Saturday, October 16, 2010
By: Itayi Garande
Posted: Saturday, October 16, 2010 4:07 am
POLITICS can become a game of pretension like a stage drama enacted by a crudely planned scheme of things, casts, dresses, clichés, performance images and the end goals, if entered too soon. The actors pretend to be something they are not, but make the audience feel entertained with the unthinkable.
We are slowly waking up to the fact that Finance Minister Tendai Biti’s economic and political logic is not as watertight as we thought. His political stage mask is crumbling in our very eyes as he engages in debates in The Herald.
For someone who spent most of his time in opposition and in Government arguing that The Herald was not affording him the right to freedom of speech, opening his piece entitled ‘‘Messianic complex, bane of Zanu-PF’’ (The Saturday Herald October 9 2010) with a disclaimer that debating Nathaniel Manheru was always going to be "risky", makes for interesting reading.
The comedic benefit of watching Biti fail in articulating his economics is undermined by the cold realisation that he fundamentally does not fully appreciate the intellectual and ideological requirements of the ministry that he controls.
In the ongoing debate with Manheru and others in The Herald, Minister Biti’s instinct has not been to learn from some alternative viewpoints, but to reach for the debating-hall comforts of cheap populism; which is commonplace in the MDC-T.
This bit of lame ideological freelancing has disturbing resonances with a comment Biti himself made on CNN’s chat show, African Voices.
"I am a strict student of history", he told his interlocutor.
"I am fascinated by historical facts".
He added, "I sometimes sweat when I go to the ministry (of finance) and if you go home at 10pm you are very lucky. The body is not designed to be pounded with the kind of pressure we go through at the ministry".
When asked "Do you feel like a sacrificial lamb?" he failed to sense the irony in that question that needed a more media savvy person to tackle. Minister Biti, in a classic gaffe, retorted, "You have to rely on God, your instincts, your intelligence, or lack thereof."
He is the only minister that would rely on "lack of" intelligence in such an important ministry.
The minister falls further into another media trap, when asked if his job was the worst job in the country. He replied: "When people look at you, they see this façade . . . but they don’t know the doubts you have. Behind this façade, there’s just a little boy looking for answers!"
Fascination by historical facts is not enough preparation for such a gargantuan task — of uplifting millions out of poverty, increasing social mobility for a once-marginalised population and redistributing land.
"The little boy looking for answers" should learn to accept alternative viewpoints and, not denigrate those who question his reasoning.
Debating by debasing
A number of debating points were raised against Biti’s piece and many people hoped that he would respond to those points in his subsequent contributions but, instead, he changed the whole debate, answered his own questions, and debated with himself.
He showed his penchant for cosmetic rather than substantive debate on issues; and as slippery as an eel, he changed the focus of the debate and resorted to attacking politicians because of their age (as if age is a crime), twisting Zimbabwe’s history in the process.
It was George Orwell who said that when cornered, some politicians try to control the present and the future by distorting the past.
Distortion of information, especially history, is a ploy used by agents of imperialism, through various guises, to control the future, often by degrading the past. It is a trap.
For instance, Biti talks about the right to land, but his history is selective, starting only from 2000, forgetting the various land tenure legislation that created that skewed land policy in the first place.
He talks about the economic meltdown of the last 10 years, coinciding with the founding of the MDC-T, but not the socio-economic successes of the pre-MDC period — a period that moulded him into the lawyer that he is today.
The MDC-T has made its name on this "misinformation" garb, with its fuggy baggage and made a cosmetic impression on a vast majority of our people, with their vicious claims that they are liberators of some sort. The French would say: "L’enfer c’est les autres", the other person is the devil, in this case Zanu-PF.
The MDC-T lot are guilty of trivialising serious national issues, mucking real discourse, and making a mockery of issues that involve the lives and livelihoods of millions of our people.
It is not only the MDC-T that must own the debate on the future of Zimbabwe, contrary to Biti’s illogic. Zanu-PF and any other stakeholders in Zimbabwe must be in the thick of the confabulation.
The anti-capital Zanu-PF State
Biti argues that Zanu-PF is anti-capital and that the post-colonial leadership is "lazy, slow and omery" incapable of creating a national bourgeoisie; yet immediately discredits his argument by naming successful businessmen like Econet’s Strive Masiyiwa, Shingi Mutasa, Mutumwa Mawere, etc who made their fortune after Independence; as evidence that government was capital averse.
Econet’s shares today are the most sought-after in the country; and businessmen like Shingi Mutasa, Philip Chiyangwa and others are still thriving in the country; among other prominent indigenous businesspeople.
Biti fails to mention how Ian Smith’s regime replaced by that "lazy, slow and omery" leadership was anti-black capital; and how the post-colonial state made it possible for black capital to thrive.
Elsewhere, Biti murders his own argument and laments that Zimbabwe is not benefiting from its own resources, while international companies like Anglo-American, Rio Tinto, etc are.
He revealed recently that out of the US$250 plus million dollars made from mining last year, the country only got US$15 million in revenue.
He then accuses government of efforts at indigenising the economy and empowering people, saying foreign investors will fly away. Are they the same investors he says are benefiting from our resources?
This is the sad paradox of Biti’s economic reasoning.
He then suggests that Zimbabwe should have a "National Democratic Revolution".
How do you develop a "national democratic society" and encourage huge unrestrained inflows of foreign investment at the same time?
Why should the post-colonial state abrogate its responsibility to create a strong vibrant middle class to international capital? International capital shrinks the middle class, in the name of posterity.
America today has a shrinking middle class because of the fluidity and unpredictability of international capital.
Income inequality in the United States, defined as the gap between the top and lowest wage earners, has never been greater, despite spending an estimated US$13 trillion on poverty programmes since Lyndon Johnson declared a "war on poverty" some 45 years ago.
President Obama has increased spending on anti-poverty programmes at an unprecedented rate, increasing spending on welfare programmes by more than US$120 billion in his first year-and-a-half in office, compared to the US$80 billion in welfare spending that President George W. Bush increased over his second term.
Still, the income gap widens and poverty persists.
Unbeknown to Biti, the West is not even practising its avowed brand of capitalism — and the Washington Consensus is now discredited.
The State in the West has become more interventionist bailing out big business.
So why should Zimbabwe or Africa for that matter, embrace that discredited model?
It is hard for some of us to support the untrammelled international capital that Biti wants.
Next door in Zambia, Frederick Chiluba’s experiment with international capital was disastrous.
The "vultures" are biting Zambia today pursuing huge payments in interest on loans advanced by international finance institutions.
Capital destroys indigenous industries. Where it flows into a country like Zimbabwe, how do we ensure that indigenous companies like Econet or Mbada Diamonds are protected? Lifting capital controls will hurt these companies.
Does Biti really think Econet will have survived if Steve Jobs had brought his Apple Company into Zimbabwe with its US$222 billion market capitalisation?
Does he honestly think Econet will survive if Microsoft, worth US$197 billion entered the Zimbabwe mobile market untrammelled?
Will Chiyangwa’s tourism interests compete with Richard Branson’s Virgin Group if it was to establish in Zimbabwe?
Biti and "transformational leadership"
Biti identifies former Ghanaian president, Mr John Kufour as his example of Africa’s finest leadership — the sort he calls "transformational leadership". He is selectively forgetful of the massive corruption allegations of Mr Kufour’s administration that led Ghanaians to kick him out of office.
Corruption in Ghana reached its zenith under Mr Kufour’s stewardship.
He is accused of turning his presidency into a kickback collection citadel, where millions of dollars of illegal kickbacks were extorted from various contractors and personally disbursed by the president himself.
Transparency International shows that in 2001 when Mr Kufour took over, Ghana ranked 55th on the Corruption Perception Index, and by 2009, when he was booted out, Ghana was ranked 70th.
Exactly a year after his Party was booted out of government; Ghana was back at the World Bank and the IMF "begging", despite huge discoveries of oil during Mr Kufour’s tenure, and abundant gold reserves.
The Mundi Debt Index shows a 7,14 percent increase in Ghana’s deaths from Aids, 3,3 percent increase in adult HIV and Aids prevalence, 6,21 percent increase in infant mortality, during Mr Kufour’s tenure; threatening Ghana’s achievement of Millennium Development Goals.
Mr Kufour’s "corrupt government" today is caricatured in the drinking bars to the trotro stations of Ghana.
This is the "transformational leadership"; which parcelled out various contracts to foreign investors at the expense of its indigenous businesses; that Biti proposes for Zimbabwe.
Ghana today is still battling with finding ways of adding value to its minerals — a debate started by Dr Nkrumah in the 1960s over bauxite and gold value addition.
Biti quotes Professor Ali Mazrui out of context, and does not appreciate his transformed thinking on Africa’s post-Independence leadership.
Starting as an avowed critic of post-Independence leaders of Africa, Professor Mazrui has transformed into a pan-African scholar who has deep admiration for Dr Nkrumah, among others, whom he calls the "post-colonial Black President of the World".
Speaking to Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! in 2009, Professor Mazrui hailed Dr Nkrumah as one of the strongest African men "who is misunderstood" and equates his magnanimity to that of the great Egyptian Pharaoh, Ramses II, and the great Menelik II of Ethiopia who conquered the Italians.
Professor Mazrui today speaks very eloquently of the evils of the East-West rivalry of the 1960s-1980s and its effects on post-colonial Africa; especially in Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo, among other African states.
Biti, however, decides to refer to the old ideas of Professor Mazrui, to justify his own thinking.
