Saturday, October 06, 2012

(TALKZIMBABWE) Relax collateral policies on lending: analysts

Relax collateral policies on lending: analysts
By Professor Tshuma at October 5, 2012 | 4:01 PM

CALLS have been made by economic and business analysts for the relaxation of collateral policies on lending of money so that the major sectors that drive local economy can be revived.

Renowned economic analyst and President of Great Africa, Mr. Rutendo Rutendo said the low economic growth being experienced by the country was a cause for concern which needed emergency attention.

He said the Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) should be fully funded and there was need to come up with SMEs fund or bank which will solely concentrate on bailing out the sector as it has proved to be a major contributor to the economy.

He said his organization, Great Africa, was calling for a shift in approach so as to witness meaningful growth.

The country is experiencing a low economic growth is a cause for concern and as Great Africa, we are calling for a shift in the approach if we are to witness any meaningful growth going forward,” he said.

“The engine of the economy which is the SMEs, has been relegated to the bottom of the pyramid yet they are the ones oiling the engine of this economy.”

He said it was uncontestable to argue against the point of view that majority of Zimbabweans are running SMEs and in light of this, it was prudent to channel resources towards the upliftment of SMEs.

Mr. Rutendo said SMEs were the major employers in the country and there was need to give priority to them so as to stimulate growth.

He also called for a deliberate policy to empower the SMEs if the nation is to achieve a double digit growth rate.

“There has to be a deliberate policy to empower SMES if this nation is to achieve double digit growth.”

He said financial institutions were tabling stringent lending policies which require collateral, adding that this was mitigatory to the success of SMEs.

“Financial institutions have also made it difficult for SMES to access funding.

“The stringent lending policies which require collateral are mitigatory to the success of SMEs and it is high time

Government chip in and guarantee viable SME projects as the majority of these entrepreneurs have no access to immovable property.”

He further on said it was absurd for anyone not to take seriously the contribution of SMEs to the Gross Domestic Product.

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Prisoners are human too

Prisoners are human too
By The Post
Fri 05 Oct. 2012, 15:40 CAT

It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. It is also said that a nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones. And Zambia treats its imprisoned citizens as if they were not full human beings, they were sub-human.

A great majority of our prisons are not fit to be used as detention centres for our remand and convicted prisoners.

Every visit to our prisons by court officials, human rights activists and even by representatives of religious organisations, has consistently revealed that our prisons are overcrowded. And this has been over many years. It is not a new complaint. But nothing so far has been done to seriously reduce congestion in our prisons.

We are constructing roads and all sorts of other infrastructure, but very little attention is being paid to the extension of our detention centres.
It is true that most of our prisons were built long before independence. And at independence, our population was slightly over three million.

Today, we have a population of 13 million. Prison facilities that were built for a population of about three million cannot be expected to cater to 13 million.

And some of our prisons were really built for second-class citizens and are not fit to be used by a nation in which every citizen has become first-class, equal.

We have people in the top leadership of our country who were incarcerated in these prisons before and after independence. They know very well the conditions that exist in these prisons. It is therefore difficult to understand why they are slow in reacting to these issues, in remedying the inadequacies of our prisons.

There may not be so many leaders in the present government who have been to prison. But the principal leader of this government has been a victim of unjustified politically-inspired prison detentions. And as such, he knows very well what needs to be done, and done urgently.

We know that there are many pressures on this government. There are children with very urgent health, nutritional and educational needs to be taken care of. There are also very urgent developmental projects to fund.

And every day, the government is being reminded of the need to deliver on its election promises. There are people making more and more noise every day about this and that.

And it's human nature to first clear off the noisemakers by addressing their concerns. Prisoners are in a very weak state with no voice of their own to be heard and very few people are there to speak for them. They are not there to be seen and heard. And in a situation of sangwapo, they lose out because they are locked away from the decision makers and society in general.

For them to get anything from this order, someone has to remember them and speak for them.

Yes, most of these prisoners are criminals. And some of them are very bad criminals who have killed, maimed and destroyed the lives of other human beings. In some cases, their conduct is close to that of animals. But they are not animals. They are human beings who have fallen short of the standards expected or required of them by society and indeed by their Creator.

But they are still human beings deserving our respect and compassion simply by the fact that they are human beings made in their Creator's own image. Whatever they have done or whatever they have failed to do that has landed them in prison does not remove from them their humanness. They are bad human beings. And just that - bad human beings.

But still human. Bad conduct does not turn them into something else other than human. Their behaviour puts them next to animals but they are still human beings deserving to be treated as human beings who have wronged society and probably their Creator. They are still very much entitled to the dignity of a human person.

Their incarceration, however, deprives them of the ability to fend for themselves or provide certain things for themselves. They are not in a position to feed and clothe themselves. The state, which has incarcerated them, owes them that duty.

It is the state's responsibility to ensure that every prisoner has reasonable access to good nutrition, clothing, sleeping and sanitation facilities. Everything that a human being needs to remain alive and in good health that a prisoner cannot provide for himself, the state should provide.

Prisoners deserve reasonable access to clean drinking water, adequate food and air. In overcrowded facilities with poor ventilation, prisoners have little access to clean air. And this opens them up to all sorts of airborne diseases like tuberculosis. Poor sanitation opens them up to all sorts of diseases like diarrhoea.

Let's turn our prisons into corrective centres and not into facilities for the destruction of everything in them that makes them human beings. For those who are willing and able to learn, to improve their education and literacy levels, let them be helped.

Let's give them adequate opportunities to improve themselves as human beings so that when they come out of prison, they are able to integrate themselves into the community in a more valuable way.

And for those who have to live the remaining parts of their lives as prisoners, let's help them through education to be better prisoners. We say this because even in prison, there is life to be lived, there is a community one is a member of.

If we don't change our attitude towards prisoners, we will be creating a bigger and bigger problem for ourselves because the people we are sending to prison will never come back as better people.

Prison will only succeed in making them hard-core criminals who will continue to be in and out of prison for the rest of their lives.
Let's punish wrongdoers, those who commit crimes, but let's not allow this to rob them of their humanity.

Prisoners are human persons who, despite their crime, deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. They need our care. With this in mind, we must strive to provide for the material and spiritual welfare of prisoners. We draw the attention of our nation's leaders to the need to make every effort to reform our penal system in a way that ensures respect for the prisoners' human dignity.



Prisoners still deserve their rights - HRC

Prisoners still deserve their rights - HRC
By Christopher Miti in Chipata
Fri 05 Oct. 2012, 15:30 CAT

HUMAN Rights commissioner Arnold Kapelembi says prisoners should enjoy their rights just like any other human being.

In an interview, Kapelembi who recently visited places of detention in Eastern Province together with commissioner Austin Chisenga and provincial human rights officials said even if people were convicted or were just suspects, they still deserved certain rights and that their dignity should not be taken away.

He said there was need to ensure that prisoners had enough food and water while those who were sick should have access to medical facilities.

Kapelembi said prisoners who were able to continue with their education should do so because some education facilities had been established in prisons.

He said overcrowding was one of the major problems facing prisons in the country.

"The common problem that we find is congestion, you know these facilities were built many years ago for a small population but now the population has grown. You know when the population grows even crime also increases," Kapelembi said.

He said congestion in prisons as well as in police cells was a big problem in the country.

Kapelembi said after the visit of the detention facilities, they would make recommendations to the executive.

"At the same time we look at staff housing because police and prison officers also deserve decent accommodation, so we have to check their accommodation. We have to check, are they sharing accommodation? Some places we found three families sharing a two bedroomed house which is not dignified. So we still make recommendations on that," said Kapelembi.



GBM must step down - Milupi

GBM must step down - Milupi
By Mwala Kalaluka
Fri 05 Oct. 2012, 14:50 CAT

ALLIANCE for Democracy and Development leader Charles Milupi says defence minister Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, commonly known as GBM, must step down to pave way for investigations into allegations that he physically solicited a contract to supply wooden poles to Zesco.

Milupi, who is former Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee PAC chairperson, said in an interview yesterday that President Michael Sata should take decisive and timely action against all those alleged to be involved in corruption or else his government would be undermined.

Milupi said his party was consoled when President Sata told Parliament last year that he was allergic to corruption but he said there was no way, for example, the country's National Security Committee, whose chairperson was Mwamba, could probe the corruption allegations against him if he remained in his ministerial position.

"These allegations that we are seeing against very high-ranking members in Cabinet, they are a serious indictment on the governance situation of this country and they will undermine this very government. Any government can fall if these allegations are not dealt with to the satisfaction of the people," Milupi said.

"It is accepted practice that when senior members of Cabinet are alleged to have done something and especially where proof is presented, those that are involved should step aside on their own to allow for proper investigation."

Milupi said in the event that erring ministers were unwilling to step aside, wanting to hang on to power for whatever reason, the onus was on the President to ensure that those people were put aside.

"This time we want investigations that will be independent but will come up with factual conclusions," Milupi said. "Already, you are seeing accusations and counter-accusations. I believe the law must be given an opportunity to ensure that these things are dealt with."

Milupi said President Sata should not bury his head in the sand in the midst of these serious allegations of corruption or abuse of office because these allegations would not fade away.

