Saturday, September 25, 2010

(NEWZIMBABWE) Beenie Man heads for Zimbabwe

Beenie Man heads for Zimbabwe
by Showbiz Reporter
23/09/2010 00:00:00

JAMAICAN dancehall star Beenie Man is joining the great trek by international stars to Zimbabwe after it was announced the Who Am I star will perform at the Old Hararians Sports Club on October 16.

The Grammy-winning star joins a growing list of international stars who have staged performances in Zimbabwe recently, including Sean Paul, Luciano, Joe Thomas, Sizzla and Akon.

Beenie Man’s one-off performance will be the highlight of a promotional summer festival organised by the soft drinks and beer maker, Delta Beverages through their Lion Lager brand.

Delta’s marketing manager Patricia Murambinda said Beenie Man would be arriving on October 15, before his gig at the Lion Lager Summer Festival a day later.

The 37-year-old Beenie Man, born Anthony Moses Davis, announced himself on the international stage with a 2002 duet with Janet Jackson in ‘Feel It Boy’ and got his first major break in the United States with the 2004 smash hit ‘Dude’.

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UPND not interested in Pact anymore – PF

UPND not interested in Pact anymore – PF
By George Chellah
Sat 25 Sep. 2010, 04:02 CAT

PF national youth secretary Eric Chanda yesterday said it is outrightly clear that UPND is no longer interested in the pact and have resolved to act as spoilers in the 2011 general elections.

Reacting to UPND national youth chairperson Joe Kalusa’s statement that PF leader Michael Sata is losing wisdom everyday, Chanda said the PF youths would no longer tolerate the insults from the UPND on Sata.

“As PF youths we cannot continue stomaching the insults being hurled on our party president Mr Michael Chilufya Sata and our secretary general Mr Wynter Kabimba by the UPND. It is outrightly clear from the insults that we have received on our senior leadership from the UPND that our colleagues in the UPND are no longer interested in the pact,” Chanda said.

“They UPND want to destroy PF and then leave us at the end of the day to join the MMD or simply act as spoilers so that they lessen our chances and let the MMD carry the day. But they will not succeed because the people of Zambia are carefully watching and they know the truth. They have actually exposed themselves too early.”

He said the insults from UPND that were being poured on Sata were unjustifiable.

“The UPND have tried to hide their bad faith by referring to PF vice-president Dr Guy Scott’s one off article that appeared in The Post where he explained the realities and challenges of the pact. I have said one off because Dr Scott’s statement only appeared once,” Chanda said.

“But what has the UPND or Mr Hichilema in particular got to say about Joe Kalusa’s continuous attacks and insults on our party leadership and the president in particular? Joe Kalusa, the UPND national youth chairman in what capacity can he go to insult the PF president Mr Michael Sata that he has lost wisdom?

“The Zambian people know very well that Mr Sata has done a lot for this country. He is the man of the people and the most capable man to rule this country from 2011 and years by. What has Joe Kalusa done for this country to warrant his attacks and insults on President Sata?”

He said it was obvious that the attacks and insults on Sata were sponsored by other people.

“We know that Kalusa, Mazabuka UPND member of parliament Gary Nkombo and Siavonga UPND member of parliament Douglas Syakalima have been planted by the UPND president himself Mr Hakainde Hichilema to destroy the reputation of president Michael Sata and Wynter Kabimba and to destroy the reputation of the entire PF. But they are bound to fail because PF is a mass driven political party. Our strength lies in the people themselves,” said Chanda.

“Anyone can see that UPND does not mean well to the pact. What UPND could have done if they were genuinely aggrieved or had any issues was to call for round table dialogue. But they have gone to the media in an attempt to destroy us. This we cannot accept as PF youths and we are saying if they are not ready to dialogue let them come out in the open because their real intentions are already known.”

On Friday, Syakalima, who is also Hichilema’s senior adviser, was quoted in the Times of Zambia as having accused Sata and Kabimba of not believing in the spirit of the pact.

“By saying that UPND should accept that PF has more MPs than the UPND and the issue of presidency only means that they don’t believe in the pact,” he said.

Syakalima said the claim by the PF that it had more members of parliament was wrong.

He said PF was no longer strong because most of its member of parliament voted with the MMD.

He wondered why the PF could not accept reality that they had been losing to the MMD in Luapula Province.

Syakalima also said PF could no longer bank on its past glory because the “political pendulum is emotional and unpredictable.”

And Nkombo was quoted in the same publication as having maintained that Kabimba was an enemy of the pact and the Zambian people would blame him for breaking the alliance.

The Times of Zambia also quoted Kalusa stating that Sata had lost wisdom despite having served in government for a long time.

“As an old man, we expected Mr Sata to provide wisdom in the pact, but he has failed. If anything his statements in the media are showing that he is losing wisdom every day,” Kalusa said.

Copperbelt UPND chairperson Elisha Matambo told The Post that his party could survive without PF.

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Tonga’s will not produce a President without networking with others – Kanyama

Tonga’s will not produce a President without networking with others – Kanyama
By George Zulu in Monze
Sat 25 Sep. 2010, 04:01 CAT

CHIBAMBA Kanyama has said the Tonga speaking people will not produce a Republican president for as long as they do not see opportunities in networking with others.

During a workshop for youths organised by Matantala Rural Integrated Development Enterprise (M-RIDE) in Monze on Wednesday, Kanyama, a Lusaka economist, told the youths that he wanted to whisper something although he did not want to be misunderstood as a tribalist.

Kanyama, a Tonga from Chikankata, said politics among Tongas of not wanting to network with others had killed their opportunity of becoming presidents.

“The politics in the UPND that is what ‘killed’ Anderson Mazoka’s dream, because of not wanting to network with others, no strategy,” Kanyama said just before his presentation.

“We talk anyhow with hatred for others. When Mazoka died some people just spoke anyhow and injured many people in the process.

[Like Ackson Sejani's brainless statement that "It is time for a Tongan president". What was even more unforgivable, is that HH didn't not immediately distance himself from Ackson Sejani. That is what fed the tribalism rumours. - MrK]

Some of those who were injured could have been their supporters. You have to climb on the back of others for you to succeed even the ones you don’t like as long as they are useful to your success.

”If that is the strategy then no Tonga will ever become president of this country. So start networking, for our friends from other parts have done that before and have succeeded.”

Kanyama advised the youths to start networking in order to achieve their goals in leadership and business.

“Start networking because it is an important tool. You see opportunities in networking and use them wisely. We live in a changing world where there is demand for anything with value. Change requires discipline,” said Kanyama.

Over 400 youths from chiefs Hanjalika, Chona and Mwaanza areas gathered at Kasaka Basic School, 50 kilometers east of Monze, to get tips on how to become successive entrepreneurs.

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Rupiah and donors

Rupiah and donors
By The Post
Sat 25 Sep. 2010, 04:00 CAT

When people fail to explain what they have done, they usually resort to truancy, irrationality and stubbornness. A few weeks ago, the nation witnessed something like this with Rupiah Banda. Following increased local and international criticism over his handling of the corruption cases involving his political consultant and advisor Frederick Chiluba, Rupiah turned truant and irrational in defence of what they had done. There was no doubt on the minds of many people, local and international, that the acquittal of Chiluba by magistrate Jones Chinyama was engineered by Rupiah’s government. And this was clearly demonstrated by Rupiah’s appeal to the Zambian people to accept and respect this judgment before Chinyama had even finished reading it. And after that, Rupiah stopped attempts by the prosecutors to appeal Chinyama’s judgment.

And he is on record saying he stopped the appeal. After this, it was very clear to everybody that their goal was to totally clear Chiluba of all corruption charges and ensure that he goes scot-free and keeps his loot. This meant that the efforts to register and enforce the judgment which the Zambian government had obtained in the London High Court also had to be stopped. Therefore, judge Evans Hamaundu’s judgment that stopped the registration of the London High Court judgment did not surprise anyone; it was expected. Again reading judge Hamaundu’s judgment and the hollowness of its basis, there is no doubt that it was secured by Rupiah’s government in the same way they had done with his acquittal by Chinyama. Of course, this leaves a very bad mark on the integrity of our judiciary. But they have done it – they have gotten what they wanted and they don’t care about the rest. They don’t care about even the future of the many whose professional reputations they have destroyed. Chinyama and judge Hamaundu’s professional standing will never be the same again in the eyes of many people.

The effect of all this on the fight against corruption and the standing of the judiciary worried many people in this country, including our co-operating partners – the donors. Some of them could not hide their disappointment given the naked way or brazenness with which Rupiah went about things. Even judge Hamaundu’s judgment was not given an opportunity to be appealed against. This is clearly a corrupt way of dealing with corruption matters. It is also clearly a corrupt abuse of the judiciary and the entire judicial process in our country. There is no way those whose countries, whose taxpayers are making huge financial sacrifices to support our budgets and other projects in our country could be expected to keep quiet when Rupiah is corruptly denying the Zambian people the opportunity to recover more than US $45 million. All sorts of clearly false arguments, some of them rather stupid, were advanced to justify their decision to let Chiluba go scot-free. Again, the donors could not accept this and questioned their commitment to the fight against corruption and good governance.

And because Rupiah could not explain truthfully what he and his friends had done, he resorted to truancy, empty pomposity, arrogance and outright insolence and telling off donors, that they must leave Zambia if they were not happy with what they had done. He claimed that nobody had invited them to come to Zambia, they had come on their own and if they were not happy, they should leave. But this was not a principled position. It was a position taken to escape being called upon to account for the corrupt way in which they had allowed Chiluba to escape justice. This they could not explain; hence their resorting to truancy and irrationality, to behaving like mad people. And because Rupiah’s position was not based on principle but expediency, he today has no difficulties trying to be good to the same people he was a few weeks ago denouncing as bad elements, colonialists, neo-colonialists or imperialists. This is not a recipe for governing well and for good international relations.

