Saturday, September 07, 2019

(LUSAKATIMES) President Mugabe was maligned because of his crusade to bring social justice and equity to Zimbabwe-KK

(LUSAKA TIMES ZM) President Mugabe was maligned because of his crusade to bring social justice and equity to Zimbabwe-KK
September 6, 2019 249 20

First Republican President Kenneth Kaunda has said that it is regrettable that the late President Robert Mugabe was maligned and subjected to mudslinging by some sections of the world who were against his crusade of bringing social justice and equity to Zimbabwe.

In a message of condolences sent to Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa and availed to media in Lusaka today, Dr Kaunda said that President Mugabe was unfairly slapped with economic sanctions that hurt the people of Zimbabwe.

Dr Kaunda said that he is devastated by the death of former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, adding that his death was a moment of heartbreak and sadness for him.

Dr Kaunda recalled that President Mugabe worked hard to fight colonialism, racism, as well as bringing independence to Zimbabwe.

The 95-year-old founding father referred to the late Mugabe as a brother and colleague in the common struggle of liberation for Africa.

Dr Kaunda told President Mnangagwa that he prays that unfriendly forces will not rise and vilify President Mugabe for his governance and development record during his reign in Zimbabwe.

Dr Kaunda prayed that God will comfort Mr Mugabe’s family and the people of Zimbabwe during their time of grief.

President Robert Mugabe died today Friday September 6, 2019 aged 95, in a Singaporean hospital where he has been receiving medical treatment.

The late Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years from 1980 to 2017 when he was deposed by the military in a bloodless transition of power.

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(BLF SA) We won’t join the demonization of Mugabe

COMMENT - Gukurahandi is a political football, whose numbers were continuously inflated by the rhodesian leadership of the MDC.

We won’t join the demonization of Mugabe
By admin
Posted on September 7, 2019
By Andile Mngxitama

It’s interesting how the white power structure determines our emotions and how we recollect our own suffering. After the Gukurahundi that spanned from 1983 to 1987, the number of Ndebele people murdered was estimated to be around 5000 or so. A large number by any estimate.

The West was then happy when President Robert Mugabe spoke reconciliation. They thought that they had softened him by knighting him and conferring on him numerous medals and recognitions. He was also the recipient of many awards, including human rights awards. In honoring Mugabe they had strategically forgotten about the Gukurahundi.

Come the year 2000! The land return program starts and things change. Mugabe is now a monster. The people who gave him human rights awards now remember the Gukurahundi and up the number of death to 20 000!

Gukurahundi was a horrible inexcusable event. It should have been handled differently. Having said that, we must keep in mind that the South African apartheid regime and Ian Smith were organizing a counter revolution from Matabeleland. They were taking advantage of the tribalism that had affected the liberation movement in Zimbabwe. The apartheid regime had already done it in Angola via Unita; Mozambique via Renamo and South Africa via the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).

There are important questions still to be answered from a revolutionary point of view about what the available options to stop the counter revolution, really were?

What we must resist is the demonization of Mugabe that is ordered by Britain and the larger global white power structure. They hate Mugabe because he addressed the land question. NO, we won’t be told by them to hate one of our own.

Andile Mngxitama is the President of Black First Land First, a revolutionary black consciousness movement.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

(THE SOUTH AFRICAN) CR17 donors revealed

COMMENT - Maria Ramos is married to Trevor Manuel, former South African Finance Minister, and today working for the Rothschild Group, Rothschild South Africa and it's client Old Mutual.

Nicky Oppenheimer: South Africa’s richest man, reportedly donated R10 million to the leadership bid.
Raymond Ackerman: The owner of Pick n Pay is said to have dropped a cool R1 million into the funding pool.
Maria Ramos: The ex-ABSA CEO and PIC executive allegedly gave R1 million to the campaign.
Johnny Copelyn: CR17 can thank the owner of the news network eNCA for a R2 million donation.
An anonymous donor: Apparently, one unnamed benefactor pumped R120 million into Cyril’s campaign. Yikes.


(THE SOUTH AFRICAN) CR17 donors revealed: EFF pile in on Ramaphosa and his millionaire funders
It's a disastrous day for Cyril Ramaphosa, as his supposedly dirty laundry gets aired. The EFF have been highly critical of his CR17 funders on Sunday.
Tom Head
by Tom Head 2019-08-11 14:06in News

During Cyril Ramaphosa’s hour of misery, the EFF have arrived in a timely fashion. His CR17 campaign – which earned him the right to lead the ANC and eventually become president – has been the subject of intense scrutiny from Busisiwe Mkhwebane, who is now being accused of illegally obtaining the information.

CR17 donors revealed by the media

In a statement made late on Saturday, the presidency said Ramaphosa had been made aware that confidential banking information of his campaign contributors had been leaked to the media. It’s understood the head of state will seek court action to investigate how Mkhwebane managed to get inside the bank accounts belonging to the president:

“The information, supposedly held only by the Public Protector, includes bank statements of third parties, which record private transactions and which are strictly confidential. This amounts to a violation of the constitutionally enshrined right to privacy. Neither the President nor the campaign has done anything wrong, ethically or legally.”

Statement from the office of Cyril Ramaphosa
Who funded Cyril Ramaphosa and his CR17 campaign?
Ramaphosa was boosted by a victory in court against Busisiwe Mkhwebane last week, regarding the recommended remedial action against Pravin Gordhan. However, his joy seems to have been short-lived, as some rather conspicuous names have been linked to CR17 through a Sunday Independent report. These include:

Nicky Oppenheimer: South Africa’s richest man, reportedly donated R10 million to the leadership bid.
Raymond Ackerman: The owner of Pick n Pay is said to have dropped a cool R1 million into the funding pool.
Maria Ramos: The ex-ABSA CEO and PIC executive allegedly gave R1 million to the campaign.
Johnny Copelyn: CR17 can thank the owner of the news network eNCA for a R2 million donation.
An anonymous donor: Apparently, one unnamed benefactor pumped R120 million into Cyril’s campaign. Yikes.

ABSA Nation Building put R10 million towards CR17, and two Eskom executives – one past and one present – put a combined R1.8 million into Ramaphosa leadership campaign. Andre Crawford-Brunt, a board member of Sygnia, was also a big backer – he put R2 million into the kitty.

Needless to say, the lavish funding hasn’t escaped the attention of the EFF. The red berets have been utilising their Twitter platform to nail Cyril Ramaphosa and his friends in high places. Party Deputy President Floyd Shivambu said that the leaked information proved Ramaphosa was nothing more than a ‘puppet’ for outside influences.

“None of the funders look like the majority of members of the party they hypnotized through cash. Clearly, the white capitalist establishment has rented a president to the erstwhile liberation movement. And most definitely, this is no free later lunch!”

Floyd Shivambu
Meanwhile, EFF Spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi lambasted Cyril and his donor lists through a series of Tweets, hammering the president for showing that he holds “zero integrity” in his current position.

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Monday, August 05, 2019

(BFLF) Ramaphosa is illegitimate President, he must go!

(BFLF) Ramaphosa is illegitimate President, he must go!
POSTED ON AUGUST 5, 2019 BY BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST
Ramaphosa is illegitimate President, he must go!

Black First Land First (BLF) calls on the African National Congress (ANC) to immediately suspend Cyril Ramaphosa as its President and remove him as President of the country. The leaked emails have not been denied and show beyond reasonable doubt that Ramaphosa is compromised, conflicted, and corrupt. Worse still he is beholden to white monopoly capital (WMC) in that he is bought by it. It is also clear that Ramaphosa is protected by the WMC judiciary. The consequences of this reality is that there shall be no meaningful change in the lives of our people.

The #RamaphosaLeaks show that:

1. Ramaphosa lied to parliament and the nation.
2. Ramaphosa is corrupt.
3. Ramaphosa conspired with WMC to buy the presidency of the ANC in the December 2017 NASREC conference.
4. Ramaphosa is a captured President by Stellenbosch and London.
5. Ramaphosa has already given the country to his handlers.
6. Ramaphosa is protected by the WMC media.
7. Pravin Gordhan is central to the conspiracy to buy the ANC conference with money from Stellenbosch and London.
8. Ramaphosa is an illegitimate President.

BLF is clear! Ramaphosa must go!!!

Right now no women or men of integrity have emerged from within the ANC with the moral rectitude to call for Ramaphosa to go. Even the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) people are silent!

THIS IS A DISGRACE!!!

Again, BLF is clear! Ramaphosa must go! He said he is fighting corruption, whilst being the most corrupt!

Issued by Black First Land First, National Coordinating Committee of (BLF NCC)

5 August 2019

Contact Details

Black First Land First Mail: blackfirstlandfirst@gmail.com

Zanele Lwana
(BLF Deputy President)
Cell: +27 79 986 7225

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Sunday, July 14, 2019

(PATRIOT ZW) US hand in fake abductions

(PATRIOT ZW) US hand in fake abductions
By Patience Murava - June 27, 20190420
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ZIMBABWE is besieged by non-governmental organisations’ (NGOs) regime change antics despite exposing their illegal machinations time and again.

They have used countless attempts to get the opposition MDC-T into power through the backdoor; using unconventional and illegal tactics, all of which are scripted by their Western handlers.

Attention-seeking actions that provoke the state to act are a sure way for civil society and opposition leaders to gain a few front page screamers in newspapers at home and abroad.

These antics also guarantee their donors and handlers in the West have platforms to further attack the Government and justify continued isolation of Zimbabwe.

There is one particularly tired script the civil society has been using in its attempts to effect regime change.

Over the past few weeks, members from NGOs have been making claims of being abducted, being under surveillance, their lives being in danger and other imagined threats from the Government.

The latest is that of Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) leader Obert Masaraure who claims to have been abducted, tortured and dumped a day after by suspected State agents.

US behind fake abductions?

The Patriot has established that recently, the US Embassy in Zimbabwe invited nine ARTUZ provincial representatives to Harare for a meeting to discuss the Union’s pending demonstrations.

The meeting was facilitated by ARTUZ board member Douglas Coltart.

