Saturday, June 19, 2010

(LUSAKATIMES) Dr. Musonda’s charge too lenient says PF

COMMENT - " causing harm with intent to maim, disfigure or disable " or kill, which is the anticipated consequence of shooting someone in the head. I can understand it when there is not enough evidence to bring a stronger charge, like when intent is unclear and there are mitigating circumstances. Let's just hope that that's the case, and the law is not going easier on dr. Musonda because he is a member of the government.

Dr. Musonda’s charge too lenient says PF
Saturday, June 19, 2010, 8:30

The Patriotic Front (PF) has expressed disappointment at the Director of Public Prosecutions DPP’s decision to slap former Deputy Health Minister Dr Solomon Musonda with a lesser charge of causing harm with intent to maim, disfigure or disable instead of charging him with attempted murder.

PF National Youth Chairman Eric Chanda said the charge slapped on Dr Musonda is tantamount to assault. Mr Chanda told QFM in an interview that the party is disappointed with the way the DPP is handling the case.

He said the offence committed by Dr Musonda is serious and that he deserves a serious charge.

Mr Chanda has since called on the DPP to consider slapping Dr Musonda with a stiffer charge and not the charge of causing grievous harm with intent to maim, disfigure or disable.

Dr Musonda shot and wounded Jackson Musaka a resident of Chitambo in Serenje district.

[ QFM ]

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William Banda’s hour has come

William Banda’s hour has come
By The Post
Sat 19 June 2010, 04:10 CAT

It is said that “an intelligent person learns more from one rebuke than a fool learns from being beaten a hundred times” (Proverbs 17:10).

And “evil people look for ways to harm others; even their words burn with evil” (Proverbs 16:27); “Wicked people bring about their own downfall by their evil deeds, but good people are protected by their integrity” (Proverbs 14:32); “Anyone who thinks and speaks evil can expect to find nothing good – only disaster” (Proverbs 17:20); “Wicked people are always hungry for evil; they have no mercy on anyone” (Proverbs 20:10).

We are saying all this in response to the utterances and threats from William Banda. William has vowed to fight The Post, the opposition and others he has accused of insulting Rupiah Banda until he defeats them. And William threatened The Post: “You will see what will happen to you. We are tired and if you want to become a politician, form a party and start attacking as a president of the party and not do this through the media.

I will fight until I defeat them. We have stayed away from all those people, we have kept quiet for a long time but now the hour has come.”

And declaring us the enemy of MMD, William says whoever was insulting Rupiah became an enemy of the party.

We are not bothered by William declaring us an enemy of the MMD. He has every right to hate us but he doesn’t have the right to harm us. William is not a law enforcement agent or officer. But he behaves and acts as one.

He has become a law unto himself. If there is any law that we have violated, if there is any crime that we have committed, the logical thing for William and his friends to do is to get us arrested and prosecuted.

Taking the law into their own hands is anarchy, is lawlessness. If every other citizen behaved the way they want to behave, this country would be destroyed because anarchy and veritable chaos would reign. But they should never forget that every lawless act leaves an incurable wound, like one left by a double-edged sword.

Moreover, we don’t know what William is talking about when he says we have been insulting Rupiah and his ministers and the Inspector General of Police. What is William’s understanding of what constitutes an insult? And which part of our laws is he relying on to define ‘insult’?

The language we use contains no insults and it’s the same language that is used in the Holy Bible. To criticize Rupiah or any of his ministers is not an insult. It is actually a right of every citizen of this country.

And criticism should not be confused with insult. To call a president who has lied a liar is not an insult if he has actually lied. And we have truthfully called Rupiah a liar because the man has lied about us.

Is this an insult? The answer is a categorical No. What else can one call a person who lies if not a liar?
William is certainly living at the grace of Rupiah. Without Rupiah, William would be starving today and would be nowhere.

He is where he is today and what he is today because of Rupiah. But not all of us live the way William is living.

We don’t earn our living by doing errands for Rupiah or praise-singing his name. Moreover, Rupiah is not an emperor or a king of this country.

He is merely a president and as US president Roosevelt once put it, “The president is merely the most important among a large number of public servants.

He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able and disinterested service to the nation as a whole.

Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right.

Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or anyone else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about anyone else.”

If there is anything untruthful that we have written about Rupiah or anyone else, including an ordinary and humble citizen of this country, we will apologise unreservedly and without hesitation.

There is no dignified alternative than to apologise for any incorrect or untruthful statements that we have published.

We are not in the business of lies. We actually detest lies and that’s why we expose and denounce them whenever and wherever they are told.

To expose lies and denounce liars is not a wrong, is not a crime.

We challenge William to come up with any false statements or insults that we have made or published against Rupiah. If he does so, we will without hesitation apologise for those statements or insults.

But the truth is we have not published any lies or insults against Rupiah. We have called Rupiah what he should be called following his utterances, actions or deeds.

And we will continue to call those who tell lies liars. We have called Rupiah a liar and we still maintain that he is a liar because he has lied about us on so many issues.

And no amount of threats from William or any other quarter will stop us from holding that position because it is a truthful position.

It is sad that William can today declare us enemies of the MMD. When did William cease to be the enemy of the MMD? Or has he become the enemy within the MMD?

When we were forming the MMD in 1990, William was a UNIP cadre and a very ruthless one for that matter. William saw the MMD as an enemy of UNIP.

And so was Rupiah – they both became MMD members recently when it was beneficial to do so.

We founded the MMD when it was very risky and unbeneficial to do so. It is unwise for William today to tell us to form a political party if we want to criticise the president of this country and his ministers.

Our answer to William is that there is no need for us to form a political party, we have already formed the MMD for him to enjoy the benefits of belonging to a political party in power.

We will survive outside government; we don’t need to belong to the ruling party to put food on the table.

If it means starving, we will starve with the rest of our people who have no positions in the ruling party or in government and have to toil for everything every day.

As for William, we can only say enjoy the fruits of our sacrifices, of our work in forming the MMD while it lasts.

We know that William enjoys power very much and that’s why he has moved from UNIP to the party in power and he says: “Who told you that we are going to surrender power on a silver plate?”

We are not asking William to surrender power on a silver plate because that’s his only source of livelihood. We know what he is ready to do to stay in power. We saw what he did when he was in UNIP to stay in power.

We now fully understand, although we do not support it, why Frederick Chiluba had to deport William to Malawi. It was unfortunate but it’s understandable. It’s time William learnt to respect our rights and all the rights of all his fellow citizens.

And again we remind William to have a sense of gratitude to the Zambian people, and to all who did so much for him when he was a helpless deportee in Malawi.

No one is expecting anything in return from William, but we all expect William to be a good citizen, a peaceful human being with love and compassion towards his fellow citizens and other human beings.

As for William’s declaration to defeat us, we can only say we are ready to see what will happen to us as he has promised to show us. We have no fear of defeat because there is nothing like defeat in our work. The truth that we seek is never defeated. It may only suffer setbacks. Kill us, or do whatever you want to do to us, you will have nothing to win; your victory will be very short-lived.

You are a troubled man with a very small mind and headed for self-destruction. You are saying the hour has come, what hour?

Your hour to destroy us, to defeat us? Go ahead, it’s your hour! Even in our death, our defeat – if there is such a thing – our hour will also come!

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Dr Musonda deserved attempted murder charge - Sata

Dr Musonda deserved attempted murder charge - Sata
By George Chellah
Sat 19 June 2010, 04:00 CAT

Dr Solomon Musonda with his lawyers at the Lusaka magistrate courts yesterday

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Rupiah swears in Namulambe, others

Rupiah swears in Namulambe, others
By George Chellah
Fri 18 June 2010, 13:40 CAT

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda has told mines deputy minister Gabriel Namulambe and science and technology deputy minister Lameck Mangani that he was sure that there were people that urged them to reject his appointments.

During the swearing ceremony at State House, President Banda welcomed Namulambe and Mangani back. “I am sincerely happy that you have accepted the appointments that I have made.

Despite the fact that you are coming down from being cabinet ministers, we are colleagues we have to continue we have bigger things, which affect all of us. All the Zambian people which I am sure you have considered when you have accepted,” President Banda said.

“I am also sure that there are many people who came to you and said ‘don’t accept, you reject this’. I think those people have to stay were they are, this is your party and your government and I am happy that you agreed to come back. I have not heard anything adverse about your reaction since I asked you to come down to this position. For that, I congratulate you.”

President Banda fired Namulambe for defending the late Levy Mwananawasa’s legacy and Mangani was dropped from cabinet minister to deputy minister.

And during the swearing of Pumulo Mundale as State House chief analyst for legal, President Banda he was very happy to welcome her to the family of State House staff, to Zambia and to the government of Zambia.

“I am sure that you will add great value to the work that we are doing through the legal affairs department. It is one of the busiest departments because there are very few of you. You will just be yourself and Mr Jalasi,” President Banda said.

“I am sure you have the capacity to carry on…I want to say that its particularly pleasing to me to find a suitable young lady to join us. We are doing everything possible to ensure that there is a balance between men and women serving both here at State House and in the government.”

Meanwhile, Presenting her credentials to President Banda, Austrian Ambassador-designate Dr Maria Moya-Gotsch, said bilateral relations between the two countries have existed for several decades.

President Banda told Dr Moya-Gotsch that the two countries share common values and aspirations, which are manifested through their common membership to international organizations such as the UN.

