MPs Scuffle As Debate Rages Over Lifting of Presidential Age Limit

[Monitor] As the debate on the contentious planned lifting of the presidential age limit escalate, some politicians have decided to settle their differences physically.

[Monitor] As the debate on the contentious planned lifting of the presidential age limit escalate, some politicians have decided to settle their differences physically.

source: AllAfrica News: Uganda

County Chief Says Operation Has Reduced Shabaab Attacks

[Nation] Lamu County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo has defended the ongoing multi-agency security operation in Boni Forest saying it has greatly reduced Al-Shabaab attacks and attempts in the county by almost 80 percent.

[Nation] Lamu County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo has defended the ongoing multi-agency security operation in Boni Forest saying it has greatly reduced Al-Shabaab attacks and attempts in the county by almost 80 percent.

source: AllAfrica News: Kenya

Why Election Body Boss Wants Three ICT Officers Out

[Nation] Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati wants three officers in the ICT directorate suspended in what he described as necessary action to restore waning public confidence in the commission’s ability to …

[Nation] Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati wants three officers in the ICT directorate suspended in what he described as necessary action to restore waning public confidence in the commission's ability to prepare and deliver a credible repeat presidential poll.

source: AllAfrica News: Kenya

Actress Dies Giving Birth As Health Strikes Rage On

[Nation] An actress died while giving birth in Kilifi County on Tuesday as health services in public hospitals around the country remained grounded due to the clinical officers and nurses’ strike.

[Nation] An actress died while giving birth in Kilifi County on Tuesday as health services in public hospitals around the country remained grounded due to the clinical officers and nurses' strike.

source: AllAfrica News: Kenya

Fire Trucks Deal Above Board – Minister Mwale

Local government minister Vincent Mwale says the purchase of 42 fire trucks at $1 million each was above board. The procurement has raised controversy in various circles prompting a ministerial statement delivered by Mwale today. Mwale attempted to put to … Continued

The post Fire Trucks Deal Above Board – Minister Mwale appeared first on Zambia Reports.

