Saturday, November 10, 2007
By Navaya ole Ndaskoi in Arusha, Tanzania
DR. DAVID Livingstone, that icon of capitalism, Christianity and British Empire, pillaged his way to Africa without any visa. He contributed to the ordeal ‘Scramble for Africa.’ He had the stomach to name the falls at River Zambezi after the English Queen, Victoria.
In his Missionary travels and researches in South Africa published in 1857 he wrote a weird story of ‘savages [stupid!] capering around boiling pots of human flesh.' Exactly 150 years down the time road, Philip Parham, British High Commissioner to Tanzania, writes as if to excel the 19th Century Bible caveman.
"If we are to help the people of Zimbabwe, we must diagnose their country’s problems accurately and honestly," he starts off in Business Times of September 21, 2007 page 11. Surely, when I saw the putrid piece I did not believe my eyes.
The very High Commissioner goes on, "The UK has provided more that 500m in bilateral support for development in Zimbabwe since independence."
What? If he cannot type £ or even ask the PR Officer or a Secretary at the High Commission to help him type can this man really lecture us on Zimbabwe?
And this is the best man the Browns of this world sent to represent Brits in Tanzania and, by extension, Zimbabwe! "The UK itself contributed 3 million pound of this had been spent by 1988. The Zimbabwean government did not use the remaining 3 million pounds," Philip pressed on.
Dear reader, did you understand what he said? Well, I do not know about you just now, but I am doing my best to calm down! We are dealing with a confused High Commissioner here.
Since not even the Zimbabwean High Commission in Dar es Salaam responded, perhaps Philip must have been thinking Christmas has come his way two months earlier. Poor Philip Parham.
He must blame his parents. If he had been born in 1813 and died in 1873 like David Livingstone, he would have received a knighthood. Arise Sir Philip. This is 2007! Neither Philip nor the West can help Zimbabwe anything with this unbelievable display of arrogance and paternalism. He cannot even lecture on democracy. There is no democracy in Britain, the very country Philip represents.
Undemocratic Kings and Queens of the dark ages still head the British State in the twenty first century.
And as if that is not undemocratic enough, unelected Prime Ministers heads the British Government! You simply need to be lucky as a leader of the majority party to become British Prime Minister. Brits have no right to directly vote for their Prime Minister. Two, Zimbabweans can survive without help from the Parhams. Millions of years before the poverty driven Rhodesians shot their way into Zimbabwe, Africans were living.
If the "wider donor community" would do Zimbabweans a favor and drop their percentage, Zimbabwe would be fine. Absolutely fine! This should not be hard to comprehend. William Blum, author of Rogue State, will help me take you to the UN during the days when Margaret Thatcher, nicknamed ‘Iron Lady’ by the Soviet Defence Ministry’s newspaper (the Red Star), became Prime Minister.
We know that Africans in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe survive without Brits and the West generally.
Do you want evidence? Blum is your tour guide to the corridors of the United Nations. He recalls, "January 24 1979, Resolution 33/183M. To end all military and nuclear collaboration with apartheid South Africa. Voting: 114 to 3 (US, France and UK voted against).
December 12, 1979: Resolution 34/93D. Strengthening arms embargo against apartheid South Africa. Voting: 132 to 3 (US, France and UK voted against).
"Blum will tell you also that on December 12, 1979 Resolution 34/931 was put on the table. Assistance to the oppressed people like Nelson Mandela and others of South Africa and their liberation movement. Voting 134 to 3 (US, France and UK voted against). On December 11, 1980 Resolution 35/119.
Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples [Zimbabwe got independence in 1980]. Voting: 134 to 3 (US, France and UK voted against). The UN once again wanted to assist South Africans. Britain and its allies refused, according to Blum. On December 16, 1980 Resolution 25/206J.
Assistance to the oppressed people of South Africa and their liberation movement. Voting 137 to 3 (US, France and UK voted against). December 5, 1984, Resolution 34/42. Condemns support of South Africa in its Namibian and other policies. Voting: 121 to 2 (US and UK voted against). As the voting went on at the UN, the ‘pink’ minority was killing Africans.
Honestly, when I read the piece, I got the impression that Philip was a picnic school boy before Zimbabwean independence in 1980, Namibian independence in 1990 and the defeat of apartheid in South Africa in 1994.
Just imagine the UK and the West speaking for Zimbabweans now. It is like an axe-murderer who suddenly gets the compassion of St. Francis and the mercy of Mother Teresa and become an arrowhead of the firestorm set 'to help the people of Zimbabwe.’
It simply shows the capacity for hypocrisy. Zimbabweans can ‘diagnose their country’s problems accurately.’ They fairly know their central problem, landlessness. That is why they had to fight to iron out the ‘pink’ minority Government headed by Dictator Ian Smith, supported and armed to the teeth by the UK, the US and the West. Zimbabweans refused to be tenants in their country.
They do not sit idle and wait for the Parhams, the Bushes, the Blairs and all the Browns of this world to preach human rights and democracy to them. When the predatory thieves from the United Kingdom invaded Zimbabwe in the 1890s and grabbed the best land, the Chauke, the Mahenye, the Chitsa, the Shona, the Ndebele, the Tsvovani and other Zimbabweans did not wait for Philip Parham to lecture them on land as a human right.
They fought manly against this criminal occupation. The British cannibals won only because of the superior gun.
The unfortunate leaders of the Zimbabwean forces of 1890s were hanged from treetops, just like the unarmed old man, Saddam Hussein of Iraq in 2006. The settlers of British ancestry hanged Zimbabweans for resisting the seizure of their land.
That was how the British took land and ‘undermined the rule of law.’ In Roman-Dutch Law, from which English Law springs, if you inherit a stolen property you belong to the gallows!
I mean you are also a thief. Rhodesians of the 1890s launched an armed robbery of land in Zimbabwe and passed it down to the current ‘pink’ settler generation. Zimbabweans know this.
They do not need the Human Rights Watches, the Red Crosses, the BBCs, the VOAs, the CNNs, the all the Economists for this. According to Philip Parham, ‘The Lancaster House agreement contained no financial commitment on land reform.’
It contained pal, even if that was not written down! Kelebert Nkomani, Zimbabwe High Commissioner to Kenya, argues: ‘The UK’s commitment to funding the transfer of land from the minority white commercial farmers to landless black majority was part and parcel of the Lancaster House agreement.’ Philip is not finished.
He blames some commentators, who cite a letter written by Clair Short, then UK Secretary of State for International Development to the Zimbabwean Government on November 5, 2005. He argued, ‘With selective quotes, they claim in correctly that Clair Short was ruling out further UK assistance for land reform.’ For readers to see and judge that poisonous letter for themselves, I challenge the British High Commission to publish the letter in full. Is space a problem? Her Majesty Kingdom can at least afford a page after centuries of plundering. That is for sure.
In the meantime, New African, the best selling pan-African magazine, which I am proud to contribute articles to, has been publishing from time to time that rancid letter. Readers can trace it on page 52 of the February 2003 issue.
The short sighted Ms Short wrote myopically, ‘I should make it clear that we do not accept that Britain has special responsibility to meet the costs of land purchase in Zimbabwe. We are a new Government from diverse backgrounds without links to former colonial interests.’
If that is not ‘ruling out further UK assistance for land reform’ in Zimbabwe, I am sorry Philip. I cannot help you! David Hasluck, a man who does not count Robert Mugabe among his friends, was director of Zimbabwe’s Commercial Farmers Union for 18 long years.
He might help. He knows fairly that that letter ignited the current crisis. In an interview with Baffour Ankomah, New African editor, who have immeasurably influenced my world view, Hasluck said that ‘Clair Short knows that there was a land issue at Lancaster House, how can she write a letter like that and expect to go forward?' Come on Philip Parham. Does Zimbabweans really need your crocodile tears? — race and history.com.
About the writer — Navaya Ndaskoi was born on April 14 1974 on the foothills of mount Munduli, Tanzania. As a Maasai boy, he spent his childhood grassing the family livestock. At the age of ten he joined primary school. He gained admission to the seminary aspiring to become a priest but eventually changed. In 2001 he entered the University of Dar Es Salaam where he is currently reading Economics and Geography. He is the Co-ordinator of an informal group called Indigenous Rights for Survival International (IRSI). The group is a loose network of young people with an interest in public policy issues.
THE third session of the Zimbabwe-Mozambique Joint Commission on Security and Defence ended yesterday with the participants applauding the two governments for their efforts to clear landmines along the Zimbabwean-Mozambican border. In a joint communiqué, the commission said major progress had been made in de-mining, which would free previously inaccessible parts to border community villages and facilitate free movement of people between the two countries.
The de-mining, the commission said, facilitated the development of the Limpopo Transfrontier Park, an extensive project aimed at enhancing conservation and enhancing tourism between the two countries.
The landmines were planted by Rhodesian security forces in the late 1970s in a bid to stop liberation war guerilla incursions into the country from bases in Mozambique.
The commission also resolved to strengthen security in Zimbabwe and Mozambique as well as in the Sadc region with particular emphasis on the Democratic Republic of Congo.
"In this respect, the commission commended efforts being made by the international community in assisting the DRC in its efforts to attain peace," the communiqué adds.
