Thursday, July 28, 2016

Stratfor on President Mugabe, Minister Mnangagwa, De Beers and Diamonds

COMMENT - Wikileaks shows the cluelessness of Stratfor's understanding of the Zimbabwean situation, as well as De Beers working in Zimbabwe against US policy. They admit sanctioning entire industries and many companies, in order to shape what comes after Mugabe - shape the Zimbabwean political scene. Not very democratic. According to Mark Schroeder of Stratfor:

To me this sanction is not about US businesses there (not much), but about
sanctions on Zimbabwean elite involved in the diamonds there to shape what
succeeds Mugabe
.

In other words, they think they are using sanctions to shape the Zimbabwean political scene. - MrK

Re: [Africa] ZIMBABWE/US/MINING - US blacklists Zimbabwean diamond companies

Released on 2013-02-26 00:00 GMT
Email-ID 5042006
Date 2011-12-13 20:49:49
From mark.schroeder@stratfor.com
To africa@stratfor.com
Re: [Africa] ZIMBABWE/US/MINING - US blacklists Zimbabwean diamond
companies

Maranga is good to make cash for some ZANU-PF elite. It is seen as under the control of the securocrats faction that involved the defense minister. The Mujurus, on the other hand, were seen as behind the River Ranch diamond area in the south, close to the border with South Africa.

To me this sanction is not about US businesses there (not much), but about sanctions on Zimbabwean elite involved in the diamonds there to shape what succeeds Mugabe. Mnangagwa and a host of other securocrats are facing this sanction. So the calculation among the securocrats has to be, if they go forward with Mnangagwa as their candidate, he is already under US-led international sanction, and the country will not be normalized. The US is likely to increase their rhetoric if Mnangagwa goes on to succeed Mugabe -- it's one thing to let Mugabe die out (the international community can do little about Mugabe), but they will not work with another securocrat.

Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe will likely trigger renewed focus on sanctions and ZANU-PF might not have what it takes to withstand another 5 years of that.

So that's why they might need to focus on finding a successor who is not
under sanction but who can provide them security and financial guarantees,
in return for yielding power and not ending up in The Hague.


On 12/13/11 12:14 PM, Adelaide Schwartz wrote:

How important are the Marange/Chiadzwa mines for a ZANU-PF campaign? Is
this the principal operation from which Mugabe and co. receive cash for
political buy offs?

If this is a political move by the US as you raise below then I can't
help but think it is poorly calculated. What US businesses are still
there after repeated sanctions?
I agree that Mnangawa seems to be in the
top position for a "passed down win."


imo, real pull is US getting De Beers operators out (I don't think De
Beers has re-entered on their own but I would need to confirm since SA
changed the Kimb Process a few months ago)

On 12/13/11 9:11 AM, Mark Schroeder wrote:

here's an interesting development following the conclusion of the
ZANU-PF congress, though the date of the move is not clear. It would
mean that beneficiaries of Marange diamonds will not get US
cooperation-- and rather, will face sanction.
It is believed that the
Mnangagwa faction (the securocrats) benefits from the Marange
diamonds.
Back to our conversation on the future Zimbabwean election,
it would thus be very difficult for Mnangagwa to secure the election,
as he will face considerable international sanction/pressure against
him.
Remember that the rival ZANU-PF faction led by Joyce Mujuru is
effectively knocked out of the running following the death by
mysterious fire of her husband, Solomon Mujuru.

On the other hand, the MDC is still in a weak position and no way
ZANU-PF will just give up and let them win. It thus opens the door for
some compromise accommodation, though surely with some hard bargaining
to be done.

On 12/12/11 11:48 AM, Marc Lanthemann wrote:

US blacklists Zimbabwean diamond companies

Text of report by South African privately-owned, established daily
newspaper The Star on 12 December

[Report by Peta Thornycroft, Independent Foreign Service: "US
Blacklists Zim Diamonds"]

HARARE: The US has blacklisted several diamond companies that are
extracting rough stones from controversial diamond fields in eastern
Zimbabwe.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control has blacklisted companies owned
by a state mining company and a private limited company which has
been financially backed by a South African investor.

Human rights organizations and investigators were infuriated when
the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme recently cleared the
diamonds for export from Zimbabwe
.

But it will now become impossible for any US citizen -and the EU is
likely to follow -to buy any stones from or via any of the
companies, all based in Zimbabwe.


The stones sold in Zimbabwe are mostly bought by buyers in Asia that
don't have any trade restrictions.


Mining licences in the diamond fields have been issued to Mbar
Diamonds (Mbada)
, a Zimbabwean company backed by a Mauritian company
and funded by South African scrap dealer New Reclamation
, in which
Old Mutual has a 5.6 per cent share.

South African David Kassel is the CEO of New Reclamation, and has
been involved closely in helping set up the diamond mine run by
Mbada.

The companies placed on the blacklist are: Marange Resources
(Private) Limited (aka Block Wood Mining, aka Marange Resources, aka
Mmarange Resources Ltd) MMCZ Building, 90 Mutare Road, Harare,
Zimbabwe (Box 4101, Harare); Zimbabwe Mbada Diamonds (Private)
Limited (aka CONDURANGA, aka Mbada, aka Mbada Diamond Mining, aka
Mbada Diamonds), New Office Park, Block C, Sam Levy's Village,
Borrowdale, Harare.


Source: The Star, Johannesburg, in English 12 Dec 11 p 5

BBC Mon AF1 AFEausaf 121211 jo


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Thursday, June 30, 2016

How De Beers Pays Shareholders 23 times more than Workers

This report shows how De Beers is paying billions to it's international shareholders, money that is taken directly out of the South African economy. In fact, if they ever want to make the 'we bring jobs' argument, the same article also shows that De Beers spends 23 times more on it's international shareholders than on it's South African employees. This is the dispensation that Apartheid was intended to protect, and that is continuing under the ANC.

De Beers's Report To Society 2008 (cached)

De Beers Payments (billion USD) to:

International Shareholders: $6.2
South African Workers: $0.269
South African Taxman: $1.4

Highlights

De Beers paid US$6.2 billion (2007: US$6.2 billion) to stakeholders around the world

Payments to partners, joint ventures and suppliers amounted to US$4.8 billion (2007: US$4.9 billion).

About US$3.2 billion of this was paid for diamonds and services in Africa (2007: US$3.6 billion)

Payments to employees in Africa amounted to US$269 million (2007: US$332 million)
De Beers paid US$1.4 billion in taxes and royalties to governments; 87.9%
of this (US$1.2 billion) was paid to governments in Africa

A total of US$1.1 billion was allocated to preferential procurement in southern Africa and Canada (2007: US$1.0 billion)

More than US$1.1 billion in rough diamonds was supplied to Sightholders for manufacture in southern Africa (2007: US$1.0 billion)

Economics

If the global economic crisis has underlined the extent to which the diamond industry is key to the prosperity of our producer countries, it has also highlighted the importance of recent efforts to leverage diamond revenues as a catalyst for building strong diversified post-mining economies in these countries.

The deployment of natural resources wealth as a platform for developing diversified economies in Africa requires firstly an effective model for the creation and distribution of natural resource wealth and secondly an effective model for translating this wealth into a robust economic, social and political capital base. The remarkable contribution of diamonds to development in countries like Botswana, Namibia and South Africa owes a great deal to the effectiveness of our partnership model in achieving the former. The year 2008, however, will be remembered across the Family of Companies for the progress made in supporting governments to achieve the latter through beneficiation programmes.

De Beers support for government-led economic diversification efforts in producer countries has focused until recently on local procurement and enterprise development initiatives. Beneficiation by contrast aims to leverage the current pipeline position of producer countries by facilitating the development and promotion of local downstream diamond sorting, cutting and polishing industries that, it is hoped, will endure well beyond the life of existing mines.

While the short-term success of these initiatives will inevitably be impacted by the current economic downturn, the long-term supply and demand fundamentals of the diamond industry bode well for the success of this process.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

They want to win at any cost

All our thoughts are with Fred M'membe of The Post, his wife and editor. What this PF government is doing is disgraceful. More here.

TODAY'S EDITORIAL COMMENT: They want to win at any cost By Editor |
Updated: 27 Jun,2016
14:57:51

THE International Press Institute (IPI) has revealed that there is a strategic plan by the PF government to shut down The Post and other private media in order for the ruling party to rig the August 11 general elections.

In a statement, IPI director of advocacy and communications Steven Ellis revealed that PF’s strategy to rig election results and brutalise the opposition were clearly outlined in a leaked document.

“Among other efforts, the document indicated that ‘No form of media should be given to the UPND in the form of news or campaign advertisements’ and that a ‘massive media character assassination’ campaign should be launched against UPND presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema,” read the IPI statement. “The document also said that ‘prime efforts’ would be made to eliminate coverage by The Post .”

With or without the IPI revelations, it has always been clear to many Zambians that Edgar Lungu and his crooked, corrupt friends in the Patriotic Front want to retain power and continue to enrich themselves at any cost.

