Saturday, November 01, 2008
Written by Inonge Noyoo and Katwishi Bwalya in Kabwe
Sunday, November 02, 2008 12:01:00 AM
OPPOSITION political parties need to work harder in rural areas, Kabwe resident Joseph Mulimi has advised. And the visibly upset Mulimi charged that it was clear from the voting pattern that rural Zambians were still willing to sell their votes in exchange for fertiliser and foodstuffs. In an interview, Mulimi a businessman and PF member said he was disappointed by the rural voters.
"It is clear that our lifestyles are very different to those of our rural friends. One wants to believe that they are not feeling the high poverty levels, the high taxes or that maybe they are just ignorant or scared of change," he said.
Mulimi said the rural populace had proved that they were easily appeased.
"We are disappointed with our rural brothers. For once it's important that they move in line with everyone. It is clear that we are all suffering and maybe they are even worse but we do not know what motivates their votes. They should get over this obsession with the MMD for the sake of our country," said Mulimi. "Our neighbouring countries including Angola which has been at war are doing fine but we don't seem to be making meaningful progress and this is because we have not tried other people who can also deliver."
Mulimi, who is a businessman and was in the company of more than eight call boys, warned the MMD not to be too excited with the rural areas because they had been neglected.
"As you can see, obviously you have data...you know history and it has shown that the MMD has been rejected by the educated majority for more than once. So there is nothing to be happy about because we are sad," said Mulimi.
Written by Chibaula Silwamba in Mwense
OPPOSITION Patriotic Front (PF) presidential candidate Michael Sata has beaten MMD's Rupiah Banda with over 300 votes in former president Frederick Chiluba's Musangu village despite the former president campaigning for the Republican Vice-President here two days ago.
According to official results obtained at Musangu and Koweni polling stations, both situated in the vast Musangu village, indicated that Sata got about 333 votes more than Vice-President Banda.
A check at Koweni polling station, FJT Chiluba Basic School, indicated that Sata polled 226 votes ahead of Vice-President Banda who got 49 votes, United Party for National Development (UPND)'s Hakainde Hichilema eight and
Heritage Party's Brig Gen Godfrey Miyanda one vote. The polling station recorded one rejected vote out of the 285 total votes cast.
At Musangu polling station, presiding officer Michael Kalobwe announced that Sata obtained 262 votes, Vice-President Banda 106 votes while both Hichilema and Brig Gen Miyanda obtained zero votes each.
Four ballot papers were rejected and three were spoiled out of the total 375 total votes cast.
As soon as Kalobwe announced the results PF cadres who were outside waiting started shouting their *'Pabwato!'* slogan in jubilation.
Meanwhile, several people here have gathered at various polling stations to know the results.
Written by Chibaula Silwamba in Kazembe, Mwansabombwe
MWATA Kazembe of the Lunda people of Luapula Province has said post-election violence must be nipped in the bud wherever it occurs, following, Thursday's presidential elections. And Mwata Kazembe attributed voter apathy to poverty.
In an interview soon after he cast his vote at Kazembe West council polling station, situated just outside his royal palace in the Lunda capital of Mwansabombwe, Mwata Kazembe called for peace and unity in the country after the election.
"That is archaic and violence wherever it occurs, it must be curtailed in the bud," said Mwata Kazembe, who wore his royal headdress.
He urged whoever wins the elections to look at all the nine provinces equally.
"Zambia comprises nine provinces, 'One Zambia, One Nation.' I think that is the spirit," Mwata Kazembe said.
On voter apathy that has characterised the presidential elections and the Mwansabombwe parliamentary by-election, Mwata Kazembe said there was need for people to be sensitised on the importance of electing their leaders.
"In elections, I think poverty goes with apathy," Mwata Kazembe said. "If at all there is any apathy noticed, it's because people are not encouraged because people should be there to see the essence of having a leader, then they will get on board."
Mwata Kazembe, who was the last person to vote at the polling station at about 18:08 hours, said his decision to vote at the end was fatherly.
"Normally when there is food, I think the parent should be the last person to have the share. First you let your kids take their shares, you being the parent you should have the last share," said Mwata Kazembe. "Exactly, this is what I have done."
Friday, October 31, 2008
By NANCY MWAPE
TWENTY commissioners appointed to deal with the small claims court targeted at small and medium-scale entrepreneurs (SMEs) will start operating at end of this year. The small claims court will have limited jurisdiction to determine civil matters and private sector disputes.
Registrar for the High Court, Mwamba Chanda, said this in Lusaka during the Private Sector Development Programme breakfast meeting focusing on small claims court. Ms Chanda said for a start, the court would be operational in Lusaka and Ndola, and later rolled out to cover all other parts of the country.
“Small claims court will be a people’s court. Individuals and SMEs can bring their matter to this court without engaging lawyers and it would have simplified procedures.
“Any claims within K20 million can be brought before this court. It will be a court for ordinary people,” she said.
She said the 20 commissioners who are lawyers by profession would be adjudicators and had undergone training to handle the courts.
She said eight clerks whose role would be to assist complaints by drawing up their claims have also been trained.
Ms Chanda said once the courts were operational, sittings would be done every day at the Chikwa Road court for Lusaka.
She said K500 million was allocated this year to help commence operations of the small claims courts and amendments made to the law.
“The court will not deal with customary law and our target is subordinate law. These are the most common cases that come before the magistrate court,” she said.
Ms Chanda said no appeals would be made once judgment was made but the aggrieved party could have their case re-heard by three separate commissioners.
She expressed confidence that the small claims court would be welcomed by a lot of SMEs as their cases would be handled quickly and allow them to continue with their businesses.
By NKOLE CHITALA
FINANCE Bank Zambia Limited has made a pre-tax profit of K82.3 billion during the period ending September 30, 2008. Executive director corporate banking and marketing, Noel Nkhoma, said the increase represented 36.5 per cent from K52 billion recorded during the month ending June 30.
Mr Nkhoma said the increase was largely on account of the confidence the people had in the bank. He was speaking at a quarterly press briefing at the bank’s headquarters in Lusaka yesterday.
Mr Nkhoma said the bank’s loans also increased by 17.4 per cent from K422 billion registered in June to K512 billion in September.
He said the bank’s deposits grew by 7 per cent from K1,072 billion to K1,149 billion during the same period.
Mr Nkhoma said the interest rates had been adjusted upwards from 19 per cent to 21 per cent due to the cost of funds in the market and treasury bills.
He said interest rates and treasury bills rates had both gone up by 3 per cent making the cost of funds in the country high.
On the global financial crisis, Mr Nhoma said the cost of funds was determined by a lot of factors which included the credit crunch in the United States.
He said the country’s economy was largely dependent on revenue earnings from the commodity market mainly copper.
He said with the decline in copper prices of about 55 per cent from US$9,000 to below US$3,000, this would affect the performance of the national economy.
And Mr Nkhoma said the Kwacha was likely to depreciate further to trade in the range of K5,000 due to uncertainty and political situation in the country which had created a negative impact on the exchange rate.
He said as at Wednesday the local currency was trading in the levels of K4,580 and K4,885 for buying and selling.
Labels: FINANCE BANK
October 30, 2008
Mr Sata pondering his next move before addressed the last rally Patriotic Front-PF leader, Michael Sata, has opposed the use of the electronic transmission system in relaying presidential election results. Mr Sata feels the system is subject to manipulation.
The PF leader has demanded for an urgent meeting with the Electoral Commission of Zambia Chairperson, Florence Mumba, and other political stakeholders in a bid to resolve his party’s concerns.
This is contained in Mr Sata’s letter addressed to Justice, Mumba and made available to ZNBC news in Lusaka this afternoon.
Mr Sata proposed that the ECZ uses mere faxing system where results announced and tallied at polling stations are endorsed by all officials before transmission to the Mulungushi International Conference Centre.
He said the PF is concerned that the results that will be transmitted will not be countersigned by election agents and monitors.
Mr. Sata observed that the electronic system does not provide for correction of errors once the results hit the National tallying centre.
Mr. Sata said his party is ready to wait for a few more days to collect faxed results of the original unadulterated results.
October 30, 2008
Apathy has characterized Thursday’s presidential election to choose Zambia’s fourth Republican President. Polling stations in most parts of the country, which recorded a fairly good early turnout, were empty by midday, casting doubts that most of the 3.9 million registered voters would cast their ballots.
A survey by ZNBC in Lusaka and other parts of the country revealed that most polling stations have recorded low turnout. ZNBC staff covering the election in different parts of the country report that less than 50 percent of the registered voters turned up to cast their ballots.
The voting has also been characterized by some other shortcomings.
Some registered voters who lost their cards and had applied for replacements could not cast their ballots because electoral officials failed to trace the cards.
This problem was evident at polling stations in various parts of the country, prompting calls from a number of political stakeholders for urgent measures to address the matter.
The Independent Churches of Zambia and other Non governmental organizations appealed to the Electoral Commission of Zambia to ensure that persons who have not yet voted are given chance to cast their ballots.
Polling stations were expected to close at 18.00 hours, but time was extended in some areas, such as Kitwe, to allow voters whose cards were traced late to cast their ballots.
October 31, 2008
Presiding officers offloading ballot boxes at Lusaka Civic centre
Opposition Patriotic Front (PF) has taken a lead in the national presidential results in 19 constituencies.
PF leader Michael Sata has polled 187 863 votes and is followed by MMD’s Rupiah Banda who has accumulated 96 325 votes.
Electoral Commission of Zambia (CZ) Chairperson Judge Florence Mumba announced the results from 19 constituencies when she gave an update on national presidential results Friday morning.
