Thursday, June 27, 2013

(STICKY) (ALLAFRICA, THE HERALD ZW) Zimbabwe: EU Dumps Tsvangirai
By Caesar Zvayi, 26 June 2013

THE European Union should not pre-occupy itself with who is in power in Zimbabwe, but concentrate on improving the country's political culture and institutions as support for the MDC-T has waned over the years. The revelations, a virtual vote of no confidence in MDC-T's electoral chances, are contained in an EU Parliament policy document titled "Quick Policy Insight Zimbabwe's 2013 General Elections" that was published on May 28 ahead of the Constitutional Court ruling ordering elections by July 31.

"Government turnover does not guarantee democratic change in Zimbabwe. Zanu-PF lacks democratic roots; but the MDC has, for its part, done little to prove its trustworthiness. Rather than asking who is in power, international analysts might want to put a stronger focus on how to actually improve Zimbabwe's political culture and institutions," reads the document in part.

The EU's Damascene moment, that tallied with several recent surveys pointing to a Zanu-PF victory in the elections, dovetailed with recent statements by senior MDC-T officials who admitted that the majority of Zimbabweans had lost faith in MDC-T because of the party's failure to live up to its rhetoric.

Ex-journalist and MDC-T founding member Grace Kwinjeh laid into the party on her Facebook Wall after being elbowed out of the Makoni Central constituency primary elections which she claimed to have won before being dumped for one Patrick Sagandira.

"The bulk of Zimbabweans who have lost faith in us as a party have because of this kind of behaviour (failing to walk the talk), they judge us not by what we say, but we do. I hope you can bring this to the attention of the party leadership . . . for the record I am not accepting the charade that took place in Makoni Central," she charged.

In a telephone interview from her base in Belgium last night, Kwinjeh confirmed writing to the MDC-T leadership complaining over lack of intra-party democracy.

"I have presented my petition and I'm told the party is sitting and discussing this issue," she said. "So, I am waiting for the party's response."

MDC-T Manicaland provincial chairman Mr Julius Magaramombe, who won the party's primaries in Buhera North, also posted on his Facebook Wall his fear for his life after warning the MDC-T leadership not to be surprised if supporters voted for Zanu-PF.

"A Democratic Party without democracy will pay the ultimate price at the hands of the people . . . folks, I've just discovered that speaking the truth can get you killed, literally. And you know what? I'm ready to die!" he said.

MDC-T, the EU said, had tried to capitalise on public discontent, presenting itself as an alternative to an aged and corrupt Zanu-PF elite culminating in Mr Tsvangirai's lead in the first round of the presidential elections in 2008, but the party had since lost any goodwill it had as public opinion favours Zanu-PF.

"The MDC enjoys backing from many foreign actors in the region and from overseas. Yet the party also faces numerous problems.

"First, its reputation has suffered critical blows from a range of personal lapses by its leader: numerous sexual adventures of 61 year-old Tsvangirai, including the pregnancy of a 23-year old woman and his denial of paternity; reports of growing corruption and financial mismanagement within the MDC headquarters; and Tsvangirai's refusal to accept criticism of his increasingly centralised leadership style," reads the EU report.

" What is more, the MDC's participation in government for more than four years -- although in a weak position -- renders it increasingly difficult to argue that it could bring about a radical turn for the better. Disenchanted with the party's inability to trigger decisive change, many young urbanites -- previously the MDC's most devoted supporters -- have stopped attending the party's once-overcrowded rallies and have sought other arenas to voice their discontent. Pentecostal churches have seen their popularity skyrocket, and new political alternatives have emerged, including the recently revived Zimbabwe African People's Union."

Several recent surveys from the likes of Mass Public Opinion Institute, Freedom House and Afro barometer have pointed to a Zanu-PF victory in the harmonised elections with the latest opinion coming from the leading US think-tank the Council on Foreign Relations that described the prospect of a Zanu-PF loss at the polls as highly unlikely.

The EU report acknowledges this saying; "recent surveys suggest that Zanu-PF by now attracts more public support than the MDC, a total turnaround from 2008/2009. The MDC may yet regain control by forming a coalition with a third party. Yet Tsvangirai's chances of finding a suitable partner appear meagre, since he broke ties with a smaller MDC faction led by Welshman Ncube, and other promising parties are lacking."

The MDC-T attempt to form a grand coalition against Zanu-PF ahead of the elections recently hit a snag with several key allies; among them the NCA, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, MDC99, ZCTU Concerned Affiliates and MDC, distancing themselves from the party accusing it of losing direction.

Voting patterns in the Constitutional referendum held mid-March revealed that Zanu-PF strongholds drove the Yes Vote, a development affirmed by statistics released by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission that showed high voter registration in Zanu-PF strongholds coupled with low figures in urban and peri-urban areas from where the MDC-T drew support over the years.

The MDC-T acknowledged the voter apathy in its election strategy document titled 'Priority Activities ahead of 2013 Election'.

The EU document also lays into the MDC-T's campaign of violence which it said was costing the party support.

"Evidence that MDC youth groups have engaged in violent campaigns has further undermined the party's credibility. The political outlook, as a result, has changed drastically".

The MDC-T has unleashed a wave of intra- and inter-party political violence in a bid to not only trash the political environment to abet its call for poll postponement, but to also provide fodder for its Western allies to discredit the poll. Harmonised elections are scheduled for July 31, with nomination courts for contesting candidates sitting on Friday.

The terror campaign began last year, but was intensified from January, with over 45 cases being recorded countrywide since the beginning of the year.

In all the recorded cases, MDC-T supporters were at the forefront of attacking their colleagues or those from other political parties, especially Zanu-PF.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

(STICKY) (NEWZIMBABWE) SA party eyes Zimbabwe farm model
24/06/2013 00:00:00
by Agencies

COMMENT - This article uses loaded language and characterisation, like 'controversial' or 'highly criticised'. Controversial to whom and highly criticised by whom? By implication, the neo-apartheid situation South Africans find themselves in 'isn't controversial' and apparently 'goes uncriticised'. Anyway, it seems like it is the SACP which inherits the ANC's mantle of protector of the Freedom Charter. - MrK

SOUTH Africa can learn from the successes of Zimbabwe’s controversial land reform programme, Public Works Minister and Communist Party (SACP) deputy chairman Thulas Nxesi has said.

Speaking at the KwaZulu-Natal SACP’s provincial general council in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday, Nxesi stressed that he was not advocating for Zimbabwe-style land grabs, but pointed out that there had been some successes recorded in the neighbouring country since the start of its highly criticised land reforms.

“We may be able to learn something from the agrarian model adopted by our neighbours (of) essentially breaking down large-scale farms and promoting more intensive small-scale farming,” Nxesi, also the minister for Public Works, said.

He said that research had shown that through this new approach and focus on small-scale farming, Zimbabwe’s land reform process had led to more people benefiting directly from farming than was the case before.

Research also showed that 6,000 white owners were replaced by over 200,000 small-scale black farmers, while white-owned farms employed about 250,000 workers today, there are about one million people who made a living from smaller-scale farming, he said.

“The land question remains a defining and persisting difference in South African politics.”

Nxesi hit out at the rival Democratic Alliance (DA), saying it was no surprise that the opposition party was against the country’s Expropriation Bill, which would allow for the expropriation of land if that was deemed to be in the public interest, with the amount to be paid as compensation being determined by the courts.

The DA has argued that some aspects of the bill were unconstitutional and could lead to land being expropriated at the whim of the minister.
But Nxesi said opponents of the bill wanted to defend the status quo.

“We define ourselves by our approach to the land question and the expropriation bill. You cannot sit on the fence; you either support an orderly constitutional process of land reform or you continue to defend privilege and vested interests,” he said.

The state would have to drive the process, he said. “If we look to history, the South African state has always played a central role in structuring property, race and class relations in the countryside to promote white farmers as they competed with their black counterparts for labour, land, water, grazing rights, other resources and markets.”

He said the ANC would have to ensure that the elements of state power were “mobilised” to address land reform.

Nxesi said that as part of addressing the land issue, priorities should include ensuring that farm dwellers were protected against illegal evictions, speeding up land reform and ensuring support to emerging farmers.

The SACP said the level of support given to farming had declined, while other developing economies had adopted policies to increase support for agriculture.

The party also blamed what it said were the post-1994 agriculture “liberalisation” policies which led to the collapse of many white-owned farms, rural towns and rural economies.



We said it before and we will say it again, The western imperialists never wanted the Zim's land reform to succeed because it would inspire other African countries with skewed land patterns to follow suit. So they made our economy "scream" and blamed it on the land redistribution. This was meant to scare others like SA from doing the same. But now, the storm has weathered, things are getting more and more stable in the house of stone. There is now less negatives to talk about and the true picture of our land redistribution is now coming to light. Those who admired us in secret are now coming out in the open and doing exactly what the neocolonialists feared would happen i.e using Zimbabwe as a example or model to implement their own redistribution of land. Mugabe is going to be fully vindicated the year our agriculture production is going to surpass that of the pre-land reform era. Tobacco production has already done that so everybody knows its now just a matter of time before things get back to normal in all agricultural sectors, this time under a totally black farming community. I'm glad more and more people in SA are now seeing the light, or rather they are now coming in the open.


