Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Attacks on HH in Kasama
By Editor
Fri 20 Sep. 2013, 14:00 CAT

There should be no area or part of our country that is a no-go place for any of us. There is no district or province of our country that belongs to a single individual or political party. All are free and should be free to canvass for support in any district or province of our country.

Kasama is increasingly being turned into a no-go area for the opposition and others considered hostile to those who think they own that district.

We say this in the light of this week's attacks on Hakainde Hichilema and his entourage in Kasama. Hakainde has the right to go to Kasama, address meetings and talk to whoever he wants to talk to without inhibition.

But it's increasingly becoming difficult for opposition politicians to visit Kasama. Not very long ago, NAREP president Elias Chipimo had problems in Kasama. And Nevers Mumba also had serious challenges going around doing his political work in Kasama. These people have the right to be in Kasama. If one doesn't want to meet them or listen to them, they are also entitled to stay away from them and their meetings. No one has the right to force anyone to attend a meeting or to listen to someone they don't want to listen to.

There are many ways of showing political disapproval for someone. The best way is simply to stay away from them and their meetings. This is perfectly in order. But it's not in order to start harassing people and trying to chase them from Kasama.

Our multi-party political setup is starting to establish a reputation for intolerance that is difficult to match.

What seems to be distinctly lacking in our politics is a culture of tolerance and humility which places the humanity of others before self and accepts that all citizens have a right to participate in the shaping of their destiny directly without fear of reprisal.

Tolerance and respect for our fellow citizens makes us allow our critics to express their opinion about our views without inhibition, whether these seem to be unpalatable or not. At the same time, we expect the same treatment or privilege when our turn comes. This is not something we achieve instinctively. Rather, we develop it consciously and respectfully.

For our very instincts would drive us to throttling our opponents in argument, or, better still, smack them with a deadly blow.

Why should we fear to have other people's voices heard? Are we afraid to be undermined by what they say?

Being in opposition, or holding a different opinion, is not a crime against anyone. There are some people who think everyone must belong to them or be condemned. The sponsors of this dialectic are not ashamed to attribute enmity where it may not exist. They thrive on the explosive emotions which this dialectic is likely to generate among the unsuspecting idle youths of low literacy. In fact, no regard is ever had for the patriotism of those they detest, unless they happen to die.
To them, opposition per se is non-existent. Anything else is enmity. Opposition is an expression of hate, not pure disagreement.
It is quite true that the acceptance of opposition and the criticisms that go with it implies the highest respect for the human ideal, and that its denial suggests a conscious or unconscious lack of humanity on our part.

Intolerance must surely rank as one of the worst forms of immorality in politics and in human affairs in general. We can see the horror of this in people who go out of their way to organise violence against someone for simply belonging to another political party.

But this intolerance is not one-sided. Hakainde himself is intolerant of those who don't support him - he sees them as enemies. And we are one of such people Hakainde sees as enemies for simply not giving him the political support or endorsement he wants from us. We have been victims at the hands of Hakainde's cadres and supporters. This has never bothered Hakainde at all.

If all our politicians cared about what happens to another human being, to a fellow citizen, there would be very little violence if any in our politics. But it seems violence and intolerance are okay as long as they are directed at others and not at themselves. It only becomes a bad thing if it's directed at themselves. Here is Hakainde who recruits the worst known politician for violence - William Banda - and makes him his advisor.

Advisor in what? Violence! What example has Hakainde been setting, being surrounded by such people?

Violence is bad and it is bad against anyone. There is no violence against anyone that is good and that should be tolerated by anyone. If our politicians can cleanse their political parties of violent characters, there would be no violence. But they want them and that's why they keep them - for use at appropriate times. They ferry them to by-elections to cause havoc, to intimidate and harass opponents. They have use for them and that's why they are keeping them. They actually pay them - these violent characters live off them.

But we shouldn't forget that violence begets violence; violence breeds counter-violence and the vicious cycle goes on. Violence can only do one thing, and that is to breed counter-violence.

And as we have repeatedly pointed out, there is no political doctrine, principle or proclaimed political position that can be used to justify atrocious acts such as the physical attack on a political opponent. No crime can be committed in the name of politics.

And the truth also is that the police have historically never been very firm on the violence of cadres from the ruling party. This culture was so strong under the MMD and there is no transformation of the police on this score under this new political dispensation. The police are still behaving the same way towards ruling party cadres. And as Dr Kenneth Kaunda once remarked, "Nothing would be more dangerous than to confuse men and women who are responsible for the maintenance of law and order in any country.

"UNIP members, therefore, apart from the fact that they are humanists, must remember that even for their own good, their fellow workers in the police force must be left to deal with the maintenance of law and order in the way they were trained…We will create a very dangerous situation if we should want to control every police unit locally as some local party leaders want them to operate. Otherwise, chaos will follow, and I am sure no true UNIP member would like to see this. First and foremost must come the quality of impartial fair play, for I do not wish my policemen to be partisans to the main political and tribal feuds that may emerge in our country, as has happened in others. The worst policeman so far as I am concerned is that man who will not admonish or arrest another because he is of the same tribe, race or political sympathy. Equally reprehensible is a policeman who will not do his duty for fear that because he is of a different tribe, race or political feeling, his deeds will be misunderstood. If you should ever find yourselves in a position of compromise against the principles of fair play and impartiality, then be humble enough to seek God's guidance because neither the present nor the future generation will forgive you for betraying the many people who have died and suffered in the struggle to bring forth this independent land."

Tolerance is very important. If people have tolerance, you can easily overcome difficulties. If you have little tolerance or are without it, then the smallest thing immediately irritates you.

Learn to love your fellow citizens and all other human beings. If you love others, you cannot go out to harm them. And love doesn't discriminate on the basis of political affiliation or some other factors. We are all taught to love our enemies. If you have love and compassion toward all sentient beings, particularly toward your enemy, that is true love and compassion. We are social creatures, and a concern for each other is the very basis of our life together. Our doings and thinkings must be motivated by compassion for others. The way to acquire that kind of outlook is to accept a simple fact that whatever we desire is also desired by others. No one wants to be beaten. If we all don't want to be beaten, why should we allow others to be beaten?

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Nevers, Cosmo differ over Sata
By Allan Mulenga
Fri 20 Sep. 2013, 14:01 CAT

MMD president Nevers Mumba says President Michael Sata is a king of confusion and that he is a failed president in State House. But Cosmo Mumba, accused Mumba of defaming President Sata.

Featuring on Joy FM's The Platform programme yesterday morning, Mumba said the head of state had build a throne, not in righteousness, but based on lies. He said the problems in PF were a result of lies.

"The next description is a true reflection; he President Sata is the king of confusion. Even the confusion that is in PF, he is at the centre of that confusion. As long as Mr Sata is there, that confusion will not end. He goes to GBM and tells him 'Iwe GBM, kabiye nomba ku Kasama ubebe ati 2016 ni Michael Sata, pakuti twishibe uyo uletulwisha mu party yesu (Go to Kasama and tell the people that in 2016, it's Michael Sata so that we know who our enermies in the party are). So GBM goes to Kasama and says we will endorse Mr Sata and people begin to get happy. Some of the senior members of the party fall in the trap, not knowing that bashi Chilufya bene ebatumine GBM pakuti beshibe who is the one who is against him. So when the others rise up to oppose, he says 'now we know Wynter Kabimba is the one who is against us, this minister is against us… and then he goes to Kabimba and tells him to hold a press conference to fire those who are pushing for endorsement, then he goes back to GBM at kabiye uchite (go and) organise ama buses uye ume (go and beat up) Kabimba so that he doesn't have the press conference. The whole description of Mr Sata is he thrives in confusion; that is why we are seeing confusion in the economic sector, we are seeing confusion in royal establishments... We have to stop this," he said.

Asked if he had proof that President Sata was behind the endorsements, Mumba said if the head of state did not like it, he would have stopped it on the first day it started.

Mumba said President Sata was behind the confusion in MMD during the third term debate, by telling Frederick Chiluba he was the only man and going to the other group and telling them they had to stop Chiluba at all costs.

"If he didn't want endorsement, he talks with GBM evferyday, if he knew it was wrong he could have told him; he wants this confusion because he thrives in confusion. Ukwabula confusion ba Sata teti bateke (without confusion, President Sata cannot rule).

Mumba also said President Sata was feeling pressure from the opposition.

"To say that there is no opposition in the country is an admission by the President that he is failing. But I wish to remind him that he has read it wrong. Firstly, he thinks that the opposition is weak because of the way he is himself. The approach of the opposition is factual and issue based; his President Sata's opposition was very basic, from the streets," he said.

"He talked about the tie that the late president Mwanawasa would wear, he talked about how bad the jacket was; he talked about his sickness and the way he articulated things. He never used to deal with issues, he was talking about anything to attract the attention of the Zambian people and to make them laugh. Him it was a comedy; it was just a situation where he wanted to make people laugh."

Mumba said it was shameful that President Sata could boast of being a good opposition leader.

"We have refused that kind of politics. We want to talk about the policies that are failing. Mr Sata is experiencing Intelligent opposition; our pressure on him is on issues that we want him to intelligently answer," he said.

Mumba claimed that President Sata did not understand the opposition.

"The Zambians always heard his comedy, his jokes and now the Zambians know that the President had no content. The jokes he had then is all he has in the presidency. We have ended up with the President who doesn't have substance; who doesn't have any policy; who doesn't have any idea of governing the country, but just a joker. Who looks for comedy to cover up his inadequacy; his inability to comprehend economics and even international relations matters. He cannot say that there is no opposition," he said.

Mumba accused President Sata of stifling the opposition in the country.