This is not only the most corrupt government in the history of this country but also the most intolerant and unrestrained regime. Edgar is all the time reminding Zambians about how much power he sits on. He has openly threatened to crush his political opponents, real or perceived, like a tonne of bricks. Edgar has issued open threats to the editor of The Post , telling him “alefwaya ukwakufwila”. He has also openly told The Post editor that he is the Head of State and there is no way anyone can fight with him and win.

The agenda to manipulate the electoral process and keep themselves in power has been on the cards for a long time. And The Post has consistently been warning the Zambian people about the high possibility of this year’s elections being rigged. It was The Post that exposed Edgar’s dealings with Timor Consulting, an Israeli firm of election ‘experts’. They denied this. But why should one deny a firm they are dealing with? Clearly, there was something wrong, something unacceptable they had been doing with Timor Consulting.

Then came the issue of the Ugandans who managed Yoweri Museveni’s last rigged election. It is these same characters Edgar has brought in to assist him in ‘winning’ this year’s elections. It is these same characters that worked with the Dubai printing company, Al Ghurair, that the Electoral Commission of Zambia has been forced to contract against dissent from the opposition. There are problems in Uganda. And there will be similar problems here. In Uganda, Museveni has resorted to tyranny, repression to silence anyone questioning or challenging the election results.

Edgar is doing the same.

Last week, he was threatening to sort out Hakainde Hichilema if he refuses to accept the election results, telling him “akamona efyo nkamuchita”. It is clear that as things stand today, we are highly unlikely to have free and fair elections whose results will be accepted by all participants – the winners and the losers. Edgar knows that with The Post around, it will be difficult for him to crush or sort out those who will refuse to accept the rigged results. Hence, his haste to get The Post closed before the elections.

We have stated it several times that it is not tax collection they are after from The Post; it is The Post, as a publication, they do not want to appear on the streets and expose their corrupt and crooked schemes. This explains why Edgar last week was very annoyed with the intelligence for failing to find out where The Post was being printed and stop it from coming out. What they don’t want is The Post hitting the streets. It’s not about taxes.

What is happening here is exactly what happened and is happening in Uganda. In Uganda, foreign nationals were registered to vote and they voted. Here, we have citizens of our neighbouring countries having been registered to vote. Zambia Police Service officers have been sent to Malawi to find out about the registration of foreign voters. They found it to be true.

But there had been a foolish scheme of trying to admit that indeed foreigners have registered as voters, but this was the work of the opposition. How stupid can one be to take such a line! What would this mean? This would mean that Edgar and his friends have not been working. If they have been working, how can the opposition issue National Registration Cards to Malawians and other foreign nationals?

The truth of the matter is that this is part of their own rigging scheme in the Ugandan style and fashion. Edgar’s threats to sort out Hakainde are similar to those of Museveni. We all know what has happened or is happening to Ugandan opposition leader Dr Kigya Besigye. He has been beaten, humiliated and locked up on trumped up criminal charges. Edgar is preparing himself for that type of brutality, repression.

And the first enemy of tyrants is always the free press. Wherever there is tyranny, the first to be hit, harassed or even annihilated is the free press. They know that without a free press, the protests, demonstrations, statements of those affected by their tyranny will not be heard. Where there is tyranny, there is no free speech and press. What we have in Zambia today is a highly corrupt and intolerant regime that has no scruples or restraint. They do not in any way realise that the exercise of power must be a constant practice of self-limitation and modesty.

With politicians like Edgar and his friends in power, Zambians must brace themselves for the worst. The bells tolling on The Post today will tomorrow toll on many other Zambians, and eventually on the whole country. The signs, the warnings of this are there. What remains is whether or not we heed them.

Don’t be deceived by the pretence of Edgar being a man of prayer. Even Hitler and Mussolini went to church. Even that monster Idi Amin masqueraded as a devout Moslem. But do religious people do what Hitler, Mussolini, Idi Amin did? Mobutu Sese Seko presented himself as a devout Catholic and was dining and wining with Catholic priests and bishops while committing all sorts of crimes and corrupt deeds against his people and his country. Edgar can build the so-called National House of Prayer and present himself as a man who prays to God to help him solve national problems, but behind that façade, the man is something else – evil.

And you hear it every day in Edgar’s language. Edgar’s language is that of threats – crush this one or that one, sort out this one or that one, fix this one or that one. That’s Edgar’s language. Is that the language of a religious man? In fact, it is a tendency of criminals to present themselves as very humble and religious people. Do you remember how humble and religious that criminal, Uncle Barry, was? You would leave him with your one-day baby without any suspicions of him hurting her. But he was one of the worst and most dangerous criminals this country has ever known. How else can criminals catch their prey if not by pretending to be humble, God-loving and fearing?

Anyway, when a prolonged, stubborn and heated struggle is in progress, there usually begins to emerge after a time the central and fundamental points at issue, upon the decision of which the ultimate outcome depends, and in comparison with which all the minor and petty episodes of the struggle recede more and more into the background. That, too, is how matters stand today in Zambia. What is at stake is now clear for all to see. It is all about Edgar defending his hold on power and privileges. He is not ready to lose the August 11 elections at any cost, even if that means closing The Post and sending all its employees on the street, manipulating the electoral process to such a degree that its results will be rejected by the losers and plunge the country into post-election chaos.

Edgar is not even ready to listen to the voice of reason from the Church. He is only listening to his own inner demons.

But at the rate Edgar is going, he is likely to end up at The Hague.
- See more at: http://postzambia.com/news.php?id=18963#sthash.jlK8zXdS.dpuf

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Saturday, June 18, 2016

US Ambassador Thomas Lies About Economic Sanctions

This post is a response to the latest US ambassador to Zimbabwe, who seems to feel he is in a position to lecture the Zimbabwean government about 'fiscal responsiblity' and 'chasing away foreign investors', while being blissfully unaware of his own government's actions to destroy the Zimbabwean economy.

(NEWZIMBABWE) Pay your debts! US envoy tells Harare
By Anna Chibamu, UK Bureau
16/06/2016

THE economic crisis which has brought Zimbabwe to its knees has nothing to do with United States sanctions but the failure by President Robert Mugabe's government to pay the country’s debts.

Well no. This is my response:



So this is the latest fool they have sent down, to sell us their US state department garbage. Before him there was Ambassador Bruce, before him Charles Ray, before him Johnny Carson. Now it's ambassador Thomas. No relation to Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas, I hope?

Let me help the ambassador out, because he is clearly out of his depth, wading into matters he does not understand.

1) We have the law

We don't need your ensurances about 'targeted sanctions'. We have the text of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001, Section 4C, which specifically mentions "the Government of Zimbabwe", twice. So keep your lawyerly lies about 'targeted sanctions' to yourself.

2) This article tries to connect things that are not connected.

Debt default had ruined Harare’s credit worthiness even before the US passed its Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Reform Agenda (ZIDERA) of 2001, Washington’s new envoy said in the capital on Thursday.

Mugabe also conceded the bad debtor problem at a meeting with war veterans in April, saying: “We’ve a disease in Zimbabwe, that of receiving and forgetting that debt should be settled.”

Let me remind everyone of the irony, that the US government is reminding the Zimbabwean government to pay it's debt, when it was the US government under Reagan and the Thatcher government, which reneged on their obligation to pay their part in the Willing Buyer, Willing Seller landreform program, which eventually led to it's breakdown (made official by Clare Short in her Nov. 1997 letter), and the replacement of Willing Buyer, Willing Seller with the Fast Track landreform program, against which Rothschild/De Beers/US object so much. I'll leave historic debts alone for a while.

Poor creditworthiness may sound like a fitting insult, and also conveniently ignores the disastrous economic effects of the neoliberal ESAP from 1991 to 1996, however creditworthiness has nothing to do with the collapse of the Zimbabwe Dollar in the year 2002. Creditworthiness doesn't paint extra zeros on banknotes. Not even an IMF decreed currency devaluation does that. Only a country that from day one to day two no longer has access to lines of credit, and is forced to operate on a cash only basis, would do that.

Creditworthiness also has nothing to do with the creation of ZDERA in 2001. (Read it.) Section 4A mentions that the IDA (International Development Agency) has suspended loans to the government of Zimbabwe in previous years, however, this is stated as a finding, and is not given as the reason for ZDERA. It has nothing to do with 'creditworthiness', and you can read the reasons given in the law itself.

The fact is that they wanted landreform to fail, and they did not trust the program or country to fail on it's own. The fact is that they want to prevent landreform in South Africa, let alone Namibia, Botswana and Kenya, if not more countries.

An MDC MP called it "slashing an already deflated tire".

3) Years ago, the MDC admitted that they too, when they were in government (look that up, mr. Ambassador, there was an MDC government), could not "move" with ZDERA in place.

