Saturday, July 17, 2010

(BESTOFMALAWI) Malawi cuts donor dependence to 30%

Malawi cuts donor dependence to 30%...
Thu, 03 Jun 2010 02:54:00

Malawi has for the first time in many years reduced its dependence on
donor aid for budgetary financing; with donor funding estimated to
contribute 30% to the country's of MWK 297bn national budget for the
next financial year. Donor funding has for some time accounted for over
40% of the country's national budget, making the country highly
vulnerable to external factors. (Source: The Daily Times)

Stakeholders rate budget openness highly

A survey conducted by the Malawi Economic Justice Network (MEJN) among
"well informed people" in various sectors of the country has established
that most stakeholders in the country's national budget formulation
process are happy with the transparency and level of consultation the
government undertakes when drawing up the budget. The survey, funded by
the Overseas Development Institute of the United Kingdom, was aimed at
establishing perceptions about interrelationships between government,
parliament, civil society and the media. (Source: The Daily Times)

MSB forecasts stable macroeconomic scene

The Malawi Savings Bank (MSB) wholly-owned by the Malawi Government, has
forecast a stable macroeconomic outlook with both the exchange rate and
interest rate projected to be stable in June, while inflation is
expected to continue its downward trend up to around October 2010. MSB's
forecast comes barely three days after Finance Minister Ken Kandodo
sounded optimistic as he presented the 2010/11 National Budget, in which
he said the country is poised to attain a 6.5% economic growth rate,
higher than the 4.7% projected for the region this year. (Source: The

Market Talk

Only two counters traded today, but turnover increased significantly to
MWK 25.4m on the back of 409,475 NBM shares, representing 94.7% of the
total market turnover. The other counter was Illovo (12,200). Demand for
NBM was sustained. The market remained flat.

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Congo army clashes with Ugandan rebels, 40,000 flee

Congo army clashes with Ugandan rebels, 40,000 flee
By KINSHASA (Reuters)
Fri 16 July 2010, 11:30 CAT

Democratic Republic of Congo troops are fighting Ugandan rebels in oil-rich eastern Congo in clashes that have killed two dozen combatants and forced thousands of civilians to flee, military and humanitarian sources said on Thursday.

These are the first clashes in years between Congo's FARDC army and the Allied Democratic Forces-National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF-NALU) — a rebel group trying to set up an Islamic state in Uganda.

"People are fleeing into places south of the attacks — our best estimate is 40,000 people," Ellie Kemp at Oxfam told Reuters by telephone on Thursday, adding that villages have emptied as people seek shelter in schools and churches.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said 14,000 people needed urgent, life-saving help. UN agencies have sent a rapid response team to help.

Congo's army said it attacked the rebels in Eringite village in North Kivu province late on Wednesday.

"We have killed 22 so far and captured four," General Vainquer Mayala, in charge of the operation, told Reuters. "The fight will take time," he said, adding that three FARDC soldiers had been killed.

Mayala said the army had recovered assault rifles, grenades and rocket launchers from the rebels, who may number as many as 600 according to military and intelligence sources.

Uganda, where 73 people were killed on Sunday in bomb attacks claimed by the Somali rebel group Al Shabaab, reinforced its troop presence along the Congolese border last month, citing the re-emergence of the ADF.

The fighting is taking place to the north of Lake Edward, where SOCO International and Dominion Petroleum won a long-awaited award to explore for oil last month.

Several other rebel groups, including Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army and the Rwandan Hutu rebel group FDLR, are also active in the Kivu provinces in eastern Congo.

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Protecting your constitution

Protecting your constitution
By Dr Guy Scott
Wed 07 July 2010, 04:00 CAT

Danger! Tricky stuff ahead! I collected my copy of the NCC Draft Constitution as soon as Parliament resumed sitting last week. You should have got it last week as a pullout in the Times of Zambia of Friday the 2nd July. If not, you can obtain it on the web sites listed later; if you must have it in hard copy I would recommend a trip to the first floor of Mulungushi International Conference Centre. Government Printer is way behind schedule, though it may just catch up…..

Leafing through my copy, while seated in Parliament, I was surprised to find that the fifty per cent plus clause, as per the Mungomba Commission Draft, was intact! In great detail Article 79 and Article 110 spell out the requirements and procedures to be followed in assuring that the occupant of State House gets not less than “fifty per cent plus one votes of the valid votes cast”.

This of course, might require a run-off ballot between the two highest scorers in the first round; if so, this second ballot must be held within 30 days of the first. There are even elaborate procedures for a tie-break in the extremely improbable event of the second ballot being tied - something unlikely to happen in 100,000 years.

Now this is not what I had heard and read in the media. Readers may recall that the PF, of which I am the Vice President decided two years ago not to participate in the NCC (National Constitutional Conference) on the grounds that it was mainly an allowance generating machine for recipients of State patronage, as well as a device for rigging the next general election. The fifty per cent plus one condition that the Mungomba Commission instated in their version of the draft constitution clearly provides scope for opposition parties to enter into useful agreements dangerous to the incumbent. For example, in the last Presidential by-election, the votes split along the lines of: Banda 40 per cent; Sata 38 per cent; Hakainde 20 per cent. Under a fifty per cent plus 1 provision this would have led to a run-off ballot in which it might have been the case that Hakainde threw his weight behind Sata and overturned Banda’s majority. Any election rigger worth his salt would want such a wild card removed from the field of possible scenarios.

So why was it still there?
In bafflement I turned to my neighbour on the opposition front bench. What is this unchanged article doing in here, I asked him. The neighbour in question is Honourable Peter Machungwa, who is de facto leader or whip of the PF “rebels”. These rebels, who constitute somewhat under half of the PF complement of 42 in Parliament, are individuals who ignored the PF stand on the NCC and went off to it like hungry crows to carrion. They were quickly supported by Frederick Chiluba, and the distinction between the NCC rebel grouping and the Chilubista faction in Parliament is now pretty blurred, if indeed there is a distinction at all. Of course we tried to expel the rebels from the party but were prevented from doing so when they sought and were granted protection from the courts. So I regard Machungwa as a stowaway on the PF boat, but even stowaways have their uses.

So what’s this fifty per cent plus one system doing in here?
Machungwa was as shocked as I was. This is not what we wanted! he exclaimed. “We” presumably referring to the effective alliance between the MMD constitution fixers and the merely nominal (gonga) PF members. Puzzled, I took the question to the NCC chairman, the highly partisan pro-MMD Chifumo Banda, State Counsel and FDD MP for Chasefu in Eastern Province. He obligingly explained.

The law as laid down in the NCC Act provides that an article in the Mung’omba constitution can only be changed and form part of the new draft constitution if the 500+ members of the NCC agree the change unanimously or if it receive more than two-thirds of the votes cast. The removal of fifty per cent + one articles and four others received a majority of delegate’s votes but not as much as a two-thirds majority. Under the law, the change stands “referred to a national referendum”.

So there is going to be a referendum? Well, I guess not. A referendum requires a preceding Census - to establish the baseline of those eligible to vote from which the percentage of those who vote Yes is calculated and, the last time I checked, there was no money for a Census this year. Secondly, given that well over half of all voters, and probably even more of the adult population Zambia, are against the MMD, going for a referendum might easily result in a humiliating defeat - equivalent to losing a vote of confidence.

So is the fifty per cent plus one clause going to hold up then?
Not necessarily! The reason the NCC Draft Constitution has been published (after a fashion) is to invite the general public to comment upon it. Having compiled and collated the public’s comments, which may be made in writing in hard or soft copy, and/or given verbatim at venues and times to be advertised, the NCC will then re-debate the thing and come up with another version. This will be the version that is brought to Parliament to be enacted into law. Where’s the trick? The trick is, that unless you happen to know that articles such as 79 and 110 are not actually in accord with the wishes of the majority of the NCC you are likely to think they have been actually approved, and contently move on without bothering to comment. They are toxic recommendations that look as if they are safely ensconced; but an attempt will almost certainly be made to reverse them, on the basis of an “outcry” orchestrated by the MMD. You will be silent, thinking you have won the day on that particular issue; they will give you the shock of your life by reconsidering the matter and doing what they originally wanted to do, bringing a sufficient number of waverers on side by referring to the lack of public support for 50 per cent plus one.
There are other possibilities, but this route to finagling the issue seems to me the most likely. So what then must we do?

We must submit reams of evidence, decibels of evidence, tonnes of evidence to the NCC to the effect that the 50 per cent plus one articles must stay. We must not allow ourselves to be misled by the fact that the NCC appears to have already accepted the article; they have not, they just couldn’t (yet) get the overkill vote that they needed.

So: if you want to save your constitution then you should express your view that Articles 79 and 110 must be retained in their present (Mungomba) form:
Write in hard copy to: The Secretary, National Constitutional Conference, Mulungushi Conference Centre, Lusaka.

If you have access to the Internet you can log on and give your opinion on "" and the NCC itself on

Since government web sites have a habit of crashing, it is a must to also email the Secretary of the NCC, Newton Ng’uni at his personal address:

Ask him to acknowledge receipt. If he doesn’t, you can chase him on cell 0977-613753.

You must lodge your comments by the end of this month, July.
We will try and look after you interests in Parliament but we must have your support.

I was going to conclude by applauding those members of the NCC who stood up to being browbeaten into voting to scrap Article 79. But my eye has just lit upon Article 108 which deals with qualifications of a presidential candidate. He or she must, it says, have “obtained, as a minimum academic qualification, a first degree or its equivalent from a recognised university or institution”.