"His intention is to stretch the use of public order Act. We have not been able to address the Zambian people on issues that the PF is manipulating and also sending the police on the opposition to arrest us when we start to raise issues that are wrong with government. He feels that he has scored because he has stifled our freedoms of speech, freedoms of assembly, freedom of association," he said.

"It is nice that we are not as he was. When we had an opportunity to govern as MMD, we gave him an opportunity to hold rallies; his rallies even went on on the weekends. His rallies were reported on ZNBC; they were reported in The Post; they were reported in other media."

Mumba said President Sata had proved to be a failed President in State House.

"He is a failed President because he has proved to be an absentee President who does not talk to the people who voted for him. He has converted State House into what we call in Bemba 'ulupako' or 'ubwendo', where he hides himself. Ulupako is the hole in a tree where somebody hides and ubwendo is the hole in the ground. And nobody really knows what he does in State House," he said.

"He doesn't tour the nation to be able to interact with the people that voted for him; he has never had a press conference to answer difficult questions that Zambians want answers and for him to be put on the spot to count for what he has done and he has not done."

And Mumba accused President Sata of suffering from dementia.

"The President might be suffering dementia because one, he talks about the opposition being vicious with him, and the following day he says there is no opposition. We are not going to be arguing anymore whether the opposition is there or not. Because of the pain, hunger and unemployment, the Zambian people themselves have become the opposition.
Mumba said President Sata was a misfit in State House.

"He has given us absolutely no clear agenda of what he intends to do. He is a failed President, a misfit in State House. The Bible is very clear; it says that 'you shall know them by their fruits'," he said.

Mumba said President Sata was a violent man who thrived on lies.

"He has behind him the issue of Chawama where he was the ringleader of hacking, injuring and maiming Zambians with pangas. That is the man that is President today and that is his character. Violence to him it is his bread in the morning and in the evening. He deals with violence, that is why you have seen violence in the by-elections. He has instructed the police that when there is violence, arrest the opposition, but don't touch the ruling party. We are dealing with HH who was attacked in Kasama... this is totally uncalled for," Mumba said.

"...secondly, Mr Sata has proved to this nation that he is nothing but a liar. His second name is Mr Liar. Everything that he has promised the Zambian people he doesn't do it. He lies in the morning, he lies at lunch time; he lies before going to sleep. He can't argue with this; his middle name is liar. He lied his way to State House. He needs to address the people through the media because he knows that what he promised the people he has not fulfilled."

But Cosmo who also booked a slot to respond to Mumba's statements said the opposition leader was insulting to the head of state.

"That statement is defamation of the President's character…Because how did he say the President spoke tavern language? Was Dr Nevers Mumba in the right state?" he said.

Cosmo said Mumba's language could not be tolerated.

"And I accuse him of being drunk," Cosmo said.

On Mumba's statement that President Sata was a king of confusion, Cosmo said the opposition MMD leader was defaming the character of the President.

"Is there confusion in this country? He should prove it. He should prove President Michael Sata's confusion," he said.

"If president Nevers Mumba says President Michael Sata is a joker, it pains me because I am one of the people who contributed my vote for President Sata to be President."

Cosmo also said James Lukuku went on radio saying he (Cosmo) had collected K15 million from Rupiah Banda to endorse his candidature in 2008.
He said it was true the money was released but it went to Nevers Mumba.

"There are two Mumbas, there is Dr Mumba and Dr Mumba and the one who arrived there first was Dr Nevers Mumba and he was given that envelope…The one whose name is dented over that K15 million is me. Nevers has even gone round radio stations saying I am not his brother. I don't mind, I don't even care because Nevers Mumba's father is the immediate young brother to my father, and he is supposed to be my brother, but I don't admire him."

Cosmo said Mumba would never be president of Zambia. He accused Mumba of failing to run Victory Ministries, Shalom School and his own house. He said President Sata must be assisted to deliver development.

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Agriculture sector needs major reforms - Sichinga
By Christopher Miti in Chipata
Fri 20 Sep. 2013, 14:00 CAT

AGRICULTURE minister Robert Sichinga says the responsibility of developing Zambia does not fall on donors. And Sichinga says the agricultural sector needs major reforms.

Officiating at the USAID-funded Feed the Future Research and Development programme annual review and planning meeting at Protea Hotel on Wednesday, Sichinga said help could come from outside but the responsibility of developing the country does not fall on donors.

"It is on our shoulders, it is squarely on our shoulders. Don't look to another generation; you are the generation that should make the difference," he said.

Sichinga urged Zambians to work hard to develop the country.
The US government is investing

What are the 'terms of investment'? - MrK

$18 million in the improvement of productivity of key value chains and the improvement and nutrition status of the Eastern Province through the Feed the Future Research and Development Progamme.

The programme is expected to benefit over 120,000 people. And Sichinga said having toured some agricultural colleges, it was quite clear to him that the sector needed major reforms.

"I think that one of the things that I should be doing in the ministry is to help bring about this reform. I have been in the ministry for less than a year, there is a lot of work to be done," Sichinga said.

He also said there was need to intensify research in alternative crops other than maize. Sichinga challenged researchers to use their research to enhance peoples' lives.

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Scott wants MFEZs to create jobs
By Moses Kuwema
Fri 20 Sep. 2013, 14:01 CAT

VICE-PRESIDENT Guy Scott says the Multi-Facility Economic Zones set up in the country will have failed their objectives if they end up at being mechanisms for facilitating imports from China.

Speaking yesterday when he officially opened the 2013 Zambia International Construction Materials and Light Industries Products Trade Fair at the Lusaka East MFEZ, Vice-President Scott said Zambians needed jobs.

"In Zambia we need jobs for people. There is a danger or there has always been a fear that the relationship between Africa and China would be one where Africa supplies raw materials and China supplies manufactured goods to Africa. If the MFEZ ends up at just a mechanism for facilitating imports from China, then it would have failed in its objectives as far as the PF government is concerned. We want manufacturing jobs in Zambia as well. Please take that statement as very underlining," Vice-President Scott said.

He said the government would have failed if it merely facilitated the lopsided trade that involved the supply of raw materials in one direction and the supply of finished goods in the other direction.
And Senior Chieftainess Nkomeshya said her expectations were that more jobs would be created for Zambians especially youths by the end of the trade fair.

Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Zhou Yuxiao said the bilateral trade volume with Zambia reached US$3.38 billion in 2012.

Ambassador Zhou said with the implementation of China's offer to increase Zambia's duty free export to China to 95 per cent of its total export items, it was expected that the two-way trade would reach a higher level.

"China's investments in Zambia have been on the steady increase. About 500 Chinese companies, big or small, have been set up in Zambia. About US$ 2.6 billion of Foreign Direct Investment have been channeled into Zambia's economy, creating more than 50,000 job opportunities," Ambassador Zhou said.

Ambassador Zhou said in the next five years, China was expected to import US$10 trillion of goods, invest US$500 billion overseas and send over 400 million tourists abroad.

He said with its economic structure transformed and upgraded, China would contribute more to the prosperity and development of the world economy.

"China is ready to share this huge business opportunity with the rest of the world. I hope Zambia will be able to get its fare share from the above mentioned business opportunity," he said.

Meanwhile, commerce, trade and industry minister Emmanuel Chenda said the ministry recorded in excess of US$3.6 billion worth of investments and created 35,514 employment opportunities across all sectors.
He said this represented an increase of 89 per cent compared to the same period last year.

"It is interesting to note that out of this, the construction and real estate sectors have contributed close to US 1 billion compared to US$700 million in 2012. The 42 per cent increase goes to indicate the significance the PF government attaches in attracting investments in the construction and real estate sector," Chenda said.

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Scott wants MFEZs to create jobs
By Moses Kuwema
Fri 20 Sep. 2013, 14:01 CAT

VICE-PRESIDENT Guy Scott says the Multi-Facility Economic Zones set up in the country will have failed their objectives if they end up at being mechanisms for facilitating imports from China.

Speaking yesterday when he officially opened the 2013 Zambia International Construction Materials and Light Industries Products Trade Fair at the Lusaka East MFEZ, Vice-President Scott said Zambians needed jobs.

"In Zambia we need jobs for people. There is a danger or there has always been a fear that the relationship between Africa and China would be one where Africa supplies raw materials and China supplies manufactured goods to Africa. If the MFEZ ends up at just a mechanism for facilitating imports from China, then it would have failed in its objectives as far as the PF government is concerned. We want manufacturing jobs in Zambia as well. Please take that statement as very underlining," Vice-President Scott said.

He said the government would have failed if it merely facilitated the lopsided trade that involved the supply of raw materials in one direction and the supply of finished goods in the other direction.
And Senior Chieftainess Nkomeshya said her expectations were that more jobs would be created for Zambians especially youths by the end of the trade fair.

Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Zhou Yuxiao said the bilateral trade volume with Zambia reached US$3.38 billion in 2012.

Ambassador Zhou said with the implementation of China's offer to increase Zambia's duty free export to China to 95 per cent of its total export items, it was expected that the two-way trade would reach a higher level.

"China's investments in Zambia have been on the steady increase. About 500 Chinese companies, big or small, have been set up in Zambia. About US$ 2.6 billion of Foreign Direct Investment have been channeled into Zambia's economy, creating more than 50,000 job opportunities," Ambassador Zhou said.

Ambassador Zhou said in the next five years, China was expected to import US$10 trillion of goods, invest US$500 billion overseas and send over 400 million tourists abroad.

He said with its economic structure transformed and upgraded, China would contribute more to the prosperity and development of the world economy.

"China is ready to share this huge business opportunity with the rest of the world. I hope Zambia will be able to get its fare share from the above mentioned business opportunity," he said.

Meanwhile, commerce, trade and industry minister Emmanuel Chenda said the ministry recorded in excess of US$3.6 billion worth of investments and created 35,514 employment opportunities across all sectors.
He said this represented an increase of 89 per cent compared to the same period last year.

