In Brazil, farmworkers get murdered. In Washington, the government leaves workers at risk. In West Virginia, workers accept dying. To end the danger, workers need a level playing field -- which geonomics delivers. We trim, blend, and append three 2010 articles from: (1) BBC, Apr 2, on Brazil; (2) Associated Press, Apr 2, on Washington state by George Tibbits; and (3) Reuters, Apr 6, by Joe Rauch.
Reaping Rents Causes Deaths
by BBC, by George Tibbits, and by Joe Rauch
Land activist killed in Brazilian Amazon
A Brazilian land reform activist has been killed in the Amazon state of Para amid ongoing land disputes in the area.
Two men on motorbikes shot Pedro Alcantara de Souza, leader of a union of landless farmers in Para, five times in the head as he was riding a bicycle.
He had led the occupations of large farms by peasants and had previously served for 14 years as the city councilor of Rendencao.
American nun Dorothy Stang was killed in the same region in 2005. Mr Souza was shot just hours after the trial was delayed of the landowner accused of ordering the murder of Dorothy Stang, 73.
Vitalmiro Bastos Moura was originally convicted for the killing in 2007. The verdict was overturned a year later, but he is now due to face a third trial.
There were 20 documented killings in 2008 linked to land issues in the Amazon.
Nearly half the arable land in Brazil belongs to just 1% of the population.
Brazil's agrarian reform laws state that unused farmland can be taken by the government and distributed among landless farmers.
JJS: Instead of nationals squatting or confiscating, other nations successfully broke up huge plantations by taxing land. Owners paid the land rent, sold off their excess, former tenants became family farmers, the societies prospered (e.g., Taiwan), and nobody got shot. Brazil might try what works, a version of geonomics.
Labels: BRAZIL, LAND REFORM, LAND RIGHTS
Zimbabwe diaspora should fight against sanctions
By: Dambudzo Mapuranga
Posted: Friday, April 23, 2010 11:53 am
THE Zimbabwe Diaspora Community has been calling for three things as Zimbabwe moves towards a new Constitution. The community wants the new constitution to give them voting rights, dual citizenship and non-resident Members of Parliament.
While figures vary it is estimated that there are about 4,5 million Zimbabweans across the globe and the majority of them are in South Africa and the United Kingdom. These individuals have made a significant impact on the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans back home not only as they contribute economically through remittances but also the gap they have left has cataclysmically affected the country socially and politically.
The chief reason Zimbabwe’s Diaspora puts forward for wanting voting rights, dual citizenship and non-resident Members of Parliament is that the Diaspora as a collective is an economic powerhouse.
According to Gilbert Muponda of the ENG debacle the Zimbabwe Diaspora is a source of permanent cash to Zimbabwe and as such deserves to have a say on how the country is run.
The major thorn to the Diaspora rose is that the community is not organized and as such cannot speak with one voice. There are two types of Zimbabweans in this community – the academics, those who left to further their education and the majority is made up of those who left for economic reasons.
Article continues below
There are however those who argue that there is a third group made up of those who left for political reasons. When truly analysed, this third group really consists of individuals who have used politics as a means to gain access to the West but their chief reason for leaving Zimbabwe is economic. There are of course those like Gilbert Muponda who claim political persecution from the Government all the while being criminals who should come back to Zimbabwe and face the music.
Voices from the Diaspora
It has become fashionable for many in the Diaspora to claim the only way they will come back to Zimbabwe or invest in their mother country is when President Robert Mugabe has been removed from power.
The question that then begs to be asked is “Exactly whom do they expect to do their bidding?” Zimbabwe’s current population is estimated to be around 13 million and the Diaspora is just but a quarter of this. Can it then be safely assumed that this one-quarter of the population regards itself superior to the majority who have remained in Zimbabwe and borne the brunt of the economic and political on slaughter of the West?
Would it not have been more prudent for the Diaspora to actually show it patriotism by standing together with Zimbabwe against this onslaught and yet many within the Diaspora have taken advantage of this situation to personally benefit on the backs of the suffering of the majority back home.
There are those within the Diaspora who claim because they have brought properties this should translate into dual citizenship and voting rights. They claim these properties for which they pay taxes and other related rates serve to develop the social infrastructure.
If they really had any touch with reality they would know that such trivialities have no major impact on Zimbabwe’s economy as a whole. What they have done is make a personal investment from which they expect to get a return sooner or later and like any investor this does not warrant them getting dual citizenship or voting rights. The next step from this would be giving every investor in every sector of or economy citizenship and voting rights because they are contributing something to Zimbabwe.
Does that really sound sensible?
Many in the Diaspora are not doing well. Should not this be time for them to re-evaluate their priorities and return to Zimbabwe?
A significant number of Zimbabweans in South Africa and the United Kingdom are there illegally, some are not certain that their refugee or asylum papers will ever go through and others continue to soldier on waiting for the day that Home Affairs catches up with them and deports them.
The few professionals who have established themselves and those few individuals who have made a killing due to their political connectivity by promising desperate Zimbabweans legal papers are drives of the Zimbabwe Diaspora debate because they have specific goals. Their selfishness feeds on the fears and insecurities of a majority who would be better of in Zimbabwe picking up the pieces and rebuilding their country.
Most Zimbabweans are afraid their fate will be decided by a handful of people far off with no real allegiance to the country, with no real understanding of what the situation on the ground is. Should they have the same rights as the Diaspora just because it represents 7.2% of the Gross Domestic Product? Should they have the same rights as men and women who over the years cheered and pushed for foreign governments to deny us development funds?
Now is the time to look and learn
Instead of just pointing at what other countries have done for their Diaspora communities, it is time Zimbabwe’s Diaspora emulated what other communities have done for their countries.
The Diaspora needs to organize itself so that it not only speaks but acts with one voice. It needs to find balance such that it is reflective of the views of the majority not of a handful of Zimbabweans as has been currently been taking place, where a few individuals form associations creating a façade of membership with the ultimate goal being that of personal enrichment.
The threat of manipulation by political parties runs high and as such there have to be safe guards against the usual individuals who are known to take advantage of events to further their political aspirations.
The Diaspora needs to understand that theirs is a role for the benefit of an entire nation and not for a political party, ethnic group or individual.
The damage caused by the brain drain on Zimbabwe’s social and economic development is hardly offset by the financial transfers made by the Diaspora. What else can the Diaspora do in order to tip the balance in favour of a more positive impact on the country?
Meet the Challenge
It is time that the Zimbabwe Diaspora started putting its money where its mouth is literary and figuratively. Instead of speaking ill of Zimbabwe, let it start showing its patriotism and connection to their fellow countrymen back home.
Let the Diaspora engage policymakers, the private sector and the media across the globe to reverse the negativity that many helped fan with their lies and deceit. Not only will such action separate those who truly have an attachment to Zimbabwe and wish to see its development, but also it will right a wrong that some diasporans committed against their countrymen over the past decade.
Civic society groups in the Diaspora should undertake community-based projects to educate their counterparts on the benefits of standing as a united people who can rise above their differences and protect their country’s image.
As things stand, there are no Zimbabwean-funded civic societies, instead what we have are civic societies who depend on foreign aid and many have become parrots that sing to the tune of their paymasters.
What Zimbabwe needs are independently funded civic groups that effectively advocate Zimbabwe’s development.
For once let us have individuals who instead of petitioning the EU to place punitive measures on Zimbabwe, petition and advocate the EU for a better relationship with Zimbabwe based on mutual respect.
While the Diaspora has been arguing for voting rights and non-resident Members of Parliament they have not put forward a mechanism as to how this community will synchronize its input and that of the majority of Zimbabweans back home. How will the Diaspora support the country and its leadership and take part in policy formulation when many of them have had no real touch with the country except what they tell each other, read on the internet and see in the media?
What real investment can the Diaspora bring to Zimbabwe? It is apparent that with the exception of a few individuals in this community, many are struggling to get by and cannot offer a robust, vibrant and competitive investment.
Zimbabwe’s private sector does not need more micro and small sized enterprises. It needs to move these to the next level and provide an avenue of absorbing its unemployed.
The Diaspora should serve as a catalyst for channelling investment into Zimbabwe on their own right but also through seeking out and facilitating investments by companies. It is important to note that what Zimbabwe needs are investors not donors.
Instead of crying foul over being left out, now is time for the Diaspora to prove that it has direction and is not a fragmented grouping lead by dubious individuals whose primary goal is to see the continued on slaughter of Zimbabwe so as to remain relevant politically and economically.
Dambudzo Mapuranga writes from the United States. He can be reached via mapurangad *** yahoo.com
Labels: DIASPORA, SANCTIONS, ZDERA
Neoliberalism, Corporatism And Food Safety
Here are a couple of documentaries that are required viewing for anyone who is still under the misconceptiont that attracting Foreign Direct Investment and creating Multi-Functional Economic Zones (MFEZ's) should be government policy, instead of protecting and funding domestic producers and growers.
First, Life And Debt
, the great documentary by Stephanie Black, which has so many echoes of the effect of these policies on Zambia. Especially Part VI shows how what happened with the "Free Trade Zones" (MFEZ's), the exploitation of labour and the eventual importation of Chinese workers) is a direct echo of what happened in Jamaica.
Life and Debt Part I
Life and Debt Part II
Life and Debt Part III
Life and Debt Part IV
Life and Debt Part V
Life and Debt Part VI (4:48 - 'free zones'; for Schweitzer & Associates)
Life and Debt Part VII
Life and Debt Part VIII
Next, there is the documentary FOOD INC. This shows the effect of factory farming (which you could call 'farming for the factory' rather than the consumer) and the continued concentration of wealth and power in the hands of fewer and fewer corporations not only on the quality of food, but on our collective quality of life. When all a company thinks of is maximizing profits, it starts to grow corn and potatoes and chickens and beef so they can fit their machines. They are not trying to produce a higher quality product by any means.
