Saturday, October 23, 2010

(NEWZIMBABWE) US$1.2bil diamond deal sealed

US$1.2bil diamond deal sealed
23/10/2010 00:00:00

INDIAN firm SURAT Rough Diamond Sourcing has signed a US$1.2 billion rough diamond supply deal with a group of local entrepreneurs trading as Zimbabwe Diamond Consortium.

The state-run Herald newspaper reported that the deal was concluded in Harare on Friday. Under the arrangement, SRDSIL will buy a minimum of US$I00 million worth of rough diamonds a month.

SRDSIL is a consortium of 1 500 Indian diamond companies based in Surat which is considered the commercial capital of the state of Gujarat.

The deal was signed by SRDSIL chairman Ashit Mehta and his ZDC counterpart, Supa Mandiwanzira.

Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, Mines Deputy Minister Gift Chimanikire, India’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe and other government officials attended the event.

A 24-member delegation of Indian diamond industry players, all members of SRDSIL, was in Harare to seal the deal.

In exchange for guaranteed sales of US$1.2 billion a year, the Indians promised to train 1 000 young Zimbabweans in designing, cutting and polishing diamonds.

The youths will be sent to India on conclusion of the first sale worth US$100 million.

The Indian company will also assist Zimbabweans in developing a strong diamond beneficiation industry.

The Indian diamond manufacturing industry accounts for 14 out of every 15 rough diamond stones cut and polished in the world.

Surat is the world centre for diamond beneficiation and is the fastest growing city in India and second in the globe, thanks to diamonds and the textiles.

Experts say Zimbabwe could account for between 25 and 35 percent of world diamond production.

Rio Tinto and a Saudi company were already mining diamonds in Zimbabwe before two other mining companies were licensed to mine alluvial fields in Marange.

Three more companies have recently been licensed and will also start mining soon, according to Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu.

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(HERALD) ‘Zim among top four tourism destinations’

‘Zim among top four tourism destinations’

ZIMBABWE’S prime tourism marketing, promotion and development extravaganza Sanganai/Hlanganani Travel and Tourism Africa Fair, ended in Harare last week with more than 450 foreign exhibitors having generated US$300 million worth business.

With the Government’s Look East Policy continuing to bear fruits, the far-east source market which includes China, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia, among others had brought 71 businesspeople and journalists, the highest number from a single market. Features Editor Isdore Guvamombe (IG) talked to Zimbabwe’s tourism manager for Asia Dr Taka Munyanyiwa (TM) about his and other issues.

IG: Zimbabwe hosted foreign tourist wholesalers, buyers, the media and business people and the Far East has been identified as one of the biggest source markets as per Government Look East Policy. What is your role on this?

TM: Well, I am Zimbabwe’s representative to the Far East: that means China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. There is also Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines. I have been ordinarily resident in Beijing, China since 2003 and worked out things in this market in line with the Government’s policy.

I was appointed through the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.

Sanganai is regarded in tourism circles the world over as Zimbabwe’s prime tourism exhibition and among Africa’s best exhibitions and this is why we are here with the source market, I mentioned.

IG: What about Russia?

TM: No, Russia is not under my portfolio. But what is critical is that our tourism office in China was commissioned in August 2003 and one of the milestones was the signing by the Chinese Government and the Far East market of Zimbabwe’s Approved Destination Status. Zimbabwe is now recognised in that market as an approved safe tourist destination.

This is what has made Zimbabwe among the best four African tourist destinations.

IG: Critics of ZTA and the Government say it has been a waste of resources to invest in attracting tourists from the Far East, who are perceived as stingy. What is your comment?

TM: That is a bit on the silly side. It is devoid of reality and reason.

As we speak, I have brought with me 71 businesspeople, investors, journalists, tourist wholesalers for Sanganai and for the record, Zimbabwe is currently receiving at least 100 000 tourists from that source market, annually, The figures are there for anyone to see. It is the biggest source market and this is not a secret. Actually it is the best decision the Government and ZTA have done because we are now harvesting the fruits. Last year I brought with me 61 exhibitors for Sanganai/Hlanganani.

IG: Still, the critics will say that the amount invested in that market does not justify the results?

TM: I am sorry, if I get a bit emotional about it. Because of the efforts put by the Government, through ZTA, Zimbabwe has now been voted number 4 best tourist destination by the Far East market, after Egypt, Kenya and South Africa. This is why we have increased arrival from that market to 100 000 per year, which represents 80 percent of the southern African market share. I hope these critics are not imaginary. We have achieved all this against an array of problems that include an economy under attack from sanctions, an unfriendly visa regime, connectivity problems and distance. This market is far away but we have managed to get to where we are today. We have engaged 10 airlines that directly or indirectly carry our tourists to this part of the world and I think we should be given credit for it.

IG: In terms of that market, which attraction is the best seller?

TM: Of course, it is the Victoria Falls first, followed by Great Zimbabwe and then Mana Pools. They each have their explanations but I must say Mana Pools is an Eden to them. They love the wildlife, they love the jungle aspect and I wish Mana Pools would remain uninterrupted by human settlement. Great Zimbabwe has links with the Great Wall of China and Vic Falls is everyone’s darling.

IG: Can you explain the current delegation and what the members are here for?

TM: Like I said, I brought a 71-member delegation of business people, investors, tourist wholesalers and media. In terms of the media, there is a television crew from Beijing Television and they will be here for three weeks, shooting a documentary on travel and tourism, we have the print media. A special group is the Self-Drive Media. This kind of media, promotes road usage for tourist as opposed to air transportation of tourists and they belong to something like our Automobile Association and they are happy with our roads so far and they want to promote that.

They promote road networks and we are saying our roads are good and ideal for self drive compared to other African countries.

IG: What else is there?

TM: I have five people from South Korea, looking at special interests like culture and welfare. Then there is an on line publication called C.Trip. Com, which is a popular Chinese social forum for travellers. We want to link them up with Zimbabwe. We also have airline representatives from Malaysia, who want to invest in Zimbabwe.

They are also looking at packaging opportunities. So in short, I have brought variety with me and Zimbabwe stands to benefit from this group which is the biggest from a single source market.

IG: You have been in and out of the country but when you came back this time what can you say has changed?

TM: There is great improvement. The negative publicity we used to have is no longer there. It is a tired story and no one is willing to listen to it anymore. Our economy is stable, we are politically stable. Our hotels have everything they require but we need to change our attitude.

The human resource aspect is lagging behind the good changes. The tourism and hospitality industry staff must change their attitude. I see them lacking this extra urge to market and promote the country through behaviour. Smiles alone are not enough. Our behaviour must show what we want to achieve. That area pains me.

isadore.guvamombe ***



(HERALD) Reduce income tax levels, Biti told

Reduce income tax levels, Biti told
Herald Reporter

FINANCE Minister Tendai Biti should reduce income tax levels and ensure the country derives its revenue from natural resources such as minerals, a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget and Finance heard yesterday.

The committee, chaired by Goromonzi North House of Assembly Member Cde Paddy Zhanda (Zanu-PF), was told that the current tax levels were so high that any salary adjustments did not leave ordinary workers with reasonable disposable income.

The majority of participants at a budget consultative meeting in Harare yesterday were agreed that the Finance Minister should cut tax levels.

Different speakers, including representatives from the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, urged Treasury to direct more resources to the social sector and leave more disposable income by raising tax-free thresholds.

“Zimbabwe’s taxation levels are too high. Government should reduce taxation levels by at least 15 percent,” said Mr Ronald Mlambo, a Harare resident.

Government should get more of its revenue from natural resources such as diamonds and gold, among others. It is futile to raise people’s salaries when tax levels are too high.”

A ZCTU representative echoed the same sentiments, saying Zimbabwe’s tax regime was too high and ought to be adjusted.

He said the reduction would leave workers with more disposable income.

Another Harare resident, Mr Hopewell Gum-bo, said the budget should address social services to enable ordinary people to access essential services such as education and health.

He said the liberalisation of the economy had the effect of widening the gap between the rich and the poor.

“Liberalising the economy has seen private schools charging fees well beyond the reach of many. Government should channel more resources to the social service sector to enable ordinary people to access them,” he said.

The Government, he said, should not prioritise payment of debts because that would compromise service delivery.

“Everyone in the world knows that we are facing problems. Let’s utilise our natural resources. It is not good that we just wake up to hear that Zimbabwe has paid so much to the International Monetary Fund without proper consultation,” he said.

Mr Gumbo said Zimbabwe should set aside money in the form of a percentage of revenue that it intends to channel to debts.

In his 2010 Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement, Finance Minister Tendai Biti announced a minimal increase of US$175 tax-free threshold.

The portfolio committee has been on a whirlwind mission to gather views from cities around the country. It is expected to submit a report in Parliament next week when the House of Assembly resumes sitting.

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(THE ZIMBABWEAN) How diamond proceeds will be shared

COMMENT - This is how it's done. The Zimbabwean government gets 10%, Canadile and Mbada each get 5%, MMC of Zimbawe gets 0.8%, Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation gets 2.5% and 77.42% goes to production costs. This is the ZANU-PF way, not the MDC or MMD way. Only the 77.42% production costs need to have an eye kept on. But if most or all of that is spent on Zimbabwean suppliers who pay taxes in Zimbabwe, even that is ok.

How diamond proceeds will be shared
Saturday, 21 August 2010 12:53

Percentage royalty received

Zimbabwe Government 10
Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe 0,8
Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation 2,5
Mbada 5
Canadile 5
Production costs 77,42

(Pictured: Mines Minister Obert Mpofu: "If [the Rapaport group] mobilises other nations to ban our gems, then we will be left with no other options other than embarking on the Look East Policy.”)

Diamond critics have begun analysing the effects of the sale of Zimbabwe's diamonds recently and how it is likely to benefit society.
Some international diamond activists have warned the international community of buying the blood diamonds, saying doing so will see more human rights abuses.

Zimbabwe on August 11 sold 900 000 carats or 180 kilogrammes of Marange - Chiadzwa diamonds, which realised US71 million or US$ 80 per kilogramme.

Above there is a table which shows how the royalties will be broken down, with the bulk of the proceeds going to funding "production costs". It is not clear who will benefit from these production costs. The Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) will receive 2,5 percent but because it belongs to government, it will pay it a dividend, according to Mines Minister Obert Mpofu.

The current stockpile of diamonds has been put at 900 kilogrammes or 4,5 million carats with an estimated worth of US1,7 billion.

