Sunday, May 19, 2019


COMMENT - “Why should they tell us they are making losses from the time they came? If they were making losses, they could have gone. They are liars, cheats and take us for fools. I will not allow that. Those that want to work with us will follow our laws. It’s a sovereign state and if we say the way we want to manage our tax regime we decide we will not be blackmailed by investors. Those that don’t want to stay can go. Sales tax is here to stay, VAT is gone. We decide,” said President Lungu."

From 2014: Anil Agarwal brags about the amount of money he dragged out of Zambia. "KONKOLA Copper Mines owner Anil Agarwal has mocked the Zambian government over the paltry amount of money he paid to buy the mine, which is now giving him millions of dollars in profit.".

(LUSAKA TIMES) KCM TAKING US FOR FOOLS…if it’s the will of the people to divorce, I will do so – Lungu
By Charles tembo in Ndola
on May 18, 2019

PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says Konkola Copper Mines are liars, cheats and want to take Zambians as fools. President Lungu said he is on the Copperbelt to end the marriage between his government and Konkola Copper Mines.

He said “enough is enough of exploitation from KCM” despite buying the mine so cheaply.

President Lungu said this upon arrival at the Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport in Ndola yesterday.

“We had a few matters to do at State House in Lusaka and of course, the Vice-President came back last night and I had to go and see her, she is doing very well. But my coming here is for one reason, one reason, the people of the Copperbelt want a divorce between themselves and copper mines namely KCM and Mopani. I want to hear it from the unions and the reason is simple, people have cried! I saw some women, some of them half naked crying that they feel cheated by the mining company KCM, and Mopani to some extreme,” President Lungu said.

“I have come here that if it’s the will of the people to divorce, I will do so. The message being made is clear. I want to consult the Chamber of Mines. I will be meeting them. The Mineworkers Union and other unions to find out what they think and I also have my position, and my position is that enough is enough. Zambians have been taken for a ride by the mining companies.”

He said KCM was bought so cheaply.

President Lungu said the Attorney General Likando Kalaluka and other lawyers would guide on how to share assets.

“KCM was bought for (US$) 25 million and we paid it all, our copper paid for the mines. They have done nothing since then, just promises, we can’t continue…. I am aware that there is a law in this country which should be followed, the Attorney General is here, the lawyers are here and will guide us on how we proceed with the divorce. So we will talk without any fear,” he said.

“I want to say this frankly because I know the opposition, those detractors who don’t see any good in what we do will be saying he is scaring investors. We are not going to scare any investor. Their investment is safe and those who want to come and invest should do so. I know there are other investors who are willing to come and invest in the mines. Immediately we kick them [KCM and Mopani] out, others will come and invest. There is engagement and disengagement even in marriage if things go bad…I am saying this without fear or favour.”

President Lungu said KCM had made enough profits.

“They have made money and taken money. We will ask the lawyer to tell us how we will share the assets and I know we will get married very soon. These are our mines.”

“Why should they tell us they are making losses from the time they came? If they were making losses, they could have gone. They are liars, cheats and take us for fools. I will not allow that. Those that want to work with us will follow our laws. It’s a sovereign state and if we say the way we want to manage our tax regime we decide we will not be blackmailed by investors. Those that don’t want to stay can go. Sales tax is here to stay, VAT is gone. We decide,” said President Lungu.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

(HERALD ZW) Sanctions must go — Gutu

COMMENT - After 17 years, the MDC admits to the existence of economic sanctions, their deleterious effect on the Zimbabwean people and economy, and their own role in the creation of those sanctions. Obviously, it cannot be enough to just admit to this criminal wrongdoing, which years ago was estimated to have cost the Zimbabwean people $42 billion, let alone lives lost. Therefore compensation must be paid to the Zimbabwean people, not only to restore their wealth and acknowledge a wrong committed, but to deter future governments from imposing economic sanctions as as tool of economic and foreign policy. They must consider the consequences before imposing such sanctions again. - MrK

More here:

(HERALD ZW) Sanctions must go — Gutu
Felex Share Senior Reporter

Former MDC-T spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu has admitted that the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West are toxic and hinder socio-economic development.

Calling for the removal of the embargo in toto, Mr Gutu — who is now the vice president of the MDC led by Dr Thokozani Khupe — said he was “misguided” in actively supporting the imposition of sanctions.

He added that all along he “naively” believed that the embargo would lead to the democratisation of Zimbabwe.

Mr Gutu in an editorial we publish in this paper today said the fact that he had seen the light on the contentious issue did not mean that he was now supporting the ruling Zanu-PF party .

“Where the overall interests of Zimbabwe supersede and overtake my own private and personal interests, I don’t hesitate to sacrifice my personal interests for the common good of my beloved country and continent,” he said.

“This is the major reason that informed how I reached my Damascus (sic) moment regarding the issue of sanctions against Zimbabwe. Here and now, I will fully admit that at one time, I was thoroughly misguided in actively supporting and actually calling for the imposition of sanctions against Zimbabwe.

“At that juncture, I rather stupidly and naively believed that the imposition of sanctions would naturally lead to the full and total democratisation of Zimbabwe. I was wrong; totally wrong. The reality is that sanctions actually cause more harm, political suffering and socio-economic agony to the majority of innocent Zimbabweans, most of whom are not even political activists.”

He said sanctions did not hurt political leaders as much as they hurt “the ordinary man and woman in the street and in the village or township.”

“After undertaking a thorough and deep study and introspection on the effects of sanctions on the generality of the people of Zimbabwe, I then reached my Damascus (sic) moment and began to appreciate how evil, toxic and retrogressive sanctions are against the welfare of the majority of my Zimbabwean compatriots.

“Thus, I’m unashamedly and passionately calling for the lifting of all forms of sanctions that were imposed against Zimbabwe by the major Western powers such as the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union,” he said.

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

(BLACK OPINION SA) Apartheid spy, Cyril Ramaphosa, must go!

COMMENT - The West continuously undermines democracy by installing or promoting neoliberal corporatists or representatives of the old colonial class in disguise, even through the Liberation Movements. That's why they're so enthusiastic about the new leaders of the ANC and ZANU-PF. Donald Trump literally announced the installation of a new President in Venezuela on twitter. For democracy to rule, the people must have their own unbought, uncompromised candidates. Or there has to be direct democracy - bypass the politicians altogether. - MrK

(BLACK OPINION SA) Apartheid spy, Cyril Ramaphosa, must go!
By admin Posted in Featured News Posted on February 14, 2019
By Andile Mngxitama

The nation must thank Cope leader, Mosiuoa “Terror” Lekota, for speaking the truth yesterday at the SONA debate. Throughout history, there has been a lot of speculation about Cyril Ramaphosa being an apartheid agent. Now Lekota has finally spoken out. The three minutes Lekota was on the podium was worth a thousands minutes. Lekota spoke directly when most of the opposition have been subdued since the State of the Nation Address.

For this, Terror Lekota is the undisputed hero of the SONA Debate.

The history of Ramaphosa and white monopoly capital is well documented and he is proud of it. Ramaphosa was raised and taken care of by the criminal Oppenheimer family. This is the family which benefited immensely from apartheid and its disastrous migrant labour system. At one stage, the family owned most of the economy of South Africa. The Oppenheimer family are heirs of the bloody loot of Cecil John Rhodes. They are the owners of the global giant Anglo American.

When student leaders where facing multiple detentions, torture and death in the 1970s, Ramaphosa was being protected and funded by the criminal Oppenheimer family. His schooling was paid for by them. When they were satisfied that he could serve them, they made him start a trade union in their mines with the view of controlling the workers. That’s how National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) was formed.

Ramaphosa was mentored to be a stooge of white monopoly capital. It is therefore not surprising at all that he is also an agent of the apartheid regime. These revelations by Lekota raise too many questions. Since Ramaphosa was close to the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) of Steve Biko, we are left to wonder if he had any hand in the assassinations of the prominent BCM leaders like Abram Onkgopotse Tiro, Mapetla Mohapi, Mthuli ka Shezi and Steve Biko himself.

Ramaphosa was being taken care off by the same people who worked tirelessly to eliminate the BCM. Did he help the apartheid regime destroy the BCM?

There are also questions about how Ramaphosa replaced both Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma from the center of the negotiations process in the 1990s. There is evidence that the removal of the two was instigated by the apartheid regime and white monopoly capital. Putting Ramaphosa as head of the negotiations ensured that the apartheid regime was basically negotiating with itself. This explains the sell-out settlement that is codified in Section 25 of the Constitution which legitimizes land theft. It was a gift from Ramaphosa, the apartheid agent.

South Africa cannot be ruled by someone who is linked to the apartheid regime and white monopoly capital. Ramaphosa is a sell-out.

Black First Land First (BLF) demands the following:

1. Ramaphosa must resign as state President now!

2. If he doesn’t resign, the African National Congress (ANC) must recall him.

3. He must apologize to the nation for collaborating with the enemy during apartheid.

4. A Commission of inquiry into the claims that Ramaphosa was an apartheid agent be set up.

Furthermore, we ask President Jacob Zuma to release his intelligence report on Ramaphosa’s link to the apartheid regime and white monopoly capital.

BLF will make sure Ramaphosa is removed from the Presidency. Already, we can see that every decision he has made since becoming president is calculated to serve white interests. He has already given white monopoly capital the gift of R1.4 trillion under the guise of the Independent Power Producers (IPPs). He has removed and persecuted all the radical economic transformation (RET) leadership core. He is en route to giving the oil discovered recently to whites. Plans are afoot to sell state owned entities to white monopoly capital, starting with Eskom.

