Saturday, February 04, 2012

(LUSAKATIMES) Magande describes commissions of inquiries as a waste of time, calls on Sata to focus on developing Zambia

Magande describes commissions of inquiries as a waste of time, calls on Sata to focus on developing Zambia
TIME PUBLISHED - Saturday, February 4, 2012, 9:24 am

Former finance and national planning minister Ng’andu Magande has charged that the number of commissions of inquiry is slowing down the pace of development for country. Mr. Magande has described the commissions of inquiry as a waste of time for senior government officials who are suppose to attend to pressing national issues.

He says the time wasted on the commissions of inquiry could well be channeled to addressing the many challenges facing the majority Zambians. Mr. Magande in an interview on the side lines of the ZANACO commission of inquiry has however stated that he is available for any explanation that might require his questioning on issues to with his time in government.

He says he has nothing to hide during the time he served as finance minister in late president Levy Mwanawasa’s government. Mr. Magande has since pleaded with republican President Michael Sata to concentrate on developing the country.

And yesterday told the Sebastian Zulu led tribunal on the sale of Zanaco to Rabo Bank that he does not know how the US$8.25 million raised from the sale of the bank was used.

Mr Magande said he was not sure whether the amount raised from the sale of the bank was deposited into the national treasury.

Mr Magande denied ever interfering in the process of privatising the Zambian bank, saying all the proceeds from the sale went to the Zambia Privatisation Agency (ZPA).

“The money was paid by Rabo Bank but I am not sure if it went to the treasury or an account was opened elsewhere.

“It was not my responsibility as minister of Finance to privatise any companies. That was the duty of the ZPA and I followed the regulations of the duties of the minister of Finance,” he said.

Mr Magande said the responsibility of the minister of Finance in the transaction was only to sign away assets held by the state that had already been sold.

Mr Magande said he was not aware how the valuations of the assets were conducted as he signed the sale and purchase documents on an understanding that the technocrats who conducted the valuation were competent enough.

“The ministry of Finance had no role in privatising Zanaco and it was convinced that ZPA negotiators would come up with a good price and I never got into details on how they arrived at $8.25 million.

“I had a lot of things to attend to and I could not have looked at Zanaco, I was not concerned with its privatisation,” he said.

[Times of Zambia/QFM]

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(LUSAKATIMES) Magande exonerates himself from ZANACO sale

Magande exonerates himself from ZANACO sale
TIME PUBLISHED - Friday, February 3, 2012, 1:56 pm

Former finance minister in the late president Levy Mwanawasa’s Government Ng’andu Magande says he was too busy with the country’s problems to concentrate on the privatization of ZANACO.

QFM News reports that appearing before the Sebastian Zulu commission of inquiry this morning, Mr Magande who is believed to be the architect of the ZANACO privatization said Zambia was facing many economic problems at the time for him to concentrate on the sale of the bank.

He has however admitted signing the final sale and purchase agreement for ZANACO.

Mr Magande said it would not have made sense for him to preside over a transaction that only involved a few million dollars.

He says among the issues that kept him busy at the time were issues to do with debt burden Zambia was encountering.

Mr.Magande has since denied influencing the privatization of ZANACO.

And Juvelis Tembo told the commission of inquiry that while he was the chairperson of the negotiating team on the sale of ZANACO he was not involved in the bidding process.

He also stated that the sale of 49 percent shares in ZANACO was never discussed.


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(LUSAKATIMES) President Sata moves Labour portfolio to Ministry of Information and Broadcasting with immediate effect

President Sata moves Labour portfolio to Ministry of Information and Broadcasting with immediate effect
TIME PUBLISHED - Friday, February 3, 2012, 8:33 pm

President of Zambia Michael Sata has with immediate effect re-aligned three Government ministries. President Sata has directed the acting Secretary to the Cabinet Mr. Evans Chibiliti to proceed with all the necessary procedures and immediately imeplement the changes.

“I would like to direct that the portfolio of Tourism be transferred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Labour portifolio be transferred from Youth and Sport to Ministry of Information, it shall be known as Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and Labour,” reads the President’s letter to Mr Chibiliti in part.

And the Head of State says the re-allignment has been done to curb statements that alarm the nation and investors alike.

“As a Government, we have to be level-headed and not be seen to be inciting the public. I expect ministers to discourage strikes and lock-outs. Strikes or industrial unrests have a very negative effect on a fragile economy like ours. The same applies to lock-outs,” President Sata said.

“If we are not careful, some of these alarming statements will even destroy the little we have or the little strides we have made economically so far. We know that there are numerous short-comings in almost all sectors but we will not address these shortcomings through threats and being loud-mouthed.”

President Sata said that Zambians expect the Government to handle the problems facing the country with sobriety.

“Policy consistency is a compelling need for all Governments all over the world. As my very final warning, I ask all the ministers not to lead me into temptation.”

“I am alive to the fact that most of my colleagues that have been appointed as Ministers have no experience in these portifolios. Therefore, I strongly feel its my duty to protect the image of the party, the Government, the people of Zambia and the economy in general,” the President said.

“In my statement of 30th January, 2012, I enjoined and cautioned ministers not to make statements that did not reflect Government policy or which had not been referred to and cleared by Cabinet. Statements on the economy made by ministers that are not the competent channels for the issues they raise are damaging to our credibility as a country.

“Policy consistency is a compelling need for all Governments all over the world. As my very final warning, I ask all the ministers not to lead me into temptation.”

Earlier today, Minister of Labour, Sports, Youth and Gender Chishimba Kambwili reiterated that the law will visit all those companies that are violating labour laws.

Speaking when he featured on the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) radio 2 programme dubbed Workers Voice, the Minister said he was disappointed with the way some employers were treating their workers.

Mr. Kambwili said his Ministry will work hand in with Trade Unions to ensure that all workers are paid according to the work they do.

He emphasized that all employers who are not giving their workers good working conditions should revise them so as to motivate workers before law takes its course.

Mr. Kambwili who has come under fire from some section of society over his stance to caution investors violating worker right said he will not stop until he see the right thing done.

He said his government welcomes investors but wants them to respect labour laws, pay workers good salaries so that there is a win- win situation between workers and companies.

The Minister who also received reports during the programme of companies like Shoprite, Game Stores and Zam Beef paying little money (K300, 000 per month) said he will soon visit the companies to confirm the reports.

He said he cannot allow companies to continue abusing their workers by paying little monies which he said cannot even sustain them.

Mr. Kambwili stated that he will also not segregate in his tour of companies whether Chinese, Zambian or other companies by other nationalities adding that he wants the best for the Zambian workers.

He also disclosed that he will visit Shoprite on issues of casualisation adding that workers have complained of working for longer than six years without employed on a permanent basis.

“If the previous government was treating you with kids’ gloves, not with this government. I have on occasions visited Shoprite and randomly spoke to workers who have told me that they are contracts on for a year” said Mr.Kambwili.

“If the previous government was treating you with kids’ gloves, not with this government. I have on occasions visited Shoprite and randomly spoke to workers who have told me that they are on contracts for a year” said Mr.Kambwili.

He stated that the Patriotic Front (PF) government has started addressing the issue of pensioners and all the pensioners are going to be paid in time.
Mr. Kambwili has appealed to the Zambians to support the government in its quest to improve the welfare of employees and to go on zero tolerance of abuse of employees.

And speaking on the same programme Federation for Free Trade Unions of Zambia (FFTUZ) President Joyce Nonde Simukoko has said she is looking forward to the review of Labour laws in the country so that the Labour Unions and government can work properly.

Mrs. Simukoko said the Federation will support the Minister in his quest to bring sanity in the work place adding that her organization does not condone employers abusing their workers.

She stated that it is for the best interest of all workers that companies that violet workers right are closed adding that workers wants to see the government address the issue of labour .

She urged government to make ensure that workers are allowed to join Trade Unions by their employers so as to maintain the flow of information.


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Friday, February 03, 2012

(NEWZIMBABWE) Australian firm targets Bulawayo mine

Ausstralian firm targets Bulawayo mine
03/02/2012 00:00:00
by Gilbert Nyambabvu

AUSTRALIA-BASED ElDore Mining Corporation looks to join the ranks of Zimbabwe’s gold producers with the acquisition of Lonely Gold Mine for US$4.4 million in a cash and equity deal.

ElDore Mining’s announcement comes at a time of renewed interest in the mining sector despite concerns over the country’s controversial economic empowerment policies and the recent huge increases in royalty fees and other levies.

Lonely Gold Mine, located about 80 kilometres north of Bulawayo in the gold-producing Bubi greenstone belt, was the country’s largest single gold producer until its closure in the mid-1990s. It has historical underground production of up to 1.1 million ounces of gold.

In a statement this week, ElDore said it plans to determine the potential to restart operations at the mine along with discovering the size and scale of operations and exploration prospects.

Due diligence will be carried out over the next 60 days and the company will seek shareholder and regulatory approval for the acquisition.

ElDore will pay the seller US$2.4 million in cash and US$2 million in shares.

Half of the shares will be payable upon settlement and the other half on first production pour of 20kg, or 643 ounces, of gold.

Officials said the same milestones will determine the cash payment with US$500,000 paid on settlement and US$1.9 million on gold pour.

ElDore also has operations in the West African country of Burkina Faso as well as Papua New Guinea and Romania.

