Saturday, June 26, 2010
It’s the regime change agenda all the time
Posted in Imperialism, Zimbabwe by gowans on June 25, 2010
The United States, Canada and Australia are abusing the Kimberly Process, an initiative to prevent the sale of “blood” diamonds, in order to frustrate Zimbabwe’s efforts to establish a multi-billion dollar annual revenue stream from its rich Marange diamond fields. The aim is to keep up economic pressure on the country to undermine popular support for Robert Mugabe and his land reform and economic indigenization programs.
By Stephen Gowans
Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond fields hold out the promise of billions of dollars per year in diamond sales , a bounty that could help the southern African country develop economically, and place it among the world’s top diamond producers.
But if the United States, Canada and Australia have their way, Zimbabwe will have to find a way to sell its diamonds without a seal of approval from the Kimberly Process, “a joint governments, industry and civil society initiative to stem the flow of conflict diamonds – rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments.” 
Abbey Chikane, a South African businessman appointed by the Kimberly Process to monitor the Marange fields, recommended that the diamonds be certified. He also recommended that Zimbabwe’s army, which has guarded the fields from the anarchy of illegal diamond diggers hoping to strike it rich, continues to do so until the police are in a position to maintain order. 
Most African countries — including Zimbabwe’s neighbors South Africa, Botswana, Angola and Tanzania — backed up Chikane’s recommendation, as did India, China and Russia, which together represent the bulk of humanity. But the United States, Canada and Australia blocked certification.
The three countries, among the world’s richest, point to claims made by two ostensibly independent nongovernmental organizations, Global Witness and Partnership Africa Canada, to justify their decision. They say the Zimbabwe military is committing human rights abuses at the Marange fields and running a smuggling operation. 
So why did the Kimberly Process auditor recommend certification, despite allegations of human rights abuses and smuggling? First, the Kimberly Process seeks to prevent the sale of rough diamonds to finance rebel wars, not to prevent human rights abuses and smuggling. Second, Kimberly Process chairman Bernard Esau says there is “no proof of alleged human rights violations at the Marange diamond fields.” 
The United States, Canada and Australia, along with Britain and the European Union, have been actively seeking to drive Robert Mugabe and Zanu-PF from power for the last decade. Their regime change efforts are dressed up as “democracy promotion”, but Washington’s own documents make clear that “democracy promotion” is nothing more that helping the Western-backed, -conceived and -funded Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which currently shares power with Zanu-PF, govern alone. The MDC would end, and possibly reverse, Zanu-PF’s policies of land redistribution and economic indigenization  — policies which are giving substantive meaning to the country’s hard fought for independence.
In order to undermine popular support for Zanu-PF and its policies, the United States, Canada and Australia, along with other Western countries, have imposed sanctions which have had a crippling effect on the economy. While they deny that the sanctions are anything other than targeted, and that they’re aimed only at top Zanu-PF leaders, the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, a US law passed in 2001, blocks Zimbabwe’s access to international lines of credit. Explicitly taking aim at Zimbabwe’s land redistribution program, the law has cruelly undercut economic development.
Zimbabwe’s land reform and economic indenisation programs remain an inspiration to poor and landless Africans of neighboring countries, who decades after liberation from European colonialism, apartheid and white settler rule, have yet to see any substantive change in their conditions. The economic indigenization program, which mirrors similar policies that South Korea, Japan, Venezuela, Canada and other countries have once used or currently use to promote domestic economic development,  requires that at least 51 percent of Zimbabwe’s economy be placed in the hands of Zimbabweans or their descendants who were disadvantaged by colonial oppression and white minority rule.
While it’s true that Global Witness and Partnership Africa Canada are nongovernmental organizations, they are hardly independent of the Western governments that have worked for regime change in Zimbabwe. Global Witness is funded by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Britain’s Department for International Development, the European Commission, Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency and Norad.  Partnership Africa Canada receives its funding from many of the same organizations, including a Canadian government department (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) and agency (the Canadian International Development Agency.) 
Many NGOs active in Africa create the illusion of being independent of the Western governments that have historically despoiled the continent, while relying on the same governments to provide their funding. It’s highly unlikely that organizations whose existences depend on the support they can get from Western governments stray far from their funders’ interests and foreign policy imperatives. The implication that NGOs are independent of governments is deliberately deceptive.
The Marange diamond fields, then, present a problem to Western governments that have been working to undermine popular support for Zanu-PF and its policies. How can sanctions work if they’re offset by yearly diamond sales of $1 billion to $1.7 billion?
The answer, of course, is that a rich flow of diamond revenues, and anything else that promises to make life better for Zimbabweans, counters the aims of the sanctions, and therefore, under the logic of Western foreign policy, must be blocked.
To frustrate Zimbabwe’s efforts to benefit from the Marange fields, the United States, Canada and Australia have abused the Kimberly Process. The initiative is intended to prevent rebel movements using rough diamonds to finance wars against legitimate governments. Is there any evidence this is happening in Zimbabwe? None at all.
But the flaw in the Kimberly Process is that it operates on the principle of consensus. That means that participants who seek to deny certification can, for their own mischievous political reasons, withhold their approval and therefore prevent consensus, invoking some unrelated humanitarian principle as justification.
“We want to be orderly, to do like what other countries in the region are doing,” said Mugabe last May, “but countries like the US, Britain, Australia and Canada want to take advantage of us by ensuring the process creates the same effect like sanctions on us; that we should not be allowed to sell our diamonds.”
“They have been heard saying what happens to our sanctions if Zimbabwe sells its diamonds? It is the regime change agenda all the time.” 
1. Celia W. Dugger, “Report on Zimbabwe diamond trade angers rights groups”, The New York Times, June 8, 2010.
Accessed June 25, 2010.
3. Celia W. Dugger, “Report on Zimbabwe diamond trade angers rights groups”, The New York Times, June 8, 2010.
4. Celia W. Dugger, “Zimbabwe diamonds fail to get conflict-free approval”, The New York Times, June 24, 2010.
5. “No proof of diamond fields human rights violations: KP,” The Herald (Zimbabwe), June 28, 2009.
6. Stephen Gowans, “US Government Report Undermines Zimbabwe Opposition’s Claim of Independence”, what’s left, October 4, 2008, http://gowans.wordpress.com/2008/10/04/us-government-report-undermines-zimbabwe-opposition%e2%80%99s-claim-of-independence/
7. Ha-Joon Chang, Bad Samaritans: The Myths of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism, Bloomsbury Press, 2008. The author, a South Korean who teaches economics at the University of Cambridge, is hardly a favorite of the South Korean Ministry of National Defense. In July, 2008 the ministry banned from military barracks Bad Samaritans, along with 23 other books, labeled anti-capitalist, anti-American and pro-North Korean. Also included were books by Noam Chomsky. “Military expands book blacklist”, The Hankyoreh, July 31, 2008; Chose Sang-Hun, “Textbooks on Past Offend South Korea’s Conservatives,” The New York Times, November 18, 2008.
Accessed June 25, 2010.
Accessed June 25, 2010.
10. Takunda Maodza, “President slams KPCS”, The Herald (Zimbabwe), May 28, 2010.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010, 9:21
THE MMD in Masaiti District has resolved to float late president Levy Mwanawasa’s son Patrick as parliamentary candidate for Kafulufuta constituency in the 2011 general elections.
Area MMD chairperson Michael Katambo said since current MP George Mpombo had lost popularity, the party decided to float Patrick as parliamentary candidate for the 2011 elections.
He said in an interview yesterday that the decision was arrived at after several meetings at grass root level where the proposal to float Patrick was supported by the majority.
“We want to uphold the legacy of late president Mwanawasa by floating his son as Kafulafuta MP and because he is a committed member of the party,” Mr Katambo said.
When contacted Mr Mpombo said he did not care, as it was too early for the party to endorse anyone for next year’s elections.
And Patrick said he was interested in Kafulafuta constituency but would only comment if the MMD national executive committee (NEC) or ordinary residents of the area raised the matter.
“I won’t say much until higher authorities say so. I hold the people of Kafulafuta closely and dearly to my heart,” he said.
Mr Katambo said Mr Mpombo had lost favour in the constituency hence the need to replace him with somebody people would accept.
He urged Mr Mpombo to stop telling the people that he single handedly influenced the construction of schools and health institution in the area because the projects were part of government’s nation wide plans to deliver services to the people.
Mr Mpombo held a meeting in Kafulafuta constituency last weekend where he alleged that he had single handedly initiated the development in the area.
And Patrick said he was interested in Kafulafuta constituency but would only comment if the MMD national executive committee (NEC) or ordinary residents of the area raised the matter.
“How can he claim to have single handedly influenced the development, it is not true, those are part of government projects being taken countrywide,” Mr Katambo said.
The Government was constructing a high school at Masangano area and upgrading Sankute clinic into a district hospital.
Mr Katambo said the district had also resolved not to vote for Mr Mpombo for any position at the next convention.
But Mr Mpombo said he was the one who initiated the projects by lobbying the Government.
He said he had a meeting in the constituency to explain to the electorate the reason why he resigned as Defence minister and that he was still MMD.
“I had a meeting to explain certain things to the electorate, I told them that l am still MMD and nobody is going to push me. And believe me I did not speak anything ill against president Banda during the meeting,” Mr Mpombo said.
He said he was still popular in the area and he was sure of retaining the seat if he contested.
And the MMD has started holding elections at various party structures as a build up to the national convention that takes place soon after the provincial executive committees.
MMD chairperson for elections Mike Mulongoti said he had directed that all elections for executive committees should take place by 15 July 2010 in all the constituencies that have not held them.
These would be followed by district after which provincial elections that would be addressed by President Rupiah Banda would be held.
He said in a media release in Lusaka yesterday that the elections must be held by next month in a memorandum addressed to all provincial and district chairpersons.
“This serves to inform you that party elections for all the executive committees should be held by 15 July 2010 in all the constituencies that have not held them to date,” Mr Mulongoti said.
The provincial executives have already declared President Banda the sole presidential candidate while other interested members are still allowed to contest the position.
[Times of Zambia]
Devolution: Seperating myth from fact
by Methuseli Moyo
AS THE much-awaited constitutional outreach programme finally gets underway, one thematic area that looks set to dominate the public hearings is that of systems of governance, particularly the decentralisation of administration and devolution of power from Harare to regions or provinces.
Virtually every party claims to support “devolution”. Strangely, the main parties, namely, Zanu PF, MDC, MDC-T, and my beloved Zapu, seem to mean different things by “devolution of power”. This could be due to lack of understanding on what devolution really is, or the usual pretence and lack of sincerity by politicians.
