Saturday, September 01, 2007

(HERALD) Farmers show interest in processing machines

Farmers show interest in processing machines
Herald Reporter

MOST small-scale farmers who visited the week-long Harare Agricultural Show, which ends today, showed remarkable interest in processing machines rather than heavy farming implements. The farmers said they were willing to buy machinery that would enable them to add value to their products.

Manual machinery such as oil pressing machines, groundnut shellers and peanut butter making machines were some of the popular implements at the show. Ms Ringisai Pfimbi of Everquip Investments said a number of farmers visited her stand inquiring about the small machinery.

"Some farmers who are into poultry and livestock production were inquiring about the grinding machine which they would like to use to process stock feeds at their farms," she said.

Mrs Emmah Rimbi of Guruve said she was interested in buying ox-drawn ploughs, cultivators and harrows. She said while tractors would make her work easier she could not afford them or the diesel that is in short supply.

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(HERALD) Agric policies hailed

Agric policies hailed
Herald Reporter

VISITING Equatorial Guinea President Mr Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has hailed Zimbabwe’s agricultural policies, saying the country has the potential to regain its status as an agricultural powerhouse. President Mbasogo said Zimbabwe’s agriculture has the capacity not only to benefit its citizens, but the whole continent. He said this while officially opening the Harare Agricultural Show yesterday.

Mr Mbasogo — who earlier in the day toured several stands together with President Mugabe — said he was impressed by the quality of products being showcased. He said from observing the quality of the agricultural produce and technology, one would get the impression that one was in a developed nation. This, he said, clearly showed that Zimbabwe had the potential to become Africa’s agro-industrial base.

"We, therefore, express and (wish to) convey our most sincere congratulations to the Government of Zimbabwe, the captains of production and all the technicians and operators committed to this production system. The outstanding great labour displayed is not only for the development of Zimbabwe, but for the benefit of the African continent as a whole," he said. "The success of Zimbabwe in this domain constitutes a reason of pride for her people and for all Africans."

President Mbasogo said his country had much to learn from Zimbabwe and would ensure that necessary contacts would be made with relevant authorities before imparting experiences obtained from Zimbabwe to his country.

"Equatorial Guinea would love to learn from Zimbabwe. This State visit to your country has given us the opportunity to establish the right and necessary contacts with the competent and relevant authorities in order to ensure that the experiences garnered here are transmitted to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea," he said.

He encouraged people in the agricultural sector to double their efforts to attain self-sufficiency in food supply. Developed nations, said Mr Mbasogo, were exercising dominance over Africans due to their production and supply capacity for agro-allied products.

"In fact, Europe is becoming more and more stronger as it keeps advancing in the development production techniques and industrialisation levels in the agro-allied sector while the African continent remains still . . . because of her constant need for the supply of consumable products," he said.

"For this reason, therefore, Africa should not remain indifferent in the face of this situation. Instead, it will have to be proactive in order not to depend indefinitely on other nations."

Earlier in the day, Mr Mbasogo toured several stands in the Exhibition Park, among them those of the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe, Dairibord Zimbabwe Limited, Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Grain Marketing Board, Cold Storage Company, Seed Co and the livestock section.

He later he presented certificates to companies and institutions that won in several categories.

Premier Medical Aid Society, represented by chief executive officer Mr Cuthbert Dube, won in three categories, namely the best floral garden display, best floral display and for companies offering voluntary services.

ZDF, represented by its commander, General Constantine Chiwenga, scooped the award for the best display by Government, municipal and statutory bodies.

GMB came first in the agricultural section.

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Levy is right on US military bases

Levy is right on US military bases
By Editor
Saturday September 01, 2007 [04:00]

Africa today represents one of the most important, if not the most important, fields of battle against all forms of exploitation existing in the world, against imperialism and neo-colonialism. There are big possibilities for success in Africa, but there are also many dangers. The positive aspects include the hate which colonialism has left in the minds of our people. What we consider the principal danger for Africa is the possibility of division among our peoples.

On the one side, there are lackeys of imperialism, on the other the peoples seeking to free themselves along the roads suited to them and who are willing to defend their sovereignty. We highly welcome the position taken by President Levy Mwanawasa that his government will never allow the United States to establish its military base in Zambia. This is a very correct position to take because the presence of American armed forces on Zambian soil will completely take away any hope that we may harbour for independence, sovereignty and indeed peace.

There are many examples in the world where the presence of the United States' military has resulted in nothing but continued instability and total loss of independence and sovereignty.

The Middle East is a good example of this. The United States has set up hundreds of military bases in many countries all over the world but these have not brought any increased security to those countries, regions or indeed the world in general.

And when one critically analyses all these military bases of the United States on foreign soil, one realises that there are so many nooses round the neck of United States imperialism. The nooses have been fashioned by the Americans themselves and by nobody else, and it is they themselves who have put these nooses round their own necks, handing the ends of the ropes to the peoples of the Arab countries and all the peoples of the world who love peace and oppose aggression and subjugation. The longer the United States military remains in those places, the tighter the nooses round their necks will become.

United States imperialism will not last long because it always does evil things. And because of this, many people in the world will rise and struggle against it. The attitude and behaviour of the United States needs to change, must change. It is the task of the people of the whole world to put an end to United States imperialism.

Riding roughshod everywhere, United States imperialism has made itself the enemy of the people of the world and is increasingly isolating itself. Those who refuse to be enslaved will never be cowed by the military might of the United States. The raging tide of the people of the world against the United States imperialism is irresistible. And their struggle against United States imperialism will assuredly triumph. If the United States persists in pushing its militaristic policies of aggression and war and of using their military power to dominate the world, the day is bound to come when they will be hanged by the people of the whole world.

There is no need for anyone in the world today, especially our poor world, to think they can be protected by the United States; to think the United States respects their independence and sovereignty, and pin their hopes for peace and progress on the sensibleness of United States imperialism. They will only triumph by strengthening their unity and persevering in their opposition to imperialism.

And we should never forget that the richest source of power to oppose United States imperialism lies in the masses of our people. It is mainly because of the unorganised state of the masses of our people that the United States dares to bully us. When this defect is remedied, then United States imperialism, like a mad bull crashing into a ring of flames, will be surrounded by hundreds of millions of our people standing upright, the mere sound of their voices will strike terror into them.

We shouldn't deceive ourselves in any way that the United States' decision to set up military bases on our continent, in our countries, is for our own protection, for our peace and progress. It is for its own imperial interests. The United States' policy towards Africa is defined by the increasing importance of African oil to American energy needs. United States oil industry officials emphasise that the United States intelligence community has estimated that the United States will buy 25 per cent of its oil from Africa by 2015.
The United States government claims that its military mission in Africa will be diplomatic, economic and humanitarian aid, aimed at prevention of conflict, rather than at military intervention. But when things are analysed properly, it is clear that the United States Africa Command (Africom) holds potential well beyond military oversight.

It may be necessary to remind ourselves of where the United States government is headed and why it is doing what it is doing. In March 1998, the United States government made public the "1998 Trade Policy Agenda of the United States" where it was literally indicated that it is set to be "aggressive, directed globally and at all key regions of the world"; that "as the most important and successful economy in the global trading system, the United States is in a strong position to use its powers of persuasion and influence to pursue this Agenda"; and that "despite the substantial market openings that have been achieved in recent years, there remain too many barriers to United States goods and services exports throughout the world". Such language is distressing, but that's what they believe and want to do. From this, it is very clear that the United States government "will never spread any trade investments without necessarily using some force as an avenue to aid it". And "this is basically aimed at influencing, threatening and warding off any competitors by using force, if necessary".

This is the main purpose of their military policy. Of course there is talk of fighting terrorism and moves to drive African countries into this war which is defined only by themselves. It is not difficult to realise the implications of such an initiative to drive African countries into war of terror tactics in the pretext of spreading economic investments. The desperate efforts by the United States to have a large control of oil and other mineral resources in Africa is a real threat to the stability of this continent.

We therefore welcome the position taken by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states to oppose the establishment of United States military bases in our countries and on our continent. As South Africa's defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota has correctly observed, the presence of foreign military forces in our countries might just end up dividing us and affect the relations between our sister countries and will not in any way encourage an atmosphere of security. Our region and our continent will take care of its security needs and where necessary will seek international assistance on terms and conditions that do not threaten our peace, unity, independence and sovereignty.

The decision by the United States to set up military bases in our countries should be opposed in all circumstances, including in the cool salons of political manipulation. We should never, never allow any United States military base in our countries, in our region and indeed on our continent.

As part of its policy of coercion, threats, destabilisation and aggression - with the ensuing increase in international tension and the climate of conflict - the United States government has launched the greatest peace-time arms buildup programme in its history. The aggressive and interventionist course of the United States, backed by the enormous combined offensive potential of its NATO allies, is the gravest conceivable threat to peace and security of all the peoples of the world.

It is this policy of building up an impressive military force to try to solve the complex problems of today's world through the indiscriminate use or threat of use of force that has committed mankind to an arms buildup spiral seriously endangering peace and man's own survival. Stopping and reversing it is today, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the most decisive contribution to the cause of peace, the most essential and definitive goal the world has before it. And this will be undermined if we allow the United States to establish military bases in our countries.

