Saturday, July 24, 2010

(TALKZIMBABWE) MDC-T ministers, the brady bunch of Cabinet

COMMENT - Right on, Nancy. Zimbabweans should be extremely wary of any neoliberals. All they are in politics for, is to enrich themselves and sell out the nation's resources.

MDC-T ministers, the brady bunch of Cabinet
By: By Nancy Lovedale
Posted: Saturday, July 24, 2010 5:16 am

SO much has been happening in the inclusive Government, so many debates and power positioning by the various actors. A close look at some of the MDC-T ministers in Cabinet reveals some very interesting aspects.

It is interesting to see just how the likes of Finance Minister Tendai Biti, MDC-T Spokesman Nelson Chamisa, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Jameson Timba and his predecessor Gorden Moyo, and various other MDC-T ministers have been battling to become relevant and efficient ministers.

These four are not the only ones, but they are the most interesting.

Their fight for relevance sometimes outdoes their intelligence. A few examples would suffice.

Minister Biti, since we saw him spring onto the political scene, has been an animated individual. Having gone through various political parties including Edgar Tekere's Zimbabwe Unity Movement and Enoch Dumbutshena's Forum Party, he finally settled for the Movement of Democratic Change party. These three parties provided the young Tendai Laxton Biti an outlet for his energy that many who went to Goromonzi High School with him would attest to. He is rumored to have been as "energetic", for lack of a better word.

Nelson Chamisa, according to sources from Harare Polytechnic, where he allegedly started his "career", is rumored to have been a silent and undeclared student or admirer or Learnmore Jongwe, another animated young man whose energy was often mistaken for intelligence. Jongwe's story is tragic and is a topic for a later discussion.

Mr Timba and Mr Moyo sprung onto the political scene via the "MDC-T backdoor".

These four men have one thing in common. Besides being just interesting characters, they often engage in intellectual battles they never follow-up afterwards.

Mr Biti for instance, always has something that he is angry about. First it was his desire to see Reserve Bank Governor Dr Gideon Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana fired from their positions, besides the fact that they were appointed when the MDC-T was dillydallying about "entering Government". I have never known a country that spent a day without an AG or a central bank chief. Mr Biti then tried to have Zimbabwe declared a Highly Indebted Poor Country, besides having 25-infinity percent of the world's rough diamond share, an array of other precious gems, the highest literacy rate in Africa and the best touristic resource. Now he is proposing to have a "Diamond Act" so that he can divert all proceeds from diamond sales to his preferred sectors and "ministries".

The finance minister is also very self-contradictory. On his website, he has a link for the public to give their input into the budgetary process, but fails to consult the same people through their representatives, the Members of Parliament. Biti's excuse is that the MPs were busy with the constitutional outreach programme! Last year, when he presented his budget, this was also an issue. He promised to consult MPs and stakeholders in 2010, but failed on that promise, yet again. One wonders what exactly he means when he argues that he is in government to bring some "sanity" to the running of the country when he fails on such a simple task.

Mr Biti is also interesting, just to watch. One would be excused to think that he always knows what he is saying, given the exuberance of his persona. This is a man who, in one interview, described President Mugabe as "very Victorian" because he happens to drink tea at four o'clock and because his manner is akin to that of an English gentleman. Biti oftentimes shifts from praising to condemning President Mugabe, depending on his mood swing -- and it is quite apparent. One wonders whethersuch mood swings sometimes affect the way he runs the finance ministry.

Mr Nelson Chamisa is another interesting character who has a tendency to leave fights in mid air. He never followed up his fight with Media, Information and Publicity Minister, Webster Shamu or Minister Nicholas Goche. Chamisa is on record saying that the MDC-T is in the inclusive Government to "take power from Zanu-PF", yet at every media opportunity he threatens that the MDC-T will soon leave government because of "Zanu-PF's intransigency", whatever that means. He also claimed that he will teach Minister Shamu about information and IT, despite the fact that Minister Shamu has had wide experience as a broadcaster and as minister.

Mr Chamisa is also a victim of his own craftsmanship. If you follow closely the way he uses words, you are sure to get confused. His ideology is mixed up and he never seems to know what exactly he (or the MDC-T) represents. He prefers to answer questions that are simple, for instance, why Roy Bennett is not Deputy Minister of Agriculture. But he dodges issues like the MDC-T's proposal to include homosexual rights in the new constitution. Sometimes, he is completely silent on crucial issues, like the parallel government or the "reshuffling" of MDC-T ministers, or the allegations of violence in the MDC-T. Infact, he once blamed factional fighting in the MDC-T on Zanu-PF until violence broke out at Harvet House, their headquarters. This time he could only keep quiet.

Mr Chamisa is also on record claiming that the "party of excellence" will ask all their Cabinet members to compile a list of their assets in the name of good governance. That also was never followed up, just like his claims that the MDC-T was investigating corruption and would fire all culprits. A report of that investigation, if it ever happened, was never produced.

Turning to two interesting characters, Mr Timba and Mr Moyo. Minister Timba claimed, in the Prime Minister's Newsletter that the PM had read the riot act to Secretary for Media, Information and Publicity, Mr George Charamba. Mr Charamba's crime was that he had clarified a position that the media never bothered to investigate -- that PM Tsvangirai was going to reassign (or fire) some of the staff working in his office and/or hire new ones.

Mr Charamba merely clarified that the staff in the PM's office were appointed through the Public Service Commission and could only be reassigned or fired through that department. The PSC vets and hires all civil servants and no other civil servant has any power to hire, fire or reassign those positions. In any case, the PSC has to match the skills of these people with the available jobs. Timba said Mr Charamba has no mandate to speak on behalf of government, yet he is the Secretary for Media, Information and Publicity and has to clarify such issues. ironically, Mr Timba worked in the same ministry with Mr Charamba when he was Deputy Minister of Media, Information and Publicity. How he fails to understand Mr Charamba's role beggars belief.

Mr Moyo, who also worked as Minister of State in the PM's Office, also clashed with Mr Charamba over a bilateral investment protection agreement (BIPPA) that was "signed" by PM Tsvangirai and South Korea. Again, Mr Charamba said that such agreements are signed by the president. Any announcement of such agreements is made via the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, not through the PM's (or MDC-T's) office.

This is the calibre of the ministers from the MDC-T, who fail to grasp issues that are important in running the business of government. Other MDC-T ministers and MPs, e.g. Thamsanqa Mahlangu, Theresa Makone, Fidelis Mhashu, Pishau Muchauraya, Obert Gutu, etc are just as interesting.

Given the apparent battle for power between PM Tsvangirai and Mr Biti, one watches from the sidelines for another "bomb" to explode in the MDC-T. Mr Biti's announcement of a wage freeze in his Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement, was a slap in the face of PM Tsvangirai who categorically claimed, earlier this year, that there would be no wage freeze, and that all civil servants would be paid a "living wage".

In hindsight, we can only conclude that the inclusive Government was a blessing in disguise. One wonders what would have become of Zimbabwe if the MDC-T had gone into power on its own. Zimbabweans, like Zambians, would have lost everything to big businesses and the IMF/WB would be running Zimbabwe right now.

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(ZIMDIASPORA) We trained, operated with ZIPRA says ANC guerrilla

We trained, operated with ZIPRA says ANC guerrilla
Sunday, 17 January 2010 02:34 Editor

The Wankie and Sipolilo campaigns of 1967-8 had a significant impact internationally and within the country, demonstrating to the people of South Africa that the ANC's armed struggle was very much alive, writes Sandile Sijake, an ex-cadre of Umkhonto Wesizwe.

When the ANC and the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) agreed on close cooperation in relation to guerrilla operations, it was understood that the activity was taking the existing solidarity a step further. The relationship between the peoples of South Africa and those of Zimbabwe had from then onwards to be tempered in the fires of the common experiences in the struggle for social, economic, political and cultural emancipation.

In the ANC there had been a long period of unplanned attempts at infiltration of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) members back to South Africa. These attempts were mainly focused on finding a route through Botswana. To facilitate the crossing we established a bone milling facility in one of the farms outside Livingstone. The facility worked very well for some time.

However the process of infiltration involved very small groups of one or two at a time. The rate of arrests and interception by the Botswana Paramilitary Police led some of us to suspect that there was a serious leak of information. The second concern was that whatever weapons the cadres carried along ended up in Botswana and there was no way that these could be recovered.

A number of frank discussions were held, mainly with then ANC President OR Tambo. In his absence these meetings would be chaired by Moses Kotane. Moses Mabhida and JB Marks were charged with finding routes other than Botswana. They set up a number of networks that became promising, and were operational.

There was an apparent tendency that some individual leaders placed more emphasise on commercial interests than the struggle for social, economic and political emancipation. These interests manifested themselves in the fact that these leaders set up factories and operated commercial farms mainly in Zambia. Bitter arguments also related to the fact that cadres sent to South Africa were given a mere five pounds to see them through operations, food, transportation and accommodation, to give but a few requirements of any political-military operation.

Members of MK appealed to the leadership that they be part of the planning of routes home. The joint operations with ZAPU's armed wing, the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA), evolved out of this process. We agreed to have a combined venture with the specific understanding that we were to be on our way to South Africa. This took place after MK tried to have similar arrangements with FRELIMO in 1966. This could have been feasible given that at that stage FRELIMO was still operating up to Tete Province north of the Zambezi River.

The operations

Once the political strategic levels accepted the rationale of undertaking a form of combined operations, a number of corresponding structures had to be put in place to ensure implementation of the agreement.

Sijake has a high regard of Dabengwa as a great soldier. A Kenyan newspaper once described Dabengwa as the most trained soldier in the entire African continent.

