Saturday, August 04, 2007

(HERALD) ZimTrade eyes Zambian market

ZimTrade eyes Zambian market
By Perry Kaande

ZIMTRADE plans to set up a mega retail shop in Zambia that will market Zimbabwean products, as the trade promotion body intensifies its efforts to increase exports into the region. ZimTrade chief executive Mr Herbert Chakanyuka said this move was in line with the National Export Strategy and should be in place by early 2008.

"To increase exports into Zambia and in line with the National Export Strategy, ZimTrade will be carrying out a feasibility study of setting up a retail mega shop to market and sell Zimbabwean products by early 2008," he said.

Mr Chakanyuka noted that Zambia was one of the key markets for Zimbabwean products, hence the need to consolidate Zimbabwe’s position in the market.

He also highlighted that by virtue of being Comesa members both countries stood a chance to gain favourable trade concessions from such a move.

"Zambia and Zimbabwe are Comesa members giving Zimbabwean exporters a competitive advantage over non-Comesa member states, because products which qualify to meet certificate of origin criteria, will enter the market duty free," he added.

Most of the products that found their way into the Zambian market were value added products.

A delegation led by ZimTrade is currently in Zambia with a contingent of Zimbabwean companies taking part in the Agricultural and Commercial Show in Lusaka.

Twelve companies, among them PG Industries, printing concern Kalamazoo and electronic component manufacturer Mukonotronics are participating in the showcase which runs from August 2-6.

Apart from facilitating and sponsoring companies in export initiatives, ZimTrade is involved in various activities and services in strategic areas. These include market and product research, trade fairs and exhibitions, assistance in trade policy formulation and developing sustainable international trade.

ZimTrade was also at the head of a recent excursion by Zimbabwean food processing companies to an exhibition in South Africa.

Labels: , ,


(HERALD) Tsvangirai flees

Tsvangirai flees
Herald Reporter

Chaos at wholesaler as faction leader’s move backfires MDC faction leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s propaganda attempt to negatively portray the price freeze ordered by Government backfired when he was made to flee after being confronted by Harare businesswoman and wife of Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander Mrs Jocylene Chiwenga at Makro Wholesale in Harare on Wednesday.

With the international and local private media in tow, Tsvangirai stormed the shop where shoppers were ordered to make way for him and his coterie of reporters and photographers.

Stunned shoppers were told that the "President" was coming in, but Mrs Chiwenga would have none of it.

"I thought it was President Mugabe and I became curious because I wanted to see my President because there is only one President ruling Zimbabwe and that’s President Mugabe. But to my surprise, it was Morgan Tsvangirai," she told ZBC-News last night.

Mrs Chiwenga confronted Tsvangirai and told him in his face that he was responsible for the illegal sanctions hurting Zimbabwe and the Western machinations to use price increases to effect illegal regime change.

She said the opposition leader bolted out of the shop as shoppers gathered.

People who spoke to The Herald last night said it was ironical that Tsvangirai, who has previously said he is prepared to lead Zimbabweans in a revolt against the Government, ran away from an unarmed individual.

Tsvangirai’s reporters were focusing on empty shelves, ignoring those that had stocks.

Mrs Chiwenga bought groceries for her village and city homes at the same shop. The groceries were shown on television last night, including her till receipt.

In an attempt to twist what happened, some newspapers and online news websites claimed Mrs Chiwenga caused mayhem at the shop by attacking journalists and shoppers and insulting Tsvangirai.

Mrs Chiwenga said she would sue the media organisations and Tsvangirai himself as she had not attacked anyone. She wondered how she could have beaten up men including the well-fed Tsvangirai.

Staff at the shop said the opposition leader had come to assess the level of stocks following the price freeze ordered by Government in June to arrest runaway prices that had left the majority of people unable to afford basic commodities and spurring inflation.

Reports said Tsvangirai had visited some shops in the central business district.

The opposition leader has criticised the price freeze which, however, has been welcomed by consumers who were weighed down by extortionate price increases that had become the order of the day.

Labels: , ,


Govt to continue signing deals with big investors

Govt to continue signing deals with big investors
By Joan Chirwa
Thursday August 02, 2007 [04:00]

GOVERNMENT has said it will continue making development agreements with large-scale investors, and has promised to publicise the whole process for public scrutiny. And the government has further indicated that it would not allow tax holidays in the mining sector, but work towards the adoption of a standard corporate tax rate for the industry.

In a draft mining policy compiled by the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development late last year to replace the 1995 policy, the government states that once the new policy is implemented, new development agreements would be subject to issues such as parliamentary ratification, containing fiscal relief measures preceded by being gazetted and published for public scrutiny.

The proposed new policy further states that although development agreements would be continued, provisions relating to the fiscal climate would only be included in exceptional circumstances and only after inter-ministerial approval including the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and parliamentary ratification.

The government is also planning on the periodic review of tax incentives and other forms of fiscal concessions in the new policy to reflect changing macro-economic and market conditions.
Discussions are currently going on regarding the revision of the development agreements made with the mining companies several years back, considering that copper prices were currently fetching at an attractive price on the international market.

In this year’s national budget, the government also announced that royalty taxes would be revised from 0.6 per cent and two per cent to three per cent for both base and precious metals respectively.
This is an effort to increase government revenue from its vast mineral resources.

The country last year gained K35 billion from mines in form of royalties compared to profits of above K1 trillion earned by the mining companies in the country.

And the document further indicates that the government is currently seeking ways of removing barriers to equity participation by Zambians in mining companies.

It is noted that the challenge of increasing the level of ownership and participation by Zambians in mining companies is assuming growing importance.

The draft policy states that the absence of the Zambian private sector in the ownership of the mining industry remained a major challenge for the government.

“Government will do its utmost to remove barriers to equity participation by Zambians in mining companies, within the overall framework of the citizen economic empowerment Act passed by Parliament,” states the policy.

Labels: ,


Sale of Africa’s natural resources faces more scrutiny than weapons -

Sale of Africa’s natural resources faces more scrutiny than weapons -
By Brighton Phiri
Saturday August 04, 2007 [04:00]

THE sale of Africa's natural resources is subjected to more scrutiny than the sale of weapons, Botswana President Festus Mogae has observed. Officially opening the 81st Zambia Agricultural and Commercial Show on Thursday, President Mogae asked Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) leaders to pay much attention to the region's supply constraints, inability to compete regionally and globally.

"This is of critical importance because global competitiveness in terms of quality, packaging and labelling, reliability to supply goods in the required quantities, and on time, determine who enters and remains in the market place," President Mogae said. "We therefore need to fully commit ourselves to making our region an economic hub of choice, which will competitively attract investors and promote the growth of our regional trade."

President Mogae, however, expressed his concern with the international media's misrepresentation of Africa's economic potential.

"It is a matter of great concern to us as African leaders that the international press still wants the world to believe that natural resources are a curse to Africa and that conflict in some parts of Africa are essentially a fight over natural resources," President Mogae said. "While that might be true in a minority of cases, the sale and utilisation of our natural resources is a blessing and a source of economic empowerment for our people. It is, therefore, rather strange that the sale of our natural resources has been subjected to more scrutiny than the sale of weapons that are actually used to kill human beings."

He commended Zambians for being with their Botswana counterparts in their efforts to convince CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) that some SADC countries needed to manage their elephant herds if they were to avoid environmental disaster.

"We need to convince those of our citizens who live side by side with elephants, that elephants are a source of their economic empowerment and not just a destructive liability. It therefore makes good sense to be allowed to sell some of our ivory for the benefit of such communities and for sustainable conservation of our elephant population," he said.

President Mogae, however, observed that while the SADC Protocol on Trade had been under implementation since the year 2000, intra-SADC trade had not grown as fast as the SADC leaders expected.

He urged SADC leaders to consider looking at factors that had contributed to the less-than-expected growth in regional trade.
President Mogae further observed that the region had never constructed a new electricity generating plant during the last 20 years, resulting in the steady depletion of surplus generating capacity.

He said the region had to invest at least US $1.8 billion per annum to achieve a load growth of three per cent per annum.
And President Mwanawasa explained that the citizen economic empowerment Act was aimed at promoting the economic empowerment of citizens and local companies, besides promoting gender equality in access, owning, managing, controlling and exploiting economic resources in the country.



Crumbling of UDA worries KK

Crumbling of UDA worries KK
By Noel Sichalwe
Saturday August 04, 2007 [04:00]

DR Kenneth Kaunda yesterday expressed concern at the crumbling of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA). In an interview, Dr Kaunda wondered what had happened to the alliance that was meant to unite three opposition political parties. "I want to discuss this matter with the people who were involved," Dr Kaunda said. "I will be talking to them and understand exactly what was the problem. I want to understand what has caused this development."

FDD general secretary Newton Nguni last Sunday said the UDA was a dead issue. And UNIP vice-president Njekwa Anamela has said UDA has outlived its usefulness after the 2006 tripartite elections. Anamela said UDA was meant for the 2006 elections and that the party had now concentrated on strengthening its structures to prepare for the 2011 elections.

He said after conducting a post-mortem for the 2006 elections, the performance of the alliance and the challenges ahead, UNIP had decided to concentrate on strengthening its structure rather than concentrating on UDA. Anamela said UNIP was now ready to participate in any elections as a party whenever they would arise. He said his party had made a deliberate political position to distance itself from the alliance. He said it was good that UPND had also made its position clear on the matter.

This followed an earlier statement by UPND president Hakainde Hichilema announcing the pulling out of UDA. And Hichilema said UPND would have done better in the last elections if it participated as a single party. He urged his members to campaign for UPND ahead of the 2011 general elections.

