Saturday, November 14, 2009

(NYASATIMES) Malawi gets grant for ‘Green Belt’, fertiliser subsidy and audit office

Malawi gets grant for ‘Green Belt’, fertiliser subsidy and audit office
By Nyasa Times
Published: November 13, 2009

Malawi government has signed grant agreement with three donor partners on agriculture infrastructure, fertilizer subsidy and the strengthening of National Audit Office (NAO). African Development Bank has pumped in 3.2 billion Malawi kwacha meant for ‘Green Belt’ initiative.

Irish government has given 683 million Kwacha towards farm income subsidy programme while the Norwegian government has given Malawi a total of 458 million kwacha for capacity building of the NAO.

Speaking during the signing in ceremony African Development Bank representative, Frank Kufakwadi (pictured) said the grant, said the grant will be implemented in districts of Nkhotakota ,Neno, Chikwawa, and Nsanje for which falls under the green belt zone.

“Grant signed is part of the ADB support to the government of Malawi to improve irrigation infrastructure increase smallholder Farmer productivity and contribute to enhancing food security,” said Kufakwadi

The green belt project has prioritized for agriculture investment and the first project on the green belt initiative.

The Norwegian ambassador to Malawi Mr. Johannessen said support to the audit office intends to strengthen the capacity of the office through the delivery of high quality and timely audits services among other things.

“The support is in line with Malawi government agenda of enhancing Good governances outlined in the Malawi growth and development strategy MGDs”, he said.

However, the Irish ambassador to Malawi, Mac Gabhann said grant is meant to support the 2009/10 farm income subsidy programme.

The ambassador said he hope that the subsidy programme could further be improved in the coming years so that it becomes an even more important instrument in responding to malnutrition.

“The agreement represents the largest single contribution by the Irish Government to any programme in Malawi,” said Mcgabhann.

Labels: ,


Chief justice Sakala explains his 3 judges pannel to Sata

Chief justice Sakala explains his 3 judges pannel to Sata
By George Chellah
Sat 14 Nov. 2009, 04:00 CAT

CHIEF Justice Ernest Sakala has explained that he directed that all high-profile criminal appeal cases involving people accused of plunder and corruption be heard by a panel of three judges as a way to enhance people’s confidence in the judiciary.

In his letter to Patriotic Front (PF) leader Michael Sata dated November 11, 2009, and copied to the Minister of Justice, justice Sakala stated that the law he used to implement the directive had been there for many years.

“Dear Mr. President Sata, Re: High Court Sittings on Appeal. Your letter dated 10th November, 2009 on the above subject, refers.

I confirm that pursuant to Section 334 of the Criminal Procedure Code, CAP 88 of the laws of Zambia, I did direct that all high profile criminal appeal cases from the subordinate courts, involving people accused of plunder of the people's resources and corruption in public office, be heard by a panel of three judges,” read justice Sakala's letter in part.

“This law has been there for many years. It has been used before me. It is, therefore, not correct, 'that this is new arrangement of hearing appeals'. I have not introduced a new system. The measure has been taken because the records of these particular cases are voluminous, bulky and involve complex issues.

“Above all, the measure has been taken to enhance the Zambian people's confidence in the judiciary. The English adage is that 'two heads are better than one'. Certainly, three heads must be best than one. From the foregoing, I hope you will continue to have confidence in the judiciary. In the meantime, I wish you and your family very good health.”

And in his letter to justice Sakala dated November 10, 2009, which was also copied to the Minister of Justice, Sata challenged the Chief Justice to explain the reasons behind his directive that appeals in corruption cases involving Regina Chiluba and Gladys Nyirongo should be heard by a panel of three judges.
Sata demanded that justice Sakala explains the new system to the people of Zambia.

“…The judiciary is and has remained the mirror of our society in the eyes of our citizens. You have a duty as a public officer to explain to our people the reasons for introducing such a new system especially when the cases involved are those of people accused of the plunder of the people's resources and corruption in public office,” Sata said.

“Is there any special reason for this new system and why now? I hope that you shall be in a position to explain this matter to the Zambian people if the judiciary is to retain their confidence.”

Labels: , ,


(HERALD) MDC-T game out in the open

MDC-T game out in the open
Frank Ratidzo - Opinion
Sat, 14 Nov 2009 14:43:00 +0000

DEAR EDITOR - The new Movement for Democratic Change party's tactic is out in the open: buy time by dwelling on peripheral matters and throw spanners in the works if you know you are losing the game.

It is much like those footballers who writhe on the grass from fake injuries, who dive and who deliberately kick the ball out of the pitch when they realise they are not winning the game and hoping to push into extra-time and penalty shoot-outs (elections).

Prime Minister Tsvangirai knows he is losing, or has lost the Global Political Agreement (GPA) game and his aide and party financier, Roy Bennett knows there is no chance in heaven that he will win this court case on merit.

That is why these two 'spanner politicians' will go to any length to delay the game, hoping that the referee may be pursuaded to abandon the match pre-term.

The Zimbabwe judicial system is being hijacked by criminals and quake lawyers who specialise in winning cases only on technicalities. We have seen recent cases of rapists and cellphone thieves walking scot-free after cases against them collapsed on technicalities.

This trend might well be good enough for the MDC-T and its outlaw associates in the short term, but its bound to be disastrous for Zimbabwe in the long term.

The root cause of all this is obviously the weak performance or incompetency of the prosecutors and the AG's department chiefly because of their pathetic remuneration and inadequate resources.

Feel free to stretch your imagination and picture a scenario where the Attorney General, Johannes Tomana, was a self-confessed MDC member.

The MDC remains immoral in its campaign to use its financial muscle to try to smuggle racists, terrorists, thieves and rapists into Government.

Labels: , ,


(TALKZIMBABWE) Media, propaganda model

Media, propaganda model
Reason Wafawarova in SYDNEY, Australia
Sat, 14 Nov 2009 14:15:00 +0000

WHEN one takes a scientific analysis of the major media the world over it is clear that at the very best there is only a slight opening for dissident or anti-establishment opinion.

In fact Western governments and other powerful interests would want to preach the glorious gospel of free press and free expression yet they themselves count a lot on the participation of the major media when it comes to framing topics and reporting issues the way they want them reported.

According to Noam Chomsky, in the book “Understanding Power” this trend started way back around 1775, during the Revolutionary War period. The leaders of that period, like Thomas Jefferson (regarded as a great libertarian), were saying that people were to be punished if they were, in Jefferson’s own words, “traitors in thought but not in deed”. This really meant that people were to be punished if they said things that were considered treacherous, or even if they thought things that were considered treacherous. This is the period when repression of dissident opinion was so vicious in the US and the rest of the Western community.

The trend perpetuates today unabated in principle and intention; only the methods changing according to the challenges of modern times. It is no longer the threat of force that ensures that the media will present things within a framework that serves the interests of the dominant institutions. The mechanisms today are much more subtle and deceptive.

There is a complex system of filters in the media and educational institutions which ends up ensuring that dissident perspectives are weeded out or marginalised in one way or the other.

This writer is no stranger to last minute cancellation of booked interviews with mainstream media in Australia and from other Western countries. The few that materialised with the likes of the BBC have been followed with wild protests from private power and politicians, as well as other auxiliary agents of the imperial system.

The reason given for the cancellations is always the accusation that this writer does not sympathise with “democratic forces” in Zimbabwe or that senior staffers at these media houses consider the views of this writer “too radical” or “too extreme”.

The end result of this trend is that we have what are called “leftist” opinions and views, as well as the “rightwing” views in the media only representing a very limited spectrum of debate. This spectrum reflects the range of needs of private power and that of the business and political elites.

There is essentially nothing beyond these “acceptable” positions. This explains why the opinions of characters like Chavez, Mugabe, Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong, or Castro are characteristically not important to the media that continually slander these people as inhumane and monstrous.

An interview on CNN, BBC, Sky News or Fox News with any of such characters is a rare phenomenon for the sole cause of protecting the spectrum under which debate about what exactly is the matter with these people should be kept.

When such an interview does happen, as recently was the case when Christiane Amanpour of the CNN hosted President Robert Mugabe in an interview, the questioning is structured in bias towards the protection of the said spectrum. Only matters that are considered effectively harmful to the character of the interviewee are asked.

This answers why Amanpour tackled Zimbabwe’s land question without talking about the colonial legacy or the Lancaster House agreement of 1979. These issues would strengthen the position of President Mugabe so they were weeded out. Ahmadinejad of Iran can only get an interview with mainstream Western media to be grilled about alleged intentions to “wipe Israel out of the map”, and his side of the story is just ignored like that.

So what the media do, in effect, is to take the set of assumptions which express the basic ideas of the propaganda system, whether about Zimbabwe’s land reform programme, or about the human rights regime, or about global economic systems, terrorism or any other topic. Then a range of debate is presented well within that framework and the debate only enhances the strength of the assumptions, ingraining them in people’s minds as the entire possible spectrum of opinion that there is.

Last Sunday this writer was on his weekly radio programme Talking Africa Talking Straight, and there was a contributor who called in to comment on the MDC-T “disengagement” from aspects of the inclusive government in Zimbabwe.

That contributor made it clear that “we will ensure that there is an election after this withdrawal and that Mugabe is not part of that election”. To him “any sane person” knows that “Mugabe is the problem in Zimbabwe”, and he had no kind words for South Africa and SADC, whom he accused of “pampering a dictator”.

