The Protest Movement in Egypt: "Dictators" do not Dictate, They Obey Orders
by Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, January 29, 2011
The Mubarak regime could collapse in the a face of a nationwide protest movement... What prospects for Egypt and the Arab World? "Dictators" do not dictate, they obey orders. This is true in Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt. Dictators are invariably political puppets. Dictators do not decide.
President Hosni Mubarak was a faithful servant of Western economic interests and so was Ben Ali. The national government is the object of the protest movement. The objective is to unseat the puppet rather than the puppet-master. The slogans in Egypt are "Down with Mubarak, Down with the Regime". No anti-American posters... The overriding and destructive influence of the USA in Egypt and throughout the Middle East remains unheralded.
The foreign powers which operate behind the scenes are shielded from the protest movement.
No significant political change will occur unless the issue of foreign interference is meaningfully addressed by the protest movement.
The US embassy in Cairo is an important political entity, invariably overshadowing the national government, is not a target of the protest movement.
In Egypt, a devastating IMF program was imposed in 1991 at the height of the Gulf War. It was negotiated in exchange for the annulment of Egypt's multibillion dollar military debt to the US as well as its participation in war. The resulting deregulation of food prices, sweeping privatisation and massive austerity measures led to the impoverishment of the Egyptian population and the destabilization of its economy. Egypt was praised as a model "IMF pupil".
The role of Ben Ali's government in Tunisia was to enforce the IMF's deadly economic medicine, which over a period of more than twenty years served to destabilize the national economy and impoverish the Tunisian population. Over the last 23 years, economic and social policy in Tunisia has been dictated by the Washington Consensus.
Both Hosni Mubarak and Ben Ali stayed in power because their governments obeyed and effectively enforced the diktats of the IMF.
From Pinochet and Videla to Baby Doc, Ben Ali and Mubarak, dictators have been installed by Washington. Historically in Latin America, dictators were instated through a series of US sponsored military coups..
Today they are installed through "free and fair elections" under the surveillance of the international community.
\Our message to the protest movement:
Actual decisions are taken in Washington DC, at the US State Department, at the Pentagon, at Langley, headquarters of the CIA. at H Street NW, the headquarters of the World Bank and the IMF.
The relationship of "the dictator" to foreign interests must be addressed. Unseat the political puppets but do not forget to target the "real dictators".
The protest movement should focus on the real seat of political authority; it should target the US embassy, the delegation of the European Union, the national missions of the IMF and the World Bank.
Meaningful political change can only be ensured if the neoliberal economic policy agenda is thrown out.
If the protest movement fails to address the role of foreign powers including pressures exerted by "investors", external creditors and international financial institutions, the objective of national sovereignty will not be achieved. In which case, what will occur is a narrow process of "regime replacement", which ensures political continuity.
"Dictators" are seated and unseated. When they are politically discredited and no longer serve the interests of their US sponsors, they are replaced by a new leader, often recruited from within the ranks of the political opposition.
In Tunisia, the Obama administration has already positioned itself. It intends to play a key role in the "democratization program" (i.e. the holding of so-called fair elections). It also intends to use the political crisis as a means to weaken the role of France and consolidate its position in North Africa:
"The United States, which was quick to size up the groundswell of protest on the streets of Tunisia, is trying to press its advantage to push for democratic reforms in the country and further afield.
The top-ranking US envoy for the Middle East, Jeffrey Feltman, was the first foreign official to arrive in the country after president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was ousted on January 14 and swiftly called for reforms. He said on Tuesday only free and fair elections would strengthen and give credibility to the north African state's embattled leadership.
"I certainly expect that we'll be using the Tunisian example" in talks with other Arab governments, Assistant Secretary of State Feltman added.
He was dispatched to the north African country to offer US help in the turbulent transition of power, and met with Tunisian ministers and civil society figures.
Feltman travels to Paris on Wednesday to discuss the crisis with French leaders, boosting the impression that the US is leading international support for a new Tunisia, to the detriment of its former colonial power, France. ...
Western nations had long supported Tunisia's ousted leadership, seeing it as a bulwark against Islamic militants in the north Africa region.
In 2006, the then US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, speaking in Tunis, praised the country's evolution.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton nimbly stepped in with a speech in Doha on January 13 warning Arab leaders to allow their citizens greater freedoms or risk extremists exploiting the situation.
"There is no doubt that the United States is trying to position itself very quickly on the good side,..." " AFP: US helping shape outcome of Tunisian uprising emphasis added
Will Washington be successful in instating a new puppet regime?
This very much depends on the ability of the protest movement to address the insidious role of the US in the country's internal affairs.
The overriding powers of empire are not mentioned. In a bitter irony, president Obama has expressed his support of the protest movement.
Many people within the protest movement are led to believe that president Obama is committed to democracy and human rights, and is supportive of the opposition's resolve to unseat a dictator, which was installed by the US in the first place.
Cooptation of Opposition Leaders
The cooptation of the leaders of major opposition parties and civil society organizations in anticipation of the collapse of an authoritarian puppet government is part of Washington's design, applied in different regions of the World. The process of cooptation is implemented and financed by US based foundations including the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and Freedom House (FH). Both FH and NED have links to the US Congress. the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and the US business establishment. Both the NED and FH are known to have ties to the CIA.
The NED is actively involved in Tunisia, Egypt and Algeria. Freedom House supports several civil society organizations in Egypt.
"The NED was established by the Reagan administration after the CIA’s role in covertly funding efforts to overthrow foreign governments was brought to light, leading to the discrediting of the parties, movements, journals, books, newspapers and individuals that received CIA funding. ... As a bipartisan endowment, with participation from the two major parties, as well as the AFL-CIO and US Chamber of Commerce, the NED took over the financing of foreign overthrow movements, but overtly and under the rubric of “democracy promotion.” (Stephen Gowans, January « 2011 "What's left"
While the US has supported the Mubarak government for the last thirty years, US foundations with ties to the US State department and the Pentagon have actively supported the political opposition including the civil society movement. According to Freedom House: "Egyptian civil society is both vibrant and constrained. There are hundreds of non-governmental organizations devoted to expanding civil and political rights in the country, operating in a highly regulated environment." (Freedom House Press Releases).
In a bitter irony, Washington supports the Mubarak dictatorship, including its atrocities, while also backing and financing its detractors, through the activities of FH, NED, among others. .
Freedom House’s effort to empower a new generation of advocates has yielded tangible results and the New Generation program in Egypt has gained prominence both locally and internationally. Egyptian visiting fellows from all civil society groups received [May 2008] unprecedented attention and recognition, including meetings in Washington with US Secretary of State, the National Security Advisor, and prominent members of Congress. In the words of Condoleezza Rice, the fellows represent the "hope for the future of Egypt."
Political Double Talk: Chatting with "Dictators", Mingling with "Dissidents"
Under the auspices of Freedom House, Egyptian dissidents and opponents of Hosni Mubarak were received in May 2008 by Condoleezza Rice at the State Department and the US Congress.
In May 2009, Hillary Clinton met a delegation of Egyptian dissidents, visiting Washington under the auspices of Freedom House. (See below). These were high level meetings. These opposition groups, which are playing an important role in the protest movement, are slated to serve US interests. America is presented as a model of Freedom and Justice. The invitation of dissidents to State Department and the US Congress purports to instil a feeling of commitment and allegiance to American democratic values.
Freedom House fellows Egyptian dissidents in Washington DC (2008)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks with Egyptian activists promoting freedom and democracy, visiting through the Freedom House organization, prior to meetings at the State Department in Washington, DC, May 28, 2009.
US Secretary of StateHillary Clinton speaks with "Egyptian activists promoting freedom and democracy, visiting
through the Freedom House organization, prior to meetings at the State Department in Washington, DC, May 28, 2009".
[Compare the two pictures 2008 delegation received by Condoleezza Rice, 2009 delegation meets Hillary Clinton in May 2009.
Hillary Clinton and Hosni Mubarak in Sharm El Sheik, September 2010
Condoleeza Rice chats with Hosni Mubarak? " Hope for the Future of Egypt".
Condoleezza Rice addresses Freedom House.4th from left
The Puppet Masters Support the Protest Movement against their own Puppets
The puppet masters support dissent against their own puppets?
Its called "political leveraging", "manufacturing dissent". Support the dictator as well as the opponents of the dictator as a means of controlling the political opposition.
These actions on the part of Freedom House and the National Endowment for Democracy, on behalf of the Bush and Obama administrations, ensure that the US funded civil society opposition will not direct their energies against the puppet masters behind the Mubarak regime, namely the US government.
These US funded civil society organizations act as a "Trojan Horse" which becomes embedded within the protest movement. They protect the interests of the puppet masters. They ensure that the grassroots protest movement will not address the broader issue of foreign interference in the affairs of sovereign states.
