Friday, November 23, 2012

(LUSAKATIMES) Mealie meal shortage: Vice President accuse Millers of Blackmail

Mealie meal shortage: Vice President accuse Millers of Blackmail
TIME PUBLISHED - Friday, November 23, 2012, 1:27 pm

Vice president Guy Scott has accused millers of blackmail in view of the shortage of mealie meal that has hit the Copperbelt.

Dr Scott during the vice president’s question time in response to a question by Mafinga Member of Parliament, Catherine Namugala who wanted to find out government’s position on the mealie meal shortage, said millers ignored the advice given to them to buy maize for themselves on the open market up until the end of December when the FRA would supply them with maize in the second half.

Ms Namugala told the House that mealie-meal prices on the Copperbelt had gone as higher as K75, 000 making it difficult for the locals to purchase the commodity.

Dr Scott said that the millers thought they were clever and left the Food Reserve Agency to buy all the maize as has previously has been the case in the past with all the corruption and maize wastage involved.

He says unfortunately the millers’ blackmail seems to have some effect into forcing government into directing FRA to release maize earlier than planned in order to bring down mealie meal prices down.

The Vice president disclosed that the situation has further been compounded by the mechanical outage at Mpongwe milling which has been down for seven days.

“Mpongwe milling has be down for past seven days which has aggravated the situation because it is the largest milling and supplier of mealie-meal on the Copperbelt, but by next week the situation will normalise, “he said

Dr Scott also said South Africa had stopped supplying the commodity to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a situation which had caused severe demand of mealie-meal from Zambia into DRC.

The Vice President has assured that the escalating prices and shortages of mealie meal on the Copperbelt will normalise by next week.

The Vice President said Agriculture and Cooperative Minister Emmanuel Chenda would next week issue a comprehensive statement on various issues such as mealie-meal shortages.

And United Party for National Development (UPND) Nangoma MP Boyd Hamusonde wondered why there had slow distribution of the farming inputs under Fertiliser Input Support Programme (FISP). In his response, Dr Scott said Government inherited a system that was full of corruption.

He said the Patriotic Front (PF) Government found FISP marred with high corrupt practises and that it was cleaning up FISP distribution exercise.

Dr Scott said the Government would promote transparency and accountability in the manner farming inputs were managed for the benefits of several Zambians farmers.

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(STICKY) (NEWZIMBABWE) PAC's Marange looting report 'pregnant with falsehoods'

COMMENT - This is typical of the pro-sanctions 'NGOs', that really aren't non-governmental organisation, but are funded by foreign governments. PAC's dramatic report was intended to scuttle the sale of diamonds from Zimbabwe by creating the justification for economic sanctions. So much for 'free trade'.

PAC's Marange looting report 'pregnant with falsehoods'
Marange report ... Mines Minister Obert Mpofu cited in alleged large-scale diamond looting
22/11/2012 00:00:00

On November 12, 2012, the Toronto-based rights group Partnership Africa Canada released a report on the Marange diamond fields, alleging looting worth around $2 billion since 2008. “The scale of illegality is mind blowing... the biggest plunder of diamonds since Cecil Rhodes," the report said.

Zimbabwean NGOs have been critical of the PAC report which they say is lacking in detail and specifics, although they welcome its call for greater transparency.

One of the NGOs, the Resources Exploitation Watch Trust, issued the following statement on Thursday criticising the PAC report titled 'Reap What You Sow: Greed and Corruption in Zimbabwe Marange Diamond Fields':

"Resource Exploitation Watch Trust (REWT) is a pan African civic society carrying oversight on the Marange Diamond mining activities pursuant to the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) Kinshasa Agreement.

REWT notes with dismay contents of the Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) report entitled Reap What You Sow: Greed and Corruption in Zimbabwe’s Marange Diamond Fields.

We disagree with the report on the following grounds:

# The civic society oversight in Marange diamond fields is to be carried by local Zimbabwean Civic Society Organisations (CSO) as directed by the KP Kinshasa agreement. PAC as an external and foreign organisation is excluded to undertake oversight in the Marange diamond fields. Further, PAC has no intimate knowledge of the goings on in Marange. If PAC was sincere in its efforts, it should have submitted the report to the KP Chair so that the allegations, which fall with realm of KP mandate, be interrogated.

The report is pregnant with serious and malicious falsehoods. We pick the following as an example:

# No evidence was provided to prove that President Robert Mugabe's government deployed helicopter gunships to masaccre 200 villagers in Marange. Names of victims were not mentioned.

# Farai Mutamangira was not appointed Chief Executive of Hwange Colliery. In fact the mine is looking for a new CEO after the departure of Freddy Moyo.

# The link between the death of the respected businessman, Allan Banks, and illegal diamond trade without disclosing the full details of the transactions he allegedly made is unfair and insensitive to the family of the slain businessman.

# The implication of Mozambican authorities in the alleged diamond laundering without affording them right of reply is grossly mischievous and disdainful.

# The allegations of money laundering by players in China, Dubai, India and UAE without supporting banking records is indicative of deep hatred of non-white actors in the diamond industry by the Canadians.

# There is no precise breakdown of the alleged US$2 billion diamond sales which were looted by the Mugabe government showing the actual buyers, bank accounts used or caratage bought by each individual buyer.

The report pre-supposes that Mines Minisrer Obert Mpofu was a pauper prior to his appointment as Minister of Mines and Mining Development in 2009. A quick cross-check of his alleged wealth as cointained in the report will show the following:

# Umguza Block, 10,060 hectares, formerly owned by Cold Storage Commission (CSC) specifically known as blocks 39, 40 and 41: Documents at hand prove that the farm is, in fact, Auchenburg blocks 3A, 3B, 6, 6A, 7A, 7B measuring 4,214 ha and is owned by the CSC which is leasing it to the minister for US$5,028 in an agreement that was signed by CSC chief executive officer Mr. Ngoni Chinogaramombe.

# 1,027ha Auchenburg Farm, Nyamandlovu: This is actually a piece of land that was bought by prominent businessman Mr. Golden Ndlovu for Z$80 million in 2001.

# Green Haven Farm located close to Umguza River: This is not a farm but a business centre which Dr Mpofu bought in 1987 and sold to another businessman in 1995. It has since been sold to the Marima family.

# 3,700ha Umguza CSC Block and Young Farm Nyamandlovu: This is a repetition of Auchenburg Farm, which is generally referred to as "koYoung" as it was once owned by a Mr. Young.

# 8,000ha Horseshoe Ranch in Matetsi: This is a 4,000ha conservancy, which Dr Mpofu acquired through the land reform programme in 2000.

# 100ha in Epping Forest B Section known as Mswelangubo Farm: This is an inaccurate repetition of Auchenburg Farm which is now known as Mswelangubo Farm.

# Block 4,000ha: Yet another repetition of Auchenburg.

# Anchor House, 12th Avenue and Fort Street, costing between US$1 million and $2 million in Bulawayo's depressed market: This building is actually owned by the Zimbabwe Open University which is operating from the premises. The university bought the building in 2011 from Fort Investments for US$850,000.

# A dilapidated two-storey office block at the corner of Fife Street and Fourth Avenue: Dr Mpofu bought the building in question in 1996.

# Bought York House for a song in 2007 during an economic depression: Dr Mpofu bought York House through a mortgage facility in 1998. He made his last payment in 2002.

# A house in Magpie Road in Bulawayo: This is Dr Mpofu's residence, which he bought in 1994.

# Livingstone Road offices: Dr Mpofu bought these premises from a Martha Mtisi in 2004.

# Volvo trucks which retail at US$100,000: These are recently acquired trucks that were manufactured in 2004 and are selling at around US$10,000 in the United Kingdom.

# The report was funded by the Irish Aid which is wholy funded by the Irish government to further its foreign policy interests. The Irish government’s stance is known to be hostile and for regime change in Zimbabwe.

# By its own admission, the report heavily realied on press reports mostly from hostile media and this shows regurtation of unfounded news articles which were previously published across the world. Infact, the report resembles similarities with the previous reports on Zimbabwe’s Marande diamond fields.

# The timing of the release of report with the opening of the Zimbabwe Diamond Conference shows typical high school activism bent on thwarting Zimbabwe's attempts to engage the international community on the diamond trade."

Tafadzwa Musarara

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

(HERALD ZW) Mutambara, Ncube feud: Parliament speaks out

Mutambara, Ncube feud: Parliament speaks out
Thursday, 22 November 2012 00:00
Herald Reporter

PARLIAMENT will only intervene in the feud between Professors Arthur Mutambara and Welshman Ncube over the status of MDC Parliamentarians if the factions officially communicate their positions. Speaker of the House of Assembly Mr Lovemore Moyo yesterday said Parliament would not rush to take a position before the interested parties make the request.

He said he was yet to receive communication from the rival factions.

“They haven’t communicated their positions to me, so I wouldn’t want to be seen to be instigating them to take any actions,” he said. “I will only be able to comment and explain the procedure when I am confronted with a request. “If a party says it is withdrawing its support for so and so, then I will be able to explain the procedures.”

The feud between the two escalated on Monday when Prof Mutambara wrote Mr Moyo and Senate President Edna Madzongwe letters saying Prof Ncube had no authority to expel MDC legislators.

This followed the announcement by the Prof Ncube-led MDC faction on Monday that it had fired eight lawmakers and 49 councillors for indiscipline and crossing the floor to MDC-T.