I am going to give all the parties the benefit of the doubt and assume they understand what devolution really is. It is clear Zanu PF and MDC-T’s version of devolution as enunciated by their officials and in press reports, is basically not devolution, but some sort of decentralisation or deconcentration of power. Zapu and MDC’s versions of devolution are in my view meaningful, comprehensive, clear and sincere.
The only commonality across the various party positions on systems of governance is that after 130 years of a unitary, centralised state, all feel now is the time to decentralise.
Decentralisation is fundamentally an argument about governance. The screams for decentralisation were sparked by close to 130 years of highly authoritarian rule and centralised governments, starting from the days of Cecil John Rhodes up to date.
Some may argue that centralisation of power started with King Lobhengula when he used iron fist tactics to consolidate his hold on the throne, and expand the boundaries of the Ndebele state. His predecessor, father and founder of the Ndebele nation, King Mzilikazi, shared power with Mambo, as evidenced by the traditional Ndebele song which says kwakubus’uMambo lo Mzilikazi (Mzilikazi and Mambo used to rule together). Clearly, Mzilikazi and Mambo shared power but things changed when Lobhengula and Rhodes entered the scene, and the status quo of centralised rule has remained till this day.
Centralised governments encourage centralized administrative structures which are a major obstacles to people’s participation. These administrative structures retain control over decision making, resource allocation, and the information and knowledge required if people are to play an effective part in development activities.
Similarly, the planning of development programmes and projects is often centralized and planning procedures discourage local involvement. Government planners are invariably a professional group who do not concede their practice to the local level. Most planning takes place in ministries in urban areas and there is rarely any genuine desire to devolve this responsibility effectively to the local level.
According to Oakley, a leading development scholar, in most Third World countries administrative structures are invariably centralized and, by definition, essentially anti-participatory.
It is clear from the on-going debate that some powerful people in the unity government are hostile to the whole notion of reducing central control, devolving decisions to local level and supporting demands made by people for the kinds of radical changes that might be required. Evidence suggests that few governments have willingly devolved bureaucratic controls to the local level.
According to the Human Development Report (1993), Decentralisation can take several forms; it might for example be horizontal or vertical. Horizontal Decentralisation disperses power among institutions at the same level. For example, a government’s spending decisions rather than being concentrated in an all powerful finance ministry, might be spread across different ministries.
Vertical Decentralisation is more powerful. It allows some of the powers of government to be delegated downwards to low tiers of authority. This vertical Decentralisation can itself take three forms. The first one is deconcentration – this is limited to passing down only administrative discretion to local offices of central government ministries. It involves the transfer of workload and selected administrative or decision-making authority and responsibility from the headquarters to lower field-level officials within central government ministries or public agencies.
“It involves the transfer of authority for specific decision-making, financial and management functions by administrative means to different levels under the same jurisdictional authority of the central government.” (Joint UNDP and Government of Germany, 1999:6-7).
Although it does result in some dispersal of power, few decisions can be taken without reference to the centre. In the case of Zimbabwe, an example would be the Ministry of Home Affairs, which has decrentralised the issuance of birth and death certificates, passports, identity cards and marriage certificates to provinces and districts, or the issuance of vehicle license discs to post offices and local authority offices. However, one may still have to go to Harare for some services. In any case, passports are still printed in Harare and the superiors in Harare have final say on any matter.
The other form of Decentralisation is delegation. This involves delegating some authority and decision-making powers to local officials, but central government retains the right to overturn local decisions and can at any time take these powers back. In our case, Minister Ignatius Chombo has overturned countless resolutions made by elected councillors in virtually every other local authority.
Delegation, therefore, is the transfer of government decision-making and administrative authority and/or responsibility for carefully spelled-out tasks to institutions and organisations that are either under government’s indirect control or semi-independent.
Most typically, delegation is by the central government to semi-autonomous organisations not wholly controlled by the government but legally accountable to it.
The third, and most important and talked and strongest form of Decentralisation, is devolution. This is the granting of decision making powers to local authorities and allowing them to take full responsibility, without reference back to central government (UNDP, 1993:6). Through devolution, central government relinquishes certain functions or creates new units of government that are outside its direct control.
Devolution in its purest form has certain fundamental characteristics. First, local units of government are autonomous, independent and clearly perceived as separate levels of government over which central authorities exercise little or no direct control. Secondly, the local governments have clear and legally recognised geographical boundaries within which they exercise authority and perform public functions.
Thirdly, local governments have corporate status and the power to secure resources to perform their functions. Fourthly, devolution implies the need to “develop local governments as institutions” in the sense that they are perceived by local citizens as organisations providing services that satisfy their needs and as governmental units over which they have some influence.
Devolution is an arrangement in which there are reciprocal, mutually-beneficial, and coordinated relationships between central and local governments (Joint UNDP/ Government of Germany: 1999:6).
Development scholars argue that Decentralisation involves the transfer of authority and power to plan, make decisions and manage resources, from higher to lower levels of the organizational hierarchy, in order to facilitate efficient and effective service delivery.
Decentralisation deals with the allocation between center and periphery of power, authority, and responsibility for political, fiscal, and administrative systems.
Deconcentration progressively decreases central control and increases local discretion.
Devolution is associated with more democratic governance and a means to enact and deepen democratic participation.
Democratic Decentralisation may be promoted for a number of reasons -- administrative, fiscal, political or others. The justification for the adoption of some form of Decentralisation is to promote democratic governance and participatory approaches in development. Among the reasons often given is to bring government closer to people and enhance their participation and interaction with local government officers in the affairs of the locality.
The UNDP (1998) points out that Decentralisation or decentralising governance should not be seen as an end in itself, it can be a means for creating more open, responsive, and effective local government and for enhancing representational systems of community-level decision making. By allowing local communities and regional entities to manage their own affairs, and through facilitating closer contact between central and local authorities, effective systems of local governance enable responses to people's needs and priorities to be heard, thereby ensuring that government interventions meet a variety of social needs.
Having explained what Decentralisation and devolution are, I go further to lay bare the form of devolution that Zapu wants. Our party basically wants the country to be divided into five provinces/regions, namely Mashonaland, Masvingo, Midlands, Manicaland and Matabeleland.
Each province/region should have its own elected premier/governor and mini-government. The regional governments will have control over natural resources and environmental issues in their areas of jurisdiction. Each province should also have its own parliament/assembly, judiciary system, and revenue raising system.
Zapu believes five provinces as opposed to the current 10, would be viable. We wonder what benefit the division of Matabeleland into North, South and Bulawayo, and Mashonaland into East, West, Central and Harare has helped, except to create five more vacancies for governorship.
Under devolution, there would still be a central government to maintain territorial integrity and control crucial affairs such as defence, national security, foreign affairs, and international trade. Also, we would still sing the same national anthem, fly the same flag, have one head of state and commander-in-chief, one currency, and have one national sports team.
A National Executive Authority including the President, Deputy President, Speaker of the National House of Assembly, the Prime Minister and the elected Provincial Governors of the Five Provinces shall run the country.
The National Executive Authority will be the supreme decision making body of Zimbabwe. Its duties will be to advise the President on the meaning and implication of old and new legislation before he/she signs it into law; advise the President on all matters of national interest and concern; and advise the President on all senior national government appointments, including appointments of people to constitutionally-entrenched institutions.
Opponents of devolution have mischievously misrepresented it as federalism or cessation. South Africa, which adopted devolution, is undoubtedly the most prosperous and democratic African state. In fact, secessionist and tribalistic tendencies are stronger in unitary states with strong centralised systems like Zimbabwe.
At the end of the day, we all have regions or provinces where we hail from, and our tribesmen back in the village stand to benefit more from a devolved system of governance. Only ignorant people who have been brainwashed by the 130 years of centralised authoritarian rule, or those benefiting from the bambazonke/grab it all syndrome think that devolution is bad.
Finally, let it be known that our party will not accept anything less than devolution in the proposed constitution. Zapu will oppose by any means necessary the adoption of a new constitution without devolution of power.
Methuseli Moyo is the spokesman for Zapu. He can be contacted on e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
By: Our reporter
Posted: Friday, June 25, 2010 6:03 pm
THE inclusive Government of Zimbabwe has expressed concern at the purported acquisition by New Dawn Mining Corporation of an 89% controlling share of Central African Gold, as the transaction has taken place offshore and without reference to the company's indigenisation and mining laws.
In a statement issued by the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Didymus Mutasa, government expressed "grave concern" with the deal.
New Dawn is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, while CAG is quoted on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), which is the London Stock Exchange's international market for smaller growing companies.
In the statement, emailed to the Zimbabwe Guardian on Thursday, Minister Mutasa said "Government is particularly concerned by the fact that it only learnt of this transaction of through the local press."
CAG's major shareholders are also non-Zimbabwean and include Emerging Capital Partners (ECP) Africa Fund, HBD Zim Investments Limited and Investec Asset Management Limited.
"It is manifestly wrong and indefensible for foreigners to play casino with Zimbabwe's assets in this way, whichever way one chooses to look at this transaction, be it political, legal, economic or social," read the statement.
Minister Mutasa said that CAG acquired its controlling share in Falcon and Olympus Mines on 1st March 2007, through a similar offshore share swap transaction. With that, it took ownership of Dalny Mine, Golden Quarry Mine, Venice Mine, Camperdown Mine, Old Nic Mine and other significant additional geologically prospective ground holdings in various parts of Zimbabwe, all attributable 100% to Falgold and Olympus.
These two mining houses, together, constitute the second largest gold mining group in Zimbabwe after Metallon Gold. This makes any transactions involving them strategic and of major national security interest.
"In 2008, CAG decided to shut down operations and place all of the above mines, except Old Nic Mine, under care and maintenance in protest at what it termed a 'hostile fiscal and policy environment'," read the statement.
"CAG leveraged the 2007 acquisitions to raise substantial finances through equity and loans, but went on to invest this money in Ghana where it claims to have lost all of it, while the Zimbabwe assets lay in disuse.
"With the benefit of hindsight, however, it is now clear to Government and all well-meaning stakeholders that CAG never intended to mine a single ounce of gold in Zimbabwe because, by the mere acquisition of these assets, it was able to continue to keep a decent balance sheet through various offshore listings."
According to the minister, this enabled CAG to keep the Zimbabwe assets under care and maintenance for prolonged periods, for speculative negative political ends and "as a result of this deliberate policy, of all the CAG mines in Zimbabwe, only Old
Nic and Dalny are currently producing, after Dalny resumed operations at bare minimum capacity 2009."
"Government cannot, therefore, continue to countenance these kinds of transactions (which do not involve) any local involvement, particularly as the Western sanctions persist."
