Kabwe Is World’s Most Toxic City – Pollution Experts

By Damian Carrington Environment editor in Kabwe Zambia “I’d like to be a doctor,” says seven-year-old Martin, sitting quietly in his modest home in Kabwe, Zambia. But the truth is that Martin struggles with his schoolwork, and his dream seems … Continued

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By Damian Carrington Environment editor in Kabwe Zambia “I’d like to be a doctor,†says seven-year-old Martin, sitting quietly in his modest home in Kabwe, Zambia. But the truth is that Martin struggles with his schoolwork, and his dream seems unlikely to become a reality. Kabwe is the world’s most toxic town, according to pollution experts, where mass lead poisoning has almost certainly damaged the brains and other organs of generations of children – and where children continue to be poisoned every day. Almost a century of lead mining and smelting has left a truly toxic legacy in the once-thriving town of 220,000 people in central Africa’s Copperbelt [Central Province], 100km north of the capital Lusaka. But the real impact on Kabwe’s people is yet to be fully revealed and, while the first steps towards a clean-up have begun, new dangers are emerging as desperately poor people scavenge in the vast slag heap known as Black Mountain. “Having been to probably 20 toxic hotspots throughout the world, and seeing mercury, chromium and many contaminated lead sites, [I can say] the scale in Kabwe is unprecedented,†says Prof Jack Caravanos, an environmental health expert at New York University, on his fourth visit to the town. “There are thousands of people affected here, not hundreds as in other places.†The fumes from the giant state-owned smelter, which closed in 1994, has left the dusty soil in the surrounding area with extreme levels of lead. The metal, still used around the world in car batteries, is a potent neurotoxin and is particularly damaging to children. But it is youngsters who swallow the most, especially as infants when they start to play outside and frequently put their hands in their mouths. It was at that age that Martin’s mother, Annie Kabwe, first noticed her children getting stomach pains and fevers, and losing weight. “I thought it might be HIV, but the tests were negative,†she says. Then blood tests revealed very high levels of lead. “I thought they would die,†Kabwe says. After learning about the toxicity of the dust in her neighbourhood and reducing her children’s lead exposure, through frequent washing of hands and clothes, the worst has not happened. “The problem is they are not really learning well in school, so the lead is still affecting them,†she says. Caravanos says lead poisoning stays with you for the rest of your life – it can’t be reversed. Having seen the extreme lead levels measured in children in several townships, he says severe and widespread health impacts are highly likely, including brain damage, palsy and ultimately fatalities. “I am concerned kids are dying here,†he says. Barry Mulimba, who as a volunteer community facilitator has seen many affected children, says: “I feel very, very sad, especially for the children, because we consider the children our future leaders and if they do not get a good education, they will not be capable.†The slow, insidious nature of lead poisoning means careful epidemiological work is needed to distinguish its effects from other causes and reveal the true extent of the crisis. But that work has barely begun. “It is shocking to think that we are here in 2017 and that problem we have known about for decades is still here,†says Caravanos. Lead poisoning remains a highly sensitive issue in Kabwe and people from several organisations refused to speak to the Guardian, while those trying to tackle the problem complain that data gathered by officials is not made public. One local source reports that there are children with brain damage, paralysis and blindness – all classic symptoms of lead poisoning – who have not been tested for lead, and that some children with disabilities are hidden away by families fearing stigma. A second source says that the children in Chowa, the township that once housed the mines and smelter workers, are markedly different from those in less polluted townships: “I do notice a slowness in them and they take much longer to catch on to ideas.†What is clear in Kabwe is the extreme levels of contamination. A large World Bank project that ended in 2011 revealed the problem, though it achieved little in remediating the pollution. In affected townships, the lead in soils is about 10 times the US safety limit and far higher in hotspots. One such hotspot turns out to be the dusty yard of the only medical clinic in Chowa, which serves 14,000 people. Caravanos uses a handheld detector to reveal extreme lead levels in the sun-baked mud, frequently over 10,000 parts per million (ppm), far above the 400ppm limit in the US. The clinic’s head declined to be interviewed by the Guardian. The blood levels of lead in children in Kabwe are also known to be very high – a recent study revealed that every one of 246 children tested were above the safety limit of 5 micrograms per decilitre of blood. The vast majority were over 45 micrograms per decilitre, which causes brain, liver and hearing damage, and eight were over 150 micrograms per decilitre, at which point death is the likely outcome. However, in 2015, 113 years after the smelter first opened, NGOs began to clean up the first homes, funded by Germany’s Terrre des Hommes and delivered by Environment Africa and Pure Earth, using workers from the community. More than 120 homes have had the soil in their yards replaced with clean soil from elsewhere. “It is a drop in the ocean, but we are happy that we have targeted the most polluted homes first,†says Namo Chuma, Environment Africa’s director in Zambia. But Chuma believes that official recognition of the problem is at least finally starting to be seen: “The government does now acknowledge there is a problem.†Paul Mukuka, director of public health at Kabwe Municipal Council, says: “The government, like any other government, is concerned for the health of its people.†He says there is a now a fund of 16m kwacha (about $1.7m) that will be spent on cleaning up Kabwe’s toxic pollution, providing the drug therapies that have been absent so far and repairing the clogged canal that is supposed to channel away the run-off from the mine site. Wilford Chipeta, whose grandson has been poisoned, remains to be convinced: “We were promised that drugs were coming [before], but nothing came. They always talk but we get nothing.†Mukuka was confronted by the lead crisis personally when he arrived in Kabwe a year ago looking for a clean neighbourhood for his family: “I have three beautiful girls at home – where are they going to be playing?†He says the new plan also promises new livelihoods, to draw people away from scavenging among the mine’s dumps. On Black Mountain, bare-foot and ragged-clothed men dig out lead from the huge slag heap, often in long, unsupported tunnels, dug with hand tools and lit only by candles. “When you don’t make them properly, you find they just bury someone,†says Provost Musonda, a young father of three, and people have died in the scarred hellscape of Black Mountain. He earns about 80 kwacha ($8.50) a day, unless his chest pains prevent him working. “If I could get another job, I would go there. But there is no way of sustaining our lives otherwise.†Caravanos uses a portable detector to measure the lead levels on Black Mountain: they are sky high at 30,000-60,000 ppm. “Kids playing here is really unbelievable,†he says, noting the youngsters nearby. black mountain slag heap Kabwe In another part of the mine waste dump, beyond a long breeze block wall emblazoned with large signs reading “Danger keep away!â€, people sit in the dust breaking stones to sell as building materials. Advertisement At one spot, a young woman, Debola Kunda, toils away, with two of her young children lending a hand. The dust sparkles with the metallic glint of galena – pure lead sulphide – and the soil right next to her four-year-old son, Acili, measures an astronomical 37,900ppm – 100 times above the danger level. She is concerned about the health of her children, who have not been tested for blood lead. “But what can we do when there are no others at home to take care of the children? How will we eat if we stay at home?†she says. A new $65m project for Kabwe and three other copperbelt mining areas was approved by the World Bank in December but the Zambian government has yet to give the go-ahead. It could be transformative – but it has yet to happen. “A programme of more than 3,000 children and citizens of Kabwe would be subjected to constant medical surveillance and treatment programmes and anyone who showed a high blood lead level would be subjected to treatment as well,†says Sanjay Srivastava, at the World Bank, who is optimistic the crisis will be at last tackled. “The government finally recognises there is an issue and and they have to address it.†Caravanos, who is also senior science advisor to Pure Earth, says the solution to Kabwe’s toxic trouble is clear: “We have the knowledge – we just have to get the kids away from the exposure. Will Kabwe ever be a lead-free town? No, but it can be a lead safe town.†SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN UK The post Kabwe Is World’s Most Toxic City – Pollution Experts appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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NAPSA PAYS K500 Million In Benefits