"It is interesting to note that out of this, the construction and real estate sectors have contributed close to US 1 billion compared to US$700 million in 2012. The 42 per cent increase goes to indicate the significance the PF government attaches in attracting investments in the construction and real estate sector," Chenda said.

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Ban calls on govts to increase investment in education
By Joseph Mwenda in New York
Fri 20 Sep. 2013, 14:00 CAT

COMMENT - UN Secretary General Ban is addressing the wrong audience. The biggest defunders of education for the last 40 years around the world, have been the World Bank and the IMF. - MrK

UNITED Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday launched the International Day of Peace with a call to embracing global citizenship through tolerance and diversity among children.

Speaking moments before he rang the Peace Bell outside the UN headquarters in New York, Ban called on governments, especially in developing and conflict countries, to increase investment in education.

"Every girl and every boy deserves to receive quality education and learn the values that will help them to grow up to be global citizens in tolerant communities that respect diversity," he said ahead of the official observance of Peace Day which falls tomorrow.

"One teacher, one book, one pen, can change the world," Ban said quoting Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani schoolgirl and youth activist who was shot by the Taliban for attending classes last year.

The UN chief said 57 million children lack access to education while millions more have no decent schooling facilities.

"Educating the poorest and most marginalized children will require bold political leadership and increased financial commitment, yet aid for education has dropped for the first time in a decade. We must reverse this decline, forge new partnerships, and bring much greater attention to the quality of education," he said.

Ban cited the protracted crisis in Syria, which has resulted in more than 100,000 civilian deaths according to UN statistics, as a consequence of intolerance.

"The International Day of Peace is a time for reflection, a day when we reiterate our belief in non-violence and call for a global ceasefire," he said.

"Perhaps nowhere in the world is this more desperately needed than in Syria. The death and suffering has gone on too long. I repeat my call to all parties and their supporters to work for a peaceful resolution to the conflict through negotiation."

Later, Ban addressed a students' conference on peace where he emphasised this year's theme "Education for Peace".

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Govt gives mines ultimatum on contracts for Zambians
By Misheck Wangwe in Kitwe
Fri 20 Sep. 2013, 14:00 CAT

MILES Sampa has given mining companies a 30-day ultimatum to give local contractors and suppliers business, failure to which the government will introduce a Statutory Instrument to compel them.

Addressing leaders of associations for mine suppliers and contractors including the Kitwe and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sampa, who is commerce deputy minister, said he would be on the Copperbelt after 30 days to see if mining companies have started giving enough business to the locals.

He said appropriate action would be taken against companies that would fail to comply and that such mining firms would be named and shamed for refusing to empower Zambians.

He said the government was not happy that the business of contracts and supply in the mines was mainly given to foreigners.

Sampa said the PF government was voted into power to change the lives of Zambians for the better by giving them business opportunities to grow their business and not to deprive them.

"My job and that of the entire government is not to make the Chinese and the South Africans rich. My job is … to make Zambians rich through business. The new broom is here and it starts now. We are here to sweep the Copperbelt and when we finish, Zambians must be rich," Sampa said.

He said the government was mindful and aware of the good and bad investors in the mining sector.

Sampa said the government was working towards creating a win-win situation between the investors in the mines and majority Zambians.
He said the idea of getting suppliers from abroad or engaging foreign companies to do projects in the mines that Zambian companies were capable of doing would be brought to an end.

"We have reports about a mining company that is importing sand from South Africa when there is abundant sand in Zambia. Some of these mining companies have even gone to an extent of hiring a South African company to supply them water. That we are not going to tolerate going forward," Sampa said.

"Foreign companies have become rich, going back with a lot of money, smiling while our people are languishing in poverty. This is unacceptable and we will change the situation."

He further urged suppliers to unite under one association, adding that there was no need to have many associations representing the contractors and suppliers.

And speaking earlier, Association of Mine Suppliers and Contractors president Augustine Mubanga said lack of proper implementation of existing legislation such as the mines and minerals development Act was a major challenge facing the country.

He said many Zambians doing business in the mining sector had been marginalised despite having capacity to carryout projects.

Mubanga said the association had taken comfort in the words of government.

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(SUNDAY MAIL ZW) Editorial Comment: Silence please, Team Zanu-PF is at work!
Sunday, 15 September 2013 08:57

After about four years, when MDC puppets got the rare opportunity to mix with revolutionaries in Zanu-PF but messed the opportunity to grow politically, Zimbabwe is once again back on its ideological feet with Team Zanu-PF already delivering on its election promises contained in the party’s manifesto.

And Zimbabweans are loving every bit of it with indications that the country is poised for unprecedented economic growth in the medium to long-term as Team Zanu-PF rolls out people-oriented policies and programmes that won it the mandate to govern Zimbabwe for the next five years.

Just last Wednesday, President Mugabe set up a formidable Cabinet team comprising ministers with vast experience in implementing Government policies and the so-called Young Turks who will bring with them lots of energy to even things. Zimbabweans are ready for the ride and Team Zanu-PF seems equal to the task.

While Team Zanu-PF is oiling its machine for economic take-off, the puppets were celebrating their defeat in Mutare yesterday in a move that the Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Professor Moyo said makes them right candidates for Ingutsheni Mental Hospital in Bulawayo. How does one celebrate defeat? This is a first but this coming from the MDC-T is not a surprise because their being puppets is descriptive enough of what to expect from them.

The MDC-T secretary general, the beleaguered Tendai Biti who still doesn’t know what exactly hit his party said the crushing defeat to Zanu-PF had reduced them to “zombies.” Well, is there much difference between a zombie and a puppet? Don’t they belong to the same category? Anyway, we won’t waste our precious time dwelling too much on bankrupt losers as there is so much that Team Zanu-PF has to offer and is already delivering to the people.

As Team Zanu-PF gets into motion, one of the first casualties has been the European Union which has been ripped apart by developments in Zimbabwe with Belgium coming out into the open saying the illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation should be lifted.

Belgian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hendrik van de Velde said the EU had agreed that they would lift the sanctions if Sadc and the AU declare the July 31 elections as free and fair.

Sadc and the AU went on to declare the elections as free and fair after President Mugabe garnered over 61 percent of the presidential vote while Zanu-PF got an overwhelming two-thirds majority in Parliament.

After this crushing victory, Belgium which is home to Antwerp, the world’s leading diamond trading hub is demanding that the EU sticks to its agreement to lift the sanctions but other countries led by Britain are refusing to do as agreed. Well, Britain and its allies can continue dreaming but what is obvious is that its a matter of time before they are left alone to lick their regime change wounds.

While the US continues to fight Britain’s fight, Sadc and Africa have taken a position to defend Zimbabwe and with the whole continent supporting us, we really don’t care a hoot what Obama and his handlers think. Zimbabweans will determine their destiny and Africa will be there to lean on.

What is really making efforts by Britain and America futile is the fact that the country’s diamonds are projected to dominate the global market in the next five years with reports that production from other players is dwindling fast.

It is estimated that Zimbabwe will earn about US$700 million from the sale of the precious stone with a record 17 million carats set to be produced from Marange.

These statistics were released in a report by Companies Diamond Industry Series last month who went on to project that Zimbabwe will satisfy about 30 percent of the global market by 2015.

Well, President Obama and Prime Minister David Cameroon can continue playing politics but soon businesspeople from their country will realise that they are being used in a game that they will never win. When politics clash with business, we want to see who will remain with lots of egg on the face because we know who calls the shots in these two countries.

Already, Hilton Worldwide, the leading American hotel group has taken the lead and is planning to build an upmarket hotel and business complex in Harare. This is despite the illegal sanctions and despite all the anti-Zimbabwe propaganda in the Western media. Last week, a leading British newspaper, the Financial Times gave Mr Cameron some piece of advice saying it was time for the UK to engage President Mugabe as the regime change plot agenda continues to go off-rail.

While the country’s diamonds are becoming a global game changer, the country’s tourism sector is on the rebound with reports from the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority saying the country recorded a 12 percent increase in tourist arrivals in the first half of the year, registering 859 995 visitors compared to 767 393 during the same time last year. Tourists are finding Zimbabwe irresistible despite all the travel warnings that are meant to scare them away from the country. Just as they were instructed by President Mugabe, Cabinet ministers drawn from Team Zanu-PF, have hit the ground running with the Minister of Industry and Commerce Cde Mike Bimha saying his ministry’s top priority would be to mobilise funds to revive the country’s distressed industries.

The Minister of Finance, Cde Patrick Chinamasa has already outlined Government’s preoccupation for the next five years which is spurring economic growth and increasing indigenous participation in the mainstream economy.

On the other hand, the Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Professor Jonathan Moyo has promised the country new radio and television stations, a move that is set to be welcomed by many Zimbabweans.

In a welcome development, farmers have hailed the re-appointment of Dr Joseph Made to the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation saying this would ensure continuity in the ministry. Already Dr Made has met officials from the World Bank to map the way forward for the country’s agricultural sector.

The Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Cde Walter Chidhakwa said there is need to promote value addition to the country’s minerals adding that there is need to create employment opportunities and increase foreign exchange inflows to feed into the balance of payment support.

Without wasting time, the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Cde Saviour Kasukuwere has declared war on poachers while the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Cde Nicholas Goche has become a darling of civil servants as he has said Government will prioritise their welfare and conditions of service. Cde Goche said his ministry would soon implement strategies in line with the Zanu-PF manifesto to cushion the government workers.

On the other hand, Team Zanu-PF has kept its promise by making sure that water and electricity bills dating back to 2009 are scrapped while residents who were on the verge of losing their houses due to debts have also been rescued.