A joint intelligence-cum-reconnaissance structure was established with Eric Manzi (MK) and Dumiso Dabengwa (ZIPRA) as respective leaders. There was also set up a Joint Headquarters (JHQ) consisting of the Overall Commanders, Commissars, Chiefs of Staff, Chiefs of Operations, Chiefs of Logistics and Supplies and a limited involvement of medical officers.

Each of these components of the JHQ had its particular teething problems, some of which it was possible to address, others were to be placed in abeyance, while some had to be wished away. In reconnaissance these challenges led to a form of ad hoc and autonomous activity. All the moves and steps taken were to be balanced to ensure all parties were happy with the process. When the structure of the detachment was assembled each level of authority had to be given serious consideration. It was finally agreed that John Dube of ZIPRA be the detachment commander and Chris Hani the detachment commissar.

In August 1967 a combined force of MK and ZIPRA freedom fighters were seen off across the Zambezi River by Tambo. The force numbered about 96 men with no maps, and limited dependence on ZIPRA cadres who, although Zimbabweans, had no better clue about that part of their country. The detachment had to rely on compasses for a general direction of march.

When this detachment was to cross into then Rhodesia there were two clear directives. The ZIPRA comrades were to establish themselves in their country as a guerrilla force. The ANC cadres were to head to South Africa and without any particular intention that they should engage the enemy inside Rhodesia except when necessary and as means of self-defence.

Inside Rhodesia the detachment was going to split into two main groups and a third part was going to be a group of two cadres using a train. One company was to head east towards the Matopo Hills, Paul Petersen and two other comrades were to go to the nearest railway station and take a train towards the midlands, and the main body was to move on the western part heading south.

The MK contingent intended to use Rhodesia as a passage home and not to conduct any operations in that country. No one among us knew that the first clashes with the enemy would take place in the vicinity of Wankie.

The members of this first detachment had to learn on their feet as they could not avoid blunders associated with undertaking such an operation without sufficient means and equipment. The situation was tense. On crossing the Zambezi river the detachment set up its own reconnaissance section. Some of the functions of reconnaissance were to move forward and backwards finding the routes to follow, water points, food, and information on the activities of the enemy.

The going was never smooth. On certain occasions arguments would be sparked by the issue of who must lead the detachment to the point identified by reconnaissance. Most times the ZIPRA cadres in reconnaissance would insist that they wanted to lead. Every time one of them had been given the opportunity to lead, the detachment would end up going astray and never linking up with that small contingent of reconnaissance left ahead to secure a new temporary base.

On the second day inside Rhodesia, the detachment ran out of food, bullets were in short supply and most, if not all, the MK members had about five pounds and not much water. There was no information about the quantities of rations each was going to get until they were on the banks of the Zambezi River and ready to cross.

The detachment reached the first village on the second day. The small community there gave valuable information to the guerrillas. They indicated that the previous day some soldiers came to their village and said they were looking for guerrillas. They could not remember the number of trucks or soldiers. The leader in that community was a ZAPU supporter and told the detachment that the soldiers did patrols during the day and at night; and their camp was on the other side of the next village. This man was willing to go to a shop owner at the next village and arrange for the purchase of food. The community gave some food to the reconnaissance group for the rest of the detachment.

The reconnaissance group discovered that the shop owner at the second village was also a ZAPU supporter. He gave valuable information about the enemy activities. He told them that all the passable routes converged near the soldiers' camp. After leaving his place the reconnaissance group established that there was a small enemy contingent at that camp. They were seated next to a fire and now and then one of them would go and look along the road intersection and return to the fire. The detachment decided to walk past the camp as they believed they would easily overwhelm the enemy. On seeing the detachment the soldiers ran away, abandoning the camp.

The detachment marched the whole night before deciding to have a long rest. After some rest we noticed that one member from Charlie Company was missing. We searched for him and after about two hours the search was called off and the detachment moved on.

On about day six, the detachment ran out of the food they had bought from the village shop. However, they arrived at a game reserve on the Shashi River valley where they shot a zebra for a meal and provisions. They had some water after having dug in the sand for about one and half metres.

Company B was now to move east in the general direction of Matopo Hills. Their immediate task was to see Paul Petersen to a train station at Dede. They parted with the rest of the detachment that now numbered about eighty guerrillas, heading in the general direction of Wankie.

Early the following day, radio news reports on some battles involving Company B started to filter through to the rest of the detachment. It was reported that one of the battles took more than six hours until the comrades ran out of ammunition. Some were arrested and many died there. Putting the pieces of information together, it appears that when Company B were at Dede station one of them was seen drinking water at a public tap. The enemy got an alert signal and the upshot was that the company was followed until the point of battle.

Similarly, Paul Petersen was followed as he travelled by train. He travelled over Tsholotsho area towards Plumtree. He apparently realised that he was being followed and got off the train, using a sub-machine gun he cleared the first road block he encountered. From that roadblock he took a motorbike and carried on southwards towards Plumtree. Riding on along the road, he found himself at an even bigger roadblock than the previous one. He opened fire, fighting his way and finally fell there.

On hearing the news of the fighting, the main body of the detachment decided to keep our radio sets on continuously, listening to the news. We moved more in the open with an aim of attracting the enemy, in the hope that they would not concentrate on Company B alone.

In the early morning of the ninth day while comrades Wilie, Modulo and Christopher Mampuru were conducting reconnaissance they spotted a large herd of animals. They followed the animals at a distance of about 200m. This led them to a big pond ahead. They were now cautious and had to consult with the rest of the detachment before shooting any of the animals. Wilie left Modulo and Christopher who decided to remain watching the animals while he went back to consult. They were not going to meet again.

Before Wilie could give any report to the detachment two spotter planes began circling the area of the pond. The detachment took up positions in battle formation as the enemy patrols in the air intensified and ground forces appeared in trucks from the direction we came. The enemy trucks passed the positions of the main body and headed for the direction of the pond. After a few moments gun fire sounded in that direction, apparently Christopher and Modulo engaged the enemy.

The following day, while the detachment was having a rest, it was hurled into action by the sound of an exploding hand grenade. The grenade exploded at the position occupied by members of a section consisting of comrades Berry, Baloi, Manchecker, Sparks and Mhlongo. Baloi and Berry died on the spot. Sparks got a bullet through the abdomen and Mhlongo was critically wounded. The enemy was busy shouting: "surrender there is nothing you are going to do".

The detachment engaged the enemy. Their remnants fled from the battlefield leaving behind their dead, maps, supplies and radios. There was one casualty on our side, Charles Sishuba. The members of the detachment got food supplies, fresh clothing, watches and water bottles and used the radios to mislead the enemy. From the maps members of the detachment were able to know about the plans of the enemy and routes they were using.

The disinformation attempts by the detachment proved to be effective, as the enemy acted on the information they received. They ended up one evening shooting at each other near a water pond. After that incident they changed their radio wave band.

The detachment reached the area of Manzamnyama, and they had a brief encounter with some members of the Rhodesian Rifles, who were predominantly black soldiers. After Manzamnyama the detachment was supposed to veer away from the Wankie Game Reserve. The terrain in the intended direction was sparse and any movement would be easily detected. The enemy was still pursuing the detachment.

During the day, while the detachment rested, the silence was broken by the sound of Halifax bombers pounding the bush area about a kilometre away from the isolated trees where the detachment rested. The bombings started a yellowish fire, characteristic of napalm bombs. After the bombers, the ground forces arrived in their trucks and started to conduct a mop-up operation.

Late the following evening the detachment fought its last major battle with a combined force of South African and Rhodesian soldiers. The enemy was routed and the detachment's casualties include comrades Donda and Jackson Simelane.

The detachment proceeded in the general direction of Plumtree. As they moved they did not realise they had strayed into Botswana. They were arrested by Botswana paramilitary police in small groups as they came across them.

The arrest of the last group more or less ended the Wankie part of the campaign and triggered the Sipolilo phase.


The JHQ undertook a general review of the Wankie battles and as the news reached Lusaka through Rhodesian citizens working in Zambia and other numerous sources, the main talk in both the ANC and ZAPU circles was that of sending reinforcements. This remained in the heads of the members of the JHQ after the fighting had died out and all survivors had been arrested. The second phase was to follow a different belief and thinking.

The plan for the second phase was based on the assumption that it was important to have a sustainable base inside Rhodesia before starting operations in South Africa.

The second detachment crossed to Sipolilo between October 1967 and January 1968. At the end of December 1967 there were over 150 guerrillas in the bushes of the eastern part of Rhodesia. The number fluctuated as more people joined and a few returned to Zambia.

The second detachment was instructed to establish guerrilla bases inside Rhodesia. They were to identify a place to set up an internal headquarters with all the necessary components, as well as alternative bases in case of need. Timeous communications with Morogoro and Lusaka (linking to ANC HQ) was going to be maintained by means of a long range multi-functional radio acquired from Germany. The radio was to be powered by means of a generator. The fuel for the generator was to be acquired from Zambia and stores were to be established by the detachment itself.

The detachment was expected to establish a number of arms caches, assisted by a supply group assembled for the purpose. The weapons, rations and uniform replenishment were supplied from Lusaka. Some of the reasons behind supplying the detachment with food and clothing was to ensure that they did not get involved in extensive hunting as that would attract the enemy.

The JHQ in Lusaka left all the main decisions to the command structure of the detachment. Teams visited the front from Lusaka and Tanzania, taking photographs to show that we had a presence behind the enemy lines. At the same time enemy activities started to grow in the general vicinity of the game reserve.

Early one morning in April 1968 the main bases that had been established in the area were the target of intensive bombing. The enemy ground forces followed the bombing. The enemy had learnt from the previous operations the importance of combining air and ground firepower. This attack triggered the clashes that were to last for more than a week, as pockets of the detachment fought in different directions, with the main force fighting towards Salisbury.

