Saturday, October 22, 2011
Posted in Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, NATO by gowans on October 21, 2011
By Stephen Gowans
My local newspaper informed me this morning that with the killing of Muammar Gaddafi the “Libyan people can finally turn the page on 42 years of vicious oppression.” The oppression began with Gaddafi liberating Libya from the tyranny of the puppet ruler King Idris I, whose flag has become the banner of the rebels.
It continued with Gaddafi’s expulsion of foreign military bases and his nationalization of the country’s oil. Further oppression was heaped upon Libyans when under Gaddafi’s rule living standards rose to surpass those of every other country in Africa.
Certainly, Gaddafi’s fight to suppress the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group—whose members fought the Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq and struggled alongside Osama bin Laden against the Soviets in Afghanistan—added to the oppression.
The leader of the LIFG, Abdel Hakim Belhaj, once jailed by the Americans for terrorism, is now the military ruler of Tripoli.
Gaddafi’s insistence over the objections of US oil company executives and State Department officials that the Libyan economy be “Libyanized” (that foreign investment be turned to the advantage of Libyans) cranked up the oppression a notch or two further.
And Gaddafi’s generous aid to national liberation movements and to sub-Saharan African countries expanded his oppressions worldwide.
Which pro-democracy forces fought back against these oppressions?
• Qatar, an absolute monarchy, which sent guns and ammunition to Islamist rebels.
• Monarchists, still incensed at the overthrow of their king.
• Islamists, who for years had struggled to bring an Islamist regime to power in Tripoli.
• CIA-connected dissidents, who hold key positions in the National Transitional Council, and promise Western oil companies first dibs on oil concessions.
• Nato, whose warplanes and special operation forces proved decisive in toppling Gaddafi.
Over the last few weeks, Nato warplanes occupied themselves with reducing the town of Sirte to rubble – in the name of protecting civilians. It turns out that it’s all right for Nato to bomb civilians, but not for the leaders of independent governments to put down insurgencies.
While these forces battled Gaddafi’s oppressions, US-provisioned Saudi tanks rolled into Bahrain to crush a popular uprising, the US-backed ruler of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, turned his guns on his own people, and US-approved Mubarakism continued in Egypt, under Mubarak’s henchmen.
These events—all involving US allies–have been little remarked upon. More importantly, none have been met with military intervention or indictments by the International Criminal Court, these attentions being reserved uniquely for Gaddafi.
It’s true that the Libyan people can finally turn the page on 42 years, but of independence, not of vicious oppression.
Nato military bases, an economy subservient to Western oil companies, and the oppressive yoke US imperialism, await them.
Friday, October 21, 2011
by Luke Tamborinyoka
THE long diatribe by the politicially-promiscuous and chameleonic Jonathan Moyo last week attacking the book by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai represents unparalleled naivety which does not bode well for one so wont to pretend he has one of the best functioning brains in the country.
The public media have now joined the fray, misrepresenting the contents of the book to the extent of saying Tsvangirai wanted to take up arms to force himself into power after failing to outrighly win the 2008 Presidential election.
The irony is that Zimbabweans know who forced himself onto the people using the army to thwart Zimbabweans from a second bite of the cherry after Zanu PF and Robert Mugabe were humiliated in March 2008.
For all the brouhaha in the public media, it appears they have missed some of the juicy stuff in the book that Zimbabweans would be interested to know about.
In his legendary silence when the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission failed to announce Presidential election results results, the Prime Minister says in his book that Former State Security minister, Nicholas Goche, called Hon Elton Mangoma to tell him that he (Goche) needed to talk about transitional mechanisms now that the MDC had won the election.
“According to Goche, Mugabe had agreed to step down and to ensure transfer of power, there was need for us to take some of their Zanu PF winners into the coalition administration,” the Prime Minister says.
Now this is the juicy stuff those attacking the book should be putting into the public domain rather than complaining about petty typographical errors. The Prime Minister is not writing about dead people, but senior officials and ministers who can be able tell us if this is true or not. Because the big news here is that if the Minister of State Security conceded to defeat as alleged, there is no doubt therefore that Zanu PF and its candidate were defeated outright and the run-off was contrived.
Firstly, Jonathan ‘s critique published last Sunday about the PM’s autobiography, “At the Deep End”, is not based on substance but on petty issues.
To criticise a book simply because of typos on the names of Sikwili Moyo and Milton Gwetu is to completely miss the point. The fact that Moyo’s article is not about substance exposes the real Jonathan we have known over the years; vintage Jonathan; a petty character who will go down in history as the most celebrated political turncoat of our time.
Because for Jonathan, it is only him who has a functioning brain and everyone else is a moron. And that is the running thread in his critique of the PM’s book, notwithstanding the fact that he has always made uncharitable comments anyway about this famous politician who won a credible election on 29 March 2008.Proper discourse in his article is lost by his strange affinity to malign and vilify at every turn; to dig deep into the dark crevices for his usual hate language so that he can attack a man for simply telling his own story, in his own words and in his own style.
And I want to admit from the outset that it also invites one to dig deep into the same crevices for a few uncharitable home-truths about this notorious purveyor of hate speech in this country.
Jonathan forgets that he may be a hero in Zanu PF where the famine of brain and capacity is legendary and where he is a sacred crow. Anywhere else, we know Jonathan simply as an empty vessel that makes the loudest noise; an opportunist of loose morales; indeed a political prostitute whose political home is never predictable at any given time.
Today he is Zanu PF, tomorrow he is not. The question on every Zimbabwean’s lips is: “Can the real Jonathan stand up?”
Secondly, Jonathan posits that “the real Tsvangirai does not come out in his: 'At the Deep End' -- may be because he cannot swim.”
It is pertinent to note that Jonathan is not familiar with the deep end because he has always swum in shallow political waters.
Turncoats swim in shallow waters to make it easy for them when they want to go out quickly to swim in another pool whose name could be United People’s Movement, Zanu PF or any pool independent of any political river!
So those who reside in shallow waters because of their treacherous aptitude cannot qualify to talk or write about the deep end where the likes of Prime Minister Tsvangirai have survived savage attacks by relentless political sharks that shall remain nameless!
Thirdly, it is dishonest on the part of Jonathan to pretend to be getting worried by the fact that the book is being serialized by South African newspapers, which he says is a “fitting confirmation of his (the PM’s) foreign driven politics.”
This is the same Jonathan who is nowadays groveling before the Dear Leader, singing sonorously for his supper as he desperately attempts to atone for his “treachery”. This is the same man who was exposed by whistleblower website Wikileaks as having been a “useful messenger” to the Americans” who now seems so agitated about what he alleges to be “foreign driven politics.” What was he doing with “foreigners”, plotting to seduce the President into retiring using foreign bounty?
I know for certain that this book will soon be serialised by local newspapers.
But it remains hollow and shallow for Jonathan to describe a man who won a local election; a man whose support spreads from Kazungula to Tamandayi as a man of “foreign driven politics.”
Fourthly, Moyo’s piece is curiously titled “Expose on Tsvangirai’s political obituary.”
The only expose on anyone’s political obituary have been the Wikileaks revelations that are rumoured to have signaled an end to the political careers of many in Zanu PF such as Jonathan himself, who have now taken to the pen to save their careers ahead of Zanu PF’s mini Congress in December.
Fourthly, the good professor, who in one of his numerous political lives in February 2008 claimed publicly that Tsvangirai had defeated Mugabe, states in his Sunday Mail article that the Prime Minister lost the Presidential election of 2008. What stinking hypocrisy! We are all aware that these are trying times for turncoats in Zanu PF who spent many hours at the US embassy while publicly lambasting the Americans and the British “imperialists.”
We appreciate their predicament as they go through these tough times where fellow party cadres are failing to reconcile their private behavior with their anti-American and Anti-British public utterances. But Jonathan makes a fool of himself, soiling himself all over as he bootlicks the Dear Leader who only two years ago he urged to leave office “in the national interest."
The man is simply a clown and the irony is lost on him that only three years ago, he was very vocal in articulating the public secret that Mugabe had lost the Presidential election to Morgan Tsvangirai. Now he has the guts to write in his diatribe that the Prime Minister lost the same election!
Please, can the real Jonathan stand up?
And he appears to take offence in that the Prime Minister says in his book he responded to an advertisement in “The Rhodesia Herald.” For God’s sake, that was the name of the newspaper then unless this political prostitute wants us to back-date the current name of the newspaper in the spirit of “patriotism.”
Finally, it is pertinent to note that this is Tsvangirai’s personal story. Instead of complaining about other people’s accounts of their lives, the likes of Jonathan Moyo should go ahead and tell their own story, including an explanation of how they attained the glorious status of “useful messenger.”
And his last paragraph of a whopping 110 words betrays the eagerness to bootlick. He refers to “Generation 40” as the Gushungo network when only a few months ago, he said the same name referred to the Young Turks; the young generation that must now take over the reins in Zanu PF because the elders in this party had refused to hand over the baton.
But forget the bootlicking ink that is all over his article in The Sunday Mail, and we are likely to see more of these as we trudge towards the Zanu PF Congress in December.
The fact remains that this man of many political colours accepts the relevance of Morgan Tsvangirai in the country’s body politic. Otherwise why waste vital newspaper space over the years writing about a complete political write-off?
After everything has been said and done, at least Jonathan and his public media puppets read the book.
And every man who tells his story is gratified when it has listeners and readers!
Luke Tamborinyoka is the Director of Communications and spokesperson to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. He writes here in his personal capacity. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
THE ANC Youth League has saluted slain Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi as an anti-imperialist martyr and wants to know who is next. "Brother Leader was ruthlessly killed by rebels armed by NATO forces, who invaded Libya because of its natural resources," the youth wing of South Africa's ruling African National Congress said on Friday.
