Saturday, March 12, 2011

(LUSAKATIMES) Government has no regrets on ZANACO sale

Government has no regrets on ZANACO sale
Saturday, March 12, 2011, 9:47

Government does not regret selling 49 percent shares in Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO) to Rabobank. The benefit of selling the shares has seen improved delivery of service that the bank offers.

According to Finance minister Situmbeko Musokotwane, some of the benefits include the access of the bank’s services in rural areas. This is contrary to long gone experiences were civil servants trekked distances to the nearest ZANACO branch.

The bank has opened a new Branch at Government complex.

Managing Director Martyn Schouten observes that the opening of the new branch reaffirms the banks commitment of taking banking services closer to the people.

The Bank also intends to open four more branches across the country bringing the total number of branches to 61 countrywide.

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(TALKZIMBABWE) Tsvangirai using 'deceit' to remain PM

Tsvangirai using 'deceit' to remain PM
By: Feature by Nancy Lovedale
Posted: Saturday, March 12, 2011 6:41 am

PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has mastered the art of deceiving people and sometimes openly telling people what they want to hear in order to retain his position as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.

On Thursday he told reporters that the inclusive Government was not working and that it should be ended, despite having expressed that the same government should run for five years last month. He told reporters that the "marriage" (inclusive Government) had led to confusion and a paralysis of leadership.

Tsvangirai's statement denouncing the inclusive Government was immediately echoed on Friday ambassadors from eight Western nations who appealed to the inclusive Government and the political parties to “respect the spirit and the letter of the GPA”.

The appeal was signed by envoys from Canada, Denmark, Australia, Germany, France, Austria, the Czech Republic and the European Union.

This has raised speculation that the prime minister is back to his tactics of using the EU to ensure that his party remains on the political map.

It has now emerged that Tsvangirai is hoodwinking the people of Zimbabwe to believe that there is no consensus in the inclusive Government, while he has a near-perfect working relationship with President Mugabe.

A day before telling reporters that the inclusive Government was not working, Tsvangirai had told 300 business executives from South Africa, London and the United States of America at a Euromoney Conference in Harare that the inclusive Government was "working very well" and that Cabinet business was proceeding smoothly.

On Tuesday this week, the PM had carried out an interview with a Financial Times reporter where he repeated that the government was working well.

In the interview with FT's Alec Russell, Tsvangirai said of the Cabinet meeting earlier that day: "“It was very good, very productive ... It’s enlightening that everyone was serious about addressing the concerns.”

He added: “If you were to enter the room you would not know who was who, MDC or Zanu-PF. The seating is Zanu-PF, MDC, Zanu-PF, MDC ... and he [Mugabe] and I direct.

"We really do consult when things get out of hand.”

Russell also reveals that the PM had also told David Cameron at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos (Switzerland) at the end of January that the inclusive Government was working well.

Shocked by this revelation from PM Tsvangirai, journalist Russell wrote: "So I am all but lost for words at Tsvangirai’s Milquetoast reference to his and Mugabe’s latest meeting – as, I have been told, was David Cameron when he was given a similarly bright-eyed and bushy-tailed account by Tsvangirai at Davos earlier this year."

It is now not clear what the PM's position is.

It is, however, clear that he does not want elections this year and wants the life of the inclusive Government extended, creating confusion among his followers.

He should tell the people of Zimbabwe what exactly is at play here.

If the inclusive Government is that bad, why is he still in?

The tactic of hoodwinking Zimbabweans at an opportune moment and openly telling lies to an increasing naive media audience will soon thin out. The West, we all know, has already revealed via WikiLeaks what it really thinks of the PM.

Only Zimbabweans are currently following the man blindly and the Zimbabwe media's toothcomb was lost a long time ago.

Nancy Lovedale can be reached via She reports from Beijing, China.

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(TALKZIMBABWE) No western interference in Libya: President Mugabe

No western interference in Libya: President Mugabe
By: Nancy Pasipanodya
Posted: Saturday, March 12, 2011 5:51 am

THE African Union has formally backed opposition candidate Alassane Ouattara as Ivory Coast president. Ouattara now has to figure out how to take over a government that the former president still claims.

Three months after Ivory Coast’s political crisis began, the African Union has called on incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo to step down, paving the way for opposition leader Alassane Ouattara to finally take on the powers of president.

The AU’s decision followed a fact-finding mission by five African heads of state, including South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, and months of violence that killed at least 365 people and displaced tens of thousands of others in the capital Abidjan and elsewhere.

Ouattara, who attended the AU meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, this week, is expected to return to Abidjan soon.

Gbagbo chose not to attend the AU meeting and rejects the AU’s compromise solution, which envisages Ouattara as president of a power-sharing government that includes members of Gbagbo’s party but not Gbagbo himself.

Gbagbo has threatened not to let Ouattara back into the country and has issued an order to prevent continued air supply flights for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Abidjan.

President Mugabe joined other continental leaders who make up the 15-nation Peace and Security Council (PSC).


Meanwhile, the AU has rejected military intervention in Libya in the form of a no-fly zone proposed by Britain and France to oust Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

The announcement was made by the AU's Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ram Tan Lamamra.

The AU said the situation was now a civil war and should be treated as such.

Speaking at the Harare International Airport soon after returning from Addis Ababa yesterday, President Mugabe said continental leaders had agreed to stand by Ouattara following contentious presidential elections late last year.

"The recommendation is that Ouattara should be sworn in (as president) ... You are aware that the Gbagbo side still objects ... but there was room left to incorporate Gbagbo," President Mugabe said.

On Libya, President Mugabe said: "We wanted to hear the truth about the situation."

He added: "We took exception to interference by Western powers ... and we absolutely reject their intervention.

"Africa will send a high-level panel of five Heads of State supported by experts (to Libya) to recommend the African position and what steps should be taken."

President Mugabe said the Libyan political system had been described as "authoritarian" and the AU should use the present state of affairs to prod Gaddafi into reforming.

However, this was no excuse for the West to get involved without being asked to by the AU.

"Intrinsically, geographically, culturally, Libya is African ... and African solutions are needed."

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(HERALD) Sanctions — US freezes Zim funds

Sanctions — US freezes Zim funds
Saturday, 05 March 2011 23:48 Top Stories
By Tafadzwa Chiremba

ABOUT US$2 million realised from sales of local minerals and deposited locally into a Stanbic Bank account has been frozen by the United States’ central bank, the Federal Reserve, on the grounds that the two account holders — Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) and Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) — are under US sanctions.

Of that money, more than US$1,5 million belonged to MMCZ and about US$300 000 was deposited into the ZMDC account. The money was transferred by the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines through a Stanbic Bank telegraphic transfer (TT) and wired by the bank to the US.

Stanbic Bank operates a nostro account, maintained by an overseas bank, where bulk transfers are first sent before they reach their local recipients. Through that arrangement, Stanbic Bank instructs its overseas bank to transfer the money to a local bank but that money first goes through the Federal Reserve.

A US government arm, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (Offac), which is used by that government to implement the illegal sanctions on Zimbabwean parastatals, is said to have recommended the freezing of the funds. All payments associated with companies on the illegal sanctions list also risk having their funds frozen.

ZMDC chairman Mr Godwills Masimirembwa confirmed that his company had lost more than US$300 000 in gold sales proceeds.
The Chamber of Mines is said to have transferred the money from Jena and Sabi Gold Mines through its Stanbic Bank’s Samora Machel Branch to ZMDC’s BancABC account.
“Through the US’s Offac, our money was frozen because we are on the sanctions list,” said Mr Masimirembwa.

He said the sanctions were so dire that payments for minerals were difficult to institute directly to ZMDC.
“We get paid normally in US dollars. Our customers cannot pay us directly.

“We need to consistently sell our diamonds. Once the sanctions are removed, the country can realise more than US$85 million per month from that,” he said.
Stanbic Bank legal adviser Mrs Aisha Timba could not comment on the issue yesterday and referred all questions to the financial institution’s managing director, Mr Joshua Tapambwa, who could not be reached for comment.

Other companies on the sanctions list are Agribank, the Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe (IDC), the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) and ZB Bank.

Jongwe Printing and Publishing, M & S Syndicate, Zidco Holdings, the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Zisco) and Zimre Holdings are also under the illegal sanctions.
The sanctions prohibit US nationals and corporates from doing business with the designated entities or other businesses they may control.-The Sunday Mail

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(HERALD) UK in £4,5 million sinister election project

COMMENT - British Government caught in Zimbabwe election rigging scheme.

UK in £4,5 million sinister election project
Saturday, 05 March 2011 23:54 Top Stories
Sunday Mail Reporter

THE British government, through its Department for International Development (DFID), has hatched a sinister plan to influence the outcome of the impending elections by pouring about £4,5 million into the coffers of MDC-T-affiliated civil society organisations and the private media, it has been established.

The civil society organisations, led by Transparency International Zimbabwe, have been assigned to undermine some of the country’s key national institutions ahead of the elections, with Attorney-General Mr Johannes Tomana having been identified as the first target.

Also being targeted is the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, which last week received a letter from the MDC-T secretary-general, Mr Tendai Biti, who was “suspiciously” proposing a host of changes to the voters’ roll.

Investigations last week revealed that Britain’s DFID has set aside £4,5 million for the project.

The department is surreptitiously scouting for a partner in the initiative titled “strengthening accountable governance in Zimbabwe”.