This is of course an ad hominem measure aimed by the riggers at Michael Sata, who may or may not have one or more degrees from an institution “recognised” by persons unspecified. The otherwise honourable minority of the NCC who blocked five other retrogressive changes, have gone along with this one which discriminates against the vast majority of Zambians, especially those who grew up in the days when post-secondary education was very rare privilege. Presumably they believe their own education makes them supermen and superwomen, better than their fellow citizens.

I am inclined to agree with Chairman Mao’s opinion that education is as likely to make you more stupid as more clever.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

(STICKY) (GUARDIAN UK) Basil Davidson Obituary

COMMENT - A True Hero passes on.

Basil Davidson obituary

Radical journalist and historian who charted the death throes of colonialism in Africa

Basil Davidson Davidson found himself listed as a ‘prohibited immigrant’ in some white-ruled African countries. Photograph: Augusta Conchiglia

Basil Davidson, who has died aged 95, was a radical journalist in the great anti-imperial tradition, and became a distinguished historian of pre-colonial Africa. An energetic and charismatic figure, he was dropped behind enemy lines during the second world war and joined that legendary band of British soldiers who fought with the partisans in Yugoslavia and in Italy. Years later, he was the first reporter to travel with the guerrillas fighting the Portuguese in Angola and Guinea-Bissau, and brought their struggle to the world's attention.

For many years he was at the centre of the campaigns for Africa's liberation from colonialism and apartheid, endlessly addressing meetings and working on committees. Extremely tall and with a shock of white hair, and possessing the old-fashioned courtesy of the ex-army officer that he was – or even of the country gentleman that he eventually became after his move to the West Country – he was an unlikely figure at many of these often incoherent and sometimes sectarian events, usually run by student activists and exiles.

Among his friends were the historians Thomas Hodgkin, EP Thompson and Eric Hobsbawm. The Palestinian scholar Edward Said placed him in a select band of western artists and intellectuals with a sympathy and comprehension of foreign cultures that meant that they had "in effect, crossed to the other side".

Born in Bristol, Davidson left school at 16, determined to become a writer, though he first made his living by pasting advertisements for bananas on shop windows in the north of England. Moving to London, he found his way into journalism, working for the Economist and then as the diplomatic correspondent of the Star, a now defunct London evening paper.

In the late 1930s he travelled widely in Italy and in central Europe, and his familiarity with its geography and his capacity to learn its languages made him an obvious candidate, when the war broke out, for the Special Operations Executive – seeking to undermine the Nazi regime from within. His self-reliance, and lack of interest in received wisdom, soon marked him out. When sent out to Budapest, to stimulate the resistance forces in Hungary, he crossed swords with the British ambassador, who ordered him to stop storing plastic explosives in the embassy cellar.

In Cairo, he worked on plans to drop agents into Yugoslavia, first to the royalists and then, after much internal argument, to Tito's communist guerrillas. Davidson was eventually parachuted into Yugoslavia himself, to join the communists in the uncompromising territory of the Vojvodina, the plain of the Danube valley across from Hungary. There, his exceptional physical strength and bravery were tested to the utmost.

When he returned to Yugoslavia at the end of the war, his companion on the visit, Kingsley Martin, editor of the New Statesman, recorded how "as we entered the villages, people would run out crying 'Nicola, Nicola!' (Davidson's partisan name) and, after kissing him on the cheek, carry us both into their houses, where it was hard without offence to avoid getting drunk on Slivovitza."

Davidson fought in Yugoslavia from August 1943 to November 1944, then transferred to the Ligurian hills of northern Italy. He and his partisan band seized Genoa before the arrival of American or British forces.

The war years marked him for ever. He fell in love with the comradeship, the trust and the spiritual force of endurance in the service of an ideal that he found with the guerrilla fighters. The lessons he learned about the muddle of war were important for his later work in Africa. In Angola and Guinea-Bissau in the early 1970s, and in Eritrea almost 20 years later, he found those same life forces and loved them. The subjective nature of his response to this history in the making, to deep friendships made and lost, made very painful the eventual unravelling of so much that he believed in.

The political lessons were less personally rewarding, since his willingness to collaborate with communists in battle would lead him in later life to be labelled by the Foreign Office as a dangerous "fellow traveller". Davidson had never been attracted to Marxism, but his wartime experiences with Communist partisans coloured his general attitude towards the cold war struggle, first in Europe and later in Africa. If communists were prepared to fight against the Nazis, or later against South African apartheid and Portuguese colonialism, that caused him no problems.

At the end of the war, a lieutenant-colonel awarded the Military Cross and twice mentioned in dispatches, he turned again to journalism, working first for the Times as one of its correspondents in Paris and then as chief foreign leader writer in London. Out of tune at the Times, and especially unhappy with the western intervention that crushed the communist partisans in Greece, he left in 1949 to work for three years as the secretary of the Union of Democratic Control (UDC), the campaigning foreign affairs organisation set up by ED Morel during the first world war.

At the same time he joined the staff of the New Statesman, where he was soon viewed as Martin's heir apparent. It was not to be. At both the UDC and the New Statesman, he earned the undying hatred of Dorothy Woodman, Martin's companion, and was accused of being a fellow traveller – "or worse". Unable to return as a journalist to the Balkans, because of the cold war, he was taken by chance to Africa, and the continent soon caught his imagination, never to let go. Then, through an invitation from a group of South African trade unionists, he met Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and other leaders of the African National Congress, about to launch its campaign of defiance against the apartheid laws of the Nationalist government.

Injustice, western hypocrisy and a whiff of revolution were enough to get him firmly engaged: later, from 1969 to 1985, he was a vice-president of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in Britain. He produced an important series about his African journey for the New Statesman, and then wrote a book about the crimes of apartheid. Soon he was listed as a "prohibited immigrant", both in South Africa and in other parts of white-ruled Africa. That area of work was now closed for him.

So too was the New Statesman. On his return, Martin told him he was "proud to publish the articles, [but] if you have to hive off to another paper, I shall obviously understand".

When he was offered a job as an editor at Unesco, the British government vetoed his appointment. Again, it was alleged that he was a fellow traveller, and that his articles were quoted consistently in Moscow. Doubtless they were, since they were very good, and Soviet reporters had even less access to Africa than those from the west. Far from being soft on communists, Davidson was accused during the treason trial of László Rajk in Hungary in 1949 of being an agent of the British secret service, as indeed he had been.

Davidson was rescued by the Daily Herald (1954-57) and then taken up by Hugh Cudlipp at the Daily Mirror (1959-62). Encouraged to take an interest in the Mirror's publishing activities in Nigeria, Davidson made regular annual journeys through west, central and east Africa on the brink of independence from colonialism. Soon he was plunged deep into unwritten African history.

For a family man with three small sons, this was not an ideal profession. It was unfashionable, badly paid and meant long periods away from home. Davidson was no longer a journalist, yet nor was he a tenured academic. His wife, Marion Young, whom he had married during the war – she had also worked in SOE in Italy – somehow held their life together.

Books now began to pour out. The self-taught Davidson had an elegant prose style, at home with both fact and fiction. He wrote five novels and more than 30 other books. These were mainly about African history and included classic textbooks still in use in both east and west Africa. Davidson was enthused early on by the end of British colonialism and the prospects of pan-Africanism in the 1960s, and he wrote copiously and with warmth about newly independent Ghana and its leader, Kwame Nkrumah. He went to work for a year at the University of Accra in 1964.

Later he threw himself into the reporting of the African liberation wars in the Portuguese colonies, particularly in Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau. Following in the steps of the great campaigning journalist Henry Nevinson, who had reported from Angola in 1905, he made an epic journey on foot half a century later that took him into the liberated areas of eastern Angola with the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola. The MPLA became the government at independence in 1975 and the epicentre of the cold war struggle in Africa.

Over the years the elaborate, CIA-run propaganda campaigns in favour of the MPLA's main rival movement, Unita, led by Jonas Savimbi and aided by the secret invasions of the apartheid regime, frequently stumbled against Davidson's authoritative counter-version. His scorn for the mainstream journalism that swallowed the western line on Angola was legendary. On Rhodesia, too, both the media and British government's equivocation and connivance with South Africa's support for the white regime found no more scathing critic than Davidson.

In the 1980s, with most of the African liberation wars now won – except for South Africa's – Davidson turned much of his attention to more theoretical questions about the future of the nation state in Africa. He remained a passionate advocate of pan-Africanism. In 1988 he made a long and dangerous journey into Eritrea, writing a persuasive defence of the nationalists' right to independence from Ethiopia, and an equally eloquent attack on the revolutionary leader Colonel Mengistu and the regime that had overthrown Haile Selassie. Davidson was invited to Havana to discuss the long-running Ethiopia-Eritrean war after the Cubans threw their weight behind Africa's latest revolution. He was irritated by the personal enthusiasm of Fidel Castro for Mengistu, and by the large numbers of Cuban troops sent to help him in his border war against Somalia – although they did not fight in Eritrea. Davidson expressed no surprise at Cuba taking on a new African protege, but he retained his own unfavourable view of Mengistu.

The eventual turn towards repressive government taken by his friends in the Eritrean leadership, when other leaders to whom he had been close were imprisoned in Asmara, was a sad rerun of a similar political trajectory he had witnessed in post-independence Angola. He did not like talking over these matters, but he did not disguise his disappointment. Critics from the right were swift to condemn the early judgments that he had made about these revolutions that had turned sour, and even some of his friends would have welcomed more debate.