The Marikana massacre was not an accident. Ramaphosa operates like an apartheid agent – he doesn’t care for black lives. No serious nation can allow itself to be ruled by agents of its oppressors. Ramaphosa must go!

No related posts.

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Thursday, January 24, 2019

(FIN24, BLOOMBERG) ANC calls for end to sanctions against Zimbabwe

COMMENT - The ANC calls for an end to economic sanctions against Zimbabwe. - MrK

ANC calls for end to sanctions against Zimbabwe
Jan 22 2019 20:52 Amogelang Mbatha, Bloomberg

African National Congress has called for the lifting of sanctions against neighboring Zimbabwe, where clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters claimed at least 12 lives.

The ANC thought those who imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe during the rule of President Robert Mugabe would change their view after elections that were held in July, Lindiwe Zulu, a member of the party’s highest decision-making body and minister of small business development, told reporters in Johannesburg ON Tuesday.

That’s “despite the challenges that came immediately after that with the deaths of some people,” she said.

Zimbabwe is still subject to US sanctions dating back to the rule of Mugabe, who stepped down in November 2017 and was replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa. His government is facing the worst economic crisis since a hyperinflationary spiral a decade ago as the nation reels from an acute shortage of foreign exchange and fuel and surging food prices, which led to violent protests last week.

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The US has said sanctions would be lifted only if Zimbabwe demonstrated "fundamental changes."

South Africa and Zimbabwe have close links because many of the estimated four million Zimbabweans who were driven away by the economy’s collapse under Mugabe live in South Africa.

"We are concerned about what is happening in Zimbabwe," Zulu said. “Zimbabwe is our neighbor and when a house is burning next door you don’t fold your hands and arms and say ‘it’s got nothing to do with me’.”

South Africa has offered to use its influence with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to help broker a debt-clearance plan for Zimbabwe, according to a person familiar with the matter.


Monday, January 21, 2019

(HERALD ZW) Protests weren’t about fuel prices . . .broader political plot exposed

COMMENT - The best analysis of the situation is by The Herald:

"the timing of the demonstrations and their violent nature were meant to influence the European Union (EU) to maintain illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe."

Mr Chaibva, a former MDC official, said this had always been the opposition party’s agenda.

“It is the continuation of the MDC-Alliance agenda of August 1, 2018 of trying to make the country ungovernable. The MDC-Alliance are in pursuit of a foreign agenda which started in 2001the regime change agenda and the imposition of illegal economic sanctions. It explains the timing of the disturbances when the President is in Eastern Europe and soon in Switzerland. The EU is meeting soon to review economic sanctions on Zimbabwe. They must therefore find an excuse for extension of the sanctions, citing alleged deterioration of the human rights situation in Zimbabwe. It also explains why they are anxious to petition that the President should not attend the Davos summit,” said Mr Chaibva.

He added: “Let us not be under any illusion that the regime change protagonists are at rest. They are expanding their efforts.”

(HERALD ZW) Protests weren’t about fuel prices . . .broader political plot exposed

A motorist weaves his way past rocks that had been used by MDC rioters to block the road in Harare on Monday

Herald Reporter

The MDC-Alliance instigated violent protests witnessed early this week had nothing to do with an increase in the price of fuel or high cost of living among Zimbabweans, but part of the broader attempt at effecting illegal regime change, analysts said yesterday.

The timing of the protests, targeting of police stations for attacks, inflating of the number of victims by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and petitions to the international community, among other shenanigans by those who initiated the demonstrations, all point to a poorly-concealed political agenda oiled by the country’s traditional foes.

“The fuel issue was only manipulated as a trigger to long-standing efforts to internationalise domestic politics in Zimbabwe in a manner skewed in favour of the MDC-Alliance,” said political analyst, Mr Goodwine Mureriwa.

He said MDC-Alliance was trying to reinforce a false argument that the post-election outcome produced an illegitimate Zanu-PF Government.

He questioned why, if President Mnangagwa’s economic policies were not working, he was not being given the chance to fail instead of engaging in disruptive behaviour.

Mr Mureriwa also said the timing of the demonstrations and their violent nature were meant to influence the European Union (EU) to maintain illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe.

He said it was also aimed at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to impose illegal sanctions on the country.

“This explains why the so-called Zimbabwe Doctors for Human Rights is inflating the number of those injured to create a pretext for intervention on humanitarian grounds. They want to create a pretext for abuse of human rights, violation of the rule of law and to paint the whole politics of Zimbabwe as undemocratic,” added Mr Mureriwa.

He said this also explained why the demonstrators deliberately targeted police stations for attack.

“They targeted police stations for attack so as to provoke a firm response by the police that could lead to many casualties. Their objective will not be achieved without dead bodies and to strengthen their resolve, they also had to bomb their own offices (Harvest House) to portray Zanu-PF as a doctor of violence, violence which they instigated,” said Mr Mureriwa.

Another analyst who refused to be named said the violent protests were also “to throw spanners in President Mnangagwa’s engagement and re-engagement efforts for Zimbabwe to remain a pariah State”.

He said geopolitically, there were countries which were not happy about the close ties President Mnangagwa was forging with Eurasia due to the lukewarm attitude of the West despite all his reform efforts.

President Mnangagwa is in Eastern Europe on an engagement drive that will also see him in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum.

Another political analysts, Mr Gabriel Chaibva, applauded the security forces for exercising the highest standards of self-restraint in the face of provocation by opposition forces “itching for dead bodies” so as to create a human rights situation in Zimbabwe and the resultant international consequences.

“There is nothing as provocative as trying to get a gun from a soldier or attacking a police station. They were hoping for many dead bodies that would justify their outcry about human rights violations. Let us forget their lie that the protests were about economics. There is a broader political agenda to overthrow Government through unconstitutional means,” said Mr Chaibva.

Mr Chaibva, a former MDC official, said this had always been the opposition party’s agenda.

“It is the continuation of the MDC-Alliance agenda of August 1, 2018 of trying to make the country ungovernable. The MDC-Alliance are in pursuit of a foreign agenda which started in 2001the regime change agenda and the imposition of illegal economic sanctions. It explains the timing of the disturbances when the President is in Eastern Europe and soon in Switzerland. The EU is meeting soon to review economic sanctions on Zimbabwe. They must therefore find an excuse for extension of the sanctions, citing alleged deterioration of the human rights situation in Zimbabwe. It also explains why they are anxious to petition that the President should not attend the Davos summit,” said Mr Chaibva.

He added: “Let us not be under any illusion that the regime change protagonists are at rest. They are expanding their efforts.”

Mr Richard Mahomva said the MDC-Alliance and its partners were hiding behind the new fuel price to cause chaos.

“The violent response to what was an inevitable policy position on the fuel price was a concerted agenda to perpetuate the legacy of 1 August. It is the same old approach of manipulating gullible public emotional outrage to stage a war with ZANU-PF. The underpinning matter here is not the fuel price rise; it is about finding an opportunity to give traction to the ZANU-PF illegitimacy crusade post the 2018 elections,” said Mr Mahomva.

“As one would note, the shutdown plan only excelled in urban opposition hotspots, hence the outcry on the internet jam. From the outset, there was no constructive mechanism to engage a policy alternative and one notes that this is part of the long promised measure by the opposition to make the country ungovernable. Of note is the opposition’s hidden hand in the recent plunder just as was the case in August,” he said.

The Herald is reliably informed that the protests were funded to the tune of US$2 million by a foreign power and were supposed to leave at least 200 people dead.

This, it was planned, would then see the UN Security Council intervening on humanitarian grounds.

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Saturday, January 19, 2019

(THE CITIZEN SA) BLF deputy president attacked at home at 2am

COMMENT- "The BLF insists that rich apartheid-era business families such as the Oppenheimers and the Ruperts should also be investigated for “capture” of the state, which they contend continued well into democracy." This is not an opinion that is peculiar to the BLF. It's reality that insists. The history of Anglo-American Corporation, founded by sir Ernest Oppenheimer. Notice all the little carts in South Africa. - MrK

(THE CITIZEN SA) BLF deputy president ‘attacked, strangled’ at home at 2am
Citizen reporter

BLF leader Andile Mngxitama and his deputy Zanele Lwana.

The party sees the robbery as an attempt at political intimidation.
Black First Land First (BLF) said on Saturday afternoon that its deputy president was attacked in the early hours of Saturday morning.

In a statement, spokesperson Lindsay Maasdorp said: “A stranger gained entry at the flat of the deputy president of BLF around 2am on Saturday. The doors were locked. The stranger physically attacked comrade Zanele Lwana, who fought the intruder back. During the scuffle, other comrades woke up and the intruder fled with two phones, including one of the deputy president.

The party condemned in the strongest possible terms the attack on Lwana.

“The intruder tried to strangle the deputy president, leaving her with an injured neck and bruises on her arms. BLF beliefs this was not a chance criminal act but a politically motivated act to try to intimidate the deputy president with the hope of making her back off from submitting evidence to the Zondo commission on state capture.”

Lwana is due to give evidence to the Zondo Commission on the 12th of February.

“What is sad is that the police who were called to the crime scene were totally unhelpful and refused to open a case.

“BLF will inform the commission about this attempt to intimidate the deputy president of our movement. BLF warns all those implicated in corruption to now back off because nothing will stop the BLF from submitting evidence to judge Zondo.”

The BLF has already deposed to affidavits to the state capture commission on the alleged misconduct of former minister Nhlanhla Nene and Minister Pravin Gordhan.