Prof Mutambara advised Parliament’s presiding officers to disregard attempts by Prof Ncube’s faction to have the legislators fired.

The two are embroiled in a wrangle for leadership of MDC and the matter is still before the Supreme Court.

It is understood that some of the axed councillors openly declared that they had defected to MDC-T.

Section 41 of the Constitution is the one that is used to axe legislators from Parliament if they defect to another party.

The secretary-general of a political party is required to write to the Speaker of the House of Assembly and the Senate President informing them that the legislators no longer represent their party’s interest.

However, the Supreme Court is yet to make a determination of whom between Prof Mutambara and Prof Ncube is the legitimate leader.

Prof Ncube also expelled 49 councillors, but the Urban Councils Act does not provide for the sacking of councillors if they are fired from their parties.

MDC-T last year fired the entire Chitungwiza council and the mayor on allegations of corruption, but they have remained councillors.

It is the same case with the 12 councillors the party recently expelled over corruption allegations, they have remained at work because the law does not provide for their expulsion.

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(HERALD ZW) Falsehood peddlers risk prosecution: AG

Falsehood peddlers risk prosecution: AG
Thursday, 22 November 2012 00:00
Takunda Maodza Senior Reporter

THOSE who peddle falsehoods about the country now risk prosecution as the Government invokes laws to enforce penalties. Attorney-General Mr Johannes Tomana yesterday said laws to prosecute such individuals and organisations were available, but they had not been used. He said the era of tolerance for such behaviour had passed.

Mr Tomana made the remarks while addressing delegates at the Zimbabwe Diamond Conference review meeting in Harare.

“We need to upgrade our law enforcement. Things are now going to be done differently. That level of tolerance is suspended,” he said.

“In trying to be tolerant, there has been a very tolerant manner of responding to crime.

“Those from the civil society have gone on record saying those laws that protect us (the country) are bad laws and should be ignored.

“We, actually, as a country have more than enough laws to protect us against all forms of violations against our interests.

“Our economy is protected and anybody who threatens our economic interests violates the law.”

He said there was reluctance on the part of Government to fully enforce the laws as an act of benevolence.

Mr Tomana’s remarks appeared targeted at the civil society, some of whose members are at the forefront of derailing the selling of diamonds from Chiadzwa through the dissemination of falsehoods.

Mr Tomana said civil society was breaching the country’s laws under the guise of democracy.

Western-sponsored NGOs operating in the country and the local media have been peddling falsehoods with negative effects on the economy, but were not being held responsible.

The civil society’s onslaught began when Government embarked on the fast-track land reform programme at the turn of the millennium.

It worsened with the discovery of diamonds at Chiadzwa from which Western countries were excluded.

In a bid to frustrate the certification of the Chiadzwa diamonds by the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme, some NGOs circulated dossiers and used international platforms claiming that soldiers killed hundreds of innocent citizens in Marange at the height of illegal mining.

The reports, which were unsubstantiated, are derailing the country’s efforts to trade in its gems without hindrance, with Western countries often citing alleged human rights abuses as some of the reasons why Zimbabwe must not be allowed to sell its gems.

The High Court recently permitted a local company, Vakakora Capital (Pvt) Ltd, to sue the Daily News and NewsDay for writing stories alleging political violence in the country.

Vakakora argued that the reports published in May last year were false and discouraged a foreign investor from partnering with the company, resulting in a loss of business worth US$250 million.

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(NEWZIMABWE) Mpofu worked for his riches: Chimanikire

Mpofu worked for his riches: Chimanikire
Breaking ranks ... Chimanikire shares a joke with President Mugabe during swear-in ceremony
22/11/2012 00:00:00
by Daily News

MINES deputy minister Gift Chimanikire has exonerated his boss Obert Mpofu on accusations of amassing incredible wealth allegedly through misappropriating proceeds from Marange diamonds.

Chimanikire, a member of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC, said after working with Mpofu at the Mines ministry, he learnt that the super-rich Umguza MP and Zanu PF politburo member had in fact worked hard for the vast empire he owns.

“What kind of a genius could he be to create such amount of wealth in one year?” Chimanikire asked at the Diamond Conference review breakfast meeting held yesterday.

“When I joined the Mines ministry, Mpofu had been there for a year.

“He already had that kind of wealth,”
Chimanikire said, adding that though they were from different political parties, he had worked very well with his boss.

Mpofu, who belongs to President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party, has developed a close relationship with his deputy.

His comments are at variance with accusations from MDC ministers who claim Mpofu is a beneficiary of diamond mining deals.

Chimanikire went on to refer Mpofu as “King of Matabeleland”, before teasing him as the “ever obedient son” in reference to a boot licking sign-off by Mpofu on a letter he sent to Mugabe.

This comes as the multi-millionaire Mpofu has challenged a Canadian non-governmental organisation Partnership Africa Canada (Pac) to prove he splashed $20 million on properties in recent years using money obtained from Marange diamonds.

Pac had released a report claiming that looting at the Marange diamond fields had worsened, with Mpofu and military chiefs being the chief culprits, adding he had spent $500 000 on philanthropic activities.

Recently, Mpofu splashed close to $30 million to bail out financial institution ZABG Bank.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) Madhuku a Mugabe fanatic: MDC-T

Madhuku a Mugabe fanatic: MDC-T
21/11/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party launched an astonishing attack on NCA chairman Lovemore Madhuku on Wednesday, accusing the constitutional law expert of being a fanatic of President Robert Mugabe. The MDC-T reacted angrily to Madhuku’s criticism of its leader over the stalled process to write a new constitution for Zimbabwe.

Madhuku, speaking at a conference for church leaders in Harare last Friday, had suggested Tsvangirai’s handling of the impasse was “childish”. He said the two MDC factions were being outflanked by Mugabe who had approached the issue with the “highest level of sophistication and intelligence”.

But in a statement, the MDC said Madhuku – whose NCA is opposed to a political party-led constitution – was “simply confused”.

“It is one thing for Professor Madhuku to constructively criticise our president and it is another thing to hurl empty insults at president Tsvangirai as if someone is on a Zanu PF payroll,” the party said.

“It is regrettable that Professor Madhuku does not seem to appreciate this impeccable reasoning on the part of president Tsvangirai. It is even more astounding that Madhuku does not appreciate the very positive achievements in this constitution.

“Maybe this is because he rejected this document before it was even written. This, in our view is a serious misinterpretation of the processes guiding the constitution making. The professor’s judgment is seriously impaired by his fanaticism on Mugabe and is indeed misguided.”

The three main parties in Zimbabwe’s coalition government are split on how to proceed with the new constitution following the release of the first draft in July.

A conference held in Harare last month recommended amendments to the draft, but the parties could not agree on the changes, with the MDC factions saying the draft should go as is to Parliament while Zanu PF has taken the position that the principals – leaders of the coalition parties – should sit and make amendments.

The Global Political Agreement, the pact underpinning the coalition, says all three parties must agree on the draft before taking it forward to a referendum, but such an agreement looks unlikely.

Madhuku said last Friday: “There is likely going to be a stalemate and, as usual, the MDC card is to blame Mugabe. A time will come when Mugabe says, ‘They have blamed me enough and this is how things are supposed to be done: going to elections under the current constitution!’

“Look at them (Zanu PF), what they have done. After the release of the draft constitution in July, the MDC said the document must be taken to the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference and Zanu PF came up with its amendments.

"During the stakeholders’ conference, the MDC told its delegates that on every sentence they should say, ‘as it is’. On the other hand, Zanu PF pushed its amendments through. They will say the delegates have said it, who are you not to accept what the delegates have said? That is the highest level of sophistication and intelligence on the part of Zanu PF whether we like it or not."

But the MDC-T says the correct course is to keep the constitution a parliamentary process “in which principals must play a minimalist and largely facilitative role” – although this stance has so far stalled the project.

“In terms of the Global Political Agreement, COPAC must submit its draft and report to parliament. Only then can the executive through the Minister for Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs get seized of the document in preparation for the referendum. Any changes to this process are tantamount to rewriting the Global Political Agreement,” the party said.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) Africa must act as one in DRC war

COMMENT - Here is the solution: 1) all natural resources are sold to the state at uninflated cost only and 2) all natural resource are sold by the state at international market prices only. That would put an end to all proxy wars, and all foreign interference in the continent. Until the people of the DRC receive all the value of their own natural resources, the banking dynasties and their extractive industry corporations will bribe and overthrow governments to get a better deal.

Africa must act as one in DRC war
21/11/2012 00:00:00
by Takura Zhangazha

I FIRST learnt of the existence of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) via an act of ‘cultural solidarity’ when it was still called Zaire and under the dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko.

It was when two of that country’s more popular musicians, Kanda Bongo Man and Kofi Olomide were revolutionising Zimbabwean music tastes via their genre of music, then referred to as ‘soukous’ in the early to mid-90s.

I was to later encounter and know more about the DRC in the second half of the same decade via reading and seeing stories in the press about Mobutu Sese-Seko initially trying to co-opt the opposition into some sort of national assembly as well as repressively dealing with massive student strikes in Lubumbashi and Kinshasa.

But perhaps for most adult Zimbabweans, the most direct interaction they remember our two countries’ histories to have had was that of the multi-national DRC war of 1998 in which our military was committed to fight under the auspices of SADC’s Organ on Politics, Security and Defence.

