Saturday, June 30, 2007
Introduction to neoliberalism
The idea of free markets is not a new one. The rise of mercantilism in Europe rang in the end of the middle ages, because it represented not only a new way of making a living, but a new kind of society that went with it.
For the first time, Europe saw the rise of a class of people who were neither aristocrats, peasants or clergy. These new individuals, merchants as they would come to be known, made their living not from working the land, or from inheriting and managing huge estates, or plying a trade. They made a living exchanging goods for other goods, or for money, which at that time consisted of precious metals like gold and silver. They invented many new ways of financing businesses.
Many of them amassed great wealth this way, which gave them access to power. They became the backers of kings and governments, which made wars possible. They also participated in the expansion of Western influence worldwide, by entering the trade with new lands and economies. They facilitated the spread of many staple foods, which today feed billions worldwide.
In short, their legacy is both of great advancement in technology, discovery and expansion, as well as all the negative aspects we associate with that period - slavery, genocide, the spread of disease, the creation of racism. In other words, they were neither intrinsically good, nor intrinsically without merit. Morality was important to some, but for many others making money came first, and a few were just intrinsically evil and revelled in death and destruction.
In their day, the limits on their power were clear - kings and warlords would be added to by emerging national governments.
The 19th and 20th Century - colonialism and the robber barons
The invention of technologies, both positive, like railways, steam power and revolutions in agricultural machinery were also accompanied by military innovations - machine guns, howitzers, and explosives of different kinds. Together, they rang in a new era of huge expansion and new markets. Again, these developments were neither all good or all bad. Europe expanded it's wealth by creating new colonies, which were exploited, often brutally, through the barrel of a gun.
These developments gave rise to an old 'new' class, the robber barons. These businessmen used both new technologies, political power and corruption, and anything they could lay their hands on, to achieve great power. Cecil Rhodes both unified and gave a common language to Southern and Eastern Africa, but also rang in the era of colonialism, apartheid, and massive dispossession and disenfranchisement of the African people, something we are still dealing with to this day.
In the United States, robber barons created railways, newspapers, but at the same time, they did so by destroying their competition, small farmers, Native Americans, small cattle and sheep herders (see the Johnson County War, immortalized in the move Heaven's Gate). William Randolph Hurst was personally instrumental in the banning of hemp, a tremendously useful plant, because it allowed a cheap alternative, and therefore newspaper competition, to his vast estates of woodland, which he used to make pulp to create paper for his newspapers. Even though hemp is far more productive a crop, and requires virtually no pesticides and other chemicals to grow, it was banned, and to this day, newspapers are made from slow growing trees instead. Think of all the forests that could have been saved, sacrificed on the altar of competition the unbridled amassing of power.
Today - Straussians, the World Bank and the IMF
Back in 1945, Berlin was in a bad shape. It had been robbed of it's treasures in a genocidal and pointless war, it had been bombed by the allies, and was now slowly being surrounded by Communist East Germany, and the emerging Cold War.
There was nothing to buy in the shops, as the government tried to limit runaway inflation by putting price caps on goods. When these price caps were lifted, prices shot up, but goods again started to appear in the shops.
In Singapore, ten years later, a Harvard graduate and new President of the recently independent city state of Singapore, seceded from Malaysia, faced a set of specific problems. As a city state, he had no hinterland, except a hostile Malaysia. He had no agricultural land, no natural resources, nothing except a city full of people. The solutions he came up with turned Singapore from a Third World backwater, into an industrialized nation. He did this, by attracting foreign manufacturing businesses, and by putting an emphasis on education of his citizens, including higher education. To this day, education in Singapore is characterized not by elimination exams, but by making sure that not a single pupil is left behind, before everyone moves ahead. Slow students get extra attention from the teacher. This is because they value each and every student and their potential benefit to the nation.
Lessons learned, histories misunderstood
So switch to the early eighties, and the Chicago School of Business. A small number for right wing students, who fell under the influence of Strauss, were to achieve prominent positions in the World Bank, the IMF, and many of which became economic advisors to right wing regimes in South America.
Strauss and his followers believed that if only the government could be destroyed, business would take care of everything, and free markets would ensue. And a belief it was, because no country had ever developed by destroying it's own government, and creating a defacto state of anarchy, in which the might of the biggest corporation made right.
They liked the idea of 'creative destruction', of new corporations destroying old markets and creating new ones. Being wealthy and above it all, they would not mind living in such a society, but for the rest of the population this process would be an unmitigated hell on earth.
And this is what ensued in every country they advised. Chile, Argentina, Russia, the Asian financial crisis, all these countries followed their advice, and all of them abandoned either the policies, if they didn't abandon the IMF altogether. And importantly, in true democracies, the people themselves voted out the neoliberals at the very first opportunity that presented itself. Neoliberalism cannot thrive outside of dictatorships.
Neoliberalism has never been shown to work, because the philosophy is essentially utopian in nature. Their policy prescriptions go against everything we know from history on how economies and societies are developed.
In countries with high unemployment, they advice reducing government expenditures. In countries with largely illiterate populations, they still insist on spending less on education. No matter how bad the statistics say an AIDS crisis or general access to healthcare is, they still insist on spending less on healthcare.
And it is important to remember that these policies are not adopted because they have been shown to work, but because the IMF has it in it's power to destroy entire countries - and it does, with alarming frequency. The IMF acts as a Chicago mob enforcer, a predatory lender, not an ordinary lending institution. This is why it can enforce the ideology of neoliberalism on nations who naturally would have nothing to do with it.
WHAT ARE FREE MARKETS
To the neoliberal, a free market is a market where
- corporations keep all their earnings
- corporations pay no taxes
- corporations obey no labour or environmental laws
- corporations do not share their profits with anyone
- corporations can send their profits to any corner of the world
- corporations are not subject to import restrictions or tariffs
- corporations can finagle any money from anyone, including the state (through massive corporate welfare handouts like agricultural subsidies) they can without offending the basic philosophy of neoliberalism - everyone for themselves, or as they used to say in Chicago - ubi est mea - where's mine?
In other words, for the neoliberal, the corporation is supreme. It is the highest form of company, and if they are a kingdom upon themselves, well that only goes to show how successful they are.
REAL FREE MARKETS
I regard a free market to be one where every single citizen can enter or exit the market place at their own free will and judgement.
To me, a free market is a market, where mr. Banda in Petauke has...
- 100 hectares of land
- machinery to work it
- a main road that connects him and his product to the nation and the world
He can then say: this year I will grow maize only, because that will give me the best return on my efforts. Or he can say, I will grow 25 hectares of maize and 25 hectares of soy beans. Or 50 hectares of maize, and 50 hectares of cassava.
He drives his product to the main road, where it is then picked up by a transportation company, and driven to Ndola, or Livingstone, or Lusaka, or any country or city around the world, wherever he can get the best price.
He will inform himself of the market price through a nationally available electronic marketing system, after which he will be paid for his goods, without 'middlemen'. He will pay a minimum of taxation on what he produces, because he has a government that understands that without him and his work, they will not be able to collect taxes from him at all and because, in many ways, he is the economy.
And that, my friends, is a free market.
It is a market where every citizen has not only the right, but the means to sell his or her goods or services, using his or her own judgement, ambition, work ethic and intellect, and make a living. Freedom is not simply about an absence of repression, it is just as much about having real world options. Or to paraphrase the country song, freedom cannot be 'just another word for nothing left to lose'.
HOW TO GET THERE
To get to that situation, several things need to happen.
1) the state must do everything it can to remove barriers to entry into the economy for ordinary citizens
This means that the state must:
- redistribute unused arable land;
- create infrastructure; electronic, financial, and physical (roads, bridges, irrigation works)
- set up or hire companies that help farmers get started in commercial scale farming, and help them through the entire farm cycle, so they quickly can become independent actors in the economy. The same for other businesses.
- provide education and healthcare free of charge
- create an education system that puts real skills central to it's curriculum
Left to it's own devices, these processes, like 'willing seller, willing buyer' land reform, would literally take centuries to be completed. This is why government intervention is necessary.
2) Every citizen must have the opportunity to participate in the country's economic life
- no development can leave the population behind, like FDI does
- we must strive to arrive at a situation where every citizen has a trade or skill, a piece of land, a car or enough money in the bank to participate in the economy
Free markets cannot exist without the government or state. There have to be rules against monopoly formation. Monopolies are the natural and inevitable result of free competition, because companies are not only out to produce the best and most popular gadget, but also to destroy their competition, which if successful, rings in the end of free competition.
There also have to be protections for labour and the environment. Corporations do not do this on their own. They will engage in a race to the bottom and spend as little on their workers as they can, or pollute as much as they can get away with. After all, they are legally obligated to maximize their profits, which also means reducing costs.
It takes the government to enforce legal contracts, and it takes the government to keep the nation secure - without security, commerce is nearly impossible.
And lastly, corporations, when they get big enough, amass enough power to distort competition, by muscling out smaller companies with better products, buying legislation by bribing politicians, and in some cases, by monopolizing public opinion through massive media ownership, making fair elections based on policy differences between parties impossible. Democracies depend on an informed electorate, which means they have access to different and opposing sources of information.
This is why the government or state is needed, and why free markets without governments do not exist, at least for very long.
Free markets are not 'a free for all' for the corporations. They are not a natural state of business either. They are a temporary construct, maintained by government intervention.
Real free markets however, where every citizen is free to enter or leave any (literal or figurative) market place, is what we must strive for, because it is the surest way the citizens of the country can build their own wealth and security. It is how stable societies are built.
By Patriotic Citizen, Lusaka.
