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Chinese Embassy in Zambia condemns killing of three nationals

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Embassy in Zambia has expressed shock over the gruesome murder and injuring of Chinese nationals, said a statement issued by the Embassy.

The statement said on Oct.26, criminals broke into the living quarters of Golden King Investment Limited, a Chinese company based in Kitwe city, killing three Chinese and injured another three.

The criminals also got away with undisclosed amount of money after breaking a safe.

So far one suspect has been arrested to help the police with investigations.

"The Embassy is deeply concerned with such a brutal and malicious murder case, strongly condemns the criminal action," the statement said.

The Embassy has since requested relevant government authorities to investigate the case thoroughly and bring the culprits to book immediately.

It has also asked the authorities to provide necessary and effective protection to Chinese companies and nationals in Zambia and prevent recurrence of such cases.

"We believe that there exists a deeply-rooted friendship between Chinese and Zambian people and this is only an individual case," the statement added.

The Embassy has however noted that China will continue working with the Zambian government in maintaining a favorable environment and good momentum of Chinese investment in Zambia for the mutually beneficial economic and trade cooperation.


Zambian footballers lose their money and valuables in Mozambique hotel

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- Six Zambia national soccer team players and the team’s physiotherapist lost over 1,000 U.S. dollars moments before the team played Mozambique in a 2016 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier in Maputo, the Times of Zambia has reported.

The players found their rooms bungled into and their money and personal valuables missing when they got back to their hotel rooms after having lunch ahead of the game on Sunday.

Lee Kawanu, the team’s delegation leader, said that about 1,050 dollars cash was stolen from the team that lodged at Afrin Prestige Hotel, a five star hotel in the center of the Mozambican capital.

"It is very disappointing that a five star hotel can allow such baloney to happen.

"But this has not dampened the mood in the team at all and we are happy that during the match, the affected players showed of signs of being distracted by the incident," he was quoted as saying by the paper.

The affected players lost between 50 and 200 dollars each, he added.

The official added that the matter has since been handed to the Zambian Embassy in that country after hotel management failed to deal with it while the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) decided to refund the players their money.

"We have asked the Embassy to follow up the matter on our behalf and they have engaged the Diplomatic Police to help get to the bottom of the matter.

"I’m confident we will get to the bottom of this issue. But this is really unacceptable," he added.

Zambia managed to qualify to the finals of the 2016 CHAN finals to be hosted by Rwanda in January on a 4-1 aggregate.

The Chipolopolo thumped Mozambique 3-0 in the first leg before settling for a 1-all draw with the Mambas in the return leg.


Zambia to encourage further investment in renewable energy

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- Authorities in Zambia have invited investors interested in investing in renewable energy for a meeting to help the southern African nation find a lasting solution to its power needs.

Zambia is currently facing a power deficit of 560 megawatts blamed on declining water levels in key reservoirs, a situation that has resulted in increased power cuts, with the country’s power utility forced to ration the available power.

About 90 per cent of Zambia’s electricity supply is from hydro.

In a notice published in the local media, Minister of Energy and Water Development Dora Siliya in conjunction with the country’s investment agency, the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), an institution that holds government shares in selected firms, has called for the meeting with potential investors in renewable energy next week.

"The objective of the meeting will be to engage with project promoters and developers of renewable energy such as solar, wind, geothermal as well as other alternative sources of energy with a view of finding a lasting energy solution for Zambia," the notice said.

The government has also invited other stakeholders such as financial institutions, professional bodies, academia to the meeting that will seek to unlock Zambia’s energy potential and redress the energy crisis in the southern African nation.

The head of the country’s investment agency said recently that the country expects to triple power outputs to 6,000 megawatts in two years through expansion of solar energy by foreign investors.

Zambia trade deficit has increased sharply by 150.9 per cent

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- Zambia’s trade deficit increased sharply in September compared to the previous month, the country’s statics agency has said.