Listen to that interview with former Finance Minister Tendai Biti, mr. Ambassador, before addressing this forum about the effects of America's economic sanctions against ("the Government of") Zimbabwe.

Subsequently, in 2010, there was a law introduced by US Senator Jim Inhofe to remove ZDERA. Around the same time, then US Senator and ZDERA co-sponsor Russ Feingold lost his seat. He had been trying to continue the economic sanctions against Zimbabwe through his own Zimbabwe Transistion to Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2010 (ZTDERA).

4) If it was not ZDERA, what else happened in the year 2002, that made the Zimbabwe Dollar collapse against the US Dollar? Notice the rapid excelleration of the the fall of the exchange rate from 2002 onwards.

That's 2002, not 2001, 2003, 2004, etc. 2002 is the year ZDERA 2001 came into effect.

Just a reminder of what these economic sanctions were:

(c) MULTILATERAL FINANCING RESTRICTION- Until the President makes the certification described in subsection (d), and except as may be required to meet basic human needs or for good governance, the Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States executive director to each international financial institution to oppose and vote against--

(1) any extension by the respective institution of any loan, credit, or guarantee to the Government of Zimbabwe; or

(2) any cancellation or reduction of indebtedness owed by the Government of Zimbabwe to the United States or any international financial institution.
Now, do these sound like 'targeted sanctions' against individuals or individual corporations, or are these sanctions against "the Government of Zimbabwe", as mentioned twice?

5) What is the effect of economic sanctions worldwide?

Lest we think that economic sanctions only hurt Zimbabwe because 'somehow' the economy of Zimbabwe is exceptionally fragile, it would help to see what US economic sanctions have done to other economies around the world.

This was the effect of economic sanctions on the population of Iraq. BTW, Madeleine Albright is a business partner of Lord Jacob Rothschild, and George Soros, in Helios Towers Africa. It are the Rothschild Barons who funded De Beers, the world's largest diamond mining company, which is behind the propaganda against Zimbabwe. Also, Zimbabwe was formerly known as Rhodesia, named after Cecil Rhodes, the Founding Chairman of the board of directors of De Beers from 1888 until his death.

Were 500,000 dead Iraqi women and children "worth it" to weaken President Hussein? Was the destruction of the Zimbabwe Dollar through a credit freeze 'worth it', to dislodge President Mugabe and thwart landredistribution?


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Friday, May 20, 2016

President Mugabe's Speech To The UN

COMMENT - President Mugabe is one of Africa's last Liberation War Heroes.

A woman from Eritrea sitting next to me in the gallery whispered: “He is a legend!” There were tears in her eyes. And when I told her later that I came from Zimbabwe, she looked at me with disbelief. “You are from there? You don’t know what you have,” she said rubbing tears from her eyes. ‘Go and tell them we can have the UN headquarters moved from there. It was a mistake to have it there in the first place.”

(THE PATRIOT ZW) Mugabe holds AU spellbound
By Alexander Kanengoni -
February 4, 2016

Recently in Addis Ababa, Ethopia

THE problem at the AU summit in Addis Ababa last week began when the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, took to the podium and, like a school head teacher, accused African leaders of bad governance and undemocratic practices, singling a few for praise.
“Leaders should not use undemocratic constitutional changes and legal loopholes to cling to power. Leaders must protect their people, not themselves,” he lectured. It was not difficult to guess the leaders he meant. He was so authoritarian and swashbuckling you couldn’t believe it was the same man who cringes at the sight of the Americans and the Europeans at the United Nations. He praised President Alpha Conde of Guinea, President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson of Liberia, President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone and Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa.

That is how the problem began.

So that by the time President Robert Mugabe, the outgoing chairman of the AU took to the same podium to deliver his farewell message, he put aside his prepared speech and for 20 minutes, spoke directly to the UN Secretary- General a few metres away from him.

“It’s a pity I speak immediately after the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas because he represents a problem the UN has failed to resolve for decades. How long will the UN stand idle while Israel demolishes Palestinian homes and builds houses for its citizens on the rubble?” he asked the secretary-general.

Then he lambasted the undemocratic nature of the UN and how that has to change. He lamented the routine pilgrimages to New York each September to deliver hollow speeches in the General Assembly that no one listens to because decisions are made by the five members in the UN Security Council. He decried the hopeless position of the African because the whiteman deems him inferior. He warned if that is not changed and Africa given a permanent seat in the Security Council, they may pull out of the UN.

“Go and tell them that,” he challenged Ban Ki Moon, who kept holding his head down.
The summit responded with an ovation that rose and rose, rising to the roof of the conference center. Someone in the gallery screamed. President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia, unmistakable in his trademark white flowing gown and matching turban stood up clapping his hands. Then Paul Kagame of Rwanda followed, then Mahommed Buhari of Nigeria, then they all stood up. Later, everyone would agree it was an unprecedented historical moment. Jacob Zuma looked around and hesitated; you saw it in the way he looked around and the cumbersome manner in which he eventually rose. Robert Mugabe was writing his own bit of African history.

Yet he had not even started giving the grim details of the African story. He began with the horrible story of the slave trade when millions of Africans were shipped across the Atlantic to America to work in their sugar and tobacco plantations. That humiliation was followed by the colonisation of the continent until we had to take up arms to fight for our freedom and independence.

He remembered how Charles de Gaulle refused to grant Algeria independence because, he argued, it was part of France. There was a bloody 10-year war from 1954 to 1962 that claimed the lives of more than 300 000. Franz Fanon, a medical doctor who treated the wounded in that war would chronicle his ghastly experience into a historic book on the plight of the oppressed, The Wretched of the Earth.

Robert Mugabe remembered Ben Bella, the leader of that revolution and his enduring words at the formation of the OAU in Addis Ababa in 1963: “We must all die a little for people in apartheid South Africa to be free”. The sentiment constituted the bedrock upon which the philosophy of pan-Africanism was founded.

I looked down at Jacob Zuma from the gallery. He fiddled with a sheaf of papers on the desk in front of him. Perhaps he had been reminded of the xenophobic attacks that swept across his country in 2013 and left many fellow Africans dead. It was perplexing how South Africans forgot the sacrifices Africa made so that they could be free.

Robert Mugabe remembered Julius Nyerere and how he set up the liberation committee to help liberate Southern Africa, how all the liberation movements were offered military training facilities in the country. He remembered Nigeria and the difficulty it faced to pay its obligation to the OAU because of the war in Biafra at the end of the 1960s. And once the war was over, how Nigeria paid its arrears of seven million pounds in a single staggering lump. He remembered Kwame Nkrumah, Africa’s inspiration. He also remembered how every country in Africa was once a colony and how they fought to be free.

A woman from Eritrea sitting next to me in the gallery whispered: “He is a legend!” There were tears in her eyes. And when I told her later that I came from Zimbabwe, she looked at me with disbelief. “You are from there? You don’t know what you have,” she said rubbing tears from her eyes.

‘Go and tell them we can have the UN headquarters moved from there. It was a mistake to have it there in the first place.”

Ban Ki-Moon forced a smile but kept holding his head down. You wondered whether he understood what Robert Mugabe was saying. If he did, as we say in Shona, he must have wished the floor swallowed him.

At the summit, Robert Mugabe was the voice of Africa. He raised the meaning of being African to a new level by defining an African who was not confined to colonial borders.
“I am an African and I belong anywhere in Africa,” he said.

It was evident at the summit Africa listens and believes in voices similar to Robert Mugabe’s voice, the voice of the founding fathers. He told the African story. His leadership left an indelible mark on the African political landscape.

In his acceptance speech, the incoming AU chairman, President Idriss Deby of Chad admitted it was a daunting task to come after someone like Robert Mugabe because of the high benchmarks he had left.

And yet Robert Mugabe’s own story has not been told. There has been a spirited attempt by outsiders, especially our former colonisers to tell it. Their stories are driven by a dark desire to demonise his monumental African legacy. The British will dismiss any attempt by an outsider to tell Winston Churchill’s story; that is indisputable. We have to tell Robert Mugabe’s story.

And when at last he went to his prepared speech, back to programmes and strategies to fulfil Agenda 2063, he had already bared his soul. He is an African hero.

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Saturday, May 07, 2016

The Vaccine Origin Of Monkey Virus Epidemics

The Vaccine Origin Of Monkey Virus Epidemics

The explanations for the HIV and later the Ebola virus epidemic have been prosaic. The notion that 1) monkey hunters in jungle somewhere ate these monkeys, got infected that way and 2) this led to a slow, spreading generalized epidemic breaking free from it's former jungle environment.

There is a simpler, more direct explanation. That explanation is, that for decades, western scientists have flown to Africa, trapped monkeys and flew them to the United States. From this organ tissue, they cultivated vaccines. Not all the monkey viruses were removed from these vaccines.

The result was that millions of people worldwide have become infected with monkey viruses. This has been the case for: HIV, SV40, Ebola and Zika. It is remarkable that all these viruses have been known to vaccine producers for over half a century.