And Algerian Ambassador-designate Lazhar Soualim said Algeria and Zambia share a history of the common struggle against colonialism, apartheid and racial segregation. He said Algerian President has given Africa the top priority for foreign policy. He said his government has offered 40 full scholarships to Zambian students.

Receiving Ambassador Soualim’s credentials, President Banda said his government regrets the apparent lack of progress towards a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the foreseeable future.

“We certainly do not condone any violence at all regardless of its origin. On this score, Zambia is saddened by the recent unfortunate incidents in which innocent lives were lost,” he said.

And Indonesian High Commissioner-designate Eddy Poerwana Wangsadihardja praised the bilateral relations between the two countries.

Receiving High Commissioner Wangsadihardja’s credentials, President Banda said it was Zambia’s desire to see the cooperation between the two countries enhanced even further for the mutual benefit of the people. And Bangladesh Ambassador-designate Shahidul Isam said Bangladesh and Zambia enjoy fraternal relations.

President Banda told Ambassador Isam that Zambia and Bangladesh were developing countries.

“It is therefore imperative that our two countries regularly share ideas and cooperate at the bilateral level on various issues such as the diversification of the economy and industrial development to better the lives of our people,” he said.

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We are behind you, Veteran musician tells M'membe

We are behind you, Veteran musician tells M'membe
By Moses Kuwema
Sat 19 June 2010, 04:10 CAT

ZAMBIAN singer Maureen Lilanda has said The Post has been one of her biggest supporters both in her personal and professional lives.

Speaking when she paid a courtesy call on Post editor Fred M’membe at the The Post offices on Thursday, Lilanda said she felt indebted to The Post.

“The Post has been one of my biggest supporters both in my personal life and professional life so I felt indebted to actually come over and show solidarity, and I want to tell you that we are behind you,” said Lilanda.

And M’membe said artistes lift people’s spirits and that people who don’t appreciate them have no soul.

“I am grateful that you have come to give us support, we appreciate your gesture so much,” said M’membe.

“Artistes lift our spirits…you know if u can’t appreciate what artistes do then you have no soul. Your concern for your country is felt in music, we need more of that to soldier on, to check our action and utterances.”

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Give media chance to regulate themselves - Kibazo

Give media chance to regulate themselves - Kibazo
By Joe Kaunda
Sat 19 June 2010, 04:10 CAT

FORMER communications director at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London Joel Kibazo has urged the government to give the Zambian media chance to regulate themselves before any move to impose statutory media regulation.

And Kibazo, a veteran journalist and chief judge at the CNN MultiChoice media awards, has challenged Zambian journalists to fully participate in the annual prestigious awards if their work is to win continental and international recognition among their peers.

Commenting on the government’s insistence that Zambia’s media self regulatory framework was insufficient, Kibazo stated that the approach by the Zambian government through information minister Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha already appeared very suspicious.

“Let the government hold back and see how it’s going to work. If it does not work then it legitimises the government position. But first let the media police themselves,” Kibazo advised.

He stated that experience around the world had shown that whenever government did intervene in the process of media self regulation the basis was on grounds of blocking the media from reporting on its officials or activities.

However, he cautioned the media against abusing press freedom but insisted on the need for self regulation.

“You need to ask yourself, am I doing this simply to embarrass someone or is it to keep leaders in check and accountable to the society,” Kibazo said.

Earlier in an interview at the recently held 2010 edition of the awards in Uganda’s capital Kampala, Kibazo said despite noticing some good work being done by journalists in Zambia including other countries, there was need for the scribes to actually enter the competition.

He said it would be unfair for the panel of judges to start picking entries when the journalists had not entered their work.

Kibazo said the judging panel had seen tremendous improvements in terms of quality entries and levels of participation in the awards, which he has presided over for the last 13 years.

“I have seen a lot of great articles that deserve to participate but the journalists just don’t put in,” he said. “It is entirely up to the journalists to give us the work, but every year we are seeing the number of entries increasing. Like this year we had over 2,000 entries and had to go through each and every entry.”

And MultiChoice Zambia spokesperson Marlon Kananda echoed Kibazo’s call for the participation of the Zambian media in the prestigious annual awards

“Every year we go out to encourage the media practitioners to submit their work. So the question to the media is why are they not entering,” he asked, adding that the awards were meant to reward excellence in journalism in Africa.

Kananda said MultiChoice had provided a platform through which the media could showcase its good works and be rewarded for excellence.

This year’s event saw Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni officiating as guest of honour and saw South Africa’s Samantha Rogers emerging as overall winner for the second time, for a documentary on the hunting and killing of albinos for body parts in Tanzania.

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Simbao upset with slow pase of prosecutions

Simbao upset with slow pase of prosecutions
By Agness Changala
Sat 19 June 2010, 04:10 CAT

HEALTH minister Kapembwa Simbao yesterday told the cooperating partners that he is equally upset with the pace at which the courts are moving in prosecuting those involved in fraudulent activities.

During a meeting with the Cabinet committee of ministers on HIV/AIDS and cooperating partners to clarify recent media reports around funding to Zambia, Simbao said as minister, it was painful to see the progress being made on the matter.

He wished there was a way he could tell the courts to make a decision as soon as possible.

Simbao said he was aware of the little patience among the people and the cooperating partners regarding the pace at which the cases were moving.

“I believe it wouldn’t have taken us a week. But it’s unfortunate that we have to follow the law, and we didn’t have to protect them and that’s why we had to take them there,” he said in apparent reference to cases involving Ministry of Health staff alleged to have abused funds.

He said people that supported Zambia should trust the government again on the utilization of donor funds as it was doing everything possible to restore donor confidence.

Earlier, Simbao said the Global Fund had not suspended funding to the ministry.

He said there was a delay in disbursement because they needed to clarify certain things as a result of fraudulent activities that took place.

He said since the last scam that was unearthed, there were no new cases recorded.

Simbao said the health ministry agreed to have United Nations Development Prgramme (UNDP) assume the role of principal recipient on an interim basis.

“This is intended to allow for the continuation of service provision to the target population,” he said.

Simbao said due to delays in the Global Fund’s disbursement of funds to the ministry, an extension had been made for another one year for them to utilize the US$619 million allocated earlier.

He said only about US$339 million had been utilized out of the US$619 million and US$280 million would be accessed through UNDP.

And Joint Financing Arrangement (JFA) representative Ambassador Tony Cotter said they shared the same concern at the suspension of Global Fund financing.

However, Ambassador Cotter welcomed the remedial actions taken to date by the government and pledged to support continued implementation of priority actions necessary for the resumption of funding to maintain public financial management systems in accordance with Zambia’s own financial guidelines.

Ambassador Cotter urged the government to reinforce its commitment to tackling HIV/AIDS by increasing its own budget allocation.

Ambassador Cotter said his organization would work with the government to promote and strengthen mutual accountability and enhanced donor harmonization to strengthen the delivery of results.

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(SOWETAN) ANCYL still in bitter tussle over Limpopo

ANCYL still in bitter tussle over Limpopo
18 June 2010
Frank Maponya

THE leadership tussle within the ANC Youth League in Limpopo raged on yesterday, with the anti-Julius Malema faction continuing to break ranks with national leaders.

While four leaders of the faction, including Malema’s arch-rival Lehlogonolo Masoga, were appearing at a disciplinary hearing in Luthuli house, their supporters held a press conference accusing the ANCYL national leadership of running a kangaroo court.

Masoga, provincial secretary Goodman Mitileni and league provincial executive members Papiki Tjebane and Musa Chabane are accused of bringing the ANCYL into disrepute.

Masoga is Limpopo’s former chairperson who was controversially ousted at a disputed conference in Makhado in April.

The charges relate to the decision by the Masoga faction to walk out of the conference and then organising a separate conference where they claimed “legitimate” leaders would be elected.

The Masoga faction refused to recognise the new leadership elected at the Makhado conference. They claimed it was hijacked by Malema’s supporters.

Yesterday Masoga’s supporters claimed they represented at least 350 branches. They alleged that the branches supported their cause and vowed never to recognise the charges against their “leaders”.

Led by chairpersons from the five regions in the province, the group said it viewed the disciplinary hearing as a kangaroo court.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

(LUSAKATIMES) Zambia copper mines suspend output after nationwide power blackout

Zambia copper mines suspend output after nationwide power blackout
Friday, June 18, 2010, 15:31

A nationwide power blackout on Friday forced copper mines in Zambia, Africa’s top producer of the metal, to halt output, but the country’s energy minister said electricity supply could resume later in the day.

A fault at a hydro power station triggered the first national blackout to engulf the southern African nation since June 2009, which cost copper producers millions of dollars in lost revenue and dented their copper output. [ID:nLG31563]

Power blackouts are frequent in Zambia, and have been a big concern for the chamber of mines and for foreign mining companies who own most of the key mines in the country’s copperbelt province.

“Power has been restored in Lusaka and we are now moving on to restore power on the Copperbelt,” Energy Minister Kenneth Konga told Reuters.

It was not immediately clear how much production was affected. Maxwell Mwale, Zambia’s mines minister, said he would give a detailed comment on the power blackout’s impact later.

“Production at the mines is affected …I am yet to receive a full report from the minister of energy,” Mwale told Reuters.

An official at Zambia’s biggest copper producer, Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) — majority owned by London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc (VED.L: Quote) — said its operations had been affected, but the group would issue a detailed statement later in the day.

