Saturday, September 19, 2009
By Tarwireyi Tirivavi
ZIMBABWEANS should be dismayed and disgusted by the arrogance shown by a European Union delegation during a recent visit, the first such visit by the bloc in seven years, that ended up as the Shakespearean tale "told by a fool, full of sound and fury yet signifying nothing".
We of Zimbabwe Heritage feel that MDC-T and their sanctions-wielding backers are insulting not only Zimbabweans, but Sadc as well by misrepresenting that Zimbabwe is not under economic sanctions.
Furthermore, they have the temerity to claim that sanctions are not an outstanding issue under the Global Political Agreement. The EU and their MDC-T allies would like us to believe that the economic sanctions regime, which they misrepresent as travel bans, has nothing to do with the economic downturn of the past decade.
In other words, they are telling the world that it is only these ‘‘targeted people’’ who should not receive balance of payments support from international financial institutions and not the Zimbabwean economy.
They are also saying that United States citizens serving as directors at multilateral institutions are instructed to vote against any assistance to Zanu-PF officials and not the Zimbabwean economy.
This is what the EU delegation told us and our own Right Honourable Prime Minister and his MDC T. We agree both the EU and MDC-T have the right to make these ridiculous claims, but our major worry is what they take us for when making such statements.
Honestly, what does a person who claims sanctions have not ruined the Zimbabwean economy take Zimbabweans for? Perhaps MDC-T supporters can tolerate such baseless rhetoric seeing as to it that they can believe their leaders if they promise a flood in the middle of a desert.
MDC-T leaders are now in Government and, as such, they should think of the whole nation, including those who won’t believe their rhetoric.
It is clear that the Europeans and their MDC-T allies think they can trick Zimbabweans out of their heritage by misrepresenting issues.
In any case, the Europeans never learn. Even in 1978 they saw Bishop Muzorewa, and his Dzakutsaku supporters and auxilliaries as representing the aspirations of Zimbabweans when there were thousands of patriotic freedom fighters in the rural areas, in the forests and throughout the region.
We have been there before, and we know fully well what quisling politics is all about. European settlers did, even during the liberation struggle, win the hearts of some of our brothers and sisters because of their money, but again there are always those Zimbabweans who have principles that are higher than money.
We say so because MDC-T leaders are telling Zimbabweans that Zanu-PF is the source of the country’s problems because it is not prepared to listen to the West and Minister Gorden Moyo actually expects Zanu-PF to apologise for liberating the country and reclaiming our heritage from colonialists.
We understand how insightful President Joseph Kabila was recently when he took over the Sadc chair, and pointed out that the greatest threat to the inclusive Government was the issue of sanctions.
It is indeed a great threat to the GPA and everything it stands for considering the position MDC-T has decided to take in relation to the economic realities on the ground and Zanu-PF’s unwavering stance on the sanctions.
MDC-T leaders expect Zanu-PF to agree that there are no sanctions but only "restrictive measures" targeted at a few people in the party. This hypocritical assertion implies that half of the inclusive Government does not even see any sanctions or their effects anywhere and these are the people in charge of key portfolios such as finance, health, housing, labour and social services, economic development etc.
On the other hand, Zanu-PF contends that the socio-economic problems stem from the illegal economic sanctions.
Of the two positions, it appears the Zanu-PF position holds sway in Sadc because looking at it practically and objectively the following facts are indisputable:
The illegal economic sanctions are there and some measures, like the so-called Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, are public historical documents.
The sanctions are against Zimbabwe since the Government borrows on behalf of the people.
There is empirical evidence of how the sanctions destroyed and are still destroying the economy and livelihoods. Companies like Ziscosteel and healthcare institutions come to mind.
The pre-split MDC vigorously campaigned for the sanctions.
It is irresponsible for a whole Zimbabwean leader to refer to the sanctions as "targeted" or as mere "restrictive measures".
It is the height of arrogance for Europeans to come to Zimbabwe and tell the cholera survivors, and starving civil servants that the sanctions are targeted at their leaders.
We always say that it is an insult to African institutions and their leaders to assume that Africans do not know what is good for them or that they cannot correctly analyse situations and come up with solutions.
Worse still, it is unfortunate for an African to engage in politics in Africa with a serious inferiority complex towards Europeans.
We do not believe that EU money can make the EU better informed about Zimbabwe and its GPA more than the Sadc chairperson and the rest of the Sadc leadership. It is not the Sadc leaders’ fault that they cannot believe unsubstantiated stories of alleged massive human rights abuses, genocide/mass graves, farm invasions, selective application of the law etc. These are simply not there and to expect Sadc to endorse fiction is clear departure from sanity.
It appears there is also the notion that a European presence will intimidate Zanu-PF and Sadc, which again is an example of serious misunderstanding of modern-day Africa.
Honestly, imagine Sadc going to the UK to take up David Cameron’s case against Gordon Brown or should we say Sadc taking up ETA’s case against the Spanish authorities.
That would be a travesty and contrary to how MDC-T views African issues, we believe the EU should respect Sadc and listen more to Sadc as it is the Southern Africa Development Community, which means that it is the authority in southern Africa.
Sadc knows its struggles throughout history.
Sadc leaders know of Moise Tshombe; they know of Nyadzonia; they know what kind of leader President Mugabe is, never mind what MDC-T says.
They know of Zanla and Zipra, equally so, they know of Africans who vehemently resisted liberation in the Rhodesia African Rifles, Selous Scouts and Pfumo Revanhu.
Sadc leaders know all these people which is why they are better placed to respond appropriately when a Selous Scout approaches them under the guise of democracy, good governance and human rights.
It is, therefore, normal and appropriate for Sadc to be respected in Sadc matters, even when they see that Zimbabwe’s problems are best solved by the removal of the illegal economic sanctions. This resolution should be respected.
We believe this is an informed decision and when Sadc refers to the full implementation of the GPA, they are referring to the Global Political Agreement, not individual party demands such as the appointments of personnel. We believe that Sadc correctly noted that implementation of the GPA in full implies zeroing in on what the agreement was supposed to solve, that is the deteriorating socio-economic situation in Zimbabwe.
Sadc then noted that the removal of the illegal economic sanctions would definitely improve the situation in Zimbabwe regardless of who was posted where.
Having said that, for the EU to come to Zimbabwe to try to justify the illegal sanctions and offer 90 million euros to the so-clalled Multi-Donor Trust Fund for their NGOs and civil servants is unacceptable arrogance which Zanu-PF and Sadc should nip in the bud.
We all know the EU’s stake in Zimbabwe and this is in the huge farmhouses with several swimming pools and those weekend sunset braais by the poolside. We understand their anger against Zanu-PF and why they will maintain the illegal sanctions regime even if it is increasingly becoming embarrassing to try to justify.
We are, however, becoming increasingly irritated that a supposedly Zimbabwean political party is the lone voice in Africa calling the illegal sanctions "restrictive measures" and that is done while preaching national healing and inclusivity.
MDC-T’s argument is that they want the economic sanctions to continue until and only when their fellow Zimbabweans are fired from their jobs for no apparent reason apart from the desire to spite Zanu-PF and to make the Europeans happy.
We say so because in all their noises about Dr Gideon Gono and Mr Johannes Tomana MDC-T leaders have never offered the nation possible replacements and the reasons thereof.
Theirs are just noises that the two officials should go, in typical ‘‘Mugabe must go’’ rhetoric. Africa will concede anything on this issue which we are told is linked to Western aid when, ironically, the International Monetary Fund released US$510 million to the same Gono the MDC-T claim blocks aid.
We do not know how many insults Zanu-PF is prepared to take on the issue of sanctions just to keep the GPA relevant and the MDC-T sanctions mongers in the inclusive Government.
We do not know how long Zanu-PF leaders are going to receive delegations of people who do not know that there are economic sanctions they imposed on the country and sit in Cabinet with ministers who claim there are no economic sanctions and will have nothing to do with their removal.
We do not know how Zanu-PF will tolerate a donor-funded Zimbabwean police force as they have tolerated a donor-funded civil service and close security unit.
We do not know how Zanu-PF will fight the internal sanctions its people are being subjected to, including the blocking of the US$510 million IMF loan.
We do not know but we feel the GPA is in the same arrogance-induced danger area that an organisation called the Commonwealth put itself in, in relation to Zimbabwe some time ago.
We fear that MDC-T is getting carried away buoyed by the visits from the US Congress and the EU possibly to help shore up the ‘‘targeted’’ sanctions mantra.
For it was thought that if the sanction-imposers themselves tell Sadc and the suffering Zimbabweans that the sanctions are targeted, they stand a chance to be believed more than MDC-T leaders.
Where we expected an African delegation to go to Europe to call for the removal of the illegal sanctions, we actually have American and European delegations coming to hammer the sanctions deeper and thereby in a bid to subvert the anti-sanctions drive.
We fear for the GPA. Time will tell
The writer, Tarwireyi Matsika Chifambayi Tirivavi, is a member of the Zimbabwe Heritage Project. He can be reached on email@example.com
Is devil in the detail again? Susan Forward, in her book, "Obsessive Love: When Passion Holds You Prisoner", has an intriguing chapter titled, "Connection Compulsion: The Root of Obsessive Love".
She writes: "What mysterious power propels obsessive lovers to feel, think, and act in ways that are so contrary to emotional balance, common sense, and loving behaviour? Why are obsessives so needy? Why are obsessives so angry? Why are they so confused?"
For so long, President Mugabe has been accused of playing the victim card against the West. However, when Prime Minister Tsvangirai, who is also leader of MDC-T, addressed party supporters last week in Bulawayo during commemorations of the party’s 10th anniversary, he dejectedly said: "I’m not threatening anyone, but a time will come when we say enough is enough. If as a wife you are being abused and beaten by your husband don’t say, ‘I will remain in the marriage because I have children’. Get out of the marriage."
