Saturday, January 28, 2012

(HERALD) Politics and violence

Politics and violence
Wednesday, 25 January 2012 00:00

In a December 13, 2006 feature article on Politics and Violence, Elizabeth Frazer of Oxford University and Kimberly Hutchings of the London School of Economics compared and contrasted the political theory and philosophy of political violence as propounded by legendary Frantz Fanon and prolific author and commentator Hannah Arendt.

We have an amazing number of African politicians who subscribe to the doctrine of flagellating political opponents into submission. Campaigns are characterised by sloganeering, song and dance, as well as street and stadium chants that reflect everything on euphoria and hysterics, and absolutely nothing on policy.

Whipping up emotions and conspiring to demonise political opponents has sadly become synonymous with African politicking, and it is this primitive culture that breeds political violence.

Frantz Fanon generally views violence as a means necessary to political action, an organic force or energy that is inevitable among the oppressed. He attacks vehemently the doctrine of realism as expressed by the politics of violent domination, something so natural about imperial expansionism, especially as conceptualised by the West.

Fanon argues for the justification of violent resistance, for liberationist forms of violence. He argues that trying to imitate Western style liberal parliamentary forms of party politics cannot and will not stop political violence on the African continent, not least because it is a meaningless window dressing over an environment of economically unfree and marginalised peoples.

Fanon does not see political violence as a discreet instrument to be used by unscrupulous politicians for individual or collective good. But the question many thinkers keep asking is whether or not violence is a necessary aspect of politics or is in itself destructive to the idea of politics.

Hannah Arendt argues that violence is unpredictable, and as such end-reasoning in favour of violence is anti-political. According to her it is a profound error to naturalise violence or to describe it as an "organic force or energy." What Frantz Fanon argues for is revolutionary violence - the inevitable uprising of oppressed people which comes as people reach a point where they cannot take repression any longer. This is what largely brought down colonial empires across the world, especially in places like Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa.

There is what this writer will call repressive violence, or violence targeted at silencing the voice of the majority or the weak, something colonialists tried in vain when they jailed, persecuted and killed freedom fighters across the world. Repressive violence has been used by post-colonial dictatorships like the British-sponsored Idi Amin of Uganda, the US-backed Joseph Mobutu of Congo and many of the ruthless US-backed Latin American dictatorships; like those of leaders like Somoza or Pinochet.

Then there is reactive violence, or retaliatory violence, something Zimbabwean senator Obert Gutu says is the case with political violence attributable to his party, the MDC-T. The revolutionary perspective is based on the political theory and philosophy that says politics and violence are inextricably intertwined. When Abel Muzorewa and his like-minded advocated for a violence-free road to freedom after Ian Smith's 1965 Unilateral Declaration of Independence, the majority of Zimbabweans were of the revolutionary conviction that an independent Zimbabwe was only going to come via the barrel of the gun; and that way it came.

The neo-liberal perspective of democracy is based on the political theory and philosophy that advocates in concept and theory that politics must by definition be antithetical to violence. This is the perspective that made the MDC-T believe that they could march to Zimbabwe's State House to do an unchallenged "final push" on President Mugabe, with all security institutions watching admiringly at these "peaceful protesters," as the Western funders of the MDC-T called them then, just like they said about the armed rebels that rose against Gaddafi in Libya. But violence begets violence.

The idea that politics and violence are intertwined assumes that power is a tool to dominate. Imperialists, tyrants and dictators all work from the premise that power is about domination and control, be that domination territorial or people-targeted.
Elizabeth Frazer and Kimberly Hutchings looked at a few theories on political violence, and we may want to pursue some of these in the context of this piece. There is the Machiavellian argument that says a successful prince must be an admirer of the use of violence, or "willing to use violence judiciously".

So it makes sense for a nuclear-armed US to preach of its intentions to violently stop Iran from pursuing nuclear programs. In support of this theory is Thomas Hobbes who argues that the power of a dominating body only succeeds if it is centred on the sword. Marx Weber concurs when he asserts that political action is the domination of a territory by means of violence. These thinkers lived during the times of the politics of conquest, and not much has changed ever since.

Political actors like NATO, the UN, nation states, or so-called world leaders;all openly share noble goals of justice, prosperity, freedom and peace; values mutually shared with economic and religious actors. The pursuit of these goals becomes so distinct for political actors because they are able to legitimise and monopolise the use of force. The West does it religiously in pursuit of imperialist goals, dictators do it to retain power, and super powers do it to trash on weaker but resourced nations.

When Gaddafi decided to use force against the Western-backed Benghazi rebels, his argument was that Libya had every right to thwart armed rebellion; itself an expression of political violence, and his legitimate expectation was that the UN and other nation states would condemn armed rebellion against his internationally recognised government. It was his intended use of force that was vehemently condemned by Western countries, legitimising their own stronger intention to use more lethal force than Gaddafi could ever be capable of doing.

So in the name of saving armed rebels (or innocent unarmed civilians, as Western media called them); France moved a motion for what it called "a no fly zone" against Libya. Nigeria and South Africa voted for this resolution alongside eight other members of the United Nations Security Council, and that way Resolution 1973 was passed.

So Gaddafi was stopped from cracking down on rebels that were advancing to topple him, and the West joined the rag-tag rebels by providing aerial cover all the way from Benghazi to Sirte, via Tripoli.

Instead of Gaddafi's aeroplanes spraying bombs over Benghazi we saw NATO's high-tech warplanes and US drones devastatingly destroying just about every town and city in Libya, mercilessly killing 50 000 people in the process. Everything bombed was simply labelled a "legitimate target," including babies.

Many human rights activists view political violence from the viewpoint of the political dominator who routinely oppresses weaker peoples. For these and most of the leftists, politics must be viewed from the viewpoint of the oppressed. Of course this viewpoint leads to revolutionary violence - a resolve to resist and defeat oppression.

To keep in line with the revolutionary dimension, the MDC-T has play-acted and exaggerated its position of a victim to alleged Zanu-PF brutality and violence. This position has been well-supported by Western media and it is the same position being touted in the run up to the 2012 election. It is important for the MDC-T to play the victim so that their own violence can be viewed as revolutionary, not the imperialist reactionary project it really is.

Revolutionary violence is what Karl Marx predicted when he said the working class would eventually overthrow the elite capitalist repressive state. There has to be a distinction between violence of reactionaries and that of revolutionaries, just like there is a distinction between violence of the state, of government, of political parties, of trade unions and that of the proletariat.

Fanon dwelt a lot on progressive violence for freedom (revolutionary violence), and he attacked repressive violence for domination, especially by imperialist powers. When you have a conflict between a liberation movement like Zanu-PF and a neo-liberal puppet political party like the MDC-T, the question to ask is whether you are talking about violence for freedom or violence for domination. Is Zanu-PF determined to protect the hard-won freedom of Zimbabweans, or the party is simply trying to dominate over its political opponents?

Is the MDC-T a victim of violence for domination or they are a legitimate target in the fight for total independence and freedom of the country? In its own undisputed acts of political violence, is the MDC-T engaging in violence for freedom, or simply doing the bidding of Western imperial dominators that are after Zimbabwe's natural resources?

Morgan Tsvangirai is viewed from a Weberian viewpoint of a "tragic figure" who is courageous enough to take on the violence of politics, and also courageous enough to face the possible fatal consequences of its effects.

This is the image portrayed in his book "At the Deep End," written on his behalf by his political handlers. The tragedy in Tsvangirai is less in what his political opponents may want to do to him, and more in his willingness to sacrifice the sovereignty of his own country at the altar of the politics of puppetry, the altar of evil lucre of treachery.

Perhaps John Locke was right when he said political power by its very nature is "the power of life and death."

The ignominious brutality of imperialist aggression in the Middle East can only be understood when one imagines the US losing its global political power to smaller countries with globally strategic resources like oil. It may be the same context and view for individual politicians and political parties that treat elections as matters of life and death.

Constitutions are made on the assumption that humans are rational in their pursuit of power, but that is not always the case; otherwise Morgan Tsvangirai could have left the leadership of the MDC in 2009, when his term constitutionally expired, and Lovemore Madhuku would be doing other things right now, instead of overstaying his leadership at the National Constitutional Assembly.

Political violence occurs at many levels. It is difficult to successfully uphold the theory of politics without violence, much as it would desirable. From a rule of law perspective, violence should be held only in reserve for purposes of legitimate punishment and for defence.

But even in this context it is still contentious to distinguish between justifiable and unjustifiable violence, legitimate and illegitimate violence, or good and bad forms and uses of violence or force.

The world advocated for by Hannah Arendt is the world of politics free of violence and this is what all human rights defenders would want to stand for. But the very countries calling themselves "civilised" are the Mafia dons who have killed millions and millions of defenceless civilians in weaker countries like Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Grenada, Chile, Vietnam, to name just but a few.

It is this writer's wish to remind every reader that violence, whether bad or good, is destructive and tragic. It is in this context that even an evil as bad as Western meddling in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe is not, and cannot be good enough a reason for political actors to engage in acts of violence. The best is to make people aware of the evil before them so they can reject it through the ballot box. When alerted in good faith, people will take note.

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

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

Labels: , ,


Friday, January 27, 2012

(NYASATIMES) Blantyre City Council courts economic experts

Blantyre City Council courts economic experts
By Green Muheya, Nyasa Times

Amid an outcry of lack of financial prudence, nepotism, and inefficiency by Blantyre City Council (BCC), management has swallowed its pride and invited the city’s citizenry to scrutinize its budget skeletons before it formulates the council’s 2012/13 financial year budget.