To those SA who bash Zimbabwe on this forum, I hope you are licking your wounds when you read the success of our land reform and indigenous empowerment. This serves as a lesson to those SA day dreamers who are in denial about the recovering new ZIMBABWE. Ignorant as you are, envy is what motivates you to continuously live in denial. Dear brother SA the tides are turning, you will soon be begging for help on our doorsteps. Time will tell. Pamberi neZimbabwe. We are a role model for Africa.

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(STICKY) (NEWZIMBABWE, THE INDEPENDENT UK) Bredenkamp sues UK government over sanctions
21/06/2013 00:00:00
by The Independent (UK)

THE UK government has found itself at the centre of an extraordinary legal battle with a Zimbabwean tycoon who claims the Foreign Office unlawfully caused his assets to be frozen based on “unsubstantiated” comments made to an ambassador.

John Bredenkamp, a controversial businessman accused of breaking sanctions in Rhodesia in the 1970s and supplying arms to both sides during the Iran-Iraq war, is suing the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, after he discovered the British Government was behind a decision to blacklist him for supporting President Robert Mugabe.
He was removed from the EU sanctions list following a review of the measures in February 2012.

The 72-year-old tycoon claims the European Union measure in 2009 was “devastating for his personal and professional reputation” and was based on “exceptionally generalised” evidence.

In documents filed at the High Court, Bredenkamp’s lawyers said the Foreign Office’s evidence was “based on entirely unsubstantiated, undocumented and unparticularised comments made orally to the former ambassador of the United Kingdom to Zimbabwe, Dr Andrew Pocock”.

“Remarkably, and despite the entirely predictable and disastrous consequences which would flow from listing the claimant, it appears the ambassador failed to seek, let alone obtain, any detail at all as to the comments made to him, and that he did not even make contemporaneous records of those comments he particularly relied upon.”

Bredenkamp’s lawyers are challenging the lawfulness of the Government’s decision to freeze his assets and impose a travel ban to Europe between 2009 and 2012.

According to High Court documents, the Foreign Office privately informed the European Union that the businessman had “strong ties” to the Mugabe government and “provided, through his companies, financial and other support to the regime”.

His lawyers argue the UK government produced no evidence to substantiate the allegations and say Bredenkamp has always “vigorously rejected” claims that he supported Mugabe.

Timothy Otty QC told the court the tycoon had only met the Zanu PF leader once in 1982, was imprisoned on false charges and stripped of his citizenship in 2006.

At the High Court today, it emerged that Bredenkamp sought disclosure of nine emails from Foreign Office officials that outlined why ministers decided he should be blacklisted.

However, lawyers acting for the Government claimed they were too sensitive to release during the proceedings and tried to withhold them on “public-interest immunity” grounds as it could affect the UK’s “international relations” with other countries.

The Independent and Bredenkamp’s lawyers were then forced to leave the court while the Foreign Office and Justice Collins decided whether they could be released to the businessman’s legal team.

In the claim against Hague, Bredenkamp’s lawyers said: “The effect of [Bredenkamp’s] listing was, quite predictably devastating for his personal and professional reputation, for his business interests, and for the many hundreds of individuals dependent upon him, as well as for their families. It has also seriously impacted upon his physical health.

“He wishes to obtain a declaration as to the unlawfulness of the United Kingdom’s conduct at the outset, both by way of vindicatory relief, and in order to clear the path for a claim for damages in respect of the very substantial losses he has suffered. As a result of the sanctions he has faced he has gone from a position of very substantial wealth to one involving very substantial losses.”

Otty, a leading human rights barrister, told the court that the action by the UK Government means his client is unable to bank anywhere in the world “save for a single, personal account in Zimbabwe which is of very limited use because of exchange controls”.

Bredenkamp, who made his money in tobacco farming, was named in a 2002 UN report as a key arms trader who made millions of dollars from exploiting natural resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A representative of Bredenkamp’s who attended court but refused to give his name told The Independent that “everything that has ever been written about him is fictitious and based on no evidence”.
He added: “If you Google Bredenkamp he is supposed to have stolen nuclear bombs. It is ridiculous.”

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(GUARDIAN UK) Police 'smear' campaign targeted Stephen Lawrence's friends and family
Exclusive: former undercover officer Peter Francis says superiors wanted him to find 'dirt' shortly after 1993 murder

* Rob Evans and Paul Lewis
* The Guardian, Monday 24 June 2013

Stephen Lawrence who was murdered in 1993 and whose death has been the subject of a long-running police investigation. Photograph: Rex Features

A police officer who spent four years living undercover in protest groups has revealed how he participated in an operation to spy on and attempt to "smear" the family of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, the friend who witnessed his fatal stabbing and campaigners angry at the failure to bring his killers to justice.

Peter Francis, a former undercover police officer turned whistleblower, said his superiors wanted him to find "dirt" that could be used against members of the Lawrence family, in the period shortly after Lawrence's racist murder in April 1993.

He also said senior officers deliberately chose to withhold his role spying on the Lawrence campaign from Sir William Macpherson, who headed a public inquiry to examine the police investigation into the death.

In extracts from a joint Guardian and Channel 4, police whistleblower Peter Francis reveals disturbing details about his undercover deployment

Link to video: Undercover police officer: 'How I spied on the Stephen Lawrence campaign'

Francis said he had come under "huge and constant pressure" from superiors to "hunt for disinformation" that might be used to undermine those arguing for a better investigation into the murder. He posed as an anti-racist activist in the mid-1990s in his search for intelligence.

"I had to get any information on what was happening in the Stephen Lawrence campaign," Francis said. "They wanted the campaign to stop. It was felt it was going to turn into an elephant.

"Throughout my deployment there was almost constant pressure on me personally to find out anything I could that would discredit these campaigns."

Francis also describes being involved in an ultimately failed effort to discredit Duwayne Brooks, a close friend of Lawrence who was with him on the night he was killed and the main witness to his murder. The former spy found evidence that led to Brooks being arrested and charged in October 1993, before the case was thrown out by a judge.

The disclosures, revealed in a book about undercover policing published this week, and in a joint investigation by the Guardian and Channel 4's Dispatches being broadcast on Monday, will reignite the controversy over covert policing of activist groups.

Lawrence's mother, Doreen, said the revelations were the most surprising thing she had learned about the long-running police investigation into her son's murder: "Out of all the things I've found out over the years, this certainly has topped it."

She added: "Nothing can justify the whole thing about trying to discredit the family and people around us."

In a statement, the Metropolitan police said it recognised the seriousness of the allegations – and acknowledged their impact. A spokesman said the claims would "bring particular upset" to the Lawrence family and added: "We share their concerns."

Jack Straw, the former home secretary who in 1997 ordered the inquiry that led to the 1999 Macpherson report, said: "I'm profoundly shocked by this and by what amounts to a misuse of police time and money and entirely the wrong priorities." Straw is considering personally referring the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Francis was a member of a controversial covert unit known as the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS). A two-year investigation by the Guardian has already revealed how undercover operatives routinely adopted the identities of dead children and formed long-term sexual relationships with people they were spying on.

The past practices of undercover police officers are the subject of what the Met described as "a thorough review and investigation" called Operation Herne, which is being overseen by Derbyshire's chief constable, Mick Creedon.

A spokesman said: "Operation Herne is a live investigation, four strands of which are being supervised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, and it would be inappropriate to pre-judge its findings."

Francis has decided to reveal his true identity so he can openly call for a public inquiry into undercover policing of protest. "There are many things that I've seen that have been morally wrong, morally reprehensible," he said. "Should we, as police officers, have the power to basically undermine political campaigns? I think that the clear answer to that is no."

Francis has been co-operating with the Guardian as a confidential source since 2011, using his undercover alias Pete Black. He assumed the undercover persona between 1993 and 1997, infiltrating a group named Youth Against Racism in Europe. He said he was one of four undercover officers who were also required to feed back intelligence about the campaigns for justice over the death of Lawrence.

Francis said senior officers were afraid that anger at the failure to investigate the teenager's racist killing would spiral into disorder on the streets, and had "visions of Rodney King", whose beating at the hands of police led to the 1992 LA riots.

Francis monitored a number of "black justice" campaigns, involving relatives of mostly black men who had died in suspicious circumstances in police custody.

However, he said that his supervising officers were most interested in whatever information he could gather about the large number of groups campaigning over the death of Lawrence.

Although Francis never met the Lawrence family, who distanced themselves from political groups, he said he passed back "hearsay" about them to his superiors. He said they wanted information that could be used to undermine the campaign.

