Category Archives: News

President Lungu Talks About The Independence of the Judiciary At LAZ AGM

Speech at LAZ AGM

SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY MR. EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA ON THE OCCASION OF THE GALA DINNER AT THE LAW ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA’S 2015 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING HELD AT THE ZAMBEZI SUN HOTEL LIVINGSTONE

• PRESIDENT OF THE LAW ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA,

• MINISTER OF JUSTICE, HON. NGOSA SIMBYAKULA

• STATE COUNSELS IN THE HOUSE• PROVINCIAL MINISTER

• GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS

• LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN WAS HEARTENED BY THE INVITATION FROM THE LAW ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA TO GRACE THIS YEAR’S GALA DINNER AS GUEST OF HONOUR, PARTICULARLY THAT I AM COMING TO THE OCCASION WEARING ANOTHER HAT IN ADDITION TO THAT OF A THIS NOBLE ASSOCIATION AND PROFESSION.

ALLOW ME TO CONGRATULATE THE ASSOCIATION ON THE HOLDING OF ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL ANNUAL LAW CONFERENCE AND ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING.

I AM PLEASED TO LEARN THAT THE JUST ENDED LAW CONFERENCE WAS USED AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO DISCUSS PERTINENT ISSUES AFFECTING NOT ONLY THE LEGAL PROFESSION BUT ALSO THE NATION AS A WHOLE.

ALLOW ME TO ADD MY VOICE TO THE ISSUES THAT WERE DISCUSSED OVER THE LAST TWO DAYS AND TO ALLUDE TO ONE OR TWO OTHER PERTINENT ISSUES THAT YOU MAY NOT HAVE HAD TIME TO DELIBERATE ON.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:I DO BELIEVE YOUR SELECTED THEME FOR THIS YEAR’S LAW CONFERENCE:

ZAMBIA AT 50 – INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY AND CHALLENGES OF REGULATING THE LEGAL PROFESSION, WAS TIMELY AND I PRAY THE CONFERENCE CAME UP WITH CONCRETE RESOLUTIONS THAT WILL HELP US DEAL WITH SOME OF THE PROBLEMS THAT HAVE PLAGUED BOTH OUR JUDICIARY AND THE LEGAL PROFESSION.

INDEED THE JUDICIARY HAS SUFFERED ATTACKS AT THE HANDS OF SOME MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC VIS-À-VIS ITS INDEPENDENCE AND ITS ABILITY TO DELIVER ON ITS PRIMARY MANDATE AS AN ARBITER, AND AS A DEFENDER AND PROTECTOR OF INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS.

IT IS THE HOPE OF MY GOVERNMENT THAT THE CHANGES WE HAVE STARTED TO INSTITUTE WITHIN THE JUDICIARY AND THE RECOMMENDATIONS THAT WILL COME OUT OF THE ONGOING LEGAL AND JUDICIAL REFORMS WILL GALVANIZE POSITIVE ACTION AND CHANGE IN RELATION TO THE FUNCTIONING OF THE JUDICIARY.

LET ME REASSURE YOU THAT MY GOVERNMENT SHALL NOT TOLERATE UNWARRANTED ATTACKS ON THE JUDICIARY THAT SEEK TO UNDERMINE THE DESIRED LEGITIMACY THIS IMPORTANT ARM OF GOVERNMENT MUST ENJOY.

LET ME FURTHER ASSURE YOU, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THAT GOVERNMENT IS COMMITTED TO CONTINUE TO MOVE FORWARD WITH THE CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW PROCESS AS OUTLINED IN THE ROADMAP WE RELEASED.

I HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE OR FEAR IN DELIVERING THE A NEW CONSTITUTION TO THE ZAMBIAN PEOPLE IN THE SHORTEST AND MOST PRACTICAL TIME POSSIBLE.

MY PERSONAL RECORD ON THIS MATTER IS A SUBJECT OF PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE.

WITHIN WEEKS IN MY JOB AS JUSTICE MINISTER, I RELEASED THE DRAFT CONSTITUTION FROM THE SHELVES WHERE OTHERS KEPT IT.

I HAVE WORKED RAPIDLY WITH THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND COLLEAGUES IN RELEVANT GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS TO PROVIDE A FOUNDATION UPON WHICH A DURABLE CONSTITUTION WILL BE DELIVERED.

