Saturday, June 12, 2010

(HERALD) Regime change agenda behind sanctions - Ncube

COMMENT - I still don't know why Zimbabwe's lines of credit were not simply transferred from the corrupt Bretton Woods institutions to China. They had the dollars, and they certainly were not on board with maintaining western privilege in Zimbabwe. I know there were moves like this ongoing. It would have saved the Zimbabwe dollar.

Regime change agenda behind sanctions: Ncube
By Lloyd Gumbo

THE illegal economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West will remain in place as long as the West do not have their way in Zimbabwe, MDC secretary general Professor Welshman Ncube has revealed.

Prof Ncube said Britain, the European Union, the United States and their western allies who imposed embargoes against Zimbabwe and the Zanu-PF leadership would consider softening their hard-line stance if the Head of State and Government, President Mugabe, is out of power.

Speaking at a meeting between the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee and chiefs in Harare on Thursday, Prof Ncube said the continued existence of sanctions was testimony that those behind them had a regime change agenda. The meeting was called to discuss how Jomic could implement its programmes in rural areas.

Prof Ncube, who is a Jomic co-chairperson, said there was need for the Government to devise mechanisms to bust the sanctions.

"An honest appraisal of the sanctions is that those who maintain sanctions have a different agenda from the three parties in the inclusive Government.

"Their agenda is they want (President) Mugabe out and as long as he remains in the picture, then my honest opinion is that these sanctions will remain in place.

"We have had meetings with diplomats and those western countries don’t want any arrangement with (President) Mugabe in it.

"We have to accept reality, these sanctions are here to stay even if we engage the European Union and the Americans, they won’t lift these sanctions," he said.

Prof Ncube who is also Industry and Commerce Minister, said it was incumbent upon the Zimbabwean Government to address the issue of sanctions.

"Since these sanctions are going to remain in place, we have to find mechanisms to outdo their effects. There are a lot of things that we can do like reviving the industry and liquidity."

Another Jomic co-chairperson, Mr Elton Mangoma (MDC-T) said: "The issue of sanctions has been politicised a lot and us as MDC-T, we feel Zanu-PF are saying it’s our sole responsibility to do so (call for the lifting of the sanctions). This burden is for us all in this inclusive Government as outlined in the Global Political Agreement.

"No party has the power to remove sanctions and the burden isn’t for the MDC-T only. These countries are putting sanctions as their laws and we in the MDC-T can also be put on sanctions tomorrow. However, we will be visiting countries that imposed those sanctions to engage them," he said.

Zanu-PF politburo member and Jomic co-chairperson, Cde Oppah Muchinguri, said Jomic was supposed to make sure the sanctions were removed immediately.

"Sanctions are an issue, which need to be addressed immediately. As Jomic, we want to see these sanctions go because they have caused a lot of suffering to our people.

"Many people have fallen victim to the effects of these sanctions and we are saying they are causing more harm to our people," she said.

Chief Musarurwa, Senator Enos Masakwa, also called for the removal of the sanctions saying they had caused a lot of pain to the people in the rural areas.

"These sanctions should be removed because people in the rural areas are failing to make ends meet. They are failing to raise even a single dollar because of the effects of these illegal sanctions.

"I feel the party that invited these sanctions should be banned from political participation in the country because they are not considerate," he said.

Britain tried to internationalise its bilateral dispute with Zimbabwe over land and enticed the European Union, the United States and their western allies to impose sanctions against Zimbabwe.

The sanctions re-engagement committee failed to travel to Europe last month to engage the EU over sanctions due to the volcanic ashes eruptions in Iceland.

The team comprises of Ministers Mangoma and Ncube, Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa, Regional Integration and International Co-operation Minister Pricilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga. Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi heads the team.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) Ignore Malema at your peril

Ignore Malema at your peril
Posted By Joram Nyathi on 10 Jun, 2010 at 5:08 pm

THERE are only two ways to deal with ANC Youth League president Julius Malema: either the whites physically eliminate him, or the ANC sacrifices him. Neither option resolves the key question of Malema’s popularity: the quest to give meaning to African independence by taking control of our natural resources.

The whites will not kill him because they are wise enough not to precipitate the same catastrophe which they fear an unrestrained Malema represents, and the ANC as a party can only sacrifice Malema at irreparable damage to itself and its credibility as a revolutionary movement. But it risks sacrificing both the man and principle through a lack of resoluteness in pursuit of what is historically just. That is if President Jacob Zuma wants to earn himself the tag of Mr Nice Guy, and forgets why the poor black majority voted him into power.

Because of their fear, the whites, especially farmers and big corporates, have shifted the task of dealing with Malema to the ANC itself. In particular, President Zuma is now being asked to deal with this Frankenstein monster which he created to fight his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki. It’s a pretty clever trick to get the ANC to fight itself while exonerating those who want a weakened ruling party which won’t threaten their vested interests.

For their part, whites are fighting Malema at the symbolic level. He is semi-literate if not a “buffoon” like Zuma himself. Malema poses a threat to freedom of expression and the press. Malema exposes Zuma’s partiality for Zanu PF and President Robert Mugabe against MDC-T as a mediator in the Zimbabwean political crisis. His “kill the boer” song is racist. Malema is a threat to foreign investment.

So it was that all powerful media in SA were in celebratory mood when it was announced that Malema was going to face disciplinary action from the ANC for all these sins. It was time to silence Malema once and for all. The ANC played along, but luckily retreated at the brink last week. Malema was fined only R10,000 for disrespecting Zuma. He was also ordered to go for political lessons. Slap on the wrist, sorted!

That is as much as the ANC can go. The Youth League in most of the country’s provinces is fully behind Malema. They have made it clear they elected Malema for his radicalism, which is clearly lacking in the older generation. The ANC is fully aware that silencing Malema is not the same thing as resolving the cause he is championing.

In turning against Malema instead of confronting recalcitrant white farmers and mining conglomerates who won’t share anything with poor blacks, the ANC leadership is showing unforgivable cowardice. It leaves future generations a terrible legacy of a people who won the liberation war but refused to take control of the country.

The ANC, and white South Africans in particular, need to accept a little truth. The Malema phenomena is more than an individual. It is an idea. He represents a generation which is ready to confront a monstrous evil in the form neo-colonialism and its more insidious sibling, the liberal ideology. South Africa’s problems are not going to be solved by killing Julius Malema or dismissing him from the ANC for telling the truth.

South Africans, black and white, must confront head-on the material conditions which breed the likes of Malema. It was because of these conditions that Nelson Mandela went to prison for 27 years. The “ideal” for which he said he was “prepared to die” is still a pipedream for the majority blacks while the whites have appropriated the man to themselves and turned him a mock idol on his people.

What is sad is that while white South Africans are aware of the danger to themselves of eliminating Malema, they are refusing to learn plain lessons from the stubborn stance chosen by their cousins in Zimbabwe. The land reform which they so much revile began on a willing-seller-willing-buyer paradigm. The approach didn’t work because those who “owned” the land asked for “market prices” which they knew the government could not afford. They would not part with fertile farms, with some farmers as late as the year 2000 still owning up to 13 farms each.

They thought they could still keep their farms in perpetuity by instigating their indigent farm labourers to vote en mass in the February 2000 referendum against a new constitution which would allow government to seize these farms without paying compensation except for improvements such as houses and other infrastructure. They won the vote but lost the farms.

They thought they could stop the process by attacking leaders of war veterans who spearheaded the land reform as lawless thugs. Looking at the travesty going on in SA, one sees people who still believe “not in a thousand years” will they share their ill-gotten wealth with blacks.

Zimbabwe is now in the second phase of the struggle for control of its natural resources: the indigenisation programme in which blacks must ultimately acquire 51% equity in all foreign-owned companies worth more than US$3,5 million. (In the original regulations the figure was US$500,000).

In South Africa’s case, Malema might be one of those who benefited from black economic empowerment programmes of the past 16 years. His detractors prefer to see patronage as the only source of his wealth. Whichever is the case, he lives the poverty of the poor majority everyday to be able to tap into their anger and frustration with a revolution which appears to have ended prematurely before it could deliver on the promise of independence. These are the realities which should exercise the collective conscience of South Africans of all races. Instead, what one sees is a preoccupation with form over content by most white South Africans.

Malema might be semi-literate, according to those who benefited under apartheid, but he knows there are millions of black South Africans who are worse than he is, thanks to racial segregation which favoured the white race in everything, including the quality of education. Most of the cadres who fought the liberation wars in Southern Africa were semi-literate or illiterate. So that epithet against Malema hits at the core of all those who sacrificed their education to liberate their country, but today wallow in poverty because they are illiterate! How can history be so cruel?

The crushing irony is that our countries are full of literate black journalists who are historically illiterate. So illiterate in fact that they believe it is right to stop Malema from singing liberation war songs like “Dubul’ ibhunu”. Like one sage observed: “A history forgotten is a future lost.” So illiterate that they believe a SADC Tribunal seeking to reverse Zimbabwe’s land reform should be enforced just to stop South Africa and Namibia from embarking on similar programmes.

The ANC, as the oldest liberation movement in the region, needs to provide decisive leadership. One can only hope that the meeting of five former liberation movements in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, last week breathed new life into the ANC. Silencing Malema can only prolong the inevitable. It is more likely to bring forth a 100 angrier, semi-literate Malemas so long as things don’t change for the black man.

We are too familiar with this hypocrisy in Zimbabwe where all rights count for blacks, except economic rights, that is the right to own their God-given natural resources.

