Saturday, April 02, 2011
By Mwala Kalaluka in Mongu
Sat 02 Apr. 2011, 04:01 CAT
Induna Imbwae says Hakainde Hichilema is a double-dealer who can’t be trusted. And Vice-President George Kunda's revelations over the flopped constitution review process have unearthed Hichilema’s chameleon character, says Induna Imbwae.
Induna Imbwae, who was UPND leader Hichilema's Western Province campaign manager during the 2008 presidential elections but recently defected to the PF with other provincial leaders, said in Mongu yesterday that the UPND's double-dealings had been exposed, showing that Hichilema cannot be trusted.
“The true colours of Hakainde and UPND have been unearthed in the sense that they are just like a chameleon,” said Induna Imbwae shortly before departure for Lukulu to campaign for the PF. “They were changing colours but the truth has come out through the revelations by Kunda.”
Induna Imbwae said Vice-President Kunda's revelations that the UPND was in discussion with the MMD had now laid bare the truth that UPND had been concealing.
“How were they going to discuss such issues with the MMD when they were in the Pact with the PF?” Induna Imbwae asked. “Their accusations against PF have now become irrelevant and so their dealings with MMD are true.”
Induna Imbwae congratulated the members of parliament that rejected the Constitution Bill, because it was a hollow document.
He said surprisingly, even the UPND parliamentarians had realised that the Constitution Bill was hollow despite participating in the National Constitution Conference NCC.
Induna Imbwae said they were now entering the entire Western Province to campaign for Michael Sata and the PF now that they were no longer in the UPND.
“We are going to inform the people of the turn of events and shortly you will hear from the districts about what will transpire,” said Induna Imbwae.
By The Post
Sat 02 Apr. 2011, 04:00 CAT
Rupiah Banda said very good and correct things in Livingstone at the Southern African Development Community organ Troika summit on politics, peace, defence and security. Rupiah called for the consolidation of democracy through the establishment of institutions that uphold tenets of good governance, respect for human rights and the rule of law.
“If there is anything that we must learn from the upheavals going on in the northern part of our continent, it is that the legitimate expectations of the citizens of our countries cannot be taken for granted,” Rupiah correctly observed.
He also talked about the consolidation of democracy through the frequent holding of free and fair general elections. These are all good things.
But it is easier said than done. With Rupiah, democracy seems to work very well in speech but not in practice or deed.
It is not difficult for anyone to regurgitate speeches written for them by speechwriters who know something about the tenets of democracy. It is not what he said that really matters but what is done.
It is said that “doing is the best way of saying”.
For Christians, living is the best way of believing. Faith without deeds is worthless; as James stated, “What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but has not works? Can his faith save him?
If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?
So faith, by itself, if it has no works, is dead” (James 2:14-17).
So are good words on democracy, good governance, respect for human rights and rule of law without deeds, without good practices.
We wish Rupiah could practice even a tiny fraction of the things he said in Livingstone.
Rupiah says if there is anything that we must learn from the upheavals in North Africa, it is that the legitimate expectations of the citizens of our countries cannot be taken for granted.
But Rupiah’s own daily political practices are of taking the legitimate expectations of his people for granted.
Look at the way he has handled the constitution review process.
Despite opposition to the National Constitutional Conference by the majority of our people, Rupiah went ahead and spent over K200 billion on a process that he knew very well was very far from meeting the legitimate expectations of our people.
In this regard, Rupiah took the Zambian people for granted. In the end, this process failed to produce even a constitution that he himself wanted.
But over K200 billion of taxpayers’ money has been spent on this process.
And Rupiah continues to go on as if it is business as usual; to him this is just a small setback.
He is not talking about the poor people’s money he has wasted.
Rupiah was told from the very beginning that the constitution process he had embarked on was not going to meet the legitimate expectations of the people of Zambia as contained in the recommendations of the Mung’omba Constitution Review Commission.
This didn’t bother him.
What mattered to him were his own wishes. Rupiah wanted to give the Zambian people a constitution that met his own expectations and not the legitimate expectations of the people.
The defeat of his constitution bill is something that came as a matter of surprise, something he didn’t expect – it is a technical blow and not a matter of a principled failure to secure the support of the people.
Rupiah was not interested in the support of the people for his constitution.
And this lack of respect for the legitimate expectations of the people is also demonstrated by the way Rupiah has handled the fight against corruption in this country.
The Zambian people wanted their courts of law to punish Frederick Chiluba and others who had stolen their money.
The demand to strip Chiluba of his immunity was a popular one supported by the great majority of our people and their representatives in Parliament at that time.
The case of Chiluba was a solid one, but Rupiah made sure he was acquitted and asked the Zambian people to accept his acquittal even before the magistrate had finished reading his judgment.
Rupiah went as far as withdrawing the appeal against Chiluba that was legitimately and appropriately filed in our courts.
Again, this was in total defiance of the legitimate expectations of the Zambian people to suit his personal desires.
The people’s legitimate expectations were subordinated to his. Rupiah’s will took precedence over the will of the people.
This is surely not a recipe for upholding the tenets of good governance and respect for the rule of law that Rupiah is talking about.
What rule of law can be in a country in which the president’s will determines the behaviour of the entire judicial process?
If he wants an acquittal in any case, he gets it. If he wants a matter not to be appealed no matter how legitimate an appeal may be, he gets it.
The Zambian government secured a judgment in the London High Court ordering Chiluba to pay back more than US $45 million he had stolen from the Zambian people.
All that was needed was to have this judgment registered in our High Court.
Rupiah again corruptly ensured that this judgment was not registered and enforced against Chiluba. What rule of law is this?
Can Rupiah really lecture anybody on rule of law?
And talking about human rights, what human rights is Rupiah observing or respecting?
Young people in Western Province wanted to hold meetings and express their views and feelings over the Barotse Agreement of 1964.
Rupiah stopped them from holding these meetings; police permits were denied them.
In the end, his policemen killed and maimed for life some of these young people whose only crime was to try and exercise their human rights, their freedom of expression and that of assembly.
Rupiah treated them as if they had no political rights whatsoever.
And such a brutal man, such a ruthless tyrant is today preaching about human rights. Well, it’s probably a matter of ‘Do as I say, not as I do’.
Rupiah is also talking about the holding of free and fair general elections.
What free and fair elections can Rupiah really talk about?
Free and fair elections can only be held when the concerns of all key players are adequately addressed.
Rupiah is today running elections in this country with an electoral commission that he has picked single-handedly.
Rupiah has not allowed the input of others in the composition of the Electoral Commission or in the appointment of its key managers.
Everything is being arranged in a manner that gives him advantage and that puts others at an unfair disadvantage. For elections to be free and fair, there also ought to be transparency in the organisation of elections.
Rupiah has rejected and outlawed a clearly legitimate and legal demand for parallel vote tabulation so that the result can be open to easy manipulation if need for this arises.
For free and fair elections to be held, the major players have to agree on the conditions under which these elections would be held.
This is not the case in Zambia today because Rupiah is not interested in consensus over the conduct of the elections.
He wants everything done his way because he is the government and the government is him.
Rupiah has monopolised the state-owned media. It cannot be denied that the state-owned media is today campaigning for Rupiah and the MMD to the exclusion of all others.
The opposition is only covered in the state media when doing so serves the interests of Rupiah and the MMD.
To have free and fair elections, all political parties should have reasonable access to the publicly-owned media and the public media should have a duty to report political campaigns fairly and accurately.
And lastly, the democratic consolidation that Rupiah is talking about can only be realised under an environment in which political tolerance is encouraged.
But what we see today is increasing intolerance on Rupiah’s part and on the part of his cadres.
This is not a recipe for the holding of free and fair elections, for the upholding of good governance, respect for human rights and the rule of law.
This is not the way the legitimate expectations of our people can be respected.
It is a sure way of ensuring that the legitimate expectations of our people are taken for granted.
Labels: RUPIAH BANDA
By Misheck Wangwe
Sat 02 Apr. 2011, 04:01 CAT
President Rupiah Banda says things he doesn’t believe in or understand, says Ng’andu Magande. In an interview yesterday, Magande said it was surprising that President Banda is encouraging SADC leaders not to take citizens for granted when he has refused to embrace people’s views in his own country.
Magande said it was difficult to establish what moral authority President Banda was using when he encouraged SADC leaders on the need to uphold the tenets of democracy. He said the President Banda was not the right one to advise the SADC region on democracy as his administration had exhibited high levels of undemocratic tendencies.
During the official opening of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ Troika Summit on Politics, Peace, Defence and Security in Livingstone yesterday, President Banda said leaders in the region must learn from the upheavals in North Africa not to take citizens for granted.
But Magande said it was President Banda's government that was a major culprit on the issue of taking people for granted.
“Every time we speak as members of the public, they tell us we don't know anything. Most of the things that have been said about the NAPSA deal, Zamtel, the windfall tax, we are told we don't know anything. I can even quote ministers like honourable mines minister Maxwell Mwale the other day he was saying that Milupi is just an engineer he can't talk about windfall tax,” Magande said.
