Saturday, June 25, 2011

CUTS advises review of mining tax system

CUTS advises review of mining tax system
By Gift Chanda
Fri 24 June 2011, 17:30 CAT

KEY measures should be instituted to prevent revenue leakages from the mining sector, says CUTS International Zambia.

Commenting on the recent decision by the Tanzanian Parliament to approve a US$27.4 billion five-year development plan that backs the introduction of a super-profit tax on mining companies, CUTS acting Centre Coordinator Simon Ngona said Zambia needed to review the whole mining tax system to achieve optimum benefits from the country’s mineral wealth.

He said it was important that the country instituted key measures that would ensure revenue leakages were minimised or completely sealed.

He explained that re-introducing windfall tax without addressing key challenges of taxation in the extractive industry would not be an ultimate solution to ensuring Zambians benefitted from the country’s mineral wealth.

“It is not a single line of tax that ensures a country benefits from its industries but the whole tax system and framework for that particular industry,” he said.

“The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) is on record admitting that it does not have the capacity to properly tax the mines nor monitor their activities and recent mine audits have reviewed glaring tax evasion and avoidance efforts by the mining companies…”

Last week mines minister Maxwell Mwale told Reuters that the government would audit more mining companies after previous audits turned up as much as US $200 million in unpaid taxes from the key economic sector.

Mwale said the government was still owed by Mopani Copper Mines in unpaid tax.

A recent audit on Mopani early this year revealed glaring irregularities and inconsistency in production and revenue figures that the mining company submits to ZRA for tax administration, most of which hinge on its links to Glencore AG.

Revelations of the audit sanctioned by the government with the aid of some cooperating partners also revealed the country’s lack of capacity to verify records submitted by mining firms to ZRA for tax administration.

It stated that the taxes being paid by mining firms in the country were not consistent with production volumes and the revenues from copper sales. Mopani has refuted the claims describing the report a flawed. The government has however asked the miner to pay back the money.

Labels: , , , ,


LCC audit contains breaches - Dr Chituwo

LCC audit contains breaches - Dr Chituwo
By Moses Kuwema
Sat 25 June 2011, 04:01 CAT

LOCAL government minister Dr Brian Chituwo says the audit report on the Lusaka City Council contains aspects that border on the breaches of a criminal nature. During a briefing at his office yesterday, Dr Chituwo said the local government ministry would have to institute the law enforcement agencies to follow up the findings.

“At the moment, I’m not quite sure whether it would be prudent to release the entire report. I think we shall be advised by the Ministry of Justice as to the appropriateness of releasing the entire report.

For now it is clear that the law was not followed because the local government Act is very clear that before the local authority disposes of any land, it has to seek the permission of the minister. That was not done,” Dr Chituwo said.

He said when the law enforcement agencies move in, consideration would be given to innocent people who bought the land in Lilayi in that they innocently believed that the land was available in the right manner.

“There are quite a number of recommendations from the committee among them are to consider prosecution because the transactions were illegal,” he said.

Early this year, Dr Chituwo announced the suspension of the council following reports that the local authority has been involved in some land allocation scams.

He said the government decided to suspend LCC to pave way for investigations into the alleged illegal land allocation.

The council remained suspended for 90 days before Dr Chituwo later extended the period by another 90 days.

The PF-dominated Lusaka City Council has been accused of illegally allocating land to itself without following the law governing the allocation of land.

Meanwhile, Dr Chituwo directed the LCC not to renew the existing leases or offer leases for car wash bays on the roads reserve or any designated area such as play parks.

Dr Chituwo said the intention of the government was to improve the road network by redesigning any particular road that would enhance the easier flow of traffic.

Labels: , ,


NCC was a disaster, says Rev Matale

NCC was a disaster, says Rev Matale
By Moses Kuwema
Sat 25 June 2011, 04:01 CAT

THE Council of Churches in Zambia says it is a shame that the constitution-making process ended up the way it did and taking it back to Parliament in its current form is unacceptable because it remained rejected.

In an interview, CCZ general secretary Reverend Suzanne Matale said the issue of the constitution had been very disrespectful of the people's wishes and urged political parties, which are contesting this year's elections to make the Republican Constitution a campaign issue.

“...I think if you look back, the Zambian people had said they wanted a constitution that would be comprehensive, a constitution that would act like a development tool towards the economic liberation of people so that we can see our way to prosperity,” said Rev Matale.

She said the church was clear from the onset of the constitution-making process that they wanted the social and economic rights to be included.

She said anything short of that would not represent the people's constitution because every human being was entitled to basic things of life such as housing, water, food, clothing and education.

“We want this to be a campaign issue, we want to hear from the politicians how they are going to go about the constitution-making process when they get into power in the next few months. For us it is not about any party.

It is about the dignity of the people of Zambia,” Rev Matale said. “We know of countries where the constitution has been put together over a very short period of time and at less costs than it has cost the Zambian people.”

Rev Matale said the amount of money that was spent on the NCC was a disaster because those funds would have been utilised in a better way.

“For the constitution-making process to end up the way it did is a shame to the Zambian people. It is still not acceptable for the constitution to be taken back to Parliament in its current form, it remains rejected. It remains their (government) constitution and not the people's constitution,” said Rev Matale.

Labels: , ,


Engineer stresses need to publish job statistics

COMMENT - The MMD have nothing but contempt for democracy, the will of the people, or the poverty that 'their' policies (the IMF/World Bank's policies) create. In fact of job creation was how the growth in GDP 'trickled down', the MMD would have nothing to hide. Of course, we all know what the true intent of neoliberal economics is - the stripping of wealth of countries, the destruction or prevention of the rise of any middle class, in any country in the world, except those designated as 'consumer countries'. The MMD's neoliberal policies are anti-middle class, and enforce poverty and unemployment.

Engineer stresses need to publish job statistics
By Darious Kapembwa in Kitwe
Sat 25 June 2011, 03:00 CAT

THE rejection of the motion in Parliament by Vice-President George Kunda to have labour statistics annually published is an indication of the government’s failure to provide meaningful employment.

This is according to a former underground engineer, Moses Chishimba. Chishimba, in an interview, said Vice-President Kunda’s decision showed that the government had politicised the issue of employment. However, Chishimba said job creation should be a serious campaign issue in this year’s elections.

“Any serious government will endeavour to unveil all the necessary information to its citizens to prove that it is a working government as the MMD loudly claims,” said Chishimba in Kitwe.

“Why refuse to let people know how many people have been employed in the country, the number of jobs created for local people from the so much preached foreign direct investment. The level of casualisation in the mines is so alarming such that you find one permanent miner working with 15 casuals.”

He said it was worrying that a government that labelled itself the government of the people could not see the importance of releasing vital information and yet it was busy with its propaganda on employment creation.

“Statistics will enable the government plan well. In fact, the economic boom that government talked about should be manifested in the number of people that are economically benefiting through employment or otherwise,” he said.

Chishimba said contrary to the government propaganda that it was creating employment for the people, the levels of unemployment were too high in the country.

Last week, Vice-President Kunda shot down the motion, which could have compelled the government to publish employment statistics annually.

Labels: , , ,


MMD can’t guarantee sustainable health system, charges Katema

MMD can’t guarantee sustainable health system, charges Katema
By Misheck Wangwe in Kitwe
Fri 24 June 2011, 09:10 CAT

THE MMD cannot guarantee a sustainable health system because it cares less about the needs of the majority poor, says a PF member of parliament. In an interview on Tuesday, Chingola member of parliament Dr Joseph Katema said Zambians would only begin enjoying the benefits of having a quality healthcare system if the ruling MMD was voted out of government.

He said people should not expect to see meaningful development in the health system because the government concentrated much on political rhetoric than attending to the issues people were crying for.

Dr Katema said Zambians should sustain their resolve to change government on the basis that the country was far behind in most aspects.

“People have enjoyed quality healthcare before and they know what it means. The health system has deteriorated under the MMD and the few developments through the construction of health centres and purchase of mobile hospitals are misplaced priorities.

We are seeing these things because the MMD is panicking and they want to impress in an election year but it’s too late,” he said.

Dr Katema said it was undisputable that Zambia’s disease burden, which was compounded by high poverty levels remained very high and there was need for serious political will to mitigate the impact among the majority poor.

He said it was sad that despite people calling on the government to focus on providing equipment, drugs and the retention and recruitment of more health personnel, the government instead purchased mobile hospitals and embarked on construction projects they would not sustain.

Dr Katema said Zambians who wanted real development must support the ideas of the PF on the health sector because its manifesto was categorically clear on how it would attend to the needs of the people once voted into government.

“We have an obligation to protect the future of the country and that of our children by promoting pragmatic ideas that would enhance development.

It is the responsibility of everyone to take care of the country by reflecting on the performance of the MMD especially when it comes to the healthcare that had been marred in corruption and making positive decisions to change the situation in the country,” said Dr Katema.

Labels: , , ,


Parliament adjourns sine die

Parliament adjourns sine die
By By Ernest Chanda and Bright Mukwasa
Sat 25 June 2011, 04:02 CAT

PARLIAMENT adjourned sine die yesterday after emotional speeches from various members to mark the end of the Tenth National Assembly’s five-year term. And Wynter Kabimba says the PF will take President Rupiah Banda to court if he delays to dissolve Parliament.

After Vice-President George Kunda proposed a motion to suspend some Standing Orders to enable the House finish the day’s business and subsequently adjourn sine die, there was a sudden quietness while gloomy faces appeared among some members of parliament.

Prior to the adjournment, National Assembly Speaker Amusaa Mwanamwambwa invited all members of parliament to a farewell luncheon at the Parliament restaurant immediately after adjournment.

And all the members who debated gave eulogies to Speaker Mwanamwambwa who is scheduled to retire when a new Speaker is elected in the new sitting of the House, having served for two terms.