"I would like to believe that these matters with respect to one minister (GBM), which have come through The Post, if The Post can unearth these, what about the Anti-Corruption Commission, what about the police, what about the Office of the President? Have they brought these things up?" Milupi asked.

"When they come out in the newspapers, the way I know the security system, the way it works, they would have known about it. They must put them aside and for the first time institute genuine commissions."

Milupi said there were many reputable retired judges who President Sata could appoint to handle the probe.

"That is the only way he President Sata can clean up his government to prove that indeed he is allergic to corruption, and I am talking about both," said Milupi. "When there is corruption, timely action and decisive action must be taken and when that is taken, you will see that the levels of corruption will go down."

Mwamba, according to sources, is influencing Zesco to award his company and others where he has an interest a one-year contract for the supply and delivery of wooden poles.

But Mwamba said in an interview that he had always been a businessman and described as "nonsense" allegations that he was soliciting contracts from the power utility.

According to documentation obtained by The Post, Zesco intends to award a tender for the supply and delivery of 9m, 10m and 12m wooden poles on a one-year running contract basis to several bidders, including Arizona Marketing & Distribution, which belongs to GBM and two of his family members.

Documents obtained from the Patents and Companies Registration Agency PACRA indicate that Arizona Marketing & Distribution, whose bid price on the above Zesco wooden poles contract was US$7,214,155.00 (about K36.7 billion), is owned by Mwamba.

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Witness exposes Liato

Witness exposes Liato
By Agness Changala
Fri 05 Oct. 2012, 15:30 CAT

TRIAL in a case where Austin Liato is charged with abuse of authority of office yesterday commenced with one of the witnesses revealing that the former minister requested him to testify that the hammer mills were donated by him (the witness and not Konkola Copper Mines.

Liato is being represented by lawyers Patrick Mvunga, Mutemwa Mutemwa, Nellie Mutti and Moses Chitambala.

It is alleged that on or about June 8, 2011 in Lusaka, being member of Parliament for Kaoma Central Constituency, Liato abused the authority of his office by facilitating the sinking of two boreholes at his farm in Mwembeshi which were meant to be sunk in Kaoma.

[Corruption is not a good thing, but this is still very small compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars diverted under the MMD. Let's go after that instead. - MrK]

It is also alleged that Liato obtained property advantage, an act prejudicial to the interests of government and the people of Kaoma Central Constituency.

In count two, it is alleged that on dates unknown but between May 14 and 19, 2011 in Lusaka, being a member of parliament for Kaoma Central Constituency, Liato abused the authority of his office by facilitating the diversion of two hammer mills meant for the people of Kaoma to himself, thereby obtaining property advantage, an act prejudicial to the interest of government and the people of Kaoma Central Constituency.

Testifying in the case, then head of corporate affairs at Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) Chintamani Kharkar told the court that on December 30, 2011, he received a phone call from Liato to meet with him at his residence in Kalundu, which he did.

Kharkar told the court that Liato asked him whether he could testify in court that hammer mills at his farm in Mwembeshi were donated by him instead of KCM since he had been accused of keeping stolen property at his farm.

He said Liato further asked him to find a buyer for one of his vehicles to enable him to pay legal fees.

"My response to both was that it was not possible," he said.
And Kharkar said on October 2, 2012, he received another call from Liato, asking him for the contact numbers of the KCM chief executive officer.

He said he gave Liato both the cell phone and landline numbers.
Kharkar told the court that Liato called him when he was collecting the hammer mills and thereafter.

Earlier, Kharkar said in 2010, his office received a request form Liato through the CEO's office to look into and assist in the development of the constituency by donating four hammer mills and sinking two boreholes.
He said after assessing the request, he forwarded it to corporate social responsibility manager Chita Sampa.

During cross-examination by Mvunga, Kharkar told the court that he did not ask why Liato was asking him to testify and did not respond to his request.
He said Liato collected the hammer mills although he did not recall the date when they were collected.

He said the hammer mills were supposed to be taken to Kaoma but learnt through the press that they were at Liato's Mwembeshi farm.
Kharkar said he never went to the farm to see the hammer mills.
And Sampa told the court that the total cost of the project for the hammer mills and boreholes was K128 million.

She said the project had documentation to specify that the project was a donation to Kaoma Constituency and that she signed the document which she tendered into court as part of her evidence.

Earlier, Sampa told the court there was a memo that had two quotations from SARO Agro Equipment and Zambezi Drilling for hammer mills and boreholes.
She said the memo also listed the names of the communities which were to benefit from the donation.

Sampa said she also initiated the process of procurement by getting written approval from the CEO for the project even though she did not follow up on the results.

She said when she looked at the quotations and assessed the total cost of the project, she felt that the amount was huge and recommended that the cost be reduced.

Another witness, Milton Sinyangwe, a commercial officer at KCM, told the court that in July 2010, he received an approval note with attached documents of works already done, which involved two boreholes and two hammer mills.

Sinyangwe said his role was to facilitate the payment process on the works done.
He said he raised the commercial note for approval and that it was approved by relevant officers at KCM, who included the CEO.

Sinyangwe also confirmed that invoices from SARO and Zambezi Drilling were attached, showing that they supplied to two hammer mills and sunk two boreholes. Trial continues.

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Muntanga accuses PF ministers of 'fighting' over contracts

Muntanga accuses PF ministers of 'fighting' over contracts
By Kabanda Chulu
Fri 05 Oct. 2012, 15:00 CAT

KALOMO UPND member of parliament Request Muntanga has accused some PF ministers of 'fighting' to acquire contracts to enrich themselves contrary to President Michael Sata's guidance that service delivery should be a priority.

And Kasenengwa MMD member of parliament Victoria Kalima said the government had failed to fight corruption due to increase in abuses of office such as having ministers being driven in security convoys.

Making contributions to the Presidential address to Parliament on Wednesday, Muntanga compared some government ministers to a person who had been asked to feed a child with porridge but decided to eat it.

"We know you are fighting over contracts to enrich yourselves, the President said deliver first and this is why he has taken over RDA because he fears wrongdoing amongst you, who are failing to carry out zero-tolerance on corruption," Muntanga said.

Then Shiwang'andu PF member of parliament Stephen Kampyongo, who is also home affairs deputy minister, rose on a point of order, asking whether Muntanga was right to suggest that ministers were stealing.

But Speaker Matibini ruled that Muntanga was giving general advice against wrongdoing.

And Muntanga continued, saying there was need to see tangible results through implementation of action-oriented programmes that would enhance livelihoods.

"For example, under MMD we saw agriculture recording some growth to result in maize bumper harvest and we look forward to see President Sata fulfilling his promises of improving mining in Kalomo and building a university in Gwembe," said Muntanga.

Kalima claimed Zambia under the PF government was a patient in intensive care unit.

"People want to see implementation and not rhetoric on establishing 650 health posts and industrial clusters and there is no need to borrow US$ 750 million Eurobond because these funds could have been raised locally through mining windfall tax but advocates of this idea are called lunatics.

But I challenge government to do a study and determine which is beneficial to Zambia between windfall tax and mineral royalties then we shall know who is a lunatic between them and I."

At this point, Speaker Patrick Matibini advised against using words such as 'lunatic' because a member of parliament was honourable and could not be a 'lunatic.'

Kalima continued and further accused the PF government of having failed to 'fit' in the shoes of MMD in fighting corruption and cited various abuses ranging from tenders to procure crude oil, military recruitment, fertiliser support programme tenders and procurement of Zesco transmission poles.

"We didn't hear comments from government, not even from President Sata and yet top government officials are involved," she said.

Then Bahati PF member of parliament Harry Kalaba, who is also minister in the Vice-President's Office, rose on a point of order, whether Kalima was in order to debate without facts.

Speaker Matibini ruled that members of parliament should avoid personalising issues.

"We know you are all in political competition but let us be factual in debates to avoid blanket statements and negative generalisation which is not fair," he said.
Nevertheless, Kalima continued debating and said several abuses of office were happening under PF government.

"We supported re-introduction of the abuse of office clause but it should not be meant for the opposition since the PF will be on this side (opposition) again," said Kalima.

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Mulongoti is sulking - Kabimba

Mulongoti is sulking - Kabimba
By Kombe Chimpinde
Fri 05 Oct. 2012, 14:50 CAT

WYNTER Kabimba says Mike Mulongoti will have to wait for 50 years before he can become president of Zambia.

Commenting on Mulongoti's intentions to form a political party and stand in 2016, Kabimba who is PF secretary general and justice minister said Mulongoti's plans of forming a party were a case of sour grapes.

"Fifty years is the minimum because PF is here to stay. It will not be dislodged (in 2016) by a political party that has not yet been registered. Kulibe!" he said.

Kabimba observed that Mulongoti had been vacillating, like one who was jumping up and down to look for where the big cake was since the coming in of the PF.

"We campaigned together under PF and I remember him saying to me 'for me this is not about getting a job. We have a cause to get rid of the MMD'. But also it was very clear to me that he was very bitter about being hounded out of the MMD," he recounted.

"It turns out now that he has been looking for recognition and because he has not been rendered that recognition, he is sulking."

Kabimba said the party however believed that Mulongoti's support for the PF was on a matter of principle and thereby interacting with him in good faith.