The council invited a number of city residents on Wednesday morning to hear their views for possible inclusion in their final budget.

BCC Director of Administrative Services Alfred Chanza said the pre-budget session was important as it will give a chance to the city residents who he described as “city owners” to bring steak in the Council’s 2012/13 budget.

“We have called upon the stakeholders to ensure that the budgeting is participatory and the city is taken back to the people,” said Chanza who has been at the centre of controversies facing the council.

Covering an area of 220 square kilometers, Blantyre City Council has a population of over 700,000, and is managed in accordance with the Local Government Act of 1998.

With a vision of being a city of choice with conducive environment where people shall take ownership, live and do business, the council has seven departments which include Administration (main dept), Engineering, Health and Social, Finance, Town Planning Estates, Leisure, Culture and Environment and the newly introduced Commerce & Industry.

Chanza was optimistic that the involvement of the city gurus in their budgeting process will yield big results that will augur well with their mission statement.

He said: “Our mission statement is to provide environmentally friendly, high quality, efficient and effective demand driven municipal services in partnership with the individual and corporate residents to attain better quality, lives for all residents in the city’ and it is against this background that we would want to involve the people in this session’s mission statement.”

The meeting took place at the Civic Centre’s main committee room and representatives included the business community, the banking and financial sector, academicians, private and public sector, construction industry, members of the press, informal sector, civil society groups and faith groups.

Over 100 delegates which included legislators for Blantyre City South East, Blantyre City South and Blantyre City West, Jeffrey Mtelemuka, Moses Kunkuyu and and Thom Gowelo respectively attended the meeting which was the first of its kind to be conducted by the council.

The Ministry of Finance has over the last few years been also conducting pre-budget consultations with members of the public prior to the formulation of the national budget.

Labels: ,


Prosecute Rupiah, urges ZRA inquiry

Prosecute Rupiah, urges ZRA inquiry
By Kabanda Chulu
Fri 27 Jan. 2012, 14:00 CAT

THE ZRA Comm-ission of Inquiry has recommended that appropriate action be taken against Rupiah Banda and 12 former government officials for the fraudulent procurements regarding border scanners and concession-related contracts.

But home affairs minister Kennedy Sakeni yesterday said the 12 of those referred to in the report would have to face the law but there was a predicament in terms of making Banda answerable because of issues of his immunity from prosecution.

And the government has with immediate effect terminated the contracts given to Bradwell International and Cargo Scan to manage border scanners. The government has also cancelled the concession given to one company to develop border infrastructure across the country.

Meanwhile finance minister Alexander Chikwanda has said the government has no scores to settle but will provide no sanctuary to people who have committed crimes against society.

According to the report of the findings of the Commission of Inquiry released yesterday, senior MMD government officials, among them former president Banda must be investigated regarding the role they played in the fraudulent manner in awarding Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) related contracts.

Banda, then vice-president, played a key role in the procurement of four extra scanners and the increase in the loan from US$ 100 million to US$ 125 million while former finance minister Situmbeko Musokotwane was involved in awarding contract to Bradwell International and giving an illegal tax deferment on consumption taxes to Varun Beverages (Pepsi).

Dr Musokotwane has since been questioned by security wings investigating various offence committed by the previous government.

It stated that former ministers Mike Mulongoti, Prof Geoffrey Lungwangwa and Dr Musokotwane must be investigated for irregularities surrounding the awarding of the Kasumbalesa border concession.

But Mulongoti responded that the council of ministers had authority to approve the border projects.

"It was a project initiated by the developers and they sponsored it because they had money and ideas so what is the loss to government? The questions to ask is, was it public money or private money and would it be normal that an investor comes to Zambia with an idea and money be subjected to public tender, for what?" asked Mulongoti.

"Ask yourself, if you were to build a hospital in Kalingalinga and you have money and it is your idea, would you accept that they do a public tender for your money an idea for the other people to come on board is that possible?"

The report also stated that appropriate action must be taken against former ministers Mulongoti, Eustackio Kazonga, Prof Lungwangwa and Chileshe Kapwepwe for awarding the five border post concessions to a single entity.

The report further recommended that former secretary to the treasury Likolo Ndalamei must be investigated for the role played in the cancellation of the Nakonde border construction project, while former finance permanent secretary Emmanuel Ngulube should also be investigated in the role played in awarding of the Bradwell contract.

When asked for a comment, Kapwepwe said she would only comment when the report is availed to her with Prof Lungwangwa saying: ‘I can't comment on something that I have not read."

Ndalamei said: ‘I don't think I did anything wrong but I need to read the context of the findings before I can comment.'

But Sakeni said all those mentioned would have to provide answers to investigators.

He said the only predicament was on Banda because of the immunity clause.

Sakeni said the immunity issue had been left to people to debate first.

He said security officials were on the ground and there would not be any sacred cows.

The report stated that appropriate action be taken against ZRA board secretary Nana Mudenda and director of administration Tenthani Banda for their involvement in payments to Cargo Scan with no regard to service delivery and contract terms.

The report also recommended that former ZRA commissioner generals Wisdom Nhekairo (who has since been warned and cautioned by police) and Chriticles Mwansa should be investigated for their involvement in the Bradwell contract, justification of direct bidding (single sourcing) based on flimsy grounds, payments to Cargo Scan with no regard to service delivery and contract terms and justifying the procurement of four additional scanners that were not needed and reduction of floatation period.

It further recommended that former ZPPA director general David Kapitolo and his predecessor Samuel Chibuye be investigated for failing to verify information availed to ZPPA by ZRA in relation to direct bidding.

And the government has further revoked the tax deferment for Varum Beverages and ordered that the company pays the tax arrears and people involved in the transaction face criminal prosecutions.

Chikwanda said Cabinet had deemed it desirable and expedient to reverse fraudulent procurements regarding Zambia Revenue Authority related contracts with Bradwell International and Cargo Scan as well as the concessions to operate border posts.

He said ZRA must assume ownership of the scanners and work out appropriate measures for loan repayment for the scanners.

"We have terminated with immediate effect, the Cargo Scan contract on the operations and maintenance of Smith Detection scanners and the Bradwell contract on the operation and maintenance of Nuchtech scanners, and Nuchtech be compelled to perform their contractual obligations of installation, operation and maintenance of eight scanners," Chikwanda said, during a media briefing.

"We have also taken over the Kasumbalesa border project and the concession has been reversed and also the five border concessions of Jimbe, Nakonde, Chanida, Kipushi and Mwami be cancelled because they were given to one company and government will take up the responsibility of development of infrastructure at those borders."

He said the government has immediately taken over the Nakonde border infrastructure project which was concessioned under a PPP arrangement when it has reached 75 per cent completion worth K23 billion of certified works using government money.

"We shall revise all policies and pieces of legislation that deal with awarding of public contracts in particular the PPP policy and its Act is defective and at variance with the public procurement Act," Chikwanda said.

"The role of ministers under the PPP Act should be reviewed and reduced to policy guidance while awarding of contracts should be retained by ZPPA in consultation with the Attorney General's office."

He said the tax deferment for Varun Beverages had been revoked and the company should pay outstanding arrears amounting to K13 billion per annum.

"Concessions or incentives must be given within the confines of the law and not exclusively to individuals or friends because there is procedure to follow when doing things and investors who acquired incentives or concessions should not worry so long the deals were done within the law. We are not prosecutors or judges but it is up to law enforcement agencies to take up these matters especially where there was unlawful," said Chikwanda.

"Government has no scores to settle but there will be no sanctuary given to those who have committed crimes against society through abuse of office and trust which the people of Zambia reposed in them."

And Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba said the government will soon write the affected parties about the development.

"For tax deferment, I would have loved the money to be refunded immediately but we shall write to Varun so that they give us a position and when they can pay. But the incentive was illegal because it was exclusive but they will continue enjoying other incentives and for border concessions, it is something that needs negotiations so that there is proper transfer of operations," said Yamba.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Disown politicians championing unproductive political ideologies'

Disown politicians championing unproductive political ideologies'
By The Post
Fri 27 Jan. 2012, 14:00 CAT

IN any country, there is always a need for an ongoing political dialogue for different reasons. First, new and young generations need it, new situations require it, and new challenges force us to adopt new attitudes. Dialogue is an ongoing process in all fields, and no human being can rightly claim that he or she does not need more dialogue.

This is all the more true in the new political situation that is emerging in Zambia. Without a personal and social change of attitudes towards economic policies, politics as a public service, honesty, transparency, accountability and justice for all, the change of leaders or political structures will not bring any substantial improvement.

If political campaigns are not matched with a moral campaign towards civil responsibility, a spirit of dialogue and justice, the change of leadership or political structures will remain inoperative, and the same route of evils will continue producing the same consequences.

We therefore welcome the clarion call to dialogue issued by Youth Network Zambia founder Higriffs Chansa to our country's political stakeholders to actually begin to adopt the process of dialogue. Political dialogue is a necessary part of the process of motivation of the citizens which enables them to participate more in the life of a nation and be more aware of their rights and duties in the society.

In this way, all citizens will be able to play their part in political affairs. Dialogue is necessary for the population as a whole and for young people in particular to meaningfully participate in the affairs of their country and must be diligently attended to. In any true democracy, more is needed than political institutions and practices such as voting and representation in parliament.

