Saturday, July 10, 2010
By: By Frank Banda
Posted: Saturday, July 10, 2010 6:21 am
WESTERN media and Euro-centric analysts went into a frenzy this week after President Mugabe gave a speech at a Zanu-PF Central Committee meeting on Thursday.
The President rightly said that Zimbabwe will recover "by her wits and resources" and the likes of the Movement for Democratic Change will have to stop wasting time on "useless initiatives". One such "useless initiative" is the belief that Zimbabweans will be saved by help from the West.
Eric Bloch -- a Eurocentric economist -- denounced the President's assertion claiming that said Zimbabwe cannot recover without Western aid, increased trade and foreign investment.
This is true, but Mr Bloch read the President out of context; as international analysts and their accompanying media often do, or choose to do.
They responded with the same level of ignorance when the president once said, "Zimbabwe is mine". The president's wit is often misconstrued by those people who have a different agenda on Zimbabwe.
The hatred of President Mugabe has made some people, who are considered experts in their field, sound like novices.
President Mugabe's speech was meant to show the world that Zimbabwe has sufficient resources to take itself out of its current problems, considering all other conditions are equal.
There are many ways of conveying this message and President Mugabe only used one -- and the anti-Mugabe lobby went amok.
Conditional aid, which in itself is meant to benefit the West, has no place in developing Zimbabwe.
How can countries that impose sanctions on a country be seen as concerned about the same country's development?
Mr Bloch should know, as an 'economist', that the current international trade regime is skewed against developing countries.
The debates at the World Trade Organisation -- on agriculture, services, sanitary and phytosanitary measures -- have been mired in conflict because they tend to favour the West.
Various discussions have broken down because of this and demonstrations against Western manipulation of the world trading regime have been seen everywhere -- in Doha and elsewhere.
For centuries, foreign investment (and divestment) has not benefitted the African continent in ways that are expected of a rich continent.
Politics has been a major impediment to Africa's development; and economists like Mr Bloch should not only look at conventional economics; but should consider various factors that affect development in Africa.
Aid is investment; and countries that give aid want a return on their investment. So far, they have been as greedy as to want everything from that investment.
This is why they oppose our own initiatives -- like the indigenisation and empowerment initiatives -- which eat into their profits.
The World Bank and International Monetary Fund are banks, period. They make money from lending. That is why they want Zimbabwe to repay its debt; so they can get a return on their investment. Any policy they will suggest for Zimbabwe is predicated on the need to realise profit from their investment.
If Zimbabwe is so poor, why do they not give the country a moratorium, or cancel the debt outright?
A new economic thinking is needed. The likes of Erich Bloc and Godfrey Kanyenze (and the Washington and London economists) have failed to come up with the right kind of ideas necessary for Africa.
Where Africa has taken the lead, they have stood in the way. Politics plays a key role, as pointed out above. There's no way Africa can listen to this neo-liberal reasoning (or nonsense) anymore. It hasn't benefited Africa up to now and it will never benefit Africa in future.
"Useless initiatives" indeed.
How can a country like Britain, with billions in debt, be expected to provide US$10 billion in aid to Zimbabwe?
The EU will keep you on your toes thinking much will come from them. There are countries in the region that are near collapse. They will provide for their embattled kith and kin in Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain (PIGS) before they think about Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC-T.
The president, as usual, has scored another ace. Zimbabwe (and Africa) will indeed recover "by her wits and resources".
*Frank Banda is a columnist for TalkZimbabwe.com
by Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe says Zimbabwe does not need Western aid and insisted the country’s shattered economy can be turned around by increased exploitation of its mineral wealth.
Mugabe told a Zanu PF central committee meeting in Harare on Thursday that the country should forget about Western financial support and urged partners in the coalition government not to waste time on what he described as “useless initiatives”.
“Zimbabwe shall recover by her wits and resources. Zimbabwe will not be saved by any country or organisation, least of all Western. It is our mineral resources … which will turn this economy and country around.
“Let our partners in the inclusive Government get that, so we do not waste our efforts on useless initiatives,” Mugabe said.
His remarks reflect growing frustration within Zanu PF at the failure by Western countries to extend significant financial support and lift sanctions after the party agreed to join up with its rivals to form the coalition administration.
Finance Minister, Tendai Biti, projected – when he presented his 2010 budget last year – that support from “cooperating partners” would top US$810 million.
But the minister has since admitted the projections were overly optimistic noting donors had only provided about US$3million in the first three months of the year.
The European Union had demanded more substantive political reforms before sanctions are lifted while analysts say the West is not convinced Mugabe will not ditch the coalition government “once funds are made available to revive the economy”.
But Mugabe is adamant the country can do without the West’s largesse adding efforts should be made to strengthen its ‘look east policy’.
“We have friends in other parts of the world ... Let us work with those for progress and let us turn our back on those who do not want to work with us.
“Let the party (Zanu-PF) take a leading role in ensuring our policy of looking east gets vindicated,” he said.
Mugabe also railed against the failure by the Kimberly Process (KP) to endorse exports of diamonds extracted from Marange district in the county’s eastern Manicaland province.
“We have been put in the dock for having diamonds in our territory and for wanting to exploit them with partners from other countries other than from these (Canada, United States and Australia) and other Western nations.
“We have been put in the dock because it is assertive Zimbabwe that has found diamonds and is thus likely to be even more assertive in outlook,” he said.
The Kimberly Process failed to reach a consensus on the issue during a recent meeting in Israel despite a recommendation by its monitor that the country had met the minimum conditions needed for the resumption of exports.
Western countries and rights organisations opposed the lifting of the export embargo while countries from the developing world backed Zimbabwe.
Mugabe said the stalemate showed Western countries were keen to see the country’s economy come to total ruin but vowed to defy the KP export ban.
“We are a sovereign country. We have no conflict here, no rebels here. We have the technology to mine (the diamonds) and will soon have the technology to polish them.
“Let no one doubt our resolve to sell them, with or without the KPCS, with or without the blessings of the USA, Canada, Australia or their NGO pawns,” he said.
Still, while Mugabe insists Zimbabwe can go it alone without help from the West, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the country’s heavy debt burden can only be tackled through debt relief.
"Zimbabwe is in debt distress, and the debt overhang cannot be resolved without debt relief even if policies are improved and mineral extraction is increased," the organization said in a recent position paper.
The country’s total external debt is about US$6 billion.
The illegal Western sanctions imposed on the country have hardened the Zimbabwe Defence Forces’ resolve.
Addressing troops at a graduation ceremony of 100 section commanders after a tactics course at Inkomo Barracks yesterday, Lieutenant-Colonel Albert Malamo said the ZDF was committed to producing highly trained personnel.
"I understand you conducted the course under adverse conditions with limited resources.
"This is because of the illegal sanctions imposed on our country by Britain and her Western allies.
"However, we should soldier on. To some extent those illegal sanctions have hardened our force to be able to soldier on even if the going gets tougher. We want to applaud ourselves as we have managed to make do with the available resources," he said.
Lt-Col Malamo urged ZDF forces not to tire in defending the gains of independence and protecting Zimbabwe’s interests.
He paid tribute to the 19 female graduates, saying this showed women could compete with their male counterparts. The course started with 120 participants drawn from various formations and units within the Zimbabwe National Army but 20 dropped out for various reasons.
Friday, July 09, 2010
By Ernest Chanda
Fri 09 July 2010, 15:00 CAT
VICE-PRESIDENT George Kunda on Thursday refused to give a full value of Zamtel on the pretext that it could prejudice the transaction going on between the company and RP Capital.
And Vice-President Kunda has ruled out any possible extension to the 40 days given by the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) within which the public should comment on the draft constitution.
This was in response to a question from Zambezi West UPND parliamentarian Charles Kakoma who wanted to know what the full value of Zamtel was after the company was valuated by RP Capital Partners.
Kakoma’s question was a follow up to a question for oral answer from his Solwezi Central counterpart Watson Lumba who wanted to know how many Zambian companies expressed interest in buying the 75 per cent shares in Zamtel, why the companies were not short-listed, how much money will be paid to RP Capital as full consideration at the end of the privatisation process; and what measures have been taken to protect employees who may lose their jobs as a result of the privatisation.
Vice-President Kunda said: “If we mentioned the value of Zamtel it would prejudice the transaction, so we cannot reveal that in public interest.”
Asked by Lumba what was so special about RP Capital that they were given the contract when there were qualified Zambian companies that could have valuated Zamtel, Vice-President Kunda said: “This Company had pre-requisite expertise and therefore qualified to provide the service. Thank you.”
When pushed further by Lusaka Central Patriotic Front parliamentarian Dr Guy Scott to give an estimated value of Zamtel, Vice-President Kunda still refused.
“That question is vague because there is no value at the moment,” he responded.
And when asked by Chongwe MMD member of parliament Sylvia Masebo what the contract said about the amount RP Capital would receive after the valuation of Zamtel, Vice-President Kunda said: “Five per cent of the net value that government would realise. At the moment there is no such value.”
And earlier responding to the whole question, Communications and Transport deputy minister Mubika Mubika said only TATA Zambia expressed interest in valuating Zamtel, but that they did not bid.
On how much money would be paid to RP Capital as full consideration at the end of the privatisation process, Mubika said the fee cannot be determined at the moment.