Lusaka Central Patriotic Front (PF) member of parliament Dr Guy Scott opened debate on the motion with an expression of disappointment that the government had messed up the constitution-making process.

He said the time had now come for the government leaders to face the same people they betrayed over the Constitution.

Mwense ‘rebel’ PF member of parliament Jacob Chongo who spoke highly of his perceived MMD government’s achievements also gave a hint of the meeting he and his other colleagues had with late former president Frederick Chiluba hours before he died.

Chongo emotionally recapped Chiluba’s achievements and how he asked all of them in the meeting to work hard and ensure that President Rupiah Banda won this year’s election.

And in what looked like his farewell speech, Mbabala UPND member of parliament Emmanuel Hachipuka advised his colleagues in the party to remove the tribal tag from the party.

Hachipuka who debated with passion and emotion started by announcing that he would not recontest the seat.

“I am closing debate for the Parliament chapter of my life. This is my 12th year in the House and I feel it’s enough for me to go and cherish my contribution to the people of Mbabala. To the UPND, I want to remind all of you what I did when the UPND was accused of being a tribal party.

I was the first to advise late Anderson Mazoka that let’s change the colour of the party by incorporating other people. That’s how I stepped down and I was replaced by Patrick Chisanga. We felt that the coming in of a Northerner would add value to the party,” said Hachipuka.

“It is not possible to get into government without the input of other people. And as we seat as UPND we must reflect. This country shall not be governed by only a few of the nine regions of this country. If we don’t open up as a party it will be very difficult to progress.”

After several other debates, the House adjourned sine die at 12:41 hours, amidst shouts of ‘goodbye’ from both the opposition and ruling party members.
President Banda is now expected to dissolve Parliament and Cabinet, and announce the election date.

And Kabimba, the Patriotic Front secretary general, has threatened that his party would not take lightly any manouvres by President Banda and his regime to play delaying political tactics in the dissolution of Parliament.

“What we hear is that he wants to do that because he wants his ministers to campaign for him using public resources,” Kabimba said during a media briefing yesterday.

“There can be no any other corruption; there can be no any other plunder than this. If this arrangement will continue we shall take them on. We shall go to court,” he said.

He said although the party had been disappointed before by the courts, it would not be discouraged it would still proceed.

Parliament rose sine die on Friday after sitting since May 31, 2011.
President Banda is expected to dissolve Cabinet and Parliament and subsequently announce the election date.

Meanwhile, Kabimba has said Sata is well and would contest this year’s election.
“Michael Sata is a political elephant who cannot be brought down by ‘small puppies’. I want to assure all our members that PF is intact.

We are going to our general conference on 2nd July 2011, to complete our party elections,” he said.

“Why should Sata prove to this world everyday that he’s alive? Rupiah Banda was not at the funeral (Chiluba's) but only after a few days. He was meeting his Malawian counterpart. Did we say he is dead? And when he came he cried so hard because his consultant was dead.”

Kabimba said insinuations that Sata was sick were fabricated by desperate individuals who were bitter.

Recently they have been reports circulating on blogs suggesting that PF president Sata’s health was failing him.

Labels: , , ,


(HERALD) Leave generals alone, Tsvangirai told

Leave generals alone, Tsvangirai told
Saturday, 25 June 2011 02:00
Herald Reporter

DEFENCE Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa has lashed out at MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai for challenging service chiefs to take off their uniforms and openly contest for power.

In a statement yesterday, Minister Mnangagwa said the Zimbabwe Defence Forces have a constitutional mandate to protect Zimbabwe from both external and or internal threat. Addressing an MDC-T rally at Mkoba Stadium in Gweru on Sunday, Mr Tsvangirai threw a challenge at the security chiefs to resign from their posts and take up politics full time.

"Following the challenge by the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai that the Service Chiefs remove their uniforms and openly contest for power, in an article which appeared in the Daily News of 20 June 2011, the Minister of Defence wishes to advise the members of the public the following;

"From a professional point of view, the ZDF service chiefs found it unnecessary to respond to the uncalled for provocation by the Prime Minister's utterances.

"It is, however, not proper for the Prime Minister to challenge the ZDF service chiefs as he did since it is common knowledge that the service chiefs would not respond to such political statements.

"The ZDF service chiefs have a constitutional mandate to protect the territorial integrity of our country and protect the nation of Zimbabwe from both external and or internal threat," Minister Mnangagwa said.

He said he stood by Presidential Affairs Minister Didy-mus Mutasa's reminder to Mr Tsvangirai to concentrate on running his party and stop attempts to provoke and bring the integrity of the service chiefs into disrepute.

Minister Mutasa, who was the Acting Defence Minister, on Monday said: "Tsvangirai should stop hiding behind unreasonable claims that soldiers are disturbing him. It is his inability that is making him a failure.
"He should just run his party in peace and if he has failed, he should find someone else to run it.

"He should not be saying those things about soldiers, saying President Mugabe is ill and all those stupid things," Minister Mutasa said.
He said generals and their soldiers were professionals who executed their duties above politics.

Mr Tsvangirai told the rally that the security chiefs should declare their political interests openly and stop intimidating people.
"Some say we don't support Tsvangirai and we will not support him but . . . let's wait and see what happens after the elections. Why can't we cross the bridge when we get to it?

"If you want politics, remove the uniform and we will show you what politics is. It is not guns. Stop intimidating people, convince Zimbabweans to vote for you," Mr Tsva-ngirai said.

He added: "We don't argue with soldiers. The institutions of the army and police are national organs not owned by individuals so if it's about elections, remove the uniform and we meet in the political sphere."

However, a Mthwakazi Liberation Front member, Mr Max Mkandla, blasted Mr Tsvangirai saying state security institutions should not be tampered with as doing so is tantamount to putting the nation at risk.

"As a former freedom fighter, I know the importance of State security. Service chiefs and those under their command are there to protect the country from external and internal enemies and therefore nobody should be allowed to destabilise state security institutions," said Mr Mkandla, an ex-Zipra fighter.

He described Mr Tsvangirai's remarks as reckless, adding that he did not expect such remarks from a person who aspired to rule this country.

Labels: , , ,


(HERALD) Interpreting Clinton’s ‘new colonialism’

COMMENT - " We don't want to see a new colonialism in Africa," Clinton said in Lusaka. " Well how about getting rid of the old colonialism first? How about ending neocolonialism. Raw materials in Africa should only be sold to the state at an uninflated cost only, and sold by the state at international market prices.

Interpreting Clinton’s ‘new colonialism’
Saturday, 25 June 2011 02:00
By Isaac Odoom

Recently Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, embarked on an official African trip that took her to Zambia, Tanzania and Ethiopia.

In a press conference in Lusaka, Clinton is reported to have warned her host continent about ‘new colonialism' in Africa from external actors and investors interested only in extracting Africa's natural resources.

"We saw that during colonial times, it is easy to come in, take out natural resources, pay off leaders and leave. . . We don't want to see a new colonialism in Africa," Clinton said in Lusaka.

"When people come to Africa to make investments, we want them to do well but also want them to do good. . . We don't want them to undermine good governance in Africa," she said.
Clinton did not mention China by name, but as her officials later confirmed to reporters, she wanted to stress that African countries should beware of the Chinese and hold their investors to high standards.

Thus, the US is concerned that China's foreign assistance and investment practices in Africa have not always been consistent with generally accepted international norms of transparency and good governance.
Clinton's remark on Chinese ‘new colonialism' and her offer of the United States as the best partner to help African countries improve themselves will receive diverse reactions among different observers, including African and Chinese leaders and investors.

Rightly or wrongly, for some (African) sceptics, Clinton's remark is hypocritical; as a Western policy maker she lacks the moral right to make such comments about other external actors, considering US and European foreign practices and policy priorities in Africa over the years.
Chinese leaders may fume over her comments, which seem to imply that China is not investing for the long run, or is only interested in narrowly investing in African elites.

Chinese officials may claim that their multiple visits to countries across Africa over the past five decades, the numerous infrastructure projects and business investments in multiple sectors of African economies, suggest a much longer, deeper, and broader set of interests than Clinton appears to acknowledge.
Whichever way one chooses to interpret Clinton's comments her bold advice to African leaders is impressive. In fact her concern about Africa's political and economic governance is commendable.

However, many observers of Africa's international relations would wish she had shown the same concern about other external actors' foreign policy practices including US foreign assistance and investment practices in Africa.

One is tempted to ask: Why is the US so concerned about the role of China in Africa? Is China the only ‘bad guy' in town?
Aren't some Western actors complicit of the same activities in Africa? (Deborah Brautigam addresses these questions in her book, ‘The Dragon's Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa'.)

Obviously, there is plenty to criticise in China's practices in Africa and human rights record at home and in Africa, and plenty of room for improvement as Chinese leaders take uncertain and inconsistent steps toward being a responsible partner with Africans.

But in my view Clinton's remarks need to be placed within the broader context of the evolving narrative/discourse on China's rise on the global stage, in particular its increasing engagement with African countries, in the past decade.

Certainly, Africa-China relations are multifaceted and complex.
However, in the growing narrative among many observers, including some academics and western policy makers, there has been a tendency to reduce China-Africa policies to either ‘China is the worst' or ‘China is the best.'

With such a reductionist approach, some important questions are not receiving much attention and more importantly the ‘real' intentions of some of these commentators are obscured.
For example, Chinese leaders and the press seek to present an all-rosy picture of China-Africa relations, based on friendship and mutual benefit.
And, while some African journalists and local business owners are much more sceptical, some African leaders have a positive view about the benefits of embracing China.

More importantly, in line with Clinton's remark in Lusaka, much of the commentary emanating from Western media and policy makers on China's engagements in Africa has been dismissive.
China has been described as a ‘rogue donor' offering ‘toxic aid' to Africans. In one of the WikiLeaks cables released late last year US Ambassador Johnnie Carson described China as ‘a very aggressive and pernicious economic competitor. . . (with) no morals' in Africa.

