Thursday, January 21, 2016

(THE POST) Zambia’s biggest challenge is fiscal indiscipline - IMF

On the big switcheroo:
“He [Owen] it very clear that the IMF was willing to help to restore the economy which currently is off-track but that any programme should be done only when the government is ready to swallow the bitter pill or bite the bullet, but that is not the case at the moment,” according to sources. “Mr Owen said the biggest challenge Zambia is facing at the moment is the level of fiscal indiscipline and credibility of the level of expenditure management. So yes, he said the country was constrained in its revenues but the government equally is not willing to apply any fiscal restraint.”
Translation: the €3 billion debt taken on through the Eurobonds, is now being used to make the country 'swallow a bitter pill'. Let me guess... austerity, deregulation, privatisation, free trade... HIPC II... This is just criminality. And the IMF/World Bank is complicit in it. This is odious debt, taken on under dubious circumstances.

Also, this nonsense is now influencing the timing of elections?

And in an internal memorandum dated November 30, Tsidi Tsikata, who headed the IMF mission to Zambia late last year, told the Fund that President Lungu had told them that he was considering calling for an early election to get politics out of the way as he addresses the country’s economic situation. According to Tsikata, President Lungu expressed interest in an IMF programme but could not agree to it immediately for fear that the opposition would politicise the initiative.
In other words - that the electorate would object. Deception and fraud. - MrK

Zambia’s biggest challenge is fiscal indiscipline - IMF
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe |
Updated: 20 Jan, 2016, 10:48:53

THE International Monetary Fund says Zambia is currently not ready for any programme to help restore the battered economy owing to the government’s indiscipline with expenditure.

IMF deputy director for the African department David Owen yesterday concluded his two-day consultative meetings with top government officials and key stakeholders in the country as part of the ongoing engagement between Zambia and the Fund.

The sources said Owen, during his meeting with civil society, was concerned that the Zambian economy had continued to weaken and any remedial measures to be agreed between the government and the IMF could not hold at the moment owing to the lack of credibility of Zambia’s Treasury as the country had consistently overspent with no respect for the budgeting process.

“He [Owen] it very clear that the IMF was willing to help to restore the economy which currently is off-track but that any programme should be done only when the government is ready to swallow the bitter pill or bite the bullet, but that is not the case at the moment,” according to sources. “Mr Owen said the biggest challenge Zambia is facing at the moment is the level of fiscal indiscipline and credibility of the level of expenditure management. So yes, he said the country was constrained in its revenues but the government equally is not willing to apply any fiscal restraint.”

The sources said during the consultation process, Owen agreed that any package to help restore the economy could only be put in place after the general elections.

“He said that inevitably, whether the new government will be ushered in after August 11 polls, there will be need for more credible economic management team than what is obtaining at the moment looking at the way the macroeconomic fundamentals have worsened,” said the sources.

IMF country representative to Zambia Tobias Rasmussen confirmed Owen’s visit but did not divulge the details.

“He is meeting with a number of senior government officials as well as representatives from the private sector and civil society, but no meeting is scheduled with President Lungu,” said Rasmussen. “Mr Owen is coming alone and his visit is not directly related to that of the larger team that was here in November, but is part of the ongoing IMF engagement with the Zambian authorities.”

Last November, the IMF suggested a programme with a US$1 billion interest-free loan for Zambia that was aimed at getting the country out of its current economic problems, but with conditions, such as the realignment of expenditure on ongoing road infrastructure, reducing fuel subsidies and discontinuation of unplanned expenditures.

But President Lungu rejected the proposal based on the fact that the suggested measures were likely to work against his reelection this year.

And in an internal memorandum dated November 30, Tsidi Tsikata, who headed the IMF mission to Zambia late last year, told the Fund that President Lungu had told them that he was considering calling for an early election to get politics out of the way as he addresses the country’s economic situation.

According to Tsikata, President Lungu expressed interest in an IMF programme but could not agree to it immediately for fear that the opposition would politicise the initiative.


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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Zimbabwe: The Official Narrative Reconsidered

COMMENT - I am not about to equate the ZANU-PF and MDC in any way. However, this is an example of at least some out there seeing the obvious about the economic sanctions against Zimbabwe (something the ANC never hid from the population or anyone else). There is nothing targeted about ZDERA. It invokes actions against the entire Government of Zimbabwe (Section 4C).

(NEWZIMBABWE) Zanu PF and MDC are symbiotic parasites

I WISH to expose the symbiotic relationship between Zanu and mdc. I shall articulate the strategy to end the symbiotic relationship. That way a better Zimbabwe will come sooner than anticipated. It is necessary that I discuss sanctions in details and political myths in Zimbabwe and so this article may be a bit long.

I posit that the sanctions narrative as the cause of Zimbabwe’s past and present economic crisis cannot exist without or outside of MDC and its political strategies, and on the other hand, the narrative of corruption and incompetence as the cause of our economic crisis cannot exist without or outside of Zanu PF. These two continue to feed and give life to the other. The inability to practically free Zimbabwe from this oppressive symbiotic relationship is source of our calamity.

Is it ‘both’ or ‘one of it’?

Most people have written at length either denying the existence and/or effect of economic sanctions whilst some have attributed the economic performance to sanctions and only sanctions. The same pattern has emerged in my whatsapp group of the Class of 89 form 4 class that comprises of older Zanu ex-combatants and younger students. It was such a toxic topic; it ended with an agreement to never talk politics in the group. So frustrating was the failure by either side to interrogate and honestly so, the possibility that the economic crisis was caused by both sanctions and corruption.

Kenya versus Zimbabwe on corruption and incompetence

Up to 2008, the fact is the Kenyan Government and society were both way more corrupt and incompetent than Mugabe’s and the generality of Zimbabweans. No offence to Kenyans. After all, I get my facts from my Kenyan brothers. When rural folk go to Nairobi, they say ‘We going to Kenya’. Such, is the disconnect between government and many rural populations, and that is the environment in which tribesman have militarised and attacked and battled 100s of armed Kenyan police, kwete hide and seek-guerrilla style but conventionally! Such disconnect hallmarks government incompetence. Had it not been for Zanu and Zapu liberation war structures, Mugabe’s Zimbabwe would be exactly the same. Note: given this level of disconnect and well known extreme levels of corruption, Kenya’s economy never collapsed like Zimbabwe’s did in 2008.

Radical Muslims terrorized Kenya. Bush and Blair advised their citizens to be ‘careful’ when visiting Kenya. A pick pocket, steals a wallet from a western tourist at Victoria Falls and Bush and Blair and their loudspeakers went into top gear to stop visits to Zimbabwe; Australia ‘banned’ Qantas from flying to Harare. Tourist visits dropped from over a million to less than 20 000 a year. Zimbabwe was and still is safe tourist destination than most western countries, even on petty crimes like pick-pocket thefts. We are so unlike the thieving Irish who lead the western lot in stealing from tourists. As the West killed Zimbabwean tourism, they also withdrew aid. Zimbabwe has no moral or legal rights to aid but the manner the aid was withdrawn is critical to this discussion. No aid was ever withdrawn from Kenya. Note: Corruption did not, on its own, collapse the economy of Zimbabwe in 2008.

Eddie Cross and the myth of Rhodesia busting sanctions

Covert white racists like Eddie Cross, who if you read between the lines show an obsession with white supremacy, will re-write history to make you believe that Rhodesia faced a tougher sanctions regime but continued to develop nonetheless. Bloody lies! Sanctions against Rhodesia were more verbal and actual; even Russia that trained Zipra freedom fighters was buying our minerals. Also, many blacks were too poor as not to feel the effect of minor economic changes. More-so, the management of an economy for the benefit of a tiny white minority race and few blacks is pretty easy. Of all the Rhodesian glory Eddie obsesses about, the fact shall forever be that the Rhodesian was not just a coward and an evil one who could not even attempt to manage the economy for the benefit of all Zimbabweans. Eddie Cross is an MDC boss, who designs MDC policies and is the most respected by Tsvangirai and MDC because he is a life line to western donors.

The bite of sanctions and justifications

When you impose targeted sanctions on heads of government the practical effect is the same as declaring sanctions on the country. SADC and AU were not fooled by the ‘There are no sanctions; it’s ‘only’ targeted at individuals’ Obama public relations rhetoric. Chinhoyi University could not buy IT software from USA because of sanctions. Up to now, citizens of USA and UK and Zimbabweans resident in the two countries cannot transfer figures over $250 000 to Zimbabwe. This is what prompted the now obscure Whites Against Sanctions-group as they were also frustrated by the restriction. There is a lot more evidence that sanctions exist and have an impact on the economy. To deny the existence and effect of sanctions should be regarded as evidence of dishonest-political propositioning or appalling research skills given western government’s websites have not hidden information on sanctions including official press releases.

The justification of the sanctions is a different matter but I must say: the river Nile is getting bloodier with the blood of Egptians; Uganda- Museveni’s jails get filled up with opposition party elections agents dragged from voting stations, 70 % of the middle- east regimes commit unimaginable atrocities against their citizens but never did any of these countries have a ZIDERA like or any sort of economic sanctions imposed against them. Saudi Arabia just killed a 15-year-old boy for being at a place where adults held political protests. Zimbabwe’s standard of democracy and human rights was not ideal but way better than 80% of African countries.

Museveni and brutal dictatorships in Africa never challenged white supremacy over land ownership but Mugabe/Zanu PF did. Given the historical injustices on land dispossession, any party in Zimbabwe or any anywhere in Africa that vigorously attacks Mugabe/Zanu PF on the land issue can never win elections; ANC is fully in the know. The land possession and ownership is fundamental to the rural populations and the resettled farmers.