“Labour minister Austin Liato on NAPSA, he was telling people that they are ignorant they should not talk about it, honourable finance minister Situmbeko Musokotwane told the nation that I am just jealous I don't know what is happening. So how does he (President Banda) say that?”
Magande said President Banda must first of all work on consolidating the tenets of democracy within his government by ending the arrogance that he and his ministers had exhibited.
“Let him first of all tell his ministers that the powers that government has comes from the people. He should tell them that the instruments of running government are for the people. It is very good if what he said at that SADC meeting is a sign of repentance on his part and I hope so, and I hope he will change his behaviour,” Magande said.
He said it was sad that the fundamental laws and values of running a government on behalf of the people were missing in President Banda’s administration.
Magande said President Banda should not play to the gallery when he talked about issues of democracy, peace and good governance because Zambians expect him to demonstrate true leadership by taking action against people who undermine democracy.
He said if President Banda meant well, MMD cadres who were busy harassing people and causing confusion in public places must be punished.
President Banda made these remarks at a SADC troika held in Livingstone called to look into the situation in Zimbabwe and Madagascar.
By George Chellah
Sat 02 Apr. 2011, 04:01 CAT
MICHAEL Sata yesterday extolled his pact with the people, saying it was producing results. During a programme on Yatsani Radio yesterday, Sata, who was asked to comment on the PF-UPND pact, said he had not received any official communication from UPND president Hakainde Hichilema on the matter.
“I heard stories or gossip of the leader of UPND saying he has pulled out of the Pact. We have been waiting for communication which we have not received. I am mature enough. I am an old man, I am not a baby,” Sata said.
“I don't react to gossip because as far as I am concerned, the Pact with the people is very intact because if there was no Pact with the people we could not have defeated the constitutional amendment in Parliament.”
He said the Pact with the people is there.
“It's the feelings of the people and we leaders, which form a bigger Pact; not with individuals because individuals are influenced by a number of things which makes them say what they want to say,” Sata said.
“But I have avoided talking about it because our brother Hichilema has had no courtesy of communicating with us to say what offence we have done or what wrong we have done or what we have not done or what we have overdone.
“So until such a time when we have this communication we regard the matter as dead and continue with our Pact with the people and the Pact with the people is producing results.”
Asked about Vice-President George Kunda's revelations that the UPND wanted a coalition government with the MMD, Sata responded: “UPND is a registered political party.
UPND has its own national management committee and the fact that we had some loose association did not bind them that they stop thinking and stop going the way they want to go. If UPND wants to make a shortcut, get in government through coalition government, why not?”
He said as Republican Vice-President and Minister of Justice, Kunda needed to have a certain amount of confidentiality.
“They discussed, he enticed them UPND to pull out from our relationship. He offered them things they said 'implement', he refused to implement so now again he is embarrassing them so we have to be very very careful with some of the leaders,” he said.
On the failed constitution bill, Sata said his critics labelled the PF as prophets of doom.
“People have passed a vote of no confidence in the government. The whole MMD government has been impeached,” Sata said. “We gave the yellow card first Mr Speaker wanted to rig and say the machines are not working. You see the will of God can't be tampered with by a human even if you are wearing a wig.”
He said Zambia needed a constitution which would protect its people.
Sata said Vice-President Kunda would have to account for the money spent on the National Constitution Conference (NCC).
Asked about the government's position that the parallel vote tabulation was criminal, Sata answered: “I fail to understand who gave George Kunda a practicing licence. He has never told us what law. They are intimidating us. We have been using this PVT. If they want they can throw all of us in prison.”
Sata said the MMD would be reduced after the national convention, which has been slated for Kabwe next week.
Friday, April 01, 2011
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Apr 01 2011 20:01
"Fronting" and tender abuse is an "unintended consequence" of an emphasis on diversity of ownership and senior management in implementing broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE), President Jacob Zuma said on Friday.
"The unintended consequence of this over-emphasis is fronting and tender abuse. We are happy that the council spoke out so strongly against fronting which is one of the major obstacles to the implementation of BBBEE. Fronting is an insult to the dignity of the poor and we have to act decisively against it. I am pleased that the council is so determined to work with us to act against this heinous practice,'' said President Jacob Zuma in a statement issued by the presidency.
Zuma was chairing a meeting of the Black Economic Empowerment Advisory Council who met at the Union Buildings on Friday.
It was agreed that fronting insulted the dignity of the poor and the practice had to be eradicated -- possibly through punitive measures against those found guilty of fronting practices.
The council recommended that government should "urgently ensure proper monitoring and evaluation" of the implementation of the BBBEE Act.
According to the act, heads of government departments and the chief executives of parastatals had a "legal obligation" to report on the performance of their institutions in implementing BBBEE.
During the meeting emphasis was placed on the new growth path and the role of BBBEE in creating jobs.
The presidency said the meeting "emphasised" that BBBEE was "not just about big business deals for a few individuals in society".
The council called for the "consistent implementation" of BBBEE in all parts of the economy to ensure that the policy had an impact on more South Africans.
"Provisions in the new growth path were supported which require a much stronger focus on the broad-based elements of the BEE regulations, such as ownership by communities and workers, increased skills development and career-pathing for all working people and support for small enterprise and co-operatives, as well as a new emphasis on procurement from local producers in order to support employment creation," the statement read.
"It was pointed out that to contribute to job creation, BBBEE has to, amongst others, promote new enterprise development, encourage local procurement and enhance skills development and employment equity."
A progress report was presented by government on the work done in the past year to promote job creation.
This included, a budget of R41-million for the Cooperative Incentive Scheme paid out to 222 co-operatives, creating around 2159 new direct job opportunities and a further 745 temporary job opportunities, a total of 100 new small scale co-operatives with approximately 500 new job opportunities were established, and 113 cooperatives were supported to enhance access to markets through local and international exhibitions.
The council was appointed in December 2009 to advise government on BEE, review progress in the implementation of BBBEE and advise it on the draft codes of good practice. -- Sapa
MAIL & GUARDIAN REPORTERS JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Apr 01 2011 00:00
Julius Malema, the ANC Youth League president, did not mention President Jacob Zuma by name when he addressed a youth league regional conference in Limpopo at the weekend, but he was scathing about the ANC and the government's position on Libya.
Footage of Malema's address reveals that he expressed strong views on what the ANC's attitude should be towards Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. "We need fearless leaders. We cannot achieve much if we have the leadership that is scared of the Queen, who are scared of the West. We need leaders like Fidel Castro, leaders like [Zimbabwean President Robert] Mugabe who can stand against the West.
"Gaddafi did not open fire against civilians. He opened fire against the rebels and we have seen rebels bombing buildings of government and opening fire against civilians. When Gaddafi replied fire with fire they said he is attacking his own people, but there is no peaceful protest in Libya.
"South Africa, the country that has just hosted a world youth festival against imperialism, goes and votes with imperialist UN [United Nations] and we must clap hands, we must smile, we must continue to say 'this is the leadership' -- the leadership which votes for the African people to be killed by the West … Is that what we voted for? It cannot be the ANC that votes for the killing of people."
An inaccurate report by Independent Newspapers that Malema lambasted Zuma for poor leadership in his speech revived calls for a media tribunal and opened a new battle front between the youth league and its parent body, which has reminded the youth league that it is still part of the ANC. On Thursday The Star newspaper was forced to apologise for publishing a story that said Malema had blasted Zuma in his weekend address.
Apology not enough
In a statement, the ANC said the apology was not enough because it appeared that the newspaper wanted to force it to discipline Malema and to create an impression of an organisation at war with itself.
"We also believe that any intervention or sanction imposed by the Press Council and the press ombudsman will not undo the damage caused by yesterday's publication of the story in The Star.
"It is in this vain [sic] that South Africa should look at other means of stopping these types of non-objective reporting." For the past year the ANC has been agitating for the establishment of a tribunal to deal with biased reporting. The party is expected to finalise its position on the matter at its national conference next year in Mangaung.
Despite its defence of Malema, the ANC cautioned the youth league against criticising the South African government's signing of the UN resolution supporting a no-fly zone in Libya.
In its statement, the ANC said it would study comments attributed to Malema on Libya and the youth league's public pronouncements, but added that instead they should have been raised in the national executive committee and national working committee "of which Malema and the youth league enjoy full participatory status".
The ANC also reminded the youth league that its policies, including those on international relations, were guided by its parent body.
GILLIAN SCHUTE Mar 25 2011 00:00
While I agree wholeheartedly with all the reviews that wax lyrical about the superb performances of the first-time actors in the motion picture Life, Above All, it remains a film that belongs to the category of dangerous things I will not encourage my 11-year-old son to see.
In fact, I may just ban it outright from his world, along with Call of Duty.
Why, you may ask, would anyone feel this way about a film that has been loudly applauded at significant overseas film festivals, scooped most of the South African Film and Television Awards and generally lauded as an exemplary piece of work?
Well, because if I was more naive, I would have walked away from the screening believing that black South Africans are a childlike yet savage people who are in dire need of lessons in rationality from a more advanced point of view.
