Wednesday, April 09, 2014

(STICKY) SAPs and the Build up to the Rwandan Genocide
Thomas Hauschildt, Mar 31 2012

This project evaluates the impact of structural adjustment programmes (SAPs) on the economy and subsequently social environment of pre-genocide Rwanda.

The first research aim is to evaluate the development and characteristics of neoliberal theory and SAPs (Auerbach, 2007, pp.34-35). The cornerstones of neoliberal policies are the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank and the origin and purpose of both institutions will be assessed (Rowden, 2009, pp.53-56). Arguments made by the IMF and the World Bank in favour of these programmes will be opposed by arguments made by advocates of the dependency theory and world system theory (Kelly, 2008, pp.320-321; Wallerstein, 1980, pp.66-69).

The second research aim focuses on the causes and impacts of the SAPs on the Rwandan economy. The SAPs will be presented in a wider context which will include demands for democracy and a peace process between the Rwandan Government and the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) (Andersen, 2000, pp.450-452).

The third aim provides the nexus between the SAPs imposed on Rwanda and ethnic mobilisation. The focus will be on two aspects of the Rwandan economy. First, the division of labour will be evaluated. This is essential as the SAPs were perceived as favouring the Tutsi dominated private sector (Storey, 1999, pp.53-55). Second, the issue of land scarcity and agricultural commercialisation will be assessed as Rwanda suffered a severe socio-economic imbalance (Uvin, 2001, pp.81-83).

The conclusion will summarise that SAPs, in combination with demands for democratisation and peace negotiations, did not consider the implications of the reforms for the socio-economic and political environment. The disregard for the wider implications supported radical ideologies which were responsible for the genocide.

The structure of western capitalism was first evaluated by British philosophers and political economists in the seventeenth and eighteenth century (Peet, 2009, p.4). In the eighteenth century Adam Smith (1776), cited by Rothschild (1994, p.319), emphasised the “invisible hand of the market” which would enable growth by focusing on demand, competition and trade. This approach became known as classical liberalism. The early and mid-twentieth century was shaped by depression and war. Benefits of capitalism remained in the hands of the entrepreneurs and the employees demanded more rights and increased benefits in return for their labour (Peet, 2009, p.6). Keynes argued that governments have to intervene in the market in order to spread the benefits of market economies among all classes of society. This approach became known as the “New Deal” in the US and its policies were implemented from 1932 on (Niemi & Plante, 2011, p.414; Peet, 2009, p.6).

In 1944 the Allied countries met in Bretton Woods to discuss the post-war economic order (Rowden, p.2009, p.53). Their aim was to implement institutions which could finance the rebuilding of Europe and oversee international trade and finance to avoid a financial crisis in the future. Keynes is often accredited with the establishment of the IMF and World Bank. However, Keynes did not suggest the IMF and World Bank in the form the institutions were finally set up. He was rather focused on maintaining trade balances between states. The IMF was established to ensure a fixed exchange which tied currencies to the US Dollar and gold standard (Rowden, 2009, pp.55-56). The World Bank was to finance the reconstruction and development of the European economy. From the mid-1970s on Keynesianism was opposed by neoliberals who advocated the ideas of classical liberalism and argued in favour of privatisation of state-run enterprises and deregulation of the market (Peet, 2009, p.9; Palley, 2004, pp.1-2).

Palley argues that neoliberalism is based on the assumptions that factors of production, such as labour and capital, are automatically allocated in the most efficient way. Von Hayek, the most influential critic of Keynesianism, argued that the freedom of individuals to pursue their own ambitions and limited possibilities for governments to interfere in the market are essential for economic growth (Peet, 2009, pp.10-11). In the 1970s it became evident that Keynesianism was not able to solve problems of stagflation and businesses and corporations started to support neoliberal ideas of deregulation (Peet, 2009, p.12). Further, the ideological conflict during the Cold War period increased the support of neoliberal ideas. Individualism was associated with a free society. Collective action and limitations on the market were related to communism (Palley, 2004, p.3). The administrations of Thatcher and Reagan adopted neoliberal policies in the early 1980s and many Western governments followed suit (Auerbach, 2007, p.33). The IMF changed its purpose and was now tasked to support developing states by providing financial support in the form of loans (Wayenberge, Fine, Bayliss, 2011, p.6).

During the time of Keynesian policies, developed states tolerated and even encouraged state interventions in developing states (Babb, 2005, p.200). However, the emergence of neoliberalism led to a change in development policies. The key characteristics of neoliberal development policies were laid down in the Washington Consensus (Auerbach, 2007, p.37 in Roy, Denzau, Willett). The policies of the Washington Consensus demanded financial deficits which are not higher than affordable. Further, expenditures were supposed to focus on benefits, health, education and infrastructure. In addition tax collection had to be more efficient, trade had to be liberalised and controls for exchange rates had to be removed. State owned enterprises had to be privatised and incentives for foreign direct investments (FDI) had to be established (Auerbach, 2007, p.37).

During the 1970s many developing states were unable to service loans taken during the oil crisis in 1973/74 (Rowden, 2009, p.65). The IMF agreed to the restructuring of the debt if the debtor states implemented SAPs. Further, the IMF demanded that in the future multilateral and bilateral aid was only to be paid after the approval by the IMF. States which were unwilling to implement SAPs were threatened with the withdrawal of future support by the IMF and World Bank. Other donors, such as multilateral institutions, bilateral donors and private banks, followed the guidance by the IMF and denied financial support if the IMF advised against it (Rowden, 2009, pp.66-68). Critics, such as Lapeyre (2004), cited by (Rowden, 2009, p.66), opposed these measures and argued that SAPs lead to a loss of state autonomy. Fiscal policies were dictated by the IMF and World Bank and states were unable to choose their own development policies. However, Reagan and Thatcher made clear that market liberalisation was the only alternative and donor agencies, central banks and many developing states believed in neoliberal policies (Sachs, 2005, p.81; Rowden, 2009, pp.68-69). Further, many developing states adopted these measures in the hope of becoming members of the World Trade Organization and in order to attract FDI.

Neoliberal policies are opposed by advocates of the dependency theory and world system theory. During the decolonialisation process after World War II advocates of the modernization theory argued that all states follow the same path from poverty to modernization (Rowden, 2009, p.57). Due to poverty and slow or non-existent development towards the end of the 1960s it became clear that former colonies could not follow the development path which was taken by developed countries in the past. Dependency theory draws its ideas from Marxism and argues that the intrastate division between the proletariat and bourgeoisie equals the interstate relations between the core and the periphery (Kelly, 2008, p.320). Proponents of the dependency theory, for example Prebisch (1950) and Frank (1967), wrote that former colonies became economically and politically dependent on their former colonial powers. Subsequently, the dependence of periphery states on the core states is the main characteristics of the global economy.

These claims were further developed by Wallerstein (1980, pp.66-69) who supported the world systems theory and argued that the periphery is exploited by the core states of mainly North America and Europe. The world system theory claims that the global economy is characterised by a well developed core based on high technology and a highly skilled labour force which requires a periphery from which it can extract surplus (Chirot & Hall, 1982, p.85). Advocates of both theories argue that developing states have to resist a post-colonial system of trade and finance in which states of the periphery serve the role of commodity producer and provider of cheap labour. Otherwise the states of the periphery will not be able to move towards industrialisation and remain dependent on the states of the core (Rowden, 2009, p.57).

Harrison (2010, p.36) writes about the impact of neoliberal policies in Africa and argues that socio-economic recovery was not achieved to date. Harrison (2010, p.39) cites Chazan et al. (1999) who writes that by the end of 1980s thirty six states in Africa implemented SAPs and ten years later the economy of twenty nine African states were still shaped by adjustment programmes. Harrison (2010, p.39) describes SAPs as the “development orthodoxy for the continent”. In some cases the SAPs considered country specific circumstances, but the key elements of all SAPs remained the same and mirrored the policies of the “Washington Consensus”.

The implications of SAPs and demands which accompanied these became evident in Rwanda in the early 1990s. The Rwandan Genocide of 1994 during which 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed has been widely covered in the media and in academic work (Kamola, 2007, p.571; Magnarella, 2005, p.816). However, the implications of an economic crisis and subsequent reforms in the early 1990s were hardly mentioned (Chossudovsky, 1997, p.111). The post-colonial economy of Rwanda was dominated by coffee exports which made up eighty percent of the state’s export earnings (Chossudovsky, 1997, p.114). In the early 1980s the supply of food per capita decreased due to environmental degradation and further population growth (World Bank, 1991a, p.v; Storey, 1999, pp.49-50). Furthermore, in 1986 the commodity prices for coffee started to decrease due to overproduction and Rwanda lost nearly two thirds of its revenue generated by coffee exports (Kamola, 2007, p.583). The GDP per capita fell by nearly 30 percent and poverty increased from 40 percent in 1985 to 53 percent in 1992 (Uvin, 1998, p.54; World Bank,1994, i). The civil war between the Hutu dominated government and exiled Tutsis in Uganda who established the RPF and attacked Rwanda from 1990 on further deteriorated the financial situation of Rwanda (Magnarella, 2005, p.812; Uvin, 1998, pp.55-56).