The Union has proved beyond reasonable doubt that they have an insatiable appetite for anarchy.

According to the source, the US Embassy offered the ARTUZ members accommodation at their embassy.

US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols encouraged ARTUZ to stage more demonstrations, indicating that it was within their democratic rights.

He added that they are always welcomed at the US Embassy whenever they have any need.

Several local and international NGOs, including prominent regime change agenda activists, have been implicated in an unfolding plot to topple the Government of Zimbabwe through violent protests.

Code-named Savannah Revolution and running under the theme ‘Political Revolution, National Order and Economic Revolution in Zimbabwe’,the operation, to be executed through violent means, is being spearheaded by NGOs.

Last month, several NGO leaders, including Citizens Manifesto co-ordinator Tatenda Mombeyarara, Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe Advocacy officer George Makoni, Nyasha Frank Mpahlo of Transparency International Zimbabwe and executive director of COTRAD Gamuchirai Mukura were implicated for planning to destabilise a constitutional Government.

More so, another regime change project workshop was held in South Africa, emphasising on the need for what they termed ‘political revolution in Zimbabwe.

The modus operandi for the unseating of the Government would include massive demonstrations, sit-ins, student protests, civil disobedience and online activism.

Abductions that never were

Another issue that was discussed at the meeting with the US Ambassador was abduction of ARTUZ members and other civil society leaders.

ARTUZ claims that 47 of its members have been harassed by State agents, with several abducted, while five others have skipped the borders.

In April, three ARTUZ members, Robson Chere, Jess Drury, Precious Ndlovu and Munyaradzi Ndawana claimed to have been abducted in Greystone Park by four plain-clothed men using one vehicle.

It was, however, discovered that Chere skipped the border to evade arrest.

He was scheduled to leave for the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) 2019 this month. Interestingly, in 2017, Masaraure attended the Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF) for Young African Leaders programme.

The fellowship, launched in 2014, is the flagship programme of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

These young African ‘leaders’ are at the forefront of pushing for regime change in Africa, as they have been taught and brainwashed to despise their past and heritage.

YALI was established when the US interests on the continent shifted from opposition political parties to the youths.

The term, ‘generation democracy’, best describes the targeted group.

Upon returning to their home countries, Fellows continue to build on the ‘skills’ they would have learnt during their time in the US through support from US embassies, four regional leadership centres, the YALI Network and customised programming from USAID, the Department of State and affiliated partners.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is sponsored by the US Department of State, with funding provided by the US Government and administered by the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX).

But back to the alleged abduction of Masaraure.

It was claimed the union leader was kidnapped when he was on the line with Voice of America Zimbabwe Service, saying he was fearing for his life as he felt he had been followed to his house by suspected members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

Voice of America (VOA), headquartered in Washington DC, is funded by the US Government.

Funds are appropriated annually by Congress under the budget for embassies and consulates.

“Minutes after raising concern, loud noise could be heard from the background as the home was being broken into,” reported VOA.

“When VOA tried to reach him a few minutes after he raised alarm, his wife responded in a text, noting that ‘they took him away, they broke our house’.”

Pictures purported to be of Masaraure, with a battered back with old bruises were circulated on social media platforms such as Whatsapp and facebook.

There are also pictures of Masaraure with his head bandaged and his right arm in a sling that circulating on both social and local media as well as a video in which he is thanking Zimbabweans for their thoughts and prayers.

Is it by coincidence that the so-called abduction was done at a time when Zimbabwe was holding a political dialogue forum with the European Union?

Zimbabwe and the EU launched a formal dialogue process based on Article 8 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, which governs relations between member-states of the African-Carribean-Pacific regions and the EU.

The development is a major realisation of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s re-engagement policy which seeks to reintegrate Zimbabwe into the global family of nations.

In an interview, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary Nick Mangagwa said the wounds that Masaraure has were malicious and self-inflicted.

“We have checked with the security services, including the police, and they do not know anything about that,” said Mangwana.

“We believe that this was stage managed to put Zimbabwe in very bad light since Zimbabwe and the European Union (EU) have launched formal political dialogue.”

It was however, found out that ARTUZ leader faked the abduction to justify his extended absence from work without official leave since January this year.

Public Service Commission (PSC) has since stopped his salary.

It’s important to note that some reports allege that the abduction of Masaraure was stage managed by MDC-Alliance’s Tendai Biti and Maureen Kademaunga.

“A few days after the abduction, Biti travelled to UK where he met British Foreign Minister and showed him the photoshopped pictures of ARTUZ president Obert Masaraure’s fake abduction,” said another source.

From lies and exaggerations to fake abductions, NGOs and opposition leaders will do anything and everything for attention and donor funding.

No tactic is far-fetched!

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(HERALD ZW) Sanctions now outdated: SB Moyo

(HERALD ZW) Sanctions now outdated: SB Moyo
Foreign Affairs and International Trade minister Dr Sibusiso Busi Moyo addresses businesspeople at Chatham House in London,UK yesterday
Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter

Sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe are outdated and should be removed as they benefit neither Zimbabwe nor the United States of America, the authors of the hostile policy, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Busi Moyo has said.

He said this on Wednesday when he had lunch with the Westminster Africa Business Group in London, United Kingdom.

Minister Moyo said the removal of the sanctions was now long overdue.

“It (sanctions) is something which is now in a former page; in a book which you have read before twice and which we do not want to read anymore. It is not serving the US, the US businesspeople or Zimbabwean people and, therefore, it is outdated,” said Minister Moyo.

“We have been directly dealing with Americans themselves and that is why I was telling you that Americans have seen light in Zimbabwe. They have started coming in serious hordes of numbers in terms of corporates.

“They (General Electric from the US) are going to be building a 2 400MW hydro power station in Zimbabwe. They are going to be investing in the health sector, rolling out a wide and an elaborate health centre.

“They have been offered to go into methane gas deposits and they are already on the ground.”

GE and Power Construction of China have been awarded the tender to implement the 2 400MW Batoka Gorge Hydro Power project at about US$4 billion.

Other US firms are engaged in various economic activities in Zimbabwe, while others are scouting for opportunities, making a strong case for the removal of the ruinous sanctions.

Minister Moyo said although the US has refused to lift the sanctions, Zimbabwe continues to be hospitable by offering its citizens investment opportunities.

The US was also allowed to observe last year’s harmonised elections.

Said Minister Moyo: “We have decided in a way, while we are telling them that the sanctions are outdated, but we have also decided to say American corporates, ignore the outdated piece of paper and move on so that the system, the Congress in the US, can realise that it is not worth any more.

“We have also been engaging Congress, even the actual proponents of the sanctions, even the revised position, Senator Jeff Flake and Chris Coons. We actually invited them to Zimbabwe and they came.

“We have invited all these and they came and looked at the situation and they are also talking to them, feeling internally embarrassed about having been pushing on for the existence of the sanctions; but it is in the US system.

“It is a process rather than an event and we think at the end of the day, they are going to see light and President (Donald) Trump will be able to see light one day,” he said.

Minister Moyo visited London, United Kingdom on a four-day re-engagement programme to strengthen bilateral relations and to woo investment into the country.

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Friday, May 24, 2019

(THE PATRIOT ZW) President Museveni’s thoughts on Zim sanctions

COMMENT - More about ZDERA here, including a chart showing the direct relationship between the ZDERA 2001 coming into force and the decline of the Zimbabwe Dollar in 2002, here. - MrK

(THE PATRIOT ZW) President Museveni’s thoughts on Zim sanctions
By The Patriot Reporter - May 9, 2019
By Dr Tafataona Mahoso

I WAS privileged to be at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) 2019 when His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni delivered his guest of honour address.

In his address, the guest of honour touched on several related themes: The contribution of African nationalism and pan-Africanism to the liberation of the southern African region from colonialism, apartheid and Rhodesian UDI, which was a great achievement in the global struggle for true human rights; the apparent contradiction of the fact that in the 1970s and 1980s, with far less resources than now, African countries were more effective in exerting their influence in international affairs than they are able to exert in 2019; and, last but not least, the shame of the current illegal economic sanctions on Zimbabwe which Museveni described as an act of moral and diplomatic cowardice.

Although the observation that sanctions on Zimbabwe were an act of cowardice did catch the attention of most journalists and editors, it was not covered beyond mere speech reporting. So its significance was largely missed or ignored. The significance is worth revisiting.

The Western doctrine encompassing free-flow of information, open and transparent society, academic freedom and press freedom is daily contradicted by sanctions on Zimbabwe.

An act of cowardice, in the context of discourse and diplomacy, implies an act of avoidance and denial. Indeed, for the last 20 years, the issue of the illegal and racist sanctions on Zimbabwe has seen Western leaders, their ambassadors and the thousands of journalists and editors roped in to justify the sanctions engaging mostly in avoidance and denial. Here is how:

First, it is only white countries who decided to punish black people with sanctions for daring to take back their land which was stolen by white settlers and abused as well as exploited for 100 years. This fact had to be denied or avoided because the same white powers want to project themselves as democratic societies who have overcome racism and racial discrimination and who are now champions of human rights. So, in this sense, illegal sanctions served to foreclose an international debate on the rights of a whole nation subjected to forced removals and denied access to their best lands, waters and other resources for an entire century. Shutting the door on such an important debate became necessary because it would only result in the West looking really bad and backward.

In the second place, having succeeded in shutting the channels of discourse by resorting to illegal sanctions, the next form of denial perpetrated by the West was to change the subject, to suppress the matter of African majority dispossession and replace it with a one-way propaganda barrage foregrounding theoretical ‘human rights’ as if the forced removal of Africans from their lands, waters and other resources were not in fact a fundamental human rights issue.

In the third place, the West had to set up a skewed mass media system which was intended to create the global perception that it was Zimbabwean society which was closed to debate and dialogue because it was not an ‘open’ and ‘transparent’ society. This set up is demonstrated by the fact that Studio 7 was created as a propaganda vehicle to broadcast one-way into Zimbabwe and its identity had to emphasise Studio 7 while disguising the reality that Studio 7 is a channel of the Voice of America (VOA) which is an instrument of US foreign policy under the US State Department.