One operation Francis participated in involved coming up with evidence purporting to show Brooks involved in violent disorder. Francis said he and another undercover police officer trawled through hours of footage from a May 1993 demonstration, searching for evidence that would incriminate Brooks.

Police succeeded in having Brooks arrested and charged with criminal damage, but the case was thrown out by a judge as an abuse of the legal process. Francis said the prosecution of Brooks was part of a wider drive to damage the growing movement around Lawrence's death: "We were trying to stop the campaign in its tracks."

Doreen Lawrence said that in 1993 she was always baffled about why family liaison officers were recording the identities of everyone entering and leaving their household. She said the family had always suspected police had been gathering evidence about her visitors to discredit the family.

"We've talked about that several times but we never had any concrete [evidence]," she said.

There is no suggestion that the family liaison officers knew the purpose of the information they collected.

Francis claims that the purpose of monitoring people visiting the Lawrence family home was in order "to be able to formulate intelligence on who was going into the house with regards to which part of the political spectrum, if any, they were actually in". The former policeman added: "It would determine maybe which way the campaign's likely to go."

In 1997, Francis argued that his undercover operation should be disclosed to Macpherson, who was overseeing the public inquiry into the Met's handling of the murder. "I was convinced the SDS should come clean," he said.

However his superiors decided not to pass the information on to the inquiry, he said. He said he was told there would be "battling on the streets" if the public ever found out about his undercover operation.

Straw said that neither he nor Macpherson were informed about the undercover operations. "I should have been told of anything that was current, post the election of Tony Blair's government in early May 1997," he said.

"But much more importantly, [the] Macpherson inquiry should have been told, and also should have been given access to the results of this long-running and rather expensive undercover operation."

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Is our public service living up to expected standards?
By Editor
Tue 25 June 2013, 14:00 CAT

Seldom have we heard an international civil servant present such solid and eloquent reasoning concerning the public service as we heard from Kanni Wignaraja, United Nations resident coordinator in Zambia on Sunday.

Wignaraja articulated clearly the vital role that the public service plays in fostering social justice, peace and development in our countries. She made it clear that "where a public service discharges its duties with care and conscientiousness to ensure that the most vulnerable are also well served; with a scrupulous and transparency to ensure it holds to high ethical standards and is accountable first and foremost to the people; and with a daring and courage to change and innovate with the times, then we have a public service that performs to high standards and also inspires".

Wignaraja challenged us to reflect on whether our public service lives up to these standards. And where it is challenged, she urged us to ask what those impediments are, and what we can do about them.

It cannot be denied that governments are under increasing pressure to open up to public scrutiny, to be more accessible to the people who elected them and more responsive to their demands and needs. Indeed, an open government that meets all these requirements is increasingly recognised as an essential ingredient for democratic governance, social stability and economic development.

From the public's point of view, an open government is one where businesses, civil society organisations and citizens can "know things" - obtain relevant and understandable information; "get things" - obtain services from and undertake transactions with the government; and "create things" - take part in decision-making processes.

The principles of good governance - transparency and accountability; fairness and equity; efficiency and effectiveness; respect for the rule of law; and high standards of ethical behaviour - represent the basis upon which to build open government.

It is important for those in government to realise that they will not be able to effectively implement policies, however good they are, if citizens and business do not understand and support them. And this in itself makes an open transparent, responsive and accessible government a must.

And as Michael Sata once aptly put it, "an authority is needed to guide the energies of all towards the common good". Public servants should exercise stewardship and uphold the common good. Public servants must be conscious of their specific and proper role in the governance of our country.

We need civil servants who profoundly love their own people and wish to serve rather than to be served. A person who joins the public service must remember that he or she is simply a servant entrusted to offer humble service to others as opposed to owning the people he or she is serving; they work for the common good.

But is this the type of public servants we have in Zambia today? The answer is a categorical no. We generally don't have civil servants who are imbued with the characteristics of what is the best of a public servant - "being proud of a contribution to one's community and country beyond individual gain; having a high standard of values and ethics to which one holds oneself to, every day; enjoying an open engagement with those around you, always seeking new ideas, sharing information, getting and providing useful feedback; and always having an open heart and mind to watch out for those much less fortunate, so they get a helping hand when needed".

What we have is a public service that focuses more on serving itself, on those who work for it. A substantial part of our national budget is spent on the public servants themselves - their wages and salaries, allowances of all sorts, per diems and so on and so forth.

Public servants have a strict duty to give the public efficient and conscientious service for which they have a right to a just salary. Our public servants cannot be said to be providing the Zambian people with an efficient and conscientious service. They are getting financial rewards that are far beyond the value of the service they are giving to the Zambian people. This is not fair or just.

The work of public servants must take on the character of service. Their work is done well if it is committed to the common good of society. People employed in the civil service are, precisely, employed to serve. Their primary motivation should be a deep desire to serve others. Attentiveness to the needs of the persons being served is essential to an understanding and fulfillment of this deep desire to help and serve others.

A public service that spends almost the entire national budget on itself cannot be said to be serving the common good - it is serving itself. Look at how rich our public servants are compared to the people they serve. Look at how much of every kwacha in our national budget is spent on them as compared to that which is spent on the public. To hold a meeting in their own ministry or department, our public servants have to be paid a sitting allowance. What for? Are these not full-time employees of the public service? Are they not using already paid for public time to sit in such meetings? Equally, public servants who serve on statutory bodies are paid sitting allowances by the same government as if they are not full-time public employees. This is tantamount to getting a double pay for the same work. When they attend workshops or seminars, they are again paid allowances. Again, this is for the same public work they are already paid for. Some of them even get paid more allowances than the days they attend the workshops. For instance, a public servant would be paid allowances for seven days when they simply went there to open the workshop and take off for another. We have public servants who are paid for attending more than 365 workshops in a year. How is this possible? It's simply an issue of banditry, corruption and of looting government resources. Successive governments have tried to reduce the number of workshops being attended by public servants but have failed. Levy Mwanawasa tried it, he failed and was hated by public servants for that. Michael has tried it and we don't think he has succeeded in stopping or reducing unnecessary but costly workshops.

We also have travel allowances that are being paid to public servants for all sorts of trips which they themselves conveniently create when they want money to complete their buildings. Again, can this be said to be an efficient and conscientious service to the Zambian people?
There is need to reflect and deeply meditate - with broadmindedness - over the issues raised by Wignaraja concerning the role of our public service. We need to continually ask ourselves if our public service truly lives up to the standards expected of it. And where it is challenged, to find out what is wrong and how that can be corrected. This is the only way we can maintain good governance, social stability and encourage economic development.


Musonda goes

By Namatama Mundia, Agness Changala Mwala Kalaluka
Tue 25 June 2013, 14:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata has accepted Philip Musonda's resignation as Supreme Court judge. Sources yesterday confirmed that President Sata wrote judge Musonda accepting his resignation. President Sata's decision was in response to judge Musonda's letter this month.

The sources could not, however, give details of the letter the President has written to judge Musonda. Judge Musonda resigned on June 4 and restated his position to resign in a letter addressed to President Sata on June 19.

And acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda said the Judiciary would miss judge Musonda's well researched contribution and support.
In a letter addressed to judge Musonda dated June 19, justice Chibesakunda acknowledged receipt of his letter of resignation from the office of judge of the Supreme Court.

"On behalf of the entire Judiciary and on my own behalf, I wish you God's blessings in your future endevours," read the letter.

Judge Musonda, who was scheduled to appear before a tribunal chaired by Malawian judge Lovemore Chikopa on June 28, stated that his resignation had completely curtained the tribunal's jurisdiction to proceed against him.

President Sata last year appointed a tribunal to probe alleged professional misconduct of judge Musonda and two High Court judges Nigel Mutuna and Charles Kajimanga after he suspended them.
The three judges challenged their suspensions.

But recently the Supreme Court ruled that President Sata did not breach the Constitution by suspending the three judges.

And when the tribunal decided to proceed, judges Mutuna and Kajimanga sought judicial review challenging the legality of the tribunal and obtained a stay of the proceedings against them pending determination of their case before Ndola High Court judge Mwiinde Siavwapa.
Judge Siavwapa will on July 5 rule whether to discharge the stay he granted the two judges or not following an application by Attorney General Mumba Malila.

And Dr Rodger Chongwe, State Counsel, says he does not agree with judge Musonda's argument that the tribunal set up to examine his alleged professional misconduct cannot proceed against him following his resignation.

Commenting on judge Musonda's claims that he was no longer obliged to answer before the tribunal set up to probe his alleged misconduct since he had resigned, Dr Chongwe said it was apparent that for some reason, judge Musonda was depriving himself of an availed opportunity to clear his name.

