Saturday, November 05, 2011

(NEWZIMBABWE - FEB. 2011) Makone absolves Zanu PF in Harare violence

Makone absolves Zanu PF in Harare violence
24/02/2011 00:00:00
by Lebo Nkatazo

HOME Affairs Minister Theresa Makone has put herself on a collision course with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai after appearing to question the latter’s claims that a recent wave of violence in Harare was instigated by Zanu PF.

The claim was the centerpiece of Tsvangirai’s New Zimbabwe Lecture Series in Harare on February 15, and the violence was cited by the European Union as a reason for extending sanctions on Zimbabwe.

But answering a question by Magwegwe MP Felix Sibanda [MDC-T] on the violence, Makone – whose ministry is in charge of the police – told MPs in Parliament she was not satisfied the thugs represented any party.

“It took everyone by surprise because they do not seem to have been precipitated by any particular action or move by either government or political party,” said Makone, a member of Tsvangirai’s MDC party.

She added: “As a ministry, we have put a mechanism through our structures that we can now anticipate where trouble is going to be and people are deployed on the ground.

“An effort is being made to contain this and it is not above the Zimbabwe Republic Police, and you will agree that the incidences are now sporadic and not as concentrated as they were when they started.

“So, action is being taken, but you cannot rule out the fact that merchants of evil will always be there, and that is why we always have the police. In general, they take advantage of situations like this one.

“So, be rest assured that anyone who tries to imitate what has been happening in the last two weeks will be dealt with in no uncertain terms.”
Thugs raided houses in Mbare township, and the MDC-T claimed its supporters were targets.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai used a February 15 address at the Ambassador hotel in Harare to accuse Zanu PF supporters of the attacks, and subsequent violence targeting foreign-owned businesses in Harare’s central business district.

“… the violence that gripped Harare in the past few weeks,” Tsvangirai said, “Everyone knows that Zanu PF mobilised its youths to take over foreign-owned shops in the city. But the public media have gone into overdrive misleading the nation that the MDC was at the centre of that violence.”

Zanu PF strategist Jonathan Moyo, also the MP for Tsholotsho North, claimed last week that the MDC had engineered the violence “in its quest for bad news about Zimbabwe”.


Moyo said: “Firstly, and in order to provide the EU with a neo-colonial pretext for renewing and extending its illegal economic sanctions against Zimbabwe, some MDC-T mouthpieces and their associated puppets in the NGO community converged in Addis Ababa for the 2011 African Union (AU) summit last month as part of an underground operation whose failed objective was to scare the AU into including Zimbabwe on the agenda of ‘nations in crisis’ along with the likes of the Ivory Coast, Tunisia, Egypt and Somalia.

“After being rebuffed in Addis Ababa, the sell-outs came back home to cook up sporadic incidents of political violence in Harare and nobody was surprised that those incidents were predictably used by the EU in its official statement to justify its shameless decision to extend the illegal economic sanctions.

“On this point, and given that everyone knew that the EU was due to review its illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe on February 15, it would take a foolish or mad person to think or believe that Zanu PF was behind the unacceptable political violence that rocked Mbare and other parts of the capital city.

“The only political party which had a beneficial interest in that violence … is the MDC-T and it indeed benefited treacherously as the EU specifically cited the Mbare violence as a justification for the extension of its illegal sanctions on behalf of the MDC-T.”

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(NEWZIMBABWE) PM: Country risks political implosion

COMMENT - We have been here before. (Read: Makone absolves Zanu PF in Harare violence) The MDC is manipulating Zimbabwe's image for political gain. They should NEVER be allowed to govern freely, or there will be a civil war. The MDC cannot win in a general election, so they are resorting to inviting economic sanctions, possibly a military invasion by a foreign army. This is who the MDC are - they are traitors.

PM: Country risks political implosion
04/11/2011 00:00:00
by Agencies

SECURITY agents loyal to President Robert Mugabe are behind a ''coup'' that is plunging the country back into political violence, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has claimed.

Tsvangirai, speaking this week after police sealed the offices of his Movement for Democratic Change party, firing tear-gas into the building and at bystanders in Harare, said: ''It appears the demons of violence are back - a siege mood seems to be slowly gripping the country.

''The state security agents have instituted a coup over the civilian authority and they are now above the law, to the extent of disrupting government programs and assaulting civilians with impunity.''

Incidents of political violence decreased after Mugabe and Tsvangirai formed a unity government following disputed elections in 2008, during which more than 200 people died, but talk of a poll next year has reignited tension.

Tsvangirai remains critical of the President for clinging to power, but describes the relationship in their weekly meetings as cordial.

However, tensions appear to be escalating as parties begin campaigns for elections expected early next year and in recent weeks police have disrupted Tsvangirai's rallies in the western Matabeleland region, where the MDC won the majority of parliamentary seats in 2008.

Last Saturday, ZANU-PF militants disrupted an MDC rally organised by a minister jointly responsible for police affairs.

Tsvangirai said: ''The violence we are witnessing is state-sponsored and state-driven. It is being championed by a few fascist leaders who want to reverse the little progress we have made.

''The country is at a high risk of imploding if some in the leadership continue to be privately abetting lawlessness while publicly preaching non-violence.''

Tsvangirai said Mugabe had assured him during a meeting on Tuesday the issue of violence would be dealt with.

In a speech to parliament in September, Mugabe called for an end to violence.

While he was speaking, militants attacked MDC activists outside. ZANU-PF denies engaging in violence and accuses MDC supporters of provoking its supporters.

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Friday, November 04, 2011

(NEWZIMBABWE) NewsDay attack on Misihairabwi unjustified

NewsDay attack on Misihairabwi unjustified
04/11/2011 00:00:00
by Qhubani Moyo

THE attack on the Secretary General of the MDC Priscillar Misihairabwi-Mushonga by Conway Tutani, the NewsDay senior sub editor and columnist on November 4, 2011, is totally unacceptable and unjustified.

The attack arises from a newspaper article that falsely accuses Misihairabwi-Musonga of not being sensitive to the illness of Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khuphe, yet it is a matter of the public record that she has been genuinely sympathetic to Khuphe, with whom she has been in the trenches together for a long time both as a personal friend and political comrade.

The story that came out of the Chronicle has been proven to be a total fabrication. In their own words, the Chronicle have made an apology for their lie. In page two of the Thursday, Novemeber 2, edition the Chronicle, the newspaper says:

“In a story entitled ‘MP calls for bedroom sanctions’ published in the Chronicle of Tuesday, November 2, 2011, we quoted the MDC secretary general as having blasted people of Matabeleland as lacking political ambition. We erroneously quoted her as having said ‘something is wrong with the people from this region. Why do you always fight to become deputies to Shonas? Look at Khuphe the MDC deputy president has lost all her hair fighting to be Tsvangirai’s deputy.’ These words were never said by Mrs Misihairabwi Mushonga and we unreservedly apologise for the anguish and anxiety that might be caused by her.”

So even after the Chronicle has made such a retraction, Tutani of the NewsDay still wants to make a big issue out of a lie and thus promote alarm and despondency. It is common cause that Tutani, whose articles are limited in substance, wants to behave like a guerrilla columnist attacking everyone left right and centre and denying them the right to a response. Such kind of abuse of media space by people like Tutani flies in the face of the very struggles that Zimbabweans went to trenches for to ensure that we enjoy media freedom and plurality.

If people like Tutani would pound on other Zimbabweans on his columns every Friday and fail to give them the space to respond, where then is professionalism in their publications? Tutani should give himself time to think before putting pen to paper otherwise he is a big disgrace to the NewsDay. I am surprised that Brian Mangwende, an experienced editor, would allow the newspaper to have a one way engagement . I think it’s time that he makes a self-introspection and realises that it does not help his paper to grow if he makes it a conveyor belt of one section of ideas and shuts out all other ideas.

I find it strange that Tutani has found it relevant to fuel a discussion over an issue that has been closed, which was proved a lie the moment the first offending Chronicle publication flew off the printing press.

Tutani wants to incite women’s groups to do something about nothing. If people have nothing to write, they should not just fulfil a fixture. The writings that come to the public space should clearly be of value and based on facts and not this ranting by Tutani. People like Tutani who hate Misihairabwi-Mushonga for being resolute in her pronouncements that all regions should get equal share from the national cake thought they had for the first time caught her offside and thus wanted to use the allegations to crucify her.

Three weeks ago, I challenged Tutani to publish an article that responded to issues he raised in his column on regionalism and up to now he has not. All he could do was to send me an email trying to patronise me and playing a tribal card by telling me that he is of Nguni origin. If he is Nguni, so what?

The Voluntary Media Council, JOMIC and the Zimbabwe Media Commission are definitely going to receive a complaint from us about Tutani and NewsDay’s irresponsible behaviour.

Qhubani Moyo is the National Organising Secretary of the MDC led by Professor Welshman Ncube

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(TALKZIMBABWE) Tsvangirai: gay or anti-gay campaigner?

Tsvangirai: gay or anti-gay campaigner?
Posted by By Our reporter at 4 November, at 07 : 05 AM

Although Zimbabwe is no longer part of the Commonwealth, it is now public knowledge that Commonwealth heads of government were meeting in Australia in the last weeks of October.

Evidently, Downing Street ‘put pressure’ on Commonwealth governments to reform their human rights legislation at that recent CHOGM meeting. British prime minister David Cameron warned that Britain will block aid payment to countries which fail to overturn bans on homosexuality.