Local government minister Vincent Mwale says the purchase of 42 fire trucks at $1 million each was above board. The procurement has raised controversy in various circles prompting a ministerial statement delivered by Mwale today. Mwale attempted to put to rest speculations that the acquisition of 42 fire tenders at a total cost of $42 million was exorbitant. He clarified that the cost was attached to quality specified by Zambian Fire experts as well as procurement officers. Mwale explained that the procurement process was one that had no flaws and Grandview who won the bid were the lowest bidders that addressed the specific concerns raised by experts. “Some bids were low but they were offering tanks made of plastic… its value for money we were looking s well as durability…,” said Mwale. BELOW IS THE FULL MINISTERIAL STATEMENT ON GOVERNMENT’S PROCUREMENT OF 42 FIRE TRUCKS DELIVERED TO PARLIAMENT ON 19TH SEPTEMBER 2017 Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you for this opportunity you have given me to shade light on concerns raised by some members of the public following an event on 13th September 2017 at which Her Honour the Vice President of the Republic of Zambia Mrs. Inonge K. Wina officiated to handover the 42 fire trucks to Local Authorities the Government has procure through my Ministry. Mr. Speaker, I am prompted to make this statement following concerns from some members of the public that the price of US $1 million dollars per fire truck is too exorbitant. It should be noted, Mr Speaker, that this debate is not new. When this procurement was concluded towards the end of 2015, a similar debate ensued and was stirred by opposition FDD President Ms Edith Nawakwi who claimed that the PF Government had pocketed US $30 million out of the award of this US $42 million contract for the supply of the 42 fire trucks. My predecessor in the Ministry then rose to the challenge to clarify the matter and put the record straight. As it could be clearly seen, Ms Nawakwi’s statement was not substantiated by any facts and the matter was rested. Mr Speaker, before I proceed to discuss the issue of pricing of the fire tenders, allow me to give a brief historical background to this matter. On the 4th of May 2012, the late President Michael Chilufya Sata officiated at the commemoration of the International Fire Fighters’ Day in Lusaka and bemoaned, among others, the lack of investment in the fire and rescue services. At this same function, Mr Speaker, President Sata directed my Ministry to decentralise the provision of fire and rescue services to protect the valuable lives of our people and infrastructure in the various parts of the Country. After this Presidential directive, a United Kingdom based company known as Albion Export Services Limited submitted an unsolicitated bid to supply 63 fire trucks at the cost of US $54.8 million which they later revised in 2015 to US $66 million. Further, Albion Export Services requested that their company be single-sourced to supply the fire trucks with an upfront payment of hundred percent but to deliver the fire trucks over a period of two years. The Ministry then wrote to the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) requesting authority to direct bid Albion Export Services. On 22nd July 2015, ZPPA responded to our letter and rejected the request to direct bid Albion Export Services but advised the Ministry to use a competitive method to procure the fire trucks. Consequently, in September 2015, my Ministry proceeded to advertise the tender for the supply of the 42 fire trucks. At the close of the tender in October 2015, sixteen (16) bidders responded. After evaluation of the 16 bidders, Grandview International was the best evaluated bidder with a bid sum of US $42 million after meeting the required criteria as stated in the solicitation document. The list outlining the 16 bidders with the respective amounts has been attached to this statement for consideration. Mr Speaker, Soon after Grandview International were notified of the award, four companies, namely Albion Export Services Limited whose bid price was US $49.5 million, Savenda Management Services, DL NAFFCO (Z) Ltd and Albert Ziegler appealed to ZPPA against the decision to award Grandview International. ZPPA heard the appeals within two weeks and rendered its decision thereafter dismissing the appeals for lack of merit. ZPPA also informed the Ministry to proceed with its award to Grandview International. Mr Speaker, Some companies also made an appeal to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) against the decision to award the contract to Grandview International. The Anti-Corruption Commission also dismissed the appeal and gave the Ministry clearance to proceed with the procurement process. Mr Speaker, The cost of these fire trucks has now become a subject of debate by some quarters in our society. Comparisons of various fire-fighting trucks of different specifications and costs have been made. Mr Speaker, I have noted with interest that all those observing that our fire trucks are over-priced are only quoting the lower priced bids thereby creating an impression that Grandview International quoted the highest and yet, while responding to the same specifications, Albion Export Services from the United Kingdom quoted US $49.5 million, which was US $7.5 million higher than Grandview International. Mr Speaker, The fire trucks we have procured are no standard trucks. They are custom-made, specifically to respond to the challenges that our fire men and women have been facing over the years in terms of the terrain and other operational areas. In fact, the specifications were developed by the users, who are the fire fighters. The fire trucks were manufactured in Spain based on these specifications. Mr Speaker, The fire fighters informed the Procurement Team that some of the challenges often encountered in firefighting were the narrow roads that were difficult to access particularly in unplanned settlements. To respond to this challenge, the new fire trucks are equipped with monitors which allow the fire operators to fight fires from a distance of up to 70 meters irrespective of obstructions along the way. They not only offer added maneuverability in places which are difficult to navigate but also have increased storage capacity for water and special foam. The fire trucks have storage capacity of 7000 litres for water and 1000 litres for foam. On the contrary, the older fire trucks being utilized had no provision for foam and only had a capacity of 5000 litres for water. In addition, the fire trucks have improved extraction equipment to for recue services. Mr Speaker, In addition to better capacity, the new fire trucks have stainless steel tanks as opposed to the polythene tanks that the old ones have. The durability of the trucks is further enhanced by reinforced chassis and high ground clearance from the raised chassis. These are just highlights of the broad technical and non-technical specifications that informed the procurement process. I have attached the exhaustive list of specifications for consideration. Mr Speaker, Based on these detailed specifications, procurement experts and firefighters involved in the procurement process believe that the bidder was best suited to give us the value for money as compared the other bidders that were not selected. This was arrived at after an elaborate scrutiny of all bids. Mr. Speaker, The fire-fighting and rescue equipment are an integral part of economic development that would safeguard the economic gains made so far in all-the sectors of our economy. Fire outbreaks have become a common phenomenon in almost all districts in the country for varied reasons. However, the response to such fire outbreaks has in the past been hampered by lack of proper and adequate fire-fighting equipment. This is why Government, through my Ministry, has acquired this state of the art fire-fighting and rescue equipment for all the major districts across the Country especially those with higher population density and increased economic activity. Mr Speaker, I thank you. The post Fire Trucks Deal Above Board – Minister Mwale appeared first on Zambia Reports.