Everyone must be aware that today's problems cannot be solved by use of force. Our aspirations and demands clash with the lack of understanding; selfishness; colossal interests; and enormous technological, economic, military and political power of imperialism and its neo-colonialist forms and with the rigid, inexorable laws that govern that system which has imposed brutally exploiting, unequal, asphyxiating and unjust economic relations on our countries - relations that are even worse than and more sophisticated than those of the colonial system, whose eradication gave rise to so many hopes.

If a real climate of peace and security for all states, both large and small, is not created and if the absurd arms race and militarism - which is spiraling dizzily, faster than in any other time in history - is not halted, not only will the danger of wars become a terrible reality, but it will not even be possible to dream of having the resources that are needed to meet our poor people's urgent and basic needs. The task will be impossible if this militarism and military spending is not stopped and reduced drastically.

We have no alternative but to struggle without respite for peace, improved international relations, a halt to militarism and the arms race and a drastic reduction in military spending and to demand that a considerable part of those funds be dedicated to developing our poor countries. And our countries' staunchness in the defence of their sovereignty constitutes the best code of conduct against imperialism.

And in this regard, the unity of all our countries and our peoples is absolutely necessary. We should also rise above all local controversies that sometimes turn us into enemies because of old disputes or intrigues, ambitions or the machinations of imperialism. The abolition of wars between our countries should be a basic law of our states and an integral part of our struggle for universal peace.

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We'll not allow US military bases here - Levy

We'll not allow US military bases here - Levy
By Brighton Phiri and Chibaula Silwamba
Saturday September 01, 2007 [04:00]

PRESIDENT Levy Mwanawasa yesterday declared that his government would not give the United States of America sanctuary to establish its military base in Zambia. Speaking before his departure for Swaziland where he is expected to officially open that country's International Trade Fair and attend the annual Umhlanga (reed Dance) ceremony, President Mwanawasa said Zambia was not supportive of the US' intention to establish its Africa Command (Africom) on the continent.

President Mwanawasa, who is also Southern African Development Community (SADC) chairman, disclosed that none of the SADC countries were interested in the US' intention to establish its military base in Africa.

"Each country has sovereignty to decide on that, but we will not as Zambia. We will not give them sanctuary. I think I can speak on behalf of the SADC region, and none of us is interested," said President Mwanawasa.

University of Zambia political science lecturer Dr Neo Simutanyi advised the Zambian government and other African countries to resist joining the US Africom. Dr Simutanyi said there was no need for African governments to succumb to the United States' persuasion because the US has never had a good record of peacekeeping.

"There is no need for Africans to be part of Africom. I support Africans forming their own forces for peace keeping," Dr Simutanyi said.

He said the African Union was working on the African force that would keep peace in the continent with the help of the United Nations.

"Africans are putting up their own initiatives of peace-keeping and that should be appreciated," said Dr Simutanyi.

South Africa's defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota has also declared that Africom should stay out of Africa.

On Wednesday South Africa's News24 quoted Lekota as saying: "There's a certain sense in the countries of our region SADC that if there was to be an influx of armed forces into one or other of the African countries, that might affect the relations between the sister countries, and not encourage an atmosphere, or in a sense, of security."

Lekota said Africom was not really a new development, as the US had always had some kind of focus on the African continent.

"But, the Africom initiative has raised a lot of interest and a lot of attention, because at some point, there is a certain sense that Africa has to avoid the presence of foreign forces on its soil," Lekota said.

"Nevertheless, as indeed the SADC adopted position, it is better if they did that from a distance, rather than come and make a presence that creates uncertainty."

He said during the interstate defence and security committee meeting held in Tanzania, the SADC defence and security ministers took the position and recommended that sister countries of the region should not agree to host Africom.

He said the recommendations went to the heads of state of SADC during the recent summit in Lusaka.

"And that's the position of SADC," Lekota said. Lekota said as far as he was aware, the majority of the other regions of the continent had also taken that position.

SADC recently launched the SADC Brigade, which will be a reserve military force. The US government says Africom's major mission was to help Africans achieve their own security, not to extend the scope of the war on terrorism or secure African resources.

US deputy assistant secretary of defence for African affairs Theresa Whelan said although Africom was new, "the nature of our military engagement on the continent will not change. It will remain primarily focused on conducting theater-security cooperation to build partnership capacities in areas such as peacekeeping, maritime security, border security, counterterrorism skills."

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Masebo blames councils for unplanned buildings

Masebo blames councils for unplanned buildings
By Mutale Kapekele in Livingstone
Saturday September 01, 2007 [04:00]

Local government minister Sylvia Masebo has said councils are to blame for the substandard and unplanned buildings in cities. Speaking when she officiated at the opening of the Secretarial Peak Performance workshop in Livingstone, Masebo said some councils did nothing to stop people from building in unplanned areas.

"Sometimes councils create problems. They see unplanned buildings coming up and just sit back and watch," she said. "That smells of corruption. It means that someone somewhere was given something to give a go ahead to the building."

Masebo said her condemning illegal structures and the 'Make Zambia Clean' campaign had made her unpopular.

"When we demolish those structures, people start asking if I have a heart or children," she said. "I have become the most unpopular minister but I don't mind."

Asked if it was possible to close Soweto market for the purpose of cleaning it, Masebo said if she did that people would call for her resignation.

"It is difficult to move people. If I say close Soweto, people will go to State House to have me fired," she said. "But that is a good idea and I will think about it. Maybe we can close Soweto for a few days."

Earlier, Masebo said secretaries should cultivate qualities that instil confidence and warm environments in their organisations as they were the first contacts with clients.

She challenged the secretaries to look their best at all times and to ensure that their workplaces and homes were clean.

"Let us begin with the home. We should provide a clean environment for our children," she said. "Money or lack of it should not be an issue because one can look smart with just minimum effort."

Masebo also praised the Southern African Management Institute (SAMI) for including the 'Make Zambia Clean and Healthy' campaign in their courses.

"This is encouraging as it shows that SAMI supports government policies that are intended to create a better Zambia for all of us," she said.

And SAMI representative Professor Muyunda Mwanalushi said Zambians required discipline to clean the nation and to turn the economy around. He said Zambia should learn from the Japanese who had adopted the ancient culture of upholding cleanliness which he said helped people to be more productive.

"A clean and healthy environment helps you to think well," Prof Mwanalushi said. "Japan is an economical giant today because of their clean environment." Prof Mwanalushi also presented 100 blankets to Masebo.

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Zambian Airways to purchase 2 more Boeing 737

Zambian Airways to purchase 2 more Boeing 737
By Joan Chirwa
Saturday September 01, 2007 [04:00]

ZAMBIAN Airways has successfully acquired a syndicated loan of US $5.5 million (approximately K22.3 billion) for the purchase of two additional Boeing 737-200 aircraft. The financing, which has been jointly arranged by Investrust Bank Plc, Intermarket Banking Corporation and Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ), is expected to be paid back within five years.

During the signing ceremony held in Lusaka yesterday, Zambian Airways chief executive officer Mutembo Nchito said he was delighted that local banks have managed to partner and offer financing to the airline. Nchito said the airline had a lot of confidence in the local financial market, hence the reason to organise financing from the three local banks.

“The three banks (Investrust, DBZ and Intermarket) have been our solid partners,” Nchito said. “All the three banks have given Zambian Airways valuable advice on what it takes for us to make it in the aviation business.”

Nchito further said the company had managed to grow the number of its passengers to around 22,000 from 3,200 recorded about three years ago.

“This is a great development. We recognise that we need a great team to run the business and this cannot be possible without partners such as the banks,” Nchito said. “The company has continued to contribute to the growth of the tourism sector and hopes to contribute significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”

Investrust Bank managing director Friday Ndhlovu said the facilitation of a syndicated loan to Zambian Airways was proof that local banks could deliver positive results.

“As the lead arranger of the transaction and the main banker to Zambian Airways, Investrust wishes to thank all stakeholders who have made completion of this syndication possible,” Ndhlovu said. “A local bank has syndicated a deal without the involvement of overseas specialists and as such, the market had questions on Investrust Banks Plc’s capabilities to deliver. This occasion answers these concerns candidly.”

And DBZ acting managing director Richard Phiri said the deal facilitated by the three local banks would help in the enhancement of the tourism and aviation industries in the country.

“You will agree with me that after the demise of Zambia Airways, there has never been an airline that has been of equal standing,” said Phiri.

Intermarket Banking Corporation chief operating officer Mabvuto Chipata hoped the three banks would continue to co-operate in more such projects for the development of the country’s economy.



FRA's current maize buying exercise disappoints Phiri

FRA's current maize buying exercise disappoints Phiri
By Fridah Zinyama
Friday August 31, 2007 [04:00]

SMALL-SCALE Farmers Association of Zambia president Rodgers Phiri has expressed disappointment over the Food Reserve Agency's current maize buying exercise. In an interview, Phiri said the maize marketing season had yet again been mishandled by the FRA.

"We are concerned at the rate at which the agency is buying the farmers' produce," he said. "We only have a month to prepare for the next farming season but FRA has not yet finished buying our crops."

He wondered why FRA took a long time to purchase the farmers' produce even when the government had provided additional sums of money. "Small-scale farmers play a vital role in food production of this country and the way the marketing season is handled is very important," Phiri said.

He said the small-scale farmers had managed to produce a bumper harvest during the last farming season despite the floods that affected most crops.

"With improved handling of the crop marketing season, the farmers are also likely to improve their production as they will be assured of their produce being bought on time," Phiri said.

He said an improved maize marketing exercise could also reduce cases of exploitation of farmers by briefcase buyers. Last week, President Mwanawasa announced that the government had summoned a financial institution to loan government about K200 billion to continue with the maize buying exercise.

