Saturday, October 13, 2012

(HERALD ZW) The sorrow of a manipulated people

The sorrow of a manipulated people
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 22:23
by Reason Wafawarova

Posting her thoughts on an Internet social network, writer Petina Gappah had this to say: “My friend Nick Twinamatsiko has pointed out that no African has ever been in contention for any of the Nobel Prizes in science. I am not surprised.”

It takes men of exceptional brilliance to make it into coaching the biggest soccer clubs in the world, much as a soccer coach has to be stupid enough to believe that what they do is such an important thing in real life.

It is like believing that the Nobel Peace Prize is an important arbiter for the success of Africans.

You have to command an outrageous sense of gullibility to believe that kind of egregious nonsense.

A people shorn of the past, blind to the direction towards the future and uncertain of the present cannot tell from where they are coming and to where they are going.

European hegemony has for a long time hypnotised our people in Africa, and we have even reached a catastrophic stage where some of us are convinced that our past is gone and forgotten — that way making many of our people lead a life of meaninglessness.

We have a people so hypnotised by today’s world order that they have no idea why they are on earth, no sense of purpose whatsoever, and are totally unaware of the meaning of life.

This is the legacy of colonialism in Africa, and the legacy of neo-colonial Western hegemony in our post-colonial era.

A loss of one’s history is a loss of one’s past and essentially a very dangerous manipulation of one’s time dimension.

It is a sordid warping of one’s time, resulting in the warping of his perception, leading to a distortion of one’s experiences and his sense of choice.

Those who colonised us deliberately and strategically played with our history and our sense of time.

They intentionally displaced us so as to manipulate our sense of place, so they could distort our identity and what we are about as a people.

They made us trivialise our history while they elevated their own history to be an essential part of a body of knowledge they coercively installed in our minds, naming our countries and cities after their own dead ancestors, and telling us our own dead ancestors were demon-possessed pagans.

We were made to believe that there was only one way to India and that the way was discovered by Vasco da Gama, and as young school pupils we were made to sing this vacuous myth until it was embedded in us as the truth.

Only the white colonisers had the power to discover things and that is why David Livingstone discovered the Mosia Tunya Falls before he “appropriately” named them Victoria Falls, and the people around the falls could not have discovered the natural wonder since they themselves were also discovered by Dr David Livingstone.

Our lack of ambition and innovation is not a genetic phenomenon.

Rather, it is a result of an annihilated past, a battered present, and a misdirected future. With no future in sight, our people will inevitably lose identity, and will euphorically feel no need for motivation or anxiety — being content to depend on the benevolence of those who exercise hegemony over the continent’s resources.

The mentality of the European after the Medieval Ages has been that of expanding the future, spreading white hegemony pursued on the backdrop of cancelled fears and a sense of self-fulfilment, all at the expense of the lesser peoples of this world.

Colonialism might be counted long forgotten by those of us obsessed with the rhetoric of moving with the times, but it almost indelibly robbed us of our past, bringing us into a semi-infantile state — and in our dilated past we have become an inhibited people.

We have a political leadership in Africa that is legendarily catatonic when it comes to development policy.

Asked by the BBC’s Brian Hungwe on what his idea of empowerment of people is, Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said: “You empower people through education, jobs, and through gender support . . .”

[How about ownership of the economy? - MrK]

Surely the education and jobs created by colonisation did not, from any angle of imagination, empower any of our people in Africa.

Rather the education helped annihilate our past, destroy our culture, and moulded out of us very loyal labour tools for profiteering capitalists, and whatever jobs we got empowered only those who employed us, providing to us slave wages.

Dr Bernard Aaronson of the New Jersey Neuro-Psychiatric Institute made the following conclusion about the past, present and the future for any people: “Life must carry some sense of direction, from past to present or present to future, to seem worth living. People given a present shorn of a past and future become preoccupied with death and behave like schizophrenics.”

Is it a coincidence that our poverty-stricken people’s major fear in life is death, and that unscrupulous traditionalists and religious prophets manipulate so much this fear of death to control and exploit these vulnerable people?

Even Western hegemonic powers manipulate us so immorally on the basis of the poverty that wreaks havoc in our communities.

The colonial legacy is used by the West today to hypnotise Africans by manipulating our attitude towards our past, that way manipulating our consciousness, our capacities, and our collective abilities. We are not only bound in a state of illusion of who we are and who we must be, we are also victims of memory problems.

Our lives have become somewhat meaningless because the only institutional memory we command is that of experiences given to us by a colonial legacy we purport to have conquered, and many times we have serious problems getting the real meaning of life.

Western hegemonic powers are aware that by manipulating our past and present, they can easily manipulate our collective mentality, our sanity, and our contact with reality.

We sadly underestimate the power of history in the shaping of societies. The colonisers made sure they prevented the teaching of our history in a correct manner, that way ensuring that our collective potential will perpetually be undeveloped, and that we will forever depend on those who exercise economic hegemony over us, with some among us calling themselves revolutionaries for fighting to preserve white hegemony over Africa’s economy.

The logic of employment today is elevated as a higher priority to the idea of establishing an economy, and in the name of employment all radicalism to shift African economies away from the control of Western capitalists has largely been derided as ill-thought policy, and sadly we have Africans who support this cowardly rhetoric.

For us to use the intellectual knowledge base in Africa for the development of the continent, we will need a major paradigm shift.

As Amos Wilson asserts: “Alienated knowledge can only be used in the interest of aliens,” and that is why we aspire to work for those whose history has been sold to us as the definition of success. We have countless higher degrees in business administration across Africa, and yet we have no idea whatsoever what it means to build a business, unless we are building it on behalf of a Western investor.

Our resources in Africa are pillaged every single day because we have allowed other people to stall our creativity. We basically lack in coping skills and that is why we believe so much in interventionism and we compete to have Westerners lead the way of our economies in Africa. We feel better when we call it globalisation.

Africa is the richest continent on this planet when it comes to natural resources. Yet we enrich Western investors, the Chinese, the Indians and other people from outside the continent, and we pride ourselves as champions of promoting Foreign Direct Investment.

Our continent supports other racial groups, feeds their children while our own children starve and die at a rate of about 2 000 a day, and those who survive are destined to dire poverty, drug and alcohol addiction, or become robbers and petty thieves, and do all sorts of things we do not approve of.

The usual cry of the African political leadership is “We need money!” It is as stupid as that. Africa is not suffering from lack of money. That is the most stupid thing one can ever say. Trillions of dollars are realised from Africa’s natural resources every year, and yet we have African economists foolishly telling us that the continent is suffering from money problems.

Africa today is suffering from the absence of an economic system, and money is not a system. The continent lacks the pattern, the system, and the organisation that is needed in the building of an economy.

An economy exists prior to money, and this is why it is important to fully understand the policy of indigenising the economy of Africa.

This is why it is important for every Zimbabwean to see clearly the vision behind the economic empowerment policy as pursued by Zanu-PF.

Morgan Tsvangirai does not agree and his reasoning is very simple.

“Why must I agree with the policy of another party?”

This is what he asked the BBC’s Brian Hungwe in response to a question during an interview he gave recently.

Morgan Tsvangirai needs to be reminded that there were economies in the world well before money was invented, and that, in fact, we do not necessarily need to have money in order to establish an economic system.

We need to establish an economic system that will create money for Zimbabwe, not necessarily to have money that will create an economy for the country.

Foreign direct investment creates an economy in the interest of aliens, and such an economy may create tax revenue and wages for locals, but it can never make meaningful money for the country.

When we create an economic system owned by local people, we begin to make money for the country; and this money is only a fruit or a consequence of what is really needed — an established locally controlled and run economy.

The only reason Africa has so many resources and yet remains direly so poor is that the continent has no economy of its own.

The economy of South Africa is foreign owned, and that is why there is both a supposedly huge economy and money in South Africa, and yet the indigenous South Africans are languishing in extreme poverty.

South Africa will need to establish an economy for its people and that way money will come the way of black South Africans. Malema has it accurate when he advocates the takeover of mines and farm lands by indigenous South Africans.
Africa we are one and together we will overcome. It is homeland or death!

* Reason Wafawarova is a political writer based in Sydney, Australia.

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(HERALD ZW) President speaks on Mau Mau victory

President speaks on Mau Mau victory
Saturday, 13 October 2012 00:00
Takunda Maodza Senior Reporter

Africa rejoices in the victory of the Mau Mau victims of British colonial brutalities after a London Court gave them the green light to sue for damages, President Mugabe said yesterday.

Last week, the High Court in London allowed three elderly Kenyans, Wambuga Wa Nyingi, Jane Muthoni Mara and Paulo Muoka Nzili, to pursue damages for torture during the Mau Mau rebellion against British rule.

Addressing the Zanu-PF 90th Ordinary session of the Central Committee in Harare, President Mugabe said Zanu-PF should not view the Mau Mau case as a matter far removed from the revolutionary party.

“I want to acknowledge a quiet yet significant victory which Africa has won against British colonialism. As some of you may be aware, Mau Mau victims of the British colonial savagery and brutalities in Kenya last week won the right to sue the British government for atonement of the suffering they underwent as they resisted British colonialism which, in comparable circumstances, involved theft of huge swathes of land, a good part of which remain in the hands of absentee landlords well ensconced in Britain and larger Europe,” President Mugabe said.

He added: “We who also bear the scars of British colonial atrocities can never view this test case as a matter far away from us as a matter for Kenyans alone. We see ourselves in those resilient Mau Mau fighters; we see in their horrid injuries our very own un-repaid injuries and injustices from that past of white savagery.”

President Mugabe said the Mau case was a lesson not just for Africa but for victims of slavery, colonialism and other de-humanising forms of imperialism suffered by the Third World.

“Time may have come when the abused notion of ‘responsibility to protect’ may make better sense when revisited so we incorporate within it, its long ignored correlative of ‘responsibility to account’ for past offences and horrible Nazi-like human rights abuses of indigenous peoples,” he said.