The minister also fails to clearly appreciate Ghanaian economist George Ayittey’s "hippo, cheetah" characterisation of African leadership; incorrectly quoting him.
The "vampire states" that Ayittey talks about do not empower people in a way that the indigenisation and economic empowerment programme in Zimbabwe seeks to do.
Ayittey attacks corrupt governments like Dr Kufour’s and the various governments of his native Ghana and next door Nigeria.
He argues that Africa’s underdevelopment is a result of massive corruption, not Biti’s myopic notion about age, power retention, leadership change and something called "generational intervention".
Corruption costs Africa US$148 billion a year compared with aid inflows of US$25 billion in aid; and is not limited only to State institutions.
International capital has aided corrupt activities in Africa since time immemorial; and the international (read Western) banking system has harboured billions of Nigerian "blood money" and kept it out of that country.
In fact, Ayittey attacks politicians who use people’s suffering to achieve political ends.
Those people in Zimbabwe who have invited illegal sanctions are the ones referred to when he says: "Poverty is a business opportunity".
They are the lazy hippos, the "mati madii muchafa zvenyu nenzara" type.
Ayittey argues that in traditional African systems, there was consensus in decision-making and post-colonial governments should build on those systems; not alien Western economic systems that the MDC-T favours — systems that have caused the global financial crises and inflicted untold misery in Zambia, DRC, Zimbabwe, just to name a few.
At the World Affairs Council in 2007, the Ghanaian scholar argued that Africans "should go back to their indigenous systems and build upon them" and that the "African continent is littered with carcasses of foreign economic systems".
Biti and ESAP in disguise
Despite Zimbabwe’s high-economic performance over much of the 1980s, the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme lodged Zimbabwe in a quagmire of mounting debt, generally inadequate growth and plummeting living standards.
Why Biti is proposing a similar blueprint defies logic; and why he admires Dr Ibbo Mandaza or his acolyte, Professor Brian Raftopolous, proponents of this failed liberal democratic economic reasoning, is anyone’s guess; especially at a time when Wall Street and London City are running away from that economic reasoning — looking for new ways.
Biti is right to quote Dr Mandaza and Professor Raftopolous in the 1990s-2000s as saying "the revolution had lost its way" because it never embraced neo-liberal thinking in the first place. The Zimbabwean ‘revolution’ was never about embracing capitalism, but lifting the majority out of poverty and creating racial harmony.
Experimentation with ESAP was therefore a deviation from the "revolution" — especially expressed via the issue of land.
By quoting Professor Patrick Bond, and not highlighting the debate he is currently engaged in with Professor Mahmood Mamdan on Zimbabwe, Biti is being selective in his analysis.
The ongoing debate between these two scholars on the 2008 London Review of Books article entitled "Lessons of Zimbabwe'' written by Professor Mahmood Mamdan is enlightening and a must-read for Biti — as someone "fascinated" by history.
MDC-T: Zanu-PF’s progeny?
Biti is being a-historical and reckless in claiming that MDC-T "was a natural progeny of the failed post-independent dream of democracy, justice, freedom and prosperity in line with the real ideals of the liberation struggle".
What liberation struggle is he talking about? Surely it’s not Chimurenga I, II or III.
His party stands in the way of Chimurenga III today; which aims to complete the process of economically empowering the indigenous Zimbabwean people, and indigenising the economy.
In a rather crude way to justify this "revolutionary" characterisation of the MDC-T, Biti elevates party leader Morgan Tsvangirai to the same level as President Rupiah Banda, President Jakaya Kikwete, former Botswana President Festus Mogae, President Ian Seretse Khama, President Hifikepunye Pohamba and President Bingu wa Mutharika in the fight for democracy.
These luminaries have a proven track record of fighting for their people; not against their people.
Why he elevates Tsvangirai, a chief minister in President Mugabe’s State and Government, to the level of these consistent and unwavering African nationalists is anyone’s guess.
Why does he not lump him with the likes of Mozambique’s Renamo leader, Afonso Dhlakama — a man he has admiration for?
Remember that at the formation of the MDC, Tsvangirai met Renamo leader Dhlakama in Nelspruit, eastern South Africa for "consultation".
The meeting was facilitated by then MDC security chief, Mike Hogan, a former Special Branch operative during the Ian Smith regime.
Smith, by the way, assisted in the formation of Renamo together with the apartheid regime in South Africa to fight against revolutionaries in Mozambique.
Ironically, Biti has chastised, embarrassed and denigrated these revolutionaries calling them various derogatory names.
In November 2008, he wrote a letter to then South African president and Sadc facilitator, Cde Thabo Mbeki saying decisions made by the regional body on Zimbabwe were a "nullity" and calling them weak for not "censuring" President Mugabe.
How they became heroes overnight smacks of Biti’s own confusion and biased appreciation of Africa’s history, struggle and diplomacy and exposes a lack of his own personal sense of consistency.
What is consistent, however, is his compradorian position obfuscated in nationalist democratic, or nationalist socialist, discourse.
That’s why he makes veiled attempts at quoting Lenin and others; while ignoring the elephant in the room – the ruinous sanctions his party helped draft.
It is also interesting that whereas it may be perfectly logical for Biti to attack Zanu-PF leaders for believing Rotina Mavhunga’s claim that she could extract diesel from a rock; it wasn’t unusual that his mentor, Tsvangirai, recently sought divine intervention from the leader of Nigeria’s Synagogue Church of All Nations, Prophet T B Joshua, to help him become president.
Biti proclaims that such a man is the "undisputed and unquestionable leader of the MDC".
No one questions or disputes that he is the "heavyweight champion" of the MDC-T.
Many people, however, don’t believe he is the "undisputed and unquestionable leader of Zimbabwe".
Power, age, development
Biti thinks good governance is best served by youthful exuberance.
His argument about age in politics and about power retention is hot air. This is blinkered politics.
Biti speaks highly of President of Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade — an 84-year-old man who has led the Senegalese Democratic Party since it was founded in 1974, but does not ask him why he remains in power today.
Wade blows hot and cold when it comes to African politics.
While he can easily be classified as a revolutionary, his party, like the MDC-T, is a member of Liberal International, a group that includes Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement, Hellen Zille’s Democratic Alliance of South Africa, and Elie Kumbu Kumbel’s Alliance Nationale des Démocrates pour la Reconstruction of Congo.
One does not need to be reminded about the work of these parties in relation to their governments; and their almost fetishistic interest in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs.
Biti argues that the post-colonial state "legislated other political parties out of existence and proscribed or circumscribed other institutions of dissent . . . such as the media or even interested groups".
While it is true of some African states, Biti fails to back that up with evidence from Zimbabwe.
Biti was a leader of the Students’ Union at the University of Zimbabwe.
He was a member of the National Constitutional Assembly, a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, a member of the Zimbabwe Law Society, a member of the Zimbabwe Unity Movement (of Edgar Tekere), a member of Forum Party (of Enock Dumbutshena), and now a member of the MDC-T party.
How did he manage all this if the government "proscribed and circumscribed institutions of dissent"?
He inadvertently reveals that these are "institutions of dissent".
Why can’t they be developmental, nationalistic and lobby government properly?
Why are they masked as something else then?
Dissent is a right, but surely a whole institution cannot exist for that sole purpose.
This, in a very crude way, explains why the MDC-T has become just that — an "institution of dissent" — and not a political party seeking to win power by democratic means. This has made its name "movement for democratic change" a misnomer and an outright joke.
This is why MDC politicians have cut these overly exuberant personalities that enjoy controversy (jambanja) transforming our important institutions — the Parliament, government offices, courts — into halls of shame.
Hopefully Biti will realise that the Zimbabwean story can never be told by denigrating its leadership, calling them names, and being forceful about change. Change, by its very nature, is organic.
You can plan it, but it will take a natural trajectory, nonetheless. You cannot, however, force it.
The story of Africa, in general, and that of Zimbabwe, in particular, has a lot of twists and turns and the MDC-T cannot claim superiority in the accompanying discourse. It is a national debate; not a single story based on MDC-T’s views only.
It is this "single story of Africa", to borrow the phrase of Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and of the black race, as "the wretched of the earth", waiting for Western prescription and Western crumbs, that we should resist.
It is a dangerous characterisation of politics in a new independent, resource-rich Africa.
The smug, detached posture of know-it-all of the MDC-T, smacks of arrogance and condescending superiority. What Africa and indeed Zimbabwe needs is genuine appraisal of its achievements and under-achievements, and genuine discourse on challenges, not flourishes and over dramatisation exhibited by MDC-T leaders.
History shall judge them by their actions, not by their claims.
Itayi Garande writes from London, United Kingdom. He can be contacted via email@example.com
This article is reproduced from The Herald
Posted: Saturday, October 16, 2010 4:39 am
MDC-T treasurer Mr Roy Bennett could face perjury charges for allegedly giving a “false address” in his warned and cautioned statement in his terrorism docket. While Mr Bennett was acquitted of the terror charges, it has emerged that he could have lied about his address.
The alleged false address has made it difficult for the Deputy Sheriff to serve him with papers in another case in which he is being sued by a High Court judge. Justice Chinembiri Bhunu says Mr Bennett defamed him when he allegedly told a UK paper that the judge was prejudiced against him in the terror trial.
Justice Bhunu wants US$1 million from Mr Bennett for the “distasteful remarks”.
The judge’s lawyer, Mr George Chikumbirike, yesterday said they had not been able to serve Mr Bennett with the summons because the MDC-T treasurer could not be located.
