Saturday, September 10, 2011

Zambia needs change - chief Kopa

Zambia needs change - chief Kopa
By Patson Chilemba in Mpika
Sat 10 Sep. 2011, 13:59 CAT

THE country needs a change of government so that the people can experience Michael Sata's leadership, says senior chief Kopa of the Bisa people. And chief Kopa said he thought the votes towards the PF were previously not too favourable in the Mambwe and Namwanga areas probably because Tanzanians participated in the country's voting.

Speaking when Col Panji Kaunda, Dr Mbita Chitala and Robert Sichinga paid a courtesy call on him at his palace at Mpika's Chinamanongo area on Thursday, chief Kopa said it would be difficult for any party to undo the work the PF had done in the area because the party's message had itself captured the attention of the people.

"It's good you have come because your coming is like putting icing on the cake because even the time is short, thus no one will undo the work you have already done. It's just that, as they say, you don't take things for granted but this area together with my relative Sata, work has already been done," chief Kopa said.

"I thank you for coming to push the work here so that whatever your friends have planted in the people should be uprooted because they will listen from you senior people."

Chief Kopa said Sata should be given the opportunity to rule, saying politics was not like a marriage where people could not exchange spouses, but it was about service.

He said people could not be ruled by one party for a long time as if it was a monarchy or chiefdom. Chief Kopa described Col Panji, Chitala's and Sichinga's visit as a mere formality.

"… what people should focus on is that (1) there should be change of government. We also want to see how our relative Sata will work. We also want our child PF parliamentary candidate Davies Mwango to exploit his skill," he said.

And Chitala said he and his delegation had been sent by Sata to pass through the area. He said the PF could not have won previously because the turnout in PF strongholds like Mpika was only 46 per cent.

"The corruption which went down under late president Levy Mwanawasa is now back in full swing under Rupiah Banda," said Chitala as chief Kopa agreed with him saying: "Sanafye yes, indeed."

Chitala said Zambia would be worse off if President Banda continues in office.

Col Panji said no politician had the power to dethrone a chief, but President Banda was now threatening chieftainess NKomeshya Mukamambo II of the Soli people of Chongwe district with dethronement.

"What he started with chieftainess Nkomeshya is directed at all the chiefs in the country," said Col Panji as chief Kopa responded: "Chachine It's true."

When Sichinga mentioned that they would also touch the Northern stretch of Northern Province, chief Kopa said: "Maybe those from Tanzania are the ones who bring confusion because I don't imagine how people there could not see how much suffering is going on in the country."

Chief Kopa said people in the area loved the PF, but there was need to do more sensitisation so that they could turn up in numbers to vote.

He said even during the registration of voters, he literally had to ask people to register.

"People are many but they have not yet appreciated the importance of voting," said chief Kopa.

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Kunda's stay in office is unconstitutional - Wila

Kunda's stay in office is unconstitutional - Wila
By Ernest Chanda
Sat 10 Sep. 2011, 13:59 CAT

WILA Mung'omba says Vice-President George Kunda's stay in office after the dissolution of parliament remains unconstitutional. Giving his opinion on President Rupiah Banda's decision to keep Vice-President Kunda in office after dissolving Parliament on July 28 this year, Mung'omba who is a senior lawyer said the appointment was void.

He said both Vice-President Kunda and the Attorney General should have told President Banda that there was no constitutional provision for that appointment.

"It is puzzling how this strange appointment could have been made. One accepts that presidents are human beings and are therefore prone to human mistakes. But in this case, one would have thought that the President would have been assisted by Kunda himself, a lawyer, a former Attorney General and former minister of justice," Mung'omba said.

"Kunda was morally obliged to remind the President that there is no constitutional provision for that kind of appointment. It is the major function of the Attorney General as principle legal advisor to stop the Head of State from breaching the Constitution. The Secretary to the Cabinet as the number one mandarin in the public service ought to have whispered to the President that the appointment may not be in public interest. It would be incomprehensible if the President ignored all these advices and went ahead with the appointment. His intentions would then have to be scrutinized."

Mung'omba said since Vice-President Kunda's appointment was unconstitutional, it also followed that any act he performed was void.

"The appointment of Mr. George Kunda Kunda as Vice-President by President Banda after dissolution of Parliament is blatantly unconstitutional and therefore void. Any act performed by Mr. Kunda in the pretended capacity of a Vice-President of the Republic of Zambia is also null and void. This is because his appointment as Vice-President ended on 28th July 2011 when the President dissolved Parliament," Mung'omba said.

"Article 45 of the Zambian Constitution states as follows: (1) There shall be an office of Vice-President of the Republic. (2) The Vice-President shall be appointed by the President from amongst the members of the National Assembly. When Parliament has been dissolved it means that there is no pool in our country from which a President can hook out a Vice-President. Mr. Kunda ceased to be a member of the National Assembly from the moment Parliament was dissolved and it is in fact for that reason that he is seeking re-election in Muchinga Constituency."
Mung'omba said the unconstitutional appointment of Vice-President Kunda had enormous implications.

He said people should consider the unfair competition the Vice-President would give to his contenders in the constituency by virtue of his office.

"First you have a Vice-President who is in law not a Vice-President but acting as one. In effect all activities he performs in the capacity of a vice-president are void as a result of his defective appointment. Second, he continues to consume public resources to which he is not entitled. But most importantly, it makes Zambia appear like an animal farm where the rule of law is irrelevant. No other law in our land is more important than our Constitution. If favours are to be done, they must be done within our law, for how else could such an appointment be made if not to do Mr. Kunda a favour!" Mung'omba said.

"On a larger scale Zambians should be mindful that provisions of Article 36 and 38 of the Constitution always loom large and can be invoked at any time in the country's life, and, if before September 20 2011, George Kunda SC cannot automatically be the acting President, because he is not a Vice-President according to the constitution of the Republic of Zambia.

Other implications people should consider involve the fairness and ‘freeness' of elections in the constituency where Mr. Kunda is a candidate. The seat is being contested by other candidates from other parties. They are using resources either from their own pockets or their parties, whereas Mr. Kunda is campaigning using state resources. One question is whether that constituency is going to have free and fair elections."

Mung'omba said if the country had an independent Electoral Commission, it would have questioned Vice-President Kunda's candidature and possibly disqualified him from standing on grounds that he posed a huge disadvantage to other candidates.

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Rupiah will soon go to jail, says Chitala

Rupiah will soon go to jail, says Chitala
By Patson Chilemba in Mpika
Sat 10 Sep. 2011, 14:00 CAT

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda will soon go to jail and become an example to leaders who plunder resources. This is according to politicians Mbita Chitala, Colonel Panji Kaunda and Bob Sichinga.

The trio made the remarks when they addressed rallies at Chinamanongo and Mpika main markets on Thursday. Col Panji, the People's Pact Forum chairperson, said President Banda was a corrupt leader who had abused his office. He said Zambians should ask President Banda how he had accumulated so much wealth within the short period he had been in office.

"He will be an example to all those who plunder public resources when they are in office. We don't hate him. We want to give an example to the nation that stealing is not good, it brings suffering on the people. When we vote Michael Sata, we shall tell him ‘do this and this', and if he fails, we shall rise against him," Col Panji said.

He said President Banda was a corrupt man who only cared about creating wealth for himself and his children.

Col Panji said those in the MMD kept on accusing Sata that he would cause war if elected, but they forgot that it was President Banda who was threatening the peace by allowing foreign leaders to participate in the election campaigns.

And Chitala, Zambia's former ambassador to Libya, said the country experienced sanity during late president Levy Mwanawasa's reign on the fight against corruption, but the vice had sky-rocketed under President Banda.

He said the MMD were abusing taxpayers money to buy chitenges as well as the usage of the helicopters for election campaigns by President Banda and Vice-President George Kunda.

Chitala said President Banda had been abetting corruption in the country.

He said President Banda even removed the offence of abuse of office from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Act in order to hide his corrupt ways.

"I agree with Col Panji that the law has to visit this man and his family, that justice must be seen to be done. They have been using Awards and Compensation where Vice-President George Kunda is. They have been using that vote to steal money from the state as MMD," Chitala said.

"The idea that US$450 million dollars which would have come in as windfall taxes was forgiven and agreeing with the mines to be given some commission which is the money they have used to fund their campaigns."

Chitala said some leaders in other countries faced capital punishment for the kind of abuse President Banda was engaged in.

He said President Banda and his clique had tasked themselves with the responsibility to approve contracts such as those to do with roads, merely intended to bribe voters.

Chitala said the actions President Banda had engaged in, such as the refusal to have his own nationals benefit from their mineral resources through the windfall tax, were anti-Zambian.

And economic consultant Sichinga asked Zambians to turn up in large numbers and sleep outside the polling stations on September 19, 2011 and only leave after the announcement of results in order to prevent President Banda's MMD from rigging.

Sichinga said lame excuses that the mining companies would run away from the country if they were asked to pay windfall tax did not hold water.

He said President Banda and the MMD should explain the acquisition of motor vehicles, which were in excess of US$300 million.

"The construction of Mpundu flats on Leopards Hill Road, how do you explain that? Misuse of public vehicles, where vehicles are changed from GRZ into other numbers in the first place, it is unacceptable. This is why we are saying they must be visited by the law," Sichinga said.

He said Newton Ng'uni was standing as an independent member of parliament, but asking the people to vote for Sata because he had the endorsement of the PF leader.

Sichinga said the candidate for Sata and the PF was Davies Mwango and not Ng'uni.

He urged Mpika residents to turn up in large numbers to vote overwhelmingly for Sata and the PF, rather than the 46 per cent turnout recorded during the last elections.

"Women, carry your children on the back and sleep at the polling station on September 19, to make sure your vote is protected," said Sichinga.

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Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Michael Koplovsky for reasons 1.4(d)


¶1. (C) In a January 15 meeting with Minister of Finance Situmbeko Musokotwane, the Ambassador highlighted the progress Zambia made in 2009 towards a Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) compact (Ref. A), but stressed that the Zambian government (GRZ) must act now to assuage concerns about the GRZ's commitment to good governanceand anti-corruption efforts to ensure Zambia's continued compact qualification.

