(NEWZIMBABWE) Chinamasa back empty-handed from IMF
by Gilbert Nyambabvu
COMMENT - Since Gilberg Nyambabvu has been created editor of NewZimbabwe.com, the headlines and tenor of the articles has become a lot more sensationalist, more subjective and far more pro-MDC partisan. Not a good change, for anyone who is interested in real news about Zimbabwe. - MrK
THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) will not be loosening its purse-strings for Zimbabwe any time soon, tresury chief Patrick Chinamasa revealed as he returned from meetings with the institution in the US.
“We still owe them money, and because of that they have put us under the staff monitored programme and they will not be giving us fresh money or new concessionary loans until we complete that programme,” Chinamasa said.
The IMF stripped Harare of its voting rights in 2003 and nearly ejected the country in a rare move for the Washington-based institution in 2006. The restrictions were imposed after Zimbabwe fell behind in repayments to the Fund.
But in June, ahead of fresh elections, the organisation said it would work with the country for the first time in more than a decade although ruling out new cash advances.
IMF managing director, Christine Lagarde, announced a Staff Monitoring Programme (SMP) for the country adding its successful implementation “would be an important stepping stone toward helping Zimbabwe re-engage with the international community."
Following his appointment as Finance Minister after the June 31 elections, Chinamasa said he would stick with the plan proposed by the IMF which is not a particular favourite of his boss, President Robert Mugabe.
The minister said he had urged a new approach for Zimbabwe during meetings with the IMF and other organisations in Washington.
“I held a number of meetings with the IMF, World Bank, the African Development Bank, African Export Import Bank, International Finance Corporation in Washington where I emphasised that the one size fits all solution has left Zimbabwe at a standstill position,” he said.
“I told them that unless they give us new money there will be no growth and no capacity to pay them. We need new investments in the country to boost our economy and capacity to pay them.”
While the former coalition administration managed to stop run-away inflation and stabilise the economy, little progress has been made in forcing meaningful recovery and growth with companies hamstrung by liquidity problems among a host of challenges.
Zimbabwe’s huge debt pile is also said
Said by whom? - MrK
to be preventing the country from tapping external financing.
According to the IMF, the country’s external debt reached $12.5 billion in 2012 with nearly half of the obligations, about $6.7 billion, in arrears.
Gee, I wonder if Section 4 (C) clause (2), of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 would have anything to do with that:
SEC. 4. SUPPORT FOR DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY.
(c) MULTILATERAL FINANCING RESTRICTION- ... the Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States executive director to each international financial institution to oppose and vote against--
(1) any extension by the respective institution of any loan, credit, or guarantee to the Government of Zimbabwe; or
(2) any cancellation or reduction of indebtedness owed by the Government of Zimbabwe to the United States or any international financial institution.
Clearly, Zimbabwe's debt has not been rescheduled for 12 years. - MrK
Labels: CHRISTINE LAGARDE, IMF, PATRICK CHINAMASA
(NEWZIMBABWE, SOUTHERN EYE) Circumcision helps stem cancer: Khupe
by Southern Eye
MDC-T DEPUTY leader Thokozani Khupe has backed calls for men to consider circumcision to help curb new cervical cancer infections in the country. Cervical cancer is caused by a sexually transmitted human papilloma virus (HPV).
Khupe told Southern Eye that men need to seriously consider circumcision to not only prevent the spread of the HPV that causes cancer, but to help reduce new HIV infections.
“I am saying men should look at these issues seriously to save lives.
“If we have men who are circumcised, we will have 60% chances of not transmitting virus that causes cancer,” Khupe said in a telephone interview yesterday.
Health experts say other than reducing the spread of HIV by 60%, male circumcision offers partial protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Khupe said statistics show that 1 200 women die annually from cervical cancer that affects a further 1 800 women in Zimbabwe.
“This is the reason why I am calling on men to undergo circumcision.
“By getting circumcised men will also protect themselves from STIs and HIV,” Khupe added, noting that cervical cancer accounts for 32% of all cancers among women.
Khupe recently called for the introduction of a cancer levy to deal with all cancer-related health matters.
The World Health Organisation indicates that the high number of cervical cancer infections and deaths are as a result of HIV and Aids where women who are HIV-positive are thought to be three to five times more likely to develop cervical lesions that become cancerous.
Research shows that signs of cervical cancer include a discharge with traces of blood and pain during sexual intercourse, abnormal bleeding or a sudden change in one’s menstrual cycle that cannot be explained, among others.
Khupe’s motion was introduced Wednesday in Parliament Wednesday where she called for the setting up of centres to treat cancer around the country.
Speaker Jacob Mudenda said MPs should support the Thoko Khupe Cancer Foundation with donations, saying it was a noble idea.
Mudenda, a Zanu PF member said one of his friend’s mother was saved by Khupe’s intervention through the foundation.
Labels: CIRCUMCISION, FRAUD, HIV/AIDS FRAUD, MDC CORRUPTION, THOKOZANI KHUPE
(NEWZIMBABWE, SAPA) Malema, ANC supporters clash at protest
ECONOMIC Freedom Fighters supporters accused ANC supporters of beating them up in Diepsloot on Friday. Residents supporting the EFF stood outside the Diepsloot police station but were not allowed in.
They complained about being shut out saying the police were supposed to provide a place of safety. Residents refused to speak to the media. However, one EFF supporter said he planned to open a case with the police.
Earlier, angry Diepsloot residents gathered outside the local police station protesting about the murder of two toddlers. They demanded that police release to them a fifth man arrested earlier in the day so they could burn him.
The bodies of two-year-old Yonelisa Mali and her cousin Zandile Mali, three, were found on Tuesday. They were reported missing at the weekend.
Four men appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Friday on charges of rape and murder.
There was a heavy police presence in the area.
The African National Congress Youth League marched to the police station to hand over a memorandum.
“We raised a lot of grievances that we have as a community here in Diepsloot on issues of crime and drugs,” ANCYL national task team co-ordinator Mzwandile Masina said after handing over the memorandum.
“Now we want to work with the community to ensure there's peace in the area. We want visible policing at all times.”
Residents supporting the ANC and those supporting Julius Malema's EFF clashed in the streets.
EFF supporters in red berets sang songs mocking President Jacob Zuma.
“If you are a person who is voting for Zuma you are not to be trusted,” they sang in Sesotho.
Some residents ripped up ANC placards.
Others started banging on a car when they saw a person in an ANC T-shirt inside. Police intervened.
Labels: ANC, ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS, JULIUS MALEMA
(NEWZIMBABWE, AP) What exactly happens to Zim diamond cash?
COMMENT - More innuendo and no sources, from rhodie John Robertson, which apparently is 'good enough to print' when it comes to the AP. - MrK
DESPITE living in a struggling country under sanctions, some in Zimbabwe seem awash in money, judging by the Mercedes-Benzes parked at a country club and the private woodland estate with artificial lake and mansion built by the nation's police chief.
The wealth enjoyed by just a few comes, at least in part, from the vast Marange diamond field that was exposed by an earth tremor in 2006. The deposit in eastern Zimbabwe is the biggest diamond field found in Africa for a century, worth billions of dollars.
Now, as most Zimbabweans remain mired in poverty, with government coffers short on funds to build and maintain the nation's roads, clinics, utility services and schools, questions are being asked as to where all the money went and who benefited.
A recent bipartisan parliamentary investigation concluded that tens of millions of dollars in diamond earnings are missing from 2012 alone. The lawmakers who wrote the unprecedented and unusually candid report said their "worst fears were confirmed" by evidence of "underhand dealings" and diamond smuggling since 2009.
In a speech opening parliament on 17 September, President Robert Mugabe took the rare step of accusing one top mining official and ruling party loyalist of accepting a $6m bribe from Ghanaian investors to obtain diamond mining rights in Marange.
Mugabe said Godwills Masimirembwa took the bribe when he was head of the state Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation which is in charge of mining concessions.
Masimirembwa quit that post to contest the 31 July national election as a candidate for Mugabe's Zanu PF party but failed to win a parliament seat. Masimirembwa denies any wrongdoing.
The parliamentary report and a human rights group say diamond mining has led to serious human rights abuses and that diamond concessions were awarded by government officials to enrich top members of the Zanu PF party, of the security forces and Chinese allies.
In declaring his innocence, Masimirembwa said the purported deal with the Ghanaian investors was discussed with national Police Chief Augustine Chihuri and then Mines Minister Obert Mpofu, a longtime business associate of Masimirembwa who is also one of the country's wealthiest businessmen.
Chihuri and Mpofu have frequently insisted in the state media that their wealth comes from legitimate business empires to make up for poor salaries paid for full-time government duties.
Expected revenues from the Marange diamond fields have scarcely materialised.
Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti says he was promised $600m for economic and development projects from diamond revenues last year but only received $41m.
Nothing was paid into the national treasury up to the disputed July elections that the Zanu PF won, a vote result that caused the end of a coalition government with the MDC party that Biti belonged to, and the loss of his Cabinet seat.
About $2bn in diamond revenues have been unaccounted for since 2008, according to Global Witness, which campaigns against natural resource-related conflict and corruption and associated environmental and human rights abuses.
