Saturday, June 05, 2010

(LUSAKATIMES) The UPND-PF pact launched

The UPND-PF pact launched.
Saturday, June 5, 2010, 20:40

Some Lusaka residents during the launch of the UPND-PF pact

The long awaited United Party for National Development and Patriotic Front UPND/PF pact has finally been launched with the two pact leaders calling on the Zambians to take up a personal responsibility in cementing and securing the pact.

And Patriotic Front leader, Michael Sata has alleged that the ruling movement for multi party democracy MMD led government yesterday sold off the Zambia telecommunications company ZAMTEL and leaving the workers unattended to as they moneys have not yet been paid.

Mr. Sata said that the current government is still being led under the first republic regime and that is why the MMD has continued to sell off the national resource without the consent of the people of this nation.

He said that the ruling MMD is fully aware of the high level of poverty in this country but has decided to put a blind eye to the needs of the people and focus on enriching themselves at the expense of the people.

Meanwhile Mr. Sata has observed that the decision by government to jail post editor, Fred Mmembe who was yesterday sentenced to four months in prison with hard labour will cost the MMD.

Mr. Sata said that the MMD could have thought of something better than jailing and detaining a journalist because he will expose them for who they really are and how they have failed to take care of the prisoners in this country.

And speaking earlier, UPND president, Hikainde Hichilema charged that the MMD failure to put an end to corruption within the governing system has exacerbated the levels of poverty in the country.

Mr. Hichilema said that the government has been unable to provide quality social services to the people of this nation and is largely responsible for the people’s suffering.

Mr. hichilema has also challenged the government to bring back the windfall tax in the mining sector.


Labels: , , , , , , ,


The truth will march on triumphantly

The truth will march on triumphantly
By The Post
Fri 04 June 2010, 18:20 CAT

For close to 20 years, I have written many editorial comments on various subjects.
But there is something special to me about today’s editorial comment. As I write this editorial comment this Thursday, I do so with the full expectation and knowledge that having been convicted for contempt of court yesterday, I will be given a custodial sentence tomorrow. I understand exactly what is happening and why it is happening.

Like every human being, I value my comfort, liberty and peace. But this does not stop me from being prepared to sacrifice my own comfort to advance the cause for the betterment of the lives of our people. Journalism is my chosen profession and through the pen, I will continue to fight what I see to be the injustices that bedevil our society today.

We have a great country. The good Lord has blessed it with abundant resources and a people who are good at heart. Our people deserve better than they get. Our governance system is skewed against the interests of the majority of our people who live in abject poverty and in many cases total deprivation. There is a silent majority of our people who know that things should not be this way and hope for a better tomorrow.

This tomorrow will not come if we all choose comfort over the need to struggle to improve our nation, to improve the lives of our people. Each one of us who is sincere is able to make a contribution. It does not need to be a huge contribution or even a heroic contribution, but just a contribution to the welfare of those around us is all we need.

No one in his right mind would like to be locked up in our prisons for any length of time. But if this is what it takes for me to contribute to the welfare of my fellow countrymen and women, so be it. In a strange way I accept it with relish.

It is not the first time that I am going to be locked up because of doing the work that I have chosen. Anyway, there are no lions in prison; only other human beings who for many complex reasons, including unemployment and the breakdown of social order in our country due to a failure of leadership, have ended up incarcerated. Knowing what I do, I will be among them tomorrow which is Friday.

As I write this Thursday, I have reviewed and reflected on whether The Post could have done things differently in relation to the Chansa Kabwela case. Yes, only an insolent opinionated arrogant person does not take time to reflect on their past actions, particularly if those actions have led to the kind of consequences that the Chansa Kabwela case has had.

The editors of this newspaper, my hardworking colleagues, faced a difficult challenge when they received those pictures of a woman giving birth on a pavement in the UTH grounds without the aid of doctors or nurses due to the strike that was then taking place. In the meantime, Rupiah Banda and his government were carrying on as if all was well. Rupiah could even afford to travel abroad to have his knee checked when the people he claims elected him could not receive basic medical services.

Those pictures epitomised the crisis that then engulfed the country. The Post and Chansa in particular did the right thing to bring that matter to the attention of the Vice-President and the minister for health. The Post did not publish those pictures. They were not publishable but the government needed to know what was happening.

The comedy of errors in judgment that followed was amazing. Rupiah decided that what The Post had done amounted to distributing pornography. I will never understand what was pornographic about a woman being forced to give birth on a pavement in the UTH grounds.

The fact that Chalwe Mchenga, the Director of Public Prosecutions, decided to prosecute such a matter is nothing short of shameful. As Professor Muna Ndulo observed, the court was the last hope for any decency in this matter. Indeed the court redeemed the situation by acquitting Chansa.

Still, the state would like to punish somebody for Rupiah’s mistakes. And it seems I am their perfect candidate. But that does not bother me. I know that our people are more discerning than Rupiah and his minions would like to give them credit for.

They can see through this charade. But it won’t take them anywhere. We are determined to continue to work for our people as we have done all these years. We do not do what we do to be praised by anyone, let alone liked.

We do it because we believe it is the right thing. If doing the right thing takes us to jail, so be it. We will not stop to speak our minds and let our people know what is happening in our country. What is going to jail when others have paid a higher price to help their countries? Our own comfort is not the most important thing in this world.

There are things that are worth every sacrifice that we can make. Letting our people know the truth is one of those things for which every sacrifice which can be made should be made. It is only as our people know the truth about their country, their leaders, their resources that they can make informed decisions and contribute to the development of their country.

Those in power understand that once our people know exactly what they do in their name, they will not be able to abuse them anymore. This is why a free media is a threat to some people and they will do everything to crush it. This is why The Post is a threat to them and they will do everything to crush it. But I have no doubt in my mind that for as long as The Post continue to report the truth and inform our people, no amount of intimidation or harassment can defeat it. The truth will march on triumphantly.

To those that might feel discouraged by what is happening, I have a few words. No struggle worth fighting is without setbacks. The conviction of The Post and myself may be an irritating setback, but it is not a defeat. Those of us who believe in what we do will continue to do it until we are vindicated because we shall be vindicated; of this we have no doubt. It may take one day, two days or twenty years, but we shall be vindicated because ours is a just struggle.

We bear no hatred or resentment for those that seek to crush us. But we shall continue to fight the excesses in which they engage. That is our contribution to our nation. Even if they succeeded in crushing us, we know that there are many other Zambians capable of making a contribution. No one is indispensable, not even ourselves.

Labels: , ,


The Post is ready for anything - M'membe

The Post is ready for anything - M'membe
By Mwala Kalaluka
Fri 04 June 2010, 16:10 CAT

Post editor Fred M'membe being escorted to Lusaka Central remand prison under heavy guard. This was shortly after being sentenced to serve four months with hard labour by Lusaka magistrate David Simusamba

POST editor Fred M’membe yesterday said The Post fully knows, understands what is going on and is ready for it.

And M’membe calmly entered Lusaka Central Prison (Chimbokaila) at exactly 13.40 hours yesterday after attempts by his lawyers to secure bail pending appeal for him failed.

Speaking in a very brief interview shortly before he was sentenced to four months imprisonment with hard labour for publication of contemptuous material, M’membe said The Post was ready for anything.

This is in a matter in which M’membe and The Post were on Wednesday convicted on a charge of contempt arising from the publication of an article in The Post of August 27, 2009 titled: “The Chansa Kabwela case: A comedy of Errors”, authored by United States-based Zambian Professor of law Muna Ndulo.

“I just want to say that we understand what is going on. We fully know what is going on and we are ready for it,” said M’membe, two hours before Lusaka senior resident magistrate David Simusamba sentenced him to four months imprisonment with hard labour.

Passing the sentence, magistrate Simusamba said on June 2, 2010 when the verdict in the matter was pronounced, M’membe’s defence lawyers offered mitigation arguing that according to the position at law, when an offence had an option of a fine or a custodial sentence, the option of a fine ought to be considered.

Magistrate Simusamba said the defence argued that the offence for which their clients had been convicted was not aggravating. However, he said after looking at the circumstances of the contempt, it was his considered opinion that a fine was not appropriate. He said the offence on which M’membe and The Post had been convicted posed a real risk of interfering with the fair administration of justice.

“The core lies in the fair administration of justice and any interference may have far reaching consequences,” magistrate Simusamba said. “It is incumbent upon court to restore the order.”

Magistrate Simusamba said in order to reform the convict and deter others from engaging into such kind of behaviour, it was his considered view that a fine was not appropriate in the case.

“I thus order a four months imprisonment with hard labour for A1 (M’membe) now the first convict,” magistrate Simusamba said.

He said he had directed his mind over the nature of accused number two (The Post), which he said was an entity, and that the position of the law had always been to punish the directing mind of that corporate entity.

He said Post Human Resource manager, Reuben Phiri, who representing The Post as accused number two, was just the administration manager of the corporate entity called The Post.

“Mr. Reuben Phiri can’t be the right person to suffer punishment,” magistrate Simusamba said.

He said Phiri’s duty at The Post had nothing to do with offence before court and that since M’membe was the editor-in-chief of the corporate entity known as The Post, it could not be doubted that he was the mind of the entity.

Magistrate Simusamba again sentenced M’membe to four months simple imprisonment in place of The Post in that he was the controlling mind behind the entity.

“The sentences shall run concurrently,” said magistrate Simusamba.

This means M’membe is supposed to serve four months in prison.

But M’membe’s lawyer Remmy Mainza said in an interview that they would proceed to apply for bail pending appeal immediately.

However, around 13.30 hours a group of sympathisers and journalists that had been waiting at the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court holding cell in view of the bail application process, ran towards Ridgeway Police Post when they noticed that M’membe was being led to Lusaka Central Prison.

