Sunday, August 02, 2015

(MRK) Mahatir Mohamad Expresses Doubts About MH-17 Investigation, Ukrainian Gvt Innocence

The former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahatir Mohamad, isn't buying the 'Russia did it' scenario.

(YOUTUBE) Interview

Mahathir bin Mohamad: I cannot understand why the Malaysian government did not ask for the black box or the wreckage found in the Ukraine. It is quite unusual. The involvement of Malaysia is limited. They never send a team to take pictures there or investigate. The local media, the mainstream media is very much under the control of the government. Almost immediately after the plane was put down, America accused Russia. And then applied sanctions against Russia. We don't accept news like that.

Q: So you don't accept accusations against Russia?

Mahathir bin Mohamad: No, I don't think even the government accept. We are very neutral, because there is no real evidence. One of the suspects of shooting down the aircraft could be Ukraine. Because they were fighting, and we don't know who actually fired the missile. If it was a missile.

Q: Do you think this investigation is carried out objectively?

Mahathir bin Mohamad: I don't think so, I don't think so.

If it was a missile, means if it wasn't a Ukrainian airforce SU-25 or SU-27.

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(GUARDIAN UK) Zambian villagers take mining giant Vedanta to court in UK over toxic leaks




(GUARDIAN UK) Zambian villagers take mining giant Vedanta to court in UK over toxic leaks
Fears of environmental catastrophe as report finds ‘constant contamination’ of streams around copper mine while locals report health problems and failed crops
Shimulala village borehole

Saturday 1 August 2015 22.35 BST
Last modified on Sunday 2 August 2015 00.30 BST

A London-listed mining giant has been polluting the drinking water of villages in Zambia and threatening a wider health disaster, the Observer has found.

Leaked documents and a confidential internal report commissioned from Canadian pollution control experts show that Vedanta Resources’ giant mine in Zambia’s Copperbelt region has been spilling sulphuric acid and other toxic chemicals into rivers, streams and underground aquifers used for drinking water near the mining town of Chingola.

‘I drank the water and ate the fish. We all did. The acid has damaged me permanently’
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The result, say people in four villages living near the giant 12 sq mile mine owned by Vedanta subsidiary KCM, is stomach pains and illnesses, devastated crops, loss of earnings and permanent injuries. The claims of villagers living near one of the largest copper mines in Africa are backed by a leaked letter from a KCM doctor stating that water collected for testing from Shimulala village in 2011 was unfit for human consumption. “The water is acidic and the copper and iron levels exceed permitted levels,” the doctor wrote. “The impurities … can cause cancer in the bloodstream and unhealthy conditions in internal organs. The people in that village should be advised to stop using the same water.”

London law firm Leigh Day has issued proceedings in the high court in London on behalf of 1,800 people who claim to have been affected by the company’s pollution. “The case could take three years to resolve,” said Leigh Day senior partner Martyn Day, recently returned from Zambia, where lawyers and paralegals have been taking witness statements from people living near the rivers and the company’s operations.
Lawyers Leigh Day: troublemakers who are a thorn in the side of multinationals
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A Vedanta spokesman said: “All Vedanta’s operating subsidiaries take the health of their employees, the wellbeing of surrounding communities and the environment very seriously. Our subsidiaries are committed to ensuring they operate in a safe and sustainable way.”

But a scientist who worked for more than 15 years with KCM said there has been little maintenance of critical equipment since Vedanta bought the mine, despite production of some 10,000 tonnes of copper and 300 tonnes of cobalt a year. He accused Vedanta of releasing more acid than it has authority for. “There have been heavy spillages and massive leakages. Acid has been leaking all over the place. The pollution control pond is handling too much material. No effort has been made to correct this scenario. Only one of four [waste] pipelines is running – the rest are in disrepair.

“Degraded equipment, leaking pumps, pipes, thickeners and settling ponds have [resulted in] excessive spillages. Water overflowing into the Mushushima river and subsequently the Kafue river poses a possible environmental catastrophe downstream,” he said.

“The company has very good plans on paper that have not materialised on the ground for the last 10 years. It is absolutely clear that there is a massive problem. Because the river Kafue feeds into the Zambezi river, which provides drinking water for much of Zambia, the pollution could affect hundreds of thousands of people downstream, he said. “A disaster is very likely. It has the potential of affecting people hundreds of miles away. Water supplies could be damaged and aquatic life would die.”

A leaked report by the Canadian engineering company SNC-Lavalin, which in 2010 was employed to advise Vedanta/ KCM on how to control continuing pollution, says that solids, dissolved copper and acids are being spilled. It refers to “constant contamination” of streams, and says the main pollution control dam is often full to capacity. It adds that reservoirs overflow and there are leakages from pipes and a lack of spare parts. The engineers’ report calls for 17 major and minor actions to stop the spillage of polluted water into the environment.





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Friday, July 31, 2015

(HAITIAN TIMES) The Haiti-Greece Connection

Under the Radar
The Haiti-Greece Connection
July 29, 2015
By Max A. Joseph

Debt is an instrument of control and other insidious motives that have been in use since ancient times. Its potency painfully felt when the debtor becomes insolvent.

European Union member and bankrupt Greece may be thousands of miles away from United Nations-occupied and destitute Haiti, but the distance doesn’t preclude these two countries from experiencing similar issues inherent to the brutal nature of the global order.

Under a narrative that exculpates perpetrators and vilifies victims, these two countries are portrayed as unsuitable to their neighborhood and, by extension, unworthy of sympathy from their more affluent and powerful neighbors. Succeeding generations of Greeks, like their Haitians counterpart, will have to deal with the nasty consequences associated with being an insolvent nation. It certainly does not help that the institutions equally responsible for the Greek debt crisis – Europe Central Bank, the giant international banks and the IMF– are the ones formulating the solution.

Let’s start with Greece, a country of 10 million inhabitants and a national debt of $380 billion. As a member of the world’s largest economic bloc, the country certainly possesses many advantages that may be appealing to lenders. However, were these “advantages” sufficient enough to warrant such vote of confidence in its ability to repay this massive debt? Absolutely not; despite a highly-educated workforce, Greece is essentially a developing economy that relies mostly on tourism and agricultural exports.

It will never be able to pay off this enormous debt.

Because the global economy is interwoven, the Greek debt crisis remains a threat to global prosperity seeing that it could usher a domino effect, engulfing other heavily indebted and much larger EU economies. That being said, shouldn’t the international lenders shoulder part of the blame and absorb some of the losses that come with Greece’s inability to fulfill its contractual obligations?

In a normal situation that would be the reasonable thing to do but in the arcane world of international finance, such mundane solution is anathema because portion of the debt are essentially investments made by states and private pension funds on behalf of retirees. Though most of the debt is nominally owed to EU governments and banks, their true ownership might be retirees from Cleveland, Ohio; Marseille, France, Manchester, England, or Munich, Germany. These retirees no doubt will not be asked to take smaller retirement checks because of bad decisions by mutual or hedge funds and banks or the Greeks’ inability to pay.

Predictably Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, was fighting a losing battle despite the popular support expressed in the July 5 referendum in which almost 62 percent of his countrymen convincingly rejected the burdensome conditions of the EU lenders and the IMF. As recently as the beginning of the twentieth century, Greece would have been invaded and occupied by national armies seeking to collect on behalf of their respective banks. Fortunately for the Greeks, that primal approach to collecting debts has been in hibernation, meaning not completely abandoned, under the 1944 Bretton Woods Accords, which created the ultimate mechanism (IMF and World Bank) for a collective and more effective control of international finance by the western powers.

Likewise Haiti, a perennial outcast in the international arena and current holder of the unenviable title of “poorest country in the western hemisphere,” was not so lucky. Its path to poverty — perpetual political turmoil and insolvency, though wholly different than that of Greece– is consistent with the characteristics of international relations. July 28 marked the hundredth anniversary of Haiti’s first occupation by U.S. Marines on behalf of U.S. corporations, which lasted nineteen years (1915-34.)

Whereas Greece’s monstrous debt originated with bad decisions by that country’s leaders and greedy international lenders, that of 1915 Haiti in contrast was the end result of bullying and robbery by France.

To sum it up, the sacrifices made by the more than one hundred thousand slaves that perished during Haiti’s war of independence (1791-1803) were nullified when France, with the backing of England, Germany, Spain and the U.S. navies, imposed a huge indemnity on the young republic in exchange for a formal recognition of its self-liberation. Apparently NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) informally existed prior to its founding in 1949.

Adding insult to injury, Haiti was forced to borrow the money from French banks at an exorbitant rate, which inevitably bankrupted the country. The National City Bank of New York, aka Citibank, would later acquire the deed to that loan from under the U.S. occupation whose premise (the Monroe Doctrine) could not tolerate the presence of a European competitor.

When a comprehensive account of the April 1825 naval blockade of Haiti and subsequent U.S. occupation of that country on July 28, 1915 is finally written, preferably by non-western historians, these two episodes will rank among the most severe punishments ever meted out on a defenseless little nation by predatory powers.

Ever since ancient Greece was yanked from the Ottoman Empire by the British and resurrected in 1830, it has been unable to find it’s footing in a neighborhood infested with predatory powers. Haiti, which came into existence in the course of a hard fought struggle against slavery and colonialism, has been in a corresponding situation since its inception in 1804. Until small countries like Greece and Haiti find a way to extricate themselves from the grid, they can expect more of the same.

About Latest Posts

Max A. Joseph Jr.
Max A. Joseph Jr. is a small business owner and consultant who writes about politics.



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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

(BUSINESS INSIDER) Uganda's farmers battle palm oil Goliaths for land

COMMENT - Globalisation and land theft. This is the IMF's version of land reform, land title reform instead of land redistribution. Land title reform strenghtens the ownership of land in the hands of transnational corporations, and the banks that own their debt.

