Saturday, November 22, 2008
Written by Mwala Kalaluka in Kasempa
Saturday, November 22, 2008 11:52:55 PM
LUMWANA Mining Company (LMC) managing director Harry Michael
has expressed serious concern over the slump in copper prices on the global market slightly a week before the mine kicks off production.
Michael told United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) country representative, Macleod Nyirongo, who toured the mine on Monday that everybody in the country’s mining sector was worried with the down turn in copper prices.
“Nobody should think that some countries are immune from the world financial crisis. It is going to require, by any government or any business, a cool head to navigate around this unfortunate situation. It is going to be difficult times going ahead for the mining industry,” he said.
Michael explained that whilst the prices of copper were going down, the operation costs were on the high side.
Asked to explain if the slump in copper prices will have a bearing on the number of people they would employ when the mine starts production, Michael said that was a difficult question to answer.
“We are a business. We have a debt which we have to repay…that has to be the first priority, that is servicing our debt,” he said. Michael said the mine was remaining with only about nine years for them to repay the US $690 million debt acquired from 14 lending institutions to inject into the mining investment.
“This is a 37-year mine, we do not want to do things for the short-term. A lot of planning has gone in place,” said Michael.
Written by Maluba Jere
Saturday, November 22, 2008 11:47:
UNITED Nations secretary general Ban Ki Moon said there is a clear risk that the recent improvements in social and economic indicators could be eroded or reversed due to the global financial crisis.
In his message to mark this year’s Africa Industrialisation day which fell yesterday (November 20) under the theme ‘Processing of Raw Materials for Sustainable Growth and Development’, Ban said the accelerating impacts of challenges such as climate change were becoming more apparent, saying although the full impacts of these crises are not yet known, some of the effects were already being felt.
“This year’s observance of Africa Industrialisation Day takes place at a challenging time. We face a global financial crisis. Food and fertiliser prices are significantly higher than they were two years ago,” he said.
Ban emphasised that the ability to process raw materials into high value added goods was essential. He noted that industrialisation had led to broad-based development and economic transformation in other parts of the world saying it can and must do the same in Africa.
“On this Africa Industrialisation Day, let us pledge to do our utmost to strengthen African industry so that it can play its rightful, catalytic role in sustainable economic growth and the eradication of poverty,” Ban said.
Ban has since warned that the global economy will hit exporters of primary products hard as they account for more than 50 per cent of the value of Africa’s exports.
“This makes the continent especially vulnerable to global economic shocks,” he said.
“It is essential for Africa to be able to process its raw materials into higher-value products, both for domestic consumption and for exports. Malaysia and Thailand, for example, are among the countries that have progressed rapidly by moving into processing their primary and mineral products into high-value-added products.”
He observed that more than half of Africa’s people were employed in the agricultural sector, adding that the development of the agri-business and agro-processing industries was essential.
“In many cases, domestic markets already exist for these products. There is also great potential for links with other sectors of the economy, which would provide opportunities for employment and economic growth,” said Ban.
Written by Chiwoyu Sinyangwe and Nicholas Mwale
Saturday, November 22, 2008 11:44:14 PM
THE government of President Rupiah Banda faces even a greater challenge
in managing Zambia's economy due to increased external economic shocks, International Monetary Fund (IMF) resident representative Birgir Arnason has observed.
And Arnason said IMF stands ready to increase Zambia's access to its funding under the Poverty Reduction Gross Facility (PRGF) if the current global crisis results in substantial diminution of the country's foreign reserves.
In an interview, Arnason said there was need for the government to accelerate structural reforms that could boost growth in the medium term as a measure to help mitigate the impact of current external shocks while at the same time maintaining prudent macroeconomic stability.
Arnason said the IMF was hopeful that the country would continue on the path of sound macroeconomic policies as the regime of President Banda had repeatedly indicated intention to continue with the policies of late president Levy Mwanawasa which were anchored on stringent fiscal and prudent monetary policies that provided an environment for growth in the country.
He also said IMF was also happy with the appointment of Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane as the new Minister of Finance, whom he said the Fund had previously worked closely with over a long period both in his capacity as deputy governor of the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) and also as Secretary to the Treasury.
"There are a number of challenges the new government faces that are slightly different from those that the previous government encountered because the external environment is no longer as favourable as it used to be and the Mwanawasa government particularly in the last two years enjoyed exceptionally very good external circumstances," Anarson said. "It is very clear that the initial period of the Banda administration will face more challenging environment where copper prices will be lower, access to international finance maybe lower, global economy is much weaker than we had in the last five to ten years. But this does not spare any disaster for Zambia as the country has a lot of potential and an extended period to build on and going forward, it would be important to maintain Zambia as an attractive destination for investment and we encourage the government to maintain Zambia's attractiveness in that area."
Anarson said the new government should focus on structural areas such as management of the budget, ensuring increased revenue collection, making resources available and at the same time using government resources effectively.
"There is need for the government to accelerate implementation of the Private Sector Development Plan. Progress should also continue on the Financial Sector Development Plan and it is absolutely imperative to implement the strategy to alleviate the electricity shortage in the country," Anarson said.
And Anarson said IMF might consider increasing the scope under PRGF if the current unfavourable external situation as measured by international reserves were to deteriorate.
He also announced that an IMF mission coming to Zambia next month would continue discussions under the PRGF and also look at the preparation for next year's budget. Arnason added that the team, in consultation with the government, would "try to draw the clear picture of where the Zambian economy is headed" amidst the current financial crisis.
November 22, 2008
Former Kafue Textile of Zambia workers occupying company flats say they are fed up with government’s delay in selling them the houses despite having the sold the company to investors.
The aggrieved workers who have since formed a committee to help them speed up the process of buying the flats ,said they are in process of taking to the streets to demonstrate on the issue.
Speaking to ZANIS in an interview today , Chairman of the committee Anthony Kintu said they where suppose to have bought the houses in 2004 when they were given a 50percent of their benefits but this did not happen.
Mr. Kintu said the offer for the houses were suppose to be deducted from the 50 percent but since the KTZ flats where under the Zambia Privatization agency ZPA, there where issues of creditors to be finalized.
He said those KTZ workers who resides in the INDECO estate houses had their offer dedicated from their 50 percent and they immediately became legal owners of the houses they resided in.
Mr. Kintu told ZANIS that they were told that this finalization will not take long and they could soon be legal owners of the flats , he said it has now been four years and the offers have still not been given.
He said that they have since been to the ministry of commerce and the ministry of finance but they were told that cabinet office will authorize the release of their offers . he said they have waited for the release of the offers but in vain.
One of the angry residents Mr. Bydon Gondwe wondered why the government managed to give residents in Nitrogen chemicals of Zambia NCZ flats their offers to allow them to buy the houses when the KTZ Flats residents were the first to be told that they were going to by their houses.
Mr Gondwe said it was surprising because NCZ has not been sold but they have managed to buy their houses without any problems but with KTZ which has been sold , they have to go through all this trouble .
He said government should tell the residents if they are not eligible to the houses.He said if government does not want to give them the houses , the residents should be told whom they want to give to.
November 22, 2008
MMD Acting president and national chairman, Michael Mabenga, has warned senior party members of stiff sanctions if they continue issuing policy statements on party affairs to the media without clearance from the national secretary or acting president’s offices.
Mr Mabenga, who is acting party president, said in a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday that he was dismayed by the “complete breakdown of discipline” following the October 30 presidential election in which the MMD emerged victorious.
“I am directing that no statement on policy or administration of the party shall be entertained from any leader without clearance from the office of the national secretary or the acting president.
“This must be taken as a serious directive, a breach of which will attract stiff sanctions,” he said.
Mr Mabenga said some leaders from senior party organs had embarked on divisive campaigns by allegedly inciting party members to issue statements in the press that could create an impression that the MMD has no leadership or was deeply divided.
He said the party’s victory in last month’s election was a product of the collective efforts of the general membership and sympathisers.
Mr Mabenga said it was the sum total of every individual vote cast in favour of the MMD candidate, Rupiah Banda, that made him become fourth President of Zambia.
Mr Mabenga said the MMD campaign team that was managed by party election chairman, Mike Mulongoti, was cleared by the presidential candidate and appointed by national secretary, Katele Kalumba, under his authority as party acting president.
He said the recommended structures, which the campaign team utilised, did not create any vacuum in the party leadership or decision-making with respect to the campaign.
“I wish to note, however, that the press utterances that have been issued after MMD won the election have not pleased me and cannot be pleasing to any of our hardworking party members,” he said.
Mr Mabenga said the party leadership had not yet received a report from the campaign team for it to start making any statement on how the election strategy was conducted.
He said MMD senior members should recall that the late President Mwanawasa aborted a post-mortem of the 2006 elections to avoid divisions and accusations.
“As acting party president, I am awaiting a report from the campaign committee before the national executive committee meets. This report will show, in a judicious way, an account of how the team executed the campaign across the country,” he said.
Mr Mabenga said he had directed Dr Kalumba to table the campaign committee’s report after he had received and scrutinised it.
“I insist, however, that such an exercise cannot, with all objectivity, be conducted in the press,” Mr Mabenga said.
By Son Mumbi
November 22, 2008
The recent copper boom has been short lived. From about 2005 when there was massive reinvestment in the mines and speculation of more, the Copperbelt and Lusaka saw a proliferation of all manner of mine suppliers- Robin Hood copper recyclers (stealing from the mines dump to sell to ‘venture capitalists’).There was a boom in trade with Dubai, China, Dar es Salaam.We saw an increase in property investment, transport and prostitution (Solwezi notably). And boy did it boom! A check on the social spots of the Copperbelt town of Kitwe and one was likely to meet all manner or businessmen and a few businesswomen.