The Facebook Twitter Bloggers Supported and Financed by Washington
In relation to the protest movement in Egypt, several civil society groups funded by US based foundations have led the protest on Twitter and Facebook:
"Activists from Egypt's Kifaya (Enough) movement - a coalition of government opponents - and the 6th of April Youth Movement organized the protests on the Facebook and Twitter social networking websites. Western news reports said Twitter appeared to be blocked in Egypt later Tuesday." (See Voice of America, ,Egypt Rocked by Deadly Anti-Government Protests
The Kifaya movement, which organized one of first actions directed against the Mubarak regime in 2004, is supported by the US based International Center for Non-Violent Conflict which is linked up with Freedom House. In turn, Freedom House has been involved in promoting and training the Middle East North Africa Facebook and Twitter blogs:
Freedom House fellows acquired skills in civic mobilization, leadership, and strategic planning, and benefit from networking opportunities through interaction with Washington-based donors, international organizations and the media. After returning to Egypt, the fellows received small grants to implement innovative initiatives such as advocating for political reform through Facebook and SMS messaging.
http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=66&program=84 (emphasis added)
From February 27 to March 13 , Freedom House hosted 11 bloggers from the Middle East and North Africa [from different civil society organizations] for a two-week Advanced New Media Study Tour in Washington, D.C. The Study Tour provided the bloggers with training in digital security, digital video making, message development and digital mapping. While in D.C., the Fellows also participated in a Senate briefing, and met with high-level officials at USAID, State [Department] and Congress as well as international media including Al-Jazeera and the Washington Post.http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=115&program=84&item=87 emphasis added
One can easily apprehend the importance attached by the US administration to this bloggers' training program, which is coupled with meetings at the US Senate, the Congress, the State Department, etc.
The role of the Facebook Twitter movement as the expression of dissent, must be carefully evaluated u the light of links of several civil society organizations to Freedom House (FH), the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the US State Department.
The Muslim Brotherhood
The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt constitutes the largest segment of the opposition to president Mubarak. According to reports, The Muslim Brotherhood dominates the protest movement.
While there is a constitutional ban against religious political parties Brotherhood members elected to Egypt's parliament as "independents" constitute the largest parliamentary block.
The Brotherhood, however, does not constitute a direct threat to Washington's economic and strategic interests in the region. Western intelligence agencies have a longstanding history of collaboration with the Brotherhood. Britain's support of the Brotherhood instrumented through the British Secret Service dates back to the 1940s. Starting in the 1950s, according to former intelligence official William Baer, "The CIA [funnelled] support to the Muslim Brotherhood because of “the Brotherhood’s commendable capability to overthrow Nasser.”1954-1970: CIA and the Muslim Brotherhood Ally to Oppose Egyptian President Nasser, These covert links to the CIA were maintained in the post-Nasser era.
The removal of Hosni Mubarak has, for several years, been on the drawing board of US foreign policy.
Regime replacement serves to ensure continuity, while providing the illusion that meaningful political change has occurred.
Washington's agenda for Egypt has been to "hijack the protest movement" and replace president Hosni Mubarak with a new compliant puppet head of state.
Washington's objective is to sustain the interests of foreign powers, to uphold the neoliberal economic agenda which has served to impoverish the Egyptian population.
From Washington's standpoint, regime replacement no longer requires the installation of an authoritarian military regime as in the heyday of US imperialism, It can be implemented by co-opting political parties, including the Left, financing civil society groups, infiltrating the protest movement and manipulating national elections.
With reference to the protest movement in Egypt, President Obama stated in a January 28 video broadcast on Youtube: "The Government Should Not Resort to Violence".
The more fundamental question is what is the source of that violence?
Egypt is the largest recipient of US military aid after Israel. The Egyptian military is considered to be the power base of the Mubarak regime.
US policies imposed on Egypt and the Arab World for more than 20 years, coupled with "free market" reforms and the militarization of the Middle East are the root cause of State violence.
America's intent is to use the protest movement to install a new regime.
The People's Movement should redirect its energies: Identify the relationship between America and "the dictator". Unseat America's political puppet but do not forget to target the "real dictators".
Shunt the process of regime change.
Dismantle the neoliberal reforms.
Close down US military bases in Egypt and the Arab World.
Establish a truly sovereign government.
Labels: EGYPT, NEOLIBERALISM
Rupiah should apologise to Mututwa - Nawakwi
By Patson Chilemba
Fri 28 Jan. 2011, 04:01 CAT
RUPIAH Banda should apologise to 92-year-old Maxwell Mututwa and drop all treason charges against him and the other 22 Lozis, says Edith Nawakwi. And Nawakwi said the election of William Banda as Lusaka Province MMD chairperson will attract resentment towards President Banda.
Commenting on the nolle prosequi entered by the state in respect of Mututwa in a case where he was jointly charged with 22 others for allegedly preparing to procure Barotse State by force, Nawakwi, who is opposition FDD president, said those in government should realise that the blood of Mututwa would be on their feet.
She said any normal person would not have even attempted to arrest Mututwa and put him in police cells.
"It will help all of us if the President can invite him to State House and just tell him 'look, these boys overreacted and calm him down'. In other countries, Mr Mututwa would have been in a different place. We don't value our elders," Nawakwi said.
She said when the problem arose; the government should have invited Mututwa to listen to his counsel, and not threatening people with violence. Nawakwi said Zambians could only be threatened up to a certain point because some people were prepared to die for their principles.
"When you threaten them, you make the situation worse," she said.
Nawakwi said Mututwa and others were not asking for secession, but development. She said Mututwa had lived in colonial governments where issues like education were provided for at local level.
Nawakwi said the people of Western Province wanted decentralisation of economic and political power. And Nawakwi said the election of William Banda represented the re-incarnation of UNIP's vigilante group.
He said this was against the establishment of the MMD which was formed to democratise the country from the shackles of UNIP.
"Little did we think or even imagine that we will turn the cloak to the 1950s or 60s and get UNIP re-incarnated. Not the good part of UNIP which gave us education, but UNIP the vigilante group which could kill and maim," Nawakwi said.
"Zambians don't like violence and if you think you can win votes through violence, he is just going to cost Rupiah Banda the votes which he so desperately needs."
Asked how far the case had gone where MMD youths, led by Lusaka Province youth chairperson Chris Chalwe threatened to gang-rape her, Nawakwi said the Director of Public Prosecutions Chalwe Mchenga was sitting on her case because he recalled the file from the police.
On the plan by the government to introduce an education bill which would empower the Minister of Education to lease public schools which were not performing well, Nawakwi said this was symptomatic of a government that had run out of ideas.
She said the action showed that government was spending huge sums of taxpayers’ money to build schools so that they could sell them.
Nawakwi said President Banda should shelve the plan before he signs his way out of power.
Labels: EDITH NAWAKWI, MMD, RUPIAH BANDA
A shameful evil scheme against justice Mumba
By The Post
Fri 28 Jan. 2011, 04:00 CAT
The scheme to hound justice Florence Mumba out of the Electoral Commission of Zambia is going to backfire on Rupiah Banda. They may succeed in removing justice Mumba today over lies and half-truths that they are concocting. But our people will have the final say on this matter.
We say this because over many years, there has been heightened dissatisfaction with the way the Electoral Commission has conducted elections in our country.
Many of our people have found it difficult to accept the legitimacy of election results because of the perception that the Electoral Commission is an extension of the party in government.
It is very difficult for anyone to deny that justice Mumba is one of the very well respected and outstanding professionals that our country has produced.
She has excelled in her profession as a lawyer, and particularly as a judge. You do not have to know her personally to admire her qualities and respect her.
This is the person who is not only respected by many of our people but one who has been recognised as an outstanding legal luminary and a judge of very high integrity.
It does not surprise us that she is having the kinds of problems that have beset the Electoral Commission.
It seems to us that she found herself in a cesspool of corruption and abuse of public resources and offices at the Electoral Commission.
Her efforts to clean up have galvanised significant resistance that is being openly supported by the government.
Again, government support for the reactionary elements that have benefitted from the abuse of systems at the Electoral Commission should not surprise anyone.
This is a government that supports and defends criminals.
One doesn’t need to look very far to see how they do it: look at the cases of Frederick Chiluba and his tandem of thieves.
All that matters to them is support and defence of their criminal regime. If you do that, you can get away with anything – even murder.
In a paradoxical way, people like justice Mumba should draw comfort from the lack of support by this government.
We say this because in a very consistent way, Rupiah and his minions have tended to rise in defence of what is wrong.
It is very difficult to find a single instance where they have waged a battle to defend a principle or a principled person. Rupiah and his minions seem allergic to what is right.
They are drawn to wrong things the way a magnet is drawn to metal.
If one wants to know what side is wrong or right, all one needs to do is to see where Rupiah and his minions stand.
Even if you are not clear about the issue, where Rupiah and his minions are standing should serve as a definite warning sign that there is something rotten there, something stinking, something filthy and all the like.
When the attacks on justice Mumba began, we were not clear what was happening. We were hearing things but we were not able to fully digest what the problem was.
But it took us less than 24 hours to clearly understand what was going on.
All we needed to do was to wait and see where Rupiah and his minions were in this matter.
And following our journalistic instincts, we walked in the trail.
And true to our suspicions, Rupiah and his minions were once again on the wrong side of the argument.
There are allegations of misappropriation of funds and general abuse of resources at the Electoral Commission.
And the dismissed director Dan Kalale seems to have some explanations to do in relation to these allegations.
Justice Mumba seems to have been trying to do something about these allegations.
And yet what seems to be emphasised by Rupiah’s vuvuzelas is the alleged unprocedural retention of an audit firm, KPMG, to investigate the allegations of criminal abuse of resources.
These people have no interest in safeguarding public resources but are more interested in defending wrongdoing and wrongdoers in the name of procedural correctness.
If there was something to forgive, to overlook, it would certainly not be criminal acts of theft of public resources and abuse of office but procedural lapses.
If there are any procedural lapses, they can and should be corrected. But criminal wrongdoing should be punished, it cannot be corrected.