Economic conquest versus the victory of democracy

Winning elections on the wings of sanctions that are opposed by SADC and AU and in violation of the UN Charter can never be a victory for democracy but a conquest by the economic mighty. This is the unspoken but strongly treasured rule by SADC and AU; its time Zimbabweans show a practical appreciation of this neither written nor spoken rule. No matter the shortcomings in the quality of democracy in Zimbabwe, entities such as ANC, Frelimo, CCM etc will side with Mugabe/Zanu PF. If Tsvangirai wins elections (not that this is likely), the ZNA can coup off MDC government and argue that MDC’s obtained power by means of an economic conquest and never by the bona-fide victory of democracy, and surprise - surprise, SADC and AU will ask for ‘peaceful resolution’ and where Tsvangirai will be a senior clerk in a Government of National Unity. Put frankly, those who get duressed and yield to the Brute that uses economic sanctions as means to rulership have no moral or strong legal argument to decline the rulership of a Brute that uses an AK47. For as long as MDC is the main opposition party, SADC and AU will stand by Zanu PF thereby keeping Zanu legitimate and alive; so Zanu is sustained by the uncouth political strategies of MDC.

The undisputed record of Mugabe/Zanu corruption and incompetence

It is a well-known fact that Zanu PF looted and destroyed EVERY parastatal. A party with well written blue prints but turns out to be only academic and terrible implementers of their policies. No wonder why Nathaniel Manheru has been going on about ditching ZIMASSET and developing the next big idea. A hopeless analyst! Add corruption to this sloppy academism, the result is a disaster. The Zanu PF Victoria Falls conference was all a lousy jamboree; had the usual pathetic rhetoric against corruption. The most significant and extremely worrisome development was the arrest and incarceration of a poor Pastor who was just trying to inform his President- Mugabe that “people are suffering”. Civil servants had nothing for Christmas whilst Mugabe enjoys the comfort of Singapore. It is this corruption, cruel arrogance and indifference (other than to land issues) that gives life to MDC albeit being an imperialist tool. Zanu gives life to MDC.

I say bravo to Kariba pastor. But I must also caution the Pastor against joining hands with the MDC because of the toxic political strategies of the party, in particular on sanctions and the land ownership preferences. The Pastor will be branded as an imperialist tool and not a bona-fide patriot with good intentions. I say to the Pastor, if MDC approaches you offering support-even good comments, reject the comments, run a mile and run very fast! Just see how the Herald, a mouth piece for Zanu PF was quick to brand the recent protests over civil -servants- missed -payment as an MDC activist programme. Zanu PF loves MDC because the nature of MDC political strategies and MDC formation is such that Zanu PF can literally brutalise MDC and the overwhelming majority of Zimbabweans, SADC and AU will not give a damn. So, stay away from the MDC to effectively fight Mugabe/Zanu PF.

The Pie Chart of economic crisis causes: 2009 onwards, its 10% sanctions and 90% corruption and incompetence

Up to 2008, I posit that it is fair to blame sanctions for 35% of the economic crisis. I am Zanu PF myself and attributing 45% to sanctions is generous. 65% was caused by looting and economic mismanagement and Zanu must accept the blame for the goodness sake and for the good of Zimbabwe. Post 2008, the contribution of sanctions drastically falls because it is fair to expect Zanu PF to have strategised counter-sanctions measures. So, many countries have not imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe and there actually is an extravagance of international goodwill. Because of Zanu PF corruption and incompetence, MDC obtains legitimacy; MDC needs the current Zanu PF regime otherwise MDC will collapse.

The myth of 2013 election rigging

Our voting system is based on extreme distrust of each other and that is absolutely fine. A sister from Jamaica- a lawyer, tells me that theirs is also based on extreme distrust. I have been an election officer and I well learned of the laws of evidence in criminal trials. I have studied the MDC dossier which claims that the 2013 elections were rigged. The claim is absolute rubbish, I have no doubt in my mind that the lawyers in MDC know fully well that their riggery claims are false but their target is the naïve Mugabe-hating -Whitemen and the impressionable, ignorant, unthinking and uncritical MDC supporter. Such riggery claims increase SADC and AU goodwill towards Zanu PF: Zanu PF living off silly and unhelpful political strategies of the MDC.

How do you get rigged in a process were you have 2 to 3 agents physically observing every aspect of the voting process, except when the voter puts ‘X’!? MDC even had agents at the command Centre which used the Electronic Voters’ Roll (EVR). In Uganda, as stated above, opposition agents are arrested right from the polling stations and because Museveni has no beef with the West he gets away with it. But that would never happen in our Zimbabwe. Our voting system is water tight. The only riggery that can happen is if Zanu PF bribes MDC election agents. If your agents can be bribed, then you are not fit to be in charge of the nation. You will be ‘bribed’ and sell the country!

The reasoning by the Judiciary to refuse to give MDC the electronic voters roll, might raise questions on the integrity of our Judiciary. But the quality of the pleadings or rather the abuse of the Judiciary and the unethical conduct by MDC lawyers in challenging the 2013 elections, is such that I would tone down any criticism against the Judiciary in the elections case.

Transparency in the election process is absolutely important and every citizen must have access to the electronic voters’ roll. However, I must declare that there was no causal relationship between Mugabe’s victory and the electronic voters roll. Here is why: James slightly slaps Peter on the back, Peter dies the following year. James did not cause Peter’s death, no causal relationship. Just like we have sanctions but they are never the major cause of our economic problems, no strong causal relationship. The number of people who voted and/or declined to vote after checking their details with EVR was tiny in comparison to margins by which Mugabe and Zanu MPs won. For example: 10 are allowed to vote and another 10 are not allowed after checking with EVR (and remember all this was observed by MDC election agents). Mugabe and Zanu MPs, then go on to win by margins that are way over 20 votes, clearly there is no causal relationship between Mugabe/Zanu PF’s victory, and the EVR. Mugabe was the majority winner. Solidly legitimate! MDC actually had better media coverage through its own TV station in South Africa, various radio stations that broadcast from outside Zimbabwe.

Claims that Zanu PF moved 4000 and another 20 000 people to vote twice and that there were special ballot papers that gladiated ‘Xs’ to Mugabe/Zanu PF are absolute rubbish. Transporting 4000 people is a logistics nightmare and you cannot fail to have evidence of the movement. It is impossible to fail to have even one-person squeal about the arrangements. An alcoholic in denial of being an alcoholic cannot be helped. MDC’s denial of the truth that it lost free and square to Zanu PF means it can never improve and review its policies and strategies or change its leadership; it is guaranteed to lose in 2018. Zanu PF loves this ‘unlearning’ aspect of MDC. Who can be worried about a baboon that hides behind its finger and declares to the world that it is no longer visible to the world? MDC is that baboon.

MDC’s the refusal to accept 2013 elections cost them any goodwill from AU and especially SADC, which it abused, putting it in a place where it cannot consult with SADC to further improve the electoral system especially on access to local media by other political parties. On the other hand, Zanu PF’s goodwill increased in SADC and AU; Mugabe has chaired SADC and AU. After th e2013 elections, Tsvangirai asked western countries not to engage with Zimbabwe economically; there is a video footage of the press release. When the arguments for your refusal to accept electoral defeat are the base which USA and the West to continue with sanctions, you become like what Renamo and UNITA are to SADC or what Mobutu was to Africans. The politics of the MDC gives Zanu a critical lifeline within the country, SADC, AU and beyond. The so called ‘crisis of legitimacy’ failed to be a rallying point against Zanu in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and only ‘brave MDC’ continues on a clearly beaten path; making Zanu PF even stronger.

The massive fear factor

The fear factor is associated with Zanu PF and this is true. However, I must say MDC instilled a lot more fear in the majority of voters. I watched the MDC TV station that was broadcasting into Zimbabwe from South Africa for the 2013 elections. In one of their broadcasts, a white former farmer dangled his ‘papers’- title deeds to land he had settled on after killing the blacks who owned it. He declared his intention to use the ‘papers’ to get ‘his’ farm back upon MDC’s ‘victory’ (economic conquest rather!). I instantly saw an extremely terrified black voter; the resettled farmer and his relatives in the rural areas. What a major political miscalculation! That black voter had no choice, couldn’t afford abstaining; they had to vote for Mugabe rather than have Tsvangirai ‘send Lorries and ferry them to cities for factory jobs’ as had declared Tsvangirai. A literal re-enactment of the abuse and forced removal of Chief Tangwena and his people! This gave zanu votes from people who cursed at the gods for not giving them real options.

Contrary to what most people think, the rural and resettled farmer (RRF) is witty and most importantly they make up two thirds of the voting public. RRF voting block knows and very well that Zanu PF is corrupt and incompetent but the outcomes of ESAP taught them that if you do not have land, you have nothing. This article is not meant to discuss the reasons for MDC 2013 electoral loss, but the land issue cannot be avoided. It is too fundamental to the past, present and future politics of the country and no Party, and I repeat, No Party will ever win elections for as long as this block is insecure over land possession and ownership, even remotely insecure. Corrupt and inept Zanu PF survives out of mdc’s terrible and horrible misreading of this basic aspect of the country’s politics market.