We must hold on to some values and norms, some expectations and aspirations. This is the environment, the atmosphere, that makes democracy work. This is the so-called political culture which we feel is so necessary in Zambia today if our multi-party democracy is to succeed.

The fundamental value we must have is a respect for diversity and acceptance of pluralism. Gone are the days when everyone was supposed to think the same way, belong to the same party, and support the same programme.

True believers in multi-party democracy welcome dialogue and debate over views contrary to their own because they realise that they themselves may not always be right. They recognise that there is a specific role to be played by each different organisation in a spirit of unity amidst diversity.

This value of respect for diversity and dialogue means a realisation that political parties are important, but that they are not the only actors in democracy. A real democracy has to be built on the basis of justice and moral values and has to look to the common good. The realisation of our dreams of living in a truly democratic society requires the commitment of all citizens to dialogue.

We cannot deny the fact that there are people who find it very hard to like people who belong to a different political party, who belong to a different tribe from theirs. And they are more tempted to hate them and oppose them at every turn. A disastrous aspect of this evil is that it blinds them, it prevents them from seeing the evil in themselves.

We belong to our political party as a drop of water belongs to the ocean, as a grain of sand belongs to the earth, as a breath of air belongs to the atmosphere. We see with the eyes it gives us. We hear with the ears it gives us. Its spirit is our spirit. Its life is our life. Whatever is good in it is in us. Whatever is evil in it is in us also.

That's why we find it so hard to see the evil. As with our individual failings, others see them much more quickly and clearly than we do. We may never see them. One of our greatest tragedies is that we hardly ever see and admit our own failings. We do not want to see them. We prefer to remain blind to one another without apparently any qualms of conscience.

As long as this goes on, meaningful dialogue becomes impossible. Those who are hurting others see no need to change; and those who are being hurt get more and more resentful until their resentment bursts into open conflict.

We see this every day in some of our political parties that have refused to accept that the PF and Michael Sata defeated them in last September's elections. They are choking with envy, they have failed to accept the PF victory. It doesn't seem they will ever accept it and learn to live with it.

And this failure to accept the PF victory is leading some of them into madness, into cynicism. They oppose everything and anything that the PF comes up with. And they are really starting to look so stupid. They used to boast or brag that the PF needed them to win last September's elections. They were proved wrong. The PF won without them.

They went into a desperate alliance with the MMD, an alliance they had difficulties acknowledging in public, but still lost. Envy, grudges, hatred are very dangerous things. They can ruin the thinking even of the most intelligent.

This can sometimes lead to self-destruction, if not controlled. And Chansa is right in appealing to the opposition to exercise patience and offer criticisms to the current government. He is also very correct in urging youth to disown politicians championing unproductive political ideologies - Bantustan ideologies. Our people are not interested in that type of politics.

They want their lives to move forward; they want the best for themselves and their children. And they cannot encourage communalism, Bantustanism or narrow-mindedness, for no nation can be great whose people are narrow in thought or in action.

We have hard work ahead. There is no time to waste on massaging small egos. There is no resting for any of us till we make the people of Zambia what destiny intended them to be.

Labels: ,


Allow Zamtel to run professionally - Chitala

Allow Zamtel to run professionally - Chitala
By Kombe Chimpinde
Fri 27 Jan. 2012, 14:01 CAT

DR Mbita Chitala says it is possible for the government to find a strategic partner with Zambian interests in the running of Zamtel.

Commenting on the takeover of Zamtel whose 75 per cent shares were previously owned by Lap Green Networks of Libya by government after establishing that it was fraudulently sold, Dr Chitala a business developer and consultant said in an interview that the acting chief executive officer and board chairman Mupanga Mwanakatwe must ensure that he runs the institution professionally.

"The challenge now is for (Mupanga) Mwanakatwe and the staff that he has put in place to ensure that they run it professionally for the benefit of Zambians," Dr Chitala said.

"Government must allow it to run professionally and report and pay dividends like INDO Zambia Bank jointly owned by government and India. This can be done in all these parastatals we are having."

And Dr Chitala observed that it was still possible for government to get a strategic partner in Zamtel with the Zambian interest, stressing that the proper management of the institution was what must be emphasised.

Labels: , ,


MMD campaign funds, materials were shrouded in secrecy - Njapau

MMD campaign funds, materials were shrouded in secrecy - Njapau
By Allan Mulenga
Fri 27 Jan. 2012, 13:59 CAT

SOURCES of the MMD campaign funds and materials were shrouded in secrecy, says Grace Njapau. In an interview, Njapau, who was until last week the MMD national trustee, said the party sidelined some national executive committee (NEC) members prior to the elections.

"If it (election) was about resources, the MMD would have won. But people wanted change... I don't think there is any NEC member who knew about the donations, what we only saw by that time was the campaign materials.

We thought the party was buying the materials, we didn't know if it was being donated. But what we knew was that the party had campaign materials at that time which you all saw because they displayed on

TV," Njapau said.

She said despite being the national trustee of the party, she was not privy to certain decisions made by the top leadership.

"From the time I was there as national trustee, there were people who used to call me, ‘tell us what is happening in the MMD', I said ‘me I don't know' and I normally referred them to the secretariat so that they can get information. I was not part and parcel of what decisions the national secretary and others were making," said Njapau, who has since resigned from the MMD to pursue other interests.

She doubted the MMD's chances of bouncing back in power, saying that there was need to re-brand the party.

"Even when I am talking about these things it's just that I have been in the party for the past 20 years and I have risen through ranks from branch up to the top and I landed a position of deputy minister of home affairs. I think the future of MMD lies on themselves. They have to re-brand the party if they want to survive. They have also to accommodate those who started the party because some people are leaving the party because they are not happy with certain things in the party," Njapau said.

She urged the leadership in MMD to accommodate members at the grassroots.

"Looking at African politics, it will be very difficult for the MMD to come back, unless they work hard because the trend is that we started with UNIP, UNIP ruled for 27 years, then MMD ruled for 20 years. Now, there is PF government. I know PF also will be there for 20 years. For them MMD to come back in 2016, they have to work hard," Njapau said.

She said President Michael Sata's crusade on corruption should be supported by all Zambians because it was the right thing to do.

"There must be accountability of government assets, government property, national resources. Corruption is not a good thing. He President Sata is following what his brother former president Levy Mwanawasa did. If they are found wanting, they must be taken to the courts of law, but the investigations have to go on. This fight against corruption, everybody must support it. It should not be left to the President alone," said Njapau.

Labels: , ,


DEC arrest Red Cross boss for theft, money laundering

DEC arrest Red Cross boss for theft, money laundering
By Bright Mukwasa
Fri 27 Jan. 2012, 13:59 CAT

ZAMBIA Red Cross Society secretary general Charles Mushitu has been arrested for theft and money laundering offences involving K1.4 billion and for possessing an AK 47 assault rifle. Mushitu was arrested together with his finance manager Sydney Chituta.

Drug Enforcement Commission acting public relations officer Samuel Silomba said in a statement, it was alleged that between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 31, 2011, the duo stole a total of K1.4 billion, funds which came into their possession by virtue of their office as secretary general and finance manager.

"Further, Mr Mushitu was found with an AK47 rifle with 30 rounds of ammunition without authority, and he has since been charged with being in possession of an offensive weapon contrary to section 85 of Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia," said Silomba.

Silomba said that the stolen funds were meant for water and sanitation projects in Southern Province.

He explained that the two suspects were believed to have acquired property which included houses, cars and plots.

Silomba said that Mushitu and Chituta have since been released on bond and will appear in court soon.

Last month, the ZRCS board accused the DEC of witch-hunting against Mushitu and other officers, an allegation the Commission denied.

This followed DEC's request for Mushitu to take a break to pave way for investigations into allegations of misappropriation of donor funds.

ZRCS national president Kelvin Chiposwa in a letter dated December 12, 2011 stated that the board noted with grave sadness the manner in which the Commission continued to engage in witch-hunting against its officers.

"You may be aware, and we believe you have been briefed to the effect that the Commission, through your investigation officer Ms Constance Zimba, has been carrying out endless investigations targeting our general secretary for five years now without success," Chiposwa said.

"We wonder whether these past and current investigations are indeed genuine or they are laced with hate, personality and malice."

Labels: , ,


Fr Chibuye urges Sata to abolish position of DC

Fr Chibuye urges Sata to abolish position of DC
By Ernest Chanda
Fri 27 Jan. 2012, 14:01 CAT

A Mpika clergyman has called on President Michael Sata to abolish the position of district commissioner since cadres are still being appointed to such positions. Mpika Catholic diocese director of Caritas Father Patrick Chibuye said it was disappointing that the Patriotic Front government had gone back to the MMD era of appointing cadres as DCs.

"From the onset of the PF government, many Zambians advocated for DCs to ascend from the civil service. This was in order to enhance good governance and lessen partisan interference in the running of the government. This was partially done by the PF government. It meant that the government would curb abuse of resources like it used to happen in the MMD government," Fr Chibuye said in an interview on Wednesday.

"Surprisingly, the trend has been reversed and we have gone back to the MMD days; cadres have started ascending to the position of DC. What should we expect if not interference of the party in the operations of the government! I think the President should scrap off this position. Some of the DCs who have recently been appointed in some districts have no qualifications at all. Mpika is no exception because we have seen a cadre being appointed DC. I wonder what criterion is being used in these appointments."

Fr Chibuye urged President Sata to reflect on the issue and address it before things got worse.

