Saturday, September 11, 2010
DR Congo bans mining for mobile phone minerals
By BBC News
Sat 11 Sep. 2010, 14:30 CAT
Mr Kabila said there was a"mafia" controlling mineral mining in DR Congo Mining in three provinces of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has been banned on the orders of the President Joseph Kabila. President Kabila ordered the indefinite suspension during a visit to the mining hub town of Walikale.
The president said he wanted to weed out what he called a "kind of mafia" involved in the mining industry. Control over mining minerals like coltan and cassiterite has fuelled conflict between rebel groups. The minerals are used in mobile phones and computers.
The ban covers the provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu and Maniema.
There has been a prolonged conflict there, last monthat least 150 women were reportedly raped by militia members near the town of Walikale.
The conflict is also fuelled by ethnic hatred, a hang-over from the 1994 slaughter of Tutsis in neighbouring Rwanda and Congo's subsequent civil wars.
The BBC's Thomas Hubert in eastern DR Congo says the ban may be difficult to enforce.
UN peacekeepers recently said they had control of the airstrip in Walikale, which is the easiest way out, but people might find other routes to export minerals.
By Mwala Kalaluka
Sat 11 Sep. 2010, 12:00 CAT
THE Supreme Court has been asked to declare as unconstitutional a section in the Zambian Constitution that provides that anyone convicted for aggravated robbery while armed with a firearm should be given a mandatory death sentence. And the Supreme Court has directed the State to file their response in the matter through submissions, given the constitutional nature of the death penalty.
This is in a matter where Alex Njamba, who was sentenced to a mandatory death sentence by the Lusaka High Court on November 21, 2008, has appealed against his sentence arguing that the sentence was arbitrary and unconstitutional. Njamba has also argued in his memorandum of appeal that the mandatory death sentence imposed on him was a degrading and inhuman punishment.
Lusaka lawyer, Abraham Mwansa, who is representing Njamba in the matter stated in his heads of argument submitted before Deputy Chief Justice Ireen Mambilima sitting with Supreme Court justices Dennis Chirwa and Hilda Chibomba in Ndola, that Njamba’s death sentence was an arbitrary deprivation of life.
Mwansa submitted that the sentence was a denial of the appellant’s rights to a fair trial and also the usurpation of the inherent sentencing power of the court.
“Thereby depriving the Judiciary of an essential judicial function in clear violation of the constitutional principle of separation of power,” Mwansa stated.
“Having found the Appellants guilty of the offence of aggravated robbery whilst armed with firearm, the court below did not feel compelled to consider the circumstances of the offender and the offence.”
Mwansa stated however, that the appeal was not a challenge to the death penalty per se.
“It is important to clarify at the outset that the issue advanced by the Second Appellant is not about the death penalty as such, but rather about the mandatory requirement of death penalty,” Mwansa submitted.
He stated that it was Njamba’s contention that not everyone convicted of aggravated robbery whilst armed with a firearm deserves to die.
Mwansa submitted that refusing or denying a convict facing death sentence to be heard in mitigation when those facing lesser sentences are allowed to be heard in mitigation was clearly unjustified.
He quoted further that by reason of its compulsory and automatic application, a mandatory sentence could not be subject of an effective review by a higher court.
Mwansa stated that it was his client’s prayer that the Supreme Court declares that section 294(2) of the Penal Code, to the extent that it provides for mandatory sentence of death on anyone convicted for aggravated robbery while armed with a firearm, is unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court sitting in Ndola adjourned the matter to its next sitting to allow the Attorney General and the state file their submissions in the matter.
By Larry Moonze in Havana, Cuba
Sat 11 Sep. 2010, 11:50 CAT
CUBAN revolution leader Fidel Castro has maintained his confidence in the Cuban socialist model.
Launching the second volume of his memoirs at the University of Havana on Friday, Castro said contrary to the interpretation of US journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, the capitalist system could not work for socialist country like Cuba.
Castro, the leader of the Cuban Communist Party, confirmed that in his long interview with Goldberg he was asked if he believed that the Cuban model was still worth exporting.
“It is evident that this question implicitly carried the theory that Cuba was exporting the Revolution,” Castro said.
“I responded “the Cuban model does not work anymore even for us.” I expressed this without bitterness or worry. I now enjoy myself seeing how he interpreted it to the letter and consulted with Julia Sweig, analyst of the CFR Council of Foreign Relations who accompanied him and elaborated the theory he explained. But in reality my answer meant the exact opposite of what the two American journalists interpreted about the Cuban model.
"My idea as everybody knows, is that the capitalist system does not work not even for the United States or the world, which it drives to crisis after crisis, which are ever more grave, global and repeated, of which it cannot escape. How could such a system work for a socialist country like Cuba?”
Castro noted that Goldberg’s short story detailed that he Castro had made a mistake in a crucial moment during the Missile Crisis by asking then Russian premier Nikita Khrushchev to launch nuclear rockets against the United States first.
“It is true that he touched the issue and asked me the question,” Castro narrated. Textually as he puts it in the first part of his report his words were: “I asked him: at some point it seemed logical that you recommend to the Russians bombing the US. Did what you recommended still seem logical this time? Fidel responded: After having seen what I have seen, it was absolutely not worth it.”
Castro explained that “I had explained clearly if the US were to invade Cuba, a country with Russian nuclear weapons, in these circumstances one should not let themselves suffer the first strike such as was aimed at the USSR when in 1941 the German army and all the forces of Europe attacked the USSR. It can be observed that from this brief reference to the subject, in the second part of the delivery of this news to the public the reader could not realise that if the US invaded Cuba, a country with Russian nuclear weapons”, in this case I was recommending avoiding the enemy’s first strike, nor did they realize the irony of my answer…of having known what I now know…In obvious reference to the betrayal committed by a Russian Prime Minister who, saturated by ethylic substance, handed over to the US the most important secrets of that country.”
Meanwhile, Castro said many of his Arab friends upon hearing that he had been interviewed by Goldberg got worried.