"Now I saw him vacillating between going back to MMD or continuing rendering support to PF after elections. He's been walking that tightrope until today when I read this article that now he wants to become president," he said.

"Now I have problems with people that think the only role they can play in the service of the Zambian people is to become president because I believe it is the people that must say that 'we think you are fit to lead us'."

And Kabimba accused Mulongoti of projecting the argument that PF had not done much and according to the expectations of many, simply to gain political mileage.

He wondered what Mulongoti had to show for his long service in both government and MMD.

"He has nothing to show. You cannot make a judgement when you yourself have a record that shows nothing," he said.

Kabimba dismissed claims by Mulongoti that he was Levy Mwanawasa and Rupiah Banda's king maker, saying that the opposite was true.

"Mwanawasa nominated Mulongoti when he came in power because he was from the Lambaland and probably suffering. It was the same with Rupiah. He nominated Mulongoti. So who supported who?" he asked.

He said PF was instead cleaning the mess left by the MMD, a party Mulongoti served in.

He said he appreciated the fact that Mulongoti would have been useful to MMD, but he said it was unfortunate that he was not part of the team that President Michael Sata had picked to work with, a decision that was the President's prerogative.

"When these people were in MMD, we did not go to him and seek recognition, even when there were better people in the MMD," he said.
He said being in a political party should not be perceived as a debt to its leader, as was his case.

"I think it is high time Zambians started making correct judgements about some of the leaders in this country. My advice to him is there is no need to sulk," said Kabimba.

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Friday, October 05, 2012

(STICKY) (THOUGHTLEADER SA, ALJAZEERA) The World Bank’s ‘development’ delusion

The World Bank’s ‘development’ delusion
Posted by: Jason Hickel
Posted on: September 28, 2012

When Jim Yong Kim took the helm of the World Bank in July, progressives in the development community hailed it as a turning point in the fight against poverty: for once the bank is headed not by a US military boss or a Wall Street executive, but by an actual expert in the field of development. Jeffrey Sachs called Kim’s appointment a “tremendous step” toward making the World Bank a place “where the world convenes to address the dire, yet solvable, problems of sustainable development”.

I have deep respect for Kim and his past accomplishments, but I do not share the optimism that has overcome the development community. I find it astounding that we continue to place our hope for the end of poverty in an international financial institution that is fundamentally beholden to the interests of Wall Street and the US government. And we do so against all the available evidence: history shows that most of the countries that have come under the sway of the World Bank – and its sister institution, the IMF – have experienced declining development outcomes over the past 30 years or so.

This is either an unfortunate mistake that can be fixed with a little dose of better leadership, as Sachs and the rest seem to believe, or an indication that the bank doesn’t actually care much about development and poverty reduction, and that it’s after something else entirely.

Structural adjustment

To explain the bank’s dismal record on development we have to understand its core economic strategy, namely, “structural adjustment”, which has been in place since about 1980. When the bank gives out loans to poor countries they come with strict conditions attached that require debtors to restructure their economies in line with neoliberal policy by cutting subsidies and price controls; privatising public utilities; curbing regulations on labour and pollution; removing trade tariffs; and allowing foreign corporations to buy up public assets, bid on government contracts, and repatriate profits at will.

The bank claims that this free-market “shock therapy” stimulates growth and therefore enables debt repayment. But this doesn’t actually work. Instead of helping poor countries develop, structural adjustment has basically destroyed them. While developing countries enjoyed a per capita growth rate of more than 3% prior to the 1980s, structural adjustment cut growth in half, down to 1.7%. When it was foisted on sub-Saharan Africa, per capita income began to decline at a rate of 0.7% a year. The GNP of the average country shrank by around 10% during the 1980s and 1990s, and the number of Africans living in basic poverty nearly doubled. It would be hard to overstate the degree of human suffering that these statistics represent.

This is not to say that the World Bank has accomplished nothing on the development front, of course. Its proponents are always quick to point out successes in infant mortality and school enrolment in developing countries. But such gains are dwarfed by the losses that these countries have suffered over the same period: developing countries have lost roughly $480 billion each year in potential GDP as a result of structural adjustment, and another $160 billion each year to transfer pricing and other forms of foreign tax evasion legalised as part of the neoliberal package.

When the failure of structural adjustment became apparent to the world, the bank ostensibly backed down from this policy and replaced it with “Poverty Reduction Strategy Programmes” (PRSP). But a quick look at the content of the new PRSPs shows that they cloak the same policies behind new euphemisms. If the World Bank wants to achieve a world free of poverty, how do we explain the fact that it continues to pursue policies that have such disastrous consequences for poor countries?

Transferring crisis

Some critics, like William Easterly and Ha-Joon Chang, argue that bank leaders are just a bit too overzealous about free markets and don’t realise that their policies are so destructive. Once they see the folly of their ways they will change course, the thinking goes. This kind of optimism is terribly misplaced. The World Bank will not change course because it is not actually failing at its underlying objectives.

So what is the bank after, if not poverty reduction?

To understand the World Bank’s underlying objectives, we have to consider its role in the broader context of global capitalism. Capitalism inevitably bumps up against limits to the creation of new profits – limits such as market saturation, diminishing consumer demand, resource depletion, or higher input costs. When this happens, corporations find themselves with lots of excess capital but nowhere to invest it for profitable returns. This is what economist David Harvey calls “overaccumulation” and it can lead to systemic crisis such as that which set in during the period of stagflation in the West in the 1970s.

This is where the World Bank becomes useful. When the domestic economy began to stagnate in the 1970s, Wall Street banks decided to circulate their excess capital through the World Bank in the form of loans to poor countries. These days the bank sells around $30 billion worth of AAA-rated bonds on Wall Street each year: “innovative debt products,” in bankspeak, that produce returns of more than 7%.

The success of the bank’s business model hinges on the unique power that it wields over its debtors. By attaching structural adjustment conditions to loans, the bank can force debtors to channel all their available resources toward debt repayment, requiring them to cut other expenses (such as much-needed subsidies and public services) and raise new funds by selling off assets. In addition, structural adjustment requires debtors to keep inflation low so that the value of their debt (read: Wall Street’s investment) doesn’t diminish, even though this denies poor countries an important method for stimulating growth.

In other words, structural adjustment programmes were not designed to reduce poverty (in fact, they specifically preclude poor countries from using the basic strategies that Western countries used to develop their own economies). Rather, they were designed to pull wealth from third world governments into first world banks, allowing the US to transfer the crisis of capitalism abroad for a while without having to solve its contradictions at home. It’s no accident that all of the bank’s past presidents have been US military bosses and Wall Street executives (see the full line-up here); they’ve been put there to underwrite this strategy. Kim knows this. But despite whatever good intentions he might harbour, he will have to serve the same masters.

Accumulation by dispossession

In addition to enforcing flows of tribute from the global periphery to the global core, the World Bank serves the interests of Western capitalism in a broader sense. Responding to the crisis of the 1970s, the US government retooled the World Bank and the IMF to create new market opportunities for Western corporations in the third world. Structural adjustment facilitated this agenda by prying open previously protected economies, forcing down the costs of business in developing countries, and subsidising exports from Western producers.

In other words, when there is nothing left to accumulate at home, the World Bank creates ways for US corporations to siphon value from new frontiers. This is what Harvey calls “accumulation by dispossession” – the on-going process by which capital has to plunder external resources and assets in order to maintain growth. The process of dispossession always requires force, be it through military coercion, as in the case of the American occupation of Iraq, or through the “soft power” that the World Bank wields by leveraging debt.

In addition to forcing economic liberalisation, the bank’s other key method of dispossession is privatisation. As part of its tactic for recouping loans, the bank requires debtor nations to sell off telecoms, railroads, banks, hospitals, schools, and every conceivable public utility to private companies. The bank has privatised more than $774 billion worth of assets in developing countries since 1988 alone. This amounts to $39 billion a year of profitable opportunities for Western investors in addition to the $30 billion of high-interest bonds (read: debts) that the bank sells each year.

This has disastrous consequences for the poor, since in most cases the new owners of formerly public assets have no reason to make them available to people who can’t afford to pay. But the World Bank defends this practice on the basis that it provides “a real business opportunity” for corporations. Some studies show that US businesses get up to 82 cents in new purchases for each dollar that the US contributes to the bank.

[Let me refine that. The US taxpayer pays $1,00 to the bank, it are the transnational corporations who pay no taxes, who get the $0.82 in opportunities. Let's make clear who pays taxes - the wealthy do not, only the middle and working classes and ordinary companies pay taxes. This therefore is a transfer of wealth from the working and middle class in the West and the developing world, to the transnational corporations and their shareholders, especially trillionaire banking dynasties/cartels. - MrK]

According to these standards the World Bank has been a resounding success, not a failure. Indeed, it would be absurd to imagine that a multibillion-dollar institution controlled by Wall Street and the US government would ever be left to “fail.” Thanks in large part to the World Bank and the IMF, US investments abroad have grown to more than $10 trillion and income from those investments has increased from about 20% of domestic profits in the early 1980s to about 80% in recent years. What is more, US corporations have been enjoying an increasing rate of return on those investments: from 5% in 1975 to over 11% in 1990. Never mind that poor countries have been systematically destroyed in the process.