The National Assembly has since said UDA members of parliament that have been elected to Parliament would not be affected by the crumbling of the alliance.
Media liaison officer Chikomeni Banda said members of parliament under UDA were elected on their individual political parties.

He said the fact that the parties that formed UDA - UNIP, Forum for Development and Democracy (FDD) and United Party for National Development (UPND) - did not dissolve prior to the 2006 tripartite elections meant that their individual members of parliament would continue occupying their seats in the House.

Labels: , ,


Gordon Brown and the poor

Gordon Brown and the poor
By Editor
Saturday August 04, 2007 [04:00]

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's commitment to the cause of the poor, to the cause of poverty eradication, cannot be doubted. As Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom and as chairman of the International Finance Corporation, we remember very well how Prime Minister Brown not only advocated that rich nations give more to the developing world, but also urged wealthy nations to cancel unpayable and unsustainable debts owed by poor nations. He did not only ask other nations to do that which he could not do.

He led by example, by committing the United Kingdom in 2005 to pay not less than 10 of the developing world's debt bill as a way of fighting poverty. And most of the benefits have come to Africa.

To further show his commitment for a fairer and more just world, Prime Minister Brown earlier this year called for the modernisation and reform of the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. And he had justifiable and genuine reasons for his proposition. He justified his call for a new order not only at the UN, but also at the institutions which have not helped much to reduce world poverty and inequality - the World Bank and the IMF - by arguing that today's globalised world was not the same as the post-1945 world in which the international institutions were created.

He argued that the institutions therefore must adapt to deal with the overarching impacts of globalisation. He stated that globalisation had changed the world, and needed to work for all people through economic and social justice. He linked the necessity of reforming the institutions to the fight against terrorism. Prime Minister Brown's statement was not essentially new because it echoed previous calls for reform of the institutions. However, its significance was that it was coming from an unusual source.

At the United Nations in New York last week, Prime Minister Brown reminded the world again that a lot more needed to be done to deal with poverty and underdevelopment. He could not have put it any better than this: "It is time to call it what it is: a development emergency which needs emergency action". By this remark, what Prime Minister Brown was calling for is a new drive for the world to meet the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which most countries, including Zambia, may not achieve as targeted.

If the truth is to be told, it is no longer doubtable that unless something magical is done, most nations will skip these targets because nothing much has occurred in terms of working towards the goals. But as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said: "The clock is ticking louder and louder every day. To reach the goals on time, we have to take concerted action now. Some say we will not make it but I say we still can."

As Ban admits, the true position at the moment is that many countries are off-track in terms of achieving MDGs and, although he himself is optimistic, most nations are actually off the rail as far as their journey to MDGs is concerned. This is particularly so for African countries, and Zambia is not an exception. We stated sometime this year that an assessment of the progress, or the lack of it, towards achievement of MDGs in Zambia is not encouraging. We may not necessarily have to go target by target to prove why Zambia is off-track in terms of achieving the MDGs because at the moment, we already know that more than three quarters of Zambians live with and experience poverty every day. And many households continue to go hungry. If we are to look at the health sector, the picture shows a state of hopelessness. Although a lot has been said about the need to improve maternal health care, in line with the fifth MDG, it is reported that Zambia's maternal mortality ratio at the moment is 728 per 100,000 live births. According to the United Nations Population Fund, Zambia's maternal mortality rate ratio of 728 per 100,000 live births is among the highest in the region.

These are the realities that tell us that we are not doing much in terms of achieving MDGs. And this is why it is encouraging to see leaders like Prime Minister Brown being consistent in reminding the rest of the world that world poverty should still occupy the high table of the development agenda.

Going by the state of world poverty today, where billions of people struggle to make ends meet on a daily basis, nobody can doubt Prime Minister Brown's conclusion that world poverty and underdevelopment is a development emergency which needs the attention of all those who are committed to the cause.

And we encourage Prime Minister Brown, since he has over the last few years proved to be consistent in his call for the eradication of poverty from the global stage, to keep drumming it in the heads of other world leaders, that apart from other challenges that face the world, poverty, hunger, disease and backwardness are also a reality which the world cannot afford to stand by and watch.

We can only hope that the British Prime Minister will keep his enthusiasm to tackle the challenge of poverty because the poor's voice is hardly audible - although the poor man or woman's challenges are the most visible - and perhaps a strong voice from a leader of a strong nation will have some meaning and bear some fruit, at least one day.

Labels: , ,


Friday, August 03, 2007

(PROGRESS) Brazil Files WTO Complaint Against US Welfare Handouts

Brazil Files WTO Complaint Against US Welfare Handouts

Following on the footsteps of an earlier Canadian complaint, Brazil has asked the World Trade Organization (WTO) to open up consultations between it and the United States over the latter’s farms subsidies. The request for consultations, first announced by Brazil on 11 July, comes on the heels of a 9 June request by Canada that a WTO dispute resolution panel be formed in a similar dispute.

Both Canada and Brazil have alleged that the United States has exceeded the US$ 19.1 billion a year it is allowed to hand out in corporate welfare scandals (so-called “amber box” agricultural subsidies) under WTO rules. In particular, Brazil and Canada claim that the United States exceeded the limit every year between 1999 and 2005, with the exception of 2003.

The latest Brazilian move comes as the United States and Brazil have locked horns in negotiations aimed at concluding the Doha Round of WTO talks. The stumbling blocks for those negotiations have been the dual issues of welfare handouts to agribusiness corporations in developed countries, and access to developing-country markets. Negotiations on these two issues between the G-4 — the United States, the EU, India and Brazil — fell apart last month, resulting in the group itself being disbanded.

In 2005, Brazil won a long-running dispute against the United States over the latter’s subsidies to cotton farmers. Brazil alleges that the United States has been slow to dismantle cotton subsidies in accordance with the WTO ruling. Currently, a WTO Compliance Panel is examining whether the United States has sufficiently changed its welfare handouts to cotton agribusiness corporations to comply with the ruling.

The United States recently labeled as “unacceptable” a proposal by WTO Agriculture Committee Chairmen Crawford Falconer calling for the country to cut cotton subsidies by 82%, according to the July 20th issue Inside US Trade.

Under WTO rules, a 60-day consultation period will now take place, after which Brazil can request that a panel be formed to look into the allegations. Earlier in the month the Canadian request for a panel was blocked by the United States, a move that is allowed once per request under WTO rules. Canadian officials have since suggested that Canada will wait to re-file its request in order to facilitate a possible alignment of the two cases should Brazil eventually request a panel after its consultation period.

Labels: , , ,


Economic empowerment

Economic empowerment
By Editor
Friday August 03, 2007 [04:00]

As Nelson Mandela once said, the world is not short of words, it needs action. It is easy to coin terms or phrases for this or that policy or programme. However, it is not as easy to match rhetoric - often coated in sweet sounding phrases such as "economic empowerment" - with action. When one looks at the case of Zambia, it is not an exaggeration to say that the country is in many areas not in short supply of rhetoric as far as economic planning is concerned.

Considering the mountains of documents and the piles of data on economic policies that have not been of significant use to the people in terms of economic progress, it is actually an insult and mockery for those in government to continue bombarding the people with pieces of legislation that do not offer any tangible ways of improving their lives. What should be understood is that policy making should not just be about copying what other countries have been doing because some countries may be coming up with certain policy initiatives based on their socio-political or socio-economic history.

The point about policy making is not just to have heaps and heaps of documents containing plans of action. The real issue is to do with the pragmatism that goes with ambitious planning. And this is what President Levy Mwanawasa - never mind his violent reaction to the advice - was being reminded about in Livingstone last week; that it is easy to sit down and draw up a document, advance recommendations and outline plans of action. And this is what Levy and his economic advisors have been doing over the last few years. However, the crux of the matter is whether or not these plans or recommendations are followed to the letter.

As if the policy documents which the government has been making over the years are not enough, we now have what is called the Citizens Economic Empowerment Act, which was assented to on May 12, 2006. According to the preamble, this legislation is:

"An Act to establish the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission and to define its functions and powers; establish the Citizens Economic Empowerment Fund; promote the economic empowerment of targeted citizens, citizen-empowered companies, citizen-influenced companies and citizen-owned companies; promote gender-equality in accessing, owning, managing, controlling and exploiting economic resources; encourage an increase in broad-based and effective ownership and meaningful participation of targeted citizens, citizen empowered companies, citizen-influenced companies and citizen-owned companies in the economy in order to contribute to sustainable economic growth; remove social customs, statutory provisions or other practices that limit access to any particular gender to skills training that is essential for effective participation in the economic sector; promote the employment of both gender by removing structural and discriminatory constraints that hinder any particular gender from employment opportunities and in so doing ensure equitable income distribution; promote equal opportunity of targeted citizens and citizen-empowered companies, citizen-influenced companies and citizen-owned companies in accessing and being awarded procurement contracts and other services from State institutions; promote Greenfield investment through joint ventures and partnerships between local and foreign investors in order to enhance broad-based economic empowerment; and provide for matters incidental to or connected to the foregoing."

Clearly, everything about this Act is very sweet. Sweet to the point that one may even bite their tongue. But as we have stated already, the most difficult task is not about policy formulation. After all, the government may not even be actively involved in policy formulation as it may just engage consultants to come up with a framework, like we already know that even for tax policy reforms the government has to look to the International Monetary Fund or to the World Bank for our land policy review.

At the expense of sounding cynical, we can say with confidence here that it would not be quite strange to discover that even this Citizens Economic Empowerment Act might just be one of the many policies which turn into white elephants immediately they are endorsed by the government or, in the case of laws, assented to by the President. And the laughable yet annoying irony is that so much money is normally paid to consultants who draft these policies which never really take off. So we are good at creating jobs for consultants to draft policies which we are actually incapable of implementing.

