Saturday, October 02, 2010
Mutambara backs Chinese currency
by Staff Reporter
DEPUTY Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has backed calls to include the Chinese Renminbi among the country’s basket of currencies. Professor Mutambara made the suggestion during a visit to China where he attended the World Economic Forum, the Shangahi World Expo as well as meetings of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAG) Forum.
He also held meetings with the Chinese Deputy President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Wen Jia Bao. Professor Mutambara backed recent calls by other leaders of the coalition government to include the Chinese Renminbi among the foreign currencies being used in the country.
Vice President Joyce Mujur recently said use of the Chinese currency could help ease Zimbabwe's liquidity constraints.
Trade between Zimbabwe and China has increased over the years as the country actively pursued the so-called Look East policy after falling out with the West.
Government abandoned the Zimbabwe dollar in 2009, replacing it with more stable currencies such as the Botswana Pula, the South African Rand and the US dollar.
However the country continues to battle liquidity constraints as the economy’s export sectors take longer to recover from a decade-long decline while international support remains limited.
Meanwhile, professor Mutambara also urged Chinese investors to give Zimbabwe a look-in saying the coalition government had managed to bring about economic and political stability since assuming office.
“(We) take our challenges as opportunities and not insurmountable problems,” he said.
He said attractive “win-win” opportunities existed in the country’s mining, infrastructure, agriculture, financial services as well as manufacturing sectors.
Professor Mutambara urged Chinese investors to look beyond resources and consider “diversification … into professional services, financial services and beneficiation”.
He said developing countries such as Zimbabwe could learn important lessons from China’s economic success.
These included the importance of growing domestic demand and driving indigenous entrepreneurship.
The Chinese economic model showed the significance of “focus, discipline, self-respect, national cohesion, self belief, history of achievements”, he added.
“(There is no need for) regrets (over the) past, without Mao there will be no Deng Xioping (Chinese reformist leader who led the country to a market economy)!”
Thursday, September 30, 2010, 12:07
President Rupiah Banda has advised Zambians living abroad to consider acquiring land in different parts of the country, instead of concentrating on Lusaka where it is difficult to get plots. Mr. Banda says other parts of Zambia like the Copperbelt, Chipata, Kasama and Mansa are developing fast and need investment.
Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) reports that the President was speaking in Abuja, Nigeria Wednesday night at a dinner organised by the Zambian High Commission in Nigeria.
He also expressed hope that future Zambian leaders will learn to carry on developmental projects started by their predecessors. President Banda said he is surprised that some people are questioning him for continuing to implement development projects started by the late President Levy Mwanawasa.
And Zambia’s High Commissioner to Nigeria Alexis Luhila said Zambians in Nigeria are following with keen interest, the development projects which President Banda is implementing in Zambia. Mr. Luhila described President Banda as a visionary leader.
He said Africa needs leaders like President Banda. President Banda is in Nigeria as Special guest at that country’s 50th independence celebrations.
And President Rupiah Banda says it is an honour for Zambia to have been chosen by the Nigerian government, to be guest of honour at that country’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations.
The President said this in an interview with ZNBC’s Luckson Nthani on arrival at Mnandi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, Nigeria Wednesday.
Mr. Banda observed that Zambia and Nigeria have a lot in common as former British colonies.
Mr. Banda is in Abuja, Nigeria where he is the guest of honour at that country’s 50th Independence Annivesary celebrations Scheduled for October 1.
And Commerce Minister Felix Mutati says Zambia and Nigeria are working out a framework in which the two countries can co-operate in real estate developemnt.
Mr. Mutati was speaking after touring Urban Shelter projects in Abuja where the company has contracted many houses for sale.
By Patson Chilemba
Sat 02 Oct. 2010, 04:00 CAT
FDD president Edith Nawakwi yesterday advised the UPND to calmly accept their status as a junior partner in the PF/UPND pact. Commenting on the popularity arguments involving the PF and UPND, Nawakwi said UPND did the same to FDD in 2006 when they asked them to accept that UPND was bigger than all the parties which were in the United Democratic Alliance (UDA).
“I hope that the UPND will accept that they are the junior partner. I hope that my colleagues in UPND calmly take the statement that they have fewer seats, they are younger because that is how we felt. I hope that they are not feeling as bad as we felt when we were being told we had 12 seats in the House and that we didn’t have enough money,” Nawakwi said.
“They should take their status calmly and accept it just as they expected us to accept it because we were being told that we couldn’t provide helicopters and we only had 12 seats. It is the same language which is being played on them that they played on us.”
Nawakwi said the UPND had now felt how the FDD felt at that time.
“Knowing that we had a lot to contribute, all the experience that we had having worked in government, knowing that really our CVs are unbeatable and then we were being told, ‘no, you don’t have helicopters’,” she said.
Nawakwi said an alliance could not work where there was deceit, dishonesty and selfishness. She said there could only be one leader at any given time.
“You see in UDA, while we had the late Anderson Mazoka we had our own problems but there was a lot of respect towards each other at the time, until the demise of late Anderson Mazoka. That is when the ugly head of selfishness and self-conceitedness came into the politics of UDA,” Nawakwi said.
“It is not possible that some leaders feel that they are the best for this country. I think leadership is something that is given by the people. You can’t impose your leadership on a nation, people, family, community.”
Nawakwi said those who felt they were leaders should first look within themselves if they were humble because leadership was about humility.
“UDA failed because some people within UDA thought they were richer than others. I had colleagues from UPND asking me, ‘do you have a helicopter? Do you have billions because some of your colleagues can even put K10 billion on the table for the campaigns? If someone else is elected we will have everything’?” Nawakwi said.
“My dear when things were done, that statement only came to pass. I never saw the choppers nor the billions of kwacha for the campaigns. So we need to be truthful. I think that this country has come a long way in 45 years.”
Nawakwi said the independence liberation struggles such as Cha Cha Cha were not fought with helicopters but with bare hands.
“So those who have money must realise that money will not buy them the road to State House. If you follow the leadership of seniority and experience and the most capable leader, and the fact that we were going to have Anderson Mazoka as leader and myself as vice, it followed then that in the absence of the elder brother I should have followed to be the next candidate,” Nawakwi said.
“And if you heard the New Africa magazine 2006, July they actually were looking at the possibility that ‘if Nawakwi is chosen as a candidate of the alliance, Mwanawasa is going to have a run for his money’.
But here at home I was being told ‘you are only a woman, you worked with Chiluba, you don’t have a helicopter and indeed you don’t come from a tribe which is larger in the house’. So since my late brother was from my province in Southern Province, I was told it follows that the successor to be president needed to come from the province.”
Nawakwi said she expected that either herself or Sakwiba Sikota would be the presidential candidate after Mazoka died. She said people would not have minded if either herself of Sikota were picked as candidate.
“They people took great exception to having a new person and I think that was the demise. I think that is critically the reason why the alliance did not succeed,” Nawakwi said.
She said having worked with the UPND, she was not surprised at the turn of events in the PF-UPND pact. Nawakwi said people should have taken time to ask about her experience in UDA.
“For me what I thought was that 2006 was an era passed and was really praying and looking forward that people have matured, they have changed, they have learnt from their mistakes. That is what I was praying for that for once I trusted and hoped that Zambia will be given something different than what we had in 2006,” Nawakwi said.
“I think we are still at an era before 2006. Habits experienced with UDA are still manifest today. We agreed that each of the parties in the alliance was going to get 50 seats. We experienced a situation where our colleagues decided that even for seats such as Chasefu and Sinda, they wanted to take them away from us. I think you recall that FDD only ended up with two seats. It is the same selfishness I am talking about.”
Nawakwi said the same selfishness was experienced in Munali, where she was a sitting member of parliament.
“Before we woke up, we found that people were printing certificates away from the secretariat of UDA to give to their members to file. You cannot sit on the table, transact one thing, go off the table transact another thing. It can’t work. Alliances must be based on understanding, respect and following a very, very high degree of honesty. Your objective must be the future,” she said.
Nawakwi said even after the 2006 elections, she was still being told that she was a woman by people who were not experienced.
“I look at these people, they will tell you they are experienced but they have no experience. They have never rescheduled a single debt, never met a single head of state outside the borders of this country. They have never negotiated any strike with the labour union in this country and they tell you ‘you are a woman’,” Nawakwi said.
“One day the Zambian people will realise that women are better leaders than men. I think that Zambians are now looking for alternatives and the alternative is the leadership of women, credible, alternative leadership.”
Nawakwi said she was abused together with her members in 2006. She said FDD members were asked to get materials for campaigns from her when they went to the UDA secretariat, saying the abuse was from top to bottom.
“The country is in limbo because I think that a lot of hope was pinned on this pact but as far as I am concerned I knew from day one that it will end the way it has ended, insincerity and self-conceited behaviour. ‘I am the best’. When they are choosing a captain in the class, do you install it upon yourself?” Nawakwi asked.
