Saturday, February 27, 2010
Sat, 27 Feb 2010 11:28:00 +0000
COUNTRIES and organisations willing to assist Zimbabwe settle its international debt should first publicly acknowledge that the nation is under ruinous illegal sanctions that are dampening development, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara said yesterday.
Addressing journalists at his Munhumutapa offices in Harare, DPM Mutambara said anyone willing to discuss the issue of debt rescheduling should first acknowledge devastating effects of the sanctions.
"There will be no debt strategy in the country that does not recognise that Zimbabwe is under illegal sanctions hence the international community must acknowledge publicly their effects.
"Those willing to help us in coming up with a debt strategy must first of all publicly acknowledge that Zimbabwe is under illegal sanctions.
"You cannot address Zimbabwe’s debt without acknowledging that Zimbabwe is under illegal sanctions," he said.
DPM Mutambara said the international community should not lecture Zimbabwe on the way forward but engage the country as an equal partner.
"We are clear on what we want as a country and Government cannot be taught anything by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the African Development Bank.
"Government has set up an inter-ministerial committee on debt strategy that is looking at different strategies on managing the country’s debt.
"Zimbabwe has enough brains and needs not be lectured to on debt restructuring, but engaged as partners," he said.
DPM Mutambara, who chairs the committee on debt management, said they were grappling with the advantages and disadvantages of the traditional methods of debt repayment, including the possibility of resource pledging.
"We welcome the restoration of voting rights but we are also sceptical.
"We want America and Europe to remove the sanctions they imposed on the country in the same manner they allowed their board members at the IMF to restore our voting rights.
"The reasons why our rights were restored are the same reasons why the illegal sanctions must be removed.
"We are not children in Zimbabwe. We don’t want the sanctions to be removed in a calibrated manner as a reward for progress but in totality.
"Anyone who speaks on national debt without talking of the country resource base and the illegal sanctions is not being sensible at all.
"The debt strategy should also address the issue of removal of sanctions," DPM Mutambara said.
He said no minister must speak on behalf of Government on debt repayment as Cabinet was still to agree on the best possible way of dealing with the matter.
He said the level of engagement with AfDB and the international committee would take cognisance of Cabinet’s position and will include the efficacy of debt repayment and the illegal sanctions.
DPM Mutambara said Cabinet would discuss debt management next week after which a national position would be taken.
Sat, 27 Feb 2010 12:34:00 +0000
ZIMBABWE will not be apologetic in anyway in empowering the previously marginalised indigenous people and remains unrelenting in the quest to achieve full sovereignty over its resources, Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
The defence minister's sentiments were echoed by Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere who said the new empowerment law was meant to correct the economic imbalances that exist in the country. The regulations come into effect on Monday.
They stipulate that all companies that have a value of more than US$500 000 should submit their shareholding structure to the Government in less than 45 days in order to facilitate the five-year indigenisation process.
Addressing delegates attending the closing reception of the 26th Zimbabwe/Botswana Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) in Victoria Falls on Thursday night, Minister Mnangagwa said: "Despite the punitive and illegal sanctions imposed upon us by Britain and her allies, we remain unrelenting in our quest to achieve full sovereignty over our resources."
Minister Mnangagwa said African countries should not be bullied into letting go of their natural resources.
"We need to demand fair value for our products on the world market. When one looks at Zimbabwe's argument with Britain and how this simple bilateral issue has been internationalised, one is left with no doubt that the imperialist countries are alarmed at the prospect of an Africa that would one day rise to claim full sovereignty over its resources," he said.
He said Africa would remain underdeveloped if its people were not given an opportunity to control their own resources, which he said where mainly in the hands of the few.
"The Euro-centric approach seeks to attribute Africa's underdevelopment and poverty to misrule, corruption and above all a clear lack of vision on the part of the African leadership. This perception of Africa has been systematically marketed to the world by the powerful international press.
"Thus an enduring image of a continent that can never work has been created."
Minister Mnangagwa noted that the conflict resolution mechanism, which is vibrant in Southern Africa demonstrates the capacity by member states to resolve issues between themselves in a constructive manner.
Addressing businesspeople at a Bulawayo hotel yesterday, Minister Kasukuwere said the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act was meant to improve the lives of indigenous people.
"The Act seeks to correct the economic imbalances that exist in the country as we can't ignore the reality. We are not against the minority, we are saying let's open the doors and let's work together for the benefit of the indigenous people," he said.
"We should not leave the lives of 14 million Zimbabweans at the hands of the multi-nationals and the minority."
Minister Kasukuwere refuted claims that only the rich local businesspeople would benefit from the indigenisation programme, saying the Act gave priority to disadvantaged groups.
"The biggest worry from the people in the country is who will benefit from the indigenisation programme as they do not have any problem with the Act. The regulations of the Act give first priority to a worker, management, women, disabled, youths and there is nowhere in which prominent businesspeople are given the priority as it will be useless to remove the minority and replace them with another minority.
"The Act is meant to benefit the indigenous people as a whole, not those that have already benefited," he said.
Speaking at the same occasion, Minister Kasukuwere's deputy, Thamsanqa Mahlangu, said everyone was in support of the economic empowerment and indigenisation, but some were against the methods used.
"We don't want anything that will divide the country especially considering where we are coming from.
"We have agreed that together we can do a lot of things. No one is against economic empowerment and indigenisation but some people have expressed concerns on the method being used," said Mahlangu.
"We should not scare away investors when the country is still undergoing economic recovery."
The National Economic Indigenisation and Empowerment Act was passed by Parliament before being signed into law by President Mugabe in 2008.
Meanwhile, Botswana's Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Dikgakgamatso Ndelu Seretse said his country would always stand by Zimbabwe adding that problems were there to be solved amicably without causing unnecessary tensions.
"We stood by you when there was outside interference, we will stand by you in future. We should stand together despite these little misunderstandings. What we stand for is beyond us. Let's not mourn over the past but find ways for the development of our countries," he said at the end of the Zimbabwe/Botswana Joint Permanent Commission meeting in Victoria Falls.
Turning his attention to the media, Seretse said: "In life one needs to be patient. Good things come to those who wait. Let us be calm and not over-sensationalise issues in the media. That can have negative implications on our resolutions," he said.
Seretse was leading a Botswana delegation that included the country's Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Gladys Kokorwe, and the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sasara George.
The delegation also included the Commander of the Botswana Defence Forces, Commissioner of Police, Director-General of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security and other senior Government officials.
Also attending the meeting were service chiefs, parks officials and immigration officers from the two countries.
Relations between the two countries soured when Zimbabwe arrested three armed Batswana rangers who had illegally entered the country using an undesignated entry point. They were later convicted by a Hwange magistrate and released after paying a US$100 fine each.
At the height of the dispute, Botswana's Foreign Minister Phandu Skelemani said they would recall their diplomats at the end of this month, and called upon Harare to also recall its officials.
By The Post
Sat 27 Feb. 2010, 04:00 CAT
LEADERSHIP is very vital to the future of our nation. But in the end, putting aside all the theories and concepts, good leadership will be achieved, not by the formality of structures, but by the integrity of the participant and by the willingness of the individuals to work together and be inspired by a larger vision.
And while it is necessary to demand so much from our leaders and hold them accountable, it is equally important that in our own relationships with each other, we exemplify the leadership values we wish to see in our leaders, namely justice, integrity, honesty, humility and so on and so forth.
Dr Peter Lolojih, the head of the department of political and administrative studies at the University of Zambia, has made very interesting observations on the type of leaders our country needs.
Dr Lolojih says, “The country needs leaders who would spend sleepless nights thinking of how best to develop the nation. Leaders must be shy to tell lies to citizens, they must be committed to tell the truth.
That is not the case at the moment. The country needs leaders who are seen to be accountable and not corrupt…” Who can disagree with what Dr Lolojih is saying? It is not difficult to agree with this.
What is difficult is to find leaders who are willing to do and commit themselves to what Dr Lolojih is saying.
What the Zambian people are seeking is genuine democracy in which the leaders are servants of the electorate and not its masters. Good leadership will only arise in our country when we have intelligent, honest and humble politicians who see politics as a vocation to serve the people.
As things stand today, most of our politicians don’t see politics as an area of great importance for promoting justice, fairness, humaneness, development and community among all. They see politics as something one can use to gain fame, wealth and power.
They see politics as a job for earning a salary, allowances of all sorts and other personal material benefits. And these are the things they fear to lose when they are in government as ministers or when they are simply members of parliament or councillors.
They don’t regard politics as a vocation, a way of building up society for the common good. And for this reason their participation in politics is not propelled by noble values or sentiments.
The participation of good citizens in the political leadership of our country must be guided by noble sentiments and values and consider it a citizen responsibility to do so.
We say this because citizenship demands a positive contribution of everyone, young and old, to build our nation’s future.
And this includes running for public office, voting when elections come, volunteering in civil society organisations, fighting corruption, paying taxes, and so on and so forth.