Passersby and some women at the Prison Clinic watched in amazement as M’membe crossed the dividing road between the court and the prison under police escort.
After saying goodbye to family members and friends, amidst warning from prison guards, M’membe - who was adorning a cap, checked shirt and blue jeans - entered Lusaka Central Prison.

Commenting on M’membe’s imprisonment, Federation of Free Trade Unions (FFTUZ) president Joyce Nonde Simukoko said the verdict was saddening.

“But we will respect the decision,” said Simukoko.

National Revolution Party (NRP) president Cosmo Mumba said the sentence was a total injustice to the country. Mumba, who was among those that attended the court hearing, said the campaign started by the MMD government to silence voices would not work.

Change Life Zambia (CLZ) executive director Fr Frank Bwalya described M’membe’s imprisonment as a temporary setback.

“The MMD and their system have become pigs in the country’s animal farms. What I mean is that the rule of law in this country has gone to the dogs unlike under the late president Levy Mwanawasa, which was a government of laws and not men. The current government with Mr Rupiah Banda is a government of men,” Fr Bwalya said.

“It is highly regrettable. It should have been an acquittal but we respect the decision of the court. We are very disappointed that it is a custodial sentence given the fact that it was a misdemeanor. It would have been more appropriate to fine.”

Fr Bwalya said there was need to forge ahead in supporting The Post.

“We know that this conviction will not deter The Post. They have gone through worse situations like this. It is a temporary setback,” said Fr Bwalya.

Others that attended the hearing included Heritage Party leader Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda, retired High Court judge Kabazo Chanda, Post employees and M’membe’s family members.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Friday, June 04, 2010

(LUSAKATIMES) M’membe begins serving prison term

COMMENT - This is about intimidating the press. Since when is anyone sentenced to 4 months of hard labour for 'contempt of court'? Fred M'Membe will need everyone's support, so I suggest you start writing to Amnesty International, your Congressman an Senator, your MP, and any organisation you can think of. This is an outrageous sentence. This is all about intimidating the press in the runup to the 2011 elections. See also here on Youtube ("Fred M'Membe goes to jail").

M’membe begins serving prison term
Friday, June 4, 2010, 19:22

Post editor Fred M'membe being escorted to Lusaka Central remand prison under heavy guard. This was shortly after being sentenced to serve four months with hard labour by Lusaka magistrate David Simusamba. Picture courtesy of Post Newspaper

Post Newspapers Editor-in-Chief Fred M’membe who was this morning sentenced to four months imprisonment with hard labour has been taken to Lusaka Central Prison to begin serving his prison sentence.

His lawyers George Chisanga and Remmy Mainza struggled to get him out on bail pending appeal to the High Court. According to information received, Magistrate David Simusamba who is supposed to sign the bail has disappeared, leaving prison officers without an option but to send Mr. M’membe to Prison.

Mr. M’membe has been sentenced to four months imprisonment with hard labour after being found guilty of contempt of court together with the Post Newspapers by Magistrate Simusamba.

Mr M’membe has also been sentenced to four months simple imprisonment on behalf of the Post Newspapers, after Magistrate David Simusamba set free Post Human Resources Director Rueben Phiri who was standing in for the Newspaper.

Passing sentence this morning, Magistrate Simusamba said Phiri could not be the right person to suffer for the Post. He said the sentences will run concurrently meaning Mr M’membe will only serve a four months jail term.

Magistrate Simusamba said the sentence is meant to reform Mr M’membe as well as to deter would be offenders.


Labels: , , , ,


You can’t have peace where there is no justice

You can’t have peace where there is no justice
By Editor
Fri 04 June 2010, 04:00 CAT

Faced with the deplorable reality of increasing violence in our politics, we wish to express our view clearly.

Condemnation is always the proper judgment on political violence. If this violence is being initiated and encouraged by the authorities entrusted with the task of safeguarding the common good, then it defiles those who practice it, notwithstanding any reasons offered.

We should all be decisive in rejecting political violence, which becomes cruel and uncontrollable when it is unleashed. Criminal acts can in no way be justified as the way of doing politics, as a method of increasing and defending one’s political support. There is no progress that can come from political violence. There is no democracy that can be built on violence. There is no political support one can legitimately claim from acts of political violence.

We say this because political violence inexorably engenders new forms of suppression and repression, which usually prove to be more serious than those behind it can see. But more importantly, violence is an attack on life, which depends on the Creator alone. And we must also stress that when a political line or campaign appeals to violence, it thereby admits its own weakness and inadequacy.

It is a duty of all Zambians of goodwill to use all possible means to promote non-violent politics in an effort to bring about justice in economic and socio-political relations.

We cannot fail to praise those who denounce the use of violence in politics, in the vindication of their rights and who resort to methods that are peaceful. We are obliged to state and reaffirm that political violence is neither Christian nor evangelical. And whatever political gains we achieve through violence will be false, ineffective in themselves, and certainly inconsistent with the dignity of the people. The fact is that even the best political ideas quickly become inhuman if human inclinations are not upheld in their implementation or realisation. We cannot accept violence as a path to the maintenance or change of political power because we know that violence always provokes violence and irresistibly engenders new forms of repression which are often harder to bear.

We exhort all our politicians and their cadres not to place their trust in violence because that is contrary to the Christian spirit, and it can also delay instead of advancing that social uplifting which we all lawfully aspire to. We must say and reaffirm that political violence is not in accord with the Gospel, that it is not Christian; and that whatever political gains come out of it would be deceitful, ineffective of themselves, and certainly not in conformity with the dignity of the people.

We consider it to be undoubtedly important to develop political practices which are more human, more just, more respectful of the rights of others. But we are also conscious of the fact that the best political ideas and practices soon become inhuman if the inhuman inclinations of the human heart are not made wholesome, if those behind these political ideas and practices do not undergo a conversion of heart and outlook.

Political violence today constitutes one of the gravest problems in our politics. A decision on which the future of our country will depend should not be left to the impulses of emotion and passion. We would be failing in our duty if we were not to remind the conscience, caught in this dramatic dilemma, of the criteria derived from the Christian doctrine of evangelical love. No one should be surprised if we forcefully reaffirm our faith in the productiveness of peace. This is our ideal. This is not to say we are pacifists, for we can fight, but we prefer peace to violence because we know that whatever comes out of violence is fallacious, ineffective and does not last. We need politics that are anchored on the awakening of conscience, adequate preparation and effective participation of all. We believe in the productiveness of peace in order to achieve justice, and we also believe that justice is a prerequisite for peace.

In the face of the political tensions that conspire against peace, our political leaders cannot avoid assuming very concrete responsibilities; because to create a just social order without peace is illusory. We should denounce everything which, opposing justice, destroys peace.

In the light of the increasing political violence in our country, we make a special appeal to the government and the ruling MMD to realise that they have a serious responsibility. As facilitators of the political process, they should ensure that the concerns of all key players are adequately addressed. We also make an appeal to the opposition parties about the need for them to be open and constructive in participating in the political process and in addressing whatever problems arise. It is necessary to remind all our politicians and their supporters that politics is for the good of the people and the country and not for a political survival of any individual or party. If the spirit of the primacy of the common good were to animate all the parties, we would not be witnessing this increasing political violence which leaves the public dismayed and disheartened. Let our politicians remind themselves of the noble goals of political activity. From a Christian point of view, politics aims at the promotion of the common good. And this being the case, why should our politics be violent instead of concentrating on programmes that will help to improve the lives of our people? There is an urgent need for understanding, dialogue and tolerance. The interest of political parties should be kept subordinate to the public good. Good governance requires intelligent and responsible participation of all citizens. Our multiparty political dispensation should be a powerful weapon for unity in diversity, an instrument of justice and peace. And on the quality of it, the discernment behind it, depends the progress and peace of our country.

To have peaceful politics, that are devoid of violence, certain conditions have to prevail in our country and in our hearts. There ought to be a conducive atmosphere. The major players have to agree on the conditions under which their political activities take place. They all have to conduct themselves in a manner that does not put others at an unfair disadvantage. They should all publicly denounce violence of any sort. Constructive dialogue should be encouraged at all times on key political issues. The police and other law enforcement agencies should be kept away from politics. There should be no partisan policing of any sort.

As things stand today, the police is increasingly being seen as an extension of the ruling party. The police appear to be very reluctant to move on ruling party leaders and cadres who commit acts of violence and other crimes. But they are very swift to move on any alleged wrongdoing by opposition members. What we saw in the Mufumbwe by-election leaves the police in a very bad situation. The police, through the conduct of Inspector General Francis Kabonde, lost public respect in Mufumbwe. Kabonde’s behaviour was not different from that of William Banda, an MMD cadre. Kabonde is no longer fit to be at the helm of the Zambia Police Service because no one sees him as an impartial law enforcement officer.

People were killed and maimed in Mufumbwe but to date, no meaningful investigations and arrests have been made. All this is simply because those behind these crimes are connected to the MMD and as such Kabonde cannot move on them. It will be interesting to see how the case of health deputy minister Solomon Musonda will be handled. The story that the police are giving seems to be contrary to that of eyewitnesses. Conditions are being created for Musonda to escape justice. This is the type of law enforcement Kabonde is giving us.

This may seem to be good for the MMD and bad for those in the opposition. But the truth is that in the final analysis, it will be bad for all because this country will not be a good place for anyone if it’s not good for all of us.
Let us deal with this increasing violence in an honest and fair manner because without that, it will be impossible to stop it. You can’t have peace where there is no justice and equality before the law.



M’membe, The Post appeal

M’membe, The Post appeal
By Mwala Kalaluka
Fri 04 June 2010, 04:02 CAT

POST editor Fred M’membe and The Post yesterday filed a seven-ground notice of appeal before the Lusaka High Court over their conviction on a contempt charge by Lusaka magistrate David Simusamba.