Sydney Chileya, a spokesman for the Luanshya Copper Mines, owned by China Non-Ferrous Metals Corp. (CNMC), said only limited power supply was available.

Frequent power stoppages are likely to affect Zambia’s plans to increase its copper production to 1 million tonnes next year, from just below 700,000 tonnes in 2009, analysts said.

The country has been trying to entice new investors to the sector as demand for the metal increases.

“It also sends wrong signals to investors on availability of energy despite assurances by the government,” Chibamba Kanyama, a member of country’s main economic think-tank, the Economics Association of Zambia, said.

Foreign mining companies operating in Zambia include Canada’s First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO: Quote), London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc (VED.L: Quote), Equinox Minerals EQN.TO)(EQN.AX: Quote), Glencore International AG [GLEN.UL] of Switzerland and Metorex (MTXJ.J: Quote) of South Africa.


Copper prices appeared unaffected by news of the blackout, remaining at a one-week low on Friday as investors overlooked increased risk appetite in the wider markets and remained concerned about demand prospects after weak data from the U.S., the world’s largest economy. [ID:nLDE6370XM]

Lucy Zimba, a spokeswoman for electricity utility Zesco, said the cause was due to a fault on a circuit breaker at the country’s Kariba North Bank hydro station, which set off a chain reaction that led to the countrywide blackout.

Zimba said power supply had been restored to parts of the capital Lusaka, and supply to copper mines would follow.

“The blackout was caused by a fault on a circuit breaker at Kariba North Bank (hydro power plant). We are working on the problem to restore power in Lusaka, after which we will try to switch on the Copperbelt lines,” Zimba told Reuters.

The Copperbelt Energy Corp. (CEC), which buys the electricity from Zesco to supply Zambia’s copper mines, said it would try to provide power to the mines for emergency operations through imports from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Zesco has said it needs higher tariffs and additional funds to invest in new generating and transmission infrastructure, and the country has said it plans to invest about $6 billion in the next five years to meet its projected energy needs. (Writing by James Macharia; editing by Sue Thomas)

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(APN) Zimbabwe Elections - Positive NAACP Report Suppressed

LEAKED: NAACP Withheld Crucial Report on Zimbabwe Elections
By Jonathan Springston and Matthew Cardinale
April 21, 2006 at 23:00:00

(APN) ATLANTA – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has been sitting on an explosive report showing Zimbabwe's 2002 elections were free and fair, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.

"In sum, we are confident in spite of... long lines... the elections afforded the people of Zimbabwe an opportunity to exercise their constitutional right," the report, which was reviewed by Atlanta Progressive News, stated at the conclusion of its Executive Summary.

"At stake is malnutrition to the point of death," Rev. Mmoja Ajabu told Atlanta Progressive News. Ajabu is a member of a local branch of the NAACP in Athens, Georgia, which has called for the NAACP to release the report publicly.

An NAACP spokesperson told Atlanta Progressive News that the report was never intended for external use. NAACP Chairman Julian Bond did not respond to requests for comment.

However, the NAACP's assertion does not appear consistent with a press release on their website dated January 21, 2003.

"NGO designation [by the United Nations, which had just been conferred] gives the NAACP its proper standing and status for participating in international relations and with foreign delegations. Whether monitoring elections in Zimbabwe or promoting human rights and trade as we did during a recent trip to Cuba, the NAACP is poised now to become even more effective as an advocate for international justice and third world development," then-CEO Kweisi Mfume, who is now running for US Senate in Maryland, said.

"The US and Britain are saying the elections were not free and fair. Because of this, they're blocking the counties' ability to get international loans from the IMF and the World Bank. We're talking about saving lives. This is very serious," Ajabu said.

A source who is familiar with the matter showed a copy of the highly sensitive report to APN's Editor, who read and took notes, on condition of the source's anonymity and the return of the documents to the source.

President Robert Mugabe of the ZANU-PF party defeated Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, Zimbabwe's main opposition party, by a 56 percent to 42 percent margin. The ZANU-PF party gained two-thirds control of Parliament in 2005.

The MDC spread accusations of fraud but the results were allowed to stand. Mugabe's party has won every election since 1980.

Since 2002, the Zimbabwe government has implemented a land reclamation plan that moved control of over 28 million acres (11.5 million hectares) of land from between 2,900 to 4,500 European commercial farmers to 350,000 Zimbabwean families.

Earlier that year, President Mugabe signed a constitutional amendment into law that allowed the government to seize White-owned land without compensation, calling instead on Great Britain to compensate the displaced. Only one percent of Zimbabwe's population is White.

Continuing the feud, Blair threatened to send the equivalent of $200 million to the MDC to help their 2005 parliamentary election campaign.

Jendayi Frazier, the United States Ambassador to South Africa and Condoleeza Rice's top aide when she was National Security Advisor, called in August 2004 for a coalition to invade Zimbabwe.

Dr. Simbi Mubako, the Zimbabwe Ambassador to the United States, held a press conference at the National Press Club in April 2005. In his remarks, Mubako pointed to numerous elections reports which were favorable from the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, the Union of African States, and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Rev. Ajabu told APN he spoke to one person removed from President Mugabe who said the Zimbabwean government has not yet received the 2002 report from the NAACP, which could be significant because it is an organization based in the United States.

The report shows a few things:

First, the NAACP sent five observers, according to the report. An NAACP spokesperson told APN that only two observers were sent.

Second, the NAACP did an extremely thorough job researching the election, expending considerable time, energy, and resources. The NAACP's election research included extensive interviews with citizens, activists, religious leaders, elected officials, and nongovernmental agency officials. NAACP monitors undertook a 2,031 kilometer trip and observed urban and rural polling stations.

Third, the NAACP report says that observers would receive reports of violence at polling stations "from pundits and activists," but when they would go to check out these rumors, the polling stations would be calm and orderly.

Fourth, they stated that Western governments had a clear anti-Mugabe stance throughout the process.

The NAACP congratulated the people of Zimbabwe for patience and courage and their large voter turnout. They recommended modernization of elections, voter education, and earlier training for poll workers, however.

The NAACP's "International Election Observers Manual," which was also included in the report, states the role of nonpartisan observers is "to give citizens confidence that the elections process is carried out in a free, fair, and transparent manner."

Atlanta Progressive News is advocating that the NAACP should release this report to the world in order to give citizens such confidence.

About the authors:

Jonathan Springston is a Staff Writer for Atlanta Progressive News. Matthew Cardinale is the Editor and a National Correspondent for Atlanta Progressive News and may be reached at

Syndication policy:

This article may be reprinted in full at no cost where Atlanta Progressive News is credited.

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(TALKZIMBABWE) Clinton misleads the world on Zimbabwe

Clinton misleads the world on Zimbabwe
Posted: Friday, June 18, 2010 10:55 am

THE United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has come under fire from the Government of Zimbabwe for not knowing what the real situation in Zimbabwe is and misleading the world on many issues.

The wife of former US President, Bill Clinton, claimed an American congressman had been denied a visa to visit Zimbabwe, when in fact he had already visited the country.

In a diplomacy briefing on Sub-Saharan Africa in Washington on Monday, Clinton said the Government of Zimbabwe had barred Congressman Donald Payne from entering the country a few months ago.

However, Payne was in Zimbabwe on a two-day visit, which was his second such trip to Zimbabwe in a year.

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Clinton said: "Congressman Donald Payne ... is probably, in the Congress, the most knowledgeable, strongest advocate for African interests.

"And when he tried to go to Zimbabwe a few months ago -- right, Donald? The Government of Zimbabwe would not let him in because they don't want somebody who has his expertise and experience actually seeing for himself all of the difficulties that are now apparent in Zimbabwe."

She added: "But we're going to persist ... and working with people like Congressman Payne to try to give the people there a better future."

Payne was in Zimbabwe in early April this year on a two-day visit during which he met MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and representatives of non-governmental organisations.

In her diplomacy briefing, Clinton described Payne as a "very strong, consistent supporter of Africa and Africa's needs".

Payne lobbied vigorously for the enactment of the much-discredited US sanctions law, the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act. The sanctions Act remains in force until Zimbabwe's land tenure structure reverts to pre-1998 patterns when a few thousand whites held the most productive farmland.

Under ZDERA, US executive directors in multilateral financial institutions are instructed to oppose extension of loans, credit or guarantees to Zimbabwe.

On Wednesday, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity Mr George Charamba expressed shock at Clinton's "ignorance".

"How can she claim Payne was denied entry when he was here in April? "I wonder what else the American State Department and their embassy here have gotten wrong on Zimbabwe."

A Foreign Affairs Ministry official also confirmed Payne had never been denied entry into Zimbabwe "despite him being a proponent of our demise".

"These guys are always welcome as long as they follow the right protocols.

"They have sent several delegations to Zimbabwe without any problems even though they cannot extend the same courtesy to half of our Government," the official said.

The US Embassy in Harare did not responded to this diplomatic gaffe despite a request. by The Herald newspaper.

Payne is a member of the Congressional Committee on Foreign Affairs and chairman of the subcommittee on Africa.

He is also a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus that refused an invitation from President Mugabe to observe the 2002 Presidential elections after being so instructed by the State Department.

The caucus also refused to publish a favourable report compiled by the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People observers who came for the polls.

