Saturday, July 31, 2010

(LUSAKATIMES) Extended family needs to be restored

Extended family needs to be restored
Saturday, July 31, 2010, 9:31

A Social Welfare Officer in Solwezi has called for the promotion and establishment of the Ubuntu spirit or culture where the extended family should be promoted.

Mrs. Mujinga Kamalonga said that even as much as the department of social welfare had social welfare funds to give to the vulnerable, especially the orphans and widows, it did not give directly to the intended recipients.

“ We try to find out where the extended family is. We interview the orphans and try to trace where their uncles and aunties are and why they are unable to
support them ,” she said .

The Social Welfare officer underscored that the department counselled families on the importance of Ubuntu Spirit and embracing the extended family system.

She added that Social welfare was about promoting family unity saying Government alone could fight streetism but that this should start with families
who should bear the responsibility of looking after all the orphaned children.

The levels of vulnerable people and orphaned children in society have continued to increase as they have little or no support from members of available family members.

This in the end makes many of the vulnerable people to seek alternatives means of survival such as streetism, in the case of the orphaned children.

On the other hand, the spirit of Ubuntu has proved a success in most parts of Africa particularly in South Africa where the government of the day is obliged to
support the native people with various social needs such as employment and economic empowerment.

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(LUSAKATIMES) ‘Don’t look to the West’

‘Don’t look to the West’
Saturday, July 31, 2010, 9:43

Malawian President Bingu Wa Mutharika has said Africa should not wait for the West to prescribe solutions for its problems. And Zambia’s first president, Kenneth Kaunda has said Africa’s journey to prosperity needs prudent and decisive decisions for the continent to attain sustainable economic and social development.

Speaking yesterday in Lusaka when he paid a courtesy call on Dr Kaunda at his Kabulonga office, President Wa Mutharika said Africa’s future depended on cooperation by its leaders. I believe that the memoirs Dr Kaunda is writing are really not addressed to Zambians or Africa but to the entire world.

“We shouldn’t wait for the West to come and tell us what we should do. I have told Washington that I know my problems and we know the solutions.

“I want our children to know that while there is an Africa of hopelessness, an Africa of hunger, there is also another Africa, an Africa of opportunities,” he said.

He said five years from now, issues of food shortages would be history for Malawi and Zambia, given the good performance of both countries.

“We do not have to go overseas to beg for food, Malawi and Zambia can actually feed some parts of SADC,” he said.

Prof Wa Mutharika said he was happy to learn that Dr Kaunda was writing his memoirs. He said he has been inspired by Dr Kaunda’s writings on humanism.

“I believe that the memoirs Dr Kaunda is writing are really not addressed to Zambians or Africa but to the entire world,” he said.

Dr Kaunda said African countries were on a journey to prosperity, and that time had come for the continent to rethink its economic strategy.

He said agriculture should be considered as the mainstay of the economies of African countries.

[Times of Zambia]

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Africa needs prudent, decisive action for sustainable development - KK

Africa needs prudent, decisive action for sustainable development - KK
By Henry Sinyangwe
Sat 31 July 2010, 13:40 CAT

Malawian President Bingu Wa Mutharika (r) sharing a light moment with Dr Kaunda's former political advisor Mark Chona when he paid a courtesy call on Dr Kaunda (c) at his office in Lusaka's Kabulonga area on Friday. Picture by Collins Phiri

DR Kenneth Kaunda has observed that Africa needs prudent and decisive actions for it to attain sustainable economic and social development.

And visiting Malawian President Prof Bingu Wa Mutharika has said Africa must not wait for the West to come and tell it what to do because Africans must know their problems better and hence must provide solutions for themselves.

Speaking when President Wa Mutharika paid a courtesy call on him on Friday, Dr Kaunda said since the colonial era, Africa had been exporting its valuable raw materials to the outside world, helping the factories overseas to produce goods which it bought at exorbitant prices.

H e said the situation had a negative impact on Africa’s economies hence time had come for Africa to rethink its economic strategies.

“For many years now since the colonial era, we have exported to the outside world our valuable raw materials, which have helped the factories overseas to produce goods which we buy at exorbitant prices. We need to prioritize value addition so that we can be able to create wealth and jobs for our people,” Dr Kaunda said.

And Dr Kaunda said agriculture should be made the mainstay of the two country’s economies as it supported other industries which were critical to human survival.

He said he believed food should be considered as a human right so that no child or human being should suffer from hunger.

Dr Kaunda further said Africa’s efforts towards regional integrations through economic blocs such as the SADC, COMESA, and ECOWAS would help the continent enhance trade flows among its countries.

“At regional level, I believe that efforts towards regional integration should help us to enhance trade flows among us and beyond us. This is in keeping with the vision of the founding fathers who envisioned a continent of Africa where there would ultimately be free movement of goods services and people,” he said.

Dr Kaunda said there was need to address the issue of diseases such as Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV and AIDS in order for the continent to successfully advance its economic agenda.

And President Wa Mutharika said there was need for co-operation for Africa to develop.

“We need to cooperate for us to be effective; otherwise our exercise will be in futility without cooperation. I believe Africa has a future, there is an Africa of disasters… but there is also an Africa of hope,” said President Wa Mutharika.

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Happy 85th birthday to an exemplary citizen

Happy 85th birthday to an exemplary citizen
By Editor
Sat 31 July 2010, 04:00 CAT

Today, Simon Zukas, an outstanding leader of our country, turns 85 – one year younger than Kenneth Kaunda. Like KK, Simon is a young old man. We say this because Simon still carries in his heart and in his actions the enthusiasm of a young man, of his early days as a revolutionary, a freedom fighter and a nation builder.

Today, at 85, Simon is still very involved in the affairs of our country, helping our leaders to make decisions that are in the interest of our people. Simon is also very involved with many young people who are interested in the affairs of their country. Simon’s militant and unswerving commitment to Zambia embodies many values which we wish to acknowledge and honour today.

There are people who, by pursuing their own convictions and without being self-conscious about it, touch the lives of millions of others. Such has been Simon’s life.

We are not sure if Simon ever thought of himself as a white Zambian. Nevertheless, the fact remains that his close to three quarters of a century of activism have served and will serve as an outstanding example, for many of our people, of what it means to be a good citizen, and an exemplary one at that.

In a region, in a world in which there was a racially oppressed majority, non-racism is not an outlook that can be simply taken for granted. Simon has contributed immensely, through his personal example, to nurturing an outlook which is so evident in KK’s leadership and, increasingly, in our country today. Let those politicians who have based themselves on narrow ethnic constituencies, supposedly to safeguard personal interests, now ponder over Simon’s example.

Simon’s active participation in the politics of our country, the affairs of his homeland also symbolise and personify the purpose and meaning of our independence struggle. It is about a common commitment to overcoming, as absolute priority, the suffering of our people, their poverty and backwardness.

Simon’s contributions to the struggles of our country are many. But it is, we think, especially as a strategic thinker that Simon is held most dear by so many in the politics of our country. Simon has played a role, often a central role, in most of the outstanding strategic issues of the politics of our country.

After independence, Simon spent a lot of time working to try and develop the economy. He was part of many projects that were undertaken by government and sometimes even by the private sector. When the time came for serious political changes and doing away with the one-party political system, Simon was again there, providing leadership and guidance. And he is still there today, providing similar leadership and guidance to all our politicians, regardless of their political affiliations.

Simon has always been able to respond practically and dynamically to changing circumstances. He has had the courage of his convictions, spelling out the implications of new situations which sometimes most of our politicians have found difficult to admit.

We are extremely fortunate to have within our country such an outstanding and exemplary citizen, who has combined a rigorous mind with the attention to practical organisational work. It is with a sense of real pride and emotion that today we join his family, friends and other Zambians in celebrating his 85th birthday and thanking the Lord for giving us such a citizen, such a leader and a true friend of all our people.

We believe there is much more to be said about Simon; much more than the heavy political tributes that we are trying to give him. But this 85th birthday gives us a chance to celebrate Simon’s contributions to our country and tell him and his family what he means to us.

Serving with Simon on the board of Post Newspapers Limited was a privilege. It gave us a rare opportunity to have a deeper insight into the intellect and the clarity of thought of one of the outstanding revolutionaries of our country. Whenever Simon spoke in meetings, everyone sat up and listened because his contributions were always of a strategic nature, far-sighted and focused on the broader objective.

We have no doubt whatsoever that at the end of his days, Simon will leave us a formidable legacy. He will pass the torch to us. And we can assure him that we will not allow the flame to be extinguished. We will hold it high. Simon will always remain a symbol of commitment and dedication in the struggle to achieve a better life for our people. Simon never shirks from taking tough decisions but he is always very sensitive to the real needs of the most deprived.

Simon is a true human being for our country, a challenge to be humane. With him, the racial issue is defied and one cherishes to be human.

Apart from his obvious political impact on the lives of ordinary people, Simon has done a whole lot of good to so many people by demonstrating how not to give up, how not to despair. At 85, Simon still drives himself around, trying to hold discussions with any Zambian he sees as of value to the country and to his people.
Simon’s 85 years of life teach us about opportunity, choices and commitment to transforming society to the benefit of the poor.

Truly, Simon has not wasted his time and his life. And there is reason for us to celebrate his 85th birthday and thank Simon for what he has done for us and what he is still continuing to do for us. What can one do in one life? Simon, we thank you, we love you. We give thanks for your humanity. There are two major motivations towards helping fellow human beings. One is religious.

