Saturday, September 20, 2008

(TALKZIMBABWE) MDC-T: Keep your demos in check

MDC-T: Keep your demos in check
Nathaniel Manheru - Opinion
Sat, 20 Sep 2008 21:30:00 +0000

AS before, the media has once again failed in their duty to inform and enlighten through well-founded interpretation of events of the week. Copies of the agreement underpinning the hopes of an inclusive government in Zimbabwe were made available to all media houses. The media, thus, have no excuse for rigging facts and dishing out harebrained interpretations.

Well, before one even gets into the substance of the agreement, one is hard put to establish where the notion of Government of National Unity came from. It is not there in the Dar Declaration. It is not there in Sadc communiqués.

It is not there in AU documents. Simply not there. What is worse, it is not there in the documents agreed to by the parties. There is a whole world of difference between a Government of National Unity, on the one hand, and an inclusive Government, which is what is being worked towards in Zimbabwe, on the other. Is it being suggested that the two MDC formations and Zanu-PF constitute Unity and the Nation?

What September can’t do

Even with the best political agreement, they cannot constitute a Government merely on the strength of what they signed on September 15. The agreement of September 15 cannot create a Government, let alone one of national unity. If anything, the agreement subordinates itself to the historical quest for national unity.

Governments are creatures of hard and cold law, creatures of statutes, never of mere dalliance between erstwhile political rivals, however that fornication is consummated. True, a political agreement could help processes that could lead to a legal position that eventually founds a government, but first things first, please. What was signed on September 15 has no legal force, has no constitutional status.

Not before Amendment 19, and the document signed by the three political parties is aware of that.

What was signed on September 15 cannot be enforced by any court of law. It merely binds the signatories to the extent they want bound. It can collapse any day, any time. And even where this agreement gets recognised by the supreme law of the land, it does not mean its application will specifically refer to the three parties involved in the agreement.

After the 1987 Unity Accord, our Constitution did not provide a pride of place for Zapu and Zanu. It merely made room for two Vice Presidents. How these were appointed and from where, became a matter of politics, never of law. Cease this needless euphoria, dear media colleagues.

When three is not total

If the thing does not create a Government — any government — what more with a problematic value called National Unity? We had the Unity Accord of 1987: a lot greater, a lot geographically expansive, a lot more legitimate in advancing the national agenda than the thing of September 15. And yet it cannot pretend to have solved, caught and pinned down this elusive ideal called National Unity.

If it did, why talk about it after the September 15 ritual? Is three the totality of parties we have in the country? Is national unity coterminous with vying organised political parties? Is national unity a political question exclusively? The whole debate in the media does not suggest enlightened reportage, let alone commentary.

Instigating unconstitutionality

And then you have this self-feeding misconception of judging the agreement by how soon it delivers ministries and ministers; by how soon it concludes allocation of ministries between parties. No one in the media is talking about the substance of Amendment 19, itself the legal wherewithal for a governmental structure to emerge from the agreement. Why should an estate which claims to hold the executive in constitutional check itself play inciter to lawless unconstitutionality?

This is very dangerous ignorance, the type that inaugurates a lawless dictatorship with a full cheer. In the absence of Amendment No. 19, there will not be a Government or Cabinet which upholds the expectations contained in the agreement, full stop. Yes, President Mugabe can make a Government any day. But it can only be a Government founded on the present law.

It does not make sense to hail the Monday agreement and agitate for a "new" government and a "new" Cabinet while leaving out an intermediate and enabling legislative stage without which the hoped-for government may never arise. Where will the Prime Minister come from? Where will the two Deputy Prime Ministers come from? And the Council of Ministers? There is already a euphoric reference to Tsvangirai as Prime Minister-elect. On the basis of what?

You could have called him that from day one of his stay on this earth, as long as there was clarity that this belongs to the never-never realm of what-I-want-to-be-when-I-grow-up. Why dress these men with robes they are still to borrow from a man who has not arrived, from a man whose given-ness to lending is still to be ascertained?

Reading one’s eyelid

And then you have vacuous reading of the agreement if only to validate this gratuitous euphoria. Tsvangirai is called "mukuru wehurumende". Yaani? Irikupi? Do you need Baba Ribeiro’s Zinyimotenderera — that nefarious witchdoctor in the Shona classic Muchadura — to read the obvious? Is the agreement not clear that President Mugabe heads both the State and Government? How does a Prime Minister who is Head of Government become Deputy Chairman of Cabinet, itself the principal instrument for governing?

Why does the media read what MDC wanted from the deal and not what it actually got from it? And this horribly misunderstood Council of Ministers? Why read it as supervisory to Cabinet when, in fact, it plainly implements Cabinet decisions, and is made up by all Cabinet ministers? Is an administrative arm executive and policy creating? We seem to have a problem of elementary comprehension. Or is it wilful under-understanding? Need we wonder to read headlines like "The centre has moved . . ."? Moved to where? The centre has not moved; it has merely accommodated a lost son. The MDC knows that.

The unread agreement

What this misreporting does is to create unnecessary tensions and pressures, especially in MDC-T who end up overplaying their hand to approximate the wild expectations primed by themselves and the media. The aggressive euphoria that greeted the signing of the agreement on Monday revealed a mass duping of MDC supporters by their dishonest leadership. It was as if they had won power.

Their hungry supporters who massed at the mouth of Rainbow Towers as their leaders were further swelling their already distended stomachs, all looked drunk with well contrived misapprehension. "Zizi razomera nyanga dzenhoro," they chanted, quite convinced Mugabe was out, Tsvangirai in! None had seen, let alone read, the agreement which The Herald went on to reproduce. To this day, very few have read the agreement. Yet the party goes on, and with it great expectations of a power shift which will never materialise.

There is even an expectation that all by-elections will be frozen through an agreement which is said to automatically cede vacant seats to whichever party won them in March! Plea-a-a-se! Give us a break. Democracy, which for the MDC was the acme of their agitation, suddenly takes a step back for the agreement?

Beyond the media miasma

What I like about the present discourse is how real issues are breaking through this miasma of media confusion. I followed with evident fascination Supa’s discussion with John Robertson and Ambassador Mutsvangwa. Robertson made it plain the agreement fell short in that it did not resolve the land question.

Clearly for him, resolving the land question meant ceding land back to white colonials so they go back to their vast estates of yore. It is an argument which is being played up by the British quality Press, principally the Financial Times and the Economist. Slowly, Britain and her settlers here are divesting themselves of all pretences.

They are angry that the preamble tied MDC to the Zanu-PF rhetoric on Third Chimurenga. They are not appeased even by promises of an Independent Land Audit which MDC-T has been agitating for, but whose operationalisation is sure to draw blood redder than the setting sun.

Who will be in it? Who will dare go to the countryside to start processes calculated to appease Hawkins and Robertson’s yearn for a return to settler agrarian policy? Then you will have a real war here of the kind not even America can put out.

Ousting Mugabe

The second issue relates to mining claims and mining rights. Again, the Anglo-Saxon interest is evident. As with land, this hitherto hidden interest is beginning to obtrude so insistently, betraying what has always been at the core of British intrusion into local politics here. And for me, this is exactly the value of the thing that was signed on Monday: it had removed all pretences that encrusted on the so-called political question here.

Real motives are becoming much easier to see and read and thus much easier to respond to. I made this point last week. And because of these two vital interests which have to be vindicated by the MDC, the validity of the Monday agreement rests on its capacity to oust President Mugabe who is read as the principal impediment for the reintroduction of British hegemony here. And the British establishment is pretty candid about it nowadays. Mugabe is no longer omnipotent, but still needs to be watched, cries out one. Mugabe is gone, cries another. Down but not yet out, cries yet another.

Bringing back B-MATT

A more sophisticated view is one that sees the agreement as a major step in by the MDC in its British-inspired long but unremitting campaign for Mugabe’s eventual ouster. And from a Western perspective, Mugabe is as good as the generals who keep his army. That is why Dyck and B-MATT are coming back into the discussion, seemingly with the blessing of naive "Prime Minister-elect".

That is how Gono’s sacking is coming into view. That is why security ministries, finance, information, local government, justice and women affairs must go to the MDC.

The agreement is read as a prologue to a phased putsch! And, of course, the IMF is beginning to dangle its poisoned chalice. It is ready for dialogue. So is the EU and America provided the agreement reveals where real power lies!

Even UNDP has come into the equation, stressing Zimbabwe needs huge infusions from the West, principally from Britain and America! What temerity! I hope the gentle reader is beginning to visualise the point I was at pains to convey last week. The game has started and Zanu-PF needs its most living God to get the better of this massive attempt on it.

Reading from 1987

MDC could emerge the biggest loser if it is not careful. And one does not see much sign of great care. In the first place the demos are on the negotiating table. MDC seems intent on deploying raucous yells and catcalls at the negotiating table. Except anyone can do that with even better results than tMDC can ever hope to achieve.

The rude crowd which MDC mobilised into HICC and at the entrance of Rainbow Towers will not help its case, let alone advance its interests. Judging by what I saw at this week’s Central Committee meeting, MDC is fast losing its interlocutors.

Secondly, MDC does not appear to have benefited from its recruitment of Reverend Canaan Banana, now late. A principal player in the Unity Accord of 1987, MDC should have got a few tips on such agreements from him. They did not, apparently and they seem to muddle. You do not negotiate with your eyes set on tomorrow’s headline. Or rely on little boys like Chamisa when dealing with a mature party like Zanu-PF.