(BUSINESS INSIDER) Uganda's farmers battle palm oil Goliaths for land
AFP
Amy Fallon, AFP
Jul. 25, 2015, 2:10 AM 826

Even before the bulldozers arrived life was tough for John Muyiisa, scratching a living from a rented farm on Lake Victoria's Kalangala island© AFP Isaac KasamaniEven before the bulldozers arrived life was tough for John Muyiisa, scratching a living from a rented farm on Lake Victoria's Kalangala island

Now he has almost nothing and is seeking compensation in Ugandan courts from the palm oil plantations he blames for seizing the land and destroying his livelihood.

As land grabs by local firms linked to multinationals drive small-holder farmers out of business, a rights group behind a February bid for compensation by 100 farmers says rights violations and environmental degradation are also at stake.

Muylisa, a 53-year old father of nine, had leased a 17 hectare (40 acre) plot farming coffee, bananas, cassava and potatoes on Kalangala island. But in 2011 that land was taken and cleared for a palm oil estate.

"It's like I'm starting all over again now," Muyiisa said, adding he once could earn over 1,400 dollars a year (1,300 euros) but is now struggling to survive.

"With that land, some of my children even completed university, but now I've taken some out of school, some of my daughters are doing housework to earn money."

It is a story repeated elsewhere in Africa, where large internationally-backed companies are snapping up agricultural land, and activists claim their actions deprive local farmers of basic needs.

But Muyiisa did not legally own the land he farms -- the title deeds are held by the local Sempa family.

Horatius Sempa said the 14 farmers were "illegal squatters," but acknowledged some had received payments of between $35 and $200 while others had been allowed to continue farming smaller parcels of land. Muyiisa was left with three hectares (7.5 acres).

The palm oil project is being carried out by Oil Palm Uganda, a subsidiary of local food producer Bidco Uganda. Bidco in turn is a joint venture between global palm oil giant Wilmar International -- backed by several European banks and financiers -- and other international partners.

It is also supported by the UN's International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which offers government loans at subsidised interest rates to set up plantations.



- 'Total robbery' -



Campaigners say the Kalangala case highlights a growing conflict over land rights and ownership in Africa between those who hold the legal deeds and the generations of smallholders who occupy and invest in farmland, potentially earning themselves squatters' rights to remain.

"It is happening in Liberia, Nigeria, Tanzania," said environmental campaigner David Kureeba from Friends of the Earth in Uganda, which is supporting the farmers' legal challenge.

"Expansion of palm oil will lead to food insecurity, human rights violations, environmental degradation and climate change," he argued.

Friends of the Earth this month called for Wilmar to immediately halt its palm oil development plans in Nigeria, which they describe as a "key frontier country" for palm oil expansion leading to "conflict".

Muyiisa, one of over 100 farmers in Uganda who lost their farms, are hoping the court will order the land to be handed back, along with "fair compensation" for damages.

They claim they were kicked off the land without warning and the compensation they got was derisory.

Muyiisa's mother-in-law, Magdalena Nakamya, a 64-year-old widow with eight children, depended on a three-hectare (seven acre) plot growing cassava and potatoes, earning over 250 dollars (180 euros) a month.

"Then they came and measured up, and the next I heard there was digging," said Nakamya, describing the day the bulldozers arrived. "Now I'm making very little money."

Kalangala island in the vast freshwater Lake Victoria appears idyllic, but Bidco -- which launched the ambitious Oil Palm Uganda Limited (OPUL) development in 2004, and by the end of 2012 had been given 7,700 hectares of land (17 acres) by the government -- says it was once at the bottom of the pile for economic development.

The food producer dismisses claims it has caused harm, saying the palm oil farm has instead boosted development on the island.

Bidco boasts Kalangala now is among the top 10 developed districts in the east African country, after "working harmoniously and closely with the community" on the joint public-private partnership.

Wilmar said in a statement that the court had ordered mediation, pointing out the company had played no role in buying the land.

"We are disappointed that our efforts to engage with the stakeholders concerned, that is the alleged affected communities and NGO involved, were not reciprocated," the company said.

But for Muyiisa, the case is clear.

"In the end some were scared and took anything offered," said Muyiisa, claiming some farmers were paid as little as $16, others just $33. "It wasn't much. Some were offered really poor money and refused it because they thought 'this is total robbery'."

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-ugandas-farmers-battle-palm-oil-goliaths-for-land-2015-7#ixzz3hE0Dfp3V




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Al-Qaeda Sues Zambian Government, Goldman Sachs

COMMENT - No one apparently anticipated this, however by selling assets owned by the Zambian state to the Libyan state under the guise of Privatisation, because the private sector can run businesses sooo much better than the state can, the Libyan state ended up in the hands of islamist coup plotters. And now the Zambian government has to honor agreements made with the illegal and atrocious government of Libya, or what's left of Libya? Privatisation = Corruption. You cannot get rid of corruption, without ending these intransparant trade deals and eurobond loans.

(ZAMBIAN POST, FT) Libya firm sues Zambia over Lap GreenN assets By Financial Times | Updated: 28 Jul,2015 ,08:22:25 | 699 Views

The Libyan Investment Authority has launched legal action against four African states, including Zambia, alleging that they took advantage of Libya’s political turmoil to nationalise assets belonging to the $66bn sovereign wealth fund.

Hassan Bouhadi, the LIA’s chairman who was appointed by the internationally recognised Tobruk government in October, said the legal action related to technology assets in Rwanda, Zambia, Chad and Niger.

“There are some individuals every day that are trying to apply false claims against the assets of the LIA and we have a few incidents where some countries have nationalised some of our assets,” Bouhadi alleged.

The $66bn fund was created in 2006 by Colonel Muammer Gaddafi to invest the proceeds of Libya’s vast oil wealth, but since 2011, its assets have been frozen under international law.

In 2014, it launched two separate lawsuits against Goldman Sachs and Société Générale in London’s High Court over controversial trades.

Both banks deny any wrongdoing.

Bouhadi, a former GE and Bechtel executive, who grew up in Libya but was educated at London’s University College, said the LIA was “determined” to “regain what was squandered from the Libyan people”.

He also hopes that the lawsuits may “shed some light into some practices” within the wider banking industry.

However, the success of its high stakes litigation was thrown into serious doubt this year because of the rival factions in Libya’s bitter civil war.

Four years after the fall of Muammer Gaddafi, the country has two rival governments battling for control and is split between Islamists in Tripoli with the internationally recognised government based in Tobruk.

Each government has appointed officials at state agencies including the National Oil Corporation and the LIA itself. Bouhadi was appointed by the Tobruk government, but Tripoli-based Abdulmagid Breish also claims to be LIA chairman - which Bouhadi’s team fiercely dispute.

Breish says he was appointed as chairman of the LIA in June 2013 when the country had one government, but agreed to step aside a year later when a political isolation law was passed prohibiting Gaddafi-era officials from taking part in politics. He appealed on the grounds that the isolation law did not apply to him, and in April was reinstated by the Libyan Court of Appeal.

That month Libya’s deepening political turmoil led to the disbanding of the LIA’s litigation committee, and its longstanding law firm Enyo which had been working on the lawsuits against Goldman Sachs and SocGen, stepped down.

The confusion surrounding the LIA led one High Court judge to declare that the litigation was in a “state of chaos”. Even Mr Justice Flaux, the High Court judge, noted drily that there is “what might be colloquially described as a dog’s breakfast on the claimant’s side of the fence” and “no doubt that suits the defendants extremely well”.

Now, the litigation is firmly back on track after the lawyers of both Bouhadi and Breish jointly asked the High Court this month to appoint BDO, the professional services firm, as a receiver and litigation manager by the High Court. In future, BDO will handle the litigation, with Enyo acting as lawyers.

“These are assets of the Libyan people and we are entrusted with safeguarding these assets. It’s not a wish. It’s a duty that we need to continue,” says Mr Bouhadi.

His resolve is shared by Breish, who says the receiver’s appointment was the “best option” available. “We reached a point where the two pieces of litigation were hanging in limbo and at great risk,” Breish said.

Yet whoever is in charge at the LIA is not able to touch the assets directly until the sanctions are lifted. In 2012, the LIA had the opportunity to unfreeze the assets but decided against it until there was a more stable political process.

However, Bouhadi would like to apply to the UN and EU to be allowed to manage more efficiently the cash generated from dividends and matured bonds.

When sanctions are lifted, Bouhadi wants the LIA to play a greater role in liberalising the Libyan economy and in helping business start-ups. Another objective is to demystify the LIA for ordinary Libyans who, Bouhadi says, viewed the wealth fund as opaque and “a mystery” during the Gaddafi era.

He says: “The Libyan people are all the time asking: ‘What is it? What is it for the Libyans? What is the LIA doing for the Libyans? What are the tangible benefits for the Libyans?’”.

But the LIA knows that if it is successful in clawing back more than $2bn from Goldman Sachs and SocGen and through other lawsuits, ordinary Libyans should not need to ask that question for much longer.
- See more at: http://www.postzambia.com/news.php?id=10032#sthash.PGCFkT9g.dpuf



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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Zambia’s future bleak due to incessant govt borrowing

COMMENT - There would be no debt at all if the government simply collected stiff Windfall Taxes from the mines. The debt is doubling, the currency is under pressure instead of increasing because of all the value flowing into the Zambian economy out of the mining sector. Who is the lunatic now, Finance Minister Chikwanda?

Zambia’s future bleak due to incessant govt borrowing - Haabazoka By Misheck Wangwe and Stuart Lisulo | Updated: 26 Jul,2015 ,11:22:25

THE future of Zambia is bleak looking at the incessant borrowing being made by the PF government, says Copperbelt-based economist Dr Lubinda Haabazoka.

The Zambian government on Thursday issued a US$1.25 billion Eurobond, the highest ever, to be repaid in 10 years.