And later contributing to debate on the second report of the parliamentary committee on Economic Affairs, Katuba MMD member of parliament Jonas Shakafuswa questioned government’s overconfidence in foreign investors.
“There are a lot of Zambians who do not feel that they belong to this country. There are a lot of Zambians who do not feel the economic gains being talked about because they are not employed. If that contract was given to a Zambian firm, the $12 million this country paid to RP Capital was going to remain in Zambia and it would raise our GDP Gross Domestic Product,” Shakafuswa debated.
“For me it doesn’t matter if Zambian gets that job, even if it’s Hakainde who gets the job because he has the expertise and it’s fine because he is going to invest in this Zambia and create jobs for Zambians. We have people who graduated from the Copperbelt University and they run accounting firms. We also have outstanding engineers in this country who are only appreciated by other countries. Now, if government is in the forefront of looking down on our experts who is going to promote them?”
And yesterday Vice-President Kunda told parliament that the NCC would be no more after August 31, 2010.
Responding to Katuba MMD parliamentarian Jonas Shakafuswa during the Vice-President’s question time who requested for an extension to the 40 days period especially that people in his constituency only received the draft constitution on Thursday, Vice-President Kunda said the constitution making process could not go on forever.
“One of the functions of this House is to make laws and the Honourable member asking this question was party to enacting this law on the 40 day period. There was an understanding that the process had to end and we prescribed August 31 this year to end the process,” Vice-President Kunda said.
“Therefore after August 31st the NCC will come to an end. If we have to extend then we will have to bring a bill to make an amendment. We can’t continue with the process. This process has been going on for too long and it’s time we moved on. Regarding the referendum, we will decide as NCC whether we should go to a referendum or make some amendments and we will do that before August 31st.”
By The Post
Fri 09 July 2010, 04:50 CAT
It is not surprising that Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva is the first Brazilian President to visit our country. It takes an intelligent leader with a clear and correct view of the world like Lula to do that. There is no doubt Lula is one of the world’s most intelligent politicians today with a messianic view of the world.
And it is a great honour for our country to host such a leader even if it was just for one night. We would have loved to have him in our country for a much longer period so that he can meet many Zambians from various walks of life and have a proper feel of the challenges and problems facing our people and the prospects for the future.
And looking at where Brazil is coming from, its subservient past, bound to the United States national security strategy as any in Latin America in the decades before, the reforms that have taken place in that country are a source of great pride and hope for all the peoples of the Third World.
A reformed Brazil has shed its subservient past. Instead of becoming a victim of globalization, like many in the underdeveloped South, Brazil emerged a victor to claim a leading role in world affairs.
Just how much Brazil’s standing under the presidency of Lula has changed was recently evidenced during United States Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s trip to Latin America in March this year. While in Brasilia, Clinton requested Brazil’s support for a new round of sanctions against Iran for its alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons. Her plea was a perfect chance for Brazil to fall in line with the United States after Lula’s recent overtures towards Iran, including a warm reception granted to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in November last year.
Instead, Brazil bluntly dismissed Clinton’s petition, saying: “We will not simply bow down to an evolving consensus if we do not agree.” Brazil’s curt refusal to tow Washington’s line spoke volumes more about this country’s new found self-assurance.
The source of this new frame of mind is the country’s transformation from macroeconomic basket case to a stable economy during the past 16 years.
Under the leadership of two exceptionally good leaders, Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Lula, the country improved its economic performance and, above all, cured a chronic case of high inflation. It accomplished all this while putting in place successful social programmes and preserving crucial state functions, notably in the realm of research and development.
The result has been a reduction of poverty – from 48 per cent of the population in 1990 to less than 26 per cent in 2009 – and rapid expansion of the middle class, always good news for democratic consolidation.
To put it simply, the convergence of political stability, honest and intelligent political leadership and sound economic policies allowed Brazil to unleash its natural potential just as globalization was gathering pace.
Exports of Brazil have grown five-fold in two decades, pushing trade from 11 per cent of GDP in 1990 to 18 per cent in 2009.
Crucially, this trend has been coupled with more diversified trading relations, in which countries like Iran and, above all, China play more visible roles. Indeed, in 2009 China surpassed the US as both Brazil’s largest trading partner and export market.
Massive recent oil discoveries give Brazil the second largest oil reserves in South America (12.6 billion barrels). Combined with large scale ethanol production (37 per cent of the world’s total), and huge soybean exports (32 per cent of the world’s total), among many other assets, Brazil has become an energy and commodity powerhouse.
This is not the only transformation Lula has brought that bolsters Brazil’s growing economic might. Once the largest debtor in the developing world, today Brazil is a lender even to the International Monetary Fund.
Even more remarkably, while the country continues to attract large quantities of foreign direct investment (US $45 billion in 2008 alone), it has become a major investor in its own right. In 2006, Brazil became a significant net foreign investor, a feat not seen in any other Latin American country.
Moreover, any account of why the country emerged virtually unscathed from the global economic crisis must take into account the conspicuous role of the state-owned Brazilian Development Bank, which today boasts of a larger lending portfolio than the World Bank.
The combination of heavy presence in the crucial commodity markets, more diverse commercial links and greater financial autonomy have compounded Brazil’s sheer size to give it unprecedented diplomatic clout.
Lula has intervened in most of the Latin American political or diplomatic crises. While Lula’s personal appeal is part of the reason, structural factors are at play, too, including the sudden proliferation of regional organizations – notably the recently launched Latin American and Caribbean Community of States – that threatens to hollow out the mandate and relevance of the US dominated Organization of American States.
The new outfits, which pointedly exclude the US and Canada, are tangible signs of Brazil’s intervention to redraw the western hemisphere’s diplomatic architecture, suiting the leadership role that the country envisions play in South America.
Nothing perhaps demonstrates Brazil’s new confidence as its relations with Iran, a trade partner to the tune of US $1.3 billion a year – nearly all in Brazilian exports. Iran’s nuclear dispute with the US and Europe offers Brazil the opportunity to assert its autonomy.
Brazil has not forgotten being at the receiving end of the US hectoring during the 1970s regarding the development of its own nuclear programme.
To those who don’t understand what is going on, giving Iran the benefit of the doubt on the nuclear issue may appear either as naïve or cynical on Brazil’s part.
Yet, for many Brazilians, the stance is simply a rejection of their past subservience to the US. Lula’s position on Iran may be irksome and even prove unsustainable, but it is not devoid of rationality.
Above all, it’s a message of independence vis-a-vis the United States that Brazil can afford as never before.
These are the benefits of having an honest, intelligent and well meaning political leadership. Those old jokes we used to hear about Brazil and its inflation are history.
A cruel and oft-repeated joke says that Brazil is the country of the future…and will always be. As Clinton found out, easy going Brazilians are not willing to be the butt of jokes anymore. They act as though the future has finally arrived. With a leader like Lula at the helm of Brazil, they may well be right.
Let’s learn from Brazil, let’s learn from Lula about how a country can transform itself in such a short time and how good leadership can make this possible.
Labels: LULA DA SILVA
By Mutale Kapekele
Fri 09 July 2010, 13:10 CAT
President Rupiah has said even without education, a person who is focused can succeed and lead a country. Earlier this year the MMD delegates at the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) were pushing for a clause in the new constitution that limited presidential candidates to those with university degrees.
Speaking at the Zambia Brazil Business Forum that was held in Lusaka on Thursday, President Banda praised Brazil’s president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for ascending to presidency despite his humble education.
“The problem with some of us, especially those of us who were colonized and educated by the British, is that we think education is everything,” President Banda said.
“This man (President Lula) never went to university and yet he learnt a lot of things through life. What this is teaching us is that you can grow big if you are focused. This (Lula) is the only president without a university degree and yet he has built more universities than any other president.”
He said Zambians should consider learning Portuguese and take advantage of the university that President Lula was building for African students.
“This man here is even building a university that will have 40 per cent of students coming from Africa,” he said. “ Zambians should take advantage of the language school here to learn Portuguese and go to that university that will be built just four hours from the continent.”
President Banda also hailed Lula for showing the spirit of selflessness in trying to help developing countries in Africa and the Caribbean.
“Since you (Lula) became President, a lot of changes have taken place in Brazil. We are glad that you have not just been a successful country but also you have not been selfish and shown concern about countries of the south in particular in Africa and Latin America,” President Banda said.
“We need to get together and see that our economies grow and that people live better as they have already started. You have spread the benefits of your country’s growth. We shall emulate you and Zambia will make sure that ties with your country grow.”
President Banda also said the 10 agreements that the two countries have signed will make it easier to partner in business.
He also advised Zambian businessmen to be serious and grow their businesses.
“The problem that Zambia has is growing business. Businessmen be serious and take up opportunities that this country has to offer,” he said.
President Banda also said Zambians were sick and tired of waiting for new wealth and warned that the government will take away mining licenses from those who failed to use them seven years after acquiring them.
“I would like to warn those with licenses to use their licenses within seven years. We are not going to allow Zambians with licenses to sit back and play politics,” he said. “We will take away those licenses.
This also applies to foreign companies. Zambians are sick and tired of waiting. They want to see new mines, new wealth. Whoever gets a license should use it!”
And President Lula advised Africa that it had the potential to feed the whole world if it improved on its agricultural programs.