A number of comrades died in the battles that ensued, some were arrested and a few ended up in South Africa. There were then two routes to South Africa; some comrades found their way home and finally got arrested, while others were brought home through an agreement between Rhodesian and South African officials.

April 1968 was the climax of what has come to be known as the Wankie campaigns. The significance of these campaigns internationally is that they led to countries like the USA reshaping their policies on Southern Africa. Internally, the South African regime formulated the notorious Terrorism Act. The masses of our people became aware that the ANC was very much alive and still the main political vehicle for social, economic, political and cultural emancipation. Pan African Newswire

SANDILE SIJAKE was a member of the Luthuli Detachment of Umkhonto we Sizwe.



(NEWXIMBABWE) Gukurahundi storm envoy posted to SA

Gukurahundi storm envoy posted to SA
by Staff Reporter
24/07/2010 00:00:00

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has named controversial envoy Phelekezela Mphoko - who once said the Gukurahundi atrocities were a Western conspiracy – as Zimbabwe’s ambassador to South Africa. Prior to his redeployment, Mphoko was the country’s ambassador to Russia.

He replaces Simon Khaya Moyo who has since moved to Harare to work full-time for Zanu PF after being elected the party’s national chairman. Secretary for foreign affairs Joey Bimba confirmed the appointment which came as part of a redeployment of some six heads of Zimbabwe’s missions abroad.

Mphoko, a keen photographer who is said to have close links with the country’s intelligence services, caused a stir while posted to Botswana when he claimed, without elaborating, that the Gukurahundi atrocities were a ‘Western conspiracy’.

He was speaking during a panel discussion on Zimbabwe in 2009 where he also barracked the discussants who included attorney Beatrice Mtetwa, calling them sell-outs and accusing them of misrepresenting the situation in the country.

Meanwhile his appointment to the key South Africa posting could further strain the frosty working relationship between the parties in the coalition government.

There had been considerable jockeying for the post between Zanu PF and the two MDC formations with the former opposition parties claiming that the under the Global Political Agreement (GPA) they were supposed to fill any diplomatic positions that became vacant.

However analysts insisted it was unlikely Zanu PF would give-up the South Africa mission to the MDCs because of the crucial role that country plays in Zimbabwe’s political and economic affairs.

Meanwhile the reassignments also saw Zimbabwe’s permanent representative to the United Nations Boniface Chidyausiku being recalled to Harare. He will be replaced by Chitsaka Chipaziwa, who represented the country to the UN in Geneva, Switzerland.

James Manzou leaves his posting in Angola to take up the Geneva mission while the country’s former ambassador to Australia, Stephen Cletus Chiketa replaces Mary Mubi in Sweden.

Mubi was redeployed to Italy where she will also represent Zimbabwe at the Food and Agriculture Organization, which is headquartered in the capital, Rome.

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(HERALD) Ruth Chinamano: Selfless, unwavering party cadre

Ruth Chinamano: Selfless, unwavering party cadre
Compiled by Tendai Hildegarde Manzvanzvike

CDE Ruth Lottie Nomonde Chinamano, a Zanu-PF Central Committee member and widow of the late veteran nationalist Cde Josiah Chinamano, died on Sunday January 2, 2005. She was 80.

She was a dedicated, unwavering and selfless party cadre who was committed to the liberation of the country and its development. Cde Ruth Chinamano was born on February 16, 1925, in Griqualand, Cape Town, South Africa.

She grew up in a family of five — four girls and a boy. Her father, Ben Impiayipeli Nyombolo, a teacher was a veteran of the First World War before becoming a politician.

Ruth’s mother, a graduate of Lovedale Institute in the Cape Province, was also a teacher.

She attended primary school in Queenstown where she lived with her aunt, Mrs Mcanyangwa. At school, she was impressed by stories told by her teacher, Miss Minah Sogah, about Mahatma Gandhi’s self-sacrifice and powers of leadership.

Cde Ruth Chinamano was awarded a scholarship to study at St Matthew’s College, an Anglican mission school in Keiskamahoek, in the Cape Province.

She did not stay at St Matthew’s College long enough to complete her education as she was expelled together with a group of girl students after protesting against a white principal they accused of ‘spoiling’ an African schoolgirl.

She then worked as a domestic servant for nine months before she was admitted at Maria Zell Teacher’s College in East Griqualand.

In 1948, Cde Chinamano started teaching at Lourdes, a school located at the Cape-Natal border in Umzimkulu.

The following year she met her husband to be, Josiah Chinamano, while on holiday in Port Elizabeth. The two got married the following year in King William’s Town on September 30, 1950.

Cde Chinamano and her husband moved to the then Rhodesia after Cde Josiah Chinamano had completed his studies at Fort Hare University.

In 1955, Cde Chinamano accompanied her husband to Birmingham, United Kingdom, where she took part in a number of political meetings. She studied and practised community development for six months when her husband returned to Rhodesia (Zimbabwe).

She later returned to London to study Social Work but soon found herself distracted by spectacles as the orators in Hyde Park.

She returned to Zimbabwe and taught at Waddilove Insitute in Marondera, together with her husband.

Cde Ruth Chinamano’s political career cannot be separated from her early life. As a young girl, she used to accompany her late father to political meetings and most of her political feelings were inspired by her father.

As she recalled in 1980: “I used to go with him when he addressed mass meetings of the uneducated, the educated, laughing at him”.

On completing her Junior Certificate, she could not write her mathematics examinations because she had joined in mass demonstrations against a college principal in East London, South Africa.

Cde Chinamano started showing her true political colours while in East Griqualand where she was pursuing a Primary Teachers’ Higher Course. She immediately challenged the racism and discrimination against blacks, which was in practice at the institution.

Cde Chinamano’s political life would also not be complete without mentioning the role played by Margaret and Stanley Moore, who introduced her to veteran nationalists James Chikerema and George Nyandoro before asking her to join the African National Congress.

Cde Chinamano stepped up her fight against discrimination during her stint at Mutare Teacher Training College and Waddilove Institute, where she taught renowned politicians such as Dr Sydney Sekeramayi and the late Dr Herbert Ushewokunze.

Together with Mrs Parirenyatwa and a few other women, Cde Chinamano staged the first “black sash” demonstration against the detention of veteran nationalists James Chikerema, Daniel Madzimbamuto, George Nyandoro and many others.

Cde Chinamano got the real nudge into politics when they were addressed by the late Vice President, Dr Joshua Nkomo, at Waddilove.

She became one of the founder members of the National Democratic Party and when she
opened her shop in Highfield in 1961, she offered the back of her shop to be used as an office for the NDP.

When the NDP was banned that same year, Cde Chinamano was already politically mature, and she immediately joined Zapu.

She was instrumental in organising women, often using her own car to transport them.
In 1963, Cde Chinamano was elected secretary of the Salisbury District of the Zimbabwe African Women’s League (Zawu), Zapu’s Women’s League.

At the same time, she headed the women’s wing as Secretary of the Highfield branch of the People’s Caretaker Council (PCC). When some Zapu members left to form Zanu, she remained with Zapu.

On April 16, 1964, Cde Chinamano was detained at Gonakudzingwa together with her husband, the late Cde Joseph Msika and the late Dr Joshua Nkomo.

They were the first four inmates of Gonakudzingwa, she being the only woman.
As the numbers later swelled, Cde Jane Ngwenya joined her. While in detention she participated in the Gonakudzingwa education programme for political detainees and also ran a clinic for local people.

Together with her late husband, they were later transferred to WhaWha Prison where they remained until 1970 when they were released.

This was not total freedom as they were confined within an 8km radius restriction.
The restricted freedom was shortlived as the Chinamanos were arrested again the same year, following the people’s violent response to constitutional proposals made by the Ian Smith regime. They were held at Marandellas (Marondera) Prison only to be released in 1974.

In 1975 Cde Ruth Chinamano travelled to England to visit her children. While she was abroad, a special Zapu Congress held on September 27 and 28, 1975 elected her as secretary for Women’s Affairs and a member of the Central Committee.

Her election in absentia bore testimony to the stature she had built as a trusted cadre of the liberation struggle. Consequently, she was one of the delegates representing PF-Zapu at the Lancaster House Conference in 1979.

Cde Ruth Chinamano worked tirelessly as a PF-Zapu Central Committee member and at the first parliamentary elections in 1980 held under the proportional representation system, she became the first woman Member of Parliament for Lupane. She was also a non-constituency MP from 1990 to 1995.

Cde Chinamano distinguished herself as a dedicated fighter for national unity, social justice, national development and gender equality.
She participated in the Unity Accord negotiations until unity was achieved in December 1987.

As a non-constituency MP, in 1991, she advocated for the abolition of local authority by-laws that were put in place by colonial governments and were not in conformity with African culture. She called upon the Government to abolish all beer halls situated near schools and turn them into domestic science centers where women would learn to look after their homes.

During the second reading and committee stages of the Harmful Liquids Amendment Bill, Cde Chinamano advocated for a ban on alcohol, arguing that it was a cause of many problems including the break-up of families.

She fought against all forms of social evils, especially rape and prostitution. She passionately urged the Ministry of Home Affairs to promote more policewomen into top positions in order to enhance women’s participation in formulating policies designed to address social problems that beset women.

Her fight for social justice was not confined to women and Zimbabwe alone, but was pan-African in scope.

Cde Chinamano castigated the West for what she believed were deliberate attempts to wipe out blacks in Africa through the supply of contraceptives and legalising abortion.

She also dismissed the popular belief that Africa was over-populated, asserting that it was a premise used by the West to justify the scale and use of contraceptives in Africa.