The facility, which was over-subscribed by US$500 million, is the third that Zambia has issued under the PF regime, at 9.37 per cent interest annually.

But Dr Haabazoka, who is also a senior lecturer of business studies at the Copperbelt University, said looking at the expenditure by allocation, much of the borrowed money might even go to consumption.

“No country in the history of economic development has ever developed on borrowed funds. One might argue that governments issue treasury bonds to develop their economies but the type of borrowing that we have seen is unprecedented. In 2011, Zambia only owed US$1.2 billion in foreign debt and now it owes more than US$7 billion. The rate at which we are acquiring debt is very high,” he said.

Dr Haabazoka said what was more worrying was that the sources of income were narrowing and the country’s economy was being run on borrowed funds.

He said the government could have cut down unnecessary expenditure such as scaling down the size of government and doing away with projects of low priority.

Dr Haabazoka said thinking that borrowed money was the only source of the national budget or running government was a misplaced ideology.

“This year is going to be the worst economically, after 15 years, because of the huge budget deficit due to lack of proper planning on the way government is supposed to be run. Look at the energy crisis! It will cost businesses because Zesco and government have recorded huge losses in terms of missed revenues and opportunities. Look at the fuel sector! There are huge losses; Indeni has shut and businesses that depend on generators to backup their energy sources have huge challenges to operate. Economically, our performance is dismal as a nation,” Dr Haazoka said.

He said the state of the economy was making it extremely difficult to operate smaller businesses.

“My advice to finance minister Alexander Chikwanda is that he must make this loan his final for the next two years. Those working in government must help in coming up with a strategy on how revenue collection could be improved without burdening the already overburdened labour force and formal sector,” Dr Haabazoka said.

He said the proceeds from the Eurobond were not likely to benefit Zambia’s economy owing to the massive externalisation of financial resources in the construction sector among foreign contractors.

“I see a lot of externalisation of resources because most contractors that are going to work on these infrastructure developments are Chinese and other foreign nationals so we are basically borrowing for foreign economic participants,” Dr Haabazoka added.

He also said the government’s intention to address the widening budget deficit, which is projected to soar to around K20 billion from K8.5 billion by accumulating new debt, will actually widen it even further next year.

“In trying to solve a budget deficit by borrowing, we are actually creating a wider deficit for the next year so basically, we are not solving anything! The easiest way to solve a budget deficit is to reduce unnecessary expenditure. You have to prioritise which sectors need money most and which ones can wait for the future,” said Dr Haabazoka.
- See more at: http://www.postzambia.com/news.php?id=9995#sthash.QdS8Zj5Q.dpuf

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Saturday, July 18, 2015

(THE MONITOR, UGANDA) Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs related to Ugandans - DNA

COMMENT - Interesting article on the links between the West's longest running, nearly continuous and therefore most influential civilisation of Ancient Egypt, and the dna and culture of the people of Uganda. Uganda is one of the two origins of the Nile.

(THE MONITOR, UGANDA) Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs related to Ugandans - DNA
An ancient bust of Queen Tiye of ancient Egypt retrieved by archaeologists now at
Altes Museum in Berlin, Germany, shows she was a black African. Courtesy photos
By David Sepuya Kalanzi
Posted Saturday, August 16 2014 at 01:00

In Summary

A DNA test of a group of mummies from the Amarna Egyptian Pharaohs matched the genetic profiles of the population of the Great Lakes region

This year, Ugandans have witnessed the use of DNA tests to settle prominent public cases in the media concerning the paternity of children and of celebrities who have died. What has not been known to many people is the dispute concerning the ethnicity of the ancient Egyptians by scholars in the 20th Century. This dispute has been solved scientifically by the DNA tests conducted on the mummies of the ancient Egyptians in 2012 and 2013.

In December 2012, DNA tests were conducted on the mummies of Pharaoh Rameses III and his son, which proved that they belonged to human Y chromosome group E1b1a. This is the Y chromosome group of Sub Saharan Africans who speak Niger–Congo languages.

The disclosed Y chromosome group of the Pharaoh, at the time of releasing the report, was considered as just one of the details to make the investigation scientifically solid with facts. But its revelation caused a stir equal to the purpose of the original forensic investigation.

Another group of mummies from the Amarna period of Egyptian pharaohs were tested by DNA Tribes, an American Company which specialises in conducting DNA tests, in 2013.

The conclusion of the tests were that the mummies autosomal profiles would be most frequent in the present day populations of the African Great Lakes region and Southern Africa. Subsequent analysis of the autosomal profile of the mummy of Pharaoh Rameses III also concluded that this matched the genetic profiles of the population of the Great Lakes region as well.

It was reported in the DNA Tribe’s digest of February 2013, that the DNA match results of the ancient Egyptian Amarna royal mummies with the present day world regions reflect the population changes in Africa after the time of Rameses III .

One issue which remains unresolved is that of language. The language of ancient Egypt is classified as belonging to the Afro-Asiatic family of languages, which are spoken by people like the Somali and Amhara of Ethiopia, while the genetic profiles of the mummies match those of Niger–Congo language speakers. The most likely explanation is that some of the Niger-Congo speaking people, who were carriers of human Y chromosome E1b1a, moved into ancient Egypt along the Nile from the Sahara region as the region dried up and fused with the Afro-Asiatic speaking people, giving rise to the unique language of ancient Egypt.

However, these speakers of the Niger–Congo language went on to form the ruling class producing pharaohs for Egypt, while retaining the customs which they practised in common with their relatives who had migrated south into the Great Lakes region as the genetic tests have shown.

The writer is a cultural heritage consultant

THE CONNECTIONS

The strong cultural connection between the ancient Egyptians and the modern people of the Great Lakes region of Africa have long been noted for more than a century now by ethnographers (people who study ethnicity). The following examples illustrate this connection.

Female heirs. The Egyptian pharaohs, like the rulers of the Great Lakes kingdoms of East Africa, ascended to their thrones with their sisters or cousins as co-rulers. In Bunyoro and Tooro kingdoms, the sister was called the Rubuga, but is currently called the Batebe. In Buganda kingdom, she was called the Lubuga, now called Nalinya. In Buganda, this custom from antiquity of having female co-heirs is still practised in all cultural succession events.

Royal drums. Secondly, in all the Great Lakes kingdoms, ceremonies were carried out at certain intervals to welcome the appearance of the new moon. Regalia such as the royal drums and twin objects were brought out on these occasions to pray for the wellbeing of the kingdoms as was done in the courts of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs.

Bows and arrows. Another custom of the pharaohs in common with the kings of Great Lakes kingdoms were the use of bows and arrows in the coronation ceremonies. The coronation rituals of the pharaohs were repeated in the Sed festivals of the pharaohs, a record of which has been kept by historians. A description of the bow and arrow part of the coronation section reads: “Next, the pharaoh was carried to the chapels of the gods Horus and Seth, where he was handed a bow and arrows with which he shot an arrow in each of the four directions” i.e. East, West, North and South.

In Bunyoro. An identical ceremony was enacted during the coronation of the Omukama of Bunyoro Kingdom. In his book: Abakama Ba Bunyoro Kitara, published in 1947, John William Nyakatura, a historian and a county chief of Bunyoro Kingdom, recorded the following ceremony for the new king: “Then the king was handed bows and arrows. He shot four arrows in all directions- one arrow was shot in the direction where the sun rises (Buganda and Busoga), the second one was shot in the direction where the sun sets, the third one in the southward direction (Nkore and Rwanda), the fourth one was shot in the northward direction (Bukedi and other countries). This action meant every rebel/rival who came from any of these directions would be killed with an arrow.

In Buganda. Buganda Kingdom in precolonial times also had a bow and arrow coronation ceremony as part and parcel of the enthronement rituals of the kings. In fact, the one of Buganda was deadly. A captive would be shot with an arrow by the new Kabaka to indicate that he would be vigorous in protecting his kingdom. The victim would then be killed by the king’s guards thereafter.

Musical instruments. The similarities between ancient Egypt and the Great Lakes also extended to the material culture. Scholars have noted the resemblance of the musical instrument in ancient Egypt and the kingdoms of the Great Lakes, notably the bow- harps and flutes. This fact is mentioned in the display of Ugandan bow harps at the Uganda Museum.

The plank sewn canoes on Lake Victoria used in precolonial times were bound together using vegetative materials and were assembled in a similar way to the boats used by the ancient Egyptians on the Nile. This similarity was noticed by the scholars when British rule was established in East Africa.

Civilisation. In the 19th Century, explorers and anthropologists encountered the Great Lakes kingdoms and noted the unexpected sophistication of the societies in these kingdoms. It was assumed that Egyptian culture had influenced the culture of the Great Lakes region. In the actual fact, the direction of influence was the other way round. The anthropologists were observing a society similar to one out of which the ancient Egyptian civilisation had emerged.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com




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Friday, July 03, 2015

(NEWZIMBABWE, NEWS24 SA) Malema says Mugabe is a blameless, exemplary African leader

(NEWZIMBABWE, NEWS24 SA) Malema says Mugabe is a blameless, exemplary African leader
02/07/2015 00:00:00
by News24

PROBLEMS in Zimbabwe are not caused by its long-serving President Robert Mugabe but by "capital", South Africa's Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema said on Thursday.

"President Mugabe is the only leader who knows for the real change to come, Africans will have to go through the necessary pain, exactly what Zimbabweans are going through now," he told reporters in Johannesburg when asked about his relationship with Mugabe.

"We don't see what's happening in Zimbabwe as anarchy. We don't blame it on President Mugabe, we blame it on capital... [It is] because they disagree with him politically, they use their economic muscle to punish the people of Zimbabwe."

Malema said Mugabe was the only African leader who continued to stand up against the west and who understood what it meant to be a real African.