BUT I WILL INSIST THAT THE COST OF DELIVERING THIS DOCUMENT MUST BE MEASURED AGAINST THE PRESSING NEED TO ADDRESS THE INEXCUSABLE POVERTY AND SQUALOR IN SOME PARTS OF OUR COUNTRY.

SO, WHATEVER WE DO LET US ACT RESPONSIBLY AND ENSURE THAT WE DO NOT RECOMMEND METHODS THAT ARE NOT CONSCIOUS OF THIS REALITY.

I ALSO WISH TO CAUTION THAT AS LAWYERS YOU HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY NOT JUST TO YOUR PROFESSION, BUT TO THE NATION AS A WHOLE.

YOUR DUTY TO GUIDE THE PROCESS OF ENACTING A NEW CONSTITUTION MUST THEREFORE TAKE COGNISANT THAT THIS CONSTITUTION-MAKING PROCESS DOES NOT BECOME AN ELITE CAPTURE.

THIS IS NOT A PROJECT BY A PRIVILEDGED FEW BUT A NATIONAL PROJECT.

THE LAW, AS THEY SAY, IS TOO IMPORTANT TO BE LEFT TO THE LAWYERS.

NOTHING CAN BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH AS WE DEBATE A MATTER OF THE ORGANIC LAW OF THE LAND!

ANOTHER CONCERN THAT GOVERNMENT INTENDS TO ADDRESS IS THE REGIONALISM AND TRIBAL SENTIMENTS EXHIBITED DURING THE RECENT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.

AS I HAVE STATED SINCE THEN, MY GOVERNMENT SHALL NOT TOLERATE ACTS OF SECTIONALISM, AND VIOLENCE PARTICULARLY THOSE BASED ON TRIBAL OR POLITICAL AFFILIATION – WE ARE ONE COUNTRY – ONE ZAMBIA, ONE NATION.

WE MUST JEALOUSLY GUARD THE PEACE THAT WE HAVE ENJOYED ALL THESE YEARS EVEN IN THE MIDST OF POLITICAL DIVERSITY.

I WOULD LIKE TO CALL UPON ALL NATIONAL AND POLITICAL LEADERS TO JOIN HANDS IN THIS ENDEAVOR AND TO BE THE LEADERS IN PROMOTING TOLERANCE AND UNITY.

LET ME BRING TO YOUR ATTENTION THE RECENT DEBATE SURROUNDING THE APPOINTMENT OF YOUR NEW LEADER OF BAR, THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL, BY HIGHLIGHTING WHAT I SAW AS FUNDAMENTAL CONTRADICTIONS IN THE POSITION THE ASSOCIATION TOOK.

CONSIDER THIS MATTER A HOUSE KEEPING ISSUE BECAUSE I AM ONE OF YOU AND THEREFORE I HAVE THE RIGHT TO COMMENT ON IT.

LISTENING TO DEBATES IN PARLIAMENT OVER HIS RATIFICATION, SOMETIMES I WONDERED WHAT OPPONENTS REALLY WANTED TO COMMUNICATE.

THE NOMINEE MET ALL STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS BUT STILL YOU OPPOSED HIM! THE REST IS NOW HISTORY, HE IS IN THE JOB AND WE ALL HAVE A DUTY TO COOPERATE WITH HIM.

HE TOO RECOGNIZES THAT HE WILL HAVE TO RELY ON BROAD COUNSEL FROM SENIOR STATE COUNSELS AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE FRATERNITY TO SUCCEED.

THE LAW ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA AND THE LEGAL FRATERNITY IN GENERAL HAS ALWAYS PLAYED A PIVOTAL ROLE IN ZAMBIA’S DEVELOPMENT AND GOVERNANCE AGENDA, I WOULD THEREFORE LIKE TO CHALLENGE AND ENCOURAGE YOU TO CONTINUE IN THIS NOBLE WORK AND TO ASSURE YOU THAT GOVERNMENT IS OPEN TO WORK WITH THE ASSOCIATION.