He told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show that he raised the issue of gay rights with ‘a number of African countries’ when he attended the Commonwealth meeting. It, therefore, came as no surprise, then, that Morgan Tsvangirai kick-started his gay crusade in the British capital London through the same BBC platform where he chose to announce his U-turn on his previously stated stance on gays last March when the MDC-T leader came out in support of President Robert Mugabe’s well documented stance on gays.

Tsvangirai, at the time, stated: “Women make up 52% of the population … There are more women than men, so why should men be proposing to men?”

Tsvangirai’s opponents have always claimed that he is a British puppet, a claim that Tsvangirai has struggled to do away with. Never mind his flimsy attempt to defend his latest U-turn by claiming: “I want to put finality and closure to an issue that has been misinterpreted, the issue of the so-called gay rights. My beliefs on this issue are a matter of public record.

My beliefs manifest themselves in my practice …” the only thing that the public is sure of is that Tsvangirai has no fixed position on anything.

Tsvangirai’s timing and his choice of platform to announce his U-turn on the gay rights issue is very suspicious.

The fact that it came about in the same week that Downing Street, was piling pressure on governments, that had anti-gay laws, threatening to cut aid to them raises more questions than there are answers.

Tsvangirai has not only made a U-turn on his stance on gays, he has taken to promoting David Cameron’s position taking the gay rights issue in Zimbabwe on his campaign trail.

The MDC-T leader has notched it up a level by suggesting that gays are persecuted in Zimbabwe he chose Pashu a remote village in Binga for this pronouncement something which puts him on the right side of his sponsors.

Only those in the MDC-T seem to be puzzled by what Tsvangirai is doing. For most of those who have watched Tsvangirai struggle to stay afloat at ‘the deep end’ of politics, this is nothing out of the ordinary Tsvangirai is much known for his flip-flopping and failure to stick to a previously stated position on almost all things.

Afterall was it not Tsvangirai’s right hand man Bennett who once, described Tsvangirai as a weak political operator who “does what the last person tells him to do?

At every election we have always heard the (‘we will we won’t’ take part in this election song) from his MDC-T party. Indecision is not just a common theme but a permanent feature in the Movement for Democratic Change.

One cannot help but wonder whether Cameron’s threat to cut aid to countries that will not end bans on homosexuality has motivated Tsvangirai to all-of -a- sudden jump out and be a gay rights campaigner, I am sure this has nothing to do with Cameron’s utterances about attaching more strings to British aid, that countries that receive British aid adhere to proper human rights (Gay rights).

This move by Tsvangirai is a no-vote winner in Zimbabwe were deep prejudices are rife. The question is why is Tsvangirai doing this?

I seriously do not believe that he just woke up pro- gay just like that. Is he dancing for his supper?

Brilliant Pongo is a journalist based in the United Kindgom. He can be reached via

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(HERALD) Namibia, Zim in print, broadcast talks

Namibia, Zim in print, broadcast talks
Friday, 04 November 2011 00:00
Herald Reporter

ZIMBABWE and Namibia's information officials met in Harare yesterday and discussed co-operation in broadcasting and the print media. In broadcasting, they looked at the digitilisation programme, prospects of Zimbabwe benefiting from the undersea cable that Namibia is developing as well as content development.

In print media, they reviewed co-operation in NamZim, a joint venture through which the Southern Times is published. Officials from Trans Media, Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Media Commission, Zimpapers and Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation attended the meeting with their Namibian counterparts.

Officially opening the meeting, Media, Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu said the meeting was a follow-up on issues raised at the last meeting held in Namibia in 2009 when he visited that country together with officials from his ministry.

These included development and harmonisation of policies and capacity development with a view to protecting the interests of the two countries.

He noted that the two countries shared a similar history as they were both born out of arduous liberation struggles.

In those struggles the people of Namibia and Zimbabwe stood shoulder to shoulder to free their countries and today they were doing the same in various fields.

Namibia's Minister of Information and Communication Technology Mr Joel Kaapanda also recalled that the two countries had stood together against all odds and continued to support each other.

They went to the Democratic Republic of Congo together and fought to liberate the whole country, paving way for democratic negotiations that brought peace and stability.

"Of course we were blamed and ostracised that we had acted as hegemonistic states that wanted to occupy that country. We did not occupy it but brought peace.
"Nobody wants to acknowledge this.

"DRC is what it is today because of the contribution of Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola."

He said his visit was meant to cement relations between the two countries, to concretise political relations into economic and technical co-operation.

He said the two ministries had a role to play in attaining Millennium Development Goals. The two countries had discussed critical issues that put them on a serious development path.

He wanted to see the two countries exchange skills, develop relevant content, develop their capacities and move together in the process of digitilisation.

He was keen to see Zimbabwe benefiting from the undersea cable. Namibia was already co-operating with Botswana and wanted other hinterlands like Zimbabwe and Zambia to benefit from the excess capacity that Namibia has.

An official who attended a closed session said they also discussed liberalisation of airwaves and community broadcasting.

The official said they looked at the possibility of training programmes and exchange of skills between the two countries. Minister Kaapanda arrived in the country on Wednesday and has held several meetings with Government officials.

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(HERALD) Rule of law and the kill or be killed doctrine

Rule of law and the kill or be killed doctrine
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 19:32

It is now on record that Muammar Gaddafi was killed after his convoy was attacked by NATO planes, including aircraft from the US and France, and after he was captured alive. These apparent facts are believed by most independent analysts to be correct, and needless to say, they point to yet another serious violation of international law involving the United States and its NATO allies.

The circumstances under which Gaddafi was murdered are quite similar to how the CIA-led and US-trained Bolivian military forces summarily executed Ernesto Che Guevara in October 1967, also after capturing him alive.

The circumstances are also reminiscent to the summary execution of Osama bin Laden by the US special forces, The Seals, in May this year; although the context of bin Laden's killing cannot be described as an armed conflict, much as the US may insist that its forces were fighting in a "war against terrorism".

The wilful killing or summary execution of a prisoner of war who is no longer participating in an armed conflict is a grave breach of the Third Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War of 1949, to which both the United States and France are parties.

It does not make any difference that the prisoner of war in question is a dislikeable character, an alleged tyrant, a suspected war criminal, or that he has been in power for over 40 years.

It simply makes no difference at law how much one dislikes the particular prisoner of war, or how angry one is at that prisoner of war.

The resulting obligation for all parties to this Convention is that they investigate, arrest, try, convict and then punish perpetrators of any such crimes.

But for the US to call for such an "inquiry" over Gaddafi's killing as has already happened there is an irony to be explained.

It is like the murderer presiding over the investigation of his own murder crime.
Of course, the Third Geneva Convention applies mainly during international armed conflicts and we must consider the Libyan scenario in this context.

The moment Operation Odyssey involving France, the UK and the US was launched, the Libyan conflict became international, especially on the strength of Resolution 1973, which effectively was UN Security Council authorisation of foreign intervention.

When NATO later came in there was no doubt whatsoever that the Libyan street protests involving students and rag tag and barely armed Benghazi rebels had been deliberately and intentionally elevated to a fully fledged international armed conflict targeting Libyan military bases officially, but in reality designed to assassinate Gaddafi and his family, something that was predicted by many analysts from the onset of the war in March this year.

The fact that the intervention was based on a UN Security Council resolution makes no difference at all.

International humanitarian law applies to any international conflict, even an illegal one like the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

If one of the domestic parties to a non-international armed conflict becomes an ally of a foreign power or foreign powers and commences fighting against its own people as was clearly done by the NATO-led and Western funded Benghazi rebels, these rebels evidently come under enough control from the foreign powers so as to make the foreign powers directly responsible for their acts.

As such the murdering of Gaddafi cannot be separated from the culpability of NATO and that of the Western leaders at whose command NATO operates. Every form of thuggery and act of lawlessness by the NTC's NATO-led rebels is the direct responsibility of NATO and the Western powers behind the conflict in that country.

There is evidence ample enough to make it abundantly clear that the rebels who executed Gaddafi were under the direction and control of NATO forces, who themselves were effectively the air force of these rebel bands, a pattern that became the trademark of the entire warfare that saw Gaddafi ousted from power.

The mere fact that Gaddafi's convoy was first attacked by foreign air power and then by foreign-sponsored and armed ground forces that evidently included foreign troops and Special Forces is quite telling evidence in proving the liability of the US and its Western allies.

Moreover, it is apparent that Gaddafi was fleeing Sirte, itself a clear target of unprovoked aggression by NATO and its lackey rebels, and as such Gaddafi was attacked not as a threat to any civilians in Libya, the remit of the use of force provided by the UN Security Council Resolution 1973.

Rather this attack comes across as either an indiscriminate attack or one aimed at killing defenceless people fleeing from an armed conflict. The only provocation attributable to the people of Sirte is their refusal to condemn and disown Muammar Gaddafi, or more precisely the misfortune of them sharing the same ethnicity with the fallen leader.

Whichever way one looks at it, it was a use of force against the political independence and territorial integrity of Libya, especially given the fact that the NATO-led rebels had expressly stated they do not form a new government of Libya, rather demanding the departure of Gaddafi to pave way for a transitional arrangement, a position later disregarded blatantly at the command of Sarkozy and David Cameron.
The attack on Libya fairly constitutes the crime of aggression, regardless of the current international debate on the definition of aggression.

The attack on Sirte was in its entirety outside the remit of the mandate of the UN Security Council, which itself is and must be bound by international law.