Last week Britain’s International Development Minister, Mr Andrew Mitchell, announced a 15 percent increase in his government’s purported aid to Zimbabwe in a bid to refute evidence of the existence of economic sanctions on the country and also to camouflage London’s election agenda.

British Ambassador to Harare Mr Mark Canning weighed in, hyping the package as “great news for ordinary Zimbabweans”.

However, it has emerged that focus is on influencing the outcome of this year’s polls via civil society organisations and the private media.

DFID tender contact person Susan Docherty could not be reached for comment yesterday as her UK telephone went unanswered.

Information to hand indicates that the project will be rolled out under the guise of providing civil society and media support.

The DFID is already floating a tender for this purpose. In its programme outline, the department claims the initiative seeks to help increase the engagement of citizens with the Government.

It also says media support will ensure Zimbabweans engage in key decision-making processes from a more enlightened position.

Successful bidders will manage the funds and superintend strategic activities. A total of £3 million will be released in the first year of the contract and the remainder in the next.

Part of the outline reads: “The goal of DFID support to civil society organisations is to increase the engagement of citizens with the Zimbabwean State and to help their interests be more effectively represented.

“The goal of support to independent media is to help Zimbabwe’s citizens engage in civil life and in key decision-making processes in a more informed way.

“It is expected that a contract will be awarded for management of DFID funds in Zimbabwe for approximately 30 months.”

Political analysts said the funding seeks to leverage British interests in the impending plebiscite. They said Western attempts to smuggle a hostile agenda into the country’s internal processes were futile.

“There is no doubt that they want to influence the outcome of the elections,” said an analyst who declined to be identified. “How best can you explain the fact that such funding is coinciding with an election year?”

Transparency International Zimbabwe is already at work as on February 25 this year, its acting executive director, Mr Titus Gwemende, wrote a letter to the Acting Principal Director in the Department of Anti-Corruption under the Ministry of Home Affairs requesting for criminal investigations on the AG.

Mr Gwemende has also written similar letters to key MDC-T personalities in Government such as Mr Obert Gutu.

His letters included a 276-page document entitled “Johannes Tomana’s Reign as Attorney-General of Zimbabwe — A Trail of Questionable Decisions”, that TIZ claims to have prepared after receiving a complaint from the MDC-T on the conduct of the AG.

The document is based on four cases which TIZ claims “warrant a criminal investigation of the conduct of the AG in the public interest”.

However, a retired judge, who refused to be named for professional reasons, said the action by TIZ is tantamount to interfering with the work of the AG.

“What is shocking and even illegal is that Gonese received the letter on 25 February and a few days later, he went to the AG’s Office asking for Mr Tomana’s comments on the report, thereby implying that he was in agreement with it.

“Such reports take time to read and the way Gonese acted raises suspicion. What is even more worrying is that it would be bad practice that we have a Government agency that acts on the basis of an organisation whose political agenda is known and without itself doing its own research.

“More importantly, this looks like a naked and unconstitutional attempt by the MDC-T through TIZ using Gonese’s office to violate Section 76 of the Constitution which requires that the AG discharges his responsibilities without any influence. These people can’t direct the AG. It’s unconstitutional and one gets the feeling that they are interfering with the powers of the AG for political purposes,” said the judge.

The judge went on to tear apart contents of the TIZ document, saying questioning the conduct of the AG in the Charles Nherera case is just a waste of time as the public record shows that Nherera was acquitted by the courts.

“If TIZ and Gonese have problems with Mr Tomana why are they not raising the same issue with the courts that have absolved Nherera? If they centre on Mr Tomana and leave the courts, it clearly shows that this is now a political matter.

“In the other case that TIZ raises in its report about Bright Matonga, they are complaining against the withdrawal of charges yet the key witness in the case, Jayesh Shah, collapsed the case by refusing to testify against Matonga.

“He refused to testify yet Matonga had plea

ded and therefore the trial had started. Surely, the case could not stay open indefinitely without the key witness coming to testify.

“What is even more disturbing is that at the time of some of these cases, Mr Tomana was not yet the AG. You get the feeling that these are attempts to politically manipulate the AG’s decision in current and future cases involving MDC-T members,” said the judge.

Mr Tomana refused to comment, saying: “I am very busy with much more serious issues than to comment about such rubbish.” Regarding the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the MDC-T has “sugar-coated” its machinations, saying it is calling for some electoral reforms before elections are held.

In its letter, the MDC-T included about 18 issues that it says should be addressed before elections are held.

Over the years, Western governments — led by Britain and the United States — have been working with some local non-governmental organisations and resident functionaries to oust Zanu-PF following the implementation of the land reform programme.

In 2008, Government suspended the operations of all NGOs after it emerged that a good number of them were vehicles for Western interference in the country’s electoral processes.

Reports then revealed that several of them had received US$6 million from the United States government to destabilise Zimbabwe while simultaneously using food to buy votes for the MDC-T.

Last month, US Secretary of State Mrs Hillary Clinton confirmed her government’s collaboration with civil society. In a speech on internet freedom at the George Washington University in Washington DC, she claimed that information leaked by the WikiLeaks website so far predominantly showed her government’s humanitarian work.

She admitted that US diplomats were in close liaison with activists and journalists in countries whose governments opposed America’s skewed policies.

“Our diplomats closely collaborate with activists, journalists and citizens to challenge the misdeeds of oppressive governments,” she said.

“It is dangerous work. By publishing diplomatic cables, WikiLeaks exposed people to even greater risk.

“For operations like these, confidentiality is essential, especially in the internet age when dangerous information can be sent around the world with the click of a keystroke.”-The Sunday Mail

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(NEWZIMBABWE) Mines offer 26 percent equity

COMMENT - These people will set their own level of taxation next. They know what the law is, there is no reason to negotiate.

Mines offer 26 percent equity
by Alfonce Mbizwo I Reuters
11/03/2011 00:00:00

MINING companies would be comfortable with selling stakes of 26 percent to local owners under a government plan that aims to eventually transfer majority control, the head of the mining chamber said on Friday.

A minister from President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party said on Wednesday that Zimbabwe would set up a sovereign fund to own 51 percent of mines, but Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said a day later cabinet had not adopted that decision.

The government has established committees to come up with ownership levels for different sectors.

"The sector committee on indigenisation in mining recommended a threshold of 26 percent, which is what the chamber is comfortable with," Victor Gapare, the Chamber of Mines president, told Reuters on Friday.

Analysts said impoverished Zimbabwe does not have the money to buy controlling stakes through the sovereign wealth fund but is likely to use the threat to force global mining giants to the table so the country with the world's second-largest platinum reserves can receive more money from its mineral riches.

Youth and Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said this week guidelines on local mine ownership would be published on Friday and take effect within a week.

The move is likely to discourage foreign investment and could hit foreign miners including Anglo Platinum and Impala Platinum, the world's largest and second-largest platinum producers, and Rio Tinto, which runs a diamond mine in the country.

The empowerment drive has split the unity government formed by Mugabe and Tsvangirai in 2009, as Mugabe's ZANU-PF vigorously pursues a take-over foreign companies while Tsvangirai's MDC is urging restrain, fearing this could cause economic chaos.

"Government must stop flip-flopping on this issue and come clean once and for all," Gapare said.

Gapare also said increased funding for gold mining companies would help increase production to 14 tonnes this year, up from 9.6 tonnes in 2010. He said the mining industry would need $7 billion in investment to fully recover in the next three years.

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Focus on Zimbabwe

Focus on Zimbabwe
By The Post
Sat 12 Mar. 2011, 04:00 CAT

The proportions that the tantrums between Zimbabwe and the alliance of the European Union and the United States have reached over the issue of sanctions on Zimbabwe are beginning to be startling.

If not handled carefully, the resultant effect could be disastrous for all parties involved. Yet the issue could easily be resolved because the solution is within reach of all the parties and they all know what should be done.

The starting point is truth and sincerity.

These are priceless virtues in any kind of dealings.

These virtues make things better and easier.

Yet many people choose to shy away from them.

This is clearly happening with regard to sanctions that have been imposed on Zimbabwe by Western countries, and are said to be targeted towards 163 individuals close to President Robert Mugabe’s regime.

But clearly, they have caused massive suffering on the innocent and defenceless citizens during the last decade.

Not only that, they have been the main issue causing disgruntlement amongst the parties that came together to form the inclusive government in Zimbabwe.

In fact, the issue of sanctions is the single biggest threat to the inclusive government.

Last week, President Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party launched a campaign aimed at showing the world that the sanctions do not hurt the people purported to be targeted, but that they injure the ordinary citizens and must be done away with.

Although the Global Political Agreement that established the inclusive government contains a clause that all participating political parties must call for the lifting of sanctions and allow the country to move forward, there seems to be disagreement between ZANU-PF and the MDC.

ZANU-PF argues that the MDC must tell the West to remove the sanctions because they agitated for them, but the MDC says it has nothing to do with the embargo, as it is a result of ZANU-PF’s wrongdoing against the West.

But in January 2010, the truth, or at least what appeared to be the truth, was told by former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband when he said the EU would only remove sanctions on Zimbabwe at MDC’s request.

Here is what Miliband said while addressing the House of Commons on January 28, 2010:
“I agree that numerous aspects of the situation in Zimbabwe are of deep concern.