I WOULD THEREFORE LIKE TO INVITE THE ASSOCIATION TO BRING TO THE ATTENTION OF GOVERNMENT PARTICULARLY TO THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE ANY MATTERS THE ASSOCIATION FEELS GOVERNMENT CAN HELP WITH.

CONGRATULATIONS ONCE AGAIN AND I WISH YOU ALL A JOYOUS EVENING. THANK YOU AND ENJOY THE DINNER

THE POST STORY IS VERY TRUE MR. CHANGALA SHOULD BE SINCERE

Chilufya Tayali says he is shocked that Brebner Changala is trying to refute the story he gave to The Post when he had shared the same information with him.

Tayali, Changala’s friend, told the Lusaka businessman to be sincere because he had also told him that he was not the complainant in the tribunal instituted to investigate Mutembo Nchito.

Changala on Sunday revealed that State House used his name to frame charges which President Lungu used to suspend Mutembo.

After the story was published on Monday, Changala was forced to deny the story through a statement prepared for him which he was made to sign.

But Tayali said he was ready to be challenged by Changala if he did not confide in him that there were other people behind Mutembo’s removal from office.

“I asked him and I asked him before Mutembo Nchito, I said, ‘Look, I have something that I want to ask you. I want to ask you before Mutembo Nchito so that I know if they are denying you justice, and he refused. He said it was not me. It was not me who started this story’. Meaning the tribunal itself and the allegations. Then Mutembo Nchito said, ‘But you, I have got the letter which you wrote to the President and that letter, they have listed exactly what you wrote. That’s what they have written, so how can you say it was not you?’ But he insisted, then me I said, ‘Look Mr Changala, you were supposed to be a witness in this, so what were you going to talk about?’ He said these guys just told me that I was going to be a witness but I actually refused, I actually refused that I am not going to be part of it’. I said no no no, so I asked him, but who wrote this? He said it’s [Solicitor General] Abraham [Mwansa]. The allegations that are there, it’s Abraham who wrote it,” Tayali recalled. “Not that I am lying or what, he was telling me and if he wants, I can challenge him. I don’t beat about the bush, I like to speak the truth. So that man should be sincere. He told me, straightaway in my face before Mutembo Nchito and I brought Mutembo Nchito there because I wanted him to hear… he has been saying a lot of things about Mutembo. It’s not that I like Mutembo no, I mean you know our relationship. Then I asked him to say, ‘So who is doing all this?’ Then he said ‘There are people who are behind this’. He was actually making a gesture behind Mutembo that there are people behind you. There are shadows behind you. And I asked ‘So Mr Brebner, you are saying all these things are just fabricated to sort out this man?’ He said ‘Yah’, and I said ‘For what?’ He said ‘I don’t know’. So he clearly said that and I would like him to challenge me if he never said it because there was somebody there.”

– See more at: http://postzambia.com/news.php?id=7403#sthash.Voi2cR4p.dpuf

PRESS STATEMENT ON CORRUPTION AND MUTEMBO TRIBUNAL 22ND APRIL 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Zambian Voice, a pro-poor civil organisation, which encourages people to effectively participate in the governance of our Country to sustain democracy and bring about quality  life, we are very concerned with corrupt activities going on among top Government officials.

Ladies and Gentlemen, corruption is simply the abuse of bestowed power or position to acquire personal benefit.

Corruption is one of the most difficult crimes to prove, because usually it involves two willing parties to mutually benefit, exclusive of all other parties.  However, corruption can easily be detected by simply looking at people who are living way above their recognized earnings.

It is unfortunate my brothers and sisters that this corruption is happening in our Country at a high rate. Zambia’s corruption index rating, according Transparency International, stands at 38 out of 100. This figure has been constant for the past 2 years, 2013 and 2014.

Talking about figure like this, might not make sense to know who the corrupt people in our society. However, if you look around to see people living beyond their means, you can easily put a finger where corruption is.

Most of our professionals (Accountants, Lawyers, Doctors, Teachers, Nurses, Police, Defense, Journalists, Artists, etc) and businessmen are struggling to make ends meet in spite of our Country’s economic growth of about 7%. Most of them are barely surviving.

On the contrary, politicians from the ruling party and their associates are economically nurturing like pumpkin leaves near a broken sewer system. Within three years of being in power, most of these politicians have economically appreciated 0ne million fords. These politicians have properties that our ordinary civil servants would never dream of owning even if they had to renew their lives 10 times.

