By Nation Reporter
THE United States Government has pledged to continue its strong partnership in helping Zambia address the many challenges it faces, particularly in the area of health through the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR/Emergency Plan).
U.S Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon has also reiterated President Donald Trump’s reaffirmation at this year’s United Nations General Assembly to the fight against HIV/AIDS where he singled out Zambia as one of the countries that have made strides in fighting the disease.
“It is for this reason, the U.S., is committed to continuing its robust partnership with Zambia in its efforts of fostering peace and mitigating the refugee crisis in the region,” he said.
Mr. Shannon said this at the Department of State in the Treaty Room on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 during a meeting attended by US Ambassador to Zambia Daniel L. Foote and his counterpart, Zambia’s Ambassador to the U.S Dr. Ngosa Simbyakula together with other senior officials from Department of State.
“Under Daniel’s leadership, Zambia and the United States will continue our strong partnership in helping Zambia address the many challenges it faces, particularly in the area of health. At this year’s United Nations General Assembly, President Trump reaffirmed our commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS and singled out Zambia as one of the countries closest to achieving epidemic control.
“Daniel’s impressive experience and achievements make him more than ready to lead our relationship with the government and people of Zambia as we work together to promote regional peace, security, and good governance,” he said.
Mr. Shannon said Mr. Foote would also be responsible for advancing a Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact that provides $355 million to improve the lives of over 1.2 million Zambians by enhancing the country’s water and sanitation systems in Lusaka.
On December 14, 2017 Mr. Foote who presented his credentials to His Excellency President Edgar Lungu as part of an official ceremony at State House, gave an overview of U.S. Mission goals which include partnering with the government and people of Zambia to strengthen democracy and good governance, increase economic prosperity, improve health and education, and partner for improved security and peace in the region.
Mr. Foote also echoed U.S Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s stance of increasing trade and investment with African countries, improving governance, and securing peace in Africa.
“You’ve already shown your enthusiasm for the job by hurrying out from Lusaka soon after your confirmation to present your credentials to the President of Zambia. Well done. As you assume the mantle of ambassadorial leadership, please know we are always here to support you and your team. I wish you and your loved ones all the best and safe travels,” Mr. Shannon said.
By Annie Zulu
THE South African National Assembly has moved a motion to acknowledge that Zambia’s attaining of Independence marked a turning point in the struggle to a decolonised Africa.
Member of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Mmabatho Mokause who moved the motion said Zambia inspired millions of people and a generation of Freedom Fighters on the African Continent.
The house commended Zambia for understanding that freedom meant little without economic emancipation.
This is According to the minutes of proceedings of the National Assembly sent to the Zambia High Commission in Pretoria South Africa by Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete.
Speaker Mbete said the house agreed to acknowledge that Zambia’s NationaliSation programme of copper Mines was meant to benefit the people of Zambia.
She said Parliament resolved to agree that Zambian people were an inspiration to millions of South Africans for opening their homes to Freedom Fighters during the struggle against Apartheid at great personal cost and danger to itself and its nationals.
The speaker asked the Zambian High Commission in that Country to convey the message to the government and people of Zambia.
And Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa Emmanuel Mwamba has thanked the Speaker of the National Assembly Baleke Mbete and the members of Parliament for the warm words of encouragement and recognition that they had bestowed on Zambia.
He said it was for this reason that President Edgar Chagwa Lungu had anchored Zambia’s Foreign Policy on building on the solid foundation made
by founder leaders and those before him.
|Harare – Emmerson Mnangagwa appears well-placed to return to a leading role in Zimbabwe following the army’s takeover in response to President Robert Mugabe’s sacking of the former vice president.|
Nicknamed “Ngwena” (The Crocodile) because of his fearsome power and ruthlessness, the 75-year-old has a reputation for taking no prisoners.
He appeared to have been outfoxed by Grace Mugabe, who is 41 years younger than her husband, after she apparently convinced the veteran head of state to ditch his long-serving minister.
