Saturday, April 25, 2009

(YOUTUBE) Joseph Stiglitz Interviews with Greg Palast On The IMF's Role In Perpetuating Poverty

World Bank creating poverty (BBC Newsnight)

Greg Palast interviews Joseph Stiglitz on the World Bank and IMF, and it's agenda. According to Joseph Stiglitz, the IMF turns a blind eye to big corruption, for political purposes. Sort of puts the West's and IMF's policies on Zimbabwe in context. Watch this program. :)

Also interesting:

Joseph Stiglitz, American economist, on resolving the global financial crisis
3 februari 2009

Joseph Stiglitz, American economist and a professor at Columbia University, on resolving the global financial crisis.

The World Bank (WB) & The International Monetary Fund (IMF)

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(HERALD) Council unveils revised budget

Council unveils revised budget
By Michael Padera

HARARE City Council has slashed the 2009 budget by US$55,3 million from US$185 million to US$129,7 million with effect from February 1.

Rates, refuse fees and supplementary charges for residential and business premises have been reduced by half.

The reduction was approved yesterday during a full council meeting, implying that the city now owes residents US$15 million in payments for February and March.

However, in March the city had billed for US$15 million but was only able to collect US$2,6 million which means that only residents who had paid their bills in full will be credited.

Those that had not paid anything to the city still owe half the amounts reflected on their monthly bills.

"Council approves the revision of its revenue budget from US$185 million to US$129,7 million. Council notes that the ratepayers be owed approximately US$15 million for retrospective adjustments for the months of February and March 2009," reads part of the approved minutes.

According to the schedule of the minutes the average bill for a high-density area is now US$13,98, down from US$25,50 while that for medium-density suburbs like Mabelreign is now US$30,10, down from US$58,80.

Residents of low-density suburbs like Borrowdale, Glen Lorne and Chisipite will now pay US$57,31 as opposed to the US$98,80 proposed in the original budget.

Industrial concerns that had initially been asked to pay monthly rates of US$3 545 would now pay US$1 414,41 while the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, which had the highest bill of US$33 460, will now pay US$17 378.

The amounts include value added tax and refuse fees.

Water is excluded in the revised budget.

Councillor Tungamirai Madzokere urged council to enact a by-law that compels landlords to charge rentals that are in line with the council charges.

He said landlords were ripping off tenants.

All the other city charges have been revised downwards but by different percentages.

The revision of the budget follows an outcry by the residents who felt the charges were too exorbitant and a realisation that the costs of goods and services were stabilising or coming down.

The Government had also directed that all service providers revise their tariffs downwards.

On its part the city has already reviewed downwards its workers salaries and allowances in line with the revised budget.

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(HERALD) Empower youth through land

Empower youth through land
By Vimbai Komani

IN the days of the liberation struggle, many youths voluntarily went to the forefront — or were actively encouraged to do so — to lend their invaluable energy and innovation to the cause of defeating the racist regime of Ian Smith.

Youths were known to organise rallies and demonstrations as well as generally mobilising their communities (and as such the entire nation) during those very trying times.

And in the process they were beaten, teargassed, mauled by dogs, arrested, tortured and killed by the brutal settler government.

No one can ever underestimate the important role that the youth played in taking up arms and going to the bloody war fronts as a demonstration of their love for the nation and for the independence of their motherland.

This fight for nationhood was only for the bold and daring, and many young people demonstrated their resolve to fight, shed their blood and get maimed in order to bring about national freedom.

It is, therefore, surprising that this commitment and sense of nationhood and patriotism is not so visible today.

In 2000, Zimbabwe embarked on the Fast Track Land Reform Programme, which was a fulfilment of the desires that motivated many young people to take up arms in the 1960s through to 1980.

Why then are there so few youths today interested in getting into farming?

For more than 10 years, the people of Zimbabwe have endured severe hardships due to the hypocritical economic sanctions imposed by the US, EU, World Bank, IMF and others in response to the move by indigenous peoples to reclaim land that had been stolen at gunpoint by white settlers.

Currently, Zimbabwe has an unemployment rate of around 80 percent, has had to shelve its national currency because of hyperinflation and has been hard hit by drought and famine.

So perhaps enough is not being done to harness the energy of the youth in economic turnaround, particularly in the agricultural sector.

Some, though, have been trying to get the youth more involved in farming.

Established in June 2005, Ujamaa Youth Farming Project is an African youth-led farming co-operative that secured a 100-acre plot of farmland in the city of Gweru under the Zimbabwe Government’s revolutionary land redistribution programme.

UYFP’s mission is to empower African youth through gainful farming initiatives so that they are able to demonstrate the essential skills necessary to function as lifelong productive citizens in Zimbabwe’s agrarian reforms. According to Kwanisai Mafa, UYFP founder and chairman: "One of our immediate goals is to offer produce to wholesalers and retail outlets in and around Zimbabwe’s Midlands provinces.

"A longer term goal is to establish a training programme so that African youth from outside Zimbabwe and even outside Africa will visit, meet, train, work and bond with their counterparts on this farm."

This initiative probably cuts to the core of one of the major reasons why youths are not getting into farming — they simply are not given enough opportunities by the State and their own local communities.

Most farms allocated to new farmers through the Land Reform Programme have not gone to younger age-sets.

More than 1 000 youths graduate from agricultural colleges countrywide every year but very few of them are allocated land which would help them put into practice their skills.

Instead, most of them try and get jobs on other people’s farms at a time few people are interested in hiring young farm managers and supervisors, or they become extension officers.

Blessing Chanana (24), for example, graduated from Rio Tinto Agricultural College with a certificate in agriculture.

Chanana said that he has always wanted to own a commercial farm which would see him helping in the development of the country’s economy.

"When I finished my studies I wanted to venture into the practical aspect of agriculture rather than become an academician.

"l have always wished that the Government would allocate land specifically for the youth who have the experience in farming.

"Instead most of those who graduate from agricultural colleges end up being Agritex officers or teachers and we only exploit our knowledge at that relatively small scale," he lamented.

Most of the youth in Zimbabwe do not enjoy the benefit of their own forefathers’ soil because they are not given the platform to showcase their abilities.

The Government, according to some of the youth interviewed, should establish a quota system, which would allocate a portion of land acquired for purposes of redistribution to the younger generations so that they at least have a starting point and can directly contribute to national economic recovery.

The Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, has said that Zimbabwean youths must take a leading role in spearheading community developmental programmes across the country to assist the nation in terms of the food security.

"Youths must use the skills acquired from different learning institutions to uplift the living standards of the communities as well as the nation as a whole," he said.

Cde Kasukuwere said that his ministry has embarked on a programme to encourage youth with an interest in farming.

Called Youth in Farming, its objectives are:

l To facilitate meaningful involvement of youth in national development efforts, particularly in the field of agriculture.

l To encourage and lobby for the participation of Zimbabwean youth in national, regional and international youth exchange programmes and other youth related initiatives.

l To mould youth who are productive, responsible and enterprising.

l To create employment for youths through agriculture and ensure that they play a part in the eradication of poverty and all the social ills that come with it.

l To promote and maintain national unity among all patriotic youth.

l To promote self-reliance among youths.

Membership is open to all Zimbabwean youths between the ages of 15-35.

The Government and non-governmental organisations should seriously consider ways of involving more youths in productive economic activities, such as in agriculture, so that the full energies of the country are harnessed for a quick turnaround in the nation’s fortunes.

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(HERALD) U-turn in UK’s Zim policy welcome

U-turn in UK’s Zim policy welcome

THE inclusive Government is not just gaining the support and confidence of Zimbabweans; it has now started attracting support in the international community and even from those countries that led the sanctions charge.

Britain this week very quietly announced, during a meeting between British Ambassador Mr Andrew Pocock and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, that the United Kingdom would no longer vote against funding for Zimbabwe at the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation.

Presumably, the lack of any fanfare in the British U-turn was because the British never wanted to admit in the first place that they had pushed so hard for the damaging financial sanctions. But any U-turn in this critical area is welcome.

On one hand, the quiet announcement, and it may just mean the British will abstain in votes, is far from a ringing endorsement, but on the other it is a big step forward, especially if the United States follows the British lead, as it did when the economic sanctions were originally introduced.

Without active opposition from the US and Britain, Zimbabwe now has a real chance of some support from these three international organisations.

But the amounts they lend are, in reality, quite modest, and with the international financial crisis in full swing, Zimbabwe is standing in a long queue with others looking for help; none of us are going to get that much simply because the IMF and World Bank do not have that much to distribute.

So the IMF and the World Bank are not going to solve our problems overnight. But being in their good books does give our country its credit rating back; generally no one will lend money, or even give reasonable credit, to a country that is not in reasonable standing with the major international financial organisations.

But again we need to recognise that while international and regional financial support will be useful, and even crucial, it will not solve any problems unless we take responsibility for our own future.

We cannot rely on outsiders, first because they simply do not have the funds in the present international crisis and, secondly, because most are only going to help those who help themselves.

We will find the IMF and our trading partners far more impressed and far more ready to help if we are doing something ourselves, rather than just waiting for a knight in shining armour to rescue us.

We are surprised that Finance Minister Tendai Biti has yet to float rand-denominated Government bonds to tap some of the money now starting to flow into private pension funds and the State’s NSSA.

In the past a percentage of pension fund assets had to be in Government stock. This is now impossible because, for all practical purposes, there is no Government stock.