We would remember this particular war because we lost the lives of brave members of our armed forces. It is a war that is also remembered because of disagreements over the nature of intervention in the DRC by SADC member states (particularly Zimbabwe and newly independent South Africa under Mandela) as well as its increasing loss of popularity back here at home.

It was also to become a war that would significantly contribute to the exacerbation of the financial and economic crisis that became very apparent in the same year our troops were committed to the DRC.

The motivation for this war is still disputed in some circles and for now it is the official version that when Zimbabwe chaired the then recently established SADC Organ on Politics, Security and Defence Cooperation, it had received a request from the one of the newest members of SADC, the DRC, for protection against ‘foreign aggressors’.

Zimbabwe, along with two other SADC states Namibia and Angola, and a non-SADC state, Chad, took the decision to assist the beleaguered government of the late DRC President Laurent Kabila. This intervention divided Zimbabweans.

The war led to the arrests of journalists such as Grace Kwinjeh then working for the Zimbabwe Mirror weekly, and it was also to be one of the major public disgruntlement issues that assisted civil society's popular mobilisation processes against the government of the day, leading to the birth of the MDC.

These controversies do not, however, take away the historical fact that by virtue of that act of seeking to assist the Kabila government retain control of its territory, Zimbabwe cannot ignore its obligation to participate in getting the DRC back to peace and stability. And this is also true for SADC, inclusive of member states who may not have agreed with the Organ on Peace, Security and Defence Cooperation resolution in 1998 or even permitting the DRC to become a SADC member.

It is almost tragic to think that most parts of the DRC have not known peace since our own intervention, particularly the eastern parts of the country which are coveted by many in the region (both state and non-state actors) for their mineral wealth and attendant porous borders.

The holding of (disputed) elections, the intervention of even the United Nations, the selective indictment of various war criminals by the International Criminal Court, all seem not to have done the trick in order to bring peace to the DRC.

The fact that Goma, the largest town in eastern Congo, has fallen to M23 rebels rumoured to be supported by that region's alleged aggressor states, Uganda and Rwanda, must be serious cause for concern for all Africans. Not only because of the potential for a fully blown war in the region but also because of the internal displacement and tragic loss of life by civilians who have never known peace proper.

It is therefore urgent that we begin to look at the DRC crisis no longer as being just the responsibility of the United Nations or the Great Lakes inter-governmental summit or the latter's appointed 'mediator', President Museveni of Uganda. Neither should the crisis be confined to Western understandings of its full import through borderline 'missionary' arguments and residual colonial discourses about ‘hearts of darkness’, let alone perceptions that all African leaders function in the ‘footsteps of Mr Kurtz’.

If ever there was a time when Africans must demonstrate that we are not perpetual slaves to conflict (such as the evidently proxy one in the DRC), it is now. We should at least insist that our national governments, regional and continental bodies and the UN, act much more decisively to get the DRC on a more permanent path to peace and stability.

It is an historical obligation and necessity and it begins with a phone call, petition, statement or request to our ministers of foreign affairs to let them know that Africa expects peace, and in decisive fashion.

Takura Zhangazha writes here in personal capacity.



(NEWZIMBABWE) It’s the ideas, stupid!

It’s the ideas, stupid!
21/11/2012 00:00:00
by Prof Jonathan Moyo, MP

IF THERE is one thing that Zimbabweans can reiterate and reiterate until the cows come home without twisting their tongues like Elizabeth Macheka over the pronouncement of the word, it would be not only to reiterate that the two MDC formations are ideologically bankrupt and policy-incompetent but also to reiterate that the MDC formations have absolutely nothing to offer to the people of Zimbabwe beyond the self-aggrandisement, self-enrichment and sexual pleasure of the leadership of the two embattled parties.

There are two latest examples of this. One is how Morgan’s Tsvangirai’s MDC has reacted to the theme of Zanu PF’s 2012 people’s conference in Gweru early next month whose banner is “Indigenise, Empower, Develop and Create Employment”.

The other example is the reaction of Welshman Ncube’s MDC to Zanu PF’s 2012 Presidential agricultural input scheme that has earmarked $20 million to support at least 800,000 farming households.

Stung by the self-evident policy significance and positive impact of the Presidential agricultural input scheme which is in fact not new as it has been running for years now, Welshman Ncube’s MDC unleashed David Coltart – a former Rhodesian Selous Scouts who by his own admission in his own website only started having an interest in human rights and good governance after independence in 1983 – to attempt an impossible task of trashing the scheme.

In typical Rhodie fashion, Coltart did not care about the beneficiaries of the agricultural input scheme, instead he was manifestly dismayed and apparently scared to his political death that a staggering 800,000 farming households whose livelihood depends on the soil were set to benefit from concrete support given to them by Zanu PF.

And as if to take Zimbabweans for fools, Coltart not only demanded to know the identity of the donors to the $20 million agricultural input scheme but also wondered why the well-wishers could donate such an amount to the agricultural scheme while Tendai Biti had allocated only $8 million for education this year.

Notably and understandably given his anti-people Rhodie roots, Coltart could not bring himself into thinking about Biti’s paltry allocation to agriculture because just like Biti and indeed just like the two MDC formations, Coltart does not understand the strategic importance of agriculture to the Zimbabwean economy including to the sustenance of critical social sectors of that economy such as education and health.

Where money is involved, the accountability rule is that you do not ask stupid questions about where it is coming from but you simply follow it. In other words, you follow the money if you want to know the use to which it is put. But Coltart and those who think like him have not been interested in following the $20 million Presidential agricultural input scheme because even fools can see where it is going: to 800,000 farming households across the county and this means the money is going to the masses.

But why, as would be normal in such situations, has Coltart not shown any interest in following the $20 million Presidential agricultural input scheme to its destination? It has since emerged that because of his now widely-known sympathies for Tsvangirai’s MDC, driven by his growing fear that he will almost certainly lose his Senate seat in Bulawayo if he seeks re-election on the ticket of Welshman Ncube’s beleaguered MDC which has defined its political fate in narrow geographic terms with no political content, Coltart weighed into the misplaced attack of the $20 million Presidential agricultural input scheme to contain the damaging consequences of Tsvangirai’s open zip shenanigans.

It was not a coincidence that Coltart’s outburst happened exactly when there were very serious questions about Tsvangirai’s source of money given his Cabinet salary and background after he was reported to have paid some $300,000 cash to settle a maintenance claim from Locardia Karimatsenga and a reported $200,000 in legal costs bringing the figure to at least half a million dollars.

Coltart must not fool himself into believing that his typically Rhodie diversionary and disinformation tactics perfected by Selous Scouts have gone unnoticed. It was a good try, as they say, but nothing else beyond that.

The bottom line is that there is a world of difference between, on the one hand, Morgan Tsvangirai $500,000 from unknown sources dished out to pay for one of Tsvangirai’s concubines in acknowledgment of his sexual gratification and, on the other hand, Zanu PF’s $20 million Presidential agricultural input scheme given to 800,000 farming households across the country.

Does David Coltart or anyone else for that really think that it is better to pay a concubine for sexual services rendered than to support farmers? In the same vein, does David Coltart or anyone else who suffers from similarly warped thinking believe that it is better or is more responsible to demand to know where the money to support farmers is coming from than to demand to know where the money to support Tsvangirai’s sexual interest is coming from? Which of these two raises fundamental moral issues in the public domain?

Is it Coltart’s submission that it is right for some Western donor countries that have refused to support agriculture, and their identities are known, to settle Tsvangirai’s sex bills? It is salutary to know that the story of who gave Tsvangirai $500,000 to settle Locardia Karimatsenga’s claims is yet to be told and like the sun will rise tomorrow that story will be told and maybe by then the 800,000 farming households supported by the $20 million Presidential agricultural input scheme will be harvesting their crop.

Meanwhile, and in a failed attempt to support Coltart’s whistle in the wilderness about the unassailable $20 million Presidential agricultural input scheme for 800,000 farming households, Tsvangirai’s MDC issued an inane statement earlier his week preposterously claiming that Zanu PF had allegedly stolen ideas from the MDC-T’s imported Juice policy. This was ostensibly prompted by the “Indigenise, Empower, Develop and Create Employment” theme of the 2012 Zanu PF’s people’s conference in Gweru next month.

The MDC-T claimed in an official statement, of all things, that “Zanu PF has now finally seen sense in the MDC thrust on job creation and has at the 11th hour slotted ‘Create Employment’ in their conference theme”. Now if this is not madness, nothing is.

Since when do mere words constitute an idea or a policy? Who on earth is the owner of the words “Create Employment”? Is it the MDC-T and how many in the MDC-T leadership can reiterate these words without tripping over the conceptual meaning?

Seriously, it is inherently foolish and the height of intellectual bankruptcy for anyone to think or believe that any person or any organisation owns words or to claim that words are synonymous with ideas or policies.

When it comes to the words in question, even kindergarten kids know that “Employment Creation” has been at the centre of Zanu PF ideology and discourse for decades. In fact, the Zanu PF government has even had a Ministry of Employment Creation! People who do not know this rudimentary fact are desk politicians of the likes of Alex Magaisa who penned the nonsensical MDC-T statement that stupidly claimed that Zanu PF had stolen the words “employment creation” from the MDC-T’s imported Juice so-called policy which is full of Tsvangirai’s juicy stuff that does not go beyond his personal pleasure.