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(NEWZIMBABWE, DPA) Germans fume over farm seizures

COMMENT - The germans are just afraid that land reform will spread to Namibia.

Germans fume over farm seizures
by Deutsche Presse Agentur
17/06/2010 00:00:00

THE German embassy in Zimbabwe has objected to settlers occupying three farms owned by a German national in the country, warning in a letter released on Thursday that the actions violate bilateral and international agreements.

"Once again, the German embassy notes with great concern that property rights of German nationals and their investments in Zimbabwe are being put under threat, in clear violation of international law," the letter read.

It went on to say that Germany's contribution to a trust fund set up for Zimbabwe may be in jeopardy, as news of land invasions affecting its citizens would make German parliamentary approval of the funds "highly unlikely."

Zimbabwean authorities must "take the necessary steps to ensure an immediate end of all threats to the ... German investments," it added.

Zimbabwean Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi confirmed that he had received the letter, but declined to comment.

"(The letter) was addressed to me and not to the media," he said. "Protocol issues are not discussed through the media."

Over the last decade, most of the farms owned by whites in Zimbabwe have been occupied and seized under President Robert Mugabe's land reform programme. - dpa

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Letters - Mutati on Zamtel valuation report

Mutati on Zamtel valuation report
By Edwin Zulu
Thu 17 June 2010, 08:30 CAT


I have great respect for honourable Felix Mutati and I know he is well-versed and is a technocrat but he made a mistake by supposing that the Zambians cannot understand the Zamtel valuation report even if they read it.

His suggestion that it should be read to them maybe they would understand it cannot be accepted. Which is easier, to read yourselves or to have somebody reading for you?

What the minister needs to understand is that there are people who are more qualified than him and are able to read between the lines.

To suggest that he himself and the MMD government have a monopoly of knowledge and wisdom is an insult to us to say the least.

Nobody has the monopoly of intelligence and wisdom or even knowledge, we all need each other including professors who are highly skilled in their fields.

This should serve as a lesson to those in the government oppositions not to insult the masses because one day you might need them with your degrees and other qualifications. Give us the valuation report we need to dissect it once and for all.

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Zambia experiences massive power blackout

Zambia experiences massive power blackout
By Staff Reporter
Fri 18 June 2010, 13:40 CAT

ZAMBIA suffered a massive power blackout that affected most provinces caused by a failed circuit breaker at the power generation plant at Kariba Dam.

The power outage that occurred around 10:30 hours affected nearly all parts of the country except for Livingstone and the Western Province.

Zesco Limited managing director Ernest Mupwaya confirmed the power outage but assured that power would be restored as the electricity utility company was working hard to resolve the problem.

In Lusaka, the unexpected blackout affected motorists as traffic lights failed causing massive congestion on the roads.

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Snoop Dogg not welcome in Dutch city of Hague

COMMENT - Screw The Hague, that little fascist town.

Snoop Dogg not welcome in Dutch city of Hague
By Reuters
Fri 18 June 2010, 14:00 CAT

Rapper Snoop Dogg sits courtside during Game 6 of the 2010 NBA Finals basketball series between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics in Los Angeles, California June 15, 2010 . Credit: Reuters/Mike Blake

U.S. rapper Snoop Dogg, a frequent visitor to the Netherlands and aficionado of its readily available marijuana, will not be allowed to perform at a free concert in The Hague, authorities said on Thursday.

The mayor of the Dutch city, public prosecutors and the police have asked organizers of the Parkpop festival, billed as the largest in Europe, to find another act to replace Snoop Dogg "in order to be able to guarantee the open and friendly character and free admission of Parkpop" to be held June 27.

Notorious for his appreciation of marijuana and hash, which are sold openly in the Netherlands at stores called "coffee shops," Snoop Dogg is a frequent visitor and usually holds concerts in the European country at least once a year.

"This is all very annoying that the headliner is being removed from the programme 10 days before the event," a spokeswoman for organizer Ducos Productions told ANP-Reuters.

Snoop is also scheduled to perform at a sold-out conference at Amsterdam's "Melkweg." During a 2008 concert at the same venue he smoked several joints during a performance and at one point was joined by singer Willy Nelson, who is also co-chair of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

The 38 year-old, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, has been denied entry into the United Kingdom since 2007 after a fracas the previous year involving members of his entourage. In that year Snoop Dogg also pleaded no contest to gun and drugs charges in the United States and was barred from entering Australia after failing a character test.

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MMD should be voted out of govt says, Mwanamwelwa

MMD should be voted out of govt says, Mwanamwelwa
By Patson Chilemba
Fri 18 June 2010, 04:01 CAT

UNEMPLOYMENT Association of Zambia president Mpundu Mwanamwelwa has said the MMD is losing the confidence of the people and should be voted out of government next year.

And Post editor Fred M’membe said although some may look at Mwanamwelwa’s view as treason, it was his democratic right to demand the removal of government through peaceful means.

Speaking when he and his delegation paid a courtesy call on M’membe following his release from prison at The Post offices, Mwanamwelwa said the MMD had lost the confidence the people had in them.

He said those in the government were now bitting the same freedom of speech they claimed to champion.

“They should not lead by force. As I have mentioned that democracy places authority in the hands of the people. What has been going round the country, the only solution Mr M’membe is to remove this government by next year,” Mwanamwelwa said.

“We will have no stone unturned unless the people of Zambia make another mistake because the unemployed in Zambia have been abused and they are dying everyday. We want leaders who will be proclaiming freedom to high levels of unemployment and poverty levels. We want those leaders who will suffer first for us to eat, us to have employment, not what is happening.”

Mwanamwelwa expressed concern at the political bickering, saying citizens were more interested in development.

He said M’membe was not alone in the struggle for a better Zambia. Mwanamwelwa described M’membe as John the Baptist, the voice of one speaking in the wilderness.

And M’membe said unemployment dehumanises a human being. M’membe said it was very difficult to live as a dignified citizen if one was not employed.

He said it was the duty of the government to create employment for its citizens.
M’membe said politicians usually campaigned that they would create jobs once they were elected into office.

“I don’t know if, since the current President was elected, unemployment has reduced, if poverty has reduced, if his actions and those of his government seriously reflect that desire to reduce unemployment and to reduce poverty. This is for Zambians to judge for themselves,” he said.

On Mwanamwelwa’s statement to remove the MMD government next year, M’membe said Mwanamwelwa had the right to hold that view but it might sound treasonable to others.

“That is a democratic right you have as a citizen of this country to remove any government that you don’t desire, peacefully through free and fair elections. Immediately that right is removed from the citizen to remove a government that they don’t desire through peaceful means, through elections, then democracy ceases,” M’membe said.

“It is only possible for people to remove a government that they do not desire peacefully if there are free and fair elections that truly reflect the wishes of the people.”

M’membe said it seemed something very good and beautiful was coming out from his imprisonment because if it were not so, he would not have met Mwanamwelwa and listened to the wisdom he possessed.

“The other thing that this incarceration has done is to consolidate solidarity. Without this imprisonment I don’t think the words of solidarity you are expressing today would have been expressed; crisis creates ideas. It is not what we have been writing that is creating all these crises’,” M’membe said.

“The more they tried to suppress us, humiliate us, the more they are increasing our cooperation and our capacity to mobilise each other, our capacity to reach out to each other.”

M’membe told Mwanamwelwa and his colleagues that they had a right to a decent life, right to reasonable access to health care and to have their children educated.

M’membe thanked Mwanamwelwa for the visit saying The Post was greatly indebted and would repay the debt through working hard to better the lives of the people.

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Dr Musonda’s prosecution - they have simply run out of sensible options

Dr Musonda’s prosecution: they have simply run out of sensible options
By Editor
Fri 18 June 2010, 04:00 CAT

Finally Rupiah Banda has run out of ideas or schemes on how to continue protecting Dr Solomon Musonda from prosecution. They have tried very hard to ensure that Dr Musonda is not arrested and prosecuted over this matter despite increasing public pressure.

Rupiah’s reluctance to have Dr Musonda prosecuted is understandable. If Dr Musonda is arrested and prosecuted, he may be denied bail and be forced to stay away from parliament long enough to force a parliamentary by-election. And a successful prosecution of Dr Musonda will certainly result in a parliamentary by-election. We don’t think Rupiah and the MMD are ready for that. Although they won the last by-election in this constituency, they know very well that it will not be easy for them to win another one because the political terrain is changing very fast and in a manner that is not favourable to them.

But there was a limit to how far they could go in protecting Dr Musonda. There are many legal complications in what they were trying to do because there are alternative ways of seeking redress from Dr Musonda. The decision by Dr Musonda’s victim, Jackson Musaka, to demand K500 million compensation and if this is not paid to commence civil action in the High Court must have forced them to do what they did yesterday – drop Dr Musonda from government and allow the Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute him. What the Director of Public Prosecutions is doing is not in conflict with their wishes; he is simply implementing the option they have chosen. This Director of Public Prosecutions, Chalwe Mchenga, doesn’t do that which this government doesn’t want him to do. He simply fulfils their wishes. If they want him to enter a nolle prosequi in favour of anyone, he will do so and he has done so before. The Kashiwa Bulaya case is a good example of this.

And if those in power don’t want him to prosecute anyone or want him to withdraw an appeal or any action against those they favour, Mchenga will not hesitate to do so. The corruption case against Frederick Chiluba is a clear example of what we are talking about.