HIV AND SV40

MrK: This evidence is from an interview with the head of vaccine development at the Merck corporation, dr. Maurice Hilleman. In his words, "we brought the AIDS virus to the United States".


(YOUTUBE) Vaccine pioneer admits adding cancer-causing virus to Vaccine


(Natural News) Merck vaccine scientist Dr. Maurice Hilleman admitted presence of SV40, AIDS and cancer viruses in vaccines

Thursday, September 15, 2011
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: Dr Maurice Hilleman, SV40, vaccines

(NaturalNews) One of the most prominent vaccine scientists in the history of the vaccine industry -- a Merck scientist -- made a recording where he openly admits that vaccines given to Americans were contaminated with leukemia and cancer viruses. In response, his colleagues (who are also recorded here) break out into laughter and seem to think it's hilarious. They then suggest that because these vaccines are first tested in Russia, they will help the U.S. win the Olympics because the Russian athletes will all be "loaded down with tumors." (Thus, they knew these vaccines caused cancer in humans.)

This isn't some conspiracy theory -- these are the words of a top Merck scientist who probably had no idea that his recording would be widely reviewed across the internet (which didn't even exist when he made this recording). He probably thought this would remain a secret forever. When asked why this didn't get out to the press, he replied "Obviously you don't go out, this is a scientific affair within the scientific community."

In other words, vaccine scientists cover for vaccine scientists. They keep all their dirty secrets within their own circle of silence and don't reveal the truth about the contamination of their vaccines.

You can hear this interview at:
http://naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=13EAAF22CDA367...

Here is the full transcript. (Thanks are due to Dr. Len Horowitz for finding this recording and making it publicly available.)

Transcript of audio interview with Dr. Maurice Hilleman
Dr. Len Horowitz: Listen now to the voice of the worlds leading vaccine expert Dr Maurice Hilleman, Chief of the Merck Pharmaceutical Company's vaccine division relay this problem he was having with imported monkeys. He best explains the origin of AIDS, but what you are about to hear was cut from any public disclosures.

Dr Maurice Hilleman: and I think that vaccines have to be considered the bargain basement technology for the 20th century.

Narrator: 50 years ago when Maurice Hilleman was a high school student in Miles City Montana, he hoped he might qualify as a management trainee for the local JC Penney's store. Instead he went on to pioneer more breakthroughs in vaccine research and development than anyone in the history of American medicine. Among the discoveries he made at Merck, are vaccines for mumps, rubella and measles…

Dr Edward Shorter: Tell me how you found SV40 and the polio vaccine.

Dr Maurice Hilleman: Well, that was at Merck. Yeah, I came to Merck. And uh, I was going to develop vaccines. And we had wild viruses in those days. You remember the wild monkey kidney viruses and so forth? And I finally after 6 months gave up and said that you cannot develop vaccines with these damn monkeys, we're finished and if I can't do something I'm going to quit, I'm not going to try it. So I went down to see Bill Mann at the zoo in Washington DC and I told Bill Mann, I said "look, I got a problem and I don't know what the hell to do." Bill Mann is a real bright guy. I said that these lousy monkeys are picking it up while being stored in the airports in transit, loading, off loading. He said, very simply, you go ahead and get your monkeys out of West Africa and get the African Green, bring them into Madrid unload them there, there is no other traffic there for animals, fly them into Philadelphia and pick them up. Or fly them into New York and pick them up, right off the airplane. So we brought African Greens in and I didn't know we were importing the AIDS virus at the time.

Miscellaneous background voices:…(laughter)… it was you who introduced the AIDS virus into the country. Now we know! (laughter) This is the real story! (laughter) What Merck won't do to develop a vaccine! (laughter)

Dr Maurice Hilleman: So what he did, he brought in, I mean we brought in those monkeys, I only had those and this was the solution because those monkeys didn't have the wild viruses but we…

Dr Edward Shorter: Wait, why didn't the greens have the wild viruses since they came from Africa?

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …because they weren't, they weren't, they weren't being infected in these group holding things with all the other 40 different viruses…

Dr Edward Shorter: but they had the ones that they brought from the jungle though...

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …yeah, they had those, but those were relatively few what you do you have a gang housing you're going to have an epidemic transmission of infection in a confined space. So anyway, the greens came in and now we have these and were taking our stocks to clean them up and god now I'm discovering new viruses. So, I said Judas Priest. Well I got an invitation from the Sister Kinney Foundation which was the opposing foundation when it was the live virus…

Dr Edward Shorter: Ah, right…

Dr Maurice Hilleman: Yeah, they had jumped on the Sabin's band wagon and they had asked me to come down and give a talk at the Sister Kinney Foundation meeting and I saw it was an international meeting and god, what am I going to talk about? I know what I'm going to do, I'm going to talk about the detection of non detectable viruses as a topic.

Dr Albert Sabin …there were those who didn't want a live virus vaccine… (unintelligible) …concentrated all its efforts on getting more and more people to use the killed virus vaccine, while they were supporting me for research on the live viruses.

Dr Maurice Hilleman: So now I got to have something (laughter), you know that going to attract attention. And gee, I thought that damn SV40, I mean that damn vaculating agent that we have, I'm just going to pick that particular one, that virus has got to be in vaccines, it's got to be in the Sabin's vaccines so I quick tested it (laughter) and sure enough it was in there.

Dr Edward Shorter: I'll be damned


Dr Maurice Hilleman: … And so now…

Dr Edward Shorter: …so you just took stocks of Sabin's vaccines off the shelf here at Merck…

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …yeah, well it had been made, it was made at Merck…

Dr Edward Shorter: You were making it for Sabin at this point?

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …Yeah, it was made before I came…

Dr Edward Shorter: yeah, but at this point Sabin is still just doing massive field trials…

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …uh huh

Dr Edward Shorter: okay,

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …in Russia and so forth. So I go down and I talked about the detection of non detectable viruses and told Albert, I said listen Albert you know you and I are good friends but I'm going to go down there and you're going to get upset. I'm going to talk about the virus that it's in your vaccine. You're going to get rid of the virus, don't worry about it, you're going to get rid of it… but umm, so of course Albert was very upset...

Dr Edward Shorter: What did he say?

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …well he said basically, that this is just another obfuscation that's going to upset vaccines. I said well you know, you're absolutely right, but we have a new era here we have a new era of the detection and the important thing is to get rid of these viruses.

Dr Edward Shorter: Why would he call it an obfuscation if it was a virus that was contaminating the vaccine?

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …well there are 40 different viruses in these vaccines anyway that we were inactivating and uh,

Dr Edward Shorter: but you weren't inactivating his though…

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …no that's right, but yellow fever vaccine had leukemia virus in it and you know this was in the days of very crude science. So anyway I went down and talked to him and said well, why are you concerned about it? Well I said "I'll tell you what, I have a feeling in my bones that this virus is different, I don't know why to tell you this but I …(unintelligible) …I just think this virus will have some long term effects." And he said what? And I said "cancer". (laughter) I said Albert, you probably think I'm nuts, but I just have that feeling. Well in the mean time we had taken this virus and put it into monkeys and into hamsters. So we had this meeting and that was sort of the topic of the day and the jokes that were going around was that "gee, we would win the Olympics because the Russians would all be loaded down with tumors." (laughter) This was where the vaccine was being tested, this was where… so, uhh, and it really destroyed the meeting and it was sort of the topic. Well anyway…

Dr Edward Shorter: Was this the physicians… (unintelligible) …meeting in New York?

Dr Maurice Hilleman …well no, this was at Sister Kinney…

Dr Edward Shorter: Sister Kinney, right…

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …and Del Becco (sp) got up and he foresaw problems with these kinds of agents.

Dr Edward Shorter: Why didn't this get out into the press?

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …well, I guess it did I don't remember. We had no press release on it. Obviously you don't go out, this is a scientific affair within the scientific community…

Voice of news reporter: …an historic victory over a dread disease is dramatically unfolded at the U of Michigan. Here scientists usher in a new medical age with the monumental reports that prove that the Salk vaccine against crippling polio to be a sensational success. It's a day of triumph for 40 year old Dr. Jonas E Salk developer of the vaccine. He arrives here with Basil O'Connor the head of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis that financed the tests. Hundreds of reporters and scientists gathered from all over the nation gathered for the momentous announcement….

Dr Albert Sabin: …it was too much of a show, it was too much Hollywood. There was too much exaggeration and the impression in 1957 that was, no in 1954 that was given was that the problem had been solved , polio had been conquered.

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …but, anyway we knew it was in our seed stock from making vaccines. That virus you see, is one in 10,000 particles is not an activated… (unintelligible) …it was good science at the time because that was what you did. You didn't worry about these wild viruses.

Dr Edward Shorter: So you discovered, it wasn't being inactivated in the Salk vaccine?

Dr Maurice Hilleman: …Right. So then the next thing you know is, 3, 4 weeks after that we found that there were tumors popping up on these hamsters.