In fact the attack evidently constitutes a serious violation of one of the most fundamental principles of international law prohibiting the use of force.

It amounts to ethnic cleansing, especially given that the whole attack was meant to coerce a whole tribe to behave in a particular way and to submit to the wishes of an armed adversary backed by foreign powers.
One can look at Gaddafi's death from the point of view of international humanitarian law. This law applies during war time and peace time, for tyrants and also for statesmen, in regards to democracies and to non-democracies, for elected leaders and for self-imposed leaders.

It protects even coup leaders like Gaddafi.

The law imposes a higher standard than in an armed conflict, limiting force to what is absolutely necessary so as to achieve a lawful goal.

In this particular case we saw the use of high-tech air power, including drones, and then we saw anti-aircraft guns targeting land-based persons, something that became a trademark of the NATO-led rebels throughout the entire conflict, not mentioning the trigger happy bunches of unruly rebels that often shot endlessly in the air when they were not shooting at anyone indiscriminately suspected of being a Gaddafi supporter, especially dark skinned Libyans.

It is reasonable to conclude that the entire conduct of NATO and its rebel subjects constitutes excessive and indiscriminate use of force in gross violation of the right to life.

Without any stretching of legal interpretations, the summary execution of a prisoner of war clearly violates the right to life, itself a fundamental right under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

If there were ever such a thing as respect for international law, the offending states would be ordered to return the situation to what it was before their violation of the law began, of course something now impossible after the summary execution of Gaddafi.

As portrayed by the immature and brainless euphoric celebrations by Hilary Clinton over the brutal death of Muammar Gaddafi, the United States may in killing Gaddafi have won short term bragging rights as victor in yet another minor battle against yet another defenceless foe, but the long term damage to the US international reputation is surely going to be overwhelmingly massive.

The US has a very long history of boasting about mighty victories over small and defenceless countries, like the 1958 air raids on Laos, the 1982 invasion of Grenada that involved 12 000 elite troops over a country of 100 000 people who did not even have a meaningful police force, let alone an army, and now the mighty victory over a tiny 5.8 million people-Libya - achieved on the backdrop of high tech drones and extremely advanced war planes bombing freely with no retaliation whatsoever.

Under international law, other states may seek to use the US or NATO's international law violations as justification for their own intentional wrongful acts.

Yes, there are political and legal limits to unlawful acts that other states may take in response to the West's habitual violation of international law, but surely there are no limits on lawful action that may be taken, for example taking steps to devalue the US dollar, boycotting US and EU products, or merely stating to treat Americans and Westerners with disdain and as untrustworthy partners in the international community.

Any such act could have dire consequences for the West in general, and for US hegemony in particular, especially now that both the US and the EU are facing seemingly unstoppable economic downfalls.

The West aggressively attacks Libya at a time the EU and the US are most vulnerable, and that would be an extremely dangerous move if Africa was not currently under the leadership of hopelessly harmless treacherous politicians like South Africa's Jacob Zuma and the majority of the West-fearing lot that excludes a few like President Robert Mugabe, whose only known equal in terms of manhood and courage could be the slain Gaddafi.

The illegal invasion of Iraq culminating in the widely condemned travesty of justice that was employed to murder Saddam Hussein, the continued occupation of Afghanistan well after the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden, himself the remit used to justify the invasion, and now months of aggression culminating in the extrajudicial execution of Gaddafi are all events guaranteed to send a wrong message to like-minded aggressors.

Other states and even non-state actors who may find the US or any of its NATO allies to be foes get this message that one must kill or be killed to survive in this world. That is the express message we learn from the whole military episode that toppled and murdered Muammar Gaddafi.

The kill or be killed doctrine is the rule of the jungle, not international law. The US is the violator in chief of all international law and it is sad that a country that preaches liberties and freedom to others happens to be the most murderous in human history.

Gaddafi is certainly going to haunt his foes longer and harder than he ever could in his life time.

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

l Reason Wafawarova is a political writer based in Sydney, Australia.

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(HERALD) Work at Amai Mugabe orphanage school begins

Work at Amai Mugabe orphanage school begins
Friday, 04 November 2011 00:00
Herald Reporters

The groundbreaking ceremony for the multi-million dollar Grace Mugabe Foundation Primary School being built with the assistance of the People's Republic of China was held at the sprawling complex in Mazowe yesterday. The school - being built on a 7 720 square metre plot - will include 27 classrooms, a library, an art room, music room, computer room and auxiliary equipment rooms.

The institution will have four streams of 24 pupils per class from grade one to seven.

The school will cater for 900 disadvantaged children from Grace Mugabe Children's Home and surrounding areas.

The project, on completion, will include a children's home, hospital, a primary and secondary school, shopping complex and workers' quarters.

The children's home, which currently has 38 completed houses, houses 15 abandoned children under the care of foster mothers.

Amai Mugabe is working on adopting more children for the centre.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, the President dismissed misleading media reports that the project was inconveniencing residents.

Some media reports had indicated that more than 60 families had been displaced from the site.

The President however, praised Amai Mugabe's vision to give the underprivileged a "second chance" in life.

"I was particularly heartened to hear that the envisaged school will also admit children from communities surrounding it.

"This obviously proves false, the rumours which claim that the Grace Mugabe Foundation is bringing suffering to the communities," he said.

President Mugabe said the First Lady believed in giving dignity to every child whose birth or upbringing had been made difficult through the parents' difficult circumstances.

He said Amai Mugabe had, before the establishment of the children's home, identified intelligent but needy children and was sponsoring their education.

"Some of the children were identified while still at primary school, even as a similar exercise was underway for those who were doing their schooling."

President Mugabe said the First Lady had sponsored children up to university level and they had excelled and distinguished themselves in various fields.

He however, challenged society to play a role in the upbringing of disadvantaged children to have a better future.

Amai Mugabe said population growth presented the world with challenges of adequately investing in children to realise their goals.
She hailed Government's Look East policy.

"Look at what is happening to the West. They are having economic challenges but we are doing well here with the assistance from countries such as China," she said.
Amai Mugabe said the First Family had a vision of making education available to all Zimbabweans.

"It is an ideal whose fulfillment my husband and I pursue alongside all our endeavours to help the disadvantaged members of our society."

She however, said the home would want to address an outstanding challenge of reaching out to as many children as possible.

Amai Mugabe also hailed assistance from the Chinese government which offered to assist in the construction of the primary school.

She urged communities to focus on improving the lives of children.
"Educating our children is an important investment, never a waste! All our communities should be engaged."

Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Xin Shun-kang said the primary school's construction symbolised the growing relations between the countries.

"Education has always been the priority of Zimbabwe and the foundation of development of the nation.
"Zimbabwe produces well-educated people who are employed locally and abroad," he said.

He said China would assist Zimbabwe and had constructed several institutions in the country including the National Defence College.

Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister Ignatius Chombo said the home would benefit the Mazowe community and people surrounding the district.

"The development will also result in the employment of locals and the rise of Mazowe district to attain a town status.

"Mai Mugabe has contributed to the socio-economic turnaround of the country," he said.

Announcing the donation of three elephants to the Chinese government, Mashonaland Central Governor and Resident Minister Advocate Martin Dinha dismissed reports that the project had displaced people.

"There are only seven families that have been affected, they have since been engaged and satisfactorily compensated," he said.

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(HERALD) Govt set to resolve NewZim Steel hurdles

Govt set to resolve NewZim Steel hurdles
Friday, 04 November 2011 00:00
Golden Sibanda Senior Business Reporter

BUREAUCRATIC issues on iron ore claims, which have delayed the revival of NewZim Steel Limited, will be cleared in the next two weeks, a Cabinet minister has aid.
But The Herald Business understands problems affecting NewZim Steel's revival might not be fully resolved within the timeframe indicated by Industry and Commerce Minister Professor Welshman Ncube.

This is because there is a pending court case on a dispute over mineral rights to the Mwanesi (Chivhu) iron ore deposits, the biggest known iron ore reserves in the country.

Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development Gift Chimanikire said the Mwanesi deposits were erroneously allocated to an individual, a former employee of Ziscosteel who had inside knowledge about them.

"The claims have not yet been transferred to NewZim Steel.

"They are registered in the name of an individual, which is improper because it's a reserved area," he said.

"When we discovered the anomaly, our chief mining commissioner annulled the registration because our Gweru mining commissioner erred in pegging for the individual in a reserved area."

In an earlier court contest, the ministry lost out following a default judgment in favour of the individual holdings rights to Mwanesi iron ore deposits after the ministry failed to appear in court due to a communication breakdown between the Harare and Gweru offices.

The Ministry of Mines has appealed the ruling.

Deputy minister Chimanikire said while NewZim was entitled to some claims it would be wrong for them to have most of the reserves in their name, as they would not utilise them all at once.

The issue of how much NewZim will be entitled to would be resolved after the wrangle over the ownership of Mwanesi iron ore deposits has been completed.

NewZim Minerals holds rights to the bulk of the country's known iron ore deposits, believed to run into billions of tonnes.
Sources say this would and this has been seen creating a monopoly.

It is also feared that Zimbabwe would be left with no room to manoeuvre in the future if it wanted to expand the steel manufacturing sector after selling most of its iron ore mineral rights to Essar Global Limited.

This has reportedly prompted the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to move in and demand that the agreement on the mineral rights be revisited to ensure an equitable mineral rights ownership scenario.

But Minister Ncube yesterday said it was "a little bureaucratic complexity" that had stalled the NewZim Steel revival and that challenges around this should be cleared by November 15.