Marriage! What a relevant metaphor that represents the best and the ugly in human relationships. It is the cornerstone of any society, for it is through this sacred and most revered institution that we end up having family values, which are an integral part of any respectable society.
But married to whom? Although the MDC-T leader seemed to be referring to their acrimonious relationship with Zanu-PF in the inclusive Government, a careful analysis shows that this, after all, could be remarks directed at MDC-T’s other marriage partners — the West (EU), whose representatives were in Bulawayo at the time.
For the West proved to be the obsessive lover who chose an opportune time to come to Zimbabwe under the guise of a fact-finding mission on how the Global Political Agreement was being implemented, when in fact they were coming to tell the MDC-T to toe the line.
The resigned MDC-T leader acted like most abused women who will shout insults at the hubby, threatening to go, but only end up saying, "Dai pasina vana vangu ndaienda kumusha kwangu (Were it not for the kids I would pack and go)." And this will be repeated time and against as long as there is conflict in the home.
Thus you end up a miserable person because you will be pandering to the whims and caprices of the husband.
Considering therefore all the concessions and compromises made by Zanu-PF, the MDC-T cannot say the marriage partner they are referring to is Zanu-PF, for they have never pandered to Zanu-PF’s demands. It has actually been the other way round.
Tsvangirai, who of late was getting commendations about how well he was handling national issues with the exception of the sanctions, seemed to be in a quandary. Thus it seemed convenient to lay all the blame on Zanu-PF.
However, it was understandable. After Sadc and the revelations about the PM’s Office running a parallel government in Munhumutapa Building with assistance from the West, followed by Biti’s handling of IMF funds, it was also evident that the bruises sustained at the Sadc summit in the DRC were too much to bear.
For someone so used to being pampered by the Western and online media, it must have come as a shock to Tsvangirai that even the Voice of America’s Studio 7 also called the MDC-T’s demands "so-called outstanding issues". When things turn out this way, you feel that even those who have accommodated your mistakes, are your enemies.
For in the DRC, Sadc leaders sounded a death knell for the MDC-T. They would not settle for anything less. They wanted the illegal economic sanctions removed as a matter of urgency since they continued to hurt ordinary people. The MDC-T’s much hoped for extraordinary summit on Zimbabwe failed to materialise. Thus after the joint European and American meetings that raised money for the PM’s Office and his cronies in the NGO community, Kinshasa failed to bring anything to the people.
It was time to face reality? After this, how best then could someone celebrate 10 years of existence when the architects, sponsors and benefactors of the project had sent a 14-member delegation to review "progress", and obviously to press on their demands of an illegal regime change?
When situations of that nature arise, it becomes convenient to look for scapegoats and pass the buck. And, this is exactly what the MDC-T leader did. Everything that stalled the pace of the implementation of the GPA was Zanu-PF’s fault, especially President Mugabe since he was refusing to resolve the "so-called outstanding issues".
However, no lessons seemed to have been learnt from the DRC. For none of these leaders has ever called the illegal sanctions "restrictive measures"; travel bans or targeted sanctions. They did not display any semantic mix-up, but called them what they are — sanctions. For, there is a marked difference between the sanctions and restrictive measures, and they impact differently.
Turning back to Forward, I could not help but feel that the MDC-T leader was fulfilling what she says: "When we suffer a setback in the separation process, whatever the reason, we do a psychological about-face.
"Outwardly we may appear to be increasingly independent, but inwardly, we feel frightened and we terribly try to reconnect with that now-unattainable original feeling of total fulfilment and safety.
"For obsessive lovers, the wish to recapture that blissful connection is more than a yearning, it is an overwhelming compulsion — what I call the ‘connection compulsion’." And, rejection is deemed to be the cornerstone of the connection compulsion.
This behavioural phenomenon manifests itself within MDC-T not within the context of its relationship with the other parties in the Global Political Agreement, especially Zanu-PF, but in relation with its Western backers.
Obsessive lovers are also said to "have an insatiable longing either to possess or to be possessed by the target of their obsession, and their target’s unavailability or rejection must drive them to behave in self-defeating ways".
However, the dangers of obsessive relationships are summarised by an anonymous poet in "I Got Flowers Today". It speaks of a woman who stayed on in an obsessive relationship, but only to speak out at the end when she gets the final flowers on her grave when it was already too late: I got flowers today; Today was a very special day; It was the day of my funeral.
After Biti’s behaviour regarding the IMF funds, questions abound. What is it about this marriage that either party cannot let go preferring to sacrifice the people’s well-being on the altar of expediency? What are the people supposed to say when a whole finance minister makes one of the most reckless and unilateral actions — block the much needed and long-awaited IMF funds?
When the retraction is made a week later, is it done because someone has seen the light, or it is a face-saving gesture since MDC-T resolved to go and consult "the people" on whether they should stay in "this Government".
"As a party, we have agreed that in the next month, we are all going to consult the people of Zimbabwe on the future of this Government. We are coming to ask you if this Government is viable. It is you who will tell us what to do," said Tsvangirai.
It beats me that the MDC-T would want to pull out of a relationship with their ilk, preferring closer ties with the West instead.
Masters of the universe or partners?
Since when did celebrations of a party event translate into a diplomatic visit, which the media touted as an EU-Zimbabwe dialogue meant mend fences between the Government of Zimbabwe and the EU?
Why did the much celebrated EU delegation’s visit turn out to be a non-event to people who are weary of these fact-finding missions and attendant talk shops, that do not put food on their table?
Was it coincidence that the troika’s visit coincided with MDC-T’s 10th anniversary? Was it also accidental that the team came just after a US advance team had been in the country a week before the Sadc meeting? Was it also coincidental that complaints were raised about the attitude of both teams towards Zanu-PF and the sanctions issue?
As "masters of the universe", were they coming to pass the guilty verdict in person? For it was a verdict that seemed to be orchestrated on MDC-T success in Kinshasa: sanctions would not go, and the MDC-T leader had no power to have them removed, for he was not the one who imposed them in the first place! This was a statement that needed a lot of discernment to understand the depth and breadth of the Zimbabwean issue vis-à-vis the Anglo-Saxon world. But it was also an action that poured scorn on the people of Zimbabwe.
So, the exasperation in the MDC-T leader was comprehensible. They are in a marriage relationship where the obsessive passions of the other partner have kept them prisoners. Extricating themselves from that union where the other party has a saviour complex and mentality is a mammoth task.
Persecution and victim mentality
It is also interesting to note that when the MDC-T leadership makes allegations of persecution of its membership, there is always a white voice that endorses those claims, by claiming violence perpetrated against them by alleged "Zanu-PF thugs".
The same with the Western media who think that the so-called violence is being perpetrated against white former commercial farmers. It’s a sham that a white farmer thinks of saving computers and a passport when his property is being ‘‘burnt’’ down. What nationality is on that passport, and what information was on the computers, which had to be saved when everything else was going up in flames? All these done to add impetus to the EU troika’s visit!
Nobody denies the existence of violence and conflicts in the past decade. Otherwise there would not be three ministers from all three parties in the inclusive Government overseeing how best national healing and reconciliation can be brought about. But it does not help the situation if people create scenarios that are so hollow.
Let us hope that this does not escape Jomic’s attention and the police, for the Ministry of Home Affairs is co-shared by Zanu-PF and MDC-T.
How much assessment did the EU do in two days? The delegation was not even interested in the alleged clandestine activities in the PM’s Office where a partner in a properly constituted Government admits receiving funding from a multilateral organisation.
This was not a problem to them because they have a different perception of peace and national security than Zimbabwe.
Spain is taking up the EU presidency soon. It has been a victim of terrorist attacks after 9/11. We ask what the Spanish government would do if they formed a unity government with Eta. Would they stand by and allow it to receive funding from all and sundry, especially if those funds would compromise its sovereignty and national security?
Swiss bank accounts used to be almost untouchable. However, 9/11 changed all that. Technological advances are making it easy to trace the legal and illegal movements of money, leading to an atmosphere of disaster preparedness. It is, therefore, mind boggling that the World Bank is alleged to be secretly funding a section of the inclusive Government without the knowledge of the other parties.
Maybe it is high time the tables are turned and President Mugabe asks the UN Security Council through Sadc and the African Union to have the issue investigated.
Tale of two Elders
The first one is a real Elder and an Australian aid worker, for that is his real name: James Elder who used to be a Unicef communications officer in Zimbabwe until mid-last year.
However, after leaving the "violence-infested and undemocratic Zimbabwe", he was posted to Sri Lanka where he does not seem to have had much fortune. On August 14 the Sri Lankan authorities gave him two weeks (until September 21) to leave Sri Lanka on allegations he issued statements that supported the views of the defeated separatist Tamil Tiger rebels.
Australian media reports believe that former Australian diplomat-turned Sri Lankan foreign secretary, Palitha Kohona, was behind James Elder’s expulsion for speaking out on child war casualties and malnutrition rates.
Kohona said that the Unicef spokesman should be treated no differently from Australians deported or languishing in jails across the world for breaking the rules of a sovereign country. "He is supporting a terrorist organisation. When you express views that are taken from the propaganda arm of a terrorist organisation I don’t think there’s much room left for doubt," he said. Unicef has denied the allegations.
Meanwhile, Dr Kohona, who has dual Sri Lankan-Australian citizenship, moved to New York a week ago as Sri Lanka’s representative at the UN. What irony! Aussies treating each other this way, while their government maintains its sanctions regime on Zimbabwe.
The other Elder is none other than former US president Jimmy Carter, American democracy’s perfect apostle. Another irony, both are James.