The commission also noted with satisfaction the excellent co-operation that exists between the two countries with respect to the prevention and fight against crime along the common border.
Authorities in the two countries were urged to continue exchanging information on cross-border crime.
The commission also expressed concern over the influx of refugees from the Great Lakes region and the Horn of Africa into the region, particularly refugees with a military background.
Worry was raised over the negative impact of the HIV/Aids pandemic on the socio-economic well-being of citizens of both countries.
"In this respect, the commission calls for the intensification of awareness campaigns and the provision of anti-retroviral drugs."
The commission also hailed the protocol nullifying visa requirements, which came into force on November 3.
The meeting opened on Monday and sought to further strengthen co-operation between Mozambique and Zimbabwe on defence and security issues.
The fourth session of the joint commission will be held next year in Mozambique.
By Nomusa Michelo
Saturday November 10, 2007 [03:01]
GOVERNMENT has temporarily withdrawn Patriotic Front president Michael Sata’s passport. Home affairs minister Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha announced yesterday during a press briefing that Sata was on Thursday asked to hand over his new passport after he failed to comply with the Passport Office’s request for a police report which indicates that he lost his passport.
Lt Gen Shikapwasha explained that Sata applied for a replacement of his passport which he allegedly lost in London immediately after his arrival in Lusaka on October 23, 2007.
He said a passport, number ZC001096 was issued to Sata on the same day based on a declaration he made through a sworn affidavit and a lost passport description Form ‘L’ as a supporting document.
“According to Mr Sata, a police report was submitted at the Zambian High Commission in London where he applied for a travel document to enable him to travel back home to Zambia,” Lt Gen Shikapwasha said. “Upon verification with the Zambian High Commission office in London as to whether Mr Sata did submit the police report, it was established that Mr Sata did not submit the said police report.”
Lt Gen Shikapwasha said a written request was made for Sata to furnish the Passports Office with a copy of the police report because it is a requirement by law when someone is applying for a replacement of a passport.
“It is now more that a week and Mr Sata has not responded. When there was no response from Mr Sata, the office was compelled to ask Mr Sata to temporarily surrender the new passport until he fulfills the requirement of a police report. The ball is in his court,” he said. “The new passport number ZC 001096 was surrendered to the Chief Passport Office yesterday (Thursday) the 8th of November 2007.”
Lt Gen Shikapwasha said police have since recorded a warn and caution statement from Sata and the five passport officers who issued him with the travel document and the new passport.
“Warn and caution statements have been recorded from the officers who processed the application for Mr Sata’s new passport mainly to establish why the passport was issued without a police report,” he said. “The police recorded the warn and caution statement yesterday (Thursday) from Mr Sata who opted to remain silent. An officer is in London to take a warn and caution statement from the officer who issued Mr. Sata with the travel document at the Zambian High Commission.”
Lt Gen Shikapwasha said after all investigations are done, the police will decide whether or not to charge Sata with the offence as described under the passport Act 2003.
“Now, why are we insisting on a police report?” Lt Gen Shikapwasha asked. “The law is clear. According to the Passport Act 2003, section 18(i) provides for report of loss or theft of passport to the police and a police report shall accompany the application for a replacement passport. This is the condition which should have been fulfilled by Mr. Sata.”
The passport Act 2003 section 18 (i) reads:
“Where a passport is lost or stolen, the holder of the passport shall: (a) as soon as practicable after becoming aware of the loss of theft of the passport report the loss or theft of the passport to the nearest police station in the district or country in which the passport was lost or stolen; and (b) file a report on the loss or theft of the passport with the Chief Passport Officer: provided that where a passport is lost outside Zambia, the holder of the passport shall file a report with the passport officer at a Zambian mission.”
Saturday November 10, 2007 [03:00]
Those who do not learn from history are bound to record failure all the time. It is said that the past is a rich resource on which one can draw in order to make decisions for the future. And we study history in order to understand it and then learn from it as we contemplate the future.
It appears to us that President Levy Mwanawasa and his MMD members are bad students of history. That is why some of Levy’s ministers caused fights or confusion in Chingola on Thursday.
There was no need for anyone from the MMD to fight over the results in the Nchanga parliamentary by-elections. There were no surprises from Nchanga.
Last year, after general elections when Levy and his people were celebrating victory over Michael Sata’s Patriotic Front, we raised a few observations concerning the voting patterns.
The results last year revealed that Levy and his party were rejected by our people in urban areas but were embraced by those in rural areas. This was not an accident. The people who participated in those elections designed the outcome. And it came to be, as they wanted it. We asked the question: “Why?”
Clearly, the people in urban areas felt let down by Levy and his government for various reasons. We advised Levy to make serious changes to his attitude towards others. There were complaints on how Levy dealt with the issues concerning the fight against corruption and the constitution-making-process, among others.
We stated that Levy could not continue with the arrogance and lack of humility that characterised his first term. We further stated that Levy needed to bend backwards a lot more and learn to meet the people on their terms.
We said this because it was very clear to us that those in the urban centres, especially in Lusaka and the Copperbelt, who seem to have more contact and better knowledge of him don’t like him.
We also said that one could not govern a country where the only support he or she has is that of people in rural areas who hardly know him. We further said Levy needed to look at himself in the mirror and change his ways or else his ending would be disastrous.
It cannot be denied that the results for MMD in Nchanga were disastrous. And it is not difficult for anyone to understand why this was the case. Very little, if any, has changed for the people in Lusaka and Copperbelt for them to contemplate a shift of their political loyalty from the opposition PF to the ruling MMD.
Things have been very difficult for our people in urban areas, especially in the last ten years following the privatisation of the mines. Life has adversely changed for the people of the Copperbelt. And they attribute their misery, their sufferings and their squalor to the government’s policy on privatisation.
Of course, these problems were started by Frederick Chiluba and his colleagues. But Levy is now in charge. And he should be reminded that blaming things on the past does not make them better. He has been ruling for six years now and people need to feel the difference.
Yes, Levy and his people may argue about the few improvements they have made so far, even on the Copperbelt. However, there is no doubt that all is not well there. There is a lot of talk about new investments into the mines on the Copperbelt and North-Western provinces. But this investment has come with its own problems and challenges.
From what we hear on the ground, the miners on the Copperbelt – who are the majority in number - are up in arms with the government because it doesn’t seem to care much about their welfare. It seems to care more about the welfare of the investors.
Even when there are problems in the mines, most of the government voices sound to be more in favour of management than employees. Our miners feel frustrated about a number of things. More and more of our Zambian employees were forced to quit the mines because of frustrations on the part of their employers.
All these concerns have been brought to the government’s attention but it appears the government turns a blind eye andpays a deaf ear to these real issues affecting our people. Foreign investors seem to have a free lane from the MMD government.
They can ignore our labour laws with impunity and get away with it. Some of the jobs that have been offered to the so-called expatriates can best be executed by our locals trained from our own universities. But these expatriates come and mistreat people who, in some cases, know better than they do.
The result is that miners and several other people on the Copperbelt feel neglected by their own government; they feel orphaned. But Sata and his PF have not hesitated to identify this vacuum and are quick to fill it. This explains why PF has a lot of following on the Copperbelt and generally in urban areas.
Sata recognises our people’s problems and shows a lot of sympathy that sometimes our people even forget that he was part of the creators of some of their problems. They look at him as their saviour because he sounds like he has practical solutions to their problems and yet he is part of the problem creators.
And these are the issues that the MMD should spend time reflecting on, if they want to win, instead of provoking fights that will just further diminish their standing on the political scene. They should understand what it is that is making Sata and his party popular if they are to draw people to their side.
Last year, the MMD recorded resounding victories in rural areas, even in places like Eastern Province which for a long time had been UNIP’s stronghold.
Again, it is very easy for one to tell why this was so. Generally, Levy’s government seems to have done very well in rural areas, especially with his policies on agriculture. So while the urban people were cursing Levy, our rural dwellers had every reason to renew his mandate.
We saw this even in North-Western and Western provinces which were a stronghold for opposition UPND. The MMD won by big margins because of some developmental projects going on in these provinces. The opening of Lumwana and Kansanshi mines meant a lot to the locals, it changed their lifestyles.
This picture has not changed much from last year. And for as long as Levy and his government do not address these issues, they should not expect any magic in 2011 or any by-election in between. They have to deliver according to people’s expectations if they have to win their support in return. They will not just receive people’s support for nothing.
They should also be seen to be caring more about our people’s interests than those of foreign investors who are having it easy. Our people will have no reason to smile after paying more tax than foreign investors who are not even re-investing their profits for the benefit of the locals.
This has to change. And this is the only country in the region where Pay As You Earn is so high because the ordinary worker has to subsidise the foreign investor in terms of paying tax.
Besides, the MMD also have to re-organise themselves as a party because, as it is said, God helps those who help themselves.
Today, it cannot be denied that MMD is very disorganised from the lowest to the highest levels. And if one carefully analysed results from Nchanga, it is clear that in most cases MMD members voted against their candidate. Now, this is a serious indictment for the MMD.
And these are lessons for them to learn from the Nchanga by-election. They should always remember that to every action, there is a reaction. At every turn when the opportunity arises, the people will react to the government’s actions or inactions.