He said the EFF might not agree with Mugabe on some issues, but from a broader perspective, the Zimbabwean leader represented the kind of Africa people wanted.

"How do you say a man who has won elections is a tyrant? He has never preceded over any massacre of our people; he continues to lead a party that advocates for very radical economic policies in Zimbabwe."

Malema lambasted those who felt Mugabe had over-stayed his welcome as president and that presidents should only stand for two terms.

It was fine for the rest of Africa to have presidents serve more than two terms, but not in South Africa, he said.

"I don't care if a president in Africa goes for a third term or for the fourth term, but not in South Africa.

"They can do it everywhere else if they want to do it... It won't work here in South Africa. Here it is two terms and go home."

Malema said he believed Africa should be governed by one leader, a leader like Mugabe.

"We want an Africa where trade will happen freely. We want an Africa that will one day have one currency and have one president and one government which will preside over this continent.

"We are one. These borders were imposed on us by colonialism."


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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Defections from PF confirm the party is disintegration - Rainbow

COMMENT - A party from Wynter Kabimba. I want to know what they are going to do with the mines. Seriously.

(POST ZAMBIA) Defections from PF confirm the party is disintegration - Rainbow
By Misheck Wangwe in Kitwe | Updated: 30 Jun,2015 ,09:42:13

DEFECTIONS of PF members to Rainbow confirm the complete disintegration of the ruling party on one hand and the formation of a formidable and vibrant Rainbow Party, says former PF member from Wusakile Constituency Mubanga Mutale.

Mutale on Sunday led 48 defectors from the PF, five from MMD and three from the UPND in joining the Rainbow Party at a function held at Chamboli Catholic Church Hall.

He said the PF had presided over escalation of unemployment levels, external debt borrowing, stagnation of economy, lack of a clear constitution roadmap and the current weak constitution.

“This momentous occasion exemplifies the aspirations and desires by the Copperbelt residents to foster a change of government next year. These witnessed defections confirm the complete disintegration of PF on one hand and the formation of a formidable and vibrant party; the Rainbow Party,” said Mutale.

Receiving the defectors, Rainbow Copperbelt chairperson Allan Mwewa encouraged all members to intensify membership recruitment to ensure victory next year.

“Rainbow’s socialist agenda would eradicate inequalities by equal distribution of wealth as a way of dismantling capitalist class issues. In the annals of Zambian political history, Wusakili township was critical as during the colonial era, it stimulated change through the likes of Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula. We want that spirit to live on,” said Mwewa.

Rainbow national chairperson for youth affairs McDonald Mulongoti urged all members to espouse party fundamental principles and ideologies by candidly reading and understanding party ideals and explaining to the masses during membership recruitment.

Mulongoti appealed to the youth to get national registration cards and voters cards as tools to cause change of government next year.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

(HERALD ZW) Kasukuwere hails organic farming

(HERALD ZW) Kasukuwere hails organic farming | The Herald
Agriculture Reporter

Farmers should embrace Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) to boost agricultural production and overcome poverty, the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, has said.

Minister Kasukuwere said this while officiating at the Makoni Organic Farmers Association (MOFA) Equator Initiative Award ceremony held at Chiundu High School in Rusape last Friday.

The association was awarded the UNDP Global Equator Prize for 2014 during a ceremony held in Lincoln Centre in New York in September last year.

The Equator Prize is awarded biennially to recognise and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities.

Cde Kasukuwere said indigenous people had their peculiar knowledge systems that conserved the environment.

“We had our own traditional values and norms that guided us in preserving natural resources. These should have been documented for use by the future generation.

“If we rely on our IKS, we will never go wrong, we should research and record the indigenous knowledge,” he said.

Cde Kasukuwere said people should learn from the elderly people and follow their ways.

“If we can embrace and scale up initiatives such as organic farming and other sustainable environmental management activities, this will lead to building resilience in vulnerable communities and promote sustainable development,” he said.


He commended the Makoni organic association for using organic methods in crop production as this was healthy and cheaper since the method relied on locally available resources.

“This is a clean way of producing food. Some of the chemicals used in crop production have detrimental effects on human health.

“I urge you to protect the rivers and forests and diversify your operations. You have a reliable water source and you should diversify into fish production to increase income,” he said.


UNDP Resident Representative Mr Bishow Parajuli emphasised MOFA’s contribution to sustainable development through community empowerment and participation, environmental sustainability, gender and health mainstreaming as well as inclusive participation by youth and local communities.

“This is in line with the new UNDP Strategic Plan that stresses the need to find ways of fighting poverty and inequality, deepening inclusion and reducing conflict, without inflicting irreversible damage on environmental systems, including the climate, ” he said.

MOFA chairperson Mrs Tamari Chipanga said the lives of the farmers in the area had greatly improved due to the project of organic farming.

“We rely on natural resources and produce healthy foods for our families. We used to have kitchen gardens but we have increased production and we are now supplying local markets with our produce.

“We have plenty of water but we have a challenge of harnessing it,” she said.


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Tuesday, June 09, 2015

(IOL SA) Diamond scandal hits De Beers

COMMENT - De Beers and Beny Steinmetz are colluding to steal South African diamonds, through Beny Steinmetz' Ascot Diamonds (Pty) Ltd. This is where the money is going that should be diversifying the South African economy, and eliminate poverty.

Diamond scandal hits De Beers
- Crime & Courts | IOL News
Independent Newspapers Online

Johannesburg - A senior government diamond valuator in Joburg has accused his bosses of blocking his investigation into diamond giant De Beers – and then firing him to shut him up.

Conrad Benn, the country’s first black diamond valuator, has launched an urgent application in the high court in Joburg to challenge the South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator’s decision to suspend him in April last year and fire him last month.

Under section 74 of the Diamond Act, De Beers is exempt from getting permission to sell its diamonds overseas – if it can show that for any of its sales exceeding R5 billion, at least 40 percent of it benefited local companies.

Benn said that instead of a total of 11 local companies benefiting, a single off-shore company received the lion’s share.

He has submitted an affidavit from one of De Beers’ other sight-holders, Israeli businessman Erez Daleyot, that De Beers and the Swiss-based, Israeli-owned Steinmetz Group “are working in collusion with (Levy) Rapoo (the chief executive of the diamond regulator) and stealing from the nation of South Africa”.

Rapoo asked Benn to verify the claim. Benn found in November 2013 that De Beers was not complying with the act.

“Of the 40 percent of the gross value of the production cycle to beneficiaries in South Africa, 35 percent was sold to one customer, being Ascot Diamonds (Pty) Ltd. Ascot Diamonds is part of a group of companies owned by a major worldwide diamond entrepreneur, Beny Steinmetz.

“I analysed the 35 percent sold to Ascot Diamonds and noted that it consisted of purchases of ordinary usual diamonds as well as a substantial portion of what is known as ‘exceptional stones’.

“These can be described as large diamonds of good colour and clarity and are the best of any production cycle. They are the cream of the crop,” Benn said.

He said his findings made him uncomfortable and he had made countless efforts to raise it with the relevant authorities in De Beers.

He said that instead of resolving the matter, De Beers wrote a letter to Rapoo accusing Benn of leaking confidential corporate information to a third party.

The regulator then made an “Anton Piller” application, using information given to it by De Beers, said Benn, allowing local law firm ENS Forensics to search Benn’s house and seize his laptop.

Benn was suspended before facing a disciplinary hearing chaired by advocate GJ Fourie, who, Benn told the court, had been appointed by ENS Forensics. Fourie fired him last month.

In his papers, Benn remains adamant that the motive of the regulator was to “get rid of him” instead of probing allegations of wrongdoing by De Beers.

He was the regulator’s senior manager in the valuation department.

Benn worked for De Beers in Kimberley after matriculating at St Patrick’s College in that city. He worked there until 1998 when he joined the regulator, leaving in 2003 to join a private diamond mining company.

He returned to the regulator in 2008 and was later appointed senior manager.

Benn has asked the high court to stop the disciplinary proceedings until his new counsel had familiarised himself with the allegations.

He is adamant that the process has been launched “because I had uncovered the skewed allocation of exceptional stones. The purpose of getting rid of me is to stifle my investigation,” he said.

baldwin.ndaba@inl.co.za

The Star

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

BBC delves into Brazilians' roots

BBC delves into Brazilians' roots
By Silvia Salek
BBC Brasil

Neguinho da Beija-Flor's stage-name indicates his skin colour; in Portuguese, Neguinho means Little Black. Montage - Top: Neguinho da Beija Flor, Sandra de Sa, Djavan; Middle: Obina, Milton Nascimento, Ildi Silva; Bottom: Frei David, Seu Jorge, Daiane dos Santos

The BBC project analysed the DNA of nine famous Brazilians

In this year's Rio Carnival competition, he sang a song celebrating Brazil's African roots in a performance that won his samba school the title. But having learned to be proud of his African ancestry, he was shocked to find out that about 67% of his genes are European and only 31% African, according to an estimate based on an analysis of his DNA.

"People will think I'm joking if I tell them this", said the singer, who knew very little about his African ancestors but nothing at all about his European ones.

Neguinho da Beija-Flor was among nine celebrities who were tested for a project, called Afro-Brazilian Roots, by the Brazilian Service of the BBC.

HOW TESTS WERE DONE
Person swabs saliva, sample sent to lab
DNA sequences compared to gene database
40 different markers on DNA sample analysed to obtain rough percentage of genes' origin
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysed for maternal line
Y chromosome analysed for paternal ancestors

Brazil has more people with black ancestry than any other nation outside Africa, and its mix of Indians, Africans and Europeans gave rise in the past to the claim that the country was a "racial democracy".

But it is also a country where black people remain socially disadvantaged.

The results of the DNA tests surprised many by showing that skin colour does not necessarily reflect the ancestry of a person's genetic make-up.