Joram Nyathi is the communications director of the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee – a multipartisan body overseeing Zimbabwe’s power sharing government. He writes in his personal capacity.

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Kavindele takes ministers to task over RP Capital, Zamtel deal

COMMENT - " Dr Musokotwane said it was in the country’s history that valuation reports from all privatised company were never released. ". Why doesn't dr. Musokotwane just go and check out Fred M'membe's cell? Because that is where he is going. This is blatant corruption and complete intransparncy. Right from the use of 'RP Capital Partners' (a Dan Gertler company), to refusing to release the reports on ZAMTEL.

Kavindele takes ministers to task over RP Capital, Zamtel deal
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Sat 12 June 2010, 04:01 CAT

ENOCH Kavindele has challenged education minister Dora Siliya, one of the architects of Zamtel privatisation, to disclose why she had to fly directly from Petauke to Johannesburg last week without passing through Lusaka International Airport.

And Kavindele, a former vice-president, has accused finance minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane of not being truthful by insisting that the government will never release RP Capital report on Zamtel because valuation reports for privatised companies are never released.

Following the government’s controversial decision to sell 75 per cent Zamtel shares to Libya’s LAP Green Networks at US $257 million, there has been widespread condemnation from key opposition political parties and civil society organisation who contend that the fixed-line phone company had been sold “for a song.”

Most stakeholders have continued to mount pressure on the government to release the valuation report for Zamtel which was undertaken by RP Capital who were paid US $12.5 million (about K65 billion) for the valuation works and also being imposed on Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) as transactional advisors for Zamtel.

In an interview yesterday, Kavindele stressed that with strengthened international anti-money laundering laws, soon, those celebrating their kickbacks from the Zamtel would be known.

Kavindele challenged Siliya to tell the nation why she abrogated the country’s aviation laws by expressly flying to Johannesburg from a ‘developmental meeting’ in her constituency without passing through the international airport.

“The days of those in government getting away with issues like this are long gone. The Zambian people are now alert,” Kavindele said.

“They Zambian people just want to avoid a situation now where those entrusted with national resources are benefiting as individuals whereas the rest of the population continues to wallow in poverty. The people are alert such that even the aircraft which went to pick Dora from Petauke to take her to Johannesburg, within hours of her boarding that aircraft, the Zambian people knew and were informed ‘that the people that are involved in these things are now for this and that…from Petauke. An aircraft went to pick her and she was in such a hurry that she abrogated rules of the country which demands that anyone exiting the country has to do so through the international airport. They should know that the whole country is upset that the national assets are being given away like this.”

Kavindele said currently it was not possible to hide money obtained corruptly as commissions.

“It is now not possible to hide money received from kickbacks,” said Kavindele.

“President Theodore Nguema Mbasogo, …all the houses they bought, the money in the bank have been frozen. Same for Sani Abacha’s sons...the money which was in Switzerland has been taken away from them and returned to the people of Nigeria. So, there is no hiding this type of money. Soon or later, these things being sold at give away prices for individuals to benefit will be known.”

And Kavindele said there was need for Dr Musokotwane to be honesty about the Zamtel deal.

This week, Dr Musokotwane said it was in the country’s history that valuation reports from all privatised company were never released.

But Kavindele said status reports for all privatised companies which included valuation reports and terms of payments were in public domain deposited in the country’s privatisation history.

On Dr Musokotwane’s statement that Zamtel was fairly priced, Kavindele regretted that Dr Musokotwane had taken to fighting battles started by others.

“We demand more from Mr Musokotwane. He cannot end by issuing a general statement like that,” Kavindele said.

“I was Minister of Commerce and each time a company was privatised a status report was done to give the status of the privatised company stating who had bought which company and at what price. All was published including valuations and prices at which those companies were sold. So what Musokotwane is saying is not true.”

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Zamtel transaction has raised $127m in guaranteed financing - Rupiah

Zamtel transaction has raised $127m in guaranteed financing - Rupiah
By Moses Kuwema
Sat 12 June 2010, 04:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda has disclosed that the transaction involving Zamtel has raised US $127 million in guaranteed financing.

Opening the 13th session of the House of Chiefs yesterday, President Banda said this demonstrated the difference that his government was making in implementing the right processes to bring about change and stimulate the Zambian economy.

“To put the Zamtel transaction in a proper perspective, compared with previous transactions, the gross value raised from the previous transactions was US $433 million, about K40 billion. Of this, the gross mining sector proceeds accounted for US $339 million and non-mining sectors accounted for the remainder,” President Banda said.

He said the government would ensure that a substantial part of the US $257 million is allocated to the settlement of full terminal benefits of all Zamtel employees.

“This differs significantly from previous privatisations, such as RAMCOZ, where employees’ interests were not properly represented or accommodated. Independent auditors have been appointed to ensure that the package for every single employee is correct and in full,” he said.

President Banda said about US $98 million would go straight into the pockets of ordinary Zambians and the economy.

And President Banda said the government had released K4.4 billion for the procurement of 90 vehicles for the chiefs. He said at present, a total of 196 vehicles had been procured and distributed to chiefs countrywide.

“The motor vehicles are meant to facilitate your tours of chiefdoms so that you are kept informed of what the headmen are doing in promoting national development,” he said.

President Banda also noted with great concern the increasing number of succession disputes.

“Royal families should endeavour to resolve these succession disputes amongst themselves before appealing to the House of Chiefs for resolutions. The royal establishments should verify and submit family trees to government in order to curb the trend of succession conflicts,” said President Banda.

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Rupiah feels sorry for Dr Musonda and not for his victim

Rupiah feels sorry for Dr Musonda and not for his victim
By Editor
Sat 12 June 2010, 04:00 CAT

We are told in the Holy Bible that “kings cannot tolerate evil, because justice is what makes a government strong” (Proverbs 16:12).

What the Bible is telling us is that a wise leader should not tolerate injustice because ultimately, injustice can destroy a nation. And the Bible goes on to add: “It is not right to favour the guilty and keep the innocent from receiving justice” (Proverbs 18:5). This is something that Rupiah Banda should reflect on very carefully. The lessons that the Bible gives are very important and he ignores them at his own peril. Great empires have been brought to nothing because of leaders who believed they could run things with injustice. Where there is injustice, people are not happy and “when justice is done, good people are happy, but evil people are brought to despair” (Proverbs 21:15). This brings us to the question: why should Rupiah feel sorry for Dr Solomon Musonda over the Serenje shooting incident?

Solomon shot somebody who is still lying in hospital. Surely, one would expect a president speaking in that capacity, and not as a party cadre, to be concerned about the welfare of the person who was shot. The Bible also tells us when it gives advice to kings that “speak up for people who cannot speak for themselves. Protect the rights of all who are helpless. Speak for them and be a righteous judge. Protect the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9). This is the advice that Rupiah should be following.

It does not make sense for Rupiah to stand in public and announce his pity for Solomon yet keeping quiet about the person who was injured by Solomon. The act that Solomon did, if the police are to be believed, has led to an investigation of attempted murder. This means that the police in their judgment felt that Solomon may have intended to kill the poor chap who was shot. There is no better explanation of the intention of one who shoots a person in the head. The only intention of a person who shoots somebody in the head is to kill. It is shameful that Rupiah finds the courage to stand in public and say he feels sorry for Solomon.

There is a consistency in the way that Rupiah behaves. He has shown us that he does not stand for justice. All other considerations are more important to him, especially politics, than the rule of law. But Rupiah should not forget the advice that the Bible gives. It is justice that will make him a great leader. But injustice will bring him to ruin. Today he is President and feels safe and well-protected. But our people are recording everything he is doing, the positions he is taking on every issue. What Rupiah was saying about Musonda is his characteristic way of giving instructions to the police in public. He is showing them where his sympathies lie – they lie with Solomon and not with that boy who could have died.

This explains the shameful way in which Francis Kabonde, the Inspector General of Police, has been behaving. The poor fellow does not have the moral courage to tell his boss, Rupiah, that the things that he is requiring him to do are wrong and if we follow what the Bible is saying, evil. Rupiah is putting so much pressure on those that work for him that it seems none of them is able to tell him when he is going wrong.

This is why we have been saying that Rupiah and his minions have turned the justice system of this country into a tool for their political hegemony. Only those who are against them are going to be prosecuted or harassed by the police. The decision-making processes of the police are no longer being driven by law but by political affiliation, actual or perceived. This way of doing things is dangerous to the nation. But it is also dangerous to Rupiah because those who are close to him are going to feel that they are above the law and end up committing all sorts of crimes and doing all sorts of atrocious things. If a minister of government can shoot someone and walk free or as we saw in the case of Gastone Sichilima being photographed in a fist fight and face no discipline, what is being said to the police?

What Rupiah said about Solomon is one of the most despicable things that he has ever engaged in. A little wisdom – if a little is all he has – would have told him to shut up about Solomon and express sympathy towards that boy who was shot at.

But this is not the way that Rupiah operates. Ordinary shame and decency does not seem to stop him from doing wrong things. Once he is set on a course, he goes all the way regardless of the consequences. Rupiah is a reckless leader. We could catalogue so many things that he has been pushing since coming to power which are wrong but he persists in doing.

Everybody knows that the police are not operating independently and professionally. They are being used to fix perceived political opponents. The fact that everybody knows has not stopped Rupiah and his minions from coming up with ever-increasing silly schemes targeted at his opponents.