“From all this it can be deduced that great confusion exists in the world,” he said.
“I hope for that reason that what I say about my thoughts becomes useful. The ideas explained by me are contained in the 333 Reflections. Of them, the last 26 exclusively refer to environmental problems and the imminent danger of a nuclear war outbreak. I have always condemned the holocaust and have clearly expressed that in a few of them. I have never been an enemy of the Hebrew peoples of whom I admire the capacity to withstand dispersion and persecution for over two thousand years. Many of the most brilliant talents, Karl Marx and Albert Einstein, were Jews because it is a nation in which the most intelligent survived by virtue of the law of nature. In our country and in the world, they were persecuted and slandered. But this is just a fragment of the ideas that I defend.”
And Castro continued warning the US against attacking Iran militarily.
He said even if the war against Iran was of a conventional nature (non nuclear) it would be better for the US to switch off the lights and bid farewell.
“How could they withstand a war against 1.5 billion Muslims?” Castro asked.
“Defending peace for a true revolutionary does not mean giving up the principles of justice, without which human life and society would lack meaning. I still think Goldberg is a great journalist capable of explaining his points of view that force debate with amenity and mastery. He does not invent phrases. He transfers and interprets them.
"I will not mention the content of the many other aspects of our conversation. I will respect the confidentiality of the issues we covered while I await his extensive article with interest. I consider that all the peoples have the right to peace and the enjoyment of the goods and natural resources of the planet. What is happening in many countries of Africa is a shame.”
About the second volume of his memoirs which he calls The Strategic Counteroffensive, Castro describes in detail how the barely 300 rebels were able to sustain and defeat the fierce offensive of the 10,000-strong army of Fulgencio Batista.
The second book of the Strategic Victory launched in early August is an epic tale of the actions of the rebel army in the home stretch of the liberation struggle against the dictatorship.
It refers to the invasion by the guerrilla columns commanded by Camilo Cienfuegos and Ernesto Che Guevara and groups that were expanding into other provinces in addition to the actions taken by the three fronts around the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba. - Post Online
By BBC News
Sat 11 Sep. 2010, 14:10 CAT
France says comments by former Cuban leader Fidel Castro about its treatment of Roma migrants are unacceptable and show his ignorance of history. Mr Castro accused Paris of carrying out a "racial holocaust" over its expulsion of members of the Roma community.
France has come under increasing international criticism after about 1,000 Roma were deported recently. The European Parliament has urged the government to halt the deportations - a call rejected by Paris.
"The use of 'holocaust' by Mr Castro demonstrates his ignorance of history and disdain towards its victims," said French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero. "Such words are unacceptable."
In a clear reference to Cuba's treatment of dissidents, Mr Valero added: "That Fidel Castro shows an interest in human rights is truly revolutionary."
Mr Castro, 84, made his controversial remark at an event in Havana to promote the second volume of his autobiography.
"The last thing one would expect is the news of the expulsion of French gypsies, who are victims of the cruelty of the extreme right wing in France," he said.
Migrants were, he said, "victims of another kind of racial holocaust".
Fidel Castro's words have clearly angered the French government, the BBC's David Chazan reports from Paris.
It has been irritated by international condemnation of its treatment of the Roma and comparisons with the round-ups of Jews under the Nazi occupation.
It says it is scrupulously observing French laws and European regulations.
Since Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007, many Roma have come to France.
But the government has blamed them for a rise in crime and violence and says they cannot stay in France without jobs.
Labels: FIDEL CASTRO
Greek unions to protest against PM's austerity plans
By BBC News
Sat 11 Sep. 2010, 14:40 CAT
The man who threw a shoe at the prime minister said he was not welcome in Salonica
Greek unions are planning mass protests in the city of Thessaloniki against the government's austerity programme.
The demonstrations are expected before a speech on the economy by Prime Minister George Papandreou, who is attending the city's trade fair.
On Friday, the government said there would be further austerity measures, in addition to the cuts and higher taxes that have already been announced.
Earlier, three people were held after a shoe was thrown at Mr Papandreou.
However, the projectile - launched by Dr Stergios Prapavezis, a respected local cancer specialist - landed wide of its target.
Before the incident, Dr Prapavezis told the BBC that the prime minister was not welcome in the northern region because he had surrendered Greece's sovereignty and subjected ordinary people to poverty.
The police also detained his 15-year-old daughter and Stavros Vitalis, a farmer with whom he set up a protest movement called the Patriotic Front.
The BBC's Malcolm Brabant in Thessaloniki says that with 3,000 police patrolling the city's streets, the fact that a single shoe thrower got so close to the prime minister will be a source of major embarrassment.
Officials said the security forces had been deployed to maintain order during the three demonstrations on Saturday afternoon.
The country's trade unions said they believed the government wanted to "overthrow" workers' rights, on top of cutting public sector wages and pensions.
The centre-left government imposed a tough austerity programme in May in return for a 110bn-euro ($140bn; £91bn) bail-out from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union that helped it stave off bankruptcy.
On Friday evening, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said it was on track to reduce its budget deficit from 13.6% of GDP in 2009 to 8.1% this year, and pledged to maintain the pace.
"We will continue as we started," he was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.
"However, several more months must pass before we can convincingly show that what has been done was not a flash in the pan, and that we won't fall to pieces at the first sign of hardship."
Mr Papaconstantinou said he planned to overhaul several state-run corporations including the Greek Railway Company, which has 10.7bn euros of debts.
"As a society, we have shown that we understand the problem," he said.
The government also wanted to introduce reforms in the tourism, education, agriculture and energy sectors in the coming year, he added.
Official figures published earlier this week showed the contraction of the Greek economy was accelerating. It is expected to shrink by 4% this year.
Inflation has also reached 5.5% - its highest level in more than a decade - and more than half a million people were officially out of work in June.