Thirdly, you do not build expectations that will return to haunt you tomorrow. Zanu-PF is not about to capitulate. It will not dismantle its mandate, make no mistake about it. It will seek to accommodate, yes, work with its opponents until confidence is built.

Only then will it entrust greater responsibilities. The story of the Unity Accord is plain for all to see. And the late Joshua Nkomo was right to say: "Unity is what follows." Inclusivity is not what begins. It is the promise of it.

How not to do it

Lastly, there is something called confidence building. You do not achieve this by making demands that betray an attempt to achieve for the British what they failed to get through the ballot. Why would MDC want B-MATT here? What would MDC want a white colonel as commander of the army? Why would MDC want control of ministries that seem calculated for a retributive agenda?

Why would Tsvangirai embark on a food assessment programme apparently after a nod from the American Ambassador? Is it about food or about using the dire food need in the countryside to further his long-held political agenda? Is he Prime Minister already?

People are up to here with anger and frustration. At this rate it may not be long before tenuous cords snap. After all, the agreement is clear. It gives the President the power to allocate ministries "after consultation" with VPs, PM and DPMs. He does not have to adopt their views. The real game begins.

The Herald

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CEEC, disbursement mode

CEEC, disbursement mode
By Caroline Mwanza
Saturday September 20, 2008 [04:00]

Having attended the stakeholders’ consultative workshop the CEEC hosted at Mulungushi International Conference Centre on Wednesday 17th September 2008, I would like to advise the Director General and the Commissioners of the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission as follows:

K150 billion (about US$35 million) is not a lot of money for empowerment, but it is a good start. It can have significant development impact depending on how it is used.

From what I have gathered, the Commission has taken the lazy, tired, tried and failed approach of working through commercial banks to deliver a development programme. Working through commercial banks, particularly to deliver citizens economic empowerment, will not work in Zambia.

This channel has failed to deliver even in South Africa where other routes are proving more effective. Who in Zambia has not witnessed the dismal performance of other development funds entrusted to banks?

What CEEC is involved in is SME development plain and simple. It needs to work with development organisations that are specialised in supporting SMEs.

The banks should simply open bank accounts for the SMEs and for non-banking financial service providers that are better-placed to design and follow up packages for SMEs. Same old song: no impact strategy, work through banks, ZNFU, etc.

Please, keep it simple and work with a few organisations that know what they are doing. Listen and have the courage to stay away from past causes of failure.

Let us learn to compare ourselves with where other countries in the region are instead of continuously being content with nothing. Is CEEC headed in the right direction?

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LETTERS - Rupiah Banda

RB exposed
By P E Banda Kitwe
Saturday September 20, 2008 [04:00]

The Post has exposed Rupiah Banda’s character.

Even before he is elected as Republican president, he has a bunch of liars trying to tell the nation that he was never compaigning in Katete at Vulamukoko.

Hopefully, the ECZ has taken serious note of the evidence on the ground.

The Post has been vindicated even before elections are held.
Countrymen and women, vote wisely in the forthcoming presidential by-election.

Politicians' promises
By Vernon C Mwaba,Kitwe
Friday September 19, 2008 [04:00]

I wish to say something about politicians as the presidential by-election is around the corner.

It's become very common these days to find politicians saying, at every opportunity, that their government would ensure that, "....we are going to create employment, provide free medical services, free education, reduce fuel prices, free etc ....." I keep asking my self: “But how?” How are these politicians going to do what they are telling people they would do once they are in power?

During the 2006 tripartite elections, we voted for some parliamentarians who failed to perform in their constituencies.

Can the politicians please articulate their manifestos so that we know they are genuine? They shouldn't only be 'wishes' on their to-do wish lists of politicians. Rather, they should be promises that are attainable with proper laid down plans.

The voters must ask these politicians how they are going to change their lives for the better. I don't think the current government or those in the past just want to punish the citizens by not providing them with better services. They simply don't know how to. So it's the 'how' that should be explained to the people by this year's presidential aspirants.

Running a country is totally different from running a business entity, be it a casino, kantemba or a political party.

In developed countries, policies and plans of political aspirants are normally turned into realities and followed through. In Zambia, unfortunately, the problems are immense so much that we have all kinds of economic, political, social problems.

This time, we are going to need a complete and better assembled team to move us forward. As a minister of the word, I believe that it is wrong for politicians to start shouting that they would be saviours who have come to redeem us from all the economic and other woes without telling us how.

We need a leader who is focussed, action-oriented, not a public speaker. One can be successful in boardrooms (business) or even at running their own political parties but what team are they bringing to the national boardroom? What is their policy on health, education, agriculture, HIV/AIDS, democratic principles, children at risk (street children ), the economy and how are they going to turn those policies into reality?

We need to ask ourselves whether these politicians vying for the top job have the leadership qualities to lead our nation.

As we go to vote on October 30, let us look at their lives, their credentials and their achievements.

UPND, PF should unite
By Ganizani Zulu N.
Friday September 19, 2008 [04:00]

I would like to concur with those appealling for an electoral pact between PF and UPND that will allow only one of the presidential candidates to run for the October 30 elections.

Indeed, it is very disheartening to see how selfish our opposition leaders seem to be, especially that even when they see for themselves that they would never win these elections as long as they are divided.

It is simple logic that since 2001, the MMD has never won with a majority vote. The opposition has always had a larger percentage of the people’s votes but alas these votes have been fragmented amongst various opposition parties.

If our opposition leaders have the interest of the nation at heart, then let them show us that they are mature enough to sit together and unite so as to remove their common opponent - MMD.

It is discouraging for a voter to go and vote for someone whom they outrightly know won’t win the election due to the fact that the votes will be split.

As it is now, unless the oppsition unite, the MMD will win the election with ease, even with a small margin.

My appeal to the opposition leaders, HH and Sata, is that they should unite and let only one of then stand for this election. We are tired of having our votes fragmented amongst numerous opposition parties.

The writing on the wall is clear for all to see. As long as the oppsition is divided, they should forget about unsitting the MMD.

Corrupt campaign style
By Mwine Chabu Jo'burg
Saturday September 20, 2008 [04:00]

I refer to the people’s voice - The Post, Thursday September 18, 2008. The exposed RB campaign style is simply the continued phenomenon of the MMD and should not be received with shock.

The only problem we have in Zambia is the toothless, and passive Electoral Commission of Zambia on such reports as it is in the pocket of RB. The other problem is the coming back of VJ to the MMD

campaign team. With recent Zimbabwean election experience, we are likely to witness once again things like delay of election results as was the case in 2006.

That delay was for the purpose of changing the people’s choice. Who doesn’t know that MMD has been a minority government?

Please, Zambians, learn from American democracy or we are also heading for a government of national unity. Surely, corruption cannot be eradicated by a leader who comes into power through it.

I urge The Post to continue exposing such tricks without fear or favour. Zambians in foreign states are willing to come back and vote on 30th October 2008. May God bless The Post and mother Zambia.

CEEC, disbursement mode
By Caroline Mwanza
Saturday September 20, 2008 [04:00]

Having attended the stakeholders’ consultative workshop the CEEC hosted at Mulungushi International Conference Centre on Wednesday 17th September 2008, I would like to advise the Director General and the Commissioners of the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission as follows:

K150 billion (about US$35 million) is not a lot of money for empowerment, but it is a good start. It can have significant development impact depending on how it is used.

From what I have gathered, the Commission has taken the lazy, tired, tried and failed approach of working through commercial banks to deliver a development programme. Working through commercial banks, particularly to deliver citizens economic empowerment, will not work in Zambia.

This channel has failed to deliver even in South Africa where other routes are proving more effective. Who in Zambia has not witnessed the dismal performance of other development funds entrusted to banks?

What CEEC is involved in is SME development plain and simple. It needs to work with development organisations that are specialised in supporting SMEs.

The banks should simply open bank accounts for the SMEs and for non-banking financial service providers that are better-placed to design and follow up packages for SMEs. Same old song: no impact strategy, work through banks, ZNFU, etc.

Please, keep it simple and work with a few organisations that know what they are doing. Listen and have the courage to stay away from past causes of failure.

Let us learn to compare ourselves with where other countries in the region are instead of continuously being content with nothing.
Is CEEC headed in the right direction?

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Finance Bank, PTA Bank to fund oil imports

Finance Bank, PTA Bank to fund oil imports
By Fridah Zinyama
Saturday September 20, 2008 [04:00]

ZAMBIA National Tender Board (ZNTB) has announced that PTA Bank and Finance Bank Zambia Limited will jointly finance eleven shipments of petroleum feedstock into the country from IPG of Kuwait.

Responding to a press query, ZNTB public relations manager Hazel Zulu stated that the Central Tender Committee met at a special meeting last week to decide on the financiers for the importation of the countryís crude oil being supplied by Independent Petroleum Group (IPG) of Kuwait over the next two years.

Zulu explained that the Central Tender Committee gave authority to the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Energy to engage the PTA Bank and Finance Bank Zambia Limited to finance eleven shipments of crude oil as per contract with the IPG.

The government last week terminated the US$ 1.2 billion crude oil financing negotiations with Zanaco, citing delays by the latter to give conclusive responses on the matter.

The government, a couple of months ago initially engaged Stanbic Bank in negotiations for the financing of crude oil importation, but they later failed to reach an agreement. This prompted the government to then engage Zanaco, as it was one of the preferred bidders.