Regarding the drought issue, Government has already started importing grain from Zambia to feed people in drought-hit areas with reports that about 3 000 metric tonnes have already been delivered. More grain is on the way. Well, Team Zanu-PF is clearly showing why it won the elections and as the team rolls out its policies and programmes, it is important for Zimbabweans, especially civil servants not to make unrealistic demands that will upset the economy.

Team Zanu-PF has shown that it is ready to work for the people and with the people and its now up to Zimbabweans to remember the words by former US president John F Kennedy that “ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.”

(SUNDAY MAIL ZW) New irrigation technology draws attention at agricultural show
Sunday, 01 September 2013 04:35
Emilia Zindi

A new irrigation system that allows farmers to use less labour as well as affordable equipment proved popular at the Harare Agricultural Show. Farmers who thronged the Zeriv Rain Systems stand expressed their interest in the cost-saving initiative.

Theft of irrigation equipment on the farms, especially aluminium pipes, sprinklers and taps, is a serious problem facing farmers.

The aluminium pipes have been commonly used in making aluminium kitchen utensils. The new technology that uses “spray guns” is so efficient that the guns vary in the radius they cover per minute.

The aluminium pipes have been commonly used in making aluminium kitchen utensils.

Explaining how this system works the company’s chief executive, Mr Lovejoy Gumbochuma, said the 100-metre radius guns can irrigate four hectares per hour compared to the current system where more than 60 pipes and 52 sprinklers are required.

“In 48 hours one would have covered 50 hectares,’’ said Mr Gumbochuma.
He said the new system also required less manpower with only one person needed to move the “gun” from one point to the other unlike the use of pipes where more than three people are required to carry the pipes.

Farmers interviewed yesterday appreciated the new system, saying this would save money as well as reduce electricity bills as more ground would be covered in a short time.

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(SUNDAY MAIL ZW) President Mugabe reassures farmers
Sunday, 19 May 2013 00:00
Emilia Zindi Agriculture Editor

Government will continue to support farmers to enable them to increase agricultural productivity and ensure they fully utilise land allocated under the land reform programme, President Mugabe has said.

Speaking at the launch of the Food and Nutrition Security Policy in Harare on Friday, the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said the country’s traditional high yields continue to be affected by factors such as recurrent droughts.

He said the Western-imposed economic sanctions on the country also hamper maximum production by starving farmers of finance to purchase inputs, farm implements, maintain infrastructure and establish new irrigation systems.

He added that agricultural input packages must be designed to have an immediate impact on farm production.

“Taking cognisance of the critical importance of food and nutrition security, Government took a variety of measures aimed at promoting agriculture in order to increase food production output on the farms.

“These measures included agricultural subsidies, establishment of schemes to assist farmers with inputs, and the development and promotion of irrigation agriculture.’’

The President said the envisaged Irrigation Development Policy would help farmers access cheap finance to rehabilitate and set up irrigation facilities to mitigate drought.

He said the land reform programme had become the cornerstone of food and nutrition security as the majority of Zimbabweans now have access to agricultural land.

“Government will continue to take measures that empower our farmers, especially small-holder farmers and women, so that they access cheap finance, knowledge on climate change and the environment, smart farming systems, infrastructure and farm machinery,’’ he said.

“As a nation we need to be self-sufficient and self-reliant.

“A nation that cannot feed itself is highly compromised and vulnerable.”

He said Zimbabwe’s focus on a food and nutrition security policy had its roots in the 1992-93 drought which was the worst in the country’s living memory.

The lessons learnt from the campaign to mitigate the effects of that drought pointed to the need for a permanent mechanism for responding to food and nutrition challenges facing the country, both in drought and non-drought years.

He said it was noted that the country needed a policy framework that facilitated the implementation of co-ordinated and multi-sectoral interventions to the country’s food and nutrition situation.

It was in this regard that the Government established the Inter-Sectoral Taskforce on Food and Nutrition in 1995, with the late Vice-President Simon Muzenda as chairman.

The taskforce then recommended the creation of a Food and Nutrition Council, a body which was subsequently set up through the Research Act in 2000.

“We pay tribute to Cde Muzenda for having established this technical body that is set to play a critical role in the implementation of the Food and Nutrition Security Policy,’’ said President Mugabe.

He highlighted that the goal of the Food and Nutrition Security Policy was to promote and ensure adequate food and nutrition security for all people at all times in Zimbabwe.

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(SUNDAY MAIL ZW) New irrigation technology draws attention at agricultural show
Sunday, 01 September 2013 04:35
Emilia Zindi

A new irrigation system that allows farmers to use less labour as well as affordable equipment proved popular at the Harare Agricultural Show. Farmers who thronged the Zeriv Rain Systems stand expressed their interest in the cost-saving initiative.

Theft of irrigation equipment on the farms, especially aluminium pipes, sprinklers and taps, is a serious problem facing farmers.

The aluminium pipes have been commonly used in making aluminium kitchen utensils.

The new technology that uses “spray guns” is so efficient that the guns vary in the radius they cover per minute.

The aluminium pipes have been commonly used in making aluminium kitchen utensils.

Explaining how this system works the company’s chief executive, Mr Lovejoy Gumbochuma, said the 100-metre radius guns can irrigate four hectares per hour compared to the current system where more than 60 pipes and 52 sprinklers are required.

“In 48 hours one would have covered 50 hectares,’’ said Mr Gumbochuma.
He said the new system also required less manpower with only one person needed to move the “gun” from one point to the other unlike the use of pipes where more than three people are required to carry the pipes.

Farmers interviewed yesterday appreciated the new system, saying this would save money as well as reduce electricity bills as more ground would be covered in a short time.



Trying to rule Sata by fear
By Editor
Thu 19 Sep. 2013, 14:00 CAT

In our editorial comment of yesterday, we stated that the events of the last few weeks brought out the worst in the Patriotic Front. We can also say that the ending of the events of the last few weeks brought out some of the best virtues, values one can expect in a political leader.

Despite a protracted attempt to try and manipulate President Michael Sata and create fear in him, he was not swayed. He maintained his belief and faith in other human beings.

There was an attempt to mislead the President by claiming that there was a scheme to dribble him in 2016 so that he doesn't get a second term of office. This manipulation fell on hard rock. Manipulators have never deserved anybody's respect or been successful anywhere.

Manipulators are like little sailboats that go with the wind and the waves. Manipulation is synonymous with opportunism. Manipulation doesn't have substance; it doesn't have roots. We think that everything - respect, relationships, serious analysis and understanding - is only possible among people who are honest with themselves and with others.
Fear is a weapon often used by manipulators. Fear wants you to run away from something that isn't after you. The great evangelist Billy Sunday once said, "Fear knocked at my door. Faith answered… and there was no one there."

Now, that's the proper response to fear. Fears, like babies, grow larger by nursing them. It is said that 'nothing in life is more remarkable than the unnecessary anxiety which we endure, and generally create ourselves'.

We must act in spite of fear, not because of it. If you are afraid to step up the plate, you'll never hit a home run.

It only seems as if you are doing something when you are worrying. Worry doesn't help tomorrow's troubles, but it does ruin today's happiness. It is said that 'a day of worry is more exhausting than a day of work'.

When you worry about the future, there will soon be no future for you to worry about. No matter how much a person dreads the future, he or she usually wants to be around to see it. Unfortunately, more people worry about the future than prepare for it.

It is said that 'never trouble trouble until trouble troubles you' and that 'worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained'; 'fear is faith that it won't work out'. Instead, do what the book of 1Peter admonishes: "Let him (God) have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you."

It is advised that 'it's alright to have butterflies in your stomach. Just get them to fly in a formation.'

Fear holds you back from flexing your risk muscle, so consider this: what you fear about tomorrow is not here yet. And it is advised, 'always be on guard against your imagination. How many lions it creates in our paths, and so easily! And we suffer so much if we do not turn a deaf ear to its tales and suggestions'.

Worry is like a darkroom, because darkrooms are where negatives are developed. If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you either. Worry is like a rocking chair: it keeps you going but you don't get anywhere. A friend of ours once said, "Don't tell me that worry doesn't do any good. I know better. The things I worry about don't happen."

Worry never fixes anything. Shakespeare wrote, "Our doubts are traitors, and they make us lose what we oft might win, by fearing to attempt."

The Lozis says, 'don't roll up your trousers before you get to the stream.'

Most of our fears can be traced back to a fear of human beings. However, the Bible says that "fear of man brings a snare" (Proverbs 29:25). In Psalms 27:1, we are told: "The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" And in Psalm 56:4, we are reminded: "In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?"
People would worry less about what others think of them if only they realised how seldom they do. They are not thinking about you - they are wondering what you are thinking about them.

Fear can keep you from going where you could have won. Don't let fears steal from you and prevent you from pursuing your dream. Most people believe their doubts and doubt their beliefs. So do like the old saying: "Feed your faith and watch your doubts starve to death." Worry is a route that leads from somewhere to nowhere; never let it direct your life. Fear of the future is a waste of the present. A famous poem says it best:

Said the robin to the sparrow,
I should really like to know
Why these anxious human beings
Rush about and worry so.
Said the sparrow to the robin,
I think that it must be
That they have no Heavenly Father
Such as cares for you and me.

President Sata was told that he was sitting on fire because there were some people within the Patriotic Front that were scheming against him, trying to unseat him. But the President's response was that there is nothing he doesn't know. This is how dictators are created and tyranny is perpetrated. Simply create fear in the boss and show him that his survival depends on your support. Many foolish leaders have fallen for that and perished. Michael knows these things and he has demonstrated enough wisdom when it comes to such things.