The results indicate that UPND candidate Hakainde Hichilema has so far polled 26 033 votes. Heritage Party leader Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda has managed 2081 votes. The results are part of constituencies representing Copperbelt, Eastern and Lusaka provinces.
ECZ is giving national presidential results at Mulungushi International Conference Centre Lusaka as they are received from polling stations.
October 28, 2008
Before president Levy Mwanawasa’s stroke in late June, Zambia was riding an economic high powered by record prices for copper, the country’s main export.
His successor, who will be elected Thursday, faces a less rosy scenario as copper prices have tumbled by 50 percent from their peak in July, raising fears that the good times are ending in a country struggling to lift itself from poverty.
“Whoever comes into power is going to face some very real challenges,” Leon Myburgh, a Citigroup analyst who studies sub-Saharan Africa, told AFP
The global commodities boom had allowed Mwanawasa to build up foreign reserves to an all-time high of $1.1 billion (R11.7 billion), while stabilising the value of the kwacha currency and pulling inflation down to 10 percent.
But now the global financial crisis is causing worries even in the world’s poorest countries like Zambia.
Banks here have few international assets and are generally not affected by the credit crunch, but the resulting global slowdown has dramatically cut demand for raw materials, sending prices into a tailspin.
With some of the world’s largest copper reserves, the metal accounts for 80 percent of Zambia’s export earnings.
That means every swing in the value of copper can have dramatic knock-on effects for the value of the national currency, which in turn could spark higher inflation.
Economists say that Zambia’s new president will need to diversify to offset dangers of currency fluctuations and falling tax revenues as its export value falls.
“The demand for copper has dropped and the price has gone down, and it’s impacting on the kwacha’s value,” said Chibamba Kanyama, of the Economic Association of Zambia.
“A huge depreciation of the exchange rate will cause general price instability, which is inflation, and that is not good for investor confidence,” he told AFP.
The central bank last week cut growth projections to six percent, citing the kwacha’s volatility amid the plunging copper prices, foreign investor withdrawals and increased uncertainty around the elections.
Mwanawasa’s prudent economic policies have so far sheltered Zambia from the worst of the global economic storm, said Bongani Motsa, senior economist at Pan-African Capital Holdings in Johannesburg.
“What Zambia needs now is somebody who will carry on where Mwanawasa left off,” Motsa told AFP.
Acting president Rupiah Banda, who took over following Mwanawasa’s stroke, has assured investors that he would continue the policies that made Zambia one of Africa’s most stable countries.
In a thinly veiled dig at main opposition leader Michael Sata, who two years ago swore to boot out the country’s sizable Chinese investors, he has also publicly welcomed foreign investors.
Sata now says he’s willing to work with the Chinese, but has raised dust with a campaign promise to force companies to hand a 25 percent equity stake to local investors.
Banda has denounced his statements for “undermining investor confidence.”
But he has also turned to the vote-friendly power of social assistance, slashing fertiliser prices by 75 percent while on the campaign trail.
Talk by both candidates of spreading Zambia’s mineral wealth more evenly has great resonance in a country where more than 60 percent of the 12 million people are living on less than two dollars (about R21) a day.
Written by Agness Changala
Friday, October 31, 2008 4:02:04 PM
POLICE in Lusaka yesterday nabbed Munali presiding officer Godfrey Malwita on suspicion of having already marked ballot papers. And police at the Civic Centre sneaked Malwita out of the centre on the pretext that they were going to interrogate him.
According to a Patriotic Front (PF) polling agent for Munali, Sipiwe Mwanamulela, the incident happened after the results were recorded that is when Malwita asked for attention from the people who were present at Munali polling station.
“We just heard him shout order! order! and he said he needed polling agents to help him put the ballot boxes and the white bags in the vehicle for transmission to the Civic Centre,” she said.
Mwanamulela said she then started observing and it was at this point that she saw one of the envelopes not sealed and decided to take it back inside for sealing.
“One of the envelopes contained ballot papers and so I decided to go back with it inside so that it could be sealed,” she said. “But when I asked Malwita to seal it, he asked me to wait, it was at this point that one of the female police officers checked what was in there and found already marked ballot papers on MMD candidate Rupiah Banda.”
She said when the police officer asked Malwita about the ballot papers he was found with, he said they were blank.
“When the police officer opened she took out one of the ballot papers and found it crossed on the MMD presidential candidate,” Mwanamulela said.
She explained that after realizing that the ballot papers were marked, she ran with the box because she suspected rigging and stood in one of the corners.
Mwanamulela said the matter was partially resolved to allow the ballot papers get to the Civic Centre.
And at centre Malwita, who failed to give a clear explanation on what transpired, claimed that he was mistaken to be in possession of extra ballot papers.
“It was a mistake on my part and I got confused because the returning officer wanted some ballot papers for record purpose,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lusaka Town clerk Timothy Hakuyu said there was nothing wrong with the man being in possession with the ballot papers because he did not temper with the results.
“There is nothing wrong if the results were not tempered with,” For now, lets get moving and not delay the process anymore,” he said.
Hakuyu assured the stakeholders who were present that the man was going to be handed over to police and appropriate authorities.
And just when the matter was being resolved in the Nakatindi Hall, Malwita was swiftly sneaked out and taken in a vehicle which sped off leaving everyone at the centre in shock.
Malwita was accompanied by police officers and Munali officer in charge.
But Munali Member of Parliament Mumbi Phiri and other PF officials followed the vehicle that ferried police officers and Malwita.
Written by Staff Reporters
Friday, October 31, 2008 3:58:00 PM
A LOW voter turnout characterised yesterday's presidential polls on the Copperbelt with some voters crying foul that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has disenfranchised them after discovering that the commission did not send their voters cards. And voters in Lusaka queued up at polling stations as early as 06:00 hours to cast their votes.
On the Copperbelt at Lulamba polling station in Chambishi, out of 70 people who applied for the replacement of their voters cards, only three had their cards replaced.
Others who had both voters cards and National Registration Cards (NRCs) were also sent away because their names were not appearing in the voters register.
"I do not know why I have not been allowed to vote despite having both my NRC and voters' card. I am told my name is not appearing the voters' register," said Moses Mulenga, who was supposed to vote from Lulamba polling station in Chambishi.
Tibalange Chunga also of Chambishi complained of being disenfranchised despite having both the NRC and the voter's card.
At Chambishi Basic School polling station about 550 people had voted by 09:55 hours.
In Chingola at Chamanda polling station about 130 people had voted by 11:00 hours while at Chabanyama Community Centre, which has two streams, over 350 out of 744 registered voters had voted by midday.
At Chikola A polling station, more than 100 people had cast their votes by 10:00 hours. Voting at the station delayed after one polling station was shifted to another venue.
And voting at Chonto polling station in Mushili township came to a standstill when a man who could barely walk due to a stroke turned up to cast his vote.
Paul Musonda was carried by his relative and a police officer after demanding to be taken to the polling station to cast his vote on PF leader Michael Sata.
In an interview after voting, Musonda said he just wanted to vote and he did not care about his status because he wanted to exercise his right.
And a man was almost beaten by marketeers at Mushili market after rumour went round that he was carrying printed ballot papers.
The man was later rescued by the police and searched to make sure that he was not carrying the papers.
The angry mob carried sticks and machetes and shouted on top of their voices that they would kill the man if he was found with the ballot papers.
A check at most polling stations found that most Ndola residents started going to the polling stations as early as 04:00 hours.
And most presiding officers at polling stations said a lot of people voted in the morning but that the afternoon was slow.
"The turnout is good and people want to vote. Though it’s slow, we are confident that everyone who registered is going to vote before we close the polling stations," said Mary Chanda, a presiding officer at Matete Polling Station in Masala.
In Mufulira at Fibusa Pre -school Polling Station, out of 850 registered voters 300 people had voted by 13:00 hours.
At Boma offices Polling Station about 250 people out of 1,119 registered voters voted by midday.
Mufulira electoral officer Charles Mwandila said there were no long queues in the polling stations because of the streams that were introduced.
Mwandila said he would be worried if the situation remained the same at 16:00hours.
He explained that Mufulira had 60,000 registered voters adding that 2244 people had applied for the replacement of their voters cards.
Mwandila also said that the low turn out in some polling stations is a clear indicator that Zambians do not attach great importance to voting.
In Kitwe, 100 people had voted by 08:00 hours at Lubuto Polling Station while at Manenekela over 200 people cast their votes by 09:00 hours.
At CBU, from about 300 people who had applied for the replacement of their voter’s cards, only three had their voter’s cards replaced.
Kitwe district electoral officer Ali Simwinga confirmed having received complaints and said arrangements were being made to airlift some cards to affected voters on the Copperbelt.
And in Lusaka’s Matero Constituency, a good number of voters queued up as early as 06:00 hours, although generally there was poor turnout of voters.
At Matero Boys Basic School, only 200 had cast their votes by 07:30 hours, while Matero C, A and Kashita recorded 200, 100 and 200 voters respectively.
At Matero Community Hall, a centre for two polling districts, only 305 people had voted by 08:00 hours for Matero E, while Matero D recorded 343 voters during the same period of time.
At Lilanda Basic School, a centre for four polling districts, by 09:00 hours, 250 had already voted for Chitukuko B, while Lilanda East, West and Mabvuto C recorded 320, 310 as well as 240 voters within the same timeframe.
Chitukuko B, presiding officer, Louis Lupando said the voting process was being conducted well in an incident free atmosphere.