There were excursions across the border into Congo and into the new wild west of Zambia, North Western Province to get villagers to dig for copper using crude tools and haul 50kg bags of ore on the backs. Stories of copper truck hijacks became the norm. The Chinese where the villains of the show. While a not too close look revealed that other country nationals were the villains also, namely Australians, South Africans and Zambians too! Pot-bellied Zambians and Afrikaners with attractive mistresses to swing
around the town with sleek 4 by 4’s.They lounged around the popular night spots with very attractive mistresses, who if times had really been good, might have been walking the cat walk. Well that is all coming to an end!
My advice to all local mine suppliers, transporters, copper labour exploiters, start farming now. The good times are coming to an end. A global economic depression is inevitable. Forget about joining an NGO and stealing aid money for a ‘poverty’ project, there will be no money for Africa from the West.Not with increasing poverty levels in America and Europe; they will look to their own first. Forget migration, it will only get harder for you to get in, you won’t get past the British Embassy.
Local businessman, with the loot you have left from copper ‘gains’ invest in a low energy consuming tractor to help you cultivate the land, not the new set of shiny wheels you have been contemplating. Do not grow maize, fertilizer subsidies only come during election period. Grow sweet potatoes,groundnuts and soybeans. Practice plant rotation, yes you remember it from secondary school production unit.Plant indigenous trees, keep hardy chickens. Avoid goats and large herds of cattle, they overgraze, but you might want to keep a few pigs, they are not picky about what they eat. To avoid energy problems, go solar, forget about that diesel generator you were planning to buy in Dubai.
And lastly, if you are going to have multiple partners, marry them under traditional polygamous arrangements, and stick to those that you do marry. Be open about it, sly sneakiness won’t do you any good when things are falling apart. Besides, honesty is the best way to get the co-operation of your wives for that extra labour. By being open and sticking to your partner or partners you also minimise the risk of contracting HIV, drugs may get very expensive when things fall even further apart.
If the above is all too much, I recommend an honourable death, volunteer your services to the SADC peace-keeping mission for the DR Congo, Laurent Nkunda is guaranteed to kill you, but at least you would have done one good service, to possibly enter heaven. Isn’t that what most Zambians want judging from the proliferation of pastors in every conceivable social setting, even public transport.
Tel: 011- 260- 968347292, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
POWERED BY CITIZENS LIKE YOU.
The CDP Stand on National Issues
The year’s ending has coincided with the end of high copper prices. Since June 30 of 2008 to date, the price of copper has basically HALVED. And our country once again missed an opportunity to “transfer Zambian wealth to Zambian hands”. There is no doubt that the so called “economic successes” will prove to be hollow, and not as solid as the MMD Administration has claimed. Opportunity presented itself, through the high demand of Zambia’s resources, and yet very few Zambians have benefited from this high. And for those few Zambians who have benefitted, the benefit is brief, and this bubble too will burst.
The single greatest failure of our political leadership in Zambia is the inability, or unwillingness to think years ahead. The MMD Administration, together with the “current opposition” should have used this opportunity to heavily invest in our citizenry, by ensuring widespread and maximum benefit for ALL Zambians. Instead, foreign companies continued to literally siphon money, under the eyes of leaders, tasked to protect Zambia’s resources. Seemingly, our government is comfortable with scoring short term successes, at the expense of the country’s future.
Fact; China, the main beneficiary and buyer of Zambia’s copper, has already started to implement measures to curtail and reduce the “trade” which has gone on during this “high”. The Citizens Democratic Party wonders if the MMD Government and the opposition (through parliament) have got a plan on the table to contain the obvious effects of China reducing its need for copper. Clearly, nothing comprehensive has been made public as to what the Zambian government intends to do in the coming year as close as it is.
LOOKING AHEAD; WHERE DOES ZAMBIA GO FROM HERE WITH FALLING COPPER PRICES?
Looking forward to what lies ahead particularly for Zambia; The Citizens Democratic Party still sees opportunity, even though there is an economic break down in the financial centers of the global market. An informed and capable leadership will know that whilst it is true that the world economy has slowed, there were serious breaches in the money markets of individual countries, in the manner financial matters were handled by PRIVATE corporations. In any case, the various countries have already started to take extraordinary steps to try and correct this fiasco. Furthermore, economists know that any economy is cyclical. There are ups and downs with any economy and sometimes the “downs” are really adverse” and at other times the “ups” are really good.
For Zambia, now is not the time for leaders to bury their heads in the sand and blame the downturn in the world economy for their failures or inadequacies. The Kwacha has “lost value” in the past weeks, and the world economic downturn, as well as the fall of copper prices is indeed a very convenient condition to blame.
As The Citizens Democratic Party we are saying that this is the time for the MMD government, along with the opposition to for once THINK AHEAD. With the limited finances gained from the copper boom, it is time for the government to be prudent and stretch the financial resources by engaging into ventures which have long term positive effects on our country. The government together with the opposition cannot afford at this time to pass bills in parliament which have little effect on the Zambia’s success. That means that taking on redundant projects such as “building” feeder roads, needs to be replaced with building proper permanent and meaningful infrastructure which will not consume limited resources every year. With the end of the copper high prices, Zambia can only afford to embark on programs which will pay in the future.
Here lies an opportunity, to use the money gained from the copper boom in meaningful sectors which pay dividends in the long term. Education also remains pivotal and the government should place a massive investment into this sector-for education serves the future. Also, The Citizens Economic Empowerment Program should be seriously reviewed and forced to embark on programs that will truly embark on empowering Zambians for the long term. If there is one simple lesson to be learnt from the fall of copper prices is that nothing lasts forever. Now is the time for the MMD government and opposition (through parliament) to be bigger than the problem that affects our country with respect to the mining industry which has served as our life-line for a long time.
Our emphasis is the MMD Government, in hand with the “current opposition” should attempt to THINK AHEAD, WE had a similar situation in 1974 where copper prices shot up, then suddenly went down, without the Zambian government having a fall back plan. CDP learns from the nations’ history and we encourage policy makers and the opposition alike to also learn from our nation’s history to plan ahead.
President elect gives brief rundown of economic recovery plan.
Last Updated: November 22, 2008 11:30 AM ET
New York (CNN) -- Saying that moving quickly is imperative, President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday offered an outline of his economic recovery plan to create 2.5 million jobs by 2011, saying American workers will rebuild the nation's roads and bridges, modernize its schools and create more sources of alternative energy.
"These aren't just steps to pull ourselves out of this immediate crisis," Obama said in the weekly Democratic address, posted on his Web site. "These are the long-term investments in our economic future that have been ignored for far too long."
Details of the plan are still being worked out by his economic team, Obama said, but he hopes to sign the two-year, nationwide plan shortly after taking office January 20.
He referred to figures out this week showing that new home purchases in October were the lowest in 50 years, and that 540,000 new unemployment claims had been filed -- the highest in 18 years.
"We must do more to put people back to work and get our economy moving again," he said. More than a million jobs have been lost this year, he said, and "if we don't act swiftly and boldly, most experts now believe that we could lose millions of jobs next year."
The plan will be aimed at jump-starting job creation, Obama said, and laying the foundation for a stronger economy.
"We'll put people back to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing schools that are failing our children and building wind farms and solar panels, fuel-efficient cars and the alternative energy technology that can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and keep our economy competitive in the years head," he said.
He noted he will need support from both Democrats and Republicans to pass such a plan, and said he welcomes suggestions from both sides of the aisle.
"But what is not negotiable is the need for immediate action," he said. "Right now, there are millions of mothers and fathers who are lying awake at night wondering if next week's paycheck will cover next month's bills. There are Americans showing up to work in the morning, only to have cleared out their desks by the afternoon. Retirees are watching their life savings disappear, and students are seeing their college dreams deferred. These Americans need help, and they need it now."
Throughout history, he said, Americans have been able to rise above their divisions to work together, he said.
"That is the chance our new beginning now offers us, and that is the challenge we must rise to in the days to come," Obama said. "It is time to act. As the next president of the United States, I will."
November 20, 2008
Government has with immediate effect directed the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to offload appropriate quantities of maize on the market to stabilize the high mealie-meal prices in the country. And government says Zambia has enough maize stocks to last up to February 2009.
Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Brian Chituwo said this in his ministerial statement in Parliament , Thursday.
Dr. Chituwo said FRA will also facilitate the importation of another 100,000 metric tonnes of non-GMO maize into the country.
He said there was need for sensitize retailers to ensure food security at household levels and to discourage both small scale farmers and millers against hoarding the commodity at the expense of national development and security.
He stated that the rule of supply and demand is at play adding that the sky rocketing of the meali-meal prices is purely done by the producers and the millers.
The Minister said if need be, parliament has the powers to review the National Competition Commission ( NCC ) so that consumers are not exploited.
Dr. Chituwo said NCC’s role is that of advisory to government and to protect the consumers.
November 19, 2008
Parliament heard today that 29 geological blocks in Chama and Lundazi districts in Eastern province have so far been demarcated for prospective oil explorations.
Mines and Mineral Development Minister Maxwell Mwale told parliament that his ministry has invited exploration companies to bid for the oil and gases that show positive indications of the mineral resource in the province.
Mr. Mwale, who is also Malambo Member of Parliament (MP) told the house that 153 soil samples were collected in Chama while 211 others were collected in Lundazi to determine the quantity and availability of the two minerals.
He said to this effect, government has replaced the Mineral Act of 1985 to favour more prospectors to freely conduct mining activities in the country.
The Minister said that three other provinces namely North-western, Luapula and Western have shown signs of oil and gas while Southern province has prospects for gold. He said exploration works would soon commerce in the said provinces.