He said the PF's promise to depoliticise the position should have been fulfilled.

Fr Chibuye observed that it was too early for the PF government to go against its word on the appointment of DCs.

"If the cadre appointed is a qualified person, I've no problem. But I think we are compromising the operations of government when we appoint unqualified people. The PF government has started compromising its principles on good governance, as evidenced by the u-turn on DCs' appointments," said Fr Chibuye.

"I also sense some danger that government wants to please its cadres by giving them civil service positions. I strongly supported PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba when he said that the party should be separated from government. Let the PF learn from the MMD on how it lost popularity by intertwining the party and government to the extent of failure to distinguish between party activities and those of government."

He warned that should the PF government continue with the same attitude it risked losing the fight against corruption.

Labels: , ,


Police warn and caution Nevers over corruption

Police warn and caution Nevers over corruption
By Moses Kuwema and Ernest Chanda
Fri 27 Jan. 2012, 14:01 CAT

MMD presidential aspirant Pastor Nevers Mumba has been warned and cautioned by law enforcement agencies for corrupt activities. Pastor Mumba yesterday appeare for questioning before a combined team of officers from the Zambia Police, Drug Enforcement Commission and Anti Corruption Commission in the company of his lawyer Sakwiba Sikota.

Pastor Mumba, who arrived at the offices of the former Task Force on Corruption at about 14:00 hours ,was questioned for over one and half hours.

And later in a statement, spokesperson for the combined team of law enforcement officers, Charity Chanda said Pastor Mumba had been warned and cautioned for several counts of corrupt activities.

Chanda stated that Pastor Mumba was warned and cautioned for one count of abuse of authority of office, contrary to the law.

She stated that Pastor Mumba was also warned and cautioned for six counts of corrupt acquisition of public property and revenue contrary to the law.

She stated that the cases involved were in connection with the funding he solicited from Barrick Gold of Canada purporting to fund the Zambia- Canada Cultural Exchange programme during the 2011 independence celebrations in Canada.

Chanda stated that Pastor Mumba would appear again before the law enforcement officers. Pastor Mumba has since gone to court over the K500 million Barrick Gold story.

Labels: , , ,


Mukata denies dishing out food during polls

Mukata denies dishing out food during polls
By Agness Changala
Fri 27 Jan. 2012, 14:01 CAT

MMD CHILANGA member of parliament Keith Mukata has denied allegations that he was donating food stuffs and money before and during last September's general elections.

This is in a matter where Patriotic Front losing candidate Geoffrey Chumbwe is challenging Mukata and the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) for his loss in the September 20, 2011 elections, which came up before High Court judge Gaudentia Salasini.

Responding to allegations from the petitioner, Mukata who is the respondent in the case, told the court that at no time did he take part or send people to distribute food stuffs and money during and before elections.

Mukata, however, said if distribution of money or food stuffs ever happened, it was done without his knowledge or blessings.

He said the evidence given in court that he was distributing money and food to the electorate was a fabrication because those who were making such allegations were not even part of his campaign team.

Mukata also denied distributing money to electorate as an inducement to get votes.

He said the testimony that was given by one of the petitioner's witnesses, Paul Banda, was unfortunate.

Mukata said Banda did not equally belong to his campaign team to make such allegations.

He, however, admitted making a donation of paint to a school sometime in May after being approached by one of the school authorities identified as Pastor Phiri.

Mukata told the court that when the issue of donations first emerged, he called Mobi Television to clarify but he was not given the opportunity to do so.

He said the development was damaging both to him and his political party as they campaigned.

Mukata told the court that it appeared that the television station had "a bone to chew" with him because it was not the first time they published innuendos against him and his party.

The matter has been adjourned to today for continued examination in chief.

Labels: , ,


Collum mine compensates family of deceased worker

COMMENT - K50 million is $10,000.

Collum mine compensates family of deceased worker
By Edwin Mbulo in Livingstone
Fri 27 Jan. 2012, 13:59 CAT [183 Reads, 0 Comment(s)]

MANAGEMENT at the Chinese-run Collum Coal Mine has paid out K50 million to the family of Gibson Siachivwenya who died when a rock fell on him at shaft three on January 18 this year. According to a letter addressed to Southern Province minister Miles Sampa, Collum Coal Mine has reduced its productivity tasks to 70 coal tramcars from 75 for each team.

"The deceased miners' family has got the compensation cash of K50 million and the coal mine paid off at once. We two parties also made one compensation agreement to look after the other coal miners according to Zambian Laws after recovery. Fortunately, one miner Doubt Mudenda has already been discharged from hospital and the other one Maiya Wispow will be discharged within two weeks," Collum Coal mine stated.

The mine management has also advised miners and supervisors to follow safety standards.

Collum Coal Mine further stated that it took care of all the funeral expenses for Siachivwenya and paid all medical fees for Wispow and Mudenda.

"We apologise to the families. Up to now, the current situation is that management has taken some action about this accident. Firstly, we stopped production for seven days from January 18 as guided by safety rules," Collum Coal mine stated.

The mine management stated that the rock that fell on the three miners in shaft three weighed more than two tonnes and killed Siachivwenya on the spot.

Labels: , , , ,


(DEMOCRACY NOW) NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly Urged to Resign After Police Conceal Role in Anti-Muslim Documentary

(DEMOCRACY NOW) NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly Urged to Resign After Police Conceal Role in Anti-Muslim Documentary

Representatives from the New York City Muslim community, together with local ethnic and interfaith groups, gathered at City Hall Thursday calling for the resignation of New York City Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly and police spokesperson Paul Browne after it was revealed an anti-Muslim film, "The Third Jihad," was screened to nearly 1,500 officers during training. After initial denials, the NYPD admitted the officers were shown the film in training and that Kelly gave the filmmakers a 90-minute interview.

Kelly has now apologized. The controversy comes at a time when relations between the police and the Muslim community are already strained due to recent revelations that the police department has operated a secret surveillance program targeting Muslim neighborhoods. We speak with Arab-American activist Linda Sarsour, who was honored last month at the White House as a "Champion of Change."

Labels: ,


(LUSAKATIMES) If talking were an industry, Zambia would be prosperous-President Sata

If talking were an industry, Zambia would be prosperous-President Sata
TIME PUBLISHED - Friday, January 27, 2012, 3:31 pm

President Michael Sata has said Zambians living abroad should emulate their counterparts from other countries who send wealth back home to contribute to national economic development.

President Said it was not good for Zambian nationals in the diaspora to live a comfortable life while the majority of their relatives back home were wallowing in poverty.

Addressing Zambian families living in Adds Abba, Ethiopia Thursday night during a dinner held at the residence of Zambia’s Ambassador to that country, President Sata said those living abroad should not forget about their country.

“Some of you are so detached from Zambia that even your children are failing to speak a local language. You are very comfortable here,” President Sata said.

President Sata sent the gathering into laughter when he observed that if talking were an industry, Zambia would have already prospered to greater heights than where it is now.

He however observed that most people in Zambia just talk about the country and not looking at what they can do for their motherland.

He gave an example of countries such as India which have moved to great heights economically because of having dedicated nationals who were investing back home to contribute to national development.

“Some of you are so detached from Zambia that even your children are failing to speak a local language. You are very comfortable here,” President Sata said.

“You must always think about your poor relatives and see what you can do to improve their welfare,” he emphasized.

President Sata assured Zambians living abroad that the PF administration will welcome ideas or initiatives that are aiming and finding ways of making them contribute to national development.

Over 30 families living in Addis Ababa attended the dinner and were given an opportunity to greet the Zambian Head of state at the high table.

Those who attended the function included Foreign Affairs Minister Given Lubinda, Commerce Trade and Industry Bob Sichinga, Justice Deputy Minister Ngosa Simbyakula and Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Francis Simenda.

Others were Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary for Administration Annie Sinyangwe, Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Peter Kasanda and other senior officials.

President Sata arrived in Addis Ababa yesterday, accompanied by first lady Dr. Christine Kaseba to attend the AU summit which opens next Sunday.

On Saturday, President Sata will be among 53 heads of state and representatives of government attending the launch of the new AU conference centre and office complex in Addis Ababa.

And Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Francis Simenda has thanked President Sata for appointing him to serve at the Zambian mission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Ambassador Simenda said it was a rare opportunity for him to be sent to Addis Ababa among the many equally qualified Zambians.

He was speaking at the meet the Zambians living in Addis Ababa Presidential dinner last night held at his residence.

Ambassador Simenda said he will work with Zambians living in Ethiopia to contribute to Zambia’s economic development.

Ambassador Simenda, who took over from counterpart Albert Muchanga, assumed office a week ago.




(NEWZIMBABWE) Mass graves found at police training camp

COMMENT - Expect more headlines like these as the elections are coming up this year. The 'reporter' doesn't date the mass grave. It could be from the Liberation War from 1965 to 1980, when 50,000 Zimbabweans were killed by the forces of Ian Smith. The fact that it was used as a training camp for the Zimbabwean police doesn't reveal what it's previous use was. Compared to the exaggerated 20,000 number of deaths that is alleged to have taken place during the Gukurahandi affair in the mid-1980s, it is more likely that they hail from the Ian Smith period.

Mass graves found at police training camp
26/01/2012 00:00:00
by Lunga Sibanda

POLICE say they have uncovered mass graves at one of their training centers previously used for national youth service. The disclosure was made to Matabeleland North governor Thokozile Mathuthu by police chiefs while she was attending a pass-out parade at the Ntabazinduna Police Training Depot, 32km north east of Bulawayo, on Thursday.