The Fatherhood of God Almighty betokens the brotherhood and sisterhood of humankind. We are all God’s children, responsible for the wellbeing of everyone on earth, commanded to reach out the hand of help to the other. Social justice and benevolent action are as old as the Bible.

The prophet Amos, for example, stoutly defended the oppressed, thundered with indignation against the idle rich for their ill-treatment of the poor: “Let justice well up as the waters, and righteousness and a mighty stream” (Amos 5:24).

The second motivation is humanitarian – it springs from a deep sense of identification with the oppressed, the ability to hear their cry, an acute awareness of the realities of poverty, a personal anguish at the suffering of fellow human beings.

This is Simon’s way. His humanity is boundless and inspirational; he is a true champion of the oppressed and the poor. We consider it an honour to know this man and work with him and be counted among his friends, young as we may be.



Zukas’ sacrifice for Zambia is immense – Sata

Zukas’ sacrifice for Zambia is immense – Sata
By George Chellah
Sat 31 July 2010, 04:20 CAT

SIMON Zukas’ sacrifice for this country is immense, PF leader Michael Sata has observed. In a message to commemorate veteran politician Simon Zukas’ 85th birthday, Sata said Zukas was a true friend of Zambia. He said Zukas had contributed greatly to Zambia. “Simon Zukas is a second-to-none friend of this country. He is educated, he has a profession but he has sacrificed his profession and education just for this country,” Sata said.

“Simon Zukas has sacrificed everything, including money to defend the poor of this country.”

He observed that Zukas had an outstanding record of commitment to issues affecting the poor. “He has continued talking and guiding the nation. In fact, he was even among the first few courageous individuals who spoke about Frederick Chiluba’s plunder,” Sata recalled.

“The man has more genuine love for this country and its people than some of the Zambians we have today masquerading as leaders.” Zukas is a veteran politician and freedom fighter. He also served as minister in the Chiluba administration.

Zukas was born in Lithuania but immigrated with his parents to southern Africa in his early adolescence. Before independence, Zukas identified himself with the cause of social justice as adopted by nationalists.

He was deported from Northern Rhodesia to the United Kingdom because the colonialists viewed him as a danger to peace and good order. However, Zukas returned to Zambia immediately after independence.

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Private ownership of land is a foreign ideology – Chief Mwamba

Private ownership of land is a foreign ideology – Chief Mwamba
By Moses Kuwema and Henry Sinyangwe
Sat 31 July 2010, 03:50

SENIOR chief Mwamba of the Bemba speaking people in Kasama has said private ownership of land is a foreign ideology.

In his submissions to the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) yesterday, chief Mwamba said the current administration of land by traditional authorities was more transparent and democratic since the village heads and communities were the real custodians of land.

“Our system is that the land is yours for as long as you work on it, and the fruits of your labour belong to you. But you don’t own it. It is the people’s property,” he said.

“The current system of land allocations requires persons seeking land to go first to the community through village committees, headed by village heads, before the final approval by the concerned chief. Therefore, we are demanding the removal of Clause 4 as contained in the NCC draft constitution.”

Clause 4, subsection 3 in article 290 of the draft report reads as follows:

“Customary land shall not be alienated or otherwise used until the approval of the chief and local authority in whose area the land is situated has first been obtained and as may be provided by or under an Act of Parliament.”

Subsection 4 reads: “An approval under the clause (3) shall not be unreasonably withheld.”

Chief Mwamba observed that in its proposed form, Clause 4 had a bearing on Clause 3, because the provisions in Clause 4 delude the powers of Clause 3.

“Furthermore, the wording ‘unreasonably’ is not only very ambiguous but also relative. There are no parameters attached in Clause 4 which may clearly define what may constitute ‘unreasonable’,” observed chief Mwamba.

He said Clause 4 did not specify the authority that shall declare the decisions of traditional authority under Clause 3 to be unreasonable.

“The contents in Clause 4 do not appear anywhere in the interim report of the Constitution Review Commission and therefore a group of very unreasonable persons have smuggled very unreasonable, unrealistic and unacceptable provisions which are totally against the interests of the peasants in the rural areas into the draft constitution of the republic of Zambia,” said chief Mwamba.

He has since collected about 2,500 signatures demanding the removal of the clause.

And Evelyn Hone College students yesterday submitted that the Law Association of Zambia must be given the authority to come up with a committee that sits to appoint senior judicial officers.

The students noted that presidential appointments to the judiciary was seen to be compromising institution hence the need for LAZ to do it.

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Britain to introduce ‘stiff’ bribery Act - Carter

Britain to introduce ‘stiff’ bribery Act - Carter
By Joan Chirwa
Sat 31 July 2010, 04:50 CAT

THE British government has announced that it will reinforce its reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world when a new bribery Act comes into force in April next year.

British High Commissioner to Zambia Tom Carter stated that the new bribery Act would ensure that the UK was in the forefront of the battle against bribery and pave way for fairer practice by encouraging businesses to adopt anti-bribery safeguards.

He stated that the Act would introduce a new offence of a UK national or a UK company bribing a foreign public official. The bribery Act received Royal Assent on April 8, 2010.

“It will also introduce a new corporate offence of failure to prevent bribery by persons working on behalf of a UK business. A business can avoid conviction if it can show that it has adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery...It would also make it a criminal offence to give, promise or offer a bribe, and also a criminal offence to request, agree to receive, or accept a bribe either in the UK or abroad,” High Commissioner Carter stated.

“Bribery has long been a crime in the UK. Since 2002 it has also been an offence for British citizens and British businesses to bribe abroad, even if none of that activity takes place in the UK. The new Act includes a modern definition of bribery based on the intention to induce improper conduct.”

High Commissioner Carter also urged British businesses operating in Zambia to familiarise themselves with the new bribery Act and maintain their good reputation in business by abiding by the laws of the host country.

“By upholding our own law, we support growing international efforts to stamp out corruption and achieve a level playing field for global trade,” he stated.
High Commissioner Carter further stated that the bribery Act would also increase the maximum penalty for bribery from seven to ten years imprisonment, with an unlimited fine.

In Zambia, the UK has since 2000 provided seven million pounds to the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) and 1.4 million pounds to the Task Force on Corruption. The UK and other donors are also supporting the development of the National Anti Corruption Policy.



Rupiah, friends turning country into a looters' paradise - Sejani

Rupiah, friends turning country into a looters' paradise - Sejani
By Patson Chilemba
Sat 31 July 2010, 04:23 CAT

ACKSON Sejani has charged that President Rupiah Banda and his friends are turning the country into a looters' paradise by removing the abuse of office clause from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Act.

And Patriotic Front (PF) spokesperson Given Lubinda said those asserting that President Banda and his cohorts want to create a paradise for plundering national resources are justified.

Reacting to works and supply minister Mike Mulongoti’s statement that the abuse of office clause had proved harmful in the management process, Sejani who is Mapatizya UPND member of parliament, said removing the said clause from the Act amounted to giving looters a licence to plunder resources. He said those currently in government feared that action would be taken against them once they were out of office.

“This MMD government which is corrupt from the core and to the core is trying to insulate itself against definite moves which will follow once they are out of their positions,” Sejani said. “If there was anything that Zambians have been waiting for to confirm that this government is corrupt, it is these manoeuvres. Everybody who was doubting must now know.

You know, it’s like a murderer going round advocating the removal of the death penalty from the statute books.” Sejani said plunderers would now go on a rampage, looting as much as they wish.

He said President Banda and his friends wanted to institutionalise corruption by introducing laws that would protect them. “The effect of corruption is very well known by everybody. So if looters are going to be protected, then it means that the future of the country is doomed really,” Sejani said.

On President Banda’s role in the matter, Sejani wondered what to expect from him since he was elected corruptly. He said it was revealed in the media that President Banda donated sugar and other food items during campaigns for the 2008 presidential elections. “He is a corruptly elected President.

He wants to maintain his hold on power using corruption. So he would be very happy about this development. Mind you he is the chairman of the Cabinet which is going to bring this bill to Parliament,” Sejani said.

“If he didn’t want this development, he would have dealt against it. But because he is going to be chairman of Cabinet that is going to preside over this bill which is going to be brought to Parliament, so he must be in approval.” Sejani said only public workers with a propensity for wrongdoing were scared of making decisions on account of the said clause.

Sejani said the country should have many good laws to pin down looters. And Lubinda said it was total mischief on the part of the government to remove the clause. “Those who are reading this to mean Mr Rupiah Banda and his cohorts of plunderers want to create a paradise for plundering resources are right.

There have been some arguments that have been advanced that this law is provided for in the Penal Code and that having it in the ACC Act is duplicity,” Lubinda said. “That is a shallow argument because in the Penal Code, the onus to prove abuse is on the prosecution. In the ACC Act, the onus is on the suspected plunderer.”

He said in the ACC Act, cognisance was made of the fact that society was vulnerable to those who held public office, while the Penal Code took cognisance that a person was innocent until proven guilty. Lubinda noted that President Banda asked Vice-President George Kunda to present the Forfeiture of Stolen Property Act to Parliament, and yet that protocol required laws which penalised public officers.

“Since Zambia is a signatory to those instruments, it is extremely mischievous of Rupiah Banda’s government to hide behind human rights, and yet opening avenues for rampant abuse of public property,” said Lubinda.

Mulongoti last Monday said public officers were now afraid to make decisions for fear of being criminalised on account of the abuse of office clause in the ACC Act.