Those percentages were disliked, but every pension fund would like some of its assets in Government gilts so long as these were denominated in a stable currency. So even a voluntary gilts market would attract support and would impress the outside world, whose support we desire, that we are taking things seriously and putting some of our new savings where our mouths are.

We hope that the gradual attrition against the sanctions, both the major unannounced ones like the ban on IMF lending, and the more minor ones trumpeted across the world, the travel bans on a few score people, will be speeded up.

One set has seriously damaged Zimbabwe and the other, while only a nuisance, still gives the wrong impression about the new Government.

They both need to go.

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(NEWZIMBABWE FORUMS) Soros’ caveat on free markets

Soros’ caveat on free markets
Posted By Joram Nyathi on 25 Apr, 2009 at 6:52 am

“IF we increase our production capacity from the current 7% to about 25% or increase direct revenue to US$60 million from the current US$20 million, our workers would receive proper salaries.”

Finance Minister Tendai Biti made these comments ahead of a meeting with the IMF and the World Bank in Washington this week. The government is seeking lines of credit to finance its Short-Term Emergency Recovery Programme.

Each time the IMF is mentioned, I recall the old Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) led by Morgan Tsvangirai before it was swallowed up by the MDC. Tsvangirai didn’t stop ESAP, but he tried.

Faced with the prospect of a repeat, you would expect workers to unite and ignite. Not in Zimbabwe, where all civil authority has been ceded to a venal civic society!

The IMF and the World Bank use a template on free markets and are controlled by the same nations which have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe. The ZCTU should know the implications of IMF prescriptions, so should the CZI, but they opt to hold down their nation for rape.

The IMF/World Bank prescription is simple but it is a fatal dose. To create a conducive environment for investment, beneficiary countries are told: privatise parastatals, remove all price controls and subsidies, devalue the currency, remove trade barriers and cut tax on profits, allow wholesale remittances and free movement of capital, relax labour laws, reverse land reform, stop empowerment policies and forget environmental protection.

After this, the government is supposed to retreat to the national border and leave business alone at the temple of laissez faire — the same capricious goddess currently raining economic fire and brimstone on her worshipping believers in Europe and the US.

For Zimbabwe, it is a full-spectrum surrender of the state to the omnipotent emperor of market forces. This is part of the Washington Consensus. Foreign and domestic firms should be allowed to compete on equal terms.

These are replica demands made of Zimbabwe under the ongoing negotiations between Europe and ACP countries for Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) beneath the overarching regime of the World Trade Organisation.

EPAs hinge on three principles: reciprocity, rules of origin and most favoured nation status. On the surface, they are aimed at fair, reciprocal trade between the European Union and African, Caribbean and Pacific nations. Under the “rules of origin”, once imported goods enter a country, they can’t be discriminated against to protect local industry, and the “most favoured nation” principle means Zimbabwe does for Germany what it does for Brazil.

The reality of EPAs is, however, different and this is where I thought our labour movement would define its calling. It means if Zimbabwe signs a preferential trade deal on chickens with Brazil because we buy reasonably priced tractors from them, the terms must apply to all WTO members.

Biti says production capacity is at 7%. That means Zimbabwe’s industry cannot compete with Europe which already enjoys technological advances and economies of scale while Zimbabwe has been in reverse gear for the past 20 years and is saddled with obsolete equipment. How do you then raise industrial capacity utilisation to 60% by year-end under STERP when retail shops are flooded with cheaply produced merchandise from Europe? This reduces Zimbabwe to an import economy without generating the foreign currency to do so.

For industry and labour, this means de-industrialisation and loss of jobs on a massive scale. Employment rate is estimated at 10%. What market do you produce for? Why should an industrialist keep paying people who produce goods which he can’t sell? It is a travesty for anybody to pretend that Zimbabwe can achieve a sustainable economic turnaround under IMF terms.

In the blinding euphoria of reengagement with the “international community”, there are already calls for privatisation of public entities. Zimbabwe, it is claimed, would benefit.

Given the current state of most of the parastatals, how does one evaluate them for disposal? I am not even talking about ridiculously-low share prices of most listed firms. How many Zimbabweans have resources at their disposal to bid for any of the companies which the government might offer for sale? Not even the government has resources to purchase shares to warehouse for the poor. This is the equivalent of giving away the family silver for a meal.

An ill-executed disposal of national assets in the name of STERP would be worse than the land reform programme and will benefit only foreign bargain hunters.

There is need for caution and less haste to meet unrealistic election pledges or agenda-driven timelines as is already evident in the new constitutional debate. Deadlines have become of the essence, more important than content.

They say possession is 9/10 of the law. That is what the coalition government should be to Zimbabwe. This is the darkest hour before the dawn. This should be, to quote Winston Churchill at England’s darkest hour in 1940, be our “finest hour” in terms of national redefinition. Zimbabwe needs to speak loudly — it needs fair trade. What it doesn’t need are sanctions or IMF and World Bank enslavement.

To unthinking believers in the god of free markets, George Soros has a sobering caveat. He observed prophetically in a 1997 paper: “Although I have made a fortune in the financial markets, I now fear that the untrammelled intensification of laissez-faire capitalism and the spread of market values into all areas of life is endangering our open and democratic society.”

To those who expect a Utopian Zimbabwe before the lifting of sanctions, Soros warns from the experience of his own “open society” movements in Eastern Europe, set up to undermine the Soviet Union.

With the collapse of communist rule in 1989, says Soros, the “foundations (of civic society) shifted from a subversive task to a constructive one — not an easy thing to do when the believers in an open society are accustomed to subversive activity”.

I fear there are still too many forces against the coalition government crying “wolf!” everyday. Fortunately, some nations have begun to see through this wolf.

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(LUSAKATIMES) Magande annoys Teta

Magande annoys Teta
Saturday, April 25, 2009, 17:11

THE ruling MMD has asked former Minister of Finance and National Planning Ng’andu Magande to immediately stop making unwarranted statements about the resignation of former Minister of Communications and Transport, Dora Siliya.

MMD chairperson for information and publicity, Benny Tetamashimba, said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that it is unfortunate that Mr Magande can ask a fellow parliamentarian to resign when he is not a spokesperson for the party or the National Assembly.

“We are advising Magande to keep quiet because he is not the party spokesperson. He isn’t even spokesperson for Parliament. Who is he speaking for?” Mr Tetamashimba, who is also Minister of Local Government and Housing, asked.

He said it was unthinkable for Mr Magande to ask Ms Siliya to resign as a member of Parliament (MP).

Mr Tetamashimba said Mr Magande should have been the first to resign after information surfaced that he allegedly supported an attempt to bail out the defunct Zambian Airways.

“He, therefore, cannot condemn Ms Siliya. Infact, he failed to bring votes for President Banda during last year’s elections in his constituency. So, he should keep quiet,” Mr Tetamashimba said.

Mr Magande, who is Chilanga MMD Member of Parliament was yesterday quoted in The Post newspaper as having demanded the resignation of Ms Siliya as an MP.

He was reported to have said Ms Siliya cannot continue to hold her position in Parliament.

Mr Magande was also quoted as having said that President Banda should not have accepted Ms Siliya’s resignation as Minister of Communications and Transport because he is still studying the findings of the tribunal.

He said as an MP and Cabinet minister, Ms Siliya swore to uphold the constitution.

Mr Magande said if Ms Siliya committed an offence against the constitution, she could not hold a position in a place where the constitution was paramount law.
[Zambia Daily Mail]

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(TALKZIMBABWE) 'President' Zuma losing two-thirds majority

COMMENT - Why the use of the word president in quotation marks? Are they going to claim that the South African elections were rigged? That Jacob Zuma is not the president and has not been re-elected?

'President' Zuma losing two-thirds majority
Fri, 24 Apr 2009 19:43:00 +0000

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 23: African National Congress leader and presidential designate Jacob Zuma leaps into the air while dancing on stage during an ANC victory celebration April 23, 2009 in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa.

THE African National Congress looked in danger late Friday of losing its grip on a two-thirds majority in this week’s elections that swept Jacob Zuma to power.

With nearly 16 million votes counted, the party saw its runaway lead in the fourth post-apartheid poll contract to 66.3 percent, making Zuma’s earlier boast that he saw 70 percent beckoning seem idle.

But even if it narrowly misses the majority needed to change the Constitution, no opposition party could deny that voters had handed Zuma a resounding mandate in an election marked by attacks on his integrity.

The Democratic Alliance, which launched a ’Stop Zuma’ campaign after he was let off the hook on corruption and fraud charges recently, was lying at around 16 percent and seemed assured of claiming an outright majority in the Western Cape.

DA leader and premier candidate Helen Zille headed home to a hero’s welcome and hinted that despite a preliminary score of 51 percent in the racially divided region she would start coalition talks with smaller parties.

These would likely include the Congress of the People, born out of Zuma’s power struggle with former president Thabo Mbeki, that has established itself as the third biggest force in South African politics despite being only months old.

The breakaway party said late Friday it was hoping to fill as many as 40 seats in Parliament after claiming well over a million votes in its first test at the polls.

"We think we can make a difference with 40. We can be present in all meaningful portfolio committees and select committees," spokesman JJ Tabane said.

Analysts said it was "remarkable" feat for a new party and has proven that there were black voters looking for a new political home alternative after 15 years of ANC rule.

Aubrey Matshiqi from the Centre for Policy Studies forecast that Cope would eventually dethrone the DA as the official opposition.

Other smaller opposition conceded Friday that they had suffered painful losses in the election, which could partly be a result of voters turning away to place their trust in newcomer Cope.

