Saturday, August 11, 2012

(NEWZIMBABWE) MDC-T: the futility of reinventing heroism

MDC-T: the futility of reinventing heroism
11/08/2012 00:00:00
by Nathaniel Manheru

TALK to those involved in the mired draft constitution and they will tell you that the endless parleys between Zanu PF and the two MDC formations over the constitution amounted to a relationship between rulers and the governed. The MDC formations took the obsequious and obeisant posture of oppositional subjects petitioning for greater concessions from those in power, Zanu PF.

They sought what really amounts to standard provisions in the bill of rights, but with the supplicatory tone of people well outside the circuit of governing, never as sharers, never as co-governors. And it was not a case of power’s mock-modesty psychosis. Nor a case of reflexes deriving from decadal stay in the winter of opposition. Rather, it was an inadvertent confession to their present status as the marginals of the obtaining power equation, a status in which they are invited to govern without being favoured to rule, indeed an invidious status in which they do not enjoy any power, and end up picking up its taint.

Today, they carry the slur of corruption, of vapid materialism which makes prospects of their ever ascending to power such a forbidding augury. Much worse, theirs is a presentiment of the role they will play after the impending harmonised poll: that of a full blown, fragmented opposition fated to rebuild from below, in fact from beneath ground zero.

For an MDC that loses the next poll shall never be the same. In that regard, the formations took the stance of interpreting the whole constitution-making process as paving the way for the resumption of a regressed role as an opposition.

The yeomen of Zimbabwe politics

Evidence of this seemingly surprising yet realistic stance abounds. The formations concentrated their petition attack on the dispersal of executive powers. Where others saw the diadem, saw the sceptre, they wielded a rack, a dispersal rack with which to spread the mound of concentrated power. A real tiller’s stance.

Of course that cannot be the stance of parties anticipating to grab power. Rather, it is the stance suitable for parties set to suffer its exercise, parties set to live under governors, their rules and whims. The cry is to be ruled justly and with compassion. They sought to use the draft to enhance the say of Parliament in the exercise of executive powers. Again, that is not quite the posture of a formation poised for power. Executive power is exercised in Munhumutapa, not in Parliament. Those seeking to fortify parliament are those who don’t hope to wield power, those who seek to influence it, to modulate it. The power of tribunes!

Also watch how the reflex of being governed is manifesting itself already, prematurely and comically. The formations are already being governed by a draft, trimming their conduct as if the draft is now the law, the supreme law.

The mating clause

Even more telling is the mating clause. The Copac Draft — and that is what it is for now — seeks to force presidential candidates to choose two running mates for a calculated outcome of sequenced seniority. It does not take super brains to know that the provenance or prompting of this clause is the 1987 Unity Accord between ZANU and PF-ZAPU. The idea of two vice-presidents came from that accord which also made it clear that one of the two vice presidents had to come from PF-Zapu, while the other would come from Zanu.

The Accord never equated this with tribe or region, much as the formations seem to think so! If it was so, the late Joseph Msika, a Shona, would never have been our vice president, would he?

This clause in the draft thus has nothing to do with post-1999 politics in which the formations are a belated player. It has everything to do with two liberation movements seeking amity through mutual accommodation. Interestingly, even Dumiso Dabengwa has no problem with this clause, much as he thinks he has a problem with the Unity Accord as presently fashioned. It is clear where the governing ethos comes from. But these are the smalls of the whole argument.
To chef, fret and pray

The real nub of the matter relates to the mischief the clause is meant to cure, namely the potentially-disruptive politics of managing the transfer of power in Zanu PF. The shorthand for that in the Zimbabwean political lingo is succession, a term whose use often makes me wonder whether the formations quite understand or grasp it.

Straightforwardly, you cannot obsess about the succession in and of a rival party without registering doubts about your own prospects, even negating your own fitness to run for office, let alone winning that power. There is an implied enveloping perpetuity of Zanu PF in that whole argument. It is that simple.

Simply, by talking about Zanu PF’s succession quandary or imbroglio, whether real of feigned, you are admitting that Zanu PF carries the fate of the Nation. Which is to belittle your own hold or say on the politics of the nation, indeed to register that your own and only significance is to chafe, fret and pray that all goes well in Zanu PF, for the sake of our Nation!
Voting in Zanu-PF primaries

And of course one way the MDC formations do register their angst over Zanu PF’s stability and futures as the only ruling class in the nation, is through what they term Zanu PF factions which they claim pit Joice Mujuru against Emmerson Mnangagwa. Often this debate which is always pursued with greater fury in the formations’ media outlets, get as far as expressions of preferences between the two supposed succession gladiators.

Give us Mujuru please, some say. Give us Mnangagwa, yet others say, backhandedly acknowledging their own absence in the power equation. We face quite a strange situation where the formations proudly take a vote in respect of imagined presidential primaries of a supposedly rival political party.
It is so gratuitous a homage to Zanu PF as a permanent ruling party as to become quite obscene. No political foreclosure has ever been so total in history.
Already ripe and ready?

Which takes me to another important psychographic factor in the whole constitution-making process. What does it say to know that the burden of combing through the COPAC draft has been left solely to Zanu PF? For the two formations, the draft was ripe and ready the day the COPAC team appended their signatures to each page of the long draft. And I notice there is even a conceptual problem, one best exemplified by MDC-T’s habitually hysterical spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora, hysterical even in his sleep and soliloquy! He thinks that COPAC is sub-penultimate node in the constitution-making process, the penultimate being the second all-stakeholders’ conference, the ultimate being the referendum whose verdict then gets formalised by Parliament.

What flawed hysteria! The man — a whole lawyer — never paused to ask himself what COPAC as an acronym stands for. For he would have known that it refers merely to a committee, a mere committee of Parliament. Its composition reflects the make-up of Parliament, Sir, never the mechanism for concluding anything for anyone or anything, Sah! That is what a committee is SAH, well before we ask whose committee it is.
When children’s games end

And when we do eventually, we realise its endeavours not just amount to a draft, but one that does not bind or commit anyone. Not even Parliament in whose name COPAC, which is why after such a long play in the school yard, parents asked COPAC to wind up play as night fell, so the games of elders would begin!

And the game has begun. Children must or are presumed to be in bed, long in bed after daytime play, with all its small bruises. And those little signatures appended on every page were part of the play. Little signatures meant to authenticate a committee’s output so its efforts would reach elders undefiled.

To try and suggest that those puny signatures bind elders is to be preposterous, very preposterous to say it politely. And to suggest the process is complete is more foolish than pretending the process is the outcome, and that preliminary players — mere curtain raisers — are the main match, the main players and the only referee and linesmen put in one. Nothing has closed, and Mwonzora whose political career both at home and nationally seems set for permanent eclipse after this, must know that. But back to the main point.

The only experienced constitution-maker

The burden of combing through the document, cleaning it up to make it a presentable governing covenant, has been left solely to Zanu PF. And like a serious party in whose hands lies the fate of the Nation, Zanu PF has gone about this duty with amazing meticulousness: every word, every clause, every section, every page, every chapter, every limb of the charter. Broad discussion of broad principles first, then getting down to how those principles come through the drafting. And you think it is over, until you realise there is a whole welter of experiences being brought to bear on the draft.

And this is where Zanu PF really gets awesome. The experiences of party drafts in the ANC days of the late 1950s, experiences of the NDP days, Zapu days, the split, Victoria Falls, ANC, the detente, the Patriotic Front. Geneva. Malta. Nairobi right up to Lancaster. Then post-independence: various amendments to Lancaster, starting with racial clauses, ending with the land issues; 1999-2000 draft; GPA and subsequent amendments; Kariba; COPAC: all these getting appreciated from a constitutional angle, their lessons getting integrated.

Then you have the whole struggle: its goals, its ethos, its bulwark. All that done, the crucial question gets asked: what did the people say during the outreach? Is what they said in accord with what is contained in the draft?
The party that will not be pushed

Seen from such a rich angle, and given Zanu PF’s role and status in the national scheme of things, it is not difficult to understand why it has taken four day-and-night long sessions, even then without concluding matters. And get it from me, Zanu PF shall not be pushed by whomsoever. Even the good Lord will wait for it. This is about the destiny of a nation, the destiny of a people, a revolution and, hey, time dies! Let everyone get that, friend or foe.

The MDC formations have no knowledge of constitution-making or negotiations. Only Zanu PF does wield such knowledge, itself quite distinct from reading law in school, or studying constitution-making processes in other climes. The process in question is much more fundamental than that and, hey guys, you better wait.
Sample of un-pruned roughness

I will just sample the kind of un-pruned roughness Zanu PF is having to take care of. The section to do with freedom of expression, the Press, the media, or broadcasting, or public broadcasting, or public media. It is that untidy. You cannot quite tell what is being addressed in the draft. Or what is being differentiated.

Is the Press the media or vice versa? Or are these sub-sectors of an industry? When are the terms deployed generically, when to distinguish categories and sub-categories? Are the ethical demands on the media relaxed or tightened on grounds of ownership? Is fairness, balance and equal access issues solely set for the public media, with the rest of the media being allowed to ride roughshod over them as is being implied by the COPAC Draft? Are they a standard to all media? And what is meant by “right of establishment” for the broadcast media? And why for the broadcast media only? A right only qualified by a licensing process provided the process itself does not involve “government, a political party, or commercial interest”!

When God is the licensing authority

So who licenses the use of the finite spectrum, the use of frequencies, themselves a property of national governments? Are they NGOs? Is it God the Almighty? Or both? Not even broadcasters qualify to license themselves given that they become commercial entities after claiming their “right of establishment”!

