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William and Kate Raise Funds for Zambia Recent News

WILLIAM AND KATE RAISE FUNDS FOR ZAMBIA: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have helped to raise £120,000 (approximately K900 million) for a diarrhoea treatment programme in Zambia at a gala dinner at which they were the guests of honour. Prince William was the keynote speaker. Altogether the Absolute Return for Kids (ARK) dinner held in the grounds of Kensington Palace in London on 9 June raised £17.2 million pounds for ARK’s diarrhoea treatment programme in Zambia and other African countries. In Zambia, diarrhoea is the third-leading cause of deaths and clinic visits for children under five, after malaria and pneumonia.

ECONOMIC NEWS: Zambia's economy is likely to grow more than 7 percent in 2011 largely driven by investments in mining and infrastructure, says Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane. He added: "Infrastructure development is going to be part of the growth process for Zambia." Zambia plans to invest 1 trillion kwacha ($216.7 million) in the rehabilitation of urban roads and the money will come from a $500 million international eurobond, due to be launched by October this year following B+ credit ratings from Fitch and Standard & Poors, and also from additional tax revenue from the mines. The International Monetary Fund in March projected Zambia 2011 growth at 6.8 percent. Central Bank Governor Caleb Fundanga has also said that Zambian inflation is likely to slow to 7 percent by the end of the year due to a bumper maize harvest causing softer food prices. An expected maize harvest of more than 3 million tonnes would help cut the price of maize meal, the country's staple food, as well as stock feed, leading to lower food prices across the board. Copper output in Zambia fell nearly 10 percent in the first four months of 2011 after some open pit mines scaled down production due to heavy rains, but production is expected to catch up in the second quarter.

DEATH OF JOHN CRUICKSHANK: John Cruickshank has died while being medivac-ed from Lusaka to South Africa on Thursday May 26th. He was cremated in South Africa. There will be Memorial Services later in both Lusaka and Scotland. John originally came to Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) in about 1955 as a National Service subaltern. He liked it so much that he was determined to return, and did so as soon as he could. He was the longest serving local member and Fellow of ACCA which he joined in 1955, obtaining his Fellow status in 1965. He was a very active member and his contribution to the accountancy profession in Zambia was outstanding. He served in various capacities in public practice and other key roles in the profession for over 40 years. Amongst many other posts he was a past President of Rotary and a senior partner in Peat Marwick, and he was at one time a member of the Executive Committee of the Kasanka Trust. He was the longest serving Chairman of MPTF (Madison Pension Trust Fund (MPTF) and worked for the Pestalozzi Village in Lusaka. He was also an active member of the Lusaka Lunch Club. His main hobby was fishing.
BARRICK GOLD TAKEOVER OF EQUINOX: Barrick Gold has won unconditional approval from the Zambian authorities for its proposed acquisition of base metal miner Equinox Minerals, owner of Lumwana Copper Mine in Solwezi. The authorities initially granted only conditional approval to the deal but have now removed a key stumbling block that required state-owned Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) to keep a 2.2 percent stake in Equinox as a condition of approval. (

54TH COPPERBELT SHOW: The 54th Copperbelt Mining, Agricultural and Commercial Show took place in Kitwe from 1-5 June and was officially opened by President Rupiah Banda. According to Show Society Chairman Bill Osborne, the show attracted some 108 exhibitors, mostly from within the country, but also included thirty from South Africa.

MANSA RIOTERS JAILED: Mansa principal resident magistrate John Mbuzi has sentenced 32 people to three years imprisonment each for taking part in the riots in Mansa in April this year. Over 200 Mansa residents, including one police officer, were arrested by the police in the wake of the riots that followed complaints of ritual killings allegedly being orchestrated by some local business people. The cases are being heard in Samfya, about 178 kilometres from Mansa, the provincial capital, owing to concerns that security might be compromised if they were to be tried in the town where the riots occurred.

PASTORS ARRESTED OVER COUNTERFEIT NOTES: Two pastors from Bethel City Church in Lusaka were arrested by the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) at Ody’s Filling Station on the Great East Road after they were found to be in possession of US$77,200 in forged notes. The notes were in hundred dollar bills, and the pair were about to sell them to members of the public. The church has disowned the pair, claiming they were not members of Matero congregation. Another pastor from Tabernacle of Influence Church in Lusaka has also been arrested for being in possession of K5 million counterfeit notes.

UNDP URGES AGGRESSIVE FOREST CONSERVATION: Zambia faces a huge challenge to restore the 75 per cent forest cover it had forty years ago, says UNDP country representative Kanni Wignaraja. Shesaid currently Zambia had about 60 per cent forest cover, which was more than most countries among the 191 UN members which had less than 10 per cent.“This means that Zambia has to protect and manage about 50 million hectares of forest each year. Leaders have recognised that the high rate of forest degradation is a cause of great concern with a loss of 250,000 to 300,000 hectares happening per year in this past decade.”

DEATH OF EX-PRESIDENT CHILUBA: Frederick Chiluba, Zambia’s second President, has died at his Lusaka home at the age of 68. He had suffered from chronic heart and kidney problems. He came to power in 1991 in the country’s first multi-party elections, putting an end to the one-party government of President Kenneth Kaunda after 27 years. Chiluba served two terms as president, stepping down in 2001 after unsuccessfully attempting to change the constitution to allow him to stand for a third term. He was succeeded by President Levy Mwanawasa who died in 2008. His place of birth is unclear (Luapula province and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are both suggested), but he attended Kawambwa Secondary School. After dropping out of school (expelled for political activities, according to some reports), he completed his GCE by correspondence and obtained a degree in economics in the US and a master’s from Warwick University in the UK. He worked at Atlas Copco in Ndola where he joined the National Union of Building, Engineering and General Workers (NUBEGW) rising through the ranks to the post of chairman general. He led the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions for 17 years and in 1990 helped form the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) which swept to power in the 1991 elections. During his decade in power Chiluba dismantled Kaunda’s centralised state, introduced a free-market economy and privatised many state assets, including the mines. Opinions are divided as to the success of these policies, but they did little to lift the majority of Zambians out of poverty. In 1997, Chiluba imprisoned Kaunda for allegedly conspiring in a coup plot against him. Chiluba released him only after pressure from Africa's elder statesmen, Nelson Mandela and Julius Nyerere. He also tried to strip Kaunda of his citizenship, and even attempted to deport the former president on the grounds that he was actually from Malawi. He then amended the constitution in order to stop citizens with foreign parentage from standing for the presidency, aimed at disqualifying Kaunda, whose father came from Zaire, from any attempt to return to politics. After leaving office, Chiluba faced many accusations of corruption. In 2007 a British judge ordered him to repay $58 million to compensate for money he was accused of stealing during his time in power. That ruling was made after Zambian officials filed a civil case in London to recover assets owned by Chiluba and his associates in Britain and other European countries. A Zambian court later decided that local laws did not allow the enforcement of overseas rulings. In 2009 after a six-year trial, Chiluba was acquitted in Lusaka of stealing nearly $500,000 of public funds, though two business executives accused with him were found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison. Chiluba remained a close ally of the current president, Rupiah Banda, whose anti-corruption credentials were questioned after his government refused to appeal Chiluba's acquittal. Frederick Chiluba was married for 33 years to Vera Tembo , also a prominent politician, with whom he had nine children. They divorced in 2000. He is survived by his third wife, Regina, and eleven children. His state funeral will take place on Monday 27 June.

Exchange Rate, 18 June 2011: £1= K7,797.26

US$1= K4,800.00

For more recent news see Zambia A Middle Income Country Recent News

For previous news see BA Cuts Lusaka London Fares

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