Superintendent Ben Chabata, the second in command at the training centre, asked the governor for resources to help identify who lies in the graves. He did not say when the discovery was made.

Superintendent Chabata said they had identified two mass graves, which they had fenced off, but said police had no idea how many people were buried there. Police also had no means of determining how old the graves were.

“After the discovery of the graves, and in an effort to build relations with the local community, we invited the local chief to come and view the place after we fenced it off,” Sup. Chataba said.

“It is our wish as the Zimbabwe Republic Police to identify who lies in these graves and resources permitting we can put name tags on the graves.”

The ZRP opened the training centre in 2004, taking over the site from the Ministry of Youth Development which was using it as a base for a controversial national youth service programme.

The youth service programme was condemned by opposition parties and human rights groups who accused President Robert Mugabe’s government of brainwashing youths, training them in torture and then unleashing them to brutalise opponents during election campaigns.

[Which are not only unsubstantiated political claims, they are totally irrelevant if the graves are from the Smith period or the Gukurahandi period. - MrK]

Appearing slightly shaken, governor Mathuthu ordered the district administrator, Ennety Sithole, to chair a meeting between the police, traditional leaders and medical experts to work out a programme of exhuming and identifying the remains.

She told Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri: “I am very grateful to you and your local commanders for fencing these graves off, and providing shade. That shows an appreciation for our culture and respect for the dead.”

The Matabeleland region has hundreds of mass graves from the post-independence military crackdown by President Robert Mugabe, ostensibly to flush out a dozen armed dissident supporters of ZAPU leader, Joshua Nkomo.

[Source? Also, the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe put the number of ZAPU militants trained by South Africa (called Super ZAPU, as part of Operation Drama) at 100, not 'a dozen'. See:
REPORT ON THE 1980’s DISTURBANCES IN MATABELELAND & THE MIDLANDS - Compiled by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe, March 1997


South Africa's policy of simultaneously destablising Zimbabwe by military means, while blaming ZAPU for the actions of South African agents whenever possible, helped escalate the irrevocable breakdown between ZAPU and ZANU-PF in the early 1980s. This in turn led to the decision of Zimbabwe's Government to retain the State of Emergency throughout the 1980s, and more significantly, to impose massive troop numbers and restrictive curfews on Matabeleland.

- MrK]

Human rights groups say a special army unit called the 5 Brigade, trained by North Korea and reporting directly to Mugabe, indiscriminately killed civilians between 1983 and 1987, leaving more than 20,000 people dead and thousands more wounded or displaced.

In October last year, authorities at a school in Lupane reported finding a large grave with up to 60 skeletal remains of people feared killed during the crackdown known as Gukurahundi.

Shocked pupils saw bones sticking out of the ground when a football pitch caved in. The school was used by the 5 Brigade as a detention centre during its reign of terror.

Labels: , , ,


(GLOBALRESEARCH) REPARING FOR THE NEXT CONQUEST - What does Libya tell us about Intervention in Syria and Iran

REPARING FOR THE NEXT CONQUEST: What does Libya tell us about Intervention in Syria and Iran?
by Richard Lightbown
Global Research, January 24, 2012

Debkafile reported on 17 January that an imminent joint Israeli-US exercise had been cancelled by Israel’s prime minister, and not by the US as widely supposed. Convinced that Iran has made the decision to become a nuclear power Mr Netanyahu is preparing for possible unilateral attacks on Iranian nuclear sites.

British press reports say agents from the CIA and MI6 are operating within Syria while British and French Special Forces are training members of the Free Syrian Army in Turkey. Pravda has claimed that NATO snipers who fought in Libya have been sent to Syria.

As regional war threatens drastic and unforeseen consequences in the Middle East some commentators claim that humanitarian benefits justify Western intervention in repressive states. This claim is worth considering in the context of the events that have befallen Libya.

No one should be under any illusions about the intentions of Western governments in Libya following their activities throughout the 42 years of Muammar Qadafi’s rule. During this time there were 39 coup attempts inspired by US, British and French agencies, most of which were centred on Benghazi and the province of Cyrenaica. Many involved an attempt at assassination, as did the US fighter-bomber attack on Tripoli in 1986 in which eight of the 18 aircraft flying from Britain specifically targeted Col Qadafi’s private residence.

Qadafi’s overthrow began as an uprising in Benghazi which followed a Facebook call, from London on 17 February 2011, to commemorate the 2005 massacre at Abu Salim prison. In response to the ensuing fighting the UN Security Council unanimously approved resolution 1970 on 26 February. Calling for an end to all violence, it required all member states to apply an arms embargo which also prohibited the provision of technical assistance, training, finance and all other assistance related to military activities. It soon became clear that British forces were in breach of the resolution when six members of the SAS were taken prisoner by rebels in Benghazi on 4 March. What the troop was trying to achieve, and what went wrong with the operation has never been revealed.

Following reports of civilian massacres by Libyan aircraft the Security Council responded by approving resolution 1973 on 17 March 2011, although this time one-third of the fifteen members abstained. (The claims concerning civilian massacres were later refuted by Amnesty International, along with allegations that the Libyan regime had been employing foreign mercenaries.) This called for an immediate cease-fire and for all sides to seek a solution to the crisis while requiring them to protect civilians. Responding to a call from the Arab League it authorised the enforcement of a no-fly zone.

A US-drafted amendment allowed for “all necessary measures [to protect Libyan civilians] under threat of attack”. The American Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, promptly claimed that this allowed for arming the rebels under the terms of the resolution. Jose Cabral, the chair of the Sanctions Committee, disagreed and declared that “the resolution [1973] imposes a full embargo on arms.” The US and NATO however had no interest in legal formalities and large quantities of arms were subsequently supplied to the rebels from Qatar via the Egyptian border. France also in shipped some supplies direct, while NATO Special Forces supplied training and expertise.

On the following day and in response to resolution 1973, the Libyan Foreign Minister announced an immediate ceasefire and a stoppage of all military operations against rebel forces. The next day, 19 March, French aircraft carried out an airstrike which was followed by the launch of 110 Tomahawk missiles by US and British warships against air defences in Tripoli and Misrata. Thus only two days after its approval, the Security Council resolution was rendered a sham by NATO forces which placed civilian lives unnecessarily at risk when they ignored the offer of an immediate cease-fire and refused to seek a solution to the crisis. All subsequent calls for a ceasefire by the Libyan government were summarily dismissed by either the rebels or NATO. By 29 March the Russian Foreign Minister was moved to comment “We consider that intervention by the coalition in what is essentially an internal civil war is not sanctioned by the UN Security Council resolution."

Apart from coverage of the murder of Muammar Qadafi and his contemptuous secret burial there has been little mainstream reportage of the results arising from this international banditry. Even casualty figures are vague. (NATO does not do casualty figures: they have still to produce accurate figures for the number of civilians killed during the bombing of Kosovo in 1999. Sorting out the carnage is always someone else’s responsibility.) The lowest estimate of casualties came from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) which claimed in September that "between 50-100 civilians had perished from air strikes in the six months of the campaign". Considering even the National Transitional Council has estimated 30,000 dead and 50,000 injured, RUSI’s claim is an insult to intelligence. One of the highest estimates has come from Thomas Mountain, who used the NATO figure of 9,658 strike sorties flown to estimate that 30,000 tons of explosives were used, and by allowing two deaths per ton arrived at a death toll of 60,000.

Failing any details from the perpetrators themselves some of the vocal supporters for this war might have provided details on their behalf. Brian Whitaker of the Guardian has written extensively on the subject, and like a barrack room lawyer picked over the Security Council resolutions to claim that NATO forces on the ground were legal. (Jose Cabral’s statement was not amongst the information he considered.) However Mr Whitaker’s personal website al-Bab, stopped writing about the Libyan war in August, and has therefore not covered the devastation left in the wake of the bombardment. The veteran peace campaigner Uri Avnery also supported the war (and proposed a similar intervention in Syria) suggesting that opponents of the action were driven by a hatred of the US and NATO rather than any concern for the people of Libya. He added that he was “ready to support even the devil, if that is necessary to put an end to this kind of atrocities”. For the people of Sirte this might sound bitterly ironic, particularly since Mr Avnery has not returned to the subject to write about their once prosperous city that now resembles war-torn Stalingrad or Fallujah. Uri Avnery wondered whether opponents of the NATO operation were really concerned for the well-being of the Libyan people. Bassam Haddad, writing on the Jadaliyya website, had similar concerns about criticism of the Syrian regime, while expressing his desire to see an end to the abuse of human rights in Syria. But Prof Haddad is under no illusion about the duplicity and self-interest driving foreign interference, and appears to draw an opposing conclusion:

“... the actors that are amassed to benefit from the fall of the Syrian regime are, in the final analysis, no less problematic than the Syrian regime itself. In sum, these actors are certainly more violent, discriminatory, and anti-democratic in terms of their collective and/or individual long-term vision for the region.”

But if one did need to have an object to hate, then the calculating planners of the Libyan rape, who appear indifferent to all the misery they have caused, would make as good an object as any. Prior to the bombing, Libya had the best health care and the best education in Africa, free of charge. Essential food staples were heavily subsidised, while fuel was plentiful and cheap. Having bombed to kingdom come schools, hospitals, electricity and water supplies, oil installations, men, women, children, black Africans and Arabs, the planes and warships have departed. Reports of the use of depleted uranium and cluster bombs suggest that they will have left some areas dangerously polluted as well as poverty stricken. An occupation army is now preparing to arrive: according to former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, 12,000 US troops in Malta are about to move into Libya, while trigger-happy NATO troops already occupy the petroleum platforms and ports.