The United Democratic Movement and Freedom Front Plus were at best hoping to retain the seats they had won in 2004, while the Independent Democrats were sure to lose some.

The Inkatha Freedom Party conceded that it was expecting to get 20 seats, down from 28 in 2004, as the ANC claimed to have taken every IFP stronghold in KwaZulu-Natal.

"We have made history," ANC provincial secretary Senzo Mchunu told a press briefing in Durban.

"For the first time the ANC has received a majority (in KZN)."

The once proud Pan Africanist Congress was optimistically hoping for two seats, after the three it gained in the last election.

Vote counting slowed on Friday as fatigue set in after an election that tested voters’ patience in long queues and caught the Independent Electoral Commission off-guard as ballot papers ran out.

By nightfall, counting had been completed in 93.34 percent of the country’s 19,734 voting districts.

IEC chairwoman Brigalia Bam said she was certain that the count would wrap later in the evening and the final results for the national and provincial ballot would be announced by Saturday.

"We will definitely complete by this evening. The IEC may declare the results by tomorrow."

Briefing the media at the IEC results centre in Pretoria, Bam said the counting of in two provinces had been completed. These were Eastern Cape and Northern Cape, with 4483 and 626 voting districts respectively.

Bam said that 12 objections had been submitted, which the commission needed to examine before the final results were announced.

The objections were raised by the Congress of the People, the Inkatha Freedom Party and the Democratic Alliance, but IEC chief electoral officer Pansy Tlakula declined to elaborate on the nature of the complaints.

She added voter turnout for the poll was "fluctuating" but that the figure stayed close to 77 percent.

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(TALKZIMBABWE) President Mugabe stresses Cuba's importance

President Mugabe stresses Cuba's importance
Our reporter
Fri, 24 Apr 2009 20:54:00 +0000

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has stressed the importance of Cuba in the training of human resources in Zimbabwe in fields like education and health, among others.

In a meeting Thursday with the Cuban ambassador to Zimbabwe, Cosme Torres Espinosa, President Mugabe said he appreciated the presence of a medical brigade of 134 health experts from the island, who are currently working in a cooperation project under the Comprehensive Health Program of his country.

The president recalled his last visit to Cuba in 2007 and expressed his admiration for Cuban programmes such as the Latin American Medical School and Operation "Miracle", which has restored the vision to thousands of peoples around the world.

He conveyed his greetings to Comrade Fidel Castro and thanked President Raul Castro for his message on the occasion of the 29th anniversary of the independence of Zimbabwe.

At President Mugabe's request, the Cuban ambassador briefed him on the present state of the Cuban economy, the progress achieved after the island was hit by three devastating hurricanes last year and the state of Cuba's relations with Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States.

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(TALKZIMBABWE) Biti meets US govt officials

Biti meets US govt officials
Fri, 24 Apr 2009 20:18:00 +0000

FINANCE Minister Tendai Biti met senior U.S. diplomats on Friday in a move dismissed by the State Department as a sign that the United States is about to open up the flow of aid to Zimbabwe. Biti saw Under Secretary of State William Burns and Mary Jo Wills, acting deputy assistant secretary of state for African Affairs.

A report from the State Department said Washington was weighing whether Zimbabwe's new inclusive Government has implemented enoughreforms for significant U.S. aid to kick in.

"This meeting does not signal any kind of change. There are a number of things we have to see yet," State Department spokesman Robert Wood told Reuters before the meeting.

"We want to see how the government is making progress on democratic reforms, economic reforms and then we will make a decision on whether we want to provide significant development assistance," he added.

Wood said the U.S. government wanted to get a sense of the financial situation in Zimbabwe and steps the inclusive Government is taking to reverse the free fall of the economy.

Biti was in Washington for meetings of the IMF and World Bank.

In a message to the Zimbabwean people last weekend, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton commended the inclusive Government for progress in implementing reforms, but said more should be done.

U.S. officials say there are no immediate plans either to lift targeted U.S. sanctions or give major aid until there is firm evidence that President Robert Mugabe is serious about sharing power with former opposition leader and current Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai.

The two formed an inclusive Government in February following the signing of a Global Political Agreement on Sept. 15, 2008..

President Mugabe has blamed his country's economic collapse on Western sanctions but the United States and others counter that the cause of financial decline was his own mismanagement.

- Reuters/TZG

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(LUSAKATIMES) NCZ management Team fail to explain the viability of their company

NCZ management Team fail to explain the viability of their company
Friday, April 24, 2009, 21:53

Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) Managing Director, Richard Soko, and his delegation were on Friday turned away by the Parliamentary committee on Agriculture for failing to respond to queries.

Committee Chairman, Request Muntanga, directed Mr. Soko and his team to go and prepare details sought by the committee.

This was after Mr. Soko’s delegation failed to ascertain the amount of money required to fully recapitalise the fertiliser plant which is currently non-operational.

Mr. Muntanga was also displeased by the delegation’s failure to determine the anticipated production levels and profitability once the plant is fully recapitalised.

The NCZ delegation was consequently directed to re-submit its report on Wednesday next week.

The Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture and Lands is currently receiving submissions from stakeholders on the viability of the Fertiliser Support Program.

It is also looking at the status of the fish population in Zambia.

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(LUSAKATIMES) PF welcomes ANC victory in SA elections

PF welcomes ANC victory in SA elections
Saturday, April 25, 2009, 11:52

The Patriotic Front (PF) says the much awaited victory of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa is a true sign of the people’s will.

In an interview with ZANIS in Lusaka yesterday, PF spokesperson Given Lubinda said the South African election had an impact on everyone living in the sub-Saharan region .

Mr. Lubinda observed that the aspect of shortage of ballot papers at most polling stations is not a good thing considering the fact that South Africa has one of the heaviest investments in terms of human and economic resources in Southern Africa.

He, however, said the incident should not be seen as a plan by the ruling party to rig elections as such things do happen.

He said the win by the ANC is a welcome thing considering the fact that the elections were free and fair and that the will of the people must be respected by all peace loving south Africans despite their different races.

Mr. Lubinda said the people of South Africa have expressed their will and decided that Jacob Zuma should govern the country. He said the region should, therefore, respect the election of Jacob Zuma as new South African President.

He expressed happiness at the manner in which the general election was conducted and that South African’s still have confidence in the ruling ANC. He added that it is a good thing that the National Prosecuting Authority has cleared Zuma of all his charges.


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Stop it!

Stop it!
Written by Editor

It’s not only Dora Siliya who breached the Constitution. Rupiah Banda and George Kunda have taken the public platform and declared their disregard for the Constitution. It is not long ago that Rupiah stood at the Lusaka International Airport and told the nation that Dora had done nothing wrong. He went on to say that she was smarter and more intelligent than those criticising her. But what is important is what he went on to say about the Attorney General.

Rupiah was openly very critical of the Attorney General and the advice that he had given regarding the RP Capital Partners Limited transaction. He even went further to insinuate that the Attorney General was lawless and was the one who leaked Dora’s memorandum of understanding with RP Capital Partners Limited to the press.

More recently, Rupiah has made it clear that he has no regard for the advice of the Attorney General regarding RP Capital. We say this because although the Attorney General advised that there was everything wrong with the RP Capital contract, Rupiah and his friends are determined to carry through Dora’s MoU.

And to achieve that, Rupiah has said he is taking the RP Capital MoU to Cabinet. Is Rupiah immune from taking legal advice? Why is he so determined to proceed with an obviously scandalous transaction?

As President, he has sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution, all of the Constitution not just the parts, articles and clauses that he likes.

The whole attitude of Rupiah, supported by George, is a refusal to accept legal advice. This would not be a problem if Rupiah and George were running their own private enterprise – Rupiah and George Limited or Rupiah and George Partners and Associates. But that is not the case. Rupiah is a President of a constitutional Republic. He is under obligation to obey the law. It cannot be denied that Rupiah has problems with following the law and he needs people like George to justify his actions.

We say this because we cannot understand why a president should continue to push a transaction which is clearly wrong from a legal, moral and even business point of view. What interest does Rupiah have in this deal that is blinding him from seeing the legal, moral and business flaws of this RP Capital transaction? Is it because his family, his son Henry has an interest in it? This will not do. Rupiah must learn to deal with public matters with more circumspection than he is doing right now.

What Rupiah and George are doing would make some sense if RP Capital was a reputable company dealing in valuations and other financial advisory services that are relevant to the problems at Zamtel. We have tried very hard to see what qualified RP Capital for the single sourcing that Dora seemed so desperate to achieve. We cannot find any reason.

RP Capital does not have a very appealing image internationally. Their claim to fame seems to be their involvement in questionable mining transactions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country that for a very long time has had no proper accountable government and has been characterised by very high levels of corruption and cronyism and clientelism. Some of the people behind RP Capital have got checkered histories and are connected to the dirty diamonds trade. And is this the expertise needed to value the assets and business of Zamtel?

Zamtel is a very important strategic national asset in which millions or billions of public funds have been invested over the years. Any attempt to sell a portion of such an important company needs to be done properly and lawfully. Zambia has enough expertise to advise on how such a thing should be done if it is necessary. To go and bring a company that has no obvious special expertise and try to pass it off as qualified to do such an important job is corruption itself. If, as Rupiah and his friends want us to believe, RP Capital are so well qualified to do the job, why was Henry Banda, Rupiah’s son, going around trying to find experts in Zambia to help RP Capital? The tribunal heard that Henry approached a Zambian company, Pangaea Renaissance, requesting them to assist RP Capital. But another question arises from this, on whose behalf, on whose authority was Henry doing all this and who gave him that authority?