And so who represents Zimbabwe at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) when the supreme national law makes it unconstitutional for governments, parties and commercial interests to be licensing authorities? NGOs I suppose! Or the Almighty who happens to be ubiquitous? That is as absurd as the draft we are being stampeded into signing often becomes. And Mwonzora thinks all that must be let to sail, sail smoothly to home? Worse than idiocy if you ask me.
A case for pirate radio stations

But that is what happens when a made-in-the-West opposition is seeking to regularise its beyond-the-law operations. The idea behind such a strange section was to give automatic residency and life-at-law status to all those odious pirate stations set up by and in the West, all to buoy MDC formations’ propaganda. This followed a recognition by the formations that national institutions involved in licensing would never be overrun in the name of the GPA or freedom of the media.

And you ask Mwonzora where in this good world — or more narrowly — in his West is broadcasting granted “right of establishment”, and where licensing is done by NGOs and God. Or is this the view of the American Federal Communication Commission, to pick from MDC-T’s foremost customer? Or Australian Broadcasting Authority, to cite from a British dominion which recognises his master Tsvangirai as “a hero of our time”? Our time my foot!

The Bull Eland that won’t roar

Young Luke Tamborinyoka! The Bull Eland! Mhukahuru! Hahahaha! My totem too. Timbokubataibatai Mhofu. Pamusoroi. Last weekend, the MDC-T had a well publicised do at the graveside of Musharukwa, the late Ndabangi Sithole. Not quite a surprising turn given that party’s dimming prospects in Matabeleland. They need to recover and make up elsewhere. And with the way Zanu PF is regaining and consolidating, chimbama wagarira nhanzva pamutserendende. And only protected by mere wafer between his sliding, screeching buttocks and the rough slope!

The Chipinge of real heroes

But before I get to my point, let me make one point abundantly clear. Chipinge, like most districts in Manicaland, played a key role in the liberation of this country. Like border districts of Centenary, Muzarabani, Guruve, Mutoko, Mudzi, Plumtree, Binga and many others, Chipinge gave many of its sons to the struggle, sacrificed them in fact.

A small but telling linguistic feature of the struggle is that Ndau, Manyika and Korekore more or less became the official dialects of the struggle. The aura of the guerrilla was not just his gun and his mysterious tactics — mabhindauko as we called them. It was also this way of speaking a brand of Shona so heavily laced with Ndau or Manyika intonation. This linguistic prominence derived from the numerical predominance of fighters from many districts of Manicaland.

Child abuse at Zona

I bear personal testimony to that, having been a student at Mount Selinda during the struggle. And I also know the massive abuse the broad masses of Chipinge suffered at the hands of the regime. Apart from the Rhodesian soldiers, the Selous Scouts, the DAs, the Auxiliaries and other regime/quisling formations, the people from that part of the world had to put up with untold indignities from the paramilitary Guard Force which secured vast tea and coffee estates for multinationals like Aberfoyle which they served as plantation workers.

One such was Zona, a tea estate so precariously perched on the slopes of the border with Mozambique, sited right in the line of fire of the big guns of Espungabeira which targeted the then belligerent Rhodesia. It thrived on child labour. It was secured by brute force of this Guard Force. What is worse, guerrillas would often plant anti-personnel mines which destroyed life and limb of these workers who no doubt supported the liberation struggle but were often forced by sheer need and poverty to work against their convictions. And we used to see tea pickers with mangled limbs being ferried to Chipinge hospital for very rough treatment which only consolidated their permanent disabilities.

Chako which Luke Tamborinyoka, the Prime Minister’s spokesperson, only so rhapsodically discovered last week, was already there then in the bloody seventies, had been there for a long time as a colonial outpost. You could only reach Chako and Mt Selinda through Siduna, the bus that plied that route at the height of the war. I know of whole villages that relocated to Mozambique to escape reprisals from white Rhodesia.

Let it be recorded here and now that Chipinge is a district of war heroes, among the foremost war districts in the country in fact. It does not have to be exiled into narrow Ndonga politics. It does not have to claim its place in national politics through one Ndabaningi Sithole, with his baneful legacy of collaboration, sellout politics. He was an aberration, a departure that does not detract from the enormous contributions of the people of Chipinge. A handsome record, a proud one at that.

The one comrade we lost

Throughout my stay at Chirinda, as Mount Selinda Institute was popularly called, the late Ndabaningi Sithole never visited the area. He could not have. And the war dragged on, gaining vengeful fury with each day that passed. In 1979 we lost a well known comrade who fell in battle close to Chako, but within the margins of Chirinda forest. A victim of an ambush.

What brought much anguish to all of us at Chirinda was not just that this comrade was personally known to most students at the institute. A few days before his fall, he had paid the school a visit, alongside a large group of other well armed guerrillas.

He had a sister in the school, something which deepened our already deep empathy. We cried disconsolately when the news was broken. Obviously all this is unknown to Luke who seeks to introduce Chirinda to us with such unabashed presumption.

Sithole’s Uganda connection

I said Sithole never visited Chirinda, his home area, throughout my durance at the school. As a student who was coming from elsewhere, I was struck by the fact that not once throughout my stay at the school was his name mentioned, let alone celebrated. He did not exist in the student psyche. Not at all. He did not have any visible support in his home area which threw its full weight behind the armed struggle.

And coming as I did closer to Manyene in Chikomba, but residing on the Buhera side of Chikomba district, I had heard of the outstanding atrocities of Sithole’s private army which had been deployed in that unfortunate part of the district. Its atrocities were appalling, to say the least.

How could it be otherwise? They had trained in Uganda, trained by Idi Amin’s men. Somehow Amin thought Sithole was still a freedom fighter and the leader of Zanu. And because of that, he thought he was helping with the freedom of Rhodesia. That way Ian Smith was able to build a private army for Sithole on Ugandan soil. And at one OAU Summit, the simple Amin — a waiter by profession — had boastfully announced to the Zanu team led by one Robert Mugabe — now President of a free Zimbabwe — that he was training a force of more than a thousand for the liberation of Rhodesia.

The force, he added, would soon complete training and fly straight into Salisbury to fight Rhodesians for a free Zimbabwe, he concluded boastfully. It was vital intelligence given unwittingly to Zanla by Amin, hoping for accolades. Which he got by the way!

The day Sithole’s men were wiped

Curiously, this private force of Sithole never deployed in Chipinge. It was only deployed in Manyene and in Gokwe where it killed wantonly. Much worse, it was so undisciplined that the Rhodesians had to send in an airborne unit to put it down summarily. The whole force was wiped out in 1979, with the bodies of the Ugandan trained soldiers getting tucked into the broader statistics of “terrorists” killed by the “combined operations”.

Very few Zimbabweans know this gory detail of how white Rhodesia often turned its guns on its own surrogate armies. And that Sithole never sanctioned his army’s deployment into his home area clearly showed he knew about its atrocities. But where was Sithole throughout 1979 when we never saw him at Chirinda? I would never get an answer then. Or even soon after Independence. It was only in 1987 that I finally got the answer.

I will be generous enough to share it with Luke Tamborenyoka, my young brother. Here we go Luke, please sit back and relax.

Where was Ndabaningi?

“7th February 1979: Sithole and I went to Morocco to meet King Hassan — to break entirely new ground between an Arab and an African leader. First, Marrakech, an oasis of palm trees, and “naartjies” (tangerines) interspersed with Zimbabwe Creeper (just as the creeper grows in Zimbabwe Ruins), against the backdrop of the Atlas Mountains — snow in Africa. But sun in January, with sparkling cold air. We stayed in the Mamounia Hotel where Winston Churchill often went to relax and paint, a well chosen venue.

The essential part of our visit was well rehearsed, resembling a scene out of the Arabian nights: the long walk through the palace courtyard with the American General Dick Walters (former Deputy Director, CIA, who resigned at the time of Watergate), saying this was done to ensure that supplicants were sufficiently awed and how he had known the king since he was a boy of 13, and how he considered him the best informed man in the world (this may seem exaggerated, but I gained a similar impression when the king first discussed Rhodesia, showing a total grasp of all related subjects).

We waited at the far end of the magnificent room under a dome which opened to the skies and was then closed, leaving a tiny bird fluttering in the vastness between scores of electric light bulbs in a fantastic Moorish setting. The King walked in alone, in Western dress, and Dlimi (within days of our visit promoted from “Colonel Major” to General in order to command the war against the Polisario) almost devoured his hand in a frenzied display of loyalty. We sat silent and remote in the vastness until the King led Sithole by the hand, unusually diffident but apparently calm and collected.

When a great stone got lifted

“Came the time when the king asked what we wanted. Sithole strangely backward, so I said: ‘Your Majesty, Sithole needs money — and now — to enable him to fight an election.’ The King said, ‘How much?’ Sithole, still diffident, saying ‘Five Hundred Thousand.’ The King looked surprised — he may have thought he was hearing ‘five hundred million’. Intruding again, I said: ‘The Minister is too modest in his request. He needs more than half a million.’ And the King, ending the conversation, said to Dlimi, ‘See that they get a million by Monday...’ On the way out, Sithole was overcome. With tears in his eyes he kept saying, ‘A great stone has been lifted from my heart.’

CIA, Morocco, combined Millionaire Makers

“Subsequently, in the hotel, he said to me: ‘I have read of Kingmakers in history, but have never had the good fortune to meet one. Now I have met someone even better — a ‘Millionaire Maker!’ He sought my advice, showing a depth of reasoning which impressed; but the old devilry was not far away. Assuming he had got me on-side with flattery, he was soon suggesting various forms of intimidation, not the intimidation that the police would need to act upon, but cunningly contrived, that he must exercise if he is to win the forthcoming elections...

“We returned to Le Bourget in driving sleet; and as my colleague Max and I climbed down the gangway carrying the cheap suitcases our friends had acquired in a hurry to pack the million dollars, the handles parted from the cases. One fell and burst on the Tarmac, half exposing its contents which started to blow away in the howling wind! Then we flew back to Salisbury with ‘my first million’ in a much stronger suitcase weighing well over one hundred pounds which I used as foot-rest — not trusting Ndabaningi with the money until we reached home.”

