Saturday, 28 February 2009


Captain John Jerry Mwale receives a welcome kiss from his wife Golezya at the Zambia Air Force base in Lusaka when he arrived from Sudan on a nine- month United Nations peace-keeping mission.


Some Zambian peace-keepers enjoying castle lager beer immediately on arrival from Sudan at the Zambia Air Force base in Lusaka.
Someone must have sneaked in the beer, for these men to have such a quick access because in as far as I am concerned, there was no cocktail on that tarmac.
The men in uniform must have missed the beer while out there.


Monday, 23 February 2009


Post newspaper owner Fred M'membe (left) trailed by legal counsel Sam Mujuda leaving the Lusaka High Court.

I have been following the Zambian Airways and Post newspaper-Dora Siliya drama or is it imbroglio from the fence and I followed these debates with an umatched interest and glee.
I leave every judgement. Today, I publish Lucky Dube's (MHSRIP) lyrics from a song called 'My Game.'
I want to pretend that it is Presidet Rupiah Banda talking to Post newspaper proprietor Fred Mmembe, who has a series of unprecedented attacks on Mr Banda.

So I see you' ve got a problem
Do you wanna take it outside
I' m not the fighting type
But go ahead make my day
You gonna fight me physically
I' m gonna fight you spiritually
I' m gonna fight you truthfully
If I tell the truth boy
You hate me for it
And if I tell you lies
You call me a good man
I' ve got news for you boy
Let me tell you this
Listen to me
This is my game
I' m gonna play it my way
You call yourself
The voice of the voiceless
But the only time you use your voice
Is when you criticise
What other people have done
We read in the Bible and
Understand what it says
They shall not judge yeah
But why do you do it Rasta
Call me a fake
Call me anything you wanna
Call me boy
But what I do is - Jah work
This is the people' s work boy
You want me to say
All the things that you believe in
I' m not your puppet
I' m not your puppet listen to me
I' ve got news for you

Sunday, 22 February 2009


LUSAKA residents institute instant justice on an unnamed man after he was suspected of theft along Freedowm Way at the weekend.
I doubt whether the suspected thief was actually a thief. Non of the people beating him knew what he tried to steal.
These people just jumped on the bandwagon of a guy who was running after the suspect and shouting thief!
One of them told me that he joined in the beating because other people were beating the suspect.
Another one also told me that he was beating the suspected thief because at least somewhere, some how, the suspected thief had stolen something or had committed an offence or would steal something in future and this beating was serving as pushishment for that.
Sometimes I wonder whether mob justice is the best form of issuing punishment on thieves.
I have witnessed incidents where innocent people have been lynched.
A typical example is last year in Lusaka's Chawama township where two residents were brutally killed by a mob justice team, which suspected the two of being behind a spate of robberies in the area.
It was later discovered that the deceased pair was innocent because they were actually coming from work thet time they were killed.
The two were curious about the noise of protesting residents who were complaining about robberies in Chawama, so they went over to watch what was happening.
But someone just shouted thief! and they were dead meat.
Maybe its true what they say that 'curiosity killed the cat.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009


POLICE officers barricade the exit to the Supreme Court during the PF election recoutn hearing.

