THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has intercepted 10 trucks laden with K1.2 billion worth of Copper ores which is allegedly to have been smuggled from Congo (DRC) through the newly gazetted Lonshi Border Post.
ZRA Corporate Communications Manager Topsy Sikalinda revealed in a statement that the smugglers presented fake customs documents to the authorities and after verification, the alert ZRA officers with other security wings moved in to intercept the trucks that were already hidden in the bush.
“During the interception, the officers were threatened with guns but since the operation was jointly conducted with other security wings, all the 10 trucks were intercepted and have been issued with seizure notices,” Sikalinda said.
And Sikalinda said the authority is currently, losing over K100 million per month in taxes due to a drastic reduction in the importation of Copper ores by known importers because smugglers are now supplying them with the commodity.
The Authority collects 5% customs import duty on Copper ores and 16% Value Added Tax.
Prosecution ask for more time to commence trial in Dr Chilufya’s case
THE prosecution has failed to commence trial at 09:00 hours in the corruption case of Health minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya as ordered by Lusaka Chief resident magistrate Lameck Mwale, asking for two hours in which to prepare their witness.
But Dr Chilufya’s lawyers Tutwa Ngulube and Jonas Zimba have accused the prosecution of fishing because the minister was arrested three months ago which means that they should have been ready to prosecute him by now.
Anti-Corruption Commission director Clifford Moonga who is prosecuting the case together with Muchula Silumesi and Daniel Ngwira, applied to stand down the matter so that they can also go through documents which the witness intends to produce.
“The witness will be producing documents which the State has not looked at. In the interest of justice, we pray that the matter be stood down for two hours,” said Moonga as he apologised to the court and defence for the inconvenience.
But Ngulube said the defence was extremely disappointed with the manner in which the State was handling the matter.
He said the State was now fishing and what they were doing was bordering on an illegality.
Ngulube said the failure to commence trial has created an impression that Dr Chilufya is been persecuted.
“We wish to State that we will not concede having the matter stood down because if we allow that, we will be standing down every time the case comes up. The people out there saw our client being paraded on cameras in the media and yet here in the court, the State is not ready.
Yesterday, your orders were not complied, it’s unfortunate that the State can begin to mistreat our client, so to continue delaying this matter will further delay his other duties,” he said.
Another defence lawyer Zimba demanded that trial proceeds as ordered by the court.
“Yesterday’s order is in force and to disobey such an order is disrespectful to the court and if the court decided to relax the order based on the application by the State, that will mean we have began to water down the authority of the court,” he said.
Francis Daka, another lawyer for Dr Chilufya adopted submissions by Ngulube and Zimba.
In his ruling, magistrate Mwale granted the prosecution’s application and stood down the matter to 11:30 hours.
“It’s only fair that the State is given time to prepare their witness. It’s commonly said that justice delayed is justice denied and the flip side is that justice hurried is justice denied,” said Mwale.
UN system in Zambia closes temporarily after seven of its staff members and dependents tested positive for COVID-19
THE United Nations (UN) has temporarily closed all its premises in Lusaka to visitors and personnel for a period of 14 days after seven of its staff members and dependents tested positive for COVID-19.
And UN National Information Officer Mark Maseko says the closure is meant to strengthen prevention measures against the virus in
Maseko said the United Nations in Zambia has been operating on a reduced physical footprint for all its premises since the activation of its Business Continuity Plan (BCP)
in March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Maseko said since the start of the outbreak, all UN agencies continued their operations in support of Zambia’s development and humanitarian priorities, in the implementation of the Government COVID-19 Multisectoral Contingency and Response Plan, with many of its personnel working under partial or full-time telecommuting.
He said despite implementing all the health measures put in place to prevent the contamination in the workplace, a cumulative total of four (04) UN personnel and three (03) UN dependents tested positive for COVID-19 as of 1 August 2020.
“Against this backdrop, the United Nations will temporarily close all its offices in Lusaka to its
personnel, visitors and the majority of contract workers for a period of 14 days effective 3 August in line with its BCP and in consultation with the national authorities,” said Maseko.
He added that the closure will facilitate necessary additional preventive, protective and tracing measures following a rise in
the number of cases in the UN family in order to mitigate and prevent contamination risks in