By CHIKUMBI KATEBE
GOVERNMENT has announced phase two of the oral cholera vaccination exercise which begins on Monday in Kanyama and Chawama respectively.
Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya said the vaccination starts tomorrow, Monday 5th February, 2018 and urged all children and other citizens should go for the next dose.
He said the process was ongoing in the two areas to provide the second dose before the exercise rolls out to other areas across Lusaka.
He said citizens should not relax interventions such as maintaining high levels of hygiene in homes and public places during and after the cholera epidemic.
“All the children, all the citizens of Kanyama and Chawama should report to the designated cholera vaccination points tomorrow.
He said with over 1.3 million people successfully vaccinated in the first round, Government was still putting in place administrative logistics to meet similar targets in the second round.
And Government has commended media participation in disseminating the various interventions prescribed in the prevention of further spread of cholera in the country.
Dr Chilufya said although the Government has eased restrictions of public gatherings, the Statutory Instrument No 79 was still in effect and that citizens must maintain preventive interventions to avoid new infections.
“We would like to appeal to all our citizens not to relax but ensure that we continue observing utmost levels of hygiene and ensuring that we wash our hands, avoid buying food from the street and continue eating food that is cooked and well prepared. Also chlorinate and boil water.
“Yes we have eased restrictions but SI 79 is still in effect and we shall continue inspection of eating places and other public places,” he said.
He commended public participation as well as the corporate world for their various levels of interventions in the communities and work places. And Dr Chilufya has announced that Angola’s Minister of Health was scheduled to arrive in the country to tap into Zambia’s success story in dealing with the current cholera outbreak.
…Report your claims to ACC if you are truthfulBy AARON CHIYANZO
HAKAINDE Hichilema like any other citizen with proof of corruption, must submit that evidence to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), says a former top UPND official.
Dr Canisius Banda, who is former UPND vice president for politics has challenged those with evidence of corruption to report to the ACC.
Mr Hichilema is allegedto have said that President Edgar Lungu’s theft was not new, because he had been stealing from people since he was a lawyer.
President Lungu however responded that he would no longer respond to “foul-mouthed” politicians accusing him of corruption.
But Mr Hichilema insisted that the President could not respond because he was guilty and that the former ministers’ claims of corruption were true.
Dr Banda noted that many with such claims have been challenged to provide evidence, but none had since come forward.
Dr Banda also challenged the UPND leader that like any other citizen with proof of corruption, he should submit that evidence to the ACC.
“Instead of fighting one another, let us all fight corruption. Mr Hichilema, like any other citizen with evidence should do is to submit that evidence to the Anti-Corruption Commission,” he said.
Dr Banda insisted that all citizenry should join the struggle against corruption instead of fighting one another.
He questioned why it should be a story when Mr Hichilema, former ministers Harry Kalaba or Chishimba Kambwili talk against corruption and not when President Lungu acted against it.
Dr Banda reiterated that all should strengthen, encourage and help the Head of State to fight and put the scourge to an end.
By AARON CHIYANZO
BRAZIL and Zambia have finally signed a US$90.7 million debt write-off, 12 years after the 2005 Paris Club Agreement and six years after the bilateral agreement.
Before the debt write-off was executed, Zambia owed the South American economic giant a consolidated amount of US$113. 4 million of which 80 percent has now been written-off.
Speaking after the signing ceremony at the Brazilian Ministry of Finance headquarters, Finance Minister, Felix Mutati said the US$ 22.7 million debt which represents two per cent was rescheduled for repayment in two equal instalments to be paid by March, 2018.
Mr Mutati said that the savings from what would have been full debt repayment would be channeled to support the implementation of poverty reduction programmes outlined in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP).
“We are very grateful to Brazil for concluding a process that started way back in 2005,” he stated, adding that, “this agreement will reinforce the relationship between Brazil and Zambia,” Mr Mutati said.
Meanwhile, Brazilian vice minister of finance, Marcello Estevao said that the parties’ debt write-off and debt rescheduling agreement was a great start to a new phase of development cooperation between Brazil and Zambia. Dr Estevao stated that after suffering stagnation, his country was now undertaking structural reforms which had redirected the Brazilian economy to a recovery path with growth projected at three percent.
The law enforcement agencies have been highly compromised to the extent that they no longer command public confidence even from the people that are using them, says Nason Msoni.
Mr Msoni, a former MMD presidential aspirant charged that institutions such as the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) and the Zambia Police (ZP) could not act independently if their investigations were instigated by politicians in government.
He said that because of government’s interference in the operations of these institutions, investigations carried out by such institutions would always leave doubts in people’s mind who would in turn perceive to be untrue.
