Saturday, October 25, 2008

It’ll be a scandal to have a mediocre president like Banda, charges HH

It’ll be a scandal to have a mediocre president like Banda, charges HH
Written by Lambwe Kachali in Mwinilunga
Saturday, October 25, 2008 10:20:12 PM

UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has charged that it will be a scandal for Zambia to have a mediocre president like Vice-President Rupiah Banda because he was just poached from the farm.

And UPND vice-president Richard Kapita threatened that there will be no peace if the October 30 presidential election is rigged in favour of Vice-President Banda.

Meanwhile, UPND North-Western provincial coordinator Patrick Kangwa said the province has rejected Vice-President Banda because he does not inspire confidence in them.

Addressing a rally at Mwinilunga's Freedom Square, Hichilema said it was shameful that Vice-President Banda at his age could be seeking the presidency of Zambia.

Hichilema, who consistently referred to Vice-President Banda as ba malume [uncle], said neighbouring countries would laugh at Zambians if they elected an old and finished politician like Vice-President Banda. He said there was nothing Vice-President Banda could offer Zambians except to perpetuate and accomplish his unfinished selfish political business.

"You people, don't you get angry when these old politicians continue to deny you good education, health, clean water, better roads, and better future for our children. Doesn't this pain you?" Hichilema asked. "Personally, my heart bleeds when I see majority citizens suffering while only a few in government have developed huge tummies at the expense of taxpayers' money.

This is why I want to change things once you vote for me. It will be a scandal and a taboo for Zambians to elect an old politician like Rupiah Mubwezeni Kumudzi Banda. I believe you are now tired of mediocre leadership and you want better life for your children and the generation to come."

Hichilema told the Mwinilunga residents that once elected as Republican president, he would revive the pineapple industry, which was once a source of employment for the local people. He said he would also ensure the road from Mutanda to Mwinilunga via Zhembe into Angola was tarred, as it would boost trade between Zambia and that country.

"Your vote for Hakainde will put hydro power station for you here, your vote for Hakainde will revive the pineapple industry which will create jobs for our jobless youths. Let those who have failed to create jobs be voted out and allow us to deliver to your expectations," he said.

Hichilema said he forgave Patriotic Front (PF) leader Michael Sata for calling him a calculator boy, saying Sata did not know that Zambia was in a global village where a Republican president required being knowledgeable enough in order to attain the required development.

"A president should live in the light and not in the dark like Mr Sata who doesn't understand how a country's economy should run. You need a president who can articulate issues and convince leaders of developed countries on matters of national interest," Hichilema said.

Earlier, business in Mwinilunga came to a standstill when Hichilema arrived in the town. Thousands of people trooped to see him, as they raised UPND symbols while chanting party slogans and singing anti-MMD songs.

"Mu chikasa, mu chikasa [on the hand, on the hand]," chanted UPND cadres, while others chanted, "we want change."

The flow of traffic was also affected as residents ran in all directions to catch a glimpse of the UPND leader. When Hichilema arrived at the venue of the rally, police had a tough time to control the crowd. In Solwezi, the situation was the same, as UPND cadres could not mind the flow of traffic. Thousands of residents matched and chanted UPND slogans all the way from Solwezi Airport to Kaunda Square, the venue for the rally.

Addressing the rally, Hichilema said once elected all the mines in North-Western Province would be compelled to give contracts to local companies as opposed to the current situation, where he said the mining companies were in the habit of giving contracts to foreign companies.

He urged Solwezi residents not to vote for Vice-President Banda and Sata whom he said wanted to satisfy themselves before the people of Zambia. Hichilema also said it was unacceptable for Zambia to keep relying on imported food and yet the country had vast land.

“If this situation continues, one day they will import poisoned food. When I come to power, for the first three years, farmers will be given free subsidised fertiliser and seed. By so doing, we will reduce the cost of production, the cost of food and consequently the cost of living,” said Hichilema.

And Kapita urged the people of North-Western Province not to be cheated by local government deputy minister Benny Tetamashimba whom he described as a political failure. Kapita also warned MMD that once elections were rigged, there would be no peace in Zambia.

“It has been a habit in Zambia that when the election is rigged, we keep quiet. When MMD steal our money, we remain quiet, when there are no jobs, we are quiet, and when there is poverty we remain quiet. This time the situation will not be the same. If Rupiah and his MMD steal this election, I want to warn them that there will be no peace,” warned Kapita.

“Tetamashimba is deceiving Rupiah that he is controlling the entire North-Western Province. This province does not belong to Tetamashimba and on October 30, Tetamashimba will believe that Rupiah and MMD have no support here.”

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Sata promises not to nationalise mines

Sata promises not to nationalise mines
Written by Patson Chilemba and Mulimbi Mulaliki in Solwezi
Saturday, October 25, 2008 10:19:30 PM

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) president Michael Sata has charged that Vice-President Rupiah Banda is panicking and getting confused.

And Sata has promised not to nationalise the mining industry but enact laws to ensure that investors look after their workers well.

In an interview on Thursday, Sata said he had outsmarted people like MMD spokesperson Benny Tetamashimba, ULP president Sakwiba Sikota and Dr Ludwig Sondashi who claimed that North-Western and Western provinces were no-go areas for him.

He said Tetamashimba, Sikota and Dr Sondashi were prophets of doom who were cheating Vice-President Banda that he was popular. Sata said he had proved his critics wrong because of the overwhelming support he received in places like North-Western and Western provinces, which MMD claimed were 'no-go areas'.

"He's [Vice-President Banda] always panicking because he told me that even Eastern Province is no-go area, so he's getting confused and he has been going backwards and forwards," Sata said.

"The problem is he wants to follow me. When I was in Northern Province, he followed me. We are teaching him politics. Now that he has heard what has happened in Western Province, he wants to go back there."

Sata said people's minds were already made up and Vice-President Banda's desperate last minute attempts would not help matters.

"Probably he's taking money for Mongu-Kalabo road," Sata said.

And addressing a campaign rally in Chavuma on Wednesday, Sata said he would not cut women's breasts as alleged by MMD and UPND. He further dispelled assertions that he would chase people from North-Western and Western provinces to Angola.

Sata said it was sad that instead of explaining their development achievements, MMD were busy manufacturing lies about him.

Sata charged that most members of parliament who came from North-Western Province were 'Judas Iscariots' who had betrayed the people to serve their pockets.

On the same issue, PF spokesperson Given Lubinda said energy minister Kenneth Konga and Vice-President Banda had a lot in common because they both liked dozing when important national issues were being discussed.

"When Kenneth Konga is in Parliament, his duty is to can he represent you?" asked Lubinda.

Lubinda said Dr Sondashi and Tetamashimba were accusing Sata of violence when they were the perpetrators of violence. He said Tetamashimba recently threatened the people of Eastern Province that they would be beaten if they did not vote for Vice-President Banda.

"So who is perpetrating violence between Sata and MMD?" asked Lubinda as people responded with a resounding, "MMD and Rupiah."

In Zambezi and Mwinilunga, Sata promised to revive the pineapple cannery in the area in order to create employment for the locals.

Sata asked Inspector General of Police Ephraim Mateyo to postpone the intended refresher courses for police officers until after elections.

And addressing a massive rally in Solwezi on Thursday, Sata said he was glad that people did not beat him as Dr Sondashi had earlier threatened. He said the people of North-Western Province were not backwards as Tetamashimba had always claimed.

"When I was campaigning in Mufumbwe years back, we went to see a chief and I told him that if you don't bring good and honest leaders to represent North Western Province, this Province will remain backwards," Sata said. "We gave Ludwig Sondashi the ministry of works and supply but instead of developing roads, he started building his own lodges."

Sata said PF in government would develop hydro-power stations as opposed to the current system where most districts depended on diesel engines to generate electricity. He promised to turn Solwezi and Zambezi airports into international airports.

"And we shall search for diamond. If there is diamond in Angola and Congo, then there must be diamonds here," Sata said.

Sata said although he would not nationalise the mines, investors should respect Zambians by offering them decent conditions of service.

He said it was the people who created a peaceful environment for investors.

Sata said PF would provide attractive rural hardship allowances in order to attract most civil servants to work in rural areas.

Sata said PF, if elected to government, would tar the Mumbwa-Kasempa and Kasempa-Kaoma roads.

Sata also charged that UPND president Hakainde Hichilema was too inexperienced to be elected President.

Those who attended the Solwezi rally include former Mufumbwe MMD member of parliament Bert Mushala and former North Western deputy minister David Kambilombilo.

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KK urges reading for transformation

KK urges reading for transformation
Written by Kelvin Tembo
Saturday, October 25, 2008 10:18:43 PM

FIRST Republican president Dr Kenneth Kaunda has said Zambia is still facing challenges of underdevelopment, unemployment and illiteracy.

And Dr Kaunda has urged children to learn to read and write for the purpose of changing, transforming and adding value to life instead of merely being integrated into today’s societal pressures.

During the launch of a book titled Light Beyond Color – Foundations of the Law of Creativity by Wenga Wakula Wachepa (Dr Sichalwe Kasanda), Dr Kaunda said man’s development endeavours could not be meaningful if not guided by God’s hand.

“Many challenges highlighted in the book are not alien to us as the country still faces challenges of illiteracy, hunger, poverty, underdevelopment, disease and unemployment,” Dr Kaunda said.

He said the woes of Africa would not only be erased through knowledge acquisitions and obtaining acclaimed qualifications by our citizens but rather through their understanding, interpretation and application of knowledge and skills learned to meeting survival and development needs and aspirations of the ordinary people.

And Dr Kaunda said children should learn the culture of reading for leisure.

“Wakula Wenga Wachepa has put forth a call-out to all of us to ensure that when they learn how to read and write, they should do it for the purpose of transforming and adding value to life,” he said.