There are people who have their own fears and want to bring those fears to bear on Michael so that he can use his influence and prestige to protect them from their own fears. It is not Michael they are worried about. They are simply worried about themselves. Look at some of them who are members of parliament! What is the state of affairs in their constituencies? Some of them are worried about getting a third term as members of parliament because they are not doing so well in their constituencies. And this is much more so among those from the Copperbelt constituencies who are almost not wanted by their constituents. The party structures are organising away from them and this is worrying them. And because of this, they are accusing innocent people of scheming up things in their constituencies against the President. But their fears will not go away in this way. They need to work at their weaknesses in a forthright and honest manner. The problem is simply their own inefficiency. But they are failing to take the blame and they are putting it on the backs of innocent people. This is the source of their fear. This is the source of their worries. And this is what they have been trying to transfer to Michael and make him their burden-bearer, but he has proved to be too wise and politically too experienced for them.



Some ministers don't understand Sata's vision - Katele
By Godfrey Chikumbi in Kawambwa
Thu 19 Sep. 2013, 14:01 CAT

SOME of President Michael Sata's ministers went into government without understanding his vision, says Katele Kalumba.

In his general analysis of the PF's two-years in office, Dr Kalumba who spoke in his capacity as a Chiengi district villager, said much would have been achieved by the PF government had most ministers understood President Sata's vision to change Zambia within a short period of time.

He observed that failure by some ministers and members of parliament to understand the President's vision that he sold to Zambians who voted for him had made him fail to fulfil some of the promises he made to the people of Zambia in the last two years.

Dr Kalumba, a former MMD national secretary and finance minister, said President Sata has had a lot of managerial issues to attend to and that was why he kept making changes to his cabinet in the early days of the PF's stay in power.

He accused some ministers and members of parliament of having slowed down the progress that could have been achieved in the last two years had they not wasted time on advancing their personal agendas.

Dr Kalumba said failure by some ministers to understand what President Sata stood for had led to them championing personal agendas at the expense of the head of state's vision.

"President Sata told the people of Zambia that he was going to be President for the majority poor and fix the rundown infrastructure, among others and on account of that platform people voted and elected him President. I can't speak for other provinces but I think here in Luapula people started voting for President Sata in 2006, 2008 and finally 2011. They had no question about his leadership skills as President of Zambia, but the question was always whether he would have a team that would understand what he stands for and whether he would be left to achieve the vision he has without being distracted by other elements," he said.

"Most of the people he went with in government did not understand his vision. What I have seen, speaking as a villager is that the vision is there; some of the pragmatic projects such as road works have started but he has had a lot of managerial issues to attend to in terms of the government because perhaps a lot of the people he went into government with did not understand what he stands for and he has had to keep changing them and I think there may have been too many technical people and fewer politicians. Politicians are there to listen to the basic sentiments of people and talk to them to explain what government is doing; it's not just to write papers in fine English language.

Politicians are grassroot advocates. I think that was the President's cry a few days ago when he addressed his Cabinet and members of the Central Committee of the party that ministers should be explaining government's achievements.

Dr Kalumba complained that instead of focusing on the agenda that President Sata's vision created, many people in the government felt that they were the ones responsible for his being in office.

"Too many people have gone there (government) to show how clever, intelligent, learned and sophisticated. That has taken away time from what the President wanted to achieve. That is why he cried out that he would rather dissolve Parliament. There were too many people that believed that they were responsible for President Sata's ascendancy to power. That is an illusion and a worst mistake. Too many Zambian elitists have claimed that they have made Sata President and that has cost Zambians time.

Instead of listening to Sata's own dreams and vision cultivated from people's sentiments and cries, they have imposed their own visions on the will of Zambians and that has delayed progress," he said.
Dr Kalumba said elite politicking had frustrated President Sata who was known as a noble and gentle man because more things would have been achieved in the last two years of PF's stay in power than was being witnessed.

He said President Sata was an intelligent man that nobody claiming to be educated could manipulate, especially the elitists who were working to slow him down.

Dr Kalumba, however, commended the government for initiating the Link Zambia 8000 project which he described as a major achievement in the last two years.

"The Link Zambia vision is a powerful vision which nobody can take away from the PF government," he said.

Kalumba also cited the constitution-making process and the opening of dialogue between the government and the Barotse Royal Establishment as some of the major achievements that the PF government had achieved in the last two years.

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Suspected PF cadres attack HH in Kasama
By Abel Mboozi
Thu 19 Sep. 2013, 14:01 CAT

SUSPECTED PF cadres in Kasama yesterday allegedly attacked UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and prevented him from proceeding to pay a courtesy call on Paramount Chief Chitimukulu.

And Northern Province police commissioner Mary Chikwanda confirmed the incident but explained that the cadres only blocked Hichilema from proceeding to the palace.

Hichilema in an interview said he was attacked together with his entourage that included former deputy speaker Mutale Nalumango and some members of parliament by the suspected PF cadres who were armed with various dangerous objects.

"As we were heading for Mungwi out of Kasama, we stopped at a roadblock and in few minutes, about 20 vehicles sprang from all the directions and PF 'militias' came out. They whipped us and we had to seek refuge at Kasama central police. As I am talking to you now (yesterday), we are still here and let me state that they will not stop me from seeing the paramount chief because he invited me to his palace," Hichilema said.

He said it was sad that President Michael Sata was drifting Zambia into anarchy by letting PF cadres engage in hooliganism.

"He is the fifth President and so I want to ask where he is running Zambia to, with this kind of hooliganism of his cadres. I have an appointment with the Chitimukulu Mwine Lubemba; I have not addressed a meeting anywhere, so why these attacks?" he said.

Hichilema was saddened that none of the hooligans were arrested, alleging that the police were afraid of acting.

He, however, vowed not to stop visiting any part of Zambia as the country belonged to every citizen.

"I have no fear; I will move to see any Zambian. Nobody attacked us in Solwezi, Mwinilunga, but here we are attacked. I urge Zambians to stand against Sata. Sata is worse that the colonial regime," Hichilema said.
However Chikwanda said it was not true that the PF leader was attacked.

"Hichilema came to report to the police that he was blocked and the cadres had nothing like whips when they came here. I talked to the PF cadres who said they blocked him because it was against tradition to allow him to see the chief at the time," said Chikwanda.

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'It's time HH faced reality'
By Abel Mboozi and Moses Kuwema
Thu 19 Sep. 2013, 14:01 CAT

UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema acts as an economic saboteur rather than somebody providing checks and balances to the government, says President Michael Sata.

Meanwhile, Hichilema says President Sata is trying to decapitate his freedom but that he is not worried because he has not committed any crime.

President Sata said Hichilema's claims of government failure and intimidation were nothing but his trademark of irresponsible and unpatriotic utterances.

In a statement issued by his special assistant for press and public relations George Chellah yesterday, President Sata said: "In all intent and purpose, he sounds and acts like an economic saboteur than somebody who is providing checks and balances."

President Sata said the UPND leader was too pre-occupied with elections to contribute meaningfully to the development of the country.

"No doubt, the bright prospect of a better Zambia on the horizon, which is emboldened by robust infrastructure growth, economic recovery and general improvement in people's livelihoods, has caged him in perpetual resentment and anger," President Sata said.

The head of state added: "It's time he faced reality and started talking about development and other unprecedented progressive reforms happening. Let him realise that his 'failed promises' hymn has passed its shelf-line."

Hichilema on Wednesday said the insinuation by President Sata that he planned to engage in activities that would disrupt production in two Copperbelt towns was mere intimidation because the President had failed to run Zambia in a formidable manner.

The UPND leader said President Sata should have revealed the two towns instead of issuing "baseless" threats.

"I don't understand why he President Sata likes venting his anger on HH, when it is clear that he has failed the Zambian people through lack of jobs; no money in their pockets; vaccinations are in short supply," he said.

Meanwhile, speaking on a UK-based Crossfire radio blog on Tuesday evening, Hichilema said President Sata was under pressure to deliver and was now seeking the help of his ministers.

He said the head of state made reckless commitments towards the 2011 general elections and very few of those promises had been fulfilled.

"UPND is a true opposition and our job is to remind the PF on the promises they made. So the pressure is on Mr Sata and he sees HH as one who reminds him consistently of his failures and therefore is uncomfortable and he continues to digress from national issues and is talking about Hakainde," Hichilema said.

He said President Sata must be grateful to the UPND for their constant reminders to his government of their promises.

Hichilema said calls by President Sata for ministers to be talking were an admission that the President had failed to address the problems faced by the people.

And responding to a question from a caller from South Africa identified as Hope Nyambe, who wanted to know if Hichilema was not worried for his personal security in view of the revelations by President Sata that the Intelligence had infiltrated the opposition political party, Hichilema said he was very much aware of the threats against him from President Sata.

"I am aware of the threats from President Sata, he has been threatening me for a long time. Mr Sata has been working round the clock to seize my assets. He is trying to decapitate my freedom but I am not worried because I have not committed any crime," Hichilema said.

He said all that President Sata had been doing since he came into power was threaten individuals whom he thought were a threat.

"My personal security is at risk but I am at peace with myself," said Hichilema.

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Lessons for PF
By Editor
Wed 18 Sep. 2013, 14:00 CAT

The last few weeks brought out the worst in the Patriotic Front. All sorts of negative tendencies and practices came to the fore.

The nation had the opportunity to see the worst of indiscipline in party politics. PF cadres were stripping naked, jumping on bonnets of police vehicles in front of State House. They were slapping fellow cadres in full view of cameras and of the police. Opportunists of all shades were also on exhibit. We also saw people who cannot think or see beyond tribe. Tribalists of all hues revealed themselves.

The nation also had an opportunity to see the nature and strength of the glue that holds Patriotic Front members together. We can only hope the leadership and membership of the Patriotic Front has learnt the necessary lessons from all that and drawn the right conclusions. The future will depend on how well they have learnt the lessons of all that episode and what practical steps they will take to remedy that which needs remedying.

