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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Opinion: Intermarket Bank Comeback;Will It Survive The Market?

Finance minister Felix Mutati recently announced that InterMarket Bank Corporation Zambia(IBCZ), will be back in business about three months after the Bank of Zambia (BOZ) had placed the institution under its care – virtually closing it. Its continued closure is … Continued

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Finance minister Felix Mutati recently announced that InterMarket Bank Corporation Zambia(IBCZ), will be back in business about three months after the Bank of Zambia (BOZ) had placed the institution under its care – virtually closing it. Its continued closure is haunting customers. The last thing you want to discover is that your hard-earned income, which you have safely secured in a reputable bank, is inaccessible. Since November 28, 2016 when the Bank of Zambia took possession of IBCZ, following a breach of the Zambian banking laws, the market has been uncertain. Rumours swelled that one or two more banks were heading the same direction. BOZ issued a statement stating that InterMarket Bank was insolvent and had failed to meet its obligations with the Central Bank. How then does a financial institution, which is trusted to secure funds for its customers, become insolvent? One would think the bank would stay on top of business when it comes to meeting statutory regulations. However, to date, the bank remains closed with the hope of re-opening soon as announced by Mutati. In general, insolvency occurs when the bank fails to pay its debts. It usually occurs for one of two reasons. Firstly, the bank may end up owing more than it has in its reserves or simply put, more than it owns. Secondly, insolvency may occur if the bank cannot pay its debts as they fall due, while its assets are worth more than its liabilities – known as lack of liquidity. Those specialised in the area of finance and accounting understand that the position IBCZ reached meant its assets were worth less than its liabilities, and therefore, the institution was suffocating. Further, IBCZ could have been failing to honour its debts, creating a serious imbalance in the market. So, BOZ intervened and carpeted the financial institution, which has over the years struggled to grow beyond a few branches. The closure of a commercial bank by the Central Bank is usually the last resort.This is because any closure comes with consequences, which may have long term effects on the overall performance of the economy. The banking industry plays a very critical role in economic growth, especially in Zambia, where over 10 commercial banks control the market chief among them include Barclays, Zanaco, Stanbic, Standard Chartered, Indo-Zambia and First National Bank. Others are Access Bank, Ecobank, CitiBank and Cavmont Bank to name a few. Beyond anyone, customers are the first victims of a bank closure. They fear losing all the money they have deposited overtime, resulting in the loss of confidence in all financial institutions. Furthermore, a bank closure sends wrong signals to investors because investment potential is threatened and institution stand to lose capital. Similarly, investors lose their confidence in the economy. In addition, emerging businesses that depend upon loans fail to raise the capital required to begin their operations, resulting in a decline in economic growth.A decline in economic growth drives unemployment levels up, which in turn drops tax revenues, making the government fail to meet its social obligations. Overall, a bank closure impacts bank customers, investors and the economy as a whole. Ultimately, that is the fear that is created by the closure of InterMarket Bank. After facing a liquidity crisis, it meant that the bank had no access to enough cash in the short term. While assets were available and worth more than liabilities, they were mostly tied up in long term loans. In this case, the bank could not merely ask its borrowers to suddenly pay back their long-term loans. The situation caused panic, as it appeared that the bank was unable to meet its commitments. Bank of Zambia then intervened and offered short term liquidity. By offering cash and short term injections of money, the Central Bank ensures people have faith in the banking system. The bank has since been restructured and declared solvent by BOZ. It will resume its normal operations on a date to be announced. Questions still linger. Will the institution retain a healthy clientale base? What happens to customer confidence? Will the bank survive the harsh realities it struggled to overcome? It can only be hoped Intermarket is back to stay. The post Opinion: Intermarket Bank Comeback;Will It Survive The Market? appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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ZEMA Secures Conviction Of Sabstic Industry Over Environmental Pollution

The Zambia Environmental Management Agency has shown some bite by securing a conviction of Sabstic Industries for discharging a pollutant into the environment without an emission licence. ZEMA has extended the conviction to Sabstic Director Hassan Sabra who has also … Continued

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The Zambia Environmental Management Agency has shown some bite by securing a conviction of Sabstic Industries for discharging a pollutant into the environment without an emission licence. ZEMA has extended the conviction to Sabstic Director Hassan Sabra who has also been found liable. Below is the full statement from ZEMA: ZAMBIA ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AGENCY PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release LUSAKA, 2ND MARCH, 2017 – SABSTIC INDUSTRIES COMPANY PROSECUTED Sabstic Industries Company has been convicted by the Lusaka Magistrate Court for failure to comply with a Compliance Order and discharging a pollutant into the environment without an Emission Licence. The Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) prosecuted Sabstic Industries and its Director, Hassan Sabra in accordance with the Environmental Management Act (EMA) No. 12 of 2011 and Environmental Management (Licensing) Regulations Statutory Instrument No. 112 of 2013 of the Laws of Zambia. Facts presented before the Court were that between the 1st day of February, 2017 and 10th day of February, 2017 in Lusaka, jointly and whilst acting together with others unknown, Sabstic Industries and its Director, Hassan Sabra failed to comply with the requirements of a Compliance Order issued by ZEMA on 1st February, 2017, whose compliance date was with immediate effect. They also emitted or discharged a pollutant or contaminant into the environment without an Emission Licence from ZEMA. The facts were confirmed to be correct by the Accused upon which the Court convicted the Accused accordingly. The matter comes up for sentencing before Hon. David Simusamba on 7th March, 2017 at 09:00hrs. ZEMA takes this opportunity to remind all facilities to obtain necessary Licences from the Agency as stipulated by the environmental law and other relevant laws. It is also important for industries to uphold environmentally friendly practices. Issued by: Irene G. Lungu-Chipili Manager- Corporate Affairs Zambia Environmental Management Agency Email: iglungu@zema.org.zm Phone: 254023/59/ 0977-744299 The post ZEMA Secures Conviction Of Sabstic Industry Over Environmental Pollution appeared first on Zambia Reports.

