Saturday, July 07, 2007

Dr. Kimbwandende Kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau and Kisinsi

I was wondering - in the quest to find a more local form of government, one that takes culture into account, maybe there can be a blending of cultural forms of organisation, and central state financing, combined with local economic theory. This is from the great dr. Kimbwandende Kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau, Phd, from "African Cosmology of the Bantu-Kongo", chapter "Historical Background of the Kongo Cultural Zone" (written in 1980):


"Yet Africa is in conflict today, because of these artificial structures established by artificial African law, a law that is against the will of the African people. Africa struggles because it seeks to cut itself away from all the exploitative chains it is tied to. All investments, properties, concessions, etc. granted today in Africa under the present artificial law, are not secure for African systematic way of organization (Kimpa kia kisinsi) will not tolerate such departures from our kisinsi, the African way of life organization, and becaue these proprietorships support present inhumane regimes throughout Africa. The African future will be built on its own norms and values that are deep-rooted within its own systems, which are unfortunately unkown by the great majority of its leaders, our African Kisinsi.

Since this system is not discussed scholarly elsewhere, it seems important to me, before ending this chapter, to describe shortly what makes the main difference between this system and other systems, i.e., capitalism and socialism/communism [Kinyudiki/Kimayudukwa ye Kimumvuka/Kikintwadi].

Capitalsm, on a national level, is a system whereby the work of the majority of people produce the wealth of a few individuals who are owners of means of production. On an international level, capitalism is a system by which the world's developing countries provide the work and raw materials, to make the wealthy minority gain. In other words, the slavery of man is the basic source of capitalism and it's expansion in the world. The capitalistic view is different from the communistic one.

Communism, on the other hand, is a system that tries to control in the name of the state the wealth and the land of a given country pretending equality among it's citizens.

These two systems, capitalism and communism/socialism are, by all means, in the African view, equally imperialistic systems. These two systems are the cause of the world's insecurity because of their superficial antagonism. Because of the lack of their mutual understanding, they are destructors of international institutions, and above all, they are killers of the world's order and it's leaders. They are indeed "oiseaux de meme plumage" (birds of the same feather) whatever their tensions are. Neither system lives without their hand on the gun, because they only own the art of killing.

Contrary to capitalism and communism/socialism, the African "Kisinsi" is different. What the Bantu-Kongo, Luba, Mongo, Nyarwanda, Zulu, etc. constitute in their daily life is a system [kimpa/fu] whereby the land, source of happiness and blessing to all terrestrial life, belongs not only to indiduals, landlords, or to a state, as it respectively exists in the case of capitalistic or communistic systems, but to the essential fundamental community, kanda, and all it's members, be they poor, rich, scholars, idiots, young or elder. They all have access to that inalienable land. As a Kongo proverb says, "Community land is our life" [N'toto wa kanda ni moyo eto].

The Kisinsi is a system by which the chief is a symbol, the mambu, (literally words, affairs, policy) belong to the people of the community (society) in its entirety. In the African system, Kisinsi, the individual is never land belonging to heirs. The right to heritage belongs to the community only. The African Kisinsi is explicit here by the Kongo society, that it is a system where leadership is a moving force [Kimfumu ma kiantumba] held through the "stooling" process [mu ntumbulu] under the control of all social forces throughout their political, philosophical, religious and productive relationships in all local levels, conceptually and cosmologically generated here (see figures 6 through 17) from Kala, emerging life level and its growth toward leadership; from Tukula, through Luvemba, the step for greatest change and for abandonment of all negative accumulated elements within the system, to Musoni, the social jinn, [simbi bia nsi], the step for regeneration of forces, potentialities, and vitality needed to reshape and rebuild the sytem, i.e. the rebirth process, or the dingo-dingo, the constant back and forth of energy of change.

On the basis of these cosmological ideas, the concept of dictatorship is impossible in the African Kongo-Kisinsi discussed here through it's cosmological ideas.

The Kongo-Kisinsi is a conceptial system which is aware of Mwisikanda, the human community members, rather than about outsiders' interests [n'luta mia banzenza]. Kisinsi is a strong and fundamental African system that would build a strong Kisafelika, not a chauvinistic system or philosophy.

The Kisinsi is a huge tree which strongly emphasizes first, a positive peaceful and fraternal neighbourhood among all it's branches: on Kisafelika and Bisafelika, strong neighbourhood in continental states and it's inhabitants; on Kisinsi, strong neighbourhood among the national diversities, on Kisikanda, strong neighbourhood in the ethnic groups and communities; on Kisizunga, strong neighborhood in local communities; on Kisivata, strong neighbourhood in the village's subdivisions such as belo, mwelonzo,moyo and buta. The Kisinsi deals with all muntu, human beings, as part of the human race and its community survival.

The Kisinsi is a system of philosophy fundamentally based on tolerance. The Kisinsi punishes with care and love; it regulates social conflicts in ways of love and autocratism (zola ye ntungasani). As a member of Kisinsi, a Mwisinsi does not arm himself against another muntu, a being under the control of the dual soul-mind. He wants to see in all freedom other soul-minds develop in other bodies as in one's self in order to live [zinga, i.e., tambula ye tambikisa] receiving and passing on. Because sytems do not have the dual [mwela-ngindu] by themselves, they become worse when led by leaders whose soul-mind is under the lowest level of human value understanding. The Kisinsi, as kimpa/system in bad hands, becomes a killer and does kill.

Muntu, the soul-mind-objects [ma kia mwela ye nitu], should not kill other soul-mind-objects as a respect to himself and to his bumuntu (mindfulness). When a muntu, in whatever intention, kills another muntu, he looses his state of inner human being [mbelo a kimuntu], i.e., that of the soul-mind-object. He identifies himself with an animal, a no-soul-mind-object. Then he loses his verticality [kintomayulu], th power to think before making any decision, to yield for horizonatality [kilukongolo], the power to act instinctively as do all prostrated beings.

The act of killing soul-mind-objects is the strongest factor that reveals not only the weakness of a leader, but also his complex of inferiority and all kinds of psychological problems it may reveal. This is, in short, the main ideas that explain the Kisinsi upon which the African concept of law and crime discussed in this chapter find their roots. It is upon this system that Africa is going to build its future with its doors largely open not only to its "best friends", if they do exist, but to all its enemies, because they are well known, for they are constituted as human beings, i.e., naturally, rightly and legally co-owners of our planetary land.

African leaders must see today's world policy differently in order to understand carefully from the bottom of their hearts the role that Africa should play in the future of the human beings that we all are, for the peace of this world.

African leaders should deeply understand that the continent they are leading today has a special mission. A mission that should develop a new order which will save humanity and this world. As a Negro Slavee, Hollis Read, wrote more than a century ago, " Afric has been reserved for the development of a higher order of civilisation ". Such an order and responsibilit will never be conceived by the awakening of Africa if its leaders continue to follow the path of present world tensions based on ideological antagonisms, and, moreover, if African leaders found African nations upon personal prestige, corruption, human torture, inconceivable expenditures, meaningless projects instead of seeking solutions to real, social problems posed throughout the continent among its inhabitants: housing, nutrition, water, disease, education, transportation, poverty, rural exodus, and agricultural development.

I think it is a social crime for any African authority "paying" himself, say, $5,000 monthly in a country with an economic system where more than 90% of the citizens, because of the poor national planning policy, live with less than $100 for the year. Today's African leaders do not seem to be paid. They go as many times as they want to the national bank and "load" trunks of their cars any amount of money they desire. For them every weekday is a payday. It is a universal shame for foreign governments to support such policies, whatever be their interests, in such corrupted, undemocratic and bankrupted nations. The fall of such governments will weigh more on their supporters rather than on the supported individuals themselves.

To Africans of all ages it is about time to rethink what the Kongo ancestors aphorismically said once "Don't alow the exploitation to repeat itself" [Nkutu a zengi fwanda lumbu kimosi].

Labels: ,


(BLACK BRITAIN) Zimbabwe land issue will not going away

AU SUMMIT REPORT: Pan-African coalition rallies support for Zimbabwe
Category: africa Dated: 04/07/2007

Pan-Afrikan United Front (PAUF), a coalition of Pan-African groups in Ghana, has convened a solidarity forum in Accra to voice their support for the land reform policy of the Zimbabwean government. Godwin Nnanna reporting from Accra.

Godwin Nnanna

Land issue will not going away

The question of land is fundamental for our struggle for sovereignty. The war of liberation was about land. Of what use is independence when you don’t have control of your land? Pan-Afrikan United Front (PAUF), a coalition of Pan-African groups in Ghana, has convened a solidarity forum in Accra to voice their support for the land reform policy of the Zimbabwean government.

“The fight for independence from colonialism was a fight for our land and its resources. It was a fight to reclaim African lands from the grip of invading forces. Africa cannot say it is liberated when its land and its resources are still in the control of these invading forces,” said Affiong L. Affiong, one of the leaders of the coalition as she addressed a vociferous audience in an Accra church hall on Monday.

The group which said its mission is primarily to mobilise forces against all forms of neo-colonialism in Africa, described the move by the President Robert Mugabe-led government to “return stolen lands to their original owners” as “one of the most courageous steps ever taken by an African leader.” Affiong who chided the western media for what she called its ‘vicious’ and ‘highly destructive propaganda’ on Zimbabwe, said the group decided to put the forum together “to let the world know what Africans feel about Zimbabwe.” She added:

“The question of land is fundamental for our struggle for sovereignty. The war of liberation was about land. Of what use is independence when you don’t have control of your land? So our meeting here today is not as much about as supporting Mugabe as it is about supporting the issue. That is the problem with the way the western media is projecting the issue. They are not addressing the question of land. All they are simply interested in is to demonize Mugabe,” Affiong said.

Reacting to the statement that ‘Zimbabwe is an embarrassment to Africa,’ as made by AU chairman President John Kufuor of Ghana during his visit to London, Affiong said “Kufuor was reading his masters’ script, not speaking the mind of Africans.” According to Affiong, “It is not all governments that are in power. In many countries in Africa, Africans are in government but foreigners are in power.”

Labels: ,


The Church and the constitution

The Church and the constitution
By Editor
Saturday July 07, 2007 [04:00]

The role of the Church in the social, political, economic and spiritual life of our nation does not require much disquisition. Since time immemorial, there are many points in history where the Church has actually been more reliable than political leadership in protecting mankind or human life from all forms of destructive actions arising from the selfishness of man.