Mujuru’s BUILD has failed in this aspect; she will appeal to the urbanites and split the MDC support. Zimbabwe’ farm land belongs first and foremost to the victims of the injustices perpetrated by white racists. No property rights can accrue from a bunch of killer Ku Klux Klan that masqueraded as a ‘legislative parliament’- Rhodesia Parliament. Those white people who bought land before 1980 intentionally set to benefit from Rhodesia’s glaring ku klux klanism and that white person therefore, cannot have property rights; their purchases were commercial transactions between robbers and murderers and will never be respected as anything else. Mukupe- Zanu PF MP’s recent demands to expedite payment to whites are as misguided. Inept Chinamasa must have hit the racist whites that are spitting in our ‘reconciliation policy hearts’ - suing the Government of Zimbabwe in South African Courts, with a tax rate of 99.09% through the now defunct SADC Tribunal ordered payments.

The RRF block is witty and they can tell when a liberation struggle heroine is losing her marbles. Mai Mujuru has not broken the symbiotic relationship of Zanu PF and MDC. She can have billions in donations from the west but as long as she advances covertly so, an imperialist agenda, she will never rule Zimbabwe. We need our Kizza Besigye, Uganda’s opposition leader who has not run to whites for funding but is doing the hard yards. And of course we need our Magufuli; would Magufuli dine and wine in Singapore whilst civil servants go without pay, would Magufuli live in an expensive hotel like Mphoko whilst children are dying for lack of medicine in hospitals?

Homophobia and personal scandals

This is not to discuss the rights or wrongs of homosexuality but a recognition of the politics market of Zimbabwe. Anyone who advances the rights of gays in Zimbabwe is not serious about winning elections. A sickly old donkey that brays, ‘No to homosexuality, It’s your land, you will never lose it again’, will win elections despite campaigning from a special wheel chair. The land issue and stance of homosexuality makes one a permanent youthful revolutionary. Whilst Tsvangirai could have defended Zimbabwe’s real-life record on homosexuality, ie the Zimbabwe gay is a millions times safer than the gay in South African, the ‘bible belt’- of USA and even UK, where homosexuality is legal, nor do we have crazy sentences for homosexuality as in other countries. Infact no one has been convicted for being gay in Zimbabwe. One might say there is silent agreement on gay issues in Zimbabwe; that Bob will show off his ‘macho’ in strong anti-gay rhetoric but never actually charge or strongly prosecute any gays and that way gay is accepted for as long he does not go on an active and public campaigns to recruit converts. Why did Tsvangirai deliberately upset settled waters when doing so put him against 99.99% of the voting population? Put bluntly, the idiocy of Tsvangirai’s political maneuvering in the politics market of Zimbabwe makes any political opponent a ‘shining star’; Zanu PF became an alternative, primarily so on the basis of the idiocy of their opponents. The Christian voted for zanu but looked up to the heavens in pain and asking the Lord, ‘Why are we having to choose between a corrupt and incompetent lot vs a those who literally want to impose a Sodom and Gomorrah upon us?’

Some commenters say people get the leaders they deserve but this is not so for Zimbabweans; we did not have real choices.

MDC: a parasite that Zanu can kill so easily but prefers to protect and nurture

Zanu PF has a moral and legal justification and also the capacity to change the constitution and the law to ban persons who have actively or covertly called for sanctions against the country whether sanctions are imposed or not or, or whether the sanctions are effective or not. USA has such laws. Zanu PF also has SADC and AU goodwill to make such changes. The Electoral Act could have been twicked to require those who invite sanctions for political millage to be treated worse or in the same light as schemers and perpetrators of physical violence meant to frustrate the democratic standard of elections. If Zanu PF did so, the MDC leadership would quit politics and the citizen would organize himself to form a Party that stood against sanctions and hopefully, aggressively protect the land redistribution and advance the Values of the Liberation Struggle (VLS) and above all brutalize the corrupt and the incompetent politician. The existence of such a Party is what Zanu dreads the most. And so Tsvangirai becomes indispensable to Zanu PF; it is better to keep him floating in politics rather than out of politics. That way Zanu PF has its preferred political opponent, one it can ‘raise up’, ‘punch’ and put in a ‘strategic coma’ in the wait for 2018. This is why Tsvangirai still lives in a government mansion. Symbiotic parasites!

Had Tendai Biti remained in Parliament he potentially could have made the right noises and attracted some of Zimbabwe’s best minds. 2018 may have had better options. Zanu PF and MDC sensed the threat to their symbiotic relationship and the rest is now history. And I must say the Judiciary’s ruling that gave the legal justification for Biti’s forced exit from Parliament is questionable. I am one who is most hesitant to disparage the Judiciary.

Political and legal quagmire for Zanu PF/MDC symbiotic relationship

The Zimbabwe political deck needs to be cleared of this devastating parasitic symbiotic relationship. I will be approaching the Judiciary for a declaration against the inauguration of any candidate that actively or covertly encouraged the imposition of economic sanctions against Zimbabwe. Effectively, disqualifying Tsvangirai, and MDC leadership including its Ncube and Biti version, from ever becoming Presidents. This creates a vacuum in opposition politics. People hate vacuums! With the right manipulations, a genuine third force or real ‘big tent’ can be created to challenge and boot Mugabe/Zanu out of power. One parasite goes by a legal swords and the other will be taken out at the ballot box.

Some admit that Tsvangirai and MDC are not good for the country but insist that a change from Zanu PF will do us good. The fallacy of such a strategy is that given the policies, personal scandals and failures of Tsvangirai and MDC, they will never win free and fair elections. Remember that sanctions never give genuine democratic victory but economic conquest and in our case an MDC conquest means serious instability as a military coup is invertible. So, it best to get rid of Tsvangirai and MDC and give the workers, the church, peasants and resettled farmers a clean platform to take Zanu PF out. They have done it before and they can do it again but this time without imperialist agents or input. We don’t need no white men, no white money, no white recognition to fight Mugabe/Zanu PF. We cannot bring back Rhodesia-Zimbabwe.

Back to the Court case: If the Judiciary rules that sanctions do not negatively affect the exercise of democracy and voter- free will that will effectively rubbish SADC, AU and Zanu PF’s stance on sanctions. Such a ruling will encourage western governments to impose tougher sanctions and refer to law of the land for justification and of course mdc would be euphoric. Mugabe would look like an old, crazy and demented baboon. This is a judgment and scenario that Mugabe/Zanu PF hate with a passion, and are therefore likely to support the Court action that will disqualify MDC leadership from the Presidency. Note that I say the Presidency and not Parliamentary Seats. This is because the Executive is way more powerful than Parliament in Zimbabwe; there is less harm if MDC wins seats in Parliament- even a majority of them. Well, it is not likely that mdc would win a majority seats if the voter knows that mdc cannot make the Presidium.

If Zanu PF does not join in the litigation, and the declaration fails, it will expose their dirty politics and the result will be a loss of SADC and AU goodwill. That will encourage SADC and AU to strictly apply elections standards thereby frustrating a Zanu PF election win.

If the Declaration passes, the citizenship of Zimbabwe will know as a matter of absolute necessity to form a real ‘big tent’ opposition party and Zanu PF will die like Kenneth Kaunda and Kamuzu Banda’s parties. Icho! Such a declaration is likely to encourage the split of Zanu PF into functions; the fear of an MDC conquest (not democratic victory) is one factor that keeps Zanu PF functions together. Only an uncritical MDC believes that Zanu PF will split further for if mdc is a potential treat; Mugabe is not that stupid neither is Mnangagwa nor Prof Moyo.

I am the bearer of bad news MDC; they face a real existential threat in relation to contesting the Presidency. I say, ‘Nedzoyi’ in advance! I will be instructing Professor Madhuku as the Lead Lawyer in this matter. I am sure I can make use of Chamisa too, the Gun for Hire, he has no qualms about killing the interests of his own.

‘To separate the people from Zanu, we must make the economy scream’ are direct quotes from the architects of ZIDERA. This was wrong at all levels. Today I say, ‘In order to get rid of Mugabe/Zanu we must separate, Tsvangirai and MDC (nay obliterate them) from opposition politics’.

For those interested in developing strategies to remove Mugabe from power and do so without gifting imperialist puppets and imperialist ‘tools’ any advantages to control Zimbabwe, you can write to chiedza.m@mail.com

Chiedza Makandaora Marange is a ZANU PF voter and Native of Buhera Constituency with an LLB Hons- UZ, MBA -UZ, LLM Cape Town University, BSC Economics- University of Edinburgh


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Saturday, December 26, 2015

(CITY PRESS SA) Trevor Manuel responds to Lindiwe Zulu

COMMENT - From the former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, who after leaving government took a job at the Rothschild Group.

(CITY PRESS SA) Trevor Manuel responds to Lindiwe Zulu
Trevor Manuel 2015-12-20 18:30

Dear Minister Lindiwe Zulu,

You may have observed that I refrained from commenting on the events of the past week. I have been contacted by at least 15 journalists since last Thursday, but opted to remain above the fray.

It is not that I’ve not had opinions, but I chose to remain silent. However, your comments, as quoted in the Mail & Guardian and confirmed on Radio 702 on Friday, with the customary “I was quoted out of context”, compel me to break my silence.

I choose to address through this medium a response to what I consider to be reckless statements.

I want to put it to you that you are plainly wrong in your assumptions about the roles, responsibilities and attitudes of business. I do not wish to pretend that I am competent, or sufficiently knowledgeable, to speak for business. Nor do I believe that there is a monolithic view that can be ascribed to an entity called “business”.

In a curious manner, even attempting to secure a single ANC view on the events since the dismissal of Mr Nhlanhla Nene as minister of finance is exceedingly difficult, as was self-evident at the press conference of Tuesday, December 15.

Let me argue one small, but significant, point of disagreement. There was no rallying against the appointment of Mr Des van Rooyen as minister of finance. In fact, the largest cross-section of commentators withheld judgement because he is so completely unknown.