According to Minister Mutasa, this is "a direct threat to Zimbabwe's sovereignty and national security. No country in the world allows outsiders to play such casino games with its natural resources."
"Government, therefore, will subject this deal to rigorous collaborative scrutiny by Cabinet, the Ministry of Indigenisation & Youth Empowerment, the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, the Ministry of State Security, the Parliament of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Investment Centre, the Competition and Tariffs Commission, the Securities Exchange Commission and other
relevant Government and regulatory authorities, in order to ensure its conformity with Zimbabwe's immediate national security needs.
"This notwithstanding, Government will also follow with keen interest and encourage any engagements that seek to build honest business partnerships in the interest of indigenisation, international best practice and Zimbabwe's national security."
By: Nancy Pasipanodya
Posted: Friday, June 25, 2010 5:36 pm
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe helped Finance Minister Tendai Biti to escape the sack from his post in Cabinet in this week’s shock reshuffle by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
President Mugabe refused to approve the sacking of Mr Biti saying it was not healthy for the continuity of the agenda of the inclusive Government. Donors view Mr Biti as a key individual in the inclusive Government and have developed a rapport with the maverick minister.
Sources within the MDC-T party led by the prime minister told this reporter that Mr Tsvangirai was under pressure from the likes of Roy Bennett, the party's treasurer and Eddie Cross, that party's policy coordinator to fire Mr Biti.
Bennett blames Mr Biti for embezzlement of party funds during his time in self-imposed exile in South Africa. Several thousands of US dollars are said to have gone missing when Bennett was in hiding in South Africa.
Prime Minister Tsvangirai is also reportedly "concerned" about Mr Biti's "insurbodination".
"(Prime Minister) Tsvangirai is concerned about Biti's behaviour and he feels that he (Biti) is undermining his authority. He also blames him for insurbodination," said the insider who requested anonymity.
President Mugabe is said to be indifferent to Mr Biti holding the post of minister of finance; but advised the prime minister that sacking Mr Biti would take the inclusive Government a few steps back.
Party financiers, Theresa and Ian Makone are also said to despise Mr Biti with whom they have had various policy clashes in the party and have recommended his dismissal or demotion. As key funders of the party, they feel that they, and not Mr Biti, should be more aligned with donors; a view also shared by Bennett.
Mr Biti last week walked out of a Cabinet meeting citing irreconcilable policy differences with "various members of the Cabinet" including some from his own MDC-T party and President Mugabe's Zanu-PF. PM Tsvangirai is said to have been upset by Mr Biti's walkout, which served to undermine him.
Mr Biti and other fired ministers in the reshuffle, former Energy minister Elias Mudzuri, and former Social Amenities Minister Fidelis Mhashu are said to form the "brainbox" of the MDC-T party; and PM Tsvangirai is said to be uneasy about their closeness.
They were, therefore, targeted for removal or demotion by PM Tsvangirai in the reshuffle.
PM Tsvangirai and Mr Biti recently clashed over civil servants’ salary freezes.
Mr Biti announced that there would be a wage freeze and the PM dismissed that statement. Public Service minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro, a close Tsvangirai ally, also openly attacked Mr Biti accusing him of being a “super minister”.
Mr Biti is also said to have indicated that he will run for the party's leadership at the party’s congress next year. PM Tsvangirai and his "Kitchen Cabinet" do not want a change of leadership.
Fri 25 June 2010, 04:00 CAT
Consistently practiced, political honesty is a road that leads a politician’s mind and will to doing good things, to the creation of a more just, fair and humane society. For if someone once said that all roads led to Rome, today it can be stated that all roads of honest thinking lead to a better society, a better world.
Clearly, the dishonest road that Rupiah Banda and his friends have decided to take will not develop the country and improve the living conditions of our people. Dishonest statements made to appease people and induce them to vote for Rupiah and his political party are not a recipe for governing well.
It seems all that bothers Rupiah and his friends is re-election. They are being guided only by the wish to win next year’s elections. Again, this is not a recipe for governing well. You cannot run an administration forever on fake promises, on promising things you know your national budget cannot accommodate.
Appearing before the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, Mike Mulongoti, Rupiah’s Minister of Works and Supply, admitted that there was pressure from Rupiah on them that resulted in overcommitments:
“Yes, the President has made so many statements. Of course when the President goes out to meet people and they tell him about the bad road network, you don’t expect the President to say to the people this can’t be done now or in the near future, no, that’s suicide. He has to assure them that planners are coming and that he will instruct the Minister of Finance to mobilise resources from wherever he can. It’s a marketing strategy, you are also doing it in other political parties. Remember that there may be only a few months left before the elections so you expect him to say that.”
Mulongoti finds this to be acceptable behaviour. It seems to him there is nothing wrong in telling the people lies, in promising them what cannot be delivered. It seems they think that telling the people the truth can never win them an election. And so they would rather win the people’s support with lies than lose them with truth. There is need for political leaders to be truthful with the people at all times and win their support with truth and not lies.
Maybe we should again remind Mulongoti and his boss about what that Guinea Bissau revolutionary Amilcar Cabral once said: “Hide nothing from the masses of our people. Tell no lies. Expose lies whenever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes, failures. Claim no easy victories.”
It doesn’t do anyone any good to promise people things that cannot be delivered. Promising roads when you don’t have any money for their construction may win you support for that particular moment, that particular hour or day.
But the day for delivery will come, and if nothing is done, face will be lost. But our politicians don’t see things that way because they live for the day and tomorrow is left to sort itself out. They can promise all sorts of things to win an election but they don’t care what happens after they have won. Even if they have not delivered anything, they will find a way to justify that – they may even blame it on someone else. It is time our people started to take stock of what each politician has delivered on their promises, especially those who have had the opportunity to be in government. There is need to always bear in mind that what our people are struggling for are not the promises in one’s head. They are struggling to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children.
Our politicians should learn to recognise as a matter of conscience that there have been faults and errors in their work: an important number of things they should have done have not been done at the right times, or not done at all.
There is no need to promise people heaven, all sorts of things, when one cannot even deliver purgatory to them. Just as they tell the people what they would do, we feel our politicians should also tell them what they could not do. There is no need to patronise our people with lies because they also have a role to play in developing our country. Instead of patronising them, challenge them, tell them that if they want better things – better roads, hospitals, schools and so on and so forth – they have to work hard because you cannot do it all for them; they must do it themselves. If we accept things as such, we will understand that it’s up to us all to do something about it. The politicians have to work with the people to deliver development.
And if they have to work with the people, they can only do so if they are telling them the truth because there is no partnership founded on lies that can work, that can deliver something good. It’s this notion of thinking that simply because one is president, then he can just press a button and a road will be there where there was none or a bad road will be patched or mended. Things don’t work like that. That’s why there is planning and budgeting for all these things. One can’t just wake up one morning just because there is a by-election in Chifubu and start grading roads that were not on the plans or budgets. Yes, this may be easy to command but there are consequences because money that was supposed to go to other things will be diverted to something that was not budgeted for. This leads to anarchy and chaotic results. There is need for planning and budgeting and adherence to plans and budgets.
Let us not be mistaken: the best government in the world, the best president, cannot achieve much on their own. And it would also be wrong to expect a general remedy from them only. It won’t do for Rupiah to be going round ordering this or that road to be done. We hope those who have been promised roads by Rupiah have learnt something from Mulongoti’s revelation: it is simply a marketing strategy for winning elections.
This calls for increased participation from all of us in the affairs of our country. We say this because when we are all participating, it becomes very difficult for anyone to tell us a lie. Let us not forget that democracy includes participation and therefore responsibility from all of us. Let us teach ourselves and others that politics can be not only the art of the possible, especially if this means the art of speculation, calculation, intrigue, secret deals and pragmatic manoeuvring, but that it can even be the art of the impossible, namely, the art of improving ourselves and our county.
Clearly, the future policies of our country will depend on the personalities we select or elect to be our representatives. It is therefore important that we vote wisely and only for people who are known for their honesty, ability, dedication and concern for the welfare of all. It will be unwise to put into office people who can tell lies, promise things they know very well they will not be able to do but are willing to do that just to win an election. All those who have been promised roads, make sure they are delivered before the elections. But where will Rupiah get the money from? So it is highly unlikely that you will see those roads they promised you before the next elections.
By Chansa Kabwela
Fri 25 June 2010, 04:02 CAT
PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda has been accused of having played a crucial role in the disappearance of several Namibian freedom fighters between 1976 and 1978 when he served as Zambia’s foreign minister.
According to the statement by Namibia’s National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) executive director Phil ya Nangoloh, President Banda should help the organization to establish the fate or whereabouts of the freedom fighters who disappeared without a trace on Zambian soil.
Nangoloh stated that the Zambian security forces, presumably acting on instructions of then South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) president Sam Nujoma, rounded the freedom fighters after they were accused of being radicals or rebels.
“At the time of their disappearances, President Rupiah Banda was Zambia’s foreign minister and, as such, he played a crucial role in such disappearances as well as in the hostile acts against the PLAN fighters in Zambia,” Nangoloh stated on Tuesday.
“They include the following:
Aikota, Abel (Ondangwa—Oshikoto Region),
Haimbodi, John (Edudja—Ohangwena Region),
Hakaye, Barry (Oniipa—Oshikoto Region),
Halleluja, (Ohangwena Region),
Hamupembe, Jackson (Etomba—Ohangwena Region),
Haupindi Gabriel (Onheleiwa—Ohangwena Region),
Ilya, Leonard Shilongo (Eengolo—Omusati Region),
Ipumbu, Israel Mashuna “Shimbungu” (Ogongo—Omusati Region),
Kadhila, John (Okaku—Oshikoto Region),
Kaukungwa, Tuyeni (Walvis Bay—Erongo Region),
Komeya and Ananias (Omusati egion).”
Markus, Longinus Omusati region,
Mundjego, Elifas Oshipanda—Oshikoto region,
Mwiiyale Jerry Omusati region,
Nakaambo Gottlieb Onayena—Oshikoto region
Namashana Ontokolo-Oshikulufitu—Omusati region and
Ndinoshiho Jason Omundjalala—Omusati region.
The other freedom fighters are
Nghiyolwa Jonas Okaku-Ongenga—Ohangwena region,
Shafombabi Timo Walvis Bay Ongenga—Ohangwena region,
Shanghala Nestor Ontokolo—Omusati region,
Shikolomwenyo Omakango—Oshikoto region,
Shikudule Andreas Okalongo-Oneheke—Omusati region,
Shimwaafweni Junias Walvis Bay—Erongo region,
Paapopi Valombola Ohamuti—Omusati region and
Toromba Joel Vikurupa Aminius—Omaheke region.
