Saturday, April 12, 2014

(HERALD ZW) China — The ‘Enemy’ the West Donates to us
November 30, 2013 Musah Gwaunza Nathaniel Manheru
Zimbabwe is set to export over US$1billion worth of tobacco, surpassing the US$800million exported last season.

Zimbabwe is set to export over US$1billion worth of tobacco, surpassing the US$800million exported last season.

Let’s punch in a few figures, even though I know figures don’t make good, easy read. We need them all the same, more so when one realises certain prejudices have tended to entrench and misguide debate on national issues, all in the absence of hard figures and facts. I will start with tobacco, our area of real breakthrough.

Earnings have hit US$1.3bn this marketing season, up from slightly over US$700million recorded same season last year. This staggering figure comes from the 160million kg of tobacco sold during the season, well above the 130million of previous season. From this haul, we are set to export over US$1billion worth of tobacco, surpassing the US$800million exported last season.

The downside is that we process and consume a mere three percent from this staggering harvest, arguably good for national health but decidedly bad for value addition, for our movement away from the raw material export regime which has been the bane of our economy and economies of most Third World countries. All these are TIMB figures.

When the Chinaman smokes

But there are some key figures emerging from our raw tobacco exports. China is and has been the country’s biggest tobacco buyer, been so for more than a decade now. It takes in 46,3 million kg tobacco worth almost US$360million.

Indeed the Chinese love their smoke, and

need our tobacco to ginger up theirs. What is more, China also gives the country the highest average price by volumes of US$7,76 per kg. Additionally, China funds the growing of a sizeable portion of this tobacco through contract farming.

There is another shocker. The next best buyer of our tobacco after China is Belgium, accounting for 22million kg, just below half of what China

buys. Belgium’s value to the industry is US$114 million, at an average price of US$5,15 per kg, which is about US$2.5 dollars shy of the Chinese average price.

Next is South Africa, coming a distant third from imports accounting for 17million kg of our tobacco worth 56million at an average price of US$3,36. I am told the highest price came from Japan which paid US$10.03 per kg, but bought a mere 600kg. Of course the Congo offered the worst price of US$0.29. It accounted for 76 800kg of our tobacco.

I need to clinch the points: China is the biggest and best buyer of our tobacco whose growing it also sponsors through contract farming.

The next best customer is Belgium, followed by South Africa. Let us keep that order in mind in this industry which now records almost 84 000 growers who, arguably, are also households. Compute the welfare implications of this and the broader land reform programme which made this possible.

Indeed when the China man smokes, Zimbabwe catches a livelihood.

When size of concern outstrips trade
I move on to Zimbabwe’s broad trade with the rest of the world. Trade between China and Zimbabwe grew 30 percent in the nine months to September, with Zimbabwe enjoying a surplus of US$279million, according to figures released by the Chinese Embassy here. Zimbabwe’s exports were up 44 percent and valued at US$597million, against Chinese imports of US$318million.

Of course the greater portion of Zimbabwe’s exports to China subsist in raw tobacco. Not diamonds as widely believed! Noteworthy is the fact that our imports from China are largely machinery.

China smokeThe Trade and Law Centre which captures trade statistics between Zimbabwe and the whole of the EU record a doubling of trade to US$888,12million in 2012, up from US$479million three years before in 2009. Of course sanctions made sure the trade between the bloc and Zimbabwe declined from an all-time high of US$1,2bn achieved in 2009, just before land reforms.

In fact the US$888,12million marks some decline from US$931,5 achieved in 2011, indicating some fluctuations but within a general upward trend in trade. Our exports are dominated by minerals but also include agricultural products.

Again, let me clinch the points. Let it be recorded that more of our finite mineral resources are going to the EU than to China, a point rarely acknowledged by our pseudo-European, African nationalist commentators!

Let it also be recorded that value of trade between Zimbabwe and China peeps that between Zimbabwe and the whole EU bloc. I hope we can give our policies and this notion of re-engagement with the West a sense of size and proportion. It makes little sense to go feverish about engaging people whose trade value to us is small and unpredictable, while bad mouthing those who are emerging as real trading partners. Let the size of our affection and concern be the size of our trade. Please!

The way to Brussels is via Brussels
How about boss America? Well, the US Department of Commerce says in the three quarters of this year, Zimbabwe has recorded a trade surplus of US$32million in its trade with America. Total trade between the two countries is worth US$106million.
The rises in the last three years have been marginal. Our exports to the Americans are predominantly minerals , then skins and a few agricultural commodities. Again, let our Eurocentric commentators take note — due note — of who is using up our finite mineral resources.

But a few more points are in order. The US$32 million trade surplus is a little shy from the US$20 million our companies have lost to the US by way of impounded receipts under the sanctions law, ZDERA. That makes America’s net cost to this economy huge, when read against the paltry US$32million surplus, so-called.

Our tobacco sales to Belgium mean more to us than our total trade with America. Surely it is much more than re-engaging the West; it is about quantifying the West’s value to us, and also forensically determining which polity in the whole western world is worth developing relations with.

Given Belgium’s role on our diamonds, Belgium is definitely worth cultivating, and Brussels is not reached through London or Washington.

China the investor

I move on to the area of investment. The Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) recently revealed that China emerges as a consistent top investor in Zimbabwe from 2010, with its investments contributing 72 percent, or US$670million from a total of US$930million worth of projects approved last year. By end of October, ZIA had approved US$374,8million worth of investments mainly in the areas of energy and mining.
Given Belgium’s role on our diamonds, Belgium is definitely worth cultivating, and Brussels is not reached through London or Washington.

Given Belgium’s role on our diamonds, Belgium is definitely worth cultivating, and Brussels is not reached through London or Washington.

In fact in 2012, China’s cumulative investments in the mining sector (gold, diamonds and chrome) totalled US$583million, or 62percent of the total US$688million FDI approvals for the entire Zimbabwean mining industry last year. China offers 40 tradeable minerals, all of them in Zimbabwe.

Agriculture amounted to US$18,6million of her investments, manufacturing US$35,5million, while US$23million went into services. Construction accounted for US$7,4million.

There is clear evidence of balanced Chinese appetite across sectors, with an emphasis on medium to large-scale projects.

When not looking West really helps
There is another surprise. Russia emerges second on investments, with approvals from it worth US$40,1million. Next came South Africa with US$39million, and UK with US$34million.

Next comes Mauritius with approvals worth US$25million. But of course these are figures on mere approvals. Real figures on investments which come into the country are far lower, albeit with China still dominating.

ZIA figures show China as having invested US$100million in the first five months of the year, followed by Malaysia with US$11million and South Africa with US$7million.

The key points to make is that China is targeting extractive industries which it is still developing. Presently it cannot explain who is chewing our finite mineral resources, although it could in due course. But its partnership approach to investments gives us an equal share in the exploitation of those resources.

More important, Zimbabwe’s healthy resource base means more Chinese FDI is more than likely. Secondly, Russia is to be watched as a growing investor in Zimbabwe, with Zimbabwe gaining more from associating and cultivating South Africa and Mauritius than the hoary UK, all along its traditional circumstantial investor and decade-long tormentor.

China does, the West’s endless excuses
Even more important, China is entering the infrastructural and energy areas, both of which are key enablers to economic recovery as envisaged under Zim Asset. A good pointer to China’s responsiveness to local beneficiation policies are the US$100million-worth of five chrome processing plants underway, one of which is now virtually complete, sited at Selous.

Contrast this with the Americans who have been here, exploiting our Chrome since UDI days when they refused to obey UN sanctions citing security concerns. Contrast this with British extractive companies which have been here for well over a century without beneficiating.

Contrast this with Zimplats which has been dropping all manner of arguments on why a platinum refinery is not yet possible. Early December shall witness a major Chinese investment in the cotton ginning sector.
Early December shall witness a major Chinese investment in the cotton ginning sector.

Early December shall witness a major Chinese investment in the cotton ginning sector.

About this, let me not give away too much, except to say that job creation is going to be massive, both directly and indirectly. These are the hard facts, formidably backed by statistics. I take it we are all agreed that real jobs and real value come from value addition, not raw exports.

I apologise for this part which is so heavily laced with figures. But we needed it for what follows.

Another Caliban, again
I now turn to the dominant economic discourse in this country, all in the light of the above hard facts. One article which dominated headlines this week read: “Analysts, citizens slam Look East policy.”

The article expresses serious reservations about “the conduct of Asian investors in Zimbabwe”, adding “The Chinese in particular have become notorious for their violation of the labour laws, which in some instances involves long working hours, poor salaries and lack of protective clothing as well as physical abuse of employees.

They have also come under fire for failing to create employment amid allegations they are bringing cheap labour from their country. The extremely poor quality of products they sell here has become a major concern among consumers. Of late, the Chinese have been implicated in illegal activities such as smuggling of minerals and ivory poaching.”

Some economist is imported into the story — one Innocent Makwiramiti — who says the Chinese have failed to fill the void left by Western investors and have become “more looters than investors”.

“They have failed to create employment compared to Western investors, who come with their technology and skills and impart them to the locals,” adds the so-called economist.

It is almost the story of Caliban, the conquered native for whom gaining a new master — not getting emancipated from all mastery — seems a major milestone. It is so sad.

Why are you here, Chinese?
Then John Robertson weighs in: “Their objective is to make money for China and we should not be encouraging that kind of investment.” Then ZCTU’s Nkiwane who calls them “worst employers”. After Nkiwane comes ordinary black Zimbabweans from “Harare’s Central Business District”, all brought in to prove that “public opinion was very much against the Chinese.”

In reality, the article whips an anti-Chinese sentiment almost to xenophobic proportions. “I have not yet seen anything that would justify the Chinese staying here. Despite their presence, we still have a high unemployment rate unlike during the days of Western investors.