He said the challenge was only that the iron ore claims were registered under the then Ziscosteel (now NewZim Steel Limited) and Buchwa Iron Ore Mining Company (now NewZim Minerals limited), which has to change. Minister Ncube said there was unanimity in Cabinet on the need to revive the firm, adding "we should have moved faster on the issues of Essar".

"It is only that Ziscosteel has iron ore mining claims under its name and Buchwa Iron Mining Company had its own mining claims also under its names.

"Now with the formation of New Zim Steel Limited and NewZim Minerals Limited all we are saying is for the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to write these claims under the new names," he said.

Minister Ncube said they could not ascertain the amount of iron ore reserves that was not provided "but we are aware of the number of claims that should add to eight".
"We have written to the ministry responsible and agreed that by November 15, 2011 everything should be in place," said Minister Ncube.

There certainly is more to the issue than meets the eye, as it has emerged the Ministry of Mines and Mining development wanted to release only what NewZim Steel requires in view of the size of their operations.

Essar Global indicated it had plans to export what would be excess to its local steel manufacturing requirements. Minister Chimanikire said this was to avoid monopoly, as has been the case with Zimasco and ZimAlloys. Essar Global, through Essar Africa Holdings, had put conditions for the revival of NewZim Steel and these included guarantees on power, transport, fiscal concessions and mineral claims (iron ore and coal claims).

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(HERALD) Digitising revolutions: Africa’s major challenge

Digitising revolutions: Africa’s major challenge
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 00:00

We are living in a fast-changing terrain. If you snooze, you lose. As I watch the popular embrace of information communication technologies by all and sundry, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity and belief systems, it is as if the Internet, with its accompanying familiarities such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yookos have always been a part of our lives.

We have become the touch-button generation that can easily talk about bits and bytes, cyberspace and virtual reality.

Despite using them daily, I've often remarked that sometimes I feel so ancient. It was in the early 90s that our small class on information networking (the Internet) turned some of us into cyberpunks - literally living on the Internet - netizens as one of our professors loved to call us.

We even laughed at a New York Times article of June 5, 1994 headlined, "On the Internet, dissidents' shots heard ‘round the world'".

To the print media, this was a major discovery, which we had since discovered as we witnessed struggles finding their way on the Internet.

When social media finally became the acceptable term, it was not surprising to see that the Internet is playing a crucial role in people's daily lives. The interesting thing is the manner in which they mutate and also get replicated sometimes with unknown consequences.

For while the Arab Spring continues, it has given momentum to another revolution: the anti-capitalist protests that started off as Occupy Wall Street, but have gone global.

Award winning journalist Heather Brooke's recently published book, "The Revolution Will Be Digitised: Dispatches from the Information War" gives a stamp of authority to this new scenario. What Alvin and Heidi Toffler called the "big bang"!

It is an expose of how revolutions in the 21st century will be fought. This is a book about the information war - the information that leads to thousands of drones being dropped on infrastructure and people.

It is exciting, but in some cases spooky and terrifying. So recent is the information in the book that even the founder of the whistleblower WikiLeaks Julian Assange is given quite a bit of narrative.

Poignant issues are raised on the blurb of the book: "There is more information in the world than ever - but who's in control? At the centre is the Establishment: governments, corporations and powerful individuals who have more knowledge about us, and more power, than at any other time in history. Circling them is a new generation of hackers, pro-democracy campaigners and Internet activists who no longer accept that the Establishment should run the show."

As she seeks answers, Brookes "explores the most urgent questions of the digital age: where is the balance between freedom and security? In an online world, does privacy still exist? And will the Internet empower individuals, or usher in a new age of censorship, surveillance and oppression?"

In my view these questions form the crux of digital revolutions: who is in charge of what, how and where?

Who are the owners, and who are the net consumers? Do the end users understand how this ball game is being played? Do they understand the agendas and the bigger picture?

Zimbabwe has fought major revolutions and has won, but is it able to conduct a digital revolution, and still come up tops?

Do we understand all the electronic gadgets that continue to wire up our lives and, are we able to get maximum advantage from them?

Will we be able to implement what Alvin and Heidi Toffler recommend in their book, "The Third Wave", which is to create knowledge warriors - moving data banks - who can fight these digital revolutions?

The Tofflers argue that "As the third wave war-form takes shape, a new breed of ‘knowledge warriors' has begun to emerge - intellectuals in and out of uniform dedicated to the idea that knowledge can win, or prevent wars . . . "

Brooke is expressing how she sees the world around her changing in real time. What it means is that these are effects that will be felt by every nation and every human being. How we respond to them will determine our failure and/or success.

It is time we started asserting our influence in this digital age and wage digital revolutions.

I've often wondered how we can fight these revolutions when the generational gap makes it look like the younger generation has a better grasp, but instead of taking the older generation together with them, they would rather privatise that knowledge.
The reality is that for that revolution to be won, both generations should work as a team.

"The Revolution Will Be Digitised has an attention-grabbing cover design - a clenched fist - the clenched fist which was denounced by United states president Barack Obama in his inaugural speech in 2009. He preferred an open palm.

Revolutionaries around the world, Zanu-PF included have used the clenched fist as a symbol in their slogans. I noted that the clenched fist is not just a symbol of defiance, but it is also a symbol of unity.

An observer who saw me reading the book remarked that the African revolution through the fist had gone global, but time will tell if Africa will manage the digital age.
Brooke also ends her book thus, "We now have a technology that unites individuals in such a way that we can create the first global democracy. Hundreds of millions of people are climbing out of poverty and the Internet gives them access to the sort of information that was previously accessible only to elite scholars.

"They can join a worldwide conversation and come together in infinite permutations to check power anywhere it concentrates. The greatest achievement isn't in producing technology, but using it to redefine the boundaries of what is possible."
Africa managed to leapfrog and embrace the technologies.

I reiterate the challenge in using these technologies for Africa's good, and not allow them to be used by those who have always had the upper hand to do down Africa.

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(HERALD) ZCFU, farmers clash over soyabean contract-farming project

ZCFU, farmers clash over soyabean contract-farming project
Friday, 04 November 2011 00:00
Agriculture Reporter

THE Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union has come under fire for allegedly duping farmers into joining non-existent soyabean contract-farming project.
According to farmers, ZCFU had managed to convince them that they would be assisted in soyabean production only to be told at the last minute to approach banks for funding.

Zvimba North Farmers Association president, Mr Chamunorwa Chibondo, said on Tuesday that farmers who were interested in the soyabean production were asked to pay a joining fee of US$150, US$50 inspection fee and US$35 per hectare for administration.

"We were interested in the project and paid the fees. A single person who covered all farmers in a day did the inspection," he said.

After the inspections the farmers expected to start receiving inputs only to be told the scheme had changed as farmers were advised to approach banks, as individuals, for loans.

Mr Chibondo said ZB bank, which was recommended by ZCFU, did not accept individual farmers but instead preferred to deal with groups.

"We had come to collect the inputs at the ZCFU head office only to be told of the new arrangement. There is no way we can get funding from banks, as they require collateral. Where do we get the collateral," he said.

The farmers said the process of applying for cash from banks took long and this would affect their farming activities. Another farmer said: "Some of us had already done land preparations and we are now being told to start applying to banks. The process takes long and there is no guarantee we will get the funds. Even if we get the money the season will already be gone and this will obviously affect our yields."

Some of the farmers demanded their money back accusing ZCFU of daylight robbery for the union to collect money from farmers only to abandon them at the critical moment.

In July, ZCFU announced that it had engaged the private sector and input suppliers in rolling out a soyabean project expected to cover 35 000 hectares countrywide. The union promised that it was going to provide inputs such as seed, fertilisers and herbicides as well link farmers with markets.

Farmers involved in the project that was to be evenly distributed throughout the country were also promised with assistance in acquiring farm implements.

ZCFU official, Mr Shadreck Tsimba on Tuesday confirmed that farmers were not happy with the way the project had been handled and said discussions were underway to solve the problem.

"There has been a small misunderstanding since farmers are not happy with the new set up. We have not reached to a conclusion as negotiations are underway," he said. Mr Tsimba said this was not the first time ZCFU had run a contract project.

"We had a wheat project, which went on well, but this one has brought problems as it was slightly different and currently we are engaging banks to address issues raised by farmers," he said.

Contract farming has become an answer to many farmers who do not have ready cash to finance their operations.

However, on some occasions farmers blame the contractors of providing inadequate inputs and yet demand the whole crop at the end of the season. On the other hand, contractors blame farmers for side marketing.

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(HERALD) Call for lifting of GMO ban on stockfeeds

Call for lifting of GMO ban on stockfeeds
Friday, 04 November 2011 00:00

THE ban on genetically modified stockfeeds is negatively impacting on the poultry and pig sectors, Mr Mario Beffa, chairman of the Livestock and Meat Advisory Council has said. Speaking at a workshop on the constraints affecting the two sectors in Harare on Tuesday, Mr Beffa said there was urgent need to lift the ban on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) to boost the availability of stockfeeds.

"The relevant authorities need to make considerations on the GMO ban because it is making the availability of stockfeeds difficult since you know that our farmers are failing to meet the demand," said Mr Beffa.

According to reports by agricultural economists, Dr Jackqueline Mutambara and Dr Chrispen Sukume, GMO stockfeeds are cheaper than non-GMO and substituting the latter for the former would make the sectors viable.