Last November an impromptu visit to Zimbabwe by a trio of Elders that included Kofi Annan, Graca Machel and Jimmy Carter was aborted when they were denied entry into Zimbabwe, seeing as it were that they were coming on a dubious mission.
After being denied a Zimbabwean visa, Carter said it was a "novel experience" for him since he had never before been denied a visa. He also told the media, "there are no economic sanctions against Zimbabwe . . . "
However, "Elder" Carter, whose quest for an American archetypal democratic order is unprecedented since he has observed elections in many countries around the world, was given a rude awakening this week after realising that American democratic ideals did not seem to have an impact in war torn Afghanistan, despite the life and limbs lost, and the millions the Angl-Saxon world has poured into Afghanistan to prop up Hamid Karzai.
On Tuesday, Carter described the recent Afghan elections as "despicable". He accused Karzai of stealing the election, and went further to advise Obama against sending any more troops to Afghanistan.
As usual, Zimbabwe had to be lumped together with the US’s failed experiments across the globe?
Why is Carter crying foul when it was the US and its Western allies that created the Iraq and Afghan scenarios? They also did the same in Zimbabwe, under the guise of bringing democracy, when the true reasons were to plunder using local accomplices.
Carter and those of his ilk should therefore not shed crocodile tears after realising that their models only work in the US and nowhere else. For every nation has the right and capacity to create its own mode of democratic values as dictated by local conditions. It is time that they also realise the unipolar world no longer exists, and that if it does, it only exists on paper.
IMF’s most indebted nations
After reading Sandrine Rastello’s report on September 9 saying that Somalia, Sudan and Zimbabwe were the most indebted nations with overdue financial obligations to the IMF, bringing total arrears to the lender to about US$2,09 billion, I wondered whether this was an apparent smokescreen to the EU troika’s Zimbabwean visit. Was it also meant to give credence to Biti’s unilateral decision to block the Fund’s allocation to Zimbabwe on the basis of previous debts?
Said Rastello: "the three countries also have financial obligations with the World Bank and the African Development Bank, according to the IMF."
In response, I responded to Rastello’s report and asked her whether "the three nations were the only countries that owe in an organisation with a membership of close to 200 member states? What are you trying to communicate to your readers when we know that the IMF is a big lender and all member states owe? Is this selective amnesia on your part? How about the US? How much does it owe? Doesn’t their debt to China run into trillions of dollars?"
I also questioned: "Have you ever objectively asked why the three countries owe, and why they are unable to repay? Who is fuelling the tensions/conflicts/wars in these countries that affect debt repayment?
I told her: "We also wonder at the timing of your story — soon after the IMF released more than US$200 billion to member states to cushion them from the vagaries of the current global recession.
"In any case, who is responsible for this recession? In Zimbabwe’s case, we are surprised because the IMF has decided to take a partisan approach when it released the second tranche into an escrow account".
l tendai.manzvanzvike *** zimpapers.co.zw
Written by Editor
In a time of crisis, people look to their leaders for direction, for hope, for inspiration, for guidance. No honest person living in our country today can fail to admit that we are in a time of crisis. The horizon looks bleak; the prospects for our people are faint.
Our economy has been in the doldrums for a very long time. The vast majority of our people live in abject poverty, something which is inexcusable in a country that is so well endowed with natural resources.
The poor performance of our economy has hit our people with the most vital areas of human endeavour. Our people have been robbed of their dignity. Many have no reason to look to the future with any hope.
Employment which should be a basic right of every citizen is a luxury many of our people cannot dream about. Education and health for the vast majority of our people is something they cannot reach. Food, shelter and clothing are in many instances an impossible aspiration for our people. This state of affairs is simply unacceptable. Such a status quo is a recipe for disaster. It is immoral and shameful to expect our people to accept such a situation indefinitely. It is even more shameful to talk about the current situation as if it’s normal and acceptable.
But this is what Rupiah Banda did yesterday when he addressed Parliament. Rupiah quite clearly is oblivious to the sufferings of our people. More disastrously, Rupiah is oblivious to his duty as president of a beleaguered country. For him, a few nice sounding words here and there are enough. Yesterday’s speech was a painfully flawed speech, devoid of any substance and meaningful material for the fixing of our wounded nation. Rupiah’s speech was a recycled speech which repeated the same old tired platitudes without really addressing the present challenges. Listening to that speech was like reading an academic essay which started and ended with the background and failed to deal with the issue at hand. Rupiah was repeating the same speech he gave nine months ago when Parliament was opening. It was like he just changed dates and added one or two figures.
To classify it fairly, one would have to say it was uninspiring, boring and besides the points. This would not be a disaster if it was not coming from a president whose duty it is to stir Zambia to prosperity. Rupiah has a duty to inspire our people and give them hope. This is why he is paid. It is his job to articulate a vision for our country that says to the majority of our people who are living in abject poverty that help is on the way. Not that hollow and fractured speech as the recently resigned Minister of Defence George Mpombo correctly characterised it.
Rupiah needs to learn that our people have a legitimate expectation that their problems should be addressed by their government. Blaming the global crisis and all sorts of issues for the ineptitude and incompetence of his government will not help him. He needs to learn that governance is serious business; hard work; difficult work. It is not a game for the immature and the lazy. The problems that our country faces are too many and very complicated. They require determined leadership, dedicated to lifting our people from poverty to plenty. It does not help anyone to keep repeating the same songs about how the government did that or the other. Trying to claim credit for the hard work and dedicated leadership of Levy Mwanawasa will not help Rupiah. His predecessor, with all his faults, was prepared to take difficult decisions in the interest of our people. Levy was not one for populist sloganeering. As a result, a number of projects were started which are still going on. And it seems Rupiah thinks that all he needs to do is to claim credit for those projects and all will be well. Our Bemba-speaking peoples have a saying that best summarises the folly of glorifying the past to try and pacify present inadequacies. They say “Ubulimi bwa kale tabutalalika mwana”. Literally translated, the saying means you cannot expect a child to stop crying from hunger by boasting about how good a harvest you had long time ago. The child wants to eat today. The food must be produced today. Telling the nation about this or that project that started three years ago under a predecessor whose legacy Rupiah and his minions are working tirelessly to diminish will not address the problems of our people.
It is not easy to inspire people and give them hope if you are not committed to principles of integrity and uprightness. There are not many things that will inspire people more than selfless and sacrificial leadership. This is something that we do not expect Rupiah to ever portray because for him, leading is about enjoying the benefits of power whilst giving as little as possible.
Yesterday’s speech did nothing to address a lot of the key problems that our people are facing. From what we see and observe, it seems to us that there is a liquidity crisis in our economy. Put simply, there is no money revolving among our people. This is causing job losses and suffering for a large number of our people. This is a clear problem that with no doubt is well-known to Rupiah and his advisors. What policy indicators or direction did Rupiah give in what should be his landmark speech, as we look to 2010, on the question of poor liquidity in the economy? The answer is zero, nothing. As long as Rupiah and his minions have cash in their pockets, what is happening to the economy and our people is of little consequence.
Rupiah told the nation that there is reduced international assistance coming into our coffers. The question is why? The international credit crisis that has affected a number of our helpful friends could be a reason. But we all know that poor governance and a feeble pretence at fighting corruption is at the root of the problems that Rupiah may be having with the donors. Rupiah would rather risk international assistance that is critical at this stage in our development than deal with corruption decisively.
It is also clear from what the Zambia Revenue Authority has been telling the nation that there is likely to be a shortfall in the collections of domestic revenue to fund government programmes. Again the question is why? When an economy is starved of liquidity, there is a domino effect. The taxpayers have no cash to pay tax. And the government which is undoubtedly the largest consumer of goods and services in our country has, as a consequence of poor revenue collections, no money to pay its suppliers of goods and services. This sets in motion a vicious cycle that could grind an economy to a halt. This is also true when one looks at the drop in duty collections. If there is no cash circulating in an economy, trade suffers and importation declines, and as a result, revenue collection on that front also suffers.
We are not experts in these matters but the fact that we are able to raise them shows that there are issues that require dedicated and serious discourse by a government that is responsible. Clearly, these matters do not have easy solutions and are not as simplistic as we have put them. But does Rupiah have the time to sit and actually understand the state of the nation? Does he have a clue what the nation actually needs to move forward? We say this because it is now abundantly obvious that Rupiah is Mr Goodtime. He doesn’t seem to have patience to deal with serious matters of state. He is the traveller-in-chief.
Rupiah said that we should stop relying on international aid to run our affairs. Everybody knows that. In fact, it is foolish to try to run a country on the basis of handouts and international charity in perpetuity. At least we seem to agree on something. But what is Rupiah’s plan for ensuring that the country is run on the basis of revenues that we generate locally?
Rupiah’s predecessor, Levy, had started a process of trying to rationalise the revenues that we get from the mining economic activities that go on in our country. Common sense and equity seemed to suggest that the people who are extracting mineral resources from our country should make a fair contribution to the national treasury. In boom times, they should pay taxes at a premium. This is logical and far better than begging. What did Rupiah and his minions do when they came? They reversed a windfall tax on the pretext that the price of copper had collapsed. If the price had collapsed, it follows that there was no windfall. And if there was no windfall, there was no windfall tax to be paid. Why remove that tax? Today, the experts are telling us that the price of copper is headed to the US $7,000 mark. Who is to gain from this misery? The incompetence of Rupiah and his economic advisory team is costing us. [I would say not incompetence, but corruption. The removal of the windfall tax was completely driven by the narrow financial interests of the mining companies. They knew the price of copper was going to rise, and they wanted to avoid paying any tax whatsoever. - MrK]
It seems Rupiah has no staying power when it comes to fighting for our people. He is a coward. But when he is fighting for his political benefits and the benefits of his minions, he is ready to defy anybody. Rupiah in those cases does not back down. When it comes to giving away our copper revenues, Rupiah will back down and rescind decisions that were made in a cabinet where he sat as Vice-President.