Nangoloh stated that the disappeared persons were part of hundreds of Namibians who fled apartheid South African oppression in Namibia between 1974 and 1975 and joined SWAPO then as a liberation movement based in Zambia.
He stated that they disappeared under mysterious circumstances after they vehemently opposed the Détente Scenario, also known as An Approach to Peaceful Change in Southern Africa among then South African prime minister John Vorster, SWAPO and the Zambian government.
“The détente affair also led to SWAPO’s armed wing, the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), being expelled from their bases in south western Zambia,” stated Nangoloh.
The statement was issued ahead of President Banda’s three-day visit to that country.
President Banda is expected to return to Zambia today.
The NSHR is a national private, independent, non-profit making and non-partisan human rights monitoring and advocacy organization. It was founded in 1989 by concerned citizens and it envisages a world free of human rights violations and aims to stop such acts in Namibia and the rest of the world.
By Patson Chilemba
Fri 25 June 2010, 04:00 CAT
President Rupiah Banda is a joker who has never been serious about governing the country, UPND Mapatizya member of parliament Ackson Sejani charged yesterday.
And Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata charged that President Banda was in Cape Town for a knee review before he went to Namibia for a three-day state visit.
Commenting on President Banda who was expected in Namibia yesterday when it had earlier been announced last Saturday that he was going for a state visit to that country, Sejani said Zambia was a strange country where people had to look for the President because they did not know about his whereabouts.
“Of course we know that from the very beginning, Rupiah Banda has never been a serious President. Rupiah Banda is a joker. He is a tourist. He is a sightseer, he goes round seeing things. He’s never been serious about governing this country. Never at all,” Sejani said.
“From his trips we have never been told what the benefits have been to this country. He goes out, he comes back, there is no report. But a lot of taxpayers’ money is used.”
Sejani said President Banda’s lifestyle was about maximum enjoyment with friends and relatives and minimum responsibility to the nation.
“He goes round with large delegations. Most of those are totally irrelevant. They have nothing to do with the work of government. They just go there to enjoy themselves. Either their sons, relatives or friends, that is Rupiah Banda’s government, yes, he goes to South Africa and he disappears from the radar. It’s terrible,” Sejani said.
Sejani said Zambians must demand from President Banda why he only arrived in Namibia on Wednesday when he was being expected there on Monday.
“Where has he been? What has he been doing and of what benefit it is to Zambia? I think it’s high time we rose up to hold this President accountable. You know he is not his own person. He was elected to do specific things for Zambia,” said Sejani. “As soon as he lands at the airport he must tell Zambians where he has been and what benefit it is for the Zambians.”
And Sata said President Banda should be very honest to the nation by revealing that he had delayed going to Namibia because of the knee review he had to undergo in South Africa.
“He has gone to the hospital. His knee comes first. The knee comes first than state visit. Do you want our President to be limping when he is visiting? I told you that after watching football on Sunday in South Africa he went to Cape Town for them to attend to the knee. He went to Cape Town for a review of the knee,” he said.
Sata reminded President Banda that he was not a private person and the nation should therefore be made aware of his moves.
He said President Banda had extended his Mfuwe holiday to Cape Town and then Namibia.
“That all goes into the aimless and unproductive travels, including his Vice-President George Kunda who is spending our taxpayers’ money to fly to Serenje for an MMD card renewal exercise. This country, as long as you people stop talking, you will have the Liatos talking, and the George Kundas talking then you are in trouble,” Sata said. “He President Banda can only explain where he went and what he was doing if you put him under pressure. But you are not putting him under pressure. The money they have wasted to go and review his knee, we can plough that money in UTH University Teaching Hospital, Ndola Central or Kitwe Central, or even Chipata Central.”
Sata asked President Banda to spend his own private money if he wanted a lavish lifestyle rather than wasting the hard-earned taxpayers’ money.
“And when I complain chief Madzimawe doesn’t see anything wrong in that. Chief Madzimawe misinterprets and he says I am telling the donors not to give money. All I am asking is for the donors to put pressure on this government to stop stealing and not to withdraw funding,” he said.
On the grading of roads by the government in Chifubu Constituency where there would be a by-election soon, Sata said the MMD was panicking and had now resorted to hoodwinking people by taking temporal development to them.
“The people are seeing for themselves. We don’t need those roads to be graded. We want them to be tarred…the money they have stolen through RDA is being spent on unproductive travels,” said Sata.
By Christopher Miti in Chipata
Thu 24 June 2010, 17:10 CAT
CHIPATA Municipal council has ordered Sable Construction Company to re-do tarring works on some township roads that were shoddily constructed. But Eastern Province MMD chairperson Kennedy Zulu said Sable might be following the specifications in the bill of quantity.
Director of engineering Andrew Zulu said Sable was directed to re-do a 500 meter stretch of the Nabvutika Road in Chipata. He said the company was also directed to improve the quality of the tarmac on a 400 meter stretch between Chipata Day Secondary School turn off and Kapata market.
Zulu said some stretches like the one on the Nabvutika Road developed potholes even before the tarring works were completed.
He said Sable Company would re-do the work at its own cost adding that this was what happened when a client was not happy with the works done.
Zulu explained that the company was expected to put another layer to make the tarmac stronger and stable.
And commenting on the shoddy works done by Sable, Eastern Province MMD chairman Zulu said people should not just condemn the company before looking at the bill of quantity.
“The best thing is to go to the Council and look at the bill of quantity because maybe they (Sable) is following the specifications according to the bill of quantity because I am a contractor myself, there are times whereby in the bill of quantity they have undervalued a particular scope of scope of work,” he said.
Zulu, however, said he was impressed with Sable’s performance on the Chipata-Mfuwe road which started last December.
There have been a lot of concerns on the performance of Sable on Chipata township roads.
Some roads that had already been done were developing cracks within a short period of time.
Others attributed Sable’s poor performance in some roads to the large number of contracts that the company had been awarded.
By George Zulu in Mazabuka
Thu 24 June 2010, 16:10 CAT
CHIEF Hanjalika of the Tonga people of Mazabuka has said he is disappointed with government’s failure to deliver its development promises made especially on the maintenance of roads that lead to productive areas in his chiefdom.
And chief Hanjalika has urged his subjects to use condoms if they cannot abstain from premarital sex.
In an interview after officiating at the Lwiindi -Mulembo traditional ceremony, chief Hanjalika said he was very disappointed with government’s reluctance when it came to road rehabilitation and other infrastructure developments in his chiefdom and other surrounding areas.
“I am not happy with the government over the state of roads in my chiefdom; they are in a very bad shape they need to be worked on. I really don’t know who has gone to sleep over the rehabilitation
exercise of these roads I am talking about. They have failed to work on these roads and that makes me to be very disappointed,” chief Hanjalika said.
He said he was willing to work with the government but failure to address issues of roads, maize marketing and other socio-economic challenges his subjects were faced with was discouraging.
Chief Hanjalika also said it was disappointing that government had paid a deaf ear to the marketing of maize, saying briefcase maize
buyers had invaded his chiefdom and were buying maize at K22, 500 per 50 kilogramme bag of white maize.
“I have resisted these briefcase maize buyers because they are bogus
businessmen, how do they buy maize at K22, 500 per 50 kg bag, we
should not sell our maize at a cheap price like that, let’s wait for
FRA to come and collect our maize,” chief Hanjalika advised.
And chief Hanjalika has called on his subjects to use condoms every
time they want to have sex.
Chief Hanjalika said it was important for his subjects to be using condoms every time their sexual desires overcame them.
“As we are celebrating let’s remind ourselves that in our midst there
is HIV and AIDS, this disease has claimed so many lives, so let’s all use
condoms if we cannot abstain from sexual activities, if our sexual
desires overcome us let’s use these condoms because they will prevent
us from contracting the virus,” said chief Hanjalika.
By Patson Chilemba
Fri 25 June 2010, 04:01 CAT
MMD parliamentary Chief-Whip Vernon Mwaanga is being touted to take over Katele Kalumba’s position as party national secretary in an acting capacity. Well-placed MMD sources disclosed that most senior MMD members wanted Mwaanga to take over Kalumba’s position because of his previous experience in that position.
“He is also close friends with the President Rupiah Banda, so his name may even come up during our NEC national executive committee meeting. But word is that he is the one who will take over the position of national secretary,” the source said.
“Remember even on MMD deputy national secretary Chembe Nyangu, we were not consulted. He was just brought by the President.”
The sources, however, disclosed that Mwaanga could face some opposition from some ranks because of several splits in the MMD.
“MMD is split into four camps; the people from UNIP, the ex-UPND, ex-FDD like Mike Mulongoti. Then there are those ones who never left, the old ones sometimes called true-blue. Then there is another kama group coming. They are calling themselves the Mukontos. So let’s say there are five. That is the Catherine Namugalas and Felix Mutatis,” the source said.
“So these groups are now struggling for power. VJ is interested. You can see because immediately this thing started Kalumba’s conviction he has been talking about links with Southern Province and Eastern Province.”
The sources disclosed that Mwaanga had always wanted to become MMD national secretary.
“It is just that he lost at the convention. But you saw during the last elections, he was in charge of the campaign team for late president Levy Mwanawasa and he was instrumental even on Banda’s campaign team,” said the MMD source. “He has always wanted it.”
Recently, Kalumba excused himself from running MMD administrative duties until the court disposes of his corruption case in which he has appealed against his conviction by the magistrates’ court.
By Agness Changala and Patson Chilemba
Fri 25 June 2010, 04:01 CAT
RETIRED High Court judge Kabazo Chanda yesterday charged that Chief Justice Ernest Sakala’s behaviour is embarrassing, disgraceful, divisive and legally unprofessional for somebody in his position.
And Patriotic Front (PF) spokesperson Given Lubinda charged that justice Sakala sees everything wrong in shaking hands with PF leader Michael Sata whereas there is nothing wrong with him winning and dinning with criminals.
Commenting on justice Sakala who on Wednesday refused to shake hands with Sata at the Requiem Mass for the retired Supreme Court judge Peter Chitengi at St Ignatius Church in Lusaka, judge Chanda - who is also a lecturer in the school of law at the University of Zambia - said there was very little difference between justice Sakala’s behaviour and that of a political cadre in Nyambe Constituency.
He urged justice Sakala to change as quickly as possible and save the integrity of the judiciary in the country.
“I can even add that the earlier this man justice Sakala leaves office, the better things will be for the Zambian judiciary and the Zambian people,” judge Chanda said.