There have been several calls for FRA to improve the way it handles the crop marketing season every year. Various stakeholders wonder why FRA still continues to experience the same problems year after year, instead of putting in place better measures to improve the marketing season.

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Petrotech Oil hasn't complied with SRF requirements - ERB

Petrotech Oil hasn't complied with SRF requirements - ERB
By Florence Bupe
Saturday September 01, 2007 [04:00]

THE Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has revealed that Petrotech Oil Corporation has not complied with Strategic Reserve Fund (SRF) remittance requirements in full. Responding to allegations by Petrotech Oil Corporation deputy managing director Dyson Mweene that ERB was unprofessional in its operations following the suspension of the oil marketing company’s operating licence, board communications officer Kwali Mfuni explained that the oil marketing company was not up to date in the remittance of SRF collections.

On Thursday, Mweene claimed that Petrotech Oil Corporation had paid SRF collections in full, amounting to K58 million, and a receipt number 1724 was issued by ERB. However, Mfuni clarified that the K58 million payment was up to May 2007 and Petrotech still owed for June, July and August.

“What is on the ground is that Petrotech is not in full compliance. They are behind by three months,” she said.

Earlier, ERB announced the suspension of operating licences for Petrotech Oil Corporation and Zambezi Oil and Transport Limited (ZOT).
Asked on whether the licence suspension for Petrotech Oil Corporation was still in effect, Mfuni said ERB would give their position next week.

And Mweene has admitted that at the time the licence was suspended, his company still owed ERB.

“The correct position is that an amount of K58, 852, 8181.20 was owing to ERB. This was the basis for ERB to issue a letter suspending the distribution licence for Petrotech Oil,” Mweene said. “Petrotech has had meetings with ERB to resolve this matter.”

Mweene had in an earlier statement accused ERB of being unprofessional in its relationship with oil marketing companies.

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(OLD NEWS, CITY FARMER) Cuba Exports City Farming 'Revolution' to Venezuela

Cuba Exports City Farming 'Revolution' to Venezuela
By Magdalena Morales
22 April, 2003 Reuters

CARACAS, Venezuela: In a conference room at Venezuela's military academy, a group of soldiers listen attentively to a duo of Cuban instructors. The topic being taught is not revolutionary guerrilla warfare as once practiced by Fidel Castro or "Che" Guevara, but the "organoponic farming revolution," communist Cuba's latest export to its closest South American ally, Venezuela.

Organoponic gardening, a system of concentrated, organic urban vegetable cultivation, is taking root in central Caracas amid the piles of garbage, bands of homeless beggars, and tens of thousands of vehicles belching out polluting gas fumes.

Inspired by Cuba's system of urban market gardens, which has been operating for several years, left-wing President Hugo Chavez has ordered the creation of similar intensive city plots across Venezuela in a bid to develop food self-sufficiency in the world's No. 5 oil exporter.

"Let's sow our cities with organic, hydroponic mini-gardens," said the populist former paratrooper, who survived a brief coup a year ago and also toughed out a crippling opposition strike in December and January.

Inside Fuerte Tiuna military headquarters, soldiers of the crack Ayala armored battalion supervised by Cuban instructors have swapped their rifles for shovels and hoes to tend neat rows of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, coriander, and parsley.

Since his election in late 1998, Chavez has drafted the armed forces to serve his self-styled "revolution" in a range of social projects, from providing medical services to running low-cost food markets for the poor.

Besides the military vegetable patch in Fuerte Tiuna, the government has also planted a 1.2-acre plot in Caracas' downtown Bellas Artes district, overlooked by towering office blocks and located near the city's main museums.

The market garden, denominated Bolivar 1 in honor of Venezuela's independence hero Simon Bolivar, is being run by an agricultural cooperative set up in a nearby poor neighborhood.

Public Skepticism

The sight of sprouting vegetables nestling in concrete-lined earth beds behind wire fences in central Caracas causes many passers-by to stare in puzzlement.

"This might be all right to provide for a family but not to feed a country," scoffed Diego Di Coccio, a 40-year-old unemployed businessman.

"They should use the money to unblock the drains," said chemical technician Hector Gonzalez, pointing to the piles of rubbish in the streets around.

Skeptics question why resource-rich Venezuela should need urban vegetable gardens when it has hundreds of thousands of acres of fertile farming land, much not in use.

The national farmers' federation Fedeagro, which groups 52 local associations around the country, says it is not opposed in principle to the urban food program. But it demands more government support for the farming sector, which contracted around 10 percent between 1998 and 2002.

"The problem is that it looks as though the government is concentrating all its efforts on these city farming plots, and yet the national sector remains in the state it's in," said Fedeagro's technical adviser Nelson Calabria.

Private farmers and ranchers also accuse the government of threatening private property with a socialist-inspired agrarian reform law that says idle, uncultivated rural estates can be expropriated and distributed to landless peasants.

But Chavez, a tough-talking nationalist, defends the urban garden plan as a necessary strategy to ward off the threat of food shortages and wean the country away from its high dependence on imports. Traditionally, more than 60 percent of the nation's food needs are imported.

To the derision of critics, Chavez has also suggested that Caracas' slum dwellers, whose ramshackle hilltop homes ring the city, should raise crops and chickens on their balconies and rooftops. Turn your homes into "vertical henhouses," he said.

The president, who is accused by his foes of ruining the oil-reliant economy with his anticapitalist rhetoric and interventionist policies, has also vowed to break what he says is a stranglehold on domestic food production held by rich "oligarchs" opposed to him.

During the recent opposition strike, Chavez ordered troops to temporarily seize and search some privately owned food plants, which he said were deliberately hoarding food supplies.

Cuban Influence

Critics of the president say he is using strict foreign exchange and price controls introduced this year to wage a vendetta against his business foes by denying them scarce U.S. dollars and forcing them to lower their prices.

Others ridicule the urban vegetable gardens as little more than a political gimmick and another sign of Chavez's close ideological ties with his friend and ally Cuban President Fidel Castro, whom he regularly salutes as a revolutionary soulmate.

Since Chavez came to power, Venezuela has become Cuba's single biggest trading partner, supplying the island with up to 53,000 barrels per day of oil in a bilateral energy agreement. Several hundred Cuban doctors, sports trainers, and technical advisers in areas like sugar farming are working in Venezuela.

Although the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) also backs the Venezuelan urban farming project, the main inspiration and training comes from specialists from Cuba.

The collapse from end-1989 of the Soviet bloc, Cuba's main political ally and supplier, plunged the island into economic crisis, and its government started up urban vegetable plots to counter critical food shortages caused by the loss of key farm-related imports like fertilizers and pesticides.

Cuba claims that 50 percent of the vegetables produced on the island come from urban gardens, but local residents complain that the produce is poor and there are persistent shortages.

"It was established that the main task of the revolution should be to produce food," Cuban Gen. Sio Wong, who is supervising the Venezuelan project, said in Caracas.

Health Benefit Or Hazard?

He hailed the benefits of the Caracas city plots. "No chemical products are used, so these are the healthiest vegetables that Venezuelans will eat," he said.

But Venezuelan experts wonder whether the polluted atmosphere of central Caracas could turn the city-center vegetables into a health hazard. They say that the smog-filled air contains concentrations of carbon monoxide and lead that could contaminate growing plants.

Despite the criticism, Chavez's government and its Cuban advisers are enthusiastic about the project, which involves an initial investment of around $2 million. The Agriculture Ministry hopes to plant 2,470 acres of such urban vegetable gardens this year and aims to supply about 20 percent of the nation's vegetables through the program.

"The Hanging Gardens of Babylon that appear in the Bible were basically urban gardens," said Adolfo Rodriguez, head of Cuba's Urban Agriculture Project.

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Friday, August 31, 2007

(HERALD) Commission mandated to implement competition policy

Commission mandated to implement competition policy

Competition Act The Competition Act (Chapter 14:28) is the principal legal instrument dealing with competition law and policy in Zimbabwe. The Act grants the Competition and Tariff Commission powers to ensure that the Commission meets its mandate for the implementation of the competition policy in Zimbabwe. The powers granted in terms of the Act enable the Commission to meet its main objective of promoting and maintaining competition in the economy of Zimbabwe.

Powers of Commission to Investigate

The Commission is granted, in terms of section 28 of the Act, the powers to undertake investigations into any restrictive practices, mergers and monopoly situations.

Where there is an alleged anti-competitive behaviour, the Act empowers the Commission to carry out either a preliminary investigation without notice or a full-scale investigation.

Where the Commission considers it necessary to conduct a full-scale investigation it must publish a notice in the Government Gazette and in a newspaper circulating in the area covered by the investigation as the Commission deems to be appropriate outlining the nature of the proposed investigation and inviting all interested persons or parties willing to do so to submit written representations with regard to the investigation.

After the publication of the notice the Commission is empowered by the Act to conduct a public hearing into the matter as part of the full-scale investigation. In conducting a hearing the Commission has the powers conferred upon a commissioner by the Commissions of Inquiry Act [Chapter 10:07], except the power to order a person to be detained in custody. The provisions of the Commissions of Inquiry Act relating to an inquiry and to any person summoned to give or giving evidence at the inquiry shall apply in the same manner, while making the necessary alterations, in relation to an inquiry in terms of the Competition Act.

