Saturday, October 24, 2009

It’ll be costly to take Mpombo on, says Kavindele

It’ll be costly to take Mpombo on, says Kavindele
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Sat 24 Oct. 2009, 04:01 CAT

FORMER Republican vice-president Enoch Kavindele has observed that MMD’s performance will be more disastrous in Kafulafuta Constituency than in Kasama Central should they attempt to take on George Mpombo in a by-election.

Kavindele said the MMD could not afford to ignore the grassroots' supremacy and organisation efficiencies of Mpombo which had largely contributed to the good performance of the party in rural parts of Copperbelt Province.

“It will be too costly to take him on in a by-election in the Kafulafuta or Masaiti… Mpombo has won every election in that area on five different parties,” said Kavindele in an interview from the Copperbelt Province. “So, what is bound to happen is that this would be one of the costly by-elections for the MMD. This particular by-election will be more expensive than the Kasama one. It will cost perhaps not less than K20 billion to defeat Mpombo in that area.”

Kavindele said the high projected budget for the by-election, notwithstanding MMD's dismal performance in the just ended Kasama by-election was likely to repeat itself in Kafulafuta, albeit, in a worse form.

“Mpombo is an extremely popular person in that area,” he said. “In 2001, when we were selecting candidates, the former President Dr Levy Mwanawasa preferred his brother Harry to stand there but I advised that George Mpombo be the candidate because of his immense popularity and after the elections, I was proved right. I know that man Mpombo because I was Member of Central Committee in UNIP and Mpombo was very effective in organising the party in that area. So, we can't afford to lose him.”
Kavindele said most people in Kafulafuta were ready to enjoy the benefits from the ruling party which comes with every by-election, but they would vote in contrast to the appeasements.

“He Mpombo has won all elections no matter what ticket he stands on…and I have been on the Copperbelt since Sunday, and consulting on various issues here and one of the issues that have been raised, the people in Masaiti and Kafulafuta have said they will use the principle of zaakufa Nyambe tambula meaning, what God gives you, just receive,” Kavindele said. “In this case, there are saying a by-election against Mpombo means all the benefits like free fertilisers, mealie-meal and other gifts, but when it comes to voting, they will vote for Mpombo. They will receive whatever they get from the 'Nyambe god - MMD,' but when it comes to vote, they will vote for Mpombo like what happened in Kasama.”

Kavindele regretted that Mpombo was being persecuted for adhering to the MMD constitution by new party entrants who wanted to disregard the principle of intra-party democracy on which the ruling party was founded.

“This must be the only country in the whole world where one gets punished for obeying the law,” Kavindele said. “You cannot punish somebody for obeying the law. All what George Mpombo is saying 'look, let us obey our own constitution'. The MMD has always thrived on the culture of tolerance.”

He said historically, MMD had always held elections at which winners had embraced losers.

“The culture in the MMD has been that people compete for positions and the winner embraces the loser,” said Kavindele. “Chiluba stood against late Arthur Wina and late Humphrey Mulemba but later appointed them ministers and they worked together. In 1995, Mwanawasa stood against Chiluba and he was highly critical of Chiluba's rule. Levy made reference to the bus full of passengers without a driver. Despite making a critical statement of Chiluba's rule, he went ahead and facilitated Mwanawasa's passage to the presidency of Zambia and that of the MMD.

“In 1995, I also stood against the late Ronald Penza, the architect of Zambia's economic recovery. I defeated him for the chairmanship of the economic and finance committee. But after that, Ronald and I worked very closely together…the party was afforded an input in the budget. Many new people now at the helm of the MMD do not know where the party is coming from and that is they are exhibiting high levels of intolerance. MMD has shifted from the tenets on which it was founded.”

On Tuesday, Mpombo threatened the MMD with a parliamentary by-election “if they do anything stupid”, in particular reaction to his suspension by the MMD Copperbelt leadership earlier in the week.

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(NYASATIMES) MDC-T will not leave govt: Pres Mugabe

MDC-T will not leave govt: Pres Mugabe
The Herald/TZG
Sat, 24 Oct 2009 03:18:00 +0000

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe says the antics of the MDC-T party are nothing but an attempt to wrestle power from Zanu PF and that despite their announcement of "disengagement", they will not leave the inclusive Government.

He said that the MDC-T leadership's complaints were aimed to regime change from within the inclusive Government and Zanu PF would not budge on that score.

"The matters the people are complaining about in the MDC-T are that we should now voluntarily, from our side, you see, give away aspects of our authority, we will not do that.

The president added that the MDC-T can go to any summit or consult any leadership around the world, but that will not happen.

"They can go to any summit, any part of the world to appeal — that will not happen."

President Mugabe added that MDC-T's actions were borne out of emotion, rather than reason and they will not leave the inclusive Government.

"I do not read that they would want to leave the inclusive Government, I think that they will come back to it soon," said President Mugabe.

He said no party in the inclusive Government could give another an ultimatum since the Government subsisted by virtue of agreements between the three parties.

The president urged the MDC-T leadership to be guided by national fundamentals and not emotions in conducting Government business, saying it was Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s party that was still to meet its obligations under the Global Politi-cal Agreement.

He added that his Zanu PF party had done its part under the GPA.

"The inclusive Government and the hiccups . . . you will always get people in any arrangement who are guided by little emotional thoughts and act in accordance with them and who would want things to go their way, and not the national way, and not the agreed way.

"There is nothing in the GPA that has not been done by Zanu PF, nothing at all. We have fulfilled everything that the GPA wanted us to fulfil; the legal aspects we were very accurate about them.

"The swearing in of all those who were supposed to be sworn in, that was done timeously and in an appropriate manner.

"The matters that had to do with what, beyond the legal aspect we had to do, we have done."

The MDC-T leadership, the President said, still had to meet its obligations regarding the West’s subversive activities in the form of the ruinous economic sanctions and pirate radio broadcasts.

"They are not doing anything about sanctions, they are not doing anything about ... illegal radios, and other forms of communications which are daily undermining the principles of unity and other principles that underlie the Global Political Agreement. They are not doing anything about that."

He said MDC-T, which was moving freely all over the globe, was doing nothing about the fact that they had instigated the sanctioning against some of their counterparts in Government.

"... the country is suffering under sanctions which the MDC called for. Are they doing anything about that?

"Those are matters that are fundamental, much more than the appointment of governors. Anyway that is a matter that is within the prerogative of the President and that is for me to decide."

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(NYASATIMES) Malawian SMEs hail Business Consult Africa for a productive summit

Malawian SMEs hail Business Consult Africa for a productive summit
By Nyasa Times
Published: October 23, 2009

Delegates at this year’s Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) summit held at Comesa hall in the commercial city Blantyre have applauded organizers Business Consult Africa (BCA) for the high-level meeting, the first of its kind to be held in Malawi.

BCA, a local consulting and business development service provider organized the three-day summit for at least 250 Malawian SMEs from across the country to provide them with a forum to, among others, share business ideas and discuss challenges facing them and strategize on the way forward.

As a way of recognizing the value of each other’s ventures and showcasing them to the public, the participants were also given the chance to show their products and services through a trade fair.

Nyasa Times caught up with some of the local small and medium business proprietors and representatives; while they review the conference in their own terms, most of them describe it as ‘very productive’.

“It has been enlightening, inspiring and encouraging,” said Robert Mwimba, Assistant Administration Manager for Nali Limited, producers and exporters of Peri Peri sauce, tomato ketchup, chilies, soya beans and has lodges.

He said the most inspiring was hearing testimonies from successful Malawian business icons such as Mark Katsonga (pictured) of AGMA Holdings, Jimmy Korea-Mpatsa of Mpatsa Trust, Prof. Jack Wilima of Mwaiwathu Private Hospital and Mike Mlombwa of Country-Wide Car Hire Limited, who were among the top 20 established business players that were awarded on the opening day of the summit.

“As SMEs, we have learnt there’re a lot of challenges in business. We have learnt business needs perseverance and we have learnt in business one should never lose hope. Hearing such advises from such big heads has been so encouraging,” confessed Benedicto Chambo of Benedicto Enterprise, a farmer and agro-dealer in maize seeds at Makanjira, Mangochi.

“If we could have summits of this nature regularly, small businesses in Malawi would certainly be somewhere” he added.

Chrispin Amasi, Proprietor and Director of Masi Leather Enterprise, producers and suppliers of locally-made leather shoes based in Machinjiri, Blantyre, branded the conference as ‘an opener’.

“This has been an eye opener. Problem-solving in business is one of the critical issues I have learnt here,” revealed Amasi.

He however took the opportunity through Nyasa Times to ask for support from government, NGOs, industries and other stakeholders to what he termed as ‘specialized endeavors’ like his.

“There are a lot of Malawians with expertise and are ready to venture or grow their special endeavors that could contribute to job creation as well as economic growth in the country, but because of financial and technical support such innovative ideas or businesses are failing to grow,” he said while hailing BCA for coming up with the SME summit “which is a good learning forum”.

Amasi, who started his small scale shoe-production enterprise in 2005, harbours the vision of growing his business into a large company the same as BATA Shoe Company but he pointed out lack of material (animal skin) in the country coupled with forex shortage for importing the material from Zambia were the challenges he was facing at the moment.

Though he observed there is a problem among Malawians who do not fully support local businesses, in terms of buying the products, he further indicated the market for his business relatively looks promising as he disclosed there are plans to start supplying boots to the Malawi Police Service and G4 Security Company.