One of the evidences of corruption or behaviour of corrupt people is an unbending or inflexible insistence on processes which make it impossible for an activity to be carried out.
If you need their concurrence in doing something, they will make it so impossible for you that in the end, you are forced to buy their flexibility.
This is why in the past, people have accused bureaucracy of being responsible for corruption.
Bureaucratic procedures are not responsible for corruption; it is corrupt bureaucrats who exploit the bureaucracies in which they work to benefit themselves.
This is what is happening at the Electoral Commission. Instead of dealing with the underlying problems, bureaucrats who know the loopholes with the help of their political puppeteers have made it impossible for honest people like justice Mumba to correct the many wrongs that have been taking place.
These bureaucrats understand the weaknesses of their political masters.
We know that they have gone to them with blatant lies about people like justice Mumba.
One stupid accusation that they have been peddling against this innocent lady is that she is working with this newspaper and Michael Sata’s Patriotic Front to interfere with the electoral processes in favour of PF.
Anyone listening to that argument with the slightest modicum of honesty would have to dismiss it as trash.
But people like George Kunda, the minion in charge of the administration of Rupiah’s government as Rupiah sleeps at the driving wheel, is only too eager to have excuses such as this nonsense to further destroy the Electoral Commission.
We have now learnt that George Kunda has been campaigning for the retention of Kalale, whose contract is supposed to end next month and who has been at the Electoral Commission for close to 20 years.
What is it that Kalale is supposed to do for them?
What has Kalale promised them which makes it worth their while to try and destroy the reputation of a very distinguished citizen like justice Mumba?
We know that they have been banding around accusations against her because according to them, this newspaper has never criticised her.
Surely, are we expected to criticise somebody just to satisfy their morbid appetites for the destruction of those who dare to stand for what is right?
We have come to an understanding of the way George Kunda operates. His fingerprints are all over this continued destruction of our public service.
As an accomplished minion himself, he expects all those that he considers to be below him to be minions to him the way he is to his boss.
George wants to turn the whole public service into his bootlickers.
It is now in the public domain that he wants to choose and promote every judge, control the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Attorney General, the Inspector General of Police, the Drug Enforcement Commission.
The Anti Corruption Commission, like the Drug Enforcement Commission, are his preferred tools for meting out vengeance on his perceived political rivals or professionals who refuse to bow to him.
We have no doubt that George wants to control the Electoral Commission the same way he seems to control everything else in Rupiah’s government.
Clearly, in justice Mumba, he has met a person of moral clarity who cannot easily be swayed by cheap promises or expectation of patronage.
To accuse her of plotting to collaborate with us to subvert the will of our people is not only nonsense but reckless maliciousness against such an innocent, humble human being.
We are used to being accused of all sorts of things by George and it does not bother us.
If George was not worried about us and concocting all sorts of stories and rumours, there would have to be two explanations: either we have stopped doing our job in the right way we should or George has stopped doing the wrong things he seems permanently wedded to.
If George changed and started supporting what is right, we would have no problems in praising him and supporting him.
But clearly, his morbid hatred for us is being used by those around him to destroy innocent people.
We say this because we know that all somebody has to say to George and through George, his boss Rupiah, is: so-and-so is a friend of The Post.
Then that person may well be destroyed. We know that George complains even about fellow MMD or government leaders who appear to have been covered positively by The Post.
Whatever problems George may have with us, he should be careful not to use them to destroy innocent people and consequently the credibility of the public institutions they lead.
What they are trying to do to justice Mumba clearly demonstrates that she is as honourable as we suspected.
They have failed to get her to co-operate in their evil schemes and they are therefore determined to destroy her.
We saw this in the way this same George dealt with the former Director of Public Prosecutions Caroline Sokoni who had refused to be part of his evil and corrupt scheme to pardon corrupt Kashiwa Bulaya.
George saw to it that she was never confirmed in her job. He instead brought pliable and spineless Chalwe Mchenga who appears ready to do George’s bidding at every turn.
We have no shame in saying we wish we knew justice Mumba more because clearly, she is an outstanding person.
This newspaper does not have any personal relations with her. But that does not stop us admiring her professionalism.
And the fact that George is fighting her convinces us that she is on the right side of the argument.
Kalale is now just a pawn being used to subdue an honourable person. Anyway, all these people should realise that their day is coming and that day is near.
Labels: ECZ, FLORENCE MUMBA, GEORGE KUNDA
Kunda is behind justice Mumba’s harassment
By George Chellah
Fri 28 Jan. 2011, 04:02 CAT
VICE-PRESIDENT George Kunda is behind the scheme to hound out justice Florence Mumba as Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) chairperson ahead of the forthcoming general elections.
And ECZ has dodged the Auditor General's office from conducting financial audits for the past two years. Well-placed government sources yesterday disclosed that Vice-President Kunda was the force behind the ECZ saga.
"Vice-President Kunda was fed with lies over the issues at ECZ. He was told that justice Mumba, The Post and Michael Sata were in league to ensure that President Banda is out of office. And the evidence they used to back their lies was past copies of editorial comments, which The Post ran on ECZ where the newspaper praised the commission on certain positive things it was doing," the source said.
"Clearly, this whole scheme is anchored on insinuations. And some of us know that when it comes to The Post the Vice-President is unreasonable, he doesn't even care to question what he is being told. It's the same lies that were passed on to the President, hence the unfolding events at ECZ."
The sources revealed that when misconduct was detected at ECZ, Vice-President Kunda was informed about the intention to discipline Dan Kalale dismissed ECZ director on a number of offences leveled against him.
"Actually, the issue of the KPMG audit was not even part of the charges Kalale faced. One wonders why Kalale at his press briefing decided to talk about the audit and not the issues behind his dismissal. What is even more shocking is that Vice-President Kunda asked the ECZ to pardon Kalale," another source said. "In fact, he even requested them to give Kalale another three-year contract. This seems to have shocked the ECZ because Kalale whose contract was supposed to come to an end this February had not even indicated his intentions to renew it. So why should the Vice-President ask on his behalf? What's his interest?"
The sources said Vice-President Kunda's panic over Kalale's departure was strange.
"What is it that he does to warrant this forcefulness just to ensure that he remains at ECZ? As a matter of fact, Kalale is on record to have requested for a final three-year contract from justice Mumba's predecessor judge Ireen Mambilima," the source said.
"Kalale indicated that he wanted to do something else because he was tired of conducting elections. So why is the Vice-President personally pushing for the extension of his contract?"
The sources revealed that despite Vice-President Kunda attempts, justice Mumba insisted on going ahead with administrative measures because Kalale was their employee.
"The Commission felt that they had a duty to bring sanity at the institution and that they could not sit and watch taxpayers’ money being abused or misapplied. What is even more surprising is how President Banda and Vice-President Kunda could orchestrate such a move when they were both informed at every stage regarding the disciplinary issues surrounding Kalale and his subsequent dismissal from the commission," the source said. "It’s actually hypocrisy of the highest order for Vice-President Kunda to receive a petition from disgruntled ECZ junior officers and promise to give the nation an answer on the matter when he was fully aware of the happenings at ECZ. In fact, during Kalale's disciplinary hearing, Vice-President Kunda was represented by a senior officer from the Ministry of Justice, who was equally part of the decision to dismiss Kalale summarily. The Labour Commissioner was also represented at the highest level. So the decision to dismiss Kalale cannot be said to be a personal act by justice Mumba."
The sources challenged Vice-President Kunda and Kalale to disclose the details of the disciplinary hearing that led to his dismissal.
"It must be stated that the decision to dismiss Kalale had nothing to do with the audit as he claimed. Let Kalale tell the public the reason why he was dismissed. We know that Kalale has tried to frustrate every ECZ chairperson so that he makes himself look very valuable to the institution," the source said.
"That is why he has been arguing that commissioners do nothing but commissioners at ECZ are there to provide checks and balances. The truth is Kalale wants to run ECZ like his personal business. He doesn't want any control whatsoever. Kalale has overstayed at ECZ," the source said. “In fact, ECZ is all he knows throughout his working life. He is actually holding ECZ hostage."
The sources disclosed that ECZ has dodged the Auditor General's office from conducting financial audits for the past two years.
"For the year 2009 and 2010 the ECZ has not been audited. For the year 2009, Kalale wrote to the Auditor General asking for 'forgiveness' so that ECZ could not be audited for that year claiming that they were busy with the voter registration exercise. So for the year 2009, ECZ was not audited. And recently the Auditor General's office wrote to ECZ informing them that they intend to start the audit next month February for the year 2010. But again the acting director, Priscilla Isaacs has written to the Auditor General's office asking for a postponement of the exercise," the source said.
"This means that for two years, that is the year 2009 and the year 2010, ECZ has not been audited and yet they expect the government to continue pouring in taxpayers' money, which they can't account for. The fact that ECZ has evaded auditing for two years is enough to raise suspicions. In fact, the Auditor General's office is concerned that it is having difficulties to conduct an audit in ECZ.”
Labels: DAN KALALE, ECZ, FLORENCE MUMBA, GEORGE KUNDA
COMMENT - " Dr Musokotwane said Zambia and Mauritius wanted to protect investors in the two countries from double taxation. " Dr. Musokotwane is a simple crook, who not only shields mining companies from paying taxes in Zambia, he also shields them from paying dividends to their shareholders, which is defrauding ZCCM-IH shareholders from a rightful return on their investment. He is a criminal.
