Orphans prodded to work hard in class

CHILDREN in orphanages should work extra hard at school to better their future, says Grand Corporate Business Consultants (GCBC) executive director Charles Mulenga. Mr. Mulenga encouraged the girls especially to work hard in their skills training as they were the leaders of tomorrow. He said this when his organization donated various foodstuffs and school support materials to Vision of Hope Orphanage in Foxdale recently.

“Whatever you are taught here, take it wholeheartedly and do it passionately. Temptations of growth may come along the way but ensure that you get through this and better your lives,” Mr. Mulenga said. Mr Mulenga encouraged the founder and mothers at the orphanage for coming up with such an initiative and assured them that the donation was the start of a prosperous relationship with GCBC. “It is important to consider these orphanages; we as Grand Corporate will always continue to remember you and many others in need,” he said.

The ceremony was attended by executive director for Alliance for Children in Zambia Mrs Daisy Muzukutwa and her deputy Reverend Everest Kabwe. Ms. Muzukutwa, who is a social worker by profession, also encouraged the girls to work hard and have a positive attitude towards life. “You have been given this opportunity to improve your lives. I want you to work hard because the future lies in your hands. When we see street skids we at Alliance for Children in Zambia see future leaders,” She said. Ms. Muzukutwa commended GCBC on their donation to the orphanage and urged other organizations to come on board and support the children. She also thanked the orphanage as a whole for taking in the girls as it was difficult to house girls who had different complications and at a delicate stage in life. Vision of Hope Orphanage was founded in April 2009 by Chitalu Chishimba in John Howard.

The orphanage was then adopted by Mission Direct who built a permanent home for them in Foxdale where they have been located since August 2016. Vision of Hope supported girls from the ages 9-18years especially those with babies through education, shelter, nutrition and skills training such as rag making, earrings and bracelets.

Kozo Lodge rises from ashes as Oasis Spar of Choma

THE formerly Kozo Lodge belonging to former Higher Education minister Michael Kaingu in Choma  which was burnt to ashes, is re-opening soon as Oasis Spar to provide a business environment that will attract both locals and international tourists.

Oasis Spar manager Iris Kaingu said since 2001 Kozo Lodge had been providing the opportunity for visitors to stay long in Choma and enjoy the local hospitality and attractions en route to the tourist capital, Livingstone.

Ms Kaingu said after the burning of Kozo Lodge in October 2015, plans had been underway to continue supporting the tourism sector within the context of rural and urban tourism. She said the Oasis Spar would consist of a shopping mall with a supermarket, restaurant and hotel that would have four times the number of rooms compared to Kozo.

“While we contribute to the local economy, we want to make sure we promote tourism as we had been pioneers and we promise to give the best to Zambia as well as foreign visitors,” she said. Ms Kaingu said the shopping mall had gobbled more that K3 million and that more workers would be employed. She said former workers would be a priority as they had contributed much to the growth of the business, adding that the establishment would create more jobs especially for the locals. “We are into creating jobs and in a way bringing about new products and new service standards that will satisfy our people,” she said.

Ms Kaingu said the hotel was expected to be completed by next year, in the second phase of the project, adding that accommodation formed the base for tourism. “The motivation to travel is usually led by the desire to experience a wider tourism product at a particular resort or locality with accommodation as one of the crucial tourism products, and this will remain our core business,” she said.

Prayer key to healing hateful hearts – First Lady

PRAYERS is key to softening and healing the hearts of those with hatred and ill intention against Zambia and its leadership, First Lady Esther Lungu has said. And the Church of Central African Presbyterian (CCAP) Reverend Makaiko Banda has appealed to Zambians never to give up because without the love and care of the Almighty, the country would not be enjoying peace and unity since its independence.

Speaking at the Church service at CCAP in Lusaka’s John Laing Township, First Lady Lungu said the church should continue to pray for the nation and its leadership. The First Lady who attended the CCAP church service whose theme was ‘Perseverance on Sunday’ said Zambians needed to pray without ceasing because the devil was always working at turning people against God. “Prayer is the only key to heal and mend the hearts of brothers and sisters who have hatred and ill intentions against this country and its leadership.

This is what I talk about and I tell people that never live a life of regrets no matter what hardships you may go through because God cares for you and that is why I am here to feed from the word of God,” the First Lady said. Mrs Lungu said she was humbled by the reception accorded to her by the congregants in John Laing and that she was going to continue encouraging Zambians particularly women never to give up as God was listening to their challenges and problems.    And Reverend Banda urged Zambians to persevere in life and never reject God no matter the obstacles they might face in their lives and that God was faithful and cared for them.