Saturday June 30, 2007 [04:00]
The stance taken by the Patriotic Front to defend Chiluba's Corruption is sad to say the least. The attacks by the PF members of parliament on The Post and President Mwanawasa are not only disgraceful but also cast a shadow of doubt on PF's willingness and desire to fight this cancer. The question is how then can we safely equip this party with the powerful apparatus of power and expect them to act right?
Fellow Zambians, let's be alert and guard against the 'Chiluba' in PF. Remember that Chiluba himself has told us that Sata does not mean what he says when he appears to attack anything corrupt and some other issues.
This is very true because Sata's position on Chiluba's corruption has been very confusing. He condemns it when it is politically convenient and endorses it the next day, NO clear principles.
But this is not very surprising to those who have been following Sata's speeches. In his campaign for the Republican presidency last year, he made it very clear that he would stop and shield the prosecution of the alleged plunderers, which to him was persecution.
Thank God he did not win because in a week, Zambia would have been ten years backwards. All those with eyes should open them and see the dangers of bringing back Chiluba on the political scene through Sata and his PF. Never again shall this country be plundered!
By Concerned citizen
Saturday June 30, 2007 [04:00]
Voting in national and local government elections and referendum is both a duty and a right for each and every Zambian citizen, and which should never be dubiously influenced by those who seek to be voted to public office.
The incidence of electoral malpractices (which recently led to the nullification of election results for Kapoche, Nalolo and Sinjembela constituencies) is, therefore, worrisome.
Apart from denying voters the opportunity to cast their votes on the basis of a candidate's competence and credibility, electoral malpractices can result in costly by-elections if they lead to a nullification of election results by a court of law.
There is, therefore, a need for legislators to seriously consider the prospect of introducing stringent sanctions, in the new Republican constitution, against political parties and their candidates that engage in electoral fraud resulting in nullification of election results.
Specifically, there is a need to expand Article 169 of the draft constitution prepared by the Willa Mung'omba Constitution Review Commission by adding a clause or paragraph that would ban any member of parliament who would cause a vacancy due to a nullification of his or her election following an election petition from contesting any election for the duration of the term he or she would have served in Parliament.
And if a member of Parliament who is found to have engaged in electoral malpractices belongs to a political party, the party should also be banned from fielding a candidate in the constituency involved for the term its member would have served.
We need to institute stringent sanctions against those who flout their fellow citizens' right to choose leaders in an atmosphere that is characterised by free and fair elections. It is high time we sent a strong message to those who seek to be elected to public offices that intimidation, election-rigging, vote-buying, character assassination, and other forms of electoral malpractice will not be tolerated in our electoral system.
By Bright Mbale, UNZA
Saturday June 30, 2007 [04:00]
The inter-party dialogue is a representative of all the people in the nation with different political affiliations.
Knowing that one’s political leader is among the group discussing the issues of the Constitution brings confidence in oneself that the dialogue will be fruitful in bringing a new constitution for the people.
However, with the current procession, venom poison can be smelt from the tunnel. Katele Kalumba can’t chair such a delicate group with different political parties.
Katele Kalumba’s competence is questionable if we reflect on his actions in this nation. His interest in this matter cannot be guaranteed.
This is a national matter and needs a person with a sober character and one with the ability to bring dialogue from different political parties who have different beliefs and goals.
As suggested by the PF leader in The Post, we can have a neutral person from the Church to chair the inter-party dialogue.
With the person from the Church, every Zambian will be confident and rest assured that their views on the national Constitution will not be treated with other interests like favouritism or superiority which might defeat the very purpose of this ZCID.
The pulling out of the PF from this ZCID has already stirred some confusion in the whole country.
Political parties should quickly look into the matter before the very efforts of what they are trying to bring forth result in a disaster.
Saturday June 30, 2007 [04:00]
Dialogue and cooperation among our political parties and their leaders is welcome. However, it shouldn’t be forgotten that sometimes people can dialogue and cooperate not necessarily for good reasons, but to do wrong. Crooks can dialogue and cooperate among themselves to crook others, to do wrong.
It is also possible for politicians and their political parties to dialogue and cooperate among themselves to deceive the people, to do wrong. Although we generally welcome dialogue and cooperation among our politicians and their political parties, we feel the agenda of the current dialogue going on among our politicians is full of political mischief.
We have always called for loyal opposition. And we believe that this idea is a vital one because it means, in essence, that all sides in a democracy should share the common commitment to its basic values and cooperate in solving common problems of the society. And this loyal opposition does not mean that the opposition should be loyal to the specific positions of those in government, but to the fundamental legitimacy of the state, and to the democratic process itself.
This doesn’t seem to be the agenda or aim of the on-going dialogue among our political parties and their leaders. What seems to be happening is that our politicians have decided to come together and cooperate with each other in usurping the power of the people to give themselves a constitution they desire and deserve.
There is nowhere in our constitution, or in any written law of our country, where it says that the constitution review process shall be carried out by political parties and their leaders or that it is a preserve of the politicians. As we pointed out yesterday, leaders should lead, but in the end the people must govern. But the people can only govern if they are allowed to come up with a constitution, to set the rules for how they should be led so that in the end it is them who govern.
Moreover, citizenship demands a positive contribution of everyone – and not only those in full-time politics or with positions in political parties – to building our nation’s future. And central to the people being able to govern is a good constitution, one that is really owned by the people. Unless the constitution review process is correct, a constitution that is owned by the people will continue to be elusive in this country.
There is no way a dialogue among our politicians and their political parties can be expected to give us a constitution that truly reflects the wishes and aspirations of our people.
All our constitutions – from the Lancaster constitution to the present one - have been a product of dialogue and cooperation among our politicians and their political parties. Our people want to depart from this approach to constitution review or constitution making process.
Our people have realised that they shall only be truly free when their constitution is driven by themselves. This is not to say those in politics have no role to play in this process. They have a role to play. But that role is not one of monopoly. Our politicians have not lost the right to belong to the category ‘people’.
They are still part of the people and that is why when we say a constitution review process should be people-driven we include our politicians as well; we don’t exclude them the way they want to exclude their fellow citizens who are not politicians. We say this because our politicians and their political parties alone cannot build and develop this country.
It demands the participation of all of us to develop and build this nation. And the constitution is at the heart of the nation-building process; it is a medium that regulates human conduct in necessary matters concerning the common good. And for this reason it cannot be left totally in the hands of our politicians, some of them very unscrupulous and corrupt ones.
It is very clear that the current dialogue going on among our political parties is not genuine and seeks to impose the partisan views of our politicians on the whole nation.
First, the Zambia Centre for Inter-party Dialogue is an organisation of politicians by politicians for politicians. There is no way this organisation can be taken seriously as an institution that should guide our constitution review process.
We don’t think even the donors who are funding them are right to do so for the purposes of them coming up with a constitution for our country. But there is a reason Levy Mwanawasa has decided to use them for this purpose and from nowhere give them great recognition and responsibility.
The man has tried everything to avoid a proper and well-constituted constituent assembly. After the Mung’omba Constitution Review Commission came up with the recommendation of adopting the constitution through a constituent assembly, Levy was uncomfortable and appointed a committee of individuals he has given jobs in the civil service as permanent secretaries to come up with recommendations.
He provided money and logistical support for them to do so. But when he realised that this was problematic, we now have the Zambia Centre for Inter-party Dialogue coming in to help him produce a white paper.
This is of course at a cost. When it comes to what Levy wants, money is never a problem; it is only a problem when it comes to a constituent assembly – an idea he has openly proclaimed he doesn’t like and will never support or vote for. It is very easy for Levy to get what he wants from this arrangement and that is why he has gone for it, as opposed to a constituent assembly where our politicians – who are generally easy to corrupt and manipulate – would not dominate.
There is no way Zambians should accept and tolerate this attempt by our politicians to hijack the constitution review process of our country. The role they have given themselves is an illegitimate one and if it means fighting all of them together, the people should collectively do so.
We therefore urge all civil society organisations to come together and oppose this corrupt attempt by our politicians to hijack and monopolise our people’s constitution review process. This is not partisan business; it is national business in which all people should participate freely regardless of their political persuasions, station in life or career.
Those who have chosen a political career should not think they have more rights and the monopoly of wisdom to give the rest of their fellow citizens a constitution. Some of them of course are very good people, very intelligent citizens and their participation in this process is desirable but they should do so in equality with other citizens – being politicians should not give them more rights than other citizens to participate in our constitution review process.
It is also clear that Levy’s constitution conference is not an equivalent of a constituent assembly. It is something very different that will never be an equivalent of a constituent assembly.
Those who seek a people-driven constitution for our country should not deceive themselves that Levy and his inter-party dialogue will give them such a constitution. They have no alternative but to struggle and ensure that people give themselves a constitution they desire through a properly constituted constituent assembly.
By Bivan Saluseki and Mwala Kalaluka
Saturday June 30, 2007 [04:00]
THE dialogue over the constitution making process is not genuine, Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) president Reuben Lifuka has said. And the Oasis Forum has vowed to go ahead and hold peaceful demonstrations over the delayed enactment of the constitution during the SADC summit to be held in Lusaka in August this year.
Lifuka said on Thursday that while the efforts at dialogue should be commended, TIZ was worried that the dialogue was not genuine and sought to promote partisan views of politicians alone.
"We are worried at the apparent desire to advance the primacy of political parties in a process that is not partisan but national. We are equally taken aback that some of the proposed measures by the summit of presidents imply additional use of public resources on matters that were exhaustively dealt with by the Mung'omba Constitution Review Commission,” Lifuka said.