He said Africa must not allow a situation where history was recalled selectively, sparing the so-called mighty.

“We know to be wrong and guilty of heinous crimes against humanity both in the past and present. We should never allow a world order where might buys right, while right succumbs to wrong,” President Mugabe said.

The President and Zanu-PF First Secretary also saluted Hugo Chavez’s victory in Venezuelan presidential elections describing it as sweet victory against forces of global imperialism.

President Chavez, a socialist, was re-elected into office on Sunday after defeating Henrique Capriles.

“I recall and recognise last weekend’s loud and resounding defeat of global imperialism by the progressive people of Venezuela, led by their revolutionary leader Hugo Chavez. It was sweet victory against forces of global reaction and imperialism, indeed, a victory made sweeter by defeating the false hopes imperialism had concocted for itself even against the outward fact of the hugely popular Bolivarian revolution,” President Mugabe said.

He said President Chavez’s victory was a victory for the ordinary Venezuelan and the Third World.

“The people won, the poor won and as a revolutionary party, Zanu-PF, shares in that victory, indeed regards it as its own, albeit vicariously.

“Any gain for forces of global progress, wherever such may be registered, is another great stride for the larger half of mankind, a gain for the broad masses of the Third World for so long trampled upon by imperialism,” President Mugabe said.

He said imperialism continued to make the world more dangerous daily.

“It continues to corrupt institutions of democracy in our world, principally the ballot box, in order to attack genuine national leaderships in order to undermine national sovereignties and of course to subvert the very notion of democracy in whose name it pitches its claim to superiority,” President Mugabe said.

He said so heartless were the imperialist forces that they not only interfered in other countries’ internal affairs but went to the extent of invading them.

“We need to study the wiles which imperialism employed in Venezuela in a bid to defeat the will of the people.

“The blatant aggression of imperialism in North Africa and the Middle East, its continuing naked provocations in the Far East, and, as we saw not too long ago, its attempts even to destabilise a powerful state like Russia, clearly show a system experiencing a crisis, but one which will not hesitate to make wars abroad in order to stave off its own problems and challenges,” President Mugabe said.

He said the world has seen the limitations of neo-liberalism, an ideology of later-day imperialism.

“Hence when such alternatives, presenting fairer and more representative systems of Government triumph, we need to celebrate.

“We must boldly express solidarity with kindred parties and movements worldwide, so we continue to build a broad front against this new and deadly strain of resource-hunting imperialism,” he said.

“We have seen the enemy make repeated, rapacious attacks to suffocate our country using even those we are meant to build the country in partnership with. It does not work, it cannot work!” he said.

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(HERALD ZW) Zwambila attends ex-Rhodies’ reunion

Zwambila attends ex-Rhodies’ reunion
Saturday, 13 October 2012 00:00

ZIMBABWE’S ambassador to Australia Ms Jacqueline Zwambila has come under fire for attending the Reunions of the Rhodesian Forces commemoration, an event which honours former Rhodesian soldiers.

The event was held alongside the Australian New Zealand Army Corps celebrations to honour living and departed veterans of the First and Second World Wars.

Reports say Ms Zwambila went there at the invitation of former Rhodesian soldiers who fled to Australia after independence in 1980.

Sources based in Australia confirmed her attendance at the event held in Capitol Hill three months ago.

According to a letter by a former Rhodesian Forces Brigadier Digger Essex Clark, applauding his colleagues for attending the event, there was also special mention of Ms Zwambila.

Brig Clark thanked the ambassador for attending the celebration in a letter leaked to The Herald.

“I also think that the spirited welcome given to us by an excited Ndebele Zimbabwe Ambassador (Ms Zwambila) and supporter of Morgan Tsvangirai, as you came off the bleachers was the icing on the cake for us all,” wrote Brig Clark to his colleagues.

He added: “Directly after the parade, the Zimbabwe Ambassador, Jacqueline Zwambila came up to us asking to meet. We had a great chat and a few pics.

“I am surprised Australia permits them to have reps here considering the way Bob treats this country and his track record. Anyway, she seems to be the opposition party.”

According to Brig Clark’s letter, the reunion celebration is an annual event attended by all Ex-Rhodies.

However, some embassy officials questioned why Zimbabwe continued to allow Ms Zwambila to embarrass the country.

“She went to attend the ANZAC, which has also become a platform for the commemoration of the role of former Rhodesian army officials and some remnants of the Ian Smith regime. This was an unofficial meeting and there are no records at the embassy inviting her,” said the source.

Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ambassador Joey Bimha could neither confirm nor deny the incident yesterday.

“We are yet to receive such a report from the embassy in Canberra,” said Ambassador Bimha.

However, embassy officials accused Ambassador Zwambila of operating discreetly, saying she carried around confidential government documents in her private vehicles.

MDC-T reportedly does not care about her operations as she is linked to party president Mr Tsvangirai.

“She does not want to use official embassy vehicles when conducting Government business and in most cases it is not known who else she shares the confidential Government records with.

“She goes alone to all meetings without communicating with anyone,” said the source.

The ambassador has been in the news for the wrong reasons.
The Canberra-based envoy in November 2010 allegedly stripped to her undergarments after accusing three embassy officials of leaking information to The Herald.

Ms Zwambila could not be reached for comment as she was said to be attending a private meeting in Syd- ney.

MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora said: “We have no knowledge of such a meeting at all. We will be able to comment once we get more information on the matter. Pictures alone do not mean much to us.”

However, Zanu-PF spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo said it was not surprising to hear that Ms Zwambila was associating herself with the Rhodesians.

“Her involvement with the former Rhodesians is sad and it shows how ignorant she is of the history of the country.

“She is there representing the inclusive Government and how can she go to celebrate and identify herself with such forces,” he said.

Meanwhile, some embassy officials say the Australian Government was showing double standards as it was mum over PM Tsvangirai’s abuse of women.

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(HERALD ZW) Level tender playing field

Level tender playing field
Friday, 12 October 2012 00:00
Robert Garai Muganda Buy Zimbabwe

THE issue of local companies continuously losing out on State tenders is beginning to sound like a broken record. Over and over again we hear that this and that local company has lost a bid to a foreign alternative and this will definitely impact on any efforts to rebuild our economy. The question that we should be asking ourselves is are we doing ourselves any favour by awarding these tenders to foreigners or local fronts for foreign producers?

Recently, the local motor industry was devastated by the loss of a US$6,6 million tender to commodity brokers fronting for foreign firms. The tender was for the supply of 100 4x2 one-tonne diesel trucks, 100 4x4 one-tonne diesel trucks and 93 4x2 one-tonne petrol trucks.

Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries managing director Engineer Dawson Mareya said the challenge with the continued loss of tenders is that it cripples the industry’s ability to plan for the development of the sector.

It has also forced potential investors to shy away from investings into the sector.

Having been to the Quest Motor Corporation plant in Mutare one prays that the multimillion-dollar investment spent on jigs and other machinery does not go to waste because of a serious lack of support.

The disturbing thing is that the specifications of the supplied vehicles in the last tender lost by local motor industry are well within the scope of our two leading car assembly plants. This had led me to ask three questions.

l How does one afford to sleep at night knowing that they have exported taxpayer’s money to another country to buy such an order when these vehicles are available in the country?

Here I was thinking that taxpayer’s money was meant to develop the country’s infrastructure rather than support the expensive tastes of a few individuals.

It is surprising to see the State Procurement Board supporting commodity brokers who have no infrastructure at the expense of manufacturer.

l How does one find sleep at night knowing that over 600 employees in the motor industry have to take a break from work because there is no production happening in the sector?

Here I was thinking that every Zimbabwean was committed to fighting the highly unsustainable unemployment rate that has seen even our educated brothers and sisters roam the streets aimlessly.

l How does one sleep at night after hearing our neighbours brag about the high level of industrial development in their respective countries?
Here I was thinking that as Zimbabweans we are a proud lot who would die to see their economy spring back into action.

I have been led to believe in the importance of pride, wealth and jobs and I believe that a lot more Zimbabweans share this same belief.
If this is the case then maybe it is time we demand accountability each time public funds are involved.

Buy Zimbabwe has been advised that the difference between the price charged by Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries for the supply of 93 4 x 2 one-tonne petrol trucks and the cost of vehicles supplied by the commodity broker was only US$4 000.

This does not even consider the fact that despite a preferential tender awarded to the lowest bidder in terms of Section 21 of the Procurement Regulations 2002, local companies also enjoy a 10 percent price advantage in any tender.

The question is why was this not considered with the vehicle tender in this case?

Are we saying that WMMI did not have stocks? The answer is no.
As I write Mazda has stock of over 200 different models in their yard.

In any case, any company wishing to buy through the State Procurement Board is directed to get a waiver from the President’s Office to procure outside Zimbabwe. This generally looks like it has been ignored.

Engineer Mareya says despite numerous tenders being floated they have only signed two waivers giving the procuring entity the go-ahead to buy vehicles outside the country.

It seems like we are clandestinely ignoring a Presidential directive to our own peril. We continue to sell our souls but worst of all we are selling our own jobs!

Just looking at the money that the local motoring industry has lost in the year-to-date is enough to turn one’s stomach.

In July, 2012 150 single-cab pick-up trucks were bought from outside on behalf of CMED and 263 3L double cabs were bought for the Zimbabwe National Army. These are just some of the disturbing figures this country has to deal with.

As part of the search for a solution, I believe the local motor industry can benefit tremendously from adopting the collective approach. The vices affecting the industry need to be attacked head strong.

Till next week . . . God Bless.

Robert Garai Muganda is the General Manager Media and Communications for Buy Zimbabwe. He can be contacted on: email: mobile: 0772714233; Facebook: buy zimbabwe campaign



(HERALD ZW) Tobacco farmers go up seven-fold

COMMENT - So much for the estates being handed over to 'cronies of Mugabe'. There were 4,500 'white farmers' (landlords), now there are 49,000 tobacco growers. My only concern is that with the MDC controlled Finance Ministry prioritizing tobacco payments and not paying maize farmers on time, this represents a typical World Bank restructuring of the economy towards producing cash crops instead of staple crops, making the country dependent on food imports.