"GMO soya and maize are cheaper than non-GMO soya and maize and substituting the latter for the former in pig diets will reduce the price of feeds currently constituting 85 percent of the total cost of production in pigs.

"This will reduce the cost of raising pigs and thus improve on the profits," Dr Mutambara said.

Representatives from the two sectors have since formed a task force that will engage the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Science and Technology to deliberate on the issue of the GMO ban on stockfeeds.

Apart from the GMO ban the sectors are also facing high import tariffs on production of raw materials and inputs and the excessive illegal poultry and pig imports.

"There should be a clampdown on illegal poultry imports because they are affecting us seriously," Lunar Chickens chief executive, Mr Edwin Mushangwe said.



(NYASATIMES) Malawi needs to take its ‘painful’ medicine -UN

Malawi needs to take its ‘painful’ medicine -UN
By Thom Chiumia, Nyasa Times
November 4, 2011

United Nations resident representative in Malawi, Richard Dictus, says Malawi needs a “different thinking “and a “sustained effort” to resolve the political and economic turmoil.

Dictus, whose UN is facilitating dialogue between government and the civil society leaders, made the remarks on Brian Banda’s Capital FM Straight Talk programme. He noted that the country was facing “complex crisis” with “no easy solutions” in sight.

Dictus said: “You need to follow a new line, go back to a number of policy tenets that made Malawi very successful between 2004 and 2009. Re-establish that macroeconomic stability and if I can put it bluntly, Malawi needs to take its medicine and it will be painful.”

The UN diplomat however said the country will come out of the crisis, saying “Malawi has shown remarkable resilience over the years.”

Dictus: It will be painful medicine

Asked to comment on the international donors’ threat to freeze aid to nations that criminalises same-sex liaisons, the UN official said the issue of gay rights is part of universality of human rights and that Malawi was not singled out.

He said development partners will make their choice where their money needs to be spent; stressing it was “their money.”

Dictus said Malawi “definitely have to brace ourselves for a difficult period ahead” but expressed the hope that the situation would improve later.

He noted that there are “signals” that government is beginning to listen and addressing concerns.

The donors are concerned about threats to media freedom, governance, deteriorating human rights situations and the “shrinking political space”.

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(NYASATIMES) World Bank tells Malawi: Address concerns to get aid

World Bank tells Malawi: Address concerns to get aid
By Wanga Gwede, Nyasa Times
November 3, 2011

The World Bank has made it clear that for Malawi to start receiving budgetary support the Bingu wa Mutharika administration should address concerns about his political and economic leadership. The donors are concerned about threats to media freedom, governance, deteriorating human rights situations and the “shrinking political space”.

The lender, which is holding back $40 million in budget support, said Malawi should complete the International Monetray Fund (IMF) credit facility programme, to win back donor confidence.

Sandra Bloemenkamp, the World Bank’s manager for Malawi said on Wednesday, addressing concerns raised by the donor community is key for Malawi to get back the aid.

Sandra Bloemenkamp: Address concerns

“The World Bank calls upon the government to Malawi to undertake these needed actions as an important first step towards the resumption of budget support,” a statement by Bloemekamp, who chairs a committee of the donors who normally account for 40% of Malawi’s budget, said.

International donors were also demanding Mutharika government to speed up an inquiry into a July crackdown on anti-government protests in which 20 demonstrators were killed and also an inquest on the death of pro-democrcay university student Robert Chasowa.

“The premium for further delays is increasing day by day and the impact will be severe on the most vulnerable groups,” the bank said.

However, on Wednesday the World Band signed with Malawi government the financing agreements for five new investment and technical assistance projectsthat will seek to support Malawi’s fight against poverty.

The lender said the projects ratified by Malawi parliament and approved by the bank’s board, would be largely designed to improve the livelihoods of Malawian households and businesses.

“In the absence of budget support, the value and timing of project financing is particularly important to Malawi,” the bank said.

The support will help improving access to reliable water and technical assistance projects to the mining sector, to improve transparency and sustainability in the management of the mining sector.

The aid freeze started earlier this year with a diplomatic spat with Britain, Malawi’s biggest donor, caused by a leaked diplomatic cable that labelled Mutharika “autocratic and intolerant of criticism”.

Washington joined in after the July violence, suspending a $350m project to upgrade the impoverished, land-locked state’s decrepit electricity grid.

Combined with a collapse in revenues from tobacco, Malawi’s main foreign exchange earner, the aid embargo has triggered an acute dollar shortage, putting pressure on the kwacha currency and hitting imports of basics such as food and fuel.

Petrol stations are frequently dry, and when they do have fuel, motorists are forced to queue for hours to fill up.

The hardship in evidence on the streets is in stark contrast to the official statistics, which suggest which suggest that Malawi has been among the world’s fastest-growing economies in the last six years.

Much of that performance has been based on a fertiliser subsidy scheme for farmers, although the aid freeze has also thrown that programme into doubt.—(Additional reporting by Reuters)

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(NYASATIMES) Malawi mending fences with Zambia, Mozambique – PM

Malawi mending fences with Zambia, Mozambique – PM
By Wanga Gwede, Nyasa Times
November 2, 2011

Foreign Affairs Minister, Professor Peter Mutharika (PM), says he has “opened the lines” of official communication with neighbouring Zambia and Mozambique in a bid to mend diplomatic fences

Malawi wedged between Tanzania, Zambia, аnd Mozambique, hаѕ bееn іn a number of diplomatic disputes іn recent years, ranging from to relations with former colonial master Britain, to neighbouring Zambia and Mozambique.

But Mutharika, a brother to President Bingu wa Mutharika and heir apparent, said he has started diplomatic efforts to resolve any misunderstanding between Malawi and her neighbours including Britain.

He said on arrival from Australia where he attended the Commonwealth Heads of State Summit that he “sought the meeting with Mozambican and Zambian foreign affairs ministers to improve the bilateral relations which have been strained over some issues.”

Peter Mutharika: I held talks

Malawi and Zambia diplomatic relations have been strained since Michael Sata was elected president last month.

On March 15, 2007, the Mutharika government deported Sata from Malawi shortly after arrival; a development Sata believed was politically-inclined. Sata demanded an explanation and an apology from Malawi.

Malawi has since withdrawn the prohibited immigrant status of president Sata.

Mutharika however a said the deportation of Sata “was an incident that happened for other reasons” and that Malawi now recognises him as Head of State.

Malawi and Mozambique had diplomatic tiff over the Shire-Zambezi waterway. Malawi accused Mozambique of breaking agreements on making a “trial run” to prove the navigability of the waterway, from the Indian Ocean to the Malawian inland port of Nsanje.

The government also claimed that fuel shortages in Malawi were caused by the ongoing repairs to the bridge over the Zambezi in Tete city, the claims which were trashed by Mozambique authorities.

Mutharika said officials will “keep on talking” to ensure smooth relations are normalised.

He also said dialogue with Britain “is going on” following his meeting with UK foreign secretary William Hague in London last month.

Mutharika said government was addressing concerns of governance and human rights.

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Thursday, November 03, 2011

(MnG, REUTERS) Greece's government 'won't survive the night'

COMMENT - Typical corporate stuff coming out of Reuters (whose shareholders also own Anglo-American De Beers and The Economist Magazine, which funded Mugabe And The White African). 'Debt-choked Greece' was sank by Toxic Assets from Goldman Sachs. Get rid of those toxic assets, and there is no budget problem.

Greece's government 'won't survive the night'

The Greek government teetered on the brink of collapse on Thursday over plans for a referendum on a eurozone bailout with turmoil in the ruling party casting grave doubt on whether Prime Minister George Papandreou and his government can survive a confidence vote.

Conservative opposition leader Antonis Samaras demanded that a transitional government be formed immediately to run the country until snap elections, with the current parliament ratifying the financial rescue for debt-choked Greece.

State television and the state ANA news agency said that Papandreou would meet the Greek president after an emergency Cabinet session on Thursday, without giving further details.

Papandreou would have to submit his resignation or a request for a unity government to President Karolos Papoulias.

Won't resign

Papandreou's chief-of-staff denied the prime minister intended to resign, although sources within his PASOK socialist party said some senior lawmakers wanted a Greek former top official at the European Central Bank (ECB) to head a new government.

"I don't think the government will last until tonight [Thursday]," said Costas Panagopoulos, managing director of pollsters ALCO.

Papandreou's surprise decision to call a referendum on the €130-billion bailout to save Greece from bankruptcy and prevent a global financial crisis provoked an uproar at home and across the eurozone.

Rejection of the package, which includes yet more austerity measures for the long suffering Greek electorate, would unravel the eurozone's plan for tackling its wider debt crisis and cut off Greece's international financial lifeline.

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos broke ranks with Papandreou, coming out against holding the referendum after a bruising meeting with the German and French leaders, who made it clear that Greece would not receive a cent more in aid until it votes to meet its commitments to the eurozone.

'Referendum is dead'

Chaos over Greece's role in the eurozone swept financial markets with early losses in stocks and the euro turning to gains on hopes Athens might ditch its referendum plans.

The Greek stock exchange rose 4% on speculation the referendum would be abandoned. World stocks, as measured by MSCI, were flat after earlier being sharply lower.

In Europe, the FTSEurofirst 300 lost 1% initially but later stood close to 1% percent higher. Earlier, Japan's Nikkei closed down 2.2%.

"The referendum is dead," Greek ruling party lawmaker Nikos Salayannis said on state radio.

The spectre of a hard Greek default and euro exit hung over a meeting of G20 leaders beginning in Cannes on Thursday.

