Friday, 20 January 2012

Labour movement urges govt to make it a criminal offence for any employer who denies their workers the right to belong to a union

The labour movement in the country has called on the government to make it a criminal offence for any employer to deny any worker from belonging to a labour union of their choice under the new workers rights which will be enshrined in the new constitution.
The three labour unions, Zambia congress of trade union (ZCTU), southern African centre constructive resolution disputes (SACCORD) and basic teachers union of Zambia (BETUZ) have also called on the government to hasten the revision of the labour.
ZCTU President Leonard Hikaumba says the ball is in the court of the Patrick front (PF) government to correctly spell out the workers rights in the new constitution and revise the labour laws because at the moment it is almost impossible to do certain action like strikes.
Mr Hikaumba says the labour movement will not accept anything which is not significant and representative of the workers in the constitution stating that there should not be misinterpretation of the labour laws.
Meanwhile Mr. Hikaumba has observed that the more money in your pocket campaign slogan has brought confusion amongst workers and resulted in industrial strikes and expectations are still high.
He says ZCTU is ready to work with government because the labour movement and government are social partners hence the assertions by certain quarters of society that it is compromised are misplaced.
SACCORD information officer Obby Chibuluma has challenged the government to make the living wage to be a minimum wage and not the current situation of giving employees less than 500,000 as the minimum wage.
Mr Chibuluma has observed that it was difficulty to have independent labour movement in the previous regime of the MMD government despite the poor labour policies which they had.
And BETUZ director of international research and project Stanly Mhango  says the labour is still waiting to see the bills which will be presented to parliament before it can judge the PF government stating that at the moment signs of improvement in labours having social protection for the workers are there.
Mr Mhango has also observed that the Countrywide strikes are as a result of the demonstration and commitment which the PF has shown in ensuring workers rights are protected and its promises during the campaigns of more money in the pocket.
He says there is need for government to Embark on changing labour laws so that we have industrial harmony in the country and not leave them in their current state which is bringing confusion.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

lusaka multi-facility economic zine to attract 4billion dollars australian investment

the lusaka south multi-facility economic zone (mfez) will attract about four billion u.s dollars of investment this year in infrastructure, energy, agriculture and other sectors.
meanwhile about 28 companies have expressed unsolicited interest to invest in the lusaka south mfez with 18 being local companies and 10 are foreign.
according to commerce, trade and industry minister robert sichinga, the australian investors are expected in the country on the 12th of february this year to study the areas of their interests.
mr sichinga said this in an interview with journalists yesterday when he toured the lusaka south multi-facility economic zone (mfez).
speaking during the tour, the commerce, trade and industry minister advised the zambia development agency to market the multi-facility economic zones which are in the country to escalate foreign investment flow.
he said without marketing the mfez’s, the sites may become white elephants and make government waste finances which it has put in developing such areas.
and mr. sichinga further expressed worry on the status of the environment in the area and advised the developers to put into consideration all nature and social aspects such as the water table and people squatting in the area illegally.
and briefing the minister on how far the development of the mfez are progressing, site project manager shadreck saili said since the beginning of the programme, 15 million dollars has so far been spent.
mr saili disclosed that government has in this year’s budget allocated about 4.5 million dollars for the development of the site.
he stressed that the area is open to investments in energy, infrastructure and other sectors of the economy adding that the total budget of investment in the infrastructure area is expected to be 121 million dollars.
mr. saili pointed out some challenges by stating that there are people illegally settled on the land and will need relocation.
he said this will be carried out in collaboration with the kafue city council.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