According to a notice of appeal against conviction and sentence in line with section 323 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code Cap 88 of the laws of Zambia, filed by defence lawyers Remmy Chisanga and George Chisanga, M’membe and The Post were appealing against the conviction.

“Take notice that we, Fred M’membe and Post Newspapers Limited appeal to the High Court against the conviction by the Subordinate Court of the First Class sitting in its original jurisdiction at Lusaka on the 2nd day of June, 2010,” the appellants stated. “…Our appeal is against the conviction on the grounds herein after set forth.”

M’membe and The Post contend that magistrate Simusamba misdirected himself in law and in fact when faced with two possibilities on the question of M’membe’s alibi, he resolved the doubt in favour of the prosecution thereby reversing the golden rule of criminal procedure that the prosecution ought to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. They also contend that magistrate Simusamba misdirected himself in law and in fact when he dismissed M’membe’s alibi in the face of the dereliction of duty on the part of the state.

The third ground of appeal states that magistrate Simusamba erred in law when he held that M’membe could have been in control of the publication even assuming that he was not in the office at the material time by means of modern technology or through delegation of duty to his subordinates.

“…thereby making a finding of fact based on assumption unsupported by the evidence before him,” the appelants stated, adding that magistrate Simusamba further misdirected himself in law and in fact when he held that the article was contemptuous on the basis that it discussed legal authorities and offered an opinion on how the court should decide the matter when in fact the article never offered any such opinion to the court.

They further stated that having found as a fact that the article complained of was not contemptuous to render an opinion on the conduct of the Republican President, Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions in the context of the proceedings in the Chansa Kabwela case, magistrate Simusamba erred in law when he went to find that the article was contemptuous.

The appellants also argued that magistrate Simusamba misdirected himself in law and fact when he failed to evaluate the evidence of alibi presented before him by M’membe and his witnesses. “The learned trial magistrate misdirected himself in law when he dismissed M’membe’s’s evidence that he was on leave without giving reason for such a finding.”

M’membe and The Post were found guilty of contempt of court arising from the publication on August 27, 2009 of an article entitled, ‘The Chansa Kabwela case: A comedy of errors’, that was authored by US-based Zambian law professor Muna Ndulo.

Labels: , , ,


Dr Musonda must be arrested – Sata

Dr Musonda must be arrested – Sata
By George Chellah
Fri 04 June 2010, 04:01 CAT

Information minister Ronnie Shikapwasha praying for PF cadre Jackson Musaka at UTH in Lusaka yesterday - Picture by Eddie Mwanaleza

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) leader Michael Sata yesterday said health deputy minister Dr Solomon Musonda must be arrested and prosecuted because attempted murder is a serious homicide case.

Commenting on Dr Musonda’s shooting and wounding of a PF cadre Jackson Musaka in Serenje during the week, Sata advised President Rupiah Banda to pay attention to the people’s calls on the need for the MMD to refrain from violence.

“Tell Rupiah that it’s difficult to build a nation but very easy to destroy. Therefore, an orchestrated violent campaign will not help him,” Sata said.

“People have been complaining over the MMD’s violence and they have been treating it like child’s play. But have you seen what has happened now? If a deputy minister, someone appointed by the President can go to such extremes as shooting a boy who is unarmed, then there is a big problem not only with the person himself but the appointing authority as well.”

Sata said President Banda would be laying himself naked when ministers commit crimes and he doesn’t do anything.

“This is worse than what Lameck Mangani did when he was demoted. But we don’t care whether Rupiah fires Solomon or not. We just want justice to be done and Solomon to be prosecuted,” Sata said. “Solomon must be arrested and prosecuted. Attempted murder is a very serious homicide case.”

Sata said PF was planning to report Dr Musonda to the Medical Council of Zambia so that he is disciplined.

“The behaviour of Solomon in this matter is disgraceful to the medical profession. Solomon is not a layman. He is a medical doctor by profession. And we all know that doctors are trained to save lives, and not to take that life,” Sata said. “How can a medical doctor be taking lives instead of saving? It’s clear here that Solomon aimed to kill the youngman. That’s why as PF we strongly feel that Solomon must be reported to the medical council because he is an embarrassment to the medical professional.

”How can a doctor even fail to apply first-aid on a victim? Is it normal for a person trained to save lives to run away from the scene after he had just shot someone? He ran away leaving that boy in pain. Who did he expect to attend to that casualty he single-handedly caused?”

Sata said the nation had already started reaping from the seeds of violence that were sown by Lusaka Province MMD chairman William Banda.

“Nobody is restraining William Banda, not even Rupiah. So William has already found a disciple in Solomon and one will be correct to conclude that William is succeeding with his campaign of terror,” he said. “He has been going round with guns and now ministers are doing the same. The question is where is the police?”
Sata dismissed MMD spokesperson Dora Siliya’s insinuation that PF cadres attacked Dr Musonda.

“Tell Dora that we are dealing with human life here and not Zamtel or RP Capital issues. As a mother, Dora must be sympathetic with that boy who is in pain at UTH and not what she is saying,” Sata said. “Let her tell us why Solomon has not been arrested. She should not be talking about that innocent boy like that. Who is violent between the shooter and the victim? The cadres were not violent because if they were violent, why didn’t they attack the vehicle? Solomon himself has no scratch on his body. Even the vehicle he was driving when you see it today, it’s unscratched. Even when the vehicle returned with the police they never stoned it. So what violence are they talking about?

“The only crime those youths committed was to demand for an explanation from Solomon on why he has not delivered on his campaign promises. Those cadres never fought or even pinched Solomon because if they did, he would have spoken that ‘I was attacked’. B
But he is quiet.”

Labels: , , , , ,


‘Chiluba’s statement on Task Force cases unfortunate’

‘Chiluba’s statement on Task Force cases unfortunate’
By Patson Chilemba
Fri 04 June 2010, 04:01 CAT

LAW Association of Zambia (LAZ) president Stephen Lungu yesterday described as unfortunate Frederick Chiluba’s statement that he does not respect outcomes of court cases handled by the Task Force.

Commenting on Chiluba’s statement that he had no respect for the outcome of court cases handled by the Task Force on Corruption because they were heavily politicised, Lungu said the statement from Chiluba was very unfortunate especially that it came from a former president.

“It is very unfortunate because of the position that he holds in society, and the influence of his statement. The influence that his statements would have on society, that is why it is unfortunate,” he said.

Lungu said Chiluba was entitled to his own opinion but LAZ would stand by its stated position not to cause disrespect to the judiciary.

He said the conviction of Kalumba was legal and not political.

“People should not use their opinions to cast aspersions on the Judiciary. We have always as an association advocated for the fact that we should respect the court process, and the court process starts from the time a matter goes to court,” Lungu said. “Every right meaning citizen of this country should respect court decisions, whether or not they agree with them.”

On Chiluba’s statement that the judicial process should not be tainted with illegalities and political interference, Lungu said it was always unfortunate when a person of Chiluba’s stature made such kind of comments.

“Our view is that whether or not we agree with the judgments that came out of the court, we should always show respect to the decisions of the courts. And as I said earlier, this is why we have got an appeal process,” he said.

Asked how possible it was for Chiluba to respect the judiciary and not the judgments that were passed by the courts, Lungu said he did not understand the contradiction.

Chiluba was quoted in last Wednesday’s edition of the state-owned Times of Zambia saying he had no respect for the outcomes of court cases that were handled by the Task Force because they were heavily politicised.

Speaking through his spokesperson Emmanuel Mwamba, Chiluba said apart from the cases being politically instigated, they were also targeted at certain individuals.

Labels: ,


Shortage of anti-malaria drugs in E/Province worries minister

Shortage of anti-malaria drugs in E/Province worries minister
By Christopher Miti in Chipata
Fri 04 June 2010, 04:00 CAT

EASTERN Province minister Isaac Banda has expressed concern over the shortage of anti-malaria drugs in most health centres in the province.

In an interview after the handover of a renovated building at Chiparamba Health Centre and a donation of a CD4-count machine at the health centre by Community Oriented Development Programme (CODEP) on Wednesday, Banda said he had received several reports regarding the shortage of drugs.

“I am really concerned with the drugs shortage because there are always assurances from the Minister of Health that they have anti-malarial drugs in stock and this is why I was asking the provincial health management on why we don’t have these drugs in these clinics,” Banda said.

He said he had proved that many clinics did not have the anti-malaria drugs after touring Chiparamba Rural Health Centre.

“I have received several reports by phone and so forth, but for today, I have seen it on my own that we don’t have the drugs at Chiparamba and the clinical officer in charge has told me that the clinic has had no drugs for the past three months,” Banda said.

He said the drug shortage was a big problem because many people in villages could not manage to buy from drug stores.

Banda urged the provincial health team to ensure that drugs were available in health centres.

Provincial medical representative Elson Simbwalanga assured the minister that the drug shortage would be addressed.

And Banda said CODEP rehabilitated Chiparamba health centre at a cost of K80 million and equipped it with a CD4-count machine.

He said the provision of CD4-count testing machine would enable many people to benefit from the free anti-retroviral programme that the government had put in place.

And CODEP coordinator Joseph Mwale said his organisation and the community decided to work with the government by renovating the health centre and equipped it with the CD4 machine in the spirit of public private partnership.

Mwale commended the Ministry of Health for providing moral support to CODEP.
CODEP also launched the integrated watershed management project that would gobble about K3 billion.

Mwale said the ultimate goal of the project, which is being funded by Gorta of Ireland, was to improve natural resources and the food security base of the people in Chiparamba area.

Labels: ,


Kang’ombe calls on CCS to settle K9bn land rates debt

Kang’ombe calls on CCS to settle K9bn land rates debt
By Mwila Chansa in Kitwe
Fri 04 June 2010, 04:00 CAT

IT is irresponsible for Chambishi Copper Smelter (CCS) to refuse to pay land rates to Kalulushi Municipal Council, Kitwe’s Riverside ward councillor Christopher Kang’ombe has charged.