It is right to say that, over the past year, the economic situation has changed in a quite fundamental way, although it is not quite right to refer to the detention of Roy Bennett as a continued threat to him through a legal case.

In respect of sanctions, we have made it clear that they can be lifted only in a calibrated way, as progress is made.

I do not think that it is right to say that the choice is between lifting all sanctions and lifting none at all.

We have to calibrate our response to the progress on the ground, and, above all, to be guided by what the MDC says to us about the conditions under which it is working and leading the country.

A range of EU sanctions is in place.

Some of them refer to individuals, others to so-called parastatal organisations.

Different sanctions have been brought in at different points, and different sanctions are the responsibility of different ministries in the Zimbabwean system.

I believe that EU sanctions have helped to send a strong message, and that they have had a practical effect without hurting the Zimbabwean people, which would have been a sanction too far.”

Miliband had been asked by North-West Norfolk member of parliament, Henry Bellingham, whether he agreed that sanctions should not be lifted until the arrest of MDC treasurer Roy Bennett and concerns about human rights were addressed.

All along, the MDC has been untruthful and insincere about their role in the sanctions against Zimbabwe by the US and the EU.

They have maintained that they have no role in the removal of sanctions.

The US and EU have also been untruthful and insincere about the effects of the sanctions.

They have maintained that the only sanctions in place are “targeted” at the 163 members of Mugabe’s inner circle, who are only not permitted to travel or do business in Europe and America.

To the contrary, the sanctions have not affected even one of the so-called targeted individuals.
Yesterday we spoke to one of the people on the sanctions list, Chief Fortune Charumbira, and this is what he said:
“I have not been affected by the sanctions. I have never lost any sleep because I’m on the sanctions list. But I have seen a lot of people, innocent people suffering. It is clear for all to see that the sanctions have affected the poor and untargeted.”

It may be easy to dismiss Chief Charumbira’s comments but they hold truth.

Here is how. It is common knowledge that because of sanctions, the US and EU have suspended all forms of balance of payments support, technical assistance, grants and infrastructural development flows to both government and private sectors and stopped all lending operations to the country.

Yes, the humanitarian aid comes in and is channelled through US and European NGOs and agencies, not through the government. Is it not because of sanctions?

The shortage of foreign currency resulted in the country accumulating external payment arrears.

Zimbabwe's balance of payments position deteriorated significantly since 2000 from the combined effects of inadequate export performance and reduced capital inflows.

According to government figures, foreign exchange reserves declined as a result, from US $830 million or three months import cover in 1996 to less than one month's cover by 2010.

The foreign exchange shortages severely constrained the country's capacity to meet foreign payment obligations and finance critical imports such as drugs, grain, raw materials, fuel and electricity, leading to hunger, closure of hospitals, fuel shortages, power cuts etc.

This was only eased by the decision the country took to abandon its own currency that had become worthless.

The country has had a significant build up in external payments arrears.

Total foreign payments arrears increased from US$109 million at the end of 1999 to US$2.5 billion by the end of 2006.

The worsening of the country's creditworthiness and its risk profile led to the drying up of sources of external finance.

The withdrawal of the multilateral financial institutions from providing balance of payments support to Zimbabwe also had an effect on some bilateral creditors and donors who have followed suit by either scaling down or suspending disbursements on existing loans to the government and parastatal companies.

Prior to these developments, Zimbabwe was highly rated in the international financial markets.

The capital account, traditionally a surplus account, has been in deficit since 2000.

As such, international investors prefer other countries for investment, depriving Zimbabwe of much-needed foreign direct investment.

Sanctions have also affected the image of the country through negative perceptions by the international community. Zimbabwean companies are finding it extremely difficult to access lines of credit.

As a result, they have to pay cash for imports.

As a result of the risk premium, the country's private companies have been securing offshore funds at prohibitive interest rates.

This has had a ripple effect on employment levels and low capacity utilisation as reflected by the recent shortages of basic goods and services.

Declining export performance has also adversely affected the standards of living for the general populace, and because of the deteriorating economic conditions, the country has experienced large scale emigration, especially of skilled labour, thus further straining the economy.

As at last year, three million people were estimated to have emigrated.

The country recorded 90 per cent unemployment levels.

The sanctions have adversely impacted on Foreign Direct Investment to Zimbabwe.

Investors are shying away and FDI inflows have collapsed from US$444.3 million in 1998 to only US$50 million in 2006.

In addition, Anglo-American companies have been strongly discouraged from investing in Zimbabwe by their home governments.

This has adversely affected investment levels into the country, thus accentuating the foreign exchange shortages leading to further shortages of fuel and imported raw materials.

The shortage of fuel has a domino effect on all sectors of the economy.

All these things are there for all to see. Zimbabweans themselves have opted to move forward and rebuild their country.

But in order for Zimbabwe’s economic recovery to go ahead, these sanctions must be lifted. This is also a call from SADC and the African Union.

The MDC, which entered into a partnership with ZANU-PF, has always maintained it has no influence over the issue insisting removal of the sanctions

The question is, if the MDC has had no role in on the sanctions, why would the British government wait on its advice to remove them?

Also, what does their absence at the anti-sanction campaign suggest?

This only plays into what ZANU-PF has always believed and has said consistently since 2000, that the sanctions came about following a lobby by the MDC and can only be removed following a similar lobby by the same party.

This also plays into what Mugabe has been saying all along, that actually sanctions were never about democratic conditions in Zimbabwe but about an imperialistic agenda.

The MDC has found itself struggling under the weight of the same sanctions.

And as long as these sanctions continue to exist, they will undermine the position of the MDC in the unity government.

They were left exposed by Miliband. ZANU-PF can continue to point that the “MDC campaigned for these sanctions, it is their fault this has occurred and we will not implement our side of the GPA reforms until the MDC ask Britain or and the United States to lift these sanctions that these countries campaigned for.”

For the interest of progress in Zimbabwe, the sanctions must be removed.

There is a stalemate in the inclusive government and, as we have stated before, one of the sticking points is the issue of sanctions.

However, we think the removal of these sanctions must be a collective effort by all concerned.

MDC must play its role.

ZANU-PF must also play its role. The US and EU must play their role.
MDC must play its role by, according to Miliband, advising Britain to lift the sanctions.

ZANU-PF must also play its role by ensuring that conditions that brought about the sanctions are done away with.

Political violence, human rights abuses and violent farm disruptions, repressive laws, which were reasons advanced by the West for imposing sanctions, must end completely.

All agreed reforms must take place. ZANU-PF must realise that these sanctions are not entirely MDC’s baby.

The GPA does not in any way give the obligation of dealing with the restrictive measures on the MDC alone.

It is a collective effort in the GPA between ZANU-PF and MDC in the context and within the aegis of the inclusive government.

The US and EU must play their role by removing the sanctions and letting Zimbabweans solve their own problems.

As long as sanctions remain, the inclusive government will not function smoothly.

This means that the necessary constitutional, political and economic reforms that are necessary to usher free and fair elections later this year will not take place.

It also means there will be no free and fair elections even next time around and it will be back to square one.

It will be sad indeed for all these things to happen when everyone concerned knows what to do.

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Sanctions against Zim not the best solution - Chongo

Sanctions against Zim not the best solution - Chongo
By Chibaula Silwamba
Sat 12 Mar. 2011, 04:00 CAT

A PARLIAMENTARIAN says sanctions against Zimbabwe are not the best solution to the political problems in that country. Commenting on the prolonged sanctions on Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe and his allies, Mwense member of parliament Jacob Chongo said sanctions of any kind were not good for anybody because they affect a lot of people, especially ordinary citizens.

“Sometimes it’s not the targeted people that suffer, it’s mostly common people that suffer. What are the sanctions intended to achieve?

“Probably it’s to make people rise against government after they people have encountered a lot of difficulties. But if people rise against the government, is that the solution or not?” Chongo asked.

“Instead of imposing sanctions, the best is to promote good governance. Sanctions are not the right thing. Violence and sanctions are not the best options. We just have to engage.”

He said some countries propagating sanctions against African countries were themselves guilty of violating human rights or not observing democratic tenets and were never penalised because they had an upper hand economically as super powers.

“The unfortunate part is that we in Africa we are in a weaker position, so it’s very rare that we even think of sanctioning because we do realise that if we sanction the US, it’s like we are punishing ourselves because we need the American market,” said Chongo.

And Anti-Voter Apathy Project (AVAP) Northern Province co-ordinator
Kelly Kashiba called for the upholding of democratic principles in Zimbabwe.

“The best idea is to put in place governance structures in place; donors are interested in good governance structures and collecting signatures which President Mugabe is doing is not the best way,” said Kashiba.

President Mugabe last week launched a campaign dubbed: Zimbabwe says no to illegal sanction.

The governing ZANU-PF party championed campaign is aimed at collecting millions of signatures of Zimbabweans opposed to the sanctions.

Last month, the European Union extended the sanctions against President Mugabe and his allies for one year though it removed 35 people from its list of Zimbabweans subject to a travel ban and asset freeze.

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PF promises Chiluba, Rupiah more defeats

PF promises Chiluba, Rupiah more defeats
By George Chellah
Sat 12 Mar. 2011, 04:02 CAT

WYNTER Kabimba says President Rupiah Banda and Frederick Chiluba are licking deep wounds over the PF's recent victories. And Kabimba says President Rupiah Banda is politically blind and is yet to face bigger humiliation than what happened in the Luapula and Northern provinces.