“They are only here because of Zanu-PF — their mission is to make money and go,” says one Last Chinodya from Mufakose. As a representative voice for us blacks, Chinodya sounds militant and nationalistic, averse to any occupation of national space by the Chinese. But only by the Chinese. No regard is paid to the rampant persisting unemployment, only matched by many westerners who remain here. So what justifies their staying here? And it is as if the small Chinese have toppled our dear, employing whites! Again, so, so sad!

We don’t need to look east!
In case you thought the above article is a fluke, here is the Zimbabwe Independent, a finance and business weekly. Its editorial comment this week, titled “We need coherent, pragmatic leaders”, rails against a hidebound, ideological approach to national issues by the political leadership, all in an increasingly complex and interdependent world. In part the editorial comment reads: “Zimbabwe is “looking east”, while the East is looking West and on every other direction.

Deng, with his cat metaphor, and Kwame Nkrumah’s words, long debunked this misleading linear thinking. The truth is we don’t need such things as the “Look East” policy; we need progressive thinking and strategies of economic development.

Government can’t afford to think within the “Us versus Them” premise; their policies and decisions must be based on research, data, technocratic advice and citizens needs. We live in a world of complex matrices and perplexing choices, so we need to be more nuanced and discerning in our understanding of issues. Crude and crass thinking doesn’t help anymore. Zimbabwe needs a coherent and pragmatic leadership, not insular and myopic rulers, more so when clashes over resources have become a political lightning rod in many mineral-rich countries like ours.” Of course in many ways the editorial reads like Manheru last week, except for very different reasons.

On whose behalf are we angry?
I want to raise key questions in the continuing discussion on our national visioning task. What factual and statistical basis supports Zimbabwe’s incipient but clearly growing anti-Chinese discourse in its economic arguments and visioning escapades? The above statistics clearly attest to a growing role for Chinese capital at a time of sanctions-induced severe contraction on the part of western capital, whether actual or prospective. What supports this reflexive deriding of Chinese capital which has waded into our market in spite of greater politics, against all caution? Are we dealing with an economic argument or a political attitude?
On whose behalf are we angry with the Chinese? . . .Once asked Arthur Mutambara.

On whose behalf are we angry with the Chinese? . . .Once asked Arthur Mutambara.

If it’s a political attitude, whose is it, ours, congenitally ours, or induced and borrowed? The figures above show who has been moving Zimbabwe in its lean years. Who, in other words, has been stopping the country from collapsing. I would want to believe that is our real interest, collective national interest. So, in whose interest is this anti-Chinese sentiment which comes through us as raw anger, indigenous and very black? On whose behalf are we angry with the Chinese? It is a question Arthur Mutambara once raised, but we ducked responsibility for answering it by turning it into a rhetorical question.

Blaming China for western ruin
Or the obverse, before the rise of China as an economic powerhouse, western capital was dominant here, both before and after our Independence. By the mid nineties and certainly after the 2000 land reform programme, that capital deserted this market on political instructions and as part of building pressure against our taking back our land. The current industrial dysfunction has nothing to do with the Chinese. It has everything to do with western resistance to Zimbabwe’s post-independence nationalist policies before we looked East, everything to do with western economic sabotage to force the hand of local politics. Blair even wanted to follow that hostile action through with military action. Yet we don’t blame the offending West, don’t blame ourselves, our entitlement policies and the land we have recovered.

Accept that this is the price we pay for our freedom and heritage. No, we blame the Chinese, ostensibly for not replacing the westerners effectively after they have ruined our country, by creating many jobs for us and by transferring technology to us! Except the westerners took back their jobs and never injected new technology here, which is why this country beats the rest of the world as an industrial museum showcase for decrepit technologies. It is as if the West left in protest at the arrival of the Chinese, and not that the Chinese only coming in after the West has left in a huff.
Tony Blair even wanted to follow the West's hostile action against Zimbabwe through with military action. Yet we don’t blame the offending West, don’t blame ourselves, our entitlement policies and the land we have recovered.

Tony Blair even wanted to follow the West’s hostile action against Zimbabwe through with military action. Yet we don’t blame the offending West, don’t blame ourselves, our entitlement policies and the land we have recovered.

Don’t we sense we have a problem, ourselves as Zimbabweans and how we understand and appreciate our total circumstances? Surely it makes better sense to blame and attack the West for ruining our jobs and destroying our economy?

Reverse insularity
And then our understanding of rules for investors who come here. When we say Government must be pro-business and pro-investors, indeed berate it for being ideological in a pragmatic era, are we laying down ground rules for all investors regardless of colour, shape of face, height and geographical origin? Or are we hiding behind these seemingly broad, neutral rules to push through our pro-West ideological hide-boundedness whose flip side is the same ideological inflexibility we charge the political leadership with? When we say “we don’t need such things as the “Look East” policy”, are we not saying we only need “Look West” policy, and saying so with a sense of supreme flexibility, wisdom and fashionable bigotry? Are we not being “insular and myopic”, like our rulers against whom we reserve full rheum?

White, western and Rhodesian
Robertson says the objective of Chinese businesses “is to make money for China and we should not be encouraging that kind of investment.” Although I don’t know who “we” is, I still say fair enough. But what has been the objectives of British, American, German, Dutch, Swedish investments since 1890? For whom have they been making money? For the Chinese, for the Russians, for the Africans? Which investor in this country has made money for someone else other than themselves , their country and race?

Where are the national returns on the countless mining dumps, industrial chimneys, broken lives and livelihoods that are ours to count and endure as the once colonised? Robertson confuses me. And when his fellow Rhodesian – Eddie Cross – tells Parliament only this week that: “There is no investor in the world that is going to put a dollar on the table and have fifty-one cents taken by ZANU-PF,” might such a rule of thumb on investor handling encompass, accommodate the Chinese? Where would that leave Robertson and is arguments? And Cross makes remarks that yield an amusing yet far-reaching double-meaning: “We cannot expect any substantial new investment in Zimbabwe until we are able to guarantee

Cecil John Rhodes . . .The pioneer of colonialism. What has been the objectives of British, American, German, Dutch, Swedish investments since 1890 as they scrambled for Zimbabwe?

those investors power”! Could we concede such power to all investors, including the Chinese? Or an investor is more than he who brings in capital? He must be white, western or Rhodesian? What would be our stake as Africans in such a racialised definition?

Selective xenophobia
One senses not just double standards, but a deep-seated racism which we have met sometime in our history, but which we have never fully grasped by way of its full scope in history, its extraordinary adaptability in post-colonial, global times. What is worse, we have internalised it. Historically, racism developed in circumstances of colonial invasion, occupation and plunder. Whilst its core tenets were the same, it adapted itself to circumstances of subject nations and peoples against whom it was practised. We Africans mistakenly think we are the only victims of racism. No, we aren’t.

The Chinese, the Indians and the Latinos were. What is not known by many in Zimbabwe is that just as we blacks were profiled as indolent, infantile and lewd, the Chinese were characterised as sly, deceitful and given to stealing, so mischaracterised by the same British who dehumanised us here. Before British eyes, we were the same subjects who had to be redeemed from damnation. How different is this image from the dummy Robertson and his ilk are selling us today, in spite of China’s powerful role in global affairs? Don’t we see the incongruity of a black mouth spouting the same dehumanising epithets as was reserved for a fellow oppressed Chinese by the British in colonial heyday?

If China is so deceitful and so bad for nations, why is the West looking and courting East, something apparently unknown to the Zimbabwe Independent? But it is also funny that we black Zimbabweans are incited to hate the Chinese who gave us guns and the technology of liberation yesterday, give us technology and capital for development today, while loving uxoriously the very westerners who have crafted and imposed hurtful sanctions that daily ravage our lives and destroy our collective livelihoods. Or that we who have suffered more than 400 000 white intruders and occupiers here for well over a century, suddenly invent xenophobia against a handful of Chinese people who are here to do business with us, indeed have only been here less than a decade ago. Why are we taught to hate people with whom we have a shared colonial history, taught to hate each other by our common enemy?

Bearded infantiles
It helps to recall that one enduring ruse of imperialism is turn its real victims into its “freed” beneficiaries from another and even imaginary evil power invented solely to burnish its own otherwise glaring misdeeds and evil acts. So in 1890 the Shonas were not invaded, conquered, occupied and enslaved; they were saved from a marauding despot called Lobengula. So goes the colonial lore. Similarly, today Zimbabweans have to fear and be saved from the Chinese who loot their diamonds and “invest only for China”, and not from the British who have looted their country, independence, resources and personality since 1890.

Not saved from the same British who seek the old colonial mastery. I thought we had come of age, grown older than child-men and child-women of yore, bearded infantiles who are given new, diversionary scapegoats by their real enemies. That way we forget that China became a powerhouse not by smoking British opium, not by aping British ways, but by skillfully riding the hyena of capitalism, taming it until it accepted to have Chinese characteristics. I have no problem in Zimbabweans not wanting to lose their finite resources to the Chinese; what bothers me is their readiness to lose them to the West. And feeling most holy and righteous about it. Icho!

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Munkombwe and the 'extended family'
By Editor
Sat 28 Dec. 2013, 14:00 CAT

Southern Province minister Daniel Munkombwe says "God will punish us if we completely destroy the extended family system".

Munkombwe urges those who are well-to-do to look after their relatives instead of leaving that to well-wishers. And he says there is need for a legal framework which could compel Zambians to identify their family tree and be legally responsible for its members.

"Those who are able to organise some form of wealth should be able to take care of their relatives and the vulnerable people. What pride does it give me if I can have a relative who can only be taken care of by well-wishers? What is the value of my wealth?" wonders Munkombwe.
To some, Munkombwe may sound outdated, a dreamer. But there is sense in what he is saying. It is true our way of life as a people has changed over the years. But there is still value in our kinship, genealogical, clan, family and household ties.

