Saturday, March 20, 2010

(LUSAKATIMES) Jailing a man for insulting RB unfortunate

Jailing a man for insulting RB unfortunate
by Madame Bwalya
Friday, March 19, 2010, 15:59

This is not a bribe sir...President Banda receives a bank note to give as gratification for a traditional singer in Mazabuka.

It was utterly disturbing to read about Darius Mukuka from Ndola who has been sentenced to 18months imprisonment because he verbally insulted President Rupiah Banda. This shows just how intolerant of opposing views the Zambian government is.It also shows how that ordinary Zambian citizens are supposed to ‘bootlick’ if they expect to have a decent existence in the Zambian system.

Most people are frustrated with the way things are running especially when we remember how things once were.One must not insult their elders but when one does imprisonment is not the solution.If that was the case half the Zambian population should be in jail.Should we all now start shouting ‘defamation’ every time we are insulted?

I believe the imprisonment of Mr.Darius Mukuka an infringement on his freedom of speech and is human rights abuse.Are we surely a democracy and somebody please tell me, where do these magistrate judges get such absurd judgments from?

The Law in Zambia is very inconsistent and prejudice. Not too long ago a man from some village in Luapula was jailed for 2 years for stealing a goat.That is the same sentence Samuel Musonda, former Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZNCB) managing director got for stealing or misappropriating K10 billion.

Just this week someone was arrested for dishing out blank pieces of paper. Meanwhile Edith Nawakwi was threatened with gang rape and the Police said there was nothing wrong with that! Hello! Zambia in my opinion is not moving forward. This intolerance by government and MMD must stop.After all 60% of Zambians did not vote for them.

The majority of Zambians are sick and tired of MMD. We are sick and tired of the poor service delivery in the land.We are sick and tired of leaders who insult each other day in day out, then jail some guy for saying what 60% of us think anyway.We are sick and tired of corruption and neoptism. We are sick and tired of bootlickers.

We want leaders who shall welcome criticism and learn from it.We want an opposition that is strong united and seeks policies that would benefit the ordinary Zambia.A great man is known by the way the treats the small guy.

Its my hope that Mr Mukuka shall be released and allowed to contribute to the development of Zambia and raise his 4 children.

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Cargill opens Zambia branch

COMMENT - I don't welcome this development. Zambia has a tough enough time taking on international mining companies. Now Cargill is claiming a piece of Zambia. What is needed is international legislation to limit the rights and abilities of these giant corporations.

Cargill opens Zambia branch
By Mutale Kapekele
Thu 18 Mar. 2010, 03:50 CAT

CARGILL, one of the biggest multinational American grain and oilseed companies in Middle East and Africa, has opened a branch in Zambia.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Zambian branch at Acacia Park in Lusaka on Tuesday, US Embassy deputy chief of party Michael Koplovsky said the coming of Cargill on the local market would help farmers get links to the international market that they previously didn’t access.

Koplovsky said the US was proud that one of its largest privately-owned companies had decided to invest in Zambia.

He said the liberalisation of trade had improved Zambian exports and that international organisations were attracted to the country by “predictable and stable economy in a peaceful environment.”

He said Cargill was known for its good corporate citizenship in America and urged them to extend their corporate social responsibilities to Zambia.

“Cargill has been involved in supporting communities in sectors such as water and health and we hope that you will continue doing that here,” he said.

And Cargill chief operating officer Pieter Reichert said the company was attracted to the country because of the blossoming grain and oilseed market.

“The grain and oilseed market in Zambia has seen exponential growth over the last few years and as a result, our trading team has grown substantially,” Reichert said.

“We intend to continue this investment in the region and significantly increase the volume of grain and oilseeds that we trade in the next 18 to 24 months.

“He said the company would focus on wheat, corn and soybeans and would collaborate with cotton farmers in Zambia.

Reichert said Cargill would provide financial and technical support to cotton farmers and give them crop inputs.

“Cargill has been working in Zambia after the acquisition of Clarke Cotton in 2006 and we shall continue supporting the farmers by providing risk management tools that will enable them to manage their own price risk when selling their crops and opens up their individual access to the market,” he said.

“As we grow in the grain and oilseed market, we are now starting to introduce cotton best practices to help our Zambian grain and oilseed supply chain reach its full potential.”

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Lack of financial accountability costing Zambia – Milupi

Lack of financial accountability costing Zambia – Milupi
By Florence Bupe
Sat 20 Mar. 2010, 03:00 CAT

LUENA Independent member of parliament Charles Milupi has said the unwillingness by the government to ensure financial accountability is costing the country its much needed development.

Raising the concern when the Office of the Vice President’s Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) appeared before the parliamentary public accounts committee on Thursday, Milupi said the government was too lenient on offenders.

What we are seeing is unwillingness on the part of government to enforce regulations. It is disappointing that financial procedures are not being followed and nothing is being done to correct the situation,” he said.

Milupi said for as long as financial regulations in public institutions were not adhered to, the country would continue to lose huge sums of money through unretired imprest.

And parliamentary public accounts committee chairperson Emmanuel Hachipuka said the failure to account for funds was a sign of lack of integrity.

“The failure to account for money shows lack of integrity on the part of Zambians. It is important that procedures are followed right from the top, starting with the Auditor General’s office,” said Hachipuka.

Meanwhile, permanent secretary in the Office of the Vice-President Davies Sampa said his office could not give any accountability of funeral expenses for late president Levy Mwanawasa because they were not involved.

“We have failed to account for the figures to do with the late president’s funeral expenses because we are not aware of the expenses,” said Sampa.

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Donors have right to act when their money is embezzled - Rev Matale

Donors have right to act when their money is embezzled - Rev Matale
By Masuzyo Chakwe
Sat 20 Mar. 2010, 03:50 CAT

COUNCIL of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) general secretary Reverend Suzanne Matale has said cooperating partners providing money to Zambia have a right to act when their money is embezzled.

Commenting on British High Commissioner to Zambia Carolyn Davidson's statement that there would be consequences for the assistance provided by cooperating partners if evidence suggests that the government was not committed to fighting corruption,

Rev Matale said she supported the statement because if a country was putting money into something, they needed to know that it was properly used and properly accounted for.

She said every evil or criminal act had consequences and that was why there was emphasis that the arms that deal with the vice must work around the clock to ensure that corruption was rooted out from the ranks.

Rev Matale said at the end of the day, it was the poor people that suffered the consequences of corruption.

She said the consequences of corruption were on two levels; the people providing the money could stop providing it, like they did when they suspended funding to the Ministry of Health or the poor people would end up suffering because of corruption.

Rev Matale said there was need to root out corruption as the government had a duty to deliver services to the people.

She said it was true that corruption was a cancer and poverty levels were partly as a result of the high levels of corruption.

She said despite the rhetoric on fighting corruption, there was very little will in going full time to curb corruption.

“Indeed if you look at the Auditor General's report, it is very scandalous and the fact that the issues that come out of the report are not pursued, they are not properly investigated. People are not brought to book. The reports just come out as formality and nothing is done to pursue the perpetrators,” she said.

Rev Matale said it was pleasing that the National Anti Corruption Policy Plan had been launched but implementation was needed.

She said there were many policies that were now just gathering dust instead of producing results.
Rev Matale said Zambia was in dire need of policies that could deliver so that the programmes aimed at bettering the lives of people could materialise.

During the launch of the national anti corruption policy implementation, High Commissioner Davidson on Thursday said the donor community would continue to watch developments with great interest.

High Commissioner Davidson said the British government was answerable to its taxpayers regarding the expenditure of public funds.

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Rupiah’s misrule is alarming, says Sata

Rupiah’s misrule is alarming, says Sata
By Patson Chilemba and George Chellah
Sat 20 Mar. 2010, 04:10 CAT

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) president Michael Sata yesterday warned that threats to arrest those who want to demonstrate in favour of the red cards are only helping to unite more people against President Banda's misrule. And UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has said the UPND has joined the civil society organisations in the red card campaign.

Meanwhile, Syacheye Madyenkuku has observed that the arrests are just igniting the red card campaign. Commenting on home affairs minister Lameck Mangani's threat that Police had been instructed to arrest those who demonstrate in favour of the red card campaign, Sata said.

President Banda and his government were only provoking more reactions from the people and opposition groups were becoming more united as a result of the threats.

He said President Banda's failing government was panicking.

“People of Zambia from all walks of life have to find means of showing their disgust against Rupiah Banda's misrule. The government of Rupiah Banda is panicking because the money which could have been spent for the people, he is using it on aimless travels and carrying 400 people,” Sata said.

“So people have to show that they are not happy. The people should not be discouraged, and my warning to this government is they should not take the people of Zambia for granted because you might provoke more reaction from the country. Excessive provocations makes people to dare those who are excessively provoking them.”

Sata said the PF central committee would sit next week to decide on the party's participation in the red card campaigns.

He said President Banda's misrule was so alarming such that people were left with no option but to resort to expressing their freedom of expression through red cards.

Sata bemoaned the double standards being exercised by the police, saying the wanton arrests of PF members of parliament, Change Life Zambia executive director Fr Frank Bwalya and others were unnecessary.

He said currently those who were with President Banda could commit crimes like threatening to gang rape people but nothing was happening to them.

Sata said people could now commit crimes in the name of the President knowing very well that they would be protected.

“And our colleagues in the police, they should realize they are equally suffering like all of us. They have not received their meal rations for four months, and they are going in the forefront protecting a brutal regime by using violence,” Sata said. “Violence breeds violence.”

And Hichilema said it was both a civic and human right for citizens to express views for or against any issue.

He said it was a fact that the MMD had failed and people should be afforded the right to express their disgust through red cards.