The mining sector has been the key driver of economic recovery over the last few years, buoyed by better commodity prices on the world market and a more liberalised local operating environment.

Government officials say the sector grew by 25.8 percent in 2011 and is projected to expand by another 15.9 percent in 2012 with increased output forecast for all minerals.

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(NEWZIMBABWE, INDIA TIMES) De Beers hit by cheaper Zim diamonds

COMMENT - It's all about the diamonds.

De Beers hit by cheaper Zim diamonds
02/02/2012 00:00:00

PRICES of rough diamonds from De Beers and Russia-based Alrosa last month took a knock in India’s diamond city of Surat, easing up to 10 percent, especially in the low range category, because of competition from Zimbabwe stones.

In addition, the low range diamond boxes of the leading giant diamond mining companies were selling at discounted rates by up to 25 percent in Surat and Mumbai. Industry leaders say Zimbabwe diamonds are about 50 percent cheaper than those from other sources.

Zimbabwe diamonds started to flow into the world's biggest diamond cutting and polishing hub in Surat from November 2011 after the international diamond regulatory body Kimberly Process (KP) allowed their exports from the controversial Marange fields.

[If the Eastern DRC is not 'controversial', and remember no one is calling DRC diamonds 'blood diamonds', even with a death toll of an estimated 6 to 8 million people, you know that trying to classify Zimbabwe's diamonds as such is purely political. And this article shows why - control of the diamond market. - MrK]

About 30 percent of the diamond pieces currently manufactured in Surat are Zimbabwe stones.

Aniruddha Lidbide, a diamond analyst said: "The giant mining companies seem to be under price and sale pressure since November 2011, when the Zimbabwe goods started to enter India.

“India is the biggest consumer of low-range goods and thus the prices are likely to decrease further in 2012."

De Beers, Alrosa, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton account for 70 percent of the total production of rough diamonds in the world.

[De Beers and Rio Tinto are both owned by the Rothschild banking dynasty. BHP Billiton does not seem to be connected to them, but is the world's biggest miner. For most of the 20th century, De Beers was owned jointly by the Oppenheimer family. According to Nicky Oppenheimer, the former owner of De Beers, on the BEE: "This was the first major ownership change for De Beers in over a century. Of the legislation Oppenheimer said: "De Beers is here to make a profit, but we must benefit the people and communities where we operate." Local people have to benefit? Try and sell that to the Anglo-American bankers who live thousands of miles away and who are only in it for profit maximisation and especially industry control. Add in a global diamond market share loss of 55% (from 95% of the global market to 40% today), and the Oppenheimers are now nearly completely out of De Beers, forced out by Anglo American's Cynthia Carroll. See the article Carats To Carrots - De Beers No Longer Jewel In Crown. - MrK]

In 2010, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) estimated the world production of rough diamonds at 133 million carats.

De Beers has a share of 26 percent by volume and 35 percent by value, Alrosa has 28 percent share by volume and 25 percent by value, Rio Tinto has 11 percent share by volume and 10 percent by value and BHP Billiton has a 2 percent share by volume.

In 2010-11, India imported rough diamonds worth $11 billion, out of which more than 50 percent were of low-range quality. Gems and jewellery exports for 2010-11 jumped 47% to $43 billion from $29.4 billion in the previous year.

According the diamond industry report 2011, Zimbabwe's diamond output would continue to grow.

The country has a stock pile of 4.5 million carats of diamonds valued at $4-5 billion.

Currently four diamond mining firms operate in the Chiadzwa fields - Marange Resources, Mbada Diamonds, Anjin and Diamond Mining Corporation. The country stands to earn more than US $2 billion per year from the three Marange mines that have been permitted to sell so far.

Sanjay Kothari of Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council added: "The quality of Zimbabwe diamonds is different from those offered by DTC, Alrosa and even Rio Tinto.

“It is true that Indians have benefited from Zimbabwe goods, but this will not trigger any reduction in the rough prices in the long run."

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(TALKZIMBABWE) PM has no say in police commissioner reappointment: AG

PM has no say in police commissioner reappointment: AG
Posted by By Our reporter at 3 February, at 00 : 59 AM

PRESIDENT Mugabe is the only person with the mandate to appoint or reappoint the Commissioner-General of Police and other constitutional bodies without consulting anyone except the Public Service Commission, Attorney-General Mr Johannes Tomana, has said.

The AG’s remarks follow claims in the media that Comm-Gen Augustine Chihuri’s term of office had ended, and should not be extended without the consent of other principals to the inclusive Government. Such reports, the AG said, could lead to lawlessness if taken as a fact by those falling under Comm-Gen Chihuri as his orders may be disobeyed.

“Our Constitution is very clear. The Commissioner-General is appointed by the President and in appointing, he should consult certain bodies such as the Public Service Commission. The PSC is like an instrument for the President to pick the best person.

“According to our Constitution, the Commissioner-General as an executive office serving the Executive Presidency, is to be appointed by him (President) and the President has that leeway to consult whoever he wishes, but in particular the PSC,” Mr Tomana said.

Reports in the private media said the President had to consult other principals in the inclusive Government before either reappointing Comm-Gen Chihuri or choosing a successor.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is on record as saying President Mugabe cannot reappoint Comm-Gen Chihuri without his consent.

But yesterday, Mr Tomana branded such reportage “criminal” and warned his office will take action.

‘‘His (Comm-Gen Chihuri’s) case is about reappointment, not appointment. The GPA deals with appointments. The GPA uses specific language, it refers to appointments and not reappointments and the issues considered in appointments are very different from those that are considered in reappointment,” he said.

The AG cited the cases of the five ambassadors – Phelekezela Mphoko (Russia to South Africa), Mary Mubi (Sweden to Italy), Steven Chiketa (Australia to Sweden), Chitsaka Chipaziwa (Geneva to Vienna) and Margaret Muchada (Italy to Belgium) – who were reassigned without input from the MDC formations and the 10 provincial governors who were similarly reappointed.

The MDC formations have for years called for Comm-Gen Chihuri’s ouster, claiming he was partisan.

“These voices have no mandate if that mandate is not coming from the President. They are serving at the pleasure of the President.

“The Constitution as it stands should be enforced if we must remain a sane nation. From now on we are not going to be tolerating or condoning, as custodians of the enforcement arm of our laws, any form of lawlessness, especially lawlessness meant to weaken our constitutional pillars that include the Commissioner-General’s office,” Mr Tomana said.

He said everybody must understand that the Comm-Gen’s office “was the only executive authority that the Head of State uses to guarantee security in the country”.

“No one should interfere with that institution, except the President who is answerable to the people for its success and failures. Breaches of the Constitution from now on around that office will not be tolerated.

“The same applies to all other constitutional offices through which the Presidency uses to deliver the Constitutional protection that citizens of this country are entitled to,” Mr Tomana said.

He added: “I am inviting the media to pay special attention to the laws around contempt of court and laws around obstruction of justice because this country, especially now, will rely on true and substantive administration of justice by our judiciary.

“We will protect this institution with equal strength or firmness. We will not continue to watch violation of the law.”

Chapter 1X, Section 93, (1) and (2) of the Constitution explains that the Comm-Gen is appointed by the President and he does not need Cabinet approval or members of the inclusive Government.

(1) There shall be a Police Force, which, together with such other bodies as may be established by law for the purpose, shall have the function of preserving the internal security of and maintaining law and order in Zimbabwe.

(2) Subject to the provisions of an Act of Parliament, the Police Force shall be under the command of the Commissioner-General of Police, who shall be appointed by the President after consultation with such person or authority as may be prescribed by or under an Act of Parliament.

Political analyst Professor Jonathan Moyo yesterday took a swipe at the MDC formations saying they have no business discussing the Comm-Gen’s employment contract.

‘‘This is really much ado about nothing. This hullabaloo is coming from people whose positions in Government are illegal, who want to complain about someone who is legal. So in fact you have an illegality attacking legality. All this is done for selfish reasons by people scared of the fact that elections are looming on the horizon. This should be dismissed by all right-thinking people.

“We should not accept such lawlessness in the name of the GPA. What is amazing is the claim that the emergency National Security Council meeting (today) has been called to discuss Chihuri. Even fools know that meetings of the NSC take precedence over any other.

“The meeting is there to discuss issues of national security not employment contracts. The very suggestion that bodies like the NSC can meet to discuss employment contracts is evidence that we have a dysfunctional Government with people who do not know the functions of State bodies,” he said.


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(HERALD, REUTERS) ANC study rejects mine nationalisation: Report

ANC study rejects mine nationalisation: Report
Friday, 03 February 2012 00:00

JOHANNESBURG. - A study commissioned by South Africa's ruling ANC has rejected calls for mine nationalisation and come out in favour of higher taxes and royalties, the Business Day newspaper reported. The report is expected to be adopted as policy by the African National Congress and will be raised this weekend at a meeting of the party's National Executive Committee, the newspaper said, without saying where it got the information. The report warns against "asset grabs" by the state because such a policy would be unconstitutional and because the government could also not afford to buy mining stakes, the newspaper said.

But the government will also recommend higher royalties and taxes, as well as policies to encourage the processing of raw minerals to add value, the paper said.
Talk of nationalising mines and banks by radical elements in the ANC has unnerved investors.

The policy drive for mine nationalisation lost political momentum after an ANC disciplinary committee found its biggest advocate, ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, guilty of sowing discord in the party.

