Friday, April 19, 2013

(STICKY) (LUSAKATIMES) Mopani Mines commends PF government for not succumbing to pressure to reintroduce the windfall tax.
Time Posted: April 19, 2013 7:14 am

COMMENT - Also check out the documentary Good Copper, Bad Copper on Youtube. On the outrageous poverty that is caused by the IMF and World Bank policies, in collusion with the trillionair banking dynasties and their extractive industries like Glencore, Anglo-American, Rio Tinto, etc. It is theft, nothing more. - MrK

Mopani Mines has commended the PF government for not succumbing to pressure to reintroduce the controversial mining windfall tax. Mopani Board Chairman Emmanuel Mutati says the current tax regime in the mining sector is favourable enough to encourage fresh investments.

Mr. Mutati explained that the 2008 mining windfall tax would have destroyed the mining sector if it had not been repealed.

The Board Chairman said the structure of the windfall tax was damaging to the sector as it was imposed on gross revenue unlike other countries to tax net profits.

He said the current mining variable and the mineral loyalty taxes are adequate to encourage the growth of the mining sector.

Mr. Mutati was speaking today when he met selected Business Journalists at Mopani’s new corporate offices on Alick Nkhata road.

He said Mopani Mine’s parent company Glencore has today invested over 2 billion US dollars in its operations in Zambia.

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(NEWZIMBABWE, VOA) MDC-T fails to find candidates in Masvingo
18/04/2013 00:00:00
by Obert Pepukai I VOA

COMMENT - This is from the Voice Of America. So the idea that land reform in Masvingo Province has been very successful and overwhelmingly redistributed land to the general population, can't have anything to do with the popularity of the ZANU-PF in the province. That just wouldn't fit the narrative.

THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has failed to get candidates to represent it in four constituencies in Masvingo in general elections expected to be called sometime this year.

The party has since waived stringent requirements and re-opened applications in the respective constituencies.

Chiredzi South, Chiredzi North, Mwenezi East and Mwenezi West have been tough battlegrounds for the MDC-T in Masvingo. The party has struggled in the past to garner enough support in these areas.

After the completion of its candidate selection process for primary elections, the MDC-T failed to come up with candidates who met set down requirements to represent it in the forthcoming elections.

So in an effort to find people who can stand on the party’s ticket in the four constituencies, the party has had to scrap some of its strict requirements so it can have representation in the crucial polls. Aspiring candidates are being invited to file their applications with the party.

The party’s Masvingo provincial spokesman Harrison Mudzuri confirmed these developments saying fresh applications have already flooded the party offices.

Some MDC-T supporters in Chiredzi North said they were not free to campaign for the party in the area because of intimidation and harassment from traditional chiefs and Zanu PF activists.

Chiredzi North supporter Jairos Mutubu said the situation in the area is so bad that it is difficult to mobilise locals for MDC-T activities.

But Mudzuri, who is also the MDC-T legislator for Zaka Central, said the political situation in Masvingo is manageable despite what he called demons of violence and intimidation from Zanu PF activists.

The four constituencies have always been Zanu PF strongholds. During the 2008 general elections, President Robert Mugabe garnered 18,000 votes in Chiredzi South alone while the MDC-T got a paltry 2,000 votes.

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) America: the world’s number one sponsor of terrorism
18/04/2013 00:00:00
by Garikai Chengu

JUST as there are good dictators and bad dictators in Washington’s eyes, there are also good terrorists and bad terrorists: Al Qaeda in Iraq, bad. Al Qaeda in Syria, good. Al Qaeda in Mali, bad. Al Qaeda in Libya, good, now bad.

This hypocrisy manifests itself most acutely in how western media reports on the victims of terror. On the same day as the recent Boston Marathon bombings, at least 75 people were killed in Iraq and more than 250 injured by a series of car bombs.

Al Qaeda in Iraq has claimed responsibility for the car bombings and within minutes of the bombings in Boston, western media outlets, politicians and security experts all hastily concluded that Islamic terror was to blame. This is despite the fact that according to the FBI, only 6% of terror attacks on US soil are by Muslims. In fact, Jewish extremists committed more terror attacks in the US than Muslims over the last three decades. Yet notice the disparity in media coverage between the two.

Muslims constitute 1% of the US population, but they are 13 percent of the victims of religious-based hate crimes. Clearly, Muslims at home and abroad are disproportionately the victims of terrorism. Yet in the media there is an outpouring of rage and condemnation whenever western citizens are killed, while reports of more frequent Muslim deaths are muted. In the western media, there would appear to be a distinct Hierarchy of Human Life.

America’s policy of openly backing Islamic terrorist groups stems largely from the Cold War era. Back then, America saw the world in rather simple terms: on one side the Soviet Union and Third World nationalism, which America regarded as a Soviet tool; on the other side Western nations and militant political Islam, which America considered an ally in the struggle against the Soviet Union. The director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan, General William Odom recently remarked that “by any measure the US has long used terrorism. In 1978-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism – in every version they produced, the lawyers said the US would be in violation.”

The CIA used the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as a barrier both to Soviet expansion and to the spread of Marxist ideology among the Arab masses. The United States also openly supported the Sarekat Islam against Sukarno in Indonesia and the Jamaat-e-Islami against Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in Pakistan. Last but certainly not least there is Al-Qaeda. Lest we forget, Bin Laden was trained,

Former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook admitted that “Al-Qaeda, literally ‘the database’, was originally the computer file of the thousands of Mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians.”

America’s relationship with Al Qaeda has always been a love-hate affair. Depending on whether a terrorist group in a given region furthers American interests or not, the State Department either funds or aggressively targets that terrorist group, typically with drones.

American anti-terrorist operations and drones are reported to have killed at least 4,700 people over the last decade, the vast majority of whom were innocent men, women and children. For every innocent civilian killed by an American drone strike, there are hundreds of grieving relatives that will inevitably resent America, any number of whom may turn to militant Islam and terrorism.

Truth is, American anti-terrorist operations are only creating more anti-American terrorists. The best that force can do is impose order. It can never elicit harmony. Therefore, a "war on terror" is flawed in theory and disastrous in practice. The war on terror has made Al Qaeda much stronger than it was on 9/11. In fact, the more Washington emphasises war and confrontation, the more it silences moderate voices in the Muslim world who want to speak up for cooperation.

Quite aside from creating more terrorists than it kills, America’s war on terror also has the unintended consequence of slowly but surely bankrupting the nation. Terrorist attacks on US soil embolden the right wing elements of the military industrial complex and the resulting military actions by these right wing elements embolden terrorists further. It is this vicious cycle of war and terror that future historians may well consider to be one of the key elements that precipitated the decline of the great capitalist American Empire.

Adam Smith, the grandfather of capitalism was a staunch anti-imperialist. He argued that imperialism is costly and eventually bankrupts the country. In fact, one year of the US military budget is equal to more than $20,000 per hour for every hour since Jesus Christ was born. The monumental expansion of US military bases across the globe, in the name of counter-terrorism, illustrates the degree to which America’s treasury is being overstretched by the military industrial elite who commandeer the purse strings.

As Will Blum has pointed out, following the bombing of Iraq, the US wound up with military bases in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Following the bombing of Yugoslavia, the US wound up with military bases in Hungary, Macedonia, Bosnia and Croatia, Kosovo and Albania. Following the recent bombing of Afghanistan, the US is now winding up with bases in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Much like late stage ancient Rome and the barbarians, Washington is over-stretching and over-extending itself in the name of terrorists. Like Rome, the hubris of Washington’s politicians and the gung-ho nature of its generals are threatening the empire. The three interconnected forces that destroy empires – lack of money, military over-reach and the catastrophic loss of self-confidence that stems from the other two – seem to have coalesced around America with astonishing speed since the Twin Towers tragically fell.

Garikai Chengu is a Fellow of Harvard University’s Du Bois Institute for African Research. Garikai can be contacted at


(NEWZIMBABWE) Independence Day message by MDC leader Welshman Ncube
18/04/2013 00:00:00
by Prof Welshman Ncube

Independence Day message by MDC president Welshman Ncube on the occasion of Zimbabwe’s 33rd Independence:

As the MDC joins the rest of the nation in celebrating our 33rd Independence anniversary and remembering the sacrifices made by our forbearers to free us from the shackles of colonialism and racial segregation, we take a moment to reflect on how far we have come as a nation.

This year’s Independence Day comes at a time when as Zimbabweans we finally have a constitution that we can truly call our own, a constitution by which the people have reclaimed their rights and their power, in particular the power to determine through devolution, their own local affairs.

In this way, they have reserved for themselves the power to determine the use of their local resources, determine development priorities and be directly involved in the decisions which affect their daily lives. And I have never been more proud to be a Zimbabwean.

We salute the people of Zimbabwe for coming this far in their quest for a free and fair Zimbabwe. As we move towards elections, I encourage you all to take the final leap and make sure that you are registered to vote. I appeal especially to the youths and first time voters to embrace the spirit of voting as this will determine your future. If you do not register to vote, all the work we have done in the making of the constitution would have been in vain.

In the same vein, we urge you to be tolerant, united and non-violent before, during and after elections. We believe as a party that nothing good was ever brought by violence.