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(LUSAKATIMES) President Wa Mutharika to officiate the 84th Zambia Agriculture and Commercial Show

President Wa Mutharika to officiate the 84th Zambia Agriculture and Commercial Show
Friday, July 30, 2010, 10:04

Malawian President Bingu Wa Mutharika arrived in the country yesterday for a three-day official visit.He was received on arrival at the airport by Republican President Rupiah Banda, several ministers, senior government and defence officials and Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) party cadres.
The Malawian President was treated to a 21- gun salute by the Zambia Army and a guard of honour.

President Wa Mutharika is in the country to officially open the 84th Agriculture and Commercial show today.

Meanwhile President Rupiah Banda has said Zambia’s bumper maize harvest will guarantee food security for the citizens and more income for small scale farmers.

Meanwhile President Rupiah Banda has said Zambia’s bumper maize harvest will guarantee food security for the citizens and more income for small scale farmers.

Mr Banda said in Lusaka yesterday the country was focusing on investing in agriculture and the abundant maize produced this year would help strengthen the country’s food security.

He said the subject of food security had captured the attention of the international community in the past few years because more than one million people were going hungry every year, according to Food and Agriculture Organisation statistics.

The president said this at Hotel Inter-Continental in Lusaka during a State Banquet held in honour of the visiting leader of Malawi, Bingu wa Mutharika.

Former Zambian presidents Kenneth Kaunda and Frederick Chiluba, Chief Justice Ernest Sakala, Cabinet and deputy ministers from Malawi and Zambia, diplomats accredited to Zambia, and Government officials were among those who attended the banquet.

Mr Banda said year’s Zambia Agriculture and Commercial Show was happening in special circumstances as the country and the peasant farming community were reaping another bumper harvest of the staple crop.

He said Zambians should feel that their efforts in increasing food production would in the long run begin to have a major impact on fighting poverty and hunger, and that small-holder farmers would be food-secure, apart from increasing their incomes.

Mr Banda said Zambia was taking a leaf from the Malawi’s success in agricultural development.

He hailed the cordial relations between Zambia and Malawi and the growing fruitful cooperation between the two countries.

Mr Banda said historically, the friendship and mutual understanding between the two countries had been solid because their relationship was founded on a common cultural and ethnic heritage which brought the citizens of the two countries together.

Zambia valued Professor Wa Mutharika’s acceptance to officiate at the 84th Zambia Agriculture and Commercial Show in Lusaka, whose theme is ‘Sustainable Development’.

He described the show as an important annual event that provided a platform to showcase Zambia’s products and afforded an equal opportunity to foreign participating firms to promote their products on the Zambian market.

Mr Banda said he was pleased to note that a good number of Malawian companies were participating in this year’s show.

He said the attendance of some Malawian enterprises would foster trade relations between the two countries, which had been low despite the existing warm political ties.

He also commended Prof Wa Mutharika for showing commitment and exemplary leadership in steering the African Union (AU)’s vision as the current chairperson.

President Banda is today scheduled to hold official talks with his counterpart at State House.

The two leaders are expected to tour selected stands tomorrow morning before Prof Wa Mutharika officially opens the show in the afternoon.

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Friday, July 30, 2010

(TALKZIMBABWE) CZI calls for lifting of sanctions

CZI calls for lifting of sanctions
By: Our reporter
Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2010 10:15 pm

THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) has called upon global businesses to join government in a collective call to remove illegal and ruinous sanctions imposed on the country by the United States, Britain and their allies in the West.

CZI president Joseph Kanyekanye said the sanctions were innappropriate and could not advance democracy, as claimed by the imposing countries. Kanyekanye called for the government to re-engage with the European Union and to seek funding outside of Zimbabwe urgently in order to revive industry.

"In all CZI meetings we had with foreign ministers, ambassadors and multilateral institutions, we emphasised the need to separate politics from industry and other national issues," he said.

He praised Rio Tinto and its partners for investing in a 2,400-megawatt power station at the Sengwa coal fields and commended the government's drive to ensure that Zimbabwe benefited from the diamonds at Chiadzwa in Marange district.

The call comes as the EU is mulling removing their illegal sanctions on an individual by individual basis.

The bloc wants individuals who are on their sanctions list to make representations explaining why they should not be on that list.

The Zanu-PF party of President Mugabe has dismissed this new EU strategy as "ridiculous" saying the sanctions were imposed in a blanket way and should therefore be removed in the same manner.

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(TALKZIMBABWE) 8 MDC provinces want Mutambara replaced

8 MDC provinces want Mutambara replaced
Posted: Friday, July 30, 2010 2:02 am

DEPUTY Prime Minister, Professor Arthur Mutambara, could be ousted as MDC leader at the next congress of that party.

Eight provincial structures reportedly resolved to replace him with Professor Welshman Ncube as the leader of the party in its next congress pencilled for February next year. The executive members have accused Prof Mutambara of “political immaturity’’.

A source in the Harare province said the party would hold its congress in February next year at a venue yet to be confirmed, and would seek to, “offload top deadwood’’.

“What we are doing as a party is offload the top deadwood,’’ said the source.

“Of the meetings that we have been making around the country, the consensus is that Prof Ncube should replace the current party president (Prof Mutambara) who we feel is not fit for that post."

However, party deputy secretary general, Ms Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, refuted the reports as unfounded and misleading.

“I don’t know where that comes from because we haven’t formalised our nomination process as the national leadership.

“What I can say is that when we go to congress all the positions are open for contestation and people will elect candidates they would want to occupy the top seven positions,’’ she said.

Another source said he was convinced that after congress there would be a new presidium for the MDC formation.

Sources said some of the changes in the party are likely to see current national party spokesperson, Mr Edwin Mushoriwa, assume the vice-presidency.

Ms Misihairabwi-Mushonga will take over the secretary-general’s post from Prof Ncube.

According to the proposed changes, Ms Misihairabwi-Mushonga would be deputised by the current secretary for foreign affairs, Mr Moses Mzila Ndlovu.

Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture, Mr David Coltart, has been seconded for the Treasurer General’s post.

Insiders said the party’s national chairman, Mr Joubert Mudzumwe, would be replaced by the chairman for Chitugwiza, Mr Rodrick Chimbaira.

Sources in the party accuse Prof Mutambara of inconsistency and of being too “flamboyant’’ in his speeches when talking about President Mugabe.

The highly-placed source from Harare province said his province was the first to express discontent over its leader and called for Prof Ncube’s take over.

“As Harare province we were the first to see our mistake of inviting Mutambara to lead us.

"I’m pleased to say that as Harare province we have resolved and agreed that the current secretary-general should become the president to lead us to the next election.

“We feel Prof Mutambara is not mature as he easily gets carried away. Our main aim would be to elect a leadership that will take us to the Promised Land,’’ he said.

Insiders from Bulawayo, who are privy to the developments in the party, concurred that Prof Mutambara’s career as a politician had been short-lived after all the Matabeleland provinces have “humbly requested’’ for the recalling of not only the current president but also some of the national leaders.

One of the Bulawayo provincial leaders gave a tribal narrative to the developments.

He said the MDC party has now realised that Ndebele people were capable of leading like any other tribe in the country and should not always be relegated to playing second fiddle to others in national politics.

“The final position as Matabeleland is that after congress we should be led by someone from this region. For so long we have been seconding candidates from other regions yet the party’s stronghold is here, Matabeleland.

“Who said we were born to hold positions of deputies and vices? We also deserve an opportunity to lead and hold positions of governance and power,’’ the source said.

Prof Mutambara’s arrival in the MDC in 2006 did not go down well with everyone in the party, with then Prof Ncube’s deputy, Mr Gift Chimanikire, charging that he was the best candidate for the job and claiming his colleagues had stabbed him in the back.

The MDC split irreconcilably with MDC-T led by Prime Minister, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, following disagreements over participating in senate elections in November 2005. PM Tsvangirai, favoured a boycott of the elections, but his senior colleagues disagreed leading to an acrimonious split.

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Why this arrogant insistence on mobile hospitals?

Why this arrogant insistence on mobile hospitals?
By Editor
Fri 30 July 2010, 04:00 CAT

Rupiah Banda does what he wants. Rupiah doesn’t seem to be accountable to anyone, and as such, public opinion is not something that bothers him. On most issues of great public interest, Rupiah has not listened to anyone and has simply done what he wants to do.

On Tuesday, Rupiah told off all those who were criticising his mobile hospitals, saying it’s none of their business. It seems the business of Zambia is his and his alone. And only the views or interests of his friends and sons matter. How can the use of public funds be a matter outside the business of any Zambian citizen? What Rupiah seems to be telling us is that this government is of Rupiah, by Rupiah, for Rupiah – it is not a government of the people, by the people, for the people, as Lincoln once defined democracy. This means there can be no meaningful democracy in Zambia as long as Rupiah is President. For Rupiah, our participation as citizens in the governance of our country begins and ends with us casting a vote for him. After casting our votes, the way he governs our country is none of our business. Our only business is to vote and to vote for him.

This probably explains why Rupiah has totally ignored public opinion on all major issues – the constitution-making process, the fraudulent acquittal of Frederick Chiluba and his withdrawal of the appeal in this matter. This may also explain the arrogance in his deal with his friends and sons to privatise Zamtel against the wishes of the great majority of the Zambian people.

Rupiah’s mobile hospitals have been criticised by all independent-minded Zambian doctors and other citizens of goodwill. But he has decided to go ahead and borrow US $53 million from China for the procurement of these mobile hospitals. Rupiah will not listen to anyone but his own inner demons. His lack of respect for public opinion and blindness make him a very poor leader, for a leader must temper resoluteness with listening. The exercise of power must be the constant practice of self-limitation and modesty. The use of power is not a matter of trying to show who has the final say and who doesn’t have it; it shouldn’t be a contest to show who holds political power.

