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UPND wants court to allow political rallies, claims decision by ECZ to ban rallies is illegal

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THE United Party for National Development (UPND) wants the Ndola High Court to stay the decision by Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to ban campaign rallies as the decision is illegal.

Last week, ECZ suspended the holding of political rallies to curb the spread of COVID-19, a move which has received divergent views from stakeholders.

And in a petition filed in the registry against ECZ and the attorney general and seen by Mwebantu, UPND secretary general Batuke Imenda contends the court to quash the decision of ECZ to ban the campaign rallies during campaign period leading to the General Elections scheduled on August 12.

‘It is a notorious fact that public schools, churches and bars are still very much open with members of the public mingling with each other at various gatherings such as funerals subject to observing the COVID 19 guildlines published by the relevant authorities, ” she said

He claims that ECZ has further abrogated its responsibility under television, radio and print media for the benefit of all participating political parties and independent candidates for the forthcoming national polls.

Mr Imenda said ECZ has abrogated its responsibility under section 8 of the Electoral of Code of Conduct by ignoring to precribe the amount of airtime in any given language on public television, radio, and electronic media to be allocated to all the participating political parties and independent candidates.

He further contends that the incumbent President, Edgar Lungu, vice President Inonge Wina and his running mate Professor Nkandu Luo have been holding rallies and other public meetings under the guise of inspecting development projects in various parts of the country.

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President Hakainde Hichilema, fires Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary in charge of administration, George Magwende

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PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema has with immediate effect terminated the contract of Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary in charge of administration George Magwende.

In a statement issued by Presidential spokesperson Anthony Bwalya the termination is pursuant to Articles 92(1)92(2)(e) and 270 of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia.

“President Hakainde Hichilema has, with immediate effect, terminated the contract of Dr. George Magwende as Permanent Secretary (Administration), in the Ministry of Health.

The termination is pursuant to Articles 92(1), 92(2)(e) and 270 of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia,” he said.

Mr Bwalya said the President has since thanked Dr Magwende for the services rendered to the Government of the Republic of Zambia, and wished him well for the future.

(Mwebantu, Sunday, August 7th, 2022)

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Recruitment turnout a wake up call, says CCZ

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THE Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) says government should monitor the current recruitment of public service workers which is an eye opener of the unemployment levels in the country.

In a statement, Council general secretary reverend Canon Emmanuel Chikoya said Council acknowledges government’s efforts in fighting unemployment in the country but believes there is need to grow and support the private sector which is key in supplementing its efforts in the same vein.

Commenting on the current recruitment of Enumerators that will help in the 2022 Census exercise, father Chikoya urged government to conduct the process in a transparent manner adding that this is the only way public confidence can be maintained.

“The turnout of over 20,000 candidates for  aptitude test against the 3,000 that are needed for Lusaka only is alarming, ” Fr Chikoya said.

“But, it’s encouraging to see government recruiting in large numbers. Our hope is that government efforts will be supported and supplemented by the private sector,” he said.

And the general secretary has called on the Church and small medium enterprises to promote entrepreneurship and long term jobs rather than focus on temporal jobs that offer temporal relief.

“Census jobs are temporal, they offer temporal relief. What we need are permanent jobs that are long term in nature, such jobs can be in investments or entrepreneurship.  Therefore, all key stakeholders inclusive of the Church should all play a role in achieving this noble goal,” Father Chikoya said.

(Mwebantu, Saturday, August 6th, 2022)

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Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) officers drag a business man off a plane in Lusaka, while he was attempting to flee the country over a case he is accused of corrupt practices

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SURYA Energy Limited Exports Manager, Aditya Arora,38, of Lusaka’s Rhodes park area has been arrested for corrupt practices involving a K4,000 after he tried to flee the country.

Aditya is believed to have bribed a named officer from the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) in order for him to have his oil tankers included on a list of tankers that had been inspected and were due for inclusion in a petroleum products transportation licence.

Aditya who had already boarded that plan was removed and apprehended at Kenneth Kaunda Airport in Lusaka .

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Spokesperson Queen Chibwe said Aditya has been detained and is expected to appear in court on Monday.

“The arrest follows investigations in which it was established that Aditya offered a bribe of K4,000.00 to a named officer of the Energy Regulations Board (ERB) in order for the officer to include an oil tanker on a list of tankers that had been inspected and were due for inclusion in a petroleum products transportation licence.

Investigations have revealed that in May this year, Surya Energy Limited applied to have six oil tankers inspected by ERB for purposes of their inclusion in their road transportation license for petroleum products,” she said

She said the license that Surya Energy Limited had was valid till July 2024 and it has been established that on July 1st , this year, Surya Energy Limited only made four tankers available for inspection out of the six at their Mungwi Road garage.

“Following the inspection, approval was granted for the four tankers to be included in the road transportation license for petroleum products.

However, Aditya Arora later sent K4,000 as a bribe to a named ERB Officer who was one of the inspectors to facilitate the addition of another tanker on the list of inspected tankers for inclusion in the license. The ERB officer rejected the bribe and reported the issue to his superiors, who passed it on to the ACC,” she said.

Ms Chibwe added that in relation to the same matter, the Commission has also recorded a warn and caution statement from Aditya’s lawyer Mwansa Chambaila of Ituna Partners, Lusaka, for giving false information to an officer of the Commission.

“Mwansa is alleged to have provided information to the effect that Aditya was scheduled to travel out of the country on August 5th, 2022 when in fact Aditya was scheduled to travel the previous day, August 4th 2022. Alert officers managed to track Aditya and had him removed from the plane which he had already boarded.Aditya is detained in Police custody and is expected to appear in court on Monday August 8th 2022,for mention,” she said.

(Mwebantu, Friday, August 5th, 2022)

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ZAMBIA: COVID-19 STATS

07 Aug 2022, 6:36 AM (GMT)

Zambia Stats

331,074 Total Cases
4,016 Deaths
325,897 Recovered

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