When one looks at RP Capital’s background, it is clear that they are not qualified to do what they are claiming they can do. And their involvement in Zambia is questionable. It is also clear from the tribunal that has just ended that there was a lot of irrational behaviour on the part of some of the key players. Could it be that there was pressure from higher offices? And given Rupiah and his son’s apparent interest in this matter, one wonders if Dora was indeed acting alone and she alone should be made to bear all the consequences of that deal. There is need to ascertain the involvement and interest of Rupiah and his son in this matter and what their roles were. This is more important because of Rupiah’s intransigence and determination to ignore the Attorney General’s advice even after the tribunal has ruled that Dora’s failure to take the Attorney General’s advice was a breach of the Constitution.

Rupiah and George seem to be forgetting that ignoring the Attorney General’s advice, and making the Zambian taxpayer lose US $2 million in the process, is not a breach of the Constitution by Dora alone but by anybody, Rupiah included, who ignores such advice or plays a role in its being ignored.

It is shocking that Rupiah and his government want to ignore everything that the tribunal said regarding the RP Capital transaction and limit themselves to the constitutional issue. It is clear that Dora did not only breach the Constitution. The tribunal found as a matter of fact that Dora breached procurement laws and regulations of this country. The question still remains: why is Rupiah so desperate to see the RP Capital transaction through as if it is his personal deal? Maybe it is, let him tell us! Rupiah wants to behave as though, since Dora has resigned, it is okay to proceed with the RP Capital transaction with all the rottenness that is around it. Was this a do or die deal?

Rupiah is not the only one who has behaved in an unacceptable manner over this issue. Dora herself seemed prepared to go to any length to ensure this transaction went ahead. Dora was prepared to ignore very clear and simple advice from the Attorney General’s chambers. She was even prepared to give Parliament half truths in order to justify her actions. For some reason, Dora did not see the need to tell Parliament who RP Capital were and what qualified them to get the job she was pushing. According to Dora, RP Capital seems to have just dropped from nowhere and made this fantastic offer to help fix Zamtel. Why was there no tender? Dora told Parliament that the RP Capital transaction was within the tender threshold of the Ministry of Communications and Transport. And to this day, she has never shown anybody the tender approval that she got from her ministry’s tender committee to engage RP Capital.

To make matters worse, Dora was being defended by George, the immediate past Attorney General of the Republic. George held two curious press briefings. On one day, he called the press just to tell them that he was going to address them the next day. And of course, on the next day, he addressed yet another press briefing, flanked by Dora. George, as a minister for justice, tried to defend the indefensible. He told the nation that there was nothing wrong that Dora had done and that the Attorney General’s advice had not been ignored. George also told the nation that the procurement laws of the nation had not been breached. This was a deliberate attempt by a Minister of Justice to mislead the public.

What is unfortunate is that this is not the first time that George has done such a thing. Almost four years ago, George caused confusion in Levy Mwanawasa’s government and indeed in the nation when he lied that there was no evidence showing that former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, Kashiwa Bulaya, had done any wrong things, had stolen public funds, for which he should be prosecuted. George, as Attorney General and Minister of Justice, allowed his boss Levy to be embarrassed by the lies that he told him. And also George, in the same vein, caused the Director of Public Prosecution to be embarrassed and have his reputation brought in question. Today George is at it again. He has not learnt anything from that episode, which means that George’s conduct is not a matter of mistake or oversight, it is conscious. These are deliberate acts of a man determined to mislead and defend that which is wrong. But why has George so consistently and so persistently defended wrong things?

We ask this question, bearing in mind George’s campaign to defeat the fight against corruption. George has consistently tried to frustrate the work of the Task Force, the Anti-Corruption Commission and the DPP. Whose interests does he serve? Where does George stand as far as corruption is concerned? It will not surprise us tomorrow to hear that George is at it again defending Frederick Chiluba and his wife, and other corrupt elements that are being prosecuted in, and have been convicted by, our courts of law. Again, this brings out the question of where George stands in the fight between good and evil.

George has no regard for the office of the Attorney General because he abused it and got away with it. He used that office to do wrong things, to defend wrongdoing and to punish or criminalise good deeds. George seems to think that because he is a lawyer, he can disregard the Attorney General without any consequences; or indeed that he can give instructions or talk down to the Attorney General.

Rupiah’s government is determined to ignore the Attorney General on the RP Capital transaction. And today, they are trying very hard to criminalise the good decisions of the Attorney General’s chambers. Let them not say no one told them. We are telling them today: Rupiah and George, you are breaching the Constitution, stop it!

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Banda is a good candidate for impeachment – Miyanda

Banda is a good candidate for impeachment – Miyanda
Written by George Chellah
Saturday, April 25, 2009 2:51:29 PM

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda is a good candidate for impeachment, Heritage Party president Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda stated yesterday. And Brig Gen Miyanda stated that former communications and transport minister Dora Siliya's proposed action for judicial review is premature and the remedy being sought is unclear.

Brig Gen Miyanda accused the government of not paying attention to the laws of the country.

"What now bothers me most about this regime is that they do not care what our laws say. Instead of the President desperately clutching onto an obiter [statement made in passing] by the tribunal about the Attorney General's chambers, he should have been addressing the impeachable constitutional breaches by his ministers and by himself," Brig Gen Miyanda stated.

"The tendency by the MMD government to breach the Constitution with impunity is becoming an irritating habit from which they need to be cured. Perhaps it is because our people choose to let things lie even when their very rights are seriously under threat."

He stated that ignoring Cabinet guidelines and other regulations and laws as was found by the judge Dennis Chirwa led tribunal may lead to far more serious misconduct.

"But the submission of the tribunal report to the President is timely as it coincides with the annual general meeting (AGM) of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ); and coincidentally the President will be in attendance. I therefore call upon the LAZ, at their AGM, to address the bad practice of this regime, which claims to be a government of laws. Breaching constitutional provisions has become their trade-mark as the following few examples show. A few years ago the late President purported to amend the Republican Constitution by announcing at an MMD rally that deputy ministers in provinces would become ministers. The Constitution makes a distinction between ministers and deputy ministers," Brig Gen Miyanda stated.

"Articles 46 and 47 are instructive. If the government wished to raise the status of deputy ministers in provinces they were free to do so by bringing up an amendment in the National Assembly. This has never been done to this day although everyone in government refers to them as such. I raised this issue at the time it was said but as usual I was ignored.

"I am aware that last week a committee of the NCC [national constitutional conference] was sheepishly bringing this matter up but it is a mere cover-up of constitutional mischief by the government. It does not change the fact that the President acted unconstitutionally to purport to amend the Constitution at a public rally and not follow up with an amendment in Parliament!"

He stated that under this regime, Zambians have seen gross interference in the management of councils by all ministers of local government.

"Although we inherited the British local government system, we have introduced a provision in our written Constitution that defines the local government system expressly. Article 109 of the Constitution provides that: 'the system of local government shall be based on democratically elected councils on the basis of adult suffrage'. This essentially means that at no time shall there be any other person other than the elected councillors to make major policy decisions and supervise the management of councils," Brig Gen Miyanda stated.

"I contend that for the minister to suspend any council and appoint an administrator (as is the case of Chinsali and one in Southern Province) is to breach this Article because the system that is recognised in the Constitution is that of management by elected councillors. Any provision in an Act of Parliament that purports to grant powers to the minister to impeach councillors should be held to be ultra vires the Constitution."

He stated that it was unfortunate that President Banda has continued with the legacy of unconstitutional conduct.

"Recently, he boldly announced that as long as he is President he will never sign death warrants for those sentenced to death. By this statement he has improperly exercised his discretion, which amounts to a serious flouting of the Constitution. Although Article 59 grants the President a discretionary power to exercise or not to exercise mercy on a convicted person, such discretion is supposed to be exercised according to the Constitution. This requires that each and every case be considered on its own merit. To say in advance that all sentences of death, which will be presented to him in future have been decided in advance is to exercise his discretion capriciously and recklessly. In fact it is tantamount to declining the jurisdiction granted under Articles 59 and 60 of the Republican Constitution," Brig Gen Miyanda stated.

"The Prerogative of Mercy is covered under the said Articles 59 and 60. Specifically Article 60 establishes an Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy. This provision states inter alia, that: 'where any person has been sentenced to death for any offence, the President shall cause the question of the exercise in relation to that person, of the powers conferred by Article 59 to be considered at a meeting of the Advisory Committee'. It is mandatory for the President to refer the question of a death sentence to the Advisory Committee. Clearly, he is in breach of the Constitution and is a good candidate for impeachment."

He explained that the ball lands squarely in the lap of the Minister of Justice who is also Republican Vice-President.

"He endorsed the position taken by the President publicly and addressed this in the National Assembly, the very place where the Articles in question were made. He also kept quiet when the late President made the same pronouncement. LAZ must use the presence of the President and his Vice at their AGM to correct these illegalities and assist their brother the Vice-President. The Heritage Party calls upon LAZ not to go to sleep. Their mandate is to check these abuses and breaches. It is the very reason they exist, otherwise they will become an irrelevant white elephant," Brig Gen Miyanda stated.

"If the Act under which they exist has no provisions for stiff sanctions against their members who are partners in constitutional misconduct then the AGM is the appropriate forum to make resolutions that will result in lobbying for better provisions. One way of doing this is to elect lawyers who are not only good at law but do not practice partisan politics whenever considering national issues.