One day, the truth about what they did will be laid bare for all to see. There is no way they will escape accountability over this issue even if they were to stay in power forever. Even in death, they will still have to account for what they did in this matter. It is still not difficult to guess what will happen to other matters relating to people connected to Chiluba. There is no doubt they will more or less go the same way Chiluba’s cases have gone. This is corruption. It is clear that state institutions and power are being abused. And abuse of state institutions and power is corruption. And this is what they meant in George Orwell’s Animal Farm when they said power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. They have power today to do everything they want but this will not last forever. They can even manipulate next year’s elections and keep themselves in power, but still they will not stay in power forever. And no matter how long they stay in power, they will not be able to hide the crimes of their league – one day they will all have to account for what they have done.

Soon they will realise that the exercise of power must be the constant practice of self-limitation and modesty. It was naïve for them to think they can get international assistant without conditionalities and do whatever they wanted to do without being questioned. There is no assistance in this world without conditions, even if that is not expressly stated. Assistance has to be conditional. When you help someone, a position is taken, and that position is taken on the basis of certain analyses of the loyalty and effectiveness of the leadership to use that assistance for the intended purposes. Assistance should be conditional; if not, those giving it run the risk of it being turned into the opposite of what they want.

Surely, this is not the way for decent leaders to behave. Today they say this, tomorrow they say something else. Today they denounce some donors, tomorrow they praise the same donors. What type of madness is this? But this is what happens to a country and its leadership when principles are lost, when values are subordinated to vanity. But today’s politics is about the search for progress in a changing world. We must build the strong and principled leadership that can provide it. A leadership that is inconsistent, that lacks principles cannot lead us in this highly changing world. We cannot buy our way to a better society. We must work for it together. Leaders lead, but in the end the people govern. What we are saying is rooted in a straightforward view of society. In the understanding that the individual does best in a strong and decent community of people with principles, standards, common aims and values.

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Govt removes‘abuse of office’ from ACC Act

Govt removes‘abuse of office’ from ACC Act
By Ernest Chanda
Sat 25 Sep. 2010, 04:01 CAT

THE government has removed the abuse of office offence from the revised Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) Act.

According to the National Assembly bill number 41 of 2010 presented to Parliament yesterday for first reading by acting leader of government business Mkhondo Lungu, Section 37 which catered for the offence has now been replaced by Concealment of offence.

The bill states that a person commits an offence if they intend to defraud or to conceal the commission of an offence under this part or to obstruct an officer in the investigation of any offence.

“(a) Destroys, alters, mutilates or falsifies any book, document, valuable security, account, computer system, disk, computer printout or other electronic device which belongs to or is in the possession of or has been received by that person or that person’s employer or any entry in such book, document, account or electronic device, or is privy to any such act,” the bill reads. “(b) Makes or is privy to the making of any false entry in any book, document, account or electronic device; or (c) Omits or is privy to the omission of any information from any book, document, account or electronic device.”

However, the bill makes mention of Corrupt use of official power in Section 21 which states that: (1) A public officer who, being concerned with any matter or transaction falling within, or connected with, that public officer’s jurisdiction, powers, duties or functions, corruptly solicits, accepts or obtains, or agrees to accept or attempts to receive or obtain for oneself or for any other person any gratification in relation to such matter or transaction, commits an offence.

(2) A person who, being concerned with any matter or transaction falling within the scope of authority, or connected with the jurisdiction, powers, duties or functions of any public officer, by oneself, or by, or in conjunction with, any other person, corruptly gives, promises or offers any gratification, whether directly or indirectly, to such public officer either for oneself or for any other person commits an offence.”

But in the current ACC Act, section 37 Chapter 91 of the laws of Zambia, under the sub-heading Possession of unexplained property, states as follows: (1) The Director-General, the Deputy Director-General or any officer of the Commission authorised in writing by the Director-General may investigate any public officer where there are reasonable grounds to believe that such public officer-

(a) has abused or misused his office position or authority to obtain property, wealth, advantage or profit directly or indirectly for himself or any other person;

(b) maintains a standard of living above that which is commensurate with his present or past official emoluments;

(c) is in control or possession of pecuniary resources or property disproportionate to his present or past official emoluments; or

(d) is in receipt of the benefit of any services which he may reasonably be suspected of having received corruptly or in circumstances which amount to an offence under this Act.

(2) Any public officer who, after due investigation carried out under subsection (1), is found to-

(a) have misused or abused his office, position, or authority to obtain advantage, wealth, property or profit directly or indirectly;

(b) maintain a standard of living above which is commensurate with his present or past official emoluments;

(c) be in control or possession of pecuniary resources or property disproportionate to his present or past official emoluments; or

(d) be in receipt of the benefit of any services which he may reasonably be suspected of having received corruptly or in circumstances which amount to an offence under this Act; shall, unless he gives a reasonable explanation, be charged with having, or having had under his control or in his possession of pecuniary resources or property reasonably suspected of having been corruptly acquired, or having misused or abused his office, as the case may be, and shall, unless he gives a satisfactory explanation to the court as to how he was able to maintain such a standard of living or how such pecuniary resources or property came under his control or into his possession or, as the case may be, how he came to enjoy the benefit of such services, be guilty of an offence.

(3) Where a court is satisfied in proceedings for an offence under subsection

(2) that, having regard to the closeness of his relationship to the accused and to other relevant circumstances, there is reason to believe that any person was holding pecuniary resources or property in trust for or otherwise on behalf of the accused, or acquired such pecuniary resources or property as a gift, or loan without adequate consideration, from the accused, such pecuniary resources or property shall, in the absence of a satisfactory explanation by or on behalf of the accused be deemed to have been under the control or in the possession of the accused.

(4) In this section, "official emoluments" include a pension, gratuity or other terminal benefits.”

On July 2 this year in Parliament, Vice-President George Kunda threatened Katuba MMD member of parliament Jonas Shakafuswa with imprisonment when the latter questioned the government’s motive for removing the offence of abuse of office from the revised ACC.

During the Vice-President’s question and answer session, Shakafuswa sought to know the motive behind such a decision by the government.

“I’m aware that section 37 which deals with abuse of office has been left out in the revised ACC Act, what is the reason?” Shakafuswa asked.

In response, Vice-President Kunda warned Shakafuswa that the information he disclosed to the House was classified.

“I don’t know where the MP got that information. But if he has access to classified information, it is a criminal offence because that Bill has not been tabled before Parliament. We are revising the law against corruption, taking into account the past experiences in reforming the law. Don’t prejudge this before you even see the Bill,” said Vice-President Kunda.

Later, works and supply minister Mike Mulongoti defended the move, saying the offence of abuse of office had proved harmful to the management process.

Mulongoti said people were now afraid to make decisions for fear of being criminalised on account of the same clause.

Justice deputy minister Todd Chilembo also justified the intended removal, saying public officers had extra sources of income.

He said the economic situation had changed and workers were earning other incomes by engaging in various economic activities.

“Looking at the changed economic situation where people, even civil servants, have other sources of income, it will be wrong to have such a law. The Penal Code, which is the principle law, has various provisions to deal with such offences,” said Chilembo.

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Libya, Zambia boost trade relations - Ambassador Swiexi

Libya, Zambia boost trade relations - Ambassador Swiexi
By Chibaula Silwamba
Sat 25 Sep. 2010, 04:01 CAT

LIBYAN ambassador Khalifa Omar Swiexi has said his country and Zambia are working towards enhancing and developing economic and trade relations through investments in communication and tourism.

And local government and housing minister Dr Eustarckio Kazonga has said it would be important for Zambia and Libya to ensure that continental unity was preserved at all times in collective march towards political and economic integration.

Speaking at the 41st anniversary of the September 1st Revolution or Libyan day in Lusaka on Thursday, Ambassador Swiexi commended Zambia’s past presidents and President Rupiah Banda for deepening the Libya-Zambia relationship.

“This confirms their keenness of strengthening the relations between the two sister countries and to achieve the aspirations of the two peoples, as they also consult and coordinate their stands for the benefit of the people of the continent to achieve their dream of unity,” said Ambassador Swiexi.

And Dr Kazonga said the Zambian government was appreciative of the friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation that had characterized the bilateral relations.

Dr Kazonga called for unity among African countries.

Former president Frederick Chiluba and his wife Regina, former first lady Maureen Mwanawasa, Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) president Edith Nawakwi were among the grandees that attended the celebrations at Taj Pamodzi Hotel.

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Sara Longwe urges women to reject draft Constitution bill

Sara Longwe urges women to reject draft Constitution bill
By Agness Changala
Sat 25 Sep. 2010, 04:01 CAT

GENDER Activist Sara Longwe has urged the women movement in Zambia to reject the Draft Constitution bill on account of its inadequate provision for women’s rights. And The Post was yesterday awarded by NGOCC in recognition for support to press freedom and women’s rights. Others awarded were Radio Phoenix and the Zambia Daily Mail for coverage of women issues.

Meanwhile, Gender minister Sara Sayifwanda has assured women that the Gender Based Violence (GBV) bill will be tabled before Parliament this session.

At the Silver Jubilee anniversary celebrations for the Non- Governmental Organizations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) in Lusaka yesterday, Longwe said in a speech read for her by Gladys Mutukwa that women should also lobby both male and female Parliamentarians to reject the Constitutional 2010 Bill.