Mr. Mwale was responding to a question by Nyimba MP Forrie Tembo who wanted to find out the latest oil and gas exploration in Chama and Lundazi districts by government.
Bwangweulu Patriotic Front (PF) MP Joseph Kasongo asked the government as to when it would start exploring the gold deposits in his constituency.
Mr. Mwale assured that the exploration of oil and gases is an on-going and that government has since embarked on land demarcation exercise to potential prospecting firms.
Written by Patson Chilemba and Lambwe Kachali
Saturday, November 22, 2008 9:39:34 AM
RUPIAH Banda lives and survives by manipulation, Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata charged yesterday. Commenting on the depreciation of the kwacha against other major currencies, Sata said it was sad to note that the kwacha had remained unstable ever since President Banda took over the realms of power. He said the nation should brace itself for the worst under President Banda's leadership.
"Now the true picture is coming out. They manipulated the business, they manipulated prices of mealie-meal and prices of fuel. Well, Rupiah is living in the world of manipulation, he survives by manipulation," he said.
Sata said everything President Banda was doing was contrary to the undertakings of late president Levy Mwanawasa despite having pledged continuity.
He said President Banda used president Mwanawasa's death for his political survival.
"It's only 21 days and we are still feeding on Levy's budget. We don't even know how his budget is going to be. We should expect the worst. We are going to be worse than the one-party state. There will be more queues for everything. Investors have had no confidence from the day they announced the elections," Sata said.
"President Rupiah Banda has failed to honour everything he has been promising during the campaign. He said there is going to be continuity but is that continuity which is going on now? Is it continuity without [Ng'andu] Magande? Is it continuity without [Sylvia] Masebo? Is it continuity without all those aides at State House? Where is continuity? This man was just using Levy's death for his survival."
Sata said President Banda did not mean what he preached and that apart from empowering his and the ministers' pockets, he had not yet initiated any project.
And Sata told former president Frederick Chiluba to expect the worst from President Banda.
He said Chiluba together with PF 'rebel' members of parliament such as Elizabeth Chitika-Mulobeka [Kawambwa], Peter Machungwa [Luapula], Ernest Mwansa [Chifunabuli], Besa Chimbaka [Bahati], Dr Bernard Chisha [Pambashe], Jacob Chongo [Mwense] and some parliamentarians from Copperbelt ganged up thinking they were going to get favours and ministerial positions from President Banda but they were defeated lamentably in Luapula, Northern, Lusaka and Copperbelt provinces by PF.
"They should not finish their tears. They should leave some tears for more surprises from Rupiah Bwezani. There are a lot more surprises to come," said Sata.
Written by Patson Chilemba
Saturday, November 22, 2008 9:38:09 AM
CHIEF government spokesperson Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha yesterday asked Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata not to politicise the salary and allowance increments for constitutional office holders and senior government officials.
Reacting to Sata's statement that it was sad that President Rupiah Banda was provoking people with impunity over the salary increments just after a disputed election, Lt Gen Shikapwasha wondered what Sata was complaining about when his own members of parliament such as Dr Guy Scott [Lusaka Central], Chishimba Kambwili [Roan], Mumbi Phiri [Munali], Samuel Chitonge [Mwansabombwe], Obius Chisala [Chilubi], Yamfwa Mukanga [Kantanshi], Jean Kapata [Mandevu], Elizabeth Chitika [Kawambwa] and several others voted for the 15 per cent increment in emoluments.
Lt Gen Shikapwasha, who is also information minister, said Sata should be reminded that the increments were minimal and in line with the 15 per cent salary increments awarded to public service workers.
"If he says we should not increase, then we should not increase for all. But that would be abnormal. We should not politicise issues which are simple and meant to uplift the livelihood of the people of Zambia," Lt Gen Shikapwasha said. "Yesterday in Kitwe, people wanted to demonstrate over the 15 per cent. Surely, Mr Sata can find better things to do than demonstrate over that. His own people have agreed, so how do you go ahead to demonstrate? So he cannot come out to incite people. All what he wants is to incite people. There is no need. If you are born to be president, you will be president. If God has chosen that you won't be president, then you won't be president."
Lt Gen Shikapwasha said the reason for suggesting increments for public service workers was the same for all and that ministers went to the same markets as other people.
He said the government should in fact be commended for not increasing the emoluments beyond 15 per cent.
Lt Gen Shikapwasha said Parliament should also be commended for reducing the perks that it initially approved.
"It's in line with what others are getting. The alternative is to refuse them the 15 per cent, and therefore you become unfair to them," Lt Gen Shikapwasha said. "It's not President Banda who has given the increase. They have said that we agree that if everybody gets 15 per cent, we will get 15 per cent."
Lt Gen Shikapwasha said of the 119 members of parliament who voted in favour of the Presidential Emoluments [Amendment] Bill, 23 were PF parliamentarians.
"The list of those that voted 'yes' include Bwalya, Colonel Gerry Chanda [Kanyama], Chisala, Chitonge, Kambwili, Kapata, [Mwansa] Kapeya [Mpika Central], [Joseph] Kasongo [Bangweulu], [Peter] Machungwa [Luapula], Mukanga, [Marjory] Masiye [Mufulira], Mumbi, Mwansa Ernest [Chifunabuli], [Jacob] Chongo [Mwense], Chitika, Chanda Percy [Kankoyo], Barnabas Chella [Wusakile]," he said.
Lt Gen Shikapwasha said the same PF parliamentarians, including Davis Mwila [Chipili] and Anson Simama [Kalulushi], voted in favour of the Ministerial and Parliamentary Office Holders [Emoluments] Amendment Bill.
On the Constitutional Office Holders [Emoluments] Amendment Bill, Lt Gen Shikapwasha said of the 119 parliamentarians who voted in favour, 22 were PF.
On Friday, Sata said there was tension in the country and that the salary increments and allowances would only aggravate the situation.
Sata said everything he said about President Banda during the presidential campaign was coming true and that deception on allowances was the beginning of President Banda's manifestation of his true colours.
In August, Cabinet approved salary and allowance increments for constitutional office holders and senior government officials.
Later, the government asked Parliament to backdate salary increments and allowances for the Vice-President, Speaker, Deputy Speaker, ministers and other members of parliament to January 1, 2008.
The three Bills passed through Parliament and were ready for assent but then Vice-President Banda, during his election campaign launch, referred them back to Parliament.
Written by Chibaula Silwamba
Saturday, November 22, 2008 9:35:21 AM
PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda yesterday said Zambia has a lot of problems hence he and his staff have to sacrifice to ensure that the country is well served. And President Banda has appointed former agriculture and co-operatives minister Ben Kapita as his special advisor for projects, implementation and monitoring.
Speaking when he swore in Kapita and Dr Richard Chembe as his special advisor on economic affairs at State House, President Banda said there was need to serve the country well.
"I feel greatly privileged to have you on the staff of State House and to have you to advise me in the various fields for which you are eminently qualified," said President Banda. "All I can say is to wish you all the best in your work, and we all have to realise that we have a lot of problems and we require to sacrifice a lot of our time and of ourselves to ensure that our country is well served."
Kapita, who was smiling and looked jovial throughout the ceremony, thanked President Banda for appointing him as his advisor.
Late president Levy Mwanawasa nominated Kapita as member of parliament and subsequently appointed him as minister of agriculture and cooperatives. However, Kapita last year suffered a cancer of the spine that subsequently paralysed his legs and he has since been using a wheelchair.
Written by Chibaula Silwamba
Saturday, November 22, 2008 9:32:38 AM
VICE-PRESIDENT George Kunda yesterday told Parliament that the government is concerned about the falling prices of copper because that will reduce Zambia's foreign exchange (FOREX) earnings.
And Vice-President Kunda observed that the increasing prices of mealie-meal are adversely affecting Zambians and that the government intends to import the commodity to cushion the prices.
Responding to Roan Patriotic Front (PF) member of parliament Chishimba Kambwili who wanted to know what the government was doing to prevent copper mines from closing down due to the falling copper prices on the world market, Vice-President Kunda said the government was concerned about the trend of copper prices.
"As I said earlier, the issue of the impact of copper prices on the Zambian economy is a matter which we will discuss next week through a statement which will be issued but as government, we are concerned about the trend in the copper prices because that will mean less receipt of foreign exchange," responded Vice-President Kunda during the weekly oral question and answer session.
Earlier, Vice-President Kunda said: "I have directed the Honourable Minister of Finance to issue a ministerial statement next week so that we can discuss in detail matters to do with the global financial crisis. Today [yesterday], I was listening to CNN...to the BBC, the price of oil for example because of the lowering demand on the commodities, it has gone below US$ 50 per barrel. These are some of the effects which are coming out of the global financial crisis. But as I said, let us wait until next week. The Honourable Minister of Finance has already prepared a statement which will be discussed in this August House."
In his question, Kambwili wanted Vice-President Kunda to explain the measures that the government had put in place to protect mines from closing if copper prices continued dropping.
And Namwala UPND member of parliament Major Robby Chizhyuka asked Vice-President Kunda to explain how many metric tonnes of maize Zambia exported to Zimbabwe this year and what it intends to import to cushion the maize shortage.
"Could the Vice-President advise how much maize we exported to Zimbabwe earlier on this year and at what price? And at which price we are going to import the 100,000 metric tonnes of maize. Given this comparative, does that reflect prudent economic management by the government?" asked Maj Chizyuka.
In response, Vice-President Kunda said he did not have the figures but assured that the government was putting in place measures to cushion the high prices of mealie meal.