The committee handed down a five-year suspension which Malema has appealed. The ANC study on mine nationalisation was first submitted to the party leadership last year but had been sent back for redrafting to improve its presentation. - Reuters.

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(HERALD) MDC-T stalling new constitution

MDC-T stalling new constitution
Friday, 03 February 2012 00:00
Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter

MDC-T has been accused of stalling the constitution-making process after its Members of Parliament failed to attend a Constitution Select Committee meeting yesterday,
citing the absence of co-chairperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora, who was attending a criminal court case.

Zanu-PF and MDC legislators turned up for the meeting and proposed that the meeting proceed but MDC-T lawmakers present objected saying they could not attend the meeting in the absence of their leader, sources close to Copac said. Copac is reviewing some chapters of the draft constitution with the support of a technical committee.

Calls for them to nominate an acting co chairperson just as another co-chairperson, Mr Edward Mkhosi of MDC had seconded Senator Believe Gaule to stand in for him fell on deaf ears, according to sources.

Co-chairperson, Cde Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana, of Zanu-PF declined to comment saying he would not be drawn into discussing other political parties.
MDC-T deputy co-chairperson in Copac, Ms Jessie Majome, confirmed the development.

"The meeting was deferred to tomorrow (today) because there was no quorum. There was no quorum because some MPs from all political parties were not present," said Ms Majome.

Asked if they would have agreed to proceed with the meeting in the absence of Mr Mwonzora if the meeting had constituted a quorum, Ms Majome said that would not be possible.

"Co-chairpersons are playing an escalated role and clearly it would not have been possible to proceed with the meeting when there was no quorum of co-chairpersons," she said.

Ms Majome said the timing of the arraignment of Mr Mwonzora was wrong when Copac was at a critical stage "over a case that is alleged to have occurred long time ago in 2005."

"It's not about the absence of MDC-T, but the absence of co-chairperson, it (the arrest) is very inconveniencing because they play a very critical role particularly where they are now," she said.

Copac recently announced that drafters had completed a preliminary proposed draft of 18 chapters based on the issues that were agreed upon.

Before this, Copac said, drafters completed four chapters based on information given to them by the Select Committee.

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(HERALD) Any wonder Africa congealed into a question mark?

Any wonder Africa congealed into a question mark?
Tuesday, 31 January 2012 00:00

On Saturday I was at my rural home in Chikwaka communal lands for a funeral, Chigodora village to be specific. A mere 70km from the CBD if one takes the Shamva turnoff, just after Umwinsdale down to Musiyiwa Shopping Centre, or 75km, if one proceeds down Mutoko Road to Juru Growth Point (KwaBhora) before taking the left turn at Zvevatsunga Supermarket towards Dzvete.

What struck me as I travelled the 20km stretch of dust from Bhora to my village was the number of ghost shopping centres I passed along the way. As I grew up in the mid 80s, these were thriving hubs of black-owned general dealerships but which now lie as haunted ruins of a once glorious era.

It is a phenomenon that afflicted many black-owned businesses - So and So and Sons - over the years, once the founder - usually the father passed on, the sons failed to run the businesses left behind or milked them to the ground. Those in the transport business were not spared either as many of the buses that used to ferry villagers to the cities are no more than rusty hulks in car-breaking garages dotted around cities and towns. The general dealerships are now ruins slowly going to bush, sad reminders of unworthy heirs.

Well, it appears, this phenomenon is not only peculiar to such general dealerships, if the state of the African Union is anything to go by. Given what transpired at the just-ended summit in Addis Ababa, where Nato quislings were welcomed into AU councils without question, the founding fathers of the Organisation of African Unity must be rolling in their graves. Their predecessors have turned out to be the proverbial slothful sons.

This is not what the likes of Kwame Nkrumah, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Haile Sellassie, and Alfred Sedor Senghor - to mention just a few - had in mind when they met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on May 25, 1963 to launch the OAU with two primary objectives: Firstly to be a collective voice pursuant to securing Africa's long-term economic and political future and secondly to eradicate all forms of colonialism.

The continental body did indeed spearhead the decolonisation of the continent culminating in the political independence of all African states.

President Mugabe, no doubt the only leader left with the stature of those founding fathers, is on record decrying the loss of direction in the AU saying, ‘‘the period in which we are is a period in which there appears to be a reversal of what the founding fathers did and the principles of the founding fathers. Principles are being sacrificed on the altar of expediency as Nkrumah would have said. Because you are being assisted by the West, you, therefore, must bow to the West. It is a terrible period and it is selling out the principles of the founding fathers, and Zimbabwe can not stand for that.''

And indeed, his was the only voice that rang true from Addis Ababa where the AU unashamedly welcomed into its councils, the Nato lackeys from Libya, without any sense of irony. President Mugabe was naturally livid, and in his address to the Peace and Security Council plenary on Monday, took fellow leaders to task over the NTC.

‘‘We fought imperialism and colonialism and forced them out of Africa . . . Our founding fathers did not have the means, but they stood up and said ‘no' but here we are absolutely silent. We should have said no, no to NATO. Gaddafi was killed in broad daylight, his children hunted like animals and then we rush to recognise the NTC. We should look at what happened and we should be deciding whether to recognise the NTC or not. Well, well that was Libya. Who will be next?

‘‘This is not what our founding fathers would have thought would happen. We don't certainly represent them properly if we take that stance. So I am saying let's look at ourselves Mr Chairman, look at ourselves and look at Europe.

‘‘I saw a picture yesterday of Gaddafi shaking hands with Sarkozy in France after they invited him there, but those hands that Gaddafi was shaking were the hands that were going to kill him a few months later. How far then do we go in associating with such people?'' he asked.

It is a fact that illegal regime change was effected in Libya. It is a fact that international law was broken by NATO which overstretched UN Resolution 1973 to invade Libya and kill an estimated 50 000 innocent people culminating in the cold-blooded murder of Gaddafi live on international television.

It is a fact that the NTC was thrust to the helm of Libya by Nato and does not derive its mandate from the generality of Libyans, many of whom are still to come to terms with the personal and material losses they suffered over the eight-month Nato bombardment.

It is a fact that without going to elections, the NTC can not claim to have a mandate from Libyans. So what the hell was the AU doing embracing these quislings whose hands drip with Gaddafi's blood? The same Gaddafi who masterminded the transformation of the OAU to the AU through the Sirte Declaration that was operationalised in South Africa, Sirte being the town in which Gaddafi was to meet his gruesome end without even a whimper from the cowards in Addis Ababa.

Why was the AU in such a hurry to embrace the NTC? Why didn't it insist that elections be held first, according to the AU roadmap but which was callously trashed by NATO, before the NTC could be welcomed into the councils of the AU? What message was the AU sending?

That it's okay for westerners to invade African countries? That it's okay for NATO to effect regime change on African soil? That it's okay for westerners to butcher innocent civilians, use banned weapons like cluster bombs and depleted uranium munitions which will have comebacks on the innocent for years to come?

That it's okay for them to hunt and hound sitting heads of state and government like foxes? That it's okay to trash and ignore the authority of the AU and still have the stooges the westerners install embraced by the same AU? Surely Mwalimu Nyerere and others of his ilk must be turning in their graves. With the notable exception of President Mugabe, the current crop of ahistoric pretenders to the AU throne should hang their heads in shame. They have history to learn from but are shockingly ahistoric. For instance when Idi Amin overthrew - with British assistance - the elected government of Dr Milton Obote in January 1971, he was treated like a leper.

Dr Kenneth Kaunda, Julius Nyerere and Seretse Khama, all boycotted the OAU Summit that was set for Kampala, Uganda in 1975 in protest over the overthrow of Obote. Not only that, four years later, Nyerere was to go a step further by running Amin out of town under the aegis of the East African Community after Amin tried to take his impudent adventures to northwestern Tanzania.

These founding fathers were principled men who could not countenance the disaster the British had foisted on Uganda, which is more than can be said for many in the AU today who rushed to embrace the NTC in Addis Ababa. This could have passed for oversight if the same AU leaders had not, earlier on, recognised the NTC even as Gaddafi was being hunted down like an animal by Nato forces.

What is more, contrary to the lofty ideals of its predecessor the OAU, the AU could not even speak with one voice as more than half of the AU members states rushed to recognise the NTC long before rigor mortis set in on Gaddafi's sodomised body?
Recognition of the NTC should only have come after the AU roadmap was followed and the NTC had won a mandate from Libyans. The AU must come up with clear parameters on what is expected of member states. Clarifying the parameters for democratic governance will give the AU a checklist to reject or expel non-compliant members.

Similarly, the AU should seriously think of setting up a standby force that can intervene, on the recommendation of the Peace and Security Council, in countries facing peace and security challenges or repel invasions from hostile forces.
Libya and Ivory Coast are cases in point that would have done with such a standby force.

The confusion, selling out and flip-flopping we have seen from the AU this past year is a serious indictment on the current crop of African leaders. They need serious introspection to rediscover the spirit that motivated the launch of the OAU 48 years ago.

Any wonder Africa congealed into a question mark?
Quo vadis African Union?



