Friday, December 03, 2010

(HERALD) Land reform unlocks growth potential

Land reform unlocks growth potential
By Sifelani Tsiko

NOT long ago, someone asked the question, "Where are the African intellectuals?" The question did prick my interest, especially given how Europe and America’s secret societies or intelligentsia have been peddling fiercely underneath for decades in an attempt to address what the nations of European stock suffer from — basic insecurity complex.

Europe and America’s intelligentsia has been instrumental in the generation of knowledge for the exploitation of Africa’s resources — material and intellectual. The legacy of Nkrumah and other eminent African scholars of his time should be instructive and educative to Africans today.

His prophetic speeches and warnings on Africa’s future continue to be relevant more than 50 years after he led Ghana to its independence.

"The methods of neo-colonialism are economic control, in the form of aid, loans, trade and banking, the stranglehold of indigenous economies through the vast interlocking corporations, ideological expansion through the mass media, and through collective imperialism," wrote Kwame Nkrumah in his book, Class Struggle in Africa.

This is the history they don’t want us to know. What is preventing Africa from reaching its full potential as a richly endowed continent and people? What has been the contribution of the African and Africanist academia in this trajectory? What contributions have academia made to Africa’s agrarian and rural development?

What are the lessons from this engagement? How can we bridge the gap between academia and policy formulation in Africa? Is there space for academia to contribute? What are some of the spaces? The questions rage on.

What is eclipsing African pride and the African spirit preventing it from awakening from the slumber of divisions, ravaged historical memory and a recollection starved of the African abilities and potential?

How do Africans free themselves from the malignancy of low self esteem, perpetual dependency on the West, lack of pride in African values and history and the sad episode of stereotypes that undermine African intellectual potential?

These were some of the questions that underlined the deliberations of a conference on Agrarian and Rural Development in Africa which was held recently in Harare under the theme: "Rethinking and Reconnecting Academia in Africa’s Agrarian and Rural Development."

The conference which attracted radical European scholars and Africa’s academia encapsulated the role of the Africa’s intelligentsia in the struggle to generate knowledge that would free Africans from the crippling mental poverty and help them realise and tap on the vast possibilities and abilities that exist on this vast continent of more than one billion people.

It was clear from the presentations that Zimbabwe’s land reform was a success despite the myths and misconceptions about the exercise which has never happened anywhere in Africa.

It is significant to note that the conference was attended by Prof Kjell Havnevik from the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI), Prof Lionel Cliffe formerly with the University of Leeds, Prof Robin Palmer — a global land rights policy specialist, Prof Ian Scoones of the University of Sussex, Prof Gunilla Bjeren — Stockholm University, Marie Widengard — Swedish University among other scholars drawn from Europe.

African academics included Prof Lungisile Ntsebeza (South Africa), Sam Maghimbi (Tanzania), Dr Rodney Lunduka (Malawi), Dr Melaku Bekele (Ethiopia), Matongo Mundia (Zambia), Festus Boamah (Ghana), Dr Atakile Beyene (Ethiopia), Dr Marcel Rutten (Kenya), Dr Gessesse Dessie (Ethiopia), several Africa PhD students studying land and agriculture in some European universities.

Zimbabwean academics included Prof Mandivamba Rukuni, Prof Sam Moyo, Dr Godfrey Kanyenze, Prof Rudo Gaidzanwa, Dr Gaynor Paradza, Walter Chambati, Dr Prosper Matondi, Patricia Masanganise, Prof Themba Khombe, Dr Chrispen Sukume, and Dr Rudo Sanyanga among others.

Prof Ntsebeza gave the keynote address and challenged African intellectuals to conduct research that could make a difference to livelihoods of the poor on the continent.

He said few people have really benefited from agrarian reforms while a large number of people on the continent continue to be disenfranchised from new land grabs by large multinationals in the name of investment.

"New jobs in the manufacturing sector are not coming up and people are no longer able to sustain themselves," he said.

"The majority have been robbed of the means of production. In Africa, the majority are landless and land has been alienated from the indigenous."

He proposed a radical agrarian transformation to redistribute land to the poor.

"There are disagreements on land issues. The issue is not about land but bio-politics (land grabs for biofuels versus land needs for the poor). The land remains critical to the rural poor," he said.

Prof Moyo, a land and agrarian expert said critics needed to understand African in its diversity and not to look at agrarian issues as formulated by Europeans. Africa, he said, need to take practical steps to arrest the process of land alienation.

"We need to pursue major land redistribution to resolve the agrarian question," he said.

"There are many who question how the African land reform discourse as it is being held here today has been organised. They argue that it is not grounded in the African intelligentsia, the broad spectrum of experts and social movements of those seeking land.

"In this context it is crucial to be clear on what basis we come to identify controversy or consensus over the land reform debate." — Prof Cliffe, in his presentation titled: "Perspective on Africa’s Agrarian Processes — Contributions of Africanists" urged African academics to re-examine the paradigm in which they think about land issues and interrogate the "the pseudo-science of land use planning" as prescribed by western scholars.

Prof Palmer's paper explored the history of global land grabbing and land rights in Africa as well as present practices in land grabbing by multinationals on the continent.

His paper was thought-provoking "Would Cecil Rhodes have signed a Code of Conduct? Reflections on global land grabbing and land rights in Africa, past and present."

He expressed concern over the corrupt manner in which multinationals were grabbing land for biofuels development in Mozambique, Ethiopia, Sudan and other African countries with false promises that the investments would create jobs and boost wealth. Instead, he said, this has led to loss of valuable farm land for the poor.

"Land grabbing by South Africa in Africa," a paper by Dr Ruth Hall exposed how AgriSA — a commercial farmers union grouping of mostly rich Afrikaners is buying huge tracts of land from many African countries for the production cash crops rather than staples to feed locals.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, she said, the union secured 200 000 hectares of land and plans are underway to increase this figure to 10 million hectares. AgriSA has purchased vast tracts of land in Uganda, Libya, Namibia, Gabon and many other African countries through bilateral investment treaties that secured their investments.

Dr Hall said this was being done at the expense of current and future land needs for the locals.

She labelled AgriSA the "Southern Imperial Power."

Global capitalism is on the prowl and this is evident with the rise of inter-regional land grabbing, the conference noted.

"Africa’s academics must not compromise on what they believe is right," said Prof Havnevik.

"Biofuels are a pretext to continue business as usual (land grabbing by multinationals). They say it will bring investment and prosperity but in actual effect they are cheating. It's a ploy to continue business as usual."

"Selling wealth to buy poverty: Kenyan Experience with individualisation of land ownership" paper by Dr Marcel Rutten provided useful insights about flaws of the land tenure system in Kenya which has tossed millions of people from their land to sprawling slums in Nairobi.

Large multinationals and rich individuals have bought land from the poor Kenyans accumulating large tracts of land at the expense of poor rural people who desperately require land.

This, Dr Rutten said, has had damaging effects on the livelihood of the poor.

The conference interrogated a number of issues related land and agrarian reform covering gender dynamics, agrarian development, scholarship in Africa’s agrarian and rural development, lessons from Asia’s Green Revolution, women’s struggle for land, the agrarian questions in Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, land grabbing by South Africa in Africa, the politics of biofuels, access to land and tenure security in Africa, land use and agricultural productivity among other topics.

It is significant to note that the conference felt land was a prerequisite for socio-economic development for Africa despite the challenges that go with agrarian reforms.

Zimbabwe’s land and agrarian reform provided useful insights to the discourse on the land question in Africa.

Prof Ian Scoones in his presentation titled: "Experiences with land reform in former settler colonies of South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe — myths and realities" revealed some important insights that challenge the "conventional wisdoms" dominating media and academic commentary alike.

The research he undertook with scholars from South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe raises some fundamental challenges to five oft-repeated myths about recent Zimbabwean land reform and offers some important insights for the future direction of rural policy in Zimbabwe.

The myths, he said, cover beliefs that Zimbabwe's land reform has been a total failure, that it benefited the elite, that agriculture is in complete ruins and that the rural economy has collapsed.

Contrary to these misconceptions, Prof Scoones said, Zimbabwe's land reform program was a huge success gauging from the research they undertook in the country.

In the interviews Prof Scoones and others conducted with new settlers, despite the problems, there noted that there was universal acclaim for the resettlement programme: 'Life has changed remarkably for me because I have more land and can produce more than I used to,' said one; while another observed, 'We are happier here at resettlement.

There is more land, stands are larger and there is no overcrowding. We got good yields in 2006. I filled two granaries with sorghum'.

With the right kind of knowledge and frame of mind, there is nothing that can prevent Africans from using whatever skills they possess in science and agriculture to boost production and enhance the livelihoods of the poor on the continent.

It is clear that Africa’s intelligentsia has a role to play to clear the confusion over Africa’s land agrarian questions and myths and help build knowledge that will free Africa from the malignancy of low self-esteem, perpetual dependency on the West, lack of pride in African values and history and the sad episodes of stereotypes that undermine African intellectual potential.

Africa’s academics must lay the facts bare for the continent to escape from such trappings.

In Ayi Kwei Armah’s words, Africa will require "a knowledgeable generation of conscious Africans able to turn themselves into skilled organisers, and determined to keep working steadily until they reach their goal."

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(HERALD) President right on Western hypocrisy

President right on Western hypocrisy

EDITOR — I wish to commend President Mugabe for stating that Zimbabwe and Africa should not be lorded over by Europe, during his address at the Africa-European Union Summit in Libya on Wednesday.