He emphatically said that Tsvangirai is right in whatever decision he may take because “most of us fallible men would have disengaged a long time ago”. To him Prime Minister Tsvangirai is right by Western law and President Mugabe is wrong by definition.

This is the spectrum any debate on Zimbabwe should be kept under when it comes to Western media. Of course that did not happen in that Sunday radio programme for the obvious reasons of who was on the other side of the line.

Apparently those who go outside the authorised spectrums are labelled proponents of Nazism and fascism, and this writer is no stranger to such malice and slander.

In the Western system of governance what is commonly called “state propaganda” is not expressed as such, as it would be in countries considered totalitarian societies. Rather it is implicit, it is presupposed and it provides the framework for debate among those who are admitted by strict screening into the mainstream discussion.

Noam Chomsky asserts in his earlier mentioned book that “Western systems of indoctrination is typically not understood by dictators, they don’t understand the utility for propaganda purposes of having ‘critical debate’ that incorporates the basic assumptions of the official doctrines, and thereby marginalises and eliminates authentic and rational critical discussion”

He asserts that under this “brainwashing under freedom” the so-called “responsible critics” or “constructive critics” do make a major contribution to the cause by dutifully bounding the debate within certain acceptable limits, and that is solely why they are tolerated, and even sometimes honoured with dubious awards.

The question by many who accuse critics like this writer of being “conspiracy theorists” is what are the “filters” that create this situation and how does it actually work that really challenging positions are weeded of the media?

Firstly there is need to classify media. There is what may be called agenda setting media houses; the BBCs and CNNs of this world. Then there are the Independents or Fingazs of this world that one picks on the streets of Harare.

The big agenda setting media often set up the basic framework that other smaller media units more or less have to adopt, or they risk being labelled Nazists or some such despicable labels.

Secondly the big agenda setting media have resources and can afford to send correspondents to cover events and scenes from across the globe and the smaller media units often have to do with trailing the findings and spectrum set by the giant media houses.

A lot of small media units in the West claim supreme authority on Zimbabwe for example, although they cannot even contemplate sending a correspondent to the country in the next twenty years, all for lack of resources. Their authority is based on a religious affiliation to the spectrum set by the mainstream media in their countries, and whatever is set within that framework becomes gospel truth.

There are always similar features that are striking when one takes a look at the larger media outlets. Firstly the agenda setting institutions are big corporations which are highly profitable – these often linked to bigger conglomerates.

The media outlets act like any other corporation. They have a product to sell and a market they want to sell it to. The product is the audience or the readership, and the market is the advertisers.

In reality the economic structure of any newspaper is that it sells readers to other businesses, and that of television network is to sell viewers to other business and so on.

The selling of newspapers is an aside and that is why some newspapers are even issued out for free.

For agenda setting media the advantage is that they are selling a privileged and elite audience to other businesses. They boast of an overwhelming membership of the “political class” and the powerful elite that makes decisions in society.

Any intelligent media or political science student looking at the system will see big corporations selling elite audiences to other businesses and will straight away determine the kind of a world picture to come out of this arrangement.

The plausible observation is that of a picture of a world that puts forward points of view and political perspectives which satisfy the needs and interests, and the perspectives of the buyers, the sellers and the market.

Clearly the needs of the readership, the listeners or the viewers are not in the picture and this is a simple observation and not a conspiracy theory.

From a classical realist perspective one expects media institutions to work within their own interests because if they did not, then they would not last long.

However the confusion that takes the said media interests so seriously as to believe that whatever the media says is the truth, is what constitutes the media deception we are talking about here.

Some of the assumptions are extremely slanderous and provocative to other communities and groups, like some assumptions being pushed forward about Islam or the “nature” of African leadership.

The media is to Western governments a propaganda model that manufactures consent required for the ratification of decisions that are largely nothing but a pack of supremacist and imperialistic ideas.

Much the same way the media is a propaganda model for some non-Western countries that feel targeted by the onslaught of Western media propaganda and have resolved to fight back.

Whichever way it is prudent for every Zimbabwean to treat the media at arm’s length and not to believe all that comes from so-called “reputable media”.

Those who say there is no free press in Zimbabwe largely refer to the lack of the spectrum that is set and controlled by the thought processes from powerful Western media outlets.

Zimbabwe we are one and together we will overcome. It is homeland or death!!!

* Reason Wafawarova is a political writer and can be contacted on or visit or visit



(TALKZIMBABWE) Is Government getting a fair deal from civil servants?

Is Government getting a fair deal from civil servants?
Bhekizulu Sibanda - Opinion
Sat, 14 Nov 2009 15:21:00 +0000

WITH the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe indicating a rise in the cost living for a family of six from US490.08 to US496.98 per month isn’t it about time the Ministry of Finance showed leniency towards the public service and seriously considered incorporating a salary adjustment as preparations for the 2010 National Budget are currently underway.

It is common knowledge that much of the revenue collected is being expended on survival needs as opposed to growth, but government should know that it plays two roles in this process, that of employer and manager of the economy and must strike the balance between fair remuneration for employees and public accountability for expenditure.

With a monthly salary of US150, vis-a-viz a breadbasket of $496, how then have the majority of the civil servants managed to maintain their balance sheets?

How have they handled their rentals, bills, school levies and food amongst other needs, how have these people managed to sustain themselves and maintain their life styles and yet their salaries do not even cover 50 percent of their basic needs requirements.

Whilst its common knowledge that the purpose of pay is to compensate employees for work done, motivate them to perform better and retain them, should it not come as a surprise to government how they have managed to retain personnel against paltry salaries.

Could it be that most civil servants have remained as a show of patriotism or fortitude? Have those that have remained done so as a show of selflessness and an endeavor to maintain professional excellence in the service to Zimbabweans…. Better said than done.

In reality the civil service is synonymous with poor service delivery and bureaucracy. Although Civil Servants are social service providers, it has become a nightmare for the public to timely get assistance whenever necessary. It is common knowledge that you have to either have a connection or else pay some one to get your business done in time.

This is the animal that has been created by government because of its failure to properly remunerate its workforce. Social services provisions have been compromised and corruption has gained breeding ground.

Money that should go into government coffers is finding its way into individual pockets as workers exude desperate means to survive.

Those in sectors that do not afford them an opportunity to make monetary gain have resorted to absenteeism and fake sick leave and are using that time to do personal business.

Would It come as a surprise if a civil servant takes a half-day in the morning to attend a funeral and does not return to work the entire day. Does it come as a surprise if a civil servant goes to the doctor for a 1200pm appointment and fails to return?

The examples are countless and people have taken this to be the norm and none performers in private sector are likened to civil servants when being reprimanded.

Whilst the behavior of Civil Servants appears to have been socially accepted, what government is forgetting is that these people are expending public funds and should be made accountable for their behavior.

The government should also know that they are breeding a culture of none performance which is inherently rewarded with a salary.

Within the same crop of civil servants they is another constituency of workers who have small enterprises running on government expenditure. This constituency will abuse office hours to operate their small ventures and will only make an appearance in the mornings.

These people will laden government with astronomical telephone bills in respect of their business ventures. Transport and fuel costs for these ventures are accredited on government and this employee still expects to get paid month and is waiting in anticipation for his annual bonus.

This is the kind of civil service that the government has created, a highly disgruntled lot that has greatly compromised on production. The morale is low and they are no gatekeepers to keep watch. They remains no one to goad them and no daily pressure to meet deadlines and most can get away without working

Ironically most of those people in government have realized the absence of proper monitoring in government and today none production, corruption, and ineptitude have become the order of the day.

This is not to suggest that government is in the habit of recruiting none performers but it’s the culture that has been gripped government workers and it’s the duty of government to remedy the situation.

Unfortunately the current inclusive government has seen an enlarged cabinet, which translates to more ministries and human resources to pay. What was ignored was the absence of financial resources to sustain these. Invariable resources have been spread thinly spread resulting in poor service delivery.

Meanwhile the civil servant has been pushed up the wall and left with no option but to devise survival tactics under the circumstances. He is faced with rentals, school levies, bills, and food amongst others.

Whilst their behavior cannot be condoned the government has to be practical and sensitive to the plight of civil servants and work towards paying them meaningful salaries. Given the two devils that Government has to bear, that of an unproductive bunch and paying them a lucrative salary against a shoestring budget, very bold decisions have to be made in order to strike a balance.

Ironically government continues to recruit employees when in fact they are failing to pay the current crop and let along provide adequate resources for them to perform their duties. Should it not be time for government to concentrate on only filling up critical vacancies?

Given the minimal budget government is working with the Public Service Commission (PSC) should justify beyond reproach any new or filing in of vacancies and whether the posts are essential for the national interest. Treasury must also weigh the macro-economic environment before recruitment

The majority of operations in the civil service are social services and contribute minimal or nothing towards the revenue base and therefore Government should work towards maintaining a lean competitive civil servant.

As another cost cutting measure government should work on reduction in hotel expenses for seminars and workshops, which have become a means of extracting money by ministers and senior government officials.

Most civil servants understand that government is not in a position to pay them lucrative salaries but they also expect a notable effort to pay them decent salaries so that they are able to meet their requirements in part and remain committed to their jobs.

However, civil servants will continue to hope against hope and if the last statement by Finance Minister, Tendai Biti, on the eve of the Mid term policy statement is anything to go by when he said, “ We are living from hand to mouth, in other words we are actually being generous in terms of paying people because sound fundamental economics says we can not do what we are doing…” it means civil servants will be getting $150 for some time.