"As regards the price of mealie-meal, we are concerned and also the issue of price at which we are going to buy the maize, as the minister indicated yesterday, we are looking for non-GMO [Genetically Modified Organism] maize and the price is a question of supply and demand," he said. "The price at which we will get that is something we cannot determine in advance. Further, the exchange rate fluctuation will be there and therefore it is not possible for me to foretell what kind of price we are going to have. But it is the intention of government to continue to review and to import maize, which we can get so that we cushion the price. We know that this is affecting our people adversely."
Mazabuka Central UPND member of parliament Gary Nkombo observed that Zambia last year experienced floods hence he wanted Vice-President Kunda to explain how ready the government was to combat such calamities this rainy season.
Vice-President Kunda, in his response, said the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unity (DMMU), which is in his office, was ready to tackle the effects of floods and other calamities.
"I have received a comprehensive brief on the situation regarding floods for last year and even anticipated floods for this year and we are already preparing," he said.
PF's Munali member of parliament Mumbi Phiri asked Vice-President Kunda to explain why there was a reduction in the number of female Cabinet ministers.
But Vice-President Kunda said appointments to Cabinet should be on merit.
"The protocols which we signed especially the protocol on gender, is a very important protocol to the government and we have risen to the challenge in implementing that particular protocol. It's not only Cabinet that we should be talking about but various positions of decision making; we have tried as much as possible to implement that particular protocol. But what I must also say is that sometimes appointments should also be on merit. You agree with me on that. Isn't it? Merit should be considered," Vice-President Kunda said. "Furthermore women should participate in politics so that they can compete and be elected. But as regard to positions in Cabinet, you know very well that this is the prerogative of the President and we also look at what is available. We have made these appointments taking into account all those factors and the protocol."
And Vice-President Kunda defended Rabobank's 49 per cent shareholding in Zanaco.
He was responding to Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) vice-president and Chasefu member of parliament Chifumu Banda who asked Vice-President Kunda to tell Parliament the current shareholding of Rabobank in Zanaco and whether this shareholding was in compliance with the provisions of the banking and financial services Act.
Vice-President Kunda, who is also justice minister, said although the banking and financial services Act required that a shareholder could only have a maximum of 25 per cent shares, there were exceptions.
"The shareholding of Rabobank in Zanaco is 49 per cent. Now, the banking and financial services Act requires that a shareholder should hold at least 25 per cent... that is what the law requires," Vice-President Kunda said. "Now if you have read that Act, you will discover that there is an exception to that rule, if a financial institution is listed on a recognised stock exchange, it can hold more than 25 per cent. So the holding of Rabobank in Zanaco is perfectly lawful and in order."
On foreign policy, Moomba UPND member of parliament Vitalis Mooya asked Vice-President Kunda to give the current stance of Zambia on the Zimbabwe crisis.
"I think now we are quiet before we were not quiet. What is our stance?" asked Mooya.
In his response, Vice-President Kunda said the Zimbabwe situation was being addressed through the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
"The problem of Zimbabwe, as you know this country is our neighbour and what happens in Zimbabwe is a concern not only to Zambia but to the entire SADC region. Recently, we had a SADC summit in South Africa at which we were represented by our Minister of Foreign Affairs and this problem is being tackled through the auspices of SADC," said Vice-President Kunda. "We have encouraged the people of Zimbabwe to resolve their problems, to constitute a government. That is Zambia's position."
Written by Nchima Nchito
Saturday, November 22, 2008 9:29:49 AM
LUAPULA Province acting permanent secretary Clement Siame has said Olympic Milling Company is expected to construct a 218 mega watts hydropower plant at Lumangwe Falls in Kawambwa district. In an interview, Siame said Olympic Milling had been chosen as a prospective developer of a hydropower plant at Lumangwe Falls.
“This is enough to power the entire Northern, Luapula and Central provinces,” he said. Siame said Luapula Province was currently receiving only about 15 mega watts from the national grid.
“This has hindered the nature and magnitude of investments that we receive in the province. But with the Lumangwe Falls power plant becoming operational, we will see more investments coming into Luapula,” he said.
Siame also said the 218 mega watts that Lumangwe is expected to produce once the construction of the power plant is completed would also assist in mitigating the countrywide power shortages.
“As of now, Zesco has to transport power all the way from Kafue Gorge to Luapula Province. This is expensive for the company. Lumangwe could solve this problem and perhaps even have enough power to export to neighboring countries,” said Siame.
Coercive birth control methods
Written by Editor
The suggestion by Bweengwa UPND member of parliament Highvie Hamududu that the number of family be reduced to three or four children should be approached with a lot of care.
Hamududu says there is need for Zambia and other African countries to define a family size and this is the only way the economy can be sustained and controlled. He says Zambia and Africa in general need to come out clear on the carrying capacity of the economy in relation to the population and economic empowerment.
Hamududu says currently, the population is growing at a fast rate which the economy cannot afford and advises the government to take the bull by the horns and aim to chop the population. He gives the example of China, a country with over a billion people, as one that has managed to control its population and economy.
No one can totally disagree with or dismiss what Hamududu is saying.
It is necessary to go more deeply into the very serious problem of uncontrolled population growth.
We do feel that it’s necessary to approach the important problems of our times realistically. We need to find the best way to handle the need for birth control, which in some countries has led to serious political conflicts and disputes.
Truly, with our limited resources, we should be more concerned over the problems of birth control.
But, for now, we think this should be left to what the Catholics call “responsible parenthood” – that is, parents should decide on the number of children they want to have, and they are duty-bound to promote the fullest development of their lives.
So, in view of its importance, this problem should be dealt with very carefully. And birth or population control methods that tend to violate human rights should be opposed and not entertained in any way.
No one can deny that there is need to control or manage the growth of our population for if this is not done, there will be terrible consequences sooner or later. We cannot sustain a high population growth rate and pull ourselves out of the abyss of poverty and suffering.
But coercion, forcing people to have three or four children, would be wrong and impracticable. And keeping the entire population so uncomfortable as not to want children is neither desirable nor reliable. The problem requiring consideration is whether people can be persuaded to want family sufficiently small for stability. No effort should be made to find a pattern applicable to all people at all times. As long as an adequate majority of people can be influenced to want slightly fewer children than on the overall average, a balance would result.
This is not to say that no attention should be paid to the issue of population growth. Throughout the world, living standards are improving, birth rates are falling, and population growth is steadily coming to a halt – with one exception: our continent, Africa. Our countries are, in general, forced to make do with less and less food each year while our populations continue to expand.
But given that birth rates fall as economies grow, total fertility rates should be expected to go down as we strive to improve the economic performances of our countries.
People often argue that countries are poor because they have too many people and not enough resources. But this just doesn’t hold, cannot be said to be totally true for Africa. The fact is that Africa is less densely populated than many of the wealthy countries of the world.
A growing number of authorities believe that Africa is actually under-populated. Africa is now the world’s most sparsely populated continent – although it now has the most rapid population growth rate – and many parts of it are so sparsely populated that it is unable to support anything more than rudimentary communications and transportation networks. The result is that the distribution and diffusion of goods, services and ideas are severely retarded.
And the example Hamududu gives of China needs to be looked at carefully. We don’t think Zambia or Africa is in the situation of China. That country today has a population of about 1.3 billion people. That’s too big a population for any country, regardless of the size of China’s territory and resources. It might have been very necessary for China to take such measures. It had a population crisis. We don’t have such a crisis to take such drastic measures of birth or population control. Moreover, such measures are a violation of human rights.
Anthropologist Steven Mosher, who lived in rural China when the “one child” policy of the government was implemented describes what happened there: “…there were 18 women, all from five to nine months pregnant, and many red-eyed from lack of sleep and crying. They sat listlessly on short plunk benches in a semi-circle about the front of the room, where He Kaifeng – a top cadre and party member – explained the purpose of the meeting in no uncertain terms: ‘You are here because you have yet to think clear about birth control, and you will remain here until you do’. Looking coldly around the room, he said slowly and deliberately, ‘None of you has any choice in this matter…’ Then, visually calculating how far along the women in the room were, he went to add, ‘The two of you who are eight or nine months pregnant will have a Caesarian; the rest of you will have a shot which will cause you to abort.’”
Chinese women were routinely rounded up and forced to have abortions. Vigilantes abducted pregnant women on the streets and hauled them off, sometimes handcuffed or trussed, to abortion clinics.
Mosher describes the pain of one woman whose pregnancy was discovered at the last minute. She pleaded to be allowed to have one more child: “In the village, there is no way to survive if you don’t have a son,” she cried. In the rural areas of China as in many other parts of the underdeveloped world, children were regarded as a means of support for parents in their old age. Since a son was more likely than a daughter to be able to provide for his parents, many families wanted to have at least one son. But if they were allowed only one child and that child was a girl, they were faced with a problem. Many rural families solved this problem by simply allowing female babies to die. And the Chinese press openly spoke of the “butchering, drowning and leaving to die of female infants and the maltreating of women who have given birth to girls”. A policy to limit the number of children parents could have actually resulted in the genocide of female children.
It is clear from this story of rural China that it would be dangerous for this country to follow Hamududu’s suggestion that “a family size should be defined across the board whether rich or poor so that we arrest the population explosion and increase economic gains”.
And it can’t be true, as Hamududu suggests, that “Zambia must as well forget to grow economically if the number of children in a family is not clearly defined”. We don’t think what is holding our economic growth right now is the size of our population. We believe it is, among other things, our inability to manage the resources of our country in an efficient, effective and orderly manner that is holding back our economic progress. It is not the size of our population. In fact, if we manage to attain some reasonable economic growth, we will join the rest of the world in recording dropping total fertility rates.