VERASHNI PILLAY | JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Sep 10 2010 17:28
Cosatu's joint venture with Indian mining parastatal trumpeted as true empowerment
India's largest iron ore producer, the government-owned National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), has joined forces with Cosatu's investment arm in a bid to exploit mining opportunities in South Africa, the two companies announced last week.
The deal with Kopano Ke Matla Investment Company, which is fully owned by Cosatu, has been 18 months in the making, Kopano chief executive Collin Matjila told journalists recently.
Indian parastatal NMDC is the eighth-largest producer of alloys in the world, producing about 30-million tonnes of iron ore and employing 6 000 people in India. This is the NMDC's second foray into Africa, following the acquisition of a gold mine in Tanzania in 2006. "This time our target is more coal, iron ore and manganese," NMDC chairperson and managing director Rana Som said.
With a portfolio of just R300-million and no mining experience, Kopano is teaming up with a company that had a 2009-2010 turnover of $1,38-billion. But Kopano -- which exceeds the government's black economic empowerment (BEE) requirements -- will enable NMDC to acquire mining assets in South Africa.
"Since NMDC has mining expertise, it was not necessary for its partner to have mining experience," NMDC's technical director, Narendra Kumar Nanda, told the Mail & Guardian.
The newly inked joint venture is being trumpeted as an alternative model to dubious South African BEE business deals that benefit elites.
The recent controversial R800-million BEE deal between mining giant ArcelorMittal and the politically connected Imperial Crown Trading (ICT) is a case in point. Talks to seal the deal, following the surprise granting of rights to ICT to prospect at the lucrative Sishen iron ore mine, were facilitated by the Guptas -- an Indian family who have increasingly aligned themselves with President Jacob Zuma. ICT is also 50% owned by Jagdish Parekh, a close associate of the Gupta family.
Kopano, on the other hand, is "a broad-based black company wholly owned by Cosatu, representing more than two million members", Matjila told the M&G.
"Kopano is genuinely broad based and is involved in the mining sector as a long-term strategy and not as a short-term opportunist move for quick profit-making," he said.
Whether the presence of labour interests will guarantee broad-based empowerment is yet to be seen. One of ICT's directors, for example, is Archie Luhlabo -- a former mine worker and trade unionist whose work in the Mineworkers' Investment Company led him into increasingly lucrative personal deals.
But Som constantly reiterated the ethical values of his company.
The pillars of NMDC's work, according to Som, are scientific mining -- or mining without wastage through beneficiation and blending -- environmental friendliness and a commitment to benefit communities where mining operations take place.
The company was not scared off by recent industrial action in the country. "Such situations occur in India also," Nanda said, adding that the company had to deal with a robust union culture in India, with strong alliances to both the ruling party and the opposition. "NMDC has been able to come out of this problem through continual dialogue, negotiations and by following a transparent policy."
Indeed, the promises to the company's future workers in South Africa are dazzling. NMDC pays for the education of every worker's child up to a postgraduate degree, offers lifelong medical care to workers and their spouses and provides all workers with family units. "We have finished our wage negotiations [in India] and our workers were awarded a wage increase of 27%, the highest in the country," Som said.
But NMDC acknowledged that the proof of the pudding would be in the eating-- when the two companies settled on a mine -- and said it welcomed journalists monitoring any coming deals. Much has been made of their shared values and the deal is also being punted by some close to the process as an alternative to the ANC Youth League's push for the nationalisation of mines.
But the spectre of nationalisation still looms over the deal. The powerful Cosatu-affiliated National Union of Mineworkers supports "strategic" nationalisation in the very minerals NMDC is targeting. While Kopano's Matjila would not comment, Nanda acknowledged it was an issue "we have to consider".
"We have to get more information about the issues raised and certain commitments from the government could be necessary to avoid the investment risk," he said.
By The Post
Sat 11 Sep. 2010, 04:00 CAT
No democracy can flourish without the service of a fully functional and independent justice system. The European Union is right when it observes that a functioning, fair and accessible system of justice is the foundation of every truly democratic country.
As we have been advised, we must as a nation, ensure that the judiciary is politically independent and free from interference by the executive. It is true that it is only when the judiciary is free from political interference that its legitimacy in the eyes of the Zambian people is enhanced.
Truly as EU Head of delegation Derrick Fee has observed there is need to allow the judiciary to operate independently because it is imperative that it discards all political interference. Fee was right to stress that the development of any nation is based on an efficient justice system.
We hope that Rupiah Banda and those that work with him will take this advice to heart and reflect over it. It won’t help them to start attacking the EU over these well-intentioned comments.
What Fee has said merits very serious and sober reflection. The independence of the judiciary is very important. It is a subject that should be discussed and debated fully if our country is going to develop a well functioning justice system that safeguards our democracy and its governance system.
As we have indicated before making people fearful of the judiciary and stopping them from holding legitimate discussions on its failures, particularly, does not do anything to enhance the dignity and prestige of this institution. It does not also mean that since people are not able to talk about the judiciary then it is free.
Fee refers to a very important concept that the judiciary needs to reflect on very carefully. In calling for ensuring that the judiciary is independent from political interference, Fee identifies a benefit. He says that the independence of the judiciary enhances its legitimacy in the eyes of the Zambian people.
The concept of legitimacy implies that the people accept the determinations of the judiciary because they believe it as a fair and independent arbiter whose decisions can be trusted. Those decisions need not be liked, but if a judiciary has paid attention to its legitimacy and independence, the decisions will be accepted anyway.
This is the challenge that our judiciary has. It needs pay attention to its legitimacy. Our people need to feel that all the decisions that it makes are professionally conceived without any undue considerations.
We cannot, and should not deny that the image of our judiciary is badly dented. If we have to borrow from the reasoning of Fee, we could say that the legitimacy of the judiciary has not been enhanced by some of its decisions.
Sometimes we are tempted to think that the judiciary is so detached that they have lost the common touch that they require to be able to address the frustrations and expectations of common people. This is a dangerous development which does not inspire hope.