The sizeable cluster of white men involved in the making of this film is a clear indication of where the economic might of the film industry still largely resides and we all know that those who hold the purse strings are undeniably those who are in charge of the depiction of “others” in popular culture.
Clunky and earnest racial messaging
Although these films are probably made with the best intentions, filmic language is never exempt from the maker’s own conscious or unconscious beliefs and anxieties about the matter at hand -- in this case blackness. A stream of post-1994 films fetishises the black male -- Tsotsi provides a great example of this anxiety-ridden grappling with a transitional hegemony -- and, 17 years later, while we still wait for the shift, it seems the post-apartheid film industry continues to build itself on the foundation of this white patriarchal neurosis.
Life, Above All is no exception. In fact, the clunky and earnest racial messaging in this South African offering is so palpable, it takes the cake for the most racist film yet to have come out of the stable of “movies made by privileged white filmmakers about black people”.
Ten minutes into the story, I was only too relieved that I had not brought my son with me to the premiere, so fast and furiously did the tsunami of negative black stereotypes hit the audience. Although the film may have retaught him what he already learns at school -- that HIV/Aids is a pandemic that affects many people and needs to be taken seriously rather than ignored -- he may also have been duped into believing that it affects only black people because, again, the Aids story almost exclusively takes on a black face in South Africa.
But more than the obvious pedagogical memorandum of the film, he would also have imbibed the following unconscious propaganda of the neoliberal psyche:
• Black people are simple and need to be taught how to live rationally;
• Peri-urban blacks are particularly childlike and in 2011 they still know nothing about Aids;
• On the whole, black men are bastards who fuck
around and give their wives and girlfriends HIV/Aids;
• Mostly they are drunks and even if they are halfway decent, they still look at little girls with thinly disguised lust and are likely to take advantage of them when the opportunity arises;
• Black people are so barbaric, they don’t give a shit about the suffering of orphaned girls, dying women and vulnerable young children. In fact what they do is exile their own innocent flesh and blood into filthy hovels if their parents have died of Aids and go so far as to banish their seriously ill daughters to die alone in the bush. This can only mean that they do not have the same familial ties and love emotions as the rest of humanity;
• Black doctors are such a rarity as to be almost an impossibility. If you do come across a black doctor, then he has probably bought his qualification and is likely to be obtuse enough to exhibit obviously phoney certificates displaying ridiculously inappropriate wording on his office walls;
• Black nurses are hard-arsed bitches who will more than likely swear at a young girl for possibly having HIV. They will also send home a seriously injured girl without having attended to her wounds;
• The black neighbourhood is sure to be a mass of irrational people who will all throw stones at an innocent young girl for bringing in an ambulance to take her dying mother to hospital. In fact, they are so menacing and so lacking in compassion and lucidity, they may even stone her to death for this transgression. But then, at the drop of a hat, because like children they are so easily swayed, they stop throwing stones and sing gospel songs in support of the young protagonist’s apparently peculiar ability to admit to the reality of HIV/Aids; and
•The message here is clear: were it not for the Bible and Christianity, black people would still be living like animals and would turn on each other in blood lust. This surely depicts the deeply held belief that there was no rational system of living in place before the Bible and gun-bearing settlers arrived on the barbaric shores of Africa.
Bovine herd mentality
Just as this film does not mention the word “Aids” until far into the storyline, it also lacks the awareness that every depiction of blackness it presents is negative -- except of course for the main character, Chanda, who’s apparent intelligence is so far removed from the bovine herd mentality of the entire community that she stands out as an obvious metaphor rather than a character.
I can only imagine that she signifies Eurocentric rationality struggling to find reason within a mass of black illogicality.
Every other character in the story is a stereotype that represents the predominant white South African belief of what blackness is. And, in spite of the wonderful acting of first-timer Khomotso Manyaka, the dialogue is sometimes as glaringly didactic as the über-significance of her role that I did on occasion feel I was watching a preachy NGO film ... or an episode of Isidingo.
This story may have been better left between the covers of the book, Chanda’s Secret, from which it was adapted, where it unfolds in a deeply rural community in a fictional sub-Saharan country. But, sadly, it has become another tired South African film about the synonymousness of Aids and blackness told from a lofty white perspective.
And, of course, Western audiences are clapping their benevolent hands together in herd-like appreciation of yet another condescending depiction of black South Africa as a mass of childlike, barbaric people incapable of making humane and reasonable decisions. This display of cheerful oblivion is somewhat sinister and savage in itself.
No, my son will not be encouraged to see this film. I would rather he spent an afternoon with his own granny and granddad, who are positive role models for him and who display none of the unconvincing, one-dimensional conduct witnessed in this offering, in spite of the fact that they live in a township in an exclusively black neighbourhood.
Gillian Schutte holds an MA in creative writing from Wits and is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and freelance writer. She is working on an academic study that explores gender and race representation in popular culture
By The Post
Fri 01 Apr. 2011, 04:00 CAT
We are told by Dr Peter Mwaba, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Health, that in 2009, his ministry spent more than K5 billion in payments to various lodges for seminars, workshops and conferences without seeking Cabinet Office authority.
And Dr Mwaba goes further to say that “in fact these workshops are a source of stress for the ministry. If we can manage this issue of workshops, then we can manage properly the use of resources because this is where issues of imprest arise and so forth”.
Truly, we need to manage the holding of workshops not only at the Ministry of Health but in all government ministries and departments and even at quasi-governmental institutions. This is a major problem even at non-governmental organisations that are funded by donors. Why is this so? This is simply because workshops are an easy conduit for stealing public and donor funds.
If one critically scrutinises the various lodges which were recipients of the K5 billion that is contained in the Auditor General’s report of 2009, it will certainly be discovered that the owners of these lodges have strong connections with the Ministry of Health. If they are not, then those who took those workshops, seminars and conferences to these lodges were beneficiaries of some kickbacks of one form or another from the owners or managers of those lodges.
It will also be discovered that most of the suppliers of services to these workshops, seminars or conferences are directly or indirectly connected to the Ministry of Health. Then of course there are benefits that accrue by mere attendance of these workshops through all sorts of allowances and per diems. Clearly, workshops, seminars and conferences are nothing but another source of corruption.
In saying this, we are not condemning all seminars, workshops and conferences. There are some legitimate ones that should out of necessity take place. But even where this is the case, expenditure at these seminars, workshops or conferences still needs to be managed in an efficient, effective and orderly manner.
Today in Zambia, almost every top civil servant or public officer owns a lodge; and they are fighting for government business to go there. Those who give them government business get huge rewards. And for this to be of value to them, the government or the sponsors of these seminars, workshops or conferences are made to overpay or are over-invoiced, and out of this, some commission is paid in cash to those who have brought the business. In this way, both the owners of the lodge and the civil servants or public officers who have arranged the business benefit. In this way, arranging for and attending workshops, seminars and conferences has become the only discernible preoccupation of most civil servants and public workers. They are very difficult to find in their offices because most of them are out attending workshops, seminars or conferences as a way of making money and enriching themselves.
We are a poor country with the great majority of our people living on far less than one dollar a day, and we can’t afford this type of wastefulness or extravagance. To push the great majority of our people out of extreme poverty needs intense efforts, which should include, among other things, the effort to practice strict economy and combat waste, that is, the policy of building up our country through diligence and frugality. The principle of diligence and frugality should be observed in everything. We say everything because it is not only through seminars, workshops and conferences that public funds are being wasted or stolen. There is also wastefulness and theft in public works and contracts. The same things happening over seminars, workshops and conferences in terms of overpricing, commissions or kickbacks are happening in most public works and contracts. Crooks of all hues are conniving with government officials to get contracts that are overpriced and share the spoils. A look at the schools that the government is today boasting about will reveal that the cost of their construction is far beyond what one would reasonably expect. A school that can be reasonably constructed at a cost of say K2 billion is costing the government in excess of K5 billion. Why? The simple answer is that those in charge of these projects and the friends they are engaging to build these schools are stealing from the government. Today Zambia pays more for a kilometre of tarred road than most countries on this continent. Why? Again, the answer is the same – they are stealing. Gravel roads are costing us too much to maintain. Why? The friends those in government are contracting to do these roads are stealing from the government and are sharing with them. Almost every government project in this country is a big scandal.
Even just a simple look at this Levy Junction NAPSA is today constructing, all those directly connected to it are today swimming in money and are either buying this or constructing that property or lodge. Where is the money coming from? They are not borrowing from banks and the personal projects they are undertaking are far beyond their earned incomes. This in itself is a prima facie case of corruption. Money does not grow on trees, it has to be gotten from something, either legitimately or illegitimately. When you ask them where the money is coming from, they will tell you it’s from travel allowances. If this was true, which we know it is not, there would still be a problem because it will be an indication that we are wasteful in terms of how much we are paying our civil servants and other public officers in travel allowances. Travel on public business should not be for making money. If this is the case, then there is wastefulness because all these people are paid a salary and there is no justification to spend so much money on them for them to bring back home and build lodges and other properties. This is a corrupt way of remunerating our civil servants and public officers. Even Frederick Chiluba boasted about how much money he was making from travel allowances. How can a president be paid travel allowances to bring back home and give his girlfriends in the way Chiluba was doing it? We say this because everything for the president is paid for and there is no need for him to be given cash. But this is the way the Zambian taxpayers’ money is being used to finance wastefulness and extravagance.