In a statement yesterday, Kang’ombe demanded that the K9 billion owed to Kalulushi council must be settled immediately to enable the local authority provide services to residents.

CCS owes Kalulushi Council about K9 billion in unpaid rates and despite being given a 30 per cent rebate, the company has still failed to pay the money thereby hampering the council’s operations especially in service delivery.

“We all know that this local authority has very few sources of income and as such the outstanding K9 billion must be settled immediately,” he stated.

Kang’ombe accused the government of continually passing legislation that not only affected council operations but also undermined the legitimacy and relevance of elected officials.

“The same government is on record to have issued statements that have hampered collection of land rates in most districts and I’m therefore disappointed to learn that the same lack of political will is being exhibited by the same government which must be in the forefront of encouraging the investors to pay their obligations to local councils,” he stated.

He stated that the government’s double standards should be challenged by every well-meaning citizen because if they were allowed to continue, even ordinary Zambians would begin refusing to pay rates.

Kang’ombe stated that most councils on the Copperbelt had no alternative sources of revenue other than mining companies and wondered what would happen if mining companies in other districts stopped remitting rates to respective local authorities.

“The government risks setting a bad precedence of other mining companies asking ‘what is so special about the Chinese investors at the Chambishi Copper Smelter’ who in my opinion must be treated in the same way as other investors,” Kang’ombe stated.

He stated that Zambians had nothing against Chinese investment but problems would arise if people heard that they Chinese investors were refusing to pay land rates.

Kang’ombe urged the government to stop interfering with the operations of councils.

Kang’ombe also urged CCS to start attracting goodwill from Zambians by paying their workers well and ensuring that they meet the country’s legal provisions by paying land rates.

Labels: , , , ,


‘Rupiah, Jacob Mwanza are plotting to replace Kalindawalo’

‘Rupiah, Jacob Mwanza are plotting to replace Kalindawalo’
By Amos Malupenga
Fri 04 June 2010, 04:00 CAT

President Rupiah Banda and his close friend Jacob Mwanza have been accused of scheming to remove chief Kalindawalo Mundikula in Petauke and reinstate Mika, the former Kalindawalo.

And Lavu Mulimba, from the Sandwe Royal Establishment, has complained before the Delegated Legislation Committee of Parliament questioning the legality of the Statutory Instrument signed by President Banda in April this year recognising Shaderick Malamula Zulu as chief Sandwe of the Nsenga people in Petauke district.

Well-placed traditional sources in Eastern Province revealed yesterday that President Banda and his friend, former Bank of Zambia governor Jacob Mwanza, have teamed up to ensure that they deal with chiefs who might not be politically useful to the President.

“There is a background to this problem which is very well-known,” the source said. “You will recall that during the time of the late president Levy Mwanawasa, the House of Chiefs was tasked to investigate this matter. This investigation was done and one of the recommendations to president Mwanawasa was that Shaderick Malamula Zulu was not in line to succeed as chief Sandwe.”

However, the source said President Banda, early last year, appointed David Tembo as Clerk of the House of Chiefs with the motive to delink the traditional relationship between the Nsengas and the Chewas because he allegedly did not like senior chief Kalindawalo.

The source further said on April 30, 2010, President Banda signed a Statutory Instrument number 32 naming Shaderick Malamula Zulu as the new chief Sandwe of the Nsenga people of Lusangazi area in Petauke district. President Banda stated that he was satisfied that Zulu was entitled to hold the office of chief Sandwe.

“But I can tell you that the only person who satisfied President Banda is his friend Jacob Mwanza who has managed to satisfy him also in having his two nephews gazetted as chiefs Nyampande and Mumbi,” the source said. “President Banda is doing this in total disregard of the law.”

The source said Mwanawasa instituted a Commission of Inquiry under the chairmanship of chief Mumena, who was House of Chiefs chairman, that travelled to Petauke to inquire into the succession wrangles.

“The House of Chiefs recommended that Shadreck Malamula Zulu was not in line to succeed as chief Sandwe,” the source said, adding that senior chief Kalindawalo also made the same recommendation after Lusaka High Court judge Thomas Ndhlovu instructed him to call the Mbumbas (the chief’s sisters who select the his successor) to guide them.

“Paramount chief Kalonga Gawa Undi of the Chewa people, himself a matrilineal hereditary advised the government through the Ministry of Local Government and Housing on how to proceed and to leave traditional matters to traditional leaders,” the source said. “The then Lusaka High Court judge Gertrude Chawatama made similar pronouncements when she was petitioned by Shadreck Zulu. But now Rupiah Banda and Jacob Mwanza have resolved to remove Kalindawalo Mundikula and re-instate the former Mika Kalindawalo whom they regard a 2011 vote getter for President Banda in Petauke.”

The source said instructions have since been given to agriculture minister Peter Daka and education minister Dora Siliya, who are both Nsengas, to call for a Petauke chiefs’ meeting to resolve the removal of Kalindawalo Mundikula and recommend the reinstatement of Mika.

The source said the Lavu Mulimba family, as a result decided to petition the Speaker of the National Assembly Amusaa Mwanamwambwa, following President Banda’s signing of the Statutory Instrument number 32 of 2010 which was published in Government Gazette number 5874 Vol XLVI on April 30, 2010 and the arrangements that are underway to replace chief Kalindawalo.

And in his complaint letter addressed to the Delegated Legislation Committee chairperson Chifumu Banda dated May 20, 2010, Mulimba stated that the Statutory Instrument signed by President Banda on April 30 was ultra vires the constitution and chiefs Act, violated his family’s and personal traditional right to succeed the late chief Sandwe VII in accordance with Nsenga customary law governing succession.

Mulimba also stated that the Statutory Instrument further subjected his traditional succession right to administrative decisions made by Petauke district council secretary. He stated that inspite of the House of Chiefs being advised by his lawyers not to proceed to gazette either Zulu or Jaavani Ngulube as the Sandwe dispute was before court, President Banda proceeded to issue the Statutory Instrument in question.

“My prayer is that you call me as a witness to your meeting which will include the examination of the legality of Statutory Instrument in terms of your terms of reference as Parliament’s Committee on Delegated Legislation,” Mulimba stated. “A group of criminal-minded persons who have hijacked the gazetation process in the Sandwe case are in a hurry to hold the last ceremony Kuyanika to install Mr Shadreck Zulu as chief Sandwe. My appeal is that the examination of Statutory In Instrument be expedited by your committee to prevent further illegal acts being taken by Mr Zulu.”

Labels: , , , , , ,


Thursday, June 03, 2010

Auditor General conducted a forensic audit on CEP – Kapoor

Auditor General conducted a forensic audit on CEP – Kapoor
By Chibaula Silwamba
Thu 03 June 2010, 03:30 CAT

WORLD Bank country manager Kapil Kapoor has said the bank’s audit of the Copperbelt Environment Project (CEP)’s financial management procedures and transactions indicates that the majority of “issues” raised initially by the Office of the Auditor General have been satisfactorily addressed.

And Kapoor said the closing date for the CEP has been extended to March 31, 2011 to allow for completion of ongoing work. Responding to a press query on the revelations of the Auditor General’s report on the financial mismanagement at CEP, Kapoor stated that the World Bank last month received its own audit report on the project.

“To respond to the alleged misappropriation of public funds under the Copperbelt Environment Project, the Office of the Auditor General conducted a forensic audit, following which the OAG asked the relevant government agencies to respond to several issues that resulted from the audit,” Dr Kapoor stated.

“In addition to the audit, the World Bank also recently conducted its own review of the project's financial management procedures and transactions.

The World Bank has received, in May 2010, the final audit report, which indicates that based on the government's response to the audit observations, the majority of issues raised initially by the Office of the Auditor General OAG have been satisfactorily addressed.”

He stated that to address the remaining issues resulting from the OAG audit and the World Bank's review of the project's financial management procedures, an action plan was being agreed with the Zambian government that would focus on the reinstallation of computerised accounting software that had been dysfunctional, updating of the financial procedures manual to enhance internal approval processes and contract management, the maintenance of a register documenting the project’s fixed assets and improvements in the filing of supporting documents.

“Following a request received from government, the closing date for the Copperbelt Environment Project has been extended to March 31, 2011, to allow for completion of ongoing work,” Dr Kapoor stated.

“The World Bank is very pleased to be supporting the implementation of the Copperbelt Environment Project which is reducing the negative environmental and social consequences of decades of mining in the Copperbelt in Zambia.”

He stated that the project was strengthening regulations and institutions responsible for the environmental performance of the mining sector and helping to protect the health and safety of people living near mining sites.

“By cleaning up highly lead-contaminated areas and setting up new water infrastructure in contaminated hot spots, this project has helped reduce exposure to lead for about 50,000 people - particularly children who are most vulnerable to it,” stated Dr Kapoor.

According to an audit report, OAG/101/48/87, submitted to the Secretary to the Treasury on February 1, 2010, there was misappropriation of public funds, distortion of financial administration and failure to follow laid down approval procedures among other irregularities at CEP.

Labels: , ,


PF-UPND to launch Pact this Saturday – Kakoma

PF-UPND to launch Pact this Saturday – Kakoma
By Agness Changala
Thu 03 June 2010, 04:50 CAT

THE PF and UPND will this Saturday launch the Pact and celebrate its one-year of existence.

During a joint press briefing in Lusaka yesterday, UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma said President Rupiah Banda and Vice-President George Kunda should be ashamed of the launch of the Pact because they prayed for it to fail.

“And that hasn’t happened and this is something that has glued a lot suspicions even amongst the Pact members,” Kakoma said.

He said the Pact was ready to be launched as the two parties had taken sufficient time to work together and know each other.

Kakoma said from the time the Pact was formed on June 4, last year, it had continued to grow, hence the launch to consolidate it.