Anyway why would Biti care when he is receiving over $8,000 courtesy of the World Bank? We can only wait with bated breath as the 2010 budget presentation draws near.

Labels: ,


Govt’s pursuit of FDI has resulted in tax revenue losses, says Masebo

Govt’s pursuit of FDI has resulted in tax revenue losses, says Masebo
By Kabanda Chulu
Sat 14 Nov. 2009, 04:01 CAT

PARLIAMENTARY Committee on Estimates chairperson Sylvia Masebo has observed that the pursuit by the government to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) through generous tax incentives has resulted in significant losses of tax revenue sources.

And Masebo, who is also Chongwe member of parliament, has said the government should have no excuses to collect revenue taxes from gemstone miners since the Ministry of Mines can easily locate all mines through the use of geological maps.

Meanwhile, finance minister Situmbeko Musokotwane has told Parliament that Zambia’s foreign reserves are not kept in the country but in various portfolio investments at the Bank for International Settlement (BIS) in Switzerland.

Moving a motion in parliament for the adoption of the report of her committee on Thursday, Masebo said the committee considered the measures being undertaken to broaden the tax base and the budgetary performance of the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

Masebo said there was an over concentration on the expenditure side of the budget, as a result the revenue side tended to be neglected.

She said there was urgent need to change this mindset among all concerned so that revenue generation and related programmes received adequate attention.

“This is particularly important in the light of the fact that Zambiaís over reliance on unpredictable donor financing of the budget is increasingly proving unsustainable and the continued high levels of government borrowing are economically untenable,” Masebo said. “Sir, in the quest to create an enabling environment to attract FDI, the government has lost access to significant tax revenue sources through granting of generous tax incentives, concessions, rebates, breaks and holidays, this has further contributed to eroding the tax base even further.”

She suggested that one effective way of broadening the tax base was through the value added tax (VAT).

“Your committee, therefore recommend that a number of items which are currently exempt or zero rated under the VAT regime should be considered for inclusion in the tax base and these include certain food and agriculture products (excluding maize meal and other basic unprocessed foods), packaged tours, banking services, import cargo handling services, stock broking services, insurances services and electronic media advertisements, among others,” Masebo said.

“And considering that Internet shopping is slowly becoming a trading point, the government can also find ways of taxing these services and the activities around it.”

She recommended that the government should broaden the tax base by including the many items that were currently exempt or zero rated under the value added tax (VAT) regime.

“Currently, most gemstone miners operate in an informal manner but this need not continue to be the case as this is a fairly well organised industry which the governmentís revenue can be increased, in this regard, there must be closer collaboration between ZRA and the mines ministry, which is the licensing authority for the sub sector,” Masebo said.

“So the ministry should have an accurate database on the operations as well as production levels and values for tax purposes, in fact specific geological areas are known to the ministry and can easily be located through the use of geological maps. There should, therefore, be no excuse of failure to locate the gemstone miners for purposes of taxation.”

Masebo also urged the government to design policies aimed at imposing taxes on the informal sector in order to equitably distribute the tax burden.

And Chipili member of parliament Davies Mwila asked how much money was kept in reserves and where the reserves were kept.

And Dr Musokotwane responded that as at December 2006, there was US $706.3 million, US $1,080 billion as at December 2007; US $ 1,084.9 billion by December 2008 and US $ 1,146 billion as at June 2009.

Dr Musokotwane explained that foreign reserves had increased due to foreign exchange purchases from the market, purchase of tax revenue earnings from the mines, portfolio investment in government securities, project inflows and disbursement of budget support by cooperating partners.

“Sir, the foreign reserves are kept in various investment portfolios at the Bank for International Settlement in Switzerland,” said Dr Musokotwane.

Labels: , , , ,


Rupiah’s US $13m lies

Rupiah’s US $13m lies
By Editor
Sat 14 Nov. 2009, 04:00 CAT

A president who tells lies will not have respect from his people. Lies have never been a political weapon of honest and decent politicians. It is only dishonest and low calibre politicians who resort to lies.

The problem with lies is that they are not limited to one aspect of one’s life or dealings – they are like a cancer which spreads very quickly to all parts.

Rupiah Banda’s presidency has many problems. But it is not very difficult to see why Rupiah has so many problems. A person who thinks he can run the nation on a diet of lies and half-truths the way Rupiah seems to think, soon gets into all sorts of problems. It is difficult to believe anything that Rupiah ever says. He has a problem with being honest.

We are not surprised that Rupiah has also a problem with fighting corruption. A person who has difficulties being honest about simple things can never have the courage to fight corruption. Moreover, corruption is dishonesty and as such can only be fought by people who are honest. As we have already pointed out, dishonest people deal in lies and lies cannot be used to fight corruption, to fight dishonesty. It is only honest people who can fight corruption because corruption is fought with truth. One cannot go to court and tell lies all the way and expect to secure a conviction for corruption.

It is clear that Rupiah and his minions are desperate to discredit the fight against corruption that has taken place in our country. They are scared of its consequences and are now using their power and position to frustrate this noble cause. Being liars, Rupiah and his friends are not ashamed to use lies and cheap politics to try and mislead our people. Why should a self-respecting government fight law enforcement effort? Why should politicians who are not corrupt be scared of a fight against corruption? It is only dishonest and corrupt elements who have a reason to fear the fight against corruption. This is because they know that it is only a question of time before they are visited by the law.

The neurotic maligning of those who have tried to fight corruption in our country is not innocent. Rupiah must have something he is scared of. He keeps telling our people that today it might be Frederick Chiluba, tomorrow it might be you. He said this in Kabwe where he insinuated the acquittal of Chiluba before the decision was made and now he has said the same thing in Chipata. This leads us to draw the conclusion that the reason Rupiah wants to make sure Chiluba goes scot-free is so that he can also go scot-free. To justify this evil scheme, Rupiah and his minions have shamelessly continued to tell lies about the fight against corruption.

This week in Chipata, Rupiah told the nation that the lawyers who prosecuted Chiluba for having stolen US $500,000 were paid US $13 million. Rupiah knows very well that this is a lie. And yet using his position as President, he has no shame to go on Chipata’s Breeze FM and tell lies, breathe lies to the nation. What kind of president is this? A man who can tell lies about people working for the state and paid by his government, shows us clearly that he has no commitment to honesty and integrity. If a man can tell lies about things that can so easily be disproved, what about the things that he does in the name of our people in the secrecy or privacy of his office?

It seems Rupiah and his minions have a problem with Mutembo Nchito and his role as a prosecutor. This is the only reason we can find for a president telling a lie about an ordinary citizen. We know that no Zambian lawyer has been paid US $13 million for prosecuting Chiluba over his stealing of US $500,000. We also know that it’s only one lawyer in this country who was prosecuting Chiluba in our magistrates courts for stealing, among other things, US $500,000 from the Zambian people. And that lawyer is Mutembo.

It does not make sense for Rupiah and his minons to say that they want Mutembo to continue prosecuting the corruption cases that are pending and yet continue to dishonestly malign him. Why don’t they just have the courage to fire him? Why should an entire president tell lies about a simple young lawyer? Mutembo has never been paid US $13 million for prosecuting Chiluba over the last seven years.

And even if he had been paid, did he decide what to pay himself? We all know and Rupiah also knows that George Kunda was Attorney General when Levy Mwanawasa was president. What Rupiah is doing is trying to raise public anger against a citizen whose only sin is refusing to side with what is wrong in all the work that he has done for the state, for the people of Zambia. George knows that he cannot manipulate Mutembo for stupid political schemes the way that he has been doing with Chalwe Mchenga, his personal Director of Public Prosecutions.

It is fundamentally wrong and morally repugnant for a president and entire government system to pit itself against a citizen who is working in the interest of the majority of our people; a citizen who has performed his public duty with so much honour and integrity, a citizen who has done so well in his work as evidenced by almost a 100 per cent success rate in his prosecutions. It cannot be denied that Mutembo has performed beyond expectations in the most difficult and hostile environment.

George, whose only discernable preoccupation is being Rupiah’s poisonous viper, knows the number of schemes he has hatched against Mutembo. We know this, and also know that George will stop at nothing to discredit and undermine Mutembo and his work. We are therefore not surprised that Rupiah can shamelessly tell such lies on a matter that is so easy to verify. The records are there for whoever has been paid money by his government or its agents.

If Rupiah had any decency, he would probably keep quiet about some of these matters especially at a time when those prosecuting the corruption cases against his friends continue to score successes. Yesterday, we carried a story of the conviction of Anuj Rathi and the recovery of the contract amounts fraudulently paid to him by the government.

This should be an important milestone in the fight against corruption in our country for which Mutembo and others working with him deserve credit. For the first time in the history of our country, an international conman has been sent to jail for engaging in corruption. How does Rupiah decide that it is more important to malign the fight against corruption than to acknowledge and support its successes? Instead of defending the fight and the fighters against corruption, Rupiah is doing everything possible to defend the criminals and fight the fighters against corruption.

But we know why Rupiah has to malign the fight and the fighters against corruption. He wants to justify his misdeeds on Chiluba’s acquittal. There is no need for him to continue defending Chiluba’s acquittal and his government’s decision to withdraw the appeal that was lodged against that acquittal. Rupiah will not convince anyone that this was done fairly or justly by the courts. This issue has been commented upon by the most competent individuals and institutions in this country. The Law Association of Zambia has made it clear that Rupiah’s government had no justification in not appealing. The Law Association of Zambia also found that the acquittal of Chiluba was faulty, it was not founded on good grounds. So there is no amount of propaganda, lies, calumny, deceit, manipulation and so on and so forth from Rupiah that will convince the Zambian people that the acquittal of Chiluba was a normal or usual thing that they should accept.

