Presidential etiquette. There is nothing our Members will debate and we asked them as a party to meet and see which direction they should take when it comes to debating the speech,” he said.

Mr. Hichilema said that President Sata had missed another chance to inspire the people of Zambia by giving governments policy on poverty reduction, “unemployment, education and health as well as road infrastructure development. The President failed to give direction on how Zambia will run in the next one years.”

The Members of Parliament who attended the meeting said that President Sata’s written speech to parliament was diluted with the verbatim speech he made to the National Assembly last week and that would not endorse that.

“We have resolved that we shall not support and debate the speech because there is nothing to debate. It is full of insults, drama and uncoordinated and contradicting activities. Our people did not vote for us here to sweep such issues under the carpet and we shall make out position known in parliament today,” an MMD MP said.