How to transform the World Bank

This is why the World Bank is so valued by the US government and Wall Street: because it is instrumental to expanding the sphere of Western capitalism, a role not dissimilar to that which colonialism once played for Europe. This may be a good way to overcome flagging corporate profits and to stop stagflation at home, but it does not count as a serious strategy for global poverty reduction.

We have to face up to the fact that the World Band will never be an effective tool in the fight against poverty without fundamental changes in its power structure.

First, developing countries need much more control over decisions that affect them. Power in the World Bank is presently apportioned according to members’ shares, just like in a corporation. Major decisions require 85% of the vote, and the United States, which holds about 16% of the shares (and controls the presidency), wields de facto veto power. The same is true of the IMF. Developing countries together hold less than 50% of the vote, which is shocking given that the institution supposedly exists to promote their welfare.

Second, development aid should be delinked from corporate bonds. This would take Wall Street’s interests out of the equation, eliminate the pressure to siphon wealth from debtors, and allow the bank to evaluate its performance on the basis of poverty reduction outcomes instead of loan volume, as is the current practice.

These two interventions would open the door to other changes that critics have demanded for decades, such as: forgive third world debt on the grounds that it was imposed in bad faith; get rid of the blanket structural adjustment conditions associated with development loans; and eliminate the bank’s “sovereign immunity” status, which presently allows it to avoid responsibility for the perverse outcomes of its policies.

Kim probably won’t be able to accomplish these reforms because they would run up against enormously powerful economic interests. Real change will require rebuilding the global justice movement by linking together organisations that have been working on these issues for decades. As neoliberal policy has ravaged the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world, there’s a lot of anger out there ready to be mobilised. A revolution lies waiting in the wings.

*This article originally appeared on Al Jazeera.


(STICKY) (NEWZIMBABWE, REUTERS) Anglo Platinum fires 12,000 workers as SA unrest deepens

Anglo Platinum fires 12,000 workers as SA unrest deepens
05/10/2012 00:00:00
by Reuters

ANGLO American Platinum (Amplats) fired 12,000 wildcat strikers on Friday, a high-stakes attempt by the world's biggest platinum producer to push back at a wave of illegal stoppages sweeping through South Africa's mining sector and beyond.

The rand fell sharply after the announcement, suggesting investors fear the sackings could worsen what is shaping up to be the most damaging period of labour unrest in Africa's biggest economy since the end of apartheid in 1994.

Police shot dead one striking miner overnight, bringing the death toll in two months of unrest to 48. Strikes have spread beyond the mining sector, with Shell declaring on Friday that it would not be able to honour contracts to deliver fuel near Johannesburg because of a trucking strike.

The unrest is causing political trouble for President Jacob Zuma and his ruling African National Congress (ANC), the veteran liberation movement with long-standing ties to labour unions.

"You fire 12,000 people, and it's like 'Oh my god, what happens now?'" one Johannesburg-based currency strategist said.

When rival Impala Platinum fired 17,000 workers in January to squash a union turf war, it led to a six week stoppage in which three people were killed, the company lost 80,000 ounces in output and platinum prices jumped 21 percent.

The police shooting of 34 strikers at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine on August 16 poisoned labour relations in the sector even more, and the hefty wage deal that ensued triggered copycat demands in gold and iron ore mines.

"Amplats had been giving signals that it was going to hold the line after Lonmin had folded - but it's a huge gamble," said Nic Borain, an independent political analyst.

"Someone had to take it on the chin or this would have kept on unravelling and spread through the economy. It's difficult to know whether this causes the unrest to spread or whether it takes some of the sting out of it. It could go either way."
Speaking to South Africa's e-News television channel, one dismissed worker said Amplats was "starting a war".
ANC Pressure

Zuma tried to put a positive spin on the situation in a speech to business leaders late on Thursday, stressing that since the end of white-minority rule South Africans have shown "the capacity to overcome difficulties when we work together".

"We should not seek to portray ourselves as a nation that is perpetually fighting," he said.

However, with an ANC leadership run-off looming in December, Nelson Mandela's 100-year-old liberation movement is preoccupied with its own divisions. Zuma is seen as unlikely to take any action to stabilise the economy that could upset his political allies in the unions.

"In the build-up to the election, the government is unlikely to come out with any clear policy directives," said Simon Freemantle, an analyst at Standard Bank in Johannesburg.

Reflecting such concerns, Moody's cut South Africa's credit rating last week. Finance Minister Pravi Gordhan has already said he will have to cut his 2.7 percent growth forecast for 2012 when he delivers an interim budget on October 24.
Miner Shot

More than 75,000 miners, or 15 percent of the workforce in a sector that accounts for 6 percent of output, have been out on unofficial strikes and tensions with security forces and mining bosses were running high even before the mass Amplats sackings.

Near the "platinum belt" city of Rustenburg, 120 km (70 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, workers said a miner was killed by a rubber bullet fired by police overnight.
"He was shot here by the police," Mbubhu Lolo, one Amplats striker told Reuters, pointing to his midriff.

Police would not confirm the cause of the death, although the ground nearby was strewn with spent rubber-bullet shell casings and teargas canisters after clashes the previous night.

On Friday, protesters in a shanty town near the Amplats mine barricaded streets with rocks and burning tyres as more than 30 riot police backed by armoured vehicles stood nearby.

Earlier in the week, an Amplats training centre and two conveyor belts were torched, making it harder to restart operations when it does manage to resolve the standoff.

AngloGold Ashanti, South Africa's biggest bullion producer, has lost virtually all local production due to wildcat strikes, while rivals Gold Fields and Harmony Gold have also taken a hit. Around 300 strikers at Kumba Iron Ore have also blockaded the company's giant Sishen iron ore mine in the remote Northern Cape province.
Force Majeure

Apart from the mining sector, a strike with more potential to damage the wider economy is brewing in transport, with 20,000 truckers on a two-week authorised stoppage to demand higher pay.

Shell said on Friday it could not honour fuel delivery contracts around Johannesburg, declaring "force majeure" to free itself and customers from existing obligations.

"There is fuel available across the country, so the issue is not fuel supply, but the challenge is delivering it safely to our retail sites," the oil major said. Other petrol companies are holding their breath, especially around the commercial hub Johannesburg, but have not yet followed Shell's move.

Raising the stakes, transport union SATAWU said it wanted workers at railways and ports to strike next week, a development that would affect coal and other mineral shipments.

Coal output from one of the world's biggest suppliers has so far been unaffected but any disruption could hit power utility Eskom, which is already struggling to prevent a repeat of a 2008 power crisis when the grid nearly collapsed. Some 85 percent of South Africa's electricity is generated by coal-fired plants.

Many supermarkets and logistics firms are running on back-up plans because of the truckers' strike. U.S. car giant General Motors said production at its Port Elizabeth plant on the south coast had been affected.

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Thursday, October 04, 2012

(NEWZIMBABWE) Constitution: Biti sacrificing the truth

COMMENT - It is always rich when the beneficiaries of apartheid and UDI claim 'racial discrimination', when they're the biggest racists on the planet. This is my review of Ben Freeth's works, the propaganda piece/documentary, and this is from the book.

Constitution: Biti sacrificing the truth
02/10/2012 00:00:00
by Ben Freeth

WITH all due respect to Finance minister Tendai Biti, I wholly disagree with his interpretation of chapter 16 of the draft constitution. It appears that both he and Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora have fallen into the trap of selective quotation and do not look at the practical effect of both section 4.29 and chapter 16 of the draft.

Biti waxes eloquent in saying “the land reform programme is now democratised that all Zimbabweans, irrespective of race, tribe or colour, can be beneficiaries of the same”.

He goes further saying that: “The constitution now allows the restoration of a private property market in Zimbabwe that will transform current agricultural land from a dead into a live asset.”

He takes this from Section 16.2 (b) of the COPAC Draft Constitution which states that: “subject to section 4.29, every citizen of Zimbabwe has a right to acquire, hold, occupy, use, transfer, hypothecate, lease or dispose of agricultural land regardless of his or her race or colour”. This is an excellent provision, if one chooses to ignore the first four words of it.

The provision as read with section 4.29, however, does not make any changes to the land reform programme as it exists today. Nothing in the present constitution or the various enabling acts prevents any person of any race or colour from purchasing, leasing, or even acquiring an offer letter for agricultural land –– although as everyone is aware, this has hardly ever happened in practice due to the racial discrimination still in place.

The reality is that this provision only applies to land that has not been acquired by the state and section 16.3 of the COPAC draft reiterates that:

“(1) All agricultural land which

(a) was itemised in Schedule 7 to the former Constitution; or

(b) before the effective date, was identified in terms of section 16B(2)(a)(ii) or (iii) of the former Constitution;

continues to be vested in the State.”

Section 4.29 (2) of the COPAC draft, allows for the continuing acquisition of land without compensation and with no right to challenge it in a court or raise the argument that it is discriminatory –– notwithstanding the fact that the officially stated purpose of land reform, that of correcting the racial imbalance in ownership of land, was met a number of years ago.

So the reality is that nothing has changed. Chapter 16 does not afford anyone new rights or even provide people with protection of their existing rights. All it does is make a political statement which looks good on paper but has no practical positive effect.