“No matter what propaganda they may try to put up, it remains a fact that there are no desks, there are no adequate health arrangements in the country. Unemployment is high. Look at the floods in Kuku. So why shouldn't Zambians express their disgust?

And the red symbolises the people's disgust. This perception that you can suppress citizens is misplaced, it's parochial thinking,” Hichilema said. “We support, and we are part of the organisations that stand up against the MMD dictatorship. If my vice-president was there, we fully agree with the resolution. We fully disagree with government's deregistration of SACCORD.”

Hichilema said the MMD had been overtaken by UNIP vigilantes like William Banda and President Banda.

He condemned William Banda's intimidation of ministers, saying this could only happen in UNIP where sweepers could intimidate ministers.

He asked Mangani to take away his small mindedness on national issues.

“Tell Mangani to come and arrest me today. Yes, we will support the red card because it is absolutely a national agenda. At Buchi meeting where it was planned my vice-president was there.

After consultations I said 'honourable Kapita, go there', and by the way he was there,” Hichilema said.
Meanwhile, Madyenkuku condemned the government's intimidation of people that were advocating for the red card campaign.

“It has been proven through historical statistics that whenever you repress people that are trying to express themselves you actually ignite the desire to do so. The red card campaign is a civil manner of expressing a view and those who don't agree with it can also do a similar thing but obviously in a non-violent manner,” said Madyenkuku who is former sports minister.

“I think that 46 years after independence we should not see a situation where people are taken to court unless they have acted, they committed acts of violence but in the case of Fr Bwalya really I don't think that it was correct.”

Asked if arrests would encourage the red card campaign, Madyenkuku responded: “Yes! Because when you repress people it boomerangs. The intended goal of stopping them from doing what they are doing is actually ignited.”

He urged the government to put in place better priorities of utilising the police service.

“I would like on the basis of that, that we spend our resources in the right direction by putting correct priorities on the use of our police force who are already overstretched by a number of real demanding issues in combating crime and not to reduce them to arresting people who are merely expressing a political will,” he said.

Madyenkuku advised the state to withdraw unconditionally the case against Fr Bwalya.
“We don't want to have prisoners of conscious in Zambia after independence. Anybody who expresses his political will by non-violent means must not be persecuted whatsoever,” Madyenkuku said.

“This is one of the benefits of the struggle for independence. This is what Martin Luther King Junior started alongside other civil rights leaders in the United States after the liberation of the black people from slavery.

“I would like to urge the state to courageously withdraw the case, I don't want to go into the details of the case. I would like to urge government to withdraw that case instantly and without any condition.”

He said as a former political detainee, he was a proponent of expression of views through non-violent means.

“We dislodged the one-party system in 1991 in order to enhance our ability to express our desires and views whether they are political, social or indeed economic through non-violent means,” said Madyenkuku. “It will be a big change for that case to continue. It will tarnish Zambia's image badly in the eyes of the international community.”

On Friday, Mangani was quoted by the Daily Mail as having said he had instructed the police to arrest people that would go ahead with the red card campaign.

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‘Fighting’ corruption with corrupt hands

‘Fighting’ corruption with corrupt hands
By The Post
Sat 20 Mar. 2010, 04:00 CAT

So much has been said and written about the fight against corruption in Zambia and yet we find ourselves going back to this subject time and again. The fact that we keep revisiting this issue is indicative of how crucial it is to the development of our country.

On Thursday, British High Commissioner to Zambia Carolyn Davidson warned that there would be consequences for the assistance provided by cooperating partners if evidence suggests that the government is not committed to the fight against corruption.

We understand High Commissioner Davidson is a diplomat so she might be obliged to sound diplomatic. But it is important to call things by their names. Fighting corruption is a very serious undertaking, which has to be done with the whole soul, mind and heart by those involved in it.

It is not an undertaking for the faint-hearted. This is because corruption is at the centre of underdevelopment in any environment and those who benefit from it do everything possible to shield themselves from the wrath of the law.

In most cases, it is the people fighting corruption who are fought by the corrupt. That is why we say the fight against corruption is not for the weak, the faint-hearted – those with chicken hearts.

The poor people are always victims of corruption because they are the hardest hit by the poverty that corruption brings about.

Today in Zambia, it is becoming increasingly difficult to fight corruption because those who are corrupt appear to have taken over the reins of power, those in government appear only to be paying lip service to the fight against corruption. Examples are abound!

And so High Commissioner Davidson should not search for the evidence suggesting that government is not committed to the fight against corruption.

Rupiah Banda and his minions have laid this evidence bare for all Zambians to see that they are not committed to the fight against corruption.

In fact, Rupiah is not interested in fighting corruption because he has already identified those fighting Frederick Chiluba’s corruption and plunder of national resources as having had personal problems with him. He has declared that he will not fight other people’s battles because he has nothing against Chiluba whom he says was a “damn good president” and those expecting him to show hostility against him are wasting their time.

Rupiah and his minions have openly showed that they facilitated Chiluba’s acquittal and stopped people’s efforts to appeal against that dubious acquittal.

And Rupiah boasts about this. He says he cannot allow any appeal against Chiluba because doing so will be like daring a lion after surviving its initial attack. Mike Mulongoti, Rupiah’s minister, says jailing Chiluba would have been costly for the country.

The government has on its laps a judgment from the London High Court, which found Chiluba liable for misappropriating millions of dollars belonging to the Zambian people.

Rupiah and his minions are applying all the tricks in the book to frustrate the registration of this judgment in our High Court for execution. So what more evidence should High Commissioner Davidson look for?

It is no longer a secret that Rupiah did not go to State House to fight corruption. He went there to further it. During the 2008 presidential by-election campaigns, we warned our people that Rupiah could not be entrusted with the fight against corruption because he is corrupt. How can a corrupt man be expected to fight corruption?

Today, there are a number of transactions in government which are shrouded in corruption and when people try to raise alarm, Rupiah is the first one to defend and justify such transactions. As a result, most of our government leaders and officials have lost respect for public property and resources.

It is now free for all since Rupiah is leading the way. He has become the procurement officer number one and State House is being used more as a procurement office.

Rupiah has even failed to deny his involvement in the oil procurement deal involving LITASCO, which backfired in their faces. Even energy minister Kenneth Konga has failed to wash his hands clean in the matter. And because of the mishandling of this oil tender, Zambia stands to lose at least US $32 million.

Can you imagine what can be done with the US $32 million if it was put to good use by Rupiah and his minions? Why should we always be thinking of turning to donors for help when the country has got so much resources which are being wasted by the selfish few?

Most of our hospitals and clinics do not have drugs while schools are dilapidated and yet we keep crying before donors for financial help.

The Zambia Public Procurement Authority has been turned into a rubber stamp for the deals of Rupiah’s league. As we speak, Rupiah – again using Konga’s office – has single-sourced a Chinese company to drill 6,000 boreholes at a cost of US $50 million. Why single-source in the first place?

As if that was not enough, why exaggerate the figures? Who is receiving kickbacks from such questionable transactions?

Without any shame, Rupiah is using some of his children in such transactions. And when they are caught, he is the first one to justify and defend their involvement. Not too long ago, Rupiah’s son was caught involved with Dora Siliya in the RP Capital saga.

But Rupiah was the first one to defend Dora saying she was an intelligent young lady who knew what she was doing, and that those condemning her were themselves wrong. We can go on and on listing Rupiah’s questionable deals.

The point we are making in saying all this is that if the fight against corruption has to be meaningfully fought, people like High Commissioner Davidson should point their guns in the right direction. Rupiah should not be allowed to pay lip service to this important fight against corruption.

However, we understand the diplomats’ difficulties or limitations because this government will not allow them to demand for accountability for the millions of dollars that their countries assist Zambia with in financial and material aid.

We say this because not too long ago, some diplomats were issued with all sorts of threats by the government when they suspended aid and demanded that culprits in the Ministry of Health K10 billion saga be punished.

But like Suzanne Matale rightly observes, cooperating partners have the right to act and demand accountability when their money is embezzled. And indeed, every evil or criminal act should be punished.

All well-meaning Zambians should join in this noble fight against corruption and demand that Rupiah and his minions should practically lead the way. This is because great talkers have never been known to be great doers.

Rupiah’s pronouncements on the fight against graft have never been accompanied by deeds. There is nothing that Rupiah can demonstrate to show his commitment to the fight against corruption.

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Kunda accuses TIZ of lying about Attorney General

Kunda accuses TIZ of lying about Attorney General
By Ernest Chanda
Sat 20 Mar. 2010, 04:10 CAT

VICE-PRESIDENT George Kunda on Thursday accused Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) of submitting false information about newly appointed Attorney General Abyudi Shonga.

Winding up debate on the report of the parliamentary select committee appointed to scrutinise the Presidential appointment of Shonga to serve as Attorney General, Vice-President Kunda said under the laws of the country, it was an offence for TIZ to lie to a parliamentary committee.

He praised Shonga as a man with an outstanding character and vast experience in legal matters.

“… For us as government we are settled on the appointment of Mr Shonga. This August House had ratified Mr Shonga Jnr SC for the position of Solicitor General.

Therefore, unless there is some serious negative factor, which has come into play since the ratification of Mr Shonga as Solicitor General, his ratification as Attorney General should not be controversial,” Vice-President Kunda said.

“Indeed, the candidate’s ratification has been well supported by all stakeholders including the professional body, the Law Association of Zambia. The only objection came from Transparency International Zambia but their objection is based on misinformation and falsehood.

“…Organisations submitting before select committees of this House should be truthful in their testimony. We all know that it is an offence to deliberately present false or malicious information before a committee of this House.

Organisations presenting half truths, biased unresearched, reckless, malicious or false information before committees should not be invited to give evidence before committees. They do not add value to the ratification process.”

Vice-President Kunda said the evidence submitted to the select committee by TIZ on Shonga was a serious indictment on the organisation’s credibility.