THE National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) last year collected over K2.9 billion in contributions and paid out over K500 million in benefits to its members. This is in comparison to 2015 when the authority recorded a reduction of contributions of … Continued

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THE National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) last year collected over K2.9 billion in contributions and paid out over K500 million in benefits to its members. This is in comparison to 2015 when the authority recorded a reduction of contributions of over K2.5 billion and paid out benefits of over K4.3 million, which reflects a reduction. NAPSA contribution manager Arthur Msusa attributed the increase to efforts made by the authority to extend coverage of social security to all workers. Msusa said in an interview on Wednesday shortly after the Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI)-NAPSA employer sensitisation workshop “Last year, we collected contributions worth K2,934,587,755.25 and paid out benefits worth K508,000,668.04 in comparison to 2015 when we collected contributions worth K2,538,654,794 and paid out benefits amounting to K435,879,916,†he said. Earlier, Mr Msusa urged employers to take advantage of the electronic-NAPSA, which was introduced in January, by registering their employees as it is a statutory obligation. He also urged employees to use e-NAPSA, which is an integrated web-based e-service portal, to check personal and beneficiary details and to keep track of their contributions. Msusa said the introduction of e-NAPSA has received overwhelming response from employers and that by the end of the quarter, over 90 percent registered to use the system. The e-NAPSA has lessened compliance burden for employers and once details are submitted online, it is guaranteed that information is safe. Msusa, however, said that the system has experienced some challenges with internet connectivity in some areas. “Although we have 26 offices countrywide, there are places like Siavonga district where we do not have offices and our members there experience connectivity challenges. “To collect contributions, NAPSA travels monthly to Siavonga to set up temporary offices with portable internet devices to also allow members have access to online services,†he said. Similarly, ZACCI board member Laurian Haangala said the countrywide eNAPSA sensitisation workshops will give an opportunity for businesses in far-flung areas to use the system. “It will also help in extending social security coverage to domestic workers by making it easy for households to register and remit statutory contributions for their domestic workers,†he said. Source: Zambia Daily Mail The post NAPSA PAYS K500 Million In Benefits appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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Cost Of Living Drops By K40 In Zambia – Catholic Agency

JESUIT Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) has disclosed that the cost of living for a family of five in Lusaka has reduced by more than K40 due to a general decline in food prices. Announcing the latest JCTR “Basic Needs … Continued