We also should not forget that good leadership is chosen by good citizens. We are responsible, in some way, for the type of leadership we have in our country.
We chose it. If we didn’t choose it, we allowed it to be there by accepting to be manipulated, to be deceived and cheated through fraudulent elections.
We must take responsibility for the fate of our nation, the country in which we have chosen to live. When a free man fails, he blames nobody.
In the end, we get a leadership we deserve. If we glorify thieves, tolerate corrupt elements in our politics, accept inept and incompetent people to hold public office, how can we expect at the same time to have good leadership that is efficient, effective, orderly, honest and incorruptible?
There is a sort of chain of events here. For if good ideas foster other good ideas, bad things can foster, on the other hand, other bad things.
Virtue must be nourished but vice springs up spontaneously like weeds and grows by itself. We must bear that in mind. If we do otherwise, while nourishing virtue we are simultaneously paving way for vice.
This is why when time comes for elections we must vote wisely and only for people who are known for their ability, honesty, dedication and concern for the welfare of all.
We need leaders who can pledge to take steps toward greater openness and honesty about their decisions, actions and the way they manage the finances of our country.
This imperative duty must be fulfilled carefully and we must choose wisely people who will take the responsibility of running the affairs of our country in the right direction.
It is through political leadership that government is managed. If this leadership is poor, then government will fail to deliver to our people the services required in an organised society. And when this happens people will not be happy, peace and stability will be threatened.
There is nothing which makes people more appreciative of a government than that it should be able to deliver services. The government is the instrument by which people cooperate together to achieve the common good.
An authority is needed to guide the energies of all towards the common good. And for this reason politics need people with high credibility. There is need for a conversion of heart and for the transformation of our social structures in order to build our country.
There is need for us to try and restore in our country the type of political leadership Dr Lolojih is talking about.
There is need for us to teach ourselves and others that political leadership should be an expression of a desire to contribute to the happiness of all our people, especially the poor, rather than an opportunity to cheat, deceive, manipulate, loot, rape the nation.
There is need for us to teach ourselves and our fellow citizens that politics can be not only the art of the possible, especially if this means the art of speculation, calculation, intrigue and corrupt deals, but that it can be the art of the impossible, namely, the art of improving our people and our country.
If a person has received the necessary talent by the favour of God, that person would fail in one’s duty if, for selfish motives, the person refused to take one’s share in public life and affairs. Any person who is qualified to become a leader, is guilty if he or she refuses the task.
We say this because the apathy of potential political leaders can bring anarchy to the country, by leaving all the responsibility to inefficient, crooked and corrupt or unworthy people. We have rights and duties as citizens and the love of our country urges us to act accordingly in all justice and charity.
We need political leaders who are modest and prudent, who are able to guard against arrogance and rashness, and who are committed to serving the Zambian people heart and soul.
Zambia needs leaders who are willing to serve the people whole-heartedly and never for a moment divorce themselves from the masses, who proceed in all cases from the interests of the people and not from their own self-interests or from the interests of those around them.
We need leaders who are devoted to others without any thought of self, leaders with boundless sense of responsibility in their work and boundless warm-heartedness towards all our people. The duty of our leaders should be to hold themselves accountable to the people.
Every word, every act and every policy of theirs must conform to the interests of their people, and if mistakes occur, they must be corrected – that is what being responsible to the people means. They should have the interests of the people and the sufferings of the great majority at heart.
They should have the largeness of mind and should be staunch and active, looking upon the interests of the people as their very lives and subordinating their personal interests to those of the people.
They should be more concerned about the masses of our people than about any individual, and more concerned about others than about themselves. Only thus can they be considered to be the type of leaders Dr Lolojih says Zambia needs.
All our politicians must be brought to understand that the supreme test of the words and deeds of a political leader is whether they conform with the highest interests and enjoy the free support of the overwhelming majority of the people.
At no time and in no circumstances should a political leader place his personal interest first; he should subordinate them to the interests of the nation and of the masses. Hence, selfishness, corruption, greed, vanity, intolerance, and so on and so forth, are most contemptible, while selflessness, working with all one’s energy, honesty, whole-hearted devotion to public duty will command respect.
Zambia needs leaders who are ready at all times to stand up for the truth, because truth is in the interest of the people.
This is why, as Dr Lolojih has correctly observed, leaders must be committed to tell the truth and must feel shy to tell lies to citizens.
We need leaders who can set an example in being practical as well as far-sighted. For only by being practical can they fulfil the appointed tasks, and only far-sightedness can prevent them from losing their bearings in the march forward.
We need leaders who can listen attentively to the views of people outside their political party and let them have their say.
If what they say is right, they ought to welcome it, and they should learn from their strong point; if it is wrong, they should let them finish what they are saying and then patiently explain things to them.
We need leaders who are not opinionated or domineering, thinking that they are good in everything while others are good in nothing; we need leaders who don’t brag, boast and lord it over others.
The exemplary role of leaders is of vital importance. They should set an example in fighting vices, in observing discipline and fostering national unity. Only in this way can they be said to be leaders who can spend sleepless nights thinking of how best to develop the nation.
By Henry Sinyangwe
Sat 27 Feb. 2010, 03:10 CAT
ZAMBIA needs leaders who can spend sleepless nights thinking of how best to develop the nation University of Zambia UNZA Political and Administrative studies head of department Dr Peter Lolojih has said. In an interview, Dr Lolojih said leaders must feel guilty when they see most of the citizens living in poverty.
“The country needs leaders who would spend sleepless nights thinking of how best to develop the nation. That is why they stand for leadership positions,” Dr.Lolojih said.
He said Zambia needed committed leaders who would think they had not done enough when they knocked off from work. He said leaders must also be committed to tell the truth and must feel shy when they told lies.
He said Zambia needed leaders who are seen to be accountable and not corrupt.
Dr Lolojih said Zambia needed leaders who were level headed and not those who would embarrass each other in public.
“If you are going to consolidate democracy, then there must be level headedness among the current and former political leaders not where are insulting each others privacy in public,” Dr Lolojih said.
He said it was important for political leaders to show respect for fellow citizens regardless of status or social standing.
“Everyone has a right to privacy, they have children, families and friends. The current trend of disrespect for one another by politicians is unacceptable,” Dr Lolojih said.
He said it did not paint a good picture to citizens because citizens could only have faith in leaders if there were signs of good moral standing among them.
And Dr Lolojih said there was too much corruption in Zambia, starting from the highest office as was observed by the declaration of the fight against corruption by the late president Mwanawasa.
He said it was worrying that people holding the highest offices were being investigated for corruption.
“In my view there is corruption in Zambia as can be seen from the various high-profile people like the police chiefs and army chiefs being investigated which means it is there even in the highest office. What more in other junior public offices?” Dr. Lolojih wondered.
He said Zambia needed leaders who were willing to fight corruption by proper implementation of the law.
“The bottom line for the fight against corruption is the will for the leaders to properly implement the law so that those cited for corruption are punished accordingly without favours,” Dr. Lolojih said.
He said President Rupiah Banda was free to follow his own legacy but if he had abandoned the late president Mwanawasa's call for zero tolerance on corruption, then he was not doing the right thing.
By George Chellah
Sat 27 Feb. 2010, 08:00 CAT
HERITAGE Party (HP) leader Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda yesterday observed that the current standard of political debate in the country is below par. Commenting on the current political environment, Brig Gen Miyanda pleaded with his political colleagues to restrain themselves.
“And reduce the political temperature that had been raised. Instead we must raise the standard of debate. Currently the standard of debate is below par and does not inspire one to join in and enjoy a productive discourse,” he said.
“We must bring up quality arguments so that we all learn something from one another and inspire our young folk. Each time you insult somebody, this has the opposite effect because they do not hear you and ignore what you are saying.
Regrettably this malaise is not confined to government leaders only but is prevalent even among the opposition. This is a sure sign of why things do not change even when the opposition become the government because they continue to do the very things they were condemning.”
Brig Gen Miyanda stated that Vice-President George Kunda's use of intelligence reports to vilify political opponents at airports was an example of how to deliberately create tension and yet add no value to the national agenda.
“The purpose of the daily briefs and reports that the intelligence officers submit to the Commander-In-Chief are meant to keep him up to date on security matters. Such reports are not intended to be used as missiles or to show how knowledgeable the recipient is about each Zambian citizen,” Brig Gen Miyanda said.
“Unfortunately, under our system the President is even briefed about internal deliberations of political parties literally on a daily basis. This is because opposition parties are viewed not as citizens but as enemies who are permanently a danger to society. This attitude is wrong and unfair and must be stopped forthwith.
“In the army, an enemy, once identified, has to be destroyed or completely neutralised. But in politics one may have opponents but they are not enemies.
This trait in our politicians has to change before we can make progress in our search for an ideal political system.