Controversy and secrecy
Zimbabwe is the world's fourth-largest diamond miner, producing an estimated 17 million carats this year, according to the Kimberley Process which is charged with ensuring that gems reaching world markets don't bear the taint of being "blood diamonds".
Marange diamonds have been declared conflict free.
But controversy and secrecy have swirled around Marange since the earth opened up and exposed its riches.
The discovery lured thousands of impoverished Zimbabweans to dig in the alluvial deposit. In 2008, the Zimbabwean army sealed off the 60 000ha area to take control of the mining. At least 200 people died in a mass expulsion of people living in the closed area, Global Witness and other rights groups have alleged.
Chinese construction contractors built an airfield at the Marange diamond fields.
Executive planes arrive there and at a bonded warehouse alongside the runway at Harare's main airport, without traceable flight plans or having to go through customs and immigration formalities, say commercial pilots who say they have complained of the irregularities to aviation authorities.
They insisted on anonymity because of fears for their safety. Some are living high from diamond deals.
As children begged in the street a block away, diamond executives accompanied by elegant young women arrived at a popular Harare nightclub last year, ordered drinks for about 120 patrons and picked up the $4000 tab, said a person who witnessed the scene and who demanded anonymity to prevent reprisals.
The identities of owners, directors and shareholders in diamond enterprises have never been officially disclosed, though the Zimbabwe Republic Police Trust, a business enterprise of the police force, is publicly listed as holding a 20% stake in the Ghanaian diamond investment project.
The parliamentary panel's report said powerful officials, politicians and police and army commanders repeatedly tried to thwart the probe into diamond dealings. The chair of the 22-member panel, Edward Chindori-Chininga, a former Mugabe mines minister, died in a car crash just days after he signed the report in June.
Police said Chindori-Chininga's death was accidental and that his car had veered off the highway and slammed into trees.
Car wrecks or mysterious accidents have taken the lives of 12 senior politicians, all of whom were believed to have bucked official policy, in the past two decades, according to local press reports.
The parliamentary committee's report said several officials lied while giving evidence under subpoena and that diamond earnings are not only shielded from scrutiny but are not channelled into the state coffers.
It said the Marange fields in particular are a no-go area, shrouded in secrecy and deception. The mining companies don't even buy food or services from surrounding communities, the report said.
Mugabe's government and Zanu PF have repeatedly denied diamond revenues have been siphoned off.
But Global Witness says otherwise.
"Our research has exposed links between Zimbabwe's two largest diamond mining companies and the Zimbabwean military and other Zanu PF insiders," said Emily Armistead, senior campaigner for Global Witness.
"It is not clear where the money is going," she added.
"It appears there is a mixture of corruption enriching specific individuals and some funds going to security operations. Our concern is that it could be used to fund repression and human rights abuses."
The difficulty with monitoring diamond earnings lies in the "opaque" way the mining enterprises were formed and financed, said economist John Robertson. Information on their expenditure, profits and staff levels have not been divulged, he said.
"You are not allowed to know what is going on and if you need to know that amounts to attempted espionage," Robertson said.
So far, no legal action has been taken against Masimirembwa, the man accused by Mugabe.
And despite widespread reports since September in the Zimbabwean press that other top political and military figures would likely be exposed, so far none has.
(NEWZIMBABWE) New Zimbabwe.com names new editor
Take off ... New Zimbabwe.com's new editor Gilbert Nyambabvu
by Staff Reporter
NEW Zimbabwe Media Ltd has appointed Gilbert Nyambabvu editor of the New Zimbabwe.com news website following the departure of founding editor, Mduduzi Mathuthu.
Nyambabvu (Twitter: @GNyambabvu), who deputised Mathuthu (Twitter: @Mathuthu), takes over with immediate effect.
Meanwhile, Mathuthu is set to join the Zimbabwe Newspapers Group-published Bulawayo Chronicle after steering New Zimbabwe.com to be the most read Zimbabwean website on the internet.
Announcing the changes, New Zimbabwe Media Ltd CEO Jeff Madzingo said: “Mathuthu has been an outstanding servant for us and the public face of our news website since 2003.
“He wanted to return home from England and found the offer to edit his hometown newspaper where he cut his teeth in journalism too hard to resist. We wish him well in his new adventure.”
The departing Mathuthu backed Nyambabvu – who holds a Diploma in Mass Communication, a degree in English and Communication Studies from Leeds Trinity and is enrolled for a Masters in Journalism programme with Leeds Met University – to be a success in his new role.
He said: “I don’t know of a better man to come in and keep New Zimbabwe.com top of the pile. I’m a great admirer of him as a writer and I’m in no doubt that he will be a great success.
“People read New Zimbabwe.com because it’s fair and balanced, and for its exciting packaging of news. There can be no doubt that Nyambabvu will carry this winning formula forward.”
Mathuthu said he had given "great thought" to the offer from Zimpapers to join the Chronicle and believed he had made the right decision.
"Zimpapers liked our edgy style at New Zimbabwe.com and they thought I could really add value to the Chronicle. They agreed to go back to a tabloid after the broadsheet experiment and I see an opportunity in what is a great challenge to increase the newspaper's market share," Mathuthu said.
"Anyone who knows me will be in no doubt that I will approach this job in a professional way and in the process I hope to break an unhealthy media taboo that it's not cool to leave the private media for the public media. This polarisation is responsible for the lowering of journalism standards in Zimbabwe."
Madzingo said the imminent launch of a new design for the New Zimbabwe.com website in the next seven days will empower the new editor to grow the website further.
Mathuthu, who holds a Diploma in International Journalism and Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Glamorgan, is set to take over from Itai Musengeyi at the Chronicle from November 1, according to a statement by Zimpapers board chairman Charles Utete.
The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed Zimpapers has also named Caesar Zvayi as editor of its flagship Herald newspaper, replacing Innocent Gore who takes over as Digital Media editor where he is expected to spearhead the development of new products among them BH24, and Sport24.
Zvayi will be deputised by Mabasa Sasa, formerly the editor of the Southern Times, a joint venture partnership between Zimpapers and New Era of Namibia.
Musengeyi leaves the Chronicle to join the Southern Times as editor.
Jorum Nyathi, immediate past spokesperson of JOMIC and former deputy editor of the Zimbabwe Independent, has been appointed Group Political Editor.
Herald senior assistant editor Tumeliso Makhurane has been appointed editor of The Sunday News in Bulawayo, taking over from Paul Mambo who died in August.
Munyaradzi Huni has been promoted to deputy editor at the Sunday Mail from his previous post as assistant editor, taking over from Nomsa Nkala who is set to head a new Zimpapers television station.
Brezhnev Malaba will remain as editor of the Sunday Mail, the country’s biggest selling newspaper.
Labels: GILBERT NYAMBABVU, JORAM NYATHI, MDUDUZI MATHUTHU, NEWZIMBABWE
(NEWZIMBABWE) United States debt: the ugly reality
by Tendai Biti, MP
COMMENT - The meltdown continues... - MrK
NEWS that an agreement has been reached ending the current budget impasse in the United States would please as many as it would amuse. That a government can actually go into a shut-down or closure is a mystery that many on our shores would never understand.
That an elected Parliament can openly defy an elected President is the kind of thing that never happens in these pot hole-scarred territories of ours. What? Defy the President!!? I can see black boots from Bradley Barracks ready to march against the "imperialist sell-outs" and totemless miscreants from that cramped colonial chamber at 82 Nelson Mandela Avenue (not to be confused with 44 Nelson Mandela Avenue).
I can see MPs like Honourable Amos Chibaya or Nyasha Chikwinya or Joseph Chinotimba being off-loaded – like bags of potatoes on the back of a huge green truck – to a howling Chikurubi. I suspect Comrade Chinotimba and his unique beard would make quite a sight dangling from one of the prison cages that has been half the home of Last Maingehama and Morgan Komichi for the last several months.
I can see pork-faced MPs and their ill-dressed spouses lined up in Court A at the Harare High Court answering treason charges for defying the authority of the land. In earlier days, they would have just disappeared and their remains found at a farm in Goromonzi, arms cut to small sleeve and a wire running through them, inserted via the knowledge acquired from the Intarahamwe torture school.
But back to the puzzling issue of the American budget crises. What is at play here is that in all most all countries, including Zimbabwe, Parliament has the sole say over the Consolidated Revenue Fund or the fiscus. Put in simple terms, the people – through their elected representatives, the Members of Parliament – decide what to do with their own money, the taxes that they pay to the State. So far so good.
However, most countries of Westminster influence play lip service to the supremacy of Parliament in controlling the national pursue. In the case of Zimbabwe, the new Constitution in article 305 gives control of the Consolidated Fund to Parliament. But that control is not absolute.
In Article 305 (5) it allows the Minister of Finance to present a supplementary Budget before parliament for approval. There is nothing in the Constitution that prevents the concept of eat-now-without-authority and then seek retrospective approval from parliament. In fact legality for condonation for any unapproved expenditure is provided for by article 307(2).
More importantly, the President in terms of article 306 may authorise withdrawals from the consolidated fund to meet any unforeseen expenditure provided that such withdrawal is not more than one and one half percent of the previous principle budget.