Cde Chinamano argued that contraceptives were meant to “reduce, if not eliminate the black population so that they (the West) can take over Africa.” On these basis, she urged Africans to adopt a critical outlook when considering foreign prescriptions.
As a fighter for women’s progress, Cde Chinamano urged all women to aim for higher positions.

The 4th People’s National Congress of Zanu- PF held in December 2004 was indeed a momentous occasion for Cde Ruth Chinamano, in fact the last political milestone in her inspiring political life.

Not only did the Zanu-PF show its unreserved confidence in her by retaining her in the central committee, but more importantly, it brought to fruition her struggle for gender opportunities by electing Cde Joice “Teurai Ropa” Mujuru to the post of Second Secretary and Vice President of the Party, and subsequently of the country.
Cde Ruth Chinamano lived long enough to celebrate this epochal decision. Though the nation grieved at the passing away of a gallant freedom fighter, it takes consolation from the fact that her struggle for freedom and independence had been realised and within it, gender equality.

Accordingly, the Zanu-PF Politburo found it fitting to accord her the status of national heroine.

At the time of her death, Cde Chinamano was survived by three children and three grand children.

Source: A guide to the Heroes Acre – Some basic facts about Zimbabwe’s heroes and the Heroes Acre. – tendai.manzvanzvike ***

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(HERALD) ‘I’m not a Western puppet’

‘I’m not a Western puppet’

ZIMBABWE’S constitution-making process has begun in earnest with the outreach teams gathering views from people across the political divide. Ironically, the National Constitutional Assembly, which for more than a decade has campaigned for a new constitution, has distanced itself from this inclusive process. Features Editor Isdore Guvamombe (IG) talks to NCA chairperson Dr Lovemore Madhuku (LM) about the organisation’s stance and the constitution-making process.

IG: For a long time, you have been campaigning for a new constitution for Zimbabwe and here is an opportunity for your organisation to participate in the inclusive process. What is your contribution to the new process.

LM: NCA is not participating in this process. It is chaotic and a waste of resources… a waste of time and other things… You can actually add on your own adjectives.

IG: So NCA is not participating?
LM: Don’t tell me you don’t know that. As NCA we are totally opposed to the current process. We totally reject it. Everyone in Government knows that we are not participating.

IG: Why?
LM: No constitution-making process is left to politicians. A constitution is about the people. It is people-driven. You have a scenario where each political party is telling people what to say and you call that a constitution?
We are totally opposed to that process. A constitution needs an independent commission or body comprising stakeholders from all over. The current arrangement is that the ruling parties are running the affairs of the committee.
They are telling people what to say.

IG: Are you saying politicians should not be involved?
LM: We are not saying politicians should not be involved. They have a big role to play. They must just ensure that the process takes place and not tell people what to do. They must just wait for the people’s views, then draft it into the draft constitution.

IG: What is your way forward?
LM: In short, we are not taking part. We hope there is going to be a referendum after this flawed process and we will campaign for a no vote. This process is not inclusive as you claim. We are only participating in so far as we are watching what is happening. We need to know what they are doing and like anyone else you need to know what your opponent or enemy is planning. We just hope there will be a referendum and we will definitely win.

IG: Are you sure?
LM: Yes, we will certainly win.

IG: Do you have the resources to campaign against this process?
LM: We definitely do have the resources but there is really not much to campaign for because the process has already de-campaigned itself. In fact, we need no new resources.

The current process has decampaigned itself. It is self-defeating. We will just tell the people that the process was not credible.

You see, the ballot of the referendum itself has a No or Yes. It is giving people no option and therefore is not credible. Citizens of this country do have an opinion, even if NCA did not exist. We do not need resources.

Citizens of this country want their constitution not this one. They know what they want.

IG: You are regarded a puppet of the West. So the West is funding you in this process?

LM: No! No! No! Things have changed. The West is funding the current process, which is not credible and not us.

We have since stopped receiving any funding from the West. If anything, those participating in this current process are the puppets of the West. Not us!
The West is not a prostitute, it cannot fund those making the constitution and at the same time fund those opposed to it.

You don’t know what is happening. They have withdrawn from us. If there is anyone receiving money from the West, it is the inclusive Government. The inclusive Government has become a puppet of the West.

Members of Copac are receiving US$75 per day from the West and we are getting nothing. We don’t need their money, we have our own resources.

IG: Is it true that you have deployed your people all over?

LM: Deploying people? We do not deploy people. Our people are all over the country. Our people are everywhere. Deploying means you think we have people in one place and then we send them somewhere. Wherever the outreach teams go, there are our people there.

I know Copac is crying that we are deploying people. We are not a Harare or Bulawayo group, we are all over the Zimbabwe and we receive reports from there, everyday.
Copac meetings are public meetings and deploying means NCA is not there. Every Copac meeting will have NCA people there.

We have full information from these meeting to support our cause at the referendum.
The puppet status you talk about has been overtaken by events. It is now the inclusive Government working for the West.

They cannot even sell diamonds, waiting for the West’s stamp.

I am sure if we wanted money from the West, we would have gone along with the inclusive Government in the current process and get the money. We are opposing the West, through opposing the process they are funding.

IG: For how long are you going to oppose the constitution-making process in this country?

LM: For as long as it is not done properly. The people must make their constitution.
At the moment, we are waiting for the referendum and there we are going to show that we are totally opposed to the process. We are totally opposed and we reject this process. It is simple.

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(HERALD) Parastatals must generate own salaries

Parastatals must generate own salaries

THE concern by the Minister for State Enterprises and Parastatals Gorden Moyo about the supposedly high salaries being paid by some State enterprises is valid. Zimbabwe is emerging from a very difficult time economically where people were virtually earning nothing. The temptation is high for managers in those organisations making a bit of money to want to get rich quickly.

But these are just a few. Salaries in most of the private sector are just slightly higher than those paid in the civil service. This means most workers are still earning far below what they are worth.

Whilst the employers may want to pay more, the ability to pay is just not there given the low production and revenue levels.

This is what weakens the case of these parastatals and State enterprises. Most of them are saddled with serious debts and are struggling to provide proper services. Their inefficiencies are weighing down industry and commerce and frustrating the general public.
Government is therefore justified in seeking to instill financial discipline and demand accountability from the boards and management of these organisations. After all, it is the same organisations that will soon be rushing to Treasury seeking a Government bail out.

Organisations such as Zesa, National Railways of Zimbabwe, Air Zimbabwe and the various municipalities are so critical in deciding whether Zimbabwe moves forward or not. The government cannot afford to let them collapse neither can it watch as the country is plunged into darkness because electricity has not been imported or see refuse piling up or water tapes running dry.

To keep the wheels of the economy running these parastatals and State enterprises must be run efficiently.

This means they need skilled manpower and top-notch managers. These do not come cheap.

An organisation like Zesa revolves around engineers. The chief executive is almost always an engineer.

These are people whose skills are in high demand elsewhere in the world. The only way to keep them in Zimbabwe is to pay them world market salaries, which perhaps explains why their salaries are as high as US$ 11 000 a month as we reported on Thursday.

So, in seeking to bring financial discipline to these organisations, Minister Moyo has to consider what similar organisations are paying their people in South Africa, Botswana, Australia and other countries that are notorious for attracting our skilled manpower. Focus should be on retaining existing skills and attracting those that left and not losing what we have now.

Another area to look at closely is that of increasing the revenue of these organisations. This means they must be allowed to charge the right prices for their products and services. They should also be freed to collect money owed to them by consumers. If Zesa, for example, was allowed to freely collect what it is owed by consumers, then it should be able to afford the salaries it is paying without compromising service delivery.

Yet another area to look at is the number of people in these organisations. Most of them are bloated and have been struggling to retrench. They could do with less people who they can pay market salaries.

The fact that Government itself is failing to pay its workers market salaries does not mean it should stop parastatals and State enterprises from paying their workers and managers well. But they must generate the income and not expect any bail out from central Government.



Politics of pacts

Politics of pacts
By Editor
Sat 24 July 2010, 04:00 CAT

What is our politics coming to? A big casino!

During the day, the MMD is busy denouncing UPND and its leadership; at night, they are busy trying to convince them to join them in bed! What message are they trying to send to the masses of our people? How do they expect the Zambian people to truly know them and support them when they are every day shifting positions and trying to change their colours like chameleons?

We know that freedom of association is guaranteed to everyone of us by the Constitution. But this does not mean that we should associate with anyone and anyhow. Careful choices have to be made because there are consequences in who we choose to associate with. It is said that every creature prefers its own kind, and people are not different. And that just as animals of the same species flock together, so people keep company with people like themselves. For MMD to get into a pact with UPND, there must be something in common with them.

One key characteristic that today defines the MMD is its openness to corruption. The MMD is today the only political party in this country that defends corruption and corrupt elements. To join hands with the MMD is to join hands with them in stealing public funds and abusing public office in all sorts of ways. Joining hands with the MMD is accepting to be judged by its standards, the standards and principles of thieves, lazos. Joining hands with the MMD is like choosing between life and death; you get whichever you choose.