In Munali Constituency voting got off to a slow start, recording a low turnout in most polling stations by midday.
Due to the erratic flow of voters, some election officers were seen chatting as they waited for voters at Chelstone Basic School.
At Chainda Clinic, the trend was the same with about 500 voters having cast their votes by 09:30 hours with a short queue forming outside while at Chainda Basic School by midday, the voter turnout was also low. As at 11:57 hours, Munali had recorded 1,000 voters who mainly cast their votes early in the morning.
The polling station opened at 06:18 hours as the election and police officers called for order first.
Fairview Hotel polling station presiding officer Jack Kaale attributed the low turnout to inadequate information on where people should go and renew their cards from.
Kaale wondered if people knew where the renewal was being done, saying most people went to Fairview when the exercise was being carried out at Jacaranda Basic School.
Kaale said most people had also lost their voter’s cards and others, like students at the Evelyn Hone College (EHC) had completed and relocated to their respective towns.
Kaale said 2,426 people had registered as voters but by 11:00 hours only about 700 voters had voted.
Some monitors talked to also expressed happiness with the way things were going.
At Bauleni North B polling station in Kabulonga, only 800 voters out of a total number of 2,000 registered voters had cast their votes by 13:00 hours.
About 15 people were turned away because they had not been captured in the voters register despite possessing voters' cards, causing confusion and panic.
Woodlands west in Lubwa Ward generally registered a low turnout, with only 500 people having cast their votes by 13:30 hours, out of the registered 1,070 registered voters.
Station presiding officer Joseph Chowa said the turnout was disappointing.
He also disclosed that a number of voters were turned away for producing wrong identification documents such as passports and driver’s licences, instead of the national registration card.
Others were unable to vote as their voters’ cards were missing, despite having applied for the same during the voter replacement exercise period.
However, Chowa said he had received instructions that voters who did not find their cards at the polling station should be asked to go to the ECZ to collect their voters’ cards.
Bank of Zambia (BoZ) Governor Dr Caleb Fundanga cast his vote at about 13:35 hours, and said he was happy with the voting environment.
Cathedral 2 polling station at Lusaka Girls Basic School started on a high note, with 200 people casting their votes by 08:00 hours. The station had 1,017 registered voters.
At Nkhwazi School's Matanda polling station, the voting process was generally slow, but peaceful.
Only a few people were trickling in to cast their votes.
Presiding officer Tommy Siamuntu expressed optimism that the mood would heighten as the day progressed.
Only 450 out of 1,335 people had voted by 08:30 hours.
At Bauleni South A polling station located at Prince Takamado Basic School in Lusaka Central, 599 voters out of 2,400 registered at the centre had cast their vote between 06:00 hours and lunch time.
Queues there started forming by 05:00 hours before subsiding by mid-morning.
At Bauleni Basic School polling station North A in Lusaka Central, 400 out of 2,400 registered voters had cast their ballots between 06:00 hours and 12:30 hours.
Queues were reported to have started at 03:30 hours before voters started to trickle in after mid-morning.
At Woodlands East One polling station located at Woodlands A Basic school, 250 voters had cast their vote by early afternoon from 493 registered at the centre.
At Woodlands East Two polling station, 248 voters had cast their vote out of another 493 registered at the voting centre.
At Kabwata Community Hall voters started queuing up as early as 04:30 hours anxious to cast their votes.
A check at around 07:00 hours found three long queues leading into the hall and meandering out into the open.
Kabwata C presiding officer Peter Mtonga explained that the election officers had to divide the queues into six to lessen congestion.
At Burma Road School and Kabwata Basic School polling stations, the presiding officers refused to disclose the total number of people who had voted by 07:00 hours and 08:30 hours respectively.
At Burma Road School, a 07:05 hours rough count of voters indicated that there were about a 100 voters while at Kabwata Basic School, the turnout by 08:30 hours was low as the voters were trickling in at a slow pace.
And at Kabwata Suburb, 450 people from the total of 1,212 registered had already voted by 10:30 hours.
Station presiding officer Gladys Nyirenda said most people, especially the literate, were sent back from casting their votes because they wanted to use their driving licenses.
And the response was average at most polling stations in Libala.
Voting in Mandevu Constituency started on a good note, with a number of polling stations registering a high turnout.
At Market 2 polling station in Mutambe polling district, about 250 people had cast their votes by 11:25 hours, while at Market 1, 159 people had already cast their votes by 11:30 hours.
In Justine Kabwe ward at Marapodi B2 and Marapodi BA 2 voting started at 06:00 hours and about 550 people had cast their votes by 11:45 hours.
At Twikatane 2 and Basket 2 polling stations, about 300 people had cast their votes by 11:47 and 11:49 hours respectively, while Mukuyu 2 which opened at 06:01 hours had a voter turn out of 177 by 11:53 hours.
And voting which started on a high note in Kanyama constituency subsided by mid- morning as most enthusiastic early voters dried up by midday.
In Linda township and Kanyama site and service, an average less than 25 per cent turnout was recorded in most polling stations.
At Jeta Kanga polling station in Kanyama, presiding officer Audrey Hampekema said voting started at 06:10 hours and that by 10:30 hours about 610 out of the registered number about 2 500 had already cast their votes.
At Linda PUSH polling station, the presiding officer, who declined to disclose his identity, said about 500 out of the over 3,000 registered voters had cast their votes by 09:40 hours.
Some voters complained about the lack of voters' cards at the polling station despite having been assured during the voter replacement exercise.
But one of the presiding officers at one of the polling station adjacent to Jeta Kanga, Ernest Matengu, told affected voters that there was nothing he could do because the matter was beyond his jurisdiction.
Written by Masuzyo Chakwe
Friday, October 31, 2008 3:55:42 PM
THERE is no need for the army to intervene in the election process if the elections will not be rigged, UPND president Hakainde Hichilema said yesterday. THERE is no need for the army to intervene in the election process if the elections will not be rigged, UPND president Hakainde Hichilema said yesterday.
Speaking after he cast his vote at Kabulonga Boys High School, Hichilema said there were no issues that justified the army’s intervention.
Hichilema, who arrived at about 14:25 hours, was responding to statements from some defence forces that they were ready for people that were going to threaten violence after the elections.
"There is no need for the army to intervene in anything, there is no issue that justifies that the army should intervene, I think unless somebody wants to rig the elections, if the election is free and fair there is no need for the army to be involved but this is a democratic process, absolutely if anyone tampers with the rights of the citizens to choose the president of their choice," he said.
He said he did not see the connection between the army and the people asking for the democratic right to vote peacefully.
Hichilema said the ultimate in democracy was an election.
He said what the army had said it would do was out of context.
Hichilema said he hoped more people would turn to vote as a low voter turnout had been reported in many places.
He said voting was a very important issue in a democratic country like Zambia and people must understand that their vote directly affects their welfare.
When asked about people attributing apathy to lack of delivery of promises by politicians, Hakainde said that was why Zambia needed change.
He also said governments of national unity were destructive to Africa and Zambia did not need that.
Labels: HAKAINDE HICHILEMA
Written by Patson Chilemba
Friday, October 31, 2008 3:47:50 PM
RUPIAH Banda should just concede defeat because it is clear that he has been rejected across the country, Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata said yesterday.
In an interview after he voted at Jacaranda Basic School in Lusaka, Sata said it was clear that Vice-President Banda has been rejected and the only thing which had kept him in the race was the attempt to rig the election.
“The people of Zambia rejected Rupiah way before today's elections. He should just concede defeat because it is very clear that he has been rejected in all the provinces,” Sata said. “The whole country has rejected him and the only way they are in this war is through dubious means. That's why Dan Kalale [Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) director] has refused to give accreditation to Anti-Rigging. ”
Sata urged Vice-President Banda and MMD to 'throw in the towel' rather than trying to use underhand methods. He said he believed that he had defeated Vice-President Banda in the October 30 presidential elections.
And Sata criticised the statements made by Zambia Army Commander Gen Isaac Chisuzi.
“We have had elections at every five-year interval and we have had inspector generals of police and army commanders. There has never been any time the people of Zambia have been intimidated by the army commander and IG of police and given full publicity by ZNBC. Now Zambia Army Commander Gen Chisuzi and Inspector General of Police were given prominence on TV on the eve of elections predicting violence after elections. Chisuzi's statement was a mark of panic. We know that these people are on contracts so they are trying to protect their contracts. They are panicking.”
Sata said heads of security wings were frustrating junior officers because they were on contract.
Sata also said former president Frederick Chiluba was not an issue because he moved with the wind. He said Vice-President Banda had probably promised to rescue Chiluba from the corruption cases he was facing.
On Neo Simutany's statement that whoever is elected president will need to deal with The Post, Sata said it is Simutanyi who should be dealt with.
“I was in power before. The Post was not very friendly and I used their criticism to improve,” said Sata. “He has attacked me in his column and I have not wasted time to bring private litigation against Neo Simutanyi because he is not worth it. Why isn't he complaining about the government media?”
And Sata yesterday opposed and rejected ECZ’s decision to transmit the results electronically.
“As the Patriotic Front presidential candidate and one of the major stakeholders I totally disagree with this position. In 2006, your predecessor justice Ireen Mambilima attempted to use this system but had to abandon it half way through the process because the physical/manual results from polling districts/stations proved different from the electronic results,” Sata’s letter to the chairperson of ECZ read in part.
Sata further stated that the electronic system can be subject to manipulation and interference depending on the software installed.