Considering the somewhat confusing statements which have been coming from some of its leaders, it is a matter of great relief that the leadership of the United Church of Zambia (UCZ) has put the record straight over its position on the constitution-making process. And looking at the contents of the full statement of the leadership of the UCZ on the constitution-making process, it is very clear that the direction that has been taken is in the interest of the majority of the Zambian people. This is how things should be.

We understand that the constitution-making process has been full of conflicted positions from many quarters of our society, not least from the Church. But we know that most of our religious leaders have been resolute in their arguments for the need to go the people’s way in everything that we do towards formulation of a new constitution. Others on the other hand, especially those who are always available to be hired as mouthpieces of political machineries, have taken positions that are completely opposite to what the people want in terms of the constitution-making process. And this is why the leadership of the UCZ, particularly UCZ synod Bishop Mutale Mulumbwa and general secretary Reverend Teddy Kalongo should be commended for making it clear that the UCZ will follow the mode of adoption recommended by the Mung’omba Constitution Review Commission (CRC). As the bishops rightly stated, the Constitution being a national document containing the supreme law of the land must be recognised and respected as embodying the sovereign will of the majority of the people.

Of course those who serve other special interests or their personal pocket agendas will do everything to campaign against the aspirations of the people over this process. Some even want to argue on the premise that the constitution-making process is a political issue and the Church should remain outside of it. Such a position is not only fallacious, but great negligence of a prophetic duty on the part of those church leaders who think this way. Given the consistent pattern of inconsistencies, dishonesty and treachery on the part of politicians, we have come to the unavoidable conclusion that politics or political processes are too serious a matter to be left to politicians alone. And this is why we think that genuine church leaders will not abdicate their role to engage in political process that are of utmost importance to the life of this nation.

So far, we think that the Church has done a great job in terms of contributing to the social, economic, political and spiritual life of our nation. We cannot imagine how overwhelmed or overburdened the government system would be today without the complementary efforts of the Church in many areas such as healthcare and education. If the Church is more than welcome to help the government in HIV and AIDS awareness campaigns or in providing health and education services by constructing and operating health centres and schools, why should they be pushed to the periphery on other serious national issues like the constitution-making process?

We are talking about this issue today because we have witnessed a lot of glaring contradictions, especially from politicians who have this mistaken view that the Church or church leaders should just confine their efforts to the pulpit. We have even heard politicians accusing Church leaders of being partisan over the constitution-making process. What is strange though is that when some church leaders support the partisan position of the government over this matter, such church leaders are not said to be partisan. When other church leaders make or advance positions that are opposed to those of the government, they are quickly labeled partisan members of the clergy and lectured on how their place is at the pulpit and not engaging in politics.

The question of partisanship is only invoked when church leaders hold opposing views from those of politicians, otherwise anything in their support goes well and church leaders will not be told to keep a distance from politics.

It is these contradictions from our politicians, which make it necessary that politics or political processes are not left to them alone because they are inconsistent, dishonest, insincere and self-serving. If politicians are allowed to drive the constitution-making process on their own, we can be assured that they will truly deliver the kind of document which they have always been striving for; they will come up with their own constitution, not that which will be acceptable to the majority of the Zambian people.

To avoid leaving room for politicians to always manipulate their way against the aspirations of the people, it is important that when it comes to political processes in our country, all stakeholders are brought on board. And we do not need to overstate the important role that the Church will continue to play in our country’s political processes. This is how we look at things and we believe this is the way things should be. So far, we believe the Church has done a great job in terms of consistently campaigning for a people-driven constitution making process and we can only urge all well-meaning church leaders to keep it so until the end of the process, even beyond.



Kazabu praises UCZ’s stand on constitution

Kazabu praises UCZ’s stand on constitution
By Masuzyo Chakwe and Zumani Katasefa
Saturday July 07, 2007 [04:00]

FORMER Kitwe mayor Luckson Kazabu has said the decision by the United Church of Zambia (UCZ) bishops to endorse the constituent assembly as the mode of adopting the new constitution is the right thing to do. Reacting to the pastoral statement that stated that the UCZ would follow the mode of adopting the new constitution through a constituent assembly, Kazabu said as a patriotic Zambian and member of UCZ, the decision by the bishops was his opinion.

He said the CRC had done its job and what was remaining was to deliver the constitution as recommended by the Mung’omba CRC.

“There is a draft constitution and those who have read it will agree that it is a very good constitution. I am glad the spokesperson of UCZ has spoken not the others issuing misleading statements. The synod is right and those of us who are members will go along with that decision,” said Kazabu.

On Thursday, the UCZ in a statement signed by UCZ synod Bishop Mutale Mulumbwa and general secretary Reverend Teddy Kalongo stated that they would follow the mode of adoption recommended by the Mung’omba CRC and called for opposing views on the matter in order to preserve peace and national unity.

They stated that the Constitution being a national document containing the supreme law of the land must be recognised and respected as embodying the sovereign will of the majority of the people.
“It is therefore necessary and unavoidable that the manner of enacting our constitution this time should include the processing and adopting the draft constitution through the CA before enacting it in the National Assembly with the necessary safeguards against watering down the people’s aspirations. This is the only process that would deal adequately with the contentious issues that need a broad national consensus before adoption,” they stated.

The duo asked all UCZ bishops, ministers, lay leaders and youth leaders to explain fully to the people the need for a good constitution that safeguards the rights of the people, promote good and efficient governance and hold those occupying public office and exercised authority fully accountable.

“In arriving at such important constitution, the bishops, ministers and lay leaders should also explain fully the need for a constituent assembly. They should endeavour to explain the importance of the forthcoming referendum and how to exercise their free will in the referendum vote,” they stated.

“Special sermons, talks and discussions to focus on Christian values and principles of our church’s social teaching as applied to current Zambian needs should be encouraged. We call for prayer sessions in all our congregations asking God for guidance, wisdom and strength of the Holy Spirit in the forthcoming referendum.”

The duo stated that the UCZ had always stood on the side of what God had revealed to be right and just.

They also expressed concern with, “the unnecessary escalating differences over the Constitution which may threaten our peace and unity”.

“During this runup to the referendum, we invite you to work towards healing divisions, promote reconciliation in your families, your Christian communities, in the nation and your surroundings,” read the statement.
Meanwhile, the Constitution Coalition 2008 (CC2008) on the Copperbelt has urged Zambians to stand up and stop government from dragging the constitution-making process beyond 2008.

In a statement issued in Kitwe and jointly signed by CC2008 chairman Darius Kanse and his secretary Gerald Mutelo, the coalition also demanded that Parliament during its next sitting give legal effect to the constituent assembly and not the constitution conference.
The duo stated that the constitution conference had been politicised, whilst the constituent assembly was non-partisan, and cutting across many non-political bodies.

"The constitution conference is a measure to preserve the government role of preparing the white paper, meaning that the government will drive the constitution-making process and determine the contents of the constitution as before, whilst the constituent assembly will give the people of Zambia the opportunity to drive the process to determine the contents of the constitution, and for once to give themselves a constitution," they stated.

The duo urged civil society organisations, churches, political parties, trade unions, associations and students, members of parliament as well as students to maintain their focus on the constituent assembly.

Labels: ,


Govt dissolves ERB, Zesco boards

Govt dissolves ERB, Zesco boards
By Florence Bupe
Saturday July 07, 2007 [04:00]

THE government has with immediate effect dissolved the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) and Zesco Limited boards. Announcing the dissolution at a press briefing yesterday, energy minister Kenneth Konga said the move was meant to ensure that service delivery in the energy sector was enhanced. He said in the recent past, there had been widespread public calls for the dissolution of the two boards as they had failed to deliver services to the expectations of both government and consumers at large.

“In order to ensure that Zambia is on course in the petroleum and electricity sub- sectors, I have with immediate effect dissolved the Energy Regulation Board and Zesco boards. I have since directed the executive director of ERB and the managing director of Zesco to be reporting to my ministry through the office of the permanent secretary,” he said.

Konga disclosed that he would institute new board as soon as consultations were completed, and assured that his ministry would come up with strategies to ensure that the new boards perform to the stipulated standards.

“Our aim is to refocus our priorities in conformity with set targets in the energy sector, because we realise that energy is the lifeblood of any economy,” Konga said. “The ministry will ensure that the boards that will be instituted deliver according to expectations.”

He said the two boards were required to have maintained a steady supply of petroleum products and electricity, respectively, but that this had not been the case. He reiterated that it would be impossible to record any significant economic growth with dwindling energy supplies.

And Konga said his ministry would within the next 30 days make an official position on the pricing model for petroleum products in the country.

Labels: , ,


Chavez threatens to nationalise privately owned hospitals

Chavez threatens to nationalise privately owned hospitals
By Larry Moonze in Havana, Cuba
Saturday July 07, 2007 [04:00]

VENEZUELAN President Hugo Chavez has threatened to nationalise privately-owned hospitals if they fail to reduce healthcare costs. In a nationally televised speech, also carried by radio Havana Cuba, President Chavez called for transforming of the 'savage' capitalist market policies practiced by private hospitals and clinics into a market of solidarity.

"If the owners of the private clinics don't want to obey the laws then the private clinics will be nationalised," President Chávez said. "This is the evil of capitalism."

President Chávez said avoiding capitalist tendencies made him expand the public-health system, building new clinics and refurbishing hospitals. Currently, thousands of Cuban and Venezuelan doctors live in poor neighbourhoods where they provide free care as part of the Barrio Adentro programme.

And on Tuesday, President Chavez said Venezuela would withdraw its bid to join South America's trading bloc, MERCOSUR, if Brazilian and Paraguayan lawmakers did not approve his country's membership before September.

"We are not desperate to enter MERCOSUR and much less so when we feel that there is little willingness within MERCOSUR for change," President Chavez said.

MERCOSUR leaders have approved Venezuela's entry into the bloc but the deal must be approved by Brazilian and Paraguayan lawmakers.
The legislatures of Argentina, Uruguay and Venezuela have already given their approval.

President Chavez sees MERCOSUR as a means for South American nations to unite against US economic and political influence in the region. But he said MERCOSUR member countries appeared unwilling to break with US-style capitalism. President Chavez said if Brazil insisted to make the Venezuelan membership in the Common Market of the South conditional, "then we are not becoming members."