Conversely, another entrepreneur from the capital Lilongwe, who refused to be named but said she is “a farmer in mushrooms and several ventures”, was not happy with what other enterprises were showcasing at the trade fair.

“Others are showcasing imported goods while we’re saying we want to promote local products,” how can we grow that way?” she questioned though she was quick to say “most Malawian SMEs lack exposure because going at trade fairs in our neighbouring countries, such a thing would never happen.”

While hailing Business Consult Africa for the summit, the SMEs also salute the government of Malawi “under the leadership of President Bingu wa Mutharika for creating a conducive environment for business in the country as players are able to compete fairly”.

“If you capital and the determination to do business, nothing is stopping you,” observed Nali Limited’s Mwimba.

BCA Managing Director, Henry Kachaje who indicated the summit would be an annual event with the next one to take place in Lilongwe in September next year; he said his company was impressed with the “overwhelming response from Malawian SMEs and the ‘veteran’ business people who were also with us.

“Of course our target was 350 delegates but 250 is quite an encouraging figure and our objectives will definitely be achieved.”

He however admitted there were some shortfalls, which he pointed out “could have been avoided if there was more money pumped in” the event that was sponsored by Zain Malawi, NBS Bank and the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Business Growth Scheme (BUGS), among others.

According to Kachaje, K8.5 million was pumped into the event, with delegates (who were paying K20,000 registration fee) contributing about K5.8 million, the corporate world putting in K1.5 million and the rest coming from BCA.

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Govt borrowing should help stimulate economy

Govt borrowing should help stimulate economy
By Fridah Zinyama
Sat 24 Oct. 2009, 04:00 CAT

ECONOMICS Association of Zambia (EAZ) has said government’s increased borrowing from the domestic market is justified provided that funds go into the development of infrastructure and other key sectors.

The private sector has expressed concern at government’s intended increased borrowing from the domestic market as the situation threatens to push up interest rates. In an interview, EAZ president Dr Mwilola Imakando said government’s intended borrowing from the domestic market should help to stimulate the country’s economy.

“I know that many players from the private sector have expressed concern over government’s decision, and they will be justified in their concern if government decides to spend the money on consumption and not investing into developmental projects,” he said.

Dr Imakando said government should also consider spending the borrowed funds on reducing the cost of doing business for the private sector.

“If government spends money in key sectors, there is going to be money flowing in the economy and the private sector will be able to participate positively,” said Dr Imakando.

In the 2010 national budget, finance minister Situmbeko Musokotwane revealed that government intended to limit domestic borrowing to 2.0 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

Dr Musokotwane said government’s increased borrowing from the domestic market was as a result of considerable reduction in its revenue base due to the effects of the global financial crisis.

But the Zambia Association of Manufacturers has said government’s borrowing from the local market would make it difficult for the industry to access funds from commercial banks, considering the high cost of doing business in the country.

ZAM outgoing president Dev Babbar said local manufacturers would find ways to survive the current economic hardships being faced in the country.



We get the govt we deserve

We get the govt we deserve
By Editor
Sat 24 Oct. 2009, 04:00 CAT

Things develop ceaselessly. It is only 45 years since our independence from British colonial rule on October 24, 1964.

In another 15 years, Zambia’s independence will be as old as the Chinese Revolution is today – 60 years old. This reminds us what the leader of the Chinese Revolution, Mao Tsetung, said in November 1956: “In another 45 years, that is, the year 2001, or the beginning of the 21st century, China will have undergone an even greater change.

She will have become a powerful industrial country. And that is as it should be. China is a land with an area of 9.6 million square kilometres and a population of 600 million people, and she ought to have made a greater contribution to humanity. Her contribution over a long period has been far too small. For this we are regretful.” This was seven years after the triumph of the Revolution that Mao led. Who can today dispute Mao’s prediction that in 2001, China would be an industrial country?

The Chinese Revolution and the Chinese people are not where they are today by accident. They planned for the development of their country and struggled ceaselessly to realise their dreams. We too have no alternative but to continue dreaming about a better future and accordingly plan for it and struggle to make it a reality.

We must continue dreaming, with the hope that a better Zambia will become a reality – as it will, if we keep struggling. We should never renounce our dreams, our utopias. Struggling for utopia means, in part, building it. It is said that today’s dreams were tomorrow’s reality. We should keep on dreaming of things that will become reality some day, both in our country and in the world as a whole.

If we don’t think this way, we should stop struggling, for the only logical conclusion would be to abandon the struggle for a better Zambia, for a better world and resign ourselves to whatever fate. But we think that a revolutionary never abandons the struggle, just as they never stop dreaming. And when we talk about a revolutionary, we are not confining ourselves to one type of revolutionaries, but to all who are struggling for a more just, fair and humane world whatever their outlook.

We are now taking over from a generation that fought for our independence, a generation now reaching the end of a long and heroic struggle. They fought a noble battle and lived their lives in pursuit of a better life for all who follow.

The independence day we are commemorating today is the sweet fruit of their lives of struggle and sacrifice. And the best way we can honour them is by making their dreams a reality. We have lost many years of serious work; we have let them down by the poor quality of leadership we constructed to carry on from where they left. But not all is lost.

We can catch up if we put in more effort in our work. We are perfectly capable of deciding upon the future of our country and dealing with any dangers which might arise.
We need to exert ourselves much more, and break out of the vicious cycle of dependence imposed on us by the financially powerful; those in command of immense market power and those who dare to fashion the world in their own image. Our people have the capacity to bring about change and progress.

But we should abandon methods that will lead us into another form of subjugation in the 21st century. It would be a cruel irony of history if our actions to regenerate our country were to unleash a new form of subjugation, like that of the 19th and 20th centuries, plundered our country’s wealth and left us once more the poorer.

Our people are yearning and deserve to redeem their glory, to reassert their centuries-old contribution to economics, politics, culture and the arts; and once more, to be pioneers in the many fields of human endeavour.

But as we dream and work for this regeneration, we should remain conscious of the fact that our efforts can only succeed as part of the development of a new and equitable world order in which all of us who were previously colonised and marginalised take our rightful place as makers of history rather than the possessions of others.

In this life, we get nothing save by effort. Look at the efforts of the Chinese people. Many in the world used to despise their efforts. But can anyone do so today? Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in a grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

It is hard to fail; but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. Let us therefore boldly face the future with determination to move our country out of poverty and into prosperity. It gets dark sometimes, but the morning comes. We have a lot of problems and challenges right now but let’s not give up on our dreams for a more prosperous Zambia, for a more fair, just and humane nation. We are suffering today, but suffering breeds character.

And character breeds faith. In the end, faith will not disappoint. It is said that the future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. It is also said that the struggle is not for the strong but for those who can endure.

Our country is not flourishing. The enormous creative and spiritual potential of our nation is not being used sensibly.

But all this is not the main problem. The worst thing is that we live in a contaminated moral environment. We have fallen morally ill because we have become used to saying something different from what we think. We have learned not to believe in anything, to ignore each other, to care only about ourselves.

We have all become used to wrong ways of doing things, to bad governance and corruption and we seem to have accepted this as an unchangeable fact and thus helping to perpetuate it. In other words, we are all responsible for the lack of progress and the rot that is going on in our country; none of us is just its victim. We are all also its co-creators.

Why do we say this? It would be very unreasonable to understand what is going on in our country as something alien, which some distant relative bequeathed us. On the contrary, we have to accept this as a sin we have committed against ourselves. If we accept it as such, we will understand that it is up to us all, and up to us only, to do something about it.

We cannot blame the previous rulers for everything, not only because it would be untrue but also because it could blunt the duty that each of us faces today, namely, the obligation to act independently, freely, reasonably and quickly. Let us not be mistaken: the best government in the world, the best parliament and the best president, cannot achieve much on their own. And it would also be wrong to expect a general remedy from them only.

The independence day that we are commemorating today ushered in a wave of freedom and democracy in our country. And freedom and democracy include participation and therefore responsibility from us all.

If we realise this, then we will recover the time and ground we have lost since independence and things will cease to appear so terrible. If we realise this, hope will return to our hearts and we will start to make progress and see a reversal of fortunes.
But we need to get back to politics based on morality and move away from the corrupt politics that Rupiah Banda’s government is riding high on.

Let us in a new time and in a new way restore politics based on morality. Let us teach ourselves and others that politics should be an expression of a desire to contribute to the happiness of the community rather than of a need to cheat, rob, plunder or rape the community. Let us teach ourselves and others that politics can be, not only the art of the possible, especially if this means the art of calculation, intrigue, manipulation, deceit and corruption, but that it can even be the art of the impossible, namely, the art of improving ourselves and our country.

We should start to ask ourselves where our country will be in 15 years’ time when it turns 60. Are we going to be where China is at 60?
But we shouldn’t cheat ourselves that independence guarantees us everything. Actually the experience of the last 45 years clearly shows us that independence itself guarantees us nothing. It offers instead the opportunity to succeed as well as the risk of failure.

Independence is then both a promise and a challenge. It is a promise that as free human beings, working together, we can govern ourselves in a manner that will serve our aspirations for personal freedom, economic opportunity and social justice. It is a challenge because its success, its value rests upon our shoulders as citizens of this country and on no one else. It is said that a free man, when he fails, blames nobody.