Sithole through the eyes of Ken Flower

For the benefit of the little read, sparse reading Luke, the “I” in the excerpt is Ken Flower, the British-born white Rhodesian who formed CIO just before UDI in order to serve and then save white Rhodesia. The year was 1979 and the local politician seeking financial support from King Hassan of Morocco was Ndabaningi Sithole.

Ndaba was building a war chest for elections against the Patriotic Front, and was trying to cajole Ken Flower into a covert terror campaign on behalf of Zanu-Ndonga. The Dick Walters in the narrative was CIA deputy Director, personifying CIA intrusion into our decolonisation politics, all on the side of quislings led by Muzorewa and Sithole.

The source book is “Serving Secretly: An Intelligence Chief on Record. Rhodesia into Zimbabwe, 1964—1981”.

I shall not talk about Ndaba’s detention days when he was broken by the Rhodesians into renouncing the struggle “in word, thought and deed”. That is a story for those who were in Hwahwa and other such places. I shall not talk about how a beautiful girl who posed as his visitor in prison was in fact an informer of the regime, an informer the naive Sithole believed in so much. That is for our detainees. Nor will I talk about 1975 at Mboroma in Zambia when the Zambian regiment shot and killed 11 Zanla comrades, a bloody act which Sithole had no time for as he chose to rush to America to see his daughter “ainzwa musoro”. That became the last straw which broke the camel’s back, leading to his rejection by comrades at Mgagao in Tanzania. Again a story for the surviving comrades at Mgagao.

The dead doth liveth

What I will talk about for the benefit of people like Luke is the emerging connection — posthumous connection — between the late Sithole and the living Tsvangirai, Luke’s ahistorical boss. Twice now Tsvangirai has been feted in Morocco, thanks to late King Hassan’s son who is now sitting on the throne.

The King uses his past Foreign Minister’s son to disguise his meddlesome hand in Zimbabwean politics.

The minister’s son created a leadership NGO called Amadeus, through which Tsvangirai, like a born-again Sithole, continues to receive funding from the Moroccan Monarch. But not the King’s money. As in the case of Sithole, CIA money routed through Morocco. And the Rhodesians continue to circulate around Tsvangirai, much like in the Ken Flower days, often falling out with him over use of their money by means of which Tsvangirai must wrestle power. So when Luke announced that Tsvangirai had been declared a successor to Musharukwa, I just said “Hallelujah! The dead doth liveth!”

Nathaniel Manheru is a columnist for the Saturday Herald. E-mail him:

Labels: ,


(SUNDAY MAIL ZW) Councillors get kickbacks from chemical suppliers’

Councillors get kickbacks from chemical suppliers’
Sunday, 05 August 2012 12:36
Municipal reporter

Some Harare city councillors have been accused of awarding tenders for the supply of water treatment chemicals to shady and incompetent companies that offer them kickbacks.

The allegations surfaced at a stormy full council meeting held at Town House on Friday. The meeting came in the wake of reports that one of the companies contracted to provide water treatment chemicals to the city delivered poisonous sodium cyanide, instead of aluminium sulphate solution, to Harare’s Morton Jaffray Waterworks.
Only the swift reaction of an alert council worker saved the day. Newly appointed Harare special interest councillor Dr Joseph Kanyekanye queried why the city was importing water treatment chemicals when there are local companies that offer the same products at much cheaper prices.

“There is no need for the importation of chemicals at such a high cost,” he said.

“There are local companies such as Zimphos that also produce the aluminium sulphate at much cheaper rates. From the survey that I did it I have realised that it is cheaper for us to buy chemicals from Zimphos than from all the 37 companies that council has been dealing with.

“It will be a shame if we allow this to go on. It’s also worth mentioning that some of the companies that are ripping council off are linked to politicians or are owned by some former council employees.”

But in a contribution that shocked the house, Warren Park Councillor Julius Musevenzi urged the city fathers to stick with the controversial importation of water treatment chemicals.

“We have to note that the importation of chemicals is not a shame like what Dr Kanyekanye said. It is unfortunate that our colleague joined us very late so he might not be well versed with the issues of procuring chemicals.

“Harare needs clean water but we have dealt many times with Zimphos but they failed to deliver the full supply of the goods. Last year the city ordered 12 000 metric tonnes of granules but they failed to deliver the whole supply, giving us only 5 000 tonnes which was not enough at the time,” said Cllr Musevenzi.

Cllr Musevenzi said although the city would prefer to procure water chemicals from the local companies at a lower price, most of the companies did not have the capacity to meet the demand.

“Most of the companies do not have the capacity to meet the supply that we want. The local companies are not producing to full capacity, that is why we have to prioritise other companies, not fall in crisis of the water chemicals,” he said.

However, in a statement last week Chemplex Corporation, Zimphos’ parent company, dispelled the notion that the company has not capacity to meet Harare water treatment chemical needs.

“The Zimphos alum manufacturing plant in Harare was built specifically for the City of Harare waterworks and has the capacity to produce over 60 000 tonnes per year of liquid aluminium sulphate plus another 12 000 tonnes per year of solid granular aluminium sulphate for other municipalities. This capacity is adequate to meet the City’s full requirements…

“It is unfortunate for the city and the country in general when Harare City Council compromises water treatment by not exploiting readily available capacity at Zimphos which offers competitively priced quality products in preference to expensive imports …,” reads part of the statement.

Commenting on the matter, Harare Residents’ Trust director Mr Precious Shumba noted that councillors do not have the technical expertise needed to decide on the procurement of water treatment chemicals.

“Information we gathered revealed that councillors are not the competent people to procure chemicals and approve tenders. Most of them do not have knowledge of what they will be doing.

“Most tenders in council are approved by councillors in a bid to get kickbacks which, in turn, compromises service delivery,” he said.

Labels: , , ,


(SUNDAY MAIL ZW) Copac management committee exposed

Copac management committee exposed
Sunday, 05 August 2012 13:01
Sunday Mail Reporter

Attempts by Copac’s management committee to use the draft constitution to extend the shelf life of the inclusive Government beyond its mandatory expiry have been exposed.

It has become customary for the President to dissolve Cabinet before an election, but the Copac draft says the Prime Minister and his deputies will remain in office until the next President assumes office.

On March 27 2008, President Mugabe, as he has always done, dissolved Cabinet before the harmonised elections. However, Schedule 6(15) of the draft constitution crafted by Copac’s management committee whose key members are also GPA negotiators has a controversial provision that says:

“. . . notwithstanding any provision of the former Constitution (meaning the current Constitution), the following offices which existed on publication day in terms of Schedule 8 to the former Constitution (which is an annexure to Amendment 19), namely, the President and Vice President; Prime Minister and Deputy Prime; Minister and Minister and Deputy Minister, continue in existence until the effective date when the first President assumes office under this (draft) Constitution and the persons who held those offices remain in them accordingly”.

Some analysts told The Sunday Mail that this clause, which is not in the last two Copac drafts, was an example of gross abuse of office by individual members of Copac’s management committee to advance and entrench their political agendas and personal interests under the guise of “savings and transitional provisions.”

They said this was in blatant violation of established legal practice and against the views of the people gathered during the Copac outreach programme.
According to the analysts, the controversial clause not only seeks to use the backdoor to extend the life of the inclusive Government for political

purposes, but also seeks to entrench the personal interests of the individual members of the management committee who are Cabinet ministers and who drafted the clause to ensure that “the persons who held those (ministerial) offices remain in them” for political and personal gain until the next President is sworn in.

The Sunday Mail established that President Mugabe has in fact previously dissolved Cabinet before elections. For example, before the last election he dissolved it on March 27, 2008 ahead of the first harmonised elections and this was reported the next day by The Herald in a front page story headlined, “Cabinet dissolved ahead of historic polls”.

The report quoted President Mugabe saying that “Hurumende yedu, ndanga ndichivaudza nhasi kuti pedu papera nhasi uno. Tatoita meeting ka kuseni kuno, kuti tizvidissolve, sezvo tavakuenda kuelection. Maelection anotipa nhengo dzemaMP. MumaMP imomo ndimo matichazosarudza vatichazoti ava vangave maministers”.

In an interview yesterday given this fact, prominent Harare lawyer Mr Terrence Hussein said the clause to extend the lifespan of the Prime Minister and his deputies until the next President is sworn in would create a crisis should the draft constitution be adopted. He said as happened before, the President should dissolve Cabinet before the next election.

“A serious legal crisis would ensue, especially if we have inconclusive elections. How long will executive continue holding their portfolios and who will they report to? It means we will have a de-facto executive that will have no legally binding legs to stand in the office.

“We will have a situation where people will hold on to positions they do not deserve”.

Mr Hussein said the clause reveals the self-serving interests of some of the parties in the inclusive Government.
“Some political parties might be bent on pursuing self-interests. We had a system that has been working all this time so I do not see the reasons why we should have any changes”.

Asked to unpack this controversy, a senior constitutional lawyer with one of the country’s leading law firms with more than 25 years of legal practice who did not want to be identified for professional reasons last Friday said: “While it is indeed true that there should not be a vacuum in government business between the dissolution of Parliament ahead of a general election, that truth should be understood in context based on the constitutional fact that there are two sides of government: One permanent, based on appointed officials in the public service headed by permanent secretaries and their equivalents including independent constitutional bodies and the other temporary based on elected officials who deal with policy.”

Commenting on the controversy in The Herald last Tuesday, Professor Lovemore Madhuku of the University of Zimbabwe’s Faculty of Law said it was clear that the contentious provision “had been created to extend the stay in government of certain people” adding that “They (the management committee) obviously want to make sure MDC people remain in place until the last date”.