Talking about economic empowerment of citizens, we need to start looking beyond simple mottos or themes. It is futile to engage in debates about economic empowerment if we still have many of our people failing to claim a stake in our economy. It is worthless to talk about economic empowerment if there is no commitment by those in government to ensure that the investments that come into our country have direct positive effects on the people, either through business opportunities or through employment prospects. Economic empowerment is not about cosmetic policy legislation; it is about passing on real economic benefits to the people in ways that we have already alluded to.

Empowerment is about giving opportunities to all the people of Zambia, not just extending generous incentives to external capital or what those in government call foreign investment. Economic empowerment is not about empowering certain sections of groups only; it is about empowering all the people of this country. Economic empowerment should be aimed at creating equality and fairness in the distribution of our national resources.

So as we keep reciting these mottos and themes about economic empowerment - just like we are doing during this year's agricultural and commercial show - let us begin to apply pragmatism to these themes. Otherwise there is no justification in us hanging on to themes or indeed policies which we either have no use for or are not serious about.

Labels: ,


Africans must feed themselves - Mogae

Africans must feed themselves - Mogae
By Joan Chirwa and Kabanda Chulu
Friday August 03, 2007 [04:00]

BOTSWANA’S President Festus Mogae has said African countries must continue to feed themselves and others with food deficits in order to enhance regional co-operation. And President Levy Mwanawasa has expressed sadness at the manner in which the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) was conducting the crop marketing exercise which officially opened on June 1.

Speaking to journalists after he toured selected stands at the on-going 81st Agricultural and Commercial Show under the theme ‘Economic Empowerment,’ President Mogae said Zambia had a comparative advantage in agricultural production owing to its conducive environment for various agricultural activities.

President Mogae was the guest of honour at this year’s Agricultural and Commercial Show which opened its gates to the public yesterday and runs until next Monday.
“I am very impressed by the show and all that the exhibitors have done. Africans have to feed themselves,” President Mogae said. “It is important that Zambia continues producing, looking at its comparative advantage, so that we can continue to feed those nations with food deficits. We need to feed each other like we are trading among each other in the region.”

And President Mwanawasa, who also toured some stands yesterday morning, expressed his disappointment at the slow pace at which FRA was moving in purchasing maize from the farmers across the country.

“I am not entirely happy with the way FRA is purchasing maize and I urge them to double their efforts because agriculture should become the mainstay of our economy,” President Mwanawasa said.

As at July 27, 2007, the FRA had purchased about 131,000 metric tonnes of maize against their target of 400,000 metric tonnes by September 30 this year.
President Mwanawasa further said Zesco Limited had been facing numerous challenges in electricity generation and hoped the current rehabilitation works would minimise the looming power deficit in the region.

Labels: , ,


Empower local entrepreneurs in mining sector, Sichula urges govt

Empower local entrepreneurs in mining sector, Sichula urges govt
By Fridah Zinyama and Kabanda Chulu
Friday August 03, 2007 [04:00]

ZAMBIA Chamber of Small Medium Business Associations (ZCSMBA) executive secretary Maxwell Sichula has urged the government to find ways of empowering local entrepreneurs in the mining sector saying foreign investors will leave when copper prices go down. And former Zambia Manufacturers Association (ZAM) vice-president Oswald Mwewa has said if given correct financial backing, the Citizens Economic Empowerment (CEE) Act will be implementable.

Meanwhile, in his message to the 81st Zambia Agricultural and Commercial Show which opened yesterday, President Levy Mwanawasa admitted that past economic policies had failed to address poverty levels and unequal distribution of wealth among local citizens. Commenting on the economic performance during the first half of this year, Sichula said several macro-economic indicators were moving in the right direction showing that Zambia’s economy was improving.

"The economy is going in the right direction when looking at the number of investments in key sectors such as mining, manufacturing, tourism and agriculture but the biggest challenge is that all these major developments are in foreign hands," Sichula said.

"It is not a grudge but a reality because very little is trickling down to ordinary Zambians. We want to see more local entrepreneurs getting empowered so that they stake their prowess in their own economy and foreigners should just top up and the government should find ways of doing this since you cannot rely on foreign investors when copper prices goes down."

He said Zambians were the only ones who could be able to sustain the current positive developments obtaining in the economy.

"There is no reason why we cannot sustain these achievements because local entrepreneurs have the capability to develop and drive this economy forward since all their profits will be retained locally," said Sichula.

And Mwewa said the CEE Act was a very good document but it would not help in empowering Zambians unless there was financial backing supporting it.
"As someone who was part of the committee set up to help come up with the CEE Act, I feel that government will only be able to successfully implement the Act if it avails resources to the citizens," he said.

Mwewa said availing finances to the citizens would go a long way in helping them to invest in major sectors of the economy.

"How can anyone who has good ideas contribute favourably to the economy unless they have access to finances?" he wondered.

Mwewa said one of the greatest challenges that most Zambians seeking to embark on business ventures have been experiencing was lack of adquate financing.
"If government, using the CEE Act, avails finances to the public, it will enable most citizens to embark on feasible business ventures that can contribute to sustainable economic development in the country," said Mwewa.

And President Mwanawasa said that government had an obligation to redress and remove various inequalities in the economy hence the creation of the Citizens Economic Empowerment (CEE) Act.

"The growth and development of the country cannot be attained without the participation of the citizenry. Therefore, the CEE Act is a tool for wealth creation and employment generation by integrating economically disadvantaged citizens into mainstream economy," said President Mwanawasa.

Labels: , , , ,


Chitoba, Koyi should not be sacred cows - Mususu

Chitoba, Koyi should not be sacred cows - Mususu
By Noel Sichalwe
Friday August 03, 2007 [04:00]

DEC Commissioner Ryan Chitoba and his deputy Jacob Koyi should not be sacred cows in the fight against corruption, Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) executive director Bishop Paul Mususu yesterday said

And Evangelical Youth Alliance International president Reverend Moses Lungu who has called on the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) director general Nixon Banda to resign for investigating Chitoba has been employed as DEC chaplain.

Meanwhile, two DEC employees whose letters of transfer and demotion were published in The Post on Wednesday have been charged with releasing official documents to unauthorised persons.

Commenting on the ACC investigations against Chitoba and Koyi for abuse of office, Bishop Mususu said it was sad that individuals were being protected to the extent that the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) was even able to challenge Banda to resign for investigating Chitoba and Koyi.

"There should be no sacred cow whether somebody has the right connections or not," Bishop Mususu said. "It is sad that an individual could be protected from being suspended to pave way for investigations. It shouldn't be any different from what happened to Gladys (former lands minister Gladys Nyirongo). What we need are not individuals but institutions that will run government programmes effectively. The campaign against corruption should not be looked at from individual faces or connections. That is why the majority of people involved in corruption are doing so because they are protected. That is why as a Church, it is important to fight the corruption of the yesteryear but what will be important is to stamp out corruption now."

Bishop Mususu said Chitoba and Koyi should be suspended to allow ACC conduct independent investigations. He said after the investigations, the duo could be re-instated if allegations against them would not be substantiated.

"Mr Chitoba and Mr Koyi should leave ACC to conduct their investigations properly. That is not to say he is guilty. The best thing he can do now is to step down. I am sure Zambians are watching to see how this matter will be handled," he said.
And according to the DEC order of appointment issued by DEC chief investigations officer Molly Hameja, Rev Lungu was employed on July 24, 2007 as investigations officer and chaplain.

Rev Lungu had earlier in the week accused some DEC officers of hiding the truth and called on Nixon Banda to resign. He said DEC officers claiming to have been victimised by the command were themselves unprofessional because they were trading in information and now wanted to escape the consequences of their misconduct. He said his organisation had a deliberate policy to support the government of the day and that was why he took particular interest in the activities of the government of the day.

However, Transparency International Zambia executive director Goodwell Lungu disclosed that Rev Moses Lungu was defending Chitoba and Koyi because he was looking for a job at DEC.

Goodwell Lungu said: "We are very much aware that Reverend Lungu is a very much interested party in this matter as he applied for a job as chaplain at DEC and attended interviews. We advise him not to jeopardise his chances of employment by engaging in issues he has little evidence on."

The order of appointment also indicated that DEC had employed 17 office orderlies to be stationed in Lusaka. DEC had further demoted Justin Phiri from the position of senior investigations officer to investigations office and Jacqueline Chisi from senior human resource management officer to clerical officer.

Meanwhile, about 16 DEC employees were transferred to other provinces, some on suspicion that they leaked information relating to the financial scandals at the institution.
Sources have also confirmed that two employees whose letters of transfer and demotion were published in The Post on Wednesday have been charged with releasing official documents to unauthorised persons.

"Jacqueline Chisi and Mable Lumbwe have been charged and have been asked to exculpate themselves," the sources said.

The sources have also said some of the employees who were transferred last week have started leaving to their posted stations.

"Now, we are wondering how the ACC will protect these people because they promised to stop any transfer of those people who could be potential witnesses. We are hoping that the ACC can stop these people from going away since some of them will be witnesses," said the source.

Labels: ,


Thursday, August 02, 2007

George Ayittey on “Coconut Republics”

George Ayittey on “Coconut Republics”
Posted by CareTaker on June 4, 2007 in Opinion, Ghana

Ghanaian economist George Ayittey (author of Africa Unchained) is one of the speakers at TED conference.