It is easier to understand what brings the PF and UPND into a pact. It is the desire to kick the MMD out of power in next year’s elections. That will to win next year’s elections and form the next government is the one idea that the leaders and members of the PF and UPND hold in common. Of course, this may not seem to be the best foundation of a political alliance. But this is what they have, this is what the PF-UPND pact seems to be founded on. This is what seems to propel them. And if there was to be a pact between the MMD and UPND, what is it going to be anchored on? The desire by the MMD to remain in power and the desperation by the UPND to join them in office! This is possible. But where will it leave the standing of UPND in the eyes of our people? It will mean the UPND starting to defend Frederick Chiluba’s corruption! It will mean the UPND joining in corruption and other abuses of power! It will mean the UPND joining the MMD in electoral fraud! And where will this leave the UPND? As George Mpombo has correctly observed, this will be the end of UPND, this “will be a blunder of major proportion that could spell the death of UPND. It will be like a person drinking concentrated hydraulic acid, a very dangerous situation” – in short, in a word, it will be political suicide. But suicide does occur so repeatedly in life. Less than two years ago, we had Sakwiba Sikota putting himself and a small part of ULP at the service of this corrupt MMD. Sakwiba campaigned for Rupiah Banda and helped him get the presidency – get, not win, the presidency. And where has that association with MMD and Rupiah left Sakwiba and his ULP? Again, to borrow from Mpombo, it was a blunder of major proportion that has left Sakwiba permanently politically crippled and impotent. Today Sakwiba has no role in our politics and is simply hanging in there hoping for something to happen that may rescue him from his political limbo. We have no doubt Sakwiba regrets that terrible decision, but he will never say so because there is no alternative for him but to stay where he is.

And where is Edith Nawakwi today after her pact with the MMD and Rupiah in the 2008 presidential elections? Equally, she is sitting in limbo waiting for the dice to roll. This is what wrong choices can do. Sakwiba and Nawakwi had every right under our Constitution to associate, enter into a pact with Rupiah. But while exercising one’s right to associate with whoever they desire, there is always the danger of being infected or affected by the illnesses, the diseases of their partners.

There is desperation in the opposition. Many opposition politicians are broke and hungry while their colleagues in the ruling MMD are getting all sorts of government contracts, jobs and are awash with money to do their politics, their campaigns. The situation is very tempting for opposition politicians because all this is being waved in front of them by the MMD; they are every day being told “come and join us and we will clear away all your financial problems”. It is not easy for them because most of our politicians are unemployable outside political jobs. So things are very difficult for most of them. Even those who are posturing to be rich, pretending to have deep pockets, they are not that rich and their pockets are not so deep to enable them take care of their poor comrades or followers. And these are also the people the MMD is targeting – people who are broke and are desperately looking for government appointments or even cheap loans from some government agencies. But what type of a pact can arise from this? Can there really be a meaningful pact between the MMD and UPND? It’s not possible – there can only be a corrupt and undignified pact between them. The MMD can’t enter into a clean pact because the party itself is not clean. The MMD can’t give what it doesn’t have to a pact – dignity to a pact. Truly, one who enters into pacts with good-for-nothings is a disgrace to his people.

It’s clear that a pact with the MMD will never be a sensible option for the UPND. If their alliance with the PF fails, joining hands with the MMD will not do – they can join hands with anybody else but not the MMD. Again, nobody can or should take away this right from them. They are free to go to bed with whoever they want, including the diseased and rotten MMD. If they come out infected or affected, it’s their problem which they will have to live with. We are simply illuminating the possibilities, the dangers and the consequences. The choice is theirs. Zambia will not come to an end because they have joined hands with criminals. The Zambian people will fight them together with the criminals they have joined. And without any doubt, good will triumph over evil in the end, no matter how long or how difficult the struggle between them will be. With or without the PF-UPND pact, “the MMD will still be sorted out in next year’s elections”. And with or without the MMD-UPND pact, whatever forces remain in the opposition will still stand a good chance of kicking out the evil ones from government.

It is therefore important for the Zambian people to remain focused and stick to principles because with principles, they will win and they can win. There is no choice between being principled and unelectable; and electable and unprincipled. What is most important is to have an electoral pact with the people, with the voters of Zambia. Without a pact with them, no electoral alliance can win one any election. That’s why if there are problems in the PF-UPND pact, the best thing to do is to rush to the people and tell them the truth, explain to them everything that is going on and seek their understanding and support. There can never be a pact that is bigger or stronger than that with the people.

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MMD will lose 2011 elections – Mpombo

MMD will lose 2011 elections – Mpombo
By George Chellah
Sat 24 July 2010, 04:02 CAT

GEORGE MPOMBO yesterday said the MMD will still lose the 2011 elections even if the PF-UPND Pact went into political disarray. In an interview, Mpombo said it was unwise for the MMD to begin celebrating over the problems facing the pact.

“Right now the MMD is standing with one foot in a political grave and the prognosis for their performance next year is quite disturbing. It’s folly for anyone in the MMD to start celebrating the problems in the pact because ultimately these differences have made them pact realize their shortcomings,” Mpombo said.

“Even if the pact went into political disarray, the MMD will still be sorted out in next year’s elections. The MMD will still lose because it’s just an empty shell currently. Whatever happens to the pact MMD will never win elections, whether the pact went into disarray or not.”

He said President Rupiah Banda was simply not sellable.

“He has no grip or grasp on the political situation in the country. So the MMD must not even celebrate because the fact of the matter is that PF is a huge political force to reckon with and one can only ignore that at his own political peril. One would expect the MMD to know better when you look at the tough challenges PF has posed to the MMD in previous elections. For instance, you saw what happened to RB in the last presidential by-election despite the goodwill and sympathy accrued to him as a result of Levy Mwanawasa’s death,” Mpombo said.

“RB only managed to get slightly above 35,000 votes against PF to win that election and this was when people had not even known his poor leadership, lack of transparency, questionable deals like the RP Capital and Zamtel saga and so forth. So what will happen next year bearing in mind the fact that more of RB’s skeletons have now been exposed to the people? These are issues that people will not just ignore, they will definitely top the campaign agenda next year.”

He said currently the MMD is only surviving a few inches above water surface.

“The MMD is not in the position to melt the iceberg of discontentment, resentment and disenchantment in the country as a result of RB’s horrible leadership,” he said.

Mpombo said the MMD was at its weakest and its current situation is beyond redemption.

“No miracle will change this, MMD is on a slippery path. The conduct of Mr Banda has put MMD on a path of political insignificance. Here is a president who behaves like he has cotton wool in his ears,” Mpombo said. “He is ever on the move, why can’t he delegate some of his functions? Why does he have a Vice-President he can’t show to the rest of the world?”

He said the MMD was fully aware that chances of winning the 2011 elections were not there.

“MMD is courting a catch 22 because while they are condemning the PF and UPND Pact they are also trying to coax UPND to go to bed with them like MMD national chairman Michael Mabenga was saying recently. The most unthinkable thing for UPND to even consider at the moment is going to bed with the MMD. MMD as a party is currently obsolete under the leadership of Mr Banda. Rupiah Banda can never win an election,” Mpombo said.

“Those who think MMD can come back to its feet are dreaming, it’s too late for that. Actually, MMD must start writing its political obituary. A pact between UPND and MMD will be a blunder of major proportion that could spell the death of UPND. For UPND to go into pact with MMD it will be like a person drinking concentrated hydraulic acid, a very dangerous situation.”

On the PF-UPND Pact problems, Mpombo said it was clear that the pact is facing some small challenges.

He advised the political parties to resolve the problems, particularly that their differences and shortcomings had been exposed.

“It’s now up to the top leadership of the pact Mr Sata and Mr Hichilema to meet and iron out these small differences and also to ensure that only appointed spokespersons must handle these issues not Copperbelt Province UPND chairperson Mr Elisha Matambo or any other persons,” said Mpombo.

On Thursday, PF leader Michael Sata demanded sincerity in the pact.

Sata said numerically, PF was the second-largest political party in Zambia, while UPND was the third-largest.

Sata’s remarks come in the wake of assertions by the UPND on the Copperbelt that the PF seemed to have little respect for UPND president Hakainde Hichilema and treated UPND like a junior partner.

The PF/UPND Pact has gone against its agreement not to compete against each other in any election by fielding separate candidates in Chadiza and Kaoma for the forthcoming by-election on August 5.

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Dysfunctional economic growth

Dysfunctional economic growth
By Business Post Editor
Tue 20 July 2010, 08:10 CAT

There is no doubt things in this country are looking up and our people who are upbeat are understandably justified.

Today, Lusaka independent consultant Bob Sichinga is saying: “If we are to go by things that have taken place within the economy, seven per cent Gross Domestic Product growth can be achieved. After all, you had 6.2 per cent last year, but this year, growth copper production is going to be higher, and since the prices have gone up, you expect the proceeds to show the GDP that is higher than last year.”

Sichinga adds: “...The bumper harvest we achieved in maize output is also expected to impact positively on general economic performance for this year. These two factors alone – mining and agriculture will influence very positively the GDP growth.”

Sichinga was saying all these things in reaction to our finance minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane’s pessimistic letter to International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, where he feared the country might not achieve its targeted economic growth rate of seven per cent for this year.

Dr Musokotwane said Treasury cut the country’s economic growth forecast for 2010 to 5.8 per cent from seven per cent due to the possibility of a sluggish global economic recovery. Indeed the global economy is far from being stable.

We know that even as the world makes steady recovery from the United States-induced financial crisis which ripped apart the integrated global economy, things are still very far from returning to normal. And just when we thought the global economy was past the worst, in came the Greek crisis.

The Greek crisis is a real threat. Granted, our economy has been on a growth trajectory fuelled by both a rebound in copper output and exports, mainly driven by private investment.

Successive positive yields in the agriculture sector, particularly maize output is also beginning to provide that critical component, not only to mitigate inflationary pressures but also our aggregate economic growth.
As we say all these things, we are drawn to the fact that the country has not prioritised its growth areas and targets.

There is indeed a dysfunctional economic pattern and this is a real threat to our economy going forward.

Right now the country is sitting on three million metric tonnes of maize from the last farming season. This is expected to contribute significantly to our country’s economic growth rate and we are justifiably patting our farmers on their backs.

But the question we pose before our economic managers is: after producing three million metric tonnes of maize, then what?