Political analyst and Tsholotsho North legislator Professor Jonathan Moyo described the controversial clause as “a clear and unprecedented politicisation and personalisation of constitutional issues by Copac’s management committee whose political motive and purpose are baffling”.
But lawyer Mr Jonathan Samukange of Venturas and Samukange law firm said that there was nothing necessarily wrong with members of the executive remaining in office because it avoids a vacuum in governance before, during and after the elections and emphasised that “there was need to remove a vacuum in governance before and after the elections”.

Politicians across the political divide who spoke to The Sunday Mail on condition of anonymity during the week supported this view, with one claiming “this has been the practice all along, which is why Cabinet is not dissolved before elections”. Constitutional experts said in terms of the Constitution it is very clear that the President is never dissolved and remains in office until the next President is sworn in so there can be no question or debate or vacuum arising from that fact.

“Even Article XX of the GPA recognises that the current President was not created by the GPA but continued in office as President having been elected to office before the GPA in terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” said an expert..
“All the other elected officials including creations of the GPA who are called Members of Parliament out of whom Cabinet ministers are chosen should be dissolved and they would cease to be MPs after Parliament is dissolved in terms of Section 58 of the Constitution.

“Again that is very clear. What this effectively means is that on the one hand the President governs with both appointed officials in the public service and elected officials including the Cabinet in between elections which normally is for a period of five years and on the hand he governs only with appointed officials in the public service together with constitutional bodies after the dissolution of Parliament pending an election which must include the dissolution of Cabinet. Neither scenario creates a vacuum.”

Labels: , ,


Russia, China blast UN resolution on Syria

Russia, China blast UN resolution on Syria
Sunday, 05 August 2012 12:19

Russia has criticised a UN General Assembly resolution on Syria, calling it “blatant” support for rebel groups battling President Bashar al-Assad. Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s UN ambassador, said on Friday that the main backers of the resolution, overwhelmingly passed by the UN assembly, were providing “mercenaries and arms” to the Syrian opposition.

He said the resolution, which condemned Assad’s government and the UN Security Council’s failure to act on the Syrian crisis, would not halt the civil war.
“Behind the facade of humanitarian rhetoric, the resolution hides a blatant support for the armed opposition,” Churkin told the assembly.

Without naming them, he said the ‘most active” backers of the resolution “are actively supporting and financing” the opposition and “giving them mercenaries and arms”. Saudi Arabia drew up the resolution with strong support from other Arab and western nations.

Russia and China have three times vetoed UN Security Council resolutions which could have led to sanctions against Syria, and Churkin also criticised the attack on the Security Council’s failure to act in Friday's resolution.

He said the resolution “contradicts” efforts to implement the peace plan of Kofi Annan, who resigned on Thursday as the UN-Arab League envoy on Syria. “It undermines the chances for launching a Syrian process for a political settlement,” the Russian ambassador added.

China also voted against the General Assembly resolution. Wang Min, the country’s deputy ambassador, said “a position of pressure on only one party will not help resolve the Syrian issue.

“On the contrary it will derail the political settlement of the crisis, cause further escalation of the turmoil and let the crisis spill over to other countries in the region,” Wang told the assembly, reaffirming China’s condemnation of any military intervention in the crisis.

China also hit back at criticism of its stance over the crisis in Syria, repeating Beijing’s position that outside interference will not help.

Speaking at a news conference in Beijing, Wang Kejian, deputy head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s West Asian and North African Affairs

Department, said China continued to support efforts at a peaceful, political solution for Syria.

“We should not easily close the window to a political solution let alone start military intervention,” Wang said.

“China understands the desire of Arab countries and the Arab League for a swift resolution of the Syrian crisis.

“We have on numerous occasions stressed to various parties that the legitimate demands and aspirations of the Syrian people for change and for safeguarding their interests deserve respect,” Wang said. — Aljazeera.

Labels: , , ,


(SUNDAY MAIL ZW, ALJAZEERA) Sudan, South Sudan strike oil deal

Sudan, South Sudan strike oil deal
Sunday, 05 August 2012 12:19

Sudan and South Sudan have reached an agreement on how to share the oil riches controlled by Khartoum before the country’s partition, African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki has said.

“The parties have agreed on all of the financial arrangements regarding oil, so that’s done,” Mbeki told reporters yesterday, without offering details. Mbeki said the production and export of oil would resume, but did not confirm when.

“The oil will be flowing,” he said, leaving an AU Peace and Security Council meeting in the Ethiopian capital.

“What will remain, given that there is an agreement, is to then discuss the next steps as to when the oil companies should be asked to prepare for resumption of production and export,” Mbeki added.

He said that the two sides had until September 22 to resolve the key security issue and other conflicts.

The rivals made headway in the past few days with both sides making concessions to end the oil dispute, which saw Juba shut down its production in January after Sudan took millions of barrels for what it said was unpaid fees.

“The agreement does not fulfil the ambitions of both sides,” spokesman for the Sudanese delegation Mutrif Siddig told the Sudanese state news agency. “Its implementation will start after understandings on security issues.”

While the dispute over the finances of an oil deal appears to have been resolved, border disputes remain between the two neighbours.

Nico Plooijer, from the European coalition on oil in Sudan group, have said: “It is too early to celebrate, especially because the deal itself has not been signed. It is part of a larger discussion, and the delegation from Sudan has said if we don’t have an agreement on security then we will not sign.

“The discussions is not just about the oil, it is also about citizenship, border demarcations amongst other topics.”

Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president, will meet his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir, next month to find an agreement on the flashpoint region of Abyei, said Mbeki.

“There’s an agreement between the parties that the matter of the final status of Abyei will be addressed at the next summit meeting of the presidents,”he said.
The two nations came to the brink of a full war in April after border fighting escalated, the worst violence since South Sudan became independent in July last year under a 2005 agreement that ended decades of civil war with Khartoum. — Aljazeera.

Labels: , ,


(HERALD ZW) Tsvangirai ambushes Zanu-PF

Tsvangirai ambushes Zanu-PF
Saturday, 11 August 2012 00:00
Herald Reporter

MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai has reportedly ambushed Zanu-PF by taking a copy of the draft Constitution to regional leaders and presented it as the agreed document by all parties in the inclusive Government.

Sources close to the matter said the MDC-T leader presented the document to incoming Sadc chairman and Mozambique leader, president Armando Guebuza during his recent visit to that country this week.

He also took the document to Tanzania, where he advised the incoming Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation chairperson president Jakaya Kikwete on the so-called final position.

Mr Tsvangirai’s deputy, Ms Tokhozani Kuphe, also reportedly presented the draft constitution to Zambian officials.

Said the source: “Before even Zanu-PF finished auditing the draft Constitution, Mr Tsvangirai was already telling regional leaders that all the parties are agreed on the matter. He wants to manipulate Sadc leaders ahead of the Sadc Summit in Mozambique. He is ambushing Zanu-PF ahead of the summit.”

Recently the MDC-T leader embarked on what his party called a diplomatic offensive where he met Sadc leaders ahead of the summit.

Zanu-PF spokesperson, Cde Rugare Gumbo, yesterday said the MDC-T was displaying the highest levels of political immaturity. He said Mr Tsvangirai’s actions showed that he does not take national politics seriously.

“His actions show political immaturity that we have always been talking about . . . he over simplifies issues . . . this is unbelievable. They do not understand the dynamics of politics. They think Sadc is just going to accept their position. They think Sadc leaders are gullible,” he said.

Also see

* MDC: Futility of reinventing heroism
* Analysts scoff at PM’s ‘diplomatic offensive’
* Zanu Ndonga blasts Tsvangirai
* Sithole’s son attacks MDC-T over memorial service
* Morgan a master of reverse politics

Cde Gumbo said there was no need for the MDC-T to take the document to Sadc leaders because Zanu-PF did not agree with so many issues contained in the draft.

“Its premature to take the document to Sadc because there are so many defective issues in that document that Zanu-PF does not agree with. The principles have to agree . . . the problem is the MDC-T wants things to be done its way,” he said.

MDC deputy spokesperson, Mr Kurauone Chihwayi, said it was wrong for the MDC-T leader to take the draft constitution to Sadc leaders before it was taken to the people.

“We believe Sadc has to be brought in when there is a deadlock . . . no deadlock has been declared and we do not understand why the MDC-T has decided to do that.

“The document has to be taken to the people first — the All Stakeholders Conference, not Sadc. It’s the people here who are going to say YES or NO,” he said.

However, Mr Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Mr Luke Tamborinyoka, dismissed reports that his party took the draft constitution to Sadc leaders.

“Why would we take the document to Sadc leaders when we are fully aware that it is still under discussion. It is Zanu-PF that does not have a position. This constitution is for Zimbabweans not for foreigners,” he said.

Asked what was the agenda of his leader’s visit to Sadc countries, Mr Tamborinyoka said: “We went to speak about our position to Sadc leaders. It was a private visit and we cannot tell you.”

Labels: , , , , , ,


(HERALD ZW) Tsvangirai ambushes Zanu-PF

Tsvangirai ambushes Zanu-PF
Saturday, 11 August 2012 00:00
Herald Reporter

MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai has reportedly ambushed Zanu-PF by taking a copy of the draft Constitution to regional leaders and presented it as the agreed document by all parties in the inclusive Government.

Sources close to the matter said the MDC-T leader presented the document to incoming Sadc chairman and Mozambique leader, president Armando Guebuza during his recent visit to that country this week.

He also took the document to Tanzania, where he advised the incoming Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation chairperson president Jakaya Kikwete on the so-called final position.

Mr Tsvangirai’s deputy, Ms Tokhozani Kuphe, also reportedly presented the draft constitution to Zambian officials.

Said the source: “Before even Zanu-PF finished auditing the draft Constitution, Mr Tsvangirai was already telling regional leaders that all the parties are agreed on the matter. He wants to manipulate Sadc leaders ahead of the Sadc Summit in Mozambique. He is ambushing Zanu-PF ahead of the summit.”