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Envoy asks Europe, private sector to invest in Africa's energy industr

Envoy asks Europe, private sector to invest in Africa's energy industr
By Joan Chirwa
Saturday September 20, 2008 [04:00]

EUROPEAN countries and the private sector have been asked to mobilise resources for investments in Africa’s energy industry. In a joint statement signed by European commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Louis Michel, European commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs and African Union (AU) commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy Dr. Elham Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim, the two parties noted the need for further investments in Africa’s energy sector both in the supply and demand side.

The statement was signed after a high level discussion on the implementation of the Africa-European Union (EU) energy partnership in Addis Ababa, where the two parties called for the promotion of Africaís electrification and agreed to quickly launch a process for elaborating an Electricity Master Plan for the continent.

They agreed on actions to be taken in order to speed up the implementation of the partnership, considering the increasing demand for energy.

They also agreed to further define the Capacity Building Programme in support to the African Power Pools, such as the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) and the African Forum for Utility Regulators (AFUR), which will be financed under the Energy Facility.
They further agreed on increasing transparency, promoting energy interconnections in Africa and between Africa and the EU as well as developing a road map for the launching and implementation of a Renewable Energy Cooperation programme.

The joint statement by the EU and AU also stressed the importance of measures in the area of energy efficiency and energy savings.

The EC said it was planning to replenish the Energy Facility Programme and provide additional contribution to the EU-Africa Infrastructure Partnership and its Trust Fund through the 10th European Development Fund (EDF).



The politics of Comrade Aka

The politics of Comrade Aka
By Editor
Saturday September 20, 2008 [04:00]

We are not one of those people that criticise political figures who have been satanised by their enemies in order to please anyone. But we are not going to be so foolish as not to say something we have the right to say. Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika has been a comrade of ours for many years and we have fought many battles together. We respect his right to criticise us and our work. We accept the fact that as human beings, not everything we do can be said to be perfect.

There will always be room for perfection. But the criticism should be honest. We know we are in the midst of an election campaign and some people believe campaign time is the time to throw around the biggest tonnes of lies against those they feel stand in their way. This shouldn’t be so. Campaigns should be time for telling the truth so that our people make the best judgements based on facts and truth.

It is difficult for us to attack a comrade like Aka. This man has struggled and suffered a lot trying to defend certain ideas, certain values of paramount importance when many of our politicians were busy prostituting themselves and feathering their own nests.

And if Comrade Aka became opportunistic today, we would still be sympathetic and understand him because very few would have managed to keep their dignity for this long with the problems he has had to endure.

But we have a duty to defend ourselves and our work from unjustified attacks and lies. We don’t think it is a crime to defend ourselves, and there is no historical process that hasn’t defended itself, in one way or another.

The entire country is aware of the show that takes place every time we have presidential nominations and elections, the lies and calumny that are spread about us whenever we take a strong stand on any issue, whenever we challenge the suitability of any candidate, whenever we raise issues of corruption against certain politicians, their sponsors and supporters.

Defending oneself is the most legitimate thing one can do, because if one doesn’t, one should resign and get the hell out – go somewhere and become a preacher, become a pastor, preach the gospel, which we are not against, because it has a lot of positive things in it. But we didn’t choose the career of pastor or preacher, we chose to be progressive and independent journalists, and to act ethically.

From the very beginning, we have never thought things were going to be easy. We are prepared to meet difficulties, to meet opposition and sometimes even betrayal by comrades.

We have difficulties now, and we will have even greater ones in the future, even if we do things the right way – and we should do them the right way, even if it calls for our greatest efforts. We have to cope with the objective problems in our country, the growing opportunism in our country’s politics.

It is sad that Comrade Aka can accuse us of not telling the truth about Rupiah Banda’s donations of sugar and mealie-meal in Katete and about the fact that he was campaigning to be elected president on October 30.

We have not exaggerated anything on this issue. We have a tape recording of everything that Rupiah said on that day in addition to his images, the pictures. If there is anyone whose objectivity is greatly impaired on this issue, it is not us but Comrade Aka.

But this is what happens to people, even the best of our people, when they become blinded by the pursuit of power, favours and privilege; this is what happens when ideas are lost; this is what happens when principles are abandoned or traded on the altar of political expedience.

Comrade Aka has travelled a difficult road over the last 17 years. He is the number one founder of the MMD, a party which he had to abandon in 1993 because he believed there was growing corruption in the party and its government.

He later that same year, together with others, founded the National Party. And again he abandoned this political party to form Agenda for Zambia and put his sister Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika as the party’s presidential candidate in the 2001 elections.

But later on, Aka had to do a 360 degrees maneouver and rejoin the MMD when Levy Mwanawasa became president. Aka did this under the banner of ‘reunion’ and even wrote a book under the same title.

It is understandable the comrade may be tired but he can do with honour and integrity – without lies and desperation.

And we have discovered that in the struggle against negative events and actions, the work of the press is very important. We will always promote a critical spirit because it is fundamental to perfecting our system of governance.

Of course we know that there are drawbacks. And despite the possible consequences, anything is better than the absence of criticism.

The media should be used to educate, to teach, to create values. We are totally convinced, from our own experience, that values can be sown in the souls of men and women, in their intelligence and in their hearts.

We hold no brief for hypocrisies of any kind when some people talk about what our role should be. Our dream is of another press, of a country that is educated and informed, of a country that has a holistic general culture and can communicate with the world.

Those who fear free thought don’t educate their people, don’t give them anything, don’t encourage them to acquire the highest possible level of culture, the broadest and deepest possible knowledge of history and politics, and to value things for their own intrinsic value, to encourage them to use their own heads, to reach their own conclusions. In order to do that, to use their own heads, they need the facts on which to reach those conclusions.

When the mass media first emerged, they took over people’s minds, and they governed on the basis not just of lies, but also of conditioned reflexes. A lie is not the same thing as a conditioned reflex.

Lies have a negative effect on knowledge; a conditioned reflex has a negative effect on the ability to think. And it is not the same thing to be uninformed, or disinformed, as to have lost the ability to think because your mind is full of reflexes. That’s the way parrots are taught to speak, and bears are taught to dance, and lions to crouch down respectfully.

We know what society can achieve in knowledge, in culture, in quality of life, and in peace by using the media for the social good and not for the support or propping up of petty, greedy, selfish and unscrupulous politicians in their pursuit of power.

The more information, knowledge, education a person has, the better he can understand that the increasingly complex problems of this world cannot be solved through means that strip a society of its ability to think, or its ability to reason.

As for our friends who have to denounce us, tell lies about us to win the favour of those in charge or they want to put in charge of government jobs and resources, we say ‘do whatever suits your immediate political, social and financial interests’.

We don’t want anybody to have any difficulties in their lives, in their careers – political or otherwise – on account of us. Everyone should handle the issue of their relations with us in the way that best suits their personal circumstances.

We believe in ideas and we believe in awareness, in knowledge, in culture, and especially political culture. We have devoted many years to creating an awareness, and we have great faith, shall we say, in education and culture, especially in political culture.

Comrade Aka should know better than anyone, because he has struggled to bring political culture to bear upon on problems as complicated as the new economic order and neo-liberal globalization.

Our faith lies in the tremendous strength of ideas, in what we have learnt about the value of ideas and of knowledge. And yet there are still dangers, so we always try to educate, more and more, educate the new generations.

We believe that quality of life lies in knowledge, in culture. Values are what constitute true quality of life, the supreme quality of life, even above food, shelter and clothing.

But Comrade Aka should know that for us it’s not an issue of popularity, or who wins an election, that really matters. Whoever wins, we will still be here. The presidency of this country has changed hands three times and we are still here.

We have a duty not to be swept up by public opinion, not to blindly follow a point of view, however popular, or even dominant, it may be, when, of course, it may appear to be questionable.

We have had the privilege of fighting against people motivated mainly by ambitions of a material nature, ambitions of a political and economic nature, and a social nature.

We have seen what power can do. We have come to understand what power means to some people. Oh, power is power!

The most difficult, the most important fight that anyone with power faces is the fight against himself, the struggle for self-control; and against the corruption made possible by power and even against the abuse of one’s prerogatives. One has to have a well-trained, strong conscience, a great deal of awareness, because we have seen people become full of themselves and use power the wrong way: the use of power in the wrong way is something you have to be in constant watch for.

We are seeing craziness in the way Rupiah and his sponsors are abusing their control of government today. We fear for this country. What will happen when an opportunity comes for them to assume the full powers that go with the office of president?

There is nothing wrong, as Comrade Aka acknowledged, in looking for a job. But it has to be done in a decent and honest manner. There is so much excitement in the Rupiah camp.

Moreover, Comrade Aka should realise that political leadership is not just a job, is not just any other job, it is something that has to do with service to the community and it has a serious bearing on a nation’s destiny.

It is interesting to note that the man who is facing corruption charges, Katele Kalumba, is coming out to be the best, the most realistic, the most reasonable, the most decent, the most honest of the Rupiah camp.

Katele is acknowledging mistakes, errors and weaknesses. He is coming out as a more cultured, more tolerant person. And this confirms what we had stated some time back in one of our editorial comments, that it is sad for a person like Katele to have been lost through corruption because he is an educated, intelligent and cultured man. We hope it is not too late for him to bear on his friends to conduct themselves in an honest and decent manner.



Aka accuses The Post of exaggerating Rupiah's sugar campaign

Aka accuses The Post of exaggerating Rupiah's sugar campaign
By Chibaula Silwamba
Saturday September 20, 2008 [04:00]

MMD founding member Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika has accused The Post of exaggerating MMD presidential candidate Rupiah Banda's well-intentioned distribution of sugar and mealie-meal to the people of Katete district last week. And Akashambatwa-Lewanika, commonly known as Aka, said his fellow commissioners of the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) were free to openly declare their preferred presidential candidate contesting the October 30 elections.

