Saturday, February 02, 2008

My Pan African beliefs have cost me a job, says Chitala

My Pan African beliefs have cost me a job, says Chitala
By Amos Malupenga
Saturday February 02, 2008 [03:00]

Mbita Chitala yesterday said his beliefs in Pan African ideals have cost him a job as Zambia's Ambassador to Libya. Chitala said despite the dismissal, he would not abandon his beliefs in Pan Africanism because it was a matter of conscience for him.

"I have been a Pan Africanist for more than 30 years and I believe in certain issues of conscience," Chitala said. "I have published so many articles and books on this matter and I will continue for as long as my academic prowess is with me."

President Levy Mwanawasa on Thursday fired Chitala following his article titled: “The Federal Union of African States Must be Established Now”, which was published in Libya's Tripoli Post newspaper.

Chitala wrote the article in his private and personal capacity. The article was published as an editorial comment by The Tripoli Post which is essentially Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi's newspaper.

In his letter to Chitala, President Mwanawasa stated that he was extremely upset with Chitala's article in which he described the type of African leaders on the African Union government as disappointing.

"You specifically named the Republic of South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria as cases where the people have shown their dissatisfaction with their performance," President Mwanawasa stated.

"You know that as Ambassador, you are not supposed to issue a statement of such nature without the authority of your foreign affairs minister or as the case is, myself. I regret to inform you that you are immediately recalled to Zambia and since I understand you are already in the country, you should merely return and collect your goods."

Chitala thanked President Mwanawasa for having appointed him ambassador. He said the President had the prerogative to appoint and disappoint ambassadors.

Chitala hoped that his successor would build on the progress he had scored in the last five months he served as Zambia's ambassador to Libya. He said as soon as he arrived, he set for himself a strategic plan of the things he wanted to achieve and tried to get a Joint Permanent Commission established.

"We were negotiating to allow the Libyan airlines to start flying into Lusaka by September.

We signed an agreement on promotion investment and the Zambia Development Agency was to sign another co-operation agreement with the Libyan government," Chitala said.

"We also agreed with the Libya African Investment Bank to invest US $164.6 million to develop Esco complex in Lusaka in conjunction with NAPSA, to do a shopping mall and hotel at Arcades valued at US $94 million, to do another hotel at Chainama Golf Club and to develop a lodge at Kasaba Bay.

For Kasaba Bay, they even gave us a grant of US $470,000 to do a study and make a plan for tourism development in northern Zambia."

Chitala said he also held discussions with Tamoil, a Libyan company, which was ready to either invest in Indeni Oil Refinery or build another oil refinery.

"All I can hope for is that my successor will continue working on these projects to bring investment and development to our great country," Chitala said.

"I am going back on Saturday (today) to collect my family. When I am back, I will continue to teach at the university, will do my private business and will continue advising Zambians on the importance of public service because there is nothing more honourable and satisfying than that.

I hope now I can concentrate on my PhD studies in public finance. If everything goes according to schedule, I will graduate in June. I also hope that history will judge me."

Below is Chitala's article in full as published by The Tripoli Post on January 26, 2008.

Opinion: The Federal Union of African States Must be Established Now. By Ambassador Mbita Chitala Introduction This presentation addresses the subject of the historical necessity and inevitability of the federated African state.

The central argument of the article is that continental integration and empowerment can only succeed if the coordination of efforts is at a continental level through first, the formation of one all African State, that is, by way of a political decision and that economic integration shall only be complementary.

This article does not discuss the benefits that will be derived from Africa's political integration (insure peace keeping, combat disease, environmental concerns, poverty, corruption, oversee good governance, equi-distribute Africa's wealth) as this is already a settled argument nor does it discuss the method and road map for achieving this historical inevitability as this is a detail to be designed by professional managers.

This write up is aimed at imploring African leaders to make the political decision and establish the united one African state as they meet at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 31 January, 2008.

Status of Africa's Unity Post independence Africa presents a divided and balkanized states, weak, and for more than four decades has continued to be a play ground for unabated abuse, exploitation and oppression of its peoples by other more organized political regions as exemplified by the hegemonic control the Europeans and Americans still hold on Africa.

Africa's age old yearnings for political and economic integration have been thwarted, of course variously explained by many factors and interest opinions.

These factors include the influence of self-seeking, narrow-minded nationalist African leaders who have continued to opt for personal glory and fame at the expense of the larger Africa using the legalistic excuse of sovereignty, the influence of the vestiges of colonial aberrations and neo-colonial psyches and dominion where Africa in the international division of labour has continued to play the role as a supplier of raw materials and net importer of manufactured commodities which in the process condemns Africa to continue being exploited by way of unequal exchange.

In the area of consciousness, cultural imperialism has been ensuring that Africa is divided between two blocs - Anglophone and Francophone - and this division has been sustained by the former colonial powers variously such as establishing institutions like the British Commonwealth with their British Council, and the French Francophone with their Alliance Francais.

These have continued to sew divisions among Africans by false ideologies such as the Christian-Moslem dichotomy, the Arab-African dichotomy and the ethnicity or tribal ideologies that are used to divide and weaken Africans.

With globalization, Africa has further deepened its integration to the global finance capital from a weak stand point where it cannot get an equal share of the benefits of globalization. African countries have attempted to unite the many small post colonial social formations to address this issue of poverty, underdevelopment and insecurity of Africa but often have fallen short because of the above reasons or because they used unsustainable unworkable methods such as desiring to have economic integration before political unity.

The most notable attempt was the Abuja Treaty - Regulation CM/464 of the 26th OAU Council of Ministers who wanted to create five regional communities who would play the role of the future continental common market.

The recommendation was based on the realization that integrating 53 differently ruled African States would be unsustainable because of the unripe consciousness, the influence of geography, ecosystems and operational precedence.

This attempt failed and more regional communities continued being formed. In pre-Abuja Treaty, there were 8 Regional Economic Communities (RECs) including SACU, MRU, ECOWAS, CEPAL, ECCAS, IOC, IGAD and UMA. In post Abuja Treaty, more RECs have been established. These include SADC, UEMOA, CEMAC, COMESA, CEN-SAD, EAC.

All these have been set up in spite of duplication of programmes and their multiplicity, cross cutting membership and inefficiencies have compromised African integration. An attempt towards rationalizing them has failed because of lack of political will and resentment and opposition by the established public service supported by entrenched rules and contracts. It is unacceptable for African leaders to continue procrastinating or making lame selfish excuses of going to consult their peoples and so on such as has been the case in the last ten years.

There is no need for these countries to hold referendums as Muammar Gaddaffi challenged his colleagues at the Accra Summit. The opposition to integration that was exhibited by Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa in Accra is regrettable as it was based on the false assumption that these three countries would on their own develop to be sub imperialist powers.

It is gratifying that Liberia, Senegal, Ethiopia, Chad and Libya came strongly for immediate political unity. The rest remained look warm. It is no wonder the Africans in South Africa and Kenya have already shown their leaders what they think of their acts in Accra. What is required as the first act is to agree on political integration by establishing the Federated Union of African States.

This was the consensus that was reached after the transformation of the OAU into the AU on 9th September, 1999 at Sirte in Libya where all African Leaders committed themselves to the establishment of the United States of Africa.

Those who want to move on a snails pace or are opposed to Africa's political integration should be left out for now. Their own nationals will deal with them in due course and compel them to join the bigger good - the Federated United States of Africa."

It was therefore amazing at the meeting in Accra, Ghana in July, 2007 that about 50% of African countries continued to give lame excuses at delaying this historical necessity which has as a result continued the tendency of the marginalization of the continent in global affairs as well as deepened the underdevelopment of its people.

As the leaders go to meet again in Addis Ababa on January, 31st, 2008, all progressive Africans are hoping that the final solution to African Unity and integration will be found. Now, Africa has entered the globalization process from a point of weakness. New constraints have emerged, particularly with timeframes imposed by initiatives such as the EU, the WTO, China and so on.

It is therefore imperative that a new momentum and initiative within a better structured continental framework with improved follow up on both the political leadership and rationalization and implementation of one African economic set up be launched.

Political Integration First, then Economic Integration Former Zambian President Dr Kenneth Kaunda and former Algerian President Ben Bela are the only two Africans still living who can attest from first hand account the ideals yearned by Africa's founding fathers of a strong and independent one African State that was championed by African heroes such as Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Patrice Lumumba, Toure, Gamal Abdul Nasser, Emperor Haile Sellassie, Jomo Kenyatta and other African patriots.

These ideals have been taken up by a few progressive African leaders notably Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, and the Senegalese President Wade who have been trying to persuade fellow African leaders to move forward on this African integration process. In the last ten years, Libya has had to spend a lot of money and effort trying to have the project realized.

Muammar Gaddafi and the leaders of this progressive tendency have been opposed by a conservative fringe whose chief response has been that they are not ready or they must first consult their people or that they are afraid of losing their sovereignty or simply remain non committal.

This bloc has been lukewarm and has chosen the road towards Africa's integration by first strengthening regional economic groupings and assumed that the integration process will ripen on its own. The logic of this route is to further divide Africa.

This is the route championed by African colonial masters now united as the European Union. It has been argued by some African leaders and supported by neo colonial think tanks at the secretariats of the Economic Commission for Africa, the African Union and the United Nations that the challenges Africa faces is for the Regional Economic Communities ( RECs) to harmonize their programmes so as to attain convergence and ultimately the African Economic Community.