THE Supreme Court has set March 11 as the date for ruling in a petition in which Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata wants the court to order for a recount of ballot papers cast in the October 30, 2008 presidential elections.
After hearing submissions from both parties for about three hours deputy chief justice Ireen Mambilima sitting with Supreme Court judges Sandson Silomba, Dennis Chirwa, Peter Chitengi and Marvin Mwanamwambwa adjourned the matter to March 11 for ruling.
During the submissions, Mr Sata’s lawyers led by State Counsel, Bonaventure Mutale said their client had through his three affidavits produced enough evidence in support for an order to recount the votes.
The State and President Rupiah Banda’s lawyers, however, said that the application should be dismissed because all Mr Sata said had been rebutted in an affidavit filed by ECZ deputy director Priscilla Isaac.
Starting the submissions for Mr Sata, Mr Mutale said there was a violation of the electoral process when some constituencies were supervised by people who were not mandated legally.
Mr Mutale named the affected areas as Chisamba, Mwembeshi, Nakonde, Muchinga, Serenje, Milenge, Mbala and Senga Hill.
He said voting in Sikoongo and Sinjembela constituencies took place on October 31 and November 1 which were not prescribed polling dates and when postponing the elections the Electoral Commission (SCZ) did not follow the Electoral Act.
He also said that at some polling stations there were variances on documents in the numbers that were recorded in figures against those in words casting doubt on the authenticity of the results announced.
“There is need to recount the ballot papers to establish the true position unlike in the Mazoka petition where the recount was denied because there was insufficient evidence,” he said.
Mr Mutale said in the last presidential elections the difference was only about 35,000 unlike in the 2006 elections when late president Mwanawasa won by over 200,000 votes.
He said in the interest of justice and in safeguarding a credible electoral process it would be best served if the votes were recounted.
Mr Mumba Kapumpa, also representing Mr Sata said that when postponing the elections the ECZ was supposed to issue a gazette notice and publicise the change in the media and the ECZ chairperson only issued a statement on November 2, after the elections.
Another lawyer for Mr Sata, Mr Winter Kabimba said that presidential petitions were governed by article 34 of the constitution which gave the court a wide jurisdiction to hear the matter.
He said while the state had not objected to the erroneous figures, the ECZ had not provided the correct figures and that not only evidence from witnesses could be relied upon for an order of recount.
He said the petition focused on the administration of the electoral process by the ECZ and he felt that Mr Sata had laid enough evidence within perimeters of the law to warrant an order for a recount.

Solicitor General Dominic Sichinga, however, said that like in the Mazoka petition there was no evidence produced by Mr Sata or witnesses mentioned in his affidavits to warrant a recount and that Mr Sata had not said that he was present at the polling stations he complained about.
“We submit that you have not heard any evidence to merit a recount from election agents, monitors and others mentioned in the affidavits,” he said.
Mr Sichinga said that the court should note that Mr Sata wanted a recount of all the 150 constituencies when he had only complained of 24 constituencies and a few polling stations.
He said the court was inhibited in granting an order for recount and the application should be dismissed with costs.
Also representing president Banda, Mr Christopher Mundia said that it was totally extravagant for Mr Sata to apply for a recount of all the 150 constituencies when he had not adduced enough evidence.
“A recount is not a right but is granted at the discretion of the court upon evidence being adduced. The voting in Sinjembela and Sikoongo constituencies had been fully explained in Ms Isaac’s affidavit,” he said.
Mr Mundia said that Ms Isaac had also made it clear that the results that were announced by ECZ were the ones that were verified and the application for a recount should be dismissed because it was misconceived and frivolous.
Prof Patrick Mvunga said that entertaining the request without evidence from witnesses mentioned in affidavits was like relying on hear-say which could not warrant a recount and Mr Sata did not want to give sworn evidence to support his application.
He said Mr Sata’s application for a recount was an afterthought prompted by the marginal victory by president Banda because he could have done so at polling stations.
He said if Mr Sata was granted the application it would amount to saying he had an automatic right to a recount without reasons.
On illegal persons supervising elections Prof Mvunga said that he should have been talking about the validity of results and not the recount.
He said the application for recount was far fetched unless it was supported with evidence and should be dismissed with costs.
As the court proceedings went on, PF cadres also continued with a lot of activities out the premises where 500 police officers were deployed to keep an eye on them.
They sung political party songs and chanted slogans.
There was no physical confrontation with the police.


Zambia Police officers keeping vigil at the Supreme Court.


A PF cadre preparing for a possible confrontation with the police. 500 police officers were deployed to keep vigil at the Supreme Court. The last time the election recount petition was heard by the court, the PF cadres openly clashed with the police.

Some PF youths take to the tarmac along Independence avenue.

A PF cadre singing party songs on the public address system.


PF youths playing to the gallery with placards and sticks.


An unidentified Lusaka resident pressed for a job, takes to the streets with a placard to advertise for employment.