"But 4.5 million at US$80 per carat comes to a lousy US$360 million and according to the split above the government will only realise US$36 million in royalties. Perhaps what they meant was that had the gem quality diamonds not been filtered out for sale to buyers in Manica, Mozambique, then the average per carat would be far higher," said a critic.

"It also does not help build confidence in the proposed split of diamond proceeds to learn that the chief executive and general manager of the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation Dominic Mubayiwa and three of his top men at the Corporation have been suspended for two months."

Mubayiwa, his group finance director Robert Karemba, group technical services manager Albert Chitambo and corporate secretary and legal advisor Tichaona Muhonde were suspended on 26 July 2010 after the huge three storey home Mubayiwa is building in Borrowdale came under the spotlight.

The four were suspended by the new ZMDC board chairman Godwills Masimirembwa.

"Some of us will recall this was the gentleman (Masimirembwa) who was in charge of reducing shop selling prices during our hyper-inflationary era and it was the pursuit of this policy that led to the likes of Makro and other stores being "legally" looted of all their working capital after prices of goods were reduced and these goods were then bought by the team and their cronies who had enforced the price reductions," said the critic.

A US-based Rapaport Diamond Trading Network announced a Zimbabwe diamond ban last week. Rapaport is one of the largest buyers of diamonds in the US.

“I think the significance of this is that the US diamond market is one of the biggest in the world, and when they say they will only purchase a diamond when they are sure that diamond is not from the Marange diamond fields in Zimbabwe, they are taking a moral stand,” says Tiseke Kasambala, a senior researcher on Zimbabwe for Human Rights Watch in Johannesburg.

Diamond industry's image problem

The Christian Sceince Monitor said it was not a surprise that the diamond industry was taking steps to keep politically-tainted stones out of circulation.

"The market is glutted with diamonds, many of them coming out of Russia and other markets that were once off limits, and movies like the action thriller “Blood Diamond” and the real-life trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor for human rights crimes do nothing to improve the image of a stone that was once considered to be the ultimate symbol of love," it said last week.
"Yet the very same global diamond industry watchdog created to clean up the diamond trade in conflict zones (the Kimberley Process) has given Zimbabwe’s diamonds a clean bill of health, sending a mixed signal to consumers looking for a guilt-free purchase. And if US diamond buyers can do without a few hundred thousand Zimbabwean stones, then it is also true that Zimbabwe sellers can do without 10,000 US-based diamond traders. Which again raises the question: will this boycott work?"

“You have to ask yourself is there another market, and my experience is that there is always another market for minerals,” says Laura Seay, an assistant professor of political science at Morehouse College who has studied the minerals market in conflict zones in central Africa. “One of the flaws of the Kimberley Process is that it was designed around conflict, not around inhumane conditions or other more ambiguous human rights abuses such as child labour or forced labour.”

One of the positive effects of the Kimberley Process, Seay adds, is that it did manage to raise awareness among consumers about where diamonds often come from, and how to avoid funding conflicts with one’s spending habits. “If Rapaport can be successful in raising awareness about Zimbabwe diamonds, then it could be effective. And it could push the Kimberley Process to look more broadly at other human rights abuses.”

Looking east

To be sure, America is one of the largest markets for diamonds – even in tight economic times such as these. But there are other emerging markets, many of them in Asia, which are experiencing rapid economic growth. Last week, China replaced Japan as the world’s second largest economy after the US, and it stands ready to overtake the US in the coming decade.

“I think there are a lot of other buyers for diamonds out there, such as India, which are quite keen to buy diamonds,” says Raymond Louw, editor of the Southern Africa Report in Johannesburg. “I think this is a going to act as a token rather than a debilitating measure for the regime of [Zimbabwean President] Robert Mugabe.”

"If [the Rapaport group] mobilises other nations to ban our gems, then we will be left with no other options other than embarking on the Look East Policy, which over the past 10 years kept the country moving despite illegal sanctions,” says Zimbabwe's Minister of Mines, Obert Mpofu in a Monitor interview.

"We will sell our stones to countries...We have countries like China, Malaysia, Russia, India and other Asian countries where we can market our diamonds."

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(BBC) Mugabe hijacks Big Brother frenzy 'for political gain'

COMMENT - More proof if any was needed that the BBC's articles on Zimbabwe are written by the MDC (which is really the same as the British Foreign Office anyway). And why can they only mention what President Mugabe has said by quoting the AFP? Is President Mugabe a 'non-person' who only non-BBC agencies are allowed to quote? I say to the BBC: end the demonization now, end the propaganda now, and start doing your job as journalists in a professional way again. I will never understand why the BBC allowed it's reputation to be destroyed for a bunch of Rhodies, or is that the diamond industry? Who does this 'analyst' Takura Zhangazha (SEC, MISA Zimbabwe) work for? MISA Zimbabwe has been supported by grants from the NED or National Endowment For Democracy. According to the NED's own website:

According to the NED's own website:

" Media Institute of Southern Africa – Zimbabwe Chapter (MISA) $54,005*

To empower society with information to discuss and make informed decisions. MISA will launch a media campaign focusing on the importance of objective media coverage of electoral processes as well as to provide an alternative voice on the electoral processes and other critical national issues. "
So was the BBC really quoting 'an analyst' or were they quoting part of the NED's sponsored campaign to 'provide an 'alternative' voice on electoral processes and other critical national issues'? I.e., alternative to the Zimbabwean government's point of view?

According to the NED's own website: " Media Institute of Southern Africa – Zimbabwe Chapter (MISA) $54,005*

To empower society with information to discuss and make informed decisions. MISA will launch a media campaign focusing on the importance of objective media coverage of electoral processes as well as to provide an alternative voice on the electoral processes and other critical national issues. " (By the way MISA is no longer listed among the NEC grant recipients on the NED's page - others are. - MrK

Mugabe hijacks Big Brother frenzy 'for political gain'
22 October 2010 Last updated at 19:53 GMT

Munyaradzi Chidzonga Zimbabweans feel Munyaradzi Chidzonga was cheated of victory on the reality TV show

Political analysts have criticised Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe for handing over $300,000 (about £191,000) to the runner-up of Big Brother Africa.

Munyaradzi Chidzonga narrowly lost out to a Nigerian contestant, who won the reality TV show's $200,000 prize money.

A close Mugabe ally started a campaign to raise the $300,000 as many people felt voting on the show was unfair.

Analyst Takura Zhangazha told the BBC Mr Chidzonga's fame had been hijacked for political purposes.

The BBC's Brian Hungwe in Harare says there has been a strong sense of injustice amongst Zimbabweans that their Big Brother housemate was robbed of final victory in the final of the Mnet show on Sunday.

He received a hero's welcome at Harare airport on his arrival home on Wednesday and was immediately whisked off to State House, he says.

Later that evening, state television showed footage of Mr Mugabe handing over the $300,000 cheque, a third more than Mr Chidzonga would have got had he won the show in which contestants are voted off by viewers.
Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote It is being presented as some anti-Mugabe conspiracy by Mnet and the West” End Quote Takura Zhangazha Political analyst

"From our point of view, for us, you were the winner," AFP news agency quoted Mr Mugabe as telling the Big Brother runner-up, who later said he was grateful and surprised by the handout.

Mr Zhangazha said it was all part of a Zanu-PF ploy to appeal to young middle-class voters, ahead of elections which could be as early as next year.

"They want to spin Munya's declared admiration of President Mugabe as evidence of the latter's reach to younger Zimbabweans," he said.

"They will use Munya as a mascot at rallies."

His loss has also been spun by Zanu-PF into the anti-sanctions debate, said Mr Zhangazha.

"It is being presented as some anti-Mugabe conspiracy by Mnet and the West."

Mr Mugabe has been sharing power with rival Morgan Tsvangirai under a deal - worked out after disputed 2008 elections - in order to halt their country's economic collapse.

But last week he expressed his frustration about constant wrangling within the coalition government, saying the lifespan of the political accord had reached its end.

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(HERALD) Do not soil Zim for pieces of silver

Do not soil Zim for pieces of silver

THE outcry that followed the controversial ending of the reality TV show Big Brother Africa All Stars, and the subsequent euphoria that surrounded the initiative by Zimbabwean businessmen and ordinary people to mobilise resources to give Zimbabwean representative, Munyaradzi Chidzonga, a whopping US$300 000 is instructive, and should serve as a lesson to all who believe badmouthing their country is a meal-ticket.

Twenty-four-year-old Munya proved to be a true ambassador throughout his 91-day stay in the Big Brother Africa House where, at all times, he always had his National Flag handy and never missed an opportunity to give his fellow housemates, drawn from 14 African countries, the true picture of Zimbabwe.

And at a time some misguided elements believe lying about Zimbabwe, and trashing President Mugabe was the in-thing, Munya had no qualms lauding the President as his personal hero and expressing his life-long wish to meet him in person.

Munya’s exploits contrasted sharply with the escapades of one Gamuchirai Nhengu who participated in a reality show called, the X-Factor, in the UK who, upon being booted from the show and facing imminent deportation to Zimbabwe sought to prolong her stay in Britain by claiming that she would face death by firing squad upon arrival in Zimbabwe.

This ridiculous claim from a little-known teenager naturally drew the ire of Zimbabweans at home and abroad who put aside their political opinions to slap the wanton badmouthing of their motherland.

Suffice to say before Gamuchirai’s outburst, she had received the sympathy of many across the board who felt she had been unjustly dropped from the ITV show.

Today, the 18-year-old Gamuchirai faces deportation and has lost the support of her countrymen and women who called her bluff. Her opposite Big Brother number, Munya, is being feted wherever he goes for being true to himself and his country.

The contrasting fortunes of these two youngsters should serve as a lesson to us all. The blame-it-on-Mugabe syndrome does not wash anymore.

In fact we do not think it ever did because the British government only granted those who told tall tales of alleged Government torture and repression asylum to justify its attempted strangulation of Zimbabwe.

And now that the regime change project is in tatters, the “asylum seekers’’ are excess baggage which is why the British Home Office has resumed deportations to Zimbabwe.

The question to be asked is, was it worth it, soiling your country to earn the right to wash soiled British senior citizens?

We urge Zimbabweans eking a frugal, dehumanising existence in the colder climes to return home, tap into the various economic empowerment programmes on offer and help build their country.

The irony of it all is, while some misguided Zimbabweans resorted to lies to stay in Britain, the British hanged on to those lies because they wanted to return to Zimbabwe.

As Jamaican reggae legend Bob Marley said, none but ourselves can free our minds. Let’s tell the truth about our country and its people to help undo the damage wrought by the West’s concerted propaganda campaigns that sought to portray our country in negative light.