Recently the MDC-T leader embarked on what his party called a diplomatic offensive where he met Sadc leaders ahead of the summit.

Zanu-PF spokesperson, Cde Rugare Gumbo, yesterday said the MDC-T was displaying the highest levels of political immaturity. He said Mr Tsvangirai’s actions showed that he does not take national politics seriously.
“His actions show political immaturity that we have always been talking about . . . he over simplifies issues . . . this is unbelievable. They do not understand the dynamics of politics. They think Sadc is just going to accept their position. They think Sadc leaders are gullible,” he said.

Also see

* MDC: Futility of reinventing heroism

* Analysts scoff at PM’s ‘diplomatic offensive’

* Zanu Ndonga blasts Tsvangirai

* Sithole’s son attacks MDC-T over memorial service

* Morgan a master of reverse politics

Cde Gumbo said there was no need for the MDC-T to take the document to Sadc leaders because Zanu-PF did not agree with so many issues contained in the draft.

“Its premature to take the document to Sadc because there are so many defective issues in that document that Zanu-PF does not agree with. The principles have to agree . . . the problem is the MDC-T wants things to be done its way,” he said.
MDC deputy spokesperson, Mr Kurauone Chihwayi, said it was wrong for the MDC-T leader to take the draft constitution to Sadc leaders before it was taken to the people.

“We believe Sadc has to be brought in when there is a deadlock . . . no deadlock has been declared and we do not understand why the MDC-T has decided to do that.

“The document has to be taken to the people first — the All Stakeholders Conference, not Sadc. It’s the people here who are going to say YES or NO,” he said.
However, Mr Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Mr Luke Tamborinyoka, dismissed reports that his party took the draft constitution to Sadc leaders.

“Why would we take the document to Sadc leaders when we are fully aware that it is still under discussion. It is Zanu-PF that does not have a position. This constitution is for Zimbabweans not for foreigners,” he said.

Asked what was the agenda of his leader’s visit to Sadc countries, Mr Tamborinyoka said: “We went to speak about our position to Sadc leaders. It was a private visit and we cannot tell you.”

Labels: , , , , ,


(HERALD ZW) Indigenisation of conservancies starts

Indigenisation of conservancies starts
Friday, 10 August 2012 00:00
Herald Reporters

Government yesterday started indigenising conservancies by issuing hunting permits to 25 black farmers allocated lots at the wildlife-rich Save Valley Conservancy in the Lowveld. The issuing of the hunting permits to black farmers follows an almost eight-year stalemate between Government and white conservancy operators.

The operators were refusing to co-exist with the new farmers under the Government’s wildlife-based land reform policy. Government in 2004 issued 25-year leases to black farmers to actively participate in the lucrative wildlife sector.

National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority director general Mr Vitalis Chadenga issued the hunting permits to the black farmers at Benjamin Burombo Government Complex in Masvingo and said more permits would be issued next week.

Mr Chadenga said the black farmers who were issued with hunting permits were allocated 25-year land leases in conservancies throughout Masvingo province.

“When the land reform programme started, the Government did not focus much on the wildlife sector because it is not only sensitive, but also requires orderly transfer,” he said.

“But the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, with the concurrence of Environment and Natural Resources Management Minister Francis Nhema has, after due consideration of all representations made to it by all stakeholders in the Wild Life-Based Land Reform exercise made the decision to grant with immediate effect annual hunting permits and quotas to beneficiaries who are in possession of 25 year leases.”

Mr Chadenga told the new black farmers that his organisation expected orderly hunting to take place in the conservancies.

“The authority (National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority) is convinced that orderly hunting will ensue henceforth,” he said.

“And that the right holders will assist the authority with accountability so as to ensure sustainable hunting, security to tourists and to complement the authority’s robust conservation efforts.”

Mr Chadenga said measures were underway to bring to book those in the wildlife sector hunting without permits.

He expressed concern over an upsurge in poaching activities, especially the black rhino in areas where old and new stakeholders were in conflict over hunting rights.

Mr Chadenga said the granting of hunting permits to black farmers was expected to engender orderliness in the wildlife hunting sector.

Speaking at the same function, Masvingo governor and resident minister Titus Maluleke said the province had waited for too long for black farmers to get hunting permits.

He said the development was a landmark and would further consolidate the land reform and indigenisation programme.

Among the black farmers who received hunting permits in an area straddling nearly 200 000 hectares at Save Valley Conservancy was Governor Maluleke, former Gutu South legislator Cde Shuvai Mahofa, Higher and Tertiary Education Minister and Masvingo North legislator Dr Stan Mudenge.

Labels: ,


(HERALD ZW) ZDF loyal to civilian authority: Chiwenga

ZDF loyal to civilian authority: Chiwenga
Saturday, 11 August 2012 00:00
Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter

ZIMBABWE Defence Forces are loyal to civilian authority and their discipline has never been questionable, ZDF Commander General Constantine Chiwenga has said.
He said experience gained during the days of the liberation struggle had taught them the importance of subordination to civilian political authority, contrary to criticism by some members of the inclusive Government that the forces were biased towards Zanu-PF. He was speaking in an interview ahead of the Defence Forces Day commemorations on Tuesday.

Gen Chiwenga said ZDF had remained loyal to the country and authority, despite challenges brought by illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.

“The principle of military subordination to civilian authority, which is the cornerstone of professionalism was borne out of the armed struggle and not these theories, which are being talked about that are very nonsensical.

“That principle to civilian authority was borne out of the armed struggle and that is how this country was liberated, which then entails self dedication to serve the people, which was also an attribute gained during the liberation struggle.

“The initiatives in the face of adversity as well as resilience and commitment to duty were also hallmarks of liberation fighters and these are secrets, which have now been passed on to this generation of fighters and will continue to be passed on to generations to come,” he said.

Gen Chiwenga said the ZDF owed its success to liberation war commanders such as Cde Josiah Tongogara, Alfred Nikita Mangena, General Solomon Mujuru, former ZDF commander General Vitalis Zvinavashe and Air Chief Marshall (Josiah) Tungamirai, among others.
Gen Chiwenga slammed accusations that the ZDF was active in Zanu-PF politics, saying people who were saying that wanted them to forget their history.

“That is absolutely nonsense. Can someone really say one must cut off his history and throw it away?
“People have been to the struggle, be it in Zipra or Zanla and that is a fact and throughout the world no other force has been as loyal as ZDF. If we were partisan, this country would have gone to the dogs.
“But we also have to safeguard our sovereignty, national integrity. For them to say that, there is freedom of speech. It also has to be known that everyone has that right to freedom of speech,” Gen Chiwenga said.

He said the ZDF had a proven track record that has seen them participate in various peacekeeping missions around the world and said as a force they continued to strive to improve standards as seen by the construction of the National Defence College.
He said Zimbabwe continued to train officers from other countries in the region, a testimony of their professionalism.

He defended the ZDF decision to engage in business activities, saying this was common practice the world over.
“The development of a nation is jointly done by its citizens. Everyone who has the capability must work for the development of the nation be it in science, business or tourism,” he said.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe National Army Commander Lieutenant General Phillip Valerio Sibanda said the army remained resolute in fulfilling its constitutional mandate despite the challenges brought by the illegal sanctions.
“The ZNA is part of Zimbabwe and we were affected by the sanctions. We share the same cake and whatever affects our people out there, affects us too.

“But let me say the economic challenges we have faced are clearly understood by our members and we have vowed as an army that these challenges will not derail our ability to successfully execute our mandate.
“We have continued to perform our duties and yes, we talk of challenges but they have not been an impediment to executing or achieving our mandate,” he said.

On allegations by Finance Minister Tendai Biti that the army was secretly recruiting personnel, Lt Gen Sibanda said ZNA had done everything above board.
“It is very unfortunate that somebody decided to call our recruitments illegal or to term them illegal because as far as we are concerned we made our plans known,” he said.

Lt-Gen Sibanda said Zimbabweans, especially the youths, needed to appreciate the importance of the Heroes and Defence Forces Days as they signified the supreme sacrifices of gallant sons and daughters of the country.
“As we celebrate Heroes and Defence Forces 2012 I think it is incumbent upon each and every member to sit back and think about what these two days mean.

They are a very important element in our history and it is important that we obviously reflect on the past because it is the past that defines our future.
“I would also like to say to the youths of Zimbabwe, some of them born well after independence that it does not mean that Heroes and Defence forces are for those who fought the war of liberation or who had been born during the time of liberations war.

“It is for all Zimbabweans and we should sit back and reflect on what brought about this independence, it is time to think about those that sacrificed and lost their lives to bring the independence we celebrate today,” he said.

Lt Gen Sibanda urged Zimbabweans to be cognisant of their history.
“Our history is extremely rich and our history needs people who can work on it, who believe in it and who can articulate it.

“We have people who would rather articulate American history, Commonwealth history or imperial British history without wanting to talk about our own history. It’s like our history started in 1980 and this is most unfortunate,” he said.
The ZNA commander said the army would continue to work with the general populace in various activities and projects across the country.

Labels: ,


Friday, August 10, 2012

(GLOBALRESEARCH) British Government Sends Money to Al Qaeda "Rebels" on the UN-State Department List of Terrorist Organizations

British Government Sends Money to Al Qaeda "Rebels" on the UN-State Department List of Terrorist Organizations
by Tony Cartalucci
Global Research, August 10, 2012

US-UK listed terror organization Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) fighters and commanders are clearly amongst militants underwritten by latest UK funding.

In direct violation of both American and British anti-terrorism legislation, particularly provisions regarding providing material support for listed or proscribed terrorist organizations, the United Kingdom has just announced that it will provide armed militants that include listed terror organizations with a £5 million tranche of what it calls "non-lethal practical assistance."