Magande is jealous of govt’s successes - Musokotwane
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Fri 28 Jan. 2011, 04:01 CAT
NG’ANDU Magande is being jealous of the economic achievements of the current government, says finance minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane.
Reacting to Magande’s observations that President Rupiah Banda’s regime lacks medium to long-term planning as witnessed by the planned law to empower the education minister to sell or lease out public schools
, Dr Musokotwane said the former minister was an envious man.
Dr Musokotwane said the current regime was scoring economic achievements, which Magande failed to score during the time he served as the country’s all-time longest finance minister.
“His comments are a terrible misunderstanding or to some extent, he being jealous because we are achieving,” said Dr Musokotwane without commenting on the education Bill of 2010 released by Abyudi Shonga which gives powers to the minister of education to sell or lease public learning institutions.
“We are building schools and just this year, we are hiring 5,000 teachers, so, should that mean we are not planning?”
Dr Musokotwane also said Denmark’s withdrawal of aid to Zambia was not as a result of bad governance in the country.
Dr Musokotwane said Denmark stopped funding Zambia because of the economic and financial crisis the European country was going through as well as Zambia’s good economic performance.
He said Denmark’s funding would be halted in the next three years after the committed funding is disbursed.
Dr Musokotwane said the current regime wanted to wane the country off donor dependence unlike what he termed Magande’s reign, which was donor-dependent.
“The focus of this government is ‘how does Zambia graduate from donor dependence in sustainable way’ and not where you just ‘Go away! Go away! Go away!’
“So, after Denmark decided to cut aid to some countries owing to their financial crisis, they looked at those countries that are desperate and Zambia is not in a desperate situation, and that is the basis they include Zambia on the list of the countries where they would stop providing development assistance.”
Dr Musokotwane said Zambia’s planned increased copper output and growth in related industries was expected to drive economic growth in Zambia.
He said the copper output was expected to rise from the current estimated 800,000 metric tonnes to about 1.5 million metric tonnes in the next five years.
“Surely, we should graduate from being beggars to people who feed themselves,” he said.
Dr Musokotwane alleged that the Danes had intentions of withdrawing funding to some roads in Western province under Magande.
And Zambia agreed that investors between Zambia and Mauritius should not be subjected to duo taxations in respect of the investments they make in the two countries.
Dr Musokotwane said Zambia and Mauritius wanted to protect investors in the two countries from double taxation.
Labels: CORRUPTION, DENMARK, DONORS, NG'ANDU MAGANDE, SITUMBEKO MUSOKOTWANE
Cabinet should dissolve before campaigns hot up - Masebo
By By Florence Bupe
Fri 28 Jan. 2011, 04:01 CAT
SYLVIA Masebo says Cabinet should be dissolved before election campaigns intensify to curb the abuse of state resources by the ruling party.
And the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) has said the date or period of elections should be included in the national Constitution as opposed to the current scenario where the power to set and announce the date of elections lies in the Republican President.
Masebo, who is Chongwe MMD member of parliament, made the suggestion during a sitting of the parliamentary committee for legal affairs, human rights and gender matters.
This was after concerns were raised by the witness, the CCZ, over the non-adherence to the electoral code of conduct regulation which prohibits the use of state resources by the party in power during the election period.
“When you complain on the ineffectiveness of the code of conduct and give your recommendations as witnesses, you should come up with specific recommendations. I feel the dissolution of Cabinet and Parliament would make it easier to curb the misuse of resources by the party in power,” Masebo said.
During the same sitting, Kabwata PF parliamentarian Given Lubinda proposed that the dissolution of Cabinet should be inclusive of the Vice-President since he is also a member of parliament.
“The Vice-President, being a member of parliament, should also be ‘dissolved’ and should no longer serve as the Republican vice-president,” he said.
Lubinda said the current provision in the electoral code of conduct which allowed the President and his Vice-President to utilise state resources, including vehicles, during campaigns should be amended to exclude the privilege given to the Vice-President.
Lubinda said the code should qualify the extent to which the President could use state resources.
In response, the Non-Governmental Organisations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) echoed the parliamentarians’ suggestions, saying there was need to make the code more effective by implementing the prohibitions stated.
Zambia National Women’s Lobby national publicity secretary Christine Sikombe said the code should be backed by legislation and strengthened punitive measures should be implemented against culprits.
And CCZ head of programmes Abraham Chikasa submitted that calls for the inclusion of the election date in the national Constitution should be taken seriously.
He said the current system where the President holds the power to set and announce the election date was detrimental to the development of democracy.
Chikasa also reiterated the need for various stakeholders to work towards the realisation of free, fair and credible elections by flushing out components of violence.
Labels: 2011 ELECTIONS, CABINET, CCZ, SYLVIA MASEBO
COMMENT - At some level, you can't blame anyone in Western Province for wanting to break off from Zambia, expecially when oil or diamonds are found there. The illegal scam that pertains today is that central government politicians take illegal bribes so foreign investors won't have to pay taxes and are 'protected' from the law. That is a direct attack on the integrity of the country itself. These resources belong to the people of the country, and are not subject to illegal scams by ruling (or opposition) party politicians. And yet arrogantly and narcissistically, we have the Finance Minister coming out and saying that there will be no significant reduction in poverty for 30 years. It would be morally superior for the people to steal these resources and sell them themselves. It is a disgrace that the part of the country that supplies most of 'GDP', has people living in abject poverty, on top of living in the most polluted part of the country. Does anyone in the MMD have the moral highground to accuse the people of the Niger Delta for taking up arms - no they do not, and it is their own thieving behavior that is to blame. You steal from the people, you lose any claim to morality or legitimate authority.
Chilipamushi bemoans state of C/belt towns
By Darious Kapembwa in Kitwe
Fri 28 Jan. 2011, 04:01 CAT
FORMER commerce permanent secretary Davidson Chilipamushi says Copperbelt towns have remained depressed although they account for a large share of the country’s GDP and generate over two-thirds of the country’s foreign exchange.
And Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) international chairman Love Mtesa says the organisation has expanded its scope and interventions on subjects such as good governance, social accountability, trade and development, economic and business regulations.
During a CUTS organised workshop to launch the Better Exploration of Trade as a Means for Poverty Reduction BETAMPOR project in Kitwe, Chilipamushi said economic infrastructure still remained very poor despite huge economic gains as a result of high copper production.
“The fact of the matter is that Zambia is among the 50 poorest countries on earth but we’re saying there is economic boom but the towns look the same as they were 20 years back, even worse,” Chilipamushi said.
“Although statistically the Copperbelt accounts for a large share of the country’s GDP and generates over two-thirds of the country’s foreign exchange, it is clearly visible that there is nothing to show for it; the towns remain depressed as no real infrastructure has been developed.”
Chilipamushi, who is now a senior lecturer in the School of Business at Copperbelt University, said the towns’ ability to maintain even the existing structures seem to be diminishing as no new revenue was being collected from the flourishing mines.
He suggested that the revenue coming from the mines be given to the local authorities for development projects.
“…Maybe under councils the revenue could go a long way to improve on the outlook of the depressed towns,” Chilipamushi said.
He said diversification efforts away from the dependency on copper to the promotion of non-traditional exports must be supported.
Chilipamushi added that the diversification initiative would help in keeping the money within the province and also assist in reducing unemployment and high poverty levels.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Mtesa said the mission of the organisation was to function as a resource co-ordination centre as well as networking centre in order to promote South-South co-operation on trade and development by involving state and non-state actors.
“At international level, because of its abundant expertise, CUTS is working very closely with developing countries in helping them with research on trade and economic related issues which they need in their trade negotiations in Geneva at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Brussels and the EU negotiations on EPAs,” said Ambassador Mtesa.
Labels: COPPERBELT PROVINCE, CUTS, DAVIDSON CHILIPAMUSHI
Time to hold MDC to account for sanctions
By Psychology Maziwisa
Last updated on: January 27, 2011
IN ALL history, it is difficult to think of a time when a country became aware of acts of gross sabotage by anyone in the world, let alone its own citizens, and did nothing about it. No earthly reason exists for abandoning that tradition – especially in Zimbabwe where a whole lot is at stake.
Zimbabwe has been turned upside down by its very own. For forty pieces of silver, the MDC has demonstrated a malevolent determination to harm and a readiness to betray. What began as a gesture of giving effect to multi-party democracy has landed the country in multiple problems.
Although the wisdom of wanting to sue Morgan Tsvangirai for treason is questionable — for it is a legal impossibility and so a waste of precious time — the fact is that WiliLeaks has helped further expose the MDC’s primary and only motive for existence and ought to be thanked for its contribution.
All in all, the MDC has not just let its supporters down, the country down — it has deceived the very founders and proponents of civil liberties whose wish it never was for human rights to be used for deceitful, let alone injurious purposes. Were Martin Luther King to learn of this development, I swear he would regret the many years of sacrifice to the cause of freedom.
Determined to quash the freedom of the many and to protect the vested interests of the privileged few, the MDC campaigned for sanctions whose ruinous effects have turned a country, once the break basket of Africa, into a basket case itself.
The facts speak for themselves. Unable to provide for people’s basic needs, for instance, the government of Zimbabwe resorted to printing more and more money in 2008. Hyper-inflation was inescapable, in fact rising to Weimaresque levels. It was a fiscally irresponsible thing to do, yet contemporaneously, a demonstration of considerable love. And that is all that matters. What else was the government supposed to do — give in to the sanctions and so give up on its people?