In 1984 Davidson embarked on a new career in television, making Africa, an eight-part history series for Channel 4. He was excellent on screen, bringing to an unexpectedly wide audience a vision of Africa far from the usual famine-and-corruption cliches that annoyed him so much. His alternate version of African reality reached further and deeper than he had imagined possible, though he continued to write, producing notably The Black Man's Burden: Africa and the Curse of the Nation-State (1992); the collection of essays The Search for Africa (1994); and his final book, West Africa Before the Colonial Era: A History to 1850 (1998).

He received honorary degrees and appointments from many universities, including Edinburgh, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Turin, Ghana and California, and was also decorated by Portugal and Cape Verde for his services to their history. Apart from his military medals, the British state was studiously uninterested in recognising his talents and his service.

He relished the irony of being decorated with great warmth in 2002 by the prime minister of Portugal – once an activist against the fascist regime that Davidson had done so much to bring down. And when the Cape Verde government chose to decorate him in 2003 in an Angolan embassy where the ambassador was a former prominent official of his old opponent Unita, he remarked drily on the surprising reconciliations demanded of those who live long enough.

He is survived by Marion and his sons.

• Basil Risbridger Davidson, historian and campaigner, born 9 November 1914; died 9 July 2010

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(HERALD) 90 000 hectares earmarked for tobacco

90 000 hectares earmarked for tobacco
By Elita Chikwati

Tobacco production is slowly picking up with farmers targeting over 150 million kilogrammes from 90 000 hectares during the 2010-2011 farming season, Agritex has said. The country’s tobacco production slumped to 36 million kgs in 2008 from 235 million kgs in 2000.

Next year’s projections show that Zimbabwe is slowly moving towards regaining its position as a major tobacco producer in the world.

Speaking at the Zimbabwe Farmers Union tobacco conference in Harare on Tuesday, Agritex tobacco specialist Mrs Sheila Bhaureni said the forthcoming tobacco season will see a major increase in tobacco production.

The department draws weekly farming updates during farm visits and surveys countrywide.

"According to latest weekly crop updates, the seedbed area sown to date is enough to cover 11 060 hectares as farmers prepare for the next season," she said.

She said over 50 000 farmers registered to grow tobacco on 67 054 hectares last year. Delegates attending the indaba however, expressed a number of concerns and challenges encountered in the previous season. The farmers noted the absence of financial aid for smallholder farmers who do not have collateral security.

"At the moment, the cost of production on one hectare of tobacco is US$1 500 and most smallholder farmers will have difficulties financing their crop without assistance," Mrs Bhaureni said.

Farmers called for financial schemes for smallholder farmers.

ZFU tobacco chairman Mr Douglas Mhembere however, said growers who delayed selling their crops from last season would not be able to pay back the loans.

"With the current poor prices being offered at the auction floors, few farmers will be able to finance next seasons’ operations," he said.

The poor pricing was being caused by middlemen, known as Class B buyers, who were buying the crop at low prices for resell.

Farmers complained of the contract system, which they said was not fair as companies were breaching agreements.

The growers also claimed that some contractors were not releasing adequate inputs on time yet they expected the whole crop from farmers.

They also encouraged TIMB to monitor the pricing and ensure contractors observed their obligations.

The conference was held in preparation for the 2010-2011 farming season.



Ronnie’s opinion on TIZ corruption survey is jaundiced - Lifuka

Ronnie’s opinion on TIZ corruption survey is jaundiced - Lifuka
By George Chellah
Thu 15 July 2010, 15:40 CAT

TRANSPARENCY International Zambia (TIZ) president Reuben Lifuka yesterday described Lt. Gen Ronnie Shikapwasha’s opinion of his organization as jaundiced.

Commenting on Lt. Gen Shikapwasha’s reaction to the results of the TIZ 2009 Zambia Bribe Payers Index that what they were saying was a mere perception which should not be taken seriously, Lifuka said Lt. Gen Shikapwasha’s response is not surprising.

“And if anything, it epitomizes the patently impulsive responses that have come to define the work of a Government Spokesperson in Zambia. Hon. Shikapwasha without even reading the executive summary of the report, has still found it fit to comment and make remarks that are not only off the mark but express a lack of appreciation of social surveys like the one conducted by TIZ. In our considered view, it is not helpful for us to engage the Hon. Minister on his comments and the conclusions he makes of our work because he assumes a very simplistic approach to a survey which was scientifically designed and implemented,” Lifuka said.

“We would have found it intellectually stimulating to engage the Hon Minister on substantive issues related to the methodology employed, our interpretation of the data obtained and conclusions reached, but as usual, such an opportunity is missed because the Hon. Minister sees immeasurable value in expressing his jaundiced opinion of TIZ and not the issue at hand. Needless to say, Hon. Shikapwasha in his criticism of TIZ seems to doubt the survey outcomes and dilutes their significance by stating that these are simply perception.

He stated that the survey provided an empirical measurement of bribery incidences and due care was taken to ensure the veracity of the data obtained.

He further stated that scientific parameters of conducting social surveys of such a nature were followed and the Survey Team comprised highly experienced Researchers who applied a robust system in analyzing and interpreting the data obtained and there was no cause to doubt final report.

“We stand ready to discuss our detailed methodology and data analysis for the Bribe Payers Index with Hon.Shikapwasha if this is something within his range of skills and competencies,” Lifuka said.

He reminded Lt Gen Shikapwasha that while he was negative in his reaction, the survey report contains a number of positive elements, which he could have emphasized in his statement.

“For instance, we do allude to the positive development that the majority of the respondents no longer experience bribery situations at Ministry of Lands. In our view, it shows that there is something that the Ministry of Lands is doing that should be emulated by other Government agencies. Unless if Minister Shikapwasha doubts this finding as well and he would like us to give him concrete evidence that the public no longer experience high levels of bribery in the Ministry of Lands,” Lifuka said.

“Further, we raise an important point of concern for all in the report – namely that only 5 per cent of those had encountered demands for bribes- actually went ahead and reported these cases to the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Zambia Police Service - the rest did not see value in this and ended up paying the bribes,” he added.

According to Lifuka, in 2009, Transparency International Zambia, launched the Global Corruption Perception Index (CPI) which showed that Zambia had made a marginal improvement in the score from 2.8 to 3.0 out of possible 10.

“This was attributed to a number of policy measures and political will exhibited particularly during the late Levy Mwanawasa’s administration but including some steps taken by the current administration of Rupiah Banda,” Lifuka explained.

“Government’s reaction was surprisingly positive to the CPI – probably because of the marginal improvements and His Honour- Vice President George Kunda and his Deputy Minister for Justice – Hon Todd Chilembo basked in the glory of this development and expressed satisfaction for the scientific approach of TI(Z) in assessing the progress made in fighting corruption in Zambia.”

He said Lt. Gen Shikapwasha’s comment was an interesting turn-around, which raises a question on how serious government takes its own positions on different governance matters.

“It is instructive to note that government recently concluded a State of Governance survey under the auspices of the Governance Secretariat which utilizes similar social survey methodology and approach- and it will be interesting to see how Hon. Shikapwasha will react to the results of this survey. The challenge for Government leaders is not to fight the results of surveys of this nature but to seek further understanding of the issues being raised and develop strategies to fight the scourge on all fronts,” Lifuka said.

He cautioned that it was not the eloquence of the political rhetoric that would change this sad spectacle of corruption in Zambia but pragmatic and well designed responses to this problem.

“Hon. Shikapwasha has invested too much time trying to prove that his Government is doing something about corruption but we wish to remind him that good actions should speak for themselves and the people will judge this government on that basis.

“We challenge the Hon. Minister to also take time and look at the statistics from the Anti-Corruption Commission and analyse the number of bribery cases brought against public officers particularly those from Zambia Police Service.

“The point of debate should not be about who has said Zambia Police Service is considered to be corrupt- rather the logical debate should focus on what can be done about this situation where the general public have to give out bribes to public officers.”

He said it was this state of denial – about the rampant nature of corruption in the public sector which has contributed to pedestrian approach by government in responding to key reports like the Auditor General’s report.

“Does it come as a surprise that Government doubts the authenticity of the reports of its own Auditor General? That says a lot about the absence of political will to fight corruption by this Government. We want to remind Hon. Shikapwasha that fighting corruption requires a pragmatic approach and Government needs to listen to all views – positive and negative. Government should not only seek to hear praises but criticism as well,” Lifuka said.

“Government is free to equally develop its own corruption measurement mechanism to help it understand the extent of the problem of corruption. What will not help the cause is for Government to simply talk about success without a system of monitoring the effectiveness of their actions. This report from TIZ should provide an opportunity for Government to assess its own efforts in fighting corruption. Such reports give valuable feedback which Government should not dismiss out of hand.”

On Wednesday, Lt. Gen Shikapwasha challenged TIZ to provide evidence that police officers were in the habit of getting bribes from the public.
He said what TIZ was saying was a mere perception which should not be taken seriously by the people.

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(HERALD) Biti under fire

Biti under fire
Herald Reporters

Members of Parliament yesterday grilled Finance Minister Tendai Biti for failing to consult them before coming up with his Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement while various sectors of the economy also criticised him for the same reason.