Before independence, we took to the bush and fought for our freedom. But today, thanks to the men and women who sacrificed their lives for us in the liberation struggle, all we need to do is exercise our democratic right in the ballot box.

The last 33 -years have taught us that our enemy is not an individual but a system, a system of dictatorship, corruption, lawlessness and gross human rights violations. As we celebrate our independence today, the MDC pledges an open democracy, in which national government is accountable to the people through the devolution of power and decision-making to the provinces and local authorities.

We hope that as we go forward this will help us as a nation to build a dynamic economy, built on the principles of a mixed economy with a strong social conscience enabling the creation of jobs, accessible and affordable health and education through sustainable economic reconstruction, transformation and development.

To us, independence means ensuring food security and the development of all rural areas through secure agricultural production, the prosperity of all the people through sound business policies, creation of secure jobs with adequate pay and the empowerment of all the people. It also means empathetic, non-corrupt and dependable leadership which you can hold to account through participative democracy.

As MDC, we remain guided by our unwavering desire for the freedom and liberty of all citizens in a Zimbabwe free from all forms of violence, intimidation and coercion as means of political organisation and mobilisation.

We remain unflinching in our quest for a Zimbabwe in which all nationals are equal and free to express their political views and make such political decisions without fear of harassment or vilification.
To each and every Zimbabwean, we say Amhlophe, Makorokoto, Congratulations on our 33rd year of independence.

APRIL 18, 2013

MDC-T floor crossers face Parliament axe
17/04/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

THE MDC led by Welshman Ncube has renewed efforts to get five lawmakers expelled by the party last year to be withdrawn from Parliament after they put their names forward to stand on the MDC-T ticket in elections due later this year.

MDC secretary general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga has written to the House of Assembly Speaker Lovemore Moyo and Senate President Edna Madzongwe asking them to withdraw the parliamentary whip of the three MPs and two senators.

Members of Parliament Nomalanga Khu­malo (Umzingwane), Maxwell Dube (Tsholotsho South) and Thandeko Mnkandla (Gwanda North) as well as Senators Dalumuzi Khumalo (Lupane) and Kembo Dube (Umzingwane) were sacked from the MDC over alleged links with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC-T.

The MDC then tried, unsuccessfully, to have the five lawmakers expelled from Parliament under rules which prohibit floor crossing.

Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara – who is claiming leadership of the party at the Supreme Court after losing in the High Court – scuttled attempts to have the lawmakers barred from Parliament by claiming they were in fact members of his splinter party.
Pending a Supreme Court ruling over in the dispute over the MDC’s leadership, parliamentary authorities took no action.

But Mutambara’s claim that the legislators were aligned to his party rang hollow last week after they all registered to take part in the MDC-T’s primary elections.

Yet despite the embarrassing desertion, Maxwell Zimuto, a spokesman for Mutambara’s party known as MDC-M, was still insisting on Wednesday that the five were their members.
Mutambara, he said, would again seek to block Parliament from expelling the five.

Zimuto said in a letter to the Speaker and Senate President: “The MDC-N (MDC) has no authority whatsoever to give such directives over Hon. MPs who do not belong to their party.

“The assertion by Misihairabwi-Mushonga that MDC-M does not exist is absurd and should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves. Misihairabwi-Mushonga is not the nation’s registrar of political parties, neither is it her responsibility nor that of her party to monitor and regulate the performance of other political parties.”

Zimuto attached a document said to have been signed in 2011 by the five dissidents in which they pledged allegiance to Mutambara’s party.

Madzongwe and Moyo are expected to seek legal advice before taking action. Parliament is set to be dissolved on June 29.

In Independence Day speech, Mugabe makes plea for peace
Uhuru celebrations ... President Mugabe welcomes wife Grace, while Edna Madzongwe looks on
18/04/2013 00:00:00
by Paradzai Brian Paradza

POLITICAL violence has stained Zimbabwe’s image internationally, President Robert Mugabe said on Thursday as he made an impassioned plea for peace as the country celebrated 33 years of Independence.

Police must arrest ALL perpetrators of violence, and Zimbabweans must be allowed to freely wear their party regalia and vote for candidates of their choice, the President said.

“We want peace, let the people vote in peace,” Mugabe said in a speech delivered in both English and Shona to a packed National Sports Stadium. “We get reports from the police about clashes, usually the fighting is caused by people who don’t want others to wear their party regalia. Ko hamudi kuti apfeke uniform ye party yake? Ko imiwo pfekaiwo yenyu. Marambidzwa nani? Go and vote in your own way.”

He said the police have been instructed to make arrests of perpetrators of violence ahead of general elections expected later in the year, regardless of their political affiliation. Police have previously faced accusations from Mugabe’s opponents of protecting Zanu PF supporters.

“Naizvozvo tati kumapurisa vanenge vachidaro bamba lo, faka lapha mujeri. Of course tinenge tichiti vazotongwa, aiwa zvinotinyadzisa kuti nyika ine makore makumi matatu nematatu inoita izvozvo (So we have since instructed the police to arrests everyone who engages in violence and lock them away, of course they will be brought to the courts but that is just a shame for a country celebrating 33 years of independence),” he said.

Mugabe also railed against in-fighting within political parties saying such demonstrations of immaturity need to be discouraged, calling on the parties to join him in calling for peaceful canvassing.

Meanwhile, Mugabe said he welcomes the re-engagement with western countries which imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe. He hoped the reengagement will yield positive results for the country.

On Tuesday, he met a United States special envoy, Ambassador Andrew Young, for two hours. Young, the United States’ former ambassador to the UN, said “it took a decision-making process in the Congress and in the White House for me to come here. The decision for me to come here was made by the Secretary of State (John Kerry) and approved by the President of the United States.”

Accompanying him was the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Reuben Brigety, who said Young’s visit was “the highest in the level of engagement with Zimbabwe” in many years.

“Zimbabwe welcomes the re-engagement efforts that were recently initiated by Britain, the European Union and also now by the United States of America,” Mugabe said on Thursday.

“We hope that these efforts will lead to the unconditional lifting of the illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe. But what is crucial is that Zimbabwe, having attained our independence which we celebrate today, demands in accordance with the international law and international relations that these countries respect our sovereignty.”

The European Union recently lifted sanction on some members of Mugabe’s Zanu PF party, but the President and security chiefs remain blacklisted.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, his deputies Thokozani Khupe and Arthur Mutambara attended the celebrations which MDC leader Welshman Ncube boycotted.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) Independence Day message by MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai
18/04/2013 00:00:00
by Morgan Tsvangirai

Independence Day message by MDC-T leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to the people of Zimbabwe:

IT IS that day again when we feel proud of our tenacity and resilience as a people as we celebrate our independence from colonial rule.

Today, we pride ourselves in being a nation of heroic fighters – a gallant people – who attained our independence at a great loss of our sons and daughters who fought in the liberation struggle.

The only tragic news is that independence did not come with basic freedoms as we had all assumed.

We still have a huge deficit when it comes to respect for human dignity and human rights because we take for granted the people’s basic freedoms of assembly, speech and association.

Independence must come with freedoms if it is to have total meaning to all of us,which is why some of us were party to the formation of a post-liberation political movement to complete the unfinished business of the liberation struggle.

We have sought to complete the meaning of independence to include the basic freedoms which we have starved each other of even after attaining independence, thereby making such an important day hollow and empty despite the bloodshed.

The good news is that this year, our independence day is coming after we have overwhelmingly voted for a new Constitution-a new charter that will go a long way in addressing the absence of basic freedoms and the deficit of good governance we have endured over the past three decades.
So it is with pride that we celebrate this year’s Independence anniversary because as a people, we have collectively set new ground rules and a new value system under which we want to be governed.

Today we celebrate this Independence Day with much happiness, knowing full well that we now have an expanded bill of rights, the women have beenempowered and never again will we have a national leadership that is not restricted by term limits!
We are a tenacious people and we stand with pride that we have carved out anew governance charter for ourselves rather than be governed through a ceasefire document amended 19 times.

A new charter written by ourselves is definitely what true independence is all about!

The nation is still yearning to be allowed to fully express itself from time to time to remind the national leadership of the deficit areas that need to be addressed so that our independence attains its true meaning and significance.

Independence starts with the independence and freedom of the nation to collectively express itself, even for change.

It is in the same spirit of independence that we must all register to vote so that we determine the destiny of our own country. So many people lost their lives for this right to vote and we must guard it jealously and exercise it.

Indeed, they lost life and limb so that the whims of future generations could walk again.

So we must all register to vote.

In this forthcoming election, we have an ample opportunity to further our independence agenda by voting for new ideas that promote democracy and allow us to pursue and live our dreams.

Congratulations, Zimbabwe!