But the same Rupiah is not prepared to back down when defending the criminal single sourcing of RP Capital to sell one of our nation’s prized possessions – Zamtel. With his son, Henry’s interest, clearly written all over the transaction, Rupiah has no shame in going to Parliament to defend this wrong.
We know that people are going to chew from the mobile hospitals nonsense. Characteristically, Rupiah is doggedly defending this nonsensical programme. He is determined to bring containers from China which he will buy for US $5 million each and claim to be addressing our people’s health needs.
This is what happens when a leader thinks he is in power to look after himself and those closest to him. Rupiah’s speech did nothing to identify the root causes of the many problems that our country is facing or suggest any meaningful solutions. A critical analysis of what he was saying will tell you that that whole speech was about which contracts are going to be given out to whom and when. Nothing about the people.
Written by Chibaula Silwamba, George Chellah and Ernest Chanda
Saturday, September 19, 2009 5:25:09 PM
ZAMBIA’S economy is showing indications that the worst economic crisis may be over, President Rupiah Banda said yesterday. But Kafulafuta MMD member of parliament George Mpombo has described President Banda's speech as hollow.
And President Banda said he was pleased that while some media organisations exhibited unethical journalism, the majority remained professional.
Officially opening the fourth session of the 10th National Assembly in Lusaka, President Banda said the mining sector, which is the mainstay of the Zambian economy and was under severe constraints, was beginning to recover.
“This is largely due to the measures my government introduced in the 2009 budget and the rise in the copper prices. The mining industry has shown signs of recovery,” President Banda said.
“Today, Zambia’s economy is showing indications that the worst may be over. I am confident that the 2010 budget will further consolidate measures to cushion the Zambian economy against the effects of the global economic crisis. As a result of the measures government put in place, our economy is still expected to grow this year though with a reduced projected gross domestic product [GDP] of 4.3 per cent. The inflation rate is also expected to drop from 16.6 per cent in 2008 to 10 percent this year.”
He said the developments in the world financial markets continued to negatively impact the Zambian economy and that meant that his government must continue to implement measures to ensure that Zambia positioned itself to benefit from the recovery.
“Our overall financial performance and condition of our banking sector remained stable,” he said.
President Banda said the year 2010 would go down the annals of history as the year in which his administration implemented the change in the budget cycle.
“I am convinced that this change will improve the management of the budget since implementation of programmes will now begin in January, giving government a full year to implement its budget. It is my expectation that the nation will rise to the challenge of ensuring that this change is used to overcome the failure in the past to utilise all the funds,” he said.
“A recent debt sustainability analysis indicates that Zambia’s debt is sustainable in the midst of the world economic crunch.”
Still on the economy, President Banda said his government remained resolute in adhering to medium and long-term development planning instruments.
“In the medium term, the fifth national development plan 2006-2010 will be succeeded by the sixth national development plan 2011-2015, preparations of which have commenced and are expected to be launched in June 2010,” President Banda said. “By the year 2011, the Chambishi MFEZ [Multi Facility Economy Zone] alone, is expected to accommodate up to 60 zone enterprises with a projected output volume exceeding US $1.5 billion of which more than US $600 million will be exported. I encourage Zambians to take advantage of the opportunities to be created under this [MFEZ] initiative.”
On the media, President Banda said the government was considering privatising some government run and controlled media organisastions.
“…my government is considering a policy shift with regard to media ownership. My government is assessing the possibility of considering privatising some of the state owned media organisations. This decision helps in enhancing competition in the media industry,” President Banda said. “Government will continue to provide a conducive environment under which the media functions. I wish to commend those radio and television stations that have conducted themselves in a responsible and ethical manner in performing their duties. It is pleasing to note that while other media organizations have exhibited unethical journalism, the majority have remained professional. I congratulate them.”
President Banda said the government had engaged the media on the need for self-regulation and that consultations on the freedom of information bill had reached an advanced stage.
“I am calling upon members of the public to take keen interest in the development so that the proposed law meets their aspirations,” President Banda said. “In order to increase outreach and diversity of information, government has commenced the decentralisation of the print media to all provincial headquarters by procuring printing presses for the provinces and these machines will also be accessible to the members of the public.”
On the National Constitutional Conference (NCC), President Banda maintained that he had extended its mandate by four months.
“It is my hope that the men and women sitting on the NCC will sacrifice their time to enable them complete the exercise within this extension,” President Banda said.
On the electoral reform, President Banda said the government would ensure that the voters’ register was updated in readiness for the 2011 elections.
“I direct that a permanent mechanism be established for this exercise as provided for under the law,” he said.
And President announced he had decided to set up a liaison office at State House to deal with issues related to Zambians in the diaspora.
“In addition, I have directed the Minister of Finance to work with [people in] the diaspora to facilitate their participation in growing the economy through investment in projects of their choice,” President Banda said.
On corruption, President Banda threatened to fire corrupt government officials.
“Corruption continues to be a major concern to my government and indeed to all development-minded persons and institutions. This is more so given the recent revelations of mismanagement of public resources in some ministries. Fighting corruption remains a top priority of government,” he said.
President Banda said the Anti Corruption policy he recently launched would lay emphasis on proactive measures to prevent corruption from occurring and re-affirm the Anti-Corruption Commission’s (ACC) role as the lead institution in the fight against corruption.
He said the government would establish a Serious Frauds Unit under the ACC to specifically investigate complex corruption cases and an Independent Financial Intelligence Unit to monitor suspicious financial transactions.
“Forensic systems shall be developed and procurement audits shall be undertaken in all major spending ministries, provinces and agencies. I wish to reiterate my earlier warning to all public officers including members of my government that I will not hesitate to take action against those found wanting,” President Banda warned.
On tourism, President Banda said the government had this year embarked on the rehabilitation of the Chipata-Mfuwe road leading to the South Luangwa National Park at a cost of K200 billion.
“The South Luangwa National Park is another priority area for tourism development. However, poor accessibility to and within the area continues to pose a serious constraint to further development of tourism. Government, therefore, has this year embarked on rehabilitating the Chipata-Mfuwe road leading to the national park at a cost of K200 billion,” President Banda said.
He said the tourism sector continued to rank high on the government’s development agenda as it held great potential in the diversification of the economy.
President Banda said the government would embarked on targeted and focused development of priority tourism areas with particular emphasis on the Kasaba-bay and Livingstone areas.
On agriculture, President Banda said K471 billion had been given to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to purchase farm produce.
“I am happy to note that Zambia managed to produce enough food to meet its requirements and surplus to export,” President Banda said. “Government is aware that a lot of food goes to waste because of poor storage. Therefore, government through the FRA is rehabilitating silos and storage sheds to ensure that food produced is properly stored.”
He said government was concerned about crop levies imposed by councils on produce being transported across district boundaries.
“Since farmers have difficulties in finding markets for their produce, these levies only serve to complicate the marketing of crops. I have directed the Minister of Local government and Housing to abolish the levies,” President Banda said. “In 2010, government will focus on strengthening disease control programmes through among others the creation of disease-control zones.”
He also observed that the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP) in its current form had weaknesses in implementation modalities and needed to be reviewed.
President Banda said in this farming season, the FSP would cover 500,000 small-scale farmers as compared to 250,000 covered last season.
On education, President Banda said the opening up of the education sector had brought about substandard institutions.
“There is concern with the many illegal and substandard learning institutions that have sprung up,” he observed. “To address the shortage of teacher accommodation, 280 houses are under construction in various parts of Zambia.”
On health, President Banda said drawing on the success of the Itezhi-Tezhi district mobile services initiative, which received an award from the United Nations for its outstanding performance, his government was further exploring the feasibility of delivering more mobile health services.
He also said a stretch of 175 kilometres on the Zambia-Malawi border was physically marked this year and the same would be done on the border with Mozambique.
“It is important that councils which have ceased to plan development under their jurisdiction resulting in the mushrooming of unplanned settlements fulfill their obligations,” he said.
He also expressed disappointment at chieftaincy succession wrangles and called for amicable resolution of such disputes.
President Banda also announced that he had set up a team, headed by Dr Kenneth Kaunda, to spearhead tree planting exercise.
He also directed that public buildings in the country should be built in a way that would make it easier for the physically challenged to move around.
President Banda commended defence force personnel and assured that the government would build more houses for them.
On labour, President Banda said the need to create jobs need to be balanced with productivity.
“The government is concerned with the spate of wild-cat strikes that the nation has experienced in the recent past,” President Banda said.
President Banda advised public workers, parliamentarians and ministers not to ask for unrealistic salary increments.
But later in an interview, Mpombo said President Banda's speech lacked seriousness.
“It’s hollow, there is nothing significantly new. It’s more or less a repetition of last year’s speech… I think it has no punch. It’s a speech that is suffering from multiple fractures; a multiple compound fractured speech, it’s not inspiring at all. I would want to describe it as a speech that is very short on inspiring people,” Mpombo said.
Asked if he was satisfied with President Banda’s claim that he was committed to fighting corruption, Mpombo said President Banda was yet to convince people about his commitment to the corruption fight.
“You see, so far he has to convince the country that he has got that punch or determination. He has got to convince the Zambians and a lot of people, I think a lot of people are not inspired,” he said. “My thinking is that the President is not being taken serious by his action, because even on good governance he is promoting political lawlessness, taking the country backwards. So I think very few people would take him seriously.”
And when asked what sort of a speech he was anticipating from the President, Mpombo said he expected a focused speech.