Is this really the whole picture of China's engagements in Africa?
As some have suggested, in the waves of hasty conclusions and (sometimes) show of ignorance on the real Chinese impact in Africa, some if not most of Western policy makers' accounts of the aggressive expansion of Chinese interests into African countries and societies and their collaboration with local autocratic elites and despots have a hypocritical taste or at least bear traces of amnesia. . .

One therefore is tempted to wonder, if the concern expressed is actually not more about Western interests than about the welfare of the African people, given that what we witness today is anything but new with regard to its forms and effects'.
This is not to suggest that one cannot criticise certain practices and strategies of the Chinese in Africa simply because the remarks come from a Western actor.

But it does suggest that the legitimacy of the critique itself may well depend on the underlying interests of those criticising.
It is not realistic to assume that Chinese foreign policy and development aid is interest-driven whereas in general, the critique of these practices is not.
Granted that the overall objective of such criticisms must be the well-being of the African people, the self-legitimisation of such discourse through the ‘we care about Africans' rhetoric cannot be a credible motive for

opposition to Chinese practices in Africa.
The historical experience, that humanitarian concerns are highlighted by the West when it is strategically most opportune, determines the credibility of many official voices now articulating their concerns about the possible impact of ‘new' actors in Africa, particularly China.

Clinton rightly recognised that "China's foreign assistance and investment practices in Africa have not always been consistent with generally accepted international norms of transparency and good governance".
Indeed, China has a lot to do to rationalise and improve upon its multi-faceted engagements with African countries, but so too does the US (and other Western actors, including multinational banks and oil companies).

Aren't countries with poor records on democracy and governance - Egypt and Ethiopia - beneficiaries of US aid in Africa over the years?
Is it not the case that energy security concerns sometimes trump good governance in relations between the US government and Equatorial Guinea?
Is this consistent with generally accepted international norms of good governance?

It could be said that the strategic goals and interests of China differ little from other external actors readily open to African countries than Clinton will have us believe.
A deeper and careful analysis of China's relations with African countries may reveal that China is ‘doing' politics or ‘development' in a seemingly ‘similar' yet unexpectedly ‘different' way.
Over-fixation on the "Chinese exceptionalism" as a way of legitimising one's strategic interests and objectives in Africa is not the way to go.

Such warnings will be more credible to Africans if the US and other external actors get their records straight.
Otherwise, such remarks may not only get some observers fuming over the underlying interests of those criticising, but it may also embolden China.
That said, Africans should be under no illusions about Chinese (US or EU) goals in their countries.

The Chinese, like any other external actor, act in a ‘realist', ie self-interest manner.
But precisely because China acts in an interest-oriented manner and, for historical reasons, cannot apply the same ‘salvation rhetoric' and strategies as the West does to legitimise their ‘intervention' in Africa, there is incredible potential for a great partnership between the Chinese and Africans.

Africans must unlock this potential. Africa cannot afford to allow China-Africa relations to be on China's (or anybody's) terms. It has to be on our terms.
We need not wait to be warned or lectured by some self-interested actor somewhere before we act.
China is real.

It's time to ask what is Africa doing about China, not what is China not doing, or doing in Africa. - Pambazuka News.

Labels: , , ,


(TALKZIMBABWE) NATO exceeding mandate in Libya: Zuma

NATO exceeding mandate in Libya: Zuma
Posted by By Our reporter at 14 June, at 14 : 01 PM

NATO is abusing a United Nations resolution to protect Libyan civilians from Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in order to pursue regime change and political assassinations, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa said on Tuesday.

Zuma, who has visited Libya twice since March on behalf of the African Union (AU) to seek a solution to the civil war, said Nato had overstepped the UN resolution 1973, passed in March and authorising the use of military force to protect civilians.

“We have spoken out against the misuse of the good intentions in Resolution 1973,” he said in Parliament.

“We strongly believe that the resolution is being abused for regime change, political assassinations and foreign military occupation.”

Nato defence chiefs were due to meet in Belgrade on Tuesday to discuss the mission after US Defence Secretary Robert Gates accused some European allies of failing to pull their weight in a mission he feared could run out of steam.

Zuma said events in Libya had emphasised the need for an African Peace and Security Architecture – a planned crisis-resolution body that includes a stand-by military force.

Zuma said he hoped a briefing by an AU committee on Libya to the UN Security Council on Wednesday would lead to common ground being found towards a lasting solution to the crisis.

Zuma’s latest statement puts him in a diplomatic quandary as South Africa voted for a ‘no-fly zone’ to be imposed on Libya at the UN Security Council.

Ironically, he is now leading an AU delegation. The AU voted against the ‘no fly zone’.

- Reuters/TZG

Labels: , , , ,


(NYASATIMES) Bingu rejects IMF devaluation call, speaks on fuel crisis

COMMENT - The IMF/World Bank still up to their old tricks. Here they want Malawi to devalue it's currency. They made the same demand from Swaziland, after their own privatisation abolished the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), from which the Swaziland government received the majority of it's revenues.

Bingu rejects IMF devaluation call, speaks on fuel crisis
By Nyasa Times
Published: June 24, 2011

Malawians who listened to the national address by President Bingu wa Mutharika Friday evening said he was “hardly convincing” as he did not give plausible assurance to solve the economic turmoil facing the country.

Mutharika, who has been summoned to parliament to explain the chronic fuel crisis, addressed the nation through state controlled Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) when he accused the donor community for causing the perennial fuel shortage by directing that the business of importing fuel should be left in the hands of private traders.

Mutharika: No devaluation

He said private traders refused to keep fuel reserves because he said it was expensive, hence creating the current fuel crisis.

Mutharika said the problems of fuel queues would be a thing of the past as government is to set up a National Oil Company which would look at ways of establishing strategic fuel reserve.

He said the fuel crisis will be abated in the coming days because supplies are now coming as government will take the responsibility of importing fuel.

“We have already started filling tankers at Dar es Salam which will be arriving in the country on Monday or Tuesday,” he said.

“We have over 300, 000 vehicles on the roads of Malawi; statistics are showing that we are purchasing about 3000 cars a month and all these are running on fuel not water. That aside, there are great construction works going on in the country, whose machinery also needs fuel to operate,” said Mutharika.

He said the opposition should provide solutions to solve the crisis other than taking to the streets for demonstrations.

“We are spending US$ 30 million every month on fuel alone, which shows on how serious we are on fuel. So if the opposition political parties have better ideas than ours, let them come forward instead of making baseless noise in the streets,” President Mutharika said.

Economists say billions of kwacha are being lost each day Malawian fuel pumps are dry as production of goods is affected and provision of service is also hampered as people spend lots of man-hours queuing for fuel.

President Mutharika, an economist, also commented on the call by International Monetary Fund (IMF) to devalue the local currency –Kwacha – claiming it was overvalued.

“The International Monetary Fund (IMF) told us that we should not be keeping our moneys in the Reserve Bank but instead it they should be given to the commercial banks. Last year all our money from tobacco was sent to the commercial banks which in turn gave it to traders,” said Mutharika, who opposed the devaluation saying it will fuel inflation and wouldn’t solve the country’s foreign exchange shortage.

“What these traders do is that when they see that they have bought enough United States Dollars, they call for the IMF to push for the devaluation of the kwacha so that they sell their money and make more profits,” he said.

Mutharika claimed traders are proposing for the Kwacha to be devalued to K180 equivalent to $1 when they bought it at K140.

“I have been asking the IMF to tell me how I am going to protect my people and they have just been saying that they will find measures. Unless the IMF tells me how I will protect my people, I will not devalue the Kwacha,” he stressed.

Mutharika also defended the new financial plan, on ‘zero deficit’ budget and defended the taxes on the poor, saying “there is no country on earth without taxes. It is the taxes which we use to run the country but we cannot put up measures to oppress Malawians.”

He claimed that some donors , which he did not name, have assured him that they will continue supporting Malawi and they are happy with the step the country has taken to fund its recurrent budget, boasting : “I know what I am doing and trust me, you will all be glad with what I am doing.” –(Reporting by Green Muheya, Nyasa Times)

Labels: , , ,


(NYASATIMES) Britain PM ‘proud’ with pressure on Bingu over gays

COMMENT - Proving billionaires are not necessarily the smartest people... This is exactly what gays in Malawi need, the idea of gay rights as a foreign policy. Why did the British people vote the Conservatives back in? Didn't they have enough after Thatcher?

Britain PM ‘proud’ with pressure on Bingu over gays
By Nyasa Times
Published: June 23, 2011

British Prime Minister David Cameron during a reception for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans-gender (LGBT) grouping on Wednesday picked on the UK’s lobbying of African government’s on LGBT human rights as an issue to showcase his government’s credentials.

Cameron specifically singled out Malawi for mention in his remarks said is happy with the pressure his government put on President Bingu wa Mutharika on gay rights last year.

“I’m very proud of the fact we [put] huge pressure on the leader of Malawi about an issue in that country but I’m convinced we can do more. We have got the ability to speak to African leaders, African governments, about this issue that I know concerns everyone here tonight. And it concerns me,” he said.

Cameron: Happy with pressure on Bingu

He claimed that the British coalition government’s commitment to not cut its foreign aid budget meant it carried “moral authority” when speaking to global south countries about “what we expect from them”.

Last year, the country’s first openly gay couple – Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza – was convicted of practicing homosexuality and sentenced to the maximum 14 years in jail. The president pardoned the couple following international pressure.

Cameron’s mentioning of Malawi drew comments from Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) executive director Undule Mwakasungula who welcomed the stand and sentiments expressed by the British Premier.

But blogger Paul Canning writing on his blog noted that in a warning about how delicate these issues of using aid, especially when it comes with rhetoric like “moral authority, are, and despite LGBT issues being minor in the game being played with Malawi’s government, they have used supposed pressure on LGBT issues to play to the local anti-gay gallery and to the ‘African sovereignty’ gallery and to divert attention from the real reasons aid might be diverted or even withheld.”

