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.
More Value and Great Content for GOtv Customers as they get New Channels!
Multichoice has added new channels on GOtv platform to create more value to customers and deliver thrilling local and international content. Customers are now able to watch exciting new content on brand new channels on their different packages on the GOtv platform.
The newly added channels on the GOtv platform include TLC, Me and Nick toons on the GOtv Supa Package and Moja 9.9 on the GOtv Plus package.
Speaking about the new channels on GOtv, Leah Kooma, Managing Director, MultiChoice Zambia said: “We are so excited about the GOtv launch of the new channels because it speaks about value delivery to our customers through content and how much there is to enjoy on our GOtv platform”.
With the launch of the new channels on GOtv, MultiChoice is assuring customers that there is something for everyone and that there is no dull moment on the GOtv platform. The GOtv platform offers customers access to popular and fantastic content at the lowest prices. From as low as K30 customers can access local channels like ZNBC, Diamond TV, Prime TV, and a lot more on the GOtv Lite package.
“Through the launch of the new channels on GOtv, we are thrilling customers with exciting local and international content, this is our commitment to continue delivering the best video entertainment experience,” remarked Kooma.
Besides the new channels that will start running on GOtv as of 3rd October 2022, MultiChoice also recently added other new channels on GOtv including Movie Room on the GOtv Supa and GOtv Max packages. Novela Magic and One Zed were added on the GOtv Value package.
(Mwebantu, Monday, 3rd October, 2022)
Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane unveils a K167.3 billion 2023 national budget
THE New Dawn Administration has unveiled its 2023 national budget which will be funded from both external and internal sources such as grants, loans and revenue through tax collections.
Speaking in Parliament yesterday afternoon, Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane said Zambia will not fail but will take inspiration from countries which were poor, but have upgraded to first class.
Dr Musokotwane has since announced that Zambia is now back in business to ensure that the country attains development.
He said the New Dawn Government has laid a stable condition foundation to facilitate growth of the country.
Dr Musokotwane announced that to compliment the already recruited health personnel and teachers, government will next year also recruit 4,500 teachers and 3,000 health personnel.
He also announced that government will also among other developmental programs reintroduce meal allowances for university students on bursary.
Dr Musokotwane further rubbished social media claims that government will remove Farmers Input Support Program (FISP,) because of the implementation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), stating that infact the program will instead be refined to give way to better targets for farmers.
He further bragged that government has secured USD$300 million from the World Bank to develop farm blocks around the country.
“Let me make it clear that we are borrowing this money on soft terms and it will help create more jobs, diversification and value addition and not borrowing this money to buy fire tenders,” he said on a lighter note.
Dr Musokotwane further said there will be no loadshedding because the aspiration of government is to provide electricity for all.
He also reiterated that government is working on strategic road networks for a better country and that roads such as Lusaka-Ndola dual carriage, Chingola-Solwezi road and the Ndola-Mufulira road would be worked on using the Public Private Partnership (PPP).
(Mwebantu, Saturday, 1st October, 2022)
Fuel prices increase
THE Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has adjusted upward the pump prices of petroleum products by K1.20 per litre for petrol and K3.04 per litre for diesel.
The price of Kerosene has been adjusted downward by K0.65 per litre.
Speaking a media briefing, ERB Board Chairperson Reynolds Bowa also announced that board has commenced the full regulation of the retail price of Jet A-1 at airports and shall going forward determine applicable prices on a monthly basis.
“Therefore, the regulated Jet A-1 price, which is called the Posted Airfield Price (PAP), has been set at K20.69/litre for the month of October 2022. The regulation of Jet A-1 prices has been necessitated by the need to attain regional competitiveness,” Mr Bowa said.
He said the changes in pump prices and the posted airfield price are due to trends in the global petroleum prices and the exchange rate of the United States Dollar to the Zambian Kwacha in the period between the last and the current price review.
“Specifically, international oil prices continued to decline due to the global slowdown on consumption. This is amid concerns of inflationary pressures worldwide, anticipated slowdown of global economic growth and continued fears of a global recession.
Further,during the review period, the Zambian Kwacha continued to appreciate mainly due to increased supply of foreign exchange on the market on the backdrop of the continued positive market sentiments following the conclusion of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) package in August 2022. Since the last price review in August, the Kwacha appreciated, month-on-month by 3.23%, from an average of K16.12/US$ to K15.60/US$.
In September 2022, Government issued Statutory Instruments (SI), No. 59 on Value Added Tax(VAT) and No.44 of 2022 on Customs and Excise Duty, in order to restore taxes on petroleum products which were revised in January 2021. The taxes which have been restored are excise duty and VAT,” Mr Bowa said.
He said consequent to the SIs,the Government has restored excise duty from K0.64/litre to K2.07/litre while VAT has been restored from 0% to 16% on petrol.
Mr Bowa said on diesel, the Government has restored excise duty from KO/litre to K0.66/litre while VAT has been restored from 0% to 16%. Like before, no taxes have been levied on kerosene and Jet A-1.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 30th September, 2022)