The few exceptions were people who knew him from Merafong. Even I, as an MP for the period he served in Parliament from 2009 to 2014, when he was my fellow ANC member, battled to recall who he was.

Subsequent attempts by various people in the ANC to justify his appointment as that of a rising star (I even heard Comrade Jessie Duarte describe him as the chief whip of the finance portfolio committee), fell flat.

Actually, the ANC has only one chief whip in the National Assembly, Stone Sizani, and his role is recognised by the rules of Parliament; portfolio committee whips are an internal party matter.

The issue of contention and disbelief was never about Mr Van Rooyen, it was about the summary dismissal of Mr Nene.

Having worked closely with Comrade Nene over a long period, I can confirm he is thoroughly decent, smart, diligent and more than capable. I have not heard any commentator interested in the economic management of South Africa raise any doubts about his leadership.

A few weeks before his removal, he demonstrated his mettle when he was prepared to disagree with SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni.

At that stage, some analysts raised the fact that he may have been demonstrating too much independence for President Jacob Zuma to tolerate. But he was merely insisting that SAA, as a state-owned company under his purview, be properly managed.

What is also clear from comments by Cabinet colleagues in the wake of Mr Nene’s dismissal was that when Cabinet adjourned at about 6pm on Wednesday, December 9, neither he nor Cabinet had any inkling of what was to follow that evening.

The suggestion by the president that Mr Nene was destined for some undefined post in the New Development Bank just does not wash. In fact, that assignment is unlikely to be even 15% of the size of that which he so ably performed as minister of finance.

I was in Cabinet when Mr Tito Mboweni was moved across from the department of labour to the SA Reserve Bank and when Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma left Cabinet to take up a position as chairperson of the African Union Commission.

In both those instances, the ground was properly prepared and Cabinet was apprised of developments.

This announcement for the New Development Bank was not time bound either, so why the haste? No attempt has been made to explain any of this.

We live in a world where there is so much information available. You may be surprised to learn how much is publicly available about Cabinet and government departments. I can therefore say that, from what I have heard, the removal of Mr Nene from his position both as minister of finance and as a Cabinet minister came as a complete shock to too many.

Yet it was not a shock to Des van Rooyen, whose soul mate, Gaddafi Rabotapi, knew about this for more than a month (according to Mr Rabotapi himself, as quoted in the Saturday Star of December 12. By the way, what entitled Mr Rabotapi, as a nonmember of Cabinet, to know this?).

Similarly, Des’ brother was interviewed by the Mail & Guardian and he said he had been informed that “big things” would happen in the week.

Moreover, and if the press and the vast rumour mill are to be believed, for me the ultimate shocker was when Mr Van Rooyen arrived at National Treasury that Thursday morning with two advisers.
How did he appoint these advisers?

Since these advisers would have had to be placed on the payroll of Treasury, why did he not consult with the accounting officer and, importantly, how did he acquire their services even before he had been sworn in as a minister?

As a Cabinet minister, you would know that the position of ministerial advisers is used to help bridge the divide in skills between a minister and his or her department. How did Des van Rooyen know what skills were deficient in the Treasury?

Also, following his redeployment to the department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, these highly specialised advisers accompanied him to this department. So, who determined that their skills were appropriate for either assignment? Or is that not a factor to consider, particularly with a portfolio as important as finance?

The picture I am sketching for you is that the saga of dismissing a competent minister and replacing him without warning or explanation led to a complete breakdown in trust.

It cannot be correct that there is an outside hand (and not the ruling party) that knows more than Cabinet does about unfolding events.

If the views expressed by ministers in the post-Cabinet briefing are correct – and I have no reason to doubt this – the events of the previous day shook the trust of the Cabinet collective at its roots.

If this view holds, the trust is not broken only with Cabinet, of course. It is also broken with the ANC, with the broader South African electorate, with the markets and with that entity you call “business”.

The breach of trust was not the first, but perhaps the last, straw that broke the camel’s back in the careless handling of a pivotal portfolio.

Please help us by explaining how we might repair the trust, the legitimacy and, if you must, the obedience of the governed. In my limited view, it is possible for autocrats to rule, but not for democrats to govern without the vital ingredient of trust.

Comradely greetings,

Trevor Manuel

Should ‘business’ rally around a decision of the president, regardless of how obscure it may be? SMS your thoughts to 35697 using the keyword BUSINESS. SMSes cost R1.50. Please include your name and province

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This is the response from Minister Lindiwe Zulu:

(EWN SA) Lindiwe Zulu responds to Trevor Manuel's open letter

Manuel wrote that Zulu made 'reckless statements' about the role of business in South Africa.

Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu. Picture: YouTube Screengrab.
Nhlanhla Nene Trevor Manuel Lindiwe Zulu
Rahima Essop | 5 days ago

CAPE TOWN – Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu says while she respects former former Cabinet Minister Trevor Manuel, she disagrees with the views he expressed in an open letter addressed to her.

In the letter, Manuel wrote that Zulu made 'reckless statements' about the role of business in South Africa in the wake of President Jacob Zuma’s shock decision to replace Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister and replace him with Des van Rooyen.

LISTEN: Lindiwe Zulu sets the record straight on Jacob Zuma...

Manuel said Nene’s removal led to a breakdown in trust, which has affected Cabinet, the African National Congress (ANC) and South Africa at large.

Zulu says trust can’t be broken by a single event.

"Let's not mix the president's consultation with different people and mix it with his prerogative and authority to be able to appoint and dismiss a minister. These are two things that must not be mixed because even if Manuel was the president, he would have that authority and that constitutional prerogative."

Last week, the Mail & Guardian reported that Zulu accused big business of wanting to topple Zuma, but she claims she was quoted out of context.

To read Manuel's open letter, click here.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)


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Saturday, December 12, 2015

CIA Destroyed Yugoslavia - Robert Baer

COMMENT - This description of the CIA/covert destruction of Yugoslavia is instructive in how the CIA/New World Order operates in getting rid of rivals or anyone who won't do as they are told. This is how Ukraine is being taken apart - by putting in real nazis and fascists. Read more, see Confessions Of An Economic Hitman, by John Perkins.

(THE GREANVILLE POST) Confession of a CIA Agent: They gave us millions to dismember Yugoslavia
Author TGP STAFF Date November 29, 2015
The Greanville Post • Vol. IX

We bribed parties and politicians who enticed hate between the nations. Our ultimate goal was to enslave you! •

WebTribune publishes their interview with former CIA agent Robert Baer during his promotion tour in Quebec for upcoming book “Secrets of the White House” last week.

My boss, who was formerly a US Senator, stressed repeatedly that some kind of scam would go down in Bosnia. A month before the alleged genocide in Srebrenica, he told me that the town would be headline news around the world and ordered us to call the media.

Robert Baer, ​​a former CIA officer, has authored many books which disclosed the secrets of both the CIA and the administrations of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He has been arrested and detained several times. Mitt Waspurh, a personal friend who worked at the Senate and shared information was killed at gunpoint. As a senior CIA operative, Baer worked in Yugoslavia during the 1991-94 period and in the Middle East. He has worked on several documentaries on National Geographic, accusing the Bush administration of waging war for oil.

The interview was conducted live in Canada, during my trip a few days ago. Robert Baer is currently promoting his book “The Secrets of the White House” in Quebec, where we talked. In an interview we spoke of the background of the war in Yugoslavia.

Where and when was your first job in Yugoslavia?

I arrived by helicopter with three agents. We landed on 12 January 1991 in Sarajevo. Our job was to keep an eye on alleged terrorists of Serbian nationality, who were expected to attack Sarajevo.

Who were the terrorists in question and why were they supposed to carry out these attacks?

They gave us files about a group called “Supreme Serbia” detailing plans to conduct a series of bomb attacks on key buildings in Sarajevo in opposition to Bosnia’s ambition to leave former Yugoslavia.

Did that group ever exist and what exactly you were doing in Sarajevo under CIA command?

No such group ever existed! Our headquarters lied to us. Our mission was to alarm and spread panic among politicians in Bosnia, simply to fill their heads with the idea that Serbs would attack. To begin with, we accepted the story, but after a while we started to wonder. Why were we raising such hysteria when the group clearly did not exist?

How and when did the mission end and did it have a name?

For me it ended after two weeks, I landed a new job in Slovenia. The operation lasted a month and had the name “Istina” (i.e. “truth”) although it was anything but!

Why did you go to Slovenia?

I received instructions that Slovenia was ready to declare independence. We were given money, a few million dollars, to fund various NGOs, opposition parties and various politicians who inflamed hatred.

Srebrenica a convenient false flag to frame Serbia

“Srebrenica should be blamed on Bosnians, Serbs and Americans – that is us! But in fact everything has been blamed on the Serbs. Many victims buried as Muslims were Serbs and other nationalities. A few years ago a friend of mine, a former CIA agent and now at the IMF, said that Srebrenica is the product of an agreement between the US government and politicians in Bosnia. The town of Srebrenica was sacrificed to give America a motive to attack the Serbs for their alleged crimes…Srebrenica is political marketing!”

Did you have an opinion about the CIA propaganda and did your colleagues think?

Of course, no one turns down a CIA mission, especially when we were all nervous and prone to paranoia! Many CIA agents and senior officers disappeared simply because they refused to conduct propaganda against the Serbs in Yugoslavia. Personally I was shocked at the dose of lies being fed from our agencies and politicians! Many CIA agents were directing propaganda without being aware of what they were doing. Everyone knew just a fraction of the story and only the one who created the whole story knew the background – they are [the] politicians.