There is need for Rupiah to realise that he is not President of this country because he is the most intelligent citizen. Rupiah is simply an ordinary man who became President because of extraordinary circumstances. And he should never pretend to know what he doesn’t know, he should not feel ashamed to ask and learn from the masses of our people. And Rupiah should learn to listen carefully to the views of others, including those of ordinary citizens. Rupiah should become a pupil before he tries to become a teacher; he should learn from the masses before he issues orders. What the ordinary people say may or may not be correct; after hearing it, he must analyse it. Rupiah must heed the correct views and act upon them. He should also listen to the mistaken views; it is wrong not to listen to them at all.

There is need for Rupiah to guard against arrogance. There is no need to be arrogant when one is a public servant, and not a master.

To succeed in his work, Rupiah will always need to rely on the masses of our people, on everyone taking a hand and not only on himself issuing orders and doing what he wants. We say this because experience teaches us that the right task, policy and style of work invariably conform with the demands of the masses at a given time and place and invariably strengthens the ties of the leaders with the masses. And the wrong task, policy and style of work invariably disagree with the demands of the masses at any given time and place and invariably alienate the leaders from the masses.

To link oneself with the masses, a leader must act in accordance with the needs and wishes of the masses. All work done for the masses must start from their needs and not from the desire of any individual, however well-intentioned.

There is need to listen attentively to the voice of the masses. And instead of standing above them, a leader should immerse himself among them. If a leader insisted on leading the masses to do anything against their will, he will certainly fail.

Rupiah and his friends must not assume that the masses have no understanding of what they themselves do not yet understand. It often happens that the masses outstrip their leaders and are eager to advance a step and that nevertheless, their representatives fail to act as leaders of the masses and tail behind certain backward elements, reflecting their views and, moreover, mistaking them for those of the broad masses.

To make Zambia rich and strong needs several decades of intense effort, which will include, among other things, the effort to practice strict economy and combat waste, that is, the policy of building our country through diligence and frugality. The principle of diligence and frugality should be observed in everything. We must particularly advocate diligence and frugality, and we must pay special attention to economy.

We must not take a short view and indulge in wastefulness. Spending US $53 million on mobile hospitals is wastefulness. We must do our utmost to ensure that the very limited resources of our country are utilised to the maximum benefit of our people. And we must take resolute measures against anyone wasting, misusing or misapplying public resources. We must pay special attention to thrift and economy. Thrift should be the guiding principle in our government expenditure. And wastefulness in public expenditure should be a very serious crime. We therefore need modest and prudent leaders who are free from arrogance and rashness in their style of work.

We should be prepared to work very hard. And every decision and action of government should be subjected to maximum public scrutiny so that it is cleansed of its weaknesses or vices. There are no straight roads in the world; we must be prepared to follow a road that twists and turns and not try to get things on the cheap. We should also not forget that the wealth of our country, very limited as it may be, is created by the workers, peasants and working intellectuals. If they take their destiny into their own hands and take an active attitude in solving the problems of their country instead of evading them, there will be no difficulty in the world which they cannot overcome. So it doesn’t make sense for anyone to tell them that government business, the borrowing of US $53 million to use in the procurement of mobile hospitals is none of their business. If this is none of their business, what is their business?

Let us not forget that the history of mankind is one of continuous development from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom. This process is never ending. Therefore, we have to constantly sum up experience and go on advancing.

In approaching a problem, we should try to see the whole as well as the parts of that problem. A frog in a well says, “The sky is no bigger than the mouth of the well.” That is untrue, for the sky is not just the size of the mouth of the well. If it said, “a part of the sky is the size of the mouth of a well”, that would be true, for it tallies with the facts.

We must learn to look at problems all-sidedly, seeing the reverse as well as the obverse side of things. In given conditions, a bad thing can lead to good results and a good thing to bad results. Of course, no one should go off into wild flights of fancy, or make plans of action unwarranted by the objective situation, or stretch for the impossible.

Arrogance is not a good thing for a leader. It is dangerous for a leader to be arrogant. Even if we achieve gigantic successes in our work, we win elections overwhelmingly, there is no reason whatsoever to feel conceited and arrogant.

Modesty helps one to go forward, whereas conceit makes one lag behind. This is a truth we must always bear in mind. With achievements, with success, certain moods may grow in us – arrogance, the airs of a self-styled hero, inertia and unwillingness to listen to anyone. All such things become encumbrances or baggage if there is no critical awareness.

It is not good to see someone harming the interests of the masses and yet not feel indignant, or dissuade or stop him or reason with him but instead allow him to continue. We should never let things drift simply because they do not affect us directly; we should not try to say as little as possible while knowing perfectly well what is wrong; we should not be worldly wise and play safe and seek only to avoid blame. And we should not let things slide for the sake of peace and friendship when a person has clearly gone wrong, and refrain from principled argument because he is an old acquaintance, a fellow village or townsman, a schoolmate, a close friend, a loved one, an old colleague or old subordinate. Or touch on the matter lightly instead of going into it thoroughly, so as to keep on good terms. The result is that both the nation and the individual are harmed. It is not being a good citizen to hear incorrect views without rebutting them, but instead take them calmly as if nothing has happened. Rupiah’s mobile hospitals are certainly a waste and misuse of public funds. If that US $53 million loan is available to any project in our health sector, let’s get it and use it prudently on more deserving projects. The insistence on these mobile hospitals smells of corruption. There is something that seems to be corrupt about this whole deal. And moreover, the arrogance with which it is being pursued is corruption in itself. When we talk about corruption, we include arrogance. We say this because arrogance leads to abuse of power and of public office. And we know very well that abuse of office is corruption. And that’s why today, Rupiah and his corrupt friends want to remove the offence of “abuse of office” from our statute books.

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US$53m mobile hospital loan unnecessary – EK

US$53m mobile hospital loan unnecessary – EK
By Florence Bupe and Misheck Wangwe
Fri 30 July 2010, 10:00 CAT

ENOCH Kavindele has said the US $53 million borrowed from China for the procurement of mobile hospitals is the most unnecessary loan and a drain on the country’s financial resources.

And Kitwe Anglican priest Richard Luonde has said Zambia needs a government that will respect God’s creation. In an interview, Kavindele, who is former Republican vice-president, said the loan would do nothing but commit future generations to unnecessary debt repayment.

“It is most unfortunate that government has gone against the advice of the people who have had experience with mobile clinics which were tried before and didn’t work. This loan is the most unnecessary, it is just a drain on the country’s resources and future generations,” he said.

Kavindele, a former health minister, said mobile hospitals could not work in Zambia because there was no supporting infrastructure in place.

He said the concept did not make sense because most fixed health institutions in the country lacked adequate manpower to manage them.

“In Zambia, the state of our roads can’t allow these hospitals to operate efficiently. In addition, we don’t even have sufficient doctors to man these hospitals, and I am privy to this information as former health minister,” he said.

Kavindele said mobile hospitals would be a wasted procurement that would end up being a white elephant.

He said the government should have listened to concerns raised by Zambians and other stakeholders who opposed the idea because those concerns were valid.

“It is our business as Zambians to know what government is doing because they are in government on behalf of Zambians. They should, therefore, do things on behalf of Zambians but this idea was opposed by Zambians,” said Kavindele.

Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) said the procurement of mobile hospitals would not address the existing bottlenecks in the delivery of health services.

CSPR executive director Patrick Mucheleka advised the government to resolve the problems of drug shortages and inadequate medical staff in health centres.

“The non-availability of essential drugs and a crisis of inadequate medical staff are serious concerns in the health sector. A mid-term evaluation of the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) showed that despite improved access to health care services for vulnerable communities, most health facilities had inadequate supply of drugs and other medical supplies,” he said.

Mucheleka said the budgetary allocation to the health sector had continued to be inadequate, thereby affecting the availability of drugs and other supplies.

“We at CSPR do not approve of the proposed mobile hospitals as a solution to the challenges prevailing in the delivery of health care services to poor people, particularly those in rural areas,” Mucheleka said.

“The proposal of mobile hospitals will not only be expensive but also unsustainable, which may end up being a waste of taxpayers’ money.”

Mucheleka urged the government to analyse the gains and losses of such a venture in the medium and long term, taking into account the interests of ordinary Zambians.

“The proposed mobile hospitals may reverse the development in the health sector in the sense that the concentration may be tilted towards new but not viable projects that are short-lived as opposed to traditional hospitals and clinics,” said Mucheleka.

And Fr Luonde charged that the MMD government does not want to listen to the people it governs.

Fr Luonde said it was disappointing that the government had refused to heed people’s calls for permanent hospitals, especially in rural areas where people had to travel long distances for medical attention and not mobile hospitals.

He said it was surprising that the government decided to get a loan for mobile hospitals when the roads in most rural areas were in a terrible state.

“They government want to create a huge debt for this country again by getting unnecessary loans. It would have been understandable if they got a loan to build hospitals or health centres because that’s what the people in rural areas need. If mobile hospitals have worked well in China, it doesn’t mean that they can suit the Zambian situation,” Fr Luonde observed.

“We don’t have roads in rural areas, people struggle to move and these vehicles once they are brought they will breakdown within a few months. We opposed this move but they have gone ahead. The problem is they don’t want to listen to the people they govern and they are doing things to the contrary. Their priorities in the health sector are misplaced.”

Fr Luonde said the government, under the leadership of President Rupiah Banda, was busy signing deals recklessly without due consideration.

He said the country was in need of permanent solutions in the health sector and not temporary interventions that would vanish.