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(BBC) (BBC) Wikileaks: Iraq war logs 'reveal truth about conflict'

Wikileaks: Iraq war logs 'reveal truth about conflict'
23 October 2010 Last updated at 14:45 GMT

The founder of whistleblowing website Wikileaks has defended the release of almost 400,000 classified US documents about the war in Iraq. Julian Assange said the "intimate details" of the conflict were made public in an effort to reveal the truth about the conflict.

The "war logs" suggest evidence of torture was ignored, and detail the deaths of thousands of Iraqi civilians.

The US and UK have criticised the leak, the largest in US military history. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she condemned the disclosure and suggested the leaks put lives at risk.

A Pentagon spokesman dismissed the documents as raw observations by tactical units, which were only snapshots of tragic, mundane events. He called their release a "tragedy" which aided enemies of the West.

The UK also condemned the unauthorised release of classified material.

"This can put the lives of UK service personnel and those of our allies at risk and make the job of the Armed Forces in all theatres of operation more difficult and more dangerous," said a Ministry of Defence statement.
Casualty of war?

Speaking at a news conference in London, though, Mr Assange defended the release of the documents, saying there were no reports of anyone coming to harm following the release of similar documents on Afghanistan earlier this year.

He said that the snapshots of everyday events offered a glimpse at the "human scale" of the conflict.

We should condemn in the most clear terms the disclosure”

The deaths of one or two individuals made up the "overwhelming number" of people killed in Iraq, Mr Assange said.

Citing a famous refrain that "the first casualty of war is truth", Mr Assange added: "We hope to correct some of the attack on the truth that occurred before the war, during the war and which has continued on since the war officially concluded."

The new documents and new deaths contained within them showed the range and frequency of the "small, relentless tragedies of this war" added Prof John Sloboda of Iraq Body Count, which worked with Wikileaks to analyse the material.

The logs showed there were more than 109,000 violent deaths between 2004 and the end of 2009.

They included 66,081 civilians, 23,984 people classed as "enemy", 15,196 members of the Iraqi security forces, and 3,771 coalition troops.

The figures appear to contradict earlier claims that the US did not keep records of civilians killed.

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Hillary Clinton: "We should condemn in the most clear terms the disclosure"

Iraq Body Count, which collates civilian deaths using cross-checked media reports and other figures such as morgue records, said that based on an analysis of a sample of 860 logs, it estimated that around 15,000 previously unknown civilian deaths would be identified.

Prof Sloboda said the level of detail in the Iraq logs offered new insights into day-to-day events at the height of the conflict.

"Targeted assassinations, drive-by shootings, executions, checkpoint killings; these are the small but relentless tragedies of this war that these logs reveal in unprecedented detail," he said.

Wikileaks - which earlier this year released more than 90,000 documents on the war in Afghanistan - said it was confident that the documents, published in a heavily censored form, contained "no information that could be harmful to any individual".

'Nothing new'

The 391,831 US army Sigacts (Significant Actions) reports published by Wikileaks on Friday describe the apparent torture of Iraqi detainees by the Iraqi authorities, sometimes using electrocution, electric drills and in some cases even executing detainees, says the BBC's Adam Brookes.

The US military knew of the abuses, the documents suggest, but reports were sent up the chain of command marked "no further investigation", our correspondent adds.

Under a "frago" - or fragmentary order, which changes an existing order - discovery by US staff of "Iraqi on Iraqi abuse" required no further investigation.

The documents number in the hundreds of thousands. They take the form of reports written by soldiers after vicious firefights with insurgents, or after a roadside bomb has gone off, or the bodies of a family have been found murdered in an abandoned factory. Their language is military - hard and attenuated.

We found, with relative ease, reports of horrible abuse committed by Iraqi security forces on detainees - beatings, electrocution, the use of an electric drill on a man's legs. The Americans were aware the abuse had taken place. On some, not all, of these reports was marked "no further investigation", suggesting that American forces took no action on learning of the abuse.

The true lessons contained in these documents will take months or years to emerge. But an early question they pose is: why do Iraqi security forces appear to be continuing practices that might have died with the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime? And what has the United States done to end them?

The report of one such incident in 2005 - of which the BBC has seen a redacted version - refers to a "frago" that "now requires reports of Iraqi on Iraqi abuse be reported through operational channels".

It continues: "Provided the initial report confirms US forces were not involved in the detainee abuse, no further investigation... (redacted) unless directed by... (redacted)."

One document shows the US military was given a video apparently showing Iraqi Army (IA) officers executing a prisoner in the northern town of Talafar.

"The footage shows the IA soldiers moving the detainee into the street, pushing him to the ground, punching him and shooting him," states the log, which also names at least one of the perpetrators.

In another case, US soldiers suspected army officers of cutting off a detainee's fingers and burning him with acid.

A Pentagon spokesman told the BBC that if abuse by the Iraqi security forces was witnessed, or reports of it were received, US military personnel were instructed to inform their commanders.

The documents also reveal many previously unreported instances in which US forces killed civilians at checkpoints and during operations

In one incident in July 2007, as many as 26 Iraqis were killed by a helicopter, about half of them civilians, according to the log.

Another record shows an Apache helicopter gunship fired on two men believed to have fired mortars at a military base in Baghdad in February 2007, even though they were attempting to surrender. The crew asked a lawyer whether they could accept the surrender, but were told they could not, "and are still valid targets". So they shot them.

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Iraq Body Count estimates the logs will reveal more than 15,000 previously unreported civilian deaths

A helicopter using the same callsign - Crazyhorse 18 - was also involved in another incident that July, in which two journalists were killed and two children wounded. It is not possible to establish whether the helicopter crew was the same in both incidents.

There are also new indications of Iran's involvement in Iraq, with reports of insurgents being trained and using weapons provided by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

Wikileaks has been asked to remove the documents from the web and return them to the Department of Defense, and Mr Assange said that media organisations in the US and elsewhere were coming under pressure from the Obama administration not to report on or publish them.

The investigation into July's Afghan leak has focused on Bradley Manning, a US army intelligence analyst who is in custody and has been charged with providing Wikileaks with a video of the July 2007 attack by a helicopter with the callsign Crazyhorse 18.

The release of the documents comes as the US military prepares to withdraw its 50,000 remaining troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.

Violence in the country has declined sharply over the past two years, but near-daily bombings and shootings continue.

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(LUSAKATIMES) Felix Mutati warns investors

Felix Mutati warns investors
Saturday, October 23, 2010, 9:44

Government says it will not condone the abuse of laws in the country by any investor or national. Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Felix Mutati says government through the Ministry of labour is working to ensure that conditions of service in private owned companies meet the minimum requirements as set by the Zambian government.

Mr Mutati says government is also working through the Ministry of Mines to ensure that the safety regulations and requirements in mines are as defined by the laws of Zambia.

He explained that the strategies are being put in motion and government will take action against anyone who does not comply.

“For us we are not looking at the face of the investor, we are looking at the compliance to the rules and regulations of the country as the principle driving force for the residence of the investor into our country and nothing else.” Mr Mutati said.

Recently two Chinese nationals allegedly shot and injured workers during a demonstration in Sinazongwe. The minister was speaking to ZANIS after touring the Zambian Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai expo in China today.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mutati says he is confident that Zambia’s participation at the 2010 Shanghai Expo will attract more investment and trade from China into Zambia.

He noted that China takes the center stage in terms of being an engine for creating the transformation that is required for Zambia and the rest of the world.
Mr Mutati said China is one of Zambia’s key trading and investment partners

He also said trade between Zambia and China annually is in the excess of $900 million United States Dollars and is one of the countries Zambia has recorded positive trading surpluses.

“So for us China remains a key partner in our effort to meet the vision 2030 for Zambia to become a mid income country.” he added.

Mr Mutati explained that Zambia has translated the theme for the Expo, “Better City, Better Life” by bringing in the pavilion the cultural aspect of Zambia and some of the key structures in Zambia such as roads, buildings and paintings that are predominantly Zambian, and the tourism component of Zambia making sure that life can become easier if we looked after our environment.

The 2010 Shanghai Expo which was officially opened on the 1st of May and ends on the 31st of October has attracted 242 countries and international organisations.

The theme” Better City, Better Life” represents the common wish of the whole human kind for a better living in future urban environments.

The theme also represents a central concern of the international community for future policy making, urban strategies and sustainable development.


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(TALKZIMBABWE) Bennett: a victim of own recklessness

Bennett: a victim of own recklessness
By: Editor's Comment
Posted: Saturday, October 23, 2010 4:55 am

MDC-T treasurer general Roy Bennett should respect the rule of law and not flee from it if he is to be respected as a serious politician and leader.

There are many people who are charged with offences, get convicted or are acquitted. This is not new. Farai Maguwu, executive director of the Centre for Research and Development Trust, has just been set free after months of trial. He is no different from Bennett at law.

Perjury, also referred to as false statement or false testimony, is a serious offence in Zimbabwe. It is commited when a person intentionally lies under oath, when testifying in court, during administrative hearings, giving a deposition or in answers to interrogatories.

The State will potentially charge Bennett under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for making a false statement under oath, during his terrorism trial.

It attracts a maximum of 20 years in prison with hard labour.

The State alleges that when Bennett was asked to give a correspondence address during his terrorism trial, he gave the address of an industrial working area.

The address, Number 4 Burnley Road in Workington, leads to an industrial area in Harare.

The Deputy Sheriff — in his retainer of service — could not locate the Harare address. It led to the industrial area.

The court found out about the false address when it failed to serve Bennett papers in a civil lawsuit brought by High Court Judge Chinembiri Bhunu over a defamatory statement Bennett made to a British newspaper.

Article continues below

In the United Kingdom, millionaire novelist and former deputy chair of the Conservative Party, Lord Archer was jailed for four years after being found guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice.

Lord Archer, was ordered to pay £175,000 costs within 12 months, and told by the judge he would have to serve at least half of his sentence.

In the United States, for example, the general perjury statute under Federal law defines perjury as a felony and provides for a prison sentence of up to five years.

In an interview with the Guardian (UK) newspaper's Chris Smith on Sunday, May 9 2010, Bennett said the terrorism case against him was politically motivated.

"It's very unsettling," Bennett told journalist Smith from his home in Harare. "To sit there and to listen to absolute fabricated lies where basically you've got the death sentence hanging over your head is not pleasant at all."