Financial resources were focused on the war effort and the displacement of large numbers of the population further decreased agricultural production. In order to maintain its expenditures the Rwandan Government had to increase its foreign debt significantly (Kamola, 2007, p.584; Prunier, 1995, p.159). Moreover, farmers were guaranteed by the government to receive a fixed amount for their coffee production. This amount was decreased by 20 percent in order to reduce government spending (Kamola, 2007, p.584). As a result many farmers replaced their cash crops with food crops as the sale of coffee did not cover the investments anymore.

In 1991 Rwanda received $90 million of loans from the World Bank (Uvin, 1998, p.58; Kamola, 2007, pp.583-585). In return the Rwandan Government had to agree to the implementation of SAPs. Fiscal discipline was expected, the government had to privatise large numbers of state owned enterprises and markets were to be liberalised. Despite the increasing socio-economic imbalance the World Bank recommended that the focus should be on cash crops rather than food crops in order to increase export earnings. The World Bank argued that the earnings could be used to purchase food – “once you have income you can buy food” (World Bank, 1991a,; p.xi). Coffee exports were supposed to be increased, inter alia, by a devaluation of the Rwandan Franc.

However, the devaluation led to an inflation of nearly 20 percent in 1992. According to the World Bank (1991b, p.4) the benefits of structural adjustment loans would include increased employment in the private sector. Moreover, the civil service was considered as ineffective and had to be reformed (World Bank, 1991b, p.16).) Fees for education, water supply and medical care were raised and sales tax was increased (Uvin, 1998, p.58; World Bank, 1991b, p.6). Despite these measures the Rwandan foreign debt increased further. Uvin (1998, p.59) argues that the SAPs are not responsible for the financial pressure on many Rwandans since the majority of them were never implemented. However, this argument is opposed by a report in which the World Bank (1997, p.12) claims that most of the reforms were indeed implemented by the Rwandan Government.

To assess the implications of the IMF and the World Bank in the build-up to the genocide it is essential to widen the scope of this evaluation. This is necessary in order to include the demands for democratisation and peace negotiations which were made in return for financial aid (Andersen, 2000, pp.447-450; Uvin, 1998, p.59). Andersen (2000, p.450) argues that the establishment of a democratic system is necessary to establish stability and to promote development. Nonetheless, it is of significant importance to choose the right timing in order to ensure political unity during the peace process. Opposing views during a peace process may destabilise the consolidation process. Due to the pressure of the IMF and World Bank a new Rwandan Government was formed in 1992 and the opposition parties increased their power (Adelman & Suhrke, 1996, cited by Andersen, 2000, p.449).

Radical parties, such as the “Coalition pour la Défense de la République” (CDR) and the “Mouvement Démocratique Républicain” (MRD), were established and openly presented their anti-Tutsi ideology. Both parties played a significant role in the spread of hate speech and the preparation and implementation of the genocide (Andersen, 2000, p.449). In addition, as part of the peace process the then-President of Rwanda Habyarimana agreed to a power sharing deal with the RPF. The CDR and MRD accused the government of not being determined enough to oppose the RPF and gained significant support amongst Hutu elites (Prunier, 1995, p.128). However, to meet the demands of the Rwandan Government and the donors at the same time proved to be an obstacle Habyarimana could not overcome. Andersen (2000, p.451) described the conditions made by international donors as “a match igniting the conflict”.

In order to establish a link between the genocide and the SAPs it is necessary to assess these in the wider context of the Rwandan labour market and the resource scarcity which occurred in Rwanda (Storey, 1999, p.51; Uvin, 2001, pp.81-83). Middle and upper level positions in the public service and the military were only available to Hutus and due to government sponsored discrimination Tutsis focused mainly on the work in the private sector (Storey, 1999, p.51; Prunier, 1995, p.75). As part of the democratisation process a new liberal party emerged and the common perception was that this party was dominated by Tutsi businessmen. Hutu extremists claimed that Tutsis attempted to set up a commercial elite in Rwanda in order to redirect funds to the RPF (Storey, 1999, p.51). However, most of the businessmen in Rwanda were Hutu and the large majority of Tutsis had the same living standard as Hutus (Woodward, 1996, cited by Storey, 1999, p.52). The nexus between SAPs and the division of labour is, in the social context of pre-genocide Rwanda, to be found in hate speech which established perceptions rather than facts. As mentioned before, SAPs demanded increased support of the private sector and cuts for the public sector. Therefore, the perception was that Tutsis were favoured by the SAPs and many Hutu elites in the public sector feared to lose their employment and subsequently influence.

Uvin (2001, p.82) argues that resource scarcity can be assessed using the Malthusian argument according to which land scarcity and overpopulation lead to conflict or famine. This argument is supported by a statement made by the Ogata, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (Berry & Berry, 1999, quoted in Uvin, 2001, p.82). Ogata argued that the conflict in Rwanda was based on a severe imbalance between the size of the population and available land. Land scarcity has to be considered in reference to the SAPs as the IMF and the World Bank demanded that the agricultural sector should focus on cash crops, e.g. coffee and tea, in order to increase revenues. The amount of food crops was to be reduced, but the decline in commodity prices did not create the revenues Rwanda hoped for. The statement: “once you have income you can buy food” (World Bank, 1991a,; p.xi) did not apply in Rwanda as income did not increase. Subsequently, the imbalance between the amount of food available and the population increased further (Magnarella, 2005, p.817).

Wood (2001, p.64) argues that especially in poorer states ethnicity plays a significant role in economic and social differentiation. Poverty, overpopulation, land scarcity, possible famine and competition for power offer fertile ground for the ideology of Lebensraum. This ideology is advanced by extremist forces in order to accumulate resources which are currently not available to their people. This ideology was implemented in Rwanda to describe Tutsis as invaders who are responsible for the socio-economic imbalance. Prunier (1995, p.160) writes that the combination of low coffee prices, the war and SAPs only further damaged an already weak economy and increased the financial pressure on many Rwandans.

The development policy of the industrialised states changed with the emergence of neoliberal policies. Neoliberals argued in favour of the liberalisation of markets and decreased influence of the government. Development policies became enshrined in the Washington Consensus which argues that SAPs would lead to economic stability. Government spending was to be reduced, privatisation of government owned enterprises was demanded and the currency was supposed to be devalued in order to increase exports. Advocates of the dependency theory and world system theory claimed that neoliberalism is not suitable to foster development, but instead increases the dependency of the periphery states on the core states. In the case of Rwanda it is evident that SAPs worsened the economic situation of Rwanda. Further, the SAPs had significant effects on the wider social and political environment. Demands for democratisation and peace negotiations led to the emergence of radical parties which took advantage of the fears of many Rwandans. People feared poverty, job loss and a famine in addition to a civil war. The causes of the genocide are multiple and no direct link can be established between the demands made by the IMF and World Bank and the genocide. However, in hindsight it is evident that demands for SAPs accompanied by demands for democratisation and peace agreements did not consider the wider political and social context. These factors helped to create an environment in which Hutu radicals found a significant number of Rwandans who supported their ideology which subsequently led to the genocide.


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Written by: Thomas Hauschildt
Written at: University of Portsmouth
Written for: Global Political Economy
Date written: 12/2011

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Monday, March 31, 2014

(STICKY) Chikwanda on growth, poverty
By Editor
Sat 29 Mar. 2014, 14:00 CAT

COMMENT - If anyone is still impressed by neoliberal economics, I would suggest checking out two books:

Reclaiming Development, by prof. Ha-Joon Chang

23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism, by prof. Ha-Joon Chang
- MrK

Finance minister Alexander Chikwanda says Zambia's current economic growth is not sufficient to reduce poverty. It is indisputable.

And despite what may be said to be "impressive economic growth" over the last decade, poverty levels are still high. Why? There is need to look at where this growth is coming from and where that growth is being consumed. Who is that growth really benefitting?

It is true that Zambia is lagging behind countries such as South Korea in reducing poverty despite the two nations' gross domestic product being at the same level at the time of our independence in 1964. As Chikwanda correctly observes, in 1964, Zambia's GDP stood at US$3 billion, while that of South Korea was US$3.8 billion. And currently, South Korea's GDP is 55 times higher than that of Zambia.

In 1961, eight years after the war with North Korea, South Korea's per capita income stood at US$82, less than half of Ghana's at the time (US$179). An internal USAID report in the 1950s described South Korea as a "bottomless pit". At the time, its main exports were tungsten, fish and other primary commodities. Today, South Korea is an industrial powerhouse, with per capita income in five digits.

It took the United Kingdom over two centuries - between the late 18th century and today - and the United States around one and half centuries (the 1860s to the present day) to achieve the same result. South Korea's progress is as if Malawi has turned into Switzerland.