“While we agree that the Mung'omba CRC draft constitution and report are not beyond reproach, we find the manner adopted to deal with the recommendations narrowly focused and a recipe for anarchy.”
Lifuka said TIZ was surprised that the political parties that met at the summit of presidents were not sensitive to the fact that President Mwanawasa and his cabinet had assumed the responsibility to adopt the constitution by determining what the party in power agreed to and disagreed with.
He said the calls for a constituent assembly primarily were an expression that the Zambian people desired and that the adoption of the constitution was not a preserve of a single group
"The views of the people on the constitution are critical and these cannot be short changed for parochial partisan interests.
Unfortunately, the proposals from the summit of presidents show that political parties, that is, the ruling party and the opposition political parties have now taken it upon themselves to adopt the Mung'omba CRC and decide what they agree and disagree with in terms of the recommendations made," said Lifuka.
"Holding the constitutional conference in the manner that is being proposed is outside the recommendations of the Mung'omba CRC and it means therefore that political parties have rejected the proposed measures relating to the adoption of the constitution and what we have is a totally new recommendation altogether.
“The question is where are the political parties drawing this authority to tamper with the recommendations of the Mungo'mba CRC? And what would happen if civil society or any other interest group, equally sat and decided to reject or modify some of the recommendations of the CRC just to suit their self-serving interests?"
Lifuka said he did not expect politicians to empty their own pond and decide, for instance to reduce the powers of the president, and institute stringent checks and balances in the exercise of political powers.
Lifuka said the proposed establishment of a conference working committee was another form of a CRC.
"The question is how different is this process from the one that the CRC followed? Clearly the CRC received divergent views and submissions on the constitution and the CRC members debated and took different positions on these submissions and in the end they arrived at some consensus and it is this consensus that is reflected in the draft constitution and report," he said.
"We wonder why this exercise should be done all over again if not for political parties to try and dilute and 'doctor' the Mungo'mba CRC and ensure the removal of important recommendations which they consider to be a threat to their hold on power or their aspirations for power."
Lifuka said in essence, the political parties wanted to submit to the constituent assembly a watered down version of the Mungo'mba CRC draft constitution, which would no longer reflect the views of the people, but the views of a limited group dominated by politicians.
He reminded political parties that President Mwanawasa equally tried to 'doctor' the Mungo'mba CRC draft constitution and report when he unilaterally set up a team of civil servants to discuss and propose a roadmap as well as the procedures to follow in setting up a Constituent Assembly outside the recommendations of the CRC.
H wondered why President Mwanawasa and political parties were finding it difficult to move straight to a constituent assembly where all stakeholders would be able to discuss their positions on content.
"Let government take to Parliament a constituent assembly bill and not a bill to simply facilitate access to funding from the national treasury. We do not support calls for partial amendments to the constitution as proposed, because this departs from the letter and spirit of the recommendation by the CRC that the Constitution should be repealed and replaced," he said.
Lifuka said the constituent assembly would provide a framework for stakeholders to agree with each other on content issues or even disagree.
"But at least, there will be a mechanism to reach consensus and finally adopt the constitution. The sideshows as proposed by the summit of presidents are unnecessary distractions and costly to the ordinary Zambian person. The constitutional conference - if that is the politically correct term for the constituent assembly, will only be acceptable if its focus is on the core mandate of adopting the constitution and nothing else," said Lifuka.
"President Mwanawasa is urging us to give this process started under the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue a chance to succeed, we say this is a familiar line - we remember vividly that President Mwanawasa in 2003 asked the Zambians to give the CRC process a chance to succeed - what has changed? It seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same."
And the Oasis Forum has said the Zambia Centre for Inter-party Dialogue (ZCID) was just a talking shop for politicians to resolve their differences and was not the right organisation to use to come up with a good constitution.
Featuring on The Lusaka Star programme on UNZA Radio yesterday, Oasis Forum spokesperson Musa Mwenye said peaceful demonstrations would be carried out during the August SADC heads of state summit in Lusaka because other regional leaders have to know President Mwanawasa’s antics on the constitution making process.
He was responding to concerns by a University of Zambia (UNZA) lecturer, who called in and said President Mwanawasa’s recent turn-around on the constitution issue was just a ploy to pacify the situation ahead of the SADC summit to be hosted by Zambia.
Mwenye said demonstrations over the constitution would be extended from the SADC meeting up to Parliament so that the point is driven home.
“Whether or not there is public policy stint, that can only be elaborated by those involved but for us as Oasis Forum we have planned to hold peaceful demonstrations during the SADC conference,” Mwenye said.
“We want to drive the point home to the President’s counterparts that this is what is happening in Zambia.”
Mwenye said the Forum and all the other stakeholders it was collaborating with were still resolute on having a good constitution.
“The Oasis Forum is also very resolute, collectively and also as the Coalition Group on the Constitution (CGC),” Mwenye said.
“We are resolute on what we want as a people.”
He said the Forum would never be fooled twice on the constitution review process, because they were alive to the fact that President Mwanawasa could go against the recommendations of the ZCID just as he did on those contained in the Mung’omba CRC report.
He urged Zambians never to surrender the constitution review process to the whims of politicians.
“If we leave it entirely to the politicians we are going to have a lot of problems in the composition and basic provisions of our constitution. That is why it should be more inclusive,” Mwenye said.
“This is not to say politicians are not an important element. They are a very important element, so is the government, but they are not the determining factor, they cannot drive the process. They can just be there as one of the many voices that can formulate this document.”
He further said they were aware that most political parties were against recommendations of appointing cabinet and deputy ministers outside parliament.
“These are the same people who have been crossing floors and creating by-elections and causing huge amounts of money to be lost from the government coffers,” Mwenye said.
He stressed that since the constitution was a document that reflects the complexion of government it must belong to the people and not the politicians.
“You cannot have politicians who are presidents in waiting. You cannot have a President who is an incumbent deciding on the complexion of something that they will directly benefit on,” Mwenye said.
“It belongs to the people, the structure of government flow starts from this particular document.”
And answering concerns on the involvement of the ZCID road map in the constitution’s adoption, Mwenye said the people wanted the government who it gave the recommendations of the Mung’omba report to categorically state whether it had agreed to enforce the people’s aspirations on the constitution making process.
He said it would be premature to discuss the differences between the constitution conference, as suggested by the summit of presidents, and the constitutional assembly before the government states its position.
“It has been very interesting and this has been unfolding in the past few weeks. It’s not about the form, it’s about the function. If you recall on Sunday we issued a statement, where we as CGC asked the government to categorically state that the constitution conference will in fact adopt the constitution but on the same day the Minister of Information issued completely conflicting press statements in the Daily Mail and Times of Zambia and you and I know that the Daily Mail and Times of Zambia are the mouthpieces of the government.”
Mwenye pointed out that President Mwanawasa’s statement in Ndola on Thursday that there would be a refrendum to decide whether or not there should be a constituent assembly also made matters worse.
He said until the government comes out in the open on the mode of adoption, the people would find it difficult to tell the difference between a constitutional conference and a constituent assembly.
“What we are saying is that there is no clarity as to what this constitutional conference will do and as you know governments in Africa have thrived on confusion,” Mwenye said.
“When there are ambiguities then we have these things coming up.”
He said the changes in terminologies over the constitution have just bred confusion.
“I am confused as to why the terminology was changed. I had expected the political leaders and also the President to come out categorically and say we will do the will of the people as expected in the Mung’omba report,” he said. “What is wrong if the function of the constitutional conference is the same as that of the constituent assembly, to just say government has accepted to have the constituent assembly? Why should we change terminologies and have these conflicting statements from ministers?”
He called on the people to remain focussed.
During the recent ZCID-organised summit of presidents political parties, who included President Mwanawasa agreed that a constitutional conference would adopt the next constitution.
Meanwhile, Zambia National Federation for the Blind (ZANFOB) president Wamundila Waliulwa called in and urged the Oasis Forum not to relent in its fight for a better constitution.
By Inonge Noyoo and Laura Mushaukwa
Saturday June 30, 2007 [04:00]
London High Court Judge Peter Smith has dismissed former president Fredrick Chiluba’s application for permission to appeal against his judgment. And after several hearings aimed at reconciling figures in the London High Court judgment, Chiluba will now be required to pay a final amount of US$57,441,769.38 in respect of the Zamtrop Conspiracy , the BK conspiracy and for breach of fiduciary duty.
Chiluba and his co-accused had sought leave to apply against the London judgment after it was delivered via video link on May 4, 2007.
But judge Smith dismissed the applications saying they were not morally right and were absurd.
Judge Smith dismissed the applications against the court’s findings of dishonest saying one could not appeal on the findings of the court.
Judge Smith said it would be absurd for the law to allow the defendants to have limitations.
He however said he would ensure that every party wishing to challenge his judgment had the right to go to a higher court of appeal.
He further explained that it would not be appropriate to deprive any of the defendants their right to appeal.
And Former Zambia Security and Intelligence Service director Xavier Chungu will be required to pay US$57,261,390.72 in respect of the Zamtrop Conspiracy and US$56,442,027.90 in respect of the BK conspiracy and for breach of fiduciary duty.
Former Access Finance Services director Faustin Kabwe will be required US$53,257,020.30 in respect of the Zamtrop conspiracy and the BK conspiracy as well as US$39,955,336.36 for dishonest assistance.
Aaron Chungu who is also former Access Finance Director will be required to pay US$26,682,289.65 in respect of the Zamtrop Conspiracy and US$13,380,605.71 for dishonest assistance.
Former Ministry of Finance permanent secretary Stella Chibanda will be required to pay US$57,261,390.72 in respect of the Zamtrop Conspiracy and US$56,442,027.90 for breach of fiduciary duty.