“Mazoka never said to me, ‘Edith you can’t be a leader’. Late Mazoka was so gracious. There were moments and days when late Mazoka would come to my house and ‘my sister can we make a decision on this matter’? He had the courtesy and the respect. Insincerity only crept into the UDA after he died.”
Nawakwi said UPND members told her that they had to take the leadership to themselves after the demise of Mazoka.
“They had to even bring outsiders who are less experienced than me. If you talk to my brother Sakwiba Sikota, he will probably have the same views. I mean they had to leave because they couldn’t stand the entrance of new people who had no experience. I put the interest of the country first,” said Nawakwi.
“I said well if I have to leave the UDA, Zambians will say ‘look at Edith she wants to be president at all cost. Let me give this thing a chance’. I had to step aside and I am waiting. I think Zambians will say, ‘one day it is my turn’. I think it is in 2011.”
By The Post
Sat 02 Oct. 2010, 04:00 CAT
It is disappointing that some of our people have decided not to register and vote in next year’s elections. And some of the reasons we hear they are giving include: our votes in the previous elections didn’t make any difference and the party we wanted to win lost to the party we wanted to lose.
Even if we vote, the election will be manipulated to give the MMD an undeserved electoral victory. Our vote was a ticket for others to enrich themselves. They therefore do not see any reason why they should vote again next year. All politicians are the same, some say.
We have been reminded by Fr Nicolas Kaliminwa of Kasama Diocese that we “shouldn’t get tired of doing what is right. Even the Bible says so. It is important to get involved in governance and register as voters.
We shouldn’t lose hope”. And accordingly, we will not get tired of reminding you to register and vote in next year’s elections. We again remind you that voting is not only your right but rather your duty.
If you withhold your vote, Zambians run a risk of getting into public offices people who have no national interests at heart and who are going to jeopardise the future of your children. Exercise your right therefore and take up your citizen duty. Go, register and vote for the right persons in next year’s elections.
Citizens cannot be required to take part in the political process, and they are free to express their dissatisfaction by not participating. But without the lifeblood of citizen participation, our weak democracy will disappear.
Voting in the election of public officials is the most visible and common form of participation in modern democracies, and also the most fundamental.
The lingering danger of voter apathy is not that public offices will go unfilled, but that office holders will be elected by smaller and smaller percentages of the eligible voters.
Therefore, the voting population must be large enough to ensure that government is not chosen by a small group. A government chosen by a small group is not a democracy – no matter how democratic its internal workings may appear.
We all need to participate in elections because they are the central institution of democratic representative government. In a democracy, the authority of the government derives solely from the consent of the governed.
The principal mechanism for translating that consent into governmental authority is the holding of elections in which the greatest possible majority of the adult population participates.
Not voting is therefore not a way to fix politicians we don’t like or disagree with. In fact, neglecting to vote is the best way of giving the politicians we detest the greatest chance of winning.
The neglect of the duty of participating in the choice of leaders at all levels brings catastrophic results to the nation. It is a great mistake to shun this responsibility.
And if you don’t register as a voter, you will not only be unable to vote, but you will also not be allowed to contest any office.
Every citizen is called upon to play his or her part conscientiously, that is those with leadership gifts should register as voters and represent themselves and be ready to contest and serve the people in accepting office as a trust and service to the people and not as a stepping stone for enriching themselves. All citizens who have reached the voting age of 18 should register and participate in electing leaders who have the necessary qualities.
It should be understood that the neglect of participating in the voting and in the election of good leaders allows unworthy candidates to take leadership positions and brings disharmony in our country.
And even if those offering themselves for public office do not meet the standards we desire, we have a duty to choose the best among those who offer themselves. It doesn’t make sense to wait until the time when the type of leaders we desire will be constructed in our country.
Our participation today will determine the quality of leadership we will have tomorrow. We say this because the future is built on the threshold of today, on the decisions we make today – the future is not built on the decisions we make in the future. To neglect to vote is to lose a person’s right and the nation’s right.
Again, we would like to remind you that political rights consist in the capacity of every citizen to participate in government. They exist for public good and they are not strictly rights but rather privileges.
The most important political right or privilege is the vote. A person who is able to vote but never votes is guilty of a serious omission. And citizens who do not care for their duty of voting are an easy prey to tyranny.
It is therefore important that we heed the call by Fr Kaliminwa to register as voters en masse and not get tired of voting and participating in governance. And we think it is a duty of his pastoral care to guide you in the light of the teaching of the Church on such an important subject.
You have rights and duties as citizens and the love of your country urges you to act accordingly in all justice and charity and register as a voter and vote in next year’s elections. We should all be conscious of the crucial role each one of us should play in choosing the leaders who will create the Zambia we want to live in.
And we make a special appeal to the government in general and the electoral commission in particular to realise that they have a serious responsibility. As facilitators of the elections, they should ensure that every citizen who wants to register and vote in next year’s elections is given the opportunity to do so without unnecessary encumbrances.
Good elections require the participation of all voters. On our voting depend the progress of our country. Elections are for the good of all our people and our country, and not for a political survival of any individual or political party.
The additional 72 days is still a very short period. Don’t wait until the last day to start looking for where to register. You may miss the deadline and fail to register and vote in next year’s elections. Do it now.
If you can’t do it today, do it tomorrow; if you will not be able to do it tomorrow, do it the next day. Don’t pend it for long. Zambia needs your vote, so register and vote in next year’s elections.
Labels: VOTER REGISTRATION
By BBC News
Fri 01 Oct. 2010, 11:10 CAT
Ecuador's President Rafael Correa has been rescued from a hospital in the capital, Quito, where he had been trapped for several hours in an uprising by disaffected police.
Widespread gunfire was heard as the army moved in to free the president, who was there for treatment after being attacked by police with tear gas. Mr Correa went on to address supporters outside the presidential palace. Two people died and dozens were injured in the unrest, officials said.
The president and his supporters said the police revolt over a new law cutting benefits for public servants amounted to an an attempted coup.
Mr Correa, a 47-year-old US-trained economist, took power in 2007 and was elected for a second term in 2009, despite a decision to default on $3.2bn of global bonds causing widespread fiscal problems for the government.
'Kill the president'
Mr Correa had been holed up in the police hospital, where he was treated after being hit by tear gas in a confrontation.
Hundreds of police, angry over a law that would cut their benefits, appeared to have prevented him from leaving the clinic.
The sight of two key state institutions, the national police force and the military, exchanging gunfire will be one which worries many ordinary Ecuadoreans, and reminds them of the past.
Ecuador's history is peppered with violent street uprisings which often ended with the removal of the head of state. In this instance, there was to be no such outcome, but it was a sign of how polarised life in Ecuador has become in recent years, with Mr Correa dividing opinion across the country.
The initial reason for the protests -austerity measures - was almost lost among the high drama of the presidential siege. But that, and other issues such as an impending decision on whether to dissolve parliament and call an early general election, are facing Mr Correa when he recovers from what was, without doubt, his toughest day since taking office.
Under cover of darkness Mr Correa was reportedly smuggled out of the hospital in a wheelchair as a gun battle between troops and police raged.
Speaking to his supporters outside the presidential palace, Mr Correa said he hoped the events of the day would serve "as an example to those who want to bring a change and stop the citizens' revolution without going through the polls".
"I give so much thanks to those heroes who accompanied me through this hard journey," the Reuters news agency reported him saying.
"Despite the danger, being surrounded, ministers and politicians came, to die if necessary. With that bravery, with that loyalty, nothing can defeat us."
The commander of Ecuador's police force has resigned, a police spokesman said on Friday.
The drama began on Thursday morning when members of the armed forces and police angry at the austerity measures occupied several barracks and set up road blocks across the country.
TV stations showed images of police setting tyres on fire in the streets of Quito, Guayaquil and other cities. The National Assembly building was also occupied.
Police also took control of Quito's international airport for several hours.
Looting was reported in the capital and Ecuador's largest city, Guayaquil. Banks were robbed and schools and businesses closed.
Peru and Colombia closed their borders with Ecuador in solidarity.
In an emotional speech to soldiers from Quito's main barracks, President Correa tore at his shirt and said: "If you want to kill the president, here he is. Kill him, if you want to. Kill him if you are brave enough."
Moments later he was forced to flee the barracks wearing a gas mask when tear gas was fired by the protesters, and he was taken to hospital.
During the day Mr Correa received strong support from governments throughout the Americas, with a string of Latin American nations and the US all speaking up for the embattled president.
Within hours of the violence erupting in Ecuador, the South American regional body, Unasur, called an emergency meeting.
Continue reading the main story
Ecuador's political instability
* 2005: President Lucio Gutierrez deposed after two years, following massive protests in response to his attempt to overhaul the Supreme Court
* 2000: Jamil Mahuad, elected 1998, forced to step down as president after two years following indigenous protests led by Col Lucio Gutierrez
* 1997: President Abdala Bucaram, nicknamed "El Loco" ("the crazy one"), declared mentally unfit to rule after a year in power
* 1987: President Leon Febres Cordero kidnapped and beaten up by the army in protest at policies of privatisation and public expenditure cuts
* Ecuador timeline
Mr Correa has blamed the Patriotic Society Party (PSP), led by Lucio Gutierrez, for fomenting the unrest, and said "bad elements" in the police force would "be removed".