He invited everyone to attend the rally, saying a police permit had already been obtained. Kakoma said the Pact would be launched with the full blessings of the top leadership, Michael Sata and Hakainde Hichilema.

He also said the Pact would prefer to have the Chifubu and Luena by–elections on the same day to serve the resources.

“When we look at how Electoral Commission of Zambia ECZ operates, it prints ballot papers in South Africa so if it’s done once and for all we save the time and resources,” said Kakoma.

And PF spokesperson Given Lubinda said President Banda and Vice-President Kunda should not point fingers at others because they had the power to stop violence being perpetrated by MMD.

Lubinda charged that the buck would stop at President Banda if he did not show leadership in the violence being exhibited by the ruling party.

“Any blood shall be accounted for and RB will account for it when his time comes,” he said. “Instead, RB and his colleagues must do everything to protect the Zambians because that’s what they are paid for.”

Lubinda said the growing trend of police officers knowing which political party one belonged to before they could offer protection should come to an end.

He reminded Vice-President Kunda that as a lawyer, he should realise that the International Court of Justice was created for people who caused anarchy.

Lubinda said it would not take God to come and judge such people but they would be sent to The Hague to be judged.

He charged that the Pact had sent shivers to the MMD.
“Even Rupiah Banda in his house, has no confidence in his workers because every person is now a member or sympathiser of the Pact,” he said.

Lubinda urged his party members not to condone violence.
“We will do this for everyone including the MMD. Stay away from violence, violence begets violence, save our dear country for the next generations to come,” Lubinda said.

He also prayed for the long life of those in the MMD so that they could witness the way the Pact would govern Zambia when they get into office next year.

Lubinda said the launch would provide a platform for a steady growth of the Pact into government of the people for the people by the people.

He said the launch would also redeem journalists in the government-controlled media from the york of MMD.

“You members of the press can be given the dignity that you deserve,” said Lubinda.
The launch will take place in Lusaka opposite the Freedom Statue at 10:00 hours.

Labels: , ,


PF-UPND pact sends officials to Luena

PF-UPND pact sends officials to Luena
By Florence Bupe
Thu 03 June 2010, 04:50 CAT

OPPOSITION PF and UPND officials had been dispatched to Luena constituency to assess the situation on the ground in order to help the pact make beneficial decisions, UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma has disclosed.

Kakoma said a number of people had applied to be considered for the seat but stressed that the two parties were yet to decide on which candidate to field. Kakoma could also not disclose from which party the candidate would be selected, as there were still factors that needed to be studied.

“We haven’t yet decided on which party ticket we are going to field a candidate. We will only be able to do so once the team we have sent returns and gives us the real picture on the ground,” said Kakoma.

He said the electorate in Luena had completely written off the MMD and the party stood no chance of scooping the seat.

Kakoma said it was clear that the people of Luena had no confidence in the ruling party and they were not going to vote for the MMD in the next by- elections.

The Luena seat fell vacant following the resignation of Charles Milupi who was an independent member of parliament.

“We are confident that we will scoop the Luena seat because people there have no confidence in the MMD, they have completely written the ruling party off,” he said.

Kakoma said the electorate in Luena were also very disappointed by the decision by Milupi to resign after he formed a political party, the Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD).

Labels: , , ,


Mwaanga is contradicting himself, says Magande

Mwaanga is contradicting himself, says Magande
By Patson Chilemba
Thu 03 June 2010, 04:00 CAT

Commenting on MMD parliamentary chief whip Vernon Mwaanga’s contradictory statement that the MMD did not need an alliance with the UPND to win next year’s elections, Magande said it was clear that Mwaanga was contradicting himself because he earlier said he recently had meetings with some Southern Province chiefs, the business community and other stakeholders who supported the need for an alliance between the MMD and UPND, and he would push for that alliance if the UPND agreed.

“The truth of the matter is tell the truth then you will not have any need to remember what you said,” Magande said. “He is contradicting himself. When he got the proposals from the people he consulted, he should perhaps not have publicised the purpose of his trip to Southern Province before reporting to the head of MMD, because he can’t start now to talk in public on an issue which he had not yet reported to the one who sent him.”

On Mwaanga’s statement that MMD could win elections on its own, Magande said in fact the MMD won the 2008 presidential elections because of the support of three opposition political parties. He said President Banda was travelling with leaders of other political parties to address rallies.

“Even when we have not sorted ourselves out as MMD to see if we need other opposition parties to help us, we have already appointed someone from UNIP to be home affairs minister. Which shows we can’t run government without the opposition,” Magande said.

He reiterated that Mwaanga admitted that the MMD with its current leadership of President Banda could not win the 2011 elections, going by his earlier statement on the need for an alliance between MMD and UPND.

“Why didn’t he stand up in 2008 to say ‘we don’t need you opposition people’,” Magande said. “People like Vernon Mwaanga have realised that we are weak, that is why he went to consult people in Southern Province.”

Magande said MMD national chairman Michael Mabenga was recently in Western Province while deputy national secretary Chembe Nyangu was in Central Province.

He said they were probably performing the same duty Mwaanga was carrying out in Southern Province.

“All I can say is these people are being sent by somebody to go and ask ‘can we win’. So Southern Province told VJ Mwaanga that ‘MMD can’t win without an alliance’,” said Magande.

Earlier, Mwaanga said most people favoured an alliance between the MMD and UPND and not the current PF-UPND pact. However, Mwaanga later said the MMD was capable of winning the 2011 elections without the UPND. But Magande said Mwaanga had admitted that the current MMD leadership could not win the 2011 elections without getting into an alliance.

In response, Mwaanga said Magande was a renegade member of the MMD and what he said should not be taken serious.

Labels: , ,


(LUSAKATIMES) ‘Govt wants to silence M’membe’- Sata

‘Govt wants to silence M’membe’- Sata
Wednesday, June 2, 2010, 20:17

Patriotic Front (PF) president, Michael Sata says the conviction of Post editor-in-chief Fred M’membe on contempt of court was predictable because government has always wanted to silence him.

Mr.M’membe was this morning found guilty by Lusaka Magistrate David Simusamba for contempt of court together with the Post newspapers in connection to an article authored by US-based Zambian professor Muna Ndulo titled “The Chansa Kabwela case:A Comedy of Errors”.

But Mr Sata said that the MMD have always wanted to silence Mr. M’membe. He said the court’s guilty verdict for the Post editor-in-chief was expected,adding that there is nothing strange about it.

The PF leader noted that the MMD government has made it clear that they wanted to silence the Post newspapers and Mr Mmembe.

Meanwhile a PF cadre who was shot in the head by Health Heputy Minister Dr Solomon Musonda in Chitambo yesterday has been rushed to the University Teaching Hospital for specialist treatment.

Jackson Musaka was transferred to the UTH today were he was immediately rushed to the theatre to be operated upon.

And Sata has questioned why government is protecting Dr Musonda who he said is dangerous person.

Mr Sata said Dr Musonda is a danger to the society and described the shooting incident as unfortunate.

The Health Deputy Minister shot the victim who was in the company other suspected PF cadres after they allegedly tried to attack him.

[ QFM ]

Labels: , , , , ,


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

What respect can Chiluba claim to have for our judiciary?

What respect can Chiluba claim to have for our judiciary?
By The Post
Wed 02 June 2010, 19:30 CAT

When criminals praise law enforcement agencies, there is a big problem somewhere.
In a normal world, criminals run away from the police and other law enforcement agencies – they hate them. The reason for this is not difficult to discern. The law enforcement agencies exist to stop what criminals consider as their legitimate and profitable undertakings.

On the other hand, when a criminal criticises a law enforcement agency and shows hatred for it, then we should know that more likely than not that law enforcement agency is doing the right thing. Criminals are always trying to undermine and sometimes bribe and corrupt law enforcement agencies. When they fail, they turn to defamation and other forms of propaganda to undermine the credibility of the institution they have failed to break or corrupt.

This is something that is well-known world over. Criminals, particularly those involved in organised crime, work very hard to undermine the law enforcement agencies that work against them.

The last eight years or so have brought out something similar in our country. Frederick Chiluba and his tandem of thieves have worked very hard to cheat our people. They have engaged in all sorts of propaganda against the work of the Task Force on Corruption. We wonder whether their attacks would have been as vehement as they have been if the Task Force was ineffective in pursuing them and in bringing out their criminal deeds.

The other day Chiluba was saying that he has no respect for the outcomes of cases handled by the Task Force on Corruption because they were heavily politicised. Chiluba wants to pretend that his unhappiness with the Task Force was because of what he calls “politics”. But we all know that Chiluba’s problems were not as a result of politics.

They were a product of his criminal deeds. Yes, because he is a politician he played a lot of politics. But the charges that he was facing are things that have nothing to do with politics. Chiluba abused his political office to amass wealth. This was a problem. When he was caught, he tried to use politics to get away.

When this did not work, he now has the audacity to accuse law enforcement officers of being politicised. Our people have not forgotten that when Chiluba was in State House, he did not hesitate to use the police and the judicial process to punish his enemies, real and imaginary. For him, the judicial process was but an extension of his political arsenal. Chiluba had no qualms about having his enemies arrested on trumped-up charges.

And because this is what he did, he thinks that everybody else behaves that way. Anyway, the criticism of the Task Force by Chiluba should not surprise anyone. If we were the Task Force, we would take it as a complement. When a criminal criticises a police officer for doing his job effectively, the police officer should be happy. We would have been very worried if Chiluba was praising the Task Force. That would have been a serious indictment on their professionalism.

Chiluba and his tandem of thieves have spent eight years trying to malign the Task Force and those who worked in it, making this and that claim. What is interesting is that they always run to attacking the Task Force instead of addressing the substance of the charges that they faced.

We have not forgotten that their surrogates such as Aaron Chungu were holding press conferences at On the Run in Lusaka’s Northmead area to insult the officers who were investigating them.