“To allege that the candidate Mr Shonga went to South Africa with the Inspector General of Ppolice who is a suspect in a criminal investigation without any proof is a serious indictment on TIZ. TIZ is supposed to display integrity and impartiality in its conduct if it is to be considered as a credible organisation in the fight against corruption.”

Earlier presenting the report, committee chairperson Sakwiba Sikota said Shonga was qualified for the job.

“Your committee, after due and thorough evaluation of the evidence presented to them by the witnesses and the appointing authority, and their subsequent interview with the nominee, find the nominee suitably qualified to be ratified for appointment as Attorney General.

Your committee observe that the nominee’s profession has exposed him to a wide variety of litigation matters and other relevant experience which will enable him to positively contribute to the governance of our country in the position he is being appointed,” submitted Sikota.

Chasefu FDD parliamentarian Chifumu Banda cautioned government lawyers against revealing information about their clients.

“Perhaps I should give a word of advice to young lawyers in this country. When you are a lawyer and you are appointed to the position of Attorney General, you still remain a lawyer. And remember that in law you always have clients; and as Attorney General your client is the government,” Banda debated.

“There is a tendency nowadays where Attorney Generals want to disclose advice given to their clients. This tendency must come to an end. As Attorney General, your client is government and you have to keep their confidentiality. Attorney Generals don’t play to the gallery, you are the number one lawyer in the country; and therefore you must always be on the side of justice.”

Parliamentary public accounts committee (PAC) chairperson Emmanuel Hachipuka proposed that the Auditor General’s office be involved in scrutinising Presidential appointments.

“I as chairperson of the parliamentary public accounts committee, I propose that the office of the Auditor General be involved in scrutinising these appointees. We can’t continue with the current system where abuses of public resources are the order of the day and later on the same people are ratified by this House.

The Auditor General’s office must form as one of the basis for clearing some of these appointees. I’m not saying this nominee would have been found wanting if he were scrutinised in this manner. But I was hoping that my committee would have been consulted to clear appointees,” submitted Hachipuka.
Parliament later unanimously ratified Shonga’s appointment.

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Respect media freedom, Chifuwe urges chief Mwanachingwala

Respect media freedom, Chifuwe urges chief Mwanachingwala
By Ernest Chanda
Sat 20 Mar. 2010, 03:20 CAT

PRESS Freedom Committee (PFC) of The Post general secretary Sheik Chifuwe has urged chief Mwanachingwala of Mazabuka District to understand and respect media freedom.

And Radio Mazabuka station manager Bellon Chintombwa has observed that chief Mwanachingwala is scared of positions people want to take on particular issues.

Reacting to chief Mwanachingwala’s threat to ensure that Radio Mazabuka (MAZ FM) is closed, Chifuwe called on the chief to exercise self-criticism and reflect on what had happened.

He reminded chief Mwanachingwala that every leadership was compelled to adhere to the Constitution of the land.

“Chief Mwanachingwala should take self-criticism so that he should be able to reflect on what has happened. The question he should first ask himself is why are the people saying what they are saying now about him? What has changed about him that suddenly he should fall out with his people?”

Chifuwe asked. “We think he should reflect on this issue and find out why his own people are not happy about his leadership. If he does this then he will get to know the reasons. We would like to remind him that every leadership adheres to the Constitution of the land.

And what chief Mwanachingwala is doing is to threaten the very existence of constitutional provisions on fundamental human rights. We urge him to respect media freedom. Media freedom is part of the fundamental human rights that the chief should respect.”

Chifuwe said chief Mwanachingwala should allow people to freely discuss issues affecting them.

“He should keep clear of the media, particularly Mazabuka Radio. Let people freely discuss their leadership and chiefdom. Let them also demand what is expected of a leader in their chiefdom.

The chief should allow the media to operate freely so that the people he claims to be representing can get information and make informed decisions. People should be allowed to engage freely on issues that affect them,” said Chifuwe.

And Chintombwa asked chief Mwanachingwala not to be scared of people’s divergent views on issues.

“It’s unfortunate that during this era some people don’t understand the role the media plays. We know that chief Mwanachingwala is scared of the positions people take on particular issues.

But that’s the beauty of democracy; you cannot all have one opinion. Currently, we are the only community radio station in the district and why is it that of all the four chiefs we have, chief Mwanchingwala is the only one uncomfortable with this station?” Chintombwa asked. “The man has taken the chiefdom into disrepute.

He has gone ahead grabbing people’s land. And he thinks because I come from his chiefdom, then whoever does not speak in his favour is sent by me. He came to our station and asked who Justin Katilungu is. And before we could attend to him, he started threatening to close this station; this is not right.”

Chief Mwanachingwala is reported to have threatened to close Radio Mazabuka on grounds that they station was allegedly airing insults about him.

“I’m not interested in talking to you, you Mazabuka radio, why are you interested in our chieftainship? Don’t talk about Bellon and Mutelo because those are slaves who have got nothing to do with our chieftainship, those are slaves and don’t ring me anymore again. I’m telling you not to ring me again. I’m not your chief because you always insult me. I’m not your chief.

What are you talking about? You were asking Michael Sata, what questions were you asking Sata during the Livewire programme on Saturday? I was listening. I’m not a fool, don’t ring me anymore. I have been telling you several times to say don’t ring me, I will make your radio station closed if you are playing with me,” threatened Mwanachingwala before hanging up.

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(TALKZIMBABWE) Gullible independent media fanning MDC-T corruption

Gullible independent media fanning MDC-T corruption
By: COMMENT by Frank Banda
Posted: Saturday, March 20, 2010 11:39 am

THE so-called independent media is encouraging the new crop of leaders, of the MDC-T kind, to be liars and downright cheats.

It is a truism that you get the politicians you deserve, and Morgan Tsvangirai and his group, are one troupe that Zimbabweans have mortgaged their future on, blindly, if I may say so.

The problem with that is, their hatred of Zanu-PF has made them blind to the inadequcies of that party and its group of corrupt, lying politicians.

I chuckle when I listen to interviews carried out by the likes of SW Radio, VOA, etc with MDC-T politicians. They have been made demi-gods and soothsayers who are incapable of making mistakes, of lying, of cheating.

Tsvangirai and an inner team of MDC-T heavyweights recently unilaterally extended his term of office, clearly defying that party's Constitution. No-one questioned that.

He has gone back on his word more than any other Zimbabwean politician in the history of Zimbabwean politics.

They have made endless promises to the Zimbabwean people, which have not been fulfilled or at least explained in full.

Zimbabweans, who support that party, have blindly followed lie after lie in the hope that the future will be different. In the meantime, those MDC-T people have become fat-cats who are less concerned about the plight of the people; and reflected the behaviour of that which they criticize.

They have shown that they are corruptible; more that Zanu-PF itself. The parallel Government structures they have created have never been questioned by the gullible so-called progressive journalists and their media organisations.

The day of reckoning is coming.

If you have selfish, ignorant people, you are going to get selfish, ignorant politicians. Where do you think politicians come from?

Do you tell the truth 100% of the time? I think not. And I am sure if elected, that wouldn't change.

Tsvangirai has been concerned about office, since he went in, not about delivery. The Roy Bennett story has been overplayed. That is a rich man. Why do his bidding when there are other urgent tasks at hand?

Will Bennett's appointment change the welfare of MDC-T supporters, or Zanu-PF even, who are suffering today?

Tsvangirai and his team have spent more team fighting President Mugabe, with whom they are in an inclusive Government than delivering for the people.

They want Reserve bank Governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana to go. You'd almost think that is why the MDC-T was founded.

This party simply has no policy. What is their social policy? What is their economic policy? They never debate that. Everytime an MDC-T politician opens their mouth, we hear more about what is going on in Zanu-PF than what they intend to do for the Zimbabwean people.

They are like people on a journey to nowhere; shifting direction each time the wind blows.

If a survey was to be held asking people what the MDC-T stands for, we would be hard-pressed to find an answer. Zanu-PF at least is uncompromising on getting land back to the people, indigenising the economy. Those are ideals that will make our people stronger and economically independent.

The MDC-T fights that cause without an alternative. How do they propose to empower the people; who have been disadvantaged for hundreds of years?

Their MPs are they to just criticize, heckle and make a fool of themselves, rather than profer solutions. They are angry, not rational.

Today, ministers like Nelson Chamisa, have nothing to show for the time they have been in that ministry. The country is still not connected (internetwise) despite the millions pumped by finance minister Tendai Biti into that ministry, yet he fights to get more power - to abuse.

If politicians told all truth, they'd never get elected. Former US President Jimmy Carter tried being honest and look where it got him--whupped by a former actor, Ronald Reagan.

The real question journalists should ask is: "Why should we put the MDC-T in office?"

I have heard arguments that, "Zanu-PF is corrupt to the core and will never deliver for the people." Fair enough, so we should put all our hopes in the MDC-T to "deliver change", as they say. So why let them "get away with murder" if they are the future?

The last time I checked, journalists claimed to have information in every corner, but more importantly they have senses, instinct and the power of perception. But, they don't use it.

If MDC-T is the future, then let's see what they are made of. Let's ask them the right questions, not fan corruption.

It seems the independent media is afraid of confronting the MDC-T over its promises.

The supporting public sits there day after day, while these people in office lie and cheat their way to the top, paying each other thousands of US dollars while civil servants get peanuts, while masses suffer.

Remember, people are the ones that run the world, not politicians, or CEOs. We elect the leaders, we boost the economy and business. We raise our chidren. So we should hold them accountable, not fan that corruption.

Today, we have an MDC-T ambassador by the name of Hebson Makuvise who was implicated in mishandling funds in the UK MDC-T constituency. He has appeared on SW Radio and other media several times. No-one dared ask him about that. Now he is silent. He is where he wanted to be.

