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Zambia opposition leader questioned for 'defaming' president

Zambian police questioned an opposition leader Monday for allegedly defaming President Michael Sata after he called him a liar in a radio programme, a spokesman said. Police questioned Nevers Sekwila Mumba "for the alleged offence of defamation of the president," police spokesman Rae Hamoonga. In an interview on Radio Joy FM last Thursday the outspoken leader of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) called Sata "a liar" for failing to live up to his election commitment to improve Zambians' lives.

Zambia's Sata dismisses claims of 'one-party state'

President Michael Sata Friday dismissed growing opposition concerns that he wants to turn Zambia into a single-party state, amid accusations of a crackdown on his political opponents. "I want to assure the Zambian people that our government has no intentions whatsoever to turn this country in a one-party-state," Sata said in an address to parliament. "The government is fully committed to upholding the rule of law including separation of powers."

Zambia president threatens to disolve parliament

Zambia's President Michael Sata threatened to dissolve parliament and prompt fresh elections Monday, accusing ministers of failing to defend his government from opposition attacks. Sata's two-year-old administration has come under fire for having too many cabinet ministers, who, critics say, are cronies of the president and not servants of the nation. "Why are you not talking? Why are you so quiet?" Sata asked cabinet ministers in a meeting broadcast on radio.

Zambia president threatens to dissolve parliament

Zambia's President Michael Sata threatened to dissolve parliament and prompt fresh elections Monday, accusing ministers of failing to defend his government from opposition attacks. Sata's two-year-old administration has come under fire for having too many cabinet ministers, who, critics say, are cronies of the president and not servants of the nation. "Why are you not talking? Why are you so quiet?" Sata asked cabinet ministers in a meeting broadcast on radio.

Zambia arrests 45 suspected secessionists

Zambian authorities have arrested 45 people on suspicion of being part of a separatist movement, the defence minister said Sunday. They were apprehended over three days last week after trying to hoist their own flag in the poor west of the country, which has long been rocked political tumult. "So far 45 Barotseland activists have been arrested and are currently in police cells, although they have not been formally charged," Geoffrey Mwamba told AFP. "You can not declare a government within a government -- that is treasonable."

Zambia ex-president graft trial postponed to October

The corruption trial of Zambia's ex-president Rupiah Banda was on Wednesday postponed to October after a former energy minister rejected claims that the onetime leader personally benefited from a $2.5 million oil deal. Testifying as a state witness, Kenneth Konga, who served as energy minister under Banda, told the court that he had travelled to Nigeria to secure the favourable oil deal when Zambia was in desperate need of fuel. "Issues of fuel are critical and can cause riots so we wanted something that would benefit our country," he said.

State witness torpedoes case against Zambia ex-president

The corruption trial of former Zambian president Rupiah Banda was thrown into disarray Tuesday when the state's star witness denied the embattled ex-leader's had benefitted from a $2.5 million oil contract. Banda is charged with abusing his authority in awarding the Nigerian oil contract and was allegedly to benefit from the proceeds from the deal. But the head of the firm which facilitated the deal unexpectedly denied the charges in court, and denounced the trial as politically motivated.

Zambia accused of media clampdown

Recent arrests of journalists and blocked access to critical websites in Zambia have sparked concerns of a clampdown on media freedom under President Michael Sata's government. Prior to the 2011 elections that ushered Sata into power, the then-opposition leader promised to free the media from government interference. But immediately after taking office, he sacked journalists who had been critical of him as well as the heads of state television and newspapers. In June the government blocked local access to the Zambian Watchdog, a hard-hitting online newspaper.

Football: Zambian free-kick expertise wins Cosafa Cup

Early and late goals from free-kicks gave Zambia the Cosafa Cup Saturday with a 2-0 win over holders Zimbabwe. Promoted Alex N'gonga scored after four minutes and substitute Kabaso Chongo sealed success two minutes into stoppage time in the Zambian mining city of Ndola. But the scoreline was cruel to Zimbabwe, who won far more possession only to be foiled by some great goalkeeping from Danny Munyau and their own poor finishing. It was the fourth southern African national team championship title for Zambia, matching Zimbabwe's record.

Football: Another Manjate goal gives Mozambique victory

An Apson Manjate goal gave Mozambique a 1-0 victory over 10-man Angola Thursday in the Cosafa Cup plate competition final. Tall, pencil-thin Manjate scored his third goal is as many southern Africa national team champioship games with one minute left of the opening half. Vado failed to cut off a pass from Manuel Uetimane and Manjate took advantage to hammer the ball past goalkeeper Nelson from close range in mining city Kitwe.
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