Dr Kaunda said the advantage of doing that would be that children would no longer learn in order to simply memorise and reproduce facts for the sake of passing examinations and seeking nothing but formal employment later in life.

And during the launch of the UNIP digitalised archive system at the party offices on Thursday, Dr Kaunda said the country would be doomed if it did not preserve its heritage, adding that Zambia’s history was very important.

UNIP received 26,000 pounds (about K178 million) from the British Library to digitalise its archives.

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Magande advises against disturbing economic targets

Magande advises against disturbing economic targets
Written by Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Saturday, October 25, 2008 10:17:49 PM

FINANCE minister Ng’andu Magande has urged officers from his ministry and Bank of Zambia (BoZ) to avoid populist tendencies in expenditure during this election period to avoid disturbing economic targets.

After the signing a US$10 million (about K43 billion) Financing Agreement of the Second Economic Management and Development ceremony with the World Bank on Thursday, Magande cited 2006, when the country stayed on course and achieved favourable macroeconomic parameters despite the presidential and general elections.

“2008 happens to be another year of elections due to the demise of the strict and focused commander and guide (president Levy Mwanawasa),” Magande said. “I take this moment to encourage the economic management team and other project officers to continue being effective custodians of the government’s good image, both to the Zambians and to our cooperating partners.

We should continue to guard our best practices that we have learnt in the past and manage the nation’s resources for the benefit of the Zambians. The concession loan I have just signed for, should assist us to stay on course so that our country can attain even higher levels of growth.”

Magande also thanked co-operating partners for the support rendered to the government towards the country’s developmental goals aimed at reducing poverty among Zambians.

He further explained that Second Economic Management and Development credit was a concessional loan to be applied in the implementation of the government’s reform programmes as stipulated in the Fifth National Development Plan.

Magande said the loan had a grace period of ten years with a repayment period of 30 years.

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Foreign investors withdraw $56 million from securities

Foreign investors withdraw $56 million from securities
Saturday, October 25, 2008 10:15:06 PM

FOREIGN portfolio investors have this month withdrawn about US$56 million from the government and private securities causing a sharp depreciation of the kwacha, Bank of Zambia (BoZ) governor Dr Caleb Fundanga has disclosed.

And Secretary to the Treasury Evans Chibiliti has revealed that the recent reduction in fuel prices will result in revenue loss of about K96 billion, the money he said the government would recover by freezing funding to less priority areas on the expenditure side of the budget.

The two officials also told journalists during a joint press briefing on Wednesday that the country might not achieve its targeted seven per cent inflation rate while the growth rate target for this year has been lowered to six from of seven per cent mainly because of external shocks resulting from the current international financial crisis.

Dr Fundanga explained that the local currency had gone through very difficult times this year which have been characterised by late president Levy Mwanawasa’s illness, his eventual death and current political uncertainty in the country owing to the forthcoming presidential election.

The BoZ chief also said the kwacha has tumbled on account of the global financial crisis, which has been felt on the domestic economy through the fall on copper prices as well as flight of portfolio investors.

The local currency has depreciated to trading levels of around K4,300 against the US dollar while copper prices have declined to around US $4,600 per tonne on the metals markets.

“This has not yet been good year…in fact, we have noticed that this month, which has been the most difficult, about US$56 million net has gone out to these portfolio investors whereas in normal month, it used to be plus or minus US$5 million because sometimes they bring in money or take it out,” Dr Fundanga said.

On whether the country would achieve its targeted single digit annual inflation rate for this year, Dr Fundanga said: “Clearly, that objective is very difficult now because we only have November and December remaining. However, its possible that we can, at least, chip off some and still remain with a decent number…it may not be seven per cent…let’s continue working hard.”

And Chibiliti said the Treasury was working out a modality of recovering the revenue loss from some of the recently announced unbudgeted revenue loses through subsidies and fuel tax cuts without borrowing from the market or printing some more notes.

He, however, said the decisions would result in the country’s fiscal deficit to shoot beyond the projected 1.2 per cent.

“The revenue loss is about K96 billion and what that means is that we must reduce expenditure by K96 billion,” Chibiliti said. “If you are going to continue to pursue sound economic management principles, then all the time when revenue is given up, then expenditure must be slashed.”

On the projected seven per cent economic growth rate for this year, Chibiliti expressed confident that basic fundamentals which have been driving the growth in the economy would remain sound.

“We need to be conservative…we need to acknowledge the exchange rate is appreciating, inflation has seen an upsurge. We must acknowledge these impacts,” said Chibiliti. “Even if we are to miss the target of seven per cent, it will not be much…preliminary estimates are that we will be on track to grow by around 6 per cent…”

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Onexim investment in Pangaea to boost capital availability in mining

Onexim investment in Pangaea to boost capital availability in mining
Written by Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Saturday, October 25, 2008 10:12:47 PM

PANGAEA Renaissance

Securities Limited managing director Ceasar Siwale has said the investment by Onexim into Renaissance Capital would help accelerate the availability of capital for Zambian entrepreneurs into the mining sector.

In an interview, Siwale said Onexim’s investment would enable Renaissance Capital to have an increased access to much larger and liquid balance sheet for transactions that could not secure financing for within the Group.

He also said Onexim was a successful name in natural resources sector.

Renaissance Capital is a member of Renaissance Group which operates in the country as Pangaea Renaissance Securities Limited and last week’s deal with Onexim is estimated to be around US$500 million.

“As you know, there are a number of Zambian entrepreneurs that own mining prospecting licences but have not always had access to capital. Onexim has been a success in the natural resource sector. As such it enhances our mining credentials and brings access to the necessary capital required to invest in such opportunities,” Siwale said. “I truly believe that this is the type of development that the African continent needs if we are to continue uplifting the quality of life for our people.”

Siwale also added the investment by Onexim into Renaissance Capital had no direct impact on the daily operations of Pangaea Renaissance.

And commenting on the deal, Renaissance Group chief executive officer and chairman Steven Jennings said the partnership with Onexim only related to Renaissance Capital and other parts of the Renaissance Group were not involved in the transaction.

He, however, said the transaction was not as a result of the current global financial turmoil.

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Chinese company to establish copper mine in Mwinilunga

Chinese company to establish copper mine in Mwinilunga
Written by Mulimbi Mulaliki in Solwezi
Saturday, October 25, 2008 10:11:39 PM

A Chinese mining company has proposed to invest over US $2 billion to establish a copper mine in Mwinilunga District. Zhongui Mining Industry Zambia Limited president Charles Shi said his company will respect the Zambian labour laws and give their workers good conditions of service.

Speaking when he paid a courtesy call on North Western Province Permanent Secretary Jeston Mulando on Wednesday, Shi said their investment in Zambia was as a result of the cordial relationship between the Zambian government and the Chinese government.

“The total coverage area for these two tenements comes to 14,100 square kilometres and if we are granted a licence by the Zambian government, we intend to build mines and concentrators as well as mining compounds,” Shi said.

He said his company would also construct a smelter which will process 300,000 tonnes of copper per year to complement and supplement its mining activities and is also expected to construct a hydro power plant.

And Shi said the current global financial crisis would not affect their planned investment of opening a copper mine in Mwinilunga as his company also receives financial support from the Chinese government.

“Our company is based in Beijing, China and is one of the major players, diversified itself in various investment sectors and has enough resources and asserts to support the project and we have the support of the Chinese government as well. My projection is that the price of copper would still be high despite this global financial crisis,” Shi said.

Shi said his company would follow the labour laws and give workers decent working conditions as a way of attracting them to work very hard.

“The problem I have seen with most of the Chinese companies is the language barrier, because most of the western countries who have invested in Zambia do not have the same problem because you are able to communicate with them unlike Chinese language,” he said.

And Mulando appealed to the Ministry of Mines to cancel all mining prospecting licences held by companies for more than five years without showing any form of mining activities.

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PF boat is sailing on dry land in E/Province, boasts Chenda

PF boat is sailing on dry land in E/Province, boasts Chenda
Written by Maluba Jere, Mutale Kapekele, George Zulu and Christopher Miti
Saturday, October 25, 2008 10:10:31 PM

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) Member of the Central Committee Emmanuel Chenda has said the boat is sailing on dry land in Eastern Province but it is unstoppable. And Choma PF district chairperson Golden Nyambe has said Vice-President Rupiah Banda has lost steam and is going into the wilderness alone. Chenda said there was an invisible flood in Eastern Province and that the PF boat was sailing on dry land.

He said his party was concerned with the high poverty levels in most parts of the country and accused the MMD government of failing to address real issues affecting people.

"They should not take advantage of the poor whose needs they have failed to address for so many years. The PF is concerned with uplifting the people's lives," he said.

Chenda said the PF was not bothered by, paramount chief of the Ngoni, Mpezeni's directive that his subjects should vote for Vice-President Banda in next Thursday's presidential election.

Chenda said PF would emerge victorious in the Eastern Province as well as other parts of the country even without Mpezeni's support.

He said the results in the recently held Kanchibiya by-election where PF won the parliamentary seat was an indication that the party was stronger and had tremendous support from people.

"If you remember, some chiefs in Northern Province in the run-up to the Kanchibiya by-election endorsed the MMD but we still beat them by a very wide margin so, we are not moved by those announcements. We will still carry the day," Chenda said.

And in Choma in an interview on Thursday evening, Nyambe said it was unfortunate that Vice-President Banda was surrounded by people that were fired by late president Levy Mwanawasa.

"He [Vice-President Banda] has lost steam and he is going into the wilderness alone, what a pity!" Nyambe said. "A person's success is determined by people he surrounds himself with. He is carrying all the rotten eggs of the MMD hoping that they will be fresh by the time he cooks them. There is no better way to fail than having such a crowd surrounding you."

Nyambe also said Vice-President Banda should account for the public funds he was using on non-government officials accompanying him on his campaigns.