When it comes to procurement scandals, Rupiah is determined. He does not stop defending wrong things. Zamtel is an example. It was clearly demonstrated in our courts that this transaction was conceived in circumstances that suggest wrongdoing. But from the first day, Rupiah has always defended and championed this.

What about Rupiah’s ill-conceived mobile hospital nonsense? Against all advice, Rupiah is pushing ahead. We are left to wonder why.
Even oil procurement has continued to be used for all sorts of things. Just the other day, Rupiah’s government was announcing that they are looking for a cheaper source. The country needs cheap oil, but not through deals organised without transparency using Rupiah’s friends.

We could go on giving examples of how determined Rupiah is to do things that raise questions. We are therefore not surprised when he expresses sympathy for an aggressor. But although we are not surprised by Rupiah’s attitude, we are saddened and worried. We say this because Rupiah is the Republican President who should be representing all of us regardless of our political affiliations or lack of it. Today Rupiah appears to be only a President for his family, friends and MMD cadres and others who sing praise to him. The interests of those who do not belong to him politically or otherwise are not given protection by Rupiah. Common decency should give Rupiah restraint. But that does not seem to be the case. Rupiah is abusing the office that belongs to all the people of this country to serve personal ends. That boy who was shot at, more than Solomon, deserves Rupiah’s sympathy and protection. But so far, Rupiah has shown no interest for the plight of that boy for what can only be cheap political reasons. There is something fundamentally wrong about Rupiah’s sense of humanity. He seems to have none. If in public Rupiah can spew the kind of nonsense we heard the other day about Solomon, what is he saying in private? We would not be surprised to hear that Rupiah is praising Solomon for sorting out a PF cadre.

Our people should not be surprised about the violence that is increasing in our politics. We say this because if a president can support a person who has shot another person in public, then what hope is left? The use of firearms is the highest and worst form of violence because of the damage they can do to a human being. Firearms do not only injure a person, they kill. And they are meant for killing not for simply wounding or inflicting some pain. This is what Rupiah is tolerating. This is what Rupiah is condoning. Rupiah’s conduct explains the behaviour of people like William Banda who seem to fear no legal consequences for their actions.

It is clear that anyone who is on the side of Rupiah will have his protection when it comes to law enforcement. This is why those on the right side of Rupiah are today committing all sorts of crimes with impunity. To take a supporter of Rupiah to court for a criminal offence is an uphill battle; it is not an easy undertaking. Even private prosecution is seldom given by Rupiah’s Director of Public Prosecutions lest the cases are well-prosecuted to secure convictions. Here we have the example of that notorious MMD cadre who has been organising the harassment and beatings of journalists. Firstly, it was very difficult to simply get the police to arrest and charge him. When this was done and the Director of Public Prosecutions was asked for permission to have a private prosecutor handle the matter, he refused.

This is how our criminal justice system is being abused by Rupiah and his minions. There is need to put an end to this.

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Sata questions Rupiah’s protection of Musonda

Sata questions Rupiah’s protection of Musonda
By Chibaula Silwamba and George Chellah
Sat 12 June 2010, 04:01 CAT

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) leader Michael Sata yesterday questioned President Rupiah Banda’s protection of health deputy minister Dr Solomon Musonda who shot and wounded PF cadre Jackson Musaka in Serenje district recently.

Upon his return from a three-day working visit to Mfuwe on Thursday, President Banda said he was sorry for Dr Musonda because he is a professional and there must be a reason that led to his shooting Musaka and that reason would soon be known. But Sata said it was most unfortunate that President Banda could defend his murderous ministers.

“If the President, who is supposed to be the fountain of peace, starts defending his murderous ministers then there is no hope. We don’t even have any hope of justice. We don’t even have any hope of that man being arrested or anything of that nature. It’s most unfortunate,” Sata said.

“Anyway, that is the type of President we have. He has never been on the platform promising the Zambians what he intends to do. So what do you expect from him?”

He said it was unfair that President Banda was praising Dr Musonda, who attempted to murder Musaka.

“If the President is going to allow his ministers to be gunning us, then we don’t know where we are going. We cannot allow people to be gunned and especially using taxpayers’ money, taxpayers’ transport to go and shoot innocent people and being defended by our so-called President. It’s not fair,” Sata said.

“If the President of the Republic of Zambia, who is supposed to be the custodian of peace, is praising murderers then what do we expect, where are we heading to and where are we?”

He demanded that Dr Musonda be taken to court.

“President Banda is not a court. And President Banda as he is not a court let us surrender Dr Musonda to court. Let the court go and decide not Banda,” Sata said.

Sata also stated that Inspector General of police Francis Kabonde was under instruction from the government not to arrest Dr Musonda over the shooting of Musaka.

In a letter to Kabonde dated June 10, 2010, which was also copied to President Banda, home affairs minister Mkhondo Lungu, the chairperson of the Human Rights Commission, European Union leader of delegation Dr Derek Fee and the US Ambassador to Zambia, Sata expressed surprise with the manner Dr Musonda’s case had been handled.

“Re: Shooting of Jackson Musaka by Dr Solomon Musonda. The above-named was shot in the head on 1st June, 2010 by Dr Solomon Musonda who is Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) member of parliament for Chitambo Constituency. Mr Musaka was transferred to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) from Serenje District Hospital on 2nd June, 2010, where he was admitted until 10th June, 2010 when he was discharged. A copy of the medical report from the UTH is herewith enclosed for your easy reference,” Sata stated.

“It is, however, surprising that your office has to-date decided not to take any steps regarding this outrageous criminal act despite the public outcry because the suspect and perpetrator of the crime is a member of the ruling MMD and also a deputy minister in the government. For the last 10 days your office has been hiding behind the principle that the matter is still under investigation and hence the non-arrest and prosecution of Dr Musonda. The truth of the matter is that you have been instructed by those in government not to arrest Dr Musonda.”

Sata stated that the failure by Kabonde’s office to take necessary steps to prosecute Dr Musonda eroded public confidence in the police chief as an individual and the police service at large.

“This is the same government which is supposed to guarantee all the citizens and residents of this country their day-to-day safety and security irrespective of their station in life. As Patriotic Front we take the shooting of an unarmed and defenceless citizen by a minister of government as a blatant violation of human rights and promotion of a culture of impunity by those in authority. I, therefore, challenge you if you are not working under any form of instructions to prove your professionalism and independence by expediting this matter in conjunction with the Director of Public Prosecutions,” Sata stated.

But President Banda said there could be a reason why Dr Musonda shot Musaka.

“I am very sorry also for him Dr Musonda. This matter again as you know it’s in the hands of the police and the DPP Director of Public Prosecution. I have really nothing to say about it. I am of course very sorry for him. He is a professional; it’s a pity that this has happened to him but there must be a reason, we shall know about it soon,” President Banda said.

Asked if he would discipline Dr Musonda, President Banda responded: “No! No! I think you are going too fast, why can’t we wait until everything is clear.”
President Banda also said Post editor-in-chief Fred M’membe should not go and kill himself in a car and accuse him President Banda of killing him.

Reacting to M’membe’s complaint to former President Dr Kenneth Kaunda that his life is in great danger because President Banda, former president Frederick Chiluba and the latter’s friends were hunting him, President Banda said he could not do that to M’membe.

“Do I look like a man hunter? I think that, I can understand, they say in my language, ‘if somebody is in problems don’t shut his mouth’. So let him say whatever he wants to say but to tell you the truth, I think you know me well enough to know that it is far from the truth,” President Banda said.

“In any case, his current problems are not with me, but between him and the judiciary. I have not jailed him, I don’t jail anybody. He has a problem with the judiciary and the judiciary put him in and he should understand that. There is nothing personal between me and him. And he shouldn’t go and kill himself in a car because that is the last thing I will do.”

President Banda also said he was not shaken by the launch of the PF-UPND pact last weekend.

“They launched it also last year. I thought they are going to tell us who is the leader of the pact but they re-launched it. They launched it last year. We all knew about the Pact all along,” said President Banda.

“No! Do we look like shaken people? And where we have come from you could have seen the people at the airport. I think that’s politics; it’s interesting. Next year it should be very fascinating for the Zambians and those watching the Zambian situation.”

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Zambians will change govt in 2011 - Magande

Zambians will change govt in 2011 - Magande
By Ernest Chanda
Sat 12 June 2010, 04:02 CAT

Former finance minister Ng’andu Magande has expressed optimism that Zambians will change government next year. Magande said this when he visited The Post on Tuesday to show solidarity to Post editor-in-chef Fred M'membe following his release from prison on bail.

Magande told M’membe that he never heard about his imprisonment on contempt of court charges because he was out in the village.

“I had gone to see my people out there and I only came back yesterday,” Magande said.

“Like I said in my text message, we have to be strong and move on. Our mission is to leave this world better than we found it. We have to make a mark everyday and you have made a mark to people. And that's what the Bible says that keep faith in your hope and you'll find what you want.”

M'membe replied: “In fact there's a Rabbinic saying that when one is about to die, God sends an angel to him and asks him, ‘is this world that you are about to leave better because you were here?’”

Magande said nobody answers that question.

“ You can't answer that question yourself. Sometimes you say why don't you bring the people outside to answer for you?” he said.

M’membe said people must ask themselves that question everyday, especially in relation to the communities they live in.

“Is your neighbour better because you are the neighbour?” M’membe asked.

Magande said it was surprising that many people do not ask such questions. He said there were a lot of things going wrong in the country. Magande said each time he read about the Chansa Kabwela case, he remembered the K13 billion which was recovered from plundered resources.