Mr Msoni said it was time these institutions redeemed themselves from the hands of the politicians and operate within the frame work of the law.
“ACC, DEC and Police are no longer fit for purpose. If the recent conduct in these institutions is anything to go by it is apparent that their role as law enforcement agencies has greatly or highly been compromised to the extent that they no longer command public confidence from our people.
“The problem is that they are working under instructions from the politicians who in most cases target fellow politicians. They have watered down their own credibility by allowing themselves to be used by politicians,” Msoni said.
He noted that it was unprecedented in the history of this country for police or indeed any law enforcement agency to issue political statements that were punctuated with open threats in defence of the regime in power.
“The recent statement by the Inspector General of Police Ms Stella Libongani openly threatening opposition leaders clearly points to the direction from where the police are drawing their instructions.
“This is what happens when institutions of state become a private family affair and that why we call upon these institutions to free themselves from this political bondage,” he said.
Mr Msoni said to address this conduct and unbecoming behaviour by law enforcement institutions, there was absolute need for proper constitutional reforms especially in the appointment of the heads of these agencies.
He said the appointment of these heads of institution should not be political based because someone would be compelled to obey the appointing authority and turn down the service for the people.
The concerned citizen said it was sad the persons running these institutions were only concerned to work with the people that put them in office and opt to forget that Zambians needed their service much more than the political leaders.
The Judiciary has been ordered to immediately stop and abandon any more steps at constituting a Tribunal to investigate breaches of the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct Act by Tourism Minister Sylvia Masebo.
In accordance with the law Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda had written President Michael Sata to inform him of the impending tribunal following a complaint lodged by former Minister of Transport William Harrington.
Mr. Harrington fulfilled all requirements for a tribunal to be constituted. In his re-application submitted to the office of the Acting Chief Justice, Harrington presented a list of fourteen persons who could be subpoenaed by the tribunal for purposes of verifying print and electronic media publications.
The Acting Chief Justice had requested for further details to establish the truth and make out a prima facia case against Ms Masebo before she could appoint a tribunal. He also availed to her a DVD recording of relevant statements made by Ms Masebo at her press briefings as part of his evidence in support of his application.
The tribunal when appointed was required by law to investigate allegations of abuse of office and various breaches of the law levelled against Ms Masebo in the matter of the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) hunting concession licensing tender procedure.
In her letter to Harrington in response to his earlier application for the appointment of a tribunal, the Acting Chief Justice reminded him that the matter was serious one because according to the provisions of the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct Act, Ms Masebo could lose her Chongwe seat is found guilty. The Act states that “a breach of the Parts 3 and 4 of the Act shall constitute part of the code of conduct for Members of Parliament for purposes of the Constitution, a breach of which results in the vacation of the seat of the Member concerned.”
Since then, it has been learned over-whelming evidence against Ms Masebo has been collected by various agencies.
When informed of the development Mr. Harrington said he understood and appreciated the anxiety of interested and concerned citizens over perceived delay by the Acting Chief Justice in appointing a tribunal because as the adage goes “justice delayed is justice denied”.
However this, he said, applied to all parties concerned including the dismissed top ZAWA management, the successful bidders for hunting concession licenses and indeed Ms Masebo herself who obviously needed to clear her name over the allegations levelled against her.
“ In this regard, I can assure you that I intend to make a follow-up with the office of the Acting Chief Justice early in the coming week.” He said.
Mr. Harrington said he did not subscribe to the assertion that President Sata was not aware of the provisions of the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct Act “because the Patriotic Front Party when in opposition was very supportive of my application to appoint a tribunal to investigate the then Minister of Communications and Transport Ms Dora Siliya over the Zamtel and International Airport sagas. “ he said.
Zambians must congratulate the opposition political parties and civil society organizations for taking the Patriotic Front (PF) government to the Commonwealth for blatant abuse of human rights, says Professor Michelo Hansungule.
In a statement made available to the Daily Nation, Prof Hansungule said that the move should be supported by all well-meaning Zambians in order to consolidate democracy in the nation.
Prof. Hansungule said that in fact, besides appealing to the Commonwealth, citizens should escalate their complaints to various other international forums provided they abide by their applicable procedures.
He said that it was their (Zambian) birthright to take grievances to whichever forum Zambia and other states had freely and voluntarily acceded to.
“Anyone who says this is unpatriotic successfully exposes their ignorance of basic international procedures and systems Zambia has long accepted as part and parcel of the civilized international community,” he said.
Prof. Hansungule said that African governments and its leaders must realize and remember that they did not own citizens’ rights.