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JESUIT Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) has disclosed that the cost of living for a family of five in Lusaka has reduced by more than K40 due to a general decline in food prices. Announcing the latest JCTR “Basic Needs Basket†(BNB), which normally takes into account the cost of living for a family of five across 15 major urban towns in the country, the cost of living for a family of five in Lusaka was recorded as K4,973.03 in April, 2017, down from more than K5,000 in March. This is on account of reduced food and non-food prices. “The April 2017 JCTR Basic Needs Basket (BNB) for a family of five living in Lusaka stood at K4,973.03, reflecting a K44.06 decrease from the March 2017 BNB of K5,017.09. The reduction in the April BNB is attributed to reduction in the cost of some food items such as beans which reduced from K40.1 to K30 per kg,†JCTR media and information officer Tendai Posiana states in a press statement. The reduction in food items is attributed to increased food supply as the harvest season begins. However, according to the BNB, data shows an increase in the price of kapenta from K181.05 per kg in March to K208.17 per kg in April, mainly attributable to the scarcity of the commodity due to depletion of species, while demand has remained constant. And JCTR states that the BNB has ranged between K4,500 and K5,300 in the past four months, far higher than the monthly urban average income of K3,152.00, as estimated by the Central Statistical Office in the 2015 living conditions monitoring survey. The annual rate of inflation, a major macroeconomic fundamental in influencing food and non-food prices, dropped to single digits last November and was 6.7 percent as at April, 2017. The post Cost Of Living Drops By K40 In Zambia – Catholic Agency appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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Opinion: Can Mahogany Survive Zambia’s Volatile Aviation Sector?

Since 1995 when Zambia Airways ceased operations, the country has struggled to establish another national carrier, or let alone sustain private entities that have along the way emerged to cover the gap. The flagship carrier was trapped in a financial … Continued

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Since 1995 when Zambia Airways ceased operations, the country has struggled to establish another national carrier, or let alone sustain private entities that have along the way emerged to cover the gap. The flagship carrier was trapped in a financial swamp and failed to extricate itself, leading to the collapse of what was one of the country’s national pride. During the 2011 presidential campaigns, Patriotic Front founder, Michael Sata pledged to restore Zambia’s aviation dignity with a national airline. He died three years after assuming office. His promise is still not a reality, six years after the party assumed power. Successive ministers in the PF government have pronounced a cliche “a national airline is in the pipeline”, but Zambians are yet to see the return to that national prestige. Over the last 22 years, private individuals have attempted to put up some form of airline, servicing domestic, and to some extent regional routes like South Africa, Tanzania and Namibia. Roan Air was among the first carriers to attempt to fill the gap, but went under before even reaching teething level. There is no doubt Prolight Zambia has outstandingly performed well by bracing the challenging field, clocking 26 years of experience. Having launched four years before the demise of Zambia’s national carrier, Proflight stepped in for the country when the chips were down. The company has expanded its fleet to 17 aeroplanes and services a variety of domestic routes from Lusaka to Livingstone, Mfuwe, Lower Zambezi, Ndola, Solwezi and Kasama. Proflight has limited regional routes which are Lusaka to Lilongwe in Malawi and Lusaka to Durban, South Africa. The carrier operates a 50-seater Bombardier CRJ-100 jet, four 29-seater Jetstream 41 aircraft; two 18-seater Jetstream 32; and two 12-seater Cessna Caravan C208 aircraft, among others. In its 26 year-existence, Proflight has outlived newcomers like Zambian Airways and Zambezi Airlines. Both carriers arrived on the scene with heavy political backing, but suffocated under the weight of operational costs. Zambian Airways owners had strong connections to the political elite of their time. Big names in lawyers Mutembo Nchito, his brother Nchima and media practitioner Fred M’membe were the brains behind the company, but it collapsed. Following Zambian Airways’ demise after it succumbed to massive debts, another airline – Zambezi – emerged. The airline was under the stewardship of the Jangulos, but its survival was equally short-lived. A change in government from MMD to the Patriotic Front mean the end of business for Zambezi Airlines, a development that stregthens the argument only politically connected airlines survive the aviation industry in Zambia. Recently, an airline going by Mahogany has emerged on the scene, although its ownership structure and political connection is yet to be established. However, Mahogany seems to be making the right noise. It is difficult to determine whether the company will survive the volatility of the aviation sector in the country. Having launched its services three years ago, servicing routes between Lusaka and Ndola, Lusaka and Chipata, Livingstone and Solwezi, Mahogany has already suffered signs of uncertainty. One is tempted to think it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for an airline business to survive the Zambian market. That’s too much of a though, but anything is possible in Zambia. Zambezi, Zambian Airways and Mahogany Airlines have had the fair share of challenges. But here we are. Mahogany Air is announcing its comeback. Already, it has sent staff for further training in South Africa and other mechanisms are in place in make the airline sustainable. Will it survive? That’s a million dollar question. Reports suggest Mahogany Air injected over $23million to organise capitalisation and better aircrafts. After a two year absence, Mahogany wants to be sure, so they have gone beyond Zambia for capital. The airline could not raise funding in the Zambian markets owing to turbulent climate and high interest rates at the time, according to Chief Executive Office Dr. Jim Belemu said. According to the plan, Mahogany will capitalise an initial $3 million this year followed by an additional $10 million each for 2018 and 2019 cumulating the total to $23 million. As a result of this capitalisation, Mahogany hopes to put up strong competition against Proflight and Royal Air Charters. To the Zambian populace, the return of Mahogany is good news. Some 100 citizens will be employed and another 200 may be indirect beneficiaries from the development. Mahogany is trying to be careful and avoid their turbulent experience. Shortly after launching operations, the company suffered some set back. Two of its 30 seater Embraer aircrafts were withdrawn by South African owners in connection to non-payment of leasing fees. An attempt to immediately deal with the challenge by securing a 17 seater Beechcraft 1900D was met with its own setbacks; operations stalled after a routine check and maintenance left the company with no airline to service its routes. Clearly, the terrain in the aviation industry in Zambia is not for the faint-hearted. The high parking fees have not helped operators. Further, Zambia’s jet fuel is very high compared to others in the region and to some extent this has made it difficult for the country to run or host as many successful airlines. Whether Mahogany has the muscle to withstand the aviation terrain in Zambia, their emergence on the scene should be supported and welcomed by all well-meaning Zambians, including the government. If Zambia will not have an airline in the foreseeable future, it is the governmnet’s responsibility to promote and help sustain private entities that emerge, to fill the gap that should otherwise be theirs to cover. Deliberate policies to ease operational challenges are an important ingredient to sustaining difficult fields such as the aviation industry in Zambia. The post Opinion: Can Mahogany Survive Zambia’s Volatile Aviation Sector? appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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Defiant Opposition Leader Takes On ‘Mighty’ ZRA In Alleged Corrupt Deal Amounting to K140 Million