And indeed, a lot of things need remedying. The very fact that such things happened is in itself evidence of weaknesses in the leadership and organisation of the party. The secretary general of the Patriotic Front, Wynter Kabimba, also has to take stock in the spirit of criticism and self-criticism to see if things could have been done differently. And every Patriotic Front leader, including the party president, has to take stock in the same spirit. None can escape blame for the indiscipline and anarchy that characterised the party over the last few weeks. There is need for humility and honesty with oneself if this type of behaviour is to be avoided in future.

We wonder how the future will judge the events of the last few weeks. We dare say that history will take a slightly more moderate view than that of some contemporary commentators. Distance is well known to lend enchantment, even to less attractive views. After all, it has the inestimable advantage of hindsight. But it can also lend an extra dimension to judgement, giving it a leavening of moderation and compassion - even of wisdom - that is sometimes lacking in the reactions of those whose task it is in life to offer instant opinions on all things great and small. No section of the community has all the virtues, neither does any have all the vices. There is need for moderation in all things.

It will also be necessary for the Patriotic Front to look at what kind of cadre they need or don't need. We are noting a serious decline not only in discipline but also in political morality, ethics and values. And this is causing a considerable strain on the moral standing of the party. There is need for cadres who conduct themselves in a humane manner. There is need for cadres who are selfless and are not taking or influencing decisions based on their own interests but are ready to subordinate their interests to those of the masses of our people and of the party. We also need cadres who understand the broader national and international situation; cadres who view accountability as an important duty of their work and who are rooted and grounded in society, and understand what their role in transforming society is.

And for the top leadership, there is need to be careful about the rough-handling of cadres because it leaves a strong legacy of bitterness and resentment - the walking wounded. This cultivates tendencies towards excessive defensivism, and also habits of counter-factionalism in some cases, with party cadres running the danger of falling excessively into elite politics - of palace manoeuvres, putsches. And disciplinary measures should not be used to settle political differences.

There are already some early signs of the dangers of careerism, patronage and business ambitions in the Patriotic Front. They need to be extremely vigilant about the abuse of the party and its structures for careerist and patronage purposes.

The leadership of the Patriotic Front must learn to use cadres well. In the final analysis, political leadership involves two main responsibilities: to work out ideas, and to use cadres well. They must learn how to take good care of cadres - giving them guidance, raising their level, checking up on their work and helping them sum up their experience, carry forward their achievements and correct their mistakes.Here, patience is essential.

Some friendships have been broken over the last few weeks and new ones have been created. But in all this, your best friends are those who bring out the best in you. Tell us who your best friends are, and we will tell you who you are, so they say.

If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl, but if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights. Proverbs 27:19 says, "A mirror reflects a man's face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses." The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate - for the good and the bad. Think about it; almost all our sorrows spring out of relationships with the wrong people. Instead, keep out of the suction caused by those who drift backwards.

The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you indulge in mediocrity in others it increases your mediocrity.

A Bulgarian proverb confirms, "If you find yourself taking two steps forward and one step backwards, invariably it is because you have mixed associations in your life." If a loafer isn't a nuisance to you, it's a sign that you are somewhat of a loafer yourself. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with people who think and act negatively. Misery wants your company. But you don't have to let it in the door. Proverbs 13:20 tells us, "He that walketh with a wise man shall be wise; but a companion of fools shall be destroyed." We become like those whom we associate.

We need to be careful of the kind of insulation we use in our lives. We do need to insulate ourselves from negative people and ideas, but we should never insulate ourselves from godly counsel and wisdom.

We need foundation-level people in our lives. Such individuals bring out the best in us and influence to improve. They cause us to have greater faith and confidence and to see things from God's perspective. After being with them, our spirits and sights are raised.

We need to have contact with the right people on a regular basis. These are men and women of strong faith, who make us better people when we are around them. They are the ones who see the gifts in us and could correct us in a constructive, loving way. It is better to be alone than in the wrong company. A single conversation with the right person can be more valuable than years of study.

When you surround yourself with the right kind of people, you enter into the God-ordained power of agreement. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12 states: "Two can accomplish more than twice as much as one, for the results can be much better. If one falls, the other pulls him up; but if a man falls when he is alone, he is in trouble. And one standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer; three is even better, for a triple braided cord is not easily broken."

Steer clear of negative thinking experts: remember in the eyes of average people, average is always considered outstanding. Look carefully at your closest association, because it is an indication of the direction you are heading.

The Patriotic Front is in power. But power calls for a lot of responsibility. The exercise of power must be the constant practice of self-limitation and modesty.

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PF setting a bad example - Milupi
By Mwala Kalaluka
Wed 18 Sep. 2013, 14:01 CAT

CHARLES Milupi says the succession wrangles in the ruling Patriotic Front will divide the country because some individuals hiding under the guise of endorsing President Michael Sata are fanning a tribal campaign.

And Milupi says the PF will have no problem continuing in power beyond 2016 as long as its leadership transforms the party into an all-inclusive organisation with a national character.

Milupi, the president of opposition Alliance for Democracy and Development, said in an interview from Mongu yesterday that those who desire a nation that is not factionalised on tribal lines will not stand idle and watch certain people within the PF who feel only their tribe should rule to divide the country based on tribal inclination.

Milupi described the current happenings in the PF as a premature succession struggle that would derail the government from delivering on its role to govern the country as the leadership will spend most of its tenure fighting each other.

"If you do it too early, the energies of those that you have selected to be in power are directed towards the power struggle rather than governance of the country. In every sphere whether it is political, economical, social, whether it is developmental, those begin to suffer," he said.

"Democracy is about various talents, harnessing the synergies of various people coming together to provide an agenda to govern the place."

Milupi, however, said Zambians must understand "the unfortunate PF power struggle" for what it really was.

"There are various wings and some of those wings are purely tribal…Certain tribes are claiming that, 'it is us only who are supposed to take over and the other side is not supposed to take over'," he said.

"They have come up with a strategy and that strategy is first of all to appear to be in support of the incumbent, knowing fully well that the time will come when either the incumbent will not want to continue or either the incumbent will be not well enough to continue and then lo and behold, those who were championing the continuation of the incumbent now take over. Then they will have destroyed all other competing structures and only their structure will remain standing."

Milupi warned that the danger with this approach was that the country could be factionalised on ethnic lines.

"Whether there are tribes that think they are so many and they are the majority or they are more than others, they cannot rule this country to the exclusion of others. You can't and others will not allow," he said.
"That is why the British came and ruled to the exclusion of others. The time came when everybody rose and demanded independence. What more with one tribe thinking that they can have the monopoly of all the senior positions and they can be succeeding each other."

Milupi said participation in the governance of the country was not the preserve of a particular region or tribe.

"Do they really think that Zambia and Zambians will allow that to happen?" he asked.

"If you exclude other tribes, other regions because you are special, in a way you are sowing the seeds for discontent. You are sowing the seeds for even a civil war, which is bound to happen sometime in the future because people were not created by God to be subservient to others."

Milupi advised the PF factions to understand that the Zambia that people want was an inclusive one.

"Leadership is not from one region, it is not from one tribe and so on and so forth. If we create those inclusive institutions, the party can continue in government. It is not a problem but that party must be an inclusive party. It must represent everybody's interest. But if people say, 'this one is from this area and they can only be replaced by somebody from this area', you are forcing other people to rise up and fight against that," he said.

"The whole essence of party political organisation is that you have cohesion. The moment that cohesion is disrupted you are no longer a political party. You must break up so that other formations can come up."

Milupi said the PF was setting a very bad precedent in the governance of the country and that their actions would have harsh consequences in future.

"The Zambian people will judge them for all these things. It has very harsh consequences, I can tell you, and to win the next elections, I think it will be extremely difficult because the Zambian people will say, 'these people can't work together why should we vote for them again?'" said Milupi.

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Hichilema accuses Sata of failure, intimidation
By Abel Mboozi
Wed 18 Sep. 2013, 14:01 CAT

UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema says he takes President Michael Sata's statement on Monday that he was engaged in activities to disrupt production in two Copperbelt towns as intimidation because he had failed to run the country in a formidable manner.

Responding to the head of state's statement, Hichilema yesterday said he was not aware of any illegal activities that he and his party were planning to undertake on the Copperbelt.

He said President Sata should have revealed the two towns instead of issuing "baseless threats".

Hichilema said he only visited Solwezi and Mwinilunga, where he went to mobilise the party, especially that the opposition was being denied permits to hold rallies.

"Let me state here that it is our legal right to mobilise the party anywhere. I was out of town in Solwezi, where I was refused to hold a rally and yet his militia cadres marched without a permit. I therefore take his comments to imply intimidation because he is aware that the PF has failed; the PF is now a third or fourth choice in Zambia," Hichilema said.

He claimed that President Sata was fond of venting his anger on him instead of striving to deliver on his campaign promises to the Zambian people.

"I don't understand why he likes venting his hunger on HH when he has failed the Zambia people through lack of jobs; no money in their pockets; vaccinations are in short supply," he said.

Hichilema said President Sata and the PF were losing popularity going by the party's recent losses in by-elections.

"I am not responsible for his mismanagement of the country; he is only getting the taste of his medicine. He has failed to run Zambia," he said.
Hichilema said Zambians had now realised that the PF had failed to deliver on the many promises they made, a situation which was unsettling President Sata.

"PF went into government without any plan; in fact, the two years of PF in government can be described as a failed project. My time will come to run Zambia, courtesy of God and Zambians to show how best to run a country," he said.

On remarks by President Sata that there was no formidable opposition to offer proper checks and balances to government, Hichilema said President Sata was contradicting himself.

"Just yesterday, (Monday), he was telling his ministers to be defending the party from attacks by the opposition but today he is talking about something else. The President is contradicting himself, which is most unfortunate. The issue is that the PF has failed to run the country," he said.