This means, among other things, that the hearing must be held in public, though the Commission is entitled to exclude any particular person for the preservation of order. The Commission also has the power to regulate the proceedings of the hearing, meaning it may make any such rules as it deems necessary for its own guidance and for the conduct and management of the proceedings before it. This includes the power to set the hours, times and places for sittings and also to adjourn sittings from time to time and to such places as it thinks fit.

The Commission also has the power to summon witnesses to give evidence, to cause the oath to be administered to them and also to call for the production of any documentary evidence, though a person so subpoenaed to give evidence or to produce the documentary evidence shall be entitled to the same privileges as he would have in a magistrates court.

A person subpoenaed to give evidence or to produce documentary evidence and fails to do so, without sufficient cause, or who refuses to be sworn, or refuses to answer fully and satisfactorily, or who gives false evidence shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine and/or imprisonment. The Commission shall also have the power to order that any person who wilfully insults any commissioner or disturbs the proceedings be removed from the proceedings. The commissioners shall be immune from any action or suit resulting from the proceedings. The Commission shall also ensure that the rules of natural justice are duly observed and take all reasonable steps to ensure that any person likely to be affected by the outcome of the investigation is given an opportunity to make representations thereon.

l Produced by the Competition and Tariff Commission, Tel: (04) 771126-9/ (04) 773563-4 in conjunction with the Department of Anti- Corruption and Anti- Monopolies, Tel 707091.

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(HERALD) ‘Speed up processing of agric loans’

‘Speed up processing of agric loans’
By John Kachembere

LOCAL farmers attending the Harare Agricultural Show have expressed concern over lack of funding and delays in the processing of loans for agricultural activities. Such constraints had hit hard on productivity. They said huge financial resources were needed for major agricultural projects. It was difficult to secure funding, however, farmers said, and this has negatively impacted on optimum land utilisation.

The farmers believe that if the country is to retain its status as the breadbasket of Southern Africa more need to be done to expedite the disbursement of money for capitalisation.

"In most cases we access funds late thereby disrupting continuity on the farms and this has adverse effects on agriculture production," said one of the farmers.

An official with the Zimbabwe Farmers Union said some commercial banks were giving priority to seasoned farmers they have dealt with for years. Most of the farmers were finding it difficult to fully utilise the land allocated to them owing to limited resources.

"Production should be seen as a culmination of meticulous planning and appropriate financing as is the case on the international scene where there is a deliberate effort to support different sectors," he said.

Premier Bank, Kingdom Bank and Agribank are among many financial institutions that have committed themselves to funding agriculture. Mr Fanuel Mutandiro, a Mazowe farmer who specialises in horticulture said his area is capital intensive and farmers expect the Agribank to provide agricultural finance on time so that they can have a good season.

"Many of us with limited resources have demonstrated that we are responsible farmers who can be trusted and have attended various agricultural courses because we want to do our best for the country," he said.

A tobacco farmer from Gutu, Mr Regedzai Torovei, said the conditions for getting a loan were laborious and time consuming to the extent that by the time they access loans, almost half the value would have been lost.

The farmers also said the current process where the individual farmer has to submit three quotations when applying for a loan for the installation of irrigation facilities has proved costly and ineffective.

Successful agriculture development is heavily dependent on adequate financing and mechanisation. It is in this vein that farmers are therefore appealing to the Government to explore new ways of providing funds for agriculture.

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(HERALD) ‘Zim to boost ties with Equatorial Guinea’

‘Zim to boost ties with Equatorial Guinea’
Business Editor

ZIMBABWE is dedicated to cultivating and promoting sound investment partnerships and is searching for friendly and well-meaning nations such as the Equatorial Guinea in efforts to resolve transitory challenges facing the economy. Speaking at a business cocktail hosted for the Equatorial Guinea business delegation in Harare on Wednesday, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr Gideon Gono said Zimbabwe had emerged from a protracted land reform programme oozing untapped opportunities in all sectors of the economy, particularly in agriculture, mining, manufacturing, tourism and financial services.

In this regard, Equatorial Guinea stood out as one such country Zimbabwe could forge win-win trade and investment partnerships with.

"The visit (by that country’s President Toedoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and the business delegation) is a clear testimony of the growing friendship between the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and Zimbabwe.
"These relations are important in ensuring that bi-lateral co-operation benefits the people of the two great countries as enshrined in the Zimbabwe/Equatorial Guinea Joint Permanent Commission of 2004 Agreement on Economic, Technical, Cultural and Scientific Cooperation in March 2006," said Dr Gono who was recently in Equatorial Guinea.

He described his visit as having revealed immense business opportunities for the two countries which could be explored and exploited for mutual benefit.

"The income base of the Equatorial Guinea economy, supported by oil export revenues, presents exciting opportunities for our local companies to forge win-win strategic ventures here at home with their counterparts from Equatorial Guinea," he said.

The cocktail was hosted by the central bank and the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries. It was attended by Govern-ment officials and business leaders from both countries.

Equatorial Guinea boasted of a growing oil sector, with production averaging 360 000 barrels per day.

Opportunities in that country were abound in sectors such as clothing and textiles, infrastructure development, tourism and forests and woodlands.

Dr Gono painted a glowing picture about opportunities in this country, saying Zimbabwe was a highly competitive investment destination with comprehensive investment infrastructure and first class regulatory and legislative framework, among its attributes.

He challenged the local business community to seize the trade and investment opportunities that existed between the two countries while deepening already existing synergies.

"At the business to business level, it is imperative that we capitalise on the framework of sound bilateral relations enhanced by our leadership and make the best out of your initial contact and deliberations.

This was also expressed by the Equatorial Guinea ambassador Juan Antonio Bibang Nchuchuma who emphasised the need for expeditious implementation of agreed projects.

"We want to emphasise on implementation. Action, action and action is what we want to see and my office is ready to facilitate that," he said in an interview.

Dr Gono also said the central bank was ready to facilitate business between the two countries.

"Your central bank and your governor and his team stand ready to facilitate and provide the necessary support (on a needs-basis) to translate your initiatives into concrete economic and financial benefits for our great countries."

Equatorial Guinea’s Special Affairs Minister Mr Alejandro Evuna Owon said it was incumbent upon the business communities of the two countries to strengthen their ties as the groundwork had already been done at the highest level.

He was impressed by a mini-exhibition by some companies at the Harare International Conference Centre. The exhibitors included Dairibord Zimbabwe, Cairns Holdings, Ariston Holdings, Cold Storage Company, Netone and Telone.

Earlier in the day President Teodoro Obiang Mbasogo was shown around the exhibitions by Dr Gono.

Dairibord Zimbabwe Limited group chief executive Mr Anthony Mandiwanza spoke on behalf of business saying Zimbabwe’s business community was eager to take up opportunities in Equatorial Guinea. Initiatives along those lines had already started.

The business delegation is in the country as part of President Nguema Mbasogo entourage on a four-day State visit.

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(DAILY MAIL) $28m to power Chambishi

$28m to power Chambishi

ZESCO Limited and China Non-Ferrous Metal Mining Group Corporation Limited (CNMC) have signed an agreement for the supply of power to the proposed Chambishi Multi Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ). Zesco Limited managing director, Rhodnie Sisala, said at the signing ceremony in Lusaka yesterday that US$27.8 million would be invested in construction of the power supply infrastructure.

Mr Sisala said the US$800 million Chinese investment in the MFEZ would require 110 mega watts of power from Zesco’s 330 kV system.

“It is planned that construction of the power supply infrastructure will be completed in the next 12 months to enable the multi facility economic zone to start operating by August next year,” Mr Sisala said.

And CNMC vice chairperson, Zou Xia, said his company first invested in Zambia in 1998 when it established the Non-Ferrous China Africa Mine in Chambishi.

‘’To expand our cooperation scale, our company signed another letter of intent with the Ministry of Commerce in January 2006 after the Beijing-Africa summit, and the two governments agreed to build a Chinese economic and trade zone.

“This decision encouraged more Chinese enterprises to invest or expand their investment in Zambia.

This will create more job opportunities for local residents and strengthen our friendship,” Mr Zou said.

He said construction of the MFEZ would facilitate development of many industries like mechanic, foodstuffs, electrical instruments and textiles.

Earlier, Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, Li Qiangmin, said in recent years, economic and trade cooperation between China and Zambia had continued to expand and deepen.

“Chinese enterprises are making a robust investment in Zambia.

The investment climate here is getting better and better.

The Chinese Government encourages and supports well-established Chinese businesses to invest and operate in the economic cooperation zone to contribute to economic development and social progress in Zambia,” Mr Li said.

He described the Zesco-CNMC agreement as a realisation of the agreement between Presidents Mwanawasa and Hu Jintao for the MFEZ.

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AfDB calls for strengthening of regional economies

AfDB calls for strengthening of regional economies
By Joan Chirwa
Thursday August 30, 2007 [04:00]

ZAMBIA and other African countries must strengthen institutional and technical capacities at a regional level before a United African government could be established, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has advised.

And the AfDB has said delays at most border posts in southern Africa cost the region US$48 billion annually, mainly due to cumbersome inspection regimes by customs officials on goods transported across borders.

AfDB vice president for infrastructure, water and sanitation Mandla Gantsho said African countries cannot successfully integrate into a United Africa government with weak Regional Economic Communities (RECs) that were dependent on aid.

“The AfDB can play a role in terms of providing human and financial support and sharing experiences between African RECs and economic groupings in other parts of the world,” Gantsho said in an interview with the bank’s press department.