“Herein lies their right to complain and even to peacefully take to the streets. It was precisely for this reason that the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to try and prevent people from taking to the bush to solve a problem each time they have a grievance. As demonstrated recently in the Arab Spring, peace loving people everywhere have a limit as to how much they can tolerate a bad government. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the citizens’ complaints to the Commonwealth and in fact they must do it again,” he said.
Prof Hansungule said it was sad that some of the government officials in the current administration had found the move by the opposition absurd when not too long ago they defined the standards of democratic governance.
“Opposition parties and civil society organizations should be congratulated by all well-meaning people for taking the initiative to approach the Commonwealth and express their grievances over their experiences in trying to consolidate democracy in Zambia. Though they may have forgotten after bouncing back to power, some of the state officials who are now crying foul over the report of the opposition and civil society to the Commonwealth are the same ones that took part in defining these standards which today they find hard to comply with. No one imposed these standards on the Commonwealth least of all opposition or citizens,” said Prof. Hansungule.
He said that it must be understood that the international community had evolved from the time when it treated human rights as internal issue for the exclusive domain of the respective country or government to deal with.
Prof. Hansungule explained that the Commonwealth was one of the many options the opposition took in order to have their grievances heard.
He said that the commonwealth was a powerful tool that had been re-vented itself to fight the abuse of human right and promote democracy and good governance among the membership states.
“The Commonwealth has successfully been re-inventing itself towards a powerful weapon to fight for democracy, human rights, rule of law, good governance,” he said.
He said that concerns raised by the leadership about the opposition and other stakeholders holding meetings on foreign land did not matter.
“Does it really matter where citizens converge to deliver their grievances? I honestly think not. If people are arrested for being at a market, going to a Chief or convening a peaceful rally, how do they go ahead and convene a press briefing in that same country to announce an international initiative which as we have seen in this case throws authorities to the margins of madness?”
He said that most of the challenges the country was going through had to do with abuse of state apparatus in particular the police.
Prof. Hansungule said that it was sad that security forces and police in particular were being biased, adding that police were not trained in interpreting statements politicians make during their rallies and cannot pretend to understand subliminal messages underlying those statements.
“ If a meeting is peaceful and it remains peaceful even after certain statements are made by those attending it, how does this bother the police? Does peace bother the police? The Constitution is very clear in that police have a binding duty to protect peaceful rallies and assemblies as dictated to by the bill of rights which is the only authority police must abide by.
The Patriotic Front motion to remove the immunity of former President Rupiah Banda will be closely followed if not simultaneously accompanied by a motion to impeach President Sata for constitutional abrogation, MMD Solwezi Member of Parliament Lucky Mulusa has said.
Opposition lawmakers, he said, were also determined to petition for a medical board of inquiry to examine the President’s suitability to continue at the helm of the nation.
Mr. Mulusa warned that while the PF leadership perceived the opposition to be weak, there was a common agenda which those in the opposition wanted to protect and defend.
President Michael Sata would be impeached, he said, as soon as parliament resumed to stop him from destroying the country’s democracy. Mr. Mulusa said that when Parliament adjourned in December last year, MPs reminded the PF government to walk away from destroying the opposition to nation building.
The opposition, he said, had hoped that a new spirit of constructive dialogue would develop “these debates fell on deaf ears. We are back this week with the same destructive PF. Parliament is likely to be paralyzed as all Parliamentarians are likely to be out campaigning. The nation will lose resources unnecessarily. In the name of the people, this must stop.”
“While we expect both motions to fail, the failure of the immunity motion will be a victory for President Banda, while the failure of the impeachment motion will leave indelible marks and damage on the Presidency. It will have far reaching implications beyond the PF. It will damage the country’s current MMD underwritten investment grade credit rating.
The Rating Agencies are likely to affirm the negative outlook with a possible downgrade. This is because political risk premium will go up due to the attempted vote of no confidence on the president. Investors will hold back investment as the environment of uncertainty ensues,” he said.
He said that the petition for a medical board of inquiry though might not succeed either, would put the President in the spot light and would bring pressure on him.
Mr. Mulusa said that the opposition was ready to face the PF in the house on various issues, adding that they would take them.
“The question the PF should ask themselves is; is this battle worth waging? For us we are ready for you in Parliament! We will take you on pound for pound and punch for punch. For far too long we have watched you pound us with so much hatred and toxic levels of desire to inflict both emotional and economic pain on the opposition. You have even failed to concentrate on running the economy for the betterment of the people. We will give you the taste of your own medicine,” he said.