But there are also lessons for the opposition parties. It is generally believed that the ruling party rig elections wherever the party is unpopular. However, the happenings in Nchanga should advise those who like to raise accusing fingers to be slow in this act because if the MMD had a way, they could have rigged the Nchanga election in their favour.
We say this because we think that the MMD were in a hurry to show Sata that his popularity on the Copperbelt has dwindled from last year. Further, we think that the MMD would have loved to win by any means so as to woo other opposition members of parliament into their camp.
But this didn’t happen. Why?
We also remember that a few years ago, PF defeated the MMD twice in a parliamentary by-election in Mufulira.
The lesson here is that the opposition should learn to accept defeat. Before the results were announced, all the opposition parties were talking about the MMD’s engagement in dubious activities. But after the PF won, no one from the opposition is making reference to this. They are just saying the people have spoken.
This is not to say the MMD doesn’t engage in malpractices that give them some advantage over their opponents. This happens a lot of times.
But even some opposition parties are not completely innocent in this area because we hear a lot about some of their activities during campaigns.
Our hope is that those who need to learn lessons from the Nchanga elections will do so because our people are having their eyes and ears opened every day. They will not allow themselves to be abused by good-for-nothing politicians forever.
By Patson Chilemba
Saturday November 10, 2007 [03:00]
Patriotic Front (PF) people are thieves because they stole food from other people’s camps during the Nchanga by-election, science and technology minister Peter Daka has charged. Meanwhile, PF spokesperson Given Lubinda said members of parliament were not indispensable.
Reacting to reports that he together with Luapula Province minister Chrispin Musosha were on Wednesday night found at Nchanga police station giving mealie meal and chickens to police officers, Daka said he was not that cheap to be distributing food to police officers because he was government and police officers salute him.
Daka, who was MMD’s campaign manager in the Nchanga by-election, said he went to the police station to check on the food, which was allegedly stolen by PF cadres from other political parties’ camps.
“Are policemen voters? Let me tell you something. I cannot go to a police station. You should report correctly. How do I go and distribute food to the people who work for me? I am government. The police officers salute to me,” Daka said. “Police had food which the PF people had stolen and we went to look at it.
That is the correct version. We went to look at the recovered food that was stolen. They are thieves. They stole the food from the camps of other people. Do you think I am that cheap to be distributing food?”
And Daka said it was regrettable that his party lost the by-election in Nchanga Constituency.
And commenting on the victory by PF in the Nchanga parliamentary by-election as well as the ward elections in Chawama and Mandevu, Lubinda urged other parliamentarians to reflect seriously on the embarrassing defeat of MMD’s Charles Chimumbwa by PF candidate Wylbur Simuusa.
He said opposition members of parliament should learn to serve the people who elected them rather than focusing on their personal interests.
“This is a very good message to all of us that we are not indispensable…and those standing on the fence in the opposition, this must serve as a good lesson. We cannot cheat people by defecting from the opposition to the ruling party,” Lubinda said.
“This entails that we as the opposition should work together to offer checks and balances. Clamouring around President Mwanawasa when you are in the opposition in the aim that ‘I shall be adopted as presidential candidate’ does not pay dividends. I would urge members of parliament to reflect seriously upon the very embarrassing defeat of Chimumbwa.”
Lubinda said Vice-President Rupiah Banda had swallowed his own words when he said that the PF boat would soon be empty.
“In fact, the boat is swelling. The people of Zambia through the noble people in Nchanga are saying no to MMD’s habit of buying opposition MPs and councillors.
The Zambian people will never again condone the archaic political strategy of using state resources to weaken the opposition. No amount of fertiliser shall force them to vote for MMD,” Lubinda said.
“Rupiah Banda went to campaign his lungs out and he started using abusive language against PF and its president Michael Sata. He called us unreasonable but people have finally determined who is unreasonable.”
Lubinda said the MMD, as it currently stood, was a very weakened party.
“They have now vindicated us that actually the trick masters in MMD have run away. I’m sure they are missing the services of Vernon Mwaanga and Major Richard Kachingwe,” he said.
PF’s Francis Mwenya and Robert Chikwelete also won the ward by-elections in Mandevu and Chawama, respectively.
In the Mufulira ward election, MMD won the seat while in Kalulushi MMD won in one ward and lost to PF in the other ward.
Friday, November 09, 2007
By Godwills Masimirembwa
THE stark reality that Africa faces is underdevelopment despite being endowed with minerals and huge tracts of fine agricultural land. Africa shares the one phenomenon of an impoverished rural population with no capacity to meaningfully participate in the economy. This is not accidental, but is a direct result of colonisation and the transnational corporations’ role of extractive outward looking policies.
The TNCs are least interested in initiating or participating in holistic agricultural and industrial development programmes that will result in the industrialisation of Africa, yet they own and control Africa’s vast resources.
Africa is home to millions of inhabitants with little or no purchasing power because of poverty.
Yet on a daily basis, TNCs extract minerals, raw materials and petroleum products from their lands and export the same to foreign lands.
Dividends, interest, consultancy and licensing fees are as outward bound as our minerals and raw materials.
We clutch at straws, while TNCs enjoy the fat of our lands.
Watch any African movie, cast in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Zimbabwe etc, the underlying definition of a poverty-stricken continent is unmistakably evident.
Yes, there are centres of business activity such as Harare, Bulawayo, Lagos, Accra, Johannesburg, Durban, Cape town, Lusaka, Lilongwe, Nairobi etc, that process and authenticate the outward bound extractive activities of TNCs, but the evidence of the unjust reward system is evident in the squalid conditions and poverty workers live in.
Evidence of the foreignness of the profits is evident in the acute underdevelopment of areas barely 20 kilometres out of the processing and authenticating extractive outward bound centres of transnational capital.
Governments in Africa have dangled incentives to business, which are dominated by transnational firms and capital, to invest in growth points and rural areas.
The aim of African governments was and still remains to establish strong industrial bases in their countries to enable them to produce for both the domestic and export markets.
These efforts have come to naught because while African governments seek the development of their countries, TNCs seek the enrichment of foreign shareholders.
This contradiction of inward looking governments and outward looking TNCs in economics is the true basis of the impoverishment of Africa. TNCs thus become seekers of raw materials for processing in their industrialised countries of origin.
They also become the exporters to Africa of the finished products.
The profits earned are exported to the TNCs’ country of origin.
Africa remains poor in the midst of an abundance of resources.
Excuses for not investing in growth points and rural areas abound, such as lack of road network, communication, etc but let an opportunity to extract minerals arise there, and then you will see the true colours of the TNCs.
Extraction will be set in motion, but no investment in processing infrastructure will be put in place.
All talk of poor road networks or communication will disappear.
Such is the form and substance of transnational capital.
It will leave Africa bare.
It has no interest in facilitating the industrial transformation of Africa.
It has no interest in investing in industrial infrastructure for processing minerals and agriculturally based products.
There is, therefore, no hope that transnational firms will be the torchbearers in establishing a productive and integrated industrial and agricultural base in Africa.
After all, Africa is not their home.
But the slave trade should have taught us.
Despite the rich mineral base, slave monsters never came to settle.
They came to capture us, so that we became raw materials for their agricultural and industrial development.
Transnational capital, like slave monsters, will never be a part of us.
Thus, as we seek investment, Africans must be more inward looking. We must take control of the commanding heights of our economies, for Africa is our home.
Industrialisation beyond Harare, Bulawayo, Durban, Johannesburg, Cape town, Lilongwe, Lagos, Nairobi, etc. into growth points and rural areas, can only be championed by the indigenous business community, not by TNCs.
It was never on the agenda of colonial governments to industrialise the rural areas they created. Rural areas were in fact created as centres of impoverishment.
TNCs never ventured into industrialising rural areas even during colonial times. They were part of the system that impoverished Africans. They have not changed.
However, they will change once we take the commanding heights in the ownership of our resources.
(HERALD) Zimbabwean youths make business strides in ChinaZimbabwean youths make business strides in China
By Chaka Chidyamatiyo recently in GUANGZHOU, China
GOVERNMENT’S Look East Policy has begun yielding positive results with more Zimbabwean youths making great business strides in China owing to the country’scordial relations with the rising Asian nation. The Herald last week caught up with a group of 10 youths travelling to China where they are engaged in the trade of various goods and services. Mr Albert Chivero of Mufakose said the cordial relations between Zimbabwe and China had opened up an array of opportunities that needed to be utilised.
"Even the British themselves have already embarked on a ‘Look East Policy’, but they would not say it out. I have on several occasions met many people from Western countries like Britain in China and we sometimes scramble for commodities," he said.
Mr Chivero said there were big brand names such as Reebok, which were in high demand in many Western countries but were imported from the Asian countries.
"The whole world is looking at China for business opportunities and Zimba-bweans should stop crying against the imposition of illegal sanctions by Britain and America.
"Zimbabweans can make it without the Western countries and for your own information we are making lots of money in the course of trading in China," he said.
Ms Abigail Mateve of Mt Darwin said she explored business opportunities in China and has been travelling to and from China since February this year.
"If we continue working with China, we will get everything we want.