 

Sale of Zamtel not IMF condition-State

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has not given the sale of Zamtel as one of the conditions for the Fund’s bail out and Zambians should ignore social media gossip and speculation that the Zambian government has been forced to offload the telecommunications company, Transport and Communication Minister Brian Mushimba has said.

Mr Mushimba said the Government was working hard in looking for alternative measures to work round the different challenges affecting the nation economically including the current power deficiency being experienced due to the drought that has led to low water levels for hydropower production. He said it was unfortunate that some people have taken to spreading falsehoods which were aimed at fuelling people’s anxieties against Government’s intentions and efforts to rebuilding the economy. He explained that Zambia was going through tough economic pressure emanating from external shocks such as copper prices and international currency rates over which the country had no control, but that he was hopeful the Government’s austerity measures would help put things in place to slowly rebuild the economy. “I am not part of the Government’s negotiation squad that would suggestively engage the IMF if indeed it takes off, but I have heard through social media speculation about the sale of Zamtel and other parastatals as a means to meet the conditions set to qualify for IMF loan.

“I have no idea if there are such negotiations and if any of what is being said is true about Government and IMF, or the conditions, but what I can say is that there is too much speculation about this (IMF) which even Government has not announced yet,” he said. He was commenting on speculations from various sections of the media that the IMF has given the Zambian Government conditions to sell Zamtel and ZESCO among other parastatals as a way of meeting its benchmarks to qualify for a loan to pump into the economy.

Mr Mushimba said Government was aware of the numerous challenges being experienced in the energy sector and the mining industry and that all those austerity measures being implemented were the best options suggested to help rebuild the economy. He has since appealed to all well-meaning Zambians to ignore speculations on social media, but that they should wait upon the Government to do their best in finding best ways of dealing with the situation, adding that “as long as there is no official announcements from Government, treat anything in the media especially social media as mere rumours aimed to unsettling people’s confidence”. He said the Government was looking for better ways of dealing with the current economic hardships the country had found itself in.

LCC surrenders parking spaces to Parkrite

PUBLIC parking places in the Central Business District of Lusaka (CBD) which are officially managed by the Lusaka City Council have been given to a private company, Parkrite Zambia Limited which is going to introduce a paid parking system to the general public.

According to an advertisement running on social media, the Lusaka City Council has surrendered the management of public parking spaces in the City of Lusaka to Parkrite, a private company. Parkrite has since announced that it has taken over the management of public parking spaces in all areas in the Central Business District and that the company  would be accepting cash payments from motorists between November and December this year.

Parkrite, which is currently housed at the 2nd floor, South Wing Suite 1 in Central Park, said the company would gradually migrate from accepting cash from motorists to a cashless system which would see the introduction of what it called Smart Meters and PayByPhone system. The company had announced that with effect October 15 this year, the rates applicable for parking in Lusaka would be K5 per hour in all areas in Lusaka.

“Parkrite Zambia Limited has taken over the parking management of the City of Lusaka and is introducing a Paid Parking System in all areas in the Central Business District. Between October and November, we will still be accepting cash payments as we migrate gradually to a cashless system of Smart Meters and PayByPhone,” an advertisement read in part. Parkrite stated that motorists were therefore, advised to pay parking fees in advance to the parking wardens who would be issuing receipts which it said should be displayed on the side of the windscreen as proof of payment. The management said it was envisaged that within three months, the majority of motorists would have migrated to the cashless system of payment. “Please, contact the parking wardens and Parkrite offices for more information,” the advertisement stated.

 

Ndola’s Chichele squatters to give way to new airport

 

GOVERNMENT is facing a challenge to relocate more than 200 settlers from the Chichele forest area which is earmarked for the construction of the new Copperbelt international airport in Ndola, says provincial permanent sectary Reverend Howard Sikwela.

Speaking in Ndola when Minister of Transport and Communication Brian Mushimba paid a courtesy call on him, Rev. Sikwela said the land reserved for all displaced farmers was not yet ready.

He said the development had become of major concern because the rainy season was approaching and farmers needed to start cultivating.

He said because of the construction activities on site, the settlers whose major income was farming, had been advised not to undertake any agricultural work on the land.