Judge Smith has also ordered that Meer Care and Desai, Cave Malilk and company and Bimal Thaker should pay 60 per cent of claimant’s costs in relation to the Zamtrop Conspiracy.
And acting deputy registrar of the High Court Jones Chinyama has asked former president Frederick Chiluba’s lawyers to decide whether Chiluba will stand trial via video link or in person.
This is in a case where Chiluba is jointly charged with former Access Financial Services directors Faustin Kabwe and Aaron Chungu with theft by public servant.
Chiluba, Kabwe and Chungu are charged with six counts of theft by public servant involving about US $500 000.
The trio is alleged to have stolen the money between 1998 and 1999.
Magistrate Chinyama made the request in chambers yesterday when the matter came up for mention. He asked the lawyers to report to the court on July 27, 2007 when the matter comes up for another mention for trial to proceeds. Chiluba’s trial will start on August 14 to 17 and then run from August 27 to 31, 2007.
Chiluba was not present for the mention but Kabwe and Chungu were present.
On May 31, 2007 Chinyama declared Chiluba fit to stand trial but in private.
He can only stand trial in private surroundings where the length of trial could be monitored and where he was not required to stand.
Magistrate Chinyama ordered at the last hearing that Chiluba’s trial should proceed in August after state prosecutor Mutembo Nchito told the court that although the former president’s medical condition was not at its best, it had improved and that he could only stand trial if certain exogenous factors were induced.
By Chibaula Silwamba
Saturday June 30, 2007 [04:00]
VICE-President Rupiah Banda has said Zambia is largely dependent on foreign expertise to run her economy. Officiating at the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) for the board of governors meeting at Mulungushi Conference Centre in Lusaka yesterday, Vice-President Banda said it was important for developing country like Zambia to have a enough trained professionals to move the country forward.
“No matter how elaborate our plans are, if we lack trained manpower that can efficiently execute our plans, nothing will happen,” Vice-President Banda said.
“It is important for a developing country like Zambia, after 42 years of independence, to have adequate doctors, engineers, lawyers, economists and other various disciplines in order to move this country forward.
However, this is not the case, as a country we still depend largely on foreign expertise to run our economy.”
He observed that foreign personnel were expensive and not sustainable for a young economy like Zambia’s.
Vice-President Banda also said Zambia pledged US $250, 000 to ACBF for 2008.
“This pledge is a demonstration of our commitment to the ACBF,” he said. “I am aware that ACBF’s present mandate is to build capacity in the core public sector, as well as the interface areas with the private sector and civil society, in training and research institutions and in regional organisations in sub-Saharan Africa.”
He urged other African countries to support the ACBF in its endeavour to develop capacity in Africa
Vice-President Banda thanked ACBF for its support to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to develop a macro-economic expertise.
“The non-government organisations have also benefited in a similar manner.
This has been a deliberate move by the CBF to strengthen the non-state actors in the governance of our country,” he said. “I am aware that there is further support that is coming our way from ACBF in the recently formed Zambia Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR).
This will be a semi-autonomous institute for use by government institutions responsible for macro-economic policy formulation and implementation, the private sector, civil society and academia in order to improve economic governance in Zambia.”
And ACBF chairperson Louise Clement said the ACBF played a major role in strengthening public sector capacities in Africa.
By Zumani Katasefa in Ndola
Saturday June 30, 2007 [04:00]
SOME MMD youths on Thursday harassed a youth culture group that went to welcome President Mwanawasa at the Ndola International Airport on suspicion that it was opposition Patriotic Front (PF) and was sent to cause confusion. MMD Copperbelt provincial youth Chairman Nicholas Nzunda threatened to sternly deal with the youth culture group called Musadabwe if it resisted his orders to leave the airport.
Nzunda said he did not want Musadabwe to be part of the people welcoming President Mwanawasa at the airport because on many occasions Musadabwe members had been insulting members of the MMD.
He cited an incident at the Ndola High Court after the hearing of one of the parliamentary petition cases involving MMD and the PF, where the youths had badly insulted MMD members.
“Imwe mulatutuka, kabiyeni ninshi mulafyakuno,”(You insult us go, what do you want here?) asked Nzunda who was emotionally charged.
Nzunda also pushed some of the youths as he told them to leave the airport few minutes before the arrival of the President who was in Ndola to attend the official opening of the Zambia International Trade Fair(ZITF).
He also alerted security personnel to help in sending away Musadabwe members from the airport and vowed never to allow the group to attend any function to be graced by MMD leaders.
Some MMD cadres also supported the action taken by Nzunda and other youths to stop Musadabwe from welcoming President Mwanawasa saying that the group was pro-PF.
The MMD youths said Musadabwe group was actively used to campaign for PF on the Copperbelt Province during the last tripartite elections.
MMD Luanshya district secretary Shine Mukosha said Musadabwe was being used by PF and it should not be allowed to the airport to welcome President Mwanawasa.
But Musadabwe representative Phild Mwansa complained about the behaviour of MMD youths.
“We are not PF. Look at our uniforms, we are not PF members, we are just here to perform our duties as a culture group,” said Mwansa.
Mwansa said Musadabwe was a non-political organisation and was just hired by the organisers of the Ndola International Trade to go and welcome President Mwanawasa at the Ndola Airport.
Mwansa and other members of the group reluctantly left the airport, while other members who had earlier sneaked to the airport where fished out by MMD members who identified them.
By Laura Miti-Banda
Saturday June 30, 2007 [04:00]
There is something causing so much fatigue about the discussion that Zambia has embroiled herself in over former President Chiluba. It seems though, that it is a discussion we are going to have for sometime. Now we have members of parliament standing up and declaring that Chiluba has been unfairly treated.
Well at least now we know, from the MPs’ statements, that the Patriotic Front is as ever convinced of its president’s declaration during last year’s election campaign that former President Chiluba really has nothing to answer for to the country.
The Patriotic Front for some reason feels that the fact that President Chiluba may have used his office to misappropriate millions of dollars in public funds is, in the scheme of things, a very small matter indeed. It is to them quite clearly a case of “these things happen.” Nothing to fuss about too much. After all, the Patriotic Front senior leadership keeps saying to us, Chiluba did a lot of good for this country. He made some small mistakes yes but we all make mistakes.
It has to be noted that, what good the former President did exactly, the good that is supposed to weigh in heavier than his crimes when put on the balance, is never properly set out for us by the PF. It is a good I suppose, known only by those who were very close to Mr Chiluba to benefit in ways we the ordinary people could not.
Now, it is no secret what my personal sentiments as regards Chiluba and his presidency are. I have stated many times before that it is my considered opinion that Zambia is still an intact nation, all its problems considered, only because FTJ’s third term bid was stopped in its tracks by the Zambian people. I most certainly believe that there would be no Zambia as we know it, to talk about, had FTJ stayed in State House even six months longer than he did.
The very fabric of the nation was in deep trouble under Chiluba and, as I have again stated so often, Mwanawasa with all the particular mode of nonsense has wrought on the nation instigated changes that saved Zambia from complete lunacy.
And yet a party with a considerable representation in parliament can take the unwaveringly supporting stance that the PF repeatedly has on Chiluba. It’s members of Parliament can publicly declare that Zambia is wrong in hating the guts of the former president and wanting recompense from him. It is so disturbing.
But then we should not really be surprised. In Zambia after all, party members, members of Parliament included, are not allowed to have positions on any issue, no matter how frivolous, that go against the party leader’s. As we saw with the MMD under Chiluba, men who had won safari suits for nearly 3 decades (because safari suits were the great leader’s attire of choice) suddenly decked themselves in three piece suits with ties and ridiculous little matching handkerchiefs in the pocket, simply because the new leader dressed that way.
Adult men failed to find it in themselves to say ‘the new culture handkerchief is really not for me.” They had to conform.
If cabinet ministers have felt compelled to change what they wear in order to keep the President happy, what chance, pray, is there that any MP will stand up to a party president and say - your personal vendetta against another man will not determine how I play my politics.
Simply, I am saying that it would seem that the Patriotic Front, in the matter of one FTJ Chiluba, is taking a stance determined by the fact that one Michael Chilufya Sata, president of the said PF, hates anything the smells even mildly of Patrick Levy Mwanawasa -the man who entered State House (twice over) when he (Sata) was sure that the presidency was a done deal.
Sata for a while was incensed with Chiluba for passing him over in selecting who to place in State House after his plans to overstay were mercilessly derailed by a mass of citizens wearing green ribbons. However, the resentment Sata carries against FTJ’s chosen replacement is (inexplicably) stronger than that which he ever had against the man who made the decision.
Sata therefore, made up with FTJ as soon as Levy fell out with the former president. I guess it was more fulfilling for him to hate Levy for being in State House than to keep up the quarrel with Chiluba for putting him there. (Bizarre psyche, I know, but anyhow.)
Of course beyond that simple explanation for Sata’s support for Chiluba’s crimes is the fact that Sata himself was very much in the mix when the said crimes were committed.
The result of all this is that Sata has never enjoyed the “fight against corruption” not because it is the farce of a fight we all know it is.
He does not like it because it is a part of history he would love to have the public forget because there is much he himself has to explain about it.
And so the PF leader is going to cause a whole political party to stand up and insist that a former president who treated the country’s resources with such impunity as Chiluba did, should not be vilified. In fact, the country should find good in that theft. And then Sata will continue to insist that the people of Zambia should consider the PF as an alternative party in power to the MMD. That voters should consider putting him into State House one day.