General Park Chung-Hee, the father of South Korea's miracle, came to power in a military coup in 1961 and then went on to win three successive elections. Not democratic in the true sense of the word, Park propelled the country's success via Five Year Plans for Economic Development, which had a lot of indigenous economic empowerment schemes built into them. South Korea was developed by South Koreans.

Yes, they did everything possible to attract foreign investment but they were not totally dependent on it. They were more dependent on their own initiatives, on the contributions of their own people. The South Korean people were in the driving seat of their country's economic life. We are not. And very few in Africa are.

We are so dependent on the extractive industries in which we play no role. Even our government's role in it is very weak and in most cases, very easy to manipulate in terms of policy choices.

Variable foreign currencies were really the blood and sweat of South Korea's "industrial soldiers" fighting the export war in the country's factories. Those squandering foreign exchange on frivolous things, like illegal foreign cigarettes, were seen as traitors. Foreign travel was banned unless you had explicit government permission to do business or study abroad. The government took absolute control of the scarce foreign exchange, and violation of foreign exchange controls could be punished by death. Here in Zambia today, we are squandering the meagre foreign exchange we are earning in all sorts of ways. We do not have even ways of ensuring that whatever foreign exchange the country earns is accounted for. We have just removed very good statutory instruments - SI 33 and SI 55 - that were designed to maximise the country's use and benefits from its foreign exchange earnings. Pressure was mounted by foreign businesses and their local political agents and other representatives. Today in Zambia, one can export anything and keep the money abroad, bringing in only that which one needs to pay for local inputs. The SIs we have removed tried to mitigate that. But the government was being blackmailed - blackmail that resulted in the kwacha depreciating at a very fast rate.

How does a country like ours expect to develop when its important earnings are kept in other countries and for use by other countries? This is all being done in the name of economic liberalisation. This is not economic liberalisation, it is economic foolishness. Even the South Africans, with more money, a bigger economy than us, are not doing these senseless things we are doing. The rand was depreciating at some point but the South African government did not panic and allow itself to be blackmailed.

We should learn from South Korea. What South Korea actually did during these decades was to nurture certain new industries, selected by the government in consultation with the private sector, through all forms of government support until they "grew up" enough to withstand international competition.

The government owned all the banks, so it could direct the lifeblood of business - credit. Some big projects were undertaken directly by the state-owned enterprises. The government also took foreign investment under its wing, and heavily controlled it with a mixture of measures. In general, it welcomed foreign investment with open arms in certain sectors and shut it out completely in others, in line with the national plan at any one time.

And here comes the rub: the popular impression of South Korea as a free trade economy was created by its export success. But export success does not require free trade, as Japan and China have also shown.

Clearly, the South Korean economic miracle was a result of clever and pragmatic mixture of market incentives and state direction. We are where we are today because of our failure to come up with clever and pragmatic initiatives. We have allowed other people to see things for us, decide things for us, do things for us. If we think we can make progress this way, we are deceiving ourselves.

We are one of the easiest countries to manipulate. We get so excited with any little praise from foreign investors, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other donors. We are more interested in what these people say about us than anything else. But look at what South Korea did! Does it fit in the paradigms that are being bandied around by the agents of neoliberalism whom we seem to respect and listen to so much?

The example of South Korea Chikwanda is giving is a very good one. But it is important not to just throw around figures or statistics but to truly understand the substance, and not just form, of what really went on there to give them the development they are enjoying today and they so much deserve.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

(STICKY) (GLOBALRESEARCH) Exporting Apartheid to Sub-Saharan Africa. The Legacy of Nelson Mandela
By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, December 13, 2013
Region: sub-Saharan Africa

COMMENT - This goes to my contention that if you allow the perpetrators of economic crimes to keep their cash, they will re-invent the old criminal system under a different name. Isn't it ironic that the corporate friendly IMF programs mesh so well with corporate friendly Apartheid?

This article was first published in French in the Monde diplomatique in April 1997. It was subsequently published in the African Journal of Political Economy and in the author’s book: The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order.

The policy of land expropriation in Mozambique leading to the establishment of White Afrikaner farms using indentured Mozambican farm workers had the support of the ANC government. It also had the the personal blessing of President Nelson Mandela “who had delegated Mpumalanga Premier Matthews Phosa to the SACADA Board of Governors.

Premier Phosa, a distinguished ANC politician and among the most prosperous black businessmen in Mpumalanga province (East Transvaal), contributed to laying the political ground work for the expansion of White Afrikaner business interests into neighbouring countries.

The SACADA project was coordinated by the leader of the right wing Freedom Front and former South African Defense Force Chief General Constand Viljoen

Viljoen developed a close personal relationship with Nelson Mandela. He had convinced Mandela that promoting White Afrikaner farms in neighbouring countries “would provide food and employment for locals”. What was not discussed was that this ANC government policy implied a de facto process of land expropriation which went against the basic tenets of the ANC’s struggle for land rights for African peasants.

From the outset, international corporate agribusiness and the World Bank were involved in this project. It is worth noting that during the period of “Transition” preceding the 1994 presidential elections, General Constand Viljoen had been “plotting an Afrikaner guerrilla war against multiracial rule”. (Financial Times, December 5, 2013)

While Mandela “believed in action” … at the core of [his] militancy was always a desire to get the white colonial regime to come to the table and talk.” (Mail and Guardian, December 12, 2013). This stance largely characterized his relationship with General Viljoen.

It is worth noting that in the 1980s General Viljoen as Chief of the South African Defence Force led South African troops into Angola. In 1993, he participated in the establishment of the Right wing racist Afrikaner Volksfront (AVF). He later formed the Freedom Front Party which presented candidates to the April 1994 elections.

The article on Exporting apartheid was the object of controversy.

Its publication in Le Monde diplomatique in April 1997 coincided with the hearings of the South Africa Truth Commission led by Rev Desmond Tutu, which focused on the role of General Constand Viljoen as South African Defense Force Chief during the Apartheid period. (General Viljoen testified in May 1997 before the Truth Commission

The article was the object of a June 1997 law suit claiming defamation directed against the author and Le Monde diplomatique by the South African Chamber for Agricultural Development (SACADA) and the leader of the Freedom Front and former SADF Chief General Constand Viljoen.

The law suit launched in Paris was subsequently thrown out by the Paris Court of Justice.

Michel Chossudovsky, December 12, 2013
Exporting Apartheid to Sub-Saharan Africa

by Michel Chossudovsky

The right wing Afrikaner Freedom Front (FF) headed by General Constand Viljoen plans to develop a “Food Corridor” extending across the Southern part of the continent from Angola to Mozambique. Afrikaner agri-business is to extend its grip into neighbouring countries with large scale investments in commercial farming, food processing and eco-tourism. The agricultural unions of the Orange Free State and Eastern Transvaal are partners; the objective is to set up White-owned farms beyond South Africa’s borders.

The “Food Corridor,” however, does not mean “food for the local people.” On the contrary, under the scheme the peasants will lose their land, with small-holders becoming farm labourers or tenants on large scale plantations owned by the Boers. Moreover, the South African Chamber for Agricultural Development (SACADA) which acts as an umbrella organization also includes, centrally, several right wing organizations including the Freedom Front (FF) led by Viljoen, whose grim record as South African Defence Force (SADF) Commander in Chief during the Apartheid regime is well known.

The Freedom Front, although “moderate” in comparison to Eugene Terre’Blanche’s far-right Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB), is a racist political movement committed to the Afrikaner Volksstaat. The SACADA-Freedom Front initiative has nonetheless the political backing of the African National Congress as well as the personal blessing of President Nelson Mandela who has delegated Mpumalanga Premier Matthews Phosa to the SACADA Board of Governors. All the other governors are members of the Freedom Front. Premier Phosa, a distinguished ANC politician and among the most prosperous black businessmen in Mpumalanga province (East Transvaal), has also contributed to laying the political ground work for the expansion of White Afrikaner business interests into neighbouring countries.

In discussions with President Mandela, General Viljoen had argued that “settling Afrikaner farmers would stimulate the economies of neighbouring states, would provide food and employment for locals, and that this would stem the flow of illegal immigrants into South Africa.” Viljoen has also held high level meetings on Afrikaner agricultural investments with representatives of the European Union, the United Nations and other donor agencies.

In turn, Pretoria is negotiating with several African governments on behalf of SACADA and the Freedom Front. The ANC government is anxious to facilitate the expansion of corporate agri-business into neighbouring countries. As one newspaper account affirms, “Mandela has asked the Tanzanian government to accept Afrikaner farmers to help develop the agricultural sector” while SACADA itself has approached some 12 African countries “interested in White South African farmers.” In a venture set up in 1994 under the South African Development Corporation (SADEVCO), the government of the Congo had granted to the Boers 99 year leases on agricultural land; President Mandela endorsed the scheme calling on African nations “to accept the migrants as a kind of foreign aid.”