There is a perception that our judiciary is unprofessional when it deals with matters where those in power have an interest. It is not enough for the judiciary to simply say it is independent. It is also not enough for the judiciary to plug its ears to stop hearing what the people are saying and what they feel.
The fact that they stop hearing what the people are saying does not change the reality on the ground. The illegitimacy of the judiciary however caused should be a source of great concern. The judiciary must do everything to ensure that this problem is addressed. We cannot have a judiciary whose decisions are always questioned.
This does not serve anyone’s best interest. At one point or the other we may all need the services of an independent arbiter; yes we have to rely on the protection of an independent judiciary from the capricious and sometimes malicious abuse of power by those in authority. In this respect an independent judiciary guarantees the human rights of everyone without regard to the whims and wishes of those in power.
We have said before, but this bears repeating. The standing of the judiciary in this country was savaged by the scandal that got rid of the last Chief Justice, Matthew Ngulube. The damage that the scars of corruption left by Ngulube did to the judiciary have not been healed. It was in the context of politics that Ngulube messed himself up.
In trying to be close to Frederick Chiluba, Ngulube took bribes. This issue has damaged the legitimacy of the judiciary. The recent Chiluba decisions have done nothing to improve this situation.
There is a problem with our political system that needs to be addressed somehow. It is clear that there is no effective system of checks and balances that encompasses the President.
In other words the President, in our system, is above all the other organs of the state which are meant to maintain the balance of power. The judiciary is not truly independent of the President. Rupiah’s statement on Chiluba’s cases bears witness to that. Parliament is also not really able to control the President in any meaningful way. The President is virtually a law unto himself.
It is this concept of an all powerful President that militates against the independence of the judiciary. This problem is clearly manifested when cases in which the President has expressed an interest before the courts. One cannot help feeling that sometimes our courts engage in self-censorship to please the President.
This is what has happened in the case registration of the London High Court Judgement. It would appear that Judge Evans Hamaundu was so overwhelmed by the case he was handling that even forgot that his own decision which he had made earlier where established the principle that a foreign judgment such as the one obtain against Chiluba could be registered for enforcement in Zambia.
So confused was judge Hamaundu that he even ignored recent Supreme Court decisions that clearly acknowledge that UK judgments are registerable in Zambia. Such conduct does nothing to promote the legitimacy of the judiciary. On this score, we all have to acknowledge that Fee has a point: only a judiciary free of political interference can enhance its own legitimacy.
By Chibaula Silwamba
Sat 11 Sep. 2010, 04:00 CAT
President Rupiah Banda with the newly sworn in High Court Judges at State House
RESIDENT Rupiah Banda yesterday said the judiciary and government made a deliberate move to increase the number of female High Court Judges.
Speaking when he swore in three female and two male judges for the High Court at State House in Lusaka, President Banda said the appointment of five female judges out of the nine sworn in on Thursday and yesterday was not by coincidence.
“This is a deliberate move both by the judiciary and the government to ensure that participation of qualified women is taking place in our country continuously,” said President Banda. “May I be allowed to just wish you all the best and God’s guidance as you perform very important tasks.”
Among those sworn in yesterday were Flavia Chishimba, Mugeni Siwale Mulenga, Petronella Chama Ngulube, Isaac Kamwendo and Justine Chashi.
On Thursday, the President swore in two female High Court judges Gaundential Milimo Salasini and Anessie Banda-Bobo, who is former registrar of the Patents and Companies Registration Office (PACRO).
President Banda also swore in Supreme Court judges Muyinda Wanki and Gregory Phiri.
Leaders should be exemplary in their conduct – Sata
By Patson Chilemba in Lusaka and Bivan Saluseki and Chiwoyu Sin
Sat 11 Sep. 2010, 04:00 CAT
PATRIOTIC Front (PF) president Michael Sata yesterday said political leaders should be exemplary in their conduct. And senior chief Mwamba of the Bemba speaking people of Kasama yesterday said PF leader Michael Sata has shown that he is able to discipline members of his party.
Meanwhile, Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM’s) decision to resign as Kasama area member of parliament has left most people here shocked. Commenting on the resignation of Mwamba, popularly known as GBM, as Kasama PF member of parliament, Sata said leaders should be exemplary to the people.
“The MMD have not suspended MMD Serenje member of parliament Dr Solomon Musonda, with us we have suspended GBM. The whole point is if people want to be leaders they must show a good example which people must emulate,” he said.
Sata said he still did not know if GBM had resigned because he only heard about the matter in the press.
“If he wants to resign as MP, the place to resign is Parliament, not us. The Speaker doesn’t act on copies. He decided on his own to come, and he decides on his own to go. Nobody can stand in his way,” Sata said.
“The Constitution as it is now, you can’t rule out by-elections. It’s either we have to put in the Constitution some pledge by those who are aspiring to be MP because the point is you can’t avoid a by-election.”
Sata said people like Dr Musonda were very lucky because they could have faced disciplinary action had they been in PF. He said leaders should be well mannered.
“It doesn’t matter how much money you have. It doesn’t matter how nourished you are. But we go to every election to go and plead to the poor people to vote for us. We must respect them. We don’t have any monopoly of inflicting pain on others,” Sata said.
“The whole point is if there is a by-election, which I very much doubt, we have no choice. This is the second person we are losing and this helps send a message that our central committee should be very, very careful when scrutinizing would be candidates.”
Sata said the majority of rebels in PF were people who were accepted from other political parties.
He said the party did not have problems with original members like Roan PF member of parliament Chishimba Kambwili.
“It is new comers where we have problems. For example Bhahati, Chimbaka came from MMD, Wusakile, Barnabas Chellah came from MMD, Kawambwa, the woman Elizabeth Chitika came from FDD. The list is endless,” Sata said.
“And this is making it very difficult. We trust people, we trust Zambians as PF. That is why we don’t have cards because if we had cards there will be a strain of saying ‘you must be so many years holding that particular card’.”
Sata said he did not condone violence.