“We sat down and Mwanawasa said ‘I want an imaginative project’,” Magande. said. “And we agreed as a government that we will put up 34 maternity wings all over the country. But it seems all those ideas are gone. So, how do you solve problems when you don't even listen?”

M’membe said bad men were now uniting in Zambia, an indication that there is a bigger problem in the country. He said this should worry all the Zambians out there and make them congregate.

“The challenges are big, the problems are many and they need the maximum levels of unity in the country to tackle them,” M’membe said. “Unity in the villages, unity in the families, unity in all the communities, and unity at national level is required for us to make a meaningful impact on the challenges which a lot of people face. A divided nation cannot tackle all these problems.”

Magande: “No. But you have actually done quite a lot. And that just reminds me, I have my Post in the house for 2008. We were told we were going the wrong way, we ignored. People keeping The Post for 2008 they say you said it and you've said it, people didn't listen. I think this time around they'll listen because a lot of people don't have the information; they don't have the opportunity to know.”

M'membe: “For us, Mr Magande we have no regret for what we have done and for what we have said. It is said that a fool regrets what he has done and what he has said. A virtuous person, a wise man regrets for not having said something.”

Magande: “No, but you have and I want to assure you that there's a lot of support out there. And now really people are saying we can't lose the man that we know is behind The Post. Instead of all the people going there at the courts, there are many others who are congregating and saying I wish I were there. So I want to assure you and say the support is there and you just keep on. And like you said, nothing breaks the will of a determined person. Like I was saying, I was out and when I came back I just said let me go and see Fred.”

M'membe: “You know encouragement and support from a national leader like you is always important.”

Magande: But you know he national leader Magande is also a ‘renegade’, a ‘traitor’.

M'membe: “You are not a renegade, you are not a traitor. Who have you betrayed? A traitor is one who wrongs his people when he's given the opportunity to serve them.”

Magande: “Exactly”.

M'membe: “A traitor is one who steals from his nation.”

Magande: “I heard from one of my friends that they those in MMD call me a traitor and I said ‘let them make it louder’. … I have betrayed the people that are not following the right path, and I'm happy to do what is right if that is what is important.”

M'membe: “You left that treasury intact, in the most noble way. You did not steal a single ngwee. Let them investigate and find if you have stolen anything, then we'll call you a traitor.”

Magande: “So, some of these things, it's like I said to one of my friends that this is another Zambian Airways. They are merely fishing around trying to find something and they'll fail.”

M'membe: “You know, they want to blackmail everybody who speaks against what they are doing. Whoever doesn't support them has to be blackmailed, has to be painted black.”

Magande: “So thank you Fred, it's good to see that you are in high spirit. Please continue fighting for a common man out there and the battle will be won. I heard you talk about prisons and I said this is really sad if it's true.”

M'membe: “Yes, I was there 14 years ago and I can say that the prison officers are doing an extremely good job with the limited resources they have. They have transformed the situation there in order to promote human rights. They have tried their best although hampered by resources; money and other things. It is said that a society that does not care about its weakest citizens is good for nothing. There are a lot of people languishing there. Some of them have been there for seven years without seeing a courtroom. And most of them are there for sexual offences; they have been vilified by society and the courts. The moment they are associated with sexual offences, everyone treats them as guilty even before they are given an opportunity to be heard. Laws are made because we know that people will violate them. Look at the justice given to Mr Chiluba and his friends. Mr Kashiwa Bulaya today is serving his sentence in UTH University Teaching Hospital because he is a prominent person. All those people convicted for plunder of national resources none of them is in prison. You will only find young people there who might have stolen a chicken or vegetables because of unemployment. All those who stole millions of Kwacha with Mr Chiluba are serving their sentences outside prison because they are prominent people. That is the justice we have allowed to prevail in our country, where criminals move freely. I think there is need to re-look at the way we treat each other.”

Magande: “It's not far, me I believe next year we will make a change.”

M'membe: “Majority rule means the interests of the majority take precedence over the minority. Of course, it does not mean that the voices of the minority should not be respected. But we are saying the people should have more say over a minority rulers. Why is it that those who go to Morningside clinic take a bigger chunk of the national resources? Look at Chiluba and how much he has consumed even for simple ailments. Even when he was facing court cases he was allowed to benefit from the people whose resources he stole. He was allowed to go to Morningside clinic despite him being a thief. The prisons are full of poor people who do not have money to seek legal representation. The rich people who have stolen more money are serving their sentences outside simply because they have money to pay for legal services. And we call ourselves a Christian nation. I think we should not associate Christ's name with the vanity in our society. Let's call it Chilubaism or maybe Sodom and Gomora because we don't deserve to be called a Christian nation.”

Magande: “And he Chiluba says we should thank him. For what? For stealing our money?”

M'membe: “This is the person Mr Rupiah Banda calls a good leader. This is the damn good president of Rupiah. So, the difference between Rupiah Banda and Chiluba is the same. No wonder they have discovered each other and united to destroy this country.”

Magande: “But Fred, time will come and things will change.”

M'membe: “There is another saying that dig your well before you are thirsty so that when you are thirsty you will drink from it. You can't dig a well when you are already thirsty because you will die of thirsty as you dig.”

Magande: “Exactly”.

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Kaluba urges Rupiah to stop using Chiluba as his campaign tool

Kaluba urges Rupiah to stop using Chiluba as his campaign tool
By Mwila Chansa in Kitwe
Sat 12 June 2010, 04:00 CAT

NATIONAL Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) secretary general Goodwell Kaluba has urged President Rupiah Banda to stop using presi Frederick Chiluba as his campaign tool because he is just adding more salt to people’s injuries.

And Mine Workers Union of Zambia (MUZ) secretary general Oswell Munyenyembe has described as unacceptable the ‘championing’ of the miners’ plight by Chiluba.

Commenting on Chiluba’s trips to mining townships and promises that he would assist miners buy houses at a cheaper price, Kaluba said President Banda must first check himself before sending Chiluba to campaign for him.

“RB is using a wrong person who will always be booed and jeered because this is the same man Chiluba who caused a lot of mess for miners,” Kaluba said. “Chiluba’s reputation is dented and his popularity has faded so using him to campaign is just adding salt to people’s injuries.”

Kaluba said Chiluba was president when the houses in Mukuba-Natwange Township in Kitwe were sold and even when Mukuba Pension Trustees fixed the prices, he never did anything about it.

He said the issue of houses in Mukuba-Natwange had been dragging for a long time and most people had been compelled to get loans in order to buy the houses in question.

Kaluba said he could not understand how Chiluba could today claim to assist the people of Mukuba-Natwange to buy houses at cheaper prices when he failed to do so when he was president.

Kaluba said Chiluba’s decision to entice the people of Mukuba-Natwange to vote for President Banda if he helps them buy houses cheaply amounted to politicking because President Banda as the country’s leader had a duty and obligation to ensure that citizens regardless of their political affiliation led decent lives. Kaluba likened Chiluba’s behaviour to that of Samson in the Bible.

“Today, he is behaving like Samson who lost the glory that God gave him but could not realize it. When did Chiluba learn about the state of toilets in Wusakile? He left them like that. A few toilets have been worked on but most of them are the same,” he said.

Kaluba urged miners to be careful and only entertain people that truly had their interests at heart.

And Munyenyembe said Chiluba today could not claim to champion miners’ rights because he ignored them when he was president.
Munyenyembe urged Chiluba to stop playing with miners’ minds because he would never sway them.

He explained that contrary to popular belief that Chiluba began the housing empowerment in the mining townships, MUZ suggested that houses be part of the miners’ benefits upon realisation that some investors did not have enough money to pay off all benefits that had accrued to miners that were either retrenched or retired after privatization.

“There was a collective agreement before privatisation between MUZ and ZCCM because investors did not have money to pay all accrued benefits. So to reduce the bill, MUZ suggested that houses be part of the benefits so it is not even right for Chiluba to claim that he started the sale of miners’ houses. The 1997 collective agreement between MUZ and ZCCM can give more details regarding the sale of miners’ houses,” Munyenyembe said.

He warned that if Chiluba did not stay away from miners’ issues, he would continue facing “lots of resistance.”

Munyenyembe urged miners to stay focused and not be swayed by Chiluba’s tactics.

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‘Govt opened crop marketing season without adequate funding to FRA’

‘Govt opened crop marketing season without adequate funding to FRA’
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Sat 12 June 2010, 04:00 CAT

THE Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has bought some skimpy quantities of maize, over a month after the government prematurely opened the crop marketing season when moisture content was still high and without adequate purchasing funding to the agency.

The government’s premature opening of the maize marketing season when the FRA is not ready to buy the crop due to lack of money and high moisture content has opened up small-scale farmers to unscrupulous buyers.

Over a month after agriculture minister Peter Daka launched the 2010 crop marketing season in Monze with an announcement that FRA would purchase a 50kg bag of maize at K65,000, the grain buyer of the last resort was yet to enter into the market.

FRA plans to purchase 300,000 tonnes of white maize from peasant farmers to keep in strategic reserves.

Owing to lack of FRA presence in the market, most ‘briefcase’ buyers of maize have taken over the markets, buying the commodity at between K25,000 and K35,000 per 50kg of maize depending on the proximity the source of the maize is to the buying point.

According to the crop purchase update, spokesperson Mwamba Siame said FRA has initiated the maize buying exercise in some districts in North Western Province.
Siame named Kabompo and Zambezi districts as the areas where FRA had started mopping the crop.