On Wednesday, one minister had said the president was considering disbanding Congress because members of his Country Alliance had threatened to block proposals to shrink the bureaucracy.
Ecuador's two-year-old constitution allows the president to declare an impasse and rule by decree until new elections. However, such a move would have to be approved by the Constitutional Court.
The BBC's Will Grant, in Venezuela, says Mr Correa could still choose to rule by decree in an effort to stay in control in the immediate future.
By Chibaula Silwamba
Sat 02 Oct. 2010, 04:01 CAT
KASAMA Diocese Catholic priest Fr Nicholas Kaliminwa yesterday advised Zambians to register as voters en masse and not get tired of voting and participating in governance.
Commenting on the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ)’s extension of the mobile voter registration exercise for 72 days from September 19 to November 30, 2010, Fr Kaliminwa said people seemed to have lost confidence in governance hence the low turnout of people registering as voters.
“From my observation and interaction with people, it’s like people are not having hope in the ruling party and the opposition because of the infighting and insults and people are not seeing peace at the end of the tunnel, I think that is what has created this voter registration apathy. The other point is the challenges in acquiring National Registration Cards especially in rural areas,” said Fr Kaliminwa, who is Kasama Caritas director.
“But I want to urge Zambians that they shouldn’t get tired of doing what is right, even the Bible says so. It’s important to get involved in governance and register as voters. They shouldn’t lose hope.”
The ECZ on September 22 announced that the mobile voter registration exercise that started on June 21, 2010 had been extended to meet the Commission’s targeted number of 2.5 million new applicants.
“It was also observed that most people did not have Green National Registration cards which are a pre-requisite for one to qualify to register as a voter,” stated Cris Akufuna, ECZ spokesperson.
“During the extended period of registration of voters, the Commission will work with the Department of National Registration (DNR) to ensure that more people are issued with NRCs to enable them register as voters.”
By Larry Moonze in Havana, Cuba
Fri 01 Oct. 2010, 15:20 CAT
AFRICA will stand by Cuba in all its fight against imperialism, Malawian President Bingu Wa Mutharika has said.
On visiting the memorial site for Cuban internationalist combatants who died in African liberation missions on Wednesday here in Havana, President Mutharika said Fidel Castro undertook a risky revolutionary route but had ultimately brought freedom to Cuba.
“Africa and Malawi applaud Fidel Castro and the Cuban people for taking part in the liberation of Africa,” said President Mutharika who is also the Africa Union chairman.
“Africa will stand by Cuba in all its fights against imperialism. Cuba will always have the gratitude and support of the African people…Africa will always appreciate Cuban help and will reciprocate it by supporting the struggle against the policies of the great powers.”
He said it was extremely important that people who lost their lives in the cause of liberating their nations were honoured. President Mutharika said just like Cuba, Africans fought battles to gain independence.
“We all fought for independence in different ways,” he said.
“A lot of people lost lives. In some cases liberation struggle was long, therefore, we must always remember those people who lost their lives in order for us to be free,” he said.
“Those people were courageous… Fidel started the revolution war which was risky and now Cuba is changed.”
President Mutharika said Cuba should count on Africa on its struggles against US sanctions.
He said he was personally determined to struggle for the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade the United States maintains against Cuba.
“I am personally against this hostile US policy that has been imposed on the island for five decades now,” said President Mutharika.
“I have reiterated this stance at the UN General Assembly which has become the African stance and we will continue working for the lifting of that sanction. These criminal sanctions against Cuba are really damaging the Cuban people and therefore that blockade has to be lifted.”
Cuban deputy foreign minister Marcos Rodriguez and Cuba’s envoy to Malawi Carmelina Ramirez Rodriguez received President Mutharika. President Mutharika on this first trip to Havana was accompanied by first lady Callista Mutharika, and Eta E. Banda and Sidik Mia, foreign, and transportation and public infrastructure ministers respectively.
Others are Meter Mwanza (agriculture), David Mphande (health) and Lucious Kanyumba (youth and sports development), Ken Lipenga (tourism), Eunice Kazemba (industry and commerce) and Brian G. Bowler who is Malawian envoy to Havana.
President Mutharika held official talks with President Raul Castro on Wednesday.
By BBC News
Fri 01 Oct. 2010, 11:10 CAT
The United Nations is set to publish a controversial report into human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1990s. The final version is believed to have toned down its language after an earlier, leaked draft provoked fury from Uganda and Rwanda.
Both countries were accused of committing war crimes against ethnic Hutus in DR Congo during the conflict. They had threatened to pull out of UN peacekeeping missions in response.
The report into conflicts in the DR Congo between 1993 and 2003 is said to detail crimes never previously documented.
It covers some 600 incidents and includes allegations of massacres of civilians, torture, and the destruction of infrastructure that led to civilian deaths.
Rwanda had reacted furiously to allegations that its Tutsi-led army may have committed genocide in DR Congo, known as Zaire until 1997, against Rwandan Hutus.
Under President Paul Kagame, Rwanda has always said its forces entered Zaire to pursue Hutu militias responsible for carrying out mass killings in Rwanda - the rebels had fled to Zaire along with tens of thousands of Hutu refugees.
President Kagame threatened to withdraw Rwandan peacekeepers from the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping mission in Sudan's Darfur region in response to the report.
He was only persuaded not to after a visit from the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and agreement that Rwanda would be allowed to submit comments for inclusion in the report.
DR Congo and Rwanda: Troublesome neighbours
* April-June 1994: Genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda
* June 1994: Paul Kagame's Tutsi rebels take power in Rwanda, Hutus flee into Zaire
* Rwanda's army enters eastern Zaire to pursue Hutu fighters
* 1997: Laurent Kabila's AFDL, backed by Rwanda, takes power in Kinshasa
* Congo killings 'may be genocide'
* Analysis: Defining genocide
* Q&A: DR Congo conflict
* Profile: Rwanda President Kagame
The BBC's Barbara Plett at the UN says that while the final version appears to still contain the suggestion that Rwanda's army may have committed genocide, the language used has been toned down.
Despite the changes, Rwanda's Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said the document remained "flawed and dangerous from start to finish".
She criticised the methodology used to collect evidence and accused the UN of seeking to rewrite history, saying the report had been "a moral and intellectual failure as well as an insult to history".
Uganda, which was also accused of atrocities, described the draft report as "deeply flawed" and had threatened to pull out of peacekeeping missions, such as Somalia.
The country's UN ambassador, Ruhakana Rugunda, has told the BBC the document should not be published as it is not a "well-considered, objective report".
But he said Uganda's commitment to Africa would not be derailed.
"Our resolve to play our role in the region remains certain because we regard it as our inherent pan-African obligation to stand by the side of other African brothers and sisters," he said.
The UN report covers the wider conflict in DR Congo, which dragged in several neighbouring countries in what has been called "Africa's world war".
More than five million people died in the war and its aftermath - mostly from starvation or disease.
By George Chellah
Sat 02 Oct. 2010, 04:00 CAT
ZAMBIA Civic Education Association (ZCEA) executive director Judith Mulenga yesterday said removing the abuse of office clause from the ACC Act will turn Zambia into a corrupt haven.
Commenting on the government’s removal of the abuse of office offence clause from the revised Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Act, Mulenga said the removal of section 37 from the ACC Act, if passed by Parliament, would be a serious indictment on this Parliament.
“The removal of abuse of office will turn this country into a corrupt haven. Can the executive explain in very simple terms to the Zambians the mischief it has found with section 37 of the ACC Act?” Mulenga asked.
“In explaining this, we demand that the government should show a comparative list of all the cases tried under section 37 of the ACC Act and juxtapose all these cases against the ones tried under section 99 in the Penal Code. This way the public can see for themselves which of the statutes is more effective. What is the hurry in removing this section if not for very powerful vested interests?
In Zambia today there are many archaic laws that are still sitting on our statutes. Why hasn’t the government moved quickly to update the statutes? For instance, the comprehensive review of legislations relating to children was started in 2004 and thus far it is still dragging even with the support of the process by child rights cooperating partners.”
Mulenga said Zambians knew that issues of corruption were very complex.
“Cases of corruption are actually white collar crimes and in most progressive countries, special units are created and trained in special skills to investigate such crimes and hence the creation of the Anti Corruption Commission. South Africa has the Scorpions,” Mulenga said.
“Section 37 gave the ACC the clout it needed to be effective in the fight against corruption. Removing it is like removing the canines of a dog, then giving it a bone to chew.”
Mulenga reminded Parliament that Zambians were watching.