The African host countries have on the whole welcomed the inflow of Afrikaner investments. With regard to regulatory policies, however, the Bretton Woods institutions and the World Trade Organization (WTO) (rather than national governments) call the shots, invariably requiring (indebted) countries to accept “a wide open door to foreign capital.” In this context, the liberalization of trade and investment under donor supervision, tends to support the extension of Afrikaner business interests throughout the region. Moreover, in the sleazy environment shaped by transnational corporations and international creditors, corrupt politicians and senior bureaucrats are often co-opted or invited to become the “business partners” of South African and other foreign investors.

The expropriation of peasant lands

The “Food Corridor” initiative will displace a pre-existing agricultural system: it not only appropriates the land, it takes over the host country’s economic and social infrastructure and, almost inevitably, spells increased levels of poverty in the countryside. It will most likely provide a fatal blow to subsistence agriculture as well as to the peasant cash crop economy, displacing local level agricultural markets and aggravating the conditions of endemic famine prevailing in the region. As if this were not enough, Jen Kelenga, a spokesperson for a pro-democracy group in Zaire, also sees, at the heart of the initiative, the Boers “in search of new territories to apply their racist way of living.”

The “Food Corridor” if carried through, could potentially alter the rural landscape of the Southern African region, requiring the uprooting and displacement of small farmers over an extensive territory. Under the proposed scheme, millions of hectares of the best farmland would be handed over to South African agri-business. The Boers are to manage large scale commercial farms using the rural people both as “labour tenants” as well as seasonal agricultural workers.

Under the proposed land legislation, both SACADA and the World Bank nonetheless tout the protection of traditional land rights. The small peasantry is to be “protected” through the establishment of “customary land reserves” established in the immediate vicinity of the White commercial farms. In practice, under the new land legislation, the majority of the rural people will be caged into small territorial enclaves (“communal lands”) while the bulk of the best agricultural land will be sold or leased to private investors.

This also means that peasant communities which practice shifting cultivation over a large land area, as well as pastoralists, will henceforth be prosecuted for encroaching on lands earmarked for commercial farming, often without their prior knowledge. Impoverished by the macro-economic reforms, with no access to credit and modern farm inputs, these customary enclaves will, as noted, constitute “labour reserves” for large scale agri-business.

Afrikaner farms in Mozambique

SACADA has plans to invest in Mozambique, Zaire, Zambia and Angola, “with Mozambique being the test case.” President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique and President Nelson Mandela (1994 picture right) signed an intergovernmental agreement in May 1996 which grants rights to Afrikaner agri-business to develop investments in at least six provinces encompassing territorial concessions of some eight million hectares. According to one South African official:

“Mozambique needs the technical expertise and the money, and we have the people … We favour an area which is not heavily populated because it is an Achilles heel if there are too many people on the land … For the Boers, Land is next to God and the Bible.”

In SACADA’s concessionary areas in Mozambique, the Frelimo government will ensure that there is no encroachment; rural small-holders and subsistence farmers (who invariably do not possess legal land titles) will either be expelled or transferred into marginal lands.

In Mozambique’s Nissan province, the best agricultural land is to be leased in concession to the Afrikaners for fifty years. At the token price of some $0.15 per hectare per annum, the land lease is a give-away. Through the establishment of Mosagrius (a joint venture company), SACADA is now firmly established in the fertile valley of the Lugenda river. But the Boers also have their eyes on agricultural areas along the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers as well as on the road and railway facilities linking Lichinga, Niassa’s capital to the deep seaport of Nagala. The railway line is being rehabilitated and modernized (by a French contractor) with development aid provided by France.

In the initial stage of the agreement, concessionary areas in Niassa province were handed over to SACADA in 1996 to be settled by some 500 White Afrikaner farmers. These lands are earmarked for commercial farming in both temperate highveld and sub-tropical lowveld. The available infrastructure including several state buildings and enterprises will also be handed over to the Boers.

The Boers will operate their new farms as part of their business undertakings in South Africa, dispatching White Afrikaner managers and supervisors to Mozambique. The Boers will bring from South Africa their Black right-hand men, their tractor operators, their technicians. In the words of the project liaison officer at the South African High Commission in Maputo: “Each and every Afrikaner farmer will bring his tame Kaffirs” who will be used to supervise the local workers. The number of White settlers in the concessionary areas in Niassa is likely to be small.

SACADA has carefully mapped out the designated areas by helicopter, South Africa’s agricultural research institutes have surveyed the area, providing an assessment of environmental as well as social and demographic conditions.

Creating “rural townships”

Under the SACADA scheme, the rural communities in Niassa which occupy the Afrikaner concessionary areas are to be regrouped into “rural townships” similar to those of the Apartheid regime:

“What you do is to develop villages along the roadside close to the [White] farms. These villages have been planned very carefully [by SACADA] in proximity to the fields so that farm-workers can go back and forth; you give the villages some infrastructure and a plot of land for each household so that the farm-labourers can set up their food gardens.”

Unless token customary land rights are entrenched within or in areas contiguous to the concessions, the peasants will become landless farm labourers or “labour tenants.” Under the latter system applied by the Boers in South Africa since the 19th Century, black peasant households perform labour services (corvée) in exchange for the right to farm a small parcel of land. Formally outlawed in South Africa in 1960 by the Nationalist government, “labour tenancy” remains in existence in many parts of South Africa including East Transvaal and Kwa-Zulu Natal. Its reproduction in the form of rural townships in Mozambique will provide reserves of cheap labour for the White commercial farms.

This, plus the increasing derogation of workers rights in Mozambique and the deregulation of the labour market there under IMF advice, will enable the Boers not only to pay their Mozambican workers excessively low wages but also to escape the demands of Black agricultural workers in South Africa. Moreover, under the Mosagrius Agreement the Mozambican government will be fully responsible in dealing with land disputes and ensuring the expropriation of peasant lands “without prejudice or loss that may occur from such claims to SDM [Mosagrius] and other Mosagrius participants.”

Small wonder, then, that South Africa’s major commercial banks, the World Bank and the European Union have firmly backed the project. Indeed, “the Food Corridor” has become an integral part of the IMF-World Bank sponsored structural adjustment programme in Mozambique. In the words of SACADA Secretary Willie Jordaan: “SACADA has endeavoured to bring its policies in line with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and [is]set to become an international development agency” with a mandate to contract with donor institutions and carry out “foreign aid programmes” on their behalf.

The international community

In short, while the international community had endorsed ANC’s struggle against the Apartheid regime, it is now providing financial support to a racist Afrikaner development organization. Under the disguise of “foreign aid,” Western donors are in fact contributing to the extension of the Apartheid system into neighbouring countries. The European Union has provided money to SACADA out of a development package explicitly earmarked by Brussels for South Africa’s Reconstruction and Development Programme. According to an EU spokesman, the project “was the best noise out of Africa in 30 years.” The EU Ambassador to South Africa Mr. Erwan Fouéré met General Viljoen to discuss the project. Fouéré confirmed that if all goes well, further EU money could be made available to cover the costs of “settling Afrikaner farmers in South Africa’s neighbouring countries.”

The initiative is categorized by the donor community as a bona fide development project which will benefit the peasantry in the host country as well contribute to South Africa’s Reconstruction. The fact that the scheme derogates the land rights of small-holders and replicates the system of “labour tenancy” prevalent in South Africa under Apartheid is not a matter for discussion.

Moreover, national investment priorities set by the donors in neighbouring countries (under the World Bank sponsored Public Investment Programme), are increasingly tuned to meeting the needs of South African business interests. In Mozambique, for instance, so-called “targeted investments” are undertaken with a view to rehabilitating port facilities, roads, water resources, river and lake transportation, etc. largely to the benefit of South African investors including SACADA.

Moreover, under the SACADA Agreement, Afrikaner investors “shall be allowed a right of first refusal” in privatization tenders in concessionary areas under their jurisdiction. In turn the country’s investment legislation (drafted with the technical assistance of the World Bank) will provide for the free remittance of corporate profits and the repatriation of capital back to South Africa.

The SACADA scheme is also likely to suck up a portion of the State’s meagre health and education budget. In Mozambique, under the terms of the Agreement the authorities are also to support the provision of Western-style health services as well as create a “sanitary environment” for the White Afrikaners settling in the territory. Part of the money provided by donors and international organizations for social programmes will also be channelled towards the concessionary areas.


Add to these enormities the fact that the “export of Apartheid” to neighbouring countries seems to exemplify a literal “carving up” of national territories into concessionary areas. In Mozambique, for example, an autonomous territory – “a State within a State” – is being developed initially in Niassa province; the Mosagrius project controlled by the Boers (overriding the national and provincial governments) is the sole authority concerning the utilization rights of land in its concessionary areas (clause 34); similarly the territory is defined as a free trade zone allowing for the unimpeded movement of goods, capital and people (meaning White South Africans). All investments in the concessionary areas “will be free from customs duties, or other fiscal impositions.” In this way, concessions granted to foreign investors in various parts of the country (a pattern that is being duplicated [see accompanying box] in the tourism sphere, including in Niassa Province itself) begin to define a recasting of national territory into a number of separate “corridors” that is eerily reminiscent of the colonial period.