“At the last stakeholders meeting with the ECZ, it was agreed that results from the polling stations will be counter signed by all election agents and monitors, and were posible observers and finally the poresiding officer. It was also agreed that this result copy will be given to all agents, monitors and observers. We would be confortable if the ECZ could use these copies talling poll results before announcement as opposed to the electronocally tranmitted results. We propose therfore that the ECZ uses mere faxing system of results announced at respective polling stations and endorsed by all officials,” Sata stated.
He reminded the ECZ chairperson that she was on record as having agreed to the resuts transmitted from the district centres in the presence of political agents to the commission headquarters in Lusaka both electronically and by fax.
“Our concern with this electronic method is that the results which will be transmitted electronically will not be counter signed by election agents and monitors. This is because this aggregate district result is transmitted as a block figure by the returning officer using a special method only known by the transmitting official at the district tallying centre. It is worth noting that this electronic system does not provide for correction of errors once it has hit the national tallying centre at Mulungushi.
As a party with the experience alluded to we reject the use of this electronic transmission system and demand that even if we have to wait for a few more days to collect faxed results we are more than ready to wait so that we get original unadulterated results,” read in part Sata’s letter. “In conclusion we demand an immediate meeting between all the stakeholders and the chairperson before close of polling today and before any results are announed.”
Written by Christopher Miti in Chipata and Masuzyo Chakwe in Lusaka
Friday, October 31, 2008 3:45:51 PM
VICE-President Rupiah Banda yesterday said it is always good for him to exercise his voting right. And Dr Kenneth Kaunda urged Zambians to keep the peace as the electoral process goes on.
Vice-President Banda, who cast his vote at Nyakutwa Middle Basic School in Chipata Central Constituency, said: "I really feel good and that I have done so here where I used to live and exercised my right all the time from here, it's nice to be here."
Vice-President Banda also told reporters that they should be assured that he voted for himself.
The acting President who was voter number 68 at Nyakutwa Middle Basic School voted at about 09:04 hours.
He was accompanied by his wife Thandiwe, lands minister Bradford Machila, Eastern Province MMD chairperson Kennedy Zulu, Chipata Central MMD member of parliament Lameck Mangani, Chipangali MMD member of parliament Vincent Mwale and other senior government officials.
After voting, Vice-President Banda escorted his wife to Anoya Boys High School polling station where she cast her ballot at around 09:33 hours.
Thandiwe was voter number 103.
Vice-President Banda later proceeded to his Chasimpha farm where he led his two sons Nenani and Dingani in laying wreaths at his mother's burial site.
Nenani and Dingani were not around during the burial of their grandmother, Sara Zulu, on June 26 this year.
Meanwhile, most polling stations in Chipata and Petauke generally had a low turnout of voters.
By about 11:00 hours, over 300 people had cast their vote at Kapata Polling Station and more than 100 people had voted at Civic Centre by about 07:00 hours.
In Petauke, only 329 had cast their vote at Petauke Primary School at about 11:00 hours out of the registered number of 2,176. At Mizyu, out of 1,595 registered voters only 357 had voted by 11:00 hours. Out of 351 only 84 had voted at Mbeza and out of 658 registered voters only 148 had cast their votes at Kawere by midday.
And speaking after he cast his vote at Woodlands A Basic School, Dr Kaunda said he hoped things would go well throughout the country.
"So let everybody be happy, vote happily and keep the peace," he said.
When asked to comment on the statements from some defense forces that they were ready for people that were planning violence after the elections, Dr Kaunda said they were peacekeepers and that was their duty.
Former president Frederick Chiluba, who arrived at Saint Mary's with his wife Regina just before 11:00 hours, first went to the headmaster's office where he held a private meeting for a few minutes.
He then went to cast his vote with Regina.
He then briefly chatted with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Ambassador to Zambia Johnson Baelongandi wa Binana.
When asked about the election, Chiluba who first spoke to a foreign media in Swahili said he had no comment.
"I am rushing home to read my Bible, it is waiting I left it on a certain chapter I must go and finish it," Chiluba said.
Former Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZNCB) managing director Samuel Musonda said the electoral process was good.
"But we have to wait till the final result is announced. You know the whole process, voting is just part of it and then the whole process up to announcing the results that's what will indicate as to the integrity of the process and also as to the outcome," he said.
Musonda said all Zambians were expected to go and vote, as all the presidential candidates were Zambians.
Voting in some areas started on a good note while in some areas the turnout was low.
A check at Woodlands B at 06:30 hours found people already queuing up.
At Vera Chiluba Basic School, voters, mostly men, were lined up as early as 03:00 hours. By 05:00 hours, there were over 400 people outside. The gates were opened at about 06:00 hours with long queues.
The process was orderly as the men and women had different queues.
Some people were turned back for not carrying their National Registration Cards as they had either their driver's license and passports.
The voter turnout at Saint Mary was quite slow as the polling agents were waiting for people.
There were also some confusion, as some people did not understand the process of lining up in alphabetical order.
At Kabulonga Boys High School, the voter turnout was good.
Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) secretary general Reverend Suzanne Matale said the process was slow but very smooth.
Written by Gabriel Banda
Friday, October 31, 2008 3:42:55 PM
BE it in the United States of America or Zambia, major natural and human organised events transform societies. Transformation may lead towards general growth, stagnation, or even decline.
Elections are landmarks that transform society and its individuals. They affect the dominant character and mood of a society. It is opportunity to assess where a society is at and what needs to be done to strengthen or improve things. It is chance to observe ourselves, as individuals, and how we relate to others and the whole society.
During elections, various characteristics of society and its rulers and leaders are noted. And, yes, values, character, and manners of leaders and rulers of organisations and societies have influence on behaviour of some of their members. They become an acceptable standard for many even as they may repulse and drive away others.
Elections can be time for moving strongly towards the common good. Clearly, the United States is undergoing great transformation that will affect its people and those beyond. The November 4, 2008 polls involving Democratic candidate Barack Obama and Republican John McCain will shake USA and the whole world.
Even the current mood there and elsewhere is a sign that there is great transformation. It will for long affect the direction of USA and the world. For the times “they are achanging,” Bob Dylan might sing.
As he leaves the USA presidency, many in the world have considered George W Bush, through his military invasions and occupations, a war lord. One hopes he has been on the way to understanding the lesson that vengeance begets vengeance and violence often yields violence. His actions have worsened the situation of the USA and the world. From these, people in USA and the world must move and transform.
USA and its people are not separate from other parts of the world. One notes the “Superpower” myth. I believe no country or people may be a superpower, for all countries and peoples are linked. Even though they have variation of geography and experiences and cultures, they are interdependent, nourishing each other. This connection, within us, we all have.
In early 2003, in Boston, Massachusetts, in the USA, I witnessed a hopeful sign. Young persons, including secondary school girls and boys were walking in procession, publicly protesting against George W Bush's March 2003 invasion of Iraq. It was a moving experience to note so young persons in touch with the truth of our common humanity. The signs were acoming!
They were against bullies and bullying. Five years on, some of these young are voters.
It is time to be integral parts of the world. Yes, 2008 is USA's year of great transformation. Away from big business, negative influence and control on policies and economies. Already, in the USA economy, around 40 million persons are in poverty. Over 40 million do not have secure access to health services.
The current financial crisis shows the USA economy is also in great transformation. The US financial system and economy have been based on unstable and defective foundations. So many aspects of the USA and the world are in great transformation.
As noted in this column Friday September 19, 2008, some have wondered how candidate John McCain, fairly respected by a wide range of persons, would fare in a dirty campaign. McCain, a prisoner of war during the Vietnam conflict, has used, sometimes without relevance to the issue at hand, the war hero shield for protection and advancement. General Wesley Clark has raised questions about John McCain and actual combat.
To influence minds and voting, the Republicans are known for dirty campaigns. They have used various ways, like accusing and framing opponents, character assassinations, untruths, and negative propaganda. Sadly, the schemers behave as if there is nothing wrong in slander and that it is just part of the game of politics.
Would John McCain be tempted to take advantage of rough campaigns against Barack Obama, who has amassed large support and seems to be on the way to victory? Would McCain lower himself?
As Barack Obama gained support, so too was McCain's team becoming rougher. But the lessons show that slandering Barack Obama has achieved no great advantage for Republicans. In fact, there has been reversed effect when people are appalled by dirty games and begin to lose respect for those spinning the schemes. They draw lines when negative things are extreme.
There is some thing in most humans, all over the world, that seeks to assert decency and justice for all. Negative schemes, like double edged swords, do boomerang. A weapon you use against others can be turned against you. It is said that those who live by the sword may perish by the sword. And those who dig graves to trap others may fall into them.
But at a landmark time like elections, people can choose to grow towards dignity, truth, goodwill, and peace for all. Truth always triumphs. And, I believe, truth has within it some self protecting mechanism just as false schemes harbour self destructive mechanisms. So it is always good to seek justice and peace for all and one self, in all situations, and at all times.
There are human made rules and games in elections and campaigns. Barrack Obama's team have been very sharp. They have parried Republican attacks. They have mobilised the public and even made the campaign be supported from the pockets and hearts of members of the public, thus mobilising a big swing for transformation.
Yet a deep lesson of the Barack Obama ascend is that there is something else beyond the human political rules, systems, and games. There seems the presence of a transformation force that is far deeper and stronger than party politics. There is a transformation moving things away from roughness and towards dignity and deeper relations within self and with others. It is difficult to block Barack Obama and what is driving him.