Minister for national healing and reconciliation, Sekai Holland made divisive comments that sparked a row and threatened to divide our society and made Ndebele people look like cheats; yet she still is in office and Tsvangirai completely ignored the people when they questioned how such a caustic character could lead national healing.

"People in all powerful positions exist because of us."

We made them, we picked them they do our bidding.

The biggest lie the MDC-T can tell us is, "We made you people with our achievements."', They've done nothing, just enjoy the people's labour by taking it. People in power should use their power to protect, not to take. At the same time the people should be responsible for themselves if that person in power is hurting them. The public has had and always will have the power to change destiny.

With a gullible media, that will always be a mirage.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) We are all indigenous

COMMENT - We may be all indigenous, but we were not all treated as indigenous, were we? To equate not being allowed to go to a blacks only school under Ian Smith does not amount to 'discrimination' if you consider the amount of money spent on the average African child and the average European child. You cannot equate discrimination for privilege with discrimination against privilege and even the most basic human and civil rights, Judith. I include this article as an object lesson in the colonial mindset, and why Zimbabwe has the problems with land ownership it has today, as well as the sense of entitlement that still lingers on, even after Smith has been gone for 30 years. I don't think they were very active in claiming indigenous status when it meant they would lose everything they had (1890 to 1980). Also, it highlights the sense of victimhood that is so prominent among Rhodesians.

We are all indigenous
by Judith Todd
19/03/2010 00:00:00

UNDER the Economic Empowerment Regulations 2010, an indigenous Zimbabwean is defined as “any person who, before the 18th April, 1980, was disadvantaged by unfair discrimination on the grounds of his or her race, and any descendant of such person ...” This, thankfully, covers every person then living in Zimbabwe.

I, for example, was born in the Midlands at Dadaya in what was then termed a Native Reserve, now Runde communal lands. While Dadaya was becoming a centre of academic excellence, the alma mater of students such as Ndabaningi Sithole, Cephas Msipa, Misheck Sibanda etc, I couldn’t enrol there as I wasn’t black. I had to attend a white school, the nearest being in Zvishavane, where the children were being “unfairly discriminated” against (what is “fair discrimination”?) by being segregated from contemporary black, Asian, coloured etc kids, thus unable to make friends with them or to learn languages other than English.

They were also being damaged by the inculcation, deliberate or otherwise, of the insane belief that to be white was to be superior — unless they were little Jews, Greeks, Portuguese, Italians or others from a non Anglo-Saxon genesis who were regarded as being not quite white.

All members of every community were also being unfairly disadvantaged and damaged, spiritually, physically and mentally, by the cruel suppression of blacks under the rampant leaders of the white minority. This suppression was rooted in the 1931 Land Apportionment Act described in 1964 by the Constitutional Council, a body created to review existing legislation, as “the embodiment of racial discrimination ... responsible for not only intangible prejudice but actual material prejudice in the financial sense to all races in Southern Rhodesia ...”

The 1957 manifesto of the African National Congress, then lead by Joshua Nkomo, stated that its aim was “national unity of all inhabitants of the country in true partnership regardless of race, colour and creed. It stands for a completely integrated society, equality of opportunity in every sphere and the social, economic and political advancement of all ..."

Banned, it was replaced by the equally non-racial National Democratic Party where, to the horror of the government, the overwhelmingly black membership was slightly increased by a number of whites, Asians and Coloureds. When banned, it was replaced by the non-racial Zimbabwe African People’s Union (Zapu), from which the Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu) broke away in 1963. By now a contrived, CIO-encouraged apartheid had taken root and those few whites who may have wanted to join were unfairly excluded from membership of Zanu because of their race.

It is difficult, painful, and maybe temporarily impossible for contemporary Zimbabweans, victims of decades of ceaseless racist, religious and tribal and brain-damaging propaganda and violence from one side or another, to comprehend the human intricacies of what was an essentially non-racial struggle for freedom, independence, dignity and democracy embodied in the word Zimbabwe. We are, for example, acquainted through the names, although not deeply or honestly enough yet through dispassionate histories of their lives, with some of the many black heroes of Zimbabwe such as Charles Chikerema, Enoch Dumbutshena, Richard Hove, George Nyandoro and Washington Sansole to name but a few.

But the names of their non-black fellows in the struggle are yet to take their rightful place in our history and this is possibly the explanation of how latter-day Zimbabweans, such as Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, seem unaware that they ever existed.

In his oration at the 1986 funeral of one of our heroes, Lieutenant General Lookout Masuku, Joshua Nkomo lamented the fact that Masuku had died a prisoner in the hands of the Zimbabwe for which he had fought.

“We cannot blame colonialism and imperialism for this tragedy," Nkomo said. "We who fought against these things now practise them. Why? Why? Why? We are enveloped in the politics of hate. The amount of hate that is being preached today in our country is frightful. What Zimbabwe fought for was peace, progress, love, respect, justice, equality, not the opposite ...”

He continued by warning that “our country cannot progress on fear and false accusations which are founded simply on the love of power. There is something radically wrong with our country today and we are moving, fast moving, towards destruction. There is confusion and corruption and, let us be clear about it, we are seeing racism in reverse under the false mirror of correcting imbalances from the past. In the process we are creating worse things. We have created fear in the minds of some in our country. We have made them feel unwanted, unsafe.”

Nkomo concluded by regretting that Masuku was not being buried at Heroes Acre. “But they can’t take away his status as a hero. You don’t give a man the status of a hero. All you can do is recognise it. It is his. Yes, he can be forgotten temporarily by the state. But the young people who do research will one day unveil what Lookout has done.”

And research will also, one day, unveil the fact that non-Zezurus too contributed mightily to the struggle for and achievement of Zimbabwe. Amongst the many names of those who fought and suffered for us a few, just to start off with, are Mike Auret, Guy Clutton-Brock, Joseph Culverwell and Eline Raftopoulos.

South Africa’s late Dr Hendrik Verwoerd would perhaps have been pleased to know that even into the 21st century, some are still in hot pursuit of his goal of apartheid as evidenced by the regulations covering so-called indigenisation and economic empowerment. But he may have been surprised to learn that his few spiritual disciples of today are also members of Zanu PF.

Judith Todd and her father, Sir Garfield Todd, were among the victims of white supremacy in Rhodesia during the struggle for Zimbabwe. This article was originally published by the Zimbabwe Independent

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Friday, March 19, 2010

‘Amendments to registration of business names Bill will remove bureaucracy’

‘Amendments to registration of business names Bill will remove bureaucracy’
By Namatama Mundia
Fri 19 Mar. 2010, 04:00 CAT

THE Patents and Company Registration Office (PACRO) has said the proposed amendments to the registration of business names Bill will remove the unnecessary bureaucracy in the enforcement of the statute.

Making a submission to the parliamentary committee on economic affairs and labour chaired by Zambezi West UPND member of parliament Charles Kakoma on Wednesday, PACRO registrar Anessie Banda-Bobo said besides harmonising the registration of business Act with the Patents and Companies Registration Agency Bill, the amendments would rectify ‘conceptual oversights’ or ‘conceptual flaws’ such as placing under the minister matters that were purely administrative.

“This should enable the agency to efficiently and effectively enforce compliance with the statute. The ultimate result should be a more orderly business sector,” she said.

Banda-Bobo said it was important to note that the proposed amendments did not introduce any new requirements.

“If anything, they simplify the procedure. There would be no need for instance, to appeal to the minister, a procedure that can be cumbersome. Easing the appeal process on its own should be an incentive for compliance,” Banda-Bobo said. “On the other hand, the minister will be allowed to focus on policy matters and providing overall guidance in the administrative of the Act.”

She said an amendment to Section 15(1) seeks to free the minister from matters that were purely administrative.

On concerns by committee members that the registrar would abuse authority if power was vested in them, Banda-Bobo said there would be a board in case of an appeal.

Nchanga PF member of parliament Wylbur Simuusa noted that there was no provision for an appeal in the Bill.

In response, Banda-Bobo said she would bring the matter to the attention of the Ministry of Justice.

She also said PACRO was constrained with lack of proper infrastructure to carry out a countrywide online registration.

However, Banda-Bobo said her office had been conducting rural mobile registration every month.

Banda-Bobo said this in response to Kakoma who wanted to know if PACRO was considering going online.

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Zambia has made progress economically – Musokotwane

Zambia has made progress economically – Musokotwane
By Mutale Kapekele
Wed 17 Mar. 2010, 22:50 CAT

FINANCE minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane has said Zambia has made tremendous progress economically compared to other countries within sub- Sahara Africa.

This is according to a statement released by first secretary (press) Ben Kangwa.
Dr Musokotwane was speaking when he met officials from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) in Washington.

He attributed the growth to the country’s investor-friendly climate such as peace and stability and laws that respect private property rights which were conducive to business.

Dr Situmbeko said he hoped that the MCC would consider Zambia for higher compact funding scheme.

He said the Zambian government would monitor MCC policy indicators in order to meet the scheme’s benchmarks.

Dr Situmbeko said Zambia was in a hurry to develop in sectors such as energy, road network, tourism, mining, manufacturing, education and vocational training.

Earlier, Millennium Challenge senior advisor to the chief executive officer Cassandra Butts expressed satisfaction with Zambia’s progress at boosting investment and growth.

MCC is an initiative of the American government to fight poverty through sustained economic growth.

Several countries that had registered consistent positive growth were currently accessing funds from the MCC scheme.

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‘Amendments to registration of business names Bill will remove bureaucracy’

‘Amendments to registration of business names Bill will remove bureaucracy’
By Namatama Mundia
Fri 19 Mar. 2010, 04:00 CAT

THE Patents and Company Registration Office (PACRO) has said the proposed amendments to the registration of business names Bill will remove the unnecessary bureaucracy in the enforcement of the statute.