The minister was yesterday at pains to defend his fiscal policy which he presented on Wednesday before the Budget and Finance Parliamentary Portfolio Committee, which criticised him for ignoring them.

Committee chairperson and Goromonzi North House of Assembly Member Cde Paddy Zhanda (Zanu-PF) accused Minister Biti of breaching provisions of the Public Finance and Management Act.

He argued that Minister Biti failed to submit quarterly general account reports as required by the Act.

Cde Zhanda said this during debate on the Finance Bill and Appropriation Bill, which sought to give legal effect to the financial adjustments announced by Minister Biti.

The two Bills sailed through the House of Assembly yesterday after a long debate. They now await transmission to Senate, which is expected to debate them this morning.

Kambuzuma House of Assembly Member Mr Willias Madzimure (MDC-T) sat as Speaker of the House of Assembly in the absence of the incumbent, Mr Lovemore Moyo.

In his contribution, Cde Zhanda said the committee had met yesterday morning and noted with concern a growing tendency by Minister Biti not to consult the committee each time he brought fiscal policy statements to Parliament.

"My committee feels that budget statements and policy reviews are important documents that need consultations. While the minister said he had consulted stakeholders, the committee was not given an opportunity to consult those that were consulted on whether they were consulted. Even us as a committee we were not consulted because we also need to consult people — the poor, the voiceless — and not to give our personal views as MPs," said Cde Zhanda.

Minister Biti admitted he did not consult the committee, but said he could not do so since legislators were preoccupied with the constitution outreach programme.

"Because of the fact that the committee was participating in Copac, we failed to get time to consult with them. We, however, consulted virtually everybody including all labour bodies and in some instances I had personal meetings with them. We met labour movements, the University of Zimbabwe’s Faculty of Commer-ce and we also used our website where we had thousands of hits," Minister Biti said.

"I want to apologise that we failed to consult with the committee because it was at Copac, but we will improve our consultation on next year’s budget, which will start in August."

Cde Zhanda accused the minister of adopting "a business as usual approach", the same attitude he urged people to desist from.

Cde Zhanda, however, said the committee applauded measures introduced by the minister to bring economic stability but castigated him for nominally raising the tax-free threshold from US$160 to US$175, saying he should have at least raised it to US$200.

He urged the Government to desist from wanting to rely on donors when it had resou-rces and non-performing parastatals.

Cde Zhanda said failure to sell parastatals on the pretext that they were strategic did not make sense when the entities were not performing.

Muzarabani South House of Assembly Member Cde Edward Raradza (Zanu-PF) said Minister Biti should first identify priority areas and address them rather than trying to please everyone.

He urged the Government to finance farmers saying it was the responsibility of the State to ensure food security.

Cde Raradza called for a legal instrument compelling financial institutions to provide funding to farmers to stimulate growth in agriculture.

Minister Biti had argued that the 99-year leases Government had given new farmers were not bankable and could not be used as surety to secure loans from banks.

Civil servants have also expressed displeasure at Minister Biti’s fiscal policy statement, saying it was silent on improving their conditions of service.

The civil servants said most of them were disillusioned because there was no prospect of a salary increase before the end of the year.

Minister Biti ruled out a salary increase for civil servants, but increased the tax-free income threshold by US$15 from US$160 to US$175.

Traditionally civil servants salaries are

adjusted in July.

The civil servants, however, believe proceeds from the sale of the diamonds would enhance revenue generation.

Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association president Mrs Tendai Chikowore said the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement confirmed the Finance Minister’s statement in April that Government had frozen civil servants’ salaries.

"There is no light at the end of the tunnel and this is a big blow to the workers as it is equivalent to a wage freeze. They said our grievances would be addressed in the near future but it is clear there is nothing for us. We now feel insecure, dumped and down because while our concerns are not addressed, utility bills continue to skyrocket," she said.

She said the Apex Council, a body that brings together all civil servants, would meet early next week to decide on the way forward.

The lowest paid civil servant earns US$135 a month while the highest paid gets US$250.

The workers want their salaries reviewed upwards in line with the Poverty Datum Line, which currently stands at US$492.

Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe executive officer Mr Manuel Nyawo said Government should brace itself for "any eventuality".

"We usually get increments every July but this year there is totally nothing significant since January. Technically, Minister Biti was correct on the salary freeze and to the politicians out there, it’s time to fight for the selling of our minerals in order to solve our bread and butter issues," he said.

The Government insists it is broke and Minister Biti has also said he is hoping for some relief if Zimbabwe is allowed to sell its diamonds.

The tourism and hospitality industry also reacted angrily to Minister Biti’s decision to withdraw suspension on duty to vehicles bought for the tourism industry, saying the minister was misled by Zimra and his inexperience in Government had been exposed.

At a Press conference in Harare last night, Zimbabwe Tourism Council president Mr Emmanuel Fundira and Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive Mr Karikoga Kaseke urged Minister Biti to reverse his decision.

"I see a very serious problem with what the minister has done. The minister was completely misled and misguided by Zimra.

"ZTA is the regulatory authority but was never consulted about this issue. It took us more than seven years to come up with this statutory instrument that was beginning to breathe life into the tourism product that had become weak.

"ZTA is not a junior partner to Zimra and will not take lightly this kind of behaviour. Zimra cannot define what tourism is. We know what is good for the tourism industry but we get worried when one minister decides to change things without our consent. He has killed the tourism industry,’’ said Mr Kaseke.

He added: "Another point is that he misrepresented the correlation between tourist arrivals and revenue created in hotel occupancy. Arrivals do not necessarily translate to hotel occupancy because even our own people who have stayed outside the country for more than a year are classified as tourists but they do not go to stay in a hotel. They stay with relatives. If only he had consulted we would have told him."

Addressing the same Press conference, Harare businessman Mr Philip Chiyangwa said the minister was inexperienced.

Mr Chiyangwa, who owns Glory Car Hire, said Minister Biti was "blindly pushing the MDC-T agenda, without looking at the pros and cons."

"I don’t care who else was involved but Minister Biti is inexperienced and never consulted because he does not want to listen to other people’s views.

"This is the danger of entrusting the special Ministry of Finance, which is the centre of Government activity, under one political party. Minister Biti needs a Co-Minister of Finance to assist him get the history of this country and acquire the knowledge and the art of consulting others. These are MDC-T things, they want to destroy everything Zanu-PF did, even when that thing is good for the country. Tell him openly that I said it,’’ said Mr Chiyangwa.

Mr Fundira said Minister Biti missed the point by scrapping the statutory instrument that allowed stakeholders in the tourism industry to import cars and equipment without consulting the industry.

"It came as a shock to us in the industry that a whole Government minister can do that. We are dismayed by that action because Zimbabwe as a tourist destination needed such a duty-free facility because we are coming from a liquidity crisis and we want our industry to match others in the region.

"At least there was supposed to be consultation with the ZTA if there was any problem. He has misled himself and we hope that he will correct it as a matter of urgency,’’ he said.

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(HERALD) Farmers urged to venture into agro-processing

Farmers urged to venture into agro-processing
Agriculture Reporter

FARMERS have been urged to venture into agro-processing to complement proceeds from the agricultural activities.

In an interview during the first-ever Zimbabwe Adding Value to Produce and Sustainable Agriculture Produce Fair at the Exhibition Park this week, FAO assistant director in Zimbabwe Mr David Mfote said while farming provided part of the family’s needs for food, there was need for cash to cover other expenses like school fees and medical costs.

"Additional income generating opportunities are therefore needed to support thousands of families who can not support their livelihoods from the land alone.

"The problem they all face is that opportunities for off farm employment in rural areas are limited," Mr Mfote said.

A total of 90 smallholder farmers from UMP, Mutoko, Mudzi, Muzarabani, Chiweshe, Mbire, Goromonzi, Chinamhora and many other places in the Mashonaland East, Central and West Provinces showcased their agricultural processed products.

These included dried fruits, vegetables, herbs, peanut butter, cooking oil and honey, sweet potato juice and jam, cowpea meatballs, sorghum bread, vegetable and fruit chutneys, among many others.

Mr Mfote said agro-processing to primary agricultural produce and selling processed products offered many opportunities.

"These include an increase in productivity and crop diversification, increase in the nutritional value of the diets of farming families; generation of extra income and the stimulation of the local economy.

"Agro processing can reduce wastage, enhance food security, improve livelihoods for low-income groups and empower women," he said.

Mr Mfote, however, said local farmers involved in processing were facing challenges in meeting the required quality and quantity at the market and were also facing stiff competition from imports. One of the organisers, Volens Africa communications facilitator, Mr Thomas Pouppez was satisfied with the turn out.

"We were expecting about 200 visitors to the fair and mostly from Harare but we have had people who have travelled from out of Harare to attend the event," he said.

"By 2 pm more than 500 people had visited our stands and we expect more by the close of the day (Wednesday)," Mr Pouppez said.

He added that there were plans to make the fair an annual event so that small holder farmers will have the opportunity to show case their produce, market and learn from their fellows from different part of the country.

Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe farmer, Mrs Cecilia Rabu trained under the Cluster Agricultural Development Services said training had enabled her to earn a living apart from preparing different nutritious dishes.

It was noted that these farmers required equipment to improve production.

ZAVSAP promotes growing of traditional and better-suited crops in the Mashonaland Provinces focussing on crops such as small grains, sweet potato, cassava and legumes.