Dr. Len Horowitz: Despite AIDS and Leukemia suddenly becoming pandemic from "wild viruses" Hilleman said, this was "good science" at that time.

NaturalNews wishes to thank Dr. Len Horowitz for uncovering this interview from the national archives, and for getting it released so the public can learn the truth behind the deadly vaccine industry.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/033584_Dr_Maurice_Hilleman_SV40.html#ixzz3s5eT4FlA


ZIKA

Zika was first isolated from a rhesus monkey in Uganda in 1947, by the Rockefeller Foundation. From the patent office, purchasable on line for a mere E599,-.

Patent: Zika virus (ATCC® VR-84™)
Name of Depositor: J. Casals, Rockefeller Foundation
Source: Blood from experimental forest sentinel rhesus monkey, Uganda, 1947
Year of Origin: 1947


EBOLA

The ebola outbreak started as suddenly as it ended. This is because the virus was the same it had always been. Ebola is far too virulent to survive in the human population for any length of time. Any virus that kills it's host with 3 weeks doesn't have the potential to infect a lot of people. On top of that, an ebola patient is only infectious in a few days before their death, when the disease is at it's worst. In other words, there is not a lot of opportunity for this disease to infect a lot of people. So how did a lot of people end up dying from ebola? The answer is that a lot of people were infected at once, and then the disease did what it does and the epidemic burned itself out. So how did lots of people get to be infected all at once? And how did the Zaire Ebola Virus make it all the way to Guinea, if not by migrating flocks of fruitbats or chimpanzees? The most obvious explanation is that a lot of people were injected with ebola, whether by accident or on purpose, as part of a vaccination campaign, and then sent home.

Either way, there is a biowarfare lab within 80 miles of Gueckedou, the alleged ground zero of the epidemic, according to the BBC at that time.

The VHFC or Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium in Kenema, Sierra Leone, is staffed by employees of Harvard, the Broad Institute, Tulane University, Corgenix, Autoimmune Technologies LLC, University of Texas Medial Branch, Zalgen Labs, and more. The team is headed by dr. Robert Garry.

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Wednesday, May 04, 2016

IMF intervention will result in terrible living conditions - Prof Chigunta

COMMENT - This is all very predictable. When the cost of living gets high enough, there are going to bei IMF Riots, using the term of the former World Bank Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz.

IMF intervention will result in terrible living conditions - Prof Chigunta
By Chambwa Moonga |
Updated: 03 May,2016 ,12:06:27

PROFESSOR Francis Chigunta says there would have been no need to resort to an IMF intervention that will primarily result in terrible living conditions for citizens had the PF government listened to stakeholders’ alarm over the country’s deteriorating economy.

Prof Chigunta, who served as political advisor to former president Rupiah Banda, said while it was realistic that countries under severe economic challenges sought recourse from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Zambia could not have degenerated to that level had the government valued economic expertise from various commentators.

Last Friday, the Zambian government announced that it had accepted an IMF programme to be implemented after the August 11 general elections in the fourth quarter of 2016.
According to Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba, both the IMF and the Zambian government agreed to commence the programme in line with the 2017 national budget.
Yamba also stated that the government would work towards making necessary adjustments in electricity tariffs and fuel pump prices.

“What I’m going to say about the IMF programme is that well, countries seek recourse to the IMF when they begin to face challenges, especially in terms of imbalances in their finances, because that’s the primary purpose of why the IMF was established - to help countries deal with financial problems that they face due to either external or internal shocks. In many cases, those shocks are actually worsened by weak or poor economic management as is currently the case in Zambia. The situation has been compounded by external shocks like the fall in the price of copper and internal shocks like policy inconsistencies, weak revenue collection and so on,” Prof Chigunta said in an interview yesterday.

“We shouldn’t have actually been going to the IMF if government had listened and adhered to the advice that various people, including me, have been offering in the past. Remember, we’ve been there before. All it required really was a strong economic management and that’s prudence in terms of public expenditure. We don’t really have to tell the government how to look after the finances or how to run the economy but because of some weaknesses in economic governance, that’s why we’ve found ourselves in this challenge.”

He lamented the government’s poor fiscal policies and said the IMF economic programme the government has agreed to implement after elections will come with hard-hitting conditionalities on citizens, especially those who are already vulnerable.

“The IMF programme comes with tough conditionalities and because of those tough conditionalities; these programmes are usually shrouded in mystery,” Prof Chigunta warned.

“Conditionalities in the case of Zambia, for example, from what I understand, demand that Zambia has to remove fuel subsidies or to do some [upward] adjustments in the fuel pump price, electricity tariffs and the exchange rate. Now, you understand that when you remove subsidies on those items, immediately the cost of living is going to shoot up.

It’s already high but it’s going to worsen. So, my fear is that the living conditions after elections for the majority of people will be terrible because of those economic recovery efforts that will be necessitated by the IMF austerity programme. So, we need to be very careful and look at how the programme is going to impact on the vulnerable population.”

And on President Edgar Lungu’s statement in Chipata on April 17 that the government had decided to sign a Statutory Instrument (SI) to regulate and reduce the price of mealie-meal which was high in some parts of the country, Prof Chigunta charged that such a move was “very untenable and is totally inconsistent with the IMF economic programme which the government hopes to implement.”

“It (SI) will seriously affect the performance of the agriculture sector in Zambia. When you try to impose price controls, you don’t give incentives to farmers and so, the result is that maize production in the country may be affected and if it is affected, it actually worsens the same problem which the government is trying to cure. So, price controls are not the solution but the solution is to review our agricultural policy,” advised Prof Chigunta.


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Friday, March 25, 2016

THE POST - Can Lungu and his minions justify their pay hikes?

COMMENT - How about a pay cut? Just until the currency recovers.

TODAY'S EDITORIAL COMMENT: Can Lungu and his minions justify their pay hikes?
By Editor |
Updated: 24 Mar,2016 ,13:31:44

It is shocking that in the current financial and economic difficulties the country is going through, the President and other key political leaders of this country can have their salaries increased.

This is insensitivity of the highest order. It goes beyond selfishness, greed and vanity. It actually borders on lunacy. The Zambian economy in its current state has no capacity, both in the public and private sectors, to increase salaries. Many companies are struggling to pay salaries and workers are being retrenched every day. Equally, the government is also struggling to meet its wage bill.

And consequently, the public revenue collections are also very tight. This is so because the government gets its revenue from the workers through Pay As You Earn and Value Added Tax which every consumer, regardless of their economic status, has to pay whenever they purchase goods or services on which such tax is levied. So even the poor of the poorest are paying taxes.

All the salaries of our politicians and other public workers are borne primarily by the workers and the poor who pay taxes. Increasing salaries of the President and other politicians simply places a further burden on their shoulders. Why put additional burden on people who are already overburdened? Who doesn’t know the trials of our people today? And God forbid that one should add one grain of trouble to the anxiety which they bear with such patience and fortitude. We do not believe that any fair-minded person would accept the injustice and fairness of pushing a further financial and economic burden on our already overburdened people.

There is no morality in increasing the salaries of the President and other politicians. Dr Kenneth Kaunda would never have done that. Let us get back to the morality of Dr Kaunda’s leadership which stood for the establishment of “a just and fair society for man. Man - you. Man - me”. Let us realise that taking up political positions should be an expression of a desire to contribute to the happiness of our people rather than of a need to cheat or rape the nation.

Anyway, this just reflects the nature and character of the political leadership we have in the country today. As the Bible says, “There are people who take cruel advantage of the poor and needy; that is the way they make their living” (Proverbs 30:14).

“We must remember that we are there to serve the interests of the common man,” Dr Kaunda used to always remind those who were serving in the UNIP government with him. And he would add, “We must think and think again how best we shall serve and not about how important we are as leaders of our people. Let us remember that we are what we are today because of the common man, and that it is therefore right that he should expect better service from us…Selfishness in leaders inevitably leads to corruption…I do not want to see decisions made for self-interest rather than benefit of the people; I do not want to see people using their leadership positions to manipulate decisions in their favour. To be a leader at any level and in any scheme of things, you have got to love your fellow human beings, you have got to be ready to sacrifice for their good, you have got to be able to learn to respect the feelings of your fellow men.”

Good political leaders must be interested in the welfare of those in distress. We expect them to feel the distress of many who have a big problem about the cost of goods, with the tragedy of unemployment and not focus so much on themselves. Already, the cost to the taxpayer of keeping in office each one of these politicians is too high. Look at what the President gets for free! He has free housing, transport, food, alcohol and so on and so forth. Even clothes are bought for him by the taxpayer. The President of this country is not affected by the price hikes the great majority of our people have to endure. Probably this even explains how in a very short time in that office, Edgar Lungu has put on so much weight, has developed a potbelly. It’s free food, free everything while the rest of his fellow citizens njala yabanyokola and they are becoming thinner and thinner. Look at the number of automobiles bought by the taxpayer that service the President of this country and his family! Look at the number of workers around him paid by the taxpayer! There is a worker for everything he or his family members do! The President pays for nothing but he is getting a salary increment when those who pay for everything are getting none at all.