(HERALD) Zimbabwe: A truly land of the best

Zimbabwe: A truly land of the best
Friday, 03 February 2012 00:00
Patrick W Mamimine

Zimbabwe is truly land of the best! A country of highly educated, industrious, bold, humourous, discreet and unpredictable people. Above all, a society of "master tacticians" (to quote one Westerner). But how many of our people know that of all forms of love, no love is loftier than the love for one's country? How many of our people realise that what you are is the sum of individual and national values?

How many of our people realise that our national anthem is a summation of our national values and aspirations? Better still how many of us live by those values in leadership and ordinary citizenship? Did you know that patriotism forms the foundation of all great nations?

How many of us have such depth of love for this great country and its people to an extent of saying: Ropa rangu muchariwana pamureza we Zimbabwe!

The difference between great nations and small nations lies in the extent to which people uphold the values of their nation and the extent to which their people are prepared to defend those values. Great nations owe their greatness to a few selfless men and women who in pursuit of fulfiling their nations' values constantly dream beyond the horizons of ordinary minds and passionately mobilise compatriots to back up their lofty dreams and aspirations with action.

Usually, the vision of men and women behind the making of great nations spans hundreds of years. Small nations, in contrast, have their growth momentum retarded by a few selfish men and women of nose-long vision, who spend most of their mental energy and resources seeking individual glory and greatness.

This selfish minority lacks a sense of nationhood and has no sympathy for the underprivileged members of their society and instead blames them for the condition they find themselves in. Are you one of the few selfless men and women who harbour lofty dreams for this country and who will lay a foundation for a prosperous Republic of Zimbabwe?

In celebrating Zimbabwe, a truly land of the best, we need to capture the essence of patriotism or love for one's country (madenyika). This is aptly summarised by George William Curtis who says, "A man's country is

not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle and patriotism is loyalty to that principle".

Patriots of Zimbabwe Trust (PoZ) exists for the purpose of, among others, celebrating and defending the heritage of this great country both material and non-material.

Patriotism is about loyalty to and defence of this principle. In this seminal article, we salute some of our men and women deserving a seat in the inner circle of patriotism. These are our gallant sons and daughters who shed their blood to attain freedom and independence for this country. Also belonging to the inner circle and worth saluting are the men and women scattered throughout the breadth and length of this country who emerged from the trenches of the liberation war alive. PoZ is a forum for immortalising the values that these people stood for and still stand for.

Also unforgettable in this roll of honour, are all the patriotic Zimbabweans who were the backbone of the liberation struggle and who continue to bear the brunt of economic hardships facing our nation today with hope, resilience and determination to overcome. Do you have what it takes to belong to the inner circle of patriots of Zimbabwe? If so what are you doing about it?

In charting our way into the future we cannot afford to ignore the centrality of our own nation's history. Tell me of any nation that forgot its history and prospered! History is an epitaph of any nation's past challenges and subsequent triumph over them. In order to have a better understanding of where we are now as a nation and where we are going, we need time to reflect on and celebrate our past.

For in our past lie the narratives of subjugation, heroism and conquest, again in our past lie the narratives of some of the worst challenges faced by our nation and the nation's triumph over them. The history of this great country requires special attention because history has a stubborn tendency of repeating its ugliest face. Our past has taught us that we cannot build a nation from ever exchanging gratuitous hate language among ourselves nor from ignoring the rewards of constructive criticism. History has taught us that people-centred politics is not about self-service. Neither is it a project for capturing power for a few elites.

People-centred politics is about improving the welfare of the majority of one's fellow men and women and not a race in which success is measured by the number of countrymen you see in the rear view mirror sobbing in abject poverty. History has taught us that everlasting greatness is achieved when one identifies more with those in misery and suffering than identifying with those sitting on the rich man's table. Everlasting greatness is indeed attained through what we do for others and not what they do for us.

History has taught us that power at the service of a few is not only misdirected but also misplaced. Past experiences have taught us that wealth without generosity is an evil man's empire built on shaky grounds.

History has taught us that wealth without limit or redistribution is shameless greed. We cannot change our past but we can derive lessons from the past in order to shape the history of our future in a particular direction. If as of now you lack a place in this country's roll of honour because you cannot be counted among patriots the only chance you have is now.

Where will your name be placed when the list of future patriots is drawn up? What is that you can do for your country now to earn yourself a place among this country's unforgettable patriots? How deep is your love for this country and its people? What are the indicators of the depth of your love for the fatherland (motherland)? What are you doing now in the name of love for your country? Can you be counted seriously among this country's patriots (vana madenyika)?

It doesn't matter what field of human endeavour you are in. You can still demonstrate your love for this country in your own way. Our history of the future of this country belongs to some of our men and women who make a decision now to put the nation first in whatever they do.

The future history of this country belongs to men and women who measure their greatness from the sacrifices they have made for the love of this country. Love for this great country means defending our hard won freedom and independence against aggressors. For any nation, no calling is loftier than the defence of the freedom and independence of one's country.

The ultimate in the spirit of patriotism is captured by John F Kennedy who says, "In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility - I welcome it." When the future history of this great country is written, will you be counted among those who never shrank in the responsibility of defending Zimbabwe's freedom and independence in its hour of maximum danger? The issue of freedom and independence is quite central to the hearts and minds of the founding fathers of this nation.

When President Mugabe was put in a corner to abide by the interests of the Commonwealth at the expense of what he perceived to be national interests he categorically stated: "If the choice were made, one for us to lose our sovereignty and become a member of the Commonwealth or remain with our sovereignty and lose the membership of the Commonwealth, I would say let the Commonwealth go."

Are you proud to be a Zimbabweans? A nation without a pride is like a king without a coroner. Do you walk with your shoulders high wherever you are to assert your Zimbabwean identity? Do you notice the respect that some people accord you outside the country, as if to acknowledge that you hail from the "and of the best"?

Indeed, it is time we celebrated our Zimbabwean uniqueness, identity, heritage and relative greatness. Indeed a time to celebrate our greatness as a nation!
The unprecedented period of socio-economic decline which swept across the breadth and length of this country from early 2000 reaching its peak at the end of 2008 cast a dark shadow on this nation's capacity to rise from the worst economic decline in human history.

* Dr Patrick W. Mamimine is the executive director of Patriots of Zimbabwe.



(HERALD, RT) Geo-political stakes in Nigeria

COMMENT - Comment posted at the original article (see link above).

Geo-political stakes in Nigeria
Thursday, 02 February 2012 00:00
Frederick William Engdahl

Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation and its largest oil producer, is from all evidence being systematically thrown into chaos and a state of civil war. The recent surprise decision by the government of president Goodluck Jonathan to abruptly lift subsidies on imported gasoline and other fuel has a far more sinister background than mere corruption, and the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) is playing a key role.

China appears to be the likely loser along with Nigeria's population. The recent strikes protesting the government's abrupt elimination of gasoline and other fuel subsidies, that brought Nigeria briefly to a standstill, came as a surprise to most in the country.

Months earlier, president Jonathan had promised the major trade union organisations that he would conduct a gradual four-stage lifting of the subsidy to ease the economic burden. Instead, without warning he announced an immediate full removal of subsidies effective January 1, 2012. It was "shock therapy" to put it mildly. Nigeria today is one of the world's most important producers of light, sweet crude oil - the same high-quality crude oil that Libya and the British North Sea produce. The country is showing every indication of spiralling downward into deep disorder. Nigeria is the fifth largest supplier of oil to the United States and twelfth largest oil producer in the world on a par with Kuwait and just behind Venezuela with production exceeding two million barrels a day.

Despite its oil riches, Nigeria remains one of Africa's poorest countries. The known oilfields are concentrated around the vast Niger Delta roughly between Port Harcourt and extending in the direction of Lagos, with large new findings being developed all along the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea.

Nigeria's oil is exploited and largely exported by the Anglo-American giants - Shell, Mobil, Chevron, Texaco. Italy's Agip also has a presence and most recently, to no one's surprise, the Chinese state oil companies began seeking major exploration and oil infrastructure agreements with the Abuja government.

Ironically, despite the fact that Nigeria has abundant oil to earn dollar export revenue to build its domestic infrastructure, government policy has deliberately let its domestic oil refining capacity fall into ruin. The consequence has been that most of the gasoline and other refined petroleum products used to drive transportation and industry, have to be imported, despite the country's abundant oil. In order to shield the population from the high import costs of gasoline and other refined fuels, the central government had subsidised prices.

Until January 1, 2012, that is. That was the day when, without advance warning president Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan announced (the) immediate removal of all fuel subsidies. Prices for gasoline shot up almost threefold in hours from 65 naira (35 cents of a dollar) a litre to 150 naira (93 cents). The impact rippled across the economy to everything including prices of grains and vegetables. In justifying the move, Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi insisted that "The monies will be used in provision of social amenities and infrastructural development that will benefit Nigerians more and save the country from economic rift."

President Jonathan says he is phasing out the subsidy as a part of a move to "clean up the Nigerian government." If so, how he plans to proceed is anything but apparent. The huge unexpected price hike for domestic fuel triggered nationwide protests that threatened to bring the economy to a halt by mid-January.

The president deftly took the wind out of protester sails by announcing a partial rollback in prices, still leaving prices effectively double that of December.
The trade union federation immediately called off the protests. Then, revealingly, president Jonathan's government ordered the military to take to the streets to "keep order" and de facto prevent new protests.