"We wish you a successful meeting. Remember, a good lawyer is never intimidated by clients or strangers who visit him or her; but is challenged by the desire to excel in bringing up pragmatic indigenous legislation, which will take our people out of the squalor that has remained with us since independence."

He also stated that Siliya has a constitutional right to go to court to seek redress for any wrong that she feels has been committed against her.

"However the manner in which she has proposed to do this after abruptly resigning, raises questions as to whether in fact she resigned in order to stop the alleged malicious statements against her; or it is an ingenious strategy worked out to preempt the President's final decision in the matter of the tribunal. In any case, I believe that she may have difficulty to establish what administrative action the tribunal has taken that requires review," Brig Gen Miyanda stated.

"Based on the verbatim reports by The Post, I have noted that the tribunal has not taken action or made any conclusive order because their mandate was to investigate and make recommendations to the President. The findings of the tribunal are subject to the President's further action, and the President has not yet acted. How do you challenge the tribunal for their opinions and recommendations whose finality depends on what the President should have decided? How can she eat her cake and keep it?"

He stated that Siliya's proposed action for judicial review was premature.

"But more ominously is what appears to have been a calculated scheme to pretend to resign in order to preempt the President's action. Who is involved in this plot to dribble the people of Zambia? Was the President privy to this idea or did he advise her to resign in order to ease pressure on him? After all he considered the tribunal not to be a simple thing, even though the tribunal had made it very simple by analysing the evidence for him and then eliminating two of the three allegations against her, leaving only one charge," Brig Gen Miyanda stated.

"Ms Siliya will have to struggle to show that the tribunal cannot make the recommendations that they have made. According to her she says that Article 54 was not part of the matters before the tribunal. Unfortunately she would have to show that the tribunal acted outside its terms of reference. In this case, like all tribunals appointed by the government, there is a catch-all term of reference that mandates the tribunal to make any other recommendation as they deem fit. This is the hurdle that Ms Siliya has to cross before she is granted leave to proceed."

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Don't be misled by Rupiah, lawyer urges LAZ

Don't be misled by Rupiah, lawyer urges LAZ
Written by Mwala Kalaluka
Saturday, April 25, 2009 2:49:51 PM

THE Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has been advised to resolutely oppose President Rupiah Banda's apparent misrepresentation of the Dennis Chirwa tribunal findings that Dora Siliya was misled.

And LAZ has been called upon to desist from operating a 'closed shop' against its Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church members, as this is unconstitutional.

In a letter addressed to LAZ honorary secretary, Lusaka lawyer Kelvin Hang'andu stated that he was concerned by President Banda's veiled threat to dismiss either the Attorney General or the Solicitor General following the findings of the tribunal that was set to probe Siliya on corruption allegations.

"The testimony of the Attorney General's chambers over Ms Dora Siliya's indiscretions were truthful and borne out by the evidence," Hang'andu stated. "LAZ must resolutely oppose President Banda's apparent misrepresentation of the facts: Ms Siliya was properly advised by the Attorney General's chambers over the recently probed matters contrary to the President's public utterances."

And Hang'andu, a member of the SDA church, complained that two known petitions submitted to the association by individual members of the SDA politely requesting a rescheduling of the annual timing of the LAZ AGM in order to accommodate them had been spurned.

"The said petitions are hereby revived; and the in-coming president of LAZ and his council bears the final request to alter the annual calendar of the LAZ AGM to a neutral day not involving the Sabbath," he stated. "To date, LAZ has operated a 'Closed Shop' against SDA lawyers, and can be understood to have willfully disenfranchised them from its annual elections; from a review of its audited accounts and the enactment of vital policy changes in the professional affairs of legal practitioners. Without question, this is not only out rightly unjust but also unbrotherly and unconstitutional."

Hang'andu also stated that the freedom from religious intolerance and discrimination; and the rights of association and assembly are immanent constitutional cannons in Zambia.

"LAZ is guilty of abrogating them all against SDA lawyers, of which I am a member," he stated. "LAZ must decisively break with the past at the April 25th, 2009 LAZ AGM or now risk legal action by constitutional petition or a motion for judicial review."

Hang'andu revealed that he has publicly endorsed the candidature of Stephen Lungu [current vice-president] as the next LAZ president because of his ability to re-direct the malaise posture taken by the association over half a decade regarding key professional matters. LAZ honourary secretary Musa Mwenye is also vying for the presidency. The current LAZ president Elijah Banda is not re-contesting his position.

LAZ members are today expected to elect a new executive at the AGM being held in Livingstone.

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Lawyer advises LAZ to oppose Rupiah’s views on findings of tribunal

Lawyer advises LAZ to oppose Rupiah’s views on findings of tribunal
Written by Mwala Kalaluka
Saturday, April 25, 2009 2:48:40 PM

THE Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has been advised to resolutely oppose President Rupiah Banda's apparent misrepresentation of the Dennis Chirwa tribunal findings that Dora Siliya was misled. And LAZ has been called upon to desist from operating a 'closed shop' against its Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church members, as this is unconstitutional.

In a letter addressed to LAZ honorary secretary, Lusaka lawyer Kelvin Hang'andu stated that he was concerned by President Banda's veiled threat to dismiss either the Attorney General or the Solicitor General following the findings of the tribunal that was set to probe Siliya on corruption allegations.

"The testimony of the Attorney General's chambers over Ms Dora Siliya's indiscretions were truthful and borne out by the evidence," Hang'andu stated. "LAZ must resolutely oppose President Banda's apparent misrepresentation of the facts: Ms Siliya was properly advised by the Attorney General's chambers over the recently probed matters contrary to the President's public utterances."

And Hang'andu, a member of the SDA church, complained that two known petitions submitted to the association by individual members of the SDA politely requesting a rescheduling of the annual timing of the LAZ AGM in order to accommodate them had been spurned.

"The said petitions are hereby revived; and the incoming president of LAZ and his council bears the final request to alter the annual calendar of the LAZ AGM to a neutral day not involving the Sabbath," he stated. "To date, LAZ has operated a 'Closed Shop' against SDA lawyers, and can be understood to have willfully disenfranchised them from its annual elections; from a review of its audited accounts and the enactment of vital policy changes in the professional affairs of legal practitioners. Without question, this is not only outrightly unjust but also unbrotherly and unconstitutional."

Hang'andu also stated that the freedom from religious intolerance and discrimination and the rights of association and assembly are immanent constitutional cannons in Zambia.

"LAZ is guilty of abrogating them all against SDA lawyers, of which I am a member," he stated. "LAZ must decisively break with the past at the April 25th, 2009 LAZ AGM or now risk legal action by constitutional petition or a motion for judicial review."

Hang'andu revealed that he has publicly endorsed the candidature of Stephen Lungu [current vice-president] as the next LAZ president because of his ability to re-direct the malaise posture taken by the association over half a decade regarding key professional matters. LAZ honourary secretary Musa Mwenye is also vying for the presidency. The current LAZ president Elijah Banda is not recontesting his position.

LAZ members are today expected to elect a new executive at the AGM being held in Livingstone.

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I don’t know why Fr Bwalya hates me – Rupiah

I don’t know why Fr Bwalya hates me – Rupiah
Written by Maluba Jere and Edwin Mbulo in Livingstone
Saturday, April 25, 2009 2:46:39 PM

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda yesterday said he does not know why former Radio Icengelo station manager Fr Frank Bwalya hates him. And President Banda has described his win in Southern Province during last year's presidential elections as a major victory.

Officiating at the 18th Ordinary Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Lusaka in Livingstone, President Banda said it was however fortunate that it was only Fr Bwalya who hates him.

"I ask myself nemuyifilanji uyu [translated what wrong did I do to him]? Fortunately, it is only him as I have met other bishops such as [Kasama Archdiocese] Archbishop Spaita, I don't feel this particular animosity he [Fr Bwalya] has for me," President Banda said. "However, I will continue to pray for him. I may not be good or adequate in my dealings but please don't hate me, continue to pray for me."

President Banda said the country could only achieve growth and development if there was close collaboration between the government and other stakeholders especially the Church.

He said one of the responsibilities of the Church was to offer spiritual and moral guidance to the nation.

"It is through such guidance that Zambians will learn that the success of this country is equally their responsibility and therefore the need to change their mindsets," he said. "If all Zambians participated in productive activities, the country would achieve greater heights in terms of economic growth."

President Banda said political leaders are members of the Church and therefore the Church needed to support these leaders for the benefit of the Zambians.

He assured the diocese of the government's support in its endeavours to raise the standards of the community.

President Banda hoped the Church in its deliberations would among other issues consider enhancing justice for all, strengthening the spiritual and social wellbeing of everyone, as well as the extension of God's glory on earth.

Earlier, Southern Province minister Daniel Munkombwe said he was a proud member of UNIP and that he was happy that the people who formed MMD did not threaten people with death in order to join the party.

"When you continue to criticise, people begin to suspect the sincerity of that setup. We have bad people in MMD but we have extremely bad people in the Church," Munkombwe said.

"I am a proud Unipist [UNIP] and am happy that the people who formed the MMD, one of them is here [Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewanika stands up], they did not say change with us or you will die. So don't command people to change or die, we don't want Christians to die."

Anglican Diocese of Lusaka Bishop David Njovu urged President Banda to revisit his campaign promises. Bishop Njovu said his church would continue to pray for President Banda's leadership. He expressed concern at the current job losses due to the closure of the mines.