(TALKZIMBABWE) State to control all diamond mining

COMMENT - This is absolutely historic. Political independence started in 1960-1964, and for Zimbabwe in 1980. 2010 is the start of economic independence. Zimbabwe leads the way.

State to control all diamond mining
By: Our reporter
Posted: Thursday, July 15, 2010 6:34 pm

FINANCE Minister Tendai Biti said Wednesday that the government had agreed that all diamond mining would have to be undertaken by the state, and that all revenue would have to go into the national treasury. Minister Biti was referring in parliament to the Chiadzwa alluvial diamond fields, the wealthiest find in the world in a century.

"There is consensus in government that there has to be a new Diamond Act that says alluvial diamond mining in Zimbabwe be conducted by and through the state," he said in a mid-term review of the national budget.

The new law would also ensure that all income from diamond sales would immediately be transferred to the national coffers.

Mr Biti said 30 million US dollars worth of Chiadzwa diamonds were sold last year, of which treasury has no record, he said.

His remarks indicated a dramatic change in direction in government policy over the management of Chiadzwa, whose diamond are currently not being exported awaiting the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme's greenlight.

Mr Biti's remarks also came as the Kimberly Process was meeting in St Petersburg, Russia to try and settle disagreement over the report by a special KP monitor Mr Abbey Chikane in May that recommended that Zimbabwe had met minimum conditions to start exporting.

Human rights organisations that form part of the KP have been fighting to keep Zimbabwean diamonds outside the KP process.

Mr Biti -- who earlier this month said Zimbabwe did not have blood diamonds -- said that that the state will not allow the issuing of mining licences that would result in the proliferation of small diamond companies.

The finance minister said the new diamond measures would go a long way to resolving the country's economic problems.

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(TALKZIMBABWE) AAG hails Zimbabwe diamond certification

AAG hails Zimbabwe diamond certification
By: Nancy Pasipanodya
Posted: Thursday, July 15, 2010 11:24 pm

THE Affirmative Action Group -- the vanguard of the Zimbabwe indigenisation and empowerment policy in Zimbabwe -- has welcomed the recent approval of Zimbabwe by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.

The KPCS approved on Thursday gave the greenlight to Zimbabwe to start exporting its diamonds; despite efforts by the US, Australia, Canada and the EU, who opposed Zimbabwe's approval.

In an interview with the Zimbabwe Guardian, the AAG President, Mr Supa Mandiwanzira, said KPCS's certification of Marange diamonds was an affirmation of the country's indigenisation effort.

"This is a victory for the people of Zimbabwe and an affirmation of the country's indigenisation effort," said Mr Mandiwanzira from Harare.

"Sense has prevailed in that body," added Mr Mandiwanzira adding that the approval will "catapult Zimbabwe out of its current (economic) challenges".

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The mining of diamonds in Chiadzwa and their subsequent sale on the international market will represent a direct benefit for the people of Zimbabwe, he added.

"Previousl, Zimbabwe benefited from the mining of diamonds and other precious gems via taxes and royalties.

"This time around, Zimbabweans will benefit directly as they will own 51 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the diamonds."

Mr Mandiwanzira said Zimbabwe was a "trailblazer" and its indigenisation and empowertment model -- carried out through the ZMDC (Zimbabwe Mining and Development Cooperation) -- will be copied elsewhere on the African continent.

"For over thirty years, Zimbabweans have failed to benefit from the mining of precious gems in the country. Why is there opposition for empowerment in diamond mining at Chiadzwa? Companies like Rio Tinto have mined diamonds without any opposition," asked the AAG chief.

When asked to comment about the arrest of businessman and farmer, Mr Temba Mliswa, Mr Mandiwanzira said the AAG will not comment on "issues that are before the courts".

Mr Mliswa is the AAG's Vice-President. He is currently in custody on various allegations of fraud.

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It’s just a matter of time

It’s just a matter of time
By Editor
Fri 16 July 2010, 04:00 CAT

Corruption is increasingly becoming deep-rooted in Zambia. And it doesn’t help anyone to deny its ever-growing presence in all our institutions of the state and government.

It seems this government has deliberately chosen to defend corruption and, as far as possible, deny its presence. It is not surprising that Ronnie Shikapwasha has chosen to dismiss the results of the Transparency International Zambia 2009 Zambia Bribe Payers’ Index without even reading them.

What can one expect from a government that does not want to accept and recognise the judgment it has obtained against corrupt elements in a matter initiated by itself in the London High Court? George Kunda, now Vice-President, when he was Attorney General and Minister of Justice, took a matter of corruption involving Frederick Chiluba and others to the High Court in London and obtained a favourable judgment showing that Chiluba and his friends were involved in corruption.

The London High Court ordered Chiluba and his tandem of thieves to pay back what they had stolen from the Zambian people. What we see today is reluctance by this same George, this same government to enforce that judgment against Chiluba. They have even gone to hire this same corrupt man, Chiluba, according to George, as their political advisor and consultant. Today Chiluba is going round the Copperbelt campaigning for them to continue in power.

And it is this same George who, as Minister of Justice and Attorney General, got Chiluba, together with his wife and others, to be prosecuted in our magistrates' courts for corruption. They secured the conviction of Chiluba’s wife, Regina, but have serious difficulties accepting that conviction, and today are doing everything possible to ensure that the state’s case against her is bungled in her appeal. This follows the acquittal they procured for her husband in the same courts. And this is the government that vehemently refused to have the highly questionable acquittal of Chiluba appealed by the state.

They are today claiming that the prosecution of Chiluba and others around him was political. If it was political, who was behind this politics if it is not this same George? The truth is that this is a government that has abandoned a legitimate fight against corruption. And the reasons for doing so seem to be many. First, this is because this government itself is corrupt, and fighting corruption will be fighting against itself. It is a government that can’t survive without corruption. Second, political survival for this government takes precedence over everything else, including the fight against corruption.

They believe Chiluba can win them support of the Copperbelt and of the Bemba-speaking people in the Northern and Luapula provinces of our country. And for this reason, a reprieve from corruption charges is considered to be necessary for him to work for them. Third, they are scared of being treated in the same way when their time to leave office comes.

And Rupiah Banda has made this very clear - that today, it’s Chiluba, tomorrow it may be you; or rather himself. To us, this is what really scares them. And this may explain why today they want to change the corruption laws of this country so that their abuses of public office go unprosecuted. They know they have been abusing their offices and they also know that they cannot continue to govern without abusing their offices; they can’t survive politically and otherwise without corruption. And because they are not able to stop their own corrupt practices, they seem to have no choice but to come up with a piece of legislation that renders their corruption, their abuse of public office not an offence.

It is easy to understand why they have the courage to deny corruption where it is visibly clear. People who can have the courage to come up with legislation that effectively sanction, condone, abate and encourage abuse of public office can never be in a position to see anything corrupt as truly being corrupt. They have lost sense of what corruption means. What many people would see as corruption, to them, that may simply be a legitimate act of initiative. They have no sense of what corruption means. This is why MMD cadres can go to the Ministry of Home Affairs and claim payment for goods or services that were never supplied, and the top leadership of the party writes to the permanent secretary to assist these criminals, these thieves to get payment for goods or services they have never supplied or rendered to government. And when this is exposed by the media, nothing happens, no corruption charges are brought against those involved in this conspiracy to defraud government.

This is a government that does not feel ashamed to award contracts to corrupt elements who have no capacity whatsoever to do the jobs they are being paid for as long as those in government and their party benefit. This is a government where family members of those in control of government are openly in charge of government business. They are the ones procuring work for RP Capital to value assets of Zamtel and are in charge of all sorts of things. To them, this is straight business and there is nothing wrong or corrupt about it. It is not abuse of office. And if it is abuse of office, it should not be seen as a corrupt practice that should be prosecuted by their government.

It is, therefore, not surprising that the target for the hostility of this government are institutions and individuals that are involved in fighting corruption. And looking at things in this way, it’s easier to understand and appreciate why Transparency International Zambia appears to be one of the top enemies of this government. It is this that should explain why their genuinely good work and intentions is smeared by elements like Shikapwasha, why there appears to be a permanent quest on their part to bring such institutions and individuals down. Genuine goodness is always threatening to those at the opposite end of the moral spectrum.

Again, there is no alternative for those who want a better society, a more fair, just and humane nation but to fight the vice of corruption. It is said that human life is a continuous battle on earth. Therefore, fight like good soldiers of Christ. None will be crowned except the one who fights in the lawful manner – “I have fought the good fight; for the rest there is laid up for me a crown of justice”. Truly, life is a battle, and in this battle, there are those who fight like ordinary soldiers, there are the captains and there is also the forward sentry. There are also the deserters who, tired and lacking in confidence, flee the arena; there are also the shirkers who, under a thousand pretexts, hide themselves; and finally there are those who idly stand watching, applauding or sneering. There are also the traitors who take the enemy’s side.

The corrupt schemes and practices of this government will not go unpunished. Even Chiluba, who they think they have rescued from punishment, as long as he lives will not go unpunished. Acquittals obtained and sustained corruptly will not permanently stand in the way of justice. One day, they will answer for all these abuses and thefts. It’s just a matter of time.

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EU maintains stance on withheld 25 million Euros for roads

EU maintains stance on withheld 25 million Euros for roads
By Chibaula Silwamba
Fri 16 July 2010, 14:10 CAT

Well-placed sources in the Ministry of Works and Supply have revealed that the European Union (EU) headquarters has vowed never to resume funding to Zambia’s road sector until the government implements recommendations that the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will make on the RDA audit.