This dehumanizes both the consumer and disrespects the life of the plants and animals, and in the end leads to the early demise of everyone involved. With a short contribution from the great Joel Salatin and his Polyface Farm.
Food Inc Part 1 of 10
Food Inc Part 2 of 10
Food Inc Part 3 of 10
Food Inc Part 4 of 10
Food Inc Part 5 of 10
Food Inc Part 6 of 10
Food Inc Part 7 of 10
Food Inc Part 8 of 10
Food Inc Part 9 of 10
Labels: CORPORATIONS, FOOD INC, JOEL SALATIN, LIFE AND DEBT, NEOCOLONIALISM, NEOLIBERALISM
Violence erupts at MDC HQ in power struggle
by Staff Reporter
VIOLENCE has rocked the Movement for Democratic Change in an apparent power struggle between party president Morgan Tsvangirai and secretary general Tendai Biti. Toendepi Shonhe, the party’s director general and Biti ally, was brutally assaulted by a group of seven youths loyal to Tsvangirai at the party’s Harare HQ last week.
The youths, now suspended from the party, also seized a vehicle from Shonhe and barred him from the six-storey building on Nelson Mandela Avenue and Angwa Street.
Journalist Frank Chikowore told SW Radio Africa last night that the party’s director of security, Chris Dhlamini, stepped in to rescue Shonhe but was also barred and forced to flee the offices.
An MDC official sympathetic to the violent youths told SW Radio that Shonhe had been assaulted because he “paid MDC structures to ‘vote for fresh ideas’, and campaigned for the SG Biti to take over from president Tsvangirai at the next congress”.
Tsvangirai is Prime Minister in Zimbabwe’s power sharing government, while Biti holds the powerful post of Finance Minister.
The violence comes ahead of the MDC’s congress early next year when elections for senior party positions, including the presidency, will be contested.
In a statement posted on its website Friday, the MDC said its senior leadership “was informed last week of an incident of violence and intimidation that occurred at the party’s headquarters”.
The party added: “The abhorrent incident was perpetrated by members of the MDC youth and represents a gross violation of the founding principles of the party and its dedication to non-violent, democratic struggle.”
The party’s Standing Committee met on Monday this week and “resolved that the alleged perpetrators be immediately suspended from the party and barred from entering Harvest House pending the outcome of an investigation by an independent committee appointed by the leadership,” the statement went on.
It has been known for sometime that the party has two centres of power, with Tsvangirai and Biti leading the factions.
The power struggle first surfaced last year when the party’s Jonathan Chawora-led UK executive, thought to be loyal to Tsvangirai, was forced out by Biti loyalists.
Biti first suspended the Chawora executive citing “extensive bickering and negative application of energy” as well as “shocking financial irregularities”, amid claims it was channelling money directly to Tsvangirai instead of the party’s treasurer.
At one tension-filled meeting, Biti’s young brother, Stanford, was accused of throwing an egg at Chawora.
The MDC, formed in 1999, split in 2005 after some of the party’s founder members accused Tsvangirai of siding with violent youths who attacked MPs and other senior officials, including former secretary general Welshman Ncube, at the same offices.
The officials were angry that after the youths, including a Tsvangirai bodyguard, were expelled by the party’s disciplinary committee, he re-engaged them.
Labels: MDC, MDC VIOLENCE, MORGAN TSVANGIRAI, TENDAI BITI
Gweru anger over mayor's car
by Lunga Sibanda
THE Gweru City Council has responded to worker protests over their outstanding salaries by splashing on a $42,000 car for the mayor. Workers have been paid just 25 percent of their monthly salaries since January
by the cash-strapped local authority.
Two weeks ago, the workers demonstrated outside Town House but their demands were shot down by the council which says it is BROKE.
Council workers will be left fuming this week after mayor Councillor Tedious Chimombe (MDC-T) took delivery of his brand new Toyota Prado, which he immediately took for a spin as he attended the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo.
A council worker said: “Some suburbs like Mkoba have gone for months without water because the council has no capacity to meet the city’s daily water consumption.
“But the council can spend thousands of dollars on new cars for officials who already had very good cars.”
Chimombe on Friday defended the purchase, insisting the car belonged to the council and was not his private property.
He said: “Is it new that councils buy vehicles for use by council officials? The Prado vehicle you are referring to was bought for the mayor to use during council business and it’s not my vehicle as you are saying, it’s a council vehicle for use by the mayor.
“There are in fact two more other trucks that the council recently bought to boost our fleet of vehicle for service delivery.”
Gweru is not the first council to rile residents by buying a top-of-the range vehicle for the mayor.
The Harare City Council splashed US$130,000 on a new Mercedes for ceremonial mayor Muchadeyi Masunda.
In his defence, Masunda claimed he was powerless against the decision of the council. He said he was told "by the people that are responsible for doing these things that there is a resolution that was passed, I don’t know when, that says the mayoral vehicle shall be this type of vehicle.”
Bulawayo followed, paying US$65,000 for a Chrysler 2.0l CRO Dodge Journey for mayor Thaba Moyo (MDC-T).
When challenged by journalists over the “obscene” expenditure, Moyo said: “There is nothing wrong with the council buying this car because, anyway, it is not mine. For ceremonial purposes the car is needed. Stop bothering me with questions.”
Labels: GWERU CITY COUNCIL, MDC CORRUPTION
By The Post Editor
Sat 24 Apr. 2010, 04:00 CAT
“Poor people are helpless against a wicked ruler; he is as dangerous as a growling lion or a prowling bear. A ruler without good sense will be a cruel tyranny…” (Proverbs 28:15-16). This is what we see in Rupiah Banda and his conduct.
The way Rupiah has gone for Fr Frank Bwalya clearly shows a case of “a ruler without good sense” and one who is bound to be a cruel tyrant.
Briefing the press in Kitwe on Tuesday, Rupiah had this to say about Fr Bwalya: “There is that other man who has no children and is called a father and he is not even a Catholic father anymore, he must be told that his red nonsense will take him nowhere and will not be allowed. I’m happy that the people of the Copperbelt have refused to join his madness, the so-called Fr Bwalya.”
Firstly, it is a lie – a very big one for that matter – for Rupiah to say that Fr Bwalya “is not even a Catholic father anymore”. It is a fact that Fr Bwalya is still a Catholic priest and has not been excommunicated in any way. Contrary to Rupiah’s claims, Fr Bwalya is still a “Catholic father” under the Ndola Diocese. And this is something Rupiah could easily check and confirm. Rupiah is telling a lie and does not care about it because defaming ordinary citizens is not an issue for him. As it is said, “you have to hate someone to want to hurt him with lies. Insincere talk brings nothing but ruin” (Proverbs 26:28).
But this is what Rupiah likes doing. He’s not able to take his critics on the basis of the truth and facts. Rupiah’s preferred method is defamation, distortion and fabrication of information. He knows that as President, he cannot be sued for defamation and he uses that as a licence to abuse and defame others. It’s not long ago that Rupiah told lies about us, claiming we have pocketed US$ 30 million from state institutions using Zambian Airways.
To this very day, Rupiah has failed to back his lies. But because Rupiah doesn’t care about other citizens, he has not bothered to clear his lie. Instead he has attempted to cover his original lie with more lies. But as Nelson Mandela once observed, “no matter how hard its adversary – falsehood – may try to overwhelm it, truth refuses to yield”.
Rupiah is free to wage his own fights and attack people if that’s what he wants. That does not bother us. It is telling lies about people that is not acceptable from the person holding the office that Rupiah holds. That kind of carelessness will destroy him and has the potential of destroying the nation.
The desperation that Rupiah is showing in his eyes when he addresses his cadres and tries to whip up support can be a danger to our individual and collective security as citizens of this country.
That sort of desperation can send a signal to lawless elements among his supporters to do things that Rupiah will live to regret. We say this because his incendiary addresses seem to have a subtext which calls people to hatred and violence. Even when he pretends to talk against violence, it is clear he does not mean it. This is the danger that Rupiah is putting the nation in. His language is that of the devil and stinks of sulphur in every aspect.
It is this desperation that makes him lose control whenever he tries to address a meeting without a speech crafted for him by his handlers. Rupiah’s attacks on Fr Bwalya were a senseless, childish and shameful attempt to divert attention from the many very real issues that Fr Bwalya has been raising.
In his desperation to defame Fr Bwalya, Rupiah so lost it that, in what has become characteristic of his government’s behaviour, he launched an unprovoked attack on the whole Catholic Church clergy and its beliefs, especially the celibacy of its priests. What was the purpose of attacking Fr Bwalya’s religious persuasion by referring to him as “a father who has no children”?
Rupiah knows very well that all Catholic priests, including the Holy Father – the Pope, are called fathers. He also knows that this is not referring to them having biological children. But Rupiah chose to poke fun and mock the Catholic Church and its beliefs and practices. This is where his desperation took him. We all know that Rupiah has issues with the Catholic Church and its leadership in this country, but does that call for such a callous and unnecessary frontal attack on innocent people and the core values of this oldest Christian church? This is why we say Rupiah is “a ruler without good sense”.