Image: Little else could accentuate the hypocrisy and unhinged madness of US and British foreign policy more than Foreign Secretary William Hague announcing his government's decision to fund genocidal sectarian extremists murdering under the flag of Al Qaeda in Syria.

Both British and American journalists have clearly identified and documented the presence of foreign fighters with militant extremist ties pouring over the Turkish-Syrian border, most recently in an attempt to overrun the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. CNN, whose Ivan Watson accompanied FSA terrorists over the Turkish-Syrian border and into Aleppo revealed that indeed foreign fighters were amongst the militants. It was admitted that:

Meanwhile, residents of the village where the Syrian Falcons were headquartered said there were fighters of several North African nationalities also serving with the brigade's ranks.

A volunteer Libyan fighter has also told CNN he intends to travel from Turkey to Syria within days to add a "platoon" of Libyan fighters to armed movement.

CNN also added:

On Wednesday, CNN’s crew met a Libyan fighter who had crossed into Syria from Turkey with four other Libyans. The fighter wore full camouflage and was carrying a Kalashnikov rifle. He said more Libyan fighters were on the way.

The foreign fighters, some of them are clearly drawn because they see this as … a jihad. So this is a magnet for jihadists who see this as a fight for Sunni Muslims.

Foreign Policy magazine in an article titled, "The Syrian Rebels' Libyan Weapon," has gone as far as writing a two page profile on Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) commander Mahdi al-Harati and his role in leading the so-called "Free Syrian Army." Also recently, the Council on Foreign Relations, a premier Fortune 500-funded US think-tank, wrote in their article, "Al-Qaeda's Specter in Syria," that:

"The Syrian rebels would be immeasurably weaker today without al-Qaeda in their ranks. By and large, Free Syrian Army (FSA) battalions are tired, divided, chaotic, and ineffective. Feeling abandoned by the West, rebel forces are increasingly demoralized as they square off with the Assad regime's superior weaponry and professional army. Al-Qaeda fighters, however, may help improve morale. The influx of jihadis brings discipline, religious fervor, battle experience from Iraq, funding from Sunni sympathizers in the Gulf, and most importantly, deadly results. In short, the FSA needs al-Qaeda now."

Clearly then, British aid is being sent to the FSA whose ranks are admittedly filled by Al Qaeda.

Also, to be clear, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) is in fact an affiliate of Al Qaeda with its commanders having occupied the highest echelons of Al Qaeda's command structure and having participated in every combat engagement Al Qaeda has conducted since its inception via US-Saudi cash and arms in the mountains of Afghanistan in the 1980's. This was documented meticulously in the US Army's West Point Combating Terrorism Center report, "Al-Qa'ida's Foreign Fighters in Iraq."

LIFG is also listed by both the US State Department and the UK Home Office (page 5, .pdf) as a foreign terrorist organization and a proscribed terrorist organization respectively.

Foreign Policy's admission of al-Harati's role in organizing and leading the FSA in Syria, and the inclusion of Libyan terrorists in his brigade are by no means the only role LIFG is playing in the Syrian violence. LIFG commander Abdul Hakim Belhaj had visited the Turkish-Syrian border in late 2011 pledging Libyan arms, cash, and fighters to the FSA - with the nation of Libya itself having already become a NATO-created terrorist safe-haven.

It is clear that LIFG, and by implication Al Qaeda, is playing a significant role in the violence in Syria, not only undermining the narrative of the unrest being an "indigenous" "pro-democracy uprising," but also implicating foreign nations who are funding and arming militants as state sponsors of terrorism.

Included amongst these state sponsors of international terrorism are Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the Hariri faction in northern Lebanon, as well as the NATO-installed government of Libya. This also includes both the United States, who is admittedly providing cash and equipment for the FSA as well as coordinating efforts to arm militants, and now the UK once again with their latest announcement.

With an increasing number of overt atrocities being carried out by the FSA and its ranks of extremist sectarian militants, including kidnappings, abuses, and massacres observed recently in Aleppo, it is unconscionable for the West to even rhetorically back what is clearly a sectarian-driven conflict, let alone provide equipment, cash, and arms. However, British Foreign Secretary William Hague calls it, "the right thing to do."

Syrian rebels arrest a man who is claimed to be traitor at an old military base near Aleppo

Image: The Western media is covering - or more accurately, "spinning" - an unfolding sectarian genocide in Syria's largest city Aleppo. In the alleys of seized streets, FSA terrorists are detaining, torturing, and killing anyone suspected of supporting the government. Such suspicions coincidentally run along sectarian divisions. By using the label "Shabiha" for all of FSA's victims, the Western press has given a carte blanche to genocidal sectarian extremists and by doing so, has become complicit in war crimes themselves. For the British, or any other nation for that matter, to provide the FSA with even rhetorical, let alone material support, is an egregious act of international terrorism.


It is unclear whether Hague means - violating the laws of his own nation to provide material support for known, proscribed terrorists is "the right thing to do" - or if he means it is "right" to perpetuate the bloodbath in Syria as prescribed by the US Fortune 500-funded think-tank, Brookings Institution in their "Middle East Memo #21," which suggested the West "pin down the Asad regime and bleed it, keeping a regional adversary weak, while avoiding the costs of direct intervention." Either way, the unhinged, morally bankrupted foreign policy of the Anglo-American establishment is on full display, undermining and irrevocably damaging the legitimacy of their collective institutions in the process.

A similar scenario unfolded in Libya, where LIFG terrorists were likewise carrying out a campaign of nationwide genocide with NATO providing air support. Similarly, by funding, arming, and coordinating acts of violence with LIFG fighters, NATO, and in particular, France, England, and the United States, were guilty of violating both their own respective anti-terrorism legislation, as well as international provisions against terrorism.

The brazen illegitimacy of NATO's actions against Libya surely played a role in hobbling, perhaps permanently, the contrived geopolitical ploy of "Responsibility to Protect" (R2P) while simultaneously undermining the "primacy of international law."

The protracted difficulty of the West to repeat their success in Syria can be perhaps owed in part to the unhinged policy and agenda pursued and exposed in Libya.

Tony Cartalucci is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Tony Cartalucci

Labels: ,


(GLOBALRESEARCH) Perfecting The Method of "Color Revolutions"

COMMENT - Also check out Stephen Gowans' article on Gene Sharp: Is Gene Sharp Superman?

Perfecting The Method of "Color Revolutions"
Western leaders slip back into childhood
by Thierry Meyssan
Global Research, August 7, 2012
Information Clearing House

In 1985, a social scientist, Gene Sharp, published a study commissioned by NATO on Making Europe Unconquerable. He pointed out that ultimately a government only exists because people agree to obey it. The USSR could never control Western Europe if people refused to obey Communist governments.

A few years later, in 1989, Sharp was tasked by the CIA with conducting the practical application of his theoretical research in China. The United States wanted to topple Deng Xiaoping in favor of Zhao Ziyang. The intention was to stage a coup with a veneer of legitimacy by organizing street protests, in much the same way as the CIA had given a popular facade to the overthrow of Mohammed Mossadegh by hiring Tehran demonstrators (Operation Ajax, 1953).

The difference here is that Gene Sharp had to rely on a mix of pro-Zhao and pro-US youth to make the coup look like a revolution. But Deng had Sharp arrested in Tiananmen Square and expelled from the country. The coup failed, but not before the CIA spurred the youth groups into a vain attack to discredit Deng through the crackdown that followed. The failure of the operation was attributed to the difficulties of mobilizing young activists in the desired direction.

Ever since the work of French sociologist Gustave Le Bon in the late nineteenth century, we know that adults behave like children when they are in the throes of collective emotion. They become susceptible, even if for just a critical fleeting moment, to the suggestions of a leader-of-men who for them embodies a father figure. In 1990, Sharp got close to Colonel Reuven Gal, then chief psychologist of the Israeli Army (he later became deputy national security adviser to Ariel Sharon and now runs operations designed to manipulate young Israeli non-Jews). Combining the discoveries of Le Bon and Sigmund Freud, Gal reached the conclusion that it was also possible to exploit the "Oedipus complex" in adolescents and steer a crowd of young people to oppose a head of state, as a symbolic father figure.

On this basis, Sharp and Gal set up training programs for young activists with the objective of organizing coups. After a few successes in Russia and the Baltics, it was in 1998 that Gene Sharp perfected the method of "color revolutions" with the overthrow of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.

After President Hugo Chavez foiled a coup in Venezuela on the basis of one of my investigations revealing the role and method of Gene Sharp, the latter suspended the activities of the Albert Einstein Institute which served as a cover and went on to create new structures (CANVAS in Belgrade, the Academy of Change in London, Vienna and Doha). We saw them at work the world over, especially in Lebanon (Cedar Revolution), Iran (Green Revolution), Tunisia (Jasmine Revolution) and Egypt (Lotus Revolution). The principle is simple: exacerbate all underlying frustrations, blame the political apparatus for all the problems, manipulate the youth according to the Freudian "patricidal" scenario, organize a coup, and then propagandize that the government was brought down by the “street.”

International public opinion easily swallowed these stage settings: first, because of a confusion between a crowd and the people. Thus, the "Lotus Revolution" actually boiled down to a show on Tahrir Square in Cairo, mobilizing a crowd of tens of thousands, while the near totality of the Egyptian people abstained from taking part in the event; and second, because there is a lack of clarity with regard to the word "revolution". A genuine revolution entails an upheaval in social structures that takes place over several years, while a "color revolution" is a regime change that occurs within weeks. The other term for a forced change of leadership without social transformation is a "coup d’état". In Egypt, for example, it is clearly not the people who pushed Hosni Mubarak to resign, but U.S. Ambassador Frank Wisner who gave him the order.