In our case, political power is used not for national development but for personal survival and for crushing perceived enemies; our short political history is full of examples. No amount of writing and re-writing our constitution will change this until a proper understanding of freedom and democracy are attained.
“A Constitution is just a piece of paper whose value or worthiness depends on what you do with the contents therein. You either practice them or ignore them.
No amount of writing, re-writing or amending the constitution will achieve the democracy that is shouted about. When in power, the winners of an election make sure the losers feel it and have it in them to vanquish and destroy the opposition; they ensure that their friends and relatives and those who agree with them or support them or dance to their tune are rewarded. It is the African way, the Zambian formula.”
Brig Gen Miyanda stated that Vice-President Kunda should refrain from misguiding simple Zambians at airports who look up to him and believe whatever he says because he was supposed to be a defender of the Constitution and as Minister of Justice is expected to be fair and just to other citizens.
“His cadres truly believe whatever he says; this is the reason for him to have such a big heart and be slow to anger and not behave like the cadres he addresses, many of whom do not have the advantage of the knowledge he has acquired through his education and now high public office.
He should try hard to be a fountain of justice because of the portfolio of justice that he carries,” Brig Gen Miyanda. “It is not too late for him to change.
Being the stronger of the 'combatants', and bearing in mind that he is not there to vanquish an enemy, he must demonstrate that he values the law he has studied and will not be vindictive or partisan in interpreting it.
Hon George Kunda must thus restrain himself from using intelligence reports as drafts for his airport speeches; this is a strange way of using such reports and is not a common practice. World over intelligence reports are submitted to Heads of State and Government but hardly do we ever hear them used in the manner that Zambian ministers do.”
Brig Gen Miyanda also pleaded with his colleagues in the opposition to review their political and tactical strategy.
“I doubt that their present media blitz is efficacious; it may be doing them more harm than good. In fact, they should not underestimate or look down on one Vernon Johnson Mwaanga; he is a Maestro in his own right.
They should take an interest in what role he is playing; he was with KK, he was at the side of FTJ, he was with Levy and now with RB; all these have valued him,” Brig Gen Miyanda stated. “Remove emotion from your thought process and you will begin to see things you are not seeing.
Change your ways if you are serious about your concern for the people of Zambia because the current crusade is leading us to nowhere. Above all, always remember not to throw out the baby with the bath water.”
By Kabanda Chulu in Kitwe
Sat 27 Feb. 2010, 07:20 CAT
ENERGY parliamentary committee member Gary Nkombo yesterday advised people to seek compensation from the government if their vehicles and machinery develop faults as a result of using contaminated diesel.
Commenting on the matter where TAZAMA supplied diesel on the market, which had impurities such as water and dust particles, Nkombo said it was irresponsible for the MMD government to trivialise the incident as a simple matter.
“The Ndola Fuel Terminals which are operated by TAZAMA were closed for a very long time to undergo rehabilitation works worth millions of dollars and we expected that all problems had been resolved but how come there are leakages resulting in fuel contamination and it is not a simple matter to separate fuel from water,” said Nkombo.
“Oil marketing companies (OMCs) have been inconvenienced and I urge those people who have used this contaminated diesel and developed faults to seek compensation because it is the failure and irresponsibility of this government and also TAZAMA should explain in no uncertain terms how many quantities are contaminated.”
And energy parliamentary committee chairperson Percy Chanda said the MMD government was not serious with what it was doing.
“People should not be inconvenienced in this way especially that fuel drives the economy in general and why should people be given a commodity that did not pass through quality control system and who is going to pay for the damages to equipment and vehicles?” asked Chanda.
“If TAZAMA does not have a quality control system, let them install it now and if they have, why didn’t people follow the guidelines because this is the second time that fuel is being recalled but the damage has already been done.”
On Monday, TAZAMA offloaded large quantities of diesel on the market, which was later found to contain excess water and mud and concerned OMCs had started returning the contaminated fuel to the terminal.
Energy permanent secretary Teddy Kasonso described the contamination of diesel as a simple matter that would be resolved soon.
PF-UPND pact is evil, says Kunda
By Chibaula Silwamba in Nyimba and Allan Mulenga in Petauke
Sat 27 Feb. 2010, 04:20 CAT
PF-UPND pact is evil, Vice-President George Kunda has said. And Vice-President Kunda said Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata is mad, erratic, disjointed and an evil man.
Meanwhile, Vice-President Kunda charged that UPND president Hakainde Hichilema is a mask of Sata and that he is panicking because the UPND has power struggles.
Addressing rallies in Nyimba and Petauke on Thursday, Vice-President Kunda said other than touring developmental projects in the province, he was also there to let people know how evil the PF-UPND was.
"To start with, Mr Sata is a hardcore tribalist. He is the hardliner where tribalism is concerned. He told us in Kasama when he was campaigning that he only believes in his people. Us with Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda we are fighting tribalism, we want 'one Zambia one nation'.
This is the danger with Mr Sata," Vice-President Kunda said. "The Mfuwe-Chipata Road K290 billion, we are building a road to revive tourism into Mfuwe. Those are the economic activities we are engaged in. We are diversifying the economy.
Now these people like Mr Sata, that evil man… Sata is saying, 'no, they are building a road for animals, insulting people.' Insulting people of Central Province, people of North-Western Province, he is sarcastic, he insults provincial leaders, he insults everybody. He is erratic. He is verging. He is disjointed."
Vice-President Kunda said Sata was a dangerous man.
"These people day in day out they are insulting traditional leaders, even the Chitimukulu. They can insult anybody. That is Mr Sata's agenda," Vice-President Kunda said. "You must be careful. The people of Zambia don't experiment on leadership."
Vice-President Kunda said Hichilema was a façade, who was campaigning for Sata to become Republican President.
"Now there's another leader called HH, Hakainde Hichilema. Hakainde Hichilema is a façade. It is the mask of Mr Sata. When you see him here, that is Sata. Behind that face is Sata. HH has no personality of his own. And they are keeping it a secret from the people of Zambia as to who is going to be the presidential candidate under the PF-UPND pact.
They want to keep it as a secret. Now they want the Zambian people to be following them blindly and then at the end of the day you will be in for a very big surprise," Vice-President Kunda. "I am not yet finished with UPND, I can confirm to the people of Zambia that there's a power struggle in UPND.
I am challenging those who are doubting my information, which I am giving to the people of Zambia. I am challenging them if they UPND have got facts to sue me if what I am saying is not true. Sue me and I am going to prove that there's a power struggle in UPND."
He said he was waiting for a legal suit from the UPND since Tuesday when Bweengwa member of parliament Highvie Hamududu threatened to sue him if he did not apologise within 12 hours.
"This is a public forum. I am not protected. I am not speaking in Parliament. I am waiting for a writ of summons today, any time, I am ready for a writ of summon to go to court. They have been threatening to sue me, now 24 hours is over. Where is the writ? Where is the suit? If what I am saying are lies let us prove it in court," Vice-President Kunda said. "HH is under siege, he is panicking because his party is under severe test."
Vice-President Kunda claimed that Sata was celebrating over the troubles in the pact partner, the UPND.
"You know a person like Mr Sata, a trickster. He is enjoying what is going on in UPND because that is now advancing his agenda," Vice-President Kunda said. "UPND is a shell. T
hey don't have a leader. The leader Hakainde Hichilema is just a mask. Wherever he goes he represents Mr Sata. Wherever he goes he goes to campaign for Mr Sata."
Vice-President Kunda told the people to be in the MMD because "a son of the soil" Rupiah Banda was President and would continue beyond 2011.
"Remain with MMD. We have a leader in Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda. We are going to a convention. Our leadership succession is straightforward. Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, this is his time to rule Zambia and the people of Zambia have shown all the confidence. Let's not make experiments with leadership.
We have enjoyed peace and tranquility in this country," he said. "This is time for Eastern Province to provide a President, a confident President who is providing leadership and our President we shall vote for him even in 2011. We want Eastern Province to provide a President."
He urged the people to reject the PF-UPND pact.
Vice-President Kunda revealed that he keeps the PF constitution in his office.
"I have read the PF constitution, which is in my office. The PF constitution is a plagiarised version of the one-party UNIP constitution. It is about dictatorship, it is about taking us back to the one party, which we rejected because Zambia is a multi-party system. We believe in democracy," Vice-President Kunda said.
"Under the PF constitution there will be no separation of powers. The judiciary will be tried under party discipline. Judges will be appearing before Mr Wynter Kabimba. Mr Kabimba will be trying judges.
Now, there is no such a thing within the Commonwealth because then you lose your liberties all of you. We don't want to go backward. We want to be moving forward in democracy where we respect the rights of people."
He said Sata moved with his party manifesto because it was not written.
Vice-President Kunda said President Banda had been supported countrywide.
By George Chellah
Sat 27 Feb. 2010, 04:00 CAT
PF leader Michael Sata yesterday said that former president Frederick Chiluba's infidelity is well known.