He said that decision to block attempts to remove former President Banda’s immunity was in no way backed by the desire to protect wrong doing but to ensure that constitutional provisions and democratic institutions were not used by hypocrites with small, petty and unappreciative minds to achieve personal satisfaction.
“You are currently abrogating constitutional provisions. You are making unnecessary economic decisions that are not easily discernible because they appear normal to the public. Yet you are heaping huge costs on the unsuspecting public. You do not deserve the title of messiahs of the people.”
Mr. Mulusa has since urged well-meaning ‘original’ PF membership to reclaim the party’s position in society after a long struggle to power for it had been hijacked by the greedy and selfish individuals.
He said that there was need of unity of purpose among the opposition as they were under siege by the PF leadership.
Mr. Mulusa urged the PF leadership to take governance seriously unlike the way they were doing it now.
He said that it was sad that the current leadership did not give hope to the people of Zambia compared to other leaders in the Southern African region.
Those advocating for the lifting of immunity of the fourth republican President Rupiah Banda must approach the issue with reason and love for the nation and not personal vendettas, says the Zambian Voice.
Zambian Voice executive director Chilufya Tayali noted that justice and rule of law for the immunity to be lifted must go with the clear evidence or prima facie cases to justify the act.
He explained that it was right for Mr Banda to have refused to be questioned or answer anything to the ACC because he was not obliged.
“In the case of RB we think it was not in the interest of Justice to have refused to appear before the Anti Corruption Commission to be questioned, citing this article, because it is only after such investigations that evidence or a prema facie case(s) can be established. We however note that RB has the right to refuse to be questioned or answer anything to ACC or any other Law enforcers, he is not obliged.”
Mr Tayali said it was logical to speculate that those people calling for the removal of immunity had ill-intent to benefit themselves or settle scores, on the basis that the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) or any other Law enforcing agency had not currently laid any case against the former President.
“We therefore wonder on what basis people are asking to have the immunity of Mr Banda lifted when currently ACC or any other Law enforcing agency has not laid any case against him. As an organization that espouses to bring unity and promote democracy we wish to throw some reflections in the light of our Constitution and Natural Law,” he said.
However, Mr Tayali has called upon Zambians not to be dragged into schemes and personal crusades to embarrass the former Head of State without just cause.
And Mr Tayali accused the investigative wing of exhibiting unprofessionalism and double standing in the operation of the ACC, especially in the case of Mr Banda.
He claimed it was unprofessional for ACC to provide or leak the letter of Mr Banda to the media because ACC could have conducted its investigations in confidence.
“It is also a double stand because on 28th January we wrote to ACC to update us on the corruption case involving Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba and Defense Minister Geoffrey Mwamba, we got a response that they would not devour such information to the public because its confidential. This tendency is very common with ACC and we are concerned. If the case has something to do with a Government, it is confidential but if it is for an ordinary citizen or opposition, the accused is tried and convicted in the public,” he said.
According to Article 43 (3) of the constitution, protects the current and former Presidents from criminal prosecution unless immunity is lifted by National Assembly and for it to be lifted, there must be overwhelming evidence or prema facie case(s) that such a person would be accused of. Such evidence can only come after thorough investigations which might include questioning the accused person. In other words the article in question does not protect a person from investigations or indeed being questioned.
Various statements coming from government shows that there is no coordination in manner in which national matters are handled, the political analyst advocating for good governance Dante Saunders has charged.
Mr Saunders maintained that some of the statements were not convincing enough, but instead were regrettable as they were misleading and denting the country’s image.
The analyst said it was sad that the government officials were in the forefront blaming the opposition on their trip to South Africa when they had failed to adhere to what the Zambian people wanted.
He charged that government should never ever again blame the opposition of any step they were taking in the public interest because it had failed to open room for dialogue to solve various issues the country was facing.
Mr Saunders said the statements issued by the government on the opposition’s meeting with the Commonwealth secretariat in South Africa were not done in good faith on the basis that they were aware.
He insisted that for as long as the PF government kept on cheating the Zambians, its popularity would be lost, adding that it was sad that the Head of State was even proud of distorting the facts with an embarrassment statement that was just reflecting the character of his government.
Mr Saunders was reacting to media reports where President Michael Sata was quoted having said that the opposition leaders were seeking asylum in South Africa.
“This was the most embarrassing statements that cannot even convince the ordinary Zambians, but was aimed to disorder the opposition. And it is not a crime to be in the opposition,” he said.
He said some situation could have adverse on the country’s relationship with other countries, adding that he was concerned over the numerous socio-economic tensions prevailing in the country arising from bad governance principles.