Saturday, December 24, 2011


(SACRAMENTO EXAMINER) Ruins in Georgia mountains show evidence of Maya connection

COMMENT - Mayan ruins found as far north as Georgia

Ruins in Georgia mountains show evidence of Maya connection
Richard Thornton
Architecture & Design
December 21, 2011

Archaeological zone 9UN367 at Track Rock Gap, near Georgia’s highest mountain, Brasstown Bald, is a half mile (800 m) square and rises 700 feet (213 m) in elevation up a steep mountainside. Visible are at least 154 stone masonry walls for agricultural terraces, plus evidence of a sophisticated irrigation system and ruins of several other stone structures. Much more may be hidden underground. It is possibly the site of the fabled city of Yupaha, which Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto failed to find in 1540, and certainly one of the most important archaeological discoveries in recent times.

BLAIRSVILLE, GA (December 21, 2011) -- Around the year 800 AD the flourishing Maya civilization of Central America suddenly began a rapid collapse. A series of catastrophic volcanic eruptions were followed by two long periods of extreme drought conditions and unending wars between city states.

Cities and agricultural villages in the fertile, abundantly watered, Maya Highlands were the first to be abandoned. Here, for 16 centuries, Itza Maya farmers produced an abundance of food on mountainside terraces. Their agricultural surpluses made possible the rise of great cities in the Maya Lowlands and Yucatan Peninsula. When the combination of volcanic eruptions, wars and drought erased the abundance of food, famines struck the densely populated Maya Lowlands. Within a century, most of the cities were abandoned. However, some of the cities in the far north were taken over by the Itza Maya and thrived for two more centuries.

In 1839, English architect, Frederick Catherwood, and writer, John Stephens “rediscovered’ the Maya civilization on a two-year journey through southern Mexico. When their book on the journey was published in 1841, readers in Europe and North America were astounded that the indigenous peoples of the Americas could produce such an advanced culture. Architects in both continents immediately recognized the strong similarity in the architectural forms and town plans between southern Mexico and the Southeastern United States. Most agronomists were convinced that corn, beans and tobacco came to the natives of the United States and Canada from Mexico.

In the decades since Catherwood’s and Stephens’ book, archaeologists have not identified any ruins in the United States which they considered to be built by a people who had originated in Mexico. This was primarily due to their unfamiliarity with the descendants of the Southeastern mound-builders -- tribes such as the Creeks, Alabamas, Natchez, Chitimachas and Choctaws. In particular, the languages of the Creek Indians contain many Mesoamerican words.

Historians, architects and archaeologists have speculated for 170 years what happened to the Maya people. Within a few decades, the population of the region declined by about 15 million. Archaeologists could not find any region of Mexico or Central America that evidenced a significant immigration of Mayas during this period, except in Tamaulipas, which is a Mexican state that borders Texas on the Gulf of Mexico. However, Maya influence there, seemed to be limited to a few coastal trading centers. Where did the Maya refugees go? By the early 21st century, archaeologists had concluded that they didn’t go anywhere. They had died en masse.

The evidence was always there

In 1715 a Jewish lass named Liube, inscribed her name and the date on a boulder in Track Rock Gap. When Europeans first settled the Georgia Mountains in the early 1800s, they observed hundreds of fieldstone ruins, generally located either on mountaintops or the sides of mountains. These ruins consisted of fort-like circular structures, walls, Indian mounds veneered in stone, walls, terrace retaining walls or just piles of stones. Frontiersmen generally attributed these structures to the Indians, but the Cherokees, who briefly lived in the region in the late 1700s and early 1800s, at that time denied being their builders.

By the mid-20th century many Georgians held little reverence for Native American structures. Dozens of Indian mounds and stone masonry structures were scooped up by highway contractors to use in the construction of highways being funded by the Roosevelt Administration. Providing jobs and cheap construction materials seemed more important in the Depression than preserving the past.

During the late 20th century, the Georgia state government took an active role in preserving some of the stone ruins. Archaeologists surveyed a few sites. One of the better known ruins became Fort Mountain State Park. For the most part, however, the stone ruins remained outside the public consciousness.

In 1999 archaeologist Mark Williams of the University of Georgia and Director of the LAMAR Institute, led an archaeological survey of the Kenimer Mound, which is on the southeast side of Brasstown Bald in the Nacoochee Valley. Residents in the nearby village of Sautee generally assume that the massive five-sided pyramidal mound is a large wooded hill. Williams found that the mound had been partially sculpted out of an existing hill then sculpted into a final form with clay. He estimated the construction date to be no later than 900 AD. Williams was unable to determine who built the mound.

Williams is a highly respected specialist in Southeastern archaeology so there was a Maya connection that he did not know about. The earliest maps show the name Itsate, for both a native village at Sautee and another five miles away at the location of the popular resort of Helen, GA. Itsate is what the Itza Mayas called themselves. Also, among all indigenous peoples of the Americas, only the Itza Mayas and the ancestors of the Creek Indians in Georgia built five-side earthen pyramids as their principal mounds. It was commonplace for the Itza Maya to sculpt a hill into a pentagonal mound. There are dozens of such structures in Central America.

The name of Brasstown Bald Mountain is itself, strong evidence of a Maya presence. A Cherokee village near the mountain was named Itsa-ye, when Protestant missionaries arrived in the 1820s. The missionaries mistranslated “Itsaye” to mean “brass.” They added “town” and soon the village was known as Brasstown. Itsa-ye, when translated into English, means “Place of the Itza (Maya).”

Into this scenario stepped retired engineer, Cary Waldrup, who lives near Track Rock Gap. In 2000 he persuaded the United States Forest Service to hire a professional archaeologist from South Africa, Johannes Loubser, to study the famous Track Rock petroglyphs, and also prepare a map of the stone walls across the creek in site 9UN367. Waldrup and his neighbors felt that the stone structure site deserved more professional attention. They collected contributions from interested citizens in Union County, GA to fund an archaeological survey by Loubser’s firm, Stratum Unlimited, LLC.

Loubser’s work was severely restricted by his available budget, but his discoveries “opened up the door” for future archaeological investigations. His firm dug two test pits under stone structures to obtain soil samples. In conjunction with the highly respected archaeological firm of New South Associates in Stone Mountain, GA he obtained radiocarbon dates for the oldest layer of fill soil in a test pit, going back around 1000 AD. He also found pottery shards from many periods of history. Loubser estimated that some of the shards were made around 760 AD – 850 AD. This is exactly when Maya population began to plummet.

Loubser described the 9UN367 archaeological site as being unique in the United States, and stated that examples of such sites are only found elsewhere in the Maya Highlands and South America. However, he did not present an explanation for who built the stone walls. He was in a conundrum. The Eastern Band of Cherokees had labeled Track Rock Gap as a “Cherokee Heritage Sacred Site.” He had been led to believe that the area had occupied by the Cherokee Indians for many centuries, yet he also knew that the Cherokees never built large scale public works. In fact, the Cherokees established a handful of hamlets in the extreme northeastern tip of Georgia during the 1700s, but the western side of Brasstown Bald Mountain, where Track Rock is located, was not official Cherokee territory until 1793.

Shared research between scholars

The People of One Fire is an alliance of Native American scholars (and their archaeologist friends) that was formed in 2006 after the Georgia Department of Transportation refused to retract a press release which blatantly contradicted several studies by nationally respected archaeologists. Much of its research has focused on tracing the movement of people, ideas and cultivated plants from Mesoamerica and Caribbean Basin to North America. By instantly sharing research rather than hoarding information, very rapid advances have been made in the past five years concerning the history of the indigenous people of North America.

The archaeological site would have been particularly attractive to Mayas because it contains an apparently dormant volcano fumarole that reaches down into the bowels of the earth. People of One Fire researchers have been aware since 2010 that when the English arrived in the Southeast, there were numerous Native American towns named Itsate in Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and western North Carolina. They were also aware that both the Itza Mayas of Central America and the Hitchiti Creeks of the Southeast actually called themselves Itsate . . . and pronounced the word the same way. The Itsate Creeks used many Maya and Totonac words. Their architecture was identical to that of Maya commoners. The pottery at Ocmulgee National Monument (c 900 AD) in central Georgia is virtually identical to the Maya Plain Red pottery made by Maya Commoners. However, for archaeologists to be convinced that some Mayas immigrated to the Southeast, an archaeological site was needed that clearly was typical of Mesoamerica, but not of the United States.

In July of 2011, Waldrup furnished a copy of the 2000 Stratum Unlimited, LLC archaeological report to People of One Fire members. Those with experiences at Maya town sites instantly recognized that the Track Rock stone structures were identical in form to numerous agricultural terrace sites in Chiapas, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras. Johannes Loubser’s radiocarbon dates exactly matched the diaspora from the Maya lands and the sudden appearance of large towns with Mesoamerican characteristics in Georgia, Alabama and southeastern Tennessee. Track Rock Gap was the “missing link” that archaeologists and architects had been seeking since 1841.

Archaeologists have been looking for vestiges of “high” Maya civilization in the United States, when all along it was the commoners “who got the heck out of Dodge City” when wars, famines, droughts and almost non-stop volcanic eruptions became unbearable. The Itza Maya middle class and commoners became the elite of such towns as Waka (Ocmulgee National Monument) and Etalwa (Etowah Mounds) Just as happened in England after the Norman Invasion, the separate cultures of the commoners and nobility of the indigenous Southeast eventually blended into hybrid cultures that became our current Native American tribes.

A personal note from the author:

I am astounded by the interest in this article. Normally, I am followed by a modest cadre of progressive archaeologists and Native Americans. For unknown reasons, I was not able to comment on my article, but I would like to respond to some of the comments, since it is obvious that several readers are reading the comments rather than the article. The situation is getting out of hand, with numerous web sites on the internet debating comments to this article as if they were the article. Being a writer for, I must stay in the realm of journalism and not get into pre-adolescent cat fights and personal attacks that have become commonplace in the world of blogs and social networking.