“The Agency wishes to report that crop purchases have been recorded in a few depots in Northwestern Province. Kabompo recorded 4,458 x 50kg bags of maize and Zambezi 1,015 x 50Kg bags of maize,” Siame stated. “A sum of K60.9 million has been paid to some farmers in Zambezi District.”

Siame who confirmed that the government had released K16 billion towards the programme said moisture content was still higher than acceptable levels.

“Apart from the high moisture content, maize deliveries have been delayed due to rains recently reported in various parts of the country,” stated Siame. “However, the Agency has positioned its agents, who are ready to receive crop that will meet the grain quality specifications, at all satellite depots. In addition, the government has released K16 billion towards the programme.”

According to some market sources, the FRA would only be able to enter the maize marketing season at “full strength” earliest end of June when the moisture content was expected to reduce to the acceptable levels of 12.5 per cent from the current average of 14 per cent.

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Police apprehend UPND member over Mufumbwe violence

Police apprehend UPND member over Mufumbwe violence
By David Chongo in Solwezi
Sat 12 June 2010, 04:01 CAT

NDOLA UPND member Mark Munsanje has been arrested in connection with the violence that rocked the recent Mufumbwe by-election and will appear in court on June 24.

Munsanje, whose interrogation took about an hour on Wednesday in Solwezi, was slapped with three charges for his alleged involvement in a case in which a police officer was alleged to have been abducted in a vehicle Musanje had been driving.

He was charged with threatening violence contrary to Section 90, assault on a police officer contrary to Section 250 (b) and abduction with intent to murder contrary to Section 255 Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

However, he was granted a K10 million police bond with two working local sureties on similar amount each.

Munsanje, who was accompanied by Copperbelt UPND information and publicity secretary Kennedy Kalunga commended the manner in which the investigating officer, a superintendent Chibwe handled the case.

“I must mention that the police were very professional. They handled the whole process very well. I can’t complain. If we have such officers in the police service, I think things would be handled well,” said Munsanje.

However, Kalunga said police had failed to raise the issue of attacks on UPND members of parliament Charles Kakoma and Watson Lumba including MMD cadres’ destruction of their bus during the same election.

Kalunga complained that despite the fact that the police had information on the two incidences, nothing had been done so far.

He said the service was exercising selective justice by not bringing to book the MMD cadres alleged to have been involved.

“One thing that continues to bother my mind is the way the police are handling these cases. Why are they not arresting the MMD cadres who assaulted Hon Kakoma and Hon Lumba? They know them and they know what happened but they are doing nothing. For justice to happen they have to be arrested because these cases happened before the alleged case we are following happened,” said Kalunga.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

(NYASATIMES) Malawi singer claims gay attack

Malawi singer claims gay attack
By Nyasa Times
Published: June 11, 2010

Malawian singer Bon Kavalasanza was brutally attacked by a rough necks who he claims were angered by his anti gay lyrics. He has lodged a complaint with the police about an attack according to Zodiak Radio.

“They got me into their car and started beating me up. They said I had no business singing against same sex marriages when the president had just pardoned a couple,” Kavalasanza was quoted Zodiak.

According to the radio, the singer claims someone phoned him hailing him for his newly cut Dr. Love video album and proposed a meeting for possible promotion.

However, when he turned up for the meeting near a hotel in Lilongwe and met the people who called him up, they bundled him in a vehicle and begun the assaults, reports ZBS.

“I have reported the matter at Lilongwe Police Station today (Thursday),” he said adding that he was rescued from his four assailants by passers-by in another vehicle.

“The four men told me that gays want that album withdrawn from the market. I would not do that. That song is telling a true story.”

Police said they are investigating the matter.

Homosexuality is illegal in Malawi but there has been an open debate to decriminalize the same-sex relationship after a gay couple Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza celebrated their public engagement and earned maximum 14 years jail term.

The two were pardoned by President Bingu wa Mutharika who succumbed to international condemnation.

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(HERALD) Tobacco deliveries to auction floors improve

Tobacco deliveries to auction floors improve
Agriculture Reporter

More than 6,5 million kilogrammes of tobacco are being delivered to the auction floors every week following an improvement in the supply of hessian bags. The bags have been in short supply and were being sold at the open market at exorbitant prices.

Zimbabwe Industry and Tobacco Auction Centre public relations manager, Ms Kudzayi Hamadziripi, yesterday said deliveries had improved and full sales were being conducted.

A full sale at Zitac comprises 6 400 bales.

"There have been restrictions during the past weeks as farmers failed to deliver their crop due to the short supply of the wrapping material.

"On Monday, we registered an increase in deliveries as most farmers were anticipating good prices at the beginning of the week," she said.

Latest information from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board shows that throughout last week, deliveries almost doubled to 6,5 million kilogrammes from 3,5 million kilogrammes the previous week.

"This is attributed largely to availability of wrapping material that has significantly improved as prices also firmed up against the previous week," read the statement.

According to TIMB, the downward trend on the seasonal average prices continued closing the week at an average US$3,05 per kilogramme.

TIMB’s weekly bulletin states that although some good grades recorded slight gains, average prices continued to weaken during the past week to US$2,67 from US$2,87 per kilogramme recorded the week before.

"As a result of the downward trend on prices during the past week, tobacco withdrawals for speculative reasons increased, torn tickets by growers constituted the majority of the rejected bales."

During the past two weeks, farmers boycotted selling their crop due to poor prices that were being offered by buyers.

The low prices were attributed to major buyers who had withdrawn from the market.

The situation, however improved as more buyers started returning to the market.

Farmers have the right to object to a sale when not satisfied with the price but cannot do so as a group as this is an offence.

Meanwhile, about 114 000kg of burley tobacco have so far been delivered to the auction floors at an average price of US$2,13 per kilogramme, TIMB chief executive officer Dr Andrew Matibiri has said.

Dr Matibiri said there was a significant increase of burley tobacco delivered this year as compared to last year.

"Last year, there was 55 368kg that were delivered compared to this year’s 113 565kg during the same period.

"The burley tobacco delivered is worth US$242 187.00 as compared to US$100 693, which shows that there is a 51,2 percent increase from last year," he said.

Dr Matibiri said there was also a significant increase in the average price of the crop from last year’s US$1,82 to this year’s US$2,13.

"There is a 200 percent increase of burley tobacco farmers this year as compared to 2009.

Burley tobacco farmers deliver their crop to Savanna and Gold Driven Investment and the two companies have contracts with the farmers," he said.

This year there is a reduction of tobacco wastage from last year’s 8,8 percent to this year’s 0.1 percent.

According to statistics from TIMB, the daily delivery of tobacco has also significantly increased from last year’s 856kg to 8617kg this year. This therefore translates to a massive 90 percent increase.

The statistics showed that there was also an increase of tobacco bales laid and sold as compared to 2009, with a 57,9 percent and 61,6 percent respectively.



(HERALD) Cotton prices: Govt ropes in Chinese firms

Cotton prices: Govt ropes in Chinese firms
Agriculture Reporter

Government has roped in some Chinese companies to buy cotton this season as it seeks to increase competition in an industry that has been affected by poor prices. This follows an impasse between cotton growers and traditional buyers over producer prices.

Cotton farmers were complaining over the US30 cents per kilogramme that was being offered by buyers. They argued the price is not viable.

This prompted the Government to intervene and announce the price of US42 cents per kilogramme, which some farmers still said was low considering the high production costs.

In an interview yesterday, Agriculture Minister Joseph Made said an agreement had been concluded for Chinese companies to participate in the purchasing of cotton.

"China already has some companies supporting tobacco and we are also looking at assistance that should go towards cotton farmers. The Chinese are major players in the cotton sector as they consume eight million kilogrammes per year," he said.

Minister Made said some contractors this year did not support cotton growing as they supplied inputs for low hectarage.

"The contracted crop should be sold to the contractor but the farmer is free to sell the remainder to willing buyers," he said.

Chinese companies are expected to support farmers in terms of inputs.

"Zimbabwe’s challenge has been delivery of crop inputs, cotton demands in terms of seed and fertilizers and chemicals for the production of high quality crop.

"We hope the Chinese will be able to support farmers and venture on agro-processing so that we will be able to benefit from raw cotton," he said.

On the rejection of the US42 cents per kilogramme price by farmers, Minister Made said they were justified because they were looking at viability.

"Government is looking into the matter with the seriousness it deserves. Cotton is their only crop hence they need to realise a reasonable profit to allow them to get back on the land next season," he said.

Minister Made said although it was important to consider international prices, it was also equally important that farmers aired their views on the producer prices.

He said farmers should, however, speak with one voice through their unions or representatives.

"We should not leave the farmer to die because we can easily import everything. We should defend farmers, we should defend land reform," Minister Made said.

He said his ministry would continue to lobby the Ministry of Finance for increased assistance to cotton farmers.

Producer price disputes have riddled the cotton industry since the beginning of the marketing season.

Merchants were offering US 31 cents per kilogramme, prices cotton growers rejected. This resulted in growers withholding their crop prompting Government intervention and set the price at US42 cents.

Farmers have however, rejected the price arguing that the crop should fetch more to cushion them against high production costs.

Minister Made yesterday morning met the Ministry of Industry and Commerce officials to discuss the way forward on the cotton issue but the outcome of the meeting could not be established.