President Chavez branded as imprudent Brazilian foreign affairs minister Celso Amorin's remarks asking Chávez to apologise for his comments against the Brazilian Congress. President Chavez said Venezuela had nothing to apologise for with the Brazilian Congress but rather the Brazilian Congress should apologise for interfering with Venezuelan domestic affairs.

The Brazilian Parliament endorsed a resolution condemning non-renewal of the broadcast licence for private television station Radio Caracas Television (RCTV). President Chávez said some foreign lawmakers wanted Venezuela to change its domestic policies. He said since 1999 the rightwing in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina blocked the possibility for Venezuela to approach MERCOSUR.

Labels: , ,


Friday, July 06, 2007

LETTERS - Chinese Miners, ZESCO

Magande and Chinese investors
By Concerned Zambian
Friday July 06, 2007 [04:00]

I was disgusted by finance minister Ngandu Magande’s statement on Chinese investors in Zambia. During a BBC programme on the Chinese investors in Zambia exploiting our people (miners), a Chinese manager when asked denied that anything of that sort was taking place.

One of the miners said they were forced to work under dangerous conditions and their pay was pathetic. When Magande was interviewed he said he had no idea such things were happening in Zambia. I wondered whether he was deaf and blind or he was just playing with our minds!

The so-called Chinese investors are exploiting our brothers for very little money and yet the government says they don’t know.

My brother was a victim of the disaster that happened at Chambishi Mine so I know that such exploitation is going on under the government’s nose.

I am really disgusted by the finance minister’s statement. I stand to be corrected if I heard him wrong but, if that’s what he said, he should not be selfish over the interests of his fellow citizens.

Zesco services
By George Mwale,PHI resident
Friday July 06, 2007 [04:00]

I wish to register my disappointment over the so-called Zesco services. I've been staying in Presidential Housing Initiative (PHI) area in Chainama for over three years now and the problem we've had is that of having blackouts and power outages almost on a daily basis.

Complaints have been lodged in and nothing seems to be working. All that we get when we call the customer services is that "our engineers are on the ground sorting out the problem".
For how long?

These blackouts and power outages happen at awkward times when a meal is being prepared. Is it that load shedding was only meant for PHI in Chainama? As a resident I have had my electrical appliances and perisheable goods damaged. The probability of being compensated by Zesco is zero.

Can we phase out the Sisala administration because it has failed us as consumers. Twanaka (we've had enough) of these poor services.

I wish there was another electricty company especially here in Lusaka just like mobile telephone providers. I believe a lot of consumers like me would have switched to a better service provider.

Labels: , ,


(PROGRESS) Customers Turning Away from IMF, WB

Increasingly vocal rejection of Bank, Fund

Member countries are increasingly rebuffing World Bank and IMF programmes, advice and even membership, with Latin American nations withdrawing from the Bank's investment arbitration mechanism. The most outspoken critics of the international institutions are in Latin America, especially Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez. In a surprise pronouncement at the end of April, Chavez said he would formally pull Venezuela out of the World Bank and IMF, which he dubbed “the tools of the empire” that “serve the interests of the North”.

Chavez was forced to back down from an immediate exit because Venezuela’s sovereign bond contracts require IMF membership, but confirmed his intentions to leave the institutions eventually. He stated: "There's a technical commission working on the issue. I've made an announcement which somehow can be described as a political statement on the matter."

Venezuela’s anger stemmed partly from its view that the IMF persistently under-projects growth in the country. ?For three consecutive years now they've gotten it wrong with Venezuela," said minister of finance Rodrigo Cabezas, in rejecting the IMF regional economic outlook for Latin America. He continued: “It seems like their prognoses have a kind of political commitment in order to discredit the success of the Venezuelan economy in the last few years.” The Fund report and its recommendations were also rejected by Argentina and Ecuador.

This view is buttressed by an April report from the US-based think tank Center for Economic and Policy Research, which found that IMF projections were consistently wrong in both Argentina and Venezuela. It found regular overestimation of growth when Argentina was following Fund prescriptions and underestimates when the country was in dispute with the Fund over debt renegotiation. The report concludes: “The IMF's large and repeated errors in projecting GDP growth in Argentina since 1999 strongly suggest that these errors were politically driven.”

Ecuador moves against the Bank

In April Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa declared the Bank’s country representative, Eduardo Somensatto, as “persona non grata”, essentially expelling him from the country. The expulsion relates to an accusation of “extortion” by Correa against Somensatto over the Bank’s withholding of $100 million in committed funds in 2005. The Bank withheld the money after Ecuador decided to revise the law governing its use of oil revenue.

Correa also declared in May that Ecuador’s revised constitution may recognise the concept of illegitimate debt. He has repeatedly hinted that he would declare a moratorium on debt repayments to foreigners (see Update 54) and this increases the pressure on the Bank to renegotiate the terms of Ecuador’s $748 million in debt, which Correa believes could be considered illegitimate. In April he completed the promised early repayment of the country’s IMF debt, stating: “We don't want to hear anything more from that international bureaucracy”.

Taking a more conciliatory tone, Nicaragua’s president Daniel Ortega requested a new Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) arrangement with the Fund. Still, Ortega recognises that involvement with the international institutions is unpopular, saying, "It is a blessing to be free of the Fund, and for the Fund it will be a relief to rid itself of a government that defends the interests of the poor". He stated that he planned to end Nicaragua's borrowing from the Fund within five years.

Bigger players grumbling

Latin America is not the only region with gripes against the Fund, as both Russia and China have recently vocalised their rejection of IMF policy prescriptions. Russian president Vladimir Putin called for a restructuring of the international economic architecture, saying that global institutions like the IMF and the WTO should have a much smaller role. He proposed a “new architecture of international economic relations based on trust and mutually beneficial integration”. In April, Russian deputy finance minister Sergei Storchak opposed IMF advice on the spending of oil revenues, saying that oil exporters should be free to spend their revenues however they wish.

China has also continued to reject the IMF’s advice on its exchange rate policy. Despite participating in the Fund’s first multilateral consultations on global imbalances (see Update 54, 51), China continues to resist the idea that its pegged exchange rate is improperly set. The Chinese central bank’s deputy governor, Hu Xiaolian, said in her IMFC statement, “given the limitations of various exchange rate analytical tools, it is well known that the concept of exchange rate misalignment is subject to theoretical weaknesses, their estimates highly unreliable, and therefore could not serve as a criteria or premises for surveillance.” A leader in the China Daily at the time dubbed the IMF's calls for a more flexible exchange rate as "meddling" and "disturbing"

The IMF is also facing accelerated declines in its credit outstanding with advance repayments on debt by Macedonia and Bulgaria on top of the completed early repayments by Ecuador and the Philippines. Complaints are even emanating from former US treasury secretaries. Robert Rubin, treasury secretary under Clinton, said: “The Bretton Woods system has become outmoded. … these institutions haven’t changed with the times. They need to be rethought and restructured.” And George Schultz, treasury secretary under Gerald Ford, said of the IMF: “If it disappeared tomorrow, I don’t think people would miss it very much.”

Building alternatives

To buttress these rejections of the current institutional framework, many countries are looking to build regional alternatives to the Bank and Fund. Chavez has championed the idea of the Bank of the South (see Update 55), which came one step closer to creation in May as a summit of Mercosur heads of state decided on the institution’s capital and shareholding structure. Despite last minute wrangling over the charter in June, the Bank of the South is expected to maintain equal voting rights for each of its member states.

An open letter from civil society organisations to the presidents of Latin American countries during a late June Mercosur summit called on them to "insure the necessary information, participation, and consultation with the organisations in societies which will be affected by the creation of the Bank of the South."

In Asia, moves to create an alternative to the IMF are slowly advancing. At a meeting of ASEAN+3 finance ministers in Kyoto in May, the countries of the region agreed to press ahead with an $80 billion regional currency swap arrangement. Though the leaders only reaffirmed their previous commitment to work out the details of the arrangement, regional media hailed it as a fulfilment of the desires for an Asian Monetary Fund.

Labels: , ,


Finance ministry fails to account for K1.9 trillion

Finance ministry fails to account for K1.9 trillion
By Chris Mulaliki in Solwezi
Friday July 06, 2007 [04:00]

AUDITOR General Anna Chifungula has disclosed that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning has failed to account for K1.9 trillion in unreconciled transactions at the Bank of Zambia. Addressing provincial heads of government departments and accountants at the Boma conference in Solwezi, Chifungula said the unreconciled transactions between the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Zambia had been exposed in the consolidated financial report for 2005 released by the Accountant General.

“No one has been able to explain to us where the money went and how it was used at the Ministry of Finance. These unexplained financial transactions of K1.9 trillion between the Ministry of Finance and Bank of Zambia are in the 2005 consolidated financial report which has just been released by the Account General,” Chifungula said.

She explained that Ministry of Finance withdrew money from the government account at the Bank of Zambia for various projects in the country. She said her office audited old reports because the accountant general delayed in releasing financial reports.

“As long as the system remains manual, we will continue to audit old reports. We can’t make it earlier because we do not have the technology,” she said.

Chifungula told the provincial heads of government departments to be accountable and stop misapplication of government funds. She said she would write to the Secretary to the Treasury to consider decentralising the recruitment of internal auditors.

She observed that most departments did not have internal auditors hence the misapplication of government funds.

“Internal auditors help to ensure that funds released by government are spent according to laid down projects,” Chifungula said.

And North Western Province permanent secretary Richard Salivaji urged the provincial heads to follow laid down procedures in the expenditure of government resources.
Salivaji said government had released a lot of money for projects in the province that should be put to good use.

“Misapplication and misdirection of government funds is a problem and ignorance is no defense. Some of you do not even visit the districts,” Salivaji said.

Labels: , ,


Kansanshi Mining Plc, Solwezi council to sign tax rebates deal

Kansanshi Mining Plc, Solwezi council to sign tax rebates deal
By Chris Mulaliki in Solwezi
Friday July 06, 2007 [04:00]

SOLWEZI Municipal Council is in the process of signing a memorandum of understanding with Kansanshi Mining Plc on tax rebates to ensure meaningful development in the district. Solwezi mayor Emmanuel Chihili told a full council meeting that the local authority and Kansanshi Mining were working on an MOU to be presented to government for approval.