He continued: "To know that the people that are doing it will stop at absolutely nothing to achieve their ends and that there is a selective application of the rule of law, that the judiciary is totally compromised, that the very judge that's trying me is the owner of a farm that he's been given through political patronage, that all the appointees have been done through the ministry of justice on a political basis … basically I should expect no mercy and fear the worst."

Bennett made the remarks only a few hours before his case was discharged by the same judge whom he accussed of being compromised.

Bennett could have perjured himself by potentially not telling the truth when he gave his warned and cautioned statement in his terrorism docket.

The defamation lawsuit filed by Judge Bhunu, however, is a civil one. A civil wrong seeks to compensate Judge Bhunu by awarding damages.

If the court finds in favour of Judge Bhunu, Bennett will be expected to pay damages deemed as fair by the court.

Bennett should remember that when he says he is fighting for the rule of law in Zimbabwe, he should submit himself to that rule of law. By running away from Zimbabwe, he is setting a very dangerous precedent and cannot be a champion for the rule of law.

The State has a right to appeal against Bennett's discharge relating to the criminal case.

Bennett should tell the courts, not the newspapers, why the address he gave as his residential address leads to an industrial unit in Harare, as alleged by the State.

The civil suit, however, is justified because Bennett made those remarks and they are on the Guardian newspaper's website.

Bennett can go to the West to canvass support for the MDC-T, but that does not absolve him of the lawsuits that are before the courts.

Recently, he told another online news agency that "the police were instructed to arrest him and he thinks that this was designed by Zanu PF to scuttle his appointment as deputy Agriculture minister". He is adding to the litany of reckless statements that could bring more lawsuits against him.

His lawyers should advise him to be cautious in his interviews.

Comments and suggestions to

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Water utilities propose 18 to 80% tariff raiseBy Chiwoyu Sinyangwe

Water utilities propose 18 to 80% tariff raise
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Sat 23 Oct. 2010, 04:04 CAT

SOME water utilities in the country are proposing to raise water tariffs to between 18 and 80 per cent, a senior official at National Water and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) has disclosed.

NWASCO financial and commercial management inspector Josephine Goma said water utilities were proposing to up water tariffs mostly to recover the cost of providing services.

Goma said recent changes in economic dynamics such as inflation and hiked electricity tariffs prompted water utilities to ask for an increase in water charges.

She mentioned the four water utilities that had applied for water increases as Luapula Water and Sewerage Company, Western Water and Sewerage Company, Eastern Water and Sewerage Company and Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company.
She said Luapula Water and Sewerage Company had proposed the highest tariff increase of 80 per cent.

“This figure might sound very high but in absolute terms it is very small because Luapula Water and Sewerage Company is a new commercial utility,” Goma said. “The point is that they Luapula Water and Sewerage Company are coming from zero, where the tariffs were not economic as they recently took over from local authorities.”

Eastern Water and Sewerage Company is asking for 30 per cent increase, and Western Water and Sewerage Company has proposed to raise tariffs by 27 per cent.
Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company which services Chingola, Mufulira and Chililabombwe has asked for the lowest tariff hike at 18 per cent.

Western Water and Sewerage Company is proposing a 27 per cent hike because they had not effected any tariff change since 2006, and the firm has the lowest tariff in the sector.

“They water utilities are basically asking for these adjustments to sustain the cost coverage rate, their operations and maintenance costs and also the movements in inflations,” she said.

Goma said commercial utilities that had not applied for tariff were operating within the window that had earlier been approved by NWASCO which had not yet expired.
Goma said NWASCO would study the proposals from the commercial utilities before approving and disapproving the proposals by the utilities.

“These are just proposals, [we will analyse them and based on what we will find when we analyse as management then we will pass on our findings to our council board, which then will make the final decision,” said Goma. “So, until that time…and of course we have a model we use when evaluating these submissions.”

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Dangerous, poor, inadequate

Dangerous, poor, inadequate
By The Post
Sat 23 Oct. 2010, 04:00 CAT

Electoral violence and malpractices are increasingly becoming a permanent feature of our elections. We should not get used to electoral violence and malpractices because they are not only undesirable but also pose a serious danger to the stability of our country and undermine our democratisation process.

Elections are very important and should not in any way be allowed to be dominated and directed by the standards of thugs and scoundrels of all shades. Elections are the hallmark of our multi-party democracy, allowing our people’s regular input in choices about leaders and policy.

Yet there are also competitive processes, unleashing conflict and tensions that, if not constructively managed, would potentially distabilise the fabric of our nation. The challenges occasioned by increasing election-related conflicts and political violence underscore the importance of building institutions that balance competition with order, participation with stability, and contestation with consensus.

What has been happening in our elections and by-elections makes it necessary for us to reflect judiciously on the mechanisms and modalities of ensuring that elections contribute to sustainable democratic governance and peace through proactive strategies aimed at preventing, managing and resolving election-related conflicts and redressing political violence. There is clearly a need for us to re-examine the work of the Electoral Commission of Zambia and see how it can be improved and strengthened.

We say this because as things stand today, the Electoral Commission of Zambia is in a very weak position and doesn’t have adequate capacity to conduct free and fair elections. It cannot be denied that a large part of the electoral process is not under the direct control and supervision of the Electoral Commission of Zambia.

The Ministry of Local Government actually plays a far much bigger and important role in the conduct of elections than the electoral commission. And so does the Ministry of Home Affairs through the Department of National Registration and the Police.
Most aspects of our elections are managed by officials from the Ministry of Local Government, who are strategically placed there to manage elections in a manner that is favourable to those in power.

It cannot be denied that some of these officials are taken to the Ministry of Local Government from the Intelligence and other security agencies specifically for the purpose of managing, or rather mismanaging, elections. And when it comes to the operations of the police during elections, it is clear that the police do not treat all the contestants equally and fairly.

Members of the police command are generally political appointees who are more inclined towards maintaining the status quo, ensuring that those who appointed them continue in office. As a result of this, the police is generally on the side of the ruling party, tolerating its violence and malpractices. Sometimes they are even made to participate in these malpractices and acts of intolerance. This is surely not a recipe for managing elections well.

The Electoral Commission of Zambia is too small and weak to be able to directly manage elections in an efficient, effective and orderly manner. They are also not in a position to efficiently and effectively supervise their agents like the Ministry of Local Government. And politically, they don’t have any capacity to control the work of the departments of the Ministry of Home Affairs that have something to do with elections.

So, in reality the work of the Electoral Commission of Zambia is predominantly one of printing ballot papers. The rest is done by other units over whom they exercise very little control. And these are units that are directly under the supervision and control of the ruling party and its representatives in government.

This means that the issuing of National Registration Cards that are required for one to register as a voter is outside the control of the Electoral Commission of Zambia. In our electoral system, elections begin here, because without a National Registration Card, one will not be able to register as a voter and vote. Although there is an electoral code, the Electoral Commission of Zambia is not in a position to enforce it and doesn’t even attempt to enforce it.

Part of this is left to the police. And we all know how partial our police has been. They are on the side of the ruling party. Ruling party cadres get away with all sorts of malpractices and political violence without any charges being raised against them, while it is not uncommon to see opposition cadres being arrested for all sorts of things, even the most trivial of infringements.

There is need for fair and transparent rules to conduct and organise elections. And more firewalls against manipulation and other egregious practices that reduce the credibility of elections and cause violence need to be established.

All these electoral conflicts and acts of violence signal weaknesses in our governance of elections, the rules of orderly political competition, and the lack of impartial law enforcement and, to some extent, even a judiciary that can impartially interpret and adjudicate electoral disputes.

These challenges reflect the problems associated with managing elections and building institutions of competition that are widely respected and accepted by winners and losers. They also signal the uneven playfield for the contestants, for the opposition who feel they are deliberately disadvantaged and disempowered by their opponents in the governing party.

Elections that end in conflict and violence, resulting in loss of lives and the destruction of property raise questions about election management and administration, but also about the long-term impact on the consolidation of political competition.

At heart, electoral violence fractures political competition and impedes or criminalises political dissent. And we all know that electoral violence adversely affects social stability and, if not properly managed, could, in combination with other conflict fissures, lead to anarchy.

We need to pay a lot of attention to the conduct of elections because they are the means or mechanisms by which our people make choices about who should represent and lead them, as well as express preference for given policies. Elections deserve our maximum attention because they are instruments of legitimation for a body politic. They should be able to facilitate changes in leadership from one party to another in a way that is structured, competitive, transparent and within our legal framework.

In such a process, tension is inevitable and perhaps desirable to the extent that it can bring out the best of the contending parties or individuals, but it can also bring out the worst. From what we have seen so far, elections can fuel violence in situations where contestants do not follow the rules or accept election outcomes as the legitimate expression of the will of the citizenry. Elections, however, are not the sole cause of election violence.

Often, elections just provide the opportunity for people to express other grievances, be they political, about resource sharing, social justice, marginalisation, intimidation, or other malaise, perceived or real. And of course, we must not forget the role of rogue elements in such situations.

The links between elections, peace and security, and democratisation are not automatic. They are contingent upon many factors. In some cases, elections build and enhance democracy and its institutions, while, in others, elections may lead to contested results and violence.

It is in recognition of this negative trend that we call for a review of our entire electoral process to determine how best to prevent, manage and resolve the increasing election-related conflicts and political violence. The aim is to come up with mechanisms and modalities to create an inflection process to ensure that our elections contribute to a sustainable democratisation process in our country. And we should always bear in mind that elections are not a singular event. Like democratisation itself, elections are a process that ideally confers legitimacy on a government and contributes to the long-term democratisation of our country.

If we don’t confront these issues in an honest and resolute manner, the increasing challenges of electoral malpractices and political violence that we are today facing may soon get out of control and threaten all our achievements so far. We need to move very quickly on this front or else we are courting disaster, anarchy.



MMD cadres attack PF member, as cops watch

MMD cadres attack PF member, as cops watch
By Mwala Kalaluka in Mpulungu
Sat 23 Oct. 2010, 04:20 CAT

POLICE officers yesterday watched helplessly as a crowd of MMD cadres attacked a lone PF counterpart who raised his party symbol as they marched near Mpulungu’s Chamuluzi Guest House.

And PF leader Michael Sata yesterday caused a near-commotion in Mpulungu when he drove through the town to refuel at the local filling station. Hours before President Banda’s scheduled visit to the town’s markets, a team of police officers from the Mobile and Protective Units barricaded PF cadres at Chamuluzi Guest House, which is now considered to be a PF vantage.

The officers were seen talking to the PF cadres about their symbolic boat, which they had placed along the main road leading into the town. The police maintained their presence around the PF boat and near the opposition party’s campaign camp.