He said Brazil will continue partnering with Africa to ensure that it achieved its full potential and to help her find a better place in the world economy.
President Lula announced that the mining giant Vale will begin its operation in Zambia at the end of August.
He said another Brazilian mining company would also invest in Zambia before the end of the year.
President Lula said the two firms will inject an initial capital of US $600 million in production of copper in Zambia.
President Lula said Vale will commit US $400 million in September 2010.
He said 50 million tonnes of copper is expected to be produced while over 15,000 jobs are expected to be generated.
He urged Vale to double production and keep the firm’s promise.
President Lula said he had strong conviction regarding Africa continent in terms of economic growth.
He said Zambia was an important development partner because of its strategic geographic position.
President Lula said he was impressed with Zambia's growth rates from 2005 through to 2009.
“This is impressive, it is good to know that you are a major exporter of copper, so Vale should bring equipment here to the level that Zambia can become rich,” he said.
He said Brazil is strongly motivated to help African countries in Agriculture to produce more food and alleviate poverty.
He observed that there are millions of people with negative perception about Africa.
“But I have become committed to problems facing Africa, south and North America,” he said.
He said negative perceptions about Africa should be changed through schools and universities.
By George Chellah
Fri 09 July 2010, 04:01 CAT
PATRIOTIC Front (PF) leader Michael Sata yesterday said he will not apologise over his statement that President Rupiah Banda met Chadian leader Idris Derby in Mfuwe. And Post managing editor Amos Malupenga said the desperation by those in government to discredit The Post’s work has now reached an alarming stage.
Reacting to information minister Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha’s demand for an apology from him and The Post for what he terms as lies about President Rupiah Banda and his government, Sata dismissed the demand.
“No government world-over reacts in arrears. Why have they taken long to react if they have nothing to hide? What type of a government is this one? A serious government is supposed to react instantly.
It’s almost four weeks since this man came to Zambia and went to Mfuwe. In fact, when I issued that statement foreign affairs and Shikapwasha himself did not deny. Was he Shikapwasha hiding in Munali Hills? Why the panic now?” Sata asked.
“If what I said was not true, why didn’t they treat this matter with the same urgency they gave to Rupiah’s embarrassing 'mwenye' remark? Is it because they are under pressure from Chad that why did they reveal a visit that was meant to be secret? They are under pressure and they are trying to justify it.
They are even using nashalaneka parties like BY Mwila and Sakwiba Sikota. That should tell you that they are desperate.
“Surely, if they were serious, could they have used finished politicians like BY Mwila, who runs a one-man party? In any case, which Zambian today takes BY seriously? Tell them that I will not apologise to this incompetent government, which is managed by Rupiah Banda because these are genuine remarks I made and I will stand by them.”
And Malupenga said The Post was not in the business of telling lies about anyone.
“Our editorial policy obliges us to offer prompt apologies and corrections whenever we have got our facts wrong. And we have demonstrated that over the years.
We have never shied away from any public apology, no matter how embarrassing that may be, “ he said
He said it was very embarrassing to see Rev Shikapwasha exhibiting high levels of panic in trying to secure his job with President Banda.
“This is not the first time he is talking about our story concerning President Banda’s meeting with President Jacob Zuma from South Africa.
When we first published this story on August 5, 2009, Rev Shikapwasha, in his usual manner, went to Parliament and attempted to mislead the House, claiming that our story was a falsehood.
For the sake of those who might not be familiar with this issue, I will summarise the facts for them,” Malupenga said.
“On or about August 3, 2009, President Banda’s official spokesperson Dickson Jere announced to the nation that President Banda was scheduled to hold bilateral talks with his South African counterpart, President Zuma, in Pretoria.
And thereafter, he was going to proceed for his medical checkup and review. On August 4, 2009, President Banda left Lusaka for South Africa for the scheduled bilateral talks with President Zuma.
The same day we made contact with President Zuma’s spokesperson by the name of Vincent Magwenya to get more details on President Banda’s meeting with President Zuma.
“To our surprise, Mr Magwenya said he did not know anything about the bilateral talks between the two Presidents. We asked Mr Magwenya on the key issues that the two Presidents would deal with in their meeting.
But Mr Magwenya’s response was ‘When is that?’ When we informed Mr Magwenya that President Banda had already left Lusaka for South Africa for his meeting with President Zuma, his response was ‘When?...I will have to come back to you on that, chief. I haven’t received any confirmation on that one.’”
He said The Post further contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Department of International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson Nomfanelo Kota who said her desk did not have any information about President Banda’s trip to South Africa for a meeting with President Zuma.
“Her actual words were ‘I haven’t been informed by the desk which deals with Zambia. So I don’t know.
As soon as we get informed normally we send out a media advisory. We usually do this a week or two weeks in advance. On my desk there is nothing that says Zambia. It might be coming.’
We went further by contacting the then Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa Mr Leslie Mbula who also had difficulties giving us details about President Banda’s meeting with President Zuma,” Malupenga said. “When we asked him what time President Banda was scheduled to meet with President Zuma, Mr Mbula’s response was ‘Where is the President right now?’ When he was told that President Banda had just left Zambia for South Africa, Mr Mbula asked, ‘He has taken off?’
Asked further about President Banda’s programme whilst in South Africa, Mr Mbula responded, ‘I think that I am not very sure yet. Maybe after he has come when I have seen the programme, maybe you can phone. Then we can discuss.’
“After gathering all this information, the summary of the story that we wrote which Rev Shikapwasha is claming was a falsehood was to the effect that South African President Zuma’s spokesperson and the ministry of foreign affairs said they had no confirmation of an appointment for President Banda to hold bilateral talks with President Zuma.
Clearly, The Post was merely transmitting the information obtained both from South African and Zambian government officials in South Africa.”
He said The Post had no reason to doubt President Zuma’s spokesperson because he keeps the President’s diary.
“Yes, later on President Zuma and President Banda had a meeting in South Africa but it still remains a fact that at the time he was leaving, these government officials we have referred to above in South Africa as well as from the Zambian government’s side were not aware about this meeting and this is exactly what we reported.
So what lies have we told as a newspaper? These facts can be verified with these officials we have named above. If Rev Shikapwasha does not know how to contact these officials in South Africa, we will be available to provide him with all their contact details,” Malupenga said.
“From what I have said above, it is clear that we don’t have to apologise for the accurate account of events that we reported. The named officials we quoted in that story have never complained that we misrepresented their views, so why should Rev Shikapwasha claim that our story was a falsehood?
Anyway, we are not surprised that this government has been working hard day and night trying to portray us to the Zambian people that we are a newspaper without credit bent on publishing lies about those in government.
That is why Rev Shikapwasha shamelessly went to Parliament and attempted to mislead the honourable House on matters that were very clear even for a high school pupil to follow.
“We are not surprised that one year later Rev Shikapwasha has resuscitated this scheme to portray The Post as liars. These are the lies about us, which they want to use to justify their desire to regulate the media.
We know that President Banda’s apology to UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has put them in an embarrassing situation and in trying to equalise that, they want to extract an apology from The Post so that they can use that to discredit us. They will not succeed to bring down The Post with lies.”
By: TC-TZG reporters
Posted: Friday, July 9, 2010 10:47 am
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe said Zimbabweans should forget about getting help from the West and cultivate relations with friendly countries as the West is only interested in plundering Zimbabwe's resources.
He urged the two factions of the Movement for Democratic Change that are in the inclusive Government not to waste their efforts on “futile initiatives” and futile relationships with the West.
Addressing the 81st Ordinary Session of Zanu-PF's Central Committee at the party's headquarters in Harare yesterday, President Mugabe said maximum exploitation of natural resources would turn the economy around and the nation should not wait for Western benevolence.
“Zimbabwe shall recover by her wits and resources. Zimbabwe will not be saved by any country or organisation, least of all Western.
"Let our partners in the inclusive Government get that, so we do not waste our efforts on useless initiatives,” he said.
President Mugabe added: “We have friends in other parts of the world, friends from history and common outlooks. Let us work with those for progress and let us turn our back on those who do not want to work with us.
"Let the party (Zanu-PF) take a leading role in ensuring our policy of 'Looking East' gets vindicated.”
President Mugabe said the Central Committee was meeting as Western countries redoubled their efforts to control Zimbabwe’s affairs.
“The latest such gross and unashamed meddling comes in the wake of the recent meeting of the Kimberly Process Certification Process on diamonds held in Tel Aviv in Israel,” he said.
President Mugabe said the KP was a voluntary organisation whose focus was on regularising movement and sale of diamonds to keep them away from being used in destabilising legitimate Governments by armed rebels.
He added that the KP is not a human rights organisation.
“It is not a human rights organisation. Yet this is what the United States of America, Canada and Australia would want it to be — not for all times, not in all cases — but only and simply for Zimbabwe…
"We have been put in the dock for having diamonds in our territory and for wanting to exploit them with partners from other countries other than from these (Canada, United States and Australia) and other Western nations.
“We have been put in the dock because it is assertive Zimbabwe that has found diamonds and is thus likely to be even more assertive in outlook. We have been put in the dock because these same countries have imposed illegal sanctions on us for our total ruin.
“Diamonds would thus blunt their sanctions enabling us to offset and checkmate their disastrous effects on our people and on our economy.”