My question simply is, what do Zambian politicians take the Zambian people for? What does Sata (and his PF) think Zambia is? I guess to him, it is a stage on which to play out his personal games. He wants us to agree to be the supporting cast as politicians do whatever they like with us. Sata, it seems, wants us to cheer on as MPs with no fear of recrimination stand up and say the former President stole, messed up the country but so what? Put us in power so that we can make sure no questions are ever asked about it.
lauramiti AT yahoo_co_uk
Friday, June 29, 2007
By Letlhogile Lucas
BBC Focus on Africa, Gaborone
Plans to create the world's largest game park are being finalised at a meeting in Botswana in southern Africa. The planned conservation area will straddle the borders of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is hoped the park will bring in tourists to such attractions as the Victoria Falls, Okavango swamps, Chobe National Park and Caprivi Strip. Officials believe it will also help regional tourism ahead of the 2010 World Cup taking place in South Africa.
The prosposed Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Park will cost an estimated $100m to set up and is expected to contribute significantly to job creation in the five countries. Africa's biggest game park at the moment is the 35,000-square-kilometre Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park on the borders of Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
While the southern African region has big potential as a tourist destination, those meeting in Botswana's capital, Gaborone, say much needs to be done to attract tourists to the region.
The Victoria Falls
At Thursday's gathering tourism ministers and environmental experts are hammering out a joint conservation policy. "The major issue is about sustainable tourism," Botswana's Tourism Minister Kitso Mokaila told the BBC. "Tourism is a revenue generator and therefore if we can get the conservation issue right then I think we can start talking more positively and more confidently about sustainable tourism."
Among the obstacles cited were the landmines scattered in the Cuando Cubango region of Angola, where a 27-year civil war ended in 2002.
"What we want right now is to make sure that the funds that are available for the de-mining to proceed as soon as possible," said Eduardoa Chingunji, Angola's tourism minister. "But let's not forget that at times also the question of landmines in Angola is overblown... there are specific areas where there were battle lines for a long time - that's where you find the concentration. The priority right now is to de-mine a major part of the border that is between the countries," he said.
Another issue the ministers have been grappling with is the bad image associated with Zimbabwe that could well tarnish their park project. Tourists tend to shun Zimbabwe because of the political and economic strife there.
But Mr Mokaila said he did not see politics coming in the way of business. "When I was in the Victoria Falls all I could see were tourists all over the show. Obviously if the Zimbabwe situation were to change it would also enhance what we're doing. But I think that the very fact that we're also involved with them in these negotiations also assists their issues."
As well as finding a common position on issues of tourism and the management of the wildlife, it is also hoped that the project will assist in region's economic integration.
Labels: GAME PARKS
By Godwin Yoram Mumba
Friday June 29, 2007 [04:00]
I am writing to you to express my disappointment with Patriotic Front members of parliament who have shocked me with their myopic stance on former Republican president of Zambia Fredrick Chiluba’s ‘fraud case.” From their outbursts in support of Chiluba, one can safely conclude that these MPs are but a bunch of ignorant and amateurish historians anchored in quicksand of deceit and arrogance. They should realise that Chiluba stole, period! And let him face the music like anybody found stealing.
Assuming that President Mwanawasa also has made mistakes such as in stripping Chiluba of his presidential immunity without giving him an opportunity to defend himself before Parliament, overlooking Zambian sovereignty by taking Chiluba’s fraud case before the English court; I contend these mistakes, if at all they are mistakes, are totally outweighed by Chiluba’s misdeeds as in the following:- US 58 million dollars stolen by Chiluba.
How many people died in hospitals, UTH in particular, as a result of Chiluba’s stubbornness. We still remember doctors’ standoff with Chiluba just before Mwanawasa took over?
The sale of parastatal companies at supersonic speed leaving many Zambian workers in limbo led to many others lose their lives in the process.
One may ask what happened to Memaco? Who has been selling our copper and cobalt and where are the proceeds from these sales.
PF Bemba MPs are trying to tell us that the late Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe is synonymous with Fredrick Chiluba by trying to canonise the latter by associating him with our clean Kapwepwe. This is an insult not only to late Kapwepwe but also to the Bemba-speaking people as well.
Incidentally, Chiluba’s confession statement of political dribbling and engineering evokes memories as to what killed Kapwepwe.
Perhaps God has preserved me all these years specifically to tell the story that the death of Kapwepwe points to the political dribbling and engineering so much glorified by the PF Bemba MPs.
What sort of political leaders are these PF members of parliament who have already forgotten that this country has not experienced clandestine deaths since 2001? Let them research and tell us why and how the following innocent citizens died between 1991 and 2001:
Ronald Penza, Wezi Kaunda, my brilliant lawyer and friend Edgar Chellah and many others too numerous to mention.
Sata's temporary pullout of ZCID
Friday June 29, 2007 [04:00]
PF's Michael Sata's "temporary pullout of the Zambia Center for Inter-party Dialogue meeting demonstrates how irrelevant he has become to the constitution-making process.
I find it extremely extraordinary for Sata to always show dissenting views.
He similarly pulled out of a part alliance prior to the September elections last year on flimsy circumstances because he felt his party was strong enough to go solo. Sata must learn to work with others and be democratic and supportive to collective issues. If he is against the idea of a
Constitution Conference, leave him out and let us forge ahead.
We are not going to make any progress by bickering over trivial issues. Those who want freinds must first be friendly themselves. Similary, those who want democracy must demonstrate the attributes of democratic people.
Behaviour of some members of parliament
By Viva The Post! Given
Friday June 29, 2007 [04:00]
I wish to comment on the behaviour and the integrity of some PF MPs. I would love to categorically talk about Dr Chishimba, the MP for Kasama. I was shocked to see him on the MUVI TV morning show where he was busy mascarading himself as a true Zambian by defending former Republican president Frederick Chiluba.
I personally doubt his integrity. What he has to know is that what Chiluba stole was not from Northen Province alone but belonged to our country, Zambia. I’m happy with the majority Zambians who have decided to remain quiet over Chiluba’s judgement. Truly, my fellow Zambians, should we allow tribalism to continue misleading innocent Zambians? Of course not!
I have come to understand that PF as a party is using tribalism where they are able to defend thieves openly on tribal lines. Thank God that PF could not make it in last year’s elections.
This is because we were going to see all plunderers coming back in our country. One thing I can remind Dr Chishimba is that Chiluba is the same man who was preaching about rule of law.
Let him and others face the law because we need our money back. What he stole does not belong to Bembas but to Zambians. I’m now convinced beyond doubt that true Zambians have seen what true political parties are. Defending Chiluba? I’m therefore delighted with the Post newspaper’s fight against corruption. Please continue until the war is won. I’m looking forward to the day when the Zambian judgment will be delivered. How can you associate Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula and Kapwepwe to this criminality. What a shame! I don’t think I can waste time to cast my vote for these MPs defending a wrong cause.
Farewell to Blair
By Isaac Makashini, USA
Friday June 29, 2007 [04:00]
Finally, the British people and the world of politics have bade farewell to Tony Blair, leader of the Labour Party for thirteen years, and Britain's Prime Minister for a decade.
Blair stepped down on Thursday, June 27th, nine months after he first announced his intentions to leave office.
What a way to go for the young, vibrant, articulate and charismatic Tony, who ten years ago, at the age of 43, became Britain's youngest Prime Minister in nearly two centuries!
I am not a political analyst by vocation, but I have followed Tony's leadership with keen interest, and intrigue.
To his credit, he has been perhaps one of the most successful leaders the Labour Party has ever had.
He led his party to three successive elections, the British economy recorded significant gains, he demonstrated great leadership, patience and perseverance in securing peace in Northern Ireland, and his interventionist policy in Sierra Leone helped bring an end to the brutal civil war in that country.
He was also a very strong ally of Africa in poverty eradication as can be seen in his initiative to push for a substantial aid increase for Africa at G8 Summit in 2005.
But Blair leaves at a time when his popularity has been severely battered. Approval ratings were at their lowest, and the relationship with his successor, Chancellor Gordon Brown, was becoming increasingly acrimonious.
Blair's undoing was his support of the Iraq war at a time when 75 per cent of the British people and most European leaders opposed the war.
As Michael Brown, a former conservative member of parliament has correctly noted, "Iraq will be engraved on Tony Blair's political tombstone when the history books of his premiership are written."
As Blair leaves Number 10 Downing Street, I believe that his departure provides several lessons to our politicians in Zambia:
1. The skills and charisma needed to win an election are not the same skills that it takes to run the government. There is no doubt that Blair was abundantly endowed with the former, but increasingly exhibited poverty in the latter, especially during the last few years.
2. It is politically suicidal to ignore public opinion on any major policy issue.
Our present government has sadly been treading this path on the issue of the constitution.
3. Politicians must not have a bloated estimation of their personal abilities and political strengths. Such an attitude leads to pride, arrogance and spurning the ideas of others.
4. Democracy is about people. People's ideas and aspirations must not be buried by politicians' personal beliefs, opinions and agendas.
This easily results into disillusionment in the people and nose-diving unpopularity, even among those who once deeply admired your leadership.
I wish Tony Blair all the best as he takes up the new role as the Middle East peace envoy.
Friday June 29, 2007 [04:00]
We cannot think of a more contemptible man - our power of imagination fails us to bring into our minds’ eyes a more despicable man than the man that steals from the poor. This is a man as low and as mean as we can picture. A man who can take millions of dollars from the public coffers of a poor country where the majority of citizens live on less than a dollar per day, and spends it on designer clothes in European boutiques.