“An electrifying speech, speech focused on economic issues; an issue-based speech that would inspire the international community, a speech that would have outlined good measures particularly in agriculture; because you see, in agriculture it’s not about fertiliser alone. Agriculture is good road infrastructure, agriculture is good policies, agriculture is about irrigation. This is a very narrow aspect of just to say bags of fertiliser, that’s not agriculture. Agriculture is about good marketing policies,” said Mpombo.
Written by Kabanda Chulu
Saturday, September 19, 2009 5:18:33 PM
EVANGELICAL Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) executive director Paul Mususu yesterday challenged the MMD government to be sensitive and not trivialise the sale of Zamtel through suspicious re-engagement of RP Capital Partners as exclusive financial advisors to the transaction.
And Southern Africa Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) executive director Lee Habasonda has urged the government to explain why 'goal posts' are being shifted to suit the aspirations of RP Capital Partners in the 75 per cent sale of Zamtel shares.
Initially government stated that RP Capital Partners were engaged as evaluators for the assets of Zamtel and to propose the best way of restructuring the country's largest telecommunications company whose revenue for 2008 stood at K370 billion and has over 160,000 mobile subscribers and 95,000 fixed and wireless customers.
Commenting on the appointment of RP Capital Partners as the exclusive financial advisor to the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) in the sale of 75 per cent shares in Zamtel, Bishop Mususu said it was a sad development and urged Zambians not to stand aside and look.
"It is wrong to re-engage RP Capital Partners again especially that tenders were not opened or what means were used to invite them [RP Capital] or extend their mandate as financial advisors from being evaluators?" Bishop Mususu asked.
"In light of glaring irregularities cited in the [Dora] Siliya tribunal and even before the dust settles, this government has again appointed this company whose earlier engagement raised so much dust. But why? Anyway this government should be sensitive to this matter [sale of Zamtel] because it is of national interest which should not be trivialized."
And Habasonda challenged the government to explain why 'goal posts' were being shifted to suit the aspirations of RP Capital Partners in the 75 per cent sale of Zamtel shares.
"There is something fishy about this deal because the government said that RP Capital Partners were evaluators but how come they have become financial advisors and why wasn't this tender open so that all entities had an opportunity to participate?" asked Habasonda.
"Government should clear the air on why goal posts are being changed to suit RP Capitals and Zambians deserve to know the kind of relationship which the MMD government has with RP Capital in relation to the sale of Zamtel."
And Zambians for Empowerment and Development (ZED) president Dr Fred Mutesa expressed fears that the current solution where the MMD government seeks to sell Zamtel to a foreign organisation will result in a situation where no major telecommunication company operating within Zambia will be locally owned and managed.
Dr Mutesa said ZED believes that Zamtel needed to be revitalised if it was to regain its lost competitiveness.
"However, we differ with the MMD government's approach concerning this matter. In our assessment, the recapitalisation and restructuring of Zamtel is the most important remedy to its problems. Whilst we accuse Zamtel of not being efficient, we note that it was under the policy direction of government all these years. Government has no one else to blame except itself for the problems Zamtel is facing. And we fear that the current solution which the MMD government seeks to sell Zamtel to a foreign organisation will result in a situation where no major telecommunication company operating within Zambia will be locally owned and managed," said Dr Mutesa.
"The experiences of Ramcoz and LCM should serve as sufficient lessons for the MMD government. The ZED policy position will be to use the Lusaka Stock Exchange and attract investment from Zambian citizens as well as local companies so that locals are empowered with shares and the majority of the company has Zambian control. It is unfortunate that whilst the government talks of empowerment and even sets up bodies such as the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), that these institutions are not being supported to perform the work that they were originally established to do."
And Development Partnership International (DPI) Zambia coordinator Richard Musauka called on Zambians to rise against the suspicious approach, which the MMD government was undertaking towards the privatisation of Zamtel.
He said the MMD government must explain the re-engagement of RP Capital Partners as financial advisors without tender procedures, saying the development shows that privatisation of Zamtel will not be done in a transparent and accountable manner.
"This company [RP Capital] or whatever you may call it was initially engaged in questionable circumstances and again it has been appointed as financial advisors but what the MMD government should know is that this suspicious approach shows that privatisation of Zamtel will not be conducted in a transparent and accountable manner that will not benefit the people of Zambia and people should stand up and oppose this development which smells of corruption," said Musauka.
The Zambia Development Agency during announced that they would be the main privatisation agent for Zamtel with RP Capital Advisors Limited as the financial advisor.
Written by Margaret Habbuno
Saturday, September 19, 2009 5:16:34 PM
PROCUREMENT Professional Alliance Against Corruption (PPAAC) coordinating director Beriat Chilikwela has stated that corruption is rampant in public procurement processes.
In a press statement yesterday, Chilikwela stated that high levels of corruption in the public procurement had led to decreased confidence in the countryís public systems.
ìIt is for this reason that the government should ensure that the anti-corruption policy addressed such problems. PPAAC is however trying to curb the vice,î he stated.
Chilikwela stated that the procurement profession should join in the fight against corruption and support the government in this endeavour.
ìIt must be realised that all government projects involve procurement at one stage or another. It is common knowledge that the public procurement process has been married with corruption incidents which has led to the decreased confidence in the procurement process,î Chilikwela stated.
He said the onus was on the procurement professionals to come out clean and be identified with the fight against corruption in the procurement process.
ìIf we are to regain the lost public trust and confidence, we need to be identified with the fight against corruption. As a way of supporting the implementation of the Anti-Corruption policy, PPAACC in conjunction with the Zambia Institute of Purchase and Supply (ZIPS), will be holding a two day workshop on the 24th and 25th September 2009Ö,î stated Chilikwela.
Written by Patson Chilemba
Saturday, September 19, 2009 5:14:29 PM
KAFULAFUTA MMD member of parliament George Mpombo yesterday charged that President Rupiah Banda is funding manoeuvres to postpone the convention so that he can be adopted through the backdoor.
Reacting to the announcement by the MMD to discipline him and his Chilanga counterpart Ng'andu Magande for insubordination, Mpombo, who is former defence minister, said he was ready to defend his position over the need for a convention in the MMD.
He said narrow mindedness in the MMD should come to an end. He said doing away with the convention would be a shameful departure from the party's constitution. Mpombo said President Banda was a desperate man, who was in charge of the manoeuvres to postpone the convention. He said this was the more reason why the President had remained quiet over the matter.
"I think he [President Banda] must be driving this, buying this process. He is aware and in full agreement with the moves to forego the convention. He's aware and I think he is aware and in charge of the operations. He's in charge of these maneouvres. He is actually funding those maneouvres," Mpombo said.
He said the MMD would be signing a suicide political pact if they forego the convention. Mpombo said currently President Banda was not the candidate for the MMD, saying only the national convention had the power to elect a presidential candidate and not the party's national executive committee (NEC).
"Last year, he didn't do well, and then you go with the same leadership, and the last presidential elections, he just went in by a whisker. And you are so excited in that outcome that 'we want again to go [with the same candidate]',"Mpombo said. "They will be signing a voluntary political suicide pact."
Mpombo said Zambia was a democratic country and no one would be allowed to hijack the democratic process in the MMD.
He wondered what type of Republican Constitution the MMD government would enact when they were determined to discard their own constitution with impunity.
"You know that I say, in this era, modern era, it's embarrassing to want to see people try to cling to power through manipulation of people's mind, and even hiring, so-called, the dubious image builders like Reverend Lungu. Those are signs of desperation," Mpombo said.
He maintained that the grassroots were ready for the formation of a faction should President Banda and his colleagues proceed with their undemocratic actions.
"Can't you see that even the grassroots have remained quiet, otherwise there would have been a lot of interest if they truly wanted to forego the convention?" said Mpombo.
Mpombo said he was ready to defend his position before any ad-hoc committee that would be set up over his disciplinary charges.
Recently, Kaande announced that he had instituted disciplinary action against Magande and Mpombo for insubordination.
There have been several calls from MMD provincial leaders to postpone the convention following the NEC's decision to adopt President Banda as the sole candidate for 2011 polls.
However, other MMD members like Mpombo and Magande have opposed the idea to postpone the convention on grounds that it is against the party's constitution.
Mpombo has argued that the endorsements from the provinces were being stage-managed by senior NEC members because President Banda was stiff scared of being challenged at the convention.
Written by Kabanda Chulu
Saturday, September 19, 2009 5:10:36 PM
JCTR programme officer for debt monitoring Privilege Haang'andu yesterday said the current government's fight against corruption is an erroneous belief or fire-fighting mechanism because theft has been "legitimised" due to weak enforcement laws.
And Haang'andu has advised the government to devise its own debt sustainability analysis system, saying Zambia's debt situation is worrying and the country is slowly getting back into the debt trap.
During the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) media day in Lusaka last Thursday, Haang'andu said fighting corruption would be meaningless unless the government takes action against culprits mentioned in the Auditor General's reports.
"In this country we have legitimised theft due to weak enforcement laws because how can we allow a minister coming back from abroad but failing to retire imprest or failing to repay a loan?" Haang'andu asked.
"So the current government's fight against corruption will remain an erroneous belief or fire fighting mechanism unless government takes action against all those culprits mentioned in the Auditor General's reports."
He said the government should not listen so much to the international financial Institutions - the International Monetary Fund and World Bank - but must devise its own debt management framework.
"Zambia's debt situation and policy framework is worrying and debt cancellation required a lot of effort by many stakeholders but without a solid system to handle debts, we are slowly getting back into the debt trap especially that there is plenty of money to borrow and the IFIs will continue telling us that 'our debts are sustainable' so we can borrow," Haang'andu said. "But government should devise its own debt sustainability analysis system with legal backing so that we can only borrow for productive purposes."
He explained that allowing the minister of finance to contract loans was not good and must be stopped.