The party has told the commission there has been state capture, corruption and fraud in the public sector that is not connected to the Guptas, whom the party and its leader have defended staunchly for years.

Asked for comment on whether he would be testifying at the commission, BLF president Andile Mngxitama said Lwana would deal with the BLF’s submissions on Nene and Gordhan, as Mngxitama would be “going for the Oppenheimers”.

The BLF insists that rich apartheid-era business families such as the Oppenheimers and the Ruperts should also be investigated for “capture” of the state, which they contend continued well into democracy.

(Compiled by Charles Cilliers)

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Monday, October 22, 2018

(LUSAKA TIMES) Zambia has largest potential to grow cash crops, says JTI

COMMENT - Zimbabwe after landreform is today the biggest producer of tobacco in the region. Tobacco didn't collapse, it took off. And it will when the South Africans and Namibians get their land back. Make no mistake, legislation like the Maize Control Acts and Native Land Acts were intended to reduce productivity to protect market prices for the European minority. African profits were used to subsidize colonists' agriculture.

" “For the 2018 crop season, we had a production of about 11.2 million Kgs of tobacco valued at about US$23.1 million. Why choose to come and grow tobacco in Zambia? In the region Zambia is the smallest tobacco producing country but it has the largest potential. Zimbabwe currently grows over 200 million Kgs, Zambia is at about 25 million Kgs, Malawi is at 165 million Kgs, Mozambique is at 85 million. So, we are very small. Other countries are progressively increasing their production [but] in Zambia it’s been a very slow process,” Matakala explained. "

(LUSAKA TIMES) Zambia has largest potential to grow cash crops, says JTI
By Chambwa Moonga on October 18, 2018

(By Chambwa Moonga in Kaoma)

JAPAN Tobacco International says while Zambia is the smallest tobacco producing country in the region, the country has the largest potential to grow the cash crop.

Briefing journalists on Tuesday afternoon in Kaoma, Japan Tobacco International (JTI) Leaf Zambia Limited corporate affairs and communications manager Litiya Matakala explained why his firm chose to grow tobacco in Zambia.

He later led journalists to tour JTI’s operations based at Rose wood in Kaoma.
JTI is a leading tobacco products company.

“Currently, we are the third largest in the world and our goal is to become number one by 2030. When it comes to Zambia, JTI established itself in 2009…” Matakala said.

“We contract farmers to grow tobacco in Zambia. We grow two types of tobacco, burley in the Eastern Province and Virginia, which is grown here in the Western Province, Kaoma. We basically provide input loans and extension services to our growers. So, we have a team of leaf production technicians who are extension officers who work closely with the farmers to grow the tobacco. In terms of the number of growers as we speak now, from the 120 or so farmers, we are now sitting at over 4,000 growers in Kaoma. Overall, we have about 7,000 farmers that we contract year in, year out.”

He said JTI had a research centre in Chisamba district where it does trials for new tobacco varieties and “see how we can improve yields.”

Matakala added that as of this year, JTI had about 201 permanent employees countrywide while another 330 were employed on a temporally basis annually.

“For the 2018 crop season, we had a production of about 11.2 million Kgs of tobacco valued at about US$23.1 million. Why choose to come and grow tobacco in Zambia? In the region Zambia is the smallest tobacco producing country but it has the largest potential. Zimbabwe currently grows over 200 million Kgs, Zambia is at about 25 million Kgs, Malawi is at 165 million Kgs, Mozambique is at 85 million. So, we are very small. Other countries are progressively increasing their production [but] in Zambia it’s been a very slow process,” Matakala explained.

“There are a number of things that need to be worked on in terms of the regulatory environment and how the Ministry of Agriculture is going to position the crop (tobacco) because in the Seventh National Development Plan it’s identified as a key crop and it’s a key crop. When you look at the returns per hectare compared to other crops, there is definitely more value in tobacco production than there is in other cash crops.”

He stressed that Zambia produced quality tobacco albeit “it’s a small volume production.”

“The land availability is good; far much better than Zimbabwe which is the largest producing country of Virginia tobacco in this part of the world,” he said.

On sustainability of the business and its impact on the environment, Matakala said: “For JTI we take environmental issues seriously. Over the past four, five years we have been implementing a number of projects; we are planting trees and we’ve also started investing in more efficient tobacco curing facilities.”

“So, in terms of wood loads (planted trees for using to cure tobacco), we’ve got about 1,750 wood loads which are established and each wood load has 200 trees. Over the next three years, all our farmers will have a wood load, starting this year,” he said.
Meanwhile, Matakala disclosed that in terms of tonnage for Virginia in 2017, “we had 4.6 million Kgs and that was [from] 3,500 growers. Then for this year we’ve got about 4,185 growers and tonnage [is estimated to be] 5.8 million Kgs.”

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Wednesday, August 01, 2018

(COINTELEGRAPH) Overstock Subsidiary Partners With Zambian Gov’t on Blockchain Land Registry

COMMENT - Watch out with these 'title deeds', because the bank ends up owning the land. They know most startups go bust, so they are in it for the land. - MrK

(COINTELEGRAPH) Overstock Subsidiary Partners With Zambian Gov’t on Blockchain Land Registry
By William Suberg

Zambia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the blockchain land registry subsidiary of American retail giant Overstock, the company revealed in a press release July 31.

Under the agreement, Overstock’s Medici Land Governance (MLG) will work with the Zambian government on overhauling land ownership, allowing rural landowners to legitimize their estates and gain access to the financial world.

“Without formal ownership, individuals struggle to obtain access to credit and public services, while governments are limited in their ability to collect taxes, enforce property rights, and plan for economic expansion and innovation,” the release explains, continuing:
“Using blockchain and other technologies, Medici Land Governance […] will create systems to collect and easily secure property ownership information.”

Discussing the Medici venture, the subsidiary’s CEO Dr. Ali El Husseini called its partnership with Zambia “momentous.”
“[The partnership] has the potential to be a real, sustainable game-changer in reducing poverty and supporting economic development on a large scale,” he added.

Blockchain land projects have been underway across the world for several years, the technology offering a promising solution to fragmented paper records and unverifiable claims.

This week, the world’s fourth-largest bank by assets, Agricultural Bank of China, confirmed it had issued a blockchain-based loan backed by land.

Overstock continues to make multiple inroads across blockchain and cryptocurrency-related spheres, despite warnings earlier this year that its share price was suffering and its future could involve upheaval.

The company currently has fourteen ventures in its Medici Blockchain accelerator, to which MLG is the most recent addition.

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Friday, July 27, 2018

(THE MAST ONLINE) Govt has continued to offer farmers slavery maize price, says Mtayachalo

COMMENT - Why does underpaying African farmers for their products sound so familiar? "Last week FRA pegged the maize floor price at K65".

(THE MAST ONLINE) Govt has continued to offer farmers slavery maize price, says Mtayachalo
By Christopher Miti
on July 27, 2018

YOTAM Mtayachalo says the 2018 maize floor price set by the Food Reserve Agency will dampen the morale of the farming community in the country. And Mtayachalo has suggested that government, through FRA, should help small scale farmers sell maize to the international market.

Last week FRA pegged the maize floor price at K65 but this was met with mixed feelings prompting President Edgar Lungu to order a review of the price, describing the current one as not a very fair price. But Mtayachalo, who is FDD national chairperson for labour, stated that the 2018 maize floor price was a mockery.

“The floor price of maize announced by the government through FRA is a mockery to our hard working farmers as the K65 per 50kg bag of maize price offered to farmers for the 2018 marketing season is not commensurate with the prevailing high cost of production in light of high cost of fertilisers, seeds and other auxiliary farming inputs. Further, the general cost of doing business in the country has been escalating at a very alarming rate and as such the agriculture sector has not equally been spared. Therefore, the price of maize will dampen the morale among the farming community and may further discourage them from growing the staple food because government has continued to offer them a slavery floor price which is mostly driven by political motives,” he stated.

Mtayachalo accused successive governments of having manipulated the maize floor price for political reasons.

“You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to tell that all successive governments have manipulated the price of maize for political reasons by deliberately offering maize farmers poor prices for their commodity for the sole purpose of providing cheaper mealie-meal on the market, notably for the urban communities at the expense of poor farmers, hence small scale farmers have failed to graduate into higher income brackets since independence because of lack of adequate working capital and mechanisation, job creation and poverty eradication remains a pipe dream,” he stated.
 “It must also be realised that farmers have not equally been spared from the high cost of living in the country, and as such the government which claims to be pro-poor should have taken into account such factors before announcing the floor price of maize in order to motivate the farmers to grow more food for local consumption and export.”

Mtayachalo stated that the floor price might hinder farmers from diversifying.

“Furthermore, the continued poor price of maize offered to farmers may hinder the country from achieving the much preached diversification agenda from mining to agriculture if the government continues to pay lip service to the growth of the agriculture sector. Moreover, about 40 per cent of Zambians are actively engaged in agricultural economic activities. It is therefore important that the government must design deliberate policies in order to trigger growth in the sector if we have to significantly reduce or eliminate poverty which continues to ravage our vulnerable population, especially in rural areas,” he stated.

Mtayachalo also appealed to government to help farmers sell their maize on the international market.

He appealed to the government to consider coming up with a deliberate policy which would see the FRA entering into an agreement with small and medium scale maize farmers for the agency to sell the commodity on their behalf on the lucrative international market, while a certain quantity could be bought at the local price for strategic food reserves.