president sata makes first cabinet reshuffle

President Michael sata has made his first cabinet reshuffle with information; broadcasting and tourism minister given lubinda transferred to the ministry of foreign affairs.
he replaces mr. chishimba kambwili who has been taken to the ministry of labour, youth and sports development.
president sata has also transferred mr. fackson shamenda who was labour, youth and sports development minister to the ministry of information, broadcasting and tourism.
and president sata has elevated the newly appointed director of public prosecution mutembo nchito to a full state counsel.
all these changes and appointments are with immediate effect.
president sata made these pronouncements at state house today after swearing in the director of public prosecution (dpp) mutembo nchito.
and president sata has reiterated that the country now has a deadly legal team which should ensure that cases are dealt with in a professional manner.
he says the legal team comprising the minister of justice, attorney general, the solicitor general and the dpp must carry out investigations into alleged continue funding by certain chinese companies of the mmd activities.
the president called on the dpp and his colleagues to ensure that cases such as the zamtel saga amongst others are brought to their full conclusion.
in an interview with journalist at state house after being sworn in, the new dpp mutembo nchito vowed not to waste the courts time by taking cases were there is no adequate information and subsequent evidence.
speaking in an interview, former home affairs minister lameck mangani expressed confidence in mr. nchito by stating that he has the right credentials to execute the duties before him diligently.

Monday, 9 January 2012

DEC clears mulenga sata over gregory chifire's allegations

The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) has cleared President Sata’s son Mulenga over allegations made by committee of citizens executive director Gregory Chifire concerning the acquisition of two motor vehicles at a total amount of 1.8billion kwacha.
According to a press statement made available to radio phoenix by DEC acting public relations officer Samuel silomba, DEC commissioner Alita Mbahwe says the commission after thorough investigations, established that the allegations made by Mr Chifire to the public through an online publication were not true.
Mrs mbahwe has explained that the Investigations revealed that one of the vehicles, a Jeep, which was believed to have been acquired at 1billion kwacha, does not belong to Mr Mulenga Sata and the Jeep, registration number ALB 9988, belongs to Mr Chishala Karabasis.
The commissioner says the other vehicle, a Toyota Land cruiser registration number ABT 5000, which was alleged to be worth 800 million kwacha, is in fact a second hand vehicle which Mr Mulenga Sata bought on hire purchase at a total amount of $25000.
She says when Mr Chifire appeared before DEC officers, he gave a statement that was different to the story that he supposedly gave to the online publication.
Mrs mbahwe has clarified that However, under the Laws of Zambia, there is no criminal offence that Mr Chifire committed as his allegations were made to the public through online private publication, and not to any public officer.
She says this does not mean that people should be making unsubstantiated allegations against other people publicly, as the aggrieved person may seek civil litigation.
The DEC commission has implored whistle blowers and members of public in general, to be coming approaching the DEC offices or any other law enforcement agency in confidence, and not through the media

ECONBANK to open 4more outlets at cost of $2million

The pan African bank-Ecobank plans to invest about $2million dollars to open 4more branches namely Livingstone, Ndola, chipata and Solwezi to add to the already existing 4 branches in the country.
ECOBANK which has been in existence for 25 years with 1,120 branches in 33 African countries and employees about 24, 000people, also plans to roll out its banking services to areas that are not serviced such as chongwe, Mpongwe, masaiti and shang’ombo districts.
According to Ecobank managing director charity lumpa, the outlets will be supported by a total of 40 automated tailor machines (ATMS) by the end of this year.
Mrs lumpa says opening up of 4more branches by the bank will significantly contribute to job creation and will further the banks strategy to roll out 3new branches every year for the next fives.
The Ecobank managing director also noted that the absence of a savings culture has presented challenges to Zambia’s socio-economic development as failure to do so creates a subsequent multiple challenge levels ranging from personal, household, community, societal and national level.
Mrs Lumpa was speaking in a speech read on her behalf by Ecobank acting managing director jinga kapiyha during the launch of the free money promotion in Lusaka this morning.
And speaking during the launch of the Ecobank free money promotion, mrs lumpa through mr kapiyha said that the development of a savings culture among many other innovative interventions is a creative way to contribute effectively to poverty alleviation in the country.
Mrs Lumpa explained the free money promotion gives an opportunity for every Zambian to enjoy the unique experience if the banks services tailored and delivery beyond customer expectation even within a competitively thriving and dynamic environment.
She added that the promotion allows both access to value added banking services as well as providing unlimited potential for building social security, which is a common need among all human kind.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