We have seen our economic managers moving like headless chickens over the management of this crop.

Our farmers have been begging for treasury to facilitate exports of surplus of 1.3 million tonnes of maize. But this is not happening at the moment.

And we feel this inertia alone stands a higher chance of reversing the feat achieved last farming season and at the same time throw into disarray the already fragile agriculture sector.

This is also likely to exacerbate high poverty levels in rural areas.

The other key source of growth – mining – is also in tatters. There is certainly no doubt that things are worst in the mining sector. Last year alone, the country only earned US $77 million from copper exports of about US $5 billion.

What economically-sensible explanation can our managers give us for the sector that accounts for 70 per cent of our foreign exchange earnings to contribute a paltry 9.7 per cent to our gross domestic product (GDP)?

This year, we are targeting to mine about 700, 000 metric tonnes of finished copper cathodes. But what will we have to show for this at the end of the year?

There is a definitely need to reverse this economically abnormal trend we are seeing in our economy if the much talked about GDP figures are going to make an impact on improving the lives of our people.

We need to correct the dynamics so as to help us plan for any eventualities that might emanate from external pressures or even our own making.

We also need to balance between higher oil prices and higher copper prices. We are saying this because we are hardest hit whenever fuel prices go beyond the roof on the international market. Yet, we earn the lowest when the trend is with copper. We therefore believe that this imbalance between our expenditure on oil and our little earnings from copper is one of the biggest threats facing our economy.

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Zambia can achieve growth forecast, observes Sichinga

Zambia can achieve growth forecast, observes Sichinga
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Tue 20 July 2010, 12:10 CAT

ZAMBIA can this year achieve its economic growth forecast of seven per cent despite finance minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane having lowered it to 5.8 per cent, Lusaka independent consultant Bob Sichinga has observed.

Dr Musokotwane, in his recent Letter of Intent to International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, said the country’s economic growth rate had been cut due to the possibility of a sluggish global economic recovery.

He said growth in the country’s economy would be driven mainly by new investments in mining and power generation.

“As agricultural output reverts to trend levels, real GDP growth is expected to fall marginally to 5.8 per cent in 2010 before rising to 6 per cent thereafter,” stated Dr Musokotwane.

But in an interview last week, Sichinga said the current economic dynamics in the country favoured a higher economic growth rate.

“If we are to go by things that have taken place within the economy, seven per cent can be achieved,” Sichinga said.

“After all you had 6.2 per cent last year, but this year, copper production is going to be higher, and since the prices have gone up, you expect the proceeds to show the GDP that is higher than last year. We have had good crop this year and which we will export.

These two factors alone – mining and agriculture – will influence very positively the GDP growth...So, I do not share that pessimism with him. The only area is ‘how do you account for the proceeds that are coming from those areas of export for example?’”

He said although the Euro zone’s economic problems, fuelled by the Greek sovereign debt crisis, might pose a challenge to the country’s economic performance, Zambia’s real threat lay in the price of oil rising.

“The other thing that we should worry about is the cost of oil which are major inputs in our economy,” he said. “If that price of oil goes up, that is going to create problems for us. But at the moment, at 74 per barrel, it is certainly higher than last year but not significantly higher.”

Sichinga regretted that Zambia’s economic growth does not match with development as most key industries are not contributing to the country’s development.

“So, if what you earn from copper is not being recycled in Zambia but elsewhere, where do you expect development to come from? Where the money is being recycled?” Sichinga asked.

“We must examine where the growth is coming from, and so far in the policies the Minister of Finance talks about, he never discloses. There is a dysfunctional…there is no matching between what you are showing in GDP with what is happening. The fact that there is GDP growth does not mean there is development because the money is not coming back here to develop the roads.”

Sichinga said there was need to review the methodology used to evaluate key economic statistics to achieve maximum accuracy.

“Even the figure they gave us of 6.2 per cent in the year where there was these challenges was not an accurate accounting of those activities,” said Sichinga.

“We need to review the way we account for GDP growth including inflation. We need to review all factors that are taken into account. The statistics are not accurate and even the minister knows that as well.”

And Secretary to the treasury Likolo Ndalamei said despite the lower economic growth forecast outlined in the June-dated letter to the IMF, growth was likely to come in above the new forecast.

“We revised the target downwards because of the global economic crisis but agriculture and mining have performed very well and we expect to grow the economy beyond 5.8 per cent,” said Ndalamei.

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Post editorial on corruption in roads sector irks Mulongoti

Post editorial on corruption in roads sector irks Mulongoti
By George Chellah
Sat 24 July 2010, 04:01 CAT

WORKS and supply minister Mike Mulongoti is irked by the editorial comment carried in the Monday edition of The Post on corruption in the road sector.

Contributing to a debate on the third report of the Public Accounts Committee in parliament on Thursday, Mulongoti complained over the editorial comment and the matters it raised.

“On Monday, there was an opinion written about me in some newspaper where they were saying that because I am at works and supply I wear suits,” Mulongoti said.

“Suits, even messengers wear suits. I was chief spokesperson for the government of Zambia, was I expected to wear rugs?”

Mulongoti said as a minister he also deserved decent wear.

“In the paper they were quoting this report and making statements as if we are thieves. They say we are arrogant. When you are considered to be contemptuous its also arrogance,” said Mulongoti amidst heckles and laughter from Roan PF member of parliament Chishimba Kabwili, who was reminding him that he was also recently cited for contempt in the George Mpombo case.

Mulongoti said the Road Development Agency (RDA) audit generated a lot of interest. He said an audit is not intended to be a war.

“At no time have we said we will not rectify mistakes. The public where unleashed on us I was not there the years that are quoted in the report. But as a responsible minister I have to defend my government,” he said.

Mulongoti said RDA needed support and that he did not know whether the mistakes committed were so grave that they required people to be hanged.

“Those of you who were angry we have taken note of what you said. Do not think we take what you say lightly these are serious matters,” he said.

On donors, Mulongoti said to express disquiet when things were not going on well does not mean disrespect.

He dismissed perceptions that the government was at war with donors.

And UPND Bweengwa member of parliament Highvie Hamududu surprised his colleagues when he took an almost similar line of debate as renegade Namwala member of parliament Major Robbie Chizyuka in defence of the RDA.

Hamududu, who bragged that he was just donated to politics by his family and that he did not want to be part of jokers, stressed the need to protect institutions like RDA.

He also took an indirect attack on Sinazongwe UPND member of parliament Raphael Muyanda, who just debated before him.

This was after Muyanda raised concern over certain points in Maj Chizyuka’s debate.
“…This is not a debate contest,” Hamududu said in apparent reference to Muyanda’s earlier debate, as the MMD parliamentarians laughed and heckled: “Balelwa bekabeka! they are fighting amongst themselves.”

Hamududu said the government has more responsibility than the opposition and urged them to resolve the issues at RDA.
But Kabwili disagreed with Hamududu’s line of thought on RDA.

“What I have seen today if it continues this country is going nowhere. I totally disagree with the previous speaker saying ‘we must protect our institutions’.

Government must not be seen to be defensive. People must believe in calling a spade, a spade. RDA has failed and we must tell them,” he said.

He wondered what the purpose was in defending RDA.

He said the government must be responsive to the queries from donors.

“They gives us money, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the donors querying where e have gone wrong. There is a lot of corruption and the corruption must be fought,” Kambwili said. “This mistake by RDA must not be repeated. There should be no excuse in over committing this country.”

According to the report, the committee observed same anomalies.

“Your committee, after detailed scrutiny of various submissions from witnesses, observes the following, the Road Development Agency Board of directors, which is defined as the Agency, has not been performing all its functions as specified in the National Roads Act No 12 of 2002 specifically on the preparation and awarding of contracts which partly led to some of the issues raised in the Audit report such as over commitment on road projects; section 4(2)(l) of the National Roads Acts provides that the Agency shall prepare and award contracts and certify works for public roads,” it stated.

The report stated that there is a conflict between the Public Finance Act and the Public Procurement Act with respect to multi year contracts.

The Auditor General’s report revealed financial irregularities in the country’s road sector. This consequently resulted in donors withholding funding to the road sector.

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Govt to issue oil, gas, exploration licences this year - Mwale

Govt to issue oil, gas, exploration licences this year - Mwale
By Florence Bupe
Fri 23 July 2010, 14:00 CAT

MINES minister Maxwell Mwale has disclosed that government will commence the issuance of licenses to companies that were awarded blocks for oil and gas exploration before the end of this year.

Delivering a ministerial statement to Parliament on the status of petroleum exploration in Zambia on Thursday, Mwale said government through the Petroleum Committee was strategising on ways of making oil and gas exploration a viable economic venture for the country.

“The Petroleum Committee will in the near future license the companies that were awarded blocks for them to commence exploration before the end of the dry season this year to this important economic venture further. The committee will also finalise petroleum regulations for the effective monitoring and regulation of the sector,” he said.

Mwale said it was difficult for Zambia, being a frontier country, to attract investment in the oil and gas exploration sector but expressed hope that once the sector was developed, more investments would flow in.

“Zambia is a frontier country when it comes to gas and oil exploration. As a frontier country, it is difficult to attract investment in the sector,” Mwale said. “However, once the exploration companies start getting positive petroleum results, we are going to witness an influx of petroleum exploration companies and investment in the sector.”

Mwale stressed that positive results from oil and gas exploration may not immediately be visible, but added that the country’s leadership has the responsibility to manage expectations from this economic sector.

And Mwale assured that government had adopted a proactive approach in addressing the possible environmental effects of oil and gas exploration.

“Government, recognising that with the development of the petroleum industry comes many environmental and socio- economic challenges, has taken a proactive stance. With the help of the Norwegian government, my ministry has developed a strategic environmental assessment for the petroleum sub- sector,” he said.