All that took place during one of the bloodiest waves of bombings and murder rampages by the terrorist Boko Haram sect creating a climate of extreme chaos.
What has been buried from international accounts of the unrest is the explicit role the US-dominated International Monetary Fund played in the situation. With suspicious timing, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde was in Nigeria days before the abrupt subsidy decision of president Jonathan.

By all accounts, the IMF and the Nigerian government have been careful this time not to be blatant about openly announcing demands to end subsidies as they were in Tunisia before food protests became the trigger for that country's Twitter putsch in 2011.

During her visit to Nigeria, Lagarde said president Jonathan's "Transformation Agenda" for deregulation "is an agenda for Nigeria, driven by Nigerians. The IMF is here to support you and be a better partner for you." Few Nigerians were convinced. On December 29 Reuters wrote, "The IMF has urged countries across West and Central Africa to cut fuel subsidies, which they say are not effective in directly aiding the poor, but do promote corruption and smuggling.

"The past months have seen governments in Nigeria, Guinea, Cameroon and Chad moving to cut state subsidies on fuel." Further confirming the role (of the) US and IMF's pressure on the Nigerian government played, Jeffery Sachs, Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary General, during a meeting with president Jonathan in Nigeria in early January days after the subsidy decision, declared president Jonathan's decision to withdraw petroleum subsidy "a bold and correct policy."

Sachs, a former Harvard economics professor, became notorious during the early 1990s for prescribing IMF "shock therapy" for Poland, Russia, Ukraine and other former communist states, which opened invaluable state assets for de facto plundering by dollar-rich Western multinationals. Even more suspicious is the manner in which Washington and the IMF are putting pressure on only select countries to end subsidies.

Nigeria, whose oil today sells for the equivalent of US$1 a litre or roughly US$3,78 a US gallon, is far from cheap. Brunei, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia all offer their petrol very cheap to their people. The Saudis sell their oil at 17 cents, Kuwait at 22 cents. In the US gasoline averages 89 cents a litre.
That means the IMF and Washington have forced one of the poorest economies in Africa to impose a huge tax on its citizens on the implausible argument it will help eliminate corruption in the state petroleum sector. The IMF knows well that the elimination of subsidies will do nothing about corruption in high places.

Were the IMF and World Bank genuinely concerned with the health of the domestic Nigerian economy, they would have provided support for rebuilding and expanding a domestic oil refinery industry that has been allowed to rot, so that the country need no longer import refined fuels using precious state budget resources. The easiest way to do that would be to expedite a two-year-old deal between China and the Nigerian government to invest some US$28 billion in massive expansion of the oil refinery sector, to eliminate need for importing foreign gasoline and other refined products. Quite the opposite - the criminal cabal inside the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) and the government making huge profits on the old subsidy system are suddenly making double and potentially triple more to maintain the old corrupt import system, and, of course, to sabotage Chinese refinery construction that could put an end to their gravy train.

Rather than benefit ordinary Nigerians as the IMF proclaims to want, the elimination of the subsidies has further pauperised the 90 percent living on less than US$2 a day, according to Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Nigerian Central Bank governor.
An estimated 40 million Nigerians are unemployed in the country of 148 million. Because transport costs are a significant factor in delivery of food to the cities, food price inflation has soared along with costs of public transportation for the majority of poorer Nigerians.

According to the Nigerian Leadership, "prices of commodities which shot up as a fall-out of the fuel pump price increase have refused to come down."
Everything from street vegetable sellers to carwashes to roadside photographers are feeling the shock of the rise in fuel prices. Unemployment is rising as small businesses fold. The argument of the IMF and the Jonathan administration is that by freeing fuel prices, funds would be available to more social services and rebuilding Nigeria's "infrastructure."

Both the IMF and the government know it would have been far more economically viable to replace the current corrupt system of importing refined gasoline and fuels with investing in rebuilding Nigeria's domestic refining capacity. Son Gyoh of the Nigerian Awareness for Development organisation asks, "Would it not be more expedient to pressure government to service the refineries to full production capacity, given the implications on overhead and competitiveness for local industries?"
Gyoh pointed to the source of the problem: "Why have successive governments left the refineries in a state of disrepair while spending huge on subsidy? Is there any chance that the savings from subsidy withdrawal will go directly into rehabilitating the refineries? "Does deregulation imply NNPC will no longer operate a monopoly in importation of refined petroleum product, or is this lobby a self-serving lifeline to continue its monopoly?" He concludes, "In any case, there is good reason to doubt subsidy removal will solve the fuel scarcity problem as the cabal will only regroup to change tactics, a fact Nigerians are only too aware of."

After Nigeria partly nationalised its oil sector in the late 1970s, it also took control of Shell Oil's Port Harcourt I refinery. In 1989, Port Harcourt II refinery was built. Both refineries fell into serious disrepair after 1994, when the Abacha military dictatorship cut the "take" of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company NNPC from domestic sale of refined oil products such as gasoline from 84 percent to 22 percent.

That caused a cash crisis for NNPC and a halt to refinery maintenance. Today only one of four refineries operates at all. What developed since was a system of NNPC importing foreign gasoline and other refined products for Nigeria's domestic needs, naturally at a far more expensive cost. The price subsidies were to relieve that higher import cost, hardly a sensible solution but a very lucrative one for those corrupt elements in the state and private sector making a killing, literally, off the import process. - RT.

* F William Engdahl is the author of "A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order".

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(NEWZIMBABWE) Zimbabwe to ban foreign newspapers

COMMENT - Zimbabwe is under siege and under sanctions, which they refuse to report accurately. The foreign media should be grateful that they are allowed into the country at all.

Zimbabwe to ban foreign newspapers
03/02/2012 00:00:00

THE Zimbabwe media commission said Thursday said it would ask authorities to ban foreign newspapers that are not registered to operate in the country.

"The commission has resolved to bar affected papers from entrance into and circulation within Zimbabwe until they comply with Zimbabwe's laws," commission chairman Godfrey Majonga said in a statement.

Majonga singled out the South Africa-based Sunday Times newspaper as having failed to comply with the rules, which require all journalists working in the country to obtain accreditation from the commission.

"We regret that one and a half years since our reminder to the affected media services to comply with Zimbabwe's laws by regularising their status and that of all journalists working for them, the same papers and journalists are operating exactly as they were doing a year ago," Majonga said.

Media in Zimbabwe have operated under stringent rules for the last decade, with several newspapers forced to shut down while journalists and foreign correspondents have been deported and harassed by the police.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who joined long-ruling President Robert Mugabe in a shaky unity government three years ago, has vowed to abolish the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which bars foreign journalists from working permanently in the country.

The 2002 act forced media organisations and journalists to register with a government body and has been invoked to arrest independent journalists.

The slow pace of media reforms is one of the main sticking points in the unity accord between Mugabe and Tsvangirai.



MMD printed fake money - Sichinga

MMD printed fake money - Sichinga
By Mwila Chansa-Ntambi in Kitwe
Fri 03 Feb. 2012, 14:00 CAT

COMMERCE minister Bob Sichinga has disclosed that the MMD government printed K3 trillion ‘fake' money in China. And Sichinga has observed that Zambia had a poor image abroad because of corruption.

During a meeting with the business community at the Kitwe and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Kitwe yesterday, Sichinga disclosed that the fake money was printed prior to last year's tripartite elections.

"We discovered there's fake money. Now some of you will remember the vehicle that was stopped at Nakonde and opened. That vehicle was carrying fake compartments," he said.

Sichinga said the alleged fake money was taken to rural areas where it was dished out to different people and that some individuals were being offered monies to defect from their parties.

Sichinga said the PF government looked through records and found a whole lot of things that were totally out of control.

"Then you say what happened, then you find money in the ground, then you find the banks are coming they say we've got three trillion, fake money which was printed in China during the elections, what do you do?" he wondered.

He said last year's election was won by the people because it was clear that the opposition then had no resources.

He said the victory recorded was a product of people's own labour.

And Sichinga said most people abroad think that Zambians always want to be bribed before they could avail investment opportunities to foreigners.

He said this perception needed to change because it was bad for the country.

Sichinga added that it was for this reason that his ministry had asked the Zambia Institute of Marketing to help them market and re-brand Zambia.

He cautioned business houses and persons against going to his office with gifts or presents adding that he did not want them to tempt him.

He said if they had ideas, they were free to go to his office and discuss those ideas but that at no time should they think of bribing him.

Sichinga said it was extremely easy for people in senior positions of leadership to fall prey to bribes and that it was important to avoid this because the country had already paid a ‘high enough price'.

Meanwhile, Sichinga disclosed that he would take a new bill aimed at distinguishing companies owned by Zambians from those owned by foreigners to the next session of parliament.

He added that there was need to restrict certain aspects of business to Zambians only.

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Malila defends Sata on Zamtel

Malila defends Sata on Zamtel
By Maluba Jere
Fri 03 Feb. 2012, 14:01 CAT

ATTORNEY General Mumba Malila has submitted that the decision taken by President Michael Sata to compulsorily acquire 75 per cent shareholding in Zamtel does not fall within the parameters of unreasonableness and cannot be challenged.

He has asked the Lusaka High Court to dismiss with costs an action by Lap Green Networks, the former owners of Zamtel, in which they have asked the court to order for the reversal of the government's compulsory acquisition of 75 per cent shareholding saying the action is prematurely before the court.