We should therefore advocate diligence and frugality and pay special attention to economy. Wherever we happen to be, we must take great care of public resources and must not take a short view and indulge in wastefulness and extravagance. Thrift should be the guiding principle in our government expenditure. It should be made clear to all government workers, including the president and his ministers, that corruption and waste are great crimes. We should take strong and resolute measures against anyone wasting public resources. We should oppose extravagance and pay a lot of attention to thrift and economy.
Labels: MINISTRY OF HEALTH
By George Chellah
Fri 01 Apr. 2011, 04:02 CAT
GEORGE Mpombo says Vice-President George Kunda has unmasked Hakainde Hichilema’s hypocrisy and read out his political obituary. And Mpombo says UPND's immature decision to partner with moribund political parties like All People’s Congress (APC) confirm that they are time wasters.
Commenting on Vice-President George Kunda’s revelations that the UPND wanted a coalition government with MMD, Mpombo, who is Kafulafuta MMD member of parliament said his initial statement concerning clandestine dealings between the two political parties have been proved right.
“Zambians must treat Hichilema and the UPND with a lot of caution and not go in for this chap's cheap political saber-rattling. Hichilema’s conduct smacks of ‘shattering’ irrationality verging on complete political bankruptcy. UPND is in total disarray and they are headed for a deep and suffocating political kerfuffle,” Mpombo said. “They are clearly heading for an irretrievable political imbroglio. With these revelations, George Kunda has just read out Hichilema’s political obituary because very few people have any kind of confidence in them. He has unmasked Hichilema’s hypocrisy and no one has any modicum of trust in them.”
He said Vice-President Kunda’s revelations were distasteful and had exposed the UPND’s clandestine dealings at the expense of the country’s democracy and unity.
“Hichilema and the UPND were making noise that for a long time, PF refused to meet them during the days of the pact. I am sure many Zambians can now guess the reason why PF must have been dragging its feet to meet these guys because no one trusts or looks forward to meeting a double dealer,” Mpombo said.
“And in this case, PF must have gotten wind of the UPND’s treacherous ways whilst in the pact. How could PF have met them when they were busy negotiating for a coalition government with the MMD who are the archrivals of PF? The revelations clearly show that UPND were not honest in their dealings with PF, no wonder the pact failed.”
He said the greatest asset in any relationship is honesty, which the UPND leadership failed to uphold.
“The challenge now is on Hichilema and the UPND to come out clean and tell the nation what exactly has been going on. If Hichilema has to save his free-falling political fortunes, he needs to clear himself,” Mpombo said. “The behaviour of UPND amounts to unacceptable betrayal of the trust and confidence the Zambian people deposited in them. I said it that these chaps were campaigning for MMD.”
He said the UPND’s double-face was also shown in Parliament during voting on the constitution bill.
“Initially, they had voted with the MMD but only grew cold feet after PF walked out. Their second act was a knee-jerk reaction when they noticed that the walking out of the House of PF had left them in an awkward position and was going to expose their double dealings,” Mpombo said.
“The conduct of the UPND leadership both in Parliament and elsewhere has put them in a very precarious political situation because Zambians can no longer trust them as a repository of their aspirations.”
He said the immaturity of the UPND leadership was shocking.
“The decision to go into a pact with a moribund political party like All People’s Congress confirms that these chaps are time-wasters,” he said.
He said UPND had dropped out of the race because of their unstable, immature and uninspiring leadership.
“It also shows that Hichilema and UPND in their desperation for power can easily mortgage the interests of their followers in their unquenchable thirst for power,” Mpombo said. “Hichilema must explain to the Zambians why they should continue to trust him inspite of his political convulsions or political fits.”
He said to come out of these problems, the UPND needed to undergo a complete political metamorphosis with fresh leadership.
“Even the 2011 campaigns we hear Hichilema will be launching this weekend in Lusaka is just an exercise in political futility especially that Zambians now know his capacity of insincere political skullduggery. Zambians now know that UPND craves to be a wing of the MMD and that UPND wants Mr Banda to continue being President through a coalition government as revealed by George Kunda,” Mpombo said.
“In essence, this weekend Hichilema will just be launching Mr Rupiah Banda’s 2011 campaigns since they are desirous of a coalition government with him. These chaps are at crossroads of political extinction. UPND lacks principles indeed. How can they seek a coalition government with the very people they have publicly condemned of being corrupt. What has changed?”
Posted: Friday, April 1, 2011 1:12 pm
A BRITISH intelligence operative is behind MDC-T's claim that Zanu-PF tried to bribe legislators ahead of Tuesday's Speaker of the House of Assembly elections, reports from Harare suggest. Tim Cole, who works from Britain's Embassy in Harare, has been accused of masterminding what Zanu PF calls a smear campaign.
Yesterday, Tsholotsho North House of Assembly representative Professor Jonathan Moyo, one of two Zanu-PF lawmakers accused of trying to bribe the MDC-T MPs, said he was aware of Cole's role.
MDC-T on Tuesday alleged that Prof Moyo, Mwenezi East representative Kudakwashe Bhasikiti and Senator Believe Gaule (MDC) offered cash inducements of US$5 000 each to five legislators for them to vote for Zanu-PF's Simon Khaya Moyo in the Speaker ballot.
MDC-T's Lovemore Moyo won the election.
Prof Moyo yesterday said: "Just before the election of Speaker of the House of Assembly on Tuesday 29 March, the MDC-T issued a scandalously defamatory statement claiming that I had ‘tried to bribe' five of their unnamed MPs, allegedly by giving them US$5 000 each to get them to vote for the Zanu-PF candidate, Cde Simon Khaya Moyo.
"In the circumstances I have instructed my lawyers in Harare to take necessary legal action against the MDC-T and all those who featured in the defamation, including but not only Tendai Biti (MDC-T secretary-general), Nelson Chamisa (MDC-T spokesperson), Innocent Gonese (MDC-T Chief Whip in the House of Assembly), Dorcas Sibanda (legislator for Bulawayo Central) and their British handler Tim Cole."
Prof Moyo said Cole was central to the allegations.
"It is notable that a British intelligence officer, Tim Cole, was a central part of the MDC-T circus that made the defamatory allegations and this fact alone is enough not only to unmask the force behind the allegations, but also to explain why – in the run up to the election of Speaker – my cellphone experienced unusual technical interference which disappeared immediately after the election," he said.
Spokesperson in the British Embassy Keith Scott last night said: "The allegation (of Cole's involvement) is totally absurd.
"Tim Cole was in Johannesburg (South Africa) on March 29 when the Press conference was held."
He said British Embassy staff attended public meetings - such as political Press conferences - for their own purposes.
"That's the way we gather information on what is going on."
But Prof Moyo said the issue was not about Cole's whereabouts on the day of the Press conference, but rather his involvement in the events leading to that day.
MDC-T spokesperson Chamisa professed ignorance on who Cole was.
"I do not know anyone by that name. Is it a crime for our people to come and complain if there has been an attempt to bribe them?"
Chamisa said the truth would come out in the courts.
Prof Moyo castigated Cole for abusing his diplomatic cover to instigate illegal regime change in Zimbabwe.
"Tim Cole should know that, as revealed by WikiLeaks, it is only the British and US governments and their regime change allies that are currently throwing bribery money all over the place in the vain hope of bribing not just MDC-T elements but others in critical positions in various key sectors of the State to undermine the people's revolution."
The Tsholotsho North legislator said the money displayed at the MDC-T Press conference could have come from any source.
"One would have to be foolish or malicious to believe that the money which was comically brandished by Dorcas Sibanda came from me simply because the MDC-T says so," he said.
Prof Moyo said he had assisted a number of MPs from MDC-T in good faith in various ways, including their personal welfare and developmental matters in their constituencies.
This is not the first time British intelligence operatives have been implicated in Zimbabwe's internal State affairs since the formation of the inclusive Government in 2009.
Last year, Charles Heatly was fingered in the establishment of parallel government structures in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's office.
Heatly came to Zimbabwe at the MDC-T leader's express request to the British government and is said to have been instrumental in crafting various policy proposals that came from the PM's Office.
Thursday, 31 March 2011 22:47
A BRITISH think tank said on Monday Zimbabwe's agriculture sector had huge potential to grow on the back of agrarian reforms implemented by Government over the last decade. Zimbabwe's agriculture grew 10 percent last year, reversing a decade-long contraction.
The contraction was largely due to drought and Western economic sanctions imposed in protest against the land tenure reforms. ENK Management Consultancy, the British think tank, said the future of Zimbabwe's agriculture was immensely bright.
Chief executive Emily Walker told New Ziana, on the sidelines of a Comesa farming workshop, that Zimbabwe had good agricultural policies and programmes in place, and these would combine to sustain the sector's current growth trajectory.
"Zimbabwe has got good programmes in place through initiatives that are being spearheaded by Government and the private sector," she said.