"We are now reliving the sad times when mines are closed and families are faced with untold miseries and hardships," Bishop Njovu said. "We pray to God Almighty that this situation does not repeat itself with the intensity of the previous times, this can only be avoided with government's intervention to protect its nationals by safeguarding their jobs and consequently, the wellbeing of their families and of the country."

And speaking on arrival at Livingstone International Airport, President Banda thanked the people of Livingstone for voting for him in last year's polls.

"I would like to thank the royal highnesses led by chief Mukuni for the great honour bestowed on me...through them I want to thank the people of this province for their support resulting in a higher figure of votes in the province and grabbing the capital city of the UPND [United Party for National Development]," he said. "It is a major victory because since multi party, the whole of this province has always gone to one party."

President Banda also thanked the church for its prayers for the wellbeing of the country as well as the people.

"It is fortunate that people pray for the wellbeing of this country and I can carry this country in unity and peace and am really happy that I’m here for this important function," he said.

President Banda also wished the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) well in its efforts to provide justice to everyone in the country regardless of whether they were Zambians or not.

President Banda, who said LAZ was an important organisation in ensuring a fair legal system, expressed gratitude for being invited to grace the institution's annual congress.

"That is why I look forward to tomorrow night having dinner with them," President Banda said. "I wish them well in their effort to providing justice to everyone regardless of where they come from."

He said the MMD would do its best to ensure that the country moves forward in prosperity.

The President was welcomed by Munkombwe, other government and party officials, the mayor and chiefs Mukuni, Sekute and Moomba.

Vice-President George Kunda's wife Ireen was also on the same plane as President Banda and other officials.

At the airport, MMD provincial chairman Solomon Muzyamba assured President Banda that the MMD leadership in the province would continue to mobilise people to ensure it is strengthened.

However, Muzyamba said the party was rather disturbed and concerned about the non-performing opposition political parties who had made it their business to be arm-chair critics of the government.

"Out of every good deed, they see negative. Such politics are detrimental and will not help you develop the country," Muzyamba said.

He said the opposition political parties needed to realise that the country needed development and urged them to join efforts with the government to bring about development.

"They need to wake up and realise that this country needs development," Muzyamba said. "Let us all work together, let them join us when 2011 comes, we can get back to politics. By 2011, we will have gathered more members and we will ensure a win and continued leadership."

Munkombwe urged President Banda not to get distracted by attacks from the opposition political parties.

Munkombwe said the party was stronger in Southern Province but that he would not tell President Banda how much support he had so that the opponents could take it that the MMD were sleeping in the area.

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Geldof urges IMF to use gold profits to aid Africa

Geldof urges IMF to use gold profits to aid Africa
Written by Alister Bull
Saturday, April 25, 2009 2:44:03 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bob Geldof on Thursday urged the IMF to use bumper gold sale profits to help Africa survive the global financial crisis, and criticised the rich world for lavishing aid on its banks while the poor world starved.

"We're all begging for aid. We just call it fiscal stimulus these days," the anti-poverty activist and rock music celebrity told a press conference after meeting International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

"You cannot simply ignore an entire continent...The figures we're talking about for one billion people are a fraction of the money we're dumping into our own system," he said.

Geldof described his meeting with Strauss-Kahn as good, and said that he understood there would be structural problems in having to rework already approved gold sales, which are linked to other agreements to boost the resources of the IMF.

Advocates do not want the IMF to sell more of its gold, just make better use of profits from the sale of 403 tonnes of gold from its stockpile of 3,217 tonnes that have been agreed.

"What is being asked for is not very much," African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka told the press conference, held under the banner of the ONE campaign group.

The IMF last year approved the gold sales and invest the profits in an endowment to put its finances on a more stable footing.

The Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies agreed at a summit on April 2 in London to use some of the gold sale money to support an additional $6 billion of concessional and flexible finance to the world's poorest countries.

Anti-poverty advocates says this only employs $1 billion of what they say is a $5.2 billion unexpected profit from the gold sales, and Africa should get it all.

"The IMF can't be greedy with its gold. The Fund's member countries can't hold on to the profits created by the recent gold price hike" said Oxfam advocacy director Bernice Romero.

IMF gold sales have been approved by the IMF's executive board of directors, but still needs the agreement of some countries lawmakers, including the U.S. Congress.

"There is an opportunity here because of the increase in (gold) help countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Congressman Gregory Meeks, Democrat from New York, told the press conference. Failure to act will put at risk "all the progress made in the last 10 to 15 years," he said.

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South Africans celebrate as Zuma, ANC lead poll

South Africans celebrate as Zuma, ANC lead poll
Written by Rebecca Harrison
Saturday, April 25, 2009 2:42:13 PM

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Thousands of ANC supporters celebrated with Jacob Zuma in Johannesburg when the ruling party took a commanding lead in an election that seemed certain to make him president. Zuma, who danced and sang his trademark "Bring me my machine gun" anti-apartheid anthem, stressed the African National Congress was "not yet celebrating victory," although with some 60 percent of votes counted, it was set for a resounding win.

"This party is an elephant. You cannot actually topple an elephant," Zuma told a sea of cheering supporters clad in the party colors of yellow, green and black at ANC headquarters in central Johannesburg on Thursday.

The ANC had 67.06 percent, according to the latest results, hovering around the two-thirds majority that allows it to change the constitution -- a scenario that has unnerved markets even though the party has stressed it will not abuse the right.

"You don't need two-thirds to govern a country. You need political will to do so," ANC spokeswoman Jessie Duarte said.

Zuma, a polygamist who taught himself to read, portrays himself as a champion of the poor, and for many voters the ANC's credentials from the fight against white minority rule still outweigh its failure to tackle crime, poverty and AIDS.

The ANC had faced a reinvigorated opposition which had hoped to at least curb its majority to below two-thirds in Wednesday's election, compared with almost 70 percent in 2004.

But the Congress of the People (COPE) party, formed by ANC dissidents with the aim of posing the first real challenge since the end of apartheid in 1994, won 7.66 percent of votes counted.

The ANC's closest rival was the Democratic Alliance -- led by a white woman -- with 15.82 percent. The DA pulled ahead of the ANC in the Western Cape province -- South Africa's premier tourist destination, which is currently controlled by the ANC.

"We've got to realign politics in South Africa and that's what I'm going to spend the next five years doing," DA leader Helen Zille said.

The final result is not expected before later on Friday but there is little doubt the 67-year-old Zuma will become president only three weeks after managing to get prosecutors to drop an eight-year-old corruption case that had tainted his reputation.

Supporters in Johannesburg whooped and blared horns as Zuma, dressed in a red polo shirt and leather jacket, used a speech peppered with his native Zulu to play up the party's grassroots links and capitalize on his populist appeal.

"I'm here to celebrate. We won the election fair and square. It was my first time to vote and I'm very excited," said Veronica Moleme, as some supporters carried fake coffins bearing the pictures of opposition leaders.

Some foreign investors are less enthusiastic about Zuma, and he will need to reassure those who fear trade union allies will push him to the left at a time the continent's biggest economy could already be in recession for the first time in 17 years.

"One of the biggest challenges facing the ANC will be that posed by the global recession," said Steven Friedman, Director at the Center for the Study of Democracy.

"In order to deal with the impact of the recession they will have to be a more effective government than the ANC has been in the past."

The rand firmed slightly early on Thursday after the smooth election, but later gave up the gains.

Zuma has repeatedly said there will be no nasty surprises in store for investors and his room for policy maneuver is limited because of the global downturn. Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, a market favorite, is expected to stay for now.

Zuma has also pledged to tackle rampant violent crime which could mar next year's hosting of the soccer World Cup.

Election officials estimated the turnout at 76 percent, the same as 2004. Police said the election was largely peaceful, although COPE said one of its officials was shot dead in what it believed to be a political killing.

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‘Govt has failed to address livestock diseases’

‘Govt has failed to address livestock diseases’
Written by George Zulu in Monze
Saturday, April 25, 2009 2:40:20 PM

LIVESTOCK and fisheries minister Bradford Machila on Thursday said the government has failed to address livestock diseases in Southern Province. In an interview after addressing both livestock and crop farmers at Chiluli farms in Monze, Machila said the government, through his ministry, realised its failures in addressing the challenges the livestock sector was facing.

“The issue of livestock is the one that we take very seriously in the ministry during this tour, a lot of complaints have been mentioned even in other districts we have gone to. We realise that there has been a lot of frustrations among livestock producers in the manner the ministry has been dealing and responding to problems of disease control. In addition to the problems of disease control, we also acknowledge the problem that is caused by the frequent banning of the movement of livestock,” he said.

Machila said the developments in the livestock sector could only be enhanced once animal diseases were controlled.

He said there were many other factors that had contributed to the prevailing situation of livestock diseases, adding that lack of regular dipping of animals, failure to have consistent programmes for vaccination and branding of animals for easy identification had affected the sector.

“We also recognise our failings and short comings as government in that we have failed to provide the services that are needed at the ground and it is against this background that this year there has been a substantial increase to the livestock sector in the national budget, in addition to the resources government has allocated to my ministry in the national budget, a number of donors and other co-operating partners have indicated willingness to help in our agenda of disease control,” Machila said.

And Bweengwa member of parliament, Highvie Hamududu, said Machila’s visit to the area should address the loss of huge numbers of animals dying from corridor and tick borne diseases.

Hamududu said the government should also revisit the cattle restocking programme especially in areas prone to animal diseases.