On other issues, in this relay of life, when we move with the torch of life, we feel appreciation for those who have contributed to our lives. Recently, late September, 2008, in Lusaka's Libala community, Mrs Mtengo, who in her later years had diabetes, passed away. We grew up in times when your friend's parent or brother and sister you also considered yours. So we consider Mama Mtengo our mother. We remember her contribution to the community and her family members, and they to us.
And we also remember our big man, Mr Nedson Nyoni, who passed away on Sunday October 5, 2008, in Lusaka. A permanent secretary in many ministries, we are reminded that the work of one affects others in other places and times. For, truly, many things Mr Nedson Nyoni worked on benefitted many and some are still being used today.
And, as Reverend Reuben Daka, who travelled from Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation to give the sermon at Kabwata Presbyterian church, Lusaka said, Nedson Nyoni had great humility. Greatly skilled and experienced, he would stay in the background while supporting and raising another person to become strong and effective. These lessons of Mama Mtengo and Nedson Nyoni, and our brothers and sisters in this journey of life, those who remain must carry on.
Written by Mubanga Mubanga
POLICE in Nakonde in Northern Province have impounded two trucks which were ferrying suspected MMD supporters to Ntantumbila to cast their votes in yesterday's presidential election. Ntantumbila is about 40 kilometres west of Nakonde border on the Mbala-Nakonde road.
The impounding of the two trucks by the police has left about 69 registered voters stranded, as they have no other means of travelling to the area where they registered to cast their votes.
Nakonde police acting officer-in-charge Ernest Chuni confirmed yesterday in an interview that all the 69 registered voters who were taken to the police station together with the two impounded trucks had been released after subjecting them to scrutiny by the police and other security agencies.
Chuni said police had released all the registered voters and asked them to look for their own transport to take them to the area where they registered.
Chuni also disclosed that investigations had revealed that one of the trucks was hired by a named prominent MMD member, who hails from Ntantumbila village, while the other one belongs to an unidentified member of the ruling MMD.
“Yes, I can confirm to you that as police in Nakonde, we have impounded two trucks namely Fuso truck ABJ 9537 and another Fuso truck registration number ABC 3837 which are now parked at the police station. One of the trucks was allegedly hired by ...," Chuni said.
Chuni also disclosed that about 15 people who were in the trucks suspected to be foreign nationals ran away as they were being led to the police station and police are investigating the matter.
Meanwhile, the eligible voters who were on the trucks told journalists after being screened by the police at the police station that they would not manage to vote as they had no money to pay for transport to go to Ntantumbila.
Jackson Sichalwe of Chimilombe in Nakonde central said the MMD officials promised to take them to Ntantumbila where they registered so as to cast their votes and bring them back to Nakonde after voting
"We were told by MMD officials that there will be free transport to the polling station in Ntantumbila and bring us back but now that police have impounded the trucks which were supposed to take us to Ntantumbila, we are not going to vote today because we have no money to pay for transport," said Sichalwe.
And Beatrice Namundi said she was now stranded after police impounded the truck which she was to use to travel to Ntatumbila where she registered to vote.
But when reached for comment, MMD Nakonde Constituency chairman Joy Siame said it was not true that the MMD officials in the district hired the trucks to ferry registered voters to Ntantumbila to cast their votes.
"It is not true that we as MMD hired the trucks to ferry people to Ntantumbila so as to enable them cast their votes," said Siame.
He claimed that the two trucks were hired by ordinary people.
Siame said it was unfortunate that some people would not be able to vote because of the move by the police to impound the trucks.
And election monitor Christopher Chanda from the Zambia National Women Lobby Group [ZNWLG], who tipped the police on the alleged electoral malpractice, said he spotted the two trucks loading people near Nakonde central market and later left for Ntantumbila.
Chanda said about 15 people escaped and ran into the nearby bush after police impounded the trucks.
And voting in Nakonde central started on a low note but later, the situation improved after 10:00 hours and the atmosphere was generally peaceful.
Written by Mutale Kapekele and Constance Matongo in Livingstone and Lambwe Kachali in Choma
UNITED Liberal Party (ULP) president Sakwiba Sikota has charged that the people who were “making noise” about transparency are to blame for the low voter turnout in yesterday’s presidential election. And Heritage Party did not have any polling agents in most polling stations in Choma.
In an interview after he cast his vote at Nalituwe Basic School, Sikota also said the low turnout of voters was a clear testimony that yesterday’s presidential elections were unnecessary.
Voting in Livingstone started on a slow note with most polling stations deserted.
By 12:00 hours, about 3,500 people had voted from several polling stations around the town centre and the compounds.
An on-the-spot check at Libala polling station in Mosi-o-Tunya ward of Ellein Britell revealed that people had lined up as early as 05:00 hours and that only 800 of the 2,156 registered voters had voted.
Returning officer Paul Sichikwenkwe said the process was peaceful and problem free.
At Dambwa Central polling station, only 381 of the 1,654 registered voters had voted by 09:00 hours.
Returning officer Lewis Choongo told The Post that the voting had started off well but slowed down after 08:00 hours.
In Dambwa North, three polling stations, Makelelo, Mujala and Dambwa community centre only recorded votes from 1,013 of the 2,763 registered voters by 12:00 hours.
At Mukamusaba polling station, which is at Livingstone International Airport, 200 people had voted by 07:30 hours.
Returning officer Yoram Mumbi said the numbers looked promising when voting started but “things slowed down after 07:00 hours.”
At Nalituwe polling station, returning officer Vincent Mwanza disclosed that 182 of 499 registered voters had cast their votes by 11:00 hours.
The pattern was not different in Maramba South and Natebe polling stations.
A check at all the polling stations in Choma Central, revealed that Heritage Party presidential candidate Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda was not represented by any polling agents.
Only Patriotic Front (PF) presidential candidate Michael Sata, UPND candidate Hakainde Hichilema and MMD’s Rupiah Banda sent their polling agents in all the polling stations.
Choma residents flocked in large numbers to cast their vote for the next president.
A few individuals who had the desire to make money opened their shops after casting their vote.
Polling stations in the district opened as early as 06:00 hours and queues were seen stretching as people cast their vote.
As at 10:00 hours, 322 people out of 992 registered voters had voted at Njase Girls Secondary School polling station.
At Chandamali polling station, 200 out of 913 registered voters had cast their votes, while at Adastra Basic School polling station 450 out of 1, 613 registered voters cast their votes.
St Patrick’s Basic School polling station recorded 217 voted out of 685 registered voters.
Choma Basic School polling station had 358 people that had voted out of 1, 263 registered voters.
At Timber Yard polling station 325 voted out of 987 registered voters, while Mwapona polling station had 400 people that cast their votes out of 1, 200 registered voters.
In an interview, Banda, who is also Choma district electoral officer, described the voter turnout as impressive and hoped that all eligible voters would be able to vote before 18:00 hours, the closing time.
Banda also commended the political parties for their peaceful attitude during the campaign period in the area.
“Choma central has almost 40, 000 voters while, the entire district has over 80,000 registered voters. But most importantly, I am very happy with the voter turnout. So far all polling stations that I have sampled, there was no apathy. And I hope everyone will vote before 18:00 hours,” said Banda.
And Choma town clerk Golden Banda expressed happiness at the voter turnout in yesterday’s presidential election.
Southern Province minister Daniel Munkombwe was seen visiting various polling stations seeking to know the number of people that had voted.
Munkombwe, who voted from Timber Yard polling station was seen at St Patrick’s Basic School asking polling assistants how many people had voted at the station so far.
He also complained over the behaviour of some polling assistants in other polling stations.
“I have visited almost all the polling stations, and you know, I have the authority to ask and know how many people have voted. So, how many people have voted here so far?” asked Munkombwe. “I think here, you are able to attend to the voters promptly, unlike in other polling stations.”
However, the polling assistant who visibly looked uncomfortable with Munkombwe’s presence responded affirmatively that the turnout was good and then Munkombwe drove off.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Munyaradzi Maburuse - Opinion
Thu, 30 Oct 2008 07:48:00 +0000
DEAR EDITOR – The United States government has issued a statement calling for the inclusion of the United Nations in the ongoing negotiations in Zimbabwe, as many analysts had predicted.
A statement issued by US State Department spokesman, Sean McComarck Thursday says: “We urge African leaders to work with the Southern African Development Community, the African Union, and the United Nations to address the urgent needs of the Zimbabwean people.”
The statement was issued days before a full gathering of the Sadc region as recommended by the Sadc troika – the Organ on Politics, Security and Defence – takes place.
The ruling Zanu PF party has blamed the Movement for Democratic Change party for deliberately stalling the power-sharing agreement in order to bring the Zimbabwean issue to the international stage. This latest statement by the US State Department could be viewed as a notch up in that process.
Although a communiqué issued by the Troika on Tuesday concluded that the sticking point was over the Ministry of Home Affairs, the US State Department still issued a statement condemning President Mugabe for “refusal to implement a genuine and equitable power-sharing agreement”.
The United States tone included the word “now” which could be seen as direct interference in the affairs of the country.
The region should not allow the United States to issue such statements, which threaten the spirit of working together in the region. African diplomacy should resist such attempts at interference.
Below we reproduce the full statement issued on October 29, 2008 by the Office of the Spokesman (US Department of State).
STATEMENT BY SEAN MCCORMACK, SPOKESMAN: ZIMBABWE IMPASSE
The United States regrets that the six-week impasse over implementation of the September 15 power-sharing agreement for Zimbabwe was not resolved at the October 27 Southern African Development Community-hosted talks. We condemn the Mugabe regime’s refusal to implement a genuine and equitable power-sharing agreement and its continued use of violence against peaceful demonstrators.