Rupiah’s desperation even took him to the extent of mocking Fr Bwalya’s physical appearance: “kuyipa pa menso.” Truly, is this what the President should concern himself with? Is he the creator? If Fr Bwalya is ugly as Rupiah claims, is that his issue? Why doesn’t he take God the Creator to task over that? Even truthfully speaking, who is ugly between Rupiah and Fr Bwalya? We ask Rupiah to look at himself in the mirror and compare what he sees with the image of Fr Bwalya. Rupiah not liking Fr Bwalya cannot make this priest ugly. But this is what preoccupies Rupiah’s mind – pettiness, senselessness, narrow-mindedness.
We’ve always been saying that Rupiah has no time to think about deep things and occupy himself with what is important for the future of our people and our country. He’s a superficial fellow, a nyamasoya – not the real thing.
Rupiah does not care about the rights of fellow citizens. We say this because the only reason Fr Bwalya is being insulted and despised is because he has chosen to exercise rights of expression and assembly that are supposed to be protected by our Constitution – a constitution Rupiah has sworn to uphold. Clearly, Rupiah has no respect, not only for his fellow citizens that he was elected to serve, but also for the Constitution which gave him the office he holds.
It is quite true that respect for the rights, the human rights of others implies the highest respect for the human ideal, and that its denial suggests a conscious or unconscious lack of humanity on our part. This type of intolerance that Rupiah is everyday exhibiting must surely rank as one of the worst forms of immorality in human affairs.
What is distinctly lacking in Rupiah’s conduct is a culture of tolerance and humility which places the humanity of others before self and accepting that all citizens, not only those who support him, have a right to participate in shaping their destiny, the destiny of their country directly without fear of reprisal.
To Rupiah, it would seem, meaningful participation in the affairs of this country is only possible if one supports him, exalts him and daily sings praises of him. What Fr Bwalya is doing is totally in tune with the human rights guaranteed him under our Constitution – the freedom of expression and of assembly. Again, as Mandela aptly put it, “to deny any person their human rights is to challenge their very humanity”.
Tolerance and respect for our fellow citizens makes us respect the human rights, their rights of expression and assembly without inhibition, whether what they are saying or doing seems unfavourable or unacceptable to us. This is not something we achieve instinctively.
Rather, we develop it consciously and respectfully. For, our very instinct would drive us to throttling those who are not with us, those who oppose us in argument, or better still, smack them with a deadly blow. This is familiar to all who have seen the manner in which Rupiah has been attacking, despising and denouncing Fr Bwalya and the way he has gone for us.
We should not encourage or condone this narrow-mindedness among our leaders, for no nation can overcome its problems and make progress whose leaders are petty-minded, arrogant, dishonest, corrupt and narrow in thought or action.
As for Rupiah, we can only refer him to the wisdom of the Holy Bible: “if you get more stubborn every time you are corrected, one day you will be crushed and never recover” (Proverbs 29:1); and “the righteous hate the wicked, and the wicked hate the righteous” (Proverbs 29:27).
Labels: FRANK BWALYA, RUPIAH BANDA
Rupiah’s press conference was nauseating – Mulafulafu
By George Chellah
Sat 24 Apr. 2010, 03:40 CAT
CARITAS Zambia executive director Sam Mulafulafu yesterday said President Rupiah Banda’s recent press conference was nauseating, especially in the aspect where he took the opportunity to exalt Frederick Chiluba. Commenting on President Banda’s press conference on Tuesday in Kitwe, Mulafulafu said Chiluba now seemed to be President Banda’s role model and mentor.
“While waiting to watch a more important programme on ZNBC (football match between Barcelona and Inter Milan), Ms Juliana Mwila once again shoved on our throats a weird impromptu press conference held by President Rupiah Banda on the Copperbelt.
I am sure this is one of her tireless efforts to please the appointing authorities whom she hopes will remove the nagging ‘acting’ prefix from her title,” Mulafulafu said.
“To say the least, the Press Conference was nauseating especially in the aspect where President Banda took the opportunity to exalt Mr Chiluba who now seems to be his role model and mentor.
If Mr Banda wants to make Mr Chiluba his official advisor, he should just say so openly rather than struggling to demonstrate that a lot of good came from Mr Chiluba’s government. He should not forget that he is speaking to a nation of mainly adults who experienced the regime of Mr Chiluba for themselves.”
Mulafulafu dismissed President Banda’s claims that Chiluba brought democracy to Zambia.
“Mr Chiluba was invited to a group of advocates for political, social and economic reforms when the worst parts of the battles were already fought and the risks already taken by others.
He came at the time of power sharing and used his leverage as a trade union leader to get to the top of MMD. Mr Chiluba is not a democrat for him to have been a vehicle of democracy. One just has to look at where Zambia is today, politically, to appreciate how much ground has been lost since 1991.
To date, we can only brag about our bad political culture (full of intolerance, political corruption not issue based); we are still grappling with unending constitutional reforms (always hijacked by parochial ruling party interests); media and civil society organisations repressions are on the increase and corrupt elections have become our trade mark,” Mulafulafu said.
“All these have a root in the regime of Mr Chiluba and to date no subsequent successor has taken a bold decision to break this trend. Mr Banda himself together with his colleagues in UNIP were victims of Mr Chiluba’s political repressions.
They were incarcerated for many months in prison on tramped-up Zero Option charges just because Mr Chiluba’s obsession with power made him believe Dr Kaunda and UNIP had a chance of coming back to power. When everything failed, he orchestrated a campaign to see himself take a third term until he was stopped by Zambian citizens.
“He introduced the obnoxious NGO Bill which has now been passed as law to suppress civil society organisations and activities. Trade Unions were among his first victims when he introduced laws that led to the proliferation and split of unions. Today we have a shell of trade unionism with leaders that have betrayed their workers.
What democracy is then Mr Banda talking about that was brought by Mr Chiluba? Unless it is the old folk story of the emperor’s new clothes which only he can see.”
Mulafulafu said the sale of government, parastatal and council houses was a bad decision by Chiluba.
“I am sure this position will be controversial to those very few Zambians whom Mr Chiluba ‘sold’ houses. But if we were to look at this action from the objective point of view, there are more reasons to believe that it was a wrong and bad decision.
It was meant for cheap political popularity for Mr Chiluba and the MMD, which never really worked. This is precisely the mileage that Mr Banda is trying to gain on the Copperbelt over Itawa and Chinese compound houses and it will surely achieve the same result as it did with Mr Chiluba,” Mulafulafu said.
“Today the councils are almost collapsing because they were deprived of their major source of income. Government itself has now a big problem of accommodating its workers. In the face of low wages, one major incentive for government employees that time was availability of accommodation.
Now government workers are being routinely evicted by landlords due to non-payment of rentals. Housing allowance, little as it is, is not guaranteed and civil servants have to dig deep in their pockets from their already under nourished wages to pay rent.”
Mulafulafu said the argument that government or councils were failing to maintain those houses was all flawed.
“The capacity to maintain the houses was supposed to be the focus of intervention, not disposing the assets. The houses could have even been leased to private estate managers. One can go to most residential areas along the line of rail or in districts where these assets were sold and you will notice that most of these houses are either in the same condition or even worse.
Very few have had some value added to them. This is for a simple reason that most of them are now in the hands of retirees with no access to meaningful income. We now have a new generation of workers who are in desperate accommodation need,” Mulafulafu said.
“A more embracing policy on home ownership is what we need where most people could benefit not this paternalistic appeasement of a few people. There is nowhere in the world where municipalities don’t own property.
The so-called sale of houses itself was fraught with corruption and abuse by those in higher echelons of power. So if Mr Banda adores Mr Chiluba, he should keep those feeling to himself instead of irritating the whole nation with his undeserved praise of Mr Chiluba (sic).
Labels: CHILUBA, RUPIAH BANDA, SAM MULAFULAFU
Chiluba, Rupiah pact will be crushed warns Sata
By George Chellah in Lusaka and Chibaula Silwamba in Milanzi
Sat 24 Apr. 2010, 04:00 CAT
PF leader Michael Sata during his meeting with Indunas shortly before he addressed a rally to drum up support for Milanzi Constituency PF parliamentary candidate Albert Banda (in glasses) in Katete on Thursday.
PATRIOTIC Front (PF) leader Michael Sata yesterday vowed to crush President Rupiah Banda and Frederick Chiluba ahead of next year’s general elections. Reacting to Chiluba’s statement that he was losing grip on the politics and now wanted to disturb the government, Sata, who is currently campaigning in Katete, said it was now clear that Chiluba and President Banda were birds of the same feather.
“Chiluba is accusing me of soar grapes. What soar grapes is he talking about? Tell them that I will keep bombarding them terribly wherever I go in this country so much that by the time we reach next year they will just be in shreds and unrecognisable,” he said.
Sata reminded Chiluba to learn from the past defeats he suffered.
“Chiluba has a short memory and he never learns about who Michael Chilufya Sata really is when it comes to politics. In 1995 when I contested as MMD national secretary, he didn’t want me and he tried to frustrate me by sponsoring the candidature of people like Newstead Zimba and others but I crushed him.
In 2001 at Mulungushi, Chiluba again didn’t want me to be MMD national secretary. He wanted Vernon Mwaanga but I defeated him again,” Sata said.
“When I resigned from MMD in August 2001 because of Chiluba’s dishonesty and formed PF, Chiluba used Peter Machungwa and others to form PUDD with the hope of destabilising PF and he went to launch PUDD on the Copperbelt. But what happened? We crushed him and PF became the most popular party on the Copperbelt.