It is on record that as a direct corollary of the sanctions, unemployment shot to over 90% in 2008. So much for targeted sanctions! Life expectancy dropped from 60 years in 1980 to about 37 years in 2008. President Mugabe is 87 years this year and he is supposed to be the target?
When the MDC-orchestrated ruin was at its pinnacle, hospitals literally became death traps. For a period, schools were shut down. Supermarket shelves were noticeable only by their emptiness. Starvation was commonplace. Thousands died of cholera — an otherwise preventable disease but one which the government could not anticipate and so avoid.
All of this craziness, all of this suffering, the loss of innocent lives and yet the “target” of these sanctions, President Mugabe, who has private medical experts around him, has hardly ever gone to bed on an empty stomach!
The MDC and its inventors and investors may fool some — but to suppose they can hoodwink a country that boasts of the highest literacy rate in Africa is to hugely miscalculate. Zimbabwe has lurched from disaster to disaster because of the MDC — and that is the end of the matter. As it stands, its officials are doing everything in their wicked power to block the lucrative sale of our diamonds lest we become self-sufficient and their efforts at effecting illegal governmental change are rendered impotent. Of course the human rights abuse mantra is a bloody disguise. Don’t these people ever get tired of making ordinary, innocent people suffer? Have they no shame?
The day Tsvangirai is interdicted from his evil activities, the entire MDC leadership ought to go down with him. The rights of millions of Zimbabweans have been disregarded for far too long. Healthcare, education, shelter and dignity are not animal rights — they are human rights too. These rights have time after time been trampled upon by the MDC. Compared to them, rights to free speech, expression, assembly and association are privileges.
Moreover, human rights are meant to be complementary not contradictory. And although they are by their very nature inalienable, they are not absolute. Rights can be limited if doing so can be shown to be justifiable in a free, democratic and independent society. And if the monstrous torment of innocent citizens is not enough justification, then nothing is!
The very reason for qualifying rights is so that there is recognition and respect for the rights and liberties of others. This is a universally accepted and practiced tenet of constitutional and human rights law. Yet, for over a decade, the MDC has not just failed to recognise and respect our rights, it has taken them away. It has brought forth political and economic turmoil of proportions unprecedented in history. The scale of suffering and hardship occasioned by these blokes is not to be trifled with- it’s been overwhelmingly devastating and it now must stop.
Accordingly, the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe, as the final arbiter on all constitutional and human rights matters, must prohibit the MDC from further carrying out its torturous activities — if not indefinitely then at least for sometime. It is only fair.
Labels: MDC, SANCTIONS, TREASON, ZDERA
COMMENT - Zimbabwe truly has the most revolutionary government in Africa today. Odd that the MDC hasn't ever been able to rally the people on the scale we are seeing today in Egypt, Tunisia and Greece, isn't it?
Zanu-PF Politburo sets 'sanctions retaliation strategy'
By: Samantha Chidzero
Posted: Thursday, January 27, 2011 10:29 pm
ZIMBABWE will soon retaliate against companies from countries that have imposed illegal, ruinous sanctions on Zimbabwe, the Zanu-PF Politburo announced on Wednesday after its monthly meeting. The party said it had made a determination on the issue which will be announced soon.
"A decision has been made by the party and we will take appropriate action. We have done our research and we know the companies that are involved," Zanu-PF party's spokesman Rugare Gumbo said.
He did not specify what action exactly will be taken, but indications are that these firms could soon be indigenised.
Gumbo said the Politburo had made it clear that 2011 was a "Year to Empower Indigenous People".
"We want to make sure that 2011 is a year we distribute the wealth of our nation equitably," he said.
Gumbo said the move follows a speech made by President Mugabe at the 11th Annual Conference of the party held in Mutare, Eastern Highlands in Zimbabwe.
READY FOR ELECTIONS
The Politburo said Zanu-PF was geared and ready for elections this year, and the party was supporting all its sitting Members of Parliament.
"The political commissar (Webster Shamu) gave a report which indicated that it is important that the party continues supporting sitting MPs.
"The party felt that it is not right to start electioneering now."
Election dates are yet to be announced.
The Politburo warned NGOs that violate their mandate that they "would be dealt with severely".
This was the first Politburo meeting for Professor Jonathan Moyo and George Rutanhire, who were elevated to the body at the Mutare People’s Conference.
The Mbare Chimurenga Choir entertained Politburo members with their popular revolutionary songs before the meeting started.
Labels: SANCTIONS, ZDERA
Copac data on land issue goes missing
Posted: Thursday, January 27, 2011 10:14 pm
CONTRIBUTIONS made by ZImbabweans on land, natural resources and the environment during the constitution-making outreach phase have disappeared from Copac’s main computer server at a Harare hotel in as yet unclear circumstances.
The Parliamentary Constitutional Committee on the new Constitution (Copac) co-chairperson Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana on Wednesday briefed the Zanu-PF Politburo on the issue. Zanu-PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said the party was disturbed by the development.
"Cde Paul Mangwana briefed us (the Politburo) on what has happened. The uploading and analysis is going well, but they (Copac) have gone into a technical hitch where some information that was supposed to be on the server, particularly on the land issue, was not there.
"There were just questions (posed to citizens) and no answers. A computer expert could have tampered with the computer," he said.
Gumbo added: "They will overcome the problem, but it was a hitch which as a party we are concerned about ... why was the issue of land not there? We think there was a game."
He was, however, optimistic that the constitution-making process would be completed before June.
Mangwana said uploading of data gathered during the outreach had gone ve-ry well until they discovered that "the ser-ver had omitted all information on the land, natural resources and the environment".
"It could have been just a technical error in the wrong place.
"The server is designed in such a manner that when you put in some data, you cannot edit it.
"I suspect that a person with mischief may not have been happy with responses on the land issue.
"Someone wanted to tamper with the information banking on the probability that we were not going to cross-check," Mangwana said.
The server is kept under 24-hour guard at the hotel, but Mangwana said technology nowadays was so advanced that one could manipulate systems without necessarily being physically near the computer.
He said the lost information would be retrieved from the original documents.
"The United Nations Development Programme has secured an expert from the suppliers of the technology (Hewlett-Packard) and he is expected in the country between now and Tuesday next week," he said.
The UNDP has played a central role in funding the constitution-making process.
During the outreach, there were reports of MDC-T personnel trying to sidestep citizens’ contributions on land.
Zanu-PF and MDC-T have often clashed on the land reforms, with the latter accused of trying to protect the white minority’s interests at the black majority’s expense.
The Fast-Track Land Reform Programme, which started in 2000, has seen nearly 300,000 black families benefiting from a resource once held by just 6,000 white commercial farmers.
Labels: COPAC, LAND REFORM, MUNYARADZI PAUL MANGWANA, RUGARE GUMBO
Rupiah’s Govt wants justice Mumba out of ECZ
By George Chellah
Thu 27 Jan. 2011, 04:02 CAT
PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda’s government is plotting to remove justice Florence Mumba as Electoral Commission of Zambia chairperson ahead of the forthcoming general elections.
Well-placed government sources yesterday revealed that the government intends to reshuffle the commission with a view to getting rid of justice Mumba.
“The current happenings at ECZ vis-à-vis Dan Kalale’s dismissed ECZ director press briefing is more than what meets the eye,” the sources said. “Even these screaming headlines you are seeing in the government newspapers and television, they are not from without. It’s all part of the scheme.”
The sources disclosed that very senior government officials are driving the ploy.
“State House is deeply involved too. When did the government media give such kind of publicity to a dismissed civil servant like they are doing to Kalale? This is a well-orchestrated move by the government to mount pressure on justice Mumba,” the sources said. “There is a serious ploy to have justice Mumba out of ECZ. In fact, the scheme is to ensure that justice Mumba is removed and Kalale is reinstated either directly or indirectly at the commission. One way or another, Kalale has to be there at the commission.”
The sources said the government, and the MMD in particular, were not comfortable with having justice Mumba at the helm of the forthcoming elections.
“Justice Mumba has become so unpopular within the establishment such that they have just been waiting for an opportunity to strike. And now seems to be that time they have been waiting for to fix her. The MMD is not comfortable with the manner the commission conducted the voter registration exercise countrywide,” the sources said. “There is serious resentment of the judge within the establishment and the general feeling is that the voter registration exercise seems to have come out in favour of the opposition. There are claims that going by the figures, it’s clear that the commission centered so much in opposition strongholds, which is ridiculous.”
The sources said justice Mumba is perceived as a person that was difficult to manipulate.
“They feel that the equitable manner in which resources and efforts towards the exercise where applied by the commission disadvantaged the ruling party. And that even manoeuvres by the MMD to try and influence the commission to tilt the exercise by concentrating on rural areas don’t seem to be working,” the sources said. “Generally, the ruling party is frustrated with justice Mumba because she seems to be a hard nut to crack, where principle and transparency is concerned. It’s like she is her own person and she wants to be as impartial as possible with regards to this year’s elections. In short, they are scared that the country will be going for elections without Kalale and the very fact that justice Mumba who is independent minded will be in charge is what has worried them to the core.”
The sources dismissed Kalale’s claims.
“Actually, there are a lot of financial irregularities that have gone unchecked at ECZ hence the need for an independent audit to be conducted. This whole saga is a political ploy. The truth is the government wants a person they can manipulate to be in-charge of the commission.”