“Zambia is in need of a government that would respect God’s creation, leaders that will govern the nation with humility; and not what we are seeing today. Why are they imposing the mobile hospitals on the people? Is that what we really need in this nation? People expressed displeasure over this matter but they have gone ahead with their illogical motive. Are they going to be telling people ‘please don’t fall sick because the mobile hospital is now shifting to another area?’ This is regrettable,” Fr Luonde remarked.

He said the rural population was in need of permanent structures and medical staff that would be stationed on a full-time basis.

Fr Luonde said people in rural areas had immense difficulties accessing medical attention and many people had died because they had been neglected in terms of medical facilities.

The government of China has given Zambia a 361 million yuan approximately US million concessional loan to acquire mobile hospitals.

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UN declaration on access to clean water has shamed NCC

UN declaration on access to clean water has shamed NCC
By Joseph Mwenda
Fri 30 July 2010, 14:10 CAT

MISSION Press director Fr Drevensek Miha has said NCC delegates who laughed and rejected the constitutional clause that sought to give citizens the right to access to water and food should be ashamed following the UN's declaration passed this week making access to clean drinking water as a basic human right across the globe.

And United Nations ambassador and 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) advocate Marsha Moyo described as ridiculous the debate of whether clean and safe drinking water for every person should a priority, saying the matter was non-negotiable.

On Wednesday July 28, 2010, the UN General Assembly made a declaration that stated “Access to clean, safe drinking water is now an official basic human right everywhere in the world”, following a realization that globally, nearly 900 million people lack access to clean water while more than 2.6 billion people lack access to basic sanitation.

Speaking in an interview with The Post On-line, Fr Miha said the NCC delegates laughed at the Mung'omba draft constitution should now realise that they were laughing at their own children and grand children.

“The Constitution is the bible for a nation so it was most unfortunate that the majority of delegates laughed at that clause, it only means that they were laughing at their own children and grandchildren who will depend on that same clause,” Fr Miha said.

Fr Miha said the delegates’ altitude portrayed their arrogance and lack of concern for the Zambian people.

“They made an arrogant laughter, the most unfortunate laughter since independence... this shows that the MMD is trying to manipulate the Constitution,” he said.

Fr Miha said if the Zambian government will not adhere to the UN declaration, it means they do not adhere to the demands of their own children and the demands of the Zambian citizens.

And UN ambassador, Moyo said it was ridiculousness for delegates to debate on weather the access to clean water should be a basic human right in Zambia.

“Access to clean and safe drinking water should not be a privilege, but a right and so it is ridiculousness to discuss whether it is a priority in this day and age,” she said.

Moyo said the UN declaration was clear and would help Zambia contribute to MDG number seven which is aimed at ensuring environmental sustainability.

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Rupiah helped me get the second term - Bingu

Rupiah helped me get the second term - Bingu
By Patson Chilemba
Fri 30 July 2010, 14:00 CAT

Malawian President Bingu Wa Mutharika flanked by his Zambian Counterpart Rupiah Banda (r) on arrival at the Lusaka International Airport for the official opening of the 84th Zambia Agricultural and Commercial Show Picture by Thomas Nsama on July 29, 2010-

MALAWIAN President Bingu Wa Mutharika has disclosed that President Rupiah Banda helped him in the campaigns to secure his second term of office last year.

During a state banquet hosted in his honour at Lusaka's Inter-Continental Hotel on Thursday night, President Wa Mutharika hailed the relations between Malawi and Zambia.

“Talking about political development, let me also disclose without embarrassing my brother Rupiah, that he assisted me quite a lot in the campaign that just passed. As a result I had a landslide victory,” President Wa Mutharika, who chose to speak whilst seated, said. “I am much older than my brother President Banda so I will like to sit down.”

President Banda had earlier read his speech whilst standing.

President Wa Mutharika said there were people in Malawi who thought he would be the shortest serving President on the continent, but they did not know that he had the power of God behind him.

“Because I said ‘God do you really want me to serve so short?’ And God didn’t allow it, and as a result they gave me a landslide victory. Now there is perfect peace in Malawi and I can comfortably invite the opposition and say whatever I want to say. Of course I am very comfortable with them,” he said.

President Wa Mutharika said when Malawi experienced an earthquake in Karonga, President Banda sent timely help to assist the people. He said this was a sign that the two countries continued to stand by each other.

President Wa Mutharika said while Zambia was expecting a surplus of 1.5 million metric tonnes, Malawi would get a surplus of 1.3 million tonnes plus the 300,000 tonnes from irrigation.

“So we have a right to tell the rest of the world that we can feed ourselves. It is for this reason that I introduced the African basket at the African Union, meaning that Africa should be able to feed itself within five years,” he said.

President Wa Mutharika said he was pleased to note that the two countries had created an environment for cooperation through the Malawi-Zambia Joint Permanent Commission.

He said the two countries must continue to consult each other at all levels.

“In this regard I would like to ask for each of you to look for opportunities for the two countries to work together instead of just criticising government,” President Wa Mutharika said.

“I would like to urge my state mate once again by expressing my deep gratitude to you my brother Rupiah Banda for personally gracing the occasion when I was being inaugurated in my second term of office following the resounding victory I said. So you see when I tell my brother ‘I am having this’, he runs and comes. And I will do the same.”

President Wa Mutharika thanked Zambians for President Banda’s success.
He said sometimes it was easy to criticize government that it was not doing anything.

“And I turn and say ‘you are the government, what are you doing yourself?’ And I think that is where we should start from. Not to say ‘the government is failing to do this’. Because if you say the government has failed then you have failed because you are the government,” President Wa Mutharika said.

He asked Zambians to cooperate with President Banda’s government, saying he had worked with him, late president Levy Mwanawasa and Dr Kenneth Kaunda and knew how devoted the leadership was to the development of Zambia.

“I want you to appreciate this. It’s easy to criticise. It is very easy not to be grateful, but the Bible says ‘in everything give thanks’,” President Wa Mutharika said.

President Wa Mutharika, who acknowledged his wife Ca and Zambia’s First Lady Thandiwe as their 'Excellencies', narrated how Dr Kaunda helped him settle in Zambia in 1964 after he had ran away from Malawi.

He said he arrived from Malawi with only five pounds, and after the money had finished he rushed to see Dr Kaunda whom he had previously met in India.

President Wa Mutharika said he explained his ordeal and Dr Kaunda intervened.

“He put me at Longacres and for the first time in several days I was glad to have a nice shower and a nice square meal. And of course he gave me a job in the Ministry of Finance and worked closely with late Arthur Wina. So that was the beginning of my stay in exile which lasted 24 years,” said President Wa Mutharika.

And President Banda said Zambia valued President Wa Mutharika’s acceptance to the invitation to officiate at the 84th Zambia Agricultural and Commercial Show in Lusaka whose theme is “Sustainable Development”.

He said the abundant crop of maize would help the country strengthen food security.
President Banda said Zambia was not indifferent to what those in Malawi were doing and had therefore taken a leaf from that country’s success in Agriculture.

He said with statistics by the Food and Agriculture Organisation showing that over one million people were going hungry each year, investment in agriculture and food production was something worth noting.

President Banda said the agricultural show was an important annual event, which not only provided a platform to showcase Zambia’s products but also afforded an equal opportunity to foreign participating firms to promote their products on the Zambian market.

He said he was pleased to note that a good number of Malawian companies were participating in this year’s show as it would foster trade relations between the two countries, which have been low despite the existing warm political ties.

President Banda said the challenges that existed between the two countries were insurmountable.

“If we harmoniously put our efforts and resources behind our development process, I have every confidence that we can achieve the desired outcome of mutual economic growth and development,” said President Banda before he invited people to a toast.

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PF is Zambia's most cosmopolitan party – Kabimba

PF is Zambia's most cosmopolitan party – Kabimba
By George Chellah
Fri 30 July 2010, 10:00 CAT

WYNTER Kabimba yesterday said PF is the most cosmopolitan political party in Zambia, cutting across ethnic lines. And Siavonga UPND member of parliament Douglas Syakalima said the MMD may not even exist beyond 2011.

Reacting to President Rupiah Banda’s statement that UPND is for Southern Province and PF for the northern part of the country, Kabimba, who is also PF secretary general, dismissed President Banda’s remarks.

“A look at the 2006 and 2008 election results will clearly show that PF is not a regionally based party because on the Copperbelt and Lusaka, where PF commands the biggest support the people that have voted for the party in these areas, are not from any one tribe in this country,” Kabimba said.

“Lusaka and Copperbelt provinces are not homes for one, two or three tribes. Here, you find people from all the regions of our country. And this is where PF dominates. So we expect RB to know that our national representation can only be seen in the support that PF commands on the Copperbelt and Lusaka. The fact is PF is the most cosmopolitan party, it’s the party which cuts across ethnic lines.”

He said Zambians would shame President Banda in 2011 by not voting along ethnic lines despite his tribal statements.

Kabimba said President Banda had been trying to divide the country on ethnic lines.

“As president and not as an individual. If there is anybody that has been trying to derive any benefits from tribal politics it's RB himself because of the way that he purportedly joined the MMD and finally found himself at the helm of that party,” he said.

He observed that President Banda was very insecure.

“That’s why nobody up to now has any evidence that he resigned from UNIP. As far as I know, RB was seconded to MMD by UNIP. That’s why he is changing the complexion of MMD to resemble a complexion of UNIP,” Kabimba said.

“And because of the political insecurity he suffers in MMD, he thinks that the only way he can grant himself security is to promote tribal politics; hence his statement in the 2008 presidential by-election in Eastern Province that ‘don’t vote for those who don’t come from here’.”