The issue is not about who is using which words but about the policy premise and the policy substance of the words used. According to its imported Juice policy, the MDC-T believes that jobs can be imported and brought to Zimbabwe in briefcases by the same Western countries whose economies are going through a crippling financial crisis and which the MDC-T believes have loved Zimbabweans so much as to slap them with punitive economic sanctions that have ravaged our economy and devastated the livelihoods of ordinary people.

Zanu PF’s employment creation policy is not based on foreign agendas that are beyond the control of Zimbabweans but are squarely based on the indigenisation and economic empowerment programme whose revolutionary thrust is to ensure that the commanding heights of the economy are in the hands of Zimbabweans to unlock real value for development and opportunities for creating real jobs.

Zimbabweans now know and understand that the indigenisation and economic empowerment programme is not imported, is not a slogan and is not wishful thinking but is tangible and unfolding on the ground with visible success. This success is evidenced by the broad-based compliance by economic players among major corporations and the launch of community and employee share ownership schemes that are now found in at least seven provinces with more roll-outs to come before the end of the year.

In fact, the programme has been so successful in terms of laying the foundation for creating real jobs that many other countries are now making inquiries to draw lessons while others such as Kenya and Indonesia have in fact followed suit.

In the circumstances, the issue is not about words but about ideas and policies. Zanu PF is committed to developing Zimbabwe including creating jobs through indigenisation of all of the 14 key sectors of the economy while the MDC-T believes that jobs can be created by the same countries that have imposed economic sanctions on Zimbabwe and which are failing to create jobs in their own backyards.

Anybody who believes that countries that cannot create jobs for their own citizens can create jobs for Zimbabweans needs to be examined by a competent psychiatrist.

Professor Jonathan Moyo is the Zanu MP for Tsholotsho North

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Reshuffles and changes

Reshuffles and changes
By The Post
Thu 22 Nov. 2012, 13:10 CAT

There has been some criticism of the changes in government personnel Michael Sata has been making. There is a feeling that he is changing or reshuffling people too often. And that this is creating some instability in government that negatively impacts on the efficiency and effectiveness of public officers.

Dr Fred Mtesa, president of opposition Zambians for Empowerment and Development, says these constant changes of personnel in government are making it difficult for them to retain institutional memory which was vital for sustaining government programmes.

He says this high rate of turnover of staff is worrisome because it affects efficiency and effectiveness, more so in government whose success depends on officers building good inter-personal relationships. And that if officers are not allowed to settle down, the nation should be concerned because governance and development will be negatively affected.

Surely, a stable cadre of public officers is desirable. People need to stay a bit longer in their jobs to settle down. But it doesn't seem that Michael was given enough time to settle down in his job for him to perform it effectively and efficiently.

The same people who are today criticising him for continually changing or reshuffling personnel are the same ones who have been criticising him for not delivering certain things within 90 days. The truth is Michael is in a hurry to deliver. And no one is giving him time to settle down the same way they want other public officers to settle down.

It is a fact that Michael does not personally know every person who has been appointed to an important or senior government position. Some people were recommended to him by others within the ruling party, government and civil society. There are some people who were even recommended to him by some of our chiefs. It may seem like Michael made all these appointment single-handedly.

We don't think so; there are many other people who have participated in these appointments. Some of them have not worked well; those appointed have not matched up well to their responsibilities and changes had to be quickly made without disappointing anyone, carrying everyone with him.
If things don't turn out well, it will be Michael to take the responsibility and not those who advise him to appoint certain people.

Therefore, if changes are necessary, they should be made. And Michael shouldn't be worried about how many times they are made. What is important is the effect of those changes on the general performance of government. If the changes lead to poor performance of government then there is a problem. But if they lead to better performance, there is no need to worry about how many and how often changes are made.

There are areas where the appointments have been very effective and Michael has not made any changes in those areas so far. We still have the same Vice-President, Minister of Finance, Minister of Health, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, and so on and so forth. If something is working well, Michael has kept it that way. That which is not working well, Michael has changed it. What is wrong with that?

There is no need to wait until there is a crisis in an area for reshuffles to be made. And moreover, all these changes have taken place in the first twelve months of government. We all know that things don't always work to plan, people don't always perform to expected levels. And this makes change necessary. There is no need to be saddled with a deficiency forever simply because one made a mistake.

Of course there are lessons to be learnt from all this. One is that those in high leadership positions should know how to judge cadres available for appointments. And they must not confine their judgement to a short period or a single incident in a cadre's life, but should consider his life and work as a whole. This, in our view, should be the principal method of judging cadres. They must know how to use cadres well.

In the final analysis, leadership involves two main responsibilities: to work out ideas and to use cadres well. Such things as drawing up plans, making decisions and giving orders and directives are all in the category of working out ideas. To put the ideas into practice, we must weld the cadres together and encourage them to go into action; this comes into the category of using cadres well.

It is not hard for one to do a bit of good and be given a high public office appointment. What is hard is to do good at all times, all one's life and never to do anything bad, to act consistently in the interests of the broad masses and to engage in arduous work for decades on end. That is the hardest thing of all. And this is what often leads to or necessitates reshuffles.

Sometimes people seek jobs they are not competent to perform; sometimes those who seek high public offices the most are inclined the least.

But the appointing authorities may not be able to know this or notice it until they have given them the jobs. This, again, leads to or necessitates reshuffles.

If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn't need to be given more time to keep on going the wrong way. Change or reshuffle may be necessary. If you don't like where you are, change it! You are not a mountain that is fixed to one place - even mountains can be moved sometimes, so they say.

The future belongs to the competent. It belongs to those who are very, very good at what they do. It doesn't belong to the well meaning. Change is part of the learning process. And people create their own success by changing things around that don't work until they get it right. Great achievements are not possible without the necessary changes.

Let us not be afraid of changing that which needs to be changed. And as Dr Kenneth Kaunda once observed, "Let us be bold and not be afraid of creating precedents, for more often than not, today's precedent may well show itself as tomorrow's stroke of genius." In saying all this, we are not in any way implying that the institutional stability created by people staying in their positions a little longer is not necessary.

We do realise that that type of stability is important and must be encouraged as far as possible but not at the expense of progress. There is a danger if we put too great an emphasis on that type of stability at the expense of the need for change. Let us profit from stability without becoming prisoners of that type of stability.

Of course, changes in personnel can be reduced if more attention is paid to the appointments that are being made. Those who recommend people for appointments should do a good and honest job. There is need to protect the appointing authorities from unnecessary pressure caused by ill-suited job seekers.

Yes, everyone needs a job but not every job is for everyone. And those who make appointments should do more work before making such appointments.

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MMD MPs stop funding the party, want Kachingwe out

MMD MPs stop funding the party, want Kachingwe out
By Roy Habaalu and Kombe Chimpinde
Thu 22 Nov. 2012, 12:50 CAT

MMD wrangles deepened further yesterday after some members of parliament resolved to withhold their K2 million monthly contributions to the party until such a time that Major Richard Kachingwe is removed as national secretary.

But Maj Kachingwe says the future of MMD is under threat and warned against pushing members to their limit through threats of expulsion.

And Catherine Namugala says MMD has weakened itself further by calling for the resignation of Maj Kachingwe.

Meanwhile, Maj Kachingwe says he went to State House together with Namugala to resolve issues of appointing MMD members of parliament as ministers and not to look for a job.

Some MMD members of parliament said they would not contribute to Maj Kachingwe's salary this month and accused him of playing golf instead of campaigning for the party in Mufumbwe.

They said Maj Kachingwe was supposed to be galvanising the party especially in the recent by-election but was however busy 'working' with PF.

"We feel disconnected. Let me give an example. Here is President Sata going to Mufumbwe; the first person who should be there to lay the groundwork is our national secretary. We ordinary MPs are there struggling, helping in by-elections but Kachingwe is nowhere to be seen. He hasn't been to a single by-election. The President is campaigning there, but we see in the newspaper Kachingwe playing golf and frequenting State House. He is paid from our meagre resources you understand," said an MMD member of parliament.

The sources wondered why Maj Kachingwe was not offering even solidarity support during their High Court petitions for their seats.

"When it comes to petitions, Major Kachingwe did not attend a single petition. The party did not contribute to assist a single member of parliament while they suffered in court. We won our cases, there was not even a recognition by major Kachingwe that we had won but this is a person we are paying. Now, we won't pay towards his salary!" an MMD member of parliament said.

"When these cases started, we were all being told to approach Sunday Nkonde of SBN. Suddenly we were told to look elsewhere. There are also underlining factors such that MMD cannot afford to be as broke as it is. When MMD was in government, it had all sorts of money. The insiders know. While we are suffering in the bush, he is busy frequenting State House."

But Kachingwe at a briefing yesterday said those calling for his removal merely wanted him to insult the President.
He said he would rather step down as MMD national secretary than insult President Michael Sata.

Responding to a series of allegations which have been leveled against him by a group of MMD members of in the party, Major Kachingwe said he would not be coerced into politics of insults directed at President Sata and his government.

Major Kachingwe said he was shocked at the allegations that he was compromised by the PF which led him into issuing flat statements against the government and President Sata or those which tended to favour them.

"In our set up, they think when we wake up and insult the President, that is when you are a national secretary, then you are looking for a wrong national secretary," said Kachingwe as some MMD cadres in attendance murmured in disagreement.

"If you want a national secretary who will wake up to insult Sata, then look for another person. I have very strong views about this business of insulting myself."

Maj Kachingwe said President Sata was not only an elderly person but also an elected President of Zambia.
He added that President Sata was currently commander-in-chief of the armed forces while he was an ZNS officer.