Let it suffice to say that since the simultaneous passing of several absolute giants of Southeastern archaeology in 1979, the profession has increasingly stagnated, become cult-like and lost its desire to gain new knowledge. I personally heard one of the archaeologists state at a Society of Georgia Archaeology meeting, "We have learned all there is to know about the Southeastern Indians. It is time to move on to other things." Yes, it IS time for them move out of the way.

Please note that I specifically stated that the archaeologists mentioned in this article DID NOT recognize the Maya connection in the sites they surveyed. Neither was trained in Mesoamerican architecture like I am, and shouldn't be expected to know this.

The first "real" archaeologist to realize a direct connection between Mexico and the Southeast was Dr. Roman Piña-Chan, Director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia de Mexico . . . and also one of the greatest archaeologists, who ever lived. I was just a dumb Gringo student and he was the coordinator of my fellowship. I sat in his office many a time in complete awe, as he pointed out such things as the copper crown worn by the "Great Suns" in Southeastern towns being identical to the crown worn by the Maya Sun God. Among his other observations was that the turbans worn by the famous marble statues found at Etowah Mounds, were exactly like the "badges" worn by Maya slaves. In fact, the first time he noticed the connection was with this comment, "Ricardo, why did your Indios make marble statues of slaves?" It is a shame that more "real" American archaeologists didn't stop by his office when he was alive.

There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever of a Maya presence in Georgia. He is typing on this computer right now. Like most Georgia and South Carolina Creeks, I carry a trace of Maya DNA. I think you will find that some branches of the Seminoles and Cherokees also carry Maya DNA. There are many Maya and Totonac words in the Creek languages. The Creek house (chiki) was identical to the Totonac house (also called chiki.)

The people whom Georgia archaeologists call Hitchiti Creeks, called themselves, Itsate . . . pronounced It-zja-tee. The people that are generally called today Itza Maya, formerly called themselves Itsate . . . pronounced It-zja-tee. On my desk are site plans produced by archeological teams from several major universities that describe pentagonal earthen mounds built by the Itza Mayas in Chiapas and Belize, which are identical to those in Georgia, such as the Kenimer Mound. In short, if it builds the same buildings as the Itza Maya, says the same words as the Itza Maya, and has the same DNA as the Itza Maya . . . by golly, it must be an Itza Maya.

Getting There

The Track Rock Gap Archaeological Zone and Petroglyphs are owned by the citizens of the United States and protected by the United States Forestry Service. The archaeological zone is open to the public year-round and may be accessed by a network of trails requiring rigorous hiking. Both the Creek and Cherokee Indians consider this place to be a very sacred, so please be respectful. By Federal law, the ruins and petroglyphs may not be disturbed in any way.

Winter is the best time to view the stone structures, but the region can get significant snow storms. Check the weather report before leaving home. To obtain information on the hiking trails contact either the Chattahoochee Forest Visitors Center in Blairsville, GA at 706-745-6928 or the main office of the Chattahoochee National Forest in Gainesville, GA at 770-297-3000. Information on accommodations near Track Rock Gap can be obtained from the Blairsville Area Chamber of Commerce at 877-745-5789. The region is a major tourist destination, so there are plenty of restaurants, motels and bed & breakfast homes available.

If you have questions about Native American history, please contact Richard at These questions will be answered on his Native American History page.

Richard Thornton has written a book on the Archaeological Site 9UN367 and the evidence of the immigration of Mesoamerican refugees to North America. It will be available from the publisher in early January 2012, and is entitled, “Itsapa . . . the Itza Mayas in North America.” The book includes over 250 full color, virtual reality images and photographs, including pictures of identical Maya agricultural terrace sites in Chiapas, Guatemala, Campeche and Belize. Indiana film maker John Haskell is also producing a documentary film on the Maya diaspora.

The previously unknown story is fascinating. For example, the famous “eye on hand” motif found on Native American art throughout the Southeast and Midwest is the symbol of the Maya’s supreme deity, Hunab-ku. For information on reserving or ordering Thornton’s book, go to

Dec. 23 Update: The article headline was revised to clarify that the connection between the Georgia ruins and the ancient Maya is still a matter of debate rather than universally accepted fact.



(LUSAKATIMES) Sata disappointed by Police failure to take action against people trying to create a state in Western Province

Sata disappointed by Police failure to take action against people trying to create a state in Western Province
TIME PUBLISHED - Saturday, December 24, 2011, 7:27 am

President Michael Sata has said that he is disappointed with the failure by Inspector General of police to take action on people who are inciting to create a state within a state in Western Province.

Mr. Sata has also directed the security wings in the country to intervene in the matter in which Dr. Nevers Mumba is allegedly inciting other pastors on the copperbelt to lie over the constitution.

The president said that he was a disappointed commander- in-chief because the police is aware that people in western province are being incited to create a state within a state but are not doing anything about it.

President Sata said that some people in western province have appointed a prime minister and are looking for offices to start running a country yet the police are not doing anything about it.

Mr. Sata said that he does not want to involve the Zambia Army because the police are capable of resolving the problem. He has however, called on defense forces to assist each other in preventing an eminent crime.

Mr. Sata said that the appointment of a prime minister in western province and the spreading of lies by Dr. Nevers Mumba that the PF government intends to include homosexuality in the new constitution is a serious crime.

He further called on security forces in the country to cooperate and look into the two issues before the situation gets out of hand stating that prevention is better that cure.

Mr. Sata has also advised Dr. Mumba to concentrate on justifying how he abused resources in Canada instead of using innocent people to incite confusion.

QFM’s Namasiku Njovu reports that the president was speaking in Kabwe this morning during the commissioning parade of 164 officer cadets.

And army commander, Lieutenant General Paul Mihova has cautioned the cadets to be professional and not to involve themselves in partisan politics.
Mr. Sata said that the appointment of a prime minister in western province and the spreading of lies by Dr. Nevers Mumba that the PF government intends to include homosexuality in the new constitution is a serious crime.

General Mihova reminded the cadets that their role is to support the government of the day and uphold the constitution of the land.

Meanwhile, MMD presidential Candidate Never Mumba has declined to comment on the allegations by the Zambian government that he used the government’s name to raise money for a Zambian association in Canada while serving as High Commissioner.

Dr. Mumba has has told QFM News that he is not aware of the allegations made by the foreign affairs minister Chishimba Kambwili.

But when briefed that the yesterday Mr. Kambwili challenged him to explain why he had used the government letter heads to raise money from the cooperating partners the time he was an envoy in Canada, Dr. Mumba said the allegations were not worth his response.

Dr Mumba has also refused to comment on the allegations by President Michael Sata that he is inciting Pastors on the copperbelt by telling lies that the PF Government wants to include homosexuality in the new constitution.

However, Dr. Mumba stated that he will however, issue a comprehensive statement on the many other allegations that have been leveled against him soon. Dr. Mumba was speaking to QFM news in a telephone interview.


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(LUSAKATIMES) Konga claims Parliament bought his seized Hummer

Konga claims Parliament bought his seized Hummer
TIME PUBLISHED - Saturday, December 24, 2011, 7:52 am

MMD Chavuma Member of Parliament Kenneth Konga yesterday said that the Hummer police seized from his Kabulonga residence was acquired using the money Members of Parliament get from Parliament for car loans.

QFM News reports that Mr Konga revealed this in parliament today when asked vice president Guy Scott to tell the house whether the money the National Assembly gives MPs forcar loans is stolen money for Police to seize his vehicle.

The vehicle was seized following a nine hours search police conducted at Mr Konga’s Kabulonga residence yesterday.

A combined team of investigators from the Zambia Police, Anti Corruption Commission and Drug Enforcement Commission also seized two motorcycles from the former minister’s residence.


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(LUSAKATIMES) Speaker saves HH from prosecution

Speaker saves HH from prosecution
TIME PUBLISHED - Saturday, December 24, 2011, 7:34 am

United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema has been saved from prosecution for breach of parliamentary privileges and contempt of the house for ridiculing Parliament and the office of the Speaker.

This follows an article in the Daily Mail 9th December, 2011 headlined “Arrest me, HH dares Sata” in which he cast aspersions on the Speaker by doubting the credibility of the Speaker and questioning his impartiality by accusing him of siding with ruling Patriotic Front MPs.

In his ruling following a point of order raised by Kawambwa Member of Parliament Nickson Chilangwa whether the conduct of the UPND leader did not constitute a serious breach of the constitution and Chapter 12 of the Laws of Zambia and whether it was not a serious affront against the integrity of the Speaker and the whole House, Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini questioned how he has been siding with PF MPs when records show that of the 109 points of order raised in the house, opposition MPs the raised the majority.

QFM News reports that Dr Matibini stated in his ruling that Mr Hichilema not only ridiculed the house in his statement but also caused to publish misleading information which amounts to contempt of the house, which upon conviction would attract a penalty of 5,000 units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or to both.

The Speaker said he has graciously decided to counsel Mr Hichilema and the general public to desist from attacking the house and the office of the Speaker, despite the breach committed by the UPND leader warranting his prosecution.


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Friday, December 23, 2011

PF's 90 days in government receives praises, criticism

PF's 90 days in government receives praises, criticism
By Moses Kuwema
Fri 23 Dec. 2011, 14:00 CAT

CARITAS Zambia executive director Sam Mulafulafu says the fight against corruption has been resuscitated in the 90 days of the PF being in government. But former vice-president George Kunda has described the 90 days of the PF in power as a disaster.