"We can see the tremendous progress in production which could have been much higher last year was it not for hailstorms experienced in some parts of the country," he said.
Walker said Zimbabwe had relatively sound infrastructure and skills base to underpin long-term agricultural growth.
She said the biggest challenge facing the sector was financing, since traditional sources such as commercial banks were not offering long-term funding.
Walker said Zimbabwe had broader sources of financing, noting, for example, that micro-finance institutions could be drafted to fund agriculture.
Last year, local banks accounted for about US$300 million of the US$1,5 billion extended to agriculture.
The latest thumbs-up to Zimbabwe's land reforms follows another endorsement of the revolutionary programme by Britain's Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University last year.
The institute described beneficiaries of the land tenure reforms as very productive.
This contrasts with the popular private media myth that the Fast Track Land Reform Programme and subsequent land reform policies have been a failure.
The study's lead author, Ian Scoones, told BBC News: "What we have observed on the ground does not represent the political and media stereotypes of abject failure."
The study was titled "Zimbabwe's Land Reform, Myths and Realities".
- New Ziana-Herald Reporter
Labels: LAND REFORM
Thursday, March 31, 2011
How AIDS in Africa Was Overstated - Reliance on Data From Urban Prenatal Clinics Skewed Early Projections, by Craig Timberg in the Washington Post (Thursday, April 6, 2006), and
Estimates on HIV called too high
New data cut rates for many nations
By John Donnelly, Globe Staff | June 20, 2004
There never were 33% of Zimbabweans who were 'HIV positive', and I seriously doubt that 13.7% of Zimbabweans are HIV positive today.
Zimbabwe has 1,6m Aids orphans: Senate
by Lebo Nkatazo
A STAGGERING 1,5 million Zimbabweans aged between 15 and 49 are HIV positive, according to a shock new report published by the Senate. The disease, by far the biggest killer in Africa, has orphaned 1,6 million Zimbabwean children.
Every year, about 40,000 children die from HIV/Aids, which was declared a national disaster by the government in 2002, the report adds. But despite the shocking figures, the Senate said infections were on the DECLINE.
“There are about 1,6 million children that are orphaned and made vulnerable mainly due to HIV and AIDS. Approximately 2,300 people are still dying weekly due to HIV related illnesses,” the report said.
“There are about 159,000 children who are infected with HIV and about 40,000 die annually due to HIV related infections.”
Senators pointed to failures at the National Aids Council, the government body which administers the Aids Levy and coordinates other funding and national programmes to fight the disease.
The National Aids Council has a “weak monitoring and evaluation mechanism” and is burdened by staff shortages to sufficiently fulfill its mandate, according to the report.
Although the total population of Zimbabweans infected by HIV tops a million, only 318,000 people are receiving Antiretroviral Therapy (ART).
“The general prevalence rate has been declining over the past eight years from a high of about 33% in 1999, 23% in 2001 to 13.7% in 2009. This is attributed to high knowledge levels on HIV and AIDS issues and effective implementation of the Behaviour Change Strategy,” the report added.
More women (21 percent) are infected than men (14 percent).
The 'First Report of the Senate Thematic Committee on HIV and Aids and Access to Treatment' also found that girls aged between 15 and 19 are the most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS infection.
MDC-T secretly urging investors to leave: Bennett
By: ralph Mutema
Posted: Monday, March 28, 2011 3:23 am
THE underhand tactics of the Movement for Democratic Change have been brought to light after that party's treasurer-general, Roy Bennett revealed that they were secretly urging investors to leave Zimbabwe, while telling people in public that they were trying to lure them into Zimbabwe.
One of the company's that has been urged to leave Zimbabwe is London-listed Old Mutual. Bennett revealed that the MDC-T was against Old Mutual's investment in the Marange fields of Zimbabwe, and that the party was, in private, urging them to leave.
Because Old Mutual had decided not to take advice from the MDC-T, Bennett had resolved to 'go public'.
Old Mutual also has an 18 percent stake in Zimpapers – through Old Mutual Zimbabwe. The investment was made in the newspapers in pre-independence Rhodesia.
The newspapers include the state-run The Herald in Harare and The Chronicle in Bulawayo.
Article continues below
At a recent fund managers’ conference in Cape Town – Old Mutual corporate affairs director Crispin Sonn said Mining Minister Obert Mpofu and Finance Minister Tendai Biti had agreed the Kimberley process should apply to this state business venture.
Old Mutual confirmed its indirect involvement in the diamond mining industry.
Old Mutual Investment Group said Old Mutual “has an indirect interest in Mbada Diamonds of 1.5 percent via the South African recycling group New Reclamation”.
It explained Mbada Diamonds was a joint venture with the Zimbabwe government “that has less than 10 percent” of the Chiadzwa – a municipal district into which Marange falls – diamond fields.
“To date we have not received any proceeds from this indirect investment.”
However, Bennett and the MDC-T has been trying to push Old Mutual to leave Zimbabwe.
Speaking at the same fund managers conference, Bennett said there was now “a total abuse of the Kimberley process… there is, in fact, a total lack of due process, people taking autocratic decisions.
“(Finance Minister) Tendai (Biti) has had his life threatened (by war veterans) on the basis of those diamonds.”
“The whole thing stinks. Old Mutual, a listed company, should not be involved with the 'illegal' dealing of diamonds.”
He said the MDC had urged Old Mutual “quietly behind closed doors” to “quit its blood-stained investment… the firm has not listened, so we now air our grievances publicly. Old Mutual and its partners have benefited from the daylight robbery of mining rights”.
Wednesday, 30 March 2011 21:32
THE death of Harare Metropolitan Province Governor and Resident Minister David Karimanzira brought to the fore fissures that have bedevilled Zimbabwe's body politic for almost a decade.
I grew up in a culture where death and burial of the deceased are not only revered and respected, but are the community's business.
As the writer's mother explained, "Death was a once-in-a-while issue, but when the death cry was announced, you'd not dare go to the funeral sma-rtly dressed because you'd quietly be labelled a witch who has killed the deceased.
"But now, people dress up, and you see that while there is a funeral at one house, a few metres music will be blaring away at another house."
She added, "Paying condolences to the berea-ved family and eating the food was all part of the tradition, because you'd tell yourself, ‘ndinonya-rira kupi kana ndikasangana navo'?"
All this made me wonder whether people put up appearances so that they do not become social misfits.
However, if our death and burial traditions are so strong, and should demonstrate unity among people why do we always have fissures after the death of someone?
Why do we also have these needless cracks when high-profile personalities in political circles pass on, especially when they are granted hero and/or heroine status?
The writer is always surprised that acres and acres of space are spent writing about who attended the funeral of high profile politicians.
We surely would not expect someone to attend just to keep up appearances.
Anyone with a conscience would always ask themselves, "Ndinonyarira kupi kana ndikasangana navo."
For as A Sachs says, "If death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives."
If indeed MDC-T "boycotted" Governor Karimanzira's funeral, the main question is, one of their own Professor Heneri Dzinotyiwei, Minister of Science and Technology Development, works with Mrs Rungano Karimanzira, a Principal Director in that ministry.
The writer was reliably informed that the minister was out of the country at the time of death and burial of Governor Karimanzira?
If he were around, would this have made a difference in the MDC camp?
This brings me to Cde Karimanzira's persona and a piece I wrote and was published in The Herald in August 2008.
I have slightly modified it to suit current trends:
Recently, Black Power Pan-Africanist and renowned author Chinweizu challenged Zanu-PF when he wrote: "It is our comradely duty to also ask Zanu-PF to thoroughly review its methods of fighting sanctions and its methods of telling its story to its people and to the world.
"For it seems not to have done an adequate job of that so far."
In view of that, this writer went on to interview Cde David Karimanzira, Governor and Resident Minister for Harare Metropolitan Province, to share some insights on how the Third Chimurenga, spearheaded by the Svosve community of Mashonaland East Province, started 10 years ago and how it has so far fared.
Cde Karimanzira was the Governor and Resident Minister for Mashonaland East Province when these land reclamations started in June 1998.
Cde Karimanzira narrated to The Herald the first footmarks set by the people of Svosve in June 1998, and how they impacted Zimbabwe's geo-political and economic landscape.
Soon after the first farm occupation, white former commercial farmers went to see Cde Karimanzira and complained that the Svosve villagers had "invaded" their farms.
Cde Karimanzira said he told the farmers that contrary to their allegations, the villagers were actually claiming that, "your farms are on their land".
This probably is one of the most critical statements on the Zimbabwe narrative and the land issue.
It is a statement pregnant with symbolic meaning, and it cannot be naively interpreted.
It also puts the land question into its historical context, and also places the whole land issue and property rights into perspective.
This is also a statement that the judges at the Sadc Tribunal in Namibia should understand and appreciate in its entirety as they decide on the case brought before them by the white farmers. President Mugabe has time and again said: "The land is ours.
"It's not European and we have taken it; we have given it to the rightful people."
This is also why the land issue has been designated a non-negotiable issue at the current Sadc-mediated inter-party talks between Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations, since Zanu-PF has made it clear that land reform is irreversible.