"So don't force me. When I say no! it's no. I will not insult him (President Sata). I will differ with his policies. Like now, I have differed with him on the way the government is implementing the public order Act. You can't change me. I am very objective. I don't go for political expedience myself," he said.

Major Kachingwe said the future of the party was under threat because of a clique of MMD members who were championing hate agendas, which cadres were not even interested in.

"I want to say there is a clique that is cooking within the party which has surfaced. Through their actions, they want to destroy this party. They started with honourable Mutati, he had to resign but we won't let them. You find that at the weekend, they would be calling and asking me to expel people. Let them get this word. Let them get bull dozers and graders if they like," he said.

"Even when I say don't expel MPs serving in government, they say I am PF but you see I am the institutional memory of the party. We (MMD) are the ones who started appointing ministers.

This is why I went to State House, so we could solve the problem. I had to engage President Sata. What kind of a job can I look for at my age? Moreover if I needed a job from President Sata, I would simply call him and say Bashikulu, I need your help but that is not me. I believe in the ideals of this party and will not sell out.

Yes I have been to State House twice, not to look for a job but first to seek an appointment and when that appointment was granted, I went in the company of Honourable Catherine Namugala and we got assurance from President Sata that the affected MPs were told to keep their allegiance to the MMD."

On allegations that he had squandered money channeled to election court petitions of its members of parliament, Maj Kachingwe said the party did not allocate money for cases because there was no money.

Maj Kachingwe also dismissed claims that he was not participating in by-elections saying he was always in court to answer to litigations against the party.

He said he played golf during weekends to refresh himself.
But MMD die-hard national coordinator Bowman Lusambo says Maj Kachingwe was compromised and ready to trade off his soul for money.

Lusambo, who walked out of the briefing addressed by Maj Kachingwe, said the national secretary was leaking information to PF.

He said Maj Kachingwe was not fit to hold the position because almost all officials and members of parliament had lost confidence in him.

"This briefing is nonsense. Kachingwe is just wasting our time. He's being silly. He will do anything to please President Michael Sata and PF because whatever the President says is bread and butter for him. He came to bore us with history when he was constituency and district chairman for Kabwata, when the President was member of parliament and national secretary, that's nonsense. We expected him to apologise for going against the party," said Lusambo.

"That's indiscipline on his part. How can he say his allegiance is to the system and not an individual? It means he can't be controlled by any leader. Our president says this is not good and he says the opposite. His lust for money will cause him to crash," said Lusambo.

This was after Maj Kachingwe thanked President Sata for paying his wife's medical bills when she was hospitalised and for keeping his son in the foreign service.

Maj Kachingwe was forced to pause repeatedly after some MMD cadres shouted that he was for sale while others in their drunken state poured scorn on him saying he had run the party down.

Some MMD members want Maj Kachingwe and his deputy national secretary Chembe Nyangu out of the party.
Sources said members had softened on Nyangu because they did not have 'evidence' of his collaboration with PF.

But Namugala, who is MMD chairperson for women affairs, said in an interview that those calling for the duo's resignation had been sponsored to destroy the party.

"The calling of Kachingwe and Nyangu to go is in bad faith. I am expecting the president of the party himself to speak about this because we need to know his position. What is his position on this?" she asked.
"For me as a member of the party who has been there for many years, I think it is very sad that MMD should end up like this wanting to divide itself and weakening itself even further."

Namugala, who is also Mafinga MMD member of parliament, claimed that MMD would have gone into extinction had it not been for Maj Kachingwe and Nyangu.
"Kachingwe has been in and out of court. We were even evicted from regional offices, Kachingwe was there to pick up the pieces, found the secretariat, put everything together. Our motor vehicles were seized, Kachingwe was there being harassed. When there were threats to deregister the party, Kachingwe was there being ridiculed," she recalled.

"It is very unfortunate that anyone of us can demand that Kachingwe and Chembe Nyangu go. Kachingwe and Chembe Nyangu have contributed more than their fair share to the well being of this party up to this stage. Kachingwe and Chembe Nyangu have sacrificed a lot to keep MMD going. If it wasn't for those two gentlemen, there would be no MMD to talk about today."

Namugala urged MMD members to follow the laid down procedures when dealing with issues concerning the party.

"We should be thanking them for holding the party together. As human beings, if there is anything that they are doing wrong, any system has internal mechanism of dealing with those problems. But not to be going out to the press and calling for their removal. These two people were elected by the convention," said Namugala.

"MMD has procedures and it is most unfortunate that some of the people who are speaking loudest about the removal of these people, are people who don't even know MMD. People who move from one party to the other are the ones who are in the forefront saying; 'remove this one and remove that one'."

And Solwezi Central MMD member of parliament Lucky Mulusa said in an interview that there was a feeling of uncertainty in the party.

"The political landscape has not settled yet. Some people are looking at short term settlements of the political landscape as something permanent," he said.

"My advice to them is they need to stay where they are. They need to wait a little longer and not to jump sheep. They shouldn't just look at comfort. When we start destroying the opposition then we don't even know who we are."
Mulusa said what had led to the calls for Maj Kachingwe to step down had clearly shown lack of intra-party communication.

"We have been talking more about each other outside the party than within the party. We would have managed to get off incidents that have led to the perceptions that perhaps our national secretary and deputy are compromised," he said.

Meanwhile, Chitambo MMD member of parliament Mushili Malama said there was 'no smoke without fire' when any allegations were raised against any member.

He however said whether the expulsion of Maj Kachingwe would be considered or not, correct procedures should be followed.

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"Sexual appetite shouldn't override need for circumcision"

"Sexual appetite shouldn't override need for circumcision"
By Moses Kuwema
Thu 22 Nov. 2012, 13:10 CAT

DR Francis Manda says Gwembe UPND member of parliament Brian Ntundu's sexual appetite should not override the advatages of male circumcision.

Commenting on Ntundu's fears about circumcision and the fears that 'sweetness' of sex is lost when one gets circumcised, Dr Manda, a urologist, advised the member of parliament not to only look at his sexual appetite but also other issues which in the end could affect him.

"People who are not circumcised, they are at the risk of getting cancer of the penis and two, most of the men because of their inner foreskin which harbours the virus called human papilloma virus, they are carriers of this virus and they pass it on to women and they end up with cervical cancer. His sexual appetite should not override the advantages of circumcision," he said.

Dr Manda said Ntundu's fears were based on ego and that he was not looking at what could befall him in terms of cancer.

"He is just being selfish by looking at his sexual appetite and not looking at other issues which in the end can even affect him. He could have cancer of the penis," Dr Manda said.

Dr Manda said it was only the sensation to the manhood that was lost when one got circumcised.

"Those people who have premature ejaculations, we use circumcision as one of the forms of treating them. If he says no I am going to lose this, that's being selfish, he is looking just at sex, he is not looking at other issues in the broader spectrum," he said.

Dr Manda however, said circumcision was voluntary and that Ntundu was free to remain the way he was if he so wished.

"If his main concern is his sexual behaviour, let him remain like that, but let him not discourage others because we have seen and it is proven beyond any doubt that circumcision is one of the tools which we use in mitigating not only HIV and AIDS but other sexually transmitted diseases," said Dr Manda.

During the voluntary medical male circumcision workshop for members of parliament on Monday, Ntundu, 50, laid bare his sex life and revealed that he struggled to do one round of sex on account of his age.

"When I was young…I had my first child at the age of 17 and during that time, I used to do more rounds but now I am 50 years old and I struggle to do one round of sex. Now if I am struggling at 50, what will happen if I circumcise…I am sure you know what I am trying to say," said Ntundu, sending the audience into laughter.

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(LUSAKATIMES) Finance Minister calls for an effective and transparent procurement system

Finance Minister calls for an effective and transparent procurement system
TIME PUBLISHED - Wednesday, November 21, 2012, 7:04 am

Finance Minister, Alexander Chikwanda has called for an effective public procurement system which is transparent in order to enhance economic growth and development.

Mr Chikwanda said yesterday when he launched the Standard Bidding Documents in Lusaka that public procurement was a critical component in the management of public resources.

Standard bidding documents, which were part of the on-going reforms in the public sector, were aimed at achieving optimum degree of order in the procurement process as well as reduce bureaucracy and tender processing time.

“It follows that an inefficient and bad procurement system can be a major impediment to growth and development especially that the acquisition of works, goods and services by the public sector have to go through such a system,” he said.

The minister who is chairperson of the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) said it was important that a modern public sector was built on a sound procurement system that was transparent, efficient and corrupt-zero rated.

“More importantly, the procurement system must be an important catalyst in achieving value for money. Hence the need for procurement reforms has become an immediate necessity,” he said.

Mr Chikwanda said the Government had been pushing for the implementation of the decentralisation policy since taking over last year in order to ensure that every citizen accessed public service regardless of the location.

He noted that the enactment of the Public Procurement Act and its regulations now provided a good platform for a decentralised procurement process.

The role of the ZPPA would from January 1, 2013 change as the institution would now assume an oversight and a regulatory role while the procurement function would be decentralised and devolved to procurement entities.

ZPPA recently made an upward revision of thresholds which marked another important chapter in the procurement reforms.

Mr Chikwanda noted that the newly launched measure would rationalize the procurement process and enhance efficiency and effectiveness as well as provide a basis for conducting fair, transparent and credible tender processes.