"As a country, we may not be able to satisfy the demand for our products in the Chinese market. Imagine only a single province can surpass the total population of Zimbabwe," she said.
She said China was a better option compared to Western countries, as there were no stringent visa requirements.
Ms Mateve said China was a big market for Zimbabwean products where they are in high demand.
MOZAMBICAN Defence Minister General Tobias Dai yesterday met President Mugabe to deliver a special message from President Armando Guebuza. General Dai — who is in Harare to attend the joint Zimbabwe-Mozambique defence and security commission meeting — delivered the message to Cde Mugabe at Zimbabwe House in Harare.
He, however, would not reveal the contents of the message, saying they were a matter between the two leaders.
Speaking to journalists after meeting President Mugabe, Gen Dai said relations between Mozambique and Zimbabwe had continued to strengthen since the days of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle.
The ties had evolved over the years and were now guided by the Southern Africa Development Community to which both countries are members.
Mozambican Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Vicente Veloso, who accompanied Gen Dai, dismissed reports that Zimbabweans had been denied entry into Mozambique following the scrapping of visas for citizens of the two nations visiting either country.
He said the protocol nullifying visa requirements came into force on November 3 but some Zimbabweans were mistakenly of the assumption that it became effective on November 1.
Mr Veloso said since November 3, Zimbabweans have been crossing into Mozambique without any hassles.
Speaking at the official opening of the joint permanent commission on security and defence later in the day, Gen Dai reaffirmed Mozambique’s commitment to further strengthen relations with Zimbabwe.
"If we look in retrospect, we see a promising future in co-operation and this will allow us to consolidate group efforts, particularly the urgent operation of the protocol on co-operation between Mozambique and Zimbabwe," Gen Dai said.
He said the meeting, which runs until today, would mainly focus on ways of co-operation between the countries in areas of defence and security.
Gen Dai added that issues such as cross-border crime as well as the phasing-out of visa requirements would be dealt with.
He also applauded the phasing-out of visas, saying this would go a long way in strengthening the friendship between the two countries.
Defence Minister Cde Sydney Sekeramayi commended Mozambique for standing by Zimbabwe as the country went through challenges engineered by Britain with the support of its Western allies.
"This shows that Mozambique has been a true friend. The Government of Zimbabwe is committed to the improvement and further qualitative transformation of our good neighbourly relations," Cde Sekeramayi said.
He said the joint commission would lay a firm foundation to further strengthen the bilateral relations between the two Sadc countries in defence, public and state security.
Cde Sekeramayi said Zimbabwe and Mozambique shared a common long and proud history of co-operation and should confront challenges together.
He also said that some Western media organisation were peddling lies about the country and challenged his counterpart to visit some farms to get first-hand information.
State security personnel, service chiefs and senior Government officials from both Mozambique and Zimbabwe are attending the meeting.
ZIMBABWEANS should not worry about searching for greener pastures outside the country as they have the capacity to work on their own to create these opportunities, Vice President Joseph Msika, has said. Speaking after touring the Indo-Zim Technology Centre at the Harare Institute of Technology yesterday, Cde Msika said Zimbabweans should take advantage and utilise equipment donated to the institute to economically develop the country. The project seeks to promote technology transfer by introducing new technologies in carpentry and metal fabrication in support of SMEs.
"The people, who are going to benefit from this centre should be committed to the development of the nation by seriously putting these machines to productive use," he said.
The Zimbabwean and Indian governments signed a memorandum of understanding in 1996 with India providing a US$5 million grant for the development of SMEs in the country. The grant has seen the establishment of the technology centre for the manufacturing of tools and components.
The Vice President hailed bilateral relations between the two countries dating back to the days of the liberation struggle, adding that the Indian government should continue supporting the Government in its economic development endeavours through SMEs.
"The Indo-Zim project is further proof of the close and cordial relations that exist between the Government of Zimbabwe and the Government of India (which) is in line with the Government’s Look East policy," he said.
Cde Msika also commended the Indian Embassy in Zimbabwe for working closely with the Government on development issues.
"Unlike other ambassadors from the West who are busy telling lies and destroying the image of the country, ambassadors from the East are working closely with our Government and are assisting developing nations across the world," he said.
He said the Indo-Zim Project seeks to promote technology transfer by introducing new technologies such as computerised machinery and modern equipment in carpentry and metal fabrication.
"This of course complements our Government’s policy to harness the potential of SMEs and empower them to operate as large enterprises. I am sure that this technology will speed up this empowerment process," he said.
He added that machinery worth more than US$3 million has already arrived in the country and was being installed at HIT, Bulawayo Polytechnic, Sedco, Chitungwiza Common Facility Centre and various other centres throughout the country. Cde Msika said 19 Zimbabweans have been trained in India in the fields of tool and die making, tool design and computer controlled technology.
"This training will ensure the smooth transfer of technology, which will contribute to the production of quality products at competitive prices by SMEs.
"Large enterprises are also set to benefit. For example, the plastic industry will benefit tools and dye, which can be made locally, and save foreign currency for the country," he said.
"Mining, railways and other heavy industries will also benefit as spares and components required can be made locally, utilising the high technology machines installed here and in Bulawayo.
"Local electronics industries will also benefit through the manufacture of printed circuit boards."
In a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development, Cde Morris Sakabuya, the Acting Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Cde Ignatius Chombo said HIT was providing the nation with scientific and high level technical human resources.
He said the Indo-Zim Technology Centre is seen as critical in the Government’s efforts towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals by eradication of poverty and hunger through skills development and empowering of the marginalised groups of the society.
"This development is indeed a milestone for the institution and for the entire nation as it seeks to produce dynamic, innovative and entrepreneurial graduates richly endowed with knowledge and practical skills.
"It is our desire to have HIT become the leading institution for the development, incubation, transfer and commercialisation of technology and manpower development for rapid national industrialisation not only in this country, but the Sadc region as a whole," he said.
Cde Chombo said the collaboration arrangements and strategic partnerships between the Ministry of Small to Medium Enterprises Development and his ministry was long-standing.
"We currently collaborate in the Integrated Skills Outreach Programme which focuses on equipping our schools youths and adults with relevant knowledge and practical skills. This will help in wealth creation and productive economic activities such as building, carpentry, welding, piggery and poultry production."
Cde Chombo added that his ministry accepts the responsibility of training and developing skills in SMEs, hence, the decision to have HIT at the forefront of implementing the Indo-Zim Technology Centre project.
Cde Chombo said HIT’s training philosophy of integrated solutions for Zimbabwe’s industrial growth is based on the provision of trained, skilled and innovative manpower.
The Technology Centre will have three strategic units, namely, the Technical Training Centre, the Common Facility Centre (Production Unit) and the Small Medium Enterprises Services Institute.
The Minister of Small to Medium enterprises Development, Cde Sithembiso Nyoni, said the technology centre would see a revolution of the SMEs sector.
She said that besides the machines to be installed at HIT, Bulawayo Polytechnic and Sedco factory shells in Chitungwiza there were 34 other machines that would be distributed to growth points in the country.
"The installation of these machines will establish a techno-brand in the country that would benefit SMEs in the country and other SMEs from the region," she said.
The Acting Indian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Vijay Mehta emphasized his government’s commitment and importance that it attaches to the expeditious implementation of the project.
Mr Mehta said the machines sent from India would help in upgrading SMEs in Zimbabwe through the introduction of latest manufacturing technologies, which are currently not available in southern Africa, except South Africa.
"Zimbabwe could become a regional centre for high technology areas covering tool and die making and computerised technology in the Sadc."
Ambassador Mehta added that the project will also result in enormous benefit and large savings in foreign exchange for the country in many ways while mining, railways and other heavy industries will also benefit.
He added that over 500 youths could be trained annually at institutions of higher learning while another 200 youths, mostly school dropouts, could be trained in carpentry through Vocational Training Centres.
He added that the project would contribute significantly to the Government’s efforts to turnaround the economy.
THE allocation and distribution of animal-drawn implements under the farm mechanisation programme has not changed and will continue to be administered by chiefs and other traditional leaders, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has reaffirmed. Clarifying the distribution modalities yesterday, RBZ Governor Dr Gideon Gono said the earlier position as stated at the unveiling of the second phase of the farming programme still stood.
"The Reserve Bank wishes to unequivocally reaffirm that the allocation and distribution of animal-drawn implements would be spearheaded by chiefs.
"Chiefs through traditional leadership structures, namely headmen and village heads, shall ensure that each village convenes a village assembly and draw up a list of beneficiaries in priority order," Dr Gono said.
He said this was arrived at following consultations between the central bank and the Council of Chiefs, represented by its leader Chief Fortune Charumbira and chiefs from all provinces.
"It has become necessary to clarify the modalities of distribution of the animal drawn agricultural implements, which modalities have not changed from the official position at the launch of Phase 2 of the Agricultural Mechanisation Programme on October 8th, 2007," he said.
Dr Gono said traditional leaders would select beneficiaries in their areas based on knowledge of their farming capabilities.
Village heads and headmen would then sign the list of beneficiaries compiled before being approved by the chief.
The list would be forwarded to the central bank through the offices of the district administrator, provincial administrator and governors and resident ministers of the respective provinces for implementation.