But how did the people of Svosve become the heroes and heroines of the Third Chimurenga?
Why was it a revolution that saw people of all ages including mothers with babies on the backs taking part?
Cde Karimanzira pointed out that the answer lies in where they were settled: mountains, and also in the fact that these were land-hungry people who genuinely wanted land to cultivate, and genuinely wanted to return to their roots - which were the farms occupied by white farmers. They had also waited for resettlement, which had been promised by the Government soon after independence.
Notwithstanding, the Svosve people represented all land-hungry peasants who had been pushed off their fertile land by successive settler colonial governments since 1890.
To date, land remains a topical issue across the globe as it is the only source for total empowerment and indigenisation.
Cde Karimanzira also argued that the people of Svosve wanted to correct a misconception in the international community that President Mugabe was politicising the land issue, and trying to use it to justify his Government's "failed" policies.
Said Cde Karimanzira: "The people of Svosve occupied land because they wanted to show the international community that President Mugabe, as their leader, was speaking on their behalf, and that they were doing the only normal thing: reclaiming their stolen land."
They also proved to a world that has become obsessed with notions like democracy, governance, human rights, rule of law that they were waging a justified war against the "realities of colonial dehumanisation", and that theirs was "a morally and legally justified position."
Thus they made history the world over and their images brought to the fore that the land question remained the unfinished story in Zimbabwe's quest for total independence.
Theirs was also an image symbolic of skewed property rights and ownership structures in an independent Zimbabwe.
When they marched onto the first farm in June 1998, the villagers from Svosve were thus demonstrating the importance of addressing once and for all the land question for economic, political and cultural reasons.
But how best does one unpack the villagers' statements as recalled by Cde Karimanzira who said that it was on a Monday afternoon that a delegation of seven, comprising war veterans, farmers, ZPEDRA, business and the youths came to his office and told him matter of factly: "Tauya kuti tikuudzei kuti tiri kudzokera kumusha musi weChitatu.
"Tatosiya vakomana vachigadzira mavhiri ezvikochikari . . . Tigere mumakomo
"Takavimbiswa navaMahachi kuti tinokubvisayi.
"Hatichada kuti vaMugabe vangonzi ndivo bedzi vari kutaura nezveivhu. Tave kudzokera kwatakabva kune ivhu." (We have come to inform you that on Wednesday we will be going back ‘home'. We left the young men fixing the scotchcarts . . .
"We were settled in the mountains, and Cde Mahachi promised that we'd be resettled on better land.
"We don't want the world out there to think that Cde Mugabe is the only one talking about the land issue.
"We are going back from where we came from, where there is better soil.")
As he narrated the events of those first weeks he said he vividly remembered the seriousness on these people's intentions, and that the tone of their voices said it all - they meant every word they said.
Any attempt to stop them would be fruitless, and he also said that it was apparent that this was a well-thought out mission and there was no going back.
On the Tuesday, the Svosve people held two meetings where they agreed that they were going to occupy the nearby farms and on Wednesday they moved onto the first farm.
Cde Karimanzira said they could not be convinced by the argument that Government had put in place an orderly land resettlement scheme, which was first launched at Mt Pleasant Farm in Murehwa.
Cde Karimanzira said when Government officials arrived at the farm that Wednesday, they had a lengthy meeting with the villagers where they tried to persuade them to return home.
After the meeting there was an initial agreement that they would vacate awaiting the orderly allocation of land.
However, they were surprised when they told the governor that they were already expecting inputs from the State for the next farming season.
He also said that despite the passage of time since the villagers had been moved off the land under the Land Apportionment Act of 1930, some of them had vivid recollections of some of the landmarks they had left on that farm.
There was no doubt that they knew exactly what they were doing and that they were not laying claim to property that was not theirs.
They showed Government officials "guyo nehuyo" (grinding stone) that they had left on the land when the Smith regime forced them out, which were now covered with dead leaves.
Another woman disappeared for a while and when she reappeared, she told them that she had gone to check on her grandmother's grave.
Later on, the white farm owner - the head of the sprawling Campbell Holdings - accompanied by other farmers complained to the governor that the people of Svosve had "invaded" his farm.
However, the governor told him that the people were instead saying that, "your farm is on their land". Unpacking the metaphor."
"They are saying that your farm is on their land!"
Herein lies the crux of the whole land saga.
The two constructs (farm and land) juxtaposed reveal the complexity of the land issue, and also reveals the underlying perceptions from both the people of Zimbabwe, and the former white commercial farmers, and their kith and kin in the West.
How then can one deconstruct this loaded statement in order to make the British and their allies understand the significance and meaning of land to the people of Zimbabwe?
For, the statement encapsulates the whole debate on land reform in Zimbabwe.
This writer will argue that the villagers did not deny that the white farmers owned farms.
However, what they were laying claim to was the land on which those farms were situated. They were, in short, arguing that the farms that all the former white commercial farmers owned were, in actual fact, situated on their land, implying therefore that if the farmers "removed" their farms from their land, then they could reclaim their land in totality.
The implication is that the Svosve farmers regarded the farms as movable assets situated on "their land".
Thus, a farm could be removed, while the land remained to be used for other purposes.
For all the people of Svosve cared, the white farmers could move their farms to any other land which was not "their land": they just had to move.
This argument became a reality when the white former farmers left behind the Zimbabwean land and its people and were still be able to farm in Zambia, Mozambique, Nigeria and other parts of Africa where they were offered opportunities to carry out their farming activities.
However, did the white farmers understand and did they even care considering the outcry from the whole Anglo-Saxon world?
Although the people have been vindicated, the price has been high.
It is also evident that the West still wants to impose its will on Zimbabwe, showing that they have no respect for other people: what they are, what they think, what they say and what they do.
Zimbabwe has been reeling under illegal economic sanctions since then, and there have been several attempts to effect illegal regime change in order to reverse this radical, no looking back land reform programme.
Cde Karimarinzira also pointed out that the problem has always been that of racism whereby whites have always believed that black people cannot think, let alone take the initiative like the people of Svosve did.
They did not and still do not realise that President Mugabe is the leader of the people of Zimbabwe and their spokesperson, too.
They also did not understand that black people could tell them that they had stolen their land, and that they wanted it back.
Thus their reaction to President Mugabe's leadership, especially on the land issue, has always been to isolate and try to illegally remove him from power.
The British government has reneged on its Lancaster House agreement obligations, and since the Tony Blair regime, they have completely refused to have anything to do with Zimbabwe's land issue, and has ganged up against Zimbabwe with the United States and other Western allies.
It has also influenced some in both the Sadc region and the African Union to believe that the problem in Zimbabwe is one of governance, hence the need for Western intervention and regime change.
Cde Karimanzira also pointed out that the progressive world should, however, not lose sight of the fact that the British government under Blair, and now Gordon Brown, has repudiated the Lancaster House agreement, which in itself was an act of war.
Cde Karimanzira said the infamous letter to the Government of Zimbabwe by former secretary of state for international development Claire Short on November 5, 1997 was proof of that.
She wrote in part: "I should make it clear that we do not accept that Britain has a special responsibility to meet the costs of land purchase in Zimbabwe.
"We are a new government from diverse backgrounds without links to former colonial interests.
"My own origins are Irish and, as you know, we were colonised not colonisers."
The United States also reinforced the act of war through the imposition of illegal sanctions when they enacted the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001.
Chinweizu also reminds all progressive people in the international community that they should also recall that "former US assistant secretary of state on African affairs Chester Crocker said in a 2005 testimony to the US Senate for the Zimbabwe Democracy Act (i.e. sanctions and regime change legislation): "To separate the Zimbabwean people from Zanu-PF we are going to have to make their economy scream, and I hope you senators have the stomach for what you have to do." (Democracy Now! April 1, 2005).
And that is precisely what is happening. The economy is indeed screaming, by enemy design.
One writer says: "When propaganda is taken out of the Zimbabwean story, what emerges is the struggle of a very poor people against gross historical racism and neocolonial energies that continues to marginalise and threaten their human hood.
"The Svosve people as proponents of the Third Chimurenga are representative of such a people who are daily bludgeoned by a system that tells them that they care for their interests only if they act according to their dictates."
It is a system that also has no qualms about piling more suffering on them when they are fighting to be their own persons."
United behind the land reform programme.
According to Cde Karimanzira, the West and their allies have failed to appreciate, let alone understand that the land issue was correcting colonial imbalances, and the villagers from Svosve became the heroes and heroines who pioneered the Third Chimurenga, and put Zimbabwe on the international map both for right and wrong reasons.
He also called on the people of Zimbabwe to rally behind the land reform programme arguing that it brings about unity because as long as some people welcome it as a solution, while others oppose it, then there is no unity.
"Once Zimbabweans unite behind the land reform programme, that unity becomes an everlasting solution that brings about peace," he said.
Zimbabwe Image, an Internet blogger, has also argued why the world continues to acquiesce to Anglo-Saxon machinations against Zimbabwe by defending their primitive systems that flourish through stealing from the weak, disadvantaging the poor and abusing power - a system no moral being would willingly support, condone or work to preserve.