It is true as well for us as citizens of an independent country who, finally, must take responsibility for the fate of our country. In the end, we get the government we deserve.



Sata accuses Banda of being provocative

Sata accuses Banda of being provocative
By George Chellah
Sat 24 Oct. 2009, 04:01 CAT

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) president Michael Sata yesterday accused President Banda of being provocative. And Sata urged President Banda to reconcile with the problems the Zambian people are currently facing.

Featuring on Yatsani Radio's Good Governance and the Community programme, Sata wondered how Zambians would celebrate today's 45th Independence Anniversary whose theme is Celebrating 45 years of independence in the spirit of reconciliation and good neighbourlinesss when they are starving.

“We are reconciling 45 years of independence and as a people we have to look at the historical background. We have lagged behind because we don't know who we are. The President cannot bluff Zambians. When Rupiah came in power corruption at play wanted to influence the supply of fuel,” Sata said. “We are going to be celebrating the so-called independence day without fuel, without our own communication facility Zamtel. How can a starving person reconcile, let's provide food to the people, provide drugs to the hospitals, provide roads. The leaders of Zambia must reconcile with simple little problems... water."

He insisted on the need for the government to reconcile with the problems people were experiencing.

“Whoever thinks of reconciliation...are we not ashamed to see a graduate without a job? So what reconciliation are you talking about? When we take over government it's Zambians first,” he said.

And in an interview, Sata said he had boycotted this year's independence anniversary celebrations citing the government's extravagance.

Sata said he received invitation cards for the celebrations but he would not attend.
"It invitation wasn't from Banda, they sent the usual cards from... I think Cabinet Office but I am not going there. I want to save some money for poor people because the money which they are going to spend on 5,000 people can save some poor Zambians' lives elsewhere," Sata said. "Today, we are going to have the largest independence celebration attendance. We are going to have 5,000 people and out of the 5,000 people we are going to have 400 of them coming from South Africa. No wonder they have moved the celebrations to the showgrounds. That's being extravagant!

"I have information that they will bring 400 people from South Africa to come and attend, you are not reconciling with the truth...maybe so that people from South Africa can come and see who is the President and say it's Mr Banda."

He dismissed reports of violence by PF in the last Kasama Central by-election.
Sata, who cited the Kasama and Chambishi incidents where President Banda referred to certain PF members and parliamentarians as 'vimasilu', accused the President of being provocative.

"That's being violent, calling somebody mad. The whole President! It's not fair," Sata said.

And Sata has written to home affairs minister Lameck Mangani, demanding that he commence the national registration card exercise in Northen, Luapula and Southern provinces immediately and without fail.

“The national registration card exercise in Eastern Province ended on 30th September 2009 after an extension from the originally planned period of 90 days to 100 days.

Although, the exercise was supposed to commence in Northern, Luapula and Southern provinces on 1st October, 2009 this has not happened for some unexplained reasons by your office and the Department of National Registration,” Sata stated in his letter to Mangani dated October 13, 2009. “ I have written to your office in the recent past expressing our party's (PF) misgivings about the transparency of undertaking this exercise in the interest of all stakeholders by the Department of National Registration under the supervision of your ministry. I received assurances from your predecessor Dr Kalombo Mwansa that the exercise would be conducted in a transparent manner and that your ministry was not favouring the Eastern Province against other provinces.

“However, the truth seems to be otherwise. It is a matter of common sense that if the exercise is conducted during the farming season many of our citizens in rural areas would give preference to working in their fields to queuing up to obtain NRCs. This is clearly your intention.

This is the first step to your government's attempt to rig the 2011 presidential and general elections, which you know you cannot win. As PF and UPND under the pact, we demand that you commence the exercise in the above named provinces immediately and without fail.”

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Rupiah should stop meddling in affairs of judiciary – Sondashi

Rupiah should stop meddling in affairs of judiciary – Sondashi
By Patson Chilemba
Sat 24 Oct. 2009, 04:01 CAT

LUSAKA lawyer Ludwig Sondashi yesterday said the delivery of justice will only be improved when President Rupiah Banda stops meddling in the affairs of the judiciary and not increasing the number of judges at the Supreme Court and High Court.

Sondashi said the delivery of justice could not be improved by increasing the number of judges at the Supreme and High courts.

He said President Banda should stop meddling in the affairs of the judiciary.
Sondashi said it was clear that President Banda influenced the judgments in which former president Frederick Chiluba and education minister Dora Siliya were acquitted.

He said President Banda also prevailed over Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Chalwe Mchenga's move to withdraw the appeal against Chiluba in the High Court.
President Banda wanted to grant himself powers to increase the number of judges of the Supreme Court to 11 and High Court to 50 through a Statutory Instrument.
And Sondashi charged that President Rupiah Banda will continue apologising looking at the manner he is handling national issues.

And Commenting on President Banda's apology on the current fuel shortage, Sondashi said he hoped this was the last apology President Banda was making.
However, Sondashi said the apology from President Banda came when the damage had already been created.

“I hope this apology will be the last one because the way things are moving, President Banda will continue apologising,” he said.

Sondashi said things would continue to go wrong in the country because President Banda had no vision to govern the nation.

“So, we are telling him that he should go back to his farm, where there was nothing at the farm when he was there,” he said.

Sondashi said President Banda should not think that he would govern forever.
He said President Banda's governance would come to an end in 2011 but he was mistaken if he had failed to realise this reality.

Sondashi said this was the more reason why President Banda had failed to convene a convention in the MMD because he was scared of being defeated.

On government's defiance to the public to sell 75 per cent shares in Zamtel, Sondashi said President Banda wanted to benefit from the sale of Zamtel through his sons.

“I can't allow this. I have worked in government many years to put things right. They will be able to steal after we are dead some of us,” Sondashi said. “They would have privatised 49 per cent of the shares, not 75 per cent of the hen which lays eggs for this country.”

Sondashi said the “Rupiah Banda and son mentality” was just there, plotting to enrich itself.

“Whatever he looks at, even Zamtel, you can see that there is a son who wants to benefit,” he said.

Sondashi also revealed that his party FDI, would contest the Solwezi Central parliamentary by-election.

Sondashi asked the PF and UPND pact to get behind him because he stood a better chance of winning the election in Solwezi.

Asked if he would consider joining the pact, Sondashi said he would think about the proposal in areas where he did not have advantage of winning.

He said the people of Solwezi had suffered because of President Banda's failed government.

“So MMD cannot win unless they rig the elections,” Sondashi said.

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Chitimukulu’s attacks on me had govt blessings, says Guy

Chitimukulu’s attacks on me had govt blessings, says Guy
By Ernest Chanda
Sat 24 Oct. 2009, 04:01 CAT

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) vice-president Guy Scott has said the attacks on his race by paramount chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba people had the blessings of the government.

Reacting to the traditional leader's attacks on his race, Scott said it was clear to everyone that what Chitimukulu said pleased those in authority.

“First of all, let me state that I'm very comfortable in the PF because there is no racism or tribalism. It was sad that a traditional leader could issue such unwarranted remarks against an innocent citizen and in the face of a head of state. Now if the Republican President and indeed the MMD leadership were not in support of that they would have refuted the statement by now,” Scott said.

“The fact that they have been quiet means that what the paramount chief said about me had the blessings of government officials. We should all remember that Rupiah Banda came into the MMD through the wall. But I have been in the PF through and through, so I'm very comfortable. In this case it's enough proof that in fact the MMD is a party for racists. I'm comfortable with Michael Sata who has proved to everyone that he is not a racist.”

Recently, Chitimukulu made racist remarks against Scott when President Rupiah Banda paid a courtesy call on him at his palace prior to the Kasama Central parliamentary by-election.

Chitimukulu wondered who would replace Patriotic Front president Sata if he died since his deputy was a white man.

"I can't follow things blindly. Someone has forgotten where he is coming from. He is only concerned with the present. Even the educated ones are allowing themselves to be blinded; they are following someone Sata blindly without questioning his decisions or actions. He has picked a white man as his vice-president. Rupiah Banda was late Mwanawasa's vice-president and now he has succeeded him. Will Guy Scott succeed Sata as a party or Republican president if he died tomorrow?" Chitimukulu asked.

Chitimukulu said Zambians fought for independence and having a white man in Scott as Republican president would mean the independence struggle was in vain.

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Stripping of Kagem miner by guard is criminal – MUZ

Stripping of Kagem miner by guard is criminal – MUZ
By Mutuna Chanda in Kitwe
Sat 24 Oct. 2009, 04:00 CAT

MINEWORKERS Union of Zambia (MUZ) president Rayford Mbulu has said the stripping of a Kagem miner by a security guard is criminal.

In an interview yesterday after he met Kagem management on Thursday, Mbulu said MUZ demanded that the security guard identified as Gurung Yogendra be removed from plant operations because he was a danger to society.

"We met Kagem ... and for us as a union we made certain demands and one demand is that very stern disciplinary action should be taken against that Indian who searched our member mercilessly; an act which is totally contrary to company policy," Mbulu said.

"He actually took the law in his own hands. That is illegal in as far as we are concerned and no law in this country supports such kind of search. We know we've got our own policies, procedures and practices but there is no policy, there is no procedure, there is no practice in the mining industry that supports searching an individual to the extent of stripping them naked because this is inhuman; it's actually criminal, it's an act that requires absolute punishment. And we have even said the best Kagem management can do for now is actually sideline that gentleman ... that man has been taken away from the plant pending investigations and even after investigations we don't need him on the plant."