He said if he had his way, he would rather have Deputy Chief Justice Ireen Mambilima or Supreme Court judge Florence Mumba to be Chief Justice because the duo was level-headed and could not conduct themselves in the way justice Sakala did.
Judge Chanda was quick to mention that by saying so, he did not mean that justice Sakala was not fit to hold the position he held because he had a law degree and was entitled to practice law in Zambia.
He, however, added that justice Sakala’s law degree was not very impressive.
Judge Chanda said it was unfortunate that justice Sakala had done this at a time when people’s confidence in the judiciary had reached its lowest levels.
“It has never been so low since independence. Chief Justice Silungwe made his own mistakes but he behaved well. Chief Justice Matthew Ngulube may have got some influence from president Frederick Chiluba but as a person, he is one of the best lawyers we have in the country,” judge Chanda said.
He said he was sure that judges Silungwe and Ngulube would not have behaved in the manner justice Sakala behaved.
Judge Chanda said it was wrong for justice Sakala to behave in the manner he did because he was regarded as the father of the whole judiciary.
“He is a father of all lawyers in the country, all magistrates look to him as a role model, outside court and inside court,” judge Chanda said. “So for him to display that conduct, he is being divisive in the sense that he is dividing the lawyers and members of the judiciary.”
Judge Chanda said despite justice Sakala hating Sata, there were lawyers and magistrates who were sympathetic to his calls.
Judge Chanda said for the Chief Justice to behave in the manner he did, some people might interpret his conduct as trying to please certain political circles in the country.
Judge Chanda said apart from being in charge of the judiciary, the Chief Justice occupied a position in the whole country which should have restrained him from doing what he did.
“Therefore, his behaviour is embarrassing to the whole country,” he said.
Judge Chanda said he knew justice Sakala very well because they worked together for more than 20 years.
“I know his social behaviour and other types of behaviour but for fear of defamation, I will not say more. But I know him,” judge Chanda said.
He hoped the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) would disassociate itself from justice Sakala’s behaviour.
“I have high respect for the president of LAZ, Stephen Lungu. I hold him in high esteem and I am sure that he would not hesitate to disassociate himself and I think he can praise that,” said judge Chanda.
And Lubinda said justice Sakala had been seen winning and dinning with people who had been convicted by his own judiciary.
“For him, therefore, to refuse a greeting from Mr Sata, what message is he giving us? That Mr Sata is worse than those he wines and dines with, the criminals?” asked Lubinda. “He sees everything wrong in shaking hands with Mr Sata whereas there is nothing wrong with him wining and dining with people that he himself and his judiciary have convicted as criminals. So can he please tell us, what is it that he wants us to read out of that conduct?”
Lubinda said judges world-over were viewed as Lordships, because they were expected to conduct themselves beyond reproach. He said judges were people in whom society reposed confidence for neutrality.
“Their positions are expected to be held by men and women who are not driven by emotion. Now, that being the case the refusal of a greeting from Mr Sata yesterday points to the fact that our Chief Justice, after he has taken off the wig he is emotionally charged,” Lubinda said. “And the emotions that led him to reject Mr Sata’s greeting must be explained. And what that shows is that there are some people in our society who are considered less than human beings by the fountain of justice. Remember that the office of Chief Justice is the fountain of natural justice.”
Lubinda said if the occupant of the office of Chief Justice showed there were some citizens who could not be greeted, for whatever reason then the nation would not expect to receive any justice.
“I suppose that the Chief Justice will be doing us very well if he came out and explained what the refusal of the greeting means. What should we read from that? What message is he trying to send to us? I wouldn’t like to say he is childish. I hold Chief Justice Sakala in high esteem and I don’t think he could do something that he hasn’t thought about,” Lubinda said. “To say he is childish it is as though we are saying that he acted without thinking. My personal view is that the very learned Chief Justice is a highly reflecting man and there is a message that he is trying to send to us and we have not caught that message. Therefore, I call upon him to explain to the Zambian people exactly what he wants us to understand.”
Lubinda said justice Sakala should explain how the citizens should interpret his refusal to take a greeting from a citizen.
“Not an ordinary citizen for that matter. Not a criminal. Mr Sata has never been convicted of any crime,” said Lubinda.
Justice Sakala on Wednesday refused to greet Sata at a funeral mass.
By Mutale Kapekele
Thu 24 June 2010, 15:00 CAT
COMESA has called for the strengthening of farmer organizations in the region for further development of the agriculture sector.
Addressing the sixth annual general congress for the Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) and the second Eastern and Southern Africa regional agricultural commodity workshop held in Lilongwe on Wednesday, Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA) chief executive officer Dr Cris Muyunda said strengthening farmer organizations in the region would increase agricultural productivity.
ACTESA is a COMESA implementing arm for agriculture and related programs.
Dr Muyunda said strengthened farmer’s organizations would help to push for policies needed for sustainable agricultural sector growth.
“The importance of strengthening farmer organizations in the region as one of the critical focus issues in agriculture if there is to be smooth development of the sector,” Dr. Muyunda said. “With more compact and coherent farmer organizations, the dialogue with governments and regional economic communities is most likely to yield conducive policies for sustainable agricultural sector growth. This is the only way in which the commercialization and growth interests of smallholder farmers will be championed.”
He assured farmer organizations that, ACTESA, through its
Africa Agricultural Markets Program (AAMP) and other programs would assist national and regional farmer organizations to develop training, commercial and other marketing services in order to make the farmer organizations more attractive and appealing for grassroots organizations to join them.
Dr. Muyunda also noted that despite agriculture being the leading sector in terms of employment and livelihood in the region, it had fallen short of driving economic growth consistently.
He said ACTESA would like to contribute to higher productivity by encouraging participants in the agriculture sector to adopt modern methods of production and marketing.
“For example, correct use of modern biotechnology and increased use of irrigation can only benefit our farmers, and not hurt them. Indeed the 21st century belongs to those who are pragmatic and can seize the opportunities as they arise,” he said.
Dr. Muyunda urged the participants at the meeting to make use of the key programs at ACTESA, which helped in dealing with key market development issues.
These programs include the USAID supported Market Linkages Initiative; the Australian government sponsored SMART FS; the EU supported COMRAP and the DFID sponsored AAMP.
Dr. Muyunda further highlighted the importance of diversifying the production and marketing base in the region.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
"Austerity" offered by the Banksters is not the Solution but the Cause of the Crisis
by James Corbett
It's an old trick to couch a painful reality inside of a flowery platitude. We hear it all the time in our daily lives, and for the most part we know how to read between the lines when someone tries to do it to us.
When your doctor tells you that "This will only hurt a bit," you know enough to brace yourself for a painful procedure. When your boss tells you he has an exciting new project for you to work on, you know you're about to get saddled with the job that no one else wants to do. When a salesman tells you a used car is a fixer-upper, you know you're looking at a lemon.
Similarly, when the IMF tells a nation that they need to implement "austerity" in order toget themselves out of a financial crisis, here, too, lies a gaping chasm between the language and the reality.
"Austerity" is one of those Orwellian terms that has been injected into our political discourse precisely because it is a nice-sounding word for a very painful reality. "Austerity" implies discipline, self-restraint, even nobility. "Austerity" is prudent. "Austerity" is modest. "Austerity" is a virtue. It is an end in itself.
If the IMF or the European Central Bank come to the people of a collapsing European nation and tell them to sacrifice their pensions and their savings and their very standard of living all for a debt that their government has fraudulently racked up in their name, no one would go for it, and rightly so.
But tell those same people that they need to implement "austerity measures" in order to "get back on their feet" economically, and many will be willing to live in the harshest of conditions, content to put up with the dismantling of their nation itself in the vain hope that by giving more power to the international financial institutions they can somehow avoid economic collapse.
The trick, of course, is that reality is completely the opposite. Like the doctor giving you false assurances that this will only hurt a bit, the economic amputation that the bankers have in store for the once-proud nations of the industrialized world will be excruciating.
Just ask anyone in the third world. They should know. They've been going through these "austerity" plans for decades.
Ask the people of Ethiopia if the IMF/World Bank "economic therapy" of the 1990s worked in their nation's favour. Ask them about the firesale of state assets, public utilities, farms and factories for pennies on the dollar to multinational corporations. Ask them how USAID helped to dump surplus genetically engineered crops that couldn't be sold in Europe on poor African nations as charitable food aid.
The extent of the horrors inflicted on Ethiopia by the international financiers almost beggars description.
The banksters weren't content to carve the country into pieces and sell the scraps to their big business cronies. They then had the audacity to steal the very food off the poor farmers' tables and replace it with GM frankenfoods that the rest of the world wouldn't even touch.
This is the real face of "austerity." It is nothing less than economic slavery to an elite group of banksters who have created their own fiat wealth out of thin air.
Nor is Ethiopia the only example of this procedure. Quite the contrary. A similar process has played itself out in almost every country that the international finance oligarchs have tried to "set straight" with their procedures that will "only hurt a little."
In Brazil, IMF reforms actually altered the nature of the Brazilian constitution, halting transfers of federal funds to state governments so that those funds could be used to pay the bankers their pound of flesh.
The IMF structural adjustment program in Peru devestated the local agricultural economy and made illegal coca production the only viable way for many farmers to make a living. From the first IMF-sponsored "economic reform" package in Peru in 1978 to the second round of IMF reform in the early 1990s, coca production increased over 400%.
A 4.8 billion dollar IMF loan to Russia in the late 1990s never even made it into Russian coffers, with billions being deposited directly into offshore bank accounts connected to mobsters, politicians and banksters. Despite the fact that the Russian people did not see a single Ruble of this siphoned money, they were still responsible for paying it back to the international bankers who were kind enough to lend it to them, at interest.
Time and time and time again in country after country in every corner of the globe, IMF loans spell disaster for the people who are left holding the bag.
The crux of the entire issue is that none of this is unexpected. In fact, it is part of the design of the IMF austerity programs themselves.
As revealed by Joseph Stiglitz, the former chief economist of the World Bank, the IMF's modus operandi is to conduct economic raids of debtor nations, dismantling and selling off infrasturcture for the benefit of foreign corporations, and making sure that all public money is used to pay off the bankers.
He even has a name for what happens after the "austerity" plan inevitably results in the dissolution of a society: the IMF riot.
Bolivians rioted over water prices, Indonesians rioted over food and fuel subsidies, Ecuadorians rioted over cooking gas prices, Argentineans rioted over the complete collapse of their once-rich nation. The common denominator in all of the cases were "austerity measures" and the IMF.
