Saturday, January 07, 2012
ZIMBABWE’S swag merchants love their Giorgio Armani, Paul Smith and Hugo Boss. Now they are also buying their RG Mugabe. A group of young businesspeople are doing good business selling a clothing line whose label is President Robert Mugabe's signature. On the day we meet at their office, a man has just bought a full kit -- the RG Mugabe golf shirt, the RG Mugabe T-shirt and the cap.
The young woman at reception is in a bust-hugging black top, with "RG Mugabe" in silver studs running across her chest. Inside the offices of Yedu Nesu, the company behind the House of Gushungo clothing label, there is R&B on the television and, on the desk, the latest edition of the Harvard Business Review.
So, it is not your usual Zanu PF office then? "No, it's not about politics. It's about his legacy," Justin Matenda says from behind his laptop.
"Gushungo is an icon, culturally, socially, in many other ways," Matenda says, using Mugabe's clan name. "The people who are flocking here to buy these clothes? They aren't the sort you would usually call Zanu PF supporters."
His partner, Victor Gwaradzimba, says stocks are running low and they have had to ring the supplier for more material.
"Young people don't care whose name is on their clothes. They don't know who Giorgio Armani is but still they buy the label, because it's good."
But, of course, they do know who RG Mugabe is and, in deeply divided Zimbabwe, wearing this label means you will be labelled Zanu PF.
"Yes, but what we are finding is that people of all persuasions are buying. Young, urbane people who you wouldn't normally think care much for politics," Matenda says.
The customers may not be Zanu PF supporters but demand for the label reveals a long-held secret: even among the supposedly pro-opposition urban jet set, there is a secret admiration for Mugabe.
"They may not go to Zanu PF rallies but they appreciate the principles he stands for," Gwaradzimba says.
The demand has been so strong that Yedu Nesu will have to move the business out of their office and open House of Gushungo stores.
Mugabe likes to cast himself as the poor man's champion but the label bearing his signature will be sold only in Harare's upmarket malls.
"This will not be a cheap label. It goes with the kind of person we are talking about here." Yedu Nesu plans to take the label beyond the borders.
"Mugabe is a brand, like him or hate him." Mugabe's handlers have tried to rebrand their leader, who turns 88 next month.
He has appeared in music videos that feature girls in tights and heels, and his voice has been used over house-music tracks. Could a fashion label be the latest attempt to pimp his image? "No, he was never involved," Matenda insists.
"Of course, because we are using his signature, we sent him a proposal and he gave the nod."
They are keenly aware of how news of the RG Mugabe label has been received. Gwaradzimba googles a story, carried in the Daily Mail, saying the label "is what tyrants are wearing, darling!" He laughs. "The people who are buying the clothes obviously don't agree."
This is not the "Zanu PF fashion" we are used to. It usually involves T-shirts with Mugabe's face on the front. Or large, garish shirts, also with Mugabe's face on the front.
And the Zanu PF Women's League even holds fashion shows, where dresses made from Mugabe-print material are paraded -- and Mugabe's face is there, on busts, on sides, on bottoms.
Mugabe's picture has been "abused and overused", Matenda says. The signature was "something new, something fresh, and a bit more subtle".
By Kombe Chimpinde in Lusaka and Henry Chibulu in Mazabuka
Sat 07 Jan. 2012, 14:00 CAT
THE sale of 75 per cent shares in Zamtel to LAP Green was against the interests and security of the state, says Wynter Kabimba.
Featuring on Radio Phoenix's Let The People Talk phone-in programme yesterday, Kabimba, who is PF secretary general, said he could not understand why reasonable men and women in MMD could approve the sale of Zamtel and the country's optic fibre for personal commissions.
Kabimba disclosed that currently, the President could not have a private conversation by phone in State House because 75 per cent of the national optic fibre which was in the hands of Zesco had been sold to LAP Green, a foreign firm.
"At the time when Zamtel was being sold to LAP Green, we raised our red flag ourselves as PF and said that this transaction is against our national interest. You can't have your optic fibre sold to a foreign company, sold to another country. Where does your security lie? But because people wanted a commission from LAP Green, people went ahead and sold Zamtel," he said.
Kabimba said the sale did not make any sense, stressing that he could not understand how reasonable men and women in MMD approved it.
"How can reasonable, rational men and women in the MMD make such a decision which goes against the security of this state. They can only do that because they were beneficiaries within that transaction," he explained.
"The issue of RP Capital, I was one of the lawyers that prosecuted the RP capital issue before the Dennis Chirwa-led tribunal and the findings are there and the fact that the tribunal said ‘no but we can't do this' (tribunal lacking jurisdiction on the matter)... does not mean the transaction is clean."
Kabimba said Zamtel was not the only company whose sale was marred with fraud and corruption and that the PF would not relent in returning them to Zambians.
"The PF had said, from the word go, that we do not approve of this transaction because it is against national interest. Not because it was against Michael Sata as an individual or the PF but against the interest of the Zambians," he said.
"We want to make sure that these iniquities are redressed. We want to make sure that these companies go back to the people of Zambia to secure the security of this country."
Kabimba said a fight had been waged not against MMD but corrupt politicians.
"This is the most dangerous group. That is the group that we are fighting, the group that is burying billions of kwacha. We are serious about the fight against corruption not only against former leaders even within our party."
He said the PF wanted to make sure corruption did not take root in government.
"We shall not tire, we shall move forward and ensure that the right thing is done and in the process one or two individuals will be inconvenienced. It is just normal. We are not running a perfect system," Kabimba warned, adding that the party was not on a path of retribution.
"We want to make sure that the wealth that belongs to Zambia is recovered. If that wealth of Zambia is in Mr Rupiah's (Banda) hands, we shall recover it for you. If that wealth is with whoever had served in the MMD, we shall recover that wealth for you and get back to you. That we are determined to do."
And Kabimba said the PF would endeavour to end politics of vindictiveness by embracing the constructive criticism of the opposition.
"I'm surprised that today George Kunda can be crying foul about not being covered by the state media, a culture which he created even as educated as he is," Kabimba said.
"We in the PF would like to see that the opposition constitutes a group of our opponents, that can take over power in future. We are not bent on destroying opposition political parties."
On the composition of the current Cabinet, Kabimba acknowledged the vitality of ensuring social and cultural stability in the governance system by making sure all ethnic groupings in the country are represented.
After several callers raised concern over the composition of Cabinet, Kabimba admitted it was not practicable to have an equal number of ethnic groupings into government.
"We shall not run an exclusive governance system, we shall run an inclusive governance system so that every Zambian that has skills or something to offer to better. Equal numbers are not practicable," he said.
"If you want to post a graph and start questioning how many Tongas, Bembas are there…obviously you reach a point where there will be one ethnic group that will be larger by one person. Wilbur Simuusa, for example, is from Southern Province, Shamenda is from Central Province," Kabimba said.
He said President Sata and his government was not immune to making mistakes in their policy pronouncements.
"PF is not composed of saints. What we want to hear from people is how they would improve on the mistakes we are making. He (Sata) is mortal, he does not have any divine spirit to tell the people of Zambia that everything he is going to say has an element of divine direction.
Meanwhile, Zamtel employees in Mazabuka are happy with the government's decision to seize 75 per cent shares that were held by LAP Green, claiming that it was long overdue.
The jubilant employees talked to say Zamtel was sold to the Libyan investor by the previous government for a song despite its viability in the telecommunication industry.
By Bright Mukwasa and Kabanda Chulu
Sat 07 Jan. 2012, 14:00 CAT
ACC director general Rosewin Wandi says the fight against corruption has taken a new dimension under the PF government. Wandi said it was now apparent that the fight against corruption was gaining momentum under President Michael Sata.
"Political will is the sine qua non (a condition) of an efficient and effective fight against corruption that is non selective, professionally executed and where there is true equality before the law. As Anti Corruption Commission we are gratified and encouraged by the prevailing demonstrable political will in our country to fight corruption," Wandi told journalists during a press briefing yesterday.
"We have already witnessed and are part of the joint investigation teams set up to probe plunder of public resources as well as abuses of authority of offices cases. There is no doubt that the fight against corruption is gaining momentum."
Wandi said the reinstatement of the abuse of authority of office clause would definitely boost the fight against corruption.
She said corruption was a complex and cross cutting vice that required a multi-disciplined approach to combat and called on all stakeholders to join the fight.
"The Anti-Corruption Act no.38 of 2010 is under review which seeks to re-instate the abuse of authority of office clause, among other provisions, a move being supported by the Commission. Law is dynamic. There is need to keep reviewing anti-corruption laws to ensure they are responsive to changes," she said.
"At this point Zambia needs the provision that criminalises the abuse of authority of office and possession of ill-gotten property. This is necessary for the preservation of public resources that will eventually trickle down to our citizens through developmental projects and poverty reduction measures for the benefit of all Zambians."