The problems that Chiluba and his friends have have nothing to do with the officers but everything to do with the things they did when they were in power. An innocent person has no reason to fear or even malign a law enforcement officer. In fact, law-abiding citizens should appreciate the work of law enforcement officers. The propaganda against those who investigated Chiluba’s corruption will not take away the corruption that they were engaged in.

The problem is not who is exposing or who has exposed the wrongs that they did. The problem lies with the wrongs that they did. Who exposes what they did doesn’t matter much. If they did nothing wrong, it would still not matter much who claims that they did nothing wrong. They must start to address the specific crimes that they had committed because this is where the problem lies.

We are still waiting for Chiluba to tell our people where he got the US $8 million that he claims to have been keeping in a government account. Chiluba has even threatened to claim it back from the government, suggesting that it was not spent. But this is Chiluba for you, full of contradictions. And that is what lies do to those that rely on them.

Chiluba is not embarrassed by holding contradictory positions. In his attack on the Task Force the other day, he said although he did not respect outcomes for court cases handled by the Task Force, he respected the judiciary. How this is possible, only Chiluba seems to understand. How can you respect an institution but disrespect its actions of decisions? It is Chiluba’s usual way of trying to slither between contradictory positions and hope to get away somehow.

How can Chiluba claim to respect the judiciary but at the same time does not respect its judgments because they originate from matters investigated by the Task Force? If Chiluba’s logic was extended to all of us, none of us would respect any court decision because they usually arise from matters taken to court by people we don’t respect or like. People who take us to court are not usually our friends.

But this is what the courts are there for – to hear cases fairly and objectively regardless of where they come from or of who originated them. The same courts Chiluba says he respects have agreed – almost 100 per cent – with the work of the officers who worked at the Task Force. And in this regard, the courts have convicted almost everyone, except Chiluba himself, who was taken before them. And among the people convicted is Chiluba’s own wife who he admitted giving money.

The only decision of our courts Chiluba has accepted is his questionable acquittal – and nothing else. If truly Chiluba respected our courts, as he claims, he would have serious difficulties not accepting their decisions on the corruption cases in which his wife and many of his friends have been convicted. In truth, what Chiluba doesn’t like are the convictions of these courts.

Chiluba has also claimed that although he respected the judiciary, he emphasised that the judiciary should not be tainted with illegalities and political interference. Is Chiluba telling us something we don’t know about our judiciary?

Is Chiluba telling us that our judiciary is tainted with illegalities and political interference? If so, in which way? Can he show us some examples where our judiciary has shown to be tainted with illegalities and political interference and who is behind those illegalities and political interference? This is not a matter that should be taken lightly. It is a very serious allegation that Chiluba as former head of state is making.

But Chiluba should really be the last person to speak about political interference in the judiciary. What did he do with the former chief justice Mathew Ngulube? Paying money to a sitting chief justice for no discernable services seems okay if it is done by Chiluba. That is what Chiluba seems to be telling us.

Just in case some of our people have forgotten, it is important for us to state that even the problems that Chiluba is facing today were born out of his abuse of the judicial process. When Chiluba felt aggrieved by articles published in this newspaper, he decided to unleash the full force of our police on this newspaper’s editor, a journalist and two parliamentarians.

They were hunted like dangerous criminals and taken to court for calling Chiluba a thief. Chiluba abused his presidential powers and made the police behave so unprofessionally. It is in defending this newspaper’s editor and the other people accused with him that Chiluba’s crimes became clear for our people to see.

It is that case that led to the lifting of his immunity and his eventual prosecution. But Chiluba is incapable of learning. He forgets very easily. His arrogance denies him the ability to learn from his mistakes. Anyway, there is no way Chiluba can talk about our judiciary with any credibility. What respect can Chiluba claim to have for our judiciary?

Labels: , ,


Katele’s conviction has shocked Chiluba - Sata

Katele’s conviction has shocked Chiluba - Sata
By George Chellah
Wed 02 June 2010, 04:01 CAT

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) leader Michael Sata yesterday said the conviction of Katele Kalumba and three others for corruption has shocked Frederick Chiluba. And Transparency International – Zambia (TIZ) executive director Goodwell Lungu said the conviction of Kalumba has sent Chiluba into a state of confusion.

Commenting on former president Chiluba’s statement that all the corruption allegations against him and his former officials were a political witch-hunt in which the courts were just used to achieve this political goal by his enemies, Sata said Chiluba should be the last person to criticize the courts.

“We all know that currently Chiluba is co-president of Zambia. So he stands a better chance of easily influencing these decisions and not we in the opposition. What authority have we got to coerce the courts? He is now Rupiah’s friend, he told us himself that he is the one who guides Rupiah on what button to press,” Sata said.

“Chiluba is not being sincere on this matter. It’s clear to see here that Rupiah is struggling, he is trying to be a man of himself and not to be a poodle on a small string.

“The truth of the matter is that Chiluba didn’t expect what came out of the court on Katele and others. It was a shock to him, the conviction hit him so hard.”

He said Chiluba was speaking with a forked tongue.

“Chiluba is saying that the fact that these people have appealed meant that they were still contending their innocence. Chiluba is playing double standards here. He should not even claim his innocence because that innocent would have been proved in his own statement. It’s because Zambians were not sure on whether he was innocent of corruption that’s why they demanded for an appeal against his acquittal which he stopped with his friend Rupiah,” Sata said.

“Chiluba was acquitted by the same courts he is today saying were just used to achieve a political goal by his enemies. If he knew that he was innocent why didn’t they let the appeal process to go ahead? To show Chiluba that they are law-abiding citizens who respect the country’s judicial system, Zambians have not stopped Katele from appealing because after what Rupiah did on Chiluba’s acquittal by blocking the appeal one would have expected Zambians to equally stop Katele and team from appealing but they haven’t.

“So if Chiluba is so sure about his innocence let him and Rupiah permit that appeal against his acquittal just like the Zambian people have permitted Katele and others to appeal against their conviction. Chiluba is trying to play double standards.”

Sata said it was difficult for Chiluba to keep quiet on these matters.

“We need more talking from Chiluba. The guilty are always afraid so it would be impossible for him to keep quiet,” he said.

He dismissed Chiluba’s assertion that the focus on the fight against corruption was on him.

“He is talking about Kenneth Kaunda’s 27-year rule and Levy’s rule before his death. But you ask him; Chiluba was president of Zambia for 10 years. He was in a much better position than anybody else to tell the people of Zambia about the corruption of UNIP and take action against that so why didn’t he take action against Kenneth Kaunda? Who stopped him?” Sata asked.

“He is also talking about corruption in Levy’s government but he forgets that Rupiah’s government is a continuation of where Levy left, so what is he saying about his friend Rupiah?

He should accuse his friend Rupiah of running a corrupt government. Let him not even talk about Kenneth Kaunda and Mwanawasa because we can point a finger on what these two gentlemen did while in office.

“Kaunda in his 27-year rule took development to Luapula Province where Chiluba hails. Even Mwanawasa despite him not finishing his second term, he managed to erect Mwanawasa Bridge in Luapula but what did Chiluba, the son of the soil do for Luapula? Where can we see Chiluba’s development in Luapula? Instead of doing anything for Luapula he superintended on the destruction of that province, he was just busy closing the few companies that existed in order for the locals to suffer.”

Sata said the courts were supposed to be independent.

“Politicians are casual workers. They come and go but the country’s justice system remains. So the courts must be independent because people need to have confidence in the courts,” Sata said.

And Lungu said TIZ finds the comments by Chiluba that the corruption allegations against him and his former officials were a political witch-hunt interesting.

“This is because Dr Chiluba has now agreed that the conviction of Dr Kalumba and others reflects on what was supposed to have happened in his own case as the facts leading to the cases arise from interrelated activities and events. It is surprising that Dr Chiluba can attack the judiciary in such a manner which just a few months ago, he was congratulating for delivering what he called ‘justice’ after his acquittal,” Lungu said.

“Dr Chiluba is also on record to have called the current Republican President, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda to be his very good friend and as such, one wonders who is at the pinnacle of the Judiciary which is engaged in witch-hunting Dr Chiluba and others if not his good friend. It is also interesting to note that Dr Chiluba is apparently happy that Dr Kalumba and others have appealed to contend their innocence when he did not encourage the state to appeal against his acquittal for him to be cleared by the higher courts of our judicature.

“To us, the conviction of Dr Kalumba and others is clear testimony that there was no justice done in the Chiluba acquittal as his case cannot at all be delinked from the one involving Dr Kalumba and others. We shall therefore continue demanding that the appeal against Dr Chiluba's judgment be done by the state without fail no matter what.”

He said the conviction of Kalumba had sent Chiluba into the state of confusion.
“And contradiction in that he has now started castigating the judiciary which implies he is indirectly attacking the Republican President, Mr Rupiah Banda,” he said.

Lungu advised President Banda to learn from Chiluba’s contradictory behaviour, which he said could ruin his chances of re-election next year.

“This is for the simple reason that the controversial acquittal of Dr Chiluba will become one of the hotly contested election issues next year,” said Lungu.

Labels: , , ,


Simusamba convicts M’membe and The Post

Simusamba convicts M’membe and The Post
By Mwala Kalaluka
Wed 02 June 2010, 18:30 CAT

LAWYERS representing Post editor Fred M’membe in a matter where he and The Post were yesterday found guilty of publishing contemptuous material have said they will appeal against the convictions.

And Lusaka senior resident magistrate David Simusamba reserved sentence in the matter to tomorrow in order for him to look at the defence’s mitigation.

This is in a matter in which M’membe and The Post were facing contempt charges arising from the publication on August 27, 2009 of an article entitled, ‘The Chansa Kabwela case: A comedy of errors’ that was authored by US-based Zambian law professor Muna Ndulo.