ZAM asks gov't to give some shares to local investors once its buys 64percent of mulungushi textiles from chinese govn't

the zambia association of manufacturers (zam) has called on the government to offer some of the shares in mulungushi textiles to local private sector players once it buys off the 64percent shares from the chinese government.
government through the ministry of defence, late last year announced its desire and intentions to buy the 64percent from the chinese government so that it can own and control the textile company.
ministry of defence geoffrey mwamba told journalists in interview that the zambian government has engaged their chinese counter-parts to see the way forward on how it can revamp the once vibrant textile company.
mr. mwamba pointed out that government can only invest fully in the company and bring it back to life, if it buys the 66percent shares from the chinese government but at the moment as no muscle to revamp the company because it is not the majority shared holder.
however zam president chance kabaghe has observed that in the past, government parastatals have failed to run properly without the involvement of the private sector players who are cardinal in economic development.
mr. kabaghe has stated that government must show its commitment of promoting the public private partnership which was created to enhance the economy by giving some of the shares to local companies.
he has noted that local private sector players have become capable of partnering with government in all sorts of joint ventures and government must offer this opportunity to them.
it is believed that once mulungushi textiles in which currently zambia owns 34percent shares is revamped; over 2000 local people will be employed and this will change the economy of kabwe town which is crowlling at the moment.

Friday, 6 January 2012

HCAZ calls on govt to defer the implimentation of the tourism levy until the tourism policy is adopted

Hotel and Catering Association of Zambia (HCAZ) has called on the government to defer the implementation of the tourism levy until the new tourism policy is adopted and the subsequent law is enacted.
HCAZ president Brian Mulenga further says the VAT for the tourism and hospitality industry should be reduced to 14percent and 2percent should go towards the tourism levy if at all there is an urgent need to implement the levy.
Mr. Mulenga says there is need for a clear defined and transparent system of administering the funds by establishing an autonomous body to handle the funds.
He has reiterated that says the new act should form the Zambia Tourism Authority whose function amongst them should be the administration of the tourism levy
Mr. Mulenga says the Association takes recognition that the tourism levy is contained in the Tourism and Hospitality Act number 23 of 2007 whose purpose is to develop a fund that will help promote training of personnel in the sector and supplement government effort in the promotion of tourism products.
He has stressed that While the levy is well intended the association notes that the industry is already overwhelmed with taxes as it can be seen from taxes such as the guest bills which are charged over and above 16percent with Value Added Tax and Service Charge at 10percent.
Further the association has noted from international travelers’ point of view that Zambia is comparatively a costly destination in the region and any increase on the guest bill will only aggravate the situation and it has an effect on the tourism and hospitality business.
Mr. Mulenga notes that the charges bring the surcharge to 26percent, therefore any addition charge will overburden the consumer.

CEEC disburses 1,439projects valued at 174billion kwacha out of 1,632 approved projects.

the citizens economic empowerment commission has disclosed the since inception in 2008,it has disbursed in all the 10 provinces of zambia a total of 1,439 projects valued at 174billion kwacha out of 1,632 approved projects which are valued at 219billllion kwacha.
however with this disbursement the commission says that it still has a total backlog of k45billion to clear in project funding.
according ceec public relations and communications manager glenda masebe, there is an accrual of 193 approved projects valued at k33billion, but awaiting funding and in addition there are 25 partially funded projects requiring a balance of 12billion kwacha.
she further says the commission has disbursed funds to 125 constituencies so far and all the districts except ikelengi’ in northwestern province and lufwanyama in the copper belt province has been covered.
mrs. masebe says the commission remains committed to its functions as established by the cee act number 9 of 2009 whose mandate is to promote the empowerment of citizens that are marginalized or disadvantaged.
she says the commission will ensure that people whose access to economic resources and development capacity has been constrained due to various factors such as education background status, sex to mention but a few are catered for.
the citizens economic empowerment fund (ceef) was established to support the development of broad based empowerment programmes.
the ceef is considered as one of the affordable sources of credit available for the micro, small and medium enterprises (msmes).
the purpose of the ceef is to make available resources to citizen owned companies, groups of citizens or co-operatives, citizen empowered companies and broad based economic empowerment programmes which require financial assistance.
most of the citizen owned companies in their current state are too weak to compete against international influence.
moreover, citizens need to consolidate their position in companies and this step requires finance.