Libyan-owned Lap GreenN has sued the Zambian government seeking an order of mandamus to compel the government to reverse its action of unilaterally taking away 75 percent shares in Zamtel which it said belonged to it.

This is in a case where Lap Green had asked the court for an order of certiorari to remove into High Court for Zambia to quash the decision by the government to unilaterally and unlawful reverse the sale of 75 per cent share in Zamtel to Lap Green.

Lap Green contends that the move by government was unfair, illegal and that the investigation committee set up to investigate the sale of share in Zamtel which government based its decision to reverse the shareholding was not binding and was unlawful because the said committee did not operate in accordance with the inquiries Act.

But Malila in his skeleton arguments in opposition to summons for leave to apply for Judicial Review pursuant to Order 53 of the Rules of the Supreme Court (White Book) 1999 edition, argued that the decision by the government to compulsorily acquire 75 per cent shareholding in Zamtel should be set aside because it was legal and correctly done within the law.

He said Lap Green's grounds had no basis at law and that the government decision to acquire the shares was legal, adding that it met all relevant procedural requirements.

He further submitted that the applicant had not placed before the court sufficient grounds upon which the court could inquire into the matter because it had not exhausted administrative processes for compensation under the lands acquisition Act chapter 189 of the Laws of Zambia.

"There is nothing exceptional about this case which would justify the applicant to commence his actions without exhausting the procedure provided for under Section 5 (2) and 11 of the Act," he said.

"Our contention is that this is an attempt by the appellant to disrupt the administrative process. Section 11 of the Act is explicit in that the claim by an interested party to be submitted to the minister is not limited to compensation claims but the other claims as well. It is only after such procedure has been exhausted that the applicant can commence proceedings before this court. In short, this action is prematurely before court and should be dismissed with costs."

Malila further stated that the decision by the government to compulsory acquire 75 percent shareholding in Zamtel falls within a species of actions called ‘Eminent Dormain' as such the court should not entertain the applicant's demands.

"Government followed the right procedure and the applicant has not stated any ground upon which the government can be faulted as regards the procedure laid out in the Act," he said.

"In fact my Lord, it is the applicant that has rushed to court without first exhausting all the procedures laid down in the Act which requires claimants to lodge their claims with the minister and present any claims to court only within six weeks after publication of the notice in the gazette as provided in section 11 of the Act.

And Judge Albert Wood who is presiding over the matter has ordered Lap Green to commence its action before the general registry and not with the commercial saying the matter was not of business nature.

Judge Wood stated that the matter was about the review of the decision making process rather than a review of the merits of a decision and that it could not possibly be commercial nature even though it may affect a commercial transaction.

This was after the state sought the court's guidance on whether LapGreen was correct to commence its action before the commercial registry.

Solicitor General Musa Mwenye submitted that the proceedings before court were for judicial review that emanated entirely from the decision of the government to exercise statutory powers under the Lands Acquisition Act Cap 189 of the Laws of Zambia.

But lawyer for Lap Green Vincent Malambo said what the state were seeking was shares in a commercial entity which shares were procured in all respects in the manner of commerce.

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Cadres hamper civil service efficiency, says Mutesa

COMMENT - Professionalisation and independence of the Civil Service is the way forward. It would make so many more projects possible if they are free from political interference.

Cadres hamper civil service efficiency, says Mutesa
By Kombe Chimpinde
Fri 03 Feb. 2012, 14:01 CAT

THE infiltration of political cadres into the civil service suffocates service delivery and ultimately leads to non-performance of government, says Dr Fred Mutesa. Dr Mutesa, who is leader of the Zambians for Empowerment and Development, said it was important for the PF to delink itself from the civil service by all means.

"Appointing cadres into the civil service hampers efficient service delivery and ultimately leads to non-performance of government. It's too early for PF to take that route in the light of promises they made on the need to restore professionalism in the civil service as cadres turn to appease the appointing authorities at the expense of service delivery," he said.

"Such leads to compromise of professionalism especially where these people do not have the necessary qualifications because people of Zambia expect much from the new government."

Dr Mutesa said the appointment of party cadres into some civil service jobs was worrying.

"To revamp professionalism in the civil service, government would need to come up with criteria for upward progression. This will require special training for those being enrolled in the service and creation of an impartial board by the Public Service Commission to scrutinise all appointments," he said.

"The civil service must be a permanent institution even when there is a change of government. It must have an objective criteria for progression and they must also be proper job evaluation based on performance."

Dr Mutesa urged the government to reverse all politically-motivated appointments to the public sector.

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Sata writes Madzimawe, Nzamane over threats to Mpezeni

Sata writes Madzimawe, Nzamane over threats to Mpezeni
By Staff Reporters
Fri 03 Feb. 2012, 14:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata says chiefs Madzimawe and Nzamane are working to destabilise the Ngoni chiefdom and Paramount Chief Mpezeni's authority.

In separate letters dated February 1, 2012 to chiefs Madzimawe and Nzamane obtained from sources in Eastern Province, President Sata stated that the duo should cease from issuing any further threats or derogatory remarks of any form against Mpezeni.

"I have noted with great concern that your conduct in issuing threats against His Royal Highness Paramount chief Mpezeni is in direct violation of your duty under section 11 of the chiefs Act, Chapter 287 of the Laws of Zambia, which requires a chief to preserve the public peace in his area and to take reasonable measures to quell any riot, affray or similar disorder which may occur in that area," he said.

President Sata advised that under Section 4 of the chiefs Act, he was empowered by statutory order to withdraw the recognition accorded to them, if under inquiry, he was satisfied that the withdrawal of the recognition was necessary in the interests of peace, order and good government.

He stated that under Section 7 of the chiefs Acts, where the recognition accorded to a chief had been withdrawn or revoked, and the President was satisfied that the presence of such a person in any area would be prejudicial to the maintenance of public order in that area, he can prohibit such a person from being within the area specified.

"I accordingly wish to warn your Royal Highness that should you continue to undermine his traditional authority or to issue threats to Paramount chief Mpezeni or indeed any other citizens of Zambia, I will have no option but to consider whether your presence in the chiefdom would be prejudicial to the maintenance of public order, and necessitate your removal from the chiefdom," stated President Sata.

Both chiefs have denied intimidating chief Mpezeni over his statement supporting the lifting of Rupiah Banda's immunity from prosecution.

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Kunda accuses government of bringing socialism

COMMENT - George Kunda should be preparing his defense, instead of spouting off in the media. The MMD left a giant mess for the PF to fix, so they are no one to start giving advice to anyone. I hate the idea of randomly dismissing something a specific person says, because I always take in information from many diverse sources. However, I am sick and tired of the self serving lies coming from the crooks and dirtbags of the MMD. George Kunda tried to put Chansa Kabwela in prison for outing hospital conditions and sending photographs, which he then tried to have prosecuted as 'pornography'. He is also photographed handing out brown envelopes to villagers during the election time. Holding multiple positions at the same time in the government, he was as corrupt as they came.

Kunda accuses government of bringing socialism
By Allan Mulenga
Fri 03 Feb. 2012, 14:01 CAT

GEORGE Kunda has accused the government of bringing socialism ideologies into the country's governance system. And Kunda, who is the former Republican vice-president, has maintained that Vice-President Dr Guy Scott's continued stay in the office is illegal. Speaking to journalists yesterday, Kunda said the government had no policy direction in its governance system.

"We have seen that the PF government is now pursuing its own cause, there is no continuity now. What we have now is like we are now following socialist policies of nationalisation. The PF government in its manifesto, it's clear that they espouse socialism, scientific socialism, or communism. This is what they are trying to bring to Zambia," he said.

Kunda said the outcome of the commission of inquiry into the sale of Zanaco, currently sitting, was predetermined.

"These outcomes are predetermined, they just move in as a smoke screen. The President has already made a decision to nationalise Zanaco, so these commissions, if they have already decided they are just a waste of taxpayers' money. We can as well just nationalise these banks. We know that it is about nationalisation, they are just moving from Zamtel to Zanaco and they will move to the mines also. Nationalisation of the mines and major industries because this is the socialist government," he said.

Kunda said contrary to the submission to the inquiry by David Chewe, a financial advisor to the technical committee of the commission of inquiry into the sale of Zanaco, that there were no documents to show that Rabo Bank paid US$8.25 million to acquire the undervalued 49 per shares in the bank, records were for everyone to see.

"Well, this thing happened a long time ago. So, from 2007 we are out of government, we need to look at the records to see whether what they are saying is the correct thing. But if people have got a political agenda, they can make such statements. These things were even explained in Parliament, we used to debate it in Parliament. How can you say there is no record?" he said.

Kunda said the PF government policies were unpredictable.

"With us our policies were predictable, the PF policies are not predictable. Each time the President wakes up, he makes pronouncements of one sort or another and this cannot instil confidence for long-term planning because most of their measures are ad hoc," he said.

"Districts are promulgated every week, there are new districts. We don't even know the boundaries of those districts. So, the whole situation is chaotic to say the least."

And Kunda said Dr Guy Scott was just masquerading as the Vice-President.

"Guy Scott should vacate office instead of wasting our time. He does not qualify to hold the position of vice-president. What I am telling you is the legal position. When he (President Sata) went to the AU African Union he (Dr Scott) was never appointed to act as president, but there he is masquerading as Vice-President of this country. The earlier he leaves instead of wasting our time, let him vacate office, so that people who qualify can take over this particular position and on this one I have got the support of even some PF members," he said.