“This will be a litmus test for Parliament to act in the public interest. Let not this Parliament be like the one that overnight made murder a bailable offence because the then President’s son was facing a murder charge, or the other Parliament that also overnight made motor vehicle theft an unbailable offence because a cuckolded president wanted to punish his wife’s alleged lover,” Mulenga said.
“I strongly urge the Honourable members of parliament not to pass this Bill for the sake of the many helpless Zambians who do not hold high offices and who are at the mercy of public officials.”
According to the National Assembly Bill number 41 of 2010 presented to Parliament last Friday for first reading by acting leader of government business in the House Mkhondo Lungu, section 37 which catered for the offence had 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.
By Namatama Mundia
Fri 01 Oct. 2010, 15:30 CAT
UNITED Nations resident coordinator in Zambia Kanni Wignaraja has observed that a social system to support the aged is needed to hold gains on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the country.
In a message to commemorate the International Day of Older Persons which fell yesterday under the global theme “Older persons and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals”, Wignaraja stated that efforts to reach the MDGs would be incomplete and gains will soon be rolled back unless order persons who have taken on this dual responsibility of looking after themselves and their orphaned grandchildren were included in the process.
“A universal social security scheme will help,” she stated.
Wignaraja noted that a critical factor that magnified the concerns of the aged in Zambia was the spread of HIV and AIDS.
“This has caused a significant demographic dent in the population structure of Zambia, with the dependency ratio increasing as the percentage of young and old increases in relation to the number of those in their mid-adult years,” she stated. “…two-thirds of all orphans are in the care of grandparents whose economic status is weak.”
Wignaraja said this year’s theme was meant to examine progress towards achieving the MDGs from the perspective of empowerment of older persons, giving attention to their inclusion, their participation in society and promotion of a positive image of ageing.
“This day also acknowledges older persons as an increasingly major segment of society and opens an avenue for dialogue on the implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing and the United Nations Principles for Older Persons,” she stated.
Wignaraja stated that the Plan of Action called on the international community to better integrate the needs of older persons, especially the poor, into economic and social planning.
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Sat 02 Oct. 2010, 04:00 CAT
Chiwoyu Sinyangwe THE University Teaching Hospital (UTH) has suspended 16 cashiers in an alleged syndicate of theft of money which is believed to have been going on since January this year, sources have disclosed. And UTH managing director Dr Luckson Kasonka has confirmed the suspension of the officials following suspicion of alleged irregular transactions.
According to sources, the thefts are believed to have been going on since January and hinged mostly on cashiers under-remitting to the institution the monies they collected from patients and clients. The sources explained that the 16 cashiers had been suspended for the last two weeks.
“For example, they would say K900,000 which is charged on a patient and needs the scan services but only remit maybe K50,000 and also record wrong details as to what services that patient was provided for,” the sources explained.
“But the main computer used to capture the correct data and that is how these 16 guys were identified and suspended…because the information they used to submit was different from what the computer was recording. It is suspension to keep them away so that they don’t continue tempering with the evidence. Even the police do that.”
Dr Kasonka said the suspension was done to pave way for investigations.
He explained that management at the country’s biggest referral hospital was prompted to suspend the cashiers following complaints from some patients and the discovery of inconsistencies between the data from cashiers and that captured by the main computer which had the audit trail.
Dr Kaasonka, however, did not disclose the amount that is believed to have been exposed to the syndicate, saying the amount would only be known after the investigations had been completed.
“Here at UTH, they are some cashiers who are not honest,” Dr Kasonka said. “There are some cashiers who pick money, put in the pocket without issuing a receipt to client or patient. We have recently introduced a computerised system so that we can avert this forgery using the manual receipts writing.
But you know people are very ‘smart’; they have again gone around and hacked in the computer system. Even using the computer system, they are able to generate fake receipts and give fake receipts and give the clients and thereby depriving the institution of that money. So, we have put them on suspension and we want to get to the true details as to how much theft has been done.”
He said those found wanting would be handed over to the police for prosecution.
“It is normal procedure where you suspend someone where you suspect something wrong and you have to get the case against them, if at all they have stolen or not,” he said.
“Those who are found clean will come back to work. Those who will be found with evidence of theft, the necessary civil service procedures will apply. If someone has stolen money, the procedure is that you hand them over to the police. I don’t want to start kicking them and caning them, no.
I will hand them over to the police with evidence and then the police will take it from there because this is public money and that is what the police are there for.
We are trying to get to the root of complaints from the general public and at the same time, we don’t want to unfairly judge somebody when there is no evidence just because the public has said there is theft and we start firing and suspending.”
Dr Kasonka complained about the high levels of dishonesty in most public institutions, and that UTH was not the only institution that had some dishonest officials.
“You have heard of complaints from the members of the public that cashiers at UTH are corrupt,” said Dr Kasonka.
“They don’t issue receipts sometimes, (or) sometimes issue receipts which are undervalued. It is likely to have been going on for a long time. And this is usually everywhere in institutions. You see how we Zambians are not honest.
We are not honest people which is very sad. So, we want to establish for how long it has been going on and how much has been stolen. This is peoples’ money, government money and people will be punished for not being honest.”
Friday, October 01, 2010
MARYKE VERMAAK | JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Sep 30 2010 10:18
Unemployment and poverty have to be dealt with to ensure growth in South Africa, delegates at the launch of t said in Johannesburg on Wednesdahe Decent Work Country Programmey. "If you don't address the issue of unemployment and poverty you are sitting on a timebomb," Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana said at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) in Johannesburg.
A draft document on the first programme of its kind in the country was signed by representatives of government, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), organised business, organised labour and community constituencies.
One of the programme's main focuses was ensuring the right to work was enforced. It was further aimed at strengthening fundamental principles and rights at work, promoting employment creation, strengthening and broadening social protection coverage, and social development.
The minister called the programme a "major breakthrough".
Long and bumpy road
ILO spokesperson Joni Musabayana said constructing the final programme had been a "long and sometimes bumpy road".
Another ILO spokesperson Vic van Vuuren said it was crucial that the document be implemented.
Organised labour spokesman Bheki Ntshalintshali said they had to be "mindful and careful that whatever we commit to do we deliver on time".
There was no guarantee the programme would deliver what signatories expected.
"It is a new commitment, and unless we do something different, it would fail."
He said they hoped for many more programmes in the future, and that this project would act as a "think tank" in addressing them. -- Sapa
NATASHA MARRIAN | JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Sep 15 2010 08:02
Government should tax the "super rich" and play a more "aggressive role" in the economy, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) suggested in its new growth path for South Africa. Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Tuesday that the country was in crisis, and a new growth path was needed to rescue the "dysfunctional" economy.
"We continue to hang political freedom around our necks, but the reality is we have hardly touched the structural crisis at the economic level," he said launching the federation's discussion document at the University of Johannesburg.
"Unemployment has been worsening ... the cold reality is that we are sitting with a worsening crisis not an improving situation. A quarter of the population lives on social grants that the government provides ... we should move out of the situation where most of the people have to rely on government to survive ... it's a crisis pointing to the dysfunctionality at the core of our economy."
The document suggested "redistributive tax interventions" which included the introduction of a tax category for the "super rich" and a "solidarity tax" to cap the growth of the earnings of the top 10% and accelerate earnings of the lowest 10%.
It also proposed a higher tax on imported luxury items, a land tax to "aid" the process of land redistribution and a zero rating of basic foodstuffs, medicines, water, domestic electricity, and public education.
Export taxes on strategic minerals, metals and other resources to "support down-stream industries" and promote value, investment tax credits to encourage local procurement of machinery and equipment and tax on financial transactions including a capital gains tax above a certain minimum threshold were among the "transformative taxes" Cosatu proposed.
A transformative tax should also be imposed on companies who were "stubborn in closing the apartheid wage gap".
Fiscal and monetary policy should focus on employment.
"Employment will be the primary target of monetary policy, whilst price stability plays a subordinate role. Monetary policy will support industrial development," said Cosatu's fiscal and monetary policy coordinator, Christopher Malikane.
He said it was "urgent" that the role of the state in the economy be "reconsidered".
"We are saying that a state is developmental not by declaration but by what it does," he said.
The state should "mobilise national savings to fund development", have a progressive tax and levy system, it should "directly" employ people, play a leading role in stimulating industry, have aggressive targets and punitive measures for addressing transformation and should remove the "profit motive" in the delivery of goods and services such as water and housing.
Cosatu in its discussion document proposed nationalisation be looked at in the context of the strategic role the state should play in key sectors of the economy.
"If you read the documents in relation to all the areas we propose the state must take a strategic interest in, they relate to the economy where there are existing monopolies which we need broken up," Vavi said.
Cosatu believed that through state intervention, resources could be "liberated" to be used in delivering services.
"In relation to the area of mining ... we are not necessarily calling for nationalisation of all the mines in South Africa. We don't think that's a realistic proposal. But we do say that we need a state that can have a company that can intervene in the strategic minerals."
He said the steel and platinum industries should be considered for state intervention. This had to be strategic and should not be aimed at complete ownership.