Even though the REC's are not among the organs of the African Union (AU), it has been argued by these think tanks that they can still be used as building blocks of the African Union government as they were anticipated to be for the African Economic Community under the Abuja Treaty.

It has been obvious from all and sundry that such an approach would forever thwart the advancement of the African confederation and would play in the hands of Africa's enemies who want to continue subjecting the continent to age old disadvantages such as imperialist exploitation and marginalization of the Africans in global affairs.

To the progressive Africans, it must be obvious that this incremental approach is not only unsustainable but must be overthrown and be replaced by a Nkrumah/Nasser and currently Gaddafi/Wade approach that argues for "seek ye the political kingdom first, and all would follow".

The argument that Africa should first rationalize and harmonize the more than fourteen (14) regional economic cooperation groupings and use them as the basis for advancing to Federal Africa is a view point that is against historical experience.

In practice, it is utter mechanistic nonsense and is a road to continued balkanization of the continent, weakening Africa and ensuring that it continues to be a market for imperialist capital. Only political unity can advance the economic integration agenda and break the suffocating tentacles of imperialism which have for the last 200 years constrained Africa's advancement.

The only Question at Addis Ababa and Africa's Prayer It is important that Africans, as they meet at Addis Ababa on 31st January, 2008 realize that unless they create political space in the sense of an all Africa Federal State, all what Africa has always aspired for will be in vain. We will have to wait for another generation to attempt at unity again. What a waste of ten years investment of our time and resources!

At the Accra Summit of the African Union in July, 2007, the decision to establish the federated State of Africa was postponed for six months to allow for further national consultations. About 50% of African States mainly in the CEN-SAD group were for the immediate establishment of the United States of Africa.

Another group mainly from the SADC area was lukewarm to the ideal and politely opposed the immediate creation of the African Union State.

They regressed to the outdated Abuja Treaty argument of basing unity on the gradual development of regional groupings. Today, Africa faces the challenges that Nkrumah and his colleagues faced at the beginning of this argument which resulted in the creation of two blocs - the Casablanca and Monrovia blocs among African leaders.

The question then was principally how to advance the decolonization of Africa. The bloc led by Nkrumah, Nasser, Nyerere, Haile Sellasie, Ben Bella, Kaunda, Toure, Lumumba and others won the day against the African reactionaries who advocated for some regulated independence. Today, there are about 53 politically independent African States - most of them are weak and are simply outposts of imperialist exploitation and subjugation.

It is necessary, nay, a historical inevitability that Africa must first address and achieve political unity under one State for any meaningful progress to be made towards playing any equal role in the global community.

The harmonization and rationalization of the REC's will also follow naturally as politics will lead. The argument which has been advanced by some of our leaders that political unity will only be reached if and when all African States accede to the ideal by way of consensus is obviously, not a useful position.

For practical reasons, this 100% unanimity is utopian as some African States are under the hegemony of imperialism or are simply reactionary and/or will never be allowed by their imperialist masters to accede to Africa's political integration. These countries should not be allowed to hold progress of other Africans.

They should no longer delay this movement towards Africa's emancipation and unity. Those who want to move on a snails pace or are opposed to Africa's political integration should be left out for now.

Their own nationals will deal with them in due course and compel them to join the bigger good - the Federated United States of Africa. About The Author Ambassador Mbita Chitala Ambassador of Zambia to Libya (These are personal views of the author) The Tripoli Post

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Caledonia Mining seals cobalt refinery deal with Chinese firm

Caledonia Mining seals cobalt refinery deal with Chinese firm
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Friday February 01, 2008 [03:00]

CALEDONIA Mining has announced that it has signed a six-year off-take agreement with a large Chinese refiner for establishment of a cobalt refinery at the company’s Nama project. Nama Cobalt Project is a wholly owned subsidiary of Caledonia and it is located north west of Konkola Copper Mine and adjoins the extensive holdings of Teal Mining and Exploration Limited near Chililabombwe.

The announcement was made in a statement released in Lusaka by the Toronto based mining giant. The statement did not however disclose the name of Chinesecompany. IAt the Nama Project, Caledonia plans to commence mining using open pit mining methods, pre-concentration and conventional cobalt extractive technology.

The statement also announced that under the terms of agreement, Caledonia would supply a minimum of 21,000 tonnes of cobalt metal equivalent in the form of cobalt hydroxide from its Nama Cobalt Project over the next six years.

“The agreement specifies that the price shall be based on the published monthly average of 99.3 per cent cobalt from the London Metal Exchange, and contains a guaranteed "Take or Pay" minimum cobalt price of US $12 per pound of cobalt metal and that the agreement is renewable,” the statement read in part.

And commenting on the development, Caledonia Mining president and chief executive officer Stefan Hayden said the agreement marked an important milestone for Caledonia as the company commenced with the development of Nama project.

“In the context of current spot prices for cobalt of US $44 per pound and the floor price of US $12 per pound, this contract represents substantial value and confirms Caledonia's potential for Nama, which I expect will prove to be one of the world's largest primary cobalt deposits and also become one of the key primary players in the cobalt market,” said Hayden.

“Negotiations on further agreements with refiners continue. With rising demand from China, India and America, we believe the fundamentals for cobalt remains robust in the near-term."

Caledonia is proceeding with detailed mine planning and is targeting commencement of production by early 2009 at an expected annual production level of 10,000 tonnes of cobalt metal.

A recent internal feasibility study had estimated capital expenditure at US $125 million and production costs below US $10 per pound.



Politics of violence

Politics of violence
By Editor
Saturday February 02, 2008 [03:00]

Following Thursday’s political violence in the run-up to the Kanyama parliamentary by-election, we wish to express our views clearly. Condemnation is always proper judgment on political violence. Crimes of this nature defile those who practice them, notwithstanding any reasons offered.

Our people are just as decisive in rejecting political violence which becomes cruel and uncontrollable when it is unleashed. Criminal acts can in no way be justified as a way to campaign for political office. Violence inexorably engenders new forms of repression, which usually prove to be more serious than the ones our politicians are allegedly trying to liberate or protect us from.

But most importantly, violence is an attack on life, which depends on the creator alone. And we must also stress that when politics appeals to violence, it thereby admits its own weakness and inadequacy.

Our responsibility as peace-loving citizens is to use all possible means to promote the implementation of non-violent tactics in the effort to re-establish justice in economic and socio-political relations. We cannot fail to praise those who renounce the use of violence in the vindication of their political rights and who resort to methods of defence which are otherwise available to weaker parties too, provided this can be done without injury to the rights and duties of others or of the community.

We are obliged to state and reaffirm that violence is neither Christian nor evangelical, and that brusque, violent political changes will be false, ineffective in themselves, and certainly inconsistent with the dignity of the people. The fact is that we realise that even the best structures and the most idealised systems quickly become inhuman if human inclinations are not improved, if there is no conversion of heart and mind on the part of those who are living in those structures or controlling them.

As we have stated before, no doctrine, no principle or proclaimed political position can justify atrocious acts such as the political violence that we saw on Thursday in Kanyama. No crime can be committed in the name of politics and election campaigns.

What is distinctively lacking among our politicians and their cadres is a culture of tolerance and humility which places the humanity of others before self and accepts that all citizens have a right to participate in the shaping of their destiny directly without fear of being injured or killed. Intolerance belies the fact that our pre-colonial societies had evolved this quality to a degree which makes us look like veritable primitives fit only to be seen in suits. Our modern leaders, our politicians and their cadres are everywhere the trouble-shooters.

Tolerance and respect for our fellow citizens should make us allow our political opponents to campaign freely and without inhibition, whether we like what they are saying or not. At the same time we should expect the same treatment when our turn comes.

This is not something we achieve instinctively. Rather, we develop it consciously and respectfully. For, our very instincts would drive us to throttling our opponents or, better still, smacking them with a deadly blow. It is quite true that tolerance implies the highest respect for the human ideal, and its denial suggests a conscious and unconscious lack of humanity on our part. Intolerance must surely rank as one of the worst forms of immorality in human affairs. We can see the horror of this in people who go out of their way to organise violence against someone for simply belonging to another political party.

What we are striving to say is that we should take pride in our political opponents, whether we like them or not. Until our politicians and their cadres redress the imbalance between selfish pursuit of power and concern for the human lives they want to be elected to serve or protect, between arrogance and self-respect and humility, between tolerance and mutual tolerance, we will forever be marching backwards in very long strides.

This is our tragedy, the inability to value every single innocent life and bring happiness to our people without attempting to brutalise them into fear. This is not democracy. Elections that are based on violence can never be said to be free and fair because people cannot be expected to freely express their will in such elections.

For us, true democracy is a growth in the confidence in the power of ordinary people to transform their country, and thus transform themselves. It is a growth in the appreciation of people organising, deciding, creating together. It is a growth of fraternal love.

What all this electoral violence seems to mean is that we have not yet come up with a viable policy which can broaden democracy in Zambia.

There must be recognition in Zambian politics that our political practices must be based on sound moral values which serve to bind us as a nation. A political system that recognises individual freedom and dignity is better placed to promote political participation.

That is, the right of individuals to self-determination in the pursuit of their constitutional rights in an open society not subject to politics of intimidation, blackmail and violence. And this should promote rational voting, that is, the right of individuals to chose their representatives under an institutional background which entrenches human freedom and dignity. Rational voting cannot take place in an electoral system based on intimidation and violence.