Mr Mushimba said Government was alive to the fact that the farmers were critical to the country’s food basket.

He said Government would ensure that all the displaced farmers were relocated soon.

Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport manager Joseph Mumbi said that the current airport was facing the challenge of limited handling infrastructure as it had seen remarkable growth in its capacity.

Briefing Mr Mushimba, who was touring the facility, Mr. Mumbi said the current airport could not be expanded because the land reserved for the purpose had been encroached on and the township surrounding the facility had reached the airport boundary.

Mr. Mumbi said the airport was also facing a major challenge of aged infrastructure as it was still using military structures constructed in 1938.

He explained that the increased traffic had slowed down security check-ups, causing passengers to queue outside.

Mr. Mumbi expressed optimism that once the construction of the new greenfield airport was completed, it would offer a lasting solution to the many challenges that the current airport was facing.

Airtel promotes ICT in rural schools

 

IT IS important to provide pupils with relevant and contemporary experiences that allows them to successfully engage with technology and prepare them for life after school, says Kasama Airtel zonal business manager Mayimbo Kalengo.

Mr Kalengo said as technology was becoming more part of culture, it was important that pupils had access to technological facilities.

He was speaking when Airtel Networks Zambia donated four desktop computers valued at K18 000 to Mubanga Chipoya School in Kasama, Northern Province.

He said the donation was in line with Airtel’s corporate social responsibility initiate aimed at enhancing Information Communication Technology education in schools, thereby supplementing Government’s efforts to scale up e-learning in the delivery of ICT education.

“We are pleased to donate these computers valued at K18,000 and it is our sincere hope that this donation will help many pupils have access to ICT education,” Mr Kalengo said.

Mr Kalengo said the Ministry of Education had been supportive of the various educational projects, adding that Airtel would continue to invest in the local communities to enhance socio-economic development.

And school head teacher Patrick Mwalula commended Airtel for the donation, saying that the computers were going to help pupils with ICT which was a preserve of schools along the line of rail.

Mr Mwalula explained that in the past teachers and pupils were requested to provide their personal laptops to assist during examinations, saying having receiving these computers had helped to alleviate the challenge.

He said the school had over 700 pupils and that it had been facing challenges with accessing ICT tools since the introduction of ICT exams in schools.

1,720 NAREP members melt  into PF

 

MORE than 1,720 National Restoration Party (NAREP) members led by party secretary general Mabvuto Mwanza yesterday officially defected to the ruling Patriotic Front (PF), citing inconsistent leadership by NAREP president Elias Chipimo.

The entire Eastern, Southern, Northern provinces and Chongwe district executive have resigned from NAREP and were now Patriotic Front members.

Others who have defected included Lusaka Province chairman Brian Mpundu, Matero constituency chair lady Belita Chileshe and Kafue district chairperson Norman Mukunta.

Speaking on behalf of the defectors, Mr Mwanza said NAREP was currently limping and that its leadership was at the verge of retiring from active politics.

Mr Mavuto said PF had the best leadership among all the Zambian political parties, adding that its leadership had been consistent since its inception.

“PF is an enviable party for several reasons, the PF leadership is unique and the entire nation is tremendously blessed to have President Edgar Lungu who has miraculously transformed the Zambian political scene.

“President Lungu has recreated Zambia into an oasis of peace and tranquility where everyone enjoys all the human freedoms and liberties including even those who are allergic to peace and harmony,” he said.

Mr Mwanza said President Lungu had rare leadership qualities because he was a man who listened to the silent voice of God who had in return elevated him to the highest national throne.

“President Lungu must know that he has no match on the Zambian political scene because his appointment as President is from God whom he has exalted and my advice to all those who lost in the August 11, 2016, general elections is that there can only be one winner at a time therefore accept him as President of Zambia and move on as Zambia is known for upholding democratic values and principles such as respecting the will of the people.

“Zambia will no longer be the same under President Lungu because he had consecrated the nation to God,” he said.

And PF Lusaka Province chairman Horace Longwe, who received the defectors at the party secretariat in Lusaka, said the defectors would be fused in the PF system.

Mr Longwe said the Patriotic Front (PF) have forgotten about the 2016 victory in order to concentrate on the 2021 general elections.

He said although the PF machinery was ever ready for general elections, it was now concentrating on 2021 and by- elections if there would be any.