This feature is critical for supporting President Museveni’s charge of cowardice because VOA is forbidden by US law from broadcasting into the US.

This is profound because Studio 7 goes out of its way to gather many voices around Zimbabwe whose contributions are consistent with the aims of US policy.

In fact Studio 7, on its face value, appears to be levelling the media playing field in Zimbabwe by providing a North American alternative. But that apparent levelling is fake because it does not level the real field where it would really matter; that is affording the masses of Zimbabwe the opportunity to speak to the masses of the US, people-to-people, bout the damage US policy toward Zimbabwe has inflicted upon ordinary people.

In the fourth place, the effect of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZDERA), the 2001 US sanctions law on Zimbabwe, has been to spread diplomatic poison to Zimbabwe’s relations with countries other than the UK and US, that is, countries who (except for race and racism) have absolutely nothing to do with the specific quarrel over land which was between Britain and its settler-kith-and-kin on one hand, and the African majority in Zimbabwe, on the other.

One of those white countries is Sweden, whose Ambassador here in 2008, also went on a crusade of denial about sanctions.

On Friday, November 7 2008, the Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Sten Rylander, made an unusual solo appearance on ZTV’s programme Talking Business where he was interviewed by Supa Mandiwanzira of Mighty Movies.

For those who are trained to read situations in addition to merely verbal statements and texts, the Swedish Ambassador’s appearance was significant in several respects:

It was on the same Talking Business programme on 18 July 2001 that the then MDC spokesman Learnmore Jongwe appealed to Zimbabweans to celebrate the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Bill which was pending in the US Congress.

This Bill became the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) in the same year. The only difference between Jongwe in July 2001 and Rylander in November 2008 was that I was given the opportunity to challenge Jongwe on the same programme in 2001 but this time Rylander’s appearance was a solo performance with only the host as an indirect and weak challenger. Both Jongwe and Rylander lied to ZTV viewers by claiming that ZIDERA was not a sanctions Bill but was meant to promote democracy in Zimbabwe and to ban a few undesirable leaders from international travel.

Rylander’s appearance on November 7 2008, just like Jongwe’s intervention on July 18 2001, was part and parcel of a long series of externally orchestrated and world-wide events intended to influence Zimbabwe and the SADC region. Zimbabwean patriots found themselves having to respond to this form of external aggression. Rylander’s appearance was also meant to raise the value and bargaining power of MDC-T and Morgan Tsvangirai on the eve of the SADC Summit scheduled for that same weekend in Sandton, South Africa, where Zimbabwe’s interparty agreement on an Inclusive Government was going to be discussed.

Spy-sponsored documentaries on CNN, BBC and other Western channels celebrated the effects of the illegal economic war on Zimbabwe and its direct impact on ordinary citizens.

Among related events at the time of Rylander’s appearance were a number of spy-sponsored documentaries on CNN, BBC and other Western channels celebrating the effects of the illegal economic war on Zimbabwe and its direct impact on ordinary citizens. As usual, the spy-sponsored documentaries, just like Rylander, never mentioned sanctions nor admitted that ZIDERA was indeed a US declaration of economic war upon the same suffering people of Zimbabwe.

Indeed, the claim that ZIDERA was just a travel ban to promote democracy in Zimbabwe was contradicted not only by the fact that Zimbabwe’s leaders have always been able to travel and were in fact going to travel to SA as Rylander appeared on ZTV. The claim was also contradicted by former US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell when he told students and faculty at Africa University on November 2 20005 that:

“The Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act is the cornerstone of US policy toward Zimbabwe. Under the Act, the United States conditions aid and financing for Zimbabwe….” Indeed this had nothing to do with travel bans.

Yet, without crediting the decline of Zimbabwe’s economy to the same sanctions, Ambassador Dell bragged that according to the Washington-based Centre for Global Development (CGD) the economic crisis in Zimbabwe had set the country back by 52 years by 2005! The [CGD] paper calculated that the purchasing power of the average Zimbabwean in 2005 had fallen back to the same level as 1953, according to Dell.

In other words, Rylander, Dell and Learnmore Jongwe were all begging the question: Why would the entire US Government make a mere personal travel ban the ‘cornerstone’ of its policy toward Zimbabwe and how could a country’s economy be set back half a century within five years without economic war? This second question is particularly important since the massive decline happened without any change in government. The same Government associated with development progress and improving living conditions from 1980 to 2000 was still in power in 2005. If indeed the Government’s corruption was the real explanation why would it cause such a precipitous decline only after 1999? What really happened to the economy between 1999 and 2005 or 2008?

Rylander did not speak just for the country he was paid to represent in Zimbabwe. He spoke on behalf of all the sponsors of regime change and external interference in Zimbabwe.

That Rylander was a front for all the others became clear also in his desperate efforts to fool the Zimbabwean public into continuing to believe that western aid would flood Zimbabwe as soon as President Mugabe and ZANU-PF handed over to Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T all the cabinet posts and powers demanded by the West through Tsvangirai.

In the fifth place, the effect of the US sanctions has been to destroy the journalistic and intellectual integrity of many media houses on the issue of Zimbabwe.

Former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor, Dr Gideon Gono wrote a book on the sanctions while he was still in office. Instead of journalists and editors, compromised by donor funds from the West coming out at least to criticise the book where they did not agree with it, the response was a complete black-out. Never mind that the same editors and journalists continued their role of denying the existence of sanctions altogether or misnaming them as ‘travel bans’.

At the core of their denial was the question and meaning of sanctions which Dr Gono tackled on Page 97 of his book Zimbabwe’s Casino Economy: Extraordinary Measures for Extraordinary Challenges.

This was Dr Gono’s view of illegal sanctions, according to his book, on Page 97:

“I believe that, if properly scrutinised in diplomacy, politics and ethics, it should not be very difficult to appreciate that illegal economic sanctions are not different from sanitised terrorism. As instruments of foreign policy, the objectives of terror and illegal economic sanctions are the same: terror, which is generally described as a state of fear or an overwhelming sense of imminent danger.

The individuals, institutions and companies in Zimbabwe that have been targeted for sanctions from the powerful Western countries are supposed to be terrorised by a continuing sense of imminent danger. The same is true of ordinary people who are being made to understand that economic sanctions would not be lifted as long as ZANU-PF and President Mugabe remain in power.”

Indeed, according to Oxford University lecturer Blessing Miles-Tendi’s Making History in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe: Intellectuals, History and Media, even university academics were not spared. Many went out their way to distort their research against Zimbabwe in order to fit the western template and to get paid.

In other words, Ugandan President Museven’s observation that white sanctions against Zimbabwe were an act of cowardice is correct. The Western doctrine encompassing free-flow of information, open and transparent society, academic freedom and press freedom is daily contradicted by sanctions on Zimbabwe. These sanctions have made necessary the setting of a huge propaganda façade characterised by denial and avoidance.

That is why Zimbabwe’s Second Republic has made re-engagement with the West the major plank in its foreign policy: Because sanctions, as denial and avoidance, have shut the door on dialogue.



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Sunday, May 19, 2019

KCM TAX EVASION

COMMENT - “Why should they tell us they are making losses from the time they came? If they were making losses, they could have gone. They are liars, cheats and take us for fools. I will not allow that. Those that want to work with us will follow our laws. It’s a sovereign state and if we say the way we want to manage our tax regime we decide we will not be blackmailed by investors. Those that don’t want to stay can go. Sales tax is here to stay, VAT is gone. We decide,” said President Lungu."

From 2014: Anil Agarwal brags about the amount of money he dragged out of Zambia. "KONKOLA Copper Mines owner Anil Agarwal has mocked the Zambian government over the paltry amount of money he paid to buy the mine, which is now giving him millions of dollars in profit.".

http://maravi.blogspot.com/2014/05/comment-i-hope-this-is-final-push-in.html

(LUSAKA TIMES) KCM TAKING US FOR FOOLS…if it’s the will of the people to divorce, I will do so – Lungu
By Charles tembo in Ndola
on May 18, 2019

PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says Konkola Copper Mines are liars, cheats and want to take Zambians as fools. President Lungu said he is on the Copperbelt to end the marriage between his government and Konkola Copper Mines.

He said “enough is enough of exploitation from KCM” despite buying the mine so cheaply.

President Lungu said this upon arrival at the Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport in Ndola yesterday.

“We had a few matters to do at State House in Lusaka and of course, the Vice-President came back last night and I had to go and see her, she is doing very well. But my coming here is for one reason, one reason, the people of the Copperbelt want a divorce between themselves and copper mines namely KCM and Mopani. I want to hear it from the unions and the reason is simple, people have cried! I saw some women, some of them half naked crying that they feel cheated by the mining company KCM, and Mopani to some extreme,” President Lungu said.

“I have come here that if it’s the will of the people to divorce, I will do so. The message being made is clear. I want to consult the Chamber of Mines. I will be meeting them. The Mineworkers Union and other unions to find out what they think and I also have my position, and my position is that enough is enough. Zambians have been taken for a ride by the mining companies.”

He said KCM was bought so cheaply.

President Lungu said the Attorney General Likando Kalaluka and other lawyers would guide on how to share assets.

“KCM was bought for (US$) 25 million and we paid it all, our copper paid for the mines. They have done nothing since then, just promises, we can’t continue…. I am aware that there is a law in this country which should be followed, the Attorney General is here, the lawyers are here and will guide us on how we proceed with the divorce. So we will talk without any fear,” he said.

“I want to say this frankly because I know the opposition, those detractors who don’t see any good in what we do will be saying he is scaring investors. We are not going to scare any investor. Their investment is safe and those who want to come and invest should do so. I know there are other investors who are willing to come and invest in the mines. Immediately we kick them [KCM and Mopani] out, others will come and invest. There is engagement and disengagement even in marriage if things go bad…I am saying this without fear or favour.”

President Lungu said KCM had made enough profits.

“They have made money and taken money. We will ask the lawyer to tell us how we will share the assets and I know we will get married very soon. These are our mines.”