It is normal TED tradition for speakers to do a pre-presentation Q & A:

“In the months before each TED, we ask speakers to fill in a short, casual questionnaire for the program guide, answering questions like “Who are your heroes?” and “Family apart, what are you most proud of?” Most speakers write a sentence or two for each. But for TEDGlobal 2007, iconoclastic Ghanaian economist George Ayittey took it to a whole different level. His Q&A came back as a 6-page polemic, including a sharp, off-the-cuff dissection of the toxic “coconut republics” of Africa. Powerful and funny, it was too good to keep to ourselves. “

Below is George Ayittey’s complete Q&A, reproduced from TEDBlog:

What are you best known for?

CONTROVERSY. But my admirers refer to me as “unorthodox,” “unscripted” or “The Cutlass (machete),” who slashes through the thicket of suffocating platitudes and excuses to deliver the bitter truth about post colonial Africa.” Personally, I regard myself as an intellectual “rebel,” kicking against the old “colonialism-imperialism paradigm” which has landed Africa in a conundrum. By this paradigm, everything wrong with Africa is the fault of somebody else — hostile external forces (Western colonialism, imperialism, the World Bank, etc.) and never the fault of misguided leadership. Witness Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.

I am known for pushing the view that the old paradigm is now obsolete. It is kaput. We need a new way of thinking or a new paradigm that stresses the importance of internal factors as well. For example, brutal political tyranny, arrant economic mismanage, rampant corruption and senseless civil wars have nothing to do with artificial colonial borders or Western imperialism. Rebel leaders do not seek to redraw boundaries; they head straight to the capital city because that’s where power lies.

What are you working on now?

To save Zimbabwe from implosion. We hope to achieve peaceful change in Zimbabwe through the convocation of a “Sovereign National Conference.” It is the same mechanism (the Convention for a Democratic South Africa — CODESA) which was used to dismantle apartheid in South Africa. If it worked in South Africa, then it will work in Zimbabwe.

What are the five words that best describe you?

“African solutions for African problems” — exactly five words. I coined that expression in 1992 when the international community mounted “Operation Rescue” to save Somalia. I argued in a Wall Street Journal editorial what the Somali crisis was an African problem requiring an African solution. I was proved right. The U.N. and the U.S. pulled out of Somali in 1993, bringing an end to the international rescue mission which cost $3.5 billion.

Who are your heroes?

Africa’s peasants. In particular,

* The women farmers who break their backs to produce food,

* The women traders, who bring food surpluses to the markets,

* The native African fishermen, who, without the aid of modern navigational tools, manage to go to sea and return safely to land their catches of fish.

* The native African artisans and craftsmen, who use their own ingenuity to weave one the world’s most beautiful cloths (kente), carve masks and sculptures (the stone sculptures of Zimbabwe).

What products (or books, music, films) have you created?

I have written five books on Africa, established the Free Africa Foundation to advance the cause of freedom in Africa. “Africa is poor because she is not free” is our motto. I have also established “Malaria Free Zones” where we take an African village of about 1,000 people, spray the village to rid it of mosquitoes and give free insecticide-treated bed nets and anti-malarial drugs to the villages. We have established these MFZs in Ghana, Benin, Nigeria and Kenya. We work in collaboration with the village traditional authorities. We have also built a school library for the school children in Nkyenekyene (Ghana), a medical clinic at Obregyimah (Ghana) and provided microcredit loans to 100 village women at Teacher Mante (Ghana).

Family apart, what are you most proud of?

Tossing out of office the tyrannical regime of Fte./Lte. Jerry Rawlings in 2000 through the ballot box and establish real democracy in Ghana. President John Kufuor describes me as “one of the architects of change” in Ghana. I worked with activists on the ground to corral the squabbling opposition parties into an electoral alliance. We hope to repeat this success in Zimbabwe.

What headline(s) would you like to read about yourself in 2020?

“Ayittey Told You So.” In 1993, I predicted that Rwanda would implode. Nobody took me seriously and I was dismissed as a “doomsayer.” Rwanda blew up in 1994.

In March 1999, I stunned the audience at the Conference in Porto, Portugal, organized by the Mario Soares Foundation (named after Portuguese president, Mario Soares) that Ivory Coast, Togo, and Zimbabwe will implode.

Nine months later, in Dec 1999, General Robert Guie staged a military coup in Ivory Coast, setting in motion events that eventually culminated in a civil war in Sept 2000.
Earlier in March 2000, the descent of Zimbabwe into chaos and economic collapse began with fraudulent elections. Togo blew up in 2005.

The following African countries are standing in line, waiting to blow up: Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Libya, among others.

I don’t want to read this in 2020: “Ayittey Told You So.”

Describe an idea that you’d like to see spread more widely

That the solutions to Africa’s myriad problems lie in Africa itself and they entail returning to and building upon Africa’s own indigenous institutions of private ownership of the means of production, free village markets, free enterprise and free trade.

Politics apart, what drives you crazy?

Tomfoolery in a “coconut republic.” This invites a comparison with a banana republic. In a banana republic, one might slip on a banana peel but things do work — now and then for the people, albeit inefficiently and unreliably. The water tap has a mind of its own. Occasionally, it might spit some water and then change its mind. Buses operate according to their own internal clock, set according to Martian time — whatever that is. By the grace of God or Allah, a bus might arrive, belching thick black smoke. Food and gasoline are generally available but expensive, if one is willing to contend with occasional long lines. The police are helpful sometimes and protect the people by catching real crooks. There is petty corruption. Now and then, a million dollars here and a million there might be embezzled. Such a banana republic often slips into suspended animation or arrested development.

A coconut republic, on the other hand, is ruthlessly inefficient, lethal and eventually implodes. Instead of a banana peel, one might step on a live grenade. Here, the entire notion of “governance” has been turned completely on its head by the ruling bandits. The chief bandit is the head of state himself. Their water taps run all the time; the people can collect rain water. There are inexhaustible supplies of food and gasoline for them, but not for the people. And there are no buses for the people. Period. Those shiny buses that ply the road are for vampire elites. The people can walk. The republic sits atop vast reserves of oil and exports oil. Yet, there is no gasoline for the people since the country’s oil refineries have broken down. Funds earmarked for repairs had been stolen and refined petroleum products must be imported. The country may also be rich in mineral deposits – such as diamonds, gold, col-tan. Yet, the mineral wealth has produced misery.

A coconut republic is:

1. Where Uganda’s Agriculture Minister, Kibirige Ssebunya, declares that: “All the poor should be arrested because they hinder us from performing our development duties. It is hard to lead the poor, and the poor cannot lead the rich. They should be eliminated” (New Vision, Kampala, Dec 15, 2004). He advised local leaders to arrest poor people in their areas of jurisdiction.

2. Where the country runs out of paper with which to print money (Zimbabwe): “Reserve Bank officials told IRIN that plans to print about Zim$60 trillion (about US$592.9 million) were briefly delayed after the government failed to secure foreign currency to buy ink and special paper for printing money.”

3. Where the government tames hyperinflation by banning price increases: “In Jan 2007, the Government of Zimbabwe said it would tame the country’s 1,600 percent inflation rate by making wage and price increases illegal” (The New York Times, Feb 13, 2007; p.A5)

4. Where the rulers claim they are fighting “terrorists” when they themselves are the real state terrorists (Liberia, Sudan, Uganda, Zimbabwe). Charles Taylor of Liberia once had an “anti-terrorism unit” run by his son. Even the warlords of Somalia “formed what they call an anti-terrorism coalition” (The New York Times, May 1, 2006).

5. Where the head of stqate, Yahya Jammeh of Gambia, declares that anyone aspiring to his job needed “to wait like a vulture, patiently,” because he planned to stay in office at least 30 years longer” (The New York Times, April 19, 2006; p.A6).

6. Where about $709 million and another ₤144 million recovered from the loot the Abachas and his henchmen stashed abroad were quickly re-looted. “The Senate Public Accounts Committee found only $6.8 million and ₤2.8 million of the recovered booty in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) (The Post Express, July 10, 2000).

7. Where a former minister of finance was found hiding — where else? — in a coconut tree: “Zambia’s former finance minister, Katele Kalumba, was arrested and charged with theft after the police found him hiding in a tree near his rural home. Mr. Kalumba, who had been on the run for four months, is being charged in connection with some $33 million that vanished while he was in office (The New York Times, Jan 16, 2003; p.A8).

8. Where the head of state, General Samuel Doe of Liberia summoned his finance minister — “only to be reminded by aides that he had already executed him” (The New York Times, Sept 13, 2003; p.A4).

9. Where the police are highway robbers and the judges crooks. Tell a police officer that you saw a minister stealing the people’s money and it is YOU he will arrest. Asked to investigate the brutal murders of Robert Ouko and British tourist Julie Ward, Kenya police issued this report: “Foreign Minister Robert Ouko was presumed to have broken his own leg, shot himself in the head and set himself afire. Two years earlier, Kenyan officials suggested that a British tourist, Julie Ward, lopped off her own head and one of her legs before setting herself aflame” (The Washington Post, April 20, 2001; p. A19).

10. Where the police show their courage by fleeing. On 16 December 1998, Corporal C. Darko and Constable K. A. Boateng at a Police Station in Accra, Ghana, were instructed to go and arrest Samuel Quartey, who was reported to police for being involved in a theft case. “When the suspect came out brandishing a cutlass (a machete), the police officers did what most people would have done — took to their heels with the speed of lightning that could have made an enviable record had they been timed” (The Mirror, 2 Jan 1999, 1).

Coconut antics drive me nuts.

What is the one message you would like to send out to the world?

That Africa is capable of solving its own problems and developing. The leadership has been the problem, not the people.

What project of yours would you like to see brought to fruition?