“When we crushed him he came begging to me asking that we should accept Machungwa, Joseph Kasongo, Elizabeth Chitika-Mulobeka and Ernest Mwansa to stand on the PF ticket. Chiluba doesn’t learn, so even the manoeuvres he is making, I will crush him together with his friend Rupiah. Tell them that I will crush them both…the Chiluba and Rupiah pact will be crushed and the consequences will be too ghastly for them to contemplate.”
Sata challenged Chiluba to advise President Banda to call for an early election if he was still questioning the opposition’s popularity.
“If Chiluba thinks I am losing grip, let him incite his friend Rupiah to call for an early election so that he tests my grip. He can also incite those rebel members of parliament to resign so that we go to Luapula for by-elections and see who will come out of Luapula smiling or who has truly lost grip,” Sata said. “Tell Chiluba that contrary to his claims, my grip is firmer than ever before. And we are working and bombarding them with Rupiah everywhere.”
Sata dismissed Chiluba’s claims that he was panicking.
“It’s Chiluba who is panicking because he knows that he has got temporary shelter in Rupiah Banda. He knows that the shelter he is currently enjoying in Rupiah Banda is built on sand and will definitely not withstand the huge political hurricane that is coming next year. So it’s him who is panicking and is so desperate,” Sata said. “He has a skin to save.
No wonder he now wants to go to Luapula to meet their royal highnesses and also to try and make those selfish rebel MPs look useful to the very people they have betrayed. So it’s him who is panicking because he knows that he is standing on sand as far as protection from Rupiah is concerned. Anyway, let’s wait and see…just tell them that.”
On Friday, Chiluba, who spoke through his spokesperson Emmanuel Mwamba to the Times of Zambia, told Sata to stop disorienting President Banda’s pursuit for a forward-looking empowerment policy by suggesting that he was still ruling. He said Sata’s assertions were unjustified and taking the face of sour grapes in view of the strong relations he enjoyed with the President and the bearing they may have on PF.
Chiluba said President Banda had demonstrated his love for the people and urged him to continue, regardless of detractors like Sata who were losing grip on the politics and now wanted to disturb the government.
And Sata told the people of Milanzi on Thursday that President Banda, their own son, had neglected them.
A sizeable crowd of some Milanzi constituents braved heavy rains to listen to Sata’s campaign speech, which he started and ended delivering amid a heavy down pour at Katiula Basic School. Sata refused to shelter himself under an umbrella preferring to be soaked, just like the people attending his rally.
As Sata was about to start his campaign to woo votes for PF candidate Albert Banda ahead of next Thursday’s by-elections, the rains started but people remained steadfast while those that had run away to seek shelter under nearby trees and sheds returned to the rally site after realising that their colleagues, including women with babies strapped on their backs, had remained unmoved by the heavy down pour.
Sata decided to proceed with his address despite the rains intensifying. His aides brought him an umbrella but he refused insisting to be uniform with the crowd.
Without umbrella, Sata and everybody present, including journalists and several elderly men and women aged about 80, were soaked to the bone while some children sought refuge under the vehicles and some elders put chairs on their heads as they listened to the opposition leader, and punctuating his speech with spontaneous ovations.
Sata told the people that President Banda, a native of Eastern Province, had turned his back on them especially on agriculture – the mainstay of the locals.
“The late president Levy Mwanawasa gave you fertiliser. Your own son Rupiah Bwezani Banda amulandani fetelaiza. Mwanawasa, who was not your son gave you eight packs of fertiliser but your own son Rupiah Banda has reduced the packs to four,” Sata said.
“When Rupiah Banda came here in 2008 for Kulamba traditional ceremony of the Chewa people he told people at Chipata airport that ‘don’t vote for foreigners, vote for me your own son. I am your own son’. Now it’s your own son who has neglected you.”
He said President Banda had hijacked the MMD presidency.
“Rupiah Banda did not only dupe you his own people in Eastern Province, he has also duped people who worked hard for the MMD for 19 years. When MMD started, Rupiah Banda was in UNIP and he was telling you that MMD is a party for thieves but in the night he was meeting MMD and when all of you woke up in the morning you found that he is the Vice-President in MMD government.
Today the same person is the President and has hijacked the leadership of MMD. He is a political hijacker, he by passed everybody in MMD,” Sata said. “It’s very sad that people like MMD national chairperson Michael Mabenga are trying to use the Third Term tactics.”
Sata said God favoured the people of Milanzi with abundant rains hence they were annoyed that government did not give them sufficient fertiliser to grow enough food.
Sata bemoaned the lack of a clinic in Katiula ward.
“Mr Rupiah Banda the other day said there are plenty drugs in hospitals but I have not seen a hospital here. Now, if there are plenty drugs in hospitals, why did he go to Cape Town in South Africa with his knee problem for treatment?” Sata asked.
“There are rains but there are no clinics here, when people are sick where do they go? Jesus said, ‘cry for yourself and your children.’ Even here cry for yourselves, don’t blame me if there will be problems in future if you elected MMD. You have to liberate yourselves the way you liberated yourselves from colonialism.”
Sata advised the people to be wary of the alliance between President Banda and Chiluba.
“I built MMD, I was national secretary of MMD but Rupiah Banda had no position in MMD. He was at the farm when we were forming MMD. I left MMD because I saw the crookedness of Frederick Chiluba,” Sata said.
“When you are a small minister or deputy minister, you praise your President but because my brother President Banda doesn’t know what he is doing, he is hiding in Chiluba. Chiluba is not President. He President Banda is not even hiding in his own brother-in-law Kenneth Kaunda. Why is he hiding in Chiluba? Muzibe! You should know!.”
Sata said opposition parliamentarians were better placed to speak for their people and foster development because they had no one to fear when they frankly spoke about things affecting their constituents.
Sata cited former parliamentarians for Chipangali and Kapoche constituencies Lucas Phiri and Charles Banda respectively, who are now PF members, as backbenchers that compelled the government to implement development projects in their constituencies because they were courageous and feared nobody when they were demanding for development of their constituencies in Parliament.
He, therefore, urged Albert Banda to diligently represent the people if elected parliamentarian. Sata warned him against abandoning his constituents.
Earlier, Sata met 18 village headmen from Katiula ward.
Sata, who sat on the dry-grassy football pitch with the village headmen, was told that the area had no clinic, poor road infrastructure, no safe water supply and other social amenities.
Representative of the 18 village headmen, village headman Musamwachale said the local school had just been upgraded to grade eight but did not have desks and teachers’ houses. He said some teachers had to rent houses in the nearby villages.
“Please, when we elect your candidate, he must know that we have these problems here and he must address these problems,” headman Musamwachale said.
He said they had heard a lot from their colleagues about PF and they were glad to meet Sata in person.
“We are very happy to see you,” said headman Musamwachale as his colleagues unanimously agreed with him.
Katiula is situated about 16 kilometres off Mozambique road.
Labels: BY-ELECTIONS, CHILUBA, KATETE, RUPIAH BANDA, SATA
IMF gives gloomy picture of Africa’s financial sector
By Mutale Kapekele in Washington DC
Fri 23 Apr. 2010, 17:40 CAT
THE financial sector in many African countries has remained shallow and vulnerable, the International Monitory Fund (IMF) has observed.
Briefing the press on the regional economic outlook for sub-Saharan Africa, IMF African department director Antoinette Sayeh said in most countries on the continent, the banking sector served only a small proportion of the population and non-bank financial institutions were weak with low supervisory capacity.
Sayeh said there was an urgent need for regulatory capacity to catch up with the increasing depth and breadth of financial sector activities.
“Non-performing loans in the banking sector in Africa have increased in a number of countries in the region, constraining the availability of credit and with a potential to affect public sector balance sheets,” Sayeh said.
“The exceptionally rapid expansion of bank credit to the private sector in the mid-2000s - upward of 40 per cent per annum in many countries - stretched banks’ assessment capacity and regulators’ supervisory competence, increased exposure to asset and capital market volatility, and shifted the balance of final demand in the economy in some countries. It also underpinned a diversification in the institutional structure of financial sectors that substantially complicated the tasks of regulators. Looking ahead, the urgent need is for regulatory capacity to catch up with the increasing depth and breadth of financial sector activity, including through cross-border institutions.”
She said contingency plans should be regularly updated in the light of the clear international financial fragilities that persisted.
“But there is also a need for closer monitoring of the direct macroeconomic consequences of credit and money growth, including their implications for asset prices and spending volatility,” she said.
She also urged African countries to ensure that the costs and benefits of external financial integration remained balanced.
“Increased access to foreign capital can in theory boost economic growth, reduce macroeconomic volatility, and contribute to domestic financial development,” Sayeh said. “At the same time, however, financial opening has also been associated with more frequent and severe economic crises. Crucial factors in determining whether capital flows will aid or hinder development are the adequacy of institutional and policy frameworks.”
She said for many of the region’s low-income countries and fragile states currently marginalised from international capital markets, the challenge was to develop the domestic investment opportunities that could attract foreign capital.
“Experience within sub-Saharan Africa suggests that the reforms needed to unlock an economy’s productive potential - such as promoting trade and financial sector development, encouraging domestic savings and investment, and raising standards of governance and strengthening institutions - are also helpful in attracting private capital inflows and making these flows more productive,” said Sayeh.
“Given the time taken to implement such reforms, these countries should carefully monitor the implications and effects of financial opening. There is reason to be more confident of increases in foreign direct investment, which can result in the transfer not just of resources but also knowhow, and is generally beneficial even for countries with relatively weak economic fundamentals.”