Malikane said South Africa needed a "mixed economy" with privately- and state-owned entities.
Strategic sectors where state intervention was necessary included mines, metals fabrication, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, forestry, construction and finance.
Cosatu's proposal included a state-owned bank, pharmaceutical company and construction company.
Vavi said state-owned entities should be viewed in terms of the benefits for South African society as a whole, instead of "narrowly from an investors perspective".
"This is not a mad document, it is a well-considered document."
Cosatu had long attempted to influence its alliance partner, the ruling African National Congress, on the country's economic trajectory.
Vavi himself said he was like a "battered woman" when asked what he would do if the federation failed to get buy-in from the ANC on its bid to radically transform the economy.
Using a medical metaphor, he likened the economy to a patient who had very successful "operation" but "regrettably the patient has died".
This was in reference to government's stance on its macro economic policies.
"We need a new direction and we need a comprehensive strategy that hangs together in order to ensure development."
ANC national executive committee member and deputy chairperson of the ruling party's economic development committee Enoch Godongwana sat in the audience. The economy was often at the root of the battles between the allies.
Godongwana was also deputy minister of public enterprises.
Cosatu president S'dumo Dlamini said Cosatu had always been chastised for failing to provide an "alternative". He said in launching the discussion document, that Cosatu was answering that call.
The federation would discuss the document with its partners in the ruling alliance and welcomed "engagement' on it among the civil society and the public. - Sapa
By Nyasa Times
Published: September 29, 2010
Wa Mutharika speaks out on foreign tobacco buyers deportation
Tobacco sales have restarted at the Lilongwe Auction Floors a week after the sale of Malawi’s major foreign exchange was suspended by angry growers last week Wednesday.
Growers had stopped the tobacco sale at the market, largest in Malawi angry with low prices prevailing so far this season and occurrences of more rejected or no sale bales by buyers.
After a week-long of a marathon of meetings between the two parties brokered by the Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) and Ministry of Agriculture, the sales have taken off at the Lilongwe floors with some promises to offload all the tobacco by mid October.
“The agreement has been reached that buyers will buy all the remaining bales at the Mzuzu and Lilongwe Auction Floors before mid October,” Margaret Mauwa, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, said at the floors.
The Lilongwe Auction Floors were scheduled to complete its selling season by mid September but market suspensions have prolonged the business at the market.
“This has also increased costs on the part of the market owners (Auction Holdings Limited) and even the farmers themselves because the floors still keep and pay staff beyond the agreed period while the farmers are paying the transporters who have not offloaded their bales todate,” said one official at the market.
Despite the deal, farmers are still angry with conduct by the buyers who are sending back tobacco through ‘no sale’ tags which means the bales have to be reoffered on the market.
“I have reoffered my 80 bales for eight times now and none of it has been bought, what they are looking for?” said Enos Amos a grower from Kasiya in Lilongwe.
There are over 70,000 bales of tobacco still unsold at the Lilongwe Auction Floors and over a hundred thousand bales still hanging at Mzuzu floors.
With this development of extended marketing season, experts are now worried that the production of the green gold will hit all time low next year as some farmers have not turned into their fields to prepare for the season ahead.
Microfinance companies who lend money and farm implements to tobacco farmers are also on the worried side. Most of the loans disbursed last year have not been repaid up to now signaling a dry cash coffer spell for new borrowers next season.
Economic experts have warned that Malawi needs to slowly turn into non-traditional cash crops such as pigeon peas, cut-flowers, and birds’ eye chilli to supplement its foreign exchange earnings. They warn that abrupt stop in producing tobacco will throw the economy into an abyss.
Tobacco earns about 60 percent of Malawi’s forex and still remains the major driver of economic survival for over 70 percent of Malawians directly and indirectly.
By: Nancy Lovedale
Posted: Friday, October 1, 2010 6:20 am
PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is reported to have changed his tune on sanctions and on the causes of the economic meltdown in Zimbabwe. He has also threatened to boycott the next elections and a vote on the new Constitution saying it will have to be negotiated by the main parties because the process has been a farce.
Mr Tsvangirai cannot have his cake and eat it. He has done so many times with impunity. His call for the lifting of sanctions was always suspect. How could we have expected a man who invited those sanctions in the first place to call for their lifting?
Many of us still remember the pathetic picture of PM Tsvangirai coming off the plane at Johannesburg International Airport with the children of Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri and Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa who had been deported from Australia.
His own daughter remained in Australia.
We also remember the thousands of deaths from cholera because Zimbabwe could not procure equipment and water treatment chemicals because of sanctions supported by Mr Tsvangirai and the MDC-T.
Coincidentally that cholera ended when Mr Tsvangirai joined the inclusive Government.
So when he says sanctions are targeted at Zanu-PF officials, he is merely courting our ire. Calling them "restrictive measures" smacks of either ignorance, arrogance or sheer vacuousness.
Mr Tsvangirai refused to honour the Kariba Draft which was negotiated by the main political parties saying it was outdated. He did not say which parts of that draft were outdated.
His MDC-T party and civil society organisations then suggested that there has to be a "people-driven constitution" and the current constitutional reform process started.
Now they want that reversed; and another "Kariba Draft" written.
We cannot allow this man to run the affairs of the country like he runs his own household.
A lot of resources have been expended in the process and we cannot allow the prime minister's tantrums to break such an honourable exercise.
Mr Tsvangirai has realised that the outcome of the new constitution will not go in favour of the MDC-T party and that he is nearing his doomsday, hence he wants the new constitution negotiated.
MDC-T spokesman Nelson Chamisa made a ridiculous statement recently to online media. He said "the people" want the constitution negotiated and the prime minister is merely stating what "the people" want.
Mr Chamisa should not hoodwink all of us in broad daylight talking about "the people". His, and Mr Tsvangirai's narcissistic tendencies should be stopped forthwith.
We cannot allow what happened in Mbare last weekend to derail a process that has been virtually incident free up to now.
How come Zanu-PF allowed, and still allows, that process to go on when MDC-T supported sanctions are killing people daily?
The MDC-T can claim all victims of violence if they want. That is nothing compared to the suffering they caused by inviting sanctions. They are the gangsters. How many people died from the effects of the sanctions?
The MDC-T should stop this nonsense about violence. Their violence is there for all to see. Their desire to see Zimbabwe "crashing and burning" is as clear as day.
The problems encountered in the constitutional making process are to be expected in a country that has been bruised and battered.
Mr Tsvangirai and Mr Chamisa can boycott all they want; but they should never claim to represent the people's view on the constitution. There will be a referendum and people will speak then.
We should either now go back to the Kariba Draft, rather than start another useless MDC-T driven exercise; or simply let Copac finish off the exercise and go to referendum.
In the meantime, Mr Tsvangirai can bark all he wants.
Nancy Lovedale is an avid supporter of Dynamos FC and Arsenal FC. She writes from Beijing in China and can be reached via nancy_lovedale *** yahoo.com
Posted: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 11:18 am
A ZIMBABWEAN delegation led by Finance Minister Tendai Biti will next week attend the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group annual meeting in Washington DC in the United States of America. The IMF/World Bank Group annual meetings will be held from 8 to 10 October and the Zimbabwe delegation will leave the country on 5 October.
An official of the Ministry of Finance said Minister Biti and the Permanent Secretary, Mr Willard Manungo, will lead the Zimbabwean delegation that will participate at the IMF/World Bank annual meetings.
“The meeting will be attended by all the World Bank and the IMF members and it will be for reviewing policies that will have an effect on almost all the financial institutions in the world.
The annual meeting will bring together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, private sector executives and academics to discuss issues of global concern including the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, and aid effectiveness.
About 10 000 people will officially attend the IMF/World Bank meetings while some thousands more will unofficially attend the meetings and these include anti-globalisation and anti-capitalism demonstrators.
Last Friday, Minister Biti, while addressing business executives during the 2011 national budget consultative meeting in Bulawayo said it would be folly for one to think that Zimbabwe could survive without the help from international financial institutions.
[Is this a final admission by the MDC on the effect of the international financial institution's credit freeze of the government of Zimbabwe, which started on December 21st 2001?
Since ZDERA was signed into law, the MDC have maintained that a) there are no economic sanctions against Zimbabwe and b) that those economic sanctions have no real effect on the economy. They said in effect that a credit freeze by international financial institutions didn't have much of an effect on the Zimbabwean economy.
However, now their spin is one of dependency - now, "it would be folly to think that Zimbabwe could survive without the help of international financial institutions".
The MDC are scumbags. They have destroyed the country of Zimbabwe, for the sole purpose that they could attain power. This is who Britain supports and who the Bush Administration supports. Just a reminder of the credit freeze by International Finacial Institutions that has been in force against Zimbabwe since 2002:
SEC. 4. SUPPORT FOR DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY.(c) MULTILATERAL FINANCING RESTRICTION- ... the Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States executive director to each international financial institution to oppose and vote against--
(1) any extension by the respective institution of any loan, credit, or guarantee to the Government of Zimbabwe; or
(2) any cancellation or reduction of indebtedness owed by the Government of Zimbabwe to the United States or any international financial institution.