She said there was also need to develop and review social mechanisms in the anti-corruption fight and to counter cultural and traditional aspects that promote corruption.
Wandi said there was need to encourage all citizens to commit to the fight against corruption as the atmosphere was right for the Commission and other players to fight it with results.
Wandi said the ACC was rejuvenated with its vision of being the lead institution of a broad sector alliance for combating corruption in the country.
"Our government is resolved to deal with corruption decisively. We as ACC have taken advantage of that political will. I wish to assure Zambians that I, together with my team at ACC will relentlessly carry out our mandate in an impartial and professional manner at all times," said Wandi.
"However, I wish to warn those holding public positions and own or have interest in companies or businesses not to fall prey to conflict of interests and to abuse of authority of office by influencing the award of tenders or other business ventures to those companies where they have interest. If they fail to adhere to this warning, the due process of the law will take its course. There will be no sacred cows."
Wandi also said the Commission would take measures to improve the pace of investigations, work and boost the capacity of its investigators.
She said the Commission had initiated contact with the office of the Auditor General for collaboration in ensuring that corruption cases were dealt with at an early stage.
Wandi said the Commission would continue to spearhead the implementation of the national anti-corruption policy in order to maximise corruption prevention initiatives.
By Bright Mukwasa in Lusaka and Chibaula Silwamba in Bloemfonte
Sat 07 Jan. 2012, 14:00 CAT
DR Kenneth Kaunda has lauded achievements attained by the ANC in South Africa. Giving his reflections on the Africa National Congress (ANC)'s centenary, Dr Kaunda said the achievements must be emulated.
Dr Kaunda said the ANC celebrations were an important occasion and a symbol of the freedom for South Africa and the rest of Africa.
"Freeing people from the Apartheid regime is not a small thing, it is a great achievement and the ANC leadership has demonstrated its salient of thought and deeds. They have come to teach us all north, east, west and south that start a new life, that's how they introduced truth and reconciliation. That's not a small achievement," said Dr Kaunda.
"We should all continue to walk on that road. Our leaders I think they are doing exactly that. President Sata and his colleagues have taught us to work together across anything artificial, as artificial as politics. Nothing should divide us except that we are all One Zambia One Nation. We must work together and stay together. If time for election comes, carry out those elections peacefully. Results will guide you that that is what the people are saying."
And Dr Kaunda has expressed happiness at having played a major role towards the liberation struggle against apartheid in South Africa.
Speaking to the press upon arrival at Bloemfontein Airport yesterday to attend the ANC centenary celebrations, Dr Kaunda said the celebrations were a great part of African history.
And President Michael Sata is also among several heads of states who will attend the celebrations.
This is according to a statement issued by Patson Chilemba who is first secretary press at the Zambian High Commission in South Africa.
South Africa, particularly Bloemfontein, has been a hive of activity as the city hosts dignitaries for the ANC celebrations.
By Mwala Kalaluka
Sat 07 Jan. 2012, 12:40 CAT
DORA Siliya yesterday instructed staff at Fairview Hospital where she is ‘admitted' not to allow anyone access to her admission room without obtaining her consent.
And a docket on former mines minister Maxwell Mwale's use of a Chinese mining firm to pay duty for his campaign bicycles is before the Director of Public Prosecutions for consideration.
Siliya, who is ‘admitted' at the lavish hospital, which has a hotel-like ambience, told an official from Fairview Hospital Customer Service that she was not ready to talk to anyone.
This was after The Post went to the hospital to interview Siliya over assertions she was feigning illness to evade police interrogations.
The customer service officer only identified as Siphiwe who called the former transport minister on her mobile phone, assured Siliya that no one would be allowed to pay her a visit without her consent.
Earlier, sources said that Siliya, a parliamentarian for Eastern Province's Petauke Central Constituency under the opposition MMD, was expected to appear in court yesterday upon arrest on Thursday.
Siliya, who is also MMD spokesperson, was expected to appear before a team of combined investigators from the Drug Enforcement Commission DEC, Anti-Corruption Commission ACC and Zambia Police, but kept the officers waiting from about 14:00 hours till late in the afternoon on Thursday.
Police spokesperson Elizabeth Kanjela said on Thursday Siliya could not appear after her lawyer Sakwiba Sikota informed the police that she was unwell.
But sources said yesterday that officers had been dispatched to verify whether indeed Siliya was unwell and admitted to a hospital as claimed.
"We sent some officers to verify whether it is true she has been admitted or not and they have not come back yet," the source said.
But Kanjela said in an interview yesterday that Siliya was unwell.
"She was by yesterday admitted at Fairview Hospital. So we can only do that summon when she is well," said Kanjela.
In 2009, Siliya ordered the cancellation of a duly awarded contract for the supply, delivery, installation and commissioning of ZATM-RADAR at Lusaka now KK and Livingstone now Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula international airports to accommodate SELEX Sistemi Integrati, a company from Italy single-sourced to carry out the works.
Siliya's conduct was contrary to professional advice from officials in her ministry, the National Airport Corporation Limited NAC and the procurement authority.
Former president Rupiah Banda once described her as 'Smart Dora'.
And sources said the matter where Malambo MMD parliamentarian, Mwale, was recently warned and cautioned over the manner in which his campaign bicycles were procured had been taken before the DPP.
The sources, who are involved in the probe, said Mwale would be arrested should the DPP issue the instruction after consideration of the docket.
Investigators say there was corruption in the manner the said campaign bicycles were procured as Mwale allowed a Chinese firm, Zhongui Mining, allegedly awarded a suspicious mining licence when he was at the helm of the Ministry of Mines, to clear the duty for the bicycles.
Mwale is already appearing before Lusaka chief resident magistrate Joshua Banda charged with the offence of failing to account for over 200 bicycles reasonably suspected to have been stolen.
TIME PUBLISHED - Saturday, January 7, 2012, 5:44 am
THE Patriotic Front (PF) says it may reverse “all” the wrongly awarded contracts that were entered into illegally by the former MMD government in various sectors, party secretary general Wynter Kabimba has said.
Mr Kabimba said the MMD government committed many mistakes during its tenure of office and that the PF government has started “correcting” them.
“All Zambians know that the sale of the US$257 million Zamtel to Lap Green of Libya was not done in the best interest of Zambia,” Mr Kabimba said.
“The President is even failing to have private conversations with other Heads of State because the security system of the country has been sold to another country.”
“The sale of the Zambia Telecommunications Company Limited (ZAMTEL) by the previous administration to Lap Green of Libya has put the country’s communication security at risk,” he said.
PF Secretary General Wynter Kabimba said the sale of ZAMTEL to a foreign country was not done in the best interest of citizens and that the PF was resolved on correcting such wrongs.
“It is a well known fact by all Zambians that the sale of ZAMTEL to Lap Green of Libya was not done in the best interest of Zambians. As PF Government, these are wrongs that we want to correct, in the best interest of the nation,” Mr Kabimba said.
He said ZAMTEL was a significant communication service provider and needed to be handled prudently to avoid placing the country’s communication system at risk.
Mr Kabimba said that the MMD acted against the will of Zambians to sell ZAMTEL.
Mr Kabimba said; “These are the wrongs that we want to correct, in the interest of the nation.”
He was speaking on the Radio Phoenix programme “Let the people talk” with veteran journalist Frank Mutubila from Lusaka yesterday
He also said the PF is ready to work with opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) to foster economic development in Southern Province.
Mr Kabimba said government is willing to work with the UPND to enhance development in Southern Province.
He said the PF does not perceive UPND “as an enemy” of the government and that it is more than ready to work with the opposition party in implementing development projects in the province.
Mr Kabimba said the PF is happy that some UPND members have shown willingness to work with the ruling party.
He was responding to a caller who wanted to know if the PF government perceives some people in the UPND as enemies.
But Mr Kabimba said despite the political differences that existed between the two parties in the past, the PF government is working hard to unite all the 73 tribes in Zambia to promote peace and unity and spearhead development in all parts of the country.
“The Patriotic Front doesn’t have enemies in the UPND or other opposition parties. We want to work with our brothers and sisters in the opposition. We are happy that UPND has supported us in some of the governance issues.
“We are inviting them to work with us so that we can develop this country. Let us put all our political differences aside and unite for the sake of development,” Mr Kabimba said.
He also said the PF government remains committed to fighting corruption in the country.
He assured the nation that the PF will continue to pursue and implement pro-poor social and economic policies, which will help to improve living standards.
Meanwhile, the UPND has welcomed Mr Kabimba’s call for the two parties to work together.
Spokesperson Charles Kakoma said the UPND is happy that the ruling party has extended an olive branch to it.
Mr Kakoma said the move taken by the PF will help to promote unity and development not only in Southern Province, but in all parts of the country.
He said the UPND is happy that the PF has shown political maturity by inviting the opposition to work with it in implementing development projects around the country.