But following the army’s dramatic seizure of power and reports that Mnanagagwa has left South Africa where he has been since his dismissal, Mnangagwa could be preparing to return to Zimbabwe and assume a leadership role.
“I think the army are in negotiations with Mugabe and Mnangagwa,” Derek Matyszak, an analyst at the Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies, told AFP.
“The easiest way to present a veneer of legality is that Mugabe reappoints Mnangagwa as vice president, briefly – Mugabe then retires.”
Under Zimbabwe’s constitution, the first vice president would automatically become acting president for 90 days.
Matyszak suggested that in that time, Zanu-PF would agree on a new party leader who would also become president “which would undoubtedly be Mnangagwa”.
In the early days after independence from Britain in 1980, Mugabe made Mnangagwa, who was then a young trainee lawyer, minister for national security.
Since then Mnangagwa occupied a host of cabinet positions – but relations between him and his political mentor have not always been cosy, and the younger man is no stranger to presidential purges.-NEWS24
By Simon Muntemba And Chikumbi Katebe
HAKAINDE Hichilema deserved the roasting by BBC’s Stephen Sackur for lying that the presidential election petition was still active in court when not, the New Congress Party (NCP) Peter Chanda has charged.
Pastor Chanda said Mr Hichilema was not only ‘unpatriotic and bitter’ but also hypocritical as he did not recognise President Edgar Lungu when Britain, United States of America and other countries had recognised him.
And former UPND presidential spokesperson Edward Mumbi said it was a shame for Mr Hichilema who aspires for a higher office of the land to shamelessly tell lies using the international fora.
He was reacting to questions BBC’s Stephen Sackur put the UPND leader on the spot asking him why he expected dialogue with President Lungu whom he did not recognize.
The UPND President who is in the United Kingdom after being invited to give a speech at Chatham House was roasted by BBC’s Stephen Sackur when he appeared on the world popular Hardtalk programme.
Mr Sackur asked Mr Hichilema if he was going to run for elections despite having lost five times in a process, “the whole world fairly acknowledges as free and fair.”
Mr Hichilema responded, “Whether I am going to run again is not the point, the point is we are concerned about the process under which these elections are held…anyone is free to run including myself.”
Mr Hichilema further decried the conditions under which he was jailed and held in solitary confinement in the first eight days of his arrest, saying he was incarcerated on trumped up charges. Mr Sackur, however told Mr Hichilema that “in some countries, you might still be languishing in prison. Why are you making such a fuss about this whole episode? The United States under Secretary Linda Greenfield congratulated President Lungu, the British High Commissioner, and President Jacob Zuma meaning the election was fairly credible”
Meanwhile, NCP leader Peter Chanda has advised Mr Hichilema to take a deeper introspection of himself rather than point fingers at anyone or catalogue a litany of hopeless excuses for his failure to finding campus to political relevance.
Pastor Chanda said it was good that the BBC presenter pumped some sense in Mr Hichilema’s head who has embarked on a mission to tarnish the country’s image aboard for selfish reasons using the international fora.
“He is unpatriotic and bitter for having lost 5 times but our advice is that he should take a deeper introspection of himself to determine if he still think he possess the legitimacy to lead the once vibrant UPND,” Pastor Chanda said.
Meanwhile, Mr Mumbi who served as Mr Hichilema’s spokesperson said it was embarrassing that the UPND leader lied that there was a Presidential election petition in the Zambian court of law when not. Mr Mumbi said Mr Hichilema who lied on a number of issues against Zambia does not deserve to lead the nation.
And former Zambia Independent Monitoring Team president and human rights activists Alfred Zulu says Mr Hichilema should be more magnanimous and prove to the world that Zambia is bigger than himself, instead of focusing on his rancorous relationship with the President Edgar Lungu.
Mr Zulu said BBC’s Hard Talk was an international platform where Mr Hichilema should have demonstrated his potential as a future president of Zambia than begin unyielding debates that did not serve the interests of the nation.
He said Mr Hichilema completely failed to articulate himself against the bar of the interviewer who had done his homework on the subject far better than the guest presented himself.
