THE United States Government has given a K39 billion grant to Zambia under the new five-year Country Development Cooperation Strategy.
And President Edgar Lungu says government appreciates the support rendered by the United States of America in different sectors of the economy.
President Lungu has cited health, education and social protection as among the key sectors of the economy that have received tremendous support from the US government.
The Head of State made the remarks when United States Embassy Charge d’Affaires, David Young paid a courtesy call on him at State House yesterday as part of the celebration of the new five year Country Development Co-operation Strategy agreement between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Zambian government.
“The United States of America’s support has been essential in complementing the Zambian government’s efforts in preserving lives, particularly human resources required for economic development,” he stressed.
“More recently, the United States pledged $14.5 million to Zambia for the COVID-19 response. The support has been earmarked, among others, towards the purchase of medical equipment, such as oxygen machines, testing equipment, and other supplies aimed at combating the pandemic,” added President Lungu.
The president emphasized that the health sector has been the greatest beneficiary of the support from the U.S. government especially in the fight against HIV and AIDS, Malaria and Malnutrition, among others.
Meanwhile, U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires (CDA), David Young explained that the K39 billion represents a renewed commitment by his country towards Zambia’s journey to being self-reliant.
Mr Young has stated that the long-term strategy will benefit more than 2.5 million citizens in the areas of health, education, economic development, and democratic governance.
“Subject to continued availability of funds from the U.S. Congress, the agreement signifies the total amount of planned funding the United States has pledged over the next five years to implement development assistance and programmes in support of the work of the U.S. Agency for International Development, which serves as a blueprint on how the U.S. government will help Zambia ultimately end its need for development assistance,” Mr Young underlined.
And speaking later in a discussion with cabinet ministers, Mr Young pointed out that the new USAID strategy helps support a road map towards Zambia’s self-reliance, aiming for a time when the country will no longer need to rely on foreign assistance.
The U.S.Embassy Charge d’Affaires affirmed that his country’s vision aligns with and supports Zambia’s Seventh National Development Plan and vision 2030 that aspires that the country attains its middle income status.
“Over the next five years, through USAID, the United States is committed to working with the Zambian government, its citizens, the private sector, and other donors to improve health, literacy, and food security for the most vulnerable Zambians,” Mr Young added.
In response, Finance Minister, Bwalya Ng’andu disclosed that the K39 billion grant that was signed in July this year, will go a long way in improving the health, education, water, sanitation and hygiene sectors.
Dr Ng’andu has assured the U.S. government of prudent use of the resources as enshrined in the Public Financial Management Act of 2018 that provides for an institutional and regulatory framework for management of public funds through the strengthening of accountability, oversight, management and control of public funds in the public financial management framework.
Cabinet Ministers that attended the ministerial discussion with Mr Young include Ministers of Agriculture Michael Katambo, General Education Dennis Wanchinga, Foreign Affairs Joseph Malanji and Presidential Affairs Freedom Sikazwe.
In 1977, the U.S. government first established the USAID presence in Zambia.
Since then, USAID has invested more than K80 billion ($4 billion) towards Zambia’s economic, political, and social development, and helped the country respond to major crises such as the HIV and AIDS pandemic, periodic droughts, and the current coronavirus disease.
(Story by ZANIS, Picture by State House)
Court Expels Lawyer representing Pension Insurance Authority Registrar for Attending Prosecution Pre-trial Meeting
THE Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has ordered lawyer Kaumbu Mwondela representing Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA) registrar Christopher Mapani and two others in a case in which they are charged with abuse of office for approving the appointment of Tobias Milambo as Ultimate Insurance chief executive officer.
And resident magistrate Felix Kaoma has also ordered that evidence adduced before him so far when Mwondela was representing Mapani, Nicholas Mbiya and Titus Mkhwale, be expunged from the record and that the case starts afresh on October 30, 2020.
Magistrate Kaoma made the orders after establishing that Mwondela was conflicted in the matter as he had attended a pre-trial at the National Prosecutions Authority (NPA) under the guise that he was the institutional counsel for PIA and on the other hand, he wanted to continue representing the accused persons.
Mapani, Mbiya and Mkhwale are facing two counts of abuse of authority of office.
The first count alleges that the trio
between January 1, 2018 and March 30, this year at Lusaka, being persons employed by PIA, a public body as registrar, insurance regulator and deputy registrar insurance respectively, jointly and whilst acting together as public officers, directly and indirectly abused their position, office or authority by approving Milambo as the principal officer for Ultimate Insurance Company Limited.
The arbitrary act was prejudicial to the rights or interests of the Government of the Republic of Zambia.
In the second count, allegations are that the trio during the same period, jointly and whilst acting together as public officers
directly and indirectly abused their offices by issuing a 2020 Insurers Licence to Ultimate Insurance Company Limited but they pleaded not guilty.
Milambo is in court jointly charged with two other Ultimate Insurance directors, Nachi Musonda and Richard Lubemba for fraud and forgery.
And when public prosecutor Noah Mwanza appeared before magistrate Kaoma, he maintained that Mwondela could not represent the accused persons. Mwanza submitted that Mwondela together with PIA board chair Petronella Mwangala and PIA board secretary Kibisa Ngwiri attended a pre-trial on June 12, 2020 for the same case at NPA.
He explained that National Prosecutions Authority invited PIA officials for pre-trial but they were accompanied by Mwondela who was introduced as an in-house lawyer.