Some may erroneously think Rupiah has for the first time succumbed to public pressure. Rupiah has no respect for public pressure; he doesn’t care about the feelings of the people. Rupiah’s decision to drop Dr Musonda and have him prosecuted has very little, if not nothing, to do with public pressure. It has everything to do with being outmanoeuvred by those assisting the victim. Rupiah has simply been outmanoeuvred.

But this is not the end of Dr Musonda politically or this matter. Opportunities will be created for Dr Musonda to get away with crime. One cannot expect the police or the Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute this matter in a manner that will have Dr Musonda convicted. At every turn, opportunities will be created for Dr Musonda to escape conviction.

And the argument by Mkhondo Lungu, Rupiah’s newly appointed UNIP Minister of Home Affairs, that Dr Musonda’s case has taken long because the Director of Public Prosecutions was out of the country at the time the shooting incident occurred, does not make sense. If this was the way every shooting incident in this country was handled, very few people would be arrested and many criminals would have enough time to flee. The usual way is that when such a crime is committed, the person behind it is arrested and taken to court awaiting instructions on how to proceed or not to proceed from the Director of Public Prosecutions. We are very sure that if it was an opposition politician who had done that, there would have been no issue of having to wait for the Director of Public Prosecutions to come back from abroad for him to be arrested. They would have instantly arrested him, and without any police being extended. And he would have been taken to court where he would have been denied bail and would be in prison pending instructions on the matter from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

If anyone had doubts on how discriminatory and unprofessional the police is being run, this case of Dr Musonda should help remove that doubt. It’s very clear that there is no right to equality before the law, or equal protection of the law, in this country. What matters is one’s political affiliation. If you an ally of those in power, you are treated more favourably and effort is made in every possible way to help you escape justice. If you are not an ally of those in power, you will always be subjected to instant justice by the law-enforcement agencies. If you commit a crime, you will there and then be arrested and accordingly prosecuted with all the odds weighed against you.
We are not in any way saying that the state can guarantee that life will treat everyone equally. It actually has no responsibility to do so. However, under no circumstances should those in control of the state impose additional inequalities; they should be required to deal evenly and equally with all citizens regardless of their political affiliations. No one is above the law.

No one in the police can today claim that they did not fully know what Dr Musoda had done. They are actually not claiming that because they know very well what Dr Musonda had done. This is why the Minister of Home Affairs is saying that Dr Musonda was not arrested because the police were still investigating the shooting incidence. What Lungu is saying is effectively that the investigations were completed a long time ago but the Director of Public Prosecutions was out of the country for the judicial process to commence against Dr Musonda. This shows us how those who administer our criminal justice system hold the power with the potential for abuse and tyranny. In the name of the state, they can arrest on trumped-up and dubious charges citizens those in power do not like. And in the name of the state and using all sorts of highly questionable arguments and sometimes outright corruption, they can exempt the friends of those in power from prosecution. No serious nation, no honest people can tolerate such abuses.

The state must have the power to maintain law and order and punish criminal acts, but the rules and procedures by which the state enforces its laws must be public and explicit, not secret, arbitrary or subject to political manipulation by those in power.

There is no credit or praise that Rupiah deserves for dropping Dr Musonda from his government and for allowing him to be prosecuted. The truth is he was not interested in Dr Musonda being prosecuted. Rupiah publicly stated that he felt sorry for Dr Musonda while not attempting in any small way to show sympathy for the victim. When did the change of heart occur on Rupiah’s part? Rupiah still feels sorry for Dr Musonda and will do everything possible to ensure that he gets away with it. We will not be surprised to find that Dr Musonda’s matter moves very quickly in our courts and is found with no case to answer or is totally acquitted of the crime. It will also not surprise us if tomorrow we wake up to find that Mchenga has been instructed to extend a nolle prosequi in favour of Dr Musonda. It is highly likely that this case will go nowhere. They will do something to rescue Dr Musonda and ensure that Musaka and the people do not receive justice. For now, they have to let the judicial process appear to be taking its course in the matter when in actual fact it is not taking its course but is being directed by the forces in power.

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Pressure has forced Rupiah to fire DR Musonda - Sata

Pressure has forced Rupiah to fire DR Musonda - Sata
By George Chellah and Moses Kuwema
Fri 18 June 2010, 04:02 CAT

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) leader Michael Sata yesterday said public pressure has forced President Rupiah Banda to fire health deputy minister Dr Solomon Musonda for shooting a PF cadre.

Reacting to President Banda’s decision to dismiss Dr Musonda for shooting Jackson Musaka in the head two weeks ago in Serenje, Sata welcomed the President’s decision.

“Rupiah has done a good thing. But I must say congratulations to the Zambian people because without them, Rupiah would not have conceded. This is what public pressure can do. Without public pressure, Musonda would have had a field day. He would still be walking our streets as a free man,” Sata said.

“We solicited for support to hype the pressure on Rupiah from so many people, including some of Rupiah’s own supporters who wanted justice to prevail. Rupiah just couldn’t stand the pressure from the people. That’s why he had to take this route. The public pressure was just too much for him to ignore. If there wasn’t enough public pressure, Musonda would not have been fired.

“Do you remember what Rupiah said when he was asked about the shooting? Rupiah sympathised with Musonda and not the victim. He further suggested that there was a reason why Musonda shot that innocent boy. That confirms my argument that Rupiah wasn’t willing to act in the manner he has done. But the pressure compelled him to do so and Rupiah is currently faced with so many problems and he didn’t want Musonda to be another problem for him.”

Sata said PF would closely be monitoring the events that would follow Dr Musonda’s dismissal.

“I must say that The Post really played a major role in ensuring that injustice is exposed. Now that Musonda is fired, we are waiting for the police to do their part as well,” Sata said.

“It’s up to the police to do their job professionally and independently because we know that before things got to this extent, Rupiah was sending them to Serenje to go and destroy evidence. But their evil ways have failed to deliver. We can only hope that justice will prevail in this matter up to the end.”

President Banda yesterday fired Dr Musonda for shooting Musaka in Chitambo Constituency.

According to a statement issued yesterday by State House special assistant for press and public relations Dickson Jere, President Banda relieved Dr Musonda of his duties as deputy minister of health with immediate effect.

“The President Banda said he has decided to relieve Hon Musonda of his duties after receiving a report indicating that the Director of Public Prosecution has recommended for the prosecution of the deputy minister following a shooting incident in his constituency,” he stated.

“President Banda said he wanted Hon Musonda to concentrate on his case. The President said he also wanted the judicial process to take its course in the matter.”

And home affairs minister Mkhondo Lungu said Dr Musonda’s case had taken long because the Director of Public Prosecution was out of the country the time the shooting incident occurred.

“We always want the law to take its course so there are processes that need to be followed. The DPP was out of the country a few days after the incident occurred so now that he is around we have to wait for him to advise us on the next course of action,” Lungu said.

On gender and development deputy minister Lucy Changwe’s case where she bounced a cheque amounting to K10 million in a property purchase transaction, Lungu said the law would have to take its course.

“It’s a new thing that has just happened because I have just read about it today yesterday but the law will have to take its course…we always want the law to take its course but in the meantime we have to follow the procedure,” said Lungu.

Meanwhile, President Banda has returned former science and technology minister Gabriel Namulambe as mines deputy minister. President Banda fired Namulambe a few months ago for defending late president Levy Mwanawasa’s legacy.

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BP workers ask Rupiah to ensure full benefits are paid

BP workers ask Rupiah to ensure full benefits are paid
By Speedwell Mupuchi in Kitwe
Fri 18 June 2010, 04:01 CAT

SOME BP workers have asked President Rupiah Banda to ensure that they are paid their full benefits once the company’s shares are sold. The workers also stated that those wishing to continue with the new owner of BP should do so on a new slate.

In a statement following BP general manager Fumu Mondoloka’s summary of employee situation, the workers urged President Banda to help save their benefits at BP Zambia because the company was allegedly using deceptive and cunning tactics on employees.

The workers stated that they were at the mercy of BP Zambia as the company had made it clear that there was no legal requirement to consult with employees or their representatives upon the sale of BP’s shares.

The workers also stated that according to their company management, there was no legal requirement to compel BP Zambia to pay workers their benefits at the point of sale before being re-employed by the new buyer on equivalent or better conditions prior to the sale.

“This means that workers have no choice of either being retrenched or choosing to continue with the new owners. This can result in workers finding themselves in the cold once they are forced to continue working for the new company,” feared the workers.

“We don’t want to be forced to be sold together with the company unilaterally against our will just because your (President Banda’s) government does not protect workers like us.”

Mondoloka, in his summary on June 13, 2010, acknowledged that many employees had raised questions regarding BP’s announcement of intention to sell 75 per cent interest in its associate, BP Zambia.

He stated that because BP intends to exit all its existing businesses in Zambia, the sale would take the form of sale of BP shares in BP Zambia.

“Many of you are understandably keen to know how the sale will affect you. A recurring theme is whether, under Zambian law, the sale will result in your retrenchment and (possible) rehire by the buyer of BP’s shareholding in the associate,” reads the summary.

Mondoloka asked employees to understand that the sale process had just started and was being managed by a specialist BP team with great experience in such matters.

He also noted that the sale process would take months to complete.