It cannot be denied that the deep sense of kinship, with all it implies, has been one of the strongest forces in our traditional life. Kinship is reckoned through blood and betrothal (engagement and marriage). It is kinship which controls social relationships between people in a given community: it governs marital customs and regulations, it determines the behaviour of one individual towards another. Indeed, this sense of kinship binds together the entire life of the 'tribe', and is even extended to cover animals, plants and non-living objects through the 'totemic' system. Almost all the concepts connected with human relationship can be understood and interpreted through the kinship system. This is what largely governs the behaviour, thinking and whole life of the individual in the society of which he is a member.

The kinship system is like a vast network stretching laterally (horizontally) in every direction, to embrace everybody in any given local group. This means that each individual is a brother or sister, father or mother, grandmother or grandfather or cousin, or brother-in-law, uncle or aunt, or something else, to everybody else. That means that everybody is related to everybody else, and there are many kinship terms to express the precise kind of relationship pertaining between two individuals. When two strangers meet, one of the first duties is to sort out how they may be related to each other, and having discovered how the kinship system applies to them, they behave to each other according to the accepted behaviour set down by society. If they discover, for example, that they are 'brothers', then they will treat each other as equals, or as an older and younger brother; if they are 'uncle' and 'nephew', then the 'nephew' may be expected to give much respect to the 'uncle' where this type of relationship is required by society. It is possible also that from that moment on, the individuals concerned will refer to each other by the kinship term of, for instance, 'brother', 'nephew', 'uncle', 'mother', with or without using their proper names. Such being the case then, a person has literally hundreds of 'fathers', hundreds of 'mothers', hundreds of 'uncles', hundreds of 'wives', hundreds of 'sons and daughters'.

The kinship system also extends vertically to include the departed and those yet to be born. It is part of traditional education for children to learn the genealogies of their descent. The genealogy gives a sense of depth, historical belongingness, a feeling of deep-rootedness and a sense of sacred obligation to extend the genealogical line.

Genealogical ties also serve social purposes, particularly in establishing relationships between individuals. By citing one's genealogical line, it is possible to see how that person is linked to other individuals in a given group. It is also on genealogical basis that organisational divisions have evolved among different peoples, demarcating the larger society into 'clans', 'gates', families, households, and finally individuals.

The clan is the major subdivision of the 'tribe'. Clans are normally totemic, that is, each has an animal or part of it, a plant, a stone or mineral, which is regarded as its totem. The totem is the visible symbol of unity, of kinship, of belongingness, of togetherness and common affinity. Genealogies may be cited as far back as the original founder of the clan, if he has not been forgotten or if the genealogical line has not been broken through loss of memory.

An individual has to be born in a clan, and he cannot change his clan, though it is possible that in some societies, marriage may lead to a change or weakening of one's original clan membership.

Apart from localising the sense of kinship, clan systems provide closer human cooperation, especially in times of need. If a person finds himself in difficulties, it is not unusual for him to call for help from his clan members and other relatives. This is the point Munkombwe is trying to make and remind us of.

For African peoples, the family has a much wider circle of members than the word suggests in Europe or North America. In traditional society, the family includes children, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters who may have their own children, and other immediate relatives. In many areas, they are what anthropologists call extended families, by which it is generally meant that two or more brothers (in the patrilocal societies) or sisters (in the matrilocal societies) established families in one compound or close to one another. The joint households together are like one large family. It is the practice in some societies, to send children to live for some months or years, with relatives, and these children are counted as members of the families where they happen to live.

The family also includes departed relatives, whom we have designated as the living-dead. These are, as their name implies, 'alive' in the memories of their surviving families, and are thought to be still interested in the affairs of the family to which they once belonged in their physical life. Surviving members must not forget the departed; otherwise misfortune is feared to strike them or their relatives. The older the person was before dying, the longer he is remembered and regarded as an integral part of the human family. The living-dead solidify and mystically bind together the whole family.

African concept of the family also includes the unborn members who are still in the loins of the living. They are the buds of hope and expectation, and each family makes sure that its own existence is not extinguished. The family provides for its continuation, and prepares for the coming of those not yet born.

The household is the smallest unit of the family, consisting of the children, parents and sometimes the grandparents. It is what one might call 'the family at night', for it is generally at night that the household is really itself. At night the parents are with their immediate children in the same house; they discuss private affairs of their household, and the parents educate the children in matters pertaining to domestic relationships. The household in Africa is what in European and American societies would be called 'family'.

We have so far spoken about the life and existence of the community. What then is the individual and where is his place in the community? In traditional life, the individual does not and cannot exist alone except corporately. He owes his existence to other people, including those of past generations and his contemporaries. He is simply part of the whole. The community must therefore make, create or produce the individual; for the individual depends on the corporate group. Physical birth is not enough: the child must go through rites of incorporation so that it becomes fully integrated into the entire society. These rites continue throughout the physical life of the person, during which the individual passes from one stage of corporate existence to another. The final stage is reached when he dies and even then, he is ritually incorporated into the wider family of both the dead and the living.

Just as God made the first man, as God's man, so now man himself makes the individual who becomes the corporate or social man. It is a deeply religious transaction. Only in terms of other people does the individual become conscious of his own being, his own duties, his privileges and responsibilities towards himself and towards other people. When he suffers, he does not suffer alone but with the corporate group; when he rejoices, he rejoices not alone but with his kinsmen, his neighbours and his relatives, whether dead or living. When he gets married, he is not alone, neither does the wife 'belong' to him alone. So also the children belong to the corporate body of kinsmen, even if they bear only their father's name.

Whatever happens to the individual happens to the whole group, and whatever happens to the whole group happens to the individual. The individual can only say: 'I am, because we are; and since we are, therefore I am.' This is a cardinal point in the understanding of the views and position taken by old Daniel.

There is really no need to dump our old people, our old relatives into old people's homes like they do in Europe and North America. There is no need to abandon our traditional systems because they can still work - we are still what we were: Africans. And there is no need for self-denial, for trying to be something else. Let's just be what we are and stick to our way of life.

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GBM's loyalty was doubtful - Sampa
By Moses Kuwema and Darious Kapembwa in Kasama
Sat 28 Dec. 2013, 14:01 CAT

MATERO member of parliament Miles Sampa says he has been vindicated for questioning Geoffrey Mwamba's loyalty to the party and President Michael Sata. And Mandevu PF member of parliament Jean Kapata says Mwamba, the former defence minister, should apologise to President Sata, saying no individual was above the party.

Meanwhile, Northern Province PF secretary Everest Chellah says the provincial executive committee wants Mwamba to resign as member of parliament because of the manner in which he resigned his Cabinet position.

Speaking upon arrival at Kasama airport yesterday, Sampa, who is PF chairman for commerce and also commerce deputy minister, said while individuals have a right to resign, it matters how they do it.
He said the disclosure, by Mwamba, of the conversation he had with President Sata was not right.

"We questioned his loyalty a long time ago and now we have been vindicated. Every member needs to behave according to the rules of the party. So if there is anyone in the party who still has divided loyalty, they should resign and follow suit. All of us need to have loyalty to one leader, who is Sata," said Sampa.

And Kapata, who is community development deputy minister and a member of the PF's central committee, said discipline was cardinal in the party.

"What has happened (Mwamba's resignation) is very unfortunate because the appointing authority...even in a home, when a child is whipped, banoko naba wiso nga bakuponona, nishi chapwa waleka (When your mother and father cane you, that is it; you stop). How many times are you going to run from home and say you are not my father or mother? So we need discipline because there is no one who is above the party. An individual is not above the party," she said.

Kapata said the best thing that Mwamba could do was to apologise to President Sata and be in line with what the PF believed in.

"We did not invite anyone to come and join PF, neither did we chase anyone to leave PF; they came on their own accord and they have left on their own accord and we will leave it like that. For now, let us be united in the province. We are waiting for 2016, and if we do not organise ourselves now, the opposition will find their way here in Northern Province," she said.

Kapata said the problem people had with President Sata was that he was very frank.

"He never hides; if he hears anything, he will call me and say 'Jean, you said this' and if you cannot take it, too bad. He will never go behind anyone to talk about anyone, so let's be united and rally behind our President," she said.

Further asked by reporters if she would take time to pay a courtesy call on Mwamba, who is in Kasama, Kapata said Mwamba was too junior to her and Sampa in the party hierarchy.

Meanwhile, Chellah said the executive committee in the province had never worked in harmony with Mwamba because of his divisive leadership as member of parliament.

"His loyalty to the party and to the President has always been questionable. That is why we are asking the President to let him get
out of the party so that we can work in harmony," said Chellah.

The two ministers, who have embarked on a tour of provinces to look at the party structures in the various provinces, later visited Kasama Milling, which is owned by Lupando Munkonge, who is Mwamba's cousin. They also appeared on Radio Mano, where they addressed various issues, among them party organisation and small scale enterprises.

During the programme on Radio Mano, Sampa said some vultures were trying to take advantage of the standoff between the Bemba Royal Establishment and the government to discredit the PF.

Mwamba resigned his ministerial position early this week after President Sata questioned his meetings with the Bashilubemba.

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Nawakwi questions govt borrowing
By Henry Sinyangwe
Sat 28 Dec. 2013, 14:01 CAT

FDD leader Edith Nawakwi has questioned the intention by government to borrow more money to finance the budget. Meanwhile, Nawakwi says 2014 will present hunger and inadequate funding to government departments.

Government next year intends to borrow K9.64 billion to finance part of the budget for 2014, which is about 22.6 per cent of the national budget. Government last November raised the country's debt external debt ceiling from K20 billion to K35 billion.

Nawakwi said President Michael Sata should get rid of Chikwanda to save the country from another calamity of a debt trap.

"Time has come for the honourable Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda to shift from his current position into retirement. I know that a lot of us don't like doing the honourable thing, that is to resign from one's position. So the President of this Republic must save this country from the impending calamity of pushing Zambia into another debt trap," Nawakwi said.