In fact, it polarises Zimbabweans in terms of their race and background in that it affords “indigenous” farmers greater rights to compensation in terms of section 16.8 (1). As has been seen in our Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act [Chapter 14:33], an “indigenous” person is limited to:

“Any person who, before the 18th April, 1980, was disadvantaged by unfair discrimination on the grounds of his or her race, and any descendant of such person, and includes any company, association, syndicate or partnership of which indigenous Zimbabweans form the majority of the members or hold the controlling interest”.

This does not include people who are “white” –– although it may include people who were not born in Zimbabwe but who, if they were, would have been “disadvantaged”. So, for example, someone of Chinese descent may be considered “indigenous” despite not being born in Zimbabwe whereas a “white” Zimbabwean –– born in Zimbabwe –– would not be “indigenous”.

I can only agree with Biti in saying that “the COPAC draft is not the best constitution Zimbabweans could have written”.

I have to go further than that and state that it is not the best constitution that those “who have spent all their life fighting for a new order in Zimbabwe” should support, let alone promote.

I cannot believe that sacrificing fundamental principles and allowing the continuation of theft and racial discrimination against international law, against the SADC Treaty, against international judgments, and against every human rights convention ever signed will help in the feeding and rebuilding of Zimbabwe in any way.

For how long is the truth going to remain a casualty in this process?

Ben Freeth is a British-born white Zimbabwean farmer and human rights activist from the district of Chegutu. His fight to stay on his farm was chronicled in the award-winning 2009 documentary film 'Mugabe and the White African'





Mr Ben Freeth, u cannot be British and Zimbabwean at the same time. As black Zimbabweans and sons of the soil we want our land 100% from ur race whether u are now a British born or french born Zimbabwean. If u are to get access to our land it has to be on our terms. Lets not deny that everything has always been racial. All talk about non racial society is rhetoric and part of the project to have a share of what never belonged to you. The stealing of land by Europeans from blacks was racial so the return of that land also has to be racial. You want to teach to be civil when your ancestors from whom you benefited were not civil. That is called cheating. Africa for Africans

Point well-articulated! No matter how one attempts to "legalize" stolen property, it will always remain that: STOLEN PROPERTY...period! Zimbabweans are just RECLAIMING what was initially STOLEN from them; and RIGHTING the wrongs of this man's ancestors. Chete! If he wants land, why not claim one from his thieving ancestors where he is originally from? Leave Zimbabwe for Zimbabweans, please.......
Pondo Mari

Truth is land reform chaotic as they may call it, will never be reversed by anybody ZANU PF, MDC or Mavambo and all serious politicians in Zim recognise that.

Constitution cannot empower whoever has land today to begin trading it when we all know land was given for free and state land is the of our shared farmers, how can a people constitution empower a few new farmer beneficiaries and the settler colonial farmers who took it by brute force?
Are we back to barbaric civilization? This finance Bete minister of yours hardly knows anything.

"Ben Freeth is a British-born white Zimbabwean farmer and human rights activist from the district of Chegutu. His fight to stay on his farm was chronicled in the award-winning 2009 documentary film 'Mugabe and the White African'"


Lmao! Human rights activists my foot! Where were you when we were fighting to get our land back from you thieving from your thieving kith and kin! You should pay reparations first for illegal occupation and disposition of black Zimbabweans and pay for the evils of apartheid and slavery before we can even THINK of the possibility of paying you a single cent.

I thought this Freeth dude was just staying at his father in law's farm? He is British born as well, case closed! He clearly hasn't schooled himself on the history of his adopted country. Please let's stop calling everyone who says something against our country a human rights activist. The real human rights activists in Zimbabwe are those who spearheaded land reform and empowered Zimbabweans for generations, not these self serving racists like Freeth.

So this fellow became a human rights activist when his illegal possesion of land was challenged by the indigineous people?
Surelyt New Zimbabwe editors have better sense than this

Pn the Rhodesia Herald there was a column Farms for Sale in the classifieds until 2000. So if people buy something you call it stealing.

Are you saying something ceases to be stolen property simply because it was advertised in the herald? Lmao!

buying stolen property is stealing

you can piss off on the land issue Ben Filth, we will go to war or kick MDC arse so hard if they dared undermine corrections of your kith and kin theft!!/........that is that full stop. I dare anyone bar nobody try to bring back racists in any guise whatsoever. They got their selfish just deserts and we make no excuses at all about that!!

As with a baboon ,barking from the cliff tops,that is proud Zimbabwean.Chema Chema kuphela,fight with what?against whom.There will be a war in Zim,between you and your brothers.You have no money to pay soldiers ,what of your Airforce in Gweru.How,but you are dumb.You have been at war for 32 years and you say you want to go to war now.Hahaha

No matter what happens henceforth the land is now ours and you are f#cked for life! Squirm all you want but thats the reality!

BobZim une munda here iwewe zvaunongoswere wawata.enda unorima munda wako kana unawo.utondere kuti wakanzi negovt usaise mapermanent structures pamunda wako iwowo uye zvakare hauna matitle deeds kana lease agreement zvayo.i chose not to own such free land.i bought mine in Nyanga,20h and i got title deeds to it.i can do what i want on my land and as for you guys sooner or later minda iyoyo muchaitorerwa mark my words.

Whether ndine munda here or not hazvichinje kufara kwandinoita because a long running injustice was corrected.

For your own information all agricultural land in Zimbabwe belongs to the state and your title seeds are nothing more than a piece of paper! Ask your lawyers if you don't believe me thats constitutional amendment number 13 my friend! All title deeds for agricultural land are not worth the paper they are printed on, their value fall somewhere between toilet paper and sh#t.

So iwe you would rather have varungu owning the farms simply because you don't own one? Uri mutengesi chaiye hantie

To whom are you addressing? Bobozim, the land is only yours of you have title deeds.Clearly you don't .As for me being f-ckd for life,I live at the Great Barrier reef in Australia,am a NZ citizen and have an excellent career .what point are you trying to make,please elaborate ,if you want to try

I am saying given the interest you have in our land affairs (here and also on timeslive if my memory serves me well) either you or your kind obviously lost a lucrative source of income when we took back our land. Something is really hurting inside you its out there for all to see!

We all know how easy it was for you to make money in Africa and pay easy money for almost everything. You obviously miss that! I have been to NZ and I know how most Rhodies live down there. It ain't easy adjusting to life as a commoner after being brought up as a demigod in Africa. Thats where the you are f#cked for life comes in.

You or your close friends have come full circle from prada to nada and that gotta hurt and I know it no matter how much you deny! No more big five game for you just some koalas and kangaroos for you mate.


Bobzim,you are quite correct on only one point.There were rich whites in Zim,however I was not one of them.I left with less than $350US.Congrats on traveling to the countries I now call home,I'm sure you will agree with me they are wonderful places.I have never hunted the big 5,I don't believe in killing just for the sake of it.Never owned land or a farm,never wanted to.Never even owned a car in Zim my whole life there,and have never commented on any other blog if my memory serves me correct.I there a point you are trying to make ?

You and your kind and yes of course those you wish could repossess land they once stole from our forefathers! Where are you losing me here! And again no f#rking compensation for any invader without reparations being paid first for the irreparable damage done by slavery, colonialism and apartheid!

It must be painfull to you when I say land distribution was necessary and long overdue,and that whites have been used as cannon fodder by The brits(as they have with every nationality)I have never said the land must not go to the original owners and repatriation must be addressed,or that whites must get their farms back.Are you not a bit confused?If you are happy about the violence and murder that went along with the farm takeovers,that is something for you to deal with.What now?
Zuda Madhara

So why are you meddling in Zim affairs, Mr smart a##s Australia?

Well my friend,I'm Zimbabwean,that's why.not Rhodesian ,born in Zim,So if my interest involves my country of birth what of it?
Gangarahwe Chimutsa

Vana bassman01, shame kusarohwa uku!

You are slow but you will eventually get it, its inevitable!

I am a bit slow,definately,what of it?Are you not a bit yourself?

I hope that all those who thought that the white folk in Zimbabwe cared about good governance and human rights can now see clearly what the whole battle was about. Land Ownership. Thats is what Ben Freeth can see in the constitution. Everything else is just hot air to them, as long as they have thier land back----and all along they thought the MDC was going to deliver that (remember the MDC 2000 Election Manifesto that stated that property rights would be returned to what they were pre-1999).

Very good point solo.why was the land issue not addressed in 1980.A fresh new country,new law ,new land owners,why was there a delay?How many people born after 1980?I think these issues had been addressed,things would have been a lot better
Christian Allard

1974 is when the father in law of Ben Freeth took over the land in Rhodesia. As it was before the 18th April, 1980, we know that when the family of Ben Freeth took the land, many were disadvantaged by unfair discrimination on the grounds of their race while Rhodesia was ruled by a white supremacist regime.
If Ben Freeth was a human rights activist, he would have made sure that the land was redistributed, he did not.

and that is when they EMMIGRATED to zim from APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA!! they came to zim for one reason only....TO STEAL LAND!!

Thank you Christian right on point. Ben Freeth is nothing but liar and he knows it!


Ben freeth is NOT a zimbabwean born anything! freeth is a relic of APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA! he and campbell EMMIGRATED to zimbabwe simply to steal land from the black people of zimbabwe! shame on you people at this site for posting such lies and propoganda against your own people and race!