Canning wrote that in Malawi this diversionary tactic has led to direct threats to two NGO leaders: Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) chairperson Undule Mwakasungula and executive director of Centre for Development of People (CEDEP) Gift Trapence. Both organisations actively support LGBT rights.

“What, exactly, Cameron’s rhetoric might mean though is opaque as the actions of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) as documented in its 2011 Human Rights report show very little activity in Africa on LGBT human rights,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, meeting in Geneva, voted 23 to 19 on June 17 to approve a resolution that expresses “grave concern at acts of violence and discrimination, in all regions of the world, committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.”

The resolution calls for the creation of a U.N. commission to document discriminatory laws, practices, and violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity around the world.

The study is to recommend “how international human rights law can be used to end violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

– Nyasa Times

Labels: ,


Friday, June 24, 2011

Prof Munasinghe links Africa’s bad governance to corruption

Prof Munasinghe links Africa’s bad governance to corruption
By Joan Chirwa-Ngoma in Bonn, Germany
Fri 24 June 2011, 17:00 CAT

POLITICAL leaders in Africa fail to act in the best interest of the people because of corruption, observes University of Manchester Professor Mohan Munasinghe.

Prof Munasinghe, who specialises in sustainable development and chairs the Munasinghe Institute for Development in Sri Lanka, said many political leaders in Africa were recipients of bribes from multinational companies in the hope of getting financing for their political parties instead of prioritising the interests of the majority.

Due to corruption, according to Prof Munasing he, multinational companies end up not being accountable in the countries they invest in.

“Africa has great leaders, but there are some instances where multinational companies have bribed local officials and leaders end up not acting in the best interest of the people. These multinational companies are so powerful and they finance politicians.

This makes them not to be accountable to anyone in the countries they invest in, and sometimes even in their own countries,” said Prof Munasinghe in an interview. “They multinational companies are the people funding our governments. The same interests that these companies have are the same interests that political leaders have; that is to make money.”

He noted that the current political scenario in Africa had the potential to cripple the global system if corruption was left to continue.

“The current system is controlled by the elites. The rich have a responsibility to change the system to become more sustainable, to make sure the poor benefit economically, socially and environmentally,” Prof Munasinghe said. “There has to be a way to manage change. If we don’t manage the change, we will have unpredictable change which is often unpleasant.”

Prof Munasinghe further noted that unexplained market forces had created a lot of problems in developing countries.

“...This is what led to the economic crisis. It is not only the economic dimension that is being affected, there is also the degradation of the world environment,” said Prof Munasinghe. “Globalisation has brought with it positive and negative effects. Globalisation is driving consumption and production. Unfortunately, the more the rich consume, the less there is for the poor.

20 per cent of the world’s rich account for 80 per cent of consumption, and consumption also accounts for a large share of carbon emissions at 75 per cent. The rich therefore can do a lot to control their consumption to ensure that it is sustainable.



Government is not sincere on windfall tax - Chisela

Government is not sincere on windfall tax - Chisela
By Misheck Wangwe in Kitwe
Fri 24 June 2011, 09:10 CAT

THE failure by the government to reintroduce windfall tax will continue to haunt President Rupiah Banda and his Cabinet, says a former ZRA senior official. In an interview yesterday, Tresford Chisela said President Banda’s government had taken people for granted by issuing contradictory explanations and statements justifying their move to abandon windfall tax.

Chisela said finance minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane and education minister Dora Siliya were not being sincere with the people on queries that were raised regarding the source of funding for the ongoing road rehabilitations in the country.

He said considering that mining companies were reaping super profits, the re-introduction of windfall tax was inevitable and the country would not have been struggling with explanations on the source of funding for road rehabilitation programmes that were being undertaken.

“The people of Zambia must know whether windfall tax is there in inverted commas or not. Can the mining sector come out in the open and tell us what is going on? Why should windfall tax be unpredictable? Dora was on television saying people should not query these projects because the source of funding was the same widely talked about windfall. This does not make sense; there is a lot of insincerity on the part of government,” Chisela said.

He said it was apparent that the government had resorted to reckless borrowing and dubious ways of sourcing money for projects such as road rehabilitation because of their failure to ensure that the country benefits from its God-given natural resources.

Chisela said the country would be plunged into serious debt again if the MMD was not voted out of government.

“For more than two years, President Banda kept on flying but today he is being haunted by trips he made to the extent of resorting to unnecessary borrowing and speedy way of sourcing money to please the electorate,” Chisela said.

“Borrowing can be a good trend if it is done at the right time especially at the beginning of business after it has been planned and not what Rupiah is doing.”

He said the infestation of parastatal companies like Zesco, NAPSA and the violation of tender procedures by the government were the breeding ground for corruption.

Labels: , ,


A choice between life and death

A choice between life and death
By The Post
Thu 23 June 2011, 16:20 CAT

Alick Banda, bishop of the Ndola Catholic diocese, never ceases to inspire
us with his deep thoughts and reflections on many issues that affect our
country and our people.

Today, Bishop Banda is saying: “This radical love that God has given us
entails making the world a better place for all of us to live in. We
should endeavour to leave the world a better place than we found it.

Please endeavour to create peace and justice.” This takes us to the point
we made a few days ago in our comment on the death of Frederick Chiluba
about an old Rabbinic teaching, a beautiful one, that just before a person
dies, an angel comes to him from Heaven and asks the vital question: “Tell
me, is the world a better place because of your life which is about to
end? Is the world a better place because of the efforts you exerted? Is
the world a better place because you were around?” We are here on earth as
pilgrims, on our journey towards Heaven. Having come from the hands of God
the Creator, we have to return to His presence.

All our wisdom consists in identifying and following the path that leads to Heaven. But how many deceptions! Wide is the way that leads to perdition, and many enter into it. Narrow is the path that leads to Heaven and few take it! (Matt 7: 13 – 14). God, Jesus Christ, and the Church cry out to us: “You have in front of you the way of life and the way of death; choose therefore life.” (Dt
30: 19).

But meanwhile, how many times is repeated what Dante narrates about
himself: “In the middle of the journey of our life I found myself in a
dark forest as the straight path had disappeared.”

To make ourselves good!
To make ourselves saints! This does not only mean to receive Holy
Communion or to make long prayers; it means to live by faith in Jesus
Christ, to live virtuously in Jesus Christ, to live by love for Jesus
Christ, to be zealous in knowing, imitating and loving Jesus Christ.

Long prayer is not enough if it does not bring us to Christian life; faith
is not sufficient if there are no virtues; it is not enough to be good if
we don’t do good. In order that we be Christians, completes religious, let
there be in us a true unity – life that corresponds to faith; piety that
obtains the faith and the good life: faith, life and piety that result in

Three kinds of enemies continually try to make us stray from the right
path: the world, the devil and the passions. The world deceives us by its
corrupted maxims and by forming around us an atmosphere of bad example.

The devil operates specially by exciting our passions and fantasies. And
then the chief enemy is within us; it is the passions. The passions are by
themselves neither good nor bad; they are an occasion and strength for
evil or for good, depending on whether they are governed by reason and
faith, or let loose without any control. The passions are a great army,
and it would be really difficult to correct, to control and guide them all
at the same time.

Human life is a continuous battle on earth. Therefore, fight like good
soldiers of Christ. None will be crowned except the one who fights in the
lawful manner. “I have fought the good fight; for the rest there is laid
up for me a crown of justice” (2 Tim 4: 7 - 8). These are the texts which
should take the lead in the present consideration.

Life is a battle, and in this battle, there are those who fight like ordinary soldiers, there are the captains represented by the priests, and there is the forward sentry represented by the religious. There are also the deserters who,
tired and lacking in confidence, flee the arena; there are the shirkers
who, under a thousand pretexts, hide themselves; and finally there are
those who idly stand watching, applauding or sneering. There are also the
traitors who take the enemy’s side.

Let us pray that the Lord may give strength and courage, so that all can
conquer and on that day of the final triumph can be with Jesus Christ. He
will be the head of the chosen ones, head of his victorious army, and will
gloriously enter Heaven. Far behind the conqueror will come, covered with
shame, the traitors, the deserters. Life is a battle, and the day of
universal judgment will be the culmination.

As we have stated before, the name Christian means: like Christ, follower
of Christ. Now, Jesus Christ was humble, most pure, poor, meek. How can
his disciple and imitator be proud, dishonest, greedy, corrupt, tyranical?
Alexander the Great once said to a soldier who also had the same name but
was sluggish, mean and cowardly: “Either you change your name or you
change your behaviour.”

The humble person will draw all behind him; the proud man will alienate
all: he desired praise from all, and in consequence is now gathering
contempt from all. It is always true that he who humbles himself will be
exalted and he who exalts himself will be humbled (Matt 23: 12).

With humility, one progresses in one’s proper office; with pride, one remains
empty. The proud one is an unreasonable person, and therefore is buried
under the weight of one’s own ego. The glutton, the corrupt has in himself
his own punishment.

Gluttony and corruption kills more than does the
sword. The glutton and corrupt realises that he is a mean and trivial
person; the spirit of God cannot dwell in him. He will never have high and
noble aspirations. He will crawl on the earth, and will be a worshipper of
his own belly. On the other hand, a mortified person enjoys true freedom:
he eats to live and lives to serve God and others.

A sensual person shortens his life: he does not end the satisfaction that already begins the degradation, and the prick of remorse kills the body which the person would like to satisfy. The consequences are: blindness of the mind,
inconstancy, heedlessness and particularly the fear of death and the
horror of eternity which stick to the bones and accompany the person to
the tomb.

Therefore, either conquer, or be among the conquered: the victorious
person enjoys a great peace in his heart; the conquered person is in
continuous pain. The victorious person enjoys the esteem of people; the
defeated person is despised.