In an interview, Sata said Chiluba's much talked about dossier against him would just expose how shallow and petty he is and eventually embarrass him (Chiluba) to the country.
“In any case, they have been jumping that they have a dossier against me but there is nothing new in that dossier because this is something I have had to live with every day and my wife knows about those children,” Sata said.
“So there is nothing they are exposing and the fact of the matter is that I cannot deny my children. Have I ever denied them? If they are in a habit of denying children, that's them, but not Mr Sata.
I have a very long list of Chiluba's infidelity but I don't want to be petty like him. Chiluba's infidelity is well known.”
And Sata said there was nobody in his life that he had shown so much compassion and forgiveness to like Chiluba. He said he had always extended a hand of friendship to Chiluba whenever he was in trouble.
“Because of my strong religious…Catholic background, I have tried at all times of need to keep Chiluba company.
What you should know is that during the third term debate, Chiluba was abandoned by everybody, including those rebels he is now dancing and talking about except Peter Machungwa,” Sata said.
“The only people who remained advising Chiluba during that period was myself, Eric Silwamba and Richard Sakala and we luckily managed to get him out of that nonsense.
Even when Chiluba had problems with the late Levy Mwanawasa, he was totally deserted. The only person who remained with him was Regina.
“But I remained with him until he himself decided that he didn't need my company because there was no point of me imposing myself. May God surely bless him!”
Sata said he could not describe Chiluba's behaviour as an act of betrayal because he had never viewed him any different from what he was currently doing.
“I can't say that he has betrayed or stabbed me in the back because this is who Frederick is,” Sata said. “Even when I show compassion and forgiveness to him, I don't expect anything in return.
It's just out of kindness because that's what Christianity teaches us. Therefore, I don't even feel betrayed in any way because I am dealing with a person I know very well.”
Sata said his association with Chiluba even cost him parliamentary seats in the 2006 general elections.
“In Luapula, I lost Chiengi, Chembe, Mansa Central, Nchelenge and Mambilima,” Sata said. “In Northern Province, it cost me a number of seats because both in Luapula and Northern provinces, people were telling me at point blank that 'why are you associating with Chiluba.
Did you also benefit from the stolen money?' And this is a thank you I get from him despite that? Chiluba is very ungrateful. I know him!”
Sata said this was not the first time he was dealing with Chiluba.
“When I was ward chairman for Kabulonga ward in UNIP, when Kaunda released him Chiluba from Livingstone prison, I invited Chiluba and brought him to the UNIP ward meeting in Bauleni. I introduced him as a matter of sympathy to the ward that 'this is Chiluba you have been reading about,'” Sata said.
“I know Frederick and Frederick has always been like that. And I don't even want to talk about people's children because I know them. That's being very petty and childish because when you do that, you are drawing innocent children in things they shouldn't even be involved in. ”
Sata said it was clear the MMD were too desperate.
“Already you can see that they are contradicting themselves. When Chiluba had a press conference, he said there was chombela ng'anda traditional marriage. When he sent Charles Chimumbwa to speak in the Times of Zambia, he was saying that the children where born outside wedlock. If this case takes off, my president will be embarrassed,” Sata said.
He said the problem with lies was that they always boomeranged. “On this nonsense they are trying to peddle about corruption in the Times of Zambia, what happened was that in 1992 I accompanied Chiluba when he was visiting Central Province.
And among other issues on his programme was to meet the business community and he met them at Hindu Hall in Kabwe,” Sata said.
“During that meeting, one of the businessmen asked him about corruption in his government and he replied that he doesn't like corruption that's why he had instructed the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate one minister, Mr Sata. I was seated next to him when he made those remarks.
“It was him who instructed the ACC because he wanted to pin me down. And Chiluba was disappointed with the ACC because they didn't manage to get the results he wanted.
Whatever they are trying to do, there is nothing. No wonder ACC failed to proceed with that matter.
ACC wanted permission from the DPP to prosecute and they were told that 'what are you going to prosecute?' You just tell them that they can't pin somebody on a mere investigation.
That money they are talking about was not in my account, it was in the council's account.
“They wanted to use the excuse that because I was a shareholder in Standard Chartered Bank but what they didn't know is that there was no direct benefit to all shareholders including myself. I sympathise with Chiluba and Edward Mumbi because they have never had money.
I came with money into MMD and Chiluba came poor, so I know financial matters and transactions more than him. If Chiluba believed in what he gave Mumbi that I stole, why didn't he dismiss me?
Why did he keep me for 10 years if I had stolen? Does that make sense to you? It's desperation! Chiluba's so-called dossier will just show how petty and shallow he is. He will be embarrassed at the end and not me.”
Sata said his hands were very clean.
“When I left UNIP to join MMD, I knew that I was dealing with mercenaries so I was very very careful in whatever I did. More careful than those who came with a pair of shoes and left with 3,000 pairs,” Sata said. “Do you think Mwanawasa would have spared me if I had scandals to my file during the period I served as minister under Chiluba?
They are just desperate but that will not help them. Actually, I even want to thank the ACC director general because he has said the truth about that case. ACC failed to take the matter anywhere because there was nothing.”
Sata said Chiluba was using Mumbi and Chimumbwa to peddle lies.
“My advice to Mumbi and Chimumbwa is to just keep quiet before they are humiliated. I know them very well,” said Sata.
By David Chongo in Solwezi and Sututu Katundu in Lusaka
Fri 26 Feb. 2010, 19:30 CAT
ZAMBEZI residents have rioted, looted and damaged property belonging to a local businessman and others after he was accused of having attempted to murder his saleslady in a forest on Wednesday. Meanwhile, police have arrested the businessman for attempted murder and 42 others for riotous behavior and malicious damage to property.
Northern Western Province police commanding officer, Fabian Katiba confirmed in an interview that the riot, lasting several hours, resulted in damage to property belonging to the named businessman.
“We had riotous behaviour starting from 09:30 hours until late in the afternoon. It involves a businessman named Kenneth Likola and his saleslady,” he said.
Katiba explained that Likola, who owns several trading entities in the district, on Wednesday evening gave a lift to his saleslady identified as Carol Mateyo after business hours.
However, Likola is said to have diverted to a local forest 15km away where he produced a pistol and fired in the air.
According to police, confusion ensued between the two and somehow Mateyo managed to escape to a nearby village from where she sent a text message to her aunt about the incident.
Police stated that her aunt in turn informed them of the incident.
Later, Mateyo is said to have reported to the police in person followed by Likola himself.
The police then took the duo to the scene of the shooting in the forest.
“When people heard of the incident, they started breaking into his shops. Forty-two people have been arrested for riotous behaviour and malicious damage to property. Likola has been arrested for attempted murder,” said Katiba.
And an eyewitness told The Post in Solwezi that police had a tough time controlling the riotous residents and had to call for reinforcements from soldiers and some police officers from Chavuma.
“One of the two shops belonging to Likola has been completely looted with nothing remaining. The third shop has been shattered,” said one witness.
In a related development, reliable sources in Solwezi have revealed that government has deported 4 Congolese refugees, arrested a further 100 and detained a soldier who is alleged to have shot dead one of the refugees in connection with the recent disturbance at Meheba.
The sources also revealed that there were no Angolan refugees involved in the matter but only Congolese and some from Burundi.
The 100 refugees have been charged with unlawful gathering while the soldier has been remanded in police custody for a possible charge of murder.
And UNHCR has condemned the killing of a refugee woman at Meheba during an operation by the police, army and immigration on Wednesday.
In a statement released yesterday, UNHCR representative James Lynch welcomed the announcement by home affairs minister Lameck Mangani that investigations into the incident and use of force by security officers would take place.
“We are deeply shocked and saddened by the incident. We had hoped that this situation would have been resolved peacefully and without the use of force,” he said.
Lynch said the UNHCR understood that the aim of the operation was to bring to an end a protest by some 200 refugees, who had been occupying the administrative block in the settlement since end of January this year.
Lynch said the protest followed a legendary period of tension and unrest in the settlement over corrupt practices and fraud, which were investigated jointly and confirmed by the Commissioner for Refugees and UNHCR.
Uganda witch doctor 'lied to BBC' over child sacrifice
Page last updated at 11:23 GMT, Thursday, 25 February 2010
Polino Angela tries to persuade witch doctors to stop human sacrifices
A former Ugandan witch doctor has been charged with lying about carrying out child sacrifices in a BBC report.
Polino Angela told the BBC Newsnight programme he had killed about 70 people, including his son, before becoming an anti-sacrifice campaigner.
He allegedly repeated his claims to a Ugandan police officer and has been charged with "giving false information to a public officer".
He reportedly denied the charges and was remanded in custody.
Moses Binoga, head of the Anti-Human Sacrifice and Trafficking Task Force, said the police had spoken to relatives and neighbours of Polino Angela's son, who all say he died of malaria and was not sacrificed.