The slogan of the "color revolutions" harks back to an infantile perspective; What matters is to overthrow the head of state without consideration of the consequences--“Don’t worry about your future, Washington will take care of everything for you.” By the time people wake up, it’s too late; the government has been usurped by individuals not of their choosing. At the outset though, there are cries of "Down with Shevardnadze!" Or "Ben Ali, get out!” The latest version was launched at the third conference of "Friends" of Syria (Paris, July 6): "Bashar must go!"

A strange anomaly can be detected with regard to Syria. The CIA did not locate groups of young Syrians willing to chant this slogan in the streets of Damascus and Aleppo. So it is Barack Obama, François Hollande, David Cameron and Angela Merkel themselves who repeat the slogan in chorus from their respective foreign offices. Washington and its allies are trying out the methods of Gene Sharp on the "international community". It is a risky bet to imagine that foreign ministries can be as easy to manipulate as youth groups! At the moment, the result is simply ridiculous: the leaders of the colonial powers have been stomping their feet like angry, frustrated children over a desired object that the Russian and Chinese adults won’t let them have while ceaselessly wailing "Bashar must go!".

Thierry Meyssan, founder and chairman of Voltaire Network and the Axis for Peace Conference. Professor of International Relations at the Centre for Strategic Studies in Damascus. His columns specializing in international relations feature in daily newspapers and weekly magazines in Arabic, Spanish and Russian. His last two books published in English : 9/11 the Big Lie and Pentagate.

Thierry Meyssan is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Thierry Meyssan

Labels: ,


(GLOBALRESEARCH) The Death of Swiss Neutrality? Foreign Policy in the Service of Imperialism

COMMENT - Switzerland is home to the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), the central bank of central banks. You have to wonder why everyone left them alone during and after WWII. Even the communists didn't take them down.

The Death of Swiss Neutrality? Foreign Policy in the Service of Imperialism
by Benjamin Schett
Global Research, August 8, 2012

Switzerland, a country traditionally reputed as a model for democracy and order, is nonetheless politically rife with contradictions. On one side many tend to praise the country’s high living standards, its system of direct democracy and its remarkable range of high quality products popular around the world. On the other hand the practice of bank secrecy has made Switzerland a popular destination for money launderers of all kinds throughout the decades.

Although offshore safe havens such as the British Channel Islands, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and others nowadays enjoy notably higher popularity for large-scale financial criminal activities, Switzerland remains the primary destination in many people’s minds when it comes to dictators, speculators or mafia bosses hiding their dirty money from the not quite long enough arm of the law.

Another key concept many associate with Switzerland is its strict policy of political neutrality. Indeed Switzerland is the second oldest neutral country in the world; it has not fought a foreign war since its neutrality was established by the Treaty of Paris in 1815.

Though Switzerland’s ambivalent position during World War II was justifiably criticised by many, the state’s neutral stance has generally been appreciated all over Europe and the rest of the world. Even British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who was certainly no fan of neutrals, said:

''Of all the neutrals, Switzerland has the greatest right to distinction. . . What does it matter whether she has been able to give us the commercial advantages we desire or has given too many to the Germans. . .? She has been a democratic state, standing for freedom in self-defence. . . and largely on our side.''[1]

Swiss neutrality makes the country a good meeting ground for negotiations between conflicting global parties. Even the United States, who do not maintain official diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, rely on Swiss support in order to have a diplomatic channel:

"In the absence of diplomatic or consular relations of the United States of America with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Swiss government, acting through its Embassy in Tehran, serves as the Protecting Power of the USA in Iran since 21 May 1980. The Swiss Embassy's Foreign Interests Section provides consular services to U.S. citizens living in or travelling to Iran."[2]

As a diplomatic contact point between the U.S. and Iran, it is logical that Switzerland would have no valid reason for refusing to meet with Iranian officials. But even a short encounter between the former Swiss federal president Hans Rudolf Merz and the Iranian president Mahmood Ahmadinejad at the United Nations Durban II anti-racism conference in Geneva 2009 was going too far, according to officials from Israel, America's closest Middle East ally:

"Netanyahu's office later said that he and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman decided to recall Ambassador Ilan Elgar from Berne ‘for consultations and in protest at the conference in Geneva.’"[3]

Further testing Switzerland's neutrality, U.S. and Israeli officials criticised Switzerland for not taking part in the oil embargo against Iran in July 2012.[4]

Relationship with the European Union

Although it does not belong to the European Union, Switzerland collaborates closely with its member states and the majority of Swiss exports are reserved for the EU market. Nevertheless, according to Jean-Claude Juncker[5], Prime Minister of Luxembourg and one of the key architects of EU integration, Switzerland's independence remains "a geostrategic absurdity" because its position is an anomaly among other European states[6].

Indeed, there is no doubt that Swiss neutrality could not effectively continue if the country was to join the European Union, as EU member states are currently being forced to give up more and more of their fiscal sovereignty.

However, in Switzerland itself, where all major political parties have guaranteed representation in government, many forces are trying to push the country in a direction that would be more in line with the geostrategic roadmap of Brussels’ key players. In particular, Switzerland’s mainstream leftist party would like to see its country join the EU sooner rather than later. The fact that dominating EU-member states have participated in numerous U.S.-led military aggressions (e.g. Yugoslavia in 1999, Afghanistan in 2001 and Libya just this past year) apparently does not seem to faze the pro-EU stance of many Swiss leftists.

In June 2012, the Social Democratic Party’s faction of the Swiss General Assembly confirmed once again that they do not see a future in bilateral cooperation with the EU, specifying that joining the EU would be the "better institutional way."[7]

Swiss Social Democrats also support Swiss participation in NATO programs such as the Partnership for Peace, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and NATO Parliamentary Assembly.[8]

Ironically, Switzerland's mainstream "leftists" are the most unscrupulous proponents of militarism and imperialism, operating through the rhetoric of shamelessly demagogic "humanitarian" and "internationalist" phrases. For example, when the so called "Republic of Kosovo" declared unilateral independence in February 2008, "neutral" Switzerland was among the first countries to recognise the U.S./NATO protectorate disguised as a state. This happened mostly thanks to the efforts made by the former Federal Councillor for Foreign Affairs, Micheline Calmy Rey (a Social Democrat), who had already lobbied for recognition of Kosovo for months.

In May 2012, the Federal Councillor for Foreign Affairs, Didier Burkhalter, attended the NATO conference in Chicago and promised closer collaboration between NATO and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) when Switzerland takes over OSCE presidency in 2014.[9] Furthermore he argued in favour of Swiss participation in NATO’s so called "Cyber Defence" program.[10]

The latest disturbing news on Switzerland’s role in the international community concerns the conflict in Syria, when it was revealed that Syrian anti-government insurgents have Swiss weapons in their arsenal, as the Swiss Sonntags-Zeitung[11] reported:

"The records, photographs, were made on Thursday in the Syrian village of Marea (Aleppo) and show hand grenades of the type shown OHG92 and SM 6-03-1, which were produced by the [Swiss] government-owned arms manufacturer Ruag."[12]

Allegedly the weapons had been originally sold to the United Arab Emirates, who reportedly delivered them to Syrian insurgents. Other reports indicate the possibility that the arms had been used previously by anti-Gaddafi fighters from Libya, who got them from Qatar, which would mean that one of the most aggressive Gulf regimes received Swiss arms.[13]

In December 2011, a temporary ban on sending arms to Qatar was implemented by Switzerland, but was lifted quickly thereafter.[14] On the other hand, Swiss export of weapons to Syria has been banned since 1998. It is revealing that when it comes to arming pro-Western regimes, Switzerland exercises much less constraint.

As reported recently, about 40 senior representatives of various Syrian opposition groups have been meeting "quietly in Germany under the tutelage of the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) to plan for how to set up a post-Assad Syrian government."[15]

Furthermore the project "has been funded by the State Department, but also has received funding from the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs." [16] According to the Swiss daily Tages-Anzeiger, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed its participation and the donation of approximately 50 000 euros for covering "logistic costs".[17]

The main problem concerning the decision-making process of Swiss foreign policy is that in no other field of Swiss politics can so many decisions be made without asking for the people’s approval in a referendum. This practice runs completely counter to Switzerland’s system of direct democracy, where referendums normally are meant to be a component of the country’s political culture. Therefore it is easy for factions who follow a transatlantic agenda to hijack Switzerland’s foreign policy and undermine the country’s centuries-old sovereignty.

However, defending a nation state’s democratic and social institutions against global imperialist rule would be a progressive act and has nothing to do with outmoded notions of "nationalism", as Western mainstream leftists would have us believe. It would, rather, be the first step in the struggle for freedom from supranational corporate interests.

It is no surprise, then, that pro-EU pundits like Juncker label Switzerland’s reticence to jump aboard the EU bandwagon (and abandon its neutrality) as "absurd". Apparently, his definition of the ideal "democratic process" – as dictated by Brussels and applied broadly – is much less questionable:

"We decide on something, leave it lying around and wait and see what happens. If no one kicks up a fuss, because most people don't understand what has been decided, we continue step by step until there is no turning back."[18]

Benjamin Schett is an independent Swiss-based researcher and student of East European History at the University of Vienna. He can be reached at 






[5] Jean-Claude Juncker is President of the Eurogroup (a meeting of the finance ministers of the eurozone)





[10] It goes without saying that U.S./NATO’s cyber activities have more to do with attack than defence. See for example RT on U.S.-Cyberwar against Iran:






[16] Ibid.



Benjamin Schett is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Benjamin Schett

Labels: ,


(LUSAKATIMES) Withdraw minimum wage SI – Musokotwane

COMMENT - Who on earth is asking Situmbeko Musokotwane for his opinion? He is a corrupt loser and moron. Whatever happened to the 1230 bicycles that were found at his residence? This is the same idiot who got rid of the windfall tax, losing Zambia hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. Who never demanded that ZCCM-IH actually received dividends on the shares they hold. And they're going back to him for advice? He should be in prison. He is a criminal.