We have people who entered the political sine with nothing of their own, but the goodwill and chanting of unemployed youths, saw them into power. The youth and other Zambians put these people into power so that they can create employment for themselves and better the lives of Zambians. But today, they drive the most expensive vehicles and live in exquisite mansions in luxurious locations of our cities while the youths and women still wallow in poverty.

In January we got a new President after the demise of our Late President Michael Chilufya Sata. President Edgar Lungu appointed and reappointed a number of people in his government. Surprisingly, some of these people have drastically changed their way of life within three months. They seem to be in high speed to loot as much as they can within a year before the next elections.

These people have neglected the job that they were appointed for, instead they just want to take advantage of their positions to amass wealth for themselves.

As an organisation we have heard allegations of Mr. Keizer Zulu charging people to schedule appointments with the President and yet the President is still drinking tea with him at State House.

We have also heard that the same Mr. Zulu has acquired substantive shares in a new cement plant coming up in the Ndola. We would like The President to ask Mr. Zulu if this story is true, and if it is, where has he gotten the money?

Mr. Zulu seem to be very economically ingenious that he is also mentioned in a purchase of a number of houses with a recent one owned by Kapoko’s sister here in Lusaka. In the interest of transparency, we would like Mr. Zulu to confirm or deny this information.

It is a pity that since President Lungu went to State House, a number of his aides have been unprecedentedly linked to corrupt activities. Apart from Mr. Keizer Zulu, the State House Permanent Secretary, Mr. Chilubanama, has also been mentioned to have recently acquired a house in Olympia at an exorbitant price and he intends to move his Card Technology Company into the same property.

While most of our people are dying for lack of Medicare, Mr. Chilubanama is alleged to have taken a trip to France for a medical check-up. This can only be sign of having too much money. We hope our President will question Mr. Chilubanama on his return about the trip and report to the nation in the interest of transparency so that his image is not dented with corruption by association.

We are also interested to know about the alleged trip of Mr. Keizer Zulu and Mr. Chilubanama to Sasolberg town in South Africa when the President was in that Country for his operation recently. Sasolburg is named after a petroleum company: South African Coal, Oil and Gas Corporation (Sasol). We would like to know if the trip was a Presidential assignment or not.

Ladies and Gentlemen, in the last elections we spoke against political parties’ source of funding. We criticized those political parties that were getting funding from foreign nations. It has come to our attention that the Patriotic Front received money in the sum of USD$275, 000 from Dalbit Oil Company which is supplying fuel to this Country. It is alleged that this money was received by Mr. Keizer Zulu and the late Willie Nsanda.

We would like President Lungu to tell the nation how much he knows about this money and how they reconcile the awarding of contracts to this company when the same PF government labelled it company corrupt.

Further it would be good for President Lungu to give a report to the nation over the shortage of fuel we experienced in the recent past. The President issued a statement that the shortage of fuel was caused by some criminal elements. It is only proper that after such a statement a report follows. The statement by Chief Government spokesperson that the government has no obligation to release the report of the investigations concerning the shortage of fuel falls below the threshold of good governance where government is accountable to the electorates.

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to also express our views on the current Mutembo Nchito tribunal.

While we advocated for the setting up of a Tribunal to investigate our Director of Public Prosecution Mutembo Nchito due to various allegations by citizens, we did not condemn or judge our DPP. Rather we called for what is stipulated in our Constitution. We still reiterate that whenever any constitutional office holder is alleged to have committed an offence in the eyes of the public, such an officer must be subjected to investigations because no one is above the law.

However, it is sad to note that the Mutembo Tribunal seems to be marred with underhand methods which defeats justice. What has been revealed in recent past is appalling to continue with this process.

Our justice system is being brought into disrepute because of our vindictiveness, ego and malice intent (eg accusing him of planting of drags on a citizen and forging of a judgment) to deal with a once upon a time powerful man (a member of the cartel as he is usually described), who is alleged to have caused pain in a number of people’s lives.   

Our view is that, even if a person is as bad as the worst wizard in the village, such a person is entitled to Justice without negotiations. The due process of the law must be followed to attain justice. This Justice should not just be done, but it must be seen to be done.