So there was only propaganda against the Serbs?

Yes and no. The aim of the propaganda was to divide the republics so they would break away from the motherland Yugoslavia. We had to choose a scapegoat who would be blamed for everything. Someone who would be responsible for the war and violence. Serbia was chosen because in some ways it is a successor to Yugoslavia.

Can you name the politicians in the former Yugoslavia [who] were paid by the CIA?

Franjo Tudjman: the rightwing strongman of Croatia, a sector of Yugoslavia with historically heavy pro-fascist leanings and a onetime Nazi ally. He received friendly coverage by the Western media.

Yes, although it is somewhat delicate. Stipe Mesic, Franjo Tudjman, Alija Izetbegovic, many counselors and members of the government of Yugoslavia, were paid as were Serbian generals, journalists and even some military units. Radovan Karadzic was being paid for a while but stopped accepting help when he realised he would be sacrificed and charged with war crimes committed in Bosnia. It was directed by the American administration.

Tudjman visiting Croatian soldiers.

You mentioned that the media was controlled and funded, how exactly did that happen?

This is already known, some CIA agents were responsible for writing the official statement that the announcers read on the news. Of course the news presenters were oblivious to it, they got the news from their boss and he got it from our man. Everyone had the same mission: to spread hatred, nationalism and the differences between people through television.

We all know of Srebrenica, can you say about it?

Yes! In 1992 I was in Bosnia again, but this time we were supposed to train military units to represent Bosnia, a new state that had just declared independence. Srebrenica is an exaggerated story and unfortunately many people are being manipulated. The number of victims is the same as the number of Serbs and others killed but Srebrenica is political marketing. My boss, who was formerly a US Senator, stressed repeatedly that some kind of scam would go down in Bosnia. A month before the alleged genocide in Srebrenica, he told me that the town would be headline news around the world and ordered us to call the media. When I asked why, he said you’ll see. The new Bosnian army got the order to attack homes and civilians. These were of course citizens of Srebrenica. At the same moment, the Serbs attacked from the other side. Probably someone had paid to incite them!

Then who is guilty of genocide in Srebrenica?

Srebrenica should be blamed on Bosnians, Serbs and Americans – that is us! But in fact everything has been blamed on the Serbs. Unfortunately, many of the victims buried as Muslims were Serbs and other nationalities. A few years ago a friend of mine, a former CIA agent and now at the IMF, said that Srebrenica is the product of agreement between the US government and politicians in Bosnia. The town of Srebrenica was sacrificed to give America a motive to attack the Serbs for their alleged crimes.

Ultimately why do you think Yugoslavia collapsed and why did your government want to do it?

It is all very clear, the people who incited the war and dictated the terms of the peace now own the companies that exploit various mineral resources and the like! They simply made slaves of you, your people work for nothing and that product goes to Germany and America…they are the winners! You will eventually have to purchase and import what you have created yourself, and since you have no money, you have to borrow, that’s the whole story with the whole of the Balkans!

Radovan Karadzic, Bosnian Serb leader, one of the fall guys, like Milosevic.

You were never in Kosovo as a CIA agent, but did you feel any pressure from America?

Of course! Kosovo was taken for two reasons, first because of mineral and natural resources, and secondly, Kosovo is a military base of NATO! In the heart of Europe it is their largest military base.

Do you have a message for the people of the former Yugoslavia?

I have. Forget the past, it was staged and false. They manipulated you, they got what they wanted and it is stupid that you still hate one another, you must show that you are stronger and realise who has created this ! I sincerely apologise! That’s why I have for a long time disclosed the secrets of the CIA and the White House!

Click here to read the original article in WebTribune (Serbian, Latinica).

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Friday, December 11, 2015

(THE POST) It’s not taxes they’re after

From The Post:

(THE POST ZAMBIA) It’s not taxes they’re after
By Editor
Updated: 11 Dec,2015 ,06:11:04

The Zambia Revenue Authority yesterday obtained a search warrant from the subordinate court to inspect, take possession or make copies of documents and ICT equipment, business records, purchase and sales daybooks, cash books and other account books, purchase invoices and sales invoices, annual accounts, bank statements and other banking records, VAT account, personal records, documents, diaries of directors, import documents, desktop computers, laptops, servers, etc, and any other such documents and ICT equipment related to the business or operations of The Post that they believe were used by the company to evade the payment of VAT and Income Tax.

It requires little intelligence, if a little is all one has, to realise that this is not a case of tax evasion but of something else. This company has been in existence for more than 24 years, paying its tax obligations. It is extremely malicious and unfair for the Zambia Revenue Authority to insinuate in any way that The Post is involved or could be involved in tax evasion. Tax evasion is a criminal offence and this newspaper, unlike some other newspapers in this country, is not run by criminals or ex-convicts. Tax evasion is knowingly breaking the law to reduce a tax liability by the deliberate concealing of income or the false claiming of allowances, deductible expenses and so on and so forth. This differs from tax avoidance, which is the process of arranging a taxpayer’s affairs in such a way that he can, within the law, reduce the amount of tax payable. And every taxpayer is entitled, if he can, to arrange his affairs so that the tax attaching under the appropriate Acts is less than it otherwise would be. If he succeeds in ordering them so as to secure the result, then however unappreciative the revenue authority or his fellow taxpayers may be of his ingenuity, he cannot be compelled to pay an increased tax. No taxpayer in this country is under the smallest obligation, moral or otherwise, so to arrange his legal relation to his business, or to his property as to enable the inland revenue to put the largest possible shovel into his stores. But The Post is neither involved in tax evasion nor tax avoidance.

Anyone looking for any evidence of tax evasion from The Post will never find any because there is none. We don’t engage in criminal activities. Mistakes, we can make but not criminal activities. If they want to find cases of tax evasion on the part of The Post, they have to trump them up. And we will not be surprised if they did this because they have shown strange desperation to fix The Post. It is not tax they are after, it is fixing The Post they aiming for. They simply want to paralyse the operations of The Post and consequently close it. Business came to a standstill yesterday. They paralysed the operations of the newspaper and no meaningful business could be conducted. Income was lost. They tried to search documents in files and look at computer records, but they were not making sense. They had made up their minds from the beginning to go away with the computers. What happens when they take away the computers of a business in today’s world? They have literally stopped the business from operating. That is the net effect. And the computers they are taking, what guarantee do we have that they will not tamper with them or even attempt to plant things on them? These are clearly acts of desperate people trying to do desperate things.

Why are they in such a hurry to fix The Post? There are matters in court which need to be resolved; why can’t they wait until these matters are completely resolved?

Again, we can say it with our heads high that The Post is not a criminal organisation run by criminals. And whatever has been done here has been done with sufficient honour and integrity. Yes mistakes, we can make but not criminal acts of evading taxes.

And what is also shocking is that the Zambia Revenue Authority team yesterday came with a video camera trying to film the proceedings. For what? Just when did tax investigations become an issue of Zambia Revenue Authority publicity? But this is exactly what the Zambia Revenue Authority has been doing to The Post. Every communication with The Post has ended up into some newspapers working with the Zambia Revenue Authority. Which other taxpayer is Zambia Revenue Authority treating in this way other than The Post?

Of course, pronouncements on the issue of The Post have been made by senior ministers of this government and officers of the ruling Patriotic Front, including President Edgar Lungu himself. They have all threatened The Post with closure using the Zambia Revenue Authority. They have not hidden their intentions. The Zambia Revenue Authority is not an independent institution; it is a government agency that takes instructions from those in power. And if this government can manipulate and coerce people holding constitutional offices with security of tenure, what more Zambia Revenue Authority officers, whom they can hire and fire at will?

But the bells tolling for The Post today, if not silenced, will tomorrow toll for many others and eventually for the whole country.

As for The Post, they should not deceive themselves that we can be coerced into submission by acts like these. To silence The Post, they first have to close it. We are not criminals or wrongdoers who can be easily blackmailed into submission. We have seen what they have tried to do to the Director of Public Prosecutions with trumped-up charges after they failed to force him to resign. Let them come up with trumped-up charges of tax evasion against us and see where it will take them.

Again, it is not tax money they are looking for. It is The Post’s soul they are searching for. Look at the composition of the team that came to our offices yesterday! Were all those officers from the Zambia Revenue Authority? The answer is a categorical no. They were from some other offices, some other state agencies - ZICTA, the Drug Enforcement Commission and the intelligence services. What are they looking for that they could not tell us? They never told us what they are looking for! Why? But it is not very difficult to guess what they are looking for and what they are up to.
- See more at: http://www.postzambia.com/news.php?id=13795#sthash.WdK9U8GT.dpuf

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

(LUSAKA TIMES) Western corporations carve up Africa -the New Scramble for Africa

COMMENT - This is the new trend in land theft, facilitated by the IMF, which has never seen a corporate takeover that it didn't support. And called 'development'. If you want to know more about the IMF's land title reform, vs real land redistribution, check out Ambreena Manji's The Politics Of Land Reform In Africa.

(LUSAKATIMES) Western corporations carve up Africa -the New Scramble for Africa
November 22, 2015

Huge tracts of land in African countries with access to the sea and high economic growth are being targeted by corporations such as Monsanto and Unilever with help from the British and American governments –including millions of dollars that are intended for helping the poor, says a report published today by UK campaigning group World Development Movement.

The document, titled Carving up a continent: How the UK government is facilitating the corporate takeover of African food systems, explains that a G8 initiative called the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition is using money intended for poverty reduction to instead ease access to key African locations for some of the world’s biggest companies, which already control much of the global food market.