The French Riviera summit had been meant to focus on reforms of the global monetary system and steps to curb speculative capital flows but the shockwaves from Greece have upended the global talks.

-- Reuters

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Whistleblowing Michael's government

Whistleblowing Michael's government
By The Post
Thu 03 Nov. 2011, 14:50 CAT

The most serious problem facing Michael Sata's government today is not civil servants leaking information about his appointments. It is the quality of his appointments that is a problem. And this is what Michael should focus his attention on and find ways to improve the quality of his appointments so that they are accepted by the great majority of our people.

There is dissension in the country over the appointments he is making. And this dissension is not coming from his political opponents because these would be very happy to see him weakened by poor appointments. His political opponents are happy with the poor appointments he is making because that aids their campaign against him.

It is his supporters who are most affected, who are most saddened by the poor appointments he is making. To remove this opposition, this dissatisfaction, the primary requisite is for Michael to eradicate the cause of dissension. A great number of his appointments are not in accord with the expectations of his supporters. And Michael doesn't seem to realise this because he is shielded away from them in State House.

If Michael today was to put his appointments to the approval of his supporters, very few would be approved. This may not worry Michael because as far as he may be concerned, he is acting within his constitutional powers. But there are people who gave him this opportunity, this power and he has to listen to them, he has to mull over things and consider their feelings. If he thinks he doesn't need to consider the feelings of anyone and continues to act only according to his own desires, he will be in grief soon.

We say this because the constitutional powers he has amount to nothing without the support of the people. In case those around him don't have the moral courage to tell him that the great majority of our people are not happy with his appointments, we are telling him that. If he is in doubt, let him go to the people directly and consult them.

The problem is not with the civil servants leaking information about his appointments. It is the quality of his appointments that are causing problems. But it's always easy to blame other people for one's problems, no matter how self-created they may be.

It won't help Michael to try and turn those humble civil servants into the burden bearers of the problems he is creating for himself through poor judgement and lack of adequate and meaningful consultations. No one in this country can make the number of appointments singlehandedly and get it right at the end of the day. Michael is trying the impossible and is bound to fail because he doesn't know everyone in this country.

Zambia is a big country covering over 755,000 square kilometres with a population of over 13 million. How many of these kilometres has Michael covered? How many of these over 13 million Zambians has Michael met, does Michael know?

The only way for Michael to avoid deficiencies in his appointments is to go for collective leadership. This will help because when the best opinions, the opinions of most competent men and women, the most capable men and women, are discussed collectively, they are cleansed of their vices, of their errors, of their weaknesses, of their faults.

If Michael wants to think that because it's only him and him alone who has been given the powers by the Constitution to make these appointments he will make them alone, then he is in for more dissension, more troubles and more failures.

If he wants to govern like an absolute monarchy decreeing everything down to his subjects or servants, he will face serious challenges. Michael is a part of a collective and he has to work within that collective to succeed. If he wants to run things alone as if he has no party, no colleagues, no cadres, he is in for a rude awakening.

Yes, Michael has the right to make the final decisions, but he has a duty to consult. If he is going to continue making decisions alone, he will soon find himself alone, defending everything he has done alone. This will be so because it will be unfair for him to expect his colleagues to come to his defence on matters he never consults them, on matters he thinks are personal to him.

Michael has to learn to share his constitutional powers with his colleagues by consulting. And moreover, consulting others is another way of mobilising his colleagues to support his decisions whenever they are challenged or if they happen to be wrong because there is no human being, or human decisions that are always correct. If he continues acting in solitude, he will find himself abandoned and only surrounded by those who seek favours from him, those he has given jobs.

Of course there will be opposition to everything he does. He has opposition now, and he will have even greater opposition in future, even if he does everything the right way - and he should do them the right way, even if it calls for his greatest efforts.

It is hard for any political party or person to avoid mistakes, but we should make as few as possible of them. And once a mistake is made, we should correct it, and the more quickly and thoroughly, the better. There is nothing to be ashamed of or stubborn about in correcting mistakes. Yes, sometimes it may be painful to reverse the decisions one has made.

But you are saving yourself a lot of future problems, worse problems than the one you are attempting to correct. After having made very unacceptable appointments of Xavier Chungu and Emmanuel Mwamba, Michael should have reversed both of them. But it seems it was too embarrassing for him to drop both so he had to retain Mwamba to save face. But what face can one save with such a wrong decision, a filthy appointment?

Michael must learn to listen attentively to others, including those outside the leadership of his party and government, and let them have their say. If what they say is right, he should welcome it, and should learn from their strong points; if it is wrong, he should patiently explain things to them than start to denounce them and accuse them of all sorts of things.

If we have shortcomings, we should not be afraid to have them pointed out and criticised because the job of those in leadership is to serve the people. Anyone, no matter who, may point out our shortcomings. If he is right, we should correct them. If what he proposes will benefit the people, we should act upon it.

It is a waste of time for Michael to concern himself so much with leaks, with who has leaked what appointment. No government or institution or corporation can be certain that their secrets are safe. States and citizens will, as many do already, operate on the assumption that nothing can reliably remain hidden.

Whistleblowers and secret sources are here to stay. As fast as governments encrypt and hide, whistleblowers and hackers will decode and seek places to publish. There is a sea-change in the way we are ruled and the information we are entitled to expect.

Threatening civil servants over leaks will not change the tide of history. The genie is out of the bottle - there will be more leaks. No government anywhere, even the most powerful, can protect itself from greater public scrutiny and a new age of whistle-blowing. The only sensible way to operate now is for those in government to try at all times and in all circumstances to do the right thing, things they can easily explain and justify to their people with a clear conscience.

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Sata appoints Xavier PS

Sata appoints Xavier PS
By Chibaula Silwamba
Thu 03 Nov. 2011, 10:00 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata has appointed forgery-convict and corruption suspect Xavier Chungu as his permanent secretary for Luapula Province, highly-placed sources at Cabinet Office revealed yesterday.

And President Sata has appointed Emmanuel Mwamba the late former president Frederick Chiluba's spokesperson as his permanent secretary for Northern Province while renowned marketer Augustine Sebuya will be Western Province permanent secretary. According to the sources, President Sata has also appointed the former director general of the Zambia Security Intelligence Service Xavier Chungu.

Upon coming to power last month, President Sata coined an anti-corruption slogan of "I am allergic to corruption" and has been firing some senior public officials he claims are corrupt.

However, his latest appointee, Chungu, has been facing corruption cases resulting from his dealings when he served as spy chief during the corruption-laced regime of Chiluba between 1991 and 2001.

Chungu, Chiluba and other Chiluba-allied senior government officials were in February 2003 charged with 168 counts of theft of more than $40million public funds.

Chungu has never been acquitted. Most of his cases are still active in courts of law.

Chiluba, who died in June 2011 at his Kabulonga residence, was controversially acquitted in 2009, a judgment President Sata said was engineered by then president Rupiah Banda.

The London High Court in 2007 found Chiluba and several of his allies guilty of theft of US$46 million public funds and ordered them to refund US$58 million but the Banda government, which was reluctant to fight corruption, declined to register the judgment in Zambian courts.

Amidst his prosecution, Chungu in June 2004 fled Zambia and went into hiding.
He was reported to be in Portugal and briefly in Zambia's eastern neighbour, Mozambique, where he attempted to seek asylum through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

UNHCR representative to Mozambique, Victoria Akyeampong - who was believed to be pushing for Chungu's asylum application with Mozambican authorities - in 2007 told The Post that: "He Chungu was here but now he is in South Africa."

Ahead of the September 2006 presidential elections, Sata - then main opposition Patriotic Front (PF) candidate - assured the people of Luapula Province, the homeland of Chungu and Chiluba, that he would not continue the prosecution of the duo when elected head of state.

Drumming up support for himself and his parliamentary candidates in Luapula Province at a rally in the provincial capital - Mansa, Sata said Zambia National Commercial Bank former managing director Samuel Musonda, Chiluba and Chungu should not be arrested but should instead be made to explain how they used plundered money on president Levy Mwanawasa's election in 2001.

Sata's statement attracted sharp condemnation countrywide and partly led to his electoral defeat to then incumbent Mwanawasa.

In 2006, Chiluba had endorsed the candidacy of Sata over his 2001 handpicked successor, Mwanawasa, who had brought corruption charges against him.

Following the death of Mwanawasa on August 19, 2008 half way into his second term and subsequent election of Rupiah Banda on October 30, 2008 as head of state, Chungu returned to Zambia.

The Task force on Corruption, set up by Mwanawasa to probe corruption that took place during Chiluba's decade-long rule, issued a statement through its chairperson Maxwell Nkole, who is now home affairs permanent secretary, about Chungu's return.

"Today December 3, 2008, the fugitive suspect known as Mr Xavier Franklin Chungu arrived at the airport in Lusaka on his own but alert security officers at the airport spotted him and he was immediately apprehended by officers of the Zambia Police Service and the Task Force officers. He was then taken to police headquarters.

"At Police headquarters, Mr Chungu was arrested for an initial charge of contempt of court in that he jumped bail on 1st June, 2004 and went into self imposed exile whilst facing charges of theft by public servant and theft of motor vehicles. He is expected to appear in court as soon as it is possible on contempt charges whilst the other criminal charges will be recommended at a later point in time.

"The surrender and arrest of Mr Chungu follows protracted efforts by government law enforcement agents working with the Task force to ensure that both the local and warrant of arrest and the Interpol arrest warrant are executed.