“We have accepted this olive branch which has been extended to us and we are pledging to work with the PF government for the purpose of fostering development in our country,” he said.
Friday, January 06, 2012
(LUSAKATIMES) Fight against corruption should not merely be a matter of accusing people of corruption-Dr MutesaFight against corruption should not merely be a matter of accusing people of corruption-Dr Mutesa
TIME PUBLISHED - Friday, January 6, 2012, 8:32 am
Zambians for Empowerment and Development (ZED) President Fred Mutesa has observed that the Patriotic Front government’s fight against corruption will be in vain if the right channels are not followed. Dr. Mutesa said that the fight against corruption should not merely be a matter of accusing people of corruption without producing tangible evidence of the allegations.
He says the Patriotic Front government should fight corruption in a more professional manner by allowing investigative wings to carry out their functions freely rather than rushing to make unsubstantiated allegations in the media.
Dr. Mutesa says the PF government should fight corruption in a right way because Zambians believe in justice and fair play.
He tells QFM that being the head of State does not give President Michael Sata any powers to accuse people of wrongdoing without proper evidence.
The ZED president has since advised the PF government to let investigative wings in the country to investigate matters, and if there is enough evidence take the matters to court for the culprits to be prosecuted.
TIME PUBLISHED - Friday, January 6, 2012, 9:02 am
GOVERNMENT says it will consider a full listing of ZCCM-Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) shares on the Lusaka Stock Exchange (LuSE) after the restructuring exercise is finalised.
ZCCM-IH has been a quoted company on LuSE for a long time and there are calls from various stakeholders to have the firm fully listed for the public to participate in the ownership.
Minister of Mines Wilbur Simuusa said a positive decision will be made as soon as the restructuring exercise is completed.
“Yes we are considering that (full listing) although it will be done after the restructuring process is completed. We have to ensure that the books, the balance sheet are worked on to enable us to do it,” he said.
Mr Simuusa said this in an interview in Lusaka on Wednesday.
He said ZCCM-IH has not posted profits or given dividends since its inception over 10 years ago and Government plans to re-brand the organisation to make it operate profitably and promote local participation in the ownership and management of mining assets.
He said a meeting will soon be convened with a technical committee to map out a way forward.
The minister, however, said currently Government is not in a position to decide whether the firm’s shares should be fully listed on the local bourse.
Mr Simuusa said ZCCM-IH is an important unit which, if properly managed, can help the country realise huge benefits from the mining resources.
[Zambia Daily Mail]
TIME PUBLISHED - Friday, January 6, 2012, 2:48 pm
Former Luena Member of Parliament Charles Milupi after launching his new political party in Lusaka.
Chief Government spokesperson Given Lubinda has questioned the capacity in which Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) leader Charles Milupi is quoted suggesting that western province should be separated from Zambia if the Barotseland agreement of 1964 is not restored.
Mr. Lubinda says Mr. Milupi should realize that such sensitive matters can not be negotiated in such a poor style as he is suggesting.
Responding to QFM, Mr. Lubinda says it is also surprising to note that people in western province calling for the restoration of the Barotseland agreement are not agitating for secession but that such calls are coming from ordinary individuals.
He has since advised Mr. Milupi to present his suggestions to the commission looking into the Barotseland agreement, but wonders whether anyone will give him support on his secession suggestions.
Friday, 06 January 2012 00:00
ACTING President Amai Joice Mujuru is expected to leave for South Africa today to represent President Mugabe at the African National Congress' Centenary Celebrations.
In a statement yesterday Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba said President Mugabe, who was personally invited by the ANC, could not attend the celebrations since he is on his annual leave in the Far East.
"His Excellency the President who started his annual leave recently, and who is in the Far East, is unable to personally attend these important celebrations, to which he was invited," said Mr Charamba.
"Amai Mujuru will be accompanied by senior party officials. She is expected back in the country mid next week."
Mr Charamba, who is also the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity, said the Office of the
Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet has announced the appointment of Vice President John Nkomo as acting President from today until the end of the month when President Mugabe is expected to resume his official duties.
In a statement on Wednesday, the ANC said 46 heads of state and government have confirmed attendance.
More than 100 000 people are expected in the central city of Bloemfontein, where the South African Native National Congress was founded on January 8, 1912.
It was renamed the African National Congress in 1923.
The celebrations include a traditional ceremony, a golf tournament, concerts and gala dinner.
ANC President Cde Jacob Zuma is also expected to light a centenary flame, which will tour South Africa as a symbol of the resistance against apartheid.
Friday, 06 January 2012 00:00
THE tobacco industry in Zimbabwe is on the recovery path following a decade of decline when production dipped to a low of 48,8 million kg in 2008, down from a peak of well over 200 kg in 2 000. The adoption of multiple currencies in 2009 ignited recovery with about 60 million kg being produced, doubling to 123 million kg the following year.
Last year, tobacco sales closed with about 131 million kg having gone under the hammer.
Tobacco production has been the main driver behind the 34 percent growth in the agricultural sector. The introduction of contract farming through which tobacco companies and buyers have provided training and inputs t
A significant number of indigenous farmers who were allocated land under the agrarian land reform programme are beginning to show their expertise in growing the golden leaf, although their capacities could still be enhanced through training, access to resources and good markets and support from financial institutions.
Increasing anti-smoking lobbies, and the emergence of alternative sources of nicotine, however, cast a shadow over future production of the crop as experto small-scale farmers has been the major stimulant for the recovery.s forecast an international decline in demand.
In Zimbabwe, there has recently been a serious decline in production of burley tobacco due to waning demand of the product in favour of flue-cured blend. Burley tobacco is a light air-cured tobacco used primarily for cigarette production. Flue-cured tobacco is used primarily for cigarette production but is comparably preferable due to its properties.
Some developments in the global tobacco environment also weighed negatively on the local tobacco season.
A significant consideration during this year's marketing tobacco marketing season is a global oversupply, with a volume almost equivalent to the Zimbabwe national crop remaining unsold from previous years.
- New Ziana.
Friday, 06 January 2012 00:00
COMMERCIAL farmers and other large scale farmers should give A1 and communal farmers a chance to get inputs under the various schemes, including the Presidential Well-Wishers inputs scheme while they work out alternative means, Zanu-PF national political commissar Cde Webster Shamu has said.
His remarks come in the wake of reports that some influential people including large scale commercial farmers took the larger chunk of the inputs that were on offer at the various GMB depots across the country at the expense of small-scale farmers.
Cde Shamu was speaking at the burial of Mashonaland West province women's league political commissar Cde Enia Nyathi who died on Tuesday morning after a short illness.
He said corruption had the effect of disenfranchising Zanu-PF as a party and the ordinary people before calling for the Grain Marketing Board to devise ways of ensuring equitable distribution of the inputs.
"We cannot have a situation where one person comes and gets 40 tonnes of fertiliser at the expense of someone who needs 500kgs for a successful season.
"Commercial farmers and A2 farmers have the capacity to apply for loans and access to various facilities," he said.
Turning to Cde Nyathi, whose Chimurenga name was Chenjerai Mauto, Cde Shamu said she stood for the safeguarding of the country's sovereignty.
All Zimbabweans, he said should emulate Cde Nyathi while working to bring unity in the party and the country which leads to development.
He said steps should be put in place to organise structures from the cell level in the province and the country by the end of January, leading to the organi- sation of the district and provincial structures.
Also speaking at the burial Mashona- land West governor and Resident Minister Faber Chidarikire said the province had lost a gallant heroine who stood for the development and independence of the country.
Cde Nyathi joined the liberation struggle in 1976 and went for training two years later at Chimoio Training Camp.
Cde Nyathi operated in the Musikavanhu Sector in Manica Province. At ceasefire she went to Manyene assembly Point before joining the Public Service under the Ministry of Youth Development and Indigenisation where she worked as a youth officer until the time of her death.
Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
By The Post
Fri 06 Jan. 2012, 14:00 CAT
THE decision by Michael Sata's Cabinet to reverse the clearly corrupt sale of Zamtel to Libya's Lap Green is not a small one. It is clear that under Michael's government, it may be very difficult for corrupt elements to retain the fruits or benefits of their corruption.
It was very well known from the very beginning that the decision by Rupiah Banda's league to sell Zamtel was not in the public interest but for the benefit of those involved in it.
And it may not be difficult to trace the personal benefits from this deal accruing to Rupiah himself and his sons and to Dora Siliya.
They were all warned about the consequences of what they were doing. But they were very determined, they were not ready to listen to anyone or indeed to forego the gigantic personal benefits that this deal provided for them.
This deal started with a clearly corrupt engagement of RP Capital by Dora with the help or participation of Rupiah's son, Henry. We questioned what Henry's interest or role was in this matter since he was not even a government official. Henry's name also came up at the tribunal that was set up to probe complaints raised by some members of the public on this matter.