These provisions are virtually found in every Westminster Constitution and in fact are carried over from the original Lancaster House Constitution. On the other hand, the American Constitution has the absolute position where Congress only can appropriate and Congress only has the power to borrow for and on behalf of the Government. This is so in terms of Article 1, Section 8 of the American Constitution.
What this means then is that if whatever has been appropriated by Congress for use by Government runs out, that's it, the Government must shut down. In fact the Constitution itself is clear that workers must go home, so there is nothing like voluntary service.
These Government shut downs are not new to the American economy. Between 1976 and now there have in fact been 18 shut downs. The 1995-1996 shut down under Clinton was in fact the longest, lasting for 27 days.
Bar the Federal Government, States have also shut down, for similar reasons – New Jersey in 2006 and Minnesota in 2011.
So the shut down per se, whilst of great inconvenience to workers and their families, is something that can happen and is something whose consequences can well be contained. After all, it is in reality a partial Government shut down. Besides, just like the current one, public opinion, a vicious press, and public pressure will not allow the crises to get out of hand.
At the core of the present impasse has been the immediate linkage of President Barack Obama’s health reform programme, known as Obamacare, which has seen Republicans, particularly the right wing tea-drink version of the same, viciously oppose the same.
When budget time came, they essentially tried to use the budget as a way of holding the President to ransom by insisting on certain fundamental changes to Obamacare before the same could be passed. Where I come from it is called gutter politics.
The truth of the matter however is that America has never been the same since President Obama was elected, and this group of people called tea party Republicans have crawled like slime from their red neck neighbourhoods to virtually and irrationally oppose everything that the President does or proposes.
American politics thus stands on a tether: where to from here, given the misdirected zeal of this tea tribe against the rising anger of many Americans who traditionally have always located themselves in the centre?
The debt default is another cup of tea. As stated before, Congress has the right to borrow. However, through an Act of Congress, the Second Liberty Bond of 1979, later on the Public Debts Acts of 1939 and 1941, Congress set limits or a ceiling on the amount of money that the Government can borrow.
So here is how it functions. Congress approves a budget. Separately a debt ceiling is also set, the budget is dealing with internal resources, the ceiling is dealing with external debt contraction to cover expenditure not covered by the budget.
When the debt ceiling has been reached, the President seeks retention of the status quo, a roll over or raise on the debt ceiling. The aspect of raising debt ceilings is again not new. In fact it is routine. President Reagan alone raised it 19 times, and between 1940 and now it has been raised 55 times.
So what is the deal? The issue is that America has really become a debtor nation, the world’s biggest borrower living way beyond its means. It is therefore understandable the call by sane Republicans and some Democrats that America must retrench expenditure, reduce its debt and live within its means.
American debt of around $16 trillion is, at 75% of GDP, well within Third World territory and of that 47% is held in bonds by foreigners – China, Japan Brazil Taiwan, the UK, Switzerland and Russia being the top creditors. China and Japan alone are holding over a trillion dollars each of these bonds.
Naturally, the consequences of a default would have affected the international finance system, given the global spread of US debt. More importantly it would shake the foundation of the modern credit and monetary system based on the unwritten sacrosanctity of the US-backed monetary system. No wonder many, including the Chinese, are calling for a reform of the same.
In the short term, little countries like Zimbabwe would be less affected but the nature of international finance capital, particularly in the context of the continuing global depression is that we would feel the effects, sooner rather than later.
The real worry for anyone in the Third World is the meaning of the US reversing its position as it did from being a net lender to a net borrower. A position that started in the late years of the Carter Presidency and consolidated under President Reagan.
The thing is the US, by coming a net borrower started competing worldwide for the same resources that India or little Zimbabwe needs thereby pushing up interest rates. The reversal has had a drastic effect on developmental paths of many nations. The old master Giovanni Arrighi 2002, put it more dramatically than I could: "It (the reversal) is likely that this was the single most important determinant of the contemporaneous reversal in the economic fortunes of North America, and of the bifurcation in the economic fortunes of Third World regions.
“For the redirection of capital flows to the United States reflated both effective demand and investment in North America, while deflating it in the rest of the world... at the same time enabling the United States to run large deficits in the balance of trade..."
So in fact the world has suffered the real cost of the American debt crises. But for some of us who struggled with little debts of $11 billion dollars it never ceased to amaze us how different sets of rules applied to different countries. It always appeared that the less you owed, the more dangerous you were and the more mistreated you were.
That I guess is the ugly reality of this world.
Tendai Biti was Zimbabwe's Finance Minister between February 2009 and August 2013
Labels: MDC, NEOLIBERALISM, TENDAI BITI
Motion leaves legislators close to blows
October 17, 2013
Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
A MOTION on the West’s illegal economic sanctions regime saw legislators almost trading blows yesterday, with altercations between Zanu-PF and MDC-T members lasting for about 30 minutes. The exchange of insults and threats only stopped when the Chamber got to its automatic adjournment time at 6:55pm when National Assembly Speaker Cde Jacob Mudenda announced the mandatory end of the debating time.
The altercation was triggered by Mbizo MP, Mr Settlement Chikwinya (MDC-T) who provoked Buhera South MP Cde Joseph Chinotimba (Zanu-PF) alleging that he murdered MDC-T supporters during the harmonised elections.
This occurred during a motion moved by Mberengwa East MP, Cde Makhosini Hlongwane (Zanu-PF) calling for the National Assembly to write to Western countries to remove sanctions.
Despite admitting to the existence of sanctions in the GPA, and in spite of tacit admission by the sanctions-imposing countries that the embargoes will remain, MDC-T legislators continue denying the existence of sanctions.
The drama started when Mr Chikwinya took the floor to deny the existence of sanctions which he chose to call “restrictive measures”, he then read out names of people whom he claimed were “murdered by one Joseph Chinotimba in Buhera,” triggering a protest from Cde Chinotimba and other Zanu-PF legislators.
Cde Chinotimba charged at Mr Chikwinya pointing at him while Zanu-PF Chief Whip, Cde Joram Gumbo could be seen protesting as well, moving back and forth to the Speaker’s Chair shaking his head in anger.
The directive by Cde Mudenda ordering Mr Chikwinya to withdraw did not to help matters as Cde Chinotimba continued charging, protesting and pointing his finger at Mr Chikwinya, who on regaining the floor continued provoking Zanu-PF by making reference to violence saying he wanted to submit a document with evidence to form part of parliamentary record.
Cde Chinotimba seemed not have been satisfied by the order againt Mr Chikwinya to withdraw but wanted him to be ejected from the Chamber.
The heated exchange persisted as Zanu-PF legislators called for stern action against Mr Chikwinya while MDC-T legislators, led by Lobengula MP,Mr Sam Sipepa Nkomo protested that Cde Mudenda was not as firm to Zanu-PF MPs as he was to them.
“Parliament is not a place for criminal inquiries. Honourable Member has made some allegations that Hon Chinotimba murdered a person. If there are such issues Parliament is not the rightful place but should report to the police,” said Cde Mudenda.
After the 30-minute altercation, Cde Mudenda adjourned the House in terms of Standing Orders that provides for automatic adjournment at 6.55pm.
MDC-T Chief whip, Mr Innocent Gonese rose to protest why the House was being adjourned to next Tuesday instead of today but Cde Mudenda continued to move with his procession out of the Chamber.
Clerk of Parliament, Mr Austin Zvoma later issued a statement last night to the effect that the National Assembly had been adjourned to today and not to next Tuesday.
In his debate, Mr Hlongwane told the House that the European Union had violated the Cotonou Partnership Agreement that provided for dialogue before any measure could be taken.
Cde Hlongwane whose contribution was punctuated by emotions that drew a standing ovation from Zanu-PF MPs, and heckling from the MDC-T legislators invited the House to denounce them.
He chronicled the effects of the embargo on individuals and firms that have been affected. MDC-T legislators led by Hatfield MP, Mr Tapiwa Mashakada denied that there were sanctions, saying ‘restrictive measures’ were meted because of violence against white commercial farmers and MDC-T supporters.
Earlier on, Cde Mudenda shot down a motion by MDC-T that sought to have the July 31 2013 harmonised election investigated.
Gweru Urban MP, Mr Sessel Zvidzai had risen to give notice that he would want to move a motion to the effect that a parliamentary portfolio committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs investigate elections.
Cde Mudenda declined to allow the motion saying he wanted to study the constitutional implication of that motion. This again triggered protests from the MDC-T that lasted for about 10 minutes as legislators from the opposition party burst into song to derail business of the House.
Cde Gonese rose to protest that the motion had gone through all the requisite processes of Parliament but Cde Mudenda said as Speaker, he had the final say on the admissibility of any motion.
Labels: JOSEPH CHINOTIMBA, MDC TREASON, SANCTIONS, ZDERA
SA confident in President Mugabe
October 17, 2013
SOUTH Africa has confidence that President Mugabe and Zanu-PF will revive the Zimbabwean economy after resoundingly winning the recently held harmonised elections, visiting South African Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Ms Elizabeth Thabethe has said.
Speaking at an investment and trade initiative programme held in Gweru yesterday, Ms Thabethe said South Africa was confident that President Mugabe was capable of reviving the Zimbabwean economy.