The United States shares the concern of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon about the negative effect the impasse is having on the people of Zimbabwe, who continue to suffer terribly. The United States will continue to provide food aid and other humanitarian assistance to assist the people of Zimbabwe.
Twenty-one African leaders witnessed the signing of the power sharing agreement between the Mugabe regime and the Movement for Democratic Change. The United States calls upon these leaders to resolve the impasse between the two parties now. We urge African leaders to work with the Southern African Development Community, the African Union, and the United Nations to address the urgent needs of the Zimbabwean people.
# # #
Issued: October 29, 2008
Peter Chimutsa - Opinion
Thu, 30 Oct 2008 14:11:00 +0000
DEAR EDITOR - I was shocked to read the latest statement by Sean McComack of the US Department of State with regards to Zimbabwe. This public diplomatic approach of the US is now getting ridiculous. How can a country that has imposed sanctions on a country be concerned about the suffering people?
What rank hypocrisy!
US interference in Zimbabwe has become nauseating and many of us are beginning to see through such machinations and that country's efforts at trying to play on people's minds by using this kind of propaganda.
This approach - a feature of the 1980s Cold War - does not work anymore. Many of us are now media savvy and can see through such statements. US could be a huge donor for Zimbabwe, but it is also responsible partly for the suffering we face today (in concert with her ally Britain). They have caused a lot of suffering in the country.
At a time when the region, especially South Africa, is making efforts to help Zimbabwe they issue such a statement. What does McComack mean when he says "The United States calls upon these leaders to resolve the impasse between the two parties now"? Who is McCormack in Zimbabwe and why the obsession with this tiny landlocked country? McComack knows what needs to be done for the suffering in Zimbabwe to end. The US should reopen diplomatic channels with Zimbabwe, remove sanctions and allow US businesses to work with Zimbabwe (according to the laws of the country). Humanitarian aid will not give people jobs nor improve the economic well-being of the country.
This US propaganda has been used too often. They should reverse ZIDERA first and allow businesses from America to do business with Zimbabwe, then talk about the suffering of the people.
The US is well known for causing deaths and havoc in many countries and then hide under the banner of humanitarian assistance. This has happened too often now that we are all no longer absorbing this propaganda anymore.
This level of propaganda from a country that claims the stewardship of the world in shocking. It is a good thing now that global power is being realigned as US and Britain are adopting a 'Look East Policy' and running to China for rescue packages. What is shocking is the fact that US still thinks it is the greatest nation on planet earth when its public diplomacy has failed dismally and has made so many enemies the world over.
The rise of Barack Obama is true testament of how fed up people are with Washington and its excesses.
The US has never been involoved in state building anywhere in the world. Everywhere it has been involved, it has left intractable conflict and caused terror on civilian populations. Just look around you - the evidence is there for everyone to see.
Thu, 30 Oct 2008 06:41:00 +0000
DEVELOPED countries are planning to cut aid to Africa due to the global financial crisis, a senior African Union (AU) commissioner said on Wednesday.
While Africa is relatively protected from the global turmoil as African banks are less exposed to credit risk, analysts believe there could be a reduction of aid flows as well as foreign direct investment and remittances.
"I have had informal discussions with representatives of our development partners and the message that I'm getting is that this could affect development aid to Africa," said Maxwell Mkwezalamba, the AU commissioner for economic affairs.
"There are not yet any clear indications as to the magnitude, but this is what is expected."
Parts of the continent have been hit by drought and Africa has also felt the effects of high food and fuel prices this year.
"Trade and investment flows are likely to be negatively affected because of the looming consequences of growing recession in the developed countries," Mkwezalamba told reporters.
He said that more than 100 million people had been pushed deeper into poverty because of the food prices and the situation would get worse with less aid flowing.
Africa will have to find ways to help itself if aid amounts fall, he said.
"We should move towards being self-sufficient. We cannot depend on aid forever," he said. "We could look at widening the tax base in Africa, for example, and we should look at what we can do to increase trade between our own countries."
Mkwezalamba criticised the International Monetary Fund's bailout packages to Hungary and Ukraine.
"These are the same resources that we are competing for," he said. "If an African country was to experience these kinds of difficulties, would the IMF be able to come up with a similar amount of money?"
Wed, 29 Oct 2008 12:31:00 +0000
THE Prime Minister of Swaziland has indicated that the power-sharing talks in Zimbabwe are now focussing on just one ministry and urged the main parties in the country to come up with a speedy solution to the political and economic crisis in the country.
Prime Minister, Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini was speaking to reporters and government officials at Swaziland’s Matsapha International Airport after attending the Southern African Development Community’s Troika summit on Zimbabwe.
Dlamini chaired the summit on behalf of His Majesty King Mswati III, the current chair of the Sadc Troika – the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security of the regional grouping.
“The talks went throughout the day and night. We spoke until dawn. The problem now is with the Ministry of Home Affairs. Mugabe (President) wants it and Tsvangirai wants it. That is why the talks could not be concluded,” he briefed a group of Swazi Ministers, deputy Ministers and Permanent Secretaries in the airport’s VIP lounge.
Dlamini said the state of economy in Zimbabwe had deteriorated to low levels such that the value of the currency was now too low.
“In order to buy bread, one needs to carry a lot of dollars. The prices are also volatile in that a particular commodity may cost a certain amount at one time. However, this price could change rapidly.”
Dlamini said former South African President Thabo Mbeki will continue with facilitation efforts in preparation for a full Sadc summit in two weeks’ time.
Leaders of Mozambique, Swaziland and Angola who make up the current troika met with President Mugabe, South African President Kgalema Motlanthe and Executive Secretary of Sadc, Tomaz Salamao and the leaders of the two Movement for Democratic Change formations on Monday to try and break the current political deadlock in the country.
A communiqué issued after the summit indicated that the talks were inconclusive and referred them to a full Sadc meeting which will be held in two weeks’ time.
Meanwhile the Secretary General of the MDC-T party Tendai Biti held a press conference on Tuesday at which he refuted the details issued in the Sadc Troika communiqué.
The communiqué indicated that talks had centred on the outstanding issue of the control of the Home Affairs ministry – a statement corroborated by PM Dlamini, Sadc Secretary Salamao and President Motlanthe of South Africa.
According to Biti all “key ministries” are still under discussion and “are supposed to be shared equitably”.
Biti issued a statement saying the document signed on Global Agreement signed by the principals to the talks (the party leaders) was fundamentally different from the one signed at the official ceremony attended by Sadc leaders on September 15. Biti’s statement was in direct contrast to MDC-T spokesman, Nelson Chamisa’s statement that the difference was a typographical error.
Chamisa told SW Radio that the errors were “not going to be a big mountain to climb for the concerned parties.”
He added: “Well it’s not about the removal of the details. I suppose its typo errors and hopefully it’s going to be corrected. This is why we are not interested in making a mountain out of a mole hill.”
In reference to the same errors, Biti said referred to them as the “fraudulent alteration of the agreement of the 11th of September 2008 and the one that was signed on the 15th of September 2008.”
PASSPORT FOR TSVANGIRAI
Biti also indicated that the next Sadc summit to be held in the next two weeks should help break the current political impasse. He, however, said that if the MDC leader, morgan Tsvangirai was not issued with a passport he would not be attending the summit – if it was held outside Zimbabwe.
“We will not travel on an [emergency document] … The passport issue is the crudest form of a lack of sincerity” by Zanu PF party, he said.
Tsvangirai has not had a passport for almost a year. He has travelled to Europe and all over Africa in the past few months on an Emergency Travel Document.
Written by Patson Chilemba
It’s over for Rupiah Banda and he should start packing his katundu from Government House, Patriotic Front president Michael Sata said yesterday. Sata said Vice-President Banda and MMD had taken people for a ride and time of reckoning had arrived for them. “Their government has come to an end today. It's over for Rupiah and he must start packing his katundu (property) from Government House,” he said.
Sata said Vice-President Banda's caretaker government had failed and should be voted out of government.
He said Vice-President Banda and MMD engaged in all sorts of electoral malpractices to gain people's support but failed lamentably.
Sata said Vice-President Banda served in several key positions but only had corruption and unsuccessfulness to show for that.
He said people have now come to discover the corruption and rot that characterised Vice-President Banda's leadership.
“That's why they are panicking saying he has been taken to South Africa. I don't know if Mumbwa and Lusaka is in South Africa. Rupiah Banda is panicking, and must start to look for somewhere else to go because he has even rented his house to Sable,” Sata said.
He further said since people were resolved on change of government, they should not waste their vote on UPND president Hakainde Hichilema because he did not stand even the slimmest chance of winning.
And addressing his last campaign rally at Woodlands Stadium yesterday, Sata asked Police Inspector General Ephraim Mateyo not to be partisan. He said Mateyo has been partisan in his recent statements.
Sata said time had come for Zambians to liberate themselves for the third time.
During the same rally, pastor Danny Pule said he had joined PF out of conviction because Sata was the right person to carry the nation forward.
Written by Masuzyo Chakwe
WHOEVER is elected in today's presidential election will need to deal with The Post, Centre for Policy Dialogue Neo Simutanyi said yesterday. But Post managing editor Amos Malupenga advised Simutanyi to pursue his agenda against The Post with honesty and integrity.
During a press briefing in Lusaka, Simutanyi said The Post had become too powerful and untouchable, followed its own rules and that time had come for people to challenge the tyranny of the newspaper. He said The Post operated, made its own rules and attacked everybody.