That tribunal proved to be a sham. But in saying this, we cannot ignore the spirited fight that we are told by insiders to have been put by Justice Dennis Chirwa to protect public interest. But he was out-numbered.
It will also be interesting to review the decisions that came from our courts of law when this matter was taken there and the quality of decisions that were arrived at by the adjudicators as to whether they were truly anchored on law or things were twisted to suit a desired or decided outcome.
Clearly, what is coming up in this matter is starting to raise serious questions about the competence and probably the integrity of our judicial officers. And there should be no pulling punches. Every decision that was made by anyone, judicial or otherwise, on this matter calls for a review, for a critical analysis.
The decision and conduct of the tribunal that was set up to examine this matter requires a critical review. And equally, the decisions that were arrived at on this matter in our courts of law must also be subjected to critical analysis. If, in the final analysis, it is found that those who adjudicated in this matter lacked certain characteristics required by their offices, the public should be made aware of this so that we all know what type of adjudicators they are and what confidence and trust we should place in them.
And reading the findings of the commission of inquiry, it is clear that Lap Green knew very well that they were engaging in a corrupt deal with some officials of the Zambian government. But this was not strange. It was a way of doing business in Africa under the Gaddafi regime.
This regime corrupted weak African leaders with gifts or rather bribes. We know Libya under Gaddafi acquired properties and businesses all over Africa. Who doesn't know how they corruptly acquired some state-owned hotel in Kenya! This was the regime that the Zambian government of Rupiah was dealing with. Who doesn't know how Gaddafi used money to get what he wanted from some African leaders?
Briefcases of money used to be given to many weak and corrupt African leaders by Gaddafi. And Rupiah's government, in this matter, cannot claim to have sold Zamtel to Lap Green in a clean, transparent and honest manner. The deal was a corrupt one. And it is only right for Lap Green to give back to Caesar that which belongs to Caesar, to the Zambian people that which belongs to them.
Of course, those with evil minds, those with corrupt inclinations will tomorrow accuse Michael of nationalising foreign private enterprises and scaring away investors. This will be nonsensical. There is no country with decent people and decent leaders in the world that couldn't have taken the decision and action Michael's government has taken. Go and do the same in the United States, UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Holland or France and see what will happen to you and your deal.
Honest investors, businessmen of goodwill, would certainly welcome this decision and support it. We want foreign investment but only honest foreign investment. It is not foreign investments at all costs that we are looking for. Those who want to do honest business have great opportunities in Zambia. But there are many corrupt elements masquerading as businessmen and doing all sorts of corrupt deals with some of our weak and corrupt leaders.
Probably this calls for us taking a slightly different approach in fighting corruption by also going for corrupt businessmen, those who corrupt our public servants. We say this because if we don't go for those who pay bribes to get government business and assets on the cheap, our fight against corruption will not succeed. And we will be changing one corrupt regime after the other to be corrupted by the same elements.
People should know that the era of corruption and impunity in Zambia is gone. And there should be no one protected from prosecution for corruption. And this includes foreign investors, former presidents and their ministers and even judicial officers who corruptly abuse their positions to adjudicate in a certain way because it is in one way or another beneficial to them. We should start seeing law enforcement officers and judges who are corrupt being arrested and prosecuted for betraying a public trust.
Michael's government is taking very tough decisions. And if they continue on this path, they will soon come under serious attack from evil people, from corrupt elements. We therefore need to sharpen our awareness, politically and otherwise, and be ready to take on corruption and its agents when they start to hit back.
Michael and his government deserve the support of all of us in these endeavours. Michael alone will not be able to win this gigantic war for us. We have to participate. We have to enlist as soldiers in it and be prepared to fight under his command and leadership.
For all his mistakes, for all his weaknesses, Michael is taking the right decisions in the most important areas of the political, economic and social life of our country. Let us give him the support and of course, the criticism when it is necessary to do so.
Criticising wrongdoing is another way - a reversed way - of supporting someone, of supporting something.
As for Rupiah, his sons and Dora, among others, let the law take its course in the most just and fair way. If they are found wanting, let them go to jail like any other criminal. We have to end corruption. We have to end impunity.
Let us cleanse our nation of corruption and of all other vices that accompany it.
By Kombe Chimpinde and Bright Mukwasa
Fri 06 Jan. 2012, 14:00 CAT
Dora fears arrest, falls 'ill'
LAP Green Net-work's fortunes in Zamtel hang in the balance following Cabinet's decision on Wednesday to seize the 75 per cent stake held by the Libyan company.
And Dora Siliya yesterday failed to appear before police where she had been summoned over the irregularities involving the installation of a radar system at two international airports and the single-sourcing of RP Capital to valuate Zamtel.
Lap Green became the majority shareholder in Zamtel after the MMD government sold 75 per cent of the state-owned telecommunication company through questionable deals.
The government's decision to repossess 75 per cent shareholding of Zamtel made at a Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday follows President Michael Sata's directive to justice minister Sebastian Zulu, who also led the Commission of Inquiry on Zamtel to probe the sale of the company, whose 25 per cent shares is held by the state, to prepare a Cabinet Memorandum on the matter after a report was submitted to him.
The sources said Cabinet would engage an undisclosed process to do this, which would not affect the operations of the once state-run fixed phone line firm whose 25 per cent shareholding was retained by government.
"Cabinet yesterday (Wednesday) decided to grab Zamtel from the LAP Green (Network) which is the majority shareholder. This as you know is because of the flawed procedure that was used by the MMD government to sell it," the source said.
The sources said Cabinet had also agreed to handle the process in a manner that won't adversely affect the operations of the company.
The sources said although free to contest the matter, the Libyan-owned firm would have no chance because there was sufficient evidence that the process used to buy the firm was marred with corruption.
"Cabinet however wants this matter to be silent until (former communications minister at the time of the sale) Dora Siliya is charged for her involvement in the sale," the source said.
The source said investigations in the sale has also linked Rupiah Banda and his son, Henry, who influenced the US $257 million dollar deal.
"The procedure that was used was just flawed. It is a situation where you had the president (Banda) calling for a Cabinet meeting like today, and the following day the president meets the buyers, and on another, Siliya travels to South Africa to meet the buyers," the source said.
"LAP Green has no chance on this one even if they decide to contest it in the courts of law because the procedure is important. You see it is like buying a stolen car and telling the law enforcement agencies that your car cannot be seized because ‘I spent a lot of money buying it'. That's the situation LAP Green has found itself in."
The source said the evidence and basis on which Cabinet had made its decision was overwhelming and that there was more that would be unearthed on the matter.
"Even the former head of state is confused because there is a lot of evidence in all forms that is before the investigative wings. This includes many other deals with him and Chinese on many other shoddy contracts," the source said.
Meanwhile, Zamtel acting managing director Eve Banda said the firm had not received any notification on the matter.
Last year, sources told The Post that the commission of inquiry revealed that the Zambian government paid US$ 334 million about K1.7 trillion to purchase its own 25 per cent shares in Zamtel during privatisation.
The commission also established that LAP Green Network, which bought 75 per cent shares in Zamtel last year, has only paid US$15 million (about K76 billion) to the Zambian government out of the purchase price of US$257 million (about K1.3 trillion) while RP Capital Advisors - the advisors in the transaction - received a cash payment of about US$12.6 million (about K64 billion) from the transaction.
The commission of inquiry further recommended the termination of agreements relating to the sale of Zamtel's 75 per cent to LAP Green Network for US$257 million.
It also recommended the immediate termination of the illegal agreement in which Zesco ceded its fibre optic network to Zamtel.
Highly-placed government sources said the commission of inquiry found that Zesco signed the agreement under extreme duress.
In 2009, Siliya, then Minister of Communications and Transport, irregularly single-sourced RP Capital partners of Cayman Islands to valuate the assets of Zamtel before the 75 per cent shares of the firm was sold to LAP Green Network.
Siliya disregarded the professional advice from the Attorney General's chambers not to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with RP Capital Partners.
And Siliya was supposed to be arrested in connection with her role in the radar saga and the RP Capital yesterday.
However, Siliya failed to turn up, delaying her impending arrest after it was announced that she had fallen ill. Siliya had arrived from South Africa around mid-day on Wednesday in a jovial mood, walked unaided and even greeted people at the airport.
Siliya, who was expected to appear before a team of combined investigators from the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) and Zambia Police, kept the officers waiting from about 14:00 hours till late in the afternoon.
Police spokesperson Elizabeth Kanjela said Siliya, who is also MMD spokesperson, could not appear after her lawyer Sakwiba Sikota informed police that she was unwell.
In 2009, Siliya ordered the cancellation of a duly awarded contract for the supply, delivery, installation and commissioning of ZATM-RADAR at Lusaka now KK and Livingstone now Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula international airports to accommodate SELEX Sistemi Integrati, a company from Italy, which was single-sourced, to carry out the works.
Siliya's conduct was contrary to professional advice from officials in her ministry, the National Airports Corporation Limited (NACL) and the procurement authority.