“Whether it is from Dr Musonda, MMD Lusaka Province chairperson William Banda with screw drivers, whether it is from GBM, violence is violence,” said Sata.
GBM on Thursday resigned as member of parliament a few hours after receiving a letter of suspension from his party leader, Sata.
Mwamba allegedly assaulted his wife Chama on Sunday after a domestic dispute.
In a letter to Sata dated September 9, 2010, which was also copied to Speaker of the National Assembly Amusaa Mwanamwambwa, GBM stated that he had resigned in order to concentrate on his business.
Earlier in the day, Sata temporarily relieved GBM of his duties as party chairman for elections following his domestic problems.
In a letter to GBM dated September 9, 2010, Sata stated that he had taken the decision in the interest of the party and the public at large.
And chief Mwamba, who is related to GBM, said Sata was right to put his members, and PF as a house, in order because every party needed discipline.
“Society needs guidance. Leadership is self discipline and we should give good examples,” he said.
“According to what I heard, Sata suspended GBM and I think that’s what led to his resignation. As leaders we need to be patient and respect the decision of the leaders of our parties. Whereas I don’t ascribe to whatever happened to GBM and his wife, I think he should reconsider and finish his term. It’s costly for the government and the political party itself. The PF will lose a lot of money which can be used for other purposes.”
Chief Mwamba said generally, the Kasama central populace was sad at the rate of the resignations.
He said Kasama was reeling from the resignation of Saviour Chishimba, and beginning to carry on, only to have another resignation.
“It’s frustrating to the people to be voting and especially to me who is close to GBM as a family member,” he said.
On GBM’s businesses suffering as a result of politics, chief Mwamba said there was also a tendency in African politics to fix political opponents.
“There’s a wrong tendency of cat and mouse where you squeeze each other. Businesses are affected but this is a sad state of affairs. It will mean that those in government, when they go out, they will also be squeezed. Politics should be politics. Business should be business,” said chief Mwamba.
And some Kasama residents have expressed shock at the resignation of GBM.
Kenneth Mutale said GBM should have known that his actions beating the wife were wrong for a leader.
Martin Mulenga said: “It also shows that as leaders we should learn to control our emotions. To me both decisions by GBM were emotional. He beat the wife out of emotion and he has resigned out of emotions.”
Meanwhile Northern Province PF chairman Frederick Chisanga has declared that even though the people were shocked with GBM’s decision to resign, the party was ready for any by-election.
Chisanga said most Kasama residents had refused to accept GBM’s resignation.
“People came to my home and said his decision to resign as MP was not in good faith. I also told him (GBM) that he should have stepped down as chair for elections and not as MP. Now we are going to have two by-elections here,” he said.
Chisanga said the by-elections would be costly for the party and government.
“But psychologically, we are ready…It’s only that the by-election is in the same place. We are looking at the period of time, it’s too short for elections. But generally we are always ready in case RB President Rupiah Banda dissolves parliament,” said Chisanga.
“But to tell you, in Kasama, we are shocked. It has come as a surprise. He GBM promised that he is coming to Kasama tomorrow today to explain.”
When news of GBM’s resignation began to filter through, in this rural town in the morning, scores of people milled around newspaper vending points to find out what exactly had befallen Kasama.
Some tried to confirm and reconfirmed from friends with others saying they would wait for Sata to tell them.
GBM’s resignation has somewhat changed the ceremonial mood leading to Ukusefya pangwena, to that of politics in Kasama.
Some of the people who supported GBM, poured scorn for both his decisions while some PF constituency officials rushed to the local radio station to calm down people.
Meanwhile, MMD acting national secretary Chembe Nyangu has said the ruling party is going to win the Kasama Central seat following the resignation of area Member of Parliament Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba.
In an interview after Zain Zambia and some journalists called on provincial minister John Chinyanta at the provincial administration in Kasama yesterday, Nyangu said the MMD had already started campaigning in the area following the resignation of Mwamba.
Nyangu said the ruling party has been vindicated over its opposition
to the election of Mwamba last year.
“When we were saying MMD is ruling party and the people should vote for MMD…but the people went ahead and voted for opposition Member of Parliament,” Nyangu said. “The MMD is the ruling party and what we told the people a few months ago has happened. It hasn’t taken long and we have been vindicated that the MMD should have been voted into power.
“Within one term of parliamentary term, two Members of Parliament have resigned. But the question is why? It means there is something wrong within PF. We are saying this time it is our time seat and we are getting it. That is why I have come here. He Mwamba resigned yesterday and I am here, meaning what? It’s to prepare for
the forthcoming bye-election.”
He regretted that Mwamba’s businesses had suffered due to the MP’s
involvement in politics.
“The loss of business due to joining politics is personal. I don’t know how much he was spending on PF activities but if PF means him financing PF, then it is most unfortunate that his business has suffered,” said Nyangu.
And MMD Northern Province vice chairman Gaston Sichilima has charged that the PF is broke and that is why it is calling for early elections.
Sichilima said PF's popularity was waning fast in Northern province and that MMD was on the mission to recover its fortunes in the area.
“PF is not just slowly…but it’s melted completely,” Sichilima said.
“Even the presence of PF in Northern Province is going to actually
Sichilima charged that the PF was broke and that was why it was calling for early polls.
“These are indications of failures,” said Sichilima. “…There is no money so they are calling for their masters to fund them. As we are talking, they are stepping in their banks. Where they are getting the money we know, and when their master funds them, they will beef up their economies on individual basis.”
By Moses Kuwema
Sat 11 Sep. 2010, 04:00 CAT
THE Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training (MSTVT) has postponed the opening of all MSTVT training institutions for the third term.
In a statement, science and technology minister Dr Brian Chituwo stated that the institutes that were supposed to open on September 13, 2010 would instead open on October 10, 2010.
Dr Chituwo stated that the postponement had been necessitated because the MSTVT institutions would be used for the purpose of the 2010 census programme which runs from September 12 to October 10, 2010.