PF-govt vowes to give back the security of the country back to zambians by reversing the sale of zamtel

the ruling patriotic front (pf) says it wants to return security of the country which was put into jeopardy by the previous government back to the zambians by reversing the sale of zamtel which libya owned telecom lap-green bought at a price of $257million.
and the patriotic front has vowed that it will fight corruption even in its own party structures and not just outside as per assertions from the opposition mmd that it is on a witch-hunt or fishing expedition because it is questioning some of the former government party leaders.
pf national secretary general wynter kabimba says the pf government has established that certain transactions like zamtel were not a clean adding that the pf did not approve even when they were in opposition as the felt that it did not have the interest of all zambia.
mr. kabimba says the patriotic front wants to address all the inequalities which were made by the mmd leadership and ensure that they give back to zambians what belongs to them.
he says the pf government shall apologize to those inconvenienced in the process of fighting corruption but not to those found wanting and stole the zambian people’s money.
mr. kabimba was speaking on radio phoenix’s let the people programme this morning.
meanwhile my kabimba has once again directed his party members to assert their authority now that they are in power by not allowing anybody to pour scone on any party leader especially the president.
he has challenge the party leadership to protect the president, the government executive and the party.
and mr. kabimba has charged that pf has done far much better in 90days than the previous government did in 20years due to the policies it has put in place and plans to implement.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

freshpikt to double its manpower after construction of a new $42million plant in central province

Freshpikt limited will create 500 more jobs for its company after it completes the construction another plant in either mkushi or chibombo and this will increase the number of people employed by the company to 1000.
Freshpikt chairperson chance kabaghe gas disclosed this to radio phoenix in an interview adding that the construction of the tomato production plant in either mkushi or chibombo in central province will increase its production capacity.
Mr. Kabaghe says the doubling in the number of employment by the company will have a huge impact on the Zambians especially those leaving the area were the plant will be constructed and were the current one is operating from.
Freshpikt and a U.S company PS International Limited is expected to invest about $42 million in tomato processing.
The planned investment is part of the K480 billion worth of new investment which was signed during the 10th African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) forum at Mulungushi International Conference Centre
And the Freshpikt chairperson has indicated that the discussion on the construction of the tomato production plant in the central province with the partnership of an America investor has reached an advanced stage.

Monday, 2 January 2012

lack of clear economic policy has made the kwacha to fall in the last 3months drastically

Former commerce, trade and industry minister Felix Mutati has observed that the fall in the kwacha for the last three months since the take over of the PF government is due to the uncertainty in economic policy direction as the new government is just settling.
Mr. Mutati has explained that the lack of a clear economic policy direction by the PF has created uncertainty in the investors’ minds stating that this happens every time a nation has elections and change of government.
Mr. Mutati who is also lunte mmd Member of Parliament has stressed that the situation will probably change after 3months upwards after the new government is settled and begins to implement its programmes to the full.
The former commerce, trade and industry ministry has further pointed out that another problem which has possibly made the kwacha to fall is the lack of government’s clear explanation on what the minimum wage is and this situation has left employers to gamble on whether they will reduce their workforce or increase.
“ unless the patriotic front government which promised Zambians in their campaigns clears the air on the minimum wage will the situation change but as it is, there is no explanation which been given” he said
And centre for trade, policy and development executive director savior mwambwa has attributed the fall in the kwacha to the uncertainty in the European markets which are facing economic hardship.
Mr. Mwambwa has advised that the country needs to increase its production capacity which has been low if the situation is to be controlled and the nation can avoid the situation from escalating.
Meanwhile Mr. Mwambwa has further advised that apart from increasing the production capacity which is so weak at the moment, the country will also need to utilize the regional blocks in terms of trade