He said the PF, if elected into government, would request Vice-President Banda to account for the public funds.
"When we form government on November 1, we will need answers as to where the MMD and [Vice-President] Banda in particular, got the money to cater for non-government officials who are accompanying him," Nyambe said.

"We can't have people like [FDD leader] Edith Nawakwi, [former works and supply minister] Ludwig Sondashi and [ULP leader] Sakwiba Sikota using our public resources. That is immoral and we are not going to tolerate it. He [Vice-President Banda] will have to answer for that. "

And Southern Province PF campaign manager, Wilbur Simuusa, called on the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to be more professional and pro-active in resolving electoral concerns raised by stakeholders.

In an interview in Monze, Simuusa said the spirit of not taking Zambians seriously on matters of elections was a source of concern in the nation.

Simusa said there was need for ECZ to dispel all the concerns raised before the election day to guarantee the electorate an atmosphere that would allow for free, fair and transparent and accommodative polls.

Simuusa, who is also PF Nchanga member of parliament, said it was unfortunate that chiefs in Eastern and Southern provinces had abandoned their position of advisers and opted to be partisan.

He said it was sad that some traditional leaders and associations in Southern and Eastern provinces had abandoned their traditional role of helping their subjects to make informed decisions.

In Chipata, former Chipangali UNIP member of parliament Lucas Phiri, who is now campaigning for Sata, warned MMD election agent Benny Tetamashimba not to play with Easterners because they were not his tribal cousins.

"I want to warn Teta... that he is not supposed to take people for granted. He is not our cousin, he is our brother so he should stop doing that. Secondly, in politics, we don't say that because this person comes from this region then you expect hundred per cent vote.

Rupiah Banda should not expect hundred per cent because if there are people who know Rupiah Banda very well it's us Easterners. We know his weaknesses. We know where he can't deliver," Phiri said.

Phiri said Easterners had already made an independent decision to vote for an action-oriented man, Sata, who could deliver. Tetamashimba, during a campaign trail in Eastern Province, urged Easterners to vote for Vice-President Banda, their son, adding that they would be beaten and regarded useless if they did not do so.

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MMD cadres complain over Rupiah’s hurried Kabwe rally

MMD cadres complain over Rupiah’s hurried Kabwe rally
Written by Mwala Kalaluka in Kabwe
Saturday, October 25, 2008 10:09:11 PM

SOME MMD cadres on Thursday complained over the manner in which their presidential candidate Vice-President Rupiah Banda hurriedly addressed them during a public rally held at Kabwe Civic Centre.

And Vice-President Banda said Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata will see blue everywhere he goes now and after next week's presidential election.

Meanwhile, police officers in Keembe swung into action and removed a lone PF cadre who was spotted dressed in his party t-shirt at a shop a few metres from where Vice-President Banda was expected to address the rally.

In Kabwe, as Vice-President Banda was winding up his short-spaced address, some of the MMD cadres in front of the pulpit complained that he had not addressed some of the issues they expected him to touch on.

"Nanga fertiliser, tamwalandepo? [What about the issue of fertilister, won't you say anything?]," asked one of the cadres, as Vice-President Banda explained to the audience that he was sorry he had to rush.

Vice-President Banda then thanked the people that had supported him in the run-up to the presidential poll and he reiterated his commitment to better the lives of Zambians once elected into office and to continue late president Levy Mwanawasa's programmes.

"I am so glad to hear you say my full names are Rupiah Bwezani Banda Mwanawasa," he said amidst cheers.

And Vice-President Banda said the MMD's blue colours would overwhelm Sata before and after the presidential campaigns.

"When he is sleeping and touring, Sata will just see blue," he said. "There will be blue everywhere, not just now but even after the elections."

Before concluding his speech, Vice-President Banda performed a quick dance and the National Anthem was sung before the crowd dispersed with some expressing mixed feelings about the rally whilst others expressed confidence that the MMD would win next week's election.

As the crowd left the Civic Centre into Freedom Way, they were met by some PF cadres shouting "Pa bwato, pa bwato."

And Vice-President Banda was earlier in the day expected to address a public rally in Keembe in Chibombo but the programme was abandoned following the death of chieftainess Chitanda.

However, scores of MMD cadres had been ferried from various parts of the constituency to Keembe Farm Training Institute grounds from as early as 09:00 hours to attend the rally.

Central Province Permanent Secretary Denny Lumbama confirmed that chieftainess Chitanda died on October 19, 2008 after a short illness and that burial is expected to take place today.

But on Thursday, October 23, 2008, the MMD had planned to hold a public rally at Keembe, as part of Vice-President Banda's campaign trail in Central Province.

According to the programme, Vice-President Banda held his first rally in Mumbwa and was expected in Keembe around midday but around 15:00 hours whilst his motorcarde was waiting to receive him at a nearby school, information filtered through that the Chibombo rally had been cancelled and that the MMD candidate was flying straight to Kabwe to address another public rally.

The MMD cadres were seen dispersing from the ground where the rally was supposed to have taken place, heading for the nearby shops and taverns, as Vice-President Banda's motorcade drove away empty to Kabwe.

Earlier, during their long wait some MMD cadres were heard directing their colleagues to ensure that as soon as the rally starts, children should not be allowed to sit in front lest they be captured by The Post photographers.

Meanwhile, a team of uniformed and plain-clothes police officers working on a complaint from some MMD cadres, earlier pulled out Newton Chilunga from the group of people that were sitting outside the shop and asked him why he was trying to be provocative.

As they led him away to the nearby police post, the security officers told Chilunga to take off the PF T-shirt on grounds that it might provoke the MMD cadres that were waiting for Vice-President Banda's arrival at the rally grounds from Mumbwa.

When he came out from the police station, Chilunga was wearing his PF T-shirt inside-out.

Chilunga, who confirmed that he was a PF cadre, narrated in an interview shortly that he was not a resident of Keembe and was just in transit to his home village within Keembe Ward and he was not aware that there would be an MMD rally at Keembe.

"I was cautioned by the police that I should remove this (PF) t-shirt. They said I should go back home or I call for another t-shirt from someone else," Chilunga said. "I was not put in the cell but I was given a chance to take off this T-shirt."

However, Chilunga said he felt that the action by the police and the MMD cadres was just harassment.
"I did not know the police could handle me like this," complained Chilunga.

But Keembe MMD youth chairman, a Mr Chikatu, who confirmed having reported the matter to the police said Chilunga was embroiled in arguments with some MMD officials whilst dressed in his PF regalia.

"I was with my council chairman for Chibombo and when we came I just observed that there was a conflict between him (Chilunga) and one of our councillors.

He said ' I am PF and I am doing this deliberately because I can't fear anybody," said Chikatu who was reluctant to disclose his full names to The Post. "When I saw that conflict, I wanted to bring peace by telling him that it was wrong for him to start arguing here and then he started arguing with one of my colleagues again."

Chikatu refuted Chilunga's claims that he had been victimised.

"He is not a victim and what I did was that I told him to get out of this place and change what he was wearing because people might see that he was trying to confuse the situation.

If you start arguing with the MMD when you are dressed in a PF T-shirt, they will say you have been sent to spy," said Chikatu. "So what I did was that I called police officer Muloongo to come and advise."

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(LUSAKATIMES) Analysis: Questions for General Miyanda

Analysis: Questions for General Miyanda
October 24, 2008
By Mingeli Palata

Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda stands as one of Zambia’s most honest and upright politicians with a political history springing from as way back as the Kaunda days when he was believed to have been unfairly dismissed. He was part of what I like to call the young turks or founding members of the Movement for Multi Party Democracy and was part of the first MMD Government.

Over the years the General has earned himself an honest reputation of integrity, financial strictness and of course an unwavering desire to serve this country as President. The man served fairly well as Vice President and as Education Minister among other portfolios he held. The general strikes me as a very interesting individual. Why? When he left the military he started a taxi business while rising through the ranks of the Movement for Multi Party Democracy. Godfrey is a devout Christian and if you would like to know he was a strong supporter of Zambia’s declaration as a Christian nation.

Miyanda served in the Chiluba Government up until the infamous third team bid. He, along with other Minsters and Members of parliament left the Movement to form the FDD and HP. He made his first appeal to the Zambian people to vote him as President in the year 2001. In his campaign, he sold integrity, zero tolerance to corruption and a rather strange village concept.

The General’s presidential bid was not as he had hoped. He didn’t do too badly though. He got 4 MPs to his name and around 7.4% of the Zambian vote. That’s good for a man who rarely smiles.

In the years that followed, the General’s MPs were ‘stolen’ from him by the MMD and he gradually lost ground among the electorate. But then again, the General has bounced back on the political arena asking us to vote him as President in the year 2006. His bid again was unsuccessful. Interestingly the man was rumoured to have disappeared after the elections. I doubt if that rumour was true, but it surely goes a long way to tell you about how the general public perceives him.

It is true that the General is making an honest plea to the Zambians to vote him in as president and that he has the best of intentions at heart (I hope), but there are a few questions that I strongly feel you as a voter have to think about before the polls.

The General served during what has come to be known as the dark ages, the first ten years during which the MMD ruled this country. Independent scholars and indeed the general Zambian populace reckon that the period was marred by gross mismanagement, job losses, closure of industries and corruption. If there is a period most Zambians regret it’s that ten year period. Now notice that during Chiluba’s ten year rule, General Miyanda never resigned nor did he condemn whatever was taking place there. When the late President Mwanawasa was not happy with the way FTJ was ruling the country, he resigned from the Vice Presidency and later challenged Dr. Chiluba at the MMD convention. When Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewankia was not happy with the way government was being run, he resigned on principle. Doesn’t the fact that Miyanda never resigned from the 10 year long MMD government make his supposed integrity compromised?

