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Friday, 23 April 2010

Quick notes

In one of its last acts before the election, Britain's parliament voted to ban "vulture funds" which profiteer from third world debts. Readers will remember the famous Donegal International saga where Zambia was forced to pay $15m in British courts.

The Economist questions whether "Congo's incompetent government can make the most of new oil finds" off Lake Albert where reserves of 2 billion barrels are said to await exploitation. Some of the biggest American, French and Italian oil companies are sniffing around, with Total apparently nosing ahead.

After the flood comes the healthy fears - Lloyd Himmambo reports for the IPS on the cholera outbreak that is sweeping Lusaka. If the name sounds familiar, that is because Mr Himmambo also runs Zambian Watchdog.

Its not only Zambia that has problems with Constituency Development Funds (CDF). A Kenyan audit revealed that millions of shillings have been spent on ghost and stalled projects.

Minister Shikapwasha who has recently praised Uganda media regulation has clearly not been reading the Ugandan papers. Media and constitutional experts in Uganda have called the proposed media law a monster, with some suggesting it violates the constitution.


  1. Council bosses accused of having ulterior motives
    By Times Reporter

    THE MMD on the Copperbelt has accused the Ndola City Council (NCC) of manipulating the list of sitting tenants at Itawa flats and Masala Housing Complex by fusing in names of some directors and other council officials after President Rupiah Banda ordered the sale of the housing units.

    Provincial youth vice-secretary Benson Tembo said the MMD was aware that there was a new list where council officials wanted to deprive some of the tenants a chance to buy the units they were occupying.

    Acting Ndola Town Clerk Moses Mwelwa denied that some council officials were in the process of manipulating the lists and appealed to the tenants to report to the council any employee or individual making attempts to frustrate the Government’s directive to have the houses sold to sitting tenants.

    Mr Tembo said in an interview in Ndola yesterday the MMD would not sit idle and allow the council to victimise sitting tenants who had suffered a lot by living in dilapidated structures which were not being maintained by NCC.

    He alleged that some NCC directors and other officials put their names on some of the Itawa flats and Masala complex and then sublet to sitting tenants.

    “We’re aware that some directors and other council officials sublet some of the Itawa flats and Masala houses to sitting tenants and now want to start victimising the people staying in those houses so that they (council officials) are given offer letters to buy,” he said.

    Mr Tembo said the MMD would ensure offer letters were given to sitting tenants and threatened to report any suspicious manoeuvres by the council officials to relevant authorities.

    He said just like President Banda had promised to open his ‘eyes’ on the sale of the council houses, the party in the province would also be vigilant and ensure the right people benefitted from the house empowerment policy.

    President Banda on Tuesday directed the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to sell houses at Masala housing complex and Itawa flats, as well as houses belonging to the defunct United Bus Company of Zambia to the sitting tenants at fair and reasonable prices.

    But Mr Mwelwa said the Ndola City Council was waiting for further directives from the central Government on whether to sell the houses at the prices to be suggested by the evaluators, or any other price which would be deemed suitable.

    He said NCC had promptly responded to Government’s directive to value the houses by engaging the Government valuation department.

    He said a team of evaluators had started the process of determining the prices of the Itawa flats and the houses at the Chinese Complex, which had been earmarked for sale to sitting tenants.

    Mr Mwelwa said the council management had not sold the Itawa and Chinese Complex housing stock despite the 1996 presidential directives to have all council houses sold to sitting tenants because they wanted to use the housing units as a source of additional revenue apart from housing its employees.

    And Kitwe Town Clerk Ali Simwinga said in Kitwe yesterday the council had been delaying to issue title deeds because many of the houses in the city were in disputes over ownership and the matters were before courts of law.

    Mr Simwinga said other citizens had not been able to clear outstanding rates in addition to legal fees to the council before they could be issued title deeds.

    And Kalulushi Town Clerk Maxwell Kabanda said the major challenge the council was faced with was subdivision as most of the properties in the area were sitting on mine land.

  2. Global mortality rate:

  3. Poor man's Gatorade:


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