US Govt releases USD$16million toward corruption fight
UNITED States Vice President Kamala Harris has announced that more than USD$16 million has been released towards the fight against corruption and other reform programs.
Ms Harris said the US is keen on helping accelerate the fight against corruption to help pave way for democracy to flourish.
Speaking at State House today, Ms Harris said the strong ties between Zambia and the US will continue and those include the fight against corruption .
“Democracy is a priority for the United States. We have released more than USD$16 million for programs including anti-corruption and other reform programs,” she said.
She commended President Hakainde Hichilema for the strides being made in the fight against corruption as well as debt restructuring.
“We will quicken the debt restructuring and we advise other bilateral official creditors to have meaningful debt restructure for Zambia as well,” she said.
And Mr Hichilema said Zambia values the bilateral relationship held with the US and will ensure to maintain the good historical friendship.
He noted that Government priority is to rebuild the economy.
“What is keeping us down is debt over hung. It is contributing towards the affected foreign exchange market prices and so we are pushing to unlock that so that we create more jobs and more businesses,” he said.
Mr Hichilema further reiterated that Zambia will continue upholding good governance and also stated that Zambia is a democracy by choice and not through persuasion.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 31st March, 2023)
(Picture by Munati TV)
Mwembeshi Resources Limited ordered to cease mining works in Lower Zambezi National park
GOVERNMENT has ordered Mwembeshi Resources Limited to cease all mining works in Lower Zambezi National park with immediate effect.
This is due to non-compliance by the company which violated a number of conditions of the May ,7 2021 Environmental Impact Assessment for proposed Large-Scale mining activities.
In the recent past, there has been heightened interest in the proposed large-scale mining project in the Lower Zambezi National Park by Mwembeshi Resources Limited, because of alleged commencement of mining operations in the area.
However, it has been established that the company has not adhered to the conditions as stipulated by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) and has since been ordered to cease works.
Minister of Green Economy and Environment Collins Nzovu said to the effect, all works should immediately cease.
“I have received numerous queries from many Zambians, seeking clarification from me and my Government, on the way forward on this matter. However, it must be understood that ZEMA is the designated Government Agency responsible for issuing environmental permits and carrying out compliance monitoring to all mining entities in the country,” he said.
He stated that the permits are issued with specific conditions in the Decision Letter, which must be religiously adhered to by all permit holders, failure to which specific penalties as provided for in the Environmental Management Act No. 12 of 2011, are meted out.
“I have been informed that multiple inspections and legal reviews by ZEMA, have established beyond reasonable doubt, that Mwembeshi Resources Limited has violated a number of conditions of the May 7, 2021 Environmental Impact Assessment Decision letter for the proposed Large-Scale mining activities under Licence No. 15547-HQ-LML in Lower Zambezi National Park of Luangwa District,” he said.
He noted that consequently, ZEMA under his Ministry, in accordance with Section 106 of the Environmental Management Act number 12 of 2011, served a Compliance Order on Mwembeshi Resources Limited of Lot number 397 a/2/C off Chipwenupwenu Road Makeni, in Lusaka District, in Lusaka.
“ZEMA has further Ordered Mwembeshi Resources Limited to immediately; cease the construction of roads in the National Park which includes excavations, hauling of materials, dumping of laterite and other construction material, clearing of vegetation and all related activities, cease the mining of gravel and other road construction materials from the two borrow pits and any other sources within the National Park.”
“Cease the construction of foundations for buildings and any other project activities and submit a site environmental restoration plan for the degraded environment at the borrow pits and any other areas in the National Park. The degraded environment shall be restored to its former or better state as required by the Environmental Management Act No. 12 of 2011. ZEMA shall ensure full compliance to the Compliance Order by Mwembeshi Resources Limited,” Mr Nzovu said
(Mwebantu, Thursday, 1st June, 2023)
Max acquitted of unlawful wounding charges
THE Lusaka Magistrate’s Court has set at liberty Patriotic Front sympathizer Maxwell Chongu alias Max in a case he was facing two charges of unlawful wounding.
Lusaka Magistrate Kawama Mwamfuli acquitted Chongu after finding him with no case to answer.
“I find that a premafacie case has not been made out against the accused person sufficiently to require him to make out a defence, the case against him is hereby dismissed,” Magistrate Mwamfuli said this morning.
She also ruled that the prospection’s evidence, including a medical report, had been discredited by the defence during cross examination.
And speaking to journalists after his discharge, Mr Chongu thanked God for the outcome in the December 2021 case and that he has faith in the Judiciary.
“I never went to social media to complain, I never called anyone names, any administration names, because I believe in the judiciary and with the judgment that has come from there it clearly shows that the picture that was portrayed out there about the name Maxwell Chongu is not the actual person,” he said.
Mr Chongu also commended his lawyers for ably representing him in the matter.
“I am overwhelmed with joy and I cannot say much, it’s not easy telling your wife I may go two or three years but I will come back. I was having sleepless nights preparing for the toughest situation and coming here and being told you have been acquitted.
“I want to thank God and I want to thank my lawyers, Jonas Zimba, Francis Daka, Makebi Zulu and I want to thank my wife who has been with me,” he said.
But he was unhappy with the conduct of law enforcers who investigated the issues and manufacturered charges against him without substantiative evidence.
“I only appeal to the law enforcement agencies that let us not rush in bringing cases to court without sufficient evidence because you are making the courts look biased when they are not, you are making the judiciary look like they are protecting certain individuals when they are not”
This is a matter in which Chongu was accused of wounding Richard Sinonge and Innocent Nyambe.
It was alleged that on March 4, 2017, Chongu allegedly unlawfully wounded Sinonge aged 37 by inflicting a deep cut on his left ankle and Nyambe aged 32 a deep cut on the stomach whilst using a machete.
(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 31st May, 2023)
NGOCC protests security protocol that bar women from entering State House with handbags
NON-Governmental Gender Organisation’s Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has protested State House Security protocols that bar women from entering with their handbags.
NGOCC Chairperson Grace Sinkamba revealed in a statement that some women were barred from accessing State House during the commemoration of African Freedom Day because they had nowhere to leave their handbags.
Ms Sinkamba said this amounts to a human rights infringement on women and the girl child.
“Women carry essentials in such bags that form part of their being based on their biological makeup, including items that are necessary for personal hygiene. It is therefore a gross infringement of their rights for the event security to deny women entry into State House with their bags during the last commemoration of African Freedom Day,” she said.
“We noted several women who were denied entry because they had nowhere to leave their handbags. The invitation did not indicate that women were not to enter with their handbags, nor was there any provision for women to leave their handbags in a safe place at the entrance. This disadvantaged women, some of whom were not able to attend the event at all,” she said.
She said it must be emphasised that handbags are part of a woman’s dress, which forms an integral part of their rights to expression and privacy.
(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 31st May, 2023)