"He claims that Article 137 of the Constitution supports this claim. I hold a contrary view," Dr Chongwe said. "Returning to the claim that judge Musonda, having resigned, his behaviour as a judge cannot be examined by the tribunal set up to do so. Very often, common sense is overlooked as being a large part of our judicial process. It is apparent that for some reason, judge Musonda does not wish to avail himself of the opportunity to clear his name."

Dr Chongwe said he would not want to judge justice Musonda before the tribunal does and as such he would not make any comment on the actual claims against him, but it was a fact that failure to speak in one's defence leads to inferences being reached.

"Some of the reports published in the media prior to the appointment of the tribunal are very worrying for anyone concerned with the administration of justice in Zambia and it is necessary that these are brought to the tribunal and that the witnesses be heard. Put simply, the public still has the right to know," he said.

"Our Constitution states that Zambia is a multi-party state and the President who has the constitutional right to appoint the tribunal to investigate judges also has the constitutional obligation to maintain the multi-party nature of our democracy. The Constitution also dictates who can and cannot become judges and other law officers and the procedures attached to such appointments by any President of Zambia."

Dr Chongwe said the case involving the three judges was one of alleged misconduct in the course of their work as judges.


Govt finalises evaluation of Nkandabwe mine assets
By Allan Mulenga
Tue 25 June 2013, 14:00 CAT

MINES permanent secretary Dr Victor Mutambo says the government has finalised the evaluation of assets at Sinazeze's Nkandabwe mine, formerly owned by Chinese Collum Coal Mine.

And Sinazongwe UPND member of parliament Richwell Siamunene says he is hopeful that the government will quickly find an equity partner to take over the running of the mine.

In an interview yesterday, Dr Mutambo said ZCCM Investment Holdings was currently negotiating with the previous mine owners over the evaluated assets.

"If everything goes according to schedule, they should be concluding at least within this month. The government wants immediately to resume mining operations. At that point, they will be able to find other equity partners to come and resume operations of Collum Coal Mine," he said.

Dr Mutambosaid the government would was keen on resuming mining activities of the coal mine, currently on care and maintenance.

"ZCCM-IH is currently negotiating with the previous owners so that they can reach consensus. Once that is done, then that will be followed by immediate resumption of operations of the mines. As you may be aware, the mine is just on care maintenance. We want to ensure that we have evaluated the assets because it was only the mining licence which was cancelled," said Dr Mutambo.

And Siamunene, who is also commerce deputy minister, said the locals were confident that economic activities at the mine would be resuscitated following the resumption of operations.

"Kandabwe Coal Mine is a very important mine in Sinazeze because there are a lot of multiplier effects on the locals. Those who work in the mines will be able to buy commodities and boost the economic activities in the area. The government has continued paying miners, all their salaries have been cleared and they are very happy about that," he said.

Siamunene urged the government to find a credible equity partner to take over mining operations.


Transport system in Zambia is working against the poor - Sata
By Moses Kuwema
Tue 25 June 2013, 14:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata says the transport system in Zambia works against the poor people.

Speaking at State House yesterday when he swore in Charity Kaande Ngoma as permanent secretary in the ministry of transport and communications, President Sata urged Ngoma to improve the transport situation in the country.

"Coming from the grassroots, I hope you are going to improve transport in this part of the world. Transport in Zambia is very bad for poor people and that is why we removed the fuel subsidy because the rich people were enjoying at the expense of the poor people," said President Sata.
And speaking to journalists later, Ngoma said Zambia's transport system needed to be revamped.
Asked on what her ideas were, Ngoma responded: "First and foremost, the road network and secondly the rail line. It definitely has to be revamped, so that is what I am going to start with, first and foremost."
Ngoma said there was need to put in a lot in the Road Transport and Safety Agency, the organisation she worked for as a traffic inspector for six years.
"I think we have to start with RTSA, we have to put in a lot. We have to look at the enforcement part of RTSA. Once it is up there, then we will be okay. With the project of the roads Link Zambia 8000 and RTSA inspectors being on the roads all the time to monitor transport, we will be home and dry," said Ngoma.
Ngoma said with bus accidents, there was need to carry out a lot of sensitisation programmes with bus drivers.
"There is a lot of alcohol abuse. Most of the bus drivers are not compliant; you find that most of the buses are not roadworthy. We need to establish a stronger link with the bus drivers so that at least we will be there," said Ngoma.


Zambeef defends its offals
By Christopher Miti in Chipata, Misheck Wangwe in Kitwe and Edw
Tue 25 June 2013, 14:00 CAT

Zambeef Products Plc yesterday insisted that its imported offal products do not contain any prohibited substances whatsoever.

And Chipata district commissioner Kalunga Zulu has ordered health inspectors from Chipata Municipal Council and Ministry of Health to carry out regular inspection of Zambeef products before they are sold to the public.

In Kitwe, Zambia Consumers Association (ZACA) urged the government to ensure that Zambeef is quickly prosecuted without hesitation following revelations that its beef products contain aromatic aldehyde.

Zambeef management stated in a press release yesterday that it was committed to providing safe, high quality and affordable meat to the people of Zambia and that it would closely work with the authorities to demonstrate conclusively that its imported products were safe.

"The company has stood by its insistence that its imported offal products do not contain any prohibited substances whatsoever," the statement read. "Imported products are transported to Zambia from the country of origin via a strict frozen cold chain kept at minus 18 degrees Celsius, and with full official documentation."
Chief executive officer Francis Grogan said the company was deeply concerned for the distress "this scaremongering" had caused its customers.
"I wish to reassure people that Zambeef continues to supply them with the safest, highest quality food," Grogan said. "Zambeef prides itself in maintaining world-class standards of food hygiene and safety and it is a responsibility that everyone in the company takes very seriously."

According to analysis obtained by The Post, aromatic aldehyde was detected from eight samples of imported Zambeef beef products tested at the Ministry of Health's Food and Drug Laboratory in Lusaka.

The Zambia Institute of Environmental Health ZIEH also carried out tests on some of the company's imported beef products and they were found to contain aromatic aldehyde and the organisation has since called on its membership countrywide to seize all adulterated meat products.

Health minister Dr Joseph Kasonde also confirmed that the government was at a stage where it was considering legal action against Zambeef after tests carried out by his ministry found traces of aromatic aldehydes on some of its imported beef products.

Government authorities at Katima Mulilo Border Post in Sesheke on Sunday intercepted two Zambeef trucks carrying imported beef products as they attempted to enter the country from the Namibian port of Walvis Bay.

And samples have been collected from two Zambeef trucks and 15 trucks belonging to Capital Fisheries for tests at the Food and Drugs laboratory.

In an interview, Sesheke district council secretary Given Muleya said the possibility of legal action was available should the test results from the imported kidneys from Ireland by Zambeef and the tilapia fish by Capital Fisheries prove positive of aromatic aldehyde.

Muleya said the trucks would be detained at the border until the test results were obtained within 48 hours.

He said the routine investigation which has also been spread to fish products was necessitated by the interest generated after Zambeef imported beef products were found to contain aromatic aldehyde.

"We have health inspectors who have collected some samples from the Zambeef and Chani Fisheries consignments which will be sent to the
Food and Drugs laboratory in Lusaka. It take 48 hours to have the test results so until then the trucks will be packed at the ZRA yard at the border before we confiscate and destroy," said Muleya.

And Zulu yesterday said revelations that some Zambeef products contain aromatic aldehyde tallied with what transpired in Chipata in April this year when the company was fined KR1,800 by Chipata council for selling expired meat products.

He said the local authority seized all the suspected meat products that did not have expiry dates.

The council seized 96 pieces of chicken, 6.7 kilogrammes of chicken breasts, six French polonies which did not have the expiry date and 31 pockets of offals.

Zulu said every Zambeef consignment should now be thoroughly checked before selling it.

"I think every time when they (Zambeef) bring a consignment, before they even offload, we should have an inspector from the Ministry of Health, before they offload it in their shop, we will ask our colleagues from the Ministry of Health and the council to inspect so that we are given the right stuff. That is my directive now," Zulu said.

Revelations that some Zambeef products contain aromatic aldehyde had been received with mixed feelings in Chipata.

Some Zambeef customers have appealed to the company to put its house in order.

And ZACA executive secretary Muyunda Ililonga said the revelations on Zambeef were very serious in terms of health consequences.

Ililonga said it was the duty of the government to protect its citizens against commercial fraud in any production processes regarding food matters.

"The works that have been done so far has proved that this particular chemical is there in these products and consumers have been buying these products from Zambeef and consuming these foods. Therefore we do support fully the position taken by the government to ensure that Zambeef removes all imported products from its outlets but we further want government to go ahead and prosecute Zambeef in accordance with the health regulations because there is no doubt that Zambeef's actions has put the lives of many Zambians at risk," he said.

Ililonga said it was unacceptable that Zambians had been subjected to eating beef products that were not fit for human consumption and could cause serious cancer diseases in their bodies.