She said the World Bank and the IMF had lost confidence in the economic management of the country.

"Today's reading that they are worried is just a tip of the iceberg. The truth is IMF is headed back to set up camp in Lusaka in January 2014 because they do not believe that Chikwanda is managing our economy competently. This is coupled with his inability to listen to those of us who he terms 'street people' when we talk about his lack of knowledge on management of our fiscal regime in this country. There are 13 million of us in this country and for sure, we must have one child somewhere in the corners of Zambia who can serve this country with diligence, competence and direction," said Nawakwi, who once served as finance minister in the Frederick Chiluba era.

She said some ministers were arrogant.

"Early this year, I raised the alarm that the budget had burst, that the Minister of Finance was not in the frame of mind to be able to control the runaway expenditure. There was hue and cry from the ministry. They tried to justify their actions to the point where even the likes of labour minister Fackson Shamenda had to criticise my persona. I then still raise the alarm that by January 2014, IMF is setting up camp again in Zambia due to their lack of confidence in the management of our economy by the current Minister of Finance," Nawakwi said.

She said the country no longer required Chikwanda's services.

"If the President does not listen to this very serious and timely advice, he has himself to blame for what Zambia is going to be in the next three or four years. 2014, we will be faced with hunger; 2014, we will be faced with inadequate funding to departments and ministries. We have doctors and nurses on strike, the Minister of Finance is mute; we have no medicines in the hospitals, we have no mealie-meal in several places and the buck stops at the Ministry of Finance," Nawakwi said.

She said she did not understand why President Sata thought Chikwanda was the only Minister of Finance the country could have.

"If the President is not able to relieve him, I think my brother should be honourable enough to say he needs to rest and allow younger people to be able to assist this country," Nawakwi said.

"This is a person who wants to export copper ore, this is a person who doesn't care whether nurses are on strike, this is the nominated member of parliament who doesn't care about the state of the University of Zambia. Unless we clear the stumbling block at the Ministry of Finance, whether it is PF, FDD, UPND, we may dance and cry, the buck stops at the Ministry of Finance."

She also expressed worry that Chikwanda signed the SI allowing exports of copper concentrates without any charge, which was later reversed by President Sata.

"If my minister doesn't understand that gold and other precious minerals are not found in independent mines, they are by-products of copper concentrates and he wants to give it as a Christmas gift to some companies, what can we discus? We are simply sitting on a time bomb," Nawakwi said.

She said a lot was sacrificed to get Zambia's debt written off, hence the country could not sit and watch mismanagement of the economy in the name of PF and some ministers in government.

"The reason we are having so much ineptitude is due to the fact that some of these brothers are nominated MPs. You go to Ministry of Education, there is no progress, you got to finance, he tells us 'shut up, you are advising me from the streets on windfall tax', you go to Ministry of Agriculture, the gentleman doesn't even know when we should plant our seeds. You go to Ministry of Health, there are problems. You go to Ministry of Justice, you want to get the constitution on time, who does he report to? He has no constituency apart from number one the President," Nawakwi said.

She said the country was facing major problems because critical ministries were manned by people who had no constituencies.

"These nominated MPs are living in ivory towers and as far as I am concerned, my only advice to President Sata for 2014 is to get rid of this lot. Let him nominate women and see what they can do. Let's get a different direction for 2014 and that can only happen if we come to 2014 without my brother Chikwanda at the helm of our treasury," Nawakwi said.

She said Chikwanda must not take the country to the days when a head of state must start telling the nation to tighten belts.

"This is the time when we need to loosen our belts. If you are going to injure us in this way, we are going to fight. This is injury, especially for those of us who spent long hours, days negotiating with the international community to write off our debt," said Nawakwi.

"People like ABC have not experienced what it takes to negotiate a debt write-off, to camp in a foreign capital, begging. He has not experienced what late Cardinal Mazombwe experienced and many Zambians who fought to get the debt written off; that's why he is so arrogant."

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Stick to extended family, Chikoya urges Zambians
By Edwin Mbulo in Livingstone
Sat 28 Dec. 2013, 14:00 CAT

FR Emmanuel Chikoya has advised Zambia to stick to the extended family system in line with God's teachings that 'he who does not take care of his family is worse than a pagan'.

Commenting on Southern Province minister, Daniel Munkombwe's statement that God would punish us if we lose the extended family system, Fr Chikoya, who is St Andrews Anglican Church priest-in-charge said society was getting to a level where it was degenerating to a jungle
arrangement where only 'the fittest survive'.

"The Bible in the book of 1 Timothy clearly says 'he who does not take care of his family is worse than a pagan' and hence an extended family system is something that we should stick to. This issue of losing our extended family system should not even be entertained; we should not be
happy about it," he said.

Fr Chikoya said the African cultural orientations were closer to the Jewish cultural system that supported taking care of all family members because God was concerned about the vulnerable in society.
He said certain values should not be lost all in the name of civilisation.

"We should not let go of certain values which are very vital for our well being. I don't think it is being civilised to be so individualistic and to be so focused on your nuclear family to the extent that you neglect some other members of your family. In some families for example, during the festive season, they will eat, and things will rot, things will go to waste, they will drink their heads off and yet their nephew or niece or that elderly member of the family has gone without a meal," Fr Chikoya said.

He said in the midst of economic challenges being faced, there were people that were throwing away food and clothes.

"There are some people that have a room just abandoned which somebody could use, instead of sleeping in some trenches. We are not getting better, we are getting bitter. But in a human society, in an African society, it is not about 'the fittest surviving', it's about your problem being my problem. I'm because you are, so we can't exist without others, so says the famous Ubuntu statement. The most so called useless people are actually very vital," said Fr Chikoya.

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Greed will cost opposition in 2016 - Mucheleka
By Abel Mboozi
Sat 28 Dec. 2013, 14:01 CAT

GREED and egoism of opposition leaders in Zambia will cost them in the 2016 general elections, says Patrick Mucheleka. Mucheleka, who is Lubansenshi independent member of parliament, said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that time had come, especially for opposition leaders, to embrace unity of purpose.

"You see, PF today appears to be having a field day and indeed they are likely to continue having a field day on the basis of how it perceives the opposition. Practically, the opposition is in disarray, it's so fragmented," he said.

Mucheleka said times had changed and opposition leaders should not mislead themselves that they could win elections single-handedly like the PF did in 2011.

"If there is anyone thinking like that, either MMD or UPND, they have gotten it wrong. It's not possible. They must not think and believe that they can win on their own; it's impossible. The only way out is to put aside individual interests, greediness among party presidents," he said.

"See where we are as a country, we seem to be having no hope whatsoever. There are a lot of issues; there are a lot of questions we should be asking ourselves; this is the time we must come together and ask ourselves genuine questions."

Mucheleka said Zambia had the challenge of the constitution, and now was the time when the opposition and all stakeholders should come together to address such a problem.

"We have a challenge of the constitution; that in itself is good reason for us to work together as Zambians and say 'Look, we are putting aside our differences, we're coming together to defend our country'," he said.

Mucheleka said people should realise that there could only be one President at a time.

"We can't all be Presidents. So my challenge to opposition political parties, particularly party presidents, is that please, for the sake of this country, can we unite. This country requires another liberation; and the moment to do that is now," he said.

"Let us give formidable opposition to the PF; for the PF to govern properly and to be sensitive to the needs of the people, they require strong opposition. They seem to be having a field day because political parties in the opposition are in disarray."

Mucheleka said it was sad that there was no strong opposition in Zambia at the moment.

"...opposition can only be strong when you are united, you put aside your individual self-interests. So let us forget about this issue of a particular political party being strong in a certain region, a political party being headed by a president from a particular region. We are Zambians, we only have one country and we must not be seeing ourselves through the spectrum of tribe, ethnicity; we must only be seeing ourselves through the spectrum of being Zambians," he said.

Mucheleka said there was no political party which could win on the basis of being supported by one or a few tribes in Zambia at the moment.

He expressed sadness that some of the opposition leaders had become comfortable with being in the opposition.

"When you are in the opposition, you must start looking at yourselves as alternative governments but to do that, you should be able to have certain characteristics," he said.

"One such is to have a national appeal; another is to be able to unite; to be able to put your houses in order by reorganising their structures ahead of the 2016 general elections."

Mucheleka said the opposition needed to have trust and confidence of the Zambians, a feat that takes time.

"So you are not going to confine yourselves in one location and think that a miracle will happen and suddenly take over power from the PF, no, it doesn't work like that," said Mucheleka

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2,000 FQM workers reject 25% pay rise
By Misheck Wangwe in Kitwe
Sat 28 Dec. 2013, 14:00 CAT

OVER 2,000 unionised workers at First Quantum Mining have rejected the 25 per cent salary increment offered to them covering a period of three years, saying it is clear manipulation.

But FQM management says it attaches great importance to the welfare of employees and was making serious attempts to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. The government last week declined to process the 2014 collective agreement signed between First Quantum Mining and the National Union of Miners and Allied Workers.

The agreement, which the Mineworkers Union of Zambia had refused to sign, entailed that NUMAW members were to get a 25 per cent salary increment covering a period of three years.

The workers were to get a 10 percent in 2014, eight percent in 2015 and seven percent in 2016.

In a collective statement signed by employees in various departments of FQM, the miners stated that they were happy that the government through the labour commissioner Cecilia Kamanga had refused to acknowledge and process the new agreement.

Miners from both MUZ and NUMAW said they want FQM management to withdraw the three-year collective agreement deal and revert to one-year deals that had been signed over the years.

"We cannot tie ourselves to a three-year deal with mediocre and mockery increments. From our understanding, this deal means that if FQM makes good profits in the next three years, we will not be part of it and besides, even the increments are not substantial; 10 per cent for 2014, eight per cent for 2015 and seven per cent in 2016. These are not figures that we can accept knowing too well that our company will be making profits in the coming years," the petition read in part.