Dr Gono added that councillors, Agritex officials and other local leadership could assist traditional leaders in drawing up lists of farmers who should benefit.
He stressed that only lists confirmed through the stipulated process would be processed by the RBZ.
He urged chiefs, headmen and provincial leadership to expeditiously distribute the implements.
"As the rains are upon us, we urge chiefs and others in local government and provincial leadership to expedite the distribution process," Dr Gono said.
So far at least 18 000 animal-drawn ploughs have been distributed throughout the country under the second phase of the mechanisation programme.
The first phase saw distribution of tractors, combine harvesters and other equipment to commercial farmers.
By Concerned person
Friday November 09, 2007 [03:00]
I am writing to highlight a sad growing trend in “land disputes” in Zambia as evidenced in a November 7 Post article concerning local residents being sweet-talked into leaving their land by many different parties, including a fellow resident.
The main issues here are two-fold: One, the residents lack the understanding of their rights to land.
Second, the lack of clear legal and policy guidelines for investors when dealing with local communities when it comes to development (meaning providing fair and equitable compensation for the local residents when the development is to take place on the land they inhabit).
For many of the residents, the expansion of the mine and subsequent resettlement took them away from their area of livelihood. How can one put a fair price on that?
Another interesting aspect to this case is that residents initially refused to move, yet those in power did not address their concerns or broker a settlement.
Development, especially when it comes to natural resources, is not a bad thing as long as the benefits of that resource are filtered back into the community.
This entire episode could have been avoided if appropriate and equitable negotiations had taken place between the company and residents at the beginning of the planned expansion.
Fair rules and clear regulations between communities and investors on development projects need to be identified and enforced to protect the interests of the local residents.
If the current land laws and administration environment are not altered for equal benefit between both groups, then issues like the Munali mining operation in Mazabuka may become the norm in the future.
Who says PF must win?
By MM Lusaka
Friday November 09, 2007 [03:00]
Raphael Mukuka’s letter headlined ‘HH’s politics’ requires some response. According to the letter, Mukuka believes it is a waste of time and money for UPND to stand in Nchanga as it will only divide the votes in favour of the ruling party.
Who says PF has to win the Nchanga election? In certain cases, it is better for the ruling party to win over a party that has no focus.
Besides, by-elections should be used by opposition parties to test their popularity.
This is the only way they can make effective strategies to win next time.
In any case, PF and UPND have different ideologies and it is wrong to partner for the sake of unseating the ruling party.
By Fridah Zinyama
Friday November 09, 2007 [03:00]
THE government has announced a proposed budget outline of about K41.2 trillion over the next three years, running from 2008 to 2010. According to the 2008-2010 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) released by finance minister Ng’andu Magande yesterday at Intercontinental Hotel, the government has committed about K12.7 trillion to next year’s budget and the remaining K28.5 trillion for 2009 (K13.7 trillion) and 2010 (K14.8 trillion) respectively.
Next year’s budget reveals a deficit of about K954 billion which government will have to fill from both domestic and donor sources.
According to the Ministry of Finance director of budgeting Danies Chisenda, about K618 billion would be locally sourced while the remaining K336 billion would be obtained from grants from the donor community.
“Of the K12.7 trillion, K10.5 trillion is supposed to be domestically financed while K2.1 trillion is foreign financed,” the MTEF green paper stated.
The government has further projected to achieve a real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of at least 7 per cent a year, and to bring down inflation to less than 5 per cent by 2009.
“Domestic revenues are projected at 18.13 per cent of GDP in 2008, tax revenues projected at 17.37 per cent of GDP in 2008 and VAT at 5.17 per cent of GDP in 2008,” the green paper stated.
“Excise taxes are projected at 2.41 per cent of GDP in 2008 and customs duty is projected at 1.84 per cent of GDP in 2008.”
In addition, the green paper states that the government anticipates recruiting 4,000 teachers, at a cost of (K51 billion), 3,000 medical staff (K24.75 billion), 20 magistrates (K2.3 billion) and some extension officers.
It said the government expected to raise K9.3 trillion from taxes next year, K10.4 trillion in 2009 and K11.5 trillion, accounting for a lion’s share of anticipated domestic revenue.
Reflecting the traditional reliance on taxation as the main sources of government revenue, government expects non-tax income to be K391.9 billion next year, K430.7 billion for 2009 and K467.21 billion for 2010.
Stakeholders have however been calling on the government to review the mineral royalties as a way of increasing its revenue base domestically.
With copper prices at their highest on the international market, stakeholders have called on the government to seriously consider taxing the mining sector more in order to increase its revenue base and not insist on getting the majority of its revenue from individual tax payers.
The green paper anticipates revenues and grants to be K11.7 trillion next year, increasing to 12.8 trillion and 13.6 trillion for 2009 and 2010 respectively.
“And government has allocated about K48.15 billion to cater for presidential affairs for both local and foreign meetings,” the green paper stated.
Magande said it was government’s intention to dismantle most of its domestic debt by allocating about K53 billion for next year, K20 billion for 2009 and another K20 billion for 2010 to pay retrenched and retired public servants due to restructuring.
“Part of the debt government is trying to dismantle comes from arrears it owes to suppliers of goods and services of about K351 billion for next year and K101 billion for 2009,” the green paper stated. “And government has allocated about K269 billion for arrears for retirements projected to be paid off in full by 2009.”
And the government has allocated about K150 billion for the Fertiliser Support Programme for next year and the same amount for each of the two subsequent years.
For the 2007/8 farming season only about 157,000 farmers are expected to benefit from inputs that will be obtained using these funds. This is a reduction from last year’s 210,000 farmers who benefited from the FSP.
The government has maintained that it cannot continue giving the same number of farmers inputs because the intention is to have the small-scale farmers who are the targets of these funds graduate to medium farmers so that others can also benefit.
“On the other hand, the government has allocated about K80 billion for the Food Strategic Reserve (FSR) aimed at building sustainable strategic national food reserves. This exact amount has been allocated for the next two subsequent years,” the green paper stated.
Further allocations for interest on treasury bills and bonds have been made of K650 billion, K703 billion and K693 billion for domestic debt interest covering the period 2008 to 2010.
External debt interest for foreign debt stands at K40.86 billion for next year and, K35.48 billion and K30.34 billion for 2009 and 2010.
And the government has allocated a further K159 billion for next year and K318 billion and for 2009 for the new constitution review roadmap.
“As Zambia will be hosting the All-Africa games, the government has allocated K34.31 billion for next year and K157.9 billion and K137.9 billion for 2009 and 2010 to cater for infrastructure development,” the green paper indicated.
In summary, the government has allocated about 33 per cent of next year’s budget to the general public services, 19 per cent to economic affairs, 15 per cent to education, 11 per cent to health while the rest goes to other sectors.
Labels: 2008 BUDGET
Friday November 09, 2007 [03:00]
It is encouraging that the government has started to make some movements towards upgrading of squatter settlements around the country. The amounts of money released so far may not be adequate to comprehensively deal with this problem, but what is important is that the process has begun. A lot has been said about squatter settlements and those concerned have raised valid concerns.
Some people are of the view that squatter settlements should just be demolished so that the squatters can be moved to alternative places. Others have argued that since the numbers of people living in squatter settlements is quite considerable, it is not possible to demolish houses in these places and that upgrading them would be most ideal.
Well, the problem of squatter settlements is not as easy as it appears on the surface. It goes beyond what meets the eye. To fully appreciate this problem, it is important to interrogate several factors. But what we can clearly state is that - looking at the realities in our economy - the problem of squatter settlements in urban areas is an unavoidable phenomenon. For as long as urban areas remain the main centres of economic activity, we expect the numbers of people migrating from rural areas to continue going up. And since very little is happening in terms of infrastructure development to accommodate the large numbers of people migrating to urban areas, more and more rural-urban migrants will become squatters. And we should never deceive ourselves to think that the problem of squatter settlements is so easy to solve.
There is no magic-bullet solution to this problem. In the past, we have seen some confrontational approach from those in government in the manner they have dealt with squatters. But this problem does not require a bellicose attitude from those in government. As we have already stated, there are several factors which have led to some of our people living in squatter settlements, most of which border on economic considerations while others have to do with our systems of urban planning.
To deal with the problem of squatter settlements will require not just short or medium term measures such as simply upgrading these settlements because this in itself encourages the practice. The problem requires long-term measures such as improving the living standards of people in rural areas because we know that people are migrating to urban centres in search of a better quality of life. They are deserting rural areas because poverty is biting hard and the conditions of living are deteriorating. And the problem is that when they arrive in the cities, there is inadequate housing.
The result is that these people start constructing illegal structures, which unfortunately are allowed to get to levels where it becomes difficult to stop them. And this is the result we are seeing today of the government being forced to recognise these settlements by upgrading them.
Given the fact that these settlements are unplanned, it means that they lack basic services such as water and electricity supply, roads, drainage systems and other vital infrastructure. Where these are available, the standards are below appropriate or minimum levels because the squatters have to improvise on most of these services. They have to dig shallow wells for water; they illegally connect themselves to power supply lines and their settlements are always flooded during the rainy season because there is no proper drainage.