"There is a real need for an alternative platform to represent the voiceless, the poor and downtrodden. We will not continue to sit and watch this paper do as it pleases and remain untouchable. It is my view that whoever is elected tomorrow will need to address the issues of The Post," Simutanyi said.
He said he had known Post editor Fred M'membe for almost 30 years and had associated with the newspaper since its inception in 1991 where he has written a regular column for almost five years.
"There is no doubt that the events of the last two days have put this relationship in serious jeopardy. Yesterday, The Post carried a story purporting that Pangolin Consulting, to which I am associated carried out an opinion poll which projected that Patriotic Front (PF's) presidential candidate Michael Sata would win Thursday's election by 37 per cent followed by MMD's Rupiah Banda 32 percent and UPND's Hakainde Hichilema at 21 per cent with 10 per cent of respondents undecided," he said.
Dr Simutanyi said the story was based on an alleged SMS (short message service) received by the newspaper from undisclosed sources.
He said he was asked to confirm that information but denied knowledge, yet the newspaper went on to publish the story linking him to it.
"Today, they have gone on to claim that I am a 'liar and coward' for not corroborating their story. It is clear that the motive for linking me to the story was to give credibility to the Steadman Group Poll that has reported that Mr Michael Sata may be elected by 46 per cent of the vote followed by Mr Rupiah Banda with 32 per cent and Mr Hakainde Hichilema with 17 per cent, with one per cent going to Gen Godfrey Miyanda and 12 per cent undecided," Simutanyi said. "I have been asked for my views over the Steadman poll by various of media organisations. I have been interviewed by people including The Post itself. Other than saying that the margins appear too large, I have not dismissed the findings outright. As a pollster myself, I know that as long as the poll was conducted scientifically, it may approximate public opinion at the time of conducting it."
Simutanyi said he still stood by what he said yesterday that Pangolin Consulting had never conducted an opinion poll since 2006 neither had the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) been associated with any poll involving the organisation. He said FES had been their partner for a while now and had supported a number of programmes but these did not include an opinion poll.
"Further, the figures published in yesterday's Post did not originate from me but from an alleged SMS which I understand is still circulating. It is clear that the purpose of yesterday's story was to project Mr Michael Sata as the likely winner of tomorrow's poll. My refutation of the story created problems for the paper that I became a target of personal attack. For example, I was called 'fool' and 'idiot' by Fred M'membe in a telephone conversation yesterday," he said.
He said he found it very difficult to speak ill of a friend and comrade, in apparent reference to M'membe. Simutanyi said M'membe and The Post were like family to him.
But Malupenga said it was unfortunate that Simutanyi had decided to pursue his agenda against The Post with lies.
"Whatever is motivating him, I think it is better for him to be truthful and honest in his dealings with us," said Malupenga. "He is saying we are too powerful. The Post only stands for the truth. If he knows that he has done something wrong, then he has reason to fear that The Post will fight him in defence of the truth. If he wants to tell lies, we will not leave his lies unattended to....Now Dr Simutanyi is talking about The Post having finished Dr Chiluba and others. This country has over 10 million people. Do we write about them? We write about people who have issues and you have to look at those issues on merit. Today, Dr Simutanyi sounds to be Dr Chiluba's defender, accusing us of having finished Dr Chiluba. Does he want us to tell the public his views about Chiluba? We know his views about Chiluba because he is our friend, we have shared views and ideas for a long time."
Malupenga said he would not waste any more time discussing Simutanyi's lies because he had explained the correct position in yesterday's edition of The Post.
"I can only urge Dr Simutanyi to pursue his agenda against us with honesty and integrity," said Malupenga. "He is now claiming that The Post is on him because he refused to endorse or analyse the Steadman Group's opinion poll which put Sata as winner of today's presidential election. I challenge him to tell the public who from The Post asked him to endorse or analyse the Steadman's poll results. It's shameful that a man of Dr Simutanyi's calibre can reduce himself to the behaviour of political cadres who usually have no respect or regard for the truth. As for his wish for the next government to deal with us, we wish him luck. But he should remind himself together with those who are inspiring him to say what he is saying against us, that the good usually triumphs over evil, no matter how long it takes. "
Written by Agness Changala
FORMER Lusaka Province MMD chairman Geoffrey Chumbwe has defected to the Patriotic Front (PF) because of intimidation in the MMD. And former MMD National Executive Committee (NEC) member Christine Moonga said one must be a liar to survive in the MMD. Meanwhile, Dunamis Christian Centre founding pastor Dan Pule said he is convinced that Michael Sata is the man that God wants for Zambia.
Speaking when he defected to PF in Lusaka yesterday, Chumbwe, who was welcomed by party vice-president Guy Scott, general secretary Edward Mumbi and other senior officials said, said most people who were not happy with what was going on in the party could not speak because doing so in the MMD was insulting and disrespectful.
"In MMD if you tell the truth, you are insulting and disrespectful," he said.
Chumbwe said it was not easy to decide and join PF because if he did so earlier, he would have died by now.
He said he had decided to join PF not because he was upset or attacked by the MMD but simply because he was disappointed with the party as it had been hijacked by selfish individuals who wanted to get something out of late president Levy Mwanawasa's death.
He said he knew and understood Sata better because they worked together and it was for this reason that he had decided to join the party.
"I have decided to work with bayama [uncle] the one I know better," Chumbwe said.
And officially defecting to PF, Moonga appealed to Zambians to embrace change and not allow a party like the MMD, which was beyond repair, to continue.
"In MMD if you have to survive, you have to be a liar," she said. "Embrace change with a difference and not MMD to continue."
Moonga said God had a purpose for taking away president Mwanawasa, adding that time had now come for Sata to rule.
Meanwhile, pastor Pule, who also declared his support and endorsed Sata, said he had never supported a loser and he was sure that Sata would win.
"I have never supported a loser," pastor Pule said. "Sata is going to propel this country forward because he is a man of action and of the people."
Other MMD officials who defected to opposition PF include Paul Moonga [Christine's husband], Gladys Phiri (MMD member) and Esther Nakawala.
Written by Nyambe Muyumbana in Mongu
WESTERN Province United Liberal Party (ULP) chairman Simasiku Kalumiana has resigned from his party to join opposition Patriotic Front. In an interview, Kalumiana said his decision to resign from ULP was backed by his relatives, friends and ULP supporters in Nalikwanda Constituency, where he is former member of parliament.
Kalumiana said that ULP had lost direction and its core purpose of which it was founded upon, saying that it was only three individuals who were setting their selfish agendas for every one in the party.
He said that he found it unacceptable to be part of a party which had failed to enhance and advance the ideals of multiparty democracy which it stood for when it was formed.
"I have today decided to relinquish my position as provincial chairman for ULP in Western Province as well as member of ULP. This is as a result of serious searching for a right party to join as well as consultations with my family members, friends and supporters," he said.
"Today ULP is controlled by few individuals who are setting the agenda direction of the party for everyone and it's only these few people who are benefiting. Look at the pact between ULP and MMD, there was no formal meeting of the National Steering Committee to agree on that! That's why today it's only Shumina (ULP secretary general) and Sakwiba flying in the chopper to go for campaigns. No! We can't have only three people flying," he said.
Kalumiana said that it was so unfortunate that Sakwiba Sikota had reduced himself to such levels of following Rupiah Banda when he was in the actual sense supposed to run his own party.
Kalumiana said that it was clear that everyone in the country wanted change and said that he did not want to be one of the people who were standing in the way for change.
He declared that the support Sata was commanding across the country was unstoppable saying that it was sad that the MMD together with ULP were fighting it instead of harmonising it.
"For me I believe the wind for change is here. Whether it will happen on Thursday or 2011, the fact is the wind is here. What I'm doing is just a tip of an iceberg phenomenon otherwise the rest are waiting to come out in the open and resign from various parties to join PF," said Kalumiana.
Written by Florence Bupe
THE Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has denied Anti-Rigging Zambia Limited accreditation to monitor today’s presidential elections.
In a statement jointly signed by the Anti-Rigging Zambia chairman and legal director, the organisation described the decision by ECZ as irresponsible, malicious and unfair.
“We strongly condemn the Electoral Commission of Zambia’s decision to suspend our accreditation at this late stage. It is our considered opinion that this decision is not only unfair, but also irresponsible, malicious and a gross abuse of the commission’s authority,” they stated.
The organisation stated that the suspension of accreditation by ECZ was a clear indication that the commission was not transparent.
“This is clear testimony that the ECZ is not operating in a transparent and autonomous manner. That we have so far trained over 3,000 monitors in all the constituencies and districts in the country. The monitors were going to maintain a watchful eye on the electoral process at the various polling stations,” the organisation stated. “The decision by ECZ means that this effort has been grossly frustrated, resulting into possible manipulation of the election.”
Anti-Rigging Zambia said the move by ECZ was baseless, explaining that the arrest of individuals of the organisation had no legal effects on the operations of the organisation.
“It is common cause that a limited company is a separate entity from its individual director, officers, shareholders... one cannot punish a corporate company for alleged wrongs of individual officers of such a company. It is unfortunate that the director of ECZ, Dan Kalale, failed to seek legal advice on this basic principle of law from all the legal minds in the commission, and the Ministry of Justice,” they stated.
The organisation further said ECZ was insensitive.
“We further condemn the ECZ for being insensitive to the efforts made by Anti- Rigging Zambia Limited. The company, thus, reserves its right to recover damages for time, effort, service and the huge expense involved against ECZ,” they stated.
However, the organisation has pledged to be alert during and after elections to ensure that there is no vote rigging.