Featuring on a phone-in programme on Lusaka's Radio QFM on Thursday night, Aka said The Post was reporting in a biased manner and carried a callous viewpoint against MMD's presidential candidate, who is also Republican Vice-President.

Aka was responding to callers who wondered why Aka seemed to now be supporting or condoning corruption as an ACC commissioner. Below are some callers' questions and Aka's answers.

Konoso: Aka is a good man. He even left the Chiluba government on corruption because he hates corruption and he is an Anti Corruption Commission commissioner.

But now Mr. Aka, there was a picture of Mr Rupiah Banda distributing sugar and was telling people that vote pa nkholoko vote MMD!. You being a commissioner, Mr. Aka, are you resigning because your candidate was distributing sugar?

If it were Hakainde Hichilema distributing sugar, right now he would have been locked up or imprisoned.

Are you resigning for supporting a candidate who is distributing sugar?
Aka: I think that it is important in elections that activities that can erode the confidence of the process should be avoided.

I think the way it was portrayed erodes that confidence. I do know that actually that is part of an on-going activity by the Ministry of Community Development. But I think that it was unfortunate, it coincided with elections and it was able to be misunderstood. I think all political actors; we owe it to our country to avoid such things.

I accept the Attorney General's statement on this and on the basis of that statement I am…I have nothing to resign from. I don't have a job but on October 30, I will have a choice between at least the three people candidates to choose from.

And among those three, I have no hesitation to say that I will cast my vote for Rupiah Bwezani Banda.

On the question of Eastern Province, I happened to have been there. I think what was reported in the newspaper was an exaggeration. And this is a newspaper that has been carrying on a crusade of biased and callous view point. But I think that the people of Zambia, I have confidence in them that we are mature enough to vote for a better candidate.

Interviewer (Nabwalya Bwalya): Okay, you say what was reported in the newspaper was an exaggeration?

Aka: No. Not even an exaggeration. It was a real distortion to the point of…
Another interviewer (Mumbi Kalima): Did the Acting President start campaigning after distributing sugar?

Aka: No. Well, I don't know what campaign is. I have acknowledged that the way it was perceived coincided with that. Of course, you had a lot of people there who started shouting party slogans to which the presidential candidate responded.

But the event itself was not a party event and the event itself was not a campaign. Within the vicinity of the Vice-President was followed by a crowd of people, they were singing praise to him, they were singing MMD slogans.

Mumba (in England. QFM is broadcast on the Internet ): I am quite disappointed with what is going on. Why don't the MMD bring on the candidate Mr Rupiah Banda himself to come and talk about his policy direction and where he wants to take the country from where Mwanawasa left?

Why are they only allowing these people to come and promote their own interests because they are looking for jobs? Mr Lewanika there can say whatever he wants, but we know all these guys are just looking for jobs and we are not interested in hearing what they are saying. What we want to hear is what the candidate himself has to say about his policy vision.

Aka: I am sure the radio station is competent on how to bring people in. But there is no resistance from MMD. And there is no resistance that I know from any other candidate. But there is total freedom for the radio station to invite and make arrangements that they have. I should also indicate regarding policy, that there are perhaps four things that we have to look at.

There are policies which are like intentions, strategies and facilitating mechanism. Then beyond that we are looking for programmes that can utilise those policies to go beyond that to have results.

A caller: You are just looking for a job…
Aka: My fight against corruption did not come with being a commissioner. I resigned from ministerial position and fight corruption. I don't think to serve your nation you need a position. I will fight corruption whether I am a commissioner or not.

Nabwalya: Let us concentrate on those who have asked that Mr Lewanika, are you a job seeker because every politician is a job seeker?

Aka: I think that Zambian jobs are there for Zambians. So I agree with the caller that there is nothing wrong with a Zambian seeking jobs. What is wrong is to steal and bribe people to get those jobs.

What is wrong is to get jobs you can't do. What is wrong is for you to get jobs along tribal lines. What is wrong is for you to get jobs and then fail to perform.

Willy: Sometimes one wonders what is really wrong in our country. The MMD, I believe they have failed to address a number of critical issues affecting the majority of Zambians. The majority of Zambians don't afford three meals a day.

A Lusaka caller: I am a bit disappointed with the way he answered your question when you asked him about the time frame promoted for development. He answered that there is no time frame assigned to whatever the MMD has been doing.

How does he know whether they are achieving or not achieving because he is an economist and he understands that to do anything you have to have time frame within which to achieve it? Probably he is just looking for a job but he will be a really wrong person for the job.

He is a wrong person to support Rupiah Banda because he will be giving him wrong advice.

Imbuwa wa Imbuwa: I want to take you on leadership. I want you to give me a straight answer. MMD has really failed the people of Zambia just like the First Republic, we stagnant for almost 25 years, according to what you said. The MMD has really put us in a mess for 17 years. I am saying this because you have said of the three candidates the only suitable guy is…

Aka (interrupts): I did not say the only suitable, I said my choice.
Wa Imbuwa (continues): Yes. Your choice is Rupiah Bwezani Banda. Now I will tell you that this country, you and I and everybody else know that we have destroyed this country because we have no leadership.

What has happened in MMD happened in UNIP. Kaunda had no plan for succession, and it was disastrous and that is why UNIP today is finished.

Even MMD you are aware of the problems you have gone through and at one time you even resigned and formed your own party and you have come back to MMD. MMD under Chiluba had no plan of succession and it was disastrous. Even now MMD has a disaster.

The problem is that MMD has not looked at the issue of leadership and it will be nonsensical for me to look at other areas like health, education, road infrastructure. This problem of leadership is in all the political parties.

Lusaka caller: I would like to salute the MMD and I would like to salute the current government. The problem with us Zambians is that we forget where we come from. The MMD brought democracy and the economy has picked up. If you look at agriculture, it has improved. Let's give credit where it's due.

Chanda: I am disappointed with you (Aka) as a commissioner. Can other commissioners come out and be cadres the way you have come out?

Aka: I think it's preferable for people to come out in the open and state so that if people judge I would rather I tell you exactly what I stand for and it's up you to say we know Aka, we have heard him and we disagree with him rather than to keep quiet that because I am a commissioner…because ultimately on October 30, I have to cast my vote. I am afraid I am an incurable open person.

I believe there will be nothing wrong with any commissioners saying who they support. What will be wrong is if there was a commissioner who came on the air to support corruption because we are commissioners to fight corruption and corruption is everywhere.

We are not commissioners to curtail our other civil rights. I don't believe so and particularly if we are open about our preference, then everybody can judge. I will never hide my political opinion. I don't think it is a very good idea for people to be silent when we know privately that they support… I doubt very much if there are many Zambians who have no political opinion. I am more afraid of people with hidden political opinion and bias than those who tell you what their position is.

Aka (continues): There was a good question about leadership. The problem of leadership is everywhere in our country. It has not been solved and it will not be solved on October 30 because on October 30, we will only have three people to choose from, or four or five. Even beyond the elections, we must address the question of leadership.

There are parties like MMD that were founded on nationalist agenda to change the system and then there are other parties which were founded almost specifically for one individual to be president.

Mumbi: Which parties are those?
Aka: The only party in Zambia that was founded on a nationalist agenda today and the nationalist agenda is that once that agenda is achieved it benefits all Zambians.
It's clear that UPND and PF were not founded on a nationalist agenda.
Mumbi: What are they?

Aka: You are the one counseling me that I am here to only speak about MMD. I don't want to talk bad about other parties.

Caller: You said UPND and PF have no agenda. Can you tell us the agenda of the party that you and your sister Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika formed and contested elections in 2001? I used to hold you in high esteem but looking at you now, you are advocating that commissioners should openly declare their candidates of their choice. You are confusing Zambians.

Lusaka caller: Mr Aka, honestly speaking it's morally wrong for commissioners to come out in the open and state the candidate they are supporting.

Mark: We want answers. We don't want people to give us political rhetoric. Interviewers, please continue with your line of questions.

Aka: I should also say I have no quarrels with the line of questions. I am hard and tested. I have no problems. I have not failed any questions.

Caller: ZNBC should report truthfully about what transpired today Thursday at City Market. The Acting President was not given a thunderous welcome.

Jacqueline: The youths want jobs. The best the government can do is to put in place policies that will allow people have jobs. Youths are so immoral because they have nothing to do. Mr Aka, those are the issues that must be addressed. We have to improve education. Those are important issues.

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Rupiah is not sincere over salaries - Sata

Rupiah is not sincere over salaries - Sata
By Patson Chilemba, Lambwe Kachali and Maluba Jere
Saturday September 20, 2008 [04:00]

Patriotic Front president Michael Sata yesterday said Rupiah Banda is not being sincere over the salary and allowance increments for constitutional office holders because he would have listened immediately people demanded the withdrawal of the emoluments bill from Parliament about two months ago. And Sata charged that it was criminal for Vice-President Rupiah Banda to declare himself winner in the forthcoming presidential election.

But justice minister George Kunda urged Zambians to be wary of desperate politicians like Sata, who could peddle lies on technical issues which he did not understand.

Addressing the press at the PF secretariat, Sata said if Vice-President Banda was sincere, he would have stopped the emoluments bill seeking to increase salaries and allowances for constitutional office holders and senior government officials when the issue came up in Parliament.