Let us enter the battle like David against Goliath: one of the two should
win. The duel is till the last, up to bloodshed; there is no middle way.
“What accord had Christ with Belial?” (2 Cor 6: 15).

And Bishop Banda tells us that it would be meaningless if those who called
themselves Christian leaders treated the less privileged with injustice
and do not use their positions to help the voiceless and down-trodden in
society. He says that humankind today is surrounded by uncertainty and
needs guidance from religious leaders. “People want hope in the midst of
despair; refrain from acts of corruption and oppression, including

To be co-creators entails to take care of our natural resources
and ensure human life benefits from our leadership, especially the less
privileged…it is sad that we pride ourselves in our weaknesses. In the
world full of corruption of the mind and behaviours, it calls for
sanctification.” This is what Bishop Banda tells us. Truly, we have made a
virtue of our inadequacies.

Time for small thinking is over. We shouldn’t allow those who lead us to get away with clichéd catechisms which tempt all who become part of an apparatus. We shouldn’t tolerate hypocrisy and humbug. Truly, this country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless it’s a good place for all of us to live in.

Let’s reflect and meditate deeply on Bishop Banda’s homily and try to make our country a better place for all of us to live in and, when the time comes, to die in.

Labels: , ,


Leaders should use their positions to help the voiceless - Bishop Banda

Leaders should use their positions to help the voiceless - Bishop Banda
By Darious Kapembwa in Kitwe
Fri 24 June 2011, 04:30 CAT

NDOLA Catholic Diocese Bishop Alick Banda says leaders must use their positions to help the voiceless and downtrodden in society. Bishop Banda said the love of God would be meaningless if those who called themselves Christian leaders treated the less privileged with injustice.

“This radical love that God has given us, entails making the world a better place for all of us to live in. We should endeavour to leave the world a better place than we found it.

Please endeavour to create peace and justice,” said Bishop Banda in his homily during mass at Kitwe’s Sacred Heart Parish on Sunday.

He said humankind today was surrounded by uncertainty and people needed guidance from religious leaders.

“People want hope in the midst of despair; refrain from acts of corruption and oppression including bribery. To be co-creators entails to take care of our natural resources and ensure human life benefits from our leadership, especially the less privileged,” he said.

Bishop Banda said Christians were also invited as co-creators to liberate the people out of ignorance.

“Liberate our brothers from fear of the unknown, fear of doing business for fear of being called Satanists. We have to collaborate in removing fear because fear undermines success. Let us cultivate the culture of recognition of the good works. At least let us learn to say thank you,” said Bishop Banda.

“It is sad that we pride ourselves in our weaknesses. In the world full of corruption of the mind and behaviours, it calls for sanctification.”

Labels: ,


Chiluba’s family agree to stop postmortem

Chiluba’s family agree to stop postmortem
By Staff Reporters
Fri 24 June 2011, 08:30 CAT

FREDERICK Chiluba’s children have been cowed into submission following threats by elderly family members that they would be cursed and run mad should they insist for a postmortem to be conducted on their late father's body.

And the government says its position on the issue of conducting a postmortem on Chiluba is in line with the family members’ resolve for the operation not to be carried out. Meanwhile Mike Mulongoti says it is Rupiah Banda’s government and the MMD who have politicised late Frederick Chiluba’s funeral.

But other Chiluba family members have questioned President Banda’s government if it had to wait for family consent to conduct a postmortem on a person of Chiluba’s stature.

Chiluba family sources said the programme to move the late former head of state’s body from St. Anne’s Funeral Parlour to Mulungushi International Conference Centre, where it is supposed to lie in state for a number of days, had been delayed by the divisions in the family over the postmortem issue.

“The family is still divided over the same issue,” the source said.
“On Tuesday a heated family meeting was held over the same and the children insisted that they needed to have a postmortem so that all suspicions could be laid to rest.

There was a vocal man, the late President’s cousin Mr Royce Argan Bright who spoke with the elders on behalf of the children although the children were also present during the discussion. They said even former US president Abraham Lincoln was a great president but he was assassinated.”

The source said it was the children’s argument that even in their father’s case, although they were not implying that he had been assassinated, it was possible that he equally had enemies.

“So they asked for a postmortem, and the meeting really got heated up, and attracted several curious people at the funeral to move closer and listen in,” the source said. “The children said the fact that he died at home, it’s homicide and it only followed that a postmortem should be conducted.”

The source said Ben Mwila, who is the family spokesperson and is opposed to the idea of a postmortem being conducted on Chiluba, firmly stood his ground.

“BY was really firm and stood his ground and even threatened the children that they would be cursed if they went ahead to ignore Lunda culture and tradition,” the source said. “BY said in some families, children have gone mad because of defying positions held by elders and this unsettled the children.”

The source said the ambience during the family meeting was heated.
“ It was very clear that the children got scared because of such strong statements,” said the source.

The source said Mwila, an MP in Luapula’s Nchelenge
Constituency, resolved that they were going to hold a press briefing so that they state the position on the postmortem.

“But two of Chiluba's children are the only ones that have been swayed over. That is Miko and Kaindu,” the source said.

The source said the government called for another meeting on Wednesday at Cabinet Office aimed at discussing the general programme of the funeral.

“During that same meeting which was attended by eight family members from the Chiluba family led by BY, he, on behalf of the family, informed the government representatives that they would not conduct the postmortem,” the source said.

“So government said since there was a consent that was already signed by the children, there was going to be need for the family members to sign that they were withdrawing that consent for a postmortem.”

The source said that request was received with mixed feelings as there were some family members that did not know that they had been called to Cabinet Office to discuss the postmortem issue.

“Two family members walked out of the meeting at Cabinet Office in protest, but the other six appended their signatures. Miko was also part of the ones that appended their signatures,” the source said.

“They are asking the government that for a man of Chiluba’s stature, does it need to take the consent of the family for the government to establish what could have led to his passing?” the source said. “They said those are serious issues that need to be answered.”

Meanwhile, the minister tasked with the responsibility of overseeing the Chiluba state funeral, Dr Kalombo Mwansa, is in Kawambwa for matters concerned with the funeral.

When asked during a phone interview yesterday how the programme of moving Chiluba's body from the funeral parlour to Mulungushi Conference Centre for public viewing would proceed, Dr Mwansa referred all querries to Secretary to the Cabinet, Dr Joshua Kanganja.

“I am in Kawambwa but you call Secretary to the Cabinet he will give all the information,” said Dr Mwansa. “I am far away from Lusaka right now.”
Dr Kanganja said in an interview yesterday that he would not comment on the assertions made by a senior medical practitioner who said the Coroner must insist that the postmortem be conducted considering that Chiluba was a former head of state.

This was after Dr Kanganja was asked what the official government position on the family’s postmortem split was in view of the fact that Chiluba died at home and was a BID (Brought In Dead) case.

“I will not comment because I don't know what information he senior medical practitioner has,” Dr Kanganja said. “The family agreed that there will be no postmortem. That is what the family decided.”

Dr Kanganja said the public viewing of Chiluba’s body would take place on Saturday and Sunday from morning to evening.

President Banda was by yesterday afternoon expected at the Show Grounds to visit the other mourners that had gathered there, according to a programme released by the government.

A team of government workers were by 12:40 hours yesterday spotted ferrying seats to the grandstand in the Show Ground’s main arena in anticipation of the Presidential visit.

Chiluba died from unknown causes at his Kabulonga home in the early hours of Saturday morning and will be buried at Lusaka’s Embassy Park on Monday.

And commenting on the stories being carried in the state-owned and government-controlled media organisations blaming PF leader Michael Sata, the PF and individuals like himself, Sylvia Masebo and Dr Mbita Chitala for not attending Chiluba’s funeral, Mulongoti, who is former works and supply minister, said no one had attacked Chiluba after his death.

He said it was sad to see the state-owned and government-controlled Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC), Zambia Daily Mail and Times of Zambia being used as fish nets to see who they could apportion blame on issues surrounding Chiluba’s death.

Mulongoti said he was amazed at the desperation from the MMD.
“The desperation is growing. It is increasing by the day because now it’s going into panic. That is why they can even take advantage of the funerals and think they are going to make themselves popular by being seen at the funeral all the time. We shall mourn in our own way,” he said.

Mulongoti challenged President Banda to match his words with actions, saying the people who were threatening to beat others were members of his own political party, but he had not publicly come out to condemn their actions.

“So the buck stops with him. So it’s not enough to say ‘let us mourn in dignity and peace’ and at the end of the day you allow people who you are supposed to control do wrong things,” he said.

Mulongoti said it was not the opposition who had threatened to beat up some people if they went to the funeral but MMD cadres.

He said Lusaka Province MMD chairperson William Banda’s statement that the cadres were engaged in violent activities out of their own discretion could not be believed because they could not just do so on their own without anyone influencing them.

Mulongoti said if what William said were the case then it means there was no control or political leadership in the MMD.

He said the MMD was just trying to gain political capital fromChiluba’s funeral, saying they had even gone to the extent of using scavengers like Edwin Lifwekelo and group to paint other people black.

Mulongoti said such scavengers always visited his office when he served as minister to beg because that was their lifestyle.

“When you don’t give them, you know how scavengers behave, they will go to another source. And they are taking advantage of the MMD’s desperation and MMD being desperate is busy using these scavengers. We have been told we can’t go there because we are not in good standing with people who are enjoying the services being provided by the state at the funeral,” Mulongoti said.

“They don’t want us to go anywhere near them. They have four square meals and drinks at the expense of the state. So they don’t want us to go anywhere near them.”

Labels: , ,


Kafue council chair quits MMD, joins PF

Kafue council chair quits MMD, joins PF
By Edwin Mbulo
Fri 24 June 2011, 12:10 CAT

KAFUE district council chairman Obvious Mwaliteta has resigned from the MMD to join the PF. Mwaliteta, who is also Mungu ward councillor, resigned on Wednesday in Kafue together with Kambela ward UNIP councillor Charles Mandika. Mwaliteta endorsed chieftainess Nkomeshya’s recent statement on underdevelopment because it also affected chieftainess Chiawa’s chiefdom.