"The boy died a natural death," he said.
"Seventy people [killed] was just fantasy to make the story look interesting."
Mr Binoga said that Mr Angela had admitted lying, saying he hoped the international publicity would lead to a flow of donations to his organisation.
Mr Angela said he carried out the killings in the 1980s.
He says he stopped in 1990 and now tries to persuade other witch doctors to stop carrying out child sacrifices.
Mr Binoga said he had not yet decided whether he would ask to formally question BBC correspondent Tim Whewell.
The task force does, however, fear that child sacrifice is a growing problem, with 29 suspected cases last year.
Many Ugandans believe in the powers of witch doctors and traditional healers.
Some say that potions made with human body parts are more powerful.
by Lovemore Madhuku
IT IS now 12 years since the formation of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA). More significantly, it is ten years since the people of Zimbabwe rejected the Chidyausiku Commission’s Draft Constitution in February 2000.
This ‘no’ vote was significant particularly because it was the first time that we, as Zimbabwean citizens, refused to have the constitution of our country written by political leaders for the purposes of selfish political interests. It was a declaration by the people of Zimbabwe that: “We, the people, shall write our own constitution.”
There are others, who, since the historic ‘no’ vote in 2000, have argued that the people’s verdict on the Chidyausiku Constitutional Commission Draft was mistaken. As the NCA, we reject such an assertion with the contempt that it deserves. The No vote was an affirmation of the right of all Zimbabweans to be authors of our country’s social contract, with our democratic consent, understanding and belief.
In the 10 years that have passed since the historic 2000 ‘no’ vote, the NCA has been committed to the struggle to bring about a new democratic and people-driven constitution for Zimbabwe. We have never been self-righteous about this struggle and we have remained committed to it.
We have also always sought to join forces with those that share the principles that were established by the historic National Working Peoples Convention (NWPC) in February 1999, followed by the first Peoples Constitutional Convention in June 1999, re-emphasised in the Zimbabwe Peoples Charter of 2008 and re-acclaimed at the Second Peoples Constitutional Convention in July 2009.
It is from these four conventions that we draw our mandate to continue to seek a people-driven constitution for our country. It is also from the same that we have learned that constitutions are not supposed to be elitist documents merely because they have been authored in such fashion in countries either to the west or to the south of Zimbabwe.
Instead, our principles indicate that just as much as other countries were the first to do anything, Zimbabwe can be the first in Southern Africa, Africa or the World to author a people-driven constitution.
What do we mean by a “people-driven process”?
A people-driven process is democratic. It is transparent. It is independent of parochial and partisan interests of the political leaders of the day. It is led by an independent commission composed of all stakeholders and headed by an independent-minded Zimbabwean, preferably from the judiciary or clergy.
On the basis of our principles, we informed the political parties in the GPA that the Article 6 process was more political-party-driven than it is people-driven. This was and remains so because it is the political parties in Parliament who determine the nature and content of the constitutional reform process under Article 6.
The final outcome of the constitutional reform process under Article 6 is determined exclusively by the political parties in Parliament and not the people. Article 6 itself has been further weakened by arrogating all power to the three leaders of the three political parties in parliament, who are now christened “Principals” – an awkward description, given our rich political history.
The MDC was not yet in existence at the time of the historic National Working Peoples Convention (NWPC). Instead, it was formed as a result of that meeting with a clear mandate to pursue the objectives set out by the working people of Zimbabwe.
The ZCTU convened the NWPC and the NCA was one of the key players. One key objective was the struggle for a new, democratic and people-driven constitution. This is why the MDC played a key role in the 2000 ‘no’ vote and remained an ally in the years that followed.
This is also why, on March 11, 2007, in Highfield, Harare, the top leadership of the MDC and NCA shared the trenches when the dark forces of evil unleashed by President Mugabe and Zanu PF took the life of an NCA/MDC activist, Gift Tandare, and left Morgan Tsvangirai, myself and other leaders with permanent life-threatening injuries. We were in pursuit of a genuine people-driven constitution making process.
Given this history, we have, therefore, engaged the MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai and his top leadership on the current political party-driven constitution making process. Regrettably, we have agreed to disagree. The MDC is keen to pursue the current process as stipulated in their agreement with Zanu PF, while we are vehemently opposed to it.
We believe the MDC has abandoned its founding mandate on the constitution and is now bent on compromising the principles of a people driven constitution. Together with the ZCTU and ZINASU, we have established an alliance that is pursuing the founding ground of a genuine people-driven constitution. Our alliance will not allow the MDC leadership to preach the monumental falsehood that the current process is “people-driven”, merely because the MDC is part of it.
Our disagreements with the political parties that are signatory to the GPA are not without a proffering of alternatives. In March 2009, after the formation of the inclusive government, we had already indicated to the three political parties that the constitutional reform process should be overseen by an independent commission, headed preferably by a judge or such other neutral person, involving all of the political parties, civil society, farmers, business, women’s groups, students and citizens in the Diaspora.
We had also indicated that this inclusive government can only be viewed as a transitional government established to stabilise the national economy, ensure there is the facilitation of a people driven constitutional reform process, and thereafter the conducting of free, fair, democratic elections in terms of the new constitution.
As far as we can judge, the inclusive government, a year after it has been formed, is more pre-occupied with the retention of power. It has abandoned its “transitional nature” and wants to serve a full five-year term to 2013. It believes all the people of this country are so gullible that they cannot read this intention by this family of politicians who have now “found each other” and want to remain together for as long as possible. There is no longer the desire to serve the people.
Having said all of this, we must indicate that we are aware of the particular realities each and every citizen of this country faces. The high cost of living, the unaffordable health care, the low civil service salaries, the consistently poor state of our education system despite remaining unaffordable, the prohibitive costs of higher education and the lack of access to food, transport and power are issues that cannot be glossed over by making unrealistic promises as the inclusive government keeps doing.
Indeed, it is true that the work done by the inclusive government thus far has brought some stability to our economy. However, we reject the notion being popularised by the inclusive government that by bringing economic stability, it has also bought for itself immunity from criticism.
We are told that Zimbabweans must glorify the adage that “half a loaf is better than nothing,” even as they are getting “half a piece”. Zimbabweans are no longer expected to demand substantively decent livelihoods. In short, because we have an inclusive government that has brought some economic stability, we should cease to aspire to be a democracy!
We are aware that the so-called COPAC [Constitutional Parliamentary Committee] has still not undertaken any outreach. It has no intention to do so before acquiring huge resources (money and property) that will find their way to the pockets of individual politicians. This is why the leaders of COPAC claim that US$21 million of Western taxpayers’ money is not enough for their outreach!
We note, in particular, that both Zanu PF and MDC do not want the people to air their genuine views on a new constitution. Zanu PF is forcing the people to accept the Kariba Draft. The MDC is cheating its supporters into blindly supporting a document authored by its leadership and falsely entitled “MDC Position on the Constitution.” Its correct name is “Harvest House Draft.”
The new constitution coming out of COPAC will be a compromise between the Kariba and Harvest House Draft. We urge all Zimbabwean citizens to question the political parties as to their blatant partisanship in the writing of our national constitution. We will reject the compromise of Kariba/Harvest House Draft because it will be a defective document not representing the interest of our country.
Zimbabweans will vote NO to the draft constitution that comes out of such a flawed process. And in voting no, it is not as though we do not want a new democratic constitution, We want to write it ourselves: “We, the people shall write our own constitution.”
Comrades, colleagues and friends, the NCA is aware of the seemingly insurmountable challenges that face the struggle for a democratic and people-driven constitution. Some of these challenges include the violent political culture of Zanu PF, the resistance by the MDC leadership to embrace our struggle with honesty, and the decisions by the donor community not to support our particular struggle regardless of its correctness.
It is imperative that in the face of these challenges we do not allow ourselves to despair on the basis of those that seek to refuse Zimbabweans the right to make their own history, a history that like progressive histories in the world, does not have to suit the whims of experts, donors or those that claim to be more Zimbabwean or more popular than others.
It is a history that is premised on the consciousness that we are the people of Zimbabwe, we have fought the liberation war, fought the dictatorship of the de facto one party state under Zanu PF, and we voted ‘no’ in 2000 to a flawed constitutional reform process.
Our struggle for a new, democratic and people-driven constitution is at the heart of our pursuit of a Zimbabwe that is democratic, united and prosperous. To this struggle, we are fully committed.
We urge all Zimbabweans to remain focused on the appropriate destiny of our nation. The NCA will continue to provide the leadership and direction required until the attainment of a genuinely new, democratic and people-driven constitution.
Dr Lovemore Madhuku is the chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly
by Nelson Banya
Interview: debate on indigenisation
Part 2: Debate on indigenisation
ZIMBABWE is pressing ahead with plans to transfer control of foreign firms to local ownership despite objections that the policy would hurt the country's economic recovery, a minister said on Friday.