Sergio Pena, professor of biochemistry at the Federal University of Belo Horizonte, who led the genetic analysis, explained the apparent contradiction.

"Only a few genes are responsible for someone's skin colour, which is a very poor indication of ancestry. A white person could have more African genes than a black one or vice-versa, especially in a country like Brazil," he said.

Brazilian actress Ildi Silva. Photo by Fernando Torquato.
Actress Ildi Silva says she is seen as neither black nor white

Soap opera actress Ildi Silva found that matches of the Y chromosome in her family are common in northern Europe, and that 71% of her genes are European and 19% African.

"I knew I had a Dutch ancestor from my mother's side, but I didn't know there was an European link in my paternal line as well," she said.

Genealogist Carlos Barata, co-author of the Dictionary of Brazilian Families, notes that as well as the Portuguese, immigrants from many European nations - including France, Ireland, the Netherlands, England and Germany - sought a new home in Brazil.

"The surnames might have disappeared by today's generation, but genetics can bring their contribution back to light," he said.

Controversial quotas

Musician Seu Jorge found that although 85% of his genes are African, the rest are European, confirmation that he is, as he put it "also the son of the guilty ones" - a descendant of the European slave-owners who had children with their African slaves.

"You need to be black to understand what it is like to get on a bus and see people getting off, afraid of you, or calling the police," he said.

"My daughter, who has a privileged education, came home one day telling us that her colleagues at a ballet class didn't want to hold hands with her. She will have to grow with this pain."

Musician Seu Jorge. Photo by Jose Maria Palmieri
Seu Jorge: Proud of his African heritage

The BBC Brasil series has had an impact in Brazil, where the issue of racial quotas is highly controversial.

About 40 universities in the country have set aside places for black students.

Manolo Florentino, head of the Social History Department at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, said the results "show race is a failed concept in Brazil".

Referring to the university quotas, he added: "Policies that 'racialise' this country, following the example of the US, create hate and tension and will make the situation worse."

But for organisations that defend the quota system, genetics should not be used to attack anti-discrimination policies.

They argue that genetics might prove that all Brazilians are very mixed in terms of their racial ancestry, but it is naive to believe that society will consider all equal.

"I've never seen a policeman asking for a genetic ID before stopping someone. In Brazil, discrimination is based on appearance, not on genes," said David dos Santos, a priest who co-ordinates a scheme to prepare underprivileged Afro-Brazilians to go to university, and who was himself tested for the series.

'Face of the future'

Musician Sandra de Sa said that despite its racial tensions, Brazil could teach the world how different races can integrate.

Footballer Obina
Footballer Obina was not aware of his indigenous roots

She was happy though to find out she was about 93% African.

"I can't believe I'm almost 100% African. I usually jokingly say that I can still feel the chains around my ankles," said the singer.

The ancestry of the nine celebrities revealed other surprises.

Obina, a football player in Flamengo, the biggest team in Brazil, had 25% indigenous genes, the highest percentage in the tests.

His Y chromosome was traced back to the Middle East, possibly an indication of a Jewish ancestor among the many escaping persecution in Portugal and Spain some 500 years ago.

"No-one is pure in Brazil. That's why the country has the face of the future," said Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr, co-ordinator of a similar project in the US.

The mixing of races so evident in Brazil will become more prevalent around the world, Professor Gates believes, with people originating from a sole geographical area becoming increasingly rare.

Two readers of bbcbrasil.com chosen from among more than 2,000 who applied to have their DNA tested will have their results published this month.

Their story will focus on how genetics is revealing black ancestors long excluded from family history because of racism.

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Sunday, May 10, 2015

(HERALD ZW) Zim Immigrants: Three million from 1,6 million

I'm the one who dug up this well buried number - buried in Table 3.6 of the 2011 Population Census of South Africa, run by Statistics South Africa - it is on this page and has been for about 3 years, ever since the 2011 Population Census was published in 2012. Why this number was buried in percentages of the population rather than just listed outright - the total number of immigrants in South Africa is kind of important. Having said, it is great that it was picked up, so we can have a fact based discussion about Zimbabwe, not based on charges, denouncements and sloganeering. - MrK


(HERALD ZW) Zim Immigrants: Three million from 1,6 million

When figures simply won’t help

Talking about the Diaspora factor, I had an amazingly honest discussion with one of the leading editors in the country. We touched on many issues, covered many themes, and I found his views disarmingly fair, balanced and penetrating. I could not resist asking: but pal, how come this level of critical thinking is never brought to bear in your column and paper? Well, my friend, when you sit down to write, you are structured by multiple relationships, relationships which end up shaping your pieces.

If I tackle a matter with this level of candour, will I secure access to those vital briefings that equip me as a journalist? Will I? Ahh pal, I protested further, including acknowledging that with a total immigrant population of 1,6 million (courtesy of SA Stats), South Africa cannot have three million Zimbabwean immigrants? That in fact the largest community of migrants is Mozambican? Yes, he cried in response, adding that figure can no longer be revised. It has become a “fact” by usage, one too important to be revised at this late stage in the whole narrative!

We both sipped down our despair, despair that took the colour of that dank British liquid they call tea.

The spiral of compounded lies

When one of the Nkomos stood up and out to remind frenzied protesters that the late Father Zimbabwe was Sotho, not Kalanga, a bitter debate ensued over that monumental disclosure. On the one side was a group that was so grateful the young man had gotten them to know their hero and founder of their nation even better, albeit after so long. Then you had this other side which was decidedly angry.

Why make a correction which has the effect of denying all those opposed to the “regime” a key missile with which to pelt it? I have no doubt in my mind that this same latter group will wonder why South Africa Stats Office published a detail which has the effect of blunting a key weapon against the “regime”.

To oppose is to hurl anything at the establishment, especially lies which must be protected, nurtured and grown to remain durable weaponry.

Presenting reality in proper proportion is a sin; to falsely compound a lie a thousand times is a virtue. It could be about unemployment, migrants, victims of gukurahundi, beneficiaries of land reforms, or simply people’s identities.

That is us: a people who won’t allow unhelpful, inconvenient facts to stand in the way. When facts are coy and reluctant, fictionalise them.

Icho!

nathaniel.manheru@zimpapers.co.zw


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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

(MnG SA) ANCYL warns of Zim-style land invasions in South Africa

(MnG SA) ANCYL warns of Zim-style land invasions in South Africa
06 Jun 2012 06:07 Nickolaus Bauer

Farm invasions are "inevitable" should white South Africans not voluntarily hand over land to the government, says the ANC Youth League. Deputy youth league president Ronald Lamola. (Gallo)

“If they don’t want to see angry black youths flooding their farms they must come to the party. Whites must volunteer some of the land and mines they own. They can’t only be compelled to do so through legislation,” deputy youth league president Ronald Lamola said on Tuesday, calling for changes to the Constitution to allow the state to appropriate land.

Lamola was speaking at the end of a youth league policy workshop held in preparation for the ANC policy conference later this month.

He drew comparisons with Zimbabwe, referring to the occupation of land there at the turn of the century, when predominantly white-owned farms were forcibly taken by ruling party-backed militias. The largely ungoverned process descended into violence and saw farm owners aggressively removed from their land.

While the league is not explicitly calling for the occupation of privately owned land, Lamola said if changes to the current state of land reform were not made soon, it would be out of the league’s hands if property were to be forcibly taken.

Society is angry
“It looks like it’s becoming inevitable. Society is angry. If it happens, it will be their [white South Africans] fault. They are not coming to the party,” he said.

As part of its calls to change government’s approach to land reform, the league is calling on wholesale changes to the sections of the Constitution governing land reform.

“We must be unapologetic about this. We need to change sections of the Constitution to bring about the change we need,” Lamola said.

Lamola said current land owners should be involved in a skills transfer process so that emerging farmers are mentored by those surrendering land.

He said this will be for the “greater good” of South Africa as their current status can’t be “safely guaranteed”.

“We are not talking about a partnership; the state must be the dominant player in terms of how land is used. But white South Africans must continue to participate, they remain relevant to this process and will continue to do so,” Lamola added.

We want decisive leadership
With drastic land reform in mind, Lamola said the league would be seeking to elect leaders at the ANC’s upcoming elective conference in December, who won’t be “scared to implement unpopular policies”.

“We want decisive leadership, ones that will give us direction and think behind the tribes they come from and beyond their regions, who realise they lead a nation,” he said.

However, Lamola said the league would only be announcing its preferred candidate once the leadership debate is formally opened by the ANC in October.

Section 25 of the Constitution says property may be expropriated subject to compensation as “agreed to by those affected or decided or approved by a court”.

The compensation should be “equitable, reflecting an equitable balance between the public interest and the interests of those affected”.

Redistribution targets
The department of land reform and rural development says it is in the process of producing a green paper on land redistribution to tackle the matter of further land expropriation.

There is, however, no indication yet about what the green paper will propose.

In his 2012 budget vote speech, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti indicated government had only achieved just over a quarter of its target to redistribute 30% of South Africa’s agricultural land by 2014.

Nkwinti’s department has also set up a joint task team with the department of public works to work on apparent distortions in prices that government pays for land.

He said farmers are charging government above market value rates, and proposed the establishment of a land-valuer general to deal with the value of land.

As of yet, the ANC has not produced a document that will solely deal with land reform, but said one will be released at the upcoming policy conference.

‘Deep trouble’
However, both ANC and government have agreed that the willing buyer, willing seller principle as enshrined in the Constitution has not worked.

Professor Ben Cousins, the chairperson of poverty, land and agrarian studies at the National Research Foundation, said the land reform process is in “deep trouble” in South Africa.

“We had rather unrealistic ambitions in the early years of our democracy. Quick resolutions to these issues were never going to happen, so we have to be a bit more sensitive to the challenges we face when it comes to land reform,” Cousins told the Mail & Guardian.