“Why should they tell us they are making losses from the time they came? If they were making losses, they could have gone. They are liars, cheats and take us for fools. I will not allow that. Those that want to work with us will follow our laws. It’s a sovereign state and if we say the way we want to manage our tax regime we decide we will not be blackmailed by investors. Those that don’t want to stay can go. Sales tax is here to stay, VAT is gone. We decide,” said President Lungu.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

(HERALD ZW) Sanctions must go — Gutu

COMMENT - After 17 years, the MDC admits to the existence of economic sanctions, their deleterious effect on the Zimbabwean people and economy, and their own role in the creation of those sanctions. Obviously, it cannot be enough to just admit to this criminal wrongdoing, which years ago was estimated to have cost the Zimbabwean people $42 billion, let alone lives lost. Therefore compensation must be paid to the Zimbabwean people, not only to restore their wealth and acknowledge a wrong committed, but to deter future governments from imposing economic sanctions as as tool of economic and foreign policy. They must consider the consequences before imposing such sanctions again. - MrK

More here: http://maravi.blogspot.com/2010/04/sticky-mrk-zimbabwe-dollar-collapse.html

(HERALD ZW) Sanctions must go — Gutu
Felex Share Senior Reporter

Former MDC-T spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu has admitted that the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West are toxic and hinder socio-economic development.

Calling for the removal of the embargo in toto, Mr Gutu — who is now the vice president of the MDC led by Dr Thokozani Khupe — said he was “misguided” in actively supporting the imposition of sanctions.

He added that all along he “naively” believed that the embargo would lead to the democratisation of Zimbabwe.

Mr Gutu in an editorial we publish in this paper today said the fact that he had seen the light on the contentious issue did not mean that he was now supporting the ruling Zanu-PF party .

“Where the overall interests of Zimbabwe supersede and overtake my own private and personal interests, I don’t hesitate to sacrifice my personal interests for the common good of my beloved country and continent,” he said.

“This is the major reason that informed how I reached my Damascus (sic) moment regarding the issue of sanctions against Zimbabwe. Here and now, I will fully admit that at one time, I was thoroughly misguided in actively supporting and actually calling for the imposition of sanctions against Zimbabwe.

“At that juncture, I rather stupidly and naively believed that the imposition of sanctions would naturally lead to the full and total democratisation of Zimbabwe. I was wrong; totally wrong. The reality is that sanctions actually cause more harm, political suffering and socio-economic agony to the majority of innocent Zimbabweans, most of whom are not even political activists.”

He said sanctions did not hurt political leaders as much as they hurt “the ordinary man and woman in the street and in the village or township.”

“After undertaking a thorough and deep study and introspection on the effects of sanctions on the generality of the people of Zimbabwe, I then reached my Damascus (sic) moment and began to appreciate how evil, toxic and retrogressive sanctions are against the welfare of the majority of my Zimbabwean compatriots.

“Thus, I’m unashamedly and passionately calling for the lifting of all forms of sanctions that were imposed against Zimbabwe by the major Western powers such as the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union,” he said.


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Thursday, February 14, 2019

(BLACK OPINION SA) Apartheid spy, Cyril Ramaphosa, must go!

COMMENT - The West continuously undermines democracy by installing or promoting neoliberal corporatists or representatives of the old colonial class in disguise, even through the Liberation Movements. That's why they're so enthusiastic about the new leaders of the ANC and ZANU-PF. Donald Trump literally announced the installation of a new President in Venezuela on twitter. For democracy to rule, the people must have their own unbought, uncompromised candidates. Or there has to be direct democracy - bypass the politicians altogether. - MrK

(BLACK OPINION SA) Apartheid spy, Cyril Ramaphosa, must go!
By admin Posted in Featured News Posted on February 14, 2019
By Andile Mngxitama

The nation must thank Cope leader, Mosiuoa “Terror” Lekota, for speaking the truth yesterday at the SONA debate. Throughout history, there has been a lot of speculation about Cyril Ramaphosa being an apartheid agent. Now Lekota has finally spoken out. The three minutes Lekota was on the podium was worth a thousands minutes. Lekota spoke directly when most of the opposition have been subdued since the State of the Nation Address.

For this, Terror Lekota is the undisputed hero of the SONA Debate.

The history of Ramaphosa and white monopoly capital is well documented and he is proud of it. Ramaphosa was raised and taken care of by the criminal Oppenheimer family. This is the family which benefited immensely from apartheid and its disastrous migrant labour system. At one stage, the family owned most of the economy of South Africa. The Oppenheimer family are heirs of the bloody loot of Cecil John Rhodes. They are the owners of the global giant Anglo American.

When student leaders where facing multiple detentions, torture and death in the 1970s, Ramaphosa was being protected and funded by the criminal Oppenheimer family. His schooling was paid for by them. When they were satisfied that he could serve them, they made him start a trade union in their mines with the view of controlling the workers. That’s how National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) was formed.

Ramaphosa was mentored to be a stooge of white monopoly capital. It is therefore not surprising at all that he is also an agent of the apartheid regime. These revelations by Lekota raise too many questions. Since Ramaphosa was close to the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) of Steve Biko, we are left to wonder if he had any hand in the assassinations of the prominent BCM leaders like Abram Onkgopotse Tiro, Mapetla Mohapi, Mthuli ka Shezi and Steve Biko himself.

Ramaphosa was being taken care off by the same people who worked tirelessly to eliminate the BCM. Did he help the apartheid regime destroy the BCM?

There are also questions about how Ramaphosa replaced both Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma from the center of the negotiations process in the 1990s. There is evidence that the removal of the two was instigated by the apartheid regime and white monopoly capital. Putting Ramaphosa as head of the negotiations ensured that the apartheid regime was basically negotiating with itself. This explains the sell-out settlement that is codified in Section 25 of the Constitution which legitimizes land theft. It was a gift from Ramaphosa, the apartheid agent.

South Africa cannot be ruled by someone who is linked to the apartheid regime and white monopoly capital. Ramaphosa is a sell-out.

Black First Land First (BLF) demands the following:

1. Ramaphosa must resign as state President now!

2. If he doesn’t resign, the African National Congress (ANC) must recall him.

3. He must apologize to the nation for collaborating with the enemy during apartheid.

4. A Commission of inquiry into the claims that Ramaphosa was an apartheid agent be set up.

Furthermore, we ask President Jacob Zuma to release his intelligence report on Ramaphosa’s link to the apartheid regime and white monopoly capital.

BLF will make sure Ramaphosa is removed from the Presidency. Already, we can see that every decision he has made since becoming president is calculated to serve white interests. He has already given white monopoly capital the gift of R1.4 trillion under the guise of the Independent Power Producers (IPPs). He has removed and persecuted all the radical economic transformation (RET) leadership core. He is en route to giving the oil discovered recently to whites. Plans are afoot to sell state owned entities to white monopoly capital, starting with Eskom.

The Marikana massacre was not an accident. Ramaphosa operates like an apartheid agent – he doesn’t care for black lives. No serious nation can allow itself to be ruled by agents of its oppressors. Ramaphosa must go!

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Thursday, January 24, 2019

(FIN24, BLOOMBERG) ANC calls for end to sanctions against Zimbabwe

COMMENT - The ANC calls for an end to economic sanctions against Zimbabwe. - MrK

ANC calls for end to sanctions against Zimbabwe
Jan 22 2019 20:52 Amogelang Mbatha, Bloomberg

African National Congress has called for the lifting of sanctions against neighboring Zimbabwe, where clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters claimed at least 12 lives.

The ANC thought those who imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe during the rule of President Robert Mugabe would change their view after elections that were held in July, Lindiwe Zulu, a member of the party’s highest decision-making body and minister of small business development, told reporters in Johannesburg ON Tuesday.

That’s “despite the challenges that came immediately after that with the deaths of some people,” she said.

Zimbabwe is still subject to US sanctions dating back to the rule of Mugabe, who stepped down in November 2017 and was replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa. His government is facing the worst economic crisis since a hyperinflationary spiral a decade ago as the nation reels from an acute shortage of foreign exchange and fuel and surging food prices, which led to violent protests last week.

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The US has said sanctions would be lifted only if Zimbabwe demonstrated "fundamental changes."

South Africa and Zimbabwe have close links because many of the estimated four million Zimbabweans who were driven away by the economy’s collapse under Mugabe live in South Africa.

"We are concerned about what is happening in Zimbabwe," Zulu said. “Zimbabwe is our neighbor and when a house is burning next door you don’t fold your hands and arms and say ‘it’s got nothing to do with me’.”

South Africa has offered to use its influence with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to help broker a debt-clearance plan for Zimbabwe, according to a person familiar with the matter.


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Monday, January 21, 2019

(HERALD ZW) Protests weren’t about fuel prices . . .broader political plot exposed

COMMENT - The best analysis of the situation is by The Herald:

"the timing of the demonstrations and their violent nature were meant to influence the European Union (EU) to maintain illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe."

Mr Chaibva, a former MDC official, said this had always been the opposition party’s agenda.

“It is the continuation of the MDC-Alliance agenda of August 1, 2018 of trying to make the country ungovernable. The MDC-Alliance are in pursuit of a foreign agenda which started in 2001the regime change agenda and the imposition of illegal economic sanctions. It explains the timing of the disturbances when the President is in Eastern Europe and soon in Switzerland. The EU is meeting soon to review economic sanctions on Zimbabwe. They must therefore find an excuse for extension of the sanctions, citing alleged deterioration of the human rights situation in Zimbabwe. It also explains why they are anxious to petition that the President should not attend the Davos summit,” said Mr Chaibva.

He added: “Let us not be under any illusion that the regime change protagonists are at rest. They are expanding their efforts.”



(HERALD ZW) Protests weren’t about fuel prices . . .broader political plot exposed

A motorist weaves his way past rocks that had been used by MDC rioters to block the road in Harare on Monday

Herald Reporter

The MDC-Alliance instigated violent protests witnessed early this week had nothing to do with an increase in the price of fuel or high cost of living among Zimbabweans, but part of the broader attempt at effecting illegal regime change, analysts said yesterday.