In an interview yesterday, Kabimba, who is opposition PF secretary general and spokesperson, urged Zambians to treat Chiluba's recent outbursts as sour grapes over the MMD's loss in the two provinces.

“We know as PF that RB and Chiluba are licking deep wounds over the PF's victory against the MMD in Kawambwa, Samfya and finally Mporokoso, an area where as a political consultant to RB who is politically blind he had promised him that they were no-go areas for PF,” Kabimba says.

“We are very proud as PF that our party in Luapula and Northern provinces has grown even stronger than ever before. Chiluba and his rebel MPs are politically non-existent in Luapula and Northern provinces.”

He advised President Banda to treat Chiluba and the rebel parliamentarians as political gamblers who would ultimately deliver nothing to him in the forthcoming general elections.

“Since Chiluba decided to align himself with RB in order to secure his freedom, he has been on many occasions telling the people of Zambia that he has a dossier on Sata, which dossier he has to date never made available to the public,” Kabimba said.

“We know that he has been saying all this to blackmail Sata and to keep RB in suspense that he has information which he would one day produce to tarnish Sata's political image.”

He dismissed Chiluba's accusations against Sata.

“It's very interesting that against the record of public service of Michael Sata and Chiluba which records are public knowledge to the people of Zambia, it should be Chiluba calling Sata a corrupt person.

Between the two, Sata has no criminal record relating to his public service over a period of 20 years compared with Chiluba, who has a very clear record of plunder and theft of public funds during his 10 years in office,” Kabimba said.

He said the people of Zambia now knew that Chiluba's criminal activities had extended beyond the Zambian borders to his lawyers in the UK whose licenses to practise had been withdrawn for criminal activities perpetrated by Chiluba.

He said it therefore did not make sense that Chiluba could still refer to Sata as corrupt or an untrustworthy person.

He said Chiluba was now chief mourner on behalf of the MMD over the recent political losses, which had humiliated the party to which he is a political consultant.

“At the rate we are working now as PF in terms of political mobilisation, Chiluba and RB are yet to face bigger humiliation than what they saw in Mporokoso and Luapula. It is not the false permutations that will guarantee MMD victory,” Kabimba said.

“If the MMD were as confident as they are projecting themselves through VJ, they would not be reacting violently against the parallel vote tabulation (PVT), which is being advocated for by well-meaning stakeholders.”

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NAPSA has failed to set record straight - Lubinda

NAPSA has failed to set record straight - Lubinda
By Chibaula Silwamba
Sat 12 Mar. 2011, 04:01 CAT

GIVEN Lubinda has disputed NAPSA’s claims that it had made futile efforts to acquire land from Lusaka City Council (LCC).

And Lubinda, who is Kabwata member of parliament, demanded that NAPSA release the valuation report that was undertaken and presented by the independent valuers referred to in the parastatal's advertisement.

In his letter dated March 9, 2011 to National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA) director general, Lubinda stated that in the past 10 years that he had been a councillor in Lusaka, he had not come across an application from NAPSA for a piece of land for housing development.

“To the best of my knowledge even at the time when Lusaka City Council advertised plots at the prestigious Baobab land along Kafue Road, NAPSA did not make an application,” Lubinda stated.

“May you kindly furnish me with dates when you made such applications and what responses you got from the Lusaka City Council to justify your statement that you have made futile efforts to acquire land through the local authority.”

Lubinda stated that NAPSA's efforts to 'set the record straight' on NAPSA-Meanwood land transaction had failed because the parastatal company's statement through advertisement had raised more questions than it had answered.

He stated that the matter was not whether or not NAPSA was approached by The Post to seek clarification.

“What is undeniable is that there is a transaction between NAPSA and Meanwood on the purchase of 1, 500 acres of land at an exorbitant price of US $15 million. There is certainly no contention on this matter,” Lubinda stated.

“Killing the messenger will not kill the message. The transaction shall exist whether The Post verifies with you or not. What is required is an explanation as to why this transaction was sanctioned and by whom not whether or not The Post newspapers sought clarifications before publishing it.”

Lubinda observed that in its advertisement, NAPSA stated that the management procurement committee was mandated to bear on such matters until the release of circular on January 24, 2011, which introduced a committee to take over the functions of the Central Tender Committee.

Lubinda demanded that NAPSA produces documentation to show the mandate from the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA).

“In addition, please indicate the legal framework under which the ZPPA introduced an adhoc committee to take over the functions of the Central Tender Committee which is a creation of an Act of Parliament. Note that the Public Procurement Act (PPA) No. 12 of 2008 does not have such a provision,” he stated.

“You argue that NAPSA has made investments in other places including Levy Business Park, Nyumba Yanga Housing Project, Kalulushi Housing Project, MKP Estates and Northgate Gardens and that in all these transactions the President did not influence your decision.”

Lubinda demanded that to enable members of the public to make informed conclusions, NAPSA would have to state how much and to whom the firm paid per unit of the said pieces of land.

He stated that a comparison of the unit costs of the stated pieces of land would provide some explanations and might show whether or not there was an external influence on the Ibex Hill transaction.

He stated that the fact that NAPSA ought to make prudent investment decisions to grow the people's pension funds was undisputable.

“However, it cannot be acceptable that NAPSA funds - members' savings - should be exposed to procuring properties including land at prices that are above the average prevailing prices,” Lubinda stated.

“A price of US$ 10,000 per acre of unserviced land in Ibex Hill cannot be considered an average price not even in comparison to prices offered by Meanwood to individual developers. May you also kindly confirm that NAPSA has already made payments towards the transaction,” stated Lubinda.

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Our party will never be tribal, says Magande

Our party will never be tribal, says Magande
By Chibaula Silwamba
Sat 12 Mar. 2011, 04:01 CAT

OUR party will never be tribal or regional, says Ng’andu Magande. In an interview yesterday, Magande, who is interim president of the newly formed National Movement for Progress (NMP) party, said members of the party were from all parts of the country.

“It’s obvious for me that I have worked for this country for many years and all Zambians without discrimination. I have never uttered tribal statements. Tribalism is not part of my vocabulary,” Magande said.

“So we will have support from everywhere in the country. I had been receiving calls from all parts of the country from people saying, ‘we want you Mr HIPC to get back into political office and help bring develop to this country’.” Magande, a former finance minister in late president Levy Mwanawasa’s administration, said he did not mind the tribe of any member and would-be members of the party.

He said the NMP started as a movement before transforming into a political party and, therefore, had supporters across the country.

Magande said it would be easy for the NMP to have its presence throughout Zambia because of the work he did when he served in various government portfolios.

Magande said he planned a lot of development projects like a coffee plantantion in Kateshi in Kasama and other projects in most provinces of the country when he served in the civil service.



Banana farmers won’t be compensated - Kazonga

Banana farmers won’t be compensated - Kazonga
By Bright Mukwasa and Mutale Kapekele
Sat 12 Mar. 2011, 04:00 CAT

THE government will not compensate ba-nana farmers whose infected plantations are earmarked for destruction, says agriculture minister Dr Eustarkio Kazonga.

Making a ministerial statement in Parliament on Wednesday, Dr Kazonga said the banana bunchy top disease (BBTD), which had spread to other provinces apart from Southern Province, was negatively affecting banana farmers.

“The government has no plan to compensate the farmers once it destroys diseased plants as it is for their own good,” Dr Kazonga said.

He said the disease, the origin of which was unknown, had forced some farmers to abandon banana cultivation.

“The potential for banana production in Zambia is very high, estimated at 60 metric tonnes per hectare annually. This potential is under threat by the spread of BBTV,” he said.

He said surveys carried out in 2009 and last year indicated the presence of the disease about 11 years ago in Chipata, although it was reported less than ten years ago in other districts.

Dr Kazonga said the government was encouraging farmers to apply stringent control measures, including the uprooting and destruction of infected crops as a control measure.

He said the government was facing a challenge in controlling the disease because of a lack of a reliable source of disease materials.

“In 2007, a survey of 20 farms covering about 212 hectares of farms under banana cultivation in Central and Copperbelt provinces revealed a 65 per cent infection,” he said.

Dr Kazonga the government would establish a farmer-based banana seed system through production of tissue cultured disease-free planting materials.

BBTD has been identified in Lusaka, Southern, Central, Copperbelt and Luapula provinces.

The disease is transmitted by a virus called banana bunchy top virus.

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Councils lack strict financial regulation, says Chituwo

COMMENT - Didn't minister Chituwo come out of the Ministry of Health?

Councils lack strict financial regulation, says Chituwo
By Kombe Chimpinde and Florence Bupe
Sat 12 Mar. 2011, 04:00 CAT

LOCAL government minister Dr Brian Chituwo says there is a need for robust systems in district councils for improved service delivery. And the parliamentary committee on local governance says it is worrying that councils are failing to account for public funds.

Dr Chituwo said there was gross mismanagement of resources in district councils due to lack of stringent financial control systems. “There is a need for proper monetary systems that allow for checks and balances,” he said.

Dr Chituwo said he had tabled audited accounts of all councils before Parliament, with Lusaka City Council as a priority. His ministry would publicise the findings of the Lusaka audit once investigations were concluded.