The defence lawyers, Remmy Mainza and George Chisanga, said yesterday that whilst they respected magistrate Simusamba’s judgment, they did not agree with it and hence their decision to appeal against it immediately.

In his over one-hour judgment, magistrate Simusamba said he found M’membe and The Post guilty of contempt because the article complained of had delved into some issues that were supposed to have been determined by the court before which the people versus Chansa Kabwela case was proceeding.
Magistrate Simusamba said the defence had conceded that the article in question had been published in The Post.

Magistrate Simusamba said the prosecution case was premised on the belief that the article under contention was touching on the Chansa Kabwela case and that it seemed to suggest that the case ought not to have been taken to court, as it was a comedy of errors involving President Rupiah Banda, the police and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Magistrate Simusamba said the prosecution further premised their case on the belief that the article could also lower the authority and integrity of the court.

He also said the defence’s argument was that the prosecution had failed to prove that the article in question questioned the Chansa Kabwela case proceedings.

Magistrate Simusamba said the defence further argued that the article under consideration was not capable of swaying or influencing the court’s decision and that even at the time when the article was published, Lusaka chief resident magistrate Charles Kafunda had already delivered ruling in the Chansa Kabwela matter.

However, magistrate Simusamba said the prosecution submitted that the arguments by the defence were misplaced reasoning.

“I can’t agree less with the prosecution. That is the law as it stands,” magistrate Simusamba said.
He said the defence went on to argue that magistrate Kafunda was a professional lawyer who directs his own cases.

Magistrate Simusamba then delved into the article in question, where he noted that it described the Chansa Kabwela issue as an error of judgment on the part of President Banda.

He said the article had charged on how the people of Zambia had been failed by the President, police and the DPP in the issues around the Chansa Kabwela case.

Magistrate Simusamba said the article likened the Chansa Kabwela issue to Shakespeare’s ‘comedy of errors’ and how the author termed the whole process as frivolous.

“The article then ventures into a lengthy discussion of what constitutes obscenity,” magistrate Simusamba said. “It goes on to refer to English and American authorities.”

Magistrate Simusamba said the article stated of the President Banda’s directives to the police to arrest Chansa Kabwela.

He said it was a notorious fact that decisions or actions of the President often, if not always, attracted public interest. Magistrate Simusamba said fair criticism of such presidential decisions could not be said to be contemptuous, as the President does not interfere in any way in the fair administration of justice.

“Criticism of the police or the DPP in the manner as in the present case equally can’t amount to contempt of court,” magistrate Simusamba said. “However, the article discusses what constitutes obscenity.”

Magistrate Simusamba said at this point, the article indulged in discussing merit and demerits issue that the court was supposed to determine in the obscenity issues of the Chansa Kabwela case.
“This was a clear case of contempt of court,” he said.

Magistrate Simusamba said whilst he acknowledged the freedom of the press, he was mindful that the issue of public interest in such matters related to the fair administration of justice.

Magistrate Simusamba said M’membe had argued in his defence that the article was not contemptuous and that he spoke highly and bitterly of how President Banda sent police officers to catch him.

Magistrate Simusamba said it was also a notorious fact that the Chansa Kabwela case attracted a lot of public interest but that he did not know whether that public interest arose from M’membe’s observations or from what had been contained in the article in question.

Magistrate Simusamba said although M’membe contended that the article was not contemptuous, he had already said the contempt in the article lay in its discussion of the obscenity merits and demerits of the Chansa Kabwela case.

“Once a publication has been stigmatised as contemptuous, it can’t be legitimatised,” magistrate Simusamba said. “There can be no such thing as a justification of contempt. This defence must therefore fail.”

On M’membe’s alibi that he had been attending an Economic Policy Management (EPM) programme at the University of Zambia (UNZA) at the time the article in question was published, magistrate Simusamba said there was no evidence before court to prove that M’membe had obtained leave from his official duties at his workplace.

“It is not enough for the accused to say that he was not at the scene…there must be evidence of that alibi and that is when the police is duty bound to investigate,” he said.

Magistrate Simusamba said the editor-in-chief was responsible for whatever was published in the newspaper and that with modern technological advancements, an editor-in-chief could issue directives on what should be published without being physically present at the office.

He said as such, M’membe’s explanation that he was not at the office when the article in question was being published could not therefore be an alibi.

“The claim that accused one (M’membe) used to spend all his time at UNZA or at his residence surely is out of the ordinary,” magistrate Simusamba said. “I find that A1 (M’membe) is guilty as charged and convict him accordingly. I also find A2 (The Post) guilty as charged and convict him accordingly for the publication of contemptuous matters. The accused has a right to appeal to the High Court.”

Lusaka Division Prosecution Officer, Frank Mumbuna, said the M’membe and Post human resources manager Reuben Phiri - who was in the dock as The Post - were first offenders.

In mitigation, Remmy Mainza said the offence on which his clients had been found guilty was a misdemeanor, which attracted a maximum prison sentence of six months or a fine not exceeding 750 penultimate.

“The position at law is that where the offence attracts a fine as an option to a custodial sentence, the court should consider fining the convict as opposed to meting out a custodial sentence,” Mainza said. “This is an appropriate case by which, your honour, should consider fining the two accused persons in line with the provisions of the law. In the alternative, it is our humble prayer that the two accused persons are entitled to maximum leniency by this honourable court.”

Mainza urged the court to consider suspending the sentence in the interest of justice, especially that there were no aggravating circumstances in the case.

Defence lawyer, Chisanga, beseeched the court to consider the issue that the contempt in the matter was not of the nature that the two accused persons intended to undermine the authority or prejudice the proceedings before which the Chansa Kabwela case was being heard.

“This contempt arose from a publication of legal authorities,” Chisanga said. “The court will be moved to mete out custodial sentence where the contempt complained of is of a grave nature and the defence will therefore urge the court to consider that.”

And when it came to passing sentence, magistrate Simusamba said he would adjourn to tomorrow to consider the issues raised in mitigation. He said he needed at least a day to consider the mitigation.
The matter comes up tomorrow at 09.00 hours.

Labels: , , , ,


ZNFU urges govt to address maize marketing disorders

ZNFU urges govt to address maize marketing disorders
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Wed 02 June 2010, 19:00 CAT

LOCAL farmers are ready to quit maize growing if the government does not adequately deal with marketing disorders, Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) president Jervis Zimba has said.

And Zimba said the country will have to export an extra 300,000 metric tonnes of maize from the planned one million to avoid carryover stocks depressing local maize price.

Zambia this year produced a record 2.7 million tonnes of white non-genetically modified maize, the first in over a decade.

During a tour of farming installations in Eastern Province by the ZNFU and Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Zimba said it was frustrating for farmers to continue getting the lowest returns in the value chain of the staple food when they were the most important players.

Zimba said the 1989 situation when the country produced 1.9 million tonnes of maize and only to slump into a deficit the following year, leading to a collapsed agriculture sector during larger periods of Frederick Chiluba’s regime should serve as a lesson that farmers could easily abandon maize growing if marketing problems were not resolved.

“When Chiluba was president, the farmers stopped growing maize because when we had a surplus, they came in promissory notes,” Zimba said. “We reduced to something around 500,000 metric tonnes and that was all and we started importing and if this is where the country wants...well and good, the farmers will be glad to stop growing maize.”

He regretted that the government had not made a concrete position on how to deal with the current maize bumper harvest despite numerous statements that include exporting the crop.

Zimba said there was need for the authorities to subsidise exports for Zambia to compete with other major producers like South Africa for the regional markets.

He said failure to export the excess maize would lead to a slump in output as farmers could abandon maize growing for other crops.

“There is need to put in a policy direction as to where we are going to resolve the issue of marketing. At the moment, there are so many statements we are hearing,” he said. “These problems in maize marketing have a serious potential to destroy what we built in the last few years.

For two years we have had a surplus but if this marketing situation is not handled with care under government intervention, the potential of it collapsing is very high…there is no way we can leave this maize to rot. In a surplus situation, private sector does not participate and if they participate, they pay the farmer a low price because they don’t care.”

Zimba, who noted that the K65, 000 per 50 kilogramme of maize was not a priority, said the export quota would have to be raised from the current one million tonnes projected by the government.

“We might be forced actually to export a little bit more…our figures, we are looking at exporting somewhere around 1.3 million tonnes in order not to have serious carryovers for the next crop,” said Zimba.

“What we don’t want to see is another huge surplus for the next season. Our priority as national farmers union is how to deal with the issues of marketing.”

Labels: , ,


‘Ronnie is exaggerating govt feelings on media regulation’

‘Ronnie is exaggerating govt feelings on media regulation’
By Agness Changala
Wed 02 June 2010, 04:01 CAT

MEDIA Liaison Committee (MLC) spokesperson Amos Chanda has charged that information minister Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha is exaggerating the feelings of the government on statutory regulation of the media.

Reacting to Lt Gen Shikapwasha’s claims that Zambians want statutory regulation of the media, Chanda said most Zambians were pushing for self regulation.

“This is the feeling for the majority Zambians, they have rejected statutory regulation and are for self regulation,” he said. “I think that the minister is exaggerating the feelings of the government.”

Chanda said many Zambians including the parliamentary committee on information and broadcasting, the civil society organizations and many others had rejected it.

Chanda said it was regrettable that Lt Gen Shikapwasha could say this at a time when dialogue was going on over self regulation of the media.

Chanda explained that last week, the MLC wrote a letter to Lt Gen Shikapwasha, highlighting the changes that were made to his requirement.

He said the committee was this week expected to hold a meeting with him where the document with changes would be looked at.

Chanda said the meeting was also expected to look at the grounds on which Lt Gen Shikapwasha rejected the Zambia Media Ethics Council (ZAMEC) process.

“We will give the government time to reflect on the position from the meeting we had at Pamodzi and we also want to understand where the problem is,” he said.