Giving his assessment of the 90 days of the PF in power, Mulafulafu said there has been good commitment from PF leaders to try and ensure that the fight against corruption, which he said had grossly gone down under the Rupiah Banda administration, was resuscitated.

"There is a challenge though in that area in that I think at the beginning we were seeing some contradictions with the fight against corruption. You recall that there were attempts to appoint people that had questionable integrity and had it not been for the outrage from the public, that appointment would have gone through, which also raises questions in terms of the commitment that the PF has in fighting corruption," he said.

"So we hope that was a learning period and the PF will not come up again with some contradictions in the fight against corruption because that was the problem that was there with Rupiah Banda's government. There was more rhetoric and nothing done. To the contrary, government officials were fully-involved in perpetuating corruption. So, that's not what we expect with the PF."

Mulafulafu said as Caritas, they expect a principled fight against corruption both in rhetoric and action.

And Mulafulafu said there was need for ministers in the PF government to take a leaf from the approach that President Michael Sata had taken on wastage of public funds.

"We have seen the President himself taking a stand to minimise his travels abroad, and so far, in his 90 days he has only travelled once and that's a good thing, but also the efforts to minimise government expenditure should also be extended to ministers because we still have a number of them travelling," he said.

Mulafulafu also said much as the reasons for setting up commissions of inquiries were good, there was need for them to be controlled in terms of their expenditure.

On the promises of job creation, Mulafulafu said the creation of jobs was a long-term issue and it was mere politicking for the PF to have promised to create jobs within 90 days.

He said some of the decisions which were taken in the 2012 budget could help lead to job creation but that this was not within the principle of the 90 days.

"We are talking about good quality jobs not women selling groundnuts by the roadside and going away with K50 a day. We need jobs which can be accessed by the many youths that are coming out from our schools, colleges and many people that have lost jobs from the formal sector. We want to see clear strategies on the creation of jobs and so far we have seen commitment but on the practical level, it is not yet very clear to us in terms of how those jobs are going to be created," he said.

And on street vending, Mulafulafu said much as there has been commitment from the PF to ensure that people have money in their pockets, there was need for the government to do things from a perspective of prudence.

"Putting people in the street is not putting money in their pockets, it is endangering them, they will create health hazards which will require resources to be able to overcome and even endanger themselves. The appeasement of cadres must be done with great prudence. There are many ways in which government can propose to be able to ensure that the many people who are jobless, the many people who need money and everybody else, have opportunities other than going to activities that endanger the public life. That was an ill-advised, ill-informed and imprudent action," said Mulafulafu.

Addressing the media at the party's secretariat yesterday, Kunda, who was flanked by Situmbeko Musokotwane and Felix Mutati, said there were no significant developments that had taken place in the 90 days of the PF.

Kunda, who is also the new party chairperson for legal affairs, said that the PF had promised to bring change and transform the economic landscape of the country in the period stated.

"Unfortunately, Mr Sata and the PF have lamentably failed to improve the system. The situation has and continues to deteriorate due to bad governance practices," Kunda claimed.

Kunda said that the PF had failed to uphold the rule of law and the promise that it would govern on Christian tenets.

He highlighted the abolishment of the position of Secretary to the Treasury, which he said was only reversed after the intervention of Parliament, and the initial erroneous appointment of 10 members of parliament instead of 8.

Kunda also noted the dismissal of the Anti Corruption Commission director general among others.

"It could be that the President is not listening to advice or those working with him are fearing him," said Kunda.

Kunda accused President Michael Sata of poaching members of the MMD for the positions of deputy ministers in order to weaken the opposition parties.

"As a result, we have what we call a defacto coalition government because of the President's decision to appointing 8 deputy ministers, he may end up appointing the whole membership to weaken the party," he said.

He accused the PF of engineering petitions of results of by-election in areas where it had lost for similar reasons.

"Such are predetermined as to their outcome, he said.

"Even some of the (commissions of) inquiries have a predetermined outcome. We don't know how much is being spent on those sitting on them. There is no transparency."

On the constitution-making process, Kunda who was at the helm of the failed National Constitution Conference draft (NCC) said the process was not inclusive and supported by any legal framework.

And Musokotwane likened the PF government to a security officer who was always looking for offenders.

And Mutati who is the former minister of commerce and trade called on the PF to reset their development agenda.

"It is important that when you fail you tell people (that) the reality of governance is hard. The minimum wage is the consequence of this. Now it's affecting investments because investors are holding back additional investments because they want to know what the minimum wage will be," he said.

Mutati added that the erosion of the currency had reduced investor confidence.

Michael's first 90 days
By The Post
Fri 23 Dec. 2011, 13:00 CAT

TODAY, Michael Sata concludes the first 90 days of his 1, 825-day term of office. Michael has just completed 4.93 per cent of his term of office.

There were promises made. And there were expectations raised of this and that to be done in 90 days. Some things have been done within the 90 days promised. Others haven't been achieved within this promised period. But this shouldn't be cause for much worry because Michael was not elected to serve a 90-day term of office. He will be our President for five years.

And what he could not do in the first 90 days, he has the opportunity to do it in the second, third, fourth, fifth 90 days or even beyond. This is not a 90-day government but a five-year one.

We know that some negative elements, some frustrated opposition characters and all sorts of cynics will try to harangue Michael over this and make political capital out of it. It won't work because the Zambian people are not fools. They know what is possible and what is not possible; what is realistic and what is unrealistic.

The Zambian people did not vote for Michael and the PF for a 90-day period. Many things cannot and have not been achieved within 90 days for many reasons. And there are many other good things that Michael's government has indeed achieved within 90 days as promised. But of course, some people, especially in the opposition, will never recognise the achievements of Michael's government. They will paint a picture that Michael has failed. No sensible person can expect Michael to deliver everything in 90 days.

We should also be mindful of the numerous, and sometimes derailing problems Michael inherited from the Rupiah Banda regime that have consumed a lot of his government's time, attention and resources. Some of these could not be foreseen; one only came to know about them once in government.

And some of these problems could not be ignored or postponed. They were so insurmountable that the positive strides which Michael's government made could not be easily noticed if one is not able to take into account what was there before September 20, 2011. Here, we are talking about institutions that fight corruption. Look at the people who were at the helm of these institutions! Those were people employed to entrench corruption and not to fight it.

Rupiah legalised corruption. He removed the abuse of office offence from our Anti Corruption Commission Act. And there was no motivation for office holders to fight the scourge of corruption. This cannot be said of Michael. Within a very short period of time, Michael has demonstrated the political will to fight corruption.

And this can be seen by the quality of appointments he has made in what can be said to be the integrity institutions. Look at his appointments at the Anti Corruption Commission, Drug Enforcement Commission, the Police, the Attorney General's chambers and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions! This is a demonstration of serious political will on Michael's part, for which he deserves credit. If these institutions fail to deliver, blame has to be apportioned to the individuals given the opportunity to serve our people in these offices.

Michael alone cannot do everything. The best he can do, in many cases, is to appoint the best sons and daughters of our people, those most suited to do the job. And in the fight against corruption, Michael has done just that.

Of course, not every appointment Michael has made can be said to be good. But the merits outweigh the demerits in these appointments as in everything he has done to date. Michael has done many things which, for close to 47 years, others could not do. He has demonstrated great courage in taking what may appear to be strange decisions. Look at his decision to move the provincial capital of Southern Province from Livingstone to Choma! Only Michael could do that.

What about the creation of our tenth province, Muchinga? Only Michael could do that. There is, of course, the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka, the Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport in Ndola and Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport in Livingstone.

Only a Michael could do that. But of course this Michael forgot something: what about Mfuwe International Airport? Wouldn't it be appropriate to name that after one of our most outstanding independence fighters Reuben Kamanga, the first vice-treasurer of the African National Congress and the first vice-president of our Republic? Reuben was one of the top six leaders of the African National Congress, which included Nkumbula as president, Mungoni Liso as vice-president, Kaunda as secretary general, Kapwepwe as treasurer general and Titus Mukupo as vice secretary general.

And credit should be given to Michael for being thrift, for reducing waste and extravagance in government expenditure through his own example. Michael has focused his attention on local issues and he has not been travelling abroad as much as others did in the first 90 days. This may seem a small thing. But the savings are very big. Foreign travel by the president costs the country millions of dollars on one trip - it is not cheap.

Michael is certainly on the right path. All that he needs to do is to increase his consultations and to meet as many Zambians from diverse fields as possible within the very limited time he has. He should not confine himself to a small group of people. Michael should also be advised to devote some time, not too much, but just a little to party mobilisation. PF members and supporters are demobilising themselves.

This is a serious political mistake. The government programmes that Michael is trying to implement will not succeed without the support of the people. And that support will not come through the bureaucrats, the civil servants, but through the mobilisation of PF members, cadres and supporters. These should be the driving force of the programmes Michael wants to implement. After all, it is them who brought about this change, who, more than anybody else, put Michael into government. They are not a ladder that should be pushed down after one has climbed.

It is said that the rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher. Members, cadres and supporters of PF can facilitate the climb to power of leaders, but they are not like a ladder that can be pushed away because they need to be at work all the time. When they stop work, problems set in and the party in government loses the capacity to mobilise.

And political parties that stop political work quickly lose militancy and with it public support. Ours is a multi-party political dispensation whose efficiency and effectiveness depends on the capacity of the political parties. Therefore, strengthening political parties, especially the ruling party, is of great importance to the realisation of our development goals.

The seriousness, honesty and courage with which Michael has governed the country in the first 90 days of his government gives us a feeling of security and great confidence in the future of our country.

What a wonderful outlook our country has, with its future in the hands of men and women like these! We have made great progress in the first 90 days, and we have no doubt we will continue to do so, but it won't be easy.