Making a submission to the parliamentary committee on economic affairs and labour chaired by Zambezi West UPND member of parliament Charles Kakoma on Wednesday, PACRO registrar Anessie Banda-Bobo said besides harmonising the registration of business Act with the Patents and Companies Registration Agency Bill, the amendments would rectify ‘conceptual oversights’ or ‘conceptual flaws’ such as placing under the minister matters that were purely administrative.

“This should enable the agency to efficiently and effectively enforce compliance with the statute. The ultimate result should be a more orderly business sector,” she said.

Banda-Bobo said it was important to note that the proposed amendments did not introduce any new requirements.

“If anything, they simplify the procedure. There would be no need for instance, to appeal to the minister, a procedure that can be cumbersome. Easing the appeal process on its own should be an incentive for compliance,” Banda-Bobo said. “On the other hand, the minister will be allowed to focus on policy matters and providing overall guidance in the administrative of the Act.”

She said an amendment to Section 15(1) seeks to free the minister from matters that were purely administrative.

On concerns by committee members that the registrar would abuse authority if power was vested in them, Banda-Bobo said there would be a board in case of an appeal.

Nchanga PF member of parliament Wylbur Simuusa noted that there was no provision for an appeal in the Bill.

In response, Banda-Bobo said she would bring the matter to the attention of the Ministry of Justice.

She also said PACRO was constrained with lack of proper infrastructure to carry out a countrywide online registration.

However, Banda-Bobo said her office had been conducting rural mobile registration every month.

Banda-Bobo said this in response to Kakoma who wanted to know if PACRO was considering going online.

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‘The guilty are afraid’

‘The guilty are afraid’
By The Post
Fri 19 Mar. 2010, 04:00 CAT

IT is difficult to understand why anyone should sneer at Caritas Zambia’s decision to participate in monitoring elections in our country.

Caritas Zambia is a Catholic Church faith-based organisation. And the Church has both the right and duty to participate fully in building a just and peaceful society with all the means at its disposal.

It is important to maintain and strengthen democratic structures if we are to enjoy a peaceful and developing future. And the question we should be asking ourselves is: what can our Church do to promote good formation of its members for participation is the development of our community?

The presence of faith-based organisations in the social life is characterised by service, the sign and expression of love. And Christians are to be prepared for political, economic and social tasks through a solid formation in the Church’s social doctrine. In this way they can infuse a Christian spirit into the mentality, customs, laws and structures of the community in which they live. We are told in Acts 1:8: “You shall be my witness… to the ends of the earth.”

The participation of Christians in political life is to be guided by the gospel values of respect for human dignity, human rights, common good, social justice, solidarity, integral development, special concern for the poor and non-violence in resolving conflicts.

The presence of Caritas Zambia among election monitors in our country can bring gospel values to our electoral process and indeed to our whole political process. As Pope John Paul once observed, “A faith and a life which is authentically Christian cannot fail to blossom in a love which constitutes truth and promotes justice.” This is so because true faith touches our beliefs, feelings and actions, our head, heart and hand. And there is need, in our daily lives, to link faith and justice.

The right to vote carries with it the corresponding duty: the duty to vote. Voter apathy is incompatible with one’s duty as a citizen and as a Christian. The coming in of Caritas Zambia with its election 2011 strategy will help to remind our people that voting is not only their right, but their duty.

If they withhold their vote, Zambians run a risk of putting into public offices people who have no national interest at heart and who are going to jeopardise the future of their children. Caritas Zambia will help our people to exercise their right and take up their Christian duty.

They will urge them to go, register and vote for the right persons; people of integrity regardless of the region they come from, their tribe, language, political or even religious affiliation. They will teach our people that Zambia needs patriotic leaders; people who place national interest before personal ambitions.

What is wrong with the Catholic Church, through Caritas Zambia, going round telling all Christians who have reached voting age to register and participate in electing leaders who have the necessary qualities?

It should be understood that the neglect of participating in the voting and in the election of good leaders allows unworthy candidates to take leadership positions and bring disharmony in our country. Our political responsibility is not limited to voting and electing leaders but also to pray for them, respect and assist them and when necessary, criticise them.

Today the vote is a serious duty. And this imperative duty must be fulfilled carefully and our people should be helped in any way possible so that they can choose wisely people who will take the direction of civil affairs.

Whether our country will have good or bad laws, an upright or inefficient administration depends on the voters. If this is the case, what is wrong with Caritas Zambia coming in to assist our voters fulfil their duty and exercise their right to vote efficiently and intelligently? Citizens who do not care for their duty of voting are an easy prey to tyranny.

And tyrannical regimes are always not happy when citizens want to take their right and duty to vote seriously and intelligently. Why? This is because by doing so they cease to be an easy prey to tyranny.

What Caritas Zambia teaches is not hatred for members and leaders of a certain political party, even if that party doesn’t like them or is opposed to their work. What Caritas Zambia teaches our people is that they have rights and duties as citizens, nay more, as Catholic citizens, and that the love of their country urges them to act accordingly in all justice and charity.

And that free, fair and constructive elections would translate into a reality when the voters take their responsibility seriously. What wrong can one find with an organisation that is doing this sort of work?

Caritas Zambia, and the Catholic Church in general are conscious of the crucial role which each individual citizens should play in choosing the leaders who will create the Zambia we want to live in.

And for this reason, they want to offer their own intervention, not to support or discredit any political party, but to bring the light of the gospel into our decisions and to allow God to “lead us beside still waters and restore our souls”.

As a faith-based organisation, Caritas Zambia has joined election monitoring in our country to try and ensure that our people use their votes for the good of Zambia, as opposed to the good of a particular party, group or individual; vote for the candidates who have proved themselves accountable to God and to the electorate, for the common good; choose representatives who are courageous in defending truth and justice for all, who are completely honest in fulfilling public and private responsibilities; use their votes to make sure that the right candidates are elected because not to vote may mean the wrong candidates being elected; vote according to their conscience, in accordance with the highest human values without allowing themselves to be pressured or dictated to by “godfathers”, by bribes, threats and self-interests, and so on and so forth.

And for free, fair and peaceful elections to take place, certain conditions must prevail in our country and in our hearts. Caritas Zambia is coming in to aid us in achieving these conditions. There ought to be a conducive atmosphere. But this won’t come by itself. We have to work to realise it.

And this is where Caritas Zambia comes in. What is wrong with Caritas Zambia coming in to help ensure that the major players agree on the conditions under which elections would be held and ensure that the contestants conduct themselves in a manner that does not put others to an unfair disadvantage? What is wrong with Caritas Zambia coming in to help ensure that there is transparency in the organisation of our elections?

In the light of all these necessary conditions, it is difficult to understand why those in the ruling party and its government should be so hostile to Caritas Zambia’s generous gesture when it is the duty of the ruling party and the government, as facilitators of elections, to ensure that the concerns of all key players are adequately addressed.

Good elections require intelligent and responsible participation of all voters. Our vote can help eliminate the unworthy and improve the governance of our country.

Let Caritas Zambia and other organisations of goodwill help us use our vote wisely and bravely. Our vote is a powerful weapon for unity, an instrument of liberty, justice and peace. On our voting, on the quality of it, the discernment behind it, depend the progress and peace of our country.

Caritas Zambia is coming in to help ensure the integrity of our electoral process because rigging, bribery and other electoral irregularities are a violation of the rights of voters.

In casting one’s vote, a citizen should never be swayed by personal profit, religious or regional bias, but solely by consideration of which of the conflicting issues or candidates is better for the nation and the good they can do.

Caritas Zambia is coming in to help ensure that campaigns are carried out in a peaceful and honest way, devoid of any violence and slander of other opponents. All citizens must be guided by the truth, integrity and justice which are anchored on God’s commandments.

Caritas Zambia is coming in to remind us that elections are for the good of people and the country, and not for political survival of any individual or party. And that the quality of democracy is determined by the establishment of proper structures which facilitate freedom of thought, expression and association.

As we approach next year’s elections, and even the parliamentary and local government by-elections that we’ll soon hold, we must express concern regarding the frequent instances of intolerance, intimidation and lust for power. There is urgent need for understanding, dialogue and reconciliation.

These are the things, the issues, the concerns Caritas Zambia is coming in to try and help us address. This being the case, why should anyone sneer at them, be worried about their participation in election monitoring? Only evil-minded people can fear Caritas Zambia’s participation in election monitoring and discourage them from concretising their Election 2011 Strategy. Only the guilty, the crooks, the unscrupulous can be afraid of Caritas Zambia’s work in monitoring elections.

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Caritas Zambia vows to uphold strategy for 2011 elections

Caritas Zambia vows to uphold strategy for 2011 elections
By Mwala Kalaluka
Fri 19 Mar. 2010, 03:40 CAT

CARITAS Zambia has vowed that they will not be cowed by threats, accusations and innuendos aimed at discouraging them from concretising their Election 2011 Strategy.

Caritas Zambia head - justice and peace - Milimo Mwaba stated in a press release yesterday that since the organisation launched the Elections 2011 Strategy, some sections of society had come out to discourage them from undertaking the project which was started in good faith.

“As a faith-based organisation, we strongly believe that democracy requires popular and active participation of citizens in governance processes. This includes citizens’ involvement in the electoral process,” Mwaba stated. “We believe this will address the problems of low levels of participation in governance by the citizenry which is evidenced by voter apathy, low number of registered voters, weak capacity of citizens to engage in public policy issues and lack of political will to implement public policies such as electoral reforms by government.”

Mwaba stated that though civic education was a responsibility of the government, its limited capacity to create awareness amongst citizens on civic matters had made it hard for people to participate effectively in the electoral process.