The sources had revealed that the tender had been awarded to Thales Air Systems SA but Siliya cancelled it.
By Ernest Chanda
Fri 06 Jan. 2012, 13:59 CAT
PRESIDENT Michael Sata says he will not relent in the fight against corruption.
Speaking at State House yesterday when he met all diplomats accredited to Zambia, President Sata said the government wanted to see economic benefits trickle down to the poor.
This was the first time President Sata met all diplomats accredited to Zambia since he was sworn in as the country's fifth President on September 23, last year.
"The PF government will continue to play its part by engaging in a relentless fight against corruption in order to ensure that economic gains trickle down to the average person. I am pleased to note that our strong stance against corruption has received support from most of our cooperating partners," he said.
President Sata further urged the diplomats to support his government's resolve to implement projects outlined in the Sixth National Development Plan such as infrastructure and industrial development.
President Sata said his government would continue to fight poverty by creating employment.
On the United Nations reforms, President Sata expressed concern that Africa's request for representation at the UN Security Council was not being considered quickly.
"In this regard, we would like to urge the international community to expedite the process of UN reforms," said President Sata.
And speaking on behalf of all the diplomats, Botswana High Commissioner to Zambia Tuelonyana Oliphant said Zambia's peaceful record had provided a conducive environment for their operations.
"We are also happy with the manner in which the government has embraced Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as a means to create employment and contribute to the economic empowerment of the Zambians. We are thankful for the peace and stability prevailing in the country which provides a conducive and positive environment in our daily operations as diplomats based in Zambia," said High Commissioner Oliphant.
Fri 06 Jan. 2012, 13:55 CAT
PRESIDENT Michael Sata today leaves for South Africa to attend the African National Congress' centenary celebrations this weekend. On January 8, 2012, the ANC will be 100 years old, and President Sata is among the several leaders invited for the event.
Others include Zambia's first Republican president Dr Kenneth Kaunda.
And ANC national chairperson Baleka Mbete said the preparations were on course in terms of ensuring that the party marks the historic moment in the best deserved way by the people of South Africa.
By Misheck Wangwe in Kitwe
Fri 06 Jan. 2012, 13:54 CAT
DEMOCRATIC Governance and Human Rights Advocates (DEGHA) says the country is on the right path to development as the PF government has shown renewed vigour in fighting corruption.
In an interview, DEGHA national coordinator Gerald Mutelo said the spirited fight against corruption that President Michael Sata had put up would greatly enhance meaningful development that had eluded the country for many years.
Mutelo said many Zambians expected the PF government to be more aggressive in confronting corruption, which was behind the country's underdevelopment.
He said it was wrong for some people to think that the fight against corruption was just a malicious scheme to persecute former leaders who served in the MMD government.
Mutelo said law enforcement wings must not hesitate to arrest any leader if there was evidence that such an individual had stolen national resources.
"The year 2011 was interesting in the area of anti-corruption fight because President Michael Sata had rekindled the lost hope in the fight against corruption in our country. It is difficult in any country to fight corruption if there is no political will by the president and his government. Therefore, the PF government deserves commendations and our hope is that they will work extra hard to clean up the governance system," Mutelo said.
He said the institution of various commissions of inquiry to investigate the operations of departments such as the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) was a serious indication that the country might have faced serious plunder and abuse of national resources.
Mutelo said all Zambians must join in the fight against corruption in 2012 and should not leave it to the Anti Corruption Commission and other law enforcement wings.
By Bright Mukwasa, Ernest Chanda and Roy Habaalu
Fri 06 Jan. 2012, 13:58 CAT
INFORMATION minister Given Lubinda says outbursts against the public media by former vice-president George Kunda are callous and hypocritical. Lubinda said Kunda's u-turn against the public media which he praised while in government was surprising.
During a briefing in Lusaka on Tuesday, Kunda complained that the public media were operating unprofessionally and praised The Post which he demonised when he was Republican vice-president.
But Lubinda said Kunda was not the right person to raise a finger against either the private or the public media.
"We don't think that George Kunda should even dare criticise any media; not in Zambia or anywhere else. Isn't it a well established fact that George Kunda was at one stage declared the enemy number one of the media in Zambia? Has Mr George Kunda forgotten that in 2010, the Media Liaison Committee on behalf of both private and public media practitioners sponsored an advert which ran for two weeks in The Post newspaper in which the practitioners revealed the fact that George Kunda when he was gabbling as vice-president and minister of justice was the one behind the scheme to present to parliament a draconian media bill which was aimed at regulating the press?" Lubinda asked during a press briefing at his office in Lusaka which was also attended by public media editors.
"Does George Kunda think that we've forgotten that in that advert the Media Liaison Committee indicated that George Kunda's proposed bill was to come with punitive measures to be meted out against the media? Does George Kunda think that we have forgotten the fact that he himself was in the forefront of attacking media practitioners, particularly in The Post Newspapers? Does he think we have forgotten when he declared that all journalists at The Post were quacks and that he was coming up with statutory regulation because he wanted to protect the professionals; the ones he referred to as professional journalists in the public media?"
Lubinda said it was amazing how Kunda had turned to praise The Post he once denounced but admonish the public media institutions which were his darlings when he was in power.
He accused former MMD leaders of having defiled the editorial policies of the state-owned media in the country.
"George Kunda and former information minister Lt Ronnie Shikapwasha and their beneficiary Rupiah Banda praised Chanda Chimba's programmes as very inspiring. It's unbelievable to see how callous some people can be," he said.
Lubinda also denied that the government was witch-hunting in its fight against corruption.
Kunda, whose government had a tight grip on public media to an extent where opposition politicians were vilified, complained that the state media was publishing a lot of lies against opposition MMD leaders.
Kunda, together with his colleagues such as Lt Gen Ronnie Shikapwasha even opposed media self-regulation and supported programmes such as Chanda Chimba's Stand Up for Zambia, which openly attacked political opponents and private media heads with impunity.
Some of the MMD propaganda programmes and articles have landed state media into various libel suits some from President Michael Sata and information minister Given Lubinda.
But briefing the media on the MMD's expectations from the PF government on Tuesday, Kunda complained that the state media was blacking out the opposition.
This was after he was asked how he felt being covered by the public media when his government denied the opposition coverage.
"In the public state media we're covered in the negative and sometimes when you want to correct a defamatory statement, you're either blacked out or covered in the negative. Lies are coming out in the public state media. We can't defend ourselves it's wrong but it's getting worse," said Kunda, once an ardent critic of The Post and a ‘friend' of the state media.
"Look at the Zambia Daily Mail! The Post, I must give you some credit. Sometimes you cover us… but you also covered Mr. (President) Sata throughout and that was unprofessional. We are on the receiving end to The Post."
Kunda complained of negative coverage and being blacked out by state media.
Meanwhile, Chisamba MMD parliamentarian Moses Muteteka said Kunda is paying for his sins.
In an interview, Muteteka, who is also MMD national youth chairman, said only corrupt and individuals that abused their authority were living like slaves.
Reacting to Kunda's complaints that him and former MMD leaders were living like slaves and targeted by the PF government, Muteteka, one of the five presidential candidates for the MMD, said party officials under probe must pay for their iniquities.
"Why have the investigative wings not come to search my house? It's because I am clean and leaving happier than when MMD was ruling. At what time did I start living like a slave? The Bible is very clear that the wages of sin is death," he said.
Muteteka said those crying of being persecuted should explain how they acquired massive wealth within three years of being in government.
He said President Sata proved his innocence when he was accused of stealing a motor vehicle.
"Why are they panicking? Why can't they go through the same? I served in influential positions, even at State House where we received information that President Sata had stolen a vehicle and late president Levy Mwanawasa was convinced and arrested him. He stayed in jail and proved his innocence and the new deal government was embarrassed," he said.
Muteteka said it was the same people that betrayed Mwanawasa that were talking the loudest.
Meanwhile, Muteteka said the PF government had performed better than the MMD in four months.
"…The PF government's day to be judged is coming and if the government performs to the satisfaction of Zambians, all of us will benefit. If it fails, then PF will pay a price by losing the mandate," said Muteteka.
By Gift Chanda
Wed 04 Jan. 2012, 13:25 CAT
THE Food Reserve Agency says it has fully secured all the maize it bought under the 2011 crop-marketing season. Food Reserve Agency (FRA) market information coordinator, Philip Kabwe said the maize was safe.
Stakeholders recently expressed concern over maize going to waste following the onset of the rains. The stakeholders urged the FRA to speed up the process of putting in place measures aimed at securing the grain.
FRA purchased 1,751,660 metric tonnes of maize during the 2011 crop marketing season, 35 per cent more than the earlier planned purchase of 1,300,000 metric tonnes.
The increased purchases resulted in a deficit of storage space of close to 900,000 metric tonnes countrywide.