She said in an event of a referendum on the Constitutional proposals, women should mobilize the electorates to vote NO!

Longwe also demanded for the domestication into law of the provisions agreed by the government in international human rights instruments.

She further demanded legal provision for affirmative action to increase the proportion of women in decision making positions in line with the government commitments in regional conventions.

Longwe said women should also demand speedy enactment of the Bill on domestic violence.

And Longwe said there was need to reconsider the strategy in the way women fought for their rights.

“Here I have to point to a weakness which is intrinsic within our women’s movement. This is that our focus on gender equality is not well defined,” she said. “The truth is that we are in fact a loose alliance of women’s organizations.”

Longwe charged that some were more focused on women’s welfare, whereas others were more on women’s rights.

She said some women were more interested in working for a better position ‘within’ the present system of male domination.

Longwe said this object was to claim patriarchy to work better and properly, to make men live up to their claim to look after ‘their’ women.

She said as a result of the above confusion, the women movement had supported women who got into parliament but did not and would not support equal rights for women.

“We have even experienced ministers who have gone out of their way to deride the women’s movement, and even deny that there is discrimination against women in this country,” Longwe said.

And Sayifwanda urged fellow parliamentarians to support the GBV bill for it to be enacted.

She claimed that her government was committed to protecting everyone from the harmful effects of GBV.

“Lives have been lost and families have broken apart because someone has chosen violence as opposed to dialogue,” she said.

NGOCC chairperson Marian Munyinda said women would remain engaged with the government on national and gender specific issues to ensure their voices were heard.

Munyinda said the women would also remain resolute to pressurize for the passing of laws of inheritance which protect the widow/widower and children after the death of a spouse or parents.

She said her organization would continue to discuss several issues of concern such as Constitutional reforms, implementation of the National Gender Policy, enactment of GBV bill, women’s realistic access to land, 50-50 women in decision making and advocating for national advocating for national budget that was gender sensitive and responsive in relation to the unique needs of women, girls, boys and men.

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative Duah Owusu-Sarfo urged Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to increase transparency and accountability in the utilization of donor funds.

Sarfo said the United Nations was committed to supporting the women’s efforts to fight for their rights.

He said if Rwanda and South Africa had made progress in having more representation of women in decision making positions, Zambia could also do it.


(NEWZIMBABWE) Full text: Robert Mugabe's UN speech

Full text: Robert Mugabe's UN speech
by Robert Mugabe
25/09/2010 00:00:00

Statement by His Excellency President Robert Gabriel Mugabe to the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, September 24, 2010:
Your Excellency, President of the 65th Session of the General Assembly, Mr Joseph Deiss,

Your Majesties,
Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government,
Your Excellency, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr Ban Ki-Moon,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Comrades and Friends.
Mr President,

Allow me to once again extend to you our warmest congratulations on your election as President of the 65t h Session of the General Assembly. I would, at the same time, like to assure you of Zimbabwe's support and co-operation during your Presidency.
Mr President,

We are meeting today to reaffirm our commitment to the United Nations and, in particular, to its comprehensive agenda for the promotion of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights.

We are, however, concerned that the world today continues to witness unbridled acts of aggression, wars, conflicts, terrorism and rising levels of poverty. We are also alarmed that powerful states, which daily preach peace and good governance continue to trample with impunity upon the sovereignty of poor and weak nations.

Zimbabwe yearns for a community of nations that recognises and respects the sovereign equality of all nations, big and small, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. We all have positive roles to play in promoting peace and development for the benefit of present and future generations.
Mr President,

As members of the United Nations, we have recognised the pressing need to reform our Organisation to make it better able to carry out its various mandates.

Zimbabwe stands ready to work closely with you, as well as with other Member States, to ensure that the reform process is speeded up and carried out on the basis of consensus and democratic participation. Most immediately, we must find ways and means to re-establish and assert the pre-eminent role of the United Nations in advancing peace and security, development and the achievement of internationally agreed goals, particularly the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).


Why are the developed Western Countries, especially those permanent members with the veto, resisting the democratisation of the United Nations organs, especially the Security Council? Aren't they the ones who talk glibly about democracy in regard to our developing countries. Or are they sanctimonious hypocrites whose actions contradict their sermons to us?
Mr President,

As we all know, the General Assembly is the most representative organ of the United Nations. Its position as the chief deliberative policy-making organ of the United Nations should therefore be respected. We need to move with haste and find common ground on how to revitalise the Assembly to enable it to fulfil its mandate as the most important organ of our organisation. Most importantly, this process of revitalisation must redress the continued encroachment by the Security Council on issues that fall within the General Assembly's purview and competence.
Mr President,

Our position on the reform of the Security Council is well- known. It is completely unacceptable that Africa remains the only continent without permanent representation in the Council. That historical injustice must be corrected.

We therefore urge Member States, including those that have vested interests in maintaining the status quo, to give due and fair consideration to Africa's legitimate demand for two permanent seats, with full powers of veto, plus two additional non-permanent seats. Africa's plea for justice cannot continue to be ignored. We all have an obligation to make the Council more representative, more democratic and more accountable.
Mr President,

Zimbabwe continues to advocate greater equality in international economic relations and decision-making structures. We therefore recognise the centrality of the United Nations in setting the global development agenda and believe that it is only a more coherent United Nations system which can better support the realisation of all the internationally agreed development goals.
Mr President,
Distinguished Delegates,

The developing world, particularly Africa, continues to suffer from the effects of the global economic and financial crises. It is important to understand that the critical issues that we face today cannot be addressed effectively when so many countries and regions are left out of the key decision-making processes of institutions of global governance. We need to participate in the making of policies and decisions that affect our very livelihoods. It is for this reason that we have called, and continue to call, for the reform of multilateral financial institutions, including the Bretton Woods Institutions.
Mr President,

It is clear that climate change is now one of the most pressing global issues of our time. Copenhagen failed to produce a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, an outcome that many of us had hoped for. Yet that conference was significant in its own way. It demonstrated the futility of attempts by the rich and powerful to impose their views and policies on the poor and weak. What we need, Mr President, is not an imposition of solutions based on self-interest, but a consensus on the reduction of harmful emissions and a climate change regime that balances adaptation and mitigation backed by the transfer of technology and resources.

We need to pay special attention to the three pillars of sustainable development, namely, economic growth, social development and environmental protection. In doing so, we should implement the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. It is our hope that when our negotiators meet in Cancun, Mexico, this December, they will produce an outcome that addresses the needs of those most affected by the effects of climate change.
Mr President,

Global food security continues to be a matter of great concern, particularly in the light of increased droughts and flooding. We reiterate our call for an urgent and substantial increase in investment in agriculture in developing countries. Global efforts to address the food crisis, the impact of climate change, and the drive to achieve the MDGs must go hand in hand.

It is disappointing that the Doha development round has stalled despite nine years of negotiations, mainly due to the intransigence of some countries. The Doha round of trade must not be allowed to die but must instead remain focused on development as it was originally envisaged. We also call on the developed world to show commitment towards global food security by increasing trade and access to their markets. Developing countries need to break away from the unending cycle of humanitarian assistance, and this can be achieved if they have increased access to developed country markets.
Mr President,

Zimbabwe strongly condemns the use of unilateral economic sanctions and other coercive measures in international relations. Such measures are completely at cross-purposes with the principles of international co-operation as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. I say this because my country continues to be a victim of illegal sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States of America without any reference to the United Nations with the evil intention of causing regime change.
These illegal sanctions have caused untold suffering among Zimbabweans, who alone should be the deciders of regime change.

Our Inclusive Government is united against these illegal sanctions and has made repeated appeals without success for their immediate and unconditional removal. The rest of the international community including SADC, COMESA and the African Union, has similarly called for the removal of the sanctions, but these calls have gone unheeded.

Mr President,

We urge those who imposed these iniquitous sanctions to heed the call by the international community to unconditionally remove them. The people of Zimbabwe should, like every other sovereign state, be left to freely chart their own destiny.
Mr President,

Every year, this august body adopts a resolution on ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States on Cuba. To this date, that resolution has gone unheeded by the US and the result has been the continued suffering of the people of Cuba. Zimbabwe joins the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and other well-meaning countries which call for the immediate lifting of this ruinous embargo.
Mr President,
Distinguished Delegates,

Zimbabwe has expressed its concerns on the continued stalemate in the Middle East peace process. It is unacceptable that decades on, peace continues to elude that part of the world. We call upon all parties involved, particularly Israel, to respect the relevant resolutions passed by the United Nations.

It is our sincere hope that current negotiations underway will be inclusive and eventually lead to the cherished goal of a sovereign state of Palestine, thus ending decades of suffering for the Palestinian people.
Mr President,

Since its inception in February 2009, our Inclusive Government has fostered an environment of peace and stability. Several reforms have been implemented and Government has created and instituted constitutional bodies agreed to in the Global Political Agreement (GPA). The Constitutional outreach programme is currently underway and upon its conclusion, a new Draft Constitution will be formulated as precursor to a Referendum next year, hopefully to be followed by an Election.

Achievements in the economic area include the revitalisation of capacity utilisation in industries, the containment of inflation, improvement of service delivery in health and education, as well as the rehabilitation of basic infrastructure such as roads, water and sanitation facilities.
Mr President,

The three parties to our GPA have worked hard to implement most of the issues that they agreed on. To maintain the momentum, we need the support of the region and that of the international community. In this regard, we commend SADC, the African Union, the NAM and indeed like-minded members of the international community for giving us their support.