We want to hear more condemnations of violence by our politicians themselves, especially those whose cadres were involved in Thursday’s violence in Kanyama. We would like the police to investigate the Kanyama violence and bring the culprits to book. And this should be done not in ways we have seen before where there’s protection of cadres of the ruling party.

Let us not forget that peace is the fruit of honesty, truth and solidarity; it is the tranquility of order. And to guarantee peace, to remove electoral violence from our politics, all are called to maturity, tolerance and responsibility. Peace is a project, that is, it is something that we must work to obtain.



Katele urges MMD leadership not to intimidate aspiring candidates

Katele urges MMD leadership not to intimidate aspiring candidates
By Ntalasha Mutale
Saturday February 02, 2008 [03:00]

MMD national secretary Katele Kalumba has urged the party leadership to create an enabling environment during campaigns for everyone who has presidential aspirations. Commenting on MMD members that have shown interest in standing for the party presidency so far, Kalumba urged leaders in the party not to intimidate those that were aspiring no matter how large the number would be.

“There is no individual bigger than the party. Those aspiring for presidency should be given a level playing field. Even if the number will go to 20. Let the party go to the convention in one peace to find their new leader,” Kalumba said. “Let’s be neutral and focused to ensure that the aspirations of our members are listened to. Only, the best should win.”

Asked whether he would stand for the party presidency, Kalumba could neither deny nor confirm. And Kalumba said MMD should practice intra-party democracy before preaching it to the people.

“MMD is not perfect. But I believe that compared to other political parties, it is better. There is need for the party to maintain a good management system to invest more in terms of building political capacity,” he said.

Health minister Dr Brian Chituwo, home affairs minister Lt Gen Ronnie Shikapwasha, United Kingdom-based Professor Clive Chirwa and information minister Mike Mulongoti have shown interest in standing for the MMD presidency.

And Kalumba said Zesco could have foreseen and prepared for the power outages the country has been experiencing for the past few weeks.

“The Ministry of Energy is not being aggressive with attracting new investors beyond Zesco in developing new power supply. The demand Zambia is facing is much larger than the existing projects it has,” Kalumba said.

Kalumba also commended the government for choosing the China Geo Engineering Cooperation to construct the Kashikishi-Luonga road, saying they were doing a good job.

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Friday, February 01, 2008

I am not intimidated - Prof Chirwa

I am not intimidated - Prof Chirwa
By Sandra Mulowa
Friday February 01, 2008 [15:35]

MMD presidential aspirant Professor Clive Chirwa has said that he is not intimidated despite some old MMD party members declaring interest for the party presidency. And Prof Chirwa said first Lady Maureen Mwanawasa had a democratic right to stand for any position.

Recently Home Affairs minister Lieutenant General Shikapwasha declared that he would contest the MMD presidency and thereafter succeed President Levy Mwanawasa as Republican president, Health minister Dr Brian Chituwo said he was contemplating while Finance minister Ngandu Magande said he would wait for President Levy Mwanawasa as 'captain' to choose his successor for the 2011 general elections.

And some sections of the society have suggested that Maureen should stand for the MMD presidency. But the UK based automotive engineer and University of Bolton lecturer Prof Chirwa yesterday said he was not intimidated by any of the old MMD members that have declared their interest to stand for the party presidency and would still stand.

"My dreams still remain the same. I am going to continue with my aspiration to stand for the MMD presidency," he said. "I am not intimidated (By the old party members declaring their interest to stand for MMD presidency).

Not at all I will continue with my aspiration because I am very focused and I want the people of Zambia to be smiling again and be proud of their country.

" And Prof Chirwa said he was not going to start his political leadership aspiration from the grass roots because they were people that could do that. "...because somebody with presidential aspirations and qualities should start from there (aspire for Presidency) and not the grassroots.

We have people on the grass roots that can perform very well there," Prof Chirwa said. On the calls that Maureen should stand for MMD presidency, Prof Chirwa said he could not comment. "No comments on that but this is a democratic society and anyone can stand," he said.

On whether Zambia was ready for a female president Prof Chirwa said 'If you talk of gender... if a lady is capable and can take us to new heights, bringing the country to a middle or high income its okay'. "It also depends on development issues and not just standing."

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LETTERS - Fundanga's interview

Fundanga's interview
By Chabala Mubili,Canada
Friday February 01, 2008 [03:00]

As Shipota has pointed out in his Post letter of January 27, 2008, Dr. Caleb Fundanga has done reasonably well at Bank of Zambia. But I was saddened to learn from Caleb's interview that his financial system gives "everybody access to finances". This, in my considered view, is a weakness and I know of no other country that gives foreigners (the so-called investors or is it ‘infestors’!) the same access to finances as its own citizens.

Even closer to home in Botswana, you are not allowed to access finances as a foreign investor. In fact, you will be required to have a certain amount of money to be accepted as an investor.

The reason is simple; such a policy of blanket access to finances puts citizens at a disadvantage. While Zambians rely only on local banks for finances, foreign investors have unfettered access to finances from banks in their countries of origin. So this obviously tilts the equilibrium in favour of foreign investors, who are only there to make money, and do not care about Zambia’s development.

Foreign investors must bring money into local banks and not take money out of them. That is the practice in other countries, and that is why you see Zambians readily accepting residence and/or citizenship in those countries; they can have access to credit and other facilities.

I am, however, hopeful that the soon-to-come “Credit Reference Bureau”, if properly implemented, will fix this financial weakness. I, therefore, appeal to Fundanga to ensure that foreign investors are subjected to even longer periods than their Zambia counterparts to build their credit before they can be allowed limited access to local finances.

Mend the roads
By Mukomwa Kambwali,Lusaka
Friday February 01, 2008 [03:00]

It brings to mind unbearable sadness why we Zambians live our lives as though we were living for others. A point in mind is why our leaders cannot see logic in feeding the "goose that lays the golden eggs".

Any sensible civic leader knows, if he knows nothing else, that most revenue for the councils is raised from the transport sector, markets and shops. Surprisingly, very little, if anything, is done to motivate these businesses.

Anyone who has recently gone to Intercity Bus Terminus or Kamwala shopping area in Lusaka cannot help but wonder whether the businesses there pay for services of the Lusaka City Council. If they do, why are the roads in these two business places so neglected? Whose obligation is it to repair those roads, the businesses or the LCC? Heavy rains should not be an excuse for this blatant incompetence.

At national level, we hear ZRA and the Ministry of Finance boasting about how much money they have collected above the targeted amount and how much has been left unspent, on the one hand, while on the other, we wallow in misery.

We may be making impressive economic progress on paper but can we translate this into reality? Surely we don't need a Chinese consultant, or donor aid, to tell the strong correlation between motivated businesses and national income. Someone needs to explain to me what the role of local government is in this socio-political dispensation that Chiluba left us with!

Leadership qualities
By John Milimo,Lusaka
Friday February 01, 2008 [03:00]

One fundamental leadership quality is lucidity of vision. A good leader must always have a clear and distinct vision of what he wants to achieve.

This vision must be convincing and the people must see it as that which is practical and able to alleviate their problems from their present state to a better future. With this in mind, the motivation to reach the desired goal can easily be cultivated.

Most of our leaders do not have a sense of direction and vision once given leadership positions, they do not deliver. Such leaders cannot solve our problems but in fact, become a problem themselves.

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NORAD gives GART $25m to implement farming projects

NORAD gives GART $25m to implement farming projects
By Kabanda Chulu
Friday February 01, 2008 [03:00]

NORAD has committed US $25 million to the Golden-valley Agriculture Research Trust (GART) for the implementation of conservation farming projects across the country. GART will carry out the projects in conjunction with the Conservation Farming Unit (CFU) for five years and target 120,000 farmers in five provinces.

According to a statement released by the Conservation Farming Unit yesterday, NORAD was funding the entire project that would see small-scale farmers being introduced to new techniques and crop rotation systems.

It stated that there was need to introduce Zambian small scale farmers to methods that would preserve soil fertility through growing of plants that were rich in nitrogen nutrients.

“The five-year project worth US $25 million will end in 2012 and it is funded by Norway and will be implemented by GART and CFU across five provinces targeting 120,000 farmers, whom we intend to introduce to new systems of preserving soil fertility through crop rotation,” it stated. “These farmers will also be encouraged to plant crops together with the faidherbia albida (musangu) trees that are rich in nitrogen nutrients hence there will be no need to apply fertilisers since conservation farming entails one to have soil fertility through use of dead leaves and residues.”

It stated that small-scale farmers would also be encouraged to grow cassava and jatropha plants as live fencing for their crops.

The project would be undertaken in Central, Lusaka, Western, Eastern and Southern provinces.

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CSO outlines factors raising inflation

CSO outlines factors raising inflation
By Chibaula Silwamba
Friday February 01, 2008 [03:00]

The increase in electricity tariffs, rent and food costs have pushed inflation rate to 9.3 per cent this month from 8.9 per cent in December last year. This is putting the government’s plans to attain less than seven per cent inflation rate in disarray as the rate has been constantly rising from 8.7 per cent in November 2007, 8.9 per cent in December 2007 and 9.3 per cent in January 2008.

Speaking at the Central Statistical Office (CSO)’s monthly briefing in Lusaka yesterday, CSO acting director, Efreda Chulu, said the annual inflation rate as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index (CPI) was recorded at 9.3 per cent as at January 2008.

“This rate is 0.4 of a percentage point higher than the December rate of 8.9 per cent.