In short, the system of territorial concessions – with each of the corridors integrated separately into the world market – tends to favours the demise of the national economy. And the falling of such corridors under the political custody of donors, non-governmental organizations and foreign investors also means that these latter constitute a de facto “parallel government” which increasingly bypasses the State system. But this latter process dovetails neatly with other demands of donors, their requirement (in the name of “governance”) of the down-sizing of the central State and the “decentralization” of decision-making to the provincial and district levels. Rather than providing added powers and resources to regional and local communities, however, State revenues will be channelled towards servicing Mozambique’s external debt with “decentralization” predicated on fiscal austerity under the structural adjustment programme. Add all this up and the result is a considerable weakening of both the central and regional governments, and a further reinforcement of Mozambique’s recolonization.

One may speculate, finally, as to why the ANC has made itself such a vigorous party to this process. Most charitably, one may conclude that the ANC has championed – albeit without serious debate or discussion – the granting of “Land to the Boers” in neighbouring countries as a means to relieving land pressures within South Africa: the policy is said to facilitate the ANC’s land redistribution programme in favour of Black farmers.

Of course, there are good reasons to believe that, despite its merits, South Africa’s Land Reform Programme is unlikely to succeed, this programme being increasingly undermined by the post-Apartheid government’s own sweeping macro-economic reforms under the neoliberal policy agenda. In rural South Africa, the removal of agricultural subsidies, the deregulation of credit and trade liberalization (which is part of the Macro-economic Framework) have not only contributed to the further impoverishment of Black small-holders and tenant farmers, the measures have also pushed numerous White Afrikaner family farms into bankruptcy. Pretoria’s structural adjustment programme thereby favours an even greater concentration of farmland than during the Apartheid regime as well as the consolidation of corporate agriculture both within and beyond South Africa’s borders.

In other words, the Boers “Second Great Trek” to neighbouring countries does not contribute to relieving land pressures within South Africa. In fact the policy accomplishes exactly the opposite results: it maintains Black farmers in marginal lands under the old system of segregation. Moreover, it reinforces corporate control over the best farmland while also providing a political avenue to Afrikaner agri-business for “exporting Apartheid” to the entire Southern African region.


Most of Mozambique’s coastline on lake Niassa – including a 160 km. stretch in the Rift Valley from Meponda to Mapangula extending further North to Ilha sobre o Lago close to the Tanzanian border – has been designated under the project “for tourism and other complementary and subsidiary activities [which are] ecologically sustainable.” The latter also include designated areas for Afrikaner investments in fishing and aquaculture on lake Niassa (displacing the local fishing industry). In turn, the Agreement hands over to the Boers, the development and operation rights over the Niassa Game Reserve on the Tanzanian border. The Reserve includes an extensive area of some 20,000 hectares earmarked for so-called “ecologically sustainable ecotourism.”

In a much larger undertaking, James Ulysses Blanchard III the notorious Texan tycoon, has been granted a concession over a vast territory which includes the Maputo Elephant Reserve and the adjoining Machangula peninsula south of Maputo. During the Mozambican civil war, Blanchard had provided financial backing to Renamo, the rebel organization directly supported by the Apartheid regime and trained by the South African Defence Force (SADF).

Blanchard intends to create an Indian Ocean Dream Park with a floating hotel, deluxe tourist lodges at $600 – $800 a night and a casino. Large parcels of land in Manchangula have also been allocated to agricultural investors from Eastern Transvaal.

Local communities in Blanchard’s concessionary area will be expropriated; in the words of his general manager, John Perrot:

“We’re gonna come here and say [to the local villagers] `Okay, now you’re in a national park. Your village can either get fenced or you can have them wild animals walking right through your main street’.” (M.C.)

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(AMANDLA MAGAZINE) Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters and the South African Left
Benjamin Fogel | November 15th, 2013

In geographer Gillian Hart’s excellent Rethinking the South African Crisis, she points to a rather curious phenomenon as part of her engagement with the figure of one Julius Malema and the ‘populist’ turn he represents. She notes that for a change the far left and liberal right’s politics converge in the sense that they both share the same critique of the ex-Youth League president and current commander-in-chief of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

It is not often that analysts of such diametrically opposed ideological tastes as Terry Bell and Gareth van Onselen agree, one being a left-leaning labour analyst and the other being a die-hard freemarket liberal, but they do in the case of Malema. Both Bell and van Onselen have made the case that Malema and the politics he espouses can be broadly categorised as ‘fascist’ or ‘fascistic’ in character. Mamphela Ramphele went as far as to compare Malema to Hitler in a public statement, a sure-fire way to justify ignoring both the tone, form and content of an opponent’s politics.

Their argument can be boiled down to this: The composition of social forces assembled behind Malema and the Economic Freedom Fighters is a mix of ‘lumpen’ or young unemployed voters. These ‘born frees are attracted to his militant rhetoric amidst a hopeless situation’. In effect both the images of masculinity and militarism are summoned in both the aesthetic and rhetorical strategies utilized by Malema.

Secondly the contention is that the calls for nationalization and other perceived ‘radicalism’ made by the EFF represent in effect the demands of a certain fraction of the emergent BEE-linked bourgeoisie, who want a bail out after their mining ventures failed miserably. Together they fit a definition of fascism as an alliance between the lumpen proletariat and an alienated faction of the bourgeoisie.

Some also add that the EFF’s position on Mugabe and Zimbabwe also disqualifies them from being ‘on the left’. The EFF professes open support for Mugabe’s Zanu-PF and in particular their land-reform program. One of the central items of the EFF’s agenda being the expropriation of land without compensation and the symbolism of land occupations, given the history of dispossession in South Africa, making such open support for Mugabe and Zanu-PF is unsurprising.

Leaving aside the complexities of Zimbabwean politics, one can hardly argue that the EFF is not ‘left’ because it supports a position they disagree with. Most of these people would hardly deny the late Hugo Chávez the right to be left — despite the fact he was an open supporter of Mugabe. The more serious case to answer is the ‘composition’ argument.

There is not a single historical example or paradigm of a fascist movement or party describing itself as ‘Marxist-Leninist-Fanonian’. A movement which has set out a manifesto closer to an old Trotskyist transitional programme, instead of barely coherent ramblings about national purity or vast international Judeo-Bolshevik conspiracies. In describing the above as Fascistic one essentially either claims that all this Marxist talk is part of a conspiracy to hide the fascistic tendencies of the EFF or one ignores all the written statements of the EFF altogether.

Fascism is a notoriously difficult concept to define and through frequent misuse its power and meaning has dwindled. It is often used to slander one’s political opponents rather than in a precise analytical fashion, from the Republican party labeling Barack Obama as akin to Hitler or those on the liberal left describing George Bush’s republican party as fascist.

The definition of fascism used to attack the EFF emerges out of debates on the origin of fascism in Europe, but whether this definition can be applied in a postcolonial context is not at all dealt with in these critiques of the EFF.

This critique doesn’t engage whether the models or definition of fascism, which emerged from a specifically European historical context, can be applied elsewhere in a country like post-apartheid South Africa – which doesn’t resemble the Weimar Republic or pre-Mussolini Italy, in which fascism arose in the context of the ruling classes’ fear of a strong international communist movement, or to put down a militant trade union movement after a devastating war.

Furthermore it makes no attempt to grapple with the complexities and nuances of South African nationalism or postcolonial nationalism in general, in which a number of movements and leaders from elements of Zanu-PF to Sankara in Burkina Faso have championed very similar programmes and used very similar rhetoric to Malema and the EFF. Surely such movements represent a paradigm closer to the EFF rather than copying and pasting what is already a loosely defined concept in the current South African political context?

There is hardly an established historical paradigm of fascism emerging in a post-colonial context from a ‘radical’ split from the ruling nationalist party. The closest to a ‘fascistic’ split one can locate is of a politics based on ethnic or religious identity. EFF clearly doesn’t fit into that paradigm with its appeals to pan-Africanism, and loosely speaking taking up the BC definition of black as an identity which moves beyond ethnicity.

The liberal right position makes sense; of course, liberals would want to delegitimize all left forces that could potentially either channel political energy away from certain liberal civil society projects or that great liberal party known as the DA. Van Onselen, himself an ex-DA official, has a vested stake in attempting to portray the EFF as a potentially murderous and reactionary force, preventing the DA from leaking actual or potential voters to the EFF.

The far left position also seeks to delegitimize the EFF, but for what reason? It is due to either a fear of having the ‘radical space’ in the South African political scene seized by a collective of corrupt opportunists or, less charitably, a fear of the left space that certain careerists on the left have sought to monopolize on their being seized by a group of upstarts.