These are the consequences of having unplanned settlements. And this is why we are saying that squatter settlements must be avoided from the outset. In our view, it is possible to avoid these squatter settlements if we have long-term plans in whatever we do as a country. But as long as certain things - such as the economy - are not in order, it will be difficult to deal with this problem because people will continue trekking to the cities even if there is no accommodation for them as long as they feel a better life can only be found in urban areas. But it is possible to minimise the movement of people to our already congested cities if their lives are improved wherever they may be.
If basic services and infrastructure are put in place in rural areas, the movement of people will to a great extent be minimised. We are not saying that people should stop moving from one place to another because this is not possible. People will always move between stations or locations for many reasons. Our main concern is to do with the large scale movement of people from rural to urban centres in search of what they feel is a better life.
While it is encouraging that the government is now moving towards upgrading squatter settlements in different parts of the country, we think that we should start looking at long-term plans of avoiding these clearly undesirable settlements.
As the English say, a stitch in time saves nine. Yes, there is nothing wrong with the government's decision to upgrade squatter settlements because there may be no other alternative to this. All we are saying is that we should change our way of doing things so that, if possible, these settlements are avoided altogether. There is need to get back to serious planning so that the eyesore that these settlements have become can be avoided.
By Nomusa Michelo
Friday November 09, 2007 [03:00]
LOCAL government and housing deputy minister Eustarkio Kazonga has said the government has released K3 billion for the upgrading of squatter compounds around the country. And Town Planners Association of Zambia president Simeo Siame has said there is need for strong political will from the government to upgrade squatter compounds.
Responding to a supplementary question from Lukulu East member of parliament Batuke Imenda who wanted to know when the government would release funds meant to upgrade squatter compounds in Lukulu boma following an overall survey of the township, Kazonga said the upgrading exercise is not only restricted Lukulu East but is for the whole country.
He said various local authorities have been included in the plan to upgrade squatter compounds.
The local authorities include Lusaka, Livingstone, Kitwe and Ndola city councils and Solwezi, Mongu, Kabwe, Mansa, Kasama , Chipata and Choma municipal councils.
Kazonga said the government has budgeted K5 billion for the upgrading of squatter compounds and had so far released K3 billion.
And commenting on government release of K3 billion for the upgrade of squatter compounds around the country, Siame said government should have a clear plan on how to implement the upgrading of squatter compounds.
He said it should not just be a question of releasing money, but there is need for a clear phased plan of implementation.
“Squatter compounds can be rectified, but it depends on the decision by government. It needs strong political will,” he said.
Siame also said there is need to do a socialisation study of squatter compounds as well as find alternative living areas for the people who may need to be relocated from the squatter compounds.
“We need to make sure we reduce the stress of the people who are moving,” he said.
Simeo also said the government needs to compensate the people who will be relocated from squatter areas because they have built structures.
by Jeffery J. Smith
Harrison: There is a big difference between this bubble and past bubbles. In the past, national economies operated with a degree of independence. Today, we all sink or swim together: the major economies of the world are synchronized into a single business cycle.
In China as prices soar, erstwhile Communists are flipping properties all along the coast. In the US, house prices have doubled in the past five years. In the UK, the value of the housing stock reached £3.3trn in 2004, triple the value of ten years earlier. In all the developed countries put together, real estate prices have risen by more than $30trn over the past five years. That’s equivalent to 100% of their combined annual GDPs. This eclipses the 1990s stock market bubble (an increase over five years of 80% of GDP), and Wall Street’s bubble of the late 1920s (55%).
Economic models are overly focused on labor and capital rather than on land; property prices are what drive economies. While we talk about real estate, it is the plot underneath the house that makes the difference. In fact, the price of land is the best indicator of the state of the economy.
Based on the property cycle of the last 300 years, it appears housing booms precede recessions. When the average man can’t buy the average house, prices have to fall. This tends to work in 18-year cycles. There are usually 14 years of rising prices followed by four years of recession across the broader economy. As people struggle to meet mortgage payments, they have to slash their spending on products. Irrespective of the distinct characteristics of each economy, it seems that this 18-year cycle occurs across the globe.
The last bubble burst in 1990 so things will start to collapse in 2008 (1990 + 18) but not before. Government spending is still very high, stimulating the economy into 2008. In 2010, property prices around the world will start to fall and as consumer consumption collapses a global economic depression will follow.
The commercial property sector also has an ominous feel about it. Speculative skyscrapers are going up, tying up capital in real estate rather than in research and development. Money that should be funding the factories and infrastructure that would raise productivity is instead seeking out windfall gains in real estate.
Can anything be done to head off the depression of 2010? Not by a central bank. If it lowers interest rates, as unemployment rises and sales drop, sellers merely add that savings onto the price of houses. And lower lending rates keep up borrowing; the volume of loans swells the money supply which fuels inflation.
Forgetting interest rates, government could re-balance the economy by shifting taxes. Cut taxes on people’s wages and savings to reward enterprise. Collect public revenue from the rents of land to deter land speculation and drive efficient land use.
In the meantime, the best thing investors can do for themselves is to shift their portfolios into assets that can quickly be liquidated. Don’t believe anyone who says that the property market is going to recover strongly from here. The effect of housing on the wider economy is absolutely key to the health of the global economy.
JJS: Though dwarfed by government spending, central banks also pour fuel on the fire, worried as they are about the credit crunch. Citigroup chairman and chief executive Charles Prince stepped down. The company may write off $11 billion of subprime mortgage losses, on top of a $6.5 billion write-down last quarter.
AP: Since August, the Federal Reserve has been pumping cash into the financial system and cut its lending rate to banks three times. November, the Fed pumped another $41 billion into the US financial system, the largest cash infusion since 2001 9/11, and sliced the federal funds rate by .25% to 4.5%, after cutting it .5% in September. The funds rate affects many other interest rates charged to millions of individuals and businesses and is the Fed's most potent tool for influencing economic activity.
Reuters: Like clockwork, as the bank accepted more inflation, reducing the buying power of the dollar, investors then unloaded more of their dollars, flooding currency exchanges, reducing the dollar’s value. The euro remained near its recent all-time high of $1.4528, the highest since its launch in 1999. The Canadian dollar hit US$1.0729 or 93.20 Canadian cents, a modern-day record high. The dollar index, which charts the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was at 76.362, off a recent low of 76.220, its lowest level in its 30+ year history.
Worried about further fallout from the credit market crisis, investors turned to the safety of government debt; as sales of US Treasuries rose, the yield from the US benchmark 10-year Treasury notes hovered near two-year lows.
MarketWatch: Investors are sheltering their fortunes from the coming storm. Propelled by the dollar's tumble to yet another record low and by surging crude-oil prices, gold futures rallied to their highest level since 1980, ending at $823.40 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the contract reached an intraday high of $828, a level not seen since 1980.
Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
By Caesar Zvayi
BEFORE the Berlin Conference of November 1884 to February 1885, Africa was one large territory in which people roamed freely between ancient kingdoms. It was this unfettered movement that culminated in the Bantu migration, the largest in human history, that occurred about 1 000 years ago and was manifest in the southward migration of indigenous Africans who gradually settled in southern Africa, present-day Sadc.
But when white settlers convened in Berlin at the behest of the First Germany Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, Africa, with the exception of present day Liberia and Ethiopia, was partitioned into colonies shared between seven imperial powers Great Britain, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Portugal.
The present political boundaries mooted in Berlin, however, emerged 30 years after the Conference, drawn by Europeans for Europeans with scant regard for African realities.
Prior to the Berlin Conference, few of these political boundaries existed; those that did were centred on settler territories, like the one that protected Basutoland (present day Lesotho) from Boer encroachment around Transvaal and the enclave of Walvis Bay.
In the wake of the Berlin Conference, the European powers made bilateral treaties with each other and drew boundaries to define their various spheres of influence. These are the borders we recognise as national boundaries today, frontiers that are not of our own making but are in effect inherited colonial creations. Boundaries that were drawn not to serve Africa but to facilitate its plunder by invaders, boundaries drawn without regard to African nationalities or clans as they divided whole communities into different countries.
A case in point is in Eastern Zimbabwe where the Tangwena chieftainship’s jurisdiction straddles parts of Zimbabwe and Mozambique. For instance, Chief Rekayi Tangwena had four headmen, two in Zimbabwe and the other two in Mozambique and both headmen facilitated President Mugabe’s crossing into Mozambique in 1975.
To this day, across many border areas in Africa, whole communities share languages, customs, history and traditions, and with intermarriages, have since strengthened their historical ties. Similar cases occur along Zimbabwe’s border with Botswana where the Bangwato and Bakalaka ba ka Nswazwi peoples in Zimbabwe trace their bloodlines to Botswana, and some have been repatriated to their ancestral homes.
What is regrettable, however, is that the sketching of the pillagers who convened in Berlin has survived Africa’s transition from colonialism to independence and the entire post-colonial period stretching from March 2 1956, the day Mohamed V made a triumphal entry into Rabat, to this day.
Since the present political boundaries were drawn to serve colonial interests, mainly through the divide and rule stratagem, today they present numerous problems to post-independent states, all of which impede trade, development and progress on the continent.
The genocide in Rwanda and Burundi can be atrributed, in part, to the partitioning of the then Ruanda-Urundi.