Thus the nation toasts these heroes and heroines of the Third Chimurenga who through their radical approach showed the world that the unfinished land issue had to be brought to its logical conclusion.
They also triggered what eventually became one of the most crucial and most controversial policies undertaken by the Government of Zimbabwe since 1980.
For the land reform has defined the geo-political landscape in our time.
Thereafter, the Government embarked on a radical, no looking back land acquisition and redistribution programme.
Some of the villagers from the Svosve community lived under sanctions during the Smith regime. They saw apartheid-ruled South Africa assisting the Smith regime.
Surely, they must be wondering what brotherhood means if the whole of Africa folds its arms and accepts that governance and not property rights in the form of stolen land is central to the problems that are now bedevilling the country.
They were also around when Zimbabwe lent financial, material and moral support to brothers and sisters in the region.
They again must be wondering why the African brothers and sisters are not assisting them in the same manner.
Cde Karimanzira, may your soul and that of many heroes and heroines rest in eternal peace!
Monday, 28 March 2011 20:30
By Obert Chifamba
IN 2008, Zimbabwe harvested less than 500 000 tonnes of maize. Two years down the line, maize production more than doubled in 2009 and 2010 to 1,27 and 1,35 million tonnes respectively.
According to a FAO/WFP statement, Zimbabwe has 1,66 million tonnes of cereals available, against a total needs forecast of 2,09 million tonnes in the marketing year 2010/11 (April/ March).
"This leaves a 428 000 tonne shortfall," Liliana Balbi, the team leader of the FAO Global Information and Early Warning System, said.
What is however, notable is the increase in maize production that is largely attributed to a subsidised Government credit system for far-mers as well as an agricultural input assistance programme by the government, UN agencies and other humanitarian organisations.
These are credited with distributing nearly 140 000 tonnes of fertiliser and top dressing, and 22 373 tonnes of maize seed, to more than 700 000 households.
The 1,8 million hectares planted to maize this year was a 30-year historical high and represents a 20 percent increase from the previous year.
Despite the aforementioned increase in yields and hectarage, the country still does not have enough for all citizens making it vital to up productivity.
However, a significant chunk of land under cultivation was not mirrored in the production levels, which had only increased seven percent from the previous year.
The average (hectare) yield of maize has however, declined for the past 15 years.
The FAO/WFP report noted that national maize yields had decreased to 0,75 tonnes/ha, from 0,82 tonnes/ha recorded the last season.
Yields decreased in all farming sectors, with the exception of commercial farms, which recorded an average increase of 6 percent over the previous season.
Nationally, yields are just below the 10-year average (2000-2010) of 0,87 tonnes/ha and likewise, millet and sorghum yields have also fallen.
Despite the introduction of improved maize hybrids, their ready adoption by the farmers has been hindered by low producer prices, inefficient marketing arrangements and above all, the inability of producers to obtain regular supplies of fertilisers at economic prices.
Where the new and improved varieties have been adopted, ascending yields have been recorded and producers have gone beyond the usual 2 tonnes per hectare that is common with most farmers.
The potential for output growth has naturally been hindered by marketing difficulties and recurrent shortages of basic agricultural inputs like seed and fertilisers while prices of fertilisers have remained very high for farmers to manage.
Zimbabwe's maize crop, just like in any country in southern Africa, is vulnerable to drought and in the absence of government support, domestic maize production is therefore not competitive versus the imports that come in to fill the perceived deficits.
But with mitigating factors in place, some of which include reverting to irrigation and rolling out comprehensive support programmes, yields of maize can easily change for the better regardless of the incidence of a dry spell somewhere in the course of the season.
Malawi has done very well raising its yields from less than 2 million tonnes just two seasons ago to 3,5 million tonnes this year.
According to a FAO/WFP statement, Zimbabwe has 1,66 million tonnes of cereals available, against a total needs forecast of 2,09 million tonnes in the marketing year 2010/11 (April/March).
According to a FAO/WFP statement, Zimbabwe has 1,66 million tonnes of cereals available, against a total needs forecast of 2,09 million tonnes in the marketing year 2010/11 (April/March).
The Malawians have rolled out a comprehensive input scheme of highly subsidised fertilisers to enable every smallholder farmers to produce at least half a hectare of maize to boost national food security.
There are even indications that Malawi intends to extend the scheme to cover a hectare of maize for each farmer in the near future.
Malawi has supported a larger number of farmers and covered a correspondingly large area with maize, which has translated into the current high yields that have also made it possible for the country to export surplus.
Zimbabwe is looking at ways of mitigating the impact of the recurrent mid-season droughts that have dented yields over the past few years.
Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Joseph Made recently conceded that the sector was at the mercy of the harsh climatic changes taking place globally, which makes it imperative for more irrigation systems to be developed.
"Irrigation is a must. We have to continue to produce adequate seed and leave no room for GMO imports.
"It is important that we focus on irrigation development and input supply.
"We are currently working on developing our irrigation system with help from our friends while focussing on more research on breeding drought resistant breeds and training our human resources to approach production matters technically and scientifically," said Minister Made.
Minister Made also emphasised the need to have a very clear department of irrigation backed by very clear field supervision of staff.
We must also adopt ways of conserving all the water that is in our reservoirs so that it is harnessed for irrigation and boost yields in the event of poor seasons," he said.
"The Department of Agricultural Engineering must also be on the ground to repair machinery like tractors, combine harvesters and other pieces of equipment while training the farmers as well.
"This will guarantee effective use of implements that translates into higher yields too," he added.
On the other hand, Government should mobilise lines of credit for A2 farmers to boost their capacity as well, said Minister Made.
Similarly, Agritex principal director Mr Joseph Gondo added that the long term solution to drought problems was to develop irrigation infrastructure to capacitate farmers to save their crops in the event of dry spells coming in the middle of a season.
"On the other hand, the short-term strategy involves adopting agronomic strategies that include timely planting, selection of short season varieties and staggering the ages of the planted crop to make sure they emerge and grow at different times," said Mr Gondo.
It is vital, resources permitting for the country to increase the inputs assistance from the current one bag of Compound D, one of Ammonium Nitrate and a 10kg pack of seed to also increase the area under maize.
"This time around more than 4 500 households benefited from the various input schemes rolled out by Government and other players in the agricultural sector yet we have millions of smallholder farmers who all need to take part in the fight against food insecurity," commented Mr Gondo.
The other possible route may involve the Government encouraging inputs suppliers to look into other facilities and make arrangements with banks, farmers organisations and fine-tuning the supply chain while guaranteeing repayment of loans, explained Mr Gondo.
The absence of lines of credit remains agriculture's biggest undoing as financial institutions can only afford to give short-term loans, which are not possible with agriculture as it requires long term financing before the product can generate some revenue after marketing.
"One other way Zimbabwe can also take care of some of the smallholder farmers' problems is for Government to clearly define a contract policy that protects both the farmer and the contractor - two parties that have been at each other's throat every time over breaching of terms," Mr Gondo said.
Zimbabwe is undertaking a massive mechanisation drive of the agricultural sector and this will also include revamping existing irrigation infrastructure and establishing new systems as well.
The country is hugely dependent on rain-fed agriculture.
It is however, unfortunate that there is no significant irrigation infrastructure at the moment especially for the majority of smallholder far-mers to turn to when the seasons turn bad.
With the current climate changes and cyclic droughts that have affected Zimbabwe for years, it is vital to create assets such as small-scale irrigation infrastructure, repair the worst affected water reservoirs like dams, rivers through environmentally friendly methods like re-afforestation.
This will help to reduce the amount of run-off that later translates into erosion and conserve the soil to encourage crop production and mitigate the impact of drought and related shocks.
By Chibaula Silwamba in Livingstone
Thu 31 Mar. 2011, 04:01 CAT
THE Constitution Bill’s failure to pass in the National Assembly is a setback, says President Rupiah Banda. And President Banda said his government would not condone any resistance to private sector reforms.
Talking to journalists on the sidelines of the Zambia International Business Advisory Council (ZIBAC) meeting at Livingstone’s Zambezi Sun Hotel yesterday, President Banda asked for understanding by the Zambian people.
“Yes, it was a setback but I would like to ask for your understanding. Government will be issuing a statement later today yesterday; the Vice-President is the leader of government business and will be issuing a statement on behalf of the government,” President Banda said. “It is a setback but once again, I don’t think there is any setback that can make us give up hope of furthering the development of the country.”
And addressing ZIBAC delegates earlier, President Banda said government was there to effectively and efficiently facilitate the growth of the private sector.
“I, therefore, want all public officials to regard the private sector as valuable customers and fully support its role in the economy,” President Banda said. “We have the political will and commitment to further the reform process and will continue to do so even in the future.”
Meanwhile, ZIBAC chairperson Lord Simon Cairns said Zambia had great potential and many opportunities that needed to be highlighted.
He said Zambia had implemented many of the recommendations made during the previous ZIBAC meeting two years ago.
Lord Cairns urged Zambia to continue making moves to make the country attractive to investors.