A total of eight companies that included four local companies participated in the initial bidding process for 23 blocks, resulting in the awarding of eleven blocks to seven companies.

The ministry earlier this year advertised for an additional eleven blocks, which has seen only two local companies submitting bids.

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Rupiah explains his links with Philips

Rupiah explains his links with Philips
By Chibaula Silwamba and Patson Chilemba
Sat 24 July 2010, 04:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda has confirmed that he was a consultant for Philips about 15 years ago but denied having influenced the Ministry of Health to award a contract to the firm this time around. And President Banda earlier said a bumper crop of maize is a bumper crop for everything in Zambia.

Speaking journalists at Lusaka International Airport before his departure to Uganda for the African Union (AU) heads of states summit, President Banda said he had influenced Philips to bring diagnostic equipment to Zambia.

“In fact I heard about it when this story broke and I am glad that you know something that in my private life, long before I was even a minister or a Vice-President, I was a consultant for Philips at that time but I am not now. So whatever took place and I have become very interested in it, it’s natural, because my name is being associated with it,” President Banda said.

“And what I hear Mr Vice-President George Kunda is that this is a contract for the maintenance of the equipment but I am just proud that I was the one that managed to influence the bringing in of the diagnostic equipment by Philips at that time – more than 12 or 15 years ago.

“So what is happening now is something, admittedly, I didn’t know anything about it until it broke in the newspapers. So obviously somebody didn’t read the story properly and you know Mr Mpombo is always looking for things to say about me and he said: ‘ha, this is a big story, I have caught him President Banda’. But I have nothing to do with it.”

On July 12, 2010, Mpombo questioned the government’s decision to award Philips a multi-million euro contract to cover the upgrade and maintenance of equipment in 71 government hospitals nationwide.

Commenting on the signing of the five-year contract between Philips and the Ministry of Health, Mpombo, who is Kafulafuta MMD member of parliament and former defence minister, challenged the government to explain the procurement procedures used in awarding Philips the contract.

“It has got strong connection to State House. So we would want to know the procurement system, was it followed? Was it single-sourcing?” Mpombo asked. “We want to challenge them; tell us whether the procedures were followed, or was it single-sourcing?”

Mpombo said the deal was suspect. Mpombo said such happenings usually led to the loss of public confidence in those who governed the country.

On July 16, 2010, highly-placed sources in the Ministry of Health have disclosed President Banda’s involvement in the Philips deal was not surprising because he has been known to represent that company before he became President.

The sources disclosed Mpombo’s questioning of the government’s decision to award Philips a 25 million euro contract to cover the upgrade and maintenance of equipment in 71 government hospitals was justified.

“I can tell you that it dates back to about year 2000. This was before His Excellency became part of the MMD government. Around that time, in his private capacity, His Excellency approached then permanent secretary Kashiwa Bulaya and introduced himself as the representative of Philips of Holland,” the source narrated.

“And he had picked up information, I don’t know from where, that we had signed a line of credit with the Dutch government, against which we could purchase diagnostic equipment, X-rays … using that line of credit.”

The sources disclosed that, thereafter, Bulaya obliged by making sure that all the diagnostic equipment for all the 72 districts was procured from Philips using that line of credit.

“Amongst yourselves, you can in fact end up challenging the Ministry of Health to deny that; in fact, around 2000-2001, the ministry bought all diagnostic equipment, particularly X-rays for all hospitals in Zambia from Philips upon that meeting between RB and the permanent secretary. So that’s probably the genesis of all this,” the source disclosed.

“You will also recall that as vice-president or as acting president the President hosted a meeting in his office of a delegation of Philips at which he appeared to be happy that Philips was ready to do business with Zambia, and the Ministry of Health in particular, and assured the delegation that all will be done to ensure that that relationship continued.”

But on July 21, 2010, health minister Kapembwa Simbao said he does not understand how President Banda should be the one to answer for the contracts under the Ministry of Health.

Addressing the press following Philips’ revelation that they had signed a five-year multi-million Euro contract with the Ministry of Health, Simbao said the ministry earlier this year signed a nine million Euro deal but it had nothing to do with President Banda.

He said he had never been called at any time by the President on this issue.

“If anywhere, somewhere the President is talking to someone else who is not me then I haven’t yet heard about it. I don’t know how really the President must be the person to answer for the things for the Ministry of Health. Let’s exonerate innocent people,” Simbao said.

And commenting on his trip to attend the African Union summit being hosted in Uganda, President Banda said he was concerned about terrorism there especially following two bombings recently after Somalia Islamist terrorist group, Al Shabaab, bombed and killed at least 74 people and threatened to continue the bombings in the region despite heightened security measures ahead of the summit,

“Naturally I think we should all be concerned when such things are happening but you know we are members of the AU and if our brother the President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni has convened a meeting of the AU all of us are going. I have checked with all my colleagues, South African President Jacob Zuma, Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba and all in the neighbourhood, all of us are going,” President Banda said.

“I think it is very important to stand by each other when there are such problems. We should all be concerned when such things have happened to our countries. It’s not a good thing.”

Al Shabaab claims that it bombed Uganda because the East African country has peace keepers in Somalia and has vowed to continue with its attacks.

In response to the July 11 twin bombings in Kampala, President Museveni declared to fight Al Shabaab.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

(MnG) Racism posing as rule of law

Racism posing as rule of law
Jul 22 2010 17:40

I wonder what a real rape survivor might think about Sabbar Kashur being convicted of rape and sentenced to 18 months in prison for sleeping with a woman who thought he was Jewish. The Arab-Israeli man was sentenced on Thursday in Jerusalem, after being under house arrest for two years for his "rape" of a Jewish woman in 2008.

Here's what happened -- he met an Israeli Jewish woman on the street, literally, they hit it off, and then went into the closest building to have sex. Then she figured out he was Arab, which turned their consensual sex into rape in the eyes of both the unnamed woman and Judge Tzvi Segal. "It is incumbent on the court to protect the public interest from sophisticated, smooth, sweet-talking offenders who can mislead naive victims into paying an unbearable price: the sanctity of their bodies and souls," said Segal.

There are so many problems here.

First up, how many men would end up in prison for "deceiving" women that they slept with? Too many to fit our jails, I imagine. "I drive a BMW", "I like children" and "I love you" are all phrases that changed far too often in post-coital conversations around the world. But while it's not okay to lie to your partner, it's certainly not rape.

Kashur also allegedly told her he was an eligible bachelor when in fact he is married with two children. While a lock-up for men who have extra-marital affairs is not a bad idea in my book, it's still not rape.

Rape is very specifically intercourse with somebody without their consent. While the specifics may vary in different countries, the concept of without consent remains firmly in place.

Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported that Kashur posed as a man seeking a long-term romantic relationship. Surely, if that was what the woman was seeking, a quickie in the closest structure 10 minutes after they met was not one of the criteria. If the woman was so specific about who she slept with, then perhaps a meal to get to know him slightly, or at least a cup of coffee would have cleared up any racist queries she might have had.

But this is not only about sex. This is also straight-up racism posing as the rule of law. It is another means of making Arab-Israelis feel less human than Israeli Jews, just like keeping the plumbing systems in East Jerusalem in the same state as they were in the early 20th century, while upgrading those in West Jerusalem. This means that when you visit the toilet in East Jerusalem, your toilet paper can't be flushed down the toilet -- rather it needs to be thrown into a bid beside the loo. Getting to the gritty, most grossly physical aspects of humanity, through humiliation and attempt to crush dignity, is how Israel maintains its racist policies.

In the meantime, and for this end, rape survivors and those fighting sexual abuse are having their plight made a mockery of as the meaning of the truly horrendous and inhumane act of rape becomes diluted. Real rape victims are afraid to speak out, often for fear of being accused of crying wolf. Real rape victims do not get attention from police and from the justice system. But when racism is involved, and the Israeli government is trying to prove a point, then regretful sex leads to a conviction. Now a man will spend a year and a half in prison to make some unnamed woman in Israel feel innocent and pure again.

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(STICKY) (NEWZIMBABWE) Sanctions benefit Zanu PF: Coltart

COMMENT - David Coltart is a liar and a killer. Thousands of Zimbabweans were killed by cholera because of the collapse of the currrency caused by economic sanctions, not 'travel restrictions'. But hey, the sanctions might help the ZANU-PF now, so they should go - not because they killed Zimbabweans.

Sanctions benefit Zanu PF: Coltart
by Mduduzi Mathuthu
21/07/2010 00:00:00

EDUCATION Minister David Coltart says Western sanctions on Zimbabwe are “past their sell-by-date” and are now being used by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party to hinder the full implementation of a 2008 power sharing agreement.

Coltart, who describes his relationship with Mugabe over the last 30 years as “chequered”, also insists in a BBC interview that the pact signed following disputed and violence-marred elections was the only non-violent option available to the President’s rivals.

Asked by the BBC’s HARDtalk host Stephen Sackur if he thought sanctions should be lifted, Coltart replied: “They were largely symbolic, there were never any economic sanctions against Zimbabwe, they were targeted against individual members. Those who imposed these sanctions gave so much notice for example on the financial sanctions that most Zanu PF hierarchy actually got their money out, so they never really had any impact in the first place.

From the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001:


(c) MULTILATERAL FINANCING RESTRICTION- ... the Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States executive director to each international financial institution to oppose and vote against--

(1) any extension by the respective institution of any loan, credit, or guarantee to the Government of Zimbabwe; or

(2) any cancellation or reduction of indebtedness owed by the Government of Zimbabwe to the United States or any international financial institution.