"Government borrowing should be done by Parliament and the fears that this idea will curtail executive powers is erroneous since Parliament will just set a ceiling every year and the finance minister can still go back to Parliament to ask for more if need arises and it is happening in many African countries and it also helps to avoid situations where we have seen a minister goes to China or India for summits but contracts loans in form of TATA or hearse vehicles respectively," said Haang'andu.
Written by Florence Bupe
Saturday, September 19, 2009 5:09:13 PM
ZAMBIA’S Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows have registered a decline from US $1.3 billion in 2007 to about US $900 million in 2008.
Speaking during the release of the 2009 World Investment Report on Thursday, Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) investment promotion director Florence Mumba said the decline in FDI was mainly as a result of the global economic meltdown.
“The worldwide economic crisis has greatly affected investment inflows into developing countries, Zambia inclusive. We also continue to face a challenge in infrastructure development, a factor which has also affected the flow of investments into the country,” Mumba said.
“However, in percentage terms, developing economies fared better than developed countries, with inflows standing at 43 per cent.”
This year’s report is focused on agriculture, under the theme “Transnational Corporations, Agricultural Production and Development”.
Mumba observed that Zambia’s FDI performance indicators had continued to be strongly based on the mining industry, and said there was need for the country to enhance the performance of the agriculture sector as an economic driver.
“We hope there will be an improvement in the agriculture sector in terms of attracting FDI, once infrastructure is improved. In order to address the current economic challenges, developing countries need to strategise their agricultural production,” she said.
Mumba also stressed the need for developing countries in general, and Zambia in particular, to build value chains for enhanced economic benefits.
And according to the World Investment Report, global FDI inflows were expected to decline from US $1.7 trillion in 2008 to below US $1.2 trillion by the close of this year.
Recovery is expected to be slow in 2010, reaching no more than US $1.4 trillion, but gathering momentum in 2011 to approach US $1.8 trillion.
“As a result of the worsening financial and economic crisis in 2008, prospects for global foreign direct investment remain gloomy. The crisis has changed the FDI landscape, with a surge in the developing and transition economies’ share in global FDI flows to 43 per cent in 2008. This change in the pattern of inflows is partly due to the large decline in FDI to developed countries,” stated the report.
Written by Patson Chilemba
Saturday, September 19, 2009 5:12:11 PM
THE Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) yesterday said Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Chalwe Mchenga should have appealed against former president Frederick Chiluba's acquittal because there are enough grounds for the appeal.
In an interview following Chiluba's acquittal on all corruption charges by the magistrate's court and the subsequent withdrawal of the appeal by Mchenga, LAZ president Stephen Lungu said Mchenga should have allowed the appeal to proceed.
"That was a matter that the DPP should have appealed. The DPP should have appealed that matter. We are very much aware that the Constitution gives the DPP the right to determine the path of the matter, but this matter is one matter of public interest. And going through [the judgment], he may have a different opinion, but going through the judgment, we tend to believe that there was quite good ground [for the appeal]," Lungu said.
"What I am trying to say is when one reads the judgment, one would then believe, looking at the evidence and what was read, there could have been good grounds to appeals."
Asked on the way forward on the matter especially that the stipulated two weeks in which one can appeal against a judgment elapsed when Mchenga said he was studying the matter, Lungu responded:
"Particularly that's the same question that we would ask. He did say that he would want to study the judgment; we know that he has had a copy of the judgment for some time because, yes, he did indicate from what we read that he needed to study the judgment before he could consider. But our view is that if he has considered that, it will be nice if he came out and explained."
Lungu said it would be good for Mchenga to allay people's anxieties by explaining the way forward on the matter.
"But in our view, looking at the judgment, it's a judgment that we feel he could have appealed," Lungu said.
Asked on what the people could do on the matter, Lungu responded: "Well, you see the problem that we've got here is you have got powers that are vested in one person and it is that person who must decide. The Constitution gives him that power. That is where our apprehension is on this particular [issue]."
Lungu said Mchenga derived his authority from the Constitution, therefore he should make his determination based on what the Constitution stipulated.
On Ndola High Court judge Munalula Lisimba's decision to dismiss the petition in which Simeza Sangwa and Associates petitioned the High Court to order Chief Justice Ernest Sakala and justice Peter Chitengi to vacate their offices having reached the retirement age of 65 in line with the Constitution, Lungu refused to comment on the matter, saying that would be subjudice because the matter was subject to an appeal.
Written by Christopher Miti in Chipata
Saturday, September 19, 2009 5:07:36 PM
CHIPATA municipal council town clerk Golden Banda has said Chipata is ready to attain a city status. In an interview, Banda said the council had done all the necessary work that could enable the council to attain a city status.
“Some of the things that we have done, we have been able to convince our traditional leaders through Paramount Chief Mpezeni who has authorised and granted us land all round the current boundary jurisdiction 10 kilometres away. This means that we are supposed now to start planning for our town to make it bigger and we have also been able to ably convince our local church the Reformed Church in Zambia through its Synod and we agreed that the issue of the cathedral which has been a thorny issue will now be a thing of the past because the construction of the cathedral will be done at the hill (RCZ premises) while the council has pledged to be able to assist in terms of landscaping. We intend to use the Constituency Development Funds for Chipata central so that we can do surveying and placing of beacons as well as clearing that land so that it becomes easier for the church to put up a modern cathedral,” Banda said.
He said the late local government minister Benny Tetamashimba had promised that the dream of making Chipata a city would be attained soon.
“Our thinking is that this whole issue of the city of Chipata should be before December hopefully, we again with the infrastructural development that has taken place and still taking place in Chipata we feel we are adequately qualified,” Banda said. “We should be having a hotel very soon, whilst in Lusaka I had an opportunity to meet Mr Mark O’Donnell, the Protea Hotel proprietor and Spar Group of companies, we had fruitful discussions. The drawings for their Hotel has already been approved; then minister local government and housing did approve the change of use so we are very set that with a good hotel in mind ...those of you who have been to Lusaka you have seen Protea Hotel, there that is the kind of hotel that is coming to Chipata.”
Banda said with great effort, the council was receiving K200 million from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing for street and traffic lights.
The Chipata council applied to be conferred with a city status in July this year.
The idea to turn Chipata into a city was conceived by former town clerk Bernard Siwakwi over six years ago.
Written by Chiwoyu Sinyangwe in Nairobi and Nchima Nchito Jr in Lusaka
Saturday, September 19, 2009 5:05:21 PM
WEAK connectivity infrastructure is making Africa depend on China for trade survival instead of deepening intra-Africa trade which is critical to the continent’s long-term being, Kenya Airways chief executive officer Titus Naikuni has observed.
And first Republican president Dr Kenneth Kaunda has said the airline industry plays a critical role in facilitating international travel, trade and investment.
And Zambia’s High Commissioner to Kenya Christine Lambert said the introduction of direct flight between Nairobi and Ndola will help to accelerate the diversification of the Copperbelt from overdependence on the copper sector.
Addressing passengers on the inaugural Kenya Airways flight between Nairobi and Ndola on Thursday morning at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Naikuni said there was need for African governments to open airspaces and invest a lot in infrastructure to improve connectivity among cities on the continent.
Kenya Airways will now be offering twice daily flights between Nairobi and Ndola and simultaneously connect to Lubumbashi.
Naikuni said all factors driving the economic growth in “tiger economies” such high consumption patterns and huge human resource capacity were also readily available on the continent.
He said Africa had over one billion people which created huge market for goods and services produced locally.
“Let us stop talking about India and China. Let us talk about our own Africa. I have travelled in all the Africa countries and the potential that is in Africa is immense. Those who can’t see it, continue sleeping because I have seen it myself,” Naikuni said.
With the launch of the flight, passengers from the vast Copperbelt would be able to connect directly to the outside world, sustained by Kenya Airways’ alliance with other reputable international airlines under the umbrella organisations called Sky Team.
Sky Team comprises international reputable airliners such as Dutch KLM, Air France, Alitalia, North West, Continental, Aero Mexico, Delta, Aeroflot and Korean Airlines, among others.
“You don’t have to carry a handbag full of tickets, you just need to have one ticket bought from Kenya Airways and you end to any part of the world,” he said.
Naikuni also said having connected Ndola to the Kenya Airways network, the giant East African airline was looking at opening routes to Angola and Namibia to bring the entire Southern Africa region on its network with a view to connecting Nairobi to all African countries as part of its strategic plan.
And High Commissioner Lambert said the route would help to expose and hasten the development of other economic activities on the Copperbelt, besides the traditional copper mining.
High Commissioner Lambert said she was confident that the route would open new avenues of trade and investments between Zambia and Kenya.
“The launch of the flight also comes at an opportune time when the Copperbelt region is witnessing a steady growth of investment not only in the mining industry but in other sectors like agriculture and tourism,” said High Commissioner Lambert. “Kenya Airways has demonstrated that it is now a key player in the promotion of intra-Africa trade. I would therefore like to take advantage to appeal to increase in the volume of trade and Zambia.”
And during the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of South African Airways, Dr Kaunda said international travel had become easier due to the networks of services offered by many airlines across the globe.
“It is however important that this travel is done under conditions of peace, international cooperation and understanding,” he said. “Passenger safety is also of primary importance. It is therefore important that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), working in partnership with national civil aviation authorities, continue to maintain the highest safety standards for the aviation industry.”
Dr Kaunda said there was a need for many reliable airlines in Africa to link countries in the most direct way, thereby reducing the cost of air travel on the continent.
And South African Airways country manager Vincent Mupwaya said the airline had come a long way in Zambia.
Mupwaya said the company had been operating in Zambia for the past 17 years with an initial three flights a week but had managed to grow to 21 flights per week.
Friday, September 18, 2009
By Nyasa Times
Published: September 18, 2009
Malawi and Brazil have signed a Framework Agreement for Technical Cooperation, an instrument that will cover future legal cooperation initiatives developed by the two governments.