"The development brings to an end one of the most vexing issues that the Task Force on corruption has had to deal with working in international boundaries."
The corruption prosecution against Chungu resumed.

He was also charged for forgery and uttering a false document in relation to his passport.

Though corruption cases are on-going, Chungu was in August 2009 convicted and sentenced to nine months imprisonment with hard labour for forging passport number ZH 88471 purporting to show that it was issued properly when in fact not.

He was also charged for falsifying a document contrary to Section 352 of the Penal Code CAP 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

In January 2011, ahead of the September 20 elections, Chungu pledged to campaign for then incumbent Banda.

"Let it be known that I am busy and in my own style campaigning for the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda to score the highest presidential victory ever in Luapula Province," stated Chungu in a media release.

The PF condemned Chungu's campaign for Banda.
PF spokesperson at the time, Given Lubinda - now information minister and chief government spokesperson - said Chungu's support for Banda would "dampen the fight against corruption and cast a bad image on Zambia internationally".

Seventy-four year old Banda, barely three years in power, lost to age-mate Sata.
Since coming to power, President Sata has frequently and publicly vowed to fight corruption.

"During the campaigns we made an undertaking that we shall robustly fight corruption and we shall do just that. The policy of this government is that any person who has aggrieved the Zambian people economically and otherwise, in the past or present, must face the law," stated President Sata in an October 17, 2011 media release from his office.

"Make no mistake about it, because we are resolute on combating corruption and all its offshoots even if it means losing friends. We are ready to make that sacrifice for the sake of the Zambian people whom we promised and as a result they gave us the mandate to preside over this country's affairs."

Newly-appointed permanent secretary for Northern Province, Mwamba is currently in court on charges of allegedly authoring and publishing two contemptuous articles that circulated on the Zambian Watchdog website that analysed a murder trial.

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By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Thu 03 Nov. 2011, 14:30 CAT

OPPOSITION MPs heckled and mocked the Patriotic Front government over manoeuvres by President Michael Sata to appoint Xavier Chungu as Luapula Province permanent secretary.

Gwembe United Party for National Development (UPND) member of parliament Brian Ntundu said the appointment of Chungu, Zambia's former intelligence chief who is suspected to have anchored late Frederick Chiluba's sustained haemorrhaging the country's coffers, signaled the end of President Sata's fight against graft.

Ntundu who laid on the table The Post newspaper edition number 5492 headlined ‘Sata appoints Xavier PS' said he had been "put off" by Chungu's appointment.

"If what you have written, "then you are gone." And if it's true, through, then we are not fighting corruption. What is true from your good friend "your paper" The Post newspaper which is only a friend to you only… I can even lay it on the table of the House," Ntundu said amidst shouts of ki masholi (they are thieves) from some UPND MPs.

He said PF should not overrate its election victory that saw the party dislodge MMD from power after 20 years.

"I am now beginning to think MMD was a better government," said Ntundu as opposition MPs burst into shouts of hear! hear! hear! hear!

Ntundu said the opposition would only support the PF government if it brought progressive bills to Parliament.

"We are not bitter and we shall support you when you bring in good Bills that favour Zambians. If you bring in motions that would not be in favour of Zambians, we shoot them down and you can dissolve if you feel like and you will see us here again," said Ntundu.

He, however, said Zambians were not interested in going for another election.

"If our President thinks there is money in the coffers, let him do the roads. Let him not take that money for another election. People of Zambia are not interested," said Ntundu.

Last week, President Sata threatened to dissolve Parliament if the opposition MMD and UPND continued to frustrate the fight against corruption by undermining formulation of legislation aimed to strengthen the fight against the vice.

President Sata said if the opposition for the second time shot down the motion to have the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) adopted, he would have no option but to dissolve Parliament and call for elections.

And Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) MP for Luena Mulumemui Imenda said fighting corruption did not amount to witch-hunting.

"I support the President. I must state that it is not witch-hunting to investigate cases of corruption," said Imenda when delivering her maiden speech to Parliament. "The investigation is about what happened, if there is a who, well let them explain."

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TIZ and Caritas question Sata's corruption allergy

TIZ and Caritas question Sata's corruption allergy
By Bright Mukwasa, Chibaula Silwamba and Masuzyo Chakwe
Thu 03 Nov. 2011, 14:30 CAT

Transparency International Zambia and Caritas Zambia have questioned the genuineness of President Michael Sata's allergy to corruption. TIZ says it is difficult for Zambians to believe that Xavier Chungu and Emmanuel Mwamba share in the vision of a zero tolerance for corruption that President Sata has espoused since assuming office.

And Caritas Zambia has said President Sata's botched plans to appoint forgery-convict and corruption suspect Chungu as Luapula Province permanent secretary is a scandal.

Commenting on the Chungu saga and President Sata's swearing in of Mwamba, who is currently before court over a criminal charge as Northern Province permanent secretary, Transparency International Zambia chapter president Reuben Lifuka said his anti-corruption watchdog organisation was deeply disappointed with the President's move to appoint or seek to appoint Chungu and Mwamba as permanent secretaries.

"Mr Chungu was prominently mentioned in the London High Court judgment - and Zambians continue to express anxiety at what they see as limited action by the previous government to recover assets that were mentioned in the London High Court process.

It is shocking therefore that even before these cases are concluded, the President finds it fit to appoint Mr Chungu as permanent secretary. Similarly, Mr Mwamba, as spokesperson of former President Frederick Chiluba, distinguished himself in the manner that he defended his boss on the various corruption charges levelled against him," Lifuka said.

"Clearly, it is difficult for Zambians to believe that both Mr Chungu and Mr Mwamba share in the vision for a zero tolerance for corruption. And if people have no confidence in the people appointed, how will these two discharge their functions?

The questions many people are asking is what is the political or national value of these appointments? It is a betrayal of trust of many people who sacrificed and rendered their support to the cause for change in this country."

According to the Zambian civil service structure, a permanent secretary is the highest civil servant in a ministry or province and is the controlling officer of public resources.

Lifuka said the PF government, and particularly President Sata, should realise that the motivation for change was driven by disillusionment and discontent in the manner that Zambia was governed.

"People were tired of the impunity, arrogance and the corruption of the previous administration. The Zambian people simply could not take it anymore ,that corrupt persons and those who had siphoned public monies were treated like heroes while the lives of ordinary poor Zambians counted for nothing," he said.

"It is a slap in the face for many Zambians to witness the same political traits of nepotism, state capture and cronyism creeping into this government, barely a month into office."

He said the appointments of people with pending cases raises doubts in the minds of Zambians including donors whether President Sata really has any serious intentions to fight corruption or he was simply using that as a political sound bite to attract attention.

Lifuka said many Zambians were worried that many of President Sata's appointments to positions of authority were seemingly driven by a sense of appeasement and cronyism.

"President Sata was elected to provide leadership to this country and not to be the source of employment for friends, relatives and supporters. Government should not be a gravy train and a cash cow but a vehicle for public service," Lifuka said.

"The President has the prerogative to make several appointments to the public service, but surely, is he saying that there are no serving permanent secretaries that performed well and deserve to continue in the service of this country? Is he also saying, there are only one or two serving civil servants who are good enough to rise to the position of PS or any other positions of authority?"

Lifuka urged the government to stick to their promise of professionalising the public service. He said it was sad to hear of the several political party sympathisers that would be going into the diplomatic service at the expense of several career diplomats trained at great cost to the country.

"We find it a sad indictment that the serious role of the diplomatic service is likely to be overran by short-term political considerations.

It is a pity that PF which campaigned on a platform of zero tolerance to corruption and a party that associated itself with the poor, has yet to demonstrate that it is capable of changing the political landscape of this country," said Lifuka.

"The PF government should not be held captive by private interests of its supporters, sympathisers or those who claim to have irrefutable evidence on the misdeeds of the previous administration. President Sata should guard himself against the temptation to abuse the excessive powers of the Presidency and the executive."

Lifuka urged President Sata that the constitutional powers he was wielding were not a badge of honour, but a serious shortcoming and a point people have constantly raised in all the constitutional review processes that Zambia has had after 1991.

"We still stand by our position that this excessive power is responsible for a lot of the corruption that we are witnessing in our country today. The usurping of powers of various government institutions including the Zambia Public Procurement Authority, is in part due to these excessive powers.

We urge the President to be cautious and note that the constitutional powers that he enjoys, can be a double-edged sword, which can make or break him as a leader," he said.

Lifuka urged President Sata to take time and listen to the complaints that the people of Zambia were raising on his appointments and general running of government.

"These sentiments are raised in good faith and he should learn from the MMD leadership which insulated itself from the public and thought they knew it all," said Lifuka. "Zambia is bigger than any one person and President Sata will be making a serious error of judgement if he assumes a position of omnipotence in the managing of national affairs."

And Caritas Zambia executive director Samuel Mulafulafu said it was disappointing that Chungu could be given a position where he was required to be a controlling officer.

Mulafulafu said President Sata had been talking about making the corruption fight his first priority but nobody would think that appointing such people to positions of responsibility was a way to fight corruption.

"We want to completely condemn that appointment. The President owes it to the public to explain why, among all the many Zambians that are able and professionally qualified to take up that position, he had to go ahead and choose Xavier to take up the position of permanent secretary for Luapula Province," Mulafulafu said.

He said Zambians had been watching the way the new government was unfolding and President Sata had a lot of good will from the public in terms of being directed.