Friday, 13 February 2009


I mentioned some time last year that 2009 will be a different year on this blog because I shall be featring guest writers to talk about different subjects, since this is a platform for debate and dialogue.
I would like to start this new approach by fussing in a good colleague of my, Kennedy Limwanya. He is an accomplished scribe for features. He writes the Television review column in the weekly Sunday Times of Zambia newspaper and has been a sports writer for the Times of Zambia newspaper in the past. He has done several other private jobs in writing, which he will share with us on one of those fine days in future. Therefore, I am confident that Mr Limwanya will give us some real food for debate.
In this article, Kennedy has been chronicling President Rupiah Banda's activities since he became Zambia's fourth President in October last year.


"I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a New Deal for the American people," Franklin Delano Roosevelt told supporters in 1932 while accepting the United States presidential nomination.
When Roosevelt assumed office the following year, he initiated a number of reforms designed to stabilise an economically-depressed nation.
The New Deal (a phrase borrowed from the title of Stuart Chase's book A New Deal) represented a significant shift in the US's political and domestic policy, increasing federal government control over the economy and money supply, and intervening to control prices and agricultural production.
Ever since Roosevelt put the building blocks of the New Deal in place in his first 100 days in office, a president's first 100 days have been an indicator of what he is able to accomplish.
Within this brief spell, new presidents have a unique opportunity to put their imprint on history—a honeymoon period when the public gives them the benefit of the doubt.
During this period, presidents inevitably use up their stock of political capital as they spend it. They also gradually start to disappoint their friends and allies.
This gauge of a president's ability is standard measure even in any other aspect of life. Many times, people think that success is equivalent to years of hard work.
The truth is that one's goals can be measured in smaller increments.
The reason is that whatever one plans to do today, whether in privacy or in public, is likely to manifest within at least 90 days.
Success or failure can, therefore, be ably traced back to the actions taken 90 or 100 days before.
With this, it is not mere speculation that a president's course for the rest of the term can be predicted by simply taking a look at the performance within the first 100 days.
Yesterday, February 9, 2009, Zambian president Rupiah Banda has clocked his own 100 days since assuming office on November 2, 2008.
This article, therefore, looks back at some of the critical pronouncements, decisions and notable events of the 100 days so as to help judge President Banda's performance.
In so doing, it will be important to take note of the state of the global economy during the period under review.
At the time Mr Banda was being sworn in as Zambia's fourth president, the world economy was in a crisis on account of recession in advanced economies.
Global economic growth had slowed down to 2.5 per cent from 3.7 per cent in 2007, with commodity prices recording a sharp decline.
The price of copper, the mainstay of Zambia's economy accounting for nearly 80 per cent of the country's earnings, had plummeted to US$2,902 per tonne by the close of the year from $8, 985 in July, representing a 67.7 per cent fall.
These developments inevitably impacted negatively on Zambia's economy, affecting growth, inflation, the Kwacha exchange rate and terms of trade.
The inflation out-turn for 2008 was 16.6 per cent against the projected seven per cent because of the international oil and food crisis.

Food inflation stood at 20.5 per cent compared with 5.9 per cent in 2007 while the Kwacha had by December 2008 depreciated by 27.3 per cent against the US dollar.
All this considered, it goes without saying that, like US president Barack Obama, President Banda has assumed office at a difficult time only comparable to Roosevelt's own when he was elected at the time of The Great Depression.
Or it can be compared to the time Ronald Reagan became US president in 1981.
In his inaugural speech on January 20, 1981, Reagan said something that should encourage Zambians not to only wait upon the government for solutions to the current crisis.
"In this present economic crisis, government is not the solution to our problem," said Reagan, who himself got to the White House after the Iran hostage crisis, high oil prices, high inflation and low morale in the country.
Here now, is a catalogue of President Banda's first 100 days.