NOBODY is planning to assassinate President Michael Sata and if there was the Patriotic Front (PF) would have brutally dealt with the perpetrator, says UPND president Hakainde Hichilema.
Mr. Hichilema challenged the police to come out in the open and inform the people of Zambia about the security of the President and how far they have gone to investigate the alleged attempt on President Sata.
He said PF leadership should be ashamed for misleading the nation and diverting people’s attention that there were people planning to eliminate Mr. Sata when it was a well know fact that there was leadership wrangles in the PF.
Mr. Hichilema said that it was not true that there were people planning to eliminate the President because, “If it is true we could have seen police searching for people like needles.”
He said that the claims by the PF government that Mr. Sata’s life was under threat was another lie aimed at diverting people’s attention from the hate and discontent seed the PF had planted.
“It is not true that the PF government will have such sensitive information and know the people involved and decide to keep quite like that. No that is not true. No one wants to assassinate Mr. Sata. If the information was credible and true we could have seen police searching for suspects like needles but because there is nothing credible in what GBM is saying no wonder you have seen people like Solomon Jere and Peter Chingaipe unleashing junior officers on the UPND like that,” he said.
Mr. Hichilema appealed to President Sata to listen to his critics and learn to govern the nation in a manner that would embrace unity and peace unlike the route the PF government had taken of dividing people.
He said it was extremely strange that Mr. Sata had kept quite on various issues happening in the nation.
Mr. Hichilema said that the silence by President Sata was a sign of having knowledge and sanctioned the victimization and harassment of the opposition in t he country by the police.
And Alliance for Development and Democracy (ADD) president Charles Milupi said the Patriotic Front (PF) government must arrest the two generals who were reportedly paid K100 million to assassinate President Michael Sata.
Mr. Milupi told the Daily Nation that government was being dishonest in the manner it was handling the assassination allegations.
Mr. Milupi said that the statements coming from the PF ministers about an assassination attempt on President Sata’s life was serious and those entrusted with leadership should ensure that those alleged to be behind the plot were brought to book.
Mr. Milupi however, doubted the authenticity of the information by Defence Minister Geoffrey Mwamba describing it as a hoax creating discontent in the nation.
“It is our wish to see that those people being accused to plot the assassination of the President are brought to book. We are wondering why it has taken long to arrest the people behind the plot,” he said.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Defiant Republicans pushed legislation through the House Tuesday night that would keep alive Social Security payroll tax cuts for some 160 million Americans at President Barack Obama’s request — but also would require construction of a Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline that has sparked a White House veto threat.
Passage, on a largely party-line vote of 234-193, sent the measure toward its certain demise in the Democratic-controlled Senate, triggering the final partisan showdown of a remarkably quarrelsome year of divided government.
The legislation “extends the payroll tax relief, extends and reforms unemployment insurance and protects Social Security — without job-killing tax hikes,” Republican House Speaker John Boehner declared after the measure had cleared.Referring to the controversy over the Keystone XL pipeline, he added, “Our bill includes sensible, bipartisan measures to help the private sector create jobs.”
On a long day of finger pointing, however, House Democrats accused Republicans of protecting “millionaires and billionaires, ” and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., derided the GOP-backed pipeline provision as “ideological candy” for the tea party-set.
After the House vote, the White House urged Congress on in finishing work on extending the tax cuts and jobless aid. Press Secretary Jay Carney issued a statement that didn’t mention the pipeline but renewed Obama’s insistence that the legislation be paid for, at least in part, by “asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share” in higher tax levies.
Lawmakers “cannot go on vacation before agreeing to prevent a tax hike on 160 million Americans and extending unemployment insurance,” he said.Republicans mocked Obama’s objections to their version of the bill.
“Mr. President, we can’t wait,” said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, employing a refrain the White House often uses to criticize Republicans for failing to take steps to improve an economy struggling to recover from the worst recession in decades.
Voting in favor of the legislation were 224 Republicans and 10 Democrats, while 179 Democrats and 14 Republicans opposed it.At its core, the measure did include key parts of the jobs program that Obama asked Congress to approve in September.