Mulafulafu said such appointment would erode any confidence people had in the PF government, especially on the corruption fight as it was a complete contradiction of what he says about fighting corruption.

He said the appointments should be reversed as they were a hindrance to the Zambians, who wanted a clean government.

Mulafulafu said former president Rupiah Banda was removed from power because of not being sincere with the public .

He said Banda went on a programme of reversing the gains that were made in the corruption fight.

He warned the Sata-led government that what it was doing might cause problems for it.

"We are watching as civil society very closely," said Mulafulafu, who headed a consortium of NGOs that conducted the Parralel Vote Tabulation (PVT), which safeguarded President Sata and the Patriotic Front's votes in the September 20 election.

And sources said the appointment of Mwamba had put the judiciary at the crossroads because he was still appearing in court over a contempt of court charge.

"The President must have allowed the security wings to vet the names of his appointees because this situation might expose him to embarassment if Mr Mwamba is found guilty in the on-going court case," said a judiciary source.

"The President must desist from making decisions or appointments that will put him in the position where he will be seen to be antagonising the judiciary or the legislature. There is need for separation of powers."

Mwamba is still facing a criminal offence before the Lusaka High Court for contempt of court for allegedly authoring and publishing two contemptuous articles that circulated on the Zambian Watchdog website that analysed a murder trial.

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James pleads not guilty to assault charge

James pleads not guilty to assault charge
By Maluba Jere
Thu 03 Nov. 2011, 14:10 CAT

FORMER president Rupiah Banda's son James yesterday denied having assaulted former Finance Bank executive director Noel Nkhoma.

Taking plea before chief resident magistrate Joshua Banda, James who is being defended by lawyers Eric Silwamba and Lubinda Linyama said he understood the charge but denied committing the offence.

James is facing one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm contrary to Section 248 of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

It is alleged that James, a 51-year-old businessman of House number 34 Mutende road Woodlands, on October 12, 2011, in Lusaka, assaulted Nkhoma thereby occasioning him actual bodily harm.

After James took plea, the state informed the court that it would call five witnesses in the matter.

Magistrate Banda set November 28 for mention and December 13 for commencement of trial.

Several MMD supporters accompanied James to court, among them Edward Mumbi and Gregory Chifire.

And trial in the case where William Banda is charged with one count of proposing violence failed to commence because four more people had been arrested and were yet to be jointly charged with him.

It is alleged that William on September 3, 2011 in Chongwe without lawful excuse, incited violence by instructing MMD cadres to beat and chase PF cadres by purporting that it was desirable.

When the matter came up for commencement of trial before magistrate Banda, division prosecution officer Christopher Kanema informed the court that the state was unable to proceed with trial because the four people were supposed to be jointly charged with William.

Kanema said the four were arrested for offences ranging from unlawful wounding, assault and theft contrary to the Laws of Zambia.

William's lawyer Sunday Nkonde then submitted that the grounds advanced by the state for failing to commence trial were not convincing because they the state had been investigating the case for some time now.

Ruling on the application, magistrate Banda said the state ought to show some seriousness in the case because delays in court proceedings perpetuated injustice somehow.

He said he would not entertain such delays in the matter and set November 9, this year as the date for mentioning the case.

Magistrate Banda also told the state to formally make the application to jointly charge William with the four people who had been arrested on the day the case comes up for mention.

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68 losing parliamentary candidates petition

68 losing parliamentary candidates petition
By Maluba Jere
Thu 03 Nov. 2011, 09:10 CAT

SIXTY-EIGHT losing parliamentary candidates for various constituencies have petitioned the Lusaka High Court to nullify the election of their opponents, citing electoral malpractice.

Of the 68 petitions which have since been allocated and are awaiting hearing in the courts of law, 50 were filed by the ruling Patriotic Front while the opposition MMD petitioned five seats.

The opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) has petitioned 11 seats while two seats have been petitioned by independent candidates.

The Eastern Province has the highest number of petitions with 18 seats being petitioned. Fourteen seats are in Western Province, 10 are from North Western and five from Northern Province.

The seats being petitioned by the PF include Ikelengi in North Western Province, Chipata Central, Lukulu West, Lunte, Livingstone, Chitambo and Kafulafuta.

Others are Luampa in Western Province, Nyimba in Eastern Province, Zambezi West, Kaoma Central, Chisamba, Feira and Solwezi Central among others.

The MMD have petitioned Kaoma Central, Mangango, Nalikwanda, Kanyama Ward in Lusaka and Lukulu East in Western Province.

The seats that have been petitioned by the UPND include Solwezi Central, Livingstone, Petauke Central, Mufumbwe, Kabompo, Chadiza, Mwandi, Milanzi, Chisamba, Liuwa and Mutenda ward in Chingola.

Most of the petitioners have asked the High Court to nullify the election of members of parliament for those respective constituencies on ground that they were not dully elected.

They have asked the court to declare the election results null and void and that the costs for the petitions should be borne by the respondents who are the elected parliamentarians.

The country on September 20, this year held general elections which saw Michael Sata elected Republican President.

The PF scooped 60 parliamentary seats while the MMD won 54 seats. The UPND won 28 seats, while FDD and Alliance for Democracy and Development got a seat each with three seats going to independent candidates.

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ACC nabs magistrate for corrupt practices

ACC nabs magistrate for corrupt practices
By Masuzyo Chakwe
Thu 03 Nov. 2011, 09:00 CAT

THE Anti Corruption Commission has arrested a local court magistrate in Kitwe for corrupt practices. ACC public relations manager Timothy Moono yesterday said Joyce Chikolwa, 38 of house number 109 Kantanta Street, Nkana East in Kitwe was arrested on November 1 and formally charged with one count of corrupt practices.

Moono said Chikolwa allegedly solicited for and actually received K1.5 million cash gratification from Alice Chisembele as an inducement or reward in order for her to review a judgment passed in a local court case between John Chisembele and Catherine Nakamba, a matter or transaction which concerned the Judiciary, a public body.

This is said to have happened on unknown dates but between September 1 and October 4 in Kitwe to Chikolwa, a public officer.

He said Chikolwa had since appeared before the Kitwe magistrate's court for plea and had been granted bail.

Moono said the trial date had been set for November 22.

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Dora wasn't involved in Zamtel sale - Sikota

Dora wasn't involved in Zamtel sale - Sikota
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Sun 30 Oct. 2011, 20:50 CAT

DORA Siliya's name continues to be linked to the allegedly corrupt sale of Zamtel to Libya's LAP Green despite many legal proceedings, complains her lawyer Sakwiba Sikota.

Sikota, who spoke on behalf of Siliya when she was summoned to appear before the commission of inquiry probing the sale of Zamtel, NAPSA's procurement of land from Meanwood and NAPSA's US $98 million investment in ZNBS's Society House, said Siliya was not involved in the transaction.

"There has been a tribunal, there has been a court case, there has been other cases going right up to the Supreme Court. It seems like a never ending story. Let's hope this is the final chapter," Sikota said.

He said Siliya had not missed an opportunity to clear her name of wrongdoing in the controversial US $257 million transaction.

"Everything she has to say is in the records which were before the courts. There is nothing more she can add to what was stated in the court actions," he said.

Asked by The Post if Siliya acted above board in the controversial transactions, Sikota said: "That is what the court said. The court vindicated her right up to the Supreme Court."

Siliya, who together with Henry Banda, son of former president Rupiah Banda, were key architects in single-sourcing RP Capital of the Cayman Islands to valuate Zamtel for the planned privatisation process.

Siliya and Henry single-sourced RP capital for a US $2.5 million fee, and later retained RP capital as transaction advisors for a five per cent fee for the total selling price of Zamtel.

Siliya committed Zambian public money without the consent of the Attorney General's chambers.

The controversial transaction saw Siliya hauled before the Dennis Chirwa-led tribunal by a consortium of 10 civil society organisations led by the Zambian chapter of Transparency International, together with former transport minister William Harrington.

Earlier, Siliya who arrived at 14:28 at the hearing on Friday, immaculately dressed in a flash red outfit in the company of Sikota and ushered into the room of proceedings amidst the glare of cameras, declined to comment on the allegations made against her by some witnesses.

"Our firm instruction is that our client will not comment on the allegations made by Transparency International Zambia…there is nothing new that Transparency International Zambia has presented to this committee which was not brought to the Tribunal's attention," Sikota said.

Sikota said Siliya was not in fact involved in selling Zamtel because she was not Minister of Transport and Communication at the time the Zamtel sale was finalised.

Sikota said "I will insist on exercising her constitutional rights as guaranteed by the provisions of Article 18 of the Constitution of Zambia chapter one volume one of the Laws of Zambia."

But solicitor general Mubanga Kondolo advised Sikota that the inquiry was not called to investigate or incriminate Siliya.

He said there had been a lot aspersions cast on Siliya and the committee thought it was important to give her an opportunity to come and clarify.

"I would just want to clarify that these are not criminal proceedings, not judicial proceedings of any kind," Kondolo said. "This committee is not making any ruling. It's just purely an information-gathering exercise.

A number of people have been here and made submissions on the sale, not just relating to the sale but to the procurement of the transaction advisor right through to the entire spectrum of the process of sale.

It's purely an exercise for her self-preservation to help concretise her position in this situation as you have seen from the public outcry that you referred to.. It is her constitutional right to keep quiet."

Siliya, who refused to talk directly to journalists later left in her Toyota Landcruiser GX registration number ALC 7063 together with Sikota and a known freelance photographer.

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