He applauded the commitment and continued support from cooperating partners as well as the contribution from civil society organisations.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

(LUSAKATIMES) Chadiza farmers nearly lynch mobile bank staff for non payment

Chadiza farmers nearly lynch mobile bank staff for non payment
TIME PUBLISHED - Wednesday, November 21, 2012, 2:24 pm

The Mobile Zambia National Commercial scheduled for Chadiza from Chipata this Morning rushed to Chadiza Police Station for fear of irate farmers who wanted to be paid their money for the maize they sold to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).

The mobile bank, that services the district every Wednesday, could not even stop at the bank premises because of a dense multitude that had gathered at the bank to collect their money.

And upon realizing that they had no money for farmers but only Salaries for Government workers the Bank Staff decided to drive on up to the police station where they sought refuge and spent about an hour locked up in a meeting with Chadiza District Commissioner, Paul Phiri, District Intelligence Officer, Dorothy Mweemba and Police Officer in Charge, Henry Ngalande.

The mobile bank had to return to Chipata district immediately without servicing both the farmers and public service workers for fear of being harassed by the irate farmers who demanded that no civil servant was going to get paid unless farmers got what was due to them.

And addressing the farmers, Chadiza District Commissioner, Paul Phiri, said he was disappointed with the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) for cheating on the farmers.

The DC said government has already done its part by releasing the funds for the farmers but that the problem was with the FRA.

Mr Phiri said all the time he talked to the officials from the FRA they had been promising that monies for the farmers is available but wondered why money was not being deposited into the farmers’ accounts at the banks.

More than 2,000 farmers in Chadiza district have not yet been paid their money for the maize they sold to the Food Reserve Agency from the time payments began in the district.

Some farmers have been travelling from their villages for one month now covering some distance of about 17 kilo meters just to be paid their money but all has been in vain.



(LUSAKATIMES) IMF Appoints Chileshe Kapwepwe as Alternate Executive Director

COMMENT - From LONRHO to SocGen to the IMF. Seems 'eminently qualified' to me.

IMF Appoints Chileshe Kapwepwe as Alternate Executive Director
TIME PUBLISHED - Wednesday, November 21, 2012, 5:59 pm

The International Monetary Fund has appointed Former Ministry of Finance Deputy Minister Chileshe Mpundu Kapwepwe as Alternate Executive Director for its Africa Group One Constituency.

Speaking upon receiving the news from the IMF, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda immediately welcomed the appointment and described Ms. Kapwepwe as eminently qualified and experienced to diligently and effectively advance the interests of the IMF – Africa Group 1 Constituency.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce the appointment of Ms. Chileshe Kapwepwe, as Alternate Executive Director for the IMF Africa Group 1 Constituency. The ascension of Ms. Kapwepwe to this high position, at the same time that another Zambian is serving on the Executive Board of the World Bank, gives me pride and confidence that African interests will firmly be articulated by Zambian Nationals serving on the Boards of the Bretton Woods Institutions [IMF & World Bank],” said Mr. Chikwanda.

Ms. Kapwepwe’s appointment follows a selection process that was conducted during the IMF Annual Meetings held in Tokyo, Japan, in October 2012. A few weeks ago, Dr. Denny Kalyalya, another Zambian, was appointed as Executive Director of the World Bank Africa Group I Constituency.

A Chartered Accountant by Profession, Ms Kapwepwe is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants ACCA (United Kingdom), a Fellow of the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA) and also holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Bath (United Kingdom). She has over 20 years management experience in both the private and public sectors serving in the aviation and motor industries, and also has vast experience in international trade and quality assurance matters.

Ms. Kapwepwe served as Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning, from 2008 to 2011. Earlier, she served as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Airports Corporation Limited for seven years from 2001 to 2007. Between 1993 and 2000, she was the Contract Manager for SGS – Societe General de Surveillance, a Swiss Multinational, overseeing operations in International Trade and Quality Assurance in Zambia. She also served as Chief Accountant for Star Commercial Limited (LONRHO Group) in the motor industry in Zambia between 1991 and 1992.

Mr. Chikwanda described Ms. Kapwepwe as, “a humble professional who is profoundly schooled and through whom management talent among women in Zambia will be viewed positively by the International Community.”
On behalf of the Management and Staff, Minister Chikwanda wished Ms. Kapwepwe success as she takes on the challenging and important assignment at the IMF – Africa Group One Constituency.

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(LUSAKATIMES) Storella calls MPs to go for male circumcision

Storella calls MPs to go for male circumcision
TIME PUBLISHED - Monday, November 19, 2012, 4:44 pm

United States (US) Ambassador to Zambia, Mark Storella, says national leaders hold the key to the reduction of new HIV infections through medical male circumcision.

Speaking during a Medical Male Circumcision Workshop for Members of Parliament today, Mr Storella urged Members of Parliament and other leaders to go for male circumcision and thereby encourage other citizens to do the same.

He said male circumcision is a huge intervention in the fight against HIV and AIDS as it reduces the risk of HIV infections by 60 per cent.

Mr Storella stated that the circumcision of 1.9 million people by 2015 target that Zambia has set for itself could translate to 339,632 new infections prevented if combined with other methods of protection.

And speaking when he launched the workshop, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Mkhondo Lungu, said the workshop is meant to provide a platform for Members of Parliament to share information on male circumcision in HIV prevention, and also explore ways of how MPs can use their leadership positions to increase the numbers of people undergoing male circumcision in their constituencies.

Mr Lungu expressed gratitude to the US for increasing funding to Zambia for male circumcision from US $ 5 million to US $16 million in 2012.


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(HERALD ZW) ‘Efforts to recolonise us won’t be tolerated’

‘Efforts to recolonise us won’t be tolerated’
Wednesday, 21 November 2012 07:50

Efforts by Zimbabwe’s former colonisers to recolonise the country through the backdoor using misguided ele­ments should never be given a chance, Zimbabwe National Army Commander Lieu­tenant General Phillip Valerio Sibanda has said.

“The oath of allegiance you have taken to serve Zimbabwe binds you to serve the interests of a single master, your country and not foreign ones,” Lt Gen Sibanda said.

He was reviewing a pass out parade for 798 general duty recruit soldiers who completed a six-month training course at 23 Combat Group in Magunje, Mashonaland West, recently. Lt Gen Sibanda was in the company of the Namibian Army Commander, Major General John Mutwa.
“The oath you have taken compels you to work for the people of Zim­babwe and not for foreign interests.

“If you decide to contravene the oath, the military justice will deal with you,” he warned.

He said economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the former colonisers would never be used to propel soldiers onto the streets in the name of effect­ing regime change.

He said although the recruit sol­diers were passing out at a time when the country was facing serious chal­lenges from the illegal economic sanctions imposed on the country by the West, they still had to resolutely defend the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“We should realise that a few years of suffering cannot be equated to a lifetime of bondage,” he said.

The army commander hailed 23 Combat Group Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Raban Nikisi and his team comprising of Major Allan Chagonda and his team for the excel­lent results.

Intake 30F/01/12 had 809 recruits of which 11 failed to make it to the end for various reasons.

The course programme had 107 female recruits and its curriculum included physical training, foot and arms drill, map reading and naviga­tion, first aid, civic military educa­tion, individual and technical manoeuvres and weapon training, among others.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) Mutambara bids to block MP expulsions

Mutambara bids to block MP expulsions
20/11/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

DEPUTY Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has approached the Senate President and the Speaker of Parliament in a bid to block the expulsion of lawmakers sacked by the MDC party for insubordination on Monday.

The Welshman Ncube led party expelled three Members Parliament and two Senators accusing of them of undermining the party leadership by allegedly working with the MDC formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Those sacked included Tsholotsho South MP Maxwell Dube, Thandeko Zinti Mkandla of Gwanda North, Umzingwane’s Nomalanga Khumalo and two senators Dalumuzi Khumalo of Lupane and Kembo Dube of Umzingwane.

MDC secretary general Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga told the legislators: “You have refused to work for the party and in fact rejected the authority of the party’s national leadership and the National Council and generally disassociated yourself from the party.

"By your conduct, you automatically expelled yourself from the party with effect from March 2011 when you refused to accept authority."
The party also approached the Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma, seeking to have the legislators expelled.

But Mutambara, who is fighting his removal as party leader at the Supreme Court, claimed in letters to the Speaker of Parliament and the President of the Senate that the sacking of the legislators from the party was “null and void”.

“These legislators were elected under my leadership as the President of the MDC. Both the issue of whether Welshman Ncube was duly elected President of the MDC in January 2011, and the matter of the legitimacy of the corresponding MDC Congress are before the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe,” said Mutambara.

“Consequently, all these issues are sub judice. Hence, the entire leadership led by Welshman Ncube, has no locus standi to expel members from the MDC. Hence they cannot purport to terminate the Parliamentary membership of any sitting member of the MDC.

“Once the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe has ruled in its favour in both the two pending Supreme Court cases, then the leadership led by Welshman Ncube can take action against the MPs.”

Khumalo, who was also the Deputy Speaker of Parliament shrugged off the purported dismissal saying: “They are embarrassing themselves because they are claiming to have fired people who have already defected. I told them from the word go that I was not part of them, but that I belong to Mutambara’s faction.

“I am also informed that about 12 councillors in Umzingwane defected to the MDC-T so they cannot say they have fired people who have already defected.”

Dube added: “For them to say they have expelled us is the same as saying Zanu PF has expelled me. I belong to the MDC on whose ticket I went to Parliament.