The timing of the protests, targeting of police stations for attacks, inflating of the number of victims by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and petitions to the international community, among other shenanigans by those who initiated the demonstrations, all point to a poorly-concealed political agenda oiled by the country’s traditional foes.

“The fuel issue was only manipulated as a trigger to long-standing efforts to internationalise domestic politics in Zimbabwe in a manner skewed in favour of the MDC-Alliance,” said political analyst, Mr Goodwine Mureriwa.

He said MDC-Alliance was trying to reinforce a false argument that the post-election outcome produced an illegitimate Zanu-PF Government.

He questioned why, if President Mnangagwa’s economic policies were not working, he was not being given the chance to fail instead of engaging in disruptive behaviour.

Mr Mureriwa also said the timing of the demonstrations and their violent nature were meant to influence the European Union (EU) to maintain illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe.

He said it was also aimed at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to impose illegal sanctions on the country.

“This explains why the so-called Zimbabwe Doctors for Human Rights is inflating the number of those injured to create a pretext for intervention on humanitarian grounds. They want to create a pretext for abuse of human rights, violation of the rule of law and to paint the whole politics of Zimbabwe as undemocratic,” added Mr Mureriwa.

He said this also explained why the demonstrators deliberately targeted police stations for attack.

“They targeted police stations for attack so as to provoke a firm response by the police that could lead to many casualties. Their objective will not be achieved without dead bodies and to strengthen their resolve, they also had to bomb their own offices (Harvest House) to portray Zanu-PF as a doctor of violence, violence which they instigated,” said Mr Mureriwa.

Another analyst who refused to be named said the violent protests were also “to throw spanners in President Mnangagwa’s engagement and re-engagement efforts for Zimbabwe to remain a pariah State”.

He said geopolitically, there were countries which were not happy about the close ties President Mnangagwa was forging with Eurasia due to the lukewarm attitude of the West despite all his reform efforts.

President Mnangagwa is in Eastern Europe on an engagement drive that will also see him in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum.

Another political analysts, Mr Gabriel Chaibva, applauded the security forces for exercising the highest standards of self-restraint in the face of provocation by opposition forces “itching for dead bodies” so as to create a human rights situation in Zimbabwe and the resultant international consequences.

“There is nothing as provocative as trying to get a gun from a soldier or attacking a police station. They were hoping for many dead bodies that would justify their outcry about human rights violations. Let us forget their lie that the protests were about economics. There is a broader political agenda to overthrow Government through unconstitutional means,” said Mr Chaibva.

Mr Chaibva, a former MDC official, said this had always been the opposition party’s agenda.

“It is the continuation of the MDC-Alliance agenda of August 1, 2018 of trying to make the country ungovernable. The MDC-Alliance are in pursuit of a foreign agenda which started in 2001the regime change agenda and the imposition of illegal economic sanctions. It explains the timing of the disturbances when the President is in Eastern Europe and soon in Switzerland. The EU is meeting soon to review economic sanctions on Zimbabwe. They must therefore find an excuse for extension of the sanctions, citing alleged deterioration of the human rights situation in Zimbabwe. It also explains why they are anxious to petition that the President should not attend the Davos summit,” said Mr Chaibva.

He added: “Let us not be under any illusion that the regime change protagonists are at rest. They are expanding their efforts.”

Mr Richard Mahomva said the MDC-Alliance and its partners were hiding behind the new fuel price to cause chaos.

“The violent response to what was an inevitable policy position on the fuel price was a concerted agenda to perpetuate the legacy of 1 August. It is the same old approach of manipulating gullible public emotional outrage to stage a war with ZANU-PF. The underpinning matter here is not the fuel price rise; it is about finding an opportunity to give traction to the ZANU-PF illegitimacy crusade post the 2018 elections,” said Mr Mahomva.

“As one would note, the shutdown plan only excelled in urban opposition hotspots, hence the outcry on the internet jam. From the outset, there was no constructive mechanism to engage a policy alternative and one notes that this is part of the long promised measure by the opposition to make the country ungovernable. Of note is the opposition’s hidden hand in the recent plunder just as was the case in August,” he said.

The Herald is reliably informed that the protests were funded to the tune of US$2 million by a foreign power and were supposed to leave at least 200 people dead.

This, it was planned, would then see the UN Security Council intervening on humanitarian grounds.

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Saturday, January 19, 2019

(THE CITIZEN SA) BLF deputy president attacked at home at 2am

COMMENT- "The BLF insists that rich apartheid-era business families such as the Oppenheimers and the Ruperts should also be investigated for “capture” of the state, which they contend continued well into democracy." This is not an opinion that is peculiar to the BLF. It's reality that insists. The history of Anglo-American Corporation, founded by sir Ernest Oppenheimer. Notice all the little carts in South Africa. - MrK

(THE CITIZEN SA) BLF deputy president ‘attacked, strangled’ at home at 2am
Citizen reporter

BLF leader Andile Mngxitama and his deputy Zanele Lwana.

The party sees the robbery as an attempt at political intimidation.
Black First Land First (BLF) said on Saturday afternoon that its deputy president was attacked in the early hours of Saturday morning.

In a statement, spokesperson Lindsay Maasdorp said: “A stranger gained entry at the flat of the deputy president of BLF around 2am on Saturday. The doors were locked. The stranger physically attacked comrade Zanele Lwana, who fought the intruder back. During the scuffle, other comrades woke up and the intruder fled with two phones, including one of the deputy president.

The party condemned in the strongest possible terms the attack on Lwana.

“The intruder tried to strangle the deputy president, leaving her with an injured neck and bruises on her arms. BLF beliefs this was not a chance criminal act but a politically motivated act to try to intimidate the deputy president with the hope of making her back off from submitting evidence to the Zondo commission on state capture.”

Lwana is due to give evidence to the Zondo Commission on the 12th of February.

“What is sad is that the police who were called to the crime scene were totally unhelpful and refused to open a case.

“BLF will inform the commission about this attempt to intimidate the deputy president of our movement. BLF warns all those implicated in corruption to now back off because nothing will stop the BLF from submitting evidence to judge Zondo.”

The BLF has already deposed to affidavits to the state capture commission on the alleged misconduct of former minister Nhlanhla Nene and Minister Pravin Gordhan.

The party has told the commission there has been state capture, corruption and fraud in the public sector that is not connected to the Guptas, whom the party and its leader have defended staunchly for years.

Asked for comment on whether he would be testifying at the commission, BLF president Andile Mngxitama said Lwana would deal with the BLF’s submissions on Nene and Gordhan, as Mngxitama would be “going for the Oppenheimers”.

The BLF insists that rich apartheid-era business families such as the Oppenheimers and the Ruperts should also be investigated for “capture” of the state, which they contend continued well into democracy.

(Compiled by Charles Cilliers)

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Monday, October 22, 2018

(LUSAKA TIMES) Zambia has largest potential to grow cash crops, says JTI

COMMENT - Zimbabwe after landreform is today the biggest producer of tobacco in the region. Tobacco didn't collapse, it took off. And it will when the South Africans and Namibians get their land back. Make no mistake, legislation like the Maize Control Acts and Native Land Acts were intended to reduce productivity to protect market prices for the European minority. African profits were used to subsidize colonists' agriculture.

" “For the 2018 crop season, we had a production of about 11.2 million Kgs of tobacco valued at about US$23.1 million. Why choose to come and grow tobacco in Zambia? In the region Zambia is the smallest tobacco producing country but it has the largest potential. Zimbabwe currently grows over 200 million Kgs, Zambia is at about 25 million Kgs, Malawi is at 165 million Kgs, Mozambique is at 85 million. So, we are very small. Other countries are progressively increasing their production [but] in Zambia it’s been a very slow process,” Matakala explained. "

(LUSAKA TIMES) Zambia has largest potential to grow cash crops, says JTI
By Chambwa Moonga on October 18, 2018

(By Chambwa Moonga in Kaoma)

JAPAN Tobacco International says while Zambia is the smallest tobacco producing country in the region, the country has the largest potential to grow the cash crop.

Briefing journalists on Tuesday afternoon in Kaoma, Japan Tobacco International (JTI) Leaf Zambia Limited corporate affairs and communications manager Litiya Matakala explained why his firm chose to grow tobacco in Zambia.

He later led journalists to tour JTI’s operations based at Rose wood in Kaoma.
JTI is a leading tobacco products company.

“Currently, we are the third largest in the world and our goal is to become number one by 2030. When it comes to Zambia, JTI established itself in 2009…” Matakala said.

“We contract farmers to grow tobacco in Zambia. We grow two types of tobacco, burley in the Eastern Province and Virginia, which is grown here in the Western Province, Kaoma. We basically provide input loans and extension services to our growers. So, we have a team of leaf production technicians who are extension officers who work closely with the farmers to grow the tobacco. In terms of the number of growers as we speak now, from the 120 or so farmers, we are now sitting at over 4,000 growers in Kaoma. Overall, we have about 7,000 farmers that we contract year in, year out.”

He said JTI had a research centre in Chisamba district where it does trials for new tobacco varieties and “see how we can improve yields.”

Matakala added that as of this year, JTI had about 201 permanent employees countrywide while another 330 were employed on a temporally basis annually.

“For the 2018 crop season, we had a production of about 11.2 million Kgs of tobacco valued at about US$23.1 million. Why choose to come and grow tobacco in Zambia? In the region Zambia is the smallest tobacco producing country but it has the largest potential. Zimbabwe currently grows over 200 million Kgs, Zambia is at about 25 million Kgs, Malawi is at 165 million Kgs, Mozambique is at 85 million. So, we are very small. Other countries are progressively increasing their production [but] in Zambia it’s been a very slow process,” Matakala explained.

“There are a number of things that need to be worked on in terms of the regulatory environment and how the Ministry of Agriculture is going to position the crop (tobacco) because in the Seventh National Development Plan it’s identified as a key crop and it’s a key crop. When you look at the returns per hectare compared to other crops, there is definitely more value in tobacco production than there is in other cash crops.”