Parliamentary committee on local governance chairperson Regina Musokotwane said it was worrying that many councils were still failing to account for use of resources.

He said most councils had neglected the issue of unretired imprest, which constituted the larger part of unaccounted for funds.

Committee member Dr Solomon Musonda castigated Chama District Council secretary Newton Ng’uni for entertaining debt swaps in cases of unretired imprest.

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Zambia still one of world’s poorest countries - Lombani

Zambia still one of world’s poorest countries - Lombani
By Kabanda Chulu in Kitwe
Sat 12 Mar. 2011, 04:00 CAT

GAINS in economic growth and democracy in Zambia have not led to a reduction in poverty for many ordinary citizens, according to a senior government official.

Speaking during the launch of the European Union-funded HIV and AIDS nutrition and food security project for the Copperbelt in Kitwe on Thursday, provincial permanent secretary Villie Lombani said there was need for effective and full participation from all stakeholders if real development was to be achieved in the country.

“We are blessed with abundant water and immense forest resources, enormous mineral wealth and vast tracts of arable land and, since 2000, the economy has grown by an average of almost five per cent annually, driven by a policy environment conducive to foreign investments supported by strong macro-economic indicators coupled with political stability,” Lombani said in a speech read by Kitwe District commissioner McDonald Mtine.

“However, despite these developments, Zambia still remains one of the poorest countries in the world, ranked 150th out of 169 countries in 2010 on the UN’s human development index, suggesting that the gains in economic growth and democracy have not translated into real poverty reduction for ordinary citizens, 64 per cent of whom are still estimated to live below the poverty line.”

And Heifer International director James Kasongo said his organisation was committed to ensuring the project was implemented on time for the benefit and wellbeing of citizens in the targeted areas.

“In this project, Heifer International Zambia will be responsible for the provision of various livestock types such as goats, draught cattle and dairy cattle; we shall promote nutritional gardens and conservation farming,” Kasongo said.

Oxfam Zambia director Nellie Nyang’wa said there was need to respond and bring about the change people wanted through programmes that would improve people’s livelihoods.

Rev Raymond Nyirenda from Expanded Church Response Trust challenged the church to rise to the occasion and mobilise people in the fight against poverty and diseases.

He advised the church to take a lead in fighting poverty, disease, underdevelopment and HIV by getting involved in all developmental programmes.

“Zambia having over 80 per cent of its population attending church or affiliated to a church, the clergy has an awesome responsibility to amass the Zambians to proactively participate in the fight for a developed and HIV-free Zambia,” Rev Nyirenda said.

“Our participation in this project is truly the church in action, a clear demonstration of the role the church plays in national development, as well as being the hands, the eyes, the feet and the heart of Christ.”

The government, EU, Oxfam GB, Heifer International and the ECR Trust are jointly involved in the project aimed at improving availability and access to sources of food and income for up to 1,500 poor and vulnerable HIV and AIDS-affected smallhold farmers in Mufulira and Kalulushi.

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We are finished in W/Province - MMD councillor

We are finished in W/Province - MMD councillor
By Roy Habaalu
Sat 12 Mar. 2011, 04:00 CAT

The MMD is finished in Western Province, says Mongu's Mulambwa ward MMD councillor, Mwenda Lishebo. Lishebo said it would be folly for the MMD to think all was well for the party in Western Province.

He said there was nothing sinister about Mongu Catholic Diocese Bishop Paul Duffy's statement on the state of the MMD in Western Province and challenged the party to critically analyse the political situation on the ground.

“It will be folly to think that Western Province is a stronghold for us (MMD). It will be a different ball game altogether. Speaking for myself, the views of our Bishop are more of a warning to any fair-minded person looking at the way things are taking root in Western Province and Mongu in particular,” said Lishebo, in apparent reference to the riots that resulted in the deaths of two people recently.

He wondered what strategy the MMD would engage to convince people in the area before Parliament was dissolved ahead of this year's elections.

“There is a perceived desire for the people to go for change and it should not be underplayed or ignored in totality. Some views given go to the roots of the matter in terms of development,” he said.

He said Bishop Duffy was on the ground and spoke for the people.

Bishop Duffy recently said MMD was finished in Western Province and that it was time for change.

Lishebo said the MMD would be giving ammunition to the opposition if it didn't fulfil its promises to the people of Western Province.

“When I've been talking about these things, they've been suspending me. These are some of the issues that are now coming out. Let's not say all is well because all is not well. There are challenges,” he said.

Lishebo said people were frustrated by the continued misapplication of developmental funds yet no action was being taken against culprits.

“There has been laxity especially on the part of the council. How I wish my
government could be pro-active and prosecute cases of misapplication of funds to ensure that cases are followed so that monies and property are recovered. As long as government doesn't pursue these matters, government has every reason to be worried,” said Lishebo.

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Musokotwane silent on Katumbi emeralds

COMMENT - dr. Situmbeko: "the government was aiming at inviting as many investors as possible, who would in turn lead many Zambians into the Pay as You Earn tax group." - neoliberal idiocy. The government will share mining revenues with local governments 'when we are ready'? This individual is a joke.

Musokotwane silent on Katumbi emeralds
By Mutale Kapekele and Bright Mukwasa
Fri 11 Mar. 2011, 18:40 CAT

FINANCE minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane on Wednesday failed to tell Parliament how much tax the government generated from confiscated emeralds that the government returned to Katanga governor Moses Katumbi.

During the question and answer session, Dr Musokotwane was asked how much the government generated from Katumbi’s emeralds but he refused to answer, saying he would prefer a written scheduled question.

When he was asked when the government would start sharing mineral royalties with local authorities in which mines operate, Dr Musokotwane responded “when we are ready.”

And Dr Musokotwane told Parliament that 65.5 per cent of Zambia’s rising external debt was contracted from multilateral organisations like the World Bank, Africa Development Banking group and the IMF while the rest was owed to the Paris Club members, among other.

Zambia has recorded an average of US$200 million yearly rise in external debt. He maintained that as of December 2010, Zambia’s external debt stood at US$1.28 billion.

Dr Musokotwane said the country still had room for careful borrowing considering the fact that copper exports had recorded a sharp rise from US$900 million 10 years ago to a projection of US $7 billion this year.

Copper exports contributed less than three per cent to the country’s revenue despite netting US$7.2 billion in 2010.

Responding to advice from Ithezi-thezi member of parliament Godfrey Beene who said the government should limit its borrowing to US$100 million per annum, Dr Musokotwane acknowledged that the caution was valid but added that borrowing was a normal part of life and that even rich countries contracted debt.

Dr Musokotwane also defended the government’s failure to collect tax saying the ability to generate income from taxation depended on the levels of investments.

He said the government was aiming at inviting as many investors as possible, who would in turn lead many Zambians into the Pay as You Earn tax group.

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Govt withdraws licence from Chinese company

Govt withdraws licence from Chinese company
By Agness Changala
Fri 11 Mar. 2011, 18:40 CAT

GOVERNMENT has withdrawn a commercial licence from a Chinese firm known as Fly Dragon Lumber Company until further notice for attempting to export unprocessed timber.

Tourism minister Catherine Namugala told journalists in Lusaka that the government has further blacklisted the director of the company in question from engaging in any forest-based business in Zambia.

This follows the seizure of seven consignments of timber in containers worth K63.7 million by the Forestry Department from the company for flouting timber export regulations at Chirundu border post.

The seized consignment of unprocessed timber which was destined for China is currently being kept at the Forestry office and will be auctioned according to the provisions of the law to recover the costs.

She said the ministry is also awaiting a court order for the timber to be disposed of. Namugala said the above measures have been taken to serve as a deterrent to would-be offenders.

And Namugala said the demand for timber at both local and international markets was increasing and Zambia was one of the countries in Africa that was endowed with a number of valuable timber species that were traded on the global timber market.

She said with the increased investments in the country from Asia, some of the Zambian timber products were slowly finding their markets there. Namugala expressed disappointment that despite all the clearly defined rules and regulations, some timber merchants had opted to defy the regulations for timber export by attempting to export semi-processed timber which is against the law.

She appealed to foreign companies to respect the laws of the country.

“The resources must benefit Zambians by creating new jobs for them because they are the ones who are supposed to benefit,” said Namugala.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) UK ex-army chief agitates Zimbabwe mutiny

COMMENT - British army general calls for military coup in Zimbabwe. So much for being on the side of 'democracy'. " "Will they, I wonder, ever find the moral courage to stand up and do the right thing? They know what that is. We taught them." " This is also a good lesson in why the military should not be trained by foreign forces.

UK ex-army chief agitates Zimbabwe mutiny
by PA
10/03/2011 00:00:00

A FORMER head of the British Army has called on Zimbabwe's corps of UK-trained army officers to have the moral courage to stand up to the "repressive dictatorship" of President Robert Mugabe.

General Sir Richard Dannatt, who has visited the southern African country several times in recent years, said the British Army had established a staff college in Harare after 1979 "to underpin the professional development of post-UDI army".

The former British colony of Southern Rhodesia made its Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) in 1965 under white rule and did not achieve majority African rule, under the new name of Zimbabwe, until 1979.

Lord Dannatt told the House of Lords: "I often reflect now that there must be a generation of Zimbabwean army officers out there, who were trained by us in the 1980s, who know that there is a better way than that of the repressive dictatorship of Robert Mugabe."