According to the joint communiqué issued to the media, President Mutharika stated its commitment to promote the modernization and diversification of Malawian agriculture, for which “I would count on the support of the Brazilian technical cooperation”
Wa Mutharika stressed, in particular, Malawi’s interest in developing partnerships in the area of agriculture, energy, mining, trade, technology transfer, especially in the field of renewable energy, and sports.
“These areas of agreement will make Malawi to be freed from its poverty trap to reach the land of prosperity,” he said.
The Heads of State stressed the importance of the Brazil-Malawi within the framework of South-South cooperation, and stressed his hope that bilateral relations acquire from now a new impetus, particularly in areas that are of interest to Malawi in which Brazil holds that experience can be shared with Malawian institutions.
The joint communiqué said Brazilian President congratulated Wa Mutharika for “advances in consolidating democracy in Malawi” and “the significant success” of his government in agriculture and promote food security, as well as the initiatives to combat poverty and corruption made by his government.
The two Presidents discussed the situation in Southern Africa and welcomed the role of SADC and African Union (AU) in promoting democracy and inclusive development in Africa.
The Communiqué said President Lula thanked, on behalf of the Brazilian Government, the support provided by the Malawian authorities during searches by the Brazilian tourist Gabriel Buchmann, who died in Mulanje Mountain after disappearing.
Wa Mutharika has since left Brazil for Miami in the United States of America (USA) to receive an award for achieving development and food security before proceeding to New York City to attend the 2009 session of the UN General Assembly.
THIS is the last of a two-part series in which DR TAFATAONA MAHOSO looks at Western subversion of the Zimbabwean economy and the role MDC formations and their leadership played in the economic downturn.
NOW, if we objectively compare the actual conduct of the MDC formations since 1999 with the preconditions for social democracy listed by Phyllis Jordan, it is easy to understand why the MDC formations have brought disaster.
Where social democracy requires generous inflows of investment capital to expand production and employment, the MDC formations asked for illegal and racist economic sanctions to be imposed on the people.
The result is well documented in Dr Gideon Gono’s book, Zimbabwe’s Casino Economy: Extraordinary Measures for Extraordinary Times.
Instead of encouraging generous inflows of investment capital, the MDC formations chased away the little that was here, through illegal sanctions, through stayaways and acts of sabotage.
Instead of enhancing the mass base and power of organised labour so that it could bargain with employers from a position of strength, so that it could protect jobs for working people — the MDC formations became stooges of the very same British companies being used by the UK and US to enforce illegal economic sanctions against Zimbabwe.
In the peculiar stayaways supposedly called by the MDC formations, the workers found themselves being shut out by employers in collaboration with the MDC.
The result was the almost total destruction of the formally employed workforce. Those who could sell their labour abroad left Zimbabwe with encouragement or letters from the MDC.
Those who could not go away joined the ranks of the unemployed or tried to employ themselves in the informal sector.
As a result, it became impossible to organise industrial strikes. The MDC formations and NGOs allied to them found themselves having to bribe street kids and unemployed people to mount pathetic urban riots which they misrepresented as "mass action" mounted by a militant labour movement!
So, instead of achieving the high rate of employment which is one of the requirements for social democracy to thrive, Zimbabwe ended up with factories running at below 30 per cent capacity, as a result of illegal sanctions, stayaways, sabotage and financial warfare combined with frequent droughts.
In short, it was obvious that one could not establish social democracy in a country where less than 20 per cent of the workforce was in formal employment.
The same applies to the fourth requirement, that the state should enjoy a broad and growing tax base to ensure generous inflows of revenue for massive social services.
The strategies adopted by the MDC formations were from the very beginning aimed at achieving state implosion through illegal sanctions, financial warfare, stayaways, urban riots and outright sabotage.
Even now, Finance Minister Tendai Biti’s war with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe over the US$510 million from the G20 via the IMF demonstrates a consistent policy to precipitate a "failed state" in Zimbabwe which can be used to justify foreign intervention. That is not "democratisation."
So it is the pursuit of implosion, the pursuit of a failed state in Zimbabwe, which we have allowed the MDC formations to call "democratisation." And the purpose of precipitating an implosion is not democracy. It is recolonisation!
Before it died, The Daily Gazette did a story titled Africa in need of a new colonialism? That was on January 28, 1993.
The article paraphrased British reactionaries (including Paul Johnson of The Spectator) who were urging the North Atlantic powers to abandon their fear of being called racists and imperialists, so that they could intervene unreservedly in African affairs.
The Herald on December 30, 1993 also reported the same western efforts to escort world opinion toward the acceptance of a more overt and aggressive pursuit of the Third Enclosure Movement.
The article was entitled "Open Western Plans for the Recolonisation of Africa," by Karrim Essack. The opening paragraph of that article is worth quoting:
"The advocates of recolonisation of Africa are open about it. The mouthpieces (or opinion escort services) of both conservative and liberal establishments have written about it.
The New York Times, seen by many as a liberal paper, said: "The Africans are a savage people, neither mentally nor economically able to adjust themselves to the swift pace of civilisation.’ Not to be outdone, Time (magazine) "… endorsed President (Bill) Clinton’s stand on intervention in Africa…"
The following year the liberal US magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, provided an apparently global and non-racist rationale for western destabilisation of and intervention in the South.
In the magazine’s issue of February 1994, Robert D Kaplan published a long piece called "The Coming Anarchy: How scarcity, crime, overpopulation, tribalism and disease are rapidly destroying the social fabric of our planet."
Paraphrasing Samuel P Huntington and Thomas Fraser Homer-Dixon, Kaplan offered a post-modernist rehashing of the myth of the survival of the fittest, where the Anglo-Saxon race (now seen only as Northern and metropolitan) represents the fittest, while the others, the rest, must accept the role of the unfit. According to the Kaplan article in The Atlantic Monthly:
"We are entering a bifurcated (binary) world. Part of the world is inhabited by Hegel’s and Fukuyama’s Last Man, healthy, well fed, and pampered by technology.
"The other, larger, part is inhabited by Hobbes’s First Man, condemned to a life that is ‘poor, nasty, brutish, and short.’ Although both parts will be threatened by environmental stress (and scarcity), the Last Man will be able to master it; the First Man will not."
Most of Kaplan’s article then deals with Africa as the one continent where countries and cultures will not survive. That is to justify the pursuit of implosion, not democratisation.
Then the Daily Gazette in the same year, 1994, brought the binary mold to Southern Africa in the form of a cartoon on May 12, where South Africa (because of white domination) was put in the white world of the North as representing the Last Man; while Zimbabwe was placed in the South as representing the so-called First Man.
The cartoon showed a big basket called "South Africa: the Real Bread Basket of Africa," with jobs, food, security and technology. It then presented Zimbabwe as an empty African hand, which is begging and even pilfering the South African goodies. The label was "Zimbabwe: the Basket Case of Africa."
On March 30, 1995, the Financial Gazette published a Muckraker column, which expressed intense anger at Pan-Africanist writers and intellectuals in Zimbabwe, dismissing them as "derelict nationalists lost in the stale rhetoric of a bygone age . . . Since when has any ordinary Zimbabwean benefited from the policies advocated by these dinosaurs?"
The MDC formations were to adopt exactly the same attitude and rhetoric four years later.
The Daily Gazette published two cartoons, one on May 31 and another on June 14, 1994, whose message was that up-coming elections in Zimbabwe were going to be marred by violence and massacres far worse than the Rwandan genocide of the same year.
One of the captions went as follows: "Call me an alarmist, but the massacres we are going to have during (Zimbabwe’s) elections will make Rwanda pale by comparison."
In January 1997 editors of Executive Intelligence Review published a paper on the Internet called "George Bush’s Heart of Darkness — Mineral Control and Africa." This was an attempt to be as blunt as possible about the post-modern, post-Cold War version of the myth of the survival of the fittest and the way African lives and interests were being devalued in the media and in white public opinion in preparation for actual trampling over them:
"It has become a standard rule among practitioners of mass murder in Africa to justify their policies with the Malthusian myth that, since Africa has too many people any way (which is a lie), the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Africans are part of a necessary ‘solution’ to the ‘overpopulation problem.’ Such claims were heard in 1994."
The editors of EIR then quoted a Mr Dick Cornelius of the US State Department’s Office of Population, Refugees and Immigration as telling one journalist that:
"The people dying at the moment are not the main issue in (Rwanda). I mean 50 000 people dying of cholera is alarming — but on the grand scale of things, looking at the impact on population in Africa and the region, it is a drop in the bucket."
The editors of EIR also accused the British government’s Secretary for International Development, Lynda Chalker, of voicing views similar to those of the US State Department in an effort to divert attention from the fact that Rwanda was subjected by the IMF and World Bank to a structural adjustment programme which was tantamount to "economic genocide" before the cornered population turned on one another in actual violent genocide.
The editors of EIR then turned to the reason why the North Atlantic states were bent on intervening in Africa:
"Driving the British (and US) actions this time, is another Great Scramble. The international financier oligarchy, grouped around the House of Windsor, knows that the world financial bubble (that is the casino economy of neoliberal reform) — which they themselves have created — cannot be sustained, and will burst.
They are getting out of paper financial instruments and into hard commodities: precious metals, such as gold; strategic metals such as cobalt and tantalum; base metals such as copper and zinc; energy supplies; and increasingly scarce food supplies."
The editors of EIR concluded that the new scramble for Africa was motivated by the knowledge that Africa was filthy rich in strategic minerals, critical raw materials and energy while the North Atlantic was relatively very poor. This is the context within which the UK, the EU and the US collaborated in creating the MDC formations here.