Labels: GREAT DEPRESSION II, IMF
NCC microphone purchase is unwarranted – Miyanda
By George Chellah
Sat 24 Apr. 2010, 04:20 CAT
The purchase of microphones for the NCC was at a cost of K1.8 billion
HERITAGE Party (HP) leader Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda has described the National Constitutional Conference (NCC)’s purchase of microphones at a cost of K1.8 billion as unwarranted expenditure.
And Brig Gen Miyanda has demanded a full disclosure of how the transaction came about. Commenting on the purchase of microphones for the NCC, Brig Gen Miyanda observed that there was no justification for this unwarranted expenditure, which the NCC was trying to justify.
He stated that there were a lot of red herrings splashing about in the attempt to give satisfactory answers on the latest scandal of microphones for the NCC.
“The issue is not whether the items purchased are government property or not but how they were bought and why. Further if the items were ordered a long time ago, the public are entitled to know what steps were taken to ensure that the items were delivered in time for the actual purpose for which the contract was entered into,” Brig Gen Miyanda stated.
“Who drew up the contract and what was the timeframe for delivery? Why was the order not carried out punctiliously? While it is true that the Mulungushi International Conference Centre (MICC) falls under the National Housing Authority (NHA), the NCC does not fall under the MICC and is not an agent of the said organisation nor of the NHA.
“Further, the NCC was not created as a purchasing agent for the MICC or any other government unit. So under what consideration did NCC buy microphones on behalf of the MICC? This is sheer recklessness and the decision was made with malice aforethought.”
Brig Gen Miyanda stated that the NCC was created on the fallacious claim that it was cheaper than a constituent assembly.
“So now what has happened at the 11th hour? There is no justification for this unwarranted expenditure, which the NCC is trying to justify. Was the contract honoured? If not there is a breach by not delivering the items on time,” stated Brig Gen Miyanda. “We demand full disclosure of how this transaction came about, the delivery schedule stipulated in the contract and the inventory and other details of the purchase.“
Recently, NCC delegate Bonnie Tembo sought clarification from chairperson Chifumu Banda on the purchase of microphones at a cost of K1.8 billion.
In response, Banda said the microphones in question were government property.
“There is no problem at all, if people want to be negative they will always be negative. The bottom line is that these microphones we’ve been using have given us problems. A decision was made a long time ago to purchase new ones so this is not something new. And let me say that these microphones are government property and they will obviously be surrendered to government,” said Banda.
“Bear in mind that Mulungushi International Conference Centre is under National Housing Authority, and National Housing Authority is a quasi-government institution.
This should not worry people. Honourable Chifumu Banda will not go away with this equipment. If people want to be negative, you can’t stop them. Some people are just naturally negative. If you show them a white piece of paper they will tell you it’s red. So, we have to learn to live with them.”
Labels: BONNIE TEMBO, CHIFUMU BANDA, CORRUPTION, GODFREY MIYANDA, NCC
Rupiah can’t reverse political tide on C/belt, says Mpombo
By Patson Chilemba
Sat 24 Apr. 2010, 04:20 CAT
GEORGE Mpombo yesterday observed that President Rupiah Banda’s activities on the Copperbelt are an exercise in futility because he will not reverse the tide of political change in the province. And Mpombo said President Banda’s attacks on The Post are unacceptable.
Commenting on President Banda’s instruction to immediately sell Itawa and Chinese flats in Ndola as well as attacks on the Patriotic Front (PF)-controlled councils which he said had failed to perform, Mpombo who is Kafulafuta MMD member of parliament and former defence minister said President Banda had failed to deliver to warrant votes from the people.
“It President Banda’s activities is an exercise in political futility. If he thinks he can change the tide of political wave on the Copperbelt to his favour, I think it is an engagement of futility because so far he hasn’t delivered,” Mpombo said. “Even the attack on PF councils, again that is something like empty rhetoric because on the Copperbelt there are MMD-controlled councils like Ndola rural, whose budget is a shoestring budget, and workers have not been paid for months and the funding from government is very poor...the speech on the Copperbelt amounts to political gimmickry and that will not yield any results at all.”
Mpombo said the sense of self-delusion in President Banda was amazing.
“When he says more schools, clinics are being built during his time; those are projects that have been on the ground for a long time. District hospitals, district secondary schools, and for one to say ‘it is as a result of my effort’, it’s quite baffling. People want services delivered, not empty rhetoric,” he said.
Mpombo said President Banda confirmed through his utterances that former president Frederick Chiluba went to the Copperbelt to campaign for him.
He said President Banda should not even belabour to convince citizens otherwise on Chiluba’s corruption allegations because people already knew his standpoint.
On President Banda’s attacks on The Post that the newspaper wanted to control politicians in the country, Mpombo said the newspaper had refused to allow stubbornness in the governance of the nation.
“It is unacceptable assault on the integrity of The Post. You see the President’s comment has no substance. I think that amounts to some empty rhetoric.
It is something that should not be taken seriously because the President says he is stubborn, and I think newspapers like The Post have refused to accept stubbornness in the administration of national affairs,” Mpombo said. “Because stubbornness is only applicable in personal issues, so I think he should not blame The Post for that.”
On President Banda’s statement that people should not expect him to join their madness of hating Chiluba, Mpombo said President Banda indirectly linked late president Levy Mwanawasa to the issue since Chiluba’s corruption cases were started during the late president’s administration.
“President Banda has waged a campaign of hate against president Mwanawasa, through his actions and utterances. He behaves like a man who was not plucked out from some place to become vice-president. He doesn’t appreciate that. He thinks he became vice-president and President through his own personal efforts,” Mpombo said. “So his actions shows clearly that he doesn’t appreciate the legacy of Mwanawasa...have you ever heard anyone nowadays talk about the 2030 vision?
We are not saying he should follow Levy Mwanawasa, but you see, why should policies even be affected? Today he is bragging that the economy is doing well without knowing that things are what they are because of president Mwanawasa’s legacy. He laid a foundation for economic development.”
On President Banda’s statement that there were enough drugs in the country, Mpombo asked President Banda to be humble because people would not be saying there were no drugs if there were enough supplies in health centres.
“There are no political points he scored here...I think leadership should not be on the basis of arrogance,” Mpombo said.
Mpombo also said it was un-presidential for President Banda to launch a tirade against Change Life Zambia executive director Fr Frank Bwalya.
Labels: 2011 ELECTIONS, COPPERBELT PROVINCE, GEORGE MPOMBO, RUPIAH BANDA
Govt cautions farmers on briefcase businessmen
By Creavat Chituta in Solwezi
Sat 24 Apr. 2010, 03:20 CAT
THE Ministry of Agriculture has warned farmers in North Western Province against selling their agriculture produce to briefcase businessmen who are offering exploitative prices but instead sell to the Food Reserve agency (FRA).
During the Zambian government and United National High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) organised field day in Meheba yesterday, sitting-in provincial agricultural coordinator Edward Sakuwaha urged farmers to be careful when selling their produce to avoid selling at lower exploitative prices such as exchanging their produce for cheap items like cooking oil, kapenta, second hand clothes or chitenge materials.
Sakuwaha added that apart from selling their produce to FRA as the marketing season starts next month with maize and cassava, farmers could also sell to other business organisations offering competitive prices to enable them to increase income and household food security.
Sakuwaha said the government had continued to support programmes aimed at increasing productivity especially with a programme like Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), which provides the subsidised agro-inputs which had been extended even to refugee communities like Meheba as well.
He confirmed that over 11 cooperative societies or farmer groups with a total beneficiary of over 664 had benefited from the scheme and had scaled up production for the past farming season.
Sakuwaha said Meheba Refugee Camp had potentially remained unexploited after that major repatriation which took place in 1983 until 2007 when another project was initiated.
“The UNHCR funded project in partnership with MACO has been undertaking crop production, livestock, fish farming and environmental protection activities since it was revived in 2007,” said Sakuwaha.
Meanwhile, Meheba refugee resettlement farmers have hailed the support they were receiving from the project and urged UNHCR and the ministry to continue with the programme so that more farmers could benefit.
Kuwahili women’s club secretary Ireen Kayombo expressed happiness on the way their clubs have benefited from their activities especially with marketing, saying Lumwana Mine was the nearby place where some of their products were sold.
Another farmer who is also a teacher at Meheba Secondary School, Steward Bwembya, thanked the ministry and UNHCR for the support the school had received through the banana plantation they had at the institution.
Labels: AGRICULTURE, FRA, MARKETING
Rupiah won’t manage to break me, says Kambwili
By Zumani Katasefa in Kitwe
Sat 24 Apr. 2010, 03:20 CAT
ROAN member of parliament Chishimba Kambwili has said President Rupiah Banda’s government will not manage to break him. Kambwili vowed to continue speaking for his constituents without fear.
In an interview from his hospital bed at Ndola Central Hospital where he is admitted, Kambwili alleged that there were political manoeuvres by the MMD government to try and eliminate him.
“The jail sentence will not break me, they sent me to prison when they knew I had a peculiar condition, I suffer from Bp and sugar. I know all their manoeuvres,” he said.
Kambwili said he had learnt a political lesson while in prison and a lot of inmates were subjected to inhuman conditions.
“I have seen how children aged 11 who are supposed to be in grade three or four are forced to share cells with hard-core criminals in prison. They suffer in terms of food. It is a political lesson. If Jesus Christ suffered and died for us, who am I not to suffer for the people of my constituency?” Kambwili asked.
He said the MMD government under President Rupiah Banda had been targeting him for a long time but their mission would not yield anything.
“I am not in politics for any gains. I want to speak for the people of Roan Constituency and no one will silence me,” he said. “President Banda also went through the same imprisonment during the UNIP government, we don’t know what the future holds and what you do, always speak. We must move away from these politics of stupidity.”