Africa IS for Africans.
African lands ARE for Africans.

The invading white THIEVES can dream all they like and salivate all they like and delude themselves all they like.

The ongoing Nehanda's Chimurenga WILL IN TIME ENSURE that every last cubic centimeter of African Ancestral properties are back in the hands of their rightful African owners.

Africans control no land in Europe!
europeans should control no land in Africa. That is the ultimate goal that Nehanda's Chimurenga will achieve.

Roma & Jews did not even invade the Europe in which they lived for over TWO THOUSAND YEARS!
Yet europeans GASSED & BAKED Roma & Jews BY THE MILLIONS, just because they were not of Europe.

So europeans will ethnically cleansed Europe of non-europeans.

And europeans ALSO want to ethnically cleanse Africa, the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, etc, and displace indigenous peoples?

Who died and made these pale devils lord of the planet?
No one! And so it is time for 'Rule of Law' to catch up with the criminal euro invaders in Africa.

Wise whites will know to vacate African Ancestral properties without fuss & delay.

Well said, Cde. These "thieving" aliens might have successfully cleansed and stolen entire lands in North America, Australia and New Zealand, but Africa is a different breed altogether. They failed to destroy us during slavery when they turned us into cash cows and property. And now, thanks to H.E. Bob "The Great," we are initiating FULL RECLAIMATION & REPOSSESSION of our STOLEN ancestral lands and will not give up the fight to any alien invader...not even for their sons who marry our daughters. Kwete!!!!

Sting the 'aliens' Cde Wasp; sting them! lol

And by the way there is no 'marrying' of daughters. IT IS RAPE!

There was not way that African females was ever going to come in contact with the pale devils had the criminals not invaded African females.

And yes, whatever the case, African Ancestral properties MUST REMAIN WITH AFRICANS!
African properties CANNOT be transferred to non-Africans!

Let me comprehend this, Freeth is "....a British-born white Zimbabwean farmer" which makes him what? I thought previous statements and articles articulated that this opportunisitc man was a "mukwasha", a son-in-law, married to a Zimbabwean murungu, whose family OWNED the farm, kwete iye? If that's the case, what is he yepping about? Does he think that being British will give him enough credence to question the laws of our land? Does he think that being "Brish*t" should scare the govt to the extent of reversing land redistribution to appease his govt? Only in his Brish*t dreams. Mbuya Nehanda vakaramba. And we, too, are saying KWETE!!! Period!

HE IS FROM APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA!! he and the campbells emmigrated to zim simply to steal land!

The commentators on this this story seem to have been born by same mom. I dont know whether it could be taht its same person under different pseudonyms. Such people are nhundira mutsime. I urge people to ignore such misfits. I have leaked my wounds many times ,whites take us to court and loose. We should bring our debates within the context of issues Ben Freeth brings to the table. None of all these bunheards even attempted to quote the Draft,Ben is using to air his views.At this point my ear goes to Ben that all that mass of shit put together just doing gundamusaira. Whites are going to defeat us on a point of law, not on the morality of the previous or intended actions. Lets learn to diagnose and channel our efforts to this. As i write my broke gorvenment lost a case against white farmers in RSA-courts. I think we should start imprisoning this political commissars amongs us. They make most noise leading us into the bush.

I dont believe for one second that you are a black person,even with the bad grammar. freeth is a liar,a bigot and a land thief! and you are a comlete moron if you are black
Vincent Gwarazimba

No reverse on land reform BUT lets rationalise and take away land from those who have too much. We should have a maximum size for each region and sell it at nominal price to create value and issuance of title to holders. a Land Commission must be established to deal with land issue.

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Limiting alcohol availability

Limiting alcohol availability
By The Post
Thu 04 Oct. 2012, 13:00 CAT

The restrictions imposed on the times for the sale of alcohol are justified and welcome.

Alcohol is not an ordinary commodity. It is a powerful toxin with undeniable physical, mental and social consequences for drinkers and those around them.

Levels of alcohol consumption and related harms are a function of both the demand for the product and its supply or availability, and there is a clear need to intervene in these in order to achieve the balance between the costs and the apparent benefit of alcohol supply and consumption.

One way in which the authorities have attempted to achieve such a balance is the imposition of legislation and regulations restricting the availability of alcohol.

The restrictions on the sale and supply of alcohol need to be further tightened and strictly enforced. We think that alcohol should be further restricted to prevent some of its negative consequences.

Alcohol causes many unnecessary deaths that could be prevented somehow. Alcohol is involved in most of the violent crimes that occur in our country. It is also well-established that alcohol will impair brain development in those under 25. It is addictive, it damages unborn babies, it causes much hardship.

How could we as a society watch such a thing and try to do nothing about it? They say there is free will for people to drink, but this is the same as saying there is free will for people to hurt or kill each other. Alcohol is the number one reason for road accidents and child abuse. It makes a person lose his or her mind, and make foolish decisions. That is why in casinos, alcohol is very readily available.

In addition to the restrictions on time or hours for sale of alcohol, there may be need to consider raising the drinking age to 25. We say this because between the ages of 18 and 24, one is still growing and learning and drinking does not help with their judgement at these ages.

There are so many young people that get alcohol before the age of 21 and there should be better restriction on this issue. If someone is found to be buying alcohol for under-age children, it should put them into a lot of trouble, causing them to not want to do this again.

The limiting of the hours that alcoholic beverages may be available for sale will certainly help reduce alcohol consumption and related harms.

There is strong and consistent evidence that limiting alcohol availability by maintaining restrictions on the times of sale is an effective strategy for preventing excessive alcohol consumption and related harms.

Things are out of control in Zambia over the abuse of alcohol. We have too many places in the country selling alcoholic beverages that don't close at all. We still have alcohol being sold on the streets in many parts of our country.

And most of our shops are stocking alcohol for sale. And we don't think most places that are selling alcohol actually have a licence to sell it. Alcohol should always require a special licence to sell it. Having an ordinary trading licence does not and should not entitle anyone to sell alcohol.

If places are open throughout and selling alcoholic beverages, what time are people going to remain sober and work? We don't believe it's only people who don't work who are drinking during times which are supposed to be working hours.

It means that even those who are supposed to be working are finding time to leave work and go and drink. This not only reduces productivity and the quality of work, but it also endangers the lives of others through industrial accidents.

Most of the accidents we experience on our roads are as a result of those who drive while drunk. This doesn't only cost life but it also causes serious loss to productive equipment that is on the road. Many valuable goods have been lost as a result of road accidents.

Truly, the regulations restricting the times for sale of alcohol may need some fine-tuning here and there, but in the main, they should be maintained. We understand and appreciate the fact that some businesses will lose income and experience reductions in their profits.

But we cannot put profits above life, above the wellbeing of the nation. Profits that come from the destruction of life are not worth it. Profits that destroy the wellbeing of the nation should not be sought. Let's remember what Dr Kenneth Kaunda said about drunkenness in a broadcast to the nation on October 22, 1965:

"I have condemned drunkenness before. I condemn it now as a cancer seriously eating into the bone and flesh of the nation - something deplorable - something to be abhorred."



Mulongoti plans to form political party

Mulongoti plans to form political party
By Kombe Chimpinde
Thu 04 Oct. 2012, 12:30 CAT

MIKE Mulongoti says he has plans of forming a political party on which to stand for presidency in the 2016 elections.

Mulongoti, who is, former works and supply minister in the MMD government, yesterday said he had been traversing the countryside to garner support from would-be political supporters, before launching a platform to stand on.

Mulongoti said he did not fully agree and share the values, aspirations and ideologies of the current available political parties hence his reluctance to join them.

"The Constitution of Zambia does not allow you to contest as a presidential candidate without being sponsored by a political party, meaning that you have no choice if you want to be President, you must find a vehicle (party). It's not debatable. It's a question of when," Mulongoti said.

"It's the timing. That one, (date) I cannot tell you. Forming a party involves a lot of consultations. We want to be democratic."

Sources disclosed that Mulongoti and some other named officials had been holding meetings with a view to forming a political party that would counter the PF.

Mulongoti said he and his political allies whom he had received support from so far, would announce to the nation when they were ready.

Asked when the ideas of forming a party emerged as he had been a staunch supporter of President Michael Sata in the 2011 elections, Mulongoti said:

"Don't forget I wanted to stand as vice-president in 2011 so that when Rupiah Banda goes, I take over in 2016, that is the direction I was taking. Of course that time, the platform was supposed to be MMD but the matrix changed so I had to find another route.

I lent support to the PF in the hope that maybe they will do so well that there will be no need for me to want to be President. The reason why we aspire to be there is to bring change."

Asked if his plans to embark on campaigns for his presidential bid was to satisfy his personal ambition to be President only or being unsatisfied with what was obtaining in the country under the PF, Mulongoti said:

"I supported Chiluba, he became President, I supported Mwanawasa, he became President. I supported Mr. Banda, he became President, what is wrong with supporting myself?" he asked.

"It's now me next. As at now, I am the most prepared candidate. Right now I have better credentials than those who will aspire (for presidency in 2016).There is no guarantee that because you are in government, then you will be a success."

Mulongoti said so far, he was disappointed with what was happening in the country and that Zambians could do better.

