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We will not allow selfish individuals to wage war between Government and the Catholic Church- Mwiimbu says

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GOVERNMENT has charged that no one whether catholic or not, will be able to draw a wage between the Catholic church and itself.

Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Jack Mwiimbu says that Government is aware that there are some elements trying to wage a rift between itself and the Catholic Church, but that will not work.
He has reiterated that the New Dawn administration enjoys very good relationships with the faith based organisations, who among them include the Catholic church.
Mr Mwiimbu since appealed to citizens not to take as gospel truth some social media statements, meant at dividing the nation based on religious grounds.
This comes after some social media circulations purporting a letter by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security Permanent Secretary addressed to the secretary to cabinet petitioning the Vatican over a named clergy.
Another is a letter circulating purporting on social media that President Hakainde Hichilema wrote to the Director General Zambia Security Intelligence Service in which it is alleged that he had given several directives regarding the Roman Catholic church.
However, in a press briefing today, Mr Mwiimbu rubbished the allegations and firmly echoed that no one will wage war between the Catholic church and Government.
He has warned culprits that it is not a threat, but the Law will catch up on them.
“Let me firmly state that at no time has the Head of State or indeed my Permanent Secretary written to petition the Vatican or probe the Roman Catholic church. Such levels of anarchy and lawlessness will not be tolerated in the name of freedom of expression that has been granted.”
“We are aware that some elements are based on wanting to wage a rift between the Government and some churches in the country. No one whether Catholic or not will be able to draw a wage between the Catholic church and this Government. The Catholic church is not an opponent, we are both here to serve the people of Zambia,” he said.
Mr Mwiimbu noted that the documents circulating on social media were seditious and the consequences of sedition in the country are severe.
He Government was aware of some elements wanting to dent the good relationship Government had with the Catholic church, but urged that such elements with selfish individual interests should stop.
“If not contained, such statements can bring serious acrimony in the country. We will not allow individuals to divide the country based on religious grounds. Let us desist forth with,” he advised.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 9th June, 2023)

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Herbalist says former First Lady ‘grabbed’ her properties to recover her missing US$400,000

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TRIAL in a case former First Lady Esther Lungu is accused of theft of cars opened yesterday with a herbalist testifying against her.

Elizabeth Phiri tetsief how how she was picked and beaten by three armed police officers who later took her to former President Edgar Lungu’s house where Mrs Lungu demanded US$400,000 from her.

Ms Phiri said she was told that the money in question was initially given to Mr Lungu’s nice Catherine Banda who later told the Lungu’s that she gave the money to her(Ms Phiri).

In this case, Mrs Lungu, Ms Banda and there others, who include two police officers, are charged with theft of cars and money laundering involving over K1.5million.

Mrs Lungu is also accused of concealing US$400,000, money reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.

Other suspects are James Phiri and Lee Chisulo, both police officers, Kapambwe Lungu.

Between August 9, 2021 and September 30, 2022, the five allegedly stole a Mitsubishi canter worth K 320,000, belonging to Ms Phiri.

It is also alleged that the accused stole a Toyota Alex worth K 110,000 belonging to Furhana Patel.

Mrs Lungu and others are also accused of stealing a certificate of title relating to stand number S/LUSAKA/333/2977 situated in Libala, worth K 1,050,000 belonging to Ms Phiri.

During continued trial, Ms Phiri narrated how in 2020, she met Ms Banda who sought her herbal services so that she can find a husband and bear more children.

The herbalist said after the services were rendered at K4, 000, Ms Banda, who told her she was an orphan, became close to her and she even introduced Ms Banda to her daughter, Furhana.

“She [Ms Banda] started phoning telling me that she was at Furhana’s place in Libala,” the witness said.

Ms Phiri said sometime last year, she was picked up by plain clothed armed policemen who also beat up together with Ms Banda.

“While beating her [Ms Banda] they said they want the ‘parcel’.

“Catherine pointed at me and said she gave it [parcel] to me. They held me and started beating me and asked me to give them the parcel,” she said.

Ms Phiri said the three men put her in a van and took her to her house where they searched the rooms.

The armed men continued to demand for “the parcel” and threatened to kill her before she was detained at a police cell and later taken to Mr Lungu’s residence.

“When they took me into the house, Mrs Lungu was seated directly to the door. When I looked to the side, I saw Mr Edgar [Lungu],” she said.

She said Mr Lungu explained that she was taken to the house in connection with a missing US$40,000 he had given Mrs Lungu.

“He said ‘My wife got that money and gave it to my niece, Catherine Banda”.

Ms Phiri said she expressed ignorance about the US$400,000.