They implored the government to closely monitor the manoeuvres being made by some stakeholders, saying if the document was processed and allowed to become binding, there would only be a seven per cent salary increment at FQM in 2016 which was the year of the general elections.

But according to an approved memorandum circulated by Ernesto Levi Fetalvero from the Resource Optimisation Team addressed to employees on Monday, FQM management indicated that it remained committed to ensuring that the workers were not adversely affected by the issue that was before the labour commissioner.

"In a bid to try and resolve this matter, unions met the labour commissioner on Friday December 20 in Lusaka. Despite discussions at the meeting to date, this matter remains unresolved and management understands that unions were to have discussions to try and resolve their differing views. Employees would be aware that the current collective agreement expires on December 31, 2013. Management remains committed to ensuring that the workers are not affected by these developments," FQM management stated in a memo.

When contacted, MUZ general secretary Joseph Chewe said the union was in receipt of various correspondences and concerns from all stakeholders over the collective agreement which they refused to sign at FQM and a comprehensive statement would be issued at an appropriate time.

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(NEWZIMBABWE, XINHUA) New SME-based economy emerges: govt
27/12/2013 00:00:00
by Xinhua

We now have a new economy ... Samuel Undenge

DEPUTY Finance Minister Samuel Undenge said Friday a new economic model was emerging in Zimbabwe driven mainly by small-scale players in key sectors such as farming and mining.

Speaking at a post-budget breakfast meeting, Undenge said small-scale miners and farmers had played an increasingly bigger role in the economy in recent years, hence the need to acknowledge the changing dynamics.

“It is true that we are now having a new economy. In the past we had 2,000 tobacco farmers but now we have 90,000 farmers and much of the tobacco production is done by small-scale farmers. So a new economic model is in the making and we need to recognize and support it,” he said.

Zimbabwe’s economy is principally driven by agriculture and mining with tobacco the major agricultural export earner while gold is the leading mineral export earner.

Undenge said the new economic mode sought to decriminalize operations of small-scale gold miners so that they sell their gold through formal channels and contribute to national economic growth.

What was needed, the minister said, was for strict enforcement of environmental lawsto ensure the small-scale miners do not degrade the environment.

While presenting the 2014 national budget Thursday, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa revealed that he had secured a 100 million U.S. dollars line of credit to support artisanal miners.

He said the money would be primarily used to purchase basic equipment for artisanal miners.

Chinamasa also said last week that the old economy was dead and that a new one was emerging based on the activities of small-scale players in key sectors of the economy.

Small-scale miners once contributed 50 percent to total gold produced in the country in 2004 but this had declined to 20 percent due to viability and operational challenges.

The country’s sole gold refinery resumed operations this week after five years of closure and the development was expected to significantly improve operations in the gold industry.

With government banning raw gold exports with effect from next month, all small-scale miners would have no option but to sell their gold to state-owned Fidelity Printers.

In the budget, Chinamasa reduced the royalty paid by small- scale miners from 7 percent to 3 percent to boost their operations.

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(SFBAY VIEW, AUDIO) Kampala ‘declaration’ would contract DRC to concede to M23 (with French translation)
December 11, 2013
by Ann Garrison
KPFA Evening News, broadcast Dec. 8, 2013

Despite the defeat of Uganda and Rwanda’s M23 militia by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)’s army and the U.N. Force Intervention Brigade, Article 10 of the “declaration” that the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been asked to sign with M23, in Kampala, Uganda, reads: “The government [meaning the DRC] reaffirms its determination to finalize the implementation of the commitments that have been made under the agreement of March 23, 2009, signed with the CNDP [which became M23].”


Congolese drape flag Col. Mamadou N’Dala Moustafa after M23 defeat 1113
Congolese well-wishers draped a Congolese flag around the shoulders of their army’s operations commander, Col. Mamadou N’Dala Moustafa, after the defeat of M23 during the first week of November. But many are now asking what sort of contract DRC is being asked to sign, regardless of whether it’s called a declaration or an agreement.
KPFA Evening News Anchor Anthony Fest: At the end of November, headlines around the world announced the Congolese Army’s defeat of the M23 militia, with the help of U.N. intervention forces, in eastern Kivu Provinces, on the Rwandan and Ugandan borders. Since that time, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been under pressure from Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni and his so-called mediators, and from US Envoy Russ Feingold and U.N. Envoy Mary Robinson, to sign an agreement with M23. KPFA’s Ann Garrison obtained a copy of that agreement, which, to the shock of many Congolese people, includes language that would secure the ongoing occupation of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo by M23’s backers Uganda and Rwanda. KPFA’s Ann Garrison is live in the studio with the story.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: The agreement proposed between the Democratic Republic of the Congo, also known as the DRC, and the M23 militia, backed by Rwanda and Uganda, appears to have been re-labeled a “declaration” to satisfy critics who have said that the DRC should not sign any contractual agreement with a militia that it has defeated. However, the text makes it clear that this is still a contractual agreement to be signed between M23 and the government of the DRC, and that it is a contract to ensure the ongoing occupation of the eastern Congo, of its Kivu Provinces, by M23’s backers, Uganda and Rwanda. Article 10 of the proposed agreement reads:

“The government [meaning the DRC] reaffirms its determination to finalize the implementation of the commitments that have been made under the agreement of March 23, 2009, signed with the CNDP.”

This is a shocking stipulation to ask the DRC government to agree to, because the March 23, 2009, agreement was a de facto surrender of territory to Rwanda and Uganda’s CNDP militia, and its disastrous consequences were detailed in the 2009 U.N. Group of Experts Report on the DRC.

The M23 militia arose and took its name from that very March 23, 2009, agreement, after saying that the agreement’s contractual elements had not been met. So, the agreement calls on the DRC to concede everything that M23 demanded, despite M23’s defeat.
This is a shocking stipulation to ask the DRC government to agree to, because the March 23, 2009, agreement was a de facto surrender of territory to Rwanda and Uganda’s CNDP militia, and its disastrous consequences were detailed in the 2009 U.N. Group of Experts Report on the DRC.

Earlier this year, Paul Rusesabagina, author of the book whose simplest heroic elements became the movie “Hotel Rwanda,” told KPFA that the Kampala talks were no more than a facade because they were being hosted and “mediated” by one of the principle aggressors, the Ugandan government and its president, Yoweri Museveni.

Paul Rusesabagina: Uganda has been accused many times by the international community, including the United Nations and the Congolese government, as one of the perpetrators, with Rwanda, supporting M23.

Today, Uganda positions itself as, now, a mediator. How can one, in history, be a perpetrator and a mediator at the same time? Can one be a perpetrator and a judge? It can’t be. So, you can see, this is why all that is taking place in Uganda, in Kampala today is just a kind of facade.

KPFA: The Congolese Parliament has passed a resolution calling on President Kabila to “reject any agreement with ex-rebels of M23, who are considered a negative force by various relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.”

The cost of the Kampala negotiations has been underwritten by Howard Buffett, the son of Omaha billionaire investment manager Warren Buffett, who has also announced that he now plans to fund the building of a dam in eastern Congo.

Though Buffett did not announce that this was his intent, the business press has been reporting on the need to address the shortage of electricity to power resource extraction in eastern Congo.

In Berkeley, for Pacifica, KPFA and Afrobeat Radio, I’m Ann Garrison.

Oakland writer Ann Garrison writes for the San Francisco Bay View, Global Research, Colored Opinions, Black Star News and her own website, Ann Garrison, and produces for AfrobeatRadio on WBAI-NYC, KPFA Evening News and her own YouTube Channel, AnnieGetYourGang. She can be reached at This story first appeared on her website. If you want to see Ann Garrison’s independent reporting continue, please contribute on her website at
French translation of transcript

Malgré la défaite militaire infligée à la milice ougando-rwandaise le M23 par l’armée de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC) et la brigade d’intervention spéciale de l’ONU, l’article 10 de la «Déclaration» que la République démocratique du Congo (RDC) a été invité à signer avec le M23, à Kampala, en Ouganda, est ainsi libellé:

«Le gouvernement [signifiant la RDC] réaffirme sa détermination à finaliser la mise en œuvre des engagements qui ont été pris en vertu de l’accord du 23 Mars 2009, signés avec le CNDP.”

Fin novembre les unes autours du monde annonçaient que l’armée congolaise avec l’aide de la Brigade d’intervention rapide de l’ONU avaient réussi à battre le M23 aux ordres du Rwanda et de l’Ouganda dans les Provinces orientales du Kivu.

Depuis ce temps , la République démocratique du Congo a fait l’objet de pressions de la part du président de l’Ouganda Yoweri Museveni et ses soi-disant médiateurs , de l’émissaire américain Russ Feingold et envoyé de l’ONU Mary Robinson , pour signer un accord avec le M23 . Ann Garrison de KPFA a obtenu une copie de cet accord , en français et en anglais et elle nous en parle .

KPFA / Ann Garrison: Le projet d’accord entre la République démocratique du Congo , aussi connu comme la RDC , et la “ milice’’ M23 soutenue par le Rwanda et l’Ouganda semble avoir été rebaptisé « Déclaration »pour satisfaire les critiques disant que la RDC ne devaitt pas signer un accord contractuel avec une milice qu’elle a vaincu . Cependant, le texte montre dans sa formulation que c’est un accord contractuel signé entre deux parties, le M23 et le gouvernement de la RDC , et qu’il s’agit d’un contrat pour assurer l’occupation continue de l’Est du Congo , de ses provinces du Kivu , par les partisans du M23 , de l’Ouganda et du Rwanda . L’article 10 du projet d’Accord entre la République démocratique du Congo et la milice M23, qui a fait la guerre dans les provinces orientales du Kivu au Congo de 2012 et 2013 est ainsi libellé:

«Le gouvernement [signifiant la RDC] réaffirme sa détermination à finaliser la mise en œuvre des engagements qui ont été pris en vertu de l’accord du 23 Mars 2009, signés avec le CNDP.”