Kambwili said it was sad for information minister Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha to think that he was faking his sickness while he was in jail.
“Shikapwasha should grow up, he thinks like my two-year-old child. He is so scared of me. How can I fake my sickness?” Kambwili wondered. “Honestly how can he say that? He is a fake reverend. This is why the Bible says that many are called but few are chosen, and you will know the real followers of Jesus Christ through their works.”
On Thursday, the Luanshya magistrate court granted Kambwili K2 million bail with three working sureties who should be civil servants in senior positions.
This follows Kambwili’s decision to appeal his 15-day sentence slapped on him for breaching the peace by the Luanshya magistrates’ court.
Meanwhile, three PF youths were detained by Luanshya police on Thursday after a confrontation with police who were trying to disperse them from the court premises.
PF provincial vice youth chairman Elias Kamanga confirmed the detention of Agrey Tembo, Osman Mumba and Evans Mulenga, all of Luanshya’s Mpatamato.
Labels: CHISHIMBA KAMBWILI, MDC, RUPIAH BANDA
K600bn UNZA, CBU debt is choking govt, says Siliya
By Justin Katilungu in Kabwe
Sat 24 Apr. 2010, 03:40 CAT
THE K600 billion debt that the University of Zambia and Copperbelt University owe is choking the government, education minister Dora Siliya has observed.
Addressing students and management of Mulungushi University on Wednesday, Siliya said the government needed to find money to liquidate the debt owed by the two public universities.
“We need to seek money to offset this K600 billion debt or else my ministry will continue to be choked,” Siliya said.
She said the government was pushing for public private partnerships to enable the private sector invest in the education sector because it had become costly for the government to run the two public universities.
Siliya noted that the government treasured public private sector partnerships, as they were a cornerstone to fostering national development.
“We have created an enabling environment where the private sector is flourishing and our economy is growing. When the private sector continues to grow steadily, it means that there will be more financial support to government projects too,” Siliya said.
And Central Province permanent secretary Denny Lumbama told Siliya when she called on provincial minister Ackimson Banda that the government was doing extremely well in the education sector in Kabwe and other towns in the province.
Lumbama said the development of infrastructure in the education sector in Kabwe was going on very well.
“We have several high schools being erected in the province through the Ministry of Education but as provincial administration, we are also supplementing to this noble cause. We are happy with the expansion of Mulungushi University and Nkrumah College University,” said Lumbama.
Labels: CBU, DEBT, DENNY LUMBAMA, DORA SILIYA, PPPs, UNZA
Why Zuma can't win on Malema
RAPULE TABANE: COMMENT
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
Apr 23 2010 06:00
The grinding of teeth about President Jacob Zuma's kid-glove handling of Julius Malema, the man who has stepped into his shoes as South Africa's most controversial figure, Julius Malema, is almost audible. Overnight it seems expectations of swift justice have been dashed and there are even emotional pronouncements that Zuma is finished if he fails to act.
In an ironic twist many South Africans are asking Zuma to save them from Malema, when only a year ago they were asking the ANC to save them from a Zuma presidency, a reality we now seem to have settled into comfortably.
Expectations for the censoring of Malema were raised by Zuma himself when he called a press conference two weeks ago in which he criticised Malema's actions, even though he could not bring himself to call him by name. "The charges" Malema was meant to face were leaked last weekend.
Much of the throwing up of hands in disbelief has to do with the belief that JZ was the only credible authority who could act decisively on Malema. But the Mail & Guardian reported last week that the matter is not that clear-cut, that there are factions and interests that JZ has to consider before acting, and that he faces a possible backlash if he appears too hostile to Malema. I am also gradually coming around to the view that Zuma is just not the sort of leader who acts immediately and decisively.
Given his stint as part of the notorious Mbokodo, which, during struggle days treated ANC dissenters in exile harshly, even cruelly, one might have assumed that he was a hard man. Yet on the public stage in the past few years he has been anything but that.
It is quite clear that he believes his diverse coalition -- the one that steamrollered former president Thabo Mbeki -- should be kept intact. However, recent comments and posturing by Cosatu in particular suggest they are losing faith in him and are no longer confident that his presidency, while consultative, will be much different from Mbeki's in policy and substance.
But if they feel betrayed, it is because of their own folly -- in the single-minded moment of dethroning Mbeki many within their ranks asked the question: "What is the basis for our belief that Zuma will advance a left-wing agenda? That he is a simple man-of-the-people from Nkandla who believes in rural development?"
Recent comments and prevarication all tell the story of criss-crossing agendas, confusing alliances and new realignments emerging in the tripartite alliance.
My reading is that the mainstream in Cosatu and the South African Communist Party now regard ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe as their saviour to free them from the grasp of the tenderpreneurs represented by the likes of Malema and Siphiwe Nyanda, the minister of communications.
Their energy is now directed to rescuing Mantashe from a lynching by the Malema lobby which plans to oust him at the ANC national conference in 2012 and replace him with Fikile Mbalula.
Malema has played right into their hands by just being Malema, exhibiting the kind of behaviour that offends just decent human manners but directly violates ANC principles and conduct. To discipline Malema now presents an opportunity to kill off the kingmaker of the Mbalula group.
It is the leaders on the left who are now almost blackmailing Zuma either to act decisively or to accept that he has lost the moral authority and will be "finished" if he dithers. Their reasons for pushing for the disciplining of Malema are very different from those of ordinary South Africans who just want Malema to shut up or are offended by an opulent lifestyle seemingly funded by questionable tenders.
The Malema/Mbalula faction is also formidable and consists of arrogant street fighters who believe in their organisational skills and are convinced that Mantashe is as good as gone as the secretary general. Anyone who sends the following SMS to the president of the country must believe in his or her own immortality: "The British media called you a bimbo and now one of them [BBC journalist Jonah Fisher] met his match [in Malema], but you decide to go public and condemn Julius," the SMS read.
It was sent by a prominent national executive committee member who has supported Zuma for a long time but is uneasy with the hardening of his attitude to Malema.
His group is hellbent on putting pressure on Zuma to intervene and override formal ANC disciplinary processes in order to protect Malema.
Zuma will take flak whichever direction he chooses. And we have seen enough of Zuma to know that he believes too much in consensus politics to stare down the barrel of any faction's gun. Ultimately, it looks as if the matter will be deferred to the national executive committee, which will slap Malema on the wrist. Then all sides will claim victory and the rest of us will be left wondering what the hell happened.
Labels: ANC, ANC YOUTH LEAGUE, JACOB ZUMA, JULIUS MALEMA
Ambassador goes against Govt position on sanctions
By: Reason Wafawarova
Posted: Friday, April 23, 2010 4:00 am
ZIMBABWE’S Ambassador to Australia, Ms Jacqueline Zwambila, has called for the partial lifting of illegal Western economic sanctions on Zimbabwe, going against Government’s position that the embargo should be lifted in its entirety.
Ms Zwambila said sanctions on entities administered by the Finance Ministry, which is headed by a minister drawn from her party MDC-T, should be lifted.
She was speaking to diplomats and representatives from at least 20 countries at belated celebrations for Zimbabwe’s 30th independence anniversary in Australia on Tuesday.
Ms Zwambila’s utterances have raised the ire of other diplomats and observers who said her allegiance to Zimbabwe was "questionable" if she could go against the position of the Head of State and Government she represents, President Mugabe.
Ambassador Zwambila said the West should "consider lifting restrictive measures on certain companies like the Zimbabwe Agricultural Bank (Agribank) administered by the Ministry of Finance".
Article continues below
An African diplomat, who attended the celebrations, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Ms Zwambila’s call for partial lifting of sanctions was "not in line with the position of Sadc and that of the facilitator of the GPA".
Another observer, Zanu-PF Central Committee member Professor Jonathan Moyo, said Ms Zwambila’s statement was "consistent with the MDC-T policy of wanting to create a government within a government".
"Ambassadors do not represent organisations, but the State and its people. It is uncalled for if an ambassador starts representing their own party interests and not those of the country."
Prof Moyo said Ms Zwambila received her credentials from President Mugabe and was thus supposed to reflect the policy position of the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
"If the ambassadors from MDC-T have started doing this, then we as a party have to make sure that we don’t give them one more ambassadorial posts because our reputation will be compromised," Prof Moyo said.
Labels: AMBASSADOR, JACQUELINE ZWAMBILA, MDC
Its hard being leader of the MDC-T
Posted: Friday, April 23, 2010 5:00 am
HAVE you ever wondered how difficult it is to be Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, the prime minister of Zimbabwe?
I feel sorry for him! The pressure he receives from influential elements in the MDC-T party and western funders, over issues like his public criticism of gays, among other issues, have served to literally and figuratively knock the wind from his political sails.
The true Morgan Tsvangirai who rode that "freedom bus" at election time seems to have lost his mojo.
He has become the face of resistance to anything that is proposed by a government that he leads. It must be a really difficult position to be in -- power without power.
Were this two years ago, he would have been running around acting statesmanlike, in opposition though, calling press conferences and promising the world to the Zimbabwean people.
Chickens have now come home to roost.
Leading a group of ministers who have been led by a charismatic and intelligent man like President Mugabe is no walk in the park. Leading alongside President Mugabe is not easy either. He is a "hard act to run with", or to follow.
One only need to check the records of Zimbabwean politics and see how Mr Tsvangirai and Mr Tendai Biti were once two peas in a pod -- a duo that seemed untouchable and full of zest. Their juices have now been sucked dry. Ironically, President Mugabe seems to have that spring in his walk, that bounce. This is politics. You snooze, you lose.