The court heard that Ms Lungu then instructed that Ms Phiri be taken back to her home because she appeared confused.

She said the following morning, Mrs Lungu phoned her and asked her to go to her house in Ibex.

Ms Phiri started off to Ibex accompanied by her daughter Furhana.

On arrival, Mrs Lungu asked Ms Banda to enlist the goods the witness bought purportedly using the US$400,000.

Ms Phiri said Mrs Lungu called the three accused men to pick her and proceed to grab the properties she bought using the US$400,000.

“They got a canter, a Runx and Alext for my child Fahana, they got the white books for the vehicle and the title deed of a property in Libala,” she narrated.

She told the court that she wa never given the US$400,000 and that the money she bought the house was given to her by Chief Mukuni of Kazungula who is her grand father.

(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 28th November, 2023)

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Politics

Speaker sued for the third time.

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WITHIN a month after a civil society organisation and Mporokoso lawmaker Brian Mundubile sued Speaker of the National Assembly Nelly Mutti in connection with activities in Parliament, there is a third lawsuit against her.

In the new case, Chilubi Member of Parliament Mulenga Fube is challenging Ms Mutti’s decision to suspend 16 Patriotic Front(PF) Members of Parliament and two independents without being fully heard.
Mr Fube wants the Lusaka High Court to declare that a reasonable tribunal properly directing its mind would not arrive at such a decision as made by Ms Mutti.

He also wants a declaration that Ms Mutti’s decision to suspend 16 PF members of Parliment and two Independents without being afforded an opportunity to be heard with sufficient time and facility is unreasonable.

The lawmaker also wants a declaration that the Speaker’s move to withhold salaries due to the MPs, which salaries are an incident of the fact that the salaries are due by reason of the fact that one is a MP, is illegal,null and void.

Also, Mr Fube seeks an order of certiorari to remove into the High Court for the purpose of quashing the said decision by the speaker to suspend the said MPs without afforded sufficient time and facility.

Mr Fube also wants an order that the grant of leave for judicial review or the decision should operate as a stay of all acts and further proceedings in pursuance of the decisions to which this application relates.
In the alternative, he seeks an order that the said decision to suspend the affected MPs and from getting a salary was procedurally improper, made in bad faith ,and thus illegal and null and void.

This is according to a notice of application for leave to apply for Judicial review, seeking to challenge the Speaker’s decision to suspect the lawmakers.

“If permission to apply for judicial review is granted, a direction that the hearing of the application for judicial review be expedited,” he submits.

He further submits that the Ms Mutti’s decision to change the sitting arrangement in the National Assembly and replace Brian Mundubile with Robert Chabinga as leader of the opposition was subjudice because the matter relating change of PF office bearers is still active in court.

In another active case, Mporokoso Member of Parliament Brian Mundubile has sued Ms Mutti challenging her decision to replace him with Mafinga PF MP Robert Chabinga.
Mr Mundubile argues that Speaker Mutti’s decision to appoint Chabinga as leader of the opposition was illegal, irrational and procedurally improper, as she acted in excess of her powers and should therefore be declared null and void.

He now wants the court to stay the decision that was made by Speaker Mutti to replace him until Some few weeks ago, Institute of Law, Policy Research and Human Rights sued Ms Mutti in the Constitutional Court seeking interpretation of the constitutionality of her deicion to accept Chabinga as Leader of the Opposition.

(Mwebantu, Saturday, 25th November, 2023)

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Zambian delegation explores business prospects in Italy with president Hichilema’s call for mutual collaboration

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THIRTY-FOUR Zambian companies, facilitated by the Zambia Chamber of Commerce and supported by the Zambia Development Agency have engaged in a productive exchange of views on the business potential between Zambia and Italy in Rome.

And President Hakainde Hichilema has urged Italian companies to explore promising opportunities in various sectors, including agriculture, energy, mining, infrastructure, health, and tourism, all of which Zambia offers in abundance.

Emphasising the interconnectedness of the global community, President Hichilema encouraged businesses to collaborate beyond bureaucratic boundaries and segregation.

He stressed the crucial importance of fostering mutual partnerships benefiting both nations, leveraging advanced technology, innovative solutions, and accessible capital.

President Hichilema expressed optimism about tangible transactions resulting from the forum, inviting businesses facing challenges in setting up operations in Zambia to bring them forward for resolution.

“Recognizing that Italian businesses possess advanced technology and capital, while we boast critical mineral endowment, we emphasized the crucial importance of fostering mutual partnerships that benefit both countries, through top-notch technology, innovative solutions, and accessible capital,” he said.

(Mwebantu, Wednesday,  22nd November,  2023)

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