It was also critical that he pointed out the hypocrisy of Europe when it comes to human rights and war crimes as Europe has left self-confessed war criminals Tony Blair, ex-British premier and former American president George W Bush to roam freely.

Iraq and Afghanistan are crying for redress as hundreds of thousands of their people have been killed, maimed, tortured and raped in senseless wars started by these men.

The people of these countries have never known peace and humanity; they have lost dignity and their way of life. The architects of their misery are walking scot-free.

In fact, Bush’s successor Barack Obama despite promising withdrawal of troops in the two countries, has never relented on his predecessor’s criminality.

And what happened to his pledge that he would expeditiously shut the notorious Guantanamo Bay Prison?

Now the same Europe that houses or indulges these criminal figures cries wolf and threatens to boycott AU-EU meeting over Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir’s alleged war crimes.

To them that see no evil of their own he is guilty before even appearing in court, in his country first and foremost.

Hypocrites, hypocrites, hypocrites, I say!

President Mugabe’s observation that Europe was concerned with human rights and democracy when it suits them, especially in trying to coax and coerce small countries, was also pertinent.

This is why western-imposed democracy does not and should not work in Africa.

I am glad that President Mugabe and Zimbabwe have stood up to this.

That is why we heroically resist the Western creation in the MDC and its frontman Morgan Tsvangirai.

After all we know that, as Christopher Dell put it, Tsvangirai will be thrown away, used condom-like when the West has had a dance with him.

Mercy Matapatira.


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(HERALD) MDC-T: Conduit in US foreign policy

COMMENT - Excellent reporting and analysis. Especially juxtaposing Christopher Dell's proposals and Tendai Biti's itinerary is brilliant and systematic - we need more of it.

MDC-T: Conduit in US foreign policy
By Itayi Garande

SECRET documents released by whistle blowing Wikileaks on Monday show MDC-T as an unwitting puppet in the US plan for regime change in Zimbabwe, a charge President Mugabe has been making for the better part of the last decade.

A leaked cable sent to Washington by Christopher W. Dell, former US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, also directed to USAID, selected US embassies in African countries, NGOs like USAID, military centres in Europe, among other agencies reveals the US foreign policy plan and the MDC’s role in that plan.

The cable was also sent to Dan Mozena, then Director of Southern African Affairs at the US State Department. This is not surprising. During a March 23, 2007 Congressional briefing on Zimbabwe, Mozena and Donald Payne (Democrat), House of Representatives Chairman of the Committee of Foreign Relations, revealed continuing US Government funding for the MDC factions, Lovemore Madhuku’s National Constitutional Assembly, civil society organisations, NGOs and the Voice of America Studio 7 Project through USAID and the US Embassy in Zimbabwe.

They also disclosed ongoing efforts with a number of other African leaders and to co-ordinate efforts with the United Kingdom, European Union, United Nations, African Union, and Sadc to ensure that regime change was achieved in Zimbabwe sooner rather than later.

Dell’s leaked classified cable was an important and sensitive document, which revealed and confirmed the Zimbabwe Government’s earlier regime change accusations.

It was sent to American embassies in Abuja (Nigeria), Accra (Ghana), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Dakar (Senegal), Kampala (Uganda), Nairobi (Kenya). They were also sent to embassies in Canberra (Australia) and France (Paris).

It was also sent to the United States European Command intelligence centre (USEUCOM) in Vaihingen, Germany; the National Security Council in Washington DC and to the American Joint Analysis Centre at Molesworth; the RAF Molesworth (a Royal Air Force station located near Molesworth) in Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom and to the United States UN mission in New York.

The cable was a highly sensitive piece of information, and Mr Dell classified it under Section 1.4b/d of Executive Order 12958. So the matter is as sensitive as it can get.

The Senior African Director at the National Security Council works closely with the US President. The NSC is part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. This means that the Zimbabwean issue is dealt with at the highest level within the US administration.

It seems that the embassies that received Dell’s cable, represent countries that were sympathetic to the MDC-T. Between 2007-2008, the MDC-T embarked on a major offensive in the African region and in the West with Tsvangirai declaring that he wanted "to cut Mugabe’s umbilical cord with Africa".

He visited the countries quoted in Dell’s leaked cable.

Tsvangirai himself, or senior MDC-T officials, visited all these countries in 2007-8. The trip to Ghana was briefly interrupted as MDC-T founding chairman, Isaac Matongo had died. Tsvangirai was to later visit that country in 2008, where he told a news conference in Accra that: "We believe the time has come for him (President Mugabe) to have an honourable exit," in line with US foreign policy. He added: "We are calling ... on every head of state in Africa to stand in defence of the people of Zimbabwe."

MDC-T secretary general Tendai Biti held "consultative talks" with Kenya’s then new Prime Minister Raila Odinga on July 21, 2008. Tsvangirai visited Uganda (November 21, 2007), Nigeria (April 21, 2010) where he met with then President Olusegun Obasanjo, Ghana (April 22, 2008), Senegal (July 31, 2008), etc.

These trips, however funded, seemed congruent with Dell’s recipients of the leaked cable.

These revelations echoed similar pronouncements further afield in Europe made by Tony Blair, Lord Triesman and Sir Ian McCartney in the United Kingdom House of Commons between March 12 and 26 2007, and the publication of a report of the International Crisis Group entitled "Zimbabwe: An End to the Stalemate?"

The report marked the roots of Dell’s regime change move and a full description of the "managed change" formula was contained in that ICG report of March 6, 2007.

The idea of taking Zimbabwe to the UN Security Council was hatched in the House of Lords, after this report was published, and Dell travelled to London to discuss the US’ role in the post-Mugabe era.

It seems there was a "final push" now being envisaged as "the end of Mugabe was nigh".

Dell and Lord Triesman spoke with the same voice during that period. Dell’s idea was that the economy would eventually destroy President Mugabe and Lord Triesman retorted in the House of Lords:

"I have also heard that Mugabe anticipates carrying on in power well beyond 2008. I do not know whether that will happen, because his economy has more or less imploded."

Lord Lea of Crondall seconded Lord Triesman’s contention by declaring that Tsvangirai "is a former friend of ours, a trade union official and a great democrat".

The web was quite intricate.

Dell, in his communication, also reveals that he was working with Zanu-PF so-called "moderates" who had come together with the MDC to draft a "new constitution" as a basis for internationally supervised elections in 2010 — which would see Tsvangirai installed as president.

It has now emerged that the idea of an internationally supervised election was the work of Dell, who reported in the leaked cable that "The End is Nigh". It was not an MDC-T baby. This also sheds light on the US regime change strategy in Zimbabwe, and its possible hand in the harmonised elections of 2008.

In line with this design, the MDC formations were encouraged to unite behind the so-called "people-driven constitution" in an effort to postpone the harmonised elections from 2008 to 2010.

Tsvangirai failed to follow this US plan as Sadc, through former South African President Thabo Mbeki, was pushing for a negotiated solution.

This led Dell to conclude that "Tsvangirai is ... a flawed figure, not readily open to advice, indecisive and with questionable judgement" in the 2007 cable to Washington.

It seems that Dell, at his departure, was quite sure that his regime change agenda had succeeded, and that, with the help of the donor community, especially USAID, ‘change’ was in the offing.

He wrote: "Change is in the offing, we need to step up our preparations. The work done over the last year on transition planning has been extremely useful, both for stimulating a fresh look at our own assumptions and plans and for forging a common approach among the traditional donor community.

He makes an interesting revelation that was dismissed at the time — the revelation that NGOs were directly involved in regime change activities, in concert with the MDC-T.

Government briefly banned NGO work and asked all NGOs to re-register.

The MDC-T criticised government’s move, but it is now clear that government was right in stating that NGOs were exceeding their mandate and meddling in internal politics.

Dell’s leaked cable further reveals: "But the (regime change) process has lagged since the meetings in March in London and should be re-energised. It is encouraging in this respect that USAID Washington has engaged the Mission here in discussing how we would use additional resources in response to a genuinely reform-minded government."

He added: "I hope this will continue and the good work done so far will survive the usual bloodletting of the budget process."

While Dell admitted that African diplomacy was taking over the negotiating space, via mechanisms like Sadc, he however felt that the US should lead the regime change process in Zimbabwe, citing countries like Australia and Britain and supra-governance structures like the EU and UN as failing to "pack enough punch".

This puts a stop to academic arguments that the US was merely responding to a bilateral dispute between Zimbabwe and its ally, Britain. The US, it can now be categorically stated, has its own interests in changing the government of Zimbabwe, divorced from the stand-off between Zimbabwe and Britain.

That means any negotiations on sanctions removal, e.g. the EU - Zimbabwe talks, are mere moot points unless they involve the US as well. Dell concluded: "The Africans are only now beginning to find their voice. Rock solid partners like Australia don’t pack enough punch to step out front and the UN is a non-player.

"Thus it falls to the US, once again, to take the lead, to say and do the hard things and to set the agenda."

Unfortunately, MDC-T is not mentioned in any of these structures. They are a mere conduit for the realisation of US foreign policy objectives in Zimbabwe and the region, and are a dispensable lot in Washington’s eyes. The sooner they realise this, the better for everybody.

itayig ***

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(NEWZIMBABWE BLOG) None more insane than Canning, none so patriotic than Kasukuwere

None more insane than Canning, none so patriotic than Kasukuwere
By Psychology MaziwisaBusiness, Companies, Politics Last updated on: November 30, 2010

WHEN Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere explained at a business conference in Harare last Wednesday that applications for investment from foreign investors — including and especially those from Britain — would be treated with circumspect, he was being responsible not populist.