He said Vice-President Banda's decision to take the bill back to Parliament was for political expedience.

"We appealed to him to suspend the bill. He was Acting President, he would have suspended that bill in Parliament...people would have respected him. So he's just bluffing because he has seen people are talking," Sata said. "The answer is he's living in a fool's paradise, wishful thinking that he's going to be the President and sign the bill and get a hefty allowance."

Sata also said Vice-President Banda had no power to sign the emoluments bill into law.
On Thursday, Vice-President Banda said he had not assented to the bill and would send it back to Parliament for reconsideration.

Sata also warned Vice-President Banda and his government to stop being provocative. He said tension in the country was high.

"The statement he made on QFM of declaring himself winner is criminal and does not give any hope to the people of Zambia that we are going to have a free and fair election in this country. He has brought in Vernon Mwaanga, he has brought in vultures like Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika, Mbita Chitala, this George Chulumanda and others," Sata said.

"He goes to boast on a media that he's already been declared winner, and under the Electoral Commission, it's an offence for somebody to declare himself winner. The only institution which has been given authority is the Electoral Commission of Zambia ECZ. But because the Electoral Commission of Zambia falls under him, there is nothing they are going to do to him."

Sata said Vice-President Banda had been lying from the time he announced the election date. He said recently, Vice-President Banda lied when he announced that he would constitute a committee of ministers to look into the fuel prices when the price of the commodity had come down on the world market. He said there was no need to set up a committee to look into the prices because all that was needed was for finance minister Ng'andu Magande to append his signature.

"And they have already given him Mwaanga K850 million to travel to South Africa to go and see these people who are printing ballot papers. Now what government do we expect from comrade Rupiah Banda?" Sata asked. "They released last week K200 billion from the National Constitutional Conference NCC which money was given to Emmanuel Nyirenda, permanent secretary for Ministry of Information with instruction to distribute this money to all the provincial Zambia Information Services to campaign for Rupiah Banda. what do you expect out of this? Zambia is going to be worse than NAMBOARD."

On Vice-President Banda's visit to Lusaka City Market where he was welcomed with PF symbols and honkings, Sata commended police for the manner in which they handled the situation and protected the Vice-President. However, Sata said the action by Vice-President Banda was provocative.

"He has been Vice-President for two years. If he cared about the people of Soweto or Intercity or City Market, he would have been there," he said.

Sata wondered how the K16 billion meant for the drainages in Kabwata and Kanyama had been spent, because if Vice-President Banda cared enough, drainages could have been worked on already.

"And for him to be saying, he hopes the Ministry of Health will not forget them when they have a generator...because the people who are in Kanyama, they are not different from me, they are not different from Rupiah Banda," he said.

Meanwhile, Sata said what Zambia needed now was a mature leader and not "under-five" politicians.

"Hakainde Hichilema, he's too fast. When we gave him something to privatise, he privatised for his pocket," he said.

Sata said the problem with "under-five" politicians was that they wanted to become rich quickly.

He said it was difficult to understand how Hichilema managed to become chairperson of some companies he helped privatise. Sata said Hichilema was a political failure who had reduced the significance of UPND in the country. He said Hichilema thought he could buy the Republican presidency in the same manner he bought the party presidency.

Sata said Hichilema would be lucky to reach his age. He said even when magistrates were promoted to become judges, they were given white wigs as a sign of greater responsibility, wisdom and maturity.

"So you find that the young man should not feel the steam because we are too strong," Sata said. "Hakainde Hichilema says 'I'm the best man for Zambia'. Now who is the groom because there must be a groom to have the best man."

But George Kunda said at a press briefing that he was not surprised about Sata's ignorance of the constitutional provisions.

He said two weeks ago, he issued a comprehensive statement on transitional issues and that he explained the powers of Vice-President Banda in his capacity as acting President. Kunda said he referred to, and quoted specific constitutional provisions.

"I do not expect that Mr Sata has taken time to read and understand the constitutional provisions dealing with the powers of a person acting as President of the Republic.

A few weeks ago, Mr Sata gave an interview on the a Radio station in which he claimed that the presidential emoluments Amendments Bill 2008, the ministerial and parliamentary offices Emolument Emolument Bill 2008 and the constitutional office holders Emolument Amendment Bill 2008 were all improperly before the National Assembly because they were signed, not by the Attorney General, but the Solicitor General.

He added that the Attorney General declined on principle to sign those Bills, hence the signature by the newly appointed Solicitor General," Kunda said. "Nothing can be further from the truth. As a matter of fact, the Attorney General was out of the country at the time the bills were finalised.

I would, of course not be surprised to learn that Mr Sata is ignorant of the provisions of Article 55 (5) of the Constitution and section 32 of the interpretation and general provision Act chapter 2 of the Laws of Zambia.

These provisions state that the power conferred or duty imposed on the Attorney General by any written law may be exercised or performed by the Solicitor General when, due to illness or absence, the Attorney General is unable to do so and in any case where the Attorney General has authorised the Solicitor General to do so."

Kunda said it was clear that Sata should not mislead the nation, especially on important national issues. He urged Sata to research if he were to make a good leader, saying in the current state, Sata was not capable of leading the country.

"This would have been a more dignified option than to take the public's gullibility for granted. I have no doubt that the public expects better from people who aspire to ascend to the highest office in the land than naked lies.

Mr Sata and others of his kind should understand that the Ministry of Justice has legal experts who understand what they are doing. In future, lies from people like Mr Sata, which tend to paint government in bad light will not go unchallenged. The public should be wary of desperate political leaders who will peddle lies on technical issues over which they understand little or nothing at all," said Kunda.

Meanwhile, Independent Churches Organisation of Zambia chairperson Rev David Masupa has expressed disappointment with the MMD for not honouring late President Mwanawasa's wishes on his preferred successor.

"We are extremely disappointed because they have not only dishonoured the President's wish but they also dishonoured the first lady's advice on who was the late President's preferred candidate," he said. "We are very disappointed because the first lady is on record as having said president Mwanawasa left a lot of money in reserves and that he wanted finance minister Ng'andu Magande to succeed him because of his discipline in handling public resources and being a good manager."

In a related development, Rev Masupa doubted Vice-President Banda's move not to assent to the bill that seeks to increase salaries for constitutional office holders. He said this was designed to gain political mileage in his ongoing presidential campaigns. Rev Masupa cautioned Vice-President Banda against reversing his words on this matter otherwise he would be called a hypocrite.

And UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma said Vice-President Banda's decision to send the bill back to Parliament for reconsideration was a political ploy meant to deceive voters about the real intentions of the MMD government.

Kakoma wondered when Parliament would review the bill since it adjourned sine die last week.

"Mr Banda knows very well that Parliament adjourned and will not reconvene until after the October 30 presidential election. When will Parliament review the salaries and allowances for the President, Vice President, ministers and other constitutional office bearers?" Kakoma asked. "Will Mr Banda summon Parliament to sit and reconsider the bill before election time? Why did Mr Banda not return the bill to Parliament before it adjourned on Friday last week?"

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Kanyama deems by-election a factor in future investments

Kanyama deems by-election a factor in future investments
By Anderson Mazoka Jr and Constance Matongo
Saturday September 20, 2008 [04:00]

ECONOMICS Association of Zambia (EAZ) national secretary Chibamba Kanyama has said the October 30 presidential by-election would be a major factor in determining future investments in Zambia. And Kanyama said today’s business news has taken a new dimension with regard to its readership. Addressing trainee journalists at Post Newspapers in Lusaka yesterday, Kanyama said a country’s political stability was a major factor in upholding investor confidence.

“In such a situation, many investors are on a wait-and see-mode. By wait-and-see mode, I mean investors will not commit resources until elections are over to see if there will be changes in policies, Kanyama said.

The two types of investors that are likely to be impacted by policy changes are the foreign direct investors who have long-term physical investments such as farmers and mining corporations, and portfolio investors who are overnight investors. These (portfolio investors) take advantage of the stock market.”

Kanyama however said the issue of investor confidence was not a big factor in Zambia owing to the country’s political stability and the fact that major political players were in support of upholding late president Levy Mwanawasa’s legacy, which is mainly the fight against corruption.

And Kanyama has attributed the change in business news readership to the liberalisation of the economy from the stringent laws under the one party state to democracy.

“Ten years ago, a business story was not exciting 20 years ago it was the responsibility of the journalist to inform the people on business news,” he said.

Kanyama said the increasing need for business news today is necessitated by people’s desire to know the current and future economic stability of the country.

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Daka advises media to provide checks and balances on govt

Daka advises media to provide checks and balances on govt
By Florence Bupe
Saturday September 20, 2008 [04:00]

THE media should always endeavour to provide the necessary checks and balances on government, science minister Peter Daka has said. Officiating at the first Zambia Institute of Mass Communication Educational trust (ZAMCOM) graduation ceremony yesterday, Daka urged the media to ensure that the government was accountable to the people through ethical and factual reporting.

"The need for quality training cannot be overemphasised. Professionalism in the media fraternity is critical in the attainment of Millennium Development Goals, as well as in ensuring that there are checks and balances in the governance system," he said.

Daka advised the graduating students to practice issue-based journalism once absorbed into the media industry.

"As you go out in the field, ensure that you report objectively in order to help build the nation. Journalism is a powerful tool that can either build or destroy, and I urge you to use your skills positively by reporting on issues that affect the nation," Daka said. "This should move hand in hand with the values of love and peace. Guard against being used by people for ill-motives."

And Daka has reiterated the need for training institutions to be self-sustaining and profitable.