General Miyanda sells his ‘integrity’ as one of the reasons why we should vote for him. I am sure with integrity comes strong belief in a set of principles and values, which a person of integrity would never ever compromise. Let’s say the General does not condone corruption and mismanagement of public funds; how come he served in a government that is believed to have been characterised with the very vices he stands against? Let’s make another assumption and say that the General was not part and parcel of the alleged corruption and mismanagement, so he was not part of it. If he was not part of it but knew like we all did that those vices were taking place, what does that say about his courage, convictions and indeed his ‘integrity’? Why couldn’t he stand up against what was taking place? The last thing Zambia needs is a leader who can’t stand his ground.

Recently, the General was interviewed by Mr. Kenneth Maduma on Radio Phoenix and the same questions were posed. In response the General said he believes in the rule of the majority. He said he came out strong on most of the wrong things the Chiluba government did and when it came to the vote and he lost; he always respected the majority. I thought that was a lame excuse.

What surprises most Zambians is just how the General ‘disappears’ so to speak and goes into Political insolvency and manages to resurface just when we are having an election. The general can be silent for five years and just pop up when its election time. The same was the case in this Presidential by Election; the general came from nowhere and said he was standing. The role of an opposition political party in a democracy is to provide checks and balances for the ruling party. An opposition political party is supposed to critique what government is doing, it is supposed to provide alternative solutions to that of government, yes an opposition political party is supposed to speak for the voiceless, the vast poor majority of Zambians. I am not sure the Heritage Party and its leader have done that. The General is too quiet on various issues that affect the common man in the country. I don’t know if he can blame anyone for thinking he doesn’t care about the plight of the Zambian people. I don’t know if he can cry foul if one was to think that he is out of touch with the reality of the Zambian situation.

The Heritage party is also yet to qualify its relevance to mainstream Zambian politics. Unlike other political parties, the HP remains dormant for five years then suddenly reappears when its lection time. The HP will never hold a rally to speak against a proposed increase in salaries and allowance for constitutional office bearers. The party’s structure and activities are not known to the average Zambians. I don’t remember hearing the HP holding internal elections for its office bearers and that speaks volumes on HPs internal democracy. If an opposition political party led by an army General is not known to hold regular internal elections then would we be wrong to conclude that the party has dictatorial attributes? Would the Zambians be wrong not to trust the General to defend their country’s democracy?

Other than the General’s strange personality, there is a lot more he needs to do to win our vote than just claiming that Rupiah Banda was sent by the late President to ask him to be his successor. He needs to remove the fear factor from the Zambian minds and asking photographers not to take pictures of him during a radio phoenix interviews is not the way to do it.

Allow me to end by quoting the late Anthony Kunda, a former Lusaka based BBC reporter who had a one on one interview with the General and wrote;

‘Another criticism is that he can appear dogmatic and overly strict, liking to do things his way and no other. ‘

‘When I have interviewed him as a journalist I have found him to have rather a severe personality. He rarely smiles. ‘

‘He can also be quite forceful. The last time I went to interview him he demanded to see what was in my notebook, to check that what I was writing was what he actually said. ‘

‘Although he was really very insistent I managed to keep my notes to myself on that occasion. ‘

‘Mr Miyanda, 56, was removed from the army some 20 years ago after being accused of involvement in a failed military coup in 1980. He was subsequently cleared of all the charges.

Although he has never lived in a village, he professes a deep respect for village life and village values.

So deep is this respect that his party’s political philosophy is called “The village concept.” ‘

‘Unfortunately not many people understand what this rather vague notion means, least of all some members of the Heritage party itself. If he can get Zambians to understand it between now and the polling day, he might just get the top job. ‘

Editor’s Note

The Author wishes to acknowledge the error made in the previous article where he stated that Bob Sichinga was the UPND’s Vice President at the time of the Late Anderson Mazoka’s death. This was not the case. Kindly accept the apologies.

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(LUSAKATIMES) KCM demands 40 % discount from suppliers

KCM demands 40 % discount from suppliers
October 23, 2008

Mine suppliers on the Copperbelt have complained over the 40 per cent discount announced by Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) early this week for every order given to suppliers.

Speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Ndola today, one of the suppliers, Thomas Banda, who is also proprietor of Honanda Zambia Limited, said the move will make the local suppliers unprofitable because they bear a lot of costs in purchasing mining equipment which they supply because they order almost all the equipment from outside the country.

Mr Banda called on government to intervene on the matter to ensure that local suppliers can benefit from the mining industry.

He said the move seems to be one of the company’s ways of cushioning the impact of the dropping copper priceS on the international market and the global financial crisis on it.

Mr Banda noted that it would be unfair for KCM to directly transfer the negative impact of the business crisis to suppliers who are already struggling in business.

He further observed that the major mining companies on the Copperbelt rarely gave orders to local suppliers in preference to foreign suppliers.

Early this week, KCM announced that it will demand a 40 per cent discount for a supply orders it awards to suppliers.

And Roan Constituency Patriotic Front Member of parliament, Chishimba Kambwili, yesterday strongly condemned the demand by KCM, as it would push the local suppliers out of business.

Copper prices on the international market have continued to spiral downwards with the price standing in the range of $4,000 to about $5,000 from about $8000 in the past few years.

The drop in the copper prices coupled with the global financial crisis is likely to affect the operations of the mines and force them to make desperate operational adjustments for them to continue making prices.


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(GreatZimbabweNews) More MDC-T violence lies exposed

More MDC-T violence lies exposed
20 July, 2008 02:29:00 Chris Chivinge

On July 9, 2008, when all the damage has been done, The New York Times, one of the newspapers that published the photograph of the 11-month-old baby in casts, admits it had lied On June 26, a day before Zimbabwe’s Presidential Election runoff, the world woke up to Western falsehoods suggesting that violence in Zimbabwe had reached unprecedented levels. To back up the claim was a small crowd of people who had sought refuge at the US embassy. The people were falsely portrayed as victims of political violence. The falsehoods of violence resonated in the Western media from New York to London.

To bring attention to the violence falsehoods, a picture of an 11-month-old baby with legs in plaster of Paris was splashed on the pages. All the newspapers screamed the baby had suffered broken bones at the hands of Zanu-PF militia because its parents were MDC-T supporters.

While the MDC-T supporters were seeking refuge outside the US embassy, MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai was a guest at the Dutch embassy. He claimed he feared for his life. But analysts contend this was a move designed to ensure that Mr Tsvangirai’s handlers had better control of him.

Today, as the inter-party dialogue is underway, the MDC-T still holds onto its claims of violence and political intimidation. Mr Tsvangirai claims more than 2,000 of his supporters have been abducted by security agents and more than 120 murdered in post June 27, presidential election runoff violence.

Ahead of the runoff, Mr Tsvangirai claimed more than 200 of his supporters had been killed. This contrasted sharply with official police reports which indicated that 31 people had been killed in political violence cases between March 29 and June 10, 2008.

One of the “missing” persons, MDC-T councillor for Goromonzi Ward 20, Cllr Romeo Mugadza has expressed shock at the fact that he had been reported missing. Cllr Mugadza said he has been staying in Mutare with his wife, Juliet.

It all began when an MDC-T supporter Lazarus Ndlovu reported to police in Goromonzi on July 2 that Cllr Mugadza had been abducted by Zimbabwe National Army soldiers on June 23 and a missing persons record 5/08 was entered.

Police spokesman Chief Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka said subsequent investigations revealed that Cllr Mugadza had been arrested on June 24 on allegations of violence and released on summons on June 26. He was a free man and cast his vote on June 27 and attended the swearing in ceremony of Goromonzi Rural District Council.

“Tsvangirai and his Western backers would like the world to believe Zimbabwe is a violent country with no regards for human rights. They would like to hoodwink the world into believing President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF government are guilty of orchestrating violence.

“When such evidence is not available, they make it up or act it. It is sad when one sees innocent Zimbabweans, including children being used as apparatus in such wicked acts,” said a political analyst in an interview with Great Zimbabwe News Online.

On July 9, 2008, when all the damage has been done, The New York Times, one of the newspapers that published the photograph of the 11-month-old baby in casts, admits it had lied and places the blame on the mother’s baby.

A front-page picture caption on June 26 describing an 11-month-old boy whose legs were in casts stated that his legs were broken and that his mother said the injuries were caused by an episode of state-sponsored violence in Zimbabwe.

"After the picture and an accompanying article that also described the injuries were published, The New York Times took the boy to a medical clinic in Harare for help. When the casts were removed, medical workers there discovered the boy had club feet. Doctors said on Monday that X-rays of the baby’s legs showed no evidence of bone fractures.

“The mother subsequently admitted that she had exaggerated injuries…

“…The mother, however, later told The Times that the boy had been wearing casts even at the time of the attack, as part of a treatment he had received for his club feet at a different medical facility. She said she misrepresented the boy’s injuries to generate help because she could not afford corrective surgery for the boy,” said the New York Times in its retraction.

The same crowd, that was at the US embassy, had earlier on camped outside the South African Embassy.

They were used as part of a cast for a choreographed story of violence with US embassy staff including the US ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr James McGee as the directors.

The reports on violence of MDC-T supporters have surprisingly, increased ahead of any crucial meetings where Zimbabwe is supposed to be discussed, be it at the UN Security Council, the European Union, African Union or Sadc. The media grandstanding events in Zimbabwe have been echoed in the corridors of White House in Washington DC and No. 10 Downing Street.

“Cllr Mugadza is an honourable man. He has come out in the open to distance himself from claims that he had been abducted by ZNA members. The MDC-T owes the nation an apology. Its claims of missing persons are unfounded.

“They are a deliberate lie meant to feed the Western rumour mill and justify British and American sanctions against Zimbabwe.

“Such deliberate lies are not being deployed against Zimbabwe alone. We have seen it against Iraq and claims that there were weapons of mass destruction. But after the illegal invasion, there were no weapons of mass destruction. Both the British and US government agreed that they had “sexed-up” their dossiers to justify their attack,” said a political commentator.