Now, the beginnings of IMF riots are shaping up in Europe. People are taking to the streets to protest the measures that are about to be taken in the name of paying back to the banksters what corrupt governments stole from the people. On the other side stand the police, increasingly militarized and deployed in the service of the banksters and the politicians. The battle lines are forming.
But is there another way out?
Can the peoples of Europe learn from the examples of Iceland? That tiny North Atlantic island nation, too, found itself facing complete bankruptcy as the derivatives-fuelled bubble of the Icelandic financial sector burst in the wake of Lehman Bros. The people were once again left holding the bag for billions of dollars in debts owed to foreign banks and the quiet streets of sleepy Reykjavik were erupting in violence.
But in Iceland, the people did not fight the government. They became the government. A populist people's movement forced the early collapse of Iceland's government and non-politicians were swept into power.
They held a referendum in which the people overwhelmingly rejected the idea that they were going to pay billions of dollars to foreign banksters for a debt that was not theirs. It was fraudulent. They will not pay it.
It remains to be seen whether the G20 nations will be able to follow the Icelandic example as the rot begins to eat away at the economies of the "rich" industrialized nations. The first test of this may happen as early as this week at the G8/G20 in Toronto where the political puppets of the Canadian government have indebted the Canadian people by a staggeringone billion dollars to pay for a totalitarian police state operation that will inevitably provoke such mindless, violent reactions.
We stand at a crossroads, where the people can rise up in mass against the financial oligarchs who are puppeteering this downfall and get rid of the political puppets of both the left and the right who fall into lockstep with the vultures of Wall Street no matter who sits in the White House...or, not understanding what is happening or who is really behind it, the people can be led into senseless acts of violence against black-suited policemen in battles that will not address the root of the problem but will lead to pain and suffering.
The first step is to nurture the understanding that the "austerity" offered by the banksters is not the solution to our problems, but the beginning of them. Then we will know what it means when the IMF tells us "this will only hurt a bit."
James Corbett is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by James Corbett
By Sydney Kawadza
Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Limited has threatened to terminate any of its lines that MDC-T uses for political reasons in breach of Zimbabwe’s laws. The use of the network for political purposes is also in breach of Econet’s own policies.
Some sections of the media had claimed Government was clamping down on MDC-T’s recently launched daily audio service but it has turned out that Econet itself is against abuse of its network.
The audio service allows individuals to use certain numbers to hear news round-ups, receive messages from party leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, and get updates on party events and other issues.
Last week Econet chief executive Mr Douglas Mboweni wrote to Mr Tsvangirai saying they would not allow the service on their network.
"My attention as the chief executive officer of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Limited has been drawn to media reports as well as enquiries claiming that MDC has an agreement with Econet for the provision of toll-free services to its members.
"Being aware that Econet does not have such an agreement and that Econet does not offer services such as has been reported in the media, I have nonetheless enquired at all levels of our organisation and established that the only time that your organisation did, in fact, formally approach us was about a month ago," he said.
Mr Mboweni said a Mr Benjamin Nyandoro from MDC-T visited Econet’s sales offices to enquire about the service.
"This gentleman met with a senior sales executive and was told categorically that Econet does not provide such a service as was requested.
"Our staff advised your representative that they could therefore approach any other operator offering that service.
"I would like to confirm that the position conveyed by my staff was the correct position and that no agreement was entered into for such a service, and in fact such an agreement cannot be entered into.
"In my capacity as the chief executive officer and with the authority of my board, I do, however, want to make it clear that should your organisation acquire equipment which has the capability to independently provide such a service through Econet lines, such line will be immediately terminated."
In an interview yesterday, Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe chief executive Mr Obert Muganyura said MDC-T’s toll-free audio service was illegal under the Broadcasting Services Act.
"According to the law, broadcasts that are provided through cellular systems require a licence from BAZ.
"There are services that have been offered by some institutions, including MDC-T, where the public can dial and receive audio programmes.
"These services are classified under the Broadcasting Services Act and once anyone decides to provide such services, the network providers must follow procedures of licensing for consideration," he said.
The Posts and Telecommunications Act also defines broadcasting as a "service comprising programmes for reception by members of the general public and transmitted by a broadcasting or telecommunications system".
Citing Section 20 of the Broadcasting Services Act, Mr Muganyura said MDC-T was breaking the law.
The Act states that "no political party or organisation shall hold or have control of any broadcasting licence or signal carrier licence".
Mr Muganyuri said the law empowered the State to block any platform from which such services were provided.
Observers said the illegal MDC-T service was part of the party’s broader battle to control public communications.
"They have been trying to control communications; first through the Media, Information and Publicity Ministry and lately through the Transport, Communications and Infrastructure Development Ministry.
"They have seen how strategic communication will be in the next elections hence all the noise about communications.
"Pro-MDC-T foreign papers such as their own paper The Zimbabwean pay no duties and provide no employment for Zimbabweans.
"They have found these to be the right places to put their messages.
"(Tendai) Biti has harmonised his activities as Finance Minister and MDC-T secretary-general and lifted duty on telecommunications gadgetry because they want the cellphone to be an alternative broadcasting platform.
"The service started as a Kubatana.com, itself an MDC-T Trojan horse, but they have been forced to come out in the open on such platforms," noted an observer.
MDC-T is accused of trying to use Econet — the largest mobile services provider — as a campaign platform for the next elections.
Media, Information and Publicity Permanent Secretary Mr George Charamba said toll-free services could only be used for humanitarian and marketing purposes.
"The conditions should be defined because toll-free services can only be used towards public good and never for narrow political goals," he said.
"MDC-T wanted to make the cellular services an apparatus for another internal pirate radio," he said.
MINES Minister Obert Mpofu on Wednesday told a meeting of the Kimberly Process in Israel that Zimbabwe would immediately start selling diamond stockpiles from its Marange fields to boost the country’s economic recovery.
Mpofu said this as the KP discussions on whether to lift a suspension of the export ban on Marange remained deadlocked. Civil society groups have urged the KP certification scheme to suspend ties with Zimbabwe because of alleged human rights abuses in its Marange fields.
"I would like to take this opportunity to advise that Zimbabwe will be immediately exporting its diamond stockpiles because we are KP compliant and we need the money to drive the economy forward," Mpofu told the meeting of some 70 members of the KP in Tel Aviv on Wednesday.
"We have invited the KP monitor to continue discharging his mandate under the supervised export arrangement."
He spoke at a sesssion closed to the media, but he provided Reuters with a copy of his speech and told the news agency: "I am going to sell the diamonds."
While the meeting was due to end on Wednesday evening, Boaz Hirsch, the 2010 KP chairman, said delegates had not been able to reach a consensus on Zimbabwe and were continuing to meet.
"There has been quite a lively discussion with a whole spectrum of opinions expressed," he told reporters.
Mpofu voiced concern that some were using the process to keep Zimbabwe's diamonds out of the market.
"Zimbabwe will be contributing more than 30 percent of the diamonds produced in the world," he said. "We shall be selling with certificates issued by ourselves and in this regard the KP monitor will be free to supervise the exports."
The Kimberley Process, a certification scheme set up to monitor diamond trade, angered human rights groups and diamond traders this month when a monitor it appointed to assess the mining operations at Marange said Zimbabwe had met the minimum conditions set by the regulator and could start gem exports.
Sources present at the closed meetings said most African countries, excluding West African countries, as well as India and Russia supported the monitor's report while the United States, Australia and the European Union reiterated concerns that Zimbabwe had not met the minimum requirements of the KP.
Rights groups allege serious abuses by security forces deployed by the Zimbabwean government to stop illegal diamond digging after up to 30 000 panners descended on the poorly secured fields in 2006.
In a report KP monitor Abbey Chikane voiced concern over the presence of the army in Marange, but warned against their rapid removal, saying this could trigger illegal digging.
The Zimbabwean government agreed to a process of assessment by the Kimberley Process following reports of atrocities in Marange four years ago. Rights groups claim soldiers in Marange are still engaging in forced labour, torture and harassment.
The KP's meeting in Tel Aviv will be followed by a higher level meeting in November in Jerusalem.
by Staff Reporter
DELEGATES at the Kimberley Process (KP) Conference in Tel Aviv, Israel failed to reach a consensus after three days of intensive negotiations over a possible solution to the issue of rough diamond exports from Zimbabwe's Marange fields.
"We so far haven't been able to reach consensus on the Zimbabwe issue," said Boaz Hirsch, chairman of the Kimberley Process, a group made up of government, human-rights and diamond-industry officials representing 75 countries.
Participants at the meeting said the U.S., Australia, Canada and the European Union were opposed to the resumption of exports from Marange.
On the other hand most African countries as well as Brazil, China, Russia, India and the United Arab Emirates want the trade injunction lifted, based on the Kimberley Process's recent report of conditions there.
Zimbabwe government officials at the proceedings accused the U.S., Australia, Canada and the EU of playing politics, and opposing Marange diamonds in order to change Zimbabwe's government regime.
The Kimberley Process suspended approval of diamonds exported from Marange in 2009 following allegations of human rights abuses and the involvement of security services in the extraction of the gems.
However, South African Abbey Chikane, who was appointed by the KP to assess measures taken by the government to comply with world body’s guideline, reported that the country had now met the minimum standards and exports should resume.
But several human-rights groups and some in the diamond industry itself have ramped up pressure on the KP to maintain the ban, claiming Marange is a site of forced labor and funds President Robert Mugabe and senior officials in his Zanu PF party.
"We think resumption of the export of Marange diamonds, even in a limited capacity, would make the flow of blood diamonds out of Zimbabwe even easier, and the average consumer won't be protected," said Tiseke Kasambala, a Human Rights Watch spokeswoman.
She further alleged smuggling of Marange diamonds was continuing netting Mugabe and his allies "millions of dollars."
The military, which is controlled by Mugabe, occupies the area of the Marange mine, Kasambala said.
Still, there is no doubting the impact Marange would make in the global diamond industry.
Chaim Even-Zohar, head of an Israel-based diamond consulting and research firm, said that, if fully mined, diamonds from Marange could make up 25 percent of the global supply, an estimate that was backed by the Zimbabwe's mines minister Obert Mpofu.
Diamond mining has become a lucrative business in Zimbabwe, with government officials estimating that the trade could earn the country $1.2billion per month, a huge boom for a country whose annual gross domestic product was only US$4.4 billion in 2009.
By Florence Bupe
Thu 24 June 2010, 04:01 CAT
OPPOSITION Patriotic Front (PF) and UPND youths have questioned the sale of Zamtel, describing it as dubious. And Post editor- in- chief Fred M’membe has said the sale of Zamtel should have been authorised by the Zambian people who were the rightful owners of the telecommunications company.