He noted that similar concerns contributed to a re-evaluation of Zambia's inclusion in the Global Financial Crisis Initiative (GFCI), during which Zambia was found to be ineligible for economic reasons. The Ambassador congratulated the Minister on the January 4 launch of the GRZ's integrated financial management and information system (IFMIS), and urged the Minister to continue improving the GRZ's public financial management capacity. Finally, the Ambassador asked that the GRZ help to develop a substantive, high-level policy agenda for the Cooperating Partners Group (CPG) -- the United States will chair the CPG for the next six months. While the governance concerns are not new to Musokotwane, he had little to say in response to any of the topics raised by the Ambassador, and raised no topics
himself. End Summary.

Ambassador's Message

¶2. (C) In a January 15 meeting with Situmbeko Musokotwane, Minister of Finance and National Planning, the Ambassador highlighted the tremendous progress Zambia made in 2009 towards an MCA compact. He cautioned Musokotwane that during discussions that led to Zambia's compact eligibility re-selection, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) board expressed concerns about the GRZ's commitment to good governance, anti-corruption efforts and freedom of speech and expression, essential to Zambia's continued qualification for a compact. The Ambassador noted that the board's concerns were serious enough that MCC CEO Daniel Yohannes mentioned them specifically in his January 4 letter to President Banda.

¶3. (C) The Ambassador stressed that the GRZ had time to address the MCC's (and broader USG) concerns about its commitment to good governance and anti-corruption efforts, but said that the GRZ must not wait to take action. He listed several steps the GRZ could take, including strengthening the Anti-Corruption Commission, creating a dialogue with Civil Society Organizations (CSO), including CSOs critical of the current administration, and continuing to work with media associations on self-regulatory structures to avoid restrictive government regulation of the media.
While conceding that the GRZ was unlikely to win all CSO hearts and minds, the Ambassador stressed that communication with CSOs would be a positive step, and engagement could mean reassurance that the GRZ was committed to transparent and
open governance to some local organizations that provide input into indicators used by the MCC.

¶4. (C) The Ambassador also noted that in 2009 Zambia was considered for up to USD 25 million in assistance under the Global Financial Crisis Initiative (GFCI). When similar concerns about governance and corruption caused the USG to re-evaluate Zambia's inclusion in GFCI, however, Zambia was deemed ineligible based on its relatively positive economic performance.

¶5. (C) Turning to budget transparency and public financial management, the Ambassador congratulated the Minister on the January 4 launch of IFMIS at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. While noting the good progress that Zambia
has made, the Ambassador urged the Minister to continue improving the GRZ's financial management capacity by rolling out IFMIS to all ministries and adopting a treasury single account, and to pass a Freedom of Information Act to increase
government transparency in general (Ref. B). The Ambassador explained the requirements for some countries to receive a waiver to allow continued U.S. assistance if their budget development and execution was not considered transparent, and noted that, while Zambia received a waiver for FY2009, it was not yet known whether a FY2010 waiver was required for continued assistance.

¶6. (C) Finally, the Ambassador asked the Minister what the GRZ would like to accomplish with the Coordinating Partners Group (CPG) during the six months that the United States would chair the group. The Ambassador noted that the CPG agenda had been dominated by governance issues, and more generally by issues determined by cooperating partners. To be an effective forum for dialogue, the CPG should be more
balanced to focus on high-level policy discussions and not just focused on trouble-shooting.

Minister's Limited Response

¶7. (C) If the GRZ is engaged in a charm offensive with the United States, Musokotwane did not get the memo (Ref. C). He was his usual taciturn self, and sat silently to, in his words, "hear his sins" throughout much of the meeting. The
Minister had little to say in response to the MCC board governance concerns, which were not new to him, and replied that it was "fair" that Zambia did not receive GFCI funding because its economy did bounce back quickly. Musokotwane asked for a list of the African countries that could potentially need budget transparency waivers to receive U.S. assistance, and asked that the Ambassador "drop him a note" about upcoming CPG agendas so that he could consult with his colleagues.


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E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2019
Classified By: Ambassador Donald E. Booth for reasons 1.4 (b,d)

¶1. (C) SUMMARY: During its December 2-11 campaign to celebrate Zambia's ratification of the UN Convention Against Corruption, the Zambian government (GRZ) pledged to implement its National Anti-Corruption Policy; strengthen the Anti-Corruption Commission; establish a Financial Intelligence Unit; introduce anti-corruption legislation; and improve public service delivery.

The campaign signaled a shift in the Banda administration's anti-corruption rhetoric
from defending itself against criticism over its recent handling of high-profile corruption cases and attacking critics to focusing on its anti-corruption bona fides (refs A-C). Although the GRZ's anti-corruption campaign strikes a positive tone, the government must back up its words with deeds, carry out its pledges and properly resolve ongoing corruption cases. END SUMMARY.

¶2. (U) During the Zambian government's (GRZ) December 2-11 "United in the Fight Against Corruption" campaign to celebrate Zambia's ratification of the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), the GRZ publicly pledged to combat corruption by implementing its National Anti-Corruption Policy (launched August 27), strengthening the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), and establishing a Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). On December 2, President Banda touted the new policy as proof that his administration is serious about fighting corruption. He also pledged to strengthen the ACC, the GRZ's lead anti-corruption agency, by establishing ACC Serious Fraud and Forensic Systems units, as well as create and fund an administrative FIU attached to the Bank of Zambia that would meet international standards. The UK's Department for International Development (DFID), which helped draft the GRZ's anti-corruption policy and has provided over USD 13.7 million in financial support to the ACC and TFC, announced December 10 that it will spend another USD 9.3 million to strengthen the ACC.

¶3. (U) Vice President Kunda affirmed during a December 9 International Anti-Corruption Day event co-hosted by the ACC and Transparency International Zambia that Parliament will consider new anti-corruption legislation, including an asset
recovery law, and review existing laws to incorporate language referencing international anti-corruption protocols ratified by Zambia. Banda stated on December 2 that the GRZ recognizes the need to strengthen laws on assets declaration, forfeiture of proceeds of crime, and whistle-blower protection. Banda also said that his government will encourage the use of integrity committees and the Public Service Code of Ethics in Cabinet ministries to improve public service delivery.

¶4. (SBU) The anti-corruption campaign signaled a shift in the Banda administration's rhetoric from defending itself against criticisms over its recent handling of high-profile corruption cases and attacking critics to focusing on its
anti-corruption bona fides. A December 8 op-ed published in a government-controlled newspaper underscored the administration's shift in strategy, noting that "President
Banda has continued the fight against corruption albeit in a different approach than his predecessor."

¶5. (C) COMMENT: Although GRZ's public anti-corruption campaign strikes a positive tone, the Banda administration must back up its words with deeds and carry out its pledges. The new campaign should also resolve pending corruption cases previously handled by the TFC. The administration's public re-commitment to fight corruption was clearly aimed at blunting criticism raised by the press, donor countries, and
Civil Society Organizations over what has been seen as backsliding by the GRZ in its commitment to fight corruption (refs A-C). Implementing the National Anti-Corruption
Policy, beefing up the ACC with donor (primarily DFID) support, and establishing an FIU will help better position the GRZ in its fight against corruption. However, the
administration has seemed more interested in neutralizing corruption cases rather than fighting corruption, and it remains to be seen whether the GRZ's renewed commitment will translate into meaningful results. END COMMENT. BOOTH

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COMMENT - A typical case of the US government acting as pushers for Monsanto and other agribusiness corporations. Zambia DOES NOT NEED GM FOOD OR SEEDS. In fact there are serious issues related to their safety, such as the observed effect of mass sterilisation among hamsters exposed to them. If it isn't for hamsters, it isn't fit for people. (See: Genetically Modified Soy Linked To Sterility, Infant Mortality In Hamsters, by Jeffrey Smith, Huffington Post). It is clear that transnational (agri-) businesses are running US foreign policy. And they are endangering the health of the Zambian people, and mankind.

LUSAKA 00000964 001.2 OF 002


¶1. (SBU) A one day seminar on biotechnology (BT) in October funded with EEB BT outreach funds brought together Ministry of Agriculture officials, commodity traders and farmers, scientists and private sector representatives to hear presentations on the current state of BT, and how genetically modified organism (GMO) acceptance could
help Zambia's agricultural sector. The event, organized by the
Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa
, a USG-supported agency of the Common Market for Eastern
and Southern Africa (COMESA), represented one of the first public
dialogues on the benefits of BT crops since Zambia banned all GMOs
in 2003
and effectively cut off debate on the issue in 2005. While opposition to BT in the Zambian government (GRZ) and the private sector remains an issue, senior GRZ officials have expressed an interest in removing the ban (reftel), and Embassy Lusaka is developing a medium-term strategy to move Zambia towards BT acceptance. End Summary.


¶2. (U) COMESA Assistant Secretary General Stephen Karangizi opened
the seminar by noting COMESA's support for the introduction of GMOs
in its 19 member countries, including Zambia. He explained that BT
acceptance would increase agricultural output and could open
marginal land to agricultural production by utilizing crop strains
that thrive in more adverse conditions, helping countries become
more food secure. He assured skeptics in the audience that COMESA
understood the concerns of those opposed to BT, and said COMESA
would support systems that carefully evaluated new technology used
in countries' quests to improve agricultural productivity.

¶3. (U) Dr. Faith Nguthi, Senior Program Officer at the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) explained that BT crops, which improve productivity and income, protect bio-diversity, and reduce the need for fertilizer and other external inputs, helped alleviate poverty for 12.3 million small farmers around the world in 2008. She explained that, given the evidence in favor of introducing BT, the challenges for countries contemplating such a step include establishing responsible and efficient regulatory systems appropriate for developing countries and effectively communicating the benefits of BT to society. Dr. Nguthi offered ISAA support in BT information sharing, advocacy and scientific training.

¶4. (U) David Wafula, Programme for Biosafety Systems Coordinator in Kenya for the International Food Policy Research Institute, discussed BT commodity trade and regional market access issues. He argued that as countries in the region continued to introduce BT crops, including maize and cotton, countries like Zambia that continue to adhere to a strict ban on GMOs will lose out on regional trade and be hampered in their regionalintegration efforts. Wafula stressed that GMOs on the international market have passed risk assessments conducted by multiple national authorities, including stringent environmental and human health risk assessments.