The statement came after pictures of Gaddafi covered in blood were broadcast globally on Thursday. He was reportedly shot dead near Sirte, in Libya, while hiding in a concrete pipe.
The ANCYL said Gaddafi had resisted imperialist domination of the African continent and never agreed to the draining of natural resources from Africa, appreciating that they should be used to benefit the people of Africa.
The fact that he was killed in combat was an "inspiration to many freedom fighters across the continent and the world," the statement said.
"Like Colonel Gaddafi, as economic freedom fighters we will fight to the bitter end and [are] ready to pay the highest price for the retaining of South Africa and Africa's natural resources to the rightful owners," the league added .
The league was ready to fight to protect and defend the sovereignty of "our countries", to defend political freedom and decolonisation.
The statement, signed by spokesman Floyd Shivambu, said the struggle for economic freedom and liberation would never be easy, because imperialist agents would infiltrate the oppressed and exploited people and portray anti-imperialist fighters as enemies of the people.
The only appropriate send-off for Gaddafi was to recommit to the struggle for total economic freedom "in our lifetime", said Shivambu.
"The question we should ask is who is next? Rest in peace Brother Leader!"
Friday, 21 October 2011 00:00
Sydney Kawadza Assistant News Editor
MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai has revealed that he sneaked out of a national executive committee meeting and skipped the border into Botswana in 2008, leaving the others in session and wondering where he had gone.
The expose, contained in his recently published book, "Morgan Tsvangirai: At the deep end", has led political analysts to question his relationship with the leadership in his party and his suitability for national leadership. Mr Tsvangirai admits leaving the country without informing his lieutenants in the party.
"Things had taken a turn for the worse, much worse. Given the numerous reports of plots against my life, I decided to take action. I left the national executive meeting in session, politely proffering a lame excuse to wash my hands . . . As I sat in my study considering a variety of options and thinking about the security threat against my person, I figured out a plan to work hard on Africa . . .
"Soon after dusk, I sneaked out of Harare in the company of a family friend Pearson Mungofa, the MP for Highfield, and Dr Mudzingwa, our security chief, and headed for Bulawayo with the intention of getting into Botswana under the cover of darkness."
Mr Tsvangirai ditched his party soon after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announced that there was no absolute winner in the 2008 presidential election. He garnered 47,9 percent of the votes to President Mugabe's 43,2 percent.
A presidential candidate had to gain 50 percent plus one vote to assume leadership of the country.
However, Mr Tsvangirai disappeared and resurfaced in Botswana where President Seretse Khama Ian Khama had openly supported his party. President Mugabe subsequently won the election run-off held on June 27, 2008.
Mr Tsvangirai resurfaced to attend the Sadc-facilitated dialogue leading to the Global Political Agreement in September of the same year.
Political analysts yesterday said Mr Tsvangirai's actions confirmed that he was not a leader who stood with the people in tough times.
An analyst Alexander Kanengoni said Mr Tsvangirai's actions showed that he did not trust people in his party.
"The fact that he did not tell anyone his next move gives us the chance to speculate on how long the executive waited for him to finish washing his hands. As a leader, he should have told them what he was going to do. His actions show a high level of disrespect for his party leadership," he said.
Ambassador Christopher Mutsva-ngwa said Mr Tsvangirai was not ready to lead. "He does not have the grasp to lead. It is not within himself to lead his party and the former colonial masters chose well because they wanted someone to take instructions without asking questions," he said.
Mr Goodwine Mureriwa said Mr Tsvangirai's actions were reminiscent of the decisions that led to the party's split in 2005.
"Tsvangirai's leadership is best understood within the introspection of his own political party. He went against the same national executive to participate in the 2005 Senate elections and his decisions to leave the same executive shows that he does not trust anyone in it."
He said Mr Tsvangirai failed to understand the dynamics of his party.
"His ignorance is beyond the understanding of Zimbabweans and that explains Professor Welshman Ncube's decision to leave the party. Professor Ncube and even Professor Mutambara were not interested to be associated with his ignorance. He has no respect for his structures," he said.
Mr Tsvangirai's leadership has come under the microscope of late amid reports that even members of his national executive have questioned it.
Party national organising secretary Mr Nelson Chamisa and Harare provincial spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu are quoted in WikiLeaks questioning Mr Tsvangirai's leadership qualities. The revelations have caused serious divisions in the party with reports of a near-fight between Mr Chamisa and party vice chairman Mr Morgan Femai during a meeting at Harvest House.
Friday, 21 October 2011 00:00
Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
ZIMBABWE Newspapers (1980) Limited is ready to introduce a radio station to articulate Zimbabwe's aspirations, celebrate its culture and promote social cohesion, the firm's board chairperson Dr Paul Chimedza has said.
He said the project, to be launched within few months of securing a licence, will reflect positive language, build hope and reflect Zimbabwe's cultural and ethnic diversity.
The news content, he said, will portray life in a resurgent Zimbabwe.
Dr Chimedza said this during a Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe public hearing in which Zimpapers, one of the four shortlisted firms, is seeking a radio licence.
BAZ has shortlisted four firms out of the 14 applicants.
Zimpapers Talk Radio was the second firm to attend the public hearing after Hot Media (Kiss FM) made its presentation on Tuesday.
AB Communications and Vox Media Productions (VOP) are due to make their presentations next week.
Kiss FM directors include musician Oliver Mutukudzi, businesswoman Ms Sharon Mugabe, BancABC boss Douglas Munatsi, former Radio Three (now Power FM) staffers Musi Khumalo and Tonderayi Ndoro, Phibion Gwatidzo, Trevor Samusodza among others.
AB Communications has journalist Supa Mandiwanzira, Abigail Mvududu, Farai Rwodzi, Bruce Mujeyi, Farai Matsika, Trust Dube and Pachawo Chipurira as directors.
VOP is led by David Masunda, lawyers Mr Arnold Tsunga and Mr Tafadzwa Mugabe and Nhlanhla Ngwenya among others.
In his presentation, Dr Chimedza said Zimpapers Talk Radio was a 24-hour radio station.
"The project comes at a time Zimbabwe is coming out of a decade of political polarisation, economic hardships, social disenchantment and a state of hopelessness. People are now looking forward to a new era of economic revival, hope, peace and prosperity.
"On the economic front, factories are reopening, new shopping malls are being built, agriculture is beginning to pick up as evidenced by the record tobacco crop by new farmers and the mining sector is booming, while tourism and other sectors are also looking up."
Dr Chimedza said his roles as chairperson for Zimpapers and Transmedia boards were complementary.
He was responding to concerns raised by BAZ chairperson Dr Tafataona Mahoso on whether his dual role would not constitute conflict of interest.
He said he will recuse himself when deliberating an issue that might be perceived to be in conflict of interest.
BAZ commissioners also wanted to know if Zimpapers would not duplicate ZBC radio coverage since Transmedia had some pockets that it did not cover.
Dr Chimedza however said Zimpapers will provide funding to Transmedia to buy transmitters and enhance its coverage.
"Currently, Transmedia has one client (ZBH), for it to grow it should have many clients. Lack of funding is one reason why it has some pockets that are not covered," he said.
Zimpapers business development and marketing director Mr Tapuwa Mandimutsira said the company had a wealth of both financial and human resource base to undertake the project.
He said minority languages will be catered for, adding that Zimpapers had made comprehensive research on the need for another radio station.
Another board member, Dr Munyaradzi Kereke, said the fact that Zimpapers had incurred a loss in its half year trading did not mean that it did not have the financial muscle to launch a radio station.
"You might have bumper harvests in successive seasons, but have drought for one season . . . it does not mean you will have hunger that season because your granaries would be full," he said.
He said Zimpapers board member Mr Delma Lupepe had ceased to be director of Sedden Investments, which is also seeking a radio licence.
Dr Kereke was responding to a question from BAZ whether Mr Lupepe was not in conflict of interest by sitting on the boards of competing firms.
Zimpapers group chief executive officer Mr Justin Mutasa, group chief operating officer Mr Pikirayi Deketeke and other senior managers attended the hearing.
Friday, 21 October 2011 00:00
MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai says he thought of taking up arms to force himself into power after failing to outrightly win the 2008 presidential election.
Mr Tsvangirai said this in his recently published book: "Morgan Tsvangirai: At The Deep End" that he was surprised to learn there was going to be a presidential election run-off.
"For a moment I did not know what to do," he said. "I had no arms of war. I lacked the necessary wherewithal to force myself into power to fulfil the people's wish."
Mr Tsvangirai got 47,9 percent of the vote in the first round when the Electoral Act required one to garner more than 50 percent to be declared a winner.
President Mugabe got 43,2 percent while Mr Simba Makoni was third with 8,3 percent.
Little-known Langton Towungana was a distant fourth on 0.6 percent.
The failure by any of the candidates to get the required majority vote meant there was going to be a run-off between President Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai.
But Mr Tsvangirai said he was not aware of the provisions of the Electoral Act.
"What was this run-off business all about?" said Mr Tsvangirai, adding: "I was unaware that the law had been changed to deny a winner without 50 percent plus one vote to take over government."
"It must have slipped my mind at the time when it went through Parliament. I did not know that in such an event, a run-off would be needed between the two leading candidates."
Mr Tsvangirai said he had already formed a government.
The Electoral Act says:
"(3) Where two or more candidates for President are nominated, and after a poll taken in terms of subsection (2) no candidate receives a majority of the total number of valid votes cast, a second election shall be held within 21 days after the previous election in accordance with this Act."
Analysts said it is surprising that Mr Tsvangirai was not aware of the run-off yet some senior members of his party like secretary-general Mr Tendai Biti were talking about it at the time.