We believe that constructive engagement, and not isolation and punishment, will bring the necessary impetus to the efforts of our Inclusive Government. Our great country is indeed marching forward in peace and unity.

I thank you!


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UPND has not run out of options to win in 2011 - Mweetwa

UPND has not run out of options to win in 2011 - Mweetwa
By Kombe Chimpinde
Fri 24 Sep. 2010, 17:50 CAT [756 Reads, 0 Comment(s)]

THE UPND has said that it has not run out of options to win the 2011 elections. And the UPND has complained that they have sacrificed enough including Namwala member of parliament major Robby Chizyuka because of their commitment to the Pact.

Speaking when he featured on 'People’s Last Say' programme on QFM radio last night UPND deputy spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa accused its partner the Patriotic Front (PF) of not being committed to the Pact that has been on the agenda of Zambians.

“What is happening in the Pact is not actually indisciplined. I think its lack of commitment within the Pact. I am saying this because indiscipline is when someone in the political circles is contrary to the party's position. When you walk out alone and say as far as am concerned I stand for something that is contrary to the party's position then you are said to be indisciplined. This we did in UPND when we expelled Namwala MP Major Chizyuka because he was taking a stance that was contrary to the party's,” he said.

Mweetwa said that UPND expelled Chizyuka just to demonstrate their commitment to the Pact.

“We had to lose an MP because we knew we were concentrating on a bigger picture, the Pact, because that’s what the people of Zambia want. We had to expel a member of parliament on that score now when people say Gary Nkombo is indisciplined he is a member of parliament and chairperson for energy in the UPND,” he said.

“He was speaking as a member of the working group and in this particular meeting that took place that sanctioned PF's stand in Mpulungu and Chilanga to be contested by UPND. Gary was the secretary who was taking minutes of what was discussed.”

He said it was astonishing to learn that PF general secretary, Wynter Kabimba, who was a senior party official in PF could come out and contradict the agreement s made at the meeting.

“...its lack of commitment because from what the general secretary of PF has said he has gotten full coverage and backing of his President Mr Micheal Sata in The Post and on Joy FM this morning. He (Sata) has covered him 100 per cent. He has also insisted that he (Wynter) is the voice for the central committee of PF, he has also joined in saying the working group is a smaller body and the decisions of working group. So now a senior party official getting the coverage of the president.”

He said the only explanation to PF’s behaviour was that there was no commitment on their part.

“ PF has changed the stance cause the stance cause in the post Wynter Kabimba has said HH should forget about been President for the pact and on the other side on the radio and in the paper Mr Sata is saying Wynter Kabimba is the voice of the PF Central Committee which they have portrayed as been sovereign and beyond reproach they are a supreme beyond the working group or any marriage with UPND.”

He further accused the PF leaders of not being sincere by indicating that Sata was ready to work under Hichilema.

“So his voice is sanctified, it is a pure position of PF. So for the PF to insist that the two leaders have agreed to work under each other is not true, only HH has said he is willing to work under Mr Sata, and I heard myself,” he said.

“So it no longer applies that Mr Sata is willing to be a vice-president to HH. The wrangle has nothing to do with HH, it has something to do with the working group and the failure of organisational consistency,” he said.

He said PF was defending people who thought that each time they went to a meeting they got a fresh mandate.

“They failed to send people to this group who have to talk about Chilanga. The wrangle is about Chilanga but look in The Post and how Kabimba has gone far to disparage HH saying that HH should not think he will just walk into the PF -UPND Pact and take over the presidency the same way he walked in and become president for UDA( United Democratic Alliance.”

He said people should learn to put certain things in the past.

“HH will become president of this country one day which I believe he will, it will not be as a result of the wishes of Wynter Kabimba, neither will it be a wish of Mr Micheal Sata. It will be the wish of the people of Zambia who vote,” he said.

“... and people in Zambia in 2006 had indicated that they were willing to vote for HH, so there is nothing wrong with thinking that come 2011 actually many people who had promised to vote for HH will.”

Mweetwa, however, said that it was possible for the two parties to produce one presidential candidate if they remained committed to the Pact.

“It is possible to produce one presidential candidate under the umbrella of the Pact but for us UPND we have not yet run out of options and ideas of our future and it is clear and bright.We are willing to contribute positively to ensure we bring about change,” said Mweetwa.

And during the same programme, Munali PF member of parliament Mumbi Phiri called in and maintained that it was impossible for individual parties to remove the MMD government.

“I am speaking as Munali MP representing the people of Munali. I can assure you that the Pact is not going to break. Those in the Pact that think they can go and stand alone are joking,” she said.

Phiri said she was hopeful that the Pact was going to hold and that only an insane person could think that either parties could go it alone.

“Let us keep praying am a woman of faith who believes in prayer and you know in a marriage they say a marriage that is criticised in the beginning comes out to be strong. I believe the UPND -PF Pact is going to stand until 2011 and that’s my prayer and I will not stop kneeling until this Pact works so that we can liberate this country. People are sleeping hungry, women are being raped, people are being killed. Can you imagine now corruption has even entered the mortuary. Where are we going as a nation?” she asked.

“This country is not going anywhere so those who are joking let us get serious. I don’t think any sensible person can want to break the Pact and go it alone unless you are insane.”

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Speakers orders Liato to remove Rupiah’s campaign badge from jacket

Speakers orders Liato to remove Rupiah’s campaign badge from jacket
By Mwala Kalaluka
Fri 24 Sep. 2010, 16:00 CAT

SPEAKER Amusaa Mwanamwambwa on Thursday ordered the Sergeant-at-Arms to remove an “RB 2011” campaign badge from labour minister Austin Liato’s jacket on grounds that political campaign materials are not allowed in Parliament.

And Bweengwa UPND member of parliament Highvie Hamududu has described President Rupiah Banda’s talk about the country’s economic growth during his recent address before Parliament as fake and irrelevant.

During a question for oral answer session in Parliament on Thursday afternoon, Chipili PF parliamentarian Davies Mwila rose on a point of order and asked Speaker Mwanamwambwa to rule whether or not it was proper for Liato to come to the House putting on a badge written RB 2011.

“Mr Speaker is the Minister of Labour in order to come to this House with a badge saying ‘RB 2011’, which is a campaign material, is he in order?” Mwila asked. “I need your serious ruling.”

In his ruling, Speaker Mwanamwambwa said Mwila’s point of order was correct.

“The ruling is, it is not in order,” Speaker Mwanamwambwa said. “That campaign material (badge) should be confiscated.”

Speaker Mwanamwambwa said such campaign materials should not be allowed to enter the chamber and he directed the Sergeant-at-Arms who was seated at the back of the chamber to confiscate the badge from Liato, who was seated on the front bench.

As Speaker Mwanamwambwa delivered his ruling, Liato removed the badge and lands minister Gladys Lundwe handed it to the Sergent-At-Arms.

And during debate on President Banda’s speech to the fifth session of the tenth National Assembly, Hamududu said the poor translation of the presidential pronouncements into tangible programmes had reduced such speeches to a boring exercise.

“To a point where most of the Presidents’ addresses to this House have become boring,” Hamududu said. “No matter how special the speech will be that speech will be good for nothing.”

Hamududu said although Zambia had a weaker currency it was surprising that the country had a poor export base.

“A weaker currency promotes export. A strong currency is dangerous for a country like this one because you can’t export,” he said.

Hamududu said the economic growth that President Banda had referred to in his address was nothing because most Zambians were still poor.

“Therefore, this growth is at best fake,” Hamududu said. “That is irrelevant to the people of Bweengwa and elsewhere.”

Hamududu said maybe the government was creating the above economic growth for the foreigners that had invested in Zambia.

“The growth is not appreciated. It is at best fake because it does not address the issues,” said Hamududu. “The high poverty levels that the President acknowledged, the poverty is increasing.”

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Friday, September 24, 2010

(NEWZIMBABWE) US delivers new Zimbabwe sanctions snub

COMMENT - Susan Page is a liar. I hope Zimbabwe starts to sell $1 billion in diamonds a month and laughs all the way to the bank. SADC should have it's own natural resource based bank, and never even think of the IMF or World Bank again. The Americans are making themselves irrelevant on the international scene. Blatant hypocrisy and lying does not make America stronger, it undermines it's reputation, as much as starting wars under false pretenses does. So get a grip, pull up your socks, and do the right thing, Obama Administration! Even if you have Hillary Clinton on board.

US delivers new Zimbabwe sanctions snub
by AFP/Staff Reporter
24/09/2010 00:00:00

THE United States has ruled out the lifting of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe after accusing President Robert Mugabe's supporters of continuing human rights abuses. “We really can't lift the sanctions at this time,” Susan Page, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, told reporters after meeting a cross-party Zimbabwean delegation on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday.

“We regularly review these sanctions,” she added. “But frankly as long as these violations of human rights, this lack of respect for civilian and political rights of the people of Zimbabwe, as long as they continue,” the sanctions must remain, she said.

Page claimed the sanctions were "targeted", adding: "The targets are individuals and a few institutions that we believe have been responsible for the policies and the actions that have to led to Zimbabwe's both economic and political decline."

President Robert Mugabe's supporters accuse the US of seeking "regime change" in Zimbabwe through the imposition of sanctions which target individuals close to the veteran leader, block debt relief to the Zimbabwe government and trade between American companies and some of Zimbabwe's state-owned enterprises.

Following the formation of a power sharing government in 2009 with opposition rivals Arthur Mutambara, now Deputy Prime Minister, and Morgan Tsvangirai, now Prime Minister, the three leaders have all called on the embargo to be lifted. In this, the Zimbabwe leaders have been supported by heads of state from the regional Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Speaking at the United Nations on Thursday, Malawian President Bingu Wa Mutharika said: "The African Union feels the ideological justification (for the sanctions), if ever there was any, has outlived its time.