He stressed that Zambia produced quality tobacco albeit “it’s a small volume production.”

“The land availability is good; far much better than Zimbabwe which is the largest producing country of Virginia tobacco in this part of the world,” he said.

On sustainability of the business and its impact on the environment, Matakala said: “For JTI we take environmental issues seriously. Over the past four, five years we have been implementing a number of projects; we are planting trees and we’ve also started investing in more efficient tobacco curing facilities.”

“So, in terms of wood loads (planted trees for using to cure tobacco), we’ve got about 1,750 wood loads which are established and each wood load has 200 trees. Over the next three years, all our farmers will have a wood load, starting this year,” he said.
Meanwhile, Matakala disclosed that in terms of tonnage for Virginia in 2017, “we had 4.6 million Kgs and that was [from] 3,500 growers. Then for this year we’ve got about 4,185 growers and tonnage [is estimated to be] 5.8 million Kgs.”

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Wednesday, August 01, 2018

(COINTELEGRAPH) Overstock Subsidiary Partners With Zambian Gov’t on Blockchain Land Registry

COMMENT - Watch out with these 'title deeds', because the bank ends up owning the land. They know most startups go bust, so they are in it for the land. - MrK

(COINTELEGRAPH) Overstock Subsidiary Partners With Zambian Gov’t on Blockchain Land Registry
By William Suberg

Zambia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the blockchain land registry subsidiary of American retail giant Overstock, the company revealed in a press release July 31.

Under the agreement, Overstock’s Medici Land Governance (MLG) will work with the Zambian government on overhauling land ownership, allowing rural landowners to legitimize their estates and gain access to the financial world.

“Without formal ownership, individuals struggle to obtain access to credit and public services, while governments are limited in their ability to collect taxes, enforce property rights, and plan for economic expansion and innovation,” the release explains, continuing:
“Using blockchain and other technologies, Medici Land Governance […] will create systems to collect and easily secure property ownership information.”

Discussing the Medici venture, the subsidiary’s CEO Dr. Ali El Husseini called its partnership with Zambia “momentous.”
“[The partnership] has the potential to be a real, sustainable game-changer in reducing poverty and supporting economic development on a large scale,” he added.

Blockchain land projects have been underway across the world for several years, the technology offering a promising solution to fragmented paper records and unverifiable claims.

This week, the world’s fourth-largest bank by assets, Agricultural Bank of China, confirmed it had issued a blockchain-based loan backed by land.

Overstock continues to make multiple inroads across blockchain and cryptocurrency-related spheres, despite warnings earlier this year that its share price was suffering and its future could involve upheaval.

The company currently has fourteen ventures in its Medici Blockchain accelerator, to which MLG is the most recent addition.


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Friday, July 27, 2018

(THE MAST ONLINE) Govt has continued to offer farmers slavery maize price, says Mtayachalo

COMMENT - Why does underpaying African farmers for their products sound so familiar? "Last week FRA pegged the maize floor price at K65".

(THE MAST ONLINE) Govt has continued to offer farmers slavery maize price, says Mtayachalo
By Christopher Miti
on July 27, 2018

YOTAM Mtayachalo says the 2018 maize floor price set by the Food Reserve Agency will dampen the morale of the farming community in the country. And Mtayachalo has suggested that government, through FRA, should help small scale farmers sell maize to the international market.

Last week FRA pegged the maize floor price at K65 but this was met with mixed feelings prompting President Edgar Lungu to order a review of the price, describing the current one as not a very fair price. But Mtayachalo, who is FDD national chairperson for labour, stated that the 2018 maize floor price was a mockery.

“The floor price of maize announced by the government through FRA is a mockery to our hard working farmers as the K65 per 50kg bag of maize price offered to farmers for the 2018 marketing season is not commensurate with the prevailing high cost of production in light of high cost of fertilisers, seeds and other auxiliary farming inputs. Further, the general cost of doing business in the country has been escalating at a very alarming rate and as such the agriculture sector has not equally been spared. Therefore, the price of maize will dampen the morale among the farming community and may further discourage them from growing the staple food because government has continued to offer them a slavery floor price which is mostly driven by political motives,” he stated.

Mtayachalo accused successive governments of having manipulated the maize floor price for political reasons.

“You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to tell that all successive governments have manipulated the price of maize for political reasons by deliberately offering maize farmers poor prices for their commodity for the sole purpose of providing cheaper mealie-meal on the market, notably for the urban communities at the expense of poor farmers, hence small scale farmers have failed to graduate into higher income brackets since independence because of lack of adequate working capital and mechanisation, job creation and poverty eradication remains a pipe dream,” he stated.
 “It must also be realised that farmers have not equally been spared from the high cost of living in the country, and as such the government which claims to be pro-poor should have taken into account such factors before announcing the floor price of maize in order to motivate the farmers to grow more food for local consumption and export.”

Mtayachalo stated that the floor price might hinder farmers from diversifying.

“Furthermore, the continued poor price of maize offered to farmers may hinder the country from achieving the much preached diversification agenda from mining to agriculture if the government continues to pay lip service to the growth of the agriculture sector. Moreover, about 40 per cent of Zambians are actively engaged in agricultural economic activities. It is therefore important that the government must design deliberate policies in order to trigger growth in the sector if we have to significantly reduce or eliminate poverty which continues to ravage our vulnerable population, especially in rural areas,” he stated.

Mtayachalo also appealed to government to help farmers sell their maize on the international market.

He appealed to the government to consider coming up with a deliberate policy which would see the FRA entering into an agreement with small and medium scale maize farmers for the agency to sell the commodity on their behalf on the lucrative international market, while a certain quantity could be bought at the local price for strategic food reserves.

“I strongly believe that such a move would result into farmers getting real value for their money and stop depending on subsidised farming inputs as they will have the financial capacity to buy their own instead of perpetually depending on the farmer input support programme, which is proving to be a bottomless pit,” stated Mtayachalo.

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(LUSAKATIMES) Lungu does not deserve credit over his maize price review as he created it – JalilaBy Ben Mbangu in Choma on July 24, 2018

COMMENT - The government wants cheap maize, and they don't want to pay for it. They could easily set the cost just below market prices. And give the maize away, turn it into finished goods (bourbon) and make money left right and center. If the government needs to make money at all, because they actually print their own currency. All they have to is keep a reasonable balance between the goods produced and the amount of currency (nowadays: credit) that is around. - MrK

(THE MAST ONLINE) Lungu does not deserve credit over his maize price review as he created it – Jalila
By Ben Mbangu in Choma
on July 24, 2018

CHOMA based human rights activist Bright Jalila says politicising the marketing of crops like maize is greatly affecting the agricultural sector. Jalila said it was cheap politics for President Edgar Lungu to turn around and direct the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to review the marketing price when he was the major problem to the country.

In an interview, Jalila said there was no difference between government and the FRA, because they are one.
“It’s cheap politics for President Edgar Lungu to turn around and direct the Food Reserve Agency to review the marketing price when he is the major problem to the country himself. He creates a problem himself then comes back through a back door and say review this price so that people think he has a good heart for farmers,” he said.

Jalila said the President’s statement did not deserve any credit because it was just mere politicking that had no bearing on the lives of people. He said politicians had impoverished farmers by continually dictating floor price for crops.
Jalila said if farming had to be a meaningful business that transformed people’s lives and the economy, then those involved in it must not lean on government which was controlled by politicians that have no heart for the poor.

Jalila said the system of over politicizing crops like maize was greatly affecting the agricultural sector in the country.
He said government through the FRA had become a monster that only held farmers to ransom. Jalila urged farmers come up with initiatives that could enable them stand on their own without depending on the political direction to favour them.

He said cooperatives that farmers were using to access inputs from government could be used as marketing platforms for their products than waiting upon government to completely finish them off.

Jalila said the PF had completely divorced itself from the path of poverty reduction through the promotion of agriculture owing to its stance to politicise the marketing price of crops. He said soon Zambia would plunge into untold economic crisis if President Lungu continued to play politics especially on maize marketing because farmers might stop producing for business purposes.

Jalila said once farmers considered maize a non-cash crop, that had potential to create food shortages in the country.

And Chief Cooma reminded FRA that its very survival depended on the same farmers the agency was killing through low prices. He said the FRA’s realignment to politics of shifting goal posts every now and then, following politicians in determining marketing price for cash crops had potential to destroy farming in the country.

Cooma proposed K85 per 50kg bag of maize as ideal if poverty was to be addressed in rural areas.

He welcomed President Edgar Lungu’s directive to the FRA to review its earlier announced floor price for maize pegged at K65 per 50kg bag, Cooma said the directive was welcome because it was not good for government to be the one putting the last nail on its people’s lives.

“If poverty levels continue being allowed to increase through failure to protect the available simple means of people making money such as agriculture, then Zambia will be as good as a dead nation. Poor people rely on agriculture and why should government destroy the market? What type of a country is Zambia going to be?” Cooma asked.

He said the cost of living for small-scale farmers was hard and would only change if measures were put in place to safeguard the market of their produce.

The chief said small-scale farmers were at the receiving end because they had no connections for market outside country as briefcase buyers did.

He urged FRA not to involve itself in politics because it would destroy the agricultural sector.

“The other major problem is that FRA here [Southern Province] only buys white maize and farmers who plant other crops like beans have nowhere to sell their products. It is our plea that FRA should start buying other crops as well,” said Cooma.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2018

(LUSAKA TIMES) Glencore, Majority Owners of Mopani Mines, Subpoenaed by US Justice Department, Shares Tumble

COMMENT - Glencore indicted in US. - MrK

(LUSAKA TIMES) Glencore, Majority Owners of Mopani Mines, Subpoenaed by US Justice Department, Shares Tumble
July 3, 2018191,443 views

Glencore, the majority owners of Mopani Mines has been ordered to hand over documents and records to US regulators related to its operations in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela dating as far back as 2007, sending its shares tumbling 12 per cent.