He said what any other patriotic minister in his position would have said. He made the right statement for right now — a statement that prudently takes into account the history and future of this country.

No buts about it, the British Ambassador’s expression of ‘disappointment’ at Minister Kasukuwere’s perfect explanation, the only sensible explanation in the circumstances, was a show of utter and complete madness. It confirmed and re-affirmed that Britain is prepared to resort to anything, including revealing the emotional and mental instability of some of its officials, in order to retrieve the now irretrievably dented regime change agenda.

Disappointed or not disappointed, the reality is that people like Canning would do themselves a great deal of good appreciating and embracing the policy on Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment for what it is — a policy crafted and drafted to empower and elevate not foreign vested interests but hitherto disadvantaged local Zimbabweans.

It is a policy, too, that should and will take due account of the pedigree and history of those from beyond our borders who are unashamedly quick to display their inimitable passion for our resources yet slow to show compassion for our suffering people. Be in no doubt, dear reader, Minister Kasukuwere’s pronouncement was not only responsible, it was also fair.

Fair because Britain’s deadly intent is clear for all to see. It continues to fund and advise the Movement for Democratic Change — a satanic project whose survival in politics is dependent solely and exclusively upon the infliction of unspeakable suffering on millions of innocent Zimbabweans. Through the imposition of sanctions whose effect, by the way, has been anything but targeted, the British have clearly demonstrated that they are prepared to kill in order simply to replace our President Robert Mugabe with their Morgan Richard Tsvangirai. Make no mistake, our affliction is the very oxygen the MDC inhales for survival.

Kasukuwere’s stance was also fair because Britain’s hostility towards Zimbabwe knows no boundaries. To be fair, the Bible teaches us that, ‘if a man slaps your cheek, offer him the other cheek to slap’. But theology and politics are not one and the same. In politics, tit necessarily invites tat.

Fair also because if yesterday they viciously condemned and even inhibited any kind of foreign investment in Zimbabwe to the point and extent of punishing those of their own citizens suspected of doing business with Zimbabwe, why must we only now welcome them and welcome them blindly at that? Just because Canning says we should? Forgiving and forgetting is not as easy as it sounds.

In any case, what has changed? The MDC still is and always will be an opposition party. Robert Mugabe still is and still will be President of Zimbabwe for the foreseeable future. There can only be one possible explanation — diamonds.

Apparently Canning is not as cunning as one would suppose. Quite the contrary, he is clueless, out of touch and does not get it. Chiadzwa is not for foreign exploitation. However, when foreign investors are engaged, laws of Zimbabwe, not of the jungle, apply.

The fact is that unlike MDC officials who can and will sell their country for forty pieces of silver, those of Kasukuwere’s caliber who, by the way, work frantically hard even on the Sabbath Day risking for the common good and for the national interest, their chances of entering the Kingdom of Heaven cannot and will not be persuaded by considerations of cash. I know no-one more determined, more principled, more passionate and more patriotic than Saviour Kasukuwere. National interest means everything to him.

Moreover, the effect of foreign investment on a country’s economy is overstated. While it might be one of the many ways to boost a country’s economy, it is not the only one. Certainly not the most significant. The ‘much needed foreign investment’ mantra should thus be dismissed for what it is: a toxic lie.

China is where she is today not because of foreign investment but because the people and government of China pulled together, came together and worked together for the good of their nation. Foreign investment was not primary but secondary. What Zimbabwe needs is to invest in its people and for its people in turn to invest in it. What Zimbabwe needs is to move from the dependency syndrome to self-sufficiency. Foreign investment will not do that. Indigenisation will.

In any event, being choosy about who to do business with even at a time when one’s country needs it most is a virtue not a weakness. Even in the most difficult of times, difficult decisions have to be made and Kasukuwere is making them. But the cynics can say all they want, however many times they wish. The fact is, to quote the wise words of Kasukuwere, “Whether you like it or not, nothing will stop this process (indigenisation) from going forward.”

Before and after our independence, there was a lot of talk about what needed to be done in order to empower indigenous Zimbabweans. It was all talk. But the time for talk is over. In politics, you cannot evade difficult choices forever. Sooner or later, a decision has to be made.

President Robert Mugabe has refused to sit back and watch millions of his people remain on the sidelines. During Ian Smith’s reign, we had absolutely nothing except water to drink. Independence brought us milk. Today President Mugabe is giving us yoghurt. Today he is giving us everything. It took him several years of proper planning, several years of proper preparation, to get these progressive policies going. And these are the same policies Canning wants changed just like that? Never ever ever!

At times a government must take tough decisions if it cares about its people. President Mugabe has done just that. Kasukuwere is doing just that. In fact, if there is one area where the difference between Zanu PF and the MDC is most pronounced, it is here.

Of course, the cynics will expect them to back away. That sort of behavior is consistent with cynicism. It is to be expected. All the more reason to confound the doubters. All the more reason to press right ahead. All the more reason to disappoint the pessimists. They can go into depression for all we care. Canning can go hang too. The chance for absolute empowerment is within our reach and we have to seize it- even if it means someone dying of depression in the process.

Meanwhile, as so-called independent newspapers make as much partisan noise as they possibly can, let our focus not be on the headlines but on the horizon. It is just wrong, so wrong, that Canning and his backslappers in the MDC can play politics with something as crucial, something as critical, as the law on Indigenisation. Protecting the interests of the nation as Kasukuwere so capably demonstrated last Wednesday, is not irresponsible, it is responsible and we should say so.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) Mines boss urges local procurement

Mines boss urges local procurement
02/12/2010 00:00:00

THE president of Zimbabwe’s Chamber of Mines, Victor Gapare, has called miners to buy products and services from local companies. Gapare said such a policy could develop the country’s economy and lead to lower prices for both buyers and suppliers.

“Encouraging local procurement is important for economic growth and the creation of jobs and employment,” he said. “But it makes commercial sense to source locally because this reduces the lead time required when sourcing goods.

“A miner will not have to keep three or six months‚ stock in his stores if he knows the local supplier can supply within a shorter time period, therefore reducing working capital tied up in stores and spares. As local suppliers improve their efficiencies and quality, costs are bound to come down,” he said.

The Chamber of Mines estimates that expenditure on local procurement will increase from US$150 million in 2009 to US$300 million in 2010, as the local economy begins to grow.

“We are also encouraging mining companies to work with local suppliers and help them achieve the quality and cost competitiveness required,” said Gapare. “This used to happen in the days before the collapse of the local supply industry so it is not a new issue.”

Otis Rumumba, purchasing manager at Hwange Colliery Company, said that around 90 per cent of his company’s products and services were already sourced locally. “The other 10 per cent consists of specialised mining machinery and spares with no local distributors,” he said.

“We also import when the landed price of imports is cheaper, especially when the difference is significant.”

Local suppliers could also perform better than more established companies, which tended to be more rigid and have less understanding of customer requirements, he added.

Nyasha Chizu, CIPS Zimbabwe branch chair, said a long-term solution would be to encourage equipment manufacturers from overseas to invest in facilities within Zimbabwe.

“If the technology is imported and local products from mining are used in these plants, prices for equipment will inevitably reduce,” he said.

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(GLOBALRESEARCH) Nigeria to charge Dick Cheney in $180 million bribery case

Nigeria to charge Dick Cheney in $180 million bribery case, issue Interpol arrest warrant
by John Byrne
Global Research, December 2, 2010

The company that Dick Cheney ran prior to becoming Vice President of the United States was atop the tongue of liberals each time his company was awarded a contract in Iraq. Now the company's name, Halliburton, is being spoken somewhere else: Nigeria.

According to a story filed late Wednesday, Cheney will be indicted in a Nigerian bribery case as part of an investigation into an alleged $180 million bribery scandal.

"Last week, Nigeria arrested at least 23 officials from companies including Halliburton, Saipem, Technip and a former subsidiary of Panalpina Welttransport Holding AG in connection with alleged illegal payments to Nigerian officials. Those detained were all freed on bail on Nov. 29," Bloomberg News' Elisha Bala-Gbogbo wrote.

"Authorities in the West African nation are probing Halliburton, Saipem and Technip for the alleged payment of $180 million in bribes to win a $6 billion liquefied natural-gas contract," Bala-Gbogbo added.

"Panalpina is being investigated for illegal payments it allegedly made to Nigerian customs officials on behalf of Royal Dutch Shell Plc."

The prosecuting counsel for the country's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said that indictments will be handed down in the next three days and that an arrest warrant for Cheney "will be issued and transmitted through Interpol."

Adds Bloomberg, "Obla said charges will be filed against current and former chief executive officers of Halliburton, including Cheney, who was CEO from 1995 to 2000, and its former unit KBR Inc., based in Houston, Texas; Technip SA, Europe’s second-largest oilfield- services provider; Eni SpA, Italy’s biggest oil company; and Saipem Construction Co., a unit of Eni. Obla didn’t identify the former officials whom he said held office when the alleged bribes were paid."

A spokesman for Cheney declined to comment.