Tobacco farmers go up seven-fold
Friday, 12 October 2012 00:00
Elita Chikwati Agriculture Reporter

The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board has registered 49 000 growers to produce the crop in the 2012/13 summer season. The figure is seven times more than the total number of farmers who had registered to grow the golden leaf during the same period last year. Seven thousand growers had registered during the same period last year. The deadline for registration is October 31.

“Companies are also registering to contract farmers and the number may go up if all applicants are successful,” TIMB chief executive Dr Andrew Matibiri said yesterday.

Dr Matibiri said 18 companies last year contracted farmers to grow the crop. He said the TIMB was still considering applications from six companies.

Meanwhile, farmers have intensified planting of tobacco since the opening of the planting season on September 1.

By end of September, 6 000 hectares of the crop had been planted compared to 5 000ha for the same period last year.

Dr Matibiri, however, bemoaned the absence of funding for the tobacco sector from both the private sector and Government.

Apart from the usual challenge of electricity, which is affecting irrigation, lack of funding has continued to affect tobacco farmers.
He said farmers were complaining of high input costs which he said were eroding farmers’ profits.

Tobacco has become the highest paying crop compared to maize, wheat and cotton.

Although the Grain Marketing Board offers competitive producer prices, the parastatal does not have ready cash to pay farmers like what is done to tobacco growers.

Cotton farmers last season registered huge losses as companies refused to increase prices to match the ones gazetted by Government.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) MDC-T legislator arrested

COMMENT - This is another story leading up to the 2013 elections, to try and sully the reputation of Zimbabwe. This is the only thing the MDC has to offer - plead from help from abroad. They cannot take their policies to the Zimbabwean people, because they have no interest in watching their diamonds being handed over to Anglo-American De Beers.

(NEWZIMBABWE) MDC-T legislator arrested
12/10/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

MDC-T MP for Mbizo constituency in Kwekwe, Settlement Chikwinya, has been arrested, the party confirmed Friday. Party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said Chikwinya was being held at Kwekwe Police Station.

"He has been picked up by police on allegations of having implicated a Zanu PF vigilante group called Al-Shabaab in the murders of MDC supporters in the province. We also gather that he is yet to be charged on those allegations,” Mwonzora said.

The MDC-T claims the youth group has been terrorising Kwekwe and surrounding areas in a bid to coerce people into supporting Zanu PF ahead of fresh elections expected next year.

“It’s a group of youths who find inspiration in the activities of Al Shabaab (a Somali militia). Some of them have been arrested by the police and fined,” Chikwinya said in an interview with a local weekly.

“They operate from Kwekwe and surrounding areas and since their leader is a known provincial leader, we can say they operate in the whole province.”

But Zanu PF spokesman, Rugare Gumbo denied any knowledge of the group insisting: “This is the first time to hear about them,” he said.

Chikwinya is the second MDC-T legislator to be arrested this week after Energy Minister Elton Mangoma was also picked up on allegations of insulting the President at a rally held five months ago.
Mangoma was however, released following a caution.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

(DAILY MAIL ZM) FRA secures K1.5 trillion for farmers

FRA secures K1.5 trillion for farmers
October 12, 2012

THE Food Reserve Agency (FRA) says it has secured K1.5 trillion from commercials banks towards the payment of farmers across the country and has pledged to complete the payment exercise by the end of October, 2012.

FRA chairperson Guy Robinson says the agency has made arrangements with some local financial institutions to provide funds in form of a loan after Government’s consent last week.

Mr Robinson said the agency received K300 billion from Government and is expecting the rest of the money to come through soon.

“Yes, we are behind in terms of payments, we got K300 billion from Government but we are expecting the rest of the money to come through. We were given authority last week by Government to borrow money and in one week we have managed to secure K1.5 trillion,” Mr Robinson said.

Mr Robinson was speaking at the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) 107th Annual Congress under the theme dubbed Livestock and Agricultural Exports in Lusaka yesterday.

He said the agency is fortunate that local banks have come forward to provide funds saying currently money is coming through with payments being made.

“As we speak now, payments are being made and we do pledge that payments are made every day and please be assured that by the end of October, payments will be completed,” he said.

He said the agency has the mandate to meet the target of raising K2.1 million required to pay farmers.

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(DAILY MAIL ZM) Agriculture to replace mining – Chenda

Agriculture to replace mining – Chenda
October 12, 2012
From JERRY MUNTHALI in Tokyo, Japan

MINISTER of Agriculture and Livestock Emmanuel Chenda says Government is stepping up efforts to have the agriculture sector replace mining as the main vehicle of economic growth.

Mr Chenda made the pronouncement when he addressed a breakfast meeting hosted by the Japanese-African Union Parliamentary Friendship League at the prestigious Hotel New Otani in Tokyo yesterday.

“Right now, we have been concentrating on maize production but we want to diversify into livestock farming and aquaculture. We are looking to attract investment into Zambia to help us to develop these two sectors,” Mr Chenda said.

He added: “Our country is blessed with a lot of land and we are only using 14 percent of the land on agriculture, which means that there is a lot of potential that is yet to be tapped. From the 75 million hectares of land we have, 58 percent of arable land is available for agriculture purposes.”

He also said Government appreciates the gesture by the Japanese government to set up a veterinary school at the University Of Zambia (UNZA).

“Since the setting up of the school, we have trained many doctors and this has not only resulted in the development of the livestock sector but also an increase in production,” Mr Chenda said.

And Minister of Tourism and Arts Sylvia Masebo said Government is on a diversification programme and has put tourism on top of its agenda, to develop the sector and create employment among the youths.

“We have high unemployment among the youths and our government is working hard to improve the tourism sector to create employment for the youth,”she said.

Ms Masebo said Government in the past concentrated on wildlife tourism but has now started exploiting culture and arts.

She also invited Japanese parliamentarians to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly to be co-hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe next year.

And Mr Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is a member of the House of Representatives and delegation leader, said his country values the relations between Zambia and Japan.

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(DAILY MAIL ZM) IMF urges member states to focus on job creation

IMF urges member states to focus on job creation
October 12, 2012
By NANCY MWAPE in Tokyo, Japan

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called on its member countries to focus on creating conditions for growth that are more inclusive and generate jobs among young people.

Speaking at a media briefing during the IMF and World Bank annual meeting, the fund’s managing director, Christine Lagarde says there is need to support job-rich growth adding that the unemployment rates among young people are terrifying and unacceptable.

“We have worked long and hard over the years to prepare ourselves to be in position to provide better services, better surveillance to be fully equipped financially to respond to the demands of our membership.

“We really want, together with our members to go through what needs to be done, what action needs to be taken in order to make sure that recovery is really here for the longer term and is sustainable,” she said.

Ms Lagarde said there is a level of uncertainty that is hampering decision makers from investing, creating jobs and developing values, adding that the IMF is not expecting strong growth this year.

“Where should we see action, Certainly in Europe and more specific ally in the Eurozone, which is still at this point the epicenter of the crisis and where most urgent action is needed,” she said.

She also called on emerging markets to keep close watch on vulnerabilities, whether they are domestic vulnerabilities or external.

She said there is need for action that lifts the veil of uncertainty, adding that action is required for countries with the legacy of high debt.

Ms Lagarde said there is need for countries to face up to the fundamental issues of global imbalances that are widening as growth picks up.

Speaking at a separate briefing, World Bank president Jim Yong Kim said the bank’s job is to ensure that growth registered in developing countries in Asia and Africa over the last five years is not destroyed by further worsening in the situation.

“We are in challenging times. Food prices remain high and volatile, growth in high-income countries is weak, and developing countries which have been the engine of growth, will not be immune to the increased uncertainty in the global economy,” he said.

The World Bank has launched a global online conversation campaign dubbed “What Will it Take to End Poverty” as part of starting a dialogue around barriers and solutions to ending poverty.

Dr Kim said it is everyone’s job to have a catalytic effect on poverty adding that the bank wants to fight poverty and make a difference in history.

“It’s been my life’s work and I have worked in situations of great poverty and this organisation is embracing this fundamental mission…While I’m excited by how much the bank has changed around openness and results and accountability, I believe the bank can go further. We need to be more nimble and focused on delivery,” he said.

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How agriculture can be enhanced amid challenges

How agriculture can be enhanced amid challenges
October 11, 2012

FOR over 100 years, 106 years to be precise, farmers from across the country have been meeting annually at the Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) Congress with the main objective of sharing ideas amongst themselves and with other stakeholders on how best agriculture can be enhanced amid numerous challenges in a bid to ensure food security and achieve sustainable economic and social development.

Yet again the farmers will gather at Mulungushi International Conference Centre today to mark the 107th year of the annual ZNFU congress under the theme “Livestock and agricultural exports”.

For the farmers, the 107 years have been characterised by various successes and challenges. Notable among the successes scored by the Zambian farming community is that the country self-sufficient in wheat production. Previously the country was only producing an average of 35,000 tonnes of wheat which did not meet the country’s demand but today production has increased with this year’s production estimated to be not less than 266,000 tonnes.

The development has positioned the country as a net exporter of wheat in the region with the Democratic Republic of Congo being one of the country’s major markets.

Zambia has also increased maize production with the country recording about 2.8 million tonnes this year though it’s a six percent reduction from last season due to poor rains experienced.

With these achievements scored in agriculture production due to continued dialogue between Government and stakeholders and Government’s commitment to the sector, the region is looking to Zambia to supply it with food.

However, not all is rosy as the sector has been faced with numerous challenges, among them the high cost of doing business due to, among other issues high electricity tariffs.

Others include poor road infrastructure leading to markets, livestock diseases and insufficient breeding stocks at national and farm levels.
Most recently the cotton farmers were also grappled with the challenge on low cotton prices, a move that resulted in some farmers burning their fields to express their displeasure.