In fact, Mr Tsvangirai says in his book that Mr Biti announced him a winner well before the election results were made public and said there was no need for a run-off.
[That's Tendai Biti trying to steal the elections. - MrK]
University of Zimbabwe lecturer Professor John Makumbe blamed lawyers who are members of MDC-T for failing to advise Mr Tsvangirai appropriately.
He said the lawyers in MDC-T should be embarrassed by Mr Tsvangirai's revelations.
"It's not all people who read the Constitution and understand it," said Prof Makumbe.
"Tsvangirai is surrounded by lawyers. How could they not advise him that there is a possibility of a two-stage election?"
A political analyst, Mr Goodwine Mureriwa said: The ignorance that Tsvangirai displays is amazing. We are a very educated nation and cannot expect to be led by a person who does not mind to study the consequences of a major event like an election that he participates in."
Mr Mureriwa said Mr Tsvangirai was expected to have acquired experience from his time at the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions even if he "did not attain higher educational qualifications".
Another political analyst, Mr Alexander Kanengoni, said it was shocking that Mr Tsvangirai did not know of such a fundamental law governing presidential elections.
"It is surprising that he did not know about that," he said.
"People will not deny it if he is said to be of low intellect because he is admitting it by failing to study provisions of a law in which he is an interested party."
MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora said Mr Tsvangirai was being sincere that he did not know of the provisions of the Electoral Act.
"As you can see that his book is a memoir and people tell the truth about their lives in such books," he said.
"The idea is not to pretend what you are not. Perhaps he was not advised about the necessary clauses."
The provisions for a run-off were introduced into the Electoral Act in 2004, with the full participation of Members of Parliament from MDC.
With five days to go to voting day, Mr Tsvangirai announced that he was boycotting the presidential run-off held on June 27, 2008 after claiming that his supporters were being harassed.
His announcement was, however, declared a legal nullity since the election had started in earnest and the poll was held and won by President Mugabe.
Friday, 21 October 2011 00:00
Obert Chifamba Senior Agriculture Reporter
FARMERS in most of the country's provinces took advantage of the rains that fell recently to intensify their land preparations ahead of the 2011/12 cropping season.
In a recent tour of the Manicaland province, The Herald established that farmers using conservation farming methods had already started digging planting stations in their fields.
Some were using ox-drawn ploughs to till the land. Farmers in the Honde Valley and Nyanga districts said they wanted to have all their fields ready before the start of the rainfall season to ease off pressure. The rains are expected between end of October and mid November.
"We know the time is not yet ripe for us to start planting but we will be watching the developments in the weather closely so that we plant with the first actual rains.
"What we are seeing now could just be what we used to know as "bumharutsva" (rains that precede the start of the actual season) so this is the time to wrap up preparations," Spring Valley farmer Mr Edwin Chitere said.
Mr Chitere has a three-hectare farm between Nyanga and Rusape that he acquired in 2000 under the Government's land reform programme. He was equally busy ploughing his fields.
In Nyanga and Honde Valley the situation was the same as farmers were busy clearing and ploughing their fields.
The farmers' commonest complaint was on the prices of fertilisers and seed, which they say are rather unaffordable.
"We are getting fertilisers at prices ranging from US$30 to US$37 depending on the type of the fertiliser.
"Seed is selling for between US$22 and US$28 for a 10kg pocket depending on the variety while a 25kg pocket of seed is attracting prices ranging from US$48 to US$100 here," one Nyanga farmer who did not want to be named said.
In some retail outlets a 10kg of seed maize is selling for between US$19 and US$24 while the 25kg pocket is also priced at between US$47 and US$90 depending on the variety and performance ratings.
Also, in Mashonaland West province, most smallholder farmers have since started tilling land or are mid-way through while those in wetlands have started planting.
Some of the farmers are still ferrying animal and compost manure to their farms and even burning last season's crop residues in readiness for ploughing.
In Mhondoro, for instance, some farmers in wet areas have already planted and their crops are likely to emerge in the wake of the recent rains.
Similarly, farmers in the Mashonaland East province's Murewa, Mutoko and Mudzi districts have also intensified their preparations as they race to beat the first rains.
Their key focus at the moment is getting the land ready for planting though some are still complaining over delayed payments for grain they delivered to the Grain Marketing Board, which they said was checking their momentum.
In Masvingo province farmers started land preparations as far back as August after some rains that the farmers said signalled the end of winter.
Zaka and Chiredzi districts, for instance, that are traditionally dry, were also fortunate to receive the rains.
This gave the farmers the opportunity to start preparing their lands.
The recent rains that are reported to have covered most parts of the country will naturally add impetus to their preparations.
The Meteorological Department and Agritex have since indicated that the rains did not signal the start of the season so farmers needed not plant.
Manicaland Provincial Agricultural Extension Officer Mr Godfrey Mamhare also advised farmers in his province to shelve the planting of maize and other grains but plant tobacco as the rains could nourish the crop until the onset of the season.
The province, he said, was targeting to plant 9 000ha of tobacco and 300 000ha of maize this coming season and had already done 20 percent of their land preparations for the 2011/12 season before the latest wet spell.
"We received 3 000 tonnes of seed maize, 60 tonnes of sorghum, 25 000 tonnes of basal and another 25 000 tonnes of top dressing fertilisers respectively under the Government's US$45m input facility," said Mr Mamhare recently.
Friday, 21 October 2011 00:00
Elita Chikwati recently in the MIDLANDS
A commercial lending company, AgriTrade has unveiled a facility to stimulate trade in the communal areas through facilitating funding for agribusiness dealers.
AgriTrade is working in partnership with banks on the facility that involves financing of agro-dealers that deal with communal farmers.
AgriTrade provides technical assistance in drawing up business plans and proposals. Under the scheme agro-dealers apply for loans ranging from US$500 to US$200 000 which would be paid at an interest of 11 percent over 12 months. AgriTrade communications officer, Mrs Maggie Mzumara said the organisation was aiming at facilitating markets for communal farmers.
"The funding of agro-dealers will ensure they have more disposable cash to buy farm produce from communal farmers thereby benefiting the farmer," she said. Some of the dealers, who have benefited from the facility trade in grains, operate butcheries while others are into processing of agro produce.
Mrs Mzumara said that besides facilitating trade in the communal areas, the programme helped people in drought prone areas to get food.
"Some of the traders buy grain from areas of supply to areas of deficit and this helps to ensure food security," she said. A number of beneficiaries said they had recorded increase in business since they started getting loans from the financial institutions.
Chegutu beneficiary, Mr Clifford Mukungugwa, who trades in grains could not buy grain from farmers in large amounts due to cash constraints.
"Local banks are not willing to give us affordable money especially when there is no collateral," he said.
"After receiving a loan of US$15 000 I was able to buy more grain from farmers and pay them instantly," he said. Trust Bank regional manager Mr Gerald Zhou said his the bank had disbursed US$800 000 towards the facility since April this year.
"The funds are aimed at customers trading in rural areas to boost trade. Without these agro-dealers, many will take advantage of farmers and offer unviable prices for their produce," he said. Mr Zhou said the programme also provided ready markets, liquidity and knowledge on markets in the rural areas."We want to bring more investment to the rural areas and improve from barter trade and empower communal farmers as they are able to detect prices for their commodities," he said.
AgriTrade is under the Zim-Agricultural Income and Employment Development Programme sponsored by the USAID.
Friday, 21 October 2011 00:00
Obert Chifamba recently in NYANGA
BENEFICIARIES of the land reform programme who are producing potato seed in Nyanga have expressed concern over high costs of production. This, the farmers say, was making it difficult for resource-poor but interested farmers to break into the sector. The cost of producing a hectare of potato seed is US$9 000 that is further compounded by fuel and labour costs.
"We are classified as a horticultural entity so our wages are higher than those of other sectors. For labour we have both the technical and non-technical staff, which makes our wage bill huge," Mr Edward Buwu of Nyanga Downs Farm said recently. Nyanga Downs Farm has a total of 185 permanent workers while during peak periods the number rises to 220. The cost of basic fertilisers such as Compound C is also a major concern.
A 50kg bag costs US$32. "Financing potato seed production is a major challenge to many farmers, which has forced us to rely heavily on borrowing from banks. "We get loans from CBZ Bank because the revenue from our operations falls short of covering all that we need to fund a new crop," he said.
Mr Buwu, who was resettled at Nyanga Downs in 2006, said potato seed production was a very delicate activity that was done under quarantined conditions in areas gazetted by the Government.
In quarantine there are different levels of production - there are those that produce foundation seed that later produces double A1, which is what the farmers in Mr Buwu's category get.
"We then produce double A2 that we are not allowed to retain. We sell it to commercial farmers and the Potato Seed Co-op at a price of US$30 per 30kg pocket.
"The price though acceptable at the moment may still need to be adjusted to between US$35 and US$40 per pocket. What we are producing at the moment is not even enough for the domestic market so the price does not reflect the demand," Mr Buwu further explained.
Under the quarantine conditions farmers have to adhere to particular standards starting from land preparation, agronomic management, harvesting up to marketing.
The land has to be cropped for a consecutive two years before going fallow for another three years during which grass such as Love and Rhodes grass is grown to break the cycle of diseases and pests.
Those farmers that grow potatoes outside quarantine conditions will later sell to those who need them for the table.
Production manager at the farm Wonder Shenje said potato seed production needed complex management with too many disease threats to take care of.
"Diseases such as bacterial wilt demand zero tolerance in which affected seed has to be destroyed or condemned to the table," he said .
The land on which the disease is spotted is also required to go for 20 years without anything growing on it to starve and kill the bacteria," he said.