The boat building project which I will talk about at the conference. The traditional way of fishing by dug-out canoes is arduous and limits the size of the catch. So I am working with a local entrepreneur to build bigger boats so that more fish can be landed by the native fishermen. It fits in my philosophy that the best way of moving Africa forward is go back to our “roots” and improve upon the existing ways of doing things. We, African elites, never did this after independence. We imported nearly everything, including nuclear-powered fishing trawlers to speak hyperbolically, never building on our own. A larger boat built domestically will provide jobs, land bigger catches of fish and save foreign exchange.

Even more important, I would like to change the dysfunctional elite mentality. The richest persons in Africa are heads of state, governors and ministers. So every “educated” African who wants to be rich — and there is nothing wrong with wanting to be rich — heads straight into government or politics. I would like to change this mentality and show the elites that they can safely make their riches in the private, informal sector; for example, by improving upon the existing ways of doing things — fishing (building bigger boats), marketing (building better markets, not air-conditioned malls), etc. If they make their money in the informal sector, nobody will haul them before commissions of enquiry come a change of government. Had the elites done this, Africa would have written a better post colonial economic report.

What initiatives related to Africa do you see as most important?

Reform, reform, reform. Reform of the abominable political systems with its concentration of power. Only 16 out of the 54 African countries are democratic. Reform of the statist economic system to grant more economic freedom to the African people, as existed in their own traditional economic systems. And reform of Africa’s dysfunctional institutions. In particular, these six institutions are critical:

An independent and free media (Only 8 African countries have this),
An independent central bank,
An independent electoral commission,
An independent judiciary,
An efficient civil service, and
A neutral and professional security (military and police) forces.

Give Africa these six institutions and Africans will do the rest of the job.

Labels: ,


George Ayittey

Speech by George Ayittey, Taking Africa Back, One Village At A Time



(HERALD) West slanders Zim’s fight for freedom

West slanders Zim’s fight for freedom
By Stephen Gowans

ZIMBABWE is in the grip of an economic crisis. Food and electricity shortages plague the country, but because Zimbabwe is singled out in the Western media for special attention, it seems as if its problems are unique, not part of a wider pattern of scarcity in sub-Saharan Africa, but the product of the misguided policies of the Mugabe Government.

There’s a message in the Western media spin on Zimbabwe: reclaiming land and working to put the economy into hands of nationals leads to economic meltdown. It’s best to leave historical patterns of domination alone, and to adapt to the prevailing balance of power.

In a July 28, 2007 article on the regrettable state of Zimbabwe’s economy, The Washington Post points out that "daily power outages are forcing Zimbabweans to light fires to cook and to heat water". Wood poachers have stripped nearly 500 acres of conservation woodland.

But what the Post doesn’t point out is that it’s not only Zimbabweans, but people throughout sub-Saharan Africa, who are stripping forests bare to provide heat and cooking fuel.

The reason why is rolling power blackouts. "Perhaps 25 of 44 sub-Saharan nations face crippling electricity shortages." Drought, climbing oil prices, and the chaos caused by privatisation of formerly state-owned power companies have created an "unprecedented" power crisis that not only affects Zimbabwe, but Zambia, Nigeria, Angola, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda and Togo.

Even South Africa was hit by rolling blackouts in January and sporadic power failures continue to bedevil the country.

Yet, as a mark of how the Western media frame their reporting to discredit Zimbabwe, it is in Zimbabwe alone that the electricity shortages are attributed to the policies of the Government.

Zimbabwe’s "power, water, health and communications systems are collapsing", the Post notes, "and there are acute shortages of staple foods and gasoline". The newspaper points to critics who say economic mismanagement and Harare’s land reform policies are to blame.

But acute food and fuel shortages are common to neighbouring countries. If Zimbabwe is short of fuel, "Uganda’s gas stations are . . . short of diesel for vehicles." If there are shortages of food staples in Zimbabwe, there are close to two dozen other countries in sub-Saharan Africa that are contending with food scarcity, according to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation.

Since neighbouring countries have not pursued Zimbabwe’s fast track land reform policies, and have tended to shy away from the economic indigenisation policies Harare favours, fuel, electricity and food shortages can hardly be attributed to policies uniquely pursued by Harare. The aim of the media’s propaganda is clear: to discredit the Mugabe Government’s economic independence policies by suggesting they are to blame for the country’s economic difficulties.

Unlike other sub-Saharan countries, Zimbabwe is a target of economic sanctions, which have made the region-wide drought and oil-price-rise-induced crises more acute. The sanctions, imposed by the US and EU, deny Zimbabwe access to international development aid. NGOs, following the Western governments that provide their funding, have also cut off assistance, amplifying the sanctions’ effects.

Are the sanctions justified?

The West’s opposition to Zimbabwe began in the mid-90s, when the Mugabe Government failed to undertake pro-foreign investor (often called neo-liberal) economic reforms as quickly as the International Monetary Fund prescribed.

The IMF expected Zimbabwe to pare back Government social spending, reduce the size of the civil service, devalue its currency, and move strongly towards an export-oriented economy — measures that would benefit international investors but would increase the hardships Zimbabweans already faced.

The IMF also insisted that Zimbabwe pay full market value for the land it sought to acquire as part of its programme to resettle the rural poor — land that had been stripped from indigenous Africans by European settlers.

Zimbabwe had received assurances in 1979 from the Thatcher government that Britain would fund the purchase of land from white settlers, but the Blair government reneged, proposing instead that it lend Zimbabwe money in return for Harare enacting policies to enhance investor confidence (i.e. policies to increase the profits foreign investors could extract from Zimbabwe.) Since this would amount to taking on new debt to buy back what had been stolen in the first place, the offer was refused. Farmland was reclaimed without compensation (except for improvements the European settlers had made). The expropriated farmers were told to seek compensation from London.

By 1997, Harare was in open revolt. IMF-prescribed programmes the Government deemed to be injurious to Zimbabweans were rejected and the IMF’s prohibitions on pursuing economically nationalist policies were ignored. Mugabe announced new tariffs to protect domestic businesses from foreign competition and introduced an affirmative action programme that differentially benefited domestic firms at the expense of foreign investors. Western governments, ever vigilant about promoting the export and foreign investment interests of their own corporations, saw red.

By 1998, the EU had had enough. Mugabe’s land reform programme – and now, the military aid Harare was providing to the young government of Laurent Kabila in the Democratic Republic of Congo — bid that steps be taken to force the independence-minded Mugabe out. Kabila, who the US and Britain were trying to overthrow, was following economically nationalist policies reminiscent of those of Patrice Lumumba, who the West had deposed in a CIA-sponsored coup decades earlier. Washington and London recruited Uganda and Rwanda as proxies to invade the DR Congo, but their plans were frustrated when Zimbabwe intervened militarily on the side of the Kabila government. To counter Mugabe, the EU set out to build civil society — the unions and NGOs — as opposite poles of attraction to Mugabe’s Government of national liberation.

Soon, Morgan Tsvangirai, head of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trades Unions, emerged as leader of a new political party, the Movement for Democratic Change. The white commercial farmers abandoned their old party, the Rhodesian Front, and lined up behind their new vehicle, the MDC. With a war chest filled with generous funding from Western governments and corporations, the MDC was to lead the opposition to the Mugabe Government from within Zimbabwe.

By 2001, the Sunday Times was urging London to spearhead a worldwide economic boycott of Zimbabwe. "Until decisive action is taken," the newspaper warned, "the whole region is a high-risk area for investment."

The same year, the US enacted the US Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act. The arch-conservative Jesse Helms was a co-sponsor, along with Hilary Clinton. The Act obligates US officials to vote against assistance to Zimbabwe at the IMF and World Bank; allows the president to fund groups and individuals working to overthrow the Mugabe Government; and makes respect for the rule of law (i.e. reversal of Zimbabwe’s land reform programme) a condition of ending sanctions. US Representative Cynthia McKinney asked legislators what law European settlers had respected when they seized the land by force.

Sanctions have one aim: to make the lives of Zimbabweans miserable so they’ll oust Mugabe. The MDC, which supports the sanctions, and is indefatigable in calling for additional punishments, uses the economic hardships sanctions have aggravated to call for Mugabe’s departure.

Mugabe’s programme has always been one of independence. As a leader of the guerrilla movement that fought for national liberation, the goal was an end to Rhodesian apartheid. As leader of the Government, the goal since the mid-90s has been economic independence; to be secured, first, by reclaiming the land the indigenous population had been dispossessed of by European settlers; and second, by putting the economy in the hands of Zimbabweans as owners, not just employees.

The inevitable consequence of this project has been the backlash of foreign corporations, Western investors and their governments.

While the Western media would have you believe Zimbabweans are champing at the bit to oust Mugabe, the reality is that Mugabe is widely supported, not only in Zimbabwe, but throughout Africa. His credentials as the leader of a national liberation movement have established his reputation, his land reform policies have strengthened his support among the rural poor (who make up the majority of Zimbabweans) and his insistence on pursuing an independent foreign policy have made him a rallying point for anti-imperialist sentiment in Africa. As recently as August 2004, Mugabe was voted number three in the New African magazine’s poll of the 100 greatest Africans (behind Nelson Mandela and Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of post-colonial Ghana.) One of Mugabe’s most vehement critics, Archbishop Pius Ncube, grudgingly acknowledges his popularity. "The United Nations should take (Mugabe) out but that will not happen because Africa supports Mugabe."

It is fashionable in some circles to profess admiration for Mugabe, as the leader of the armed national liberation struggle, while denouncing Mugabe, the politician. Mugabe once fought for national liberation, it’s said, but as a politician, he simply clings to power for power’s sake. Power has corrupted him.