Despite the challenges the farmers face each day, they have vowed to soldier on in a bid to achieve their goals of sustainable development through agriculture.

With about 80 percent of the rural population depending on agriculture for employment and general livelihood and the sector contributing around 20 percent of the national gross domestic product(GDP), agriculture is reasonably being touted as the engine driving the sustenance of the country’s socio-economic development in both rural and urban areas.

Government is also alive to the fact that agriculture is an important sector in the economic development of the country and in the diversification process.

In his address to parliament recently republican President Michael Sata stated that Government’s policy objective on agriculture is to achieve a dynamic, competitive, diversified and sustainable sector that will ensure national food security and increased incomes at all levels.

This will be done through the promotion of investment in agro-processing, establishing associated irrigation schemes for smallholder and large-scale farmers with Government expected to bring 17,000 of land under irrigation.

Government also plans to develop the livestock sector through the restocking programme, construction of livestock service centres and rehabilitation of breeding centres in various parts of the country.
“We have intensified animal disease control mechanisms and my Government plans to rehabilitate and restock idle state ranches in Mporokoso and Senanga,” President Sata said.

With these initiatives by Government, this year’s theme for the congress: “Livestock and Agricultural exports” is timely because with increased investment in agro-processing and strengthening of the livestock sector, the country will have enough for local consumption and for exports.

According to ZNFU,livestock and exports will play a significant role in Zambia’s quest to create wealth and addressing poverty among the rural communities.

With readily available markets in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA),Zambia needs to take full advantage of these regional markets for increased export earnings at both national and household levels.

“It is important that the country prioritises the development of the livestock sector as well as fire up the export potential for accelerated economic growth and poverty reduction in Zambia,” ZNFU said.
The congress ,which will be graced by vice president Guy Scot, who is a farmer himself, is an opportunity for farmers from 68 district farmers’ associations across the country, commodity committees, corporates, agribusiness members, various stakeholders and Government to discuss pertinent issues aimed at moving the sector forward.

The congress will be preceded by the Women Farmers Forum which is being held for the first time in the history of the ZNFU annual congresses and is aimed at linking women farmers to the entire food production value chains and turn them into actual agro-players and not simply labourers.

According to ZNFU media liaison officer Calvin Kaleyi,women play an important role in agriculture production and ensuring food security, yet their role only ends at doing the difficult jobs of tilling the land and sowing seed while the men only come in during the marketing period to get the money from the “fruits of the women’s labour”.

“realising the role women play ,the 107th congress will host a women’s forum on October 9,which will attract high profile national and international speakers from the diplomatic service, agri-business ,banking sector and line government ministries,” he said.

Mr Kaleyi also said that to enhance a deeper understanding of agricultural issues among the delegates, the congress hosted commodity committees in different locations, farms and agri-business outlets yesterday.

“As a new innovation, the 107 congress will have commodity committees hosted at different locations, this is intended to enhance deeper understanding of agricultural issues through first-hand information from experts, agri-business outlets and peer-to-peer interaction,” he said.

The delegates in the grains sector will visit greenbelt and seedco while those in the oilseeds sector will visit ZamanitaOils and Tiger Feeds.

Delegates in the livestock sector will visit Master Pork,Kalundu Dairy and Huntley Farm with delegates in the fruits and vegetables industry expected to visit Freshmark.

Other activities include the agri-business activities that will run parallel with the congress. The agri-business exhibition enables agri-business houses, entrepreneurs and stakeholders to showcase their products and services.


Our plans for Mufumbwe are big, says Scott

Our plans for Mufumbwe are big, says Scott
By Misheck Wangwe and David Chongo in Mufumbwe
Fri 12 Oct. 2012, 14:00 CAT

VICE-PRESIDENT Guy Scott says the opposition MMD and its new companion the UPND will never form government as Zambians are no longer interested in politics of lies.

And Mulondwe Muzungu who wanted to stand as an independent candidate in the Mufumbwe by-election yesterday pulled out of the race and withdrew his nomination papers after being advised by the UPND to abandon his candidature and rally behind MMD candidate Stafford Mulusa.

In an interview after the PF candidate in the Mufumbwe by-election Stephen Masumba successfully filed in his nomination yesterday, Vice-President Scott said the PF government under the leadership of President Michael Sata had a great passion for the poor and wanted areas like Mufumbwe district to begin to see tangible development.

"This province, North Western, is a hunting ground for us. We are happy the chiefs have accepted us together with our people. The development agenda for Mufumbwe and North Western Province as a whole is ongoing. The people here want to be connected to Zesco's main grid in terms of electricity, not the generator that uses diesel and stops every now and then.

This road from Kasempa turn off to Mufumbwe is being finished by the end of this month," Vice-President Scott said. "The road was supposed to finish under the MMD in 2007 but they kept not funding it and when we came, we funded it and the road is now finished. Our plans for our people in areas like Mufumbwe are big and we want their support to take the country forward."

He said the PF government was mindful that Mufumbwe was a different case in terms of politics and that people wanted to have one of their own PF member of parliament for development to flourish.

"We had a school burnt down here some few days ago and I sent my Disaster Management and Mitigating Unit (DMMU) to work on it and it's in operation now. We will continue being responsive to the needs of our people and look at the farmers, they are not complaining in Mufumbwe. They are up to date with their payments," Vice-President Scott said.

And speaking when he met North Western Province chiefs, Vice-President Scott said the government desired to work closely with traditional leaders to deliver the much-needed development.

And chief Mushima Mubambe's representative Ackson Mumba said the traditional leaders in the province were happy with the dedication the PF had shown to end poverty and enhance national development.

And Masumba, who filed his nomination papers at about 09:55 hours, immediately declared that he stood a high chance of retaining the seat saying MMD was finished and would not be a challenge in Mufumbwe.

He said that in the last one year that he had been member of parliament, he had done several projects which would be his witness for people to re-elect him.
And speaking at a rally after Masumba filed his papers, Vice-President Scott said PF was not scared of the MMD and the UPND alliance and called on the electorate to unite and vote for Masumba.

Vice-President Scott jokingly said that despite Masumba looking like a Makishi dancer, as he was draped in the PF regalia and splashed with face powder, the PF would tutor him into a leader of action serving in government.

"If he gets lazy dancing with Congolese dancers, I will 'dinda' (punish) him. So please vote for him; give him your trust and let him work," said Dr Scott as the crowd cheered.

Vice-President Scott was accompanied to Mufumbwe by senior government and party officials among them, PF national chairperson who is also gender minister Inonge Wina, Willie Nsanda, Jean Kapata who is the campaign manager, Professor Nkandu Luo and Esther Banda.

Meanwhile, Muzungu who was constantly on phone during the filing of his nomination papers as an independent candidate, surprisingly pulled out of the race after being called by the UPND and advised to withdraw his papers and help boost MMD's Mulusa's campaign.

"We were in the process when the phone call came and advised that we should proceed in the spirit of the pact, so I had to pull out," Muzungu said.
And returning officer Pythias Samakong'a also confirmed that the National Restoration Party (Narep) had pulled out of the election as its candidate Kelvin Kaputula sent a text to him saying the party would not take part in the by-elections.

And MMD president Nevers Mumba said the Mufumbwe seat belonged to the MMD and there was no way the people in the area would vote for PF's Masumba who was expelled from the party for being indisciplined.

"Our colleagues the PF thought that Masumba's behaviour was appropriate and that they could use him. This is strange, they can't win. MMD is extremely strong on the ground and our candidate Stafford Mulusa is winning," Dr Mumba said.

Those that successfully filed in their nomination papers include Masumba, Stafford Mulusa, and UNIP's Steven Kamwengo.

Meanwhile, filing of nominations for the Mufumbwe by-election slated for November 9, was generally peaceful in the morning except in the afternoon when police arrested two youths who were drunk and disrupted the free flow of traffic by blocking the road.

The youths that were earlier arrested by police are suspected to be MMD cadres that caused further commotion at the police station after one of them started throwing himself against a wall while claiming that police had taken his money and bank documents.

The unidentified youth was later locked up in an isolated cell.
North Western police deputy commissioner Bonnie Kapeso said police would not tolerate behaviour that would bring unnecessary attention and further urged all political parties to learn to co-exist as Zambia was a democracy.

The police also briefly detained 30 PF cadres who were on a truck that mistakenly parked at a lodge called First Inns where MMD senior officials were lodging, prompting MMD cadres to confront them.

The cadres were however released after Kapeso cautioned them, saying police would not tolerate anyone trying to fan violence.

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(STICKY) We need new HIV responses

COMMENT - The 'new response' we need, is to thoroughly examine the way we estimate national HIV prevalence rates. If only DHS surveys were used, which do not rely on the massive overrepresentation of positive results among pregnant women (which is what Zambia's HIV figures are largely based on), and then use a Western Blot confirmation test for positive ELISA (P24, P55) screening tests, then I would say Zambia's HIV prevalence rate will go from 13% to 1.3%, like the DRC's. (I quote from the 2007 DHS of the DRC: " According to the EDS-RDC, 1.3 percent of the population age 15-49 years is HIV-positive. The prevalence is 1.6 percent for women and 0.9 percent for men. "

By contrast, Zambia's HIV data is heavily skewed to blood collected from pregnant women, who are not only not representative of the general population, but whose pregnancy itself generates massive numbers of false positives on single ELISA HIV tests, as well as many other tests. (Read: (Washington Post) How AIDS in Africa Was Overstated - Reliance on Data From Urban Prenatal Clinics Skewed Early Projections, by Craig Timberg. This is what is skewing the Zambian data upwards.)

Men Tested 80,659 (15.7%)
Women Tested 430,607 (84.3%)
Pregnant Women tested 364,331 (71%)
Total Tested 511,266 (100%)

To quote from the research: "The high number of females tested was mostly from the PMTCT programme which accounted for 364,331". Source: ZAMBIA COUNTRY REPORT Monitoring the Declaration of Commitment on HIV and AIDS and the Universal Access Biennial Report.