Article continues below
He said the lawyers who represented Mr Bennett in the terror case, Mtetwa and Nyambirai, had asked for a copy of the summons but refused to accept them.
“We decided to abandon that route and sent summons to the Deputy Sheriff for service at an address Mr Bennett gave when police recorded a warned and cautioned statement from him in the terrorism case.
“The Deputy Sheriff — in his retainer of service — said he could not locate Number 4 Burnley Road in Workington, Harare,” he said.
Workington is an industrial area.
“It would mean it (that he lives at the address) was a deliberate lie for reasons best known to him.
“We are actually still trying to serve summons not actually knowing his correct address,” he added.
Mr Chikumbirike said the other address Mr Bennett used was in South Africa.
Chief Law Officer Mr Chris Mutangadura yesterday said indications were the Workington address was false, but was not aware if he amended it when he was granted bail in the terror case.
“If he did not, he committed a crime,” he said.
According to case number HC 6724/10, Justice Bhunu is demanding damages for remarks The Guardian attributed to Mr Bennett on May 24, 2010.
The politician allegedly said justice delivery was selective and “the very judge that is trying me is the owner of a farm that he’s been given through political patronage”.
Justice Bhunu says the remarks “were intended to convey and be understood by the readers of The Guardian newspaper to mean that the plaintiff was not a fit and proper person to be a judge of this honourable court and to preside over the trial of the defendant in that:
“Plaintiff was deliberately selected to preside over the defendant’s trial by persons that will stop at absolutely nothing to achieve their ends by a selective application of the rule of law.”
JANICE ROBERTS | JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Oct 15 2010 13:22
South Africa's economic growth, currently below 4%, was "insufficient", the Minister of Human Settlements Tokyo Sexwale said on Friday. He was speaking at the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry's annual convention in Johannesburg.
"During his visit to the People's Republic of China -- one of the most powerful economies breathing down the neck of the US -- President Zuma said our growth rate should be 7%," Sexwale said.
However, for South Africa's growth to reach 7%, it was necessary to adopt a partnership effort.
"For this we must look at the recent rescue mission in Chile where 33 miners were saved -- it was not a miracle, but rather the result of a concerted effort by many."
Sexwale said this kind of partnership approach could be used to turn South Africa from a developing country into a developed nation.
"Michael Spicer of Business Leadership SA suggested recently that we take a lesson from the South Korean example to become a developed economy in 30 years."
Sexwale said South Africa could not remain a developing country for the next 100 years.
"We can't enter the next century as a developing market ... and it is crucial that in the future South Africa be recognised for its strong economic muscle and not just its negotiation skills," he said.
If the country's people worked together to create a high growth rate this would bring about poverty reduction and an improved employment rate.
"Currently we have able bodied South Africans who cannot find work, who cannot put food on the table."
Quest for Bric
Sexwale said it was South Africa's quest to become part of the Bric (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries.
"These countries together form a very powerful bloc and it would be good for South Africa to stand with these countries in the G20 as a powerhouse in our own right."
However, for anything to be achieved, the partnership approach was crucial.
"We must bring government, labour and civil society together."
Sexwale said the world was still one of "dog eat dog".
"This was seen in the recent global recession that spread from North America to Europe to the Middle East and to Japan."
The minister said that the Pigs (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain) had received a lifeline during the sovereign debt crisis.
"They had a soft landing as they are part of Europe."
However, the troubles experienced by other nations should send a message to South Africa not to be complacent.
"The risks are still high for a modest economy such as ours."
Sexwale said there had been a lot of self-praise that South Africa's banks had not fared badly during the global crisis.
"But now we have the currency wars."
Sexwale warned that a double dip recession in South Africa's trading partners was not inconceivable.
"South Africa is exposed to its traditional trading partners and if they get hit again there would be a very direct consequences."
The minister said that while South Africa had to provide for its people, it could not develop into a welfare state.
"So any strategy we adopt must make sure that social expenditure will not outpace capital expenditure."
Currently, the state was compelled to use taxpayer's money to provide food, education and healthcare. - Sapa
by Staff Reporters
JULIUS Malema says the South African government must revise its policies on Zimbabwe and strengthen President Robert Mugabe’s hand in the “fight against imperialism, neo colonialism and exploitation”.
The outspoken president of the African National Congress’s Youth League vowed to campaign for “economic freedom” in his lifetime, charging that South Africa’s mineral riches were not benefitting the poor.
Speaking at a meeting of the World Federation of Young Youths in Pretoria on Friday, Malema said while the “outstanding generation” of liberation heroes like Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo had brought “political freedom”, today’s generation must draw inspiration “to fight for economic freedom in our lifetime”.
Spotlighting Mugabe’s "progressive" black empowerment drive targeting foreign ownership of mines and land resources as just in Zimbabwe, Malema said South Africa should take similar steps to create a fair society.
Malema said: “Economic freedom in our lifetime means that we are now engaged in an openly anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist struggle to transfer wealth from the minority to the majority. This includes our call for nationalisation of mines.
“South Africa is the richest country in the world with regards to mineral resources, yet the most unequal in the world.
“Our people continue to live in poverty and starvation, whilst beneath the soil of South Africa is massive wealth which should be redirected to benefit all our people.”
The ANC Youth League will use the World Festival for Youth and Students “to call for a more progressive international perspective and foreign policy from the South African government”, Malema said.
He added: “Our foreign policy cannot be about pleasing the interests of imperialists at the expense of progressive forces.
“Our position on Zimbabwe should be revised and a policy that seeks to strengthen the national liberation movement in Zimbabwe be adopted.
“Our relationship with national liberation movements such as Zanu PF cannot be just defined by how we relate with them in the past, but what they do in the current period to fight against imperialism, neo colonialism and exploitation.”
Malema's open backing for Mugabe's Zanu PF party has previously attracted disciplinary action from the ANC which said his views compromised President Jacob Zuma's mediation efforts in South Africa's northern neighbour.
[That's not true. Julius Malema has never been disciplined for 'openly backing' the ZANU-PF. - MrK]
In February last year, Mugabe agreed to share power with oppostion rivals Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, now Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister respectively, following disputed elections. But the unity government is weighed down by constant bickering between the coalition partners, jeopardising efforts to revive the economy and restore social services.
President Zuma has been called on to step in several times over the last year to smoothe the differences.
Friday, October 15, 2010
By Ernest Chanda
Fri 15 Oct. 2010, 16:50 CAT
PARLIAMENT has passed the Anti Corruption bill that sought to remove the offence of abuse of office from the 1996 Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) Act. And Vice-President George Kunda attacked the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) for submitting against the removal of the offence.
After a heated debate on the Anti Corruption bill number 41 of 2010 which came up for second reading yesterday, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Mutale Nalumango asked for a vote and those in support of the bill won.
But those against the bill, mostly opposition members of parliament and two MMD members of parliament - Jonas Shakafuswa and George Mpombo - immediately stood up and called for a division.
Deputy Speaker Nalumango granted the division and called for an electronic voting on the motion. When results were shown on the screen, 54 voted in favour of the bill, 30 voted against while 3 abstained.
And after Deputy Speaker Nalumango officially announced the results, most MMD members celebrated their victory. The bill was then read for the second time and comes up for committee stage on November 3, 2010.
Earlier during debate, Mpombo defined himself as a hardcore springing MMD member who is even more loyal than lands deputy minister - who is also party's national chairman - Michael Mabenga.
Mpombo contended that removing section 37 of the ACC Act, which dealt with the abuse of office offence, would open floodgates to corruption.
"We the leaders of this country when we amass wealth, why don't we want people to question us about our wealth? The MMD has been in power since 1991 and they have lived with this law without raising any questions. So, who has challenged this law now?" asked Mpombo.
"I can tell you that this bill is pregnant with political consequences. Why should you remove an innocent law in an election year when you need the support of the civil society and the church? I can assure you that with the removal of this law, we are going to face very severe consequences. This is an exercise in futility, and let me tell you that next year I will come and make an amendment to repeal the law to bring back article 37 if this bill goes through today."
Kabwata PF member of parliament Given Lubinda wondered who gave Vice-President Kunda the monopoly of legal knowledge.
"I wonder if there is a constitutional provision which says that when you are appointed Minister of Justice or Vice-President, then you become the depository of all the legal knowledge in the country. We have very good lawyers who submitted to the committee. The Law Association of Zambia also submitted against the removal of this law. Why should the Vice-President think that he is wiser than the Law Association of Zambia to which he is a member?" questioned Lubinda.
Many opposition parliamentarians debated against the removal of the offence, except for 'rebel' PF Bangweulu parliamentarian Joseph Kasongo who charged that most of those who rejected the bill were sent by foreigners. Kasongo argued that he wanted laws that would allow Zambians to make wealth in their own country.
And Vice-President Kunda threw a scathing attack on LAZ for disagreeing with the government's position on the Anti Corruption bill.
Winding up debate on the bill, Vice-President Kunda said Transparency International Zambia's submission to the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights and Gender Matters were better than those of LAZ.
"The opinion of the Law Association of Zambia, it's unfortunate that the Law Association of Zambia opinion usually coincides with that in The Post newspaper. They constantly give the same opinion as the newspaper; even the submission given by Transparency International was better than that of the Law Association of Zambia," said Vice-President Kunda.
"It is very disgraceful that the Law Association of Zambia should make such submissions which are mostly political. So we should dismiss politically courted submissions of the Law Association of Zambia."