President Mugabe reiterated that diamonds from the Chiadzwa fields in Manicaland Province would be sold soon, with or without KP approval or their "NGO pawns".
“We are a sovereign country. We have no conflict here, no rebels here. We are a lawful Government representing the people of Zimbabwe who own these resources.
"Our diamonds are not only bright and clean, they are greatly demanded worldwide. We have the technology to mine them and will soon have the technology to polish them. Let no one doubt our resolve to sell them, with or without the KPCS, with or without the blessings of the USA, Canada, Australia or their NGO pawns.
We do not need the blessings of anyone, least of all nations with chequered origins and equally chequered profiles in spilling so much blood to lay their filthy hands on resources of other nations,” President Mugabe said.
Cabinet last month approved the immediate sale of diamonds from Chiadzwa following Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu's presentation on his visit to Tel Aviv.
KP monitor for Zimbabwe Mr Abbey Chikane of South Africa presented a non-adverse report to the Tel Aviv meeting.
President Mugabe told other countries they had no say in Zimbabwe’s constitution-making process and urged Zanu-PF to defend the process and safeguard the gains of the liberation struggle.
“We have positions to defend, principles and policies and on these there shall be no compromise. Zanu-PF has to defend the constitution-making process to ensure it has integrity and is not taken advantage of by hostile foreigners who wish to hang and enslave us by this process and by a deformed outcome.
“We are working towards a Zimbabwean constitution, not a constitution for Zimbabwe by non-Zimbabweans, a constitution which foreigners want or wish for us. Foreigners must back off. We had nothing to do with their constitutions, in fact we were not even there as a free people when they wrote them.
“The draft constitution must come from the hands of Zimbabweans, not from those countries who think the fact of making financial inputs to our processes entitles them to interfere with the outcome. We cannot swop our birthright for the donor's dollar,” President Mugabe said.
He said foreigners drafted nasty constitutions for Zimbabwe in the past and the country “bears everlasting scars from harsh laws written for us”.
President Mugabe said Zimbabweans looked to Zanu-PF to be the “vanguard in that new war”.
“Once the process is defended and secure, we must ensure the product carries and consolidates our ideals as a nationalist revolutionary party. We fought for the Independence and untrammeled sovereignty of this nation. That coveted status must remain solid, secure and unshaken for all time.
"Zimbabwe ndeyeropa, yakauya nehondo. Haichadzokera kuvarungu zvakare (Zimbabwe was won through the shedding of our blood and will never be controlled by whites again,” President Mugabe thundered to sustained applause.
He said the process of capturing and collating views during the outreach should be honest, broad, accurate and completely free from personal prejudice.
The President and Zanu-PF First Secretary hailed the spirit of peace and mutual tolerance being exhibited during the outreach.
He, however, noted that the process had faced some challenges.
“From the reports we are getting, it is clear this crucial exercise has been made more challenging by the sheer sparseness of resources. The whole process is severely underresourced, creating situations that are near impossible for all those involved.
“We pay tribute to our teams for persevering against such scant support,” President Mugabe said.
By: Nancy Pasipanodya
Posted: Friday, July 9, 2010 5:21 am
BLACK farmers who recently attended a consultative meeting to give their views to the Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) leading Zimbabwe’s constitutional reforms, have demanded that Zimbabwe should be led by a president with war credentials.
The farmers met at Igava farm, about 50km south of Marondera town in Mashonaland East province. About 200 farmers – one of the largest numbers given the low turnout at some of the constitutional outreach meetings – attended the meeting.
The farmers said having someone like MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai as president was tantamount to mortgaging Zimbabwe's land and mineral resources to the west. The farmers accussed Mr Tsvangirai of trying to reverse the gains of the liberation struggle.
“In Zimbabwe, we don't want a prime minister. What is his role? We want a president who has war credentials and understands our struggle,” said one farmer in vernacular Shona language.
"We do not want anyone to think that they can lead this country if they did not fight of it,” he said.
Another man, only addressed as Soko, expressed similar sentiments: “I fought hard for this country, and if someone who has links with the British we were fighting during the war becomes president, I would be insulted.
“Such people should only remain in opposition. We want a president with a track record and known history.”
Meanwhile, Mbare-based Chimurenga choir Nyatsoterera presented President Mugabe with a CD and DVD of their works.
The 10-track album is part of the Zanu-PF commissariat’s drive to record Zimbabwe’s jit music.
Producer Amos Mahendere said: "I am working with Cde Webster Shamu to record province and district choirs to revive Chimurenga music.
"People used to have pungwes and play pfonda and jit music. We have decided to revive that for memory’s sake as people recall the days when Zimbabwe was fighting for its Independence.
"Most of us, we are born-free Zimbabweans, but this project will help us remember how we got our Independence."
By: His Excellency President Mugabe
Posted: Friday, July 9, 2010 11:09 am
THE following is an extract of a speech made by PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE to the 81st Ordinary Session of Zanu-PF's Central Committee at the party's headquarters in Harare yesterday. Media reports on Friday spun the president's speech saying that he said Zimbabwe does not need Western aid. Zanu-PF dismissed this assertion saying that conditional aid is what the president dismissed, not aid per se.
"The maximum exploitation of Zimbabwe's natural resources will turn the Zimbabwean economy around and, as a nation, we should not wait for Western benevolence.
Zimbabwe shall recover by her wits and resources. Zimbabwe will not be saved by any country or organisation, least of all Western.
Let our partners in the inclusive Government get that, so we do not waste our efforts on useless initiatives.
It is our mineral resources — all these helped by the ingenuity and entrepreneurship of our people which will turn this economy and country around!
We have friends in other parts of the world, friends from history and common outlooks. Let us work with those for progress and let us turn our back on those who do not want to work with us.
Let the Zanu-PF take a leading role in ensuring our policy of 'Looking East' gets vindicated.
We meet today as Western countries are redoubling their efforts to control Zimbabwe’s affairs.
The latest such gross and unashamed meddling comes in the wake of the recent meeting of the Kimberly Process Certification Process on diamonds held in Tel Aviv in Israel. This is a voluntary organisation whose focus is on regularising movement and sale of diamonds to keep them away from being used in destabilising legitimate Governments by armed rebels.
It is not a human rights organisation. Yet this is what the United States of America, Canada and Australia would want it to be — not for all times, not in all cases — but only and simply for Zimbabwe.
We have been put in the dock for having diamonds in our territory and for wanting to exploit them with partners from other countries other than from these (Canada, United States and Australia) and other Western nations.
We have been put in the dock because it is assertive Zimbabwe that has found diamonds and is thus likely to be even more assertive in outlook.
We have been put in the dock because these same countries have imposed illegal sanctions on us for our total ruin.
Diamonds would thus blunt their sanctions enabling us to offset and checkmate their disastrous effects on our people and on our economy.
We are a sovereign country. We have no conflict here, no rebels here. We are a lawful Government representing the people of Zimbabwe who own these resources.
Our diamonds are not only bright and clean, they are greatly demanded worldwide. We have the technology to mine them and will soon have the technology to polish them. Let no one doubt our resolve to sell them, with or without the KPCS, with or without the blessings of the USA, Canada, Australia or their NGO pawns.
We do not need the blessings of anyone, least of all nations with chequered origins and equally chequered profiles in spilling so much blood to lay their filthy hands on resources of other nations.
We have positions to defend, principles and policies and on these there shall be no compromise.
We are working towards a Zimbabwean constitution, not a constitution for Zimbabwe by non-Zimbabweans, a constitution which foreigners want or wish for us. Foreigners must back off. We had nothing to do with their constitutions, in fact we were not even there as a free people when they wrote them.
Zanu-PF has to defend the constitution-making process to ensure it has integrity and is not taken advantage of by hostile foreigners who wish to hang and enslave us by this process and by a deformed outcome.
The draft constitution must come from the hands of Zimbabweans, not from those countries who think the fact of making financial inputs to our processes entitles them to interfere with the outcome. We cannot swop our birthright for the donor's dollar.
Foreigners drafted nasty constitutions for Zimbabwe in the past and the country bears everlasting scars from harsh laws written for us.
Once the process is defended and secure, we must ensure the product carries and consolidates our ideals as a nationalist revolutionary party. We fought for the Independence and untrammeled sovereignty of this nation. That coveted status must remain solid, secure and unshaken for all time.
Zimbabwe ndeyeropa, yakauya nehondo. Haichadzokera kuvarungu zvakare (Zimbabwe was won through the shedding of our blood and will never be controlled by whites again.
The process of capturing and collating views during the outreach should be honest, broad, accurate and completely free from personal prejudice.
We commend the spirit of peace and mutual tolerance being exhibited during the outreach, although the process has faced some challenges.
From the reports we are getting, it is clear this crucial exercise has been made more challenging by the sheer sparseness of resources. The whole process is severely underresourced, creating situations that are near impossible for all those involved.
We pay tribute to our teams for persevering against such scant support."
(Part of the Speech delivered to the Zanu-PF Central Committe, the highest decision-making body outside Congress on Thursday 8 July 2010)
Posted: Friday, July 9, 2010 4:42 am
RECENTLY axed Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) minister Fidelis Mhashu is not taking his sacking lightly and is mulling joining the Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn party led by former finance minister Dr Simba Makoni.
