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This week in 10

The battle of the motorcades

This year’s Kuomboka Ceremony in Western Province on 8 April – held for the first time since 2013 – was completely overshadowed by the clash between the motorcades of President Lungu (Patriotic Front – PF) and his main opponent, Hakainde Hichilema (United Party for National Development – UPND). There was also some debate about whether [...]

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HH arrested for treason

Main opposition party president Hakainde Hichilema (HH) has been arrested and charged with treason, a non-bailable offence, which comes with a maximum sentence of death. HH was arrested over the battle of the motorcades on 8 April (see this article). Hundreds of armed police officers raided HH’s residence in New Kasama, Lusaka, before midnight on [...]

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Is government dragging its feet on IMF?

Cabinet has finally given its approval for Zambia to engage with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help it out of its economic morass. Chief Government Spokesperson Kampamba Mulenga stated: “Cabinet authorised the conclusion of discussions with the IMF on its support to our home-grown programme. This followed progress made in the initial programme discussion [...]

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ZAF officer’s death not clear-cut

The Human Rights Commission has concluded that the murder of Zambia Air Force (ZAF) Officer Mark Choongwa at Woodlands Police Station in Lusaka in March 2017 is far from straightforward. The police have otherwise charged four inmates with the murder. The commission’s investigations have unveiled “various versions by different witnesses”, and it therefore recommended that [...]

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Lake Kariba is almost half full

The water level in Lake Kariba has risen to 481.82 metres above sea level (masl) as at 19 April 2017, against a minimum operating level for hydropower generation of 475.50 masl, meaning that the electricity-generating top of the lake is 46% full (black curve). This time Last year the lake was 24% full (brown curve), [...]

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A spate of arsons?

First it was a hostel block at Chalimbana University in Chongwe that was gutted by fire, and then it was over 120 makeshift stalls at Kamwala Market in Lusaka, both on 16 April. Then it was Katondo Local Court in Kabwe that went up in flames on 17 April. The following day, a makeshift warehouse [...]

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Is someone listening in on your calls?

The Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) has raided CEC Liquid Telecom (picture) and other ICT firms. Some reports said ZICTA had confiscated equipment used for phone tapping after a phone conversation between President Lungu’s spokesman, Amos Chanda, and Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja was leaked to social media (see HH arrested for [...]

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State tries to kill whistle-blower?

Opposition United Progressive Party president Saviour Chishimba has allegedly gone into hiding, claiming that state agents have tried to kill him. Chishimba explained that he had been followed by two cars when driving home on the new ring road from Lilayi to Leopards Hill. One of the cars had apparently overtaken Chishimba, after which it [...]

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More UPND rallies cancelled

The main opposition UPND party is failing to hold a planned political rally to thank its voters for their support at last year’s elections. First the police blocked the party’s intended rally in Kanyama, Lusaka, on 2 April, which resulted in one man being stabbed to death. Then the party agreed to cancel a rally [...]

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PF officials suspended over land

Eight members of the ruling PF party have been suspended for allegedly being involved in illegal land allocation in Ndola. It was unclear exactly who the eight were, as various names were given in various media, but they included Ndola District Secretary Benjamin Chitondo and other officials. Two of them, Joseph Chisala and Fyolafyola Musonda, [...]

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