This is the typical screed against the leaders of all really existing movements that seek to end the oppression of class or nations. They are invariably accused of demagogy and corruption and of betraying their movement’s goals. The revolution betrayed is the constant theme. The purpose of these accusations is to breed cynicism, disillusionment and ultimately pessimism, passivity and capitulation. It’s all in vain, the detractors say. You’ll simply end up with something worse that you started with. Your movement will be hijacked by authoritarian strongmen who utter leftist-sounding phrases while enriching themselves and their cronies.

The goal Mugabe has pursued, whether in the armed struggle or in government, has never changed: independence. Placing the economy in the hands of Zimbabweans, as Mugabe is working to do now, is just as much — indeed, is even more significantly a part — of national liberation as achieving nominal political independence is. Zimbabweans got their own flag in 1980, their land after 2000, and now are working to secure control of their mines and businesses. To say, then, that Mugabe was true to the goals of national liberation once, but is no longer, reveals either a miscomprehension of the centrality of land reform and indigenisation to national liberation, a surrender to the barrage of propaganda against Zimbabwe’s national liberation movement, or an absent commitment to true national liberation.

l About the writer: Stephen Gowans is a Canadian writer and political activist based in Ottawa. This article is reproduced courtesy of

Labels: , , ,


(HERALD) Farmers process own crops

Farmers process own crops
Chinhoyi Bureau

SMALL-SCALE farmers in Makonde are processing their crops into finished products such as cooking oil. This has enabled the farmers to increase profit margins after securing loans from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s fund to develop small to medium enterprises. The farmers are making soap, cooking oil and processing cotton to make threads and fabrics. Production is being done at a plant in Lions Den along the Harare-Chirundu Road.

Speaking during a tour of the processing plant, Makonde Member of the House of Assembly Cde Leo Mugabe commended the central bank for assisting the farmers. "Farmers in my constituency have benefited a lot from the small and medium-scale enterprises support from Government through the Reserve Bank. "This has resulted in most of them managing to sustain their families with cheaper basic commodities such as cooking oil and soap," said Cde Mugabe.

He said the products are being sold in Zvimba, Kadoma, Chegutu and Hurungwe.

Labels: , , ,


(OPEDNEWS) Deconstructing Newsweek and the Gorilla Killings in Congo

Deconstructing Newsweek and the Gorilla Killings in Congo
by Georgianne Nienaber Page 1 of 3 page(s)
With: keith harmon snow at
August 1, 2007 at 08:56:23

The Newsweek cover feature, “Gorilla Warfare: Even after 10 years of war, rangers are stunned by the mysterious killings of great apes in Africa's oldest park,” appeared on line on July 29, 2007, with a dateline denoting its imminent appearance in the August 6 print issue. The story romantically describes rangers with “billowing green ponchos” and “AK-47’s,” not the Washington Post’s previous fiction of rusty machetes. Newsweek is a part of the Washington Post Company.

As the accompanying photo clearly shows, the Congo Rangers are not ill-equipped. Their well-oiled weaponry and mercenary training begs the question why they cannot or will not protect the gorillas. The gorilla killings began when Wild Life Direct appeared on the scene early in 2007.

One of the rangers, Paulin Ngobobo, 43, is photographed backlit and quite elegantly dressed, as if for a Vanity Fair or GQ portrait. He is “a devout Christian” says Newsweek, seemingly grooming him for the next Conde Nast Traveler Environmental Award—given in 2005 to Central African hero Pierre Kakule of Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund fame in the Virungas—or the National Geographic Society/Buffet Award created by “philanthropist” Howard Buffet. The Newsweek portrait of debonair Congo ranger Paulin Ngobobo stands in sharp contradiction to the starving rangers described by the Post’s Stephanie McCrummen a few days earlier.

The Newsweek article of July 29 also cites Wild Life Direct’s Richard Leakey calling the gorilla killers “a corrupt mafia of charcoal merchants,” while simultaneously playing the tired refrain accusing Hutu extremists responsible for Rwanda’s genocide.

This is not journalism—it is more of a public relations fabrication serving as both a fundraiser and cheerleader for Wildlife Direct—and its backer and board member Walter Kansteiner. The Congo rangers trained by Wildlife Direct are mostly outsiders with no ties to the local communities around the park. In a place like Congo, this ethnic influx is tantamount to a foreign invasion.

Similarly, the framework of the Newsweek story shields the true reasons for poverty and suffering of Congolese soldiers. International mining in Congo is a scandal reaping hundreds of millions of dollars in profits monthly, and the problem of non-payment of soldiers “salaries” lies with those who make this possible: international business cartels, the World Bank, IMF, and the European Union. Foreign interests and their Congolese agents have expropriated local people’s livelihoods and rights, and the Mai Mai militias are known for taking a nationalist stance against foreign interests and for Congolese people.

But, we interviewed one Congolese conservation expert with the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICCN) who attributed all responsibility for the massive failure of conservation and community development in Congo to institutionalized corruption in Western “conservation” organizations and high-level ICCN officials they have corrupted.

The massive ongoing propaganda front peddling the recent gorilla “executions” has fast-forwarded the privatization process, which today appears to be unfolding through increased military surveillance, boundary protection, mercenary operations, and the use and proliferation of surveillance devices and sensors—developed for military and intelligence applications—for anti-poaching and periphery defense.

The Washington Post and its sister publication, Newsweek, cover for such interests by ignoring the machinations behind the scenes and putting their spin on the “Congo Rangers” and “gorillas executed” stories coming out the Virungas National Park.


Wildlife Direct operates under the mantle of the Africa Conservation Fund (ACF), a tax-exempt (501-c-3) non-government organization registered with the US Internal Revenue Service. Beyond Richard Leakey, a survivor of an elephant attack whose family achieved fame unearthing anthropological and paleontological specimens in East Africa, there are some very prominent and notable people on the ACF board.

The late (2006) board member of ACF, Paul Van Vlissingen, worked for years to privatize all of Africa’s national parks for tourism. The BBC reported in 2003 that Van Vlissingen’s company “planned to take over a string of national parks throughout Africa,” through a private firm, African Parks Management and Finance Company. At a press conference, Zambian Member of Parliament, Sakwiba Sikota, called for an investigation, saying the scheme “borders on theft and plunder of the resources of the people of Barotseland [Zambia/Angola] and should be thrown out.”

ACF director Francois-Xavier de Donnea is a Belgian Minister of State, having held Defense and International Development portfolios. Belgium’s plundering of Congo began with 10 million dead under Leopold’s Congo Free State, proceeded through decades of colonial rule, and prospered greatly under the dictatorship of Col. Joseph Mobutu (1965-1997). Belgian interests in DRC today are very powerful and hidden but involved in diamonds, plantations, mining, timber and defense.

Most significant however is the involvement of Walter H. Kansteiner III, an ACF board member since their founding in 2004. Kansteiner has been a constant presence behind the scenes in Central Africa’s wars since at least 1993. His background and experience are not in conservation: Kansteiner was a major force for privatization in the Clinton and Bush governments, and his work continues in this vein with think tanks and policy institutes.

Walter Kansteiner III has over 20 years’ experience in African and emerging market business issues and has advised corporations on a wide range of mergers, acquisitions and privatizations throughout Africa in virtually every business sector from forestry and mining to aviation. Kansteiner advised the buy side on the $1.3 billion privatization of Telkom South Africa, to date the largest privatization in Africa.

Kansteiner was formerly Executive Vice President of a commodity trading and manufacturing company specializing in tropical commodities in the developing world: his family trades in coltan, or columbium-tantalite, the precious ore used for Sony Play Stations, cell phones, laptop computers and myriad state-of-the-art devices—developed under the exploding but secretive “nanotechnology” developments of the defense and intelligence sector—behind the bloodshed in eastern Congo.

The Great Lakes region is also seeing an assault by oil and gas companies affiliated with mercenary firms: this may be a partial impetus to “conserving” and “protecting” the Lake Albert basin and the Virungas. Heritage Oil and Gas, Tullow Oil and Hartmann Oil are exploiting oil reserves on both sides of the DRC border, while Lake Kivu is being targeted for major natural gas (methane) production by Rwanda. The region is one contiguous oil field—the Semliki basin—under the Great Lakes and north through Darfur to the Red Sea.

Among other State Department posts he held, Walter Kansteiner III was the Africa specialist on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff under President Clinton, and he worked on the Department of Defense Strategic Minerals Task Force. The Clinton Administration was deeply involved in the conflicts in central Africa from 1993-2001.

Kansteiner is on the Board of Directors of the Corporate Council on Africa—the “who’s who” of corporate exploitation in Africa. He is a director of the African Development Foundation, Sierra Rutile Mining, and Moto Gold Mines. Sierra Rutile has a long and sordid history of involvement with mercenaries and mining in war torn Sierra Leone; Moto Gold Mines is now operating in the killing fields of DRC’s blood-drenched Orientale Province just north of the Virungas.

Kansteiner is also a director of the African Wildlife Foundation, a big non-government organization partnered with the gorilla “conservation” organizations Conservation International, World Wildlife Fund, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, Jane Goodall Institute and Fauna and Flora International.


An understanding of the decade of warfare and depopulation in Central Africa can be gained by examining the positions of power, corporate directorships and new corporations and alliances that have quietly emerged from the killing fields in the past several years.

While the mass media, policy institutes like the International Crises Group (ICG), human rights agencies like Human Rights Watch, and “humanitarian” organizations like the International Rescue Committee appear to offer some coverage of events in Central Africa, they barely scratch the surface. More often, they offer only limited critiques of events, interests or developments, without ever challenging any significant deeper interests, or holding them to account.

One of the key agents behind the machinery of change in Central Africa is Walter Kansteiner III.

In the 1980’s Kansteiner was director of Economic Studies at the far-right Institute on Religion and Democracy. The IRD called itself “centrist” but was deeply hostile to social movements around the world, particularly in Africa, and it attacked mainstream Christian religious institutions.