The worst thing about this argument is that it labels the dispossessed black unemployed youth – or in other words those who have been worse affected by South Africa’s neoliberal trajectory – as an essentially reactionary social bloc that is full of ‘fascistic tendencies’ or as lumpen, surplus or criminal in nature. This position is often racialized to the extent that it reads as the middle-class terror of the ungovernable, unwashed and uncouth young black masses demanding such things as the nationalization of key industries, radical land reform and ‘economic freedom’. All things which, it should be noted, the left traditionally supports. One would also think that the left views this grouping as a potential base rather than a threat.

The significance of EFF is that it marks a break from the current political consensus, both in terms of our established political parties and the lobbying and legalistic strategies currently pervasive through ‘civil society’, which it has with such venomous opposition. The EFF marks a break with the established consensus because they explicitly reject the rhetoric of ‘social cohesion’; they reject the line that we need a social compact based on wage suppression to ward off a forthcoming apocalypse and the panacea of Foreign Direct Investment as the solution to our economic woes.

Whatever the case, to claim the EFF is not left and is some sort of proto-fascist grouping doesn’t stand up to any analytic scrutiny. This doesn’t mean that it should be immune from criticism from the left; there are a number of issues one could call the EFF out on ranging from its leaders’ less than commendable stance on women’s rights in the past to the questionable finances of its other leaders and rather xenophobic comments directed towards those of Indian descent. This does not mean that the EFF cannot be another form of left sounding; opportunism, bad political choices and corruption are by no means the monopoly of the right and centre. Those on the left can also make mistakes and be in politics for less than commendable reasons, but these criticisms do not undermine the significance of the EFF as a whole.

In essence, they mark a break with the fuzzy hangover of sentiment emanating from what’s left of the rainbow nation nationalism of times past. They claim to be the authentic representatives of the ‘radical Freedom Charter’ rather than the current dominant liberal reading – a Freedom Charter which outlays the beginnings of a socialistic or statist economic program.

The other strength (and potential weakness) of the EFF is that they mark a reconstitution of the two dominant black political traditions on the left in South Africa – namely Chartism and Black Consciousness. They have successfully managed to incorporate both BC and Chartists under the same political roof, potentially opening up the space for a birth of a new form of black radical politics. Whether or not they can succeed in keeping this alliance together after next year’s elections remains to be seen and perhaps marks the biggest internal political challenge for the movement.

It is this that has enabled EFF to find traction amongst a not insignificant segment of the population. Exactly how much traction they have remains to be seen. It is also because of this traction that the independent left will have to drop their own sectarianism and seriously engage with the EFF and its members as fellow travelers rather than unwelcome intruders. Whether it is to point out the limitations of the EFF or to attempt to influence their political line, such engagement should be done in a comradely fashion rather than joining the liberal right in attempting to delegitimize the EFF as a political project.

* This is an edited version of an article that appears in the latest issue of Amandla! Magazine.

Benjamin Fogel is the assistant editor of Amandla Magazine. Currently based in Cape Town, he is a journalist with a particular interest in labour and political journalism. You can follow him on Twitter: @BenjaminFogel.

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(HERALD ZW) Latest: Farmers sell inputs
December 17, 2013 Costa Mano Local News
Agriculture Reporter

Some cotton farmers are selling inputs they received from contractors in order to buy food, the Cotton Council has established. The council received reports from Chiredzi, Muzarabani and Gokwe. Council spokesman Mr Garikayi Msika said the council has received several reports that some cotton growers in drought stricken areas were selling fertilisers to get cash to buy food.

“We are aware of the current food shortages but selling inputs is not the solution. Some farmers have a tendency of diverting inputs either to other crops or for sale and this has been affecting crop production for a long time,” Mr Msika said. He said farmers received cotton inputs last month and since then planting has been taking place.

“Planting is underway in most cotton growing areas. We cannot determine the total hectarage planted so far as we are still assessing. It is difficult to tell the hectarage planted using the amount of seed distributed as this will distort the actual situation on the ground,” he said.
Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president Mr Wonder Chabikwa said farmers in Chiredzi and Chisumbanje usually do not use fertilisers and were not necessarily selling them to buy food.

“These farmers usually produce the crop without using fertiliser. This season we demanded that contractors distribute adequate fertilisers to farmers to ensure high yields and viability of the crop,” he said.

Mr Chabikwa urged the culprits to desist from such practices.

“Farmers should apply the fertilisers to get the intended yield of 1 200kg per hectare. Currently farmers are getting between 500 and 700kg per hectare and this is not viable,” he said.

He said farmers’ leaders have held several meetings with cotton growers on the matter.
If this practice continues it would further affect cotton production which has dropped by 48 percent due to low prices.

Most traditional cotton growers have switched to tobacco and groundnuts due to low pricing.



Latest: Farmers sell inputs

December 17, 2013
Agriculture Reporter

Some cotton farmers are selling inputs they received from contractors in order to buy food, the Cotton Council has established. The council received reports from Chiredzi, Muzarabani and Gokwe. Council spokesman Mr Garikayi Msika said the council has received several reports that some cotton growers in drought stricken areas were selling fertilisers to get cash to buy food.

“We are aware of the current food shortages but selling inputs is not the solution. Some farmers have a tendency of diverting inputs either to other crops or for sale and this has been affecting crop production for a long time,” Mr Msika said. He said farmers received cotton inputs last month and since then planting has been taking place.

“Planting is underway in most cotton growing areas. We cannot determine the total hectarage planted so far as we are still assessing. It is difficult to tell the hectarage planted using the amount of seed distributed as this will distort the actual situation on the ground,” he said.
Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president Mr Wonder Chabikwa said farmers in Chiredzi and Chisumbanje usually do not use fertilisers and were not necessarily selling them to buy food.

“These farmers usually produce the crop without using fertiliser. This season we demanded that contractors distribute adequate fertilisers to farmers to ensure high yields and viability of the crop,” he said.

Mr Chabikwa urged the culprits to desist from such practices.

“Farmers should apply the fertilisers to get the intended yield of 1 200kg per hectare. Currently farmers are getting between 500 and 700kg per hectare and this is not viable,” he said. He said farmers’ leaders have held several meetings with cotton growers on the matter. If this practice continues it would further affect cotton production which has dropped by 48 percent due to low prices.

Most traditional cotton growers have switched to tobacco and groundnuts due to low pricing.

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Fund sanctions litigation, Govt told
December 17, 2013
Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter

THE 14th Zanu-PF Annual National People’s Conference held in Chinhoyi last week urged Government to provide adequate funding for the case in which Zimbabwe is challenging the legality of the sanctions by the European Union at the General Court of the European Court of Justice.

The case was filed by the then Attorney-General Johannes Tomana — who is now the Prosecutor-General — in 2011 and is being led by a team of lawyers comprising Mr David Vaughan, Mr Maya Lester Robin Loof and Zimbabwean lawyers Mr Farai Mutamangira and Mr Gerald Mlotshwa.

“Government should take concrete measures, including making available requisite funding, to support the sanctions litigation instituted by the Attorney-General in Brussels against the EU,” the revolutionary party said in its resolutions. The court challenge is expected to cost at least US$5 million but former Finance Minister Tendai Biti was reluctant to fund the suit.

Yesterday Mr Tomana said they were still waiting for the set down date.

“Nothing has changed from the previous update, we are still waiting for the set down date,” he said.

The matter was brought to the Eighth Chamber (of the General Court of the European Court of Justice) in October where its set down date will be given.

The EU’s illegal sanctions regime was imposed in violation of the Cotonou Agreement which governs relations between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

The Zimbabwe Government also argues that the EU did not communicate its decision to people and companies on the sanctions list as required by its own regulations.

Besides disregarding its own regulations, the bloc also contravened international law when it imposed the illegal sanctions in 2002 and continued to extend them outside UN statutes.

China and Russia vetoed Britain and its Western allies’ bid to have the UN Security Council legalise the sanctions.

The EU imposed illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe as a direct response to the fast track land reform meant to correct ownership imbalances caused by colonialism.

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By Editor
Tue 17 Dec. 2013, 14:00 CAT

"Any development which is not anchored on the betterment of the people is not development at all," says United Nations Development Programme director for Zambia Viola Morgan. We agree.

You cannot develop a country without developing the people. The economic development of a country should have as its object the enabling of citizens to live full and satisfying lives. The economy is there to serve the people, and not the people to serve the economy.

Every citizen of this country has a right to a decent standard of living, and those in government have a duty to ensure the maximisation of the use of available national resources to realise this right. This calls for the government to formulate appropriate national development policies that address equality of opportunity, access to education and health services, adequate food, housing and opportunity for employment and fair distribution of income.

A vision that situates the process of development within the human vocation is needed. In the design of God, all human beings are called upon to develop and fulfil themselves, for every life is a vocation. In this perspective, we understand development as liberation, with all that it implies, even in the economic sphere.