source: Zambia Reports

MyBucks: Charting the Roadmap to Financial Service Prosperity

An emerging financial technology firm has noted the thriving potential in Africa which provides growth opportunities capable of raising its value beyond a billion dollar business. Launched in 2011, MyBucks is currently operating in 11 African countries where it offers … Continued

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An emerging financial technology firm has noted the thriving potential in Africa which provides growth opportunities capable of raising its value beyond a billion dollar business. Launched in 2011, MyBucks is currently operating in 11 African countries where it offers financial services driven by technology. The company’s Deputy CEO Tim Nuy recently visited Chicago to attend The Economist Innovation Summit. He offered his thoughts on the prospects of business on the continent. Nuy is impressed with the development recorded in the last five years, saying the market provides a sufficient base for growth. “I think there is nothing that stops MyBucks from becoming a billion-dollar company in the next five years. You know the sky is the limit and what we do is we build a machine that can process credit efficiently and the more money it converts, the more we stimulate growth,†he says. Zambia, South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya are just some of the countries the company is operating within. Nuy says its current operation in sub-Sahara Africa is a deliberate effort in order to focus on a region with a similar regulatory regime that allows easier scalability of its platform. Outside the continent, MyBucks also hosts presence in Australia, Asia and Eastern Europe, with its headquarters housed in Luxembourg. Among its chief services include mobile banking, credit reports, credit education, income protection, financial budgeting and emergency coverage, which is provided through its insurance program. “Our scalability is up and right now, we plan to be the consumer bank of choice in emerging markets. We want to continue applying growth; MyBucks is as an emerging market digital bank, focused on consumers in the wider sense of the world, ranging from the private individual to the small hold farmer and the micro entrepreneur. We offer digital financial services through lending, banking and insurance. We’ve recently entered Australia with a long term view of Asian expansion venturing into the Philippines, Indonesia and similar countries. “I think the greatest thing about technology is that it is easily scalable and applicable throughout jurisdictions. Our vision is really to capture lifetime revenue and offer lifetime financial solutions to our customers,†he says. Nuy is delighted with the amount of expansion and growth the company has so far made, stressing this only goes to show the vision and dedication the team has committed to providing quality services is proving fruitful. “I think we have really done a tremendous job of creating a free and inclusive financial service space for our client. You will see a lot of things that focus on perfecting a selective service, well ahead of competition,†says Nuy. While thriving in its formative years, the terrain has not been without challenge, but MyBucks is overcoming these hurdles. “The biggest challenge in Africa is usually enhancing digital and financial literacy and making sure people understand that you don’t have to travel two hours to get to the ATM. “So, it is actually client education that will play the biggest factor in increasing our growth from our perspective. But then I think we are well ahead of our local competitors in all the African markets and have partnered with a U.S. enterprise, Opportunity International, to expand the reach of such relevant literacy programs,†he explains. Nuy says the Zambian market has also responded very well, with the enterprise having only had a presence for 24 months. “We are very excited about the potential in Zambia; the market is really ready for us and we really believe we can make a difference,†he says. With such potential and ability to expand in thriving African economies, MyBucks is hoping to deliver on its goal of providing a basket of financial products that meets the financial needs of its customers throughout all geographies, using technology matched with determination. The post MyBucks: Charting the Roadmap to Financial Service Prosperity appeared first on Zambia Reports.

source: Zambia Reports

Inter-Market Bank Makes A Comeback

Inter Market Bank will be back on its feet three months after being taken over by the Bank of Zambia. Intermarket Banking Corporation became the first victim of the Bank of Zambia stringent capital adequacy requirement which had forced the … Continued

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Inter Market Bank will be back on its feet three months after being taken over by the Bank of Zambia. Intermarket Banking Corporation became the first victim of the Bank of Zambia stringent capital adequacy requirement which had forced the bank to become insolvent. However Finance Minister Felix Mutati said that the Bank will re-open within 30 days following financial commitments from the shareholders and new equity partners. Mutati said the state of affairs of the assets and liabilities shows that Intermarket Banking Corporation Zambia Limited (IBC) is now solvent. Depositors and other clients will be watching the situation closely but Mutati says that depositors, creditors and the general public will, be advised on the further steps to be taken by the Bank in the process of effecting the restructuring of IBC in line with the relevant provisions of the BFSA. Clients were left in the cold when the abrupt closure was effected with some camping at the premises in vain. The post Inter-Market Bank Makes A Comeback appeared first on Zambia Reports.

source: Zambia Reports