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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Zambia re-examines complete overhaul
on modernizing tax collection

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- The Zambian government said on Tuesday that it intends to modernize its approach to tax collection through improving tax education.

Minister of Finance Felix Mutati said the government has realized that low levels of tax compliance were mainly due to poor quality of tax education.

The tax education program will focus on making people understand the value of paying taxes, he added.

The government, he said, has realized that tax education has a direct bearing on compliance as evidenced in South Africa which has a higher tax collection percentage compared to Zambia.

The Zambian minister was speaking when he toured the offices of the South African Revenue Service in Pretoria, according to a statement released by the Zambia embassy in that country.

The Zambian minister is on a two-day visit to South Africa where he is expected to meet various government departments and sign various agreements.

According to him, Zambia wanted to learn more from South Africa in the area of financing with interest in taxation.

The Zambian minister said he was impressed with the work of the South African revenue agency which collects revenues of up to 26 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) compared to Zambia’s 17 percent.

He added that the government was inspired by South Africa and would do everything possible to increase revenue collection.

Meanwhile, the Zambian minister called for enhanced trade opportunities between the two countries.

Speaking when he met with South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Finance Sfiso Buthelezi, the Zambian minister said the two countries should use their political history to enhance economic and trade cooperation.

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Zambian leader invited to address special session of African Parliament

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- Zambian President Edgar Lungu has been invited to address a special session of the Pan-African Parliament which is also known as the African Parliament, his office said on Tuesday.

Roger Nkodo Dang, the president of the African Parliament, extended the invitation to the Zambian leader during a closed door meeting held at State House on Tuesday morning, according to presidential spokesperson Amos Chanda.

The spokesperson said Lungu accepted the invitation and will soon make arrangements to address the African Parliament which is headquartered in Midrand, South Africa.

He however could not state when the visit would take place as this will have to be arranged by the foreign affairs ministry.

He further told reporters after the meeting that the Pan-African Parliament president was happy over Zambia’s commitment to the virtues of the African Union (AU) legislative body.

Meanwhile Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba said the invitation was important as it shows that the AU values Zambia’s contribution to the ideals of the African continent.

He said it was important for African countries to interact frequently in order to compare notes and to ensure that the continent was moving in one direction and in line with the aspirations of founding fathers.

The Pan-African Parliament was established as an organ of the AU in order to ensure full participation of African people in the development and economic integration of the continent. The first Parliament was inaugurated on 18 March 2014.

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Zambian leader marks one year in office, tabulates achievements

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Wednesday marked one year since his re-election by outlining some of the achievements his government has scored.

The Zambian leader won his five-year term in office after narrowly beating leading opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema during the disputed August 11 elections last year.

He first came into office in 2015 after winning an election caused by the death of President Michael Sata in 2014.

“As we commemorate one year of service to the Zambian people, I wish to thank the Almighty God for the grace and favor He has continued to show to my administration and country at large,” he said in a statement posted on his Facebook page.

“Through working together as one people, Zambia has recorded a number of achievements,” he added.

Among the listed achievements are the stabilization of the local currency against major convertible currencies, dropping lending interest rates from 45 percent to 27 percent, dropping inflation rate from 21 percent to 6 percent and strengthened internal security and peace after the controversial elections.

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Zambian woman who has naked body painted
in animal prints causes controversy at home

By David Kashiki LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- Former Zambia’s minister of higher education, Michael Kaingu’s daughter, Iris, has received sharp criticism after nude pictures of her in animal body paint went viral on social media fora.

This is the first time in the history of Zambia, that a woman has bared her body and allowed an artist to cover her private parts in body paint.

Iris Kaingu, 26, a female who shot to fame after her college sex tape went viral five years ago, has been sharply criticized by women as her body pictures are shared on line.

Topping the list of those criticizing Iris Kaingu’s act of stripping her body to be painted, is the country’s women body, the Women’s Lobby Organization who through its board chairperson, Beauty Katebe, has described the act as demeaning to the women in the country.

“That girl is a problem; it’s quite embarrassing and demeaning to the women folk in this country. Whether she can change or not, depends on herself and her upbringing. There are a lot of things that have been discussed over [Iris] Kaingu...perhaps being naked in public is her conviction,” Katebe remarked.

Ireen Shawa, a Lusaka resident, complained that Iris had defiled the country’s culture.

“There’s no way a woman can disrespect her body in that manner. This has never happened here in Zambia. In my over 40 years of living here on earth, I’ve not seen such a thing,” she said.

“Of course we have a traditional ceremony in Eastern Province of Zambia where older women bare their breasts; but, look, that is a traditional ceremony where no man plays with the women’s private parts like this young girl allowed a man who is not her husband to play with her most private parts,” she added.

Another woman, Lucy Sianga said African women’s nakedness was sacred as it was still regarded a taboo for anyone to bare their body in public.

“You see, a woman’s body is very special. Especially here in Africa, and Zambia in particular; we so much respect tradition. For us, a woman’s body is a blessed structure, which can only be seen by a husband in the case of a man. It is not to be shown to the world. Iris is frustrating our efforts to sustain our culture and tradition. Of course such kinds of art happen out there, in the developed countries in Europe, Asia, America, and others, but for Africa, this is shocking and depressing,” Sianga said.

But Iris has defended her decision to have a body painted in animal print, saying there was need for women to see the bigger picture of the reasons she bared her body for painting.

“I was just depicting the culture of our country. We were not clothed before missionaries came on board and gave us clothing. We used to wear animal skin and I think that everybody here is very familiar with this history,” she said.

According to her, she decided to bare her body because she feels passionate about the country’s culture which was slowly being lost due to western influence.

“I feel that we are slowly losing the depth of ourselves. So, one point of the picture is that women are not celebrated enough, so, I feel that we live in society where when a woman wants to rise up, most people especially the women want to bring them down. That picture is actually intended for a project that I am working on. It’s unfortunate that it was leaked before it’s time,” she said, rejecting accusations of her like for being naked.

But the women’s movement maintained that her attempt to justify her actions was not going to convince anyone.

“She will not manage to convince everyone else with that explanation. All this borders on her self-introspection and upbringing,” Katebe said.

But Jacob Zimba, aged 34, a marketeer at Lusaka Soweto Market said Iris had a right to do what she did.

“We enjoyed looking at her pictures. This was the first time. And, you know, she has a nice body; I think for me, all she did is art, there is nothing wrong. There’s nothing sinister about it. People have reacted this way because it is the first time it is happening here in Zambia. But I can tell you that, most men have been re-sharing those pictures, they are a good sight,” Zimba said.

             

 

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