At the said pre-trial, Mwondela spoke as an institutional counsel for PIA while Mwangala and Ngwira also made their submissions.
But when Mapani, Mbiya and Mkhwale were dragged to court, the same Mwondela placed himself on record as defence counsel and has been representing the accused persons.
Delivering a ruling, magistrate Kaoma said after hearing Mwanza’s evidence-in-chief and cross examination, he was of the considered view that proceedings in the main trial would be a waste of the court’s time.
“It’s clear to me that Mr Mwondela Kaumbu is conflicted as there is glaring conflict of interest. The learned counsel can’t be seen as a defence lawyer for the accused persons before me when he appeared as an institutional lawyer for the PIA during pre trial,” the court said.
Magistrate Kaoma said Mwondela’s conduct contravenes Rule 33 of the Legal Practitioners Act.
“I have decided to terminate and order that Mr Mwondela and his law firm recuses themselves from this matter and whatever is on record before me be expunged,” said magistrate Kaoma before adjourning the case to October 30 for commencement of fresh trial.
Mwondela on June 30, 2020 was apprehended by the police within the court premises for allegedly sneaking into a meeting that held before the pre-trial.
Trial for Ultimate Insurance Directors expected to begin on Tuesday
THE matter in which Directors of Ultimate Insurance: Tobias Milambo, Richard Lubemba and Nachi Musonda are appearing before the Lusaka Magistrate Court for fraud is expected to commence on Tuesday, October 6, 2020.
The trio is accused of amending shareholding records of Ultimate Insurance Company at the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA).
Previous owners: Klein Syampingo, Justin Phiri and Maybin Silavwe have stated that their company was sold to Lusaka businessman Mr. Chanda Katotobwe and his spouse, and Mrs. Felicitus Kabwe Chibamba Katotobwe.
The accused persons allegedly changed the records while the new owners were out abroad.
Meanwhile, the matter in which defence lawyers uttered forged documents in the Lusaka Magistrate Court has been referred to the Law Association of Zambia, Disciplinary Committee.
Lusaka Resident Magistrate Alice Walusiku established that the accused persons lied that they had or were exposed to Covid-19.
The court also established that the documents to support the claim that the accused persons, Nachi Musonda, had contracted Covid-19 and tendered in Court by Mr. Nchima Nchito were dismissed as forgeries by authorities from Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) and Levy Mwanawasa Hospital.
Magistrate Walusiku was forced to refer Mr. Nchima Nchito SC, Mr. Mutembo Nchito SC and Mr. Chisuwo Hamwela defence lawyers for the accused to the Disciplinary Committee of the Law Association of Zambia to investigate this matter and other acts of professional misconduct demonstrated do far.
Magistrate Walusiku in her ruling delivered on September 25, 2020 stated that the defence was accused of gross abuse of the court process and Forum Shopping.
The defence lawyers are accused of engaging in activities that abused the court process to wilfully and deliberately delay a criminal trial legitimately before the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court.
She said by the conduct of the defence, the matter has been delayed since July 25, 2019 when it commenced.
She said the defence made frivolous applications to the High Court twice, and the cases were both dismissed with rulings that the claims that their clients would not receive a fair trial were unfounded and that the criminal matter, was legitimately before the Court and therefore could not be stopped.
Despite the two dismissals by the High Court, the Nchitos frantically attempted to make another similar application in the Livingstone High Court on matters that were ruled and settled by the Lusaka High Courts.
The defence also attempted to obtain a stay of proceedings in the same Livingstone High Court.
Magistrate Walusiku stated that the criminal case under her Court was properly before her and that the Court was the sole forum to adjudicate all issues involved and all interested parties had an obligation to bring them and that forum shopping was a clear and unacceptable abuse of the judicial process.
Meanwhile, the defence lawyers are also accused of tendering forged documents to court.
Police arrest three members of the same family for beating a suspect
THREE members of the same family in Mimosa township in Chilanga District have been arrested by police for torturing a suspect who allegedly stole three metal gates at their house.
Acting Police Spokesperson Danny Mwale says it is not true that the suspect was beaten as a result of political differences as perceived in the video which went viral on social media.
“Facts of the matter are that on 26 August, 2020 the victim identified as Noah Munengo aged 20 of Chilanga is alleged to have removed and stole three metal gates at a named house in Mimosa township in Chilanga and later sold one to a scrap dealer of Freedom Compound within Chilanga,” Mwale said in a statement.
He said after the gates were stolen, the owner of the metal identified as Derrick Mwape aged 50 of Mimosa township, together with his children launched a manhunt and managed to apprehend the suspect (Noah Munengo) who they took to their home in Mimosa where they tied his legs and also tied him to the tipper truck and started beating him.
He said in the process of beating him, some onlookers filmed the incident which subsequently went viral on social media.
Mwale said some members of the public rescued the suspect and handed him over to the Police at Chilanga Police Station.
Mwale said during the process of investigations, police discovered that the suspect was tortured by the family of the complainant.
He said a medical report form was issued to the suspect to seek medical attention and immediately a manhunt for the suspects was launched.
“On 31 August, 2020 Police picked up Kaunda Mwape aged 24, Natasha Mwape aged 20 and Ambrose Muzuwa aged 22 all of plot number 1870/1D Mimosa township in Chilanga. The trio as captured in the video are in Police custody charged and arrested for the offence of Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm (OABH) contrary to section 248 of the Penal Code of the Laws of Zambia,” said Mwale.