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Internal crisis in Zambian opposition party PF escalates as faction expels nine MPs



The internal crisis rocking Zambia’s main opposition party, the Patriotic Front (PF), has taken a new dimension as one of the factions led by Miles Sampa has expelled 9 Members of Parliament (MPs) over alleged gross misconduct.

The new dimension to the crisis reportedly emerged when Secretary-General of the Sampa-led faction, Morgan Ng’ona, on December 2, wrote to the 10 MPs on the party’s platform asking them to explain why they should not be punished for attending an alleged illegal meeting unknown to the party leadership.

In a follow up letter on December 6, Ng’ona had reminded the lawmakers of their failure to respond to the earlier query after four days and threatened sanctions on the erring MPs.

“Individual and collective discipline is paramount and at the core of our party values. Your behavior abrogated Article 29 sub sections (c) (d) (h) (i) (J) (P) of our party constitution,” part of the letter read.

It added that considering the gravity of the offences committed and the MPs’ lack of remorse, the party had no option but to “expel them with immediate effect.”

“You are further directed to surrender all party properties and documents that are in your possession and cease henceforth to participate in all Patriotic Front programmes,” he said.

According to the Sampa faction of the PF, the expelled lawmakers include Brian Mundubile, Stephen Kampyongo, Luntes’ Mutotwe Kafwaya, Pambashe’ Ronald Chitotela, and Nickson Chilangwa.

Others are Remember Mutale, Musonda Mpankata, Christopher Kangombe, and Mulenga Fube.

However, the Edgar Lungu-led faction has dismissed the purported expulsion of the legislators, describing it as not only illegal, but a nullity that should be ignored.

Its spokesperson, Emmanuel Mwamba, in a statement, noted that issues were active matters in the Lusaka High Court and Lusaka Magistrate Court.

Mwamba said the actions being carried out with impunity by the Sampa-led faction violated the sanctity and integrity of the courts of law.

“We have noted the purported letters of disciplinary action that were issued by a Mr. Morgan Ngona against certain Patriotic Front members of parliament,” he stated.

Mwamba further advised that the letters and action from the Sampa faction should be treated as part of a “case of typical forgery which the party had repeatedly complained about to the police and the courts of law.”

He insisted that the party had demonstrated that Sampa or his appointed officials had no authority, mandate, or powers to suspend or expel anyone in the PF.

“Further he has no mandate to carry out political activities in the name of the Patriotic Front,” Mwamba said, insisting that
Sampa himself was a suspended official at the time he held an illegal conference, a further aggravated action that earned him an expulsion from the PF.

Mwamba ended by saying the action was illegal, and therefore, “all subsequent actions Sampa and his so-called Secretary-General, were engaged in, remain a nullity, and should be treated so.”


Zambian opposition party LM demands sack of Agric Minister



One of Zambia’s opposition parties, Leadership Movement (LM), has called for the immediate dismissal of the country’s Minister of Agriculture, Mtolo Phiri, over alleged incompetence and for misleading President Hakainde Hichilema.

LM Secretary-General, Jairos Ngoma, who addressed a press conference in Lusaka,
said Phiri had been lying to Hichilema over the status of the agriculture sector in the face of climate change.

Ngoma alleged that the minister lied to the president, claiming that farming inputs had been distributed on time countrywide when no such items had been distributed.

Ngoma stated that farmers had been sharing fertilizer distributed to them in various parts of the country and that the commodity was not distributed on time as promised.

“Mr. President, you are a farmer and people in Eastern Province who have been sharing fertilizer voted for you in numbers knowing that you understand them as you a farmer yourself,” Ngoma stated.

He went on to accuse the United Capital Fertiliser claiming that the company was exporting the commodity to Botswana instead of distributing it to farmers in line with an agreement it had with government.

He said as a result, farmers have resorted to sharing the fertilizer in “medas” across the country because what was meant for them was being sold.

“This company is a subsidiary of China; it’s taking fertiliser to Botswana, 15,000 metric tonnes and later it is taking it to Dar es Salaam,” he alleged.

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Fuel subsidy removal, a blessing to Nigeria, govt insists



Despite the excruciating hardship and hunger resulting from the unplanned removal of fuel subsidy by President Bola Tinubu as well as other policies, the Nigerian government says the decision is a blessing to the country as it has started yielding dividends.

Government mouthpiece, the Minister of information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, who made the assertion while interacting with journalists in Lagos, said that fuel subsidy removal had started delivering dividends as over $30 billion Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), had been attracted into the country so far.

Idris says though the people are feeling the pangs, the ultimate goal is that the country is reaping the benefits of the “bold reforms” carried out by President Tinubu.

“Because of subsidy removal, Nigeria has attracted over $30billion foreign direct investment in various sectors especially in manufacturing, telecommunications, healthcare, oil and gas among others,” the Minister said.

“These investments are already being realized. From the data provided by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, the Nigerian economy had grown by 3.46 per cent in the third quarter of 2023 against 2.4 in the preceding quarter. It was a better performance that was actually anticipated.

“There is something happening in the economy, it is gradual and it takes time before tangible results are seen by all.

“Only those who know how the financial system works will be able to see some of these things already happening. In January this year, the Nigeria stock exchange all share index recorded 100.000 point mark,” he said.

The Minister however, berated the Nigerian media over what he calls unbalanced reports, and challenging journalists to always balance their reportage with the positive things that the government had done in order not to scare potential investors, noting the various interventions by the federal government to cushion the effects of subsidy removal.

“To begin with, the monies that were given to the sub-nationals increased significantly. Governors that were earning less, finding it difficult to pay salaries now have more money at their disposal as a result of fuel subsidy removal.

“We are aware of the N35,000 that Labour has been clamouring for, the emphasis would be that by October 1, the President said he is going to give N25,000 wage award to every worker pending the new wage being negotiated with labour,” he added.

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