Mbulu said having such a security guard at the plant could precipitate a reaction from mine workers because they were human beings who had feelings.

He further challenged Kagem management not to only be quick in meting out disciplinary action when it involved unionised workers but slow to act when the tide was against them.

He said MUZ having carried out its investigations also established that Yogendra stripped Davison Mwila a miner at Kagem on suspicion that he may have stolen an emerald on October 8.

Mbulu also challenged the government to be proactive in conducting inspections at work places and dealing with such acts.

"Government must come in to regulate, see exactly the conditions under which the people are working," said Mbulu.

"These people are not only mine workers, these people are citizens of this republic, they deserve the protection of government and I believe we just watch the situation, let it be what it is I am telling you that at the end of the day Zambians will always be subjected to such kind of ill treatment."

Sources at Kagem last week indicated that stripping of workers was not new and that in some instances, security guards of Asian origin even inserted their fingers into private parts of miners they suspected to have stolen emeralds.

Kagem senior manager for corporate affairs Jonas Mwansa defended the stripping of Mwila and said it occurred during the normal course of duty.

He defended Yogendra that what prompted him to ask Mwila to take off his clothes was that he found that he wore two sets of underwear and that this made him become suspicious.

"This security man suspected he had stolen because he was wearing two things (underwear)," Mwansa said. "He was asked to take off one. The dress code is that he is not supposed to wear two things. People are searched as per normal procedure. In this particular instance he was wearing two pants."

Asked if security officials were allowed to insert their fingers in to employees' private part in the course of searching, Mwansa said he did not think that there were any such occurrences.

"It's just that yes, when people want to hide something, they can hide it anywhere," said Mwansa.
"You have to pampanta (search thoroughly) everywhere...all what has been done is according to the procedure that the security department have put in place. As you know emerald is not like copper. For copper there is no need for searching people because copper is heavy but for our business even a small thing is valuable.

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Mpelembe Drilling workers’ wives protest over salaries

Mpelembe Drilling workers’ wives protest over salaries
By Zumani Katasefa
Sat 24 Oct. 2009, 04:00 CAT

LUANSHYA police on Wednesday dispersed angry wives of Mpelembe Drilling workers who protested against non-payment of their husbands' salaries for seven months.

The irate women from Mufulira travelled to Luanshya to protest at their spouses' company headquarters, where they also threatened to camp.

However, the women's protest was thwarted by police officers who were rushed to the company.

Luanshya district commissioner George Kapu confirmed the development.
"Yes, they came here, they wanted to be addressed by me, but I was not there, I was in the field," said Kapu.

And Mine Workers Union of Zambia (MUZ) Luanshya branch chairman Geoffrey Lishika said it was sad that the company would let workers go for seven months without salaries.

Lishika also complained that deputy labour minister Simon Kachimba had promised to follow up the K6 billion debt that Roan Antelope Mining Corporation of Zambia (RAMCOZ) owed to the company.

Lishika said some of the women who travelled to Luanshya were widows who had no other means of earning a living as they just depended on their husbands' benefits.
The over 40 women whose husbands work for Mpelembe Drilling Company vowed to continue protesting until their husbands were paid their money.

The women complained that their husbands had gone without salaries for seven months.
One of the women who declined to be named said the situation was getting out of hand.
"Our government should intervene in this matter, there is no way our husbands can go for seven months without salaries," she complained.

And one of the Mpelembe Drilling workers, Febian Chisenga, said the women were annoyed with the non-payment of salaries for seven months.

"They were annoyed with our non-payment of salaries for seven months. That is why they decided to book a min- bus and travel to Luanshya to stage a protest. That is where the company headquarters are," he said.

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Chitimukulu’s attacks on me had govt blessings, says Guy

Chitimukulu’s attacks on me had govt blessings, says Guy
By Ernest Chanda
Sat 24 Oct. 2009, 04:01 CAT

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) vice-president Guy Scott has said the attacks on his race by paramount chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba people had the blessings of the government.

Reacting to the traditional leader's attacks on his race, Scott said it was clear to everyone that what Chitimukulu said pleased those in authority.

“First of all, let me state that I'm very comfortable in the PF because there is no racism or tribalism. It was sad that a traditional leader could issue such unwarranted remarks against an innocent citizen and in the face of a head of state. Now if the Republican President and indeed the MMD leadership were not in support of that they would have refuted the statement by now,” Scott said.

“The fact that they have been quiet means that what the paramount chief said about me had the blessings of government officials. We should all remember that Rupiah Banda came into the MMD through the wall. But I have been in the PF through and through, so I'm very comfortable. In this case it's enough proof that in fact the MMD is a party for racists. I'm comfortable with Michael Sata who has proved to everyone that he is not a racist.”

Recently, Chitimukulu made racist remarks against Scott when President Rupiah Banda paid a courtesy call on him at his palace prior to the Kasama Central parliamentary by-election.

Chitimukulu wondered who would replace Patriotic Front president Sata if he died since his deputy was a white man.

"I can't follow things blindly. Someone has forgotten where he is coming from. He is only concerned with the present. Even the educated ones are allowing themselves to be blinded; they are following someone Sata blindly without questioning his decisions or actions. He has picked a white man as his vice-president. Rupiah Banda was late Mwanawasa's vice-president and now he has succeeded him. Will Guy Scott succeed Sata as a party or Republican president if he died tomorrow?" Chitimukulu asked.

Chitimukulu said Zambians fought for independence and having a white man in Scott as Republican president would mean the independence struggle was in vain.

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Experts bemoan influx of illegal seed dealers

Experts bemoan influx of illegal seed dealers
By Lawrence Kabutu
Sat 24 Oct. 2009, 04:00 CAT

MAIZE Research Institute (MRI) has expressed sadness with the influx of illegal seed dealers on the market in Southern Province.

MRI Mazabuka distributor Gilbert Vlahakis disclosed that 18 cases of fake seed dealers in the province had so far been unearthed and stated that two to three metric tonnes of fake seed was confiscated.

He was speaking during a sensitisation meeting for this season's farmer input support programme (FISP) in Choma attended by senior agricultural officers and district agriculture committee chairpersons in the province.

Vlahakis noted that Southern Province had been highly targeted by briefcase seed dealers as it was the largest consumer of maize seed.

He also attributed the increase in fake seed dealers in the province to the high number of farmers planting hybrid seed.

Vlahakis stated that 60 per cent of farmers in Southern Province were using hybrid seed hence the decision by unscrupulous seed dealers to target the small-scale farmers in the province to swindle them out of their money.

He cited the incident in Chikanta area where farmers were swindled of their money with 83 bags of fake seed purported to have been supplied by MRI.

Vlahakis pointed out that the problem of illegal supply of seed by unscrupulous seed dealers would soon reach alarming levels if left unchecked.

He urged senior agricultural officers in the province to work in collaboration with seed companies and the Seed Control and Certification Institute to arrest the situation.

Vlahakis explained that fake seed dealers had become sophisticated as they were using bags, labels and chemicals for seed companies when marketing their fake seed.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Rupiah is mocking Zambians – Sata

Rupiah is mocking Zambians – Sata
By George Chellah and Chibaula Silwamba
Fri 23 Oct. 2009, 04:00 CAT

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) leader Michael Sata yesterday said President Rupiah Banda was mocking Zambians with his insincere apology over the current fuel crisis.

And parliamentary committee on energy former chairperson Gary Nkombo charged that President Banda must have taken a punitive action against energy minister Kenneth Konga. Reacting to President Banda’s apology to the nation over the fuel shortage, Sata observed that President Banda thinks Zambians are very foolish.

“Rupiah is just mocking the people of Zambia, he is not apologising. He is not genuine with his apology on the fuel crisis. He thinks that Zambians are very foolish,” he said.

On President Banda’s statement that nobody believes that he Sata goes to queue up for fuel, Sata wondered whether President Banda’s government had ever advertised for filling stations that were exclusively for ‘big people’ the President referred to.

“Since he is a ‘big man’ like he has said it himself, let him tell us where ‘big people’ are supposed to go and queue up when there is no fuel,” he said.

Sata said it was difficult for President Banda to appreciate the fact that he was able to move with a container and queue up for fuel like anybody else because the President lacks humility.

“Rupiah doesn’t care about the people because he is a ‘big man’ and as a ‘big man’ he is not affected by the current fuel shortage. That’s why I am saying he wasn’t even apologising, he was merely mocking us for being on the queue for fuel whilst ‘big people’ like him were calmly waiting for their tanks to be filled,” Sata said.

“He says since I would like to be the next President why should I go to a filling station with a container? Probably let me also ask him what sort of a President he is who is not concerned with the suffering of the masses. He is so detached from the problems people are facing that’s why he doesn’t care. He only loves flying on his presidential jet leaving problems and all such issues back home. ”

He said President Banda was aloof.

“Rupiah is having difficulties of queuing for fuel because he has never been close to the people. I have always been close to the grassroots…the masses, that’s why I understand the difficulties they are facing. This is what distinguishes me from him and his colleagues,” Sata said.

“But for him, he is always close to the ‘big people’, no wonder it’s only the ‘big people’ that are advising him on this fuel crisis.”