We are talking about Frederick Chiluba, who we sincerely believe abused his office as president of our country; whom we are convinced beyond any reasonable doubt stole public funds. We know there are people like Michael Sata and others in his political party who don’t share our view.
This is not a matter of opinion, it is a matter of one accepting or rejecting facts before him. There are people who will continue to insist something is white even when it is clearly black.
There is enough evidence in the public domain of Chiluba’s thefts, dishonesty and outright abuse of office. It is really a question of one wanting to stand for a friend all the way to Calvary. But no matter how much they will try to deny or ignore Chiluba’s transgressions, their friend’s Calvary has come and he will be nailed to the cross.
For us, it is not a question of friend or foe, of defending a friend and attacking a foe. It is a question of opposing, denouncing and fighting abuse.
And there is no political bias in all this because it is really not a political question but a criminal matter, an injustice, a fraud. We are not politicians, we are journalists who don’t contest elections or field candidates. What we are preaching is the repudiation, rejection, and hatred of theft, corruption and other abuses. We are not preaching political bias because we have no political affiliation in the first place. Probably this is why we have been accused of so many different things by so many different people.
At one time, Levy Mwanawasa used to accuse us of propping up Sata, of politically supporting him. At the same time, UPND also used to accuse us of supporting Sata. And Sata and his followers at the same time used to accuse us of supporting Levy.
The truth is, we have no political affiliation or bias. And probably this is why we are the only news media organisation in this country that is able to criticise any politician or any institution without pulling punches. We are not in the service of any one politician or organisation. We are not under the control or direction of any politician or political party; our conscience is our guide.
The only bias that one can justifiably accuse us of is that between good and evil. We will never be neutral between good and evil. We were taught that there was a constant struggle between good and evil, and evil had to be punished. We were taught that those who commit crimes and are responsible for injustice and evil should be punished not only here on earth but also in hell. Could that be interpreted as an expression of political bias?
Supporting wrongdoers is wrong. There is no greater love for a wrongdoer than to prevent him from doing wrong. We don’t believe in the law of hate. We may not be true to our ideals always, but we believe in the law of love, and we believe that one can do nothing with hatred. We would like to see a time when man loves his fellow man and does not steal from him, especially if he is poor. We will never be civilised until that time comes. We know we have a long road to travel. We believe that our life has been a life of tragedy, of injustice, of deception and abuse by those we have elected or chosen to govern our affairs, who we invariably chose to govern in our stead.
By denouncing Chiluba’s corruption, we are actually calling for all those things which are necessary for men to live together in harmony, respect and dignity. The service of Zambia means the service of the millions who suffer. It means the ending of poverty and ignorance, disease and inequality.
The ambition of every one of our political leaders should not be to amass wealth at the expense of the people, to steal from the people but to wipe every tear from every eye. That may be beyond us, but as long as there are tears and suffering, our work will not be over.
Our duty is to help establish an open society in our country where leaders do not abuse power and public resources. And so we have to labour and work, and work hard, to give reality to our dreams.
Those dreams are for Zambia and for all our people. This is no time for petty and destructive criticism, no time for ill-will. We have to build the noble mansion of corruption-free Zambia where all her children may dwell. And we have to face this responsibility in the spirit of free and disciplined people.
The future beckons us. Whither do we go and what shall be our endeavour? To bring opportunity to the common man, to the peasants and workers of Zambia; to fight and end poverty, ignorance and disease; to build up a prosperous, democratic and progressive nation, and to create social, economic and political institutions which will ensure justice and fullness of life to every man and woman.
We have hard work ahead. And there should be no resting for any one of us till we redeem our pledge in full, till we make all the people of Zambia what destiny intended them to be.
We cannot encourage narrow-mindedness, the defending or supporting of criminals, of thieves, for no nation can be great whose people are narrow in thought or in action. Unless we face this fact, we shall pay the price that must be paid by those who are narrow-minded.
Sixteen years in Africa, in a country where the life expectancy is below 40, is quite a long time. We are glad to have had the chance to witness, and to take part in many dramatic changes in the life of this country. We are grateful for the support we have received from many people in this country in our modest efforts to contribute to good governance in our country. And all those whose prayers – fervent, we hope, but not too frequent – have sustained us through all these years, are friends indeed. We give you all, wherever you may be, our humble thanks.
The issues we have been raising concerning Chiluba’s corruption can act, and should do so, as an effective engine for change of behaviour among all our leaders – past, present and future. We are not denouncing Chiluba’s corruption for the sake of it.
We are doing it to ensure that our people have the right to work and not to have whole communities abandoned because the money intended for their upliftment has been stolen or abused by their leaders. We will fight to make sure that the resources of this country do not only benefit just a few.
Our daily deeds must produce an actual Zambian reality that will reinforce our people’s belief in justice, in honest public service and strengthen their confidence in the nobility of the human soul and sustain all our hopes for a glorious life for all.
We should not forget that an individual does best in a strong and decent community of people with principles and standards, common aims and values. Leaders lead, but in the end the people govern.
There is no choice or bias between being principled and unprincipled. And we should not torture ourselves with this foolishness for too long. The founding fathers of our nation did what they did on very strong principles. We haven’t changed to forget those principles, but to fulfill them.
Today is our chance to say no to corruption and not to defend or support it. It is difficult to understand why Sata and his followers should defend Chiluba’s thefts that are so clear for all to see.
Our own and only explanation is that genuine goodness is threatening to those at the opposite end of the moral spectrum.
By Chibaula Silwamba and Mwala Kalaluka
Friday June 29, 2007 [04:00]
OPPOSITION UPND Sinazongwe member of parliament Raphael Muyanda has castigated Patriotic Front (PF) members of parliament for suggesting that Parliament was coerced into lifting Frederick Chiluba’s immunity. And PF president Michael Sata has asked Kasama Central member of parliament Saviour Chishimba to apologise to Post editor Fred M’membe over his remarks against him.
Muyanda, who was reacting to Chishimba and other PF members of parliament’s assertions that M’membe and President Levy Mwanawasa were corrupt, said the removal of Chiluba’s immunity was done out of principle.
“It is an offence under the National Assembly Act to insult parliament. I was one of those MPs who voted for the removal of Chiluba’s immunity,” Muyanda said.
“There was no coercion, it was purely a matter of principle and he lost it genuinely.”
Muyanda said the London High Court had competently dealt with Chiluba’s cases.
“This is not the time to call M’membe corrupt, it is wrong and a misconception. M’membe deserves public honour together with The Post,” Muyanda said.
“Without the brave and gallant Fred M’membe and others, the world and Zambians at large would not have known how huge amounts of US dollars were stolen during Chiluba’s government.”
He said it was therefore sad that some PF members of parliament under the influence of tribalism chose to cry foul over a judgment that was self-explanatory.
Muyanda further said President Mwanawasa equally deserved honour over the manner he spearheaded the anti-graft crusade.
“I am not a job seeker. I am priceless but I would like politicians to respect President Mwanawasa for what he is doing. He has not only exposed corruption but is also prosecuting it,” he said.
And Sata asked Chishimba to apologise for his remarks against M’membe but not allegations that President Mwanawasa was corrupt, claiming that there was evidence to that effect.
Commenting on Chishimba’s attacks on President Mwanawasa and M’membe that those that criticise former president Frederick Chiluba should first remove the logs in their eyes, Sata said it was unfair that the parliamentarian dragged M’membe in the corruption saga.
“Members of parliament have a right in Parliament or outside Parliament to say anything, on one condition that they can prove it anywhere. Unfortunately, it’s not fair to draw M’membe in corruption saga. If M’membe is to be attacked, it’s on political bias. We can attack M’membe politically for his bias but it’s unjustified to attack him on corruption,” Sata said. “Sometimes he has been too hard on Chiluba and how he has handled the London High Court judgment on Chiluba.”
Sata asked Chishimba to withdraw his statement. “If our member of parliament hasn’t got evidence of corruption on M’membe, it’s better to withdraw the statement and leave the battle to Levy Mwanawasa,” Sata said.
He said Chishimba organised a press conference on his own.
“When Chishimba issued that statement, it was not on behalf of the party. What he said is his own,” Sata said.
Chishimba was not answering his phone yesterday. But Sata claimed that there was ‘plenty of evidence’ on corruption against President Mwanawasa.
“I can prove it. It’s very simple to prove,” Sata said. “There are so many things he has done bordering on corruption which we can prove.”
He accused President Mwanawasa of corruptly handling Chiluba’s trial.
“Mwanawasa went to Parliament over allegations which he made against Chiluba and up to today, not one single allegation he made in Parliament has Chiluba been indicted. Natural justice demands that the accused should be heard,” he said. “I have not seen a judgment where each day judge Smith issues a new judgment. These are things I quarrel with. I want Chiluba to have a fair trial.”
And Sata said ZCID board members were just after allowances.
“When you look at the majority of people on the board, they have no regular income. They are getting K300, 000 as sitting allowance so they can prolong the process,” said Sata.
By Masuzyo Chakwe
Friday June 29, 2007 [04:00]
LOCAL government minister Sylvia Masebo has directed councils in the country to immediately conduct inspections to identify illegal lodges and restaurants with a view to closing them down.
Masebo said yesterday that it had come to her attention that there were many illegal guesthouses, restaurants and lodges operating throughout the country contrary to the provisions of the town and country planning Act Cap 283 of the Laws of Zambia.
She said many houses had illegally been changed into lodges, restaurants and guesthouses.
Masebo said the inspections would be carried out with a view to closing them down until they satisfied the provisions of the law.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
June 26: The Washington Post’s longtime intelligence reporter, Walter Pincus, analyzes the CIA papers in an interview with MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer.
