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Minister of Defences dismisses some media reports alleging that the US government plans to set up a military base in Zambia

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MINISTER of Defence Ambrose Lufuma has dispelled media reports claiming that the United States of America plans to set up a military base in Zambia.

Mr Lufuma said Zambia has no intention or whatsoever to establish or host any military bases on her soil.

In a statement issued,  the Minister said contrary to the misinformation that the united States of American is in the process of establishing USA bases in in Zambia through USA African Command (AFRICOM) which is aimed at endangering lives of Zambians and  threatening the national security, the office being created is an office of security cooperation which will be based at the USA embassy in in Lusaka.

He said the office will work hand in hand with the Zambian Defence Forces to enhance military to military relations, expand areas of cooperation in force management and modenisation, as well as military professionalism, among other things.

“Zambia like many other countries within the region and beyond, has had military cooperation with not only the usa, but other cooperating partners across the globe,” he said.

Mr Lufuma said the US-Africa Command (AFRICOM) being referred to on social media platforms is based in germany and the Zambian government has not at any given time agreed to move it to to Zambia.

“We have had a longstanding relationship with US-AFRICOM in the areas of peacekeeping that has predated this administration and has benefited our military. Zambia has no intention whatsoever of establishing or hosting any military bases on zambian soil,” he said.

Mr Lufuma has since warned perpetrators of  misinformation meant to tarnish the existing cordial relationship with neighbours and strategic partners, to desist from issuing alarming statements which hinge on the security and territorial integrity of our nation.

“Anyone who will be found wanting and spreading falsehoods will be dealt with in accordance with the laws of the country.The Zambian media is equally advised to avoid issuing false statements on defence and security matters without consulting the Ministry of Defence. the media is free to seek clarification on such matters from the ministry of defence, before engaging the public ” Mr Lufuma said.

(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 3rd May, 2022)

Politics

Sakwiba lied about UKA finger print procession, police say

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POLICE in Lusaka have dispelled allegations by United Liberal Party leader ,Sakwiba Sikota that he submitted finger print forms for the procession of opposition movement, United Kwacha Alliance (UKA).

Mr Sikota is believed to have given the misinformation when he appeared on the Red Hot Breakfast show on Tuesday, February 27th, 2024.

Police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga has however, said procession of finger prints for UKA were incomplete.

“The Zambia Police Service wishes to address recent misinformation that was aired on the Red Hot Breakfast Show yesterday February 27, 2024 , alleging that Mr Sakwiba Sikota had submitted fingerprint forms for the procession as part of the registration process for the United Kwacha Alliance at the Zambia Police Service Headquarters.”

“The facts surrounding this matter are as follows: Today (yesterday), February 28, 2024, at 16:10 hours, Mr Sakwiba Sikota, accompanied by Mr Silawve, presented incomplete forms required for the partial fulfillment of the registration process. Contrary to the information aired, the fingerprint forms were not handed in on an earlier date, as suggested,” he said.

Mr Hamoonga said upon examination of the presented forms, it was determined that they were incomplete.

He said as per the established procedures, Mr Sikota and colleague were advised to rectify the deficiencies and resubmit the correct and complete documentation.

“We would like to emphasize the importance of truthfulness and accuracy in communication, particularly when it involves matters of national interest. It is crucial for eminent personalities like Mr. Sakwiba Sikota to be truthful and the media to verify information with the concerned authorities before disseminating it to the public,” he said.

Mr Hamoonga reiterated the call by police for responsible reporting and communication, urging individuals and media outlets to adhere to the principles of accuracy and verification.

He added that the dissemination of falsehoods on matters of national importance may result in legal consequences, including prosecution against those found to be in violation.

(Mwebantu, Thursday, 29th February, 2024)

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Local Courts

State opposes lawsuit to compensate minister, PS for malicious prosecution.

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THE State has opposed the lawsuit filed by Minister of Small Medium Enterprises Minister Elias Mubanga, Permanent Secretary for special duties Patrick Mucheleka and others who are seeking damages for malicious.

The State has argued that Mr Mucheleka and others are not entitled to the reliefs they are seeking because their detention was not malicious.

It adds that there was reasonable cause why they were arrested.

The other plaintiffs are UPND national youth secretary Samuel Ngwira, Chinyimba Bwalya and Kelvin Bwalya.

The five sued the State seeking among other reliefs, damages for false imprisonment.

In their statement of claim, Mr Mucheleka and others submitted that they were apprehended and arrested without reasonable cause by the Zambia Police Service for 31 days.

The added that they were arrested from September 13, 2020 to October 3, 2020 at Kasama Police Station on aggravated robbery and malicious damage to property charges.

Further, Mr Mucheleka and others submitted that during trial, the State set them free through a nolle prosequi.

But the plaintiffs now want to be compensated for mental distress, mental anguish, emotional distress, inconvenience and embarrassment among other reliefs.

However, in reply to the lawsuit, the State submits that it will submit that there was reasonable cause for the plaintiffs’ arrest and detention and that they therefore, the reliefs they seek should not be granted.

It adds that on September 13,2020, the the police received a report of aggravated robbery from the District Registration Officer to the effect that members of UPND attacked and robbed the mobile registration office and damaged property there, and fled immediately after committing the said offence.

The State will further state at trial that with the assistance of eye witnesses, police instituted investigations and recovered a generator at a house in Chilamba village which led to the detention and arrest of the plaintiffs.

It adds that the State will aver that the plaintiffs were lawfully detained and arrested.

During their detention, the plaintiffs were allowed to be visited by several of their party members as well as their lawyers.

The State will aver that police action was conducted within the law and that there was no malice in their detention and arrest.

(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 28th February, 2024)

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Politics

Police scrutinising statement made by Former President Edgar Lungu.

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POLICE say they are carefully examining scrutinising a statement made by Former President Edgar Lungu.

Yesterday, Former president Edgar Lungu said President Hakainde Hichilema may be forced to give up sooner rather than later as Zambians will rise against him if police continue to behave in uncivil manner.

But in a statement issued on Tuesday, February 27, police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga said the implications of such a statement is being assessed, and appropriate legal actions may be taken.

“The statement made by the Former Head of State, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, indicating that “People will rise,” is under careful scrutiny. The implications of such a statement is being assessed, and appropriate legal actions may be taken,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Hamoonga said a police station is a protected place by law, and any misconduct within its premises will not be tolerated.

This is in response to yesterday happenings in which four Patriotic Front members were detained for disorderly conduct.

“The actions taken by Kabwata police were in accordance with the law. Mr Raphael Nakachinda was released after due process, while those unlawfully camping at Kabwata were rightfully arrested. Notably, the arrest of Mr Emmanuel Mwamba and three others was executed lawfully,” he said.

Mr Hamoonga said police managed to confiscate three drums used by the alleged unruly crowd, which will serve as crucial evidence.

He said a police station is not a playground for disorderly conduct, and individuals engaging in illegal activities within its confines are liable to be arrested.

“We reiterate the importance of respecting the law and maintaining order, emphasizing that a police station is not a venue for disruptive behavior. The police are committed to upholding the law and ensuring the safety and security of all citizens,” Mr Hamoonga said.

(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 28th February, 2024)

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