The Swiss-based mining and trading group led by billionaire Ivan Glasenberg said on Tuesday that it had received a subpoena from the US Department of Justice to produce documents with respect to compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and US money laundering statutes. The records related to the company’s activities in Nigeria, Venezuela and the DRC.

“Glencore is reviewing the subpoena and will provide further information in due course as appropriate,” the company said.

Glencore is the world’s biggest commodities trader, shifting millions of tonnes of metals, minerals and oil across the globe.

The company prides itself on operating in jurisdictions where many of its rivals fear to tread such as the DRC, Africa’s biggest copper producer and home to significant deposits of cobalt.

Traders noted that the DoJ subpoena comes just weeks after Glencore settled a dispute with Dan Gertler, its former business partner in the DRC.

Glencore said it would pay Mr Gertler in Euros so as to not fall foul of US sanctions, which were placed on the Israeli billionaire last year for his “opaque and corrupt mining deals” in the DRC.

At the time Glencore said it did not believe it was necessary to apply for a licence from the US government to pay Mr Gertler because no US person or the US financial system would be involved in the transactions.

It also claimed it has discussed the royalty payments, which it stopped paying in December, with the appropriate authorities in US and Switzerland, where the company has its headquarters.

However, the move unnerved investors and analysts who said the deal would test Washington’s resolve over sanctioned individuals. On the same day Glencore announced its deal with Mr Gertler, the US Treasury department placed sanctions on 14 companies with ties to the Israeli businessman, including the vehicle that will receive the royalty payments from Glencore.

The DoJ subpoena is the latest in a string of problems to hit Glencore this year.

In addition to its legal fight with Mr Gertler, it also agreed to write off $5.6bn of debt in a joint venture with Gecamines, the DRC’s state mining, to end another legal dispute.

The company could also face a bribery probe by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office over its ties to Mr Gertler.

Global Witness, a campaign group, said: “Holding Glencore accountable is a huge step in global accountability more generally. It would set a precedent for companies all over the world who, in many cases, are able to act with impunity in regards to the world’s mineral wealth.”

In early trading on Tuesday, Glencore shares were down 12 per cent to 303p, wiping more than £5bn off its market capitalisation, which now stands at £45bn.
“There is not enough detail in the release to understand exactly what the investigation holds, however with the subpoena covering multiple countries, this would indicate that there is a relatively thorough investigation at hand,” said Tyler Broda, analyst at RBC Capital Markets.

“The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act appears at first investigation to provide subject to sanctions, fines and penalties up to $25m or twice the gain or loss caused by the violation and imprisonment for up to 5 years per occurrence,” added Mr Broda.


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Monday, June 25, 2018

COMMENT - This confirms Glencore/Rothschild's (through Tony Hayward (Glencore non-executive Chair) and his and Nathaniel Philip Rothschild's Vallares) business links with Dany Gertler, who helped the Libyan government of Col. Ghadaffi buy Zamtel through LAP Green and Dany Gertler's RP Capital Partners.


(GLOBAL WITNESS) WHAT PRICE WILL GLENCORE PAY FOR ITS MURKY DEALS IN DR CONGO?
Margot Mollat du Jourdin
Blog / 22 Jun 2018

Last week, mining giant Glencore settled two legal disputes threatening its assets in Democratic Republic of Congo, agreeing to pay hundreds of millions to opaque Congolese state-owned company Gécamines and sanctioned Israeli businessman Dan Gertler. These agreements raise fears that the company is willing to take significant risks and pay any price to safeguard its lucrative copper and cobalt mines in Congo.

The explosive news that Glencore would bypass US sanctions by paying Gertler in euros rather than dollars made headlines across the business press last week. It is hard to see this latest move as anything but a desperate and risky attempt by the Swiss commodities giant to extricate itself from of a mess of its own making.

Since 2012, Global Witness has warned about the risks of partnering with Gertler, a close friend of Congo’s embattled President Joseph Kabila. Yet for years Glencore defended its decade-long partnership with Gertler, ignoring repeated red flags and questions about the commercial justifications for some of their deals. Global Witness has called into question how the commodities trader enriched Gertler and protected his interests in mining deals.

Both Gertler and Glencore have consistently denied any wrongdoing in their business deals in Congo. Despite this, in early 2017 Glencore finally sought to distance itself from Gertler by buying him out of their partnerships in a billion dollar deal. But the relationship didn’t end there; Gertler is still entitled to receive contractual payments called royalties from both of Glencore’s projects in Congo. These are worth around €110m per year from 2019/20 and will continue for the lifetime of the mines.

In December the US Department of Treasury sanctioned Gertler and several of his companies following “hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of opaque and corrupt mining and oil deals” in Congo. This compelled Glencore to halt royalty payments to Gertler, who immediately sued Glencore in London and Hong Kong courts for nearly $3 billion in damages for non-payment of royalties. It must have then become clear to Glencore how difficult it would be to disentangle itself from its Gertler deals.

After a couple of months of out of court talks, Glencore decided to risk the wrath of US authorities and resume paying the royalties, but in euros rather than dollars. The settlement means that Glencore will pump millions of euros into the pockets of an individual accused by the US of bribery and of “acting as a middleman for mining assets” on behalf of Kabila.

The news comes just months before controversial elections in Congo and rumours that Kabila, president since his father’s assassination in 2001, could ignore a constitutional clause that forbids him to stand for a third term. Kabila and his loyalists were accused of manipulating elections in 2006 and 2011; indeed, Congo has not had a peaceful transition of power since independence in 1960. Now, more than ever, Glencore should not be lining the pockets of Kabila’s billionaire friend, as there is a clear risk that money going to Gertler could be used in turn to affect the course of upcoming elections.

This royalties agreement came just days after another less-reported settlement with Congo’s state-owned mining company Gécamines, which had accused Glencore of piling excessive levels of debt on its Congolese subsidiary KCC. Gécamines, which owns 25% of KCC, threatened to dissolve the subsidiary until Glencore found a resolution.

As part of the agreement, Glencore has paid $150m to Gécamines for the “settlement of historical commercial disputes”; so far neither Glencore nor Gécamines has explained the underlying basis for this figure of $150m. This lack of clarity raises real concern that the payment may be no more than an over the table inducement to bring a quick end to the dispute.

Civil society organisations, including Global Witness, have repeatedly exposed Gécamines’ financial mismanagement and alleged corruption within the company. In light of Gécamines’ chequered recent history, it is vital that payments to the company have a legitimate basis and are used transparently. As long as Gécamines’ financial management remains shrouded in secrecy there is a significant risk that the $150m payment may not be used to develop Congo’s mining assets for the benefit of the Congolese people, as it should be.

Albert Yuma, the CEO of Gécamines, recently announced that the state miner plans to review its joint venture contracts with its partners. The Carter Center has extensively reported on how Gécamines signed or re-evaluated scores of contracts in the years preceding previous elections in 2006 and 2011, when conditions were ripe for revenue diversion. Given the context, Glencore should have taken into account the risk that major one-off payments to Gécamines could be diverted for political purposes.

Glencore’s agreements with both Gertler and Gécamines have resolved extremely serious disputes that could have seen Glencore lose its valuable investments in Congo’s copper and cobalt sectors. Glencore is desperate to hold onto these mining projects, and it’s not hard to see why. Cobalt is booming. Congo is the world’s largest supplier of the mineral, which is a vital ingredient in rechargeable batteries, and cobalt’s price has skyrocketed as the electric cars industry has emerged over recent years.

But that does not give companies carte blanche to make whatever payments necessary, to whomsoever necessary, in order to safeguard their investments. Companies profiting from minerals in Congo, like Glencore, must commit to supporting clean and transparent supply chains and take responsibility for any corruption risks involved in the deals they make. We cannot expect the full burden of this to fall on producing countries; all companies in the cobalt industry must take responsibility.

Moreover, Glencore cannot be allowed to get around important US anti-corruption measures and continue to pay Gertler massive royalty fees; unless the US responds by enforcing its sanctions, this sends a dangerous message that huge companies can act with impunity to protect their business interests.


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Saturday, June 23, 2018

(HERALD ZW) MDC gets roll, demands voters’ photos

COMMENT - The MDC wants to know where you live. They don't sound like they like democracy any more than their rhodesian predecessors did. - MrK

(HERALD ZW) MDC gets roll, demands voters’ photos
Felex Share Senior Reporter

MDC Alliance on Tuesday said it had received a copy of the voters’ roll for the July 30 harmonised elections, but immediately demanded photographs of all registered voters to conduct an audit through door-to-door visits. In a bid to cast aspersions on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and undermine the credibility of the polls, MDC-T faction leader Mr Nelson Chamisa, who leads a coalition of seven fringe political parties, insisted the voters’ roll was not final.

MDC-T national deputy treasurer Mr Charlton Hwende said they wanted a voters’ roll with pictures, a request described by observers as an intimidation tactic.

ZEC yesterday said the voters’ roll contained adequate information.
Photographs, ZEC commissioner Dr Qhubani Moyo said, would be used by the electoral body on election day for identification purposes.

“The voters’ roll that we compiled does contain photographs of everyone registered,” he said.
“We are going to use those photographs for identification purposes as the commission during voting day. All stakeholders interested in the voters’ roll have been given a voters’ roll that carries adequate information of the voter in terms of their name, age, ID number and also where they are registered.



Can you imagine what it entails to download a file that has images of 5,6 million Zimbabweans for everyone who wants to go through it? We are convinced as a commission that all stakeholders desirous of the voters’ roll do have adequate information.”

Dr Moyo added: “There has been a number of issues being raised by a lot of people saying when we were registering you made a commitment that our details are going to be purely for election purposes and for us now to be giving every stakeholder those pictures creates problems of confidence amongst citizens who would not have registered had they known their pictures would be given to anyone.”

ZEC availed a final voters’ roll last Friday, which contains over 5,6 million registered voters.
Mr Chamisa, who is under fire from alliance partners after he grabbed parliamentary and council seats reserved for them, said the voters’ roll was not final.