Check and discover what Mr Tsvangirai said back then. He promised the world.
Prime minister Tsvangirai has now been forced to swallow his pride, discard his fundamental beliefs and permit himself to be seen as towing the line and being a team player. He knows he will never get the last laugh. President Mugabe will.
Keen students of politics would know that that the boycott of President Ahmadinejad's visit had more to do with the reluctance of having a face-off with a revolutionary leader of Mr Ahmadinejad's stature, than it did with the image he wants to present to the West.
The West has already abandoned Mr Tsvangirai. Word is that the MDC-T is broke. You can sense that easily. They are all quiet, except when they fight amongst each other. No more international jetting. They can't even afford to fly to see their friend Raila Odinga in Kenya.
Mr Tsvangirai and President Ahmadinejad would not even spent a minute in the same room. Never mind the interpreter. It's about the ideas.
The reality is that Mr Tsvangirai has a difficult task ahead of him. I think in a sense, he feels like he betrayed his core constituency and his funders by going into the inclusive Government. Then he feels like he betrayed the white farmers by going into government and not getting the farms back. He also betrayed the civic movement that had banked on him, as well as the various so-called independent media organisations.
Many media practitioners who are living in poverty in South Africa, Britain, Australia, etc were hoping that an MDC-T victory would give them jobs and help them get back into real journalism, not the "popcorn journalism" ( to borrow Julius Malema's words) we see on the internet.
If prime minister Tsvangirai had met Mr Ahmadinejad he would have been duty bound to express solidarity between the two countries. This is the challenge that he had, but all because he is not his own man. He has no conviction, just guts. Thus the strategy to boycott meeting Mr Ahmadinejad was hatched to avoid the embarassment that would have ensued.
I now appeal to Mr Tsvangirai and his MDC-T colleagues to cease the child-like stunts and get on with the job of helping to rebuild a country they helped destroy.
Labels: MDC, MORGAN TSVANGIRAI
MDC-T in diplomatic confusion over Ahmadinejad visit
By: Ranganai Chidemo
Posted: Friday, April 23, 2010 4:19 am
MDC-T ministers and senior party officials
boycotted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's welcome celebrations, together with diplomats from Western embassies
. A senior government official said people should not consider it a coincidence that Western diplomats were not there and MDC-T was also absent.
"What they (MDC-T) forget is that they are taking a Westerners’ position
. Those people are not Zimbabweans and they will leave the country.
"The MDC-T people will remain here and live here. They have no other home and to toe such lines is to their detriment."
Another official said it was strange the MDC-T-run council in Bindura had conferred on former Iranian ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Rasoul Momeni with the Freedom of the City, yet decide to boycott that country's president's visit.
Observers last night said MDC-T was simply dancing to the tune of Western countries, which have tried to effect illegal regime change in Iran since the popular 1979 revolution that deposed the Western-backed puppet regime of Shah Reza Pahlavi.
Maenwhile, two of that party's ministers were forced to attend a ceremony at State House to append their signatures to agreements between Zimbabwe and Iran.
In a clear sign that the MDC-T does not understand its role as a political party and as individuals in government, ministers Giles Mutsekwa (co-Home Affairs) and Eliphas Mukonoweshuro turned up at State House where the Iranian leader was having dinner with President Mugabe.
The agreements where to be signed just before the state banquet.
"On one hand they cannot say they want to be members of Cabinet with government responsibility, and on the other, want to boycott the same government through their party structures," said an official in the ministry of information and publicity on condition of anonymity.
"We see this behaviour in the MDC every so often."
Meanwhile, deputy national organising secretary of the MDC-T Mr Morgan Komichi expressed ignorance of President Ahmadinejad’s visit.
"I’m not even aware that he is coming today. There is a delegation going to the Trade Fair tomorrow (Friday) but I’m not sure if Mr (Morgan) Tsvangirai is going," he said.
Labels: MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, MDC
Farmers cry foul
SOME dealers are taking advantage of farmers bringing improperly graded tobacco to the auction floors by offering to buy the crop at low prices before reselling after grading it.
Farmers are losing thousands of United States dollars to the dealers because they cannot afford to take the crop back to the farm for proper grading. According to reports from one of the floors, Zimbabwe Tobacco Auction Centre, the farmers sell their improperly graded crop to the middlemen at low prices.
The middlemen grade the crop properly and then sell it at the market price on the floors.
The farmers would have spent days camped at the auction floors when the middlemen approach them and offer a quick cash sale.
The affected farmers have been selling their tobacco for as little as US20 cents per kg.
Some of the farmers are now hiring private contractors to regrade the tobacco. Private contractors are charging US25c per kg for re-grading.
"After my tobacco had been affected, I was charged US25c per kg by a contractor whom I suspect is working in cahoots with the buyers," said Mr Trust Mhlalinayo of Karoi.
Mr Ephraim Kaitano of Chiweshe said the Government should ensure on site monitors were present to stop middlemen from ripping them off.
"The weighing system leaves a lot to be desired because it is mostly being done in our absence. After processing and weighing my tobacco back in the village, it was averaging 100kg but when I brought it here it had fallen to 40kg. After that I re-weighed it and was still at 100kg. I asked them and was told that scales differ and that my tobacco was of poor quality despite the fact that it got bad here at the floors," he said.
Other farmers claimed their bales were disappearing.
"I delivered six bales, but on the list only four bales are recorded. There is no explanation on what happened to the other two bales yet they were in the same place," said Mrs Betty Gama.
More than 20 farmers had the same complaints.
Meanwhile, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board is advising tobacco farmers to stop deliveries at auction floors and start booking in advance to reduce congestion.
Mr Meanwell Gudu, the company’s acting chief executive officer, yesterday said tobacco growers should book and deliver on a first come, first serve basis.
He said the practice of delivering today and selling tomorrow would continue at all auction floors.
"We are trying to reduce congestion and waiting periods because farmers are spending a long time at the auction floors," he said.
He said they had capacity to clear only 15 000 bales a day at the two auction floors.
"Booking is now essential and the solution is to have grower numbers by 31 October every year," Mr Gudu said.
This would enable farmers to receive their numbers and use them to book in advance.
The decision by TIMB is in response to growers’ concerns over the time they spend waiting for their tobacco to be processed and subsequently get paid.
Some farmers have been spending up to a week at the auction floors struggling to sell their crop.
Mr Honest Matashu said he arrived at Zitac on Sunday last week, but by yesterday he was yet to be served.
"We are losing a lot of money to food vendors while waiting for our turn. We were here the whole holiday and up to now we have not been served," he said.
Most farmers said if Government did not intervene, they would be forced to quit tobacco farming as the prices they were getting were no longer commensurate with the investments they made.
They said they could not realise any profits owing to the current prices of US$3 per kg for the best grade tobacco.
The farmers said buyers were trying to push them out of business by offering low prices than those offered in February.
At the beginning of the marketing season, the average price was US$3,50 per kg. The price went down to a record US20c before President Mugabe’s intervention, which saw the price rising to an average US$5 for best grade.
The farmers’ joy was; however, short-lived as they dropped again to US50cents soon after the President had left the auction floors.
"With the current prices being offered, I am no longer interested in tobacco farming. Imagine with my six bales I failed to get US$1 000 yet I have inputs, transport and labour costs to cater for among other costs. It is better to grow cotton, which is not paying much but at least you do not wait for long periods," said Mrs Fiona Tsangira of Hurungwe.
However, Mr Gudu yesterday defended the pricing system saying it was in line with international standards especially in Brazil, the world’s largest tobacco producer.
Labels: AGRICULTURE, CORRUPTION, MARKETING, TOBACCO
Tips on good soil management
Sustainable agriculture systems are based on ecological soil management practices that maintain fertility by providing optimum conditions for soil activity reducing the use of farm inputs in the process.
Agritex conservation specialists have certain guidelines for soil management techniques.
Tips on soil management
l Minimise damage to the soil while clearing the field to plant and retain trees where possible.
l Disturb the soil as little as possible while loosening it.
l Aerate soil.
l Protect land from erosion and degradation.
l Guard against negative effects of irrigation.
l Provide ground cover for bare ground to minimise erosion and help retain moisture.
l Provide nutrients by recycling minerals in the soil.
l Support a stable soil structure with mulch and humus.
l Integrate agroforestry to protect and preserve the soil.
Ahmadinejad slams West
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Zimbabwe yesterday afternoon to a rapturous welcome from the Islamic and Christian communities.
President Ahmadinejad — who will today officially open the 51st edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo — was met at the Harare International Airport by his counterpart President Mugabe and several Government ministers.
The Iranian leader last night condemned "all Satanic pressures" the West were exerting on Zimbabwe and said these were doomed to fail.
His visit started with the warm welcome at the airport, where he and his wife Mrs Shrahai, were received by President Mugabe, the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe, senior Government officials, service chiefs, diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe and scores of ordinary people.
President Mugabe led President Ahmadinejad to a dais where the Zimbabwe National Army played the Iranian national anthem.
The anthem was accompanied by a 21-gun salute and fly-past in diamond formation by Air Force of Zimbabwe jets.
President Ahmadinejad then inspected a guard of honour mounted by the Presidential Guard before meeting the ecstatic crowd that thronged the airport.
The two leaders proceeded to State House where they held brief talks before touring the Modzone Garment Factory in Chitungwiza.
The road to the factory was lined with Zimba-bweans and Iranians resident in the country, waving both nations’ flags and ululating.
The factory, formerly Cone Textiles, was closed in the 1990s before reopening following the establishment of a joint venture between the Zimbabwean and Iranian governments.