The Social Security payroll tax cuts approved a year ago to help stimulate the economy would be extended through 2012, avoiding a loss of take-home income for wage-earners. An expiring program of unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless would remain in place, although at reduced levels that the administration said would cut off aid for 3.3 million.
A third major component would avert a threatened 27 percent cut in payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients, a provision Republicans added to appeal to conservatives but one that the White House and Democrats embrace, too.
While the tax and unemployment provisions were less generous than Obama sought, he and Republicans clashed principally over steps to cover the estimated $180 billion cost of the measure, and on the proposed 1,700-mile Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada through environmentally sensitive terrain in Nebraska to the Texas Gulf Coast.
Obama recently delayed a decision on granting a permit for the pipeline until after the 2012 election.
European leaders insist they want to keep Greece in the eurozone, but are putting off any agreement on how they hope to accomplish that. Greece says it, too, wants to stay in the eurozone, but until after elections it’s uncertain whether it can implement the austerity that Europe has set as a condition for doing so.
Essentially, both are playing for time — about a month. The question is whether financial markets will wait or force their hand.
Concerns that European leaders lack the political will — and wherewithal — to tackle the continent’s economic problems have worried the markets for weeks. Among the 17 countries that use the euro, seven are in recession. Business confidence is under pressure and banks are feeling the squeeze. The biggest fear is that if Greece cannot be kept in the euro, other larger economies — like Spain or Portugal — might face the same fate.
“The breakup of the eurozone will be a disaster. Greece could leave, and others could leave, and this would be a huge financial tsunami,” said Dariusz Kowalczyk, senior economist at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong. “Europe is not doing enough, and the market may not wait for them.”
Greece has gone through round after round of massive spending cuts and tax hikes to slash its deficit and rein in its debt in exchange for the international bailout loans that help it pay the bills. But the country is now in its fifth year of recession, and many argue it cannot hope for a recovery if it sticks to the deal. And Greeks — though still keen to remain in the single currency club — are calling for better terms or, at least, for the pace of austerity to be slowed down.
In a general election this month, neither of Greece’s two main parties, both of which support the bailout deal, fared well. Instead, minor parties that are threatening to renege on those commitments saw their popularity surge. A new round of elections is set for June 17.
If the Greeks pick an anti-bailout government the second time round and renege on the terms of the bailout, the flow of funds will be stopped and the country could be forced into a messy exit from the euro bloc as it has no other choice but to print its own currency to pay its way.
That could cause a deeper fracture the euro — other debt-stricken eurozone members, such as Spain and Portugal, might also fall victim to market fears that they could be next in line for collapse — and rattle global financial markets.
There had been hope that this week’s Brussels summit would have seen a softening in the rest of the eurozone’s stance with Greece, extending, for example, the deadline for some of its reforms and cuts.
Some European countries are already hinting that Greece should be given better terms. Both the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which monitors economic trends in developed economies, also are pushing for the demands on some countries to be eased.
However, as their summit in Brussels broke up early Thursday morning, the leaders failed to offer any reprieve to struggling Greece. Instead they reiterated that they continued to support Greece’s eurozone membership — provided it stuck to the terms of the bailout deal.
Manuel Barroso, President of the EU’s executive Commission, told a post-summit press conference: “We stand by Greece. We expect that Greece also stands by its commitments.”
European Council President Herman van Rumpoy echoed the sentiment: “Continuing the vital reforms to restore debt sustainability, foster private investment and reinforce its institutions is the best guarantee for a more prosperous future in the euro area.”
Some politicians have already begun to factor in a Greek exit, however. In a frank admission that Greece could wind up abandoning the euro, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters that the eurozone countries “have to consider all kinds of events,” but insisted that “the working assumption” was that Greece would remain part of the euro.
The European leaders aim to have more concrete proposals for strengthening the region at their next summit on June 28-29, but before then Greece will have held its elections, by which time Europe’s financial system may have already been pushed to the brink.