We need to improve data analysis/testing, and the 'epidemic' will disappear. Meanwhile, the diseases caused by the poverty that comes from free market economics will be addressed at it's root - the massive impoverishment of the people through the stealing of the people's resources, from copper to land.

The solution is: 1) only use DHS surveys, no more PMTCT data, and 2) use Western Blot to confirm positive ELISA screening tests. Those are the new responses we desperately need. And then we can address the diseases of poverty, by addressing poverty itself.

Also read, from the Boston Globe in 2004: (BOSTON GLOBE) Estimates on HIV called too high - New data cut rates for many nations, by John Donnelly, Globe Staff | June 20, 2004

Read more here.

We need new HIV responses
By The Post
Fri 12 Oct. 2012, 14:00 CAT

We have been dealing with the problem of HIV and AIDS for close to 30 years. But nothing much seems to have been achieved in fighting this problem.

We are being told the rate of infection has reduced from 16.1 per cent to 14.3 per cent. And this small reduction is being celebrated when the problem is far much bigger because this is a reduction among those who have been tested. What more those who are not tested?

And among those who are tested and have been found to be positive, it is believed that only about 20 per cent are receiving treatment. What is happening to the other 80 per cent?

It is very clear that we are approaching this problem in a very piece-meal and partial way. We are not in any way trying to uproot the whole problem and live without it. No amount of HIV is desirable or should be tolerated in a country. We are talking about not tolerating the virus and not the people who carry the virus. This needs to be clearly understood because while the virus should never be tolerated, the people who carry it are human beings deserving our love, understanding and compassion. They should not be discriminated against in any way. And stigmatisation should have no place in our country; it shouldn't be tolerated in any way.

We have to be innovative or creative in the way we fight HIV. So far, we have been heavily dependent on other people's approaches or formulas simply because they come to us with deep pockets. And whatever they tell us, we do because they have the money. They employ our own people to champion their formulas and programmes. And our people can't question even that which is wrong, that won't work simply because that's what their paymasters want. If they object to what the financiers want, they will simply be fired and new people will be recruited in their place.

And this runs through private and public HIV programmes. This is so because even what may be said to be government programmes are also funded by donors. And it is the donors who call the tune. It is time we started putting our own public resources in the fight against HIV to save the lives of our people. Yes, donations and help from others are highly welcome and we should be grateful for that. But while we should have a sense of gratitude, we should also accept the fact that the people who are helping us are not super human and do not possess the sum total of human knowledge on the issue of HIV and AIDS. Today, the ideas and programmes of donors dominate our entire HIV campaign.

It is time we started designing our own programmes and reduced our dependence on others. This is not to say we should not co-operate or collaborate with others. What we are trying to say is let's learn from others but at the end of the day, let our decisions and actions be our own. This is a problem that we cannot deal with totally by ourselves. It is a problem that calls for international co-operation. But international co-operation does not deprive us of the right to national initiatives.

There is something we have learnt over the last 30 years of fighting HIV, let's put it to use. If over the last 30 years we have learnt nothing and we know nothing other than what the donors tell us, then we stand no chance of conquering HIV in the near future.

We shouldn't be afraid to come up with our own initiatives, programmes we think can work for us. As Dr Kenneth Kaunda taught us, "Let us be bold and not be afraid of creating precedents, for more often than not, today's precedent may well show as tomorrow's stroke of genius" (address to the 40th annual congress of Rotary International, Kitwe, April 4, 1965).

And as Dr Manasseh Phiri has urged, Zambia needs to start looking for its own resources to deal with the HIV problem.

The suggestion by Prof Paolo Marandola of putting everyone positive on treatment makes sense. One doesn't need to be a scientist to see sense in what is being suggested by Prof Marandola. Yes, putting everyone who is positive on treatment is going to be very expensive for us; it's going to increase our expenditure on the HIV problem. But this cost is not going to continue rising.

It is a cost that is going to start dropping or decreasing. As more and more people who are HIV positive are put on treatment, the rates of infection and re-infection are going to start dropping. And with it the number of people who will develop full-blown AIDS is also going to go down and eventually our costs will also go down. Within a period of five to seven years, this cost can drop to below what we are now spending on giving treatment to the few we are giving the treatment to.

We can't be satisfied with very little achievements. There is very little that has been achieved in this fight. And we shouldn't fool ourselves that we are on our way to conquering the HIV problem. We are far away from it. Until we start to address the problem in its entirety, and not in the partial way we are doing, we will continue moving backwards in very long strides. We can't say we are giving universal treatment to all those living with the virus when we are just giving treatment to a few of them with full-blown AIDS. The majority of the people who are positive, whether they know it or not, are not on treatment.

And the starting point is to get every citizen tested for HIV. In that way, we will know the full scope of the work we need to do and the financial resources we need to mobilise. The number of people testing for HIV is not increasing and it's actually going down. Every citizen needs to know his or her status.

And capacity needs to be created for us as a nation to give treatment to every citizen who is HIV positive so that their potential to transmit the virus to others is reduced as far as possible to zero. And also so that those who have developed AIDS are given treatment to reduce the possibility of them dying as a result of this.

While it cannot be denied that the numbers dying from AIDS have reduced, this does not in itself mean that the spread of HIV has in the same way been arrested.

Let's pay a lot of attention to the need for testing every citizen and putting every positive person on treatment. It is expensive but it will be worth the expense and it is not something totally beyond our reach. But as Felix Mwanza says, we need political will to start owning the HIV response in our country. And all this is possible with political will.

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President Sata praises wife Kaseba in Japan

President Sata praises wife Kaseba in Japan
By Bivan Saluseki in Tokyo
Fri 12 Oct. 2012, 14:00 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata yesterday praised his wife, Dr Christine Kaseba, for making him what he is today.

President Sata, when introducing his delegation to Keidanren - Japan's Federation of the Private Sector, said First Lady Dr Kaseba was his 'right hand person' even though she was seated on his left, sending the audience into laughter.

"You see, because without her, I would not be where I am today," he said shortly after making his address.

He said even if Dr Kaseba was on his left at the function, she was on his right and part of the distinguished ladies and gentlemen and a medical doctor.
President Sata showcased Zambia as a destination of choice for investment from Japan.

He said Zambia was strategically positioned to provide prospective business and investment to two large regional markets - Comesa and SADC.

"My government is determined to enhance the expansion and diversification of the economy by promoting foreign direct investment as well as continued and strengthened cooperation in the areas of diplomacy, finance, trade and technology," said President Sata who has been leading all the investment meetings here.

"Zambia's stable macroeconomic stability - a conducive and enabling environment for private sector and industrial growth, political stability, peace and tranquility - is the hallmark for the country's positive investment. We in Zambia pride ourselves as being Africa's new frontier for investments and high returns."

President Sata said Zambia boasted of other market opportunities through agreements and membership to European Union through the Everything But Arms initiative (EBA), USA through AGOA and the Market Access Initiatives with Canada.

"We are working towards achieving similar market access initiatives across the globe including some with countries in the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region," he said.

President Sata said the Zambian economy had for the last five years registered real Gross Domestic Product growth rate of over 5.7 per cent and was this year projected to register positive growth of above 7 per cent, single digit inflation rate and decreasing interest rates.

He said Zambia was committed to restructuring the economy by diversifying into other sectors such as agriculture, tourism, energy, manufacturing and infrastructure development.

President Sata said government was also committed to reducing the cost of doing business and streamlining the investment climate through the elimination of unnecessary and cumbersome licences and procedures.

"Additionally, the government has implemented prudent fiscal reforms such as broadening the tax base, increased spending on priority sectors aimed at minimising unplanned expenditure while ensuring fiscal discipline," said President Sata.

Later, President Sata also had meetings with Hitachi Construction chairman, Kikawa.

President Sata told the Hitachi delegation to build a bigger plant than the one along Airport Road.

He appreciated their investment to Zambia and invited them to meet him next time the team would be in Zambia.

President Sata also met the JICA president at Hotel New Otani.
JICA president Akihiko Tanaka told President Sata that he was happy with the Kazungula Bridge project.

He said JICA considered Zambia one of the best partners in terms of development.
Tanaka said the completion of Kazungula Bridge would help improve transportation within and outside Zambia.

He said the Japanese government should pay particular attention to Africa.
And President Sata invited JICA officials to go to Zambia because there were a lot of projects where JICA could help.

The President said Zambia needed infrastructure development.
He also said Japan could help in areas of agriculture such as tobacco because of the availability of tobacco market.

The head of state said Japan could take advantage of Zambia's position in the region as a springboard for developing the region.
He is tomorrow expected to fly to Hokkaido town to visit the university and other agricultural projects before attending mass at Kita Ichijo Catholic Church in the same area.

About half of the milk in Japan is produced in the beautiful and vast countryside of Hokkaido, the largest of Japan's 47 prefectures and northernmost of Japan's four main islands.

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PF will perform beyond expectations - Chumbwe

PF will perform beyond expectations - Chumbwe
By Roy Habaalu
Fri 12 Oct. 2012, 14:00 CAT

LUSAKA Province Patriotic Front chairperson Geoffrey Chumbwe says the ruling party has settled down and is ready to develop Zambia.

And PF Central Province chairman Benson Chali says people had only seen a tip of the iceberg in terms of performance of the ruling party in the one year it has been in office.

The PF marked a year in office on September 22, 2012 after defeating the MMD in last year's general elections.

In an interview, Chumbwe said the party was organising itself and clearing the way for development.

He said the 90-day theory had given direction on how the PF would govern the country.

"There is no way you can build a country like Zambia in 90 days at least we have given direction and people should watch the space and see where we are going. After five years, this country won't be the same again and Zambians will be proud to be called Zambians because the PF is going to perform wonders beyond their expectations," Chumbwe said.

He said under the MMD, Zambia was known as a haven of thieves, adding that at that time, it was embarrassing and humiliating for people to associate themselves with the country.