18 April 2013

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(NEWZIMBABWE) Full Text: President Robert Mugabe's 33rd Independence Day speech
Fire burning ... President Mugabe lights the Independence flame at the National Sports
18/04/2013 00:00:00
by Robert Mugabe


Honourable Vice President Joice Teurai Ropa Mujuru,

Honourable Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai,

Honourable Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara and Mai Mutambara,

Honourable Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe,

Mai Muzenda,

Honourable President of the Senate, Mai Edna Madzongwe,

The Honourable Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr. Lovemore Moyo,

The Honourable Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku,

Honourable Ministers,

Honourable Members of Parliament,

Service Chiefs,

His Worship the Mayor of Harare, Muchadeyi Masunda,

Families of Heroes of the Zimbabwe Liberation Struggle,

War Veterans, War Collaborators, Ex- Detainees, and Restrictees,

Your Excellencies Members of the Diplomatic Corps,

Esteemed Foreign Guests and Visitors,

Performing Artists joining us on this day,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Comrades and Friends,

I am delighted and honoured to preside over this Thirty-third Anniversary of our country’s Independence and sovereignty. To a great extent, the Celebrations attest to our ability as a people united by a common destiny, a people called by one name - Zimbabweans – rising up to various challenges and remaining vigilant through the three decades, in order to protect our much-cherished freedom.

Sure, the Nation still faces challenging but not insurmountable tasks ahead. Hence I wish this early on, to encourage the continuance of the hard work, patriotism, dedication and selfless service which are the tools we need to carry our country forward.

However, for now, at this juncture it gives me great pleasure to convey my congratulations to every one of you on the auspicious occasion of this 33rd Anniversary of our Independence Day. Makorokoto! Amhlophe!

We celebrate this happy and joyous birthday with a great sense of national pride. Our joy is, however, stronger when we hold dear the memory of how our Independence was achieved. Colonialism was a stubborn and obstinate beast that would not yield to peaceful means of seeking a settlement to the question of majority rule. Hence, it had to take an armed struggle to bring the settler colonialists to agree to majority rule, which eventually brought us to the negotiating table at Lancaster House, resulting in the attainment of our Independence in April, 1980.

Fellow compatriots, we now know the story of climate change only too well. Once again, this year, the early rains promised a good agricultural season only for us later to face the stress of a prolonged mid-season dry spell in most parts of the country, which has threatened the country’s food security situation. As Government closely monitors the situation, drought mitigating measures have been adopted to ensure the extension of the Grain Loan Scheme and to activate an enhanced, timeous Grain Importation Programme.

In addition, Government’s commitment to food security at both household and national levels is reflected in our National Food and Nutrition Security Policy, which is a collaborative effort with United Nations agencies and other stakeholders.

The development of a national irrigation policy, for long a talking point, is without doubt our best hope for alleviating the impact of the persistent droughts that are clearly a result of climate change. The successful conduct of last year’s Population Census should further strengthen our national policy formulation and subsequently better equip Government in dealing with the important issue of food security.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Comrades and Friends, you will recall that Article VI of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) which led to the formation of the Inclusive Government recognized our fundamental right and duty as Zimbabweans to work on a new Constitution for the country. We now have produced it.

Once the Draft Constitution was ready, a national Referendum was held on 16th March 2013. The results announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) show that the people voted resoundingly for its adoption as the supreme and fundamental law of the land. As Head of State and Government, I am glad to note that the successful outcome of the Referendum demonstrated beyond any doubt the greater values and aspirations that bind us as a people than those which divide us.

Allow me to congratulate all Zimbabweans who voted for the Draft Constitution in large numbers, and for showing great maturity by voting wisely and in a very peaceful manner. May I also commend the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, polling officers, the security services, particularly the Zimbabwe Republic Police, and all those who were involved in making the entire process a success for a job well done! Our people have spoken and eloquently enunciated their wishes. I say Amhlophe! Makorokoto! Congratulations once again!

The country is now due to hold Harmonized Elections, guided by a new-home grown Constitution. As with the Referendum, I wish to urge the Nation to uphold and promote peace before, during and after the elections.

It is pleasing to note that our economy has remained resilient on a positive growth path registering an estimated 4,4 per cent growth rate in the past year. Agriculture, mining and tourism were the key drivers of this growth, a reminder, if one was needed, that we have the resources in our land to lift our Nation to greater heights.

The stable macro-economic environment characterized by low inflation of less than 5 per cent, enabled Zimbabwe to maintain its position as one of the fastest growing economies in the region. Against the combined background of the illegal sanctions, the fragile global economic environment, negligible external support and the negative effects of climate change on our agriculture, Government is largely relying on domestic resources to address infrastructure bottlenecks such as shortages of spare parts for industry, repair of vandalized installations and the erratic electricity and water supplies. Government is also aware of the liquidity crunch faced by the country and will take appropriate measures to ensure that the matter is fully addressed.

The Land Reform Programme, for which we were vilified, testifies today to a palpable improvement in livelihoods of Zimbabweans who benefited from the Programme. This is a fact now widely acknowledged, at times still grudgingly, by our critics.

Agriculture grew by 4, 6 per cent in 2012 led by tobacco, cotton and sugar. Tobacco accounted for 10,7 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and is set to continue its leading role in the economy, following the registration of more than 66,245 tobacco farmers compared to 35,749 farmers in the previous season. It is Government’s wish to see sanity in cotton prices as this sector provides strategic industrial raw material for our clothes and for the production of edible oils and stock feeds.

In manufacturing, the primary focus of the Government is to increase value addition and promote trade relations within the bilateral, regional and multilateral frameworks. In this regard, Government has been promoting enhanced value-addition of primary commodities in all the sectors in order to restore the manufacturing sector’s production capacity, increase output and hence availability of commodities for both the domestic and export markets.

As a major sign of confidence in our countries and their people, Zimbabwe and Zambia won the bid to co-host the 20th Session of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly in Victoria Falls and Livingstone respectively in August this year. Preparations for this major event continue. As the date for the UNWTO General Assembly approaches, I wish to urge all Zimbabweans to contribute to the Nation’s preparations and support this initiative which has the potential to increase opportunities for new investments, employment creation and income generation.

Through aggressive destination marketing, Zimbabwe has witnessed surging interest from regional and international airlines intending to come to the country. Consequently, in 2012, four airlines, namely the United Arab Emirates, KLM Dutch Airlines, Mozambican Airlines and Air Namibia commenced services to Harare thereby improving capacity, connectivity and competitiveness; moves that are set to further promote Zimbabwe as a tourist destination. We look forward to the full resumption of regional and international flights by the national airline, Air Zimbabwe.

As part of strategies to alleviate poverty, 59 Community Share Ownership Trusts (CSOTs) have, to date, been registered throughout the country to develop and rehabilitate community infrastructure in accordance with the priorities of the different communities. Furthermore, employee Share Ownership Schemes are also being set up in order to enable workers to participate and benefit from the indigenization and economic empowerment programme.

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are a major source of livelihood for many people and will continue to receive financial support from the Government. In this context, the Small Enterprises Development Corporation (SEDCO) disbursed US$1,022 million in 2012, sustaining at least 1,205 jobs. In addition, one hundred and fifty four (154) Savings and Credit Cooperatives were registered in 2012, recording a total savings of $386,800-00 in the first six months of the same year.

To improve their operational environment, a total of 5,846 MSMEs were relocated into factory shells, vendor marts and flea markets, while others were allocated commercial stands. Local authorities and the private sector are encouraged to work together to house micro, small and medium business.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Comrades and Friends, it is most appropriate for me on this occasion to pay tribute to our defence and security forces for their dedication and commitment in maintaining the peace and security of our free and sovereign Zimbabwe.

Our foreign policy continues to be anchored on the sacred desire to safeguard our hard-won independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. These principles, as well as those of peace, stability and economic prosperity, underpin our relations with countries within SADC and beyond. The country is grateful for the unwavering support and assistance it has received from SADC and the African Union in the implementation of the Global Political Agreement.

Zimbabwe welcomes the reengagement efforts that were recently initiated by Britain and the European Union, and we hope that these efforts will lead to the unconditional lifting of illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe.

As we celebrate our 33rd Independence Day Anniversary, let us take time to reflect on the need for full commitment to Zimbabwe, and gear ourselves towards holding peaceful Harmonized Elections this year. I urge our people to replicate the peaceful and tranquil atmosphere that characterized our Referendum and thus shun all forms of hate and violence.

Let us strive at all times for peace, respect, and goodwill towards one another and to work for the unity and development of our country and people.

Once again, I say

Happy Birthday Zimbabweans!

Happy 33rd Independence Day Anniversary!

Long Live Zimbabwe!

Long Live our Independence!



I thank you.


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(BLACKAGENDAREPORT) South Africa: Chris Hani Would be Angry at ANC “Adopting Our Class Opponents' Policies”
Tue, 04/16/2013 - 13:30 — National Union ...
by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa

In the 20 years since the assassination of South African communist leader Chris Hani, the contradictions inherent in the agreement leading to electoral democracy have come to a head. "Comrade Chris would have condemned the brutal killing and slaughtering of workers in Marikana in defense of the minerals/energy/finance complex ruling oligarchy interests.”

South Africa: Chris Hani Would be Angry at ANC “Adopting Our Class Opponents' Policies”

by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa

This article previously appeared in the International Journal of Socialist Renewal.

“He would have correctly characterized the Marikana events as a first post-apartheid massacre committed by the democratic state against the workers.”

On April 10, 1993, the serving general secretary of the South African Communist Party (SACP), African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee (NEC) and popular leader Comrade Chris Hani was gunned down by Janusz Walus outside his home in New Dawn Park, Boksburg.