"Currently, the entire purchased crop has been fully secured across the country as it is either in-doors in sheds, or outdoors on raised platforms which are either made of timber or concrete. All outdoor stocks are covered with tarpaulins," Kabwe stated in response to a query.
"FRA employed a number of measures to secure the crop and these include renting of privately owned sheds, procurement and distribution of additional marketing requisites among them tarpaulins to cover the crop and empty grain bags for re-bagging."
He said currently the agency was moving the maize from satellite depots to holding depots.
"As the movement of maize from satellite depots is ongoing, the exercise of securing the stocks will continue until such a time that all the maize would have been moved to holding depots," explained Kabwe.
By Gift Chanda
Wed 04 Jan. 2012, 13:25 CAT
ENOCH Kavindele says the construction of a railway line between Chingola and Solwezi has been delayed by the revised Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which ZEMA is yet to approve.
In an interview, Kavindele, the current chairman of North West Railway Company, said works on the US$500 million new railway line to the North Western Province could have begun by now had the Zambia Environmental Management Authority (ZEMA) approved the revised EIA submitted by the developers.
Kavindele said the developers were ready to commence works on the railway project, adding that the EIA approval was the only thing delaying the take-off of the project.
He said the financing side of the project had already been completed.
"The Americans and the Chinese who are part of the project are already here in Zambia. Unfortunately, we cannot move without the Environmental Impact Assessment approval," he said. "The financing was done about two years ago. In fact, we are now paying penalties because the financiers are saying we are not using their monies."
A United States company, Tagos Group, signed the financing deal with the North West Railway Company for the railway line during last year's Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) conference.
The Tagos Group together with other financiers such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), agreed to finance the construction of the 254-kilometre railway line that will link the country's new copper mining area - the North Western Province - to the Copperbelt Province.
The US$500 million project, which would also link Zambia to Angola at the border town of Mwinilunga, would employ about 4,000 people during the construction stage.
"We hope to get the EIA approval in the first quarter of this year," Kavindele said.
He was confident that the project would get environmental approval from ZEMA before end of the first quarter of 2012 because the authority had initially approved the first EIA submitted by the developers.
"They asked us to do a revised EIA because they thought with passage of time things had changed…they fear that where there was a bush they could be a village now," he said.
In May 2008, then communications minister Dora Siliya announced the termination of NWR's railway licence to build the railway which could have been Zambia's third line, alleging the company was "not serious" about developing the line.
The licence was only restored last year.
Kavindele said he was not bitter with the people who led to the revocation of the licence at the time the firm had even completed the feasibility study for the line that would ultimately provide Zambia's rail link to oil-rich Angola.
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Wed 04 Jan. 2012, 13:25 CAT
KEY donors are still willing to continue helping African countries despite the prolonged eurozone debt crisis but that would depend much on recipient countries improving accountability, says EIF executive director Dorothy Tembo.
Tembo, head of Genève-headquartered Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), a multi-donor programme, which supports LDCs to be more active players in the global trading system by helping them tackle supply-side constraints to trade, admitted that key donors were currently financially stressed by the prolonged eurozone threatening the continued relevance of the European Union.
"The resources are still there. If anything, from our programme, the development partners have clearly said LDCs remain a priority," Tembo said about the programme which operates in 47 LDC countries, the bulk of operations being in Africa.
"The only thing they emphasise, you have LDCs ensuring that the resources that are provided are able to be accounted for in terms of the results that are obtaining; that you can progressively start seeing the impact on the ground in terms of contributing to poverty reduction efforts."
She said although the donor resource envelope had shrunk, the developmental needs of LDCs still remained a high priority.
"You may see a situation where there will be cuts by some countries that have been traditionally providing support," she said.
"That message has been clear to everyone. But within that adjustment, I am convinced the LDCs remain a priority for the development partners because the message they keep coming forward with is that they have challenges themselves. Resources are there, it's more of a challenge on the part of the countries LDCs to be able to utilise these resources in a meaningful way and quite understandably, a number of poor countries at the same time do not have the necessary capacity to be able to develop the projects that would be processed by the EIF board."
Tembo, a former director of foreign trade in the Ministry of Commerce praised the PF government's commitment to EIF programme which was started under the MMD regime.
"We had a very positive exchange with minister commerce minister Robert Sichinga and we are happy that they PF government are absolutely committed to the programme," said Tembo.
Zambia is currently trying to reorganise the national EIF structure, under the tier one, with specific focus on honey collectors from North Western and Central provinces and the dairy sector in Southern Province.
by Staff Reporter
POLICE in Beitbridge have arrested eight suspects, including two war veterans, for allegedly vandalising property at co-Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi’s farm in Beitbridge west.
Given Mbedzi, his mother Philani Ndou, Soforia Ndou, Jameson Mbedzi and Alifa Mbedzi, who won plot at Jopembe Lot 9 farm, are accused of tampering with locks on one of the structures at the property.
The suspects, who have a long-standing dispute with the Zanu PF minister over some plots adjacent to his farm, were arrested at the farm last weekend and charged with malicious damage to property.
The dispute appears to have triggered by the fact that Mohadi’s son, Campbell Junior was in 2009 given an offer letter for a farm that had been allocated to Given Mbedzi in 2003. The minister’s son was reportedly issued the plot after Mbedzi allegedly abandoned it.
Meanwhile, trial of the case however, failed to take off at the Beitbridge magistrates’ court on Wednesday and was referred to the Gwanda provincial magistrates’ courts on the instruction of Matabeleland South area prosecutor, Blessing Gundani.
The group was further detained at Beitbridge main police station pending transfer to Gwanda for trial on Thursday.
Lawyers however said the group would deny the charges and argue, instead, that the case is part of ongoing attempts by Mohadi to force them off their plots.
Philemon Marubini Ndou, Ignatius Ncube and Knowledge Muleya, who are employees of Mbedzi, are also accused of cutting a 5 km stretch of fence, which the Minister had reportedly erected at his property.
They are out on $30 bail each and will jointly appear with the rest of the group at the Gwanda magistrates’ court.
Soforia Ndou is also facing charges of stock theft, after she is alleged to have cut a piece of fence from the same farm which resulted in several head of cattle straying. The stock remains unaccounted for.
Thursday, January 05, 2012
TIME PUBLISHED - Thursday, January 5, 2012, 9:05 am
VICE-PRESIDENT Guy Scott has challenged MMD chairperson for legal affairs George Kunda to substantiate claims that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is using the fight against corruption to intimidate former leaders.
Dr Scott said Mr Kunda’s accusations were baseless and meant to divert attention from the fight against corruption. The vice-president said the Government had seized cash, bicycles, motor vehicles, hotels, houses and several other properties suspected to have been stolen.
He wondered whether seizure of properties worth billions of Kwacha could be intimidation when former leaders who acquired them had no capacity to finance construction of high-class buildings.
He said the country witnessed one of the most expensive campaigns in the history of the country, undertaken by the MMD.
Dr Scott said instead of making accusations against PF, Mr Kunda should help explain how the MMD acquired the resources.
Mr Kunda on Tuesday told journalists that the PF Government was vindictive and targeted former government officials to silence the opposition.
He urged the former leaders to brace for hard times as the Government was seeking to arrest and victimise them.
But the vice-president said Mr Kunda should speak with facts and explain what security wings should do where cash, bicycles and other properties were being recovered.
The former vice-president also said the Government has set up commissions of inquiry to get to the bottom of questionable transactions.
“Let Mr Kunda say whatever he wants to say but the fight against corruption will continue. The Katundu (property) is there. It has been recovered but we don’t know where it came from,” Dr Scott said.
He said the Government has never fought the MMD from inception as alleged by Mr Kunda and that President Michael Sata had embraced every political party in the governance of the nation.
He said the appointment of MMD MPs to positions as deputy ministers was part of the plan to promote unity.
Dr Scott said if President Sata was president for PF members only, many people who served in the MMD would not have been involved in the governance of the nation.
[Times of Zambia]
TIME PUBLISHED - Thursday, January 5, 2012, 6:48 pm
Summoned former transport and communication minister Dora Siliya this afternoon failed to avail herself for questioning before a combined team of law enforcement officers over the sale of Zamtel.
Ms. Siliya was expected to report at the task force offices in Lusaka’s woodlands area at about 14 00hrs.
Journalists waited in vain the whole afternoon for Ms Siliya who was expected by the law enforcement officers.
The officers from the investigative wings who were suppose to interrogate Ms Siliya were also made to wait in vain.
Reporters were later briefed by a police officer that Ms. Siliya was unable to come after waiting for her for about one hour, thirty minutes.
And when contacted via phone by QFM news, Ms. Siliya’s lawyer Sakwiba Sikota said he could not talk to QFM but later reversed his statement by promising to call back and give details concerning his client’s absence which he never did.
Police spokesperson Elizabeth Kanjela later told QM news that the police had been informed by lawyer Sakwiba Sikota that his client was unwell.