As we have repeatedly stated, nobody should think that things are going to be easy. We must be prepared to meet difficulties. We have difficulties now, and we will have even greater ones in the future, even if Michael does things the right way - and he should do them the right way, even if it calls for his greatest efforts.

If you don't like the way Michael has governed the country in his first 90 days, change it in the next 90 days! You are not a tree. But don't forget that the only way things are going to change for this country is when you yourself change.

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Beyond 90 Days, A nationalists perspective for Zambia

Beyond 90 Days, A nationalists perspective for Zambia
TIME PUBLISHED - Friday, December 23, 2011, 7:29 am
By E.Katyoka

90 days have passed since the PF ascended to power after a resounding victory that gave it a five year mandate and unseated a confident MMD from its 20 year rule. The jury is still out whether the MMD will revive and regain its ‘glory’ or like UNIP, pass on into oblivion.

Five years is a long time in politics, leaders and indeed political formations are yet to be born.

Notwithstanding 2011 will go down as one of the most remarkable years in Zambian history. Either as the year when Zambians finaly got the government they had waited for,elected the long awaited ‘Moses’ to take the Nation into the promised land, and veritably implimented ” Mwanawasa legacy reloaded”
or, it will be the beginning of the worst years of the Zambian expedition. The undoing of a nation.

Much of how things will turn out rests squarely on the shoulders of one. His excellency Michael Chilufya Sata. To any casual observer of Zambian politics it is clear that the 2011 Elections seem to have fractured the facade of a Zambian Nationalism.

The Nation undertook the most divisive bitterly contested Election in modern history. The Nation voted, and Ethnic nationalism like a vampire reared its head again and Zambian Nationalism like humpty dumpty shatterd into a thousand pieces.

It is yet to be seen whether the stitches of political state craft can re-assemble a semblance of a Zambian Nationalism to which all the ‘Ethnic Nationals’ of this country can subscribe to; without reservations.

Two options remain; Either we accept the ethnic nationalist sentiment as something that has come to stay and pragmatically begin to say ” one Zambia many ‘Ethnic’ Nations – unity in diversity” or Embrace a higher Nationalism…an African Nationalism, driven by the commonness of our African heritage ‘Ubuntu’. A Nationalism that embraces the common humanity of all races, tribes and tongues and seeks as its goal the redemption of the continent from the evils of tribalism, conflict, corporate greed,corruption, cronyism and resource colonialism brought about by the new scramble for Africa.

A nationalism that will not be driven by color,tribe or narrow sectarian considerations but one driven by the urgency of the cause of the suffering masses. That Africa, the continent of the great pyramids will one day rise up to fulfil the scripture Psalm 68:31 “Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.” For the Earth earnestly awaits the manifestation of the sons of God

My prayer is that Zambia may remain one sovereign indivisible country. That while the rest of the world is moving towards regional intergration, we may not allow the balkanisation of our peoples who have long lived side by side for millennia under the commonness of our shared humanity: ‘ubuntu’ long live Zambia.

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Kunda should be ashamed of himself, says Chongwe

Kunda should be ashamed of himself, says Chongwe
By Ernest Chanda and Roy Habalu
Fri 23 Dec. 2011, 13:58 CAT

DR Rodger Chongwe says George Kunda should be ashamed of himself for questioning Mutembo Nchito's integrity. And Sylvia Masebo says Kunda is scared of being arrested hence his opposing the appointment of Nchito.

Kunda on Tuesday led the opposition assault on the motion to ratify Nchito's appointment as Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) when it came up in Parliament. Despite Kunda and his allies' opposition, Nchito was ratified after they lost by 50 to 86 vote result.

Dr Chongwe questioned Kunda's sudden change of heart after he recommended Mutembo and his elder brother Nchima to join the Task Force on Corruption during the late president Levy Mwanawasa's reign.

"I don't agree with the opinion of the former vice-president. The former vice-president should actually be ashamed of himself. He was responsible for actually appointing the Nchito brothers as prosecutors at the Task Force because of their integrity. And what has changed now? Is it because he is in opposition?" asked Dr Chongwe in an interview yesterday.

"Lawyers should be gentlemen and ladies for all seasons, and not only when it suits them. I disagree with him intensely. I think he Mutembo deserves this job. If one has been appointed Director of Public Prosecutions, I think first it's good for the country and then it's good for the legal profession of Zambia; and it's good for the Zambians themselves. We may have different views but my view is that this is one of the best appointments. I know that he will discharge his duties diligently and honestly as he has done before. I'm very happy that he has been appointed."

Some UPND and MMD members of parliament led by Kunda rejected Nchito's appointment over allegations that he had not been cleared of criminal investigations.

And Masebo said those opposed to Nchito's appointment were trying to protect personal interests.

"Those opposing are worried of what would happen to them because of what they did that's why they are speaking like that. I can say a lot of things in this house (its) just that I am holding myself to protect my colleagues," said Masebo.

In an apparent reference to Kunda, Masebo said Nchito was fearless and stood for the truth unlike Kunda who changed on corruption cases after the death of Levy Mwanawasa.

"You can't compare me to half the group (MMD parliamentarians) on the other side. I don't change goal posts like them," she said.

She said urged members of parliament not to be misled by falsehoods in small newspapers.

"You want us to be swayed by such people (who were convicted), is that fair Mr George Kunda? It's not fair to destroy people's character because you've a personal agenda. It's sad that those who are in Parliament and supported him (Nchito) can be the same people to say what they are saying without shame," said Masebo.

Debating the appointment of Nchito as DPP and Musa Mwenye as Solicitor-General, Kunda said the public had a negative perception on Nchito and that they would lose confidence in him.

"He (Nchito) is perceived negatively because of the various allegations which are in the public domain. Accordingly, I submit that Mr Mutembo Nchito is not suitable for appointment as DPP. The report of the committee should therefore be rejected, meaning that we shall vote NO on this side of the house," said Kunda.

But Masebo said Nchito was the best choice for the position because he sacrificed his life for Zambia when people couldn't open their mouths.

"Mutembo is very experienced and has integrity and served the country free of charge. He's a disciplined and principled young man," she said.

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Police, ACC seize Konga's property

Police, ACC seize Konga's property
By Chibaula Silwamba
Fri 23 Dec. 2011, 13:59 CAT

LAW enforcement officers have seized a luxurious Hummer and two motorcycles from former minister of energy Kenneth Konga in the ongoing investigations of the previous regime's management of public resources.

Well-placed sources separately confirmed that a combined team of investigators from the Zambia Police, Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) and Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) on Wednesday seized the properties from MMD Chavuma member of parliament Konga's residence in Kabulonga.

"The officers seized a Hummer and motorcycles yesterday Wednesday from Honourable Konga. They were seized in connection with the investigations on former ministers," the source said.

When contacted, Konga could neither deny nor confirm the seizure of his property but referred the query to investigators.

"You must ask the law enforcement officers themselves. Talk to the officers, they are the ones who are doing that work. I don't have any comment to make," Konga said.

Further asked when his property seized, Konga responded: "Talk to the officers, as I have indicated; they will confirm with you."

According to the sources, investigators were probing the way the previous government, at the time Konga served as energy minister, procured crude oil.

Asked about the probe of the crude oil deals his ministry entered into with two named firms, Konga responded: "I can't comment anything. I don't know if I am being probed. No one has brought it to my attention."

According to sources, investigators had discovered that some former government leaders were still getting ‘cuts' from oil tenders and some of them might be arrested over the same.

"There is overwhelming evidence in the oil deals," the source said. "Some people are still getting cuts."

In September, President Michael Sata dissolved the Energy Regulation Board and ordered an investigation into the oil supply deals.

President Sata named PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba as head of a panel inquiring into charges of corruption by the ERB in the awarding of tenders for the supply of crude to Zambia's only refinery, Indeni.

Last year, government awarded a contract of $ 1 billion fuel energy supply to London-based Glencore to supply 1.4 million metric tons of crude oil for two years, and President Sata said the deal would be investigated as part of a wider investigation into why fuel prices in the country were abnormally high as compared to other countries.

President Sata, who campaigned as a champion of the poor, has pledged to tackle corruption, and a number of ministers, service personnel and senior government officials have been questioned over alleged several irregularities committed while in government.

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Government's delay in ‘cleaning up' parastatals worries Fr Bwalya

Government's delay in ‘cleaning up' parastatals worries Fr Bwalya
By Moses Kuwema
Fri 23 Dec. 2011, 13:57 CAT

GET Involved Zambia executive director Fr Frank Bwalya says his organisation is worried about the PF government's delay in cleaning up graduates of the Rupiah Banda and Fredrick Chiluba ‘academy of kleptocracy' in parastatals and the civil service. In an interview, Fr Bwalya said the delay would jeopardise the fight against corruption.

"Already we know that at Road Development Agency evidence is being destroyed, now that is just a tip of the ice berg. We do believe that in many ministries and parastatals and other public service institutions, evidence is being destroyed because Rupiah Banda and his people could not steal so much money without the full cooperation of those who are in-charge of these institutions who benefited," Fr Bwalya said.

He said a number of people who were not prepared to be part of that criminality objected and some were fired from their positions.

Fr Bwalya said, however, many of them stayed in those positions because they cooperated and that this was at a fee for them.

"So these people are still in the civil service, they are still in public institutions and so on and we do know that they would destroy the evidence because it incriminates them as well. President Sata and his government should move fast, if they are short of men and women to prosecute these cases, the international community can assist so that there can even be more training for these officers. The scandals that went on under the MMD especially during the last three years of Rupiah Banda administration is enormous and everyday Zambians will be discovering something they never imagined could happen," he said.

Fr Bwalya said there was a lot of criminality that went on under the MMD during Banda's reign.