United Progressive Party president Saviour Chishimba says the legal suit against him by the Zambia Revenue Authority will give him an opportunity to expose the levels of corruption at the institution. ZRA has instituted legal action against Chishimba following his … Continued

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United Progressive Party president Saviour Chishimba says the legal suit against him by the Zambia Revenue Authority will give him an opportunity to expose the levels of corruption at the institution. ZRA has instituted legal action against Chishimba following his whistle blowing antics that seems to be rubbing the authorities the wrong way. The taxmen are demanding K100 billion in reputation damages from Chishimba for alleging that ZRA dubiously and by corrupt means awarded a contract for the Design, Supply, Delivery, Installation, Supervision, Configuration, Testing and Commissioning of an Invoice Management otherwise known as Electronic Fiscal Devices to a named Chinese company amounting to k140, million. The Authority on Wednesday instituted legal action in the Lusaka High Court on the matter. But the UPP leader has remained defiant saying he will spill the beans in court. BELOW IS HIS RESPONSE: UPP RESPONSE TO THE PURPORTED US$10 BILLION (K100 BILLION) HALLUCINATING LAWSUIT BY THE ZAMBIA REVENUE AUTHORITY (ZRA) The purported legal proceedings by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) against the United Progressive People (UPP), if indeed it is true, over our allegations of corruption in the award of the contract to the Chinese Righlux and Inspur by ZRA, is welcome because it accords us a rare opportunity to present before the courts of laws the overwhelming evidence in our possession. We maintain our position and do hereby vehemently submit that ZRA lacks integrity not only over the fiscalisation project in question, but also over the Zambia-Malawi K345 million maize exportation scandal, among other cases before us. We have not even covered 1% of the cases that we have. UPP seizes this occasion to ask ZRA to state its position over direct or indirect dealings with CilTax Consultants over the years. There is a heap of very serious issues that we shall present before the courts of laws to show how the nation is losing revenues because of corrupt senior officers at ZRA and the political elite who have taken taxpayers for granted for far too long. It is common knowledge that every organisation, as a legal person, is personified by the people who are leading it. Likewise, ZRA is personified by the Commissioner General, Mr. Kingsley Chanda, and other senior officers. This is the reason why all public officers are required by law to declare the direct or indirect interests that they have in entities that have questionable dealings with public bodies under which they are called to serve. UPP shall successfully and overwhelmingly prove that ZRA, in its current form, lacks the integrity that the people of Zambia expect it to uphold. Our evidence shows that ZRA was represented in the sitting of an irresponsible committee that cleared Transglobe Limited of Malawi to export 50, 000 tonnes of the 100, 000 tonnes of maize under the K345 million letter of credit which was primarily issued in favour of the Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF). ZRA must explain to the people of Zambia how it was part of the maize exportation scandal without showing how taxes were going to be collected since Transglobe is not registered for tax purposes in Zambia. This is why we shall continue to demand for a tribunal to probe Hon. Dora Siliya so that she can explain how she worked with President Edgar Chagwa Lungu to facilitate corruption. ZRA too, owes Zambians an explanation. We shall not rest until the tribunal is appointed. We are thankful to God that the purported lawsuit is a golden opportunity to prosecute ZRA over its alleged role in the maizegate saga. ZRA must now prepare to face UPP in court and explain how some questionable corporate entities are used to evade the taxes by way of dubious appeals that culminate in massive reductions of taxes for a select few. ZRA must explain why it failed to perform its legal duty of care to Zambians by not undertaking due diligence before awarding the contract to Righlux and Inspur when all the details on corruption and technical bottlenecks under the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority associated with the same company are within the reach of ZRA. If ZRA had integrity, it would have been enforcing the law fairly and impartially. How many corporations owe Zambians taxes? Why did ZRA selectively pounce on the Post Newspaper with force leaving out many others that have even more tax liabilities? Integrity demands that justice be rendered to all in a manner which is above board. UPP sternly warns ZRA to concentrate on corruption-free measures that will help Zambia to generate tax revenues that will help the nation to settle the debts and advance economic development. The K100 billion being claimed is an ill conceived and misguided lawsuit. It is about the same amount of the national debt that Zambia has – it is also almost double our national budget. This money will certainly not come from the UPP. Nonetheless, UPP has initiated the #BringBackOurMoney! anti corruption crusade, which seeks to prevent corruption as well as recover all the stolen funds and we can guarantee that the public resources that have been plundered shall be paid back to Zambians. We have kept the evidence under lock and nut in a secure place that no one can enter except a few justice fighters. The army, police and prison officers, intelligence officers, civil servants and workers in the private sector are being subjected to hostile high taxes because of corruption. The PF-MMD regime has run out of ideas on how to grow the economy and create jobs for Zambians. Consequently, they have resorted to heavily taxing the citizens to sustain the costly and aimless international travels of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and his ministers. The people of Zambia are facing hardships, but the reckless and insensitive PF-MMD leaders are continuing to waste public resources on luxuries. Enough is Enough! We, in the UPP, believe in the justice and power of the Almighty God who has called us to the kingdom at a time such as this. We are fully FORTIFIED and ready to defend the truth. I and all those that the LORD God of Heaven has given me shall not die, but live to declare the works of the LORD, signs and wonders in Zambia from the Holy One of Israel! These words of prophecy shall come to pass before the eyes of this nation! God bless our nation! Saviour Chishimba UPP PRESIDENT The post Defiant Opposition Leader Takes On ‘Mighty’ ZRA In Alleged Corrupt Deal Amounting to K140 Million appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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ZRA Dismiss Alleged Corrupt Tender Worth K140 Million Tender