Dr Chituwo advised all students attending training at MSTVT institutions not to travel to their respective colleges until October 11, 2010.
He named some of the affected colleges as Northern Technical College (NORTEC), Luanshya Technical and Business College (LTBC), Gemstone Processing and Lapidary Training Centre (GPLTC), the Technical and Vocational Teachers’ College (TVTC), Kitwe Vocational Training Centre (KVTC), Mwinilunga Trades Training Institute (MTTI), Solwezi Trades Training Institute (SOTTI), Zambia Institute of Business Studies and Industrial Practice (ZIBSIP), Kabwe Trades Training Institute (KTTI), Nkumbi International College (NIC) and Evelyn Hone College of Applied Arts and Commerce.
Others are Mansa Trades Training Institute (Mansa TTI), Lukashya Trades Training Institute (LTTI), Choma Trades Training Institute (CTTI), Kasiya Secretarial and Business College (KSBC), Livingstone Institute of Engineering and Business Studies (LIBES), Kaoma Trades Training Institute (Kaoma TTI), Mongu Trades Training Institute (Mongu TTI), Lusaka Business and Technical College (LBTC), Lusaka Vocational Training Centre (LVTC), Zambia Air Services Training Institute (ZASTI), Ukwimi Trades Training Institute (UTTI) and Chipata Trades Training Institute (Chipata TTI).
By Misheck Wangwe, Mwila Chansa and David Chongo
Sat 11 Sep. 2010, 04:00 CAT
PATRIOTIC Front (PF) councillors led by Roan parliamentarian Chishimba Kambwili on Wednesday walked out of the council chamber during the mayoral elections in protest against the arrest of councillor Adam Zulu by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in Luanshya.
And Kambwili has said PF councillors will never attend council meetings until the election of councillor Peter Phiri of the MMD as mayor is declared null and void.
In an interview on Thursday, Kambwili said the PF councillors decided not to take part in the mayoral elections because the MMD councillors, led by Luanshya parliamentarian Simon Kachimba, schemed the arrest of Zulu who had been accused of attempting to bribe an MMD councillor Mabvuto Daka.
Kambwili explained that like any other elections, Zulu was lobbying his fellow councillors to vote for him as mayor of Luanshya in a clean manner but the MMD councillors made malicious plans to have him arrested by the ACC.
“Our PF councillor Adam Zulu of Lumumba ward was vying for the position of mayor… so he was called for lunch by the MMD councillor Mabvuto Daka, to join him for lunch in town and he gladly went there as he was invited by a colleague but suddenly ACC officers picked them up and accused Zulu of attempting to bribe Daka with K1.8 million, and they were taken to Luanshya Central Police,” Kabwili explained.
“At the police, Daka was released after he alleged that he was given the K1.8 million he had in his pocket by Zulu, and that’s how the police detained Zulu but they recorded a warn and caution statement from him later. As PF, we feel insulted because the MMD wants to do everything to expose the PF to ridicule for nothing. This is unacceptable and should not be tolerated. We are aware that Kachimba was sent by the MMD to cause all this confusion and they will not succeed.”
Kambwili said the arrest of Zulu was a clear abuse of authority alleging that Kachimba issued direct instructions to the ACC to arrest Zulu under clear malicious grounds.
He said PF councillors in Luanshya have vowed that they will never attend the council meetings until the election of Phiri of the MMD as mayor is revoked.
Kambwili said Zulu's arrest was a futile plan by the MMD in trying to weaken the PF in Luanshya.
And Luanshya town clerk Andrew Mwanakulanga, who was the returning officer, confirmed that the 14 PF councillors did not vote during the mayoral elections.
In Kitwe, former journalist Elias Kamanga went through unopposed as Kitwe mayor together with his deputy John Mwape of Ipusukilo ward.
Kamanga who is PF Bupe ward councillor said he would work hard to ensure that the council performed to the expectations of Kitwe residents.
Outgoing Kitwe mayor Stephen Chipungu commended councillors for the manner in which they conducted the affairs of the city and the support they rendered to him.
In Chingola, PF Chitimukulu ward councillor McDonald Mulongoti is the new mayor.
Returning officer Patrick Teleshi, who is also Chingola town clerk, said Mulongoti beat the other two contestants after he polled 14 votes.
Teleshi said councillors Stephen Mubanga of the MMD and George Sichula of PF got seven votes each.
In Kalulushi, MMD Chibuluma ward councillor Emmanuel Mazokela scooped the Kalulushi mayoral elections, taking over from his fellow MMD Ichimpe ward councillor Evaristo Mwalilino.
Kalulushi Municipal Council public relations officer Kangwa Muma confirmed the development on Wednesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, tempers flared in the Solwezi Municipal Council chamber on Wednesday, with councillors almost engaging in a physical fight following an electoral misunderstanding during the mayoral elections.
Confusion arose after one candidate for the position of deputy mayor was declared the winner unopposed despite other candidates contesting the poll.
When returning officer, town clerk Jim Zya, declared Fordson Malishinyi as the duly elected deputy mayor, councilors from opposing camps rose to protest, questioning how Malishinyi went unopposed despite others standing for the election.
When they were told that Malishinyi’s nomination was the only one valid and theirs were invalid, tempers rose in the chamber and verbal expletives were exchanged between the sides.
In invalidating the papers, Zya said one councillor had endorsed more than one candidate while another contestant who had earlier endorsed his colleague the previous morning changed his mind in the afternoon and filed for the same position himself.
Zya said according to the electoral rules, such anomalies were justifiable basis for invalidating nomination papers in which situation Malishinyi emerged ‘unopposed’.
But the aggrieved councillors argued that they were not informed that their papers were invalid after it emerged that Malishinyi had also filed in invalid papers but had been tipped to correct them at the council by an unidentified electoral official through a third party the day before.
When calm finally returned among the councillors, it was decided that the declaration of Malishinyi as deputy mayor be nullified and fresh elections be held leading to the postponement of both elections to yesterday which turned out peaceful.