Chanda said visiting American Professor Al Cross’ views who on statutory regulation of the media could not be rejected because they were universally accepted.

He said self regulation of the media was a global standard and all about getting other people’s views for best practices.

Chanda said Lt Gen Shikapwasha should not reject other people’s views because that was equal to closing himself from learning.

Chanda said the MLC believed in learning and not shutting other people’s views.

The committee is yet to announce the date of the ZAMEC launch.

Lt Gen Shikapwasha on Monday claimed that Zambians wanted statutory regulation of the media.

Lt Gen Shikapwasha said the government would respect people’s views on the matter but maintain their position on statutory regulation.

Labels: , , ,


Masebo appeals to Lusaka International Airport land squatters to relocate

Masebo appeals to Lusaka International Airport land squatters to relocate
By Moses Kuwema
Wed 02 June 2010, 04:01 CAT

CHONGWE MMD member of parliament Silvia Masebo has appealed to squatters occupying the Lusaka International Airport land to cooperate with government by relocating to the new Mwanawasa resettlement scheme.

Speaking when she handed over letters of offer to the 292 families at the airport on Friday, Masebo said there was no need of politicising the movement because if the squatters did not abide, they would end up losing out.

“At least we have three months of movement, what I have negotiated with management at the airport corporation is that you have to start moving slowly between June 1 and August 31. Management at the airport will assist with the provision of transport to the new area,” she said.

Masebo said August was a good month for the families to relocate because they could start cultivating at their new settlement area. She said the ministry of community development had promised to assist the families with farming inputs.

“As for school going children, we shall have to see how we are going to deal with that with the government. As for now what I can advise is that you need to go on the site and see the situation for yourselves,” she explained.

Masebo said the area they were currently occupying was not a gazetted place and there was therefore need for them to move to an area which had been gazetted.

“This place has not been gazetted as a settlement area while the other land at the Mwanawasa resettlement scheme has been gazetted and once you move there, you will have all the necessary facilities,” she said.

Masebo said the Chongwe district council had already tendered for four more boreholes to be drilled on site.

“Even National Airports Corporation is prepared to help further with the drilling of more boreholes,” said Masebo.

Labels: ,


Explain Kabonde’s presence in Mufumbwe, HH challenges Rupiah

Explain Kabonde’s presence in Mufumbwe, HH challenges Rupiah
By Chibaula Silwamba
Wed 02 June 2010, 04:01 CAT

UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema yesterday challenged President Rupiah Banda to explain to the Zambians why he commanded Inspector General of Police Francis Kabonde and paramilitary police officers to go to Mufumbwe Constituency and brutalise people. And Hichilema said Kabonde has put the police in an awkward position and must resign.

Commenting on Kabonde’s revelations to senior police officers during a meeting last Thursday that President Banda sent him to Mufumbwe ahead of the April 29 parliamentary by-elections, Hichilema said President Banda must explain his actions as Commander-in-Chief in relation to the Mufumbwe violence.

“The President owes the Zambians an answer; he is the Commander-in-Chief, he commanded the paramilitary police and regular police to go and beat citizens in Mufumbwe. He has used that position as Commander-in-Chief to abuse the citizens, so he must answer. He must answer why he did instruct the police to brutalise the citizens. In 2011 Zambians must open their eyes,” Hichilema said.

He said The Post story about Kabonde’s revelation to the senior police officers that he was sent by President Banda confirmed what he Kabonde told a pre-election meeting in Mufumbwe.

“The day before they put me under house arrest on the polling day, there was a meeting which was attended by the Electoral Commission of Zambia ECZ chairperson, of course, some electoral officials, Kabonde was present there, MMD and UPND was represented by Watson Lumba and Jack Mwiimbu our legal chairperson,” Hichilema explained.

“In that meeting, amongst other things, Kabonde indicated that the following day Hakainde should not move out of the house. So Mwiimbu asked, ‘why should he Hichilema not move? And what law are you using?’ Then Kabonde said, ‘it’s not about the law, it’s an instruction from above.’ That is what he said. So when you bring out this information in your article, it is confirming what he Kabonde said in a formal meeting. So when Mwiimbu asked him that, ‘what law are you using? You cannot detain someone without offence.’ Kabonde insisted that, ‘this is not a matter of law, it’s a matter of instructions from above.’ You can get witnesses and confirmation. Mwiimbu and Lumba walked out of that meeting.”

Hichilema explained that the following day voting day, Kabonde led a group of police officers around 06:00 hours and detained him.

“I think he was in front of the violence in Mufumbwe together with the MMD. When Kabonde came to Mufumbwe the violence increased, which means that his mandate obviously was from the President to beat the citizens into submission. I think Kabonde ought to resign. He has put the police service into a very awkward position,” Hichilema said.

“Many Zambians now believe that the police is a department of the MMD. So how will they provide peace and tranquility in our country since the police now under Kabonde are clearly part of the MMD? How will 2011 elections be conducted under Kabonde?”

However, he said the Zambia Police Service still had good police officers but needed good leadership.

“If his own senior officers can question him, it means that there are good policemen and women out there. But for those good policemen and women to be led by Kabonde, I don’t see how the two will work together because Kabonde seems to work on instructions that are partisan even when he knows that the law does not back him to carry out those instructions,” Hichilema said.

He wondered why Kabonde could just be implementing instructions, even unlawful ones.

He said Kabonde did not deserve to be Inspector general of Police because of his bad conduct.

“I put it to the people of Zambia, if Kabonde does not resign on his own, the people must get him out because they are the owners of the police service. It is not owned by Kabonde or Rupiah Banda. There is enough negative stuff on the table for Kabonde to resign,” Hichilema said.

“We can’t have Kabonde as Inspector General of Police into 2011 elections, even into Luena and now unfortunately into Chifubu, may the soul of the departed honourable Bwalya rest in peace. We can’t have Kabonde in charge of the police.”

Hichilema wondered why the police had not arrested known MMD cadres that assaulted UPND spokesperson and parliamentarian Charles Kakoma.

Last week, sources revealed to The Post that police provincial commanding officers, some deputy commissioners and senior assistant commissioners on Thursday grilled Kabonde over the Mufumbwe violence and demanded a postmortem to avoid the repeat of the bloody fracas.

The sources said Kabonde told the police commanders that President Banda had ordered him to travel to Mufumbwe Constituency during the by-elections in April.

The sources also revealed that home affairs minister Mkhondo Lungu had queried Kabonde why he did not appropriately advise President Banda about the implications of his going to police Mufumbwe by-elections.

But police deputy spokesperson Ndandula Siamana, on behalf of Kabonde, said while it was true that the meeting took place on Thursday last week and at the reported time, the meeting generally looked at the operations of combat unit.

Labels: , , , ,


Speaker’s presence restrains Kunda from scandalous talk

Speaker’s presence restrains Kunda from scandalous talk
By Sandra Lombe and Edwin Mbulo in Livingstone
Wed 02 June 2010, 04:01 CAT

VICE-President George Kunda (left) has said the MMD will soon start pounding the UPND in Southern Province. Speaking on Monday upon his arrival at Livingstone Airport, Vice-President Kunda said the MMD had continued to grow stronger in Southern Province.

“Thank you for receiving us very well… I have with me ministers of lands, livestock and fisheries and local government and housing. I can even see Honourable Regina Musokotwane of the UPND a party which is losing its grip in Southern Province,” Vice-President Kunda told people that welcomed him at the airport.

“I will not say things that are scandalous because of the presence of the Speaker. The MMD is growing stronger by the day. On the Copperbelt, key members of the PF have joined the MMD. I am giving notice that we shall start pounding the UPND soon. UPND has lost members to ADD interim leader Charles Milupi’s party.”

Vice-President Kunda said Livingstone City Council would remain suspended.

“Livingstone is very dear to us. I know that the council is suspended and it shall remain so. The administrator that has been put in place has done very well, we need a council that is a role model as we need to develop the tourism sector,” Vice-President Kunda said.

And Livingstone MMD secretary Emmanuel Siamwela caused laughter when he said he was happy to see a new Vice-President Kunda because he expected to see disaster.

“I’m proud to see you look brand new unlike our critics. I had thought I would see disaster, but I’m happy to see you,” he said. “I would like to inform you that we have a bereavement in Kazungula as we lost three teachers who died in a road accident.”

Siamwela said the MMD was very strong in the province and the party was busy encouraging its cadres to form clubs to take advantage of the government facilities that had been put in place.

But Southern Province UPND vice-chairman John Chidyaka said Vice-President Kunda was showing off in an area where the MMD can never win an election.

“It is just a sign of show-off, he had nothing to say. That is why he says that he would soon be pounding us. How many times has he been here and failed, even in Livingstone he failed to hold a meeting in Kasiya during a by-election,” he said.

“It is the MMD which is dead here in Southern Province and they should just start packing instead of even suggesting that we get into an alliance.”

Chidyaka said he was saddened with MMD parliamentary chief whip Vernon Mwaanga's suggestions that the UPND and MMD should form an alliance.

“I know that VJ was at the airport and for him to hear what Kunda has to say about the UPND, I think he now realises that the MMD and UPND are like an antelope and a lion. We are forming the next government and let Kunda make sure that he makes himself more happy now because he would be sad in 2011,” Chidyaka said.

Southern Province PF chairman Joseph Akafumba said Mwanga's suggestions that the UPND and MMD should form an alliance was just a divide and rule tactic.

“The MMD has been attacking the Pact from the word go and it is a sign that they are scared. Now they are trying to divide the Pact by all means. Just look at what happened at the Police Force Headquaters. Kabonde now has taken over the role of the intelligence wing to sniff around as to who will be a presidential candidate in 2011 for the Pact. They will not win so let them pack and wait for 2011,” Akafumba said.

Vice-President Kunda was in Livingstone to officiate at the 27th plenary session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum being held at the Zambezi Sun.

Labels: , ,