“That is why Caritas Zambia has placed civic education as one of its core activities in the promotion of justice and peace in the country,” she stated. “We cannot continue to overlook the current gaps in the way in which most of our elections have been conducted which has subsequently led to the problems that we have before, during and after elections.”

Mwaba charged that only those that had something to hide could refuse to support such a just cause, which she indicated from inception did not look at political parties but at improving the conduct and participation in elections.

“People need to realize that the quality of elections that we conduct also has an impact on the leadership in government,” Mwaba stated.

“Our voters need to become responsible voters who vote not out of manipulation but out of free will. We need voters who will stand up and say no to vote buying and other malpractices that have been going on during elections. We cannot ignore the fact that voting has become a very important issue in our country.”

Mwaba announced that Caritas Zambia would monitor the Milanzi and Mufumbwe parliamentary by-elections.

“We have embarked on civic education in most areas. Our role shall not be limited to the voting day and results but shall look at the entire election process,” stated Mwaba. “We also call upon ECZ to show us that they have the ability to conduct free and fair elections which are devoid of corruption and violence. The police should also act fairly and give equal treatment to all the political parties that will participate in these elections.”

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Malela, Kitwe Boys school authorities punish pupils for flashing red cards

Malela, Kitwe Boys school authorities punish pupils for flashing red cards
By Kabanda Chulu and Misheck Wangwe in Kitwe
Fri 19 Mar. 2010, 07:30 CAT

SCHOOL authorities at Malela and Kitwe Boys high schools have punished more than 11 pupils for flashing red cards and raising the PF’s clenched fist during Youth Day commemorations last week.

A check at Malela High School on Tuesday found the 11 pupils - seven girls and four boys - digging two rubbish pits as punishment that was slapped on them by the school authorities for allegedly supporting Change Life Zambia Fr Frank Bwalya’s red card campaign and being members of the PF.

One of the affected pupils talked to revealed that they were sent away from class by the school authorities around 08:00 hours and were given a case of misconduct after they flashed red cards and raised a PF symbol during a march past at Kitwe’s City Square during the commemoration of Youth Day that was graced by Kitwe District commissioner McDonald Mtine.

“We’re digging these two pits because the school authorities suspect we are supporters of PF and that we were supporting Fr Bwalya’s message and his red card campaign during Youth Day commemorations at City Square. Am disappointed with these people because despite being a pupil here, I have a right to support a grouping of my choice. Am 18 and am completing grade 12 this year, so supporting PF or the red card campaign is none of their business,” said one of the pupils.

And at Kitwe Boys High School, reliable sources revealed that the pupils who were suspected to have raised the PF symbol during the youth day march past were given ‘Call Your Parents’ (CP) notes and were later punished for misbehaving.

Kitwe Boys High School head teacher a Mr Mulandu refused to comment on the matter and referred all queries to the office of the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS), who also referred queries to Mtine.

When contacted, Mtine initially said he was not aware of the punishments being meted on the pupils.
“The DEBS has not gotten back to me over those issues, so I am not aware of what is happening in education circles here.

What I know is that the pupils were made to do what they were not supposed to do by some people but I made it clear even in my speech which you The Post covered adequately, and I am grateful for that, that young people should not be used by politicians as tools of violence,” said Mtine.

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Lubinda demands probe of Glencore oil supply contract

Lubinda demands probe of Glencore oil supply contract
By Chibaula Silwamba
Fri 19 Mar. 2010, 04:30 CAT

Patriotic Front spokesperson Given Lubinda yesterday demanded that the Office of the Auditor General, ACC, DEC and Zambia Police must investigate the government's awarding of a crude oil supply contract to Glencore Energy UK Limited, which will lead to Zambia losing US $32million (about K230billion).

Commenting on revelations that Zambia will lose about US $32 million after awarding a contract to Glencore Energy UK Limited to supply and deliver 1.44 million metric tonnes of crude oil for the 2010/2011 period, Lubinda demanded that energy and water development minister Kenneth Konga must come out clean on this transaction and explain to Zambians what motivated the awarding of the contract to the fourth best bidder, Glencore Energy UK Limited.

“Obviously when they were doing the assessments of the bid it must have been very well clear for everyone who was involved that Glencore was offering the worst bid,” Lubinda said. “What considerations were taken to award Glencore when there are others that gave better offers? The reasons must be laid bare now.”

Lubinda, who is also president of African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (APNAC), said Konga must come out clean on this matter and explain to the Zambian people what motivated their awarding of the contract to the fourth best bidder.

“Why didn't they give it to the first three? What did Glencore offer, which the others did not offer? For any person to go into a shop to buy an expensive product when there is available on the market a similar product at a lower cost raises suspicion of impropriety by the person who is buying.”

Lubinda said the transactions must be probed.
“This requires immediate investigations by the Office of the Auditor General. The Auditor General should not wait until the end of the year to audit this transaction.

The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), if it is worth its name and integrity, must delve into this matter,” Lubinda said. “Even the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), anti money laundering unit of the Zambia Police must investigate this matter and inform the citizens the circumstances under which Glencore was given that contract. Failure by government investigative institutions to investigate this matter will be confirming the fact that all these institutions will only operate at the behest of the President, they will not act unless the President directs them to do so.

That is not the intention of Parliament when it created these institutions. The intention was that these institutions will be activated to swing into action when matters such as this are revealed.”

Lubinda said investigative wings were under test.

“It is not only the political leadership of the MMD that is at the test, the investigative wings have also been put on a test,” he said. “They can move in immediately and conduct a forensic audit because Zambians are not going to sit back and watch their country bleed so much of its taxpayers' money.

That expensive contract will obviously increase the pump prices of fuel and will affect the economy. This will lead to spiral inflation because the government is going to try and recover the money.”

Lubinda said the MMD government had no interest in protecting Zambia's resources.
“The MMD government in all their transactions, they have all other interests except the interests of the country,” said Lubinda. “All these issues that are occurring are being recorded and time will come and that time is very near when all these people that are making all these decisions will be asked to account for such decisions. When that time comes, it will not only be the politicians, it will also include the technocrats.”

Sources close to the just-concluded crude oil supply tender process revealed that the government awarded the contract to Glencore Energy UK Limited, which was the fourth best ranked bidder, after abandoning plans to engage Russia's LITASCO following public outcry that ensued subsequent to The Post's expose'.

“The truth is that, according to the calculations of average prices, Glencore Energy UK Limited was fourth and was US $23 per tonne higher than the next best offer. On 1.44 million metric tonnes, this represents a loss of US $32 million to the Zambian treasury,” the source said.

Late last year, The Post revealed that State House had tasked energy and water development minister Kenneth Konga to ensure that the contract was given to Lukoil International Trading and Supply Company (LITASCO).

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MISA calls for massive investment in the media

MISA calls for massive investment in the media
By Ernest Chanda
Fri 19 Mar. 2010, 03:50 CAT

MEDIA Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia chairperson Henry Kabwe has called for massive investment in the media in order to improve working conditions for media practitioners. And Press Freedom Committee (PFC) of The Post secretary general Sheik Chifuwe has lauded media diversity in the country.

Featuring on Lusaka’s Radio Phoenix yesterday, Kabwe said it was important to create an environment where the media could have enough resources for them to meet their challenges effectively.

He said currently it was hypocritical for the media to write about other people’s conditions of service when theirs were not good.

“There is need to create an environment that will ensure massive investment in the media. People ought to be remunerated fairly and according to their input. Sometimes I ask my colleagues why a journalist should cover a strike by workers who have not been paid for three months when he himself has gone without a salary for one year,” he said. “In my view, this is hypocrisy. So, we should call for massive investment in the media so that there could be enough resources for everyone.”

Kabwe called for unity in the nation despite people’s political inclinations.

“I think we should understand that we are Zambians before we become MMD, PF, UPND or whatever political affiliation. That’s the prime thing we should keep in mind. And if we remember that, then there will be no harassment of each other simply because we differ politically. I know that even at the NCC National Constitutional Conference people debate according to their political inclinations, not according to logic. This is a sad situation,” Kabwe said.

And Chifuwe said media diversity in the country had been quite effective in promoting media freedom.

“The diversity among media has enriched our democracy.Different people in the media have brought in a lot of ideas and this has helped in our push for media freedom. So, I think media diversity has not disadvantaged the media industry in the country. If anything the media have gotten stronger through this diversity,” said Chifuwe.

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Findlay reveals his hatred for Levy, Lambas

Findlay reveals his hatred for Levy, Lambas
By George Chellah
Fri 19 Mar. 2010, 04:20 CAT

TERENCE Findlay on Wednesday openly revealed his hatred for the late president Levy Mwanawasa and the Lamba-speaking people in general to Lusaka lawyer Wynter Kabimba.

This was after the trial of former defence minister George Mpombo at Ndola magistrate's court. Mpombo is alleged to have issued a cheque of K10 million to Findlay on an insufficiently funded account.

Mpombo yesterday narrated that he learned of Findlay's outbursts through Kabimba who is part of his defence team, immediately after the court adjourned about midday.

“I am extremely flabbergasted and shocked by the scum of the politics Mr Findlay is trying to exhibit just to get at me for no apparent reason,” Mpombo said. “Yesterday Wednesday after the court session, I saw Mr Findlay walk down where we were standing to engage in discussion with one of my lawyers, Mr Wynter Kabimba, and they had quite a good chat for about 15 minutes or so.

Then as I was about to see off Mr Kabimba to his vehicle because he was travelling to Lusaka, he stopped me for some few minutes… he was trying to brief me as his client since he is my lawyer. That's when he Kabimba told me what Mr Findlay had said. He said 'look Findlay is very, very upset.

