Wednesday, 31 December 2008
Second republican President Frederick Chiluba weeping during the 17th anniversary of Zambia's declaration as a christian nation in Lusaka.
Dr Chiluba declared Zambia a christian nation in 1991 when he was elected republican President.
Hitherto, the declaration has remained debatable, with some people saying it should be scrapped because Zambia does not only consist of christians only but other religious faiths as well.
But the sucessive governments have re-emphasised that the declaration shall remain because Zambia has to be anchored on God. Proponents say the declaration has helped to guide Zambia in many areas of human endeavor such as morals, economic and others.
What ever we all think, I suggest we leave this subject for now because there are other urgent and better matters we can pre-occupy our minds with.
I think there is nothing wrong with saying that Zambia wants to anchor its basis on the foundation of God and christian principals.
Dr Chiluba is praying and weeping when Dr Catherine Mukuka (not in picture), one of the pentecostal christians was leading the audience into a moving prayer session.
Dr Mukuka said Dr Chiluba was being pesecuted and abused and that God would not allow that to go on. The prsyer was so moving that Dr Chiluba pulled out his hankerchief broke into tears.
Ronnie Shikapwasha (l), Anointed ministeries' Billy Mfula (C) and Dr Frederick Chiluba laughing during the prayers. It is during such moments when Dr Chiluba is seen jovial and happy like this. He says that his life nowadays is shaped around hospitals and courts.
Monday, 15 December 2008
The late Emmanuel Kasonde lays in state during the requiem mass at the Child Jesus Cathedral in Lusaka.
THE LATE EMMANUEL KASONDE WAS A VISIONARY LEADER
A MEMORIAL mass was held in Lusaka for the late Finance minister Emmanuel Kasonde at the Cathedral of the Child Jesus in Lusaka.
Archbishop Mazombwe said Mr Kasonde indicated that he did not want anyone to say anything about him during his funeral. This was contained in the late Kasonde’s will. But Lusaka Archbishop Medardo Mazombwe was forced to push in a few praises in honour of the late Kasonde.
Archbishop Mazombwe said he knew Mr Kasonde for 30 years and they would consult each other on many matters. Therefore, he found it hard not say anything about Kasonde.
Lusaka Archbishop Medardo Mazombwe described the late Kasonde as a dedicated catholic.
Mr Kasonde was the first chairperson for the committee to build the Child Jesus Cathedral after the late Pope John Paul laid a foundation stone for its construction in 1989. Mr Kasonde died at Lusaka Trust Hospital on Friday after an illness.
Archbishop Mazombwe hailed the late Kasonde as a dedicated catholic and Christian who has served the people of Zambia diligently.
“The late Kasonde was a man full of ideas, which he shared with others and this cathedral is testimony for it.
“He was a catholic inside out. He was dedicated to church affairs, despite the position he held in society, he remained simple and approachable,” he said.
The funeral mass was attended by Defence minister George Mpombo who represented President Banda, First republican president Kenneth Kaunda, deputy speaker of the national assembly Mutale Nalumango, former vice presidents Enoch Kavindele, Nevers Mumba, Home Affairs minister Kalombo Mwansa and other public figures.
Opposition leaders Patriotic Front’s President Michael Sata and his counterparts from the United Party for National Development Hakainde Hichilema, All Peoples Congress Party’s Ken Ngondo, National Democratic Focus’ Ben Mwila were also present.
Others were diplomats accredited to Zambia, cabinet and deputy ministers, senior Government officials and members of the business community.
Family friend and former Bank of Zambia governor Dominic Mulaisho said the Kasonde was a practical and brilliant visionary.
Mulaisho said the late Mr Kasonde always put the interest of Zambia first.
Mr Kasonde was born on December 23, 1935 at Malole Mission in Mungwi district.
He did his primary education at Malole Primary from 1943 and in 1950 and later went to St Francis Secondary School. In 1953 to 1956 he went to Munali in Lusaka. Upon leaving Munali in 1957, he started work as a labour officer.
In 1958, Mr Kasonde went to study economics at the London school of economics.
In 1967, Dr Kaunda appointed Mr Kasonde as Finance permanent secretary.
In 1971, Mr Kasonde joined the private sector where he established private companies.
He re-joined politics in 1990 and became the MMD provincial chairman for Northern Province and was appointed Finance minister by former President Chiluba in 1993 when he left the MMD to join the splinter National Party.