Ms. Kanjela noted that the police will consider rescheduling the dates for questioning to allow Ms. Siliya to recover.
TIME PUBLISHED - Thursday, January 5, 2012, 1:03 pm
The Zambia Police service has confirmed the summoning of former transport and communications minister Dora Siliya for questioning.
Police spokesperson Elizabeth Kanjela has confirmed the development to QFM saying Ms. Siliya is expected to report at the former task force offices in Lusaka’s woodland area around 14:00 hrs.
The summoning of Ms. Siliya comes a few weeks after the commission of Inquiry that was constituted to investigate the sale of Zamtel established that the company was fraudulently sold as the then government did not follow that laid down tender procedures.
Ms. Siliya is also reported to have single sourced RP capitals of caymen islands to valuate the Zamtel assets which the commission’s report indicated was undervalued.
The commission established that the sale of Zamtel by the Zambia Development Agency was hastily done and that LAP Green failed to satisfy at least three of the procurement requirements and that it was shocking that they were awarded the tender.
Election to hit growth prospects: AfDB
by Nelson Banya I Reuters
ZIMBABWE'S projected economic growth in 2012 depends on a stable political environment which could be undermined if a contentious general election takes place, the African Development Bank (AfDB) said in a monthly review released on Thursday.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti expects the economy to expand by a further 9.4 percent in 2012 from a forecast 9.3 percent last year, mainly on the back of a rebound in agriculture and mining. Inflation is projected to average 5 percent this year.
The southern African country has been on a recovery path since 2009 when long-time ruler President Robert Mugabe agreed to share power with his rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, after disputed 2008 polls and in a bid to reverse a decade-long economic slump.
The AfDB said while international commodity prices would be key to Zimbabwe's economic growth prospects, internal policy decisions, such as Mugabe's drive to give control of foreign owned firms to locals, could hurt the economy.
"The on-going implementation of the indigenisation and economic empowerment laws and the expected national elections in 2012 continue to weaken external investor confidence," the AfDB said in its review of Zimbabwe's economy.
"The achievement of the 2012 projections is therefore subject to a stable political and economic environment ... and continued firming of the international commodity prices or increase in output."
Analysts say the empowerment laws, mainly targeting foreign-owned mines and banks, are holding back investment into the country and restraining economic growth.
Mugabe has however vowed to press on with the policy, which he argues is necessary to address imbalances created by colonialism. Critics have dismissed the policy as a political ploy to harness support ahead of elections.
The veteran ruler, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, wants elections this year to end a fragile three-year power-sharing government he has frequently described as dysfunctional.
However, Tsvangirai and regional leaders who brokered the power-sharing deal insist fresh elections can only be held after the adoption of a new constitution as well as broad electoral and media reforms.
A referendum on a proposed new constitution is expected sometime this year after a long-drawn-out process of drafting the charter which has suffered countless delays due to lack of funding and constant wrangling between the coalition partners.
Teachers threaten to strike
by Staff Reporter
TEACHERS unions say government cannot continue to plead poverty after recently paying MPs US$15 000 each and warned that schools may not re-open next week unless a deal is reached over their own wage demands.
The unions accuse the government of dragging its feet over negotiations for this year’s salary increments and expressed outrage over reports treasury recently paid up to US$2 million in allowances owed to MPs.
Government employees want their salaries adjusted in line with the country’s poverty datum line which would see the least paid civil servant earning about US$538 up from US$253.
But they have yet to get a response from their employer since the submitted their proposals last month.
“It is not a surprise that there might be no movement since December 16,” Tendai Chikowore, who heads the umbrella body for the unions, said.
“We are giving them until this Friday and after that the workers will decide on what action to take," she said.
Government negotiator, Prince Mupazviriho said the coalition administration was looking into the proposals.
"Something is being done in terms of salary negotiations," Mupazviriho told The Herald.
"What is important is not the date of the meeting but what we are discussing. We are still consulting and once we finalise our consultations a date would be set."
Teachers have however warned that they will not be returning to work when schools re-open next week unless a deal is reached.
"They (Government) should take heed of the warning as schools are only a few weeks from opening. Government should not underestimate the anger that is latent in the civil service," Zimbabwe Teachers Association chief executive, Sifiso Ndlovu said.
"Their insincerity and insensitivity just shows that all the workshops we have been holding are not genuine."
Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe chief executive Manuel Nyawo added: "It's one promise after the other.
“Someone affords to pay US$15 000 to 211 people but those who matter in a Government are useless to him and they should continue wallowing in poverty," he said.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe secretary general Raymond Majongwe added said the coalition government had failed to address the plight of civil servants.
"Our situation has worsened since the inception of the Inclusive Government. We are mere victims of political fighting between MDC-T and Zanu-PF,” he said.
"But if MPs united and won their battle, nothing is going to stop us from doing so. Our grievances are always last minute issues and this time we will fight to the end."
Anglican primate urges Mugabe action
by Staff Reporter I Agencies
THE Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town has called on President Robert Mugabe to put an end to persecution of the Anglican Church after state police broke up the annual prayer retreat of clergy from the Diocese of Harare.
About 80 diocesan priests were meeting at Peterhouse School in Marondera Tuesday when police intervened and halted the gathering, reportedly on the grounds that it had not received official legal clearance.
Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, called the police action shocking and deplorable.
“I call on President Mugabe to ensure that the religious freedom of all Zimbabweans, and especially persecuted Anglicans, is respected, and to instruct the police to allow the churches freedom of assembly and worship,” Makgoba said in a Jan. 4 statement.
A statement released by the Harare diocese said: “We deplore this action and call upon higher authorities to intervene. So much for freedom of religion.”
Police spokesman, Oliver Mandipaka said the meeting had to be broken following concerns members of a splinter Anglican group led by Bishop Nolbert Kunonga, could have tried to meet in the same private school.
"Judging from past experiences, these meetings have turned violent. It was on that basis that we advised them to disperse," Oliver Mandipaka told the German news agency dpa.
"People must correctly interpret police actions. We were just being proactive.
"Weddings and churches do not need police clearances. But in the past these groups have clashed after gathering at the same venue. That is what we wanted to avoid."
Zimbabwe’s Anglicans have faced repeated harassment and violence from Mugabe’s police force since Bishop Nolbert Kunonga was excommunicated by the Church of the Province of Central Africa in May 2008.
A Mugabe ally, Kunonga still claims ownership of the diocese’s Anglican churches and backs the persecution of the country’s loyal Anglicans who are routinely intimidated and prevented from worshipping in their own church buildings.
Incumbent Anglican Bishop Chad Gandiya has led the Harare diocese since May 2009.
“We affirm Bishop Chad Gandiya, his clergy and people at this time,” Makgoba said in his statement.
“As they share in the sufferings of Christ, may they gain strength from the experience and never give in to a cynical and sinister government.”
Makgoba also called on “ecumenical friends and our partners in the Anglican Communion to ask their governments to put pressure on Zimbabwe to end this persecution.”
In October, Makgoba was joined by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and the archbishops of Central Africa and Tanzania in meeting with Mugabe, presenting him with a dossier of abuses against the Anglican Church and calling on him to “put an end to all unacceptable and illegal behavior.”
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
TIME PUBLISHED - Wednesday, January 4, 2012, 9:51 am
FORMER Finance and National Planning Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane says he supports the idea of probing all former leaders.
Dr Musokotwane said at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that he supports President Sata’s fight against corruption, which he feels will provide an opportunity to establish if any of the MMD former leaders misconducted themselves.
“I welcome the setting up of commissions of inquiry. I am confident they will explain the process of valuing a company and some of us will be cleared,” Dr Musokotwane said.
He said the MMD is proud of its record in privatising some parastatal companies which he said was efficient.
He said Zamtel would have sunk if Government had not taken the decision to sell the telecommunications company.
“Those who are saying the company was sold for less do not know what they are saying,” he said.
Dr Musokotwane said he expects the commission on Zamtel to explain what is involved in valuing a company. Zamtel presently has about 700 workers down from about 3,000 before privatisation.
[Zambia Daily Mail]
(LUSAKATIMES) PF government will never interfere in the operations of any media organization-LubindaPF government will never interfere in the operations of any media organization-Lubinda
TIME PUBLISHED - Wednesday, January 4, 2012, 2:28 pm
Information, Broadcasting and Tourism minister Given Lubinda has reiterated that the Patriotic Front government has never and will never harbor intentions of interfering with the operations of the media.
Mr. Lubinda says the PF government will never interfere in the operations of any media organization, not even the public media.
He says government believes that journalists once given the leeway are capable of operating professionally.
Mr. Lubinda notes that media organizations are capable of finding the balance for their news,hence can not be criticized for not covering any politician regardless of political affiliation.
and radio Q-FM Managing director Asan Nyama says the current PF government has an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the previous government in dealing with the media in the country.