¶5. (U) Tamala Kambikambi, a lecturer in Agronomy at the University
of Zambia, discussed social, cultural and ethical aspects of GMOs.
She noted that countries needed to strike a balance between
excessive anxiety and too little caution when discussing the
introduction of BT crops, and said that lack of public awareness
over the potential benefits of GMOs created an unnecessary barrier
to BT acceptance. She added that countries like Zambia currently
lack the capacity to monitor and regulate GMOs, which further
hinders their introduction. Kambikambi concluded that Zambia should
work with other African countries to promote home-grown BT research
through public/private partnerships and develop sound and rational
BT policies to regulate its introduction and development.


¶6. (SBU) At EU urging (and under EU trade restriction threats), the GRZ adopted a non-GMO policy in the early 2000s. In 2002, at the height of a severe drought in Zambia, the GRZ rejected a humanitarian donation of GMO corn from the United States, citing lack of information on the technology. In the aftermath, then-President Levy Mwanawasa declared a total ban on GMOs in Zambia. The ban is still in force, but it is not backed up by legislation. In 2007, a private, humanitarian donation of rice was rejected at the border. As recently as February 2009, the GRZ rejected a consignment of maize from South Africa to cover a shortfall in Zambia's food reserves when 75 percent of the 100,000 metric tons was found to be a genetically modified varietal. Despite its economic hardships, Zambia continues to pay premiums for non-GMO food imports.

¶7. (U) During the seminar, Rodger Saidi Phiri, president of the National Association of Peasant and Small Scale Farmers, declared his continued opposition to GMOs. Phiri and his association members were vocal supporters of a ban during the 2002 anti-GMO debate. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives officials told Emboff that Phiri continues to command authority in the Ministry.


¶8. (SBU) While there remains opposition to BT introduction in Zambia within the GRZ and the private sector, GRZ officials at the highest levels have expressed aninterest in removing the ban. Rather than taking what they believe is the politically risky step of publicly supporting the introduction of GMOs outright, the GRZ has asked the Embassy to jumpstart the dialogue on BT acceptance (reftel). Some contend that Zambian consumers have long been exposed to GMOs through imported cooking oils and other imported processed or refined products. Embassy is developing a medium-term strategy to move Zambia towards BT acceptance. The seminar was a good first step, as it was one of the first public forums where BT was discussed in Zambia in years. COMESA expects to have a USAID-funded BT adviser in place in early 2010, and Embassy will continue to work
closely with COMESA on the issue.


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MMD can't fight corruption, says Magande

MMD can't fight corruption, says Magande
By Moses Kuwema
Sat 10 Sep. 2011, 14:00 CAT

ZAMBIANS should not expect the MMD to fight corruption once they bounce back to power because they will have too many people to satisfy, says Ng'andu Magande. In an interview, Magande, who is National Movement for Progress party president, said it was not possible that the money the MMD was using in their campaigns was from its coffers or the government.

Magande's comments come in the wake of revelations by the United States Embassy in Lusaka confidential cables released by Wikileaks why President Rupiah Banda has taken a soft stance on corruption.

According to the cables, President Banda told World Bank vice-president that he could not take robust anti-corruption stance because he has multiple constituencies to satisfy.

Commenting on the matter, Magande said it would be very difficult for the MMD to fight corruption because their funding for campaigns was coming from different individuals.

"Definitely it will be very difficult for the MMD to fight corruption because just now I cannot believe that all the money they are using for buying this campaign material is coming from government. This is not coming from government, it is coming from individuals, either the individuals or companies. So if the MMD bounces all these people they will have to look after them and then what will happen to the ones that had no money to help them in their campaigns?" Magande wondered.

He said what this meant was that many people in the country would be observers in what would be happening in the country.

Magande said the people that would make the MMD win are the ones who are going to take control of the country and that this obviously meant there would be a complete discrimination in the way citizens will be treated.

"The President clearly has a lot of constituencies to satisfy. Many people are going to get favours that is the only difficulty that arises. Once you start favouring some of the citizens what about those who have no chance to get close to your office? It means they will be suffering because there will be nobody to give them these favours at that level," Magande said.

He said there was also a danger of people who are favoured by the President to do things with impunity.

"This is where you should try to get as many good people as possible to help you run the government not people who are doing it because of patronage because there will be too many people who will claim that you are the one who allowed them to do certain things even when you are not. So this could cause serious difficulties in trying to balance the fairness," said Magande.

And the cables revealed that immediate-past World Bank country manager Kapil Kapoor said President Banda's "friendship" with the late Frederick Chiluba could be because the former president had incriminating information on the incumbent or he was funding President Banda's 2011 re-election campaign.

The cables, prepared by Michael Koplovsky, then US Embassy charge d'affaires dated October 5, 2009, also revealed that President Banda told the World Bank vice-president that he was committed to fight corruption but he was being "pulled in different directions".

"During a late September meeting on the margins of UNGA United Nations General Assembly in New York, IBRD Africa vice president told the Zambian leader, his trade minister Felix Mutati and State House economic advisor Richard Chembe that Banda needs to deal with the perception that he is soft on corruption," the cables read. "Banda said it would be easier for him to tackle Zambia's corruption problems and the associated perception when and if he is re-elected to a full five-year term in 2011. Banda insisted that he did not fire Taskforce on Corruption leader Max Nkole; he simply decided not to renew his contract. When pressed for the reasons why, Banda responded that he 'needed people who are loyal' to him."

The cables revealed that President Banda said he appreciated the private engagement he had with the donors' troika - the Netherlands, World Bank and United States - heads of mission and wished to keep that channel open.

The cables revealed that Kapoor recounted the New York conversation during a well-attended donors' meeting in Lusaka on October 1, 2009 despite leaks of sensitive information, ostensibly from somebody within that group.

"Kapoor noted that Banda -usually ultra-sensitive to criticism in the media - did not raise recent leaks to the Zambian press. Kapoor speculated on the political pressures to which Banda alluded and concluded that Banda's new 'friendship' with the recently acquitted former president Chiluba is because Chiluba has incriminating information on Banda, has funding for Banda's re-election campaign, can deliver the remote swing Luapula Province in the 2011 elections, or a combination of the three," he stated.

Koplovsky also revealed that the US government regarded Vice-President George Kunda as an obstacle to progress in fighting corruption.

Koplovsky further described Vice-President Kunda as a semi-competent, possibly ill, clumsy pit bull and unimpressive interlocutor whose personal views are unclear according to cables released by Wikileaks.

He stated that Vice-President Kunda, who he described as "a doleful" Bassett hound, had unexpectedly emerged as a clumsy pit bull in the Rupiah Banda-administration.

A pit bull is any of several breeds of dogs in the molosser breed group and many jurisdictions restricts its ownership.

"Kunda was an unexpected and uninspired choice when President Banda named him VP Vice-President in November 2008. Considered lethargic (possibly ill) and semi-competent, Kunda is an unimpressive interlocutor whose personal views are unclear," wrote Koplovsky.

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The choice is ours

The choice is ours
By The Post
Sat 10 Sep. 2011, 14:00 CAT

In casting our votes on September 20, we should not, in any way, be swayed by personal profit, tribal or regional bias, but solely by the consideration of which of the candidates is better for the nation.

We must vote wisely and only for people who are known for their honesty, ability, dedication and concern for the welfare of all. Personal, group or partisan interests should be kept subordinate to the public good. It is necessary to remind ourselves, once again, that the September 20 elections are for the good of the people and the country, and not for the political survival of any individual, group or political party.

Therefore, the decision on who we should vote for should be based on who we think will maximise the promotion of the common good and the service of all the people. It is very important that we use our votes wisely and bravely because it is a powerful weapon for justice, peace and development. On our voting, on the quality of it, the discernment behind it, depend the progress and peace of our country.

And drawing from the importance of the common good, we should only vote for candidates who have demonstrated sufficient courage to speak out the truth; we should only vote for candidates who have shown great concern for social justice and have struggled and shown great desire to work for the common good instead of self-enrichment, disposition to use power for service, especially service for the poor and underprivileged. It is also important to seriously consider the candidate's moral standing and commitment to transparency and accountability to the electorate.

We should only vote for candidates whom we think and believe will serve the country with justice towards all; people who have shown great hatred or dislike for corruption and abuse of power or public office; people who have not gone out to seek our votes through corruption and bribery. If we vote for people who have been bribing us with all sorts of things which we don't even know where they got the money to buy them, then we should not blame anyone else when the government they form is a corrupt one. These are people who have shown us that they are corrupt and they will not hesitate to use corrupt means to get what they want, including our votes.

The issues Ng'andu Magande is raising about corruption should not be taken lightly. It is true that this election's MMD campaign has been the most expensive, the most extravagant in its 20-year history. We all know that the MMD doesn't have businesses like UNIP. This being the case, then the critical question arises: where are the huge amounts of money the MMD is spending on this election coming from? Money does not grow on trees. We all know this. There are only two primary sources of money for the MMD: the government and the business community. It cannot be denied that the MMD has been using or abusing government institutions and resources. Government-owned automobiles are being used in the MMD's campaign. There is adequate evidence in the public domain on this issue and it needs no further disquisition.

Magande has raised the issue of the MMD having mortgaged itself to its election sponsors. Again, it is true that those giving money to the MMD today are businessmen who are benefitting or have benefited from the MMD's corrupt contracts. And they are paying back for these contracts. These are simply kickbacks to the MMD. Then there is money also stolen directly, through all sorts of ways, by those who control this political party.