"When MMD was in power, I went to the United Kingdom and at the airport an old Indian driver gave me a lift and asked me where I was coming from. I said I was from Zambia Then he said 'Oh, you're from that country where you've a president who is a thief'. That was the time when late president Chiluba was appearing in court for corruption offences," he said.

Chumbwe said it might take long for people to appreciate the government's efforts to develop the country because the country had ground to a halt under MMD.

"Even some ministers and permanent secretaries, we still have civil servants who are still MMD; until we are very sure and clear all MMD cobwebs from the system, we can say we are now working but for now we're still cleaning up the mess that the MMD left," Chumbwe said.

He said civil servants retarding the government's progress had been identified and warned that all MMD sympathisers would be dealt with the moment they were discovered.

And Chali said Zambia was set for a turn-around because it had a pro-poor President.

He said President Michael Sata was an experienced leader who wanted to improve the living standards of the poor.

"The difference between Michael and other leaders is that he doesn't look at the higher class but wants to bring the lower class to a level where they feel proud of being Zambians," Chali said.

He said if all people decided to work hard together, Zambia would prosper.
"People should ask themselves - we've made mistakes alright - but what if we gave Rupiah Banda another five years, what would have happened?

We would have been talking about Zambia sold to foreigners but at least today we're there and things are stabilising. So it's just the start of the game. People should expect much more from the government," said Chali in an interview.

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Sata should allow RDA to operate independently - Mulongoti

COMMENT - Message tot the clueless Mike Mulongoti, and the clueless MMD. Present the evidence that privatisation presents an improvement over state control. You can't because privatisation is all about creating monopolies and extracting (harvesting) as much value as possible from any potential Zambian middle class. The only thing the MMD excelled in was taking bribes to sell the Zambian people's property to the lowest bidder. That's privatisation - or as it should be known, profitisation.

Sata should allow RDA to operate independently - Mulongoti
By Moses Kuwema
Fri 12 Oct. 2012, 14:00 CAT

MIKE Mulongoti says President Michael Sata should allow the Road Development Agency to operate independently by putting in safeguards and regulations.

Speaking when he featured on Radio Phoenix's Face the Media programme yesterday that was discussing the construction sector and how to ensure full participation of Zambian-owned companies, Mulongoti, a former works and supply minister in the MMD, said it was not a safe thing to transfer the RDA to State House.

"The nature of that office is that you have got too much power and to be given too much power is not good. It is never a safe thing that you can take contracting into State House; it does not matter who is there. As far as I am concerned, the RDA should be allowed to operate independently.

Let us put in safeguards and regulations. We must continue to allow people to award contracts without involving the highest office in the land. The dangers involved for that industry are too much for the President and his office," Mulongoti said.
He said the fight against corruption must not stifle development.

"If you take it as a preoccupation where every day you are seeing faults and suspicions of this and that one, you are killing development. Let us build confidence and trust in the civil service once again," he said.
Mulongoti said the RDA need strengthening because it had been dismembered because people had left.

He said the RDA was now a shell of its former self and wondered how the few people that had remained would supervise the road projects across the country.
"We should find solutions without injuring the institutions.

The challenge for PF now is that they must find engineers. Engineers are not easy to find. There are very few engineers who are competent and have experience. The engineers that were chased at RDA are now in other countries," Mulongoti said.
He said if the government was suspicious of any engineers at RDA, they should subject them to the normal scrutiny as opposed to hounding them out.

"We must not be emotional to a level where we clear everybody and in the process we injure the operations of the institution," said Mulongoti.
President Sata has transferred the RDA to his office at State House in order to check corruption in road contract.


Kabimba, GBM draw cheers in Parliament

Kabimba, GBM draw cheers in Parliament
By Ernest Chanda and Mwala Kalaluka
Fri 12 Oct. 2012, 14:00 CAT

OPPOSITION members of parliament on Wednesday cheered justice minister Wynter Kabimba as he stood up to give his maiden speech while others shouted "GBM" in apparent reference to defence minister Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba.

And Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini was compelled to call for order in the House following opposition members of parliaments' euphoric behaviour whenever Mwamba appeared in the House.

When several Cabinet ministers and deputies, including Kabimba raised their hands for a chance to debate President Michael Sata's speech, several UPND members shouted, "Wynter, Wynter" even before Speaker Matibini gave him the opportunity to debate.

After Kabimba was allowed to debate, several other opposition members shouted "Ya! Ya! with Kasenengwa MMD member of parliament Victoria Kalima remarking: "the president-in-waiting."

And before he could start his debate, again some opposition members shouted: "GBM", in apparent reference to Mwamba.

And in his debate, Kabimba urged his colleagues to denounce corruption no matter who was involved.

"Do not speak in whispers about corruption but say it loud and clear, even if it is the Minister of Justice who is involved," said Kabimba as some UPND members shouted; "GBM."

And Kabimba urged his fellow members of parliament to support legislative amendments that he would bring to the House, which seek to strengthen institutions fighting corruption.

On persistent differences between PF and opposition members of parliament, Kabimba said Zambians were not interested.

"People are not interested in the power consternations which are characterised within and outside this House. I shall not recruit any member of the opposition to join PF unless this becomes extremely necessary," said Kabimba.

After he finished his debate and other PF members stood up, including Mwamba, some opposition members pleaded with the Speaker to grant Mwamba an opportunity to debate, but it was later granted to health deputy minister Christopher Mulenga.

And Mwamba and Kabimba's entry into the House continued to attract comments and shouts from other members of parliament.

On Tuesday, Mwamba's entry into the chamber at 17:35 hours triggered running commentaries and applause from the opposition side of the House.
Mwamba responded by nodding towards the opposition before greeting some of his fellow PF members of parliament that went where he was seated.

On Wednesday, Mwamba entered the House at 15:54 hours when his fellow ministers were responding to questions for oral answer, and the applause he got from the opposition UPND and MMD members of parliament was little louder than Tuesday's.

"GBM, GBM, yaa, yaa, yaa," some opposition parliamentarians shouted as Speaker Matibini called them to order. "Ba kateka the president, ba president."
Meanwhile, Eastern Province minister Charles Banda said he was ready to take on anyone disputing government's ability to deliver to the province.

Contributing to the same motion, Banda said President Sata was a man of action and that Zambians were lucky to have him for a leader.

"He believes in action and this is what defeats the thinking which our friends have that they are very intelligent," Banda said. "That is a fallacy. What we appreciate and what the people of Zambia are going to appreciate is the accomplishment of the promises we made to them."

Banda said there could be no argument that President Sata had not delivered to the people of Eastern Province as he outlined a number of successes scored in the education, agriculture and health sectors over the last year.

"We are not going to waste resources by pretending that we are mighty," said Banda. "These achievements are things which are actually there, very tangible... if there is anyone who wants to take me on in an argument, I am very ready. We are very happy and we are very proud because we are seeing action."


President Sata praises wife Kaseba in Japan

President Sata praises wife Kaseba in Japan
By Bivan Saluseki in Tokyo
Fri 12 Oct. 2012, 14:00 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata yesterday praised his wife, Dr Christine Kaseba, for making him what he is today.

President Sata, when introducing his delegation to Keidanren - Japan's Federation of the Private Sector, said First Lady Dr Kaseba was his 'right hand person' even though she was seated on his left, sending the audience into laughter.

"You see, because without her, I would not be where I am today," he said shortly after making his address.

He said even if Dr Kaseba was on his left at the function, she was on his right and part of the distinguished ladies and gentlemen and a medical doctor.
President Sata showcased Zambia as a destination of choice for investment from Japan.

He said Zambia was strategically positioned to provide prospective business and investment to two large regional markets - Comesa and SADC.

"My government is determined to enhance the expansion and diversification of the economy by promoting foreign direct investment as well as continued and strengthened cooperation in the areas of diplomacy, finance, trade and technology," said President Sata who has been leading all the investment meetings here.

"Zambia's stable macroeconomic stability - a conducive and enabling environment for private sector and industrial growth, political stability, peace and tranquility - is the hallmark for the country's positive investment. We in Zambia pride ourselves as being Africa's new frontier for investments and high returns."

President Sata said Zambia boasted of other market opportunities through agreements and membership to European Union through the Everything But Arms initiative (EBA), USA through AGOA and the Market Access Initiatives with Canada.

"We are working towards achieving similar market access initiatives across the globe including some with countries in the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region," he said.

President Sata said the Zambian economy had for the last five years registered real Gross Domestic Product growth rate of over 5.7 per cent and was this year projected to register positive growth of above 7 per cent, single digit inflation rate and decreasing interest rates.

He said Zambia was committed to restructuring the economy by diversifying into other sectors such as agriculture, tourism, energy, manufacturing and infrastructure development.

President Sata said government was also committed to reducing the cost of doing business and streamlining the investment climate through the elimination of unnecessary and cumbersome licences and procedures.

"Additionally, the government has implemented prudent fiscal reforms such as broadening the tax base, increased spending on priority sectors aimed at minimising unplanned expenditure while ensuring fiscal discipline," said President Sata.

Later, President Sata also had meetings with Hitachi Construction chairman, Kikawa.

President Sata told the Hitachi delegation to build a bigger plant than the one along Airport Road.

He appreciated their investment to Zambia and invited them to meet him next time the team would be in Zambia.

President Sata also met the JICA president at Hotel New Otani.
JICA president Akihiko Tanaka told President Sata that he was happy with the Kazungula Bridge project.

He said JICA considered Zambia one of the best partners in terms of development.
Tanaka said the completion of Kazungula Bridge would help improve transportation within and outside Zambia.

He said the Japanese government should pay particular attention to Africa.
And President Sata invited JICA officials to go to Zambia because there were a lot of projects where JICA could help.

The President said Zambia needed infrastructure development.
He also said Japan could help in areas of agriculture such as tobacco because of the availability of tobacco market.

The head of state said Japan could take advantage of Zambia's position in the region as a springboard for developing the region.
He is tomorrow expected to fly to Hokkaido town to visit the university and other agricultural projects before attending mass at Kita Ichijo Catholic Church in the same area.

