Edgar Lungu Defends Ministers

LUSAKA (Reuters) – Zambian President Edgar Lungu, who faces a tough election challenge in August, defended on Friday an amendment to the constitution that allowed ministers to remain in office after parliament dissolved this week.

Ministers are members of parliament, and have previously vacated their offices when the assembly breaks up. The opposition fears letting them stay in place will give the government more leverage in campaigning in the southern African nation, a major producer of copper.

Lungu, who won a disputed presidential election last year after his predecessor Michael Sata died in office, told a televised news conference that the ministerial arrangement was constitutional.

“I am not insisting that ministers remain in office so that we can use government resources,” he said in response to a question, adding that he was very confident of victory.

Having served out the rest of what would have been Sata’s term, Lungu, a lawyer, faces a new presidential vote in August, as well as parliamentary elections in which his Patriotic Front will be challenged by the United Party for National Development led by economist Hakainde Hichilema.

Zambia is Africa’s second-biggest copper producer but its economy has been hit by falling world demand, primarily due to a slowdown in China.

Lungu said he expected inflation, currently running at almost 22 percent, to slow to single digits “within months”, without elaborating on how this would be achieved.

He said Zambia’s budget deficit had averaged 4.8 percent of GDP in the last two years but was expected to fall to around 3 percent in the medium term, starting next year.

“Having addressed the infrastructure backlog, future deficits will be lower, averaging around 3 percent of GDP in the medium term,” Lungu said.

Rainfall had greatly improved and Zambia expected a recovery in electricity generation, which had dropped due to low water levels at hydropower plants, he said.

And diversification away from the copper sector meant economic growth was seen accelerating slightly to 3.7 percent in 2016 from 3.5 percent last year.

“This performance will largely be driven by agriculture, construction and tourism,” Lungu said.

On the agricultural front, Zambia has fared better than its neighbours amid a regional drought, with production of the staple maize crop forecast to rise to 2.87 million tonnes this year from 2.6 million tonnes last year. [nL5N18126H]

But maize prices have still risen steeply, and Lungu said the government had been advised not to bring in price controls to make the staple more affordable. He did not specify who gave this advice.

Zambia said last month it had agreed targets with the International Monetary Fund, preparing the way for an aid programme by the fourth quarter of the year. It started talks with the Fund in March after both sides agreed the budget deficit was not sustainable. [nL5N17P0JA]

(Editing by James Macharia and Mark Trevelyan)


Most people today don’t know DJ Boogie C, but his life should be a lesson to all, people neglect you to a point where you are homeless. He helped most Zambians market their music, but people neglected him till he died a destitute.

Thats life, i’m glad i shared a moment with him when he told me how his life had been rough, how he had a number of friends during the time he was famous and how the same people ignored him when he got sick, the same people saw watched him homeless, sleeping in corridors and bars, never bothered to do anything, it reached a point where he would beg for money just to eat and drink.

I’m glad in the time i talked to him, i helped him because his situation was really bad. But despite all he went through, he was a jovial person, he wasn’t bitter about how people treated him, he spoke in a calm voice, he never complained, he just told us to look at his life as an example. Thats life,#‎ WhoIsAFriend‬. RIP Choolwe Mbawa.


SEVENTEEN people have died on the spot while two others are nursing injuries after an accident which happened at the junction of Mumbwa and Mwembeshi road today at 07:50 hours.

Police spokesperson Charity Munganga Chanda in a statement stated that among the dead were 13 males, three females and a baby girl.

“Seventeen people have died on the spot while two others are nursing injuries after an accident which happened at the junction of Mumbwa and Mwembeshi roads on 12th September 2015 around 07:50 hours. The accident happened after the driver of a Benz Truck Reg.

No. AAH 7373 cut in front of the Toyota Hiace Reg. No. ALH 5968 which had 19 passengers on board as he was trying to turn,” Mrs. Munganga-Chanda stated.
She stated that the 19 include the driver and the conductor.

Mrs. Munganga-Chanda stated that the minibus was coming from Mumbwa to Lusaka.

“All the bodies are in the UTH mortuary awaiting postmortem while the injured are being treated in the same hospital.

The driver of the minibus is among the dead while that of the Benz truck ran away after the accident happened.

A man hunt has been launched for the driver,”stated Mrs. Munganga-Chanda. Charity Munganga-Chanda Just Posted zambia police

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A 34 year old woman of Serenje has been apprehended on suspicion of cutting her newly-borne baby into pieces.

Police are still investigating the matter but preliminary findings resulting from a postmortem on the flesh found in the woman’s possession show that it is that of a human being.

The woman, identified as Estella Misela of Chieftainess Serenje in Central Province, now faces a charge of infanticide.

Relatives to the accused alerted police after noticing that her pregnancy weighing around eight months had suddenly disappeared.

Central Province Police Chief Lombe Kamukoshi confirmed that the woman had been apprehended but further details on the matter will only be released after investigations have been concluded.

“I can confirm that we have received that report but we are still investigating the matter and the woman has been remanded in custody,” Ms Kamukoshi said.

The suspect was apprehended as she spread the human flesh on some leaves.

Last year, a woman of Serenje was arrested and later released for lack of evidence to pin her for chopping her baby into pieces and cooking the body parts.

A civic leader who chose anonymity appealed to the police to subject the woman to a medical check-up considering the heinous act committed.

In another development, 32 Mkushi residents have appeared in the magistrates’ court for malicious damage to property and riotous behaviour at the weekend.

They were accused of damaging property belonging to Mkushi Copper School. They were also linked to the theft of mattresses.

Of the 32, only one juvenile pleaded guilty to stealing a mattress while the rest denied the charge.

Disorder erupted in Mkushi over a pupil believed to have gone missing in the area. The pupil was last seen in April this year


Dear editor,
I am a former UNZA student. I have an immediate solution to the current power problem we are facing in Zambia.

Zesco came up with power rationing system as an immediate solution to the current power situation which was a good idea but has failed to work.

This is because people try to compensate for the usage of power when it is restored, hence defeating the whole purpose.

However, here is the solution:

Zesco need to limit the usage of electricity at a household level by portioning a fixed amount of units per month that can be bought by single household.

For example, a domestic household can be allowed to buy X amount of units a month. If they reach the X unit number for a month, the system will not allow that household to buy more units until next month. The same would go for medium scale users.

This will shift the responsibility of power management from Zesco to household level. It will force households to be responsible for their units and eventually they will buy energy serving appliances on their own.

This will help Zesco also to account for their generated power because they will be able to approximate how much power is used per month in a particular area and it will help them plan effectively.

This will not disadvantage anyone in anyway because the playing field will be leveled for both the rich and the poor. Everyone will sacrifice and together will pass through this as a country.

I can go on and on but if the government feels this would be a good idea, they can contact me as am read to shade more light on it.

Contact: lesley.simfukwe@yahoo.com, mubz2012@gmail.com