Written by Kingsley Kaswende in Harare
THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has devised a methodology of sharing the contentious key ministries with ZANU-PF by pairing them in the orders of importance and relative equality so as to break the stalemate.
The Zimbabwean parties have been deadlocked on how to share the key ministries in the proposed inclusive government despite interventions by regional leaders.
MDC secretary general Tendai Biti, who is also the party's chief negotiator, alleged on Tuesday that at the core of the differences between MDC and ZANU-PF regarding the sharing of ministries was the lack of sincerity and good faith on the part of ZANU-PF.
The SADC troika on Monday failed to narrow the parties' differences and referred the dispute to a full SADC summit, to be held next week at latest.
"It is regrettable that the troika could not narrow the gaps between the Zimbabwe parties. In our view, an urgent summit towards the resolution of the Zimbabwe crisis is paramount... At the core of our differences, in our view, is the lack of sincerity and good faith on the part of ZANU-PF. The fact that contrary to the Global Political Agenda (GPA), ZANU-PF is still interfering with the distribution of humanitarian assistance, and the fact that it is still emasculating basic freedoms is equally unacceptable," Biti stated in a press statement.
Biti hoped the emergency SADC summit would conclude the outstanding issues, especially the allocation of portfolio ministries to ensure that both parties have equitable authority.
"In this regard the MDC has suggested a methodology in respect of which the key ministries are paired in the orders of importance and relative equality. We identified 10 key ministries, which we believe are supposed to be shared equitably. For instance, we have paired Home Affairs to Defence, Justice and Legal Affairs to Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, Mines and Minerals Development to Environment and Youth to Women. In our view equity and responsibility with authority can be achieved if the ministries are therefore allocated on the basis of the above methodology," Biti stated.
"However, there is an attempt to ignore or overlook these fundamental principles and hence the claim in some circles that only the Portfolio Ministry of Home Affairs is outstanding. Nothing can be further from the truth."
Biti said the other outstanding issue was the appointment of the 10 provincial governors in line with the outcome of the March 29 elections.
"The third outstanding issue is the question of the composition, functions and constitution of the National Security Council. This is a critical issue in view of the dangerous and partisan role that has been displayed by the intelligence services in this country," he said.
He said the other issue to be discussed would be the appointment of permanent secretaries and ambassadors, as well as the question of Constitutional Amendment No. 19, which would be the legal document necessary and conditional in bringing the inclusive government into life.
However, Biti expressed disappointment that the troika on Monday discussed the issue of the alteration of the agreement between MDC and ZANU-PF but that the issue was not reflected in the communiqué.
"The (other) point is the morally irreprehensible fact that the fraudulent alteration of the agreement of the 11th of September 2008 and the one that was signed on the 15th of September 2008. It is our understanding that the Troika in fact made a resolution that it is the agreement of the 11th of September 2008 that should be binding and we are indeed surprised that it was not captured in the communiqué," said Biti.
Written by Kabanda Chulu
THE government says it will re-advertise the submission of bids for the development of the US $50 million Kabompo Hydro Power project due to failure by most bidders to meet project requirements.
According to the Zambia National Tender Board (ZNTB), bidders for the development of the 50 mega watts Kabompo Gorge hydro power project could not meet certain objectives needed to develop the power station.
“We have granted authority to the Ministry of Energy to re-advertise the expression of interest because most of the submitted bids failed to meet what is required to develop the hydro power station that is expected to cost about US $ 50 million,” it stated.
It stated that after closure of the submissions, the bids would be evaluated and the preferred bidder would be selected and invited to present their proposal and thereafter be given an opportunity to develop the project which is located in North-Western Province.
And the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) is offering investors and other stakeholders to develop tourism concession blocks in seven national parks around the country.
The tourism concession blocks would cover a minimum of 10,000 hectares up to a maximum of 20,000 hectares.
Written by Joan Chirwa
FINANCE Bank Zambia Limited has announced a 36.5 per cent
in its pre-tax profit for the quarter ended September 30, 2008.
And the bank has said the contraction of liquidity on the market has necessitated an increase in lending rates to the current 21 per cent from the previous 19 per cent.
The bank’s deposits also grew to K1.1 trillion during the third quarter compared to about K1 trillion recorded in second quarter, signifying a seven per cent increase.
Loans were recorded at K512 billion in the quarter under review from K422 billion recorded in the corresponding period.
Finance Bank Zambia executive director for Corporate Banking and Marketing Noel Nkoma attributed the increase in profits to enhanced lending to several productive sectors of Zambia’s economy.
“We have increase lending to productive sectors by K30 billion every month,” Nkoma said. “The increase in deposits is attributed to benefits of investments we have made in the past months were we have opened new branches. These benefits are beginning to trickle in.”
Nkoma said the bank was on target to achieving the forecast K1.6 trillion in deposits and a profit after tax of K85 billion.
“We intend to scale up on loans and advances as well and we are expecting to hit K800 billion at the end of this year. We have also been involved in major capital financing,” Nkoma said.
And Nkoma said the increase in lending rates has resulted from tightening liquidity on the market.
“This means the cost of funds invariably goes up, it is a balancing effect. This situation has been triggered by the movement in Treasury Bills rates,” said Nkoma.
A number of commercial banks in the country recently effected an upward adjustment to their interest rates.
Labels: FINANCE BANK
Written by Agness Changala in Monze
FARMERS in Chibozu village of chief Monze’s area have appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture to speed up the process of input distribution in the area.
Speaking through their headman Mike Chibozu, the farmers said they had not yet received any inputs for the 2008/2009 agricultural season.
Headman Chibozu said the farmers did not want a repeat of what happened during the last farming season where most of them received inputs way into the farming season.
“We are asking the government to continue sending us farming inputs,” he said. “We also ask the government to do this on time and not what happened during the last season and as we speak, no bag of fertiliser has been here so far even when the distribution programme has commenced and we want this matter to be taken seriously.”
And Headman Chibozu requested government to build another school in the area, saying the only schools available were between 10 and 12 kilometres away, a situation he said made it difficult for many children to get educated.
“Schools are far away and the problem is that most of the female students are even raped due to long distances, they have ended up conceiving at premature ages,” he said.
Headman Chibozu said the area had a population of 300,000 people which he felt was reason enough for the government to put up basic facilities which would benefit the local people and others in the surrounding villages.
He also said the only health facility nearby was 30 kilometres away and urged the government to look into the matter.
Headman Chibozu said most people died before they could even reach the health centre, adding that the situation worsens during the rainy season.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Wed, 29 Oct 2008 00:03:00 +0000
IN DOING consulting work in the mining industry, I come across all kinds of business challenges. Mines have in their employ men and women whose only job is to come and make things better. This is called optimization and can take the form of business process reengineering, six sigma, capability maturity modeling, organization redesign and development, change management or a complete revamp. These men and women must of necessity have the heart of a revolutionary and the stamina of a champion.
Revolutionaries operate by both insight and foresight. They are visionary and intuitive by nature. Champions have the pedigree and passion to last the whole distance. The revolutionary will see the future, and the champions will take us there.
The world is in urgent need of optimization. We need men and women who will rise and makes things better. These need to be revolutionary at heart and champion in spirit.
The world is tired of ‘chef revolutionaries’ whose measure of success is the size of their belly. Neither does the world want any more smooth-talking and debonair Wall Street investor savvy wheeler dealers. Nor politicians who bicker over who will sleep in the main bedroom when the house is on fire. Life can be more serious than that. Let’s start a war of making the world a better place not just for today but tomorrow. We have a generational responsibility to bequeath to future generations a better world.
At the current rate, there is a risk that this could potentially be a generation that impoverished the world – environmentally, socially, economically and politically. God forbid. With so much advancement around, it is incomprehensible that we have more poor people and less healthy people than we had 50 years ago. The world is sick and needs to be fixed. This kind of sickness needs more than a pain killer, but urgent radical surgery.
I want to challenge, even provoke you to be stirred to say “Not under my watch”. History records men and women who stood up and said “Not under my watch”. The Mandela’s, Gandhi’s, Mother Theresa, Masiyiwa Family (through Capernaum Trust), Gates Family Trust, Buffet and others come to mind. We need the proverbial Daniel’s, Nehemiah’s, David’s and Deborah’s who will rise and slay the ‘Philistines’ of economic greed, poverty, political mediocrity, debauchery and destructive consumption.
Real revolutionaries are driven by a desire to make a generational impact. They seek to pursue grand societal goals even at the expense of personal advancement. This is contrary to latter day self proclaimed “revolutionaries” whose sense of entitlement has condemned whole nations to abject economic and social depravity.
You too can make a difference. You just need to take your place and play your part. The real revolution starts with you in the way you think and act. Change that village or town even if it means planting trees. Think beyond yourself for a change. What will future generations say about you, if at all?
Spirit of Champions
Champions are usually not super humans. They are common men or women who are driven by a desire to achieve a goal. The mark of champions is the ability to identify a goal and work towards it. What need is within your reach community, town, village or nation that you could address. It’s not about money, Gandhi had none – are you willing to take “response – ability”?
The world is crying for champions. Champions take ‘response-ability’. They respond to a need using their ability. Mother Theresa was a champion for the poor who turned Calcutta upside down. Mandela was a champion for the oppressed. Kenyan Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai is a champion for Kenyan forests (sustainable development) Indian scientist Vandana Shiva is a global anti GMO campaigner.
They are all ordinary individuals who have set extraordinary goals for themselves. The point is you can also play a part. Let me end by quoting one of my favourite quotes by Wangari Maathai: "In the course of history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground. A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other. That time is now."