He said Zambia compound, which was on the banks of the Kafue River, did not have running water and many people had lost their lives in the quest for clean water.

“Matero in Lusaka has water after president Levy Mwanawasa directed that it gets water, what about Zambezi compound? In Chiawa there is no bridge but now since we are going to elections you will hear about a bridge,” Mwaliteta said.
He said the earth moving equipment meant for Kafue had even been moved to Luangwa.

Mwaliteta wondered why the MMD was practicing selective disciplinary measures when Chiengi MMD officials had been making demands regarding former MMD national secretary Katele Kalumba’s candidature in the area.

“I commend the Soli people for the decision they have taken. The MMD is too old and can be saved from death. I want to thank the people of Kafue for officially rejecting Bradford Machila and I want to officially announce my resignation from the MMD. I am now a member of PF,” Mwaliteta said.

And Mandika said he had been campaigning for the PF in the last elections despite running on the UNIP ticket.

“Ï have been a councillor under UNIP for two terms and now I have decided to resign and join the PF,” Mandika
And receiving the two councilors at Bayi Motel, PF vice president Guy Scott said the MMD was becoming a shell of UNIP.

“All of us are refugees of the MMD in some way. Unfortunately, UNIP which we had killed in 1991 is coming back. We have a lot of vigilantes,” Scott said.
He said 20 years of his life had been wasted as the people he fought to get out of the government were back in leadership.

“I came back from Europe to join the MMD. Now I see President Rupiah Banda who was rejected by Munali as member of parliament, I now see William Banda who was deported run a funeral,” Scott said.

He advised Zambians to be careful with the money being dished out by the MMD and ensure that the PF had strong polling agents who could detect rigging.

“Western Province indunas don’t want the MMD when the province was its stronghold. In Rufunsa people bafuna want change and they have learnt how to say ‘don’t kubeba’. I commend you Mr Mayor council chairman let us learn from our mistakes,” said Scott.

Labels: , ,


MMD can’t guarantee sustainable health system, charges Katema

MMD can’t guarantee sustainable health system, charges Katema
By Misheck Wangwe in Kitwe
Fri 24 June 2011, 09:10 CAT

THE MMD cannot guarantee a sustainable health system because it cares less about the needs of the majority poor, says a PF member of parliament. In an interview on Tuesday, Chingola member of parliament Dr Joseph Katema said Zambians would only begin enjoying the benefits of having a quality healthcare system if the ruling MMD was voted out of government.

He said people should not expect to see meaningful development in the health system because the government concentrated much on political rhetoric than attending to the issues people were crying for.

Dr Katema said Zambians should sustain their resolve to change government on the basis that the country was far behind in most aspects.

“People have enjoyed quality healthcare before and they know what it means. The health system has deteriorated under the MMD and the few developments through the construction of health centres and purchase of mobile hospitals are misplaced priorities.

We are seeing these things because the MMD is panicking and they want to impress in an election year but it’s too late,” he said.

Dr Katema said it was undisputable that Zambia’s disease burden, which was compounded by high poverty levels remained very high and there was need for serious political will to mitigate the impact among the majority poor.

He said it was sad that despite people calling on the government to focus on providing equipment, drugs and the retention and recruitment of more health personnel, the government instead purchased mobile hospitals and embarked on construction projects they would not sustain.

Dr Katema said Zambians who wanted real development must support the ideas of the PF on the health sector because its manifesto was categorically clear on how it would attend to the needs of the people once voted into government.

“We have an obligation to protect the future of the country and that of our children by promoting pragmatic ideas that would enhance development.

It is the responsibility of everyone to take care of the country by reflecting on the performance of the MMD especially when it comes to the healthcare that had been marred in corruption and making positive decisions to change the situation in the country,” said Dr Katema.

Labels: , ,


MMD bound to lose Kafue - Mwaliteta

MMD bound to lose Kafue - Mwaliteta
By Bright Mukwasa
Fri 24 June 2011, 08:40 CAT

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda and the MMD will lose in Kafue district in this year's election due to the prevailing underdevelopment the area has suffered, says a former MMD Kafue council official.

Obvious Mwaliteta, who was until his defection to the opposition Patriotic Front on Wednesday MMD’s Kafue council chairman, said there was discontent among the residents of Kafue as a result of the lack of progress in the area.

“In Kafue we are supporting what senior chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo II said last time, especially which we're in her chiefdom. In Kafue you can't find any proper roads anywhere,” Mwaliteta said in an interview.

“Things are bad currently. We're losing in Kafue and because of lack of development and the under performance of the area member of parliament, Bradford Machila. Rupiah Banda may even get no vote.”

He said Kafue was grappling with numerous problems including displacement of people from the indigenous land which the government had turned a blind eye to.

“There's land sold suspiciously to investors and people have been displaced. In Kabweza, the chieftainess had to go to court over her land,” he said.

Mwaliteta said the government had failed to revamp the industrial and agriculture activities leading to the existing here levels of poverty.

“Like people in Kafue compound they have no water. Our area MP can't even take water to the people using CDF. The government has even failed to do cattle restocking; they have failed to improve fishing not even a dam for agriculture activities.”

He said it was unthinkable that people were experiencing water shortage when they lived next to the river.

Labels: , , , , ,


Divisions rock MMD over C/belt rural adoptions

Divisions rock MMD over C/belt rural adoptions
By George Chellah
Fri 24 June 2011, 07:30 CAT

THE MMD is in a fix over the adoption of parliamentary candidates for the constituencies in Lambaland. Well-placed sources within the MMD provincial executive committee on the Copperbelt yesterday revealed that the party is in a quandary on adoptions for parliamentary seats in Copperbelt rural.

“The problem we have in Lambaland is that there are some aspiring candidates
who are preferred by some senior party officials, including State House,” the source said.

“This scenario has created serious hostility among the aspiring candidates especially in constituencies like Lufwanyama, Masaiti and Mpongwe.”

The source disclosed that there was a big tug of war between aspiring candidates for these three parliamentary seats in Copperbelt rural.

“What even makes the situation complicated is that the incumbent members of parliament who are seeking adoption in these same seats are ministers,” the source said.

“So the battle is basically ministers versus other aspiring candidates, who are equally enjoying grassroot support in these areas. But for some aspiring candidates, it’s like their support even extends to the corridors of power.”

The source said commerce, trade and industry deputy minister Dr Lwipa Puma was facing a serious challenge from losing MMD women affairs chairperson aspirant Annie Chungu.

“It’s not a secret that Dr Puma wants to run again for the Lufwanyama seat, but he faces a serious challenge from Ba Annie Chungu, who happens to have the support of State House,” the source said.

“Don’t forget that Ba Annie is the same lady who stood against Sylvia Masebo for the position of party chairperson for women affairs at the last convention at Mulungushi Rock of Authority in Kabwe.

“And its common knowledge that the President wanted Ba Annie to win but she unfortunately lost to Masebo. Therefore, even in the case of the Lufwanyama seat, obviously State House would also want Ba Annie to be the candidate and not Dr Puma, who quite frankly is facing serious problems in the constituency. Otherwise, we are eagerly waiting to see what will happen”.

The source said some senior party officials were pushing for the adoption of mines deputy minister for the Masaiti parliamentary seat.

“Lands minister Gladys Lundwe is vying to defend her seat but (Jazzman) Chikwakwa is equally eyeing the same seat and we know that there are some senior party officials in Lusaka who want to thrust Chikwakwa on the people of Masaiti,” the source said.

“Their senior party officials argument is that Chikwakwa is stronger than Lundwe among party members in the constituency. But when you look at the primary results, they are showing something else.”

The source said there were similar problems in Mpongwe Constituency.

“Mpongwe is another problem, because works and supply minister Gabriel Namulambe and former State House senior private secretary Rabson Chilufya are fighting to be adopted.

The stories being peddled within the constituency are that Chilufya is more popular than Namulambe because he hails from there whilst Namulambe doesn’t. It’s proper grassroot tribal politics at play,” the source said.

“State House is again linked to the adoption squabbles for the Mpongwe parliamentary seat. We are waiting to see what decision will be made on who should contest the Mpongwe seat on the MMD ticket.

Will Namulambe who is also party chairperson for elections be left out in preference to Chilufya, who until recently was President Banda’s senior private secretary at State House?”

Copperbelt rural has four constituencies with Masaiti having Lundwe as member of parliament, while Mpongwe has Namulambe, Lufwanyama, Dr Puma and George Mpombo for Kafulafuta.

According to MMD sources, the shortlisted aspiring candidates in Masaiti included district chairman Michael Katambo, Lottie Chumpuka and incumbent member of parliament Lundwe.

In Kafulafuta, former energy permanent secretary Peter Mumba has been shortlisted together with George Chishiba and Brian Chitafu, while Namulambe and Chilufya were also shortlisted for Mpongwe.

In Lufwanyama, incumbent MP Dr Puma, Annie Chungu and former district commissioner Miniva Mutesa have been shortlisted.

Labels: ,


Nangalelwa attributes calls for change to MMD’s arrogance

Nangalelwa attributes calls for change to MMD’s arrogance
By Edwin Mbulo
Fri 24 June 2011, 04:40 CAT

THE arrogance, intolerance and corrupt practices of the MMD has forced the people to seek political change in the country, says a Southern Province opposition leader.

In an interview, Roy Nangalelwa, who is PF secretary for the Southern Province said the MMD government was costing the nation huge sums of money in unplanned developments all at the expense of retaining power.

“The ruling party is desperately trying to cling on to power despite the fact that most of the leaders in the party have realised that they are on their way out. The party’s arrogance, intolerance and corrupt practices has led to people to seek political change,” Nangalelwa said.