Minutes before President Banda started his belated tour of Mpulungu Main Market, a sizeable group of MMD cadres marched towards Chamuluzi Guest House and when they got to where the PF cadres and their leaders were seated under the watchful eye of the police, they saw a male PF cadre cycling and raising the PF fist.

The MMD cadres, led by Kelvin Sampa, broke rank and started chasing the PF cadre up to the guesthouse where PF cadres and their leaders, deputy secretary general Emmanuel Chenda and member of the central committee Timothy Walamba, were.
The MMD cadres roughed up a female PF supporter after failing to catch the one who had raised the PF symbol in their direction.

As this was happening, a Mobile Police officer and another from the Protective Unit came to the scene but this did not deter the MMD cadres from continuing their harassment of the female PF cadre.

Suddenly another female PF supporter came out from one of the rooms in front of Chamuluzi Guest House carrying a container of cold water, which she started spraying on the MMD cadres, who then left.

Musonda was heard complaining to a Mobile Police officer about the conduct of the police officers, who watched as the MMD cadres provoked their PF counterparts. He then called Mpulungu officer-in-charge to ask him why his officers were failing to contain the MMD cadres.
Musonda told The Post the conduct by the police was not fair.

“MMD can’t be allowed to go scot-free when they are breaking the law,” he said. “If they were our cadres they would have been arrested … we expect the police to be professional.”
A few minutes later, President Banda arrived at Mpulungu Main Market for his tour of shops and stalls.

During the tour, a highly vocal MMD cadre, who identified himself as Henry Mulenga, a party official from Lusaka, was heard saying the PF had been dominating the campaigns before the cadres from outside Mpulungu arrived in the town.

He said the campaign was going well, except that PF cadres were trying to be provocative and complained that Sata had blocked the main entrance to Mpulungu Main Market hours before President Banda arrived.

As President Banda chatted with marketeers in the main shelter at Mpulungu Market, Northern Province police commanding officer Mukuka Chewe was heard saying police had arrested someone who was found carrying a red card the previous night. Police have warned they will arrest anyone flashing red cards.

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Rupiah vows to continue campaigning as presidential candidate for 2011

Rupiah vows to continue campaigning as presidential candidate for 2011
By Salim Dawood in Lusaka and Mwala Kalaluka in Mpulungu
Sat 23 Oct. 2010, 04:20 CAT

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda has vowed to continue campaigning as presidential candidate for the 2011 general elections despite the ruling MMD not having endorsed him as the party’s sole candidate. And President Banda has said he can knock down anyone who writes newspaper articles portraying him as a weakling if such a person availed themselves before him.

Speaking at a public rally at Mwembeshi Basic School on Wednesday afternoon to drum up support for MMD parliamentary candidate, Keith Mukata, in the forthcoming Chilanga by-election, President Banda said he wanted to see peaceful campaigns as opposed to campaigns of hatred, insults and lies.

“In 2011, I think you have heard, my party is indicating that they want me to stand. I have raised my hands and said yes, I accept! I will stand and I will campaign, I will beg all Zambians and I am sure they will give it to me,” he said.
President Banda expressed hope that Zambians would vote for him next year because they voted for him when they did not know him in 2008.

“They gave it to me when they didn’t know me, when they didn’t know my work, when I had not built any road, hospitals, no roads, no health centre but still the people of Zambia gave me the presidency. And now that they know just next to me here where we are standing a brand new secondary school is coming up for the benefit of the people here.”

President Banda, whose address was largely centred on his personal campaign and attacks on Patriotic Front leader (PF) Michael Sata said he was experienced in capsizing the boat (PF symbol) because he had capsized it before.

He said one did not have to form pacts to be a president because if the people did not choose a person, he would never be president.

President Banda said while the UPND and PF had formed a pact, his pact was with the people of Zambia and that with them, he was assured he would scoop the 2011 general elections.

“We are going to campaign and you can see we are strong, they are telling stories that…some of you who have never seen me, when you just read in the newspaper, particularly those newspapers that try to portray me as some weakling; ‘nine weakling neo olo niwamene uja olemba mu newspaper’, (Who is a weakling between me and the same person who writes in the newspaper)? I can knock him down if he came straight to me,” President Banda said, provoking applause and cheers from MMD cadres.

President Banda said he was thankful to God that he was still able to stand, walk and campaign and be welcomed the way he had been welcomed at Mwembeshi Basic School.

He said some of the projects that he was now completing were begun by late president Levy Mwanawasa, who belonged to the same party - MMD.

President Banda said there were projects that stayed uncompleted for the last 20 years but were only being completed in his tenure of office.
He told the gathering that he needed more time to be able to complete the projects and bring positive development to Zambia.

And speaking at the same rally, local government deputy minister Moses Muteteka said the opposition political parties were being used by the devil to discredit positive government projects.

Meanwhile MMD Kafue district chairman, Goodson Sansakuwa said expelled MMD Chilanga parliamentarian Ng’andu Magande was a well behaved member of the MMD until he decided to contest the party’s presidency.

And Mukata begged the electorate to vote for him, saying he was a young and capable leader who would provide credible and quality representation for the constituency.

In Mpulungu on Thursday, President Banda pleaded with the people of Isoko ward not to get tired of voting for him.
During a campaign rally held at Isoko Basic School grounds ahead of Monday’s by-election, President Banda urged the electorate in the area not to listen to people that were telling them to fight for change.

He told the people that anybody seeking their vote should first explain what they would do for them. He said they should demand an explanation from the political parties.

“We have been going around the constituency since I came in the morning but I said there is no way I can cancel my appointment with the people of senior chief Tafuna’s area,” said President Banda, who started his rally one hour and 47 minutes behind schedule.

“You know that we lost honourable (Lameck) Chibombamilimo, who was ill, and we tried to take him for advanced treatment overseas. I took him to India. Unfortunately, he passed away. There is an election taking place…you need to replace your representative, that is our system.”

President Banda skirted away from discussing what caused him to fire the late Chibombamilimo and expel him from the party at a heated State House rally.
He instead pleaded with the people of Mpulungu to replace the constituency’s late MMD parliamentarian with the ‘young man’ Given Mungo’mba.

President Banda nevertheless said the people of Mpulungu gave him Mung’omba as the candidate for the MMD in the October 25, 2010 by-election.

“And I am very proud to announce to you that we accepted him and we have come here to come and ask you to vote for him on Monday so that he can be fully fledged,” said President Banda, as the sun started to set. “He is a child of this area.”
President Banda said he had travelled all the way from Lusaka to ask the people of Mpulungu to vote for Mung’omba.

“I have also come here to say thank you. As you know I was vice-president to the late president Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, who passed away, may his soul rest in peace; now I am President after the election in 2008 for which you the people of this area voted for me in big majority,” President Banda said.

“Osa beba iyai kuni votela, (don’t get tired of me). I have been President for only two years and during these two years, myself and my colleagues the ministers, permanent secretaries, all in the government, we have tried to complete the projects which my predecessor started and we have created new projects all over the country.”
President Banda said his government had opened up Mpulungu district by working on the road from Kasama to the district via Mbala.

“I was very proud to see the road between Mbala and Mpulungu because when I was here, that road was not there and that road from Mbala to Kasama was not there,” President Banda said. “These are the reasons why you should vote for a particular candidate either as a president, member of parliament or as a councillor. We are very ready to continue to work with you to improve your condition of living.”

President Banda said he was grateful for the confidence that the Zambian people had continued to direct towards the MMD and pledged to build a school in the area before calling Mug’omba to address the rally.

Mung’omba only said he was lucky the MMD had adopted him as its parliamentary candidate and was asking the people of Isoko to vote for him; and he ended his oration.
President Banda, surprised by the snappy oration from Mung’omba, asked: “You have finished, eeh!”

President Banda told the crowd, comprising young boys and girls, that Mung’omba was a young man of very few words but with a lot of action.
“I have seen your road. The road from the main road to here is in a very bad condition. Give us a chance together with him (senior chief Tafuna) to fix that road,” President Banda said.

“I also hear at the palace there is a problem of water because…the solar panels were stolen. These are simple things.”
Meanwhile, classes were disrupted for the whole day on Thursday when the MMD campaign team decided to hold their rally at Isoko Basic School grounds near senior chief Tafuna’s palace in Mpulungu.

The pupils, boys wearing khaki uniforms and girls wearing green dresses with white collars, were found dancing to MMD campaign songs blaring from huge loud speakers mounted on a light truck, before President Banda’s rally.

During President Banda’s rally, the children made the bulk of the crowd.
Governments in the world’s developing countries have up to 2015 to achieve the universal primary education goal for all children of school-going age within the context of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

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Rupiah is too ruthless for another term - Sata

Rupiah is too ruthless for another term - Sata
By George Chellah in Mpulungu
Sat 23 Oct. 2010, 04:20 CAT

PF leader Michael Sata yesterday said President Rupiah Banda must be defeated decisively in 2011 because he is too ruthless to be accorded another term of office. And police in Mpulungu on Thursday detained former Kitwe deputy mayor Chileshe Bweupe for allegedly obstructing the police.

In an interview, Sata said it was clear that President Banda had sanctioned police brutality against PF members in Mpulungu.

“Rupiah is trying to fight for this by-election with intimidation and brutality but he won’t succeed because our members are resolute. As you can see, Mbala and Mpulungu have been turned into police camps.

They have ferried a huge contingent of police here,” Sata said. “The police, under the supervision of MMD cadres, are everywhere and they are unnecessarily provoking the situation but we have told our members to remain peaceful.”

He complained at the manner the police mistreated Bweupe on Thursday.
“My former mayor in Kitwe Bweupe is being harassed for nothing.

He was found with our members campaigning but they instructed him to stop the campaign and go back just because Rupiah has arrived. When our members wanted to proceed with their programme, that’s when they first hit our campaign vehicle with a truck before picking up Bweupe and taking him to an unknown location,” Sata said.

“We have been looking for Bweupe the whole afternoon but now in the evening this is when we have managed to locate him. And the police are now saying that they have detained him for obstructing the police, whatever that is, because it doesn’t make sense. Since when did the police begin running Rupiah’s campaign programme? The only crime Bweupe committed was to campaign for his party.”
He said it was very unfortunate that President Banda took pride in seeing an abusive and brutal police service.

“For no apparent reason, the police have become extremely brutal with our supporters, and Rupiah has sanctioned it. Anyway, what do you expect if there is poverty?” Sata asked. “The police have to be in Rupiah’s pocket for them to show that they are working. That’s why Rupiah must be defeated decisively in 2011 because he is too ruthless to be accorded another term of office. Rupiah is just too cruel; I know him.”