It is not the grassroots funding the MMD. It is not poor people propelling the MMD's campaign. It is corrupt special interest groups and individuals driving the MMD campaign to protect their contracts, their looting and so on and so forth. The MMD cannot today say it is a party of the masses, for the masses, by the masses. It is simply a party for the corrupt, of the corrupt, by the corrupt. Therefore, corruption will be the character of any government that the MMD will form if it wins the September 20 elections. We agree with Magande's observation that Zambians should not expect the MMD to fight corruption once they bounce back to power because they will have too many corrupt interests, individuals and groups to satisfy. Moreover, the same reasons which Rupiah said were holding him from fully fighting corruption will still prevail. Rupiah told the World Bank vice-president that it was difficult for him to fight corruption because he was being pulled in different directions by the different constituencies that were keeping him in power. The September 20 elections will not free Rupiah from the influence and control of these special, powerful but corrupt constituencies that are today holding him back from fighting corruption. They will still be in control of him after September 20 because they are the ones who have bankrolled his election. And above all, Rupiah is not held captive by this corrupt group. He is voluntarily part of it; he is a key member of this corrupt league. Rupiah benefits, politically and otherwise, from belonging to this corrupt league. It is this league that put him into power in 2008 and sustained him in power up to this time. And it is the same group that is today in the forefront of fighting for his re-election.

But the nation will pay highly for all this. Rupiah has taken money to a record level in our politics. This is the most expensive and extravagant election campaign that any political party has ever engaged in since independence. Only corrupt elements can spend money this way trying to buy weak souls to vote them back into office. Rupiah has mortgaged himself and any government he may form if he wins this election to the corrupt and to corruption.

And if this type of excessively money-based politics is not stopped, the poor will have no meaningful role to play in the governance of their country; they will not be able to set themselves any meaningful political agenda. The campaign funders will be the key decision makers in government, and not the people, not the voters. The interests of the corrupt campaign funders will take precedence over obligations to the people, to the voters. What type of democracy are they going to leave us with if they are to win this election?

We have no alternative but to struggle without respite to construct a political system that is not totally based on money; a political system in which the poor, those without a lot of money, can set for themselves political goals. If we decide to sell our government, our votes, our destiny to the highest bidders, we will have to pay a very high price to buy them back.

Again, these elections in themselves guarantee us nothing. They offer us, instead, the opportunity to succeed as well as the risk of failure. They are both a promise and a challenge. They are a promise in the sense that as free human beings, if we vote wisely, we will be able to govern ourselves in a manner that maximises the common good, that will serve our aspirations for personal freedom, economic opportunity and social justice. These elections are a challenge because what we will get from them will depend on us, on our decisions, on the way we vote and on no one else. And if we fail, we shouldn't blame anybody but ourselves. We must take responsibility for the fate of our country. In the end, we will get the government we deserve. The choice is ours.

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My ex-husband was lazy in bed - Dora

My ex-husband was lazy in bed - Dora
By Joseph Mwenda in Petauke
Sat 10 Sep. 2011, 14:00 CAT

MMD spokesperson Dora Siliya on Thursday revealed to Petauke residents that she divorced her husband because he was lazy in bed. And Siliya urged men in Petauke Central Constituency to admire her beauty and soft bums and not each other's beards because the laws of Zambia prohibit homosexuality.

Addressing about 500 villagers who attended her rally at Minga Stop Basic School, Siliya, who is MMD parliamentary candidate in the area, urged people not to vote for PF leader Michael Sata because he failed to develop the country when he was in government.

Speaking in Nsenga, Siliya likened Sata to her ex-husband whom she said she chased because he was lazy in bed and failed to give her children.

"Neo niwela kuno kuti nikwatileko nivyale, lomba alumebasu everyday pakuyolala usikuonse ni bombasa… Lomba seo tanakazi tukuti yai uyo nimchiza mkwelekazi tichiti nkhoyani kwanu nkhoyani musakileko ayakine, lomba akolwa tujilijili akuti Dora ningakupase vumo neo, ee! Ningakupase vumo neo, anipasile vumo panja pabanthu?

(I got married in order to bear children. Now my husband, all the time when going to sleep he puts on boxer shorts. Now, us women we call such a person a relief provider to the wife. I said go and find another one. Now he is drunk with tujilijili and he is saying ‘Dora I can impregnate you'. Will he impregnate me from outside in full view of people?"

Siliya said after she divorced her husband, other women who thought were more beautiful than her went after him thinking she failed in her marriage.

"Nufuna munikonkhe bwino nikaliyo silizhya. Lomba neo nebautushya olabila tetyo panja. Mphela ayakine asimbi akuti yai a Dora akangiwa chikwati ne nitoleko instead yakuti anikonshye kuti weo chewebautushila nichinji? Ati a Dora akangiwa nitole chikwati pakuti beve ndiye abwino ngako. Lomba apa ochita akati tole kuya nao mung'nda ndiye pakuona ulesi wenebapitikishila neo.

"(I want you to follow me well. I have not yet finished. After I chased him, some ladies said Dora has failed in her marriage I will take over from her instead of asking me why I chased him. They thought they were more beautiful but now when they take him into the bedroom, that's when they see the laziness that I chased him for)" Dora said. "Ni same-same na Sata, a Sata olabila kunja lomba akuti neo ningachite ichi, alimonga niwala munakazi asakonshya kuti muyangu chemuutushila nichinji? Khaliwe ya Sata niipa, kubaona tyala pamenso ooneka kuti khalidwe yao niipa, kupa Sata vote nikuononga, nikutaya mumanzi.

"(It's the same with Sata, he is saying now when he is outside government that he can do this. It is like that woman who does not ask why her friend chased the husband. Sata is a bad man, you can tell from his face that he is a bad man and giving him a vote is wasting)."

And Siliya asked the men in her audience to admire her beauty and not each other's beards because the laws of Zambia prohibited homosexuality. She said men should be able to enjoy the pleasure of touching a woman's soft bums as that was the only way that people would bear children.

"Muniuzhya anyamata mwatawelela pano mukumbwila lini neo mukumbwilana ndevu? Mweo azimai sekaseka pangachoke vumo? Sichalo kusila? Analume mungakatane mweka mweka mafiga yokosa osati yamwanakazi? Vunvwika nga nivosekesha ka? (You men here, are you not admiring me? Are you admiring each other's beards? You women, can you get pregnant from a fellow woman? Isn't that the end of the world? You men, can you enjoy touching each other's hard bums instead of a woman's?)" she asked, amid cheering from the villagers who were eager to receive vitenge and other campaign materials.

After the rally, Siliya who arrived in the area with a truckload of campaign materials, asked the electorate to show her their voter's cards and National Registration Cards before she could dish out the supplies.

Meanwhile, PF Petauke Central parliamentary candidate Lenard Banda said Siliya was in Petauke to say goodbye to the people. He said Siliya was renting a house in Mayadi area because she did not have her own house in Petauke and wanted to fool residents into thinking that she comes from the area.

"If you have noticed, people here have nicknamed her ‘Konongo', a kind of bird which only shows up during the rainy season because it feeds on snails. This is what Dora is doing, renting a house for three weeks and after the elections she would disappear again," Banda said. "But the Nsenga people are not stupid."

Banda told a rally at Kaluba Basic School that Siliya had the money to dress trees in the constituency with campaign materials but could not dress a single orphan in Petauke.

Banda accused Siliya, who is former education minister, of issuing instructions to school headteachers in Petauke not to allow him or anybody else from the opposition to use the various school premises for their campaign activities even during weekends.

He said Siliya had been punishing the people who voted her in office by running away from their problems.

Banda said Siliya had nothing to tell the electorates in Petauke but only to bribe them with campaign materials which he said would not help her in this year's election because PF would be forming government on September 20.

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Rupiah can kill for power - Sata

Rupiah can kill for power - Sata
By George Chellah in Mangango
Sat 10 Sep. 2011, 14:00 CAT

MICHAEL Sata says President Rupiah Banda is so desperate for power that he can even kill. And Sata said President Banda has never been to Barotseland to apologise for the Mongu killings.

Addressing a rally in Mangango on Thursday, Sata, who mocked the MMD and the public media over recent claims that he had collapsed in Nalolo, expressed sadness with the high levels of desperation being exhibited by President Banda in an effort to remain in power.

"Rupiah Banda is very desperate; he can even kill," said Sata as the crowd broke into a loud laughter. "I don't know how many lives I have because today they will say ‘I am dead but I will be here addressing a meeting'."

Sata said since Barotseland enabled him to become head of state, President Banda has never shown appreciation to the people of Barotseland.

"Rupiah Banda has never come here to say ‘thank you'. what Rupiah Banda sent here are guns to kill your children; brothers and sisters. Even when Simasiku Namakando said he has not seen development in the province, Rupiah Banda said ‘I did not beg for your vote'," Sata said.

"When so many people were killed in Barotseland; others injured, others we have never found them and others are in prison, Rupiah Banda did not come to Barotseland to weep with you. When our children perished, I came to Mongu and mourned with you.

"Today Thursday, Rupiah Banda is in Lukulu. He has gone to support his brother in marriage who is standing in Lukulu East. The problem and the fault is ours, not Rupiah Banda's because when president Mwanawasa died we did not sit down and bring a proper president to replace Mwanawasa."

Sata said President Banda was the first Zambian head of state to kill people over the Barotseland Agreement.

"When our children were killed, a sensible person should have come here; kneel down and say ‘I'm very sorry' because Sir Roy Welensky did not kill anybody over Barotseland," Sata said. "Kenneth Kaunda did not kill anybody in Barotseland, they talked about Barotseland. Frederick Chiluba did not kill anybody and Levy Mwanawasa did not kill anybody on Barotseland Agreement.

"When they killed your people, I did not see a single member of parliament from MMD complain about the blood of those innocent people. I have never heard anyone of your members of parliament who has been to Mumbwa to see those people. If they can do that to those people what about you?"

Sata said the people of Barotseland have been complaining because of underdevelopment.

"The choice is yours, the poverty is in Mangango and unemployment is in Mangango. I have seen your schools in Mangango and Luampa. Since the missionaries left we are orphans," he said.

Sata said the PF government would decentralise authority.

"If you allow yourselves to give us the authority, government will start at the Induna village level because a person in Kaoma doesn't know how you suffer in the village. If the person in Kaoma who is nearer to Mangango does not know your problems, what about Banda who is in Lusaka?" Sata asked.