He said the Zambia people had matured enough politically so as not to be cheated by the cheap politicking of the MMD.

“They are busy abusing the state media; they have plundered resources all in the name of development which has not been budgeted for. If we continue on this path, we will risk having our state coffers dry by the time a new government comes into office,” he said.

Nangalelwa said the PF was the only party that could redeem the Zambian people as the MMD had totally neglected the plight of the people and resorted to vote-buying through unplanned projects.

Nangalelwa has also defended traditional leaders who have come out in the open to denounce the government on underdevelopment, stating that they were speaking on behalf of their subjects.

“Chieftainess Nkome-shya should not be blamed, MMD government has failed to get to her hence they have now resorted to suspending area member of parliament Sylvia Masebo all because she organised the function, her mother’s memorial service, at which the traditional leader made the statement,” said Nangalelwa.

Labels: ,


It’s dangerous to resist demands for change, says chief Ndake

It’s dangerous to resist demands for change, says chief Ndake
By Christopher Miti in Nyimba
Fri 24 June 2011, 03:10 CAT

A TRADITIONAL leader in Eastern Province says it is very dangerous to resist popular demand for change. Chief Ndake of the Nsenga people in Nyimba made the remarks when People’s Pact Forum acting national chairperson Colonel Panji Kaunda paid a courtesy call on him at Sikwenda village.

Chief Ndake said former president Dr Kenneth Kaunda made a very wise decision in 1991 when he paved way for political change.

“If we had not allowed change to take place, there was going to be chaos in the country because people were going to think that their ideas have been undemocratically crushed by a dictator.

So there it is, if you can manage, you will bring change but we as chiefs are still in the same shoe or plane with the ruling party, the MMD,” chief Ndake said.

He said UNIP was broken by its opponents, the MMD, in 1991 because they all worked together.

He allowed Col Panji to proceed with his meetings in his chiefdom, saying it was up to the people to choose.

“In fact, nature has it that there is nothing that is constant. Everything is static, everything is in a constant state of motion, constant state of development. Each time, each era is superior than the former.

If people insist on stagnation, then we are saying we don’t want the superior form of development or existence. So sometimes it is very dangerous to resist popular demands for change,” chief Ndake said.

He said in his view, nobody would dispute Col Panji’s observation on the road to Mwape, Luembe and many others.

“Now if we are going to talk about mobile hospitals, what is the aim of introducing mobile hospitals?

I believe the aim as you have stated is to let the people in the rural areas far from the existing hospitals along Great East Road to access the health services so that they can have a chance to be seen by mobile doctors.

Now it becomes meaningless for the introduction of this facility if the roads are not there. It’s logical for the planners to put up several rural health centres in those places than introducing something that will not reach the targeted population,” chief Ndake said.

Chief Ndake, a former governor and Nyimba member of parliament, said Col Panji’s message was very clear.

And Col Panji said he had been to rural areas and the poverty levels there were unprecedented.

“Yes, our friends give examples of Shoprite, mansions, they look at traffic jams they see in Lusaka to be development but there is nothing in rural areas.

I hope the people who bought those mobile hospitals will tomorrow take them to chieftainess Mwape, thereafter they take them to Luembe and chief Nyalugwe and come back,” Col Panji said.

“If they can do that, I will praise them and say it is a good idea but not what I have seen. They will never do that.”

He said the whole idea of the mobile hospitals was not to take them to Nyimba hospital but the actual rural areas.

Col Panji said the purpose of purchasing mobile hospitals deprived the people in rural areas of the money, which should have been used to build clinics.
“This is one of the reasons that we tell people why we should change government and change must come with the meaning of change.

In your government UNIP we had a government that cared for Zambian people that’s why you gave us a member of central committee in-charge of rural areas, a minister in-charge of rural development because they knew that the majority of Zambians live in rural areas,” he said.

Col Panji said chiefs should not follow politicians but speak on behalf of their people.

“Can Rupiah Banda’s son go to Chinambi School in Luembe area? Can Rupiah Banda’s wife give birth in Nyimba Hospital? If they say yes we shall praise them. If they say no something is missing.

We want institutions in this country where they leaders will go to and other people will go to. A lot of Zambians have been denied the stake of our independence for 47 years,” said Col Panji.

Labels: , , , ,


Government has neglected us - chieftainess Mwape

Government has neglected us - chieftainess Mwape
By Christopher Miti in Chipata
Fri 24 June 2011, 04:30 CAT

CHIEFTAINESS Mwape says she cannot keep quiet when her people are suffering.
And the chieftainess has challenged those who want to verify her statement on the lack of development in her area to visit her chiefdom.

Reacting to a ZANIS story quoting senior chief Luembe as having dispelled her earlier statement that the Nsenga traditional leader’s area had been completely neglected by the government, she maintained that the suffering and neglect was there for all to see.

“Why did they go to chief Luembe and not me? Those who want to know the truth should come to me. If government wants to know the truth, it should send anybody from whichever office to find out. I cannot say things that are not truthful,” said chieftainess Mwape of Nyimba district.

She said the biggest problem in her area was the road network.

“You know the highest office directed that the Nyimba-Mwape road be done but it’s like somebody didn’t do the job, so that’s why they are panicking. They might have told the highest office that the road was done.

We are suffering here and I have been quiet but this is my time to talk also. Lomba akuti nikonkhala chelele koma nubvutika,” (they want me to keep quiet yet I am suffering).

According to a ZANIS story that was carried by some local radio stations, chief Luembe said government had built schools and clinics in Mwape’s area.

Chief Luembe said for investors to be in an area it meant there was an agreement with the government of the day and that whatever an investor was doing was in line with government policies.

When People’s Pact Forum acting national chairperson Colonel Panji Kaunda paid a courtesy call on her last Thursday, chieftainess Mwape said there was no hope that the current government could bring development in the area.

“I am not a politician but it pains me to see the way the government has neglected this area. Even in marriage, when every time you are being pushed against the wall, can that be a good marriage?

We are human beings and that’s what they should know and this time I think we have had enough, and enough is enough! we should just look at other things that can help us especially those that can assist my people.

It’s difficult to lead people but our colleagues at the top don’t see the problems that we are going through,” chieftainess Mwape said.

Her statement has unsettled many people in government prompting them to go to chief Luembe to dispel the chieftainess’ statement.

Labels: , , ,


(NEWZIMBABWE) KP okays Zimbabwe diamond sales

KP okays Zimbabwe diamond sales
by Jonny Hogg I Reuters
23/06/2011 00:00:00

ZIMBABWE has been given the green light to sell diamonds from its Marange diamond fields by the industry's leading certification system, but the decision did not have the backing of all members.

Participants of the Kimberley Process, which aims to stop "conflict diamonds" entering the market, met this week in Democratic Republic of Congo to discuss the Marange diamond fields but remained divided over a final statement.

Rights groups say abuses have taken place against illegal miners, smuggling is rife and some mines in Marange remain in the hands of Zimbabwe's military, charges denied by Harare.

An inspection team from Congo, current chair of the Kimberley Process, found that Zimbabwe met the minimum necessary standards and a statement on Thursday said Zimbabwe could start selling diamonds from there again, albeit with some monitoring.

The Minister of Mines Obert Mpofu said he had been seeking unsupervised exports. "(But) we have no choice but to accept. We want to be treated like any other country, I'm going to sell our diamonds now," he told Reuters.

Last year, Zimbabwe was allowed by the Kimberley Process to sell a small amount of diamonds. But some, including the United States, Canada and the European Union, say human rights issues remain.

Daniel Baer, deputy assistant secretary for human rights and labour at the U.S. State Department, said the statement did not have the full backing of Kimberley Process members.

"It was not a consensus (decision), we've made that clear privately. We're looking for a way that Zimbabwean people can benefit from their natural resources and we can maintain the credibility of the Kimberley Process," he said.

Representatives from civil society groups walked out of the meeting before the final statement, saying the values of the organisation were being undermined.

"KP has refused to uphold any human rights standards, has not respected the role of civil society and is allowing participants who break the rules to go free," said Alfred Lahai Brownell from Green Advocates in Liberia.

Zimbabwe has powerful supporters in the KP, including China, India and South Africa who all insist the country is being unfairly treated.

South Africa’s Mines Minister Susan Shabangu said "the deviation from the KP’s founding rules and statutes is costing this institution dearly”.
"We see no reason why Zimbabwe cannot be allowed to export,” she said.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party unusually called on the KP to lift the embargo, saying doing so would earn the country much-needed income to support economic recovery and pay better wages for state employees who are threatening strikes.

Labels: , ,


(HERALD) Seed Co urges boost in food production

Seed Co urges boost in food production
Friday, 24 June 2011 01:00
Agriculture Reporter

SEED CO has encouraged farmers to maximise production to reduce the effects of looming global food shortages. A boost in food production will ensure the country's food security and reduce money spent on imports.

Speaking at a hand over ceremony of funds towards the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union golf tournament, Seed Co public relations and communications manager Ms Majorie Mutemererwa said Zimbabwe was not immune to looming global food shortages. To this end, there was need for farmers to increase production.

"We feel that farmers play a vital role in the ensuring food security and also contribute towards the economy of the country. While farmers should work hard to feed the nation there is also need to find some time from the field and interact with each other," she said.

Ms Mutemererwa who handed over US$250 donation towards the tournament said functions like these were essential to facilitate a break and interaction of farmers with other stakeholders in the agriculture industry.

"While it may seem to be a sporting activity, some farmers may learn new business ideas from this golf tournament through interaction with their counterparts," she said.

Speaking at the same function, ZCFU secretary-general, Eng Adiel Karima said his organisation was willing to work with Seed Co and the seed company had always been forthcoming to the union's assistance.

"We hope to hold more business with the company, making sure that farmers will sustain this relationship by giving Seed Co continued business," he said.

Eng Karima encouraged farmers to attend social gatherings, as they are platforms of knowledge exchange.