And MMD’s Sandang’ombe ward councillor Jameson Kapumba was elected new Solwezi mayor after beating two other contestants, polling 12 votes against fellow MMD Kibanza ward councillor Fanwell Kabozha who polled eight votes and Peter Kapamba of Tumvwang’anai ward who got four votes out of the 23 cast.
The position of deputy mayor went to MMD Musele ward councillor Malishinyi, who polled 11 votes against UPND’s Chikola ward councillor Jameson Mutunta who polled eight votes.
Friday, September 10, 2010
By George Chellah
Fri 10 Sep. 2010, 22:00 CAT
KAFULAFUTA MMD member of parliament George Mpombo yesterday asked the Lusaka High Court to declare his expulsion from the MMD null and void. This is in a matter where Mpombo, who is the plaintiff, has sued MMD acting national secretary Chembe Nyangu and Attorney General Abyudi Shonga as first and second defendants respectively.
In a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court principal registry, Mpombo stated that the decision taken by the MMD National Executive Committee (NEC) to expel him was against the party constitution.
“The NEC has no power under the party constitution to extend its term of office upon its expiry and cannot, therefore, exist or purport to function or exercise any of its functions beyond its term of office as prescribed under the constitution without a fresh mandate from the party convention. As a consequence the decision taken by the NEC on Saturday 04th September, 2010 to expel the plaintiff from the party is ultra vires the constitution of the party as the same was purportedly arrived at by a NEC which is functus officio,” Mpombo stated.
“In the alternative, the decision to expel the plaintiff is not final under the party constitution as the same is still subject to approval by the party convention and any intended notification by the 1st defendant to the 2nd defendant to declare the plaintiff’s parliamentary seat vacant as contained in the 1st defendant’s letter dated 04th September 2010 is thus contrary to the party’s constitution. The plaintiff is, therefore, still a member of the MMD with all the rights vested in a member by the party constitution.”
Mpombo prays that the court makes a declaratory judgment that the MMD NEC’s term of office expired on July 17, 2010 and that any decision made after that is null and void ab initio.
“In the alternative a declaratory judgment that the purported expulsion of the plaintiff from the MMD by the NEC as a final decision of the party is ultra vires the MMD constitution and, therefore null and void and that the second defendant cannot act on the said decision to declare the plaintiff’s parliamentary seat vacant as the plaintiff is still member of the MMD,” he stated.
Mpombo is also seeking for an order of interim injunction against Nyangu or any other relief the court may deem just including costs.
And in his affidavit in support of ex-parte summons for an order of interim injuction, Mpombo stated that since the term of office of the NEC expired on July 17, 2010 it could not continue to meet and administer the party’s duties, as doing so would be in complete breach of the party constitution.
“Unless this Honourable Court grants me an order of interim injunction against the first defendant he will continue to convene meetings of the NEC as a body which is functus officio under the party constitution and proceed to communicate to the second defendant the decision which is the subject of this action,” he stated.
Mpombo stated that the NEC expelled him for expressing critical views on various party matters.
By Salim Dawood
Fri 10 Sep. 2010, 14:10 CAT
SOUTHERN African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) executive director Lee Habasonda has charged that there is no way the MMD be trusted to respect the republican constitution when the party cannot respect it's own party constitution. And Habaasonda has advised political parties to put in place cost-effective and democratic management plans to avoid costly by-elections.
Habaasonda was speaking in an interview with the Post Online to comment expelled MMD Kafulafuta member of parliament George Mpombo's statement that he had been expelled by an illegal body whose mandate had expired.
“The decisions that the MMD has taken on Mr. Mpombo and Honourable Ng’andu Magande may appear wise to their followers, it does actually undermine their own credentials as a democratic political party,” he said.
He said the timing of the expulsions of the two parliamentarians was aimed at paving way for President Rupiah Banda not to have credible opposition at the MMD Convention.
“Clearly these expulsions could have taken place long back if it was really about discipline or correcting the breach of party etiquette by the MMD leadership.
Now, if the body that expelled the two or the duo was not elected and call it illegal if you like, it becomes a source of concern for all Zambians because if the ruling party cannot follow their own constitution as well as internal rules and procedures to mate out discipline in the party, certainly there is no way they can respect the Republican Constitution,” he said.
“Seriously, if it’s true that the term of leadership has indeed expired they need to climb down and consider following a more democratic process to discipline, let alone expel, Honourable Mpombo and Honourable Magande,” he said.
He said it was unfortunate that that the ruling party saw it fit to create costly and unnecessary by-elections through the expulsions.
“Our view is that, in fact all political parties should put in place cost-effective and democratic conflict management structures which will not derail the whole country when they take a decision, therefore one would love to summarise by saying that it is very worrisome that the ruling party would want to take decisions and disrespect their own rules, that creates worry to people outside the MMD as to whether they can respect the Constitution and that has implications for them as a democratic project that the country would love to undertake,” he said.
“That is why we are saying they need to reconsider their position if there is really merit in expelling the two from parliament, they must go through a more legitimate and acceptable process.”
Last Saturday, the MMD expelled Mpombo and his Chilanga MP, Ng'andu Magande counterpart for breaching party regulations and insulting the party leadership.
But Mpombo says the party's governing body had no powers to expel him because its mandate had ended according to the party constitution.
Mpombo has indicated he will appeal against his expulsion while Magande says he will neither appeal his expulsion or re-contest his seat.
By The Post
Fri 10 Sep. 2010, 04:00 CAT
Since Rupiah Banda came into power, he has not done anything that has served to enhance the rule of law in our country.
Rupiah’s behaviour in State House is consistent with the behaviour of a despot that does not respect the rule of law or even the independence of the judicial system that he is today trying to preach to us about. What can Rupiah tell us about the rule of law? To defend the rule of law, it is not enough to chant a few slogans, and think that by so doing, one is defending the rule of law.