Asked whether he has rescinded his earlier decision to seek judicial review over the matter, Kunda responded: "Our options remain open and at some stage we shall hammer him with a court process. I am not playing games. I don't want to play games; just tell him that this is the very serious matter. We don't want to have a constitutional crisis in this country."

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(HERALD, AFRICAN EXECUTIVE) Development: Lessons from the Chinese economy

Development: Lessons from the Chinese economy
Friday, 03 February 2012 00:00
Diana Ntono

Africa and East Asia in world history have undergone almost similar stages of development as a result of the spread of western civilisation for many decades. Africa and East Asian regions have faced colonisation from western powers, taken part in endless western and foreign political power struggles (like the World Wars and the great Cold war), and have struggled with economic crises such as the mid-80s and 1990s third world crisis.

However, in the 21st century, Africa's economic growth and development is still very slow and far behind compared to the East Asian region.

Chinese fast economic growth and development in recent years is not a new phenomenon but an extension of the "East Asian miracle" whereby the Chinese have learnt, adopted and applied similar developmental factors but modified them to fit their political, social and cultural environment, thus becoming the new model to Africa's development dreams.

While factors responsible for China's recent development are not clearly outlined, they can be traced from various examples in the Asian pacific countries like South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. Hence the aim of this paper is to point out and discuss the three major factors that have greatly influenced the growth and development of East Asian nations of South Korea and Taiwan under the East Asian development model and any implications to Chinese economic development.

China's fast economic growth and development started in the 1970s under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping's reform and open door policy. The end of the cold war era resulted into the triumph of the capitalist liberal economic order. China had to make changes to adjust to the new international capitalist order but maintained its political ideology as a communist state under the strong governance of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Although China continues to be under a communist order politically, economically Beijing has accepted and embraced the liberal economic order becoming a member of many international organisations like the IMF, World Bank and the United Nations.

On the regional level, it has greatly participated in various multilateral institutions such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Shanghai Co-operation Organisation and Asian Development Bank. The increased economic integration of Beijing has resulted in China's interdependence to the global economy and vice versa. In 2010, China's economy was able to jump to the second position after the USA as the fastest growing economy after overtaking Japan.

Despite the fact that China has become the centre and subject in political economy in the 21st century as another miracle of economic development in the East Asian region, factors that have contributed to the development are still not clear. Various theoretical perspectives have been put forward to explain the East Asian economic development.

According to Chi Hung Kwan, China's new position as the fastest growing economy in the East Asian region is neither a threat nor disrupting the flying geese model. The "flying geese" theory was coined by a Japanese economist Akamatsuk. It is also referred to as theory of the flying geese pattern of industrial development.

The model is seen as an important instrument to understanding the development and international economic relations in the Asian pacific. The theory aimed at explaining the development trajectories of less developing nations and has nothing to do with political ideologies but industrial development. He divided countries into three segments: The advanced countries or "leaders" such as Europe and America; the middle group or "rising" nations such as Japan and nations that are developing faster than the third group called the "followers," that is, less developed. It therefore forms the V shape like flying geese trend.

In order to join the developed nations, Akamatsuk uses the example of the textile industry in Japan. He suggests that less developed countries begin by importing technology and new products from industrialised countries.

However, with time, the developing nations are able to acquire the required techniques and capital goods which enable them to establish similar industries rather than importing. In the final stage, the less developed countries can industrialise and attain export capabilities which later lead to trade conflicts between rising nations and advanced ones.

In addition to the above, to further illustrate this phenomenon under an open and globalised economy, Chi Hung notes that the flying geese model would explain the shift of industries from advanced nations to developing nations rather than re-establishing the same industry in the same nation hence a shift from Japan textile production, electronics and other high tech products from Japan to other Asian nations including China.

Therefore, by being part of the flying geese, one can argue that China has adopted similar policies to associate with the East Asian developmental model to achieve its recent economic development.

The East Asian economic development model can be simply understood as a theory that has been dominant to explain the economic success in East Asia. The "statist'' school has been helpful in understanding the role of the state in development of East Asian economies.

Using the example of Taiwan's industrialisation, he argues that the small and medium enterprise (SMEs) that are the major contributors of its exports were established as a state political strategy that determined public policy to privatisation sector hence a politically inspired industrial success.

Economic bureaucracy is vital to understanding East Asian economic development and this can be explained in relation to the leadership support and role they played in the policy process. The bureaucrats or elites were strong men who supported the industry policies in Taiwan and those industries that were not supported like the automobile collapsed.

However, scholars like Bruce Cumings, believe that the hegemonic power is responsible for the origins of the development of Asian states. Using the case of Northeast Asia, he applied the world system theory. Noting that USA as hegemony at the core established a hierarchy of nations but not frozen and it can change with time but in line with the hegemony state interests which can be either economic or security concerns.

For example: South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Manchuria. It is due to the fear of soviet expansion to East Asia; that the USA rebuilt the Japan's economy after the World War II, ranking it as the second wealthiest economy and supported its economic activities in Manchuria. Its interest in South Korea was due to China's communist threat. Therefore, these states were shaped and modelled to fit the world system as semi- periphery by the hegemony.

While David Kang illustrates that Asian development was a result of money politics which led to public and private interaction. In the case of South Korea, the government provided public goods, fostered investment and created infrastructure not for state development but because of corruption reasons in the interest of small groups of business and political elites. He therefore believes that politics as opposed to economic consideration dominated policy making. For example the exchange of bribes between the state officials and business had great influence on the policy choice such as export-oriented industrialisation or industrial arrangements.

Using the flying geese model against that above scholarly perspectives implications to understand China's recent economic development can be discussed as follows. The most important being the role of the government or political factors that has had great influence on China's economic development. China's unique communist feature is important when discussing its economic development.

China had been closed from the world during the cold war and only joined the liberal economic order in 1970s under the ‘‘open door policy" during Deng Xiaoping's regime. He encouraged foreign investment in the country, modernisation of agriculture as well as industrialisation for economic development. While in recent years, the Chinese government has continued to promote export oriented industries.

Providing business incentives to business men to invest in foreign countries for example various Small and medium Chinese firms have cropped up in Africa as new form of Chinese investment in the region hence a source of revenue and economic benefits to China.

In addition, China's market size is important. The country is highly populated providing a source of cheap labour as well as acting as the market for finished goods. This has enabled Beijing to develop and sustain its manufacturing and industry sector. However, without the support of the hegemonic state, China would not be able to attain technology through FDI, capital as well as accessing markets of advanced nations as already explained by the flying geese model.

Therefore, one cannot ignore the vital role of the hegemony as argued by Bruce Cumings. China has become an important area of interest to the USA in terms of security concerns - refer to the case "North Korea threat" as a nuclear state. China's rise has also raised US fear to be challenged as a dominating power in the Asian Pacific.

Just like Japan, China finally opened its market to various foreign investments while the USA has given China great access to its economy.

In summary, China's economic growth cannot be fully explained by a single factor but the above different perspectives give us a better understanding of the origins of East Asian economic development. Therefore, China being part of East Asia factors contributing to its recent economic development can be traced along the same path.

These include include both domestic factors like the role of the state; societal factors like elite behaviour; as well as external factors such as the international politics and hegemonic state. These factors have been part of East Asian region and development hence the argument in this paper that Beijing learnt, adopted and modified similar policies form its neighbours.

Commenting briefly on Africa's continued active engagement with China to address it's economic and developmental concerns, financial aid and assistance, trade, investment plus band wagoning is not the only solution but learning, adopting as well as modifying these lessons from the East in relation to Africa's needs is very important.

* Diana Ntono is a Graduate Student at the Institute of International Studies, Jilin University, PR China. This article is reproduced from The African Executive



Thursday, February 02, 2012

It doesn't make sense to defend LAP GreenN's corruption

It doesn't make sense to defend LAP GreenN's corruption
By The Post
Thu 02 Feb. 2012, 13:00 CAT

LAP GreenN has been doing a lot of lobbying for support over the Zambian government's reversal of the corrupt sale of Zamtel. They have tried to get many Zambian opinion makers to speak for them, to oppose the Zambian government's repossession of Zamtel. We can only hope that no money changed hands in this campaign.

It is therefore not surprising that the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants on Monday opposed the reversal of this sale, describing it as "throwing the child with dirty water".

Hapenga Kabeta, the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants chief executive officer, said "despite the irregularities reported", the reversal of Zamtel sale might result in the country losing some public money to compensate LAP GreenN.

He further said that they "believe that LAP GreenN should have been engaged by the government with a view to reach a consensus that would give more benefits to the people of Zambia". Kabeta suggested that the shareholding of LAP GreenN in Zamtel be reduced from 75 per cent to, say, 49 per cent.

It is very difficult to appreciate why the Zambian government should be asked by the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants to go to bed, to get into business partnership with crooks, corrupt elements. LAP GreenN is not an innocent victim in all this.

They knew what they were doing with the Rupiah Banda regime. They were active and conscious participants in that whole corrupt deal. This was a Libyan parastatal company under the control and direction of the corrupt regime of Muammar Gaddafi. And accordingly, they got Zamtel corruptly - of course in collusion with an equally corrupt Zambian regime of Rupiah.