Labels: ,


(HERALD) MDC-T factionalism hits new levels

MDC-T factionalism hits new levels
Friday, 24 June 2011 01:00
Herald Reporter

Factionalism in MDC-T has reached new levels with St Mary's MP Mr Marvellous Khumalo complaining to the party leadership of being threatened with death by Zengeza East legislator Mr Alexio Musundire.

It is understood Mr Khumalo belongs to Mr Morgan Tsvangirai's faction while Mr Musundire who is the party's provincial chairperson in Chitungwiza is linked to party's secretary-general Mr Tendai Biti's camp. In his letter to the party's provincial secretary, identified as Mr Parirenyatwa Chari, Mr Khumalo, said he now feared for his life over personal differences he had with Mr Musundire.

"He has threatened to murder me. To prove this case, Mr Musundire in his capacity as the de-facto provincial chairperson has not stopped working with an MDC expelled ward one councillor Adam Puzo, whom he calls shadow St Marys MP," reads the letter in part.


* Unmasking MDC-T violence orgy
* Violence: MDC-T's hallmark

"I have also noted with deep concern that most of the times I drive in and around Chitungwiza, unknown people track me down. Some do even call on my cell phone numbers but do not disclose their identity."

Mr Khumalo said he felt duty bound to tell the party leadership for action to be taken.

"It is against this background, that I deem it necessary to alert my family and the entire party leadership and structures that in case of an injury to myself, property or attempt on my life, Mr Musundire must and will be held responsible," he said.

The legislator also complained that a similar report was made earlier to the party but no action was taken.

"I hope that this communication will kick-start a process to a solution to this security risk," he said.

On Mr Mhashu's case party supporters said the provincial council has not yet met since the party held its violent congress in Bulawayo and wondered why Mr Mhashu was seconded to the national executive as representing Chitungwiza.

"It now appears like people are fighting Mr Mhashu as an individual yet they are questioning the procedure which is flawed . . . we have no problem with his ascendancy," said one source.

Mr Musundire admitted to have seen the letter but declined to comment further saying doing so would legitimise falsehoods and malicious statements against him by Mr Khumalo.

"I don't have the capacity to trail a person and why would I?" quipped Mr Musundire.
The provincial executive council, said Mr Musundire, was still to convene a meeting to elect a representative of the province to the national executive post.

A source close to Mr Musundire, said Mr Khumalo was making the allegations in his bid to divert attention of allegations that he abused the Constituency Development Fund.
Several MDC-T supporters recently besieged his house demanding payment for work they had done, which they were told would come from CDF.

Mr Musundire is also under fire from some party supporters for allegedly seconding Mr Mhashu to the national executive without consulting other provincial party members.
In the run-up to the party's congress in Bulawayo, clashes were witnessed over the composition of provincial executive structures.

The fights pitted factions led by State Enterprises and Parastatals Minister Mr Gorden Moyo and Mzilikazi Senator Matson Hlalo.

The supporters fought running battles in the run up to the party's congress that was marred by violence and infighting, leaving scores injured.

There were also some skirmishes in other provinces, with supporters fighting for places at the Bulawayo congress.

The MDC-T youths' violence record is well documented and some of them are being accused killing a police officer recently in Glen View and have since appeared in court.

Labels: ,


Thursday, June 23, 2011

(THOM HARTMANN BLOG) The IMF, Greece & Goldman Sachs.....

Despite 3 weeks of rioting in the streets – Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is keeping his job – having narrowly survived a no-confidence vote in the Greek Parliament yesterday.

The world watched the vote closely as Greece is on the edge of defaulting on its debts and must pass austerity measures like spending cuts and state privatization to receive a bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. If Greece defaults – it could trigger a financial crisis across all of Europe.

But the Greek people have expressed outrage at an austerity agenda that targets mostly working class families but lets the banisters who caused the financial mess off the hook altogether. An austerity agenda I might add – that’s already been put in place in the UK and is shrinking the British economy. But that’s how the IMF does business. If you’re not willing to crash your own economy – then the IMF – mostly made up of banksters – will step up and do it for you.

After, of course, Goldman Sachs ruins your economy and pays itself billions.

Labels: ,


Our relation with China

Our relation with China
By The Post
Thu 23 June 2011, 06:40 CAT

“Our relation with Zambia is not with an individual or a political party. We establish relations with other countries on the basis of sovereignty. It is not a personal relation or party relation and whoever is going to be in power, we will continue to make investments here because we believe investment is useful and needed in African countries.

We believe our investment is not big yet because our capacity is limited and we look at African countries who want relations with China as friends and we are willing to develop good relations with Zambia, not any individual or political party, that is our principle.

We encourage Chinese companies to come and invest so that they can be here now and in the future, and our policy will not be affected by elections…” This is the policy of the Chinese government as stated by its Ambassador to Zambia Zhou Yuxiao.

Clearly, those who tried to personalise the relationship between China and Zambia have been exposed as liars. Those who tried to mislead the Zambian people into thinking that it is only them who can bring Chinese investment to Zambia have been shamed, that’s if they have any shame in their hearts. Those who claimed that the ruling MMD has a special relationship with China, to the exclusion of others, have been humiliated.

Who is Rupiah Banda for the Chinese government and people to anchor their relationship with Zambia on him? What is special about the MMD that would make China base its relationship with Zambia on this political party? Moreover, isn’t it the MMD under Frederick Chiluba that flirted with Taiwan, trying to undermine Zambia’s relationship with China?

We know that all this was based on money, on benefits to individuals. Their dealing with Taiwan was not a clean one, it was a corrupt one to win benefits for themselves and their party.

China is a great country with great people who are not where they are today by accident but by hard work and great sacrifices.

China has developed, and it is still developing, through self-reliance and arduous struggle. Their policy rested on their own strength, and that meant regeneration through their own efforts. But China has also never been alone; they have always created friendships with other nations and peoples. They have always stood for self-reliance.

At certain times in their history, the Chinese people have hoped for foreign aid but were never dependent on it; they depended on their own efforts, on the creative power of their entire population. They have been twists and turns in their road. Even with the achievements China has made in all areas of human endeavour, there are still many obstacles and difficulties that this country faces.

Difficulties are facts and we should never stop thinking about difficulties. Difficulties need to be recognised, analysed and combated. There are no straight roads in the world; people must be prepared to follow a road which twists and turns and not try to get things on the cheap. While prospects are bright, the road has twists and turns. There are still many difficulties ahead which must not be overlooked.

Anyone who sees only the bright side but not the difficulties cannot fight effectively for the development of society. Anyone who thinks Zambia will develop by just cutting a few deals with the Chinese is dreaming.

The Chinese will not develop our country for us but can help us develop if we engage them beneficially. Cutting a few deals, and getting a few kickbacks, from corrupt Chinese businessmen and other citizens will not develop this country.

It cannot be denied that some of our leaders in government and the MMD thought by cutting a few deals with some corrupt Chinese businessmen, they owned the relationship between China and Zambia.

Things don’t work like that. Those rotten elements they are dealing with are not the ones who determine the foreign policy of China. Those are simply crooks like themselves. They may be in charge here but those corrupt Chinese characters they are dealing with are not in charge in China.

In life, it is very important to be clear about things. It is well known that when you do anything, unless you understand its actual circumstances, its nature and its relations to other things, you will not know the laws governing it, or know how to do it, or be able to do it well.

If we want to succeed in today and tomorrow’s world, we must bring our ideas into correspondence with the laws of the objective external world; if they do not correspond, we will fail in our efforts or endeavours.

It is important for our politicians, especially those in government, to correctly understand the nature of our country’s relationship with China. They shouldn’t be deceived by its appearance. The Chinese are very respectful and generous people.

And their humility and generosity can sometimes be misleading, especially to fools and corrupt elements who are in a hurry to corruptly enrich themselves. When we look at a thing, we must examine its essence and treat its appearance merely as an usher at the threshold, and once we cross the threshold, we must grasp the essence of the thing; this is the only reliable way of analysis.

In this world, things are complicated and are decided by many factors. We should look at issues from different aspects, not from just one. In approaching an issue, we should see the whole as well as the parts.

A frog in a well says, “The sky is no bigger than the mouth of the well.” That is untrue, for the sky is not just the size of the mouth of the well. If it said, “A part of the sky is the size of the mouth of the well”, that would be true, for it tallies with the facts.

We must learn to look at issues all-sidedly, seeing the reverse as well as the obverse side of things. In given conditions, a bad thing can lead to good results and a good thing to bad results.

We need China. Even those in the opposition that may think Zambia doesn’t need China may have to think twice. Zambia needs China and this needs no disquisition. What needs disquisition is the nature of our relationship or engagement with China. This is where our efforts should be directed. If we get it right, our country will be able to develop faster.

If we get it wrong, it will be another non-beneficial relationship. China is an objective reality of the world we live in. It is said that in seeking victory, those who direct a war cannot overstep the limitation imposed by the objective conditions; within these limitations, however, they can and must play a dynamic role in striving for victory.

The stage of action for commanders in a way must be built upon objective possibilities, but on that stage they can direct the performance of many a drama, full of sound and colour, power and grandeur.

We must adapt our thinking to the changed conditions in the world. Of course, no one should go off into wild flights of fancy, or make plans of action unwarranted by the objective situation, or stretch for the impossible.

Our problem is that many of our politicians consider it impossible to accomplish things which could be accomplished if they exerted themselves and as a result they resort to prostituting themselves and corruption. We should use our brains and think everything over carefully.

If we don’t, we will continue to mislead ourselves that the relationship our country has with China is owned by Rupiah and the MMD and if they lose power, Chinese investment will dry up.

We have been assured by the Chinese government that investors from China will continue flowing into Zambia regardless of who becomes president or which party wins this year’s elections. That’s how things stand and that’s how things will develop. Anything else is a lie.

Labels: , ,