Il s’agit d’une stipulation choquante que de demander au gouvernement de la RDC d’accepter , parce que, l’ accord du 23 Mars 2009 était de facto une cession d’un territoire à la milice du CNDP rwando-ougandaise, et , ses conséquences désastreuses ont été détaillées dans le rapport sur la RDC de 2009 du Groupe d’experts des Nations Unies .

La milice du M23 a pris naissance et tire son nom précisément dudit accord du 23 mars 2009 après avoir dit que les éléments contractuels de l’accord n’avaient pas été respectés . Ainsi, l’accord appelle la RDC à accepter tout ce que exige le M23 , en dépit de sa défaite .

Plus tôt cette année , Paul Rusesabagina , auteur du livre dont les faits héroïques sont devenu le film Hôtel Rwanda , a déclaré à KPFA que les pourparlers de Kampala n’étaient qu’une façade , car ils ont été hébergés et , je cite , « médiatiatisés », par l’un des principaux agresseurs , le gouvernement ougandais et son président Yoweri Museveni .

Paul Rusesabagina : l’Ouganda a été accusé à plusieurs reprises par la communauté internationale , notamment les Nations Unies et le gouvernement congolais d’être l’un des auteurs de cette guerre , avec le Rwanda et leur soutien au M23 .

Aujourd’hui, l’Ouganda se positionne comme , un médiateur . Comment peut-on être juge et partie? Peut-on être un auteur de crime et un juge ? Ceci ne peut pas être le cas . Ainsi, d’après ce que nous voyons , tout ce qui se déroule en Ouganda , à Kampala , aujourd’hui est juste une sorte de façade .

KPFA : Le Parlement congolais a adopté une résolution demandant au Président Kabila de “ rejeter tout accord avec le M23 , qui est considéré comme une force négative par plusieurs résolutions du Conseil de Sécurité de l’ONU.’’

Le coût des négociations de Kampala a été souscrite par Howard Buffett , le fils de Omaha gestionnaire des placements du milliardaire Warren Buffett , qui a également annoncé qu’il prévoit maintenant financer la construction d’un barrage dans l’est du Congo .

Bien que Buffett n’a pas annoncé son intention officielement , la presse économique a fait état de la nécessité de remédier à la pénurie d’électricité pour l’extraction des ressources minières dans l’est du Congo .

À Berkeley , pour Pacifica , KPFA et AfrobeatRadio , je suis Ann Garrison .

The Bay View thanks Congolese historian and activist BK Kumbi for her translation.

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(SF BAY VIEW, AUDIO) Samantha Power’s latest crusade: Central African Republic
December 25, 2013
by Ann Garrison

“For [Samantha] Power, the United States is the solution, not the problem.” – Ed Herman, “The Cruise Missile Left: Samantha Power and the Genocide Gambits”
KPFA Evening News, broadcast Dec. 22, 2013

Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., has announced that the U.S. will spend $100 million to support the French intervention in the Central African Republic.


KPFA Evening News Anchor Anthony Fest: Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, spoke yesterday in Bangui, the capital of the war torn Central African Republic, on the border of the northern Democratic Republic of the Congo this week. Power invoked conflict in Rwanda, the Balkans and Syria as she announced that the U.S. will spend $100 million to support the French military intervention now underway in the Central African Republic, where 1,000 people were killed on one day, Dec. 6, in the country’s capital city. The total number of civilian casualties is unknown; hundreds of thousands of people are reported to be internally displaced and 20,000 more have crossed the country’s borders and become refugees.

US Ambassador to UN Samantha Power, Burundian soldiers transported to Central African Republic by US 1213

Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., speaking with Burundian soldiers transported to the CAR by Pentagon air cargo carriers.

The French and the U.S. appear to be working together in Central African Republic. There are now 1,600 French soldiers on the ground in the CAR, but other European nations have declined to support the effort. The U.S. is providing Pentagon resources, including cargo carriers to transport U.S.-trained African troops from Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the Central African Republic. U.S. Special Forces have been on the ground with Ugandan troops since 2011, reportedly to hunt East African warlord Joseph Kony.

KPFA’s Ann Garrison is live in our studio with this report on the situation in the Central African Republic.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: Anadolu News Agency reporter Hassam Isilow had been on the ground in the Central African Republic for several weeks when U.S. U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power arrived in the capital Bangui and made this statement:

Samantha Power: Lots of people in our own government lived through Rwanda, lived through the crimes in the Balkans, are living now through the crimes in Syria. Every day we are thinking about which tools can we employ in order to try to prevent atrocity in the first instance and then again these cycles of violence that very quickly can take hold.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: Many writers, including “Manufacturing Consent” co-authors Noam Chomsky and Ed Herman, have criticized Samantha Power’s perception of American exceptionalism and responsibility to prevent genocide and mass atrocities and her rendition of the U.S. role in both Rwanda and the Balkans.
Hassan Isilow
Anadolu News Agency reporter Hassan Isilow spoke to KPFA from on the ground in Bangui.
Whether Power is accurate in her perception or honest about U.S. motivation for supporting the French intervention, the CAR is already engulfed in violence that could become worse, as Hassan Isilow described:

Hassan Isilow: I’m in Bangui, which is the capital city of the Central African Republic. There’s a lot of chaos in the capital city. In the past two, three days we’ve seen a lot of sectarian violence where people from the Christian anti-Balaka movement attacked the Muslim area and killed about 29 people. The violence has been on both sides.

There’s a group known as the ex-Seleka fighters. The ex-Seleka fighters belong to the current president, President Michel Djotodia, and they actually brought him into power, and some people claim that they come from Chad and other neighboring countries. When they came to power, this is the first time they’ve had a Muslim president in the history of independence of 53 years.

And many people here didn’t have a problem at first when Michel Djotodia took over power. But it’s believed that the French and other politicians started inciting the public, telling them the Muslims are taking their country, and of course they saw people looking very different from them, people with Sudanese faces, people with Chadian faces.

And of course this never went well with the people. People took the advice, allegedly from the French and from the local politicians, and they started fighting between Muslims and Christians. And the Muslims and Christians, who had lived in harmony for a very long time, got caught up in this violence.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: That was Anadolu News Agency reporter Hassan Isilow speaking from the capital of the Central African Republic. Today he reported that Muslim leaders of the former Seleka rebel group who are now in power had “given French troops a one-week ultimatum to end what they described as French support to self-styled Christian militias” before they rebel against the French and divide CAR into a Muslim north and Christian south.
Christians gather in a makeshift camp for internally displaced people at the airport in Bangui on Dec. 13. More than 30,000 people have gathered there. Planes serve as clotheslines and shelter for children sleeping on the ground. – Photo: Jerome Delay, AP
Isilow also reported what he called “a more hopeful story about the country’s top Christian and Muslim religious leaders joining hands to try to prevent their country from sliding further into the abyss of sectarian violence.” The archbishop told Isilow that Muslims and Christians have lived together in harmony for many years. Another Catholic leader, Father Innocent Awulu in a suburb of Bangui, also said that Christians and Muslims had been living in peace and said that he believes the conflict is fundamentally political rather than religious.

The Central African Republic is rich in oil and diamonds, and uranium resources at its Bakouma mine are the most dense in Sub Saharan Africa. France holds the right to exploit the Bakouma mine, but the mine’s administrative compound was attacked by an armed group in June 2012. Most of the citizens of the CAR are subsistence farmers and many thousands are also artisenal diamond miners.

The U.S. State Department reports that a message from President Obama has been broadcast over radio stations in the Central African Republic, and that they have put the Djotodia government established by the Seleka rebels on notice. The State Department also said that no members of the current transitional government would be allowed to run in the next election.

For Pacifica, KPFA and Afrobeat Radio, I’m Ann Garrison.

Oakland writer Ann Garrison writes for the San Francisco Bay View, Global Research, Colored Opinions, Black Star News and her own website, Ann Garrison, and produces for AfrobeatRadio on WBAI-NYC, KPFA Evening News and her own YouTube Channel, AnnieGetYourGang. She can be reached at This story first appeared on her website. If you want to see Ann Garrison’s independent reporting continue, please contribute on her website at

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MDC-T rifts widen through Christmas
December 27, 2013
Senior Reporter

Divisions rocking MDC-T continued through the festive season amid reports that senior officials in Manicaland attended the victory celebration party of expelled Mutare mayor Tatenda Nhambarare on Monday.

Mr Nhambarare was expelled from MDC-T by the party’s National Council on December 6 on accusations of working with Zanu-PF during elections for mayor and deputy mayor.

However, he is only expelled from the party but remains in council and is still mayor as per provisions of the law that state that only the Local Government Minister can dismiss him from his post.

The celebration party was reportedly attended by senior MDC officials like provincial executive secretary Mr Misheck Kagurabadza, Mr Giles Mutsekwa, Mr Patrick Chitaka, Ms Lynette Karenyi and Mr David Chimhini.

Ms Karenyi confirmed attending the party, but said she did so in her personal capacity.

“I attended the party because I am related to Nhambarare,” she said.

Mr Kagurabadza also confirmed attending the party.

“It was a civic gathering. I attended the party in my own personal capacity,” he said.

He could not comment on his position regarding his party’s decision to expel Mr Nhambarare.

“I am not talking about that, we are talking about what happened on Monday,” he said.

Mr Mutsekwa declined to comment on the matter yesterday.

“I will not comment on that. Why don’t you talk to Nhambarare on the matter,” he said.

Efforts to get a comment from Clr Nhambarare were fruitless as his mobile phone was unreachable.

MDC-T won 13 council seats in Mutare in the July 31 elections while Zanu-PF won six.

Mr Nhambarare and the three other councillors were accused of entering a deal with Zanu-PF councillors to undermine MDC-T’s preferred mayoral candidate in the subsequent civic elections.