Mr Mhashu was fired from cabinet by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is a move that is meant to cull all his opponents in the embattled former opposition party. He was the Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities.
Sources say Mr Mhashu -- who is now a mere executive member for the Chitungwiza constituency -- has held at least two meetings with Dr Makoni.
Other MDC-T House of Assembly Members for Chitungwiza South and St Mary’s, Mr Misheck Shoko and Marvellous Khumalo respectively, are also said to have met Dr Makoni at Imire Game Park near Marondera.
They are said to have held "extensive consultations" aimed at joining the party. The three key MDC-T members will join Dr Makoni's party if they are not elected in this weekend's provincial elections.
MDC-T is scheduled to hold elections for a new executive in Chitungwiza this weekend.
Dr Makoni denied that such meetings ever took place.
Ten other members of the Chitungwiza provincial executive who were suspended earlier this year by the prime minister are also said to be considering their options before this weekend's elections which might see them booted out for good.
Meanwhile, a group of MDC-T supporters who want Mr Tsvangirai retained as party leader after his mandatory two terms expire next year, are alleged to have started a vilification campaign against Mr Mhashu.
Mr Mhashu is a close ally of MDC-T Secretary General and Finance Minister Tendai Biti, who is widely tipped as likely to take over from Mr Tsvangirai as party leader.
The MDC-T party is expected to hold its Congress next year and party leader Mr Tsvangirai is expected to step down after his two terms.
MDC-T said the vilification campaign had been sanctioned by senior MDC-T leaders who wanted to "put the final nail on Mhashu’s coffin and ensure he becomes totally irrelevant".
The flyers bore the MDC-T logo and accused Mr Mhashu of gross corruption and neglecting his constituency since he was elected into office as House of Assembly Member for Chitungwiza North 10 years ago.
They also carried allegations of a criminal nature, claiming the ex-minister was an incestuous rapist.
By: Ralph Mutema
Posted: Friday, July 9, 2010 4:58 am
THE Zanu-PF politburo has dismissed allegations of violence in the country reported by foreign non-governmental organisations and foreign-based Zimbabwean pirate radio stations and online news agencies.
The politburo which met on Wednesday at the Zanu-PF headquarters in Harare urged Zimbabweans to disregard the "malicious and false allegations of violence being made against Zanu-PF" and take part in the constitution-making process.
Zanu-PF national spokesperson Rugare Gumbo issued a statement after the meeting.
Gumbo said: "These foreign-sponsored organisations include the Zimbabwe Peace Project, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network and Cadec, who have been running their own parallel (constitutional) outreach programmes and claiming to be more representative of the people of Zimbabwe than the body officially mandated to conduct outreach programmes.
"These foreign-sponsored bodies, indeed, act as if they are more representative and more legitimate than our elected Parliamentarians, our chiefs and their representatives."
He identified the Zimbabwe Solidarity Fund, which is run by the American Democratic Party’s National Democratic Institute as one such foreign sponsor of the subversive agenda.
Gumbo also urged Diasporans to shun pirate radio stations and website staffed with journalists employed by western institutions that seek regime change in Zimbabwe.
He also urged Diasporans, the business community, professionals, students, youths and women to participate in the constitution-making process.
"Nothing should be allowed to confuse or distort this process by importing agendas from the same foreign governments who have imposed illegal economic sanctions on the people of Zimbabwe," he said.
The Politburo received reports on the Global Political Agreement, the constitution-making process and the issue of diamonds from Chiadzwa.
"Cde (Patrick) Chinamasa briefed us on the GPA indicating that the negotiators had finished their report and handed it to the principals. The report has since been forwarded to (South African) President Jacob Zuma.
"Cde Mangwana told the Politburo that the outreach programme was affected by accommodation challenges, but these have since been sorted out.
"The Politburo also welcomed a report by Cde Obert Mpofu on the Kimberly Process meeting in Tel Aviv and called for Zimbabwe’s immediate certification so that we can sell our diamonds," he said.
Gumbo said the Zanu-PF Central Committee and National Consultative Assembly would discuss reports from various Politburo departments.
Posted: Thursday, July 1, 2010 5:33 pm
GLOBAL miner Rio Tinto said on Thursday it had not suffered significant loss from Zimbabwe's ban on diamond exports and the interruptions to shipments from the country were limited.
Zimbabwe banned all diamond exports on May 28 until stones from Marange fields were certified by industry regulators. The ban has caused limited interruption to shipments, a Rio spokesman told Reuters. There has been an impact (on finances) but it is not significant for Rio Tinto, he said.
Rio Tinto is in discussions with the inclusive Government of Zimbabwe and is hopeful of resolving the ban shortly.
Rio Tinto owns 78 percent in Murowa mine, which produced 124,000 carats last year.
Article continues below
Murowa, together with privately owned River Ranch, are both certified to export diamonds by the Kimberley Process (KP) certification scheme, an international initiative to ensure trade in diamonds does not fund violence.
Zimbabwe is in a dispute with the KP over the Marange diamonds but this week said it would soon start exports of the stones after regulators from 70 countries failed last week to agree to suspend trade in diamonds from Zimbabwe.
Early this year, Zimbabwe's government published rules that force foreign-owned companies to sell at least 51 percent shares to indigenous people.
Indigenisation minister, Saviour Kasukuwere recently said the rules had been revised to encourage investment, but the indigenisation quota is yet to be set.
We are encouraged by the approach of the new government but seek greater clarity around the investment environment before investment decisions can be considered, the Rio Tinto spokesman said.
by Lindie Whiz
TWO war veterans have been arrested in Matabeleland North province amid rising tensions over the allocation of land to people – often politically-connected -- from outside the region. Andrew Ndlovu and Stanley Ncube were due before Bulawayo magistrates late Thursday to face charges of threatening newly-resettled farmers in Bubi and Umguza districts.
The pair’s arrest by Inyati police came a day after Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube – also the chairman of a monitoring body of Zimbabwe’s power sharing government – warned that tensions over the land allocations were threatening to “degenerate to the levels of the violence that we saw in the streets of Kenya where neighbours were killing each other with machetes”.
Meanwhile the opposition ZAPU said Thursday that “through Ncube and Ndlovu’s efforts, and those of fellow community members in the two districts, the ‘new farmers’ were in most cases unable to occupy the farms.”
“The two were actively involved in the on-going opposition of resettling people from outside Matabeleland in the Umguza and Bubi districts, at the expense of locals,” ZAPU said in a statement, claiming the two men as its members.
ZAPU said politically-connected individuals from other provinces were “using the police to drive away white farmers” in Matabeleland North and South, then moving in to occupy the farms.
Ncube called for an urgent review into the work of government-appointed land committees which he said had usurped the powers of chiefs – leaving local communities extremely aggravated.
The minister said: “The land issue is an important issue and if you look at the GPA [Global Political Agreement], you will realise that it takes up quite a chunk of the document. It’s an emotional subject.
“The Boers took our land, making us leave the graves of our ancestors, and now that the land has been re-claimed under the land reform programme, we should be resettled back on our original land.
"How is it that other people are being taken from elsewhere to come and be resettled here?
"We should sort that out. If the issue is not resolved, it will degenerate to the levels of the violence that we saw in the streets of Kenya where neighbours were killing each other with machetes. We should not allow that issue to spiral out of control.”
A case being cited is that of Chief Jahana of Gokwe, who is struggling to return to Debshan in Insiza with his people where they were removed by colonial settlers in 1965.
The President of the Chiefs’ Council Senator Fortune Charumbira said: “Land belongs to the Chiefs. That power of the chiefs was taken away from us in a criminal manner during the colonial era. Now that we have had land reform, we should have full power over the land.
“Land committees were put in place because it was an issue of crisis management. They should now be disbanded. If there are commercial farms, you have to beg for an offer letter from a district administrator or provincial administrator.
“We are in those committees as beggars with no power of influence. Those committees are not chaired by traditional leaders.
"We should be shown respect as traditional leaders by being given back our powers to allocate land."
Zim needs debt relief: IMF
ZIMBABWE’S heavy debt burden can only be tackled through international debt forgiveness, according to the International Monetary Fund.
An IMF staff paper published on Wednesday, detailing discussions with the Zimbabwean authorities in March, said neither the right economic policies nor the country's mineral wealth could immediately resolve the country's large debt problem.
"Zimbabwe is in debt distress, and the debt overhang cannot be resolved without debt relief even if policies are improved and mineral extraction is increased," the paper said.
IMF staff estimated that Zimbabwe's foreign debt is projected to reach 151 percent of gross domestic product by 2015, with 104 percent of GDP in arrears.
If current economic policies continue and donor financing is largely confined to humanitarian assistance in the medium term, the country's large debt stock would remain unresolved and debt would continue to pile up, the paper said.
But to win debt relief Zimbabwe would need to improve ties with the international community and qualify for a global scheme for heavily indebted poor countries that would lead to debt cancellation after a two-year economic program.
"The government needs to reach consensus on a resolution strategy for external debt arrears and to improve relations with the international community, whose support would be vital for obtaining debt relief and rebuilding the Zimbabwe economy," the IMF paper said.
Despite the formation of a unity government last year, Zimbabwe has struggled to win donor support, while private capital inflows have fallen over concerns about a government plan to force foreign-owned firms to sell majority shares to locals.