He said President Banda was terrified with what he found in Mpulungu.
“Rigging or no rigging, Rupiah and the MMD are going down in Mpulungu; that’s why he is panicking,” he said.

And addressing a rally at Kopeka village, which is situated right at the boundary of Mpulungu and Mporokoso, Sata said Independence Day celebrations were now meaningless because of the widespread poverty countrywide.

“What is there to celebrate this Sunday? There is nothing to celebrate because our people are suffering,” Sata said. “The roads here are so bad as if it’s not people who live here and then you say you have a government, which does not even care about you. Rupiah is scared of me because I speak the truth; that’s why they hate me.”

Addressing another rally later in the afternoon in chief Chinakila’s area immediately after President Banda had finished his in the same area, Sata told the people that President Banda was not prepared to address their problems.

“Rupiah was here but before he came, didn’t he know that chief Chinakila lives in a thatched hut? Rupiah must be ashamed with what he found when he came because you can’t keep a chief in such a place as President,” he said.

He advised President Banda to desist from uttering nonsense about the dead.
“How can Rupiah come here and start saying that Lameck Chibombamilimo didn’t work? You don’t speak ill of the dead; that’s the tradition. Rupiah must respect us. When he flies to Chipata to mourn his relatives, we don’t hear him insulting the dead,” he said.

He also urged people not to be swayed by President Banda’s lies.
“When he came, he was promising you that he will build a mortuary. He is mocking you, why build a mortuary and not a hospital first to save lives? He wants you to be dying; no wonder he wants to start with a mortuary,” Sata said.

“By the way, how can he cheat you that he will build a mortuary here? Do you even have electricity? Tell me, how will Rupiah bring a mortuary here like he was telling you when there is no electricity? Have you ever seen a solar mortuary? Why must he cheat?”

And PF Copperbelt Province youth chairman David Kapumpe died on Thursday in a road traffic accident on his way to Mpulungu.
PF deputy sectary general Emmanuel Musonda said the accident occurred around 15:00 hours between Serenje and Chilonga.

“Kapumpe was with other party officials namely Mrs Chisanga, Mrs Mwansa and a younger sister of one of the two ladies. They were heading for Mpulungu. Unfortunately, he died on the spot but the other three are hospitalised at Chilonga hospital,” said Musonda.

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(LUSAKATIMES) Govt to address Collum Coal mine woes

Govt to address Collum Coal mine woes
Friday, October 22, 2010, 16:34

Government has constituted a committee to look into the plight of miners at the Chinese Collum Coal Mine in Sinazongwe district. Home Affairs Minister Mukondo Lungu announced the formation of the committee at a meeting held at Collum Coal Mine. This was after Mr. Lungu and his labour and Mines counterparts visited the mine Thursday.

He disclosed that the committee which would comprise Labour officers, the Ministry of Mines, the Chinese management,the Gemstone Allied Workers Union,and the workers’ representative will address the problems on 27 October at the Ministry of Labour and Social services in Lusaka.

Mr Lungu appealed to both the management and employees to work in harmony as the discussions are going on and urged the Chinese investors not to use firearms on innocent people.

He said government was alarmed over the shooting of 12 miners at the Chinese Collum Coal Mine and President Rupiah Banda has conveyed his sympathy to all the affected employees.

Mr Lungu who was sent by President Banda to find out the root cause of the shooting incident at Collum Coal mine was also accompanied by Labour Minister Austin Liato, Mines and Minerals Development Minister Maxwell Mwale.

He said government would engage the Chinese investors to abide by the Zambian laws than resorting to the use of a gun.

We are interested in the investors and employees so that they live in harmony, President Banda is also interested in the welfare of employees at place work that is why he sent us here to find the root cause of the shooting incident,” Mr Liato said.

Mr. Liato said that government is interested in the mutual relationship between employees and the employers for social dialogue to be achieved all the times.

“ We are interested in the investors and employees so that they live in harmony, President Banda is also interested in the welfare of employees at place work that is why he sent us here to find the root cause of the shooting incident,” Mr Liato said.

Mines and Minerals Development Minister Mr. Mwale also said government want to encourage investment though the investors should respect the employees and follow the country’s laws.

He said there should be a fresh start to address the problems at the mine because in the past his Ministry had failed to address them.

The Chinese Collum Coal Mine employees’ representative Ebby Siamuvwele told the ministers that they operate without having leave days, sick leave, and there were no written condition of service.

Mr Siamuvwele said they get their money through a window rather than from a bank and the Chinese manager beat them while they were on duty with impunity.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

(ALLAFRICA, HERALD) Conservancies - Islands of Colonial Land Tenure

Conservancies - Islands of Colonial Land Tenure
Tichaona Zindoga
6 October 2010

Harare — Someone once said that an unimplemented plan is as good - or bad - as no plan at all.

If this does not sound a little ruthless or uncompromising, it surely is one philosophy that helps eliminate some absurdities of life that have tended to dog societies and governments.

It is not unusual to hear of some "brilliant" plans and blueprints that are "gathering dust" in some Government office or another, or those that have been implemented somewhere else with success.

And as fate would have it, the problems that these supposed "brilliant" pieces of work should address lie festering, all too ready for a sick implosion.

Participants at a recent workshop on the Wildlife-based Land Reform Policy, which Government adopted in 2000 as part of the wider historic land reform programme were mortified when the Director General of the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority revealed that the reform had failed to take off.

Parks, under the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Management, is tasked with implementing the policy of wildlife-based land reform.

It will be interesting to put into context Director General Vitalis Chadenga's shocking revelation.

He had begun with spelling out the background against which wildlife-based land reform lay, noting that the land reform programme in 2000 tended to concentrate on resettlement biased on crop and livestock production at the expense of wildlife production.

Under the programme, conservancies could not be allocated for resettlement purposes, elongating wildlife production as a preserve of a white minority.

Noting that wildlife represented "a viable land use option", Chadenga said that the policy on wildlife-based land reform sought to address this imbalance and ensure access by the majority to the wildlife resource.

With wildlife-based land reform, all land under conservancies and game ranches shall cease to be an exclusive right of the few, declares the policy, as those owning conservancies and ranches shall be required to surrender portions of the same to accommodate indigenous Zimbabweans

Chadenga then outlined "indigenisation options" in which ownership of conservancies and game ranches must change to reflect objectives of the land reform programme.

The three options are current (white) farmers teaming up with Parks and communities, current farmers teaming with communities and current farmers teaming with communities and private indigenous investors.

Then he dropped the bombshell: none of the above had been operationalised.

Among the problems was resistance by white farmers to accept the dispensation of wildlife-based land reform.

They also snubbed new players, thus refusing to cede land acquired and offered to 25-year leaseholders.

On the other hand, the Ministry had been issuing 25-year leases to persons that do not meet the criteria of demonstrable interest and experience in wildlife conservation, capacity for business and development, and ability to contribute to asset base.

Illegal settlements in conservancies had compounded the problem.

Overally, the implementation of the policy had been "poor and uncoordinated" as, besides Parks' own limitations and omissions and commissions, Lands and Resettlement ministry had put for cropping land that was for wildlife production.

If it is to be owned that implementation of plans has been the bane of many plans and projects, the situation here is as outrageous. The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Management says there are 2 million hectares that are earmarked for wildlife-based land reform, of which none has been touched, apparently.

There are seven wildlife conservancies in Masvingo, Midlands and Matabeleland provinces.

These are Gwayi, Chiredzi, Midlands, Bubi, Bubiana, Malilangwe, and Save.

Chadenga revealed that only thirty 25-year leases, have been issued thus far, and that means with warts and all.

If the problem lies with unrepentant rogue elements that resist change from a skewed colonial ownership structure depriving indigenous peoples of their rightful place in the sun, then the law must take its course.

At any rate, some of them have been noted for their most racist of actions rendering their properties some "Little Rhodesias" and "Little Englands" beyond the reach and unaffected by politics of majority blacks.

It implies that if they are not comfortable with sharing the resource that they have long enjoyed exclusive "right" to, a "right" that came into being through a wrong called colonialism, they should be vehemently be called to part with the same.

In this case, the recently enacted law of Indigenisation, which requires that indigenous peoples take up 51 percent stake in any business venture, becomes handy.

No longer should sharing be a matter of choice but necessity and political and historical correctness.

It will be cruel to have a throwback to an earlier era of exclusive ownership of resources just when the country is beginning to reap rewards of the land reform programme characterised by surging growth.

Before land reform in 2000, the skewed land tenure meant that one percent of Zimbabwe's population controlled 45 percent of all agricultural land, condemning the majority to arid and unproductive land.

If properly executed, wildlife-based land reform will be able to produce a success story of its own.

Yet there will always be problems that pertain to wildlife production as a business, and a delicate one for that matter.

It will only be prudent that persons that meet the ideal criteria that have been made be able to access land for wildlife.

In this regard, time is arguably not a factor, as rash issuance of leases to those that cannot deploy usefulness in the sector can only spell doom for the programme.

There is need for support for those who meet the minimum requirements to commence business, as in the case with seed animals, which the ministry says it can provide, and other relevant implements.

The problem that some people have settled themselves in conservancies, a reference mainly to the Chitsa clan, which has claimed parts of the Save conservancy, could be addressed amicably in the context of community participation.

Instead of being viewed as a problem, locals and communities represent legitimate entitlement to a resource they historically have been deprived of, and one which they understand, too.

It is only too racist and demeaning to view them as poachers and potential poachers and spoilers.

It has to be admitted that it is their continued marginalisation and criminalisation that might in fact lead to frustration and destruction.

Yet the success of community-based conservation projects over the years, in the mould of the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources suggests communities are as good guardians of their environment as they are businesspeople in their own right.

As the policy suggests, share transfer to the likes of Chitsa clan represents not only an amicable solution but also a historically just and prudent initiative.

To be fair, especially to the poor folk at Parks who are tasked with the big challenge of moving reform in the sector, more time, consultations and resources are needed.

The fact that wildlife-based land reform is not a spatial or isolated event but a national, historical, economic and social one tends to dwarf the authority.

In which case it can be suggested that reform in the wildlife sector be treated with more seriousness, robustness and delicateness it deserves.

The juxtaposition of the wildlife-based land reform and the agrarian reform is also a telling one.

As it is well-known that the latter encountered some challenges in implementation, it is imperative that the former be trained to avoid the same pitfalls.