Rupiah’s continued campaign to justify Chiluba’s acquittal will put him in problems in the end. Rupiah will not be President forever. What Rupiah is doing today will be revealed by other people tomorrow. And the immunity he is enjoying today is not cast in stone. Rupiah and his minions are very interesting. They have been trying to create an impression that Mutembo and his firm are the only lawyers that they hired. But we all know that they hired Christopher Mundia, State Counsel, Sebastian Zulu, State Counsel, and Godfrey Kayukwa who they have now given a job to be Director General of the Anti Corruption Commission. Why don’t they talk about these other prosecutors?

Just the other week when George announced the dissolution of the Task Force in Parliament, he told the House that they were going to keep Mutembo to conclude the cases that are in court. If Mutembo is so bad, why don’t they just fire him? It is not right for a government to fight a citizen whom they are supposed to protect and especially one who is not in a position to fight back, to take them on using the same platforms.

George should be honest and tell his boss what the US $13 million they claimed to have paid the lawyers was for or where it went because it didn’t go to Mutembo for prosecuting Chiluba. Can George also tell the nation where the US $13 million his boss claims was paid to Mutembo came from?

There should be dignity and decency even in dishonesty. If George and his boss are not interested in the convictions Mutembo has been securing against their friends, they should have the courage of their convictions to ask him to leave so that their friends can be easily acquitted.

Labels: , ,


Task Force lawyers were paid $13m to prosecute Chiluba, claims Rupiah

Task Force lawyers were paid $13m to prosecute Chiluba, claims Rupiah
By Chibaula Silwamba and Christopher Miti in Chipata
Sat 14 Nov. 2009, 04:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda has claimed that the dissolved Task Force on Corruption lawyers were paid US $13 million to prosecute former president Frederick Chiluba over allegations that he stole US $500, 000 public funds.

And President Banda said once a person has become a Republican President, even just to call him a thief is punishment enough and for seven years Chiluba was called every name in the dictionary of insults. Meanwhile, President Banda said the government has no capacity to 100 per cent run Indeni Oil Refinery.

Featuring on Breeze FM's political hour programme on Wednesday, President Banda said attacks on his government over the acquittal of Chiluba were unfair.

“We have to decide as a people, as a country, as a government whether we want a judiciary or not. If we want a judiciary then we have to allow it to perform its functions,” he said.

“We try and say we want an independent judiciary, at the same time say that when they make decisions we find excuses as to why we don't agree with their decisions. If that happens then this country becomes chaotic. It is in countries that believe in that kind of thing where they want to interfere with the judiciary that end up in a lot of problems.

“The issue of president Chiluba is an old issue; you know that very well. I was here in Chipata with you when he was going to court. For seven years he has been accused of all manner of corruption. Nobody has ever stopped that. When I became President, I never ever stopped the judiciary. So the judiciary rules in the case that the man is innocent despite the fact that other people like The Post magazine, newspaper, everyday they said 'he was guilty, he was a thief, he was a criminal.' They said that. You know it yourself.”

He wondered why people were against the acquittal of Chiluba when no one demanded for appeal against their acquittals in the past.

“It's very nice when it's somebody else but one day it may happen to you. It will happen to you that somebody will dress you up with a slogan and people will say… It's not fair. This matter was in court. We should refrain from any comment on this matter until the judiciary pronounces itself. After the judiciary pronounces itself and said that he was innocent we accepted the decision. Now the argument is, 'why don't you go back to court and appeal against it?' Why didn't Mr Michael Sata ask us to go back to court and appeal against his theft of vehicle case when he was found innocent in court? The government didn't proceed to appeal against him. These are leaders. Once a person has become a President even just to call him a thief is punishment enough and for seven years Mr Chiluba was called every name you can think of in the dictionary of insults. So once that happened, as far as I am concerned, I decided and I didn't have a stomach for it.”

President Banda said a lot of money was spent on the Task Force on Corruption in comparison to the amount Chiluba was alleged to have stolen.

“I will give you another reason why we think it is unnecessary to go ahead and appeal; the Zambian Task Force against Corruption spent or let's say, better still, the leaders of the Task Force, the lawyers prosecuting Mr Chiluba received close to US $13 million in payment to prosecute this case. The case they had against him, they charged him for US $500,000. Only half a million dollars they said he had stolen but for that we have paid them over US $13 million; I don't have US $13 million to spend and prove to anyone that I am fighting corruption. You get my argument?

US $500,000 was what Mr Chiluba was accused of but people who prosecuted them received more than US $13 million,” President Banda said.

“Just imagine what we would have done with this US $13 million in terms of the things that we are discussing here; hospitals, schools, medicines in hospitals. So those who want to do so they are citizens and they are free; in this country anyone can take anyone to court. So go ahead and do it! But don't expect me to agree that now I must again spend US $13 million in order to satisfy certain quarters that I am fighting against corruption because I am fighting against corruption.”

President Banda said the anti corruption bill had just been passed in Parliament.

“And we think corruption can be fought even without the Task Force,” President Banda said. “We have the police force, we have the Anti Corruption Commission, we have the DEC Drug Enforcement Commission, we have many organs of our government who can perform this. So that is why our government felt that it was necessary for us to continue spending money following the acquittal. What if we spent another US $13 million and we found that the man is innocent, what will we say about us?”
President Banda argued that Chiluba's acquittal did not weaken the fight against corruption.

On statutory regulation of the media, President Banda said everyone was supporting self-regulation of the media.

“Our understanding is that everybody is for self-regulation. Our understanding as a government is that most newspapers, except one, are for self-regulation. They have said so but one or two have refused to come. Why are they refusing to regulate themselves?” President Banda asked. “I am for a free press; I will defend a free press. I saw in one of the papers where they said Sata says he is more handsome than myself. We have to ask my mother maZulu to tell us, to take a picture and ask her to choose between the two of us who she thinks is more ugly than the other. Those are petty things.”

On the government's enactment of the law to regulate non governmental organisations (NGOs), President Banda said the move was meant to ensure transparency and accountability of funds by NGOs.

“As you know we already passed that bill in Parliament. All we are saying is that in this democratic dispensation, everybody has to be transparent, everybody has to be answerable. We have got to know where are they getting the money from. How are they using this money?” President Banda said.

“You know very well that a few of them take this money and don't use it, they go to Europe and go and tell my friends in Scandinavia that 'we are going to fight this and do this' but when they come here they go and buy themselves big cars and houses. That is the kind of thing we want to fight.”

On the government's acquisition of 100 per cent ownership of Indeni Oil Refinery after acquiring 50 percent from French oil firm, Total, last month, President Banda said:

“No! No! In fact, you could see it yourself that the whole world the governments are shifting away from running these things. So we are very much aware of that. We are thinking about how best to manage our fuel requirement because fuel is like the blood in our system because when blood has escaped, you don't live anymore,” President Banda said.

“You realise that our economy, our factories, our power generators depend on fuel. So we are discussing how we can do it in such a way that fuel is not too expensive to the government and also for the people and that it is efficiently done. Also, there lies a problem, the people that are talking too much and were saying government is incompetent have vested interests in fuel supply.”

On whether the MMD will hold its convention before the 2011 tripartite elections, President Banda, who is acting president of MMD, said people would be informed when that would take place.

“If our constitution says so, of course, we will go but our constitution doesn't say we should do it now. We have a constitution, I even know roughly when we are obliged to hold a convention, but of course, for the Zambian people they should be interested of course. I understand the MMD is the ruling party, is the most important party in this country, so you can't stop people from debating the manner in which it is being run,” President Banda said. “My position on the convention and is that when the time comes we will tell the country which way we were going. It's not fair to bog us down in discussions about convention as if we promised the country that on such and such a date we are going to call for a convention.”

President Banda said the issues of the MMD convention were internal matters that did not concern non-members of the party.

Labels: , , ,


Rupiah off to Libya, Italy

Rupiah off to Libya, Italy
By George Chellah and Mutuna Chanda
Sat 14 Nov. 2009, 04:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda is tomorrow expected to leave for Libya on business that is yet to be disclosed by State House.

According to well-placed government sources, President Banda will proceed to Italy after his visit to Libya. The President was in Italy recently on his way to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York.

And first lady Thandiwe Banda who travelled to Tanzania after her recent visit to Swaziland is expected to join the President in Libya.
Asked to confirm President Banda's trips to Libya and Italy, State House special assistant to the President for press and public relations Dickson Jere nodded.

Asked what the President's mission on these two trips was, Jere responded: “I will issue a statement as I do every time.”
And President Banda on Thursday met Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi's special envoy Mokhatar Elgans for about 20 minutes in a room within the control tower building at Solwezi airport after his arrival.

Labels: ,


RTSA takes measures to improve road safety

RTSA takes measures to improve road safety
By Sututu Katundu
Sat 14 Nov. 2009, 04:00 CAT

THE Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) has said it is implementing a number of activities aimed at enhancing road safety. This follows recent accidents that occurred in Luangwa and Chinsali where several people died.