“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate President Mugabe for winning the elections. Makorokoto, Amhlophe. We wish him the best in his endeavours to revive the economy,” she said.
Ms Thabethe said Zimbabweans should also benefit from their own resources and help develop the economy.
“Zimbabwe is endowed with so many minerals and other natural resources. Zimbabweans must utilise these resources to develop their nation. It is up to the Zimbabweans now to see how best these resources can be utilised for their own good. We should alleviate poverty and curb unemployment using these resources,” she said.
Ms Thabethe said the new Government should start working on reviving the economy to ensure that it reclaims its status as the bread basket of Southern Africa.
“We know Zimbabwe is capable of feeding the whole continent. We know it used to be an agrarian economy. Zimbabweans should use their skills to reclaim their country’s status of being the bread basket of Southern Africa. We know that Zimbabweans are hardworking and have great skills.
“They must use them to their advantage. Zimbabwe has no need to import food if they have a capacity to feed the whole continent. Zimbabwe was one of the most powerful countries in Africa in terms of education systems and skills,” she said.
Ms Thabethe also concurred with President Mugabe that Africa would never be a colony again and must control its own resources.
“There has been a misrepresentation of facts by some European countries that Africans are backward. I will not pin point countries but some have undermined African states.
We should remind them that Africa will never be a colony again. There is no room for that. We must decide our own destiny,” she said.
Ms Thabethe said Zimbabwe and South Africa’s cordial relations must also enhance trade balance between the two Southern African countries.
“Business people must take advantage of the good relations that we have with Zimbabwe to venture into business partnership. This will increase trade balance between the two countries. We as Governments have done our part and the business sector should complement our efforts to cement the friendly relationship that the two countries have,” she said.
Ms Thabethe urged the Zimbabwean business community to also invest in South Africa so as to ensure there would be trade balance.
She said the business community must also work together with the Government to develop the country’s infrastructure.
Labels: 2013 ELECTIONS (ZW), ELIZABETH TABETHE, ROBERT MUGABE, SOUTH AFRICA
Pay to Caesar what is worth of his work
Thu 17 Oct. 2013, 14:00 CAT
Listening to the discourse on the 10 per cent increase in the President's salary, one wonders what we Zambians really believe in.
There are so many views being expressed on this issue. And it seems there is no view so crazy about this issue that no one in this country holds it. Every crazy view on this issue, it seems someone holds it. This, it seems, is not such a bad thing but the beauty of democracy.
Our President is certainly not one of the highest paid presidents in this region or on our continent. The new annual salary of our President will be K414,406 with a special annual allowance of K108,934, which translates to K43,611 per month. This may sound too high but there are many people working for government and quasi-governmental organisations who are earning far much more than this. For instance, the governor of the Bank of Zambia earns not less than K150,000 per month. And the salaries of most chief executives of parastatal entities are far more than the new salary of the President.
The lowest paid president in this region is Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who has an annual salary of K97,956.83. And one of the highest paid African presidents is South African President Jacob Zuma at K1,382,940 annually. In the second position is Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta with K1,272,030.34. Compare this with Michael Sata's K414,406! Of course, our countries do not have the same earnings. But we don't think that being in leadership should be such a huge sacrifice in terms of one's salary.
We need to be very careful with some of these things. Sacrifices are needed but they shouldn't lead to other bigger or worse problems. If an individual thinks that dedicating one's life to political leadership means that in return, he should not have such worries as that his son lacks certain things, or that his children's shoes are worn out, or that his family lacks some necessity, then he is entering into rationalisations which open his mind to infection by the seeds of future corruption.
The children of our political leaders should have or should go without those things that the children of the average man have or go without, and their families should understand this and strive to uphold this standard. Progress in our country is made through the individual, but the individual must forge his progressive spirit day by day.
Of course, in the political leadership of our country and given the dangers of the present situation, we need men and women who fight to escape from the realm of necessity to enter that of freedom.
In these circumstances, one must have a great deal of humanity and a strong sense of justice and truth in order not to fall to the temptations of corruption and isolate themselves from the masses.
Our leaders must strive every day so that this love of living humanity will be transformed into actual deeds, into acts that serve as examples.
Of course, we should not lose sight of the fact that a dangerous tendency has shown itself of late among many of our politicians - an unwillingness to share the joys and hardships of the masses, a concern for personal fame and gain. We have leaders who are more concerned about themselves than they are about the plight of the people. But all this should not lead us to cynicism, to criticising things for the sake of it. We should be able to distinguish right from wrong. And in the political life of our people, how should right be distinguished from wrong in one's words and actions?
Broadly speaking, we consider that words and actions should help unite, and not divide, our people and their leaders. They should be beneficial, and not harmful, to the social and economic transformations going on in our country. They should help to consolidate, and not undermine or weaken our democracy. They should help to consolidate, and not to undermine or weaken, the governance of our country. They should help to strengthen, and not discard or weaken, the leadership of our country.
We must undoubtedly criticise wrong ideas and actions of every description. It certainly would not be right to refrain from criticism, to look on while wrong ideas and actions spread unchecked and allow them to monopolise the field. Mistakes must be criticised and poisonous weeds fought wherever they crop up. However, such criticism should be reasonable and honest. What is needed is a convincing argument.
These are difficult times for all of us. Many things are not going well in our country. But this should not make us lose sight of some of the good things happening around us. In times of difficulty, we must not lose sight of our achievements, we must see the bright future and must pluck up our courage. It is sheer fantasy to imagine that the cause of progress in our country will be plain-sailing and easy success, without difficulties and setbacks or exertion of tremendous effort. We must all take this fully into account and be prepared to overcome all difficulties with an indomitable will and in a planned way. Negative and cynical forces will always be there. But both those who are trying to do good and those who are negative have difficulties. However, the difficulties of the negative elements are insurmountable because they are forces on the verge of death and have no future. The difficulties of progressive, well-intentioned and well-meaning people can be overcome because they are new and rising forces and have a bright future.
At certain times in any progressive political struggle, the difficulties outweigh the favourable conditions and so constitute the principal aspect of the contradiction and the favourable conditions constitute the secondary aspect. But through the efforts of our well-meaning citizens and their leaders, we can overcome the difficulties step by step and open up a favourable new situation; thus a difficult situation yields to a favourable one. Therefore, there is no need to give up to cynics, to those who criticise everything and everyone apart from themselves and their own actions.
There is clearly nothing wrong with the 10 per cent salary increment given to the President by the necessary and legitimate committee of Parliament. It doesn't do us any good as a nation to try and portray Michael as a greedy and selfish leader. Yes, Michael has many weaknesses, failings and shortcomings for which he deserves criticism, but selfishness, greed and vanity are not part of them. Let's criticise our leaders in a fair and just way. If criticism is valid, it must be made. If criticism is not valid, it shouldn't be made. And over this 10 per cent salary increment, criticism is not valid and as such, it shouldn't be made. Let Michael get a salary that is in line with the current conditions and circumstances of our country. And we don't think the salary that Parliament has given the President is unjustified, unreasonable in the conditions and circumstances of our country. These are salaries we are giving to many public workers. And there is no good reason why the President of this country should not be paid such a salary.
Yes, there is need for politics. But we should not allow the politics of our country to be relegated to trivialities chosen precisely because they salve the consciences of the powerful, of the power-hungry, of the cynics and conceal the realities of our country.
If we are against corruption, let us not leave our people, our leaders open to situations that tempt them to engage in corruption. A president who is not able to meet the needs of his family is one open to corruption, to favour-seeking and consequently to being held hostage by those who give him money and who extend all sorts of favours to him. Let's create a situation where our leaders are not tempted to sell government policies and decisions to the highest bidders by paying them reasonable salaries.
Pay to Caesar what is worth of Caesar's work!
Is this journalism or opinion. Denial is how the Zimbabwean situation was forced to fester, until the people moved onto the land, and the goverment had to follow them.
" Julius Malema has never advocated organised violence against whites in any serious way, but then, he doesn’t need to: the prospect, for whites, of losing the majority of their wealth, is the most serious threat that can be made against an entire minority group of South Africans within the current hate speech legislation. "
How did whites get 'the majority of 'their' wealth', again? How did 10% of the population end up with 87% of the country again? How did whites end up with Californian lifestyles, and Africans with Congolese lifestyles, to paraphrase Naomi Klein?
And how long do you think this is sustainable? Why do you think you can maintain an apartheid economy under democracy? And why would you want to?
That is at the core of the issue, not denouncement of Julius Malema.
Labels: MICHAEL SATA, PRESIDENCY
Sata explains his pay rise
By Allan Mulenga, Roy Habaalu and Tilyenji Mwanza
Thu 17 Oct. 2013, 14:00 CAT
PRESIDENT Michael Sata has dismissed assertions that he decided to award himself a 10 per cent salary increment. But MMD president Nevers Mumba says President Sata does not deserve a salary increment because he does not work as the President.
In a statement issued yesterday by the President's special assistant for press and public relations George Chellah, the head of state explained that salaries and allowances for the President, Vice-President, Chief Whip, Leader of Opposition, Cabinet ministers, deputy ministers and members of parliament were determined by the Standing Committee of Parliament.