Compared with the same period last year, the annual rate of inflation declined by 0.5 of a percentage point from 9.8 per cent in January 2007 to 9.3 per cent in January 2008,” Chulu said. “

The January 2008 inflation rate of 9.3 per cent means that prices as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by an average of 9.3 per cent between January 2007 and 2008.”

She said the increase in inflation rate was mainly due to the increase in the cost of food products, rent and household energy (electricity tariffs and charcoal), furniture and household appliances.

And Chulu said Zambia had recorded a trade surplus valued at K127.8 billion.

“The total value of exports in December 2007 was K1, 514.5 billion compared to K1, 457.1 billion in November 2007,” said Chulu.



Supreme Court dismisses plunderes' attempt to smear filth on Fundanga

Supreme Court dismisses plunderes' attempt to smear filth on Fundanga
By Noel Sichalwe
Friday February 01, 2008 [03:00]

THE Supreme Court yesterday dismissed Access Financial Services Limited (AFSL) directors Aaron Chungu and Faustin Kabwe' application to cite Bank of Zambia governor Dr Caleb Fundanga for contempt of court. Chungu and Kabwe, who are also Access Leasing Limited directors and shareholders, applied that Dr Fundanga be committed to prison for disregarding a court order that nullified the compulsory liquidation of the two companies. High Court judge Japhet Banda granted an application to commit Dr Fundanga to prison for contempt of court.

Judge Banda said Chungu and Kabwe were at liberty to apply for an order to commit Dr Fundanga to prison for disregarding the judgment made on September 1, 2004 and the order made on September 3, 2004 that nullified the compulsory liquidation of AFSL and Access Leasing Company.

However, the Bank of Zambia Bank through its lawyers Mutembo Nchito and Nchima Nchito raised a preliminary issue on whether the motion for committal was legally tenable in the absence of specific actions that Dr Fundanga was obliged to have undertaken.

But judge Banda dismissed the preliminary issue with costs saying it lacked merit. The Bank of Zambia then appealed to the Supreme Court against the dismissal of the preliminary application.

Delivering the judgment yesterday, Chief Justice Ernest Sakala sitting with judges Christopher Mushabati and Lombe Chibesakunda upheld the appeal saying judge Banda could not allow Chungu and Kabwe to commence contempt proceedings against Dr Fundanga.

After the High Court placed AFSL and Access Leasing Limited under compulsory liquidation, Chungu and Kabwe contested the Bank of Zambia decision to liquidate their companies. However, the duo sought review of the High Court decision. While the review matter was pending in court, the Bank of Zambia sought to take over the AFSL and Access Leasing Limited assets. At this point, the duo applied to cite Dr Fundanga for contempt of court for attempting to interfere with their assets while the matter was pending in court.



MMD, UPND cadres clash in Chibolya

MMD, UPND cadres clash in Chibolya
By Lambwe Kachali and Brighton Phiri
Friday February 01, 2008 [03:00]

MMD and UPND cadres yesterday clashed in Lusaka's Chibolya compound during the filling of nomination papers. And police arrested Soweto market MMD branch chairman Aaron Zulu after MMD and UPND cadres exchanged blows, insults and fired missiles at each other.

Earlier, there was jubilation around the city centre when opposition Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata's campaign team drove through Cairo, Cha Cha Cha, Freedom Way and Lumumba roads on his way to drum up support for their candidate during filing of nomination papers at Chibolya Basic School.

Meanwhile, MMD cadres almost barred All People's Congress party (APC) president Ken Ngondo from filling his nomination papers before their party candidate.

The violence erupted after a group of MMD supporters led by Zulu tried to pass through the UPND dancing cadres. When UPND cadres blocked them, an exchange of insults between the two groups started, leading to blows and missiles.

There was pandemonium as women and young school pupils scampered for safety while MMD and UPND cadres exchanged blows. Some PF supporters, who had just arrived, led by their members of parliament Mumbi Phiri and Davies Mwila joined forces in threatening violence against MMD cadres.

Sensing the danger of increased violence, the police quickly picked up Zulu, who was spotted as a ringleader of the ruling party's cadres.

"They have become very foolish, let us beat them up," said Phiri and Mwila as they charged towards MMD cadres. One of the UPND cadres, Emmy Haakuwe, who sustained injuries after MMD cadres threw her in the pool of water, condemned the ruling party's misconduct.

"Is this the government of laws as you claim?" asked Haakuwe. Sata, who witnessed the violence, said MMD cadres' conduct confirmed government's attempt to postpone the by-elections because the ruling party was not ready to face another embarrassment as they did in Nchanga last September.

Sata claimed that the MMD on Wednesday night formed a committee led by Zulu to disrupt the filling of nominations so that the by-elections could be postponed. "This all speaks about the failures of Levy Mwanawasa and his party.

We are on the battlefield and there is no need to engage in violence now. We don't want this by-election to be postponed because our political missiles are well placed to defeat MMD now and in 2011 general election.

Electorates are ready to teach MMD a big lesson. Let this by-election be free and fair," said Sata. Earlier, MMD cadres led by Zulu blocked Ngondo from filling his nomination forms before their candidate.

Zulu told Ngondo to be ashamed of himself for contesting the seat instead of adopting a junior candidate. He said MMD would not be shaken by his candidature. As Ngondo approached the gate, some police officers also barred him.

It was during this time that Ngondo forced his way in after pushing Zulu and a police officer Milton Walusiku. Inside the school grounds, Ngondo mobilised school children, who started shouting that they wanted change.

"Tell them that Mr Ngondo has come," Ngondo said. Officer Walusiku castigated Ngondo for inciting children to make noise at the nomination offices.

But Ngondo told Walusiku to state if he had been sent by MMD to bar him from filling in his nominations. "This is rubbish. I am not a cadre to be treated like this. I am presidential material and I will be in State House in 2011. Just wait and see.

That Levy of theirs will no longer be with them," said Ngondo. Meanwhile, six candidates - Ngondo, UPND's Harrison Mukupa, ULP's Elizabeth Phiri, PF's Colonel Gerry Chanda, UNIP's Hasty Mwachilele and MMD's Mwalimu Simfukwe successfully filed their nomination papers.

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Reconciling Chiluba with KK

Reconciling Chiluba with KK
By Editor
Friday February 01, 2008 [03:00]

It is true that some people may be wondering why Honourable Aaron Milner is so determined to bring KK and Frederick Chiluba together. We are equally wondering what Milner is trying to achieve. It cannot be denied that he did a lot of good work to help encourage and maintain unity among the liberation movements that were based in Zambia. But what he is trying to do between KK and Chiluba is not similar in any way to what he did with comrades in our region's liberation movements.

First, one needs to know exactly the source of the problem or differences between KK and Chiluba. If reconciliation is to take place between the two, the primary requisite is to deal with the cause of differences between them. If this is not done, the reconciliation will remain mere words; it will not be visible in concrete actions. Even biblically it is said, " Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed ( James 5:16). True reconciliation is to seek and accept forgiveness.

Therefore, reconciliation is the fruit of honesty, truth and solidarity. And to have meaningful reconciliation, all are called to maturity, tolerance and responsibility. We cannot have tolerance and responsibility when people think only of themselves and can abuse, misuse, misapply, misappropriate public funds, over a million United States dollars to buy personal clothes. This is what Chiluba did. He has been found to have abused public funds.

From what Milner is saying and doing, it is clear that we can easily be enticed to read reconciliation and fairness as meaning parity between justice and injustice, between honesty and dishonesty.

The mission of reconciliation between KK and Chiluba should be underpinned by the uplifting of the most trodden sections of our population and all-round transformation of our country. And above all, reconciliation between KK and Chiluba involves the nation, because it is the nation itself that needs to redeem and reconstruct itself.

What Zambia needs today is not Chiluba and KK to become friends but to ensure that those who committed crimes, injustices are punished and made to repay what they have robbed society. It has been established in the London High Court that Chiluba abused his office to benefit himself in all sorts of ways. And this court has ordered that he gives back to the Zambian people what he made them lose. Therefore, what the Zambian people need urgently is a repayment from Chiluba and not him reconciling with KK.

By saying all this, we are not preaching hatred against Chiluba or between Chiluba and KK. We are merely asking Chiluba to give back to Caesar that which he stole from Caesar. And moreover, what meaningful reconciliation can take place between Chiluba and KK without him paying back what he stole from the people? And we don't think KK really hates Chiluba. What we think he hates is Chiluba's crimes against the people.

And let KK despise Chiluba for his crimes and injustices since he cannot hate him. Throughout his political career and even in retirement KK didn't preach hatred, he preached love of the neighbour. This doesn't mean that he has friendly feelings for thieves, for those who commit injustices or that he won't denounce them and struggle against them as hard as he can.

What KK repudiates is crime against the people, banditry against public resources. It is not a matter of hating individuals but of hating their iniquities; it is not hatred of the individuals. KK hated and still hates the crimes and injustices of Chiluba and his regime. He has encouraged people to stand up against these injustices and to denounce them and many Zambians have done so with great courage and boldness. However, KK didn't speak of hatred against Chiluba.

What KK has been preaching is repudiation, rejection, and hatred of injustice, of corruption. And if he has to fight such practices, he will fight. If he has to fight the men behind such evil practices, he will do so.

And KK being a staunch Christian, we don't think there's any contradiction between this and his Christian faith, because if somebody says " I hate crime" or "I hate injustice, abuses and exploitation," we don't think that would be against Christian teachings. We don't think that denouncing and fighting against crime, injustice, abuses and exploitation among men goes against, or is in contradiction with Christian teachings.