There have been victory speeches from Nicholas Sarkozy (who received Col Gaddafi as a guest of honour in France only two years ago), David Cameron (who visited Egypt peddling British arms immediately after the fall of Hosni Mubarak) and Barak Obama. (What greater irony could befall those who were conquered, injured or even killed, at the behest of a peace prize laureate? What greater folly could the Nobel Prize committee have concocted?)

And still the misery continues. The entire 31,000 population of Tawergha are said to have fled their homes during the war and it is not clear how many have returned. IRIN has reported that the delivery of emergency humanitarian aid has been hindered by a lack of funding, despite the fact that NATO countries control over $100billion worth of frozen assets belonging to the people of Libya. In mid-December International Crisis Group reported that more than 125,000 Libyans now carry arms, while estimates on the number of militias range from between 100 to 300. Rivalry exists among the different bands which issue their own identity cards, apply their own investigation techniques and issue arrest warrants (and reportedly in Misrata continue to kill black Libyans). Feuding is commonplace. Meanwhile senior officials who defected from the former regime (possibly after payoffs from NATO) expect to retain positions in the new leadership.

It must be acknowledged that Qadafi the tyrant is dead. In a perfect world he most certainly would have faced trial in the International Criminal Court, following even worse criminals such as George W Bush and Tony Blair. In this context it should not be forgotten that the crimes of Barak Obama, which include greatly expanding the drone attacks on civilian areas in Pakistan, might have earned the death penalty at Nuremburg. In our imperfect world Col Qadafi brought stability and prosperity to Libya along with considerable benefits to other parts of Africa. No less an eminence than Nelson Mandela paid homage to this. Above all, Qadafi’s nefarious crimes do not justify the savage assault that has befallen his people.

With the re-colonisation of Libya completed, NATO and its allies are looking for the next conquest. In this they are being encouraged once again by some sincere peace activists. These people would be well advised to do the arithmetic. In eight months between 30 and 60 thousand Libyans are believed to have been killed. By contrast in eleven months the estimated death toll in Syria is between five and seven thousand. In addition Syrian buildings and infrastructure appear to remain largely intact and there is no danger from the remains of depleted uranium or cluster bombs.

At the present time amidst the chaos and the mayhem it is still Syrian citizens who control Syrian assets. This is not the case in Libya, where NATO troops control the nation’s desirable assets, and the imminent arrival of US occupation troops, according to evidence from Iraq and Afghanistan, is to be feared rather than welcomed.

The jokers in the pack this time are Russia and China who, duped and angered by NATO’s shameful misuse of resolution 1973 and excluded from future trading deals in Libya, are more minded to apply a proactive stance on behalf of Syria and Iran. This is likely to mean support for the existing repressive regimes, such as the shipload of munitions that Russia recently sent to Syria. The problem is that outside interference reduces the opportunities for internal compromises that could herald new freedoms.

During the twentieth century both Syria and Libya experienced the brutal repression and racism of European colonialism, while Iran was invaded by British Empire forces a few years before Anglo-American meddling imposed a brutal puppet regime. For Libya a parallel experience has now returned. For Syria and Iran the same fate awaits the unwary and the unprepared. The dark shadow of colonial occupation has made an unexpected and unwelcome return.

Richard Lightbown is a researcher and writer who has volunteered with Viva Palestina, International Solidarity Movement, Golan for Development,and as a forester with Voluntary Service Overseas.

Global Research Articles by Richard Lightbown

Labels: , , ,


Thursday, January 26, 2012

(NEWZIMBABWE) Zambia backs Mugabe election push

Zambia backs Mugabe election push
26/01/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

ZAMBIAN President Michael Sata has said he would not block President Robert Mugabe’s push for new elections and dismissed Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as a “stooge” of the West.

Mugabe and his Zanu PF party want new elections to end the coalition government insisting the compromise, negotiated by the regional SADC grouping after inconclusive elections in 2008, was no longer workable.

But MDC-T leader Tsvangirai, with the backing of SADC mediator and South African President Jacob Zuma, want work on a new constitution completed first along with a raft of other political reforms.

But Sata, who last September defeated incumbent Rupiah Banda and took over power in a peaceful transition, said the reforms demanded by the MDC-T leader were unnecessary, adding he would not block Mugabe’s call for new elections.

"You people, the Western countries, you taught us that democracy is elections. Now somebody wants elections and you say no," Sata said in an interview with the UK-based Telegraph newspaper.

"There will be elections and Mugabe will go and someone else will take over, but not someone imposed by the Western countries."

Sata also dismissed Tsvangirai – who is generally well regarded by the West -- as a stooge.

"We don't know the policies of Morgan – he has other people speaking for him rather than speaking for himself," he said.

Mugabe’s critics had hoped Sata would use his strong mandate to increase pressure on Zimbabwe but the Zambian leader said his country would do better to solve its own issues before meddling in those of others.

Labels: , , , ,


(GUARDIAN UK) 'Humiliating' work as Victoria station porter helped Michael Sata become Zambia's president

'Humiliating' work as Victoria station porter helped Michael Sata become Zambia's president
By Aislinn Laing, Lusaka
7:30PM GMT 22 Jan 2012

Mr Sata, 74, known as King Cobra for his sharp tongue, campaigned on a pro-poor and anti-corruption ticket and promised Zambians he would begin to "restore dignity" within 90 days of taking office.

Since his victory over the party which had led the copper-rich southern African country for over 20 years in September, he has dismissed a string of senior army officers, ministers and senior industry officials, dropped taxes and raised the health and education budgets.

In his first interview with the international media since coming power, he says it was his time in Britain that helped shape him into the leader he has not become.

Mr Sata moved to Britain in the early 1960s when Zambia was still under British control. He worked first in a laundry in Bromley, before moving to the Vauxhall car plant in Luton. He then moved to British Rail where he worked at Victoria Station then London Bridge first as a porter, then a shunter, then conductor and eventually driver.

"I had no choice but to do what all black people were doing in England," Mr Sata told The Telegraph from behind a mahogany desk in the red-brick State House in Lusaka once occupied by British governor Sir Roy Welensky.

"I swept London Bridge, I swept Victoria and I enjoyed it. If I went to England and I was treated like a gentleman, I would not have had any resolution to look after this country.

"But every hour I spent on manual work, every hour I was humiliated in England or degraded has helped me because that's the same way other people feel in the townships here. People are still walking long distances and are working long hours."

Some criticise Mr Sata for his authoritarianism, saying he is unable to delegate and could struggle with modern diplomacy.

He sees himself as a visionary, and expects his ministers to follow his lead.

"To be a parent, you must be authoritarian. If the Zambians want to succeed they must learn to work hard and they should not expect to be treated with kid gloves," he said.

"I have to try and uplift the standard of living for the people in Zambia. If I cannot do that, I will have failed."

Zambia's peaceful transition following the election was held up as an all-too-rare beacon of democracy in the region. It was hoped that Mr Sata might use his strong mandate to speak truth to other regional powers like Zimbabwe.

However, Mr Sata said he believed Zambia would do better to solve its own issues before meddling in those of others.

He said that he would not block Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's push to abandon his troubled coalition with the Movement for Democratic Change, dismissing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai – well regarded by the West – as a "stooge".

"We don't know the policies of Morgan – he has other people speaking for him rather than speaking for himself," he said.

Jacob Zuma, the South African President who leads the regional team mediating in Zimbabwe, has insisted that Zimbabwe write a new constitution and reform its voters roll before new elections.

But Mr Sata said that such reforms were unnecessary. "You people, the Western countries, you taught us that democracy is elections. Now somebody wants elections and you say no," he said.

"There will be elections and Mugabe will go and someone else will take over but not someone imposed by the Western countries."

He is however keen to court British influence in Zambia as a counterbalance to the heavy Chinese presence which he campaigned against so fiercely in previous elections, angered by alleged abuse and poor pay of local workers. Britain remains Zambia's biggest bilateral donor but as in many other countries on the continent, its involvement in the country has waned.

"Africa and Zambia in particular drifted away from the West for a long time and we have to reconcile," he said. "We need you people more than ever before because it will cost us less when we have publications from Britain, or equipment, we don't need an interpreter. The language, the mode of operation, everything is British and we don't see why there should be gap. Better the devil you know than one you don't."

Labels: , , ,


(NEWZIMBABWE) Zambia backs Mugabe election push

COMMENT - Well right on. :)

Zambia backs Mugabe election push
26/01/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

ZAMBIAN President Michael Sata has said he would not block President Robert Mugabe’s push for new elections and dismissed Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as a “stooge” of the West.

Mugabe and his Zanu PF party want new elections to end the coalition government insisting the compromise, negotiated by the regional SADC grouping after inconclusive elections in 2008, was no longer workable.

But MDC-T leader Tsvangirai, with the backing of SADC mediator and South African President Jacob Zuma, want work on a new constitution completed first along with a raft of other political reforms.

But Sata, who last September defeated incumbent Rupiah Banda and took over power in a peaceful transition, said the reforms demanded by the MDC-T leader were unnecessary, adding he would not block Mugabe’s call for new elections.