The IMF has slowly reengaged with Zimbabwe to try and help fix the economy but refuses to lend money to the country until the government shows it is willing to implement policies that stabilize the economy.
In March the IMF restored Zimbabwe's voting rights, which were suspended in 2003 over policy difference with President Robert Mugabe's previous ZANU-PF government.
Under IMF rules, the Fund cannot lend to a country that owes it money. Zimbabwe is $140 million in arrears to the IMF and the country's total external debt is about $6 billion.
The IMF paper noted that while there has been some progress in Zimbabwe's economy, there are still a significant number of problems.
These include recent large wage increases, a poor financial position of state-owned enterprises, rising risks in the banking system, weak governance at the central bank, growing weaknesses in the business climate, and a precarious external position threaten Zimbabwe's economic recovery.
Staff said Zimbabwe had implemented an "unsustainable" wage-driven fiscal expansion financed with IMF special drawing rights, or SDRs.
The IMF last year approved a special allocation of SDR's, its internal unit of account, worth some $250 billion to all of its member countries as part of a plan to boost global liquidity in the wake of the global financial crisis.
IMF staff said they had advised Zimbabwe not to use the SDR-related funds but the government had converted an equivalent of $150 million of the $410 million that went to Zimbabwe for budget financing.
Thursday, July 08, 2010
By Chibaula Silwamba and Patson Chilemba
Thu 08 July 2010, 16:50 CAT
VISTING Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva yesterday queried the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank for remaining silent on the economic crisis in Europe and US when in fact they had been lecturing developing countries on similar problems.
And President Lula said it is unimaginable that developing countries can still continue to be excluded from global decision making processes.
Meanwhile, Brazil and Zambia has signed eight bilateral agreements and two memoranda of understanding (MoUs) in different sectors that include agriculture, diplomatic relations, biofuels production, fighting hunger, health and others.
Speaking at State House in Lusaka, President Lula said the IMF and the World Bank did not know how to solve the economic crisis.
“We are facing a crisis in Europe, what is the size of this crisis? We do not yet know the amount of rotten money that exists in those banks in European countries. And we do not have a surveillance and oversight system that could inform us about the size of the hole in the Germany bank or in French banks for that matter,” President Lula said.
“Now, when the crisis, was in a country like Zambia or we have a crisis in a country like Brazil, then the IMF representative and the World Bank representative will teach us what we should do, what we should do on our economy. Now that the crisis happens in the rich countries, the IMF is in a deep silence and the World Bank is now mute, it’s not even saying anything. They don’t know how to address the problem.”
He said developing countries had the recipe of how to tackle their crisis instead of depending on developed countries to solve them.
President Lula said the global economic crisis was a blessing in disguise for the developing world.
“I believe that there is nothing that happens by coincidence. I believe that this global economic crisis possibly is good so that the countries from the south should act in a different way as compared to how they acted in the 20th Century,” President Lula said.
“During the 20th Century we were under the expectation that the rich countries will solve our problems and now this crisis applies to us to discover our own solutions, that we have to solve our own problems. We have to diversify our trade relations, our political ties, our social ties, our cultural relations. I am personally convinced that Brazil can do something for Zambians and Africans, we can do much more than we have done up to now.”
He highlighted the achievements that Brazil had achieved over the years, which he said Zambia and other developing countries could learn from.
“Thanks to God and I believe that God sometimes writes in proper way but through different lines. In emerging economies and in developing countries are much more sound than the economies of the so-called rich countries,” President Lula said.
“For example, we had a debt of US $30 billion to the IMF but when I took office, we repaid the IMF and we don’t owe anymore to the IMF. On the contrary, the IMF owes us US $14 billion. We have US $250 billion in our currency reserves.”
He said Brazil’s economy was growing at an impressive rate.
“The economy will grow above five per cent per year, some even say that it will go to seven per cent or even above seven per cent but I will be happy with five per cent growth rate. We have helped the crisis in Greece; actually we were the very first country to put money in the IMF to help the poor countries because the rich countries were promising to put the money in the IMF but they haven’t given money to the IMF yet,” he said.
President Lula said the ten agreements that Zambia and Brazil signed would be beneficial to both countries.
“It will also allow us that we could work with much better perspective in terms of investment from Brazilian companies, mining industries for example in Zambia, to produce biofuels,” he said.
“We will sign the agreement in the health area and agriculture area, which is also very important; we will continue to work together at the G20. We can try to reorganize the Doha Round and we will continue to work together to democratise the UN Security Council.”
He advised President Banda that welfare programmes must benefit the poor and not the rich, who are not the intended beneficiaries.
“In Brazil, the money has been reaching the hands of the poor. I also want to say Mr President that what we should share with Zambia is that in your trip to Brazil, if you can bring together in your delegation all the Cabinet ministers that have something to do with the social policy or with income transfer policy or programmes, we have very successful story in terms of social policies in the world,” President Lula said.
“Twenty one million Brazilians were lifted from poverty lives. So, today we have more than 62 per cent of the Brazilian population in what is now considered as middle class.”
He said the poor people in Brazil had risen through the social ladder and now had the purchasing power.
“They are the ones going shopping, buying refrigerators, buying clothes, buying more tools, buying hygiene materials, they the new consumers. Let me give you a figure Mr President that I think tells our success story that the programme that we have developed, we call it electricity for all. We have 10 million people that live in remote areas that had no access to electricity, and we decided to take electricity to all of them. We went on the ground and we discovered that it was not two million families but three million families. So now we have taken electricity to 2.4 million households,” President Lula said.are
“Electricity reaches those households. So people can buy TV sets, sound systems. But what I believe is truly important is to allow Brazilians to have electricity so that they can get some cold beer too.”
He said most of the programmes that Brazil was developing were not extraordinary.
“In Brazil we have a special programme serving food at school canteens, we have about 34 million children that everyday have lunch in their schools. That is why I want you to come to Brazil; to get to see on the ground, not just to believe in what the President says, you have to look for yourself, or you don’t have to believe what one of my Cabinet ministers but you have to see yourself with your own eyes and speak to people on the ground, to see the extraordinary results of our policies that we are developing in Brazil,” President Lula said.
“I believed that Zambia and Brazil are still far away to develop their cultural and trade policy that actually matches the greatness of the two countries. I believe that this collaboration process is just the beginning and I believe that we do have the ability to do much more.”
And President Banda said Zambia was happy that Brazil as a member of the G20 had continued to provide a voice of reason at international gathering in championing the cause of the developing world.
Later President Banda conferred the first division of the Order of the Eagle of Zambia on President Lula for championing the cause of the developing world.
The award is reserved for Zambian and foreign heads of state and former heads of state.
And the eight bilateral agreements signed between Brazil and Zambia include the performance of remunerated activities by dependants of diplomatic, consular, administrative, military and technical staff, cooperations in the field of education, Brazil-Zambia vocational training centre, training and capacity building for health professionals of the University Teaching Hospital, strengthening the national strategic plan for HIV/AIDS, cultural cooperation, visa exemptions for holders of diplomatic, official and service passports, and production of biofuels.
The MoUs signed are in the field of food and nutritional security and humanitarian assistance, and technical cooperation in the field of sports.
The agreements and MoUs were signed by Brazilian international relations minister Celso Amorin and Zambia’s foreign affairs minister Kabinga Pande at State House.
By The Post
Thu 08 July 2010, 08:40 CAT
Rupiah Banda is not in any serious way apologising to our fellow citizens of Indian origin and other people of a similar race living in our country.
And his apology to Hakainde Hichilema for the remarks he made about his wife is also not sincere because this is not the first time Rupiah has said this. This was merely a repetition of the same statement he has been making about Hakainde and others, including the editor of this newspaper. Rupiah has never apologised to Hakainde or us for such statements.
Anyone who cares to carefully read the statement issued from State House purporting to apologise to Hakainde will see that Hakainde and his family are not the target of the so-called apology. Rupiah does not possess the decency to apologise to Hakainde or anybody sincerely. His pretence has been caught out and now Rupiah is trying to cover up.
It is a well-known fact that Rupiah has courted many of our compatriots of Indian origin looking for all sorts of support, financial and otherwise, from them. And in most cases, he got it and still gets it. Although Rupiah has been pretending to be friendly to Zambians of Indian extraction, he has been hiding his racist feelings against them. But now in his attempt to insult Hakainde, he let slip a derogatory remark against innocent citizens simply for having Indian heritage. The word mwenye which Rupiah used cannot be justified in any way because it is inherently derogatory.
So his attempt to give it a different meaning, a cleaner appearance will not in any way make it acceptable. The use of the word mwenye will always remain derogatory. And it has no other meaning or purpose other than that. And in his attempt to insult Hakainde, there was no way the word mwenye could have acquired a much nobler meaning than that inherent in it.
In a way, it would have been better if Rupiah had just kept quiet than to pretend to apologise. We say this because his attempt at an apology has clearly demonstrated what kind of person he is, the kind of things that he cares about.
Rupiah was not apologising because he caused offence to Hakainde or to our brothers and sisters of Indian heritage, the only reason he was attempting to apologise was that he realised he was threatening his own cash flow. How does he go to ask for money from people that he insults? This is Rupiah’s problem – nothing to do with whether he respects those people or not. This is why Rupiah could not keep quiet. But this is very shameful.