“I strongly believe that such a move would result into farmers getting real value for their money and stop depending on subsidised farming inputs as they will have the financial capacity to buy their own instead of perpetually depending on the farmer input support programme, which is proving to be a bottomless pit,” stated Mtayachalo.

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(LUSAKATIMES) Lungu does not deserve credit over his maize price review as he created it – JalilaBy Ben Mbangu in Choma on July 24, 2018

COMMENT - The government wants cheap maize, and they don't want to pay for it. They could easily set the cost just below market prices. And give the maize away, turn it into finished goods (bourbon) and make money left right and center. If the government needs to make money at all, because they actually print their own currency. All they have to is keep a reasonable balance between the goods produced and the amount of currency (nowadays: credit) that is around. - MrK

(THE MAST ONLINE) Lungu does not deserve credit over his maize price review as he created it – Jalila
By Ben Mbangu in Choma
on July 24, 2018

CHOMA based human rights activist Bright Jalila says politicising the marketing of crops like maize is greatly affecting the agricultural sector. Jalila said it was cheap politics for President Edgar Lungu to turn around and direct the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to review the marketing price when he was the major problem to the country.

In an interview, Jalila said there was no difference between government and the FRA, because they are one.
“It’s cheap politics for President Edgar Lungu to turn around and direct the Food Reserve Agency to review the marketing price when he is the major problem to the country himself. He creates a problem himself then comes back through a back door and say review this price so that people think he has a good heart for farmers,” he said.

Jalila said the President’s statement did not deserve any credit because it was just mere politicking that had no bearing on the lives of people. He said politicians had impoverished farmers by continually dictating floor price for crops.
Jalila said if farming had to be a meaningful business that transformed people’s lives and the economy, then those involved in it must not lean on government which was controlled by politicians that have no heart for the poor.

Jalila said the system of over politicizing crops like maize was greatly affecting the agricultural sector in the country.
He said government through the FRA had become a monster that only held farmers to ransom. Jalila urged farmers come up with initiatives that could enable them stand on their own without depending on the political direction to favour them.

He said cooperatives that farmers were using to access inputs from government could be used as marketing platforms for their products than waiting upon government to completely finish them off.

Jalila said the PF had completely divorced itself from the path of poverty reduction through the promotion of agriculture owing to its stance to politicise the marketing price of crops. He said soon Zambia would plunge into untold economic crisis if President Lungu continued to play politics especially on maize marketing because farmers might stop producing for business purposes.

Jalila said once farmers considered maize a non-cash crop, that had potential to create food shortages in the country.

And Chief Cooma reminded FRA that its very survival depended on the same farmers the agency was killing through low prices. He said the FRA’s realignment to politics of shifting goal posts every now and then, following politicians in determining marketing price for cash crops had potential to destroy farming in the country.

Cooma proposed K85 per 50kg bag of maize as ideal if poverty was to be addressed in rural areas.

He welcomed President Edgar Lungu’s directive to the FRA to review its earlier announced floor price for maize pegged at K65 per 50kg bag, Cooma said the directive was welcome because it was not good for government to be the one putting the last nail on its people’s lives.

“If poverty levels continue being allowed to increase through failure to protect the available simple means of people making money such as agriculture, then Zambia will be as good as a dead nation. Poor people rely on agriculture and why should government destroy the market? What type of a country is Zambia going to be?” Cooma asked.

He said the cost of living for small-scale farmers was hard and would only change if measures were put in place to safeguard the market of their produce.

The chief said small-scale farmers were at the receiving end because they had no connections for market outside country as briefcase buyers did.

He urged FRA not to involve itself in politics because it would destroy the agricultural sector.

“The other major problem is that FRA here [Southern Province] only buys white maize and farmers who plant other crops like beans have nowhere to sell their products. It is our plea that FRA should start buying other crops as well,” said Cooma.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2018

(LUSAKA TIMES) Glencore, Majority Owners of Mopani Mines, Subpoenaed by US Justice Department, Shares Tumble

COMMENT - Glencore indicted in US. - MrK

(LUSAKA TIMES) Glencore, Majority Owners of Mopani Mines, Subpoenaed by US Justice Department, Shares Tumble
July 3, 2018191,443 views

Glencore, the majority owners of Mopani Mines has been ordered to hand over documents and records to US regulators related to its operations in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela dating as far back as 2007, sending its shares tumbling 12 per cent.

The Swiss-based mining and trading group led by billionaire Ivan Glasenberg said on Tuesday that it had received a subpoena from the US Department of Justice to produce documents with respect to compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and US money laundering statutes. The records related to the company’s activities in Nigeria, Venezuela and the DRC.

“Glencore is reviewing the subpoena and will provide further information in due course as appropriate,” the company said.

Glencore is the world’s biggest commodities trader, shifting millions of tonnes of metals, minerals and oil across the globe.

The company prides itself on operating in jurisdictions where many of its rivals fear to tread such as the DRC, Africa’s biggest copper producer and home to significant deposits of cobalt.

Traders noted that the DoJ subpoena comes just weeks after Glencore settled a dispute with Dan Gertler, its former business partner in the DRC.

Glencore said it would pay Mr Gertler in Euros so as to not fall foul of US sanctions, which were placed on the Israeli billionaire last year for his “opaque and corrupt mining deals” in the DRC.

At the time Glencore said it did not believe it was necessary to apply for a licence from the US government to pay Mr Gertler because no US person or the US financial system would be involved in the transactions.

It also claimed it has discussed the royalty payments, which it stopped paying in December, with the appropriate authorities in US and Switzerland, where the company has its headquarters.

However, the move unnerved investors and analysts who said the deal would test Washington’s resolve over sanctioned individuals. On the same day Glencore announced its deal with Mr Gertler, the US Treasury department placed sanctions on 14 companies with ties to the Israeli businessman, including the vehicle that will receive the royalty payments from Glencore.

The DoJ subpoena is the latest in a string of problems to hit Glencore this year.

In addition to its legal fight with Mr Gertler, it also agreed to write off $5.6bn of debt in a joint venture with Gecamines, the DRC’s state mining, to end another legal dispute.

The company could also face a bribery probe by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office over its ties to Mr Gertler.

Global Witness, a campaign group, said: “Holding Glencore accountable is a huge step in global accountability more generally. It would set a precedent for companies all over the world who, in many cases, are able to act with impunity in regards to the world’s mineral wealth.”

In early trading on Tuesday, Glencore shares were down 12 per cent to 303p, wiping more than £5bn off its market capitalisation, which now stands at £45bn.
“There is not enough detail in the release to understand exactly what the investigation holds, however with the subpoena covering multiple countries, this would indicate that there is a relatively thorough investigation at hand,” said Tyler Broda, analyst at RBC Capital Markets.

“The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act appears at first investigation to provide subject to sanctions, fines and penalties up to $25m or twice the gain or loss caused by the violation and imprisonment for up to 5 years per occurrence,” added Mr Broda.

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Monday, June 25, 2018

COMMENT - This confirms Glencore/Rothschild's (through Tony Hayward (Glencore non-executive Chair) and his and Nathaniel Philip Rothschild's Vallares) business links with Dany Gertler, who helped the Libyan government of Col. Ghadaffi buy Zamtel through LAP Green and Dany Gertler's RP Capital Partners.

Margot Mollat du Jourdin
Blog / 22 Jun 2018

Last week, mining giant Glencore settled two legal disputes threatening its assets in Democratic Republic of Congo, agreeing to pay hundreds of millions to opaque Congolese state-owned company Gécamines and sanctioned Israeli businessman Dan Gertler. These agreements raise fears that the company is willing to take significant risks and pay any price to safeguard its lucrative copper and cobalt mines in Congo.

The explosive news that Glencore would bypass US sanctions by paying Gertler in euros rather than dollars made headlines across the business press last week. It is hard to see this latest move as anything but a desperate and risky attempt by the Swiss commodities giant to extricate itself from of a mess of its own making.

Since 2012, Global Witness has warned about the risks of partnering with Gertler, a close friend of Congo’s embattled President Joseph Kabila. Yet for years Glencore defended its decade-long partnership with Gertler, ignoring repeated red flags and questions about the commercial justifications for some of their deals. Global Witness has called into question how the commodities trader enriched Gertler and protected his interests in mining deals.

Both Gertler and Glencore have consistently denied any wrongdoing in their business deals in Congo. Despite this, in early 2017 Glencore finally sought to distance itself from Gertler by buying him out of their partnerships in a billion dollar deal. But the relationship didn’t end there; Gertler is still entitled to receive contractual payments called royalties from both of Glencore’s projects in Congo. These are worth around €110m per year from 2019/20 and will continue for the lifetime of the mines.

In December the US Department of Treasury sanctioned Gertler and several of his companies following “hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of opaque and corrupt mining and oil deals” in Congo. This compelled Glencore to halt royalty payments to Gertler, who immediately sued Glencore in London and Hong Kong courts for nearly $3 billion in damages for non-payment of royalties. It must have then become clear to Glencore how difficult it would be to disentangle itself from its Gertler deals.

After a couple of months of out of court talks, Glencore decided to risk the wrath of US authorities and resume paying the royalties, but in euros rather than dollars. The settlement means that Glencore will pump millions of euros into the pockets of an individual accused by the US of bribery and of “acting as a middleman for mining assets” on behalf of Kabila.

The news comes just months before controversial elections in Congo and rumours that Kabila, president since his father’s assassination in 2001, could ignore a constitutional clause that forbids him to stand for a third term. Kabila and his loyalists were accused of manipulating elections in 2006 and 2011; indeed, Congo has not had a peaceful transition of power since independence in 1960. Now, more than ever, Glencore should not be lining the pockets of Kabila’s billionaire friend, as there is a clear risk that money going to Gertler could be used in turn to affect the course of upcoming elections.