He says these Lamba chaps with their Levy where trying to put me in jail for 15 years for defilement, these are bad people. I don't like them.' He said this in reference to the case that he had in the courts involving defilement charges that were placed on him.”

Mpombo, a Lamba, described Findlay's remarks as extremely saddening and unfortunate.

“When I heard this, I was really shocked that he should bring in the late president and any Lamba-speaking person into his problems,” Mpombo said.

“He thinks that, that time when he was going through that situation it was the time of the late president Mwanawasa, so from what my lawyer told me you can conclude that just because president Mwanawasa was in control at that time the hatred now must spread to every Lamba speaking person. According to Mr Findlay, the hatred must spread so that all Lamba speaking people are sucked into his axis of evil. This kind of bitterness creates corrosive hatred and spiritual debauchery.

But I think that is unfortunate and I find it extremely uncouth and you can't understand the whole issue because it doesn't project a healthy picture at all.”

When contacted for comment, Findlay could neither deny nor confirm Mpombo's narration of what occurred on Wednesday after court.

“Ahh… if he is got nothing to say, let him just keep saying what he wants, I’m not interested. I am not interested in what he is saying. I am not interested!” said Findlay.

Mpombo's K10 million debt to Findlay, who is also former MMD Copperbelt Province chairman, turned sour when he was reported to the police for allegedly bouncing a cheque in the same amount.

Confirming the incident to the Zambia Daily Mail, police spokesperson Bonny Kapeso said the police opened a docket after Findlay presented his case.

However, the docket was closed after Findlay withdrew the case.
Kapeso was also quoted by ZNBC as saying that Mpombo, through his personnel manager, paid the K10 million cash to the complainant who subsequently instructed the police to close the docket.

But well-placed sources in government revealed that Findlay was put under pressure by State House to report the matter of the bouncing cheque to the police as a way of criminalising Mpombo and therefore silence him.

"...The President was very excited when he heard this because he saw an opportunity to fix Mr Mpombo as a way of silencing," the source disclosed.

And recently, Findlay was part of former president Frederick Chiluba entourage during the latter's last covert campaign tour of the Copperbelt Province.

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Ndola man gets 18 months for insulting Rupiah

COMMENT - If this was happening in Zimbabwe, it would make international headlines. It is outrageous that someone could incur a criminal sentence for speaking their mind. Especially when it only concerns an elected official.

Ndola man gets 18 months for insulting Rupiah
By Abigail Chaponda in Ndola
Fri 19 Mar. 2010, 04:00 CAT

Darius Mukuka of Chifubu township was charged with defamation of the President, contrary to section 69 of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia
Ndola Chief Resident magistrate Kelvin Limbani on Wednesday sentenced a 35-year-old driver to 18 months in prison with hard labour for insulting and defaming President Rupiah Banda.

Darius Mukuka of Chifubu township was charged with defamation of the President, contrary to section 69 of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

Particulars of the offence were that Mukuka on March 22, 2009 in Ndola with intent to bring the name of the President into ridicule by word of mouth did say the words, “uyu Chikala, finshi alebepa abantu, nafilwa ukuteke ichalo” derogatory and insulting words meaning this…has failed to run the country.

Mukuka is said to have insulted President Banda whilst at Chifubu Recreation Club when President Banda appeared on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) television news, receiving visitors from Australia

Passing sentence, Limbani said Mukuka's action deserved punishment so that he can reform and be deterred from committing similar offences and that others should learn from him.

“I should state that the Office of the President is the highest office in the land and deserves respect from each and every citizen. One cannot take pride by defaming the Head of State of this country despite the differences that he may have,” magistrate Limbani said.

He warned that insulting the President leads to anarchy as evidenced from the quarrels that arose at the Chifubu Recreation Club when Mukuka uttered the defamatory words.

He, however, said he had taken into account that Mukuka was a first offender who deserves leniency.

“The accused deserves to be punished so that he can reform and so that others can learn that insulting the President is an offence. I sentence you to 18 months imprisonment with hard labour. If you are not happy with my decision, you can appeal to the High Court within 14 days,” magistrate Limbani said.

He said citizens had a duty to respect and uphold the office of the President, instead of insulting and defaming it.

In mitigation, Mukuka said he is a father of four school-going children and that he was the breadwinner of the family.

And lawyer Bonaventure Mutale said Mukuka was sorry about what he said at the club but that the court should take into account the circumstances in which he uttered the defamatory words because he was imbibing alcohol.

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(LUSAKATIMES) The Opposing view to the Red Card Revolution

The Opposing view to the Red Card Revolution
Friday, March 19, 2010, 10:09

Citizens Forum executive director Simon Kabanda talking about the arrest and detention of controversial catholic priest Frank Bwalya

WHEN Father Frank Bwalya convened a conference at Buchi Hall in Kitwe dubbed “Save Zambia Campaign’’ and made radical resolutions to embark on a nation-wide campaign against President Rupiah Banda’s Government and the MMD, he expected immediate protestations from the MMD. When there was no threat, he could not believe his luck.

The resolutions appear to be an open demand for a regime change. It is for this reason that the now expanded 11 consortia of civil society organisations (CSOs) are demanding for a security meeting with Minister of Home Affairs, Lameck Mangani. They hope that they would be allowed to conduct a revolution with the blessing of the law and with the blessing of the Government that their campaign intends to topple!

Many might not see this campaign for what it is but Father Bwalya’s own resolutions provide a window to their intentions. And the apparent presence of the Catholic Church through its NGOs does raise eyebrows.

The resolutions call for the removal of President Rupiah Banda and the MMD from office for three chief reasons they allege;

1) Tolerance for Corruption and President Rupiah Banda’s “Political marriage” with former President Frederick Chiluba

2) Failure to enact a good Constitution and the need to abolish the National Constitution Conference (NCC)

3) To remove the culture of bad laws such as the NGO Bill

The action by the CSOs is unprecedented as they are treading on dangerous grounds that are pioneering regime change through methods of civil disobedience.

The Orange Revolution in Georgia seems to be the template they are using where lawyers and members of NGOs embarked on a nation-wide campaign against authorities and eventually forced a government out of office and the early elections that ensued allowed their candidate to take over.


The forces aligned against the MMD are desperate for change of Government. They have created an environment of limited faith in the electoral process and they have perceived that individuals competing against President Rupiah Banda provide no discernible hope. In 2006, there appeared to have been the greatest opportunity to beat the MMD at the elections.

Many contend that Michael Sata beat Mwanawasa at the elections but Sata sold the presidency to forces that he had antagonised; the British (with his Mugabe invitation), the Chinese (with threats of chasing them) and the business and corporate world (for his brash and anti-business tendencies).

Although the PF/UPND Pact appears strong to take over power from the MMD, the campaigners hope that numerous activities should be embarked upon that strongly unite and rally citizens against the MMD so that this is made possible. The 2008 elections provided another window of change. But the MMD candidate Rupiah Banda was a man of superior qualities to their leader. He was affable, educated and promoted unity, reconciliation and peace.

The Zambians, business and the donor communities loved and preferred Rupiah Banda to Michael Sata. It is for this reason that the campaigns against Mr Banda have since targeted the strong qualities that made him win the 2008 elections. A sustained campaign has been spearheaded that consistently depicts him as corrupt, intolerant and a tourist to render him weak and unelectable at the next polls.

Why the Red Card revolution

The 2001 Green Ribbon Campaign (GRC) against former president Frederick Chiluba was legal and successful for the simple reason that it sought to protect the Constitution against possible selfish amendments. This campaign instead, seeks to remove a legitimate and elected government from office using civil disobedience. The methods might appear peaceful and harmless but history shows that they are very effective tools. The collective power of the people cannot be underestimated and is superior to any Constitution and the Law.

While the Green Ribbon Campaign sought to uphold the Constitution, this campaign aims to break it and breed an escalating crisis upon the nation where Banda’s Government will be forced to call for an early election (while facing a Red Card) or weaken him so much that his image and that of the MMD will be synonymous with a red card at the 2011 election.

So who do they want to replace the MMD with? Who do they want to replace Banda with? Zambia is a democracy. It has a scheduled election in 2011, why would CSOs embark on activities that are designed to undermine elections? Why would CSOs start proceedings that might promote the break-down of the law if they are promoting good governance in the country?

The NCC has provided the greatest danger for them. They claim that the NCC has undermined and reversed the democratic process of Zambia. The NCC might bar their candidate through the degree clause. The NCC has further weakened the pact with their dismissal of the clause for the running mate. The NCC has also closed an opportunity for the Christian declaration (which the Catholic and their NGOs oppose) to be expunged from the Constitution. The NCC has refused to adopt gay rights and gay marriages. In their view, the NCC has also diluted fundamental rights of NGOs and other societies. But should this be the cause for such a campaign that clearly borders on treason?

Is the NCC and Constitution-making process so closed that it does not provide an opportunity for dialogue, for amendments, or for debate?
Yet the NCC has avenues for public debate beyond its members. The NCC also has stages such as the referendum and Parliament, legal and legitimate bodies to handle outstanding issues.

Demonstrations, protests and public rallies

The campaign is designed to be ‘’peaceful’’ and legal. It will purport to be constitutional and follow the law while galvanising citizens against the MMD. The leaders will be quick to disown flare up events. The campaign is now moving into phase two. This phase will consist of public protests, demonstrations and rallies. The leaders are even bracing themselves for arrests. They intend to hold rallies, demonstrations and protests even without the cooperation of the police.

The civil society groupings have now grown from four to eight. This now said to include Change Life Zambia, Civil Society Trade Network, Citizens Forum, Caritas Zambia, Anti Voter Apathy, and Zambia Council for Social Development, Transparency International, and Southern African Centre for Constructive Resolutions, Forum for Democratic Process, and National Youth Association in the Fight Against Corruption.