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(HERALD) Season records low winter wheat hectrage

Season records low winter wheat hectrage
Herald Reporters

Farmers have this winter wheat season so far planted 7 000 hectares compared to 11 000 last year. This year’s national target was set at 60 000 hectares. There are fears farmers might fail to surpass the 10 000 hectares mark.

The greatest challenge they face is unreliable power supply that seriously affected irrigation schedules.

Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union director Mr Paul Zakariya was however, optimistic that the hectarage under wheat would increase to 15 000 if farmers continued planting beyond the cut off date of June 1.

"Not much is happening on the ground in terms of wheat planting.

"Inputs came late and most farmers have decided to either cut their hectarage while others abandoned wheat production this season," Mr Zakariya said.

The Government’s US$10 million subsidised inputs came after the planting dates and this affected some farmers seriously.

"The situation is bad for some farmers who do not have cash to buy the subsidised fertilizers going for US$15 per bag," he said.

Meanwhile, power interruptions have also affected the wheat that has already germinated.

The crop is suffering from moisture stress and frost.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union president Mr Wilson Nyabonda said wheat heavily depended on electricity availability and constant cuts posed a great challenge this season.

Commenting on the power outages, Energy and Power Development Minister Elias Mudzuri said not every wheat farmer would get constant electricity supply.

He said Government had identified certain clusters that had major wheat producers to supply with power to ensure maximum productivity.

Minister Mudzuri said Zesa was compelled to supply electricity to the selected wheat growers and those with queries should approach his Ministry for assistance.

"We selected major wheat producers through the Ministry of Agriculture and farmers are having three days per week of consistent power supply. If people are not receiving the normal allocation they should feel free to visit our offices. Zesa is actually compelled to supply the farmers without any interruptions," he said.

Initially, Zesa Holdings promised uninterrupted electricity supply three days a week for the winter cropping season this year but this is not the situation in most areas.

Farmers who had an early crop have started counting their losses as it is being affected by constant power cuts.

In Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland East provinces, farmers are going for two weeks without electricity.

The nation requires 450 000 tonnes of wheat but for the past few years has been failing to meet the target as yields continued to decrease.

This is mainly being caused by late distribution of inputs and unreliable power supply.

This year some farmers who had been producing wheat for years shifted to barley under contract farming because of the guarantee of early inputs and ready market.

Last year wheat production was affected by the financial constraints as most farmers failed to buy the inputs, which were readily available on the market.

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(HERALD) Nkomo applauds Zambia

Nkomo applauds Zambia
Herald Reporter

Acting President John Landa Nkomo last night lauded the bilateral ties between Zimbabwe and Zambia saying they are set to strengthen following the introduction of a flight between Lusaka and Harare starting today.

Speaking at the launch of the Lusaka- Harare route by Zambezi Airlines, the Acting President said the strong and cordial relations of the two countries was evidenced by the presence of Zambian founding President Dr Kenneth Kaunda who touched down at 1700 hours aboard Zambezi Airline for the event.

"The journey for Dr Kaunda has been very long, but eventful. For Zambezi Airline, I say you have done us and Dr KK proud because this is the environment he wanted created. We in Zimbabwe join our Zambian counterparts in celebrating the efforts by the airline," said Acting President Nkomo.

He said the bilateral relations between the two had stood the test of time.

"When the whiteman came, he could not even distinguish between a Tonga person from the two countries (Zimbabwe and Zambia)," he said.

Dr Kaunda hailed Zambezi Airline, saying the launch was historic in that it enhanced trade between the two countries.

"The occasion is truly historic. The route will facilitate travel and enhance trade between people of our countries. It will facilitate people to people interaction as well as boost tourism for the two countries," said Dr Kaunda.

His speech was prefaced by singing of revolutionary songs and HIV and AIDS songs.

He said the introduction of the route was consistent with the spirit of the Abuja Declaration signed in 1981 during an Organisation of African Unity summit, which sought to enhance cooperation among member countries.

"This can only be realised through enhanced communication including air travel. There can be no doubt that enhanced regional cooperation can achieve what was envisaged in the Abuja Declaration," he said.

Zambezi Airline board chairperson, Dr Maurice Jangulo, said his airline would soon enter into code-sharing discussions with Air Zimbabwe. "We are now at an advanced stage with Air Zimbabwe on code-sharing on regional routes and international routes. I also want to thank our two governments for creating an enabling environment for our business," he said.

Transport, Communication and Infrastructural Development Minister Nicholas Goche and his permanent secretary, Mr Partson Mbiriri witnessed the event.

Zambezi Airline commenced operations as a domestic carrier on July 15 2008, servicing the main Zambian cities and towns of Ndola, Kitwe, Livingstone, Solwezi and Chipata with a 30 seater aircraft.

It then went regional, the first flight being the Lusaka–Johannesburg route in May 2009 and built a reputation for excellent in-flight service. This was after it leased two Boeing 737–300 series aircraft from GE Commercial Aviation Service.

Configured for 12 Premier Business class and 99 Economy class seating, the airline’s aircraft are powered by new technology, fuel-efficient engines that also offer passengers a quieter cabin.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) ZAPU slams indigenisation

ZAPU slams indigenisation
by Staff Reporter
11/06/2010 00:00:00

THE opposition ZAPU party has accused President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF of using the recently announced economic empowerment regulations to enrich regime cronies before the country adopts a new constitution and holds fresh elections.

Under the country’s empowerment regulations, foreign-owned firms are required to cede at least 51 percent of their shareholding to locals and the government has warned that those failing to comply risked losing their operating licenses.

However ZAPU, which is led by Dumiso Dabengwa – a former senior member of Zanu PF – accused President Mugabe’s party of using the regulations to enrich senior officials before the party is “kicked out of office” at the next elections.

The party said, while it supported the policy of empowering local people, it was opposed to the manner in which “the Inclusive Government, in particular elements of the Zanu-PF establishment, are going about the exercise”.

“It would appear Zanu-PF functionaries in the Inclusive Government are on a spree to allocate the people’s natural resources to their connections under the guise of indigenization.

“Realizing that the sun is setting on their party, Zanu-PF ministers are clearly on a mission to plunder and mortgage people’s resources to foreign companies fronted by their relatives, friends and party supporters,” ZAPU spokesperson Methuseli Moyo said in a statement.

The party also expressed concern over the granting of mining concessions by the mines ministry amid reports that sections of the security services were being permitted to exploit mineral deposits in the country.

“ZAPU notes with concern the goings-on particularly in the Ministry of Mine and Mining Development, where there is a spree to allocate virtually all mining rights and concessions, without any regard to sustainability and future generations.

“We believe Zanu-PF is on a mission to allocate all key natural resources to their cronies before the adoption of a new constitution and the holding of fresh elections, which everyone knows they have no chance of winning,” Moyo said.

He also accused the two MDC formations who are part of the country’s coalition government of being complicit in the plunder of the country’s resources.

“Zapu is disappointed that the two MDCs have simply become appendages of the Zanu-PF establishment and are allowing themselves to be diverted by so-called outstanding issues in the GPA while Zanu-PF plunders people’s resources.


“It is sad that the two parties have, in our view, become part and parcel of the problem by failing to deduce what the real issues are, and are busy expending their energies on getting jobs for their boys,” Moyo said.

The empowerment regulations – over which the coalition government appears divided - have also spooked investors with some companies privately intimating that they would hold back on planned expansion programmes.

Meanwhile Moyo also warned that foreign investors which go into partnerships under the current arrangements risk losing their investments in the event there was a change of government.

“Zapu takes this opportunity to warn foreigners who are tempted to team up with Zanu-PF functionaries to pillage Zimbabwean resources that the end is nigh and they stand to lose out in the long term when the next government re-establishes political, economic and social order in the country,” he said.

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Booing a thief, a lazo wherever he goes

Booing a thief, a lazo wherever he goes
By The Post
Fri 11 June 2010, 08:20 CAT

The mark of great leaders is the ability to understand the context in which they are operating and act accordingly.

It is very clear that neither Rupiah Banda nor his friend Frederick Chiluba understand the context in which they are operating. If they did, they would have realised that Chiluba is today not a positive factor in the politics of our country.

The great majority of the Zambian people see Chiluba as a thief, a crook, a liar, a man who embodies the worst forms of corruption. But Rupiah still thinks Chiluba has some positive political standing.

And Chiluba is deceiving himself that he can deliver some positive electoral results for Rupiah on the Copperbelt and Luapula, among the Bemba-speaking people.

Chiluba’s political campaign trips to Luapula the other month and in 2008 have yielded nothing in favour of Rupiah. They have simply exposed Chiluba to ridicule and embarrassment. But of course we know that Chiluba can never be embarrassed because he has no shame inside his heart, he is a hard-core crook. Nothing can shame or embarrass Chiluba. If Chiluba has a conscience that would make him feel embarrassed, he would not have done the things he did.

There is no person with a conscience that can take more than US $1 million from the state coffers of a poor country like ours and spend that type of money on designer suits, shirts, pyjamas, shoes and so on and so forth in a European boutique when the great majority of his people live in abject poverty, on less than one dollar a day. This is the man Rupiah has hired as a political consultant or advisor. This is the man they are trying to use to win the support of the humble people of Luapula and those toiling on the mines on the Copperbelt.

Simple wisdom would have by now made Rupiah and his friends realise that the deployment of Chiluba in their political campaigns was a mistake. And taught by mistakes, they would have become wiser in their use of this unpopular friend of theirs. It is hard for any person to avoid making mistakes. But once a mistake is made, one should correct it, and the more quickly and thoroughly, the better.