The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) is fighting back allegations of corruptions in a tender awarded to a Chinese firm worth K140 million. Opposition UPP leader Saviour Chishimba who is on an onslaught revealing alleged shady details obtaining in the ruling … Continued

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The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) is fighting back allegations of corruptions in a tender awarded to a Chinese firm worth K140 million. Opposition UPP leader Saviour Chishimba who is on an onslaught revealing alleged shady details obtaining in the ruling Patriotic Front government has made claims a deal by ZRA with a Chinese firm had corruption written all over it. But ZRA boss Kingsley Chanda says Chishimba’s claims are unfounded and should be dismissed with the contempt they deserve. Public corporate communications manager Topsy Sikalinda has issued a statement on behalf of the ZRA boss stating the tender was above board and done with the blessings of the Zambia Public Procurement Authority. BELOW IS A STATEMENT ISSUED BY ZRA The Zambia Revenue Authority has dispelled with contempt, allegations by the United Progressive Party President Saviour Chishimba purporting that the Authority dubiously awarded a contract for the design,supply, delivery, installation, supervision, configuration, testingand commissioning of an invoice management system otherwise known as electronic fiscal devices to Rightlux Services and Inspire Group. ZRA Commissioner General Kingsley Chanda says pursuant to the law, the Authority in line with section 26 of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) No. 12 of 2008, and the Public Procurement Regulations Statutory Instrument No. 63 of 2011 reading in particular, regulation 12, issued a tender to facilitate the procurement of the design, supply, delivery, installation, supervision, configuration, testing and commissioning of an invoice management system (electronic fiscal devices) in the newspapers for six weeks with a further extension of one week. Mr Chanda said the closing dates of submission of bids was Friday 3rd February, 2017 and at the time of closing a total of 10 bids were received. He said the bids were subjected to a three-phased evaluation criteria namely preliminary, technical and commercial evaluation in accordance with the tender evaluation criteria that was provided for in the solicitation documents. After evaluation the best bidder was recommended to the Zambia Revenue Authority tender committee in accordance with the Public Procurement Act (PPA) No. 12 of 2008 for award. Mr Chanda said contrary to the incorrect information being circulated by the UPP President, the best evaluated bid value is K84 million and not the alleged K140 million. The Commissioner General indicated that the Contract has not yet been awarded as alleged but the Authority wrote a notice to all the bidders indicating the best evaluated bidder and the value of the proposed contract in order to allow for any substantive objections. At present, this has been appealed against and the due process is being followed to ensure that all concerns from aggrieved parties are addressed. Mr. Kingsley Chanda wishes to state that the tender process is still in progress and is being done transparently and in strict adherence to the provisions of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) No. 12 of 2008. The authority is a public institution meant to serve every Zambian regardless of their political affiliation. It is therefore NOT right for any politician to start dragging the authority into politicsâ€. Mr. Chanda has assured all Zambians that the contract will be offered to the best bidder in accordance with the Laws of the Republic of Zambia. Issued by: Topsy Sikalinda Corporate Communications Manager Zambia Revenue Authority The post ZRA Dismiss Alleged Corrupt Tender Worth K140 Million Tender appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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Young Journalist Costa Mwansa Unveils Diamond TV