On the very same day then ANC President Nelson Mandela addressed the nation on national television, and had this to say; “The cold-blooded murder of Chris Hani has sent shock waves throughout the country and the world. Our grief and anger is tearing us apart. What has happened is a national tragedy that has touched millions of people, across the political and color divide… Our decisions and actions will determine whether we use our pain, our grief and our outrage to move forward to what is the only solution for our country – an elected government of the people, by the people and for the people.”

It was this tragic death of Comrade Chris Hani which signaled a shift and necessitated transfer of political power from the hands of the white racist apartheid regime to the hands of the people as led by the ANC under President Nelson Mandela. It was Comrade Chris’s selfless blood that forced the apartheid regime to concede that April 27, 1994, should be the date for the first ever one person one vote and democratic elections in our country.

“He had become a true embodiment and genuine representative of peace and non-violence to resolve the political impasse in our country.”

Comrade Chris was gunned down and his precious life taken away at the height of a political climax. Apartheid-sponsored violence was ravaging our country, in collaboration with Inkatha in various parts of the country, notably in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces. Many of our trade union activists, youth activists and comrades lost their lives during this time. To this day, the wounds of the victims of this heinous violence have not healed.

Comrade Chris, in his new role as a soldier for peace was visiting various parts of the country setting up Self-Defence Units (SDUs) and preaching peace in squatter camps, hostels, villages and townships. He had become a true embodiment and genuine representative of peace and non-violence to resolve the political impasse in our country. To achieve this, Comrade Chris was willing to lay down his own life.

Twenty years later

Twenty years after comrade Chris’s passing, we are still living in a country dominated by capitalist barbarity and neoliberalism, combined with our untransformed colonial economy and society, which has sharply worsened the conditions of the working class and the poor, as evidenced by violent daily service delivery protests, a growing dissenting voice against the capitalist system, demanding food, shelter, decent jobs, faster and quality service delivery and free education for the workers and the poor.

Comrade Chris was an indispensable voice of the wretched of the Earth and downtrodden. He was loved and admired by the workers, the poor and the elderly and working-class youth. His love and adoration for our people made him pay the supreme sacrifice – his own life – so that we could have and enjoy genuine freedom in our country.

Comrade Chris would be happy to see that his organization – the ANC – still enjoys popular support among the rank and file, and successive electoral victories have catapulted the ANC into power over the past 19 years of the democratic dispensation. He would be impressed with the massive delivery record in housing, sanitation, health care, education and basic services.

“He would have correctly characterized the Marikana events as a first post-apartheid massacre committed by the democratic state against the workers.”

But Comrade Chris Hani would bemoan the fact that our country has become the most leading country of service delivery protests in the world.

Comrade Chris would have condemned the brutal killing and slaughtering of workers in Marikana by repressive organs of the state – the police – in defense of the minerals/energy/finance complex ruling oligarchy interests. He would have correctly characterized the Marikana events as a first post-apartheid massacre committed by the democratic state against the workers, in defence of the local and international mining bosses and their profits.

Undoubtedly, Comrade Chris Hani would have called for the revolutionary seizure and democratic control and ownership of the mines as proclaimed in the Freedom Charter.

Comrade Chris would have cried foul that the post-1994 South African state and government – a government that enjoys massive popular support – operates in defense and sustenance of the minerals/finance/energy complex – and does everything to impress the rating agencies, including defending the property rights and profits of this class, at the expense of a radical National Democratic Revolution.

Comrade Chris would have been incensed by the Lenesia house demolitions carried out by the democratic government against the people. This would have reminded him of the inhumane house demolitions and evictions that were done by the apartheid regime. Instead he would have called for the immediate arrest of criminals parading as public officials for illegally selling the land to the most vulnerable sections of our people.

Comrade Chris would have despised the opulent and glittering lifestyles enjoyed by his comrades in positions of power through the squandering of public resources to fund and sustain the lifestyle of his former comrades.

He would have supported calls by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) for a lifestyle-audit of [ANC-SACP-COSATU) Alliance leaders and government. He would have demanded his comrades be exemplary by not sending the wrong message that public office accords one a lifestyle beyond one’s means and affordability.

“Comrade Chris would have despised the opulent and glittering lifestyles enjoyed by his comrades in positions of power through the squandering of public resources.”

Comrade Chris would have publicly denounced some of his trusted comrades holding key positions and sitting in high structures in the movement, but facing serious allegations of misconduct and corruption. He would have told them to follow their conscience by excusing themselves from the activities of the organization, since this harms the image and political stature of our glorious movement.

Comrade Chris would be angry to see his organization adopting policies that are identical to our class opponents – the Democratic Alliance (DA) – as evidenced by the adoption of the clearly neoliberal National Development Plan (NDP) as a vision for the country for the next decades.

He would have joined popular calls for the NDP to be abandoned and called for the immediate and radical implementation of the Freedom Charter – which is a shared vision for South Africa by the ANC-led Alliance with the vanguard political party of the working class, the SACP and COSATU.

In honor of this great soldier, leader and true revolutionary communist, we call on the ANC and the Alliance to be guided by selflessness, commitment and loyalty by advancing a radical National Democratic Revolution (NDR) in pursuit of the strategic goals of the Freedom Charter and as the most direct route to socialism.

NUMSA is the biggest metalworkers trade union in South Africa with more than 260'000 members. It is an active affiliate of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the biggest trade union federation in South Africa. Formed in 1987, it merged five different unions, some of whom had formed in the 1960s and 1970s.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) Thatcher, Chavez and the signs of our times
17/04/2013 00:00:00
by Munyaradzi Gwisai

WHAT a month it has been since the March 16 referendum on Zimbabwe’s new constitution!

The giant of the global neoliberal classes, Margaret Thatcher, departs so soon after the Bolivarian titan of the most radical working people’s revolution in the last 50 years, Hugo Chavez, dies.

President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson, Nathaniel Manheru, donning a fake Marxist cap, comes out guns blazing against International Socialist Organisation (ISO) revolutionaries, in defence of a mooted middle class-run opposition party by Morgan Tsvangirai’s oldest intellectual advisor, now adversary, the National Constitutional Assembly’s Professor Lovemore Madhuku. What is happening?

Telling is it not, that when millions across the globe mourn Chavez, the ditty “Ding-dong ding-dong the witch is gone” tops BBC charts and the British ruling class is not sure whether to honour this Colossus of the global neoliberal ruling classes with a state funeral or a ceremonial funeral? A lesson, perhaps, for this self-appointed ideological guru of the Zimbabwean national bourgeoisie, who sings himself hoarse shouting that a Tsvangirai bourgeois democratic comprador state will be a second Rhodesia – all too powerful for the masses to take on because it will hang on the aprons of the mighty imperialists.

The quandary the British ruling class finds itself in is not exactly surprising. You don’t carry out triumphal marches when Rome is burning! From Greece, Spain and Italy yesterday, Portugal, Cyprus today, and is it France tomorrow, the original heartland of capitalism writhes in painful and unending death argons, that potentially imperil this economic order, globally.

The situation has been worse for the comprador minions. Today Hosni Mubarak, formerly the giant of a ruthless and tyrannical African comprador ruling elite, lies dying in an Egyptian military prison hospital sentenced to life imprisonment. The billions of American dollars, subsidising the biggest and most powerful military machine in Africa, could not save him from rampaging and hungry youthful plebeians and proletariats ravaged to the bone by neoliberal capitalism.

And similarly, the other western comprador darling, Ben Ali, could not survive the same class storms in Tunisia. Peering over the events in the land of Hannibal, the Libyan dictator correctly read the situation and tried to rally his peers to the barricades shouting that what he saw in Tunisia was no less than Russia 1917 and had to be stopped at all costs. Unfortunately and fatally for him, his calls were in vain.

No Nathaniel, Rhodesia, the child of a then much stronger era of capitalism, is gone and is not coming back…kare haagari arikare. What frightens the ruling classes today is much more serious stuff, an existential threat: that is a global social revolution arising from the generalised and systematic failure of the capitalist system as dramatically heralded by the 2008 – 2009 global economic crisis. This Great Recession has revealed the fundamental problem of today’s society.

The economic relations that made capitalism so powerful have become outdated because of the massive development of technology and productive forces. A system based on production for profit, wage slaves, private property and the nation state and now dominated by fat cat financial capitalists, is structurally unable to absorb the massive and cheap products coming from highly advanced and globalised production systems concentrated in China and a few other places.

For the rest of the world, a de-industrialised wasteland becomes the new reality in which jobs and livelihoods are massacred as the real economy contracts and only the speculative financial capitalists prosper. This is the world that Thatcher and Ronald Reagan brought into being and which is now coming apart at its seams.

The only solution is to socialise the global means of production, end the nation state and produce for human need and not profit. But capitalism cannot do that without abolishing itself. So all it can do is now look after its own through neoliberal austerity savagery against workers, rural farmers, youths, women and the urban and the rural poor – what MDC’s Tendai Biti calls “eating what we hunt.”

But ordinary people are waking up to the reality that only the politicians and the rich seem to be eating – and thus a storm of massive and unprecedented class struggles and social conflicts has been unleashed across the world. The pioneering revolts being in the weakest chain of the link, the Global South, namely the anti-IMF structural adjustment revolts of Africa, Asia and Latin America of the late 1980s and 1990s as well as those of Eastern Europe, the climax of all the above, probably being the Venezuelan revolution of the mid 1990s led by Hugo Chavez.