“We’ve now established that the voters’ roll ZEC is issuing is not the final roll,” he tweet- ed.
“Those who ‘registered’ during inspection are yet to be added. ZEC claims it will add them later. So ZEC has given us a voters’ roll it knows is not final. Our response is coming, it will be red.”



In his intimidating tweet, Mr Hwende said: “@ZECzim a final voters’ roll without the pictures of the registered voters is unacceptable. We want the final voters’ role with the pictures so that we can do a physical audit through door to door visits.”
Observers yesterday said the frivolous demands being given by the Chamisa-led coalition showed the party was running scared ahead of the elections.

Senior legal counsel Mr Tendai Toto said: “These are methods and tactics of the rightwing brothers and sisters to scuttle the impending elections.

“The demands interfere with voters’ rights to free choice. The exercise of voters’ roll audit can be used by anybody to intimidate the electorate, campaign for or against, and unnecessarily interfere with people’s privacy.

“How will political parties execute the voters’ roll audit if they interfere with voters’ rights as forestated? It is unfortunate that some of these demands are made without due regard to citizens’ rights.

“Before and after the polls it is possible that harassment, bullying, victimisation and compulsive voting can happen especially when image identities are disclosed and publicised.

“If any political parties or interested parties, stakeholders wish to conduct voters’ roll audit (if they have any such mandate) they must consult the database of their respective registered supporters and conduct the audits.”



Political analyst Mr Tafadzwa Mugwadi weighed in: “They are now resorting to desperate spanner-throwing shenanigans to discredit a credible electoral process, which even their member, Eddie Cross, lauded as the best since colonisation.

“Chamisa and crew have been on the forefront demanding a voters’ roll from ZEC and now that that they have it, they are cornered and are running out of a political message.”
Mr Cross this week said this year’s elections would be the best in 54 years.



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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

(MODERN GHANA) Historical Meeting Between The Kingdom Of Ashanti And The Accompong Maroons In Jamaica

(MODERN GHANA) Historical Meeting Between The Kingdom Of Ashanti And The Accompong Maroons In Jamaica
Diaspora News | 2 May 2016 09:13 CET
By Accompong Maroons

Maroon delegation from left to right: Timothy McPherson, Toni-Ann Williams, Cassandra Wall, Col. Ferron Williams, Opal Dickson-Clarke, Novadean Newsome, Julette Osbourne

Colonel Ferron Williams returned back to the island this weekend with a delegation of Accompong Maroons whom he had led to the Kingdom of Ashanti, Ghana, for a historical meeting with the Asantehene.

Maroon delegation from left to right: Timothy McPherson, Toni-Ann Williams, Cassandra Wall, Col. Ferron Williams, Opal Dickson-Clarke, Novadean Newsome, Julette Osbourne

The Maroon delegation was invited as the Asantehene’s guests of honour during the Akwasidae Festival, which is the Kingdom’s most important celebration. The King of Ashanti, Otumfou Osei Tutu II, described the meeting as being a very important “spiritual re-unification” particularly because the Maroons in Accompong trace their ancestry back to the Akan and Ashanti people. “These are my people, they have come back home,” he said when introducing the delegation.

In addition to meeting with the King, the Maroon delegation was also welcomed by President John Mahama. Colonel Ferron Williams has described the trip as a major milestone in African and Caribbean relations, highlighting the important role that traditional leaders can and must play in achieving an African Renaissance.

Accompong’s Colonel Ferron Williams (left) meeting Ghana’s President John Mahama

During the three-day official visit, the Accompong Maroon delegation enjoyed several sites, among which was a tour of the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park & Mausoleum as well as the Cape Coast Slave Castle.

In addition to the cultural re-unification between the Accompong Maroons and the Kingdom of Ashanti, the visit also ventured into the economic sphere. Accompong’s Minister of Finance, Timothy Elisha McPherson Jr., signed a trade agreement with the Kingdom of Ashanti that would establish a new era of pan-African cooperation on various fronts, particularly in the area of climate change mitigation and renewable energy finance. Minister McPherson said, “Accompong’s climate change initiative has become the driving force behind all of our current activities.

We created the Central Solar Reserve Bank of Accompong as a unique and modern institution to facilitate renewable energy finance, and now through this trade agreement we will be granted access to our ancestral land of Ghana as well as the whole ECOWAS region. So this is truly a great step for Accompong both on the economic and cultural front”.

Colonel Ferron Williams described the trade agreement as a landmark event not only for the Accompong Maroons but for the whole Diaspora. He said, “we are oldest sovereign Africans in the Western hemisphere, and it is very appropriate that this agreement be established with us. We do this in honour of our ancestors who fought for our freedom.”

Established in 1738-9 through its peace treaty with the British, the Accompong Maroons are the only Maroons in Jamaica who still have full sovereignty. The community is committed to a transformation from a cultural historic relic into an economic force within the pan-African Renaissance.

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Sunday, May 13, 2018

(GUARDIAN UK) Maasai herders driven off land to make way for luxury safaris, report says

COMMENT - This is what happens when there are no limits on what politicians can 'sell' from under the feed of the people of the country under neoliberalism/globalisation.

(GUARDIAN UK) Maasai herders driven off land to make way for luxury safaris, report says
Tanzanian government accused of putting indigenous people at risk in order to grant foreign tourists access to Serengeti wildlife

Jonathan Watts Global environment correspondent
Thu 10 May 2018 11.00 BST Last modified on Thu 10 May 2018 11.02 BST

The Tanzanian government is putting foreign safari companies ahead of Maasai herding communities as environmental tensions grow on the fringes of the Serengeti national park, according to a new investigation.

Hundreds of homes have been burned and tens of thousands of people driven from ancestral land in Loliondo in the Ngorongoro district in recent years to benefit high-end tourists and a Middle Eastern royal family, says the report by the California-based thinktank the Oakland Institute.

Although carried out in the name of conservation, these measures enable wealthy foreigners to watch or hunt lions, zebra, wildebeest, giraffes and other wildlife, while the authorities exclude local people and their cattle from watering holes and arable land, the institute says.

The report, released on Thursday highlights the famine and fear caused by biodiversity loss, climate change, inequality and discrimination towards indigenous groups.

Losing the Serengeti: The Maasai Land that was to Run Forever uses previously unpublished correspondence, official documents, court testimonies and first-person testimony to examine the impact of two firms: Thomson Safaris based in the United States, and Otterlo Business Corporation based in the United Arab Emirates.

It says Thomson’s sister company, Tanzania Conservation Limited, is in a court battle with three Maasai villages over the ownership of 12,617 acres (5,106 hectares) of land in Loliondo which the company uses for safaris.

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One Maasai quoted in the report said Thomson had built a camp in the middle of their village, blocking access. “Imagine, a stranger comes and constructs a big building in the centre of your home,” reads the testimony. “Our livestock cannot go to the waterhole – there is no other route for the villagers or their livestock.”

The report says villagers have been driven off, assaulted or arrested by local police, park rangers or security guards.

The restricted access to land has made the Maasai more vulnerable to famine during drought years, the report says, noting appeals that locals have made for the government to change policies because of growing numbers of malnourished children.

A Maasai villager contacted by the Guardian said access remained blocked and that uniformed agents had beaten, threatened or tied-up and driven off pastoralists, as recently as December.

Thomson strongly denies these accusations. It says Tanzania Conservation Limited employs 100% Maasai staff, allows cattle on the property to access seasonal water, and works with local communities and the government to conserve the savannah, improve access to water and formulate a sustainable grazing policy.

The company blames past conflicts on NGO activists who they say stirred up villagers and led to staff being assaulted by young warriors armed with clubs, spears, knives and poison arrows.

“These interventions have been played out to attract attention, provide stories, and to disrupt the working relationship between company and communities on the ground,” Rick Thomson, a director of Tanzania Conservation, wrote in an email to the Guardian. “In these events the endangered staff have a protocol of disengaging any way they can to avoid escalation, and reporting to the authorities any situation where any people and property, are physically threatened. These situations have been rare and no such events have occurred for the last four years.”

He said the company was not connected to government evictions of illegal residents in the national park, which is reserved for wildlife.

The report also claims Maasai have been driven off land as a result of government ties with Otterlo Business Corporation, which organises hunting trips for the royal family of the United Arab Emirates and their guests who fly into a custom-built landing strip in Loliondo.

Since Otterlo was first granted 400,000 hectares of land for hunting, the government has mounted successive eviction operations.

The company has warned the area needs greater ecological protection because herds are increasing while water sources are drying up due to climate change.

Despite past government promises that the Maasai would never be evicted from their land, the report notes Serengeti national park rangers burned 114 bomas (traditional homes) in 2015 and another 185 in August of last year. Along with other demolitions, local media report more than 20,000 Maasai were left homeless.

Maasai protests, an international outcry and domestic allegations of corruption have forced a reconsideration of this policy. In November 2017, the tourism minister revoked the hunting licence of Otterlo, suspended the state director of wildlife, and ordered investigations into the links between foreign firms and former officials.

But the authorities appear divided. Locals told the Guardian this week that Otterlo continues to operate safari tours in Loliondo to the detriment of villagers.

A tourist takes pictures of Maasai villagers.
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A tourist takes pictures of Maasai villagers. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo
Lawyers representing the Maasai communities in a court claim over the land said the policies of the government were tilted towards foreign tour companies.

“The evictions are not justified because more and more land is being taken away from the villages without due process or compensation even though they have legal titles,” said lawyer Rashid S Rashid. “The policies of the government are based mainly on the arguments advanced by Thomson and Otterlo because they have more political influence than the villagers.”

The report’s authors say the problem dates back to the era of British rule. From then onwards, Maasai have been steadily dispossessed of land on the Serengeti. They urge the government to take urgent action to alleviate the risk of famine, establish a new model of land titling and an independent inquiry into disputes over ownership.

“Without access to grazing lands and watering holes, and without the ability to grow food for their communities, the Maasai are at risk of a new 21st-century period of emutai (eradication),” said Anuradha Mittal, the director of the Oakland Institute. “But it does not have to be this way. Unlike the emutai of the 19th century, the hardships and abuses currently faced by the Maasai can be halted.”

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