Doublespeak and the new “scramble for Africa”

What’s more, the New Alliance agreements signed with ten key African countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania) are conditional, and many of them require the country in question to bring legislation – for example, revising seed laws to force small farmers to buy seeds and fertilisers from the corporates rather than seed sharing, which has been practised for generations and ensures biodiversity.

Under the new paradigm, multinationals gain access to fertile land and agricultural corridors on the pretext of tackling food poverty and helping Africa’s starving and needy. In reality this is doublespeak. If the New Alliance continues unchecked, it’s likely that problems are stored up for the future, as small scale and family farmers are forced off their land to make way for industrial scale crop production. WDM also identifies issues such as insecure and poorly paid jobs and a focus on producing for export markets rather than to feed local populations.

The report’s introduction, by WDM director Nick Dearden, says: “This is an old story given new impetus. More than a century ago the ‘scramble for Africa’ was instituted under the pretence of civilising the continent. Barbaric crimes were committed and the continent systematically de-developed because it profited Europe. Since that time, Africa’s problem has never been a lack of integration into the international economy – the problem is how it is integrated and in whose interests.”

Using money intended for poverty reduction to ease access to key African locations
Oblivious citizens

This isn’t the first time the New Alliance has come under fire – the Guardian newspaper published a critical piece last year. But the general populations of the countries whose taxpayers are supporting this power grab are woefully unaware that it is even happening, and so too are the citizens in whose countries these events are unfolding. This despite the fact that a whopping £600 million of UK aid money, for example, via the Department for International Development (DFID), is being channelled into this between 2012 and 2016.

Ironically this comes at a time when alternatives to the industrialisation of agriculture are being explored worldwide, and as the realities of climate change are being better understood. Africa is a place where new models of permaculture could meet old models of sustainable farming and cooperation to leapfrog the West – finding sustainable and locally owned solutions to nutritious food production.

The ‘scramble for Africa’ was instituted under the pretence of civilising the continent

The wheels are already turning
But this hangs in the balance. Many New Alliance partnership countries, such as Malawi, have already instituted many of the changes demanded as part of their agreement, and it has become much easier for foreign corporations to buy great tracts of land. Ghana recently saw the Plant Breeders’ Bill being pushed through its Parliament by politicians that Food Sovereignty Ghana implied might be on the take.

The corporations involved in the New Alliance are huge – Monsanto, Unilever, Syngenta, DuPont, Cargill, Diageo, SABMiller, Coca Cola, Yara. The last company – Yara – may not be a name you recognise, but is the largest global manufacturer of fertiliser. According to the WDM report, these agrochemicals “already cause serious levels of food poisoning in sub-Saharan Africa, with the UN estimating that health problems linked to pesticides could cost the region $90 billon between 2005 and 2020. Fertilisers also damage soil, leading farmers to rely on them even more in order to maintain production, which increases their risk of getting into debt.”

“The tragic consequences of small-scale farmers’ reliance on fertilisers in India have been much reported. An estimated 250,000 farmers committed suicide between 1995 and 2010 after getting into debt through buying agrochemicals.”

Under the guise of charity

Remember that old development chestnut “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Show him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”? The New Alliance seems to be about snapping his fishing rod in half, throwing it into the sea and telling him that you now own the sea and he must buy his fish from you, at wildly fluctuating prices. And it’s under the guise of charity.

The ‘scramble for Africa’ was instituted under the pretence of civilising the continent
Yet look at the personnel. Unilever’s external affairs director was previously at DFID and DFID’s director of policy used to work for Unilever. Meanwhile, for all the talk of wanting to solve African hunger, the chosen countries are almost all coastal, and tend to have high economic growth. Of the countries in Africa that have the worst hunger index scores, only one – Ethiopia – is a New Alliance country.

While all the players talk about poverty reduction and food security, the reality is that the path that will have the most positive effect for African farmers and populations long term is food sovereignty. That means ownership and control of land and non-reliance on imported seeds and foods, as well as being able to adjust crops to need. It might be tempting to apply the machine logic of industrialisation to agriculture and scale it up, on the basis that more food grown equals more people fed. But in reality the problem of hunger is not one to do with volume of food produced worldwide – rather it’s to do with existing unjust systems of food production and distribution. These are the very systems that the New Alliance is desperate to bring to Africa.

Other players are the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa, set up by the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Gates Foundation; the New Vision for Agriculture, launched by the World Economic Forum and led by 33 multinationals from Monsanto to Walmart; and Grow Africa, a collaboration between the World Economic Forum and the African Union.

Of course, the New Alliance does have its defenders. Namely, international pop gimp Bono’s ONE Foundation, which hit the headlines a few years ago for giving a whopping 1% of its funds to actual charity…

In its 2013 report Growing Africa: Unlocking the potential of agribusiness the World Bank said: “Africa represents the ‘last frontier’ in global food and agricultural markets.” Once Africa’s greatest commodity to line the pockets of its pillagers was its human capital. Now they’re coming for the land, and the sustenance it offers. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

By Grace Kiwanga

Source: This is Africa

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

EFF Marches on Reserve Bank, Chamber of Mines And Johannesburg Stock Exchange

COMMENT - This is a momentous day. The EFF in South Africa organized a huge march of an estimated 50,000 people, painting seas of Chavez red berets and clothes, at South Africa's most powerful financial institutions, the Reserve Bank, the Chamber of the Mines, and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange or JSE. They met with the CEO of the JSE, and made the following demands:

To the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, we demand the following:

1. All companies in the JSE should move towards socialization of their ownership, meaning that they should give real and meaningful shares to their employees, who will in turn receive dividends at the end of each financial year. A minimum of 51% of all JSE companies should be owned and controlled by workers. This is different from the BEE schemes which empower fewer individuals.

2. All companies represented in the JSE must introduce a minimum wage of R4500 for all their workers, and taking into consideration the sectoral minimum wages contained in the EFF Elections Manifesto, which are: Mineworkers: R12 500 per month, Farm workers: R5000 per month, Manufacturing workers: R6500, Retail Workers (Cashiers and Retail Store Assistants): R5000, Builders: R7000, Petrol Attendants: R5000, Cleaners: R4500, Domestic Workers: R4500, Private Security Guards: R7500, Full time Waiters and Waitresses: R4500

3. All companies in the JSE should ban labour brokers, and permanently employ their workers with proper medical aid and retirement benefits.

4. All JSE companies and all companies in South Africa should implement the principle of equal work for equal pay for all workers irrespective of race, class and background.

5. All companies and corporations that have majority of its businesses in South Africa should have the primary listing in the JSE and their Head Offices in South Africa.

6. All companies in the JSE must procure the upstream and downstream goods and services from township and rural based economic role players owned by historically disadvantaged individuals.

7. All the retail stores in the JSE should source a minimum of 70% of their goods and services from South African producers, particularly food, confectionery, beverages, textile, leather, furniture, plastic, and many other basic products that are traded in South Africa.

8. Urgent action plans and programmes from all companies and corporations in the JSE on how to increase and sustain the labour-absorptive capacity of their companies. Thoroughly drafted human resources, skills transfer, and training and education provision with sustainable care programmes should accompany this.

9. Each and every company in the JSE should adopt a minimum of 5 schools in townships and rural areas and make that each adopted school has access to quality services, including computer labs, laboratories, libraries and access to high speed internet.

10. Each and every listed company with the total turnover of R1 billion and above should adopt one of the Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges and assist with all the basic necessities of a TVET college.

11. Each and every company in the JSE should adopt a minimum of 100 students and assist with their higher education and training programmes and bursaries from registration, tuition, residence, food, books, and transport money for their adopted students.

12. All companies in the JSE should make massive investments in all parts of South Africa with the aim of decentralizing economic activities and industrial programmes to all parts of the country.

13. Urgent action plans on how to decentralize South Africa’s economic development from the existing centers of economic development to other parts of the country.

14. Urgent development and implementation of Corporate Social Investment Plans, which will bring real value and benefits to communities where business operations happen.

15. All JSE companies should have all their trading bank accounts with South African banks and should be willing to be subjected to scrutiny on illicit financial flows, transfer pricing and profit shifting.

16. End to expatriation of profits to developed countries, and mandate all companies and corporations to declare publicly transactions between subsidiaries in details for the tax authorities to access necessary information to collect maximum tax due to public purse.

17. All JSE companies should commit to usage of South African based professional services, such as those for auditing, accounting, legal, marketing and all other basic services.

Today's march:

(NEWS24 SA) The Great EFF Mass Protest March
Chris Kanyane
By Chris Kanyane
Tuesday, October 27, 2015

We have seen the jihad launched by university students across the country last week. And today, this Tuesday, with EFF mass protest action across Gauteng we witnessed something that is even staggering in terms of sheer appeal, high level organizing that made the mass protest march very peaceful.

The City of Johannesburg was swimming under the blockbuster red sea of EFF juggernaut supernova protest march. The protest march in terms of its reach, depth, creativity and scope was unprecedented. The atmosphere was livid.

It was a 16 kilometres long walk of raw passion.

One lady who participated in the march expressed her personal exuberance as follows:

“I was just out there in the red sea of thousands and thousands of people, holding hands with strangers. What a sensation I felt! I felt like I belonged. I was so excited – so inspired. A young guy whispered in my ears “this is history, this is history”. I smiled and wiped my face with a comfort cloth. I just wanted to become part of something beautiful”.

photo eff

EFF is an explosive big tent protest movement that has surely energised people on the grassroots. It encapsulates the raw passions of grassroots communities from all age groups but on the main it is powered by youthful energy and dynamism. Members and supporters are passionate, emotive in their participation. But there are not from Mars – these are simple ordinary folks, Jabulani, Sipho, Themba, Mpho, Tebogo, embracing a cause that they believe in.