"Kaoma can grow cotton, tea, coffee and cashew nuts. And we will utilise what God has given us. We shall increase the fertiliser allocation. This is September, president Banda has not bought maize. But we are going to buy maize from 1st June. We will encourage men and women to start fish farming. We will help you to conserve fish, we will help you with marketing of fish."

Sata said the PF government would also look into the plight of civil servants.

"You cannot attract good teachers and good policemen unless they get hardship allowance for working in the village where they don't have everything," he said.

And addressing a rally earlier in Luampa, Sata urged the people to unite and fight for the development of their area. He told people to ignore the propaganda against him from the MMD.

"We are living the way we are living because there is no leadership; because there is no government," he said.

Sata advised the people to liberate themselves this year by voting for PF.

"I was in Kaoma, I also came here when there was Stephen Manjata and Golden Mandandi and I have come today and I am going but the problems are yours," Sata said. "This place, when there were Europeans there was a big hospital at Luampa and when there were Europeans there was a big school here."

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Mongu cops protect Rupiah from the people

Mongu cops protect Rupiah from the people
By Mwala Kalaluka in Mongu
Sat 10 Sep. 2011, 14:00 CAT

MOBILE police officers on Thursday blocked a crowd of Mongu residents that gathered along Airport Road at Kapulanga compound to protest against President Rupiah Banda's visit to the town. And President Banda said his critics have been shamed by the unprecedented 'crowd' that turned up at Mongu Airstrip to welcome him.

President Banda's chopper landed at Mongu Airstrip at 17:00 hours from Lukulu and he was received by a crowd comprising civil servants, plainclothes police and intelligence officers, curious on-lookers and some MMD cadres.

Most of the civil servants, save for heads of government departments, were standing on the eastern side of the apron while the curious onlookers were on the western side and the sizeable crowd of MMD cadres was in the middle in front of the dais.

The sizeable crowd of MMD cadres, some of whom detached themselves from the group to accost President Banda on the apron, waved their party symbol frantically towards the President as soon as he stepped out of the chopper.

But there were very few people waving the MMD symbol on the eastern and western sides of the airstrip, forcing the master of ceremonies, only identified as Danny, to urge them to wave the MMD symbol too.

"Those who take pictures for newspapers they should come here so that tomorrow we see what has happened here on the front page. Yes, there is no doubt about it, RB is going to make it whether you like it or not," Danny said. "Those of you in the western direction we are not seeing you flash the symbol, please do and even those in the east let us see the symbol...Our ZNBC coverage is all over. Our security is all over, we can see...The youths let's shake it up, the head of state has just landed."
As the group of MMD youths that had detached itself from the main group tried to follow President Banda on the apron, his security blocked their way.

"Don't block the youths. The President is here for the campaign. Let them receive him because he is not here on official duties. He has come to campaign and those are the party officials, give them chance to welcome their President," Danny was heard pleading with President Banda's security. "It is allowed wherever you go throughout the country. You can't, give them chance. Don't disturb them, give them chance. They have come to welcome their President, please can you give them chance."
Danny wondered where those who had been cheating that President Banda would not come to Mongu were now that he was in Mongu.

"We just don't want to mention your names but today you have been shamed," said Danny.

MMD provincial acting chairman Katongo Kameya said Western Province belonged to President Banda, which he pronounced as Mbanda.

"We are welcoming you to Western Province today, especially in Mongu Central Constituency. What is before you is an indication that you are winning. Those saying there is no MMD in Western Province are the ones whose parties have no presence here," Kameya said. "We are assuring you that Western Province is yours and you will win it the way you did last time. The Lozis are immensely thankful for the work that you have done for them. The work that you have done in the two and half years is tremendous and we should appreciate by giving you a 100 per cent vote."

And an elated President Banda said, as Mongu district commissioner, a civil servant, exaggeratingly interpreted for him, that he was thankful for the big number of people that turned up to welcome him to Mongu.

"Thank you to all of you for turning up in such big numbers when tomorrow one of the headlines will say the President was met at Mongu Airport by an unprecedented number of people," President Banda said.

"This is a sign that the people of Mongu, the people of the Western Province take these elections very seriously. They are very important elections and we must continue to mobilise so that many people can vote because their vote will determine the future of this country."

President Banda said the things Zambians had achieved in the last three years of his leadership were a marvel to watch.

"We are showing that we are determined to stand up and rebuild, reconstruct and transform our great nation," he said. "Let us reject violence. We have been free since 1964 and at no election have Zambians turned violent. So let us not allow leaders who advocate violence because by so doing they would like to reverse our gains."

President Banda said he was aware there were those who liked taking pictures of him with children.
"I know people like taking pictures of me when I walk to the children because I am different from them. I think they (children) are wonderful when they come to the airport to welcome you, so I always go there then they take the picture quickly to show that there was nobody. He was just met by those little children. The adults are here also," President Banda said.

As President Banda was talking, a plane carrying a delegation from Angolan President Eduardo Dos Santos touched down at Mongu Airport and some of the curious onlookers and party cadres abandoned their positions to watch it land.

"I have just dropped off...that is the delegation from Angola from the President of Angola. They have come to see me here," said President Banda as he realised the interest the plane had aroused in the curious onlookers. "I find that in this campaign many people are interested.
Civil servants, teachers, police, army because they realise that now is the time to decide whether to go forward or to go backwards and I want to thank everyone for the interest that you have shown in our campaign."

But as President Banda was addressing those at the airport, another crowd of PF supporters and other residents had converged at Kapulanga compound waiting for his motorcade.

Armed Mobile police officers had parked anti-riot motor vehicles in front of the gathering as they stood on the Airport road to ensure nobody went towards the turn-off that President Banda's motorcade would use in a bid to avoid passing through Kapulanga area and Mongu town centre.
Police sources said there were pockets of hostility against President Banda at Kapulanga area, especially, where a child was shot and injured by the police in January causing people to fight running battles with the police.

Kapulanga compound and Mongu town centre were the flashpoints during the January 14, 2011 Barotseland Agreement-related Mongu fracas and the majority of those arrested and detained over the issue were from Kapulanga compound and the surrounding areas.

As the presidential motorcade left the airport and approached the Zambia Army regional offices in whose proximity the PF supporters had converged, the police officers blocked the road from any pedestrian and motorists while trading their eyes on the chanting crowd that was now facing the Presidential convoy.

The PF supporters and residents were chanting 'we want change, we want change' as they ran up and down the road waving their party chitenges and PF leader Michael Sata's campaign posters.

Others had stuck several of Sata's campaign posters on a tree at Kapulanga market and as some of the motorists heading in the direction of the airport were told to turn back by the police, they defiantly raised the PF symbol and in the process attracting applause from the crowd.

The defiant chants continued even after President Banda's motorcade veered away from the point by using a winding route behind Kapulanga and Kambule areas to the Presidential Lodge.

Some of the youths were heard celebrating that President Banda failed to drive past them and used a different route because he was scared of them. The police remained in position.

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(HERALD) MANHERU:- WeakiLeaks: Granting America a second bite at the cherry Saturday, 10

MANHERU:- WeakiLeaks: Granting America a second bite at the cherry Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:00

Tripoli has fallen, even though Gaddafi will not fall as wished by occupying Britain, France and America. He continues to be the proverbial hot lip that will not go to sleep.

On the ground, new developments are unfolding. The three leading invading Western countries - France especially - have now embedded their people with the TNC, all to ensure post-Gaddafi Libya is a fine neo-colony. In the case of France, another 1 500-strong French "legion" is now attached to the TNC, the same way Sarkozy attached a similar legion in Ivory Coast soon after the fall of Gbagbo, over and above a whole French General who is "advising" Ouattarra, whatever that means in French neo-colonial praxis.

When denial is acceptance

As Sarkozy happily hosted a summit dubbed "friends of Libya" in Paris last week, a French paper ironically titled "Liberation", disclosed that France had already secured 35 percent access to Libyan oil.

Embarrassed by this sudden, narrow turn to a campaign oversold to the world as driven by high-minded ideals, Alain Juppe, the French foreign minister, answered in perfect Gallic dis-confirmatory confirmation: "I am not aware of this letter (NTC letter pledging the 35 percent oil access). What I know is the NTC said very officially that concerning the reconstruction of Libya it would turn in
[FRENCH premier Nicholas Sarkozy: A French paper ironically titled ]

FRENCH premier Nicholas Sarkozy: A French paper ironically titled
preference to those who helped it. That seems fair and logical to me. I am not aware of a formal deal. You know this operation in Libya costs a lot. It's also an investment in the future because a democratic Libya is a country that will develop, offering stability, security and development in the region."

I hear you say: "Oh Good Lord, not so soon, not so soon!" Well, it is that soon.

Ill-mannered Manheru!

But my piece last week on the same matter raised quite some vigorous responses, as should all matters so close to the African bone.
Spurts of anger and lots of bile landed on my poor person, scalding me in the process.

But they were also lots of praises, praises in equal measure enough to play balm to acerbic jibes known to come with the territory.

As always, the reader is the king. It is the price any columnists must and should pay with humility if not equanimity.

Some of the comments were quite indulgently humourous, like one in which the writer threatened to sjambok me very hard for playing truancy in previous weeks, a sin he declared got aggravated by my not even apologising for it.

Guilty as charged! I behaved as if I shot out of my mother's womb when all the old women of the village - themselves guardians of manners and morality - had gone kundhari (to the beer party)! Such rogues deserve whipping, like insolent fools in an Elizabethan court.

When a jackal is better than hyena
But I also had one reaction which I thought raised a very serious, persuasive, and yet fatally flawed judgment in my view. The respectable reader wrote: "Many impartial observers have rightly blamed this new age of African occupation (by imperialism) on our repressive leaders themselves who give the West a legitimate excuse to re-colonise our wealth. Human rights abuse; oppressive legislation; cooked-up election results, refusal to adhere to rule of law, refusal to respect election outcomes, dictatorships for life (in fact the list is endless). Need I tell you that despite ‘the good work' Gaddafi did for his Libya his was an illegitimate government for over 40 years! If NATO decides they want your resources who can you blame then if they then come under the auspices of the UN to facilitate ‘democratic governance'? Your so-called pan-Africanism sells talk does not wash with me because it is tantamount to a jackal telling me it is kinder to me than the hyena!"