“It is important to understand two things: First, the sale process is confidential. It is necessary for the process to be confidential for many good reasons. Employees need to realize this and accept that they will not have any control or influence over the process. However, I will keep you informed of material developments in the sales process as and when they occur; secondly employees are an integral part of the business. BP values the contribution we have all made to the success of BP Zambia and I very much expect the buyer of BP’s shareholding in BP Zambia to do likewise,” stated Mondoloka.

“BP intends that after the sale completes, all employees will still have jobs with BP Zambia, and these jobs will be on the same terms and conditions as now.”

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Global Fund re-confirms freezing aid to MoH

Global Fund re-confirms freezing aid to MoH
By Moses Kuwema and Florence Bupe
Fri 18 June 2010, 04:01 CAT

THE Global Fund has re-confirmed freezing on cash disbursements to the Ministry of Health (MoH). According to a statement released on Wednesday, the Global Fund decided to clarify its actions as recent media reports had caused confusion about the state of its funding to Zambia.

The Global Fund stated that it stopped disbursing money for grants to the Ministry of Health since August last year after it found evidence of expenditures that could not be accounted for.

“However, around US$17 million of a total of US$137 million in affected funds originally meant for the Ministry of Health has been disbursed through other channels to ensure that there is no disruption of lifesaving services. An additional US$180 million in Global Fund grants implemented by civil society organisations in Zambia are unaffected by this freeze,” the statement read.

The Fund stated that United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) would take over the management of the grants originally provided to the Ministry of Health and full grant activities were expected to resume within the next two months.

The Fund stated that the freeze in disbursement came after Zambian authorities last year uncovered fraud within its health ministry.

“Further investigations by the Global Fund showed that the Ministry of Health was not able to safely manage grants. The organisation has demanded the return of US$8 million in unspent funds from the Ministry of Health,” read the statement.

The Fund also demanded that Zambia takes action against individuals found to be involved in the unaccounted for expenditures that led to the freezing of grant disbursements.

But Ministry of Health spokesperson Dr Reuben Mbewe on Wednesday said the Global Fund delayed the disbursements of all grants to pave way for the Global Fund audit.

Dr Mbewe said during this period Global Fund allowed Ministry of Health to continue procuring drugs such as anti-malarials, ARVs and TB drugs.

“After the completion of the investigations Global Fund is working with Ministry of Health together with UNDP to build capacity of the ministry especially in procurement and finance as per agreed joint governance action plan. The ministry with Global Fund and UNDP are working on modalities through which Ministry of Health will start accessing funds through UNDP,” Dr Mbewe said. “After two years, Ministry of Health will start accessing the funding directly. Instead of being principle recipients, we have now become sub-recipients. The round four grants for malaria and HIV which were due to expire in October have been extended for one year to make up for the delay in disbursement.”

Dr Mbewe said Ministry of Health had been invited to apply for the Global Fund round 10 funding because they still had confidence in Zambia.

“And because they know that we are working on strengthening the procurement and financial systems. What I have explained is in relation to last year’s alleged embezzlement which is before the courts of law,” said Dr Mbewe. “It has nothing to do with new developments within the last year as mentioned in one of the dailies that there is strong evidence of continued fraudulent activities.”

The Global Fund suspended disbursements to Zambia’s Ministry of Health because of strong evidence of continued fraudulent activities.

The decision was made at its 21st board meeting in Geneva held between April 28 and 30, 2010. The Global Fund stated that it would not proceed with signing any new grants with the Ministry of Health until it was satisfied that the situation was under control and adequate measures were in place to allow for a return-to-normal arrangements.

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Prosecute Changwe - Syakalima

Prosecute Changwe - Syakalima
By George Chellah
Fri 18 June 2010, 04:01 CAT

POLICE must move on Lucy Changwe with the same speed they exhibited on George Mpombo, Siavonga UPND member of parliament Douglas Syakalima has said.

Commenting on gender and development deputy minister Lucy Changwe’s matter where she bounced a cheque amounting to K10 million in a house purchase transaction, Syakalima called for Changwe’s arrest and prosecution.

“In the first place, we have seen that ever since they took Fred M’membe Post editor-in-chief to prison many people said ‘we seem to have two justice systems’, one for those with the MMD and for others’,” Syakalima said.

“If indeed they think that this is not correct, let them move on Lucy at the speed they moved on Mpombo. For Mpombo, they moved with lightning speed. The same way they moved on Chansa Kabwela Post news editor because State House was involved, let them do the same on this matter as well.”

Syakalima said President Banda must take action on Changwe, too.

“I expect the President to react on Lucy as well. And not this dilly-dally behaviour where he waits until the Zambians exhaust their lungs before he can react,” he said.

Former defence minister Mpombo was arrested a few months ago for bouncing a K10 million. He is currently waiting for judgment in the matter.

And Changwe bounced a cheque amounting to K10 million in a property purchase transaction.

In a letter to President Rupiah Banda dated June 9, 2010, Roger Musonda, who is the owner of the property in question in Mkushi district, complained over the minister’s crime.

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TAZARA plans to improve performance

TAZARA plans to improve performance
By Isaac Zulu in Kapiri Mposhi
Fri 18 June 2010, 04:00 CAT

TAZARA managing director Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika has said the railway company has a challenge of finding non-traditional solutions to overcome the usual constraint of lack of funds. And Mbikusita-Lewanika has said TAZARA plans to surpass the performances of all the past years starting from 2004.

During the commissioning of the initial 28 TAZARA rehabilitated wagons in Kapiri Mposhi on Tuesday, Mbikusita-Lewanika observed that increasing wagon capacity cannot be undertaken from normal revenue earnings.

“We are mindful that even this endeavour to increase wagon capacity, which is not only a challenging area, cannot be accomplished from normal revenue earnings. It cannot be undertaken from normal payments for cargo or passenger service. It cannot be financed from traditional banking facilities or traditional terms and conditions. In fact, we are faced with a proverbial chicken and egg dilemma,” Mbikusita-Lewanika explained. “What comes first - a bank loan or an increase in revenues? What comes first - increased revenue or increased capacity? What comes first - high performance to earn more money or high personnel motivation? Thus, TAZARA management is challenged to find non-traditional solutions to overcome the usual constraint of lack of funds for example, seeking to increase capacity by rehabilitating wagons to better serve customers.”

Mbikusita-Lewanika said the follow up challenge was to determine what partnership activities could be undertaken with stakeholders in order to enable TAZARA break through the barrier of limited liquidity and deteriorating operational equipments and facilities.

“TAZARA management is challenged to recognise and take account of the fact that to cut through this vicious circle calls for strategic partnerships with other stakeholders of TAZARA. Some of you may have a problem identifying strategic partners and stakeholders of TAZARA. For some of you, the answer can be found if you look into a mirror. TAZARA management believes that customers are its logical and most likely strategic partners and most direct stakeholders,” he said.

“…To this end, TAZARA is proposing smart capacity building partnership with customers. What is being proposed, and what is already in practice, as illustrated by the wagons we are launching today, is unorthodox, and, certainly outside the traditional boxes of operational tools. But, it is practical in straightforward and self-evident way. What is being proposed is also directly beneficial to you as customers as well as to TAZARA your service operator…”

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DEC arrests Mushili for money laundering

DEC arrests Mushili for money laundering
By Mwila Chansa in Ndola
Fri 18 June 2010, 04:00 CAT

THE Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) yesterday arrested Ndola Central Patriotic Front (PF) member of parliament Mark Mushili for money laundering activities involving over K6 billion.

Mushili, 61, a resident of Dr Damme Street, Kansenshi, Ndola, was arrested for allegedly siphoning fuel worth K2 billion from Tazama Pipeline Limited by false pretences using Anegi Oils Limited.

Mushili has also been arrested for alleged fraudulent activities in Anegi Oils involving K4 billion and theft of K20 million respectively from Anegi Oils Limited (in liquidation) a company in which he is a major shareholder.

He allegedly committed the financial crimes between 2007 and August 2009 before Anegi Oils Limited went under voluntary liquidation.

He was detained in police custody and was expected to appear in the Ndola magistrates’ court later in the afternoon.

DEC public relations manager John Nyawali said no one was above the law and it would prosecute anyone involved in money laundering activities regardless of their status in society in order to protect the country’s economy.

Mushili arrived at the DEC offices around 10:00 hours where he was summoned to appear after being interviewed at the headquarters in Lusaka on Monday.
DEC recorded a warn and caution statement from Mushili before formally arresting him on the alleged offences.

Mushili is being represented by Likando Kalaluka.
Kalaluka said police had refused to give his client bond.

Some PF members led by Davies Mwila [Chipili member of parliament, councillors Elias Kamanga - Bupe Ward of Kitwe - and former Kitwe mayor Maleta Kasonde - were on hand to give support to Mushili.

The PF members chanted slogans; “arrest Musonda health deputy minister who shot a PF cadre! Viva Sata, Viva Mushili”.

And Kamanga said it was sad that suspected murderers were walking scott-free whereas innocent people were being arrested.

Kamanga dared police to arrest him because he would mobilise cadres to travel to Ndola for Mushili’s case.

Mushili is detained at Ndola Central Police.

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Money sent by Zambians abroad rises to K73bn

Money sent by Zambians abroad rises to K73bn
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Fri 18 June 2010, 04:00 CAT

MONEY sent back home by Zambians living abroad rose slightly to K73.8 billion in the first quarter of this year from K71.5 billion during the same period last year.