It will be illogical and tragic for the implementers of the programme to have seen or learnt anything.

Yet it should be realised that where we can afford to grow grass and let lie our pieces of land somewhere for use tomorrow or the day after, wildlife resources face acute danger of extermination and ill use.

No resource is expendable and the sooner and more resolute the programme of wildlife-based land reform is carried out the better.

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(HERALD) New finance scheme for farmers

New finance scheme for farmers
By Walter Muchinguri

A local tractor and implements assembly company, Motira (Private) Limited, in conjunction with Agribank, CBZ Bank, Interfin and ZB Banks, has unveiled a finance scheme to enable farmers to purchase tractors.

The scheme entails payment of a deposit of 30 percent of the value of the tractor by the farmer’s bank of choice out of the four, with the balance being paid over a period of between six and 24 months. The finance institution will then give a guarantee to the supplier for the period and balance agreed upon.

“We have entered into arrangements with four local banks and yes, they have been guaranteeing the purchase of tractors by farmers.

“The 30 percent deposit is very competitive as most schemes available in the market request deposits of over 40 percent,” said Motira managing director Mr Hossein Fazlollahi.

He added that the response so far had been overwhelming.

“We are very pleased by the understanding of our customers to date, that commercial sustainability of the tractor project derives from them paying their 30 percent deposit and balance in installments as agreed with and guaranteed by the bank of their choice,” said Mr Fazlollahi.

He said the deposit is meant to revolve the scheme so that it remains sustainable.

The company assembles seven models ranging from the 47 HP to the 110HP (4X4) of the Iran Tractor Manufacturing Company tractors also known locally as the Massey Ferguson brand.

It also assembles implements such as disc harrows, ploughs and maize planters.

The company also offers warranties on its tractors besides the after sales service support.

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(HERALD) Tata: Best farm truck

Tata: Best farm truck

This past weekend was nothing like my usual weekends. I had to be strapped to the seat of what I would describe as the best farm truck any farmer could buy. On Friday afternoon I got the keys to the Tata 207 DI EX from Mr Singhal, who is the general manager of Blackwood Hodge, the distributors of the Tata brand in Zimbabwe.

At first I thought what have I gotten myself into. Being the city chic that I am, there are certain things which I like to have in a vehicle like aircon so that my make up doesn’t run, electric windows, so that my nail don’t chip from winding them up and down (a manicure doesn’t come cheap you know).

By the end of the day, this diesel truck and myself were well acquainted that I could actually do a sales pitch to those who asked me about the pros and cons of the truck.

Tata has introduced this workhorse onto the market and the pricing is not bad at all.

At US$17 600 you will be driving all the way to your farm, in a low maintenance one tonne truck. When I drove it, I actually got to picture scenarios on a farm probably where this truck could be used to carry small livestock like goats and sheep and also feeds.

Lately, everyone I talk to is involved in one farming project or another and I tell you as much as we are all buying sedans from Japan at low prices, they won’t carry your cattle feeds to the farm, but this Tata will.

Personally I felt that city drivers weren’t for this truck because you don’t really get to push it to its maximum capacity, so I drove to my friend’s farm just after Mount Hampden to deliver feeds.

I tell you the moment you turn onto that dirt road, you get to see that this car was made for rough and hard to handle terrain.

Even though it’s a 4x2, it handles quite well on the gravel road.

With a few ditches and dongas on the farm road, I easily crossed them by driving at an angle so that one wheel at a time goes into the donga, this helped because the other three wheels have traction. I guess you don’t need a 4x4 at times if you got skills . . . ha ha.

The 207 has strong torque characteristics, serving up 180 Nm @ 1500 rpm.

It runs quietly and smoothly in combination with the five-speed manual.

Off-road the five-speed manual is sure to appeal to novice off-roaders, or those who often drive trails in convoy and enjoy impromptu stops on gradient surfaces.

It’s easy to drive, with mechanical toughness that encourages low gear, full throttle use when necessary without fear of any durability issues

The upside to this vehicle is that it is good on the diesel with a 60 litre tank, its been made for goods transport since it’s a one tonner, there is no radio and it just sits two people.

Who needs the radio when you are delivering goods or ferrying livestock?

Also the plus about just two seats is such that drivers do not pick up hitch hickers with company vehicles!

The downside is that there is no air con and you only get your seat belts, no airbags, EBD or ABS, just nacuum assisted independent hydraulic brakes. Overall it’s a good truck which is necessary in any fleet as a workhorse.

It’s priced right too, but then again seeing that India is fast becoming a world giant in vehicle manufacturing, most vehicles coming from this manufacturer will be fairly priced.

Tata is the largest volume seller in India and is fast catching up with the international market, and as the one-tonne transport and logistics solution to most mining operations, small business enterprises and rural farmers, Tata is a vital cog in the economic dynamism of not only India, but the world. So there you have it, where can you find a one tonnne truck brand new for just US$17 600.

Contact the sales team at Blackwood Hodge along Simon Mazorodze Road to arrange for a test drive.

Now a bit of information on the Tata Motors so that you can see the credibility of their portfolio and how much of the motoring industry stake they have control over.

Tata Motors is India's largest automobile company, with consolidated annual revenues of US$20 billion.

Through subsidiaries and associate companies, Tata Motors has operations in the UK, South Korea, Thailand and Spain.

Among them is Jaguar Land Rover, the business comprising the two iconic British brands. It also has an industrial joint venture with Fiat in India.

Tata Motors is also a market leader in commercial vehicles and among the top three in passenger vehicles.

It is also the world's fourth largest truck manufacturer and the second largest bus manufacturer. Tata cars, buses and trucks are being marketed in several countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia and South America.

The company, formerly known as Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company, began manufacturing commercial vehicles in 1954 with a 15-year collaboration agreement with Daimler Benz of Germany.

It has, since, developed Tata Ace, India’s first indigenous light commercial vehicle, Tata Safari, India’s first sports utility vehicle, Tata Indica, India’s first indigenously manufactured passenger car, and Nano, the world's cheapest car.

Tata Motors has joint ventures with Marcopolo, the Brazil-based maker of bus and coach bodies, and with Fiat Auto (to build a commercial vehicle at Fiat's facilities in Córdoba, Argentina).

So varimi, your season is here and this is the right time to buy a good farm truck like this Tata 207 DI EX for your farm. Till next week, be safe.

Fact D Jeke is a motoring enthusiast who has attended auto shows and rallies, & written for various publications in the region for the last decade. She can be contacted via email on

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(HERALD) $30m inputs for farmers

$30m inputs for farmers
By Farirai Machivenyika and Elita Chikwati

Government has awarded tenders to local firms for the supply of farming inputs to 400 000 families under a US$30 million facility for the 2010/2011 farming season. An additional 560 000 farmers will get donor assistance, bringing to 960 000 the number of families expected to benefit from the two facilities.

The schemes target communal, old rese-ttlement, A1 and small-scale farmers. Large-scale and A2 farmers will be catered for by an Agribank loan facility.

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Joseph Made made the revelations while answering questions in the House of Assembly on the state of preparedness for the forthcoming farming season.

"I have met with industry, that is fertiliser and seed manufacturers, and have already awarded tenders for supply of inputs to over 400 000 families that will benefit from the US$30 million facility," he said.

The companies awarded tenders to supply maize seed include Seed Co Zimbabwe, Pannar (Private) Limited, Pioneer Zimbabwe, Agpy and Agri Seeds.

Prime Seeds, Agricultural and Rural Development Authority and AgriSeeds will supply sorghum seed.

Windmill and ZFC will supply fertilisers and are already importing the commodity to cater for the deficit.

Minister Made said donors would provide additional support.

"The donors will support a further 560 000 families and what is left is support for the A2 farmers.

"The Minister of Finance (Tendai Biti) has, however, assured me that he will soon put up a facility for A2 farmers through Agribank."

The minister said beneficiaries under the US$30 million facility would pay for the inputs through a voucher system.

Those without cash would access them through public works programmes.

"All inputs distributed this year are not for free. They will be distributed through GMB and will be paid for; even those distributed through donors either through a voucher system or food for work programme," Minister Made said.

Households will each get 50kg of ammonium nitrate fertiliser, 50kg of compound D fertiliser, and 10kg maize seed or 5kg of small grain seed.

In an interview afterwards, Minister Made warned farmers against abusing the input schemes.

"Government is asking for full co-operation to ensure inputs are distributed fairly and there is no double dipping," he said.

He said the Agriculture, Local Govern-ment and Social Welfare ministries would monitor distribution, with GMB and Agritex officials involved.

"No NGO shall give inputs at night or outside the structures of the local authorities.

"I want to warn that Government will not accept what happened last year where there was selective distribution, resulting in others failing to get inputs."

He urged banks to support farmers.

"As Minister of Agriculture, I feel banks must be comprehensive in supporting farmers because we are anticipating a good season," he said.

Under normal circumstances, Zimbabwe requires about 600 000 tonnes of fertilisers for a successful season.

So far, 30 000 tonnes of top-dressing fertilisers have been imported in addition to the 120 000 tonnes manufactured locally.

Of the local production, 60 000 are compound D and the remainder are top-dressing fertilisers.

There is, however, a shortfall of 200 000 tonnes of top dressing and 170 000 tonnes of compound D fertilisers.

Speaking on behalf of the fertiliser industry, Windmill chief executive officer Mr George Rondogo said they required about US$185 million to import more of the commodity.

"Funding has been the major challenge affecting fertiliser production and importation.

"There is a low uptake of the fertilisers in retail outlets and this has worsened the situation," he said.

The prices for subsidised fertilisers for this coming season have not been set but during the winter season, a 50kg bag cost US$15.

The cost on the open market is between US$29 and US$32 and farmers have complained that the prices are too high.

Fertilisers are heavily subsidised in other countries, with a 50kg bag going for less than US$10 in Malawi. This has partly seen Malawi becoming a net exporter of grain.

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(PARLIAMENT) Debates - Windfall Tax, Mining and Economic Growth

Debates- Wednesday, 6th October, 2010
Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M. B. Mwale): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to contribute to the debate on the President’s Speech which was delivered on the occasion of the Official Opening of the Fifth Session of the Tenth National Assembly. I join all the hon. Members of the House, who have debated the Motion before me, in congratulating the President on the excellent and inspiring speech to this august House and the nation at large.