Day 1 (November 2, 2008): President Banda is sworn in by Chief Justice Ernest Sakala at the National Assembly buildings in Lusaka after edging his closest rival, opposition leader, Michael Sata, in a presidential by-election resulting from the death in office, of Zambia's third president, Levy Mwanawasa.
President Banda takes office at a time of soaring fuel and mealie meal prices, and a depressing slump of the Kwacha against other major currencies. Before a crowd including heads of State and government from neighbouring states, President Banda, in his unifying "President of all Zambians" speech, pledges to serve across the political and social divide as well as fight poverty among Zambians.
"For me, to be President is to be President of all Zambians . . . Today, I give up the title of acting President and take up the mantle of President of the Republic of Zambia. I will serve as President of all Zambians.
"This election will not divide us. It will unite us all in a common goal. We may be a country of many tribes, of many languages, different religions and of many colours, but never forget that we are one nation."
It is little wonder that President Banda's inauguration is attended by a mosaic of Zambian political and civil society leaders including former Zambian vice-president and founding president of the opposition Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD), Lieutenant-General Christon Tembo.
Others in attendance are another former Zambian vice-president Enoch Kavindele, and opposition leaders, Sakwiba Sikota of the United Liberal Party, United National Independence Party's Tilyenji Kaunda and Edith Nawakwi of the FDD. Also present are Zambia's founding president, Kenneth Kaunda, and his successor, Frederick Chiluba.
Four times, President Banda assures the Zambian people that he would be president of all Zambians and, in doing so, sets out his priority. "My priority will be to fight poverty . . . Poverty is demeaning and an unnecessary evil. I do not want people to think of Zambia as a Third World country with a begging bowl. I want to move from handouts to hand-ups. I want to empower all Zambians.
"I want people to think of Zambia as a prosperous and confident nation. We have a goal of making Zambia a middle-income nation by 2030."