Ililonga said the government must also strengthen monitory mechanisms on imported products particularly beef which had immediate potential to harm the health of a consumer.

Ililonga said there was need for increased border surveillance and other importing channels countrywide adding that imported beef by Zambeef were not smuggled but they entered the country through the normal border points where tests could have been done.
He said the sad development revealed serious weaknesses in the system of bringing in the products.

"Let's strengthen border checks, health inspection and tests so that these matters of this nature are prevented from entering the market to protect our people. We don't know for how long this has been going on. So it just shows how porous, how weak our systems are," Ililonga said.
Meanwhile, former secretary general of Amnesty International Zambia, Zebbies Mumba, said Zambeef managers must be prosecuted if found wanting.

Mumba, a human rights activist, said Zambians were now expectant that Zambeef would be taken to task by the government in its quest to defend the rights of its citizens as the scam was very clear and accurately attested by Zambia Institute of Environmental Health, which was a competent body in the country to investigate such matters.


(NEWZIMBABWE) Part of Mutharika’s millions in Zim bank, report
24/06/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

A REPORT released Monday in Malawi has claimed that the country’s former President Bingu wa Mutharika stashed part of a fortune estimated at US$141 million in a Zimbabwean bank.

Mutharika, a key ally of President Robert Mugabe and whose first wife Ethel was also Zimbabwean, died aged 78 from a heart attack last April.

At the time of his death, a serious economic crisis worsened by foreign currency shortages after key western donors withdrew support had sparked riots across the country.

But a report in local media claimed the former president had stashed a fortune of up to US$141 million in several local and foreign bank accounts.

The former World Bank staffer and ex-COMESA secretary general had declared assets of just US$35,000 when he took over as the country’s president in 2004.

The claims about his wealth were revealed in an affidavit report by a local firm, YMW Property Investment Limited and Registered Property Evaluator, which added that the US$141 million was a conservative estimate.

“Although I have not yet completed my exercise, as the Estate is huge and somewhat complex and in various countries, my preliminary examination has approximately valued the entire Estate as a gross value of K61,4 billion (about US$141 million),” said Yeremia Chihana who filed the affidavit.

“This sum is from property and account balances held in bank accounts within and outside the jurisdiction namely Zimbabwe, South Africa and United States of America.”

The report claimed that Mutharika’s account with Standard Chartered Bank in Zimbabwe had K320,000,000 (about US$741,000).

The former president was also said to have US$35 million stashed in an account held with Bank of Taiwan in South Africa, $4,4 million with the United Nations Federation Credit Unit and another US$4 million in New Jersey.

Other companies linked to Mutharika and his family also held various sums with local banks.

Joyce Banda, who replaced Mutharika as president, has since moved to repair relations with the West and also insisted that Zimbabwe pay the US$23 million for 66,000 tons of maize delivered to help ease local food shortages.

It was claimed Mutharika never pressed for payment because of his close ties with Mugabe.



(NEWZIMBABWE) Rio Tinto to keep Murowa Diamond Mine
24/06/2013 00:00:00
by Business Reporter

GLOBAL resources group Rio Tinto is set to retain its interest in Murowa Diamond Mine after the company reversed a decision to dispose of its diamond business.

The world’s number three miner said Monday it was calling off the proposed US$1.3bln sale of its diamond operations in operations in Australia, Canada and Zimbabwe after buyers failed to meet its asking price.

Rio Tinto has a 78 percent interest in Zvishavane based Murowa diamond with the balance owned by the locally listed RioZim Limited.

"After considering a number of alternative strategic ownership options it is clear the best path to generate maximum value for our shareholders is to retain these businesses," said Rio Diamonds and Minerals chief executive Alan Davies in a statement on Monday.

"The medium-to-long-term market fundamentals for diamonds remain robust, fuelled by growing demand for luxury goods in Asia and continuing strong demand in North America.”

Rio Tinto put its gem business up for sale in March last year after following a sharp fall in prices amid concerns about the eurozone crises crimping demand. The diamond unit reported a $43 million loss in 2012, down from a profit of $10 million a year earlier.
Following the announcement last year RioZim had indicated its interest in taking over majority control of the Zimbabwe unit.

"We're now in discussions with Rio Tinto Plc to acquire the 78 percent of Murowa that they want to offload," said Harpal Randhawa, whose private equity group Global Emerging Markets (GEM) recently bought 25 percent of RioZim.

Murowa has since agreed a deal with the government for compliance with indigenisation laws which require foreign firms to transfer control and ownership of at least 51 percent of their local operations to Zimbabweans.

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People's govt protects people
By Editor
Mon 24 June 2013, 14:00 CAT

Government has the obligation to intervene and regulate all economic activities in order to ensure that the environment is protected.

Many business enterprises, left on their own, can cause a lot of damage to the environment and endanger the future of our people.

The motive of business should be not only to make profit but even more to contribute to the common good of society.

The decision by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency to stop First Quantum Minerals from constructing a dam that would destroy the water source on which thousands of our people depend is highly welcome and deserves the support of all. The common good is the reason for which all these public, state or government institutions or agencies are created. The common good is the reason for the existence of economic, social and political institutions. It enables people to express commitment and concern for each other. Common good calls upon all persons to contribute and commit themselves responsibly to building a just society for all.

Public institutions like the Zambia Environmental Management Agency must have as their aim the achievement of the common good. The whole reason for the existence of civil authorities is the realisation of the common good.

And businesses should be characterised by their capacity to serve the common good of society. The sense of responsibility in economic initiative should demonstrate the individual and social virtues necessary for the development.

A business enterprise must be a community of solidarity. And solidarity is a basic fact of human existence. No person is an island, cut off from others and self-sufficient. Remember the African proverb: "I am because we are, and we are because I am."

We should consistently ask ourselves: 'Is our business community responsibly promoting respect for the environment?'

The roles of business owners and management have a central importance from the viewpoint of society, because they are at the heart of that network of technical, commercial, financial and cultural bonds that characterises the modern business reality. For this reason, the exercise of responsibility by business owners and management requires constant reflection on the moral motivations that should guide the personal choices of those to whom these tasks fall.

Working for the common good requires us to promote the flourishing of all human life and of all God's creation. In a special way, the common good requires solidarity with the poor, who are often without the resources to face many problems, including the potential impacts of environmental degradation and climatic change.

Our obligations to the one human family stretch across space and time. They tie us to the poor in our midst and across the globe, as well as to the future generations.

The common good demands justice for all, the protection of the environment on which the poor depend.

Every civil authority must take pains to promote the common good of all, without preference for any single citizen or civic group. Everyone should be concerned to create and support institutions that improve the conditions of human life. Public authority must have the means to promote the common good.

Society as a whole, acting through public and private institutions, has the moral responsibility to enhance human dignity and protect human life. In addition to the clear responsibility of private institutions, government has an essential responsibility in this area. This does not mean that government has the primary or exclusive role, but it does have a positive moral responsibility in safeguarding human life and ensuring that minimum conditions of human dignity are met for all.
In a democracy, government is a means by which we can act together to protect what is important to us and to promote our common values.

The economy cannot be run in an institutional, juridical, or political vacuum: the state has its role to play, guaranteeing personal safety. David reigned over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people (2 Sam 8:15). As for the state, its whole raison d'etre is the realisation of the common good in the temporal order. It cannot, therefore, hold aloof from economic matters. It is the government's role to guarantee minimum conditions that make this rich social activity possible.

Furthermore, the state has the duty to prevent people from abusing their private property, wealth and the power that goes with it to the detriment of the common good.

The fundamental moral criterion for all economic decisions, policies and institutions is this: they must be at the service of all people, especially the poor. And the way society responds to the needs of the poor through its public policies is the litmus test of its justice or injustice. The impact of national economic policies on the poor and the vulnerable is the primary criterion for judging their moral value.

It is in this light that we welcome the decision by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency to stop First Quantum Minerals' dam project which failed to meet the requirements of the common good. The loss of five hundred jobs that First Quantum Minerals wants to tie to the decision by the authorities to stop their dam project is too small a bait. We know that in the desperate unemployment situation our people are in, every job counts. But it's not such jobs at any cost. There are costs that cannot be paid for with any number jobs. The lives of our people should be placed above any jobs. Of what value will it be to employ five hundred people at the expense of so many people's lives, including those not yet born?

It is good that public institutions are now starting to stand up to the power of business. For a long time, big business did what it wanted in this country and got away with it. Today, it seems there is a government in Zambia that is trying to function as a government of the people by the people for the people. The people's state protects the people. Big business, and indeed all businesses, have to be made to account. Authority is exercised legitimately if it is committed to the common good of society. Public and individual wellbeing should be developed out of the very structure and administration of the state. We are reminded in Proverbs 3:27: "Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it." And "we know that the law is good, if it is used as it should be used" (1Tim 1:8). The virtue of truth gives another his just due.