This royalties agreement came just days after another less-reported settlement with Congo’s state-owned mining company Gécamines, which had accused Glencore of piling excessive levels of debt on its Congolese subsidiary KCC. Gécamines, which owns 25% of KCC, threatened to dissolve the subsidiary until Glencore found a resolution.

As part of the agreement, Glencore has paid $150m to Gécamines for the “settlement of historical commercial disputes”; so far neither Glencore nor Gécamines has explained the underlying basis for this figure of $150m. This lack of clarity raises real concern that the payment may be no more than an over the table inducement to bring a quick end to the dispute.

Civil society organisations, including Global Witness, have repeatedly exposed Gécamines’ financial mismanagement and alleged corruption within the company. In light of Gécamines’ chequered recent history, it is vital that payments to the company have a legitimate basis and are used transparently. As long as Gécamines’ financial management remains shrouded in secrecy there is a significant risk that the $150m payment may not be used to develop Congo’s mining assets for the benefit of the Congolese people, as it should be.

Albert Yuma, the CEO of Gécamines, recently announced that the state miner plans to review its joint venture contracts with its partners. The Carter Center has extensively reported on how Gécamines signed or re-evaluated scores of contracts in the years preceding previous elections in 2006 and 2011, when conditions were ripe for revenue diversion. Given the context, Glencore should have taken into account the risk that major one-off payments to Gécamines could be diverted for political purposes.

Glencore’s agreements with both Gertler and Gécamines have resolved extremely serious disputes that could have seen Glencore lose its valuable investments in Congo’s copper and cobalt sectors. Glencore is desperate to hold onto these mining projects, and it’s not hard to see why. Cobalt is booming. Congo is the world’s largest supplier of the mineral, which is a vital ingredient in rechargeable batteries, and cobalt’s price has skyrocketed as the electric cars industry has emerged over recent years.

But that does not give companies carte blanche to make whatever payments necessary, to whomsoever necessary, in order to safeguard their investments. Companies profiting from minerals in Congo, like Glencore, must commit to supporting clean and transparent supply chains and take responsibility for any corruption risks involved in the deals they make. We cannot expect the full burden of this to fall on producing countries; all companies in the cobalt industry must take responsibility.

Moreover, Glencore cannot be allowed to get around important US anti-corruption measures and continue to pay Gertler massive royalty fees; unless the US responds by enforcing its sanctions, this sends a dangerous message that huge companies can act with impunity to protect their business interests.


Saturday, June 23, 2018

(HERALD ZW) MDC gets roll, demands voters’ photos

COMMENT - The MDC wants to know where you live. They don't sound like they like democracy any more than their rhodesian predecessors did. - MrK

(HERALD ZW) MDC gets roll, demands voters’ photos
Felex Share Senior Reporter

MDC Alliance on Tuesday said it had received a copy of the voters’ roll for the July 30 harmonised elections, but immediately demanded photographs of all registered voters to conduct an audit through door-to-door visits. In a bid to cast aspersions on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and undermine the credibility of the polls, MDC-T faction leader Mr Nelson Chamisa, who leads a coalition of seven fringe political parties, insisted the voters’ roll was not final.

MDC-T national deputy treasurer Mr Charlton Hwende said they wanted a voters’ roll with pictures, a request described by observers as an intimidation tactic.

ZEC yesterday said the voters’ roll contained adequate information.
Photographs, ZEC commissioner Dr Qhubani Moyo said, would be used by the electoral body on election day for identification purposes.

“The voters’ roll that we compiled does contain photographs of everyone registered,” he said.
“We are going to use those photographs for identification purposes as the commission during voting day. All stakeholders interested in the voters’ roll have been given a voters’ roll that carries adequate information of the voter in terms of their name, age, ID number and also where they are registered.

Can you imagine what it entails to download a file that has images of 5,6 million Zimbabweans for everyone who wants to go through it? We are convinced as a commission that all stakeholders desirous of the voters’ roll do have adequate information.”

Dr Moyo added: “There has been a number of issues being raised by a lot of people saying when we were registering you made a commitment that our details are going to be purely for election purposes and for us now to be giving every stakeholder those pictures creates problems of confidence amongst citizens who would not have registered had they known their pictures would be given to anyone.”

ZEC availed a final voters’ roll last Friday, which contains over 5,6 million registered voters.
Mr Chamisa, who is under fire from alliance partners after he grabbed parliamentary and council seats reserved for them, said the voters’ roll was not final.

“We’ve now established that the voters’ roll ZEC is issuing is not the final roll,” he tweet- ed.
“Those who ‘registered’ during inspection are yet to be added. ZEC claims it will add them later. So ZEC has given us a voters’ roll it knows is not final. Our response is coming, it will be red.”

In his intimidating tweet, Mr Hwende said: “@ZECzim a final voters’ roll without the pictures of the registered voters is unacceptable. We want the final voters’ role with the pictures so that we can do a physical audit through door to door visits.”
Observers yesterday said the frivolous demands being given by the Chamisa-led coalition showed the party was running scared ahead of the elections.

Senior legal counsel Mr Tendai Toto said: “These are methods and tactics of the rightwing brothers and sisters to scuttle the impending elections.

“The demands interfere with voters’ rights to free choice. The exercise of voters’ roll audit can be used by anybody to intimidate the electorate, campaign for or against, and unnecessarily interfere with people’s privacy.

“How will political parties execute the voters’ roll audit if they interfere with voters’ rights as forestated? It is unfortunate that some of these demands are made without due regard to citizens’ rights.

“Before and after the polls it is possible that harassment, bullying, victimisation and compulsive voting can happen especially when image identities are disclosed and publicised.

“If any political parties or interested parties, stakeholders wish to conduct voters’ roll audit (if they have any such mandate) they must consult the database of their respective registered supporters and conduct the audits.”

Political analyst Mr Tafadzwa Mugwadi weighed in: “They are now resorting to desperate spanner-throwing shenanigans to discredit a credible electoral process, which even their member, Eddie Cross, lauded as the best since colonisation.

“Chamisa and crew have been on the forefront demanding a voters’ roll from ZEC and now that that they have it, they are cornered and are running out of a political message.”
Mr Cross this week said this year’s elections would be the best in 54 years.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

(MODERN GHANA) Historical Meeting Between The Kingdom Of Ashanti And The Accompong Maroons In Jamaica

(MODERN GHANA) Historical Meeting Between The Kingdom Of Ashanti And The Accompong Maroons In Jamaica
Diaspora News | 2 May 2016 09:13 CET
By Accompong Maroons

Maroon delegation from left to right: Timothy McPherson, Toni-Ann Williams, Cassandra Wall, Col. Ferron Williams, Opal Dickson-Clarke, Novadean Newsome, Julette Osbourne

Colonel Ferron Williams returned back to the island this weekend with a delegation of Accompong Maroons whom he had led to the Kingdom of Ashanti, Ghana, for a historical meeting with the Asantehene.

Maroon delegation from left to right: Timothy McPherson, Toni-Ann Williams, Cassandra Wall, Col. Ferron Williams, Opal Dickson-Clarke, Novadean Newsome, Julette Osbourne

The Maroon delegation was invited as the Asantehene’s guests of honour during the Akwasidae Festival, which is the Kingdom’s most important celebration. The King of Ashanti, Otumfou Osei Tutu II, described the meeting as being a very important “spiritual re-unification” particularly because the Maroons in Accompong trace their ancestry back to the Akan and Ashanti people. “These are my people, they have come back home,” he said when introducing the delegation.

In addition to meeting with the King, the Maroon delegation was also welcomed by President John Mahama. Colonel Ferron Williams has described the trip as a major milestone in African and Caribbean relations, highlighting the important role that traditional leaders can and must play in achieving an African Renaissance.

Accompong’s Colonel Ferron Williams (left) meeting Ghana’s President John Mahama

During the three-day official visit, the Accompong Maroon delegation enjoyed several sites, among which was a tour of the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park & Mausoleum as well as the Cape Coast Slave Castle.

In addition to the cultural re-unification between the Accompong Maroons and the Kingdom of Ashanti, the visit also ventured into the economic sphere. Accompong’s Minister of Finance, Timothy Elisha McPherson Jr., signed a trade agreement with the Kingdom of Ashanti that would establish a new era of pan-African cooperation on various fronts, particularly in the area of climate change mitigation and renewable energy finance. Minister McPherson said, “Accompong’s climate change initiative has become the driving force behind all of our current activities.

We created the Central Solar Reserve Bank of Accompong as a unique and modern institution to facilitate renewable energy finance, and now through this trade agreement we will be granted access to our ancestral land of Ghana as well as the whole ECOWAS region. So this is truly a great step for Accompong both on the economic and cultural front”.

Colonel Ferron Williams described the trade agreement as a landmark event not only for the Accompong Maroons but for the whole Diaspora. He said, “we are oldest sovereign Africans in the Western hemisphere, and it is very appropriate that this agreement be established with us. We do this in honour of our ancestors who fought for our freedom.”

Established in 1738-9 through its peace treaty with the British, the Accompong Maroons are the only Maroons in Jamaica who still have full sovereignty. The community is committed to a transformation from a cultural historic relic into an economic force within the pan-African Renaissance.

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Sunday, May 13, 2018

(GUARDIAN UK) Maasai herders driven off land to make way for luxury safaris, report says

COMMENT - This is what happens when there are no limits on what politicians can 'sell' from under the feed of the people of the country under neoliberalism/globalisation.