There has been a false theory that has clouded our view and the surging of the EFF. We base the premise of our analysis of the EFF on the charisma of Julius Malema as the leader. But it seems every person involved with EFF brings some spark of charisma. The charisma seems to be evenly spread across the members and the supporters. And when they gather there is a national sensation.

The movement has no baggage and no cronyism. That makes it exciting for every person to participate freely. Passion and exuberance defines participations. Within those passions are aspirations and hopes.

The grand meeting place for the EFF protest march was central Johannesburg – the Mary Fitzgerald Square , the cosmopolitan cultural mecca of South Africa. The Square is thus named after Mary Fitzgerald. A woman considered to be the first trade unionist in the country.

Just a brief overview bio of Mary Fitzgerald so as to contextualise the great EFF march. In 1912 and 1913 with a burst of enthusiasm Mary Fitzgerald led arguably the first major protest march in South Africa – leading the miners in front.

With the miners increasingly organised through her efforts there was a need for a communication. Mary Fitzgerald founded and edited the radical publication known as The Voice of Labour. She used the publication as a vehicle for confronting capitalism as expressed through financial institutions.

Mary Fitzgerald further organised burial societies for the Black miners who were dying in large numbers due to poor working conditions underground. The workers were working under appalling conditions, with mine accidents and deaths ever accumulating.

The EFF mass protest march included in its key demands freed education from crèche to university. That is the currency of the time that has caught the national conversation since last week.

Early in the morning people across Gauteng, from townships such as Soshanguve, Mamelodi, Soweto and so on started self organising – sporadic small groups coalescing on street corners waiting for the transport that they organised and paid from their pockets. This notwithstanding that majority are poor and live in conditions that should not exist in the 21st century.

By about time going to noon tens of thousands of people were on the move, flooding the streets in central Johannesburg- self organising themselves.

Today some people tend to consider mass marches, sit-ins, demonstrations as scary, unruly and out of fashion, so mass protests on the scale of EFF should be denounced. I invite those who suffer this fixation to realise that genuine change is made from bottom up – people feeling the pain expressing it in its raw form.

We can consider what was achieved last week by #FeesMustFall movement. If there was no such protest march to Parliament and the Union Buildings students could not have forced the hands of the authorities for 0% increase in university fees in 2016. Through sheer swarm intelligence the students outfought and outbeat the authorities and emerged victorious.

Who can forget what happened in Cape Town? The swarm intelligence that went into the conception, planning and execution and ultimate storming of Parliament; the thoughtful, meticulous reading of the police movements by students and then launching a push: outsmarting, outflanking the armoured police and soon within a few minutes they were knocking on the doors of the National Assembly. It was a victory for them.

Today’s bad economic conditions (with the growing ranks of the poor) are undermining the very idea of progress and prosperity.

A sense of history demands us moving away from being fiction makers and start addressing in a sober – sobering practical reality, the worsening conditions of people on the ground – the masses are steeped in grim lives, trapped by poverty and depression.

As a nation we tend to equate countless promises with achievement. After piles of promises made we go into a spree of premature celebration, as if just by making those promises achievement is made. And that is where we are with persistent waves of uprisings, at the ward level, community level, and national level.

A country, like a person, cannot leave on luck perpetually. Luck and chance can only carry a person or a nation so far. As of now we have exhausted our stock of luck.

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

(THE POST ZM) Policy analyst calls on govt to establish metals reserve bureau

COMMENT - Just reducing dollar dependency is not exactly what I had in mind when using metals reserve as the basis for Local Currencies, however the idea is applicable. What it should not become, is a plaything for the same individuals who dully maintained that debt at 40% of GDP is of 'internationally acceptable standards' and other such nonsense. If you have the choice between a Windfall Tax that is free of interest, and a Europbond of very high interest... the Finance Minister chooses the high interest rate option? What is going on?

Policy analyst calls on govt to establish metals reserve bureau
By Stuart Lisulo |
Updated: 24 Oct,2015 ,10:00:00

THE government should consult the IMF and World Bank to develop a metals reserve bureau that would help reduce dollar dependency and insulate Zambia against external shocks, says Humphrey Mulemba.

And the Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research says the government needs to act swiftly to manage the country’s public debt, which has doubled to over 40 per cent of GDP in five years.

Commenting on Zambia’s risk of falling into debt distress owing to the increasing public debt position as pointed out by the IMF, Mulemba, an independent policy analyst, stated that the government needs to take an innovative approach in seeking external financing that would help reduce US dollar dependency, currently hinged on copper exports, to repay the country’s mounting debt stock.

The government’s issuance of a US$1.25 billion Eurobond in July pushed the country’s external debt stock to over US$6 billion, shifting Zambia’s position closer to the suggested threshold of 40 per cent for developing countries.

“An innovative idea is to seek the Bretton Woods institutions’ help to develop a metals reserve bureau alongside the sinking fund proposed in the 2016 budget; this is to help Zambia reduce dollar dependency. The idea of the metals bureau is to ring fence the forex denominated debt only against the basket of metals as opposed to it being extended to the performance of the kwacha,” he stated in response to a press query. “The reason being that metals are dollar-based and hold more currency equivalent stability than the Zambian kwacha.

Mulemba said the metals bureau could be developed through the IDC and ZCCM-IH, which would help in debt repayments and insulate against external shocks.

“The pool of metals chosen will be based on the comparative advantage of Zambia and can be achieved through the IDC in collaboration with ZCCM-IH. This will help cushion the current situation and further develop a rigorous system that will be able to sustain future shocks as experienced in the recent past,” he added.

And Mulemba, formerly a policy analyst for the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR), warned that the consequences of continued external borrowing amid a devalued kwacha would make repayments more expensive.

“With a depreciating kwacha, the payment rates in forex for international loans will become more and more expensive, potentially eroding the financial base of the country to fund development projects,” said Mulemba.

And ZIPAR executive director, Dr Pamela Nakamba-Kabaso, stated in a press statement that the government needed to urgently act to manage the country’s mounting public debt stock.

“The last 5 years have seen the debt-to-GDP ratio grow from 20 per cent to 41 per cent of GDP in 2015, which is just about the sustainable threshold of 40 per cent of the GDP,” stated Dr Nakamba-Kabaso in the local think-tank’s reaction to the 2016 national budget.


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Thursday, October 15, 2015

MrK - Odious Debt Fuels Currency Depreciation

COMMENT - One of the consequences of loading the government up with debt, courtesy of the WB/IMF's Eurobonds, is that it devalues the currency. Which means that ordinary people are already paying for it. This is odious debt, and it has to be scrapped.

Kwacha fall frustrates shoppers in Lusaka
By Chambwa Moonga |
Updated: 15 Oct,2015 ,11:55:41

THE buying power of the kwacha has left most Lusaka residents frustrated. And the number of people, mostly women, who used to ‘overwhelm’ Pick n Pay outlet at Levy Shopping Mall in Lusaka to order bread, has severely dropped, owing to an increase in order prices of the commodity. Just this year alone, the troubled kwacha has tumbled by over 40 per cent against the US dollar, a trend that has triggered worrying price increments on several goods, especially imported products.

A check at Shoprite Manda Hill on Sunday showed that prices had been adjusted upwards on basic household commodities.

Five litres of Sun Soya cooking oil was found pegged at K114.99 while a 2.5 litres of the same commodity and brand was at K59. 99 from around K65 and K30 on average respectively a month ago.

A sack of onion cost K39. 99, a kilogramme of white refined sugar was fetching K11, 99 from K8, while two kilogrammes of sugar is now K18.29 from around K15. In the same store, baby cereal was pegged at K21. 99, with a 200 grammes of Johnson baby powder going at K29.99.

A loaf of white bread costs K4.99; two litres of Zambeef milk was going at K17. 99 from around K12, while a tray of 30 eggs was pegged at K29.99 from an average of K21. A 10kg bag of Mealile breakfast mealie meal was at K37.49 with roller meal of the same quantity pegged at K29.49. A 25kg bag of breakfast mealie meal from National Milling Company was going at K71.99.

Inside sources at the uptown store hinted that there has been a price increment of between K2 and K20 in recent months on most commodities, in response to the kwacha fall.

Most shoppers were seen pushing their quarter or half parked trolleys as others walked about with ‘lightly’ parked shopping paper bags.

Another check at Melissa Supermarket in Northmead area revealed that prices of essential goods are equally rising.

An anonymous source, when approached within Pick n Pay, said “Mitengo yama order banalundila; that’s why mwaona ati bo order lelo bachepa. Nima loss yekayeka apa manje (the order price for bread has been increased and that’s why you are only seeing a few people ordering today; selling bread is now a loss-making venture.”

The price of bread in most of Lusaka’s highly populated areas is now costing between K8 and K8.50.

Recently, PF secretary general Davies Chama said if Zambians buy expensive and luxurious bread and mealie-meal, they would think Zambia’s economy is bad when, in fact, such a phenomenon is only in their pocket.

“A lot of people have been speculating that bread is K8, K9, but go to Shoprite, you will find the price of bread at K4! But if you want to eat luxurious bread, it means you want to eat expensive bread; then it will be expensive. I was looking at the price of mealie-meal in a shop; it’s K70 per 50 kilogramme bag. I was looking at the price of Boom (washing paste), it’s K4.50. So, when people are saying the economy, the economy, some of the people it is the economy in their pockets. It’s not about the price index,” said Chama.