"Institutions should aim to be self-sustaining, because there will come a point when government will not give any grants.

We will continue supporting training institutions, but there is increased need for entrepreneurship and, ultimately, profitability," he said.
Daka further encouraged the graduates to be enterprising as a way of addressing high unemployment levels.

And ZAMCOM vice board chairperson Flavia Chishimba disclosed that the institution would soon launch an educational television station to upgrade the quality of its graduates.

She said the institution had already obtained a licence for the project, and was awaiting the purchase of a transmitter.

A total of 68 students graduated in media related studies, from 2005 to 2007.
Post Newspapers sports reporter Joseph Mwenda scooped the Muvi Television award for best student in Certificate in Journalism and Public Relations, 2005 programme.

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Masebo ties provision of safe water to MDGs

Masebo ties provision of safe water to MDGs
By Masuzyo Chakwe
Saturday September 20, 2008 [04:00]

THE provision of safe water and adequate sanitation is critical to the achievement of all the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), local government and housing minister Sylvia Masebo has said.

During the handover of 14 project vehicles to 12 districts for the water sector programme support yesterday, Masebo said in order to promote sustainable provision of affordable and socially acceptable safe water supply to the rural population, the government through her ministry had mobilised financial and technical assistance from the Royal Danish Embassy to drill 785 boreholes in 12 districts.

She said these include all the seven districts of Western Province, two districts in Lusaka namely Kafue and Chongwe and the three districts in Southern Province namely Kalomo, Itezhi-Tezhi and Namwala.

"The 785 boreholes are only for the first contract. By 2010, we intend to construct and rehabilitate about 1,600 boreholes in the 12 districts. This is expected to greatly improve the water supply situation in the respective districts," she said.

Masebo said the principle of community contribution of five per cent towards the cost of water supply infrastructure development and 100 per cent towards the cost of operation and maintenance should be clearly explained to the beneficiaries.

She said it was government's belief that community financial contribution towards construction and maintenance of water supply facilities would contribute to community sense of ownership of facilities and promote sustainable water supply.

Masebo said this was important for sustainable provision of clean and safe drinking water, which was necessary for reducing outbreaks of waterborne diseases, which contribute to ill-health and poverty in most rural areas.

And Danish Embassy Charge d'Affairs to Zambia Peter Jul Larsen said the vehicles to be handed over were part of Denmark's support to the water sector, which in its current phase was a five-year water sector support programme with a budget of approximately K200 billion in the period 2005 to 2010.

He said as part of its contribution to the water sector, the Zambian government had committed a budget totalling approximately K16 billion for the same period.

"These vehicles were procured at a cost of US$355,000 as part of the five year Danida Water Sector Programme Support to Zambia. These new vehicles should significantly improve the capacity of the 12 districts and the Western Water Company to implement the on- going rural and rural water supply and sanitation components of the national water and sanitation programmes," said Larsen.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Namugala lied on Rupiah's sugar donations - TIZ

Namugala lied on Rupiah's sugar donations - TIZ
By Lambwe Kachali
Friday September 19, 2008 [04:00]

TRANSPARENCY International Zambia (TIZ) executive director Goodwell Lungu yesterday charged that community development minister Catherine Namugala should be embarrassed for priding on lies. And Lungu has urged Vice-President Banda to be careful with ministers like Namugala because they had the potential to bring him down politically.

Commenting on revelations by The Post that Vice-President Banda indeed campaigned when he donated sugar and mealie-meal to Vulamukoko residents in Katete last week contrary to Namugala's position that he did not campaign but only performed an official government function, Lungu said it was extremely unfortunate that Zambia had dishonest ministers who could lie in broad daylight. Lungu said now that The Post had published Vice-President Banda's campaign speech delivered at a function that was non-political, it was necessary that the law took its course.

He said if Vice-President Banda was committed to the fight against corruption, he should publicly invite law enforcement agencies to conduct investigations against him. Lungu said it was now clear that Vice-President Banda used the donation to win political support from the people of Katete.

"Even when Namugala was refuting the media statement, we knew that she was telling lies because information had already reached us. People like Namugala have the capacity to mislead Acting President Banda to continue committing crime," Lungu said. "The giving of sugar and mealie-meal to those villagers was confirmed by himself the Acting President, Mr. Banda. This is why he has chosen to keep quiet on the matter."

And Lungu urged the government ministers to be honest when conducting national duties and not to tell lies. He said Namugala's tendency of twisting facts was dangerous to Zambia's democracy and should be condemned by all well-meaning Zambians.

"We would like to advise the Acting President Mr. Rupiah Banda that people surrounding him can do such things in order to embarrass him. So, he should be very cautious with them. Not everyone who supports or talks good of you is a friend. These are the same people who can tarnish his image and bring about his downfall," Lungu advised.

He said it was important for politicians to heed Attorney General Mumba Malila's advice to defer all donations until after elections.

On Tuesday, Namugala said the handover of food by Vice-President Banda in Katete was not a campaign gimmick but an ongoing arrangement to assist the vulnerable under the Social Cash Transfer Scheme.

Namugala was reacting to a picture published in the Sunday Post depicting Vice-President Banda distributing sugar and mealie-meal to women in Katete. She said government's programmes could not be stopped simply because of an election as people needed to eat and take their children to school.

Namugala accused The Post of giving negative publicity to a well-intended programme because the Vice-President was not on a campaign trail but was in Katete to perform an official function which was not political in nature.

But yesterday, The Post published a verbatim of Vice-President Banda's speech at Vulamukoko village, confirming that he was in fact campaigning in very plain language.

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Banda declares himself winner

Banda declares himself winner
By Chibaula Silwamba
Friday September 19, 2008 [04:00]

MMD presidential candidate Rupiah Banda yesterday declared that he will win the October 30 presidential election. And Vice-President Banda revealed that he has not assented to the bills seeking to increase salaries and allowances for constitutional office holders and will send them back to Parliament for re-consideration. Meanwhile, MMD national secretary Katele Kalumba declared that the party was battle-ready.

Launching his presidential campaign at Hotel Intercontinental in Lusaka, Vice-President Banda said it was his duty to continue the legacy of the late president Levy Mwanawasa.

"We have won this election come what may," Vice-President Banda declared. "Let the campaigns begin today. May I ask my colleagues to go out there and conquer. Conquer them all! On the 30th of October, think of the future. Vote for this man, Rupiah Bwezani Banda!"

He said as a chosen man of the late president Mwanawasa, it was his duty to continue the 2006 MMD manifesto and consolidate his president Mwanawasa legacy.

"That is the least that I can do to remember my friend and brother," he said. "So when the MMD NEC overwhelmingly endorsed me as party candidate, I was truly honoured and I thank them. But above all, I was chosen in order to win and win, I shall do so. I make this promise to my colleagues, party members and to the memory of Levy Mwanawasa, I will not fail you Mr president."

Vice-President Banda observed that the decision to endorse him as MMD candidate was based on his experience, knowledge and understanding.

"I have experience and knowledge of government at all levels; as member of parliament for many years, I have represented the needs and aspirations of all the people in my constituency at Munali here in Lusaka. I have been a foreign minister of this country, I have been an ambassador for Zambia in many countries including the United States of America and at the United Nations," Vice-President Banda said. "I have been Minister of Mines. I have been general manager of the National Agricultural Marketing Board and I have been chief executive officer of the Rural Development Agency of Zambia."

Vice-President Banda said he was also a farmer and a family man.

"I am a man of the land. I know what it is like when the rains are late and when a crop fails," Vice-President Banda said. "I am a proud husband and father I have eight children and like all families, we have had our ups and downs."

He, therefore, said he understood the needs of Zambians.

Vice-President Banda urged voters to look at his curriculum vitae (CV) and compare it with other presidential contenders'.

"Do not listen to what they may say; read with your own eyes what they have actually done in the past. Do not look at what they have done for themselves. Look at what they have done for Zambians," Vice-President Banda said. "Only when you know their true history, ask yourself, 'can this man lead Zambia?'"

He said he did not hide anything and was happy that voters would make up their minds on who to vote for.

"I know I have what it takes to fight for the expectations of Zambians. No matter which part of this country you come from, whatever business you are in or whichever faith you believe in, I will fight for what is best for all Zambians. My country comes first," said Vice-President Banda. "You have my word on that promise. During this election campaign, you will hear many promises, few of which will ever be delivered upon, that is not the case with the MMD."

He said the campaign must be fought on issues.
"...which comes on continuity on good governance and economic prosperity for all, it is a campaign which we will win because for the sake of Zambia's future, we have to win," Vice-President Banda said.

He pledged to continue the fight against corruption, which late president Mwanawasa started in 2002.

"Let us not return to the path of corruption and economic incompetence and personal greedy. Now is time for honest and genuine leadership," he said.

Vice-President Banda also said the MMD's good economic policies had gained the country good reputation.

"On Thursday, 30th October, the MMD will win because of our track record since 2001," Vice-President Banda said. "Over the past seven years, this government has worked hard to get our economy moving and we have been successful. Our economic policies have been praised by international organisations including the World Bank and many of our cooperating partners in the most developed countries of the world."

He said unlike other political parties, the MMD welcomed foreign investors to Zambia.

"We welcome all foreign investors as long as they obey the laws and regulations of our country, particularly those protecting our people and our environment," Vice-President Banda said. "This investment is the engine which will make our industrial and agricultural sectors more productive and more jobs and better wages."

He, however, observed that there were still many Zambians who were poor, therefore, there would be need to improve their living standards.