Sir, as mentioned in the President’s Speech to this House, mining will continue to contribute to the stability of our economy, job security of workers and for all Zambians to enjoy the prosperity this sector brings. In this regard, the mining sector still remains the main driver of the country’s economic development. The sector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been on the increase. It stood at 11 per cent in 2009 compared with 8.2 per cent in 2008 and 8.5 per cent in 2007 and contributes about 80 per cent to the country’s foreign exchange earnings. The target is for the mining sector to contribute in excess of 20 per cent to GDP. How will this be achieved?

The House may wish to know that currently, there are many companies undertaking mineral exploration in Zambia. Notable among these are First Quantum Minerals that is exploring for copper, uranium and nickel, over the Kalumbila area in the North-Western Province. BHP Billiton are exploring for copper and gold in Mumbwa, Central Province, and Kaoma in the Western Province. Era Power Infrastructure Limited Company is exploring for coal in the Gwembe Valley in the Southern Province.

My ministry is confident that the new mines will come on stream in the near future, following increased investment in exploration. Regarding the on-going development of new mine projects, I wish to report the following:

(i) the Muliashi Mine Development Project in Luanshya is progressing well. The mine is expected to start production by the end of 2011. Once in operation, the mine will create 1,200 jobs. I hope that the hon. Member for Chililabombwe is listening;

(ii) the first phase of the Konkola Deep Mining Project was commissioned in April this year. The project has created 500 new jobs;

(iii) Chambishi Metals which was placed under care and maintenance has been recapitalised and is now operational. It has re-engaged a total of 690 employees out of the 1,040 who were employed before the plant closed in 2008.

The plant is currently treating material from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and is investigating manganese processing in its smelter with a view to processing ore being produced in Zambia, thus adding value to our manganese, which, I believe, will be to the delight of Hon. Chimbaka of Bahati Constituency. This will result in more people in Chambishi returning to work, notwithstanding the multiplier effect;

(iv) Denison Mine Limited has defined a mineable uranium ore resource at Mutanga and Dimbwe Deposits in Siavonga. It is estimated at 13.7 million pounds. The company was granted a mining licence and mining is expected to commence in 2012. The project will create approximately 300 jobs.

African Energy Resource Limited also owns uranium resources estimated at 9.5 million pounds of uranium oxide at Njame and Gwabe in Chirundu. The company has been granted a mining licence and mining is expected to commence in 2012. Considering that the ore resources are not adequate to sustain individual mine processing plants, the two companies are exploring the possibility of setting up a central processing plant to carter for the two mines; and

(v) the Konkola North Copper Project is being developed as a joint venture by the African Rainbow Minerals of South Africa and Vale of Brazil. The House may wish to know that African Rainbow Minerals is a black economic empowerment company while Vale is the second largest mining house in the world, which cannot be ignored. The mine development has already commenced and this project will create 1,500 jobs, promising vibrancy to the community of Konkola. The hon. Member for Chililabombwe should acknowledge the Government’s efforts.

Mr Speaker, as further alluded to by the President in his speech to this House, the performance of the mining sector has improved, in the past one year, indicating full recovery from the effect of the global economic crisis of 2008. All the mines that were once under care and maintenance during the crisis have resumed operations.

Furthermore, the mines that were threatened with closure such as Nkana and Mufulira continued to operate due to the Government’s strong intervention. This clearly shows that the Government took the right and timely decision in finding investors for the mines that were threatened with closure at the onset of the global economic crisis. Our people are back to work and many more have started work. As clearly stated by the President in his speech to this House, in particular, with reference to Luanshya Copper Mines, production has increased by 3.6 per cent and 2,523 jobs have been created, well above the pre-closure employment levels. In addition, Munali Nickel Mine in Mazabuka has produced 14,434 tonnes of nickel concentrates since resuming operations.

Mr Speaker, I am pleased to report that due to the positive performance of the mining sector, copper production is on the increase. Copper production in 2009 was 667,173 tonnes and production is projected to reach 740,000 tonnes this year. This is due to the conducive investment climate created by this Government of President Rupiah Bwezani Banda, as well as the positive outlook of metal prices on the market.

Mr Speaker, allow me to respond to some issues raised by hon. Members of this House in their debates. From the outset, it should be acknowledged that the ministry will continue to implement measures in line with the provisions of the Mines and Minerals Development Act of 2008 and its subsequent amendments so as to safeguard the interests of Zambians in general, employees in particular and the investors.

The hon. Member for Roan, Hon. Kambwili, and others, in their debates, argued for the re-introduction of the windfall tax. Sir, there are two contradictory positions from the Opposition that emerged on this subject. On one hand, they argue for the re-instatement of windfall tax and on the other, they would like to have the Development Agreements (DAs) re-introduced.

Mr Speaker, under the DA Regime, there is no allowance for introduction of windfall tax and other taxes. Hon. Members should be reminded that under the DAs, mineral royalty tax was pegged at 0.6 per cent, but is currently paid at 3 per cent, which is 500 per cent times more. Corporate tax, under the DA Regime, was at 25 per cent whilst with its abolition, it is at the rate of 30 per cent, a 5 percentage point more. From the foregoing, it is evident that Zambia is currently benefiting more from its mineral wealth than under the DAs that some Opposition Members would like re-introduced.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, I would like to emphasise that windfall tax impacts negatively on mine development and we cannot afford to deter mine development in the country at this stage. We need the jobs to empower and assure the people of their human dignity. Re-instating the 2008 mining tax regime would work against the policy of creating a favourable investment climate for the mining industry. We should always remember that we are part of the global village and are competing for the same foreign direct investment (FDI) with other countries. The Government, under the Business Reform Programme, is reviewing the various pieces of legislation in the mining sector with the view to reducing the cost of doing business in Zambia. This will enhance our competitiveness.

Mr Speaker, on the issue of segregation, this Government has provided an enabling investment climate. Whilst we appreciate that investors are our socio-economic partners, we will not tolerate any form of racial segregation at the mines. It is important that management, at all mines, encourages its employees to work as a team while recognising and respecting each other’s cultural values.

Mr Speaker, it is important to note that jobs have been created and my ministry in conjunction with the Ministry of Labour and Social Services is working to ensure that these jobs are safeguarded and conditions of service for employees are negotiated for by the unions at the mines, on the basis of ability to pay, which arises from the profitability at a particular mine.

Mr Speaker, you cannot compare the wages obtaining at the Luanshya Copper Mines to those obtaining at KCM and Mopani Copper Mine as the latter operations have been continuous and the employees have benefited, over the years, from negotiated annual increments.

As regards the allegations that the people of Luanshya are suffering, the House may wish to know that since the coming on board of CNMC Luanshya Copper Mines, there has been an upswing in the economic activities in Luanshya as is evidenced by the various construction works that are going on, …

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr M. B. Mwale: …the increase in the volume of trade in the markets and the number of vehicles on the road.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, on the issue of contractors at Muliashi Mine, the House may wish to know that CNMC Luanshya Copper Mines made an undertaking to commission the mine by 2011. There are two Chinese Contractors who have employed Zambians. In addition, there is also one Zambian contractor.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr M. B. Mwale: I wish to state that Zambians compete for contracts in the mines based on performance just like any other person or company. Strangely, Sir, some hon. Members continue to negatively debate on Chinese investment in Luanshya, and yet they are beneficiaries through supply of Maheu, mine development and production drilling contracts.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, from the foregoing, it is time the hon. Member for Roan started accepting that things are now different and better in Luanshya. We have reported an increase in job creation and business opportunities by supply contracts and trading. There is now a serious investor in Luanshya and the people of Luanshya cannot be told otherwise.

Hon. Malama of Mfuwe Parliamentary Constituency argued that it was not economical to tar the Chipata/Mfuwe Road. He informed the House that the Great North and Great East roads were important to the economy and should be given priority. Yes, I agree with Hon. Malama that the Great North Road is important to the economy. I also agree that the Great East Road is equally significant to the economy. However, I disagree with the assertion that the Chipata/Mfuwe Road is not of any economic significance. This Government has prioritised agriculture and tourism to turn around the economy of this country and the Government is expected to provide basic infrastructure such as roads and power to spur economic activities. Upgrading of the Chipata/Mfuwe Road is expected to result in increased tourism arrivals in the South Luangwa National Park. In case Hon. Malama thinks tourists are only those who come in by air, even overlanders are tourists. We can also drive to the South Luangwa for a weekend.

Sir, Hon. Musenge of Nkana Parliamentary Constituency lamented that the he had not seen change in the livelihoods of the people following the privatisation of the mines as he has not seen construction of new schools, hospitals and roads. I will not belabour the point as the other hon. Members who debated before me adequately itemized, in this House, the various developmental projects being undertaken under His Excellency, President Rupiah Bwezani Banda’ Administration. For those who insinuate that this administration is only claiming the glory, I would like to put it to them that plans are only plans until you put money on the table. Conceived ideas are only plans on the drawing board until you have some budgeted expenditure to implement them.

Mr Speaker, as regards incentives offered to investors at the privatisation of the mining industry, it was a necessary surgery to save the industry. The House may wish to be reminded that metal production had dropped from 750,000 metric tonnes in 1973 to 257,000 metric tonnes in 2000. Similarly, copper prices were on the downward trend. Consequently, the mining assets deteriorated and required massive capitalisation. With privatisation, new jobs have been created and there has been technology transfer. Mineral resources such as the Lumwana deposits that were considered uneconomical in the days of the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) have now been developed for the benefit of the people.

Mr Speaker, finally, I do not want to say much on health because we have delivered in that regard. Some persons living in Rhodes Park and those in Kabulonga can now go to Chawama Clinic for Under-Five Clinic.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Mr Kaingu): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for allowing me to contribute to the debate on the speech delivered by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, at the Official Opening of the Fifth Session of the Tenth National Assembly. The speech was full of wisdom, visionary and focussed on both the economic and social issues that are cardinal to both national development and poverty reduction.

Sir, I must add that other than that, the President delivered the speech in a friendly, wise, loving and caring manner. In short, the emotions and intelligence that was in that speech was very exceptional.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, it is clear from the speech that Zambia’s …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours to 1630 hours.


Mr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was saying that it was clear from the speech that Zambia’s economy has been growing steadily at an average growth rate of 6 per cent. This can also be attributed to the wise and democratic leadership of His Excellency, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda.

Mr Speaker, to grow the economy at this rate requires dedication from His Excellency the President, His Honour the Vice-President, hon. Ministers and indeed, the Government in general.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, we have been told by the IMF and the World Bank that our economy is doing very well and everybody is seeing that except the people on you left.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, we have been told that there is a saying in Tonga that utalumbi, mubwa. I would like to say that in the contemporary world, even dogs say thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kaingu: Therefore, I would not want to say anything beyond that.

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