Thereafter, the crisis and revolts, reached the belly of the beast – Seattle, Genoa etc, and subsequently in the post-2008 Great Recession era reached a new qualitative stage – globalised crisis and revolts happening simultaneously and interchangeably in the global south and global north – a completely new phenomena which laid for the first time the basis of globalised resistance, as first reflected in the lowest level by the World Social Forum process.

Thus from Tunis, Tahir Square, Madrid, New York to London, back to Lagos, Mumbai, back to Chicago and latest and most explosively Marikana, thereby vindicating Nigerian revolutionary Baba Aye’s aptly titled “Era of crises and Revolts.”

And if Manheru was honest, it is the same fear that motivates his seemingly unlikely defence and apparent attempts at luring Prof Madhuku, the NCA and other nationalist-leaning sections of the middle classes and national bourgeoisie to form, in the now looming post-Mugabe era, a cross-party nationalist but still bourgeois and elite bulwark against this inevitable and rising storm of the working classes and the poor, urban and rural.

The professor who would not be a Ramaphosa

Beyond the current Mugabe/Tsvangirai or MDC/Zanu PF binary, Manheru envisages, post- Mugabe, a monumental cross-party re-organisation of local elites or ruling class re-alignment, between the nationalist sections and the bourgeois democratic but western-leaning comprador neoliberal sections. Kenya is the model, where Daniel Arap Moi’s protégé, Uhuru Kenyatta, under the cover of the Jubilee Alliance, has successfully led a resurrection of the old KANU, against the western supported comprador CORD alliance of Raila Odinga.

Incredible that the latter, the so-much loved pioneer of opposition politics in Kenya starting with FORD, even jailed for six years on treason charges, should today lose to this princeling of the once so-reviled KANU dictatorship, “the Mount Kenya Mafia.”

As in Kenya, the two major emerging poles amongst elites will be a western-leaning neoliberal and comprador consortium anchored by a Tendai Biti-led MDC-T but drawing from Zanu PF “moderates” that Manheru says are already fighting their battles from within for now. On the other, is possibly a more radical nationalist and national bourgeois-based coalition. At the heart of this will be the current Zanu PF nationalist hardliners, Mugabe’s true heirs, but also drawing from formerly pro-MDC middle class elites who are now moving in a nationalist and anti-imperialist direction.

This re-alignment amongst our elites is already underway, pioneered by Simba Makoni, Dumiso Dabengwa and today Tracy Mutinhiri, in one direction, and Prof Jonathan Moyo, Gabriel Chaibva and now it seems Prof Arthur Mutambara in the other direction. But post-Mugabe, the flood-gates will open, involving very very big fish from Zanu PF, who indeed must be encouraged by the warm embrace Mutinhiri has received.

For Manheru though, the real big fish from the other side, for any future emerging nationalist coalition is Madhuku. And correct he is. Arguably, after Tsvangirai, Madhuku is the most popular political figure of the pro-MDC oppositional forces, certainly amongst its rank and file – the heir apparent who could, if he so chose, easily brush aside all the current pretenders to the Tsvangirai throne, very much as Cyril Ramaphosa has done in the ANC.

But Madhuku has walked away, seeming to have chosen a different route, increasingly assuming not only a rabid anti-MDC stance, but preparing to launch his own party, post-elections, on a clearly nationalist and anti-western basis, a fact that has incensed Nathaniel’s antithesis twin, Muckracker, of the Zimbabwe Independent.

Like Manheru, Madhuku instinctively realises that given the above described swelling social class storms buffeting modern capitalism, especially the western variant, and in which the questions of the day will be resolved by iron and blood, the future does not belong to comprador western puppetry. The fate of Mubarak, Ben Ali and now Odinga shows as much. A fact which exposes the key weakness of Manheru’s claim of a strong neoliberal Tsvangirai state.

Parties of elites that will stand a chance are only those that make a partial disengagement with imperialism, especially the west, and based on a national bourgeoisie that will try and re-establish a fresh and hopefully better social contract with the still strong Chinese/BRICS block. But also ones that make some economic concessions to the revolting masses, that neo-liberalism refuses to make.

Mugabe, crucially through the radical land reform, and now the indigenisation agenda, pioneered such approach, after being stung by the 1996 – 2000 anti-neoliberal revolts, and has been richly rewarded with unlikely survival, unlike the likes of Kenneth Kaunda, Kamuzu Banda etc. Today Kenya again re-affirms this.

Drooling at how the KANU dictatorship has resurrected itself through such class-re-alignment strategy, Manheru too dreams the same for the nationalist hard-core of the Zanu PF regime, thereby poking Thomas Mapfumo’s “vakomana muchamhanya” in Mamvemve. And how sweet are such dreams in which, like the learned Greek slaves of the Roman empire eventually rewarded with peculium and libertus, Manheru too, finally emerges from the drudgery and shadows of mere bureaucracy and moves to the main stage and thus into light out of today’s back-stage of darkness or manheru!

Not to lose the plot, the above is the same reason Manheru rails so passionately against the ISO for its call on radical trade unionists, workers, women, students, youths and the urban and rural working class not to be deceived even by seemingly radical but still elite dominated parties and alliances, current and to emerge.

Instead, inspired by the Venezuelan trailblazer which is the only way bus drivers can turn into presidents, they must remain focused on building their own mass anti-capitalist and revolutionary parties and movements, towards, yes, that imminent reality that sends chills of fear down the spines of Manheru’s masters: “the dictatorship of the proletariat.”

Using the above dialectical analysis of the global crisis of capitalism and the class revolts it is unleashing, Manheru’s attack on ISO for allegedly aligning with the comprador MDC and not the nationalist Zanu PF becomes shallow. Just as he admits that both parties are not homogenous and in fact in future a re-alignment of their elite elements likely, the same applies to ISO.

It is perfectly legitimate for revolutionaries to seek to build a long term relationship with the radical rank and file working class base of the MDC, by not alienating them on a transitory issue like the coming elections, when the bourgeois-democratic question arising from the Zanu PF dictatorship still looms large. The radical rural peasantry remains a project for the future, as such class remains yoked to the nationalist Zanu PF petite bourgeoisie, due to “the halo” of the liberation war, land reform and above all Mugabe.

The more realistic and strategic platform is the urban working class, but which is still also yoked to Tsvangirai. Not surprising because the MDC and he are products of their own inspiring class struggles. But the above swelling class and social struggles mean that this may not remain so for long, as the Vote No results in towns show, moreso under a neoliberal Tsvangirai presidency, which will finally and fully expose him and the MDC for their betrayal of the masses.

In a post-Mugabe near-future of growing and open class war, or Thomas Mapfumo’s “Varombo kuvarombo Vapfumi Kuvapfumi,” the possibilities of re-uniting the urban and rural struggles of the masses, which got so tantalisingly close in 1997, can once again become real. Defeating Mugabe and his dictatorship will most likely spur major working class confidence, likely to be translated into an eruption of social and class struggles, if history is anything to go by, as the defeat of the Ian Smith-Abel Muzorewa colonial regime did in 1980, unleashing a massive wave of rank and file strikes and farm invasions.

This is the dialectic of the necessary compromises radicals sometimes have to make. Thus we learn from the Russian Putilov mutineers going in alliance with the Czarist pawn, Father Gapon in 1905 or the Bolsheviks in 1917 rushing to the barricades to defend the equally comprador Kerensky government against reactionary Kornilovists. The other lesson being, perhaps as Joseph Mutero and the Zvishavane Sounds’ Mutongi Gava Maenzanise would warn Munhu, under conditions of real or threatened absolute tyranny, all democrats, regardless of weighty differences over constitutional affairs, must rally together, or all risk facing the fate of Ken Saro Wiwa and Moshood Abiola.

Thus Manheru’s real fear, like capitalists the world over today, is this coming storm of the hungry and rising masses, led by the workers. But masses whose struggles are still to deliver the mortal blow against the capitalist system because, disoriented, and class consciousness in its infancy, and without yet real mass global revolutionary movements of their own, they sometimes and often mistake who is the real devil on the cross. Thus it’s not only been an era of revolts but the barbarism that Rosa Luxembourg warns of, evident in post-Saddam Iraq, Kenya 2007 and Syria today.

Only lived experience and actual struggles under the leadership of the modern proletariat will de-colonise the mind and hasten the sure coming real and defining battles against this historically fated but still fighting ruling class. It is the dawn of the next society, communism, which Manheru sees on the horizon and so much fears, and tries to forestall by his feeble railings. The compass lies not with Alexander Herzen but Bolsheviks supporter, Maxim Gorky and his “Mother”!

Thus radical workers, youths, rural farmers, activists and revolutionaries must not be deceived by the above re-alignment of class forces amongst the elites, even seemingly radical ones – it is their own class parties they are building and re-aligning for looming future class battles against the working classes. The focus must remain the construction of working people’s own radical anti-capitalist and revolutionary parties and movements built on a regional and global basis, to properly equip our side in the coming battles and which war, history teaches, is for us to win. And thanks to Manheru for his advice to our side.