He said the MMD should either seek amnesty by coming out in the open and return the money that they had actually stolen and apologise to the Zambian people or wait to be prosecuted.

"If not they should be prepared to go to jail and for us as Get Involved Zambia, we will be very disappointed if these criminal characters don't go to jail because we would be sending a signal that you can do this and just go to court for a prolonged period but continue to enjoy your loot," Fr Bwalya said.

He also welcomed the appointment of Mutembo Nchito as Director of Public Prosecutions and that he was confident that this development would result in money that has been stolen finding its way back to the treasury.

Fr Bwalya urged Zambians to help law enforcement agencies with information so that all the stolen money could be recovered and used for its intended purpose of development.

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Inquiry on ZRA annoys Sata

Inquiry on ZRA annoys Sata
By Ernest Chanda
Fri 23 Dec. 2011, 13:56 CAT

ZAMBIA Revenue Authority (ZRA) commission of inquiry chairperson Kingsley Chanda annoyed President Michael Sata yesterday when he failed to give a summary of findings into operations of the institution.

A few days after taking over office in September this year, President Sata constituted a commission of inquiry to investigate and report on the operations of ZRA especially the procurement of scanners.

President Sata in October this year disclosed that there was a scam at ZRA where the institution wanted to pay K4 billion to a "fake" clearing firm operating scanners in Nakonde in Northern Province.

President Sata immediately instructed police and the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to block the payment and investigate any other transactions that could have been made from State coffers to pay the firm.

President Sata said the scanners in Nakonde belonged to Zambians through the ZRA.

"This morning, ZRA was supposed to pay K4 billion to a front of somebody who was in my office but the scanners which are at Nakonde belong to the government of the Republic of Zambia through ZRA," President Sata said then.

President Sata therefore set up the commission to investigate irregularities in ZRA.

Most senior government officials appeared before the committee to explain the awarding of tenders.

The commission heard that contracts worth over US$40 million were single-sourced.

During its sitting, the commission heard that former president Rupiah Banda allegedly arranged for an additional US$ 25m for the procurement of four more scanners.

Acting director for investments and debt at the ministry of finance Michael Mwanga said the idea to procure machine equipment at border posts was initiated by the late president Levy Mwanawasa who entered into a US$100 million government loan with China. Mwanga said the deceased had allocated US$25 million towards the procurement of the four scanners but Banda allegedly re-arranged another US$25 million to procure four more scanners.

But Chanda, who used to be ZRA commissioner general but was fired during Levy Mwanawasa's presidency presented the commission's report to President Sata at State House yesterday kept quiet about the findings and recommendations, opting to go straight into reading the terms of reference before handing over the document to the President.

The visibly-upset President Sata wondered why Chanda was not disclosing the findings and openly rebuked him.

"You said nothing in your speech, there's nothing for me to comment other than to direct the honourable minister of finance to bring the report to Cabinet. He should do a Cab Memo so that we can come and look at it because you are economising on the truth. We don't know why we appointed you," President Sata said.

"And that's why you find some MPs are even refusing to come for interviews. We have a member of parliament who refuses to attend a commission of inquiry because you the commissioners yourselves you are not serious."

President Sata quickly called for the national anthem to be sung, and thereafter walkedout.

And as he walked out, President Sata remarked while pointing at finance minister Alexander Chikwanda: "next time don't recommend such people to me," in reference to Chanda.

President Sata then proceeded straight to his office.

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Mulusa urges MMD in government to be professional

Mulusa urges MMD in government to be professional
By Moses Kuwema
Fri 23 Dec. 2011, 13:40 CAT

MMD provincial youth chairman for North Western Province Stafford Mulusa says MMD members of parliament who have been appointed as deputy ministers should work professionally with all Zambians and not bring shame to the party.

In a statement, Mulusa also reminded the deputy ministers that loyalty was very important to the Republican president and the MMD as a party.

"It is obvious that many people from both the PF and MMD may not be happy about these appointments and this is a great challenge to those taking up government positions. MMD is your father and so get the appointments and be ready for disappointments at any time," Mulusa stated.

He also stated that the youths in the party would work to do away with the corrupt tag that had been tied on the MMD.

Mulusa added that the MMD youths would soon petition the National Executive Committee (NEC) and all the presidential aspirants for their inclusion in the highest organ of the party.

He stated that the party must embrace provincial youth leaders in NEC and re-introduce and advertise the position of vice-president.

"The new party president must unite and reconcile the general membership of the party, especially those ill-treated now and in the past. Hatred of personalities in the party by senior party members will destroy our hope to rebuild the party. Some punishments are very unnecessary as they clearly show arrogance and hatred at the expense of building the party," he stated.

Mulusa stated that many serious members of the party had either left or remained mute on party matters due to poor leadership that was being exhibited by some very senior party officials.

He stated that the challenge now lay on the new leadership of the MMD to clean up the ills by taking everybody on board.

"The candidate who will attract old members back to the party is the best to lead. One who will have the blessings of the founder members of the MMD and uphold the party principles and ideals is surely the leader we need," he stated.

Mulusa further stated that democracy would not excel without the full participation of the MMD as a strong opposition in the country.

He stated that the performance of the PF government would depend on the strength and objectivity of the opposition political parties.

Mulusa also stated that youths must refrain from being used to confuse campaigns or intimidate candidates who may be vulnerable.

"…As youths, we would not entertain corruption during campaigns," stated Mulusa.

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Government depoliticising disbursement of empowerment funds - Katema

Government depoliticising disbursement of empowerment funds - Katema
By Misheck Wangwe in Kitwe
Fri 23 Dec. 2011, 13:25 CAT

FUNDS meant for the empowerment of vulnerable groups will never be abused for political purposes like the previous MMD regime did, says Joseph Katema.

In an interview in Kitwe yesterday, Dr Katema who is the Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health said the PF government was working towards depoliticising the disbursement of the empowerment funds.

He said many poor people were not accessing funds meant for empowerment of citizens because the MMD government politicised the exercise to an extent where only the cadres were enjoying the money meant for people's human integral development, particularly those in rural areas.

Dr Katema said the desire of the PF government was to see ordinary citizens, especially vulnerable women and children, have access to the much-needed funds for their personal development.

"I have discovered that we have a situation where public funds meant for human development were turned from being developmental tools into political tools. People had to queue up for these funds with voter's cards in their hands.That is one of the abuses we want to clear….So under the PF government, its' hands off to everybody, we want our people who voted for this government to see development," said Dr Katema.



(NEWZIMBABWE) US group bans Marange diamonds

US group bans Marange diamonds
22/12/2011 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

THE US-based Rapaport Group -- which brings together some 6000 diamond traders from 78 countries -- said Thursday it would boycott diamonds from Zimbabwe's Marange field despite the Kimberly Process (KP) clearing the gems for export.

The group's chairman, Martin Rapaport also threatened companies continuing to trade in the diamonds warning they would be expelled from the trade group. The move comes after the US government recently imposed sanctions on two companies operating in Marange. Rapaport claimed any trade in Marange diamonds would harm the industry's reputation.

"You can ruin your reputation very easily by finding yourself on the wrong side of the human rights issue in a world where consumers are becoming more sensitized to it," he said in a conference call with Rapaport members.

"We at RapNet are going to make extreme efforts to ensure that, to the best of our ability, the diamonds we offer are non-Marange."

He urged Rapaport's 6,750 trading members in 78 countries to be on the lookout for the characteristic green tinge of Marange diamonds.

"We want members to honestly, responsibly and reasonably investigate where the diamonds are coming from," he said. "Explain to your suppliers: look this is an important issue for us for legal reasons, for moral reasons."

The Marange field has been at the center of years-long controversy with the KP forced to suspend exports from there over allegations of human rights abuses.

However, this year the Kimberley Process allowed two companies to start exporting from Marange, a decision supported by China and India but opposed by Western nations, rights groups and the industry.

Zimbabwe is said to have stockpiled gems now estimated to be worth up to US $5.0 billion.



(LUSAKATIMES) Parliament Ratifies Dr. Michael Gondwe as Governor of the Bank of Zambia

Parliament Ratifies Dr. Michael Gondwe as Governor of the Bank of Zambia
TIME PUBLISHED - Friday, December 23, 2011, 12:41 pm

Parliament has ratified Former PTA Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Michael Gondwe as Governor of the Bank of Zambia. Dr Gondwe takes over from, Caleb Fundanga who was BoZ Governor until September this year.

The appointment of Dr Gondwe comes a month after Bwalya Ng’andu was appointed deputy Governor in charge of operations at the Central Bank. Dr.Gondwe a holds Bachelor of Law Degrees from the University of Zambia and the University of Virginia as well as a Masters in Business Administration.

He is an alumnus of the Advanced Management Programme of the University of Oxford.

He is the president or the equivalent of chief executive officer of the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank.

The bank has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

The PTA bank still uses its original name, PTA Bank, created by the initial Preferential Trade Area (PTA) agreement.

The PTA agreement later graduated to Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) regional trade agreement.

[Zanis/Times of Zambia]

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(LUSAKATIMES) Beyond 90 Days, A nationalists perspective for Zambia

Beyond 90 Days, A nationalists perspective for Zambia
TIME PUBLISHED - Friday, December 23, 2011, 7:29 am
By E.Katyoka

90 days have passed since the PF ascended to power after a resounding victory that gave it a five year mandate and unseated a confident MMD from its 20 year rule. The jury is still out whether the MMD will revive and regain its ‘glory’ or like UNIP, pass on into oblivion.

Five years is a long time in politics, leaders and indeed political formations are yet to be born.