And European Union (EU) delegation to Zambia confirmed that it was looking forward to the recommendations in the PAC final report.

The government sources revealed that the EU, which is the largest grant donor to Zambia’s road sector, has withheld a grant of 25 million Euros (about K161 billion) to the sector since last year.

The sources said the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, had mandated its Zambia country office to closely follow PAC deliberations and the recommendations it would make to the government for action to safeguard public funds.

“We don’t foresee funding from the EU anytime soon. The EU headquarters in Brussels is following the issues concerning RDA closely. The EU has indicated that they will not resume funding until after the Zambian government has convincingly taken action on the financial problems at RDA and they EU are monitoring PAC deliberations, they are quite happy with PAC’s scrutiny and they want the government to take action based on PAC recommendations,” the government official said.

“So, as officials charged with the responsibility of improving road infrastructure, we are worried because there isn’t sufficient money to carry-out our mandate. We hope the government will implement recommendations from PAC so that the EU resumes funding the road sector.”

And sources at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning confirmed the steadfast stance taken by the cooperating partners in the road sector.

“Well these donors seem to be worried that when the PAC presents it report to the full House parliament, some overzealous MMD MPs members of parliament might want to reject it to save the ruling party’s credibility,” the insider said.

“But all in all, as technocrats we agree with the cooperating partners that the adoption of the PAC report by Parliament will throw more pressure on the authorities in government to act appropriately and to help unlock withheld funding. So the parliamentary proceedings will break or build the confidence. So it is true that the cooperating partners are keenly observing the discussions in PAC and later in Parliament.”

The sources said the Ministry of Finance and National Planning (MoFNP) did not have money to finance the construction of roads.

She said the cooperating partners were particularly angered by Works and Supply Minister Mike Mulongoti and RDA former board chairperson for defending the financial irregularities in the road sector.

“We have been regularly meeting these cooperating partners and they are unhappy but they are restrained by diplomatic etiquette. You remember that when the Auditor General released the audit report on RDA, the first reaction of hon. Mulongoti was careless and defensive; he downplayed the seriousness of the findings,” the sources said.

“Some cooperating partners were evening saying that, ‘your government, in an attempt to put the blame elsewhere started a campaign government-owned media to discredit donors, especially the EU, who were depicted as having ulterior motives, wanting regime change in the country’. The government caught wind of this complaint by cooperating partners and they government leaders are embarrassed.”

She said Lisulo was believed to be behind the attacks in the media against the cooperating partners with the view to provide a smokescreen against the deficiencies of RDA.

The sources said the government and the cooperating partners in the road sector were still discussing the appropriate action that should be taken to address the problems.

She explained that the government and cooperating partners want to come up with an action plan with remedial measures and a revised road sector investment programme.

“These people cooperating partners want our action plan to chart the way forward on the basis of recommendations of the PAC,” the insider said.

In response to a press query, European Union (EU) delegation to Zambia charge d’Affaires Aloys Lorkeers stated that the pace of the remedial and policy actions that the Zambian government would take would dictate the timing of resumption of EU funding to the road sector.

He stated that the EU, along with other Cooperating Partners, would discuss with the Zambian government the appropriate action that needs to be taken to address the problems identified in the road sector.

“It is very important that remedial measures arising from the audit findings are implemented as soon as possible because of the vital importance of the road sector for the development of Zambia in general,” stated Lorkeers. “This is why we welcome the Public Accounts Committee hearings and look forward to the recommendations in the PAC final report.”

In May this year, key donors to the road sector, including the EU, maintained their withholding of funding to the sector after revelations about the Road Development Agency (RDA)’s imprudent management of funds.

The Auditor General’s report that revealed that RDA overcommitted the government by over K1 trillion through over-procurement of contracts in the 2008 annual work plan and at the same time, the audit report has revealed that about K19.1 billion imprest had not been retired by RDA since 2004.

The donors stated that the Auditor General’s report confirmed their concerns in 2009 about the RDA’s budget execution and control.

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COMESA chief bemoans region’s low land utisation for agriculture

COMESA chief bemoans region’s low land utisation for agriculture
By Fridah Zinyama
Thu 15 July 2010, 15:10 CAT

COMESA secretary general Sindiso Ngwenya has bemoaned the low level of land utilisation for agricultural purposes in the region. And agriculture minister Peter Daka said the region needs to address the challenges being faced in the development of agriculture and natural resources.

Meanwhile, Swaziland Minister of Agriculture Clement Dlamini said the agriculture sector in the region requires an urgent injection of resources to enable farmers to produce high quality goods for both regional and export markets.

During the third joint meeting of the Ministers of Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources at COMESA secretariat yesterday, Ngwenya said the region was utilising less than nine per cent of arable land for cultivation, and only four per cent of available water was used for agriculture.

“The average percentage of cropland in the region is 16.5 per cent, of which again only 11.5 per cent is under irrigation,” he said.

Ngwenya said the COMESA region had great agricultural potential which was greatly underutilised due to various challenges being faced in the region.

“Despite the insufficient utilisation of this potential, the sector remains the key engine of economic growth for the foreseeable future in the region,” he said. “The region is a major producer of crops such as maize, tobacco, groundnuts, cotton, vegetables, fruits and flowers.”

Ngwenya added that the agricultural potential in the region could be fully achieved if governments increased investment in agriculture and adopted policies that unleashed this potential.

And Daka said Zambia had made significant progress in the finalisation of the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) and hope to have the compact signed before the end of the year.

“CAADP provides the vision for attracting the much needed capital into the agriculture sector and provision of the requisite support to enable our farmers scale up agricultural production and the development of export-led agro-processing industries,” he said.

Daka said Zambia had seen a marked improvement in crop production this year as witnessed by the 48 per cent increase in maize production for the 2009/2010 farming season.

And Dlamini said there was need for the region to work hard and fast to minimise the constraints being faced in improving crop productivity.

“We must intensify our efforts to process the vast amount of agricultural produce instead of exporting primary produce, which attracts low prices in the international market,” said Dlamini.

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Statement on dirty politics was misunderstood - Namugala

Statement on dirty politics was misunderstood - Namugala
By Edwin Mbulo and Patson Chilemba
Fri 16 July 2010, 13:50 CAT

TOURISM minister Catherine Namugala says her statement that politics were dirty, especially for women has been misunderstood by the people raising questions about her conduct.

But MMD national executive committee (NEC) member Judith Kapijimpanga said she had not misunderstood Namugala’s statement, and demanded that Namugala should remove the illicit vice of scheming against other women.

In an interview, Namugala who was in Livingstone to attend the Kavango-Zambezi Trans-Frontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) Ministerial meeting, Namugala said what she said was to try and help make politics easy for the women.

“It is unfortunate that this is being misunderstood. What was meant to be a genuine statement has been misinterpreted but I hope the women will take what I said seriously,” she said.

However, Namugala could not respond to the specific complaints that people like Jonas Shakafuswa, Ng’andu Magande and Judith Kapijimpanga had raised against her.

She said Shakafuswa, Magande and Kapijimpanga were members of the ruling MMD and she would not talk about their comments in the press.

“My statement was meant for the women of Zambia, it was looking at why Zambian women are being discouraged from joining politics, and you know the people and the reasons why they said what they said. Both Shaka and Judy are members of our party, I don’t discuss such issues in the press,” said Namugala.

But Kapijimpanga wondered how Namugala claimed to have been misunderstood.

“The question is how? I think even my answer there was very explicit. I said I support Namugala’s statement totally, and in the wake of that statement I am glad she has realised. But how is that statement going to help us, especially that she’s the one who is engaged in that vice of making politics dirty?” she asked.

Kapijimpanga said principally and morally, women should rise to the challenge and take up leadership positions because they were very good leaders.

She said the conduct of women leaders like Namugala gave a minus to the demands by women to assume leadership positions.

Kapijimpanga said she was shocked to hear Namugala propagating the rights of women when she was the one who maligned them.

“I would not do what she does to other women. I would totally support her because I know she works hard,” Kapijimpanga said. “But then the vice, the illicit vice of wanting to malign others is the vice that she should venture to stop.”

Kapijimpanga wondered why Namugala complained of dirty politics when she had realised that the game was dirty.

“I have not misunderstood her because I said I support her statement and I am glad she has said it. Maybe she has realised that what she has been doing is bad. Icikwanka bachimona kumampalanya, once beaten, twice shy. I will be very careful next time. I would not totally trust a person after one has hurt me,” she said.

Kapijimpanga advised Namugala that she would better speak to women through her actions and not words.

She said she was not saying what she was saying out of bitterness, but out of love.

“Although she is talking about things which are right, she is incapable of helping the women because she has not done anything in that regard,” said Kapijimpanga.

Last Sunday, Namugala said Zambian politics were very dirty especially for women.

But others reacted by revealing the dirty politics Namugala practiced.

Shakafuswa narrated how Namugala incited for his firing as deputy science and technology minister, accusing him of having close links with former first lady Maureen Mwanawasa who was said to be interested in the presidency.

Kapijimpanga said Namugala refused to campaign for her in Kanchibiya, saying she would rather campaign for a dog.

Magande revealed how Namugala helped propagate the lies on Zambian Airways against him.