"We must continue with policies that will deliver prosperity," he said.
And Vice-President Banda said he had not assented to the bill seeking to increase the salaries and allowances for constitutional office holders and would send it back to Parliament for reconsideration.

"Let me assure you that I have listened to the concerns of the Zambian people. On that note, as you know I have still not signed the legislation concerning the salary pay raise of constitutional office holders. I will ask my colleagues to look at the legislation once again. I will be sending this legislation back to Parliament for re-consideration," said Vice-President Banda amid applause of the MMD cadres.
Vice-President Banda also assured former first lady Maureen that Zambians and the MMD would be on her side.

"I also pay tribute to the former first lady, she has borne her grief with dignity and honour. Her grief is not yet over but I assure her that we the Zambian people, particularly in the MMD, stand ready to come to her side at anytime," Vice-President Banda said.

Vice-President Banda also praised the late president Mwanawasa.
"Zambia recently lost one of our true sons, our own leader, our own father, our brother and my colleague. President Levy Mwanawasa was a man of inspiration in these difficult times, Zambia has been cruelly robbed of a fine man," Vice-President Banda said. "He was a man of vision; the Zambian people believed in him and returned him to office in 2006."

Vice-President Banda said the late president was a man of integrity who was not afraid to speak the truth even when others remained silent.

"His goal was to increase prosperity for all Zambians. Under his leadership, he once again made Zambia into a beacon of democracy, of truth, of transparency and of economic opportunity for all," Vice-President Banda said. " In losing our good friend and our dear brother and dear leader, we have all suffered greatly."

He paid tribute to Zambians for mourning president Mwanawasa in a noble manner.

Vice-President Banda thanked other MMD members that contested the MMD presidency.

"It could easily have been a divisive process as many hoped but instead it made us stronger, it made us more popular, made the whole world know that the MMD is a democratic party," Vice-President Banda said.

Among losing presidential candidates for the MMD who were present were finance minister Ng'andu Magande, former Republican vice-president Enoch Kavindele, Dr Ludwig Sondashi and home affairs minister Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha.

Before the launch started, Vice-President Banda asked Magande, Lt Gen Shikapwasha, Kavindele and Dr Sondashi to stand up and wave to the party members. The quartet stood up, waved at the members and shook hands with Vice-President Banda.

Meanwhile, Kalumba told Vice-President Banda that the MMD was battle ready to ensure that he won the election. He said the MMD would conduct clean and fair campaigns.

"We will make sure no one contests the elections when we win," said Kalumba.

Earlier, MMD chairman Michael Mabenga urged all party members to vigorously campaign for Vice-President Banda.

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Milupi demands remedy to UNZA's financial ills

Milupi demands remedy to UNZA's financial ills
By Mwala Kalaluka and Margaret Phiri
Friday September 19, 2008 [04:00]

THE Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Charles Milupi on Wednesday observed that the weak financial controls at the University of Zambia (UNZA) are symptoms of ills that need to be corrected immediately. And UNZA deputy vice-chancellor Dr Wilson Mwenya has asked the Committee to give the institution's current management a benefit of doubt and not judge them from the failings of previous managers.

Following a submission of a memorandum by Ministry of Education permanent secretary Lillian Kapulu before the Committee on the report of the Auditor General on the accounts of parastatal bodies for 2006, Milupi said the report on UNZA's account was the worst in the land in terms of financial management.

Kapulu submitted that it was regrettable that the institution had failed to prepare accounts for the financial years 1998 to 2006 and that basic accounting records such as cashbooks, bank reconciliations were not up-to-date.

However, Kapulu said financial statements for the years 1998 and 1999 have been completed and that the 2000 accounts would be ready by the end of this year.

Kapulu further regretted that three former University employees namely, Professor Nkandu Luo, Dr Ndashi Chitalu and Alex Chama irregularly bought houses belonging to the institution despite resigning to join active politics.

"The houses have since been paid for in full by Professor Nkandu Luo and Mr Alex Chama. Dr Ndashi Chitalu made a part payment of K15 million leaving a balance of K5,700, 000 as at January 17, 2002," she said.

Kapulu also disclosed that the university management was considering courses of action to take against Sylvia Professional Catering Services Limited following the company’s failure to pay rentals, water and electricity charges in respect of its use of the main dining hall at UNZA since October 2000 amounting to K294,950,000.
Kapulu said the upper and uppermost dining halls have already been withdrawn from the company.

Kapulu said it was regrettable that funds amounting to K810,000,000 were misappropriated during the period under review and that some suspects were already appearing in the courts of law.
Kapulu said committees had been set up to strengthen the weak financial controls at UNZA.

But Milupi and other members of the Committee expressed disappointment and worry at what was contained in the report.
"If you were a company, you would have gone bankrupt a long time ago," Milupi said.

Milupi said he hoped to see a better report from the institution next year.

Siavonga UPND member of parliament Douglas Syakalima attributed the financial loopholes at UNZA on the doings of some people within the middle management level, whom he said had formed a corrupt vicious circle of collusion and connivance.

Syakalima said the properties that some of these people own were questionable given their salary scales.

And Dr Mwenya admitted that mistakes had been made in the past and that the current management at the institution was working round the clock to bring sanity in its financial aspects.

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Ngondo hosts Milingo's traditional wedding

Ngondo hosts Milingo's traditional wedding
By Christopher Miti in Chipata
Friday September 19, 2008 [04:00]

SCORES of Chipata residents last Sunday converged at All Peoples Congress (APC) president Ken Ngondo’s Mbaula Farm to witness Emmanuel Milingo’s traditional wedding with Maria Sung. The ceremony started around 11:00 hours and ended around 17:00 hours. Chiefs Mnukwa, Chinyaku and Maguya were present at the function.

Other notables were the host, Ngondo, Kasenengwa MMD member of parliament Vera Chiluba Tembo and former Chipata Central FDD member of parliament Mathews Mwale.

Chief Mnukwa said the purpose of the ceremony was to let the people of Eastern Province know that the couple was still together.

“It was a simple function but there were a lot of people who came to witness. Many people spoke and I also spoke at the function. We hope people may benefit from Archbishop Milingo’s contacts because people in rural areas are lacking boreholes and a number of things,” chief Mnukwa said.

He said Paramount chief of the Ngoni, Mpezeni was supposed to attend but could not make it due to other commitments.

When contacted, Mpezeni said he was aware of the ceremony.
“He archbishop Milingo told me about the ceremony because we met when he came to senior chief Nzamane’s palace last Friday,” Mpezeni said.

Kelvin Nkhoma, a Chipata resident who also attended the function, said it was characterised by the Ngoma dance and that archbishop Milingo and his wife were clad in traditional attire.

“It was a normal traditional wedding and the couple was being shown the relatives and they were putting it that all the people of Eastern Province are Milingo’s relatives. At some point archbishop Milingo joined in the Ngoni impis’ dance,” Nkhoma said.

He said archbishop Milingo urged the people to work hard and that they should not rely so much on politicians.

Nkhoma said archbishop Milingo said politicians were there to supplement the people’s efforts in development.

But when contacted to confirm reports that he was host to archbishop Milingo, Ngondo charged that The Post had become another big opposition political party in Zambia.

Ngondo said the issue of Milingo was private.
“There is nothing we can discuss. Your paper has become another biggest opposition political party so we can’t discuss anything because whatever we are going to discuss will be on the negative side,” Ngondo said.

He said it was sad that The Post had concentrated on attacking Vice-President Rupiah Banda whom he described as his brother.

When reminded that Vice-President Banda was not part of the discussion, Ngondo responded: “Still more there is nothing I can discuss with you as long as you remain a Post editor Fred M’membe boy. Forget.”

Ngondo also said he had stopped buying The Post but that he buys other papers.

“Your paper is just attacking Rupiah although he is not answering but you have continued attacking him. That’s why I buy all the papers but I don’t buy your paper now,” said Ngondo.



(TALKZIMBABWE) Cabinet formation hits a snag? Quick fixes not desirable!

Cabinet formation hits a snag? Quick fixes not desirable!
Fri, 19 Sep 2008 10:38:00 +0000

POWER sharing arrangements require a lot of patience and tenacity. Agreeing on the precise allocation of ministries (and hence the balance of power) was never meant to be a simple exercise.

Nelson Chamisa said to SW Radio Africa yesterday: "Zanu PF wants to take all the key ministries, literally rendering the government exclusive… and we are not going to countenance that approach.”

Zimbabweans need to be cautious in their demands on the principals to come up with a quick fix and the political leadership needs to more cautious in responding to suggestive questions from the media.

In Kenya the feuding parties failed to meet an optimistic deadline set by mediators to convene Cabinet. It took almost two months for that process to be completed and the country is still battling with the aftershock of that exercise.

An ill-conceived Cabinet will produced ill-conceived programmes.

The events of the last few months have wearied the electorate. Supersonic speed is the last thing on their mind. “Tambosvika patasvika sei? Saka tomhanyirei?”

An exhausted and traumatized nation needs a solid Cabinet. An exhausted leadership will produce a sub-optimal Cabinet. Let them take the necessary time, for now. We have endured ten years of acrimony and battling between the two parties. Ten days or an extra week will not kill us. Patience is a virtue.

The Zimbabwean crisis has deep roots and "quick fixes" will bring new problems. We cannot paper over the crisis' deep roots after having achieved so much already.

We have two options: wait patiently or have the leaders’ noses in the trough without resolving deeper issues. I take the former.

I take the former because the likelihood of losing sight of longer-term strategies is minimized.