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Sunday, October 04, 2015

(NEWZIMBABWE) Zim debt clearance talks, EU adds land compensation to agenda

COMMENT - So the EU demands compensation be paid by the Zimbabwean government for improvements made to the land by the colonial landowners. However, the same agreement stipulated that the British government would pay these same colonial landowners compensation for the value of the land itself which they have steadfastly refused to do, since Clare Short's 1997 letter to them minister Kumbirai Kangai. This was the Blair government's attitude towards compensation:

I should make it clear that we do not accept that Britain has a special responsibility to meet the costs of land purchase in Zimbabwe. We are a new Government from diverse backgrounds without links to former colonial interests.

In the words of President Mugabe, at Harlem Mount Olivet Baptist Church:

President Mugabe: And here you still had the democrats in power under president carter. Then they undid the promise that America had also made, that they would alongside Britain would also fund the land reform. Carter was defeated, and in came President Reagan. President Reagan reneged on the undertaking by President carter, and said no, he was not going to continue the aid program which the Democrats had started. Then in Britain they also reneged and said they no longer had any money. And this at the time of Thatcher, but later we negotiated with the conservative government. A new deal in 1996. But before that new deal saw the light of day, the Conservative Party was defeated. And in came Blair, and his lot. And these said to us, very clearly, very blatantly, they were not in a position to inherit colonial responsibility. What the Conservatives had promised was a matter for the Conservatives, we are a Labour party with it's own policies. We said to them, we tried to reason with them. And said but at international law, surely, if you are a successor to a legitimate government of Britain, you don't only succeed to assets, you also succeed to liabilities. That is international law. And what were the promises and undertakings to us by the conservative party and conservative government, should certainly be respected by you. In broad daylight they said that they would not do that. They would therefore not fund the land reform program and pay compensation, or help us to pay compensation for land to be acquired by our government, for purposes of resettling our people.

They said to us, we were deadlocked on this matter at Lancaster House for ten days. The negotiations altogether took three months, from October to December 1979. If the principle we stood by and we affirmed in 1979 that when your ancestors seized our land, they did not pay compensation, and so, we did not have any duty or moral principle on the strength of which we could pay you compensation.

On to the sanctimonious attitude of the EU:

(NEWZIMBABWE) Zim debt clearance talks, EU adds land compensation to agenda
03/10/2015 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

Land compensation on the agenda ... EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, Philippe Van Damme

THE European Union has put Zimbabwe's controversial land issue on the agenda of the 2015 annual meeting of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) taking place in Lima, Peru, next week.

The development creates a new headache for finance minister Patrick Chinamasa who is already under attack from hawks in government and the ruling Zanu PF party over his pro-IMF policies.

Zimbabwe owes foreign creditors about $7 billion and is in desperate need for new funding to revive its faltering economy.

Creditors have told the country to clear first clear $1.8 billion in arrears to the IMF, World Bank and African Development Bank before financiers can resume lending to the country.

Chinamasa will present a strategy for clearing the arrears at the Lima meetings.

Although details of his plans have not been made public, the IMF’s Zimbabwe representative described what the minister would present was a “sensible strategy”.

But EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, Philippe Van Damme, has said Zimbabwe should go to Lima with a comprehensive plan to compensate white farmers ousted under the government’s often violent and chaotic land reforms in the past 15 years.

The envoy said this in a speech read on his behalf last Friday Thomas Opperer, Head of the Agriculture and Food Security Section at the EU Delegation in Harare. He was speaking at the unveiling of an agriculture support fund by the EU.

“The Constitution is also very clear, stipulating in its section 72(3)(a) that all improvements effected have to be compensated, as also detailed as per the Land Acquisition Act and acknowledged in the ‘Strategies for Clearing External Debt Arrears and the Supportive Economic Reform Agenda’ that the government will present to the international community in Lima on 8 October ,”said the EU ambassador.

“In this regard, it is important to achieve a consensus based compensation mechanism that is workable and acceptable to all concerned, in line with the existing guidelines and procedures.

“Again, the EU does strongly emphasize the importance of carrying out this exercise in an inclusive manner, where all parties concerned (including the various farmers unions) are not only consulted but can contribute to reach a consensus about the key criteria and mechanism established.”

Chinamasa recently told the international community that Harare is committed to compensating the dispossessed farmers but “we have no money”.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

(LUSAKATIMES) Zambia’s Inconsistent mining taxation policy is costing us

COMMENT - Of course it is the absence of the profits from the Windfall Tax, combined with debt from the Eurobonds, that is costing the nation. The corruption starts at the top, right from the IMF/World Bank and their conditionalities like Privatisation down. No governments with the backbone to stand up against them, or the imagination to get together with SADC and the AU and make common cause to sidestep this system.

(LUSAKATIMES) Zambia’s Inconsistent mining taxation policy is costing us
September 16, 2015

File:NCHANGA Mine rescure Team B Captain Jonathan Kolala inspects air underground during the Zambia
Mine Rescure Association competetion at Namundwe Mine

The mining industry is a sore topic for many Zambians; a source of pride and pain depending on where you seat on the fence. Copper is the nation’s main export and the mines are the largest formal employer after the civil service. Those employed in the mining sector are among the most well paid workers in the country. Mining activities have contributed to the growth of mining towns on the Copperbelt, Solwezi being the most recent development.

However, Zambia is still struggling to capture tangible benefits from this mineral wealth endowment for the wider population. Despite being the second largest copper producer in Africa, copper is still exported in its raw form, and the general feeling among the population is that most of the profits are expropriated. In september 2014, Zambia experienced a lot of turmoil in the mining sector, with both Glencore and Barrick Gold threatening to stop operations if differences between the companies and the government were not resolved by January 2015.The major cause of this standoff was a lack of transparency on revenues and profits from the mining companies and a lack of consistent and effective mining taxation policy from the government. This standoff is back, and taxation policy is still a key issue of contention.

Every change of government has seen an adjustment for better or worse, with the claim of serving the countries best interests.

To try and capture benefits for the local economy from copper, the Zambian government has had many changes the mining taxation policy. Every change of government has seen an adjustment for better or worse, with the claim of serving the countries best interests.


Windfall Tax

One of the best changes enacted to the tax regime was during Levy Mwanawasa’s government, which saw mineral royalties increase from 0.6% to 3%, corporate tax from 25% to 30% and a 5 cent windfall tax per pound on any copper sold above a designated market price. However, the windfall tax was over turned by Rupiah Banda’s government due to pressure from mining companies to scrape the new reforms. They claimed that the tax was creating an ‘unattractive’ business environment for the country, despite favourable copper prices on the international market at the time. The mining companies succeeded by using contractual obligations and the financial crisis. On the other hand, the government conceded to this pressure arguing that Zambia was the only country in the region that had a windfall tax at the time. The government did not see this as an opportunity to be a leader in effecting a positive trend for regional mining taxation.


Mineral Royalties

In 2012, Michael Sata’s government again made changes to the tax system with mineral royalties increased from 3% to 6%. However, the windfall tax was not reintroduced. While the Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR) admits that tax revenues in the country have increased considerably since Mwanawasa’s government, they have made it clear that it is hard to pin this growth on tax regime changes as copper prices and production have also increased consistently during the same period. Further, the Zambia Revenue Authorities (ZRA) has also improved its tax monitoring and administration capacity.


VAT


In September 2014, the impasse between mining companies and the government involved two main issues, both closely related to taxation. Firstly, the mining companies were claiming a $600m refund on VAT from the government, and secondly, the government had more than tripled the mineral royalty tax beginning January 2015 from 6% to 20%, a move that the companies found highly unacceptable. According to VAT Rule 18, companies can claim VAT on inputs for exported goods produced in the country. However, companies find it very hard to claim these tax refunds due to the administrative requirements of the act. This led to the suspension of operations by Glencore at the beginning October 2014 based on unclaimed VAT refunds. Currently, Mopani is threatening to lay off 4 000 workers and is citing non VAT refunds as one of the key reasons for this.

ZRA requires that companies produce a number of documents in order to claim VAT refunds; a shipment certificate provided by the ZRA, a certificate provided by the customs authority in the importing country, invoices for the goods exported, proof of payment into the exporter’s bank account in Zambia and such other documentary evidence “as the authorized officer may reasonably require”. While companies complain that the administrative requirements are too much, this is documentation that is readily available to them as they carry out their transactions. Therefore, the lack of transparency among mining companies has also contributed to delayed payments of VAT refunds from government.


Zambians are not very clear about how much revenues we should be earning from the mining sector Currently Zambians are not very clear about how much revenues we should be earning from the mining sector. These documents required when claiming VAT refunds can provide this information, and help combat the high suspicions of tax evasion in the mining sector.

Mining companies must not be allowed to dictate policy terms for the country. On the other hand, government needs to develop a consistent, effective and sustainable taxation policy. While government cannot solely be blamed for the electricity deficit, the depreciating kwacha and the fall in commodity prices, they take full blame when it comes to inconsistencies in taxation policy. The lack of a long-term outlook when setting mining taxation negatively impacts on investor confidence in the sector, and reduces the value of the countries copper.

With regards VAT refunds, government needs to keep strict documentation requirements and not give the mining companies tax breaks that are too generous. On mineral royalties, government needs to be realistic about how much distortion they impose on production incentives. The highest mineral royalty tax imposed globally on copper mining is 15%. Of course Zambia can set its own tax rate, but there is a need to assess the performance of mining companies in the country to develop a mining policy that actually works and will be sustainable over the long term.


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