Sata warned that the fuel situation if left unattended would have serious effects on the country’s agriculture sector. And Nkombo, who is also Mazabuka Central UPND member of parliament, said President Banda was brave to apologise over the fuel crisis but that was not the solution to the problem.

“I think it is only proper to give him the necessary accolades for his bravery to make a public apology for the mess they have caused. But I am sure he realises that he cannot go on masquerading forever,” Nkombo said.

“He President Banda has demonstrated that the levels of sincerity are not as high because this matter required not only a corrective action to demonstrate his disappointment with his minister but a punitive one because I mean this is terrible. I keep saying that a lot of man-hours have been lost in the economy because all that people do now, their preoccupation is to queue for fuel.”

He said the current fuel crisis was affecting production in the country.

“Who is going to compensate for those lost hours of work, of productivity? So it’s not sufficient for him to just say sorry and yet nothing is still correct. You cannot imagine a situation where the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. And every so often I am sure he exchanges notes with his minister. So I think they have failed, they must just admit,” Nkombo said.

“However, it will be unfair to just condemn the man completely, better late than never.”

Nkombo said the fact that President Banda apologised showed that he admitted the mistakes but it did not mean that he had solved the problem.

On Wednesday, President Banda apologised to the nation over the fuel crisis the country has been experiencing for two weeks now.

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Rupiah seeks ‘more powers’ over judiciary

Rupiah seeks ‘more powers’ over judiciary
By George Chellah
Fri 23 Oct. 2009, 10:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda wanted to grant himself powers to increase the number of judges of the Supreme Court to 11 and High Court to 50 by Statutory Instrument.

Giving his second reading speech on the Supreme Court and High Court (Number of Judges) (Amendment) Bill, N.A.B number 28 of 2009, acting leader of government business in the House Kalombo Mwansa told parliament on Wednesday that the Supreme Court and High Court (Number of Judges) Act, chapter 26 of the laws of Zambia prescribes the number of judges in the Supreme Court and High Court of Zambia.

“Currently, section two of the Act provides that there shall be nine judges of the Supreme Court, including the Chief Justice and the Deputy Chief Justice. Section three provides that there shall be 30 High Court judges. The pressure placed on the justice system by the increase in the number of cases litigated and the rapidly increasing population has necessitated an upward adjustment to the number of judges both at Supreme Court and High Court levels,” Mwansa said.

“This Bill seeks to amend sections two and three of the Act so as to provide for an increase in the number of Supreme Court and High Court judges. Sir, although the Bill before this August House proposed to vest power in the President to increase the number of Supreme Court and High Court judges by Statutory Instrument, the government has revised that decision following further consultations with the judiciary.

“I will, therefore, move amendments to the Bill on the floor of this House so that we amend sections two and three of the Act to increase the number of judges of the Supreme Court to 11 and that of High Court judges to 50 within the Act itself. This measure will ensure greater and faster access to justice by our people, since the number of judges will be increased in order to meet the dynamic needs of our nation.”

And vice-chairperson of the parliamentary committee on legal affairs, governance, human rights and gender matters, Sylvia Masebo, reported to the House that the intention of the amendment Bill was to increase the current numbers of judges of the Supreme Court and High Court as a measure to ensure speedy dispensation of justice.

“Mr Speaker Sir, your committee in their endeavour to consult widely on this important Bill invited various stakeholders to make both written and oral submissions before them. Your committee received useful responses from the stakeholders,” she said. Masebo said the witnesses all registered support for the Bill albeit with reservations.

“The concerns are recorded in your committee's report for the consideration of the Honourable members of this House as they consider the Bill and I trust that the Honourable members will find the report useful as they debate the Bill,” Masebo said.

“The witnesses who appeared before your committee observed that the amendments, as provided in the Bill, confer very wide discretionary powers on the President and may entail a negative development in respect of the principle of separation of powers and also may negatively affect the operations of the judiciary as an independent body.

“To this effect, Sir, your committee is of the view that the current provisions where the Act gives a definite number of judges of the Supreme Court and High Court should be maintained and that the numbers be adjusted upwards as proposed by the stakeholders. Your committee would like to urge the House to consider the contents of their report as they proceed with the Bill.”

And several opposition members of parliament urged Mwansa to withdraw the Bill.
Kalomo UPND member of parliament Request Muntanga said the Bill was asking the parliamentarians to give powers to the President to recommend by Statutory Instrument.

“I think it will be so gracious of him (Mwansa) to withdraw the Bill. Withdraw and quickly bring the correct thing!” he said.

Nchanga PF member of parliament Wilbur Simuusa said the Bill must be withdrawn.
Kantanshi PF member of parliament Yamfwa Mukanga wondered why parliament should surrender its own powers to the President. He said even the criteria for the increase in the number of judges was not clear.

“The people who appeared before the committee rejected it so why should we agree?” he asked.

Mukanga said people did not want to see anything that would compromise the separation of powers.

Chasefu FDD member of parliament Chifumu Banda advised the government to come up with an appropriate amendment.

And Roan PF member of parliament Chishimba Kambwili said Mwansa wanted to pull a fast one on the parliamentarians.

But Mwansa said the government had no intention to undermine the principle of separation of powers. He said the government wanted to ensure checks and balances in the dispensation of justice.

But the opposition parliamentarians continued heckling and calling on Mwansa to concede and withdraw the Bill. Mwansa later requested that the Bill be deferred to next Wednesday.

And according to the committee's report, the stakeholders who appeared before it raised concerns on the matter.

The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) submitted that the proposed Bill sought to empower the President to determine the number of judges in the High Court and Supreme Court and to provide for matters connected with or incidental thereto.
LAZ stated that the Constitution of Zambia provided for the judicature in Part VI under the provisions set out hereunder:

“'92(l) There shall be a Supreme Court of Zambia which shall be a final Court of appeal for the Republic and which shall have such jurisdiction and powers as may be conferred on it by this Constitution or any other law.

(2) The Judges of the Supreme Court shall be - (a) the Chief Justice; (b) the Deputy Chief Justice; (c) seven Supreme Court Judges or such greater number as may be prescribed by an Act of Parliament,” the report stated.

“'94 (1) There shall be a High Court for the Republic which shall have, except as to the proceedings in which the Industrial Relations Court has exclusive jurisdiction under the Industrial and Labour Relations Act, unlimited and original jurisdiction to hear and determine any civil or criminal proceedings under any law and such jurisdiction and powers as may be conferred on it by this Constitution or any other law.(2) The High Court shall be divided into such divisions as may be determined by an Act of Parliament. (3) The Chief Justice shall be an ex officio judge of the High Court. (4) The other judges of the High Court shall be such number of puisne judges as may be prescribed by an Act of Parliament.

“Pursuant to the above provisions the current Supreme Court and High Court (Number of Judges) Act Cap 26, fixes the number of Judges to be appointed in the following manner:

“'2, There shall be nine Judges of the Supreme Court including the Chief Justice and the Deputy Chief Justice; (3), There shall be thirty puisne Judges of the High Court.”

The report stated that in line with the above provisions, LAZ stated that the present Bill was an unconstitutional attempt at legislation as it was a radical departure from both the Constitution and the intents and purposes of Cap 26.

“The Association strongly proposed that the provisions relating to the number of Judges in both the Supreme Court and the High Court must be addressed in the principal legislation as opposed to allowing such prescriptions to be made under subsidiary legislation as this was in keeping with the spirit of the Constitution,” it stated.

“The Association further added that in its current form, the proposed amendment would not enhance the principles of independence of the judiciary, transparency and public accountability of judicial Officers.”

And the Human Rights Commission (HRC) recommended that the Bill be revisited with the following possible outcomes:

“(i) that the current format where the Act gives a definite number of judges of the Supreme Court and High Court be maintained and, if necessary, the numbers be adjusted upwards. Leaving the President to determine the numbers by statutory instrument, was too fluid and was likely to send wrong signals; and (ii) alternatively, the Bill should infuse control measures, such as requiring the President to consult with the Judicial Service Commission before adjusting the number of judges of the High Court and provide for a definite number on the Supreme Court, possibly, with a slight increase to the current nine.”

And the Judicial Service Commission submitted that the increase in the number of judges would mean increased budgetary allocation to the judiciary in the form of salaries and other emoluments.

“It would need additional office space and support staff such as secretaries, marshals, reporters and drivers,” the report stated.

“In addition, the Chief Administrator submitted that what the judiciary had proposed to the Ministry of Justice as an amendment was different from what had been presented in the current proposed amendment.”

The report stated that other stakeholders submitted that in the alternative, it would be better if the said amendment specified the minimum number of judges so that more can be appointed as required at a particular time.

“They further submitted that it was not the President who should decide on the number of judges to be appointed as he was not privy to the workload of the judiciary. Instead, they proposed that the judiciary should recommend to the President who should then appoint the judges, whose appointment should then be ratified by Parliament. They stated that the Judicial Service Commission should decide on the number of judges as they were the most competent body and then pass on the recommendation to the President,” stated the report.

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Rupiah and judicial independence

Rupiah and judicial independence
By Editor
Fri 23 Oct. 2009, 04:00 CAT

It requires little intelligence – if a little is all one has – to realise that Rupiah Banda is up to no good, is out to destroy our country. We have been warning the Zambian people that if they are not careful, by the time Rupiah leaves office, there will be no credible institutions remaining in our country.