"... the procedure is once the Standing Orders Committee has determined what increment to award, the Minister of Finance issues a Statutory Instrument. In fact, this year, the committee, which includes opposition member of parliament, met and came up with an increment of 10 per cent taking into account the national resource and notwithstanding the fact that the civil service was awarded increments ranging from 0 per cent to more than 150 per cent," he stated.
President Sata stated that the decision to effect a 10 per cent salary increment to himself and other constitutional office bearers was made at Parliament by both ruling party and opposition members of parliament, whose salaries have equally been revised upwards.
"I urge all opposition members of parliament to take time and explain this slight adjustment to their party leaders to avoid shooting themselves in the foot," stated President Sata.
But Mumba said his party was deeply saddened by the newly-revised salaries for the President and other constitutional office bearers.
"Did he (President Sata) just become President to make money on top of Zambians or to deliver? In any case, Mr Sata should not be given salary increment because he doesn't work as a president. We only see him in by-elections and he flies out to America, India, China... but he never works as a president," he said.
Mumba said it was insensitive for President Sata to accept the newly-revised salary increase.
"...We have major concerns on this increment and Zambians are the ones who will be judging the President. We condemn this act and it is insensitive and it shows where they place value. It is themselves and not the Zambian people. But they give themselves increases. You must remember that there has been presidential salary increases in two and half years," he said.
Mumba urged labour minister Fackson Shamenda to stop comparing President Sata's monthly salary with other Presidents in the Southern African Development Community region.
"Shamenda's answer does not deserve to be given any attention. It didn't even need a headline because even people who have been presidents in this country, they don't get the same money that other ministers get in other countries. Because each country has its own economy. This is one of the shallowest comments from a minister who is supposed to be respected. The economy of South Africa is absolutely different from our economy," he said.
"The economy of Nigeria is different from ours, Bostwana, Namibia those are different from ours. You can't say Mr Sata must get the same amount South Africa's President Jacob Zuma is getting. It is relative, so that must be thrown out. It is a sad statement from a minister."
Yesterday, Shamenda urged politicians to stop scandalising the government over its decision to effect a 10 per cent salary increase for the President and other constitutional office holders.
Shamenda said President Sata was the lowest paid head of state in the Southern African Development Community region.
On Friday, finance minister Alexander Chikwanda issued Statutory Instruments 91 and 92 on the Presidential emoluments amendment, and ministerial and parliamentary offices emoluments amendment respectively.
According to SI 91, the President would be paid a salary calculated at the annual rate of K414,406 and a special annual allowance of K108, 934, which translates to K43,611 per month.
The Vice-President has a basic annual salary of K250,551; K62,360 as special allowance per year and K49,098 as utility allowance while the speaker has K239,557, K55, 299 and K49,098 as basic salary, special allowance and utility allowance annually. Deputy Speaker, Cabinet ministers, Chief Whip, and Leader of the Opposition have a basic annual salary of K189,672,48,551 as special allowance per year and utility allowance of K49,098 respectively. Deputy Chief Whip, deputy ministers and deputy chairperson of committee have a basic annual salary of K179,158 and K44,365 as special allowance per year and K49,098 as utility allowance per year. Private member has a basic annual salary of K177,158, K35,270 as special allowance per year and K49,098 utility allowance per year.
But ZCTU secretary general Roy Mwaba said there is no abuse or exorbitance in the 10 per cent salary increment for President Michael Sata, says .
Commenting on the 10 per cent salary increment for the President and other constitutional office bearers according to statutory instrument (SI) 91, Mwaba said the salary adjustment was not worth debating as it was provided for.
Mwaba said constitutional officer bearers deserved a salary increment like anybody else.
"What we are against as a labour movement is excessiveness. So when you are talking about an increment of 10 per cent, we want to analyse what that 10 per cent translates to. We must be very careful not just to condemn. It is 10 per cent of what?... and it is not only the President; it is constitutional office bearers; the ministers and the deputy ministers have had their salary increased by that percentage. So us as labour movement have looked at the figures and if the figures given to us are the correct ones, we did not see it necessary to cry foul," Mwaba said.
He said every year public service workers received salary increments, adding that "government workers also get their increment because everyone is a worker, so we do not want to apply double standards."
Mwaba said there was no evidence to show that there was excessiveness or abuse in the increased salaries for constitutional office bearers.
However, President Sata had in the past as opposition leader criticised such salary adjustments for constitutional officers.
In November 2008, President Sata, as opposition leader, said PF members of parliament who voted in favour of salary increments for ministers and constitutional office holders were making the standing of the party difficult.
This was when he commented on the PF parliamentarians who voted in favour of salary and allowance increments for constitutional office holders.
President Sata said the members of parliament had forgotten the reasons for which they were elected to Parliament.
"So my colleagues should not go the other way, they should behave like PF. It will be very difficult to defend my colleagues to their constituents. All those who voted for salaries are making the party standing difficult. How are they going to defend their stand in the party? They might look clever now, but the time of reckoning will come. Some will be one-time MPs because today they have forgotten the people. The same people will also forget them tomorrow... Dr Scott has to justify to Lusaka-Central," President Sata said then.
But former chief government spokesperson Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha had challenged President Sata then that he should not condemn the salary and allowance increment because even PF members of parliament voted "Yes"in support of the bills in Parliament.
However, President Sata challenged his members of parliament who voted for their salary increments to justify their higher perks to the nation.
"And even PF members who voted for the bill, they must justify to the nation; are they worth salary increments? What have they done in their constituencies to deserve salary increments? What sacrifice have they done to deserve salary increments?"
He maintained that he was opposed to the salary increments.
"Even if he Lt Gen Shikapwasha named PF members of parliament, if you look at that Parliament as it is today, MMD has 84 members of parliament. When you add UPND 22, that comes to 106, when you add 18 of our 'rebels', they come to 124 and that vote you had there was only 119," President Sata said then.
He said Zambians were the ones who should have decided that members of parliament and other constitutional office holders deserved an upward adjustment of their salaries and not the parliamentarians, who are employees, to decide for themselves.
"Are we going to pay them for killing the kwacha? Are we going to pay them for bringing expensive mealie-meal? Are we going to pay them for bringing expensive fuel? Are we going to pay them for a stagnant economy where we don't know where we are going? Is that what they are saying they deserve salary increment? And I am talking about all our representatives in the House, regardless of their political parties," President Sata said then.
"You remember that those bills were a subject of the elections. We condemned them during the elections and when we condemned Rupiah Banda, who cheated the people of Zambia that 'I am withdrawing the bills, I am not going to sign them.'"
President Sata also advised Lt Gen Shikapwasha, who was also information and broadcasting services minister at the time, not to demean teachers and other civil servants, who got lower salaries.
According to Paywizard.org, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe gets the lowest annual salary in SADC, at US$18,000, followed by Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili at US$46,915.
Oil producer Angola's President Edwardo Santos gets US$60,000 and Mozambique's Armando Guebuza earns US$53,419.
Zambia's President Sata, Namibia's Hifikepunye Pohamba and South Africa's Jacob Zuma get $82,632, $122,350 and $254,121 respectively.
Labels: GEORGE CHELLAH, MICHAEL SATA, NEVERS MUMBA
Scott visits Masebo at UTH
By Moses Kuwema
Thu 17 Oct. 2013, 14:01 CAT
TOURISM and arts minister Sylvia Masebo is admitted to UTH suffering from anaemia. And Vice-President Dr Guy Scott, who yesterday visited Masebo with commerce minister Emmanuel Chenda at the Fast track VIP section, said it was politics that had caused Masebo's illness.
UTH deputy managing director Dr Laston Chikoya said Masebo had been admitted to the hospital since Monday, adding that she was responding well to treatment.
"When she came in, she was quite sick but as you can see, she has done very well. She has responded to treatment and the doctors looking after her are very happy," said Dr Chikoya.
Vice-President Scott said he went to visit Masebo to ensure that she recovers quickly.
Chenda told Masebo that she still had a "carryover" from the United Nations World Tourism conference from Livingstone.
"You look brighter today and you are carrying a Sylvia smile. We are missing you and we decided to come and see you. At least we can see that smile back," said Chenda.
Vice-President Scott then told Masebo that she did a fantastic job in Livingstone.
"We have come to make sure that she gets fit quickly and gets back on the floor of the House. I am sure you will be very well attended to; take it easy," he said.
Masebo said the nurses had been very nice to her and asked how the debates in Parliament were going on.
Labels: ANAEMIA, GUY SCOTT, MALARIA, SYLVIA MASEBO
Zukas raises concern over public media's 'new direction'
By Stuart Lisulo
Thu 17 Oct. 2013, 14:01 CAT
VETERAN politician Simon Zukas says the direction public media is taking is a source of concern under the leadership of information and broadcasting permanent secretary Emmanuel Mwamba.
Zukas, who resigned from the board of the Zambia Daily Mail earlier this month citing bad corporate governance practices by Mwamba, said yesterday that "one has to be sensitive to the new changes coming from the new permanent secretary."
"Some of it are explicit where he has been very vocal; you can see the atmosphere as being directed from behind the scenes in the new direction and if it goes on like that, it will be back to the point where the public media will not be respected. It will be written off and new media will arrive. I am very worried about this new trend. No one has announced the change of course, but one is sensitive,'' he said.