As we have stated before, Jesus used to denounce crime and injustices and made some very strong charges against the Pharisees, calling Herod a fox. What's more, Jesus tells us we must love our enemies - he doesn't say we must not have enemies - and there's no greater love for a criminal than to prevent him from committing another crime.

We are not at all against Milner's interpretation of the problem, of the differences between KK and Chiluba. We were taught that there was a constant struggle between good and evil, and evil had to be punished. We were taught that those who commit crimes and were responsible for injustice, evil would be punished in hell. Could that be interpreted as an expression of hatred? Could one really stand up and say he is determined to reconcile the two - good and evil? How?

Could repudiation and punishment of crime, evil be said to be hatred? We don't think KK has any hatred for Chiluba. But he understands why Chiluba should be punished. And when a person with blood on his hands is punished, it is not for the sake of hatred or revenge. There's no sense in revenging. On whom are you taking revenge? What are you avenging?

Therefore, we sincerely feel that what Milner should spend time on is to ensure that Chiluba is punished for his misdeeds, abuses, corruption and other injustices. Chiluba's problems are not there because KK hates him. It is not KK who arrested and prosecuted him for corruption. But this is not to say Levy Mwanawasa, who initiated this process, hates Chiluba. Not at all. It actually takes a lot of humanity, a lot of fairness to get your friend and sponsor arrested and prosecuted for transgressions that you could easily cover up. Again, it is not hatred from Levy that Chiluba is today being prosecuted for corruption and other abuses.

Moreover, how many people is Milner going to reconcile Chiluba with? If he succeeds in reconciling Chiluba with KK, then he has to do so between Levy and Chiluba, between Chiluba and ourselves and many other Zambians. Chiluba's misdeeds and transgressions go far beyond KK; the man has offended the whole nation, he has robbed the whole country.

What Chiluba needs before anyone can attempt to reconcile him with KK and the people of Zambia is, as Levy had once advised him, to pay back all that he has stolen; then he can seek forgiveness and reconciliation. If he did this, Milner would not need to spend hours shuttling between Chiluba and KK, among others, to secure reconciliation - it would come automatically. Otherwise, Milner is just wasting his time, and his will be an exercise in futility.

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Milner attempts to reconcile Kaunda and Chiluba

Milner attempts to reconcile Kaunda and Chiluba
By Brighton Phiri
Friday February 01, 2008 [03:00]

VETERAN politician Aaron Milner has held separate private talks with Dr Kenneth Kaunda and former president Frederick Chiluba in a bid to reconcile them. Milner, who served as home affairs minister in the UNIP government, disclosed that he begun talking to Dr Kaunda and Chiluba last year on the need for them to reconcile and begin talking to each other.

"I am happy that both Dr Kaunda and Dr Chiluba have agreed to my proposal for them to meet," Milner said. "Dr Chiluba took over from Dr Kaunda, and for the sake of peace and unity which Dr Kaunda built, there is urgent need for the two former presidents to be in talking terms."

Milner asked Chiluba to swallow his pride and make up for his mistakes by apologising to Dr Kaunda for everything that he did wrong against him.

"As a founding father and elder statesman, Dr Kaunda deserves all our unreserved respect," he said. "If Dr. Chiluba wants Zambians to respect him then he must respect the old man (Dr Kaunda). It is a fact that no political leaders in Zambia today will measure up to the sacrifices which Dr Kaunda made for mother Zambia."

Milner described his meeting with Chiluba at latter's Kabulonga residence as fruitful and progressive. He said it was encouraging that Chiluba was receptive to his proposal for him to meet Dr Kaunda at the earliest possible time.
He said the bitter exchange of word between Dr Kaunda and his successor in the press was not good for the country.

"I am determined to bring the two leaders together as soon as possible for the good of our country," he said.

Milner urged political leaders to stop exchanging insults in public. He said the leaders should disagree on policy without throwing insults at each other, as it was a wrong precedent for the future leadership.

"I know some people may be wondering why I have taken such a step. I dealt with internal differences among the liberation movements in the region and managed to bring the warring parties together," said Milner.

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

(TIMES) Minerals Act to be repealed

Minerals Act to be repealed
By Business Reporter

THE bill to repeal and replace the Minerals Exploration and Production Act of 1985 will be tabled in Parliament during the current quarter, Mines and Minerals Development minister Kalombo Mwansa has said. The repealing of the Act is part of the preparator process before the Government publishes invitations to interested companies wishing to bid for prospecting of oil and gas to determine the quantities and type in various areas.

Dr Mwansa said the repealing and replacement of the Act would provide for two separate licenses for prospecting and production of oil and gas. Dr Mwansa, who was speaking when he officiated at the national petroleum development seminar in Lusaka yesterday said the repeal and replacement of the Act would also provide for stronger legal provisions on environmental protection.

“The preparatory work also involves strengthening our institutional framework for regulating the oil and gas industry before inviting tenders from private petroleum exploration companies.

This work will be done in the first quarter of 2008 because the country is determined to benefit from the oil and gas industry, in the event that detailed petroleum exploration work produces positive results,”the minister said

Dr Mwansa also said the Government had made significant progress in the exploration for oil and gas in Northern, Eastern and Western provinces saying the results of the microbial analyses of samples collected from the provinces were very encouraging.

Soil samples collected from Kabompo, Chavuma and Zambezi districts proved positive for oil and gas for many of the places visited.

Out of the 11 samples collected in August 2005, nine tested positive for oil and two for gas. In a follow up study in July 2006, 31 soil samples were collected and 12 tested positive for oil while six for gas.

Dr Mwansa said the Geological Survey Department would this year extend the microbial survey to Kafue basin in Southern Province and the Bangweulu block in Luapula Province.

At the same meeting, Norwegian ambassador to Zambia Tore Gjos commended the Government for the decision to revise the petroleum Act of 1985.

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(TIMES) Zambia’s agro sector under threat –Levy

Zambia’s agro sector under threat –Levy
From James Muyanwa
Addis Ababa, Wednesday

PRESIDENT Levy Mwanawasa has said the Zambian agricultural sector is under threat from the current floods this year and has appealed to India for assistance to help his Government address the various effects of the disasters. And Dr Mwanawasa has been invited to India for the India-Africa Forum Summit to be held in April this year.

Dr Mwanawasa said here today that Government viewed the agricultural sector as the engine of the national economy and the solution to food insecurity but the sector was this year under threat from the incessant rainfall which had ravaged most parts of the country, especially Southern Province.

According to chief press and public relations analyst at State House, David Kombe, Dr Mwanawasa said this when Indian Minister of State for External Affairs, Anand Sharma paid a courtesy call on him at Sheraton Addis Hotel.

During the courtesy call, Dr Mwanawasa was accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister, Kabinga Pande, Justice Minister, George Kunda, Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister, Felix Mutati and several other Zambian Government officials.

He told the Indian delegation leaders to the on-going African Union Head of State and Government Summit that India and other countries should come to Zambia’s aid to help address the effects of the flood disasters as Government alone could not achieve that.

He said that Zambia had been hard-hit by the effects of the climatic changes resulting in the floods which have destroyed some lives and rendered thousands of citizens homeless.

Dr Mwanawasa who is Southern African Development Community (SADC) chairperson, hailed the sound relations that exist between Zambia and India as well as India and Africa as a whole.

On the invitation to India , President Mwanawasa said he was looking forward to attending the summit as it would tackle issues concerning the economy and the information technology and communication which were cardinal.

Dr Mwanawasa underscored the importance of the United Nations (UN) reforms and emphasised the African Union (AU) position on the matter. He expressed happiness about India’s role in the international affairs.

President Mwanawasa is attending the AU heads of State and Government Summit whose assembly starts tomorrow.

Earlier, Mr Sharma said India would be honoured with President Mwanawasa’s presence for the summit which would further strengthen the relations between that country and Africa.

He said that the summit would be held from April 4-9 in New Delhi and that the participation and the format of the meeting had already been decided.

Meanwhile, Dr Mwanawasa was today scheduled to attend the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) meeting while in the evening was expected to address the members of the Zambian community resident in Ethiopia as well as the campaign team for Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika who is Zambia’s Ambassador to the United States of America is being fielded for the position of the AU Commission chairperson. The elections are scheduled to take place tomorrow during the Assembly.

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LETTERS - Youth Fund, Floods, Financing UNZA, Zesco

Why raise our hopes?
By Jerry Shamapande Lusaka
Thursday January 31, 2008 [03:00]

I wish to register my disapointment over the Youth Empowerment Fund which was advertised with fanfare in September/October 2007 with the intention of empowering youths with business ideas but lacked the means to raise money.

As an applicant, I had to go through a rigorous process to fill in the application form and also spent at least K110,000 on registering and application forms as demanded. Multipy that by hundreds, if not thousands of youths who applied, at least K100,000,000 was raised by the government from many hard-pressed youths. But since then, we have heard nothing.

From enquiries made, it would appear that the money has not been disbursed to any youth group. My question is; what is going on, and why raise our hopes so much only to crush them again?

Is it any wonder that youths in Zambia just roam the streets aimlessly even though they have bright ideas that collectively can make a difference to the revival of our economy? Can someone from the Ministry of Youth please tell us what is going on?