In the case of Mutembo, it is not happening. What we see instead, is persecution for the sins that those with power have seen in him. They are not doing this for the people of Zambia, who are the Tax-payers, but for themselves and their associates. Therefore as an organisation that aligns with the people especially the vulnerable, we want to see Justice done on Mutembo Nchito. Anything short of that, we will not hesitate to defend the DPP.

It must also be noted that, this process is not just about Mutembo Nchito but the office of the DPP which must enjoy security of tenure like other constitution offices. That said, we would like to warn other constitution office bearers not to get excited to pursue a political agenda, simply because they have just been appointed by President Edgar Lungu.

History has it that Mutembo Nchito was appointed by President Sata, notwithstanding the fact that some of us objected the appointment. However the same government bulldozed its way and anointed him as DPP and we as citizens respect Mutembo as a DPP and he must enjoy the privileges bestowed in that office. Government cannot continue flouting process to fit their political whims. We will not sit back and watch those with power abuse our justice system for political expediency.

In conclusion ladies and Gentlemen allow me to address you as journalists, not to side with insincere politicians who are only interested in using you as stepping stones into advance their political careers and agendas. You have a nation to serve. Let people know the Truth instead of allowing politicians to use you. Politicians come and go.

We also urge the President to bring the media close so that he can hear what is happening on the ground. The President should not relay on the traditional channels of interacting with people and receiving information. He should do something out of the ordinary so that he can reach the people. His aides will continue selling appointments if he does not overtake them in being available to the people.

In the same vein, we ask him to call for a Press conference to interact with the people through the media. Four months in office is long enough to sit with the media and interact on national issues. Even a dinner for the media would be good.

 

God bless Zambia and our leaders.

ZESCO TO IMPORT ELECTRICITY

ZESCO says it may consider importing electricity from the neighboring countries following the low water levels at Lake Kariba.
Zesco senior manager for marketing and public relations Bessie Banda revealed that the firm’s transmission and distribution capacity was currently constrained.
Last week, the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) announced that it had decided adjust water for power generation at Kariba Dam by 10 percent downward for the 2015 allocation.
Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development General Emelda Chola told a media briefing in Lusaka that the authority had informed Zesco Limited and Zimbabwe Power Company in order for the two utility companies to adjust their operations accordingly.
Ms Chola, who is also ZRA board chairperson, said the Zambezi basin received below normal rainfall runoff in the basin leading to lower Zambezi river flows and subsequent low in-flows into Lake Kariba.
And Ms Banda said the corporation was ready and could not change the adjustment made by the Zambia River Authority.
Ms Banda said the corporation wouldill look to neighbours who have power to supply the nation.
“Normally, we would look to the neighboring countries to try and import power when we don’t have enough. But the problem of power distribution is only Zambia but even our neighbours are facing the same problem,” she said.
Ms Banda said if the corporation fails to get power from our neighbours, it will ask its customers to be more energy efficient.
She said in terms of power generation Zesco was above 2300 megawatts despite having a fixed demand of 1900 megawatts.

Reported by Daily Nation
Ms Banda said due the corporation’s problems on transmission and distribution, the firm’s had no sufficient capacity to supply its customers.
She there were works that were under way for Zesco to deal with its transmission and distribution capacity problem, adding that only when that happened would be able to reduce on the load shedding that the nation was currently facing.
“The minister of mines, energy and water development has told us that with the recorded low water levels, we are going to face even more load shedding,” she said.
Ms Banda appealed to Zesco customers to help the firm redeem its energy efficiency, adding that the currently problem of water was something that was beyond our control.