A number of MDC-T elect officials have been on the police wanted list for engaging in acts of violence during the run-up to the June 27 presidential election runoff. Most of these have gone underground in their bid to escape from facing the full wrath of the law.

“The MDC-T claims of violence against its members are not true. What is true is the fact that MDC-T is a violent party. This has been made worse by the presence of Rhodesian security agents, including remnants of the infamous Selous Scouts in its ranks,” said a Johannesburg political scientist.

Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri on June 20, 2008, gave out statistics relating to political violence.

According to the figures, Comm General Chihuri said: “It is without doubt that between the two political parties the MDC-T and Zanu PF, the MDC-T is the main culprit to the political violence that we are currently witnessing in the country. There are several incidents involving MDC-T party which come to mind. I will highlight just but a few of the incidents that clearly outline who is to blame for political violence in Zimbabwe:

“On March 15, 2008 at Redcliff, Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the MDC-T, deserted a rally after one of his bodyguards stabbed a supporter who had challenged Tsvangirai for imposing a candidate in the March 29 Harmonised elections. Earlier on, Tsvangirai had fled from another rally in Gweru after violence had broken out. Even on the day of the launch of his party’s campaign manifesto at Sakubva stadium in Mutare, violence also broke out among his supporters.

“The culture of violence permeated to Bulawayo as on 29 March 2008 at 0100 hours, MDC-T supporters bombed house Number 2510 Emakhandeni, Bulawayo, owned by the Zanu-PF House of Assembly aspiring candidate for Emakhandeni-Entumbane, Judith Mkwanda.

“Soon after the Harmonised elections and before the announcement of results had been concluded, violence again reared its ugly head in the MDC-T camp in St Marys Chitungwiza. Several people were seriously injured and hospitalised after Marvelous Khumalo the MDC-T candidate for St Marys constituency and his supporters celebrated victory, went with a coffin inscribed ‘Jobless Sikhala – Rest in Peace’ to the house of the MDC candidate Job Sikhala.”

Police have repeatedly challenged the MDC-T leadership to provide evidence for their claims before making false allegations.

“(Mr) Tsvangirai was ill-advised when he announced his pullout despite it being a nullity. He is also being ill-advised when he continues to make embarrassing lies about missing people and deaths of what he claims to be MDC-T supporters. This lie has been exposed so many times.

“It dates back to the days of the false story of the be-heading of a Magunje woman (Brandina Tadyanemhandu) in the presence of her two daughters in 2002. The MDC claimed she was victim number 55 during the year and questioned Zanu-PF’s sincerity in inter-party dialogue.

“What happened of the story? It all turned out to be untrue. The MDC, The Daily News and their entire Western rumour mill were left with egg on their face. It is clear the MDC-T has not learnt from its numerous false stories of murder, kidnapping and political violence.

“Despite being proved to be the source of non-credible information, the Western media is willing to listen and at times, willing and ready to take part in the creation of photo opportunities in order to peddle more falsehoods on Zimbabwe,” said another political scientist.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

(NYTIMES) Greenspan Concedes Error on Regulation

Greenspan Concedes Error on Regulation
Published: October 23, 2008

WASHINGTON — For years, a Congressional hearing with Alan Greenspan was a marquee event. Lawmakers doted on him as an economic sage. Markets jumped up or down depending on what he said. Politicians in both parties wanted the maestro on their side.

Greenspan Prepared RemarksBut on Thursday, almost three years after stepping down as chairman of the Federal Reserve, a humbled Mr. Greenspan admitted that he had put too much faith in the self-correcting power of free markets and had failed to anticipate the self-destructive power of wanton mortgage lending.

“Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked disbelief,” he told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Now 82, Mr. Greenspan came in for one of the harshest grillings of his life, as Democratic lawmakers asked him time and again whether he had been wrong, why he had been wrong and whether he was sorry.

Critics, including many economists, now blame the former Fed chairman for the financial crisis that is tipping the economy into a potentially deep recession. Mr. Greenspan’s critics say that he encouraged the bubble in housing prices by keeping interest rates too low for too long and that he failed to rein in the explosive growth of risky and often fraudulent mortgage lending.

“You had the authority to prevent irresponsible lending practices that led to the subprime mortgage crisis. You were advised to do so by many others,” said Representative Henry A. Waxman of California, chairman of the committee. “Do you feel that your ideology pushed you to make decisions that you wish you had not made?”

Mr. Greenspan conceded: “Yes, I’ve found a flaw. I don’t know how significant or permanent it is. But I’ve been very distressed by that fact.”

On a day that brought more bad news about rising home foreclosures and slumping employment, Mr. Greenspan refused to accept blame for the crisis but acknowledged that his belief in deregulation had been shaken.

He noted that the immense and largely unregulated business of spreading financial risk widely, through the use of exotic financial instruments called derivatives, had gotten out of control and had added to the havoc of today’s crisis. As far back as 1994, Mr. Greenspan staunchly and successfully opposed tougher regulation on derivatives.

But on Thursday, he agreed that the multitrillion-dollar market for credit default swaps, instruments originally created to insure bond investors against the risk of default, needed to be restrained.

“This modern risk-management paradigm held sway for decades,” he said. “The whole intellectual edifice, however, collapsed in the summer of last year.”

Mr. Waxman noted that the Fed chairman had been one of the nation’s leading voices for deregulation, displaying past statements in which Mr. Greenspan had argued that government regulators were no better than markets at imposing discipline.

“Were you wrong?” Mr. Waxman asked.

“Partially,” the former Fed chairman reluctantly answered, before trying to parse his concession as thinly as possible.

Mr. Greenspan, celebrated as the “Maestro” in a book about him by Bob Woodward, presided over the Fed for 18 years before he stepped down in January 2006. He steered the economy through one of the longest booms in history, while also presiding over a period of declining inflation.

But as the Fed slashed interest rates to nearly record lows from 2001 until mid-2004, housing prices climbed far faster than inflation or household income year after year. By 2004, a growing number of economists were warning that a speculative bubble in home prices and home construction was under way, which posed the risk of a housing bust.

Mr. Greenspan brushed aside worries about a potential bubble, arguing that housing prices had never endured a nationwide decline and that a bust was highly unlikely.

Mr. Greenspan, along with most other banking regulators in Washington, also resisted calls for tighter regulation of subprime mortgages and other high-risk exotic mortgages that allowed people to borrow far more than they could afford.

The Federal Reserve had broad authority to prohibit deceptive lending practices under a 1994 law called the Home Owner Equity Protection Act . But it took little action during the long housing boom, and fewer than 1 percent of all mortgages were subjected to restrictions under that law.

This year, the Fed greatly tightened its restrictions. But by that time, the subprime market as well as the market for other kinds of exotic mortgages had already been wiped out.

Mr. Greenspan said that he had publicly warned about the “underpricing of risk” in 2005 but that he had never expected the crisis that began to sweep the entire financial system in 2007.

“This crisis,” he told lawmakers, “has turned out to be much broader than anything I could have imagined. It has morphed from one gripped by liquidity restraints to one in which fears of insolvency are now paramount.”

Many Republican lawmakers on the oversight committee tried to blame the mortgage meltdown on the unchecked growth of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the giant government-sponsored mortgage-finance companies that were placed in a government conservatorship last month. Republicans have argued that Democratic lawmakers blocked measures to reform the companies.

But Mr. Greenspan, who was first appointed by President Ronald Reagan, placed far more blame on the Wall Street companies that bundled subprime mortgages into pools and sold them as mortgage-backed securities. Global demand for the securities was so high, he said, that Wall Street companies pressured lenders to lower their standards and produce more “paper.”

“The evidence strongly suggests that without the excess demand from securitizers, subprime mortgage originations (undeniably the original source of the crisis) would have been far smaller and defaults accordingly far lower,” he said.

Despite his chagrin over the mortgage mess, the former Fed chairman proposed only one specific regulation: that companies selling mortgage-backed securities be required to hold a significant number themselves.

“Whatever regulatory changes are made, they will pale in comparison to the change already evident in today’s markets,” he said. “Those markets for an indefinite future will be far more restrained than would any currently contemplated new regulatory regime.”

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(DAILY MAIL) Copper value can be enhanced through taxes

COMMENT - More specifically, copper prices may be enhanced by tariffs.

Copper value can be enhanced through taxes

GOVERNMENT says value addition to copper will only be created through imposing export taxes on the commodity. Commerce Trade and Industry Minister, Felix Mutati, said people could only be stopped from exporting the copper concentrates through imposing an export tax. Mr Mutati said this in Lusaka at his office during the Zambia-Sweden bilateral consultations with visiting Swedish minister for trade, Ewa Bjorling. He said globally, this move would hurt as the international community was of the view that countries had a liberalised trading system.

“Zambia is not yet there. We need to consolidate and strengthen before the market could be opened up substantially,” he said. Mr Mutati said in the last five years, the trade balance between Zambia and Sweden was in favour of Sweden.

“Most of our mining equipment is procured from Sweden. What Zambia’s exports to Sweden are very marginal about US$500,000 against US$40 million to US$50 million imports from Sweden,” he said.

He said Zambia had been buying transformers from ABB, a Swedish company, since 1964, adding that if ABB could established a presence in Zambia, it would not just capture the local market but supply the entire region.

He said Government felt that technical back-up for mining companies was very low and for complicated solutions, experts had to fly into Zambia.

“It is important to create local after-sales services in core areas where Swedish companies are participating actively in Zambia,” he said.

Mr Mutati said attraction of three to four respectable Swedish international companies, would help the nation improve on her trade and also create value addition.

He said for Zambia to access the European Union (EU) market, value addition to copper was important. He said it was important that Zambia attracted superior Swedish companies.