“We are in a process of making a memorandum of understanding between Kansanshi Mining Plc and the council on tax rebates and present it to central government for approval so that more meaningful development is achieved,” Chihili told councillors.

Chihili who is an employee of Kansanshi Mining said concerned by the council over Kansanshi Foundation’s social responsibility had been addressed.

He challenged the council management to present projects it felt could be embarked on next year. And Chihili bemoaned the poor accounting system at the council, as there were no internal controls to safeguard the resources of the local authority.

He said despite the council receiving at least K2.1 billion from various sources, council programmes were not prioritised. Chihili said the external audit report for the period 1st January 2005 to February 28, 2006, revealed that record keeping was poor, revenue collection not closely monitored while payments were also not checked.

“According to the findings, we are told that our accounting system was non-existent for the period under review. Internal controls to safeguard the resources of the council were not put in place,” he said.

Labels: ,


Oasis asks ZCID for more time

Oasis asks ZCID for more time
By Bivan Saluseki
Friday July 06, 2007 [04:00]

THE Oasis Forum yesterday requested the Zambia Centre for Inter-Party Dialogue (ZCID) for more time before they could meet over the latter's proposed roadmap on the constitution review process. But FDD president Edith Nawakwi begged the Oasis Forum to engage the government properly because President Mwanawasa who had earlier shown unwillingness to have a Constitution soon has since changed.

On Wednesday, ZCID spokesperson Newton Ng’uni said ZCID had invited to the Oasis Forum for a meeting today.

But Oasis Forum spokesperson Musa Mwenya yesterday said no meeting would take place because the consultative group needed to meet first in order to come up with an agenda. He said the caucus would take place tomorrow and the Oasis had asked the ZCID to reschedule the meeting probably to Monday next week.

And ZCID executive director Chomba Chellah said the Oasis had informed him about their request to have the consultative group meet first before the ZCID meeting.
Chellah said the meeting might take place on Monday or Tuesday next week.
Ng’uni said the constitution conference would adopt the new constitution.

He said ZCID would not sideline any interest groups including the Oasis Forum and each interest group would choose and send their own delegates to the conference.
Meanwhile, Nawakwi has begged the Oasis Forum to engage the government properly and because President Mwanawasa has shown unwillingness to have a new constitution soon.

"We have achieved something. Let us give it a moral character," she said.
Nawakwi said the government and political parties through the Oasis Forum could not agree on several issues and much time had been lost. She said people should remember that President Mwanawasa who had been talking of having a new constitution by 2015 had been convinced and was now agreeable to having a new constitution by 2008.

"The government has finally agreed that they won't go beyond 2008," she said. "That is a major milestone. If there is a ray of hope, it's that ray of hope which must be exploited."
She said President Mwanawasa and politicians should be given a chance because they had shown that they were ready to dialogue.

Nawakwi said people should not make Katele Kalumba, Michael Sata, herself and any other politician a subject of unnecessary debates.
She was supportive of efforts made by ZCID because she said politicians, just like golfers, were free to have their own clubs.

Nawakwi said if having a constitution conference instead of a constituent assembly was the main issue, then all stakeholders should go back and discuss.

Nawakwi said as for herself, she was tired because in 1991 she had the multiparty battle, in 2001; she slept in the bush over the third term and the same in 2006.
"Everybody is tired. Let's get together. We want a constitution, yes, what's the restructure? What's wrong with politicians having a club?" she asked.

Nawakwi said politicians who had earlier been seen as being divided had at least come up with an agreement and the Forum could help debate the composition and other issues.
Nawakwi said PF president Michael Sata did not pull out over disagreements on the roadmap but because he wanted to make a vote of thanks during President Mwanawasa's launch of the ZCID.

"He threatened all of us. We were all waiting for him. The PF official present was literally on edge, pleading if we could allow him (Sata). That's when we all said this (no) in front of officials from ZCID," she said.

"We all refused including Kapita (UNPD vice president)."

Nawakwi said Sata's withdrawal from ZCID had nothing to do with ideologies.
"We can't be leading a country like that. It’s wrong. PF has not pulled out because it does not agree with the timetable. It has pulled out because he (Sata) demanded an opportunity, which was not given. This is the same president who went to the earlier meeting and he was there, he was happy," she said.

Nawakwi said ZCID was acting as an office for politicians because in the past those that had gone to meet President Mwanawasa at State House had been labelled as job seekers.
She said ZCID was acting as a neutral ground.

And Operation Young Vote president Guess Nyirenda has demanded that youths be represented during the constitution-making process instead of merely those coming from political parties.

He said without proper and acceptable representation of young people on the constitution conference, the whole exercise would be meaningless and a waste of time and national resources.

Nyirenda said it was unacceptable to exclude young people from participating in coming up with the new constitution.

Labels: , , , ,


Develop policies that will reduce economic volatility - World Bank

Develop policies that will reduce economic volatility - World Bank
By Florence Bupe
Friday July 06, 2007 [04:00]

THE World Bank has advised third world countries to develop policies that will reduce their economic volatility. In the June 2007 edition of the Research Digest, the World Bank observed that developing countries had continued to have the highest level of macroeconomic volatility and this was impacting negatively on development.

“The connection between volatility and lack of development is undeniable, making volatility a fundamental development concern,” the World Bank stated.

It was noted that volatility had large welfare costs on third world countries, and accounted for about five to 10 per cent deviation from the normal consumption path.

The bank cautioned that if no effective policies to curb volatility were put in place, output growth would be impeded and impact on future consumption.

The World Bank attributed high volatility levels to greater exogenous shocks in developing countries, higher domestic shocks and weaker shock absorbers.

“The greater volatility in developing countries stems from three sources. First, developing counties receive bigger exogenous shocks, which may come form financial markets caused by sudden stops of capital inflows. Increased volatility may also stem from instability in the development process and self-inflicted policy mistakes. Further, due to weak shock absorbers, external fluctuations have larger effects on their macroeconomic stability,” it stated.

Developing countries were advised to develop more stringent fiscal policies to counter the challenge of increased economic instability.

Labels: ,


Nyirongo pleads not guilty to 2 counts

Nyirongo pleads not guilty to 2 counts
By Inonge Noyoo
Friday July 06, 2007 [04:00]

FORMER lands minister Reverend Glad-ys Nyirongo has pleaded not guilty to two counts of abuse of authority. Taking plea before resident magistrate Sharon Newa, Rev Nyirongo, 49, said she understood the charge and was not guilty. Rev Nyirongo is charged with two counts of abuse of authority contrary to section 99(1) of the Penal Code chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

Particulars of the offences are that Nyirongo on a date unknown but between January 12, 2006 and February 22 this year in Lusaka, being a person employed in the public service as Minister of Lands did direct Daisy Mulenga M'soka, a lands officer at the Ministry of Lands to generate offer letters of the land in Foxdale area. The letters of offer were given to Walinase Nyirongo, Janet Isaac Nyirongo, Peter Kapolya, Peter Ngulube, Precious Ndlovu, Doris Mulenga, Mubanga Muyunji, Mickey Mukubu, Mwelwa Kamfwa, Bruce Chipasha and Dingwall Hayden in contravention of land alienation procedures, an act which was prejudicial to the interests of the government of Zambia.

On the second count, Rev Nyirongo on unknown dates but between October 2006 and April 24, 2007 in Lusaka abused her position by directing Christopher Chewe, a junior technical officer in the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, to subdivide Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Farm F/309a in property No.L/19634/M for her and did thereby obtain property for herself.

The matter comes up for setting of trial dates on July 19, 2007.
And the case in which former Zambia Airforce commander Lt Gen Christopher Singongo is alleged to have abused his authority by awarding a cleaning contract worth K486 million to Nassim Cleaning Services, a company in which he is director and shareholder, yesterday failed to take off because the magistrate was not around.
The matter comes up today for continued trial.

Labels: , ,


Attacking the Church

Attacking the Church
By Rev. Thomas K. Lumba,Ndola
Friday July 06, 2007 [04:00]

It makes sad reading to hear Pastor Nevers Mumba attacking the evangelical churches in Zambia for not being interested in the constitution-making process as reported in The Post of July 4.

First thing first: Attacking your own house, the Church in public is not the best way a mature leader should approach such emotional issues. It will only divide the unity of the body of Christ; he is criticising the churches on the pulpit. Lesson number two: Preaching to a congregation, of which my brother Nevers is so privileged, is not like debating a motion in Parliament, where his opposites may answer him back. A preacher on the pulpit can say things, no matter how untruthful, to the other side and the audience may not respond right there.

Having said that, I should point out in this column of The Post, that brother Nevers was not telling the truth. The Church in Zambia, especially the evangelical body, is very much active in the constitution-making process. As a disciplined church through their mother body, the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia, this church fully participates through the Oasis Forum. When we formed the Oasis Forum during the Chiluba third term bid, the whole purpose was for the voice of the Church to be prominent in the affairs of the constitution in this country.

That time brother Nevers was nowhere near the Oasis Forum. When Christians were voicing out for a better constitution, our Dr Mumba was enjoying the comforts of the MMD government as the number two man. If today our brother were still in the MMD government, he would not be preaching the same messages. The Oasis Forum, which has more members from the three church mother bodies, is a strong, respectful, resilient voice on the making and preserving the constitution, which even the first Republican president is giving credit to.

Because of its resolute stand, the Oasis Forum is attracting even unreliable politicians like the president of an opposition party who wants to work with it.
If Pastor Mumba wants to see every evangelical church small or big across Zambia standing to speak on the Constitution, then he is missing the whole point as that will only create confusion and more division. Besides, not all individual Christians have the privilege of being quoted in the national media for them to be heard, a privilege brother Mumba enjoys so much.

Therefore let him be told that such criticisms coming from a fellow brother will only frustrate those evangelicals who have been on the battlefield to preserve and fight for a better constitution. It is not fair! Finally, a word of advice, knowing the ambitions of our brother, he should be reminded that one day he will need the support of the very church body he is preaching against.