(GUARDIAN UK) Maasai herders driven off land to make way for luxury safaris, report says
Tanzanian government accused of putting indigenous people at risk in order to grant foreign tourists access to Serengeti wildlife

Jonathan Watts Global environment correspondent
Thu 10 May 2018 11.00 BST Last modified on Thu 10 May 2018 11.02 BST

The Tanzanian government is putting foreign safari companies ahead of Maasai herding communities as environmental tensions grow on the fringes of the Serengeti national park, according to a new investigation.

Hundreds of homes have been burned and tens of thousands of people driven from ancestral land in Loliondo in the Ngorongoro district in recent years to benefit high-end tourists and a Middle Eastern royal family, says the report by the California-based thinktank the Oakland Institute.

Although carried out in the name of conservation, these measures enable wealthy foreigners to watch or hunt lions, zebra, wildebeest, giraffes and other wildlife, while the authorities exclude local people and their cattle from watering holes and arable land, the institute says.

The report, released on Thursday highlights the famine and fear caused by biodiversity loss, climate change, inequality and discrimination towards indigenous groups.

Losing the Serengeti: The Maasai Land that was to Run Forever uses previously unpublished correspondence, official documents, court testimonies and first-person testimony to examine the impact of two firms: Thomson Safaris based in the United States, and Otterlo Business Corporation based in the United Arab Emirates.

It says Thomson’s sister company, Tanzania Conservation Limited, is in a court battle with three Maasai villages over the ownership of 12,617 acres (5,106 hectares) of land in Loliondo which the company uses for safaris.


One Maasai quoted in the report said Thomson had built a camp in the middle of their village, blocking access. “Imagine, a stranger comes and constructs a big building in the centre of your home,” reads the testimony. “Our livestock cannot go to the waterhole – there is no other route for the villagers or their livestock.”

The report says villagers have been driven off, assaulted or arrested by local police, park rangers or security guards.

The restricted access to land has made the Maasai more vulnerable to famine during drought years, the report says, noting appeals that locals have made for the government to change policies because of growing numbers of malnourished children.

A Maasai villager contacted by the Guardian said access remained blocked and that uniformed agents had beaten, threatened or tied-up and driven off pastoralists, as recently as December.

Thomson strongly denies these accusations. It says Tanzania Conservation Limited employs 100% Maasai staff, allows cattle on the property to access seasonal water, and works with local communities and the government to conserve the savannah, improve access to water and formulate a sustainable grazing policy.

The company blames past conflicts on NGO activists who they say stirred up villagers and led to staff being assaulted by young warriors armed with clubs, spears, knives and poison arrows.

“These interventions have been played out to attract attention, provide stories, and to disrupt the working relationship between company and communities on the ground,” Rick Thomson, a director of Tanzania Conservation, wrote in an email to the Guardian. “In these events the endangered staff have a protocol of disengaging any way they can to avoid escalation, and reporting to the authorities any situation where any people and property, are physically threatened. These situations have been rare and no such events have occurred for the last four years.”

He said the company was not connected to government evictions of illegal residents in the national park, which is reserved for wildlife.

The report also claims Maasai have been driven off land as a result of government ties with Otterlo Business Corporation, which organises hunting trips for the royal family of the United Arab Emirates and their guests who fly into a custom-built landing strip in Loliondo.

Since Otterlo was first granted 400,000 hectares of land for hunting, the government has mounted successive eviction operations.

The company has warned the area needs greater ecological protection because herds are increasing while water sources are drying up due to climate change.

Despite past government promises that the Maasai would never be evicted from their land, the report notes Serengeti national park rangers burned 114 bomas (traditional homes) in 2015 and another 185 in August of last year. Along with other demolitions, local media report more than 20,000 Maasai were left homeless.

Maasai protests, an international outcry and domestic allegations of corruption have forced a reconsideration of this policy. In November 2017, the tourism minister revoked the hunting licence of Otterlo, suspended the state director of wildlife, and ordered investigations into the links between foreign firms and former officials.

But the authorities appear divided. Locals told the Guardian this week that Otterlo continues to operate safari tours in Loliondo to the detriment of villagers.

A tourist takes pictures of Maasai villagers.
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A tourist takes pictures of Maasai villagers. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo
Lawyers representing the Maasai communities in a court claim over the land said the policies of the government were tilted towards foreign tour companies.

“The evictions are not justified because more and more land is being taken away from the villages without due process or compensation even though they have legal titles,” said lawyer Rashid S Rashid. “The policies of the government are based mainly on the arguments advanced by Thomson and Otterlo because they have more political influence than the villagers.”

The report’s authors say the problem dates back to the era of British rule. From then onwards, Maasai have been steadily dispossessed of land on the Serengeti. They urge the government to take urgent action to alleviate the risk of famine, establish a new model of land titling and an independent inquiry into disputes over ownership.

“Without access to grazing lands and watering holes, and without the ability to grow food for their communities, the Maasai are at risk of a new 21st-century period of emutai (eradication),” said Anuradha Mittal, the director of the Oakland Institute. “But it does not have to be this way. Unlike the emutai of the 19th century, the hardships and abuses currently faced by the Maasai can be halted.”

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Sunday, April 01, 2018

(THE MAST ONLINE ZM) M’membe is SP’s 2021 presidential candidate

“It’s either socialism or death and we are choosing socialism. Zambia has become completely capitalistic, the ruling elite is a mere conveyor belt of capitalism, and these conveyor belts receive kick-backs from the capitalists. No change should be expected from today’s elite, we must actually stop them. We must stop the ruling elite from ruining our country and that is our mandate and that is why we are here. We shall never surrender until victory becomes possible,” said Dr Musumali.

(THE MAST ONLINE ZM) M’membe is SP’s 2021 presidential candidate
By Tobias Phiri
on March 31, 2018

THE Socialist Party has announced that former Post Newspapers editor-in-chief Fred M’membe is their presidential candidate for the 2021 general elections.

Speaking during the launch of the party in Lusaka, Socialist Party deputy general secretary Dr Cosmas Musumali said the majority of Zambians were in desperate poverty, which he said his party was resolved to end once voted into office in 2021.

He pledged that his party would transform the country once ushered into office.

“With this launch, we are declaring our total commitment and undivided attention to transforming Zambia along socialist lines in 2021. For the time being, to spearhead this process, I will serve as the party’s general secretary. And then we have Comrade Fred M’membe who will serve as deputy general secretary. Comrade Fred M’membe is also suggested as our presidential candidate for the 2021 elections,” Dr Musumali said.

“2021 comrades, you are getting state power. We commit and dedicate ourselves to solidarity with oppressed people wherever they may be, including beyond our artificial boundaries.”

Dr Musumali said the formation of the Socialist Party was based on the cries of the people from around the country.

“The party was finally registered on 16th October 2017 [and] we have since embarked on a campaign to recruit members to set up structures in all corners of our country and the birth of our party is a direct response to very strong and clear calls from the people across the boundaries of Zambia to chart a call out of capitalism. You will see a dramatic change in the Zambian politics starting from today, we will not compromise in terms of our principles…change must come,” Dr Musumali said.

“The majority of Zambians today are destitute, poverty has increased and the living conditions of Zambians are very desperate. The system that we have blindly glorified so much has never been and shall never ever be a system that will emancipate the poor from want. Capitalism is inherently a corrupt system that strives on greed and exploitation of the masses to benefit a few.”

He stated that the current government was corrupt and no change should be expected from them and they must be stopped before they destroy the country.

“It’s either socialism or death and we are choosing socialism. Zambia has become completely capitalistic, the ruling elite is a mere conveyor belt of capitalism, and these conveyor belts receive kick-backs from the capitalists. No change should be expected from today’s elite, we must actually stop them. We must stop the ruling elite from ruining our country and that is our mandate and that is why we are here. We shall never surrender until victory becomes possible,” said Dr Musumali.

And addressing Socialist Party members who turned up in numbers for the event also attended by Cuban Ambassador to Zambia Nelson Pages, Dr M’membe said the only hope for the Zambians was socialism because capitalism was only taking turns while changing shape exploiting the people.

“They say chameleon achinja fye colour but inkanda imo ine; a chameleon changes colour but the skin remains the same. That is how all exploitative systems are, that is how capitalist exploitation is. As long as capitalist exploitation is not totally uprooted, eradicated it, will just change form and all its evils will remain \ intact,” Dr M’membe said.

He recalled how over 120 years ago, Mpezeni’s son, Nsingu, the commander of the Ngoni forces, was assassinated for resisting capitalist takeover by Cecil John Rhodes.

“In December 1897, the British forces stationed at Kota Kota in Malawi attacked the Ngoni people for refusing to hand over their land so that Cecil Rhodes’ companies could prospect for and mine gold in the area…Capitalism kills, steals, subjugates and humiliates. It killed Nsingu and his 10,000 young Ngoni fighters, it stole their cattle and imprisoned and humiliated Mpezeni in order to exploit, subjugate, colonise them,” stated Dr M’membe.

“Many things seem to have changed since then, but the fundamentals, the key things remain intact – our people are still being killed, robbed of their land and minerals, neocolonised by capitalism, its enterprises and states…It is a struggle we have to continue in honour of commander Nsingu and his fighters; it is a struggle we have to wage for the future generations of this nation and indeed for our own liberation from today’s capitalist exploitation, subjugation and humiliation. Just as Nsingu and his comrades chose to die from Maxim-guns and Seven-pounders than to live under capitalist exploitation, subjugation and humiliation, we today commit ourselves to a struggle without respite against capitalism and for establishment of a more just, fair and humane society in our homeland. It is socialism and only socialism that can truly free our people, Nsingu’s people and homeland and all humanity from capitalist exploitation, subjugation and humiliation.”