Labels: HIGHVIE HAMUDUDU
US ambassador blames Zim govt for humanitarian crisis
Written by George Chellah in Harare, Zimbabwe
Saturday, November 22, 2008 9:02:24 AM
ZIMBABWE is facing a man-made food and health emergency, US Ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGee has said. And health minister Dr David Parirenyatwa has said the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe has spread to nine of the country's 10 provinces.
According to a statement released by the US embassy in Harare, Ambassador McGee analyzed the Zimbabwean situation to journalists at the US state department via a videoconference.
"Zimbabwe is facing a man-made food and health emergency that is being exacerbated by the actions of its government and the government's failure to implement a power-sharing agreement with its political opposition, Ambassador McGee stated. "We're seeing the humanitarian situation here in Zimbabwe really go down the tubes."
He said according to estimates from the UN community, about 1.5 million Zimbabweans were at risk of food insecurity currently.
"And by the end of this crop season, that number could jump up to over five million people," Ambassador McGee said.
Ambassador McGee also highlighted the sanitation problems facing the country.
"There are now 294 confirmed deaths from cholera here in Zimbabwe," Ambassador McGee said.
He said Zimbabwe's health system had totally collapsed and medical professionals were not being paid.
"The three major hospitals here in Harare have closed," Ambassador McGee claimed. "In some places, police have been stationed outside of clinics to ensure that no one can enter the premises."_
Ambassador McGee stated that the overall heath and food situation was "frankly, intolerable," and was concurrent with the political impasse between ZANU-PF and MDC.
"I don't see anything that's going to alleviate these problems until the government of Robert Mugabe starts to act in good faith and deal with Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC faction in a true manner," Ambassador McGee said. "Mugabe's grip over the country has become stronger during the past year, thanks to continued political payoffs to subordinates and the self-interested loyalty of security force leaders whose "hands are absolutely as bloody as his."
He said the United States would continue to put pressure on President Mugabe's regime.
"Through targeted sanctions that are having an effect against ZANU-PF officials, whose foreign assets have been seized and who have been forced to take their children out of foreign schools," Ambassador McGee said. "Unless something does happen in the very, very near future, we have no choice but to become more difficult, tougher, on our sanctions."
Ambassador McGee said the Bush administration also would continue to work with the SADC, AU and the United Nations to encourage them to "spin up" their actions against President Mugabe's regime.
"SADC's negotiations that led to the September 15 power-sharing agreement between ZANU-PF and the MDC were "a watershed moment" for the group, but SADC needs to continue its pressure against the government to "ensure that the will of the people of Zimbabwe is met" and "that the agreement or unity government is established," Ambassador McGee said.
He said SADC should not recognise President Mugabe as the legitimate President of Zimbabwe unless the power-sharing agreement was implemented.
Ambassador McGee said Zimbabweans also needed to encourage change to help relieve their suffering.
"As much as we can help them with the humanitarian assistance, and as much as we try to assist them with our political stance against this country, if there's going to be meaningful change in Zimbabwe, it's going to occur because of peaceful, democratic change here within the country," said Ambassador McGee.
Meanwhile, the country's health minister Dr Parirenyatwa said the cholera cases had increased.
Dr Parirenyatwa said Harare remained the worst hit and that the majority of outbreaks in other provinces were being traced to those in Harare.
There have been no reported cases of the disease in Bulawayo.
"The ministry is battling to control unprecedented cholera outbreaks affecting the country. The current wave of cholera outbreaks began in September 2008 affecting Chitungwiza Municipality and has since spread to Budiriro suburb in Harare area, which is now the epicentre of the disease.
"All cholera outbreaks in Beitbridge, Karoi, Manicaland, Seke, Goromonzi and others, except in Mudzi, are being traced to Harare with Budiriro being the main source," he said.
Dr Parirenyatwa said the first wave of the cholera outbreaks that started in January this year had resulted in cumulative 991 cases and 120 deaths.
But the Zimbabwe Doctors for Human Rights insist that around 300 people have died.
Labels: JAMES MCGEE
UPND MP calls for defined family size
Written by Gillian Namungala
Saturday, November 22, 2008 8:55:50 AM
BWEENGWA UPND member of parliament Highvie Hamududu has stressed the need for Zambia and other African countries to define the family size. In an interview, Hamududu said the economy could be sustained and controlled if the family size were defined.
"Zambia and Africa in general needs to come out clear on the carrying capacity of the economy in relation with the population and economic empowerment," he said.
Hamududu said currently the population was growing at a fast rate, which the economy could not sustain.
He said the failure by Zambia and Africa to define the family size would have a negative impact on the economy.
"A family size should be defined across the board whether rich or poor so that we arrest the population explosion and increase economic gains," he said.
Hamududu cited China, which had a population of over a billion as one country that had managed to control its population and economy.
"China has the biggest population but government and families are able to plan, look after their offspring and afford quality education," Hamududu said. "My call is that government must take the bull by its horn and aim to chop the population."
He said it was unfortunate that the current economic growth had not improved people's living standards.
Hamududu said Zambia should respond to the calls by top economists who had suggested that African countries define the family size.
"Zambia must as well forget to grow economically if the number of children in a family is not clearly defined," he said.
Hamududu suggested that the family size should be reduced to three or four.
Friday, November 21, 2008
November 21, 2008
The Parliamentary Committee on Communications, Transport, Works and Supply has called on government to liberalise the international gateway.
Committee Chairperson, Douglas Syakalima, says liberalising the international gateway would result in reduced tariffs.
Mr. Syakalima says government’s policy to maintain only one international gateway may disrupt the telecommunications services in the country.
He says this is because ZAMTEL, which operates the international gateway is currently experiencing financial and operational difficulties.
He says security concerns raised on the liberalisation of the international gateway are unfounded.
Mr. Syakalima was speaking in parliament when he presented a report compiled by the parliamentary committee on Communications, Transport, Works and Supply.
He further said ZAMTEL is insolvent and that the firm needs to be restructured and re-capitalised.
November 20, 2008
The Youth Movement for Inter-party Reconciliation has proposed that only two presidential candidates should contest the 2011 elections. Organisation Executive Director Patrick Samwimbila said this is to prevent vote-splitting and election of a minority president.
Mr. Samwimbila said the organization also desire that the 50 plus one majority votes be be implemented in 2011 even in the absence of a clause in the republican constitution
Addressing the press in Lusaka today, Mr. Samwimbila has since urged the opposition political parties to start working towards an electoral pact.
Mr. Samwimbila further said the move would go a long way in encouraging people to vote.
Meanwhile, Mr. Samwimbila has said political differences can only be resolved through dialogue.
He said violence would only bring about chaos and instability in the country.
(HERALD) Venezuela, Zim sign co-operation dealVenezuela, Zim sign co-operation deal
CARACAS. Venezuela and Zimbabwe have signed a co-operation deal to strengthen ties in energy, agriculture, economic and social affairs and culture, a government statement said here on Wednesday.
"These agreements reinforce and strengthen relations between the two countries, south-south co-operation and the opportunity to grow and advance together," said Reinaldo Bolivar, Venezuelan Deputy Foreign Minister for Africa.
"Zimbabwe is a country with excellent natural resources and very rich in minerals," Bolivar added. Venezuela has in recent years upped its involvement in Africa and has ties with all 54 countries on the continent.
"Venezuela provides great assistance to our country through donations made through the World Food Programme," said Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Brazil Cde Thomas Bvuma, who signed the deal. A few years ago, President Mugabe visited Venezuela and met his counterpart President Hugo Chavez. The two leaders discussed possible co-operation in the energy and agriculture sectors among others. — AFP-HR.
By Victoria Ruzvidzo
FBC Bank was yesterday thrown out of the clearing house after it failed to honour cheques written by its customers to other banks worth about $4,9 sextillion, while some companies and individuals had their accounts frozen as the central bank turned the heat on those fuelling clandestine deals in the financial markets.
Banks meet twice daily at the clearing house to collect, exchange and settle cheques and electronic fund transfers. Therefore, FBC will now have to look for a willing bank through which it can conduct its settlement.
Yesterday RBZ Governor Dr Gideon Gono said the ejection of FBC would be followed by a targeted supervision to assess the bank’s overall solvency status and the competencies of its management and board of directors.
The central bank had turned down FBC’s application for $4,9 sextillion because "the central bank cannot be used to fund fraudulent activities".
With effect from today, the central bank would no longer give unsecured accommodation to any bank while those with security would need to present proof of the genuineness of their requests, as Dr Gono warned that this time around, no bank would be put under curatorship but would have to close down if need be.
"Any bank that fails to secure its intended accommodation will be allowed to go under. As monetary authorities we no longer have the appetite for curatorships," he said in a no-holds-barred address to bankers, industrialists, Government officials and journalists who attended a briefing on the fraudulent activities in the financial markets.
Dr Gono had no kind words for the superintendents of the banking sector and the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange for failing to question abnormal transactions that were "obviously" fraudulent.
"We are going to use market instruments to deal with market indiscipline," said Dr Gono.
"In the case of FBC their applying for $4,9 hexillion (sextillion) means that they want me to print that money, but I will not subject the people of this country to the pain of me having to create that kind of liquidity."
He would not be moved by any force to change his stance.
"I know who the FBC shareholders are but anyone who fails to settle will be kicked out of the grouping. It does not matter which bank
you are. There are those who think they have shareholders in high places and can wave magic wands but for as long as I am governor, which I tend to be for a long time to come, it will not happen. We will not waste the taxpayers’ money."
Several companies including stockbroking firms EFE Securities and its directors, Lynton Edwards and its directors; Sweet Africa Enterprises, Seizler Enterprises and Hardon George, among others, were blacklisted and would not be allowed to open any bank accounts with effect from today.