In his 1990 book Kansteiner systematically attacked Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress (ANC), characterizing the ANC as a group of violent revolutionaries engaged in an “unjustified” and “Marxist” struggle against the government, without a mandate from the South African people.

Kansteiner was a member of the George H.W. Bush State Department’s policy planning staff from May 1989 to June 1991, Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council, 1991-1993, and the Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Press Secretary for Foreign Affairs from April 1992-1993.

Kansteiner also served in the U.S. government as director of African Affairs on Clinton’s National Security Council staff. He was President Clinton’s personal representative to the G8 Africa Process.

Kansteiner was Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs under George W. Bush from June 2001 until November 2003, advising on U.S. foreign policy in Africa.

Walter Kansteiner and Maurice Tempelsman—and Corporate Council on Africa members from Halliburton, Boeing, Cargill, Exxon-Mobil, Freeport McMoran and Oracle Corporation—were the architects of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), America’s NAFTA for Africa.

The AGOA destroys local markets, erects discriminatory trade barriers, undermines local economies to enrich elites and impoverish the masses—a.k.a. in the language of doublespeak, the AGOA promotes free trade.

As a founding principal of The Scowcroft Group, Kansteiner’s ties to the intelligence and defense sector run still deeper. Brent Scowcroft is a former National Security Adviser to George H.W. Bush (1989-1993) and Gerald Ford (1975-1977), and National Security Council member under Henry Kissinger.

Kansteiner is also a Fellow at the Forum for International Policy, a think-tank whose Chairman of the Board of Trustees is Lawrence S. Eagleburger, a director of numerous corporations—including Halliburton—and the former Deputy Secretary of State (1989-1992) and then Secretary of State (1992-1993) under George H.W. Bush. Other FIP notables are deep intelligence insiders, including John Deutch and Brent Scowcroft, and Archers Daniels Midland director Dwayne Andreas.

The International Crises Group executive John Prendergast’s role in manipulating world consciousness around war and genocide must be situated not in the “humanitarian” front that the ICG gives him, but in his role as National Security Council during the Clinton Administration, with Walter Kansteiner III. The ICG is silent about the proliferation of dubious and illegal mining by firms like Moto Gold Mines, and their “crises group” research papers never identify any of the significant players behind the scenes in Congo (or Darfur).

Walter Kansteiner III is also a Senior Associate of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), which today counts among its members Alexander Haig, Brent Scowcroft, John Deutch, Donald Rumsfeld, Henry Kissinger, and many other deep intelligence and defense insiders.

Many of the same players noted above are involved behind the scenes in Somalia, Chad, Ethiopia and Sudan—the “Save Darfur” interests and lobby behind “genocide” in Darfur—and profit from warfare and “humanitarian relief” while millions and millions of Africa’s people suffer and die.

At this writing there are 1.2 million Acholi people suffering miserably in death camps in Northern Uganda subject to terrorism as policy orchestrated by Ugandan People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. One hundred fifty additional U.S. Special Operations forces were deployed in Uganda in March 2007, and Museveni has now instituted compulsory military training in support of the DOD’s AFRICOM and the US/UPDF military campaigns in Sudan (Darfur), Chad, Congo, Uganda, Ethiopia and Somalia. Petroleum operations in western and northern Uganda are expanding: Bechtel subsidiary Nexant is one of the companies building the pipeline across Uganda to the US military port in Mombasa, Kenya. The genocide against the Acholi people in northern Uganda is in media whiteout.

The international logging sector in Congo is another scandal never illuminated with similar zeal by the Washington Post and Newsweek—who target Congolese charcoal as the problem. The Portuguese Trindade brothers—Jose Albano Maia Trindade and João Manuel Maia Trindade—are the owner-operators of four companies: SODIFOR, SOFORMA, FARABOLA and Compagnie Forestière et de Transformation. Their concessions total 5,959,817 hectares in four Congo provinces.

Logging operations of other Western companies—the American Blattner family, George Somja of Belgium, George Forrest, the German Danzer Corporation (2,421,871 hectares), and others—comprise an additional 26 million hectares, and the World Wildlife Fund rubber stamps their operations. The profits and the expropriation of Congolese land for the international logging sector swamp the $30 million a year charcoal industry run by and for Congolese people. While there has been much fanfare in the international media about “canceling” logging and “reexamining” mining contracts—rewriting the mining and logging codes—little substantive change has been made. The question of land belonging to the Congolese and their access to it must be seen in the light of the logging industry in DRC.

At one Blattner operation (SAFBOIS, Isangi, DRC), the WWF field station is located within the deep forest compound of the company. The BBC publishes WWF press releases verbatim, and WWF has actively undermined indigenous people’s resistance in the face of the logging onslaught in Congo. Like the massive rainforest rip-off underway, the Washington Post, New York Times, Newsweek and BBC have reported none of this.

Instead, Newsweek blames poor Congolese "charcoal gatherers."

Mainstream media has it wrong—again.

Labels: , ,


Institutionalising political parties

Institutionalising political parties
By Editor
Thursday August 02, 2007 [04:01]

For some time now, our people have wished for a viable opposition to keep the government of the day accountable to its people. This is the ideal situation. But unfortunately, for a long time to come, it does not seem that Zambia will enjoy a time when our opposition parties will play a role that is expected of them.

From 1991 when Zambia returned to a multi-party system, the ruling MMD has continued to enjoy weak opposition from our various political parties. To some extent, this was designed by the MMD. But to a larger extent, the opposition parties are to blame.

The main reason for this is that most of our political parties are not built into institutions. They are built around individuals and as a result these parties shrivel as soon as their founder or ‘owner’ shrivels; they die as soon as the ‘owner’ dies.

We can count many political parties that were born after the MMD was formed in 1991 but died within a short period of time. We have the National Party in mind, Agenda for Zambia and the Zambia Democratic Congress, among others. These parties did not last. Much later around 1998, United Party for National Development (UPND) was born under the leadership of the late Anderson Mazoka.

A few years later when the MMD was rocked with internal quarrels arising from Frederick Chiluba’s desire to go for a third term, the ruling party disintegrated and two political parties under two former Republican vice-presidents were born. These were FDD under the leadership of Lt Gen Christon Tembo and Heritage Party under Brig Gen Godfrey Miyanda.

A combination of UPND, FDD and Heritage Party brought about what seemed to be a promising formidable opposition in the country. And in the last few months of Chiluba’s leadership, these parties offered quite some effective checks and balances. In fact, it was widely believed that if these three parties came together as one, the MMD could have been defeated during the 2001 elections.

But because these parties were designed to serve individual interests, they could not merge into one force. And immediately after the 2001 elections, we saw them begin to crumble one after another. Today, FDD and Heritage Party seem to only exist on paper, while UPND is just a shell of itself.

This is because there are deliberate efforts by founders of these parties to personalise as opposed to institutionalise these parties. As a result, these parties cannot outlive their founders or owners.

This is what we are beginning to see happening with the opposition Patriotic Front (PF).

Judging by last year’s general election results, it cannot be denied that PF is or was the strongest opposition party, at least going by those results. But from September last year to date, we do not think PF can confidently boast to hold that position in the country’s political affairs anymore. Evidently, things have been gradually falling apart in PF. And before long, there will be no PF to talk about and, therefore, no opposition to the ruling party for checks and balances.

This is not to say the other political parties count for nothing. What we are saying is that these other parties counted for something at some point but no longer do because they have become ineffective and inefficient. They have weakened themselves, thereby rendering themselves irrelevant.

This is a worrying trend which must be checked by those involved in the game of politics if their envisaged roles are to be played effectively. PF president Michael Sata today is running his party like personal business. He does not seem to appreciate the need to institutionalise PF. That is why he pays little or no attention to the manner in which he conducts the business of the party. For him, everything should start and end with Sata, the founder of PF. In fact, his members of parliament and councillors are indirectly directed to revere him. Sata thinks these members of parliament and councillors owe it to him.

Yes, in a way they do because it is PF that sponsored them. But Sata would do well to remind himself that these men and women he is trying to treat like children were voted for by their electorate and so they are people’s representatives. Besides, the successes being scored by PF are a result of collective efforts and not Sata’s lone effort. We have heard of instances where Sata has belittled these men and women publicly. Sometimes, he even refers to them as boys and girls. He forgets that some of them are grandmothers and fathers.

He always wants to have it his way because as far as he is concerned, he is the owner of the party and so everyone has to dance to his tune. Only last week, the Lusaka deputy mayor publicly protested. He complained that there was so much interference from Sata that as councillors, they did not feel free to operate in their positions. Before then, there was some dust raised over former mayor Susan Nakazwe who was subsequently expelled from the party under circumstances which many of our people did not appreciate.

Today, we are carrying another story displaying the cancer that is about to spread in PF. If this is not checked by a serious review of Sata’s style of leadership, PF will sooner than later increase the size of our archive folders because there will be no PF to write home about.

This is not to say Sata should not instil discipline in his party members and leaders. It is how he does this that matters. Depending on how he plays this role, Sata can either gather or scatter the sheep. If he chooses to scatter the sheep, he will be a sheperd without sheep or a leader without followers.

If this happened, it would spell doom for democracy because democracy cannot thrive in the absence of an effective opposition. A combination of numbers from the opposition parties is making a difference in our National Assembly today. The ruling party cannot just do as they please. They are always mindful of the opposition. That is why there is need to deliberately strengthen the opposition by all the players involved. This can only be done by way of institutionalising the parties as opposed to personalising them.

Any institution or party that is not institutionalised, that is not firmly established around certain principles for public good, has no capacity to stand the test of time.