It’s clear that Rupiah wants to assume hegemony over everything that is a source of power, politically or otherwise, in this country. And this is demonstrated by his desire and attempts to enact laws that increase his control of the judiciary and its judges, the media and its journalists, civil society and its activists, including the Church and its priests, and so on and so forth.

Rupiah is trying desperately hard to come up with laws, to change laws to legalise his control of all the key institutions, state and civil, of our nation.

And Rupiah’s attempt to give himself arbitrary powers to alter the number of judges on our Supreme Court and High Court benches should be seen in this light.
Today Rupiah is not satisfied with his informal use of well-placed relatives and friends in our judicial process, he wants to extend and legitimise this through an Act of parliament that allows him to arbitrarily arrange or re-arrange the size of the bench in a way that suits him and his schemes or expediencies of the moment.

We are glad that even his friends in the Law Association of Zambia are starting to see through his dangerous schemes. This is evidenced by the Law Association of Zambia’s opposition to his attempt to give himself legal powers, through an Act of parliament, to change the size of the Supreme Court and High Court benches as and when he deems fit. This has also been opposed by the Human Rights Commission. And even the Judicial Service Commission has become uncomfortable with the extent to which he is prepared to push things in order to extend and entrench his hegemony over the judiciary.

It is clear that Rupiah has an agenda to bring the judiciary to its knees so that it serves his selfish interests as we have seen in the case involving his friend Frederick Chiluba.

Zambia needs an independent judiciary, a judiciary that is free from the influence or dictation of Rupiah. We have already touched on this subject in a number of editorial comments and there is very little left for us to say and as such we will say it at length.

What Rupiah is attempting to do is to exercise subtle and undue influence over the judiciary by bestowing upon himself discretionary power to determine the number of judges of both the Supreme Court and the High Court.

As the Human Rights Commission has correctly observed, what Rupiah is trying to do will seriously undermine the independence of our judiciary and it’s only an independent judiciary that is able to render justice impartially on the basis of law, thereby also protecting the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the individual. What Rupiah is trying to do will certainly undermine public confidence in the ability of the judiciary to carry out its functions in an independent and impartial manner. And as correctly observed by the Human Rights Commission, whenever this confidence begins to be eroded, neither the judiciary as an institution nor the individual judges will be able to fully perform this important task.

The Law Association of Zambia is equally very correct in its conclusion on this issue: “…The proposed amendment would not enhance the principles of independence of the judiciary, transparency and accountability of judicial officers.”
We must bear in mind that the idea of independence of the judiciary as it now presents itself is a modern one. If we go back in history, we shall generally find that, although the notion that justice should be fairly administered may well have been accepted, those who adjudicated it or settled cases were not expected to be in any real sense “independent”.

Thus in medieval England, from whose common law we derived our national legal system, justice was a royal prerogative, which the ruler carried out through his appointed officials or justices. As such, not only was there no separation of powers, but those who judged were agents of those who ruled. Judges had to conform to the dictates of those who ruled. This is where Rupiah wants to take us back to so that as the ruler, he can dictate his will on everything.

We all know that the rule of law is the ultimate foundation of the independence, integrity and impartiality of judicial conduct. In turn, these requirements must be the criteria for judicial appointment.

No complex society can operate without the efficient and expeditious performance of legal functions, by means of direct enforcement of rules and by the deterrent effect of threatened or possible enforcement.

The sense of personal security of citizens, indeed the existence of social order, is determined in large measure by the extent to which people can arrange their personal affairs and their relationships with associates, friends, family and neighbours on the assumption that basic standards of propriety are met and reasonable expectations are satisfied. In all spheres of conduct, it is essential that individuals know that they can pursue their lives with a reasonable degree of security, both of their person and of their property.

All forms of social interaction, including economic interaction, are impeded by the degree to which personal and property rights are subject to unpredictable and arbitrary incursion, so that people live in fear, or act on the basis of suspicion, rather than on the basis that others will act in a predictable way. A high level of predictability establishes the requisite social order and the confidence that one can act in accordance with reasonable beliefs as to one’s rights and obligations and that reasonable expectations will be met.

The legal system performs a critical role in the promotion of social order by the administration of the law in a manner which answers the fundamental requirements of justice namely, fair outcomes arrived at by fair procedures. The fairness of the procedures is as essential as the correctness of fairness of the outcomes. When people talk about having their “day in court”, this is a matter that is of significance to their sense of freedom and of personal autonomy.
Those in society who are powerful, including but not limited to the numerous manifestations of the executive branch of government, have other means of getting their way. What confines those with power is the effective operation of the rule of law.

Citizens are entitled to protection from the exercise of the power that others are able to exercise over their lives. Actual or threatened transgression of civil rights in society are in large measure deterred by the very existence of an independent legal profession with access to courts consisting of independent judges. From time to time deterrence does not work and the judicial arm of government must be invoked, sometimes against other arms of government, both executive and parliamentary.

The rule of law involves a principle of universality, that is to say, every person however powerful is governed by the ordinary law and is personally liable for anything done contrary to the law. All authority and power, including all aspects of governmental authority and power, must find an ultimate source in law. It is this principle that ensures that the rule of law differs from the arbitrary exercise of power. All authority is subject to and constrained by the law.

A second aspect of the rule of law is the concept of boundedness: that the law is not all-encompassing. There is a substantial sphere of freedom of action. Citizens can only be constrained or punished for violation of the law and in accordance with the law. Where the law ends, so the constraint ends. Judges and lawyers are boundary riders maintaining the integrity of the fences that divide legal constraint from the sphere of freedom of action.

The minimum content of the rule of law is that the rights and duties of persons in the community, and the consequences of breach of any such rights and duties, must be capable of objective determination. It is only if this is the case that persons and groups in society can interact with each other with confidence, in an environment of social order. Judicial independence ensures that any such determination is, in fact, objective.

Of course the rule of law is not simply a system that contains rules that must be obeyed. The law is a system to be used by citizens for their own protection and their own advancement in their relations with the state and with other citizens or organisations.

None of this can happen without the active participation of lawyers both by means of advising people of their rights and obligations and by ensuring that they are enforced. However, enforcement can only be reliable if there is an independent forum for the resolution of disputes about rights and obligations.
A society cannot be governed by the rule of law without an institutionalised arrangement for the independence of the judiciary. Furthermore, democracy depends on the courts enforcing what the legislature intended, not what the President wants.

The form of social order which we identify with a society operating under the rule of law can only exist if laws are administered fairly, rationally, predictably, consistently and impartially.

Fairness requires a reasonable process of consideration of the rights and duties asserted. Rationality requires a reasoned relationship between the rights and duties of the outcome. Predictability requires a process by which the outcome is related to the original rights and duties. Consistency requires similar cases to lead to similar results. Impartiality requires the decision-maker to be indifferent to the outcome.

Any form of improper influence, incompetence, inefficiency or bias is inconsistent with each of these objectives. Without institutionalised judicial independence, distortions are inevitable. Without a high level of competence, integrity and capacity for impartiality on the part of judges, distortions are inevitable.

Clearly, judicial independence is a fundamental right of citizens. Any tampering with the independence of the judiciary touches on the human rights of citizens and should therefore be treated as a very serious violation. What Rupiah and his minions are trying to do will have only one end result: erosion of the independence and integrity of the judiciary. And it is therefore a very serious violation which we should not treat lightly.

And all those involved in this conspiracy should be exposed and denounced and never be entrusted with any public responsibility in future. Judicial independence is not some kind of privilege which judges acquire as a perk of office. It is a very important aspect of the rule of law. For the reasons we have stated competence, integrity and capacity for impartiality are also a very important aspect of the rule of law. Judicial appointments, the determination of the size of the bench must be understood in this context which is, in the full sense of the term, constitutional.

The starting point for the impartial administration of justice is some form of institutional autonomy. An effective judiciary requires a distinct esprit de corps and its own legitimising traditions. This is often reflected in distinctive form of dress. The judiciary must be, and must be seen to be, institutionalised, a distinct group performing distinct functions.

Insofar as a polity wishes to be a society which the rule of law operates, it is essential that the ultimate guardians of the law must have the level of integrity and the status that enables courts to act as an effective constraint on the exercise of power and as a competent source of impartial decision-making.
The judiciary must be independent of any person who may seek to exercise influence on the outcome of legal proceedings, in any manner and for whatever reason. Unless that is so, the rule of law is inevitably compromised.

Obviously, the parties to a dispute are most likely persons who would seek to exercise such influence. However, persons who wish to manifest their power, or to pursue a political or social agenda, are all likely to seek to have their wishes or views implemented in the course of judicial decision-making. That is, of course, particularly true with respect to judgments that have broader implications, such as constitutional decisions, presidential election petitions, but it is a form of pressure that could arise in any kind of case. Unless judges are hard to get at, because of institutional autonomy and personal independence, there will be no shortage of persons who try to do so.

Judicial independence does not only involve freedom from direct interference. It also involves freedom from dependence, of a character which may lead to actual, or even perceived, influence, without the need to exert actual interference.
People who are used to getting their way do not usually take kindly to their wishes being frustrated. Throughout history, the executive branch of government has been such a centre of power.

The threat to independence from the executive branch, from the President is, of course, particularly acute because the executive, the President, is in one manner or another the ultimate source of power for the appointment of judges in this country, for the administration of mechanisms for discipline or removal of judges and the source of funding for all aspects of the administration of justice. And they still want more, they want to take away even the little powers parliament has in determining the size of the bench. Why?