In his tongue in the cheek condemnation of “Gwisai’s Germany” via Rosa Luxemburg Foundation agency, he gives back-handed but nonetheless real advice to today’s working class. Of course, while the RLF as a socialist based foundation may give solidarity internationally, the point of this ideologue of a party still receiving largesse, reportedly from the Moxtons of this world and previously the Tiny Rowlands, IMF and World Bank, is valid.

As Madhuku has also correctly pointed out, the western imperialists fund in order to maintain global hegemony. So too, is it dangerous for trade union and social movements, radicals as well as revolutionaries to turn permanent, strategies hatched out of desperation from the imploding economic social order of the hyper-inflation years. No genuine radical trade union, student or social movement let alone revolutionary movement will be built from donor funds or bosses funds, whether given directly or indirectly through NECs etc.

The lessons from the World Social Forum, including the Zimbabwean one, and the Anti Privatisation Forum and Landless Peoples Movement in South Africa, is that such funds destroy internal movement democracy and accountability of the leadership to the rank and file and enable middle class gate-keepers to pacify and sell out struggles and movements to hostile capitalist forces.

Hard, painstaking it may be, but the working classes will have to build and fund their own movements, from the bottom to the top. But doing so in the concrete knowledge that, as Marx and Engels so precinctly revealed, the wheels of history are now moving quicker and quicker for Manheru’s masters to meet their ultimate fate, one which the Iron Lady after such haunting tribulations at the end of her reign was clearly not up to facing again.

Let Manheru and the rich classes that he sings his supper for, tremble – the working class demands its space on the global and historical stage and its time has arrived!

Munyaradzi Gwisai is a former MP and country representative of the International Socialist Organisation. E-mail him:

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(BLACKAGENDAREPORT) A Tribute to Chris Hani on the 20th Anniversary of His Assassination
Tue, 04/16/2013 - 13:17 — Carlos Martinez
by Carlos Martinez

Chris Hani was a man of the people who saw the struggle for socialism and African liberation as inseparable. A leader of both the South African Communist Party and the African National Congress, Hani “realized that national liberation, though essential, would not bring about total economic liberation.”

A Tribute to Chris Hani on the 20th Anniversary of His Assassination

by Carlos Martinez

“Hani was involved in setting up the first military camps of South African liberation fighters.”

Born in 1942 in the Transkei, he was politicized by the sheer poverty that he saw around him in his early life. He joined the ANC’s Youth League at the age of 15, and quickly went on to become a dedicated organizer. As a student radical at the University of Fort Hare (whose alumni include Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Robert Mugabe, Julius Nyerere and Kenneth Kaunda), he was recruited to the South African Communist Party (SACP) by the veteran anti-apartheid leader, Govan Mbeki. In 1962, Hani became a member of the newly-formed Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) – the military wing of the ANC – and it was above all his heroic activities in this organization over the course of three decades that led to his well-deserved reputation as one of the most important figures in the history of the anti-apartheid struggle.

Regenerating the Struggle

Throughout the 1950s, the ANC’s stock had grown as a result of its effective disobedience and defiance campaigns along with its propaganda work. The Freedom Charter, which put forward the core principles of the Congress Alliance (which included the ANC, the SACP, the South African Indian Congress, the South African Congress of Democrats and the Coloured People's Congress), was adopted in 1955 at the Congress of the People and became a rallying cry for opponents of apartheid across the country.

However, with the banning of the ANC, the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) and other organizations of the liberation movement in 1960, following the Sharpeville Massacre, the introduction of ever more repressive laws, and the Rivonia Trial of 1963 that saw the imprisonment of almost the entire leadership of the MK (including Mandela, Govan Mbeki and Walter Sisulu), the movement had hit a low point by the mid-1960s. Underground activity inside South Africa was almost non-existent, and the exile movement had not yet become very effective. At this point, a critical lifeline was offered by the Soviet Union, which provided extensive military training to hundreds of MK cadres, including Hani (as detailed at length in Vladimir Shubin’s very useful book, ANC – A View From Moscow). Tanzania and Zambia, which gained their independence from Britain in 1961 and 1964 respectively, allowed the ANC and MK to set up bases in their newly liberated territories, and Hani was involved in setting up the first military camps of South African liberation fighters.

“The movement had hit a low point by the mid-1960s.”

In 1967, Hani led an operation to insert ANC and ZAPU (Zimbabwe African People's Union) troops into Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), with a view to opening up infiltration roots into South Africa. Militarily the campaign was far from successful – ending as it did in the loss of more than half the cadres and a forced retreat into Botswana – and yet it raised the spirits of black South Africans at an exceptionally difficult period for the liberation struggle. As Nelson Mandela says in Long Walk to Freedom, “it was a milestone in the struggle” to see MK cadres engaged militarily with the enemy for the first time, even killing some soldiers of the racist Rhodesian regime.

Hani noted at the time: “This was a virgin victory for us, since we had never fought with modern weapons against the enemy. For us that day was a day of celebration because with our own eyes we had seen the enemy run. We had seen the enemy frozen with fear … We had also seen and observed each other reacting to the enemy’s attack. A feeling of faith in one another and recognition of the courage of the unit developed.” (cited in Shubin)

Veteran people’s lawyer Albie Sachs noted that this operation (known as the Wankie Campaign, owing to its location in the Wankie Game Reserve) turned Hani into “an admired leader … he’d been in combat and now had an unofficial, intangible sense of authority.” (More can be read about the campaign here)

Deepening the Armed Struggle

By the mid-1970s, Hani was at the head of an MK base in Lesotho, the purpose of which was to reinfiltrate small groups of cadres back into South Africa for short periods in order to organize armed sabotage cells. Hani was one of the first to be reinfiltrated, in 1974, successfully avoiding the South African intelligence services and setting up several cells in Johannesburg, before making his way back over the border four months later. Chris wrote of that period:

“Now we were actually building a number of units from Lesotho into South Africa … We built a network of structures inside the country. We trained people in guerrilla affairs, in politics, in intelligence and everything else … Those were exciting days for me because I was receiving these cadres coming from the Transvaal, from the Orange Free State, from the Cape and Natal. I was in touch with trade unions. I used to go in and out. Meet comrades at Sterkspruit in Transkei. I used to send some of my colleagues from our collective in Lesotho to Cape Town, to Johannesburg, to Durban for a few days. We had little meetings and discussed strategy... We began to build education groups inside Lesotho. We prepared them in terms of understanding the ANC and our struggle. We would select the best to send back into the country underground. We would say: go and form a cell or two, then come back. We are giving you a week … all the theory that we had acquired in our training and our limited experience we began to apply creatively in a new situation. And for me that was a turning point in terms of our struggle.” (Smith and Beauregard)

This activity quickly became the main theatre of the armed struggle. The operations stepped up in a serious way after 1976, as thousands of young militant South Africans were forced out of the country, or chose to leave, in the aftermath of the Soweto Uprising. These young people were ready to fight, and eagerly joined the MK’s camps in Tanzania and Zambia. Chris, who by this time had been placed on the ANC's Revolutionary Council (and was Assistant General Secretary of the SACP), was at the forefront of providing military training and political education for these new recruits.

“All those who worked with Hani noted his humility, his charm, his deep concern for the troops, and his incorruptibility – refusing to enjoy the privileges that his reputation might have earned him, and eating, sleeping and training with his comrades” (Smith and Beauregard).

“Thousands of young militant South Africans were forced out of the country, or chose to leave, in the aftermath of the Soweto Uprising.”

In an interview with the ANC journal Mayibuye in 1985, Hani spoke of the need to extend the war into the white areas in order to create greater pressure for the dismantling of apartheid:
“It’s a situation of complete ruthlessness, of acts of atrocities against the blacks in our country. Now, in the face of that situation, it is important that the whites should realize that our country is in a state of civil war, because nothing is taking place where they stay. Their suburbs are still pictures of peace and stability and the usual rhythm of life continues. Their lives are not disturbed… Life for white South Africans is good. They go to their cinemas, they go to their barbecues, they go to their five-star hotels. That's why they are supporting the system. It guarantees a happy life for them, a sweet life. Part of our campaign is to prevent that sweet life.’
Through this revolutionary upsurge in South Africa, the liberation forces started to break the back of apartheid. Hani’s brilliant leadership was noted, and he was made MK's political commissar in 1982 and its chief of staff four years later.

Return to South Africa

In April 1990, Hani was able to return to South Africa on a provisional amnesty order from the white government, as it inched towards a negotiated settlement. He immediately began working tirelessly, travelling the country to educate people about the political process taking place and also to raise their socialist consciousness. He was everywhere received with undisguised joy, perhaps second only to Nelson Mandela in popularity.

Although he had been a military man for nearly thirty years, Chris strongly believed in the peace process. He understood only too well that the revolutionary forces were not strong enough to defeat the South African state outright, but that the combination of armed and mass struggle, described by Nelson Mandela as the liberation movement’s hammer and anvil, could together force a negotiated solution which would move the overall freedom struggle many important steps forward.

“Chris saw the need to consolidate the position of the left within the Congress alliance.”

Hani stated: “In the current political situation, the decision by our organization to suspend armed action is correct and is an important contribution in maintaining the momentum of negotiation.” And just a few days before his death, he said: “The issue now is not armed struggle but elections. That needs a climate of peace and stability; we cannot afford to have that process delayed and disrupted by violent elements … Every ANC supporter should be a combatant, but a combatant now for peace.”