By Patrick Edward Zulu
Thursday January 31, 2008 [03:00]

The floods that have hit most parts of our country have been a source of concern for almost every Zambian and their devastating effects should serve as a wake-up call to our leaders in government and all members of parliament.

What has caused this is the tendency by our political leaders of waiting for a calamity to occur before providing solutions to foreseeable disasters. Currently, the governmet and defence force are busy trying to put up the drainage system in Kanyama. But this should not end there.

The government should extend this service even to areas currently not affected and have no proper drainage system. This is because such disaters come without warning and next time it may be another area.

2008 budget
By Kazhila Chinsembu,Windhoek
Wednesday January 30, 2008 [03:00]

I have just finished reading the 2008 Budget speech that hopes to unlock more fattening resources for the political hosts in government and their ectoparasites. Under education, the speech does not mention the University of Zambia, yet we all know how deplorable the infrastructure at UNZA is. And hopefully, the government will this year pay UNZA retirees their terminal benefits which they have been owed for 5 years now.

With the looming electricity crisis, coupled with the anticipated impacts of climate change (natural disasters like floods and drought), the 2008 budget has no specific allocations that answer to the high levels of preparedness required to mitigate these threats. But that is budgeting the Zambian style, a country where the biggest disaster is the government, whose policies have hiked rural poverty to 80 per cent.

Dig deeper on Depo Provera
By Dishon Mhon MDJ
Thursday January 31, 2008 [03:00]

The government should be held responsible and must explain the truth about Depo Provera, a widely used family planning contraceptive injectable drug. As things stand now, Zambians fear for their lives following the recent revelation by health minister Brian Chituwo that the drug contains some contaminant that is further alleged to be the HIV virus.

Surely, there is no need for government to downplay this issue because it borders on human life which is a sacred gift from God. Not too long ago, Ministry of Health announced that one of the ARVs called Viracept, which people had taken for a considerable period, was found with a contaminant and the then minister urged health institutions to quarantine the drug.

Therefore, it is imperative for the government to follow up the matter with the manufacturers of Depo Provera and tell the nation the truth about it. Zambians will not fold arms and be told that everything is under control when their lives are in great jeopardy.

I am sure we have enough medical pundits who can assist the country with reasonable clinical investigations before we declare Zambia a dumping site or indeed a grave yard.

And may someone tell the nation as to whether there are no medical or pharmaceutical investigations done on any drug that finds its way into the country?

Then why should we have organisations tasked with the responsibility of quality assurance when they can't do anything to protect lives of Zambians. I mean it's illogical to detect dirt only after people are contaminated and their lives threatened.

Truthfully speaking, it will be difficult for the public to gain confidence in our health institutions and I propose more funding to be channelled to traditional healers than hospitals. If anything, we should now expect a very high birth rate. Who knows what the vaccines being freely given to our innocent children may contain.

I earnestly appeal to the government to dig deeper, unearth the truth behind Depo Provera and safeguard the lives of dear Zambians.

Zesco's responsibilities
By Murray Sanderson
Thursday January 31, 2008 [03:00]

How far, if at all, should Zesco be held responsible for the damage caused by the recent nation-wide power failures? The answer to this question must await the findings of the enquiry announced last week by the Energy Regulation Board. But this is the right time to say that the enquiry should be open to members of the public, who should be free to give evidence. Its proceedings and findings should on no account be kept confidential by ERB and the government.

Nothing must be hidden or swept under the carpet. The long-suffering public is entitled to full information. It is not too early to comment on the company’s treatment of its customers. Even if the evidence given to the enquiry exonerates Zesco from negligence or technical incompetence, there can be no excuse for the company’s present utter disregard of customers.

It is perfectly possible to programme load shedding, and to announce publicly which areas will be affected and for how long. Users of electricity must receive warning, so that they can minimise the inconvenience and dislocation, and protect products and equipment.

As for harm suffered by customers, whether caused by equipment failure or deliberate power cuts, there can be no question of the utility claiming immunity.

For anyone to state that Zesco will not pay compensation is extremely presumptuous. The law, quite rightly, gives no blanket protection to suppliers of electricity.

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Eradicating rural poverty

Eradicating rural poverty
By Editor
Thursday January 31, 2008 [03:00]

NO one can disagree with World Bank country manager for Zambia, Kapil Kapoo, when he says that the key challenge for our country is to reduce poverty. We also share his view that there should be an agenda to include the rural population in economic activities to reduce rural poverty. The existence of large numbers of poor people in our country constitutes an affront to all of us.

A stable, permanent solution must be found for this serious problem. Poverty is unacceptable as part of the human condition. The co-existence of pervasive poverty, with the affluence of a much smaller segment of the population, is ethically unacceptable, economically inefficient and politically unsustainable.

The commitments we are hearing today from the World Bank and others to alleviate poverty are not new, they have been there now close to four decades now, if not more. However, in the possibly more humane world of today, we need to do something to address the issue of poverty in a more permanent way.

Unless the focus of the poverty discourse moves towards mainstreaming the issue of poverty through rethinking the design of development policy, poverty is likely to be perpetuated in this century as it was in the previous one.

Mainstreaming poverty at the policy level demands that the tired debate over the prioritisation of growth as the route to poverty eradication should be put to rest. The relevant issue is to enhance the capacities of the poor to contribute to the process of growth by empowering them to participate on more equitable terms.

The eradication of poverty should remain central to the design of macro-policy reform rather than an afterthought. This demands a macro-policy agenda which is designed to enhance the capacity of the poor as producers, consumers and above all, owners of wealth.

The need for macro-policy designed to eliminate poverty is premised on the argument that poverty originates in the structural features of society which can only be addressed at the macro-level. Policy intervention, designed to redesign the structural sources of poverty, bring into consideration issues of social, political as well as economic reform.

A decade ago, the World Bank was arguing that rapid growth was the best solution for eradicating poverty. A commitment to growth sustaining policy reforms, inspired by the Washington Consensus, backed by temporary safety nets for those who were possible victims of such growth, was expected to reduce the proportion of those living in poverty. A decade later, the World Bank had come to terms with the proposition that policy reforms were not enough to alleviate let alone eradicate poverty.

Structural concerns, of a rather more basic nature than the structural adjustments demanded by the Washington Consensus, were recognised as central to the design of policy reforms. In the last few years, a variety of new words such as ‘empowerment’, ‘inclusion’ and ‘ownership’, have found their way into the development vocabulary.

Again, we without retreating into cynicism, would prefer to view this discovery of structural concerns by such agencies as the World Bank, as a recognition that poverty had if anything increased, was not likely to be eradicated in the near future without addressing structural issues and that its perpetuation was now threatening the very foundations of our societies.

There is always need to address structural issues. We need to focus on issues such as access to assets, markets and institutions as the sources of rural poverty.

The assumptions underlying this structuralist perspective on poverty recognises that neither targeting of development resources to the poor, nor the promotion of growth, are likely to resolve the problems of poverty.

The poor are embedded in certain inherited structural arrangements such as insufficient access to productive assets as well as human resources, unequal capacity to participate in both domestic and global markets and undemocratic access to political power.

These structural features of poverty reinforce each other to effectively exclude the poor, from participating in the benefits from development or the opportunities provided by more open markets. In such a system, even targeted programmes of poverty alleviation, carry transaction costs due to institutional structures which mediate the delivery of resources to the poor.

It is, however, not enough to recognise the salience of structural issues in the poverty discourse without addressing the political economy which underlies the structural features of a society.

Poverty originates in the unequal command over both economic and political resources within the society and the unjust nature of a social order which perpetuates these inequities. We may term these inequalities as structural injustice.

Such injustice remains pervasive in most societies exposed to endemic poverty. We may address these inequities in relation to access to productive assets, markets, human development and governance.

Inequitable access to wealth and knowledge disempower the poor from participating competitively in the marketplace.

The marketplace itself, as it operates in the real world rather than in text books, is designed to compromise the opportunities on offer to the poor.

In most poor societies, with a substantial proportion of the population living in poverty, the poor have insufficient access to land, water and water bodies. Where they have access to such resources, they do so under exploitative arrangements.

Such inequities in title and access to agrarian assets do not derive from the competitive play of the market but from the injustices of history and therefore lack moral as well as social legitimacy.

Such inequitable access to productive assets in the rural economy also tend to be inefficient because small farmers have proven to be both more productive as well as likely to spend most of their income derived from their meager assets, in stimulating secondary activity in the rural economy.

Where there is a dichotomy between the owners of land and the actual tiller of the land, this serves as a disincentive to both investment of capital, as well as more productive effort on the other land.

Within the prevailing property structures of society, the rural poor, in particular, remain disconnected from the more dynamic sectors of the market, particularly where there is scope for benefiting from the opportunities provided by globalisation.

The fast growing sectors of economic activity tend to be located within the urban economy, where the principal agents of production tend to be the urban elite, who own the corporate assets which underwrite the faster growing sectors of the economy.

The rural poor, therefore, interface with the dynamic sectors of the economy only as producers and wage earners, at the lowest end of the production and marketing chain, where they sell their produce and labour under severely adverse conditions.

This leaves our rural poor with little opportunity for sharing in the opportunities provided by the market economy for value addition to their labours.

Low productivity remains an important source of income poverty.

Higher income and ownership of wealth remains closely correlated to higher levels of education. Low productivity, thus originates in insufficient access to education and technology.

However, a more serious problem facing the rural poor lies in the growing disparity in the quality of education which divides the rural and urban areas.