Hichilema insisted that the PF government was bloated and that President Sata presided over a tribal Cabinet.

On Monday, President Sata cautioned Hichilema against engaging in activities intended to frustrate production in the mining sector.
President Sata said the government was fully aware and prepared to thwart UPND's planned illegal activities in two mining towns on the Copperbelt.

"As elected representatives of the people, the PF government will not sit idle and allow frustrated, unpatriotic and bitter politicians engage in premeditated acts of sabotage," said President Sata.

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Tell the people what we are doing, Sata orders ministers
By Mwala Kalaluka
Wed 18 Sep. 2013, 14:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata says three years is enough time for a weak opposition to mobilise and sort out the PF because its ministers are not speaking about the party's achievements in its last two years in government.

And newly-appointed lands minister Harry Kalaba says the time is up for those that are bent on perpetuating illegalities in the country's land alienation processes.

Meanwhile, newly-appointed information minister Mwansa Kapeya says he is not sure when technocrats at the Ministry of Justice will finish polishing the Freedom of Information Bill before its presentation to Parliament.

During a swearing-in ceremony for Kalaba and Kapeya at State House yesterday, President Sata said the glaring failure by all his ministers and members of parliament to speak about what the PF had achieved over the last two years was killing Zambia.

"I like the Nyanja people because if the Nyanjas have problems, they say chabwera pa muzako monga chili pa iwe; chiwamira galu kuluma mbuzi. Mbuzi ilepela kuluma galu today it may be your friend facing a problem; tomorrow it will be you. It is all right for a dog to bite a goat but a goat can't bite a dog," President Sata said.

"The thing which is killing Zambia, you ministers you have government vehicles, government offices, government telephones but you don't speak. We have been two years in government. All of you ministers you are not telling the people what we have achieved. All of you without any exception."

President Sata said the PF members of parliament were very lucky because there was no opposition in the country.

"If there was opposition like when I was in opposition, we would easily sort you out," President Sata said.

"Go out, talk. Tell the people what we are doing because when you tell people what we are doing, what you think you are doing, everything, then people will also come out in the open. You have three years to go and within three years it is very simple to find an opposition."

And Kalaba said in an interview that he was bringing a new era to the Ministry of Lands, and his counsel to those claiming to be PF cadres and allocating land illegally was that their time was up.

"We will ensure that land is given out according to the prescription that has been outlined in the Circular 1 of 1985. So that is how we are going to move," Kalaba said.

"The time for giving out land by those who claim to be ward chairmen or chairman of some sort is over now because we will ensure that the rule of the law of the land is adhered to and adhered to strictly. As minister in charge, I will not sit idle and see that anarchy reigns. I will ensure that sanity is maintained in the way that land is allocated."

He said it would be folly to allow a situation where those who follow procedures are left to live in fear of those who do not.

"This is a country of laws, and there are sufficient laws in this country to take care of those that want to take the law into their own hands. So we will ensure that things are done accordingly...," Kalaba said.

He asked local authorities to be above board as they execute ther duties as agencies of the Ministry of Land in land alienation.

"The final authority to give out land lies with the Ministry of Lands," Kalaba said. "I don't want to be forced to revoke any council's agency in terms of land alienation if they will not follow the rule of the law. So I am urging them to be above board and that the issues of one councillor getting five plots or 10 plots are also long gone. This is a new era at play."

Meanwhile, Kapeya said he was delighted that President Sata had appointed him information minister.

"It is a clear testimony of the confidence that the President has in me, and I will ensure that we do the needful that Zambians have been waiting for, especially the Access to Information, which is indeed in the pipeline and then the issue of digital migration has to be accelerated and also the provincial studios. We are almost two years down the line, we need to start working on it," he said.

On the Freedom of Information Bill, Kapeya said the document was ready.
"What is being looked into by our colleagues in the Ministry of Justice is just polishing up the document before we present it to Parliament," he said.

Kapeya said he could not tell when this process would be completed.

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Govt may have room for spending on civil servants' salaries - Magande
By Gift Chanda
Wed 18 Sep. 2013, 14:01 CAT

THE government may still have spending room to implement new civil servants' salaries despite a widening budget deficit, says former finance minister Ng'andu Magande.

Salaries for civil servants are this month expected to be increased by the government amid fears of a widening national budget deficit.

Magande, who is also National Movement for Progress president, said it is only prudent that the government keeps its promise to implement the new salaries.

"One has to be magnanimous to keep one's promise. They the government negotiated these salaries way back in March and for the civil servants to be able to give them space of six months, it is just fair that they keep their promise," he said in an interview.

On fears that the government may not have funds to go ahead with the plan, Magande said it was unclear the government may not have capacity to implement the new salaries.

Ministry of Finance data shows that the country's budget deficit currently stands at five per cent of GDP, beyond a 4.3 per cent target.

"Perhaps the government might have looked at the figures and they know that most of the recurrent expenditures which resulted into the budget deficit in the first and second quarter of the year will not be repeated in the coming quarters," said Magande. "If that is the case, they may have room for spending on salaries the money that is coming in as revenue."

Chief government spokesperson Mwansa Kapeya over the weekend reaffirmed the government's resolve to implement the new salaries.

The government has increased salaries for civil servants with some getting as high as 200 per cent hikes effective this month.

The windfall follows the successful conclusion of negotiations between the government and the Civil Servants and Allied Workers Union of Zambia (CSAWUZ).

Other benefits in the 2013 collective bargaining include the introduction of the health personnel shift allowance at 15 per cent of basic salaries for nurses and other paramedics.

The commuted night-duty allowance has been pegged at seven per cent while the transport and housing allowances have been maintained at the existing rates of 10 and 20 per cent of basic salaries respectively.

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Sata tasks Chikwanda to officiate at Tuwimba
By Francis Lungu
Wed 18 Sep. 2013, 14:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata has delegated finance minister Alexander Chikwanda to represent him during the Tuwimba traditional ceremony of the Nsenga people of Zambia and Mozambique next month.

And Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people of Eastern Province has agreed to grace the Tuwimba ceremony scheduled to take place at chief Ndake's palace in Nyimba.

In a letter to Nsenga Cultural Association chairman Stephen Mwale, dated September 9, President Sata acknowledged receipt of an invitation for him to grace the traditional ceremony.

President Sata, however, stated that he would not be available to grace the ceremony due to other pressing engagements.

"I will not be available to grace the 2013 Tuwimba ceremony of the Nsenga people, which will be held on 12th October 2013 at Chief Ndake's Lwezi Palace in Nyimba district. I have therefore, by copy of this letter, delegated this responsibility to Hon Alexander B. Chikwanda, Minister of Finance, to represent me," read President Sata's letter.

And Paramount Chief Mpezeni's senior Induna George Zulu confirmed receipt of an invitation from Nsenga chiefs for the Paramount Chief to attend their traditional ceremony.

"The Nsenga and Ngoni culture are similar because the two people are one. So Paramount Chief Mpezeni is very happy that his uncles have invited him to be part of the gathering. Paramount Chief Mpezeni is very happy with the existing relationship between the Nsenga and Ngoni people," Zulu said.

He appealed to the Nsenga and Ngoni people to work towards strengthening their relationship to foster development in their respective areas.

He explained that historically, the Nsenga and Ngoni people were one.

"Historically when the Ngoni people invaded the Nsenga people, they forced the Nsenga people to flee to the hills, fearing the Ngonis' spears. The Nsenga wanted to fight back using stones if the Ngoni attempted to follow them up the hills, but the Ngonis followed them knowing that they will be forced to come back to fetch water," explained Zulu.

"Indeed the Nsengas felt thirsty and asked their women to descend from the hill to draw water. These women were captured by the Ngoni warriors and turned them into wives. That is how the Ngoni warriors lost their language as their children began to speak Nsenga. Both I and Paramount Chief Mpezeni are nephews of the Nsenga people. No one will change this history. No Nsenga or Ngoni will dispute this history."

Zulu disclosed that Paramount Chief Mpezeni had since asked chiefs Nyampande and Mumbi to represent the Nsenga chiefs on the N'cwala ceremony organising committee in Chipata.

Between 1860s and 1870s, the Nsenga were raided by the Bemba and Ngoni-speaking peoples. The Bembas were the first to attack the Nsenga people, stealing their domestic animals and yields. Later, the Ngoni warriors invaded the Nsengaland and got away with Nsenga women and livestock.

During both raids, the Nsenga hunters were defeated and fled, leaving behind women and children.

The Ngoni warriors exacted tribute, married, and assumed their language and culture as they headed up east to settle in Fort Jameson now Chipata.

The Bemba and Ngoni raids forced Nsenga leaders to build substantial stockades (linga) for self-defence.

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'Public not getting results for reporting corruption'
By Christopher Miti in Chipata
Wed 18 Sep. 2013, 14:00 CAT

EASTERN Province minister Malozo Sichone says members of the public are not getting the desired results when they report corruption issues to relevant authorities.

And Sichone says he will make sure justice prevails over the five traffic police officers who were handed over to ACC after he found them with suspected bribe money from motorists along the Chipata-Mfuwe road on Friday.

Meanwhile, Chipata residents have hailed Sichone's newly-adopted system of fighting corruption.

Featuring on Radio Maria's Face the Media programme on Monday, Sichone said one of the most difficult tasks for the government was implementing the policy of fighting corruption.

He said the fight against corruption was difficult because the beneficiaries of corruption were many.

"Now if you plan to fight corruption, the way we have been doing it is that if you entrust your system alone, you will find that you don't get the tangible results… although it has been a difficult task, I think it's a fight worth joining. The other reason why the fight against corruption has been so challenging is that this is an act where one bribes and the other one receiving and the community has not been up to the task to surely report these matters to the relevant authorities," Sichone said.