“The circus of saying we are going to export to Sweden is not working. We need to have a better understanding of the areas of penetration that Zambia should focus on,” he said.

And speaking earlier, Dr Bjorling said her government had adopted a new strategy for development cooperation in Zambia for 2008 to 2011.

She said Sweden was increasing her development cooperation.

“We moved from development aid to global development and much more into aid for trade which is in line with European Union,” she said.

She also asked in which areas Swedish companies could invest in Zambia apart from the mines for the two countries to work together in trade within the development strategy.

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(DAILY MAIL) Two sign $100 million SME deal

Two sign $100 million SME deal
Thursday, October 23, 2008

THE United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited (ABC) have signed a US$100 million credit agreement to enable small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) access loans over a five-year period. This credit enhancement pact would offer new loan opportunities to the SMEs, according to a statement released by the American Embassy yesterday.

The statement said it had been difficult for small-scale businesses and would-be entrepreneurs to get credit in Zambia. It said the Americans would help small-scale Zambian firms to enhance working capital under favourable credit terms. Under the agreement, the US Government would assume 50 per cent of the risk.

It also said the ABC was working to expand into retail lending and open a number of branches over the next two years.

The statement said the US government guaranteed programme would help the bank to expand lending to small-scale Zambian businesses by as much as US$100 million over five years. The agreement is a part of the US government’s commitment to economic empowerment.

The statement says by working with Zambian banks the US intended to help improve Zambia’s competitiveness in agriculture, natural resources and tourism.

It also said small-scale business would be able to expand through greater credit access, adding that this would enhance revenue, bolster tax receipts and fuel economic growth.

USAID mission director, Melissa Williams, said credit was the lifeblood of business.

“These loans will give small-scale businesses the boost they need to grow, thereby creating more jobs for Zambians. Economic growth is key to reducing poverty and is a priority for the American partnership with the Zambian people,” she said.

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(DAILY MAIL) Review parking levy

Review parking levy

THE Lusaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has appealed to the Lusaka City Council to review the parking levy procedure.

LCCI chief executive officer, Gabriel Chingwe, in a statement said the current system where only selected roads in the central business district (CBD) collect the parking levy should be reviewed to capture the whole district without prejudice or discrimination.

Mr Chingwe said currently parking levy was collected mainly from private vehicles, which parked in the CBD. He said other classes of vehicles like Government or parastatal vehicles were not compelled to pay for parking in the CBD.

“We note that public service vehicles pay loading fees which are equivalent to parking levy within the stations that they load from. Hence we propose that the parking levy be collected from all vehicles entering the CBD,” he said.

Mr Chingwe said collection points should be located on all roads entering the CBD citing the three fly-over bridges, Kalambo-Lumumba junction, Mumbwa-Lumumba road junction and the Lumumba-Ben Bella junction.

He said this system would not only decongest the CBD but would also boost the municipality coffers.

He said motorists who are enroute to Lusaka but have nothing to do in the CBD could use other routes.

He said the parking fee could be increased slightly and be paid by all vehicles entering the CBD.

Mr Chingwe cited Britain where former London mayor, Ken Livingstone introduced a bye-law that compelled motorists entering the CBD to pay a toll fee during working hours from 08:00 hours to 17:00 hours.

He said the system has worked very well especially that they now have surveillance cameras installed to capture defaulters who speed away without paying the toll fees.

“We are confident that a complete review of the parking levy system on an equitable basis that is strictly enforced will reduce congestion and also improve the revenue for the local authority,” he said.

Effects to get a comment from the council by press time failed.

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(DAILY MAIL) Zambia freezes non-essential projects

Zambia freezes non-essential projects

ZAMBIA has frozen financing for all non-essential projects and may delay further cuts to fuel taxes to keep its budget deficit below two per cent of gross domestic product, Finance and National Planning Minister, Ng’andu Magande, said on Tuesday.

Zambia is equally feeling the squeeze from the global financial crisis, which has led to a drop in commodities prices and reduced investor interest in emerging markets in Africa and elsewhere.

Mr Magande told journalists after a signing agreement with the United Nations Development Programme in Lusaka for next week’s presidential election that government would only release funds for road construction and other infrastructure projects that were seen as critical to the development of the economy.

“It simply means that for other projects, we are not going to release funds the ministries needed (and) they have to live within the budget,” Mr Magande said.

Zambia had hoped to keep its deficit this year to 1.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), but it conceded last month that it would not reach that target.

Mr Magande said Zambians might have to wait until next year for another drop in the price of petrol.

“When we cut fuel prices in June, we suffered a loss of K120 billion ($31.1 million). This is good because less tax means there will be more economic activity, but I have to find money somewhere to cover the loss,” Mr Magande said.

The bad news was partly offset by the World Bank’s announcement on Monday that it would provide $75.5 million to boost electricity generation in Zambia which is facing a power crisis.

Kapil Kapoor, the World Bank’s country manager for Zambia, said 18,000 additional households would be connected to the national grid as a result of the funding. He noted, however, that Zambia would need up to $2 billion to meet growing power demand from industrial and residential customers.

Only 20 per cent of Zambia’s 12 million people have access to power and only three per cent of those are in rural areas, according to the government. It has targeted raising access to electricity to 50 per cent of the population by 2030.

Officials say Zambia has up to 1,650 megawatts of generation capacity but currently produces only 1,400 megawatts of power due to problems with aging power stations and transmission lines. - REUTERS.

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(DAILY MAIL) EU cautions donors over poll

COMMENT - Is not commenting on the legitimacy of elections before they have been held a courtesy the EU only extends to it's 'friends', or are they learning from their mistakes in Zimbabwe?

EU cautions donors over poll

THE European Union (EU) says it will be wrong for any donor to comment on Zambia’s possibility of having a free and fair Presidential election before the October 30 poll takes place.

EU delegation leader Derek Fee said in Lusaka yesterday that all concerned parties should wait until the outcome of the poll before stating their positions.

Dr Fee was answering questions from journalists at a media briefing held in Lusaka yesterday during the signing and launch of the EU’s contribution agreement for the October 30 presidential election.

At the same function Norwegian ambassador to Zambia Tore Gjos said donors did not want to be influenced into issuing statements by what politicians were saying.

Meanwhile, cooperating partners have launched a response to an urgent electoral assistance request by the Zambian government for the conduct of next week’s poll.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) resident coordinator Macleod Nyirongo said the response was a practical step by Finland, Japan, Norway, Sweden, United States of America, EU and the UNDP to promote development of democracy in Zambia.

Dr Nyirongo said the high-level policy dialogue would continue as the Electoral Commission of Zambia collated lessons learnt from the election.

Dr Nyirongo said elections were a first and critical step for the observance of the rule of law.

He said the success of elections was dependant on legitimacy, efficiency, and effectiveness of institutional frameworks.

Dr Nyirongo said promoting democracy was a critical commitment world leaders undertook during the global summit that adopted the Millennium Development Goals.

“The contribution agreements to the 2008 Presidential Election Trust Fund we have signed today are aimed at providing short term support to critical areas in the conduct of the 2008 presidential election in Zambia,” he said.

Dr Nyirongo said the critical areas of support included voter education, training of electoral officers and procurement of critical electoral materials, training of conflict resolution committees and collating lessons learnt.

Dr Nyirongo hoped both the Zambian government and the Electoral Commission of Zambia had benefited from having a coordinated cooperating partner response.

Norway has contributed US$2.5 million, Sweden (US$ 2.1 million), Japan (US$1.2 million), while Finland and the EU have contributed US$250, 000 and US$1.5 million respectively.

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(DAILY MAIL) Revenge is out RB

Revenge is out RB

ACTING President Rupiah Banda says if elected President he will concentrate his energies on combating poverty and creating employment for Zambians and not fight those attacking him during campaigns. He was addressing a mammoth rally in Kabwe yesterday. Mr Banda said poverty and unemployment levels in Zambia were high and needed a President who would create wealth for the people.

“Once elected as President, I will not have time to fight back at those fighting me. I will dedicate all my efforts to creating employment and fighting poverty among Zambians. I will have no time for vengeance,” he said. Mr Banda said Zambians had many problems like poverty and health and that was where his vengeance would go.

He said whoever would emerge victorious after next week’s elections should be able to function by working hard to improve people’s living standards. Mr Banda urged Kabwe residents to vote for him because he was the only candidate from a party which people gave the mandate to run the affairs of the country up to 2011.

Others contesting the presidency are Mr Michael Sata of the Patriotic Front, Mr Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development and Heritage Party’s Brigadier-General Godfrey Miyanda.

“Neither my cousin Mr Sata nor Hakainde have the numbers that allow them to pass any law in Parliament. But my party (MMD) has 83 members of Parliament. The rest fall far too short,” he said.

And Mr Banda said he was the most experienced person among the four candidates contesting the presidency because he was the only one who had risen through positions up to the level of Vice-President and currently acting President of the country.

“None of the rest can claim to have done anything in terms of experience. I am the only one who can wake up upon being elected on day one and be able to constitute a cabinet for the country.
The rest cannot manage,” he said.

Mr Banda said although a day after being adopted as presidential candidate Mr Sata boasted that he had been given the weakest candidate by the MMD, he (Sata) would be shocked after the election day.

He said after finishing his campaign trail in Central Province, he would go to the Copperbelt and later to Lusaka.

“When I go back to Lusaka, I want to show Mr Sata and Hakainde that I will politically fight them and take them on,” Mr Banda said.

He said the MMD was determined to fulfill the mandate which Zambians gave it in 2006.

“Come October 30, Mr Sata will be able to swallow his words. I want to make sure that when he is sleeping and dreaming, he will just be seeing blue everywhere and not only after elections but
for the rest of his life,” Mr Banda said.

He called on the people of Kabwe to trust him and vote for him because he was determined to deliver.
“I promise the people of Kabwe that we are going to celebrate together after my victory in next week’s elections,” he said.