Labels: ,


(HERALD) BNC to open new mine

BNC to open new mine
Business Reporter

BINDURA Nickel Corporation will begin exploitation of nickel at its US$100 million Hunter’s Road project in the next three months, "if things go according to plan". Chairman Mr Kalaa Mpinga told a mining conference in South Africa recently that the firm’s fledgling Zimbabwe nickel project was expected to produce 2 500 tonnes of nickel by the end of 2008. This was in sharp contrast to his remarks as reflected in BNC’s financial results two weeks ago in which he suggested a feasibility study was still to be completed.

BNC chief executive Mr David Murangari echoed Mr Mpinga’s remarks.

"We are anticipating to start production in the next three months that is if things go ahead as planned," said Mr Murangari in an interview yesterday. "We are certainly trying to move ahead with this project."

The Hunter’s Road project involves the construction of a new open-cast mine between Kwekwe and Gweru where at least 30 million tonnes of nickel deposits containing 125 000 tonnes of recoverable nickel were discovered.

According to feasibility studies conducted so far, the site has the potential to "build and operate" a viable mine.

While Hunter’s Road deposits are of marginal ore grade, they have the potential to supply additional feedstock to the BNC smelter and refinery.

BNC’s two operational mines — Trojan and Shangani — are unable to produce sufficient ore to keep the plant running at full capacity.

The nickel mining giant says although some of the shortfalls are currently filled from external toll contracts, it is more economical for BNC to produce concentrate from its own mines.

This makes the Hunter’s Road more attractive to Bindura and its major shareholder, Mwana Africa.

The international prices for nickel are hovering at around US$50 000 per tonne, slightly down from the May record level of US$54 000 per tonne.

Mr Mpinga also projected Mwana Africa’s gold mining operation in Zimbabwe, Freda Rebecca, would double the 2007 gold output target to 90 000 ounces despite challenges facing Zimbabwe’s gold producers.

The Chamber of Mines last week said gold companies were in dire straits due to severe power cuts and late payments by the Reserve Bank, the sole authorised buyer of the yellow metal.

Last month, the chamber projected that the 2007 gold output was likely to decline by 23 percent from the 11 tonnes produced in 2006 to around eight tonnes.

Labels: , ,


Thursday, July 05, 2007

(BLACK BRITAIN) Colonial days are over, says Rawlings

Colonial days are over, says Rawlings

No British official, be he a politician or Royalty has the right to say those words about a Pan-Africanist like Robert Mugabe.

Jerry Rawlings, the former president of Ghana, condemned the statement said to be written by a Foreign Office official, which said that President Robert Mugabe would suffer a similar fate to Charles Taylor of Liberia, who is currently standing trial in the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Rawlings, who leads Ghana’s main opposition party, the National Democratic Party (NDC), said it was “disrespectful” for Britain to make such a statement about President Mugabe. “No British official, be he a politician or Royalty has the right to say those words about a Pan-Africanist like Robert Mugabe” Rawlings said in an exclusive interview with The Lens, a local Ghanaian newspaper.

Whilst acknowledging that the Zimbabwean president might have made some mistakes in governance, Rawlings said Britain should recognise that the days of colonialism are over and as such must relate with former colonies in Africa in the light of what they are – sovereign and independent states.

“Do they think we are back to those primitive eras when the colonialists could arrest and exile leaders of Africa any time they felt like it?” he questioned.

During the past six years, Robert Mugabe has been severely criticised by Britain and the USA over alleged human rights abuses and over Zimbabwe’s land reform policy, which has ensured the return of land to the black majority seized during the colonial era by whites.

Zimbabwean Justice Minister, Patrick Chinamasa who is currently in Accra for the AU Summit said the western media, particularly BBC and VOA are exaggerating issues in Zimbabwe for the selfish interests of their owners. He said what Mugabe did with the land reform programme was to redress an injustice that was done several years ago and wondered why Britain “which claims to be in the vanguard of justice should be opposed to a course of justice.”

Labels: , ,


(AFROL) Ghanaians proud of Mugabe

Ghanaians proud of Mugabe
by Staff Writer
afrol News, 2 July - The Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, won the admiration of Ghanaians when he maintained being the disciple of Ghana's founding father of independence, Kwame Nkrumah. Mr Mugabe said the legendary leader's teachings had bolstered his spirits to liberate Zimbabwe from the British colonial rule in 1980.

President Mugabe and the Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Ghaddafi were given tumultuous welcome by Ghanaians while they set foot in the country for the 9th African Union Summit.

Mr Mugabe delivered the speech at the tomb of Kwame Nkrumah - the scene of Dr Nkrumah's famous independence speech in 1960.

The Zimbabwean leader, who has been showered with criticisms home and abroad, especially in the west, took his audience down the memory lane when he flew to Ghana to borrow Dr Nkrumah's wisdom and sea of knowledge on freedom fighting.

He described the late Nkrumah as his mentor who had personally taught him at the Kwame Nkrumah Ideological Institute in Winneba city.

President Mugabe taught at Apowa Secondary School in Sekondi, Takoradi, where he met and married his late Ghanaian wife, Sally Mugabe.

"Nkrumah was a great African personality whose ideology must be preached to Africans, irrespective of one's political ideology," he said, adding that his ruling ZANU-PF cadres had been trained in the West African country.

Shifting the speech to Zimbabwe's controversial land reforms programme, Mr Mugabe scolded the outgoing British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, for his lack of political will by implementing the 1979 Lancaster Accord. This obliged Britain to fund the compensations for land acquisition in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).

By staff writer

Labels: , ,


Chinese talk, apprehension

Chinese talk, apprehension
By Editor
Thursday July 05, 2007 [04:01]

In life, especially in politics, it is very important to be clear about things. There is so much apprehension about Chinese investment in our country and on our continent - Africa. This cannot just be dismissed without trying to trace what is giving rise to it, its source. Given our historical background, a history of unbridled exploitation and plunder, including slave trade, one can understand this apprehension.

But what is more surprising is that those who have exploited and plundered our countries for centuries, those who have colonised, neocolonised us and humiliated us for all these years are the ones who seem to be more worried about Chinese investment in our countries and on our continent.

But ironically these same nations, these same people are receiving Chinese investments in their countries and are investing heavily in China. Why should they worry so much about our dealings with China? When did they become our protectors, the caretakers of our resources? If it is good for them to receive Chinese investments and to deal with China in all sorts of ways, what is wrong with us doing so? Isn’t it said that what is good for the goose is good for the gander?

Of course Africa has to learn from its past dealings with other continents and other peoples. We have not benefited much from our engagements with other nations and continents. This is the fact we must examine. We must ask ourselves why, why, why? We didn’t even benefit much from the political economy of the Cold War in the way other countries benefited from other continents. Despite our dealings with some Western countries and strong alliances with them during the Cold War, despite even giving them military bases in our countries, we did not benefit anything in the way other countries in South East Asia did. Why? Even those African countries that sided with the Soviet Union and other socialist countries failed to create a Cuba or a Vietnam on our continent. Why?

The countries that colonised us and have continued to plunder our resources did not do so and are not doing so for charity. It is self-interest that is driving them. China is not here for charity either. They are here to secure their present and future supply lines for various materials they need. And we also offer China a potential future market.

As we have stated before, no country in this world can solve all its problems and meet all its requirements by itself. Not even the United States can do so. Every country needs to engage another for supply lines of various materials and markets.

And the United States realises this very well and states it categorically. In March 1998, the United States government made public the “1998 Trade Policy Agenda of the United States” where it was literally indicated that it was set to be “aggressive, directed globally and at all key regions of the world”; that “as the most important and successful economy in the global trading system, the United States is in a strong position to use its powers of persuasion and influence to pursue this agenda”; and that “despite the substantial market openings that have been achieved in recent years, their remain too many barriers to US goods and services exports throughout the world”. Such language is distressing but it is a reality we have to deal with and struggle against.

This is the reality of the world we live in. And one can understand why our people are apprehensive about this apparent outbreak of Chinese investments in our country. Our people have never known any political or economic power that has genuinely worked for them. And truly, for all the respect and trust we have in the Chinese, for all the solidarity and help we have received from them, there is need for us to pay a lot of attention to our economic engagement with them. If we don’t do this, we will not get much out of our dealings with them, out of their investments in our country and our continent. To us, it doesn’t seem we are engaging the Chinese in the most beneficial way. We have continued to extend to them the same unbeneficial arrangements we have had with the West.

Chinese investment in this country is in many respects receiving the same treatment as that we have had with the West which has left our country and our continent poorer. We have continued to place very little value on our natural resources and a much higher value on the capital required to exploit them. We could have gotten into better deals with the Chinese in mining. The Chinese government is still participating heavily in their own country’s economy and the entities investing here are government-owned enterprises. Why can’t our government get into more beneficial joint ventures with Chinese government-owned entities?

The truth is that we have never stopped wallowing in dogma. If we are told private enterprise is the only and sure way to economic development and prosperity, we will follow that religiously or rigidly and start to believe that government has no business in business. If we are told that public ownership is the best and sure way to national prosperity, again, we will follow that blindly and at the total exclusion of private initiatives and participation. There is nothing wrong with the Zambian government going into well-organised mining joint ventures with the Chinese government. What is wrong with our state-owned Zesco going into joint ventures with the Chinese state-owned Sino-Hydro to increase the generation of hydropower in our country? What would be wrong with doing the same with our battered rail system?

There are many possibilities for beneficial business if we engage China intelligently. We have something that China badly needs and if we negotiate well, our country can benefit in a very big way. We can’t continue to deal with China on the same basis as we dealt with the West and its exploitative transnational corporations. If we do so, there is no doubt the ending will be a similar one - China will be our neocoloniser. We don’t think this is the intention of the leadership of that country, of the Chinese Communist Party. But if given a chance, they will take whatever we can give freely for the benefit of their country. After all, they don’t need to take special care because they are not dealing with infants, they are engaging a country that is being governed by well-educated adults.

So it is our duty, the duty of our leaders and our government to ensure that we engage other nations and foreign entities in a manner that maximises the benefits to our country and our people. We shouldn’t forget that whatever we are getting from the West today, our relations with the former colonisers are still distant and filled with rhetoric; they don’t constitute an act of repentance and they aren’t even aimed at making amends. Our lands, the victims of exploitation and plunder, are receiving no solidarity or compensation.

Once again, there is need to promote reflection on the national liberation of our peoples, chained by backwardness and bulkanisation. We haven’t sought to be cruel to anyone. At worst, we are only giving vent to centuries of resentment and inviting other continents, other countries and peoples to join us in seeking mutual understanding. We will be waiting for them here - until the end of time - among the birds, lions and elephants, for them to discover that this is not a zoo but the promised land.