See here for all to see, the sabotage, the treachery, the subservience to international capital, of the MDC. - MrK]
He said the IMF and the World Bank were critical for the development of any country, adding it was important for the country to clear its international debts in a bid to improve relations with financial institutions.
Meanwhile, a World Bank delegation is next week expected to hold tax seminars with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and officials from the Ministry of Finance.
Posted: Friday, October 1, 2010 4:55 am
President Mugabe and First Lady Grace Mugabe at the funeral of liberation war hero Ephraim Masawi in Harare, September 30, 2010. REUTERS
PRESIDENT Mugabe said the National Heroes Acre is a sacred shrine reserved for only those Zimbabweans who sacrificed their lives to liberate the country from settler colonial rule.
The president said this while addressing mourners at the burial of Zanu-PF deputy national political commissar Ephraim Masawi at the National Heroes Acre in Harare yesterday.
"We are gathered here to bury Cde Masawi and others who died before him. Let me make it clear, this shrine is meant for those people who fought in the liberation struggle, Chimurenga, the struggle for our land, our country.
"It is a shrine for Chimurenga freedom fighters."
The President added: "It is not a shrine for just good people. There are many good people. There are many people who help others and who do exemplary work. But the Heroes Acre is for liberation fighters.
"There are many people who do exemplary work in our factories, in farming, and other areas. They are heroes. If we want to honour these people, let us look for another place to lay them, not this shrine. This is for liberation war fighters.
President Mugabe's remarks follow recent futile attempts by MDC formations to be consulted on the selection of national heroes and their bid to have Government confer national hero status on Mr Gibson Sibanda, founding vice president of the MDC - a party that invited and aided in the crafting of sanctions against Zimbabwe.
Mr Sibanda died in August and was buried at his rural home in Matabeleland South with State assistance.
The President chronicled how the late Masawi played a crucial role during and after the liberation struggle.
He said although Masawi did not leave Zimbabwe for military training outside, like what many others did, the former Mashonaland Central Governor and Resident Minister recruited and mobilised fighters back home.
President Mugabe said without the backing and contribution of cadres like Masawi back home, the liberation war would not have yielded the independence Zimbabweans are now enjoying.
"Who is this man who has united the nation in mourning his untimely departure? Who is this man whom we are paying our last respects? There are some among us who do not think that Cde Masawi deserved national hero status and perhaps justifiably so because they did not know about the life and sacrifices he gave to the liberation struggle," he said.
President Mugabe said the conferment of national hero status on Masawi was unanimous.
"Speaker after speaker narrated the history of this very simple, but sophisticated man, and all of the Politburo members ably recounted his dynamic and consistent political and revolutionary acts.
"We did not find any yawning gaps in his revolutionary political life from beginning to end.
"He remained resolute, unshaken, ever determined to ensure that the struggle for the liberation of this country was prosecuted to its logical conclusion," he said.
The President also narrated how Masawi and other youths engaged in acts of courage and sabotage and caused a real breakdown of law and order against Ian Smith’s regime during the liberation struggle.
He said the late national hero was active in organising the youths, who came together under a group called "Zhanda" (from the Gendarmerie) to cripple the agriculture sector and white-owned businesses.
"Cde Masawi was kept busy, mobilising and organising passive resistance at home, be it against the Pearce Commission or against the infamous political rallies organised by the short-lived Zimbabwe-Rhodesia government.
"He became State enemy number one, a thorn in the flesh for the colonial administration that had to be got rid of. Thus, the enemy engineered two attempts on his life through bomb attacks that were targeted at him and his colleagues," President Mugabe added.
At independence, the President said, Masawi did not retire from politics but soldiered on to ensure that political gains were defended and the land was restored to its rightful owners.
"Cde Masawi’s post-independence political career is without blemish. He remained an active member of the party, Zanu-PF, beginning at the lower echelons of the party and rising through its ranks to the positions of deputy secretary for information and publicity and deputy secretary for the commissariat, the position he held until his death," President Mugabe said.
He said Masawi was a resourceful person and used his experience not only to shape the Youth League but also to guide the party.
"In government he rose to be Governor and Resident Minister for Mashonaland Central for five years,’’ President Mugabe said.
During his tenure as Governor and Resident Minister for Mashonaland Central province, Masawi oversaw the allocation of land under the land reform programme.
President Mugabe also took the opportunity to remind Zimbabweans that the country remained under enemy siege.
He, however, urged indigenous people to take control of the economy through ownership of resources and the means of production.
"Our enemies and detractors are fighting day and night to destroy our national unity. They dislike our inclusive Government. They do not want to see us exercising our autonomy and sovereignty but want to dictate to us how we should govern ourselves," he said.
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President Mugabe urged Zimbabweans never to allow the enemy to meddle in the country’s domestic affairs saying doing so would be a negation of the sacrifices made by gallant freedom fighters like Masawi.
"We are an independent country now. Our resources are ours. They belong to Zimbabweans. They belong to the sons and daughters of Zimbabwe and those who want to share the resources must get our permission to do so.
"We must agree that they come as partners and come as partners in a manner we define and not in a manner they define.
"The manner we defined is quite straightforward — Zimbabweans should have major shareholding in whatever enterprises. Our people must accept it," he said.
President Mugabe noted with displeasure that some of the country’s young professionals were hesitant to run businesses.
He said they were only comfortable in being chief executive officers and managers in foreign-owned companies.
"Some of our trained young people have been conditioned to worshipping the white men working as CEOs in white men’s enterprises whether its Anglo-American or Rio Tinto, this is now old fashioned. You were born again in 1980.
"You are now the masters and those who made you CEOs should now be your CEOs," President Mugabe said, to rounds of applause from thousands of mourners who converged at the national shrine to pay their last respect to Cde Masawi.
He also castigated those opposed to the economic empowerment programme saying their claims that the move would not attract investment were baseless.
"If people (investors) do not want to come on those terms let them stay out, they are not good for us . . . That should never be allowed in an independent Zimbabwe. Let them stay away.
"Our true friends are eager to come and even those companies from countries with sanctions on us are asking to be accommodated," President Mugabe said.
Those opposed to black economic empowerment, he added, were "actually rejecting independence".
President Mugabe also condemned the continued existence of the illegal Western economic sanctions.
Officials from both MDC formations boycotted Cde Masawi’s burial yesterday.
By: Our reporter
Posted: Friday, October 1, 2010 5:42 am
THE Zimbabwe Diaspora Development Interface (ZDDI) will hold a constitutional outreach meeting on Saturday at the London Metropolitan University.
In a statement emailed to the Zimbabwe Guardian the meeting aims to give Zimbabwean organisations and individuals in the United Kingdom an opportunity to submit their views to the constitutional reform process in Zimbabwe.
It will be held at
"The meeting will devote the bulk of its time to public submissions along the lines of the key talking points used by Copac in its outreach exercise, but with a major focus on issues that have greater resonance with Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora," read the statement.
Copac is the Constitutional Parliamentary Committee driving the constitutional reform exercise in Zimbabwe.
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ZDDI says it "strongly urges Zimbabweans in the UK to come forward with their views so that we can submit them to the process in Zimbabwe and ensure that the diaspora’s voice is not absent or muted".
The organisation "will collate the output from the outreach meeting into a document that we will submit directly to Copac".
ZDDI chairman Dr Alex Magaisa urged Zimbabweans in the UK to come forward and express their views and not remain at the periphery of the constitutional reform exercise taking place in Zimbabwe.
“We need to get the authorities in Zimbabwe to recognise the value of their foreign-based human capital, and this constitutional reform exercise presents the Zimbabwe diaspora with an opportunity to be proactive in advocating for their rights," says Dr Magaisa.
"We in the Diaspora must recognise that any new Constitution will affect us and our children in many ways but if we do not take action to be heard we can have no one to blame but ourselves.”
ZDDI says it sees participation in the constitutional reform exercise as an important step in promoting closer engagement between the diaspora and the inclusive Government of Zimbabwe, the business community and civil society organisations.
In September last year, ZDDI hosted an investment, migration and development conference which "contributed significantly to the makings of a new Diaspora engagement policy by the inclusive Government," according to the statement.
The outreach meeting will be held between 10:30am – 2pm in Room SH2-09, Stapleton House, which is at London Metropolitan University’s main campus on 166-200 Holloway Road, London, N7 8DB, a minute’s walk from Holloway Tube Station.
By: Nancy Nyamhunga
Posted: Friday, October 1, 2010 5:20 am
WHILST the government’s efforts of finally recognizing the discriminatory nature of the education system which only punishes the girl child for falling pregnant whilst remaining silent on the boy child must be applauded, the prescribed solution on how to make things right, is in my humble opinion, wrong.