“This is a good precedence by the minister and I hope it will bring hope to our livestock farmers in the district and the province, however I urge the ministry to firstly deal with disease control before another restocking exercise is carried out. We need to address the issue of animal diseases, we cannot continue giving animals which die at the end of the day, so it is the responsibility of the ministry to deal first with the diseases,” said Hamududu.

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(LUSAKATIMES) Govt will not name a new investor for Luanshya mine soon, Kambwili

Govt will not name a new investor for Luanshya mine soon, Kambwili
Friday, April 24, 2009, 21:40

PF Roan Member of Parliament Chishimba Kambwili has claimed that government will not announce the name of a new investor for Luanshya mine until after August. Mr. Kambwili also accused Mines minister Maxwell Mwale of corruption for bribing the two mine workers’ unions in Luanshya during a press conference held at his residence.

He said Mr.Mwale has been bribing the Mines Union of Zambia (MUZ) and National union of miners and allied workers(NUMAW) Roan branch officials to side with the government on an investor he named for Luanshya Copper Mine (LCM).

Mr. Kambwili challenged the minister to come out in the open and challenge him on whether he did not receive an undisclosed sums of money from LCM chief executive officer Derek Webstock which he used to bribe the union officials.

Mr. Kambwili also accused the officials forsaking their fellow miners because of the bribes and compromised on pressurizing government to announce an investor to take over the min

He said a named MUZ branch official told him that the minister gave them K1 million each to help government calm the miners.

He called on the MUZ Roan branch officials to apologise to their fellow miners and to him, for neglecting the Luanshya community.

He further warned the Police command that they will be fired once PF takes over Government in 2011 for their partiality.


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Friday, April 24, 2009

(TALKZIMBABWE) Learn from S.Africa & Zimbabwe’s land ownership dilemma

Learn from S.Africa & Zimbabwe’s land ownership dilemma
Kofi Asamoah - Learn from S.Africa & Zimbabwe’s land ownership dilemma
Fri, 24 Apr 2009 03:00:00 +0000

IT is about time Ghanaians thought seriously about land ownership in Ghana. Many Ghanaians may delude themselves into believing that what is happening in South Africa or Zimbabwe cannot happen in Ghana.

If anybody thinks that twenty or fifty years from now, a future Ghana government can just ask the foreign farmers to vacate the lands given to them by current government, they should read in depth about the history of Zimbabwe’s land crisis. It won’t be easy, especially, if they’re white farmers. The whole developed world would come to their aid, and prevent that from happening. Can’t we see what is happening in Zimbabwe?

These foreign farmers, be they South African or Chinese, wouldn’t come as guest farmers, they’d come as settlers. Zimbabwe and South African land ownership problems did not start two or ten years ago. Most of today’s white farmers in Zimbabwe and South Africa had the lands passed on to them by their parents and ancestors, who took the lands from the indigenes, decades ago.

Today, Zimbabwe has become a pariah state, for trying to redistribute lands that were taken from the rightful Black Zimbabwean owners. I don’t condone the way Mugabe is going about things, but mind you, a similar situation could happen in Ghana, in the future.

The foreign farmers would come in, take the lands that the government would give to them, and soon start buying up lands from poor farmers and chiefs. They would pass on the farmlands to their children, and their descendents. Future generations of Ghanaians would find themselves in Zimbabwe’s land ownership quandary.

We have situations where hardworking Ghanaian farmers cannot find transportation and markets for their products, and thereby suffer post- harvest losses, leading to suicides. However, some people think that Ghana needs commercial farming to be able to feed the country. I believe that with the necessary infrastructure and incentives, Ghanaians can produce food to feed the nation.

I am yet to hear or read about any country that has developed based on agriculture alone. If anyone thinks that foreign commercial farmers are coming to produce agricultural products to feed and export to develop Ghana, he/she should read about Honduras, Nicaragua, and other Central American and Caribbean countries.

Foreign commercial farmers haven’t brought these countries economic development. They’ve rather brought them foreign military interventions and political instability. For instance, US governments have often intervened militarily, to protect the interest of American commercial farmers in foreign countries, to the extent of engineering regime changes, to put pro- American big business regimes in power.

Already, successive Ghana governments have given arable lands to mining companies who have destroyed farms to make way for mining, and paid farmers a pittance, thereby impoverishing them. Farmlands are also being used up for building houses, while our population keeps growing. Is anyone thinking about land shortage in Ghana and its ramifications in the very near future?

Ghana needs investments in other sectors, such as, food processing, infrastructure, assembling, manufacturing plants, ICT and the like. Commercial farming and mining will keep Ghana perpetually underdeveloped, and bring crises to bedevil posterity.

Wake up people of Ghana!!! Let’s not be shortsighted and invite crises for future generations, let’s rather think about how our actions or inactions will affect them.

Reference: Emmanuel K Dogbevi’s article “South African farmers coming to Ghana” published on Saturday April 11,2009.

Kofi Asamoah
Article first published on JoyOnline



(TALKZIMBABWE) Britain's policy dilemma over Zimbabwe

Britain's policy dilemma over Zimbabwe
Philip Murombedzi
Fri, 24 Apr 2009 03:55:00 +0000

BRITAIN, Zimbabwe's former colonial power, faces a huge policy dilemma over Zimbabwe.

Last week I was in London and I accompanied a friend of mine to the immigration offices in Croydon to find out about the progress of his asylum application. My friend sought asylum eight years ago. His case is under what is called the 'legacy' queue - it is being reconsidered.

When we arrived in Croydon, there were about 250 plus Zimbabweans lined up, apparently seeking asylum. At least that is what most of the people on the queue openly said in their discussions. The individual stories, however, remained private.

An immigration official I spoke to told me that since the middle of February, there had been at least 300 Zimbabweans on the queue daily - a staggering figure, by any measure.

The British authorities, therefore, are processing at least 12,000 cases a month since February -- all Zimbabwean cases -- in London only. This is a huge administrative task. If we add other national immigration offices handling these cases, the monthly figure could well reach or exceed 20,000 plus.

Britain faces a policy dilemma. It has to grant these people some sort of status, otherwise they remain a huge burden to the economy.

The country has not shifted its policy on Zimbabwe since the formation of the inclusive Government, therefore deporting Zimbabweans to an "unsafe country" is not an option for them. Granting asylum to all Zimbabweans would seem like the most logical thing to do, but it has its own challenges, but that is not the subject of this piece.

Britain needs to somehow rationalise the stay of most, or all Zimbabweans in the country. There are many benefits. Most Zimbabweans I know would appreciate the opportunity to work and pay taxes. My people are a bunch of hard-workers who do not depend on handovers. Why not make them work, rather than keep them in limbo?

Either that, or Britain has to declare Zimbabwe a safe country and help with its redevelopment, and resume deportations. This will be an expensive exercise, considering the number of Zimbabweans in the country. This is a huge administrative exercise.

Britain also has to renthink its diplomatic policy on Zimbabwe and its strategy on land redistribution in the country.

A starting point could be reversing Claire Short's statement that the Labour Government is not responsible for colonising Zimbabwe, hence should not fund the land redistribution exercise. Britain is, in every measure, responsible for many of the problems obtaining in Zimbabwe. For decades, Zimbabwe was under colonial rule which skewed land ownership. Regardless of what level of corruption the Zanu PF government brought to Zimbabwe, Britain still has an obligation -- the obligtation to correct years of discrimination and second-class treatment against the black majority.

Of course that does not exonerate the Zimbabwe government from looking after its own people. The government of Zimbabwe has a responsibility to its people -- divorced from Britain, but that does not make Britain not responsible for the imbalance caused by years of colonial rule.

The government of Zimbabwe and Britain have to work together. Blaming each other will not help.

Many of us wait anxiously to see how Britain intends to handle this dilemma without engaging the government of Zimbabwe, or at least the current inclusive Government.

Sooner or later they will have to swallow their pride and go on that negotiation table. Trying to evacuate old Britons is not only racist and discriminatory, but will not help the policy dilemma in Britain or the situation in Zimbabwe.

In the meantime, we wait anxiously!

Philip Murombedzi

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(TALKZIMBABWE) Govt sets up council for higher education

Govt sets up council for higher education
Our reporter
Fri, 24 Apr 2009 02:55:00 +0000

THE inclusive Government of Zimbabwe has set up a Council for Higher Education, which will be responsible for registration and accreditation of universities.

Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Dr Stan Mudenge announced the appointment of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education in Harare on Wednesday.

The council will wield governance and executive authority over quality assurance in university education in the country, among other responsibilities.

Current Zesa Holdings chairman Professor Christopher Chetsanga — who also sits on the boards of a number of organisations and companies — will chair the council.

He will be deputised by former Cabinet minister Professor Simbi Mubako, who teaches law at the Midlands State University.

Minister Mudenge said the council was established by an Act of Parliament with a mandate to sustain and guarantee quality assurance in university education by accrediting, monitoring and advancing quality at all universities in Zimbabwe.

"Higher education in this country is now governed by an enabling legislation and regulatory framework, which will ensure quality and the alignment of the quality assurance systems to those existing in the region and on the African continent.

"The legislation has resulted in the transformation of the National Council for Higher Education into a proper quality control system with a set of standards, manuals and advisory standing committees for accreditation and consistent audit of programmes and well-researched guidance material," he said.

Minister Mudenge said the council should not only concern itself with issues of registration and accreditation of universities but should go a step further in ensuring that critical institutional standards of any university in Zimbabwe are fully understood, established and maintained to the satisfaction of the nation.