Labels: , ,


Sata condemns Chinese investments in Zambia

Sata condemns Chinese investments in Zambia
By Chibaula Silwamba
Thursday July 05, 2007 [04:01]

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) president Michael Sata has likened the investment partnership between China and Zambia to that of a horse and a rider. And Zambia-China Business Association (ZCBA) chairman Sebastian Kopulande observed that ZCBA would not say they were satisfied with poor quality jobs offered to Zambians by Chinese investors but nevertheless there are obs bejing created.

Speaking to BBC’s senior Africa correspondent Orla Guerin on Chinese investments in Zambia at Courtyard Hotel in Lusaka on Tuesday, Sata said in the partnership, Zambia was the horse while China was the rider.
Sata said Chinese investment had not benefited Zambians in any way.

Sata said Chinese investors were just plundering everything in Zambia while the ordinary Zambians did not see any visible investments.

He said the Chinese investors had failed to manage most of the companies they had taken over from the previous owners.
Sata cited Mulungushi Textiles, Maamba Coal Mine and Chambeshi Mines, where he said the Chinese investors had failed to improve productivity.

He observed that the Chinese were not adding any value to the raw materials but instead they were extracting and exporting the materials in raw form.

“They export copper ore. They dig the whole soil,” he observed. “The Chinese are not the first miners to come to Zambia. The mines were under the Anglo Americans and ZCCM under nationalisation, probably we would not have known what we are talking about, we would have thought this is the way where people dig copper and take it away.”

Sata observed that there were many Chinese labourers working in Chinese companies than the local people.
“When the British came to Zambia, they did not bring British men to come and drive graders and bulldozers. They trained people here,” Sata said.

“The Chinese, it’s very nice for people to dramatise that they are bringing US$900 million. For every dollar, the Chinese bring one China man. They are here pushing wheelbarrows.”
However, Sata said he did not hate the Chinese per se but hated their discriminatory ideas.

“If you move the whole Cairo Road and Lusaka, you will not see any impressive building but we are told there are more than 80,000 Chinese,” he said. “We don’t see their investment.”

Sata said Zambians were poor because the Chinese had been given a blanket red carpet to invest without benefiting the locals.
But Kopulande said Chinese investors had created jobs although he could not say ZCBA was satisfied with poor quality jobs.

“We are not saying that we are satisfied with poor quality jobs. No. What we are saying is that jobs are created nevertheless,” responded Kopulande, to Guerin who had observed that he was sounding like he was saying Chinese’s low paying jobs were okay.
“The type of jobs obviously depends on the type of industry one is involved. If an investor is investing in agriculture, I don’t think the investor will be interested in employing a banker or a computer programmer who will be sitting there in a high paid job.”

He said any country had labour laws that applied to employers.
“On very poorly paid jobs, that is a matter for the authorities to deal with. Any country has labour laws and each country has to make sure labour laws are upheld,” he said.
He said Chinese investment had so far created about 10,000 jobs for Zambians.

Other than employment creation, Kopulande said the major benefit that Zambia had gained from Chinese investment was capital formation and value addition to raw materials.
He said using Chinese technology, Zambia would be able to export value added products.

“I think Chinese investment like any other is beneficial to the recipient country. I think that the deals that Zambia is making with China are more beneficial to the Zambian economy,” he said. “I don’t want to attach emotions to this debate; I would rather deal with the facts and figures.”

Later in an interview, Kopulande said Chinese investment currently stood at over US $400 million.
He said there were over 180 Chinese companies in Zambia.
Kopulande anticipated a three-fold increase in Chinese investment in the next two to three years following the US$900 million to be invested in the Chambeshi Multi-Facility Economic Zone.

Labels: , , ,


30 Zim gold mines face closure

30 Zim gold mines face closure
By Kingsley Kaswende in Harare
Thursday July 05, 2007 [04:01]

UP to 30 gold mines in Zimbabwe are faced with imminent closure because they have run out of cyanide, a critical chemical in the production of the mineral, the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe (CMZ) has disclosed. “Already, one or two mines have stopped production. I won’t give you the names but there are one or two others that are about to stop until they are given what they require,” said Doug Verden, the CMZ acting chief executive officer, in an interview.

Verden said the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) had not been able to pay out around US $200 million of what it owes the gold mines, making it impossible for them to procure the critical chemical.

“As a system, we lodge our gold with the RBZ after production. The RBZ takes 40 per cent of the foreign currency we earn, through which we are paid in foreign currency. The other 60 per cent should be paid within a specific period of time as foreign currency. In recent times this hasn’t happened. The 60 per cent hasn’t been paid to the mines, for some from as far back as November 2006. The 60 per cent that has not been paid is needed by the mines to purchase cyanide,” he said.

He said the Chamber had been following up on a regular basis with the RBZ and the Ministry of Mines to find a solution.
“It would seem the Reserve Bank does not have enough foreign currency,” he said.

Verden said several gold mines had completely run out of cyanide and most of them had cut down production quite severely. “Unless they are paid some more of their foreign currency, things will be worse, companies will most likely close,” he said. He said gold production had been falling quite dramatically due to that reason.

All the cyanide that the mining companies need has to be imported from the far East. “The companies are not being paid and all cyanide has got to be imported. You can get it locally and pay in local currency but it is hugely expensive. Those who sell it locally have to import it using foreign currency and they sell it to the mines at a higher mark up so that in the end it becomes cheap to sell your cyanide than to produce gold,” Verden said.

Gold production has fallen by about a 40 per cent. Last year, gold mines produced about 13 tonnes of gold, and Verden said they would be lucky to produce eight tonnes this year.

Labels: ,


Politics of poverty has killed E/Province - Mphande

Politics of poverty has killed E/Province - Mphande
By Christopher Miti in Chipata
Thursday July 05, 2007 [04:00]

EASTERN Province FDD youth chairperson Oswald Mphande has said politics of poverty has killed the province. And the FDD provincial leadership has called for an urgent meeting to look at the party’s way forward after the defection of three provincial leaders to the ruling party.

Commenting on the defection of Sarah Kamungu (provincial chairlady), Dorothy
Chirwa (provincial women’s secretary) and Andrew Mbazima (provincial treasurer) to MMD on Saturday, Mphande said people should not be swayed by money. “Politics of poverty has continued to kill us in this province. Some leaders are not principled, they are easily swayed by money, the people who have joined MMD have no genuine reasons for doing so,” Mphande said.

He said it would be difficult to come up with a powerful opposition if people were not principled. “If people run away from the opposition to join the ruling party, how are we going to have a strong opposition? For me, I will remain in FDD. If it means remaining with Nawakwi, I will remain,” Mphande said.

And provincial party chairperson Agaton Zulu said the provincial leadership would hold an urgent meeting over the weekend to look at the party’s way forward in the province. “We don’t know why these people defected to MMD, they didn’t tell us but we are meeting this weekend to look at the matter,” he said. He said the officials who defected to MMD were not influential in the party.

Zulu said the defection of the three leaders would not affect the party.
He urged the remaining members to forger ahead with the party. Provincial MMD chairperson Lameck Mangani welcomed the three leaders during the card renewal exercise on Saturday.

Labels: , ,


I carry out the worst job, says Masebo

I carry out the worst job, says Masebo
By Mwala Kalaluka
Thursday July 05, 2007 [04:00]

LOCAL government and housing minister Sylvia Masebo has said she is one minister who carries out the worst job. And Masebo said the death of Lusaka Province police commanding officer Wasakaza Ng’uni would have a devastating effect on the implementation of the Make Zambia Clean and Healthy Campaign in Lusaka.

Featuring on a Face the Media programme on Radio Phoenix yesterday, Masebo said certain decisions aimed at instilling a sense of cleanliness in Zambians sometimes hurt some families.
“I am one minister who does the worst job. I do things that hurt so many families but people have to understand that it is for their good,” Masebo said.

Explaining the concept paper on the Make Zambia Clean and Healthy Campaign, Masebo said there was need for people to make cleanliness a personal issue.

“Most of the young people for example think that it is normal to throw litter around because nobody teaches them that it is wrong,” she said.

Masebo also said the campaign could not be complete without improving the provision of water and sanitation services.
“The issue of water and sanitation is cardinal because without water you cannot be clean,” she said. “We are calling on the private sector in their own way to ensure that they have sufficient water for their staff in the workplaces.”

Masebo however said more investment was still required in the water sector to upgrade the supply of water and sanitation services around the country.
“We have for example come up with the National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programmee (NRWSSP) for the next five years, which will help us meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” she said. “But we still have a long way to go.”

She further encouraged the private sector to take advantage of the campaign to generate employment through the creation of innovative companies that would recycle garbage waste.
And announcing her decision to demolish the illegal market around the Independence Stadium in Mandevu, Masebo said she was devastated by Ng’uni’s death.

“That is why Wasakaza’s death makes me very sad. The market at Independence Stadium is illegal and I took note that the market must be closed,” she said. “I drove around the city and I took note that in fact one of the first things I had to do today was to brief Wasakaza and the town clerk so that starting from today they should move and remove some of these markets along the roads.”
Ng’uni died in a road traffic accident on Tuesday.

Labels: , , ,


Man 'marries' niece

Man 'marries' niece
By Patson Chilemba
Thursday July 05, 2007 [17:39]

A 25-year-old man in Lusaka is co-habiting with his 25-year-old niece with an intention of officially marrying her. Kalikonga Singogo yesterday said that he loved his niece, Ngambo Kamawe, and expressed sadness at his family's refusal to approve the intended marriage with his niece.

Singogo said he was due to meet his sister, Dorcas Kamawe, who is Ngambo's mother to conclude marriage negotiations. He said he loved Ngambo and wanted to live with her for the rest of his life. He was responding to Charity Katongo, one of his sisters who reminded him that it was an abomination for a man to marry his own niece.

"So are you sure that you want to marry your own niece and you are already living with her?" Katongo asked, as Singogo responded: "I told you that I would come to see you today over this issue, but why have you come here at his Chilenje house?"

Asked if he loved his niece and wanted to be with her in marriage, Singogo responded: "Yes, I love her and I want to marry her." But Kamawe said she would not allow the two to stay together because doing so would mean condoning 'abomination'. She expressed sadness, saying it was unthinkable that such a thing could happen.