Meanwhile the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights and Gender Matters has recommended that the government reinstate section 37 of the current ACC Act.
Reading the report on the floor of the House, committee-acting chairperson who is also Lubanseshi PF parliamentarian, Lazarous Chota, urged the government to revise the bill.
“Your committee recommend that section 37 of the current Act be retained in its entirety and, if anything, be strengthened to cover acquisition of wealth by private operators, officials in non-governmental organisations and churches, among others; provided it is not inconsistent with the Constitution. Further your committee recommend that section 50 of the Anti Corruption Commission Act also be retained in its entirety,” submitted Chota.
Friday, October 15, 2010, 9:38
PRESIDENT Banda has maintained that Government will not re-introduce the windfall tax for mining companies operating in Zambia. Mr Banda said the re-introduction of the windfall tax has the potential to stifle the growth of Zambia’s mining sector.
“The abolition of the windfall tax will remain intact and as Government we shall not listen to those calling for the bringing back of this tax. Let them just watch what Government is doing to attract more investors to the mining sector,” Mr Banda said.
The President was speaking in Chililabombwe yesterday when he officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Konkola North Copper Mine project.
Mr Banda said mining companies are paying a lot of taxes such as mineral royalties, property rates and other taxes.
He said the abolition of the windfall tax was aimed at paving way for a manageable tax system for the mining sector.
“As Government, we have the responsibility of doing what is correct for the country, which is to attract more foreign investors in our mining sector.
So as President I want to reiterate what the Minister of Finance said that windfall tax will not be brought back,” Mr Banda said.
[Zambia Daily Mail]
Friday, October 15, 2010, 15:11
Eleven miners including one onlooker have been shot and serious wounded by Chinese nationals at the Collum Coal Mine in Sinazongwe district in Southern Province.
Sinazongwe District Commissioner (DC) Oliver Pelete confirmed the development to ZANIS today that the 11 people were shot while they were presenting their grievances of poor working conditions to Chinese Management at shaft two.
Mr Pelete has since informed the police to arrest the Chinese nationals involved in the shooting of the miners and to investigate the motive of their shooting.
“At the moment I have no exact information of what led to the shooting of the miners.The investigating wings should carry out their investigations first,” Mr Pelete said.
The DC who escorted the injured miners to Maamba Hospital said doctors were attending to them though two miners were in critical condition.
A check by ZANIS at Maamba Hospital found doctors and health personnel attending to the 11 injured miners.
The 11 injured miners include, Simon Simwete 28, Abby Siameba 25, Virason Mwanamusiya 24, Madinda Siamubotu 27, Wisbone Simukonda 25, Boston Munakazela 21, Wallen Muntanga 28 and Humphrey Sinuka 24.
Others are, Brighton Sianfuno 21, Bowas Syapwaya 21, and Vincent Chengele 20.
Meanwhie, Nkandabbawe and Sinazeze residents have also blocked the road leading to the Chinese Collum mine and no vehicle is being allowed to go in or out of the mine.
Sinazeze police had difficulties to disperse the residents that blocked the road leading to the Chinese Collum mine.
[ ZANIS ]
By The Post
Fri 15 Oct. 2010, 04:00 CAT
In their attempt to justify their unjustifiable decision to remove the abuse of office offence from our statute books, they have no alternative but to shamelessly resort to lies.
Rupiah Banda and George Kunda’s representatives – Director of Public Prosecutions Chalwe Mchenga, Attorney General Abyudi Shonga and Ministry of Justice permanent secretary in charge of administration Annie Sitali – failed in their attempt to justify the removal of abuse of office from the Anti Corruption Commission Act when they appeared before the parliamentary committee on legal affairs, governance, human rights and gender matters on Wednesday.
Last week, Professor Michelo Hansungule challenged the government to give reasons for their desperation to remove abuse of office from our statutes. He rightly observed that it seems that the motivation for this move has nothing to do with good governance but an attempt to protect themselves because they know they have done wrong things. The appearance of Mchenga, Shonga and Sitali before the parliamentary committee went a long way to prove that Prof Hansungule is right.
We say this because these three individuals are well-educated Zambians capable of articulating their positions clearly and in a defensible manner. But what happened on Wednesday demonstrates that even they do not have any meaningful arguments to deploy.
In many ways, they resorted to half-truths and outright lies to try and justify something that they have been instructed to justify. They know that it is not justifiable, but maybe for fear of losing their jobs, they are ready to wriggle like a snake between two diametrically opposed positions. They have a crisis in their minds. If they tell the truth, they are fired; if they lie, they are disgraced. What do they do? It is unfortunate that in this day and age, professionals should be subjected to the whims and unreasonable demands of people like George.
It is very clear that George is driving this shameless agenda as he has many times before. George has developed a taste for power which has led him to abandon any pretence of decency. He is ready to do whatever it takes to remain in power and defend what he considers to be the legitimate dividend of his position. This is coming out even in the arguments that they are making. When civil servants stand up and try to defend crime in public, then we all must know that there is something very wrong. How can people argue that it is acceptable, it is not wrong for public servants to make money using their public offices without any accountability or restraint?
This is what the representatives of Rupiah and George were saying at Parliament. Shonga and Sitali even suggested that the current law is unconstitutional. This is a lie. Shonga went even further by saying that such accountability was appropriate under Kenneth Kaunda’s one-party and socialist-oriented state and not in today’s liberalised capitalist economy. What nonsense is this? As we have always said, if you don’t understand issues, it is better to shut up than to expose one’s ignorance in public.
We like the saying by some people that it is better to keep quiet and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt. Shonga as Attorney General should not make such careless statements to please his political masters. Can he show that the law, as it stands today, is unconstitutional? If these are the people that are advising Rupiah, then we have a big problem indeed. Maybe it is Rupiah advising them instead of the other way round because a serious lawyer could not make such a reckless statement.
If Shonga and Sitali are saying that the current law is unconstitutional, maybe they are talking about a different constitution which they are concocting with George. The Anti Corruption Commission Act as it stands today is consistent with the Constitution of Zambia. Shonga said that section 37 of the Anti Corruption Commission Act being unconstitutional was the major reason for its removal. Sitali, on her part, says that requiring an accused person to prove certain facts was unconstitutional. What both Shonga and Sitali are forgetting is that they are not the only ones who read the law.
We are pleased that we have learnt a little law and that even with that little law, we can show that they are liars. They are behaving like dishonest mercenaries. The Constitution is very specific about the issue they are debating. Article 18 (12)a says, “Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of – (a)paragraph (a) of clause (2) to the extent that it is shown that the law in question imposes upon any person charged with a criminal offence the burden of proving particular facts”. This constitutional provision allows the laws of our land to require suspects to prove certain facts notwithstanding the provisions of Article 18(2)(a) which states that “Every person who is charged with a criminal offence – (a) shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved or has pleaded guilty…”
These provisions are there in our Constitution and it is not possible that the entire Attorney General and his permanent secretary are unaware of this law. They were simply being dishonest; they went to Parliament with no other intention but to lie, deceive, mislead, manipulate the members of parliament and public opinion. This is definitely not a recipe for governing well. It’s clear that they are up to no good.
This is why Shonga even tried to discuss socialism, a matter which he did not seem to understand well. He would have done well to go and consult Dr Kenneth Kaunda before talking about issues he doesn’t understand. The issues that Parliament is grappling with are serious issues that have far-reaching consequences on all of us. There is no civilised state, capitalist, socialist or any other state whatever its description, that should accept the abuse of public office for personal benefit. There is only one state that accepts abuse of office: a corrupt state, run by corrupt people – a kleptocracy.
But surprisingly even Mobutu’s kleptocracy could not publicly say abuse of public office was acceptable even though it was the order of the day in Zaire. They knew that what they were doing was wrong and the most they could do was deny that there was any such abuse of office. Even Mobutu would look better when compared with the brazenness with which this Zambian kleptocracy wants to defend its crimes, its corruption, its abuse of public office and resources.
There is nothing socialist, capitalist or liberal about corruption, abuse of office. Any honest economic or political system abhors wrongdoing. There is no honest capitalist country in the world today which permits its leaders and public servants to acquire wealth, using their offices, and which they cannot account for. The United States, the most advanced capitalist country in the world, is the most strict country on this planet when it comes to abuse of public office.
We say this because in that country, abuse of public office is not only unacceptable legally but has also become a moral and cultural issue. In our view, this is one of the greatest contributions of the American Revolution to good governance in the world. China is also very strict about corruption in their country. They understand the grave consequences that could arise if corruption were allowed to flourish unchecked.
In China today, the offences that Frederick Chiluba and his friends committed would have been matters for capital punishment – they would be dead. That is how seriously they take corruption. This is a system founded on a deeply held belief that government is run best when the potential for the abuse of government offices by those holding or occupying them is curbed, and when it is held as close to the people as possible.
The issue of the leadership code that Shonga was trying to use to justify their criminal scheme does not hold water. Under Kaunda, leaders were allowed to run businesses. But there were very high levels of accountability that accompanied this. Enoch Kavindele was a member of the UNIP central committee but was allowed to run his businesses upon accepting the requirements of accountability that ensured that he did not abuse his position in the leadership of our country to enrich himself. The problem is not running business; it is abusing one’s office to enrich oneself. The problem here is corruption not running business. If you run business, you are able to account for your wealth if you have any. This is what civilised societies do.