Zukas observed that the quality and standards of journalism may be affected.
"In terms of balance, the public media is being tilted. The public media is owned by the government shareholders, but they should not be so orientated that they only give the shareholders' view. They should give the country's view and be fair and balanced,'' he said.
Zukas said regulation of the public media had 'started well' and was 'open ended,' but was concerned about the way public media was being used to serve the interests of certain government officials.
But in an interview, Mwamba said the Zambia Daily Mail board, which had its last sitting on Friday, found it erroneous for Zukas to be a board member of both the Zambia Daily Mail and The Post newspapers.
"The Daily Mail cannot run like The Post,'' said Mwamba.
And when asked to address some of the concerns Zukas raised with regards to standards and fairness of the public media, Mwamba said the public media operated differently and that Zukas's board membership of The Post ran into competition with his membership of the Zambia Daily Mail.
Labels: MEDIA, SIMON ZUKAS
(NEWZIMBABWE) Zambia maize imports continuing: Made
THE government has so far received 4,000 tonnes out of the 150,000 tonnes the country is buying from Zambia to address food shortages in this country, Agriculture Joseph Made has said.
Responding to questions in Parliament Wednesday Made said the government was still putting in place the modalities to acquire the remainder of the maize.
Zimbabwe experienced drought in the last agricultural season resulting in poor output and a large number of people, estimated at over two million, requiring food assistance.
"The government is committed to importing 150,000 metric tons (of Maize) from Zambia," Made said in response to a question by MDC-T Chief Whip Innocent Gonese on the amount of maize the government intended to import to address current food shortages.
Made said the private sector was also importing maize from South Africa to cover the deficit although he could not provide figures on imports to date.
He said it was critical that farmers be empowered to address food shortages in the future.
"We must improve our capacity by making sure that farmers receive adequate inputs. We must also review the cost of inputs which is prohibitive," he added.
Made said the government would also prioritise mechanisation which was necessary to address challenges which most farmers were facing.
The government had moved in to help farmers ahead of the new season because liquidity challenges the country currently faces, he added.
Farmers have already started preparations for the 2013/14 agricultural season.
While meteorologists have predicted that the country was likely to receive normal rainfall, concerns have already been expressed on the high cost of inputs such as seed and fertiliser.
(NEWZIMBABWE) MDC-T blasts Zanu PF as 2m face starvation
by Staff Reporter
COMMENT - This is the MDC at it's treasonous, seditious best. They lie, to give Zimbabwe a negative image abroad, so they may get into power. This puppetry and sabotage is why people think twice about Western dominated 'democracy'. Democracy comes from the people, not foreign funded parties and NGOs. For the real numbers behind the numbers, read Prof. Ian Scoones article: Food crisis in Zimbabwe: 2.2 million at risk. But where do the figures come from, and what do they mean? - prof. Scoones mentions underreporting of: income, productivity in the A1 areas, concentration of on the dry south (where only 20% of the population live), livestock sales, early cropping and remittances. He also mentions the use of pre-land reform sampling frames; also 1/3 of the number may only be food insecure for a short period before the next harvest. Also check out his post "Dodgy data and missing measures: why good numbers matter (part I)". - MrK
AN MDC-T shadow minister this week blamed Zanu PF’s land reform programme and poorly-conceived agricultural policies over a national food crisis that has left up to two million people in need of food aid.
Moving a motion calling for a parliamentary committee to investigate the food crisis, the MDC-T’s shadow agriculture minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo accused Zanu PF of reducing the country from a net exporter to a perennial food beggar.
He dismissed as deplorable plans by the government to import maize from Zambia through an “eat now pay later arrangement” saying this was evidence of failed leadership.
In September, the Rome-based World Food Programme (WFP) warned that some 2.2 million people were in need of urgent food aid.
From prof. Scoones, who predicted: "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." - MrK
The United Nations agency said this was the highest number of Zimbabweans requiring food assistance since early 2009, when more than half the population relied on such aid.
Said Nkomo: “The victims of elite capture have been the ordinary villagers of Kezi and Siyachilaba who have to contend with debilitating food shortages following the dysfunctionality of a hitherto well laid out food market chain.”
Zimbabwe has suffered intermittent food shortages since 2000 when agricultural output fell after President Robert Mugabe decided to seize white-owned commercial farms to distribute to blacks.
Nkomo blamed the manner in which Zanu PF carried out the land reforms for the current food shortages.
“Though undoubtedly noble a programme, it has become apparent over the years that the Land Reform Programme was a programme not well thought out,” he said.
“But, it was a sporadic reaction to a political capital in light of the energies of the new political players in a hitherto monopolised political landscape.
“Food handouts by non-governmental organisations have been an annual feature in the country’s calendar of events.”
He said although food shortages follow some of the poorest weather conditions, the crisis was mostly man-made and worsened by the partisan distribution of food during drought and starvation mitigation programmes.
“It is indeed sad and primitive that a government can deliberately starve its own populace for purposes of political expedience,” he said.
“It is the essence of democracy to have divergent political ideologies with government having the capability to rise above party politics and provide food to all deserving and bona fide Zimbabweans.”
The government recently announced a US$1 billion scheme to support farmers with inputs ahead of the new agricultural season.
But Nkomo said the fact that farmers needed help with inputs at the start of each new farming season was evidence the programme was not working.
“It has become a common trend that the government churns out millions of dollars annually in support of farmers who,13 years after the Land Reform Programme, are still being referred to as ‘new farmers’ and are hand-held by government with no indication of self-sustaining operations in the near future,” he said.
“While government has an obligation to support farmers, the current support mechanisms are not sustainable as they are characterised by an endless cycle of one way financial and input injections which are not matched by equivalent returns.
“It does not, therefore, come as a surprise that Zimbabwe is now a basket case from its rightful position as the bread basket of Southern Africa.
“If current practices in the agricultural sector are anything to go by, Zimbabwe is poised to suffer even more food deficits in the future.”
Labels: COLOUR REVOLUTIONS, MDC, MDC PROPAGANDA, MDC TREASON, NEOLIBERALISM
Levy's legacy of fighting corruption
Wed 16 Oct. 2013, 14:00 CAT
The public spirit of Levy Mwanawasa, his honesty and hatred for corruption need to be preserved and inculcated in our people. And for trying to do this, those behind the Levy Mwanawasa Foundation that is trying to perpetuate and inculcate in our people Levy's public spirit and ideals deserve credit and support.
Levy stood for something noble, something just, something fair and something humane. And as Robert Kennedy once observed, "Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope…". Clearly, a leader is a dealer in hope. And it gives us great confidence in the future that that tiny ripple of hope sent by Levy has reached and has been embraced by this government, the government of Michael Sata.
The object of government is the welfare of the people. The material progress and prosperity of a nation are desirable chiefly insofar as they lead to the moral and material welfare of all citizens. The work going on here should never be allowed to profit only a small group of corrupt elements. It must be made to benefit all. And to benefit all, no form of corruption or abuse of public office should be tolerated. There should be zero tolerance of corruption. And all our leaders, political or otherwise, all our people should, like Michael, be allergic to corruption.
And being allergic to corruption means that in the first place, they should never engage in corrupt activities. And second, it means that they should never tolerate corruption whenever it rears its ugly head in any part or in any activity of our country and its government. This is what Levy stood for. This is what Levy fought for. And this is what Michael has pledged to continue.
Just in proportion as the average man and woman are honest, are incorruptible and are capable of sound judgement and high ideals, we may count on our fight against corruption as successful.
We can never establish in our homeland a more just, fair and humane society without eradicating corruption. Corruption destroys everything. It destroys our politics. It destroys our government. It destroys our traditional institutions. It even destroys our religious institutions. In a word, corruption destroys everything of value to us.
Therefore, the work that the Levy Mwanawasa Foundation is embarking on is one which should be embarked on with a sense of urgency and resolution. We must have a genuine and permanent moral awakening, without which no wisdom of constitution, legislation or administration really means anything.
No matter what kind of constitution, good laws and the right kind of administration put in place, if we don't have honest, decent, principled and incorruptible leaders in government and other institutions of our society, we will never go forward as a nation. That is imperative; but it must be an addition, and not a substitution for, all the good qualities that make up good leaders and good citizens in general.
In the last analysis, the most important elements must be the sum of all those qualities which, in aggregate, we speak of as character. If one doesn't have it, then no law that the wit of lawmakers, members of parliament, legal draftsmen can devise, no administration of the law by the boldest and strongest of methods, will avail to help us.
We must have the right kind of character - character that makes a man, first of all, a good man in the home, a good father, a good husband, a good grandfather - that makes a man a good neighbour. We must have that, and, then, in addition, we must have the kind of constitution, laws and the kind of administration of the law which will give those qualities in our people the best possible chance for development.
Every human being's life in this world is inevitably mixed with every other life and, no matter what constitutions we come up with or laws we pass, no matter what precautions we take, unless the people we meet are kindly and decent, humane and incorruptible, there is very little that will be achieved. Integrity comes from human beings, rather than from laws and institutions.
The prime problem of our country, of our nation is to get the right type of good citizenship, leadership, and, to get it, we must have progress, and our leaders, our public men and women must be genuinely progressive.