He said he was aware that the community did not get the desired results when they reported corruption even to the ACC.

"The community does not get the results but instead they are even exposed to the same people they are reporting. This is just as a result of how hefty the (corruption) network has been. Although this fight has been a difficult task, you have seen from the President, he has not spared anybody. Immediately he has hands on, he immediately acts on that. I will give you the examples, within the two years, it's only under the Patriotic Front government that we have heard of a senior police official like it was on the Copperbelt, she was fired for allegedly being linked to corruption and so on," Sichone said.

He said it was only under President Sata that a permanent secretary was fired in Southern Province because of being linked to corruption.
Asked by callers, mostly taxi drivers, what the government would do to the five traffic officers who were allegedly found soliciting bribes, Sichone said they would face justice.

"I am not going to sentence these five traffic officers here but what I will tell you is that as government, we have procedures that we follow. People should be patient. Someone is already saying 'no, it's like they will be left scot-free', but I am saying let's wait and follow the right procedure, and justice will prevail," he said.

Sichone said the ratio of corrupt and good police officers had now moved to 50-50.

"Let me say this, within the police service, we have officers who do their job diligently, officers who perform their work nicely, officers you can admire and officers who inspire young people to join the police. What I have observed now is that the figures are getting to 50-50; the good officers against the bad officers," he said.

Sichone said it was only in Chipata where overloaded taxis were allowed to operate.

"It's only here in Chipata out of all the places where a taxi can carry 12 people, some even go to the extent of putting the people in the boot. These overloaded taxis literally pass through the police checkpoint and go without the vehicle being impounded," Sichone said.
He said after an interaction with taxi drivers, he was told that they overload in order to make extra money that is later paid to the police at checkpoints.

"I have had so much information that I wouldn't want to even bring out because it's for operation purposes. The information we have had is that some of the traffic officers go to the extent of collecting K18,000 in a day," Sichone said.

Several callers commended Sichone on his stance against corruption. One of the callers, who identified himself as Uncle Charles, said the officers who were found wanting should be fired.

Another caller, Martin Mwale, encouraged Sichone to keep remain resolute in fighting corruption.

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(ZIMBABWELAND) Food crisis in Zimbabwe: 2.2 million at risk. But where do the figures come from, and what do they mean?
September 16, 2013 · 6:15 am

The newspapers have been full of commentary on a looming food crisis in Zimbabwe. This has followed from the World Food Programme’s press release that 2.2 million people will be in need of food aid in the coming months. The Commercial Farmers Union has called it a ‘man-made crisis’, the direct result of the ‘chaotic’ land reform, and a decade of inappropriate policies.

I wanted to find out a bit more about where the 2.2 million figure came from. It’s a big number, and would mean a lot of food imports, way beyond the means of the Finance ministry. After a bit of digging I eventually found the figure, buried on page 122 of the ZimVac (Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee) livelihood assessment draft report for 2013.

Each year ZimVac, a coalition of NGOs, researchers and government agencies, undertake a major rural livelihood assessment, based on a sample of over 10,000 households across the country. The sample is drawn according to the latest ZIMSTAT ‘master sampling frame’, and the resulting data is aimed to be representative of the country as a whole. It’s an excellent and important initiative, but it has its deficiencies, as those involved readily admit.

The process for deciding the headline figure is complex. It involves assessing for each household all the cereal production, and then adding in income from employment, remittances, livestock sales, and other sources of income that could be used to buy food (p. 120). Assumptions on prices and market availability are used to translate income into food and in turn energy (p.121). The food security assessment is based on the household’s potential access to enough food from all sources, including purchases, to give each member a minimum of 2100 kilocalories per day in the consumption period 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014 (p. 119). The total number in food deficit figure is then calculated as a sum of all of those experiencing any negative balance in the accounting period.

It’s a complicated procedure with lots of steps and plenty of assumptions. What the headline figure doesn’t indicate – although the report does, and the background documents for the ZimVac surveys over the years are quite transparent about this – is that the big number includes many people who may have a projected deficit for actually a very short period. Indeed, at the time of the survey in May 2013, over 80% of households surveyed had no hunger problems with only a very small proportion recording ‘severe hunger’ (p. 115). The report shows that there is a progression of food insecurity, with a peak of 2.2m people expected in January to March 2014 (p.124). 31% of the total (683,000 people) move into food deficit only in this crunch period before the next harvest; and some of whom may in fact be food insecure for only a very few days.

The 2.2 million figure is of course a good flag-waving number for the WFP to raise funds, and for the CFU to bash the government for the land reform (and even President Mugabe is now joining the critique of the ‘new farmers’), but the actual implications are more complex. Here are five reasons why we need to be cautious about the figures.

* First, there’s geography: as the report shows the problems are concentrated in the dry south of the country which experienced the worst season in terms of rainfall and its distribution (p.125-6).

* Second, there is almost certainly (as ever in surveys) an underreporting of income, and so purchasing power. Since in drought years, market purchases are essential for food entitlements, this is rather crucial.

* Third, the assessment model allows for only limited sales of livestock to compensate for food deficits (households are assumed to retain a minimum of 5 goats and 3 cattle). Yet livestock is precisely the asset in the drier parts of the country that are used in times of drought to exchange for grain, and distress sales are common, and important for food security.

* Fourth, remittances are especially important in drought-prone areas, yet the figures used in the model for this year are based on recall of last year’s receipts. Last year was of course a relatively good year for rural production, and so remittance flows inevitably dropped. But this year, you can be sure, they will increase in response to the shortfalls. For perfectly good reasons, the model does not account for this, but it’s another reason why we can expect things to be not as bad as predicted.

* Finally, the assessment does not include early cropping – for example of green maize – which is often important in that crunch period before the ‘proper’ harvest.

For all these reasons and more, we should be cautious about the headline statistics, and understand in more detail what happens to whom and where.

One of the most striking figures in the report is the prediction that 98% of rural households nationally will hit a food deficit by next March if only cereal production and stocks were included (p. 123). Of course this includes those with no food production to speak of, such as farmworkers and other rurally-based non-farm households. But even discounting this group, this is striking, and does suggest a problem in agricultural production, as Charles Taffs of the CFU indicates. However, again we must be cautious in jumping to conclusions.

One big concern I have with recent national surveys is that they have been sampling according to old sample frames set before the land reform. This was the case for the 2011 PICES (Poverty, Income, Consumption and Expenditure Survey) study and the 2010-11 Demographic and Health Survey, both using the 2002 census sample frame. I have been assured that the ZimVac survey for 2013 used an updated sample, with ‘enumeration areas’ allocated proportional to population distribution derived from the 2012 census. If so, this would have included the significant populations, especially in A1 areas, who are – at least according to our data from Masvingo – producing more and doing better than their counterparts in the communal areas, where most the earlier rural samples are drawn from. And in our study areas on A1 sites we see between half and two-thirds of the households producing sufficient cereals for the year – not just 2%,

Following the 2012 census, ZIMSTAT is revising the national ‘master sample frame’, and hopefully from now on national surveys will be statistically more representative. Unfortunately it is still difficult to stratify the data according to land use types, and so distinguish between resettlement areas and others, so Taffs and co should probably hold off on their outright dismissal of land reform on the back of this data for now. As ever, it’s more complicated than it first seems.

That said, last season was unquestionably a worse one than experienced in the last few years, including in Masvingo. It also hit some higher potential areas hard, with a very unevenly spread rainfall. Despite improvements since 2009, input supply was again erratic and untimely last year. Also, maize area planted was again down, reflecting the shift from food crops to tobacco in some areas, perhaps especially in those food producing areas in the higher rainfall zones. This restructuring of the crop system is directly driven by incentives – tobacco, supported through contract arrangements – , is a much more profitable crop than maize, especially if marketed through the Grain Marketing Board. Over the last decade or more we have seen switches to small grains (although plantings were down this past year according to ZimVac), but these are still a small percentage of total crop output, and it remains maize that drives the food economy, although much of this circulates outside the formal channels, and so is difficult to capture in national statistics.

So what should we make of all this? Certainly there is going to be a problem of food deficits in the coming months. However, problems are going to be concentrated in a certain time period, and outside a few areas and for more vulnerable people, it’s not going to be as bad as the headline figure and the media commentary perhaps suggests. Imports will certainly be needed, and targeted food aid will be important, but other coping strategies will also come into play to offset the worst.

Indeed this seems to have been the pattern over many years now. There is a ritualised flurry of activity around this time of year, with the aid agencies calling for funds to support food aid, and those critical of land reform saying that this ‘proves’ that Zimbabwe has gone for food producer to ‘basket case’. Yet by the end of the season, the expected famine has not occurred and, although hardships unquestionably are faced, the scale and depth of the problem is not as expected. This can be explained due to both sampling and non-sampling errors inherent in the standard surveys; but also significantly because assessments have not got to grips with the new patterns of production (particularly in A1 areas) and marketing (mostly informal). This will require new, and better attuned, data collection techniques.

Unfortunately too often the emergency, humanitarian aid and disaster relief momentum overrides discussion of the developmental issues, and the scramble for food aid (and all the associated politicking) diverts attention and resources. As I have mentioned in this blog many times before, rural development challenges are many. They include the need to invest in irrigation to offset drought vulnerability, the importance of investment and reforms to ensure timely supply of inputs, a pricing and market policy to balance incentives between food and cash crops, a livestock policy that ensures such assets are secure and available in times of need, and, overall, more concerted support for the resettlement areas to ensure that they can indeed supply the nation with food.

Next week, I will continue this theme and look at the data on production and imports over time in a bit more detail. Since 2000 there is little doubt Zimbabwe is in a new era, and policy responses have to take this into account.

This post was written by Ian Scoones and originally appeared on Zimbabweland

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