Mchenga argued that Parliament should remove the offence of abuse of office because Zambians do not know how to keep receipts for the houses they are building. This is also a lie. The problem here is not about keeping receipts or producing them when they are needed. There is no honest person in this country who can fail to account for his house even if he doesn’t have receipts. Anyway, let him tell us how many people have been sent to jail since this law was enacted for failing to produce receipts for a house they had built from legitimately earned income. The truth is there is none. Mchenga is lying.
As for Mchenga, it seems lying is his preferred way of maintaining his job. It’s no wonder that the Law Association of Zambia has asked him to resign because he is not fit to continue in that very important public office when his instincts drive him to defend crime instead of prosecuting it. And since when has Mchenga been really concerned about justice?
All he defends every day on important public matters is injustice. We can ask: what justice was Mchenga advancing when he advanced that treacherous nolle prosequi to Kashiwa Bulaya?
What justice was Mchenga defending when he withdrew the appeal against what was clearly an unjustified acquittal of Chiluba by Jones Chinyama? There are more questions about justice Mchenga will one day be forced to answer.
Let them just do what they want to do without the nonsense of their explanations and insulting the collective intelligence of the Zambian people.
Shockingly, when International Criminal Court prosecutor Carla del Ponte made it clear she was going to prosecute Paul Kagame (carefully groomed for leadership by and in the US), she was told in no uncertain terms that she was not to prosecute him by Pierre Prosper. When she said: I work for the UN, not the USA, she was told "That's what you think". Within months, she was fired.
I think this terminally undermins the very objectivity and professionality of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. It also demonstrates why the likes of Tony Blair or George Bush will never face justice there. Peter Erlinder is a professor of law at the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, MN.
1Former Chief UN Rwanda Prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte: “Obama War-Crimes Nominee – Complicit in War Crimes Cover-up.” Does Obama Know ….or Care?
Prof. Peter Erlinder
The July 9, 2009 New York Times reported that the Obama administration had selected Stephen Rapp to replace the Bush administration Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes, Pierre Prosper. 1 Rapp, a former U.S. Attorney in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Democrat politico, began his international career at the UN Security Council Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 2001, while Carla Del Ponte was Chief UN Prosecutor for Rwanda. Rapp’s nomination was proposed just a few months after the publication of Del Ponte’s memoir which recounts her years as Chief UN Prosecutor.
Del Ponte’s book describes in detail the systematic U.S.-initiated cover-up of crimes committed by the current Rwandan government during the 1994 Rwanda Genocide.2 She also explains how she was removed from her ICTR position in 2003 by U.S. Ambassador Prosper, himself, when she refused to cooperate with the U.S.-initiated “cover-up” on behalf of a U.S. ally. 3 According to Del Ponte, her ICTR Office had the evidence to prosecute Kagame for ordering the assassination of Rwanda’s former President Juvenal, Habyarimana, long before 2003.4 The assassination of Habyarimana, and the president of neighboring Burundi, in a missile attack on Habyarimana’s plane is well-understood as the crime that “touched-off” the Rwandan genocide.5 She also details the dozens of massacre sites involving thousands of victims, for
which the current Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, and his military should be prosecuted.6 The well-publicized canard, that “the identity of the assassins of Habyarimana is unknown”7 is a bald-faced lie, well -known by ICTR Prosecutors, according to Ms. Del Ponte’s book. Two years after Del Ponte was removed from office in 2003, Stephen Rapp became “Chief” of ICTR Prosecutions with access to all of the evidence known to Ms. Del Ponte, and more. 8 During his four years at the ICTR, like Del Ponte, Rapp also was in a position to prosecute Kagame and members of the current government of Rwanda. But, not ONE member of Kagame’s military has been prosecuted at the ICTR, to date…and the “cover-up” revealed by Del Ponte, continues today.9
And, unlike, Ms. Del Ponte, who was fired by the U.S., Mr. Rapp was first rewarded with an appointment as Chief Prosecutor at the U.S.-funded Sierra Leone Tribunal and now, has been nominated for a coveted ambassadorship.10 Former Chief ICTR Prosecutor Del Ponte Details War Crimes “Cover-up” According to Del Ponte, in May 2003 she was called to Washington D.C. by Prosper (ironically, also a former ICTR prosecutor with knowledge of Kagame’s crimes) who informed her that the U.S. would remove her from UN post, if she carried through with her publicly-announced plans to indict Kagame and members of his government and military.11 According to Del Ponte, when she refused to knuckle-under because “she worked for the UN, - not for the U.S,” Prosper told her that ICTR career was over.12 True to his threat, by October
2003 Del Ponte was replaced by a US-approved ICTR prosecutor, Hassan Abubacar Jallow,13 who elevated Rapp to “Chief of Prosecution” two years later. ICTR Trials: More Evidence of Rwanda Crimes Cover-Up Del Ponte’s revelations are not the only evidence that a U.S.-initiated “war crimes cover-up” at the ICTR is creating impunity for crimes committed by the Kagame and his military. A September 10, 1994 memo in evidence in the ICTR Military-1 Trial confirms that U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher was informed that Kagame’s troops were killing “10,000 civilians a month” in militarystyle, according to an investigation funded by US Agency for International Development (USAID).14 And, as early as January 1997, Chief ICTR Investigative Prosecutor and former Australian Crown Prosecutor Michael Hourigan;15 former FBI Agent James Lyons;16 and former UN-Chief of Military Intelligence in Rwanda, Amadou Deme;17 reported Ms. Del Ponte’s predecessor, Louise Arbour, that Kagame should be prosecuted for assassinating Habyarimana. Arbour scuttled the investigation, suppressed the report and disbanded the investigative team. 18
They all resigned shortly thereafter, ending their UN careers. Shortly, thereafter, Arbour was elevated to Canada’s Supreme Court and has recently been chosen to head the prestigious International Crisis Group (ICG), after serving in equally prestigious UN Security Council-appointed posts during an illustrious UN career.19
Former ICTR Prosecutor Rapp Complicit in War-Crimes Cover-up But, even though Arbour suppressed the “Hourigan Report” in 1997, Del Ponte, Rapp and other ICTR prosecutors certainly knew about it because ICTR judges ordered Del Ponte’s Office to release the “Hourigan report” to a defense team as early as the year 2000,20 a year before Rapp began his ICTR work, and three years before Del Ponte was fired by Prosper. But….to date, not one indictment has been issued against Kagame by any ICTR Prosecutor.21 Kagame & Co.
Already Indicted in France and Spain Athough the U.S. has been successful in preventing Kagame’s crew from being indicted at the ICTR, other courts have indicted Kagame and members of his retinue. In late 2007, French Judge Bruguiere indicted the assassins of Habyarimana and personally recommended to Kofi Annan that Kagame be prosecuted by the ICTR.22 And, in February 2008, Spanish Judge Merelles issued a 180-page indictment specifically charging Kagame with: Genocide; War Crimes; Crimes Against Humanity; including the massacres of more than 300,000 civilians.23
And, Mr. Rapp’s former boss, Mr. Jallow, publicly admitted in a UN Security Council in spring 2008 that Kagame’s military is responsible for the assassination of Rwanda’s Catholic leadership in 1994….but, still, no ICTR prosecutions. The Consequences of the ICTR Cover-up of Kagame’s Crimes The tragic consequence of the failure to prosecute Kagame at the ICTR, from 1994 to date is that Kagame has been free to invade the Congo in 1996 and
again in 1998. Rwanda continues to occupy part of the eastern Congo manytimes larger than Rwanda, to this day.24 No less than four UN Security Counselcommissioned Panel of Experts Report(s) on the Illegal Exploitation of the DR Congo (in 2001, 2002, 2003 and December 2008) have detailed the massive rape of the Congo’s resources by Rwandan forces that has brought vast riches to Kagame and his inner circle.25 While Rapp was ICTR Senior Trial Attorney in 2003, Kagame was effectively elected President-for-Life with 95% of the vote,26 after banning opposition parties and jailing opponents in “a climate of intimidation,” according to EU observers.27 According to the Economist report on 10th Anniversary of the “genocide” in 2004:
“[Kagame] tolerates no serious domestic opposition, nor much in the way of free speech. Rwanda today is a thinly-disguised autocracy, where dissidents are usually accused of genocidal tendencies, live in fear, or exile, or both. The regime is a threat to its neighbors.28
“Chief of Prosecutions” Rapp Withheld Exculpatory Evidence, from ICTR Judges and Defendants,, in Violation of ICTR Rues As it this wasn’t enough, in February 2009, judges at the UN Rwanda Tribunal issued a Judgement the Military-1 case (a main case at the ICTR) in which Mr. Rapp personally appeared for the Prosecution. Although massive violence did occur in Rwanda, which no one disputes, the court recognized that blaming only one side for the violence WAS a falsehood, when it acquitted all of the “architects of the killing machine” (as Mr. Rapp called the defendants in court) of conspiracy or planning to kill civilians both before, and after, the assassination
of Habyarimana. And, the highest ranking military-officer was acquitted of all charges.29 Although it is now clear from Ms. Del Ponte’s memoirs that Mr. Rapp had the evidence to clear ICTR defendants of the assassination charges and that blaming only the losing side for all crimes committed in Rwanda in 1994 is simply not true. Simply put, Mr. Rapp and other ICTR prosecutors, have: withheld evidence that would be beneficial to the defense, contrary to Tribunal Rules;30 prosecuted Kagame’s vanquished opponents for crimes they knew were committed by Kagame’s forces; and, created a system of “judicial impunity” at the ICTR, that has permitted Kagame to kill millions in the eastern Congo since 1994.