Today the principal inequity in our education sector is manifested in the growing divide between a better educated elite with access to private as well as foreign education and the poor who remain condemned to remain captives within an insufficiently funded and poorly governed public education system.

In an increasingly knowledge-based global economy, which had driven the IT revolution, inequitable access to quality education, relevant to the dynamics of the market, could emerge as the principal deprivation of the rural poor.

Insufficient and inequitable access to healthcare is also compounding the inequities in education. This growing disparity between the health status of the elite and the poor is inherently unjust because it denies all citizens equal chances of living healthy lives and even to compete in the marketplace.

This inequitable and unjust social and economic universe is compounded by a system of unjust governance which discriminates against the poor and effectively disenfranchises them from the political benefits of a democratic process.

The poor remain underserved by available public services. Where such services are at all accessible to the poor, they pay high transaction costs for these services.

The agencies of law enforcement insufficiently protect the poor and frequently oppress them for personal gain as well as on behalf of the elite. Our judicial system denies the poor elementary justice both on grounds of poverty as well as social bias.

In such a social universe, the poor remain tyrannised by state as well as money power and have to seek the protection of their oppressors within a system of patron-client relationships, which perpetuate the prevailing hierarchies of power. The poor are denied adequate access to representation in our system of governance from the local to the national level.

Our representative institutions tend to be monopolised by the affluent and socially powerful who then use their electoral office to enhance their wealth and thereby perpetuate their hold on power.

In such an inequitable and political unjust environment, the benefits of democracy remain the privilege of the elite supported by small collectives of sectional power.

Therefore, if we are to make serious strides in eradicating poverty, we have to address the issues of expanding the ownership and control of the poor over productive assets, enhancing their access to a knowledge-based society, strengthening the capacity of the poor to compete in the marketplace, redesigning budgetary policy to reach public resources to the poor, restructuring monetary policy to deliver credit and provide savings instruments to the poor, designing institutions for the poor and empowering the poor.

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Zambia's key challenge is to reduce poverty, says Kapoo

Zambia's key challenge is to reduce poverty, says Kapoo
By Chibaula Silwamba
Thursday January 31, 2008 [03:00]

WORLD Bank country manager Kapil Kapoo has said there should be an agenda to include the rural population in economic activities to reduce rural poverty. In an interview in Lusaka on Tuesday, Kapoo said the key challenge for Zambia was to reduce rural poverty.

"I think there are several things that need to be addressed to reduce rural poverty. One, you have to ask yourself, how do we get the rural population to participate in economic growth? I strongly believe that lack of infrastructure, is an important constraint," he observed.

"If the rural population does not have access to electricity, if the condition of the rural road network is such that they (people) cannot get their produce to the market, if they don't have access to sanitation facilities, if they have limited access to drinking water - these are constraints that most people will find very difficult to surmount."

Kapoo said it was very important to improve infrastructure in rural areas.

"But infrastructure is one part of the solution and the other part of solution is to look at the overall investment plan," he said. "How favourable is the investment climate? About 60 per cent of the population of Zambia is not serviced by financial institutions.

How do you provide them with access to finance? How do you bring interest rates lower? How do you reduce the cost of doing business? I think there should be an agenda to include the rural population in economic activities."
Kapoo said the economic environment in Zambia was very favourable to reduce rural poverty.

"I am very encouraged by the recent developments that have taken place over the last five-six years. Your economic rates have picked up and investment levels have picked up, government's foreign exchange earnings are going up," said Kapoo.

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Barclays targets unbanked population

Barclays targets unbanked population
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Wednesday January 30, 2008 [03:00]

BARCLAYS Bank of Zambia (BBZ) managing director Zafar Masud has observed that the unbanked population in the country has remained big despite “tremendous” growth in the financial sector. In an interview in Lusaka, Masud said there was need to intensify education campaigns among the sector of populations that remained uncaptured by the banking sector.

He said the growth of the financial sector in the country would be meaningless if the majority of the local people did not participate in the “tremendous growth the sector has been recording in recent times.”

“The overall performance of the economy has continued to be bright and financial sector which is obviously the determinant of this growth is bright,” Masud said. “But of course compared to this growth, the unbanked population is still very big and this would restrain further growth in the sector.”

Masud said BBZ had embarked on an aggressive campaign to go into the unbanked market to help bridge the gap.
“We are working on a plan to tap into the unbanked market and I think what is key is to educate people on the benefits of banking,” Masud said.

“I think it is going to be key to bring the unbanked population into the banking cycle, and without achieving that, further growth will always be restrained, and that is why as Barclays, we have to go into the unbanked market which remains our focus.”

Masud, who was recently appointed to head BBZ also said the future of the country’s financial sector looked bright.
“I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that the way things are going in Zambia, the banking sector will be a different ball game altogether in the next two to three years,” said Masud.



CAZ invites bids for fourth mobile phone provider

CAZ invites bids for fourth mobile phone provider
By Chibaula Silwamba
Thursday January 31, 2008 [03:00]

THE Communications Authority of Zambia has urged persons interested in bidding for the fourth national mobile cellular licence to purchase a complete set of bidding documents at K300 million from the authority. Communications Authority international and public relations officer Ngabo Nakonde announced yesterday in a press statement that the authority had issued invitations for eligible persons to bid for the fourth national mobile cellular licence.

Nakonde stated that bidders should submit a written application and make payment of a non-refunded fee of K300 million or equivalent of any freely convertible currency at the Bank of Zambia ruling exchange rate.

“Sealed bids from eligible bidders must be deposited at the office of controller on or before 14:00 hours Zambian time on Wednesday, 27th February, 2008 and must be accompanied by a refundable bid security of not less than two per cent of the bid offer,” Nakonde stated.

“Bids will be opened at 14:00 hours on Wednesday, 27th February, 2008 in the presence of bidders and their representatives who choose to attend in the board room at Communications Authority, head office,” stated Nakonde.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Rupiah bemoans unemployment levels

Rupiah bemoans unemployment levels
By Joan Chirwa
Wednesday January 30, 2008 [03:00]

VICE-President Rupiah Banda has said Zambia is facing an enormous challenge of reducing the high unemployment levels. And Vice-President Banda has said the flood situation in the country calls for joint efforts among stakeholders in assisting the affected people. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola Company has pledged a contribution of US $100,000 (approximately K480 million) towards the support of the flood affected communities.

Speaking when Coca-Cola company chief executive officer and chairman, Neville Isdell paid a courtesy call on him yesterday, Vice-President Banda said the high unemployment levels in Zambia could be reduced with adequate in-key sectors of the economy.

“If there is anything we are looking for, it is employment for the people of Zambia,” Vice-President Banda said. “Unemployment levels are too high in Zambia and these can be reduced through massive investments.”

Zambia’s unemployment rate currently exceeds 50 per cent of the employable population. And Vice-President Banda said corporate institutions and other organisations should also assist victims of this year’s floods.

“The floods are a serious problem. We were busy running around assessing the flood situation in Southern and Eastern provinces but we didn’t know that even Lusaka would be badly affected,” Vice-President Banda said. “Most of the Western suburbs of Lusaka are in water. This is a big problem.”

And responding to the Vice-President’s request, Coca-Cola Company made a contribution of US $100,000 to help those affected by the floods. “I know what damage heavy rainfall does to crops and infrastructure,” Isdell said.

And Isdell said Coca-Cola Company was planning to make a US $50 million worth of capital investment in its Zambian operations through its partner - Zambian Breweries.
He said the company would also make substantial investments towards the development of skills and technology.

“We have a high level of confidence in the Zambian economy. And through the increase in capital investment that we are trying to do within the next two years, we can address some of the unemployment problems by putting together a coordinated plan, a holistic plan to increase investments now and in future,” Isdell said.

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'Lack of appropriate skills biggest challenge facing private sector'

'Lack of appropriate skills biggest challenge facing private sector'
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Wednesday January 30, 2008 [03:00]

Commerce minister Felix Mutati has said lack of appropriate skills is the biggest challenge facing the country’s private sector from taking a leading role in driving growth of the local economy. And Mutati said the country should abandon the pursuit of sustainability of the economy and embrace transformation.

Mutati said despite the government increasing allocations to economic infrastructure, this amount would be irrelevant if the private sector did not adopt appropriate skills to drive the economy.

Mutati was speaking on Monday when he addressed prospective Indian investors at the official opening of the two-day Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) organised Zambia-Asia International Business and Trade Conference under the theme ‘Zambia: A profitable Destination for investment and trade’ at Cresta Golfview Hotel in Lusaka.

Mutati also said the government acknowledged that good health also remained a challenge to realising a vibrant private sector.

“You can have most appropriate infrastructure to underpin contribution of the private sector to the growth in the economy of the country, but this becomes irrelevant in the absence of appropriate skills,” Mutati said. “So the issue of skills remains paramount and of course this combined with good health.”

Mutati said the government decided to allocate unprecedented allocations to the two sectors in this year’s national budget to help achieve this.

The government has this year proposed to spend K5.3 trillion to the development of economic infrastructure in the country and K3.7 trillion for both health and the education sector.

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It was a criminal act to liquidate Zambia Airways - KK

It was a criminal act to liquidate Zambia Airways - KK
By Brighton Phiri
Wednesday January 30, 2008 [14:45]

It was a criminal act for former president Frederick Chiluba to liquidate Zambia Airways, Dr Kenneth Kaunda has said. In an interview, Dr Kaunda said his tour of duty to campaign for Inonge Mbukusita-Lewanika in West Africa reminded him of Chiluba's criminal act of liquidating Zambia Airways. And Dr Kaunda said Mbikusita-Lewanika was best suited for the position of African Union (AU) Commission chairperson. Meanwhile, Women for Change executive director Emily Sikazwe has said Mbikusita-Lewanika was capable of doing Africa proud.