He, however, said that the current price of US$1 000 per ton of seed potato was reasonably viable since most of them could manage between 25 and 30 tons per hectare.
there are diseases such as veticilium wilt, rhizoctonia wilt and rosalinia wilt had a certain level of tolerance that allowed the farmer to harvest the affected crop before putting the field under a three-year rotation cycle to destroy the disease.
Another farmer who did not want to be named said potato seed production needed a lot of land for rotational purposes.
"The farmer needs at least 30ha for a successful rotation and anything less than that leaves him facing acute challenges," she said.
The farmer further lamented the fact that with seed potato there was no room for the growing of any other crop except maybe for deciduous fruits and sometimes flowers, which left them perennial buyers of grain.
Potato seed producers from Nyanga are responsible for producing the seed that is used throughout the country under the quarantined conditions gazetted by the Government.
The farmers are few and unable to adequately meet demand hence the need for more players to come in- something possible only after the issue of the prohibitive costs of production is addressed to attract new players.
Friday, 21 October 2011 00:00
Darlington Mahuku and Bowden Mbanje
Lenin once said that imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism. According to him, capitalism would cause wars in various parts of the world as to secure and sustain its economic growth as well as to satisfy the needs of the capitalist society. The 21st century has witnessed a surge in the demand for and competition over the world's scarce resources. Africa is endowed with most of the minerals in demand whilst the Middle East has abundant oil resources to prolong the world's energy needs. Hans Morgenthau, a realist scholar clearly defined all international politics as a continuous struggle for power and scarce resources.
One political science scholar once said that the Democratic Republic of Congo would never know peace as long as it had abundant resources. Put simply, this African country will only enjoy peace when its vast mineral resources are exhausted. Its mineral wealth has not been of benefit to its people who still wallow in poverty.
The Congolese have been pawns in the struggles between and among great powers as they compete for these copious mineral resources. The DRC populace continue to suffer because of various foreign funded conflicts which are centred on the country's geo-strategic mineral resources.
Twenty-first century international politics has now taken a more aggressive form as great powers now openly cause conflicts as well as engage in limited hostile confrontations with governments they deem opposed to their imperialistic foreign policies.
Hundreds as well as thousands of Ivorian and Libyan civilians have lost their lives in the neo-Western imperialistic crusades merely because Gbagbo and Gaddafi were totally in opposition to foreign manipulation of their countries' wealth.
worried by the inroads that Brazil, India and China have made in the economic spheres actually suggested that her country should make its economic interests central to its foreign policy as for it to remain a global leader.
She went on to say that the US had to position itself in a world where security is shaped in boardrooms and on trading floors-as well as on battlefields.
Clinton called for an end to Washington's culture of political brinkmanship. The American Secretary of State is obsessed by the realist school of thought which supports the view that laws and morality have played a
little part in the workings of world politics and that a state's primary obligation is to itself, not the international community, other states or humanity. Self- preservation and economic growth under such conditions demands that a state be able to protect its own interests.
Clinton does not hide the fact that there must be a distinction in politics between truth and opinion. She opts for an American foreign policy that is guided by objectivity and rationality rather than one divorced from the facts as they are. She is totally opposed to political bluffing and rhetoric.
For Clinton, just like with realist philosophers and scholars, foreign policy must therefore always be engaged in a pursuit of a state's core economic interests otherwise other states will take advantage of this mistake in judgement by acquiring more economic power. Brazil, China and India are threatening and undermining the USA's once monopolised economic base in Latin America, Asia and Africa.
The USA does not also rule out the possibility of engaging in war when its economic interests are tempered with. Clausewitz, a Prussian military strategist clearly pointed out that "war is the continuation of politics by other means".
If you fail to agree as happened in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Ivory Coast, the best way to reach a favourable agreement would be through the use of hard power. As these horrible struggles for scarce resources unfold in the international system, Africa watches as a mere spectator with arms akimbo.
The leaders in Libya and Ivory Coast are blamed by some African governments and their Northern sponsored media as being undemocratic. These Western invasions are justified by Africa itself under the false and misguided banner of democracy. Africa has totally failed to read the rhythm of international politics. It is too blind to see and read through the Euro-centric facade of democracy and human rights.
Power politics shapes the relations of states in the world we live in. Clashes of political and economic interests among states are inevitable. In international relations there are no permanent friends nor enemies but permanent interests.
The major purpose of statecraft, for realists, is national survival in a hostile environment characterised by competition and conflict. It is therefore important in this international system that is totally and permanently devoid of a world government, for any state, big or small, to acquire military power.
Africa should stop day dreaming that the world is governed by rules and morality. More than two million innocent civilians have died in unjustified wars in Africa and the Middle East only because these innocent souls happened to be living in countries endowed with scarce resources.
Africa should know that Western countries see the respect for moral principles as merely wasteful and dangerous especially when they collide with their own national interests.
According to Jonathan Stevenson, America was more interested in Iraq's oil than with the civilian casualties and France was more concerned in its economic interests in Ivory Coast than with the poor disadvantaged
Ivorians. All these cases had "little" if not nothing to do with democracy or human rights.
Africa should understand that a state's ethical preferences are neither good nor bad-what matters is whether or not they serve its national self-interest. America is not very much interested in the democracy it talks about. It wouldn't have sustained Mubarak and Ben Ali and the other leaders in the Arab world.
There are many cases where the Americans and Europeans have totally failed to honour these democratic principles especially where their interests are concerned.
These so called beacons of democracy have on several occasions failed to walk the talk on good governance and rule of law. We are yet to hear of the Americans and Europeans standing before the International Criminal Court on trials against humanity.
Arguably, Africa is living in an ideal and utopian world where politics is made to conform to an ethical standard. Morgenthau clearly points out that a man who was nothing but moral man would be a fool for he would be completely lacking in prudence.
Africa needs pragmatic and prudent leaders not mere moral fools who still believe in false Western claims of human rights and rule of law while at the same time these Northern hypocrites are busy killing innocent civilians in Iraq and Libya as well as looting their resources.
The whole international system is "a dog eats dog" world. It is characterised by resource predators that are schooled in Charles Darwin's "survival of the fittest" school of thought. St Augustine clearly states that man by nature is evil and self-centred and so are states in the international system.
Thomas Hobbes says the world we live in is anarchical and is characterised by a scenario of "war of every man against every man." North Korea, India, Israel and Pakistan will never destroy their nuclear weapons until the USA,UK, France, Russia and China destroy theirs first.
No state is willing to forgo its nuclear weapon programme bearing the anarchic nature of the international system whereby the "Avatar Syndrome" seems to have taken root. We have coined it the "Avatar Syndrome" from James Cameron's movie ‘AVATAR' whereby the strong or military preponderant states in typical Thucididesian fashion do whatever they can and the weak suffer what they must. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and
Ivory Coast have suffered at the hands of the strong in this twenty-first century.
Charles Kegley and Robert Wittkopf argue that most nations are reluctant to engage in arms limitations in an atmosphere in which trust of their adversaries is lacking, and such trust is unlikely to be fostered as long as those adversaries remain armed.
Africa should look at the above statement given by Hillary Clinton with a critical mind. The continent instead of being divided should actually unite and start thinking about its future in this sea of predatory states.
We desperately need a united African army that will defend the continent from greedy nations that will stop at nothing to raze the continent to ashes in pursuit of their own selfish interests.
Capitalism is now a house divided against itself, it is running out of resources to sustain its own ailing economy and like what Lenin warned us many years ago; Africa will soon be a zone of unprecedented wars for scarce minerals.
If the international system remains as predatory as it is, rewarding aggressors for the wrong reasons, then it is plausible to argue that the African continent should possess nuclear weapons to preserve its vital interests as well as to deter greedy imperialistic states.
The most important way in which the continent can help itself and be assured of its own survival is by providing its own security. The UN can never be trusted again after what happened in Libya and Ivory Coast.
Africa should therefore value its national security above all other things and military preponderance will make the continent safe from Western raiders. (America's 2011 defence budget was more than 500 billion dollars while Zimbabwe only needs about 10 billion dollars to kick-start its economy)
The NATO attack on Libya actually set a bad precedent in the international system as weaker states now see the importance of military preponderance including the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction.
The misperception coming from some misguided and imprudent sections of African society that the continent should carry out security sector reforms is not only utopian but it is like waiting for a train that will never arrive. Hence, the most effective strategy for Africa to avoid a war is to prepare for one.
* Darlington N Mahuku and Bowden B C Mbanje and are lecturers in International Relations and Peace and Governance at Bindura University of Science Education.
By Roy Habaalu and Bright Mukwasa
Fri 21 Oct. 2011, 15:10 CAT
THE appointment of political party cadres in the public civil service has led to the worsening levels of corruption, a situation which needs urgent cleansing, says President Michael Sata. And President Sata has dissolved the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) board with immediate effect.
Swearing in foreign affairs permanent secretary Ambassador Peter Kasanda and Public Service Management Division permanent secretary Dr Roland Msiska at State House yesterday, President Sata said political cadres appointed in the service were more obligated to their sponsoring party than to the public.
"There are so many cadres or MMD cadres who are creating a lot of difficulties for those who have been appointed district commissioners please let me have a report. We want Zambia for Zambians not Zambia for MMD or Zambia for PF. It must be Zambia for Zambians," President Sata said.
"The country would be creating problems by appointing party cadres in public service because their allegiance is to a political party and when that political party was no longer in power their allegiance changes to corruption."
On the new foreign affairs permanent secretary, President Sata urged him to clean up the foreign service.
"I welcome you to foreign affairs and you are not new to foreign affairs but foreign affairs has got a lot of cobwebs you have to help Zambia to remove those cobwebs in foreign affairs," he said.
President Sata said the former foreign affairs ministry complained when he wiped out the entire mission leaving only one person.