Notwithstanding 2011 will go down as one of the most remarkable years in Zambian history. Either as the year when Zambians finaly got the government they had waited for,elected the long awaited ‘Moses’ to take the Nation into the promised land, and veritably implimented ” Mwanawasa legacy reloaded” or, it will be the beginning of the worst years of the Zambian expedition. The undoing of a nation.

Much of how things will turn out rests squarely on the shoulders of one. His excellency Michael Chilufya Sata. To any casual observer of Zambian politics it is clear that the 2011 Elections seem to have fractured the facade of a Zambian Nationalism.

The Nation undertook the most divisive bitterly contested Election in modern history. The Nation voted, and Ethnic nationalism like a vampire reared its head again and Zambian Nationalism like humpty dumpty shatterd into a thousand pieces.

It is yet to be seen whether the stitches of political state craft can re-assemble a semblance of a Zambian Nationalism to which all the ‘Ethnic Nationals’ of this country can subscribe to; without reservations.

Two options remain; Either we accept the ethnic nationalist sentiment as something that has come to stay and pragmatically begin to say ” one Zambia many ‘Ethnic’ Nations – unity in diversity” or Embrace a higher Nationalism…an African Nationalism, driven by the commonness of our African heritage ‘Ubuntu’. A Nationalism that embraces the common humanity of all races, tribes and tongues and seeks as its goal the redemption of the continent from the evils of tribalism, conflict, corporate greed,corruption, cronyism and resource colonialism brought about by the new scramble for Africa.

A nationalism that will not be driven by color,tribe or narrow sectarian considerations but one driven by the urgency of the cause of the suffering masses. That Africa, the continent of the great pyramids will one day rise up to fulfil the scripture Psalm 68:31 “Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.” For the Earth earnestly awaits the manifestation of the sons of God

My prayer is that Zambia may remain one sovereign indivisible country. That while the rest of the world is moving towards regional intergration, we may not allow the balkanisation of our peoples who have long lived side by side for millennia under the commonness of our shared humanity: ‘ubuntu’
long live Zambia.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

(HERALD) Canada wants Zim to trade its diamonds

Canada wants Zim to trade its diamonds
Thursday, 22 December 2011 00:00
Takunda Maodza Senior Reporter

CANADA says it is comfortable with Zimbabwe trading in its Marange gems as the move will strengthen the global diamond industry.

In an interview with journalists yesterday at State House in Harare after presenting her credentials to President Mugabe, new Canadian ambassador Lisa Stadelbauer said her country had no problems with endorsing the sale of diamonds from Zimbabwe.

"We are quite pleased with the arrangement," she said. "We take the KP seriously and it is important to have a strong diamond industry."

Ambassador Stadelbauer said Canada was among countries that endorsed the KP decision allowing Zimbabwe to sell her diamonds at a meeting held recently in the DRC.

Canada is a US ally and was among countries that were advocating for a ban on the export of the Marange diamonds, citing claims of human rights abuses at Chiadzwa.

Only last week, Washington slammed Mbada Diamonds and Marange Resources, two of the major diamond mining companies in Marange, with sanctions in a bid to frustrate Government's efforts to turn around the economy.

The West fears allowing Zimbabwe to freely trade in her diamonds would render useless its illegal sanctions on Harare.

Three other ambassadors from Egypt, Angola and Japan presented their credentials to President Mugabe yesterday.

New Egyptian ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Bassam Khalil, deployed by the Mohamed Hussein Tantawi led administration in Cairo, pledged to further political and economic ties with Zimbabwe.

Ambassador Khalil said discussions centred on strengthening the already excellent relations between the two countries.

"We had a good meeting with President Mugabe. He is well informed about the situation in Egypt. We discussed ways to enhance bilateral relations," he said.

Ambassador Khalil stressed the need to improve trade between Harare and Cairo, saying the level of business between the two countries was not satisfying.

"There are a lot of things that can be done. We have excellent relations that should be translated to economic levels," ambassador Khalil said.

He said Egyptians were keen to invest in agriculture and mining in Zimbabwe.

On the volatile political situation in his country, ambassador Bassam said: "We have a transitional situation in Egypt. We hope this will be over soon.

"We had a major revolution in Egypt and when a revolution of that magnitude occurs we have a period of instability."

New Angolan ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Pedro Hendrick Vaal Neto said his meeting with President Mugabe analysed the level of co-operation between Luanda and Harare.

"We think that bilateral co-operation should be increased. Both countries have potential and we should find areas we should develop more," he said.

"Zimbabwe and Angola are very close friends and we want to make that friendship closer and effective."

The Japanese ambassador Mr Yonezo Fukuda pledged more developmental assistance to Zimbabwe.

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(HERALD) MDC-T: When a fool and his power soon part ways

MDC-T: When a fool and his power soon part ways
Friday, 16 December 2011 00:00

Reared within a martial milieu, Chinua Achebe's Okonkwo mischaracterised his father for an utter failure, a man to be shunned at all times. Yet Unoka, Okonkwo's father, was not a failure. His real tragedy was that he was an aesthete in the age of the sword and of war. His world had a different yardstick, another value. He hated war, and thus became a loser in an ethos of warriors. He loved those arts which got whole communities to convoke, converge and celebrate life in unison. War divided.

Martial heroism was individualistic and often life-denying. That made the warlike world unattractive to a man to whom the sound of the flute spelt blessedness and peace. But Okonkwo being Okonkwo, anything short of a flaming sword smacked of utter failure, indeed passed for a forbidding model. And that forbidding model was found in his very home, indeed was his own father Unoka who never brought a single trophy from any war, Unoka whose granaries always bared their bottom in utter emptiness when the rest of the villages showed and paraded fat yams, yams the size of an overgrown human head.

For Okonkwo, failure was home, was so overbearingly close. It revulsed him, thereby creating a compensatory martial reflex in him. He had to be seen to be a man of steel, a man of the sword, ready to take risk, preferably single-handedly against all odds, however enormous.

Like a hammer-wielding carpenter, everything looked like a nail head. It had to be knocked in, driven in by a hammer, all with uncharacteristic or oversized ardour. The hammer was an all-time solution, whatever the size of the problem.

When fear commits an abomination

That won him awe; that won him fearful admiration. Above all, it personally won him remarkable tragedy, particularly when he chose to make do with a sword for all seasons, make do with a martial response even where mere compassion was needed.
When Ikemefuna, the ill-fated, sacrificial boy who had called him father fled to him for protection, he responded with a swift, deadly blow that sundered the hapless boy still and cold.

His raging urge to be viewed as a man of steel, a man of unflinching courage and decisiveness, had in fact offended and vitiated against a cardinal value of Umuofia which forbade the killing by one of anyone who called one father. The example of fear and indecisiveness, an example which his own father incarnated, had driven him into committing the abominable sin for which an inglorious suicide would be the only remedy.

Complex in overdrive

But even before this abomination, Achebe had shown Okonkwo in lower but illustrative skirmishes with this overbearingly tragic complex. Coming from a lusterless hunt, empty handed, he sought compensation for this failure by high-handedly admonishing his wives for "killing" a banana tree.

Far from killed, the banana tree was a well and healthy, its dark green lives swaying leisurely in the gentle wind, branches bowing with plenty. Clearly his was aggression sought provocation, a martial urge hungry for a spectacular display. It got worse, much worse for his young wife Ekwefi, who made the near-fatal mistake of murmuring about guns that never shot! Murmured against a man who had returned home from a hunt, empty handed, Ekwefi had recklessly stood between a bear and its anger.

Okonkwo loaded his gun, took aim in the direction of his offending wife, and squeezed the trigger to a loud echo that rang across the whole village, supported by a chorus of wailing hysteria from a suitably terrified team of Okonkwo's concubines. A minute after this raucous rupture, all stood silent and still, only broken by fitful sobs from a frightened but unhurt Ekwefi.

As with the hunt, Okonkwo had missed his target, again, itself yet another instance of glaring yet insufferable failure. In Things Fall Apart, Achebe explores a debilitating complex thrust into overdrive, one hurtling a lofty personality headlong to a tragic end.

Crossing after the bridge

After weeks of bruising media coverage of the Prime Minister and his many women, the MDC-T party may have ear-marked this week as a comeback week, a week of regaining initiative and overwriting the demeaning story of grinning zips and knickers in an age of restraint.

And the Prime Minister's party chose Parliament as the locale for such a comeback.
This drive has lifted the Inclusive Government to a new and dizzy echelon of dysfunctionality. Of course the backdrop was built elsewhere, well away from the Prime Minister and his party.

Welshman Ncube, the other leader of the other MDC faction, thought he was doing himself and his party a favour by expelling the few MPs his party thought it had in Parliament. The idea was for him to create a situation where he could force these affected MPs to formally cross a floor they had long jumped past and over anyway, all to join the other side, that of the Prime Minister and his MDC-T party.

Once that happened, so our man from Wales thought, his party would then formally notify Parliament that the affected MPs had crossed the floor, much against the laws and rules of the august house. Like Tracy Mutinhiri of Zanu- PF, our good professor hoped the affected MPs would then be frozen out of the House. And with the insurance of no by-election stance of the GPA, this was a risk-free course.

Mutambara, MDC-T's warehouse

I cannot say he miscalculated. I am sure he knew the dissident MPs would formalise their membership to MDC-T which they had long joined at the start of the Inclusive Government anyway, if not well before. The move helped this learned man force these turncoats don and assume their real colours.

That far it worked. The move helped create a new dilemma for Mutambara, himself a contestant to MDC leadership. That far it, too, worked. And with both, Ncube is free to reorganise and organise a party in readiness for elections which are expected in June 2012 at the latest. But beyond that, all was disaster for the lawyer-politician. He cannot win, and he knows that.

