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SCHOOLPAY is the new normal with Atlas Mara Bank Zambia

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Agriculture

Small-scale supplier the ultimate winner in partnership with Shoprite Zambia

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THE Mweemba family’s fortunes have undergone considerable change since they became the first local supplier of fresh vegetables to Shoprite Zambia, when the retailer entered this market 25 years ago.

The late Ezekiel Collin Mweemba started subsistence farming after he lost his job at the end of 1994 when the national carrier, Zambia Airways, was liquidated. His cousin told him about Freshmark, the fresh produce procurement arm of Shoprite, and so a mutually beneficial business relationship started, which fuelled the growth of his business, ECM Farms, managed these days by his daughter, Mazuba Mweemba Songwe.

ECM Farms provide the retailer with leafy vegetables like rape, spinach, Kalembula, Chibwabwa, Chinese cabbage and Bondwe. “Our growth has been phenomenal. We would never have crossed over to small-scale commercial farming had it not been for the ongoing support from Shoprite Zambia.

“In 1995 my father was the only one farming, but today we have six permanent and four part-time employees. Our business generates a steady annual income from activities on our farm, some 20km from the Shoprite distribution centre outside Lusaka,” says Mazuba.

Almost 90% of the fresh produce available in Shoprite Zambia’s supermarkets is sourced locally. The retailer started with only four suppliers in 1995 and grew that number to the current 127 supplying to its supermarkets today.  “We specialise in establishing long-term partnerships with local suppliers, so that their enterprises can grow alongside our business to the benefit of many more Zambians,” explains Charles Bota, General Manager of Shoprite Zambia.

Mazuba believes that the greatest benefit of supplying a world-class retailer is the “large, steady market” it provides for their produce. “Also, a big player like Shoprite has a significant influence on pricing and ensures that we are able to sell our vegetables to others at more competitive prices.”

“Due to the stringent standards required by Freshmark, the quality of our crops keep on improving, which means we are able to provide all our clients with first grade vegetables,” describes Mazuba.

Skills development is yet another positive outcome of this fruitful partnership. Employees of ECM Farms’ skills set now includes food processing and packaging which as it adds value to the produce they sell to Shoprite Zambia.

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NIPA and Smart Zambia, sign MoU on Information Communication Technology (ICTs) infrastructure

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THE National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA) Executive director  Royson Mukwena says improved Information Communication Technology (ICTs) infrastructure directly translates into Zambia enjoying some of the benefits of the globalised economy.
Speaking during the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding between NIPA and Smart Zambia Institute (SZI), Professor Mukwena said training of public sector employees, the private sector and the general citizenry is an investment in human capital and will contribute to sustainable industrial development.
“NIPA agrees with Smart Zambia’s goals to build capacity in our local human resource in the areas of ICTs so that the nation cuts down on expenditure spent to hire foreign expertise to respond to the country’s ICTs infrastructural requirements,” he said.
He said ICTs will make the public sector more responsive and adaptive to global trends.
And speaking at the same function, Smart Zambia Institute National Coordinator, who is also Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet, Dr. Martine Mtonga said improving ICTs infrastructure is an effective and efficient way of running the country’s economy.
He said digitalisation of the economy promotes the livelihoods of citizens at various levels of society.
He also noted that the MoU between the two institutions is timely as it is a mode of closing up the existing digital divide in the country and ensure optimal usage of ICTs and e-Services by citizens.
“Through the development and implementation of the Government Service Bus, Government through SMART Zambia Institute provides an opportunity for Citizens to access Government services effortlessly and in a more effective and efficient manner and therefore spurring Social Economic Development for the Citizens and the Nation,” he said.

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Awe, we did not mean a National Dress Code, Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs says

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THE Ministry of National Guidance and Religious affairs has clarified that it is not considering a National Dress Code as reported by the Zambia Daily Mail.
Public Relations officer Chibesa Musukwa says the ministry is aware of diverse culture the country is endowed with and civil and human rights its people enjoy.
In a media statement made available to Mwebantu, Mrs Musukwa said the minister’s statement was misrepresented as her comment as her comment was on the National Dress Code and not the dress code.
She said if as the minister, reverend Godfridah Sumaili spoke about the dress code, she was categorical and indicated that should there be need for one, the matter would require extensive consultations with various stakeholders.
” Such should only be decided by the citizenry and can not be imposed by the ministry.
In view if the above, it is the ministry’s considered that the debate on the dress code is out context and premature to be a topic currently, and in the midst of other challenges such as the fight against COVID- 19 pandemic, ” Mrs Musukwa said.

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Foxdale Forest – Phase 2 Selling

ZAMBIA: COVID-19 STATS

15 Jan 2021, 3:07 AM (GMT)

Zambia Stats

34,278 Total Cases
527 Deaths
24,105 Recovered

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