Dr M’membe has been playing a background role in the political arena until last week when the Socialist Party announced his active involvement in their party and the subsequent announcement of his intentions to run for presidential office in 2021.

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“It’s either socialism or death and we are choosing socialism. Zambia has become completely capitalistic, the ruling elite is a mere conveyor belt of capitalism, and these conveyor belts receive kick-backs from the capitalists. No change should be expected from today’s elite, we must actually stop them. We must stop the ruling elite from ruining our country and that is our mandate and that is why we are here. We shall never surrender until victory becomes possible,” said Dr Musumali.


Friday, March 09, 2018

(FIN24 SA) Michael Bloomberg tells SA: Inaction on inequality could lead to uprising

COMMENT - Land has to be redistributed to get the South African economy going in a way that is meaningful to the people who live in it. - MrK

(FIN24 SA) Michael Bloomberg tells SA: Inaction on inequality could lead to uprising
Mar 08 2018 10:56 Carin Smith

The 8 billionaires who own the same wealth as 3.6bn people

Cape Town - "Income inequality is a problem. If you don’t do something about it, they will set up the guillotines. Marie Antoinette's life did not end well."

That's what Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and regarded as one of the richest people in the world, told a Cape Town audience on Wednesday during an an event with the theme "The Future of South Africa", hosted by Bloomberg LP.

"People take money from the rich and give it to poor for selfish reasons. We don’t want them to set up guillotines, but people want jobs. It is about self-esteem," he said.

Bloomberg, the former Mayor of New York, said the three biggest things people worry about in the world at the moment are climate change, then a possible nuclear war and then technology replacing jobs, according to Michael Bloomberg.

"How do you create jobs in a world where it is easy to automate jobs which are easy to train people for? The future is scary and people worry that something will be automated and take their jobs."

READ: The 8 billionaires who own the same wealth as 3.6bn people
Growing employment

Investec Group CEO Stephen Koseff said during a panel discussion at the event that one "can get frightened when listening to Julius Malema talking to 80 000 people in a stadium".

He said it is very important for business to help uplift communities so people can get to the point of looking after themselves. This would reduce social grants.

"Growing the employment base is critical. Reducing poverty is key," said Koseff. Yet, he pointed out that there will always be some form of inequality as one will always have some people doing better than others.

Richard Brasher, CEO of Pick n Pay, said during the panel discussion at the event that, "if the youth has the will, industry can give them skills. They must, however, know that they need to work hard and be disciplined and then they need an opportunity.

READ: Youth vulnerable as unemployment stays at highest rate since 2003
Multiple approach

Magda Wierzycka, CEO at Sygnia asset management, said during the panel discussion that there must be a multiple approach to SA's economic growth.

"Business and government need to come to the party. Don’t rely on the international community. For instance, a lot of money can be deployed in infrastructure programmes," she said.

"Make a law, for instance that 5% of pension fund investments must be in infrastructure. That should accellerate deploying money already in the country into projects that create jobs. I think with the new optimism in the country people will be more willing to do this."

She said a sound process and system are needed and the confidence that money invested will not be wasted or stolen.

She would also like to see SA give tax breaks to lure international technology firms to come here.

"Make it easy to import skills to the country. These skilled people can be used to train our own youth," she said.

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Monday, February 26, 2018

(THE MAST ZM) Haabazoka calls for repossession of mines

COMMENT - On a small note of disagreement, I don't agree with prof. Haabazoka about economic targets if that means 5 year plans, and I don't think PAYE is a great idea, however those are just two prescriptions that I think there are more modern variations to. It is unacceptable that the mines, for instance through the illegal practice of transfer pricing, declare a loss year in and year out, or that dividends are not paid to ZCCM-IH, which today is a holding company with a very conflicted board of directors. They also neglect to collect dividends from the mines. I completely agree that the mines should be state owned. And there should be cheap credit for small businesses, farmers, consumers - official lending rates are prohibitive and have been for decades.

1. CopperCoin

How about a local crypto currency backed by copper?

2. Drought proofing farmland

Which can probably be promoted under the banner of combating the effects of climate change. The army probably has enough equipment to train recruits, a skill that can carry over into civilian life. And prevent the yearly flooding by storing water in the soil.

Brad Lancaster learned a lot from the Zimbabwean dry land water pioneer Mr. Zepheniah Phiri Maseko.

There are a lot of things that can be done in agriculture, manufacturing and education.

3. Manufacturing from locally grown agricultural products

How to make a HQ handmade Cigar
Notice the prices

Turning maize surpluses into storeable and exportable distillates, which would also help create a permanent market for maize surpluses for local farmers:

How to
Bourbon sells for $4,000 to $15,000 per barrel

4. Horticulture

There are crops that can be grown besides maize and that have a very high return or are labour intensive.

If a market for small to medium sized farms is created, there has to be technology developed to meet their needs, rather than technology for giant corporations. The universities can be of help here. For example:

Quick Cut Greens Harvester (Official)
Farmer’s Friend

5. Redistribute land

" The Northern Rhodesia (Native Trust Land) Orders-in-Council of 1947 created Trust Land as a result of pressure from the white settlers who demanded security on the land they occupied. Trust Land constituted about 58%. This was actually an extension of crown or state land to 64% while the reserve land for the local people was reduced to 36%. "

6. Universal Basic Income

This is how you really stimulate the economy:

There has to be a serious discussion about the end of 'jobs' which is universal, including in mining, a relentles tide caused by automation and innovation. People still need incomes, even without jobs. There has to be a concerted effort to eliminate poverty.

7. Democracy

The government has to do what the people want it to do. No more capture by the IMF, or corporations. Major decisions have to be put to a referendum - taking on debt, negotiating trade deals, going to war, etc. This is the only way to prevent rogue governments. It should be illegal for NGO's to take money from for instance Freedom House or the Open Society Foundations.

- MrK

Haabazoka calls for repossession of mines
By Chambwa Moonga on February 21, 2018

ECONOMIST Lubinda Haabazoka says Zambia’s mines ought to be under government ownership because the current model of private ownership is a failure.

And Dr Haabazoka, who is a University of Zambia (UNZA) lecturer, has noted that the current trend where Zambians are being over-taxed by authorities will not culminate into development for the country.

Speaking on The Assignment programme on Muvi TV on Sunday night, Dr Haabazoka inferred that mines under the current ownership model were not substantively contributing to Zambia’s economy.

“What we need to do [is that] the current model of mines being under private ownership is a failure. I don’t know how much taxes the mines are paying but when you look at ZCCM (Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines) in 1991, it made net profits of US$191 million. When you look at the mines from 1998 to today, all the taxes put together that they have paid are less than US$191 million! They (mine owners) are always saying ‘we are making losses’. So, they have failed. We need to get the mines under ZCCM again,”

Dr Haabazoka noted.

“Foreign investors can come and build malls, they can come and build factories – build motor vehicle manufacturing plants, we are not against that. But they should not run the mines! The mines should be under government. I’m a capitalist but also I’m for a mixed economy and I borrow from Russia… Look at our mines! Cobalt, I think, is selling over $40,000 per tonne. But where is that money going to? You cannot be running a shop for 15 years and continue making losses.”

He recalled that under ZCCM ownership, mines did more in terms of corporate social responsibility.

“When my father was a mine captain…my father just went up to equivalent of Grade seven. Our grandfathers and fathers took over the mines when the former president Kaunda was in charge. We didn’t have educated people but ZCCM built schools, roads, clinics and all the infrastructure that was on the Copperbelt,” Dr Haabazoka said. 
“FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) for Zambia, for example, contributes huge amounts of foreign exchange inflows but unfortunately there are very few countries that have developed using FDIs. A foreigner cannot come and develop your country – they can bring in new technologies.”

And Dr Haabazoka pointed out that Zambia seemed not to know where it was going.

“You need to have targets which you need to reach and those targets are beyond single digit inflation, stable exchange rate. Those [targets] are basically that of revolutionalising the way you do things; major success stories of economic development, the South Korean example, the Japanese example, Singapore, even the Rwandan experience – those are things that basically you can see going on where everyone in the nation has put their hands together and are moving the country forward,” he said.

“At the moment, we don’t know what we want to achieve; do we want just to merely stabilise macro-economic indicators? Do we want to continue accumulating debt? Are we infrastructural wise? Where is our youth policy? Where are we going? What is happening to our manufacturing industry? What of our mineral wealth? How is economic development happening?”

Haabazoka added that from independence, Zambia’s government knew that it wanted massive investments and that it created its own manufacturing industry as well as enhancing infrastructural development.

“[But] from 1991 we lost it until 2001 when we stabilised the damage that was caused…by the huge debt that we had. Mwanawasa’s period was much more of a stabilising period, trying to get rid of the debt. In my opinion, now we should have that economic development that is aimed at trying to reduce…. We have gone back; from stabilising and reducing our debt to US$600 million, we started accumulating it after 2011 and now we are in massive debt. Now, we are supposed to start doing what we were doing from 2001 – stabilise issues so that in the future we start growing,” Dr Haabazoka said.

“As a country, we are hugely divided; the country basically is divided into red and green – tribal divisions! Everything that happens in the country people see it through political lenses, through surnames of individuals – there is a lot of disunity. People might disagree with me but basically that is what is obtaining.”