You can determine yourself if these are economic sanctions or 'travel restrictions'. - MrK

“Ironically, my view now is that sanctions are being used most effectively by Zanu PF. They use sanctions as the reason why they should not implement other clauses in the [power sharing] agreement. So to that extent, I believe sanctions are past their sell-by-date.”

Mugabe's party has refused to move on key government appointments until sanctions are lifted -- referencing a clause in the Global Political Agreement which implores the power sharing partners to campaign for their removal.

Coltart said the European Union and the United States had shown “understandable scepticism” about a power sharing arrangement which retains President Mugabe, but rails against what he sees as a “purist approach” to Zimbabwe – an approach not exercised anywhere else where countries are coming out of conflict situations.

“They are very sceptical, and I understand why they are sceptical,” Coltart said in the interview which aired on Tuesday and Wednesday. “They view Robert Mugabe as a wily politician. I think that they are wrong. I think they are trying to be purist in their approach. They didn’t apply that standard to the Good Friday Agreement [in Northern Ireland] ...

“If people in Ireland said they weren’t going to enter into an agreement because of what the IRA had done in the past, there would never have been a Good Friday Agreement and Northern Ireland would be stuck in the mire still.

“If you go back to the Second World War, if you adopted a purist approach, [Winston] Churchill would have never spoken to [Joseph] Stalin. We came to the same point in our history, and you’ve got to put the past aside in many respects to move ahead.

“We had a much bigger danger facing our nation, namely total collapse, degeneration ... and to that extent, I don’t believe that the international community has given this arrangement a chance.”

Coltart, a long-time critic of Mugabe – first as a human rights lawyer and later as an MP – defended the pact signed between Mugabe’s Zanu PF party and the two rival MDC factions led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.

“It’s been in many respects a tense relationship. It’s very hard to trust anyone who has been responsible for gross human rights violations,” Coltart, a senior member of Mutambara’s MDC, said of his own personal relationship with the President.

“But what applies nationally, applies personally. We had no other viable non-violent option other than to go into this arrangement, and to that extent we have to put history aside and work in the interests of the nation -- and that includes working with Robert Mugabe.”

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(TALKZIMBABWE) Zimbabwe seeks friends, not enemies: President Mugabe

Zimbabwe seeks friends, not enemies: President Mugabe
By: TH-TZG reporters
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 7:41 am

PRESIDENT Mugabe says Zimbabweans are simple people who seek peace and friendship around the world, but does not understand why Britain, led by former Prime Minister Tony Blair, decided to internationalise a bilateral issue and seek sanctions against Zimbabwe.

"We seek friends, not enemies. We have nothing against the British people but we were opposed to the Blair regime," President Mugabe told incoming French Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Francois Ponge.

The president said he hoped the new ambassador would help restore bilateral ties that have deteriorated since Nicolas Sarkozy took over the French presidency three years ago.

President Mugabe said relations had been more cordial when Jacques Chirac was still in office.

"I do not know whether President Sarkozy understands the history between us and Britain. He appears to have taken a plunge. We look forward to sanctions being lifted and it is good that you are here.

He added: "We are a simple people. We do not seek quarrels with anyone, but some people think they are better off quarrelling than making friends.

"We are a small country of about 13 million but we are proud of ourselves."

Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba said the President chronicled to Ambassador Ponge how relations between Zimbabwe and Britain soured after the Tony Blair regime in Britain reneged on an agreement to fund land reforms in Zimbabwe as per agreements at Lancaster House in 1979.

He also outlined how Blair proceeded to internationalise the issue after Zimbabwe embarked on the land reform exercise after British withdrawal.

President Mugabe also updated Ambassador Ponge on the progress made by the inclusive Government since its formation in February last year.

"We have worked very well despite our differences. We are all Zimbabweans with a common identity and we proceed along the same path to our common destiny," he said.

President Mugabe also enlightened the ambassador on the current constitution-making process.

Former French president Chirac often resisted British pressure to ostracise Zimbabwe and in 2003 defied the British manouvres and hosted President Mugabe at the France-Africa Summit.

Under Chirac, France was also understood to be opposed to European Union sanctions on Zimbabwe, but was bound by "common policy" positions.

Mr Ponge was among three ambassadors who presented their credentials to President Mugabe at State House yesterday.

The other new top diplomats who presented their credentials to President Mugabe yesterday were Pakistan’s Ambassador, Syed Zulfqar Ali Shah and Ambassador Eddy Poerwana of Indonesia.

Ambassador Shah said his meeting with President Mugabe went very well.

"We are really impressed by His Excellency’s leadership. Pakistan and Zimbabwe enjoy good relations in all fields," he said, pointing out the co-operation in trade, agriculture, education and military affairs.

Ambassador Poerwana said during his tenu-re here he would seek to boost trade, develop the small-scale enterprises and work for women’s empowerment.

"Indonesia and Zimbabwe are long-time friends. We talked a lot about how we can develop the already good relations," he said.

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(TALKZIMBABWE) Biti lied about US$30m from diamond exports: Mpofu

Biti lied about US$30m from diamond exports: Mpofu
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010 1:17 pm

THE Minister of Mines and Minerals Development has dismissed as "lies" claims by Finance Minister Tendai Biti that US$30 million proceeds from the sale of Marange rough diamonds has disappeared.

Minister Obert Mpofu said a forensic audit of diamonds mined in the Marange field is under way and Mr Biti's finance ministry is responsible for revenue collection. Minister Mpofu said the audit will disprove charges by Mr Biti as to the diversion of revenues.

Biti claimed in his Mid-Term Budget Statement he delivered last week to Parliament that his ministry has not seen a single cent from diamonds extracted from the Marange field.

His budget statement cites a report by Kimberly Process Monitor Abbey Chikane in alleging that "Zimbabwe has sold at least US$30 million worth of diamonds from Marange, which Treasury and [the Revenue Authority] have no record or knowledge of."

Minister Mpofu told VOA Studio 7 that the Finance Ministry is responsible for collecting revenues when minerals are sold, not his ministry, adding that Finance is also responsible for documenting all mineral exports.

“The role of the ministry [of Mines] is to produce, and the role of the Minister of Finance is to collect. If they have not collected US$30 million, they should not blame anyone but themselves,” Mpofu told the Voice of America’s Studio 7 last night.

Minister Mpofu said “someone did not advise Minister Biti properly. It’s just all nonsensical, we cannot be guided by some statements which don’t make sense.

“In fact they are talking about US$30 million because they know what happened to that export, so they should be responsible to account for it.

"The Ministry of Mines don’t collect any money, they actually produce minerals and allow those who have produced those minerals to export using the parameters set by the Ministry of Finance.

“All the exports of any sort from any country are supported by export documents that actually accompany all exports.

"So these exports were done by the Ministry of Finance, and they should be accounted by the Ministry of Finance because they are the ones who process the export documents. It is the responsibility of his ministry to deal with those issues.”

Efforts to reach Mr Biti proved fruitless at the time of going to print.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) Biti must account for diamond money: Mpofu

Biti must account for diamond money: Mpofu
by Staff Reporter
23/07/2010 00:00:00

MINES Minister Obert Mpofu has dismissed as “hot air” and “nonsense” claims by Finance Minister Tendai Biti that up to US$30 million raised from diamond sales has not been accounted for. Mpofu said if Biti did his job properly, he would find the “missing” money IN HIS MINISTRY.

“The role of the ministry [of Mines] is to produce, and the role of the Minister of Finance is to collect. If they have not collected US$30 million, they should not blame anyone but themselves,” Mpofu told the Voice of America’s Studio 7 last night.

In a stinging rebuke, Mpofu said “someone did not advise Minister Biti properly” before he told parliament during his mid-term fiscal policy statement on July 15 that “Zimbabwe has sold at least US$30 million worth of diamonds from Marange, which Treasury has no record or knowledge of."

Mpofu said: “It’s just all nonsensical, we cannot be guided by some statements which don’t make sense.

“In fact they are talking about US$30 million because they know what happened to that export, so they should be responsible to account for it. The Ministry of Mines don’t collect any money, they actually produce minerals and allow those who have produced those minerals to export using the parameters set by the Ministry of Finance.

“All the exports of any sort from any country are supported by export documents that actually accompany all exports. So these exports were done by the Ministry of Finance, and they should be accounted by the Ministry of Finance because they are the ones who process the export documents. It is the responsibility of his ministry to deal with those issues.”

Mpofu said a forensic audit of diamonds produced from Marange was underway and he expects it will prove Biti wrong.

Meanwhile Mpofu has revealed Zimbabwe could resume diamond exports as early as August after finally getting certification from the industry watchdog, the Kimberley Process.

Zimbabwe has extended an invitation to the KP monitor Abbey Chikane “who has agreed to come at the latest in the first week of August” to oversee diamond exports worth an estimated US$1,7 billion.

Mpofu said: “We’re advising all stakeholders to start making preparations for this major development. We want to invite the generality of the public to come and see how this process will be conducted, which will be completely transparent to prove the peddlers of misinformation wrong. We want to prove the sceptics wrong and do what is good for the people of this country, and what is good for the Kimberley Process.”


The minister said proceeds from the diamond exports would be rapidly injected into the fiscus to support Zimbabwe’s economic regeneration and social services.

“The Minister of Finance made a public declaration in his budget speech where he said declaration of dividends in the diamond sector will be made on a weekly business. That is transparent enough for people to understand that we mean business, this will be done on a weekly basis,” Mpofu said.

“It is unprecedented; it has never been heard of where you have operations of this nature being subjected to such dividend declaration to ensure money quickly goes to the people. This is money that will be going to the fiscus and not going to any organisation or any individuals who may want to beat the system. We are serious about this and we have been listening to a lot of destructive and negative statements based on ignorance.”

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