“The MDC led by Mutambara is the one I belong to. For them to say I defected to the MDC-T, that is their story that they believe.”

Mutambara added that Ncube could not continue to claim legitimacy in government having sacked most of his elected representatives.

Said the deputy premier: “Even in this scenario, how do you fire more than 70 percent of your elected representatives, and remain legitimate as a Party Leader and as a Government Minister?

“This has never happened in the history of constitutional democracies.”

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Sata has been lenient on WP, says Induna Imbwae

Sata has been lenient on WP, says Induna Imbwae
By Roy Habaalu
Wed 21 Nov. 2012, 14:10 CAT

INDUNA Imbwae says President Michael Sata has been lenient with the people of Western Province.

In an interview following the resignation of the Ngambela of Western Province, Clement Wainyae Sinyinda, Induna Imbwae, who is in charge of installing the Litunga, said some of the statements coming from the province bordered on treason, which President Sata had tolerated.

He said Sinyinda and the people of Western Province must be grateful to President Sata because he had been very lenient with them.

He said during his time, Sinyinda was politicising tradition and ended up ruining the whole system.
Induna Imbwae said Sinyinda was not adding any value to the institution and in the end misled the people of Western Province.

"We have to wake up and face reality because these arguments we are putting across, we are just depriving ourselves of what other parts of the country are enjoying.

We waste a lot of time talking about the Barotseland Agreement, which doesn't talk about secession but developmental issues. In fact, the President has been very lenient; otherwise he could have taken drastic measures to an extent of withdrawing the recognition on the Ngambela. Sinyinda wrote letters abroad and within, calling for secession. That's treason but the President has been lenient," said Induna Imbwae.

He said Sinyinda's illegal occupation of the office eroded confidence of the institution and had breached tradition because he had never been officially recognised as Ngambela.

Induna Imbwae said Sinyinda was imposed on the throne and frustrated some respectable induna's because of selfish reasons in his quest to gain attention.

"The Ngambela is far from the Litunga. For him to say Mutwaleti and Ingangwana are undermining him and that he hasn't received any protection from the Litunga is a silly dream. He doesn't know what he is talking about. Sinyinda has never been Ngambela and his resignation is camouflage.

The traditional rituals were not done but when he was appointed, he accepted despite us telling him he was put on the throne wrongly. So what rituals is he talking about now for him to blame other indunas? Even if you are a Ngambela, you cannot by-pass some indunas in the Kuta because the names they are holding are for the past Litungas. Induna Mukulwakashiko was Ngambela for Mulambwa.

They have to be respected; he can't undermine these people," said Induna Imbwae.
Sinyinda, a former deputy minister in the MMD administration, resigned his position as Barotseland's Ngambela (chief-counselor) following deep-rooted disagreements with Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II.

Sinyinda in his litany of complaints stated said some likombwas (stewards) within the establishment had publicly disrespected him, especially over the firearm that he was advised to keep on his person at the height of the challenges that faced the kingdom and an embarrassing incident during the Litunga's coronation celebrations.

President Sata on Monday said the state would defend and protect the Litunga and the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) from any attempts of aggression being fomented by a clique of misguided individuals.

The President said he had credible information that there were certain frustrated and ill-advised persons that were manoeuvring to bring strife to the Litunga and the BRE.

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'Zambians have become too materialistic'

'Zambians have become too materialistic'
By The Post
Wed 21 Nov. 2012, 14:50 CAT

It is true that we have become too materialistic as a nation. Consumerism seems to be unbridled or out of control. Everything, including personal relationships, now seem to be determined on the basis of money, material wealth.

Charlotte Scott has every right to get worried about Zambians having become too materialistic. There is truly a problem of materialism in Zambia. Zambians are increasingly stopping to derive pleasure from human relations. Their pleasure seems to be increasingly coming from material possessions.

Friendships, relationships, marriages and so on and so forth are today increasingly being determined on the basis of material possessions.

Some people even think that having a bit of money should buy them a ticket to high national political offices. They think the only thing that should qualify them, more than others, to such high political offices is the depth of their pockets.
Respect in the family and society at large seems to be increasingly becoming based on one's material possessions.

The more material possessions one has, the more respect they are given regardless of their other deficiencies. Marriages are breaking up because of changes or deficiencies in material possessions. Everything seems to be calculated on the basis of material possessions.
And commitment to material possessions is reducing the commitment to other important values in life. In pursuit of material possessions, principles, standards, values and common aims are sacrificed.

And any means of acquiring great material possessions seem to be increasingly acceptable. Even well-known thieves, bandits, corrupt elements are respected as long as they have money. Few seem to care about one's source of material wealth. People who have stolen public funds go around flaunting their loot without a problem. They are reserved a seat wherever they go.

Even when they are prosecuted for stealing, for corruption, they are not short of defenders, protectors. If they are in politics, cadres will be mobilised to escort them to police stations or court whenever they have to make an appearance.

This is surely not a recipe for the creation of an honest, more just, fair and humane society. This is not a society in which an individual can be expected to do well. An individual does best in a strong and decent community of people with principles and standards and common aims and values.
Our moral environment seems to be getting more and more contaminated and devoid of morality, principles and values.

Regardless of the limitations of the society that was created by Dr Kenneth Kaunda and his comrades, that society seems to be infinitely superior to what we have today. There seems to be no comparison between that society and its dignified way of life and the one we have today, the one that has been created over the last 21 years or so. There was much more happiness in that society than there is in today's society - not from a material standpoint, because material things alone don't make for happiness.

A sense of justice, dignity, self-respect, respect for others and love for your fellow citizens also have a great deal to do with happiness, as do moral principles; the feeling of being free, equal and respected and of taking part in the battle for the progress of the world, the world you live in; and working like beavers, shoulder to shoulder with the rest of your people. We today live in a society where everything is solved on a price basis. So when there isn't enough of something, there is speculation.

We hope this situation will not last forever. We hope this situation will come to an end. This unbridled consumerism and materialism should concern us all because it promotes corruption and other abuses.

We believe that the highest level of political thought was reached when some people became aware that no one had the right to exploit others, to rape his fellow citizens and that the fruits of the efforts and intelligence of each human being should reach all others; that man really had no need to be a wolf but could be a brother to man.

The situation we live in today should not be allowed to continue because it is impoverishing our nation in all sorts of ways. Today, people want to live well without working hard. Young people graduate from college or university and immediately want to have very expensive clothes and in very large quantities, a nice flat and car. They have no patience; they don't want to wait and accumulate savings to acquire these things. Everything should be instant coffee-like. What does this lead to? Serious moral decay.

Corruption, prostitution and all sorts of vices quickly win them over. There is very little they cannot do to gain material benefits. They start to consume beyond their earned income. And any consumption that goes beyond one's earned income leads to corruption, immorality and all other sorts of vices. Actually, living beyond one's earned income is a prima facie case of corruption, dishonesty and immorality.

And as Charlotte says, there is need to derive pleasure from human relations and not material possessions - "human relations are very important and they are expressed through people and not through objects; it is not always about fancy things and fancy places".

We are lucky we currently have a president, Michael Sata, and a Vice-President, Dr Guy Scott, who are not moved much by material possessions. Material things don't seem to bother these people much and are not their driving force. Our nation's values can be greatly influenced by Michael and Guy's attitude towards material things if their example is used efficiently and effectively.

In a world plagued by such high levels of materialism, the humility and modesty of Michael and Guy is certainly not a small thing. Look at the way people like Hakainde Hichilema boast about material things all the time! Look at the way some cheap politicians like Geoffrey Mwamba boast about how rich they are all the time! As if this was the highest quality a human being should possess to count for something!

The most important thing in life is to be near and necessary to other people. There are men and women chosen to bring happiness into the hearts of people - those are the real heroes, the real stars, the great people. The important thing is to give happiness to people and to go to bed feeling that you have done some service to the community.

Great material possessions and boasting about how much material possessions one has is nothing. A person who boasts is like a goat that sucks its own milk. And it is said that if a deity begins to show off, just show it the tree from which it was carved. A little humility, a little intelligence achieves more than any amount of material possessions. And moreover, one does not achieve greatness by proclaiming greatness.

So the values being advocated by Charlotte deserve our most favourable consideration at all levels of our society. Those in the political leadership need to pay serious attention to what Charlotte is saying. And those who preach in our churches need to preach what Charlotte is preaching. These values that Charlotte is propagating also need to be embraced and propagated in the family, in the school and everywhere we go.

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Materialism in Zambia worries Charlotte

Materialism in Zambia worries Charlotte
By Mukosha Funga
Wed 21 Nov. 2012, 14:40 CAT

CHARLOTTE Scott says she is worried that Zambians have become too materialistic. Charlotte, who is Vice-President Dr Guy Scott's wife, said in an interview recently that there was a problem of materialism in Zambia.

"I think there is a problem of materialism in Zambia. Materialism is a culture that is not only in Zambia but in Africa as a whole," she said.

Charlotte added that materialism led to dissatisfaction as people desire to identify themselves with what they own.

"The problem with it is that ultimately it is not satisfactory because materialism is the desire to show yourself through what you own as compared to what others own and therefore what happens is you will always be dissatisfied," she said.

Charlotte said there was need to derive pleasure from human relations and not material possessions.

"Human relations are very important and they are expressed through people and not through objects. It is not always about fancy things and fancy places," she said.