"Our duty is to remove cobwebs, Public Service Commission remove the cobwebs because once we remove the cobwebs then people will be attended to. We should not look at the face of the person or ask them what (political) card you carry for us to attend to you. Zambia's are entitled to a service by this government.
Zambians are entitled to serve in any position not only to serve PF because the people who voted some of them don't know how to shout the PF slogan but they need the service and we are not going to provide employment in to all the Zambians who voted but if we provide services to these people then they are going to appreciate. Let's make a change for this government," President Sata said.
And President Sata said government would have to assess the performance of the ZAWA board if it was to be reconstituted.
"There are certain other institutions which have more respect for animals than for human beings. I have today dissolved the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) board and I have to look at it to reconstitute it. If you look in our prisons there are more people related to ZAWA (wildlife related offences) than other offences. We cannot run a country like that, God gave us animals for our admiration not animals to turn against us," he said.
On Finance Bank Zambia whose sale was reversed recently, President Sata has said the Ministry of Justice had effectively dealt with the fraudulent sale of the bank.
"And the report is underway on the corrupt sale of Zamtel shortly as soon as we have the report which the Honorable minister has instituted with his colleagues," said President Sata.
Interference ... Former South African President Thabo Mbeki
by Staff Reporter
FORMER South African President Thabo Mbeki was a central player in a 2005 split in the Movement for Democratic Change, which Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says “was a big blow” to him – “far bigger than Mugabe’s relentless persecution”.
The extraordinary claim is made by Tsvangirai in a new book in which he accuses his former colleagues, the late Gibson Sibanda and Welshman Ncube, of betrayal. Tsvangirai claims Ncube, the party’s founding secretary general, held secret meetings with a Zanu PF faction led by Emmerson Mnangagwa to forge an alliance in a bid to “secure Ndebele interests”.
“Numerous reports reached me of secret meetings involving Ncube and a Zanu PF faction aligned to Mnangagwa, a close Mugabe ally and Speaker of Parliament, and headed by Chinamasa. Ncube had the backing of Sibanda, [Renson] Gasela, [Priscilla] Misihairabwi-Mushonga, Paul Themba Nyathi and others, mainly from the western region,” Tsvangirai says in his book, ‘At the Deep End’.
“I understood that Ncube and Chinamasa were working with Pearson Mbalekwa, a relation of Mnangagwa from Zvishavane and with Chinamasa’s good friend Jonathan Moyo. It appeared Zanu PF had managed to convince Ncube and some parliamentarians that to secure the interests of the Ndebele minority, it was important that they join hands with an influential section of Zanu PF.
“By ‘influential’, I mean a faction that enjoyed the backing of the military and South African President Thabo Mbeki.”
Tsvangirai says he had never been a fan of Ncube, who became secretary general at the MDC’s formation in 1999. Ncube and Gift Chimanikire received an equal number of provincial nominations before the latter withdrew his interest to become Ncube’s deputy, Tsvangirai says after “intense lobbying” by the constitutional law professor’s supporters, including the late Learnmore Jongwe, Mdlongwa and Getrude Mthombeni.
“Coming from the trade union movement, I was more inclined to go along with my like-minded colleague, Chimanikire,” Tsvangirai says.
In the six years that followed, Tsvangirai claims he “spent the better part of my tenure babysitting some of my highly unpopular colleagues, including Ncube”.
He adds: “For a long time, these senior politicians insisted that I should never address a meeting alone. They all wanted to be where I was, especially at mass rallies, in order to benefit from my personal political brand.
“My colleagues were simply riding on my popularity, in the forlorn hope that part of it would rub off on to them. They were uncomfortable with me as a person and a leader and I sensed that they wanted to build their political careers using Tsvangirai as a seat warmer who could ultimately be dislodged as soon as the right opportunity presented itself. Little did they know how easily I saw through that.”
Tssvangirai says things came to a head in October 2005 when he led a charge that a newly introduced Senate was “a waste of money in a nation that was as poor”, but “MDC colleagues in parliament failed to see my point”.
“Ncube campaigned in the provinces, persuading them to back the re-creation of the Senate. The carrot he offered, as I discovered from some of them, was a chance to contest in the proposed Senate polls,” Tsvangirai says.
“As much as I resented it, I could see a looming split in the MDC... On 12 October 2005, the national council finally met in a tense session chaired by Isaac Matongo, who – unknown to me – was in favour of the Senate. For hours, councillors argued the issue, but as I listened to the disputes, I could see a carefully planned strategy unfolding.
“My main fear was that the party was likely to split into two equal groups – right down the middle. There was reason for hope in the fact that the powerful youth and women’s assemblies, headed by Nelson Chamisa and Lucia Matibenga respectively, were totally opposed to the Senate. I stood my ground.
“I knew that Mbeki was in favour of a party split. He wanted the splinter group to join a Zanu PF faction in the hope that their combined force would weaken and eventually destroy the remaining MDC. Mbeki would then pronounce to the world that he had resolved the Zimbabwean crisis.”
Tsvangirai claims Ncube “saw an opportunity to undermine me by advancing his own and Mbeki’s strategy”, adding: “I had suppressed the split for the sake of the party and the country. They thought I would do anything to prevent a split. I hung on to my thoughts until the situation became so serious that a split had to be faced.”
The national council voted 33-31 in favour of participating in the Senate.
Says Tsvangirai: “To allow for a vote on a major policy issue in the MDC was out of line, unconventional and never part of our custom and practice. Isaac Matongo, chairing the session, nevertheless allowed the process to go ahead. As I have said, he was in favour of the Senate, although in the end he told me that he voted against it.
“After the divisive vote, I picked up my papers and announced that I was against the move. I was unwilling to take the MDC into the Senate election. I left and drove home.”
The seeds had been planted for the split that would follow.
Arriving home, Tsvangirai says he told his wife, Susan, that he desperately needed time to himself “though not in Harare but at my birthplace in Buhera”.
“I was very angry. I had realised that I was on my own at the meeting where my most senior and trusted colleagues had let me down, and I felt betrayed. To make matters worse, while I was literarily unreachable by telephone in rural Buhera, MDC spokesperson Paul Themba Nyathi issued a counter statement to mine, saying the MDC was going into the Senate election. Thus, for 72 hours, without my knowledge, the story of the confusion in the MDC dominated the news,” he writes.
Tsvangirai says he returned to Harare on October 15 to be met by Sibanda who called for talks.
“I told him that for our discussion to make sense, we needed the other four senior member of the management committee. Sibanda pretended to hear me out and left, promising to bring them along. But he never returned. Instead, and without my knowledge, Ncube had already booked flights for the five top leaders to see Mbeki that afternoon.
“As I waited at home, they were already in the air on the way to Pretoria. Matongo, now unsure about his political future, had refused to accompany them, but he made some serious allegations about my leadership qualities in a discussion he had with Ian Makone. According to Makone, Matongo was very emotional. He suggested that I had failed and must hand over the leadership to a more capable replacement, but did not name possible alternative candidates.”
Tsvangirai says Mbeki “immediately granted the four [Ncube, Sibanda, Nyathi, Mdlongwa] an audience”, and had called him during their meeting.
He recalls the extraordinary phone exchange that followed.
Tsvangirai writes: “‘Well, I have got some of your leadership here . . .’ Mbeki began. ‘I understand there is a problem... Can you come here and we talk? I think we need to talk over the fall-out in your party.’
“I was stunned. After greeting him politely, I asked bluntly: ‘What has the politics of the MDC got to do with you? This is an internal matter which should not bother you as I understand you have much more serious matters of state to attend to.’
“After a long pause, I continued, ‘I am not coming to South Africa. Tell them that I said they must come back and we will discuss the issues here.’
“To that, Mbeki replied: ‘I thought it may help if you come and we thrash out the issues.’ I felt Mbeki had gone too far, and I snapped, ‘Mr President, with all due respect, those people have no right to be there. They have to come here so that we can discuss and sort out the matter. I am open to discuss matters. As I speak to you, Your Excellency, I am waiting for Gibson [Sibanda] to bring the others here for a meeting at which I hope we can thrash out our problems.’
“‘Well, let me talk to them . . . they are here with me,’ he replied.
“Sibanda and his group were listening in as Mbeki had switched the conversation on to a speaker-phone. I asked Mbeki to let me talk to Sibanda, but Mbeki refused, saying, ‘No. No. No. Let me talk to him first. I will call you later.’
“As I clutched my mobile handset, anxiously waiting for Mbeki to call back, an array of scenarios raced through my mind. What was going on? Why Mbeki? What role had he played in the MDC split? Where was Mugabe in all this? What were the implications for democracy?
“I had not eaten anything for the whole day. A worried Amai Edwin [wife Susan] asked me to take a break and have something to eat. I looked at her, then got up and paced around the garden, my mobile phone squeezed in my sweaty palm.
“Finally, Mbeki was back on the line. ‘Mr President,’ I said, in a stern and exasperated voice, ‘this is a party issue. It has nothing to do with anybody but ourselves. There is no reason why a head of state and government of another country, a foreign country, can come and involve himself in the opposition party politics of a neighbouring country.’
“No response. ‘Hello. Hello. Mr President . . .? Your Excellency . . .?’ Mbeki was gone – never to return.
“But if I thought that Mbeki had backed off I was wrong. After that incident, his involvement in the MDC’s affairs became even more obtrusive. It was clear to me now that the entire MDC split was externally influenced. It had nothing to do with our internal fights; and Mugabe and Zanu PF were involved in the matter.”
On reflection, Tsvangirai says he learned that “in politics, apparent victories may be illusions and seeming defeats turn out to be successes in disguise”.
“As things were to turn out, both the breakaway group and Mbeki miscalculated the outcome of the whole game – but not before a few setbacks to my cause ...