He also regretted that Zambians only spoke of economic diversification when copper prices were below $4,000 per tonne.

“When you look at economic diversification per se, you need both government and citizens to actively participate in it. First of all, you have to say what it is that we are dependent on. You are going to choose the mining industry. [But] can we use the mining industry to diversify our economy? Yes, we can!” Dr Haabazoka said.

He also observed that Zambians had fallen in love with money.
“I don’t know where that has come from. When you call a Zambian to come and do something, they are going to charge…. Some people even charge $500 per hour just to come and help solve the drainage…,” Dr Haabazoka observed.

Meanwhile, Dr Haabazoka noted that what was currently obtaining in the country’s economy could not propel Zambia to development.

“We cannot develop an economy on high taxes. There is no country in the world that has taxed its way into development. The current regime can change things, there is still time. They can actually do it within one or two years. But they have to do the following;
give a breather to citizens. There is no way you can be charging toll fees at K20 per motor vehicle. In a K20, a person on the street can buy pamela (rationed mealie-meal pack), eggs and make lunch for their family. Give a breather [because] there is no way you can tax your way into development,”
said Dr Haabazoka.

“The current Minister of Finance should bring back the Pay As You Earn to 35 per cent. Actually, 28 per cent is the best rate or most optimal tax for the current situation. You are going to see increased economy growth in the future. Those days if on a Saturday you went into a hardware shop, it will be packed. But nowadays you are just a few of you and it’s not because people don’t want to build; there is no disposable income [and] this is not politics. I’m just saying what is on the ground!”

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

(BLF) Western Cape says voetsek Johann Rupert, we are coming for our land!


BLF Western Cape says voetsek Johann Rupert, we are coming for our land!
BLF Western Cape says voetsek Johann Rupert, we are coming for our land!

Black First Land First Western Cape (BLF-WC) is not phased by Johann Rupert’s tantrums. Rupert continues to use courts to interdict BLF from the land that his family stole from the black majority. The vexatious interdicts are meant to intimidate and dissuade BLF from exercising its mission, which is to expropriate land from the likes of Rupert who continues to hoard our land and farms, while we, the landless black masses, continue to be landless, starved and hungry.

The land thief, Rupert, is clearly shaken by BLF as proponents of radical economic transformation, in particular, our strong belief in land return without compensation.

Today, 13 February 2018, the Western Cape High Court – Court Room 16, heard the matters which include 10 farms which the land thieves wish to interdict black landless masses from. The matter will return to the High Court on 27 February 2018.

Included in the list of farms are:

Hanneli Rupert’s LA Motte, which was recently set on fire. Hanneli Rupert is Johann Rupert’s daughter.

Denneguer, which BLF visited last year.

Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons. We know that Rothschild is the evil white family which former Finace Minister, the sellout Trevor Manuel, represents and works for.

The High Court refused to lift the interdicts against BLF. We accept this but we say the interdict is only for BLF members but other landless black people are free to occupy the farms.

These interdicts and court appearances are very expensive and as poor black people, we do not have the means to oppose them all. We will consult and make a decision on the best way to advance the struggle for land prior to the next court date.

Land thieves are using the courts to illegally remove President Zuma and they are also using the courts to stop black people from reclaiming the land which was stolen.

Like President Zuma, we are constitutional delinquents, and we are not afraid of these courts which seek to maintain our landlessness!

Land or Death!


13 February 2018

Contact Details

Black First Land First Mail:

Ncedisa Mpemnyama
(BLF-WC Chairperson)
Cell: +27 73 110 0334

Feziwe Sigqumo
(BLF-WC Secretary General)
Cell: +27 84 953 3374



(THE PATRIOT ZW) The Struggle for Land in Zimbabwe (1890-2010)…economic sanctions depreciate Zim dollar

COMMENT - On how ZDERA and other sanctions were intended to devalue the Zimbabwe Dollar, which is another routine demand made by the IMF/WB of every country in the world. The Zimbabwe Dollar was destroyed by a credit freeze - financial manipulation by the Rothschild controlled IMF/WB. - MrK

(THE PATRIOT ZW) The Struggle for Land in Zimbabwe (1890-2010)…economic sanctions depreciate Zim dollar
By The Patriot Reporter - February 8, 20180108
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By the year 2003, inflation had risen to 500 percent, peaking to hyperinflation figures by 2007, with prices rising more than 50 percent every month, writes Dr Felix Muchemwa in his book The Struggle for Land in Zimbabwe (1890-2010) that The Patriot is serialising

BY July 19 2002, the Zimbabwe dollar had depreciated by more than 160 percent against the US dollar on the parallel market, and inflation stood at 144,2 percent (Zimbabwe Independent, Nov 15 2002, p.B1).

By the end of 2003, it was well over 500 percent.

Meanwhile, it was widely known in financial circles that the Minister of Finance, Dr Simba Makoni, had made it clear to the Cabinet that the Zimbabwe dollar was highly over-valued and that Zimbabwe should normalise its extremely tense relationship with international financial institutions, in particular, with the IMF, in order to get emergency balance of payment support for the local economy.

Together with the Reserve Bank Governor, Dr Tsumba, Makoni had, in mid-July 2002, proceeded to highly recommend the devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar to the Zimbabwe Cabinet Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, chaired by President Robert Mugabe. (Fingaz, July 4-10 2002, p.1)

On the other hand, the Zimbabwe Cabinet, in particular its chairman, Cde Mugabe, was too well aware that the IMF had, from 1999 to 2002, imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe due to the Land Reform Programme and was also insisting on the devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar as a condition for the disbursement of the balance of payment support. (Fingaz, October 30 2002, p.6)

Most Cabinet members were also equally aware that Zimbabwe was under financial and economic sanctions intended to depreciate the Zim dollar, the very point underlined by ZDERA Sections 4 (C) (i) and (ii) and 4 (D) (i) and (ii) whose objective was a total reversal and disbandment of Zimbabwe’s compulsory Land Acquisition and Land Reform Programme. (ZDERA, December 21 2001)

The Zimbabwean Cabinet, in particular its chairman, could therefore not understand how a Finance Minister and a Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor, with full copies of the ZDERA sanctions documents on their desks could ever recommend the devaluation of the Zim dollar, which in any case was already being devalued almost every second by ZDERA (2001).

It was, therefore, not surprising that when President Mugabe opened the third session of the Fifth Parliament of Zimbabwe in August 2002, he used extremely strong words against the devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar.

He said: “Devaluation (of the Zim dollar) is dead” and he went on further to say that those who advocated devaluation ‘were saboteurs and enemies of the state’. (Zimind, August 9 2002, p.16)

President Mugabe proceeded to form a new ‘War Cabinet’, and Dr Makoni was not included.

Instead, his portfolio was taken over by Dr Hebert Murerwa. And, the biggest challenge confronting the ‘War Cabinet’ was ‘inflation’ due to the declining foreign currency inflows and the dwindling gold reserves which would otherwise stabilise the Zimbabwe dollar.

By the year 2003, inflation had risen to 500 percent (Richardson, p.542), peaking to hyperinflationary figures by 2007, with prices rising more than 50 percent every month. (Scoones et al, 2010: p.26)

The trend continued through 2007 and towards the end of 2008, it peaked at 231 000 000 percent. (Chimhowu, 2009)
The hyperinflation wiped out any value of any cash in hand for all levels of workers and any savings deposited in banks.
Cash transactions became more and more difficult, including the purchase of foreign currency.

Products became scarce amidst mushrooming black markets and, barter deals became more common. (Scoones et al, 2010: p.26)
Suprisingly, Zimbabwe’s GDP declined by only 40 percent between 2000 and 2008. (Blacking and Sachikonye, 2008)

In 2008, the UNDP gave a completely deliberate false report when it asserted that:

“Zimbabwe’s inflation is fundamentally caused by excess Government expenditure, financed by the printing of money in an economy with real GDP that has been declining for the last 10 years. Money supply growth has been completely decoupled from economic growth and the inevitable result being continued and accelerating inflation.” (UNDP Report, 2008)

The UNDP Report should have clearly stated that, for 10 years since 1998, Zimbabwe had been under financial sanctions and, therefore, had no source of foreign currency to stabilise its domestic currency, the Zim dollar, which remained the only currency to run the entire Zimbabwean economy without any foreign currency inflows.

The situation was made worse by the American sanctions law, ZDERA of December 21 2001. Foreign imports were hard hit, in particular, fuel, raw materials for industry, drugs for HIV and AIDS, cancer, anaesthetic drugs, medical equipment and even water treatment tablets.
Foreign currency inflows had declined from US$480,3 million in 1999 to US$49,3 million by 2006. Consequently, foreign exchange reserves had declined from US$830 million (three months import cover in 1996) to less than one month import cover by the year 2006.

The attendant foreign exchange shortages severely constrained Zimbabwe’s capacity to meet its foreign payment obligations and finance critical imports such as industrial raw materials, medical drugs and equipment, grain and other food imports in times of drought, as well as fuel and electricity. That way, loan repayment arrears amounting to US$109 million in 1999 had by 2006 increased to US$2,5 billion and to over US$7,5 billion by 2011.

In urban areas, water became scarce.

For the first time in Zimbabwe’s history, Harare had cholera and typhoid outbreaks because water treatment tablets could not be imported since Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) had imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe for its compulsory land acquisition for the resettlement of peasant Africans.

Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) had also cut its donor funds to the Ministry of Education and some essential projects like printing of Braille books for the blind or visually challenged had come to a sudden halt in 1999. (Gono, 2007)