Labels: ECZ, FLORENCE MUMBA, RUPIAH BANDA
Don’t re-elect those who have failed to deliver
By The Post
Thu 27 Jan. 2011, 04:00 CAT
Those who offer themselves for re-election ought to be evaluated against the record of what they have or have not achieved. Did they fulfil their promises?
Did they offer quality service to all the people, not only those who voted them into power? Were they available to listen to the concerns of the people and were they selfless in responding to the needs of all, especially the poor?
Were they courageous enough to speak out the truth? Did they have enough concern for social justice? Were they desirous of working for the common good instead of self-enrichment? How disposed were they to use power for service, especially service of the poor and underprivileged? Were they open to dialogue? What is their moral standing? Were they transparent and accountable to the electorate in their dealings? Were they in leadership to be served or to serve?
Depending on how they measure up to these issues, they themselves should know whether they are fit or not for re-election. They say kuipima. One should weigh oneself against the standards that are required of a leader for one to seek re-election. The question should always be: my people have given me five years to serve them and this is what I have done in those five years. If am given another five years, what am I going to do? If the answer is nothing, then let another person take your place. We say this because public office is not for the political or financial survival of any individual. The primacy of the common good should take precedence over all other considerations when deciding whether to retire or seek re-election. And those who elect others to public office should never be swayed by personal profit, tribal or any other bias, but solely by the consideration of which of the conflicting issues or candidates is better for the nation or the community. We should scrutinise the people who wish to represent us and select our candidates strictly according to the good we think they can do. The interest of the political parties, or indeed of the individual, should be kept subordinate to the public good. We should aim our choices at the promotion of the common good and the service of all the people. We read in the scriptures that “The Son of Man himself came not to be served but to serve” (Mark 10:45). The focus should be on improving the life of the nation or the community.
There is little benefit in voting out the old, if the newly-elected may prove equally disappointing. Our vote can help eliminate the unworthy and improve the quality of our new representatives. Once every five years, the law puts this power in our hands. Let us use it wisely and bravely. On our voting, on the quality of it, the discernment behind it, depend the progress of our country.
And when it comes to those who have not yet held office, we should carefully evaluate them in terms of their competence and their reputation for honesty and selfless dedication to the common good. We should also look at their competence, courage to speak out the truth, concern for social justice, desire to work for the common good instead of self-enrichment, disposition to use power for service, especially service of the poor and underprivileged, openness to dialogue, good moral standing, transparency and accountability to the electorate.
We therefore encourage all those who are going to vote in this year’s elections to get themselves informed of the manifestos of our various political parties. The manifestos are supposed to have the programme of action the parties propose to follow in order to serve the good of all people. A sound manifesto should articulate achievable programmes that will enhance the development of our country and our own wellbeing. Hence, we should be able to decide to vote for the party that has a programme we see as the best for us as a nation. Candidates for political parties will be committed to the manifestos of their party as well as to their personal vision for their constituency. Candidates should therefore be evaluated on their capacity to implement both their party’s manifesto and their personal vision.
Only those who consider themselves accountable to their electorate, who consider the public interest rather than their own, who keep in touch with their constituencies, and who are faithful to their election promises, should be considered for re-election. In addition to this, only those who respect the rights of others, who do not use their positions to amass property, especially land and money, and mindful of the many who have little or none.
Our right to vote bears positive fruit for the country when we choose good leaders for presidency and for the membership of parliament and for our councils. And therefore, we must do our duty as citizens by choosing people who will serve the country with justice towards all; people of genuine integrity, moral courage in the cause of truth and justice, and who are competent for the posts entrusted to them. There is need for us to use our votes for the good of Zambia, as opposed to the good of a particular party, group or individual. We should be conscious of the crucial role which each individual citizen should play in choosing the leaders who will create the type of Zambia we want to live in. We must vote for people of integrity regardless of the region they come from, their tribe, language, political or religious affiliation. Zambia needs patriotic leaders; people who place national interests before personal ambitions. This imperative duty must be fulfilled carefully and we must choose wisely people who will take the direction of civil affairs. Whether our country will have good or bad laws, an upright or inefficient administration, will depend on the way we vote. If we are reckless in the way we vote, we run a risk of getting into public offices people who have no national interests at heart and who are going to jeopardise the future of our country and that of our children. When the time for elections comes, let’s vote according to our conscience, in accordance with the highest human values without allowing ourselves to be pressured or dictated to by bribes, threats, self-interests and so on and so forth. Clearly, those who have failed to deliver, as Fr Andrew Chenjerani Phiri has correctly observed, should feel ashamed to seek re-election. And if they do, no one should vote for them. Don’t vote for those who have failed to deliver, who have betrayed public interest and the poor.
Failures shouldn’t seek re-election - Fr Phiri
By Christopher Miti in Chipata
Thu 27 Jan. 2011, 04:00 CAT
LEADERS who seek re-election but have failed to deliver should feel ashamed, says Fr Andrew Chenjerani Phiri. Fr Phiri, who is Chipata Diocese pastoral coordinator, said it was sad that Nyampande had been neglected in many areas.
“It’s bad that the government has not been represented here. I’m appealing to senior chief Kalindawalo to inform government that we are disappointed by the failure of government officials to come and celebrate with us during the blessing and the handover of the church. Tell them that they have offended us here in Nyamphande area,” said Fr Phiri during the handover of St Peters Catholic Church to the people of chief Nyamphande’s area in Petauke’s Msanzala constituency on Sunday.
“Very soon these people will come to ask for votes. Are these voters going to come from heaven? It’s you. If I was a chief I would have banned all the politicians from doing their campaigns in Nyamphande’s chiefdom.”
He said despite various campaign promises, Nyamphande area remained underdeveloped.
“Whether they do their campaigns here or not the people here will be as they were in the beginning, now and forever. The people you voted for who are not seen during developmental programmes and they come to only ask for votes again, how are they going to foster development this time around?” he said. “If there is any elected leader here who received a vote from my mother, my father and my grandparent but you didn’t show up for developmental programmes, you should feel ashamed with that vote. Look at this road Nyamphande. I think the two chiefs know that during Dr Kaunda’s time this road was being graded up to the tarmac.”
Fr Phiri said it was sad that the government had not put a bridge at Matonga but would be quick to ask for votes.
“If they politicians come to ask for votes from you I think you should inform me so that they could talk to me first. People do not just need spiritual development because a person cannot come and pray if he is sick, when he is hungry. We want we and the government to move together,” Fr Phiri said.
He said the people of Kapyela area were asking him to find well-wishers who could help build a hospital in the area.
“I know the people’s request is in the hands of the government and not me alone. When I get sick I go to Kalichero’s Mzeyi Mission Hospital in Chipata so that’s where I was. What about you? did your MP Msanzala MMD parliamentarian Peter Daka build a hospital for you? We are expecting government to build the hospital that people are looking for,” Fr Phiri said.
He asked chiefs Kalindawalo and Nyamphande to tell the government about the cries of the people in Petauke.
Fr Phiri was very instrumental in the construction of the church that was handed over to the local people by Diocesan Bishop George Lungu.
Bishop Lungu also announced that the newly appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese Fr Benjamin Phiri would be installed on April 9 at St Anne’s Cathedral in Chipata.
The handover ceremony was also attended by priests, nuns and brothers that hail from Petauke District.
Labels: CHIEF KALINDAWALO MNDIKULA
Musokotwane canes Magande
Thursday, January 27, 2011, 8:47
FINANCE and National Planning Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane has advised his predecessor Ng’andu Magande to appreciate the Government’s great efforts in building the country.
And Dr Musokotwane has explained that the Danish Government’s announced withdrawal of aid to Zambia would not be immediate but would be phased out over a period of three years.
Dr Musokotwane told journalists in Lusaka yesterday that President Rupiah Banda’s Government was managing the country through strategic planning which aimed at sustaining growth and development contrary to assertions by Mr Magande.
Mr Magande was in yesterday’s Post newspaper quoted as saying that Zambia was headed for a bad future because President Rupiah Banda’s Government allegedly lacked planning.
“It is not true that we have failed to plan, we are running the same Government under which Mr Magande served and he should know that the Fifth National Development Plan is a developmental plan which has been concluded.
He said the Government was on the verge of launching the Sixth National Development Plan which he said would be realized.
“Unless Mr Magande is telling us that after leaving office he has forgotten, there is planning,” Dr Musokotwane said.
On the Danish government’s withdrawal of bilateral aid, Dr Musokotwane said all the Danish projects would be completed and reasons given for the cut of aid were that the Danish Government was facing economic hardships because of the global economic crisis.
He said several other countries such as Ireland, the United Kingdom, Portugal and Greece were facing financial challenges because of the economic recession.
“If Mr Magande’s vision was to continue with the dependency syndrome, the vision of the current Government is to graduate Zambia from such dependency. Let him keep his vision as ours is for national planning and sustaining it,” Dr Musokotwane said.
He, however, said he was happy that Britain had not decided to cut its budgetary support to Zambia.
“Denmark was left in a tight financial corner by the global economic crunch. It is not like Britain which has chosen to maintain Budget assistance to Zambia. Denmark has noted that Zambia’s economy is growing steadily and that was why it had cut its aid,” he said.
He said the opening up of the new mining companies this year would increase Zambia’s copper production in two to five years, thereby significantly growing the national economy to self-sustaining levels.
“If Mr Magande’s vision was to continue with the dependency syndrome, the vision of the current Government is to graduate Zambia from such dependency. Let him keep his vision as ours is for national planning and sustaining it,” Dr Musokotwane said.