The fight between Nigeria and Cameroon over the Bakassi Peninsula can be traced to the ignorance of those who drew the present political boundaries who separated clans, families, and communities at the stroke of a pen.
It is with this in mind that the recent scrapping of visa requirements for citizens of Zimbabwe and Mozambique is providential as it is the first step in removing colonially imposed restrictions to travel within Sadc.
What makes the scrapping of the visa even more significant is that it comes at a time entrenched colonial interests have declared war on Zimbabwe, and as part of that war have embarked on a campaign of falsehoods meant to foster xenophobia for Zimbabweans in neighbouring states.
Reports abound that Zimbabweans ‘‘fleeing hunger and repression’’ are migrating en masse into neighbouring countries where they reportedly make life difficult for the citizens, either through sheer numbers, superior education and skills or for the lumpen elements, crime.
That Mozambique has seen through the lies, where citizens of some states, fortunately not the governments, have chosen to be xenophobic should be applauded.
It is important to note that the majority of Zimbabweans who go into neighbouring countries do not go there to settle, but to sell their wares and buy some commodities in short supply. Those who settle will either be professionals recruited for their skills or the unskilled after menial jobs, a development not unique to Zimbabwe as it has been happening throughout the region since the days of Wenela.
In fact, without the patronage of Zimbabwean traders and consumers border towns like Mussina in South Africa or Francistown in Botswana would have shrunk by now, but actually have booming retail sectors because of Zimbabwean consumers.
Earlier this year, Fin24, a South African news website revealed that 18 percent or 540 000 of the three million visitors to South Africa last year were from Zimbabwe, and they pumped in a massive R2,2 billion into the South African economy, particularly, the retail sector. In fact a look at key portfolios in Sadc will show that Zimbabweans hold most of the posts due to their superior skills and education, and this is a microcosm of the situation in some countries in the region.
In Sadc, only Mozambique and South Africa retained a visa regime on Zimbabwe, ironically these are countries that should not have such restrictions. Mozambique and South Africa benefited from unrestricted access to Zimbabwe during the trying times in their history, the same way Zimbabwe benefited during the liberation struggle. Mozambicans freely travelled to and from Zimbabwe, with some even settling during the Renamo insurgency.
While for South Africans, at the height of the struggle against apartheid, Zimbabwe’s borders were open and some ANC members actually used Zimbabwean passports to travel the world.
The visa regime Mozambique and South Africa had on Zimbabwe has been sticking out like a sore thumb since the official opening of the Giriyondo Tourist Access Facility in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park on August 16 2006.
There; immediately after the signing ceremony by Presidents Mugabe, Thabo Mbeki and Armando Guebuzza; a 15-kilometre strip of fence was symbolically pulled down to show that animals will move freely throughout the mega-park covering the three countries.
The GLTP that incorporates the Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe, Kruger National Park (South Africa) and Limpopo National Park (Mozambique), is the largest eco-tourism project in the world covering 35 000 square kilometres, roughly the size of Israel.
The question to be asked is: If animals can now move freely between our countries what does that make of us if we can do no better for our people? This is a question the South African home affairs ministry should grapple with since they now bear the distinction of being the only country in Sadc with a visa regime on Zimbabwe.
It is, however, poignant that Sadc is working towards a uni-visa system, which will remove barriers to movement. Sadc can not afford to do less given the example set by other blocs on the continent.
In West Africa, the 16 member Economic Community of West African States not only scrapped visas but also does not even require passports for citizens travelling within the community, as national IDs are sufficient. ECOWAS members include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
In East Africa, the East African Community made up of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania now issues an East African Passport to eligible citizens, the passports which are recognised only by the three countries and are used for travel between those countries.
National passports are required for travel outside the EAC. Though holders of national passports issued by EAC member states do not require visas, work permits are required.
Even the former imperial powers, which imposed these artificial borders on Africans, have long recognised the ties between them and that the borders are nothing more than lines on a map as they have removed barriers to movement in the European Union.
Citizens of the European Economic Area; the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway; freely travel and work in any EU country without a passport let alone a visa, a standard compliant national ID card is sufficient. The same rights are also accorded citizens of Switzerland although they remain separate from the EEA.
In the Middle East, Lebanese and Syrian citizens do not require passports to move back and forth, their national IDs are adequate. In Asia the same obtains for Indians, Nepalese and Bhutanese travelling between those three countries. So what is wrong with Sadc? Why is the bloc taking so long to realise that the boundaries being turned into barriers are not an African creation?
Thankfully, Zimbabwe and Mozambique have shown the way and Sadc’s proposed uni-visa shows Sadc is not far behind others.
By James Chiwala
Thursday November 08, 2007 [03:00]
Finance deputy minister Jonas Shakafuswa’s statement (Post Wednesday, November 07, 2007) that Zambians should not complain about high taxes shows how heartless our government leaders are towards ordinary citizens. Such comments can only come from a person who does not feel for others.
It is a known fact that most politicians do not have the interest of people at heart. They rush into politics to fatten themselves at the expense of the suffering masses. Why shouldn’t people complain about the high taxation policy the MMD government has imposed on them and yet the same government has given windfall rebates to the mines and other foreign investors who are busy externalising profits at the expense of us Zambians?
We do not need to remind our arrogant ministers that the taxes we are paying are very high. Ministers should not even have the audacity of challenging the citizens to stop complaining. The cost of living in this country is quite unbearable, to say the least. It is no wonder that most of the professionals have migrated to other countries in search of greener pastures.
The duty of every government is to provide basic social services, develop infrastructure such as roads, schools, hospitals to mention a few. This is what we want to hear as some of the achievements the government has scored arising from the taxes we are paying. Alas, what we see are the most expensive vehicles being bought, huge salaries and allowances for our government leaders at the expense of us, the taxpayers! It is sad that the government is throwing out submissions even before the budget is finalised.
What was the point of inviting Zambians to present their input into the 2008 budget when the government cannot consider them?
I agree with many progressive Zambians who are proposing that the government broaden the tax base and reduce PAYE and other taxes on the poverty-stricken citizens.
I believe we have technocrats in government who can implement these changes to our taxation policy. We have suffered enough.
Govt's silence on CEC saga
Thursday November 08, 2007 [03:00]
I wish to comment on the government's silence on the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) saga.
As Zesco and its board are meeting on the Copperbelt to discuss the increment of electricity tariffs, I write to demand a full government explanation on CEC saga.
It is now over a month since CEC saga was revealed by The Post but to date, the government is still mute. I am appealing to the relevant authorities not to increase electricity tariffs until the CEC issue is resolved as it was learnt that it is only benefiting a few selfish individuals.
It has been mentioned time and again that what is happening today should serve as a lesson for President Mwanawasa and his officials as far as corruption is concerned.
All Zambians deserve a fair deal from Zesco. Zesco belongs to all people and should benefit us equally, hence my appeal to relevant authorities to carefully look into this matter.
By Chibaula Silwamba in Nchanga
Thursday November 08, 2007 [03:00]
THE government will soon re-introduce the Zambianisation committee that will stop foreign cheap labour from coming to Zambia, labour and social security minister Ronald Mukuma has assured. Mukuma on Tuesday expressed concern at unskilled labourers coming to Zambia to do jobs that could be done by Zambians.
“I have to assure you that the interest of Zambian citizens is being taken care of. As a result the government in the laws which are being amended, is going to re-introduce the Zambianisation committee and this Zambianisation committee will mainly look after the interest of Zambians to ensure that we don’t have cheap labour coming into this country to occupy the positions that can be held and done by Zambians,” Mukuma said.
“So the Zambians’ interest is being taken care of in the amended laws that we are going to introduce and therefore nobody should cheat you that these investors are coming to control us. That is not possible.”
He urged Zambians not to worry about investors colonising them.
“That is not true because what is happening is that every investor that comes in will have to operate within the laws of Zambia,” Mukuma said.
“We are currently having a lot of investment in the mining sector and as a result, the employment rate on the Copperbelt Province is increasing at the moment, we have quite a lot of people who have been re-employed compared to the time before the New Deal government came into power.”
He attributed the increase in the number of investors to the good economic policies, which the Mwanawasa government implemented.
Two weeks ago commerce, trade and industry minister Felix Mutati expressed concern at the increasing number of Chinese labourers coming into Zambia.
By Kabanda Chulu
Thursday November 08, 2007 [03:00]
USAID Zambia deputy mission director Sheila Lutjens yesterday said Zambia should introduce simple and effective ways of promoting trade and reducing corruption at border posts. And Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) Commissioner General Chriticles Mwansa said there was need to change the bureaucracy of red tape to a red carpet scenario in trade facilitation at border posts.
Officially launching a pilot project on Customs Accredited Client Programme (CACP) in Lusaka, Lutjens said Zambia’s largest trade operators would soon be able to import and export goods without undergoing costly inspections at border posts.
“The project will reduce border clearance time and operating costs for international traders hence allowing ZRA customs to fast track goods without compromising trade facilitation and security,” said Lutjens. “The CACP will eventually decrease congestions at the borders by 25 to 50 per cent and these are the kind of projects needed to be in place because there are simple, clear and are very effective in promoting trade and reducing corruption.”