Bank of Zambia (BoZ) head of public relations Kanguya Mayondi stated that in the first quarter of 2010, there were a total of 56,335 transactions recorded compared with 51,043 recorded during the same period last year.

“The increase in remittances is attributable to the improvements in the global and domestic economic activities as the world economy began to emerge from the 2008 global financial and economic crises,” Mayondi stated in response to a press query.

“The increase in the number of designated payment system businesses was another contributing factor.”

Mayondi stated with the enactment of the national payment systems Act, there had been a marked increase in the number of non-bank financial institutions that the BoZ had designated to offer money transmission services.

“These payment system businesses have a presence in various parts of the country where such services previously never existed,” Mayondi stated.

“In this regard, access to this service has been extended, making it possible for more people to receive money from the Diaspora.”

Mayondi stated that formal collection of information and remittances by BoZ only began last year following the enactment of the national payments system Act in 2007 and subsequent designation of payment system businesses.

Typically, Zambians living abroad send money back home to help their families and to invest in various sectors such as the real estate.
Last year, K298 billion was sent back to Zambia with a total of 216,700 transactions recorded.

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Govt slashes gateway fees

Govt slashes gateway fees
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe and Fridah Zinyama
Tue 15 June 2010, 08:20 CAT

GOVERNMENT has slashed international gateway fees to US$340,000 from US$12 million, former vice-president Enoch Kavindele disclosed last week, adding that the decision is meant to grant the buyers of Zamtel’s 75 per cent shares easy access to the facility.

Government, through the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), last week announced that Libya’s Lap Green Network had been offered to purchase Zamtel’s 75 per cent shares, a move that has met strong criticism from the public.

“As a country we no longer have pride, seeing as we have sold off almost all the companies which could have given us a sense of ownership,” he said. “Now that government has successfully sold Zamtel, they will move to other entities like Zesco Ltd, State Lottery and ZSIC, a move which should not be supported by all well-meaning Zambians.”

Mukuka said as a union, they condemned the privatisation of Zamtel as it would only lead to a loss of formal employment in the country.

“As a union we have never supported the privatisation process which brought untold misery to a lot of Zambians,” he said. “A lot of people who were made redundant through the privatisation process are yet to be paid their terminal benefits and those who have been paid, their money went straight to shylocks to whom they owed money to. Some even died before they could even get paid.”

Mukuka said the government should have concentrated on creating more job opportunities for its people rather than selling off state companies.

“As it is, some 2,341 employees will lose their jobs...and government will be forced to increase PAYE Pay As You Earn from the already few employees who are in formal employment because they would have lost out on revenue from the Zamtel employees who will lose their jobs,” he said.

“It will be unfortunate but it is a move that government will likely take in order to raise the much-needed revenue for the treasury. We expect government to create and not dismantle jobs.”

Mukuka said the government should have listened to concerns raised by different stakeholders about the lack of transparency in the privatisation process of Zamtel.

“A lot of people have questioned the whole process and it is unfortunate that government has not rescinded its decision to go ahead with the sale of Zamtel,” he said. “The issue of national security has also not been considered.”

Mukuka pointed out that as it is, Zambia is the only country in the world that has privatised its entire parastatals in this manner.

“Even the World Bank has acknowledged that Zambia is the only country in the world which has made such a decision and yet government does not want to halt the process,” said Mukuka.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Rupiah finally gives Dr Musonda the boot

Rupiah finally gives Dr Musonda the boot
By George Chellah and Moses Kuwema
Thu 17 June 2010, 14:20 CAT

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda has fired health deputy minister Dr Solomon Musonda for allegedly shooting a PF cadre, Jackson Musaka in Chitambo constituency. And home affairs minister Mukondo Lungu has said Dr Musonda’s case has taken long because the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was out of the country.

According to a statement by State House special assistant for press and public relations Dickson Jere, President Banda has relieved Dr Musonda of his duties as deputy minister of health with immediate effect.

“The President Banda said he has decided to relieve Hon Musonda of his duties after receiving a report indicating that the Director of Public Prosecution has recommended for the prosecution of the deputy minister following a shooting incident in his constituency,” he stated.

“President Banda said he wanted Hon Musonda to concentrate on his case. The President said he also wanted the judicial process to take its course in the matter.”

And Lungu said the case of Dr Musonda has taken long because the Director of Public Prosecution was out of the country the time the shooting incident occurred.

“We always want the law to take its course so there are processes that need to be followed, the DPP Director of Public Prosecution was out of the country a few days after the incident occurred so now that he is around we have to wait for him to advise us on the next course of action,” Lungu said.

On gender and development deputy minister Lucy Changwe’s case where she bounced a cheque amounting to K10 million in a property purchase transaction, Lungu said the law will have to take its course.

“It’s a new thing that has just happened because I have just read about it today yesterday but the law will have to take its course…we always want the law to take its course but in the meantime we have to follow the procedure,” said Lungu.

Meanwhile, President Banda has returned former science and technology minister Gabriel Namulambe as mines deputy minister. President Banda fired Namulambe a few months ago.

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Mutati, that’s what is expected of you, your colleagues

Mutati, that’s what is expected of you, your colleagues
By The Editor
Thu 17 June 2010, 08:00 CAT

Admit when you are wrong, and you avoid embarrassment. This is exactly what Felix Mutati did on Tuesday. Felix regretted his statement that Zambians would not understand the government’s sale of Zamtel from the RP Capital valuation report and asked that they listen to the “rational explanations from the government”.

Felix went on to assert: “I will never underestimate the intelligence of the people of Zambia…I draw my mandate from the people of Zambia. The people of Zambia have tremendous capability to understand and analyse issues and I will never underestimate that capability.”

Taught by mistakes and setbacks, we expect Felix to become wiser and handle our affairs better. It is hard for any person to avoid mistakes, but one should make as few as possible. Once a mistake is made, it should be corrected, and the more quickly and thoroughly, the better.

What Felix has done is not common among Zambian politicians of today. After realizing that he had made a mistake, the common thing Felix would have done is to deny the story and claim that he was misquoted, he never said what was reported.

But Felix chose the honest route and admitted his mistakes, expressing regret for what he said. This is the type of leaders Zambia needs – leaders who realise that the exercise of power must be the constant practice of self-limitation and modesty. Stubbornness, when you are wrong, will simply get you into more trouble at the end. A stubborn person will burdened down with troubles.

It may be humiliating for Felix to apologise, to regret what he said. But as gold is tested by fire, human character is tested in the furnace of humiliation. And by that simple rare action – rare in the sense of the general behavior of our politicians – Felix has demonstrated great character, character that is desirable in a leader. A man may be very important, very famous, but when he is wrong, a sensible person will detect it.

We can only hope our political leaders will learn something from Felix’s humility and make this a leadership norm. The people, and the people alone, are the motive force in whatever happens in our country.

The masses are the real masters, while our politicians are often childish and ignorant, and without this understanding, it is impossible for them to acquire even the most rudimentary knowledge. The masses have boundless creative power.

Our political leaders should never pretend to know what they don’t know, they should not feel ashamed to ask learn from people below, the ordinary people and they should listen carefully to the views of the people.

Be a pupil before you become a teacher; learn from the people at the lower levels before you issue orders. What the people at the lower levels say may or may not be correct; after hearing it, you must analyse it. You must heed the correct views and act upon them.

Listen also to the mistaken views from below; it is wrong not to listen to them at all. Such views, however, are not to be acted upon but to be criticized.

Pay attention to the views of those who differ with you. We have come together from every corner of the country and should be good at listening to each other, and not only to those who hold the same views as we but also with those who hold different views.

Guard against arrogance. For anyone in a leading position, this is a matter of principle and an important condition for good leadership. Even those who have made no serious mistakes and have achieved very great successes in their work should not be arrogant.

This is the only way our politicians can link themselves to the masses. To link oneself with the masses, one must act in accordance with the need and wishes of the masses.

All work done for the masses – be it the privatisation of Zamtel or the engagement of RP Capital to value Zamtel’s assets – must start from their needs and not from the desire of any individual, however well-intentioned. It often happens that objectively the masses need a certain change, but subjectively they are not yet conscious of the need, not yet willing or determined to make the change. In such cases, they should wait patiently.

They should not make the change until, through their work, most of the masses have become conscious of the need and are willing and determined to carry it out. Otherwise they shall isolate themselves from the masses as we are starting to see in the privatisation of Zamtel. Unless they are conscious and willing, any kind of work that requires their participation will turn out to be a mere formality and will fail.

There are two principles here: one is the actual needs of the masses rather than what their political leaders fancy they need, and the other is the wishes of the masses, who must make up their own minds instead of their political leaders making up their minds for them.

There is need for our politicians to learn to love the people and listen attentively to the voice of the masses; to identify themselves with the masses wherever they go and, instead of standing above them, to immerse themselves among them; and, according to their present level, to awaken them or raise their political consciousness.

If our politicians insist on doing what they want, on selling public assets as they please against the will of the people, they will certainly fail. This arrogance is wrong in any type of government work, because in overstepping the level of political consciousness of the masses and violating the principle of voluntary public support for their decisions, it reflects the disease of impetuosity.

Our politicians, especially those in government, must not assume that the masses have no understanding of what they themselves do not understand. It often happens that the masses outstrip them and are eager to advance a step and that nevertheless they themselves fail to act as leaders of the masses and tail behind certain backward elements, reflecting their views and, moreover, mistaking them for those of the broad masses.