RTSA director Frederick Mwalusaka said that the Agency had since concluded with investigations and the findings were that the bus involved in the Luangwa accident did not have any documents to allow for its usage as a public service vehicle and the operator was not licensed in any form to operate a public passenger transport service.

He said the Agency would forward recommendations to the Zambia Police for prosecution of the operator.

Mwalusaka said some of the measures taken were the acquisition and use of enforcement equipment including motorbikes and patrol vehicles, which were being complemented by road safety education and publicity activities to create awareness on issues pertaining to road safety.

“The Agency has also developed a mandatory defensive drivers’ course for public service drivers and enhanced high way patrols and road safety education campaigns to all road users”, he said.

Mwalusaka said while the RTSA had continued to undertake road safety interventions through various initiatives, including highway patrols, driver testing strategies, motor vehicle examinations and road safety education, the increase in fatal road traffic accidents involving PSVs continued to be a serious concern to the Agency considering the many lives lost in these accidents which in many instances could

Mwalusaka said that the Agency would also continue collaborating with the Road Development Agency (RDA) to ensure that all aspects of road safety were considered and incorporated in all road works at both design and construction stages.

He said according to research, road traffic Accidents were caused mainly by three factors namely the mechanical state of the vehicle, the prevailing environmental and weather conditions, and the human element.
In Zambia, research has also shown that most accidents involving public service vehicles have been as a result of human error on the part of drivers.

Labels: , , ,


Pace of Mohan case disappoints magistrate

Pace of Mohan case disappoints magistrate
By Maluba Jere
Sat 14 Nov. 2009, 04:00 CAT

LUSAKA magistrate Mwaka Mikalile has expressed disappointment at the slow pace the case in which Ink-Tech managing director Matthew Mohan is charged with obtaining goods by false pretences is moving.

When the matter came up for continued trial yesterday, magistrate Mikalile said the case had dragged for too long and that it was time the prosecution concluded the matter.

This is the case in which Mohan is jointly charged with Alpine Pipi for obtaining goods by false pretences contrary to Section 309 of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

Particulars of the offence allege that Mohan and Pipi on November 9, 2007 obtained 50 radios, nine batteries and one motorbike all valued at K67, 200, 014. 71 from Rolf Pfeifer.

Magistrate Mikalile told the parties in the matter that she would be going on leave and that she did not want to return from leave and attend to that particular matter at the same pace.

“I will be going on leave very soon and I do not want to come back from leave and attend to this matter at the same stage of prosecution. To move fast, I suggest that we give the case three clear days,” magistrate Mikalile said.
She also noted that the matter had dragged for a long time as it would be clocking two years next month and yet the case was still at prosecution stage.
Magistrate Mikalile said she would allocate three days to the matter and that it would commence with or without the presence of Mohan’s lawyers.
She said she would expect oral submissions from both parties at the close of the case by the state in order to expedite the matter.

Magistrate Mikalile’s directive came as a result of an adjournment made by the defence team that Mohan’s lawyer Kelvin Bwalya was not before the court because he was committed to another matter.

But the State objected to the application saying the matter had dragged for a long time and hence the court should dismiss the application for an adjournment.
The matter comes up on December 11, 2009 for continued trial.

Labels: , ,


Mpombo accuses Banda of ignorance over MMD matters

Mpombo accuses Banda of ignorance over MMD matters
By George Chellah
Sat 14 Nov. 2009, 04:01 CAT

FORMER defence minister George Mpombo has said President Rupiah Banda's incoherence over the MMD national convention confirms his ignorance about the party's operations.

Reacting to President Banda's remarks that no one in the MMD has ruled out the holding of the national convention, Mpombo said the President must understand that the question of the convention was not for him to decide.

“This whole thing is unnecessary. What has happened to our party? I want to call on the national secretary Katele Kalumba who is the only elected official. Now Mr Banda is not elected, he is only acting. Mr Banda is not familiar with the operations of the MMD. How can an acting president set standards for the party he has found?” Mpombo asked.

“It amounts to hoodwinking the membership. If he is evasive…it is not the opposition that is calling for a convention, its MMD members, its not coming from Michael Sata or HH. If MMD continues to provide lackadaisical leadership the party is bound for a major collapse.”

Mpombo said President Banda was ignorant about the operations of the MMD.
“He is not aware of the functions. The whole thing has shaken the credibility of the NEC. People want clear-cut statements, not evasive statements.

These undemocratic statements have a tendency to strangle democracy,” he said.
Mpombo said President Banda would be held responsible if the MMD collapsed.
“What he said about the convention amounts to political gimmickry. The man is not coming out, he is evasive. He is incoherent, he must be coherent,” Mpombo said. “His statements about the convention is wrapped up in deep political ambiguity. You just come into a party and want to destroy the party with impunity. That's unacceptable.”

Mpombo said President Banda's statements about the MMD national convention were not inspiring.
Mpombo also criticised Vice-President George Kunda over his inconsistencies.
“George Kunda is a spineless politician. He just swings like a pendulum,” said Mpombo.

Labels: , ,


(HERALD) James: Sanctions no kidding matter

James: Sanctions no kidding matter
By Themba Sibindi

THE denial by one James Maridadi, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s chief communications officer, that there are economic sanctions on Zimbabwe is a cause for concern particularly at a time we thought we had moved beyond the rhetoric of grandstanding.

The fact that MDC-T denies the existence of sanctions is a clear indication that the party is not interested in dealing with the matter as an outstanding issue, not only in the Global Political Agreement but as a matter at the core of improving livelihoods in Zimbabwe.

Maridadi’s statement can be explained in three ways.

First, it might be that he does not understand what economic sanctions are.

Writing in the American Journal of Political Science, Yale University assistant professor Nikolay Marinov’s essay titled Do Economic Sanctions Destabilise Country Leaders? defines economic sanctions as "[1] government-inspired restrictions (2) on customary trade or aid relations, (3) designed to promote political objectives.

Anyone who is not brain-dead and has knowledge of the Zimbabwean situation can easily identify Marinov’s three elements.

Donald Losman, in his book — International Economic Sanctions: The Cases of Cuba, Israel and Rhodesia — defines economic sanctions as penalties inflicted upon one or more states by one or more others, generally to coerce the target nation(s) to comply with certain norms that the boycott initiators deem proper or necessary.

The forms that economic sanctions take also include interfering or restricting the movement of people, restriction of capital flows and withholding wealth in the boycotting countries.

Given the foregoing definitions, it is difficult for Maridadi to put forward any sane argument to deny the existence of economic sanctions and hence his poor tactic of claiming to not even having heard about them. Which world is this man living in?

Maridadai’s utterances are cause for concern regarding his form of understanding because his only reason for denying the existence of economic sanctions is that he "heard about (them) in The Herald".

Even if we accept that it is only The Herald that has ever talked about the existence of economic sanctions, that is not reason enough to deny their existence.

The fact is that Maridadi is being economic with the truth. It is not The Herald alone that has talked about economic sanctions.

If, for sure, he has read about economic sanctions only from The Herald, then it shows how narrow he reads and how badly informed he is, for one posing as a spokesperson.

One suspects that Maridadi said this only to try and maintain his party’s position of denying the existence of economic sanctions and also to please their base of sanctions deniers. Another reason is to try and portray The Herald as a newspaper that lies.

It is not lies or an imagination that economic sanctions are there.

It is an absolute truth, which even finance minister Tendai Biti, secretary general of Maridadi’s party, acknowledged in his proposal for HIPC status.

On the contrary, denying the existence of economic sanctions demonstrates the lack of commitment on the party of a cabal of MDC-T to treat them as an outstanding issue and also indicates that the deniers do not see their grave consequences on the people.

How else can someone deal with something they don’t perceive as an existing problem and also why should they deal with something whose grave consequences they do not realise?

Second, Maridadi — given his self-confessed narrow readership, has apparently never come across the US sanctions law, the so-called Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 which some in his party helped draft, specifically, Section 4, which imposes economic sanctions on Zimbabwe.

It states that US directors to all international financial institutions are bound to vote against the extension of any financial assistance, loan or credit guarantee to the Government of Zimbabwe till the president of the United States says so.

Section 6 imposes economic sanctions on individuals. But still, even if we accept that it is only individuals that have been banned from travelling; those restrictions still constitute economic sanctions as Losman noted.

How do you separate Cde Robert Mugabe, for instance, from the President of Zimbabwe?

The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe should not be denied travel since he represents his country and not his person.

Sure, they can ban Robert Mugabe but they should let the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe go on with his normal duties representing a country that we are informed is not under economic sanctions.

This is where even the individual sanctions mantra does not make sense; maybe it does to those with nothing between the right and the left ear.

My suspicion is that Maridadi did not think that far; having spent the better part of his life dealing with kids on radio, he appears incapable of critical thinking.

Third and very obvious, how could Maridadi’s own party accept, in the form of a signature, in the GPA that there are economic sanctions imposed on the country and yet by the very same breath deny their existence?

It’s either Maridadi is deaf and has not heard this issue being discussed or hates to read and therefore has never acquainted himself with that part of the agreement.

It is indeed an embarrassment for a communicator in a high office.

This writer hopes Maridadi’s character is not a reflection of how ignorant MDC-T or the PM’s Office is or how untruthful to the extent of even denying things that have affected the material lives of people and the country. I sympathise with those people who have to deal with the likes of Maridadi on a daily basis.

This is not an insult or prejudice against Maridadi but an honest assessment deduced from his own speech. For the chief communications officer in the PM’s office to suggest that he has not heard about economic sanctions is tantamount to suggesting that one has not heard about the existence of earth.