He bounced back as finance minister when the Late President Mwanawasa appointed Mr Finance minister.
In 2003, Mr Kasonde retired from active politics and served in several positions as a church member.
His wife Rose, three children and eight grand children survive the late Mr Kasonde.
Dr Kaunda following proceedings during the requiem mass for the late former finance minister Emmanuel Kasonde.
Even if he looks old and grey, it does not means he is deaf and dumb. The late Kasonde worked in different capacities during Dr Kaunda's regime. Mr Kasonde was the first black man to be appointed by Dr Kaunda as the permanent secretary in the ministry of finance in 1967.
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
Zambia's foreign affairs minister Kabinga Pande (RIGHT), flanked by his counterpart from defence George Mpombo stresses a point during a press briefing to deny allegations that Zambia and Botswana were planning to invade Zimbabwe.
ZAMBIA CAN'T INVADE ZIMBABWE
THE Government of Zambia has denied reports that it has joined forces with Botswana to invade Zimbabwe and forcibly remove President Robert Mugabe from power.
Kabinga Pande is minister of foreign affairs. He said that the report, which was published on http://www.zimbabwetoday.co.uk and dated 7 December 2008 was malicious because Zambia has committed to working within the framework of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) decision in resolving the situation in Zimbabwe.
He was speaking in the capital Lusaka, at a press briefing with his counterpart George Mpombo from the ministry of defence.
Mr Pande said the online report was malicious.
“I wish to add that Zambia is committed to the spirit of dialogue and co-operation which are enshrined in the regional and continental charters to which we are a state party,” he said.
Mr Pande said the government of Zambia believes that peace and stability in Zimbabwe could only be achieved through dialogue among the stakeholders.
Mr Pande said it was not feasible for Zambia to agitate for military invasion in Zimbabwe.
“These provocative insinuations should therefore be dismissed with the contempt they deserve as they are indeed baseless and false,” he said.
He said suspicions were that the website was created by Zimbabweans who were not living in that country.
And Mr Mpombo said that it was unthinkable for Zambia, which worked hard to liberate Zimbabwe to push for regime change through the use of force.
“The allegations are a complete political hogwash and there is no truth in these allegations. Our role is to help Zimbabwe overcome the problems and this is through dialogue and not as a way of military intervention. We can not move away from the SADC position,” he said.
In the article, it is alleged that Zambia’s commandoes at Mushili area of Ndola have been training in joint operations with the army in Botswana with the view of invading Zimbabwe.
The story quotes anonymous sources in Zambia. It adds that Zambians are equipped with AK 47 riffles and rocket launchers.
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
FORMER Zambia Intelligence chief Xavier Chungu brandishes the ruling MMD symbol when he was sandwiched by armed police officers who escorted him from the Lusaka magistrate court where he wen for court proceedings.
XAVIER CHUNGU HAS BEEN FINED K500 MILLION FOR GOING IN EXILE
FORMER Zambia Security Intelligence chief Xavier Chungu has appeared in a Lusaka magistrate court where he was ordered to pay K500 million or in default face a maximum of six months imprisonment with hard labour
This is for Contempt of Court after Mr Chungu skipped court proceedings when he went into self-exile fours years ago.
In mitigation, Chungu’s lawyer Nicholas Chanda said the only reason Chungu stayed away from Court proceedings was because he had intelligence information that his life was in danger and had to do something to avoid regret.
During the court proceedings, Mr Chungu remained calm in the accused box. He looked firm and walked with confidence when leaving the court room and smiled occassionally. He was heavily guarded by the state police who were in both uniform and plain clothes.
Mr Chanda said the intelligence information indicated to be true and that was how his client decided to preserve his life and has now come back.
He said Chungu had not come back through the State and that his coming was not a myth or secret.
Mr Chanda said Chungu decided to present himself to the authorities and that the State did not effect an arrest on him.
Mr Chanda said it was not Chungu’s intention to disregard or abscond from Court proceedings without cause when he had attended other cases diligently in the past.
Mr Chanda also appealed to the Court to be lenient with Chungu on the bail amount because by Zambian standards, it was too exorbitant and that the global economy had affected everyone. He said his client had not earned asets for a long time.
High Court registrar Jones Chinyama made the order after Chungu who was re-arrested last week.