“That is, we must acknowledge that we are disadvantaged in the global economy if we remain as small, landlocked and fragmented countries with relatively weak RECs that are dependent on aid.

These are weak pillars, and we cannot integrate our continent on the basis of weak pillars.”
Gantsho noted the need for strengthening regional institutions and countries that make up the RECs for the effective implementation of the planned United African government.

“Doing so would strengthen the foundations of the continental government we are trying to build,” Gantsho said.

“However, the immediate establishment of a continental government would be tantamount to trying to place a roof on walls of straw or on walls that are built on foundations of soft sand. We have a role to play.”

He said the United African government would also ensure a more effective and efficient provision of regional public goods that are needed to catalyse both the integration as well as the development process across the entire continent.

“I am a proponent of the school of thought that sees regional economic unions as the basis for the Union Government, where the constituent countries yield some sovereign powers to the RECs.

This would fast-track sub regional political and socio-economic integration through investment in regional economic infrastructure,” Gantsho said.

And Gantsho said the costly delays at border posts in southern Africa had a negative effect on transport and logistics service providers.

“Transport providers are forced to pay huge penalties for failing to meet their service obligations to their clients. This is why transportation costs in Africa are the highest compared to other regions of the world. These constraints would be resolved in an integrated Africa,” said Gantsho.

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Chief Puta calls for tax rebate on fishing nets
By Sandra Lombe
Friday August 31, 2007 [04:00]

SENIOR chief Puta of the Bwile people of Chiengi district has called for a tax rebate on fishing nets if people are to stop using mosquito nets. Chief Puta said the fact that there was no rebate on fishing nets had contributed to people using mosquito nets for fishing.

"Mosquito nets are cheaper and readily available. Since there is no tax rebate on the fishing nets, people have decided to use the mosquito nets to fish," he said.

He urged the government to sell the fishing nets at a cheaper price if people were to stop using unconventional methods. However, chief Puta said his people should not be blamed for over fishing.

"The government also should look at what factors lead to dwindling the fish," he said.

And chief Puta called on the government to quickly repair roads to attract investors to his area. "Roads have delayed development in our area," he complained. He also encouraged his people to continue growing food crops as it was embarrassing to beg.

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Energy board lacks professionalism, charges Mweene

Energy board lacks professionalism, charges Mweene
By Florence Bupe
Friday August 31, 2007 [04:00]

PETROTECH Oil Corporation deputy managing director Dyson Mweene has charged that the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) lacks professionalism in its operations. Reacting to ERB’s disclosure of the suspension of operating licenses for Petrotech Oil Limited and Zambezi Oil and Transport Company Limited for non-remittance of Strategic Reserve Funds (SRF), Mweene said there were stipulated rules that were ignored in the issuance of the information.

He also said ERB was out of touch with oil marketing companies (OMCs), as Petrotrech had remitted the Strategic Reserve Funds under review, amounting to K58 million.

“When it comes to confidential matters of such nature, there are stipulated regulations that ERB needs to follow, which was not the case when they issued that statement to say our licence had been suspended.

We demand that ERB should reverse that statement and act more responsibly,” Mweene said. “There is a serious communication breakdown between ERB and oil marketing companies.”

On Wednesday, ERB announced the suspension of licences for Zambezi Oil and Transport Company Limited and Petrotech Oil Limited for failure to remit SRF collections.

Mweene provided proof of the company’s strategic reserve fund payment in full, made on August 28, 2007.

“It was alleged that we had not paid SRF amounting to K58 million. This money has already been paid, and a receipt number 1724 was issued by ERB,” Mweene said.

“This is a clear misrepresentation of facts and it is regrettable that ERB should always issue misleading statements. We call upon ERB to ensure that they always convey the correct information, otherwise their information is not far from malice.”

ERB stated that the two affected OMCs appeared before the board in June where they were ordered to pay all the outstanding SRF monies and to be current in their remittances, failure to which their licenses would be suspended.

However, Mweene charged that ERB was just trying to politicise the issue, and lamented that the announcement would have adverse effects on their operations.

Efforts to get a comment from ERB on the matter failed as the communications officer Kwali Mfuni was reportedly not in the office.

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HH urges his MPs to unite on constitution debate

HH urges his MPs to unite on constitution debate
By Mwala Kalaluka
Friday August 31, 2007 [04:00]

UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema has advised his parliamentarians to be united as ‘ants’ over the constitution review debate. And Hichilema said people should not be stopped from having children just because they are poor. Asked to comment on the manner his parliamentarians handled the debate on the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) Bill before it was passed by Parliament recently,Hichilema said the UPND still had a common position on the constitution issue despite some parliamentarians expressing divergent opinions during the debate.

He said divergent opinions expressed by some members of parliament from the party over the UPND’s arguments that the powers to dissolve the Constitutional Conference should not be vested in President Mwanawasa had not taken anything from his party’s position on the current constitution debate.

Following a contribution by Zambezi West member of parliament Charles Kakoma that the Constitutional Conference should be given the mandate to dissolve itself as opposed to what is recommended in the NCC Bill, Mbabala member of parliament Emmanuel Hachipuka said the recommendation should not be tampered with as there was need to have a ‘captain’ in the whole undertaking. He said if President Mwanawasa, who was better-placed to dissolve the conference, were denied that power there was a danger of the conference sitting indefinitely.

Kakoma, however, withdrew his proposed amendments pertaining to the dissolution of the Constitutional Conference a few minutes prior to the Bill’s passing, citing advise from colleagues as the rationale behind the action.

But Hichilema reluctantly said the issue was not what members of parliament did during the debate leading to the passing of the Bill but on making sure that the UPND’s organised approach on the constitution is sustained.

“In every house there will be a deviant child,” he said. “Ants have their own orderliness and I believe every community must have orderliness.

They have their own system of doing things in their anthills. Now humans are superior creatures and superior beings and must be more organised.”
He said the UPND’s stance on issues surrounding the current constitution formulation process had never been a secret.

“UPND has had a position, a very well-known position from way back on what we want to see in the constitution,” Hichilema said.

“Like any other house, we are organised but as you know in every house there is someone who wants to express their personal opinion. I will not dwell much on that.”

And in an apparent reference to President Mwanawasa’s sentiments in Ndola that people should stop bearing children if they could not afford school fees, Hichilema said this was not the right way for the government to tackle social economic challenges.

“You do not stop people from having children because they are poor.
What you should do and what any government should do is to just deliver development to the people,” he said. “Education is the greatest equalizer. It is a fact that any country where the population is highly educated families have got fewer children.”

He urged Zambians to unite and fight for economic independence.

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Farewell, Yuss

Farewell, Yuss
By Editor
Friday August 31, 2007 [04:00]

The death of Trevor Ford, popularly known as Yuss, is a big blow to us, our newspaper and indeed to all who read or followed his works, his cartoons. Yuss was with this newspaper from the very beginning, from edition zero - the dummy edition - of the Weekly Post, as The Post was then known. When Yuss was approached to contribute cartoons to this project, he accepted without hesitation, without weighing the consequences of doing so, especially for a foreigner who had decided to make Zambia his home and did not want to leave it under any circumstances.

Today we give thanks for the life of a man we are so proud to be able to call our friend, our cartoonist, our columnist: the unique, the complex, the extraordinary and irreplaceable Yuss, whose works will never be extinguished from our minds, from the minds of the Zambian people who he had decided to make his own people.
We thank Yuss for the way he brightened our lives with his cartoons, with his works and his genius. We feel cheated that he is taken away from us, and yet we must learn to be grateful that he came along at all. Only now that he is gone do we truly appreciate what we are now without. Yuss has left us sixteen years of cartoons, but we will never see any more new works from him.

Yuss was a cartoonist of a special kind. And indignation is what kept Yuss going as a cartoonist. Yuss humbled the pompous and the arrogant; he shamed liars and hypocrites. The glory of his cartoons was in their transience. If one didn't like Yuss' cartoons, one probably didn't like what was going on in Zambia. The significance and importance of Yuss' cartoons may be overlooked in preference to their humorous aspects, yet their power and pervasiveness cannot be ignored. Yuss, in his cartoons, shed light on the seedier and immoral face of Zambia as a commentary on societal ills. The widespread popularity and distribution of Yuss' works encouraged our leaders, political or otherwise, to act and address the social problems facing our country and our people. The power of Yuss' cartoons has been used to full advantage to help address societal ills and to just help readers laugh at themselves. There was a lot of witty and humour in Yuss' cartoons. The quality of Yuss' cartoons however varied depending on where you were and who was in power at the time, because openly criticising those in power could be very dangerous at times, but still Yuss continued, through his cartoons, to get his messages to the masses of our people.

Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, as Yuss did, he sends a tiny ripple of hope, crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring. Those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of injustice.

Yuss used his cartoons as an appropriate tool for making accountable government leaders and others who wield or aspire to wield political and economic power over the lives of ordinary people. Yuss' cartoons were not about silly things to make people laugh, but were aimed at making our leaders account for their promises and duties to the people. The main purpose of Yuss' work was really to hold power to account. Through his cartoons, Yuss effectively questioned public officers' activities in terms of fiscal discipline and their responsibilities to the people. Clearly, Yuss' cartoons were a major component of press freedom in this country. Yuss' cartoons came out of indignation, anger and outrage. He trembled with indignation every time an injustice was committed in this country and in the world, and then tried to sublimate this into humour. He effectively used his cartoons to point out hypocrisy, pomposity, absurdity and arrogance. From Yuss' works, we learn that it is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another. From his works, we also learn that art, like life, should be free, since both are experimental. People believe that having freedom of expression is a natural phenomenon. It is not. It is the result of intense care and vigilance. We do not apologise for the effort of anybody in the news business to be entertaining, if the motive is to instruct and to teach and to elevate rather than to debase. A free press is not necessarily an angelic press. Freedom of expression does not exist so we can freely praise our public officials. It exists so we can freely criticise our public officials. Therefore, tolerance of a free press is the touchstone for a democratic society.