Without resorting to such lies, this writer thinks Maridadi should be thinking about strategies of removing his party-supported economic sanctions in order to stand on a high moral ground when they, in turn, call for Zanu-PF to deal with the other outstanding issues.

To deny the existence of economic sanctions will never be a political victory for MDC-T. In fact, it will actually undermine the party’s efforts in making any counter demands from Zanu-PF.

Ironically, these economic sanctions, as reported in this newspaper, are undermining the efforts of not only Zanu-PF, but of MDC-T and the inclusive Government especially the operations of the finance minister.

As long as the inclusive Government exists, the inevitable clash of Biti and his colleagues is obvious because he cannot operate successfully in an environment of economic sanctions. But who knows, this whole economic sanctions denial may have something to do with the MDC-T’s own internal power politics.

This writer also knows that having spent a decade denying the existence of sanctions and lying to their supporters that the economic downturn was due to Zanu-PF’s ineptitude, MDC-T leaders are finding it difficult to confess the lie. But that is a bed they made, they must lie on it.

l The writer, Themba Sibindi can be contacted at sibindithemba ***

Labels: , ,


(HERALD) MDC-T must speak against sanctions

MDC-T must speak against sanctions

ECONOMIC sanctions are an everyday reality in Zimbabwe; manifest in the collapse of our own currency which culminated in the adoption of a multi-currency regime that is dominated by the United States dollar.

Everywhere one looks, one sees evidence of the ruinous coercive measures that former Cuban president, Fidel Castro — whose country has been under a US economic blockade for close to 50 years — characterised as having the effects of silent atomic bombs.

The effects of the sanctions are everywhere. From the poor state of social services, education and health, to the high unemployment, depressed industry, destruction of pensions and savings, deteriorating infrastructure, you name it.

In fact, the ruin the sanctions have wrought on the populace was graphically illustrated earlier this year when the British government airlifted its pensioners resident here to safety after their savings were wiped out by hyperinflation and pension payments were rendered worthless.

It is important to note that Western agencies confirmed then that they had been cushioning these same white pensioners against hyperinflation for years but they still descended into penury regardless.

If such a privileged group was reduced to virtual paupers, what more of the black pensioners who did not get such safety nets and the numerous families who also saw their savings wiped out?

The effect on livelihoods was evidently disastrous.

This explains why Sadc leaders, at their extraordinary summit in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania on March 31, 2007 called for the immediate lifting of the economic sanctions.

A call that was picked up by Comesa, the African Union, Non-Aligned Movement and the generality of Zimbabweans whose lives were adversely affected by the 9-year embargo.

It thus comes as a surprise that at a time all parties in the inclusive Government bound themselves to address outstanding issues attendant to the formation of the inclusive Government, the MDC-T leadership is reported to be divided over calling for the lifting of the sanctions.

Yet the GPA that the MDC-T leadership claims to uphold says in no uncertain terms that the parties agreed to endorse the Sadc resolution on sanctions, which resolution unequivocally calls for the lifting of the economic sanctions.

We are aware that the tail can never wag the dog and it is not within the MDC-T’s power, as a mere instrument of regime change, to lift the sanctions. It, however, is a fact that the West maintains its ruinous economic sanctions under the guise of supporting the MDC-T cause.

And if the MDC-T joins the nation in condemning the sanctions, the West will be compelled to confess the real reason they imposed the ruinous measures.

We thus challenge the MDC-T leadership to walk the talk and show their professed commitment to the GPA by speaking with one voice on sanctions.

Labels: , ,


(HERALD) Mining in full swing at Chiadzwa

Mining in full swing at Chiadzwa
From Takunda Maodza in Chiadzwa

Canadile Miners and Mbada Mining (Pvt) Ltd, the two firms recently licensed by the Government to mine in the Chiadzwa diamond fields, have started work. State-of-the-art plants worth millions of United States dollars have been set up and rough diamonds for export are being processed.

The two firms are partnering the Government in exploiting the kimberlitic pipes in the eastern district. Investigations by The Herald indicate that more investors might soon join those already on the ground. Among them are a Chinese concern and a South African company called Community Energy. The Chinese are reported to have visited the diamond fields last week.

Mbada Mining (Pvt) Ltd has already started mining diamonds after successfully test-running its plant a fortnight ago.

Though Mbada officials refused to comment on their operations, The Herald is reliably informed that the firm’s plant — with a capacity to handle 30 000 tonnes of ore per hour — is running non-stop.

The company is in the process of erecting another plant with a capacity to process 100 000 tonnes of ore per hour.

"By the time they are fully operational around April next year, they shall have four plants in Chiadzwa," insiders revealed.

Mbada Mining is believed to be jointly owned by local businesspersons and some South Africans.

The investors have turned the Chiadzwa diamond fields into a hive of organised activity in just two months.

An airstrip and a 20km road are under construction while top-of-the-range security cameras have been installed throughout the diamond fields with security tightened by double electric fencing.

Well-equipped private security guards are all over the fields and it is hard to believe that it was not long ago that illegal panners and other criminal elements wreaked havoc and perpetuated chaos with impunity.

Uniformed and plainclothes army and police personnel are also on the ground to boost security.

Canadile Miners says it has so far invested over US$10 million into the operation.

There are indications that its plant is likely to be commis-

sioned next week.

Canadile management opened up on their plans for Chiadzwa.

Canadile local representative Mr Lovemore Kurotwa said they were awaiting clearance to start mining.

"This is our second month on the ground. All mining equipment from excavators, earthmovers to density medium separators are on site.

"Today we did a test-run of the plant and we are happy with the results.

"We are now waiting for the necessary authorisation from the relevant authorities before we can start full-time mining," said Mr Kurotwa.

He said Canadile Miners had addressed all concerns raised by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.

"They (concerns) were quite numerous, ranging from security to having hands-free type equipment (where diamonds are not handpicked)," Mr Kurotwa said.

He said there was a drastic reduction in illegal panning activities at the diamonds fields since their arrival.

The Herald did not see any panners.

"We have just finished our phase one project. The number of phases depends on the size of the claims.

"The company has the capacity to commission three phases," explained Mr Kurotwa.

He said Canadile Miners had all the specialised equipment needed for diamond mining and more would be imported as and when the need arose.

Asked who was behind Canadile Miners, Mr Kurotwa said: "They are investors from South Africa.

"I am their local representative. This operation is in partnership with the Government of Zimbabwe.

"Canadile Miners has its plant near Odzi River for easy access to water while Mbada Mining (Pvt) Ltd is stationed deep into the fields."

Sources say the two companies were allotted 1 000-hectare claims each.

These are not part of the claims under dispute between the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation and the privately-owned African Consolidated Resources.

Labels: ,


Friday, November 13, 2009

(LUSAKATIMES) Debating with HH would demean the President’s status-Shikapwasha

Debating with HH would demean the President’s status-Shikapwasha
Friday, November 13, 2009, 8:36

President Rupiah Banda, Tanzanian Jakaya Kikwete and UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema at the Lwiindi Gonde traditional ceremony in Monze.

THE Government has said President Rupiah Banda and Vice-President, George Kunda cannot be subjected to a debate with United Party for National Development (UPND) president, Hakainde Hichilema because that would demean their status.

Chief Government spokesperson, Ronnie Shikapwasha said in a statement yesterday that it would be wrong for the president to reduce himself to the level of Mr Hichilema, a deputy leader of a political party grouping that had no developmental agenda except lies and insults.

“It will also be totally illogical for the ruling party that won presidential elections a year ago and has more than 50 per cent seats in the National Assembly to test its popularity by debating with Mr Hichilema,” he said.He said it would be extremely demeaning for President Banda or Mr Kunda to accept the challenge by Mr Hichilema to a public debate organised by the Press Freedom Committee of The Post newspapers, which was openly biased.

He said Mr Hichilema was just a deputy leader of the PF/UPND Pact and was too low to spar with the head of State or his deputy.

Time for debates would come during 2011 elections and Mr Hichilema would be given an opportunity should he manage to unseat Patriotic Front leader, Michael Sata from the PF/UPND Pact.

“It will also be totally illogical for the ruling party that won presidential elections a year ago and has more than 50 per cent seats in the National Assembly to test its popularity by debating with Mr Hichilema,” he said.

What should concern Mr Hichilema was not who between him and the president was popular but how popular he was within his party and the PF/UPND Pact.

The opposition leader should be concerned about the many UPND supporters that were leaving his party because he had aligned it with the PF which people disrespected for its dictatorial style and violence.

[Times of Zambia]

Labels: ,


(NEWZIMBABWE) Rhodesia atrocities: forbidden debate

Rhodesia atrocities: forbidden debate
by Brilliant Pongo
13/11/2009 00:00:00

TODAY we seem to be bombarded by stories of how abusive Robert Mugabe’s government is to its people. The media is awash with stories of the “evil” perpetrated by Mugabe and his government.

I do not condone the actions of Mugabe’s government for one bit, but the sudden mushrooming of ex-Rhodesian operatives purporting to be human rights defenders needs to be challenged.

I am very suspicious of these once-upon-a-time human rights violators, and abusers of Zimbabwean people, some of whom fought tooth and nail to perpetuate and preserve the repressive Rhodesian government because at the time it afforded them certain privileges and allowed them to benefit from exploiting black people on the farms, in the kitchens and gardens in the suburbs (panga pasina mubunhu asina bhoyi).