"We are all surprised. It hurts because a person cannot marry his own niece. This is unacceptable and an abomination which can never be entertained. I'm very surprised at what is happening," Kamawe said emotionally.

Kamawe said she got the biggest shock of her life on Wednesday night when Singogo approached her and disclosed that he was getting married to her daughter.

She said both Ngambo and Singogo were living with her in Lusaka's Chalala area until Wednesday when they shifted to Chilenje in order to fulfil their desire to marry.

Kamawe said Singogo and Ngambo had been brought up together since they were 16 years and suspected that their love relationship started during the time they lived together.



Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Wasakaza was selfless - Banda

Wasakaza was selfless - Banda
By Thomas Nsama and Patson Chilemba
Wednesday July 04, 2007 [17:56]

VICE-PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda today wept at late Lusaka Province police commanding officer Wasakaza Ng’uni’s house. And Inspector General of police Ephraim Mateyo has said the police service and the nation have lost a gallant police officer in Ng’uni. Vice-President Banda who visited Ng’uni’s house was overtaken by emotions and broke down as mourners wailed. Vice-President Banda described the death of Ng’uni as a great loss to the nation.

“It’s very sad to lose a selfless police officer and it’s also sad that he has faced an early death. It’s very sad that the President (Levy Mwanawasa) will arrive only to receive such sad news. Wasakaza Ng’uni was a role model to young policemen. He was also a great husband and a great father,” Vice-President Banda said.

“As I’m seated here with the Inspector General to my right, we have to establish exactly what really happened because wasakaza Ng’uni was a very important person to Zambia and there is no way we can lose him without investigation.”

Vice-President Banda was accompanied to Ng’uni’s house by mines minister Kalombo Mwansa, deputy home affairs minister Grace Njapau with her Permanent Secretary Peter Mumba, Works and Supply Permanent Secretary Bizwayo Nkunika and commissioner of police Francis Kabonde.

And Mateyo said he was saddened at the death of Ng'uni whom he said was also his personal friend.

"The death of Ng'uni has taken me 20 miles backwards. Yes, not only the police service but the nation, we've lost a very brave police officer. You can replace somebody but will that person be able to deliver a lot as the other person did?" he wondered.

Mateyo said the vehicle Ng’uni was driving rolled three times.

“According to the information we have so far, we shall say that it was an accident but we can’t rule out foul play since we are still investigating the cause of the accident,” he said

Mateyo said he was always encouraged by Ng'uni’s commitment and dedication to the service.

"I've lost a friend who was by my side 24 hours. We've lost a gallant police officer," Mateyo said. "I'm very saddened at the untimely death of Ng'uni."

Ng'uni died on last night (Tuesday night) in a road traffic accident along the Great North Road in Lusaka's Kabangwe area.

One of the residents of Kabangwe, Davison Siame said he heard a loud bang and when he went out to see what had happened, he discovered Ng'uni had been involved in an accident.

"We were in our houses around 21:00 hours and heard a very loud bang. When we went out we found this man in the drainage so that's how we ferried him and took him to the hospital," said Siame.

“He was thrown out of his vehicle into the drainage. When we went to pick him up, he wasn’t speaking and he wasn’t that badly injured. We didn’t even know whether he was dead or alive but we just picked him and put him in the vehicle. He hardly uttered any word.”

Siame said Ng’uni’s vehicle had its windows shuttered. No one could give an account of what caused the accident but police assistant spokesperson Chrispin Kapela said police would carry out forensic investigations to ascertain the cause of the accident.

A check at the Lusaka Central Police yesterday found the wreckage of the chaser vehicle Ng'uni was driving on the fateful night. Police sources disclosed that Ng'uni was driving from Kabangwe area where they said he owned a farm and a plot.

Mourners are gathered at house number 12 B, Twin Palm Road, in Lusaka's Kabulonga area.

Labels: , ,


(VenezuelaAnalysis) Venezuela and Iran Increase Economic Integration

Venezuela and Iran Increase Economic Integration
Tuesday, Jul 03, 2007 Print format
By: Chris Carlson -

Mérida, July 3, 2007 (— Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez met his Iranian counterpart, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, in the Islamic Republic of Iran this weekend, where he signed at least 17 agreements and formalized the construction a new joint petrochemical complex on the Iranian coast, further strengthening the growing relationship between the two nations in recent years.

The two presidents announced their intention to "defeat imperialism" yesterday as they signed several joint trade and industrial agreements. Chavez assured that the increased cooperation between Iran and Venezuela "plays an effective role in defeating imperialist politics and the salvation of nations."

"The election of governments in the region [of Latin America] that are against the United States shows that U.S. imperialism has been weakened," assured Chavez.

Upon arriving to Iran on Saturday, Chavez emphasized that Iran and Venezuela are two nations that have taken the road toward national development without impositions from Washington. Chavez reminded journalists that for decades Venezuela was a country that only exported petroleum and imported everything else. But now, with the help of many countries including Iran, Venezuela is moving forward with multiple strategic projects. Iran has collaborated with Venezuela in various industrial projects including the production of automobiles, tractors, and plastic products.

Among the new agreements signed between the two leaders are plans for several joint companies. With the intention of strengthening the industrial sector, the two nations have agreed to study the possibility of constructing a factory to produce small pieces for the metals industry. Also discussed was the formation of a joint factory to produce tool machinery, a factory to produce machines and molds to be used by plastic companies, and another factory for the production and assembly of bicycles.

Another agreement establishes plans to build ten small plants with Iranian technology for processing milk in Venezuela. These small plants would be used by small producers in the country. The two countries also signed an accord to create a food and milk-processing company in Venezuela.

On Monday the two leaders officially inaugurated the construction of a large petrochemical complex with an annual capacity of 1.65 million tons of methanol. Located about 800 miles south of Tehran, the complex will be a joint company with 51% belonging to Iran, and 49% to Venezuela and will have a total cost of 700 million dollars.

The two governments have plans to build a second identical complex in Venezuela as well with the purpose of opening markets in Latin America to Iran as the complex in Iran will open new markets, such as India, to Venezuela.

In their classic style, both presidents criticized the United States and "North American Imperialism" at a joint press conference during the inauguration of the new complex. Venezuelan President Chavez sharply criticized the posture of the United States towards Iran and accused them of trying to make the Iranians look like "some barbarians who want an atomic bomb."

"The real barbarians are those who occupied and destroyed Iraq, the real barbarians are those who attack the Palestinian people," said Chavez going on to also criticize the European colonization of Latin America.

"Those who destroyed the Inca civilization are barbarians. The genocidal murderers who destroyed the Aztec and Maya civilizations are barbarians," he said.

Chavez stressed that Latin American countries are trying to create their own model of development, "not based on North American values nor European ones, but on our own indigenous values."

Labels: , , , ,


(RASTA SPEAKS) Distorting Zimbabwe: West Indies Cricket and Media Propaganda

Distorting Zimbabwe: West Indies Cricket and Media Propaganda
By Ras Tyehimba
July 03, 2007

The Express editorial of June 20th 2007, in arguing against a West Indies tour of Zimbabwe, describes Zimbabwe as an increasingly explosive place and adds that, "...there is another matter having to do with the legitimacy of the Mugabe-led government and the correct stance democratic nations in the world should adopt with respect to what continues to be a relentless assault on the human rights of not only politicians opposed to Mr. Mugabe but those of his own people."

This editorial titled "Mugabe deserves Windies bouncer" is a small drop in the ocean of Western propaganda regurgitated by local mainstream media about Zimbabwe. This is due in no small part to the unwillingness of local media to go past the biased reports of bigger international news agencies. The local mainstream media does not have a history of being critical of Western news stories and, as such, have a hard time reading between the lines or even doing their own analysis of varying perspectives on a particular issue. The local mainstream media has shown repeatedly that they can not properly analyze events closer to home, such as the recent "terror plot" or situations surrounding Venezuela and President Chavez, far less for an AFRICAN country thousands of miles away. Their subservience to Western international media means that they can do little more than peddle propaganda that is in line with the hegemonic interests of the United States and major European countries.

In this situation, the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) as well as several media commentators are objecting to the West Indies 'A' Tour to Zimbabwe on 'moral' and 'safety' grounds. However, I do not recall any objections by the Trinidad Express or by WIPA when the West Indies toured Pakistan last year, where the present leadership came to power via a coup. Nor have I ever heard any protests by WIPA or by any local media to the West Indies touring Australia where White Australians have been committing human rights abuses against the indigenous people from the very day that they invaded the land of the aboriginal people.

Furthermore, the Australian objections to a Zimbabwe tour, which WIPA is mimicking, is not only political, it is hypocritical. The Australian government continues to stand upon a legacy of land dispossession, kidnappings, genocide, abuse and inequality that has characterized the relationship between White Australians and the indigenous Aboriginal population. In Australia, where non-Whites are sometimes subject to open racial abuse and violence, for those who seem to be such staunch and moral defenders of human rights, there is an eerie silence.

Dinanath Ramnarine, the WIPA chief executive, said that the doubts about safety, "...resulted from discussions with various stakeholders and persons with intimate knowledge of the existing situation in that country." He added, "They have spoken of security treats, violation of human rights and a highly volatile situation that could threaten the safety of the players." In a similar fashion to reports from the Trinidad Express Newspaper, the Trinidad Guardian carried a story, originally published on the Cricinfo website which quotes an unnamed source inside Zimbabwe as saying that any assurance of safety from the police, "...was not only worthless but a sick joke." Without providing the context in which some parties may offer such opinions is not only misleading but also dishonest. Of course, quoting a source who is anti-government will give an exaggerated and unfavorable picture of the conditions in Zimbabwe in an effort to bring about an outcome that is seen as most damaging to the present Mugabe government. Journalists cannot act as if these dynamics are new to them.

Tony Cozier, writing in the Trinidad Express, quotes US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Christopher Dell who predicts that, "...the inflation rate would reach 1.5 million per cent by the end of the year, causing 'massive disruption and instability' that would result in the collapse of Mugabe's government."