Cousins said there is no “quick fix” for the current issues surrounding land reform, be it a change to the Constitution or otherwise.

“To see these matters resolved will take a lot of work. The government has to become a more effective player in the land reform process by buying, negotiating prices and managing the process,” Cousins said.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

(SUNDAY MAIL ZW) DRC report says miners owe US$3,7 billion in tax, fines
Sunday, 02 February 2014 00:00

Democratic Republic of Congo is owed an estimated us$3,7 billion in unpaid customs duties and fines by companies operating in its copper-rich Katanga province between 2008 and 2013, according to an unpublished report commissioned by the public prosecutor’s office.

The report, seen by Reuters and dated November 2013, is part of an ongoing government probe into suspected malpractice by customs agents and companies in the vast south-eastern province.

It accused companies there of under-declaring the value of imports and exports, and sometimes avoiding tax altogether, often with the collusion of customs officials.

Some companies named in the report questioned the accuracy of its findings. The head of the customs agency in Katanga also said proper consultations had not been held with the companies and the report’s findings were exaggerated.

Public Prosecutor Flory Kabange Numbi declined to comment directly on the report.

In a letter to local rights group seen by Reuters, he said it was too early to draw conclusions about the outcome of the overall investigation, which is continuing.

Congo’s mining production has been limited by energy and infrastructure problems, and the government is under pressure to maximise revenues from the sector if it is to stand a chance of hauling its 65 million people out of poverty.

Two government ministers backed the broader investigation, saying it must be completed and any cash owed by firms must be paid to the government.

The report, compiled by a team that undertook a 10-day mission to Katanga, led by Congolese Attorney-General Simon Nyandu Shabandu, examined 25 cases of alleged customs infractions.

It found that 11 companies were liable for us$741 million in unpaid taxes and fines, including Mutanda Mining, a copper miner 69 percent-owned by Glencore Xstrata plc.

The mission’s report said penalties were agreed by “all parties” following talks between the firms and the customs agency.

It noted, however, the experts had not visited Mutanda Mining, pending instructions from authorities.
Glencore strongly denied any wrongdoing and said the report was inaccurate. It said it had not agreed to any penalties.

“Contrary to what is stated in the draft document, no contact was made by the ‘mission’ with Mutanda mining. Mutanda has no outstanding taxes or fines,” said a Glencore spokesman in an emailed statement.
The mission said a further 252 alleged cases remained outstanding and it estimated the total amount owed to the state from these at US$3 billion. Chemaf, a privately owned Congolese company cited by the report as among the 11 owing taxes, also denied its findings.

“We are confirming that Chemaf does not owe US$21,4 million in unpaid taxes,” said Chemaf director Sebastien Ansel.

Representatives for Hyper Psaro, United Petroleum and United Oil & Soap — all named in the report as owing taxes — declined to comment. The companies are all part of privately owned Congolese fuel, commodities and transportation conglomerate Hyper Psaro Group.

Other companies identified as owing money — Comexas, Socimex, Sabot, Marine International, Frontier, Congo Loyal and Trade Service — either did not respond to requests for comment or could not immediately be traced. — Reuters.

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(HERALD ZW) New board for Zimpapers
February 6, 2014
Herald Reporter

COMMENT - Sounds like an MDC takeover. Zimpapers had better not go the route of NewZimbabwe, which has turned into a complete vulgar rag, with sensationalist news alternated with lots of ad hominem attacks on the state and the government. The continuous and underlying message being that Africans should not govern themselves - that should be left over to De Beers. - MrK

THE Zimbabwe Newspapers Group has appointed a new, 10-member board chaired by veteran civil servant and former Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Charles Utete, for a period of five years beginning February 1 this year. Dr Utete takes over from Dr Paul Chimedza, who won the Gutu South constituency seat for Zanu-PF in last year’s harmonised elections and was subsequently appointed Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care.

Only three members, businessman Mr Delma Lupepe, development consultant Dr Nyasha Madzingira and chartered accountant Mr Rungano Mbire were retained from the old board that had three other members – Dr Chimedza, Retired Brigadier-General Epmarcus Kanhanga and Dr Munyaradzi Kereke – resign to run for political office.

Rtd Brig-Gen Kanhanga subsequently won the Guruve North National Assembly seat on a Zanu-PF ticket and was appointed Tourism and Hospitality Industry Deputy Minister, while Dr Kereke won the Bikita West National Assembly seat as an independent.

Three members from the old board, namely Mr Chakanyuka Karase, Alexander Kanengoni and Mr Joseph Mandizha, who were set to retire were not retained.

The new faces on the board are Mrs Doreen Sibanda (cultural expert and executive director of the National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe), Mrs Karen Dube (dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Lupane State University), Mr Terrence Hussein (corporate lawyer), Mr George Manyere banking and corporate finance executive), Mr Felix Moyo (director of Information and Public Relations at the National University of Science and Technology), and Ms Rejoice Nharaunda (a renowned entrepreneur).


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'Zambians' participation in economy glaringly absent'
By Misheck Wangwe
Thu 06 Feb. 2014, 14:00 CAT

ALEXANDER Chikwanda says the participation of Zambians in the economy is glaringly absent, largely on account of there being no institutions of development of various entrepreneurs that can turn to capital requirements.

And Chikwanda, who is finance minister minister and currently acting president, says President Michael Sata is in control of the country and in full command of the PF development agenda aimed at mitigating the levels of poverty among the citizenry.

Speaking when he opened the Natsave Lumwana branch yesterday, Chikwanda said the government was capitalising the bank so that it could modernise and have adequate resources to lend at reasonable rates.
And Bank of Zambia Governor Dr Michael Gondwe said there was increasing paradigm shift in consumer behaviour facilitated by developments in information technology and communication sectors.

"A survey conducted in 2009 established that only 37 per cent of the population uses formal and informal financial services, while 63 per cent are financially excluded. This is due to lack of physical access to financial service providers. It is important that financial institutions strive to bring financial services close to the public," Dr Gondwe said.

And NATSAVE managing director Cephas Chabu said the bank would continue to offer the required financial solutions to rural populations in the country.

Meanwhile, Chikwanda told Patriotic Front told Patriotic Front officials who attended the opening of the Natsave branch that useless squabbles among some party officials should not be allowed to divide the ruling party.

Chikwanda said with the PF, the country's interests would always be bigger than any individual's interests.

He said everyone in the PF must set an example of selflessness and tolerant leadership.

"If we become a party driven by useless squabbles and divisions, we are not going to attract anyone from other parties to join us. What will be the attraction? What will be the incentive or the purpose of other people joining us if you are always quarreling? Your responsibility is to guide our people in development tasks. We want you to show leadership," Chikwanda said.

He said President Sata's desire was to have party officials that would discuss issues in an honest manner and settle all differences amicably.

"You must learn how to maximise tolerance and accommodation of each other's opinion. People will always have differences. Even if you belong to the same mother and father, it's normal to differ, but what is important is to resolve those differences. Party officials, I want you to know that these things called affection, loyalty and respect are a reciprocal; if you don't respect people, they will not respect you and if you don't love people; they will not love you," Chikwanda said.

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Mpasa warns private firms against mistreating local workers
By Godfrey Chikumbi in Kawambwa
Thu 06 Feb. 2014, 14:00 CAT

PRIVATE firms mistreating Zambian workers should not be allowed to make the government unpopular, says Kawambwa district commissioner Ivo Mpasa.

Speaking shortly after he addressed scores of workers who had been engaged by a named private company to work on power lines in the district without paying them for over a year now, Mpasa yesterday warned that he would not tolerate any private firm, local or foreign to keep exploiting workers because their actions bordered on making government unpopular.

He said although the government relied on firms for job creation and growth of the economy, it would not allow its people to be abused in any way.

Mpasa said the government was for the poor people, whose plight and welfare it was seriously concerned about and would always safeguard.

"What these private firms shouldn't forget is that each time they mistreat our people, they make them cry that the government is not protecting them; and this is bad. That's why as government, we shall strictly monitor actions of maltreatment against our poor workers and immediately stop it. There have been situations where a firm engages local labourers and after they have done the work, the workers are dumped without being paid. Such actions are evil because they are aimed at destroying the belief that our people have in our government," charged Mpasa.

He assured the workers that the government would continue creating jobs through so many developmental projects that were being initiated in the area.

And Mpasa said jobs created locally should be for the local people and not people coming outside the district.

He said he was against the idea of employing people from outside when local people were also yearning for the same jobs.

"If they are constructing roads, let them just come with their engineering experts, not mere labourers. If you come with labourers, what jobs will the locals get? We are doing all these to help alleviate poverty for our local people," said Mpasa.

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FQM asks govt for title to Kalumbila
By Gift Chanda in Solwezi
Thu 06 Feb. 2014, 14:00 CAT

FQM says it wants the government to quickly grant title for its controversial 5,100-hectare land in Solwezi, claiming further delay will affect development of an investment economic zone and the town by the mining giant.

Tristan Pascall, an assistant general manager at Kalumbila Mining Limited, a unit of the First Quantum Minerals (FQM) which has sued the Zambian government with respect to Bwana Mkubwa Mine, said the prolonged granting of the title by the government was a growing concern as it presented a risk to the development of the Kalumbila town and the Multi Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ) in Solwezi.

The Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) mid last year ordered FQM to stop developing its Kalumbila mine project until controversial issues surrounding the development of the mines are settled.
The environmental agency disclosed that FQM had acquired 50,000 hectare surface rights without following procedure as they did not obtain presidential consent as required by law.

But Carl-John Collet, an official at Kalumbila Town Development Corporation, said on Tuesday that FQM had reduced the amount of land it has applied for from 6,700 to 5,100 hectares.

The controversy surrounding the Kalumbila land prompted President Michael Sata to constitute a task force to probe the acquisition of the land by FQM for the Kalumbila Mine project in Solwezi after establishing that there were serious irregularities in the manner it was acquired.