In December 1991, Hani was elected to the post of general secretary of the SACP, and gave up his post as MK chief of staff in order to focus on grassroots development of the party. By this time it was fairly clear that the apartheid era was coming to an end, and Chris saw the need to consolidate the position of the left within the Congress alliance, in order to push for the specific interests of the workers and peasants in the post-apartheid era. This was consistent with the vision he had always had, articulated in some brief autobiographical notes he wrote in 1991: “In 1961 I joined the underground South African Communist Party as I realized that national liberation, though essential, would not bring about total economic liberation.’”

Communism and the Struggle Against Apartheid

Hani described his enduring commitment to socialism and the SACP in the following terms: “Why did I join the SACP? Why was I not just satisfied with the ANC? I belonged to a world, in terms of my background, which suffered I think the worst extremes of apartheid. A poor rural area where the majority of working people spent their time in the compounds, in the hostels, away from their families. A rural area where there were no clinics and probably the nearest hospital was 50kms away – generally a life of poverty with the basic things unavailable. Where our mothers and our sisters would walk 3km and even 6km whenever there was a drought to fetch water. Where the only fuel available was going 5-6 km away to cut wood and bring it back.

“I had seen the lot of black workers, extreme forms of exploitation. Slave wages, no trade union rights, and for me the appeal of socialism was extremely great. Where it was said that workers create wealth, but in the final analysis they get nothing – they get peanuts in order to survive and continue working for the capitalists. I didn't get involved with the workers' struggle out of theory alone. It was a combination of theory and my own class background. I never faltered in my belief in socialism despite all the problems currently. For me that belief is strong because that is still the life of the majority of the people with whom I share a common background.” (cited in Smith and Tromp)

One important – and controversial – issue related to the life of Chris Hani is the relationship between the struggle for socialism and the struggle for national liberation; and more specifically, between the ANC and the SACP. This relationship has been under almost constant attack from the 1930s onwards. The apartheid regime and its western imperialist backers used the relationship to ‘prove’ that the anti-apartheid struggle was simply part of an evil Soviet plot against western-style freedom and democracy. Meanwhile, there were plenty of people within the anti-apartheid camp who opposed the relationship on the basis that the SACP was allegedly white-dominated and that Marxism was an imported ideology that was not relevant for Africans.

“I never faltered in my belief in socialism despite all the problems currently.”

Nelson Mandela comments on this issue in Long Walk to Freedom: ‘It is perhaps difficult for white South Africans, with an ingrained prejudice against communism, to understand why experienced African politicians so readily accepted communists as their friends. But to us the reason is obvious. Theoretical differences amongst those fighting against oppression are a luxury we cannot afford at this stage. What is more, for many decades communists were the only political group in South Africa who were prepared to treat Africans as human beings and their equals; who were prepared to eat with us; talk with us, live with and work with us. Because of this, there are many Africans who, today, tend to equate freedom with communism.”

The fact is that the communists were extremely consistent in their support of the national liberation goals of the Congress movement, and proved themselves in struggle to be capable, courageous fighters and strategists. Indeed, the SACP “has the distinction of being the first organization in the history of Africa to call unambiguously for black majority rule on the basis of universal suffrage. This was at a time when even the ANC stopped short of this demand.” (Statement of the SACP Central Committee in 1976)

“There are many Africans who, today, tend to equate freedom with communism.”

Longtime ANC President Oliver Tambo notes: “There was a time when anti-communism reared its head in the ANC and there were often moves for the removal of communists from ANC ranks, but … to all intents and purposes we are running a common struggle together.” Pointing out that the leading members of the Party were also leading members of the ANC, Tambo said: “From my experience, you could not have asked for more loyalty.” (cited in Shubin)

In another interview, in response to the question “is the ANC under the undue influence of white communists?” Tambo responded:

“I don’t know where these white communists are. When I ask who they mean, they reply: Joe Slovo. When I ask who else, they are silent. It is extraordinary how white communists are credited with so much power and influence and supremacy and superiority. Why are we not being influenced by black communists? And why can’t the influence go the other way? Individual members of the Communist Party are like any member of the ANC … Our movement has never hidden the fact that there is a relationship between the African National Congress and the South African Communist Party on those questions of policy which both organizations share in common. In particular both organizations believe that in the present stage of the revolutionary process in South Africa, the primary aim is the national liberation of the most exploited and most oppressed section of the South African people — the Africans.”

Naturally, the ANC-SACP alliance also helped to cement Soviet, Eastern European and Cuban support for the liberation struggle, which proved to be invaluable.

Looking Towards a Non-Racial Future

Another important and controversial issue that is worth raising when we talk about Chris Hani is that of the ANC/SACP policy of non-racialism: the idea that the struggle against apartheid, whilst primarily fought in the interests of the most oppressed group (black Africans), was also a struggle to transcend the division of society along racial lines, and that therefore the struggle should embrace people of all races, so long as they were genuinely committed to a non-racial democracy.

The ANC’s Strategy and Tactics document – one of its defining documents – is extremely clear on this issue: “This confrontation on the lines of color is not of our choosing; it is of the enemy's making. It will not be easy to eliminate some of its more tragic consequences. But it does not follow that this will be so for all time. It is not altogether impossible that in a different situation the white working class, or a substantial section of it, may come to see that their true long term interest coincides with that of the non-white workers. We must miss no opportunity to try and make them aware of this truth and to win over those who are ready to break with the policy of racial domination ... Our policy must continually stress in the future (as it has in the past) that there is room in South Africa for all who live in it but only on the basis of absolute democracy … Committed revolutionaries are our brothers, regardless of the group to which they belong. There can be no second class participants in our Movement. It is for the enemy we reserve our assertiveness and our justified sense of grievance.”

Tambo also elaborated on this idea: “We call upon those in the white community who stand ready to live a life of real equality and nonracialism to make common cause with our struggle for genuine liberation … In sharp contrast to the racists who have sought to divide our country and people into racial and ethnic compartments, we have upheld the ideal of one country, one people and one democratic and nonracial destiny for all who live in it, black and white.”

“Committed revolutionaries are our brothers, regardless of the group to which they belong.”

The close links between the liberation movement and the Soviet Union very likely had an important role in affirming the ANC’s non-racial perspective. In their biography of Hani, Smith and Tromp describe his first visit to the Soviet Union (in the early 1960s):

“In the USSR now, the men were witnesses to the way a powerful nation was run. For Hani, having joined the Communist Party a mere two years earlier, but having read extensively on socialism and Marxism, it was the culmination of theory, reading, imagining… There were no beggars and no blatant poverty. The activity in the city was frenetic: houses being built on one side, flats on the other. Later the men marveled at the fact that education and medical attention were free to all. This was the product of the revolution. All the propaganda, the lies cranked out by the Western imperialists denouncing life in the Soviet Union, had been disproved.

“For some of the cadres, this was the first time they had experienced compassion, understanding and support from white people. This treatment strengthened their will to fight for a nonracial society.

“With three square meals a day cooked by white women, and being taught by white instructors, this was ‘a new world of equality where our color seems to be of no consequence … where our humanity is recognized,’ wrote Hani.”

Although the policy of non-racialism was criticised harshly and frequently by separatist elements within the movement, it proved its value in practice: creating a highly effective fighting alliance, and inspiring the broad masses of the people with a vision of a brighter future.

The Legacy of Chris Hani

Chris Hani was murdered on 10 April 1993 in Johannesburg by a fascist gunman by the name of Janusz Walus', who was working with a senior South African Conservative Party MP on a plot to assassinate a number of prominent liberation fighters and thereby spark a civil war along race lines, derailing the negotiations to end apartheid. Their plot was unsuccessful, as the massive wave of shock and grief at Hani’s death was channeled towards a new momentum in the peace process. South Africa’s first democratic election – one of the most historic events of the twentieth century – took place a year later, on 27 April 1994.

Looking at some of the problems that South Africa still suffers today, it seems obvious that Hani would have been hugely important in the search for solutions. His words just two weeks before his death were prophetic:

“I think finally the ANC will have to fight a new enemy. That enemy would be another struggle to make freedom and democracy worthwhile to ordinary South Africans. Our biggest enemy would be what we do in the field of socio-economic restructuring. Creation of jobs; building houses, schools, medical facilities; overhauling our education; eliminating illiteracy, building a society which cares, and fighting corruption and moving into the gravy train of using power, government position to enrich individuals. We must build a different culture in this country... and that culture should be one of service to the people.”

Chris was a relentless voice for the poor and oppressed, a legend of the struggle, a man of the people who had the confidence and support of the radical youth. As Nelson Mandela wrote in his autobiography: “He was a great hero among the youth of South Africa, a man who spoke their language and to whom they listened. South Africa was now deprived of one of its greatest sons, a man who would have been invaluable in transforming the country into a new nation.”

Mandela’s moving words at Hani’s funeral perhaps give an indication of the type of man that the world lost on 10 April 1993:

“I would like to address a final word to Chris himself — comrade, friend and confidant. We worked together in the National Executive Committee of the ANC. We had vigorous debates and an intense exchange of ideas. You were completely unafraid. No task was too small for you to perform. Your ready smile and warm friendship was a source of strength and companionship. You lived in my home, and I loved you like the true son you were. In our heart, as in the heart of all our people, you are irreplaceable. We have been struck a blow that wounds so deeply that the scars will remain forever. You laid down your life so that we may know freedom. No greater sacrifice is possible.