To those who have been carefully following the situation in Zimbabwe, this is meant as more of a promise than a prediction, as the United States and Britain have been actively trying to bring about regime change through sponsoring Non-Governmental Organisations, media and opposition forces to create unrest, strife, suffering, chaos and economic collapse in their effort to topple Mugabe's government. The U.S. State Department has even admitted to sponsoring public events aimed at discrediting the Zimbabwe government, as well as sponsoring opposition forces, some of whom have publicly endorsed the violent removal of the Zimbabwean government. It is clear that the actions of the US are tantamount to sponsoring terrorism, if ever people can get past the present biases of terrorists being bearded, Koran-toting Muslims.

The targeting of the Zimbabwean government by the US and Britain is very much connected to Mugabe's moves to reclaim the land that was stolen by British colonialists. Before this, he was very much the darling of Britain and the United States, and was conferred with honorary doctorates and awards, some of which were retracted after he went against the interests and desires of the White farmers. Since then, Western interests have had a vested interest in not only instigating instability and economic collapse, but also in exaggerating the nature of social conditions in Zimbabwe to reinforce their point that Mugabe is a corrupt dictator whose policies are destroying the country. This hides the fact that the negative social conditions being experienced in Zimbabwe today are largely as a result of DELIBERATE policies and sanctions by Western interests (including the IMF, international charity organisations and the international media). These entities have no genuine interest in the well-being and human rights of Zimbabweans, but are intent on preserving colonial privileges and ill-gotten gains.

WIPA's chief executive, Dinanath Ramnarine and Tony Cozier have been naïve in buying into Western media reports about instability and unsafe conditions in Zimbabwe, especially as this type of imperial interference has happened numerous times in world history. A good example is Haiti, who, once it seized its freedom and independence, was isolated from the international community while deliberate external influence was exerted to ensure that successful running of the country was extremely difficult, if not impossible. It has also been happening in our neighbouring Venezuela, where the US through organisations such as the CIA and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) have been sponsoring and supporting opposition forces who are against Chavez and his social reforms, which are aimed at reversing the ill effects of decades of corruption and oligarchic rule in Venezuela. The local mainstream media have also been irresponsible in peddling Western propaganda about President Hugo Chavez and his Bolivarian Revolution.

Clearly, WIPA and others have not understood the issues properly, but rather are just following the lead of Australia who has cancelled their tour to Zimbabwe and bitterly condemned the Zimbabwean government. The Australian cancellation is part of the very deliberate plan to isolate and undermine the Zimbabwean government to cause economic instability and social chaos that would hasten the departure of the democratically elected government. Local mainstream media and their blind subservience to Western aligned international news agencies also contribute to the suffering in Zimbabwe with their one-sided reports on Zimbabwe. Of course, this is no different to how they generally report world news.

It is important to note that President Mugabe is by no means a saint, and there will be people in Zimbabwe who will have legitimate reasons to be against him. This is no different from any country in the world, where there will be people who will have valid objections and criticisms against their government. However, what I am concerned with is the high degree of foreign interference in the affairs of Zimbabwe that started after the moves to reclaim the estimated seventy percent of arable land that remained in the hands of the White settler elite in the post-independence period.

Even given that there are economic problems being experienced in Zimbabwe, how does this translate into safety risks to players, above and beyond risks that are encountered in any country that is being toured? The safety issue raised by Australia, and swallowed by WIPA, is a smokescreen for deeper motives of Western interests that are centered around a hypocritical and paternalistic dissatisfaction with Zimbabwe's land reforms. It is no wonder that West Indies Cricket is in such a bind, as so many of the main actors depend on England and Australia to lead and think for them. The WIPA Executive, Tony Cozier and the local media deserve a collective bouncer for their blind subservience and lack of thinking skills. I am not so much concerned with whether or not the West Indies 'A' Team tours Zimbabwe, but more with the willingness and enthusiasm of WIPA and some cricket commentators to unwittingly be a part of an imperialist and politically motivated effort to discredit and undermine the democratically elected Zimbabwean government. However, all is not lost, as the general population, who have also been victims of the poor coverage of international news (especially on Venezuela and Zimbabwe), can take the opportunity to become familiar with alternative perspectives on world news and their implications for Trinidad and Tobago.

Labels: , , ,


Standards set by thieves

Standards set by thieves
By Editor
Tuesday July 03, 2007 [22:00]

It was a privilege for Richard Sakala to work for the government.
In exchange, Sakala had an obligation to perform honestly, efficiently, effectively and in an orderly manner all his duties and obligations. The main thing in public service or politics is integrity.

In public service or politics, true leadership requires choosing, in every instance, the position that allows you to sleep peacefully at night. If people abuse the public offices entrusted to them, they must be held accountable. And in trying to make a public servant accountable, the idea is not to disgrace him, or to harass him but simply to make him accountable.

We agree with Sakala when he says that “power should be used in a proper manner” and that “the people of Zambia repose power in the authorities so that they can use it for the betterment of society”.

We also agree with Sakala when he says that those in power should abide by the laws. This is exactly what his prosecution and conviction for abuse of office and theft of public assets was intended to achieve. How else can those in power be expected to abide by the laws if the laws are not invoked when there are transgressions?

There is a contradiction here. In one breath Sakala is calling for accountability and in another he is advocating impunity. This is simply because his is not a principled position. It is a position influenced by self-preservation, self-interest. The wrongdoings Sakala was convicted for and for which he served a jail sentence were correctly adjudicated and there is no impartial tribunal that would not have found him guilty or liable.

There is no doubt that Sakala abused his office and he stole public assets. He can appeal anywhere he wants, but he will not be able to overturn the decision that sent him to prison.

His petitioning Parliament is nothing but an act of desperation. Our Parliament is not part of the judicial process. There is a separation of powers in this country which is well defined in our Constitution. The role of Parliament is to make laws and that of the Judiciary to adjudicate. And this is what prevailed in Sakala’s case. Parliament made the laws under which Sakala was charged, tried and convicted. The Judiciary used these laws to adjudicate and sent Sakala to prison.

It is clear that Sakala, like all crooks and thieves, is trying to play smart but not necessarily being clever. It won’t do for him to try and assign to Parliament duties that our Constitution has assigned to the Judiciary.

Sakala’s general claim that the judicial system in our country is corrupt merits some examination. But if it is corrupt, who corrupted it? We know that it was the Chiluba regime, of which Sakala was part, that corrupted the then chief justice of our country, Matthew Ngulube. There is enough evidence on this issue. If there are any other judicial officers that were bribed, it is they who had bribed them and should just tell us who they had bribed and with how much. We say this because for now, there is no evidence of any judicial officer having been corrupted by those in power. The only evidence we have is of the Chiluba regime corrupting judicial officers like Ngulube. This is how they operated and probably they cannot believe that other people can do things differently. Is Sakala telling us that the magistrate or judge who handled his case was corrupt? We have no doubt that Sakala’s case was properly handled and there was no corruption whatsoever in the court’s decision to imprison him. The only corruption lies in Sakala’s own deeds or misdeeds. It is Sakala who is corrupt and not the magistrate or judge who heard his case.

Today Sakala is talking about justice and fairness in the treatment of fellow human beings. Is it because he is being made to account for his wrongdoing? We ask this question because there is nothing in the way the Chiluba regime conducted its affairs that shows any element of justice or fairness in the treatment of fellow human beings. We remind Sakala to look at the way the Chiluba regime treated the founding president of our country, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, and other leaders of the UNIP government. Look at the way they were denied their benefits and left to die in poverty and destitution while Sakala and his friends were sharing the government and parastatal houses and other assets these same people had built or established! Look at the way opposition UNIP leaders were harassed and humiliated and their party destroyed by Chiluba and his minions! Look at how Dr Kaunda was harassed and humiliated at the hands of these same people who today want to deceive us that they are the champions of justice and fairness! Look at the way they nearly killed Dr Kaunda and Dr Rodger Chongwe in Kabwe without even being remorseful about that attempted assassination! What about Chiluba’s trumped-up treason charges against Dr Kaunda, Princess Nakatindi Wina, Dr Rajan Mahtani and the late Dean Mung’omba and their detention! We will not talk about the harassment and persecution we had to endure under the hands of this same Sakala and his boss, Chiluba. It is not necessary for us to talk about this because it ended up in a dramatic way, it boomeranged on them and as a result Sakala went to prison and Chiluba and other members of their league are today facing criminal charges in our courts of law and have been found liable for defrauding the Zambian government in the London High Court.

Sakala is praising Chiluba for being a very strong man, he should know better being a jailbird that Zambian criminals are strong, they don’t easily break. Yes, Chiluba is a strong thief. Chiluba has no alternative but to pretend he did nothing wrong even when the evidence against him is clear for all to see and is insurmountable in all respects. Is it justice for a people’s servant to take more than a million dollars from pubic coffers to go and buy designer clothes from boutiques in Europe when most of his fellow citizens live on less than a dollar a day and cannot even afford the cheapest painkiller? Is that justice? Is that fair? Is that how one should treat one’s fellow citizens? We ask these questions in the Sakala style and fashion seeking honest answers which we know we can’t get from Sakala, Chiluba and their tandem of thieves. But we ask them because we know the people of Zambia will answer them in an honest way by ensuring that they support all the moves and initiatives to make Chiluba, Sakala and other members of their criminal syndicate account for their misdeeds, for their crimes against the people of this country.

Lastly, Sakala has the audacity to accuse Zambian journalists of mixing facts and their personal opinions in news reports. Anyway, criminals are very daring people because they have nothing to lose. Everything positive they get is a bonus. Sakala has totally nothing to lose because he is a well-known crook who openly abused his public office and stole government assets. Sakala, when he was at State House, abused the state media in a manner no special assistant to a president in this country has ever done. So what schooling of the media can Sakala really undertake or champion? And what standards can Sakala teach the media – the standards of thieves and crooks? Yes, there is need to separate commentary or opinions from news or facts. Most of our publications in this country do that. Their comment or opinion pages are clearly distinguished as such from their news sections. In fact, if there are any violators of this, it is the same media that is owned by plunderers, by these same crooks and thieves.

We will continue to focus on Chiluba and his tandem of thieves so that impunity is eradicated from public affairs. And we do this in the name of justice and fairness in the treatment of our fellow human beings because where there is impunity, it is not possible to have justice and fairness.

This country will not be governed on the standards set by thieves, criminals and plunderers of all hues. The people will set their own standards to deal with thieves.

Labels: , ,