"This land is for Zambians. It is not like FQM will come and ship that land away," said Pascall said when commerce minister Emmanuel Chenda toured Kalumbila Mining Project in Solwezi on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Chenda said the government could not afford to delay the development of the multi-facility economic zone in Solwezi as the project would create jobs and revenue for the government.

Chenda said the government would address issues surrounding land title.

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Mature, UPND MP urges HH

By Kombe Mataka
Thu 06 Feb. 2014, 14:01 CAT

UPND Sinazongwe member of parliament Richwell Siamunene has advised Hakainde Hichilema to show maturity in his politics. Siamunene said it was unfortunate that Hichilema had continued speculating on President Michael Sata's whereabouts when State House had made it clear where he was and that he was on a working holiday.

Siamunene said Hichilema should apologise to President Sata for insinuating that he had gone to seek medical attention in India as opposed to going on a working holiday.

"As leaders, we must mature in our handling of political matters. We are in a mature democracy and this democracy demands that we concentrate on issues that are pertinent to the economy of this country as opposed to issues that are trivial in nature," Siamunene said.

"My strong advice is for Hichilema to humble himself and apologise. Let him come out publicly and tell the nation that he erred in his judgement. Let him concentrate on matters that can help the nation, not matters that are pedantic in nature."

Siamunene said there was nothing sinister about the President taking rest.

"There is no need to speculate on the whereabouts of the President. The President has indicated, he was in Ethiopia and from there he travelled to London," he said.

"The President has worked so tirelessly the past one year and he needed rest. He is a human being like any other who needs rest at one point or another."

Siamunene added that President Sata had an army of ministers and their deputies who were in charge of ensuring that the government was functioning when he is in or out of the country.

"The President has indicated that he is okay and we should take it that he is okay. He is a public figure of course but now people should not take advantage of his absence and start speculating on his health," Simunene said.

"The President is not running this government alone; he has Cabinet ministers, he has also permanent secretaries to continue implementing what has been done, so obviously he is supposed to take a rest and he just did that."

On Monday, Hichilema challenged State House to come clean on President Sata's health so that Zambians, including himself, could pray for him.

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Hakainde and Sata's health

By Editor
Thu 06 Feb. 2014, 14:00 CAT

It seems Hakainde Hichilema does not listen to advice. Sometimes we can learn something valuable even from people we most detest.

If Hakainde was open to advice, learning, he would have picked something valuable in the editorial comment titled "UPND's propaganda about Sata's health" we carried in the edition of The Post of August 24, 2013. There is very little new we can say on this matter other than to repeat the arguments we put in that editorial comment. And we hereby reproduce that comment:

"It is very cheap politics for the UPND leadership to try and twist the provisions of Article 36 of the Constitution of Zambia to cast doubt on President Michael Sata's physical and mental capacity to discharge the functions of his office.

This is taking opportunism to the extreme and dangerous proportions. We know that the UPND has been very opportunistic when it comes to Michael's health.

After the 2008 elections, the UPND were convinced that Michael would not get to the 2011 elections. This was after his treatment in South Africa for a heart condition in 2007. In this belief, they approached the Patriotic Front to form an opposition political pact with them.

This was in the hope that Michael would be dead before the 2011 elections and Hakainde Hichilema would assume overall leadership of the pact and become its presidential candidate.

But to their displeasure, Michael is still here and he was healthy and strong enough to defeat them and their MMD partners in the 2011 elections. But they still can't believe it that the man they thought would die before 2011 is still there and probably ready to defeat them again in the 2016 elections.

Their mischief is clear. There is no function of his office that Michael has failed to perform since taking over as President of the Republic of Zambia.

We are not Michael's doctors but it's clear that the man has no problems performing his presidential functions. And moreover, there is no human being who doesn't fall ill. And can Hakainde or his servant Ephraim Belemu say they never fall ill? Who doesn't fall ill? We all get hit by this or that illness and we simply soldier on, recover and continue with our work.

How many of our politicians are either on hypertension or diabetes medication? And how many of our politicians are every day swallowing ARVs? Can they be said not to be fit for public office?

The truth is Michael is enjoying reasonably good health. And he is also living a very careful life when it comes to his health. Don't forget that this is a man who not very long ago was a chain smoker, contaminating his lungs with nicotine every day. But he has shed off that dangerous habit which he was involved in for more than five decades.

Michael leads a very disciplined life. He carries out his duties in an orderly, efficient and effective manner. He knows when to take a rest. And he knows when to go for medical examinations. He doesn't live like most of us who only go to see a doctor when we are not feeling well even when we have the opportunity to have periodic medical examinations.

But as Bishop John Mambo says, those who used to predict his death have left him still walking this planet. Equally, one can say those who think they will outlive Michael, they will leave him here to complete his mission as President of the Republic of Zambia.

They tried to do the same thing in 2011. They went round the country telling people not to vote for Michael because he was dying. But our people are kind and compassionate human beings and they were not swayed by such propaganda. They gave their votes to Michael and he won.
If the UPND wants to be in government soon, such an approach will not do. They should win not because Michael is not well healthwise but because they are better understood, supported, trusted. They should win because of their beliefs, what they believe in.

As far as a normal eye can see, Michael is in good health. And he seems to be keeping a good check on his health. These insinuations of him not being well only go to raise the question of just how healthy must our leaders be in order to serve, and, conversely, how much illness and or infirmity can we accept among those who occupy our country's highest posts?

Maybe we can learn something from the Americans. At the age of 65, Dwight Eisenhower had a serious heart attack, at a time when there was nowhere near the arsenal of methods available today to treat heart disease. All the same, he was elected to a second term the year after and lived another 14 years.

Then there is Jack Kennedy. Although he was the youngest person ever elected president of the United States and was the man who put the "vigah" into appearing vigorous, Kennedy was plagued with a number of serious ailments, only a few which were known to Americans at the time of his election. They included Addison's disease and a back so painful that he always wore a back brace, nearly always used crutches when photographers were not present, and regularly submitted to amphetamines and powerful anesthetics to quell his pain. Not to mention stratospheric cholesterol levels, which might be controlled by medication today, stomach disorders, and a history of sexually transmitted diseases. His administration's handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis likely will be debated for years but the fact remains that both conventional war - with the Soviet Union at least - and nuclear annihilation was averted. Even with a very bad back.

We wonder if we will resolve the matter of the health of presidents and presidential candidates, all while we mostly accept the physical and mental beatings the presidency inflicts upon those who hold the office. We don't have the best solution, but maybe we should mull over something Benjamin Franklin once said: "Nothing is more fatal to health than an over care of it."

Anyway, it is unfortunate that this whole issue has been sparked by members of Michael's own government and party. The UPND is simply a vulture. And vultures are opportunistic by nature and character - they scavenge. And UPND is scavenging on the bad discourse going on in the Patriotic Front and its government.

But this opportunism on the part of UPND will backfire. In politics, it's important to know the feelings, mood and character of one's people. Zambians, like most Africans, don't like this type of talk or propaganda. Look at Zimbabwe where Robert Mugabe's health has been an issue for the opposition MDC and its backers for a very long time. But Mugabe, at 89, is still there and has overwhelmingly defeated them in an election.

UPND needs to choose its campaign issues carefully. Opportunism can sometimes be very costly. And it won't be long before UPND starts to pay the price for all this. Mark our words."

It is important for Hakainde and his party to choose their campaign issues carefully. Hanging on to the issue of Michael's health, tribalism, racism and regionalism will not do.

And it is also important for Hakainde to learn to respect other people's legitimate entitlements. As Chembe Nyangu says, Michael is entitled to holidays paid for by the state, although he hasn't been very keen on taking them. Therefore, there is no need to always insinuate that he has gone for medical treatment in India every time he takes a short break from work, every time he leaves the country.
If Hakainde does not want to improve his number of votes, he should continue making Michael's health his only discernible political preoccupation.


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Japan team to explore mining opportunities in Zambia
By Masuzyo Chakwe
Wed 05 Feb. 2014, 14:00 CAT

JAPANESE parliamentary vice-minister of economy, trade and industry, Yashihiko Isozaki says his country will this year send a high-level d­elegation to Zambia to explore mining opportunities in the country.

Speaking during a meeting with mines, energy and water development minister, Christopher Yaluma, on the sidelines of the ongoing 20th annual Investing in Africa Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa, Yashihiko said Japanese companies were showing interest in investing in Zambia's mineral resources.

He said Japan's four basic initiatives for Africa included resource investment promotion and infrastructure improvement, which involved dispatching fact-finding missions, human resource development and sustainable resource development through sharing legal experiences and technological developments in curbing mine pollution.

And Yaluma said Zambia needed Japanese assistance in areas, such as capacity building to sustain the mining industry, saying there was serious lack of it in both financial and human resource.

"That is why I feel elated on your pronouncement of sending a team to come and look at mining investment," he said. This is according to a statement issued by first secretary for press and public relations at Zambia's High Commission in South Africa, Patson Chilemba.

Yashihiko agreed with Yaluma, further saying that Japan was hoping to develop projects; working with trained Zambian engineers in unexplored areas such as oil and gas as well as mineral exploration.

Yaluma said Zambia was trying to move into a new direction where mining companies would not just focus on mining, but should consider addressing social needs of the communities they operated in, to which minister Isozaki affirmed.

Yashihiko also asked Yaluma for Zambia's support over the decision by Japan to run for the United Nations (UN) Security Council seat for non-permanent members in 2015.

Yaluma said he would bring the issue to the attention of foreign affairs minister, Wylbur Simusa and Cabinet.

Yaluma yesterday led the Zambian delegation, which included mines deputy minister, Richard Musukwa and deputy high commissioner to South African Joe Kaunda, during the official opening of the Indaba at Cape Town Convention centre. He was also expected to deliver a speech during the four-day event which had attracted thousands of delegates from across the globe.