The crossbench peer, in his first Lords speech since being appointed by Prime Minister David Cameron last year, went on: "Will they, I wonder, ever find the moral courage to stand up and do the right thing? They know what that is. We taught them."

Lord Dannatt, who was tipped by Cameron before the general election as a future Tory minister, was speaking in a Lords debate on Zimbabwe, opened by Liberal Democrat ex-MP Lord Avebury.

The strife-torn country is ruled, in an uneasy power-sharing deal, by Mugabe's Zanu PF party and two rival factions of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Another election is due this year, with no agreement on when it should happen.

Foreign Office minister Tory Lord Howell of Guildford, replying to the debate, told Lord Dannatt: "We listened with great interest to what you had to say."

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(HERALD) Chitsinde lands top prize

Chitsinde lands top prize
Thursday, 10 March 2011 20:28
By Elita Chikwati

GLENDALE farmer Godwin Chitsinde is the 2011 Pioneer Hi-Bred Zimbabwe's national seed maize grower of the year. He won US$10 000 for being the top seed producer. Chitsinde, who is also an End Time Message pastor, planted 62 hectares of seed maize and 84 hectares of commercial maize.

He is expecting a yield of 13 tonnes per hectare from the crop. Speaking at a field day held at his Panashe Farm in Glendale, Chitsinde said it was through hard work that he won the award.

"I also believe in working with experts and always look to God for guidance and wisdom,'' he said.

The farmer said he always planted on time and pays attention to crop management.
This involves correct fertiliser application and effective weed control.

Delaying in planting, Chitsinde said, had a negative effect on yields.

According to experts, a farmer loses 50kg per hectare of maize for every day delayed in planting.

Instead of weeding manually, Chitsinde relies on herbicides which he said had proved more efficient and cost-effective than human labour.

"Workers may not be thorough when it comes to weeding so herbicides are more effective,' he said.

Pioneer Hi-Bred Zimbabwe, field operations manager Mr Zivanai Sigwadhi said weeds, especially in seed maize transmit pests and diseases to the crop. He said weeds should be removed as they compete with crops for nutrients.

Sigwadhi encouraged farmers growing seed maize to aim for a high plant population for high output.

"It is also important for farmers to apply correct amount of fertilisers. Farmers should also from time-to-time apply lime to their soils to correct the soil pH (acidity or alkalinity)."

Sigwadhi encouraged farmers to take their soils for testing to get correct fertiliser recommendations.

Fertiliser companies such as ZFC and Windmill carry out free soil tests.
"When applying top dressing, we encourage farmers to split their applications and the first application should be done 30 days after planting," he said.

Speaking at the same function, Mashonaland Central Governor, Martin Dinha said gone are the days when land owners show off with the resource, but it was now time to prove their worth.
"I am proud of this province and the hard working farmers. Some people used to think that white men where the only ones capable of farming but here is a true example of an indigenous farmer who is doing very well," he said.

Governor Dinha, however, denounced those farmers who have farms, but are not using the land.

"Those not fully utilising the land should just surrender part of their land to other people willing to farm,'' he said.

Pioneer general manager Mr Daniel Myers said his company had a 22 percent market share of maize seed and was aiming to reach 30 percent by 2015.

"We are expecting 10 000 tonnes of maize seed this coming season. We want to continue assisting seed maize growers so that the country retains its status as the breadbasket of Africa,' he said.

Secretary for Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Mr Ngoni Masoka applauded Chitsinde for his hard work and said seed production was very important in ensuring national food security.

"We will allow seed companies to export only if they meet local demand.

"If seed houses continue to produce more than 50 000 tonnes of seed there is no doubt that they will get an export permit," Mr Masoka said.

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(HERALD) Ray now an MDC activist

Ray now an MDC activist
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 19:21

By Alexander Kanengoni
SENTIMENTS expressed by American ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray, in a letter to the Herald last Friday, that Zanu-PF should not have used the Government logo in an anti-sanctions advertisement that it flighted in the same paper were revealing.
But before I talk about whether Zanu-PF can or cannot use the Government logo in its public pronouncements, allow me to talk about diplomats, their mandate and their etiquette.

I don't believe it requires one to be an expert in such things to be able to talk about them, only enough seriousness and common sense.

It is said diplomats should not indulge in the internal affairs and politics of their host country. The remarks expressed by the American ambassador in his letter did the exact opposite.

His letter was a clear example of an ambassador exceeding his mandate

By pointing out what he perceived to be anomalous in the day to day operations of the inclusive Government in relation to the political parties that constitute it, the ambassador ceased to be a diplomat but a political activist, in this case, an MDC political activist.

If the American ambassador can go to the extent of raising his objection to the use of the Government logo by Zanu-PF then why should the MDC-T continue employing Nelson Chamisa as their spokesperson?

The ambassador has clearly usurped the function of the MDC-T spokesperson.
There are several ways of looking at that blatant breach of protocol, all of them unpleasant. There is the possibility that political developments have got to a point where there is no longer need to hide American intentions.

After all, the WikiLeaks have made it clear the Americans and the British are the handlers of the MDC. Like military commanders, they can just as well break cover and start directing the operations of the MDCs from the open. It seems they do not care much any longer.

But in all fairness, it is difficult to imagine the British or German or French ambassador falling to this level of political mediocrity, not that I like any of them. Diplomatic etiquette would not allow such kind of behaviour.

And yet they all look up to him as the Big Brother. It is an uncontested role that the Americans occupy in the politics of imperialism.

When Tony Blair saw that he had a problem on his hands regarding Zimbabwe, he rushed to the Americans for help and George W Bush, like a true Big Brother, obliged and instituted ZDERA.

What is Charles Ray doing to the diplomatic dignity of his European counterparts? One cannot run away from the temptation of looking at it from the perspective of colour, especially when one has the brutal colonial experience behind him like ourselves.
One of the major problems that we have always had with our former colonisers is that they still regard us as their subjects and juniors.

And the tragedy of being black worsens our predicament. Yet colour is one thing that we share with the American ambassador. I hope he understands and appreciates the dilemma and the humiliation that we have to endure because of it.

Charles Ray's grandparents were probably slaves. I can imagine the EU ambassadors reading Ray's letter and then looking the other way, covering their mouths with their hands, laughing at him.

Some people have such short memories. Perhaps it's the mouth-watering smell of the delicious food in the kitchen. Those out on the fields with their bowels growling of hunger will not forget so easily the suffering.

We should not be fooled by Europe's false magnanimity and supposed big heart and readiness to forgive. Three quarters of a century after WWII, they are still hunting down Nazis and prosecuting them.

Another thing could be the ambassador has lapses of memory and forgets he is American not Zimbabwean. Foreigners seem to find Zimbabwe's intoxicating beauty irresistible.
There are stories of ambassadors who, after the end of their tours of duty, decided to stay. There are other stories of ambassadors who, after they retired from the diplomatic service, came back to Zimbabwe and applied for citizenship.

There was an unmistakable conciliatory tone about Ambassador Ray's letter, as if he wanted to make peace with everyone. It seems the ambassador has plans for his future in the country.

Whether Zanu-PF should or should not use the government logo, is an issue that only Zimbabweans can debate. In fact, no one had raised the issue at all.

Ambassador Ray needs to understand that the inclusive Government was born out of the global political agreement that Zanu-PF, MDC-T and the MDC signed.

Working towards the removal of sanctions was a key undertaking that the signatories committed themselves to. To me, there is no conflict when Zanu-PF, as a signatory of the GPA that gave birth to the inclusive Government, uses the government logo to highlight to the general public a provision of the GPA.

It would be irregular if Zanu-PF used the government logo to make a pronouncement that breached one of the terms of the GPA.

The more I try to explain why there is no contradiction, the more I feel angry and frustrated because it is my fellow Zimbabweans whom I owe an explanation not the American ambassador.

Who is he to want an explanation on an issue that is totally Zimbabwean?

As far as the anti-sanctions campaign that President Mugabe launched last week is concerned, the American ambassador must be reminded that people of Zimbabwe have moved beyond the West and MDC's cheap politicking that there are no sanctions imposed against the country.

The one million or more people who gathered behind The Rainbow Towers for the occasion was a clear testimony of that.

By the way, there was no mention of it on CNN, BBC or our ambiguous friends, SABC. There was no mention of a gathering of more than a million people saying no to sanctions!

And yet when a handful political activists' argue at a township in one of the rural areas and the discussion degenerates into a fistfight, the same stations would make the little incident one of their top-stories.

Ambassador Ray's personal confusion is evident in the letter when he begins by claiming that there are no sanctions and then later on admitting that the Bretton Woods institutions stopped "lending Zimbabwe money long before there were sanctions". Which sanctions is he now talking about?

It's the same confusion with Tsvangirai. In one breath he is saying there are no sanctions and in the next, he is accusing Zanu-PF of not doing enough to have the sanctions removed.

Ambassador Ray must make a choice: to continue being a diplomat or become the MDC spokesperson. He cannot be both.

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Ethical significance of anti-sanctions petition

Ethical significance of anti-sanctions petition
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 19:17

HANS KOCHLER, a professor of philosophy at the University of Innsbruck, Austria once wrote , "Economic sanctions have the ethical quality of terror bombings . . . the civilian population is explicitly taken hostage in the framework of a security strategy of power politics".