Retributive in-justice
By any measure, this is a serious argument permitting potentially far-reaching conclusions. More significantly, I can confirm that it is held by some in executive echelons of many African countries, including those who proceeded to vote with Europe and America for Resolution 1973, against Africa.

To simply summarise the reader's argument, the panacea or expiation to African mis-governance is foreign invasion, occupation and pillage. All this, so the argument implies, sets African things right, indeed repairs African injury from years of dictatorships. At face value this sounds like a sound argument if only it was not anchored on retributive in-justice! Yes, retributive in-justice!

Reliving history

You, the African so oppressed and so abused for more than 40 years under Gaddafi's excesses, get repaid by an European invasion, war and occupation, followed by systematic pillaging of your resources by the West! Your bad leaders have made you deserve it, goes the logic. Through foreign invasion, foreign war, foreign occupation, through the resulting foreign-directed or blest mis-governance and exploitation, you, the African oppressed must feel expiated, must feel sweetly avenged! Uu-uuh! Except you have moved from internal oppression to external invasion, defeat, occupation and exploitation.

You are no better, in fact are comparatively worse. As the Ivorians, Tunisians, Egyptians, and quite very soon the Libyans have seen and will see respectively, the solution to internal or local oppression cannot be external invasion or occupation. You will still need to fight another war, to wage another revolution, as the Shonas were soon to find out after obeying the same flawed logic in 1893 when the Ndebeles took up arms in resistance to colonial intrusion.

The tri-lemma

As I write, the Egyptians are back in Tahrir Square, agitating against an outcome from a "revolution" so painfully aborted. They have since realised that after the local jackal came a Western lion, very hungry for Egyptian flesh!

I quite liked a cartoon in one of the French papers. It showed a Gaddafi seating in high chair of Libyan State. Behind him was a portrait of himself. Juxtaposed to this relational cartoon was another cartoon of the leader of the NTC - some Jibril or something - also in high chair of the Libyan State. Behind him were portraits of Cameron and Sarkozy! Not a dilemma at all. It is called a "tri-lemma" of the devil, the hard rock and the blue sea!

The naked leak which won't go away
WikiLeaks came a long time ago. We all thought it had been seen enough and had gone. We were wrong. It is very much around, and against it, so many fresh wounds, all weeping. Those named in the deadly leak have to face the world, faces burning with utter shame. The sense of betrayal - of country, of principle, of principal, of comrade, of cause - is profound and overbearing.

The only thing closest to this kind of shame is Willowgate, back in the late eighties. The names are big, the names are many and hey, who blames the media for the feeding frenzy?
I quite understand. For once, the quality dailies have overtaken H- and B-Metro, in commanding reader interest and imagination. In both, shame is the commodity packaged as news. Suddenly the human propensity for the lewd, for levity and for gossip (as in the Metros), has given way to interest in serious drama so full of patrician actors drawn from high society. It is a drama of royalty, a drama hewn out of those who govern us, right across the political divide. And hey, we all see them standing, in puris naturalibus! And in politics as in creation, nakedness is good copy. Ask H-Metro!

So fine a story . . .
Yet herein lies the tragedy. The media focus has been on who said what to whom, when, where and how. You have all the four Ws, plus the H. What a perfect story!
With our Internet services reaching us at the speed of a drunken tortoise; with Assange telling us there are more leaks where the ones we already have came from, you have acute suspends, itself arguably the most potent element in moving all narratives forward.
So all the elements are there, elements for a long story, one told endlessly to ever mounting audience interest, from one market day to another until a full moon returns again.

WikiLeaks the leveller
And as Assange would have it, the serve is generous and inexorable. It is even too, as if to engage and preoccupy the whole political divide. If you are Zanu-PF, there is enough to make you angry at your own, enough to prove MDC "treachery".

If you are in either of the MDCs, you have enough to stoke your anger against your own, enough Zanu-PF "excesses" to validate your intense indignation at that party. If you belong to either of the MDC formations, you have enough with which to pelt the other side, and your side, too.

And if you are like me - a watcher - you ask yourself this one simple question: Which of you politicians is Zanu-PF; which of you is MDC-T/N? You feel the real identity of men and women who dabble in national affairs resides in their being politicians, never in their false party totems or slogans. For before the mighty Americans, they proved one and the same.
Oh WikiLeaks the leveller! Never in human history has so much grief and so much joy, been so copiously doled out, so evenly served or distributed, all to equally evenly felt agony.


Too bad, or too near
I spoke of danger. Lots of it for our small, great country so full of so big, small people. (It is very easy to become a second Jonathan Swift, so easy to become misanthropic). So fascinated have we become with names of offenders, names of devils, that we have forgotten - utterly forgotten - that WikiLeaks is the Devil's narrative. WikiLeaks is judgment of and by the Devil himself. WikiLeaks is about Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans as seen, met, read and reported by America and her diplomats in active foreign service.
Please!!! Take care. Take great, great care, my people.

To say this is not to redeem anyone cited in those reports. I have utter contempt for all those so named, to the person. None, repeat, none of these despicable bipeds, should ever attempt any defence, should tender any explanation on the whys and wherefores. No one will be interested in such tall tales. These persons had no business dealing with Americans outside set procedures, outside commitment to the interest of this country, as is required of them.

All that assumes they met the Americans and said all that is attributed to them. If they didn't, too bad! They got too near the Devil to be misread as among its acolytes. That cannot be my problem. If there was no Assange, these informants of perfidious America, would have been crowned by the West for their treachery.
Is that not the story of Libya's TNC men and women? Few were looked for by American officials; still fewer were visited in their own offices or homes. Many accosted the Americans to deposit their thoughts with America. Many, many more delivered themselves. In many cases, there was clear intent. So I weep for none, will defend not a single one of them.

Feeding on human frailties

But my bursting indignation against such senior and important officials and politicians from whom so much was expected by way of leadership, does not blind me to the basic fact that America was and will always pursue its interests in Zimbabwe, both fairly and foully.

Part of that included gathering mischief from amongst us, kneading all that mischief into greater policy mischief, which today guides her hostile actions and activities against our Republic. It is so clear that in WikiLeaks we vividly see how America goes about prising open national systems, all to divide and therefore to weaken them. America takes advantage of real weaknesses in us - compelling propensities in us - principally that deadly wish to ingratiate ourselves with the white man and his mighty white power.

America played on the human urge to be close to bigger power, the urge to be understood by and useful to the interests of a bigger power. In some cases it went beyond that. It became an urge to be saved by that bigger power, in case of American-led hostile action. So people thought the best way to save their skins was to testify against their cause, country and even personal interests.

Bare ambition, criminal actions

Of course ambition - another destructive urge in us all - played its part in equal measure. It is interesting that across parties, the leadership is besieged, a stance implying potential leadership vacuums.
The tragedy of it all is that all the reports bring no real substantive argument on ideology, vision or programme. The attack on leadership is not founded on an alternative vision for our society. It is founded on claimed fallibilities and alleged infirmities.

But I tend to differ stiffly with anyone who criminalises ambition, however vaulting. It is a natural urge in us all as humans, a seeming natural right in all politicians who always think and dream higher than their present stations. I thought words attributed to Makoni in WikiLeaks put it across so well: the leaders above us are one crust keeping us under and down.

This is a true and abiding human condition from that fateful day that man became organised in hierarchy.

That means ever since men learnt to live their lives in pecking order, man also learnt to challenge that order by way of ambition. My real point of departure is when ambition conspires, when it enlists a foreign power to realise itself. Immediately it becomes indictable. All those in WikiLeaks who acted cleanly in pursuit of their ambition, in my view, have nothing to answer for.

The American century in Zimbabwe

Is it not a tragedy that if the American narrative as rendered through WikiLeaks is to be believed, most of our politicians, in some cases our leaders - right across the political divide - were caught up in a pell-mell rush for prized audiences with American officials, however lowly? Tails whipping the air like flywhisks, hind orifices even releasing bursts of sharp farts, all were caught up in a headlong stampede to deposit their pennyworth thoughts with the Americans. What a shame! That way America was crowned a God above this mighty nation. We all went worshipping, perfect supplicants. And America set the agenda of local politics, even defining for us what amounted to our real problem as a people, as a country, as a government.

Meeting minions

The American century had finally come to Zimbabwe and hey, what we dealt with was not Bush or Obama. Not even Hilary Clinton. We got overawed by America's little ambassadors and diplomats deployed here, all of whom reported to junior officers like Susan Rice or Jendayi Fraser. Small in their own great country, here these diplomats became enormous, severe gods reigning above us, with us, the little ones, groveling before this mighty Deity, accosting it with our plaintive pleas, prayers and problems. And like real gods, the Americans knew all our frailties, always guided by a basic reckoning that vanity is the source of all vulnerabilities. Those with unmet delusions of grandeur, America met with satisfying fumes of greatness. Those feeling forsakened, America embraced falsely.

Yes, those feeling trammeled and encumbered, America promised without having to deliver. From that day on, we ceased to be genuine scions of the First Chimurenga, true sons and daughters of the Second and Third Chimurenga. Today, for all my revulsion of America and her wicked ways, I embrace her as an heroic foe. Wikileaks speak of efficient, effective diplomacy; speak of a global power well served and well deployed. Give it to them.

Still standing

Yet in spite of all this prowess, in spite of this formidable gathering power, America still failed here. We kept a world giant busy for a good ten years. We still keep it busy today. And beneath the seeming triumph, in Wikileaks is real agony of a mighty bully helplessly irritated by a midget, a bully unclear of what to do with a small, persistent irritant. Between 2000 and 2010, you see a superpower grappling with an appropriate response, with sanctions emerging as the only viable blunt weapon at its disposal. You see a wish to engage, persuade, cajole, threaten, subvert, isolate, all in vain.