This “inconvenient-African-truth,” raises an uncomfortable question regarding President Obama’s nomination of Mr. Rapp, in the first place: Are Obama and his advisors ignorant of the public record regarding Rapp’s complicity in the ICTR Cover-up….or do they just not give a damn? And how will Democrat and Republican Senators vote when asked to confirm the appointment? But….its only Africa, so who is paying attention, anyway? Certainly not President Obama.
Prof. Peter Erlinder
Lead Defense Counsel, ICTR Military-1 Trial
President, ICTR-ADAD (Association des Avocats de la Defense)
Wm. Mitchell College of Law
St. Paul, MN 55105
-- 30 –
1 Marlise Simons, “Lawyer Picked for U.S. War Crimes Post,” New York Times, July 9, 2009
2 Del Ponte and Sudetic, Madame Prosecutor: Confrontations with Humanity’s Worst Criminals,
and the Culture of Impunity (The Other Press, NY 2009).
3 Id. at 231-234. See also, Steven Edwards, “Del Ponte says UN caved to Rwandan pressure,”
National Post (Canada), Sept 17, 2003; John Hooper, “I was sacked as Rwanda Genocide
Prosecutor for Challenging the President, Says Del Ponte”, Guardian, Sep. 13, 2003; Felicity
Barringer, “Annan is said to Want a New Prosecutor for Rwanda War Crimes,” New York Times,
July 29, 2003. See also, UN Doc S/Res/203/1503, Aug. 28, 2003, requesting nomination by the
Security Council for a new ICTR prosecutor and nominating Del Ponte for re-appointment as
4 Id. at 234-235.
5 ICTR Military-1 Exhibit DNT 315. April 7, 1994 cable from U.S. Ambassador Prudence
Bushnell, “If, as it appears, both Presidents have been killed, there is a strong likelihood that
widespread violence could break out in either or both countries, particularly if it is confirmed that the plane was shot down.” Emphasis added.
6 Id. 176 to 192 and 223 to 241.
7 As late as 2004, the Economist asked, “Who Shot the President’s Plane?” March 27, 2004. p.
8 See, 2007 and 2008 Indictments of Kagame issued by France and Spain, infra
9 To date, the ICTR has not prosecuted any members of the victorious Kagame military or
government, but other nations have, see infra.
10 Marlise Simons, “Lawyer Picked for U.S. War Crimes Post,” New York Times, July 9, 2009
11 Prosper was ICTR Lead Prosecutor in the Akeyesu Trial prior to Del Ponte’s tenure.
12 Del Ponte and Sudetic, Madame Prosecutor: Confrontations with Humanity’s Worst Criminals,
and the Culture of Impunity (The Other Press, NY 2009). Pp. 232 to 234
13 Id. at 239-240
14 ICTR Military-1 Exhibit, DNT 264, September 10, 1994 Memo from George Moose to Warren
Christopher, U.S. Secretary of State:
A UNCHR investigative team that spent July and August in Rwanda [i.e. Gersony] has
reported systematic human rights abuses by the GOR (i.e. RPA/F) forces – including systematic
killings – in the south and southeast of the country. The team has concluded that the GOR is
aware of these reprisals against Hutu civilians and may have sanctioned them
On the basis of interviews with refugees/individuals, the UNCHR team concluded that a
pattern of killing had emerged. The RPA convened meetings of displaced persons to discuss
peace and security. Once the displaced persons were assembled, RPA soldiers moved in and
killed them. In addition to these massacres, the RPA engaged in house to house sweeps and
hunted down individuals hiding in camps. Victims were usually killed with hoes, axes, machetes
and with fire. Although males 18-40 were at the highest risk the young and elderly were no
spared. The team estimated that the RPA and Tutsi civilian surrogates had killed 10,000 or more
Hutu civilians per month, with the RPA accounting for 95% of the killing.
The UNCHR team speculated that the purpose of the killing was a campaign of ethnic
cleansing intended to clear areas in the south of Rwanda for Tutsi habitation. The killings also
served to reduce the population of Hutu males and discouraged refugees from returning to claim
15 See Military-1 Exhibit DNT 365, Affidavit of Michael Hourigan
16 See Affidavit of James Lyons, April 6, 2001 at www.rwandadocumentsproject.net.
17 See, Proposed Mlitary-1 Exhibit DNT 366
18 See Hourigan Affidavit, Exhibit DNT 365
19 “Louise Arbour Begins As President of International Crisis Group,” Reuters, July 22, 2009.
20 See, Chambers Order Release of Hourigan’s Memorandum to Parties, ICTR Press Release,
June 8, 2000, www.ictr.org cited in Kingsley C. Moghalu, Rwanda’s Genocide: The Politics of
Global Justice, (Palgrave MacMillan 2005) (former official spokesperson for the ICTR), Ch. 2, fn.
22 Del Ponte, Madame Prosecutor, pp. 234-235, 240.
23 “Spain judge indicts Rwanda forces” BBC News, February 6,2008.. See, Indictment of
February 6, 2008 alleging war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed by Paul
Kagame and 40 senior officers, allegations include civilian deaths by Prefecture.
24. See generally, Gérard Prunier, AFRICA’S WORLD WAR: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide,
and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe (2009); Catherine Philp, “Yesterday a victim, today
an oppressor: how aid funds war in Congo,” The Times of London, April 7, 2009.
25 UN Security Council Panel of Experts Report on the Illegal Exploitation of National Resources
and Other Forms of Wealth from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, October 20, 2003.
(s/2003/1146, October 20, 2003). The Rwandan army stole nature resources worth $250 million
from 1999-2000 alone. Adam Hochschild, The dark heart of mineral exploitation in Congo: back
on the brink II. International Herald Tribune, Dec. 24, 2004, p. 6. UN Security Council Panel of
Experts Report on the Illegal Exploitation of National Resources and Other Forms of Wealth from
the Democratic Republic of the Congo, December 12, 2008.(s/2008/1146, December 12, 2008).
26 Kagame won, a little to well, Rwanda’s Presidential Election, The Economist, Aug, 30, 2003, p.
27 See generally, U.S. State Department 2003 Human Rights Report on Rwanda, February 25,
2004; See also, Rptr. Collette Flesch, Report of European Observer Mission, September 2003;
Colin Waugh, Paul Kagame and Rwanda: Power, Genocide and the Rwandan Patriotic Front
(MacFarland, USA 2004), pp. 185-206
28 “Rwanda, remembered: Lessons of a genocide,” Economist, March 27, 2004, p. 11
29 ICTR Judgement, Military-1, February 9, 2009 acquitted the top four military officers of
conspiracy to commit or plan genocide and acquitted General Gratien Kabiligi of all charges.
30 ICTR Rules of Procedure and Evidence: Rule 66 and Rule 68, Disclosure of Exculpatory
Information by Office of the Prosecutor.
[ Kagame won, a little too well - The Economist http://www.economist.com/node/2023062?story_id=2023062 - subscription needed - MrK]
Posted: Friday, October 15, 2010 2:28 am
THE two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change approached Alpha Media Holdings chairman Mr Trevor Ncube to solicit favourable coverage from his newspapers against Zanu-PF. This information was revealed by the company's chairman, Trevor Ncube, in a public lecture at Midlands State University on Thursday.
Mr Ncube said MDC-T and MDC recently approached him separately for the favours. He is the publisher of three newspapers in Zimbabwe; two weeklies, The Zimbabwe Independent and The Standard and the daily newspaper, NewsDay. Mr Ncube also denied that AMH was foreign funded.
"About three weeks ago, a high-level delegation from both MDC-T and the MDC-M separately visited me and asked me why my paper (NewsDay) was anti-them in its reportage, but I frankly told them that I am not a pawn, which can be used willy-nilly.
"My newspaper has its own mandate and cannot be used by some other people who want to achieve their own agendas," he said.
He added: "These people were pushing me to be anti-Zanu-PF so that I could support them.
"They wanted me to work in their favour to damn Zanu-PF, but I refused because our values are that we will not support any political party.
"We are not in this business to support anyone. In 2005 again I had another delegation from MDC-M visiting me asking me to support them.
"We know we have been accused of being pro-MDC formations, but like in any country during election time, newspapers can support any political party of their choice.
"It is the duty of the editors to decide who they want to support, but it should not be on permanent basis."
Mr Ncube dismissed reports that some publications were denied licences to publish.
"There are some publications which were licensed, but cannot publish not because of Government, but because they are not ready," he said.
The Daily News is one of those newspapers that has been licensed, but has failed to take off.
It currently publishes online, despite previous claims that government was refusing to give it publishing rights.
by Staff Reporter
THE United Nations said Thursday it can't disown Zimbabwe's U.N. ambassador, as the country's prime minister wants, but it is urging full implementation of a power-sharing deal between the minister and President Robert Mugabe.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai sent letters Tuesday asking the U.N., European Union and four nations not to recognize six ambassadors that Mugabe appointed without consulting him.
Tsvangirai argues the February 2009 power-sharing agreement signed with Mugabe requires the coalition partners to agree on all senior appointments.
U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said Zimbabwe's Ambassador Chitsaka Chipaziwa was properly accredited on June 28 and the U.N. "will be bound by the letter of his accreditation until advised otherwise by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs."
But he said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon "believes that the prime minister's letter highlights a source of concern regarding the political transition in Zimbabwe."
The secretary-general urges the parties to "to respect the commitments they made ... and ensure that the agreement is implemented … entirely in the interest of stability in Zimbabwe and the welfare of its people," Haq said.