And Charlotte said Vice-President Scott is overwhelmingly dedicated to Zambia.
"He is overwhelmingly committed to Zambia. He is un-materialistic and very clever," she said.
Charlotte said the past one year of the PF in government had been very busy for both of them.

"The last one year has been busy and it keeps getting busier all the time. It is unusual that either of us gets a whole day off from events but it is a huge privilege and honour to be able to participate in so many different things. You get to see wonderful things happening and so much positive progress in different dimensions," Charlotte said.

She said having no small children came in handy to facilitate her busy schedule.
"We don't have small kids at home. The youngest child is now off doing her thing in college so it is very much free and we are focused on keeping our programme together.

And you just keep it all together by having a watch and a diary," she said, adding; "You have to keep your health good, energy levels good and you have to go to bed early, it can be a bit exhausting but the teams that are around to give support are very professional and supportive so we keep things going."

Charlotte said she especially enjoyed events where her husband (Vice-President Scott) was present.

"We usually catch up after work if he gets home before 20:00 hours from Parliament. It is always fun when we attend functions and we are together.

But again when you have been married for a long time you know each other too well, so you do not have to spend all your moments together," said Charlotte.

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Chibuluma mine workers propose 40% pay rise

Chibuluma mine workers propose 40% pay rise
By Gift Chanda
Tue 20 Nov. 2012, 10:40 CAT

UNIONISED workers at Chibuluma Copper Mine have proposed a 40 per cent pay rise next year, barely eight months after their wages were increased by 17 per cent, says a senior company official.

Jackson Sikamo, the company's metallurgical and environment manager, said the unionised workers who are proposing a 40 per cent pay rise next year get an average salary of about K4 million.

"We will be negotiating this proposal but if it falls through, it may affect most of our programmes, especially the expansion of the mine because the wage bill alone constitutes 32 per cent of our total operation costs," he said in an interview.

Sikamo said the wage bill was a critical factor for the company's operations, adding that every pay rise granted directly impacts significantly on the company's cost of mining the copper.
Chibuluma copper mine, which is owned by China's Jinchuan, in March this year agreed to a 17 per cent pay rise to its more than 500 workers, almost triple the country's inflation rate.

Most mining firms in the country granted pay increases to their workers this year after President Michael Sata, who assumed office last year with promises to spread the benefits of Zambia's mineral wealth, asked labour unions to keep salary demands close to inflation, which slowed to 6.0 per cent in February.
He also told Cabinet ministers not to interfere in salary negotiations, saying that could scare foreigners looking to invest in Africa's biggest copper producer.

Glencore International Plc's Mopani Copper Mines agreed to a 17 per cent pay rise with unions in February and Konkola Copper Mines which is majority owned by London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc, has awarded a similar pay increase to its workers.

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C/belt mealie-meal shortage worsens

C/belt mealie-meal shortage worsens
By Misheck Wangwe in Kitwe
Wed 21 Nov. 2012, 14:10 CAT

THE shortage of mealie-meal in some parts of the Copperbelt worsened by midday yesterday, which Zambia Consumer Association attributes to smuggling of the commodity into the DRC. Serious shortages were recorded in Kitwe's town centre, Buchi, Chimwemwe, Cha Cha Cha and Ndeke townships.

A check revealed that depots for major millers such as Olympic, Antelope and Mpongwe milling within the town centre ran out of the commodity by 12:00 hours yesterday and were only supplying flour which was readily available.

In Shoprite Kitwe, people scrambled for the few stocks that were on the shelves after word went round that the chain stores had Antelope mealie-meal.

In Chisokone area, there was serious commotion at various depots as some traders had taken advantage of the situation and created a black market where prices of the commodity had been inflated to K60,000 per 25 kilogramme bag of Breakfast meal.

And in Chingola, the shortage was serious with only selected shops having the commodity while in Chililabombwe, the situation was worse as consumers blamed the millers that had been supplying mealie-meal to Kasumbalesa where the commodity is always smuggled into Congo DR.
No official position has been given yet by the Millers Association of Zambia over the shortages.

The Zambia Consumers Association (ZACA) said the smuggling of mealie-meal to the Democratic Republic of Congo through Kasumbalesa border had greatly contributed to the shortage of the commodity on the Copperbelt.
Association executive secretary Muyunda Ililonga said the shortage of mealie-meal on the Copperbelt was unacceptable.

He said there was need for urgent interventions from stakeholders, that included the government, to reverse the situation.

Ililonga said there was need to tighten border controls to stop smuggling activities on the Congo border and ensure that the larger population on the Copperbelt was protected from the looming hunger as a result of mealie-meal shortages.

Vice-President Guy Scott learnt on Saturday when he abruptly visited Kasumbalesa border that more than 2,000 bags of mealie-meal and numerous goods from Zambia are smuggled into Congo DR daily.

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Calls for Kachingwe, Nyangu to leave MMD divisive - Namugala

Calls for Kachingwe, Nyangu to leave MMD divisive - Namugala
By Allan Mulenga
Wed 21 Nov. 2012, 14:10 CAT

CATHERINE Namugala says MMD has weakened itself further by calling for the resignation of national secretary Major Richard Kachingwe and his deputy Chembe Nyangu.

In an interview yesterday, Namugala, who is MMD chairperson for women affairs, said those calling for the duo's resignation had been sponsored to destroy the party.

The MMD wants to hound out Maj Kachingwe and Nyangu from the party on allegations that they were working closely with PF.

"The calling of Kachingwe and Nyangu to go is in bad faith. I am expecting the president of the party himself to speak about this because we need to know his position. What is his position on this?" she asked.

"For me as a member of the party who has been there for many years, I think it is very sad that MMD should end up like this; wanting to divide itself and weakening itself even further."

Namugala, who is also Mafinga MMD member of parliament, claimed that the MMD would have gone into extinction had it not been for Maj Kachingwe and Nyangu.

"Kachingwe has been in and out of court. We were even evicted from regional offices, Kachingwe was there to pick up the pieces, found the secretariat, put everything together. Our motor vehicles were seized, Kachingwe was there being harassed. When there were threats to deregister the party, Kachingwe was there being ridiculed," she recalled.

"It is very unfortunate that anyone of us can demand that Kachingwe and Chembe Nyangu go. Kachingwe and Chembe Nyangu have contributed more than their fair share to the well being of this party up to this stage. Kachingwe and Chembe Nyangu have sacrificed a lot to keep MMD going. If it wasn't for those two gentlemen, there would be no MMD to talk about today."

Namugala urged party members to follow the laid down procedures when dealing with issues concerning the party.

"We should be thanking them for holding the party together. As human beings, if there is anything that they are doing wrong, any system has internal mechanism of dealing with those problems. But not to be going out to the press and calling for their removal. These two people were elected by the convention," said Namugala.

"MMD has procedures and it is most unfortunate that some of the people who are speaking loudest about the removal of these people are people who don't even know MMD. People who move from one party to the other are the ones who are in the forefront saying; 'remove this one and remove that one'."

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Limata pledges her best to develop Choma

Limata pledges her best to develop Choma
By Brina Manenga-Siwale in Livingstone
Wed 21 Nov. 2012, 13:30 CAT

SOUTHERN Province minister Josephine Limata says nothing is happening in Choma to prepare it as the new provincial headquarters for the province.

And Limata says she is not in Southern Province as a minister but as a servant of the people. She said time had come for the province to embark on developmental activities in Choma.

"We are now going to start developing it and I will not rest until that happens. There is nothing happening in Choma but I am promising the people of Southern Province that we are starting the projects," Limata, who was moved from North Western Province last week, told journalists in Livingstone on Monday.

She said the first project to be undertaken in Choma was the construction of offices that would accommodate the civil servants.
Limata, however, said the concentration would not only be on the construction of civil servants' offices but others to accommodate different organisations.

And Limata said leaders must listen to the people they serve.

"Some people always think that when you are a minister, you are a boss. You are not a boss, you are a servant. You must listen to the people. Listen to even the lowest person in government or any organisation. If you don't listen, then you fail and I will fail if I don't listen to the people," she said.

Limata said she was happy to be transferred to Southern Province.

"Where I am coming from (North-Western Province), I have done my part and the people are crying for me but I am happy that the President sent me here so that I can learn more from the people of Southern Province," said Limata.

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Politicians should avoid causing by-elections, advises Fr Lungu

Politicians should avoid causing by-elections, advises Fr Lungu
By Allan Mulenga
Wed 21 Nov. 2012, 13:20 CAT

POLITICIANS should be prudent in their decisions to avoid causing unnecessary by-elections, says ZEC secretary general Fr Cleophas Lungu. In an interview, Fr Lungu said holding by-elections had proved to be a costly undertaking for the government. A by-election was recently held in Mufumbwe after Stephen Masumba was expelled from the MMD.

"We don't think that we should be having by-elections for the sake of having these by-elections because experience has shown that we waste a lot of resources over the campaign period and the hosting of by-elections. The resources are so much needed in other aspects of economic development. Talk of issues of the need for resources to be pumped into education, health, creation of employment, especially for our youths," he said.

"We should avoid at all costs having unnecessary by-elections. Politicians must be prudent in their decisions so much so that they should not waste the much-needed resources."

And Fr Lungu urged the opposition not to abandon its role of providing checks and balances to the government.

"We don't believe that opposition parties must abandon their role because their role is very important. You need people who can look at issues from different angles; from the angle of those in government and also from the angle and perspective of those who are outside government," said Fr Lungu.

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