"Sanctions are also inconsistent with the emerging dialogue for the reform of the United Nations. Sanctions are also inconsistent with the obligations of the United Nations to promote social progress and economic development of people as promulgated in the preamble to the Charter of the UN.

"The African Union, therefore, appeals for the immediate lifting of sanctions against the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Republic of Cuba. We believe that the lifting of the sanctions will enable ordinary Zimbabweans and Cubans to begin a life of new hope and new progress."

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Stop using maths to hoodwink Zambians that economy is improving – Mambo

Stop using maths to hoodwink Zambians that economy is improving – Mambo
By Kombe Chimpinde
Fri 24 Sep. 2010, 04:01 CAT

FORMER Church of God overseer Bishop John Mambo yesterday told the MMD to stop playing with maths and figures to hoodwink the people of Zambia that the economy is improving. And Bishop Mambo has predicted another constitution review after a change of government next year.

In an interview Bishop Mambo said that it was absurd for the MMD government to say the economy had greatly improved under the leadership of President Banda when poverty levels had still remained very high.

“Poverty levels in the country are still very high even if we are talking about our economy picking up. I have a foundation called Chikondi Rural Foundation and when you visit the area it is clear that the majority of our people in the rural areas only have one meal a day. You can't say that we are governing peacefully because of the fear of God. Governing people who cannot have a day’s meal?” Bishop Mambo questioned.

He has since challenged the young generation to mobilize and stand up for their rights.

“A hungry stomach will always be corrupt. The high levels of corruption are as result of rampant poverty, so we must fight corruption by first trying to fight poverty. And since we were bold enough to declare ourselves as a Christian nation why is government failing to put bread on people's tables, and you the young generation can't even put your act together and say enough is enough it is time we change,” he challenged.

“Zambia is a beautiful country but we are destroying it because these people (MMD government) who are currently there are not there to serve, you can even tell. It is just, ‘how much I will make' so if we are not going to remove this scenario of politics being for income, then we are in trouble.”

Bishop Mambo asked President Banda to take a leaf from the Libyan administration when claiming success. He cited Libya's economy stressing that the people of Libya were happy with the developments because there was a match in pronouncements of the governments and the reality on the ground.

“If you go to Libya people are happy that’s why (Colonel Muammar) Gaddafi has been there for a long time, you understand the growth that we are talking about. Not growth where the rich are becoming filthy rich and the poor, poorer. Here in Zambia we will not accept that the economy is improving when the amount of interest rates for you to borrow money to start a business is still very high,” he said.

“I am not an economist but I know money. When the country is doing well, one can go to bank and borrow money at a low cost but the gap between the poor and rich continues to widen...I think we shouldn't play maths and that’s what they (MMD) are doing because in terms of the economy only when the majority have food on the table can we say there is economic growth. Until we say that voters in Kanyama, Mandevu and so forth eat, then we can say the economy is growing. This is why the Catholics are saying that people want a regime change. Us evangelicals, we say this is a Christian nation but Christians must fight for the poor and ensure that they have food on their tables which most churches are not doing.”

Bishop Mambo hailed the Catholic bishops for speaking out for the people and stated that they were talking about reality on the ground and that it was important that this government listens to them.

“If you are going to convince me that the economy is doing well there has to be a generation of decent employment for the graduate from university, don't talk about six per cent. What growth? It must be matched with what is going on the ground,” he said.

People must not be swayed to vote for the government when a road has been built in an area prior elections. This is the situation. We are going to see a lot of activity because we are heading to elections. Money is already flying around. This is why there is need to sensitize people because people don't know their rights. When the government builds roads prior to elections they (people) are saying we will vote for them because they have built us a road. But that’s their right. Thats the obligation of government.”

He said that there was need for Zambians to change their mindsets so as not to fall into traps meant to gunner support for the government.

“It’s important that we go back to 1991 when we stood and said; ‘Kaunda that’s enough, we want change’. Change must be there. However, it must be peaceful change. If the current President will continue showing us that he can’t serve the people of Zambia then we need change,” he said.

“They must listen to criticism. People are tired of this kind of leadership were people have made themselves kings that they cannot listen to people. Leadership is not about reacting to people.”

Commenting on President Banda’s silence on the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) in his speech to Parliament, Bishop Mambo said no president was going to rule with a clear mandate without having addressed the desperation of people expressed in the Mung'omba Constitutional Review process.

He observed that the desire by Zambians to have a Constitution before 2011 had been hijacked by the MMD government.

“It was the desire of many Zambians to go to the 2011 elections with a new constitution but I don't see it happening. They have applied brakes because they want the document to suit their desires. The President and his Cabinet know that the document that will come out will not be accepted by the majority of the people. Again this is what we call playing with time and money ,” he said.

Bishop Mambo observed that this was why those people who were supposed to be at the core of the process have been left out from the process.

“Whether we go for it or not we will still have, and am not a prophet, a change of government outside the MMD. We will go back go to the drawing board, the reason being that no President will rule with a clear mandate without having addressed the desperation of many people who submitted for fifty-plus one we know its costly but we don't want a minority president,” he said.

“…now this is not the start, we have had a number of documents that are gathering dust now a mountain from the late Mainza Chona, Mvunga, we went to the late Mwanakatwe who resisted to take up the position because he did not want lies to be told and finally Willa Mung'omba who for three years NCC was seating they never consulted him. So now, how smart is Chifumu Banda and his team?” he questioned.

Bishop Mambo has since charged that the process was not helping the country in any way.

The National Constitution Conference in August handed the draft constitution and report to the government although there has been no direction given on the future of the document.

There has, however, been repeated calls from Zambians to government on the need for a new constitution before the country goes to the polls next year.

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The Pact

The Pact
By The Post
Fri 24 Sep. 2010, 04:00 CAT

The Patriotic Front and UPND electoral alliance is a troubled one.
And this is more so because it is an electoral pact built on the shifting sands of evasions, illusions and opportunism. There is no enduring alliance that can be built on this basis. And those who want this alliance to succeed have to seriously try and address these issues if they have to harbour any hope of this pact working.

Some weeks ago, we raised concerns about the way the PF-UPND pact was being constructed. Specifically, we told the public that there were fundamental difficulties which were being masked and hidden. To us this was wrong because people’s hopes should not be raised when no real work is being done to address fundamental issues on which the success of their Pact depends. At that time, we urged the leaders of the Pact to mask no difficulties, mistakes, failures and to claim no easy victories. We also advised them to hide nothing from the masses of our people, tell no lies and expose lies whenever they are told. This is the only way that a sustainable pact can be built.

A partnership in any undertaking that is based on the lies and half-truths is not sustainable. It is only a question of time before the cracks appear and the reality of the quality of a relationship is exposed. This is true in business, but also true in politics. In other words, the only foundation upon which any lasting relationship can be built is truth, honesty and integrity. These qualities demand that the partners are first and foremost true to themselves about who they are and what they bring to the table. After they have done this and understood themselves honestly, they are then in a position to negotiate truthfully. This is so because when you understand yourself, it is easier to make the other side understand you. But this is impossible if one is dishonest or opportunistic because an opportunist cannot afford to be sincere in his negotiation and deliberation and give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.

Opportunism by its nature entails taking to oneself that which belongs to Caesar. And when this happens, it should be expected that Caesar will fight back and defend that which belongs to him. Clearly, this is a recipe for conflict and confusion and not a recipe for a working alliance or pact.

Partnerships are forged in order to pool common strengths for the benefit of the parties involved. A partnership that is forged to disadvantage any of its members in any way cannot last. This is because such a partnership goes against the very logic of partnership. In the context of our politics, it is important for those who are claiming that the only way to succeed in defeating the MMD is to form an electoral pact which pools the strengths of the opposition do not lose sight of the logic of partnership. Partnership is supposed to add something to a party that joins and not take away what it already holds. This requires a level of dignity and honesty that does not seem common in our politics today. We say this because if the political parties are going to try and form a pact that is going to waste time discussing obvious things, then their destination should be known to everybody: they are headed nowhere. Such a pact is a time-wasting exercise that will leave its members worse off than they were at the beginning.

It is interesting to watch and listen to what is going on in the PF-UPND pact. When they told the public that they were joining forces, one thought that over and above removing the MMD from power, they at least had a common understanding of where each of them was in the politics of our country. We did not expect that they will start arguing on who is bigger or who is stronger, or on who is more popular or less popular than the other or whose party is growing faster in terms of popularity than the other and in whose favour is the political ground shifting or not shifting. These are issues that honesty would have helped them to resolve without any need for disquisition. They each should have known by the time they were going to the negotiating table what they wanted and what they could legitimately get out of the Pact.

It is always good to study the way other people do things and learn some lessons. This is because we don’t live in a vacuum. The United Kingdom has just recently formed a coalition government which brought together two unlikely bedfellows – the Conservatives on the one side and the Liberal Democrats on the other. We are not saying that the situation that obtained when the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats came together is the same as what is happening here, but there are some principles that could help us to better understand what is happening in the PF-UNPD pact.

For instance, we do not think there would have been any need for the Conservatives and the Liberals to sit down to discuss forming government if the question of who would be Prime Minister of the United Kingdom between David Cameron of the Conservatives and Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats had to be a matter for serious debate. If Nick had tried to nick his way into 10 Downing Street and become Prime Minister instead of David, disregarding the statistics, that deal would never have been consummated. It would not have made sense also, for David and Nick to start debating on whose party was bigger and more popular. The reasons are clear – the electoral statistics dealt with that clearly. Indeed if the two of them could not agree on that issue, it would have been foolish to sit and start considering working together.