Enterprising youthful journalist Costa Mwansa has announceD the launch of Diamond TV, formerly Mobi Television, where he assumes the role of Chief Executive Officer. Mwansa, the vibrant television personality who has recently risen to prominence following his successful The Assignment … Continued

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Enterprising youthful journalist Costa Mwansa has announceD the launch of Diamond TV, formerly Mobi Television, where he assumes the role of Chief Executive Officer. Mwansa, the vibrant television personality who has recently risen to prominence following his successful The Assignment television program at Muvi TV, says Diamond is set to re-invent the broadcasting industry in the country. The former Muvi TV General Manager and is also Presidential Debates presenter says Diamond recognizes that creative content is king of television. The channel has since gone on Go TV Platform where it can be accessed on Channel 99. BELOW IS COSTA MWANSA’S STATEMENT “I am proud to announce the launch of the Diamond TV programming on Channel 99 on the Go TV Platform as well as on analogue within Lusaka and the surrounding areas. As diamond TV we understand the huge demand for information and quality content in today’s digital space. That is why for us we recognize that “Creative content is king†and that is what we bring to the fore. Television Re-invented seen as a very ambitious statement but very opportune with the dynamics that technology and internet bring about. The way that the world consumes information today is fast changing and this is why as Diamond TV we are set to penetrate and stamp our authority into the digital space of media and break traditional barriers’ of doing business. It’s about forward and futuristic thinking. Take time to enjoy our diverse programming and visit our social media pages. #Twafichinja“ COSTA MWANSA – CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER – DIAMOND TV The post Young Journalist Costa Mwansa Unveils Diamond TV appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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Zambia Is Open for Business with Africa, Says Former President Banda

The diverse nations of the entire African continent must reject isolationism and protectionism to come together and unite to achieve true development, says Fourth Republican President of Zambia Rupiah Bwezani Banda. Speaking at the 17th Crans Montana Forum in Dakhla, … Continued

