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Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Random Thoughts, 4th Edition

Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba recently updated his FB status with the words, "Comrades, We'll bring a law to give immunity to chiefs so they are not dragged to court by subjects. Its disrespectful. Chiefs need respect". Needless to his new followers on social media (he is also on Twitter) greeted that updated with dismay for obvious reasons. Zambians respect their chiefs but they also rightly recognise respect comes responsibility on the part of traditional leaders. More importantly,  we should be removing immunity from existing laws not adding new immune offices.

Energy Minister Christopher Yaluma plans to renegotiate the power supply agreements with mining companies as GRZ pushes for cost reflective tariffs across board : "We have serious upgrading of the power supply network as well as the power stations to do to meet the shortfall in the supply but to do this we need that cost reflectivity..The contracts which were signed were not very favourable. Whoever did that didn't think". I am not sure it is correct to say the people who signed them "didn't think". It is possible the process was corrupted. It requires brains to be good at corruption. But the more likely explanation is mining companies secured the tariffs at the time because they are the largest consumer of power (at 56% in 2012). Like most things in business you expect to pay cheaper per unit the more you buy. Of courseYaluma needs to ensure that given ZESCO is publicly owned mining companies are paying cost reflective level.

Wonderful news out of Bembaland recently. The Bemba Traditional Council has appointed and installed Henry Kanyanta Sosala as Paramount Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba people. The council made a unanimous decision to install Mwamba Kapalaula II as the 38th Chitimukulu out of a group of several other candidates. The new Chitimukulu ascends to the throne after a one-year long mourning and eventual burial of his predecessor. President Sata recently withdrew the recognition of Mwamba Kapaula II as Senior Chief Mwamba. I have corresponded with the new Chitimukulu in the past. He is one of the few progressive and independent thinkers we have in the country at present. It is very exciting to see him take the reins of power. And hopefully he will be able to steer his people and traditional leaders in a new bold direction.

Government recently urged all citizens to start making preparations for Zambia’s golden jubilee of independence next year. Labour Minister, Fackson Shamenda says the golden jubilee celebrations would be held under the theme ‘Commemorating God’s favour of Zambia’s 50 years of independence for continued peace, unity, democracy and prosperity’. After the shambles of naming the new stadium "Gabon disaster" there was pressure on the Cabinet to come up with some better. Have they succeed? Its 50-50 at present. The mention of God is enough to get some excited into approval. Others note that the name is too long. Others are more worried that it is a dishonest theme. They point out that the word "continued" in relation to prosperity and democracy is highly debatable. But I have not spotted any online petitions yet!

Chola Mukanga | Economist | Writer
Copyright © Zambian Economist 2013

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