“Ncube and the others failed to read my mind correctly. They thought I was still the same trade unionist they had persuaded to take over the leadership of the MDC, a position I reluctantly accepted in January 2000. Little did they know that over the years experience had transformed me, teaching me to live with diversity and to manage adversity,” he writes.
Tsvangirai admits that the criticism that followed the split, and his inability since then to unseat Mugabe, got to him.
“I was variously described in newspapers and on internet discussion forums within tired social networks as shallow-minded, weak in policy formulation, lacking a decisive killer-punch, a pathetic leader and a poor strategist. I absorbed everything like a sponge and turned it all over in my mind. Taking these punches was never the high point of my day but I had no choice and if I kept my wits about me I could learn valuable lessons,” he says.
To suppress his frustrations, he says he turned himself into a “voracious reader of a myriad of books and texts on leadership, donated by well-wishers and friends”.
“I devoured all that came my way, from medieval and biblical scrolls to contemporary academic surveys and memoirs of kings, queens, dictators, politicians and captains of commerce and industry. In the process, I built a comprehensive personal library with many works on leadership ideas, experiences and stories – from ancient Greek icons to Nelson Mandela.”
Tsvangirai says the split “was the result of pure mischief”, and he was convinced that pulling through it would be a sure sign that he “would survive to fight another day and possibly win the struggle for democracy in the national interest”.
He adds: “There was a strong perception that the Ncube group was nothing but a tiny, power-hungry and sectional outfit. Nevertheless, it inflicted much damage on the MDC’s cause. The group was working against me, even planning my final ousting as party leader.
“The splinter group now invoked their man in Pretoria to put me at a disadvantage. President Thabo Mbeki had shown antipathy towards me and the cause I represented on several occasions but he was now pulled directly into the MDC’s domestic dispute.
“I believe Ncube was externally supported by none other than Mbeki, and encouraged by many senior Zanu PF officials to have a go at me. I heard later that Mbeki was even financing the Ncube group to destabilise the MDC; among other things, he covered their travel expenses.
“In discussions with diplomats, journalists and his colleagues, Mbeki went out of his way to pursue an international crusade against the MDC and me. Every effort was being made to isolate me.
“The attack on my authority had everything to do with manipulation by Zanu PF in connivance with Mbeki and Welshman Ncube. It was extraordinary – a conspiracy in all but name, stretching across the border.”
Three years later, following disputed elections, Mbeki became a central figure in Zimbabwe as he persuaded Mugabe and Tsvangirai to share power following disputed elections. The third partner in the government is Ncube, who now leads a rival MDC faction.
'At the Deep End' is published by Penguin Books and is available at major bookshops around the world.
(GLOBALRESEARCH) Is Washington Using Famine in the Horn of Africa to Embark on Yet Another Illegal War?Is Washington Using Famine in the Horn of Africa to Embark on Yet Another Illegal War?
US Drones Coordinate Air Power For Kenyan Ground Invasion of Somalia
by Finian Cunningham
Global Research, October 19, 2011
The large troop deployment by Kenya into Somali territory is taking on the form of a full-scale invasion, rather than a temporary incursion as initially reported.
What is also emerging – but largely unreported – is that the US appears to be providing coordinated aerial firepower to help the advance of the Kenyan military against Al Shabab Islamic militants who have held power in the southern Somali territory.
Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government, which was installed in 2009 with US support, has been battling against the militants for the past two years. Plagued by allegations of corruption and incompetence, the TFG has only managed to cling on to power in the capital, Mogadishu, thanks to diplomatic and military support from Washington and neighbouring US-allied countries, including Ethiopia and Kenya. Some 8,000 troops from Uganda and Burundi are stationed in Mogadishu to help stave off advances by Al Shabab from the southern hinterland where it holds sway.
Kenya’s surprise military intervention in its eastern Horn of Africa neighbour on Sunday came only two days after the US launched deadly aerial drone attacks in southern Somalia. According to Press TV, the worst fatalities were in the town of Qoqani, 80 kilometres from the border with Kenya. Some 78 people were killed in that attack and scores of others injured.
Qoqani was the first major urban centre commandeered by Kenyan troops – backed by heavy artillery, tanks, helicopters and fighter jets – within 48 hours of crossing the border on Sunday.
Now as Kenyan forces move towards the port city of Kismayu – some 200 kilometers from the Kenyan border and the strategic base for Al Shabab – US drones are targeting what appears to be the next military objective.
A US drone attack on Kismayu on Monday claimed the lives of some 27 people, including children, according to reports. There were also several reports of similar unmanned aerial vehicles crashing or being shot down near Kismayu, according to the BBC and Press TV. At the beginning of last month, a US drone attack reportedly killed 35 Al Shabab fighters in the port city.
In July, the Washington Post and New York Times, reported “the first US drone attack” on Somalia in which two Al Shabab commanders were targeted. The Obama administration has labeled Al Shabab a terrorist group and accuses the Islamists of having links to Al Qaeda. In recent weeks, there appears to be have been a stepped-up deployment of both spy and attack drones in Al Shabab strongholds.
In light of Kenya’s invasion of Somalia this week, it would now appear that US air power has played a key role in softening up combatant positions in advance of ground troops.
The Kenyan government – as with most media reports – claim that the intervention is aimed at hunting down kidnap gangs operated by Al Shabab which have been responsible for a spate of cross-border attacks on tourists and aid workers. A British and French woman were recently kidnapped in separate incidents in Kenyan coastal resorts. Reports are emerging that the French woman has since died while in captivity from lack of medical treatment. Then two Spanish aid workers were abducted from a refugee camp in Kenyan territory near the Somali border. Al Shabab sources have denied any involvement in attacks on foreign nationals, and the Islamist group says that the Kenyans are using the kidnap allegations as a pretext to invade a sovereign country. There are several disparate criminal groups operating in southern Somalia – pirates and bandits – that could have carried out the kidnappings.
However, the lack of proof implicating Al Shabab has not deterred the Kenyan government from stridently asserting blame.
That together with the large-scale military intervention by the Kenyan government, which has caused much concern among many of its own citizens over its legality, suggests that there is more going on than a cross-border swoop against criminal gangs. Also, the tacit approval by the Mogadishu government for the Kenyan invasion and the coordinated use of US drone attacks indicate a more far-reaching development.
The geostrategic importance of Somalia has long made it a prize for Washington. With its nearly 1,800-kilometre coastline overlooking the oil trading routes of the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, the US has been vying for a foothold on the territory ever since its independence from Britain and Italy in 1960. Washington backed the dictatorship of Siad Barre until he was ousted in 1991 by rival warlords. This prompted the US to mount its “humanitarian” invasion in 1992 – Operation Restore Hope – which ended in disaster in 1994 following the shooting down of a Blackhawk helicopter and the death of 19 US personnel whose bodies were dragged through the streets of Mogadishu in front of the world’s media by Somali militants.
Since then Washington has preferred to use proxy forces to project its interests in the notoriously unruly country. In 2006, President George Bush gave the greenlight for the invasion by Ethiopia to topple a nascent Islamic government – the Union of Islamic Courts – that had managed to bring a degree of stability to the country out of the warlord anarchy. The Transitional Federal Government was installed three years later, but it has never consolidated control of the country, with the Islamists running most of the southern territory – much to Washington’s dismay. Newly elected President Barack Obama has taken up the gauntlet with gusto. In September 2009, he ordered the assassination of senior Al Shabab commander Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan by helicopter-borne US Special Forces.
Somalia’s famine may now have opened up an opportunity for Washington to pursue its proxy war. Two years of drought and conflict have left some four million Somalis exposed to hunger – with 750,000 most acutely at risk, according to various humanitarian agencies. Most of the famine victims are located in Somalia’s southern region controlled by Al Shabab. Washington has pointedly refused to let food aid into the region, citing that the provisions would be misappropriated by the militants.
With rising hunger and incidence of diseases such as cholera, measles and typhoid, the military strength of Al Shabab has considerably weakened in recent weeks, according to the International Crisis Group.
This suggests that Washington has used the famine – the worst such famine seen in the Horn of Africa for 60 years – as a weapon to bring about its desired military objective: the crushing of a combatant force that is inconveniencing US geopolitical control of a strategically important country.
Finian Cunnningham is Global Research’s Middle East and East Africa correspondent
Libyan transitional government fighters gather around concrete pipes where Gaddafi was allegedly captured in Sirte yesterday. Photo by AFP
By Tabu Butagira
Posted Friday, October 21 2011 at 00:00
Uganda last night made a dramatic U-turn to recognise the National Transition Council as Libya’s genuine government hours after the country’s deposed leader, Muammar Gaddafi, was killed in Sirte.
State Minister for International Affairs Henry Oryem-Okello said “the current position is that the AU recognised the NTC as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people following a statement issued by President Obiang Nguema on September 19”.
The Equatorial Guinea President is the present chairman of the continental body that steadfastly opposed foreign military intervention in support of local armed opposition fighters that toppled Gaddafi in August.
“Therefore Uganda’s position on NTC,” said Mr Oryem-Okello, “is within the context of the African Union position.”
This newspaper understands that AU Commission chairman, Mr Jean Ping, four days ago wrote to African governments, alerting them about President Nguema’ letter extending embrace to NTC it loathed.
In an apparent sign of lack of coordination within government, President Museveni’s deputy Principal Private Secretary Kintu Nyago separately said by telephone that Uganda’s opposition to the violent political change in Libya remained unchanged.
“This isn’t about Gaddafi because he had a government - people he was working with,” said Mr Nyago. As a result, he said, even if Gaddafi was killed, the official coterie he leaves behind must be absorbed in the new leadership to achieve meaningful peace.