Hurray, we are still standing, all the time buffeting this mighty monster, while still keeping our own. We cannot be afraid now from reading those reports. For goodness' sake they are in the past tense; a real narrative of a history already lived. And for us they become a narrative of a danger already survived and outlived, although not yet overcome. A danger against which we must arm ourselves. I am making my second and third points about Wikileaks: the reports relate to a past, not the present, even though much about them continues to influence the present and possibly endanger a future we must both shape and secure. Our future. This is where the challenge begins, and we need to be very thoughtful so we correctly size the enemy without being overawed by him

Our people as the key

I have already said the first message is that Zimbabwe still stands. We are all surprised at how we managed this feat. To all intense and purposes there was no party; they were no parties. Only politicians so badly divided by America and other western powers. Just how did we survive? We did survive because America is both weak and unable, in spite of all its awesome power, to reach and snap that tendon or sinew which keeps us going. Interestingly, all those opposed to Mugabe went to the American Embassy; none went to the people to organize against Mugabe. The Americans divided the leadership, but they never alienated the people from their cause. Americans never equipped the dissident element with politics that could appeal to, and persuade the people. Dispirit them yes, but not politics that could get them to abdicate and defect from their cause and interest. This is why apathy, not desertion, became Zanu (PF)'s Achilles. America could not have bribed the people of Zimbabwe. Imperialism has no resources for that. Herein lies the key.

Bleak American future

Today Wikileaks are America's weakest link. Such a mighty power, yet so vulnerable to small hackers! Such a mighty power unable to keep its secrets and thus unable to protect its informants! I can only surmise that intelligence organizations across the world a busy studying Wikileaks to build a glossary of local people enlisted by America, local people therefore to watch. That cripples America both in the present and in the future. No one will ever want to be seen or to work, with a country which cannot look after its secrets. This is why for me America's awesome gathering powers may have seen their heyday. The future is going to be bleak and challenging for her ambassadors abroad.

The Devil as witness?

I want to keep to Zimbabwe. America has taught and enabled us to read it. Our profit is that we now know its ways, thinking and fears. That is more than half winning fuselage in a war. Rather than fascinating ourselves with who has told what to Americans, should we not all recede into very dark rooms, dilate our eyes to near-blindness, all to understand how American imperialism operates abroad? Operates within our environment so we fight better when its wars come? Are we not a lucky generation which loving gods have favoured with hindsight of a future still contested? Frankly I have no appetite for an argument that demands retribution against all those who have "sold out" to Americans.
After all it is a demand the requires you to trust the Devil's testimony, indeed to subpoena the Devil as witness! How righteous is your case and cause a day after the Devil has stood in the witness box for you? I doubt that these leaks are admissible evidence in any court.

America, the greatest teacher

There are even greater questions. How many of those leaks come from history, how many from contemporary American mischief, aided and abetted by Assange himself whose loyalty is not to Africa, let alone to Zimbabwe? True, those in executive saddles may use these leaks as aides in marking the future, indeed in making decisions. But that is administrative. What would be unconscionable is a witch-hunt on the basis of such American monologues by American minions seeking fact, excuse and self-glory all at once. They have hurt us from 2000. We now risk making them hurt us again simply by making narratives of their espionage work here assume dire implications on the current situation. That would be wrong, a complete defeat of ourselves. Let us study from these Wikileaks how America subverts. Tongogara put it well: Ian Smith is our greatest teacher; each time he bombs us, we go back to look at ourselves and our defences to tighten up.

Breathing life into history

And I thought the Zimbabwe Independent, itself part of the American project here (thanks to Wikileaks for outing that one!), yesterday did much to show the mischief in the offing. Its headline read, "Mugabe paralysed", to suggest a wish to have this American narrative on our situation here bear directly on current affairs, contemporary actions and prospects. It is an attempt to use an "out-ted" history monologue to destabilize the present in order to reshape it after American interests. It is an attempt to stab Mugabe using the dagger from an opinionated history. Far worse than re-living an unknown history is getting divided by a known one. There is a concerted attempt to infuse currency to this whole narrative so America can divide us yet again. It is called a second bite at the cherry. We should never allow it. Icho!

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(HERALD) Mwenezi farmer in trouble

Mwenezi farmer in trouble
Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:00
Masvingo Bureau

A MWENEZI farmer has appeared before a Masvingo magistrate facing 33 counts of indecent assault after he allegedly touched and sucked private parts of eight teenage boys. Tyron Naylor (28), who owns a crocodile rearing ranch, promised the boys money, gifts such as bicycles and offered to teach them how to drive cars.

He allegedly abused the boys, aged between 11 and 16, from 2009 up to August this year when the matter came to light. Naylor would pay them amounts ranging between US$10 and US$20 for their services.

He is being represented by Mr Charles Ndlovu of Ndlovu and Hwacha partners and is denying the charges. His trial recently kicked off in camera before provincial magistrate, Mr Timeon Makunde.

He is out of custody on free bail. The trial is being held in camera since some of the victims are still young and also to enable them to testify freely. It is alleged Naylor stroked and fondled the boys' private parts, which he would later suck. The matter came to light after one of the boys revealed the case to his parents, who made a report to police leading to Naylor's arrest.

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(HERALD) MDC activists up for murder of cop

MDC activists up for murder of cop
Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:00
Court Reporter

TWO women who were allegedly part of the MDC-T activists who fatally assaulted a policeman Inspector Petros Mutedza yesterday appeared in court facing murder charges.

Memory Ncube (30) and Kesina Gweshe were not formally charged when they appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Donald Ndirowei who remanded them in custody to October 5 this year.

The pair, which was represented by Mr Gift Mtisi and Mr Denford Halimani was advised to apply for bail at the High Court.
Prosecutor Ms Joyce Sithole alleges on May 29 this year, the activists, led by Tungamirai Madzokere, an MDC-T councillor in Glen View, convened an unsanctioned meeting at Glen View 1 shopping centre, which was called off by the police

The state says Mutedza went to Glen View 3 as part of a reaction team assigned to disperse the group of alleged MDC-T supporters who were braaing and drinking beer at a bar.

It is alleged Mutedza approached the youth leaders, Robert Manyengavana and Paul Gorekore who are still at large and ordered them to disperse peacefully.

The activists allegedly started shouting at the police officers and began throwing stones, empty bottles, steel stool frames and other missiles at the police.

Mutedza and his team allegedly took to their heels with the youths in hot pursuit, hurling missiles at them. Mutedza rushed to a Nissan Hardbody that he mistakenly identified as a police vehicle and tried to open the door to seek refuge but the youths allegedly caught up with him and struck him with a brick.

He fell down and they kicked him all over the body until he fell unconscious. He was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) WikiLeaks outs US, SA double agent

COMMENT - For an article written by Sydney Masamvu, of the "International Crisis Group", together with ICG policy directory and former Senior Director for African Affairs under Bill Clinton, Donald Steinberg. (Huffington Post) If The World Hesitates, Zimbabwe Could Be Lost. This also highlights how organisations like the DfID, USAID, and others can easily function as vehicles for agents, saboteurs, etc. And why US government intelligence on Zimbabwe has been so poor. I mean, how many Curveballs are there out there?

WikiLeaks outs US, SA double agent
10/09/2011 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

A ZIMBABWEAN journalist-cum-political commentator used his position as an analyst for an NGO to gain access to senior South African government officials – then sold details of their discussions to American diplomats.

Double agent Sydney Masamvu was taken into the confidence of South African officials in intelligence and foreign affairs as they sought to formulate their policies on Zimbabwe.

Unbeknown to them, the former Daily News reporter was all the time working with the American embassies in Harare and Pretoria, channelling details of their discussions, according to a shock US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.

The cable, dated April 30, 2007, from the US embassy in Pretoria, shows how Masamvu has operated in South Africa as a possible double agent -- supplying intelligence to both the South African and the US governments.

The “confidential” cable, which lists Masamvu as a “close Embassy contact” whose name is followed by the instruction to “strictly protect”, details how he indulged in double dealing -- proffering intelligence to both the US and the SA government officials.

The cable is one of more than two dozen detailing Masamvu’s contacts with the Americans. Over two days between April 24-25, 2007, Masamvu discussed the Zimbabwean crisis on topics ranging from Zanu PF politics and MDC internal affairs to the national security services with South African Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Aziz Pahad, Intelligence Minster Ronnie Kasrils, Head of National Intelligence Coordinating Committee, Barry Gilder, and Foreign Affairs Director General Ayanda Ntsaluba before briefing his pay-masters at the US embassy in Pretoria.

According to the cable, “a visibly exhausted Masamvu provided a read-out of these marathon meetings on April 26” to the Americans, suggesting that he was indeed on assignment.

Masamvu, who also met with the then ANC Secretary General Kgalema Motlante – now Vice President -- missed an opportunity to meet with President Thabo Mbeki through Pahad’s facilitation only due to “scheduling complications”.

In one incident which confirms his double dealing, Masamvu accepted a request from Pahad to supply “a five-page paper by May 04 detailing his core recommendations for Zimbabwe policy”, only for Masamvu to supply the information to the US government with a further personal request on “what to emphasise in his paper”.

According to the cable, the US government received the information with glee, alerting its Harare embassy to prepare information and questions which Masamvu would then prepare “in his own words”.

So deeply-steeped into this double dealing was Masamvu that he not only easily met with whom he pleased, but he got senior SA government officials to take him seriously as an authority on Zimbabwe.

In his meetings with the South African officials, he was asked questions on “pressure points” on Mugabe and the MDC leadership. According to the cable, Pahad confirmed his disdain for the MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his preference for secretary general Tendai Biti.

In one embarrassing incident for South African intelligence, both Kasrils and Gilder took down “copious notes asking a series of questions” as Masamvu analysed for them the “various alliances” within the military -- leaving Masamvu surprised “since his information was common knowledge in Zimbabwe”.

Masamvu, not famed for any excellence among his colleagues in the media and NGO community, is not done any service either by the US embassy’s Charge d'Affaires, Donald Teitelbaum, whose cable states that “it is unusual for South African government officials to spend so much time with an NGO analyst like Masamvu”.

Masamvu, a graduate of Harare Polytechnic’s Division of Mass Communication, started his career at the Financial Gazette where he did his internship, rising to become the political editor.

He was later to join The Daily News as an assistant editor, doing so after his former editor at the Financial Gazette, Francis Mdlongwa, joined the paper and took his team with him.