"You people, the Western countries, you taught us that democracy is elections. Now somebody wants elections and you say no," Sata said in an interview with the UK-based Telegraph newspaper.

"There will be elections and Mugabe will go and someone else will take over, but not someone imposed by the Western countries."

Sata also dismissed Tsvangirai – who is generally well regarded by the West -- as a stooge.

"We don't know the policies of Morgan – he has other people speaking for him rather than speaking for himself," he said.

Mugabe’s critics had hoped Sata would use his strong mandate to increase pressure on Zimbabwe but the Zambian leader said his country would do better to solve its own issues before meddling in those of others.

Labels: , ,


Government ponders probing CEEC

Government ponders probing CEEC
By Kabanda Chulu
Wed 25 Jan. 2012, 13:59 CAT

GOVERNMENT is considering undertaking a forensic audit at the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission where empowerment funds have been plundered, says commerce Permanent Secretary Stephen Mwansa.

Appearing before the parliamentary public accounts committee which is considering reports of the Auditor General for 2009 accounts, Mwansa said the previous management committed various offences ranging from failure to prepare financial statements, unretired imprest, and non-remittance of statutory contributions to failing to account for loan application forms amounting to billions of kwacha.

"We have now increased oversight through holding of regular meetings with the board and management and we have also established an audit committee to strengthen internal controls. And loan disbursements has been stopped until we resolve all outstanding issues," said Mwansa.

"We are also considering to carry out forensic audits and inform ZICA (Zambia Institute of Certified Accountants) about the conduct of Dean Chanda, who is the former finance director, because most financial irregularities were avoidable but it seems Chanda has unlimited powers to do whatever he did with the empowerment funds."

But committee chairman Vincent Mwale advised Mwansa to urgently change the way of operations and instill confidence in the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission so that people could access loans.

"It is depressing to see that CEEC was run in a chaotic manner and instead of empowering people, the managers empowered themselves," said Mwale.

Bweengwa parliamentarian Highvie Hamududu said stiffer punishment must be imposed on culprits to deter current officers from engaging in similar activities.

Chinsali member of parliament Chris Mulenga said the government through the Ministry of Commerce was to blame for lacking oversight on operations of CEEC.

Chembe member of parliament Mwansa Mbulakulima said the massive looting that characterised CEEC operations should stop.

"It seems finance director Chanda was running the show and no one to control him because how can one explain the debt of K4 billion owed to ZRA and NAPSA, yet money was deducted from workers?" asked Mbulakulima.

Labels: , ,


Barclays to revamp Internet banking

Barclays to revamp Internet banking
By Gift Chanda
Wed 25 Jan. 2012, 13:58 CAT

BARCLAYS Bank Zambia Plc says it will invest more than K12 billion (US$2.5 million) in the next five years to revamp its Internet banking service which will be widely accessible to its customers for free.

Unveiling the bank's upgraded Internet banking service in Lusaka yesterday, Barclays Bank Zambia Plc managing director Saviour Chibiya said the bank was committed to expanding its alternate channels in a quest to offer customers world-class products, services and choice.

"To make secure Internet banking accessible for free to all our customers, we will be investing over K12 billion in the next five years," Chibiya said.

He said over the past year, the bank had introduced electronic services that had transformed customers' banking experience.

These include the SMS alert which allows customers to know of transactions on their accounts and the e-statements that ensures improved delivery of customer statements and enabling Card and PIN on Points of Sale machines to enhance security.

"In addition, Barclays Bank Zambia recently launched the Platinum Card which enables customers to transact online and make travel bookings for hotels and car hire among other features," he said.

Until recently, the bank was offering Internet banking service to a small base of its customers.

"We remain committed to investing in innovative digital banking offerings to ensure that our customers enjoy a rich digital experience that integrates their banking needs with their lifestyle. We will continue to respond to our customers' feedback so that we can continue to serve them in a way that they desire," Chibiya added.

He said with the K12 billion worth investment, all Barclays customers would have access to free and secure Internet banking, which offers them the flexibility to access their personal accounts at any time regardless of the bank's opening hours.

"We are committed to pioneering superior, quality and affordable banking services to the Zambian people. We want to ensure that our customers are given a choice in how they access our services in line with their lifestyle needs and preferences. We are rewarding our customers with great benefits," he said.

"With the Internet Banking service, Barclays customers now have the choice to make financial transactions on the Internet using one of the most secured system which guarantees the safety of funds and transaction details."

He explained that key benefits of the upgraded Internet banking service to Barclays customers include free inter-account transfers, account balance enquiries, access to loan accounts information and mini statements.

Chibiyi further said all transactions on Internet banking would be free apart from funds transfer to other banks.

He said fund transfers to other banks within Zambia would be attracting a minimal fee of K5,000 while international funds transfers would attract the normal Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) charges.

Labels: ,


Mopani's acid mists attract investigations

Mopani's acid mists attract investigations
By Misheck Wangwe in Kitwe
Wed 25 Jan. 2012, 13:40 CAT

CITIZENS for Better Environment (CBE) has sent a team of experts to Mufulira to ascertain the level of acid mists released by Mopani Copper Mines that are affecting people's health.

Over 3,200 residents of Butondo township in Mufulira on Wednesday last week resolved to sue Mopani Copper Mines over the acid mists the company has continued to release from its West Heap Leaching Mine.

CBE executive director Peter Sinkamba said of late, all stakeholders, including the government, have strongly emphasised the need for enhanced environmental management and protection of citizens from pollution.

Sinkamba said the company had come up with a proposed Kankoyo community-based environmental management project that would provide a platform for identifying and addressing environmental and public health liabilities.

He said the organisation wanted to measure key performance indicators that include the percentage of remaining priority environmental liabilities in Mufulira and identify sustainable remedies with meaningful community participation.

Sinkamba said there was need to enhance the capacity of key stakeholders involved in improving compliance with mining-related environmental management regulations.

"We have a report about the situation in Mufulira and we want to establish facts and if the company (Mopani) is following laid down procedures and mining regulations. We want to know the impact of the emissions being released. We will make our findings known once we establish the facts," Sinkamba.

And Butondo residents have appealed to the government to compel Mopani Copper Mines to stop their mining activity called heap leaching at its Mufulira West Mine.

Community spokesperson Agnes Nkonde said the only options were the company changing the type of mining or to relocating Butondo township by constructing houses elsewhere.

"We will take Mopani Copper Mines to court because we have been affected a lot and we know our lives are in danger. We have been exposed to lot of chemicals and our people are dying, some people can't see properly and our children cough every day," Nkonde said.

"We don't know if we will wake up tomorrow because these chemicals are just too strong and we can't even sleep at night."

Labels: , ,


Farmers call for review of fees on livestock

Farmers call for review of fees on livestock
By Gift Chanda
Tue 24 Jan. 2012, 12:00 CAT

FARMERS have called for a review of fees and charges imposed on key stakeholders in the livestock sector. In its review of council fees and charges on the livestock sector in Zambia, the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) has observed that multiplicity of the fees and charges imposed by the council, the police and the veterinary department have significantly contributed to the sluggish growth of the livestock sector.

The union observed that famers and other key stakeholders incur huge costs as a result of the multiplicity of the fees and charges thereby hampering the growth and development of the sector.

"Despite its huge potential for growth, the development of the livestock sector in Zambia has been stifled by a number of barriers. One of the barriers hampering the growth and development of this sector relates to the multiplicity of the fees in the sector," the union stated in a recently released report.

"The government should streamline the different fees and charges imposed on livestock producers, traders and processors to enhance the competiveness of the livestock sector in line with the objectives of the primary sector reform programmes."

The farmers' union further recommended that the fees should not be used as revenue measure and be minimal for the purposes of covering administrative costs in respect of the services rendered to farming communities by local authorities.

"It is plausible that the size and multiplicity of livestock related fees by different government departments in Zambia has implications on the competiveness of the livestock sector," he said.

"In addition to these fees, livestock traders and producers pay other taxes such as excise duty and value added tax. These fees increase the overall cost of doing business in the livestock."

According to the union, stakeholders in the sector pay a minimal K20,000 anti-theft fee for moving a unit animals, veterinary fee for moving cattle and chicken out of town at about K5,000 per animal.

Other charges include meat inspection fees paid to the local councils, dry Kapenta levy, company charges on fresh fish, annual charges for health permit, fees for food handling certificate, fees for fresh fish certificate of origin and zonal charges, among others.

Labels: ,


(LUSAKATIMES) Zambia Revenue Authority Commision of Inquiry Report out, Cabinet acts on its recommendations

Zambia Revenue Authority Commision of Inquiry Report out, Cabinet acts on its recommendations
TIME PUBLISHED - Thursday, January 26, 2012, 1:25 pm

Cabinet has directed the reversal of the concession of three borders namely Kasumbalesa, Nakonde, Jimbe, Kipushi, Mwami and Chanida and the reversal of the tax concession offered to Varum Beverages Limited, the promoters of the Pepsi Zambia project.

Finance and national planning Minister Alexander Chikwanda revealed during a press briefing in Lusaka today that Cabinet has deemed it desirable and expedient to reverse fraudulent procurements regarding Zambia Revenue Authority related contracts with Bradwell International, and Cargo Scan.

He says in addition, Cabinet has directed the implementation of other administrative measures incidental to the same as recommended by the Zambia Revenue Authority commission of inquiry.