Earlier in Mumbwa, Mr Banda said the MMD’s campaign message was the continuation of the ‘new deal’ Government’s record of good governance, reports the Zambia News and Information Services.

Addressing a rally at Freedom square in Mumbwa, Mr Banda said the MMD had set realistic targets in fulfilling the aspirations of the people.

He said the MMD did not believe in taking people for granted in the pursuit of political power.

Mr Banda said MMD recognised that there were still many challenges to overcome in national development.
He said this was in spite of the many strides made in health, education, roads and agricultural service provision.

Mr Banda assured Mumbwa residents that the MMD would continue to boost agriculture by subsidising production.

He said this had clearly been illustrated by the reduction in prices of fertiliser from K200,000 to K50,000 through the Fertiliser Support Programme.
He said Government was making concerted efforts in its bid to ensure food security in the nation.



(LUSAKATIMES) Be practical about your promises, presidential hopefuls told

Be practical about your promises, presidential hopefuls told
October 23, 2008

A freedom fighter in Mufumbwe District in Northwestern Province has challenged the opposition political parties who were claiming that they would increase salaries and create jobs within three years to show what method they would use.

Mr. James Katemisha said in Mufumbwe that political leaders should tell people the truth because increasing salaries for workers does not just come like dreams but through the treasury.

Mr. Katemisha questioned those who were promising people that many people would be in employment, where the jobs are going to come from adding that even in London where there are many industries many professionals were still roaming the streets

Mr. Katemisha has since advised electorates to vote for MMD and Rupiah Banda a person who has proved capable to drive the nation to prosperity.

Mr. Katemisha a former UNIP member mentioned that some political parties have nothing to offer because they have not identified themselves with any meaningful program as most of them have already been lined up by the MMD.

He observed that some political leaders who have personal to holder parties have no developmental issues to talk about and as a result they have resorted to insults only.

Mr. Katemisha urged all political parties to work for prosperous Zambia in which the citizens would live in harmony and become more committed to work for the development of the country.

Mr. Katemisha explained that leaders must stop practicing politics of hatred or castigating one another but to move forward.

Mr. Katemisha said Political parties should unite and love one another although they could have different political inclinations but should agree where necessary and work together for the good of the country.


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(LUSAKATIMES) Masebo suspends Chadiza District Council

Masebo suspends Chadiza District Council
October 24, 2008

Local Government and Housing Minister, Sylvia Masebo has suspended Chadiza District Council. The move comes barely two days after Acting President, Rupiah Banda, ordered Ms Masebo to address the water crisis that has faced Chadiza for the past three weeks. The minister has also suspended all grants to the council until competent people are put in office to run the affairs of the council.

Ms. Masebo said the Local Government Ministry will send an auditor to carry out investigations on how the council has been using funds meant for service delivery to the community.

The minister asked the police to guard the council premises until the auditor arrives so that no documents are tampered with.

She further said a qualified Council Administrator will take over the running of the council during the period the council will be on suspension.

Ms Masebo ordered that a special full council meeting be held on Monday to consider the move she has taken.

On the water crisis, Ms Masebo said officials from her ministry will be in Chadiza on Monday and ensure that water supply is stored before the end of next week.

Ms. Masebo who was in the company of Eastern Province Deputy Permanent Secretary, Eurariah Syamujaye, and Provincial Local government Officer, Alex Bwalya, said the Council has failed the people of Chadiza district.

She said Chadiza District Council lacked qualified personnel and management did not seem to know what was expected of them.

The Minister wondered why unqualified people were holding management positions when the country had a lot of university graduates roaming the streets.

Ms. Masebo was incensed at the council management’s inability to answer her questions about how the council had spent government financial grants meant to improve water supply.

She complained that Chadiza District Council’s failure in service delivery was painting a bad picture about her ministry, when the ministry was constantly giving the council money to help the community.

And Chadiza Central Member of Parliament, Allan Mbewe, thanked the minister for suspending the council saying the move was long overdue.

Mr. Mbewe said Chadiza council was standing in the way of development because it was not interested in seeing the district develop.

Mr. Mbewe said he was bound to fail if the current council management continued in office as no development would come to Chadiza.

He said it was embarrassing that Chadiza council was one of the few councils that had not received the Constituency Development Fund on account of not having done retirement of the previous allocation.


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(LUSAKATIMES) COMESA-ECA-SADC concerned about global financial crisis

COMESA-ECA-SADC concerned about global financial crisis
October 24, 2008

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) tripartite Summit of Heads of States and Government which met in Kampala Uganda on 22nd October expressed concern at the current global financial crisis undermining the economic stability of the world.

The Summit, whose theme was ‘Deepening COMESA-EAC-SADC Integration’ noted that the global financial crisis poses a serious threat to the growth of African economies particularly in terms of demand for African exports of goods and services, tourism, foreign direct investment and the achievement of the MDGs.

This is contained in a final communiqué read by Ambassador Juma Mwapachu, the Secretary General of EAC and made available to ZANIS in Lusaka today.

The communiqué noted that the tripartite summit called for a collective action to help African and other developing and least developed countries to address the adverse impact of the financial crisis and the global economic meltdown.

The summit further urged international financial institutions to adopt effective remedial measures to mitigate the risks.

It also noted the continued world food crisis and agreed to make strategic interventions to exploit the potential of African economies in the production of food and enhance accessibility to all markets.

The tripartite summit agreed on a programme of harmonizing trading arrangements amongst the three Regional Economic Communities (RECS).

In the area of trade, customs and economic integration, the tripartite summit approved the expeditious establishment of the Free Trade Area (FTA) encompassing the member and partner states of the three RECS with an ultimate goal of establishing a single Customs Union.

In the area of infrastructure, the tripartite summit launched the Joint Competition Authority (JCA) on Air Transport Liberalization which will oversee the full implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision on Air Transport in the three RECS commencing in January next year.

The JCA comprises seven members, two members each from the EAC, COMESA and SADC plus a Chairperson on a rotational basis.

With regard to the Legal and Institutional Framework, the tripartite summit directed the Council of Ministers of each of the three RECs to within six months consider and approve the memorandum of understanding on inter-regional cooperation and integration which should also provide for the powers of each decision making level.


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EU formally lifts sanctions against Cuba

EU formally lifts sanctions against Cuba
Written by Larry Moonze in Havana, Cuba

THE European Union on Thursday formally lifted its sanctions against Cuba and granted an immediate two million euros emergency humanitarian aid package to Havana for hurricanes recovery. Signing the political and cooperation agreement with Cuban foreign minister Felipe Perez Roque here in Havana, EU development commissioner Louis Michel said Europe, Cuba and the entire world needed optimism.

"This marks a special point in our relations, a new partnership that will have positive results for both parties," Michel said. "I think that the elements that unite Cuba and the European Union are more numerous than those that divide us."

He said apart from the two million euros immediately available for reconstruction following hurricanes Gustav and Ike devastation in September, the 27-member EU would by 2009 mobilize additional 25 to 30 million

Michel said the restoration of ties with Havana severed five years ago showed the commitment by the EU to dialogue on the basis of mutual respect.

In 2003, the EU slapped diplomatic sanctions on Cuba following the imprisoning of some 70 dissidents. Michel said the new agreement would be a stimulus to the creation of dialogue without taboo and cooperation.

He said there were more reasons to dialogue and that Cuba and the EU shared a common platform on various international issues such as reform of the international financial institutions. Michel said Cuba and the EU were restoring ties when there was an important challenge in the international arena demanding financial reforms, attention to climate change, the food crisis and the need to aid developing countries.

"It is in this area that Cuba has an added value that could help her neighbours and other developing countries," said Michel. "This is useful for Cuba, the EU and developing countries."

And Perez Roque said Cuba's policy was that of establishing relations with different countries of the world including the EU based on respect of sovereignty, equality and respectful dialogue. He said the signed agreement opened a new phase that moved beyond past conflicts with the EU.

"The decision is consistent with the interests of thepeople of the European Union and Cuba," Perez Roque said.

He said conditions had been created to facilitate dialogue on the basis of mutual respect, sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of both parties.
Perez Roque said while there were some differences that remained to be ironed out, such could not be an obstacle to dialogue.

He disclosed that an EU high-level technical delegation would visit Cuba early November to discuss developmental programmes from 2009 onwards.

"Cuba has won an important place in the world inspite of the 50-year-old US blockade," said Perez Roque.

The EU and Cuba would explore possibility of joint cooperation on such issues as health, education, agriculture and environmental protection.

The unconditional lifting of EU sanctions puts the US in an awkward position ahead of the UN vote on October 29 on a motion asking America to end its half century embargo against Cuba.

Perez Roque thanked Spanish government, and Michel for their efforts leading to the normalization of ties with Cuba.

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Hichilema’s vision is the best, says chief Kasempa

Hichilema’s vision is the best, says chief Kasempa
Written by Lambwe Kachali in Kasempa

SENIOR chief Kasempa of the Kaonde people of North-Western Province has urged UPND presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema never to reverse his fight for Zambia's economic liberation. And Hichilema was almost blocked from seeing accident victims at Mukinge Hospital. Meanwhile, UPND North-Western provincial coordinator Patrick Kangwa said MMD is not a factor in the province.

Speaking when Hichilema paid a courtesy call on him at his Lukena palace in Kasempa district on Wednesday, chief Kasempa, while holding the UPND manifesto called 'The vision for Zambia', said he had no doubt that Hichilema would better the lives of the majority poor Zambians once elected as Republican president.

"If God gave you chance as our leader, this country would be better. You need to continue your fight until Zambia is economically liberated. Don't listen to those who discourage you. Your vision is the best," chief Kasempa said.

He said he was keenly following politics and had been reading and comparing manifestos of all political players.