Mr Nyago said like the AU demanded, Uganda would only recognise the NTC victory if its officials constitute an all-inclusive government, craft a new constitution and hold democratic elections.
“Those people (NTC forces) have no mandate; they came through Nato bombing,” Mr Nyago said, alluding to AU’s principle opposed to forcible change of governments on the continent.
Gaddafi was a father figure of sorts for AU, bankrolling about 30 per cent its budget. The slain leader’s sometimes abrasive and treacherous behaviour, including of supporting a coup in one member country and suffocating it in another, as well as a forcible decision to rush an AU one government with himself at the helm, strained his relations with many counterparts, among them President Museveni.
That notwithstanding, Kampala and AU stood with Gaddafi in his hour of need during Nato-bolstered armed insurrection, and Mr Museveni spearheaded an unsuccessful diplomatic charm to save the Libyan leader by presenting a case to Western leaders that the country’s political question should be resolved through dialogue. This, Mr Museveni argued, should be managed by Africans.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
by Andy Coghlan and Debora MacKenzie
Global Research, October 20, 2011
The 1318 transnational corporations that form the core of the economy. Superconnected companies are red, very connected companies are yellow. The size of the dot represents revenue (Image: PLoS One)
AS PROTESTS against financial power sweep the world this week, science may have confirmed the protesters' worst fears. An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy.
The study's assumptions have attracted some criticism, but complex systems analysts contacted by New Scientist say it is a unique effort to untangle control in the global economy. Pushing the analysis further, they say, could help to identify ways of making global capitalism more stable.
The idea that a few bankers control a large chunk of the global economy might not seem like news to New York's Occupy Wall Street movement and protesters elsewhere (see photo). But the study, by a trio of complex systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, is the first to go beyond ideology to empirically identify such a network of power. It combines the mathematics long used to model natural systems with comprehensive corporate data to map ownership among the world's transnational corporations (TNCs).
"Reality is so complex, we must move away from dogma, whether it's conspiracy theories or free-market," says James Glattfelder. "Our analysis is reality-based."
Previous studies have found that a few TNCs own large chunks of the world's economy, but they included only a limited number of companies and omitted indirect ownerships, so could not say how this affected the global economy - whether it made it more or less stable, for instance.
The Zurich team can. From Orbis 2007, a database listing 37 million companies and investors worldwide, they pulled out all 43,060 TNCs and the share ownerships linking them. Then they constructed a model of which companies controlled others through shareholding networks, coupled with each company's operating revenues, to map the structure of economic power.
The work, to be published in PloS One, revealed a core of 1318 companies with interlocking ownerships (see image). Each of the 1318 had ties to two or more other companies, and on average they were connected to 20. What's more, although they represented 20 per cent of global operating revenues, the 1318 appeared to collectively own through their shares the majority of the world's large blue chip and manufacturing firms - the "real" economy - representing a further 60 per cent of global revenues.
When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a "super-entity" of 147 even more tightly knit companies - all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity - that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the network. "In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network," says Glattfelder. Most were financial institutions. The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group.
John Driffill of the University of London, a macroeconomics expert, says the value of the analysis is not just to see if a small number of people controls the global economy, but rather its insights into economic stability.
Concentration of power is not good or bad in itself, says the Zurich team, but the core's tight interconnections could be. As the world learned in 2008, such networks are unstable. "If one [company] suffers distress," says Glattfelder, "this propagates."
"It's disconcerting to see how connected things really are," agrees George Sugihara of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, a complex systems expert who has advised Deutsche Bank.
Yaneer Bar-Yam, head of the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI), warns that the analysis assumes ownership equates to control, which is not always true. Most company shares are held by fund managers who may or may not control what the companies they part-own actually do. The impact of this on the system's behaviour, he says, requires more analysis.
Crucially, by identifying the architecture of global economic power, the analysis could help make it more stable. By finding the vulnerable aspects of the system, economists can suggest measures to prevent future collapses spreading through the entire economy. Glattfelder says we may need global anti-trust rules, which now exist only at national level, to limit over-connection among TNCs. Bar-Yam says the analysis suggests one possible solution: firms should be taxed for excess interconnectivity to discourage this risk.
One thing won't chime with some of the protesters' claims: the super-entity is unlikely to be the intentional result of a conspiracy to rule the world. "Such structures are common in nature," says Sugihara.
Newcomers to any network connect preferentially to highly connected members. TNCs buy shares in each other for business reasons, not for world domination. If connectedness clusters, so does wealth, says Dan Braha of NECSI: in similar models, money flows towards the most highly connected members. The Zurich study, says Sugihara, "is strong evidence that simple rules governing TNCs give rise spontaneously to highly connected groups". Or as Braha puts it: "The Occupy Wall Street claim that 1 per cent of people have most of the wealth reflects a logical phase of the self-organising economy."
So, the super-entity may not result from conspiracy. The real question, says the Zurich team, is whether it can exert concerted political power. Driffill feels 147 is too many to sustain collusion. Braha suspects they will compete in the market but act together on common interests. Resisting changes to the network structure may be one such common interest.
The top 50 of the 147 superconnected companies
1. Barclays plc
2. Capital Group Companies Inc
3. FMR Corporation
5. State Street Corporation
6. JP Morgan Chase & Co
7. Legal & General Group plc
8. Vanguard Group Inc
9. UBS AG
10. Merrill Lynch & Co Inc
11. Wellington Management Co LLP
12. Deutsche Bank AG
13. Franklin Resources Inc
14. Credit Suisse Group
15. Walton Enterprises LLC
16. Bank of New York Mellon Corp
18. Goldman Sachs Group Inc
19. T Rowe Price Group Inc
20. Legg Mason Inc
21. Morgan Stanley
22. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc
23. Northern Trust Corporation
24. Société Générale
25. Bank of America Corporation
26. Lloyds TSB Group plc
27. Invesco plc
28. Allianz SE 29. TIAA
30. Old Mutual Public Limited Company
31. Aviva plc
32. Schroders plc
33. Dodge & Cox
34. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc*
35. Sun Life Financial Inc
36. Standard Life plc
38. Nomura Holdings Inc
39. The Depository Trust Company
40. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance
41. ING Groep NV
42. Brandes Investment Partners LP
43. Unicredito Italiano SPA
44. Deposit Insurance Corporation of Japan
45. Vereniging Aegon
46. BNP Paribas
47. Affiliated Managers Group Inc
48. Resona Holdings Inc
49. Capital Group International Inc
50. China Petrochemical Group Company
* Lehman still existed in the 2007 dataset used
Graphic: The 1318 transnational corporations that form the core of the economy
(Data: PLoS One)
TIME PUBLISHED - Wednesday, October 19, 2011, 8:29 pm
Former Mines Minister Maxwell Mwale this afternoon appeared for questioning at the former Task Force offices before the Zambia police in connection with the bicycles that were recovered at his residence in Makeni .
A check by QFM at the former Task Force building at about 15 hrs found that Maxwell Mwale had just left after being questioned. The police are currently investigating MMD officials to establish the source of campaign materials used in the just ended elections which include bicycles and motor vehicles.
When contacted police spokesperson Ndandula Siamana could not give details by broadcast time saying she did not have the details ready from the people that were questioning the former Mines Minister.
Meanwhile, the Lawyer to former Foreign Affairs Minister Kabinga Pande has distanced his client from the Gold saga. Sakwiba Sikota said that Mr Pande was called to answer queries over the source of funding for the ruling MMD in his capacity as Vice National Chairman of the party.
Mr Sikota told ZNBC News that connecting Mr Pande to the Gold scandal was erroneous. He has also demanded for an apology from the Police service whom he said some media institutions have quoted confirming that Mr Pande was answering queries on the Gold saga.
TIME PUBLISHED - Thursday, October 20, 2011, 2:12 pm
United Party for National Development UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has said that his party will not shield any corrupt person. In reference to the insinuations that he has vowed to defend former president Rupiah Banda from prosecution, Mr Hichilema says it is impossible for his party to defend corrupt people.
He said that it is a known fact that the UPND has never supported any corrupt activities as can be witnessed from its pronouncements. Mr. Hichilema said that corruption was a cancer that should be fought vigorously adding that the fight against graft should be comprehensive, non-selective and professionally done. He said that the UPND will not agree to be used to settle scores as this amounts to vindictiveness and abuse.
And Mr. Hichilema has said that Republican president Michael Sata’s speech dashed people’s hopes. He said that the UPND is disappointed that president Sata and the new PF government presented its vision statement that did not address some critical concerns of the Zambian people.
Mr. Hichilema has also noted with concern that the president has created new ministries and abolished some without taking the matter to parliament. He said that the president abolished the position of secretary to the treasury illegally without approval of parliament.
['Noted with concern'? Abolishing ministries unilaterally is the President's right - it is in the constitution. - MrK]
But yesterday parliament approved the abolition and creation of new ministries and government department.
By NKOLE CHITALA
ZAMBIA has climbed by 15 places in the latest edition of Euromoney’s country risk (ECR) survey to 97th position in the global rankings, ahead of Angola and Mozambique.
The country has become part of the big winners in the ECR tables in the third quarter of this year. According to ECR third quarter results for September, economists ranked Zambia 97 in the world across a range of political, economic and structural risk criteria.
The economists say Zambia saw improved scores in access to capital section of the survey and moved up in the ranking by 10 places while the country’s political risk score is now higher than the average score for Central Asia.
Economists who saw substantial re-ratings, say Zambia went up 15 places, Cameroon up five and Angola (up three).
Other countries such as Tanzania climbed by nine places, to 92 in the global rankings while Malawi was at 111 in the world across a range of political, economic and structural risk criteria.
They said sub-Saharan African countries risk scores improved by an average of two points between June and September 2011.
“Most countries are buoyed by high prices for the commodities and strong domestic demand from an urbanising population,” they said.