The US Securities and Exchange Committee probe focused on the deal as early as 2004. Wrote The Washington Post at the time:

The Nigerian project, started in the early 1990s, was worth almost $5 billion to TSKJ, a partnership that included a KBR predecessor, as well as companies from France, Japan and the Netherlands.

At issue are payments made to Tristar, a Gibraltar company that had a consulting arrangement with a corporation formed by TSKJ to "administer the contracts and execute the work" in Nigeria, a Halliburton spokeswoman said in response to questions.

KBR, the engineering and construction subsidiary of Halliburton, was formed when Halliburton acquired Dresser Industries Inc. in 1998. It was a combination of Halliburton's Brown & Root and Dresser's M.W. Kellogg Co. Officials from the SEC and Cheney's office declined to comment. Early on Thursday, Halliburton said they hadn't seen the new charges, but still denied their involvement.

"Halliburton's oil-field services operations in Nigeria have never in any way been part of the LNG project and none of the Halliburton employees have ever had any connection to or participation in that project," Tara Mullee Agard, a spokeswoman for the Houston-based company, said in an e-mailed response to Bloomberg.

Added Bloomberg: "Halliburton Co., the world's second- largest oilfield-services provider, said it hasn't seen any amended charges by Nigerian authorities who plan to indict current and former employees in a bribery scandal."

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(GLOBALRESEARCH) “Unconstitutional” food bill

“Unconstitutional” food bill driven by Big Food lobby dollars
by Rady Ananda
Global Research, December 3, 2010

While over 200 organizations lobbied on the Food Safety Modernization Act (S.510), no one seemed to notice an unconstitutional section in the bill until after it passed on Tuesday. That day, Roll Call advised that the bill contained a provision, Sec. 107, allowing the Senate to raise revenues. This violates Article I, Section 7, of the U.S. Constitution, granting that power exclusively to the House. S.510 opponents now celebrate the House’s use of the “blue slip process” to return the bill to the Senate.

The Alliance for Natural Health figures that, “The only possible ‘quick fix’ would be a unanimous consent agreement in the Senate to strike that revenue-raising provision from the bill—but Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) has already stated that he will oppose, so unanimity will be impossible.” ANH believes it is unlikely that the Senate will return to a debate on S.510, given its full agenda. Its only other option is to “allow the bill to die at the end of this Congress [which means] a new Food Safety Bill will be introduced next year.”

After S.510 passed, President Obama issued a statement: “I urge the House — which has previously passed legislation demonstrating its strong commitment to making our food supply safer — to act quickly on this critical bill, and I applaud the work that was done to ensure its broad bipartisan passage in the Senate.”

Apparently, the Senate moved too quickly. Their overreach only supports the natural foods movement assertion that the entire bill is over-reaching as the federal government seeks complete control over local foods.

The Money and the Vote

In an email, Canada Health whistleblower Shiv Chopra noted, “It is all about corporate control of food and public health.” He’s not alone in believing that a ‘hidden corporate agenda’ is driving the federal government to impose itself on local food production and distribution. This belief is bolstered by a detailed look at the financial contributors in support of food control legislation. Open reports that 208 groups lobbied on S.510. According to an analysis by, financial supporters of S.510 include:

* The US Chamber of Commerce (no friend to small business);
* Kraft Foods North America (the world’s second largest food and beverage company;
* General Mills (which earned $15 billion in revenue in 2009); and the
* American Farm Bureau Federation (a Big Ag and insurance industry lobbyist that supports the use of genetically modified foods).

According to data at Open, AFB spent $9.5 million since 2009 to lobby for S.510 and against the House version. Food & Water Watch noted that AFB president Bob Stallman “condemn[s] consumers and farmers who oppose the industrial model of agriculture, referring to them as ‘extremists who want to drag agriculture back to the day of 40 acres and a mule.’” Clearly, the American Farm Bureau Federation does not favor small farms.

Breaking agribusiness lobby spending down by sector, Open Secrets reports that in 2009, the:

* Crop production and basic processing industry spent $20.3 million;
* Food processing and sales industry spent $30.2 million; and the
* Agriculture services and products industry spent $34.4 million.

In 2009 and 2010, Pepsi spent over $14 million and Coca-Cola spent $4.5 million on both S.510 and HR 2749 (the House version). Other groups supporting S.510 include the International Bottled Water Association, International Dairy Foods Association, International Foodservice Distributors Association, and the Snack Food Association. Hardly advocates of small producers or natural foods.

Under the guise of food ‘safety,’ food control legislation has been widely supported by major food industry lobbyists, who spent over $1 billion since 1998 to influence Congress. Do the American people even have a voice in food choice, when measured against the hundreds of millions of dollars multinational corporations foist on Congress to influence legislation?

Monsanto and the Tester Amendment

Two final comments are in order: one on the ineffectual Tester Amendment and the other on Monsanto’s influence over food safety.

First, the Tester Amendment “exemption” — defined as those generating less than $500,000 a year in revenue – is ludicrously low. Kraft Foods generates that every seven minutes : it earned $40 billion in revenue in 2009. There can be no single bill that adequately addresses food production when talking about producers as disparate as these. Small farms are in a different universe from multinational corporations.

A ten-million-dollar exemption is more reasonable. Farms earning less than $10 million a year are much more similar to Mom & Pop operations than they are to Kraft Foods or Monsanto. Farms earning between a half million and ten million annually are more likely than Mom & Pop to achieve product consistency and, because of a higher output, lower market price, thus appealing to locavores on three levels. That ludicrously low $500,000 figure only highlights the overreach of an obese federal government.

Second, the Tester Amendment does not exempt small food producers as broadly as proponents claim. Eric Blair noted that “even a ‘very small business’ making less than $500K per year, doing business ‘within 275 miles’ and directly with ‘end-user customers’ is still required to adhere to all of the [other] regulations” in the massive food control bill.

In order to qualify for exemption, he points out that small producers must file three years of detailed financial records, detailed hazard analysis plans, and detailed proof of compliance with local, county and state laws. Then, the Secretary of Health and Human Services must approve each exemption.

How many “food producers” who donate food to the homeless, or who supply homemade products at bake sales, county fairs, church bazaars, and community picnics are going to bother with such hyper-regulation? Obama’s vision of food “safety” destroys the local economy, and it destroys community relations.

S.510 opponent Sen. Tom Coburn has repeatedly stressed that the bill will not make our food supply any safer and will “drive small producers out of business.” No wonder so many multi-billion dollar corporations support it.

Finally, let’s not forget that Obama has stacked his administration with former employees of Monsanto, making Michael Taylor his Food Czar. Anything this Administration supports in the way of food control will surely benefit Monsanto, while harming the natural foods industry and small producers. Indeed, the Food and Drug Administration is already waging a bureaucratic war on private food contracts and natural food producers.

Meanwhile, the battle for food freedom rages on, with a temporary reprieve now that S.510 has been recalled to the Senate Chamber

Rady Ananda is a frequent contributor to Global Research.



(GLOBALRESEARCH) Wikileaks - Out of the Diplomatic Bag

Wikileaks: Out of the Diplomatic Bag. How the "Servants of Empire" Really Think
by William Bowles
Global Research, December 3, 2010

Wikileaks has committed the unforgivable sin of revealing the inner workings of Empire, what the servants of Empire really think and in so doing it has also revealed the extremely comfortable relationship between the media and the state in making sure that the truth behind the headlines is kept from us.

Fascinating, the world of inter-state relations or diplomacy has been by 'tradition' (not mine) a closed house, members only with its own private language and rules of conduct. But of course diplomacy has two faces, one public and one private. The private face is not a pretty one but then you knew that already, didn't you?

The art of diplomacy has been around for centuries and is codified in a set of behaviours that allow states to to talk to each other in what might be best described as the neutral territory of a commonly accepted language. So for example, outright threats to another state will be couched in 'diplomatic' language, not "I'll blow you away unless you do as I say". This enables states to negotiate in a 'no man's land', conducted by intermediaries, the civil servants of the ruling political class. And the modern-day diplomat needs a real university degree in order to function, not someone with connections, the right family or a 'degree' in media studies.

But hand the state machine over to a bunch of halfwits and you get chaos. For proof of this just look at what thirteen years of 'New' Labour did to the UK state's infrastructure. It can't even keep the roads open when some snow falls.

The fact that around two million people have access to the 'secret diplomatic' cables that Wikileaks acquired and millions of other cables, just in the US, points to the obvious fact that global imperialism is a complicated mess, only held together because the mass media is willing and complicit partner in maintaining the charade. Above all else, this means accepting at face value, everything the state makes public. Thus keeping their private musings private is absolutely crucial if the illusion is to be maintained.

And that's what's interesting about a lot of these diplomatic cables as it's apparent that for the most part they're written by halfwits who have no idea how the real world works, not even in the furtherence of their own interests. It's a far cry from the days of the real 'Great Game', when a relatively small handful of planners ran an empire on behalf of capital.

"If Berlin-Baghdad were achieved, a huge block of territory producing every kind of economic wealth, and unassailable by sea-power would be united under German authority�Russia would be cut off by this barrier from her western friends, Great Britain and France"

Thus said R.G.D. Laftan, a senior British military advisor just before the outbreak of war in 1914 referring to German plans to build a railway from Berlin to Baghdad and neutralize Britain's control of the high seas. Imagine if you will, the consequences had the diplomatic notes of the time been made public?