“Under section 132 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), the Court was required to demand the recognizance sum that was granted or order a term of imprisonment,” Mr Chinyama said.
In his ruling after hearing both parties, Mr Chinyama said that Mr Chungu was in breach and therefore the Court would proceed to pass its ruling in provision with the law.
“I order a forfeiture of K500 million in 14 days from today (Tuesday) inclusive of weekends or in default six months Imprisonment with hard labour which is in line with the provision of the law,” he said.
Mr Chinyama said the reason why bail was granted to Chungu four years ago was to enable him enjoy the comfort of coming from home and not to give him an opportunity to run away from Zambia.
Mr Chungu has remained in custody until the K500 million was paid to the court.
Mr Chinyama said the reasons for Chungu’s absence from Court proceedings were anonymous to the Court and that the Court would not have let him leave because court proceedings were disrupted as a result. The magistrate said Chungu’s conduct was unacceptable.
Earlier, State prosecutor Fred Malambo told the Court that Chungu was granted bail on March 14th 2003 to the sum of K500 million in his own recognisance with two sureties.
But on June 1, 2004, Chungu jumped bail when he was supposed to appear before Court. This made he prosecutors to apply for a bench warrant, which was issued and remained in force until Chungu was re-arrested after four years.
Court adjourned Chungu’s case hearing to December 22.
Monday, 8 December 2008
President Rupiah Banda and First Lady Thandiwe dancing during the MMD meet the President dinner at the weekend.
MY weekend was punctuated by a trip to the Mulungushi international conference centre in Lusaka where the ruling MMD hosted a meet the President fundraising dinner.
Earlier, I had a busy day writing stories, shooting and editing pictures. I spent a lot of time also researching for paper on the role of the media in advocacy. I would be presenting this paper to participants during a training workshop on community based environmental health advocacy in Lusaka this week.
People from different walks of life attended the event. It was characterized by what some people call pomp and splendor. It was so cozy as well. The buffet was great and the cash bar was also good.
The master of ceremonies was radio personality and Kitwe based Flava FM chief executive officer Chishala Chitoshi, also called Gesh.
He punctuated the evening programme with dance, song from bands like the famous Amayenge. There was also stand-up comedy.
Sensational and budding singer, young Trina who hails from the Copperbelt town of Ndola tickled our ears with her singing prowess. She just made the evening an outstanding occasion especially on a Saturday like that one.
But a large portion of the entertainment programme was stolen up by clowns Difikoti and Bikiloni who made everyone sit on the edge of their seats because they wanted more comedy.
I remember Difikoti and Bikiloni staging a ‘quiz’ session and one of the questions they asked Homes Affairs minister Kalombo Mwansa was “Zimbabwe got its independence in 1980, where? Dr Mwansa was caught unaware, but he said the question was mind boggling and demanded for another one.
Difikoti and Bikiloni also asked President Rupiah Banda the same question. They continued to call His Excellency the President awisi Duniya (father of Duniya).
The audience was wrong when they thought their ribs would be saved from further torment because Bob Nkosha’s time on the stage just added more misery to the condition. I am yet to find out whether someone did not crack their ribs from laughter that night.
His mere appearance and gestures was enough recipe to cause laughter, which can place a crack on the ribs.
Nkosha appeared from the backstage draped in a jean skirt and a matching top with a pair of slippers dragging on his feet. His lips were ‘painted’ red.
Gesh introduced him as Dolika who scheduled to leave for South Africa to participate in a tourism exhibition. So he had to do a pre-departure interview for Dolika to give us a de-brief on her trip. I don’t have the guts to go into these details because I do not want to crack my ribs further.
Later in the night, veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga’s latest book, The longest sunset was auction at K550, 000.
The President and First Lady Thandiwe took to the dance floor and showed us their dancing gimmicks as some Zambian tunes played.
The President’s departure from the venue at about 11PM ended the programme but the beats continued raging. At the time of my departure, the raging sounds were emitting the lyrics of James Cotton in a song called, “digging my potatoes”. I spotted politician Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika on the stage. From the way he danced, I think he was trying to prove that he has remained a good dancer, despite age catching up with him.
The two clowns are arguably among Zambia's top comedians. They put up a splendid show during the MMD meet the President dinner. Difikoti and Bikiloni sprung into stardom on MUVI television channel. They have continued to present programmes on the television station.