“We lay you to rest with the pledge that the day of freedom you lived and died for will dawn. We all owe you a debt that can only be repaid through the achievement of the liberation of our people, which was the passion of your life. Fighter, revolutionary, soldier for peace, we mourn deeply for you. You will remain in our hearts forever!”

In remembering Chris Hani, we must resolve to be more like him. Amandla!

Carlos Martinez is an independent anti-imperialist and cultural activist who runs the websites and

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

There's no substitute for a people-driven constitution
By Editor
Wed 17 Apr. 2013, 14:01 CAT

President Michael Sata says he is determined to facilitate a people-driven constitution and urges delegates to the national convention to consider the assignment a call to national duty.

The constitution is at the heart of the nation-building process. And as such, the constitution should reflect the wishes and aspirations of the people. The people shall be truly free only when their constitution is people-driven.

Democracy is essentially built on and sustained by a constitution representative of the desires of the people and not the desires of the ruling party and its government. In the past, we have seen amendments to our Constitution reflecting the wishes of the ruling party and its government. For the first time, we are seeing the absence of the dominance of the ruling party in our constitution-making process. This is something positive. This is something we should defend and ensure is not lost in whatever political expediency may arise.

As the slogan goes, a democracy is a government of the people by the people for the people. As such, a democracy demands that a constitution be as representative as possible of the citizens' wishes and desires.

Both the process of coming up with a constitution and the content of the constitution must be as representative of the people's aspirations as possible. This is so because the constitution of a country is a national document of the highest importance. As the supreme law of the land, it must be recognised and respected as embodying the sovereign will of majority of the people.

The pursuit of justice must be a fundamental norm of the state. The foundation of good government must be established on a sound basis of laws.
Authentic democracy is possible only in a state ruled by law, and on the basis of a correct conception of the human person.

In a democratic state, authority comes from the people and, as such, it is the people who should make the constitution, and no one else. We can learn many things from other peoples in the world. We can even receive help from others in our constitution-making process. But at the end of the day, whatever constitution we come up with should be the product of the collective wisdom, wishes, dreams, desires and aspirations of our people.

The Zambian people do not want a constitution that is given to them or driven by the ruling Patriotic Front for their national constitution.

Equally, they do not want a constitution that is donor-driven to be their national constitution. An imported constitution won't do. And it shouldn't be a matter of cutting and pasting articles from the constitutions of other countries. We can come up with our own constitution that reflects our collective wishes and desires. Copying other people's constitutions will not take us far. The constitution of 1964 was written for us by others. We have not fundamentally moved away from that constitution in many respects. Many aspects of that constitution remain intact even after the amendments to accommodate the one-party state. Equally, not many things changed after amendments were made to revert to multipartism.

We have had too many constitution review initiatives. Almost every government that has come in since 1991 has had a constitution review programme either inherited from the previous government or initiated by itself. This process is financially expensive and excessively time-consuming. We have an opportunity to put this to an end for a long time to come. And this can only be done if adequate consensus is built around this constitution-making process and the process is people-driven.

We should also avoid the danger of having our constitution-making process driven by expediencies of the moment. We should not put immediate political agendas ahead of long-term national interests.
Yes, there can be tactical partisan advantages in having certain things or in not having certain things in the constitution. But these are short-term, the realities will catch up with all of us a few years from now. It's like the issue of the public order Act.

Those who were comfortable with it a few months ago are today finding it undesirable. They were finding it comfortable because they were in government. And now that they are in the opposition, their circumstances have changed and they are no longer able to extract the benefits they got from it when they were in power.

There are many other provisions that are being debated today that are a product of political expediency. It may be necessary to mull over things and consider the long-term effects of some of these provisions we are pushing for or we are opposed to. Time moves very fast and, equally, realities catch up with us very fast. Being in a raincoat when there is no rain, when the rainy season is over can be a very uncomfortable thing.

Equally, being in a T/shirt when it's very cold because one had prepared for a hot weather can be agony. If you are in the rain, think of what it will be like when there is no rain. Don't forget about the cold weather when you are under the hot sun of October. Prepare a constitution that addresses all the changes in weather. In a word, what we are trying to say is let's prepare a constitution that answers more to the fundamental principles we want to anchor our country on and not expediencies of the moment.

Constitution-making is not an easy undertaking because there are many interests in a nation that need to be reconciled or harminised.
There has to be a lot of consensus building so that at the end of the day, we come up with a constitution that we all feel is ours and serves our desires and aspirations. Just as much as we do not want a ruling Patriotic Front-driven constitution, we should not in any way be tempted to have an opposition or NGO-driven constitution. What we need is a people-driven constitution. There is no substitute for a people-driven constitution.

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HH justifies MMD defections to UPND
By Allan Mulenga and Kombe Chimpinde
Wed 17 Apr. 2013, 14:00 CAT

UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema says MMD should not cry foul when its senior party members join his party because it is one way of consolidating the opposition in the country.

And MMD president Nevers Mumba says he had not been consulted over UPND's manoeuvres to poach MMD officials.

Meanwhile, MMD chairperson for health, Dr Canisius Banda, who has been offered the position of vice-president in UPND, says members' stay in a party must be based on conviction.

Speaking to journalists in Lusaka yesterday, Hichilema, whose party is MMD's alliance partner, said rather than getting concerned when MMD loses members to UPND, senior party leaders in MMD should be preoccupied with building a united opposition to offer strong checks and balances to the PF.

"It is a question of misunderstanding. Our concern is that the opposition must retain members in the opposition. That is how our numbers will grow. Both the UPND and MMD are being attacked by the PF in terms of our councillors, in terms of our members of parliament. I think it (UPND poaching from its alliance partner MMD) is for us to retain our members in the opposition so that we can maintain democracy," he said.

"The challenge is not really on the issue between UPND and MMD, or ADD. I am mentioning that with MPs and probably FDD. Because in my view, I would rather have numbers staying in the opposition for the sake of democracy, and checks and balances than the MMD crossing to the PF, which will cause a defacto one-party state. I think that should be the concern of all of us in the opposition."

Hichilema said UPND's poaching of MMD members was a 'non-issue'.
"I am not concerned about a UPND member going to ADD or FDD, absolutely not. It is a non-issue to me. I am concerned about a UPND member who goes to the PF because while they have their democratic rights, that will cause a one-party state dictatorship which we are already seeing today," he said.

Hichilema said the opposition should concentrate on defending itself because it was under attack by PF.

And Mumba said he had not been consulted over UPND manoeuvres to poach MMD members.

"I am not aware of the developments that have been taking place. I have been away and I cannot make a comment on an issue that has not been confirmed by my office. We have to sit down and consider what is going on. As you are aware, there is no pact between the two of us. So, really we have to make our own independent decision and then we will act," said Mumba in an interview yesterday.

Recently, some MMD members have been defecting to UPND.

One of Mumba's closest allies, Dr Banda, is heading to UPND, where he is supposed to be co-opted as party's vice-president.

Dr Banda said the retention of members by any organisation should not be by force.

"Members must opt to stay in an organisation based on their own freewill. In addition, the attractiveness of that entity, the value that they see in that entity, so it must be something founded on their own conviction," he said.

"Without that, whether somebody comes to look for them or not, they will leave. They will not stay, you understand. So instead of blaming other people, for people leaving an organisation, I think it's better to look inside and find out, what is it that we are not doing right, that is making us not retain members. I think it is important to look inside. Usually when we blame others for our own failing, then we weaken ourselves. We take the responsibility for change away from ourselves."

Dr Banda said he believed MMD still had a chance to re-organise itself although he was still considering taking up the attractive and extra challenging job of leading a party in a position of vice-president.
"President Hichilema himself communicated their decision to me.

And I did not respond after this. I said that I would need to consult because this is not a decision I can make by myself. It is not about me, it is about the people of the country. It is about the nation. So I have been making consultations and yesterday I officially informed my party through the national secretary Kapembwa Simbao. I had a meeting with him and I told him that this offer is official," he said.

Dr Banda said the ultimate decision he would make would be inspired by selflessness.

Asked why he had opted to give consideration to a job in UPND and not any other party if he wanted to serve in a high political office other than that of committee chairperson, Dr Banda said:

"The PF is very unattractive at the moment because they are for a one-party state. They are not for plurality of political parties or opinions. As for UPND, I have noticed that they are for the respect of citizens or individuals' freedoms and rights. They are for democracy as people dictated that we should have a return of multiparty politics in 1990 and they are for a free market economy. So, now you see that of the parties, they are of the same principles as the MMD," he said.

"I am considering firstly because you see, I am the chairman for health in the MMD at the moment and they are offering the vice-presidency in the UPND. Secondly, I have added my value to the opposition through participation in the MMD so they are asking for my value in the UPND."
Dr Banda said that he did not feel his party was uncomfortable with the consideration because people must be allowed to make their reflections open.

"It's not something that I have had in my mind. It is only now that the offer has been given and I have to reflect about it. I would have continued to diligently and loyally work with Dr Mumba," he said.
"I spoke with Mumba but at the time I spoke with him, the offer was not official."

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