Our politicians must learn to have faith in the masses. Having faith in the masses is a cardinal principle. If they doubt this principle, they shall accomplish nothing.

It is an arduous task to ensure a better life for the 12 million people of Zambia and to build our economically backward country into a prosperous nation with a high level of culture.

And it is precisely in order to be able to shoulder this task more competently and work better together with all their people, regardless of the political affiliation, who are actuated by high ideals and determined to institute changes to the way public affairs are managed and that they must constantly rid themselves of whatever is wrong.

There is need for more and more people to participate in directly shaping the destiny of their country. We say this because more people mean a greater ferment of ideas, more enthusiasm and more energy.

Contradictions will always be there in the political life of our people. But the question is: how should right be distinguished from wrong in one’s words and actions? On the basis of the principles of our Constitution and the will of the overwhelming majority of our people.

And the only way to settle controversial issues among the people is by the democratic method, the method of discussion, of criticism, of persuasion and education, and not by the method of coercion or repression. We must undoubtedly criticize wrong ideas of every description.

It certainly would not be right to refrain from criticism, look on while wrong ideas spread unchecked and allow them to monopolise the field. Mistakes must be criticized and poisonous weeds fought wherever they crop up. However, such criticism should not be dogmatic. What is needed is convincing arguments.

To criticize people’s shortcomings is necessary, but in doing so we must truly take the stand of the people and speak out of wholehearted eagerness to protect and educate.

Contradiction and struggle are universal and absolute, but the methods of resolving contradictions, that is, the forms of struggle, differ according to the differences in the nature of the contradictions. Some contradictions are characterized by open antagonism, while others are not.

In accordance with the concrete development of things, some contradictions which were originally non-antagonistic develop into antagonistic ones, while others which were originally antagonistic develop into non-antagonistic ones.

In ordinary circumstances, contradictions among the people are not antagonistic. But if they are not handled properly, or if we relax our vigilance and lower our guard, antagonism may arise.

This brings us to where we had started – Felix’s humility and willingness to apologise for the statement he made on RP Capital’s valuation of Zamtel assets that has not gone well with the masses of our people. Antagonisms can be avoided by humility on the part of our leaders.

And such humility is only possible if one truly understands and appreciated that the masses are the masters and the prime movers of things. Felix seems to have articulated this very well and probably hence his regrets for offending the people.
If all our politicians take this route that has been charted by Felix, humble a s it may appear, we will have a much better society and a more responsive leadership that enjoys the confidence and support of the people. And with such a leadership, we can move mountains.

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Mutati, Musokotwane contradict each other over ZAMTEL

Mutati, Musokotwane contradict each other over ZAMTEL
By Fridah Zinyama and Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Thu 17 June 2010, 08:00 CAT

FINANCE minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane yesterday maintained that there has never been a time when the valuation report on a privatised company has been released before a sale.

Dr Musokotwane said the government will resolve internally issue of conflicting statements over the release of RP Capital valuation report, a day after commerce minister Felix Mutati pledged that the much sought after report will be unveiled in Parliament this monthend.

And United Kingdom-based Zambian economist Chola Mukanga has observed that Zambians risk being shackled into perpetual suffering similar to the mining Development Agreements for as long as the RP Capital valuation report on Zamtel remains in secrecy.

In what would be seen as succumbing to growing pressure for the government to make available the US $12.8 million RP Capital evaluation report on Zamtel, Mutati promised on Tuesday that the valuation results of the net asset value of recently privatised Zamtel would be made public at the end of this month when parliament resumes sitting.

But in interview yesterday, Dr Musokotwane stood by his earlier statement last week that valuation results for privatised companies are never made public. Dr Musokotwane said the issue of conflicting positions with Mutati would be resolved internally rather than in the media.

Dr Musokotwane maintained that in the country’s privatisation process, there has never been a time when the valuation report was released before a sale.

“This is because bidders might end up bidding around the price that is indicated in the valuation report,” Dr Musokotwane said.

He insisted that Zambia would have lost out if the valuation results were made public because the bidders would have not offered a higher price as they would have been bidding around the net asset value of Zamtel as revealed by the RP Capital findings report.

Dr Musokotwane explained that against that background, the valuation report was never released.

At the beginning of the controversial sale last year, former communications minister and one of the architects, Dora Siliya promised that the valuation report on the net asset value of Zamtel was going to be made public for the Zambians to realise that the giant telecommunication was not “sold for a song” unlike what happened to the ZCCM privatisation process under former president Frederick Chiluba when parastatal companies were sold without valuation.

And in his letter to Dr Musokotwane, copied to Mutati and Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) director general Andrew Chipwende, Mukanga requested the immediate and unconditional release of RP Capital Valuation Report that underpinned the recent sale of Zamtel to a Libyan Lap Green company.

“My request is based on a simple principle that the assets of this country belong to all Zambians. As such we have the legal and constitutional right to see this report,” Mukanga stated.

“We are best placed to assess and judge whether the sale of Zamtel was based on reasonable and credible advice from RP Capital.”
Mukanga stated that the secrecy was being been used to cover alleged dishonest activities as alleged corrupt activities in the mining privatisation process have gone uninvestigated.

“You also need no reminder that Zambians have for a long time suffered due to the secrecy that underpinned the mining Development Agreements,” he stated. “Then like now, the government withheld vital information which only became public after NGOs Non-Government Organisations and academics got hold of the reports and bemoaned the cruel details contained therein.

Up to this day, the government of Zambia has never held a single enquiry into the alleged corruption that took place. You have an historic opportunity to show you are politicians of the future and not those that should belong to the political museum. You can start by releasing this valuable report.”

Mukanga stated that Zamtel was a public institution owned by ordinary Zambians and any decision made concerning it affected everybody.

“You as members of government are servants of our mothers and children. You are not our masters - but our servants,” stated Mukanga. “This is not a party political issue, it is common sense. I urge you to stand-up and be counted.

Release the valuation report and let Zambians see the truth for themselves.”
Former Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) managing director Dr Bwalya Ng’andu said the RP valuation report would have made a difference to the Zambian people had it been released before government finalised the partial privatisation of Zamtel.

Another UK-based Zambian economist, Patrick Mulenga said Zambia would regret the privatisation of Zamtel in future. Mulenga said the Zambian government had ignored sensible advice and privatised Zamtel when the whole world knew that telecoms and Information Telecommunications were the growth industries of the future.

“If the Zambian government was truly committed to diversification from copper, the key was to maximise revenues from the mines through improved taxation, through the windfall tax or higher royalties which could have been used to recapitalise Zamtel after first splitting it into two units, namely a mobile service provider and a fixed line/gateway provider.

Unfortunately your leaders are more interested in the benefits to themselves not to the country,” Mulenga said. “This is one privatisation that the country will surely regret.”

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Mutati admits rampant corruption in construction sector

COMMENT - Mr. Ibrahim Mahlab is CEO of The Arab Contractors Co.

Mutati admits rampant corruption in construction sector
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Thu 17 June 2010, 14:10 CAT

COMMERCE minister Felix Mutati has admitted that there is a lot abuse in the construction sector as most contractors were ineffective and over-pricing on public works.

Speaking at Intercontinental Hotel on Wednesday night when he officiated at the reception to announce the partnering of Flame Arab Constructors with Flame Zambia to spend US $10 million in setting up a quarry cement batching plant and other supporting services for the construction sector in the country, Mutati said Zambians were tired of undelivered services by contractors.

Mutati said the government was hoping that Egyptian company would help introduce technology that would help to lower the cost of construction to the levels in Egypt.

He wondered why it cost US $150,000 to construct a one kilometre tar stretch in Egypt while constructing the same distance in the country costs US $1 million. Flame Arab Constructors should demonstrate that it would require around US $350,000 to construct a kilometre of tar road in Zambia.

“So, let’s bring in the people who are going to deliver for the people of Zambia at a cost-reflective price… with good quality so that the competition, the abuse particularly in the construction industry with regard to pricing, to quality to delivery, we can begin to eliminate it and chop it out,” said Mutati.

“Our people, the Zambian people are tired of explanations especially from, particularly from the contractors of ‘why they are unable to deliver.”

Flame Zambia chairman Mohammed Salama said the company would demonstrate good workmanship through the plant and would want to be engaged in more construction projects in Zambia.

Salama said the technical and financial support that the company would receive from Flame Arab Construction would help them reduce the cost of construction in Zambia.

“Through Flame Arab Constructors, we will be bringing down the cost of construction to more developments to happen suing the same resources at hand; thus creating more employment and more projects,” said Salama.

“We will achieve this by having our own quarry cement plant, which we think will help to reduce the cost of construction in Zambia.”

He said in the last four years that Flame Zambia has operated in the country, it has undertaken some substantial projects, including the construction of Finsbury building at the Kabwe roundabout and Radisson Hotel opposite Arcades shopping centre.

The company has trained 400 Zambians in various construction skills, and was contributing more to the sector.

And Flame Arab Constructors chairman Ibrahim Mahlab said the company, which achieved a turnover of US $2.5 billion and recorded a backlog of US $4.5 billion worth of project last year, wants top contribute to the development of infrastructure in Zambia.

Flame Arab Constructors would also be training 20 Zambians from the Arab Construction Institute in Egypt.

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