This recent snag is a brutal reminder of the problems we face in formulating independent policy in Zimbabwe – independent from Western influence.

Whatever else we might choose to say about this, we cannot ignore the simple fact that Zimbabweans have not got value for the investment that has been channeled into the country previously, or the policies that have been drafted from London or Washington.

So when we make the next move, let’s tread with caution.

It's ironic that hitting a snag in negotiation makes most of us angry and frustrated, yet was itself fed, in part at least, by frustration and anger.

It seems that almost every day there are negative stories about the unity deal in Zimbabwe. These stories paint a dark and dreary picture of our affairs in Zimbabwe and the problems grab our attention. We want them fixed and fixed instantaneously. No we shouldn’t! We must focus on them – focus on the real problems, not just the symptoms.

There’s no magic wand in solving our problems, even the critics only criticize and not proffer solutions.

The immediacy of our problems can make us lose sight of the broader picture and the longer term. We shouldn't fall for it. Zimbabweans have suffered long enough since the Pioneer Column and the dark forces have dealt a huge blow on our people.

The resource challenges the negotiators face are enormous. The pain and bad blood that exists “pavana vemunhu mumwechete” have to be fixed before the policy issues are tackled and fixed. The pressure coming from the West is significant, the sanctions are biting (and we all now agree).

As the electorate with a multitude of demands, we cannot have it both ways. On one hand we want long-term strategies and solutions, yet expect politicians to come up with quick fix solutions that score easy political points, on the other.

The irony is that our cynicism as the electorate will only be overcome by a credible process which delivers a genuinely firm foundation upon which to rebuild the institutions and recover our economy.

Our confidence in the political process is already at a low ebb partly because of the effects of previous quick fixes.

If we want to see lasting progress made then we need to allow a serious, intensive and inclusive process to take place which can actually address all of the barriers to the progress of our great nation.

We all know that the structural, internal and external problems which plague our country are still there.

The new all-inclusive Government simply cannot afford to take short-cuts to get the country back on the road, knowing that the wheels will inevitably come off at the next bump.

It would be reckless to attempt to rebuild the economy, without addressing those weaknesses as part of the process.

How cheap and uncaring will the politicians be if the new all-inclusive Government was to opt for the political quick fix?

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(TALKZIMBABWE) Principals fail to agree on cabinet configuration

Principals fail to agree on cabinet configuration
Ralph Mutema
Thu, 18 Sep 2008 15:53:00 +0000

ZIMBABWE’S principals to the all-party talks failed Thursday to agree on who will get which key ministries in a new unity government and have referred the matter back to negotiators, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party told AFP news agency.

"The meeting did not produce an agreement and the matter has been referred to the negotiators because of contestations over key ministries," AFP quoted Nelson Chamisa, spokesman for the MDC-T as saying.

President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister-designate Arthur Mutambara failed to reach an agreement over which ministries each party will control.

An opposition source close to the negotiations was quoted by AFP on condition of anonymity as saying: “Zanu PF wants all the powerful ministries like finance, defence, local government and information and leave is less important ministries.”

“We are saying: 'Let's have an equal share'.”

It (the meeting) has now been “postponed indefinitely” – according to a ruling party insider privy to the talks although he would not be drawn into whether the delay spelled trouble for the new power-sharing deal.

A senior Zanu PF source told the Zimbabwe Guardian Thursday afternoon that the meeting was postponed over “MDC greed” adding that the MDC-T leader was “demanding all the key ministries” including finance and economy, information, agriculture and home.

“This party (Zanu PF) will never give in to such greedy demands from an opposition party,” continued the insider. “We have already given in to many demands by Tsvangirai and it seems if you give him an inch he takes a yard.”

It is not clear whether this thinking is reflective of President Mugabe’s position with regards to the unity deal.

It is now unlikely that any meeting will take place any time soon as President Mugabe is leaving for New York to attend the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly which was formally opened yesterday.

Opposition sources said the agreement on cabinet configuration should have signed held before President Mugabe travels to New York.

President Mugabe, in an address broadcast live on Zimbabwe TV yesterday, was unequivocal about Zanu PF’s position in the unity agreement. He said, although he wanted the unity deal to work, because he had won the runoff presidential election on June 27, his party remained in “the driving seat” and “will not tolerate any nonsense from our new partners.”



(NEWZIMBABWE) Britain's other black farmer almost arrested after he's mistaken for a thief

Britain's other black farmer almost arrested after he's mistaken for a thief
By Staff Reporter
Posted to the web: 17/09/08 01.57:21

SPARE a thought for David Mwanaka, said to be one of only two black farmers in Britain. Twice last Saturday and Monday this week, the Zimbabwean was almost arrested after neighbours seeing him on his Leicester farm called 999 to report some THIEVES in a cornfield.

“It’s a bit of a bad spot for a black man,” Mwanaka said of the 10-acre strip of farmland in the Rothley Village, just outside Leicester. “It’s behind houses in a small village where everyone probably knows everyone, and when a black man is seen in a cornfield busily harvesting maize, he easily passes for a thief because he is not expected to be there.”

On Saturday, Mwanaka got a rude shock when police arrived in FOUR patrol cars to capture the “corn thieves”. He was with his wife, Brenda, and an employee, Edward Sibanda.

“The cops came out of the cars and said they had received a report that we were stealing corn,” Mwanaka told New “They were not ready to believe that a black man could be farming at this particular place.”

After a 45-MINUTE grilling and police checks, Mwanaka was given the all clear to continue harvesting.

“All the while, as the police were questioning me, a small group of neighbours, presumably the people who made the report, watched from a distance. I wonder what they thought when the police left without arresting us.”

Mwanaka thought that was the last of the incident. But he was wrong.

“On Monday, I was just dropping some maize at the edge of the field and a police car pulled up,” he said. “It was the same script: someone had reported that I was stealing maize. We went through the same drill again as on Saturday. I must have spent 40 minutes trying to prove I am just a farmer just going about his business.”

Finally, the police established he was not a thief and made their apologies before leaving.

“A very friendly neighbouring farmer, white of course, told the police that the next time they get a report of black people stealing maize, they should ignore it. If the thieves are white, they should respond. I found that an interesting solution to this little problem,” said the 41-year-old father of three.

A spokesperson for Leicestershire police said: “Police were called to land off Mountsorrel Lane, in Rothley at 9.47am on Saturday, September 13 after a report of a suspected theft.

“Two further calls regarding suspicious activity at the land were received at 8.32am on Monday, September 15 and 8.30am today (Wednesday).

“On all occasions officers attended the scene and after initial investigations they were satisfied that there were no suspicious circumstances.”

Mwanaka, who moved to the UK 14 years ago, missed white maize so much that he began growing it in a field near Enfield, London – defying expert opinion that “you can’t grow white maize in the United Kingdom”. He has grown to become one of Britain's most successful small farmers, supplying white sweet corn to Sainsbury’s and soon Harrods.

He grows a variety of African fresh produce including white maize, pumpkins and pumpkin leaves, groundnuts, choumoellier (kale) and sweet potatoes on a 20 acre piece of land in Enfield, on the north-eastern outskirts of London. This year, Mwanaka sought more land and got another 10 acres in Leicester.

The former journalist who quit his job as a bank worker in 2002 to go into full time farming has also recently opened a butchery in Enfield which also sells African food products.

If you wish to buy any of Mwanaka’s farm food products call 01992 765668, 07708 572914 or 07859 813238 or visit their shop on 619 Hertford Road, Enfield, London, EN3 6UP

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(TALKZIMBABWE) Principals fail to agree on cabinet configuration

Principals fail to agree on cabinet configuration
Ralph Mutema
Thu, 18 Sep 2008 15:53:00 +0000

ZIMBABWE’S principals to the all-party talks failed Thursday to agree on who will get which key ministries in a new unity government and have referred the matter back to negotiators, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party told AFP news agency.

"The meeting did not produce an agreement and the matter has been referred to the negotiators because of contestations over key ministries," AFP quoted Nelson Chamisa, spokesman for the MDC-T as saying.

President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister-designate Arthur Mutambara failed to reach an agreement over which ministries each party will control.

An opposition source close to the negotiations was quoted by AFP on condition of anonymity as saying: “Zanu PF wants all the powerful ministries like finance, defence, local government and information and leave is less important ministries.”

“We are saying: 'Let's have an equal share'.”

It (the meeting) has now been “postponed indefinitely” – according to a ruling party insider privy to the talks although he would not be drawn into whether the delay spelled trouble for the new power-sharing deal.

A senior Zanu PF source told the Zimbabwe Guardian Thursday afternoon that the meeting was postponed over “MDC greed” adding that the MDC-T leader was “demanding all the key ministries” including finance and economy, information, agriculture and home.

“This party (Zanu PF) will never give in to such greedy demands from an opposition party,” continued the insider. “We have already given in to many demands by Tsvangirai and it seems if you give him an inch he takes a yard.”

It is not clear whether this thinking is reflective of President Mugabe’s position with regards to the unity deal.

It is now unlikely that any meeting will take place any time soon as President Mugabe is leaving for New York to attend the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly which was formally opened yesterday.

Opposition sources said the agreement on cabinet configuration should have signed held before President Mugabe travels to New York.

President Mugabe, in an address broadcast live on Zimbabwe TV yesterday, was unequivocal about Zanu PF’s position in the unity agreement. He said, although he wanted the unity deal to work, because he had won the runoff presidential election on June 27, his party remained in “the driving seat” and “will not tolerate any nonsense from our new partners.”

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