A President should behave better than this. No one can doubt that if Rupiah had not mentioned the word mwenye, he would not have apologised to Hakainde. Again, we say this because Rupiah has said so many nasty things about Hakainde for which he has never apologised. We have not forgotten that at one of the early press conferences of his presidency, Rupiah made derogatory remarks against the Tonga people.
These matters are on record, but he has never apologised. He has gone on to call Hakainde all sorts of names, including insulting his father, questioning his parentage. Rupiah has never apologised for any of these things. This apology has nothing to do with principle, with the sense of contrition, remorse or regret. It has everything to do with the money that Rupiah has been getting and wants to continue getting from these brothers and sisters of ours that he is today calling mwenyes. This is not a recipe for governing well.
This is not the One Zambia, One Nation, Kenneth Kaunda, the founder of this great nation of ours preached. None of such words ever came or could ever come from the mouth of that great follower of Mahatma Ghandi. Such words can only come from a dirty mouth of a dirty racist that is accustomed to dirty talk. This preoccupation with money is going to land Rupiah in a lot of problems.
What is annoying and embarrassing is Rupiah’s insults are coming at a time when our whole region of southern Africa is marking the 150th anniversary of the coming to this part of our world of the ancestors of our Indian brothers and sisters. It is 150 years now since they were extracted from India and brought to South Africa, to the southern region of our continent.
We mark these 150 years with honour and pride because of the great contributions these brothers and sisters have made to the liberation and development of the region – the contribution that in earnest started with Mahatma Ghandi himself in South Africa. And today in our own country, at another phase of our development, none of our political organisations – from UNIP to MMD, PF and UPND, among others – can deny the contribution of these sons and daughters of our people.
They have made great contribution to the many challenges and problems facing our country and our people not only in politics but also in agriculture, mining, trade and commerce in general. With all this, someone, for cheap political propaganda and lack of culture, can insult our people, a great and important part of our people and issue a fake and hollow apology and expect us to take it! Rupiah’s insult on our fellow citizens of Indian heritage is an insult to all of us without exception. It is an insult to KK and everything that he stood for.
In other civilised countries, in nations with principles and standards, Rupiah would have no choice today but to resign over his racist and insulting remark. But we are not in any way insinuating that this can or should happen because this society is not governed on the basis of such principles and standards – it is a society where the vain, the greedy and morons reign supreme.
What Rupiah has done should be a lesson to all of our people. We should never harbour racial or any other unjustifiable prejudices, even secretly. We say this because what we think is what we are.
This is the man who started his presidential campaign on a tribalistic basis. Launching his presidential campaign in Eastern Province in 2008, Rupiah told the people not to entertain anyone coming from another region of our country to campaign there. He directed them to tell whoever comes there to go back where they came from. We questioned vigorously Rupiah’s tribal and regionalistic approach to politics. And on account of this, we disqualified him from the top leadership of our country. We might have been seen to be malicious and totally misunderstood, but today we are yet again vindicated.
No one should make any mistake about this issue. This was not a simple oversight or a mistake on Rupiah’s part. This was deliberate and truly represented Rupiah’s innermost thinking and feelings. Rupiah’s politics is a danger to our young democracy. All well-meaning Zambians should fight this spirit of segregation that could lead to a division of our country on all sorts of ethnic, racial and other bases. Rupiah’s spirit is not the One Zambia, One Nation spirit. Rupiah represents the spirit of power at any cost. This is a dangerous spirit.
This is why his government has difficulties taking any principled stance on issues that matter to our people. It is not by chance that Rupiah’s government has taken the wrong position on political violence. It is also not coincidental that Rupiah and his government have taken the wrong position on corruption and its ravages on our economy. Rupiah’s presidency is an unprincipled one whose good decisions, if any, are not born out of principled positions but are incidental to their selfish schemes and plans. This is the kind of presidency our country is saddled with today.
At the beginning, Rupiah tried to pretend that he is was cultured man with distinguished manners. But his history told us that this was not true. When we raised the alarm, many of our people did not understand what we were trying to say. But it has not taken very long for Rupiah’s true colours to come out. He seems to be well-trained in everything that is wrong. The lesson remains that if you train yourself in wrong things, it doesn’t matter how hard you try to hide them, one day they will come out. This is what Rupiah’s mwenye remark has demonstrated.
But this issue of mwenye, this open and naked racism from a head of state and government is not a small thing. We have been warned about the consequences of this by many outstanding statesmen and leaders of our continent, including Nelson Mandela, Kenneth Kaunda and Haile Selasie. We remember that famous address of Haile Selasie to the Organisation of African Unity which Bob Marley popularised in a reggae rhythm:
“Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned…until there is no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation, until the colour of a man’s skin is of no significance than the colour of his eyes…until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race…and until that day, the dream of lasting peace, rule of international morality will remain nothing but a fleeting illusion to be pursued, but never attained…”
We would add that until we stop having political leaders in our country like Rupiah who approach everything on the basis of tribe, race and money, our country will never make progress and we will be moving backwards in very long strides. For these reasons, let’s denounce tribalism and tribalists, racism and racists and give them no chance of dominating the affairs of our country because they will lead us to another Armageddon.
By Chibaula Silwamba and George Chellah
Thu 08 July 2010, 08:40 CAT
UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema yesterday questioned the genuineness of President Rupiah Banda’s apology. And Hichilema challenged President Banda to reflect, be remorseful and extend his apology to many other Zambians and donors whom he has verbally abused and ridiculed.
Responding to President Banda’s apology following the Head of State’s questions about his wife Mutinta and whether she is a mwenye Indian last Friday, Hichilema expressed misgivings over President Banda’s apology.
“We have taken note of his apology which was communicated to the media and not to myself. If his apology is genuine, then we will have no problem accepting it. It is however, important to note that the President has been on this course for a long time and he has abused myself and many other Zambians including The Post, Chansa Kabwela Post news editor, Fr Frank Bwalya, the Catholic Church and the donors,” Hichilema said. “Now that he realizes that he has been on this course for a long time.
I am now hoping that he will apologise to the people he has offended and change his course of action and the manner he conducts himself. Otherwise, if he doesn’t apologise, his apology would be construed to be directed at our brothers and sisters, the Zambians of Asian origin as his statement in Ndola injured them.”
He said President Banda knew that his statement risked his financial support.
“His apology is only directed to repair the damage with our brothers and sisters, the Zambians of Asian origin from whom he has been drawing a lot of money,” Hichilema said. “Going forward, we hope that the President will help his Vice-President George Kunda and others who have been on a war path.”
Hichilema hoped this would be a turning point for President Banda in the way he dealt with other people.
“It is important that the President realises that there are things that ought to be discussed and there is no need to injure people who are innocent. On the basis that he realises that, I think we would take his apology, we would accept his apology,” Hichilema said.
“But the question is that if he does realise that certain things must be dealt with in a certain way, it is important that he draws his memory backwards to look at many Zambians that he has been abusing.
“The house arrest he put me under in Mufumbwe was unnecessary and I would expect that the President will realise that all of those many things that have not just been done to Hakainde’s wife, he needs to be remorseful.”
Hichilema said President Banda must also apologise to the donors over his unpalatable remarks against them.
“He needs to reflect on that. The donors may be quiet because they operate on the basis of diplomatic etiquette. It doesn’t mean they are happy and they accept to be ridiculed the way they were ridiculed and his Vice-President George Kunda joined in the ridicule,” Hichilema said.
“I hope it is a turning point on the President’s attitude towards other citizens, other colleagues including the international community, reflected through the donors. I do genuinely hope that he will see this issue as an issue that can draw a line from the way he conducted himself and through him encouraging his Vice-President George Kunda in abusing many citizens.”
Hichilema said though he could speak out against the verbal abuse that President Banda made on him, his wife and family, there were many citizens that could not defend themselves.
“There are many citizens that are locked up on trumped-up charges – the Chansa Kabwela situation. I am hoping that President Banda would also use this opportunity to look at other attacks and injuries he made on Zambians. I think it’s you who was attacked by people from MMD. All of those issues that the MMD has now grown itself into, projected by the likes of his namesake, William Banda – the brutality, the vigilante system,” Hichilema said.
“I am hoping that President Banda can reflect on all those things and use this incidence to bring a different approach on how he can relate with colleagues even those with different opinions from him. He has to apologise to many other Zambians and the international community he has abused and injured.”
Hichilema urged President Banda to abandon his attitude of bulling opponents.
“His exercising of muscles has really taken a turn in the last couple of months of his presidency, maybe even a couple of years now. It’s a sad situation. We don’t have to eliminate each other. We have different views,” Hichilema said.
“If you look at these documentaries that he has been running, the Chanda Chimba III documentaries, clearly shows that they are sponsored by the Head of State and the MMD.”
Hichilema called for issue-based politics instead of name-calling and victimisation of those with opposing views.
“Let us compete on the level playing field and civilised basis and I think that is what the Zambian people are looking for, not negative propaganda.
I am also glad that now people like MMD spokesperson and education minister Dora Siliya and chief government spokesperson Lt Gen Ronnie Shikapwasha, who have been arguing as to who is propagating negative language and insults, I hope they will not now accuse Hakainde or Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata,” Hichilema said.