About half of the milk in Japan is produced in the beautiful and vast countryside of Hokkaido, the largest of Japan's 47 prefectures and northernmost of Japan's four main islands.

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(SWAPO) Ngurare wants economic freedom fighters

(SWAPO) Ngurare wants economic freedom fighters
By Staff Reporter

SWAPO Party Youth League Secretary, Cde Elijah Ngurare, has called on ruling parties in Southern Africa to urgently work out strategies to fight unemployment and poverty which continue to haunt many people in the region, decades after political independence.

He says that the solution now lies with fearless economic fighters who should be trained to fearlessly wage that war and set the people free from the bondage of soaring unemployment and biting poverty Addressing a rally organized by the African National Congress Youth League, ANCYL, in Limpopo, South Africa, this week, Dr Ngurare said that the ruling parties in southern Africa had nobody but themselves to blame for having failed to win the war for economic freedom and independence.

Dr Ngurare said that people in the Southern African Development Community, SADC, could proudly say that they had achieved political freedom and independence, which had been won through the militancy, bravery and fearlessness of the youth of yester years.

But economically, he added, the people were still not free, decades after the ruling parties in southern Africa had been at the helm of political power. He said that the ANC in South Africa, SWAPO Party in Namibia, ZANU-PF in Zimbabwe, MPLA in Angola, Chama ChaMapinduzi, CCM, in Tanzania and Frelimo in Mozambique should draw up strategies to bring about economic independence.

"Who should the electorates in these countries blame for the failure of realizing economic independence?" he asked. "Shall the blame got to the youth or to the elders who are ruling? "It therefore requires that we train economic freedom fighters with vigor, determination and the energy and stamina commensurate to the liberation struggle in order to win this war just as we won the political freedom war."

The rally was attended by ANC Deputy President, Cde Kgalema Motlante, who is also the Deputy President of South Africa, ANCYL President Julius Malema and other leading figures in the ANC and its youth wing.

Dr Ngurare described Malema as an example of the economic freedom fighters the region should train, saying that Malema and millions of South Africans should be the weapons in the arsenal of the ANC to wage the economic war. He appealed to the ANC government leadership to focus on real issues such as economic independence, and not to destroy the political careers of those they did not like, adding that Malema was not the one who created unemployment, poverty and hunger in South Africa.

This was a rare moment when a senior ANC leader has comfortably shared a platform with Malema since the latter's expulsion from the ANC. The ANC will hold an elective congress later this year. Malema has appealed his expulsion, which has yet to be heard.

"Comrade Motlante," said Dr Ngurare, "I wish, through you, to appeal to you and the leadership of the ANC, to understand that the youth are not your enemies and must not be your enemies. They are the revolutionary offspring of the ideals of the Party. "There is no need for elders to be allergic to the youth but rather allow them space to be active, vigilant and militant in line with the Constitution and relevant documents of the Party.

"I come from Namibia under SWAPO Party. The majority of our elders are youth friendly, only a few ones who are not. But we are happy that the generational mix is an irreversible and irrevocably reality. "We shall ensure that the ideals of the revolution in the realm of economic freedom is neither betrayed nor compromised, neither by the elders nor by the youth. We should join hands to triumphantly succeed.

"We must at all times never betray the historic mission for which our ruling parties were founded, namely to be in solidarity with the downtrodden, aspire for freedom for the oppressed and for social justice for the disadvantaged by delivering, without fail, to the expectations and hopes of the people."

Dr Ngurare and Lt-General, (rtd) Martin Shali, were in Angola last week, where they attended the 24th Anniversary of the 1988 Battle of Quito Quanavale in Luanda. The anniversary was graced with impressive lectures by battle-tested veterans of FAPLA, (Angola's National Defence Force,) who waged the war for Angola's independence, and who also took part in the Battle of Quito Quanavale, which paved the way for Namibia's independence and the release of Nelson Mandela.

"They said this was possible at the prime years of their lives, and they said it themselves that they were able to execute this historic battle because of their energy and stamina of youth," said Dr Ngurare.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) Malema heads to Zimbabwe for talks

Malema heads to Zimbabwe for talks
11/10/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

EXPELLED African National Congress Youth League leader Julius Malema is set travel to Zimbabwe on Friday, a spokesman for his Economic Freedom Fighters group confirmed Thursday. Malema would meet “progressive forces in Zimbabwe” to discuss economic freedom Floyd Shivambu said in a statement.

“During the visit, Malema will also attend the wedding of the deputy secretary general of the Pan African Youth Union and member of Zanu PF Youth League, Comrade Tendai Wenyika,” Shivambu said. Malema would be accompanied by Shivambu and suspended ANCYL secretary general Sindiso Magaqa.

“Economic Freedom Fighters will forever associate with and interact with progressive forces across the country, the African continent and whole world and will never be ashamed,” Shivambu added.

The ANC renegade was ANC renegade was last month charged with money laundering in a high profile corruption case his supporters say is part of a political plot to silence President Jacob Zuma's most vocal critic.

Malema, who has backed wildcat miners' strikes and has been pushing for nationalisation of the mines, scoffed at the charges after being released on bail.
"I'm unshaken... I'll continue with the struggle for economic freedom," he told supporters.

Ousted as leader of the ANC Youth League in April for ill-discipline, Malema has returned from the political wilderness with a vengeance, stepping up public criticism against Zuma and the ANC hierarchy.

However, his penchant for luxury cars, flashy Swiss watches and champagne parties has also attracted the attention of South Africa's Revenue Service, which said at the weekend he owed nearly $2 million in unpaid taxes.

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(GLOBALRESEARCH) Major Powers versus Small Nations: Globalization and the Issue of National Sovereignty

Major Powers versus Small Nations: Globalization and the Issue of National Sovereignty
By Thomas H Naylor
Global Research, October 11, 2012

The Transition to a Totalitarian World Government

Much to the chagrin of Washington and Tel Aviv, a recent meeting of the so-called Non-Aligned Movement, a group formed during the Cold War that views itself as independent of the major powers, sent a clear signal to the US-Israeli cabal that they are visibly annoyed at the United States and Israel for continuing to portray Iran as the world’s foremost scapegoat. The meeting which took place in Tehran on August 26-31 proved to be a public relations coup for Iran in spite of UN Secretary General and American pawn Ban Ki-moon’s attempt to hijack the meeting.

The NAM represents nearly two-thirds of the nations of the world, most of whom are small and poor. However, their membership does include four meganations which have populations in excess of 100 million – Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Nigeria.

The meeting in Tehran was a vivid reminder that we live in a meganation world under the cloud of Empire, the American Empire. Fifty-nine percent of the people on the planet now live in one of the eleven nations with a population of over one hundred million people. These meganations in descending order of population size include China, India, USA, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Russia, Japan, and Mexico. Extending the argument one step farther, we note that twenty-five nations have populations in excess of 50 million and that seventy-three percent of us live in one of those countries.

Global Megaproblems

It’s hard to imagine a more chaotic world than the world in which we find ourselves. The ongoing residual effects of the 2008 Wall Street meltdown, the current euro crisis, the alleged international threat of terrorism (albeit Western induced), American imperialism (full spectrum dominance and imperial overstretch), excessive population growth, extreme poverty, peak oil, and climate change are all evidence of a world that is totally out of control.

When Category 4 Hurricane Katrina slammed ashore a few miles east of New Orleans in 2005 with all of its fury, the devastation was almost beyond belief. Neither the New Orleans mayor, the Louisiana governor, nor the president of the United States seemed to have a clue as to how to deal with the crisis. Tens of thousands of New Orleanians behaved as though they were experimental mice on an electric floor after experiencing learned helplessness from repeated shocks, waiting to be rescued by the City or the State, not knowing that the mayor and the governor had both abdicated their responsibility for emergency assistance to the federal government. There was widespread looting as well as fires, explosions, gunshots, murders, rapes, and robberies. By the time the cavalry finally arrived five days later, it was too little, too late. All of this in the richest, most powerful nation in the world. The story of Katrina was the story of too many people being crammed into too little space, who were too dependent on an ill-conceived flood control system and an impotent, unsustainable government which had lost its moral authority.

Neither its $5.4 trillion economy, its state-of-the-art technology, nor its military like efficiency could protect Japan from the catastrophic consequences of the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster. To be quite blunt, when you try to squeeze 127 million people into one large island and a group of smaller ones, all prone to earthquakes, you have few degrees of freedom when disaster strikes. It’s all about human scale. The recent widespread electric power blackouts in India were examples of more of the same.

In the prescient words of Leopold Kohr in his 1957 book Breakdown of Nations, “There seems only one cause behind all forms of social misery: bigness. Whenever something is wrong, something is too big.”

Failed International Megainstitutions

Since the end of World War II a plethora of international megainstitutions have evolved to deal with such issues as national security, peacekeeping, international finance, economic development, and international trade. They include the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, and NATO. The track record of these megainstitutions has proven to be singularly unimpressive.

That the 192-member United Nations, which is dominated by the United States, Russia, and China, each of which has veto power in the Security Council, has been so ineffective since its inception in 1945, is hardly surprising. Nothing illustrates this better than the U.N. sponsored conferences on climate change in Kyoto in 1997 and Copenhagen in 2009. Trying to come up with solutions to a problem as complex as climate change by assembling 178 heads of state, as was the case in Kyoto, or 193 in Copenhagen, is truly an exercise in futility. The product of the 12-day Copenhagen conference was a nonbinding agreement in which no one was committed to anything. The so-called Copenhagen agreement was a complete sham. The process was replicated in Cancun, Mexico in 2010 with similar results.

How many wars has the U.N. prevented? Certainly none in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Palestine, or Africa. Global political problems are too complex for an assembly of two hundred international political leaders to sort out in a public forum. This is even more true if China and the United States refuse to budge from their positions of national self-interest. Some have cynically suggested that the U.N. is little more than an extension of the U.S. State Department.