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Open govt listens to the people - Wignaraja

By Moses Kuwema
Mon 24 June 2013, 14:00 CAT

UN resident coordinator Kanni Wignaraja says an open government is one that keenly hears and responds to the voices of its people, whether they voted for that government, or are of different opinions, religions, ethnicities and tribes.

Speaking yesterday during the celebrations to mark the African Public Service Day held under the theme "African Public Service in the Age of Open Government: Giving Voice to Citizens", Wignaraja said an open government and with it an open public service, serves and protects all people on its territory.

"This day is an important reminder to all people on the African continent and the world over of the vital role that the public service plays in fostering social justice, peace and development in our countries. Where a public service discharges its duties with care and conscientiousness to ensure that the most vulnerable are also well served; with a scrupulousness and transparency to ensure it holds to high ethical standards and is accountable first and foremost to the people; and with a daring courage to change and innovate with the times, then we have a public service that performs to high standards, and also inspires," Wignaraja said.

"It is easy to point fingers, to place blame and to keep raising our levels of expectations, without addressing what, where and how the change has to happen. A people's expectations and demands are always evolving. Sometimes, they are within reason, and sometimes not so..."
Wignaraja said there was need to reflect on whether the public services across the continent, and in Zambia, live up to standards.

"In a country like Zambia, with a dramatically shifting demographic, a public service has to directly engage with the 65 per cent of the population that are under 25 years of age. This cannot be left only to youth groups and NGOs. This is the majority of the citizenry today, and hence the majority clientele. And this is a different group from those with whom a public service is more at ease dealing with. This requires a different skill set and mediums of engagement that a youthful client understands and engages with," she said.

And Wignaraja hoped to see many of Zambia's brightest youths join the public service in the spirit of caring and being committed to something bigger.

She said much had been heard about lessons from high performing public services around the world, and "while we can learn and improve", there were some fundamentals beyond the usual resource and capacity issues and performance and oversight systems to be implemented, that we can focus on".

She said a public service that stayed relevant and ahead of the game, was one that was fully engaged in policy formulation with its eyes and ears to the ground.

"…so it stays relevant to a changing social dynamic," she said.
She said hard as it was to design and to deliver programmes, it took even more to be an 'open government' when it comes to "constantly tracking impact, to ask if we are doing the right thing, to evaluate the performance of national policies and programmes, and to correct our course."

"Institutions get stuck in their ways and it is easier said than done to change direction, make adjustments and have the guts to admit a mis-step. This is where having that regular open engagement with the public and with the politicians, with a give and take of feedback without fear of reprisal, is so critical to a high performing, motivated public service," she said.

"This is also where a public information Act that provides real-time information in the public domain is key so we look to the approval and implementation of this progressive legislation in Zambia."

Wignaraja also said just as much as people demand of their public service, they should also honestly ask what it is they should demand of themselves, as clients of that public service.

"Gone are the days, when we can or should just stand by, waiting, just waiting for a service to be delivered. This is a level of disengagement and apathy that no public service can fix. It takes a motivated, 'can do' spirit by the people to also engage, to get things done, to be entrepreneurs and to meet the public service half-way. The days of waiting till the public service comes by to 'fix it' are long over," she said.

"The sense of having choices, of taking opportunity by the scruff of its collar, of harnessing the positive energy and drive to make change happen, this is the kind of public space and engagement that the public service and the political leadership has to support and inspire."



Zambia's borders on food imports alert
By Mwala Kalaluka in Lusaka and Edwin Mbulo in Livingstone
Mon 24 June 2013, 14:01 CAT

AUTHORITIES at Katima Mulilo border post in Sesheke yesterday detained two Zambeef Products Plc trucks laden with imported beef products as they were about to enter Zambia from the Namibian port of Walvis Bay.

The authorities also intercepted 12 Capital Fisheries trucks carrying tilapia fish to allow for tests today before Zambia Revenue Authority could proceed to clear them at the border.

Sources said the two containerised trucks bearing registration numbers ALE 9634 and trailer registration ALE 9863T and ALE 2458 with trailer registration number ALE 9987T were by yesterday morning not cleared by ZRA officials following their arrival at the border post two days ago.

Zambia Institute of Environmental Health (ZIEH) Copperbelt Chapter president Kentzo Mumba also confirmed the development yesterday.

"There is the station manager for ZRA and she has helped us detain those trucks for the time being and we have agreed that they will be detained until tomorrow today when we will quickly send officers to go and record everything," Mumba said.

He said since there might not be appropriate facilities to check the consignment in Sesheke, the two trucks would have to be escorted by officers from the border post to places where such inspection facilities exist.

"Yes, these are imported products," said Mumba.

And Zambeef public relations manager Justo Kopulande confirmed yesterday that the company was aware of the interception of the two trucks.

"It is being confirmed to me right now that we are actually aware as a company," said Kopulande. "The authorities will advise accordingly. What can we do? The authorities have detained them and the authorities will advise accordingly."

Meanwhile, Sesheke district commissioner Beatrice Chaze Simasiku said she was informed by the ZRA officer in-charge at Katima Mulilo that they had detained the two trucks pending further instructions from their superiors in Livingstone.

"I have since instructed the Council Secretary to get more information over the trucks," said Simasiku.

Zambeef on Friday removed all imported beef products from its outlets countrywide following revelations that they were found to contain aromatic aldehyde.

Health minister Dr Joseph Kasonde said tests carried out by his ministry found traces of aromatic aldehyde on some tested samples of imported Zambeef beef products.

He said the government was at a stage where it was considering taking legal action against Zambeef.

Meanwhile, authorities at Katima Mulilo border had also intercepted 12 Capital Fisheries trucks carrying tilapia from Thailand.

A director at Capital Fisheries, who identified himself as Mr Thomas, said he was aware of the development but declined to give further details as he was not the spokesperson of the company.

"I know about that, I am not the spokesperson. You need to get hold of the other directors and speak to them," said Thomas.

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Sata dismisses budget collapse rumours
By Moses Kuwema
Mon 24 June 2013, 14:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata has dismissed assertions that the Patriotic Front government's national budget has collapsed.

In a statement by his special assistant for press and public relations George Chellah, President Sata yesterday described such claims as premature, unwarranted and mischievous.

"Our foreign reserves currently stand at about US$2.4 billion while the country has recorded over US$2 billion in investment pledges in various sectors of the economy in the first quarter of 2013," President Sata stated.

"Similarly, non-traditional exports grew to US$530.7 million in the quarter of 2013, compared with US$500.9 million recorded during the same period in 2012. It is therefore, irresponsible to engage in extreme talk amidst such a robust national economic performance."

President Sata stated that in line with the PF manifesto's commitment of promoting inclusive growth and social justice for all, the government was running an activity based budget and had continued financing projects and programmes judiciously.

"The focus of the 2013 budget is to facilitate accelerated and sustained economic growth that translates into tangible realities for our people such as generation of sufficient and stable jobs, a redistribution of income and opportunities in favour of the poor, access to basic services and a general improvement in the standards of living," President Sata stated.

"Consequently, we have made substantial allocations towards the health, education, water and sanitation and local government sectors. Other interventions have been targeted towards facilitating sustained growth in the agriculture, tourism, infrastructure development and manufacturing sectors. In order to guarantee the execution of pragrammes and activities, the President has directed the Treasury to ensure that programme implementation reports are submitted by Ministries, Provinces and other Spending Agencies (MPSAs) prior to receiving subsequent funding."

President Sata stated the PF government was working tirelessly and with greater urgency to ensure that all priority sectors of the economy flourish within the projected benchmarks.

Meanwhile, President Sata has dismissed reports that he intends to substitute finance minister Alexander Bwalya Chikwanda with a named former finance minister, describing the reports as cheap careless gossip.

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FQM layoffs are meant to blackmail govt - SARW
By Misheck Wangwe in Kitwe
Mon 24 June 2013, 14:00 CAT

THE Earth Organisation says mining houses should not threaten the government with job losses in order for them to get away from their obligations regarding the environment.

And the Southern Africa Resources Watch says the intended mass lay-off of over 500 workers by First Quantum Minerals is merely meant to blackmail the government.

Commenting on reports that FQM will lay off 500 workers at its Sentinel Mine in Kalumbila in Solwezi which is under construction, The Earth Organisation executive director Lovemore Muma said the government should not be held at ransom by the company to disregard environmental requirements for fear of job losses.

"Development should be in the context of sustainable development, meaning that current needs should not compromise future generation needs. So the government should not just look at current worker needs but also future generations, that is our children and their children's children's jobs, because if we destroy the environment now the future generation will have no jobs. If we are going to lose 500 jobs and preserve the environment and create more sustainable jobs in the future so be it. Furthermore, before FQM started constructing the dam, they should have sought expert option from Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA)," Muma said.

He said the river where the mine intends to construct the dam was a source of water for several cattle farmers and villagers both up and down stream and according to ZEMA regulations, erection of any project of such a nature required the investor to seek necessary approval regarding environmental protection.