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Diversify, Panji advises farmers
By Christopher Miti
Wed 05 Feb. 2014, 14:01 CAT

This is excellent advice. Ultimately, we should create farms that don't have inputs, only outputs, and it is possible with permaculture and solar energy. - MrK

COLONEL Panji Kaunda says people are conditioned to thinking that maize is the alpha and the omega of food. In an interview on Monday, Col Panji, who is transport deputy minister but speaking in his capacity as a banana farmer in Sindemisale area of Vubwi district said, the Farmer Input Support Programme was not sustainable.

He said farmers should try other forms of farming that do not require chemical fertilisers.

"There is a lot of information on agroforestry farming where we have trees like Musangu and many others that our scientists have looked upon so that we can do small- scale farming without necessarily applying inputs. If you do this programme, for example, if you put Musangu in your field, within ten years you don't need chemical fertilisers anymore. And that particular farmer will never go back to the government and ask for fertiliser," Col Panji said.

He said agroforest farming was self-sustaining.

"We have over a number of years spent billions of kwacha, a bit of our money and donor funds researching into agroforestry, and it has been proved that these trees and crops that we have worked on do work very well. We have famous Musangu tree, Trephosia, Sesbania, Glyrisdia, Sunhemp, and many others that have been developed," Col Panji said.
He said there was need to migrate the farmers that qualify to the FISP Programme to agroforestry.

"Using the reforestation programme, we must plant the trees that are required in agricultural farming. It should be a requirement for all those who qualify for the FISP programme to also accept the agroforestry one. For two years, we can monitor these farmers to ensure that the trees are being looked after properly. The two years will ensure that trees that are usable in this period are ready for use by the third year. These farmers would then be weaned-off the FISP programme," Col Panji explained.

He said merely delivering inputs to the people does not make them farmers.

"Even the so called 'bumper harvests' that we are so proud of are a mirage. If we compare the amount of seed and fertilisers that are given to the farmers and the maize that we harvest, we will find that we are very much below the minimum numbers of bags that a farmer is expected to get," Col Panji said.

"The question we must ask ourselves as a nation is , 'can we sustain the subsidies on both consumption and production of maize, and still promote the growth of our agriculture to the levels of its potential'? The answer is 'no, we cannot'. Must we abandon the small-scale farmers to fend for themselves? No."

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Govt looking forward to working with chiefs - Inonge
By Abel Mboozi
Wed 05 Feb. 2014, 14:01 CAT

THE church will continue to interrogate political, economic and social problems that continue to befall the country, says the Council of Churches in Zambia.

And CCZ says the church can't stay away from politics because it has an obligation to promote peace and dialogue.
Meanwhile, gender minister Inonge Wina (left) says the government looks forward to working with traditional leaders in promoting peace, stability and family prosperity as Zambia celebrates the golden jubilee.

In her presentation to the forum for 31 female chiefs as advocates of peace and stability in Lusaka on Monday, Njira Bweupe a representative of CCZ said it was the role of the church to champion the cause of the less privileged in the Zambian society.

"The church in Zambia has continued to promote peace through interrogation of the political, economic and social problems that befall the country," Bweupe said.

"The three mother bodies CCZ, EFZ and ZEC have continued to issue pastoral letters to the general public that addresse various topical issues regularly."

Bweupe said in order to promote continued peace, the three church mother bodies regularly convened prayer meetings and dialogues to call for co-existence amongst the state, civil society and citizens.

And Bweupe said the church would continue to play its noble role of assisting in reconciliation and fostering peace and tolerance to divergent views.

"Whereas many politicians ask Christians to stay away from politics and just pray, the three church mother bodies namely: CCZ, EFZ and ZEC remind Christians that they have an obligation to participate in political processes," Bweupe said.

"The role of promoting peace and stability therefore cannot be abdicated by the church today, as it is a peacemarker."
Bweupe said many churches in Zambia operated from a prophetic voice and were guided by values of universal solidarity, the common good, respect for life and dignity of human beings.

"The church in Zambia helps in advancing peace by virtue of its far-reaching appeals and its ability to create new, shared identities that transcend the lines that divide societies," Bweupe said.

"This dimension of peace-building has long been appreciated by citizens and used to foster positive feelings of national identity, pride and unity in the face of internal political and ethnical divisions."
Meanwhile, Wina in her presentation said the vision of her ministry was to see a nation where there was gender equity, equality and full realisation of children's rights to sustainable development.

"From this vision, you are not only the drivers, but also enablers in the attainment of this vision," Wina reminded the 31 traditional leaders at the forum.

"As you may have observed, gender imbalances continue to be perpetuated by negative perceptions and attitudes that make women and girls become subservient to men and boys. It is therefore very important that you as female chiefs influence your chiefdoms to embrace values and norms that promote the rights of men and women, boys and girls."

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Hakainde and racism
By Editor
Tue 04 Feb. 2014, 14:00 CAT

The remark by Hakainde Hichilema that Vice-President Dr Guy Scott is the only remaining colonialist in Zambia should not be tolerated because it is racist and goes against the spirit of our Constitution.

This country is a nation of many migrants who have come in from different parts of this continent and of this world. Most of the people who make up a greater part of our population arrived in this country in the 1800s.

And together, we have formed a nation called Zambia. This great nation of ours comprises people of different tribes and races. And all have made their contribution to the building up of this homeland of ours. To resort to tribalism and racism when we have differences with each other is barbaric.

Addressing a rally in Chifubu, Ndola on January 17, 1965, the founder of our Republic Dr Kenneth Kaunda made it very clear that "our society in Zambia shall be non-tribal, non-racial, and that our society in Zambia shall only judge each and every individual according to his behaviour".
Given this teaching, why is Hakainde so inclined to clinging to ethnicity, racism and regionalism in his politics?
We detest racialism, because we regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black person or a white person. This is so because racism pollutes the atmosphere of human relations and poisons the minds of the backward, the bigoted and the prejudiced.
As we enter the 50th year of our independence, it is intolerable and unacceptable that the cancer of racism is still eating away the flesh and souls of some of our political leaders like Hakainde.
It is the duty of all patriots and progressive citizens to ensure that colour, race and tribe become only a God-given gift to each one of us and not an indelible mark or attribute that accords a special status to any.
Racism is a blight on the human conscience. And we should never allow our country to play host to racism. Nor shall our voices be stifled if we see that another is a victim of racial discrimination in our homeland or indeed anywhere in the world.
Racism must be consciously combated and not discreetly tolerated.
And again, we should follow the teachings of the founder of our Republic on this score: "The cause of non-racialism is the cause of mankind. It gives us the opportunity to classify man not by his colour, which is beyond his control, but by his action which, of course, is within his control. We should never be part and parcel of that type of society that will condemn people wholesale. That is an old and tired thinking completely unsuitable for a revolutionary. Further on this point, we must learn to hate what is done and not to hate the doer. What is meant here is, if we hated the doer as such, it would mean that even if he changed for the better, we would continue to hate him simply because he was what he was. On the other hand, if we learn to hate what is done, there is always a chance that the people whose activities we strongly disapproved will change, and then we would have no cause to hate them…" (Address to UNIP national council at Mulungushi, November 9, 1968).
Clearly, racism is rejected as contrary to law and justice. And as Christians, we believe that the world is God's world; and that God intervenes in it and gives a human person the power to transform it into a world of brothers and sisters.
It should not be forgotten that racial discrimination happens when there is a distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference which is based on race and which is pursued with the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the exercise of one's rights on equal basis in all areas of public life.
Any political outlook which bases value judgments on racial differentiation is contrary to the moral and ethical principles of humanity and deserves to be denounced, discredited and discarded. And we wish to emphasise that it is definitely against natural justice and Christian brotherly love to discriminate between people of different races and tribe. Nothing but evil can be the fruit of racial or tribal discrimination, a practice contrary to both justice and brotherly love. The practice of racial discrimination is contrary to the principle of unity of the human race, the oneness of the human family. The enjoyment of the freedom from racial discrimination will be a reality when people refrain from paying exaggerated attention to the accidental difference within the human family, especially the accidental difference of colour.
The human race is one. The fact of its oneness is not altered by any secondary differences in the various families that compose the human race. The whole human race has the same origin, the same nature, the same basic rights and duties and the same destiny. The whole of humankind is united by the common parenthood of God and by a common brotherhood in Christ. We wish to make it clear that we recall this truth of the essential oneness of the human family for the benefit of all sections of the community, and not to be influenced by paying undue attention to accidental differences within the human family. All human beings indeed do not possess the same gifts or talents; nor does life offer each the same opportunities. But this inequality of gifts and of opportunity has nothing to do with race for all citizens are entitled to develop a full civic, social and intellectual life.
We fully appreciate the history of our country in terms of race. This is a country in which there was a racially oppressed black majority. But it is also a country in which we had white people who sided and fought side by side with the blacks to remove white oppression and domination. And in a country with our history, non-racism from white Zambians was not an outlook that could simply be taken for granted. Therefore, people like Dr Scott, who have contributed immensely, through their personal example, to nurturing that outlook which is so evident in our country today, cannot be taken for granted. Let those politicians like Hakainde, who have based themselves on narrow ethnic constituencies, now ponder their example. And nobody should be allowed to interfere with their political rights because of stupid racial prejudice. This country will always be a homeland for all Zambians, regardless of their colour, tribe or origin. Dr Scott is as much Zambian as Hakainde. And probably Dr Scott is more patriotic to this collective homeland of ours than Hakainde.

But there is a very worrying thing about Hakainde's tribal and racial political outlook. Why is Hakainde so concerned about tribe and race? What type of leader will Zambia have if one day we were to wake up and find we have Hakainde as president of the Republic? What will be the position on tribe and race in his scheme of things? And where will that leave the country?

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