MDC-T wanted Clr Thomas Nyamupanedengu as mayor, but the councillors voted otherwise, and then also voted for a deputy mayor from Zanu-PF.

MDC-T is battling similar defiance in Gweru where party officials have recommended the dismissal of elected mayor Clr Hamutendi Kombayi and nine other councillors for allegedly siding with Zanu-PF in civic elections.

Zanu-PF won mayoral seats in Kwekwe, Redcliff and Victoria Falls through the votes of MDC-T councillors.



2013 has had many lessons - Canisius
By Stuart Lisulo
Fri 27 Dec. 2013, 14:01 CAT

UPND vice-president for politics Dr Canisius Banda says 2013 has been a necessary phase for the country to go through as it has been educational.

In an interview, Dr Banda (above) said following the various incidences witnessed and experienced this year, the UPND now knew what to avoid in governance should they form government in 2016.

This year, we have noticed lawlessness; people with title to land have had their property grabbed, land has been re-demarcated by PF cadres and we have seen utter disregard for the rule of law; court orders have been ignored by the PF. This year we have seen the Chief Justice continue being in office even when parliament said she does not qualify; we have seen the removal of subsidies and the cost of living is unprecedented and everybody is feeling the pain. The year has been educational for the country because we now know how not to govern, Dr Banda said.

He said the year had revealed many important lessons for all political parties to learn from.

This year we have seen nullifications and by-elections coming like confetti. These are events that are not budgeted for and it took the IMF to come and tell us that there is no fiscal discipline in this country, so, we are learning about the need for fiscal discipline and about the need to plan and stick to budgets, Dr Banda said.

And in looking forward to the New Year, Dr Banda said it was important to carry forward the lessons learnt in 2013 to ensure the mistakes made were avoided.

We must not forget this year and we must thank God for having revealed bad governance to us because now we know what bad governance is that we will be able to in earnest push even more vigorously for good governance. We mustn't just hope for a better future, we are active participants in the formation of the future. So, what we do today will determine the future that we will have tomorrow. So, it is important that the people realise that the power for the direction of Zambia and the governance of the country is in their hands, said Dr Banda.

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The impossible is possible
By Editor
Fri 27 Dec. 2013, 14:00 CAT

Almost everything we enjoy today was impossible yesterday. So what transforms an impossibility into a possibility, a possibility into a probability, and a probability into a fact?

Deep inside you lives an impossible thought, a dream longing to come true. There is a mission residing in you, put there by your heavenly Father. You see, he specialises in the impossible. That's where He is at His best. He is able to do more than we can ask or think.

Life can be a perpetual barrage of "things" coming at us, beside us and past us. Fear, faith, friends, envy, the past, greed, giving, serving, mistakes, anger, peace, indecision, and love ask for our time and demand our attention. What they can leave is an impression that everything is impossible, or at least very difficult.

And during this Christmas period, we should reflect and realise that the good news is that God wants us to do more than we can imagine. He longs to take our impossibilities and turn them into possibilities. When a mistake makes a situation impossible, God can turn it around. When worry wants to paralyse us, God wants to bring us freedom. When confusion seems to be the only answer, God wants to shed light on His path for us.

Perhaps there is no greater truth than that "with men, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible" (Matthew 19:29).
When confronted with a new opportunity or tough situation, it may not be unusual for some to ask themselves, 'Do I have a pure heart and a right spirit?' The prayer of Psalm 139:23-24 is:

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there be any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

The weapon of the brave resides in his or her heart. Horace Rutledge said, "When you look at the world in a narrow way, how mean it is! When you look at it selfishly, how selfish it is! But when you look at it in a broad, generous, friendly spirit, how wonderful you find it!"

The Bible counsels us to prove all things, holding fast to those that are good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

Margaret Mitchell spoke this truth: "There ain't nothing from the outside that can lick any of us." James Alien added, "You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as you dominant aspiration."

Remember this: when you don't have strength within, you won't have respect without. If a person's aim in this world is right, he or she will misfire in the next. Too many children are afraid of the dark, while too many adults are afraid of the light. William Hazlitt remarked, "If mankind would wish for what is right, they might have had it long ago."

Roger Babson added, "If things are not going well with you, begin your effort by correcting the situation by carefully examining the service you are rendering and especially the spirit in which you are rendering it."

To know what is right and not do it - this is as bad as doing wrong. Invite trouble and it will show up early. Save yourself a lot of problems by not borrowing any. Here is more insight about trouble: you don't have to get rid of old agonies to make room for new ones. Nothing costs more than doing the wrong thing.

The man who borrows trouble is always in debt. The best way to escape evil is to pursue good. The person who persists in courting trouble will soon be married to it. Go straight - every crooked turn delays your arrival at success. Joel Budd said, "A hungry heart is like a parachute. When you pull on it, it opens up and saves you." Keep your head and heart going in the right direction, and you won't have to worry about your feet.

More harm has been done by weak people than by wicked people. Most of the problems of this world have been caused by the weakness of good rather than by the strength of evil.

The true measure of a person is in his or her height of ideals, the breadth of his or her sympathy, the depth of his or her convictions, and the length of his or her patience. Consider what the book of James says: "Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin." And Thomas Carlyle said, "Of all the paths a man could strike onto, there is, at any given moment, a best path…a thing which, here and now, if it were of all things wisest for him to do…to find this path and walk in it."

The time is always right to do the right thing. And Richard Huseman says, "Be driven by excellence. To be driven by excellence so at the end of each day, each month, each year, and in indeed at the end of life itself, we must ask one important question: have we demanded enough of ourselves, and by our example, inspired those around us to put forth their best effort and achieve their greatest potential?"
The right train of thought will take you to a better destination in life. Eddie Rickenbacker encourages us to "think positively and masterfully, with confidence and faith, and life becomes more secure, more fraught with action, richer in achievement and experience". If you want greatness, forget greatness and earnestly pursue God's will. Then you can find both. John Wooden admonished, "success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of being."

Harold Taylor said, "The roots of true achievement lie in the will to become the best that you can become." Elevate your personal standards of quality. To whatever thought was good enough for now, add ten per cent. Stand for what is right, then you win, even if you "lose".

The greatest mistake you can make in life is not to be true to the best you know. Follow Ralph Sockman's advice: "Give the best that you have to the highest you know - and do it now."



North PF wants GBM disciplined
By Roy Habaalu and Allan Mulenga
Fri 27 Dec. 2013, 14:01 CAT

THE PF in Northern Province has called for disciplinary action against former defence minister Geoffrey Mwamba. But Mwamba says he will not succumb to party members calling for his expulsion and disciplinary action against him.

PF Northern Province treasurer Chomba Chipili said Mwamba's marriage of convenience with the party to suit his business interests must come to an end. He said the provincial executive committee would take disciplinary action against Mwamba for breaching the oath of secrecy and that of the party.

"This warning goes further to warn any members sympathising with him that should they in the process breach our party rules, they shall equally meet the same fate," Chipili said.

"It is sad that as soon as the people started to forget him for his actions of bad taste and faith previously, he now further has started to ridicule the President over the Bemba Royal Establishment, claiming that the President has not done enough to resolve it. We are aware that Mr Mwamba, being one of the most senior members in Cabinet, was party and privy to discussions that formed an opinion on the Bemba Royal Establishment and we realise that it is all out of greed that he has turned around now."

Chipili wondered why Mwamba had only realised that Henry Sosala was his grandfather soon after meeting him.

"We the executive recall how President Michael Sata pleaded with the northerners to vote for GBM and made him kneel down before the people to ask for forgiveness for his wrongs when he was patronising the MMD and took away his milling plant from Kasama because the people had rejected the MMD. He fooled the people of Kasama with fake promises, yet all he wanted was to get himself richer and now that he has made enough money, his true colours are being exposed," he said.

Chipili said Mwamba's greed could not be tolerated and urged him to resign as member of parliament if he was a political giant.

And commenting on calls by some PF members for him to leave the party, Mwamba, who is commonly known as GBM, said only President Sata would decide his fate.

"Is it me who have made them not to have money? Riches come with wisdom. I am not going anywhere. I am imitating my friend Wynter Kabimba. I have not done any wrong in the party, I just resigned. Is resigning a wrongdoing?" he wondered.

Mwamba said he would not succumb to pressure and leave the party.

"I am not leaving the party. Where can I go to? I'm principled. I was hated by Levy Mwanawasa because I invited President Sata to my child's wedding. They said, 'why have you invited him?' I said, 'blood is thicker than water... then I will remain'. Now the President Sata who I defended, should he say I should go? No one will separate me from the family. The way the President has kept Kabimba, that is how he is going to keep me," he said.

Mwamba said he would not be defeated by those calling for his expulsion, claiming that he had many supporters countywide.

"I am enjoying life in will continue ranting. Elyoicawama ca kuti nalikwata ama supporters. Te mukasama mweka ni country yonse. Bani abakanukula. Filya fine bacitile pali Wynter naine ifyo bakacita. It is good that I have a lot of supporters not only in Kasama but countrywide. No one will hound me out of the party. The way the President has handled the Kabimba issue, that is how he will deal with mine," he said.

Mwamba said his political career had not been derailed by the turn of events.

"My political career has not be affected in any manner. Today you are saying that GBM is finished, but if it was God's wish that I will become a president, it will happen. Politics is good when you are doing what your electorate want, but politics are bad if you are doing vice-versa," he said.

And Mwamba said those calling for his expulsion had been hired.
"People calling for my resignation have just been hired. And I even know the person who has hired them. The President is clever; the way he has kept Kabimba, that is how he will keep me. The people have not rejected me, those have just been hired," he said.

Mwamba said he would meet with his enemies on the political battlefield.

"I am a very principled human being and I will continue being that. We will meet in the field. I am real man. I have got people behind me," said Mwamba.