From an ethical point of view, the political instrumentalisation of human beings is deplora-ble and should never be considered an attribute in the promotion and furtherance of democracy and freedoms.

It is ignominious for any politician to believe that economic sanctions are a civilised tool to achieve political goals, particularly when such sanctions are targeted at an economy of a developing country such as Zimbabwe.

Those that have agitated for the economic isolation of Zimbabwe beginning in 2001 have the moral shortcomings of terrorist bombers and the philosophy of using human beings as instruments to effect change in games of power politics is as lamentable as that of Al-Qaeda striving to communicate anger against Western political elites by indiscriminately targeting Western civilians.

The anguish brought to Zimbabweans by the economic sanctions pronounced by the European Union, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada has not resonated with the rhetoric that these sanctions are "mere travel bans" or are "targeted at a handful of individuals".

The anguish is explicitly from the public and the wreckage has specifically been on the most vulnerable of the people of Zimbabwe - the aged, children, unemployed, women and low income earners.

Not even one person among those officially listed on the sanctions list has starved, has been unemployed, or has died of cholera. All this has befallen the ordinary civilian, the ordinary villager, the innocent citizen and the ruin is not rocket science at all.

Kochler stands vigorously opposed to the idea of powerful countries using economic sanctions to push people into rebelling against their own governments. People have a dignity that does not allow them to be abused as political tools.

He argues, "People have a natural right not to be sacrificed for a strategic purpose over whose formulation and realisation they exercise no influence."

Among the greatest shortcomings of economic sanctions are issues of effectiveness.
Firstly, the policy goals set for imposing sanctions must be examined. In the case of Zimbabwe the declared goals include what the sanctioning parties have called "restoration of the rule of law", "true democracy for the people of Zimbabwe", "respect for property rights", and "respect for human rights".

These are the indisputable high moral values fronted as the cause for the ruinous sanctions affecting mostly the very poor people of Zimbabwe for whose good we are told the sanctions are in place. Pouring aid to poor Zimbabweans is for the West like an arsonist that burns your house and then turns around to provide tents and blankets to help your children.

It is only very few times that we are told about the "strategic interests" of the Western countries that have hit Zimbabwe with the deadly sanctions. It is during these truthful moments when we are told that Zimbabwe's land reform programme and its economic empowerment policies are "unsound" or that "they pause a continuing and extraordinary threat to the interests of the United States".

The policy goals for the sanctions may be coming in the guise of truistic values as explained above but the reality that is now gaining huge momentum among Africans is that the Western countries want to preserve their economic hegemony over Zimbabweans and they are using the starvation of civilians as a means of economic warfare.

The criterion for measuring success of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe has been very clear from the West. Nothing short of removing Robert Mugabe and Zanu-PF from power will be considered as success.

After the formation of the inclusive Government in 2009, the US, UK and Australia made it very clear that the presence of President Robert Mugabe and that of Zanu-PF was an anti-climax for their cause. They pronounced stiff reluctance to embrace the new set up.

Stephen Smith, the then foreign minister for Australia bluntly declared, "We want to see the back of Mugabe." This of course was despite what Zimbabweans themselves preferred.

Clearly this would be a political achievement whose essence is solely centred on the Mugabe factor in relation to Western interests in Zimbabwe. But does it address the needs of Zimbabweans?

Such a criterion of measuring success does not speak of goals to develop Zimbabwe, or the will and desire to ensure the wellbeing of the people of Zimbabwe. It is a selfish and narrow approach to international relations and it totally usurps the sovereign right of Zimbabwean people to make priorities of their choice.

The unilateral declaration of sanctions by the EU, the US and other individual Western states did not take into account the effect of such an action on the economic development of Zimbabwe, or perhaps it did, ensuring that such development would be stalled as punishment to Mugabe; so the elites from these Western countries could settle their scores with him, especially in relation to his land reform policy.

The economic sanctions theory maintains that economic pressure on civilians will translate into pressure on the Government for change - the simplistic regime change strategy that has been repeated in many places since 1948. It has worked in some places while it has backfired in others.

However, the targeted leaders who are often expressly intended to be ousted by their outraged peoples, have in many cases managed to continue pursuing their policies and to continue in power.

Sometimes it is simply because the populace can see clearly that their anguish coincides with the introduction of sanctions and this is largely the case with Zimbabweans.

In other instances it is because of the leaders' ability to translate the message of sanctions into punishment and retribution against the country, enhancing popular support based on patriotic and even jingoistic rallying around the flag. This also is largely the case with the Zimbabwean situation and the massive anti-sanctions rally carried out recently could have been an eloquent expression of that.

Traditionally sanctions have unintentionally contributed to the emergence of parallel or black markets, creating huge opportunities for elites and their collaborators. Sanctions fuel the rich-gets-richer scenario and they are more of an opportunity for ruling elites than they are a form of punishment for the same. Sanctions only punish the poor and the vulnerable.

In Zimbabwe, there are people who amassed so much wealth in 2008 when the majority of the people were going through the worst time ever to be experienced in the known history of the nation. For such a fulgurous jump to riches these people have economic sanctions to thank for their once a lifetime fortune.

If at all the travel ban list is not a smokescreen to hoodwink the gullible, then one will be justified to say the economic sanctions imposed by the West on Zimbabwe are hitting the wrong target, the population at large, particularly the weakest in society. From the ethical shortcomings of economic sanctions it is important to look at the illegality of unilateral sanctions, a very hot topic that has created so many enemies for this writer, especially from the West.

Gustavo Capdevila of the InterPress Service reported on 9 April 1998 that the 53 member Human Rights Commission had voted against unilateral coercive measures imposed on the other countries by powerful states from the industrialised world, and examples included Cuba, Libya and Iran.

The Commission condemned the Helms-Burton Act which stiffened the blockade on Cuba and the D'Amato Law which blocked trade with Libya and Iran. These are the equivalent of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZDERA), which blocks trade with Zimbabwean companies and the Syria Accountability Act, which prohibits trade with Damascus.

The Commission voted 37 in favour, 7 against and 8 abstentions significance. The communiqué released after the vote said the Commission "urges states not to adopt unilateral measures that run counter to international law or the UN Charter".

The economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe may be popular with the MDC-T but to argue that they are compatible with international law or that they do not run counter to the UN Charter is just frivolous. The resolution criticised the extraterritorial effects of unilateral sanctions, especially the Helms-Burton Law, which provides for legal proceedings against citizens from third party countries who do business with Cuba.

It is not too different from the listing of non-Zimbabwean citizens on Zimbabwe's sanctions list, presumably on accusations of "propping up the Mugabe regime".

The HRC rejected the employment of unilateral economic sanctions as measures of political or economic pressure "against any nation", especially developing nations "due to the sanctions' negative effect on broad sectors of the population".

Colombian Ambassador Gustova Castro spoke on behalf of the Commission and pointed out that moral authorities like the late Pope John Paul 11 "reprove that practice due to the suffering it causes the civilian population".

He continued and argued that no country can argue "supposed national interests as a pretext for violating the sovereignty of other states".

In reply US Ambassador Nancy Rubin said nations had the right to decide which countries, and under what conditions, they would do business with. By this logic, the latest move by Zimbabwe to target certain companies from specified countries for counter sanctions against the same specified countries must be quite plausible for the United States; regardless the US itself is one of the three targeted countries.

Zimbabwe has every right to decide which countries, and under what conditions, they would do business with. Such a decision must not be disputed, if we go by the reasoning of Nancy Rubin.

It is quite revealing to note that the seven countries that voted against the resolution were Canada, Germany, Britain, Japan, Luxembourg, South Korea and the US; all part to the current hostile contingent that persecutes Zimbabwe through sanctions, perhaps with the exception of Japan. In 1974 the UN General Assembly's Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of the State declared; "No State may use or encourage the use of economic, political and any other type of measures to coerce another state in order to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights or to secure from it advantages of any kind".

Is this not what the West aims to achieve in Zimbabwe? Do they not seek to reverse the land reform programme and to re-assert their economic hegemony over the resources of Zimbabwe?

Do they not seek to use the sanctions to establish a more submissive regime that will be pliant to their own dictates?

Susan Page even believes that Zanu-PF can be converted to this type of a regime, if MDC-T continues to disappoint the way they are doing.

She intimated this quite clearly when she visited Zimbabwe recently.

If Zanu-PF capitulated and became an ally of imperialists, the people's revolution will have to do without the liberation party, in fact with it as an enemy of the people.

Protocol 1 Additional to the Geneva Convention 1997, Part IV, Section 1, Chapter III, Article 54 says;

l Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is prohibited.
l It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove, or render useless objects indisputable to the agricultural areas for the production of foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies, and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or to the adverse Party, whatever the motive, whether in order to starve out civilians, or cause them to move away, or for any other motive.

The essence here is that economic sanctions targeted at depriving people of food and other essentials are illegal and prohibited by international law.

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has been publicly recorded exalting the devastating effe-cts of sanctions and urging people to move away from Zanu-PF and to rise against the party so as to end the deadly effect of sanctions.

At Mucheke Stadium in Masvingo in 2008 he said, "Are you hungry? Are you suffering?"
After the people gave him a raucous "Yes!" Morgan Tsvangirai said, "Then remove this regime".