In a speech entitled "Plain talk about the Zimbabwe economy" former US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell, on November 2, 2005, told Africa University students, among many other things, that:
"It was more than dismaying to read a paper published in July by the Centre for Global Development in Washington on the Costs and Causes of Zimbabwe’s Crisis.
"It estimated that Zimbabwe’s economic crisis has set the country back more than half a century. The paper calculated that the purchasing power of the average Zimbabwean in 2005 had fallen back to the same level as in 1953... That is an astonishing reversal of 52 years (as at 2005) of progress in only half a dozen years."
That is a picture of implosion, not democratisation.
Readers should mind the phrase "plain talk."
What was plain and astonishing to Christopher Dell on November 2, 2005 at Africa University was not the damage to Zimbabwe’s economy inflicted in the name of democratisation, but the refusal by the people of Zimbabwe to accept the explanations for the damage which the propaganda machines of the UK, the US and the EU had been force-feeding our people since 2000.
So the US Ambassador woke up to the fact that as much vigour and investment needed to go into explaining away Zimbabwe’s economic damage as had gone into justifying the imposition of illegal sanctions.
The link between the damage to the economy and the illegal sanctions was too plain to the majority of the people for Dell to take for granted the usual regime change explanations which the US, the UK, the EU and their sponsored NGOs and political parties had been force-feeding Zimbabweans.
A new campaign had, therefore, become necessary by 2005, to separate the suffering of the people because of illegal sanctions from the intrusive activities of the western powers. This fear explains the following assertion by the same ambassador later in the same speech:
"Neither drought nor sanctions are at the root of Zimbabwe’s decline. The Zimbabwe Government’s own gross mismanagement of the economy and its corrupt rule has brought on the crisis."
Remarkably, the US Ambassador had earlier on in his speech accepted ownership of he US sanctions law against Zimbabwe, saying:
"The Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 is the cornerstone of US policy toward Zimbabwe. Under the Act, the United States conditions aid and financing for Zimbabwe..."
Equally remarkable is the fact that it took the current Minister of Finance in Zimbabwe’s inclusive Government Tendai Biti until May 4, 2009 to admit to the people of Zimbabwe, that ZDERA was a sanctions law through which the US as a superpower prevented its own financial institutions as well as most bilateral and multilateral institutions of other nations from extending lines of credit to Zimbabwe.
As a lawyer and secretary general of MDC-T, Biti had been involved in shaping the document which became the ZDERA Bill in 2000, which became the ZDERA law in 2001, and which Ambassador Dell tried to distance from the sanctions and the economic disaster in Zimbabwe at Africa University on November 2, 2005.
This background is crucial for determining where we are in terms of our immediate destiny and in term s of the rest of the world.
Have we reached a stage where we are supposed to consolidate "reform," which is a euphemism for "regime change" or are we joining the rest of the progressive world in trying to clean up the debris after "reform?"
The MDC formations and some of their Zanu-PF supporters believe that we have reached the consolidation phase of "reform" or regime change and that the inclusive Government is the instrument for such consolidation.
The problem is that if "reform" was still the paradigm and we were consolidating it, NEPAD would by now have rolled out the African equivalent of a Marshall Plan for Zimbabwe and Biti would not have to face the embarrassment of condemning the same ZDERA which he campaigned for and which for nine years he said had nothing to do with economic sanctions.
If we were consolidating "reform" we would not have needed Cde Thabo Mbeki and Sadc to mediate between our liberation movement and the two MDC formations. The African Peer Review Mechanism, that quintessential superstructure of imperialist-sponsored "reform" would have resolved our disputes and settled African crises elsewhere in Madagascar, Darfur, the DRC, Kenya, Rwanda and Somalia.
So, where are we?
The meaning of Dell’s speech at Africa University on November 2, 2005 is that from 2000 Zimbabweans were losing about 10 years of development per year, so that at 2009, we can say we have lost 56 years of development and we are at the colonial level of 1953!
It is possible to disagree with the exact magnitude of the loss, but the real experience of economic sanctions and "reform" cannot be disputed.
Reform and sanctions caused the "free flow" of our pensions, our insurance policies, our savings and even our skilled workers to Britain, Europe, Australia and as far as Eastern Europe. Reform and sanctions caused the collapse of our currency and led to the adoption of multiple foreign currencies.
What Ambassador Dell described in such boastful and confused language on November 2, 2005 is economic terror, our equivalent of
September 11, 2001, our equivalent of the illegal invasion of Iraq in March 2003, our equivalent of the terror of the so-called war on terror, our equivalent of the pounding and grinding of Gaza from ground, sea and air by the Israeli Defence Forces.
The correct language for it is what Dr Gideon Gono tried to explain in his book Zimbabwe’s Casino Economy: Extraordinary Measures for Extraordinary Challenges where he said that "illegal economic sanctions are not different from sanitised terrorism.
The MDC formations have to take responsibility for misrepresenting that terror as "democratisation."
President Mugabe has decried reports of factionalism in Zanu-PF, saying the divisions were not only a threat to the party’s survival as a political entity, but had the potential to reverse the gains of the country’s hard-won independence.
Addressing the Fifth Zanu-PF National Women’s League Conference in Harare yesterday, President Mugabe, who is also the party’s President and First Secretary, commended the women for not taking part in the ruinous divisions.
"Handisati ndambonzwa kuti pane madzimai anotungamira mafactions, akawanda acho anotungamirwa nevarume. MuHarare tinonzwa kuti kune mafactions ana (Cde Amos) Midzi, imwe inonzi ndeya (Cde Hubert) Nyanhongo.
"Taimbonzwa kuti kuMasvingo kwaiva nefaction yava (the late Cde Eddison) Zvobgo, imwe yavaimbova yaGovernor va (Cde Josiah) Hungwe, kuMashonaland West ndizvozvo.
"Asi madzimai anongonzi atevere. You may have senior people in your provinces, you must respect them, but the senior members should never have their preferences when you choose your leaders.
"Leaders should be magnanimous, they should have loads of magnanimity within the leadership.
"You condemn this (factionalism) then you would have done well for the party. The party belongs to you, you belong to the party.
"Let us rid the party of these practices. Asi dzimwe nguva haisi mhosva yenyu, dzimwe nguva vatungamiriri venyu some of these problems come from the men," he said.
He said Zanu-PF should remain in Government to safeguard the gains of the country’s hard-won independence and there should be unity for it to win future elections.
He blasted "rogue" members who were claiming to have pulled PF Zapu from the Unity Accord, saying there could never be any other such party besides the one that was formed by the late veteran nationalist and national hero, Vice President Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo.
He singled out Harare and Bulawayo for special mention in this regard.
"There are provinces that are giving us unnecessary problems — Harare and Bulawayo.
"There is a leadership contest in Harare, there is no provincial executive, but we are looking at finding a solution to that problem.
"But there is a new phenomenon coming out of Bulawayo. Avo vakamboenda kuMavambo, u(Dumiso) Dabengwa, he says he wants to revive PF Zapu, but we do not know where they are getting the idea from. There is only one PF-Zapu we know, the one that went into a Unity Accord in 1987 to form Zanu-PF and that was the one led by the late Vice President Cde Joshua Nkomo.
"There is no way one person can say PF-Zapu is
withdrawing from the Unity Accord.
"All I can say is that it is sad, sad, sad for the people who will choose to join this direction.
"Cde Nkomo wanted unity. We are looking at where we are coming from and where we are today.
"What purpose would it serve for one of us to say I want to form another party from the revolutionary party — hapana zvazvinobatsira."
He added: "We have one revolutionary party, a party that can say we brought independence to this country, hence the need for us to talk the language of unity, not of divisions."
President Mugabe added: "Act deeds that speak of unity, not divisions; dream unity as you act about it.
"Speak it. Remain united especially now that we have a real threat within us and from outside.
"Let’s work towards victory in the elections that can come after the constitutional process."
He said no other party besides Zanu-PF could be trusted with protecting the gains Zimbabwe attained through independence, adding that there was need to ensure it continued to lead the country.
"We should never believe that others can do it for us. The British were here for many years, plundering our natural resources and what we got in 1980 on April 18, that independence, that right to claim our sovereignty, do we still have it?
"Can we say we have the power to defend it? Only if we are united and able to win elections, then we can say we have it.
"Kwete zvekungoti pamberi neZanu-PF toenda kumaelections and we lose. It means giving back to the British through their representatives among us that sovereignty," he said.
President Mugabe, who is the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, urged members of the Women’s League to continue strengthening the party.
"Without women in the party, we men are weak. You are better organised and when you want to do things, you do it. The Women’s League is the backbone of the party.
"Yes, I have said the youths have the vigour, but the real prop of the party is you," said President Mugabe to thunderous applause from the delegates.
League leaders, he said, should remain vigilant and push for empowerment projects.
"There is need to organise, not by word of mouth. Slogans can stick when women have programmes that can empower them through clubs, co-operatives, SMEs and others.
"Madzimai akangogara kudzimba panenge pasina zvimwe asikungonyeyana. We want the women to be trained in various programmes. Start bakeries and other projects," he said.
President Mugabe urged members to accept their leadership as there could only be one structure at a time.
He described the imposition of candidates and leaders as a "disease".
"Hatidi kunzwa kuti varume vapindira munyaya dzekusarudzwa kwamadzimai anotungamira. Ichi chirwere chakabva kupi?
"Hatidi kupa vanhu their freedom of choice? We must know that impositions are improper. Let the women make their own choices."
He urged women to continue leading the party to the future.
"Continue to lead, to have a tradition of strengthening the party, invigorating the party and give direction to the party.
"The thunder that comes from you combined with the thunder from the youth should show the British that their regime change agenda will fail when we have the most thunderous congress in December this year."
President Mugabe chronicled the drive to empower women through gender equality at the workplace, education, property rights, inheritance laws and other relevant legislation.