Speaking when the pact youths paid a courtesy call on M’membe at The Post offices on Tuesday, UPND Lusaka provincial youth vice chairperson Brian Mizinga said it was common knowledge that Zamtel had ‘gone’ in a dubious manner without the consent of the Zambian people.
Government has sold 75 per cent shares in Zamtel to LAP Green of Libya at a cost of US $257 million.
The sale of the country’s biggest telecommunication parastatal has raised controversy, with the majority of stakeholders opposing its sale.
And the youths have condemned threats of violence against The Post being perpetrated by Lusaka Province MMD chairman William Banda.
PF national youth secretary Eric Chanda vowed that Banda would not defeat The Post for as long as UPNF/ PF pact youths survive.
Below is a verbatim of the meeting between the youths and M’membe:
Eric Chanda: Mr Fred M’membe sir, colleagues from UPND and PF, we are here on one simple issue which has been complicated for some time now. As PF/ UPND pact youths, we have always been in partnership with the post newspaper, the post has helped us to be where we are as PF, as UPND and when our partner, our colleague, as the post has a problem, we feel that it is as well our problem.
And this is one reason we are here, looking at what you have gone through as the post editor, and the post newspaper. To start with we have a monster here that has been born in Lusaka that has troubled PF, that has troubled UPND and now it has come to the post newspaper to say it will fight the post newspaper. I’m sure this monster is well known by every body of us, do we know the monster?
Youths shout: Tekele, Tekele... William Banda
Eric Chanda: Mr M’membe sir, as PF/ UPND youths, we want to assure you that this monster will not fight The Post, this monster will not defeat the post as long as PF/ UPND pact youths survive.
Cheering from crowd.
Chanda: We will always stand by you, Mr M’membe, we will always stand by the post because we have been good partners and we shall not tolerate this monster in the name of William Banda to come and destabilise, to come and scandalise the post newspaper... Viva youth
Response from crowd: Viva
Eric Chanda: Mr M’membe sir, we were oh so saddened, it was unfortunate but we cannot give it as an excuse, that when you were sent to jail, I was out presenting the PF youth... I was in China, but it should not be an excuse, we are here also, to pay solidarity to you that whatever you went through sir, we are with you and we shall continue supporting you, we will not bend down.
We should have come the two of us (with UPND chair) but we said we will not be complete, not until my team here, the PF/ UPND pact leaders, they see you, you are in good health, so that when we give you support, as you go to the High Court, as you go to the Supreme Court, we shall fight with you upto the final conclusion, that why i came with this team sir.
I will not want to finish talking all the issues, I’ll leave some issues to my colleague from the UPND, Mr Hapunda.
Brian Hapunda : Mr M’membe, comrade M’membe, the leadership of the PF and leadership of UPND present here, we have come here on a very simple note, yet very serious to give you solidarity for the injustice which you have faced at the hands of MMD, we call it cruel injustice.
The intimidation you have suffered at the hands of MMD, just for the simple reason of, you know, standing for the justice of the people, speaking for the voiceless people and we saw it fit as UPND/ PF youths to come and give you that solidarity.
We will not allow MMD through Rupiah Banda to destroy you. They can destroy.. or they can break your head, they can break your hands, they can break your legs but they will not break the spirit of Fred M’membe.
That is the spirit of fighting for the people that you have exhibited in the last 20 years or so, and we the UPND/ PF youths will be with you throughout this. You’ve been speaking for the people and you continue speaking for the people and for us, the youth, we know that the real reason why you’re being persecuted is because you speak the truth and you stand by the truth.
Because of that, the role you have taken and the sacrifice you have taken, the MMD government have seen you as an enemy and they want to fight you through that, and we’re saying to our youths, we will not give up, we are with you in this fight, we are with you throughout and we’ll make sure that all those who are trying to fight you, they’ll also go down, because you’re merely doing what 12 million plus Zambians are saying in their hearts, that is to speak against injustice. Why should one simple man in the name of William Banda be threatening you?
Who is William Banda? We know the background of William Banda. William Banda is simply a deportee, now he has come back to intimidate us Zambians in our own country. We are going to put this William Banda in the rightful place he belongs and we’ll not allow him to bring this country into chaos.
He has got no right to be intimidating Zambians, and he’s speaking the language of his boss, we know he is doing this with his boss, he’s a just a mouthpiece of his boss. We know Rupiah Banda does not believe in freedom of information which you have been championing, and that’s one of the reasons why they want to tear you down because he is a dictator and he knows that when there is a free press, you know, citizens are alert.
And the only way you can suppress people is to make sure that you don’t give them, you know, free information or rather, information which they need. So that’s why they are trying to intimidate you because they know that you champion freedom of information bill and you want Zambians to have the information they need and not information which is half baked through government state agencies such as ZNBC and the like.
So we will not give up in this fight and we will make sure that we will be with you throughout hence we have come here (applause), we have come here with our fellow youth to reiterate that we’ll be there throughout. Thank you.
MC: Thank you very much at this point in time, you’ve heard Mr M’membe, you’ve heard from the two parties that is the Patriotic Front and the UPND. At this point in time maybe you have something to say to us, we’ve walked into your yard and we believe you have a word too to say to us, over to you sir.
Fred: Firstly I’d like to apologise to you for the delay in seeing you, I was held up in another meeting that took longer than it should have taken. I hope you’ll take my apology. It’s not good to make other people wait for you when you’ve agreed the time.
I think as friends, we need to tell each other the truth. Friends always need to tell each other the truth and nothing but the truth and you’ll excuse me if I do that.
You’ll understand why I’m doing it, I’m doing it because we’re friends. I’m very grateful that you have come to pay solidarity to me and support the post and I’m glad that you’ve come here peacefully, without intimidating anybody, without quarrelling with anybody, without throwing stones at anybody.
You were not invited by the post to come and do that, you came on your own. We are not a political party that mobilises for support, that seeks, you know, people to come and pay solidarity with us, everyone of you here has never seen anybody from the post coming to ask you to come here and pay solidarity. You have come here freely and at the call of you heart. And let that be the spirit that guides your relationship with us and with all other people.
I’m humbled by your coming here today because I never expected you to come here and pay solidarity to us.
The reason is because of where we’re coming from. It’s not very long ago that some youths from the PF were mobilised to come and try to beat us up here in 2006 after the elections because they didn’t like what we wrote. They didn’t like what they read.
It’s not also very long ago, it’s 2006, same year, when UPND youths, were mobilised also to try and do the same to us on another issue because they were not happy with the way the post were reporting their political party and their leaders.
Today we’re subjected to the same treatment by the MMD youths, including their party president, Mr Rupiah Banda. So, it is a big thing for us when people change their heart and adopt a more compassionate attitude toward you.
You are leaders, the future of this country depends on you. I know you’ve been told that several times and it has become like a song. I am not singing, I don’t sing. You are leaders, not future leaders, you are leaders today.
You are leaders today because the future of this country depends on not what you do tomorrow but what you’re doing today. The future is not built in the future. Tomorrow is not built tomorrow, tomorrow is built today.
The future is built on the threshold of today, they way you conduct yourselves as our leaders today will be the same way you conduct yourselves as our leaders tomorrow.
You were talking of a monster whose history you said you know very well. That little monster has been a monster all the time. That monster did not become a monster today, it has always been a monster. It was trained as a youth to be a monster, it was moulded to be a monster and it is still a monster, but try to be a different type of leaders from that monster.
Be different, don’t get the standards of that monster and make them your standards. Be a different type of leaders, a leadership that respects even the rights of a monster. As you deal with that little monster, respect its rights.
It is a monster but it’s got the right to be a monster, and the right to be here. That monster doesn’t belong to Malawi, it belongs here. It is our monster which was taken to Malawi by people who thought like it, who were also monsters, little monsters like it! (applause)
This country is a homeland and no other country is the homeland to that little monster, but that little monster should be taught to live in a civilised manner in its homeland, respecting the rights of other citizens, and other citizens being encouraged to respect the rights of that little monster.
Behave yourselves as leaders of today and of tomorrow. That’s the difference with you leaders of today, the group that is here... you’re not only leaders today, but you’re leaders tomorrow. The other leaders are only leaders today because they don’t have much in the tomorrow, but you are not only leaders today, you’re leaders of tomorrow.
Set new standards for yourselves as young people. What you’re doing is very important, politics is very ,very important to a country, to a nation, to a community.
Youth interjects: Should we just keep quiet?
Fred: No, you have no right to remain quiet! In politics you don’t remain quiet, in politics you talk, in politics you denounce that which needs to be denounced, in politics you criticise that which needs to be criticised, in politics you praise that which needs to be praised, in politics you defend that which needs to be defended, in politics you advance that which needs to be advanced.
And what needs to be advanced at this stage in our country is dignified politics, politics with dignity. What needs to be encouraged is a leadership that knows that it is there to serve the people and not the people to serve it. You are our leaders, we are not here to serve you, you are there to serve us ordinary citizens, bear that in mind at all times.
You are not our masters as political leaders, you are our servants as political masters. It’s not you to send us, it’s us to send you to do what we want you to do. You are there to serve us not us to serve you.
That’s the role of our leadership and that’s the leadership that most of our people want to see from you today, not tomorrow, today! As we said earlier on tomorrow starts with today, so today we want to see the leadership that is there from you to serve the people, to serve us the ordinary people.
And that starts with a great love for your own people, a great love for your country. Love this country that God has placed you in, do everything that God wants you to do for this country that he has put you in. You are put here for a purpose, you are in politics for a purpose. Ask yourselves what type of political leaders does God want from you? If Christ was to wake up in the middle of the night and ask you why you’re doing what you’re doing, what are you going to tell him? If Christ woke up early in the morning and asked you ‘why are you doing what you’re doing?’ what are you going to tell him?
Be the leaders that Zambian people want you to be, care for your country, love your people, love each other, and don’t harm anyone. You can’t harm people you love, love even the monster. Even the monster is there to be loved. But not every person is loved the same way.
The way you love the monster is to make sure that you stop the monster from harming other people as you have done today. Applause
If you love somebody you stop them from doing wrong things. So what you have said today about the monster is a demonstration of love for the monster. If you didn’t love the monster you would have allowed the monster to continue doing wrong things. So don’t allow the monster to continue doing wrong things, stop the monster to do wrong things, help the monster to behave in the right way, to do the right things, that’s how you love the monster.
So you don’t love everyone the same way, because people are doing different things. You ‘ve shown love for me by encouraging me and my comrades at the post to do what is the right thing to do, that’s the way for you to love me, that’s the way for you to love my comrades.