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Zambians should never vote for Rupiah, MMD - Milupi

Zambians should never vote for Rupiah, MMD - Milupi
By Mwala Kalaluka in Luena
Fri 16 July 2010, 04:01 CAT

CHARLES Milupi on Wednesday said the people of Luena should never vote for President Rupiah Banda’s MMD because he is ungrateful like a man who messes up the well after drinking from it.

And Milupi said the MMD government and not him as a parliamentarian should be wholly blamed for the non-fulfilment of some development pledges he made to the people of Luena in 2006.

Addressing a public rally at Liumbo Basic School in Ndanda area of Luena, Milupi, a former Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairperson, who is re-contesting the Luena seat on his Alliance for Development and Democracy (ADD) ticket, said the people of Luena must reject President Banda’s MMD on August 5 because he was ungrateful for the overwhelming support they gave him in 2008.

“The MMD is beyond redemption. There is nowhere they are going and they have reached the end of their mandate,” Milupi said. “The 20 years that they will clock in 2011 I am sure the mandate that God gave them has ended.”

Milupi said the people of Luena should not vote for anybody aligned to President Banda because he insulted them when he told his own provincial party chairman Simasiku Namakando, over the Vice-Presidency slot for the province, that he did not ask for the vote of the people of Western Province.

“U ezize pukucwe munyelela siliba he has messed up the well,” Milupi said.

Milupi said it was surprising that Namakando was still going round asking people to vote for the MMD against this background.

“The way he insulted the people of Western Province that he did not ask for our votes is the way he is insulting the donor community,” Milupi said. “The MMD government has failed to fight corruption; that is why you even hear the donors and others are complaining on a daily basis.”

Milupi said the MMD did not deserve to be voted for in Luena in the forthcoming by-election and beyond because in its 18 years in power, it had reduced the Western Province to the least developed province.

“Once you vote for ADD it means that the MMD is getting out of power because all they want is to always use Western Province as a ladder,” Milupi said. “Do not make the MMD your misfortune as the people of Eastern Province did with UNIP.”

Milupi said he brutalised the parties that stood with him in Luena in 2006 and would do so in the by-election.

“A by-election is not like a general election. A by-election is like entering in a lion’s den,” he said.

However, as he was speaking a few people in the audience started grumbling that he had not fulfilled some of the promises he made to them in 2006.

“Mukwakwa upalile ni factory ni market you have not done the road, factory and market,” one of the men interrupted Milupi who asked, “hape muboni zeng’wi zeluezize but you have seen the other things that we have done?”

But the man insisted that he had not seen anything while others said they had.

Milupi then asked those that had seen some of his works to state who had done it and they said he was responsible for that.

He explained that the job of a member of parliament was to facilitate development, and it was up to the government to ensure that this development was taken to the countryside.

He said this was what the concept of separation of powers entailed.

“The road from Malala to Ndanda to Simaa up to Sitoya, every year the government says it is in the annual work plan; who has put it there?” Milupi asked. “Who is failing to do it? Should I come here with my spade and do the road?”

Milupi said two vital roads in Luena had not been completed because of the government’s lopsided economic policies.

“The only money we control is CDF. It is us who fought hard for it to be increased,” said Milupi. “These elections are key, and this is why you see that the MMD want to get it at all costs but can anyone bring this development in nine months? In my case, I know what is still needed.”

Political parties have intensified their campaigns for the Luena seat ahead of polling day.

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Changing ACC Act will end corruption fight – EK

COMMENT - The ZCTU is completely corrupt.

Changing ACC Act will end corruption fight – EK
By Ernest Chanda
Thu 15 July 2010, 10:20 CAT

ENOCH Kavindele yesterday observed that the government’s intention to remove abuse of office offence from the revised Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) Act signals the end of the fight against corruption.

In an interview, Kavindele - a former Republican vice-president – said political leaders were now panicking because they did not trust some of their decisions. He said there was no need to remove a piece of legislation that had served the country very well for many years.

“In my view, this signals the end of the fight against corruption in Zambia. Abuse of office offence is cardinal in the fight against corruption because it ensures that those in authority should be questioned for their actions. Now if those in authority cannot be questioned for their actions, what example are they giving to those they lead?” Kavindele asked.

On Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) secretary general Roy Mwaba’s support for the removal of the offence from the ACC Act, Kavindele said ZCTU should have been the first to defend the law.

“It does not augur well for the union to support the removal of this law. The normal trend should be that people should be leaving government to go and make money. It should not be a situation where people leave their small tuntemba to go and make money in government; this is wrong. Civil service work is full-time, business also is full-time. And when you are in business, we are not talking about selling tomatoes, but big businesses,” he said.

Kavindele said there was no need for anyone to panic over the law if they were clean. He said the abuse of office offence would always help people live within their means.

“I can see there is panic because most of these people are aware that the decisions they make will follow them. But there is no need to panic, let them just be clean and do the right thing. This law is good for everyone and we should support it. I can see that most of those affected by this law are civil servants. But this is simply because they are the people who sign those documents.

They are the people who form companies and award themselves tenders. A person from Luwingu will not come and sign those documents because he doesn’t know anything. So, let them just be clean on this one and maintain the law,” said Kavindele.

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Pact Deadlock Continues

Pact Deadlock Continues
By George Chellah and Chibaula Silwamba
Fri 16 July 2010, 04:02 CAT

THE PF and UPND Pact on Wednesday failed for the second time to resolve the Kaoma Central and Chadiza local government by-election crisis. And former Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president Fackson Shamenda said the pact presidency should be tied to political parties and not individuals.

The working group comprising members from both political parties met again in an attempt to resolve the matter but they failed.

There are suggestions within the working group to have the matter referred to the Joint National Council (JNC) because it is highly unlikely that the working group would break the standoff.

The JNC is a superior organ to the working group and pact leaders Michael Sata and Hakainde Hichilema are usually in attendance when the meetings are called.

PF spokesperson Given Lubinda yesterday confirmed the working group meeting.

“The meeting continues today,” Lubinda said.

Asked about the plans to refer the matter to the JNC, Lubinda responded: “I don’t know about that. Who told you? It’s a very protracted negotiation. We are talking about a very significant issue here. It’s not like sharing chitumbuwa. This is a very important matter. That’s why it has protracted.”

He refused to accept that they had failed to resolve the matter.

“The working group is continuing to meet today Thursday. We haven’t failed, people can’t continue to discuss unless they are making progress and we are making progress,” Lubinda said. “We are pursuing on coming to a consensus on the matter to an agreed position, which will be in the interest of both parties and ultimately, the interest of all Zambians who support the idea of the pact.”

He said had the working group come to a deadlock, they would not have continued to discuss the matter.

“The working group is still handling it, when the working group reaches a consensus that we are failing to agree then it will be referred to the JNC,” Lubinda said. “If the JNC doesn’t agree then we will seek the assistance of others if need be. It is not correct to say we have failed because that implies reaching a dead end and we haven’t reached a dead end yet that’s why we are meeting.”

UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma could not be reached for comment by press time.
On Monday, the working group met but failed to resolve the matter.

During the meeting, there were suggestions to have PF withdraw its candidate in Kaoma central and UPND to do the same in Chadiza.

But Shamenda said the pact should be viewed beyond PF leader Michael Sata and UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema.

“Suppose and God forbid, suppose one of the leaders drops dead today what happens? There will be confusion in the pact. The pact presidency should be tied to a political party and not an individual,” Shamenda said. “Political parties should be the ones to float candidates. And there could even be another person who is not involved in politics today, they can come forward and say ‘supposed you tried me all these quarrels will finish’.

“This idea of tying the presidency to individuals is very undemocratic. We should be looking more at political parties other than looking at a person.”

He insisted that political parties should float the name of the candidate they wanted to field.

“Thereafter, you do the negotiations. So what I am saying is that the pact presidency should not be limited to the two leaders. The net for the presidency should be cast wide,” he said.

He stressed the need for the pact to consolidate itself and the leadership to look at the wider picture.

“What’s important is to look at where our country is moving to. In order for the pact to succeed or any opposition, which wants to provide the necessary leadership what’s important is to look at not what I can get out of it as an individual leader,” Shamenda said. “In order for the pact to succeed what is important is that they need to put up a strong consolidated team, which will be superintending the activities of the pact itself. So that they should be able to carry out the postmortem and not solving issues like a jigsaw puzzle. If they look at it from the approach of saying it worked in the British government, the scenario is different.”

Shamenda said the leaders should speak with one voice.

And in an interview on Wednesday, Hichilema said there was no need for the UPND and PF to break up.

“Nobody should break the pact on Chadiza and Kaoma unless they never meant well to go into the pact, unless they were looking for a window of opportunity and they found it,” Hichilema said. “From UPND side there will be people who will talk, they are individuals, but the way we make decisions in the UPND, the issue of breaking the pact does not arise, what arises is an opportunity out of a problem to solve this problem then learn the lessons and move forward.”

He said the incidence in Kaoma and Chadiza wards, where the UPND and PF fielded different candidates contrary to their agreement not to compete against each other, was an anomaly.

“It’s good it happened now because it gives us an opportunity to clean up various areas that we need to tighten up in terms of our procedures and our guidelines. I still stand by what I said earlier and I take no concern about what others have said because that is the way I interpret things,” he said. “My view is to look at the bigger picture and to say in a marriage you will have issues with your partner, wife or husband, but you don’t start threatening divorce because you have an issue. The positive mind doesn’t work like that. A negative mind works like that but a positive mind works by saying, ‘ha, madam or my colleague let us deal with this problem’. That is the approach that I take.”

