GOVERNMENT says it values the warm relations that have continued to exist between the Governments and people of Zambia and the United States of America.
Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya says the American Government has been and continues to be an important partner especially in the area of health, the fight against the HIV/AIDS in particular.
Speaking when new Charge’d’ Affaires at the Embassy of the United States of America David Young paid a courtesy call on her this morning, Ms. Siliya said the Zambian Government’s partnership with the United States was even more important in the face of the global outbreak of the Coronavirus, commonly known as COVID 19, which has so far claimed many lives.
Ms. Siliya, who is also Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services said about 1,225 people have been screened through the airports and borders out of which 300 were closely monitored and put on 14 days quarantine.
She, however, said despite reported cases in some neighbouring countries, Zambia has not yet recorded any case of the disease.
Ms. Siliya said Government is, however, not relenting but doing everything possible to ensure that people are sensitized on the dangers of the disease and how it spreads.
She announced that Government will now heighten its campaign and has this Friday, through her Ministry, called for a meeting with all media institutions to make them appreciate the seriousness of the disease.
“The fact that we have recorded one case of the disease across the borders in the Democratic Republic of Congo and seven cases in South Africa is a serious source of concern to Government and this is why we are now going to embark on a massive sensitization campaign to ensure that our people know how to take care of themselves and avoid contracting the virus,” she said.
Ms. Siliya noted that there have been a lot of myths around the disease hence the need to urgently sensitise the public on the issue.
“Some people are spreading information that when you take some shots of whisky then you can be healed but this is not true,” she explained.
Meanwhile Ms. Siliya has said the household survey on HIV and AIDS was being hampered following the gassing incidents that the country witnessed in the recent past.
She said people are apprehensive and are not allowing Government officials access to their homes to conduct the exercise.
She added that even the mapping to prepare the country’s Census was equally affected.
“As you heard we had criminals moving about and terrorising the people through gassing and that caused panic as it was a security threat and people at household level panicked. We have government officials to do two things which include the HIV survey and the other being the mapping which is being done to prepare for the national census in August,” she explained.
And Mr. Young said his Government values the long standing relations with Zambia and will continue strengthen the ties going forward.
Mr. Young said the US support to the health sector continues to be the bedrock of the cooperation between the two countries.
He said his government has continued to render support to the Zambian people amounting to K7.5 billion every year, majority of which goes to the health sector.
He said the coronavirus has posed a challenge for the world and that there was need for countries to recognise this fact and take steps in terms of preparedness.
“We value the cooperation with the Center for Disease Control and the Ministry of Health and we are going to work closely together in our cooperation,” he said.
Mr. Young served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Lusaka, Pretoria and Abuja.
This is according to a press statement issued by Press and Public Relations Unit at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services.
Zambia has NOT defaulted on any of its foreign debt, Permanent Secretary, Mukuli Chikuba says
MINISTRY of Finance Permanent Secretary, Mr. Mukuli Chikuba has emphasized that Zambia has not defaulted to any of its creditors on its foreign debt.
Speaking in interview Mr. Chikuba said the action taken by government to seek a six months debt repayment suspension was to promote transparency and understanding among EuroBond holders.
“We have paid the debt service repayment due to the EuroBond.” He said.
“Our debt repayment service to the $750million Eurobond was bond two days ago.” He said.
He said Zambia like many other countries, have been impacted economically negatively by the pandemic.
“We have been impacted negatively by the Covid-19 pandemic.” He said.
In April,2020, the World Bank’s Development Committee and the G20 Finance Ministers, endorsed the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) in response to a call by the World Bank and the IMF to grant debt-service suspension to the poorest countries to help them manage the severe impact of the COVID-19.
Mr. Chikuba said to this effect, Zambia has applied for the Deby Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) to the Paris Club to address the challenges that has come with the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the action done by government was to encourage transparency and has taken the initiative to commercial creditors too.
He said hovernment has reached out to the banks and commercial creditors such as the EuroBond holders, to agree on the debt repayment service schedule and seeka six months suspension.
He said after the Notice was deposited on Tuesday, the process will begin on 29th October 2020 to obtain consesus from the EuroBond holders so as to achieve a collaborative agreement on the debt service schedule.
Zambia-Djibouti deepen bilateral relations
ZAMBIA and Djibouti have pledged to deepen bilateral and multilateral relations and cooperation.
Presenting his Letters of Credence to the President of Djibouti, His Excellency Ismail Omar Guelleh, His Excellency Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba said Zambia recognises that Djibouti holds one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes of the world and plays a key role in promoting trade and commerce.
Mr. Mwamba stated that His Excellency President Edgar Lungu had placed emphasis on economic diplomacy and the diplomatic role of Djibouti was paramount to Zambia and Africa.
And President Ismail Guelleh said he was looking forward to visiting Zambia.
He said he last visited Zambia in 2007 and spent time at the Victotia Falls.
He also said Africa continues to take pride in Zambia’s first President and pioneer of the Organization of the African Unity(OAU) and now African Union(AU), Dr. Kenneth Kaunda.
He wished Dr. Kaunda good health and continued long life.
Earlier Mr. Mwamba held a meeting with Djibouti’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. Mahmoud Ali Youssouf where they discussed aspects of deepening bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
Mr. Youssouf said Djibouti appreciated the role Zambia played in SADC and the African Union.
He said Zambia was a peaceful and model country that was bringing new ideas and fresh dynamics to the development of the continent through COMESA and other multilateral institutions.
He further hailed Zambia’s Tourism sector that many African countries, including Djibouti would pick lessons from.
This is according to a press statement, Mrs. Inutu Mupango Mwanza, First Secretary (Press and Tourism) in Addis Ababa,
Amb. Mwamba presents Letters of Credence to the State of Djibouti
ZAMBIA’S Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative, His Excellency Emmanuel Mwamba is in the State of Djibouti to present Letters of Credence for his accreditation on behalf of His Excellency President Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu.
Mr. Mwamba started the process by meeting Djibouti’s Foreign Affairs Minister, His Excellency Mahmoud Ali Youssouf.
Mr. Mwamba is expected to meet the President of Djibouti, His Excellency Ismaïl Omar Guelleh.
Mr. Mwamba is accredited to Ethiopia, Somali, Sudan and Djibouti.
He is also the Permanent Representative tothe African Union(AU) and to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
This is according to press statement issued by Mrs. Inutu Mupango Mwanza,
First Secretary (Press and Tourism).