The most significant single aspect of the institutional arrangements for judicial independence is the need to insulate, indeed to isolate, the exercise of judicial power from interference or pressure from the executive branch of government, from the President. To a substantial degree, this is simply a manifestation of the need to ensure impartiality. So far as we are aware, the executive branch is the single most frequent litigant in our courts of law.

Citizens confront the executive branch in all its various capacities in the course of litigation. Courts are frequently called upon to determine the validity of the executive action and the constitutional validity of legislation promoted by the executive.

Any citizen can be subject to investigation or prosecution by the various authorities that exercise the police power of the state, not only with respect to matters that involve allegations of criminal conduct, but also with respect to the full range of regulations that seek to confine or direct the personal behaviour of citizens. As taxpayers, citizens are engaged in disputes with revenue authorities. As property owners, citizens are engaged in disputes with a wide range of regulatory authorities that determine what they can do with their property.

As employees, citizens confront the largest single employer in the nation – the government. As persons entitled to legislative benefits, citizens are confronted with the full range of bureaucratic decision-making processes.

A significant proportion of injured persons seek compensation from government agencies such as hospitals, road authorities and police. Governmental organisations manifest the full range of commercial interests as suppliers or purchasers of goods and services from others, which are as much prone to disputes over property rights or contractual terms as any other commercial relationship.

Of course, there are numerous decision-making processes capable of impinging on judicial independence. Judges who are selected or promoted on the basis of how they are likely to decide, rather than on the basis of their professional expertise, may not disappoint the authorities who select and promote them.

Courts that are continually requesting additional resources from government in order to perform their functions effectively may prove more likely to be subject to subtle pressures to achieve particular outcomes in matters of significance to those who control the resources. Judges who are inadequately remunerated, are subject to temptations which may be difficult to resist.

Similarly, in the case of judges who are not accorded the status required to ensure that the administration of the law in their society is regarded as a matter of constitutional significance.

A judiciary which is accorded a low status and, accordingly, a low level of respect in its community, will be less likely to have the level of competence and impartiality required for the effective administration of justice.

Clearly, judicial virtues are required so that laws are administered fairly, rationally, predictably, consistently and impartially. These are requirements of the rule of law which are today being seriously threatened in our country by Rupiah’s designs and schemes to assume total hegemony over all institutions of the state and civil society.

This must be exposed and denounced even in the cool salons of political manipulation as in the hot day of mid October. This man and his friends are dangerous. Watch them! Stop them!

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CSOs urge govt to revise investment policies

CSOs urge govt to revise investment policies
By Kabanda Chulu
Fri 23 Oct. 2009, 04:00 CAT

CIVIL Society Organisations (CSO) yesterday urged the government to revise investment policies so as to prevent capital flight and compel foreign investors to leave a certain percentage of their profits in the country. The civil society also advised the government against borrowing above the projected macroeconomic targets.

Appearing before the expanded parliamentary committee chaired by Bweengwa member of parliament Highvie Hamududu, the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR), Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) and Caritas Zambia, all submitted that Zambia had continued to experience capital flight by foreign investors to countries that serve as tax havens.

JCTR aid policy analyst Chilufya Chileshe said foreign investors must be forced to maintain accounts with banks in Zambia for recapitalisation.

“Government should sharpen our investment policies to put emphasis on ‘resident’ investors so that we can retain and increase the investment capacities in the country as well as generating employment,” said Chileshe.

“Foreign companies should be guided by a non-externalisation of profits policy because Zambia has continued to experience capital flight and they should be compelled to leave some profits in the country.”

And CSPR advocacy programme officer William Chilufya said the government should also reduce the number of years in which companies enjoy tax holiday to a maximum of one year in an effort to reduce the massive revenue losses.

“While tax incentives to foreign investors have the huge potential to promote investment, these incentives deprive government of essential resources for delivering social services to the people as promised in the national development plans,” said Chilufya.

The cost of doing business should be reformed through addressing infrastructure challenges such as roads and telecommunication and not just giving incentives to investors.”

And Caritas Zambia economic justice programme officer Edmund Kangamungazi said the government must decrease its domestic borrowing because it results in higher interest rates and prevents the private sector and ordinary people from borrowing from banks.

But Chongwe member of parliament Sylvia Masebo argued that there was nothing wrong with borrowing especially that the government had few resources to carry out its operations.

“Most of us survive on borrowing and we borrowed to acquire most of the things that we have,” said Masebo.

However, JCTR programme officer for trade and debt Privilege Hang’andu responded that people were not against borrowing but that the government should not over-shoot the projected macroeconomic targets.

“For instance, in the 2009 budget, borrowing was projected at 1.8 per cent of GDP but recently the finance minister announced that government borrowing currently stands at three per cent and it might even get higher by year-end,” said Hang’andu.

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Mwembeshi to be part of Zamtel sale

Mwembeshi to be part of Zamtel sale
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Fri 23 Oct. 2009, 04:00 CAT

MWEMBESHI earth station, the country's avenue to the International gateway, is set for privatisation as eight foreign firms eye Zamtel, Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) director general Andrew Chipwende disclosed yesterday.

And Chipwende has asserted that the sale of Zamtel is above government interference, playing down concerns by most Zambians that the controversial processes would be marred by irregularities and corrupt tendencies emanating from government influence.

The eight companies that have prequalified to participate in the purchase of between 51 per cent to 75 per cent of Zamtel included South Africa's Telkom, Africa's biggest fixed-line operator, a consortium of Libya's LAP Greencom and LAP Green Networks, two Indian state-run telecoms companies, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.

Others are a consortium of Russia's second-biggest mobile phone operator Vimpelcom and Altimo, the telecoms arm of Russia's Alfa Group; a consortium of Egypt's Orascom Telecom and its subsidiary Telecel Globe; Angola's Unitel - a consortium of Unitel S.A and Angola Cables S.A; Portugal Telecom.
In an interview after ZDA officially announced the eight companies, Chipwende said all the assets of Zamtel would be sold.

He said the only property under the control of Zamtel which would be excluded from the privatisation process was the International Gateway as it was a regulatory issue controlled by the Communications Authority (CA).

“What we are selling are shares, which means all obligations and all assets and all liabilities of Zamtel remain with Zamtel,” Chipwende said. “Nothing is broken up…nothing is being broken up and all the assets…be, motor vehicles, if it's the satellites, optic fibre, the mobile operations, the fixed lines, the employees and everything remains with Zamtel. All contracts that they (Zamtel) have entered into…borrowings, remains with Zamtel. Nothing is being taken out.”
And Chipwende parried the widespread fears and misgivings that the privatisation of Zamtel was likely to be marred in gross irregularities, a semblance of what has happened with the post-privatisation era of Ghana Telecom.

The post-privatisation era of Ghana Telecom had been embroiled in politically-motivated mud-slinging and alleged corrupt activities with leaked reports accusing Vodafone of underpaying for its stake and the new government of John Atta Mills claiming that Ghanaian people did not get value for money.
But Chipwende claimed the privatisation of Zamtel would be done purely within the ZDA Act, devoid of government interference in the process where RP Capital of the Cayman Islands are the official transaction advisors.

“The ZDA board remains in charge of the process. They will select who will be the winning bidder, select who to enter into negotiations with. The law provides that ZDA board itself appoints the negotiating team,” Chipwende said. “There is nowhere in the Act where you find the mention of government. When the process has been negotiations, all we will do is to send final terms of negotiated to the Minister of Finance and again the ZDA Act is quite clear …it doesn't even say the Minister of Finance may sign or may not approve of what we have given to him. The law is very clear, it says the Minister of Finance' shall announce.”
Chipwende said ZDA had enough legal protection entrenched in the Act to shield the Agency from political interference.

“…I can confidently walk to the Minister of Finance's office with the final agreements after they have been approved by the Attorney General, of course, and order him to sign and he is going to sign because I have got the law to back me up,” Chipwende said. “The ZDA Act, in our case, we have a provision that requires us to publish in the government gazette the names and the prices of each and every bidder. And because people don't read gazette, we publish all the details in the press because people read the press.”

Chipwende also ZDA would announce the reason for the preferred company as required by law on the selection of the winning bidder.

“We don't have to justify why we rejected somebody but we have to justify why we selected a particular bidder and have that gazetted and announced as well,” said Chipwende. “So, it is a very transparent process that you are going to see and there are laws that provide for that. So, we are not too concerned with what is happening in other countries because if you look at the Zambian case, probably in terms of the legal and regulatory framework governing privatisation, it is among the best in the world.”

The long-planned privatisation of Zamtel has been criticised by opposition politicians, who say Zambians should hold a bigger stake in the company.
Zamtel's revenue for the year to end-December was US $100 million. It is Zambia's only licensed fixed-line provider of voice and data communications.

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Zambia has abundant investment opportunities in tourism – Namugala

Zambia has abundant investment opportunities in tourism – Namugala
By Kabanda Chulu
Fri 23 Oct. 2009, 04:00 CAT

TOURISM minister Catherine Namugala yesterday said the government will ensure that the regulatory framework is put in place to attract investment for the development of the tourism industry.

Speaking when business officials from Joz Group World Trade Centre of Saudi Arabia arrived in the country to explore business opportunities, Namugala said Zambia had abundant investment opportunities in tourism, apart from other areas of the economy.