source: Zambia Reports

OPINION: Numbers Indicate PF Still Stronger than UPND

The second round of by-elections have flown past with a less than convincing result to help the opposition United Party for National Development’s claim for popularity. Do they not say that numbers do not lie? Out of a count of … Continued

The post OPINION: Numbers Indicate PF Still Stronger than UPND appeared first on Zambia Reports.

The second round of by-elections have flown past with a less than convincing result to help the opposition United Party for National Development’s claim for popularity. Do they not say that numbers do not lie? Out of a count of 12 by elections that were held on September 14 across the country the ruling PF harvested nine out of 12. This is not to take anything away from the other parties that lined to compete as per their democratic right but for the kind of political noise that has become customary of the UPND, they should do more than screen robbery. The country is partly where it is in terms of political tension as a result of the UPND crying at every turn of being robbed of victory. But then would even minute as the by-elections have been be indicative or supportive of their theory that they were robbed of victory? The simple spray of by-election results indicate that while the PF may not be at the peak of their popularity they still retain some semblance of national support. Just in case one missed it here is the outcome of the last round of local government elections the UPND won Itezhi Tezhi, Libonda Ward in Kalabo district as well as Mpindi Kakonja in Zambezi. The ruling party has scooped, Mabinga in Chama South, Chililalila in Kabwe, Chitwi in Luanshya, Luansobe in Mufulira, Luntomfwe in Kaputa and Chimanja. The PF also made its presence felt in Lunte, Kanchibiya and Lavushimanda. So then where is the evidence that the UPND is more popular than the PF. If the UPND want to claim popularity they must back it up with empirical evidence otherwise they will remain branded as cry-babies or sore losers. While there is a general principle never to read too much into by-election results the PF can for now delight in their recent posting of impressive results and credit to them they have not rubbed it in on their opponents. The post OPINION: Numbers Indicate PF Still Stronger than UPND appeared first on Zambia Reports.

source: Zambia Reports

Sunday Chanda Retracts Awkward Statement

Patriotic Front Media Director Sunday Chanda has been once again caught pants down with an alarmist statement that could potentially fan violence. Chanda not for the first time has attributed ordinary incidences of violence to politics and gone to town … Continued

The post Sunday Chanda Retracts Awkward Statement appeared first on Zambia Reports.

Patriotic Front Media Director Sunday Chanda has been once again caught pants down with an alarmist statement that could potentially fan violence. Chanda not for the first time has attributed ordinary incidences of violence to politics and gone to town with it but has had to fall back on it. Credit to him for having tendered in an apology. In the heat of the political campaigns Chanda had claimed that UPND cadres had killed a PF sympathizer in Chilanga but it has turned out no one died. “We would like to dispel reports published in some quarters of the media purporting that a member of the Patriotic Front assaulted during the just ended by-election campaigns in Kalundu area in Chilanga has died, “ she said in the statement,†said the police in a statement. Chanda has since issued an apology reproduced below: Below is the statement: RETRACTION STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Yesterday, 17th September 2017, my Office received information from the Party Provincial Officials to the effect that a PF member who was attacked in Chilanga during the by-election campaigns had passed on. Upon receiving this information, we had it verified with two other Provincial Officials who confirmed the reports. It has come to our attention that the Provincial Officials information was not accurate. The victim is still hospitalised in University Teaching Hospital and remains in our prayers. We apologise for the inconvenience this may have caused on the vIssued by: Sunday Chanda PF Media Directorictim and the bereaved family. Further, we wish to advise our officials to verify information with the Provincial Party Chairperson before transmitting any such information to the Party Secretariat. Lastly, we continue to call for investigations into the violence to ensure the perpetrators of this violence are brought to book. Issued by: Sunday Chanda PF Media Director The post Sunday Chanda Retracts Awkward Statement appeared first on Zambia Reports.

source: Zambia Reports