All human beings are called to this full development, which in the strong biblical sense we call convocation. Human beings are convoked, and the process of development lies within that convocation. We are all called to this fullness of development.

If this is true, if full, integral and authentic development liberates human beings, then it is included within the human vocation.
Everything which makes a person more human and contributes to human liberation, contains the value of salvation and communion with the Lord. In other words, integral development is salvation. Development is, therefore, to pass from less human conditions to more human conditions.

Less human conditions: the lack of material necessities for those who are without the minimum essential for life, the moral duties of those who are mutilated by selfishness. That is less human. "Less human" also means oppressive social structures, whether due to the abuses of ownership or to the abuses of power, to the exploitation of workers or to unjust transactions. Thus, "less human" are oppressive structures, something we are generally unaware of. The structure itself is oppressive, although naturally human beings are responsible for it.

As regards the passage from less human to more human, we move step by step: more human - the passage from misery toward the possession of necessities, victory over social scourges. In this case, scourges not of a personal kind but of structures. Also more human is the growth of knowledge, the acquisition of culture. More human is increased esteem for the dignity of others.

More human is co-operation for the common good, the will and desire for peace. Consequently, we can say that integral development, authentic emancipation, and human liberation are salvation. This is development, which is also a task and a call to action. The creation of a just and fraternal society is the salvation of human beings, if by salvation we mean the passage from the less human to the more human. Salvation, therefore, is not purely religious.

Development that does not lift our people out of suffering is not development. We all know that suffering is increasing while at the same time we are being told that the economy is growing, the country is developing. If that is the case, what is causing all this suffering? And what is being done to halt the suffering? We all know too well the difficult condition of our economy.

We must recall the fundamental norm of judging any economic activity; it must serve the people. We hear reports that Zambia is doing well in mining and so on and so forth. But we ask: who is Zambia? In the light of the human suffering the great majority of our people are subjected to, what Zambia are they talking about when they say, 'Zambia is doing well'?

We are so often being reminded of the investments in the mining sector and we are being promised things will be okay soon. But looking at things critically, one wonders if there will, in fact, be long-term gain from these mining activities for the majority of our people who are today wallowing in poverty.

We are not questioning the basic necessity to have foreign investment in the exploitation of our mineral resources. But we are simply calling attention to the way things are being done.

When we speak of "the economy", we are speaking of the policies and plans which control the wealth and resources of a country and about how resources are distributed between people and about how the means of production are owned and controlled. And these and their consequences come about as a result of human urgency. At the heart of every economic system lie human needs, human abilities and human decisions, and it is the choices which we make in addressing those needs, sharing those abilities and making those decisions, that determine the justice or injustice of an economic system. There is thus a moral quality about an economy, a quality which has its roots in the morally correct or incorrect choices by people; and it is the moral quality of the economy that enables us to make judgment about whether or not it is a just economy.

Poverty is not an inevitable part of human life. Poverty is ultimately a product of human decisions and can be eradicated by human decisions, leading to the great majority of our people enjoying an adequate standard of living. The fact that many of our fellow citizens die every year from lack of food, lack of basic health care and lack of shelter in an economy that is said to be doing well, to be growing, with mining investments booming, is an indication of economic injustice. The pursuit of the realisation of the right to an adequate standard of living of our people should, therefore, include attempts to redress these injustices in our economy. The key to achieving economic justice lies in human attitudes, for it is our attitudes that underlie our actions and inform our decisions. As individuals and as a nation, we need to develop a social conscience which recognises the injustice of poverty and which leads us to take action against it. Undoubtedly, the development of an effective social conscience will not happen quickly. It will have to be striven for and the striving will have to be widespread, involving all sectors of society.

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TIZ praises Sata
By Roy Habaalu
Tue 17 Dec. 2013, 14:01 CAT

TRANSPARENCY International Zambia has praised President Michael Sata saying the head of state has shown that he has no selective justice and that he can act against members of the Patriotic Front.

President Sata yesterday during a caucus meeting with Cabinet ministers and Patriotic Front members of parliament at State House dropped Ronald Chitotela and Rogers Mwewa after Auditor General Anna Chifungula cited them in the irregular purchase of "written-off vehicles" as ambulances for their respective constituencies.

Meanwhile, Efron Lungu, who was fired as foreign affairs minister several months ago, took time to give tips to Chitotela on how to deal with a dismissal.

Commenting on the dismissal of the two, TIZ president Lee Habasonda said the decision sent a strong signal to all public officers that abuse and demeaning of executive offices such as that of the Auditor General was unacceptable.

He said the dropping of Chitotela and Mwewa as deputy ministers of labour and agriculture respectively shows that President Sata will not shield the corrupt.

"We called upon His Excellency the President to do the right thing and he's done it; we hope other MPs (members of parliament) occupying public offices will take a leaf from this, that there is no sacred cow in the fight against corruption. Many people have believed that there is selective justice but the President has shown that he can act against his own members of the party," Habasonda said.

Habasonda said President Sata's decision renewed the vigour in the fight against corruption.

"It's really sad that within two years of being in office, people who are supposed to be leading in the fight against corruption are in the forefront engaging in corruption. It was too early to do these kinds of things. President Sata must re-look at his team because he has some people many of whom don't share his vision to fight corruption. He must adjust his team because he has people that don't understand the fight against corruption," he said.

African Parliamentarian Network Against Corruption Zambia chapter chairperson Cornelius Mweetwa said the dismissal of the duo would give them an opportunity to clear themselves.

"As APNAC chairperson, this gives my colleagues an opportunity to clear their names without operating as though they were using their positions to influence investigations. This will make investigations clear and fair for my two colleagues," he said.

Mweetwa said comments by Chitotela and Mwewa cast aspersions of incompetence on the office of the Auditor General.

"The attacks on the Auditor General were not only out of order in terms of parliamentary etiquette but unacceptable in the fight against corruption. They used unparliamentary language and went ahead questioning the levels of stupidity of the Auditor General, who is an appointee of the President," said Mweetwa.

President Sata said he would not shield anyone involved in corruption.
"I have dropped comrades (Ronald) Chitotela and (Rodgers) Mwewa because anybody who is practicing corruption means that we are not in the same direction; so until they clear themselves, they are no longer my deputy ministers," President Sata said, and Chitotela was seen shaking and shedding tears.

Later, Chitotela said he had no comment other than praising President Sata for giving him an opportunity to serve Zambians as labour deputy minister.

He pledged to remain loyal to President Sata and the Patriotic Front, adding that the head of state would continue to inspire him as his 'political idol' and also to the PF.

He said he had trust in the law enforcement agencies that they would clear his name but stated that it was not time for him to show how innocent he was.

Asked about PF cadres who on Friday demonstrated in solidarity with him, Chitotela appealed to the cadres to respect President Sata's decision to drop him.

"That is not a right course to take for the cadres to take to the streets. Let them keep calm. I appreciate their support for me and President Sata and they should continue, but it's not time to fight," Chitotela, who now sounded relaxed, said.

And Mwewa thanked President Sata for appointing him deputy minister.
"I would like to thank His Excellency the President for showing confidence in me by appointing me deputy minister. I learnt a lot and I remain loyal to him and the party," Mwewa said.

Meanwhile, President Sata urged members of parliament to speak on behalf of the people in Parliament.

He said some members of parliament would return to Parliament in 2016.

"…and what you must bear in mind is that 2016 is not very far away. Me I have reached the top but you, some of you will be one-term MPs. Go back to the people, go and tell them what the government is doing. If you can't go back to the people, speak in Parliament and you've the media and if you don't speak, the media won't follow you. That's why I called you here," President Sata said.

And in apparent reference to Kabwata member of parliament Given Lubinda, President Sata said he was not working in his constituency.
"There is an MP in my constituency who has not gone even to Lilayi. Don't worry, some of you I'll come for you. You Given, go to Kamulanga and see the people," President Sata said.

During a question and answer session mostly from members of parliament, President Sata ordered justice minister Wynter Kabimba and his defence counterpart Geoffrey Mwamba to go and campaign in Vubwi together.
"Where is the rivalry because the two are looking at each other? Go back and dispel rumours of divisions in constituencies; both are ministers and the party is intact," responded President Sata to Kaputa member of parliament Maxus Ngonga, who wanted to know if there were camps in the party.

Chungu Bwalya (Lupososhi member of parliament): Your Excellency, you've the key to stop these demonstrations in the party.

President Sata: "Where there are demonstrations, it means the party is alive. If you are not telling people what you're doing, they will demonstrate. Demonstrations are an eye-opener. Even Dr (Joseph) Katema needs to be demonstrated against because there are no welfare schools. People will demonstrate against what you've not done."