The British diplomatic service of Laftan's day, was a small, coherent and highly motivated group, well able to engineer complex operations of all kinds and strict secrecy was at the heart of it all. But controlling a global empire that has to operate without a centralized, colonial authority, or even admitting to being an empire is a nightmare of conflicting interests but no less deceitful or duplicitous than its infamous ancestor.

The thing is, as has been pointed out elsewhere, what is revealed in these cables is not earth-shattering, nor a surprise, the world's archives are full of the same, billions of them in fact. What makes these different of course is that they're not history in the academic sense of the word, nor do they fit well with the public face of the state as echoed through our complicit corporate/state media in selling the lie that our political class are responsible, rational and ethical individuals operating to further the public good.

The reality is that for the most part our leaders are obviously sociopaths, mass murderers, thieves and/or liars. We know this because they've been found out and found out the same way Wikileaks exposed the workings of a crumbling psychotic empire; by gaining access to the information that they have kept to themselves for fear of exposure concerning their real intentions and activities.

And now Julian Assange is really pissing them off and they're out to get him. I think he will have to join Assata Shakur in Cuba pretty shortly if he wants to stay out of jail (or worse).

But above all else, it's the audacity of the event that has got the political class so furious. You just don't do things like this! To see the 'masters of the universe' for what they really are just blows the entire illusion away, which is why the substantive issues are never actually dealt with in the mass media. Instead, it does what it does best, look for the 'juicy' bits, celebrity-style and mount a character assassination attack on the unfortunate Mr. Assange, who has obviously bitten off a lot more than he can chew this time.

Part of the problem is that the releases have not only pissed off the leading players in the less than 'great game' but just about every government that has dealings with the Empire, which doesn't leave many countries out of the equation. Frankly, I would have been a lot more selective and practice the 'my enemy's enemy is my friend' approach to the cables and just embarrass the hell out of the gringos.

"Mr Putin said the Batman and Robin comparison "aimed to slander one of us".

""This is about our interaction, which is an important factor of the domestic policies in this country," he said. "But to be honest with you, we didn't suspect that this would be done with such arrogance, with such a push and, you know, being so unethically done."" -- Vladimir Putin, 'Vladimir Putin slams 'American arrogance' after Batman-Robin slur'

But I think Vladimir Putin's comment sums up very well how many of the leaders outside the Anglo-Saxon cabal reacted to the revelations; they are under no illusion about the nature of the beast, but then that's what diplomacy is meant to be about, not bad mouthing political leaders in such a loutish manner. Worse still, it reveals that the political class is composed of shallow-minded thugs who see the world as something akin to a Marvel comic. Dangerous people indeed.

But it's too late, the cat is well and truly out of the bag, things will never be the same again. We know the emperor wears no clothes.

William Bowles is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by William Bowles

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(NEWZIMBABWE, SAPA) Zuma, Banda urge lifting of Zimbabwe sanctions

Zuma, Banda urge lifting of Zimbabwe sanctions
by Sapa
03/12/2010 00:00:00

SOUTH African President Jacob Zuma and his Zambian counterpart Rupiah Banda on Thursday called for western sanctions against Zimbabwe to be lifted. United States and European Union sanctions were not aiding change in Zimbabwe, Zuma said in Pretoria after a memorandum of understanding on environmental management and natural resources between South Africa and Zambia was signed.

"We should call upon the globe ( world ) to lift sanctions. We believe that the lifting of sanctions will be very helpful. The maintenance of sanctions is no longer adding any positive thing in Zimbabwe. It is in a sense inhibiting our progress in terms of what we want to achieve."

Banda, the current chairman of SADC, said: "I believe that we still can find a solution. We are united in calling for the lifting of the embargo on the leaders, their travel and trade with Zimbabwe. We think it is counter productive and that it is hitting the wrong people. It is affecting the wrong people."

Banda said the Southern African Development Community troika would meet to discuss Zimbabwe in January after a summit in Gaberone, Botswana, failed to take off two weeks ago, ironically because of Banda's absence.

Zuma, who was in Zimbabwe last week meeting political leaders in the power sharing government, said President Robert Mugabe wanted a resolution to Zimbabwe's problems, and that all parties in Zimbabwe were looking forward to elections set for early next year.

He said that the parties "acknowledged there are contested issues", but that they had agreed on most issues and for a peaceful election. Banda is on a two-day state visit to South Africa.

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(STICKY) Zambia to become EITI compliant

Zambia to become EITI compliant
By Kabanda Chulu in Kitwe
Thu 02 Dec. 2010, 03:59 CAT

ZAMBIA is expected to become an Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative compliant country by May 2011 if the first EITI report to be based on 2008 audited accounts is completed by February 2011.

The main objective of attaining EITI status is to publish what mining companies pay to government agencies and at the same time to publish what government agencies receive as revenue from mining companies.

During the capacity building and training workshop for mining companies and government agencies involved in the EITI process in Zambia, mines permanent secretary Godwin Beene said in Chingola that there was need for transparency so that people can see apparent benefits from the country’s natural resources.

“Consultants, Price-waterhouse Coopers has been contracted to prepare Zambia’s EITI report and the data on payments and revenues for mining companies and government agencies respectively will be collected by the consultant using a template which has been developed for this purpose and it is expected that this information should be readily available.”

Several mining companies, civil society organisations and government agencies such as municipal councils and the revenue authority attended the workshop.

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Harmful disposal of mining waste

Harmful disposal of mining waste
By The Post
Fri 03 Dec. 2010, 04:00 CAT

IF no strong measures are taken to stop mining companies from polluting our rivers and our environment in general, they will continue to do so because it is a profitable undertaking for them.

Avoiding polluting rivers and the general environment costs money. And the mining companies are trying very hard to maximise profits. And this means keeping the costs of doing business, of carrying out their operations as low as possible. It is very cheap to empty all their waste in our rivers. It is expensive for them to find other ways of disposing waste. So if all is left to them, they will simply dump everything in our rivers, maximise their profits and eventually take off.

We are not opposed to the exploitation of our country’s mineral resources. All that we are trying to say is that the exploitation of our country’s mineral resources is also closely related to the duties arising from our relationship with natural environment. The environment, the rivers are God’s gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole.

We must therefore exploit our mineral resources responsibly to satisfy our legitimate needs while respecting the intrinsic balance of creation. If this vision is lost, we will end up abusing our environment. We should realise that the natural environment is more than raw material to be manipulated at our pleasure; it is a wondrous work of the Creator which we need to use wisely, and not exploit recklessly. We should mine in a manner that respects human nature itself. We should not ignore coming generations. Our mining activities should be inspired by inter-generational justice. We must recognise our duty to hand over the country to future generations in such a condition that they too can worthily inhabit it and continue to develop it. This means being committed to taking decisions aimed at strengthening that covenant between human beings and the environment. There’s need for the government to take measures that counter harmful ways of disposing mine waste. It is incumbent upon the government and its agencies to make every effort to ensure that the economic and social cost of using up shared environment resources are recognised with transparency and fully borne by those who incur them, not by other peoples or future generations.

One of the greatest challenges facing our economy today is to achieve the most efficient use - not abuse - of natural resources, based on a realisation that the notion of efficiency is not value-free. And the way we treat the environment influences the way we treat ourselves, and vice versa. This invites us to a serious review of the way we carry out our economic activities, our mining operations and their harmful consequences. What is needed is an effective shift in mentality which can lead to the adoption of new ways of mining in which the quest for truth, goodness and communion with others for the sake of common growth are the factors which determine the way we dispose our mining waste. Every reckless or irresponsible disposal of mining waste harms the environment, pollutes our rivers, just as environmental deterioration in turn upsets relations in society. Nature, especially in our time, is so integrated in the dynamics of society that by now it hardly constitutes an independent value.

The government has a serious responsibility for the protection of the environment, of our rivers. In doing so, the government must defend not only water and air as gifts of creation that belong to everyone, it must also above all protect us from self-destruction. Our duties towards the environment are linked to our duties towards the human person, considered in himself and in relation to others. It would be wrong to uphold one set of duties while trampling on the other. Herein lies a grave contradiction in our mentality and practice today: one which demeans the person, disrupts the environment and damages society.

There’s need to stop the mining companies from polluting our rivers. Adequate and effective laws need to be put in place and followed by all mining operations. Proper mining waste disposal needs to be invested in and carried out. We say this because the pollution of our rivers affects more than just the individuals that need to drink the water and every aspect of its negative effects needs to be explored. Polluted water is used to take care of small children and infants. They are going to become ill if they are continually drinking contaminated water. This water is also used to water the crops that are grown by our people. That water is polluting the food that is then being consumed by animals and humans. Finally, cattle and other livestock are also drinking the same water. They are becoming contaminated as well. When they produce milk or they are slaughtered for meat, they are producing contaminated food that other people are consuming. This is one vicious cycle that needs to be controlled. This is what the mining companies' polluting of our rivers is doing to us and to our country.
Clearly, mining is depriving our people of access to clean water and this has implications for their health. We recognise that access to clean water is a human right and the pollution of rivers by mining operations constitutes a violation of the rights of our people to clean water and the environment. We thus call on the government and its agencies to be proactive in preventing pollution of rivers by mining operations and to provide timely information on pollution of water bodies to our people. What is happening is a result of inadequate and ineffective regulation. And this is threatening human and environmental health, drinking and agricultural water supplies for the present and future generations.