The U.S. Treasury, Federal Reserve Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization are all committed to transforming the world economy into a giant global growth machine regulated by an international gambling casino in which resource allocation decisions are driven by a high-speed, multinational, high-tech crap shoot. Satellite communications, fiber optics, and the Internet make it possible to transform small, manageable local problems into unmanageable global problems overnight.

Since globalization is often achieved through coercion, intimidation, exploitation, collectivism, monopoly, and American military might; local cultures, local values, local communities and local environmental concerns often receive short shrift.

Transnational megacompanies not only tell so called emerging market countries (most of the world) what they will produce, how it will be produced, when it will be sold, and at what price, but they also influence local working conditions, wages, benefits, and labor laws. They often dictate local government monetary, fiscal, trade, and banking policies. International money managers decide which foreign currencies are overvalued and which are not, as well as which countries should be punished for not playing by their arbitrary, self-serving rules. This is truly a one-size-fits-all game.

President Bill Clinton called for a New Global Financial Architecture. But what he proposed was nothing new at all – more trade, more budget cuts, more privatization, more foreign investment, more megamergers, more computer networks, less government control, lower interest rates, more IMF bailouts, and, as always, more economic growth. He wanted everything to be bigger, more complex, more high-tech, and more interdependent – bigger markets, bigger trade agreements, bigger loans, bigger bailouts, bigger banks and financial institutions, and bigger telecommunication networks. Our government’s cryptic message to the rest of the world is, “Just be like us.” One-size-fits-all!

Economists justify globalization on the basis of the so called “trickle down effect,” in which the benefits of global trade to the superwealthy eventually trickle down to the poor. But half of the world’s population lives on less than $2 per day, and many of these people have no access to clean water, electricity, or sanitation. World Bank figures suggest that the trickle down effect has not worked so well. In 1987, 1.2 billion people in the world were trying to survive on $1 a day. Now over 1.5 billion are trying to do so.

Another large, ill-conceived, international organization which is too big to fix is the 28-nation European Union with its common currency, the euro, shared by 17 of its member nations. The euro is being kept afloat by a series of lies, leaks, rumors, and smoke-and-mirrors dances. Financial markets are pumped up by the expectations of the next meeting of the ECB, the European finance ministers, or German Chancellor Angela Merkel with either her French or Italian counterpart. Each meeting holds out the hope of a silver bullet fix for the euro. Most have turned out to be nonevents.

When the euro was first introduced in 1999 it was supposed to unite Europe, promote federalism, and lead to collective economic prosperity. As the euro faces the real possibility of complete collapse, it seems to be pulling Europe further apart. An increasing number of political leaders in the EU are now calling for the break up of the $17 trillion political and economic union with a population of nearly 500 million.

NATO is a Cold War anachronism which has been unable to find a new mission to justify its post Cold War existence. Thus far its primary aim seems to be to antagonize Russia by enticing former Soviet Republics into its ranks and thus surrounding the Russian Bear with what it perceives to be a hostile force. More recently NATO has diversified its portfolio to include the war on terror, e.g., its foray into Libya in 2011.

Small Nations

I believe it is high time for the smaller nations of the world to begin withdrawing from the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, the IMF, the European Union, and NATO. These international megainstitutions are morally, intellectually, politically, and spiritually bankrupt. It is time for the smaller nations to confront the meganations of the world and say, “Enough is enough. We refuse to continue condoning your plundering the planet in pursuit of resources and markets to quench your insatiable appetite for consumer goods and services.” These small nations should call for the nonviolent breakup of the United States, China, Russia, Japan, India, and the other meganations of the world.

A small group of peaceful, sustainable, cooperative, democratic, egalitarian, ecofriendly nations might lead the way. Such a group might include Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland.

What these five European nations have in common is that they are tiny, very affluent, nonviolent, democratic, and socially responsible. They also have a high degree of environmental integrity and a strong sense of community. Although Denmark and Norway are members of NATO, Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland are neutral. Once considered classical European democratic socialist states, the four Nordic states in the group have become much more market-oriented in recent years. Not only is Switzerland the wealthiest of the lot, but it is the most market-oriented country in the world, with the weakest central government, the most decentralized social welfare system, and a long tradition of direct democracy. What’s more, all of these countries work, and they work very well. Compared to the United States they have fewer big cities, less traffic congestion, less pollution, less poverty, less crime, less drug abuse, and fewer social welfare problems.

An interesting special case is the tiny Alpine Principality of Liechtenstein which has the highest gross domestic product per person in the world when adjusted by purchasing power parity (over $140,000 per capita), the world’s lowest external debt, and the second lowest unemployment rate in the world (recently as low as 1.5 percent), and a population of only 35,000 spread over 62 square miles. Organized as a constitutional monarchy with an enlightened Reigning Prince by the name of Hans-Adam II, Liechtenstein is best known as a tax haven and home to 73,700 corporations worldwide.

Three other small countries which might also join the party are environmentally friendly Costa Rica, which has no army, ecovillage pioneer Senegal, and the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. Since 1972 the king of Bhutan has been trying to make Gross National Happiness the national priority rather than Gross National Product. Although still a work-in-progress, policies instituted by the king are aimed at ensuring that prosperity is shared across society and that it is balanced against preserving cultural traditions, protecting the environment, and maintaining a responsive government.

As Austrian economist Leopold Kohr said in The Breakdown of Nations, “A small-state world would not only solve the problems of social brutality and war; it would solve the problems of oppression and tyranny. It would solve all problems arising from power.”

Aspiring Small Nations

Today there are self-determination movements in over two dozen countries. Notwithstanding the European unification movement, during the last half-century separatist movements have become much more important and widespread than unification schemes. For example, there are now nearly two hundred independent nations in the world, over four times the number that existed after World War II. The implosion of the Soviet Union and the breakup of Yugoslavia are two of the most important examples of this tendency, but many more have occurred and more are on the way.

We are witnessing the dismemberment and crumbling of the multi-ethnic empires all over the world – the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, India, Indonesia, and potentially China. The Soviet Union split into fifteen independent republics, many of which have their own independence movements. Czechoslovakia peacefully divided itself into the Czech and Slovak republics. Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia-Montenegro, and Slovenia have all become independent nations as a result of the dissolution of Yugoslavia. Throughout Europe there are dozens of other self-determination movements in such places as Belgium, Bulgaria, Britain, Italy, Lapland, Poland, Romania, Scotland, and Spain. The Basque region of Spain is but one of eleven Spanish regions calling for more autonomy, and both Catalonia and Valencia also have full-fledged separatist movements.

One of the most divisive countries in Europe is Belgium which went 535 days without a properly elected leader because of the toxicity in the relationship between the wealthier Dutch-speaking majority and poorer French-speaking minority. It was not until after Standard & Poor’s downgraded the country’s credit rating that Belgian politicians finally formed a coalition government in response to pressure from international financial markets.

In Africa, hundreds of tribes are trying to shake off artificial boundaries imposed on them by nineteenth-century European colonialism. For example, Sudan recently split into two parts.

Even though self-determination is forbidden by the Indian constitution, the country is literally awash with separatist movements. Although Kashmir has the best known such movement in India, Sikkim and most of the states in Northeast India have active separatist groups. These include Assam, Bodoland, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland. These states are not contiguous with the rest of India. Then there is also Khalistan, a global political self-determination group to create a separate Sikh state.

After a near-miss in its 1995 referendum to achieve independence from Canada, the Quebec separatist movement fell into the doldrums for over 15 years. However, in September 2012 the Parti Québécois won a victory of sorts in the Quebec provincial election and was able to put together a weak coalition government. The stability of the new government remains somewhat in doubt. In 1998 the Canadian Supreme Court issued a ruling declaring self-determination to be constitutional and outlining the necessary steps which must be taken by a province to split from the Confederation. There are also self-determination movements in Alberta and British Columbia.

A Community of Small Nations

What is called for is nothing less than the radicalization of the small, nonviolent, sustainable, socially responsible countries of the world. Countries like Bhutan, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland must face up to the fact that they share nothing in common with meganations such as the United States, China, Russia, and India. They should not only stop sucking up to them but they should avoid emulating them at all cost.

The small enlightened nations of the world should begin organizing themselves into what might be called the Small Nations’ Alliance (SNA) to encourage (1) the nonviolent breakup of meganations such as the United States, China, Russia, and India; (2) the peaceful coexistence of a community of small, sustainable, cooperative, democratic, socially responsible, egalitarian, nonviolent, ecofriendly nations; and (3) the independence of small breakaway states such as Quebec, Scotland, Tibet, and Vermont.

One thing is for sure, if there are to be any solutions to global megaproblems such as poverty, peak oil and climate change, they will not originate with either the United States, China, or Russia, each of which is obsessed with protecting its own respective self interest. So long as New York, London, and Tokyo maintain hammerlock control over international financial markets, international finance and banking reform will remain an illusive fantasy. What the world could use effectively is a dozen or so financial centers, not just three megacenters.

We do not envision the SNA as an international governing body with the power to impose its collective will on others. Rather we see it as a role model encouraging others to decentralize, downsize, localize, demilitarize, simplify, and humanize their lives. Membership in the SNA will be open to those nations who subscribe to the principles of the SNA and are approved for membership by a consensus of SNA members. The only mechanism available for enforcing policies endorsed by the SNA would be expulsion from the organization for noncompliance.

The defining issue in today’s world is human scale. The hour is very late. The small nations of the world have sat silently on the sidelines for all too long allowing the world’s meganations to set the global agenda. It is indeed high time they rebél against the meganations, take control of their destiny, and demand a place at the table. The future of the planet depends on it.

Finally, in the words of French rebel Albert Camus, “It is those who know how to rebél at the appropriate moment, against history who really advance its interests.”

Thomas H. Naylor is Founder of the Second Vermont Republic and Professor Emeritus of Economics at Duke University; co-author of Affluenza, Downsizing the USA, and The Search for Meaning.

Articles by: Thomas H Naylor
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