President Robert Mugabe's government in 2007 passed an indigenisation and economic empowerment law, before he formed a power-sharing administration with rival Morgan Tsvangirai last year, seeking to localise control of foreign firms.
Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere earlier this month directed all firms to provide details of their indigenisation plans, starting March 1, in a move that has split the unity government.
Tsvangirai, now prime minister, said the directive was "null and void" as it was done without consultations in cabinet.
But Kasukuwere told a business conference in Bulawayo that the government was moving ahead with the law, although firms that failed to submit their empowerment proposals within 45 days from March 1 would be given more time to do so.
"The debate around indigenisation is dead. We are not about to re-open the debate. It is law now," Kasukuwere said.
"There is a lot of emotionalism flying around. People who have not read the regulations are being emotional about them. We are not about to destroy the economy, far from it."
Kasukuwere said foreign investors were still welcome to invest in the country, but needed to have local partners.
"We recognise the role of foreign direct investment we need to delicately balance the two (with local participation), so we can succeed together," Kasukuwere said.
"There is no nationalisation, no seizure, there's no free-lunching. Government supports fair pricing."
He added that in implementing the empowerment law, government would consider firms' investments in technology, skills and social developments in the areas they operate.
"We will be looking at how we can treat the different sectors and considering what you have done in terms of technology transfer, skills development and social investment." - Reuters
Friday, February 26, 2010
South African President Jacob Zuma has said he will take on Britain over the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe because the embargo is "suffocating" the inclusive Government. President Zuma is expected in the United Kingdom for a state visit next week.
In an interview with the Financial Times in Pretoria on Wednesday, President Zuma questioned the motive of the illegal sanctions, saying they had not achieved anything for Zimbabweans.
"What have sanctions done to help the situation? Zanu-PF says (it is) in a Cabinet of this unity government. But part of the Cabinet can go anywhere in the world for their work and part (the Zanu-PF members) can’t go out of the country. This unity government is being suffocated. It is not being allowed to do its job by the big countries," he said.
President Zuma accused partners in the inclusive Government, formed in February last year after the Global Political Agree-ment between Zanu-PF and the MDC formations, of using the sanctions against each other ahead of a possible election.
Under the agreement, parties to the GPA agreed to hold elections after the crafting of a new constitution for Zimbabwe.
"Suppose somebody in Zimbabwe is using these issues to maintain tension until elections. You are playing into the hands of such a person," Mr Zuma said.
The Sadc-appointed facilitator challenged Western nations to prove what the illegal sanctions had achieved in Zimbabwe.
He said Zimbabwe was at risk before South Africa moved in to assist.
"South Africa has been one of the major players that actually pulled Zimbabwe back from getting into a disaster."
President Zuma said Europe and the United States had, in contrast, continued with sanctions as if no agreement had been made.
"If we were in the shoes of the big countries, I would have said ‘here is an agreement, we are in support of this agreement and lifting sanctions, even conditionally, even for six months to a year, give a chance for this agreement’ (to work)," he said.
The South African president last week blasted the extension of the illegal sanctions at a time when the inclusive Government was celebrating its first anniversary.
The European Union and the United States, at the behest of Britain, slapped Zimbabwe with economic sanctions following the implementation of the fast-track land resettlement programme as part of the agrarian reforms.
The EU recently extended the sanctions by another year, citing what it called "lack of progress in the implementation" of the GPA.
However, President Mugabe has urged Zimbabweans to ignore the latest EU move calling for the country to fully utilise its vast natural resources.
Harare municipality workers’ bid to stop the implementation of a joint venture between their employer and a local company over the management of par-kades and parking lots hit a snag on Monday after the High Court dismissed their urgent chamber application.
The workers are up in arms with their employer for entering into an agreement with Easipark (Private) Limited and filed an application for an interdict arguing that the deal would render them jobless.
Justice Felistus Chatukuta ruled that the application was not urgent and the matter should be dealt with under the Labour Act.
In their failed application, the workers had argued that last year council signed an agreement with Easipark to take over control of municipal parking lots without consulting employees who man the premises.
They wanted an order compelling council to retain all employees in the parkades section in their positions.
In addition to this, the workers sought an order for Easipark to cease all operations at car parks and remove all its employees already seconded there.
They argued that the joint venture meant Easipark staff would take over their jobs and some council supervisors had since lost their offices.
Government has decentralised follow-up treatment for people on anti retroviral drugs to ensure easy access.
HIV and TB Unit head in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare Dr Owen Mugurungi said initiation of new patients on ART would remain within hospitals but clinics and other health centres would be capacitated to provide the drugs.
Speaking at a National HIV Partnership forum meeting yesterday Dr Mugurungi said Government took the initiative to spread the ART programme.
He said the move would also limit time spent by patients waiting to get their monthly doses.
"We have decentralised collection of monthly anti-retroviral drugs doses to make sure treatment is nearer to our patients. Patients who are now stable can thus access the drugs at centres close to them.
"As Government we are focusing on training our health workers on providing and monitoring patients on ART so that our patients can not only access the drugs but minimise transport costs and time spent queuing for the drugs," he said.
Dr Mugurungi said Government would strengthen mentorship of health workers to ensure quality retention during the programme.
He said the ministry had established 41 sites around Zimbabwe to monitor signs of drug resistance.
"As we decentralise we have put in place 41 sites that will act as early warning systems for drug resistance.
"They will specifically look for those who are being initiated on ARVs but are not returning to collect their monthly doses and areas were the drugs are always out of stock.
"This data will be used to come up with a mechanism that prevents possible cases of drug resistance," he said.
On the latest World Health Organisation guidelines for initiating patients on ARV, Dr Mugurungi said the implementation of the measure depended on the support of its partners.
Zimbabwe currently has more than 200 000 patients on ARVs and is targeting to put 250 000 on treatment before the end of 2011.
CAN any one mental snapshot summarise the Zimbabwean tourism experience and help a tourist outside Zimbabwe know where to get what without any complexities?
At least 110 000 elephant roam wild and free, thousands of lions also roam wild and free where they hunt their prey in a perfect theatre of the jungle, while on the rivers the hippos moo and crocodiles snap their jaws to catch their prey.in a sudden sluggishness.
Elsewhere hunters go for their best trophy, tourists visit gothic ancient cities while others explore the balancing rocks and other geomorphological products.
Human beings have built their business empires around the splendour and grandeur of the country’s vast swathes of geomorphology, flora and fauna.
For these businesses to thrive they must attract tourists from the length and breath of the planet to come and see what nature’s exhaustless generosity has bestowed upon Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe is truly a tourist destination without peer, from the rolling moorlands to craggy mountains, verdant parks, a wilderness teeming with wildlife, cascading and plunging waterfalls, modern hotels, hunting escapades, canoeing, fishing and ancient ruins, among other tapestries.
Being endowed with all the attractions that makes it one of the most attractive tourist destinations, from Victoria Falls to Mana Pools, Gonarezhou, Eastern Highlands, Matopos, Vumba, Great Zimbabwe and Harare itself, Zimbabwe has been let down by a disjointed approach to tourism marketing, promotion and development.
There is no one-stop shop to tell a tourist who is who and where is what?
This week, though, there has been a development that should bolster Zimbabwe’s tourism marketing matrix and this is the compilation of the country’s print and on-line who is who, the Zimbabwe Tourism Directory.
The Zimbabwe Business Directory has come up with a project to produce a unique directory, the first ever tourism directory in Zimbabwe designed in a non-traditional A-Z format.
After a decade of economic hardships, general business decline and loss of traditional tourism markets, the directory is going to be a handy tool that should at once show the tourist who is who and what is where in the tourism industry.
Zim business development executive Mr George Musanhu, author of The Zimbabwe Travel Bible; Best Places to See, is behind the project that will be printed and distributed for free by May 2010 to coincide with the World Cup soccer extravaganza slated for South Africa.
"The idea is to bring all tourism stakeholders under one roof and confirm all stakeholders’ addresses and phone numbers that have changed over the years. But we will bring order in the market by only listing stakeholders who are registered by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.
"Some businesses are now using cell phones and e-mail addresses that never existed before.
"We are creating a ground-breaking, easy-to-use directory with unique format and layout,’’ says Mr Musanhu.
To internationalise the directory the format is made in line with European and South African standards so that it provides the platform where potential travellers may come to one web site and get all the information on Zimbabwe and its tourism offerings.
There will be several categories such as accommodation, eating out, Travelling, diplomatic missions, financial institutions, beauty lifestyle and related maps so that one does not get lost.
Tourism stakeholders with websites can link their on-line sites to the directory for easy reference while those without will have a page dedicated on the on-line directory where they can put comprehensive information about themselves.
There will also be provision for updating information upon change of premises and phones so that the details remain correct.
What makes the directory handy and convenient is that tourists can phone, e-mail or visit the directory website and access all of Zimbabwe’s registered tourism companies.