This is exactly what the problem is in this pact of PF and UPND. It seems there is a detachment from reality in their discussions. Even the most obvious issues are contested. In the case of Nick in the UK, he knew what he was looking for in the coalition with David. He did not go into the coalition to become Prime Minister by some stroke of luck or negotiating skills. There were issues such as the electoral system in the UK which Nick and his party wanted to be looked at in order to secure future viability of the Liberal Democrats. He was not able to get everything he wanted because it was a contested issue. But David at least agreed that this issue would be subjected to a public decision through a referendum. This was important enough for Nick to go into government to try and change. They shared ministerial positions. But it was clear that Nick’s party was not going to get the key ministries of government because in truth, the Conservatives were the senior partner in their marriage of convenience. And as such, the Conservatives carried more responsibility and this meant that the key ministries or functions of government fell on them.

Of course, no one can say that the issues in Zambia are as clear-cut as they were in the United Kingdom. In the United Kingdom, the horse trading was happening after the elections and there was a clearer understanding of who stood where. But at least it seems, that some honesty governed the way they resolved their issues. Nick did not ask for 50 per cent of the government portfolios and be treated as an equal partner. This is what seems to be missing in the dealings of the PF-UPND pact.

And unless they can grow up and deal with these issues with the honesty and clarity that they need to be dealt with, they should stop wasting the people’s time claiming that they are trying to resolve their problems because these problems can never be resolved in the way that they seem to look at each other. They are wasting their own time and more tragically, wasting people’s opportunity. It is an exercise in futility trying to negotiate that which is not negotiable. The sizes of the two partners cannot be established by negotiation. It is also folly to try and establish who of the two party leaders – Michael Sata and Hakainde Hichilema – is more popular through negotiations. These are matters of fact which they should face and move on to deal with more elusive issues. If they cannot deal with obvious facts, how are they going to deal with issues that cannot be so easily proved?
The opposition collectively has always defeated the MMD for a long time now.

This is a matter of fact. It is also a matter of fact that the statistics have been moving in the same direction for at least one of the opposition parties, which is the PF. They have managed to grow their share of the electoral cake consistently over the last three elections. The trajectory has been an upward one. This has been because of work being done by them. Simply being in a pact and arguing about obvious issues is work and cannot deliver victory for anyone. The opposition are wasting their time arguing about obvious things when they could be busier mobilising our people to register as voters and say no to the impunity that Rupiah Banda and his militia-supported MMD are getting used to.

Rupiah cannot be defeated by a pact that does not know who its leader is and whether it’s coming or going. It might even be better that the parties tackle him independently instead of cheating themselves that they are in a pact when in reality they are in an alliance that is only sapping their energies and is continually pulling them back because they are headed nowhere. Rupiah can be defeated by our people. It is up to those who want to lead our people to mobilise them. But this Pact, in the form that it is, is not mobilising our people, it is confusing them.

If the Pact cannot sit down and say who got more votes in 2006 and 2008 between the two of them, which presidential candidate got a higher share of the votes, how best they can use the previous advantages that they have garnered, then what issue are they going to discuss? We say this because this should be the least contentious issue. But from what they are saying, this seems to be the most contentious issue because now they are moving between statistics and imagination or dreams of how the political landscape has changed or will change since the last elections. If they cannot work together, let them be honourable and tell the people that they have failed to agree on the obvious and go their separate ways. Those who strongly believe that on their own, they absolutely stand no chance of defeating Rupiah should pack their bags. And those who think with some good work, and given Rupiah’s record, can defeat him on their own, they should go full throttle and mobilise for next year’s elections.

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UPND can survive without PF - UPND

UPND can survive without PF - UPND
By Abigail Chaponda in Ndola
Fri 24 Sep. 2010, 04:02 CAT [580 Reads, 0 Comment(s)]

UPND national management committee (NMC) member and Copperbelt Province chairman Elisha Matambo has said UPND can survive without the PF.

In an interview at the Post Newspapers office in Ndola yesterday, Matambo said the problems that the Pact currently faced were created by PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba because he stopped the elections committee negotiations.

Matambo said it was now clear from Kabimba’s statements that he did not want the pact to succeed.

He said it was also clear that Kabimba and PF perceived UPND as a small party, which could be swallowed by PF.

Matambo said it was time that Kabimba and the PF stated their position on the pact because they had not respected any agreement between the two parties. He reminded Kabimba that UPND was the second longest serving political party in the country.

He said the UPND had stood the test of time even after going through hard times like when the party lost its president Anderson Mazoka.

“The earlier Wynter realises that pride does not pay and that we need each other if we are to form the next government the better. I also disagree with president Michael Sata that PF is bigger than the pact,” Matambo said.

“The pact is not for PF or UPND, it is not also for Sata or HH; but it is for Zambians. On the issue of disciplining Copperbelt youth chairman Joe Kalusa, I am challenging president Sata, why didn’t he punish Wynter when he called president Hakainde Hichilema names? Why didn’t he punish Guy Scott when he published an article that was damaging to the pact? I know that Sata is good at idioms, there is one that says that Chiwamila galu kuluma mbuzi noti mbuzi kuluma galu. UPND will survive even without PF, just like PF will survive without UPND. But records are showing that on our own, we can’t win and form government. We need each other.” Matambo prayed that both political parties remove their selfish motives and let the pact survive for the sake of Zambians. Matambo said he had evidence to show that Kabimba did not like the pact.

“Wynter Kabimba has been an enemy of the pact. The pact launched nine committees three to four months ago. I happen to be in the elections committee and we were given terms of reference in the negotiations and all the nine committees have four people from each political party,” Matambo explained.

“The elections committee was supposed to have a meeting to discuss who should stand on which constituency and ward. The committee was given two months to do the negotiations, but when we asked our friends from PF to meet, they postponed the meeting three times saying they were not ready, but eventually we met.”

He said the first meeting was held at the PF secretariat in Lusaka and both parties agreed to most of the issues raised.

“But when we reached the negotiations on who should stand in which constituency or which ward, we agreed to come back in the afternoon because we needed to get documents like the 2001, 2006 and 2008 election results to assist us. But when we came back in the afternoon, our friends told us that their bosses told them not to go ahead with the negotiations. We were surprised and we dispersed,” he said.

Matambo said after a week, the elections committee called a meeting with the mobilising committee. He said the two secretaries general - Kabimba and Winston Chibwe - attended the meeting and the two vice-presidents were supposed to be in attendance but Scott did not make it because he was unwell. Matambo said UPND vice president for political affairs Francis Simenda chaired the meeting and they learnt that Kabimba had stopped the negotiations.

“Not only did he stop the elections committee’s negotiations, he also stopped negotiations for other committees as well. And when doing that, he single-handedly did that without asking anyone. The meeting queried Kabimba why he ignored what the two political parties had put in place and why he stopped the negotiations, but he became upset,” Matambo said.

“I am challenging him to refuse what I am saying and if he wants he can take me to court, I have witnesses. In the meeting Wynter came out in the open and said that UPND cannot be an equal partner to PF. And he was shouting on top of his voice. He continued saying that even in the States when political parties come together, they cannot be equal.”

Matambo said Kabimba even went on to say that the earlier the pact died the better because he was not comfortable with it.

“Everyone in the meeting got upset with Wynter and I remember Nchanga PF parliamentarian Wylbur Simuusa said that what Wynter said was not good because the pact had signed an agreement that both political parties were equal partners if we had to form the next government. And after that Wynter wanted to walk out of the meeting but he was stopped,” said Matambo.

“We told Wynter that the pact was not for PF or for UPND but that it was for all Zambians and he was blocked from going out of the meeting. The meeting even asked him to withdraw his statement and he apologised. I want him to refuse to what I am saying, if I am lying.” Differences have emerged in the pact following disagreements over the Chilanga by-election.

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Sata defends Kabimba from UPND attacks

Sata defends Kabimba from UPND attacks
By George Chellah
Fri 24 Sep. 2010, 04:01 CAT

PF leader Michael Sata has defended and backed the stance taken by his secretary general Wynter Kabimba over the current differences within the PF/UPND Pact. During a Joy FM radio programme yesterday, Sata wondered why certain individuals wanted Kabimba to be disciplined for stating a fact.

“Wynter went to Radio Phoenix stating a fact that only the Central Committee of PF makes a decision just as we know only the management committee of UPND makes a decision,” Sata said.

He played down the current differences in the pact.

“There is no problem at all, the problem you have young people want to be heard. Young people want their names to be seen in Times of Zambia, they want to be seen on ZNBC and they know very well anybody who goes to attack Michael Sata will be given prominence by the state media. As the secretary general of PF said when you have a subcommittee even you when you are running a government, cabinet decides, not a ministry,” Sata said.

“A ministry will take their recommendation to cabinet and when cabinet finds that it is a much more important issue they will take it…since at the moment it’s the MMD government they will take it to the NEC. When there was UNIP they will take it to the Central Committee so that there will be a policy decision which will be binding on each and every member of that political party.

“That’s the way we are supposed to run things. Not where you find one MP wakes up in the morning attacks Mr Sata another MP wakes up in the morning attacks Mr Kabimba, that is not working in the spirit of an alliance, that’s not in the spirit of working together.”

He said since Kabimba assumed his position the party was moving.

