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Politics

Patriotic Front (PF) lifts the suspension of Christopher Kang’ombe and Binwell Mpundu.

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THE Patriotic Front (PF) has lifted with immediate effect lifted the suspension of Kitwe mayor Christopher Kang’ombe and former district commissioner Binwell Mpundu.
The party says the suspension lifted is in the unity of purpose on the Copperbelt province.
In a statement made available to Mwebantu, Copperbelt province PF chairman and member of the party’s central committee, Nathan Chanda says the suspension comes after the two showed remorse towards their actions.
“I am  in receipt of the letters of suspension of Mr Christopher Kangombe and Mr Binwell Mpundu from the Kitwe District Patriotic Front Party by Kitwe PF District Chairman Mr Evaristo Chilufya.
The same letters of suspension are also copied to the PF Secretary General Hon Davies Mwila.
After our meeting with the PF Kitwe District Chairman  Evaristo  Chilufya his District Secretary Lungo Kawaya , PF Nkana constituency Chairman Edward Chitambetambe, PF Kanfinsa Constituency Chairman Collins Chansa including Mr Binwell Mpundu and Mr  Christopher Kangombe who showed remorse.
I wish to guide that in the suspensions of Mr Kangombe and Mr Mpundu, There was an amiss in the procedure even when the case is solid as laid out in the PF party constitution and disciplinary code,”Mr Chanda said.
He said the PF as the ruling party has a constitution and a disciplinary code which guide all matters involving party members.
“Based on the aforesaid, and remorsefulnes shown by Mr  Kangombe and Mr  Mpundu, the party has decided to left the suspension,” he said.
Mr Chanda however said if the Kitwe PF district executive committee still feels the duo or any other PF members committed  an offense or in the near future warranting disciplinary action, they can charge them following the PF party Constitution and Disciplinary Code.
He has further given a serious warning to the duo for taking the matter to the press and social media when the party has many channels of airing out grievances.
” I also wish to take this opportunity to restate that the PF party on the Copperbelt will work towards promoting unity,love and reconciliation among it’s membership. However, I will not condone indiscipline from party members, including those who have launched premature campaigns in constituencies with incumbent PF Members of Parliament, with impunity and total disregard of the PF central committee guidance as per the circular signed by the secretary general Davies Mwila,” he said.
Mr Chanda also urged party members to respect and support the party by putting all their efforts together in building the party and campaigning for President Edgar  Lungu who is  the candidate for 2021 General Elections.

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Local Courts

Charity Katanga to appeal against the three year jail term which left her relative’s weeping

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DESPITE her lawyers begging the court not to impose a custodial sentence on former Inspector General of Police Charity Katanga, Lusaka chief resident magistrate Davies Chiwbili said he needed to mete out a punishment that will remind those in positions of authority to be honest.

Magistrate Chibwili, who jailed Ms Katanga for three years, said it was important to impose punishment that will send a clear signal to “those of us in positions of responsibility” to be honest.

The magistrate said this before jailing Ms Katanga whom he found guilty in a case she was accused of buying 10 Higer buses worth K26million, using money deemed to be proceeds.

But before she was sentenced, her lawyer Benjamin Mwelwa, pleaded for leniency because his client served the country and protected lives and properties on duty.

“…Until unfortunately today, she has been found to have transgressed the law she protected for her entire life. All her energy has gone into the bottomless pit. She is a first offender who deserves the maximum leniency of this court.

“She has a tag of a convict today, which is enough punishment of a person of her standing in her society,” he said and

prayed that the court gives Ms Katanga an alternative punishment other than imprisonment.

Magistrate Chibwili said Ms Katanga was a first offender deserving leniency but noted the gravity of the offence and its effect on the Zambia Police.

The convict’s conduct stained the police service because the allegations against her happened when she was a very senior police officer who was expected or seen to be chasing after criminals” but “it is disheartening that she was doing the same unlawful things she appeared to be policing.

The magistrate said the convict put a stain on the police uniform that she wore very proudly and the police service will suffer a lack of trust and confidence because of her actions.

“It is imperative for the court to impose punishment that will send a clear signal to those of us in positions of responsibility to be honest and act appropriate in our offices because once caught, the fall from grace is much harder than for an ordinary citizen,” magistrate Chibwili said.

Ms Katanga was charged with possession of property reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime.

Allegations were that between January 1, 2017 and June 6, 2022, Ms Katanga, jointly and while acing with others, allegedly bought 10 Higer Buses reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime, allegations she denied.