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The diverse nations of the entire African continent must reject isolationism and protectionism to come together and unite to achieve true development, says Fourth Republican President of Zambia Rupiah Bwezani Banda. Speaking at the 17th Crans Montana Forum in Dakhla, Morocco, former President Banda highlighted “a shining example of south-to-south cooperation for sustainable development” following the visit of His Majesty King Mohamed VI to Zambia, which resulted in the signing of numerous memoranda of understanding for future investments. Former President Banda, who has previously been honoured with the Prix de la Fondation of Crans Montana in 2012, indicated that Zambia is open to developing deeper trade and business ties between and among African nations and beyond. “We have come here in the spirit of friendship and cooperation and we extend an open invitation to the Kingdom of Morocco and its business community. Zambia is open for business with Morocco and this invitation is extended to all members of Crans Montana,” he said. The full text of Former President Banda’s speech continues below: SPEECH OF HIS EXCELLENCY MR. RUPIAH BWEZANI BANDA, FOURTH PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA AT THE CRANS MONTANA FORUM, 16TH-21ST MARCH, 2017 DAKHLA, MOROCCO Mr. President, Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, It gives me great pleasure to bring you warm and fraternal greetings from the President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu. He has also sent his best wishes for the success of this important Forum. Mr. President, as this august assembly may be aware, Zambia recently played host to His Majesty King Mohamed VI , sovereign of this great Kingdom with its warm and hospitable people who have received us so well. During the visit a number of memoranda of understanding in various areas of mutual cooperation, including, insurance, banking, tourism, energy, mining, reciprocal protection of investments, aviation, education and finally, a general agreement on cooperation in economic, scientific, technical and cultural affairs which was signed by Mr. Salaheddine Mezouar, Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and Mr. Harry Kalaba Zambian minister of foreign affairs. This is a shining example of south to south cooperation for sustainable development. On this visit I have invited, members of our business community to be part of my delegation so that we can follow up on some of the MOUs that were signed with real opportunities. Mr. President, we must as a world community, place a premium on the attainment of sustainable development in line with the United Nations 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as adopted in September 2015, as they are fundamental for the inclusive economic growth, poverty reduction, employment creation and welfare security. We are all aware of these goals and in my experience, once the environment has been created by government to government cooperation it must be followed up with tangible development opportunities. We have come here in the spirit of friendship and cooperation and we extend an open invitation to the Kingdom of Morocco and its business community. Zambia is open for business with Morocco and this invitation is extended to all members of Crans Montana. Governments should strive to integrate the SDGs and their targets into national policies, in a manner that balances the three dimensions of sustainable development, (namely the economic, social and environmental pillars) but may I add a fourth; which is the bedrock of all developmental programmes, and that is stable government. Mr. President, without political stability and peace, no meaningful economic activity can be sustained. Capital in this globalised world seeks out its own ‘peace havens’ and long term gains and without investment no growth can occur in an economy. Without economic growth, sustainable real job creation cannot occur, and consequently social up-liftment in critical areas of Health, education and social harmony cannot be guaranteed. More importantly, without stable government to enact and enforce place environment friendly policies and laws, the negative effects of poor or no laws will continue to grow. Unfortunately all these calamities are not respecters of manmade borders and territories, the actions of one country will invariably affect its neighbor or an entire region. Need I remind this august assembly about the devastating effects of the global economic meltdown of 2008, at a time incidentally, that I was just assuming office as President of my country Zambia? The worst affected, as we all are aware, were the LDC economies which had no capacity to react to a global economic downturn. It behooves us all, therefore Mr. President, to stop taking the isolationist, protectionist paths which have become popular in recent times. The rise in conflict areas in the world and the examples of environmental and world economic malaise, point to only one viable and sustainable path for improving the lot of mankind; solidarity. The initiatives of recent years to strengthen and encourage growth in the least developed countries (LDCs) should be supported by the more developed nations and integrated into the least developed countries development programmes and indigenised. As we move forward towards trying to achieve sustainability in development, it is inevitable that there will be challenges along the way. Some of the challenges will be manmade and short term in nature but others will be long term, such as what is happening in my country, Zambia; climate change has had an adverse impact on the growth of the economy, through the reduction in crop output attributed to climatic conditions that affect normal weather patterns. In addition, low water levels have in recent past been negatively impacting on electricity generation, thus culminating in reduced energy supply to the productive sectors of the economy. This year’s rain season, which is currently underway, is pointing to a more positive impact on our water reservoir levels for hydro-power generation; but at the same time, there have been increasing occurrences of serious flooding, leading to damage to crops and; loss of life and property in some parts of the country. Mr. President, there is, therefore, need to bring together the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, in the context of sustainable development, and the need to eradicate poverty as the overarching goal. To this end, Mr. President, we Zambians are proud that Zambia was among the first countries to sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change on 20th September, 2016 and for the fact that in terms of the domestication of the agreement, the Zambian government has put in place the National Policy on Climate Change and has formulated the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Further, and in line with United Nations Conventions against Desertification (UNCCD) my country has taken in-house steps to combat desertification and land degradation by promoting sustainable management of forests and enhancement of the carbon sinks by embarking on the National Tree planting programme. The Zambian government in recognizing that the success or failure of any programme, however well intentioned and planned, ultimately depends on the people and how they are engaged in terms of participation at every stage of the process, has taken the initiative to involve all major stake holders in the process to monitor, assess and implement the plans and programmes arrived at jointly. This stance taken by the my country to take ownership of this international agreement and localize it, even from the point of resource moblisation is a step in the right direction, but more important will be the level of partnership that other better endowed countries, which in many cases happen to be the biggest contributors to factors causing climate change, will be prepared to render the much needed financial and technical support and help my country and others in similar circumstances. In conclusion, sustainable development when all is said and done still depends on the human factor. People all over the world seek a good life. They need an environment that is free of violence, pestilences and poverty. Governments must strive for best practices in good democratic governance. We must focus our efforts on providing education; infrastructure and power generation to ensure our youth has a stable platform from which they can grow. We need to cooperate on these key needs and remember that human beings are incredible creatures and, in the right environment, we will be amazed at the results they can achieve. Synergy and cooperation are the key words and this forum is the perfect environment from which simple thoughts and actions can grow into major initiatives. It is going to mean more investment in universal access to education for life skills for our youth; investments in new Information technologies which have an impact on the day to day lives of our people, so that for example subsistence farmers in far flung areas can access the best farming methods and market information. We all have a stake in this noble global enterprise aimed at improving the lot of mankind. We owe it to the future generations. Thank you all for your time. The post Zambia Is Open for Business with Africa, Says Former President Banda appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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Opinion: Are Plummeting Oil Prices A Blessing for Zambia?

The price of oil has continued to decline in recent months. The commodity has for the last three to four months successfully breached the $50 per barrel barrier. This has created a major blow to the oil exporting countries like … Continued

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The price of oil has continued to decline in recent months. The commodity has for the last three to four months successfully breached the $50 per barrel barrier. This has created a major blow to the oil exporting countries like Nigeria, Libya and Angola as well as the Middle East. Oil exporting countries have had to cut down on their production, thereby cutting down on employment. During this period of job cuts, inventories are also reduced. According to Bloomberg, the original cuts in November were meant to send the market into backwardation, placing a premium on short-term supply and increasing OPEC revenues. Analysts have suggested that cutting down production may support the price as it will reduce supply, thereby increasing demand, which ultimately raises the price of the product. In the same vein, cutting down production will result in revenue cuts for OPEC members, and bigger struggles to balance stretched budget deficits they are already faced with. For Zambia, a non-oil producing country, the low price on the international market could be a blessing for a stressed economy,whose citizens pay a high price accessing the commodity. The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) recently announced it will review pump pricing based on the performance of international crude prices, with the other factor being the Kwacha’s stable performance against the dollar the last six months. The presumption is that pump prices will reduce further next month when the next review is due. The stability of the Kwacha since its last huge drop can not be overemphasized, trading in the range of 9.55-9.85/USD. Crude oil prices have been consistently declining with the last review conducted by ERB pegging a barrel at $55. Today, international crude oil price regulators such as NYMEX and WTI are contracting trading prices between $48.08 and $51.03 per barrel. All things being constant, the oil price fall curse for exporters is expected to be a blessing for Zambia. A low oil price entails reduced production costs for fuel intensive industries and could ease transport costs too. These factors will ultimately ease the cost of essential goods and cushion inflationary pressures to keep interest rates in check in Zambia. As of last month, the overall inflation rate was at 6.8 percent, while the food inflation rate was at 7.8 percent per Central Statistics assessment. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) was at 193.11 points. Commodities such as mealie meal, bread and dairy products should have price cuts based on the activities in the oil industry. Currently, the average price for a loaf of bread is K9, while a 25kg bag of mealie meal is pegged at K95. Cooking oil is selling for K35 for a 2.5 litre container. A bag of Dangote cement is going for K53 while Lafarge is at K54. Commuters in the country will expect their fair share of the blessing. As of last month, the CPI for transportation was at 207.35. The bus fares for common routes were at K65 for Lusaka-Ndola, K85 for Lusaka- Kitwe, K120 for Lusaka-Livingstone and K150 for Lusaka-Solwezi. Within Lusaka – the capital – bus fares were at K6 from town centre to Chelston, K7 from town centre to Avondale, K5 from Mtendere to Kalingalinga and K7 from town centre to Chawama. In view of the competing factors, the benefits of low oil price should overrall benefit an ordinary citizen in an oil importing country like Zambia. There is no reason Zambians should continue paying the same, if not more, for essential commodities when oil prices have nosedived. It’s hoped the Zambian government will ensure the trickle down benefit of low oil prices reach its citizens in Shang’ombo, Ukwimi and Chavuma. The post Opinion: Are Plummeting Oil Prices A Blessing for Zambia? appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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Tazara Facelift Will Cost Over $200 Million