Day 6 (November 7, 2008): Writes to the Speaker of the National Assembly, asking Parliament to reconsider the amended Emolument bills seeking to increase salaries and allowances for the president, ministers and deputy ministers, members of Parliament and other constitutional office holders. He explains that the bills are costly to the Government in their current form.
Day 13 (November 14, 2008): Holds his first presidential Press conference and names his first Cabinet, appointing eminent lawyer and Justice Minister, George Kunda as the new vice-president.
The appointment of the level-headed veteran of the Cabinet catches many by surprise as it does not tally with the speculation making rounds that Foreign Affairs minister, Kabinga Pande, Zambian ambassador to the United States, Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika, or businessman, Bwalya Chiti, would be the likely candidates for the number-two post.
It is an appointment that reassures the nation of the new president's commitment to heading a quality Cabinet and ensuring that the constitution-making process is expedited.
This appointment, and that of Finance and National Planning Minister Ng'andu Magande's replacement, Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane, augment President Banda's pledge to ensure good governance and strict fiscal discipline.
Dr Musokotwane is a former deputy governor of the Bank of Zambia, who once served as secretary to the Treasury, and as an economic advisor to the president.
The president's other notable appointments include those of former miner, Maxwell Mwale, to head the Mines ministry, articulate Lieutenant-General Ronnie Shikapwasha to head the Information ministry, and former health minister and workaholic, Brian Chituwo, to take over the agriculture portfolio.
He challenges his Cabinet and deputies to show determination in finding solutions to the global credit crunch! "We cannot sit idle. We need to find ways and forge ahead as a country. I need a team of men and women to face the challenges with me."
British High Commissioner to Zambia, Carolyn Davidson, praises President Banda's stance towards good governance and the fight against corruption, saying the president needs the support of everyone.
Earlier in the day, President Banda inaugurates the US$120 million Lafarge Cement Chilanga II plant and notes that the plant has come at a time when the construction industry is booming, with many residential and commercial properties being built.
"The inauguration of this project will, therefore, contribute to the expansion of our economy and enhance growth. With more cement on the market, the Government experts to see more work being done on the new and existing projects."
Day 16 (November 17, 2008): Mealie meal prices begin to come down from as high as K61,000 for a 25 kilogramme bag of breakfast to an average of K54,000.
Day 18 (November 19, 2008): In response to President Banda's request, Parliament scraps responsibility allowance for constitutional office holders and drastically reduces the special and utility allowances in the revised emolument bills.
Day 25 (November 26, 2008): Makes first foreign visit as president, with a trip to Nigeria where he meets that country's president Umaru Yar'Adua. Announces that a delegation of Nigerian business experts will visit Zambia to discuss agreements in various sectors of the economy to help reduce dependence on mining whose profits have gone south.
Day 32 (December 3, 2008): Fugitive former intelligence chief Xavier Chungu returns to Zambia after a four-year self-imposed exile and, in conformity to President Banda's commitment to fighting corruption, is detained for jumping bail while facing charges of theft by public servant and theft of motor vehicles.
-quick intervention by govt to mitigate effects of global crisis in mining sector...and active pursuit of replacement investors.
Day 41 (December 12, 2008): In the midst of the global financial crisis, Information Minister Ronnie Shikapwasha announces the Government's decision to withdraw from hosting the 2011 All-Africa Games, which would have cost the country more than K800 billion.
This is a tough decision by President Banda's government between the honour and pleasure of hosting the quadrennial pan-African games and the duty to provide food and social security to the citizens.
Day 42 (December 13, 2008): Rushes to Luanshya and holds a closed-door meeting with the Luanshya Copper Mines management, union leaders, senior district government officials, members of Parliament and ministry of Mines officials, as the mine stands on the brink of closure.
The miners are touched by the President's concern for the their welfare. Never before has a head of State acted so quickly and so practically in dealing with such a crisis. As pledged in the "President of all Zambians" speech, the efforts to find a solution include the involvement of the opposition Patriotic Front leadership in the district.
The Government's quick intervention to mitigate the effects of the global crisis on the mining sector and the active pursuit of replacement investors speaks volumes about Mr Banda's commitment to ensuring that people's jobs are protected while more are created.
Day 51 (December 22, 2008): In line with President Banda's pledge to reduce fuel prices, the Energy Regulation Board announces the reduction of pump prices by a significant margin of K1,786 for petrol and K1,166 for diesel.
This is the second reduction in three months that the prices have come down, the first having been in September when Mr Banda was acting republican president.
Never before has a government been so passionate about passing fuel cost-savings to the consumer in a bid to cut down on production costs since fuel is a major energy input in all sectors of the economy.
Day 53 (December 24, 2008): Mealie meal prices tumble further down to as low as K45,000 for a 25 kilogramme bag of breakfast and K35,000 for roller meal of the same quantity.
Day 57 (December 28, 2008): First Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda praises President Banda for delivering on his pre-election promises to reduce the prices of mealie meal, fuel, and other essential commodities.
Day 76 (January 16, 2009): Opens Parliament with a pledge to remain true to his pre-election promise of fighting poverty in the midst of a harsh global economic environment.
"In my inaugural address last November, I promised the people of Zambia that the main priority of my Government would be to fight poverty. Despite the global recession, that priority remains.
"In fact, I am cautiously confident in our ability to fight poverty. Zambia has faced difficult times before. By working together, we have overcome past problems. Our resolve in the face of the present crisis should be no different."