He went on to promise the crowd US$10 billion which he said "was ready and waiting" from the West if only the people could remove Mugabe's Government.

UN General Assembly Resolution 44/125, De-cember 22, 1989 declared that all States "should refrain from threatening or applying trade and financial restrictions, blockades, embargoes, and other economic sanctions, incompatible with the charter of the United Nations and in violation of the undertakings contracted multilaterally and bilaterally against developing countries as a form of political and economic coercion that affects their political economic social development."

This clearly shows that unilateral imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe is indeed incompatible with the charter of the United Nations and is a violation of multilateral and bilateral treaties already in existence between Zimbabwe and the involved Western countries. This is why it is important for Zimbabweans to always remember that the ruinous sanctions affecting their lives are in fact in violation of international law.

The UN General Assembly of 1997 simply declared, "Starvation of civilians is unlawful."

There is no simpler way to explain the economic strangulation of Zimbabwe by Western countries. It is simply unlawful.

Some scholars have argued that economic sanctions in general are unlawful because they violate Article 2(3) of the UN Charter which requires States to settle their international disputes by peaceful means.

The other argument is that economic sanctions violate Article 2(4) of the UN Charter which requires states to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity and political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

The ethical shortcomings of economic sanctions in general and the illegality of unilateral economic sanctions in particular are so convincing in themselves that it is time the whole philosophy of using economic sanctions to achieve political goals is revisited and revised even by the UN itself.

For Zimbabwe it is time to speak with one voice and say NO to ruinous unilateral and unlawful economic sanctions. If the MDC's ineptitude is such that they can only survive on the leverage provided by Western sanctions then the party has no business in the politics of Zimbabwe and Africa needs no such parties.

We cannot have politicians who believe they can starve people all the way to the polling booth so they can vote for them for fear of starving to death. An election under such conditions cannot in any way be free and fair.

Zimbabwe we are one and together we will overcome. It is homeland or death!

Reason Wafawarova is a political writer and can be contacted on reason@rwafawarova.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit www.rwafa

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(TALKZIMBABWE) Zim to publish mining sector indigenisation guidelines

COMMENT - This sovereign wealth fund is an excellent idea. By the way, Rio Tinto, Anglo-American are respectively owned and controlled by the Rothschilds.

Zim to publish mining sector indigenisation guidelines
By: Our reporter
Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2011 12:22 am

ZIMBABWE will publish indigenisation guidelines on mine ownership on Friday. The guidelines will take effect in a week.

Youth Empowerment and Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said Zimbabwe aims to nationalise over half its mining resources sector by setting up a sovereign wealth fund that would own 51% of all mining companies.

This Friday we are gazetting the minimum threshold for the mining sector. We need the 51 percent (equity) to come into our sovereign wealth fund,” Kasukuwere said.

“We are all agreed as a government,” he added.

The move is also aimed at making sure that the country, with the world's second-biggest platinum reserves and probably second largest diamond deposits, can get more money from its mineral riches.

It is also intended to end patterns of white control of Zimbabwe's resources and means of production, which were etched out during colonial rule by Britain.

Blacks were excluded from owning the means of production, especially commercial farming and industry.

The move is likely to target mining giants like Angloplat and Impala Platinum, the world's largest and second-largest platinum producers, and Rio Tinto, which runs a diamond mine in the country.

Kasukuwere said earnings from mineral exports reached US$1.7-billion in 2010, about 30% of the country's estimated annual GDP, but that mining companies had paid only US$4-million in tax.

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(LUSAKATIMES) Be factual in PVT arguments — Speaker

Be factual in PVT arguments — Speaker
Friday, March 11, 2011, 8:48]

In Parliament yesterday Monze Central Member of Parliament (MP) Jack Mwiimbu (UPND) asked whether Justice Minister George Kunda was in order to keep quiet when ministers of Information and Foreign Affairs, Ronnie Shikapwasha and Kabinga Pande, respectively, had allegedly misinformed the nation over the raging parallel vote tabulation (PVT) debate.

Speaker of the National Assembly Amusaa Mwanamwambwa,who pointed out that he did not wish to usurp the powers of the Executive said: “This debate or debates on PVT is raging outside the House and indeed this House can claim a certain amount of interest in the matter in the sense that this House enacted the Constitution of Zambia and, among the creatures of the Constitution, is an authority known as ECZ.

“The Constitution assigned to ECZ powers and functions to carry out presidential, parliamentary and local government elections and once Parliament, through the Constitution, has assigned ECZ such powers,the House expects ECZ to discharge its functions and powers.”

Mr Mwanamwambwa said the matter at hand was of great magnitude but it would not help the House if he ruled definitely on it because there was no motion for the House to debate and vote.

The Speaker, however, advised MPs who wished to enter the fray of the public to do so freely, advising that they should be factual in their arguments.

“I will not muzzle anyone of you from expressing your opinions outside, join. There are lawyers here and I expect you to assist over this matter.

“I don’t want to enter into functions of the Government but those of you who have been members of the foreign service know the dos and don’ts in that diplomats in countries which they are accredited to are supposed to observe the laws,” Mr Mwanamwambwa said.

He said the protocols and etiquette befitting foreign envoys started as way back as 1848.

{Source -times of Zambia}

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(LUSAKATIMES) Parallel vote advocates face arrest

Parallel vote advocates face arrest
Wednesday, March 9, 2011, 6:35

GOVERNMENT has warned that individuals or members of civil society organisations who will try to carry out parallel vote tabulation in this year’s tripartite elections will be arrested and prosecuted.

Chief government spokesperson Ronnie Shikapwasha said there is no law in the country that allows an individual or organisation to conduct parallel vote tabulation. He said any individual or group of people that will go against the law during the elections will face arrest.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha said the Electoral Commission of Zambia is the only institution mandated by law to announce results during elections.

“The only institution that has the mandate and authority over all elections in Zambia is the Electoral Commission of Zambia.

“So, civil society organisations have no right to do so as there is no such law in our Constitution,” he said.

Gen Shikapwasha was speaking in an interview on March 8 in reaction to pronouncements by the Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) and other civil society organisations that they will apply parallel vote tabulation during the elections.

It also caused unrest in 2001 when the United Party for National Development members and supporters took to the streets to celebrate the party’s then president Anderson Mazoka’s unofficially announced victory in that year’s presidential election.

The official results showed that Mr Mazoka’s rival Levy Mwanawasa was the winner.

But Gen Shikapwasha said Government will not tolerate non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that want to fuel violence in the country.

He also said the parallel vote tabulation has proved to be a recipe for violence in countries where it has been applied.

“Just in Zimbabwe, there was confusion during the elections because some NGOs applied parallel vote tabulation, and so at the end of the day, there was confusion after the electoral body announced the official results.

“And if you also remember during the 2001 general elections, violence almost broke out in this country because the European Union and other NGOs applied the parallel vote tabulation and had announced that late UPND president, Anderson Mazoka, had won the elections when in fact it was late President Mwanawasa. So, people should desist from activities that can cause civil war in this country,” he said.

Gen Shikapwasha said it is also surprising that United States Ambassador Mark Storella is in support of the system when it does not exist in his own country.

“This system does not apply in America or any other country that I’m aware of. So, it is disappointing the ambassador can be in support of such a system.

“Let all those that have intentions of sponsoring NGOs to apply the parallel vote tabulation instead direct those funds to the ElectoralCommission of Zambia so that we can strengthen this institution,” Gen Shikapwasha said.

Mr Storella was quoted by the media at the weekend as saying there is nothing wrong with the parallel system.

But Gen Shikapwasha said NGOs that want to implement the system have intentions of rigging elections.
“These institutions just want to cause confusion in this country because they want to come up with their own results and dispute official results of the ElectoralCommission of Zambia,” he said.

The ECZ last week rejected the parallel vote tabulation, stating that it would cause confusion in the management of elections in the country.

[Zambia Daily Mail]

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Govt has failed to follow Levy’s ideals, says Magande

Govt has failed to follow Levy’s ideals, says Magande
By Ndinawe Simpelwe
Fri 11 Mar. 2011, 04:01 CAT

NG'ANDU Magande says the government has failed to follow the ideals of late president Levy Mwanawasa over the mines.

Commenting on finance minister Situmbeko Musokotwane’s statement on QFM Radio on Monday that Mwanawasa was about to scrap the windfall tax, Magande said the public was now getting tired of the government's insistence that the country was benefiting from the mines.

“I have stopped commenting on these issues because we have talked a lot about them but it seems no one is listening. Just ask them (the government) to tell you where they are taking all the resources they are getting from the mines,” Magande said.

“Government is operating for the public but there are people who are doing things to keep their jobs. We have made statements since last year but nothing has changed. The public is tired of listening to the same statements from government when they are not seeing the benefits.”

During Q FM's Monday Live radio programme, Dr Musokotwane said Mwanawasa had changed his mind over the windfall tax.

Dr Musokotwane, who was Mwanawasa’s economic advisor, claimed the late president had realised the windfall tax was not a good idea because it was scaring investors. He said Mwanawasa ordered experts to revisit the scheme.

Dr Musokotwane also said that the country's external debt stood at US$1.2 billion as opposed to the US $3.4 billion noted in the Sixth National Development Plan.

But Magande said the affects of the increase in external debt would be felt in the future. “The increase in the external debt means your children and your grandchildren will bear the cost,” he said.

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