We all know that mining is generally very destructive to the environment and calls for strong and effective regulation. We also know that mining uses chemicals to amalgamate the extractions. And these chemicals go through tailings and are often discharged into rivers and streams. This pollution contaminates all living organisms within the body of water and ultimately the people who depend on the fish for their main source of protein and their economic livelihood. The people who are exposed to the toxic waste from the tailings become sick. Many people who cannot afford to go to a doctor, or who live in a village where a doctor is not accessible, are often not treated for their illness. If water is contaminated, the people cannot use it for bathing, cooking or washing the clothes. There’s need to make mining companies more accountable for their actions. They should not be allowed to make super profits at the expense of the lives of our people. A comprehensive approach is required to stop mining companies from polluting our rivers. We need mining that responds to the interests of our people. We need to stop mining companies from doing things that harm our people, things they wouldn’t do in their home countries. We need to adopt measures to control and limit their activities.

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KCM pollution victim speaks out

KCM pollution victim speaks out
By Kabanda Chulu in Kitwe
Fri 03 Dec. 2010, 04:01 CAT

A victim of Konkola Copper Mines’ pollution of the Kafue River has challenged parliamentarians to give policy direction that will set standards for the prevention of environmental pollution.

James Nyasulu, who was hospitalised after the recent pollution of the river, said members of parliament should not get excited over trivial issues whenever they are making laws.

In an interview yesterday, Nyasulu advised parliamentarians and the government to protect the interests of people and stop prioritising operations by KCM whose rampant spillage of sulphuric acid into the Kafue River is increasingly becoming a danger to people’s lives.

“We are not comfortable with the K21 million fine since it will not do anything for Chingola residents and KCM is not a first offender. Even when you look at reports from NWASCO, they cite the mines as responsible for water contamination. KCM is a major culprit and we feel a lot of dirt is swept under the carpet hence the feelings of ordinary Chingola residents are not considered,” Nyasulu said.

He said since the courts had already decided over the matter, the residents were now challenging legislators to revise current laws and set standards that will ensure that KCM desists from the continued spillage of sulphuric acid into the Kafue River.

“These MPs should show direction and attach importance to issues that affect humanity and not just some of those trivial issues they keep on debating,” he said.

He accused KCM of polluting the environment with impunity because the mining company was highly favoured by the government.

He questioned why KCM had negligently polluted the environment frequently posing a serious risk to residents yet this situation went on unnoticed.

“If KCM is serious, why can’t they prioritise the rehabilitation of acid pipes?” said Nyasulu.

Last month, KCM polluted the Kafue River and Nyasulu was one of the victims who was even hospitalised at Kabundi Clinic with stomach cramps and started passing stool with mucus and blood which was also experienced by most members of his family and about three other households in the Kabundi East neighbourhood.

Last week, the Chingola magistrate court convicted and fined KCM K21 million on three counts for polluting the environment.

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‘Look for quality leaders’

‘Look for quality leaders’
By David Chongo in Solwezi
Fri 03 Dec. 2010, 04:01 CAT

ZAMBIANS should look for quality leadership during next year’s general elections, says senior chief Kanongesha of North-Western Province. Chief Kanongesha of the Lunda people of Mwinilunga said voters should elect leaders who would take the country to another level because next year’s elections would be crucial and a turning point.

Chief Kanongesha said the UNIP government of Dr Kenneth Kaunda did its part by initiating developmental projects, which successive governments improved upon but the country was now ready to move a step further.

“We are looking at quality not the party; the party that should take people further. I am beginning to believe that development comes in phases,” chief Kanongesha told journalists in Solwezi. He said the current political scenario characterised by insults was not ideal.

Chief Kanongesha urged the government and opposition political parties to work together as they both sought to represent the wishes of the people.

“Being in the opposition doesn’t mean being rebels and doesn’t mean criticising anywhere, anyhow. That’s the culture we should abolish. Politicians should stand on a platform to debate issues without insults. Democracy means sharing ideas,” he said.

Chief Kanongesha said the region’s potential for hydropower generation could be used to drive technological advancement in areas such as agriculture.

Chief Kanongesha said there was need to reintroduce cooperative banks in rural districts as they would be closer to farmers in providing vital logistical support and subsequently contribute to ensuring bumper harvests.

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CSPR launches budget execution barometer

CSPR launches budget execution barometer
By Sututu Katundu
Fri 03 Dec. 2010, 04:00 CAT

A CIVIL society organisation yesterday launched the national budget execution barometer, which seeks to measure the government’s performance in overall implementation of the national document.

Civil Society for Poverty Reduction executive director Patrick Mucheleka said the barometer would respond to the country’s poor performance by rating and tracking the government on service delivery and budget execution in specific critical areas.

Mucheleka said the barometer would also look at how budget allocations affected people’s livelihoods at community and national levels.

“It measures and rates government in terms of timeliness in releasing funds, adequacy, participatory in the bedrock of indicators that are used to calculate the barometer,” Mucheleka said.

The indicators include the citizens’ participation and civic engagement in developing processes which focus on issues of promoting participatory budgeting by linking state obligations with citizen entitlements thus promoting community voices in the decision-making process.

The second theme is pro-poor resource management execution and management which focuses on the prioritisation of resources to key development areas such as health, education, water and sanitation, social protection, agriculture and infrastructure, execution of these resources as well as ring-fencing of pro-poor development allocations.

The third theme is transparency and accountability which focuses on mechanisms being used to ring-fence pro-poor resources, accountability of these resources and the mechanisms used by the local and national government structures to explain and justify its decisions, policies and programmes.

The other indicators focus on basic service delivery and management, equity and human development.

CSPR said the government should place more emphasis on poverty reduction programmes through increased allocations in the national budget to expedite economic production and the rural people’s partcipation.

It said the government needed to conceptualise human development as a series of investments to increase capacity, to promote a more equitable and inclusive society and to catalyse accelerated, broad-based economic growth.

CSPR proposed the scaling up of investment in rural development programmes with priority placed on rural infrastructure development, small scale farmers and micro business.

CSPR advised the government to stimulate equity initiatives within various ministries and improve on priority setting and targeting resources to identified priorities.

The organisation said the government should strengthen public participation in the budgetary process by deliberately creating spaces for civil society participation.
CSPR said fiscal policies also needed to address equitable redistribution of resources and investment in high pay-back areas.

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CSPR launches budget execution barometer

CSPR launches budget execution barometer
By Sututu Katundu
Fri 03 Dec. 2010, 04:00 CAT

A CIVIL society organisation yesterday launched the national budget execution barometer, which seeks to measure the government’s performance in overall implementation of the national document.

Civil Society for Poverty Reduction executive director Patrick Mucheleka said the barometer would respond to the country’s poor performance by rating and tracking the government on service delivery and budget execution in specific critical areas.

Mucheleka said the barometer would also look at how budget allocations affected people’s livelihoods at community and national levels.

“It measures and rates government in terms of timeliness in releasing funds, adequacy, participatory in the bedrock of indicators that are used to calculate the barometer,” Mucheleka said.

The indicators include the citizens’ participation and civic engagement in developing processes which focus on issues of promoting participatory budgeting by linking state obligations with citizen entitlements thus promoting community voices in the decision-making process.

The second theme is pro-poor resource management execution and management which focuses on the prioritisation of resources to key development areas such as health, education, water and sanitation, social protection, agriculture and infrastructure, execution of these resources as well as ring-fencing of pro-poor development allocations.

The third theme is transparency and accountability which focuses on mechanisms being used to ring-fence pro-poor resources, accountability of these resources and the mechanisms used by the local and national government structures to explain and justify its decisions, policies and programmes.

The other indicators focus on basic service delivery and management, equity and human development.

CSPR said the government should place more emphasis on poverty reduction programmes through increased allocations in the national budget to expedite economic production and the rural people’s partcipation.

It said the government needed to conceptualise human development as a series of investments to increase capacity, to promote a more equitable and inclusive society and to catalyse accelerated, broad-based economic growth.

CSPR proposed the scaling up of investment in rural development programmes with priority placed on rural infrastructure development, small scale farmers and micro business.

CSPR advised the government to stimulate equity initiatives within various ministries and improve on priority setting and targeting resources to identified priorities.

The organisation said the government should strengthen public participation in the budgetary process by deliberately creating spaces for civil society participation.
CSPR said fiscal policies also needed to address equitable redistribution of resources and investment in high pay-back areas.


Rupiah, ‘rebel’ MPs will be crushed in 2011 polls - Sata

Rupiah, ‘rebel’ MPs will be crushed in 2011 polls - Sata
By George Chellah
Fri 03 Dec. 2010, 04:01 CAT

RUPIAH Banda will be jointly crushed with PF rebel parliamentarians in the 2011 elections, says Michael Sata. Commenting on Copperbelt provincial minister Mwansa Mbulakulima’s protest at the recent caucus at State House that some people within MMD did not want to accommodate the PF rebel members of parliament, Sata said none of the rebel parliamentarians would be re-elected in 2011.

“The rejection of those rebel MPs by some people within the MMD has vindicated me. I told MMD that those people did not command any support in their constituencies, but they did not listen. They went jumping around as if they had struck gold and yet what they had was not even gold but soaked charcoal, which is of no use,” Sata said on Tuesday.

“Those rebel MPs are rejects and there was no way we could have even considered them for adoption next year. Let them continue eating Rupiah’s money. What Rupiah must not forget is that he will be jointly crushed with those rebels in 2011.”