Earlier, former NAREP Lusaka Province chairman Mpundu said he decided to join the PF because he saw nothing wrong in President Lungu.

Tribunal orders ZRA refund coffee farm

 

ZAMBIA Revenue Authority (ZRA) has been ordered to pay a refund of over K13,000 on Value Added Tax to Balmoral Farms Limited.

According to a ruling delivered by the Tax Appeals Tribunal (TAT), ZRA had disallowed a VAT refund to the farm for coffee exported on its behalf by the Zambia Coffee Growers Association.  Tribunal chairman Frazer Chishimba said the decision by ZRA to disallow VAT refund claims was ultravires and void ab initio because the farm did not  sell the coffee directly but handed it over to the Association which  sold and paid the  export tax, being the sole exporter of coffee in Zambia.

He said the authority must therefore refund Balmoral up to K13,703 with interest  at the short term bank rate from the date due for refund according to the VAT forms filed.

Mr Chishimba, sitting with Mr G. Nonde and Ms M. Kampata, explained that according to the Coffee Act of 1989, there was an inconsistency in the action taken by ZRA against legal provisions, which implied that the applied Act must be annulled under the provision.

The appellant contended the decision by ZRA to surcharge them VAT which was already paid for at the point of export by ZCGA.

He said the move was inconsistent with the provisions of the Coffee Act and that ZRA could not use General 18 as amended of the VAT Act to look at Balmoral as a supplier of a taxable supply when why could not issue a tax invoice since they were not sellers.

He said Balmoral was not authorised to sell the coffee in Zambia which made them ineligible to pay VAT, as the cost would fall on the exporters, the association.

 “The appellant in this case cannot even issue any Tax Invoice to ZCGA as doing so would amount to selling the coffee produce which only ZCGA can do as by law established.

“Doing so would amount to an offence under Section 55 of the Coffee Act,” Mr Chishimba said.

He said the tribunal in its findings established that it was unreasonable for Balmoral to be expected to produce documents enumerated in a changed law, as such their appeal had succeeded.

 “In the position we have taken, this is a small consolation for the respondent as the appeal has succeeded in the main and it therefore follows that costs shall follow the event,” they tribunal ruled.

State orders crack down on land grabbers

 

ALL illegal structures irrespective of their nature across the county will in the next 15 days be demolished, Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Minister Jean Kapata has announced.

And Ms Kapata has warned that anyone who will be found trespassing on land that did not belong to them would be arrested regardless of their political affiliation.

Ms Kapata said the demolition of illegal structures across the country would be conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The minister made the announcement in a ministerial statement in Parliament yesterday.

 Parliament was also informed that the Patriotic Front (PF) government was not going to allow lawlessness in land allocation but would instead sternly deal with any illegal land occupiers.

Ms Kapata said the PF government was deeply concerned with the current rate of illegal land occupation, demarcation and allocation across the country by persons purporting to be cadres.

“This illegal trend has led to law abiding citizens being displaced from their lawfully acquired land. In some instances, landowners have been injured by these illegal land occupiers in the process of forcing them to vacate their land.

‘‘Illegal land occupation has been more pronounced in the cities where people masquerading as political cadres have indiscriminately invaded private and public land,” Ms Kapata said.

Ms Kapata said in Lusaka areas such as State Lodge, Silverest and Lusaka West had witnessed unprecedented levels of illegal land occupation.

She said the PF government would not sit idle and watch law abiding citizens being displaced from their legally acquired land by criminals masquerading as political party cadres.

Ms Katapata said there was no land that did not belong to anyone, adding that any land was held by the President on behalf of Zambians.

“Government will not protect anyone who breaks the law of this country and will not tolerate any person to illegally settle on any land. In order to ensure that land is made available to all Zambians, Government through the Ministry of Lands has been working with local authorities across the country to open up new areas for development under the Land Development Fund Programme (LDFP).

About 50, 000 plots have been created in the past two years by the ministry in collaboration with the local authorities,” Ms Kapata said.

Meanwhile, Ikelengi UPND Member of Parliament Elijah Muchima asked Ms Kapata when the Government would establish a commission of inquiry in order to ascertain which people were behind the illegal allocation of land.

This was after Mr Muchima accused the PF cadres of being behind the illegal land allocation.

But in her response, Ms Kapata said there would be no sacred cows when dealing with culprits in illegal land allocation and occupation.

She said the people behind the illegal land allocation could also be from the UPND, MMD and another political parties.