“Towards the end of 2008 we brought in Comrade Wynter Kabimba an eminent lawyer, a person who is an eminent civic leader, the party has started moving. For example, in two days time, on Saturday… in March 2007 the Central Committee decided we should have party democratization. Meaning that we should have elections at the section, branch, ward, constituency, district, provinces and then general conference,” Sata said.

“Mr Edward Mumbi failed lamentably he did not even know the section in which he was. But I am very grateful to Comrade Kabimba because on Saturday we have the first provincial conference in Western Province. This is where the people of Western Province will give to themselves their own leaders instead of relying on the interim leadership who have been running the party and that will continue. That’s very hard working of the secretary general, which on behalf of the party I am very grateful to him.”

He said the pact was not one organization.

“The pact is very different from UDA, UDA which contested elections in 2006 had fused three political parties together and registered one organization. The three organizations were UPND, UNIP and FDD. So they formed one organization an alliance, which took them to contest the 2006 election. The current pact between PF and UPND is a gentleman working alliance where we say we are wasting too much time assaulting each other. That’s where we are drifting back to because we are supposed to assault MMD’s policies,” Sata said.

“But now when you find that members of the two different political parties especially our colleagues from UPND, where they go on, they attack me by some people who are even very junior like Mr Joe Kalusa. Every time I have been attacked I have not replied because that’s not the spirit of the pact.”

He said all opposition political parties needed to concentrate on highlighting the MMD’s failure.

“We need to sensitize the people and not use divide and rule,” he said.

He said during the Luena by-elections PF was called all sorts of names by UPND but they did not reply.

“And it was not the president of UPND, it was not the vice-president of UPND, it was not the secretary general of UPND, it was very junior officers who attacked us left, right and centre,” he said.

Asked whether the pact would survive up to 2011, Sata responded: “For the last 10 years PF has had a pact with the people of Zambia. In 2001, the people of Zambia did not know us very well but when we campaigned for 59 days we managed to get one MP from Lupososhi. And as we continued telling the people the truth, the pact between the people and PF continued growing. In 2006, in spite of the fraudulent manner in which the elections were conducted we managed to get 43 seats of which we lost one seat through the petition where Honourable Simon Kachimba is in Luanshya. Today, the people of Zambia have a pact with UPND, those who are members of UPND. They have a pact with PF and they have a pact with all the other opposition parties where the people belong because it is not UPND or PF, which is suffering alone.”

On the confusion over the Chilanga seat, Sata wondered why tempers were rising.

“In the MoU, we are talking of geographical strengths and when you are talking of geographical strength, the barometer of checking geographical strength is 2006 elections. In 2006 elections, UDA was not UPND, UDA there were three political parties so whatever votes they had should be apportioned by three political parties,” Sata said.

“Now the Speaker has declared Chilanga, I don’t see why people are throwing tantrums around. That’s what made our secretary general to react. The whole point is somebody was saying ‘there was no meeting on Mpulungu, was there supposed to be a meeting on Mpulungu? Did we have a meeting when we went to Chifubu?’ We are following the MoU, the MoU says we are looking at the geographical strength.” Asked whether PF was stronger than UPND in Lusaka, Sata responded: “You are the media if 2008, which is the latest votes is something to go by I leave it to you to judge. I don’t want to be singing my own song of praise. What Wynter was saying yesterday Wednesday, is Michael Sata is not PF and PF is not Michael Sata. The governing body of PF decides, the Central Committee, and the Central Committee has not met to decide.” Sata said he envisions a very weak and shaky pact government.

“If we have no tolerance, we are running to the press. If a simple misunderstanding you run to the press it will be a very difficult government to run. It will be a very, very difficult government to run because at the moment there is show of strength where people are trading in insults, people are trading in unpalatable language,” Sata said.

“And if you are in government there are more misunderstandings in government that’s why the cabinet memo says you either agree or resign. So with what is going on now if that’s what we take in government…” However, Sata said he was very convinced that there would be change next year.

“Change is there, change is inevitable, nobody will stop that change. The change is there, people are eager,” he said.

When asked if PF would go it alone, Sata said: “We are very lucky our brothers and sisters are thinking loudly and as our brothers and sisters are thinking loudly I think it will be helpful that we minimize public condemnation of each other. What I meant by saying we are going to have a very complicated government where even every time you differ in cabinet some pact member goes out they are in the press saying ‘this is what we differed’. That will dilute the dictum of secrecy of government,” Sata said.

“My appeal to my colleagues is that they have a secretariat if they feel very strong about anything, why don’t they write to the secretary general or inform the secretary general to communicate with our secretary general. We always do that ourselves. Where there is a difference and we clarify a point as I am clarifying a point here. Several times you reporters come to ask me ‘have you heard what these people have said’ I have ignored you.”

He said an organization could not be run through the press.

“Where you are going to tell the press how many times you have met. How many times you have discussed then you cease to be an organization. Even people at the market they won’t tell you how many times they meet, they also have secrets, even the ng’wang’wazi call boys at the bus stop,” he said.

Sata called on the pact to avoid washing dirty linen in the public.

“Let us consult each other because we can even call a joint national council (JNC) for us to discuss some of these problems. I am very sincere…what we do is let us quarrel in our bedrooms not publicly because we are diverting the attention from the MMD,” he said.

Sata said PF vice-president Guy Scott only gave his personal views on the pact as a columnist.

“I feel uneasy when people want to associate Mr Fred M’membe and Mr Amos Malupenga. Why don’t people condemn the Times of Zambia, Daily Mail to report the way they report? ZNBC even brings Chanda Chimba to attack me. It’s not Michael Sata, Hakainde Hichilema who should tell them how they are going to manage their newspapers,” he said.

He said PF had always been ready for elections.

“We have always been ready for elections today and not tomorrow and the extension of voters it’s not because we want to have more voters, it’s a right. It’s not a privilege. We gave to ourselves that, we fought for one-man one vote and when a person reaches of age, he or she must be accorded the right, that’s a constitutional right,” he said.

Sata also observed that the fact that the Speaker condemned members of parliament for not debating the presidential speech shows that the speech was hollow and useless.

Sata also wondered why President Banda, in his address to Parliament, did not talk about the National Constitutional Conference (NCC), which had gobbled a lot of money.

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Speaker is being partisan – Kazabu

Speaker is being partisan – Kazabu
By Ernest Chanda
Fri 24 Sep. 2010, 04:01 CAT

LACKSON Kazabu has charged that National Assembly Speaker Amuusa Mwanamwambwa is displaying inconsistencies by intimidating parliamentarians who are critical of President Rupiah Banda and the MMD government.

Commenting on Speaker Mwanamwambwa's ruling on Wednesday that he could not act on Kafulafuta MMD member of parliament George Mpombo's behaviour because the latter had challenged his expulsion in court, Kazabu, a former Kitwe mayor, said the Speaker was being partisan.

Speaker Mwanamwambwa made the ruling after Bahati Patriotic Front (PF) 'rebel' parliamentarian Besa Chimbaka raised a point of order on whether or not Mpombo was in order to call President Rupiah Banda a liar through a story he gave to The Post which was published on Tuesday September 21, 2010.

Chimbaka claimed that Mpombo's calling of President Banda a liar was an insult to the Presidency.

But Kazabu questioned the Speaker's rationale in passing such sentiments on Mpombo when there were many other opposition members of parliament whose expulsions were also being challenged in courts.

“The Speaker is depicting inconsistency in the manner he is treating some opposition members of parliament. The person sitting in that chair requires to treat every member of parliament equally. How is it that the Speaker could see a problem with Honourable George Mpombo for being critical of the President and his party when the same Speaker cannot see a problem with expelled members like Namwala UPND member of parliament Major Robbie Chizyuka and those in the PF?” Kazabu asked.

“That is intimidation which should not be entertained. He shouldn't be there to intimidate any member of parliament. But he must be there to show impartiality. And when he does that he will be inspiring public confidence in that institution.”

Kazabu advised the Speaker to have no favourites among parliamentarians, especially that they were all supposed to be people's representatives.

“I think the Speaker has become partisan in this manner and this is not healthy for our democracy. When presiding over such an institution like Parliament, you have to treat all members in the same manner. You cannot have a specific treatment for those members of parliament in good books with the ruling party and have another treatment for those critical of the ruling party. We all know how he has protected 'rebels' from the opposition who have been expelled by their parties,” said Kazabu.

Making a ruling on Chimbaka's point of order on Mpombo, Speaker Mwanamwambwa said his hands were tied by the court where Mpombo had taken his party for expelling him.

“The courts have tied my hands because if I do anything that would be contempt of court. We have to abide by the rule of separation of powers. But consider if it's a Zambian culture for adults to insult each other. Is it normal to call one another liars?” Speaker Mwanamwambwa asked.

“When it comes to this House, each one of you subscribes to the oath of allegiance. Be careful what you say here or there. And the oath says allegiance to the President. What that means is that wherever you are, inside or outside this House, you must represent the President.”

Speaker Mwanamwambwa warned that it was an offence under the law to insult the President.

“If some of you are privately friendly out there to any head of state, current or past, you leave it there. There is a section in the Penal Code and it's still intact, which clearly stipulates that making disparaging remarks against the President is a serious offence and describes a penalty. I have heard many of you on radio referring to the Head of State in name only; that is an offence,” warned Speaker Mwanamwambwa.

“I don't know where the law enforcement agencies are when this is hapenning. Honourable members, when you insult you are not immune to prosecution. If you insult, the law enforcement agencies should visit you. Insulting is not a sign of heroism or political championship. Honourable Mpombo is an Honourable member of parliament, honourable! And no honourable member can utter such words. I'm assuming The Post quoted Honourable Mpombo correctly. If not, he could have asked for a retraction, but he hasn't. Why should the whole Honourable member avoid to discuss these matters in the House and go outside?"