By encouraging us to do what you think is right. But the monster... you love that monster by discouraging the monster from doing that which is undesirable.
Fred: You have touched the right word; let’s not have violence in whatever we do. Let’s respect the citizens, every citizen of this country, let’s respect the choices they make to join political organisations of their choice. It’s a constitutional right that should not be taken away from anybody, whichever political party is formed people have the right to choose, to join it or not to join it.
The Zambian people today have joined the PF; they’ve joined the UPND out of their own choice. Let them enjoy that right. The more numbers you have, the better, you’ll win the elections; you’ll provide the services that you have promised the people, you’ll listen to the people because they are your masters.
So please, the best way to pay solidarity to us is to do that which the best citizens require of you. You have good ideas, you have noble ideas, but noble ideas have to be backed by noble sentiments, by noble deeds.
You can’t claim to do something that is good and then you go and use barbaric methods to achieve that. If you claim you have the support of the people, and you want to rely on the support of the people, you can’t go and brutalise those same people.
There are election campaigns, by- election campaigns coming up, in Ndola in Chifubu and in Mongu in Luena. Some of you will be there campaigning for your political formation, go there peacefully, respect every citizen you meet, whether they’re members of your party or not, whether they’re supporters of your candidate or not, they have the right to do so, respect their right.
Try to convince them to support your candidate, support your party, but do so in a civil way, in a manner that respects their rights. If people want to come with you in a monstrous way, don’t allow yourself to be turned into a monster. Always bear in your mind, ask yourself, what would Christ do in this situation? How would Christ react to this provocation?
That’s all I can ask of you, I am grateful for your coming here. As my leaders, please be at my service, since I’m your master, you’re my servants, I didn’t force you to join politics and become political leaders, you did that by your own accord but know that once you make that decision, you owe us a duty as our leaders.
And part of that leadership is exhibited in what you have done today. You have come here to serve us, to protect us, to assure us of your protection. This is leadership.
Stanley Chumya: Thank you very much sir. I’m sure each one of us has grasped one or two things. We would like to tell you that you’re a reservoir of wisdom, a man who’s very focused and really, Zambia needs you, it needs your leadership.
I’ll just transfer... maybe the chairman would like to say something before we leave this place.
Brain Mizinga: Good afternoon sir. I think now above all, we want to find out your stance on the sale of Zamtel, because as you have seen, Zamtel has gone in a dubious way although they are trying to protect it. And is it going to be possible if we, as UPND/ PF pact urge our members to stop using Cell Z and Zamtel until they float maybe 30 per cent shares on LuSE (Lusaka Stock Exchange)? Thank you, I think that’s the question I have sir.
Fred: You have asked me a very difficult question, a question that should have been explained to me by you my leaders. I’m your follower, and I mean it, I’m not joking.
You’re the political leadership of this country, right now, not tomorrow. Today you’re the leaders, you are leaders and I respect you as political leaders. You have a duty to explain to me what you’re doing.
Well, I’ve heard a number of arguments about the sale of Zamtel. Some of them right, some of them probably wrong, some of them acceptable, some of them not acceptable. But there’s one cardinal issue that needs to be looked at, at all times by you our leaders, whether you’re in the opposition or you’re in government tomorrow; Do what the people want, always ask yourself, is this what the people want?
Zamtel belongs to Zambian people, is that what the people want that has happened?
Response from youth: No, no
Fred: If the Zambian people want to sell Zamtel, then it’s fine, even if they sold it for one kwacha, it’s okay! It’s their company! If my leader here wants to give me his hat, he wants to sell it to me at one kwacha, who are you to tell him how much he should sell it? It’s his hat, with a nice UPND emblem on it! He can sell it to me even for one ngwee, it’s his.
If the Zambian people want to sell Zamtel to someone else, to Mr Gaddafi’s company, they have the right to sell it even for one kwacha if they want to, but if they don’t want then nobody has the right to sell it.
Wrong or right... it doesn’t matter whether Mr Gaddafi is offering billions of dollars or what... if they don’t want to sell it, they don’t want, it’s theirs! Teti ushitishe ichishili ichobe (You cannot sell what is not yours). You can only sell that which belongs to you; you can’t give to another person what is not yours. So that’s the starting point. If the sale is supported by the Zambian people, it’s fine. If it’s not supported by the Zambian people then it’s not fine, whatever arguments are given.
Secondly it’s the issue of how right was the sale? Was it the right way to sell the company? What were the interests of those selling? What did they get in return? Were briefcases of money given to anybody before the sale in Libya, by those with deep pockets? Were briefcases of money of money delivered on planes for some passengers on some special planes to influence the way they would drive the sale of Zamtel?
Those are the issues you need to answer. Was the employment of RP Capital to value the sale of Zamtel the right thing? I remember Zambians opposed that because there were involvements of other people who were not desirable, sons of people in power who do not occupy public office. They were involved in the sale of Zamtel; they were friends of those in RP Capital. Was it the right thing? We don’t know! So it’s upto you our leaders to find out answers to these questions and inform us as your followers, then we’ll know what to do on the basis of what you’re telling us, you the leadership.
PC: yes because the majority of us were opposed to the sale of Zamtel. We need at least a certain percentage of shares to be put on the Lusaka Stock Exchange so that Zambians also have a share.
Fred: We’ll wait to see which course you the leadership, the political leadership of our country take. We’ll wait for your guidance.
Mizinga: I think we’ll get back to you as soon as we come up with a position
Fred: Mr Malupenga will always publish your views on the sale of Zamtel
Chanda: Before we leave Mr M’membe, we would like to encourage you that you should continue reporting the truth. Only the truth will build this nation. These guys, these monsters are forcing us to join MMD and vote for MMD but we’ve seen that they’re not delivering, they’re lying! They’ve just started grading the roads in Chifubu knowing that the elections are just around the corner. Those are lies, where were they? So we just encourage you, even if we come to power, even if we lose or we win, continue telling the people of Zambia the truth and we’ll be behind you, thank you!
Chumya: Last but not least Mr M’membe the national chairman has got the last word for you just before we leave.
Chanda: Well, all has been said, thank you very much for your words of wisdom. I’m sure PF/ UPND pact youths are very peaceful people. I have already talked about the monster which is causing people to start panicking, to start behaving like him. But as your words of wisdom command, we shall by all means keep peace and tranquillity in our country. We shall always command our youths who are behind us to be peaceful wherever they’ll go and thank you very much for that advice because they have gotten it from your own word and I’m sure as they go they’ll preach peace to every member of the Patriotic Front, to every member of the United Party for National development and I’ll just need one request from you, just to have a photo with these guys as we go out.
Youth interjects: No let me help you Mr M’membe... people may start thinking that maybe you’ve joined the pact.
Hapunda: Thank you very much Comrade M’membe. I said when I just began to speak, what I began to say was that they can break your head, they can break your hand, they can break your spine, but they cannot break the spirit which is in you and that spirit will live and even the people who are going to live after you will go on carrying that spirit.
And we the youth are not going to be intimidated and we will continue.
You talked about violence, our cadre of this team we have brought... ours is not to intimidate people the way our colleagues are intimidating us. We were in Mufumbwe, I was personally in Mufumbwe myself, I was beaten, we were arrested by the MMD, but we chose not to retaliate because we knew that was not our style.
We the youth, this generation, what we want... let them keep on with that monster of theirs and us, we’ll keep on talking to the people, the supporters, until we convince them to join us.
Last week Thursday, we paid a courtesy call on the IG where we went to deliver our petition for him to step down because of the way he had mishandled Mufumbwe, but unfortunately this man turned out to be so, you know, defensive, and he made us... I was with my colleague here... he chased away your journalists, he didn’t want them to be in the meeting, reasons best known to himself, because he wanted to push us against the corner.
The man refused to resign, and refused the responsibility of having mishandled Mufumbwe and even threatened myself with arrest because he said he knew me from Mufumbwe and he knew the role I’d played, and he made us watch a DVD, one hour thirty minutes DVD which was taken by the OP in Mufumbwe, in his office, in the presence of senior policemen, Bonny Kapeso and the Commissioner and he said, he kept on saying that ‘I know what role you played’, pointing at me. ‘Wait a minute you’ll see which clip will come here because you were also involved in violence, I’m going to arrest you.’
But I knew the role which I played, I did not play any role in Mufumbwe of violence. And thank God that clip came and I was the one calming the people, in that clip. And i kept on saying ‘IG, you have shown us this video footage done by your people the OP, that kept on boasting about it that we know what you’re doing in your private life.
We told him that because of the way that you mishandled Mufumbwe, we want you to step down, we do not want the double standards which you have introduced in this country. We now have two laws, one for the MMD and its people in the corridors of power, and one for us the general people who are seen to be on the other side of government.
We don’t want this. And all because of this man, Mr Kabonde, he has failed to handle the police, or to deliver to the Zambian people with professionalism which we deserve.
So we’re still saying to him, he should actually leave that office.
We have two more by- elections coming and we don’t want to see the ugly face of violence which we saw in Mufumbwe.
I, myself and our youth behind here are not going to take part in that and we’re not going to accept him to handle the Chifubu and Luena by- elections the way he handled Mufumbwe.
I told him in his office in the presence of my friend that the situation became worse when you came. We thought maybe when you arrive in Mufumbwe the situation was going to be better but the situation just became worse, why? Because he was there, he had specific instructions from the President, from State House, which he refused.
He said he had gone to inspect the roads in Kasempa,’ that’s why I was in Mufumbwe’. That’s what he told us but the real reason he was there on instruction was because...
Fred: Since when did the IG become a roads inspector? Are you sure he said that?
Chanda: What he’s telling you is the point
Fred: The IG inspecting roads?!
Hapunda: Yes, he said he had gone to inspect roads and just passed through Mufumbwe to check. That’s why he chased the journalists because he didn’t want whatever we discussed there... and on another point, he said this was going to be a closed door meeting. That’s what Mr Kapeso said, which means everything we were discussing there was supposed to remain there. But the following day in the news on Radio Phoenix we were told by Bonny Kapeso that we apologised to the IG for having conducted that protest, and that we had no actual information on what was happening.
We never apologised to the Inspector General of Police. What we still insist is that the IG must actually apologise to the nation for having mishandled the Mufumbwe by- election and for having brought the double standards of laws in our country.
We had that letter and all those points were there, so we still insist this man must leave that office if we are to have peace and if our policies to be professional because he has brought politics into the police, which has never happened. Where have you ever seen the IG himself being asked by his junior officers to step down? This man is simply, you know, a mess! So I thought I should bring it to the attention of our colleagues in the media, so that these things are brought out. We still insist IG Kabonde should step out on moral grounds.