The Tribunal is an Easy Ride For Mutembo – The State is Not Equal To The Task

Mutembo Leaving Tribunal

3rd March 2015

Brebner Changala petitions the President to set up a Tribunal

10th March 2015

President Edgar Lungu suspends DPP and sets up a Tribunal consisting of:

Hon. Mr. Justice Annel Silungwe (Former Chief Justice)-Chairperson
Hon. Mr. Justice Mathew Ngulube (Former Chief Justice)- Member
Hon. Mr. Ernest Sakala (Former Chief Justice)-Member
Mr. Mathew Zulu (Secretary)

The 3 Former Chief Justice

11th March 2015

Terms of Reference (ToR) set and published tot he media

  1. Investigate allegations that the Director Public Prosecution (DPP) has repeatedly abused the authority of his office by indiscriminately entering nolle prosequi in cases in which he is alleged to have an interest of his own to serve, namely:
  • (a) The People vs. Shubert Sinkala, where the DPP had not even seen the evidence from the Complainant;
  • (b) The People vs Hakainde Hichilema, despite knowing that the Attorney General had advised the DPP that the State had appealed against the judgment of the High Court that declared Section 67 of the Penal Code unconstitutional;
  • (c) The People v. Lameck Phiri;
  • (d) The People V. Rajan Mahtani and John Peter Sangwa;
  1. Investigate alleged misconduct or misbehavior of the DPP whereby on 20th February, 2015 the DPP purportedly took over prosecution of a matter before Senior Resident Magistrate, Lameck Mwale where the DPP was personally an accused person and proceeded to enter a nolle prosequi in his own case there by defeating the ends of justice;
  2. Investigate the DPP’s alleged uttering of a false document procured by means of false and fraudulent representation to Mr. Justice Gregory Phiri, Judge of the Supreme Court, under Cause Number 1998/HP/2097 whereby he inserted and sneaked in two extraneous paragraphs in an order of court thereby misleading the Court;
  3. Investigate the DPP’s act of intentional disrespect to judicial proceedings and to Mr. Justice Nigel Kalonde Mutuna, Judge of the High Court, in particular, between 1st January, 2011 and 31st December, 2012 by walking away from the Court;
  4. Investigate the allegation that the DPP has taken over matters in which he has a conflict of interest relating to his business partners (Fred M’membe and the Post Newspaper Limited) Rajan Mahtani (Creditor) thereby going against his statement made before the Parliamentary Select Committee of the National Assembly of Zambia chaired by Honourable Lucky Mulusa that he would not take over such matters;
  5. Investigate allegations that the DPP connived with and instigated officers from the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) to plant illicit drugs on Mr. Brebner Changala and Mrs. Agness Kawandami whereby the DEC swapped vermox tablets also call Mebendazole used for de-worming human beings that were found in Mrs. Agness Kawandami’s belongings at Mr. Changala’s residence with what was said to be Metamphetamine or Ecstacy;
  6. Investigate the alleged misbehavior of the DPP whereby on or about 8th May, 2013, he purportedly took over the prosecution of his known business allies Mr. Fred Mmembe and the Post Newspaper Limited without declaring conflict of interest in a matter where a complaint was laid by a private citizen against the duo for contempt of court;
  7. Recommend to the President whether the DPP ought to be removed from office for above allegation

1st April 2015

Tribunal sits for the first time to hear Preliminary issues.

  • State asks for an adjournment to amend the Terms of Reference (ToR)
  • DPP objects because he was ready to proceed albeit not being served with ToR formally.
  • Tribunal adjourns to 13th April 2015

9th April 2015

Original ToR and the Amended ToR served on DPP

LETTER - ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THE DPP0001LETTER - ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THE DPP0002

13th April 2015

Tribunal sits for the second time to hear Preliminary issues.

  • State asks for an adjournment again
  • DPP does not object because they had been talking with the States
  • DPP submits his written response to the Tribunal and State.
  • Tribunal adjourns to 17th April 2015

17th April 2015

Tribunal sits for the third time to hear Preliminary issues.