There is nothing special about Chiluba. Like his friend Rupiah, Chiluba did not become president of this country because he had the greatest wisdom and virtues. Chiluba was not a messiah, but an ordinary man who had become a leader because of extraordinary circumstances.

It seems Rupiah and Chiluba don’t understand where the country is today and the thinking of the Zambian people. Their behaviour, what they are doing reminds us once again that to truly lead one’s people, one must also truly know them. Rupiah and Chiluba, as things stand today, don’t truly know the Zambian people.

If they knew them, they wouldn’t be doing the things they are doing; they wouldn’t be making the mistakes they are making. Enough advice has been given to Rupiah from both within and outside the ruling MMD. But it seems sometimes there is nothing one can do to save something that must die.

Wherever Chiluba has gone, he has been denounced as thief, a lazo. And truly and justifiably so because the man is a thief, a lazo. No matter how much Rupiah may try to launder Chiluba as “a damn good president”, nobody will buy that lie because they know who Chiluba is and who he was as president of their country. The man is nothing but a crook who lives by crooking his way through life.

It is not in dispute, and it will never be in dispute, that Chiluba stole from the government of the Republic of Zambia. Even the acquittal that Rupiah secured for him from the Zambian courts will not do.

And indeed Rupiah, by now, should realise that his scheme to launder Chiluba has failed because the Zambian people truly know who Chiluba is – a thief, a lazo. And they are calling him by this name – thief, lazo – wherever he goes. And this is not out of malice or hatred. It is simply out of a reality that things must be called by their true names. And names usually come from one’s conduct.

The Zambian people have been very tolerant of Chiluba. They have allowed him to move around and speak or say whatever he wants. But it will now seem that Chiluba is pushing his luck too far; he is overstretching to breaking point the tolerance of the Zambian people. What Chiluba is now trying to do amounts to insulting the collective intelligence of the Zambian people. Tolerance does not amount to stupidity, to foolishness on the part of the Zambian people.

Chiluba is a disgraced politician who should live to pay his penance for the many crimes he has committed against the Zambian people. Chiluba needs to show contrition before he can think of being accepted by the Zambian people in the smallest of ways.

Chiluba owes the Zambian people an apology for the abuse of their resources and the public office they had entrusted to him. He also owes some of his fellow citizens – like princess Nakatindi Wina, Rajan Mahtani, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, the late Dean Mung’omba, among others – apologies. But Chiluba is too proud and arrogant to apologise to anyone, let alone admit that he did wrong things.

Chiluba is failing to admit that he maliciously detained these people on trumped-up treason charges. He is also failing, despite abundant evidence, to admit that he abused public office to enrich himself and his friends. This is the man Rupiah says was “a damn good president” and has hired to be his political consultant and advisor.

It is said that “you will earn the trust and respect of others if you work for good; if you work for evil, you are making a mistake” (Proverbs 14:22) and that “stupid people are happy with their foolishness, but the wise will do what is right” (Proverbs 15:21).

There is no political influence that Chiluba commands in this country today. And Rupiah and Chiluba are just cheating each other about what their friendship or political association can deliver. They don’t understand what is in their people’s mind today. Anyway, “a fool does not care whether he understands a thing or not; all he wants to do is show how smart he is” (Proverbs 18:2).

The booing Chiluba is receiving wherever he goes should be enough warning about what is likely to follow if he persists on this path. But again, “sensible people will see trouble coming and avoid it, but an unthinking person will walk right into it and regret later” (Proverbs 22:3).

We understand Rupiah’s political desperation. But trying to depend on discredited characters like Chiluba will not help him achieve anything positive. It is said that “depending on an unreliable person in a crisis is like trying to chew with a loose tooth or walk with a crippled foot” (Proverbs 25:19).

Chiluba always tries to portray himself as a very smart person, a very intelligent politician, a political engineer. But what is smart or intelligent about Chiluba’s decisions and actions?

Is stealing public funds and spending it on designer clothes and women a wise or smart thing? Is abusing political power that has been given to you by your poor and humble fellow citizens a wise or smart thing? Again, we are told in Proverbs 26:12: “The most stupid fool is better off than someone who thinks he is wise when he is not.”

The Zambian people are generally generous and peace-loving. But they are not fools to be taken for granted and abused without sensitivity in the way Chiluba is trying to do it. They can allow him to go around and do whatever he wants, visit his relatives and friends wherever they may be.

But to try to go around markets and their compounds to cheat them, to corrupt their souls with the sale of council houses and promises of all sorts of things for them to support and vote for his savior Rupiah is going too far. There is a Chinese proverb which says: “You cannot prevent the birds of sadness from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.”

Truly, the Zambian people have no reason to stop Chiluba from flying around the country over their heads and going wherever he wants, but they will not allow him to perch on their heads and build nests for his lies, corruption, manipulation and deceit.

Rupiah has hired a wrong and useless, or rather costly, political consultant and advisor. Chiluba is nothing but a liability to Rupiah and the MMD in general.

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Chiluba is a weed which is undesirable in any garden – Sata

Chiluba is a weed which is undesirable in any garden – Sata
By George Chellah and Patson Chilemba
Fri 11 June 2010, 08:04 CAT

CHILUBA is a political weed which is undesirable in any political garden, PF leader Michael Sata charged yesterday. And Sata challenged President Rupiah Banda to explain why the President of Chad Idriss Deby sneaked into the country quietly.

Commenting on continued booing of former president Frederick Chiluba by Copperbelt residents, Sata said it was sad that Chiluba had continued to embarrass himself all in the name of impressing President Rupiah Banda.

“Chiluba has asked for the booing. I don’t even know why Chiluba can’t get the message from the people he is visiting everywhere he goes. The MMD has described him as their political consultant. But the reality is Frederick Chiluba is a dented political consultant hence this reaction from people wherever he goes,” Sata said.

“Chiluba went to Kasama and they rejected him. He went to Luapula as a son of the soil and he was rejected as well and now he has been rejected on the Copperbelt, too. But it’s like he can’t see that he is embarrassing himself.

“Anyway, as PF we think Rupiah should continue with Chiluba as a political consultant because wherever he goes Chiluba is making our job very easy as PF. So we need MMD to have a dented political consultant like Chiluba because that will assist us crush them smoothly.”

Sata said contrary to Chiluba’s statement, PF was not worried or concerned about his visits.

“Chiluba is a political weed which is undesirable in any garden. No one looks forward to having political weeds like Chiluba in their fields,” he said.
Sata said there was need for President Banda to advise his friend Chiluba to slow down.

“It’s like Rupiah has allowed Chiluba to provoke the situation wherever he goes. He is inciting people! I said it before that Chiluba has more enemies than friends on the Copperbelt. That’s why I am not surprised with the booing he is receiving. It’s just that he has a short memory and he has forgotten that it’s the same Ndola where a lot of people lost jobs because he closed so many companies,” Sata said.

“People of Ndola cannot be excited with Chiluba because he single-handedly sent a great number of them into destitution. After losing jobs, some people even died from depression and left kids on the streets all because of Chiluba. So who can be happy with a man who inflicted that kind of misery on people and subsequently left innocent souls to suffer for what they didn’t know?

“Chiluba must not impose himself on the people. Chiluba is enjoying his pension whilst thousands of Zambians have not even received a single ngwee. Thousands of people in Ndola where he was never received their benefits after he shut down those companies. They were all condemned to poverty like I have indicated.”

Sata said it was sad that Chiluba even had the courage to mock the people of Ndola after causing so much destruction in their lives.

“Let him not impose himself on people. The people are not children. Chiluba is mocking the people,” he said.

And Sata said the nation was experiencing President Banda’s style of leadership where Presidents of other countries could sneak into the country quietly.

“A President of any nation is not a private person. Even if he goes for a private visit, people must know that he has arrived. People must receive that president. Whether he has come officially or otherwise, but the President has sneaked in quietly. We have to be cautious,” Sata said. “We have to be very cautious. We know where we are coming from but we don’t know where Rupiah Banda and Chiluba are taking us.”

Sata said Zambians deserved to know the reason a foreign President had come into the country unannounced.

“We want Rupiah Banda to explain. We want the foreign affairs minister Kabinga Pande to explain. We want Vice-President George Kunda and information minister Ronnie Shikapwasha to explain. People of Zambia are supposed to know,” Sata said. “A President of a different country is not like Michael Sata sneaking into Malawi or Zimbabwe.”

Sata said he suspected that President Banda was meeting leaders of foreign countries to cut deals and finish off the sale of Zamtel.

“We don’t know whether the Chadian President is one of the investors. We shall hear,” said Sata. “Well if he is Idriss, he is very close to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Probably he has brought some message from Gaddafi.”

And asked to comment on assertions that he instructed the government media not to report on President Deby’s visit into the country, President Banda’s press aide Dickson Jere stated that he never instructed the public media against publishing any story.

“I never stopped any media organisation from covering any story,” Jere said. “President Deby was never in Zambia or Mfuwe and therefore never held any meeting with President Banda here in Zambia. You can verify this fact with the office of President Deby in Chad,” stated Jere.

However, well-placed sources revealed that Jere instructed some state media not to publish President Deby’s presence in the country where he was meeting President Banda who was on a working Holiday in Mfuwe.

“I am sure you have friends within state media organisations. Phone John Phiri to find out if the Times of Zambia did not receive such instructions,” the source said.