Ban also encouraged the guarantors of the agreement — the African Union and the Southern African Development Community, a regional group — to "help build trust between the Zimbabwean parties," he said.
Haq said "the United Nations has expressed its readiness to support that process, if requested to do so."
Tsvangirai asked the U.N., EU, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and South Africa to reject the diplomatic credentials of incoming ambassadors saying the postings were made "illegally and unconstitutionally" and should not be recognized.
In another blow, Tsvangirai's party said Mugabe has unilaterally reappointed 10 provincial governors and five new judges.
Despite the criticism of Mugabe, Tsvangirai insisted he won't be pulling out of the coalition government.
IMF notes mining sector’s low contribution to national treasury
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Fri 15 Oct. 2010, 04:00
THE contribution of the mining sector to Zambia’s Treasury is very small though it comprises a very large part of the economy, International Monetary Fund (IMF) resident representative Perry Perone said yesterday.
During the PriceWaterHouseCoopers sponsored post 2011 – budget discussion, Perone said there was need for increased tax revenue collections from the mining sector in view of the falling tax collections by Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA). Perone said the contribution of revenue collection from the mining sector to the country’s revenue basket was problematic.
Mining sector contributes about 70 per cent of the country’s foreign exchange earnings, constituting 9.7 per cent of the total economic output, while tax contribution is about one per cent of the total collection by ZRA.
“The revenue trends are such that it is not a secret tax revenues have been trending down...Direct taxes like income tax have been relatively stable but the real problem has been in indirect taxes and of course the issue of the mining sector which contributes on a very small amount to the Treasury even though it comprises a very large part of the economy,” Perone said. “However, there is an expectation in 2010 and 2011 it will improve. There is optimism.”
Perone also said there was need to improve the government’s relation with the foreign mine owners which were strained over the 2008 mining fiscal regime which was reversed last year following the change of governors.
“There is need for the regularisation of the relations with the mining sector. In the last couple of years, it’s been a difficult relationship, there has been a change in the government imposing a tax regime going against the Development Agreements, and then there was period when the government was not discussing with the mining companies,” said Perone.
“The mining companies are picking and choosing which tax they are paying and some of them are paying in escrow accounts. But the good thing is that earlier this year, the government did reengage and from everything that we understand, there is feeling that mining companies have as much to win from having stable relation and having a clear agreement with the government as the government does. There is a lot of optimism...and hopefully, they will come to an agreement soon so that the mining sector can start contributions.”
Perone said increasing mining taxes needed to be done in a manner that did not hurt the sector, and at the same time provide capacity for ZRA to administer the tax regime on the vast sector.
He suggested upping company tax paid by mining firms as one way of augmenting tax collections from the mining sector.
“I think being flexible about the way the mining sector needs to get taxed as long as the system put in place is effective and that is pretty much the problem,” said Perone.
“You can have a lot of different debates about what kind of the windfall tax or whether it is the right way to go. Depending on the capacity of ZRA, probably corporate profit tax is the way to go. It’s supposed to be very simple to administer but the point for us, we don’t wanna even get engaged in that debate, it has to do with ZRA and ministry of finance have to find the best way to tax and it can be done in a variety of ways.”
By The Post
Thu 14 Oct. 2010, 04:00 CAT
It is clear that we have not efficiently and effectively utilised the financial support we have been receiving from the international community. But everything has got a time. Although international aid offered us great opportunities of accelerated economic development, it was not something that was going to last forever.
There is now a move from aid to trade. The budget support they have been enjoying from the international community, as we have seen from this budget, is decreasing at a very fast rate. There are many reasons for this decrease in budget support.
One reason is that those who used to help us may no longer be in a position to do so because of their own budgetary deficits. Another reason is that we have not been able to show tangible results from the aid we have received.
In some cases, we have not been able to adequately account for the financial assistance we have received. This is either because the money has been misappropriated, misapplied or misused. Take for instance a situation in our Ministry of Health where money provided by the international community for HIV medicines was stolen by Kashiwa Bulaya, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health.
It is in this same ministry where money meant for all sorts of health projects has been diverted to the election campaigns of the ruling party. Even automobiles belonging to the Ministry of Health and which were supposed to be used as ambulances found their way into election campaigns.
We published pictures in the 2008 presidential campaigns showing how Ministry of Health automobiles which were supposed to be used to transport those who are ill were instead used to move around members of Rupiah Banda’s campaign team, the image builders he had hired from abroad.
We also know from the proceedings of court cases that a lot of money supplied by the international community is ending up in lodges, motels or guest houses belonging to civil servants and other public workers. And in most cases, the government is overcharged by these same unscrupulous people for workshops or seminars held in lodges or motels that were in the first place built with embezzled public funds.
It is not possible for the government to provide and efficient, effective and orderly health service to our people, especially the poor, if that money is stolen or misapplied in this manner. We also have government contracts for the construction of roads and other infrastructure where gigantic sums are ending up in the pockets of government officials in charge of such works, in connivance with the contractors.
It is not long ago that this issue was in the public domain with concerned government officials denying any corruption in this sector. But who doesn’t know that today we have poor roads and other infrastructure in this country because of corruption?
It will not be fair to expect the international community to keep on pouring money in the bottomless pit that our country has become. So much aid has been given to us, but look at the results! There isn’t much to show. Why? The answer is simple: it’s because of corruption, misuse, misapplication, misappropriation.
And the situation is worse when it comes to the money provided by the Zambian taxpayer. The Auditor General reports every year show frightening cases of corruption, but nothing happens to those who have been found wanting. Even for those who have been tried in our courts of law, ways have been found by their evil friends to free them from accountability. And they have even been given back the properties they acquired with stolen public funds.
This would render even the most determined aid provider helpless. How can, for instance, the British government convince their taxpayers to contribute to our budget when this same government has refused to act sensibly in the registration of the High Court of London judgment against Frederick Chiluba that gave us back over US $45 million that this crook had stolen?
Yes, the reduction of budget support by the international community will affect our people, especially the poor. But it is the duty of our people to hold their government accountable and responsible for the loss of budget support because of corruption.
The decision to allow Chiluba to go scot free is a corrupt one for all those involved in it. It is the duty of the Zambian people to do something about it. Instead of crying for donor support, they should first cry for the return of what Chiluba and his friends stole from them that which Rupiah has helped them keep.
It is not fair to ask for help from others, to ask others to sacrifice their money when we are squandering our own. Let’s make fine use of the little that we have before we go out to ask for the support of others. Let’s guard the little that we have before we can ask others to add more to it.
Donor aid cannot be without conditions. Even the most selfless assistance to others has got conditions. When you help someone, a position is taken, and that position is taken on the basis of certain principles and the ability of those receiving that aid to utilise it efficiently and effectively.
If not, we run the risk of it being turned into the opposite of what we want. Reduced donor aid will mean increased suffering for the majority of our people because our government does not have the capacity to provide its people with all the services required in an organised society.
It will mean more people dying due to lack of medicines in our hospitals. But this should not be blamed on donors. The blame should lie squarely on our shoulders as citizens of this country. We are an independent country with a leadership we ourselves have chosen. And when we fail, as free human beings, we should blame nobody but ourselves.
We must take responsibility for the fate of the society in which we have chosen to live. If we have to harbour any hope of receiving more aid from the international community, we have to construct a leadership that meets expected standards of conduct on issues of corruption and accountability. This corrupt government we have will not take us anywhere.
And no amount of manipulation, posturing will convince donors to give us increased aid. Our greatest challenge is to have an honest leadership because it is only such type of a leadership that can fight corruption and ensure efficient, effective and orderly utilisation of public funds.
It is only such a leadership that can make increased international assistance possible and move our country to another plane of progress.
The choice is ours!/WK
By Mwala Kalaluka
Fri 15 Oct. 2010, 03:00 CAT
THE Netherlands government has said it will primarily focus its funding for infrastructure development in the world’s least developed countries on the attainment of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving extreme poverty by 2015.
Explaining the infrastructure development-focused ORIO fund, which is a grant facility financed by the Dutch minister for development cooperation with 50 developing countries as beneficiaries, ORIO project consultant Tim van Galen, acknowledged in an interview that the poor must be able to participate in economic growth.
The Dutch government has set aside between 140 million and 150 million Euros as a funding mechanism to governments and the private sector to build infrastructure as a vehicle for combating poverty in developing countries.
Galen said he was not very sure whether Zambia falls within the category of least developed or heavily indebted nations, but he assumed that it was a least developed country, which is eligible to a development phase grant percentage of 100 per cent.
According to an information brochure provided by the Netherlands Embassy in Lusaka, the recipient government would finance the remaining sum.
The brochure stated that poor or non-existent infrastructure hindered economic growth in many developing countries and yet economic growth was an important condition in reducing poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
“Economic growth in itself is, however not sufficient. The poor must be able to participate in this growth,” the brochure read in part. “The social benefits of the infrastructure that is realized should therefore primarily benefit the poorer sections of the population.”
Meanwhile, Galen said the Dutch government’s ORIO grant had just signed the first project for Zambia.
Galen explained that the approved Chanyanya Irrigation Project in Kafue was worth about 15 million Euros and the ORIO grant facility would provide 1.2 million Euros as a development phase funding.
Galen said the amount would be increased to eight million Euros at the implementation stage if the process went smoothly.
“We mainly focus on MDG one, which is on the reduction of poverty and the Chanyanya Irrigation Project is a very good example,” said Galen.