Quizzed further, on whether or not it was too early for him to judge President Sata and the PF, Mulongoti said President Sata would seriously and continuously be assessed by him on a daily basis until 2016.

"How long did it take to assess Rupiah Banda, only two years and some months," he said.

He added that even if President Sata decided not to stand for presidency in 2016, it was a question of who they put up for leadership.
"If the person who is going to take over from Mr Sata is not acceptable to lead, I have to stand.

If I was MMD, my fight would have been to make MMD attractive, so that when it is my turn, I can be voted into office. That is how you work. You help prop others. Let them perform and deliver, the credit also comes to you. Then you go to the people and say 'this is what we have done'," he said.

And Mulongoti said that he anchored MMD because he stood against all odds for the party.

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Nawakwi agrees with Sata on working as a team

Nawakwi agrees with Sata on working as a team
By Allan Mulenga
Thu 04 Oct. 2012, 14:10 CAT

EDITH Nawakwi says no individual has a monopoly of wisdom in the governance system.

Nawakwi, who is opposition FDD president, said there was need for the opposition to work with the government for the common goal of national development.

"We have only one country. It is extremely important that as a people we recognise on-season and off-season for campaigns... we can mobilise the support for our political parties," Nawakwi said.

"His (President Sata's) speech in Parliament is in the context that there is not one individual who has the monopoly of wisdom especially on matters of economic development. We can tap on each other's strengths to strengthen our weaknesses and move the country forward."

She said economic growth, if properly targeted and managed, could reduce poverty levels in the country.

"Everyone knows that economic development, if properly managed, can reduce poverty. This growth must be centered on developing districts and the rural areas," Nawakwi said.

Nawakwi was commenting on President Sata's call for the government and opposition members of parliament to work as a team.

During his address to Parliament, President Sata expressed disappointment with incidents of political violence, saying dialogue was the best way to engage each other in a democracy.

He said he had for long time ignored attacks from some opposition leaders because he wanted to listen more.

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Govt embarks on reforms to reduce abuse of funds

Govt embarks on reforms to reduce abuse of funds
By Kabanda Chulu
Thu 04 Oct. 2012, 13:40 CAT

FINANCE minister Alexander Chikwanda says the government has embarked on various reforms to improve efficiency and reduce abuse of funds that has become a common feature in the Auditor General's reports.

Chikwanda said the government would continue to aggressively pursue perpetrators of fraud so that public resources were safeguarded and utilised for their intended objectives of meeting aspirations of Zambians.

"To meet these expectations, we will work closely with all stakeholders, especially the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to ensure that an environment which is favourable to promotion of prudent and efficient financial management is created," Chikwanda said on Tuesday, in moving a motion to constitute members of the PAC for the current session of parliament where Kasenengwa member of parliament Vincent Mwale went through unopposed as PAC chairperson for another 12 months.

"We have decided to focus on improving efficiency, reducing waste and using existing resources in more transparent and accountable ways and any action that will be at variance with this stand will not be taken lightly."

He said some of the reforms being undertaken would enhance efficiency in the collection of non tax revenue and reduction in abuse and misappropriation of public funds.

"For example, fees for national registration and passports will no longer be collected by the Passport Office but instead will be collected through commercial banks with effect from 2013," Chikwanda said.

He challenged the members of PAC to go beyond just looking at numbers but also engage in performance and output analysis of government investments.

"We are taking specific actions to strengthen implementation of corrective action in the handling of public resources such as the changes in the management of imprest, which is aimed at eliminating abuse of imprest by public officers," said Chikwanda.

"My appeal to members of PAC is for them to objectively play their part by ensuring that public resources are applied effectively for the development of the nation."

The National Assembly unanimously approved the composition of Mwale, Mwimba Malama, Gertrude Imenda, Patrick Mucheleka, Highvie Hamu-dudu, Mwansa Mbulakulima, Chifita Matafwali, Austin Milambo and James Chishiba.

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Blackout paralyses Kenneth Kaunda airport operations

Blackout paralyses Kenneth Kaunda airport operations
By Gift Chanda, Chiwoyu Sinyangwe and Kabanda Chulu
Thu 04 Oct. 2012, 12:30 CAT

THE Kenneth Kaunda International Airport was on Tuesday evening plunged into darkness disrupting normal operations which saw luggage being loaded manually and passengers being checked physically.

National Airports Corporations Limited (NACL) managing director Robinson Misitala, who confirmed the incident yesterday, said the blackout was a result of a trip on the entire electricity supply system at the airport.

The blackout, which is believed to have started at around 17:00 hours, paralysed operations at the country's main airport and posed a security and accident risk as passengers passed through arrival terminals without having their passports stamped while incoming aeroplanes landed on a dark runaway.

International flights - Emirates and KLM - had their aircrafts leaving and entering Zambia without their luggage being electronically scanned.
Emirates passengers had to undergo physical searches and immigration procedures were done in dim light.

"When we alighted, we found a major power blackout and it is shocking that all passengers passed through arrival terminals freely thus posing a security risk and also an accident could have happened because planes landed in the dark," said Memory Niel, one of the passengers.

"They should have appointed smarter people to handle this crisis," said another passenger who did not want to be identified.

A KLM flight from Amsterdam which arrived at KKIA at 21:50 only finished off-loading after 23:45, a move which disrupted its return flight to the Netherlands.

The KLM flight, which carried 168 passengers, had to offload in batches of 30 while luggage was sorted out on the airport runway, similar to a bus emptying at a local bus station.

Airport staff who worked in poorly lit terminal building from a domestic generator set also complained about the poor logistical arrangements by NACL.
"Welcome to Zambia, the home of load shedding," said one Zambian as she welcomed her visitors from Europe.

The power blackout however was caused by a fault in the section that is entirely NAC's responsibility and not Zesco.

Misitala explained that the blackout was a result of a trip on the entire electricity supply system at the airport.

"The standby generator was immediately activated but unfortunately power in the concourse was not restored because the medium voltage panel had broken down due to overload thus paralysing the check-in system which had to be done manually, said Misitala.

"Engineers from both Zesco and National Airports Corporation Limited (NACL) tried frantically to repair the damaged panel but to no avail forcing the engineers to improvise supply to the concourse for lighting and to do a bypass as a second option."

He said power supply, however, to other facilities such as the control block, runway, taxiways and navigation aids was constant during this period through the standby generator.

"Investigations to establish the cause of the trip have been instituted and the Corporation has already made arrangements to replace the damaged components," he added.

And Zesco managing director Cyprian Chitundu said the corporation went to NACL's aid to offset the blackout.

"We think people at national airport were doing some maintenance and one of their switches had a fault and they couldn't switch back the power supply for part of the terminal building so the managing director called me and asked for our assistance and we supplied the cables by simply bypassing the switch which is on their side because they are responsible for that part and we made possible supply to the terminal building," Chitundu said in an interview yesterday.

"It took a bit of some time because we had to come back into town to get the cables, but we were at their service and that is what we are suppose to be doing anyway."

Chitundu said going further, Zesco proposed that it has a meeting with NACL so that they could see how efficient and reliable power could be supplied to the terminal building so that they don't have a similar problem in future.



Herbalist in trouble after 'mutototo' kills man, 32

Herbalist in trouble after 'mutototo' kills man, 32
By Moses Kuwema
Thu 04 Oct. 2012, 12:50 CAT

POLICE in Lusaka have arrested a 62-year-old herbalist of Kamwala South, John Banda for administering an overdose of a traditional sex drive booster popularly known as 'mutototo' to Arbton Phiri of the same area.

In a statement, Zambia Police public relations officer Elizabeth Kanjela stated that on September 30, 2012 around 17:00 hours Phiri, 32 was given the said substance.

"Upon taking it, the victim experienced stomach pains and started vomiting. The following day on October 1, the victim was rushed to Chilenje clinic and later referred to the University Teaching Hospital where he died around 18:00 hours," Kanjela stated.

Kanjela stated that the case was reported to police yesterday and the suspect was in police custody awaiting Phiri's postmortem.

She stated that the deceased's body was in UTH mortuary.
And Kanjela stated that three people died in a road traffic accident in the Kafue National Park on Tuesday.

She stated that four others sustained injuries in the accident which occurred around 09:00 hours.

Kanjela said the vehicle, a Toyota Land cruiser registration number ALD 2759 which was being driven by Nasando Isikanda, 52 of Chilenje in Lusaka, had six passengers on board.

She stated that the accident happened after the driver lost control of the vehicle, hit into a tree and overturned.

Kanjela stated that the driver died upon arrival at the hospital, while two passengers, Jessica Nasando Isikanda, 58 and Grace Chirwa, died on the spot and their bodies are in the Kaoma district mortuary awaiting postmortem.

She named the other victims as Nyambe Mutukwa, 47, Muzingani Masialeti, 47, Akende Nasando, 47 all of Ikatulamwa village in Kalabo, and Joinet Sikalinda, 62 of Lubuto township in Ndola.

Kanjela further stated that one person died on the spot while others sustain serious injuries following a traffic accident on Chinunda Road near Chipata in Eastern Province on Tuesday.