Cleverly, the disowned, renegade MPs flew into Mutambara's unclenching arms, thereby surviving on the legal and leadership ambiguities pitting MDC's warring leadership. But at heart, they remain MDC-T to the core, with Mutambara incapable of owning, let alone running them.

And the Bench weighs in

Then we did not have the Justice Kamocha judgment, strangely delivered on the good judge's behalf by a fellow judge, one Justice Mathonsi who is a blood relative of the complainant, Welshman Ncube. The Bench must be careful, very careful not to invite needless questions especially in a case of such a clear high profile. That judgment handed down defeat to Mutambara, lifted up Welshman Ncube and what remains of his MDC.

So the rebel MPs were warehoused in Mutambara's threadbare camp, in the process creating a dilemma for Mutambara who is now being viewed in Zanu-PF as playing armoury to an otherwise de-commissioned, ineffectual weapon of the MDC-T. For a law professor who had donated Mutambara to Zanu-PF, this was done to good effect. Give it to him.

Ncube on the offensive?

Whatever consanguineous links between Judge Mathonsi and Ncube, one wants to believe Ncube had no presentiment of the judgment on his leadership wrangle with Mutambara. The judgment itself is Judge Kamocha's, after all. The Thursday judgment has now created a new situation, both for the rebel MPs and for Mutambara.

After the judgment, Mutambara can no longer lay claim to the leadership of MDC-N, the only party which is recognised in Parliament and by the GPA. He can only seek to contest it by way of an appeal to the Supreme Court, as indeed he says he will. So the rebel MPs can no longer claim to be in Parliament on Mutambara's ticket, on a Mutambara parading symbolically as leader of MDC-M, albeit without owning it.

They have to formally cross the floor, or posthumously seek to contest their dismissal from MDC-N, which will be legally fatal. Ncube can now proceed to notify the Speaker of Parliament, himself an MDC-T official whose role in causing and profiting from these defections is well known.

Mutambara's dilemma

And if Mutambara's hope is to freeze matters by noting an appeal, he faces a real dilemma of a choice between giving succour to MDC-T through this warehouse facility he has granted them, or dismantling that warehouse which is beginning to hurt Zanu-PF through skewed voting on motions in Parliament.

In fact it's worse. Advertently or inadvertently, Mutambara has undermined the very principle of wielding a balancing vote on which the Inclusive Government was founded.
The impact on Zanu-PF has been potentially hurtful, even though no damage has been levied so far. Would Mutambara want to extend the life of a warehouse facility that damages Zanu-PF which can, overnight through its leader, terminate his career as Deputy Prime Minister, itself the only thread fastening him to the whole political edifice?

And of course by not appealing he will have precipitated the ouster of the rebel MPs, conceded defeat to Ncube, all to worse outcomes for the Prime Minister, his party and himself. That takes me to my main point.

Flaunting transient power

I said the MDC-T designated this week as its comeback week after a debilitating coverage on their leader's dashing, totem-less sexuality. The party has sought to do that through Parliament by way of two motions: one against the Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma, the hatred of whom by the MDC-T is quite fathomable; two against the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) and its allocation of licenses for national radio to Zimpapers and AB Communications.

Buoyed by the rebel MPs from MDC-N, lately the MDC-T has been wagging its Parliamentarian tail. It has been sponsoring motions no so much to get the august House to engage and debate issues constructively, but to flaunt its majority in the Lower House and to legitimise a skewed vote which it knows must decide issues in the end.

It has the numbers in the Lower House; it has the Speaker in the chair. It has looked formidable, at the very least for these few weeks. And for the few weeks, it has flaunted this new found power so much and so recklessly that it did not see ruin stealing on it.

Confirming Zvoma's need

Much worse, it has not been able to flaunt that power with finesse, in the process raising a whole ogre of unconstitutional waywardness, aggravated by sheer incompetence. Tellingly, it is a type of incompetence which vividly recalls the failings of its leader and his staff.

First, the Zvoma case. I cannot visualise an employment structure which takes the whole of Parliament as the employer of a mere officer, however senior. It is unprecedented; it is legally unfeasible.

One might be employed by Government in the abstract sense, but one is engaged by the Public Service Commission. And to imagine that Cabinet sits to decide termination of a civil servant is remarkably ridiculous. To imagine that Parliament opens a debate on an employe with the goal of deciding his employment fate is just amazing. And that such senselessness took place this week in Parliament clearly shows how unready an MDC-T-dominated Parliament is to do without the profound advice of Zvoma. And this un-readiness has shown itself in a way that exposes Parliament as vulnerable to men and women of ill-will, spite and vindictiveness, indeed that shows Parliament as very susceptible, if not a bad employer who assesses performance on politics rather than on merit.

Flouting a greater principle

And Zvoma complicated matters for Parliament. He went to court. He, in other words, approached Parliament's checking and balancing institution by way of the Judiciary. This complicating insertion came well before spiteful MPs had exhausted their ardour, thereby generating an immense, unstoppable momentum that recklessly hurtled the whole institution against a forbidding outward legal fact. The debate proceeded regardless and a motion was still passed on a matter already lodged with the Bench for arbitration. At that point Zvoma ceased to be an issue. What became the issue was Parliament itself, the MDC-T MPs who had whipped themselves into frenzied overdrive, and of course the Inclusive Government and its myriad susceptibilities. With a surfeit of lawyers, MDC-T should have known when to stop, all to redeem itself. It didn't, which is why one sees clear analogy with Okonkwo. Having been consigned to margins and powerless, the MDC-T seized on an ephemeral power conjunction to compensate for this erstwhile powerlessness. And it did so with the restraint of Okonkwo, in the process offending against more decisive sensitivities, not least of them the foundational principles upon which the doctrine of separation of powers rests. An abomination has thus been committed in Parliament, thanks to the incompetence which only the MDC-T alone is capable of. Are we glimpsing at the future with an MDC-T at the helm? Or, as the Prime Minister eruditely and flauntingly told Chief Negomo through Selby Hwacha and his boys, is the Bench about to be told that it has no jurisdiction and should never seek to try its "superiors"?

Why all the calories?

Then you have the BAZ issue. Repeatedly we were told during the debate on the matter that the BAZ Board is "unconstitutionally" constituted. I am still at a loss how a creature of a mere statute is capable of offending against the Constitution of a country, merely by the circumstances of its creation or being. Or how Parliament becomes the proper setting for remedying such an abomination? Or how those who claim harm from BAZ's "unconstitutional" conduct ever find relief from a mere administrative court? So Parliament moves a motion to get BAZ dissolved, more to flaunt votes than to cause dissolution of BAZ. And after the vote has been taken, with all gladiators panting for breath, chief whips of the contesting parties agree in perfect unison uncharacteristic of the preceding debate that indeed the motion itself has no effect on BAZ or on the Ministry with an oversight role. So why all the calories? And the amount of ignorance exhibited during the debate! Cry my beloved country! The dishonesty involved in pushing arguments which fly right into the face of documented facts! Cry, cry my beloved country!

Much ado about nothing

Much worse, no one reminded the august House that Parliament was behaving unconstitutionally through pushing a motion which had nothing to do with the constitution, or with the lawful role designated for Parliament itself in a proper, functioning democracy. Again, you got the sense of a House sorely missing its Clerk. BAZ is an arm of the Executive. It is an instrument of executing policy, itself the domain of the Executive. Just how the Legislature seeks the dissolution of an implementation arm of the Executive, hardly anyone can ever fathom. How Parliament challenges the putting together of that arm, ahead of the Judiciary whose bounden duty is to test the legality of such bodies, again hardly anyone can ever fathom. Much worse, how that debate still must proceed in spite of an approach to the Bench by one of the applicants, again, again no one can explain. It was a massive show of much ado about nothing. Not by Parliament, but by parliamentarians. You cannot fault the responsible Ministry of watching the whole charade equanimously.

Sharp teeth on soft tissue

And the keen reader has seen that both cases cited above hinge on MDC-T's conduct before it gets power, more accurately the crimes it already commits with very little power conceded it. In the first place it is itself part of the Executive and yet seeks to undermine that arm of Government. Secondly, it is in the Legislature yet seeks to abuse Parliament by both turning it into a vehicle for reversing losses suffered elsewhere, and by overreaching. Thirdly it claims to believe in the rule of law and yet it seeks to undermine that Bench by new and even more worrisome conduct which makes its leader's snubbing of Chief Negomo's court an ominous sub-plot for worse things to come in the main act. Lastly and much worse, this whole conduct shows how unwieldy and un-neat power becomes when exercise by people whose brains pull down together with their loose zips! To what may have begun as a lofty quest for heroic recovery and honour, the week has closed with a limping Okonkwo, mortally hurt not heroically by an enemy blow in battle, but bathetically by an embittered hooker sneaked into camp, settling an unsettled bill through sharp teeth on soft tissue.

Self-fulfilling prophecy

I wonder if the MDC-T sees the larger picture. It is spewing up evidence and spectacular examples of the sheer dysfunctionality of the Inclusive Government. And that dysfunctionality is beginning to threaten other arms of State. The MDC-T must never think that Zanu (PF) will continue to be entertained by this noisy pantomime.

Quite the contrary, Zanu (PF) eagerly watches these hefty failures, all the time waiting for that day the scales will tilt decisively, justifying the equally eagerly awaited conclusion that enough is enough. This thing cannot work. Back to the people, please. That way, a fool and his ill-gotten, pilfered power shall be made to part. Icho!



(HERALD) Uncle Sam, the real dictator of the Korean Peninsula

Uncle Sam, the real dictator of the Korean Peninsula
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 00:00

One of the jokes that went viral pertains to a glutton who chances upon a funeral wake, and being the crafty character he is, soon hatches a plan to get a hefty helping of the food cooking on the fire in one corner of the homestead. Our man wails to high heaven, throwing his body on the ground, portraying a level of grief that leaves even the widowed green with envy.