A few weeks ago, in a discussion with a long-time friend we spoke about some of the “champions of Zimbabwean democracy”. I was amazed at what some of these people did for black people at a time when Rhodesia had some of the most repressive and discriminatory laws. Most of them, with a few exceptions, did absolutely nothing to help the black person. They defended the system and did all they could to perpetuate the status quo.

Without any explanation, some of these so-called champions of human rights not so long ago bombed, maimed, and killed a lot of innocent black people, tortured and raped many defenceless black villagers, rounded up and caged thousands of black villagers in what were called “keeps”.

They poisoned sources of water and destroyed livestock belonging to the natives and in turn whatever little form of wealth these poor people had was lost to the plunder of the raging and rampaging Rhodesian forces, who today come back and claim to be champions of human and property rights.

How can people who were born and bred as racists, educated as racists and were made to believe that they were more deserving and more superior a race than black people in their own country, who had generations of racist attitudes and culture passed down to them by their land thieving forefather just wake up one morning and claim they are no longer racist but are now champions of human rights and democracy?

Simply because Robert Mugabe is fulfilling the Chimurenga war time promise or objective of land reform, however flawed the process maybe?

How can they all of a sudden realise that we are all equal? When did this dawn upon them? What brought about that awakening if at all this is genuine?

I know they say miracles happen but when it comes to the conversion of some of these dyed-in-the-wool racist Rhodesians, I do not for one second believe that this desire to champion democracy and human rights has no ulterior motives. Could it be that they want to use the ever gullible black Zimbabweans to fight for their land and lost privileges that came with being a landed gentry?

Now, how is that having being born and bred in right wing politics whence capitalist ownership of the means of production is concentrated in the hands of a few privileged elites, now claim to be leaders of the charge of the left wing pro-socialist movement, traditionally lead by trade unions?

Racist Rhodesians, if truth be told, are Zimbabwe’s equivalent to the Nazi’s. The larger part of those in Europe today still find it difficult to forgive Hitler and his gang, but somehow they expect black Zimbabweans to just turn over and say we forgive the brutal racist Rhodesians. There was no call for Ian Smith to face the law for his war crimes, and as a matter of fact, he died unrepentant of his actions.

If we consider the massacres of women, children and refugees at Chimoio, Nyadzonya, Tembwe, Dukwe and Mboroma and Westland farms in Zambia and many other places across Zimbabwe that were attacked with chemical weapons such as anthrax, one maybe forgiven for equating the gravity of Smith’s record to that of Radovan Karadžic.

Much is said about the pain that is still felt by the Jewish community with regards to the horrors that took place in Auschwitz and other concentration camps, our horrors were not to similar scales but they were horrors nonetheless. Shockingly, to this day, very little is said about those who survived Chimoio and Nyadzonya and other camps, some of whom are still traumatised by memorise of the brutality wrought upon them by murderous Rhodesians who are now masquerading as commercial famers and lately as human rights and democracy defenders simply because they have lost racist privileges.

Many of us have parents that fought against the Rhodesian forces. We have uncles, aunts, sisters and brother even grandparents that we never saw, never got to meet because they died in the war and their graves remain unmarked and unaccounted for, these died at the hands of racist the same racist Rhodesians who are now champions of human rights.

To see some elements of the brutal ex- Selous Scouts and BSAP now masquerading as human rights and pro-democracy advocates, saying they are on our side, is difficult for many even under these trying times in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.

The tragedy is that there are many who buy this dummy sold by these charlatans, it is unfortunate that many Zimbabweans think our history does not go beyond the year 2000. Why is it that in every western media story on the Zimbabwe begins or concludes with reference to white farmers?

The same born and bred racists now question the patronage system of Robert Mugabe in allocating land to former freedom fighters who fought for it. The question is: how did these same racist Rhodesians acquire the land the land in the first place and from whom? What we know for sure is that racist the Rhodesian lot rebelled against the Crown to protect and perpetuate racist privilege.

Our own media in and out of Zimbabwe has not done us any favours in this regard either; in fact they have been instrumental in the polarisation of Zimbabweans on the basis of political affiliation. Mature political discussion and debate have been reduced to slanging matches and name calling. People are threatened because they choose to voice a view or opinion that goes against the (western) grain.

Many are afraid to be labelled Zanu PF supporters and have consequently elected not to be critical of Morgan Tsvangirai or his MDC party. Somehow, there seems to be an unwritten rule that forbids those outside Zimbabwe to criticise the MDC.

Not so long ago, there was a campaign started to try and get the editor of an online newspaper,, deported because some people felt his publication was supportive of Zanu PF which usually occurs when you are judged not to be overly supportive of the MDC. At the forefront of the failed campaign were Rhodesian lobbyists who claim to champion democracy and free speech for all.

While some Zimbabweans may be genuinely fighting for a better Zimbabwe, and some blindly doing the bidding for the erstwhile master the Rhodesian, an important national question is: is the New Zimbabwe we seek the same that the ex-Rhodies seek?

Why have the Rhodesians hijacked our fight against injustice? Could it be for the return of their ill-gotten farms taken away from them by the victorious freedom fighters? Could it be because their privileged positions have been denied them? After all, whites-only Rhodesia was a little heaven on earth, honestly who would not fight for what these Rhodesians had?

Brilliant Pongo is a Zimbabwean media studies researcher based in the UK. He can be contacted at pongobrilliant ***

Labels: , ,


(NYASATIMES) Malawi begs Mozambique to lend it fuel after being depleted of forex

Malawi begs Mozambique to lend it fuel after being depleted of forex
By Nyasa Times
Published: November 12, 2009

The Malawi Government has been pressing the Mozambique Government in a bit to borrow fuel as Malawi has run out of foreign exchange, it has been learnt.

Malawi is facing a serious fuel shortage following the scarcity of foreign exchange. Fernando Couto, Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Development Corridor (CDN), which runs the Nacala port and rail system, says that Malawi asked Mozambique to borrow fuel.

“The Malawians have even asked us to lend them fuel”, Couto revealed, denying claims by Malawi authorities that the current shortage of fuel is due to congestion at the Mozambican ports of Nacala and Beira.

Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) governor Perks Ligoya (pictured) told a joint news conference with IMF in Lilongwe on Wednesday that, through government, there would be some adjustments in the local currency against other currencies to alleviate the forex problem.

“The movement of the exchange rate will be fixed with the flexibility within the band which would be put in place by the central bank like between MK135 to MK147 per US Dollar,” he said.

He therefore warned unscrupulous dealers of forex that they would be brought to book to face the law which attracts over three years in imprisonment with hard labour if found illegally dealing in forex.

Labels: , , ,


(NYASATIMES) Malawi begs Mozambique to lend it fuel after being depleted of forex

Malawi begs Mozambique to lend it fuel after being depleted of forex
By Nyasa Times
Published: November 12, 2009

The Malawi Government has been pressing the Mozambique Government in a bit to borrow fuel as Malawi has run out of foreign exchange, it has been learnt.

Malawi is facing a serious fuel shortage following the scarcity of foreign exchange. Fernando Couto, Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Development Corridor (CDN), which runs the Nacala port and rail system, says that Malawi asked Mozambique to borrow fuel.

“The Malawians have even asked us to lend them fuel”, Couto revealed, denying claims by Malawi authorities that the current shortage of fuel is due to congestion at the Mozambican ports of Nacala and Beira.

Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) governor Perks Ligoya (pictured) told a joint news conference with IMF in Lilongwe on Wednesday that, through government, there would be some adjustments in the local currency against other currencies to alleviate the forex problem.

“The movement of the exchange rate will be fixed with the flexibility within the band which would be put in place by the central bank like between MK135 to MK147 per US Dollar,” he said.

He therefore warned unscrupulous dealers of forex that they would be brought to book to face the law which attracts over three years in imprisonment with hard labour if found illegally dealing in forex.

Labels: ,


(NYASATIMES) Henry Mussa cautions on Bingu’s succession plan

Henry Mussa cautions on Bingu’s succession plan
By Nyasa Times
Published: November 10, 2009

Politics of succession of President Bingu wa Mutharika who is barred by the Constitution to run for another term in 2014 continues to dominate the political debate. Ruling Democratic Progress Party (DPP) treasurer-general Henry Mussa has cautioned that poor succession can break the party.

Mussa speaking during Capital Radio’s Straight Talk programme on Tuesday evening admitted when asked by host Brian Banda that presidential succession plans have proved disastrous for political parties in Malawi.

“We have seen parties breaking down. We had MCP, we had UDF,” pointed out Mussa, Member of Parliament for Chiradzulu East.

President Mutharika has paved way for his young brother Prof Peter Mutharika –Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs – to succeed him by declaring that he is free to run for any public position.

The President has also delegated his brother to act on presidential duties with the recent being presiding over the swearing-in of Commissioners to serve in Malawi Human Rights Commission.

However, Mussa who was dropped in cabinet after the May elections hopes DPP will handle succession of Mutharika in a democratic manner allowing competition.

“Normally the party is structured in specific categories. We have what we call the National Governing Council (NGC), that is the governing body that will come up with decision with regard to succession plan,” said Mussa, chairman of parliamentary Public Accounts Committee.

Mussa called for contest at a convention rather than hand-picking Mutharika’s successor.

“So it’s the NGC guided with convention [that] will come up with a position regarding a candidate. But it’s a collective responsibilities, top to down,” he said.