The factory has been completely mechanised and staff demonstrated to the two leaders how they operated some of the state-of-the-art equipment.
Presidents Mugabe and Ahmadinejad went to the Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries plant where the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces commissioned a tractor assembly plant, another joint venture between the two countries.
The joint venture, Motira, brings together Zimbabwe’s Industrial Development Corporation, the Iran Tractor Manufacturing Company and the Iran Foreign Investment Company.
Assembly plant workers also waved flags and chanted "Long live Zimbabwe, Long live Iran".
The two presidents climbed aboard one of the tractors and revved its engine while chatting.
IDC chairman Dr Charles Utete said: "This assembly plant is born out of the co-operation of our two Heads of State. It is a practical friendship."
He said they were now working on building a foundry so that Zimbabwe could manufacture some of the tractor parts for the assembly plant and he wanted the entire programme to be granted national project status.
Dr Utete said they were looking at exporting the tractors to the Sadc and Comesa markets at preferential tariffs and establish Zimbabwe as the regional hub for the production of Itemco
In an interview afterwards, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said Zimbabwe and Iran were working out the modalities of forming a joint investment company to further expand co-operation.
"This will go a very long way in consolidating our friendship," he said.
Last night, President Mugabe hosted a banquet for President Ahmadinejad before which the two leaders witnessed the signing of various agreements and Memoranda of Understanding that will further boost economic and cultural ties.
These included a Bilateral Air Services Agreement and MOUs on tourism, co-operation on youth affairs, science and technology, education, diplomatic consultations, waiver for diplomatic and service visas, establishment of a joint investment company, and one between CBZ Bank, the Finance Ministry and Iranian financial institutions.
Ministers and their representatives signed the documents.
Speaking to the media afterwards, President Mugabe said: "We hope prosperity will ensue from the various agreements signed tonight.
"Iran and Zimbabwe have established that cordial alliance which we cannot under any circumstances sever.
"President Ahmadinejad and myself have the same policy against imperialism and colonialism in order to protect our sovereignty and independence."
The Iranian leader hailed Zimbabwe for being resolute in resisting imperialism.
"Unfortunately the United Nations Security Council, which is supposed to serve the whole world, has been used by the powerful as an instrument to increase pressure on our countries . . .
"I condemn all Satanic pressures imposed on Zimbabwe and these powerful countries are doomed, they will not be successful," he said.
After opening the trade fair, President Ahmadinejad leaves for Uganda on a State visit.
Labels: IRAN, MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, SANCTIONS, ZDERA, ZIMBABWE INTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIR
Who is the devil?
By The Post Editor
Fri 23 Apr. 2010, 04:00 CAT
TO lead a people one has to know them.
And it seems Rupiah Banda does not know the type of people he is leading. Rupiah doesn’t realise that today’s Zambia is very different from the Malawi of Kamuzu Banda. Kamuzu ruled Malawi through intimidation, harassment and sometimes even naked brutality.
No one dared to question what he did. Once, Kamuzu remarked that “those who oppose us do meet with accidents” in response to the death of a prominent political opponent who had perished in a road accident.
Like Kamuzu, Rupiah is forgetting that those who are evil also do meet disastrous ends; those who rely on brutality to keep themselves in power are bound to come to grief at one point or another. This is why it is also said that the mark of great leaders is the ability to understand the context in which they are operating and act accordingly. It is folly for anyone to think that today’s Zambia can be successfully governed through intimidation and brutality.
This is a different breed of Zambians that will not be silenced into submission. Free speech and other democratic practices are starting to take root in the lives and hearts of our people. This is not because of people like Rupiah and his corrupt, crooked and thieving friend Frederick Chiluba. It is despite their attempts to silence everyone who opposes them, including the free press. Who doesn’t know what Chiluba did to those he thought were a threat to his hold on power? Kenneth Kaunda, Rodger Chongwe and many others who did not submit to Chiluba’s corrupt ways are today very lucky to be among the living.
Six months after Kamuzu came to power, all hell broke loose. Some of his closest compatriots had to flee at short notice and take refuge in neighbouring countries like Zambia. A despot was born.
It is interesting that not long after Rupiah came to power, the country has been fed on a continuous diet of threats, intimidation and blackmail. Anyone who opposes Rupiah is threatened with one form of judicial or extrajudicial action of one form or another.
The people around Rupiah are not helping him. They are reinforcing Rupiah’s propensity towards intimidation and victimisation of his opponents. The likes of George Kunda, Lameck Mangani, Ronnie Shikapwasha and William Banda are moulding Rupiah into a type of Kamuzu. If you disagree with Rupiah, you are in danger; you are a devil.
But it would be wrong to say that Rupiah is behaving in the way that he is because of the people around him. Rupiah is a grown man who makes his own choices. And he has made it very clear that he does not tolerate dissenting views. Anybody who dissents is punished. This is Rupiah’s mode of operation.
The other day when he addressed a press conference on the Copperbelt, he decided to shamelessly, blatantly and brazenly intimidate all those who work with him. His words were not the words of a democrat. What he said was not consistent with what obtains in a democratic country governed in accordance with the rule of law.
Rupiah should not accuse us of distorting what he said. He is what he said with his own mouth: “Let me warn that government officers no matter how senior they may be, they do not have the authority to challenge my directive.
The civil servants’ role is meant to implement government decisions generally and presidential orders specifically, just as they are given, whether one agrees with them or not. Unfortunately that is how life is. If you are given a directive and you are the employee of government and don’t fulfil, you will be removed. It doesn’t matter what political party you come from and those leaders who are telling you to oppose will not be there to give you a job. You will just make your family suffer.”
This is what Rupiah said in Kitwe this week.
Rupiah was telling public officers that they should obey every instruction that he gives them or risk being fired. By saying what he said, Rupiah is forgetting one simple but very fundamental prerequisite to obeying any instruction, that is, such an instruction should in all circumstances be lawful. This is probably what Rupiah is grappling with. He expects people to obey him even when his instructions raise legal problems.
We say this because in the time that Rupiah has been President, so many things have happened which have put pressure on public officials. Rupiah has wanted to ensure that things are done which are not always straightforward. This seems to be the reason he is now resorting to threats. To him, professional advice from civil servants and other public officers is tantamount to political opposition and his reaction is to threaten dismissal in order to force capitulation.
We should not forget that since Rupiah came to power, there have been so many scandals that if the civil servants and other public officers are obeying him in all his wishes, they may end up in trouble themselves. Soon after coming to power, there was the Selex radar controversy at the airport which was associated with Rupiah’s family.
There is also the RP Capital and Zamtel privatisation controversy which is linked to his family as well. These are not the only controversial procurements that seem to interest Rupiah. It is now beyond question that Rupiah has been pushing for the acquisition of the impractical mobile hospitals at exorbitant prices. What about the boreholes that they want to sink at K40 million per borehole? The list seems endless. The procurement of oil is another area where rotten things have been going on. Rupiah’s government tried to collude with one of the bidders. They only changed direction after they were exposed.
No one is obliged to obey directives that are unlawful and those who do should know that they are doing it at their own peril. People who like giving directives that they know to be unlawful or illegal do not have the courage to put their requests in writing. They like to give verbal directives. Those who are working in government today should know that they will only have themselves to blame if they take illegal verbal instructions.
When the day comes to explain why they did what they did, they will have no way of explaining. It is unfortunate that Rupiah could go on a public platform and threaten public officers in the manner that he did. If the instructions and directives that he has been giving are in the best interest of the country, then indeed no one should have any problems implementing them.
The civil service exists to translate the policies of government into lawful activities. But if directives are of an operational nature and not founded in law, then the technocrats, the civil servants and other public officers are going to have difficulties implementing them.
Rupiah’s threat to the public servants and his demand that his directives must be followed has raised a fundamental question: how is Rupiah running government? What are these directives that he is giving that are not being followed that he is now annoyed and resorting to threats? We say this because the function of the president is not supposed to be the micro-managing of every detail, of every contract or tender – he shouldn’t be a tenderprenuer.
Rupiah’s rantings on the Copperbelt gave the impression that some of his petty projects are being frustrated by civil service professionalism and procedures. This is why he saw it fit to tell the civil servants that if they don’t obey his directives, he will fire them and their families will suffer. How can a President sink so low? How can the President be so devilish, so brutish and vindictive?
This is truly the incarnation of the devil himself. He called us devils for simply pointing out the shortcomings of his management style of our national affairs but his actions and threats are showing us who the true devil is. Or if not, who has befriended the devil. It’s no wonder that Rupiah today sees everything damn good in the little devil that robbed our poor people of billions of kwacha or millions of dollars to buy designer clothes in Europe and to pay for the services of girlfriends.
All in all, it can be said that Rupiah has problems respecting the law and its dictates. To him being President has placed him above the law. He has deluded himself into believing that he is omnipotent and that his orders are law itself and should be obeyed. But we are reminded that “a group of people who have no respect for the law is like a pile of kindling; they will meet a fiery end. Every lawless act lives an incurable wound, like one left by a double edged sword” (Sirach 21).
If Rupiah wants to lead well and aspire to any form of greatness, he needs to learn to do the simple things of life that constitute goodness. Respect for the law is one of them. Telling the truth and listening to the people that he leads whether he likes them or thinks they are devils may just help him. Rupiah must stop his threats. And those working with him must tell him that you cannot govern by threats and intimidation. Praising thieves will do him no good.
Labels: HASTINGS KAMUZU BANDA, LEADERSHIP, RUPIAH BANDA