It is the poor of this country who are subsidising the expensive lifestyles of Edgar and his fellow politicians. Even when they go and recklessly borrow, it is the poor taxpayer of this country that has to, every month, put aside part of his or her earnings to repay the debts.

A start must be made to share the revenues of our government equitably and more fairly among all our people. If people have to be hungry, let us be hungry together. The privileged few like Edgar and his minions should not defend their well-stocked larder by making others go without the plenty they could have. We need leaders who are willing and able to serve the Zambian people heart and soul and never for a moment divorce themselves from the masses. We need leaders who in all cases proceed from the interests of the people and not from one’s self-interest or from the interest of a small group of those who find themselves in the top political leadership of the country.

We have Dr Kaunda’s example to follow. Let’s follow it. Comrade KK’s spirit as a political leader, his utter devotion to others without any thought for self, was shown in his boundless sense of responsibility in his work and his boundless warm-heartedness towards the masses of our people. Every political leader in this country must learn from him; must learn the spirit of absolute selflessness from him. With that type of spirit, everyone can be very useful to the people. All our political leaders, whatever their rank, are servants of the people, and whatever they do must be to serve the people. Their duty is to hold themselves accountable to the people. Every policy and every act of theirs must conform to the people’s interests. They must have the interest of the people and the sufferings of the great majority at heart instead of thinking about how much they should get for themselves from the people’s taxes.

Strictly speaking, what we have are not leaders but vultures, mercenaries, hyenas out to enjoy, enrich themselves at the expense of the poor.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

(NEWZIMBABWE) New farmers resist compensating whites

COMMENT - It is immoral to tax the new farmers to 'compensate' the former landowners. If anyone should be compensated, it are the New Farmers.

(NEWZIMBABWE) New farmers resist compensating whites

ZIMBABWE's plan to win back international funding by paying compensation to white farmers forced off their land faces a major snag: the black farmers expected to stump up the cash say they don't have it.

The new occupants working the land, many of who had few farming skills when they were resettled, say they can barely make ends meet, let alone pay an extra levy.

Their agricultural output is a fraction of the level seen before 2000, when President Robert Mugabe - saying he sought to correct colonial injustices - introduced land reforms which led to thousands of experienced white farmers being evicted.

They are also being hammered by the worst drought in a quarter of a century and toiling under a stagnating economy that has seen banks reluctant to lend and cheaper food imports from the likes of South Africa undermining their businesses.

"Are farmers able to pay? I will say no. Is the land being productive? I will say no again," said Victor Matemadanda, secretary general of a group representing war veterans who led the land seizure drive in 2000 and are now farmers.

He told Reuters that many farmers could not even meet water and electricity bills and that it was the government's obligation - not theirs - to pay the compensation.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union President, Abdul Nyathi, also said his members would not be able to pay compensation. "Most of the farmers face viability issues, the government will have to look at other ways of raising money," he added.

Mugabe's land reforms have led to about 5,000 white farmers being evicted from their land by his supporters and war veterans over the past 16 years, often violently. More than a dozen farmers have been killed.

The land seizures, along with allegations of vote-rigging and rights abuses - all denied by Mugabe - led to Zimbabwe being targeted by sanctions from Western donors. This compounded the economic plight of the country, which saw financing from the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and African Development Bank frozen in 1999 after it defaulted on debts.

The IMF's head of mission to Zimbabwe, Domenico Fanizza, said this month that improving fiscal discipline and re-engaging the international community should be priorities for Harare. He said this would "reduce the perceived country risk premium and unlock affordable financing for the government and private sector".

DIVIDED OPINION

In an attempt to woo back international donors and lenders, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa announced a package of major reforms on March 9, including the farm measure and a big reduction in public-sector wages. He said it had the full backing of Mugabe.

The farm plan involves 300,000 families resettled on seized land paying an annual rent - based on the size of their farms - towards a compensation fund for those evicted.

If they are unable to pay, however, it could be a major setback for the government's plans to shore up an economy that is stagnating after a deep recession in the decade to 2008, which slashed its output by nearly half, drove hundreds of thousands abroad in search of better paying jobs and has left the jobless rate at around 85 percent.

The finance ministry did not respond to repeated requests for comment about the ability of farmers to pay the levy.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, John Mangudya, told Reuters that the farmers' situation should improve once the government grants them 99-year leases on their land, which he said would make it easier for them to secure financing from banks and to pay rent towards the compensation fund.

All agricultural land in Zimbabwe is owned by the government and, at present, farmers have no legal claim on their farms - which they say has made banks reluctant to extend loans to buy fertilisers, seed and chemicals so they can raise output. But the government says it will imminently grant the leases.

"We are saying that the land should produce, but we also know what the constraints are to increase production," said Mangudya. "That is why we need to finalize on the 99-year land lease agreements to make them bankable so that farmers have security of tenure. With that there is no reason why farmers should not be able to pay (rent)."

Mugabe's land reform program is a highly emotive issue, which has divided public opinion. Supporters say it has empowered blacks while opponents see it as a partisan process that left Zimbabwe struggling to feed itself.

"The land revolution was a necessity and if the economy was running very well farmers would be able to pay the rent," said Matemadanda of the war veterans' group. "The prevailing economic conditions do not allow."

The land seizures have led to a steep fall in commercial agriculture output; yields for the staple maize have fallen to an average 0.5 tonnes percent per hectare from 8 tonnes in 2000 when white farmers worked the land.

Mugabe acknowledged the skills of evicted white farmers last week, saying they had helped neighboring Zambia to produce excess maize, which Zimbabwe was now importing.

ELECTIONS

A treasury ministry circular said that compensation would be paid out of rent from black farmers who benefited from the seizures. Chinamasa has not said when farmers would be expected to start paying the rents, or at what level they would be set.

When announcing the measures, he said production on black-owned farms was "scandalously low" and that the economy was under siege from the drought.

The white Zimbabweans who accounted for the majority of those evicted will be compensated only for the improvements they made to the farms, while the foreign owners forced out will be paid full compensation for land and improvements, under the plan.

Chinamasa said Harare broke bilateral investment agreements with other countries when it seized farms owned by foreigners.

Tony Hawkins, professor of business studies at the University of Zimbabwe, said the government was "going through the motions to keep the IMF happy".

"They probably want the international community to see that they are doing something," he said. "I doubt they will press with this ahead of the elections," he added, referring to the 2018 general election. Farmers are an important voting block for Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party.

Hundreds of evicted white Zimbabwean farmers are now farming in Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi and Nigeria, while others migrated to Europe, New Zealand and Australia.

Hendrik Olivier, director at the formerly white-dominated Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), said the government had not yet approached evicted farmers to discuss compensation, and also cast doubt on the plan's viability.

The CFU, which once boasted 4,500 farmers who produced 90 percent of Zimbabwe's export crops, including tobacco and horticulture produce until 2000, now only has 300 members.

"It's a huge step forward, lets acknowledge that. In the past the government has said that it won't pay compensation," Olivier told Reuters.

"But if you are talking about new farmers paying a levy, that's not gonna work, that's not gonna pay our compensation."

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(NEWZIMBABWE) US envoy of ‘nightly’ Mujuru meets speaks

COMMENT - Talk about interfering with foreign democracies and governments.


(NEWZIMBABWE) US envoy of ‘nightly’ Mujuru meets speaks

FORMER US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray has backed former vice president Joice Mujuru to turn around the fortunes of the stricken country, urging her to work with other opposition parties.

Mujuru, who was fired by President Robert Mugabe, is the interim leader of the recently formed Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) party

“She is pragmatic enough to work with the MDC and has the intelligence and ability to find ways to work effectively with the international community,” Ambassador Ray said, responding to questions from NewZimbabwe.com.

The former envoy left Zimbabwe at the end tour in 2012. He was blocked by government from consoling the Mujuru family following the death of the ex-VP’s husband, Retired General Solomon Mujuru, in a still unexplained fire in 2011.

The former vice president, while still Mugabe’s deputy, was also alleged to have held “clandestine” meetings with Ambassador Ray at undisclosed locations outside Harare.

It was claimed that Mujuru sought guarantees of financial assistance from the Americans in the event she managed to resettle power from Mugabe.

The veteran leader fired Mujuru from government and the ruling party, claiming she plotted to assassinate him.

However, Ambassador Ray denied holding clandestine meetings with Mujuru but insisted that she “has the interest of the country at heart”.

“I read of her being fired; but find it’s hard to believe the charges against her are true,” said the envoy.

“My relationship with Dr. Mujuru - both professional and personal when she was vice president - was good,” he added.

“I found her to be pragmatic and I believe she sincerely had the best interests of the country at heart.”