This is by far the greatest opportunity for Zimbabwe to give out information of all its tourism stakeholders under one roof or one engine. The industry might not have any other opportunity to develop a directory that is so comprehensive.
The tourism product is there in the form of all the attractions we have but the product can only be marketed through a holistic approach. The tourism directory is the way. Let us go for it.
lFeedback:isadore.guvamombe *** zimpapers.co.zw
The African Development Bank said it is willing to give financial aid to Zimbabwe given the improvement noted in areas such as agriculture, tourism and mining since the implementation of the Short-Term Emergency Recovery Programme (STERP).
This came after a 14-member delegation from the AfDB met Finance Minister Tendai Biti in Harare yesterday to discuss debt reduction strategies and other ways of assisting Zimbabwe’s economic recovery.
Addressing a press conference in Harare, AfDB representative Mr Hassan Kadir said his organisation was willing to help Zimbabwe.
Mr Kadir said he expected a significant improvement in agriculture, mining and tourism this year given the reflections on economic performance on the ground.
"We are happy about the new initiatives on the political front especially in the constitutional area, although there are still some divided opinions. People in Zimbabwe must start feeling a difference in their way of life and anticipate a rise in employment opportunities from AfDB’s full fledged financial support," said Mr Hassan.
AfDB would engage Zimbabwe on its core areas of reconstruction and infrastructural development.
Speaking at the same occasion Mr Biti said he had briefed AfDB on problems affecting the fiscal system in Zimbabwe.
He said the absence of fiscal space was a critical problem that needed attention.
"65 percent of our revenue goes to wages and this means we are left with no fiscal space," he said.
He also said there was need for AfDB to assist Zimbabwe through lines of credit to induce liquidity in the market.
By Golden Sibanda
THE Chief Executives’ Roundtable 2010 conference, which had an impressive turnout, has come and gone, but the forum served its purpose as it got Zimbabweans thinking about their individual and collective roles in turning around the country’s economic fortunes.
Delegates at the event were so engrossed in the proceedings at the conference such that each time a presenter stopped talking there was chilling silence that one could hear a pin drop and that explains how much people did not want to miss even a bit of the presentations.
Expectations were always going to be high that a business-networking event of that magnitude would produce pointers on the route the economic reconstruction efforts should take, and with active participation of Government and the private sector. The event ran under the theme "Towards Double-Digit Growth, Transformational Leadership, and Growth Strategies for Companies".
Vice President Joice Mujuru, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Elton Mangoma also attended the event.
The guest of honour was Dr Linda Yi-chuang Yueh, the China Growth Centre director based at the Oxford University and also a visiting professor at the London Business School.
Dr Yueh is a member of the "Business Thinkers 50" and she is regarded as one of the most knowledgeable economic experts of this era across the world.
It is instructive to note that most, if not all, presenters at this year’s edition of the CEOs’ Roundtable pointed out the fact that effective solutions to solving the country’s decade-long economic puzzle should be those that are developed by locals.
Vice President Mujuru aptly summed this view when she said: "We need to look inside ourselves for solutions to our problems."
Many a time developing countries have turned to Western countries and multilateral institutions such as the International Monetary Fund for advice on how to deal with their economic problems. Some such external prescriptions, in many instances, have had disastrous effects on the recipient countries, as the proposed solutions did not recognise the peculiar circumstances of these countries.
The call for largely domestic solutions to the country’s economic problems was also echoed by Minister Mangoma and Afrosoft chief executive Engineer John Mberi. Delegates were also unanimous that the growth of an economy was not automatic, but a considered decision that the country needed to take to achieve the objective.
"We need to move from prediction of growth to creators of growth, a decision we make," said Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara.
Minister Mangoma concurred, saying: "Growth is a mindset, a decision we make to grow with jobs, indigenisation, freedom and democracy."
KM Financial Solutions (organisers of the event) chief executive Mr Kennias Mafukidze noted this requirement when he said: "Growth is a decision that has to be made, it does not just happen."
There were also important lessons from China.
"Crises must never go to waste, but (a nation) must learn from them," said Dr Yueh.
She said China’s double-digit economic growth of the last 30 years was a result of a conscious decision to open up the economy in 1979. China encouraged joint ventures with local firms for technology transfer and investment approval was given mostly to foreign companies that had a reputable history in their areas of specialisation.
It also emerged that despite China not having clearcut legal and institutional structures, its respect for the interests of foreign investors and property rights were key to attracting external capital.
A major highlight of Dr Yueh’s speech was her point that no country can successfully industrialise without first developing its agriculture.
It was also clear that Government must play an active role in capacitating rural farmers so they can produce more. In addition, just like China, Zimbabwe needed to emphasise on joint ventures to encourage technological and skills transfer.
The meeting also noted that hyperinflationary conditions had been wiped off with the adoption of the multicurrency system, creating a favourable platform for sustainable growth.
At a time Government is short on financial resources, delegates at the conference rightly noted that the private sector must be the engine for the ongoing economic recovery efforts.
The operational environment had improved, creating conditions for businesses to grow.
The conference heard that opportunities were abundant to pursue public-private partnerships, an avenue that had not been explored for a long time. Some investors have been sceptical about taking huge investment decisions, citing political uncertainty yet this is the time to invest considering the many opportunities and low investment costs.
Vice President Mujuru concurred that Zimbabwe required visionary leadership for inspiration and bold risk takers to take the nation forward.
From the diverse contributions made at the conference, it became clear that there is need for Zimbabwe as a country to remain in dialogue on the way forward so that it does not lose direction.
KMFS noted this from the outset, pointing out that Zimbabwe’s economy stabilised and started to stagger towards growth only when its leadership began to read from the same script. The economy was projected to grow by about 4,7 percent last year and by at least 7 percent this year.
However, the conference noted that the country had the natural and human resources to surpass the growth projections for this year.
This view stems from realisation that China’s success story of the last three decades was enabled by the fact that it was coming from a low base and opportunities for growth were unlimited.
China managed double-digit economic growth rates over the last three decades, but this did not mean the process was without challenges.
Friday, February 26, 2010, 8:01
THE Bank of Zambia (BoZ) has said the recent changes in the administration set-up of Finance Bank will not negatively affect the bank’s financial standing in any way. BoZ Govenor Caleb Fundanga said the central bank was closely following the happenings at Finance Bank and had not noted any problems.
He also said the investigations by the Drug Enforcement Commission at Finsbury Park, a shareholder in Finance Bank Zambia, would not in any way affect the bank.
Speaking at a Press briefing in Lusaka yesterday, Dr Fundanga said Finance Bank was an independent legal entity and the investigations at Finsbury would not in any way affect the financial institution.
“Any action at Finsbury should not be seen to affect Finance Bank and, in fact, Finsbury has reduced its shareholding to 10 per cent from 25 per cent and the 15 per cent shares will be sold to an acceptable buyer,” Dr Fundanga said.
Dr Fundanga said the board changes at the bank were meant to strengthen it and make it stronger.
He said the BoZ was optimistic that Finance Bank would continue to operate without any disturbances.
He said Rajan Mahtani’s stepping down from the board was accepted by the BoZ and that the newly-appointed chairperson Jacob Mwanza was equally competent and credible.
Dr Fundanga said the BoZ would continue to monitoring Finance Bank so that the institution continued to operate within the confines of the law.
The role of BoZ is to supervise and regulate financial institutions in the country and Finance Bank is not an exception.
Dr Fundanga said Finance Bank was an important financial institution in Zambia as it served the remotest parts of the nation.
So far, he said, the assets of the bank were secure and implored the public not to panic about the future of Finance Bank.
And Dr Mwanza said his greatest challenge and responsibility was to broaden the ownership base of the bank.
He said it was the vision of the bank that the ownership encompassed as many Zambians as possible and soon, the shares of the bank would be floated on the Lusaka Stock exchange (LuSE).
Dr Mwanza also said he would ensure that Finance Bank was run professionally and observed the legal framework in the financial sectors.
[Times of Zambia]
By Nyasa Times
Published: February 26, 2010
Malawi has started exporting its tobacco hybrid seeds to Southern African Development Community countries of Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya, senior officials said here Friday.
Director of Agriculture Research in the ministry of agriculture, Ibrahim Phiri, told the local press that the exports would maximise production of quality tobacco in the region.
“This is an effort to ensure that, as a bloc, we offer good quality tobacco,” he said.
He added that the move would also help government to generate foreign exchange earnings.
Recently Malawi introduced new varieties of tobacco which include NC4 and RG630 to its smallholder farmers in order to boost production for the embattled crop.
In a related development, Tobacco Control Commission has warned that it will punish all famers whose tobacco will be mixed other materials to gain weight.
Chief Executive Officer for TCC ,Dr. Bruce Munthali said intermediate buyers –are the worst culprits when it comes to mixing non-tobacco related materials in their tobacco bales.