The CSOs have notified the police that they intend to hold a public rally on March 27 at Mutambe Grounds in Mandevu to publicise their intended goals. The CSO feel that an opportunity has arisen that will help them re-establish themselves and force a formidable movement of Zambians against the MMD.


This campaign is outside the realms of democratic activities. They appear to be aimed at collapsing a legitimate and elected government using civil disobedience. The action by the CSOs brings the question of what the role of NGOs in a Democracy is in sharp focus.

The CSOs in Zambia seem to be groping in the dark and in their firm belief that they ought to promote good governance but are instead breaking the highest law in the land. Anyone, who threatens the peace, order and security of this country, should be stopped.

You cannot break the Constitution using the Constitution! You cannot embark on a programme whose sole purpose is to remove a legitimate and elected government and justify such an action because you are using peaceful means!

Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and other proponents of civil disobedience and peaceful methods proposed such campaigns against dictatorships, illegitimate, tyrannical and illegal governments that subjugated citizens and provided no forums such as elections for citizens to express and participate in civic and national affairs.

Why should this group proceed with such activities against the Government recently elected and is due for scrutiny in the 2011 Elections?

Why don’t they take their wisdom to opposition political parties who are mandated by law to contest for elections? Or better still why don’t they form their own their political party?

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

(TALKZIMBABWE) Zuma meets Gono, Tomana and Bennett

Zuma meets Gono, Tomana and Bennett
By: nancy Pasipanodya
Posted: Thursday, March 18, 2010 5:54 pm

SOUTH African president Jacob Zuma, who is cuurently on a three day state visit to Zimbabwe met with the individuals who are at the centre of the dispute between Zanu-PF and the MDC-T party, in order to get first hand information.

President Zuma on Wednesday met separately with President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy PM Arthur Mutambara at the Rainbow Towers Hotel in the capital, Harare.

The leaders were upbeat about the talks and all reported that significant progress had been made.

Mr Zuma also met with Reserve Bank Governor Dr Gideon Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana. Pretoria is keen to see the issues around the appointment of Gono and Tomana resolved.

Bennett's issue is a matter for the courts in Zimbabwe, however, President Zuma met with the MDC-T financier and Tsvangirai ally to hear his side of the story, as required by Sadc.

Bennett is the treasurer of Tsvangirai's MDC-T party, who is on trial for treason over a plot against President Mugabe.

Zuma's spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya said: "The idea behind those meetings, is that President Zuma's intention was to meet a wide range of key role-players to create common understanding on how to take matters forward."

Details of the meetings were not disclosed to the media.



(TALKZIMBABWE) Zimbabwe talks are very fruitful: Zuma

Zimbabwe talks are very fruitful: Zuma
By: Ralph Mutema
Posted: Thursday, March 18, 2010 4:47 pm

South African President Jacob Zuma (R) shakes hands with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai before discussions on the Global Political Agreement (GPA) at the Rainbow Towers Hotel in the capital Harare, March 17, 2010.

VISITING South African President and Sadc-appointed facilitator to the power-sharing talks in Zimbabwe, Mr Jacob Zuma said his talks Thursday with Zimbabwe's leaders were "fruitful".

"I am very encouraged by the spirit of cooperation displayed by the leaders and all the parties," Mr Zuma said after nearly three hours of round-table talks with President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.

"I have had fruitful discussions" with the leaders, he said.

According to Zuma, the "parties have agreed to a package of measures to be implemented concurrently as per the decision of the Sadc troika (on politics, defence and security) in Maputo. I believe that the implementation of this package will take the process forward substantially."

But he gave no indication of what measures had been agreed or when they would be implemented, saying only that negotiators will continue meeting next week to discuss how to reach goals set out months ago.

"The leaders have instructed their negotiating teams to attend to all outstanding matters during their deliberations," he said.

Negotiators will discuss all the outstanding issues and report to Zuma on March 31.

Zuma will then present "a comprehensive progress report" to the chairperson of the Sadc troika, President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique.

President Mugabe signed a Global Political Agreement with the two leaders of the MDC formations PM Tsvangirai and DPM Mutambara in in September 2008. The GPA paved the way for the formation of an inclusive Government in February last year.

But the leaders remain sharply divided on the issue of illegal sanctions imposed by the EU and US on the behest of the MDC. The MDC-T in turn would like key appointments reversed and the treason charges against PM Tsvangirai ally, Roy Bennett dropped.

President Mugabe maintains that Western sanctions should be lifted before he makes further concessions to the MDCs.

Both the United States and the European Union this year extended their sanctions for another 12 months, insisting that President Mugabe implement reforms before the restrictions are lifted.

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(TALKZIMBABWE) Tuku, a symbol of unity

Tuku, a symbol of unity
By: Prince Mukono
Posted: Thursday, March 18, 2010 10:07 am

THE Mtukudzi family is one Zimbabwean family that should be emulated by all musicians and citizens in the country.

The burial of the late Sam Mtukudzi, the one and only son of Zimbabwean musical maestro was testament to the fact that one does not need to be in politics to make a big difference.

This is one family that, through thick and thin, struggled with the masses of Zimbabwe and gave hope at a time when others were busy advocating sanctions for their own country.

Oliver and Sam could have easily gone into exile and settled anywhere they want, in Africa or in the world.

When he was on a trip to London last year, I asked Oliver why he had stayed in Zimbabwe. He told me that: "The people of Zimbabwe need me. I am there to inspire these young people, otherwise we will breed a generation of crooks, murderers and thieves." Indeed Mtukudzi inspired these young people and showed true patriotism that even some of our own politicians are unable to show today.

Noone can ever say that Tuku was and is always agreeable with the politics in the country, but he has never used the situation in his own country for selfish means. He alsways stayed truly Zimbabwean and patriotic.

He inspired that spirit in Sam and Owen Chimhare. These two young people were remarkable and should be an inspiration to all young people who think they can only make a difference by talking ill about their elders and disrespecting their leaders.

The burial of Sam and Owen dwarfed the visit by Presdient Jacob Zuma, who is in the country to debate "very important issues". One lesson is learnt from this: Zimbabweans will rally together first before they pay homage to anyone else, and issues of politics are not necessarily that important in the scale of things.

Looking at the manner in which his son was buried, Tuku could actually be the first person outside politics to be declared a national hero after his death.

I hope every Zimbabwean will look in the mirror and ask themselves the real question: "Is what I am doing detrimental to my own people or not?"



Rupiah is running around like a headless chicken – Nawakwi

Rupiah is running around like a headless chicken – Nawakwi
By Chibaula Silwamba
Thu 18 Mar. 2010, 04:00 CAT

FORUM for Democracy and Development (FDD) leader Edith Nawakwi has charged that President Rupiah Banda is running around like a headless chicken without direction while health institutions like UTH and clinics are in a deplorable state.

In an interview, Nawakwi said the government had reduced people to animals because it was not providing essential services like good health and conducive learning environments for people.

“I am challenging Rupiah Banda. If he has any common sense, we should meet at the Filter Clinic at UTH tomorrow. I want to talk to him at UTH Filter Clinic where people are sitting on the floor as if we are at war,” said Nawakwi who visited the Filter Clinic at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) and some township clinics in Lusaka.

“What is wrong with this government? Are they normal or, that is why I say, 'ni ofuntha they are mad?'. He Rupiah is running around like a headless chicken, telling people that he is working. Can he show us his work at UTH Filter Clinic tomorrow where people are dying every minute and this President cannot have the sense of direction to direct his energy in the right place.

“You go there, they say the lab is closed. Which main hospital on earth can close a laboratory on the weekend and people are dying? Every minute when you are standing at that UTH of his, someone is dying. I spent two days at UTH.

Anyway, this is the problem when you have these retired politicians, when you go and get them from the archives and say, 'now you are going to be the head of state'. They are retired and tired; they can't think of fresh ideas. There are no fresh ideas that you can get from Rupiah Banda.”

Nawakwi said other than the UTH, the situation at various clinics in Lusaka was bad and required government attention.

“Let him go to Chipata clinic where pregnant women are being told, 'when you come to deliver come with your bucket' because there is no incinerator there. After you deliver they tell you, 'madam, thank you very much, you are carrying your baby plus whatever we needed to dispose and the placenta, go and throw it wherever you are going',” Nawakwi said. Now, in Chipata compound, the place is flooded and there are no toilets. So where is this woman going to throw the placenta and other wastes?

Look, this government has reduced people to animals. I want Bwezani to go to Chipata clinic with me and when we come back from Chipata clinic, I want him to tell me that he is working. If he thinks he is the head of state, he has to go and see the situation for himself. If he is not going to the clinics we will flash a red card against him.

I am going to tell everybody at Chipata clinic that 'Rupiah Banda red card!' Can you imagine you have delivered; you are not well and you are told, 'carry your baby and the bucket full of waste'. Where do you incinerate in Chipata compound? And you have a President who says, 'I am working'. Let him come to Chipata clinic maternity ward and let him show me his works in Chipata compound.”

Nawakwi said instead of travelling abroad, President Banda should spend two weeks in Zambia and tour health institutions to ascertain the situation.

“I am not saying, 'let's go to Nakonde where there is no doctor'. I am not saying, 'let's go to Mongu or Chisamba. I am just saying, 'just two weeks touring clinics in Chipata compound and other compounds in Lusaka',” Nawakwi said. “Instead of the clinic incinerating the waste, the personnel can't do that because they don't have an incinerator.

Instead of him spending so much money on a mobile clinic, he can use the money to buy incinerators for clinics so that women can stop going there with buckets.”

Nawakwi also said the hostels at the University of Zambia (UNZA) were pathetic and required the government to improve the situation for the students' wellbeing.

Nawakwi warned that the people that were suffering would rise.

“And when they rise, it is red cards all over,” said Nawakwi.

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