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Friday, March 18, 2016

(LUSAKA TIMES) PF Government , IMF reach deadlock over bailout

COMMENT - The IMF goes to town. They want charges to go up, and that is after the massive devaluation of the Zambian Kwacha through Eurobond debt and other borrowing leading to record inflation - with full knowledge and approval of the IMF and World Bank - they are complicit in this crime. This is not an economic policy, this is a hit. And the only thing the PF government of President Lungu can say is - let's wait until after the elections? This is criminal. Oh by the way, they are speaking in euphemisms because they're crooks. This is a massive transfer of resources from Zambian people to the IMF/Eurobonds. I say: scrap ALL the debt, throw the crooks in jail and take back the mining companies' stocks. Makes ZCCM great again, and completely transparent to the public. Use the profits to get into copper manufacturing using local copper only. Diversify into agriculture and infrastructure. That is the only way forward, not this neoliberal austerity and global economy garbage.

(LUSAKA TIMES) PF Government, IMF reach deadlock over bailout
March 18, 2016

President Edgar Lungu has asked the International Monetary Fund to offer an emergency bail out to his government but only start implementing the needed austerity measures after the August elections.

President Lungu through Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda made the plea when he met an IMF mission team that was in Zambia over the last two weeks.

The IMF is however not willing to offer emergency financing to the Zambian government before the country’s authorities submit a detailed technical report on how it will stabilise the economy.

This led to a deadlock and the much expected deal was not agreed at the end of the mission.

Impeccable sources who attended part of the consultations with the IMF team revealed that President Lungu was begging the IMF to relax its terms and allow his government to start implementing key austerity measures after August.

The sources said President Lungu contended that implementing a full set of austerity before the August elections will make it impossible for him to secure re-election.

Among the key measures the IMF team is demanding that government implements includes the removal of fuel subsidies, a serious reform of the Farmer Support Programme, introduces cost reflective power tariffs and a slowdown in infrastructure spending.

And in an End-of-Mission statement released on Friday, the IMF said the Zambian government indicated that strong near-term measures are being evaluated and that, at the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings in mid-April, they would provide further guidance on the policy direction and reforms, and their plans for an IMF-supported program.

“Government finances are under immense stress. Expenditure is running far above budget, in large part as a result of fuel subsidies and contracted emergency electricity imports that together are estimated to cost the treasury about US$660 million a year at the current pace (equivalent to 3.2 percent of GDP). At the same time, domestic and external financing options have become more limited along with rising interest rates. Mounting domestic arrears are adding to concerns about debt sustainability,” the IMF said.

It added, ““tightening of monetary policy has been effective in stabilizing the exchange rate but tight liquidity conditions have contributed to persistent under-subscription of treasury bills and bonds. However, there is little scope to loosen monetary policy as long as fiscal imbalances are not addressed. A key challenge going forward will be to normalize activity in the interbank foreign exchange market while avoiding a return of last year’s extreme volatility in the exchange rate.”

The IMF said its mission and the Zambian government reached a shared understanding of the challenges and risks associated with the current economic situation.

“The authorities stressed that, notwithstanding the upcoming general elections, they are committed to addressing the budgetary pressures, including moving to cost-reflective energy pricing, and scaling back on discretionary spending while safeguarding social protection programs. They indicated that strong near-term measures are being evaluated and that, at the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings in mid-April, they would provide further guidance on the policy direction and reforms, and their plans for an IMF-supported program,” it said.

“The mission is confident that Zambia’s current economic challenges can be overcome with resolute policy action, allowing a resumption of growth in line with the country’s abundant potential. In particular, a package of measures that makes clear that the fiscal pressures are being tackled would boost market confidence and pave the way for increased investment and growth. However, delays in implementing corrective measures will only worsen the situation, increase the adjustment cost and postpone the recovery.”

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Wednesday, March 09, 2016

(BIZNEWS SA) ANC warned: Put land reform on top of agenda – or face consequences from voters

COMMENT - The ANC is finally moving on landreform. Samadoda Fikeni: “The pressure was already there, but it had an urban orientation or twist to it, whereas in Zimbabwe it was with the farmers and the government was involved. “So we should dispel the myth that people were waiting for some law somewhere to distribute land,” he said."

Undictated / March 8, 2016
ANC warned: Put land reform on top of agenda – or face consequences from voters
By Naledi Shange, News24

Johannesburg – The ANC must implement its land reform policies quickly or they will be overtaken by opposition parties. This was the stern warning given to the ruling party by political analyst Somadoda Fikeni, of the University of South Africa, as he reminded the ANC of their promise to implement radical economic transformation.

Supporters of South Africa's ruling ANC party cheer as South Africa's President and party leader Jacob Zuma (not seen) arrives for the launch of the party's election manifesto at the Mbombela stadium in Nelspruit, January 11, 2014.

REUTERS/Ihsaan Haffejee (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
File photo: Supporters of South Africa’s ruling ANC party cheer as South

Africa’s President and party leader Jacob Zuma (not seen) arrives for the launch of the party’s election manifesto at the Mbombela stadium in Nelspruit, January 11, 2014. REUTERS/Ihsaan Haffejee

“If the ruling party doesn’t move fast, in a self-automated process, these things will happen; other contesting political parties will amplify them even if they are not in government in a manner that they simply take the same programmes and hone them and articulate them in the simplest form, in the crudest form, so that everybody will simply say ‘here is the message’,” Fikeni said.

“So there is a sense of urgency in the point of government.”

He was speaking at a round-table discussion held at the ANC’s Luthuli House headquarters in Johannesburg.

Read also: Anthea Jeffery: Creeping land nationalisation no poverty solution

Revolution in danger

The meeting was attended by Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti, ANC political education sub-committee chairperson Nathi Mthethwa, and former deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, in his capacity of head of the ANC’s political school.

Mthethwa echoed Fikeni’s sentiments.

“If we do not do what we say we should do… indeed our revolution will be in danger,” he said. Nkwinti said one of the things that had caused delays in the implementation of land claims and redistribution was the burden of proof that lay with the land claimants.

“We have to look at the law itself. Does it fairly represent the acquisition of the law of that land?”

He said this would be resolved through new laws that would balance the scales against both – those who currently occupy the land and those who claim to have previously owned it.

Read also: House of Parly passes ‘no consent’ Land Reform – ANC lags targeted repatriation

Sensitive issue

Nkwinti admitted that there had been delays in the process of land reform, saying government had also made some mistakes, but that they were working to fix this.

He described the issue of land as a “sensitive one”.

Fikeni stressed that the issue of land grabs in South Africa was nothing new. He claimed that, while many feared that South Africa would be like Zimbabwe if it agreed to land grabs, South Africa had seen land grabs in the early 1990s, before Zimbabwe.

“The pressure was already there, but it had an urban orientation or twist to it, whereas in Zimbabwe it was with the farmers and the government was involved.

“So we should dispel the myth that people were waiting for some law somewhere to distribute land,” he said – News24

Source: http://www.news24.com/Elections/News/revolution-in-danger-if-anc-doesnt-implement-land-reform-soon-20160307

Alec Hogg Alec Hogg March 8, 2016 | ANC, Apartheid, expropriation, featured, Gugile Nkwinti, Jacob Zuma, Kgalema Motlanthe, land reform, Nathi Mthethwa, Nelson Mandela, Slider, Somadoda Fikeni, South Africa, University of South Africa, Zimbabwe

COMMENT FROM MRK: This is the preface Biznews insisted on adding in to this article. It is clear that the writer fears losing control of the narrative on landreform, and therefore tries to insert his own opinion to redirect it. It does not matter that land was stolen on the basis of race, or 'who is more South African', which is clearly where he wants to derail the discussion to. The fact is that right up to the end of Apartheid, African and non-White people were thrown off their land. Even more important is that 90% of the population is locked out of owning land in 87% of the country. Saying that 13% of the land that is in State, not Traditional, hands is 'vast' and therefore there is no problem is sanctimonious, deceptive, and an example of ostrich politics that ultimately led to the Fast Track landredistribution program in Zimbabwe. Which was far less violent or 'chaotic' than was portrayed in the media. Nor did it redistribute land to 'friends and cronies of Mugabe', it redistributed land to hundreds of thousands of families, not just a few thousand well connected individuals. This is what the editor/writer Alec Hogg felt he needed to add:

DNA tests prove human beings are 99.9% identical. So I’m in RW Johnson’s camp when he says there is no such thing as race. Differences which exist between members of our species stem from environment and culture – not from how we are wired. Yet those who would profit from it, persist in highlighting race as a differentiator, which is just sad. “Land reform” has become another convenient political football. With heightened hypocrisy, too. Massive tracts of un-utilised lands controlled by traditional leaders are not up for “reform”. But, like Zimbabwe, all white farms are, even if they happened to have legally acquired and paid for decades before. The self-righteous justification is that at somewhere in the past, ancestors of today’s farmers “stole” the land from the ancestors of others. And that date of the theft keeps shifting. President Jacob Zuma says the infamous 1913 Lands Act can no longer be used as the starting point. Because, he argued this week, very little land changed hands after it – so he simply backdates it to some undetermined date in the 1800s.