Labels: , , ,


People leaving UPND have failed to work hard - HH

People leaving UPND have failed to work hard - HH
By Mwala Kalaluka
Thursday August 02, 2007 [04:00]

UPND president Hakainde Hichilema yesterday said people that were leaving the party had failed to conform to the new style of leadership based on hard work. And UPND national youth chairman Frank Tayali has resigned from the party a day after he was suspended for not attending National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings.

Commenting on Tayali’s resignation from UPND, Hichilema said the only way the party could fight for a better Zambia was through hard work and it would therefore be unfair for some people to sit when others were working.

“We have come a long way and all we know is that we have to work hard. When people find somebody who wants to work hard they have a problem,” he said. “If you do not attend meetings, how are you going to revive the youth wing?”

Hichilema said he did not want to perpetuate a style of leadership where people wanted to gain where they had not made a contribution. He said UPND members must be ready to work hard.

And Addressing the press at Lusaka’s Zamcom Lodge yesterday, Tayali said he was leaving UPND which he helped found because of the excessive pride and arrogance being exhibited by the party leadership since the last general elections.

“It is because of this pride and arrogance that we have seen in the UPND of late that we have lost so many members,” he said. “Had there been tolerance, people like Sakwiba Sikota would not have left the party. Had it not been for this arrogance, leaders like Patrick Chisanga and Bob Sichinga would not have left.”

Tayali said a typical example of the arrogant style of leadership in the UPND could be noted from the way party president Hakainde Hichilema and secretary general Tiens Kahenya hurriedly drafted his suspension letter even after he had notified them that he was leaving.

“Such is how low the UPND has been reduced to,” Tayali said. “Political leaders in Zambia must know that when certain decisions like these have been made, they should be taken with humility and accepted.”

Tayali said the UPND had taken a laissez-faire approach to national issues, especially the current debate on the constitution-making process.

“A lot of vibrancy has withered out of the UPND,” Tayali said. “I think it is a blessing in disguise that I lost the parliamentary elections in Ndola.”

He said his decision to resign from the party was a painful one.

Tayali admitted that he had not been attending NEC meetings since January this year because he was on hibernation and he wanted to review his political future, which he was still reviewing.

Meanwhile, UPND sources said Tayali was offered an opportunity to go to China on an exchange visit immediately after the 2001 polls.

“It is highly believed that this move was instigated by the MMD after the elections. We are reliably told that he (Tayali) has since been offered by the MMD to go on a youth exchange programme in China,” said the source.

But Tayali said his recent trips to China had nothing to do with MMD. He said the statements were a matter of sour grapes.

“I have been on political hibernation and I made a decision after careful thought,” he said. “I do not know if we can make that an issue. In confidence, I can say that I have been to China. China is one place where you can do business in terms of trading.”

Meanwhile, UPND deputy spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa had a tough time controlling party youths who were shouting at Tayali for “telling lies” during the briefing. They said reasons Tayali was advancing for his resignation were a cover-up for his failure to perform. Mweetwa, however, said Tayali had made a valuable contribution to the party until the post-2001 election period.

Labels: , ,


Sata, Chimumbwa differ over meetings

Sata, Chimumbwa differ over meetings
By Brighton Phiri
Thursday August 02, 2007 [04:02]

OPPOSITION Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata has differed with his former secretary general Charles Chimumbwa for refusing to attend parliamentary caucus meetings which he (Sata) chairs.

This was after Chimumbwa, who is also Nchanga member of parliament, wrote to PF whip in the National Assembly Elizabeth Mulobeka, indicating that he would not attend any of the parliamentary caucus meetings because they were being chaired by Sata as party president.

In his letter dated July 20 2007, Chimumbwa tendered his permanent apologies for his intention to continue absconding PF parliamentary caucus meetings, describing them as illegal as they were being chaired by Sata as party president.

"My understanding of a caucus is that it is supposed to be a consultative meeting among MPs, but what I have learnt is that every time you have one, the president comes and chairs it," read Chimumbwa's letter in part.

"Madam, you are aware that amongst MPs, there are Members of the Central Committee (MCC) and whenever there is a meeting attended by MPs and MCCs and chaired by the president in the presence of the vice-president and the secretary general then that meeting ceases to be a caucus and becomes a national council.

Going by our party constitution, only the president has powers through the secretary general to call a national council. I hope you understand where my fear to attend the meetings comes from."

Chimumbwa stated that the last time he innocently attended a consultative meeting, which was organised by Sata's niece Sylvia Chalikosa, he was accused of mounting a coup de'tat on the presidency.

Chimumbwa told Mulobeka that he had not only lost his position as secretary general but that he expected the worst in view of serious accusations that he was organising other parties.

"Not to leave you speculating, organising another party while belonging to PF is a very serious offence which calls for expulsion from PF. You may not understand what is going on, but I do because I have been a custodian of the party constitution," Chimumbwa stated.

"By copy of this letter, please accept my permanent apologies as along as you continue to call these meetings, which you do in good faith, but becomes illegal the moment the president attends."

But Sata challenged Chimumbwa to explain why he had so suddenly become allergic to his presence during party meetings. In his letter dated July 23, 2007 to Chimumbwa, Sata warned him that the curse of his irrationality, cheap pride and baseless emotionalism would result in him receiving a devastating blow just as it had happened to his business ventures.

"You are a very intelligent, energetic and pragmatic person... unfortunately your irrationality and baseless emotionalism and pride have always derailed you from the first qualities," read Sata's letter in part. "You would have been a very successful and prosperous person, but short cuts have always worked against you. You are a rising political star, unfortunately the curse of irrationality, cheap pride and baseless emotionalism is at it again giving you a devastating blow as it has done to your business ventures."

Sata described Chimumbwa's letter to Mulobeka as unwarranted and that it exhibited unproductive pride. "Since you were elected to Parliament, you have not cared to read about your new bequeathed honour but you would like to use it wrongly to throw your weight around intimidating wrong and innocent people without letting us know your real problem. I shall use this letter to assist you understand issues you are ignorant about. I will give no copy to anybody, but if you do not mind I shall gladly do so," read Sata's letter to Chimumbwa, in part.

"Contrary to your ill-conceived definition of Oxford English dictionary tenth edition, caucus means...a meeting of policy making committee of a political party...or a group of people with shared concerns within a larger organisation. Article 50 composition of national council is members of central committee, members of the national assembly, provincial secretaries, district chairmen, district secretaries, and committee members of the women's and youth leagues and senior officers from the party national headquarters.

From the above your lecture to our whip was not only misleading but a complete lie." Sata reminded Chimumbwa that when he took over as secretary general of the party, he took over the functions of Dr. Guy Scott, among them to attend as a board member of Zambia Centre for Inter-party dialogue (ZCID). He accused Chimumbwa of calling ordinary party cadres and giving them fake titles when ZCID board of directors asked each political party to bring with them 20 policy makers for a consultative meeting.
"Without consulting me or Dr. Scott, you decided with Mr. Kaizar Zulu to call ordinary party cadres and gave them fake titles. When I protested, you had no courtesy of coming to see me. When Dr. Scott contacted you, you told him you would not come to the meeting...tell Sata to appoint his niece as secretary general," read Sata's letter. "Hon. Chimumbwa it is a lie to say that Miss Chalikosa organised the ZCID meeting."

On Chimumbwa's removal as secretary general, Sata reminded him that the party called for a central committee meeting on June 30, which he did not only attend it but never bothered to explain the reason why he failed to attend the meeting. "I presume because I was going to chair it, it became illegal. Members of the central committee were very irritated, proposed and seconded that they needed a full time secretary general or at least have somebody who will have regard for the central committee.

Therefore, attributing your removal to Miss Chalikosa is very unfair," Sata stated. "You have in the past attended my meetings, chaired by me, but why all of a sudden have you become allergic to my presence at any meeting?"

Sata denied having had chaired any of the caucus meeting of PF members of parliament stating that the first meeting which was held at Parliament Motel was chaired by Mulobeka and both meetings held at Blue Nile and Mika Lodge respectively were chaired by Dr. Scott.

"Can you please let me know which parliamentary caucus meeting I chaired?" Sata asked. "Hon. Chimumbwa, you are telling us to accept your permanent apologies and calling party meetings illegal? I would like to draw you to article 29 offences against the party...breach of rules of the party, acting in the manner that is likely to bring the name of the party into ridicule and disobeying any rule, direction, order or instructions of any organ of the party, false information or rumours which tend to injure the reputation of the party or any of its officials and acting disrespectfully to the party or any of its officials with intent to deceive or mislead."

Sata told Chimumbwa that PF was waiting for him to resign as he had announced on radio. He reminded Chimumbwa that he was wearing four hats since he joined PF; namely member of the central committee, chairman of industry, secretary general and member of parliament. "With your own I do not care attitude and baseless pride, you have removed one hat of secretary general and you have remained with three have now discovered that all meetings chaired by me are illegal. To avoid illegality in the future life please use your pride and remove the remaining three hats because the above hats belong to an illegal organisation... instead of forcing the party to remove them from you...please do it for yourself honourably," read Sata's letter.

Sata further told Chimumbwa that he was accused of over-nursing and heaping too many favours on him by the party membership. He stated that some members went to the extent of saying Chimumbwa had bought him even though they did not state the amount. "As you asked Mr. Mumbi to pay you all the money he owes you, please let me know how much I owe so that I may liquidate my debt with you to enable me run this party with the impartiality expected from me by the party leadership," he stated.

Sata further reminded Chimumbwa that members of the party had not taken it kindly when he defended him after he (Chimumbwa) described the devastating pollution by Konkola Copper Mines as a small issue.

Labels: , , ,