By Alex Johnson
The CIA declassified nearly 700 pages of secret records Tuesday recording its illegal activities during the first decades of the Cold War, publishing a catalog of adventures that run the gamut of spy movie clichés from attempts to kill foreign leaders and intercept Americans’ mail to garden-variety break-ins and burglaries.
“Most of it is unflattering, but it is CIA’s history,” the CIA’s director, Gen. Michael Hayden, said last week in announcing plans to release the documents, which had been considered so sensitive that they were known internally as the agency’s “family jewels.”
The documents were compiled beginning in 1973 at the order of then-CIA Director James Schlesinger, who wanted to be prepared for congressional investigations he expected in the wake of disclosures that arose during the Watergate scandal. Schlesinger’s successor, William Colby, was outraged at much of the material, which he collected in a report to President Gerald Ford in 1975.
Much of the material had previously entered the public record through nearly 30 years of requests by academics, authors and journalists under the Freedom of Information Act. But many new details emerge in a review of the documents by MSNBC.com, including the never-before-disclosed news that CIA Director Allen Dulles personally approved the agency’s plot to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro in 1960 and 1961.
Operation CHAOS — still sensitive
Even after more than 30 years, the CIA chose to keep scores of pages partly or totally blacked out. Much of the redacted material appears in sections relating to Richard Ober, head of the Special Operations Group and deputy to James Jesus Angleton, the agency’s legendary chief of counterintelligence.
Ober directed Operation CHAOS, a highly secretive covert operation to spy on racial, anti-war and other protest groups inside the United States.
The CIA’s charter bans domestic spying, but in 1976, the final report of the special Senate subcommittee headed by Sen. Frank Church, D-Idaho, to investigate CIA abuses concluded that the CHAOS project had amassed files on more than 7,000 American citizens and 1,000 domestic organizations. That information was disseminated in thousands of reports to the FBI and other agencies.
Americans’ communications intercepted
It has also long been known that the CIA routinely intercepted international mail and telephone calls of U.S. citizens, but the scope of that espionage becomes clearer in the new documents.
For 20 years beginning in 1953, the CIA opened and copied all mail to and from the Soviet Union that passed through John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The operation, which used the information to compile a watch list of suspicious people, was approved by three successive postmasters general, the documents indicate.
Likewise, for three years beginning in 1969, the CIA similarly opened mail to and from China that passed through San Francisco.
And the agency intercepted radio telephone calls involving U.S. citizens and foreign nationals to and from South America “for drug-related matters” involving the federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.
General Counsel Lawrence R. Houston, asked for his ruling on the legality of the operation, replied on Jan. 29, 1973, that since the reports were going to the BNDD, they were for law enforcement purposes, which the CIA was barred from. Accordingly, the intercepts were illegal, he concluded.
Soviet defector jailed for two years
The papers also flesh out details of the detention of a Soviet defector, Yuri Nosenko, who was held in a cell from August 1965 to September 1967 because the CIA feared he might be a plant.
Nosenko, deputy chief of the Seventh Department of the KGB, was responsible for recruiting foreign spies. He claimed to have been the KGB handler of the case of Lee Harvey Oswald, who he said was rejected as not having been intelligent enough to work as a KGB agent.
After more than two years confined in a cell with only a cot, Nosenko was released and given a false identity. He became an adviser to the CIA and the FBI for $35,000 a year and a lump sum payment of $150,000 for his trouble.
The papers indicate that the CIA regularly confined defectors for interrogation, but only outside the United States, and the agency was concerned that the detention of the Soviet defector might violate kidnapping laws. “The possibility exists that the press could cause undesirable publicity if it were to uncover the story,” David H. Blee, chief of the Soviet Bloc Division, wrote in a memo.
The CIA conducted surveillance on numerous journalists, including Brit Hume, now an anchor for Fox News. Hume was working for investigative columnist Jack Anderson when he, Anderson and other Anderson associates were put under surveillance in 1972 after Anderson published a column, considered inside the agency as highly damaging, reporting that the CIA was “tilting” toward Pakistan in its Middle East operations.
Another journalist who was placed under surveillance was Michael Getler, then the intelligence reporter for The Washington Post. There was no indication that the CIA conducted any illegal wiretaps or other unlawful operations against Getler.
From 1963 to 1973, the CIA authorized and funded “behavioral modification” research on Americans without their consent. The research primarily involved observation of their reactions in public, but some of it involved reactions to undisclosed drugs, the documents report.
In fiscal 1971 and 1972, “Agency funds were made available to the FBI.” No further details are given on what this account was for.
The CIA investigated plans to disrupt the 1972 national political conventions and provided operational support — inside the United States, where such activities are the purview of the FBI — for Secret Service operations.
For the Republican convention in Miami, the agency ran name checks on foreign nationals and set up a safe house for the Secret Service. For Nixon’s renomination in San Diego, it ran name checks on all hotel and convention employees, noting, “We anticipate there will be several thousand names to be checked.”
In May 1973, Angleton reported that the CIA had looked into the operations of the Investors Overseas Service for White House counsel John Dean. The company employed President Richard Nixon’s nephew, and Dean was concerned that the connection could generate “adverse publicity,” Angleton wrote.
Six reports were eventually generated, which the CIA channeled to Dean, now a prominent critic of the Bush administration, through Fred Fielding, who serves President Bush in Dean’s old job of White House counsel. The nature of the reports is not disclosed.
CIA director’s unusual literary pursuits
The papers also include some disclosures that can only be described as odd.
In 1972, Colby submitted an article for publication in the Sunday newspaper supplement Parade, titled “Should Lesbians Be Allowed to Play Professional Football?” Parade Editor Lloyd Shearer replied in a letter in April that he found the article “intriguing” and planned to publish it “in a future issue.”
And we learn that some in the agency were also exasperated by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who made frequent demands on the CIA, the papers reveal. One memo, dated May 7, 1973, complains about the “inordinate amount of time” and “fairly sizeable amount of money that has been expended in support of these measures.”
The 693 pages of CIA disclosures were turned over in 1975 to three investigative panels — special House and Senate committees and a commission headed by then-Vice President Nelson Rockefeller. Much of the material has since seen the light of day, but Tuesday marked the first time the CIA had publicized its clandestine past.
In his address last week, to a conference of historians, Hayden acknowledged that the papers “provide a glimpse of a very different time and a very different agency.”
By ANGELA CHISHIMBA
PRESIDENT Mwanawasa has invited investors to exploit Zambia’s vast business opportunities in different sectors of the economy that remain largely undeveloped. Mr Mwanawasa was speaking at State House in Lusaka yesterday when he received credentials from Tanzania’s new High Commissioner to Zambia, Dismas Nguma.
“Identify and draw the attention of those private individuals or legal entities interested or specialised in specific fields to come and transform the raw materials into goods and services that are affordable to the majority of our people,” he said.
He said this would help the two sister countries combine their efforts to generate additional wealth and successfully wage the fight against poverty and disease. Mr Mwanawasa said the bilateral relations existing between Zambia and Tanzania transcended the common boundary and was evident on the international scene where they shared common views and adopted common positions.
“As member states of SADC (Southern African Development Community) and the African Union, we are bound by our common heritage, culture and destiny,” he said.
Zambia recognised Tanzania’s special place and instrumental role in the resolution of conflicts in Africa. President Mwanawasa commended Tanzania’s consistency in the promotion of peace and security in East Africa, the Great Lakes region and the wider African continent.
And Mr Nguma said his country admired Zambia’s determination to improve the socio-economic welfare of the people. He said Zambia’s commitment to promote democracy, good governance, human rights, civic education as well as waging an unrelenting war against graft were some of the achievements the country had recorded. Mr Nguma said Tanzania was one of Zambia’s top five trade partners, although the value of exports accounted for just 5.1 per cent of total exports. He said Tanzania’s exports were about a quarter of Zambia’s exports to Tanzania in 2006 at US$49.3 million against US$216.8 million.
And President Mwanawasa said Government welcomed foreign investors who were willing to enter into partnerships with Zambian businesses. Government had put in place attractive incentives for investments in the agricultural, construction, energy, finance, mining and tourism sectors. Mr Mwanawasa was speaking when he received letters of credence from the ambassador of Qatar to Zambia, Ali Bin Hassan Al Hammadi. He said Zambia wished to establish closer cooperation in the construction, energy, finance and tourism sectors for the mutual benefit of the Zambian and Qatari people.
And President Mwanawasa said the construction of the Katima Mulilo Bridge was not an end in itself but the beginning of an era of greater exchange of goods and services between Zambia and Namibia. He said this when he received letters of credence from the new Namibian High Commissioner to Zambia, Salomon Witbool. He said the bridge had opened up a trade route to and from the Walvis Bay Port, where Zambia intended to set up a dry port.
Mr Mwanawasa said this infrastructure catered for not only Zambians but also Congolese nationals and other nationalities. He said the development of joint infrastructure fell in perfect line with a common development agenda, which promoted the creation of wealth to fight poverty, disease and other social ills.
And Mr Witbool said he would ensure that the meetings of the two countries’ Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation and the Joint Commission on Security and Defence, continued to be held regularly and that decisions taken were implemented.
He said his priority would be to encourage the private sector of Zambia to extend their business ventures to Namibia by utilising the infrastructure both governments had put in place.
The Herald (Harare)
27 June 2007
CHIEFS and headmen from Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe in Mashonaland East province have asked Government to give them fertilizers and other agricultural inputs instead of paying them monthly salaries. The chiefs and headmen told Provincial Governor Cde Ray Kaukonde during a recent meeting that they would like Government to empower them with farming inputs instead of cash.