And Mwansa said the CACP was a scheme that intended to recognise and reward compliance efforts by importers through the speedy facilitation of their consignments at borders based on their proven compliance track record.
“It is our intention to change the red tape bureaucracy to a red carpet scenario in trade facilitation at our border posts through products of this type and this differentiated treatment will result in a marked trade facilitation improvement of consignments for accredited clients who will only receive periodical post clearance audits as opposed to full physical checks,” said Mwansa.
“We hope the benefits to accredited clients will encourage compliance amongst non-accredited clients for them to come on board and in the long run promote a general improvement in trade facilitation, hence reducing the cost of doing business through speedy clearance of consignments.”
The ZRA in consultation with the United States International Aid Development (USAID) funded Zambia Threshold Project would carry out the pilot project to be implemented at Chirundu, Lusaka Port and Lusaka International Airport.
The CACP project will start with four large taxpayers’ institutions that signed a memorandum of understanding and these were CFAO Zambia, Konkola Copper Mines, Mopani Copper Mines and Zambian Breweries.
By Kabanda Chulu
Thursday November 08, 2007 [03:00]
ZAMBIAN Airways marketing manager Jane Kelly yesterday said there was need for the airline to participate in the economic developments taking place in North Western Province. Announcing the launch of direct flights to Solwezi and Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kelly said there was a huge demand for airline services from the mining sector in the new destinations. She explained that Zambian Airways stopped servicing the Solwezi route last year due to the low levels of business activities during that time.
“We have added two new destinations to our current flight schedule and even more affordable fares will be offered to our customers to enhance great value on both domestic and regional flights,” said Kelly. “We are doing this because business in the mining sector is thriving, hence increasing demand for airline services due to the economic developments taking place in the area, and there is also demand from traders in Lubumbashi.”
The airline will be flying a direct service to both Lubumbashi and Solwezi three times a week with direct connections through to both domestic and regional destinations.
In addition, Zambian Airways has revised its regional operations to include twice-daily flights from Lusaka to Johannesburg with new mid-day flights, direct flights from Ndola to Johannesburg four times a week.
The Solwezi destination becomes the fifth route on the domestic flight schedule following Chipata, Mfuwe, Livingstone and Ndola.
Zambian Airways was established 10 years ago and has a fleet of five aircraft that is, two Boeing 737 200 series, two Beechcraft 1900Dx and one Embraer.
Last year, the company recorded a turnover of US $25million to break into the top five bracket of wholly owned Zambian entities.
Over the last year, the airline carried 200,000 passengers thus recording a 300 per cent increase over the 2005 figures and from January to date, Zambian Airways has carried 47,000 passengers to the key tourist destinations of Livingstone and Mfuwe.
The Company employs 160 members of staff with 97 per cent being Zambians. It also creates over 500 jobs indirectly, within the local economy.
Labels: ZAMBIAN AIRWAYS
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
By Times Reporter
A PARLIAMENTARY committee has asked the Government to find a lasting solution to recurrent fuel shortages in the country. In its report to Parliament yesterday, the Committee on Energy, Environment and Tourism said the shortage of fuel affected the daily lives of Zambians and the economic development.
Moving a motion to adopt the report, Ndola Central Patriotic Party (PF) MP, Mark Mushili said the Government should quickly address the issue.
Mr Mushili said that the recurrent shortage of fuel, every year around October, was a source of grave concern and needed to be addressed.
Supporting the motion, which was seconded by Matero MP (PF), Faustina Sinyangwe, Kantanshi MP (PF), Yamfwa Mukanga accused the Government of having changed the operation of the fuel reserve fund.
Mr Mukanga said the fund to which motorists contributed K153 for every litre of fuel purchased, was supposed to make up for a short supply of the commodity and not to mitigate the fuel prices.
He said in future, the Government should handle the issue of fuel supply seriously to avoid a repeat of similar situations.
Roan MP (PF) Chishimba Kambwili said that it was important for the Government to be consistent whenever there was a crisis like fuel shortage instead of changing statements like Energy and Water Development Minister, Kenneth Konga allegedly did.
Mr Kambwili said the Government should write off Zesco bills for residents in former mine townships which had been accumulated during the transition period from ZCCM.
On the environment, Mr Mukanga said, the Government should strengthen laws related to the environmental control in Zambia especially in relation to mining pollution.
In seconding the motion, Mrs Sinyangwe called for the harmonisation of all the departments in the ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources saying currently their operations where haphazard.
Supporting the motion, United Party for National Development (UPND) Bweengwa MP, Highvie Hamududu said that the Government should address the issue of a foreign weed in the Lonchivar National Park which had affected cattle grazing.
Mr Hamududu said that there was need to strike a balance between tourism and the livelihood of local people.
Liuwa MP (MMD) Lubinda Imasiku who supported the motion said that to fully realise the tourism potential, there was need to invest in roads and other facilities.
Mr Imasiku cited Liuwa National Park where he said roads were almost non-existent.
The report further recommends full autonomy of the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ) saying currently its autonomy was only as long as the ministry of Tourism , Environment and Natural Resources agreed with its decision.
The committee bemoaned inadequate funding to public museums in Zambia resulting in the accumulation of debts in workers’ retirement benefits, statutory contributions and staff emoluments.
Earlier, Community Development and Social Services Deputy Minister, Elijah Muchima said the Government had between 1995 and 2005 distributed 592 hammer mills throughout Zambia.
Mr Muchima who is Mwinilunga West MP (MMD) said out of that, 47 were a grant from China while the rest were loans.
He was responding to a question from Luampa MP (UPND) Josephine Limata who wanted to know how many hammer mills had been distributed to clubs in her Constituency.
Bangweulu MP (PF), Joseph Kasongo, Bwana Mkubwa MP (PF), Joseph Zulu and Malole MP (Independent), Emmanuel Munaile expressed concern at Government’s seemingly failure to account for the mills.
By Marlon Phiri Lusaka
Wednesday November 07, 2007 [03:00]
I would also like to give credit to Michael Sata, president of the PF. From the onset, I want to say that it is very good that Sata is in the opposition. His fight against what he calls bogus Chinese investment in Zambia is interesting.
Sata has been very consistent in his fight against Chinese investment, especially those that come to Zambia only to be found at Soweto market, selling vegetables and chickens and running restaurants.
Just over a month ago, we saw pictures of a Chinese couple involved in the theft of Zamtel and Zesco cables and some copper cathodes. Last week Sata reiterated his fight against bogus Chinese investment and the poor labour conditions that they subject most Zambians to. And the story of the Chinese firm that is dealing in stolen copper cathodes does not give a good picture of Chinese dealings in Zambia.
At Harvard University, Sata illustrated how much he felt Zambia had lost out in attracting genuine investors at the hands of the Chinese investors. The failure by the Zambian government to review the tax exemptions also means that our country continues to lose out on the benefits of our natural resource.
Now the Chinese would like to prove that they can be good and so in this “positive” competition we the Zambians are likely to benefit.
In the process, we can get back what rightly belongs to us: access to good water and health facilities, education for our children as well as decent jobs that will help us to stand on our two feet as a free people.
By Raphael Mukuka Australia
Wednesday November 07, 2007 [03:00]
Zambian politics will never cease to amaze me. Looking at the front page of Monday’s Post, I wonder what HH is trying to achieve campaigning for a candidate who will obviously not win the election but lure a few votes that destabilise a potential candidate’s chances to win with big margins.
Opposition parties need to have one voice if they want to have influence in Parliament. There is no need for another opposition party to contest the by-election in Nchanga Constituency when there is already one.
Other opposition parties should have rallied behind PF to win back their seat. We also expect PF to support other opposition parties in areas where they are strong and not fight each other over things that are straightforward.
The money UPND and its candidate are spending can be used for more positive developments that are more achievable.
What is Sata's ideology?
By MJ Johannesburg
Wednesday November 07, 2007 [03:00]
One MM writes that ‘Sata is a voice for the voiceless’ and by some forceful persuasions want Zambians to subscribe to this notion.
To make such statements is to say the Zambians’ memories are too short, uninformed about international affairs and above all cannot distinguish between a failed and frustrated politician from a genuine and honest leader. It would be greatly appreciated if Sata could answer a few basic but fundamental questions surrounding the matter at hand; when did it occur to him that Taiwan is an issue? Was it during the tenure in office with Dr Kaunda, Chiluba or Mwanawasa?
What is the difference in Chinese claim of Hong Kong and Taiwan?
Did he ever protest when the British gave up Hong Kong?
Consistency is one virtue that is conspicuously missing in most of our politicians. If a leader’s belief, inclination or opinion changes it is normal courtesy the public knows so as to help in making right choices of their leaders.
It may sound ridiculous but one Dr Machungwa was bold enough to say that his ideology had changed in a matter concerning a president seeking a third term. What is Sata’s ideology anyway?
This is the same man who at one time said that street vendors should be allowed to trade on the streets while during his tenure as Lusaka Urban district governor he would round up these traders and send them to Chongwe so they could find their way back to Lusaka as a way of punishing them.
When it suited him it was fine to chase street vendors but when it is other people doing it, he raises his voice as if he is speaking for the voiceless.
In my view Sata speaks for his own political survival just like he tried to do on Chiluba’s infamous third-term-bid.