Banks were immediately asked to comply with the directive and present proof to the central bank that they had done so.
Yesterday Dr Gono presented copies of bank cheques that had been fraudulently issued by several commercial banks and taken to the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange to purchase shares. In one instance, Stanbic Bank had issued a bank cheque for $22 sextillion payable to Premier Bank while in another case Sweet Africa Enterprises had on the same day secured three bank cheques from ZB Bank valued at $14 sextillion made out to EFE Securities.
In another case, CBZ’s Kaguvi Branch issued a bank cheque for $500 quintillion (18 zeros) on November 13 to a company called Personal Cars. The same branch also issued more such cheques.
It was revealed yesterday that between November 10 and 20 fraudulent cheques that were intercepted amounted to $60 sextillion which had been deployed on the stock exchange to bid up shares, while part of it had found its way onto the foreign currency parallel market.
This was artificial money which fuelled inflation, when in fact, there was $10 trillion in circulation currently.
Dr Gono said this reflected the epic proportions that indiscipline, corruption and underhand manipulation of money and capital markets had reached.
"As a nation, it is high time that we put a stop to these vices, as the victims are hardworking workers going for months without access to their salaries at banks; the sick and ill who cannot get treatment at hospitals and clinics due to lack of cash . . ."
The revelations had exposed the real culprits.
"For a long time now it has become fashionable to apportion blame to the Reserve Bank as the soft target. Many had expended energy and resources in a smear campaign against the central bank and Dr Gono in his personal capacity but the central bank chief said he remained undeterred.
"Vaye vari kuti (Gono) ngaaende tinoda kudemonstrator ngavauye tione. Ungaprinte mari kusvika kupi?" he said in reference to the demands for cash which he was criticised for failing to satisfy.
Flyers were also being distributed apportioning blame on him for the current economic challenges and other strategies were being employed to oust him.
On the financial sector Dr Gono castigated banks saying some of them had relapsed into the retrogressive mode of lax controls and risk management systems that led to some officials engaging in corrupt activities.
"What has happened to traditional banking? There is no bank that is not an accomplice to this kind of nonsense.
"Ndosaka takushevedzai vekuAttorney- General’s Office because vamwe vacho vari kunzi vabhadhare $10 million bailout chete."
Deputy AG Mr Johannes Tomana was present at yesterday’s meeting which was also attended by the Deputy Minister of Industry and International Trade, Cde Phineas Chihota, and his counterpart in the Ministry of Water and Infrastructural Development, Cde Walter Mzembi.
Dr Gono gave the floor to representatives from the banking sector, the ZSE and the Securities Commission to give their positions.
Bankers’ Association of Zimbabwe president Dr John Mangudya said the recent developments were saddening for the sector saying the banks were supportive of the remedial measures instituted by the central bank.
It was incumbent upon the financial sector to root out the fraudulent issuance of bank cheques in instances where there were insufficient funds in accounts to back them.
"The good faith between banks seems to have been misplaced in this instance. It was because of good faith that one bank could accept a bank cheque from another," he said.
ZSE chief executive Mr Emmanuel Munyukwi acknowledged that fraudulent activities on the bourse and pledged to work with the central bank to rid share trading of such malpractices.
"Indeed, we had a lot of hot money in the market and we do not need that money. Perhaps we did not move fast enough, but measures will be taken to ensure we protect the poor man in the street."
Securities Commission chairperson Mrs Willia Bonyongwe said work had started to revamp some of the existing laws and regulations on the ZSE.
"We will not tolerate any rogueness. As a commission we will leave no stone unturned . . . there is need for more rigorous supervision on the stock market," she said.
FORMER Zanu-PF Manicaland provincial chairman Cde Mike Madiro, has bounced back after winning in elections to restructure provincial structures held in Mutare yesterday.
Cde Madiro was suspended with six other provincial chairmen for allegedly participating in an unsanctioned meeting held in Dinyane in Tsholotsho in 2004, in what was to be known as the Tsholotsho saga.
The ruling party however lifted the suspensions, paving the way for the former chairmen to contest party positions in the current restructuring. He beat former provincial chairman Cde Tinaye Chigudu and Zanu-PF youth league national secretary for administration Cde Tapiwa Zengeya.
In an interview after the election, Cde Madiro pledged to work with all party cadres including those he defeated.
Cde Basil Nyabadza was elected unopposed provincial vice chairman and Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba provincial secretary for administration.
Cde Edwin Siwela was elected secretary for finance.
Results of elections in the women’s and youth leagues were expected late last night.
In a related matter, the restructuring of districts in Harare Metropolitan Province will be held this weekend ahead of the provincial elections on November 30.
In a statement, Zanu-PF secretary for information and publicity in Harare province Cde Rickson Musarurwa said the restructuring starts tomorrow and would be completed on Sunday.
"We would like to inform all our members in Harare province that district restructuring for the whole province will be done this weekend as follows; DCC 1, 2 and 3 will be conducted on Saturday, November 22 at the usual venues starting at 10 am.
"The restructuring programme would continue the next morning in DCC 4, 5 and 6 at their usual venues starting at 10 am," he said.
The ruling party is restructuring its executives at all levels ahead of the party’s National People’s Conference set for Bindura next month. The exercise which has seen new provincial executives being selected in the Midlands, Mashonaland East and Central province is expected to go ahead in Masvingo province today.
ZANU-PF has death wish for MDC, says Chamisa
Written by George Chellah in Harare, Zimbabwe
Friday, November 21, 2008 5:06:13 AM
ZANU-PF has a death wish for our party, MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa has said. And Chamisa said President Robert Mugabe is a pain not only for the country but for his own party ZANU-PF as well.
Reacting to reports in the state media that the MDC was divided over its participation in an all-inclusive government, Chamisa dismissed the suggestions, saying that it was a fact that MDC is currently at its strongest.
"The party is a united, dynamic and a happy family of democrats. The party, from the leadership to the membership, is fully committed to the successful conclusion of the talks in the shortest possible time. It is in this context that the National Council unanimously resolved not to be part of an inclusive government until all the outstanding issues have been disposed of. On this matter, the party speaks with one voice," Chamisa said.
"The inclusive government is a project driven and sustained by the people of Zimbabwe in general and the MDC in particular, for purposes of resolving challenges currently arresting our country. For the record, our next congress will be in 2011, five years after our previous congress in 2006. Those in ZANU-PF and other quarters who have a death wish for our party should wait a little longer with their machinations and antics to derail the people's movement.
"Instead of boggling our minds with side shows, our immediate task is to find permanent answers to endless challenges of hunger and starvation, poverty, collapsed health and education systems and predatory political parties like ZANU-PF that survive on the oxygen of violence." [COMMENT - Try to get sanctions lifted - MrK]
He said the main focus of the MDC was to democratically and peacefully oust the suffering and penury in Zimbabwe.
"To the best of our understanding, ZANU-PF is the only party that is rocked by divisions and is comatose on account of debilitating succession disputes. It is ZANU-PF that witnessed rebellion in Parliament when their members of parliament voted with the MDC," Chamisa said. "ZANU-PF is trapped in a series of setbacks and misfortunes which they hope to see replaying themselves in the MDC. ZANU-PF suffers from three decades of the same leadership and is trapped in a succession crisis after Mr Mugabe continues to succeed himself."
Chamisa said the state media, particularly The Herald newspaper, has become dangerous to peace and stability in Zimbabwe.
"As it continues to poison the minds of the people, fomenting division and fertilising genocide. It is unimaginable how the state media has been posting falsehoods across the whole country meant to injure the unity, standing and integrity of the MDC. The intention is to caricature the MDC, portraying it in negative light, as a party that flip flops and is unpatriotic," Chamisa said. "The fact is that all the headlines in The Herald emanate from ZANU- PF dark offices and faceless sources that are in pain to see MDC in full life in the context of a dying, if not dead, ZANU-PF.
"Instead of focusing on fiction, The Herald should dwell on the unprecedented kleptocracy and pilfering of assets in the name of farm mechanisation."
He said the MDC celebrates media pluralism and a diversity of opinions based on true facts.
Chamisa said President Mugabe was a perfect candidate for democratic and constitutional ouster.
"Mr Mugabe is a pain not only for the country but for his own party. For the record, the so-called MDC hawks do not hunt internally, their hunting grounds are located in ZANU-PF territories," said Chamisa.
Written by Mutale Osward
Friday, November 21, 2008 5:03:00 AM
Like Saint Paul exclaimed to the Galatians, I as well utter the same words. Zambians, what has bewitched our level of reasoning such that we could sink so low just to espouse corruption at the expense of justice and dignity? It is without doubt that Zambian politics and democracy have lost value and respect, especially in our so-called Parliament.
My anger is based on the fact that not so long ago Vernon Mwaanga whilst government chief whip and information minister lied to the nation (the late president inclusive) that he never said Zambia owed Moses Katumbi some money and as such was a free person to move around in the corridors of Zambian politics and law!
This guy denied "napa lulimi" having ever said such. To prove his ‘innocence,’ he even went to Parliament building with a forged and fabricated verbatim report of what transpired in DR Congo!
Foolishly and stupidly, he attacked The Post with the most crude accusation loaded with threats without any shame and dignity, as if he was innocent! Had it not been for that video tape, VJ would have gone scot-free! Thank God liars have no place in the kingdom of humanity. Thus begun the accelerated downfall of the man.
Now fellow Zambians, I’m challenging you to ask the DPP to take action against this man based on the following facts.
(1) What Vernon Mwaanga produced in Parliament had all the official marks to establish the authenticity of the document to such an effect that all could seem genuine. Where did he get the official date stamps and stationery that was used?