By The Post
Thu 31 Mar. 2011, 04:00 CAT
It is said that the mark of great leaders is the ability to understand the context in which they are operating and act accordingly. It is also said that a leader who relies on authority to solve problems is bound to come to grief. It seems Rupiah Banda and George Kunda don’t understand all this.
They think if you are voted into office, then you have the authority to do as you please until you leave office. Their electoral mandate is all that matters to them. And because they have been elected, they don’t think they have a duty and are responsible to listen to other citizens.
But what they are forgetting is that democracy means government of the people, by the people, for the people; it means a government in which all the people participate and one which acts at all times in the best interests of the people and protects and defends the people’s interests.
And all this is done with the people, and not at their exclusion.
The people’s participation in the governance of their country does not begin and end with elections.
For this reason, a democratic government listens to the people’s concerns all the time.
There is need for those in leadership to mull over things and consider the feelings of the people.
But this is not the way Rupiah and George have been running the affairs of our country.
The way that Rupiah and George have proceeded over the constitution is frightening.
We say this because they have behaved as though they were putting together a little constitution for a small club which they own.
A constitution of a country is a serious piece of legislation.
This is a document that embodies the will of our people about how they want to be governed.
For that reason, it is important that when it is being put together, the legitimate wishes of our people are taken into account.
This is something that Rupiah and George did not want to do.
They set out to defraud our people and deny them their legitimate wishes.
Rupiah thought that his friend George could sit and write a constitution, take it to Parliament and have it rubberstamped.
And the other day, they were reminded that it is not that simple.
Some of the representatives of our people decided to say no.
But even if they had succeeded to get the required number of votes, the two thirds majority in Parliament, they would not have succeeded in giving our people a constitution that would stand the test of time.
This is because George’s constitution did not reflect the wishes of our people as they were gathered by the Mung’omba Constitution Review Commission and other commissions before it.
Rupiah’s desire to have an unquestioned hold on power to the extent of even trying to force his own constitution on our people is a recipe for disaster.
One hopes that their experience the other day will cause them to stop and reflect very carefully on their behaviour.
What they tried to do was tantamount to a coup against the legitimate wishes of our people.
They took their personal constitution to Parliament and wanted it to be endorsed as a national constitution, purporting to reflect the wishes and aspirations of our people.
What kind of leaders are these? This is not honest leadership.
This is crooked, dishonest leadership. Rupiah and George are a danger to themselves and to the country.
Our people wanted their own constitution, not George’s constitution. But it seems that power has gotten to George’s head.
He believes that he can do anything as long as he is Vice-President and Minister of Justice. It is this lack of humility and respect for his fellow citizens that will land him in trouble.
This chap has caused the government, by some reckonings, to waste not less than K200 billion on his ego trip, on a constitution review process that embodied nothing but his personal interests and desires.
If George and his friends had been interested in a genuine enactment of the people-driven constitution, they would have had the humility to consult others and accommodate their wishes.
But instead, they created a mechanism that made it impossible for any honest and self-respecting citizen to participate in the constitution review process.
In this regard, almost all authentic or genuine religious institutions stayed away from their constitution review process.
The main political opposition party also stayed away from the process.
And a myriad of civil society organisations that could not be bought, that refused to be compromised through sitting allowances and all sorts of monetary gains also stayed away.
To George, this didn’t matter – it was good riddance of unwanted opposition. To him, this gave him the chance to get the constitution he wanted and do things his way.
They put in what they wanted and took out what they didn’t want without much ado.
Look at the way they dealt with the degree clause for a presidential candidate!
There was so much public opposition to that clause, but they ignored it and went ahead to vote for its inclusion.
But one day, the same people turned around and voted to remove it. It clearly showed that George was controlling the whole shenanigan farce called the constitution-making process.
George’s wish was the command of most of the people who attended the so-called National Constitutional Conference.
What he wanted was what they included; what George did not want, they excluded.
This is why we say this whole process was reduced to a mere childish ego trip for George.
For him, the whole exercise was a demonstration of how powerful he was, of what he could shove down people’s throats; it was a demonstration of where power lies.
George believed political power in this country lay with him and could get him whatever he wanted.
George never realised that real power did not lie with him but with the people.
And to this day, George still boasts that they can rule this country for 100 years.
This means that, in his little mind, he thinks he can get his way in an unlimited manner – his wish should be our command.
Since he is now very good friends with Frederick Chiluba, let him ask Chiluba about ruling forever.
Chiluba also used to boast that he could rule for as long as he wanted.
Anyway, this is how petty-minded people think; this is how tingods look at things.
Even Muammar Gaddafi thought he would rule Libya forever without listening to the voice of any “rat” or “cockroach”. Today, “rats and cockroaches” are making Gaddafi’s life miserable.
As for Chiluba, the docile Zambians that he thought he could rule forever, showed him the way out of State House and exposed his criminality, including his shamefully expensive and countless platform shoes.
Chiluba never thought a day would come when he would not be in power.
And these are the same people George thinks he can rule for 100 years.
Although Chiluba has changed his complexion and now looks yellow, the Zambian people have not changed – they are still the same people.
One of the main reasons why our people wanted a new constitution was to ensure that their voice in matters of governance was heard in a real and meaningful way.
They wanted an election that would reflect the wish of the people and would put in place a government that has majority support.
This is something that George made sure was not included in the constitution that went to Parliament.
There were many things that our people wanted, including a real separation of powers between the presidency and the other wings of the state.
Again, George wants to hold these institutions in his pocket so that they can only do his wishes, not the people’s wishes.
Today, the judiciary and the legislature can be said to be in George’s pocket.
George today decides who should be prosecuted and who should be allowed to go scot-free; who should be convicted and who should be acquitted; what matter deserves to be appealed and what shouldn’t be appealed.
It is also George who decides who should be appointed judge and who shouldn’t; which judge should be promoted or shouldn’t be promoted.
As for Parliament, George calls the shots and this is probably why he got drunk thinking he could push through that clearly fraudulent constitution in Parliament and get the two thirds support required and push it down our people’s throats.
And he could have succeeded. But this would not have made that trash of his a people-driven constitution. Trash is trash, even if it is supported by George. Let him learn a lesson from this.
Let him reflect on the over K200 billion they have wasted on a meaningless ego trip when many of our people are living in abject poverty with no services that are expected in an organised society.
But there shouldn’t be impunity. George should be made to account for this K200 billion plus of taxpayers’ money that he has wasted.
Anyway, Rupiah and George’s day of reckoning is coming.
Soon, they will have to explain to our people why they wasted so much money on something they knew to be a fraud.
By Patson Chilemba
Thu 31 Mar. 2011, 04:02 CAT
Vice-President George Kunda feels betrayed by UPND’s failure to support the enactment of the Constitution Amendment Bill. Vice-President Kunda revealed that UPND wanted a coalition government with MMD.
“I further wish to state that the inability of the opposition political parties namely the United Party for National Development (UPND) and the Patriotic Front (PF) to support the enactment of the Constitution Amendment Bill which was a procedural bill is a betrayal of the Zambian people,” said Vice-President Kunda.
Vice-President Kunda made the assertion yesterday when he addressed the press at his office.
“UPND wanted government to include the concept of 50 per cent + 1 and a possibility of forming a coalition government with MMD, a proposal which could not be accommodated in a procedural bill and which required consultations between parties,” he said.
Vice-President Kunda said the UPND wanted the government to concede by reinstating the 50 per cent + 1 when the voting was going on over the Constitution of Zambia Bill in Parliament.
He indicated that the government would present the bill to Parliament should the MMD be given another mandate during this year's general election.
Vice-President Kunda said the failure to enact the Constitution of Zambia Bill No. 60 of 2010, and the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill was a very unfortunate development as it deprived the nation of an opportunity to reform the governance system.
He said the Constitution could not garner the required 106 members of parliament in order to proceed to the next stage.
Vice-President Kunda said this meant that the Constitution of 1991, as amended in 1996, shall continue to apply in the nation.
“The current Constitution, by which the country is governed, still continues to have progressive provisions such as the declaration of Zambia as a Christian Nation and the provisions relating to governance and the protection of human rights,” he said.
Vice-President Kunda said the throwing out of the Bill meant that provisions such as the establishment of the Supreme and Constitutional Court and the Court of Appeal to determine disputes between state organs or state institutions and constitutionality of the bills before the National Assembly would not be enacted.
He said the Constitution would have also provided for the right to a person to defend the Constitution and to be entitled to compensation for defence of the Constitution where this resulted in injury.
Vice-President Kunda said the establishment of the Parliamentary Service Commission would have been provided for and the opportunity for Zambians to acquire dual citizenship, as well as the enhancement of representation of women, youth and persons with disabilities in Parliament through the increase in the number of members of parliament.
He said proportional representation system would have been provided for.
Vice-President Kunda said there would have been a revision of the electoral system and the principles in order to ensure greater representation of the people and increased accountability of the elected leaders.
He said despite the setback caused by the failure to enact the Constitution of Zambia Bill, the government remained committed to continuing the constitutional reform process for the benefit of all Zambians in line with democratic tenets and principles.
However, Vice-President Kunda said the bill could only be brought back for re-enactment after a period of six months as per parliamentary practice and procedure.