From what I gather, policy-makers intend to afford the pregnant teenagers maternity leave, and thereafter re-admit them back into the mainstream secondary education system to continue with their learning.
Whilst I hold no beef for nursing students to benefit from this proposed arrangement (they are adults anyway), the old policy of expelling teenagers who fall pregnant whilst in secondary is not only just, but progressive and as such must be maintained.
There are various concerns about this proposed policy.
There is lack of appreciation by our policy-makers on the subject of bullying which inevitably these teenage mothers will be subjected to.
There is a silent message encoded in the policy – that it is alright to break rules, and that you face no consequences for it. By allowing them to remain in an environment that makes them think and behave like girls, but not mothers, policy makers will give these teenagers a false identity.
We ought to be very careful that we do not bow to populist policies that will end up equipping our children with ideas that work against them, instead of working for them.
I agree that these teenage mothers must be afforded another chance to continue with their education after this temporary setback.
I’m also aware that contrary to popular stereotypical beliefs, particularly amongst our very conservative Zimbabwean community, which takes a view that teenagers who fall pregnant whilst in secondary school are a “bit loose”, most of these teenage mothers end up being in this situation due to various reasons.
Mostly, they do so because they feel insecure due to problems at home like parents divorcing, illness or bereavement within the family, acute financial problems, domestic violence, or other forms of abuse that may be happening within the home.
Having said this, teenagers need to be made aware that sleeping with the opposite sex is not the solution to their problem, but in fact it worsens an already bad situation.
Perhaps a social studies subject could be made as a core subject in the curriculum or maybe the family planning services can undertake outreach programmes educating teenagers in high school about ways of avoiding getting pregnant.
Otherwise, the policy of expelling those teenagers who fall pregnant from mainstream secondary school is fair and just, to themselves and their peers.
It acts as a deterrent to others and also protects the same teenagers from psychological and emotional harm which is inevitable due to extreme bullying they will face from their peers.
The traditional uniformed secondary school is not just about learning academic material; it is much more than that.
It teaches our children about national values, discipline and generally as a nation, we have certain moral value expectations from those institutions. The school uniform is not just an identity; it symbolizes discipline and conformity to offices of authority.
By wearing the uniform prescribed by school authorities, our children are showing compliance with rules within those settings, and by and large, they are being prepared to obey laws and rules in their later lives.
Therefore a teenager, who breaks the school’s code of conduct by choosing to make babies instead of learning, must equally be punished.
That is how the adult life we are preparing them for is like.
We must not attempt to give them a false identity, mislead them into believing that after falling pregnant; they can revert back to their old identity and get back into the mainstream education system. Their social status, responsibilities automatically change, they are no longer girls in any sense, they are now mothers.
They are now “mature” students, because their individual circumstances demand that they grow up quickly.
They now have a child that needs love and attention. What they will need is an enabling learning environment that will accept them for who they are and not who they should be.
Professional emotional support to help them through this transitional period will go a long way in helping these teenagers.
Adult colleges that offer secondary education will be the ideal learning environment for these teenage mothers as this gives them an opportunity to interact with other people who may have experienced setbacks in their personal lives, and how those people coped with those adverse situations.
Admittedly, resources are limited at the moment, but it is possible to find room within existing institutions of higher learning for the provision of these services.
It is generally acknowledged that children learn best when they experience a coherent approach between home and educational institutions.
Therefore by allowing these teenage mothers some form of independence, where they are able to express themselves freely without the need to assume a false identity in order to fit in, as they would do in a traditional secondary school setting, they will be able to learn and develop social skills that will help them manage their situations effectively.
By interacting with adults, these teenagers will more likely feel secure and accepted, and therefore be in a position to achieve their full potential.
The message to these teenage mothers should be that making mistakes is part of life and that the ability to rise from those personal setbacks is what makes people successful.
It is also a challenge for budding social entrepreneurs, the responsibility of giving additional support to these young mothers cannot be left to government alone, there is a gap that needs to be filled in by charitable organizations.
With the right approach, desire and commitment, our corporate world can be roped in to finance such social enterprises. They will love to be known as major donors of charitable organizations.
Nancy Nyamhunga writes from Leicester, United Kingdom
By Kombe Chimpinde
Fri 01 Oct. 2010, 04:02 CAT
UPND deputy spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa yesterday said PF leader Michael Sata cannot be trusted because this is the perception that Zambians have. And Mweetwa has charged that the future of the PF-UPND pact is unpredictable because of a few individuals in the PF, including Sata, who are harbouring selfish interests. Speaking on Joy FM Radio, Mweetwa said it was not for the UPND to trust Sata.
“It is not a question of us trusting Mr Sata. I am saying the perception, which we have had to deal with as the people of Zambia, is can you trust Mr Sata because he has been seen to stand on fake grounds to take turns at each time it appears convenient for him,” Mweetwa said. “People have referred to his stance on the third term and how he remained in MMD until the presidency eluded him. That is the only time the MMD became a bad vehicle.”
Mweetwa accused Sata of taking a stance against MMD only because the MMD presidency eluded him.
“People have referred to the support he gave Mr Chiluba in 2006 shoulder to shoulder, sending cadres to go and sing for Chiluba at the airport; giving him a messages of solidarity at the airport and accusing Mwanawasa of persecuting Chiluba,” Mweetwa said.
“People have referred to Mr Sata’s unpredictable stance on mineral royalties. Today he says he supports windfall tax, tomorrow he says he does not support windfall tax.”
Mweetwa said that it was clear that Sata was inconsistent in most of his arguments and debates.
“People have referred to Mr Sata as having worked with Kaunda, having worked with Mr Chiluba, but today you should hear how he disparages Mr Chiluba. If you not a Zambian, it is difficult to believe that this man has worked with Mr Chiluba,” Mweetwa said.
“Today in The Post, Mr Sata is talking about a leadership of under five and he says that the young people of this country are associated with corruption, that Zamtel was sold by the young people, that young people are just flying around. Now this is a contrast to what is true and if this is what he is saying, talk about corruption…when was corruption at its peak? It was during Chiluba's government, in which government Mr Sata was a Cabinet member. He is bound by collective responsibility,” he said.
And Mweetwa said it was more decent for Sata to own up to mistakes which Chiluba’s government made since he was part of it.
“The point I’m making is when you are part and parcel of a decision, the MMD decisions ten years ago, do not come out to denounce the decisions to which you were part. It is a decent thing to come out and say ‘yes we made our own mistakes. I have learned from those mistakes, maybe I can do something more decent’,” Mweetwa said.
“He has talked about the sale of Zamtel and flying around. Who is flying around? It is Rupiah Banda his age mate. Perhaps under fives now are his age mates. It is the old people who are flying to go and celebrate with Goodluck Jonathan that he should blame, not the young people of this country.”
Mweetwa said he sympathized with Zambians whose only hope in the Pact was at a verge of collapse because of selfish senior individuals PF.
“I want generally to share the grief of the many Zambians out there who have been ravaged by the rising levels of poverty and disease, whose hope and hopes had been reposed in the Pact. Now some people have positioned themselves to destroy the Pact. They are on a warpath to bring the Pact down,” Mweetwa said.
“They are busy stifling every effort intended to sustain the Pact. They are suffocating the Pact. They are dismantling the Pact because of their selfish interest or narrow perception of things which is blind to reality. I’m a very sad person.”
Mweetwa said UPND was clean and that its members had always been committed to the Pact at the expense of many warnings about PF'’s inconsistencies.
“We have stood true to the values and foundations upon which the Pact was formed, namely mutual respect for each other as individual political parties, provide checks and balances against this excessive government then secondly offer a platform that would offer a hopeful platform for the people of Zambia come 2011,” he said.
“We have respected our colleagues in the Patriotic Front. Everyone who undermined and was against the Pact we have disciplined them and we remain the party who are sincere with anyone we enter into an agreement.”
Mweetwa expressed doubt about the Pact’s future.
“The situation of the Pact right now is unpredictable in the sense that what is currently obtaining, the statements you get from the two leaders… sometimes these quarters of statements are largely contrasting,” he said.
“You read the media today and listen to what the leader of the Patriotic Front is saying, you read the media yesterday listen to what some of the leaders of the Patriotic Front are saying, read the media yesterday and the days before and listen to what the leaders of UPND are saying, you can safely conclude that the Pact is standing on very shaky grounds.
“It’s unpredictable in the sense that for us as UPND, everybody agrees that from the first day the Pact was pronounced we have used every single platform to promote the virtues and ideals of the Pact. We have not been distracted by negative comments arising from a few individuals in PF who have attacked the integrity of UPND because we know that the enormous task of us ahead of 2011 requires humility.”
By The Post
Fri 01 Oct. 2010, 04:00 CAT
The decision to remove the offence of abuse of office from the Anti Corruption Commission Act is a serious dereliction of duty by Rupiah Banda. This decision, more than any other decision that Rupiah has taken since coming to power, demonstrates his recklessness and lack of respect for public accountability.