Besides, who doctored the document? Who allowed the use of GRZ equipment to be used in the forgery? Why was the DPP silent?
Furthermore, what's the difference between what those who forge certificates do and what Mwanga did such that he was not incriminated for that act?
(2) With such blatant lies, would Parliament welcome back someone who had commited such an offence within its buildings? What is the role of the Speaker? Where are the morals, ethics so to say?
Strictly speaking, VJ should have been barred from becoming an MP forever.
What would have happened to The Post had the video clip not been available?
Written by KS
Friday, November 21, 2008 5:02:10 AM
The appointment of one Vernon Mwaanga by President Rupiah Banda makes interesting reading, more so that VJ had publicly announced his retirement from active politics.
VJ will go down in history as a person who has served four presidents. This is not an easy feat to achieve by most people. It shows that VJ is an outstanding person, who deserves to be in the Guinness Book of World Records .
However, I want to express concern over this same appointment of VJ as Parliamentary Chief Whip. I feel the appointment is not only to reward a friend on the part of the President, but is a selfish manoeuvre by the President targeting the 2011 general elections. I do not know what VJ has or knows that makes Zambian presidents jump and grab him on their side. I believe as long as VJ is alive, somehow, we shall continue seeing him in the circles of power.
His job is to whip MMD members of parliament (MPs) into line and, sweet-talk opposition MPs into defeating the 50 per cent plus one in the final draft of the constitution. With endemic tribal and regional politics in Zambia, it will be difficult for the MMD to win elections without first-past-the-post-system currently in place. Once that is done, I believe he will be de-nominated.
What’s the reason behind VJ’s appointment?
Written by Davidson Mwale
Friday, November 21, 2008 5:01:42 AM
The appointment of VJ to the current parliament is an interesting scenario.
This man, in November 2007 announced publicly that he had retired from active politics to pave way for the young who are future leaders.
This is also the man who produced doctored (forged) documents in parliament on his DRC mission.
Is there any really good reason to appoint this man as Head Parliamentarian to lead the same House he intended to mislead?
Can we speculate, and conclusively say that this is a "pay back" gesture by the appointing authority in that VJ played a critical role to have His Excellence, the President, Rupiah Bwezani Banda at Plot 1? Or is the President simply living by his middle name, Bwezani, meaning to bring back?
Rupiah, Cabinet pay rise
Written by Webby
Friday, November 21, 2008 5:00:29 AM
Parliament’s vote in favour of the Cabinet salary increment confirms just how power hungry Rupiah Banda and his campaign team was. The campaign was characterised by electoral malpractices.
They started by offering themselves a salary increment, then they quickly realised there were elections to come and had to temporarily suspend the issue of increasing their salaries.
Fuel prices were reduced, but no consumer felt the benefits except for the fuel dealers. Indeed, keeping the rich richer.
In quick succession, fertiliser prices were also reduced.
But thats not all, people were even promised more jobs, some 4000 jobs were to be created and investors were to come within 10 days of being sworn in.
But barely 21 days after the elections, the tables have completely turned.
People are losing employment, and the governmet gives an excuse of the globle financial crisis though it was there even before the elections; but they should have analysed its impact on our economy.
This is the true new MMD we are seeing today.
Ministers’ pay rise
Written by Timothy Muchaba
Friday, November 21, 2008 4:59:52 AM
Please allow me express my disgust over the hiking of ministers’ salaries.
These leaders have really shown their uncaring attitudes towards the underprivileged in society. How many graduates and unemployed youths are struggling to earn a living?
A high number of retirees have not been paid their dues.
We struggle to work under the hectic conditions of service under the civil service and are only given less than a ministers pocket allowance per month.
How many Zambians are dying of hunger today and have no proper shelter?
This is a shame and we have been taken for granted for a long time. Enough is enough. These leaders have neglected us.
We thank the press for revealing this to the general public as have now known the kind of leaders we have in place today.
UPND; a party in denial
Written by Concerned UPND sympa
Friday, November 21, 2008 4:56:30 AM
The new way of doing things in UPND is very worrying.
In the olden days, after every election, UPND would conduct a postmortem and resolute decisions on the way forward would be made based on the findings.
As a concerned sympathiser of UPND, I have been awaiting the results of such a postmortem but all I have heard are incoherent comments from Hichilema stating that the elections were ‘exciting and competitive’ when the party is on its way to oblivion, and another comment from Ntundu stating that it is time that the government sorted out The Post.
The question that lingers in my mind is; as weak as the UPND is, can it manage to sustain the battle against The Post and even if it was strong, what would be the benefit of engaging in such a battle?
The problem with UPND is that a mistake was made and everybody knows what that mistake was and nobody wants to point out the mistake. UPND is no longer popular and instead of confronting the reasons the party has become so weak, they are in denial and are trying by all means to find scape-goats and starting battles to try and distract or rather shield the internal failures in UPND.
I think the questions which UPND is supposed to be answering are why they failed to make an alliance with PF, why the UDA collapsed, why all members with an image have left, why new members have not joined, why the party has failed to capture its once strong holds like Western, North Western, Central and even Lusaka? This should have been their preoccupation,
Harsh as it might be, the truth is that the UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has failed to run the party and I guess a postmortem has not been conducted because this truth is well-known by almost all members of UPND.
Let the same courage that was marshalled in 2006 to discount out Given Lubinda, Bob Sichinga, Henry Mtonga, Patrick Chisanga and Sakwiba Sikota from taking over the reigns of this party be marshalled even now to tell Hichilema that he has failed. Being in denial is very dangerous.
Written by Editor
THE rampant examination leakages that have been witnessed in our education system at secondary school level this year are very worrying. This is so because it seems this trend is growing and getting out of hand.
Zambia National Union of Teachers (ZNUT) secretary general Roy Mwaba says over 120 pupils countrywide were involved in examination malpractices.
Some pupils had papers which had pre-marked answers, while others had answers written on rulers and rubbers. Others were caught discussing answers shortly before an examination session. Some teachers in different parts of the country were even arrested by police for engaging in examination malpractices. This is unacceptable and something needs to be done to correct the situation, if we are serious about developing our country's education system.
Leakages have a tendency of undermining the quality and integrity of our education system. Integrity in the education system is key to social and economic progress. But it is this same integrity which is under threat right now and a lasting solution to the problem of examination malpractices is needed.
Almost every year, pupils are suspended or expelled from their schools, while teachers and other officials are disciplined or arrested, for being in unlawful possession of examination materials. It is sad because the culture of cheating during examinations seems to have spread into every corner of the country. Some young Zambians are clearly using corruption to pass examinations.
An education system that has no integrity affects the country socially, economically and politically. This is very worrying because some of our teachers are involved in this vice. A lot of responsibility has been entrusted in the hands of our teachers, but some bad eggs seem to be painting a bad picture of this noble profession. Teachers have a responsibility to ensure safe custody of the examination papers and it is sad that they are the ones giving out these papers to pupils. Now if a teacher cannot be trusted with these documents, who will take care of these papers?
What is worrying is that people who have an appetite to facilitate cheating can have a negative impact on the country. This country has entrusted a lot of responsibilities in our teachers, including having to conduct our political elections. In the just-ended elections a teacher was caught with ballot papers. This is worrying. The net effect of all this is that it has a tendency of rewarding mediocrity, dishonesty and crookedness.
It appears that the culture of cheating and wanting to claim dubiously acquired results has become entrenched in our society. The virtue of working hard, breaking nights for results acquired in an honest way, is being eroded. The culture of crookedly seeking an advantage over other candidates by illegally obtaining examination papers prior to the examination must be a serious source of concern for all.
We can only wonder how many pupils have 'passed' as a result of gaining premature and fraudulent access to examination materials. What type of character is being molded in pupils who believe in taking the easy way out, cheating instead of working hard to earn good results?
What happens to the hard-working pupils who are denied entry to university or college, simply because others crookedly obtained the marks needed to enter these tertiary institutions? Should dishonest school leavers be left to continue gaining such an advantage over their principled colleagues?
The consequences of leakages are detrimental to the future of our country and its citizens. When you have undeserving pupils going to university or college, it is highly likely that these cheating students are likely to get jobs that they do not deserve. And if dishonesty defeats merit in awarding jobs it means even the quality of the work by the cheats will also be affected.
It is not a secret that leakages compromise the integrity and efficacy of our examination system. The scourge of examination material leakage will sooner than later erode all of our people's confidence in the standard and quality of our education system - that is if it hasn't already done so. After all, why should pupils work hard and study if they can just wait for leakages at the end of the year and still pass their exams?
Examinations are one of the best ways of rewarding deserving children. And if we were to abandon this system, what better system would we use to make sure that we encourage hard work among pupils and students?
Clearly, this is most undesirable. Examinations world-over set standards for individuals to progress to the next stage in life.
Each year, shortly before examinations at grades 7, 9 and 12 levels are to take place, head teachers, teachers, examination supervisors and invigilators take oath to discharge their duties in an honest manner, and to uphold the integrity of the examinations. Something therefore urgently needs to be done to ensure that those who swear to play this role, in the most decent and honest way, and determine the future of our children, stay true to their word; that those who decide to cheat, to lie and desecrate our institutions pay for it.
It is clear that something has to be done. The scourge of cheating in examinations should be dealt with just in the same manner that moves are being made to eliminate cheating during elections.
Written by Allan Mulenga
Friday, November 21, 2008 4:46:42 AM
ZAMBIA National Union of Teachers (ZNUT) secretary general Roy Mwaba yesterday disclosed that over 120 Grade 12 pupils countrywide were involved in examination malpractices.
And Mwaba said the union was saddened by the number of pupils who were found cheating during examinations.