He said although PF originally had its base in Northern, Luapula and Copperbelt provinces, it had drastically mobilised membership in all the nine provinces.

“And the recent results in Milanzi are a clear testimony of how PF is progressively becoming a national party, even overtaking the MMD. This empirical evidence may taste sour in RB’s mouth but it’s the evidence that compares clearly the national nature of MMD and PF as things stand today,” Kabimba said.

“RB is not qualified to condemn anybody about promoting tribal politics because he himself is not innocent as President from such a social crime. Even his use of Frederick Chiluba is intended to benefit himself through votes using the people of Luapula on tribal lines. Otherwise, why doesn’t he send Chiluba to Southern Province, Mumbwa or Serenje to campaign for him? He is using Chiluba as a tribal trump card for himself.”

And Syakalima warned that if President Banda was not careful, MMD would be confined to one province.

“It may not even exist because first of all, the Zambians… the overall picture he is giving, the people are fed up. So in 2011, he will have nothing to point at. In 1990, UNIP was all over and yet people were just angry for multi-partism. What about now when people are annoyed because of squalor, disease, poverty, ignorance, homelessness and hopelessness which the MMD has brought?” asked Syakalima.

“The picture he is seeing now if he doesn’t see beyond his nose, he will get a rude shock in 2011. Zambians are fed up, and Rupiah Banda has repeatedly done things Zambians are fed up with. He is so callous that he doesn’t want what Zambians think. The mobile hospital deal is one case in point; people spoke their lungs out. So by 2011, MMD will be confined in the dust bin of history.”

On Wednesday, President Banda said the UPND was a provincial party for the people of Southern Province and the PF was a party for the Bemba-speaking areas.

“The difference with us for instance with UPND is that they are a provincial party, they are a tribal party,” said President Banda during a campaign rally at Nangula Basic School where he went to drum up support for Mwangala Maopu, the MMD candidate in the Luena by-election.

“Even in Southern Province itself, the people are beginning to rebel against the UPND because they feel that party is isolating them from other parts of the country. Therefore, the UPND must be destined to fail.”

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RB will be pursued over 'abuse of office' - Sata

RB will be pursued over 'abuse of office' - Sata
By Patson Chilemba
Fri 30 July 2010, 04:01 CAT

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) president Michael Sata yesterday warned President Rupiah Banda and his friends not to think they are clever by removing the abuse of office offence because they will still be pursued for their wrongdoing.

And Chilanga MMD member of parliament Ng’andu Magande asked President Banda to respect Zambians because he would not be in power without them.

Reacting to the government’s manoeuvres to remove the offence of abuse of authority from the revised Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Act, Sata asked President Banda to learn from former president Frederick Chiluba who was shrouded in corruption prosecution until he was given temporary relief.

“They might think they are clever today. They will only be clever in 13 months. But we remember President Banda when he was in Gwanda Zimbabwe, he said he would like to come and spend more time there. Probably he has already prepared where he is going to spend more time. But others we don’t know where they are going,” Sata said.

“Frederick Chiluba’s government was erratic. For example, you know the US$20 million dollars which he gave to his cousin and he thought nothing will come nearer him, but his appointment of late president Levy Mwanawasa sorted him out.”

Sata said people like President Banda, Vice-President George Kunda and works and supply minister Mike Mulongoti were constantly living in fear.

He said they were trying hard not to be lumped together with Chiluba on corruption prosecution, but were on the other hand engaging in wrongdoing.

Sata said they could remove abuse of office from the Act but still be prosecuted.

“They can remove abuse of office and buy mobile hospitals, close Indeni, buy petrol. They can do anything but we shall catch them. We shall catch them and deal with them properly, catch them and deal with them thoroughly,” Sata said.

“Every day they are getting very worried. That is why this George Kunda is using psychological warfare of saying ‘you shouldn’t worry, we are going to rule up to 2030’.”

And Magande said although the leadership code under Dr Kenneth Kaunda’s government was criticized, it at least tried to limit the appetite of people who might have wanted to abuse their positions.

He said public officers who were not ready to make decisions on account of the clause were weak souls who should not hold public office.

“He Mulongoti has to come up with evidence to the public that there are 100 civil servants who have failed to make decisions because they are scared of this particular provision,” Magande said.

He said at first he thought it was a joke when Katuba MMD member of parliament Jonas Shakafuswa revealed that the government wanted to remove the offence of abuse of office.

Magande said Mulongoti had revealed the government’s motive for removing the clause from the Act.

“He wants civil servants to make decisions even on behalf of their own companies. Is that why we have a public service? People shouldn’t go into public service to go and make decisions on their own behalf,” he said.

Magande asked President Banda to listen to people’s concerns because it would not do for him to start telling off those who were questioning government programmes and actions.

He recalled that recently when going to Mongu, President Banda said nobody should question him because he was the government.

“But I thought democracy is the government of the people and by the people. So if he says ‘he is government’ then we all keep quiet? And yet he is accumulating 53 million dollars, who is going to pay that money? Isn’t it our grandchildren? The government is only there because there are people to be governed. So the governed must have a word in how you are governing them,” said Magande. “If nobody goes to vote is he going to be in government? He should respect the people that gave him the vote to be where he is.”

Commenting on the government’s manoeuvres to remove the offence of abuse of office from the revised ACC Act, Mulongoti on Monday said the clause had proved harmful, and should therefore be removed from the Act.

Mulongoti said public officers were now afraid to make decisions for fear of being criminalized on account of the said clause.

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Milupi thinks he owns people of Luena – Rupiah

Milupi thinks he owns people of Luena – Rupiah
By Mwala Kalaluka in Luena
Fri 30 July 2010, 04:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda on Wednesday said former Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Charles Milupi resigned from his parliamentary seat because he thought he owns the people of Luena.

And the MMD candidate in the Luena by-election, Mwangala Maopu, said the people of Nangula will have dreams of helicopters hovering over them after seeing the two that came with President Banda to the area.

Addressing a campaign rally at Nangula Basic School where he went to drum up support for Maopu, President Banda said Alliance for Development and Democracy (ADD) candidate Milupi’s ambition misled him to cause what he called a very strange election in Luena.

President Banda said in politics people could not be so stupid as to fail to know the true character of a leader even after voting for him.

“Mr Chairman Michael Mabenga please, tell the people that I really do not take them for granted and that is why I have come here today,” President Banda said.

“This election came about in very strange circumstances. This one is the most strange one in the sense that the member of parliament from Luena, Mr Charles Milupi, was elected by you people.”

President Banda said for reasons that the people of Luena perhaps understood but which his government does not understand, Milupi resigned.

“The one you chose did not have the support in the House; he was alone. He was an Independent and you can’t provide for the people on your own,” President Banda said.

“I want to say to you the people of this place that when you are choosing your leader you must know them and not how somebody talks to you or how rich they say they are. These are important but are not necessary for the choice of a leader.”

President Banda then went back to Milupi.

“That is why our friend Mr Charles Milupi has failed to continue,” he said.

President Banda said Zambia needed humble leaders to develop.

“Not the people who come and tell you that ‘me I was in America. I got this degree. I was on the Copperbelt’. It has nothing to do with the people of Luena,” he said.

President Banda whose campaign consistently focused on Milupi said the ADD candidate resigned because he thought he was doing the people of Luena a favour by being their member of parliament.

“He says ‘no I am going to form my own political party’,” President Banda said. “Fine, he is very welcome to do that but what about the mandate that you gave him as your member of parliament. Is that not well enough for the time being? For me I think that his ambition is what has misled him.”

President Banda said Milupi wanted to use the people of Luena as a bargain chip for his own political expediency.

“There can only be one reason why Mr Charles Milupi has resigned,” President Banda said. “It must be in the back of his mind that he owns you people. It is a mistake for any leader to take people for granted. He must come out in the open and say what he really wants. This kind of leadership is bad leadership.”

President Banda said the by-election that Milupi had necessitated was not in the people’s interest.

“The problem with our brother Mr Milupi is that he has forgotten the fact that you elected him,” President Banda said. “You must always remember that it is the people and the people collectively together can’t be stupid and miss your character and maybe they miss it once when they elect you, afterwards they find that you are a wrong person.”

President Banda said the main difference between Maopu and Milupi was that the latter was a loner.

He said a parliamentarian needed to belong to the party that had a majority in Parliament in order to have access to the country’s resources.

“Not yourself, alone speaking good English and boasting about your degrees and boasting about how much money you have. Members of parliament do not listen to that,” President Banda said.

“He Milupi has been member of parliament for Luena for four years. I do not recall receiving a call from him even for once…he could not do it because he was an Independent. He did not belong to the political party that has the majority in Parliament.”

At that point, noise from the advance party helicopter that was taking off detracted President Banda and he later called Maopu to speak to the people.

In his address, Maopu said he was known to the people.

“Today, a President has come to Nangula, even the helicopters. When we go back home our dreams will be about helicopters,” said Maopu.

“If you want to eat with the powers that be you have to be close to them. Today I am part of the Presidential family.”

President Banda said he liked Maopu very much.

“I think the other parties we should not waste our time to talk about them,” President Banda said.

He said the UPND was a provincial party for the people of Southern Province and that the PF was a party for the Bemba-speaking areas.

“The difference with us for instance with UPND is that they are a provincial party, they are a tribal party,” said President Banda.

“Even in Southern Province itself, the people are beginning to rebel against the UPND because they feel that party is isolating them from other parts of the country. Therefore, the UPND must be destined to fail.”