[Times of Zambia]
Labels: DONORS, NG'ANDU MAGANDE, SITUMBEKO MUSOKOTWANE
Over 390 000ha of small grains planted
Tuesday, 25 January 2011 22:37
Farmers countrywide have so far put 392 207 hectares of land under small grains with the figure expected to rise as planting continues. The hectarage is still less than last year’s 403 655ha.
This summer season’s total hectarage could be less than the 2010 figure because good rains received thus far mean fewer people will opt for the drought-resistant small grains and instead plant maize.
Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Joseph Made last week said, “Small grain farmers tend to shift their focus to maize when the rains are good.”
Despite Government efforts in recent years to promote production of small grains, many farmers still prefer maize.
The hectarage of soya beans last year was 48 010 and has fallen to 34 017ha this year.
A total 30 715ha of sugar beans were planted in 2010 and this season the hectarage is still at 18 697.
Minister Made said: “The crop condition is good for all cereals in the country.”
Small grains are a key component of national food security and pro-vide greater nutritional value than maize.
Labels: JOSEPH MADE, MAIZE, SORGHUM
Agric sector needs US$800m
Tuesday, 25 January 2011 22:30 Agriculture
THE agricultural sector requires a minimum of around US$800 million to effectively finance this summer and winter’s cropping programmes for both the smallholder and large scale sectors.
Zimbabwe Farmers Union director Mr Paul Zakariya said the US$22 million that Finance Minister Tendai Biti allocated to the sector was a far cry from what the sector needed.
In a bid to bridge the gap, Mr Zakariya said, ZFU was starting an input loan scheme involving fertiliser and seed houses alongside some companies in the private sector to help the farmers.
“Banks are still not able to adequately finance farmers as they do not have the capacity to extend long term loans that farmers need,” said Mr Zakariya in an interview on Monday.
“In fact, the Government should be prioritising agriculture when drawing the national budget so that the sector is adequately capitalised to boost productivity and throw a lifeline to other sectors through the provision of raw materials.”
He added that it was not proper for the country to be run on imported products while the local industry remained idle because of lack of raw materials.
Most raw materials, he said, should come from the agricultural sector if it were operating to capacity.
“Our input scheme has so far supported more than 10 000 farmers countrywide and more are still to benefit.
“Initially we were focusing on seed and basal fertilisers only but we have now started giving out Ammonium Nitrate (AN) fertiliser to those farmers who have been meeting their contractual obligations monthly.
“Farmers with good production records and those up to date with their payments have since started receiving AN under the scheme,” he said.
Mr Zakariya said the scheme involved giving farmer inputs for which he pays only 20 percent of the total cost and settles the balance in four months. This is done at national level and the farmers work in groups of 10 each.
“The scheme is on going and the only challenge we are facing at the moment involves some farmers failing to keep up with their instalments. They are sometimes erratic.
“Remember we are doing this with seed and fertiliser houses and some players in the private sector, people who are in business and need to recover money given out for them to fund other crops other than maize.
“We are now going into winter and there are no funds for the farmers, which forces farmers to rely on schemes like ours so those benefiting from them already must not abuse them.
“They must honour their obligations so that there is always some reserve from where we can draw funds to procure more inputs to help others,” said Mr Zakariya.
Groups in the communal lands have demonstrated that this type of facility is very good for them and have been policing each other and servicing their debts monthly without fail, observed Mr Zakariya.-The Herald
Labels: AGRICULTURE, NEW FARMERS, PAUL ZAKARIYA
Attacked for supporting Zanu-PF
Tuesday, 25 January 2011 22:00 Local News
An MDC-T councillor and youth chairman for Epworth allegedly assaulted a Zanu-PF official in a suspected politically-motivated attack. Didmus Bonde (34), the Epworth Ward 4 councillor, allegedly teamed up with his youth chairman and assaulted Zanu-PF youth vice chair for Chaminuka District (Ep-worth), Shupikai Nota, for supporting that party.
Bonde was arraigned before Harare magistrate Ms Paidamoyo Mukumbiri who remanded him out of custody to February 16 this year on US$20 bail. He was ordered not to interfere with State witnesses and to continue residing at his given address.
The State alleges that on Saturday last week at around 1pm, Nota was at his tuckshop in Epworth with his friends.
They were discussing issues related to the restructuring of Zanu-PF in their area as had occurred that morning.
Bonde allegedly arrived in the company of his friend, only identified as Thomas.
It is alleged Bonde grabbed Nota by the neck and slapped him across the face. He allegedly uttered the words: “Uchafira mahara, Zanu ikozvino yave history.” (You will die for nothing, Zanu-PF is now history). The State says he and his friend then walked away. Nota reported the assault leading to Bonde’s arrest. — CR.
Labels: MDC VIOLENCE
(ZIMPAPERS) Continuation of Bush-Obama legacy
Continuation of Bush-Obama legacy
Saturday, 15 January 2011 19:25 Blogs
AFRICAN FOCUS By Tafataona Mahoso
The British Terrorism Act of 2000 defines a terrorist act as “the use or threat of action designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public or a section of the public” and “the use or threat of action made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause”.
On December 22 2010, the US government, through its Department of the Treasury, announced a new escalation of its financial, economic and ideological war upon the people of Zimbabwe by issuing a new decree against the Office of the Attorney-General of Zimbabwe in the form of Executive Order 1369:
“As a result of today’s designation, US persons (individuals, institutions and companies) are prohibited from engaging in (business or any other) transactions with (Zimbabwe’s Attorney-General) Tomana, and any assets he holds under US jurisdiction are frozen. (Attorney-General) Johannes Tomana's targeting of selected political opponents (according to the US government’s view) threatens the rule of law in Zimbabwe, harms the integrity of the Government of National Unity and counters the will of the Zimbabwean people, who have expressed their desire to build a democratic political system.”
This is an escalation of the US Government’s war against Zimbabwe which was started in 2001 by former US president George W. Bush. The enemies of Zimbabwe consider this nation’s struggle to complete its sovereignty and secure its national assets to constitute a state of emergency for them.
US President Barack Obama’s renewal of George W. Bush’s illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe on March 2 2010 was entitled “Continuation of the (US) National Emergency With Respect to Zimbabwe.”
After citing the US’s International Emergency Economic Powers Act and three Presidential Emergency Powers decrees going back to March 2003, Obama concluded his Presidential decree on Zimbabwe thus:
“Therefore in accordance with Section 202 (d) of the National Emergency Act, I am continuing for one year the national emergency with respect to the actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Zimbabwe and other persons . . .”
Britain, the European Union, Australia and most of the other Anglo-Saxon states have followed US leadership and done the same against little Zimbabwe.
They did not send a committee to Tamandayi or Muzarabani to ventilate the issue and find out if Zimbabweans think their reclamation of white-stolen land and minerals should constitute a national emergency for the US and Europe.
They did not ventilate the issues at all. In fact they created laws barring from entry into those states any Zimbabwean who could ventilate this issue. It had to be decided as an emergency and by decree.
Attorney-General Tomana is both barred and silenced. He cannot travel freely to these white countries and he cannot represent the people and State of Zimbabwe in those global apartheid forums in which the Anglo-Saxon powers pronounce decrees against the interests of the people of Zimbabwe!
This is because what imperialism teaches its enemies through media and NGOs is the opposite of what it teaches its own children through hard-nosed practice.
Imperialist practice in real time and real life teaches that:
“Ventilation is for those who are fainting or faint-hearted; transparency is for those who are empty inside and have no interests or secrets of value.”
Yet the real rule of law which Zimbabwe’s Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku articulated at the opening of Zimbabwe’s judicial year on January 10 2011 includes the following clear provisions:
“The powers of the Attorney-General under Subsection (4) (of Section 76 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe) may be exercised by him in person or through other persons acting in accordance with his general or specific instructions . . .
The powers of the Attorney-General under Subsection (4) (b) and (c) (of Section 76 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe) shall be rested in him to the exclusion of any other person or authority . . .”
(That means powers) “to take over and continue criminal proceedings that have been instituted by any other persons or authority before any court, not being a court established by a disciplinary law, and to prosecute or defend an appeal from any determination in proceedings taken over by him and . . . to discontinue at any stage before judgment is delivered any criminal proceedings he has instituted under paragraph (a) or taken over under paragraph (b) or any appeal prosecuted or defended by him from any determination in such proceedings.”
Moreover, “In the exercise of his powers . . . the Attorney-General shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority (not even the President of the imperial government of the Anglo-Saxon axis!).
“The provisions (quoted) shall apply in relation to any case stated or (any) question of law reserved for the purposes of any criminal proceedings to any other court as they apply in relation to any determination in criminal proceedings.”
Since the US’s terroristic aggression against Zimbabwe’s political, legal, economic and security systems is being carried out at the invitation of the various MDC formations and foreign-sponsored NGOs set up to support them, it is important to ask whether or not all the parties in the current inclusive Government do agree that the independence of the Attorney-General is part and parcel of the independence of the judiciary which the Chief Justice asserted so emphatically on January 10 2011.
The same three parties signed the 2007 Draft Constitution of Zimbabwe called the “Kariba Draft” and this is what that co-signed draft says:
“In the exercise of his or her powers regarding criminal prosecutions, the Attorney-General is not subject to the direction or control of anyone else (including Obama), and he or she must be guided by the public interest, the interest of the administration of justice and the need to prevent abuse of the legal process.”