In an interview, Mwaba said the union had condemned the teachers and pupils who were found cheating during examinations.
"We totally condemn all those teachers and pupils who were involved in examination leakages because the conduct is against the policy of the teaching profession," he said.
Mwaba said it was unfortunate that reports of examination leakages had continued to be high despite the measures that the union had put in place to curb the vice.
"As a union we are deeply saddened by the reported cases of examination malpractices. It worries us much especially when we see that the number of cases involving examination leakages continues to rise," he said.
Mwaba said there was need to find a lasting solution to the practice because leaving the matter in the hands of the law enforcement agencies was not an ultimate solution to preventing a recurrence.
"Leaving the issue of examination malpractices is not a solution. The concerns the government and civil society have raised about leakages can only be addressed if they work towards addressing the root cause of the problem," he said.
Mwaba claimed that the government and the Examination Council of Zambia (ECZ) were to blame for the spate of examination malpractices recorded countrywide.
"Unlike lawyers and other professionals, teaching and lecturing in Zambia does not belong to the accreditation body and as such teachers are not scared to commit an offence. It is so because they know that if today they are found giving pupils leakages and later being reprimanded, the following year the same teachers will be found teaching somewhere else in other schools," he said.
Mwaba said there was need for the government to introduce a Bill to Parliament that would seek to form an accreditation body for the teaching profession so that teachers who would be found abrogating the rules and regulations could be barred from practising anywhere in the country.
"Right now teachers are engaging in leakages because there are no stiffer laws that stop them from doing so. And with the existing high poverty levels, teachers are not afraid to engage in the business of selling of examination papers to parents and pupils at any price they feel like," he said.
Mwaba said the local examination body was also to blame for the high wave of examination leakages.
"The ECZ also should share the blame about the examination malpractices that we are seeing now. This is so because of the loose linkage that exists between the ECZ and the Ministry of Education," he said.
Mwaba said examination papers take too long to be delivered to respective examination centres, thereby giving room for security personnel to temper with the papers.
"We urge the ministry to revise its timing on delivering examination papers to schools because examination papers should only take one or two weeks before the beginning of the examinations," he said.
On Wednesday, 13 Grade 12 pupils from selected schools in Northern Province were expelled after they were found with pre-written examination papers, while the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) arrested two teachers in the same province in connection with examination leakages.
On Tuesday, 17 Grade 12 pupils at Nchelenge High School in Luapula Province were expelled after they were found with pre-written examination papers.
Several other cases of examination leakages have been reported in other provinces.
On Thursday, five Grade 12 pupils at Kawambwa Boys High School were fined K 500,000 each for unauthorised possession of Chemistry examination paper III.
Another Grade 12 pupil at the same school was fined K600, 000 for being in possession of Mathematics Paper I answers stuck on his white T-shirt.
Written by Patson Chilemba and Lambwe Kachali
Friday, November 21, 2008 4:43:51 AM
PATRIOTIC Front (PF) president Michael Sata yesterday said it is sad that President Rupiah Banda is provoking people with impunity over the salary increments for senior government officials and constitutional office holders just after a disputed election.
Commenting on the three Bills to increase salaries and allowances that were passed in Parliament and are ready for presidential assent, Sata said everything he had said about President Banda during the presidential campaigns was coming true.
He said there was tension in the country contrary to what some 'rebel' parliamentarians were saying in Parliament.
Sata said some members of parliament were saying there was no tension in the country because they had managed to reduce the tension in their pockets.
He said the move to increase salaries would only aggravate the situation further.
"The people of Zambia are seeing. My own rebels, my own party rebels are saying there is no tension. You can't come from a disputed election and start provoking people the way this government is doing... provoking people with impunity," he said.
Sata said even in situations where a political party won the election with a landslide, they would not be as callous as this government.
He said although there had been some adjustments to the initial figures in the Bills, the salaries and allowances for constitutional office holders and senior government officials still remained exorbitantly high.
Sata said national resources should be shared equally.
He said it was sad that only 158 people plus a few others would be getting money that could have been channelled to more needy areas.
He said people were watching and each member of parliament would have to give an account of their actions.
"When you are talking of 'irresponsibility' allowance, all the things for ministers is there, talk time is there, servants are there. Everything is there. What I'm saying is we elect leaders to protect us and like in the house, the mother and father would like to see that their children eat before they eat themselves," Sata said. "Whilst we know their working conditions are not all that good, but what about the ordinary people? What about the ordinary workers, the ordinary soldiers, the ordinary policemen, the ordinary person working in hospital, the ordinary teacher?"
Sata said he knew President Banda very well and the deception on the allowances was the beginning of the President's manifestation of his true colours. "It's just the beginning; just wait you will see the true colours of Rupiah Banda," Sata said. "I told you there is no K50,000 fertiliser. I told you mealie-meal has not been reduced, it's political. I told you fuel is political. Now salaries is political."
Sata also said 'rebel' PF parliamentarians were shameless mercenaries who were interested in serving their own pockets.
He said despite having been de-campaigned by Frederick Chiluba and the rebels, PF performed better than 2006 in Luapula and Northern provinces.
Sata said the rebels would face the temerity of their actions.
On the continued publication of the map of election results by Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), Sata said the map which ECZ director Dan Kalale and his officials were giving to the Zambian people was blank.
"Let them show on those maps how many votes each one of us had. So there is nothing on the map. You find that on those maps, districts or constituencies look bigger than provinces. You find that Chembe Constituency looks bigger than Luapula Province. What's the panic by Danny Kalale?" asked Sata.
And Independent Churches of Zambia (ICOZ) president Reverend David Masupa charged that President Banda and his government were using the people of Zambia as pawns to amass wealth.
Rev Masupa said prior to the just-ended presidential election, President Banda pledged to the people of Zambia that he had withdrawn the Bills on account of the high levels of poverty the country was facing.
He wondered whether the poverty that President Banda talked about had ended.
Rev Masupa urged President Banda not to assent to the Bills if he was to restore the lost confidence and trust from the people of Zambia.
"We call upon the government to be very honest in the sight of people. They should realise that they are the servants of the people and they should have the interest for the people first before they serve their interest. We say so because we do realise that right now, people are crying over high prices of mealie-meal. An ordinary person is getting less than K250,000 and cannot afford to buy mealie-meal," Rev Masupa said. "It would have been better for government to ensure that they first of all bring the prices of mealie-meal down and cushion the shocks of poverty levels in the country. Right now the people of Zambia are breeding out of poverty."
He said it was sad that some politicians in Zambia had become so heartless to an extent that they could do anything to serve their selfish political gains.
Rev Masupa observed that President Banda's promise to withdraw the Bills was a campaign gimmick to hoodwink Zambians.
"Should Mr Rupiah Banda sign the Bills, we are going to say that he has displayed double standards, far from being a man of integrity and a man of honesty because the Bible says, let a yes be a yes and no be a no," said Rev Masupa.
On Wednesday, Parliament unanimously passed the three Bills to increase salary and allowances for constitutional office holders and senior government officials by 15 per cent.
Vice-President George Kunda tabled the Bills before Parliament and noted that the treasury currently had insufficient resources to cover the proposed emoluments payable to the president in full due to the heavy expenditure the government had incurred on the just-ended presidential election, and the funeral of the late president Levy Mwanawasa.
He said in light of the limited financial resources available, he had still returned the three Bills to Parliament for reconsideration so that an increase of 15 per cent could be effected across the board on salary and allowances for the President, ministers, members of parliament and constitutional office holders in line with the 15 per cent increase in salary awarded to officers in the public service this year.
Following the amendments, the President's salary per month would now be increased from K11.9 million to K13.7 million calculated at annual rate of K164,220,000. The President would also be entitled to a special allowance of K59,194,734 from K51,473,682. The Vice-President's salary per annum would be K99,227,544, special allowance K33,886,567 and utility allowance of K26,680,000. The Speaker's salary is K86,284,817, special allowance K30,049,625 and a utility allowance of K26,680,000. The deputy Speaker's salary would be K75,117,124, special allowance, K26,382,673, and utility allowance of K266,680,000, A Cabinet minister's salary would now be pegged at K75,117,124, special allowance, K26,382,673 and utility allowance pegged at K26,680,000. The Chief Whip's salary would be K75,117,124, special allowance K 26,382,673 and utility allowance of K26,680,000. Leader of the opposition's salary would be K75,117,124, special allowance K26,382,673 and utility allowance of K26,680,000. A deputy minister would be entitled to a salary of K70,953,186, special allowance K24,107,904 and utility allowance pegged at K26,680,000, while a private member of parliament's salary would be K70,161,239, special allowance K19,165,615, with utility allowance of K26,680, 000.
For the constituency allowances, the Vice-President, Speaker, deputy Speaker, Cabinet ministers, deputy ministers and private members with parliamentary seats in rural areas would get K20,010,000 while those in urban areas would get K16,008,000 and the nominated members would get K13,340,000.
The Secretary to the Cabinet's salary per annum would now be pegged at K159,340,959 and a responsibility allowance of K48,300,000. The Attorney General would get K135,485,950 and responsibility allowance of K41, 400,000. The Investigator General and the Auditor General would get K129,034,245 with responsibility allowance of K41,400,000. The Solicitor General and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) would get K129, 034,245 and a responsibility allowance of K35,479,800.
In August, Cabinet approved salary and allowance increments for constitutional office holders and senior government officials.
Later, government asked Parliament to backdate salary increments and allowances for the Vice-President, Speaker, Deputy Speaker, ministers and other members of parliament to January 1, 2008.
The three Bills passed through Parliament and were ready for assent but then Vice-President Banda, during his election campaign launch, refered them back to Parliament.