Through lead prosector, Mukuma Chipawa, the State called over 10 witnesses to testify against the former Southern Province Commissioner of police.

Evidence presented in court was by a Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) investigations officer was that Ms Katanga’s earnings compared to her expenditure for the years 2017 to 2021 showed an over K15 million excess in terms of expenditure.

The witness also narrated that Katanga’s known income between 2017 and 2021 was over K1.7 million against over K18 million which was paid towards the purchase of buses.

The magistrate found Ms Katanga with a case to answer and asked her to defend herself from the allegaitons.

In defence, Ms Katanga pleaded innocence arguing that she bought the buses from her personal income, monthly salary’s savings and loans.

She also said she retirement money and also borrowed some money which was used to buy the buses.

However, magistrate Chibwili said Ms Katanga’s defence was an afterthought because there were no transfer of funds to Higher from Katanga’s bank account.

The court also found that “none of the funds paid to higher in 2017 2018 and 2019 went through the bank.

The magistrate said Ms Katanga never produced evidence showing that the retirement package she received in 2014 worth K1.1 million was used to buy the buses.

He wondered that If the money that was paid to Higer for the purchase of buses did not come from her earnings as demonstrated in her answers, then where did they come from?

“Where did that money come from especially that it did not come from any of the accounts the accused was linked to,” magistrate Chibwili said.

He said he satisfied that the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and found Katanga guilty and jailed her.

Her relatives cried uncontrollably as the former law enforcer, now a convict, was being led to cell-car enroute to a detention facility.

The rosery clad Ms Katanga, who kept her composure while waving at journalists, waved at journalists as she was led into the car.

Her lawyers said the Judgement was harsh and their client will appeal against it.

(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 20th February, 2024)

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Politics

Civil servants are frustrated says ECL

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FORMER president Edgar Lungu has claimed that civil servants are frustrated because President Hakainde Hichilema is micromanaging government functions from state house.

Speaking when he appeared of Radio Delight of Chingola last night, Mr Lungu said the United Party for National Development (UPND) is struggling motivate the civil service.

Mr Lungu claimed President Hichilema is leading a frustrated government because of his tendency to micromanage everything.

“Let me say one thing and I think I will sum it all, you cannot have everything managed from state house, leave the line ministries to deal with these issues.

“Everything has to go through state house and civil servants are very frustrated, they regret every morning when they wake up, because they think that is not how the civil service is supposed to be run,” he said.

Mr Lungu, who has returned to active politics after a brief spell on the sidelines when he lost power in 2021 has advised President HH to give ministries leverage to work.

“Issues of agriculture, should be dealt with by the ministry of agriculture, you have your minister he reports to you [as president]…what has happened is that everything is being managed from state house,” Mr Lungu said.

(Mwebantu, Monday, 19th February, 2024)

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Politics

‘I still have My UPND card,’ ECL says.

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FORMER republican president Edgar Lungu has joked that he still has his United Party for National Development (UPND) membership card, years after he left the party.

Before joining the Patriotic Front (PF), Mr Lungu was a UPND member decades ago recruited by then UPND vice president Sakwiba Sikota.

In the PF, he went from being an ordinary member to serving as Chawama MP and other ministerial positions before rising to the highest office in the land.

Since losing Power, Mr Lungu has been flirting with the idea of returning to Power and he is among the figureheads of the recently announced United Kwacha Alliance (UKA).

This morning, he attended worship at Praise Christian Centre (PCC) in Lusaka where he revealed that he still has his UPND card.

He said this when introducing Mr Sikota in church .

“… For those who dont know, he introduced me to UPND this man [Sikota] he recruited me and he was the vice president in UPND to Mr Mazoka and when Mr Mazoka died, using imingalato he was dribbled out of the presidency. By the way, I still have my card for UPND, it was number 60, so I joined UPND as number 60,” Mr Lungu said.

He also said Zambian politics are of a nomadic nature, and it is not strange to see people jump ship.

“…The politics in Zambia is of a nomadic nature, people just go where they find fertile soil, good pasture they stay there, they look after their animals after a while they move on.

“If you look at our current government, there is MMD there. There is PF there and a bit of UNIP, so dont worry, thats the name of the game, ” he said.

Mr Lungu was flanked by Harry Kalaba, Richard Musukwa, Jackson Silavwe and Geofry Bwalya Mwamba (GBM).

(Mwebantu, Sunday, 18th February, 2024)

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