Levy's life in leadership was not an easy one. Levy was not one of our most popular politicians when he started off. Levy was not patronising. He was not the kind of politician that dished out money to people, to cadres and supporters. Levy was not an entertainer of favour-seekers. Levy used to be even irritated by politicians and other favour-seekers who were following him wherever he went. He would sometimes ask them: "Why are you following me wherever I am going?"
Civil servants didn't like Levy because he was against some corrupt practices that had become a culture of civil service life and work. MMD cadres didn't like Levy because he had stopped the dishing out of money that was started by Frederick Chiluba. In Chiluba's time, those who went to his office came out with money. Where was Chiluba getting that money to dish out to cadres, supporters and other favour-seekers, to use in patronising people? It was all stolen and abused public funds. Dr Kenneth Kaunda didn't have that type of money and didn't dish out money to people in that way.
We saw a return to the Chiluba ways when Rupiah Banda became president of the Republic and leader of the MMD.
In a society that is corrupt, corrupt people can sometimes become very popular. In a corrupt society where people live by corruption, seeking favours and patronising those in power and those with deep pockets, honest people are not the most popular. Those who dish out money in their offices, those who dispense all sorts of favours and patronage become more popular and in that way, corruption, abuse is perpetuated.
The highest proof of virtue is to possess boundless power without abusing it. And it doesn't matter what the source of that power is - it can be money or indeed political power. What matters is that, that power must never be abused.
A leader leads by example; and Levy led by example. When he said he was fighting corruption, Levy was not in any way getting himself involved in corrupt schemes. There is no money or wealth Levy left that cannot be accounted for in an honest way. His family, his children do not have the resources that Rupiah's children, family managed to amass in just three years of being in power.
Power is the ability to do good things for others and not to abuse others through all sorts of corrupt and patronising schemes.
The time, as Martin Luther King Jr once said, is always right to do what is right. And there is no power on earth that can neutralise the influence of a high, simple, and useful life. Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.
Labels: ACC, CORRUPTION, LEVY MWANAWASA
Levy's legacy will stay - Lundwe
By Kondwani Munyeka
Wed 16 Oct. 2013, 14:01 CAT
THE Levy Mwanawasa Foundation will help keep the former president's legacy, says former lands minister Gladys Lundwe. The Levy Mwanawasa Foundation recently held a fundraising dinner where information minister Mwansa Kapeya said the PF and its government will continue to fight corruption with the zeal and tenacity of late president Mwanawasa.
Commenting on the foundation's works in an interview yesterday, Lundwe said the organisation needed support as long as they stayed focused on following Mwanawasa's vision. "If this is the line under which the foundation would operate, then they deserve the support from all Zambians," she said.
Lundwe said the fight against corruption should not be discriminatory but must instead be applied equally to all citizens as no one was above the law.
"Anyone found wanting should be investigated equally regardless of their political affiliation," said Lundwe.
"In this fight, leaders should emulate and fight corruption as the late president did. The late president handled all corruption cases seriously to an extent that even his own ministers found wanting were arrested and charged accordingly."
The Levy Mwanawasa foundation was formed in 2010 by his family and friends to portray the ideals he stood for.
Foundation chairperson Dr Moses Banda said during the recent gala dinner that the event was aimed at raising funds to plough into the establishment of the Levy Mwanawasa Resource Centre at the University of Zambia.
Dr Banda explained that the foundation would also carry out various activities such as mentoring, role modelling and assisting young people to be lawyers.
Labels: GLADYS LUNDWE, LEVY MWANAWASA
Sata is lowest paid head of state - Shamenda
By Allan Mulenga
Wed 16 Oct. 2013, 14:00 CAT
LABOUR minister Fackson Shamenda has urged politicians to stop scandalising the government over its decision to effect a 10 per cent salary increase for the President and other constitutional office holders. And Shamenda says President Michael Sata is the lowest paid Head of State in the Southern Africa Development Community region.
Meanwhile, Shamenda says the Judiciary needs to be protected from unwarranted attacks because it cannot rebut or defend itself. In an interview yesterday, Shamenda said politicians should avoid spreading falsehoods regarding the Statutory Instrument No. 91 on the Presidential salary and allowance, as well as Statutory Instrument No. 92 on the revised salaries and allowances for constitutional office bearers.
"The salary increment for everybody in government now has been only 10 per cent. The nurse got 21 per cent. Ministers and others got only 10 per cent. The other constitutional office holders, like from ministries, the permanent secretaries, they didn't even get anything. They got zero per cent," he said.
"People should be truthful. That is why people say 'politicians should not be trusted'. We should be truthful; you can't be so desperate using falsehood. It is not good. If you go and tell the nurses that 'you nurses you got 21 per cent and ministers got themselves 100 per cent', if that is not inciting nurses, (then) I don't know what incitement is all about."
Shamenda said it was irresponsible for UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema to incite the public to rise against the government over the newly-revised 10 per cent salary increment for the President and other constitutional office bearers.
"This is irresponsible lie from someone who wants to be the President. Because you can cause chaos in the country. We have never been to a situation of war. It is very easy to start war by inciting people. But stopping it is something which is difficult," he said.
And Shamenda urged politicians to stop maligning President Sata as he was the lowest paid head of state in the region.
"Our President is one of the lowest paid in the country ... even judges get more than the President. Let those guys who are saying that look at the salary which the President was getting and what he will be getting if it amounts to 100 per cent increment. That type of politicking is very dangerous and malicious," he said.
Shamenda said President Sata had been leading a humble and simple lifestyle.
"People should be happy when we uplift living standards of others. Surely, in the world today should we be proud that our President is the lowest paid in the region? Others can be because they have made money through other dubious means. But our President is very honest and humble. If you check his lifestyle, it is that of a man who has been very humble throughout his life. If you are adjusting salaries for other people in all honesty, you need also to adjust the salary for the person at the top, isn't? It just makes sense. It is not fair to start scandalising people on issues which are not true," said Shamenda.
On Friday, finance minister Alexander Chikwanda issued statutory instruments 91 and 92 on the Presidential emoluments amendment and ministerial and parliamentary offices emoluments amendment respectively.
According to the SI 91, the President would be paid a salary calculated at the annual rate of K414,406 and a special annual allowance of K108, 934, which translates to K43,611 per month.
The Vice-President has a basic annual salary of K250,551; K62,360 as special allowance per year and K49,098 as utility allowance while the speaker has K239,557, K55, 299 and K49,098 as basic salary, special allowance and utility allowance annually.
The salary adjustments affect all members of parliament too.
And speaking during the opening of the colloquium for judges at Protea Hotel in Livingstone and attended by Tanzania and South Sudan's chief justices, Mohammed Chande Othman and Chan Reecmadut respectively, Shamenda said the judiciary was the only profession that would never be right as even the guiltiest would never be satisfied with judgments.
"That is why it worries me when the honourable men and women of the bench are unfairly attacked by the public. We need to protect the Judiciary from unwarranted public attacks because the Judiciary cannot rebut or defend itself from such attacks," he said.
Shamenda said judgments always had two sides of a coin and that one of the aggrieved sides would not be satisfied with the judgment and even the most guilty.
"Hence they will complain that the verdict was not correct," he said.
He said Supreme Courts had proven a sense of creativity through going beyond the borders to inquire about solutions found in both the case law of other national jurisdictions and the international sphere.
Shamenda said the review of the Zambian labour laws would provide job security to the employees.
"Africa has become an attractive investment destination and there is an influx of investors from around the world…such investments pose a challenge to governments to put in place laws to protect desperate unemployed people against exploitation. Hence there is need to have legal framework," he said.
Shamenda said Zambia has ratified 43 International Labour Organisation conventions out of which 39 were in force and four had been denounced. Shamenda said six ILO conventions had been submitted to cabinet for consideration.
And ILO director Martin Clemensson said the symposium should be seen in the context of increased exchange among judiciaries across borders.
Clemensson said the purpose of the meeting was to promote exchanges of experiences regarding some crucial fields of international labour law and discuss how they could bring added value to domestic legislation.
Labels: FACKSON SHAMENDA, MICHAEL SATA, PRESIDENCY
Kabimba demands Daily Mail apology over 'dark corner' story
By Roy Habaalu
Wed 16 Oct. 2013, 14:01 CAT
WYNTER Kabimba has demanded a public apology and retraction from Zambia Daily Mail over a story it published alleging that he was holding dark-corner meetings, failure to which he would commence legal proceedings against the newspaper for libel.
In a letter dated October 10, 2013 addressed to Zambia Daily Mail managing director Anthony Mukwita by Kabimba's lawyers AMC Legal Practitioners, Kabimba stated that the words used were false, malicious and wanton.
"Our client instructs that on Thursday 3rd October 2013, your Newspaper carried the headline: 'Wynter Holds Dark Corner Meetings.' Under this headline it was alleged that our client has been holding meetings in which he intended to split the current ruling party, the Patriotic Front (PF), the party for which he is the secretary general, by 'arm-twisting the district commissioners.'
The said article also accused our client of 'apparently showing open discontent towards President Sata' and urging the district commissioners to 'remain loyal to him even in the eventual demotion or expulsion, warning that the party was likely to break up if he was fired or removed from his position due to the influence he wields.' The article further alleges that Mr Kabimba told the district commissioners 'I made you to become DC'," read the letter in part.