Standing up for what is right isn't always popular. But you cannot have a democracy and you cannot have a community if you don't have a way to share ideas. The right to express onerself is not something that is inherently part of being a journalist; it is part of being a human being.

Yuss' works over the last sixteen years pushed freedom of expression and of the press to higher levels in our country. He made a lot of people start to discuss the limits or parameters of freedom of expression and of the press. This is because his cartoons often combined anger and humour and as a result they could be profoundly disturbing - because they were essentially ironic and sarcastic, they were often misunderstood. And because cartoons are stealthy criticism, they frequently escaped civil and criminal libel laws and even censorship. This helped increase the levels of political tolerance and thereby extending the bounds of freedom of expression and of the press. It therefore cannot be denied that Yuss made a great contribution to the building of democracy in this country by helping increase the levels of tolerance among our people. And he will always occupy a special place at our newspaper and among our people. We will always remember him fondly and with pride. Farewell, Yuss.

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K mourns Post cartoonist Yuss

K mourns Post cartoonist Yuss
By Brighton Phiri and Chibaula Silwamba
Friday August 31, 2007 [04:00]

DR Kenneth Kaunda yesterday described the late Post cartoonist Trevor Ford as a great contributor in the field of communication. Commenting on the death of Ford popularly known as Yuss, Dr Kaunda said Zambians would miss his unique style and informative way of communication.

"Naturally, we shall miss his unique and informative style of communication," he said.

Dr Kaunda said it would be difficult for the country to replace a cartoonist of Yuss' talent and courage. He urged cartoonists and other media practitioners to emulate Yuss' courageous and unique style of informing the public.
Dr Kaunda said Yuss' cartoons assisted the people to debate on issues of national interest.

"My condolences go to his family and the media fraternity...a replacement of such cases is not easily found. May this not be a problem for his co-workers in the media," he said.
Opposition UPND president Hakainde Hichilema said Zambia had been robbed of a gallant cartoonist, who was focused in his quest to inform the public.

Veteran politician Simon Zukas described Yuss as an outstanding artist and cartoonist.

"It is very sad because he was such an outstanding artist and cartoonist," Zukas said.

Press Freedom Committee of The Post chairperson, Webster Malido, described the passing of Yuss as a loss to journalism and to all those who value freedom and democracy.

Malido said through his sometimes provocative, yet entertaining cartoons, Yuss put to test "our commitment as a nation to free speech and freedom of the press."

"While trying to ignite laughter from his works, Yuss on a serious note always tried to put the face of his jokes on the body of truth. He succeeded in this because his works - imaginative as they might have been - were a true reflection of our lived experiences," Malido said.
"His illustrious contribution to the growth of our democracy cannot be denied even by the most hostile of his critics, because he excelled at combining his imagination and expression in exposing - in a humorous, yet not frivolous style - the contradictions of the world we live in."

Post newspapers administration manager Reuben Phiri said the late Yuss contributed so much to the development of The Post through his cartoons.

Confirming the death of Yuss yesterday, Phiri said the veteran cartoonist died of cancer on Wednesday night.
"We have been keeping track of his health condition until at the time he unfortunately passed on, on Wednesday night," Phiri said. "We wish to take this opportunity to express our sincere condolences to all his family members."

Phiri said Yuss would be cremated tomorrow in Lusaka.
"We will go to Ambassador Saint Anne's where the body is lying, after which there will be cremation," he said.

Phiri said Yuss, who was born in South Wales in United Kingdom, had been associated with The Post from its inception in 1991.
"Yuss has been associated with The Post since its inception, drawing cartoons which sometimes were controversial," Phiri said. "Basically, Yuss is a person who interacted with each and every person at The Post. He contributed so much to the development of The Post through his collaborating of editorial content with his cartoon and was highly knowledgeable about local and international events."

In a profile interview with Post managing editor Amos Malupenga in 2005, Yuss said he did not just draw to earn a living but communicate.
"When politicians say we are here to serve you, they don't mean it. People are promised this and that but nothing happens. This is not just here but worldwide," Yuss said. "So the role of the satirical writer, the playwright, the cartoonist and the painter is to point out all those things. I will continue to deal with poverty, corruption, lack of education, health and many more...From my point of view, the role of a cartoonist should be, to be a thorn in the side of a pompous politician, to burst the balloon, to bring them down when they tell a pack of lies."
Yuss was born as Brian Ford but later changed the name to Trevor after people started calling him by that name.

"One of my relatives, Trevor Ford, was a famous international footballer. He played for Aston Villa, Sunderland, and Ajax in Holland among other teams. I also played a lot of football as a kid so the name stuck. I have been called Trevor from about the age of five," said Yuss.

And explaining how he got the nickname Yuss, he said: "Trevor is another nickname that I have used for years on paintings. On my cartoons with the other publications I used the name Trevor. Robby Makayi and Mike Hall said you can't be Trevor Ford because it would be politically unwise to use a known name. Bubu (my son) at the time was very young and he was asked by his mother if he wanted a glass of milk and he said YUSS. And Robby Makayi said 'that's it, you are YUSS'. And that is how I got the name. I know people don't believe me but that is how I got the name. People think YUSS has some meaning, not at all. The first cartoon I did for The Post was during the rip off of Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM). After the first cartoon, there were letters to The Post, people were asking who YUSS was. They said they had an idea who YUSS was. But The Post never issued any statement at all. But what was exciting was that for the first time and for a long time, we had Bill Saidi and Kapelwa Musonda whose columns were very straight. They were like an illustration. There were no political cartoons. And so when we started YUSS, people were sort of against the idea. After two or three editions, the cartoons, especially political ones, became very popular and people wanted to buy me a drink wherever I went. It was exciting and has always been exciting drawing cartoons."

Yuss came to Zambia in 1966 and proceeded to work at Hillcrest Secondary School as an art teacher before joining Evelyn Hone College as a lecturer in 1970 until 1983 when he quit to join Ridgeway Hotel which is now Holiday Inn, as a designer. In 1988, Yuss left Ridgeway to go and re-organise, and headed the art department at International School of Lusaka until he joined The Post in 1990.
Yuss was a painter by training but he was more interested in cartoons and regarded painting as a hobby.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

(HERALD) ‘Mechanisation second phase programme to be more strict’

‘Mechanisation second phase programme to be more strict’
Herald Reporter

GOVERNMENT will apply stringent measures in vetting beneficiaries of the second phase of the agricultural mechanisation programme to ensure that only productive farmers benefited, a senior official has said. Secretary for Agricultural Engineering and Mechanisation Dr Shadreck Mlambo said the second phase of allocations, to be launched next month, would be more thorough.

Dr Mlambo said this on Tuesday while giving oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Lands and Agriculture, held at the Parliament stand at the ongoing Harare Agricultural Show.

Manicaland chief George Chimombe chaired the committee.

Dr Mlambo was responding to questions from some legislators who wanted to know what criteria the State was using to distribute the farm implements under the mechanisation programme.

"The selection is done by our ministry in conjunction with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the first phase has been complete. Members of Parliament, traditional leaders and Government officials were among the people who benefited," said Dr Mlambo.

"So the first phase is complete and the second phase is coming soon and we are going to be more strict. You should be known to be producing from information gathered from either extension officers or records from the Grain Marketing Board and one should have an offer letter."

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(HERALD) War vets back President

War vets back President
Herald Reporters

THOUSANDS of war veterans yesterday marched through the streets of Harare in solidarity with President Mugabe in the wake of machinations by the West to effect illegal regime change in Zimbabwe and expressing their support for him as the Zanu-PF candidate in next year’s presidential election.

The placard-waving ex-combatants — who were sloganeering and singing revolutionary songs — expressed confidence in Cde Mugabe’s leadership, urging him to stand for re-election next year.

"We will die with our President," "Mugabe is right," "No going back on Land" and "Zimbabwe will never be a colony again" are some of the inscriptions that were on the placards.

Addressing the war veterans at the Zanu-PF Headquarters later in the day, President Mugabe scoffed at the Australian government’s decision to fund opposition political activities in Zimbabwe in an attempt to effect illegal regime change, saying the move would never reverse the country’s hard-won independence.

He said the A$18 million pledged mainly to the MDC Tsvangirai faction by Australian Prime Minister Mr John Howard would not bring about the desired puppet regime.

Zanu-PF, he said, was poised to win next year’s harmonised elections resoundingly.

"Howard is giving A$18 million to assist the opposition parties to destroy our unity and inheritance, but money will not achieve anything in dividing us. The land is ours. We came from the soil. Life is in the soil," said Cde Mugabe.

Mr Morgan Tsvangirai this week met Mr Howard to thank him for imposing sanctions against Zimbabwe, and revoking the study visas of children whose parents are accused by Canberra of propping up the Government.

The President said since the Government compulsorily acquired land from whites for redistribution to the landless majority, Britain and its Western allies had come up with various machinations to fight back.

