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Minister challenges local manufacturers over railway vehicles

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THE Minister in the office of the Vice President of the Republic of Zambia, Hon. Sylvia Chalikosa has challenged Zambian Engineers and engineering companies to start manufacturing railway wagons to cut down on the importation of vehicles and save the much needed foreign exchange.

Hon. Chalikosa made the challenge on Sunday 3 Septmebr 2017, when Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) Regional General Manager in charge of the Zambia Region, Eng. Kambani Ndhlovu briefed her on the challenges that the railway firm was facing.

The Minister, who is also Mpika Central Member of Parliament, where the TAZARA regional headquarters is situated, said it was about time that local engineering companies invested in the manufacturing of railway wagons where TAZARA and Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) could be sourcing the required vehicles.

Hon Chalikosa said she failed to comprehend why Zambia which had been independent for over 50 years now continued to depend on China to manufacture railway vehicles when the country had a lot of qualified engineers working in various other countries, including China, could not  set up engineering companies to manufacture wagons locally.

“Zambia has a lot of skilled engineers that could compete favourably well on the world market, but are not innovative and creative to come up with ideas to set up engineering companies to manufacture wagons
locally,” she said.

The Mpika lawmaker said while she appreciated the tripartite agreements Zambian and Tanzanian governments signed periodically with China on the supply of railway wagons and various railway spares, she felt that Zambian Engineers could look at the possibility of manufacturing wagons so that the country could move away from a consumer orientation.

She said although TAZARA lacked materials to carry out rehabilitation works to wagons, coaches, locomotives and the railway track, her ambition as area member of Parliament was to ensure that the railway firm was taken to the next level by finding companies that could invest in various TAZARA projects that would help the nation to earn more resources for long-term sustainability.

Mr Ndhlovu briefed the Minister about the performance of TAZARA, its troubled longstanding history of underperformance owing to insufficient railway wagons, unreliable and inadequate locomotives and the poor state of the track, which had resulted in the general reduction of train speeds and several other challenges.

The Regional General Manager however assured the Minister that despite the many longstanding challenges and past poor track record, Management had made strong turn-around efforts in the last two years, with a general positive trajectory of business performance now being registered.

Eng. Ndhlovu emphasized that TAZARA had since gone beyond the worst performance of 2015 and with the strategies that were now being implemented, there were very optimistic indications that the Authority would register further improved performance in this year’s budget.

The Regional General Manager appealed to the Zambian Government to help in the liquidation of debts owed by Nyiombo Investments Limited for the transportation of fertilizer that was supplied to the Government some three years ago, so that the Authority could use the money to clear the workers’ outstanding salary arrears.

In response, the Minister promised to take up the matter with the relevant wings of the Zambian Government.

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A former ZRA accounts assistant slapped three years imprisonment for stealing over K170,000

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THE Economic and Financial Crimes Court has convicted and sentenced a former Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) accounts assistant, Sami Sami to three years imprisonment with hard labour.

Magistrate Faides Hamaundu entered a statutory judgment and ordered the convict Sami to pay Zambia Revenue Authority the money that he had stolen.

Sami aged 43 was convicted on 18 counts of the offence of Theft by Public Servant contrary to section 277 of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

The court heard that Sami an account assistant at ZRA on dates unknown but between the 16th day of August 2018 and the 31st day of July,2019, being a person employed in the Public Service namely ZRA stole K174,566.59 cash which came into his possession by virtue of his employment.

And ZRA has sternly warned its members of staff that there are no sacred cows as any officers found wanting will be prosecuted to the fullest extent permitted by law.

(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 25th January, 2023)

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ZRA dismisses fake social recruitment post.

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THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has dismissed reports circulating on social media platforms purporting that the authority has advertised for jobs.

ZRA Corporate Communications Manager Oliver Nzala said the social media reports are fake adding the general public should not be duped by unscrupulous people who are forging and coming up with fake ZRA documents in order to swindle unsuspecting people.

Mr Nzala said the fake recruitment adverts are a concern to the authority because some members of the public who are desperate for employment get swindled.

He urged the public  to be on high alert concerning the scam, saying the unscrupulous people should be reported to the nearest police station or any ZRA office.

Mr Nzala also dispelled reports that the authority had set up a trust fund.

“The ZRA would like to warn and urge members of the public to strongly ignore and treat social media posts circulating, purporting that there is a Zambia Revenue Support Trust Fund Program and that the Authority has advertised for jobs, as fake. We have noted with great concern fake recruitment adverts circulating on social media purporting to have been issued by the ZRA. This is a big concern for the Authority because some members of the public who are desperate for employment get swindled,”he said.

He said ZRA’s recruitment process is anchored on core values of transparency, professionalism and integrity.

Mr Nzala said that ZRA advertises job vacancies on their website and in the print media.

He said in the past the authority has received cases from some being swindled of hard-earned cash by unscrupulous people purporting to be recruitment agents for ZRA.

He explained the swindlers send fake messages inviting the unsuspecting general public to attend interviews or assessment tests, conduct police clearance, undergo medical examinations and report for work.

(Mwebantu, Sunday, 22nd January, 2023)

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Tanzanian truck driver convicted for smuggling handbags and clothes

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THE smuggling of used handbags and second-hand clothes into Zambia has landed a Tanzanian truck driver in trouble.

The Ndola magistrate court has ordered Mamza Msengi to pay over K300,000 to the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) as a result of his actions that were deemed to defraud the Zambian Government.

Added to that, Msengi will have to part away with K10,000 after he was fined and given a default custodial sentence of nine months in prison.

Particulars of the offense were that on unknown dates but between November 20 and December 31, 2022, the convict defrauded the Zambian government of K304,223.00.

Msengi told border authorities at Nakonde Border that the consignment he was carrying was in transit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) through, the Sakania border in Ndola.

“Seals for the transit goods were placed on the said truck by Zambia Revenue Authority and allowed to proceed. However, he removed the seals in Ndola and trans-shipped the consignment onto another unknown truck,” ZRA Corporate Communications Manager Oliver Nzala said in a statement.

After trans-shipping the consignment, the driver affixed fake seals on an empty container and proceeded to Sakania Border in order to acquit the transit bond under the pretext that the truck was laden with the consignment which was declared at the border.

“Alert ZRA Customs officers conducted a physical inspection of the truck and discovered that it was not carrying any goods as the goods had been trans-shipped onto another truck in Ndola,” Nzala said.

In court, Msengi pleaded guilty before Magistrate Jennipher Bwalya.

He was ordered to pay a fine of K10,000 while asking him to also remit the evaded tax which amounted to K304,223.00.

“The Zambia Revenue Authority strives to detect and disrupt tax evasion schemes and prosecute criminals who engage in smuggling of goods through our borders to ensure that all individuals pay their fair share of customs duty and the right amount of taxes are paid to the government,” Nzala said.

(Mwebantu, Saturday, 21st January, 2023)

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ZAMBIA: COVID-19 STATS

27 Jan 2023, 12:55 PM (GMT)

Zambia Stats

339,949 Total Cases
4,043 Deaths
333,775 Recovered

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