Wednesday, October 03, 2012


By The Post
Wed 03 Oct. 2012, 13:00 CAT

The warning by mines, energy and water development minister Yamfwa Mukanga that an energy crisis is imminent in Zambia unless innovative measures are undertaken is frightening. Mukanga's warning is frightening because he is the Minister of Energy, who should know better and who should come up with innovative measures to arrest the situation. Mukanga reveals that only 20 per cent of Zambian households have direct connectivity to electricity while the remaining 80 per cent are dependent on wood fuel.

And Mukanga also reveals that in rural areas, this ratio is more skewed as only three per cent of the rural households have access to electricity. This leaves the majority of the population dependent on firewood and charcoal. This means trees have to be cut down for charcoal burning and firewood.

We see more and more the products and effects of trees that have been cut. But we don't see anything about replanting. If there is any replanting of trees taking place in the country, then it is not visible; one has to search for it.

But we know that natural trees take many years to grow and reach maturity. Some of them even take 50 years, half a century, to grow to maturity. But at the rate we are cutting them down, and at the rate we are replanting or not replanting, we are indeed headed for a crisis.

And what is more frightening is that Mukanga is not telling us what the government is doing to improve the situation. Of course, the ultimate solution to this problem lies in reducing the number of households dependent on firewood and charcoal. This means increasing direct connectivity to electricity to as far as possible near 100 per cent.

[Or going solar. And of course the lack of cash for infrastructure like this is a direct result of the non-taxation of the mining industry. - MrK]

What is also frightening is the fact that there are more quantities of charcoal being used in the urban areas. And it would appear that the number of trees being cut down to satisfy urban charcoal demand is much higher than that which is being used for firewood in rural areas.

With urban forests having disappeared, charcoal for urban areas is now increasingly coming from rural areas, especially those near good road networks. Today, there is charcoal burning in almost every province of our country.

Even regions like Western Province that for a very long time did not know charcoal burning are now deep in it. The forests are disappearing everywhere.

Whereas rural households that use firewood look for dead and dry trees, charcoal burners cut down fresh trees.

The rate at which charcoal burning has spread to the rural areas is frightening. And rural centres are also increasingly switching to charcoal and are moving away from firewood at a very fast rate.

Northern and Muchinga provinces are producing charcoal for Tanzania. Of course, the export of charcoal to Tanzania is being done illegally. The border is too long to police effectively. Isoka and Chinsali are losing trees at a very fast rate from charcoal burners.

The forests one used to see on a drive to Livingstone have almost disappeared. Southern Province is also hit very hard. We also have charcoal coming from North Western Province to the Copperbelt. And the growth of Solwezi as an urban settlement has also seen an increase in the use of charcoal.

Lusaka is being fed from all directions. Charcoal is coming from Eastern, Southern, Western and Central provinces into Lusaka.

Lusaka is probably the country's biggest consumer of charcoal. If direct connectivity to electricity was reasonably increased in Lusaka, to even say 60 or 70 per cent, many trees would be saved.

And with the roads Michael Sata is starting to build across the width and breadth of our country, more areas will soon join the charcoal business. It will become much easier to get charcoal to the centres where it is needed.

This may push down the prices of charcoal and consequently increase consumption or use of charcoal. This means that more and more trees will have to be cut down and burnt for charcoal.

The only way to stop or reduce this is to electrify more and more households at a very fast rate. But how is this going to be done with the current shortage of electricity?

We have no choice but to accelerate, and without pause, the building of more electricity generation facilities. And fortunately for us, we have the rivers in most of our provinces that can give us some reasonable amount of hydroelectricity.

We also need to urgently increase capacity, as far as possible, at every existing facility. This requires money, and lots of it.
This calls for a continuous process of improving the operations of Zesco.

There is no private sector investment in the generation of power that will enable us to reach and connect the great majority of our people who are not directly connected to electricity. However, this is not to say private capital should have no role to play.

As far as possible, private investment in electricity generation should be sought and encouraged. The burden is too big to leave to the state alone. Every willing and able investor should be encouraged to invest.
Other clean sources of power should also be explored. But our main source will remain hydro-power because it is cheaper and cleaner.

We are today paying the price of having stopped investing in new power generating facilities and improving old ones. A small growth in the economy, especially in mining, has exposed our vulnerability where power is concerned.

This is a country that could be exporting electricity to the countries of the region. Having abundant water resources that could be harnessed for hydropower generation is as good as having oil; probably even better. But we have not exploited this potential to our benefit.

No matter how much we cry about deforestation, if our people are not given reasonable access to electricity, they will keep on cutting down trees for charcoal and firewood.

The deforestation that is being caused by agriculture expansion can also be reduced by crop diversification. Maize cultivation requires cutting trees in very large numbers. But rice is grown in dambos where there are literally no trees. Increased investment in rice production can go some way in reducing deforestation.

We need an approach, to this problem, that takes into account all the factors. And time is not on our side. We need to do everything at a fast rate.

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Sata won't tolerate corruption - Sakeni

Sata won't tolerate corruption - Sakeni
By Allan Mulenga and Ernest Chanda
Wed 03 Oct. 2012, 13:00 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata is not going to spare anyone found acting corruptly or entertaining corrupt instructions, says Kennedy Sakeni. And Anglican priest Father Richard Luonde has called for the resignation of defence minister Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM), saying the corruption allegations against him have the potential to dent the image of PF.

Meanwhile Mike Mulongoti says the allegations that GBM had been influencing Zesco to award his company and others where he had interest, contracts for the supply and delivery of wooden poles, have serious implications.

Sakeni, who is information minister, yesterday said in a statement that President Sata had warned civil servants in particular to take note that they would not be spared if they engaged in corrupt activities or acted as conduits of corruption simply because some of their collaborators may be high-ranking officials.

Sakeni stated that President Sata's fight against corruption was not limited to the former regime and the dirt it engaged in.

"Make no mistake; no civil servant is obliged to carry out instructions that amount to corruption. If a minister or indeed anybody senior in government requests a junior officer to do something unlawful, they should not do it.

If they decide to participate in the corruption, they will only have themselves to blame when they are fired and later on prosecuted," said Sakeni in apparent reference to GBM's issue.

"Government would like to remind all national leaders and public servants that His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata's call for a spirited fight against corruption is not limited to the former regime and the dirt it engaged in.

This administration has undertaken to fight corruption whenever and wherever it is found. Therefore, the President will not spare anyone found acting corruptly or entertaining corrupt instructions."

Earlier in the day, Fr Luonde called for the resignation of Mwamba before the Zambian people begin to lose faith in government.

"The honourable thing that GBM can do is resign and concentrate on his businesses because that will tarnish the image of the PF which is in government and people will begin to lose faith in our dear government which is the PF. The honourable thing that our dear Minister of Defence should do is to resign," he said.

Fr Luonde said corruption allegations among Cabinet ministers made sad reading because the PF campaigned on the platform of rooting out corruption.

"When the PF were campaigning for the change of government, it was to end corruption and the PF was put into government for that. Corruption was the first issue, followed by health, education, poverty and so on.

When government leaders are accused of corruption, then the government must take action. Out of sincerity, such leaders should resign without even being fired by the President," he said.

"It is very saddening and it is a sad story. Because honestly, if I went as a leader and acted in a manner which is not proper such as acquiring contracts, it would be unfair to those who are not out of leadership."

And speaking earlier, Mulongoti, who is former works and supply minister in the MMD government, urged President Sata to treat the matter with the seriousness it deserved.

"What you have is a story of a Cabinet minister and for it to come out like that, it has got serious implications. It is expected that the powers that be, will take that issue with the agency it is deserved, so that the integrity of government is respected; the integrity of individuals will also be protected," he said.

Mulongoti said the Zambian people would like to see the matter investigated conclusively.

"If you rush discipline, you are declaring him guilty. I don't think that is the right way. The right way is to inquire into it and interrogate into the facts, so that you get the bottom of the matter.

The powers that be can now make an informed decision. For now in line with our Constitution there is the presumption of innocence until proven guilty by the courts of law," he said.

"Allegations of corruption will always be there, it is not only one individual. There are many people in government. I will not want to see action taken before the conclusion of investigations that will protect the integrity of government."
Meanwhile, Transparency International Zambia executive director Goodwell Lungu urged President Sata to take keen interest in the matter.

"As TIZ, we are going to follow up this matter very vigorously and we would like to advise GBM and other people to avoid being found in such allegations. But of course we are following up just to ascertain that he did not involve himself in such issues," he said.

"We want to advise the President to take a keen interest also on that particular matter, so that transparency can prevail. Normally, when such things pop up, it only necessary that the state should be able to verify such serious allegations that are made against ministers."

Mwamba, when contacted over other corruption allegations which some people brought to The Post yesterday said he had never been a friend of The Post newspaper, and asked the reporter never to get in touch with him again.

"Mwana (my friend), I don't want to be dragged into such issues because I don't know anything; I'm not in the ministry of, what is that? In any case what you do in future please try and write to me, then I respond the way I'm going to respond to this article of today. I'll respond so that the public can judge who is telling the truth and who is not. So, unfortunately I'm not able to discuss anything, and anyway how come we've become friends now? When there's something negative, that's when you want to contact me.

I'm sorry I'm not your friend.
Me and The Post, we are not friends, why do you want to…? In future don't even waste your time to talk about me or to ask me anything; you should ask those that you cover," said Mwamba, who has in the past requested for coverage from The Post on several ministerial assignments.

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