He said the British led some Western countries in imposing illegal sanctions, raising issues of alleged dictatorship, accusing the Government of lawlessness and human rights excesses.

He said the British used false reports from some non-governmental organisations, Mr Tsvangirai and other civic organisations such as the National Constitutional Assembly of Dr Lovemore Madhuku to justify their attacks on the establishment.

"They used many ways to peddle lies and giving wrong information. They accused us of political sins. We have governed this country better than (former Prime Minister Tony) Blair has done to his Britain."

He said in Britain, cases of murder, especially of children, were increasing daily and discrimination against blacks was also high.

The President said despite this discrimination, some Zimbabweans who did not have the country at heart were flocking to the United Kingdom to become "slaves".

"Our country has more riches than Britain. Our wealth is in the land. Those who were given land and are working hard in their lands have become rich," he said.

Cde Mugabe said land could be used in so many ways for immense benefits.

The President also said while the Government had done a lot to empower its people economically, there were other sectors, such as mining, which were still under the control of whites.

He said British and Australian companies owned most of the mines that were engaged in underhand dealings to sabotage the economy.

The President said some businesspeople were hiking prices daily in a bid to incite people to revolt against the Government to further the illegal regime change agenda.

"Is it profit making only or a diabolic spirit to destroy the economy?" he asked.

"They have no measure and limit in their being unethical. If we remain united, our truth and commitment to our country will keep us united together," he said.

Cde Mugabe also expressed concern over the apparent greed displayed by some people in leadership positions who took advantage of the recent price reductions to hoard goods for resale on the illegal parallel market at exorbitant prices.

He warned against corrupt activities, saying the culprits should be disciplined as they should lead by example.

Cde Mugabe also scoffed at reports that Britain and its Western allies had offered him an exit package to force him to retire and leave Zimbabwe.

"Exit package, for what? For where? Leaving my soil? Kusiya ivhu rangu ndichienda kune raani? Kune mudzimu wani? Kuno rira shiri dzani? Kune mhuka dzaani? Ndosiya marovambira ne shato dzedu nani?" said Cde Mugabe to a round of applause from the war veterans.

He said he would die in Zimbabwe as he was born here.

"Here I was born, here I grew up and here I will die and be buried," he declared.

Cde Mugabe, who is also the patron of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association, commended the ex-combatants for coming out in their thousands to show solidarity with him and their decision to endorse his candidature for next year’s elections. He vowed to continue supporting them and the ordinary people in their cause for a better way of life.

He said the war veterans’ commitment to the liberation struggle and preservation of the national heritage and humanity proved that they were true revolutionaries.

"Makaibva nehondo. You went through a grill of the revolution . . ." he said.

He urged them to remain united and disciplined.

"You are our revolutionaries, the carriers of the revolutionary torch. Let that torch never die but its flame must continue to shine," he said.

Cde Mugabe said that as Zanu-PF was preparing for campaigns, it was time to strategise and break the MDC strongholds in the urban areas.

He urged the war veterans to shun tribalism, saying the liberation struggle was fought for everyone.

Cde Mugabe said no matter how large or small a tribe was, Zimbabweans were the same people.

"If there are problems, let them be presented to the Government and we will address them. Resources may be inadequate, but the spirit to do justice to our people remains paramount," he said.

"Let’s go to the elections committed and sell our good policies to the people, explaining the inheritance of the liberation struggle.

"Leadership is only true leadership when it recognises that it is made by the people, and if it fails to realise the wishes of the people, it would be a mistaken leadership.

"Leadership should come from the people. People should see that you have the right leadership qualities to become their leader. Let people elect you because you have the potential," said Cde Mugabe.

He said he did not entertain gossip from some quarters vying for the Presidency.

Earlier on, war veterans’ association national chairman Cde Jabulani Sibanda said they had converged to convey their unwavering support to the President as the sole Zanu-PF candidate in the next year’s presidential election.

He said war veterans were satisfied by the President’s impeccable record as their leader.

"You have ably led this nation from the ashes of war, building a vibrant economy, united people and (pursued a) progressive foreign policy based on the principle of non-alignment and anti-imperialism," he said.

Cde Sibanda said the President had not allowed threats from the imperialist forces to deter him from the sacred task of giving land to the people despite the personal risks and dangers to him and his family.

"Notwithstanding the Western hegemonic tendencies, your wisdom has guided the nation into the now successful ‘Look East Policy’," he said.

COMMENT - ZIMTRADE chief executive officer Hebert Chakanyuka said the move was part of the government’s larger national export strategy and that his department was taking advantage of the popularity of Zimbabwean products on the Zambian market, especially processed foods.

Who said there is no regional market for regionally produced and manufactured goods?

I would much rather see Zambia see regional economic integration with all the countries surrounding it. That would do a lot to boost the national and local economies.

ZIMTRADE to set up shop in Zambia
By Kingsley Kaswende in Harare
Thursday August 30, 2007 [04:00]

ZIMTRADE, the export promotion wing of the government of Zimbabwe, is working out logistics to set up a retail shop of exclusively Zimbabwean products in Zambia.

ZIMTRADE chief executive officer Hebert Chakanyuka said the move was part of the government’s larger national export strategy and that his department was taking advantage of the popularity of Zimbabwean products on the Zambian market, especially processed foods.

“We want to ensure that we enhance the effectiveness of our presence in the market to set up a shop which will have Zimbabwean products in order to assist some of the companies that don’t have the capacity to export, as well as existing players,” he said.

“We are looking at stocking up processed foods. We have an edge in the Zambian market. Traditionally, most of our products have been consumed in Zambia and we believe because of that knowledge which is there in the Zambian market we will get easy acceptability of our products.”

Chakanyuka said the development would also be a huge boost for Zimbabwean small and medium sized enterprises that have had no knowledge and capacity to export their quality products.

However, the retail shop is likely to be compromised by the shortage of commodities in the country but Chakanyuka said part of the solution to the current problems the country was facing was to strengthen the export sector.

Zimbabwe has experienced a dwindling export sector over the years and the local market has had shrinking disposable incomes.

“The shortage of products in the country will not compromise the campaign because this is a temporary situation where all key stakeholders are engaging each other to ensure that they resolve the current challenges.

We believe that because of the hyper-inflation in this country every company needs to export to ensure that the capacity is restored,” he said.

Chakanyuka said Zimbabwean products would have no problem competing with South African ones on the Zambian market because “they have stood on their own.”

He said Zimbabwean products had competed well in South Africa and there was no reason they could not in their traditional market.
“We have had our processed foods going to South Africa.

There are some Zimbabwean companies in South Africa and nothing can stop Zimbabwe competing in other markets like Zambia where we have enjoyed a fair share of the market,” he said.

Chakanyuka also disclosed that Zimbabwean companies that participated at the recent Lusaka Agricultural and Commercial Show managed to generate on-spot business worth US$300,000 while orders under negotiation were around US$2 million.

“That on its own is an indication that Zimbabwean products have a share on the Zambian market,” said Chakanyuka.

COMMENT - The CEO of Zambia Sugar is also the head of the Sugar Producers Association of Zambia? Hmm...

‘Negotiate for better trade terms’

SOUTHERN African Development Community (SADC) sugar producers have been urged to take seriously negotiations on economic partnership agreements (EPAs), if they are to protect the interest of the people. Minister for Commerce, Trade and Industry, Felix Mutati, said that if the EPAs process was not taken seriously it would have an adverse effect on the sugar industry.

“As experts, you need to adhere to the original objective of protecting the people. If we do not take this process seriously, SADC industry would be under threat,” he said.

Mr Mutati said this in Lusaka yesterday when he officiated at the Federation of SADC Sugar Producers (FSSP) conference on the European Union (EU) market access.

Mr Mutati said that the FSSP should be mindful as they deliberated to ensure there were no job losses and distortions.

He reiterated that sugar remained a key product in wealth and job-creation.

The minister noted that there was need to articulate issues on the principles of improved market access to the EU, duty free and quota free for the least developed countries.

“What will happen if we open up, our revenue will decline hence have greater access of the sugar industry,” he said.

Earlier, Sugar Producers Association of Zambia (SPAZ) chairman, Paul de Robillard, said the sugar industry in the country was growing steadily with the largest consumption of 40 per cent going to the SADC region.

The EU has 25 per cent share of the market with 22 per cent going into the Great Lakes Region.

About 150,000 metric tonnes was been consumed locally.

Mr De Robillard, who is also Zambia Sugar managing director, said over 8,000 people have been employed in the sugar industry.

He was giving an overview of the sugar industry, which consists of Zambia Sugar, Consolidated Farming Limited, producers of Kafue sugar, and Kalungwishi Sugar in Kasama.

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ZIMTRADE to set up shop in Zambia

ZIMTRADE to set up shop in Zambia
By Kingsley Kaswende in Harare
Thursday August 30, 2007 [04:00]

ZIMTRADE, the export promotion wing of the government of Zimbabwe, is working out logistics to set up a retail shop of exclusively Zimbabwean products in Zambia. ZIMTRADE chief executive officer Hebert Chakanyuka said the move was part of the government’s larger national export strategy and that his department was taking advantage of the popularity of Zimbabwean products on the Zambian market, especially processed foods.

“We want to ensure that we enhance the effectiveness of our presence in the market to set up a shop which will have Zimbabwean products in order to assist some of the companies that don’t have the capacity to export, as well as existing players,” he said.

