Lungu’s Critic Denies Crimes In Zambia

lungu, zambian economy, agriculture,
Zambian President, Edgar Lungu

 

A former Zambian minister and a leading critic of President Edgar Lungu appeared in court on Wednesday to deny charges that he had profited from the proceeds of crime. 

Chishimba Kambwili has emerged as one of the most prominent voices speaking out against Lungu, who is accused of an increasingly authoritarian rule and of cracking down on dissent.

Lungu had been due to face an opposition motion of impeachment in parliament on Wednesday but the process was delayed by officials who claimed more time was needed to consider the process.

Kambwili, who has been in the hospital for an undisclosed condition since his arrest on Thursday, appeared in court under heavy police guard.

“I understand the charge and plead not guilty,” Kambwili told magistrate Mwaka Mikalile after she read the 34 counts faced by the dissident lawmaker from the governing Patriotic Front party who previously served as foreign minister and Lungu’s information minister.

He has since fallen out with Lungu and repeatedly accused the president and government of being corrupt.

Lungu has denied accusations that he is creating a dictatorship in Zambia and has accused rivals of trying to overturn the 2016 election result.

Kambwili was ordered to return to court on June 4 for trial and was released on $1,000 (800 euros) bail.

Several opposition leaders were in court to support Kambwili.

After the hearing, opposition UPND party leader Hakainde Hichilema — another fierce critic of Lungu — accused the president of intimidating his opponents.

“This is not how you should run the country. They think running the country is to brutalise some people. A dictator has no true friend other than his wife and family,” he said.

Lungu had been due to face a motion of impeachment on Wednesday tabled by opposition parties in parliament — but the National Assembly said in a letter that the hearing would be delayed, prompting anger from Lungu’s critics.

“This appears to be a delaying tactic and we suspect the executive is interfering with the work of parliament,” UPND spokesman Charles Kakoma told AFP.

AFP 

Zambian President Sata Dies In London

Michael Sata.The President of Zambia, Michael Sata, has died in London, where he had been receiving treatment for an undisclosed illness, a government source said on Wednesday.

Sata died at the age of 77.

The private Muzi television station and the Zambia Reports and Zambian Watchdog websites said the southern African nation’s leader died on Tuesday evening at London’s King Edward VII hospital.

“It is true. We lost the President. The acting president will make a statement soon,” the source told Reuters.

Sata is likely to be succeeded on an interim basis by defence minister Edgar Lungu, who stood in recently as acting president, or vice-president Guy Scott, who would become Africa’s first white head of state since South Africa’s FW de Klerk in 1994.

The constitution says a new presidential election must be held within 90 days, with most analysts saying Scott is unlikely to run because of citizenship restrictions.
The Zambian kwacha was largely unchanged.

“Obviously there will be a sentimental temptation to go long dollars, but I’m also quite confident the central bank will do everything it can to protect the currency,” one Lusaka-based trader said. “In terms of the economy, everything should still be on track.”

According to a brief government statement released after Santa left the country on October 19 for treatment abroad, Santa was accompanied by his wife and family members.

There was no official update on his condition and Lungu, secretary general of Sata’s Patriotic Front party, had to lead celebrations last week to mark the nation’s 50th anniversary of independence from Britain.

Reuters reports that concern over Sata’s health had been mounting since June when he disappeared from the public eye without explanation and was then reported to be getting medical treatment in Israel.

He missed a scheduled speech at the U.N. General Assembly in September amid reports that he had fallen ill in his New York hotel. A few days before that, he had attended the opening of parliament in Lusaka, joking: “I am not dead.”

Sata has not been seen in public since he returned to Zambia from New York in late September.

He was the fifth President of Zambia, from 23 September 2011 until his death. Santa was a social democrat and he led the Patriotic Front (PF), a major political party in Zambia.

Human Rights Commission To Investigate Demolition Of Abuja Houses

National-Human-Right-Commission-NHRC-logosThe National Human Right Commission (NHRC) has vowed to investigate the demolition of Lungu village, in Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, where a baby and  mother are reported to have lost their lives on Thursday evening.

During an assessment of the exercise, the Executive Secretary of the commission, who was represented by his special assistant, Mr Harry Ogwuche-Obe, met the residents of the community as well as the traditional ruler of the village.

The commission urged residents of the area to be calm and await the outcome of the investigation while the residents narrated their experience during the demolition.

“We have just started our investigations. Some people have told us same thing, but as far as we are concerned, that is a very serious allegation that deserves every iota of investigation”

“You can trust that at the National Human Rights Commission will definitely investigate this matter to its logical conclusion”“We have just started our investigations. Some people have told us same thing, but as far as we are concerned, that is a very serious allegation that deserves every iota of investigation”
“You can trust that at the National Human Rights Commission will definitely investigate this matter to its logical conclusion” Ogwuche-Obe said.

The Chief of the demolished area blamed land developers over the incident and accused them of using money to influence the action of the development control unit of the FCDA.

A stranded resident noted that she “was in her house trying to bathe my baby and then we saw a Caterpillar bulldozer came in and started scattering people’s houses”

“People started shouting from the fifth house that somebody has died”, she said.

Another resident confirmed the death of a woman and her baby during the demolition. She noted that the woman, after several pleas to the security officials supervising the demolition to go into her house and pick her child, stabbed herself to death when she discovered the child had died.

Protests erupted in Abuja Model City, Adkan Estate, Gwarinpa II and Galadima on Thursday following the demolition. The major road to the estate and the main gate, were blocked by the protesters making it impossible for motorists to enter or leave the estate.

This resulted in a gridlock in the estate, spilling over to the Kubwa expressway as tyres were burnt at the gate.

Meanwhile, The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has denied reports that two persons, a woman and her child died during the demolition.