Muma wondered why FQM started building a dam on the river before seeking approval from the agency, adding that the mining company should not threaten the government with job losses for not following the requirement as set by ZEMA.

And SARW country coordinator Edward Lange said the government should not abandon the corrective process just for the purpose of satisfying the interest of the operator.

"As civil society, we are alert and adhering to the guidance given by the government, and as such any mishandling of the process will not give any sustainable business environment for the company. It has been three years now since the indigenous and host community started crying, the company has disregarded their concerns, and now that the government has come to the aid of people, it should be a win-win situation," Lange said.

"We also appeal to Zambians not to abuse their rights to acquire mining rights by selling the same at a later stage without due consideration of the welfare and rights of the host and indigenous people. The Kalumbila case is a very clear lesson for us in Zambia and the SADC region on how local people can disfranchise themselves. Such threats are baseless and temporal as what we appeal for is the consideration of the main concerns of the host community in the area," Lange said.

FQM spokesperson John Gladston was quoted saying that the company had been forced to lay off the workers because it could not sustain the current high workforce, while waiting for the ZEMA to lift a protection order that had prevented further construction of the Chisola dam.

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Lilanda urges unifying, issue-based music
By Prince Chibawah in Mansa
Mon 24 June 2013, 14:00 CAT

Maureen Lupo Lilanda says the music industry has potential to contribute to Zambia's economic development if well established.

In an interview, Lilanda said the music industry was capable of creating employment opportunities, especially among the youth.

"But this can be achieved if the government and other stakeholders come on board to develop it," she said.

The singer also said the government should consider venturing into other technology of curbing piracy in the country rather than coming up with holograms.

Holograms are gadgets intended to distinguish genuine products from pirates, and the government has assured that the market is well protected by this measure.

But Lilanda said piracy had continued to rise in the country because of constant changes in media technology.

"As much as we appreciate the government's strides to facilitate the hologram, by now we should further start thinking of other technology that would supplement in reducing the ever-growing levels of piracy in the country," she said.

Lilanda disclosed that the music industry in Zambia had become non-existent due to high levels of piracy.

"…The music industry no longer exists in the country. Some of us have managed to make it to date because of the passion we have for music," she said.

Lilanda, who has been in the music industry for over 30 years, urged the government to introduce deliberate policies that would uplift the standards of Zambian music.

"There are no tangible policies in place dedicated to the promotion of Zambian music. That's why Zambian music is failing to compete or be recognised on the international market due to less efforts put in," she explained.

Lilanda noted that there was need for the government to initiate deliberate programmes to empower local musicians with necessary support.

She also urged Zambian missions abroad to take up the challenge to market Zambian music to the outside world.

Lilanda added that the missions abroad were strategically positioned to assist in marketing Zambian art and culture.

Meanwhile, Lilanda urged fellow musicians to compose music aimed at addressing challenges affecting the country.

She said composing music that exposed challenges facing the country would enable those in authority to address such problems accordingly.

"Let's try to commit ourselves to compose music that is really issue-based. The music that will promote the rights of the people, the music which will preach peace and love and also the music which will unite people regardless the tribes," added Lilanda.

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PF went into govt to eat, says Shakas
By Moses Kuwema
Mon 24 June 2013, 14:01 CAT

JONAS Shakafuswa says the PF did not go into government to solve things but to eat. And Shakafuswa says people who want to aspire to lead the country should be allowed to do so as it entails a healthy atmosphere.

In an interview, Shakafuswa, a former finance deputy minister and Katuba member of parliament, noted that there was a lot of rubbish going on in the PF government.

"What I have noted with the PF is that it was not that they wanted to solve things; they just wanted to go and eat. You know you wake up and go like lekeni ndyeko naine let me also eat which is a very wrong approach to politics because people should have a roadmap to correct things. From our experience as politicians, we should be able to say where did we go wrong, how do we make things right? But now things are just getting worse, dictatorial tendencies have become the order of the day where they just want to be heard alone and they don't want anyone else to be heard, that's rubbish. There is a lot of rubbish," Shakafuswa said.

And commenting on Lubasenshi independent member of parliament Patrick Mucheleka's ambitions to aspire for presidency in 2016, Shakafuswa said the lawmaker should go ahead.

"He should get the mandate from the people themselves. It should not be up to anyone to judge their friends. There are people who have got this habit of personalising issues, telling off their friends as if they are the best. Most of these people are very useless. If somebody thinks they have what it takes to lead the people of Zambia, let them go ahead, I mean that's what democracy entails," Shakafuswa said.

Shakafuswa said capacity and being a good manager were required to rule.

"Some of the people who have got the best experiences in politics, when they become leaders, they become the worst charlatans you can come across. It is like their experience in politics does not help them do things better, they just make it worse. To me, it does not take someone who is experienced, someone's character, at least, if someone has got managerial skills which he can use to better things, he has got the right to lead the nation," he said.

Asked whether in his view having more people aspiring to lead the nation would not weaken the opposition, Shakafuswa said a stronger opposition would come.

"These guys what I know is that most of them are forming political parties so that they are able to negotiate with other stronger political parties as presidents. They think that gives them a better chance of negotiating. A unified opposition will come because at the end of the day, people will read the mood of the Zambian people and it will be very easy to lead a unified opposition. Today people may see the opposition to be fragmented but the will of the people is the same, so it will be very easy to find a strong root," said Shakafuswa.

Mucheleka has revealed that he has plans of running for presidency.
Former defence minister George Mpombo is also among those that have declared their presidential ambitions for 2016.



(THOUGHTLEADER SA) Whose land is it anyway?
Athambile Masola
Posted by: Athambile Masola
Posted on: June 23, 2013

It’s no secret, 100 years later and we are still living with the effects of the 1913 Land Act. While watching the news clip with President Zuma opening yet another exhibition “commemorating” the Land Act, the idea of marking the dispossession of land an occasion to be commemorated by exhibitions makes me wonder about the value of this debate. When we commemorate we “mark or celebrate (an event or person) by doing or producing something”.

There’s nothing to celebrate when it comes to the Land Act. Nothing has been produced except isolated incidences of people receiving financial compensation for their loss of land and dignity during apartheid.

No doubt the land question is a political one and a complex issue that seems to be at a deadlock unless radical steps are taken. I’m not going to consider how far government has gone in achieving the goals ensuring redress in this matter nor am I going to make any suggestions about how to speed up the process of ensuring a redress in land. The main discourse in this matter has been related to “political will”. What does this mean? That government should take tips from Robert Mugabe? Or beef up on the policy of compensation that has already begun? People are opting for monetary compensation instead of demanding land back from government. Have we considered why this is the case? Why are people settling for money when they can get back land they can cultivate and reap profits from? We had two cases of land claims in my family and people chose to stay in the same four-roomed house and accept financial compensation rather than insist on getting land back. What does the money symbolise? Is it supposed to repair the loss suffered when removals were done decades and centuries ago or is it to repair the humiliation suffered by real people and the implications can be felt many years later?

When the land issue is debated, swart gevaar creeps in. Those who oppose land redistribution fear that the blacks will one day get tired of living in the township and demand back the farmlands that have been judiciously cultivated by custodian white farmers. Or blacks will demand their rightful place in the suburbs. This highlights another complexity to this issue: whose land is being redistributed? Abelungu zange bafike nomhlaba ngoku babefika ngenqanawa zabo, bayintoni kulo mhlaba? These are mother’s words when the issue of land redistribution comes up: white people didn’t have land when they arrived here coming by ship, what are they to our land? Historically, we understand that land belongs to indigenous people, but those who conquer grow to see themselves as part of that land and therefore it becomes theirs as well. The irony of the land issue is that the protests that happen across informal settlements and townships seem to be divorced from the politics of land in this country. Townships were created as a result of apartheid legislation, but there’s been no focus on what that means in a democratic South Africa. Instead people are evicted time and time again or protest about a lack of sanitation. Those who live in townships seem resigned to fighting to stay in a place that was created by apartheid legislation rather than making their issues central to the land question in this country.

When we talk about land redistribution and the lack of political will in this matter we tend to forget about rural development. Where people are protesting against lack of decent sanitation in Cape Town, they highlight the challenges of land where people could live a decent life. But how is this decent life to be achieved when people live in places that are not habitable as we’ve seen some townships become? I run the risk of propagating the homeland system, but what does urbanisation and the deadlock in the land claims mean for rural development? Provinces such as the Eastern Cape have plenty of unused land but the lack of infrastructure and poor governance make opportunities for development untenable.

People aren’t happy with the conditions in townships and people aren’t happy with the development in rural areas and people are unhappy about the lack of political will in land redistribution. What do these misgivings have in common? Land and a discomfort in communities. We are living in a country where homes are vulnerable because land is contested because we still don’t want to answer the question: “whose land is it anyway?”