Earlier in his career, Masamvu had surprisingly won a US journalism award in 2001.

In 2003, Masamvu won a Chevening Scholarship to study for a Masters degree in International Journalism at Cardiff University in Wales, and shortly after got a job as an analyst for the International Crisis Group based in South Africa even before submitting his dissertation.

He currently works as a senior political analyst for the Institute for Democracy in Africa (IDASA).



Keith Harmon Snow writes on the International Crisis Group:

For years now several high visibility Western intelligence organizations, in particular the groups ENOUGH, STAND, Genocide Intervention Network, and the RAISE HOPE FOR CONGO—created and funded by the International Crisis Group and Center for American Progress—have lobbied college students and Western governments to action.

Legislation backed by these intelligence fronts includes the “LRA Disarmament Act” (Lord’s Resistance Army), the so-called ‘Blood Minerals’ legislation, and the “Violence Against Women Act” (Resolution 1888). The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is blamed for all terrorism in the northern Uganda region, which is awash in oil, thus shielding the organized war crimes of Ugandan President Museveni and his western allies, just as the Forces for the Democratic Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) are blamed to shield the Kagame terror networks.

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Makoni party funded by UK: WikiLeaks

Makoni party funded by UK: WikiLeaks
09/09/2011 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

SIMBA Makoni’s 2008 presidential bid was in part funded by the UK government, leaked United States diplomatic cables reveal. The former Finance Minister quit Zanu PF to run as an independent, the result of growing disenchantment within the party over President Robert Mugabe’s reluctance to give up power.

Makoni ran against Mugabe and the MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, finishing third in the first round vote with 8,3 percent behind Mugabe (43,2 percent) and Tsvangirai (47.9 percent).

Former United States ambassador James McGee, in a March 13, 2008, diplomatic cable leaked by whistleblower website, WikiLeaks, admitted his country had also offered Makoni financial support.

“The negative impression of the U.S. as a supporter of regime change had made it difficult for Makoni to accept Western support without becoming tainted.
“Therefore, Makoni did not want our financial support,” McGee said.

But McGee found this position slightly inconsistent, adding: “British ambassador to Zimbabwe Andrew Pocock told the Ambassador on March 12 that the UK has provided financial assistance to the Makoni campaign.
“We have also received reports that South African businessmen are supporting Makoni.”

The Political Parties (Finance) Act prohibits political parties and candidates for public office from receiving funds from foreign donors, whether channelled directly or indirectly, and Poccok’s claims would seem to suggest Makoni broke the law.

While the law exists, few are under the illusion that any of Zimbabwe’s political parties are supported only by internal donors.

In a February 2010 cable, current US ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray said MDC-T treasurer Roy Bennett had admitted that his party was bankrolled by the United States and some unnamed European countries.

Ray said in the memo: “According to Bennett, Western aid (primarily EU and U.S.) has had a strong focus on the MDC as a party. While this has been appreciated, it has not done enough to build the party's capacity to provide government services or manage the bureaucracy.”

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Friday, September 09, 2011

MMD planning to kill me - Sata

MMD planning to kill me - Sata
By George Chellah in Kaoma
Fri 09 Sep. 2011, 14:03 CAT

PF leader Michael Sata says the MMD is planning to kill him and claim he died out of poor health. And a ZNBC crew interviewed Sata on Wednesday afternoon shortly after the rally in Kaoma but ignored the interview and instead used a false story that he had collapsed on account of ill health as their lead story during the 19:00 hours main news.

Meanwhile, Sata has said President Rupiah Banda's threat to dethrone Senior Chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo II of the Soli people was similar to the colonialists' style of governance.

In a special interview with Hot FM Radio from Kaoma before addressing a rally in Mangango Constituency yesterday, Sata said people should not expect anything good from Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation because its director general, Eddie Mupeso, was fired on corruption charges.

Responding to false reports in the state-owned but government controlled ZNBC, Times of Zambia and Daily Mail that he had collapsed in Western Province, Sata said it was not the first time the public media were broadcasting and publishing unfounded stories about him.

"I have not collapsed because the day in question I addressed two successful meetings in Nalolo; one in the morning, the other in the afternoon and ZNBC did not say at which point I collapsed," Sata said.

"Was it at the first meeting or before the second meeting?"

Sata said people ought to remember that it was the Zambian Watchdog, owned by sympathisers of the UPND, that initially published terrible rumours that he was very sick about three weeks ago.

"They said ‘he doesn't stand up and he's somehow dead'…I can't see a country where we allow gossip to be circulating like the Watchdog does," Sata said.

"If you remember in 2009 the UPND came into a pact with us because somebody told them that before the end of 2009, Michael Sata was dying and typical of HH (UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema) he thought if Michael Sata dies he could take over PF in the same way he took over UPND. So to answer your question, I am very strong and just going to address another meeting."

On allegations in the Times of Zambia that he had hired a helicopter on credit, Sata said he was creditworthy and trusted, saying that was why it was given to him. He wondered why the Times of Zambia had not told the nation where President Rupiah Banda got the money to buy 500 MMD campaign vehicles.

Sata said politics in Zambia had been reduced to something ridiculous because President Banda didn't understand the art.

"They think they can survive by preparing the minds of the people so that when they kill me people will say Sata has always been sick because if they are always talking about my health. They must be preparing something very sinister against my life," said Sata.

"Rupiah Banda has never been a cadre. He ascended to president of MMD after the death of Mwanawasa. UPND president Hakainde has never been a cadre, he took over UPND through money and you find on that basis you don't have morality in politics."

Earlier at a rally in Kaoma on Wednesday, Sata said those wishing him ill were merely wasting their time. He urged the crowd to expect more lies from the MMD as polling day drew near.

"You have to forgive them because they have nothing to tell you apart from lying. They came here; they told you ‘Sata is too old he can't stand'. Liars forget when they say something. They told you ‘Sata is too sick' and now they are planning to come and lie on 20th September that ‘Sata is dead'. And tomorrow yesterday you will see they will say ‘Mr Sata has collapsed'. Have I collapsed?" asked Sata as the crowd responded in a chorus: "No! No!"

"You have to forgive them because they don't know what they are saying. Today Wednesday, someone I don't know said I collapsed… in his dream. In MMD's dream they would very much wish Mr Sata collapsed. Till I die, I shall continue talking for you. I don't care what they wish but they are wasting their time."

Sata said Barotseland was lacking political leadership to develop the area.

"I feel sorry for the people of Kaoma because you are orphaned. Whatever development you are seeing here is what was left by Golden Mandandi (former parliamentarian in the Chiluba regime). When Simasiku Namakando who was MMD provincial chairman told Rupiah Banda that there is no development in Western Province, Rupiah Banda said ‘excuse me, shut up! I did not beg for your vote,'" he said.

Sata wondered why Kaoma was not benefitting from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

He complained of poor sanitation and lack of water in Kaoma that the people were being subjected to.

"When I was minister of local government, I left you CDF. Today, each MP gets K600 million CDF. Can you tell me if Austin Liato (former labour minister) cares about you. How can you allow those people in markets without toilets?"
Sata asked.

"Here in Kaoma, your MP for Kaoma Central is an opportunist. Liato was minister of labour. Has he seen the way our police live? Kenneth Kaunda cared about us. If Kaunda did not make Kaoma a Garrison town, what would be in Kaoma?"

Sata said the government had also not provided a road to Lukulu, Kasempa and Senanga districts.

"Kaoma is a very big district. But you have Chinese and South Africans coming to take your timber. God gave timber to the people of Kaoma; what benefit do we get?" Sata asked.

"We can make fish farms here and grow rice. But when you have a government, which cannot even buy your maize in September, what do you expect? Liato is using you as plates for him to eat to become fatter."

Sata also promised better conditions of service for civil servants.

Earlier during a public rally in Nalikwanda Constituency, Sata said President Banda was rejected in most parts of the country and was only saved by Western Province.

"But we have seen you are not happy just like the rest of the country. We are all suffering the same way. I have three indunas here…these indunas will remember when Sir Roy Welensky was introducing the federation how they suffered," Sata said.

"The Bemba Paramount Chief was suspended because he refused the federation. Today, we have seen a repeat; Rupiah Banda is threatening Senior Chieftainess Nkomeshya that if he steals the votes again, he will chase her."

Sata said former MMD Nalikwanda member of parliament Professor Geoffrey Lungwangwa failed to improve the standard of education in his constituency and Barotseland as a whole.

"Has he improved the standard of education? If an educated person like Lungwangwa is carried away by money and forgets the people who educated him, where are we going?" Sata asked.

"Western Province is a very rich province. God gave you fish, God gave you everything but what you have not given yourselves is leadership. When Rupiah Banda ordered the brutal repression which resulted in killings in Mongu, none of your MPs complained."

Sata said Barotseland required fish farming and proper fish marketing and storage.

"We want a university of our own. We have enough basic schools, what we need are secondary schools; each and every constituency must have a secondary school. We shall rule through the traditional leaders. This government has failed to buy maize from the farmers," he said.

After the rally in Kaoma ended around 17:00 hours, a ZNBC crew in a Pajero marked TV2 comprising a cameraman, a reporter from the Lozi section Mutukwa Mooya and another lady only identified as Kalaba sought to see Sata but after they failed, they left and returned after 30 minutes.

They followed Sata to Phiri's Guest House where he was lodged and found him in the car park with former Chimwemwe member of parliament, Willie Nsanda and other PF officials.

Kalaba asked Sata whether it was true that he had collapsed to which he answered: "What do you see yourself?"

Sata told her that he sympathised with her because the problem was with her handlers and not herself. But Kalaba tried to assure Sata that she would get her cameraman and have an interview with him.

However, Sata told her that although she wanted an interview with him, he knew that ZNBC would not show whatever would be recorded. Sata, however, gave the interview talking about how the campaigns were going, including the rumour about him having collapsed. After the interview, Sata, offered Kalaba and her cameraman space on the helicopter if they were interested to cover him as he continued his campaigns as they had indicated.

However, during the 19:00 hours main news on ZNBC, the lead story, quoting the Zambian Watchdog online publication, was that Sata had collapsed.

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