“We are looking at stocking up processed foods. We have an edge in the Zambian market. Traditionally, most of our products have been consumed in Zambia and we believe because of that knowledge which is there in the Zambian market we will get easy acceptability of our products.”

Chakanyuka said the development would also be a huge boost for Zimbabwean small and medium sized enterprises that have had no knowledge and capacity to export their quality products.

However, the retail shop is likely to be compromised by the shortage of commodities in the country but Chakanyuka said part of the solution to the current problems the country was facing was to strengthen the export sector.

Zimbabwe has experienced a dwindling export sector over the years and the local market has had shrinking disposable incomes.

“The shortage of products in the country will not compromise the campaign because this is a temporary situation where all key stakeholders are engaging each other to ensure that they resolve the current challenges.

We believe that because of the hyper-inflation in this country every company needs to export to ensure that the capacity is restored,” he said.

Chakanyuka said Zimbabwean products would have no problem competing with South African ones on the Zambian market because “they have stood on their own.”

He said Zimbabwean products had competed well in South Africa and there was no reason they could not in their traditional market.
“We have had our processed foods going to South Africa.

There are some Zimbabwean companies in South Africa and nothing can stop Zimbabwe competing in other markets like Zambia where we have enjoyed a fair share of the market,” he said.

Chakanyuka also disclosed that Zimbabwean companies that participated at the recent Lusaka Agricultural and Commercial Show managed to generate on-spot business worth US$300,000 while orders under negotiation were around US$2 million.

“That on its own is an indication that Zimbabwean products have a share on the Zambian market,” said Chakanyuka.

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Chief Sandwe appeals for help on roads, water

Chief Sandwe appeals for help on roads, water
By Christopher Miti in Chipata
Thursday August 30, 2007 [04:00]

CHIEF Sandwe of the Nsenga people in Petauke District has appealed to Msanzala member of parliament Peter Daka to help address the problem of roads and water in the area. In an interview, chief Sandwe said his area had a lot of problems that needed to be addressed by the government.

“We have no roads in Sandwe and people find difficulties to take their crops to the markets that are also in distant places,” chief Sandwe said.

He said when Daka, who is also the area member of parliament, was informed about the water problem he promised to help address the matter.

“We expect our area member of parliament to help address this problem. People travel long distances to fetch water,” chief Sandwe complained.

He advised politicians to differentiate between mere rhetoric and action if the country was to develop.

“When you talk to politicians about problems that people face, they promise as if they are going to provide a solution tomorrow but it takes time for that promise to be fulfilled,” chief Sandwe said.

He also complained that the area had few crop buying markets.

“Crop markets are in distant places like Mawanda, Ukwimi and Mtondo areas and people are complaining to me about this problem,” said chief Sandwe.

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Sinazongwe hunger could worsen - chief Mweemba

Sinazongwe hunger could worsen - chief Mweemba
By Tovin Ngombe in Sinazongwe
Thursday August 30, 2007 [04:00]

SENIOR chief Mweemba of the Tonga people in Southern Province has said the hunger situation in Sinazongwe District could worsen next month if the government does not send relief food. Chief Mweemba, who was represented by Richwell Ntundulu, said the hunger situation in his area had badly affected the people due to the poor rainfall experienced in the last farming season. Chief Mweemba said the government should urgently send relief food to help the villagers.

“The situation is pathetic, it is a dry season and there are no fruits that people can pick up to eat. My people are not being cared for. Even the local investors are doing nothing to assist them,” he said.

Chief Mweemba said Kafwambila, Siampondo, Muuka, Denganza, and Kanchindu were the most affected areas. Chief Mweemba said people living in Siameja had no land to cultivate on because the area was too rocky.

The number of people requiring relief food in Sinazongwe District has doubled as compared to last year’s estimates by the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU). Sinazongwe District commissioner Laiven Apuleni said in March that the number of people in need of relief food had risen from 5,241 to 10,656.

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E/Province gets K24bn for construction of 2 schools

E/Province gets K24bn for construction of 2 schools
By Christopher Miti in Chipata
Thursday August 30, 2007 [04:00]

GOVERNMENT has released K24 billion for the construction of two high schools in Eastern Province. Provincial education officer Pilira Jere confirmed the development in an interview in Chipata yesterday. Jere said the high schools would be built in Chama and Nyimba districts.

“I wish to confirm that we have received K24 billion for the construction of high schools in Manga area in Chama South and Mombe area in Nyimba. The ministry was looking at the distances when choosing the beneficiary areas,” Jere said.

She said the ministry would soon place adverts for contractors to take up the project.

Jere said Chama District has two high schools while Nyimba has three. She said some existing schools that were in a poor state would be rehabilitated under the Poverty Reduction Programme (PRP).

And Chama district commissioner Peter Nyirenda said it was gratifying that the people of Chama South had finally agreed that the high school be constructed at Manga.

“Some people wanted the school to be at Mangwere while others wanted it to be at Manga but it’s good that they have finally agreed that it should be at Manga because it is accessible throughout the year,” Nyirenda said.

He said Mangwere had a lot of challenges especially during the rainy season.

“When you build a boarding school, it’s for all the people across the nation. So it should be accessible all the time, the school will need food and some other requisites. If the school is not accessible in the rainy season how can this be possible?” asked Nyirenda.

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Rights and duties

Rights and duties
By Editor
Thursday August 30, 2007 [04:00]

Everyone of us has something to contribute to the governance and development of this country. And none of us has the right to stop making a contribution to the building of this country and still claim to have a right to remain here. It is pleasing to hear Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda declare that he will never give up on his desire to serve Zambia. Every citizen of this country has rights and duties or responsibilities.

There cannot be rights without duties or responsibilities. And these responsibilities entail participating in the governance of the country to ensure that all is properly governed or administered.

At a minimum, every citizen should educate himself or herself about the critical issues confronting this country - if only to vote intelligently for candidates running for high office.

The essence of all this is the active, freely chosen participation of the citizens of this country in public life of the nation. Without this broad, sustaining participation, the governance of the country will be poor and even democracy will begin to wither and become the preserve of a small, select number of groups and organisations.

But with the active engagement of individuals across the spectrum of society, our country can wither the inevitable economic and political storms that sweep over every society, without sacrificing our people's freedoms and rights.

Active involvement in public life shouldn't be narrowly defined as the struggle for political office because citizen participation in the affairs of the nation is much broader than just taking part in election contests.

Whatever the level of their contribution, a healthy democracy depends upon the continuing, informed participation of the broad range of its citizens. One can correctly say that democracy is a process, a way of living and working together.

Therefore, it requires cooperation, compromise and tolerance among our citizens. Making it work is hard, not easy. And we should never forget that freedom is said to mean responsibility, not freedom from responsibility.

Contrary to some perceptions, a healthy democratic society is not simply an arena in which individuals pursue their own goals.

Democracies flourish when they are tended by citizens willing to use their hard-won freedom to participate in the life of their country - adding their voices to the public debate, electing representatives who are held accountable for their actions, and accepting the need for tolerance and compromise in public life.

It is said that citizens of a democracy enjoy the right of individual freedom, but they also share the responsibility of joining with others to shape a future that will continue to embrace the fundamental values of freedom and self-government.

The future of our country will only be that which we ourselves are able to build. We have the right to dream about the future that we want for our country and our people. There is nothing wrong with dreaming because what we see as today's reality was once a dream, today's reality was yesterday's dream.

Today's dreams will be tomorrow's reality. And since our independence in 1964, we have seen many of our dreams become reality. At one time, even our very own independence was a dream, a dream that became reality in 1964.

This being the case, we should never give up on our dreams; as Brig Gen Miyanda correctly observed, we should never give up on our desire to serve our people and our country. Yes, sometimes things can be very frustrating and one can even give up if his bearings are not strong.

But there is an ancient Chinese fable called "The Foolish Old Man Who Removed the Mountains". It tells of an old man who lived in northern China long, long ago and was known as the Foolish Old Man of North Mountain. His house faced south and beyond his doorway stood the two great peaks, Taihang and Wangwu, obstructing the way.

With great determination, he led his sons in digging up these mountains hoe in hand. Another grey-beard known as the Wise Old Man, saw them and said derisively, "How silly of you to do this! It is quite impossible for you few to dig up these two huge mountains." The Foolish Old Man replied, "When I die, my sons will carry on; when they die, there will be my grandsons, and then their sons and grandsons, and so on to infinity.

High as they are, the mountains cannot grow any higher and with every bit we dig, they will be that much lower. Why can't we clear them away?" Having refuted the Wise Old Man's wrong view, he went on digging everyday, unshaken in his conviction. God was moved by this, and he sent down two angels, who carried the mountains away on their backs.

Today, two big mountains lie like a dead weight on the Zambian people. One is poverty and all its accompanying problems, the other is underdevelopment and backwardness. We should never give up on digging them up. We must persevere and work unceasingly, and we, too, will touch God's heart.

Our God is none other than the masses of the Zambian people. If they stand up and dig together with their leaders, why can't these two mountains be cleared away?
Everyone of us should strive to serve our country heart and soul and never for a moment divorce ourselves from the problems of our country and the plight of our people.

There is no contribution to the development of our country that is small. It is said that what a single ant brings to the anthill is very little; but what a great hill is built when each one does their proper share of the work! Citizenship demands the positive contribution of everyone, old and young, to build our nation's future.

This includes voting, running for office, volunteering in civil society organisations, fighting corruption, paying taxes, and so on and so forth.
There is need for a conversion of heart in order to build our country.

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