  • DPP augments that Justice Ngulube and Sakala to recues themselves from the Tribunal because they are either directly or indirectly connected to some cases cited in the ToR and previous uncordial experiences with the DPP.
  • State objects to DPP’s arguments asking him to restrict himself to amended ToR
  • DPP questions if it was the position of the Tribunal that the ToR had been amended
  • (A long pose of consultation among the tribunal members, while the State also engaged each other somewhat looking lost)
  • The Chairperson of the Tribunal throws the question to the State
  • (Sheepishly the AG tries to merge the two documents but the attempt is thwarted by the alert DPP questioning his authority to do so)
  • Attorney General abandons the Amended ToR to remain with the Original ToR
  • DPP concludes his submissions based on the original ToR
  • Tribunal takes a Recess for 20 minutes
  • Tribunal resumes sitting
  • Tribunal produces a letter dated 8th April from President asking the Tribunal to amendments the ToR.
  • Tribunal asks the State to reconcile the ToR in view of the letter from the President
  • (One would have expected the AG to produce the letter earlier as his authority for the amendments when he was challenged by the DPP)
  • AG readopts the amended ToR to be part of the proceedings.
  • DPP asks for an adjournment to consider what had transpired in the day and to be re-served an addendum of the readopted amended ToR
  • AG objects to an adjournment and the re-serving the amended ToR because they were already served on the DPP earlier and he responded to them in his written submissions.
  • DPP insists on his points because the amended ToR were earlier abandoned so records should flow in legal procedural manner by the State making application to have the amended ToR brought back.
  • Solicitor General back peddles on the amended ToR that nothing was abandoned earlier.
  • (The Solicitor General was clearly out of synch in his arguments to the extent that he was actually contradicting the AG)
  • DPP accuses the Solicitor of lying and request that he should be reprimanded by the Tribunal
  • (Tribunal ignores DPP to reprimand the SG)
  • Tribunal adjourns to Tuesday 21st April 2015

JUSTICE CHULU APPOINTED ECZ CHAIRPERSON

Justice Chulu ECZ Chairperson
President Edgar Lungu has appointed Justice Esau Chulu as Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) subject to ratification by parliament.

President Lungu has also appointed Gender Activist Emily Sikazwe and former UPND Pemba MP David Matongo as commissioners of the ECZ subject to ratification by parliament.

Justice Chulu is currently serving as a Commissioner at ECZ.

He will replace Justice Irene Mambilima who is now Chief Justice while Ms. Sikazwe will replace the late Ms. Minerva Tembo and Mr. Matongo will fill the vacancy to be left by Justice Chulu.

President Lungu says the two nominees are of high professional and personal integrity and that he hopes that they will work towards enhancing the impeccable credentials of the Electoral Commission.

The President said this in a statement issued by Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda.

The President said Justice Chulu has distinguished himself during his current tenure as Commissioner and during his earlier career on the Bench.

President Lungu notes that Ms. Sikazwe is a distinguished gender and governance activist and professional of high repute while Mr. Matongo is a well-known businessman and former lawmaker.

The President is confident that Members of Parliament will support the nominees.

Meanwhile, the President has re-appointed Professor Patrick Mvunga, State Counsel, as Chairperson of the Judicial Complaints Authority (JCA) .

Justice Christopher Mushabati and Lusaka lawyer Mwangala Zaloumis will also continue as members.

The Head of State has also appointed Justice Martin Munyinda Imasiku and former ACC Director- General Nixon Banda as new members of the JCA.

Source : ZNBC

CABINET APPROVES CHANGES TO MINERAL ROYALTY TAX REGIME

Edgar Lungu in Cabinet

LUSAKA (Monday, April 13, 2015) — Cabinet has today approved changes to the Mineral Royalty Tax regime and His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia directed ministers to bring to Cabinet next Monday details to be presented to Parliament for approval.

This follows extensive consultations with the mining industry in the light of significant changes in the fundamental assumptions upon which the law was based and the sudden fall in the price of copper on the international market.

The budget approved by Parliament had the assumption that the price of copper was going to be US$6,780 per tonne but this has reduced to US$5,665 representing a reduction of $1,115. Production, which was also assumed to likely, stay at a peak of 959,696 tonnes has since dropped to 839,000 tonnes
representing a drop by 130,696 tonnes.

All administrative and legislative procedures to effect the changes will be completed before the next cabinet meeting.
These measures will have revenue implications given the fact the basic assumptions in the budget regarding the price of copper and production have changed downwards. The changes to the MRT regime will have revenue implications requiring rationalization of expenditure, which the Minister of Finance has been directed to present to Parliament.

The President has also directed that the Technical Committee he appointed to interrogate the challenges that arose from the MRT regime will continue with consultations with stakeholders to ensure a robust and predictable mining tax regime, which will be linked to the Medium Term Expenditure Framework.

The President hopes that the changes will promptly eliminate
market anxieties in the mining sector and forestall any potential instability.

Issued by:
Amos Chanda
Special Assistant to the President
(Press & Public Relations)

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