Edgar Lungu (home affairs minister): "Sir, I would like to assure you that there will be no more use of pangas (machetes)."
Esther Banda: Those being suspended…
President Sata interjects: "If your colleague demonstrates against you, I'll suspend her. If you find something wrong against your friend, you must complain to me; that's why I suspended Elizabeth Phiri."
After the caucus, Efron Lungu joined other deputy ministers in encouraging Chitotela to be strong following his dismissal.
Lungu held Chitotela's hand and pulled him aside, where he tipped him on how to deal with his dismissal.

"Be strong, you will clear yourself soon... Let me tell you what to do when something like this happens; you know, people expect you to be annoyed and say many things, but just be humble. Don't even switch off your phone; answer it and say that you have no comment," he said as reporters approached the duo to solicit a comment.

"No, don't answer them," Lungu advised Chitotela. "They will misunderstand you."

At this point Chitotela looked down and told the reporters that he did not want to say anything about his dismissal.

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Zambians should have access to mining agreements - Banda

By Gift Chanda
Fri 13 Dec. 2013, 14:00 CAT

ZAMBIANS should have access to all 'secret' mining agreements between the government and various mines to boost transparency in the extractive sector, says an industry official.

And ActionAid says the Zambian government cannot continue to ignore fresh calls for windfall tax and the need for Zambia to benefit from its mineral resources.

Zambia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Secretariat head, Siforiano Banda, said disclosure of existing and future mining agreements signed between the government and the mining firms was important as it would not only boost transparency, but also help beat tax evasion in the extractive sector.

Countries like Guinea have already made their agreements public by posting them online, but only after losing much of their national heritage through lopsided deals with cunning Western mining concerns.

On Monday last week, Ghana's President, John Dramani Mahama said his government would embark on a renegotiation exercise with companies, especially those in the extractive industry on new stability agreements.

In a move that could see Ghana follow Guinea's path, the head of head, said the current stability agreements which were signed for 20 years and beyond were not favourable to the government since the players would continue to receive the same amount of royalties, even if prices of such commodities are sky-rocketing on the world market.

"What Ghana is looking to do is the right thing. It is important that these agreements are reviewed and made public," Banda said, adding that the secrecy around the agreements promotes tax evasion by some mining firms in many African countries.

He explained that disclosure of the agreement was important as it would not leave Zambians guessing how the country was faring with regard to benefiting from its minerals.

According to Banda, the Zambian government in 2008 rescinded all development agreements it entered into with mining firms.
"...but there are some mining companies that have not adhered to the government directive," he said.

"It is in the interest of the public that the government discloses those companies. We also need a law to compel mining companies to disclose their tax contribution to the government because currently, it is voluntarily."

Pressure has been mounting lately on the government to ensure the country gets a fair share from its mineral resources following an overshoot in this year's national budget deficit.

Pamela Chisanga, ActionAid country representative, said with the fresh calls on windfall tax, it is apparent to many citizens that in spite of increased mineral production, Zambia was benefitting little from its mineral resources.

Zambia's 2013 copper production is forecast to exceed last year's output, which dropped to 824,976 tonnes from the previous year's 881,108 tonnes.

"Zambia currently does not have a robust mining tax structure to effectively tax the different mining operations and as such have failed to collect reasonable taxes from the mining sector," she said in an emailed response to a press query.

"The PF government promised to re-introduce the windfall tax once elected into office, but has since backpedalled on this without giving any reasonable justification why windfall tax is no longer an option. Mining companies have also failed to provide an explanation on why it is not good for Zambia to reintroduce the windfall tax as this is based on excessive profits and would not take effect below a given threshold."

She appealed to the government to re-open discussions with mining companies on the windfall tax and to allow for broader citizen engagement in the discourse.

"The government should further look at developing a robust mining structure to effectively tax the different mining operations in the country," Chisanga added.

In a new report "Walking The Talk", published on Tuesday, ActionAid observed that increased budget spending allocation to agriculture was being held back by a poor tax policy by governments.

The Zambian government spent just 6.4 per cent of its national budget on agriculture during 2009-2013, risking even greater food insecurity across the country, according to the report, which recommends that one option to combat this problem is to effectively tax and collect optimal revenue from mining companies.

"Empty words won't feed empty stomachs. The Zambian government must follow through on its promise and provide more money, ensuring it is better targeted to help the majority of Zambia's citizens, who earn their livelihood from agriculture," said Chisanga.

"To help them accomplish this, the government should revisit the current tax rates which apply to mining companies to see what opportunities exist to ensure that they make a fair contribution to the overall national budget through their tax contributions."

Although copper mining is the economic lifeblood of Zambia, some analysts argue that the country does not reap enough benefit because the mines are owned by foreign companies.

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Removal of windfall tax was painful to Zambians - Mulongoti
By Kombe Mataka
Tue 17 Dec. 2013, 14:01 CAT

MIKE Mulongoti yesterday said that the decision by the Rupiah Banda regime to remove the windfall tax was painful to Zambians who had given them the mandate to rule. And Mulongoti has cautioned the PF to seriously reflect on the need for unity in the country as the year comes to an end.

Reviewing the PF's performance this year in an interview, Mulongoti, who is People's Party president and former works and supply minister, said the PF must seriously review the tax regime of the country.

"The truth of the matter on the windfall tax is there are some of our colleagues who were so determined to ensure that the windfall tax remained. It is not everybody in Cabinet (Rupiah Banda's) who supported it," Mulongoti said.

Mulongoti said he was aware that Banda had referred to him during a workshop held recently by FODEP when he spoke about the issue of the windfall tax but that he failed to mention that it was a very painful decision for many Zambians.

"Mind you, there is what we call collective responsibility; it was so embarrassing that we said, 'what are we going to tell the people because we were there and called to lead'. I can tell you it was a very painful decision. Not everyone in Cabinet supported it, but you see, we were overwhelmed by some of our colleagues who pushed that agenda for whatever reason, very vigorously. The minutes are there in Cabinet, it is not something new which has come up. We supported it fully when it was introduced and we were not convinced why it was removed."

Mulongoti said there was no moral justification for the government not to re-introduce the windfall tax.

"The benefits that came from the U$S480 million which government accrued from the introduction of windfall tax, surely who would not be happy with such money coming in the treasury?" Mulongoti wondered.

"Was there any reason to lose that money? Go to the Congo DR, they are getting maximum benefits from their minerals. Go to Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe says shareholding must be 50 per cent to indigenous people. It is a lie that investors will go away. Let me tell you, investors will not go away."

Several quarters of the Zambian society have called for the re-introduction of the windfall tax but the government has indicated it will not consider that option.

And Mulongoti said the PF should focus on working in unity in order to consolidate political gains next year as opposed to engaging in squabbles.

"They have spent more time trying to accept that they are in government and then there was a development which was very sad, that within themselves, they started positioning themselves for the future as opposed to consolidating their gains," he said.

"Now the future cannot be assured if the current situation is failing. You can assure yourself of the future but if your performance is bad, no matter how much you plan for the future, you will short-change yourselves. PF needs to concentrate as a team to build their performance, to remain a united force and not to take away from each other or subtracting from each other's integrity."

Mulongoti observed that there was too much focus on the top position of the party by many senior members as opposed to making the party much stronger on the ground.

"Everyone seems to be eyeing the top and the top is not within sight. The people of Zambia gave them the mandate and that mandate came with a lot of expectations."

And Mulongoti said the removal of subsidies on maize and fuel was a hard decision.

"What has happened is the PF has made some decisions that are very hard, like removal of subsidies, which I feel they must reconsider because it is going to cost them. The price of staple food is going up, fuel prices have gone up and people are very unhappy about that. World-over, governments try to cushion the impact on food and at some time fuel," Mulongoti said.

"Secondly, they seem to be underestimating the anger of the people over this Constitution."

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(NEWZIMBABWE, 'THE SOURCE') Miners fight 25 percent pay cut
16/12/2013 00:00:00
by The Source

WORKERS at the New Dawn Mining-owned Golden Quarry mine have taken their employer to arbitration court for unilaterally cutting their salaries by 25 percent citing viability challenges and slump in gold prices.

In court papers seen by The Source on Monday, Golden Quarry slashed the salaries from July this year, citing an agreement made between management and workers representatives.

The employees, through their legal representatives, Kamusasa and Musendo Legal Practitioners, say the company used threats and intimidation to force their representatives to sign the agreement and want the decision set aside.

“If the respondent intends to pay less, it should follow the proper procedures and seek exemption from the National Employment Council (NEC) for mining,” the employees said in their submission.
Peter Dzimba of Dzimba, Jaravaza and Associates presided over the case last week Friday but is yet to make a ruling.

Rejoice Moyo, Falcon Gold’s group human resources manager represented the mine at the hearing. New Dawn owns Golden Quarry, Dalny and Venice mines through its Falcon Gold subsidiary.

The Canadian-listed junior miner shut down Dalny Mine in August and threatened to close all mining operations in the country citing viability constraints caused by delays in getting its indigenisation plan approved.

The government has since approved an indigenisation plan which will see the company selling 42 percent of its shares to indigenous groups instead of the mandatory 51 percent.

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