By Ernest Chanda
Fri 15 Oct. 2010, 04:00 CAT
ATTORNEY General Abyud Shonga has revealed that the government proposed to remove the abuse of office offence from the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) Act because it has existed unconstitutionally. And Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Chalwe Mchenga has supported the removal of the offence from the Anti Corruption bill, saying it does not promote justice in its current form.
Appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights and Gender Matters on Wednesday, Shonga contended that the law worked better under a one party State where leaders were not allowed to own businesses. He argued that under multipartyism, it would not be fair to maintain such a law because public officers are allowed to own and run businesses.
When asked by committee chairperson Jack Mwiimbu if he was of the view that the abuse of office offence has existed unconstitutionally, Shonga answered in the affirmative.
“I prefer not to get boxed in like that, but I my answer that it is unconstitutional when you look at it vis-a-vis the Constitution. I can’t come to a conclusion, any conclusion, except to agree that this provision may actually be unconstitutional.
As to whether that is the main reason for removing it, it’s safer to say it’s one of the reasons for removal, albeit a major reason for removal. This provision was logical in the context of socialism and the one party state but has since become redundant since the advent of the liberalisation of the economy,” Shonga said.
“The provision is additionally discriminatory as it ignores private sector corruption, which is also a reality. For me the problem here is that in this time and age, with this progressive and liberalised economy; liberalised on account of good policies that honourable members some of whom are sitting here have passed in that August House, things have changed. And public officers are allowed to run businesses; this is a direct contradiction.
I would go further to say that it is arguable, I think with merit, that the requirement for a person affected by section 37 (1) to come across and be compelled to testify about certain issues… what then about the fundamental constitutional issues that we know accused persons are allowed? My view is that I would support the removal of section 37 because I don’t think that a bad, wrong, illegal, unconducive environment is created by its removal. In fact, on the contrary, we are helping to cure the document.”
Shonga claimed that the government’s intention of removing section 37 from the ACC Act was in good faith. When told that the Law Association of Zambia in its submission concluded by saying that it would be dangerous to remove the abuse of office offence from the laws, Shonga disagreed strongly.
“O, that is what LAZ is saying? I must with greatest respect disagree with their conclusion. That is my comment, especially that section 99, I think, of the Penal Code crystalises the offence created in 37 (1). It’s there, it’s preserved on our statutes,” he argued.
When it was again mentioned to him that most stakeholders had submitted against the removal of the offence, Shonga expressed surprise.
“I would be surprised with such a submission. Then again, where there are 10 lawyers, there are 10 opinions. My approach is to look at it the way I understand vis-a-vis the Constitution which protects me in the event that I am accused of an offence. So, in relation to this, I would have some difficulties there,” submitted Shonga.
Earlier, Ministry of Justice permanent secretary in charge of administration Annie Sitali explained further on the alleged unconstitutionality of the abuse of office offence.
She argued that while the Constitution allowed an accused person to remain silent if they wished, section 37 of the ACC Act compelled them to talk, failure to which they would be presumed guilty.
Asked by Mwiimbu if the committee should recommend to Parliament that it was the government’s submission that section 37 of the ACC Act is unconstitutional, Sitali answered in the affirmative.
“You know certain things have crept into our statute books, and without a challenge we get by with it. We are stating here very strongly that Section 37, to the extent that it requires an accused person to give a satisfactory explanation to the court or else he will be considered guilty, to that extent it is actually unconstitutional.
And the issue of the accused having a burden to prove particular facts is not quite the same as where you are saying, ‘give us facts that are satisfactory or else you will be considered guilty,’ because we have to look at the factors. A person is presumed innocent until they’re found guilty. And these are issues we can’t run away from. And we still feel very strongly that this provision in its current form is unconstitutional,” Sitali contended.
She argued that there were other provisions in the Penal Code that catered for the abuse of office offence.
“So we are saying there’s a provision in the Penal Code which deals with abuse of office in relation to corruption. If an accused person chooses to remain silent, you can’t compel them.
And this provision section 37 of the ACC Act is saying, ‘if those that are accusing you are saying you are guilty, you must give an explanation to the satisfaction of the court or else you will be jailed’. That is the difficulty we have. And if you look at the provisions that we have, we have consistently said we have the Penal Code provision for abuse of office which fits well with the constitutional provisions,” said Sitali.
“We have clause 21, we have clause 33, all of which are dealing with abuse of authority of office. So we are saying what we have difficulties with are those provisions that are actually taking away the constitutional protection of a person as far as security before the law is concerned. So we feel that you cannot maintain this current provision in its current form because it’s unconstitutional, and that’s why it has been taken out.”
And Mchenga, who indicated that he could only provide his opinion rather than the rationale for removing the offence, submitted that the country’s poor record system made it difficult for accused person to provide relevant evidence before the court under the provisions of section 37.
“Now as we interacted, one issue that came up is that, fine, if you had a law like that and you required a public official to explain if you have a situation where they have got property that is not commensurate to their income and you request them to make an explanation, one of the challenges you face is that we have a system that has got poor record keeping in this country. Even a person who purchases a thing, after two, three years you go back to the seller, the seller does not keep record,” Mchenga said.
“And the situation we find ourselves in is that if a person is charged with an offence under that section section 37, because the current Anti Corruption Commission Act says past and present income.
And if a person is charged with an offence, for example, and he says ‘I’ve been building a house for the last 10 years, what is expected is for him to bring proof about how he’s got these materials. But it’s common knowledge that our record keeping is very poor, and it’s unlikely that if you request a person to go and bring that evidence of his purchases he will not find it.
So what was coming out is that the balance is heaped against the accused person. It’s most unlikely for the person to be able to explain, even those who maintain genuine income. So, those were the arguments when the bill was being discussed in connection with section 37.”
Mchenga said the 1996 ACC Act did not introduce the abuse of office offence, saying it was carried over from the 1980 Act.
And Mchenga submitted that in his six year tenure as DPP, no one had ever been prosecuted and convicted for having property not commensurate to their income.
“When I say no one has been prosecuted, I’m not saying I’ve not authorised any one. I've not received a docket recommending that anyone should be prosecuted for that offence. Now that being the case, I would say that the argument is neither here nor there because no one has been prosecuted for that offence. And having said that, I'm not aware of anyone who has been convicted for this offence," submitted Mchenga.
"May be before I proceed, the people who have been prosecuted and convicted for abuse of authority of office, it's not in relation to having property. It's in relation to using their positions to gain property. That is the clarification I need to make.
That's why at the beginning I indicated that there are two links; there's one link that involves having property or living a lifestyle beyond their means. The other link relates to a person abusing his position to get property, give contracts. The part that relates to a person abusing his position to gain property and give business is the one for which we have had prosecutions."
By Patson Chilemba
Fri 15 Oct. 2010, 04:01 CAT
ENOCH Kavindele yesterday asked the MMD top leadership to stop the new culture of violence which has gripped the party. And Kavindele yesterday observed that threatening donors to stop meeting Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata is an infringement on their rights.
Reacting to the warning from MMD Ndola district information and publicity secretary Alex Mubanga for him to choose between his life and attending the party convention, Kavindele said he would talk to the police over the threats. He said he expected the police to investigate and get to the bottom of the matter.
Kavindele said as a senior MMD member, he was very surprised at the new phenomenon of violence in the party. He said the MMD had always been a competitive party which allowed for people to contest for positions.
Kavindele said the first president of MMD, Frederick Chiluba, competed against the likes of Humphrey Mulemba and Author Wina, adding that late president Levy Mwanawasa was allowed to challenge Chiluba after issuing strong statements against him.
He said Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda freely challenged former Republican vice-president late Lieutenant General Christone Tembo for the party vice-presidency.
Kavindele said those who were provoking violence in MMD risked being victims of the same violence they were promoting. He said the violence by MMD cadres should not be allowed to escalate.
“We are seeing history repeating itself. When former Republican vice-presidenct Simon Kapwepwe was attacked by political thugs, many people were disgusted and they left. They abandoned UNIP. This is a new phenomenon in the MMD. We have always competed for positions,” Kavindele said.
Kavindele said he could not be stopped from going to the convention just because someone had issued a threat.
Mubanga, popularly known as Shimpundu pa Nkoloko, on Wednesday warned that the MMD militia of the Copperbelt and the Jumbo crack squad of Lusaka would batter Kavindele at the convention.
And commenting on Parliamentary Chief Whip Vernon Mwaanga’s warning that some diplomatic missions should not be surprised if diplomatic sanctions were imposed on them for meeting Sata, Kavindele said there was a similar move in the 1980s to restrict the movement of diplomats to a radius of 25 kilometres, but that failed to work. He said it was learnt that the action by government infringed on the right of association and movement.
Asked if it there was a provision to stop diplomats from meetings opposition leaders, Kavindele said: “There isn’t, because I have told you that it even infringes on the Constitution of Zambia; free movement of people and freedom of association with people they like.”
Kavindele said diplomats by virtue of their job had to report to their countries of events happening in countries where they served.
“That information is sent by talking to players in the country. It is difficult to police because they can meet Sata if they want to at Sata’s house or at their embassy houses,” he said.
Kavindele said Sata’s meetings with diplomats might even be to the interest of the MMD. He said Sata should meet as many diplomats as he could because they could use their meetings with him to assess his suitability, both as an opposition leader and one seeking high office.
“I know diplomats don’t vote but certainly they do have an interest on what goes on in a country that they support economically,” said Kavindele.