He said MMD national secretary Katele Kalumba was the only member of parliament who was still a factor in Luapula Province.

“If Mbulakulima thinks some of those hired mercenaries will help them next year…let him dream on,” Sata said.

And Luapula Province PF chairman Kennedy Sakeni said the PF rebel parliamentarians were only a factor in selected quarters of Lusaka.

Sakeni said he was more than 100 per cent certain that all the PF rebel parliamentarians would be offloaded on the streets of Lusaka after the elections.

“Let those without careers find something else to do because they will not be MPs after 2011,” said Sakeni.

On Monday, the MMD caucus held at State House resolved to accommodate popular PF rebel parliamentarians within the party. The caucus expressed doubts over the unpopular ones because it was generally felt that these might make the MMD lose the forthcoming elections.

This was after Mbulakulima protested that there were people within the MMD who did not want to accommodate the parliamentarians.

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Clergyman urges Zambians to reject new constitution

Clergyman urges Zambians to reject new constitution
By Kombe Chimpinde
Fri 03 Dec. 2010, 04:00 CAT

A MANSA clergyman says Zambians should reject the new constitution because it excludes contentious clauses such as the 50 per cent plus one threshold. Fr Mambwe Mpasa, the vicar general of Mansa Diocese, said people should reject the soon-to-be enacted new constitution to show that they were not to be taken for granted.

Vice-President George Kunda recently said the government would enact the new constitution, excluding the clauses that were referred to a referendum because it had no money for the exercise.

“It is disheartening and mind boggling to comprehend what the government means when it says that it doesn’t have money. Do they think they are governing children from the kindergarten? What do they take us for?” Fr Mpasa said in an interview yesterday. “There is nothing that will be as costly as governing the country on a poor constitution which is what government is doing. That is why accepting this constitution that government is proposing will be a grave mistake for Zambians.”

He said the government must accept that it messed up the constitution-making process, and pave way for another government which could give people a constitution that would stand the test of time.

“Enacting the constitution in the suggested form will not make any sense at all. If they so wish, let them put it into the archive and let other leaders who are capable handle it because they have failed,” Fr Mpasa said.

He said the government should enact the constitution with all the clauses that were referred to the referendum.

“In fact, we shall make this a basis of our discussions as we go to the elections so that the people can vote for a leader who will implement their aspirations. This is our supreme law of the land and we will not allow government to display double standards,” said Fr Mpasa.

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We are talking with UPND - VJ

We are talking with UPND - VJ
By Patson Chilemba and Chibaula Silwamba
Fri 03 Dec. 2010, 04:02 CAT

We are talking with UPND, says Vernon Mwaanga. In an interview in Lusaka on Wednesday, Mwaanga, who is MMD Parliamentary Chief Whip, said discussions have commenced over the formation of an alliance between MMD and UPND at the lower organs. Mwaanga said he stood by his earlier statement that people preferred an alliance between the UPND and MMD to the current PF-UPND pact.

“The statement I issued is the one I stand by. I said discussions are at the lower levels between our members,” he said. Mwaanga said the lower organs would state how serious the negotiations were.

Asked how confident he was that there would be an alliance between MMD and UPND before the 2011 general elections, Mwaanga responded: “It is not me to say that. It is according to them lower organs. They are the ones who are talking about it, so it will be up to them.”

Asked if he would welcome an alliance between MMD and UPND, Mwaanga said the MMD welcomed alliances with other progressive parties that believed that Zambia must go forward.

He said the MMD was ready to go into an alliance with political parties that wanted an alliance.

In May 2010, Mwaanga said his trips and meetings with Southern Province chiefs, the business community and other stakeholders revealed that people wanted an alliance between the MMD and UPND.

Mwaanga said Southern Province could only successfully produce a Republican president in 2016 through an alliance between UPND and MMD.

And MMD elections chairman, Mike Mulongoti said the door remained open for the UPND or any other political party to be in an electoral alliance with the MMD.

In an interview yesterday, Mulongoti said the MMD believed that leaders of competing parties had the objective to develop Zambia, either as individual political parties or through an alliance.

“MMD as a political party was formed from an alliance of unions, churches, political parties, etcetera and because of that, the MMD does not close doors to anybody. If anybody wants to be part of that alliance with us, they are free,” said Mulongoti, who is also works and supply minister.

He said if any opposition party regarded forming an alliance with the MMD worthwhile, the ruling party would welcome them.

However, Mulongoti said the MMD was not actively pursuing other political parties for an alliance.

“But, as an alliance, we keep the door open to all those who would want to come in including the UPND and everybody. I don’t want to just target UPND but all political parties, even FDD, New Generation and whoever,” said Mulongoti.

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Thursday, December 02, 2010

(ZIMPAPERS) Farmer Derek Shaw accused of assaulting land beneficiary

Farmer Derek Shaw accused of assaulting land beneficiary
Tuesday, 09 November 2010 19:05 Crime & Courts
New farmers succeed in maize production
Midlands Bureau Chief

A commercial farmer in Gweru “invaded” a newly resettled farmer’s plot, grabbed her offer letter and allegedly assaulted the woman and her daughter before disappearing. The commercial farmer, Derek Shaw, first shot pictures of the new farmer’s make-shift shelter before bursting into the house uninvited.

Lands officers in the Midlands and the police confirmed the incident that happened yesterday at around 9 am at 49 Wildebeest Farm in Guinea Fowl, just outside Gweru.
In an interview, the new farmer, Mrs Irvina Gusha Zimunhu, who was accompanied by her husband, Mr Joram Zimunhu, told Chronicle that Shaw came driving to her plot and started shooting pictures without talking to anyone.

“I was with my 24-year old daughter and my two-year old baby. After he finished shooting pictures of the outside of my makeshift house, he then entered into the house without knocking. He again started shooting more pictures from inside,” she said.

Mrs Zimunhu said when Shaw finished taking the pictures he then demanded that she surrender her offer letter to him.

“I was holding the offer letter in my hand when we were arguing. He then suddenly grabbed the letter and when I tried to take back the letter he violently shoved me away. My daughter also tried to grab the letter and was elbowed and she fell down together with the baby she was carrying,” she said.

Her husband, Mr Zimunhu said the whole thing could have been planned by Shaw and his workers since the suspect only “invaded” his plot in his absence.

“We moved onto the plot more than a week ago. We applied for the land from the Government following proper channels and we were given the plot and an offer letter confirming that we were now the owners of the plot in question. I spent six days at the plot and no incident took place. Shaw only decided to attack my family when I returned to work yesterday,” said Mr Zimunhu.

Mrs Zimunhu and her daughter made a report to the police at Gweru Central. Midlands police spokesperson, Inspector Patrick Chademana, confirmed receiving the report.

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(ZIMPAPERS) No to EU supremacy:President Mugabe

No to EU supremacy:President Mugabe
By Caesar Zvayi recently in Tripoli, Libya

President Mugabe has rapped the West for making noise over allegations that Suda-nese President Omar al-Bashir commited crimes against humanity while remaining mum on self-confessed war criminals like former British prime minister Tony Blair and US president George W. Bush. Bush recently released his memoirs, titled "Decision Points", in which he confesses to sanctioning the use of torture on terrorism suspects — a crime against huma-nity.

Bush’s admission saw some leading international booksellers move his memoirs from the biographies to the crime sections of their establishments. Addressing the Third Africa-European Union Summit in Tripoli on Tuesday and in his remarks to journalists on arrival at Harare International Airport yesterday, President Mugabe bemoaned Africa’s willingness to be arm-twisted by the EU on many things, including the decision to bar the Sudanese leader from a summit on African soil.

"President Bashir was absent because he was not wanted by Europe to be present; and I do not think we should have accepted that. This continues to happen.

"Sometimes I have been called a Bashir myself, but I do not know this time why I was wanted.

‘‘I am usually not a wanted person, but those are the likes and dislikes of Europe and they show them to us and they dictate to us and sometimes we accept to be tossed, and it is unacceptable, completely unacceptable and I made a statement to that effect, that Bashir should have been present.

‘‘I do not see why anyone should say he is guilty. We don’t mind his being accused, allegations made against him but allegations are always allegations and they become reality when they are proved in court. That is why I said there is always the principle of the presumption of innocence in any case of a person who is arrested. That is the principle of criminal law and it does apply in every case, and it should apply in this case,’’ he said.

A shadow hung over the summit following the absence of African Union chairman President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi, who was protesting the decision to hold the summit in Tripoli and not at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and the barring of the Sudanese president.

Conspicuous by their absence were Euro-pe’s powerful trio of British Prime Minister David Cameron, Germany Chancellor Ange-la Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, a development that was read as signifying Europe’s lack of commitment to AU-EU partnership.

In his address to the summit, President Mugabe queried Europe’s commitment to the ideals of democracy and human rights saying it appeared Europe only parroted these values pursuant to victimising small states.

‘‘We in Zimbabwe have learnt the hard way that notions of democracy, human rights and rule of law have no universal meaning for Europeans, but are conveniently invoked against small states which dare challenge their global interests on our soils,’’ he said.

To this end, the President said, genuine democracy can never be imposed externally, but accrues from a natural process of internal development.

‘‘Genuine democratic governance cannot and will not be a product of processes enge-ndered by outsiders for Africans on the ba-sis of values outsiders seek to inculcate.