On threats by some Zambians that they would not vote in next year’s elections if the PF-UPND Pact crumbles, Hichilema said pact supporters were entitled to take such decisions but urged them to give their leaders chance to resolve the minor problems.

“Members of the public are correct because it means that they see the pact as the only viable option at the moment. If it wasn’t a UPND-PF Pact, it will have to be another pact of the opposition,” Hichilema said. “That is the only way you can take out an African government, not just the MMD government, because of other issues like corruption in the electoral process, abuse of public resources in the electoral process. This is why Zambians are concerned and I share their concern.”

He said the pact must give Zambians the confidence in it because they advocated its formation.

He observed that even in 1991, there was a collection of various interest groups that backed the MMD to win against UNIP.

On the pact presidential candidate and demands by some people in Southern Province that he must be the candidate and counter-demands from Luapula and Northern provinces that Sata should lead the pact, Hichilema said Zambia was bigger than the three provinces.

“We need to be concerned about the greater majority of the people of Zambia. What do they want? Why are they worried about the pact? Why are the people concerned about the pact breaking up? It’s because they know that the MMD has not delivered what the people want and they are looking for an alternative and they see the pact as an alternative. That is a good thing in itself,” Hichilema said.

He said the demands of people in Lupaula, Southern and Northern provinces must be taken into account in a holistic manner in line with what the Zambians in all the nine provinces need.

“The issue of the candidate, can you imagine, if we rush to the presidency when we are having issues with a ward by-election, can you imagine that,” Hichilema said. “We need to take our assignments out of the media and out of the public arena and deal with the issues in privacy. That is my honest opinion but I am not too concerned about whose opinion is different from mine because they are entitled to their opinion but eventually we must seek consensus.”

Hichilema said PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba knows that the PF-UPND working group did not meet to agree on the Kaoma and Chadiza wards elections.

“I chose to ignore Wynter’s reaction to my statement and I think that is what management should be. My statement was not to provoke a reaction from a partner; it was meant to explain the situation to the public outside the pact partners because those who are in the pact partnership know exactly what went on and what went on wrongly and it’s not correct for us to debate in the way that article was angled,” Hichilema said. “Wynter Kabimba is a member of the working group and he knows that they never met, that they never took the decision on Chadiza, Kaoma, Mulwa ward in Kaoma and Choongo East in Bweengwa constituency although the ECZ withdrew Choongo East almost in the last minute.

However, he said the working group was the right platform and hoped it would resolve the misunderstandings.

Hichilema maintained that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) had caused the confusion in the selection of candidates in the two wards.

He said the ECZ announced the seats a few days before nomination leading to the working group not meeting to agree on how the PF-UPND was to vie for them.

Hichilema said the working group was meeting this week and expressed optimism that it would find the solution to what happened in Kaoma and Chadiza.

Hichilema said the PF-UPND Pact should take the debate about its challenges out of the media.

“Let us leave the working group to meet without weights hovering around them as they deliberate because of the statements we are all issuing, the differences that we are all issuing,” said Hichilema.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Kimberley Process approves Zim diamond trade

COMMENT - This is great news for Zimbabwe. It means that if all reports are correct, Zimbabwe's GDP could rocket from $4bn a year to $16bn a year. And in this case, GDP would mean something, because unlike in compliant countries, Zimbabwe's industry is still in Zimbabwean hands. Unlike in Zambia, where the government can't wait to sell parastatals to the Libyan government, Zimbabwe will benefit from it's own economy. It has taken blood, sweat and tears, the derision from the international community, slanderous and racist propaganda, thousands of deaths from cholera through criminal economic sanctions, but Zimbabwe is victorious. Well done, President Mugabe.

Kimberley Process approves Zim diamond trade
By: Itayi Garande
Posted: Thursday, July 15, 2010 7:57 pm

ZIMBABWE has been given the greenlight by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) to trade diamonds from Marange region days after President Mugabe announced that the country will trade with or without that approval.

The issue of exports from Marange, had divided the Kimberley community and the KPCS would have been rendered meaningless by the voluntary 'withdrawal' of Zimbabwe. Heterogeneity is a core and fundamental aspect of the Kimberley Process.

Four western countries of the KPCS (United States, Canada, Australia, the European Union) bowed under pressure from 71 members of KPCS, who supported Zimbabwe's approval after diamond monitor Abbey Chikane produced a report saying the country had satisfied minimum requirements required for approval.

The news was announced today (Thursday) at the 7th Annual Meeting of the World Diamond Council in St. Petersburg, Russia.

"I want to assure everyone that Zimbabwe means business," said mining minister Obert Mpofu from the Russian city.

"We will adhere, we will comply. We will not let you down."

In an interview with the Zimbabwe Guardian on Thursday, Minister Mpofu said Zimbabwe would have gone ahead with trading its diamonds as "it had met the minimum requirements".

"Mr Abbey Chikane approved produced a favourable report and was appointed by the KP. That was enough for us to start exporting our diamonds.

“We expected the best out of the Kimberley Process and they have delivered,” Minister Mpofu said.

“We were always hopeful that we would get the greenlight as we have no blood diamonds in Zimbabwe.”

An estimated $1.7 billion plus worth of diamonds mined from Chiadzwa is currently stockpiled. These will be released as early as next week, according the mines minister.

The stockpile of diamonds mined from Chiadzwa rose to six million carats, up from 4,5 million carats in May this year.

Marange exports had been blocked since last November, after a KP monitoring mission alleged issues of non-compliance and human rights violations.

The Government of Zimbabwe had express concern at the KPCS's position and charged that the Anglo-Saxon world, led by the US, did not want Zimbabwe to export its diamonds because they knew that earnings from the sales would wreck their illegal sanctions.

Zimbabwe's diamond production could match or even surpass the 18 million carats produced annually by Botswana, presently the world’s biggest producer.

In May, KP monitor Abbey Chikane said exports should resume, but the United States, Canada, Australia, the European Union and a coalition of KPCS civic groups blocked an export resumption and disputed the monitor's report.

The four countries also wanted a redefinition of the concept of "blood diamonds" to include Zimbabwe; although the country does not have an illegitimate government and there are no rebel groups in the country.

The agreement was reached after two days of often heated negotiations, which broke down several times. One hour prior to the agreement, some negotiators believed a deal was dead. But now the mood among WDC attendees is jubilant, as many feared Zimbabwe would leave the KP and render it meaningless.

While exports will resume, the plan calls for several review missions to visit the region, and assess compliance with a work plan formulated last year.

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(TALKZIMBABWE) Kimberley Process approves Zim diamond trade

Kimberley Process approves Zim diamond trade
By: Itayi Garande
Posted: Thursday, July 15, 2010 7:57 pm

ZIMBABWE has been given the greenlight by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) to trade diamonds from Marange region days after President Mugabe announced that the country will trade with or without that approval.

The issue of exports from Marange, had divided the Kimberley community and the KPCS would have been rendered meaningless by the voluntary 'withdrawal' of Zimbabwe. Heterogeneity is a core and fundamental aspect of the Kimberley Process.

Four western countries of the KPCS (United States, Canada, Australia, the European Union) bowed under pressure from 71 members of KPCS, who supported Zimbabwe's approval after diamond monitor Abbey Chikane produced a report saying the country had satisfied minimum requirements required for approval.

The news was announced today (Thursday) at the 7th Annual Meeting of the World Diamond Council in St. Petersburg, Russia.

"I want to assure everyone that Zimbabwe means business," said mining minister Obert Mpofu from the Russian city.

"We will adhere, we will comply. We will not let you down."

In an interview with the Zimbabwe Guardian on Thursday, Minister Mpofu said Zimbabwe would have gone ahead with trading its diamonds as "it had met the minimum requirements".

"Mr Abbey Chikane approved produced a favourable report and was appointed by the KP. That was enough for us to start exporting our diamonds.

“We expected the best out of the Kimberley Process and they have delivered,” Minister Mpofu said.

“We were always hopeful that we would get the greenlight as we have no blood diamonds in Zimbabwe.”

An estimated $1.7 billion plus worth of diamonds mined from Chiadzwa is currently stockpiled. These will be released as early as next week, according the mines minister.

The stockpile of diamonds mined from Chiadzwa rose to six million carats, up from 4,5 million carats in May this year.

Marange exports had been blocked since last November, after a KP monitoring mission alleged issues of non-compliance and human rights violations.

The Government of Zimbabwe had express concern at the KPCS's position and charged that the Anglo-Saxon world, led by the US, did not want Zimbabwe to export its diamonds because they knew that earnings from the sales would wreck their illegal sanctions.

Zimbabwe's diamond production could match or even surpass the 18 million carats produced annually by Botswana, presently the world’s biggest producer.

In May, KP monitor Abbey Chikane said exports should resume, but the United States, Canada, Australia, the European Union and a coalition of KPCS civic groups blocked an export resumption and disputed the monitor's report.

The four countries also wanted a redefinition of the concept of "blood diamonds" to include Zimbabwe; although the country does not have an illegitimate government and there are no rebel groups in the country.

The agreement was reached after two days of often heated negotiations, which broke down several times. One hour prior to the agreement, some negotiators believed a deal was dead. But now the mood among WDC attendees is jubilant, as many feared Zimbabwe would leave the KP and render it meaningless.

While exports will resume, the plan calls for several review missions to visit the region, and assess compliance with a work plan formulated last year.

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