UPND's call to PF to halt its election petitions
By Editor
Sun 23 June 2013, 14:00 CAT

Opposition UPND spokesman Charles Kakoma says the Patriotic Front should wait for the 2016 general elections to regain the parliamentary seats they lost in the 2011 elections.

Kakoma says "people are tired of these by-elections. If they wanted these seats, they should have waited for 2016 elections because these are unnecessary and costly by-elections".

And Kakoma has accordingly urged the Patriotic Front to withdraw its parliamentary by-election petitions because they are a drain on national resources.

We agree, parliamentary by-elections are indeed a drain on national resources. But we wonder what standards Kakoma is using to urge the Patriotic Front to withdraw its parliamentary election petitions when his own party, the UPND, has a parliamentary election petition before our courts of law. The UPND was a party to the Livingstone parliamentary election petition that resulted in the nullification of the MMD's election victory and the holding of fresh parliamentary elections in that constituency. But even after the by-election, UPND has gone ahead to again petition the results of that by-election that was won by the Patriotic Front. What standards are these? Double standards!

It is said that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. If it is good for the UPND to petition an election result they are not happy with, it is also good for others to do the same if they so feel.

Clearly, what the UPND is concerned about is not the cost to the nation of holding parliamentary by-elections. They are worried about the loss of seats on their part and the gaining of seats on the Patriotic Front's part. If the UPND was sure of winning every parliamentary by-election, or even a good number of parliamentary by-elections, they would not be talking against election petitions that cause by-elections. They are participating in these by-elections to gain more seats. They have petitioned the Livingstone seat to gain more seats. What else would that petition be for if not for them to win the Livingstone seat?

This is a political party that is expelling its members of parliament knowing very well that this will result in by-elections. Their argument is that they would rather have fewer members of parliament, cause by-elections, than condone indiscipline. But wouldn't others similarly say that they would rather petition electoral malpractices, cause by-elections, than condone electoral fraud?

There is no doubt these by-elections are a costly undertaking. But there is also no doubt that the election petitions that have caused most of these parliamentary by-elections are helping cleanse our electoral process of vices. And we should be grateful to the Patriotic Front for initiating most of these election petitions that have given our courts of law the opportunity to help cleanse our electoral process of malpractices.

We all knew that the 2011 elections were full of electoral mischief by the MMD and its allies. And UPND was an ally of the MMD in the 2011 elections and they joined in the corruption that characterised the MMD's campaign.

The Supreme Court's nullification of the UPND's Mulobezi Constituency electoral victory on the basis of electoral corruption is a clear testimony of the corruption of that league. The Supreme Court has established as a matter of fact that UPND was involved in electoral corruption through the widespread donation of blankets and mattresses in the constituency. How can the UPND explain the distribution of blankets and mattresses during an election campaign in a constituency? They have been caught bribing the electorate. No matter how much they try to deny this, a record of corruption has been created for them and they will not be able to erase this. Together with the MMD, the UPND was involved in electoral corruption. They were bribing the electorate. This needs to be stopped if we are to enjoy, as a nation, free and fair elections. Elections where those who are lawless are allowed to bribe the electorate with blankets and mattresses cannot be said to be free and fair.

And there is no cost that should be spared in fighting crime. Bribing the electorate is a criminal offence which should be fought like any other crime. And fighting crime is not a cheap undertaking - it is a costly one. But no resources should be spared in fighting crime.

We should be thankful to our courts of law for the near zero tolerance to electoral fraud and corruption that they have continued to show in these election petitions. Our courts are pushing our election standards to another plateau of decency and honesty that we should be proud of.

Those who do not want to change their ways will continue to have their election victories reversed. But in the end, the nation will benefit from all this and the costs accompanying it. Yes it is expensive to nullify these seats and hold by-elections. But cost should not stand in our way of creating conditions where justice and fairness can prevail and where deceit, fraud, bribery should fail in elections.

If the politicians who take part in these elections were willing to conduct themselves in a fair and decent manner, there wouldn't be so many election petitions and consequently by-elections.
If election petitions are the only way of addressing electoral injustices and fairness and fraud, then let it be so. And it is unfortunate that those asking the Patriotic Front to withdraw election petitions are the ones who have been found wanting and have lost seats as a result of these petitions.

And if the UPND is really serious and honest about its concern for by-election costs, let them wait until 2016 to sort out their 'truant' members of parliament and avoid expelling them and causing by-elections. Can the UPND listen to such advice and take it? The answer is a categorical no. Cost is not their concern. Their main concern is power. They have to show they have power even when they don't have it. This is not a political party that operates on principles and standards. It is a political party that is propelled by expediencies of the moment. If it is expedient for them to denounce something, they will do so without regard to principles or standards. If it is expedient for them to embrace something, they will do so without shame even if this violates clear principles and standards. Look at their behaviour when it comes to Rupiah Banda's corruption. When it was expedient for them to denounce Rupiah and the corruption of his league, they did so without restraint and respite. And when it became expedient for them to go to bed with Rupiah, they forgot about their charges of corruption against him and have come to his defence against corruption charges. This is UPND for you - a party of the unprincipled.

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Sata keen to develop Zambia - Kabimba
By Charles Mangwato in Namwala
Sun 23 June 2013, 14:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata is obsessed with developing Zambia across provinces and tribal boundaries, says Wynter Kabimba.

And Kabimba says the Patriotic Front government is against the indiscriminate allocation of land by traditional leaders to foreigners.

Officiating at the installation ceremony of chief Mukobela of the Ila people of Namwala yesterday, Kabimba, the Patriotic Front secretary general and justice minister, said President Sata would not discriminate against any province or ethnicity in development the country.

Kabimba said since the PF took over government, Zambia had witnessed unprecedented levels of development.

"Some critics of the PF were saying that if the PF gets into
government there will be war, but instead what we have seen is
development all over the country since President Sata took over."

He said the installation of chief Mukobela attests the PF
government's commitment to respect traditional leaders.

"For eleven years, this chiefdom has had no chief but as soon as the matter was brought to the attention of the PF government, I quickly informed the president, hence the getting of chief Mukobela and his installation," he said.

He said the PF government would like the traditional leadership to partner with government in developing the country on a day-to-day basis.

"In the past there was no respect for chiefs and yet they are
components of development," he said.

Kabimba said it was the policy of the PF government to ensure that traditional leaders effectively participate in developing
the country.

And Kabimba urged chiefs to guard against indiscriminate
allocation of land to foreigners.

He said subjects must also develop political conscious not to allow chiefs to indiscriminately allocate land to foreigners.

"There is no way a chief can allocate 10,000 hectare of land to
foreigners," he said.

Speaking earlier, Southern Province minister Daniel Munkombwe expressed concerned at the increasing chieftainship succession disputes in the province.

He said the prolonged succession disputes of Mweemba and
Hamaundu chiefs of Sinazongwe and Pemba districts respectively was retarding development.

Munkombwe said some unknown people were masquerading as chiefs while others were trying to revive some unknown chiefdoms.

The installation ceremony was also witnessed by deputy minister of agriculture Rayford Monde and his commerce
counterpart Richwell Siamunene.

Others chiefs who attended include Monze, Mungaila, Muwezwa, Shimbizyi and Kaingu.

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Corruption has tarnished local contractors' image - Luhanga
By Christopher Miti in Chipata
Sun 23 June 2013, 14:00 CAT

ACTING Eastern Province deputy permanent secretary Zachariah Luhanga says the image of the local construction industry has been tarnished by those who think they can get contracts through underhand methods.

And a representative of the Eastern Province based local contractors, Salatiel Tembo, says the local contractors are lacking in many areas.

Officiating at the closure of a one week Eastern Province contractors' capacity building training workshop at Luangwa House on Friday, Luhanga, who represented provincial permanent secretary Bert Mushala, said the government would ensure transparency in the awarding of contracts.
He said government would only award contracts on merit.
"You do not need to know the authorities for you to get contracts or to solicit for contracts. This government has a zero tolerance policy on corruption," Luhanga said.
He said in a quest to empower citizens, the government had put in place several legislation and policies like the 20 per cent sub-contracting policy that government was now fully implementing through Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC).
"The government is working tirelessly to empower the local contractors. All contracts/projects that are being advertised and awarded in the recent past and now have this clause enshrined and strictly adhered to in road, building or any other construction project in Zambia. We want you to benefit and eventually grow and graduate from being small and medium scale contractors to large scale contractors," Luhanga said.
And Tembo said the training had been enlightening because the local contractors were lacking in a number of areas going by the course content that they had gone through.
He hoped that after the training they would not be a serious disgrace.
He commended the National Council for Construction for enlightening local contractors.
Provincial buildings officer Marko Mtonga hoped the training would address previous problems where contracts were allegedly being awarded to the same contracts.
Mtonga urged the contractors to act like ambassadors by sharing what they had learnt with others.

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