He soon fakes fainting and is carried into the shade with the elders instructing varoora to ensure that he is among the first to be served once he comes to. On hearing this, our glutton quickly regains consciousness and is soon tucking into a plateful of sadza and meat that he devours in no time.

Having had his fill he reaches for a twig and begins plucking stubborn strands of meat wedged between his teeth, and asks the person nearest to him, ‘‘Nhai ndiyani afa pano (whose funeral wake is this?''

Well I was reminded of this joke after seeing flushed western correspondents and their grey haired analysts lampooning the late North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il as a ‘‘ruthless dictator''. The western packaging of the iconic North Korean leader, who succeeded his father in 1994 - a fact apparently unknown to one daily here that credited him with training the Fifth Brigade in the early 80s - was at variance with the outpouring of national grief in Pyongyang.

Even western media so given to lampooning those tarred and feathered by western governments could not help but acknowledge the outpouring of grief.
These duplicitous media could, however, not reconcile their packaging of Kim with the grief that engulfed his nation. The overriding question then becomes; why were only outsiders - westerners for that matter not even Diaspora Koreans - the ones labelling Kim a heartless dictator yet the Koreans themselves were so heartbroken over his death?

It was evident from the footage coming out of the DPRK that Kim was loved by his people even as outsiders who could not get their way in the Korean Peninsula sought to tar and feather him.

What gives westerners the arrogance to believe they know best what is good for everyone in this world? Why do they believe they are the be all and end all of all that is humane, democratic and good when many in the developing world had to fight gruelling wars to win basic freedoms from these same devils who dare preach sanctity today?

What is even more shocking is the tendency by some among us to adopt a monkey see monkey do mentality; that regurgitates whatever westerners say with sickening prurience.

Such people do not have minds of their own. To them; the world is what BBC and CNN say it is. They are like fetching dogs. All that westerners need to do is throw a stick and say fetch; and off they will go yapping happily.

A friend of mine had this to say, ‘‘if anyone knows where I can find grateful North Koreans happy at Cde Kim's death, I would be happy to see them.''

Kim Jong Il's death inspired a deluge of articles in western media that presented the DPRK government as a dangerous and crazed regime that posed a dire threat to the stability of not only the Korean Peninsula but North East Asia as a whole. Which threat called on the US and its allies to put their militaries on alert to save the ‘‘hapless'' Asians. For such is the "burden" the Anglo-Saxons foisted on themselves, to save all the dark and yellow-skinned people of this world from themselves!

Yet anyone who has followed events in the Korean Peninsula would know that it is Uncle Sam who has been at the heart of perennial tensions in the region due to his policies of destructive engagement that sought to destabilise the DPRK since the end of the Korean War in 1953. The Korean civil war itself was initiated by the US using its cat's paw regime in the South that sought to checkmate not only the DPRK but China as well.

The Anglo-Saxon driven war destroyed the DPRK scarred leaving three million people dead and many more maimed, and perpetuated Uncle Sam's division of the peninsula.
Kim Jong-Il assumed the reins after the death of his father Kim il-sung in 1994 amid tensions with the US.

Then US president George H W Bush and his successor, Bill Clinton, latched on to the DPRK's nuclear programs as a pretext for war and were only deterred from launching their usual impudent adventures by the DPRK's nuke deterrence.

In the wake of the collapse of the USSR, in 1991, the DPRK's key ally.

The DPRK found itself vulnerable and acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, expecting in return that the US and its allies would ease the debilitating economic sanctions they had imposed and move toward diplomatic recognition.

In what has become a recurring pattern over the past two decades, the US bullied and pressured North Korea into agreements, but refused to make any moves to end Pyongyang's isolation.

Matters came to a head in 1994 over North Korea's experimental reactor at Yongbyon, which the Clinton administration claimed would provide plutonium for a nuclear bomb. Military action was only averted when Clinton, was warned by his military advisors of the catastrophic consequences of such an adventure. He backed off and sent Jimmy Carter to cut a deal with Pyongyang.

Kim Il-sung died shortly after Carter's trip. Kim Jong-il finalised what became known as the Agreed Framework, under which North Korea agreed to shut down and eventually dismantle its nuclear facilities in return for the supply of oil and power reactors and, most importantly, an end to diplomatic and economic isolation. The DPRK froze its nuclear programs, but Uncle Sam did not keep his end of the bargain.

The aggression, which was never about North Korea or its nuclear programs per se but was aimed at China, intensified with Bush declaring China "a strategic rival" during his election campaign.

By deliberately escalating tensions, Uncle Sam threatened the DPRK, China's traditional ally, strategically situated on its border. At the same time, the US spoiled plans by China, Russia and the European powers to open up North Korea as a transport and pipeline route to South Korea and Japan.

So far from the late Kim being the dictator that the US and its allies would want the world to believe he was, he stood by his people and ably bore the baton that was thrust in his hands following his father's death in 1994. Kim Jong Il survived insurmountable odds to keep the DPRK on its chosen development path in the face of US-engineered isolation and crippling economic sanctions.

The real dictator in the Korean Peninsula is the US through its intrusive policies of destructive engagement that cross oceans to destroy the livelihoods of a sovereign people. To this day those destructive policies seek to destroy even the legacy of a dead man.

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Dora refuses to face probe team

Dora refuses to face probe team
By Bright Mukwasa
Thu 22 Dec. 2011, 14:00 CAT

DORA Siliya yesterday refused to physically appear before a commission of inquiry on the contract for the supply, installation and commissioning of the Zambia Air Traffic Management Surveillance Radar system at two international airports describing it as a merely ‘administrative investigatory committee'.

And former permanent secretary in the ministry of transport and communication during the time of the signing of the deal, Mukuka Zimba, says she objected to the payment of more than US$12 million to RP Capital of Cayman Islands for advisory services.

Siliya, a former minister of transport and communication in the Rupiah Banda regime, said in her written submission to the commission that she elected not to attend and give voice evidence, but opted written submissions instead.

"Quite clearly, this committee is not a commission of inquiry pursuant to the Inquiries Act, chapter 41,volume 4 of the laws of Zambia; conversely it is an administrative investigatory committee. I am advised that I may not as of right be entitled to legal representation," Siliya said.

"The committee will recall that the following complaints were made by Mr. William Harrington and a consortium of 10 civil societies. His Lordship the Chief Justice constituted a tribunal pursuant to the provisions of the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct Act, chapter 16,volume 2 of the laws of Zambia."

She said the committee should acknowledge that the proceedings of the Justice Dennis Chirwa-led tribunal was held publicly and the allegations were duly presented in the same and they were thoroughly and exceedingly scrutinised.

Siliya said it was abundantly clear from the tribunal's conclusions that she was cleared of the purported allegations being made against her.

"I submit that the said allegations have already been subject to litigation and have had their veracity in the courts of law. The conclusions of the tribunal which was legitimately established pursuant to the provisions of the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct Act, chapter 16, volume 2 of the laws of Zambia cannot be overturned by this committee which is merely an administrative committee. I'll opt to refer this committee to have recourse to the records of all the aforesaid matters in both High and Supreme courts of Zambia," she said.

Siliya said the allegations made reference could not be relitigated and that she would not commit herself to any statement beyond what had been put before the tribunal, as the matters were subjudice.

And Zimba said she objected to the government's decision to pay about US$12.5 million for advisory services as that was not part of the agreement.

Zimba, during her submissions to the committee said RP Capital of Cayman Islands was engaged to evaluate the value of Zamtel and not any other services.

"The memorandum of understanding was clear that they RP Capital should not spend above the stipulated amount without the consent of the government. When I told RP Capital they were not supposed to render sale-related services they got upset and stopped reporting to me, they started reporting straight to State House to a Dr Richard Chembe," Zimba said.

"When I looked at the MoU, I wrote a note objecting to the payment of US$12.5 million for advisory services. I sent a letter to the Secretary to the Cabinet and Honourable Felix Mutati who was acting at the time."

She said because she was asking ‘too many' questions about the deal, a decision was made to transfer her from the ministry, as she could not comply with instructions.

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Zamtel finally accepts to be audited

Zamtel finally accepts to be audited
By Ernest Chanda
Thu 22 Dec. 2011, 13:51 CAT

ZAMTEL management has finally accepted to be audited by the Auditor General after the intervention of the Attorney General and Secretary to the Treasury.

Revealing the new development in an interview yesterday, Auditor General Anna Chifungula said her office struggled to get a go ahead from the telecommunications company, but later moved in early last week.

Early this month, Chifungula revealed that Zamtel refused to be audited by her office arguing that the government was a minority shareholder in the company.

Chifungula later wrote to Attorney General Mumba Malila seeking legal opinion on the matter.

Asked what challenges her officers were facing during the auditing of Zamtel, Chifungula admitted facing some but said they could be overcome.

"Yes we are auditing Zamtel but it was a big struggle. We had to get the Attorney General to give an opinion which looked at the agreement which they signed; which the government of Zambia signed with Zamtel where it provided for the Ministry of Finance to actually appoint auditors to look into the operations of Zamtel. So, we used that provision to go in, and the Secretary to the Treasury wrote them a letter asking them to provide their books," said Chifungula.

"We started last week, they auditors moved in on the 14th of December. They should be done by this week because it's up to 23rd. Challenges are there but I think the biggest challenge we had to overcome was to actually start the audit. I know they're giving us a lot of problems, but nothing that we can't deal with."

The Banda administration last year sold Zamtel's 75 per cent shares at US$257 million - about K1.3 trillion to Libya's LAP Green Network, but the former paid US$334 million - about K1.7 trillion to retain its remaining 25 per cent shares in the telecommunication company during its privatisation.

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