Cde Kaukonde, who is on a provincial tour to meet traditional leaders and Zanu-PF supporters from the grassroots to drum up support for next year's local government, parliamentary and presidential elections, told the chiefs that Government would look into their request.
He also urged youths to be vigilant against intimidation by the opposition and to desist from reacting to the opposition's violent campaign tactics. Cde Kaukonde has already been to Mudzi and UMP and is this week expected to address similar meetings in Murehwa, Wedza and Chikomba.
"I am on a tour to encourage traditional leaders and Zanu-PF supporters to register for next year's elections. The elections are very important. We have to show the world that we are solidly Zanu-PF," he said.
Cde Kaukonde said the people should show the world that elections can be held in a peaceful environment and that the people can vote in large numbers despite the temporary economic challenges. Cde Kaukonde said Mashonaland East had encouraging massive voter registration to allow the province to have more wards and constituencies.
"Some of our wards and constituencies are too big. We can only reduce them in size if the people register to vote. We want leaders with people. Every leader is being urged to mobilise people to register," he said.
Cde Kaukonde said he accepted criticism by chiefs in UMP who complained that Government had failed to fulfil some of its promises such as the provision of vehicles for chiefs, cellphone network and good roads. He said while the problems were being addressed, the chiefs should always guard against surrendering their country to the enemy.
He told the chiefs that some of the Government's projects were not implemented because the country was under illegal sanctions.
Thursday June 28, 2007 [04:00]
WE have never claimed to possess the monopoly of wisdom and we will never do so. While we derive great experience from the exercise of our functions as journalists, we do not have the privilege of being – nor could we be – specialists in all political, economic and social spheres.
We are basically journalists – in itself one of the most difficult and dangerous tasks in today’s troubled world – and above all we must be responsible ones. We know, moreover, and have borne this in mind, that as journalists, we are as a rule reluctant to talk or write about things which are not perfectly clear to us. We are aware that our nation takes an enormous variety of widely differing beliefs and perceptions. We have, however, one thing in common: our responsibility to ensure that the affairs of our country are managed in an efficient, effective, orderly and honest manner.
We particularly have in common our national economic interests; the overwhelming problems of accumulated poverty and backwardness. We also share the bitter feeling of impotence that our people have in the face of such problems and the concern of all of them for the political instability to which these problems may give rise.
So gloomy are the realities and prospects for the future as a whole that they could generate pessimism and discouragement if we were not sure of our aims. They are an inevitably bitter pill to swallow, but if we are to face up to the realities, we first have to become aware of them.
We do not have, nor do we think anyone has, magic remedies for such difficult, complex and apparently insoluble problems. History shows, however, that no problem has ever been solved until it has become a tangible reality of which everyone is aware. We have to face our problems in an honest way.
It is not a lie, a falsehood, a personal vendetta to say that Frederick Chiluba abused the authority entrusted in him to preside over the affairs of this country for 10 years as president. It is not a lie to say that Chiluba abused public funds, stole public resources. There is no malice in stating this. This is not an insult on Chiluba because this is something he did and we can prove it and it has been proved by others in the London High Court.
Corruption is a cancer that we all need to put our efforts together and uproot from the face of our country. Just look at how much injustice corruption is doing to this country in all areas of human endeavour. We are not saying Chiluba is the only thief or corrupt person in this country. But Chiluba was president of this country, the highest position in the land demanding the highest level of trust, honest and integrity. He didn’t have any of these.
Saviour Chishimba who is today accusing Levy Mwanawasa of being corrupt should do what we did and prove to everyone that Mwanawasa is corrupt. We have never spared Levy from criticism whenever we can justify it.
We were the first people to challenge Levy over the University of Zambia land he had appropriated. We also questioned and denounced the fraudulent manner in which he was elected in 2001 using state funds. We have questioned, more than anyone else, Levy’s holding on to the MMD automobiles that were found to have been acquired with stolen public funds.
We denounced Levy for dishonestly entering a nolle prosequi in favour of his corrupt friend Kashiwa Bulaya. We also worked to ensure that Levy was not allowed to drop the corruption proceedings against Chiluba in the London High Court when he wanted to do so under pressure from some of his friends.
We are currently haranguing Levy on the constitution review process. There is only one thing that we have not done: that is to accuse Levy of having stolen public funds simply because we don’t have any evidence to that effect. It will be interesting to see what evidence of corruption Chishimba has against Levy.
And we therefore urge Levy to commence defamation proceedings in our civil courts against Chishimba so that the nation can know the truth about his corruption, if any. And it will be interesting as well to see how Chishimba will defend himself when we commence libel or slander proceedings against him for alleging or insinuating that The Post and its editor are corrupt.
In saying all this, we do not claim as Chishimba alleges, to be the alpha and the omega on every issue in our country. But we shouldn’t forget that to govern is to communicate. As modern societies grow in size and complexity, the arena for communication and public debate is increasingly dominated by the news media: radio and television, newspapers, magazines, books, even computerised data bases.
The news media in a democracy have a number of overlapping but distinctive functions. One is to inform and educate. To make intelligence decisions about public policy, people need accurate, timely information. But because opinions diverge, they also need access to a wide range of viewpoints and they must rely on newspapers and television to explain the issues.
The other function of the news media is to serve as a watchdog over government and other powerful institutions and individuals in society. By holding a standard of independence and objectivity, however imperfectly, the news media can expose the truth behind the claims of those in power or in strong positions and hold public officials accountable for their actions.
If they choose, the media can also take a more active role in public debate. Through editorials and investigative reporting, the media can campaign for specific policies or reforms that they feel should be enacted. They can also serve as a forum for organisations and individuals to express their opinions through letters to the editor and the printing of articles with divergent points of view.
Commentators point to another increasingly important role for the media: “Setting the agenda.” Since they can’t report everything, the news media must choose which issues to report and which ones to ignore. In short, they decide what is news and what isn’t. These decisions, in turn, influence the public’s perception of what issues are most important. But they can’t simply manipulate or disregard issues at will because their competitors, after all, are free to call attention to their own list of important things.
Few would argue that the news media always carry out these functions responsibly. But there is no other solution to this other than to broaden the level of public discourse so that citizens can better sift through the chaff of misinformation and rhetoric to find the kernels of truth. The best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market.
This is the approach we take towards our work. We have given other people like Chishimba the right to be heard; we have even published their falsities against us. We wonder if any of them were in our position would do the same to us. We have seen what media organisations that are close to them do – they don’t give their opponents similar treatment as we do. We do this with the full conviction that we cannot be brought down by their lies, falsities and cheap propaganda against us.
What haven’t we been accused of by these characters? How else can they defend the wrong doings, the corruption and thefts of public funds by Chiluba and his tandem of thieves if not by lies, falsehoods and calumny? They can go on mobilising weak and desperate souls in an attempt to try and defend an equally desperate Chiluba but it won’t do. There is no filth of corruption that one can successfully stick on us.
We do not claim to be saints – we are far way from that – but we can state with confidence that we have conducted ourselves with sufficient honour and integrity as journalists over the last 16 years of our newspaper. And this is what the enemies of our newspaper cannot forgive – our integrity and honour; this is what those who have chosen to defend thieves – for whatever reason- cannot forgive. We will never hire ourselves out, like some journalists have done, to defend thieves or surrender ourselves to thieves.
We will never allow ourselves to be guided or directed by the standards set by thieves and their defenders – we have our own standards. We will confront every difficulty; political or other kinds of attack as we have done over the last 16 years. We will keep moving ahead. Our newspaper will go on winning new laurels and scoring new victories and nothing and nobody can ever stop us.
They will choke with envy as we continue to make progress in all areas of our activities. They are used to dealing with timid people, with corrupt people, but we serve notice on them – and they should know, after 16 years of dealing with us, that we mean what we say – that our newspaper will never hire itself out, sell out, or surrender to thieves. We have made great progress since our launch on July 26,1991, and we will continue to do so, but it won’t be easy and we know it won’t be easy.
We are prepared to meet difficulties. We have difficulties now, and we will even have greater ones in the future, even if we do things the right way, even if it calls for our greatest effort. We have to cope with objective problems of the political situation in our country that has been greatly compounded by corruption, and the increasing hatred for us by the corrupt that we have caused serious problems, that are now allayed before the law not only in our country but also abroad and are starting to dance to the tune of the consequences of their crimes. We never sent Chiluba to steal. If anything, we were always there advising him to avoid corruption.
Regardless of our limitations and defects, our country is today better because we are there and as a result of our work. For us, a sense of justice, dignity, self respect and love for one’s country and fellow citizens have a great deal to do with one’s happiness as have moral principles. Our maturity, seriousness, wisdom, honesty and courage give us a feeling of security and great confidence in the future. And in whatever we do, we always make sure we have the law on our side.
If highly educated people like Chishimba can stand up and defend crime, can stand up and defend thieves, then one should know that corruption has taken root in a country, and may require a lot of effort to eradicate or stamp out. In short, for the first time we are faced with a question of whether or not we can get out of this corruption or even survive it. We say this because corruption kills.
But, no matter how enormous the difficulties, no matter how complex the task, there can be no room for pessimism. This will be to renounce all hope and resign ourselves to the final defeat. We have no alternative but to struggle against these evils, trusting in the great moral and intellectual capacity of our people and in their instincts for self-preservation, if we wish to harbour any hope for survival.
Only with a tremendous effort and the moral and intellectual support of all can we face a future that objectively appears desperate and sombre. We hope that our modest efforts may help create this awareness, which is why we are always grateful to all those who are kind and patient enough to read what we publish, especially those who excuse our shortcomings and deficiencies.