Mr. Nyama says the previous government failed to initiate policies that would have benefited the stakeholders in the media in the area of coverage.
He says under the previous MMD government, the state attempted to transform the private media into state run media by dictating the operations of most private radio stations including QFM.
Mr. Nyama recalls that most private media houses that covered opposition political parties were perceived as enemies of the MMD government.
He says it is therefore important for the Patriotic Front government to leave a legacy by ensuring that the freedom of information bill is enacted.
Mr. Nyama has further stated that if former vice president George Kunda allowed the freedom of information bill to be passed in parliament during the MMD’s rule, he would not be complaining about coverage by the public media.
TIME PUBLISHED - Wednesday, January 4, 2012, 2:32 pm
First Quantum Minerals says the strike action by miners at its Kansanshi mine in Solwezi is illegal.
Workers at the Kansanshi mine, Zambia’s largest copper mine which produced 231,000 tonnes of the red metal in 2010, downed tools on Tuesday demanding 100 percent pay rises and bringing production to a halt.
Company spokesperson Godfrey Msiska says there was no deadlock reached and as far as the management is concerned the strike is illegal.
He confirmed that the strike action by the workers has entered the second day today, with workers blocking the gate to the mine plant.
Mr Msiska has appealed to union officials to convince the workers to go back to work so that negotiations, which had been suspended because of the strike, could resume.
TIME PUBLISHED - Wednesday, January 4, 2012, 10:04 am
THE case in which former President Rupiah Banda’s son Andrew has been linked to an Italian construction company—Fratelli Locci—has taken a new twist with the former President’s son admitting receiving a “payment” from the Italian company but denied the fact that the payment could have been a “kick-back”.
Mr. Banda, who spoke via phone from his New Delhi, India base also said he is willing to meet the police—whom he has apparently not met yet—regarding the issue as soon as he returns to Zambia from India.
“I am not afraid of the police. I will hand myself to them in broad daylight when I return because I am aware that they want to speak to me,” Mr. Banda said, adding, “I am also aware that the authorities have spoken to my daughter Ketiwe at Stanbic and that they have also spoken to my auntie Mrs Zekko about this matter in my absence.”
Mr. Banda, a diplomat, told the Daily Mail that his relationship with Fratelli Locci owned by Mr Antonelli Locci is “above board” and that he has known the company and owner since 2001.
“I can’t deny knowing Fratelli and receiving money from them because my small transportation company has done work for them and I have been paid for that, that’s how I know the company,” Mr. Banda said.
The diplomat, who also clarified that James is his older and not younger brother, regretted that efforts to reach him when the story broke proved futile as he could have answered the questions had James not refused to assist the Daily Mail with his contact number.
Andrew Banda joined the growing list of high-profile Zambians that have been linked to questionable deals, entered into during his father’s three-year administration, in addition to his younger brother Henry whom police are looking for right now.
The police could soon consider putting a reward on Henry’s head, said Mr. Rae Hamoonga, the acting police spokesperson, in an interview yesterday.
“We have not reached a stage where we must place a reward on Mr. Banda’s head yet,” Mr. Hamoonga said. “What we have done is that we have intensified our search for him so far.”
The Daily Mail yesterday carried a story linking Andrew Banda to a 2 percent payment from Fratelli who have told law enforcement agencies that they made the payment out to Mr. Banda’s company AB Logistics under pressure from the diplomat after he allegedly threatened he would terminate the K300 billion Pedicle Road contract.
At press time, the Daily Mail could not reach Fratelli but the company lawyer Overs Banda, former Local Government Permanent Secretary called the newspaper and said he “doubted” whether Fratelli had been paid by the Road Development Agency.
“If they had been paid any percentage, I would also have been paid as the lawyer, so I don’t think they have been paid just yet hence the reason they have not even moved on site,” Mr. Banda said.
But Daily Mail investigations show that Fratelli has already been written a warning letter for failing to be on site five months after they were awarded the contract that runs into billions, to the Road Development Agency’s dismay.
The standard procedure at RDA is to pay a contracted company between 10 to 15 percent of the quoted amount for a job as a down payment in all contracts and this must apply to Fratelli, contrary to Mr. Banda’s view.
Mr. Banda also felt he was receiving “negative media attention” just through mere association because “Henry and James are my brothers, which I think is not fair because I am an individual family member.”
President Sata has embarked on an anti-graft fight that has sucked various former leaders such as Petauke legislator Dora Siliya, former Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane and former Vice-President George Kunda.
The President has said no amount of “witch-hunt” or “retribution” cries shall slow his anti-graft fight as he tries to reduce poverty levels and create jobs in a country where some 65 percent of the population live in abject poverty, despite vast mineral wealth.
[Zambia Daily Mail]
SMM pays workers, three years later
by VOA I NewZiana
SOME three thousand Shabanie Mashaba Mines (SMM) workers have received a month's salary, their first in three years, as the parastatal handed control of the company said it was considering options for reviving the moribund asbestos producer.
The Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), a state-owned company which also operates joint ventures with South African and Chinese firms in the Marange diamond fields last week paid workers amounts ranging between US$160 to US$3,000.
Managerial Employees Committee Chairman Percy Ngwenya said the state firm only paid salaries for December without indicating when it would pay the larger balance of more than US$15 million in outstanding wages.
SMM was seized by the government from businessman Mutumwa Mawere several years ago over claims the company had failed to pay debts owed to several state enterprise. Mawere denies the claims and has been fighting to win back control of the mines since.
The mines were forced to cease operation in 2008, weighed down by under-capitalisation and decrepit plant and equipment.
The collapse of the once-profitable company left more than 3,000 workers jobless, hitting hard the towns of Zvishavane and Mashava where the company was a key employer.
Still, the ZMDC has said it is close to completing the feasibility study that could pave way for the resumption of mining operations at the mines.
ZMDC Chairman Goodwills Masimirembwa told New Ziana that mining operations would commence within 90 days of the completion of the feasibility study.
"We are almost completing the feasibility study which will pave way for the commencement of mining operations at Shabanie Mashaba Mines. We hope that in the next 90 days mining operations will have started," he said
Masimirembwa said the ZMDC was determined to revive SMM as it had already paid the workers their outstanding salaries.
"To prove that we are determined to revive the mines, we paid SMM workers last week," he said.
Before suspending operations, SMM used to produce an estimated 200,000 tonnes of asbestos every year.
Once one of Africa's largest asbestos producers, the mine had access to markets in the United States, Britain, Angola, Nigeria, Zambia, Mozambique, India, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, China and Indonesia.
by Staff Reporter
THE Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) has admitted giving drafters incomplete information forcing them to resort to their own personal opinions as criticism of the process increases with several groups dismissing it as a complete failure.
Sections of draft leaked to the media triggered a storm last week with President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party accusing the drafters of ignoring what people said during COPAC’s national outreach programme.
The party took particular exception to a clause that seemed to guarantee gay rights with COPAC co chair, Paul Mangwana claiming last month that Zanu PF was withdrawn its support for the drafting process.
But in an interview with the ZBC Tuesday, Mangwana admitted that COPAC had given the drafters -- Justice Moses Chinhengo, Priscilla Madzonga and Brian Crozier – incomplete information forcing them to rely on other sources.
According to a report by the state-run broadcaster, “COPAC gave mixed and incomplete instructions to the drafters who then began drafting the supreme law without using the correct views of the majority”.
Mangwana was said to have confirmed that COPAC “erred in that regard as they gave incomplete instructions while their technical team was still working on some sections of the constitution.”
Meanwhile, both Mangwana and co-chair, Douglas Mwonzora of the MDC-T said drafting of the charter which had been suspended over the festive holiday had now resumed and was expected to be completed on the 19th of January.
"We agreed that they will have to proceed with the drafting from next Tuesday, but we would have given them complete instructions on what they should do," Mangwana told state media.
Mwonzora added: "We are very happy that we are now moving forward and we would want to assure Zimbabweans that we are writing the views as expressed by the people.
"All the documents that are being used are based on the national report, but they will be written in legal language as agreed by the Select Committee.
"We will definitely make the final document available for scrutiny by the people of Zimbabwe, but people must stop treating work in progress as the final draft."
But critics say the process has failed to come up with a people-driven constitution.
Dr Lovemore Madhuku chairperson of the constitutional pressure group, NCA said the coalition government should disband COPAC arguing the process had failed to come up with a constitution that represents the views of all the people.
He said the nation-wide outreach programme had been complete a waste of time if drafters are not getting pointers from what the majority said.
War veterans leader, Jabulani Sibanda also demanded the dissolution of parliament this week to make way for new elections claiming the constitutional reforms had failed.
Writing a new constitution was part a raft of reforms parties to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) agreed to implement before new elections can be held.
Once completed the charter would be put to a referendum, leading to the new elections.
President Robert Mugabe has insisted new elections must be held early this year to replace the coalition government which he argues is now dysfunctional.