Mr Chikwanda says Cabinet at its sitting of Wednesday 25th January,2012 accepted without reservations the report on the findings of the Commission of Inquiry into the operations of Zambia Revenue Authority.

He says consequently Cabinet has ordered the termination with immediate effect the Cargo Scan contract on the operations and maintenance of Smith Detection scanners, the Bradwell contract on the operation and maintenance of Nuctech scanners, and that Nuctech be compelled to perform their contractual obligations of installation, operation and maintenance of the eight scanners.

Mr Chikwanda adds that the pre-requisites for the installation and operations of the scanners shall be met by government, and that ZRA assumes ownership of the scanners and work out appropriate measures for loan repayment for the scanners.

The finance minister has also disclosed that Varum Beverages Zambia Limited will have to pay outstanding tax arrears and criminal investigations will be instituted on persons found wanting for unlawful conduct, for granting the company a tax deferment of 5 years.

Mr Chikwanda says the PF government has no scores to settle warning that there will be no sanctuary given to those who have committed crimes against society through fragrant abuse of office and trust which the people of Zambia reposed in them.

Labels: , ,


(LUSAKATIMES) Health workers get 100% salary hike

Health workers get 100% salary hike
TIME PUBLISHED - Thursday, January 26, 2012, 8:20 am

GOVERNMENT has increased salaries for all health workers by 100 percent, Minister of Labour, Sport and Youth Chishimba Kambwili said in Ndola yesterday. He said the pay rise will boost morale among health workers across the country.

“Today , we have increased the salaries for all our health workers by 100 percent, so when the PF government says it is putting more money into people’s pockets, we mean business and we are serious,” Mr Kambwili said.

The minister was speaking after visiting Morganite Limited. He said Government is concerned about the poor salaries many workers get across the country.

Mr Kambwili said the salary increment for health workers is an indication that Government is committed to improving salaries for civil servants, as promised during election campaigns.

And in another development, Mr Kambwili has ordered Morganite Limited general manager Stanley Kampo to report to the ministry next Tuesday.

The minister said Government is concerned with reports that Mr Kampo abuses workers and insults them.

“First of all, I am shocked that the person we are talking about is a Zambian and honestly, how can he do that to fellow Zambians? I want him next Tuesday at my office so that he can answer the allegations,” Mr Kambwili said.

“Today , we have increased the salaries for all our health workers by 100 percent, so when the PF government says it is putting more money into people’s pockets, we mean business and we are serious,” Mr Kambwili said.

He was speaking at Morganite Limited after paying a surprise visit to the company. The minister also ordered management to engage a human resource manager to help the company with personnel issues. Mr Kambwili said management should also allow workers to form a union.

And workers complained about the poor salaries offered by management. One worker said the pay slip does not indicate the housing allowance paid to workers and that they have not had a salary increment for the past four years.

Meanwhile, PRESIDENT Sata has asked Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda to explore ways of doubling remuneration of Zambian doctors as a way of putting more money in their pockets and improve health.

Mr. Sata also said rural health centres in the country are in a deplorable state and it is important to improve the doctor to patient ratio by having more doctors attend to patients in rural centres.

“I am pleading with the Minister of Finance,” President Sata said. “We have to find ways of doubling salaries for doctors to beat others in the region, so that we can attract our doctors back.”

If the doctors wages are doubled, a junior Zambian doctor from the University of Zambia could take home about K10 million which is still less than their colleagues in Nambia and South Africa.

President Sata said this at State House yesterday after he swore in a deputy minister, a permanent secretary and ambassadors and high commissioners.

He regretted that it has taken long for some ambassadors and high commissioners to take up their positions despite being appointed as far back as October last year, because of the poor record previous office holders left behind and urged new diplomats to exhibit exemplary behaviour.

“I am pleading with the Minister of Finance,” President Sata said. “We have to find ways of doubling salaries for doctors to beat others in the region, so that we can attract our doctors back.”

Mr Sata said it is important to have more doctors in the country to improve the health profile of citizens and make sure the PF manifesto is implemented.

The President’s directive is in line with the Patriotic Front campaign promise to improve the health sector by facilitating the building of vital infrastructure that will deliver primary healthcare as close to the people as possible.

In its manifesto on human resource, the PF says it intends to improve conditions of service to minimise the brain-drain.

It also plans to “rehabilitate and expand existing health training institutions to increase the number of graduates”.

Recently, President Sata announced an ambitious plan to erect some 650 health centres countrywide to make health care more accessible.

He said the new health posts are lined up as follows: 98 in Southern Province while Central Province will have 52 and Western Province will have 62 new health posts.

Mr Sata said new health posts will bring with them the benefits of boosting the construction sector and consequently job creation during the construction phase, plus greater access to health, especially in rural areas.

Northern Province will have 107 new health posts while North-Western Province will have 74. Lusaka Province will have 27, Luapula 63, Eastern 68 and Copperbelt 87.

The President said the health posts and residence facilities will be equipped with solar systems, equipment and furniture, hand pumps, medicines, dressing materials, electricity and running water.

President Sata also instructed the Minister of Health Dr Joseph Kasonde to step up the recruitment of health personnel both locally and abroad to ensure that the new health posts are adequately staffed.

[Zambia Daily Mail]

Labels: , ,


(LUSAKATIMES) Police warn and caution Situmbeko Musokotwane

Police warn and caution Situmbeko Musokotwane
TIME PUBLISHED - Wednesday, January 25, 2012, 8:49 pm

The joint investigations team has today recorded a warn and caution statement for former finance minister Situmbeko Musokotwane for the offence of abuse of authority of office, contrary to section 99(i) of the penal code cap 87 of the laws of Zambia.

This is in a case in which Dr.Musokotwane granted the deferment of value added tax (VAT) and excise duty to Varun Beverages Zambia limited the producers of Pepsi on their product for a period of five years. Dr. Musokotwane was accompanied by his lawyer Milton Mubonda of D.H Kemp and company.

This is contained in a statement released to QFM by public relations officer of the joint government investigative wing, Charity Chanda.

Meanwhile Police have arrested and charged four people of Lusaka with forgery.

The police have also confiscated a computer, a scanner with a printer and a type writer.

Also confiscated are forged copies of school certificates, college diplomas and degrees of the University of Zambia, the Copperbelt University, the National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA) and theUniversity of Namibia,

Police spokesperson Elizabeth Kanjela named those arrested as Samuel Muyunda aged 38 of Kuomboka Chawama, Visto Chinyimba aged 44 of Chipata Overspill, Bonnet Kaluya aged 52 of Jack Compound as well as 39 year old Emelda Bwalya of Matero compound.

Ms. Kanjela told journalists in Lusaka this afternoon that the victims will appear in court soon.

She has further warned members of the public that the police force will extend the arrests to people who are in possession of forged documents.

Meanwhile, Ms. Kanjela says police have apprehended two people of George Compound for making fake cement.

She says the two have been detained to help with further investigations in the matter.


Labels: ,


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

(LUSAKATIMES) President Michael Sata directs Zambia Police to provide maximum security to Paramount Chief Mpezeni

President Michael Sata directs Zambia Police to provide maximum security to Paramount Chief Mpezeni
TIME PUBLISHED - Wednesday, January 25, 2012, 4:13 pm

President Michael Sata has directed the Zambia Police to provide maximum security to Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people in Eastern province. This follows alleged threats of violence against chief Mpezeni from Chiefs Madzimawe and Zamane after he openly called for the lifting of former President Rupiah Banda’s immunity to allow him to clear himself against the corruption allegations.

The President said that Paramount Chief Mpezeni just like any other citizen has a right to speak out on issues affecting the Zambians. President Sata said that he may consider revoking the recognition of Chiefs Madzimawe and Zamane should they continue threatening violence against Paramount Chief Mpezeni.

President Sata has since asked the minister of Justice Sebastian Zulu to write to the two subordinate chiefs warning them against their unlawful activities.

Paramount Chief Mpezeni has described as malicious the Internet story that alleged that President Michael Sata had died.

Paramount Chief Mpezeni said politicians should learn to practice politics responsibly by discussing real issues that can contribute to the welfare of citizens and development of the nation and not issues that can destabilize and bring anarchy into the country.

ZANIS reports the Paramount chief was speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Chipata yesterday.

And Paramount Chief Mpezeni stressed the need for the police to get to the bottom of the issue and ensure that the authors of the story are brought to book.

He wondered why the trend had continued saying this was not the first time that people were spreading such ill rumours about the highest office in the land.

“The police should put an end to such falsehood because it will continue, this rumour was there even before his election when it was alleged that he had collapsed in Mongu,” he said.

The false story appeared on Wikipedia website recently. It alleged that President Micheal Sata had died. However , State House described the story as false and malicious.

Meanwhile, Paramount chief Mpezeni has appealed to government to quickly pay the 150 farmers who are still being owed money by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) for the purchase of maize sold to the agency last year.

Paramount Chief Mpezeni expressed worry that farmers may not have enough yields in the 2011/12 farming season because they have not been able to procure farming inputs.

“Some of them have not even been able to send their children to school because they entirely depend of farming and they only get money once in a year after the sale of maize” he said.

And chief Jumbe of the Kunda people in Mambwe district has also complained about lack of payment to farmers by FRA for the purchase of maize in the 2010/11 farming season.

Chief Jumbe said it is sad that some farmers have failed even to cultivate their fields saying they may not produce enough grain in this year.

Chief Jumbe has since appealed to government to quickly address the situation to assis t farmers in the area.


Labels: , , , , ,