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(MnG) 'You cannot regulate exploitation of workers'

'You cannot regulate exploitation of workers'

The Rea Vaya workers who staged a two-day illegal work stoppage in Johannesburg this week demanding permanent employment once again brought the issue of labour brokers to the fore. On October 7, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) plans national demonstrations in support of the banning of labour brokers.

A 33-year-old cashier at Rea Vaya, whose last employment was overseas, spoke anonymously to the Mail & Guardian on Wednesday: "From day one the employer promised us permanent status. Because of my experience from abroad I was happy that something like this was happening in my country and I wanted to contribute to its success. Now it's a success and the employer is still taking us from pillar to post."

She said getting permanent status would change her life drastically. "I'd be able to take my kids to a private doctor when they are sick because I'd have medical aid. I'd be able to buy a car, buy a house and take my kids to a better school; a lot of things would change."

What promises were made are unclear. According to Rehana Moosajee, the mayoral committee member of transportation, workers were not promised permanent employment by the city at any point.

"The workers are demanding permanent employment of all the staff in all the BRT stations, which we cannot do," said Metro Trading Company (MTC) CEO Alfred Sam on Tuesday. The MTC is a municipal-owned entity contracted by the city to manage the Rea Vaya stations.

"We can only employ 60% of the current staff."

'Regulating labour brokers would not help'

Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was reported in the Sunday papers as blasting "the ANC leadership for having 'no backbone'" in the lead-up to this week's ANC national general council (NGC) in Durban.

Vavi said: "All we want them to do is to have a backbone and implement the Polokwane resolutions. When are we going to do away with labour brokers?"

One of the pillars for economic transformation highlighted in the Polokwane resolutions was "making the creation of decent work opportunities the primary focus of economic policies".

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven told the M&G on Tuesday that Cosatu delegates at the NGC would be sure to raise the issue. "We would like to see the whole practice banned by law and we will continue to argue and campaign for all employers to be directly responsible for their employees," he said.

Regulating labour brokers -- rather than banning them -- would not help, said South African Municipal Workers Union's (Samwu) provincial organiser Menzi Luthuli

"The Department of Labour needs to play a major role to do away with labour brokers, not regulate them, because you cannot regulate exploitation of workers. How can you do that?"

Samwu is currently representing workers from Rea Vaya who have been employed on temporary contracts for over a year. Some of them were employed through labour brokers.

'One needs to find a balance'
Independent labour analyst Andrew Levy believes labour brokers have a role to play in assisting employers who need temporary staff, for example when an employee goes on maternity leave.

However, he said "the greatest part of the labour-brokering business has been used to create greater flexibility of hiring or firing and to avoid labour laws".

Levy said labour brokers add to the economy. "But one needs to find a balance between employee exploitation and employer needs. You can't do away with labour brokers completely."

Cosatu's call for the banning of labour brokers, he said, would have strong and negative consequences. "I'm prepared to state categorically that it is not going to happen; it would tamper with people's constitutional rights. It's like throwing out the baby with the bath water.

"There is no denying that there is some kind of worker exploitation, but one needs to strike a balance between job creation and protection, and I believe this can be done."

Levy said labour brokers could be regulated by some form of registration so that they can be vetted and become tax compliant. He added they would also need to follow fair labour practices, especially in regard to dismissal.

Craven stressed the need for labour legislation that guarantees workers their basic rights to a minimum wage and reasonable benefits, and said Cosatu is open to alternatives other than banning labour brokers.

"Regulation would be better than no regulation. We believe that there are inherent problems in regulating labour brokers because the whole basis in which they have grown is an attempt to avoid regulation. So we would still prefer a ban."

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(TALKZIMBABWE) President: Speech to UN on MDGs

President: Speech to UN on MDGs
Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 1:16 am

President Robert Mugabe addresses the Millennium Development Goals Summit at the United Nations headquarters in New York, September 21, 2010. Only five years are left until the 2015 deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). BELOW is the full transcript of a speech delivered by President Mugabe at a high-level plenary meeting on Millennium Development Goals in New York yesterday.

Your Excellencies, the President of the 65th Session of the General Assembly, Mr Joseph Deiss, and the President of the 64th Session of the General Assembly, Dr Ali Treki, Your Majesties, Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government, Your Excellency, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Ban Ki-moon, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen, Comrades and Friends.

I wish to thank you, Mr President and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Ban Ki-moon, for convening this very important meeting.

Co-Chairs, You will recall that we gathered in this august Assembly in the year 2000 and agreed on a set of social and humanitarian deliverables which we appropriately called the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

We then set out separately and collectively as member-states to achieve our targets.

We now meet, five years before the target year 2015, to review the state of implementation of those goals, to share experiences, identify obstacles and, possibly, chart a course of accelerated action to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

Co-Chairs, while there is reason to celebrate the progress attained in some areas, the challenges that remain are serious and many.

The recent economic and financial crises wreaked havoc on our previously confident march towards 2015.

Resources dwindled, priorities had to be re-arranged, and for many of us in the developing world, sources of support were reduced, or even lost completely.

Yet, we remain determined, even in these circumstances, to achieve the MDGs in particular, and other internationally agreed commitments in general.

Co-Chairs, from the onset, Zimbabwe has demonstrated unwavering commitment towards the implementation of the MDGs.

We set up an MDGs steering committee in 2000 to track and report progress on implementation.

We initially prioritised Goals 1 – Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, 3 – Promote gender equality and empower women, and 6 – Combat HIV/Aids, malaria and other diseases, which we viewed as critical to the achievement of all the other goals.

Even as our economy suffered from illegal sanctions imposed on the country by our detractors, we continued to deploy and direct much of our own resources towards the achievement of the targets we set for ourselves.

Indeed, we find it very disturbing and regrettable that after we all agreed to work towards the improvement of the lives of our citizens, some countries should deliberately work to negate our efforts in that direction.

I believe that as we sit here today and re-dedicate ourselves to the achievement of the MDGs in the time frame we set ourselves, this noble effort on our part will only reach fruition if all of us walk our talk.

Our MDGs steering committee has produced three reports since its formation. The reports show that we have registered mixed results.

Despite our best efforts, we fell short of our targets because of the illegal and debilitating sanctions imposed on the country, and, consequently, the incidence of poverty in Zimbabwe remains high.

As a result of these punitive measures and despite our turnaround economic plan, the Government of Zimbabwe has been prevented from making a positive difference in the lives of the poor, the hungry, the sick and the destitute among its citizens.

This, Co-Chairs, is regrettable because Zimbabwe has a stable economic and political environment.

We have the resources, and with the right kind of support from the international community, we have the potential to improve the lives of our people.

Co-Chairs, Zimbabwe’s commitment to the education of its people is well-known.

Since independence in 1980 there has been a massive expansion in primary, secondary and tertiary education. A lot of investment has gone into human capital development.

Relevant policies, including the Early Childhood Development Policy, have ensured that net enrolments in schools remain high.

As you may be aware, Mr President, according to recent Unicef reports, Zimbabwe has the highest literacy rate in Africa.

Co-Chairs, I am also pleased to inform you that Zimbabwe is set to reach the gender parity target in both primary and secondary school enrolment.

The country has also made strides in attaining gender parity in enrolment and completion rates at tertiary education.

We have signed and ratified a number of international and regional gender instruments and promulgated national policies and laws on gender. Nevertheless, we are lagging behind in regard to gender equal participation in decision-making in all sectors by 2015. Women still lag behind.

While there has been a slight increase in the number of women Parliamentarians from 14 percent in 1990-95 to the current target of 30 percent, we are concerned that this is still below the 2005 target of 30 percent.

Co-Chairs, regarding Goal 6, my country has registered significant progress in lowering the HIV and Aids prevalence rate. The estimated prevalence rate in adults aged 15-49 years was 23,7 percent in 2001. This dropped to 18,1 percent in 2005 and declined further to 14,3 percent in 2009.

This decline was achieved despite lack of support from the international community, and at a time when even issues such as HIV and Aids were politicised and mixed with agendas of regime change.

[I wonder why the professional HIV organisations have nothing to say about the politicisation of HIV/AIDS. - MrK]

My Government greatly appreciates the assistance it is now receiving from the Global Fund and other agencies.

We remain concerned about the incidence of HIV and Aids in our country and hope that it will continue to decline significantly as Government strengthens prevention efforts.

Co-Chairs, we are worried about the limited progress we have made in the area of environmental sustainability.

The impact of climate change, as evidenced by recurrent droughts, flooding, unreliable and unpredictable rainfall seasons, has wreaked havoc on the lives of our people, most of whom depend on agriculture for a living.

In addition, efforts by Government to provide clean water, decent sanitation and shelter for both urban and rural dwellers, have suffered as a result of the illegal sanctions imposed by some Western countries.

We applaud those in the international community who have responded to our appeal for assistance to address these urgent challenges.

Co-Chairs, my country remains convinced that the MDG targets are achievable.

What is needed is political commitment, particularly, on the part of developed count- ries.

There is need to ensure that commitments already made are not reduced even in the light of new demands.

Aid delivery and co-ordination mechanisms must not be hampered by political biases and preferences.

Let us keep the promise we made 10 years ago.

Let us all strive to make 2015 a watershed year, a year when poverty, hunger, disease and other ailments which are impediments in life can be completely prevented.

Let us henceforth forge a wide-ranging global partnership to make the world a better place for all its peoples, now and in the future.

I thank you.

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