The country’s trade deficit rose sharply by 150.9 per cent in September compared to August, representing the highest trade deficit recorded so far in 2015, according to the Central Statics Office (CSO).

John Kalumbi, the CSO Director said the country recorded a trade deficit valued at 1,819.5 million Zambian Kwacha(about 146 million U.S. dollars) in September compared to a trade deficit of 725.3 million Kwacha(about 58 million U.S. dollars) recorded the previous month.

"This means that the country imported more in September 2015 than it exported in nominal terms. The external outlook is still not favorable because we now have a huge trade deficit," he said during the CSO monthly briefing.

The official however said there is need for the country to diversify its economy and improve the production base in order to increase exports, a move that will result in increased foreign exchange earnings.

Zambia annual inflation hits double digit

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- Zambia’s year-on-year inflation rose sharply in October on account of sharp increases in prices of products, its statics agency has said.

The inflation rate hit 14.3 per cent in October compared to 7.7 per cent recorded in September, according to the Central Statics Office (CSO).

John Kalumbi, the CSO Director told reporters during a monthly briefing that the increase in the annual rate of inflation is due to both food and non-food items which recorded sharp price increases on account of the depreciation of the local currency.

The local currency has depreciated significantly this year due to a fall in copper prices and reduced demand of the red metal by China which is the major buyer, resulting in a sharp increase in prices of products and services.

"The sharp increase is due to the behavior of entrepreneurs because of the exchange rate.

"In the past we have had double digit inflation but this was mainly because of one or two commodities but in this case, we have seen an increase in prices of commodities across the board," he said.

"Surprisingly even products that have nothing to do with the exchange rate have price increases.

"This is purely speculation and greed on the part of entrepreneurs," he added.

According to figures, the annual food inflation rate for October was recorded at 16.2 per cent compared to 8.1 per cent in September while the annual non-food inflation was recorded at 12.4 per cent from 7.3 per cent in September.

Zambia’s last double digit inflation was recorded in March 2010 at 10 per cent.

Meanwhile, the country’s month-on-month inflation also increased sharply to 6.2 per cent in October from 0.7 percent recorded in September.

Zambia holds Michael Sata memorial ceremony

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- Zambia marked one year since the death of the country’s fifth President Michael Sata here with a memorial service at a church where he was a member in Lusaka, the country’s capital.

The memorial service, held at the St. Ignatius Church, was attended by President Edgar Lungu, Sata’s widow, Christine Kaseba and other family members as well as opposition political leaders.

Pictures on social media showed the Zambian leader greeting other opposition leaders, including main opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development (UPND).

Sata died at London’s King Edward VII Hospital on October 28, 2014 where he had gone for medical check-ups, and this was followed by a 14-day mourning period.

Father Charles Chilinda, who was Sata’s priest, said during the memorial ceremony that political leaders should emulate the late leader who preached love, peace and unity.

The priest, who invited all the political leaders present to the front and asked them to shake hands and sing along Sata’s favorite song, urged the politicians to embrace love, unity and peace and to continue the legacy of the late leader.

He further urged all political parties to genuinely reconcile, adding that Sata would have loved to see a united political front and urged political leaders to forego the hatred they were showing against each other.

He further urged the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) to continue the legacy of Sata who cared for the poor by pursuing policies that will lift the living standards of the poor in the country.

Meanwhile, President Lungu has praised Sata for ushering him and mentoring him into the political arena.

The Zambian leader told reporters after attending the memorial ceremony that Sata was an inspirational and greater leader who was focused in his endeavors.

The Zambian leader acknowledged that he would not have been in politics had Sata not mentored and encouraged him.

Sata, who died at the age of 77, was Zambia’s fifth president and ruled the southern African nation from September 2011 to October 2014.

He became the second president in the country to die while in office following the death of President Levy Mwanawasa in August 2008.

He formed the then opposition PF in 2001 after leaving the then governing Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD).

He had three unsuccessful attempts at the country’s presidency before winning on his fourth attempt in 2011.


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