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(TALKZIMBABWE) I am closer to Zanu PF than MDC: Prof Moyo

I am closer to Zanu PF than MDC: Prof Moyo
Our reporter
Wed, 22 Apr 2009 19:45:00 +0000
FORMER information minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo

FORMER information minister and independent legislator Professor Jonathan Moyo says he is more sympathetic to the values of the Zanu PF party than those of the Movement for Democratic Change.

Speaking recently at the Bulawayo Press Club where he is a regular, Prof Moyo said he agreed with Zanu PF on matters of principle such as self determination.

Moyo also denied claims that he unsuccessfully campaigned to be a Cabinet Minister on a Zanu PF ticket at the formation of the inclusive Government.

“I did not campaign for a position in Zanu PF. I am not even aware of rumours you are talking about that my name had been short-listed for a Cabinet position and was later removed,” he said.

Moyo split from Zanu PF in 2005 and stood as an independent candidate in the Tsholotsho North constituency.

Moyo said "on a number of issues" he was closer to Zanu PF.

“We might have differences over actions of certain people but not a fallout on principles and policies. You therefore must appreciate that on a number of issues I will be close to Zanu-PF,” said Prof Moyo.

He said that he respected Zanu PF because it had liberated Zimbabwe although some of its leaders had diverted “dramatically” from the path that they set on when they started the armed struggle for the country's independence.

Prof Moyo said he found it difficult to sympathise with what the MDC party says it stands for.

“However, I have serious difficulties associating myself with what the MDC says it stands for,” said Prof Moyo.

He said that the “rule of law and democratic change” that the MDC claimed was standing for was an agenda being pushed from outside by Britain and other Western powers such as the United States.

He said MDC leaders were "mere recipients or subjects".

They (MDC) are mere recipients or subjects. I hate that idea. I am amazed that people are prepared to subject themselves to such tyranny. When Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s car was involved in an accident and his wife died the British authorities issued a statement saying it was a genuine accident,” said Prof Moyo.

Prof Moyo criticised the United States for interfering in Zimbabwe's internal politics. He said “self-determination is one of the most important values” in Zimbabwe. Yet the MDC and Zanu PF had no such common values adding that the MDC party was courting external interference even on issues that were supposed to be national.

Prof Moyo cited the statement by the Speaker of the House of Assembly Lovemore Moyo — who is also the MDC-T chairman — that the constitution-making process would require “substantial financial and human resources” and there would therefore be need from “development agencies and foreign organisations”.

The Speaker, who is the chairman of Parliament’s Standing Rules and Orders Committee, said this when he announced members of the Parliamentary Select Committee that will steer the constitution-making process in line with the Global Political agreement signed by Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations.

“There is no reason a poor country like ours should indulge in constitution-making when it cannot afford it. Something sobering, decent … empowering is admitting your condition that I can’t afford it now because if you are not able to fund it yourself you will not be able to mown it,” said Prof Moyo.

He said there was pride in a people funding the making of their own constitution.

- Our reporter/Chronicle



(TALKZIMBABWE) ANC leading polls, Zuma to address rally

ANC leading polls, Zuma to address rally
Thu, 23 Apr 2009 12:04:00 +0000

RESULTS coming from South Africa's general elections give the ruling African National Congress party a solid lead, as expected. If confirmed, these results will lead controversial but popular party leader Jacob Zuma to the presidency.

With just over a tenth of ballots counted, the ANC party had around 63 percent of the vote. The newly formed Congress of the People, or COPE, which splintered from the ANC last year, trailed well behind with about seven percent.

Preliminary results show the strongest opposition support went to the Democratic Alliance, with 20 percent overall and a strong lead in the Western Cape Province.

It is still unclear whether the ANC will retain its two-thirds majority in parliament that allows it to amend the constitution without the cooperation of jnsdjkld other parties.

Although the vote was peaceful in much of the country, a COPE official in Eastern Cape province was shot dead, in what party officials are calling a political killing.

The Independent Electoral Commission estimates so far that more than 76 percent of the 23 million registered voters cast ballots.

ANC's leader Zuma is poised to take over the nation's highest office after overcoming a rape charge and repeated corruption charges that he dismissed as politically motivated.

The ANC ran on a populist platform, promising improved social services and poverty reduction in a country facing serious challenges from unemployment, poverty, and HIV.

Some voters said Wednesday they were encouraged by the emergence of the new opposition party. COPE was formed by a faction of the ANC that was angered when party leaders forced South African President Thabo Mbeki to resign last year.

Others cheered and sang in support of the ruling party as former President Nelson Mandela and the ANC's leader, Zuma, cast their votes.

While provisional results from each voting station may be released before the final totals, official results are not expected before Saturday.

Meanwhile, African National Congress President Jacob Zuma will address the ruling party's post election celebration party in Johannesburg this afternoon, according to a statement.

The celebration, which will also be addressed by leaders from the ANC-SACP-COSATU-SANCO Alliance, will start at 5pm. It will be held in the Library gardens area adjacent to ANC headquarters Chief Albert Luthuli House, on the corner Sauer and President streets.

"The ANC thanks millions of South Africans for casting their vote, giving the ANC a renewed mandate to deliver on key priorities outlined in the Election Manifesto. We would also thank young people for turning up in large numbers in the polls. The violence-free and peaceful election is an indication of the deepening of our constitutional democracy," the ANC statement said.

- TZG/VOA/Reuters/AP

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(HERALD) UK in Zim policy U-turn

UK in Zim policy U-turn
Herald Reporter

BRITAIN will no longer vote against funding for Zimbabwe at the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the International Finance Corporation, British Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Andrew Pocock has indicated.

Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara said Mr Pocock told him yesterday that the British government would be very supportive of the inclusive Government and would do all it can to ensure its success.

The announcement is a major boost to Sadc finance ministers who will, tomorrow, present Zimbabwe’s case at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank spring meetings in Washington DC to source funding for the country’s economic turnaround programme and restoration of the country’s lines of credit.

Briefing journalists after meeting the British ambassador, DPM Mutambara said Mr Pocock indicated that London was prepared to engage Zimbabwe to end the bilateral stand-off.

"They will not vote against Zimbabwe at the WB, IMF and IFC. They will behave well," DPM Mutambara said.

He said the British government was not putting any preconditions on Zimbabwe but was interested in seeing a "general directional correctness".

"They want to see signs of effective inclusiveness," said DPM Mutambara.

He said Mr Pocock had indicated that his government was willing to go beyond humanitarian assistance by helping with the payment of teachers’ salaries and assisting Government to improve revenue collection systems.

Mr Pocock, however, said Zimbabweans should play their part in addressing all outstanding issues under the Global Political Agreement.

The Deputy Premier said the outstanding issues were not insurmountable.

"In summary, we had a progressive meeting. The British are clear in their minds that there is no alternative government to this inclusive Government," said DPM Mutambara.

Asked to comment on strides made by the inclusive Government, DPM Mutambara said progress was evident in the introduction of the Short-Term Economic Recovery Programme last month and the 100-Day Action Plan agreed at a ministerial retreat in Victoria Falls earlier this month.

He said Zimbabwe was not on the edge but there was need to address matters that had damaging the country’s image.

"Let us not ask what other nations can do for Zimbabwe. The future of Zimbabwe depends on us working on our issues," he said.

Mr Pocock refused to speak to journalists.

Earlier, DPM Mutambara met South African Ambassador Professor Mulungisi Makhalima to discuss bilateral issues.

DPM Mutambara said Zimbabwe would hold a two-day conference bringing together the Government and the private sector with a view to

harnessing private funds for investment in road construction, power generation and the water sector.

He said South Africa had agreed to send experts to the conference to assist in the mobilisation of resources and to share best practices.

Indian and Chinese experts had also been invited to the conference.

South Africa has successfully incorporated the private sector in the construction of roads, water and power infrastructure under the Build, Operate and Transfer arrangement.

"We want to learn from South Africa," he said.

He said case studies from South Africa, India and China would be deliberated upon during the conference, whose details would be announced in due course.

Prof Makhalima described his meeting with DPM Mutambara as uplifting. He said the meeting was designed to consolidate and deepen relations between Harare and Tshwane.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

(NYASATIMES) UDF alliance partners back Tembo for president

UDF alliance partners back Tembo for president
Nyasa Times 23 April, 2009 01:15:00

Prospective First Lady, Mrs Tembo join UDF women dancing at the rally President of Maravi People’s Party (MPP) Uladi Mussa has endorsed Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UDF join presidential candidate John Tembo ahead of next month’s general elections.

Mussa whose party has been in working relations with UDF party of former president Bakili Muluzi said other parties in the UDF-alliance have also endorsed Tembo as a Grand Opposition Alliance candidate.

MPP president said Gwanda Chakuamba’s NRP, Kamlepo Kalua’s MDP and MDU of Amundandife Mkumba have unanimously endorsed the candidature of Tembo for May 19 polls.

“We were consulted. There is nothing happening out of our knowledge. The National Chairman [Muluzi} briefed alliance partners and we have agreed,” said Mussa.

He however said the parties will fight on parliamentary race.

“In politics the enemy to your friend is your enemy. We have a common enemy and that is DPP,” he said.

“Hon Tembo and Muluzi are experienced politicians and are very accommodating,” said Mussa.

Tembo’s candidature has received boost after Muluzi who nomination was rejected by electoral body, endorsed him to lead the MCP-UDF alliance.He faces incumbent President Bingu wa Mutharika who seeks a second term in office.

Political analysts have however billed the MCP-UDF alliance as “formidable” to secure Tembo the presidency.

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