Readers will have seen the NewsDay story called “Law Society of Zimbabwe hails Chief Justice” on January 13 2010 for asserting the independence of the judiciary.
The LSZ is being cynical. Some of its leaders have been implicated in inviting gross interference with the AG’s Office.
“On May 20 2010, The Herald published a puzzling story called “Parly summons A-G over Zambian debt”.
In itself, even the title is puzzling. The Attorney-General’s Office is part of the judicial system whose “independence” almost everybody was shouting about at that very same time in mid to late May 2010.
Why, then, would a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee just “summon” such a high-ranking official in that judicial system, let alone announce it in the Press before the official had even been invited?
The Herald story suggests that the committee complained about the Attorney-General’s non-attendance on or before May 19, for the story to be published on May 20 2010. The LSZ did not raise a finger.
Lo and behold, the Clerk of Parliament, Cde Austin Zvoma, wrote to the Attorney-General on May 21 2010, two days after the complaint to The Herald about his failure to respond to Parliament’s demands. Was the Attorney-General expected to reply through The Herald? The LSZ did not raise a finger.
“On the very same day that Parliament wrote the Attorney-General, May 21 2010, the GMB’s deputy general manager, finance and administration, wrote to the Attorney-General to assure him that the attorney for the Food Reserve Agency of Zambia, the debtor, had assured the GMB that he was going to appeal to the Attorney-General of Zambia to help clear the way for the GMB to be paid.
This raised two questions: Whether the GMB official who appeared before the committee told it the same information and why the committee would still insist on summoning the Attorney-General; and why the committee did not want to deal with Zambian legislators while the Attorney-General, if he found it necessary, could not be left to negotiate with his Zambian counterpart in confidence?
What benefit would the people of Zimbabwe, represented by Parliament, obtain from embarrassing both our Attorney-General and the Zambian government through the Press and before talking to either of them?
Indeed the same story found its way into The Financial Gazette of May 27 2010, where it was expanded and elaborated.
“The plot became a bit clearer when one discovered that on the very same day of the confusing and confused attempt to attack the Office of the Attorney-General though The Herald, the Law Society of Zimbabwe also “summoned” the very same Attorney-General to appear before its disciplinary committee to answer questions about how he became one of the millions of Zimbabwe’s landless people who benefited from the African land reclamation and land tenure revolution!
“If readers of this column go back to the instalment for August 6 2006, they will find that the Law Society was recycling in 2010 stale allegations which it raised against Cde Tomana on December 16 2004, when Cde Tomana was just a legal practitioner at Muzangaza, Mandaza and Tomana. The August 6 2006 instalment included the following passage which is relevant even now:
“The current leaders of the Law Society of Zimbabwe have been harassing legal practitioners with whom they disagree ideologically, especially those who have participated in or who accept and celebrate the achievements of the Second and Third Chimurenga . . .
Using Rhodesian law firms, leaders of the LSZ have been mounting efforts to deregister mostly African lawyers who have benefited from the African land reclamation revolution, accusing them of theft of property and ethnic cleansing.
So, the LSZ’s celebration of judicial independence is not consistent if we consider its relationship with the AG.
Significance of Anglo-Saxon Terror Targeting the Office of the Attorney-General
Barack Obama’s decree does target Attorney-General Johannes Tomana but is not about the person or the individual called Johannes Tomana.
The terror decree is aimed at Tomana’s commitment to the requirements of the job and Office of the Attorney-General.
In other words, the attack is intended to create and maintain the perception long established through Anglo-Saxon and MDC-T propaganda that illegal sanctions are targeted against a few individuals while, in fact, hitting the economic system, the security system and the constitutional order in ways that precipitate real terror and suffering for the very same people who are being deceived into believing that it is only the person of Tomana at risk.
The most significant thing about the terror announcement by the US Treasury Department against Zimbabwe’s Attorney-General is its timing:
Execution of the terror is specifically delegated to a financial and economic agency; it has been delegated to a financial and economic agency at the very same time that the AG’s office is being called upon to consolidate legally the gains of he Third Chimurenga, that is the indigenisation and empowerment programmes of the liberation movement. The public importance of the Attorney-General’s office in that consolidation can be illustrated by referring to a few recent actions and developments:
* Zimbabwe convinced Sadc to suspend the so-called Sadc Tribunal on account of its illegal and vindictive pronouncements against the constitutionality of Zimbabwe’s land redistribution and agrarian revolution. The AG’s office led the way in that successful fight.
* The same AG’s office succeeded in obtaining from the Constitutional Court judgment SC 31 of 2010 on November 26 2010 which brought to an end some of the most retrogressive and unjust acts of litigation against the African land reclamation movement and the resulting land redistribution programme, thereby rectifying 100 years of African impoverishment, dispossession and mass hunger for land.
* The same AG’s office successfully defended the public property of the people of Zimbabwe in South Africa which the former Rhodesian settlers and their European supporters were threatening to attach as compensation for the white-stolen land which the African majority had just reclaimed in Zimbabwe after 100 years of dispossession.
* The same AG’s office had successfully guided Zimbabwe’s delegations to meetings of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) and the International Diamond Council; and that advice resulted in Zimbabwe’s achievement of certification against continuing opposition and manipulation of the KPCS by the US, Canada, Australia and other white racist forces seeking to have Zimbabwe’s diamonds banned from the international market.
* The same AG’s office was about to advise the Government of Zimbabwe how to use the nation’s enormous mineral resources and other assets, how to use the nation's newly enacted indigenisation and empowerment legislation, against companies from those very same powers who continued to place this country under illegal sanctions while benefiting from our investment and trade market.
* In addition, the AG's office had just announced its intention to advice the Government of Zimbabwe on ways to respond to possible breaches of the constitution committed by some members of the current inclusive Government and revealed in secret US State Department cables recently made available by WikiLeaks.
In this context, it is obvious that the decree against Cde Tomana is a blatant act of aggression and intimidation intended to stop the Government of Zimbabwe from responding democratically and constitutionally to the needs and demands of the African majority as expressed, for instance, at the Annual National People’s Conference of Zanu-PF in Mutare in December 2010.
The best way to demonstrate that the latest decree against Cde Tomana represents an escalation of Anglo-Saxon terror is to carry out an objective test using a bipartisan Bill which the US itself turned into law in response to the general national security emergency caused by the September 11 2001 terrorist bombings of New York City and the Pentagon.
The objective test can be conducted by simply establishing how important the office of the Attorney-General is in upholding the US constitutional order as demonstrated through references to actions which the attorney-general of the United States of America was mandated and expected to execute by both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate on behalf of the people in the face of external threats.
The 131-page US Patriot Act was the main instrument and the attorney-general of the United States is an integral feature of that 131-page Act. To enable readers to appreciate the cynicism of the Obama administration and the seriousness of that administration’s attempts to interfere with the office of the Attorney-General of Zimbabwe in the name of democracy and the rule of law, it will be necessary to show by using just one example of a piece of US law, how seriously the North Americans themselves treat their office of the attorney-general.
The general emergency unleashed by events on September 11 2001 precipitated a commercial, financial, economic, military and general security crisis which required the mobilisation of the entire people and the creation of a new cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security together with hundreds of other agencies. The key instrument for such reorganisation and mobilisation was the US Patriot Act.
The office of the attorney-general of the US is referred to substantially in that Act at least 85 times in 128 substantive pages of text covering 915 sections. There is no room now to illustrate exactly how that office of the attorney-general is employed and empowered in the 85 references.
That has to wait for the next instalment.
Labels: BARACK OBAMA, GEORGE BUSH, JOHANNES TOMANA, SANCTIONS, ZDERA
Parties fight over student finance, as A Level results are released
By: Nancy Pasipanodya
Posted: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 1:31 pm
THE Schools Examinations Council of Zimbabwe released A-level exam results this week, amid reports that many of those who passed will not be able to afford university studies without expanded financial assistance.
Student leaders in Zimbabwe say they continue to lobby officials to advance tuition funding proposals saying many students have dropped out because they could not afford fees.
Hopes were raised late last year when Finance Minister Tendai Biti of the MDC-T party announced a US$15 million student loan and grant programme, but the scheme remains on the drawing board.
Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Stan Mudenge of Zanu-PF wants the cadetship programme in which the State pays the fees and the student is bonded for a set period upon graduation, to work in Zimbabwe, to continue.
Zanu-PF argues that Biti should allocate more funds to productive sectors of the economy like agricultre, to stimulate the economy and generate present and future jobs.
Biti's allocation of US$122 million to agriculture in the last Budget was slammed as grossly inadequate for a sector that is expected to spur economic growth. There was also no specific funding for A2 commercial farmers.
Zanu-PF viewed the allocation as an effort to scuttle Zanu-PF's land reform programme.
President Mugabe has since set up a separate funding facility specifically targetted at A2 commercial farmers and communal farmers.
Zimbabwe National Students Union spokesman Kudakwashe Chakabva said that while pre-university students now have A-level results, he fears that many will not be able to pursue university studies and those from poor backgrounds will suffer most.
Other activists agree the loan and grant scheme must be implemented without delay.
Masimba Nyamanhindi, program coordinator with the Students Solidarity Trust, said the influence of partisan politics in education hurts students the most, and parties should put the needs of students first.
Zimbabwe's inclusive Government has set aside US$62.5 million for cadetship.
The programme in 2007 to assist students who could not meet study costs.
Labels: EDUCATION, MDC, NEOLIBERALISM, SCHOOL FEES