Dr Kaunda said his recent trip to Burkina Faso to solicit support for Mbikusita-Lewanika's candidature could have been much cheaper if his campaign team used Zambia Airways plane to fly directly to Ouagadougou to meet leaders of the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS).

"It was indeed painful in my mind when I was in the air flying to West Africa. In fact, I began to feel the pain from here when I was told that we were to fly to Ouagadougou where ECOWAS leaders were meeting and that our flight schedule would start from Lusaka via Johannesburg to the far North before coming back to our African continent.

That forcefully reminded me of Zambia Airways," Dr Kaunda said. " It took us about 18 hours to reach Ouagadougou. You can imagine how much that campaign cost us as a country in terms of time. Really, that man (Chiluba) has a criminal mind. There is no other way of calling him."

Dr Kaunda said his trip revealed more about Africa's poverty and how Chiluba contributed to it. He said it was unacceptable and painful for Zambians to be subjected to long travel and costly routes when they could have been enjoying short and cheap flights using their own national airline. Dr Kaunda wondered why Chiluba chose to liquidate a viable airline with assets worth more than its debt.

"We used to fly to America and around the continent. That is why we got those planes. Many Liberian women used Zambia Airways to transport their goods to the America. Zambia Airways was not only our airline but was also used by others on the continent. But for the hatred of one man, he decided to destroy such type of investment," Dr Kaunda said.

" In fact, one of my young men who served in his government as vice-president, Godfrey Miyanda, once told me that Cabinet was opposed to the liquidation of Zambia Airways. He told me that the country was opposed to that. He said he was among the people that told Cabinet that Zambia Airways debt was not equivalent to the value of its property. This confirms the criminal mind of this man (Chiluba)."

Dr Kaunda said Chiluba should be blamed for the liquidation of Zambia Airways as it resulted into loss of human life and trained staff. He charged that Chiluba's criminal actions delayed the country's development progression in measurable terms.

"Each time I remembered Zambia Airways, I became very annoyed indeed because some of our well-dressed and clean airhostesses, looking beautiful, perished as they could not stand the starvation," Dr Kaunda said. "For him to decide to go to London deliberately and decide to do away with Zambia Airways...and directs some one who is opposed to announce the liquidation, that is criminal."

But Chiluba yesterday defended his decision to liquidate Zambia Airways. Speaking through his spokesperson Emmanuel Mwamba, Chiluba said unlike him, Dr Kaunda failed to take difficult decisions because he was politically weak.

"The decision to liquidate Zambia Airways was a business decision done in the interest of Zambians. Harsh and difficult decisions had to be made one day. Dr Kaunda postponed that decision for 27 years. He feared political repercussion and realised that his one party regime was sitting on a clay seat," Chiluba said. "Dr Kaunda kept on making popularist decisions that were detrimental to the economic development of the country."

Chiluba said his decision to liquidate Zambia Airways and other parastatals was supported by many progressive economists, IMF, World Bank and donor community. He said the economic growth, which Zambia was currently recording, was due to his hard and difficult decisions.

Asked about Brigadier General Miyanda's revelation that the decision to liquidate Zambia Airways was not supported by Cabinet and the country, Chiluba said: "Gen Miyanda as an individual opposed the liquidation of Zambia Airways, but the Cabinet voted for it."

Chiluba said at the time of its liquidation, Zambia Airways had accrued debt which was beyond its capacity to pay back. He said the national treasury could not sustain the luxury of Zambia Airways using taxpayers' money.

Chiluba said both himself and Dr Kaunda scored successes and made mistakes during their rein. He said he recognised the fact that there were casualties to his decisions such as job loses.

On his trip to Ouagadougou, Dr Kaunda - who was accompanied by Mbikusita-Lewanika, explained that his team travelled not as invited guests of ECOWAS but that they went there to beg for time to meet ECOWAS leaders separately over Zambia's AU Commission candidate.

"It was indeed an honour for me to have been allowed to witness the official opening of their summit," Dr Kaunda said.

Dr Kaunda said he was able to meet the host country's Prime Minister, Liberian President, Gambian Vice-President and Cape Verde Island foreign affairs minister, among others.

"What is wonderful is that the young lady (Mbikusita-Lewanika) is quite popular among the international civil society organisations," Dr Kaunda said. "We are very hopeful that President Mwanawasa has made the right choice and she will be chosen."

Dr Kaunda observed that ECOWAS seemed more focused on their developmental agendas than SADC countries.

"I think they are faster than us in SADC and keen about their desires," he said.

And Sikazwe said Mbikusita-Lewanika would contribute to peace building in Africa if chosen to the lead the AU commission.

"We at Women for Change and the women movement in Zambia, we wish Dr. Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika good luck because we know she is capable of doing Africa and Zambia proud," Sikazwe said. "We know that her victory will be for all African women. Above all she is a God fearing woman and she has contributed greatly to poverty reduction in Africa."

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Farmer in Chalimbana evicts family from land

Farmer in Chalimbana evicts family from land
By Ntalasha Mutale
Wednesday January 30, 2008 [03:00]

A family of farm number 313A in Lusaka’s Chalimbana area was on Friday evicted by a farmer from land they had occupied for over 55 years. First lady Maureen Mwanawasa on her way to her Mipachima farm, found the Nyendwa family and their belongings by the road, where they had stayed for three days after the three houses they owned on the farm were demolished.

And Attorney General Mumba Malila said the family had the right to the land as long as they had lived there for over 20 years. In an interview yesterday, one of the occuppiers of the land Joseph Nyendwa said the three houses the family owned were demolished last Thursday morning by the police, with an order from a lawyer Andrew Howard without a warning or notice.

Nyendwa explained that part of the land was given to his father Petro,
who was a farm manager on the land that previously belonged to a woman called Fenella Pastel as part of his benefits, after he retired.

“Mrs Pastel had given part of this land, the sub division A, to my father because she could not afford to give him his benefits after our father retired. My father died in 1986 and my brother Abeaty Nyendwa continued managing the farm,” Nyendwa said. “After Mrs Pastel died on January 6, 2001, a man named Charles Mellace came from South Africa and claimed that he was the executor of the will which we never saw.”
He said Mellace instructed Pastel’s lawyer Andrew Howard to pay off the workers, saying he was going to buy the farm through Howard.

And Nyendwa said the first lady had instructed the family to stay on the land until the Human Rights Commission visited them and the matter was sorted out.
Maureen provided the stranded family with food worth over K400, 000.

But a lawyer from Howard’s law firm, who did not want to be named, said the case over the land had gone to court and Abeaty Nyendwa had represented the family in a case in which he lost to Howard.

She said judgment had been passed and the Nyendwa family had been asked to move from the land.

She said the police at Chalimbana police post had a court order to demolish their houses. But when the police at Chalimbana were consulted, they denied knowing anything about the demolition of the houses at the farm.

But Malila said the family had the right to the land through what was known as prescription as long as they had stayed on that land for over 20 years.



LETTERS - Budget, National Unity, Derek Fee & VAT

2008 budget
By Kazhila Chinsembu,Windhoek
Wednesday January 30, 2008 [03:00]

I have just finished reading the 2008 Budget speech that hopes to unlock more fattening resources for the political hosts in government and their ectoparasites. Under education, the speech does not mention the University of Zambia, yet we all know how deplorable the infrastructure at UNZA is. And hopefully, the government will this year pay UNZA retirees their terminal benefits which they have been owed for 5 years now.

With the looming electricity crisis, coupled with the anticipated impacts of climate change (natural disasters like floods and drought), the 2008 budget has no specific allocations that answer to the high levels of preparedness required to mitigate these threats. But that is budgeting the Zambian style, a country where the biggest disaster is the government, whose policies have hiked rural poverty to 80 per cent.

By Dereck Fee
Wednesday January 30, 2008 [03:00]

On your front page of the Sunday Post I was quoted as condemning the reduction in VAT in the minister of finance's Budget. During a lengthy interview, I praised the minister for a very balanced budget and one which will contribute to the economic growth in Zambia.

I expressed surprise at the reduction in VAT while stating that in the European Union VAT is an internal part of the fiscal system which is usually not reduced.

One Zambia, One nation
By Concerned citizen
Wednesday January 30, 2008 [03:00]

I wish to say something about to the story you carried on January 21, concerning Saki's comment on the slogan One Zambia, One Nation. I wish to agree with him in his observation, but I beg to look at it from a different perspective.

Recently, there was a publication of names of newly-recruited teachers in all the nine provinces of Zambia, and I was quite disturbed with the criterion used, which does not promote the unity we all desire to have. I noticed that the deployment had not at all promoted the One Zambia adage, as it was clear that those from Eastern, Western, Northern, Luapula and Southern provinces were being posted back to their provinces.

In my view, the Kaunda era did better on this one and in a way it helped to promote the spirit of unity, as Tongas could be sent to Eastern, Easterners to Tongaland, Bembas to Ngoniland or Loziland and vice-versa. Now with the current trend, we will one day lose the unity we seem to have. Thus, change must start with the government policies on deploying its employees in the interest of service and national unity. Saki's obsevation goes beyond politics and let us consider it seriously.

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