President Banda also sends warning to employers against using the global crisis as an excuse to lay off workers in a cynical attempt to cut costs and reduce overheads. "Any job losses should only come as a last resort; after consultation with trade unions and after thorough analysis of all the options available."
Day 90 (January 30, 2009): In the first national Budget presentation under President Banda's reign, Finance Minister Musokotwane announces the Government's intention to spend K15.3 trillion, with agriculture receiving K1.1 trillion in a 37 per cent increase from the K800.5 billion provided in 2008.
This tallies with the 2009 budget theme, "Enhancing growth through competitiveness and diversification" and lends credence to President Banda's desire to improve agricultural productivity in the wake of low copper prices on the international market.
Among the measures in the Budget is the zero-rating of tax on major agricultural implements for value added tax (VAT) and the manufacturing of windmills and maize hauliers to encourage local manufacture of the equipment.
Another fast growing key sector of the economy, Tourism, receives a gigantic boost with an injection of K77.6 billion from the K26 billion allocated in 2008. This is President Banda's recognition of the pivotal role of tourism in the diversification process.
As part of the cost reduction measures for the mining sector, the Government removes windfall tax, introduces an import deferment provision for cobalt concentrates for VAT purposes and proposes to reduce customs duty on heavy fuel oil from 30 to 15 per cent.
The Budget wins praise from the World Bank, the European Union, Food and Agriculture Organisation and local interest groups like the Zambia Association of Mines, Economics Association of Zambia, Zambia Consumer Association and the Chamber of Mines.
Day 91 (January 31, 2009): Attends his first African Union (AU) summit as head of State. The 12th ordinary session of the AU heads of state and government summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, calls for the lifting of sanctions on neighbouring Zimbabwe.
Day 94 (February 3, 2009): On the sidelines of the AU summit, meets World Bank vice-president for Africa, Obiageli Ezekweli, International Monetary Fund officials and British minister of Africa and Asia, Lord Malloch-Brown.
Mrs Ezekwesili holds tele-conference, commending Zambia for remaining focused in the wake of the global economic meltdown and pledges to provide budgetary support to help cushion the problems emanating from the recession.
Zambia and other countries to be assisted under a US$42 billion financial package for 2009.
"It was the first time I met President Banda and I commended him over his peaceful election. It is clear that the Government is focussed on the challenges ahead," says Mrs Ezekwesili.
On the same day: In response to President Banda's offer of an olive branch in his inaugural speech and at other fora, opposition UPND president Hakainde Hichilema announces that he is to meet the head of State to discuss various issues affecting the country.
Mr Hichilema's action is apparently indicative of the trust he has in President Banda's offer of dialogue which PF leader Michael Sata also ought to accept for the sake of the nation.

Day 98 (December 7, 2009): In a show of confidence in President Banda's leadership qualities, the national executive committee of the ruling MMD elects him as acting party president until the convention is held.
Day 100 (February 9, 2009): reads in the Times of Zambia an article chronicling his undoubtedly, successful first 100 days in office, 10 days before celebrating his 72nd birthday anniversary on Thursday, February 19, 2009.
It has been a challenging hundred days in which President Banda has shown the maturity characteristic of him by not responding to blatant and malicious attacks by critics, and has not, as they had predicted, victimised them.
President Banda can now look back at his first 100 days with pride and draw sufficient inspiration for the challenges ahead.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009


THE Lusaka Magistrate’s Court has jailed Lusaka reggae musician Maiko Zulu for six months suspended for one year on one charge of trafficking in five balls of cannabis weighing 17 grammes.
Magistrate David Simusamba said Zulu should not engage in any drug-related offences while serving the suspended sentence failure to which he would be slapped with a stiffer custodial sentence.
During the court hearing the Bob Marley look-alike remained calm and he followed proceedings.
The court also gave the International Labour Organisation (ILO) ambassador against child labour six months of community work during which he would be expected to visit 10 high schools in Lusaka to speak against the abuse of drugs.
Mr Simusamba told Zulu, 39, before a fully packed courtroom that he would additionally be expected to attend Government functions during holidays such as youth day to preach against drug abuse without pay whenever called upon.
Mr Simusamba said Zulu deserved lenience because he was a first offender and an icon in championing the fight against child labour in his community and the country at large.
“I have considered facts in the mitigation and it is apparent that the offender is a household name and a chief bread winner of both his family and the his extended one,” he said.
The sentence means that Zulu would serve the six months outside prison but should not commit an offence within the stipulated time or would be arrested to serve the sentence and be committed to the high court for further punishment.
Facts before the court were that on February 3, 2009, Zulu trafficked in marijuana contrary to section 6 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act Cap 96 of the laws of Zambia.
In his mitigation, Zulu through his lawyer, Sugzo Dzekedzeke pleaded with the court not give him a custodial sentence because he had not wasted the courts time and taxpayers’ money by admitting the charge without delay.
Zulu said if given the custodial sentence, his dependants would suffer because he was not just the chief bread winner of his household but also of his extended family including his mother and eight children from his deceased’s siblings.
He said that he had two school-going children who would suffer severely if he was given a custodial sentence.
Zulu said he was also an ILO ambassador against child labour and was coordinating a programme meant to create employment for the youths in the country, which was just about to commence.
Zulu said, should the custodial sentence be slapped on him, the ILO programmes would collapse.
The musician said he was also a coordinator of a football team in his community that sought to identify talent and prevent the youth from engaging in dangerous activities.
Zulu said through the Zambia Associations of Musicians he contributed about 15 percent to orphans and vulnerable children in society.
He said even though the quantity of cannabis that was found on him was not intended for commercial purposes, he regretted that he had committed the offence.
Outside the courtroom, Zulu told journalist that he had been given a fair trail and would work within the conditions of the sentence.
He said prisons were in a deplorable state and he would encourage everyone to desist from committing offences that would lead to jail sentences.
Musicians who included Brian Chengala, Angela Nyirenda, Saboi Imboila, Danny Peddle, Mozageta, Mathew Tembo, James Chamayanzi, Moses Sakala and comedian Bob Nkoshya attended the court session.