Banda, one of the best probing political journalist on the local broadcasting media, asked Mussa what he made of remarks by President Mutharika that DPP officials should not reposition themselves for 2014 presidential race.

The DPP guru said Mutharika is “justified” in his call to stop succession campaign now.

“As DPP we are still celebrating [may 19 elections victory]. We haven’t even settled down. We have promised people a lot of development projects. Our people are full of expectations. We are yet to be on the ground, five years to go,” said Mussa.

The lawmaker who is one of the founders of DPP ruled himself in the race for Bingu’s successor.

“I am too small to start thinking that big. I am thoroughly satisfied as Treasurer General,” he said.

Labels: , , ,


(NYASATIMES) Observers say Mwananvenkha appointment as Secretary to Treasury is ‘nepotism’

Observers say Mwananvenkha appointment as Secretary to Treasury is ‘nepotism’
By Nyasa Times
Published: November 12, 2009

Nyasa Times recently published an exclusive report revealing that Mwadiwa had been fired and that Chief Secretary to the Office of the President and Cabinet, Bright Msaka, is also online to get redeployed.

Government confirmed on Tuesday about Mwadiwa’s sacking. Madula a Malawian of Zimbabwean origin and his full name is Radson Mwadiwa Sithole has been posted to Office of President and Cabinet (OPC).

The daily papers on Wednesday reported that Malawi Savings Bank (MSB) CEO, Joseph Mwanamvekha, has been appointed Secretary to Treasury on a three year contract.

Mwanamvekha is a protégé of President Mutharika and chairs the Mulakho wa Alhomwe heritage group founded by the President.

Nyasa Times interviewed a random selection of people in Malawi to react to the news of Mwanamvekha’s appointment, and here are some of the comments:

George William Nthara told Nyasa Times that the appointment of Mwanamveka fosters continuing public fears that President Mutharika is promoting people from his tribe to monopolise prominent positions and share the remaining few posts among other tribes.

“Today Malawi is controlled by a small section of the society, the Mulakho wa Alhomwe, which is very bad for our country,” noted Nthara.

Lauren Chiutsi Phiri also observed that most top positions in Malawi are being held by Lhomwe people saying the President is a Lomwe, Inspector General of Police Peter Mukhito a Lhomwe, Chief Immigration Officer Elvis Thodi a Lhomwe, Director of the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) Alex Nampota a Lhomwe and Head of Security Intelligence Service Clement Kapalamula a Lhomwe.

Other Lhomwe’s in high positions include Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo, Chair of Electoral Commission Anastasia Msosa, CEO of Admarc from Thyolo, Charles Matabwa, CEO of Escom Peter Zembani, Chief of Staff at State House Edward Sawerengela, Reserve Bank Governor Perks Ligoya and Clerk of Parliament Matilda Katopola.

Companies doing business with government especially on large contracts have directors from the same ethnic extraction, pointed out Andrew Chawinga, another interviewee of Nyasa Times.

“Malawi is a very poor country and the only source of survival is dependent on government for employment, business and for provision of social services so if this government is dominated by one minority tribe we are setting a time bomb that may not explode now but will one day do so,” noted Chawinga.

A senior government official told Nyasa Times that Msaka will be replaced by PS for Public Service Reform Willie Samute.

According to the reliable source, Msaka will be redeployed to the diplomatic service.

Labels: ,


(HERALD) ‘Tap Asia’s financial surplus’

‘Tap Asia’s financial surplus’
From Sifelani Tsiko in ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia

AFRICA must come up with innovative strategies to promote the flow of surplus savings from emerging economies for infrastructural development and the creation of labour-intensive manufacturing industries on the continent, Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi said yesterday.

Zenawi said this at the opening of the 4th African Economic Conference where more than 300 policy-makers, development experts and economists were meeting to discuss strategies to mitigate the impact of the global financial and economic crisis on African economies.

"We need to design strategies to encourage the flow of some of the surplus savings in Asia for infrastructural development in Africa and to promote relocation of labour-intensive manufacturing to our countries," he said.

The International Monetary Fund has found that since 2000, the number of sovereign wealth funds has nearly doubled from 20 to 40, managing assets with an estimated value of between US$1,9 trillion and US$2,9 trillion.

Many of the wealthiest and most active of the funds are in Asia and the Gulf.

China’s surging trade surplus was estimated to be US$24 billion in October, compared with $13 billion in September, bringing the total for the year so far to US$159,23 billion.

Financial asset management companies forecast that if global growth and market expansion continue, sovereign wealth funds could control assets worth as much as US$12 trillion by 2015.

Zenawi said if Africa designed strategies to tap into these funds, it could help to transform continent’s economy and capitalise on the possibilities opened by the current "global conjecture".

"It is going to require more than one conference to do so but I am confident we will make significant progress in that direction during this conference," he said.

Zenawi felt strongly that countries such as China, Japan, India and some Gulf states which had amassed surplus savings can use these resources to finance infrastructural development in Africa once the continent maps out sound strategies to attract such funds.

"If a significant part of this relocation were destined for Africa there would be a massive spurt in industrialisation reversing the trend of de-industrialisation that has taken place in Africa since the 80s," he said.

"We would begin to become part of the global chain of production and consumption rather than the continental ghetto on the periphery of the chain that we currently are."

China offered Africa concessional loans worth US$10 billion as part of a host of new measures aimed at improving African economies.

The announcement was made recently at the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

China pledged to encourage its firms to invest in Africa, while both sides would work together to improve the tourism, telecommunications and finance industries.

The Asian giant announced that it would write off the debt of Africa’s poorest countries, build 100 African green energy facilities and systematically lower import duties on 95 percent of all African products exported to China.

Another promise is a loan of one billion dollars aimed at small and medium-sized businesses in Africa.

Labels: ,


(HERALD) Zim must get rid of underground economy

Zim must get rid of underground economy

EDITOR — Since the introduction of the multi-currency system, I have been watching to see whether or not the economy is growing and we are achieving any wealth creation.

Besides the stability of the economic climate where inflation has virtually been eliminated or reduced to the point of insignificance, we have not been statistically informed as to the performance of the economy.

In this environment of the global economic meltdown any data that can come from our statistics office would be greatly appreciated. For example, we need to know whether we have reduced unemployment; how much we are exporting every month; the balance of payments of imports versus exports; productivity figures; revenue collection data.

One economist could not understand, given the level of Zimbabwe’s lifestyle, why countries like Malawi, Zambia and Botswana are collecting more taxes than Zimbabwe.

They can afford to pay their civil servants real economic wages in US dollar terms than Zimbabwe. Something is wrong somewhere. His explanation was that Zimbabwe has an underground economy, which sustains the high lifestyles of many citizens. Very little tax is being collected from this under- ground economy.

This underground economy has nothing to do with flea markets that are being raided by Zimra but has to do with what the Kenyans call, "WaBenz (the Mercedes-Benz class)". If there is wealth creation judging by the brand new cars being driven which one German professor remarked that we did not have suitable roads for, then one cannot understand why there is very little revenue collected to pay civil servants better salaries.

A lot has been said at conferences and at seminars but one thing is missing.

It is the science of economics. To explain this, the Chinese say that it is the concept of profit which, in turn, is wealth creation. They say it’s nothing to do with politics but just making money. This is why the Chinese and the Japanese do not interfere in the politics of other countries. But wealth creation has a social responsibility that is to pay taxes to the state for the development of the country. It is also to pay civil servants real salaries.

Unless Zimbabwe adopts a culture of economics, no meaningful development will take place.

Albert Nhamoyebonde.



(HERALD) Municipal police resume blitz on vendors

Municipal police resume blitz on vendors
Herald Reporter

Harare Municipal Police yesterday resumed their blitz to rid the streets of illegal vending and touting, three days after a vendor, Godfrey Tonde, was killed in skirmishes pitting vendors and council police in Mbare.

Yesterday morning, truckloads of municipal police officers were being deployed across the city and they could be seen patrolling Harare’s streets late into the afternoon.

Vendors and touts were keeping an eagle eye out for the officers, clad in green or blue overalls inscribed "HM" (Harare Municipality), although no violent clashes had been reported at the time of writing.

City spokesman Mr Leslie Gwindi yesterday confirmed that the municipal police officers were carrying on with their exercise after taking a break following Tonde’s death on Monday.

"We are working and we are continuing with our exercise," said Mr Gwindi.

Earlier in the week, Local Government Mini-ster Ignatius Chombo asked council to exercise restraint, imploring the city fathers to halt their blitz and find other ways of regularising vendors’ operations.

Council appeared to have complied with the request, but yesterday Mr Gwindi said they would continue the clampdown.

"We will hold our ground. We want to enforce our by-laws," he said.

Deputy police spokesperson Chief Superinte-ndent Oliver Mandipaka yesterday said the 22 municipal police officers picked up for questioning in connection with Tonde’s death were still assisting police with investigations.

Autopsy results, he said, would be available soon.

"There are no further developments on the case except that a post-mortem was conducted and I am still waiting for the results," said Chief Supt Mandipaka.

Mr Gwindi also said council was still awaiting the post-mortem results.

He said Tonde’s body was ferried to Mutoko for burial and the local authority had assisted with transport, a coffin and other expenses.

Tonde died on Monday while fleeing municipal police who were carrying out a blitz in Mbare as part of a citywide campaign to rid the streets of touts, vendors and other illegal activities.

Police sources have since revealed that Tonde was tripped from behind by an unidentified municipal officer during the chase.

Labels: ,