LUSAKA – The authorities in ZAMBIA are making frantic efforts to avoid possible disasters in case of heavy flooding this rainy season.

Floods in Lusaka (Pic. Lusaka Times)

LUSAKA Provincial Minister BOWMAN LUSAMBO says there is urgent need to create space for proper drainage systems to avoid overflows, because rains have already started.

ZNBC News says he has directed the LUSAKA City Council, which runs the capital, to demolish illegal and other unplanned structures immediately.

Mr LUSAMBO says they should target especially structures that have clogged the drainage systems.

He has given the instructions during a tour of CHAWAMA, KUKU and MISISI townships to inspect the drainage systems of the areas.

Mr LUSAMBO says the city fathers should raise public awareness for people to know how they can get land or any property in the municipality.

An earlier report in the LUSAKA TIMES newspaper says heavy rains caused serious flooding in some parts of the city in FEBRUARY last year, a situation largely blamed on the poor drainage systems.

Floodwaters submerged roads and houses around the upmarket MASS MEDIA area as well as the elite ARCADES shopping centre, after the authorities were caught unawares.

The SADC Climate Services Centre says the bulk of the 16-member region is likely to get normal to below-normal rainfall for most of the period OCTOBER to DECEMBER 2018.

However, there should be above normal rainfall over the northern HALF of the TANZANIA – with the JANUARY to MARCH 2019 interval getting normal to below normal rainfall for most of the region.

On the other hand, there should be normal to above normal rains in Northern ANGOLA, Central DRC, Southwestern TANZANIA, Northern MALAWI, and the islands of COMOROS, MAURITIUS, Eastern MADAGASCAR, and SEYCHELLES.

Nevertheless, there is need for serious disaster risk reduction, because there can be uneven rainfall with sudden heavy downpours that can lead to flooding, displacement, destruction of property and infrastructure, as well as loss of life.

It says in such situations, access to basic social services like schools, health centres and markets, could be disrupted; with affected areas facing outbreaks of water- and vector-borne diseases.

The agency says the key recommendation is that prevention is better than cure because it also contributes to resilience-building.

Planning for extreme events is an essential way forward for all SADC member states to implement mitigation and adaptation measures in the face of Climate Change and Global Warming./Sabanews/cam



HARARE – New revelations have cast shadows on efforts by leaders of the opposition MDC ALLIANCE in ZIMBABWE to distance themselves from violent acts.

The Spokesperson of the MDC T claims the ALLIANCE, grouping SEVEN political parties, sent youths for training in SOUTH AFRICA and ZAMBIA ahead of elections on 30 JULY.

LINDA MASARIRA has appeared before the Commission of Inquiry into the violence that rocked the capital, HARARE, in which SIX people were killed on ONE AUGUST.

Linda Masarira (Pic. The Herald)

She alleges MDC ALLIANCE leaders held election campaigns during which they encouraged their supporters to engage in violence if their candidates did not win.

Ms MASARIRA says it would be naive for anyone to think the group does not have a radical and militant youth wing, trained under the civil society, which are stakeholders of the ALLIANCE.

She emphasises there are TWO groups trained to lead protests, although the leaders claim they learnt to up-rise non-violently; which is contrary to the vicious acts of ONE AUGUST.

Ms MASARIRA says the MDC ALLIANCE believes it can force the ruling party into a Government of National Unity through illegal demonstrations.

She says the ALLIANCE leaders believe in hate speech and insults; terrorising women; and in the suffering of the masses as way to win protest votes, and they have all lied under oath.

Her testimony seems to agree with comments by former Home Affairs Minister OBERT MPOFU, who has also told the Commission of Inquiry the ALLIANCE is violent.

Obert Mpofu (Pic. Agencies)

The official, who is also Secretary for Administration in the ruling ZANU PF Party, says it is clear the violent demonstrations of ONE AUGUST had been planned over some time.

Mr MPOFU says he feels, from a well-informed view, there were snipers that had been planted around the capital, HARARE, and some buildings in the city.

He says somebody then created a scene and directed that there be some firing to paint the Government in bad light.

Mr MPOFU says while the opposition leaders deny any involvement in the destructive protests of the fateful day, he saw their protestors from his office at ZANU PF Headquarters.

He says they chanted MDC ALLIANCE slogans, with some wearing the party regalia; and the protests had a source, because the way they gathered showed they had logistical support.

The former Interior Minister, a former guerrilla fighter trained during the liberation struggle in TANZANIA, says the people were not marching from nowhere. They came from the MDC ALLIANCE Headquarters.

Mr MPOFU has also told the Commission, as Home Affairs Minister at the time, he had called Mr CHAMISA urging him to contain his supporters – but he got no cooperation.

However, the opposition leaders have disowned the violent protestors and instead called on the international probe team to summon President EMMERSON MNANGAGWA to testify.

They say the inquiries should focus on the person who ordered soldiers to shoot at unarmed civilians during the protests, which they insist were peaceful and constitutionally correct.

President MNANGAGWA set up the Commission of Inquiry, headed by former SOUTH AFRICAN President KGALEMA MOTLANTHE, after the violence in HARARE.

The Commission of Inquiry into the deadly post-election violent protests in ZIMBABWE has interviewed a cross section of people from almost all walks of life as the team seeks to establish the facts before compiling its report./Sabanews/cam