“Dora Siliya is beginning to be a person who comes out to protect President Rupiah Banda on anything even if President Banda is wrong. Now, how is Dora Siliya going to handle this matter now that the President has apologised. What will be Dora Siliya’s position? Otherwise, for me, it is good that the President has taken this step.”
Hichilema told President Banda to advise Vice-President Kunda to be civil in his conduct.
“These are the things that he has to pay particular attention about and as an extension, must also advice George Kunda to begin to behave as a Vice-President of the Republic because at the moment he doesn’t,” Hichilema said.
“One of the major lessons is to basically say that when you are Head of State, it doesn’t mean that you have an express right to abuse other people. Those citizens may have different views from you. That is how society works and those are the checks and balances that we look for when we agreed to move from one party state dictatorship of UNIP to multiparty system.”
Hichilema said President Banda must be more careful because he occupied an office, which could be used as an example by ordinary people.
On Tuesday, in a statement issued by special assistant to the President for press and public relations Dickson Jere, President Banda regretted the statement he made in Ndola in which he made reference to Hichilema’s wife and consequently brought her name into politics.
“The President said it was not his intention to bring the name of Mrs Hichilema into politics by the comments he made at Ndola International Airport when he addressed his supporters. Further, President Banda said the context in which he inadvertently used the term mwenye did not deliver the intended message,” Jere stated.
“What the President meant was that for cultural or religious reasons, some Asians do not expose their wives in public and that is understood. However, the President has realised that he should not have made that statement, which has been misconstrued.
“Nonetheless, President Banda is sorry and has regretted his statement and has unreservedly apologised to Mr Hichilema and his family.”
Jere stated that in the same vein, President Banda had also apologised to the Asian community for his statement.
“President Banda believes in equality of all races and therefore regrets that his statement has given the impression that he was a racist or against the Indian Community in Zambia. The President has, once again, unreservedly apologised to Mr Hichilema and the Asian community for the statement,” stated Jere.
Last Friday, on arrival at Ndola International Airport on Friday, President Banda said Hichilema needed to reveal a lot about himself before he could ask Zambians to vote for him as President.
“Who has even seen a picture of Hakainde’s wife in the newspaper or even a picture of him playing with his children? Why is he hiding his wife? Nimwenye? Is she an Indian?” asked President Banda.
But on Sunday, Hichilema expressed disappointment at President Banda’s racial statement and attacks on Mutinta.
“I respect all of the races but here is a President who does not respect certain races. Beyond his promotion of a tribal agenda, he is now extending this abuse into racism. An Indian is a human being,” said Hichilema.
He said his wife was never involved in politics and wondered why President Banda wanted to drag her into petty political talk.
“The President chooses to abuse my wife,” said Hichilema. “My wife and I discussed this matter this Sunday morning and we agreed that she will not respond to the President’s invitation to go and swim in the sewer pond.”
By Mwila Chansa in Kitwe
Wed 07 July 2010, 15:20 CAT
KAFULAFUTA MMD member of parliament George Mpombo has rubbished as political nuisance the move by MMD Masaiti district leadership to write to the national executive demanding his expulsion from the party.
And MMD’s Masaiti district chairperson Mandela Nkole confirmed his executive’s decision to write to MMD’s NEC demanding Mpombo’s immediate expulsion.
Commenting on the decision in an interview, Mpombo described the move as political nuisance of no value who and should not be taken seriously and wondered why Nkole was jittery about his presence in the constituency.
He has since cautioned Nkole and all those calling for a by-election in his constituency describing any such move as political suicide for the party.
“It was Mr. Nkole and his group which used to mislead Lusaka that I should be expelled from the party because I do not go to the constituency but now that am on the ground in the constituency, they are feeling the heat and they are complaining,” he said. “Why are they complaining?”
Mpombo said he would continue being in his constituency to inspect projects and spearhead development and that he would not allow Nkole to interfere.
“He Nkole is a confused little chap,” he said.
On Nkole’s statement that he Mpombo should back a candidate in the district elections to prove his popularity, Mpombo said he had no such intentions.
He said the district elections were not a matter of concern to him and wondered why Nkole and his group held a ‘dark corner’ meeting on Saturday last week to try and canvass support if they were popular.
He maintained that he was a member of the MMD and that he would proceed with doing what he thought was right.
Mpombo advised Nkole to desist from misleading the party leadership in Lusaka adding that it would be suicidal for anyone to call for a by-election in Kafulafuta.
And Nkole disclosed that his executive has written to the party’s National Executive Committee demanding Mpombo’s expulsion.
Area MMD chairperson Mandela Nkole confirmed the action in a telephone interview.
Nkole revealed that his executive met at Shamilimo Lodge where they unanimously resolved to have Mpombo along with Mutaba ward councillor David Kalutwa expelled from the party.
Nkole said Kafulafuta and Masaiti constituency officials, district officials as well as Copperbelt Province MMD chairman Joseph Chilambwe attended the meeting.
He accused Mpombo of de-campaigning President Rupiah Banda and the party in Kafulafuta.
“Mr. Mpombo is no longer MMD because whenever he goes round the constituency, he does not speak development. He is always attacking President Banda and the party leadership,” he said.
“So as Masaiti District, we feel that Mr. Mpombo should be expelled from the party. We have already submitted a letter to NEC asking them to expel Mr. Mpombo.”
Nkole claimed that Mpombo’s attacks on the party leadership were retrogressive and that he always made alarming statements about his superiors President Banda and Vice President George Kunda.
He added that the party in Masaiti was in support of MMD youths in Lusaka who wanted to block Mpombo from going to Parliament.
Nkole further invited Mpombo to back a candidate of his choice in tomorrow’s district elections if at all he was as popular as he purported.
By Patson Chilemba
Thu 08 July 2010, 10:50 CAT
GEORGE Mpombo yesterday charged that Vernon Mwaanga and his colleagues in President Rupiah Banda’s government are living in great fear because of the fate that will befall them once they leave office.
Reacting to MMD parliamentary chief whip Mwaanga’s statement that a formal complaint may be lodged before Parliament over Mpombo’s remarks on the government’s intended removal of the offence of abuse of office from the revised ACC Act, Mpombo, who is Kafulafuta MMD member of parliament and former defence minister, said he was not threatened and would not be muzzled by Mwaanga and his colleagues from commenting on issues of national importance.
“Why should Mr Mwaanga and his colleagues develop knee-jerk? Why are they fearful? It means great fear, you know trepidation. You have become afraid of what is coming before you. Why are they developing these knee-jerk characteristics?” Mpombo asked.
Mpombo said it was, in fact, Mwaanga who was breaching parliamentary etiquette by discussing parliamentary procedures outside Parliament, and trying to paint a picture that he Mpombo was guilty of the offence Mwaanga was talking about.
“Mr Mwaanga is shooting from the hip. I have not done anything to merit that. By being Chief Whip it doesn’t mean that he is the spokesperson of Parliament.
So he should desist from giving the picture that he is the spokesperson of Parliament. Procedures are there and Parliament has got appropriate channels for airing those views,” he said.
On the statement by Copperbelt Welfare and Environmental Protection Association president Sydney Njamba that he was abusing parliamentary privileges and ethics by debating an issue outside the National Assembly, Mpombo wondered how someone who claimed to talk about the environment was now talking about parliamentary privileges.
“It is because those are qua-NGOs, that’s what they call them in politics in Britain. They use these organisations as attack dogs. They write speeches for them and go and read for them.
In fact, there is one person who is very close to the Vice-President George Kunda in that organisation. Yes, the Copperbelt one,” Mpombo disclosed.
“What is the name? Njamba is a friend to the Vice-President’s office. He is a business colleague of the Vice-President and they operate from the same building in Pelican House. He is just being used as an attack dog by the Vice-President.
How does a person who is supposed to be dealing with forest matters start talking about parliamentary etiquette?”
Mpombo said he could see through the naked attempts by Mwaanga and his colleagues.
“Obviously it’s an attempt by Mr Mwaanga and his colleagues to paint entirely a wrong picture of my intentions, also trying to muzzle me. I am not threatened in any way,” he said.
Mpombo said there was no malice in his earlier statement, saying tinkering around with present laws was an exercise in futility. He said a precedence had been set where the UNIP government enacted a law for former government leaders to collect their pensions but was thrown out by the MMD.
“So what I am saying is that, that is an action in futility. We may change the laws here. But the first thing the new government will do is to amend it and cancel it. So it is a waste of time,” said Mpombo.
Mwaanga was quoted in Wednesday’s edition of the state owned and government controlled Daily Mail as saying that a formal complaint against Mpombo would be lodged to Speaker of the National Assembly Amusaa Mwanamwambwa in a proper manner if it is established that he breached parliamentary privileges.
He said Parliament had its own internal procedures for determining breaches of parliamentary privileges by members of the House.
Mwaanga was reacting to Mpombo’s earlier statement that Vice-President Kunda was the most stupid Vice-President.
The comment followed Vice-President Kunda’s threats of arrest and imprisonment last Friday in Parliament against MMD Katuba member of parliament Jonas Shakafuswa.
Shakafuswa sought to find out from Vice-President Kunda the government’s motive for removing the offence of abuse of office from the revised Anti-Corruption Commission Act.