South Africa’s first national census was done in 1904 at which time the country’s entire population was 5.2m (of whom just over a million were whites – 21.6%). As there are now ten times more of us (whites – 8.8%), it’s hard to conceptualise this huge country with so few people. Back then the vast plains were occupied by wild animals which migrated freely. Very little land was “owned” much less farmed in the modern sense. There has been ample time since the dawn of SA’s democracy to highlight where abuses occurred. Yet politicians and those they listen to persist in pounding a hypocritical land distribution drum which only serves to feed fear and greed. What a pity they use this as a tool to highlight the 0.1% where people differ. Rather than following the example of the iconic Nelson Mandela who focused on the 99.9% to forge a nation. – Alec Hogg

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Friday, March 04, 2016

(EYE WITNESS NEWS SA) ‘1913 cut-off date for land claims should be pushed back’

(EYE WITNESS NEWS SA) ‘1913 cut-off date for land claims should be pushed back’

Jacob Zuma says while the majority of people were formally dispossessed, greater losses were suffered.
President Jacob Zuma in response to the debate on the State of the Nation Address, National Assembly, Cape Town. Picture: GCIS.
Gaye Davis | about 19 hours ago

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma says he believes the 1913 cut-off date for land claims should be pushed back.

Zuma was addressing the National House of Traditional Leaders’ annual sitting in Parliament earlier today. He told the gathering that while the majority of the country’s people were formally dispossessed by the 1913 Land Act, greater losses were suffered during the 1800s.

“I believe as a son of a black man, being black, that we need to shift that cut-off date. But you need to find a reasonable way of addressing the issue within the Constitution.”

He says lack of access to land is the basis for the poverty, unemployment and inequality endured by mostly black people today.

President Zuma has also criticised land reform legislation that his own party brought to Parliament and that he signed into law.

Deviating from his prepared text, Zuma addressed the country’s traditional leaders directly.

“The very law that we have today to claim is lopsided against the black people. It’s very difficult for you to prove that this land belonged to your ancestors and very easy for the landowner to say you can’t have the land. That’s how the law is.”

Zuma signed the restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act into law in 2014.

He says he believes the 1913 cut-off date for land claims should be made earlier, saying the bulk of the dispossession of the black majority took place in the 19th century.

His speech will be debated by traditional leaders in Gauteng on 22 March.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)


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Friday, February 19, 2016

ANC Treason: Cyril Ramaphosa and Lonmin

COMMENT - How the ANC became the placeholder for the familiar mining interests in South Africa is a story well described in a chapter of Naomi Klein's book The Shock Doctrine. The results are for all to see, and were brought to life in a rather brutal documentary on the suppression of the miners strike at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine. Cyril Ramaphosa and the head of the police were at the center of this repression. What this article on The Guardian does not see, is that Cyril Ramaphosa had always been in the pockets of the Oppenheimers, who funded his NUM. He is now a shareholder in Lonmin.

(GUARDIAN UK) Lonmin emails paint ANC elder as a born-again robber baron
Cyril Ramaphosa, ex-trade union enforcer and co-author of post-apartheid constitution, accused of betraying striking miners
Cyril Ramaphosa

A series of emails from Cyril Ramaphosa shows his support for Lonmin's management against the 'criminal' striking workers. Photograph: Gallo Images/Getty Images
David Smith in Johannesburg
Wednesday 24 October 2012 17.58 BST
Last modified on Sunday 10 January 2016 22.36 GMT

A hero of South Africa's struggle who is now a business tycoon has been accused of having the blood of Marikana mineworkers on his hands after the release of emails he sent to mine management and government ministries.

Cyril Ramaphosa, who 25 years ago led the National Union of Mineworkers in a key strike against the white minority regime, was criticised for betraying the very people he used to represent.

Soweto-born Ramaphosa, 59, co-authored the widely revered post-apartheid constitution and remains a patrician figure in the governing African National Congress – but his business interests include a seat on the board of Lonmin, the company that owns the platinum mine where, two months ago, a wildcat strike led to a police massacre of 34 workers.

On Tuesday, the official commission of inquiry into the Marikana tragedy was shown a stash of emails written by Ramaphosa, suggesting that he sought to intervene with senior government figures on Lonmin's behalf. On the eve of the killings, he called for action against miners engaged in "dastardly criminal" conduct.

His apparent switch of sides is being described as a parable of how South Africa's liberators became seduced by crony capitalism. "It's a personal tragedy," said Adam Habib, a professor of political science at Johannesburg University. "This is the general secretary of the NUM 25 years ago and architect of the South African constitution. It's a symbolic example of the degeneration of a cadre and civil activist and how he has become entrapped by his newfound wealth. It resonates so powerfully because It's typical of many in the ANC."

Workers at the Lonmin mine went on strike on 10 August. Within four days, 10 people had been killed, including two policemen and two security guards, prompting Ramaphosa to email Albert Jamieson, Lonmin's chief commercial officer. "The terrible events that have unfolded cannot be described as a labour dispute," he wrote. "They are plainly dastardly criminal and must be characterised as such … There needs to be concomitant action to address this situation."

Releasing the email to the commission, advocate Dali Mpofu, who is representing injured mineworkers and more than 200 who were arrested, said: "This was on 15 August at 2.58pm, exactly 24 hours before the people were mowed down on that mountain. We have emails that were being exchanged between Lonmin management, government ministers [of mineral resources and the police] and at the centre is a gentleman called Cyril Ramaphosa."

Mpofu said Ramaphosa had called for action to deal with the "criminals", whose crime was to seek a wage increase.

"It is clear Ramaphosa was directly involved by advising what was to be done to address these 'dastardly criminal actions', which he says must be characterised as such and dealt with effectively." The emails showed a direct "toxic collusion" between Ramaphosa, Lonmin, mineral resources minister Susan Shabangu's department, the police ministry and state security agencies, he added, describing the shootings as "premeditated murder of defenceless people".

Ramaphosa warned the police minister, Nathi Mthethwa, to come down hard on the strikers, and was lobbied by Lonmin management to "influence" Shabangu and advised her that "silence and inaction" on the events was "bad for her and government", it was claimed.

An email from Ramaphosa with the subject heading "Security Situation" reads: "You are absolutely correct in insisting that the minister [Shabangu] and indeed all government officials need to understand that we are essentially dealing with a criminal act. I have said as much to the minister of safety and security."

In another email, Ramaphosa highlights his "interaction with some of the roleplayers", including a proposed conversation with the ANC secretary general, Gwede Mantashe, to suggest that the party intervene. There was also a proposed meeting with Shabangu in Cape Town to discuss "what she needs to do".

Two days after the shooting, Ramaphosa's Shanduka company announced he had donated R2m (£142,315) towards the funeral costs of the miners. He wrote in South Africa's Sunday Times: "There are few innocents in this tragic saga … For wherever we find ourselves, we cannot escape the sense that, through our action or inaction, we bear some responsibility for the circumstances that made such a tragedy possible. As we mourn, so too must we introspect."

Ramaphosa has been touted as a possible deputy to President Jacob Zuma in an ANC leadership election in December. Earlier this year he chaired a party disciplinary appeals committee that upheld the expulsion of ANC youth league president Julius Malema.

Siphiwo Gqala, a miner in Marikana who survived the massacre, said on Wednesday: "I'm so angry with Cyril Ramaphosa. Now there are rumours of him going for deputy president. They will be voting for someone [in December] who sent an email saying they must do something about us."

The ANC youth league called for Ramaphosa to apologise to the families of the injured and dead. "As a seasoned unionist, the ANC Youth League expected more from comrade Ramaphosa," spokeswoman Khusela Sangoni-Khawe said.

"The criminal acts he spoke of were the legitimate calls of workers demanding a decent wage. We concur with the assertions made by the legal representative of the workers: Marikana was a premeditated murder of our people and comrade Cyril has the blood of Marikana workers on his hands."

She added: "He has clearly decided to nail his flag to the mast of capital. He has sold out the people."

Rehad Desai, spokesman for the Marikana Support Campaign, said: "The journey of Cyril Ramaphosa from a talented, assiduous, brave trade union leader to a crony capitalist is a tremendous arc. It's highly disappointing for our campaign supporters who held him in high esteem over the years. We should call on the ANC to seriously consider his membership if they want to retain the respect of thinking South Africans."

Ramaphosa, who last month apologised on national radio for extravagantly bidding R18m (£1.28m) for a buffalo and its calf, declined to comment on the emails. Lonmin stated: "Lonmin's action to engage with appropriate authorities of the state was simply part of a process aimed at achieving normality."When a graphic video of the 34 strikers being shot dead by police was played at the commission on Tuesday, many grieving widows, wearing black mourning headscarves, erupted in tears. Others covered their faces in horror and one woman collapsed and was carried out of the hall.



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Thursday, January 21, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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