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Rupiah orders cops to respect citizens’ rights

Rupiah orders cops to respect citizens’ rights
By Moses Kuwema
Fri 30 July 2010, 10:00 CAT

Malawian President Bingu Wa Mutharika on arrival at the Lusaka International Airport where he was welcomed by his Zambian Counterpart Rupiah Banda. Bingu is in the country to officially open the 84th Zambia Agricultural and Commercial Show. Photo taken by Thomas Nsama on July 29, 2010.

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda has directed police officers to respect the rights of citizens when discharging their duties.

And Inspector General of Police Francis Kabonde has said Zambia’s police officer to people ratio stood at one officer servicing 850 people instead of the internationally accepted one officer to 250 people.

During the pass out parade for 589 constables at Lilayi Police College yesterday, President Banda said the Constitution of Zambia contained a Bill of Rights, which should be protected by the police and other members of the defence forces in the country.

“It does not matter whether the people you are handling are foreigners or Zambians, they all enjoy the same rights. As Commander-in-Chief, I expect you to be hardworking, professional, loyal to your government and disciplined as you discharge your duties,” President Banda said.

He said the government had resolved to do away with the direct supply of mealie-meal to police officers because the method had proved to be unreliable.
He said they had instead started giving all officers mealie-meal allowances.

President Banda also directed the Inspector General of Police and his command to take advantage of programmes in the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP) which were aimed at enhancing the welfare of police officers.

“Regarding equipment, I am proud to announce that some operational equipment which my government has bought is on the way into the country. This equipment, which includes water cannons and bulletproof vests, is meant to help our police service minimise the use of firearms, especially when dealing with public order such as riot control,” he said.

President Banda said the government was also working on modalities to improve the career prospects in the police service, adding that in future, high-performing young police recruits would undergo specialised training abroad.
And Kabonde said the graduation of 1,500 recruits this year would increase the manpower to 14,000 police officers countrywide.

However, Kabonde said the number was inadequate because the population of Zambia stood at over 12 million.

“It means that the ratio is one police officer to about 850 people. The internationally accepted standard ratio is one police officer to 250 people. In this regard, we earnestly appeal to your government to allow us recruit annually so that we can reach the strength of at least 27,000 by 2015,” he said.

Kabonde said unlike past recruitments, this year’s was unique because it was national in its composition.
He said recruitment was done from all the districts, and the officers represented the 73 tribes of Zambia.

“We also took into consideration the issue of gender, out of the 589 recruits on parade, 211 are women representing 36 per cent which is above requirement by our national gender policy,” he said.

Kabonde said the police command would continue to be gender-sensitive in future recruitments and promotion of women officers to decision-making positions.
He said currently, there were 2,304 female officers against 12,678 men.

Kabonde also said the police command planned to extend the period of training for police officers to one year so as to adequately prepare the officers to respond to the challenges of fighting modern crimes such as terrorism, cyber crime and piracy.

Meanwhile, Lilayi Police College divisional commander, Richard Mweene advised the recruits to always remember that they had a great role to play in national development because no country could progress if law and order were not well maintained.

Mweene urged the recruits to always bear in mind that they were the constant and usual link between the police and members of the public.

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Three Zambians to attend Obama Forum with Young African leaders

Three Zambians to attend Obama Forum with Young African leaders
By Speedwell Mupuchi in Kitwe
Fri 30 July 2010, 10:10 CAT

THREE young Zambians will next week will join more than 100 young leaders from civil society and private sector at the President Barrack Obama Forum with Young African leaders in Washington D.C.

According to a press release from the US Embassy in Lusaka, the three Zambians would have an opportunity to ask President Obama some questions during the forum.

US Embassy Charge D’Affaires Michael Kaplovsky named the three Zambians to be among delegates to represent 40 Sub-Sahara African countries at the forum as Abigail Kaindu from Camfed and Samfya Women Filmmakers, Mundia Hakoola from the National Youth Anti-Corruption Movement and Brenda Phiri from Deloitte and Touche.

According to Kaplovsky, President Obama will as part of the forum host a town hall meeting at the White House with the young leaders to discuss their vision for transforming their societies over the next 50 years.

“In addition to the town hall meeting with the president, the forum will include small-group discussions on topics such as transparency and accountability, job creation and entrepreneurship, rights advocacy and the use of technology to empower individuals and communities. Participants will have an opportunity to meet with grassroots service organisations to share experiences and strategies,” according to the press release.

“The U.S. government’s role in this gathering is as a convener, encouraging networks between young American and African leaders, and pursuing lasting partnerships on behalf of our common security and prosperity,” said Koplovsky. “This dialogue and follow-up events in Africa will help the U.S. government better assess how to support Africa’s own aspirations going forward.”

The release also quoted Hakoola saying, “This is an opportunity for many young African leaders to build strong partnerships with fellow African countries and with the United States of America. This is an honorable event that will build capacity of young people.”

Kaplovsky also encouraged Zambians to visit the US Embassy Facebook page and share what they would ask President Obama if given the chance.

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(WHATS LEFT) Stephen Gowans RT TV Interview on the Cheonan

Stephen Gowans interview on Russia Today, on the sinking of the Cheonan.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

(NEWZIMBABWE) Sabina Mugabe declared national heroine

Sabina Mugabe declared national heroine
by Lebo Nkatazo
29/07/2010 00:00:00

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's sister Sabina has been declared a national heroine following her death on Thursday, state radio reported at lunchtime. Zanu PF's politburo was “unanimous” in granting the honour, ZBC said, which means she will be buried at the National Heroes Acre where leading figures of the country's 1970's liberation war lie.

No burial date was announced, although it is likely the former Zvimba MP who quit politics two years ago will be laid to rest at the weekend. Sabina, 76, was the third of the 86-year-old President’s surviving siblings along with younger sister Bridgette and half-sister Regina.

Sabina, the mother of former ZIFA president Leo Mugabe and former MP Patrick Zhuwawo, was rushed to Harare’s Avenues Clinic last Friday after suffering the latest bout of an undisclosed ailment which she has been battling for months.

President Mugabe was expected to address mourners – set to include Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur Mutambara -- at her sister’s Eastlea home in Harare later Thursday.

Sabina is thought to have been Mugabe’s closest sibling, and was the only one to have ventured successfully into politics after representing Zvimba in Parliament for many years.



(LUSAKATIMES) Rupiah is distorting democracy, says Milupi

Rupiah is distorting democracy, says Milupi
Thursday, July 29, 2010, 8:44

Former Luena Member of Parliament Charles Milupi after launching his new political party in Lusaka. The Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) interim president, Charles Milupi has described republican President, Rupiah Banda’s call for the electorate in Luena not to vote for him as a distortion to democracy.

Mr. Milupi who recently relinquished the parliamentary seat to take up ADD presidency, said that his conduct is within the obligations of the constitution.
he said the decision he made was in the best interest of the people and his performance in that area still holds enough reputation for him to retain the seat.

Mr Milupi said that ADD is an effective opposition political party that could be able to give a new turn to national politics by according credibility to the democracy that this country has been built on.

He pointed out that his party is by far the most popular party in the LUENA at the moment and MMD is too unpopular to compete for the parliamentary seat.

The ADD president said he is building the ADD on issues and not character assassination as it has been the case with other political parties.

Mr. Milupi, however, said that he does not expect the republican president to take pride in insulting competitors.

[ QFM ]

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(LUSAKATIMES) Sata offers solution to pact problems

COMMENT - Obviously the Lusaka Times is descending into MMD partisanship. Also, this article doesn't even say what the problems in the PF-UPND pact are.

Sata offers solution to pact problems
Wednesday, July 28, 2010, 8:10

Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata has said part of the solution to ending the wrangles that have rocked the pact with the United Party for National Development (UPND) is to choose a presidential candidate who will lead the two parties to next year’s general elections.

Mr Sata said in Lusaka yesterday that apart from harmonising manifestos and other issues, the critical issue for the pact was to choose a leader and that a roadmap that includes electing the president had been prepared to bring the differences to an end.

He was commenting on a statement by Mr Hichilema that the pact was facing problems that needed urgent solutions and that the issue of blaming each other should be tabled.

Mr Sata said a joint committee with representation from both political parties was planning to hold a private meeting to salvage the pact from collapse, but top on the agenda was the issue of the leadership.

He declined to state when the leadership would be elected and insisted that the matter would be discussed internally.

Meanwhile, UNZA political scientist, Phinias Baala has said the differences between the PF and UPND were serious and advised the two parties to disband.

Mr Baala, a lecturer in the school of political science, said the differences were deep and that it was impossible for the two parties to reconcile.

And Southern Province Minister, Daniel Munkombwe has said the current divisions in the PF and UPND have proved his earlier prediction that their pact would not last.

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(LUSAKATIMES) Kasama Council workers demand salaries

COMMENT - It is absurd and almost criminal that council employees are not paid on the dot at the end of every month. More than that, it is an open invitation to corruption. How are council workers supposed to pay the bills if they are not paid? Other than getting paid 'on the job'? Councils need to get serious about their financing, and they should receive 50% of national revenues. As it is, Zambians get double taxed by paying PAYE and local levies as well.

Kasama Council workers demand salaries
Thursday, July 29, 2010, 14:16

Some workers at Kasama Municipal Council in Northern Province have complained of non-payment of their salaries for the past four months now. The workers at the Council have threatened to go on strike if management does not pay them their salaries arrears by this month-end.

Some council employees, who preferred to be anonymous, told ZANIS in Kasama yesterday that they have not received their salaries since March, this year. The workers have since accused Council management of being insensitive to their plight.