"Bushe ba Davies Mwila ebo twingalalanda nabo whether in my private life, they are not my capacity. They are not my match. I have a lot of supporters. We are meeting in the political battlefield. Just wait."

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Unemployment and hunger breed impatience - Mutati
By Kombe Mataka
Fri 27 Dec. 2013, 14:01 CAT

FELIX Mutati has warned that increasing youth unemployment will begin to create impatience among young people if not addressed. Mutati said youth unemployment was one of the major challenges the PF government was faced with.

He said the PF government particularly had the challenge of creating volumes of long-term and predictable jobs to address youth unemployment.

"The bulk of jobs that we have been able to create could be about maybe 300,000, whatever that number may be. The bulk of those are temporary jobs arriving out of the construction and infrastructure sectors; the story where you employ people for three to six months," Mutati said.

"What the economy needs is sustainable employment that is long-term and predictable. That is the biggest challenge that this government has faced in 2013, which they must begin to address."

Mutati said employment, a reliable source of income for many people, was key in advancing development.

"If we don't address the youth unemployment which continues to grow, it doesn't matter how else you define governance, governance can be defined from the ability to be able to have something in your tummy. Once you have that, then you can deal with logic," he said.

"If you have nothing in the tummy, logic doesn't apply and that is how you see that in a little while, before long, there is a mob. It is because the level of hope and opportunity appears to be diminishing and when that happens, people become impatient. So we have to address the impatience and that is what we must do. Of course, it is a long road."

And Mutati observed that the government had not been able to balance the 2013 budget appropriately.

He said the supplementary expenditure by the government had moved from 10 per cent to 25 per cent of the budget, something he said should not be encouraged.

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(NEWZIMBABWE, 'SOUTHERN EYE') SA-based Zimbos 'tortured' at Bulawayo State House
26/12/2013 00:00:00
by Southern Eye

THREE South Africa-based Zimbabweans ere visiting bereaved relatives in Bulawayo, were on Christmas Eve tortured by soldiers guarding the Bulawayo State House for asking for directions, it has emerged.

One victim of the alleged torture, Nkosi Lunga, told Southern Eye yesterday that they were driving in a South Africa-registered car together with his brother Mbuso and uncle Isaiah when they were forced to roll in mud.

They had stopped to ask for directions to Garden Cash from the soldiers guarding the State House entrance from the Sauerstown end.

Lunga said little did they know that the soldiers would turn their day into a nightmare as they accused them of having been sent by South African President Jacob Zuma to assassinate President Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe had been in the city two days earlier to officially commission the new Joshua Mqabuko International Airport terminal building and unveil Father Zimbabwe’s statue.

“It was on Tuesday that we decided to visit our relative in Sauerstown and she gave us directions to her house.

“However, when we were in Sauerstown we discovered that we were lost,” Lunga said.
“We started driving slowly trying to establish the direction.

“We then drove past a bushy area and came to a gate and found two soldiers and asked for directions. They invited us to get through the gate and asked for my uncle Isaiah’s driver’s licence.”

He said it took them a while to realise that they had been invited into the State House premises.

“The soldiers started accusing us of being sent by Zuma to kill Mugabe,” Lunga said.

“They said they were going to fix us so that we can go back to South Africa and tell others how Zimbabwe was like.

“The soldiers asked us to kneel down and took a hosepipe which they used to spray us with water until we were drenched.

“They then made us to roll in the mud before ordering us to leave the place.”

A relative who refused to reveal her first name for fear of reprisals, confirmed the torture of her relatives.
“It was so embarrassing to have my relatives tortured like that,” she said.

“I think those soldiers guarding State House were just overzealous because my relatives were genuinely asking for directions to my house from people whom we should feel safe around.”

Her husband, Levi Moyo — former Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe chairperson — said the torture was similar to what people of Bulawayo went through during Gukurahundi.

“This reminded me of 1982 when I was told to hit my uncle Siphambaniso because his surname was Nkomo,” he said.

“As we resumed the fight thank God one good soldier told us to stop.

“He saved us because if one was not hitting enough the instruction was to be given a gun and shoot the other.

“This was not in Central Africa. This was in Pumula, Bulawayo, during the Gukurahundi era.

“I never thought this would be happening today again on the Eve of Christmas 2013.”
Moyo said many residents had endured torture at State House in Sauerstown in silence.

“A people’s army will not do this to its own, only a lawless militia will do that. Zimbabwe must be above that by now,” he said.
“Actually there is a lot of lawlessness in this gate behind the State House.”

Moyo said Sauerstown residents were often given permission to fetch water inside State House, but the soldiers could not tolerate mourners who were genuinely seeking directions to a relative’s house.
Zimbabwe army spokesperson Major Alphios Makotore could not be reached for comment.



By Editor
Thu 26 Dec. 2013, 14:00 CAT

It seems it is increasingly becoming difficult for us not to speak ill of one another. This really seems to be a very hard thing for most of us and, hence, we think it is something that we need to deeply reflect and meditate over during this festive period.

Gossip seems to be the order of the day in Zambia. Wherever one goes, one is greeted by 'have you heard?'! Gossip seems to be everywhere every day. No institution or grouping seems to be spared. And with the advent of Internet, the so-called social media is full of nothing but gossip. Facebook seems to be anchored on gossip. Twitter is twitting gossip. Bloggers are blogging gossip. Everything seems to be unstoppable where gossip is concerned.

But gossip is not good for the community and for the individual. Gossip hurts the spirit of unity. And as Saint Augustine put it, "There are men of rash judgement, detractors, scandal mongers, gossipy, determined to suspect what they do not see, and to spread around even what they do not suspect."

Gossip attracts our attention to the faults and defects of others, so as to feel better ourselves. The prayer of the Pharisee in the temple is an example, and Jesus had warned about looking at the speck in our neighbour's eye while ignoring the beam in our own.

To speak ill of others is bad for the individual and for every institution, be it government or state, church or otherwise, because the words do not remain words; they generate aggression, at least in the heart. St Augustine called such men "incurable".

It is said that "they are incurable those who neglect their own sins to focus on those of others. They do not intend to correct, but to bite. And, unable to excuse themselves, they are always ready to accuse others. All that remains with them is the illness of animosity. This is the weaker, the stronger is one who thinks it is".

Against the spirit of gossip, Christian tradition, from the time of the Fathers of the desert, has always proposed self-accusation.

A solid attitude to be instilled in the religious is that of self-accusation, for its absence breeds partisanship and divisions.
The first thing to do is a reminder that self-accusation has nothing to do with prudishness. To accuse oneself is not puerile or, worse, pusillanimous. It is, on the contrary, an act of uncommon courage, which permits being seen beyond appearances. It is to renounce make-up and to let truth out.

At the basis of this attitude, there is a fundamental option: anti-individualism in favour of a family, leading first to become good children and brethren, then good parents. Self-accusation is a basic communitarian position.

The individualist temptation grows and leads to partialities and divisions in community life. It is always based on a truth, at times partial, apparent or even fallacious. Not always does the devil tempt with a lie. At the basis of a temptation, there may well be a truth, but livened with bad spirit. That is why an outlook ought to be judged always not by its content, but by the spirit that supports it, which is not precisely the spirit of truth. Usually, it is a reason that justifies and tranquilises, but based on the spirit of suspicion.

Suppositions and mistrust are liable to become real in the future: they are always a temptation. God is never in them, for He is the Lord of real time, of a verifiable past and of a discernible present. As to the future, He is the Lord of promises, who demands of us trust and abandonment.

The spirit of suspicion demands a truth that would insure myself against a brother: it will always be a truth in the defensive against community participation, that is one that justifies lack of participation in the life of a community.

The devil himself sows suspicion in the heart, without intent to divide. The devil wants to divide - by means of suspicion - to confuse afterwards.

The devil sows suspicion by means of fallacies, or with half-truths, so as to shield the heart in individualistic convictions, and later in a world shut off from all objectivity.

Suspicion, on being sown by the devil, configures in the heart a twisted rule, which in turn twists the rest of reality. It is not easy to think less of a religious heart tempted by a twisted rule. It is not a question of this or that idea, but of hermeneutics: any suggestion is interpreted crookedly, within the rule that is equally crooked.

This reminds us of St Teresa's observations: "…they treated me unreasonably", complex of some of her nuns, as the origin of many evils in religious life. The religious thus tempted becomes in time a collector of injustices, taking a continuous census of injustices suffered, true or imagined, and gets caught up in a spirituality of victim of a conspiracy.

The conspiracy theory, in sociology, is a weak one from the hermeneutic point of view. It is not easily supported, and does not stand serious criticism.

Side by side with such an attitude, there grows a state of anxiety, the fruit of bad spirit. Used to totally suspecting everything, they become less and less aware of the peace that accompanies trust in the Lord. They stick to the idea that the right solution to conflict must pass through the sleeve of their continuous control. They are constantly agitated by anxiety, the combined fruit of wrath and laziness.
They are the followers of Herod frightened (Matthew 2:3) and of the restless high priests and Pharisees who tried to put a stop to God's strength by sealing the sepulchre (Matthew 27:62-66). They quieten every fear with the powerful illusion of their own control, knowing nothing of the sweetness of the Lord, who reduces the power of His enemies by changing them into smouldering stumps:

"The heart of the king and the heart of the people trembled, as the trees of the forests trembled in the wind…and Yahweh said: 'Take care, remain tranquil and do not fear; let not your courage fail before these two stumps of smouldering brands…'" (Is 7:2-4).

Hidden in the works of suspicion disguised as love for truth, there lies a refined seeking of pleasure. Behind ideas, there lurks a will. Suspicion and mistrust lead people to typical bitterness. And little by little, they draw away from truth, enlisting themselves under the banners of falsehood. Their capacity to condemn gets of out phase. And they do not know how to condemn well. They have not asked for the grace, recommended by St Ignatius, of knowing in order to abhor.