Withdraw minimum wage SI – Musokotwane
TIME PUBLISHED - Friday, August 10, 2012, 12:37 pm

Former Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane has asked government to withdraw the Statutory Instrument on the revised minimum wage and engage in negotiations. Mr. Musokotwane said the revised minimum wage has the potential to negatively affect foreign investment in the country.

He said one of the factors for foreign investors is a low cost of labour adding that with the imposition of the high wages on employers, potential investors will hold their investment in Zambia on account of an expensive labour market.

The former cabinet minister said if the status quo continues, Zambia’s economic growth will stall as investors will shun the country.

Mr.Musokotwane said the Patriotic Front government has failed to put money in people’s pockets but that they have resorted to imposing wages on employers as a way of empowering people.

Mr. Musokotwane pointed out that the ongoing anger in the labour market which has resulted in protests by employers has been created by the PF government and needs an urgent solution.


Labels: ,


(NEWZIMBABWE) No change to census date: Moyo

No change to census date: Moyo
09/08/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE’S fourth national census will still go ahead on August 17 and 18 despite a decision by ministers to temporarily suspend the count on Tuesday. Cabinet halted the recruitment and training of enumerators on Tuesday after chaotic scenes at training centres countrywide.

Zanu PF and the MDC-T traded accusations, each claiming the other was trying to use the process to canvass. The MDC-T also objected to troops being used as enumerators. But Acting Finance Minister Gorden Moyo insisted on Thursday that the census would still go ahead – although no date has been announced for the resumption of training.

“No training will take place until further notice, but we would want to assure Zimbabweans that the census will be held according to the SADC and United Nations standards. We have stayed true to the process in 1982, 1992, 2002 and 2012 is no different,” Moyo said.
The minister said members of the security forces including the police and army were unlikely to play a role in the count.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party claimed earlier this week that Zanu PF planned to hijack the census “to force a delimitation of the constituencies that would increase seats in areas they think they dominate”.

Conversely, the state-run Herald newspaper claimed the MDC-T “sought to hijack the process for political reasons and was averse to having members of the security forces taking part for fear of exposure”.

The government is spending US$37 million on the census with 30,000 census takers set to knock on every door. Data gathered is to be used for the delimitation of constituencies ahead of elections next year that would end Zimbabwe’s shaky coalition ­government.



(NEWZIMBABWE) Zanu PF factions blocking draft: MDC-T

Zanu PF factions blocking draft: MDC-T
10/08/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

THE MDC-T has claimed factional fights within Zanu PF are holding back the constitutional reform programme after the Politburo said Wednesday it would take its reservations over the draft direct to the coalition principals.

The MDC parties have since endorsed the draft while Zanu PF’s politburo ended its third meeting over the document late Wednesday with officials saying the party was now finalising proposed amendments before making public its verdict.

“Some of us are not taking this thing lightly. It is important that we scrutinise every aspect and every word. We are not against the whole document,” said party spokesman, Rugare Gumbo.

“There are some good provisions in the document, but there are also other areas we felt deviated from what the people said during the outreach.

“Our legal team is now putting our amendments in legal language. We should be able to submit the document to the principals after the Heroes holidays.”

But MDC-T spokesman, Douglas Mwonzora, said the delays were not acceptable, adding Zanu PF should take its reservations to the second stake-holders conference as agreed under the constitutional reform process.

“Asking Copac or the management committee or the principals to re-negotiate is tantamount to asking Copac, management committee or the principals to decide on the factional feud within Zanu PF,” he said.

“We are totally against any further negotiations because it is time-wasting and unproductive. Besides, this document is a product of the outreach and negotiation processes.

“The document must be taken to the Second All Stakeholders Conference where Zanu PF is included, to interrogate the document. They can also wait for the referendum to air out their views.

MDC official, Qubani Moyo, said Zanu PF’s reservations over the draft came as a surprise claiming the party’s negotiators had endorsed the document. He said the party should campaign for a ‘No Vote’ during the referendum if it was not happy with the document.

“Every paragraph, line, comma and full stop were negotiated and agreed on by the parties and signed by all their negotiators as confirmation that they identify with both the content and process of Constitution-making,” he said.

“As such, let the document that has been signed be taken to a referendum as it is and the people will decide through a referendum whether they want it or not.

“If Zanu PF is strongly against the draft as we are hearing now, they have an option of mobilising their supporters to vote “NO” and if their views are truly the views of the majority of Zimbabweans then obviously their day will prevail.”

Gumbo however, dismissed the criticism, insisting Zanu PF was right to take its time scrutinising and auditing the draft.

“They (MDC parties) have a right to express their views, but they will see when we come up with a radical position that we are not playing games,” he said.

“We are not worried by what they are talking about because we are focused on what we want to achieve. They will see from our position paper that we are serious.

“There is no factionalism they are talking about. We are all in agreement with what we are doing. Everyone participates and there are no contradictions.”

Writing a new constitution is part of a number of political reforms agreed under the Global Political Agreement (GPA) which facilitated the formation of the coalition government.

The draft charter is expected to be put to a national referendum leading to new elections now expected next year.

Labels: , , ,


'Liars deserve to be cursed'

'Liars deserve to be cursed'
By The Post
Fri 10 Aug. 2012, 12:00 CAT

Recklessness and lies can never be a good political strategy. Politicians should not be reckless and untruthful in the things they say. This is a position Hakainde Hichilema cannot argue with. How can he say the Zambian government of the day is training militias in Sudan and expect not to answer for his assertions? If what Hakainde has been claiming is true, let him go to court and prove it.

Without proving through evidence that what he said about the Zambian government training militias in Sudan is true, Hakainde may be successfully prosecuted for causing to be published and broadcast false news with intent to cause fear and alarm to the public.

But so far, Hakainde has not provided any evidence to show that the Zambian government is training militias in Sudan. Hakainde has even stopped talking about this issue that he was so passionate about a few weeks ago. Probably this is in the hope that the police will forget about it.

Instead, Hakainde picked up another lie: that The Post had entered into a deal with President Michael Sata over the Zambian Airways debt. Again, Hakainde will not be able to produce any evidence that will stand in any court of law as evidence of The Post getting into a deal with the President so that the money it owes the Development Bank of Zambia is not paid.

Hakainde knows very well that The Post never borrowed any money from the Development Bank of Zambia; he should also know very well from his friends who were dealing with this matter that The Post never guaranteed any debt of Zambian Airways to the Development Bank of Zambia. But it is not the truth Hakainde is after. It is smearing people he perceives to be political opponents that Hakainde is after.

Today, Hakainde is in trouble for lying about the government's training of militias in Sudan. The police have given Hakainde an opportunity to make an ordinary statement - a statement made without being warned and cautioned - in which he should retract his reckless and false statement and have the matter closed once and for all. But he has refused to do so, leaving the police with no option but to arrest and have him prosecuted in court.

We know that both options are not easy ones for Hakainde. It is not easy for Hakainde to apologise for his lies. He has never done so since he entered politics. And moreover, there are serious political consequences for him to accept that he told lies. Hakainde knows very well that his political opponents would try to make political capital out of this.

And he is not ready for that kind of thing. What Hakainde is forgetting is that when mistakes are made, when false statements are made and they are apologised for and retracted, it becomes very difficult for political opponents to use them in a very strong way against him.

But opening himself to prosecution may leave Hakainde in a far much worse situation if he doesn't have the evidence to show that it is true the government has been training militias in Sudan. He may also need to show that he actually never made such a statement. But there is abundant evidence to show that Hakainde actually made such a statement. His defence over this matter will be a very difficult one.

And if he is convicted, the political consequences will be devastating and far worse than if he had apologised. Hakainde will have a criminal record. Is this really what he wants?

It is always better to admit when you are wrong and you will avoid embarrassment. It is said that "a wise person will not speak until the right moment, but a bragging fool doesn't know when that time is" (Sirach 20:7).
Lying is truly an ugly blot on a person's character, but ignorant people do it all the time. No wonder it is said that a thief is better than a habitual liar, but both are headed for ruin. A liar has no honour. He lives in constant disgrace.

We have consistently advised Hakainde to be truthful in his politics and in life in general. Hakainde has managed to weave his way into many things through dishonesty and he thinks he can continue to do so for the rest of his life and in everything.

Things don't work that way. Hakainde will not succeed in his political endeavours through lies, calumny and despising others. Hakainde should seek to increase his popularity not because his political opponents are despised, but because he is understood, supported, trusted. But with these lies and contradictions he is engaging in so often, who will trust him?

People who falsely and maliciously seek to hurt others will be hurt by their own actions and will have no idea why. No wonder it is said that "…liars deserve to be cursed, because they have been the ruin of many people…" (Sirach 28:13) and that "Anyone who pays attention to slander can never find peace of mind.

A whip can raise welt, but a vicious tongue can break bones. More people have died as a result of loose talk than were ever killed by swords. Count yourself lucky if you have been spared the experience of having irresponsible talk directed against you…" (Sirach 28:16-20).

What is at stake here is not only a legal issue but also a moral one. You cannot have a person who is consistently operating on lies about others seek to become a leader of his people. You can't lead successfully on lies because lies won't take the nation far as they have short legs.

There is too much lying in our politics. And at the helm of these lies is Hakainde. We need to change our politics and the way we treat each other as citizens of our country. A decent society can never be based and built on lies. It is based and built on truth. We all have a duty to show respect and tolerance to each other. But this is only possible when those who lead try to adhere to truth.

Hakainde has told too many lies, and it is time for him to be taken to court and let the Zambian people know what type of liar he is. We are not calling him a liar out of malice. We are calling Hakainde a liar because he has lied about us. And when the time comes, we will prove that what Hakainde has been saying about us is a lie coming from a person who is said to have been born a liar.

Labels: , ,