She cited South Luangwa National Park where government had put in place basic infrastructure including a good road network, as part of the enabling environment to attract investment into the wildlife sub sector.

“As government we are committed to ensure that the regulatory framework is in place to guide tourism investment and development and this is why certain measures aimed at reducing the cost of doing business are already in place and some will soon be implemented,” said Namugala.

“In the tourism sector, we need increased investment especially in the accommodation sub-sector in order for Zambia to reach at least 50,000 bed-capacity.”

The Joz Group World Trade Centre is led by Nabeel Joz and owns 33 companies across the world with business investments ranging from construction to the hospitality industry, among others.

The Saudi Arabian business delegation is expected to visit some national parks to explore investment opportunities and assess the possibility of investing in the country.

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Chitimukulu vents his frustration on The Post

Chitimukulu vents his frustration on The Post
By Chibaula Silwamba
Fri 23 Oct. 2009, 04:00 CAT

CHITIMUKULU, the Paramount chief of the Bemba people of Northern Province yesterday declared that he does not want to receive any telephone calls from The Post asking for an interview with him.

When contacted for comment on public displeasure against him over his racial remarks against Patriotic Front (PF) vice-president Dr Guy Scott and the ruling MMD's loss in the Kasama Central parliamentary by-election last week despite his support for its candidate Burton Mugala, Chitimukulu said he was not foolish to speak to The Post. Below is the conversation between this author and Chitimukulu.

Silwamba: Mulishani mwemfumu? (How are you your Royal Highness?)
Chitimukulu: Awe mukwai, ine teti nande nangucimo. Pantu filyamwanembeshya nakabili kuti naba careless nalalanda na imwe ba Post? Awe mukwai. (No Sir! I cannot say anything because after what you wrote about me, do you think I can be that careless and speak to you The Post? No!)

Silwamba: Na ngapali filya mwalecita support MMD nomba MMD nailusa? What is your comment? (What about your earlier support for MMD which has now lost the Kasama by-election?)

Chitimukulu: Iyo! Ifyo mwisakamana tetinandepo iyo. Mwila angusha nokwangusha ku office kumwenu kuti ati twalalanda naba Chitimukulu. It's not so simple! It's difficult! Ine nshili icipuba ndi muntu umutuntulu. Paper ilya mwalembele yama rubbish mufumepo muye mwebe ati kwena tetituye kuli Chitimukulu, tamoneka cipuba namumatontonkanyo mutuntulu.

Mwilaesha, no, nangu ubushiku bumo, mwikesha nakabili ukuntumina telephone. (No, do not worry about that, I cannot talk about it. And please do not think in your offices that it's so simple to talk to Chitimukulu. That paper you wrote was full of rubbish. And when you go tell everyone that we cannot go to Chitimukulu; he does not look foolish, even his thinking is sound. Don't ever try, not even one day should you try to call me.)

Silwamba: Mwine lubemba, ndefwaya ukwipushako apo abantu balecita complain pa ma racial statement mwapangile pali ba Guy Scott. (Your royal highness, I want to ask since people have been complaining about those racial remarks you made about Dr Guy Scott.)

Chitimukulu: Shut up! Shut up!
Thereafter, Chitimukulu cut the phone.
On Sunday October 11, 2009, when President Rupiah Banda paid a courtesy call on him at his palace in Mungwi district, Chitimukulu said:

“Ifwe tufwile ukwimina kuli party na government, abalateka. Takwaba imfumu iiba ku opposition. Ine nshakatale chita ifyo iyo. [We have to be on the side of the governing party and the government. There is no chief who could be on the side of opposition political parties. I can never be on the side of an opposition political party.”

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Tanzania, Zambia to sign MoU with China over TAZARA line

Tanzania, Zambia to sign MoU with China over TAZARA line
By Kabanda Chulu
Fri 23 Oct. 2009, 04:00 CAT

TANZANIAN and Zambian ministers of transport are this month expected in China to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chinese government aimed at revamping operations of TAZARA railway line.

In an interview, Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Li Qiangmin said there was need to find ways of making the Tanzania-Zambia-Railways (TAZARA) efficient in its operations.

ìIt is the lifeline of Zambiaís transport and with the projection of one million metric tonnes of copper production per annum by 2011, the railway line must be rebuilt to accommodate the expected huge cargo as well as ensuring the competitiveness of Zambia,î said Ambassador Li.

ìSo before the end of this month, the transport ministers of both Zambia and Tanzania will travel to China to sign a memorandum of understanding with our government that will look into ways of resuscitating operations.î

TAZARA, which is a joint venture between the governments of Tanzania and Zambia, was established over 40 years ago with technical and financial support from China.

But currently, the railway company has been facing serious operational problems.
The company currently has total debts amounting to over US $60 million owed to various institutions.

Industry sources recently disclosed that the Zambian government was in talks with the Tanzanian authority to have the railway line concessioned to the Chinese.

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It is govt’s responsibility to provide conducive environment for investments – MUZ

It is govt’s responsibility to provide conducive environment for investments – MUZ
By Florence Bupe
Fri 23 Oct. 2009, 04:00 CAT

THE Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) has said it is the government’s responsibility to provide a conducive environment in the extractive industry for enhanced foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows.

Making a presentation at the just-ended joint Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) and the International Federation of Chemical Energy, Mine and General Workers Union seminar on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in extractive industries, MUZ director of research and information Charles Muchimba said the state of the domestic economic environment was crucial in determining the level of investment inflows.

“It is government’s responsibility to provide an environment that is conducive for both local and foreign investments. The local environment is critical for the promotion of foreign investment inflows to Zambia and the region,” said Muchimba.

And MUZ president Rayford Mbulu has called for more effective regulation of the employment policies in order to advantage local people in extractive industries.
He noted that the region in general and Zambia in particular, had not benefited as desired from industries such as mining because of the existing policy framework.

“What we have discovered is that countries in the region have had similar experiences. We all have had not much benefit in terms of FDI from extractive industries as the benefits go to the shareholders,” Mbulu said. “The lack of technical transfer has also contributed to reduced benefits.”
Mbulu also charged that the lack of transparency in the privatisation of most industries and the non- involvement of trade unions in the privatisation process had limited levels of benefits.

He further said the continued low investment in infrastructure was hindering investment inflows.

Mbulu said there was need for countries to come up with common legislation in extractive industries as a way of addressing the challenges being faced.
“We need to come up with common legislation across the region to avoid transplanting ill practices in the industry from one country to the other,” said Mbulu.

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Barclays Bank, UNICEF launch global partnership

Barclays Bank, UNICEF launch global partnership
By Sydney Mungala in Samfya
Fri 23 Oct. 2009, 04:00 CAT

BARCLAYS Bank southern Africa managing director Zafar Masud has observed that although young people are extremely vulnerable they possess great potential for the country’s future.

And acting science and technology minister Ronald Mukuma has challenged corporate entities to not only train youths but help them apply what they learn after they graduate.

During the launch of Barclays-UNICEF global partnership, which seeks to empower young people in Zambia, Masud said the partnership would help vulnerable young people to improve their lives with access to education and entrepreneurship skills.

“Although young people are an extremely vulnerable group they also possess great potential. Therefore, the new partnership dubbed Building Young Futures will help vulnerable young people improve their lives with access to education, jobs, and opportunities for enterprise and entrepreneurship,” said Masud in Samfya on Wednesday.

Masud said the project reflected a shift from pure donations in corporate philanthropy to combining social investment with long-term business opportunities.

The five million pounds global project, spread over a period of three years, forms part of the five-year US $150 million Banking on Brighter Futures community investment.

And Mukuma said the youths needed help after graduating from training institutions to implement the skills acquired.
“…Institutions like Barclays should not just end at training these youths in centres but ensure that they are helped to implement what they learnt in these centres,” he said.

Mukuma said it was also important for corporate entities like Barclays to extend loan facilities to graduating youths from skills training centres.
However, Mukuma lauded Barclays Bank Zambia for the support and implored other entities to follow suit.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) country representative Lotta Sylwander disclosed that 600 youths had so far been trained in entrepreneurship skills this year.

The four centres earmarked to benefit are Katembula in Ndola, Kaoma Youth Resource Centre, Timba in Chinsali and another centre in Samfya.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

(HERALD) Penalise sanctions’ advocates

Penalise sanctions’ advocates

Editor — I wish to contribute to the current constitutional debate in Zimbabwe. Many developments have taken place since the last constitution-making process took place in 2000. There were no sanctions then.

The current process is taking place in a period of hard-hitting sanctions imposed on the country by the West, at the behest of the MDC.
Efforts to have them removed have failed.

We had pinned our hopes on the inclusive Government but Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai failed to have them lifted when he travelled to Europe and the US, in spite of the fact that he was the one who canvassed for them.

I therefore urge all the people of Zimbabwe as they write the new constitution to consider inserting provisions that bar persons, organisations and political parties from calling for the imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe.

These measures should be crafted in such a way that it is a criminal offence to call for sanctions against the country.

We have a situation where someone who openly called for the sanctions — which hurt the innocent majority — walking scot-free on our streets.

It surprises some of us when those that called for the imposition of the sanctions continue to mislead the people to believe they cause no harm when the very streets of Zimbabwe are littered with debris from the carnage caused by sanctions.

We should therefore make it a law that people who cause such suffering should be penalised and stopped from participating in our politics.
I would be happy to hear what your readers say about this.

Clement Pasipamire.

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