“This selling season we will mete punitive measures to all cheaters. Of course we know that intermediate buyers are the worst culprits,” said Munthali.
By The Post
Fri 26 Feb. 2010, 08:00 CAT
THERE is a clear division among the chiefs in the Southern Province of our country. There are those like Mwanachingwala whose only discernable political preoccupation is to attack, denounce and discourage whatever the opposition is doing.
Mwanachingwala, and other chiefs like him who support, defend and promote the interests of Rupiah Banda and his friends in government are enjoying a lot of ‘positive’ coverage in the state-owned and government-controlled media.
Then there are chiefs like Bright Nalubamba who attempt to question or criticise decisions and actions of those in government.
These relatively don’t receive much coverage in the state-owned and government-controlled media. When they are covered, it is often in a ‘negative’ manner.
And it would seem anyone who criticises the opposition or opponents of those in power and supports Rupiah and his friends are guaranteed extensive and favourable coverage in the state-owned and government-controlled media.
We have all sorts of nonentities, low-level MMD cadres enjoying extensive media coverage whenever they are called upon to support Rupiah and his friends or to denounce his political opponents.
Despite representing more than four million Zambians, the Catholic Church and its leadership does not enjoy the coverage some petty pastors are accorded by the state-owned media. It is not difficult to understand why this is so.
This is simply because the Catholic Church and its leadership fearlessly question those in government on their decisions and actions that affect the poor.
This is a church whose leadership sees the joys and hopes, the sorrows and anxieties of the women and men of our time, especially those who are poor or afflicted in any way, as its joys and hopes, sorrows and anxieties.
It is very clear that to agree with everything Rupiah and his friends say or do is divine, but to disagree or question what they are saying or doing is a crime.
And those who try to criticise or to question what they are doing are intimidated in all sorts of ways. Everyone must belong to them, must support what they are saying or doing or risk being condemned.
They see everyone who questions or criticises what they say or do as an enemy. In their evil minds all citizens must think and act the same way.
Political pluralism and a multi-party dispensation to them means nothing; it is something that must be crushed because it breeds enemies for them.
And this is much more so for Rupiah whose party, UNIP, was opposed to political pluralism and the promotion of divergent views.
It seems to them the vanguard mentality is still very strong in their political outlook and practices.
This is why a person like William Banda, Rupiah’s vigilante can publicly threaten to kill anybody he believes is insulting the late Levy Mwanawasa.
This is a democracy and people have the right to hold their own views on Levy. And moreover William is lying because his friends in Rupiah’s MMD have been insulting Levy in so many ways; they have alleged that he was a liar and a vindictive person in regard to their corruption cases.
Chiefs are not there to protect government from critics. They are meant to protect people from government, and not government from people. If criticism is valid, it must be made.
We say this because democracies make several assumptions about human nature. One is that, given the chance, people are generally capable of governing themselves in a manner that is fair and free.
Another is that any society comprises a great diversity of interests and individuals who deserve to have their voices heard and their views respected.
As a result, one thing is true of all healthy democracies: they are noisy.
And the voices of democracy are not only of those in power, their cadres and supporters. The voices of democracy include those of the government, its political supporters and opposition, of course.
But they are joined by the voices of traditional rulers and their indunas, the labour movement, non-governmental organisations, organised interest groups, community associations, religious leaders, business people and their chambers, writers, scholars, the media and other critics of all shades and stripes.
All these individuals and groups should be free to raise their voices and participate in the democratic political process of their country in the way they deem fit and within the constitutional setup.
In this way, democratic politics will act as a filter through which the vocal demands of a diverse populace will pass on the way to becoming public policy.
As former United States president Jimmy Carter once observed, “The experience of democracy is like the experience of life itself – always changing, infinite in its variety, sometimes turbulent and all the more valuable for having been tested by diversity.”
This is why democracy is a system founded on the deeply held belief that government is best when its potential for abuse is curbed, and when it is held as close to the people as possible.
This is why the exercise of power must be the constant practice of self-limitation and modesty. You don’t lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership.
The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people. We say this because hot heads and cold hearts never solved anything.
A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of credit. This business of seeking and expecting praise and all sorts of exaltations from everyone when all one does is evil won’t do.
It’s not possible for people to respect and praise politicians who every day wrong them, abuse them, steal from them and perpetrate all sorts of injustices against them.
That’s why today those who go on television praising Rupiah and his friends and denouncing their political opponents are only mercenaries who they have hired or have hired themselves out for monetary and other gains.
There can be no doubt, of course, that criticism is good for people and institutions that are part of public life.
And criticism of public servants, of representatives of the people, of those running the affairs of government should never be turned into a crime.
No institution – judiciary, legislature, the presidency, whatever – should expect to be free from the scrutiny, from the criticism of those who pay taxes to keep it going, of those who give it their loyalty and support, not to mention those who don’t.
This is why we have repeatedly stated that acceptance of criticism implies the highest respect for the human ideal, and that its denial suggests a conscious or unconscious lack of humanity on our part.
There is no reason for us to be stuck in this culture of zealous worship of political leaders, a culture which would look primitive even in the eyes of our ancestors who never hesitated to criticise their chiefs.
History tells us that the greatest epochs in mankind’s weary journey are characterised, not by subjugation of the critic but of his tolerance.
What is distinctly lacking among our politicians, especially those in government, and their supporters is a culture of respect, tolerance and humility which places the humanity of others before self and accepts that all citizens have a right to participate in the shaping of their destiny directly without fear of reprisal.
Tolerance and respect for our fellow citizens allows our critics to express their opinion about our views and actions without inhibition, whether these seem to be palatable or not.
At the same time, we expect the same treatment or privilege when our turn comes. This is not something we achieve instinctively.
Rather, we develop it consciously and respectfully. For, our very instincts would drive us to throttling our opponents in argument, or, better still, smack them with a deadly blow.
Clearly, all this fear about criticism is caused by one thing: fear of being undermined politically and otherwise by honest criticism.
Honest politicians have no reason to fear criticism because the truth is on their side, and the basic masses of our people are on their side. Conscientious practice of criticism and self-criticism is the hallmark that distinguishes honest politicians from dishonest ones.
As we say, dust will accumulate if a room is not cleaned regularly, our faces will get dirty if they are not washed regularly. Our leaders’ minds may also collect dust, and also need sweeping and washing.
The proverb “Running water is never stale and a door-hinge is never worm-eaten” means that constant motion prevents the inroads of germs and other organisms.
To check up regularly on our work and in the process develop a democratic style of work, to fear neither criticism nor self-criticism, and to apply such good maxims as “Say all you know and say it without reserve”, “Blame not the speaker but be warned by his words” and “Correct mistakes if you have omitted them and guard against them if you have not” – this is the only way to prevent all kinds of political dust and germs from contaminating the minds of our leaders and the operations of our government.
The advice being given by senior chief Nalubamba should not be allowed to fall on deaf ears. Truly, Nalubamba is right when he says, “The failure by government to listen to criticism will render them useless grey politicians. This government’s only darling is appeasement; what a way to run a state!”
By Moses Kuwema
Fri 26 Feb. 2010, 06:50 CAT
SENIOR chief Bright Nalubamba of the Ila people of Namwala district has said failure by government leaders to listen to criticism would render them useless grey politicians.
Reacting to Southern Province minister Daniel Munkombwe's statement that he was pushing the government too far with his continued attacks on President Rupiah Banda and government, chief Nalubamba wondered why the government always took offence at criticism.
“If Munkombwe was elected or nominated to victimise and endanger his critics and not to govern the state, I am available to be his victim,” chief Nalubamba said.
“This government's only darling is appeasement. What a way to run a state! In 2008 when we went out of our way to support the candidature of Rupiah Banda, nobody threatened our lives then and when 15 chiefs went out of their way to denounce the PF-UPND Pact, they became credible candidates for brown envelopes.
“Is this the multi-party democracy Zambians fought so hard for, where it is criminal and dangerous to support the opposition that is supposed to be a government in waiting in a better run constitutional multi-party democratic dispensation?” Chief Nalubamba wondered.
Chief Nalubamba vowed that he was ready to put his life in danger in order to defend the poor and the truth.
“When governance is poor and corrupt, I and the poor suffer more than the bad and corrupt governance. My criticism is a monumental effort to persuade the Bandas President Banda and Munkombwe to do the right things during their terms as governors of this country so that as they went in their glory they can come out like Mandela, Kaunda and Nyerere,” he said.
Chief Nalubamba wondered what danger Munkobwe saw in criticism of any government.
“Are they planning to kill me because of my divergent views? God forgive them for they don't know that in criticism, rather than appeasement, lies fundamental aspects for good governance and development,” said chief Nalubamba.
“Appeasement is a liability or folly that ultimately makes your friend a greatest enemy soon, Rupiah Banda and Munkombwe will know who their greatest enemy is, the appeaser of open critic.”