"It can only be a product of the internal process of development in a country. In Eu-rope democratic governance came out of a long history of bloody wars and other forms of struggle. In Africa our history of struggles for freedom from colonialism are well known, as are the brutalities that were perpetrated against Africans. Europeans, therefore, cannot take a moral high ground and develop amnesia when it comes to the brutalities that Africans suffered in the colonial period,’’ he said.

He chronicled how some EU states in collusion with the United States of America were hell-bent on effecting illegal regime change in Zimbabwe by hiding behind the façade of democratisation and human rights advocacy.

‘‘Democratic processes in our countries are constantly under threat partly due to interference from outsiders. In the case of my country, Zimbabwe, heinous crimes of interference have been undertaken in the name of good governance and human rights and some such values.

"Zimbabwe currently reels under illegal sanctions imposed on it by the European Union and the United States of America whose primary motive is to bring about regime change as a response to a just land reform programme my Government embar-ked upon in the interest of social justice.’’

Turning to Chiadzwa, the President said even though Zimbabwe had met all the requirements under the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, some Western countries still did not want Zimbabwe to benefit from its diamond resources which the Westerners wanted for themselves, and continually laid ever shifting charges against Zimbabwe.

‘‘Our commitment to democratic governance and respect for human rights ought to be based on the premise that African people must not see these values simply as abstract concepts that have no bearing on their well-being and material conditions. Democratic governance must, therefore, mean more than people taking part in an election. The people must have a direct stake in the development process not merely as providers of labour but as economically empowered citizens and people in charge of their own resources, including land and mineral wealth. That would ultimately give meaning to democratic governance it, therefore, goes without saying that poverty and the unequal control of resources in our countries militates against democratic governance,’’ he said.

The President said the priority for Africa-EU partnership should be the attainment of development and economic freedom, so that governments will be in a better position to guarantee the economic and social rights of their citizens.

For true and successful dialogue to occur in areas of governance and democracy, the President said, the EU should drop double standards and selective application of these principles.

‘‘It is generally accepted that Africans do not observe elections in Europe and do not make pronouncements on the conduct of such polls, and yet it is assumed that Europeans have the inalienable right to observe and endorse the outcome of elections on the African continent.’’

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(ZIMPAPERS) US regime change agenda in Zimbabwe exposed by Wikileaks

US regime change agenda in Zimbabwe exposed by Wikileaks!
Monday, 29 November 2010 19:05

US agenda to effect illegal regime change in Zimbabwe was seriously exposed this week through top secret cables published online by an international non-profit media organization, Wikileaks.

The cables reveal how former US ambassador to Harare Christopher Dell hoped to accomplish his evil agenda in 2007, describing President Mugabe in the process as a “a brilliant tactician”.

In a report to White House sent July 13 2007, Dell also described MDCT leader Morgan Tsvangirai as a “flawed figure, not readily open to advice, indecisive and with questionable judgment in selecting those around him,” although he was “a brave man, committed and by and large a democrat.”

He also took a tribally divisive swipe describing the majority Zimbabweans a “famously passive Shona people.”

Tsvangirai was also described as possibly an albatross around the necks of Zimbabweans once in power.

“In short, he (Tsvangirai) is a kind of Lech Walesa character: Zimbabwe needs him, but should not rely on his executive abilities to lead the country's recovery,” reads part of the report. He was also against the formation of an inclusive government saying, "this solution is more likely to prolong than resolve the crisis and we must guard against letting Pretoria dictate an outcome which perpetuates the status quo at the expense of real change and reform," he said. - Staff writer

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(ZP) Empowerment, opportunity for Zimbabweans to have real stake in their own economy

Empowerment, opportunity for Zimbabweans to have real stake in their own economy
Tuesday, 16 November 2010 15:20 Features

REPORTS that some Zimbabwean businessmen are conniving with foreigners to defeat the objectives of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act by agreeing to be fronts, are disturbing.

What makes it even worse is that these are not ordinary people, but men and women of means who should know better.

These are people already involved in business who should be able to appreciate the value of their country’s natural resources.
The Act stipulates that foreign-owned companies with an asset value of US$500 000 or more should cede 51 percent of their shareholding to locals.

As President Mugabe has repeatedly explained, this is meant to put indigenous Zimbabweans in front and not for them to be mere "fronts".
Whether it is lack of self-esteem or the curse of poverty that causes someone to be used as a window dresser remains a mystery.
The National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board needs to educate the people of Zimbabwe about the programme. People need to know that if they are caught acting as fronts they would be prosecuted and could be imprisoned for up to five years. We believe this sentence is deterrent enough if people are made to know about it.

Because a problem now exists, there is need for the board to go on a media campaign to educate Zimbabweans about the indigenisation and economic empowerment programme and about the dangers of subverting it. Zimbabweans need to know that the law gives them a platform to negotiate for joint ventures with their foreign partners.

It is an opportunity for them to have a real stake in their own economy, which for so long has been dominated by outsiders.
Perhaps the reason why some end up as fronts is that they don’t seem to have the capacity to raise the necessary funds to go into partnership with the foreign business people. The funding part of the programme still remains a grey area. If that is properly put into place it would be easy for Zimbabweans to go into consortiums and dominate most of these major companies.

As it is, most of the deals that are being concluded are dubious and may not pass a thorough scrutiny.
Without the necessary funding knowledge and accessibility, the programme will benefit a small circle of people who are already privileged.
Greed therefore stands as a real threat to the indigenisation and economic empowerment programme.

As long as the majority of the people, who would ordinarily qualify, feel left out of the programme, it will lack credibility and is open to being challenged in the future.
The programme offers an opportunity for even the young people to get excited about their country and their future and should not be spoiled by a few people.
The Youth Empowerment Taskforce has already written to Minister Saviour Kasukuwere raising their concern. The Minister is known to be passionate about youth empowerment and has worked hard to promote the indigenisation and economic programme.

He needs the support of everyone in spreading the national cake to as many people as possible until we have a strong and vibrant black middle class to drive our economy.
Eventually, a few will rise to be major economic players not only locally but also globally.

They will have the current generation of leaders to thank for empowering them.



‘Govt should reveal mine tax terms’

‘Govt should reveal mine tax terms’
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Thu 02 Dec. 2010, 03:59 CAT

THE government should disclose the terms under which it has agreed the new tax regime with the foreign mining firms, says the Economics Association of Zambia. Last week, finance minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane announced that the government had reached a deal with foreign mining companies whose long-term agreements the government had cancelled in 2008 to introduce higher taxes.

Dr Musokotwane said mining companies agreed to pay taxes based on the current tax regime and to pay K413 billion more in tax arrears than estimated in the 2011 budget.EAZ president Noel Nkoma said the failure to disclose the contents of the agreement raised suspicion among key stakeholders.

“For the purpose of transparency, the government should be able to come out publicly and say we engaged the mines…” Nkoma said.

He warned that the lack of transparency might lead to a repeat of the one-sided Developmental Agreements (DAs) which suffocated the country’s ability to raise mining tax revenues even in face of record high metal prices.

“As EAZ, we equally share concerns that have been raised by various interest groups,” Nkoma said.

“What we are interested in as Zambians is we want to see the things that have been adjusted in the tax regime. Which taxes have they adjusted? Is it the mineral royalty or what other interventions they are able to put in place to realize equitable deal.”

Nkoma said there was room in the current structure to raise mine taxes without stifling growth of the country’s mainstay. He said given the current copper prices, Zambians could benefit more if the government increased the revenue from the mines.

“In no way are we suggesting that we should be able to suffocate the mines to a point whereby they are not able to operate profitably,” said Nkoma.

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Zamtel employs foreigners as its top managers

Zamtel employs foreigners as its top managers
By Chibaula Silwamba
Thu 02 Dec. 2010, 04:00 CAT

ZAMTEL has employed foreigners as its top managers excluding Zambians despite President Rupiah Banda’s calls on investors to give jobs to locals. But Zamtel chief commercial officer Amon Jere yesterday said there were only six foreign ‘bosses’ who were employed through a competitive process based on their expertise.

Sources revealed that Zamtel’s new owners LAP Green Network, an entity owned by the Libyan government, was engaging Ugandans and South Africans to take up jobs which could be done by Zambians.

“The President’s statement that investors must employ Zambians is just lip service; jobs are still going to foreigners. If the President is serious, why is the government giving work permits to foreigners to come and get the jobs for which there are qualified Zambians?” the source at Zamtel asked.

“We are shocked that most of the locals have been replaced by foreigners. The managing director Mukela Muyunda has been replaced by Hans Paulsen from Uganda, the chief technical officer Victor Nalishiwa has replaced by Antoine Muller from South Africa, chief of IT Mark Kalenga replaced by Arony Adamu from Tanzania.”

The sources said expatriates were being awaited to take up the positions of chief finance officers and chief audit officers among other top management positions that are earmarked to be given to foreigners.

The sources said Jere and chief human resources officer Eve Banda were the only Zambians in management positions.

And Jere confirmed that the mentioned officers were foreigners but were engaged through a competitive process, arguing that only 0.6 per cent of Zamtel’s 900 workers would be expatriates.

“We are looking for skills in terms of qualifications and experience. These people have rich expertise. Of course as a multinational, we promote diversity,” he said.

“We looked around for the CEO chief executive officer and CTO Chief technical officer, we even interviewed locally and externally and the successful candidates were given jobs.”

Jere said Zamtel’s 2, 300 workers had all been laid off but others would be re-employed after they re-apply.

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