The scale of investment required for Zambia-Tanzania Railways has become clear. New managing director Bruno Ching’andu has calculated how much money will be required to stabilise the operating company, aside from efforts to upgrade the line. It has debts of … Continued

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The scale of investment required for Zambia-Tanzania Railways has become clear. New managing director Bruno Ching’andu has calculated how much money will be required to stabilise the operating company, aside from efforts to upgrade the line. It has debts of $700m and needs another $200m for new rolling stock and track improvements. Tazara was built in the 1970s by the Chinese government, with Chinese finance and workers. It was developed to give Zambia a means of exporting its copper, via the Port of Dar es Salaam, without moving it through Apartheid-era South Africa. It still carries Zambian copper but a lack of investment over many years has restricted revenue. The signalling and telecommunication systems, which have been vandalised over the years, are described by the company as “currently non-existentâ€. Ching’andu said: “The debts which the authority acquired in the past have negatively affected the operations of the authority. But, if these debts could be cancelled, the institution can to get back to its normal operations.†The Tazara Authority cannot raise the finance for the rolling stock and infrastructural improvements while it is so far in debt. The Zambian and Tanzanian governments paid several years’ worth of outstanding fuel bills in the first part of last year, in addition to millions of dollars in employee salary arrears. In September, the Zambian government said that Tazara needed investment of $1.2bn over the next five years to turn it into a profitable commercial enterprise. Extra capacity is needed to reduce unit transport costs on the line, which currently has haulage capacity of 600,000 tonnes a year but which could carry 2m tonnes a year with the hoped-for investment. The Authority expected to carry 381,000 tonnes of freight and 2,280,000 passengers, both interstate and commuter, in financial year 2016-17, generating revenue of $44.10m. Given China’s role in the project, Beijing has been mooted as the most likely investor in the railway. Talks on Chinese investment have been held in recent years but no agreement on large scale finance has been reached, although Beijing did provide $40m at the start of 2016 to provide some working capital. When the new management team took control they signed a performance-based contract with clear targets and a mission to run the railway on more commercial lines. Tazara Authority is interested in securing private sector investment in public private partnerships (PPPs), particularly on its Dar es Salaam commuter services, where demand is rising quickly. New contracts Over the past few months, Tazara has concluded agreements with several companies to carry 180,000 tonnes of extra copper a year from Zambia to Dar Es Salaam. New copper carrying wagons are being rehabilitated to serve the contracts. Last May, the Tazara Authority had just 704 operational wagons out of a fleet of 1,094 but from June it began to upgrade 20 wagons a months at its Mpika workshop. Ching’andu said: “The new orders confirm that we are moving in the right direction as far as restoration of confidence is concerned. The market is happy and that is encouraging. It is exciting that there is so much interest and desire to use the railways.†The World Food Programme uses Tazara to carry food to Malawi via Zambia, while the Tanzania Fertiliser Company exports its products to Zambia using the railway. Another step forward was made on 1 March when the Authority reached a deal with the trade unions representing its workers following a week of industrial action. Salaries are negotiated in US dollars but paid in local currencies. Currency depreciation has meant that wages have been significantly lower than workers expected. Tazara public relations manager Conrad Simuchile said: “The Authority will adjust the exchange rates upon which the salaries are based upwards, to achieve parity of remuneration between the workers in Tanzania and Zambia.†Aside from new investment, a recovery in copper prices would increase demand from the Zambian Copper Belt. However, Tazara could face competition from an alternative copper export route in the near future. The railway from the Copper Belt through Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Angola to the Port of Lobito is being rebuilt. South Africa offers another alternative, either via rail or road. SOURCE: Written by Neil Ford Africanbusinessmagazine.com The post Tazara Facelift Will Cost Over $200 Million appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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