"I have read your manifesto and it is clear that you have something important to offer the Zambian people," he said.

Chief Kasempa said although the Zambian constitution required chiefs to be non-partisan, it was difficult especially when things went wrong.

"Does it mean chiefs do not see that things are wrong in the country? Should chiefs shut their mouths even when things are wrong?" chief Kasempa asked. "No! They have to speak out."

He commended Hichilema's policies on agriculture, education, health, mining, communication, poverty reduction as well as his vision on chief's affairs.

Chief Kasempa said his chiefdom had lost billions of money through theft of precious stones by the so-called foreign investors.

"I should have been one of the richest chiefs here, but minerals are stolen and the government is doing nothing. We need good policies so that foreigners don't steal from us," chief Kasempa said.

He also hailed Hichilema for conducting non-provocative campaigns.

"Love and respect the views of those who don't like you," chief Kasempa advised Hichilema.

Chief Kasempa then gave Hichilema two chickens as a sign of appreciating his visit. And Hichilema assured the traditional leader that once elected, he would build better palaces for all chiefs in the country. He said without chiefs, Zambia would not be where it is today.

"I know you have been given second-hand vehicles but how do you maintain them when your salaries are low? I can assure you that I will increase your salaries," Hichilema said.

And earlier when he went to visit party members who had been involved in a road accident and were admitted to Mukinge, a Christian hospital under the Evangelical Church in Zambia, the authorities almost barred him on grounds that they were not notified of his visit.

However, operations came to a standstill at the hospital as all the nurses and some patients came out to greet Hichilema.

Hichilema, who remained outside the hospital for ten minutes before he entered the hospital, expressed disappointment at the behaviour of hospital authorities.

When he entered, Hichilema went straight to the nurse-in-charge and told her that as a leader, he was obliged to see patients at the hospital.

The nurse then apologised and told Hichilema that had they been notified earlier, there would have been no problem because as a Christian hospital they did not want to be seen to be supporting a particular political party.

However, the nurse said Hichilema was welcome to visit the patients.

Hichilema then visited the male, female and children wards.

But as he was trying to leave, student nurses at Mukinge Nurses' Training College demanded to be addressed.

Hichilema addressed the trainee nurses and told them that once elected as Republican president, he would improve the health sector and create more jobs for them.

And addressing a rally at Kaunda Square ground, Hichilema said the office of the president required a strong man.

He said MMD candidate Rupiah Banda and Patriotic Front (PF) leader Michael Sata were old and finished to perform such tough duties.

Hichilema assured civil servants that he would increase their salaries to K3.5 million per month.

"This is time for a businessman to run the country so that jobs and wealth are created for everyone. I have enough experience and my aim is to have every Zambian live a better life," said Hichilema.

Meanwhile, Kangwa assured Hichilema of a 100 per cent vote in North-Western Province.

"MMD is not a factor here. Kabinga Pande's [Kasempa member of parliament] backborn is broken. Kabinga Pande's powers were from [late president Levy] Mwanawasa, and Mwanawasa is no more, then Kabinga Pande falls off. We are just remaining with few days to take HH to State House. Zambians always respect their vote and know what to do on October 30," said Kangwa.

District UPND chairman Shiyupa Kafute urged Kasempa residents to vote for Hichilema because he had the heart for the people.

"When you look at the presentation of material, the human material, in all the four candidates no one can defeat HH. For Sata and Rupiah, I would want Zambians to just forgive them because the guys are too old to govern this country. We actually desire for someone who is going to stand for us, someone who is going to deliver; who cares for all. And we believe HH is going to do well for this country. Levy has had his own time and is gone. Now we need a person with a much brighter vision to add to what Levy left," said Kafute.

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Easterners will be considered useless if they don’t vote for Rupiah – Teta

Easterners will be considered useless if they don’t vote for Rupiah – Teta
Written by Chibaula Silwamba in Chadiza and Christopher Miti in Lundazi

MMD spokesperson Benny Tetamashimba has said Easterners will be considered useless people if they do not vote for Vice-President Rupiah Banda who is their own son. And Tetamashimba disclosed that chiefs Mwanachingwala and Bright Nalubamba of Southern Province have indicated that they are ready to be de-registered if any other presidential candidate other than Vice-President Banda is 'accidently' elected Republican president next Thursday.

Meanwhile, Vice-President Banda charged that Patriotic Front (PF) presidential candidate Michael Sata is fond of insulting other people because he is a mere grade four, an education level for six-year-olds.

Drumming up support for Vice-President Banda in the presidential elections on Tuesday, Tetamashimba said chiefs Mwanachingwala and Bright Nalubamba had indicated that they would publicly campaign for Vice-President Banda.

"I want to tell you that of two special chiefs in Southern Province; chief Mwanachingwala and chief Bright Nalubamba. They have said that they will publicly campaign for Rupiah Banda and they are saying that if anyone else by accident won, they would rather be de-registered not to be chiefs. That is a very big commitment from people who are from outside this province," Tetamashimba said. "Having said that, for you people from Eastern Province, you have had [late Reuben] Kamanga as a vice-president, you had Grey Zulu as vice-president and secretary general of UNIP, you also had [Lieutenant General] Christon Tembo as vice-president, you again had Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda as vice-president. President Mwanawasa, when he became president he said, the best person is Rupiah and unfortunately also from the east. Unfortunately, God has taken away president Mwanawasa."

He said Vice-President Banda was in Eastern Province as head of state and his lobbying for votes was to just ask for confirmation from Zambians for him to continue in his duties.

"I want to tell you; the rest of the country will never forgive you. And if you don't vote for Rupiah Banda, you will not find a Kaonde like me supporting another Easterner; we shall say 'they are useless, we gave them a chance they didn't take it.' So I appeal to you to give your man a vote as we go to vote," said Tetamashimba.

And Vice-President Banda said Sata was unable to discuss things without insulting others because he was not educated.

"Some of my colleagues have been talking about one of the candidates and saying that all you hear from him is insulting, all the time he is talking he is insulting other people," Vice-President Banda said. "You also heard the same say that this person is uneducated; he has only the education which now our children reach when they are the age of six or seven, they already got grade four. But the whole adult has nothing but grade four education. No wonder he is unable to discuss anything without insulting others."

And Vice-President Banda said the government under his leadership had reduced the price of fertiliser under the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP) from K200,000 to K50,000 because it wanted to encourage farming to enable Zambia to be food-sufficient.

"I have made sure fertiliser is in sheds in all districts of Zambia," he said.

On the water crisis in Chadiza that has not been resolved for over a month now, Vice-President Banda said he had directed local government minister Sylvia Masebo to travel to Chipata and Chadiza to find a solution to the problem. He assured that water supply would be restored by next week.

Vice-President Banda said most chiefs and opposition leaders had endorsed his candidature and therefore urged the people in Eastern Province to do the same.

"It is now incumbent upon you the people of Eastern Province to prove that you appreciate the confidence that they have given you by selecting your own son to become the next president of this country," said Vice-President Banda, who hails from Chiparamba area in Chipata district. "I ask you the people of Chadiza to allow me to continue the work that the MMD government has already started."

Earlier, FDD president Edith Nawakwi said Sata was not educated for him to be Zambia's fourth Republican president. She claimed that Sata had said he would remove all the incumbent parliamentarians and replace them with callboys.

"In 2008, you can't elect a president who is uneducated. It's a cursing. Sata is not educated, he is a mere grade four," Nawakwi said.

"How do you get a grade four to be a president? He will go to SADC heads of state summit, where the presidents of Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and others are university graduates, how is he going to debate? We don't want."

She said of all the four candidates contesting next week's elections, Sata was the only uneducated one. She said UPND presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema had no experience in political leadership, therefore people should not waste their time to vote for him.

However, Nawakwi's insistence on attacking opposition presidential candidates did not go down well with the crowd as some people were heard murmuring.

"It's too much. Why is she saying all that? It's not necessary," they murmured in their local Chewa language.

Meanwhile, when Nawakwi asked the people if they knew that she was a president, they said they did not know.

Nawakwi asked: "Have you seen a female president?"

The people responded: "Awe! [No]"

Nawakwi said: "So women you have started doubting? I am a serious president of an opposition party with members of parliament."

In Lundazi, Vice-President Banda asked the people of Zambia to help him answer to the insults he was getting from other presidential contenders by voting for him on October 30.

Addressing a rally at Independence Square last Tuesday, Vice-President Banda said all the candidates apart from Heritage Party leader Brig Gen Godfrey Miyanda had been consistently abusing and insulting him since he was elected MMD presidential candidate.

He said none of the three candidates had the experience to look after the precious Zambians in peace and unity.

"I am the only one of the three candidates whom you know, I am the only one who has ever run this country, I am the only one who has been Vice-President of this country not Mr. Sata and not, I like the Tumbuka way of calling Hakainde, Hakaivotele Hayeka," Vice President Banda said as people broke into laughter.

He said he had received so many messages from different people encouraging him to concentrate on the campaigns.

Vice-President Banda said he was encouraged by the huge numbers of people attending his rallies throughout the places he had visited and promised to return to Lundazi once elected president.

And ULP president Sakwiba Sikota claimed that Sata intends to be in office until 2013 once he is elected president.

"I am thinking to myself I have never seen in Lundazi such a big crowd. I only hope that there is going to be no newspaper which is going to not show a picture of this crowd, it will be criminal to lie to the people of Zambia. Everywhere we have been going this is the kind of crowd we have been having but certain newspapers will go and take a small corner and show that picture. Watch out and see what kind of pictures they are going to show you of Lundazi that's when you will know what liars they are," Sikota said.

Meanwhile, Tetamashimba repeated his threat that Easterners would be beaten up by people from North Western Province if they did not vote for Vice-President Banda.

Vice-President Banda was accompanied by Sikota, Nawakwi and Tilyenji Kaunda.

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