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Women’s conference denounces Rupiah’s govt in communique

Women’s conference denounces Rupiah’s govt in communique
By Agness Changala
Fri 11 June 2010, 14:00 CAT

WOMEN from the 10 African countries that attended the meeting which was disrupted by a police officer Chushi have signed a communiqué denouncing President Rupiah Banda’s governance record. Police on Tuesday harassed Mandevu member of Parliament Jean Kapata on suspicion that she had convened an illegal women’s meeting at Lusaka’s Hotel Intercontinental.

The conference was attended by members of parliament and civil society activists from Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, and Zambia.

In a communiqué signed by all conference participants, on June 9, 2010, African women’s Development and communications Network (FEMNET) immediate past chairperson Sara Longwe observed that the Zambian police starkly brought into question whether the government had any respect for an individual’s fundamental rights to freedom of movement, freedom of association and freedom of expression as enshrined in the Zambian Constitution and the various international and regional human rights instruments reaffirming these rights which the State had acceded to.

Longwe said police action represented an attack on all the progress that Zambian women had made in their participation in the affairs of the country at all levels.

“In addition, the action is a violation of the above mentioned fundamental human rights and an attempt to suffocate women’s voices by intimidating women in the political opposition and civil society organizations,” Longwe said.

She said the blatant attack on the legitimate regional women’s leadership conference was outrageously embarrassing for Zambia, and portrayed Zambia as resembling a dictatorship with government monitoring women’s political activities aimed at silencing the thought provoking voices of women.

Longwe observed that at the time of the police intrusion, the conference room and the adjoining corridors were swarming with media personnel who could have provided the police full and accurate information on the nature of the meeting which Kapata attended.

She said participants expressed dismay and anger at the unprofessional and unacceptable behaviour the police in particular Chushi.

Longwe explained that Lusaka police commanding officer Greenwell Ng’uni was contacted on the embarrassing development and he confirmed that the police had acted on a rumour that he received about Kapata holding an illegal Patriotic Front (PF) meeting at the said hotel.

She said Ng’uni told them that as a result, police had gone to the hotel to confirm the rumour by talking to her.

The conference was organized by FEMNET and supported by Non-Governmental Organizations Coordinating Council (NGOCC), Zambia Association for Research and Development (ZARD) and officially opened by acting gender minister Dr Brian Chituwo.

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Financial re-regulation and democracy

Financial re-regulation and democracy
Tue 08 June 2010, 08:20 CAT

It has taken almost two years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and more than three years since the beginning of the global recession brought on by the financial sector’s misdeeds for the United States and Europe finally to reform financial regulation.

Perhaps we should celebrate the regulatory victories in both Europe and the United States. After all, there is almost universal agreement that the crisis the world is facing today – and is likely to continue to face for years – is a result of the excesses of the deregulation movement begun under Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan 30 years ago. Unfettered markets are neither efficient nor stable.

But the battle – and even the victory – has left a bitter taste. Most of those responsible for the mistakes – whether at the US Federal Reserve, the US Treasury, Britain’s Bank of England and Financial Services Authority, the European Commission and European Central Bank, or in individual banks, have not owned up to their failures.

Banks that wreaked havoc on the global economy have resisted doing what needs to be done. Worse still, they have received support from the Fed, which one might have expected to adopt a more cautious stance, given the scale of its past mistakes and the extent to which it is evident that it reflects the interests of the banks that it was supposed to regulate.

This is important not just as a matter of history and accountability: much is being left up to regulators. And that leaves open the question: can we trust them? To me, the answer is an unambiguous no, which is why we need to “hard-wire” more of the regulatory framework. The usual approach – delegating responsibility to regulators to work out the details – will not suffice.

And that raises another question: whom can we trust? On complex economic matters, trust had been vested in bankers (after all, if they make so much money, they obviously know something!) and in regulators, who often (but not always) came from the markets. But the events of recent years have shown that bankers can make megabucks, even as they undermine the economy and impose massive losses on their own firms.

Bankers have also shown themselves to be “ethically challenged.” A court of law will decide whether Goldman Sachs’ behavior – betting against products that it created – was illegal. But the court of public opinion has already rendered its verdict on the far more relevant question of the ethics of that behavior. That Goldman’s CEO saw himself as doing “God’s work” as his firm sold short products that it created, or disseminated scurrilous rumors about a country where it was serving as an “adviser,” suggests a parallel universe, with different mores and values.

As always, the “devil is in the detail,” and financial-sector lobbyists have labored hard to make sure that the new regulations’ details work to their employers’ benefit. As a result, it will likely be a long time before we can assess the success of whatever law the US Congress,ultimately enacts.

But the criteria for judgment are clear: the new law must curb the practices that jeopardised the entire global economy, and reorient the financial system towards its proper tasks – managing risk, allocating capital, providing credit (especially to small- and medium-sized enterprises), and operating an efficient payments system.

We should toast the likely successes: some form of financial-product safety commission will be established; more derivative trading will move to exchanges and clearing houses from the shadows of the murky “bespoke” market; and some of the worst mortgage practices will be restricted. Moreover, it looks likely that the outrageous fees charged for every debit transaction – a kind of tax that goes not for any public purpose but to fill the banks’ coffers – will be curtailed.

But the likely failures are equally noteworthy: the problem of too-big-to-fail banks is now worse than it was before the crisis. Increased resolution authority will help, but only a little: in the last crisis, US government “blinked,” failed to use the powers that it had, and needlessly bailed out shareholders and bondholders – all because it feared that doing otherwise would lead to economic trauma. As long as there are banks that are too big to fail, government will most likely “blink” again.

It is no surprise that the big banks succeeded in stopping some essential reforms; what was a surprise was a provision in the US Senate’s bill that banned government-insured entities from underwriting risky derivatives. Such government-insured underwriting distorts the market, giving big banks a competitive advantage, not necessarily because they are more efficient, but because they are “too big to fail.” - Project Syndicate

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Maize marketing at crossroads

Maize marketing at crossroads
By Editor
Tue 08 June 2010, 08:20 CAT

We can state with full consciousness that the current maize bumper output the country achieved this year is a disaster in the making.

The potential of this feat going sour is so high. And every day, we see this potential racing towards fruition – at least, if the behaviour of key stakeholders in the maize marketing is anything to go by.

For background’s sake, we would like to state that records are there to show that the country has struggled to export its 280, 000 metric tonnes of maize from the previous season. This scenario has been exacerbated this year by the 2.8 million metric tonnes output our farmers have delivered for the 2009/2010 farming season.

We were not particularly as excited as other misguided government fanatics when agriculture minister went on the podium to celebrate the highest crop harvest in about 22 years.

This record output puts the country in an awkward position, simply for two principal reasons: the country has never been ready to explore export markets for its maize while on the other hand we have produced more than we need.

And today, the Zambia National Farmers Union has called for the re-introduction of the marketing board to oversee the purchase and eventual sale of agricultural commodities.

The farmers’ body has since suggested that millers and grain traders be banned from directly purchasing maize and other agricultural commodities from small-scale farmers as they often buy the crops at below production-cost price.
Jervis Zimba, the president of the farmers union, is today telling us that there is need for the creation of one institution, such as the defunct National Marketing Board (NAMBOARD), that will solely oversee the purchase of maize from farmers in the country.

Zimba who uses Malawi and Zimbabwe as test cases is also saying the deregulation in maize marketing has proved that it can never work to better the lives of poor farmers and mealie-meal consumers.

We sense a lot of desperation in Zimba’s musings and we understand his concern. Zimba is definitely a president in a very difficult situation and this is the situation most of our farmers find themselves in. NAMBOARD remained the buyer of last resort and a government tool for intervening in the market. Producer prices of all controlled agricultural commodities, except maize for which a fixed price was determined, were set as floor prices.

NAMBOARD’s existence was synonymous with tenets of a commandist economy then.

We therefore do not fully support the reintroduction of the NAMBOARD look-like arrangement because we know it will be prone to abuse. We say so because NAMBOARD itself was forced to cease operations because it had a lot of bottlenecks and deficiencies. Our people need to be reminded that President Rupiah Banda once served as chief executive officer of NAMBOARD – a position he was unceremoniously hounded out of by former president Kenneth Kaunda.

We, however, fully agree with Zimba when he calls for a total review of the maize production and marketing system in the country. This should start with the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).

There is need to reform the FRA especially with respect to how it deals with small-scale farmers. We know very well that the FRA rarely pays the farmers on time. The FRA has actually become a negative distortion in its own right; failing to provide the level of certainty in revenue streams that farmers desperately need to invest in more maize and other products.

The FRA should be more directly focused on food security, rather than large significant purchases of maize in the market. It might also be good if some food purchases were done through the ZAMACE rather than directly with farmers to reduce price distortions.

This is apparently so because the country has indeed produced more than we can possibly consume in one year.

Export subsidies are indispensable in this case because Zambian maize cannot compete competitively on the international front owing to high production costs.
When the incentives are correct and this country has a fully functioning FRA, farmers will have nothing to fear. More exports, more money in the pockets of rural dwellers to drive growth in other areas.

As we say all this, we are mindful that there is need to develop our maize production sector to make our local produce compete favourably with other efficient producers in the region like Malawi, Zimbabwe and the giant South Africa.

This can be achieved through better investment in education and research.
There is need for adequate investment in infrastructure, especially in rural areas as a way of reducing the cost of doing business.

Access to credit for smallholder farmers is very poor and consequently they continue to year-in-year-out depend on the government subsides embedded in the recently augmented Farm Input Support Programme.

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