Sunday 29 June 2014

Kafue Retirees Shine At Provincial Agriculture Show

By Paul Shalala in Kafue

Khosa Stadium in Kafue District was yesterday a hive of activity as it hosted this year's Lusaka Province Agriculture and Commercial Show.

All the seven districts in Lusaka Province exhibited their agriculture products at the show including the newly created Chirundu, Shibuyunji and Rufunsa.

The private sector as well as government ministries and departments where also present.

Despite not being in the agricultural sector, the Anti-Corruption Commission exhibited at the show and sensitised show goers on the evils of corruption.

The commission mounted a Public Address system at the show and played various anti-graft messages which ranged from what corruption is to how to report suspicious activities.

Even the recently recapitalised Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia also pitched up at the show, showcasing its fertiliser products which are now being produced in Zambia for the first time in decades.

Kafue District Council Chairman Gibson Sinkala, who was the guest of honor, told show goers that this year, government had made strides in promoting agriculture in the sector.

"This year government has increased the Farmer Input Support allocation for Lusaka Province from 66,964 packs for maize to 77,626 to ensure that more small scale farmers benefit from the program and are freed from hunger," he said.

Several awards were given to deserving private companies, government departments, individuals, cooperatives and clubs which exhibited at the show.

The Kafue Retirees Association was the most awarded as they bagged two awards in the cooperatives category and the overall best stand award.

The newly created Shibuyunji District managed to get third prize in the productivity awards while the first prize was scooped by Lusaka District.

The Ministry of Community Development in Kafue District walked away with the best government ministries award while Kavinra Enterprises scooped the Small scale industries award.

The show was held under the theme: Breaking new grounds

Thursday 19 June 2014

Speaker Clears Vice President Over Police 'Invasion' Of Parliament

By Paul Shalala

Speaker of the National Assembly Dr. Patrick Matibini has cleared Vice President Dr. Guy Scott of any wrong doing following the entry of his security detail in parliament earlier this year when opposition lawmakers protested over the constitution.

Passing ruling yesterday on a point of order raised by Mwandi member of parliament Dr. Michael Kaingu on why Dr Scott's security detail entered the chamber on 28th February, Dr Matibini said the circumstances in which they entered where justified.
Dr Matibini added that the house was at the time in a state of gross disorderliness and Dr Scott deserved to be protected at all cost as he holds the second highest office in the land.

He further ruled that Dr Scott did not breach any rule of the house and he was in order to have his security in the house under the circumstances.

And the Speaker has also cleared Mwandi member of parliament Dr Michael Kaingu for allegedly uttering words insinuating that he had removed his respect for the speaker because he did not understand English.

Passing a ruling on a point of order raised by Sports Minister Chishimba Kambwili,, Dr Matibini said he read the transcript of Dr. Kaingu's debate and he did not find such words being uttered.

He said as far as the verbatim from that day's proceedings are concerned, Mr Kambwili's point of order did not stand as he never uttered such words.

Meanwhile, Dr Matibini has reprimanded Chipangali member of parliament Vincent Mwale for filming the constitution protests in parliament using an ipad.

Dr Matibini said by using an Ipad, Mr Mwale breached parliamentary rules and deserved to be punished.

However, the speaker only gave a verbal warning to the Chipangali lawmaker because he was a first offender.

Parliament Opens With Changes In The House

By Paul Shalala

The third meeting of the third session of the eleventh National Assembly opened on Tuesday in Lusaka with expectations high from various stakeholders.

A number of changes were noticed on the floor of the house due to various reshuffles and movements cross the floor.

Notable among them were Chongwe Member of Parliament Sylvia Masebo moving from the front to the backbech following her demotion from her ministerial position.

Another lawmaker who left her ministerial seat and set at the backbench is Lukashya member of parliament Efridah Kansembe who was dropped as Home Affairs Deputy Minister.

Mandevu member of parliament Jean Kapata moved from the middle bench to the front following her elevation to the position of Tourism Minister after the dismissal of Ms Masebo.

Mkushi North MP Ingrid Mpande left the backbench and sat in the middle row following her appointment as Community Development Deputy Minister.

Following a mini-reshuffle which saw about four cabinet ministers swapping offices a month ago, Cabinet ministers also swapped seats in parliament.

Eleven seats remain vacant in the house as seven of them were nullified by the courts of law.

These are Mangango, Mulobezi, Petauke Central, Zambezi West, Solwezi Central, Mkushi South, Vubwi, Kasenengwa and Malambo.

On top of that, seats belonging to Steven Masumba of Mufumbwe Constituency and Moses Muteteka of Chisamba constituency will remain vacant as both MPs were convicted by the courts of law and they have since appealed their sentences.

Meanwhile, stakeholders are hopeful that as members of parliament resume their sittings, several issues of national importance will be handled with national interest at heart.

With the hand over of the final draft constitution and the Constitution of Zambia Bill to the Ministry of Justice two months ago, the constitution is expected to feature high on people's expectations.

Monday 2 June 2014

President Sata Says He Has Not Been Evacuated

By Paul Shalala

President Michael Sata this morning chaired a Cabinet meeting which was attended by several Cabinet ministers and other high ranking government officials.

As is the case for every Monday morning, Cabinet met at State House in Lusaka to deliberate on various issues of national importance.

The opening session was open to the media for about 10 minutes before the meeting went behind cameras.

President Sata, who was in his usual jovial mood, spoke on several issues before the closed door meeting started.

The head of state first started by rubbishing rumours that he had been evacuated outside the country for medical attention.

"I have not been evacuated outside the country, not even to Mpika. Even the Minister of Health who is supposed to arrange for that has not done so," said Sata as Health Minister Dr Joseph Kasonde noded his head in agreement.

Rumours about President Sata's alleged ill health have made rounds mostly in the online media in the past few weeks but State House has consistently said the head of state is enjoying good health.

Later, Mr SATA repeated his directive for ministers to go back to their constituencies and explain government programs and policies.

He said the opposition was spreading lies across the country and there was need for ministers to move around the country and explain government policies.

"You have government resources, you have government vehicles. Go to your constituencies and talk to our people," he added.

In Cabinet meetings, Ministers and some high ranking government officials discuss the state of the nation and review government perfomance.

The meeting also looks at bills and proposed policies before they are implemented or enacted.