Kabimba stated that the words in the article were false, malicious and wanton to him and consequently his reputation in person as Minister of Justice and secretary general of PF had been diminished in the eyes of right-thinking members of society.
"In light of this we have been instructed to demand that an apology be published in your newspaper within seven days from date of receipt of this letter, failing which we have instructions to commence legal proceedings for libel," read the letter.
On October 3, 2013, the Daily Mail reported that the twists and turns in the Patriotic Front differences that have pitted Kabimba against some grassroots members and even other top members had continued.
It reported that as the plot thickened, a scheme to "spill the beans" and practically break the ruling party up if he were expelled as demanded by sections of the youth had emerged following an alleged meeting that Kabimba held with district commissioners in Western Province.
Labels: DAILY MAIL, WYNTER KABIMBA
Govt has shown political will on constitution, says Bwalya
By Kabanda Chulu and Abel Mboozi
Wed 16 Oct. 2013, 14:01 CAT
THERE is no corresponding improvement in the living conditions of people despite the extraordinary increase in the size of the national budget, says Bweengwa member of parliament Highvie Hamududu.
And Lubansenshi member of parliament, Patrick Mucheleka has advised the government to stick to the budget and not treat the document as a mere piece of paper. Meanwhile, Alliance for Better Zambia president Frank Bwalya says the PF government has shown political will towards the constitution-making process by providing over K44 million towards the exercise.
Bwalya has also commended the government for raising the Pay As You Earn tax exempt threshold to K3,000 from K2,200 last year. Commenting on the K42.68 billion (US$ 8 billion) budget announced last Friday by finance minister Alexander Chikwanda, Hamududu said the government should start addressing challenges of implementation deficit.
"The PF government has doubled the budget amount from what they found, but what is of concern is that there is no corresponding improvement in the living conditions of people… poverty is still high, inequality is widening, education standards are not improving, unemployment rates are still high and death rates are also still high," said Hamududu. "This means that we are not making progress despite the huge amounts that are being spent. So, government should engage public service workers to sign performance contracts like what President Paul Kagame is doing in Rwanda.
This way, we shall create a system that will make everyone perform and it will also help to weed out non-performers. Actually, performance-based approach will produce results since people will apply seriousness to service delivery."
And Mucheleka said the 2014 budget seemed to be an ambitious and good document.
"But given the experience of 2013, where government borrowed beyond what they had projected, we don't know how they will implement most of the programmes contained in the budget document. We know what has necessitated the increase, it is the desire to improve social services, which is a good thing," Mucheleka said. "But how do you fund the budget with 25 per cent borrowing? There is nothing wrong in borrowing if the money is invested in productive sectors but our fear is that this government sometimes borrows without having any ideas on how to spend the money and they have no regard to the budget which they treat as a mere piece of paper."
He advised the government to widen domestic resource mobilisation instead of resorting to borrowing.
"We expected to see measures of broadening the tax base, including the capture of the informal sector and how to maximise revenue collections from the mining sector which engages in tax avoidance," Mucheleka said.
He said Zambia was likely to slide back into the debt trap due to lack of a consistent and transparent debt strategy.
"By his own admission, the finance minister said Zambia's debt stands at US$3.2 billion as at September 30, 2013, and when you add the K10.51 billion which they intend to borrow in 2014, then the debt levels will rise and by the time PF will complete its tenure, we might even exceed the US$7.2 billion debt that was cancelled in 2006," said Mucheleka.
And Bwalya said the government's allocation of money for the constitution making process in the 2014 budget was commendable.
"We are happy that there is a provision for the constitution-making process, although it's clear that the government does seem to favour a referendum to legitimise the entire process as a popular way of adopting the constitution. But the fact that some money, about K44.2 million, has been set aside for the exercise is in itself a good step," he said.
On the PAYE exempt threshold of K3,000, Bwalya said the move would put more money in the few people who were in formal employment.
"Against this background, we urge the government to do more to stimulate the economy,create more meaningful jobs so that more people can feel the impact of this good policy by the PF. Overall, we feel it's a good budget that should be implemented in a pragmatic manner so as to benefit the poor citizens in our nation," he said.
Bwalya noted however, that having a good budget was not enough but what mattered was its effective implementation.
"As the government implements the 2014 budget, it should do so with prudence and financial discipline so that the welfare of our people is uplifted for them to make economic progress," he said.
Bwalya urged the government to stick to the budget next year and avoid unbudgeted for projects and activities at all costs.
"If this is not done, we fear that there will be increased borrowing and we shall even deplete the reserves. We are fearful of that because it's us that will bear the burden of paying back such debts in future," said Bwalya.
Labels: CONSTITUTION, FRANK BWALYA, PATRICK MUCHELEKA
Heavy spending on FISP worrying, says Kabaghe
By Gift Chanda and Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Wed 16 Oct. 2013, 14:00 CAT
CONTINUED heavy spending by the government on FISP and the FRA at the expense of other agricultural programmes is worrying, says Chance Kabaghe. And Kabaghe, who is the executive director of the Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI), says the government should be careful not to stifle competition in the fertiliser business as it seeks to revamp the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) by awarding it big tenders to supply inputs under Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).
But agriculture minister Robert Sichinga says the government's decision to buy agriculture inputs for this season's FISP, cutting out the private sector will save the country millions of dollars.
Commenting on strategic policy measures the government plans to undertake next year in the agricultural sector, Kabaghe, the former agriculture minister, said the government should be commended for focusing on some key drivers of the sector such as roads, irrigation and dip tanks but that the continued heavy spending on FISP and the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) was a concern.
"We have serious question marks with huge allocations going to only those two programmes. These programmes, according to our research, have shown that they have not produced the required results," he said.
"Productivity per hectare has remained constantly low - at two tonnes per hectare. The potential of the maize seed varieties produced by seed companies in this country is above eight tonnes per hectare."
Last Friday, finance minister Alexander Chikwanda proposed in the 2014 national budget to spend K500 million on FISP, while the strategic FRA would gobble about K1 billion.
"We would have loved a lot of money going into research and development because this is an area that is crucial for growth of the agriculture sector," Kabaghe said.
He further cautioned the government not to allow NCZ to cloud out the private sector in the fertiliser business.
The government, according to Chikwanda, plans to continue revamping the NCZ in 2014, extending its operations to produce urea.
"I know everyone now is very happy that NCZ is being recapitalised and they have already supplied 70,000 tonnes of D compound fertiliser to the government and the minister said that next year, they will also be producing urea. In the short run, it is a good thing to do but I can assure you that we should not continue to do that," he said. "All that is going to do is stifle competition."
Kabaghe said the past years had seen vibrant companies competing in the fertiliser business but these could collapse if all the contracts would be awarded to NCZ.
But Sichinga has defended government's move to eliminate private companies that imported fertilizers for resale to government.
The government this year plans to spend over US $1 billion in buying and distributing seeds and fertilizers to peasant farmers.
Sichinga said the government is subsidizing the inputs by 51 per cent while beneficiary farmers would pay 49 per cent of the K1, 070 which involved two bangs of basal dressing, another two for top dressing and a 10 kilogramme bag of seed.
"If you look at the cost, the tender that came in, they private suppliers were asking for a US $1, 000 per metric tonnes," he said. "But we are paying US $383 per metric tonne with Zambia paying for costs of the fertilizer from Saudi Arabia."
Meanwhile, Sichinga said the FISP was flawed in that it captured only 900, 000 poor farmers, leaving out 600, 000 eligible farmers.
He said effective next year, the flopped electronic voucher system would be replaced with electronic cards that carried biometrics for beneficiary farmers.
Sichinga revealed that the use of electronic voucher system which had been touted since 2011 failed to take off due to lack of computers and an operation centre.
"We have just completed creating the data base for the e-card for farmers," he said. "With this e-card which farmers will get, it will carry the value which government can send to beneficiary farmers. This e-card will have the number of the farmer, his or National Registration Card number and also a password."
Sichinga also said the FISP was supposed to cater for 1.5 million farmers and not the 900, 000 serviced currently.
"We have just finished our FISP census and according to our census, we just have under 1.5 million eligible farmers for FISP," he said.
"So, there is a 600, 000 farmers that we are not supporting because the amount of money we have is limited. So, that 241, 000 that was supposed to be on e-voucher, now, we have to put them on the revised FISP. From next year, it's just gonna be Farmer Input Support Programme which is electronically done."
And Sichinga said 50, 000 metric tonnes of the top dressing fertilizer was expected in the country this month via Nakonde from Dar es Salaam and distribution would start from the Northern parts of the country.
"My plan is that before the end of October all the fertilizer and seeds should be with the farmers but suffice to say it will be in time because it basal dressing fertilizer is all in the districts right now," said Sichinga in an interview.
"We expect to procure, in total, just under 100, 000 metric tonnes of top dressing while the entire D-Compound of slightly over 72, 000 will be produced from Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia. We are almost finished with production of basal; as of last week, we produced 68, 000 metric tonnes and of that number, more than 50, 000 metric tonnes has already been dispatched to the districts."
Labels: CHANCE KABAGHE, DEBT, FISP, ROBERT SICHINGA