We say this is Rupiah’s decision because there is no way such an important and significant policy shift can take place without the blessing of the president himself. We know that minions such as George Kunda have worked hard to achieve this departure from common decency.
But still, Rupiah as President must take full responsibility for his government’s decision to legalise corruption, abuse of public office and plunder of public resources. This is what the removal of section 37 from the Anti Corruption Commission Act amounts to.
Rupiah and his chief of propaganda, of lies and half-truths Ronnie Shikapwasha would like our people to believe that they have not done anything serious. And yesterday in the state-owned and government-controlled newspaper, the Zambia Daily Mail, Shikapwasha said that “the abuse of office offence is still law under the Penal Code and anybody found wanting would be charged by the ACC”.
This is stupid and a deliberate attempt to mislead our people. If Shikapwasha is so desperate to keep his job that he has no shame in telling lies and half-truths, he should at least learn to shut up when he doesn’t understand the issues that are being discussed. A man of his age should not allow himself to be used as a cheap Chinese-manufactured plastic vuvuzela that will blow any tune regardless of what it means or stands for. If Shikapwasha wants to comment effectively and intelligently on the law, he should do what many of us have done: go and learn some law and subject himself to the discipline of learning and understanding the things he wants to comment on. The issue at hand is not a subject about which cheap political points should be scored. There is a serious matter at hand. What Rupiah and George are forcing through Parliament is a law that allows thieves and corrupt elements to get away with their loot with impunity.
The offence of abuse of office was included in the Anti Corruption Commission Act because there was a realisation that public officers, by the functions that they perform, are open to all sorts of vice and acts of self-enrichment that are contrary to public interests. The people who occupy public offices exercise significant duties in trust for the people. They decide where and how the resources that are supposed to provide services for our people are going to be spent. This type of decision making provides opportunities and temptation for corruption and other acts of self-enrichment that deny our people services. The thinkers around the question of corruption have realised that proving corruption per se is not always an easy undertaking. This is because corruption, like prostitution, is a crime that involves collusion among satisfied parties. It is very different from the common thefts covered by the Penal Code. The one who receives the bribe is happy that he or she has received the bribe. The giver of the bribe or other benefit to a public officer is also satisfied that they have received the benefit for which they paid the bribe. In this situation, although the public loses something, there is usually no one to complain. This is because the parties who are involved in the transaction are both satisfied and keep quiet. It is because of this that international thinking has developed which has given rise to provisions such as section 37 of the Anti Corruption Commission Act which Rupiah and George want to destroy.
What this government wants Parliament to do is akin to allowing thieves to defend their rights to steal from ordinary citizens. The law against abuse of office exists to stop public servants from amassing wealth at the expense of the public. But now Rupiah wants to be able to amass inexplicable wealth without being held accountable. This is what this is all about. The Anti Corruption Commission Act allowed the ACC to prosecute any public officer who, after due investigation, was found to have misused or abused his office, position or authority to obtain advantage, wealth, property or profit directly or indirectly. This is the law that Rupiah wants removed from our statute books. Why should a person who swore to serve our people want to legalise theft and plunder of public resources by himself and other public officers?
Rupiah wants the nation to accept that it is okay for a person who occupies a public office to misuse his office, position or authority to acquire property or other profit. What kind of nonsense is this? They are even trying to mislead our people that the Anti Corruption Commission Act provision on abuse of office is the same as the Penal Code provision under section 99. They know that this is incorrect. The provision of abuse of office under section 99 deals with acts that have to be shown to have been prejudicial to the state while the Anti Corruption Commission Act goes further. And because it is an Anti Corruption Act, it rightly raises the standard of responsibility for public officers. It does not merely deal with simple abuse. It deals with at least three other offences that the Penal Code does not deal with under the heading “abuse of office”. Apart from the misuse of an office, this Act also criminalises a public officer’s maintenance of a standard of living that is above his present or past emoluments. The reason for this law is very clear: corrupt elements are very sophisticated. It is not always possible to know how and where they are abusing their office but it is often possible to see the results of their criminal living. This is why the law criminalises a public officer’s maintenance of a standard of living that is above his earnings or explainable income. The other aspect of abuse of office which Rupiah and his minions are removing from the law is the offence that prohibits public officers from being in control or possession of financial resources or property disproportionate to their present or past legitimate earnings. Again, the reason for this is very clear: a person who works for the government should not have financial resources that cannot be explained. Indeed, this makes sense even for every citizen. We should all be able to explain our resources. But this is more critical for public servants. For example, there are some of our people who preside over the awarding of all sorts of contracts involving gigantic sums of money. Those contracts that they award are not private matters. We, as taxpayers and citizens of this country, pay them to do that job. It is wrong for them to rig to our detriment the process by which those contracts are awarded so that they get this or that personal benefit. A typical example is what seems to have been happening in the road sector, where huge contracts have been given for the construction of roads. It is also clear that huge sums of money have been paid. But the quality of roads that are being constructed in many cases do not justify the amounts of money paid. And our people are left to wonder why.
Against this background, is it not reasonable for our people to expect an explanation from public officers who are engaged in giving these contracts when they are found to be controlling huge personal assets that are not commensurate with their legitimate earnings? But what Rupiah and George are telling our people is that they should not be interested to know why officers who presided over shoddy public works should be living beyond their earned income. This law that Rupiah wants removed also stops public officers from receiving any benefit or services which can be interpreted as being corruptly given. For instance, if the contractor who is working on the Mfuwe-Chipata road is somehow also busy working on Rupiah’s farm for no pay or contributing to his election campaign funds, our people have a right to know why such things are happening. But Rupiah, George and the likes of Shikapwasha are telling our people that it is none of their business to ensure that their leaders don’t compromise public interest because of personal interest. This is nonsense and will never be accepted. It is not long ago that Mike Mulongoti, the other Chinese-manufactured plastic vuvuzela, was defending the right of public officers to do business with government whilst occupying public offices. If they are such good businessmen and women, why should they cling on to government jobs? What successful businesses have they run anyway before they got into government? We should all be worried when thieves, corrupt elements and all sorts of unscrupulous elements begin to fight for the right to abuse their offices with impunity. Who are they? Why should our people accept to be abused by elements who are supposed to be their servants? What Rupiah and his minions are doing is fighting for the right to be corrupt without consequences.
What they are trying to do is similar to what they have done for Frederick Chiluba except this time round, they want to legislate their own getaway from their criminal activities. This is not sustainable. And we make a clarion call to our people to do everything possible to stop this broad daylight banditry.
By George Chellah
Fri 01 Oct. 2010, 04:01 CAT
Patriotic Front secretary general Wynter Kabimba yesterday said President Rupiah Banda's administration is so abstinent about removing abuse of office from the ACC Act because there are rampant acts of the offence currently going on in government.
Commenting on the government's removal of the abuse of office offence from the revised Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Act, Kabimba - a lawyer said everybody should be disappointed about this amendment to the ACC Act, which was intended to remove the offence of abuse of office.
This is because from the time when this matter came up into the public domain, the MMD government has been denying the fact that they want to amend the Act to remove the offence of abuse of office for those that hold public offices.
Even against such a public pronouncement from ministers including the Vice-President, the government has proceeded to introduce the Bill to parliament ignoring completely the public outcry that such an amendment is tantamount to reversing the fight against corruption, Kabimba said.
The question therefore is why is the MMD government so abstinent about removing this offence from the ACC Act? The answer for any reasonable person can only be that there are rampant acts of abuse of office going on in the MMD government today, which means it is the intention of the President and his cabinet to protect those public officers at whatever level engaged in such abuses of public office to the detriment of the economic development of this country.
Kabimba said only a fool would fail to learn lessons from the acts of another wrongdoer. Former president Frederick Chiluba is a clear example to this country and world over of a head of state that had engaged himself together with his cronies in rampant acts of abuse of office, Kabimba said.
And he stands today in the eyes of the Zambian people as guilty and as iniquitous as any inmate serving a prison sentence in our prisons even as he purportedly pretends to be a free man under the MMD government.
The same people of Zambia that rose against Chiluba over his abuse of office activities will again rise with the same spirit and resolve to demand punishment and retribution against those serving in the current regime who are engaged in abuse of offices entrusted to them by the people.
Kabimba said it did not matter how long the people's demand for punishment and retribution against the culprits would take. The world knows that in the case of NAZI criminals, it took as long as 30 to 40 years for some of them who had been on the run to be brought to justice. Likewise, those that are involved in these abuses in Zambia should not dupe themselves into thinking that the offences which they commit today will be righted by time, Kabimba said.
We therefore demand as PF that this obnoxious amendment should be withdrawn immediately and that if it is not withdrawn we expect those honourable members of parliament including those in the MMD to vote against this unjust amendment which has been introduced by the government in bad faith.
According to the National Assembly Bill number 41 of 2010 presented to Parliament last Friday for first reading by acting leader of government business Mkhondo Lungu, section 37 which catered for the offence had 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.