With all that known about the corruption of the Gaddafi regime and the equally corrupt dealings of LAP GreenN under the control and direction of that regime and the corrupt manner in which they acquired Zamtel, it is difficult to understand why any honest or decent person can ask the government of Michael Sata to simply leave that deal alone, do nothing about it or reduce the shareholding of LAP GreenN from 75 per cent to 49 per cent and continue to work with them as business partners.

We know that the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants has not been a strong voice against corruption and other abuses of power or public office in the way the Law Association of Zambia has been. We also know that they have been very silent over the anti-corruption crusade that was initiated by Levy Mwanawasa. They don't have a track record of speaking strongly against corruption. We don't have a reason for this.

Fighting corruption and abuses or crime in general cannot be reduced to a mere profit or loss issue. There is much more to fighting crime than making a profit.

If fighting crime could only be done on the basis of a profit and loss account, we would have long closed our prisons and we would have no police because this is not a profitable undertaking in the accounting sense. Sometimes it costs the state billions of kwacha to chase one murderer, criminal. But at the end of the day, the person whose life has been lost is never brought back to life - nothing is recovered.

We have heard this type of argument before. The defenders of corruption and corrupt elements used to band these arguments around during the Levy days. They used to argue that more money was being spent chasing corrupt elements than the recoveries that were being made.

We are hearing a similar argument over LAP GreenN and Zamtel today. So if one steals and the cost of chasing or recovering what he has stolen is higher than what will be recovered, then they should be allowed to keep their loot!

A different society doesn't operate this way. A different society operates on the basis of principles, values and standards and not necessarily on the basis of an accounting profit. There is a price to be paid for holding certain values, principles or standards.

And as we have stated before, the individual does better in a community with common values, principles and standards. And the individual does worse in a society without values, standards or principles. There is a price to be paid for the establishment and maintenance of a different society. We keep people in prisons not because there is an accounting profit to be recorded by keeping them there.

Michael and his government had no other different alternative to the repossession of Zamtel from LAP GreenN. There is no way LAP GreenN should have been allowed to keep the proceeds of corruption.

It doesn't make sense for anyone to argue that LAP GreenN got into a legitimate deal with a legitimate Zambian government and this deal, good or bad, favourable or unfavourable, palatable or unpalatable, should therefore be honoured.

This is not the issue. The issue is not whether the deal was favourable or not favourable. The issue is that there was corruption in the whole transaction. And LAP GreenN was aware of what was happening, was party to the corruption, to the fraud. They knew very well what they were doing.

It was not simply the case of corruption on the Zambian government officials' part only. Elements from the Zambian government and from LAP GreenN or Libyan government connived to steal Zamtel from the Zambian people. There is no amount of lobbying that will save this corrupt transaction and make it good.

If the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants sincerely believe that LAP GreenN did nothing wrong, why are they suggesting that their shares be reduced from 75 per cent to 49 per cent in a negotiated settlement with the Zambian government? Why should they be made to lose that which they legitimately, innocently and decently acquired for value? To suggest that, in itself is an admission by the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants that they know, in their heart of hearts, that LAP GreenN was not an innocent party, an innocent victim in this deal; they were accomplices.

There is need for honesty in our analysis of events. As David Pearce, the British Deputy High Commissioner, observed last week, the repossession of Zamtel sends a good message to honest investors in the world that this is the place to invest in if one wants an honest deal because corruption is not tolerated from any quarter.

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LAP GreenN sues Zambian government

LAP GreenN sues Zambian government
By Kabanda Chulu
Thu 02 Feb. 2012, 13:00 CAT

LAP Green Networks of Libya has taken the Zambian government to court seeking judicial review to challenge the compulsory acquisition of its 75 per cent shares in Zamtel. And the government will consider offloading a certain percentage of shares in Zamtel to the Zambian public.

In an interview in Lusaka yesterday, justice minister Sebastian Zulu said the government used the land acquisition Act to acquire the 75 per cent shareholding in Zamtel in national interest.

"So LAP Green is challenging that decision to compulsorily acquire those shares and they have made an application for leave seeking judicial review because you first obtain leave. In the first instance, leave was refused when Zamtel accounts were blocked so they went to court and lost and now they have come back asking the court to reverse the decision to acquire the 75 per cent shares," Zulu said.

"It is their application for leave in order to go for trial, I don't know what has happened because I was told the matter will come up today (yesterday) under Judge Woods and now that we have 100 per cent shares, government will decide but probably we shall offload some to the Zambian public."

Zulu said the government was ready to defend its decision in courts of law.

"What do you do when someone wants to fight? You defend yourself, isn't it? And that is what we shall do," he said.

On Sunday, Attorney General Mumba Malila said compensation of terminated contracts would be considered on a case by case basis because some companies have deprived the country of its resources.

Malila, who did not name the companies, said some entities have already commenced legal proceedings against the government.

And Zamtel chairman and chief executive officer Mupanga Mwanakatwe has assured the nation that the entity would continue its network expansion programme and growing of its customer base despite government take over.

"Zamtel will continue to pursue an aggressive growth path and operations have continued to run smoothly since government's takeover," said Dr Mwanakatwe in a statement issued yesterday in Lusaka.

"Our ambitious growth and investment plans remain fully on-track. We are, for instance, currently in the initial phase of replacing our copper wire network with optical fibre network. Our 3G roll-out plan is also on course and very soon we shall be inviting some of our valued customers to participate in product testing."

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Zamtel customer base expansion plan will continue - Mwanakatwe

Zamtel customer base expansion plan will continue - Mwanakatwe
By Speedwell Mupuchi and Gift Chanda
Thu 02 Feb. 2012, 13:59 CAT

NEWTON Ng'uni says Zambia has suffered great losses in privatising some of the public companies. And Zamtel's newly appointed chairman and chief executive officer Dr Mupanga Mwanakatwe says the company's network and customer base expansion programme will continue following the government's recent takeover of the institution.

Congratulating President Michael Sata and his Cabinet's decision to reverse the sale of 75 per cent shares of Zamtel to Lap Green Network of Libya on account of corruption, Ng'uni, former Deputy Minister of Finance during Frederick Chiluba's regime, also said the simplicity with which the head of state is dealing with many of the issues afflicting Zambia must have unsettled many of his would-be critics as they do not know how to respond.

Ng'uni said reversing the Zamtel sale was one of those things that the Patriotic Front government has done correctly.

"Zambia has suffered great losses in privatising some of the public companies. For instance, Zanaco was stolen from the people of Zambia and I do not understand why the transaction has not been reversed or the buyers asked to pay the true value of the bank at the time of acquisition. The mines, Konkola and Mopani, were sold for a song at the behest of the IMF and the World Bank. At least we should have imposed a high tax on these mines to compensate Zambia," he said.

Ng'uni said former finance minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane's sentiments that reversing the sale of Zamtel would be costly and injurious to Zambia's attraction as an investment destination for foreign capital was false.

"Similarly, the declaration by the chairman of LAP Green that Zamtel belonged to the Libyan people and therefore, the Libyan people will fight to retain it is a misplaced form of ill conceived and internally doomed bravado," he said.

"The true position is that the purported sale of Zamtel by the Zambian Government and the purchase of the sale by the LAP Green were non-events as they did not occur. The procedure to buy a parastatal company in Zambia is cast in law. Anything done outside that procedure renders everything null and void, regardless of the position assumed by the President in private meetings with the buyers."

Ng'uni said the transaction consummated by LAP Green over Zamtel was stillborn from the beginning.

He said there was no expense incurred in reversing a fraudulent transaction and urged government to quickly decide whether there should be any compensation to be considered.

"Foreign investors are not thieves and all genuine investors will be happy with Zambia because they now know that one cannot cut corners to acquire public property in Zambia. They will all ensure that procedures are followed to the letter when investing in Zambia," he said.

Ng'uni said the Libyan people were not thieves who want to be going around the world fraudulently acquiring other nations' properties.

And in a statement yesterday, Dr Mwanakatwe assured the general public that Zamtel's ambitious growth and investment plans had remained on track.

He stated that the country's only total communication solutions provider would continue to pursue an aggressive growth path, adding that operations have continued to run smoothly since he assumed office on January 25.

The Zambian government recently wrestled control of Zamtel from Lap Green Networks after a commission of inquiry set up by President Sata revealed irregularities in the sale of the telecommunication company.

Over a week ago, the government announced the reversal of the sale of Zamtel's 75 per cent shareholding to LAP GreenN, saying the transaction was done corruptly.

And Dr Mwanakatwe paid tribute to Zamtel employees for their professional conduct and dedication towards the growth of the telecommunication company.

"Our ambitious growth and investment plans remain fully on track. We are, for instance, currently in the initial phase of replacing our copper wire network with a modern state-of-the art optical fibre network," Dr Mwanakatwe said. "Our 3G roll-out plan is also on course and very soon we shall be inviting some of our valued customers to participate in product testing."

He said the company is committed to running as a profitable entity dedicated to making a meaningful and lasting contribution to national development.

Dr Mwanakatwe further called on stakeholders to support Zamtel by signing up for its wide range of products and services cutting through its three product descriptors - fixed line, mobile and broadband data.

"Our biggest stakeholder is the Zambian people and if we are to show leadership as is expected of us, it is imperative that we have their support," said Dr Mwanakatwe.

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