Maiko Zulu entering the cell at the Lusaka magistrates court.

Maiko Zulu and other suspects jumping out of a van, which the prison authorities use to ferry inmates to the courts.


A rastafarian, draped in a T-shirt with daring writings on the back trying to gain access to the Lusaka magistrate court for the proceedings on Maiko Zulu's drugs peddling case.


Maiko Zulu listening to his lawyer Sigzo Dzekedzeke soon after he was let off the hook.

Some of the Lusaka based artists with Maiko Zulu.


Sister D's (Maiko Zulu's wife) father about to embrace Maiko.


You would have tought Angela Nyirenda is about to kiss Maiko but no, she is embracing him after he survived from going to jail for one year.

Brian chengala (r) congratulates Maiko for 'escaping' the prison.


LUSAKA artist Brian Chengala (Shakarongo) embraces Maiko.


Maiko Zulu's wife Daputsa (Nkhata).


LUSAKA clown Bob Nkosha (r) embraces Maiko (l) after he was released by prison authorities.


Maiko Zulu and his wife Daputsa leaving the Lusaka magistrate court.



Maiko Zulu is mobbed by sympathysers outside the Lusaka magistrate court.

Sunday, 8 February 2009


AN unidentified woman breaking the land to get rocks for crushing in Kafue.

Kafue is a town in Zambia south of Lusaka and about 40 kilometres from the capital.
The women sell the stones to people who are building houses in the nearby town. They small heaps of stones cost between K50, 000 and K100, 000.
Last week, I went on a news hunting mission to Kafue. I was attracted by a group of women just as one approaches the town. These women where digging at the foot of a mountain with children on their backs. I parked the car and walked to them over a distance of about 50 metres from the road. What I found was a case of illegal mining.
The mine where the women conduct their activities is an illegal site, but what is suprising is that local authorities, including the area Member of Parliament, councilors and even officials from the central government have ignored the rusky business going on in Kafue.
The mine is so dangerous because there are no safety measures. Stones hang from the mountain so loosely while the women and children are diiging below.
When I asked why they risk their lives, one of the women who only identified herself as Mrs Mumba said the economic hardships are forced her to reach those ends.
"I have been to school but I cannot find a job to look after my family. This is the only means I have and indded these other people here. We are aware of the dangers, but what can a person in my situation do," she asked.
The women take along with them, children as young as eight months because there is no one to look after them at home. The child are also exposed to the same danger of rock-falls.
I am convinced that something can be done about the illegal mining in Kafue, even if it is the only means of survival for those people.


An unidentified woman diiging for stones to crush with a baby on her back.




A baby, strapped on her mother's back, stares at the picture monger.


A young girl takes care of her sibbling.

Mrs Mumba nurtring her grandchildren at the illegal mine.


A child found at the illegal mine in Kafue.


One of the women at the illegal mine, taking a phone call.


A woman breaks off for a moment at the illegal mine to make a phone call and nurture her baby.

Telephone call