The economist said favourable, assessments of African countries risk were supported by the rise in the access to capital markets component of the survey, indicating that many banks are prepared to look favourably at the continent.
ECR evaluates the investment risks of a country across 15 criteria such as risk of default on a bond, risk of losing direct investment and risk to global business relations, by polling noted international economists.
This qualitative score is averaged and combined with three basic quantitative values to give a score on a 100-point scale, where 100 is safest and zero is most risky.
Over 250 economists participate in the survey, assigning a score to 186 countries globally.
By CHARLES MUSONDA
FINLAND has welcomed President Sata’s personal strong commitment to enhance the fight against corruption, good governance, justice for all and social justice as a cornerstone for national development.
Speaking at State House on October 19 during presentation of credentials, newly appointed Finnish ambassador to Zambia Pertti Antinen said his country remains committed to supporting Zambia’s development agenda like bringing new industries and businesses and in the area of technology and innovation.
Mr Antinen said Finland is already supporting Zambia in management of the environment and natural resources, agriculture, private sector development, and is giving support to the civil society working to enhance good governance.
Norwegian ambassador to Zambia Arve Ofstad also presented his credentials to President Sata at State House.
Meanwhile, South Korea says Zambia’s recent democratic elections and smooth transition of power has marked an important milestone in the country’s history.
South Korea’s ambassador to Zambia Kwang Chu Lew said this when he presented credentials yesterday.
Mr Kwang said it is gratifying that Zambia and his country have sustained their diplomatic ties.
By KALONDE NYATI
AN expert from the London Metal Exchange (LME) is in the country to conduct training on the operations of the LME and its relevance to Zambia as a copper producing country.
LME head of education and marketing Catherine Markey said there is need for various stakeholders in Zambia to acquaint themselves on the pricing of the copper the country produces.
Ms Markey said this in an interview on the sidelines of the two-day training workshop, which is being held in conjunction with a local financial advisory and asset management firm, Integral Initiatives limited.
“Zambia plays a critical role on the LME as producer of copper and other metals so there is need for stakeholders to be familiar with the operations and the pricing of the commodities,” she said.
She said there is need for Zambian stakeholders to have knowledge on how they can use the LME price, especially for hedging purposes.
Ms Markey said Zambia, being a producer of copper needs some certainty on the price of the commodity. She added that prices have in the recent past been high and this gives producers an opportunity to fix the forward price.
“Prices have been higher than the production cost in the recent past and this gives opportunity for producers to fix the forward price rather than sitting quietly while prices fall back,” she said.
She also said the LME exchange has this year recorded 20 percent growth in trade volumes compared to about seven percent recorded between 2009 and 2010.
This is mainly due to increased transparency and regulation in trading at the exchange.
And Integral Initiatives managing director Charles Mpundu said there is need for people to have a broader understanding on issues of commodity pricing.
The training will cover trading on the LME, contract settlement, the role of brokers, market data and fundamental analysis, hedging and using futures and options.
By SHAMAOMA MUSONDA
THE Government is considering establishing a Zambia Metal Exchange (ZMX) to enable the country sell metals within the country.
Currently, the metals are shipped to Europe and Asia where they are priced and sold. Speaking during the London Metal Exchange (LME) education workshop in Lusaka yesterday, Commerce Minister Bob Sichinga said plans are there to establish a Zambian Metal Exchange.
“We have to derive ideas that will help us improve our local capital and commodities market and eventually enable us set up the first ever Zambia Metal Exchange linked to advanced international markets,” he said.
He said it was appropriate that Zambia was hosting the LME workshop, the world’s largest metals and commodity market, whose experience in the trade would help the country establish its own metals exchange market. Mr Sichinga said the Government was set on exploring all other minerals apart from the predominant copper and cobalt.
The minister said the Government would encourage industries that would add value to the minerals so that the country could earn more revenue from the finished metals for exports. And Mines Minister Wilbur Simussa said the establishment of the ZMX would help ease Zambians' access to copper in order to help grow the value addition to copper.
He bemoaned that only five percent the copper produced in Zambia was being used locally. Mr Simusa said with the local metals exchange, that proportion would increase and boost the value addition sector in the copper industry. He said his ministry attached great importance to the establishing of the local metals market by having senior officials in the ministry at the workshop who would have to produce reports on the possibilities of an exchange.
“Its my desire that this workshop prompts Government to set up either through public private partnership (PPP) or our own Metals Exchange that would operate to ease the local companies access to copper for the development of the value addition industry. “Having institutions like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) is further testimony that a local metals exchange could be developed by taking advantage of the expertise of these organizations,” Mr Simusa said.
By The Post
Thu 20 Oct. 2011, 09:40 CAT
Hakainde Hichilema seems to have regionalism and tribalism fixed in his brain. Everything to Hakainde seems to start and end with regionalism and tribalism. This is his outlook. This is his ideology. In everything, Hakainde sees tribe and region.
It is probably this, more than anything else, that explains Hakainde's reaction to the decision by Michael Sata's government to create a tenth province of our country - Muchinga Province. Reacting to this, Hakainde accused Michael's government of trying to channel national resources to one side of the country by creating another province.
Hakainde's position contrasts very well with that of his party's member of parliament for Mazabuka, Garry Nkombo, who in an interview with QFM welcomed the creation of Muchinga Province, saying Northern Province was too big and needed to be divided. Where Garry sees a logistical problem, Hakainde sees a regional scheme to enrich one region of our country.
The ultimate progress of our country will lie not in regionalism or tribalism of the Hakainde type, but in the unity of our people. This we believe very deeply. We have to put the unity of the people first and we have to put it ahead of any divisive partisanship or regionalism.
And in these times, as in times before, it is true that a house divided against itself by the spirit of region, of tribe is a house that cannot stand. So we would ask all Zambians, whatever their personal interests or concerns, to guard against divisiveness and all its ugly consequences. Through all time to come, we think Zambia will be a stronger nation, a more just society, and a land of great opportunity and fulfillment because of what we have all done together as a nation, as a people.
The reward to those who have worked selflessly and very hard to unite our people will come in the life of justice, fairness, peace and hope that our children will enjoy through the ages ahead. What we won when all our people united just must not now be lost in selfishness and politics of regionalism among any of our people.
We know very well that in politics, expediencies of the moment can be very tempting, hence, the besetting temptation of all politics to concern itself with the immediate present at the expense of the future. Above all, people are disposed to mistake predicting troubles for causing troubles and even for desiring troubles: ‘if only', they love to think, ‘if only people wouldn't talk about it, it probably wouldn't happen'.
Perhaps this habit goes back to the primitive belief that the word and the theme, the name and the object, are identical. At all events, the discussion of future grave but, with effort now, avoidable evils, is the most unpopular and at the same time the most necessary occupation for the politician. Those who knowingly shirk it, deserve, and not frequently receive, the curses of those who come after.
We wish, above all, to recall the past, so as to foresee and plan the future better. In Zambian history, the struggle for independence and the fight for a progressive political line has been intrinsically bound up with the fight for unity.
The struggle to defend and consolidate unity, the driving force of the independence struggle, demanded permanent vigilance and action to neutralise and eliminate the manoeuvres of backward elements and of national opportunists and reactionary elements. By defining regionalism, tribalism and racism as enemies to be fought against, just like colonialism, Kenneth Kaunda and his comrades deprived the opportunists of the chief instruments of their anti-people manoeuvres.
It is necessary to understand the grandeur, diversity and complexity of our country. Knowing this complexity means studying the divisiveness in our country of opportunistic elements like Hakainde and the ways of combating it.
tial that we understand this phenomenon so as to avoid false and futile debates.
Hakainde's regional and tribal politics are very dangerous. And they should be combated with all the tenacity we can marshal. We say this because the roots of an evil which we underestimate and decide to pull out at a later date become the roots of a cancer which can destroy us, invading the whole body, before we get to that ‘later date'. This will mean allowing divisive ideas of Hakainde's regionalism and tribalism to gain ground only to fight them when they are strong. It is like not fighting a crocodile on the bank only to fight him in the middle of the river.
The experience of suffering, humiliation and exploitation of our people in Sinazeze, Sindamisale, Chavuma, Chadiza, Shang'ombo and Kaputa is the same. All bear the same scars, all have known the same poverty, the same suffering, the same tears. They are united through the discovery of common wounds and sufferings. But above all, their unity is realised through effort, links that are forged through common struggles.
There is no good reason for Hakainde to think the creation of Muchinga Province is a means of trying to channel more resources to one region of our country. This is shallow thinking that is only fuelled by Hakainde's unbridled anti-Bemba outlook. Hakainde's anti-Bemba feelings are very dangerous and it is such things that lead to genocide.
Tribalists of the Hakainde type should have no place in our national politics. To claim a right to certain political positions based on tribalistic or ethnic ideology is destructive. Politics that are based on ethnic intolerance are destructive. All through history, tribalism or regionalism has been the cause of innumerable conflicts or even wars.
Among the tribes, as among individuals, dignity is a virtue and pride a vice. Tribes are not closed groups. They are but a small part of a wider society. It is not by segregating ourselves from those who are different that we shall preserve our own particular achievements. It is by sharing them that we become richer.
We should cultivate a loyal spirit of patriotism, but without narrow-mindedness, so that we keep in mind the welfare of all our people. To achieve this requires a political life that is governed, not by lies and deception, but by ethics and morality. It must be governed by a sense of truth and honesty.
All political issues must be governed by truth, honesty, morality, patriotism and self-sacrifice. It is regrettable to note that for some time, our political arena has been full of lies, cheating, hypocrisy, double standards and injustice.
It is high time Hakainde started looking at the politics of our country outside his dangerous anti-Bemba politics.