They charged that management had deliberately chosen to render a deaf ear to the suffering of workers and their families.

The workers revealed that Council was collecting millions of Kwacha from revenue sources but wondered how the funds were being utilised.

They explained that despite management making promises to pay workers their monies nothing tangible had so far happened.

The workers have since appealed to Government authorities to intervene in the problems that have rocked Kasama Municipal Council.

Efforts to get a comment from Acting Council Town Clerk Victor Kakoma proved futile.

But Kasama Mayor Fidelis Chishoma yesterday also complained that Councillors had not been paid their sitting allowances for meetings that they have had in the last four (4) months.

Mr. Chishoma said the Councillors were entitled to sitting allowances each time they met for council meetings but regretted the non-payment of their dues.

He, however, claimed that Kasama Municipal Council currently did not have adequate funds to pay its workers and Councillors their monies and urged the affected individuals to be patient with the local authority.


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Financial assistance to SMEs key to growth of business – Thandiwe

Financial assistance to SMEs key to growth of business – Thandiwe
By Fridah Zinyama
Thu 29 July 2010, 12:50 CAT

FIRST Lady Thandiwe Banda has said financial assistance to the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector is key to ensuring the growth of business in Zambia.

And Standard Chartered Bank managing director Mizinga Melu said her bank is happy to be associated with the programme to support women entrepreneurs in improving their business.

Meanwhile, Bank of Zambia (BoZ) deputy governor for Administration Tukiya Mabula has said government is committed to reforming the country’s financial sector and has since approved the extension to the initial five years the Financial Sector Development Plan (FSDP).

During a ‘Women Entrepreneurs Workshop,’ in Lusaka, Thandiwe said SMEs were key players in all the major sectors of Zambia’s economy either as producers or suppliers.

“They account for 90 per cent of the total number of firms in Zambia and employ over 80 per cent of the potential labour force in the country,” she said.

Thandiwe said the growth and development of the SME sector would have a significant bearing on Zambia’s economic development and poverty alleviation.

“The opportunities in the SME sector are many and therefore need support to transform into formal entities,” said Thandiwe.

And Melu said women play an important role in the development of local communities but few deliberate programmes had been put in place to realise their potential.

Standard Chartered is supporting 11 women entrepreneurs through mentorship programmes, networking opportunities, financial support and financial and business planning.

And Mabula said the FSDP represented a strategy that was formulated to strengthen and broaden the Zambian financial sector.

“It is aimed at realising the vision of a financial sector that is sound, stable and market based and that would support efficient resource mobilisation necessary for economic diversification and sustainable growth,” she said.

Mabula added that the second phase of the FSDP would focus on three main pillars such as enhancing market infrastructure, increasing competition and access to finance in the country.

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Malawi’s Bingu arrives ahead of Agric Show

Malawi’s Bingu arrives ahead of Agric Show
By Chibaula Silwamba
Thu 29 July 2010, 17:10 CAT

Malawian President Bingu Wa Mutharika inspecting a guard of honour on arrival at the Lusaka International Airport for the official opening of the 84th Zambia Agricultural and Commercial Show on July 29,2010-Picture by Thomas Nsama
Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika has arrived in Lusaka to open
the Zambia Agricultural and ommercial show on Saturday.

President Mutharika, his first Callista and the Malawian delegation arrived at Lusaka International Airport around 15:20 hours and President Rupiah Banda welcomed him.

A horde of dancers welcomed President Wa Mutharika and his delegation.
Malawi is Zambia’s eastern neighbour.

President Banda and his Malawian counterpart will this evening attend
a state banquet in Lusaka and tomorrow the two leaders will hold
bilateral talks.

President Mutharika will open the agricultural and commercial show
before departing on Sunday.

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No sensible person can make Chiluba a companion - Milupi

No sensible person can make Chiluba a companion - Milupi
By Mwala Kalaluka in Luena
Thu 29 July 2010, 12:20 CAT

CHARLES Milupi has observed that President Rupiah Banda has been a reckless and playful leader from the time he assumed office.

Addressing campaign meetings in the Barotse Flood plain domiciled Salondo, Makuku and Nalusheke areas of Luena Constituency on Monday and Tuesday, Milupi, who is re-contesting the Luena seat on the Alliance for Development and Democracy (ADD) ticket, said President Banda was running a corrupt government.

He said President Banda had been a playful president from the very first day in office because there is no sensible person who could make Frederick Chiluba their bosom companion.

Milupi said he could not stomach such poor leadership.

He said President Banda and Vice-President George Kunda were wasting time in Luena because he would trounce them come August 5.

“The corruption in the MMD government is like someone putting water in a basket; it is free for all,” Milupi said.

“That is the problem when you get somebody who is careless and had not been well brought up to run the country. Ever since Chiluba took up government even to vote for you someone has to ask for money.”

Milupi urged the people of Luena to reject President Banda because he was frolicking around with corrupt elements and in the process he had desecrated late Levy Mwanawasa’s grave.

“Rupiah Banda is now in Chiluba’s bosom,” he said.

“Since Mwanawasa died you have not heard Chiluba has gone to South Africa. He has recovered from his heart condition.”

Milupi said no vote rigging would be entertained in Luena.

“They should be told the truth, because it is like we Lozis do not know when we have been wronged. Western Province is undergoing transformation,” Milupi said.

“We do not realize when people have offended and that is why they have even entered our skirts.”

Milupi said the MMD were desperate to win Luena because they realized that a loss could spell their doom in Western Province.

And addressing people that he did not expect to receive him at Mongu Airstrip, President Rupiah Banda who was in Mongu to campaign for the MMD candidate in the Luena by-election, Mwangala Maopu, said even if Luena residents voted for Milupi he would still be the same non-ruling party parliamentarian.

“You all know that we did not ask for this by-election but it was asked for by their candidate, somebody whom they themselves had voted for as their member of parliament. That is why we are here today,” President Banda said.

“Of course Mr Milupi was elected by the people of Luena after he was not selected by the MMD.”

President Banda said the MMD worked very well with Milupi in Parliament initially.

“At the beginning he showed a lot of respect for the MMD as that party that the people had chosen here in Western Province,” President Banda said. “But suddenly he changed and he started to attack the MMD. I want to thank him for this opportunity, which he has given us the MMD to have a second chance to get the seat he gave to us voluntarily. We did not ask him. No one pushed him. I do not remember any of the people here saying they did not want Mr Milupi anymore but perhaps he has some ideas in his mind.”

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Chilembo explains govt move to legislate customary law marriages

Chilembo explains govt move to legislate customary law marriages
By Namatama Mundia
Thu 29 July 2010, 14:40 CAT

JUSTICE deputy minister Todd Chilembo has said the legislation of marriages contracted under customary law will address the shortcomings of judicial reliance on undefined customs which are unwritten.

During the Zambia Law Development Commission (ZLDC) stakeholders’ consultative workshop for Lusaka Province on the development of legislation to regulate marriages contracted under customary law on Wednesday, Chilembo said the envisaged piece of legislation would further embrace customary marriages under a protective statutory framework that extends to related matrimonial causes.

He said he was pleased that the ZLDC used a participatory, consultative and inclusive methodology before making appropriate recommendations for legislation.

“This will enable Parliament to enact legislation to regulate marriages contracted under customary law,” Chilembo said.

He said while the government appreciated that while customary law was diverse, it was still possible to come up with laws of general application which were acceptable to Zambians and consistent with natural law and justice.

“In this regard the draft bill should be guided by moral principles and standards which are common to the people of Zambia, while repugnant customs and practices should be identified and specifically proscribed,” said Chilembo.

And ZLDC chairperson justice Hilda Chibomba said the proposed legislation would endeavour to unify a multiplicity of ethnic practices involved in contracting customary law marriages.

“Marriage in Zambia is part of a larger and more comprehensive social setup. Indeed the majority of Zambian people contract marriages under setup,” she said.

“Research has established that even the people who marry under statutory law or religion, still choose to comply with the setup requirements for a valid marriage.”

Chibomba, who is also a Supreme Court judge, said it is hoped that a bill to be developed would capture the aspirations of all Zambians across diverse ethnic groups.



Govt pledges transparency in uranium mining

Govt pledges transparency in uranium mining
By Florence Bupe
Thu 29 July 2010, 14:00 CAT

MINES minister Maxwell Mwale has assured that the government will ensure transparency in the exploration and mining of uranium.

Giving a ministerial statement to Parliament on the status of uranium exploration and mining in Zambia, Mwale disclosed that the government had so far issued licences to Denson Mining and African Energy Resources to commence uranium exploration and mining.

He said the country would move cautiously on the mining of uranium in conformity to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) requirements.

“We are applying set standards in conformity with the requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency standards. An investor cannot commence operations until they’ve met all the standards of the agency as well as the Zambian environmental safety requirements as stipulated by the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ),” he said.

Mwale said his ministry would consult widely with various stakeholders to ensure that uranium exploration and mining benefit the public, rather than harm the environment.

“If handled well, uranium mining can significantly benefit the country’s economy. The sector can help in poverty alleviation through the creation of employment and also the development of areas, since most sites identified to contain uranium deposits are located in least developed areas,” he said.

Mwale said his ministry was working with relevant partners to build capacity in the management of uranium mining.

He also said the country would follow the IAEA standards in the marketing of uranium to ensure that it did not land in countries that will use it for the production of harmful elements like nuclear energy.

“Zambia has no immediate plans to use uranium locally, but we will be cautious in the marketing process so that we do not destine our uranium for countries that will produce harmful products,” said Mwale.

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