Rupiah has done a lot to ruin the reputation of the judicial system in our country. Trying to blame others for what is happening to the standing of the judiciary will not change his record and contribution to this sorry state of affairs. The rule of law is more than just the notional independence of a judiciary.
Chanting slogans about respecting the rule of law says nothing about the state of the judicial system in the country. We all know that Rupiah and his minions have shamelessly turned the judicial system into a political vendetta settling system where only their enemies are tried. The police, who form an important part of the building blocks for the rule of law have been reduced to Rupiah’s private militia who are subservient to cadres like William Banda.
Everybody knows that the police will not do anything unless it has the blessing of Rupiah himself and, by extension, thugs like William Banda who has recently taken to threatening violence against this newspaper. Even as a person like William Banda does that, we know that nothing will happen to him because he has the full protection and confidence of his benefactor Rupiah.
What rule of law can Rupiah talk about when the police and other law enforcement agencies cannot enforce the law without the direct say-so of the political masters?
Everybody knows that George Mpombo was dragged before a court of law to be gagged because of his criticism of Rupiah’s abuse of power. As a perceived enemy of the President, Mpombo received swift justice, and now he has been sentenced. The editor of this newspaper is another victim of the kind of justice that seems targeted to silence anyone who expresses an opinion that is opposed to Rupiah’s penchant for abuse of power.
If anyone is in doubt about what we are saying, all they need to do is look at what has happened with Lucy Changwe who is in a similar, if not worse, position to what Mpombo was in. What have the police done? They have come out defending Changwe and told the nation that they cannot act against Changwe for whatever reason and yet in the case of Mpombo, they were quick to move even though there was clear evidence that Mpombo had communicated with Terence Findlay, asking him not to deposit the cheque that he nonetheless did.
Mpombo’s case was clear political witch-hunt. And yet Changwe’s case is a clear case of political manipulation of the rule of law by Rupiah’s government. We saw this uneven implementation of the law in the Mufumbwe by-election.
It is obvious that the MMD, through its cadres, was the mastermind and orchestrators of the violence that characterised that election and yet not one MMD-related cadre has been arrested. UPND spokesman and Zambezi West member of parliament Charles Kakoma was assaulted brutally by MMD cadres. But to this day, no one has been arrested in connection with that attack. Not even a public statement by the police has been issued to explain why an attack on a member of parliament has been ignored. On the other hand, the same police that seem impotent to act when MMD cadres and MMD friends breach the law have been quick to arrest Solwezi Central UPND member of parliament Watson Lumba and others in connection with violence that everybody knows was orchestrated by the MMD.
What rule of law can Rupiah talk about when his party is busy abusing its position to punish political opponents? Is Rupiah telling us that he does not know that under his leadership, the police have been reduced to a militia of cadres that only works on political instructions? On the judiciary, no one has done more to reduce the esteem of our judiciary than Rupiah himself. The things he has done and said have left the judiciary in a compromised position.
We say this because our people have not forgotten that when the questionable judgment acquitting Frederick Chiluba was still being read in court, Rupiah was busy telling people at a gathering in Kabwe to accept the decision of the court in terms that suggested that he knew the outcome. Did that conduct enhance the perception of the independence of the judiciary?
The same Rupiah told the nation that he had decided not to appeal against the acquittal of Chiluba when his government had been trying to give the impression that such a decision had been made by the Director of Public Prosecutions. Rupiah’s boobs on the Chiluba matters clearly demonstrated that his government was working to undermine the rule of law. This is because by his comment in Kabwe, it seemed that the courts were consulting with Rupiah and telling him their decision on a matter of immense public interest before the matter was determined in court. This was wrong and did nothing to enhance the prestige and legitimacy of the judiciary.
It is not the people Rupiah is attacking that are denting the image of the judiciary. It is people like Rupiah himself and his sidekicks like Mike Mulongoti, who told the nation that Chiluba just had to be acquitted because it is not everybody who should be sent to jail. Does Rupiah expect our people to be happy when such comments are being made by those in power? As we have said before, the maintenance of the dignity of the courts is something that the courts themselves will have to work on.
They need to ensure that their decisions are of such quality and standard that all well-meaning people of goodwill will find no reasonable cause to question them. The decision to acquit Chiluba and the more recent decision to refuse the registration of the London High Court judgment have not done anything to enhance the prestige of the judiciary. Worse still, the behaviour of Rupiah and his minions has not done anything to help the judiciary on this score.
Rupiah and his government have decided that the appeal system that exists in our judicial system is unnecessary. They have also given the impression that appealing is disrespecting the courts. Refusing to appeal matters of serious public interest, against legitimate public demands, has not helped to enhance the image of the judiciary. In other words, what is left on the public record is the unacceptable and wrong decisions of lower courts.
If Rupiah had been interested in enhancing the image of the courts, he would have allowed these matters to be determined in accordance with the full facilities of our country’s legal due process. By cutting short the due process, Rupiah has also cut the respectability of our courts. But we know that this does not really concern Rupiah.
As long as he gets what he wants, he is not concerned with the integrity and standing of our courts. We have also noted that Rupiah is calling the criticism of the judiciary unjustified and calling for it to be checked. How is the legitimate criticism of the judiciary going to be checked? Every institution in our country should open itself to public scrutiny.
There is no institution that should be above public accountability. We know that there is a tendency to brand every criticism of the court as contempt. But the little law that we know tells us that this is wrong. What happened in the Nsuka Sambo case is wrong. No one should be 'sambod' for the legitimate criticism of things that go wrong in our court system.
Anyway, what is clear is that it is actually Rupiah and his friends that are reducing the standing of our judiciary.
Alleged govt interference with judiciary is frightening – Harrington
By Kombe Chimpinde
Fri 10 Sep. 2010, 04:01 CAT
FORMER transport and communications minister William Harrington yesterday described MMD national chairman Michael Mabenga's statements that the government had helped expelled Chilanga member of parliament Ng’andu Magande to win the Chilanga seat through a court ruling as frightening.
In an interview with the Post Online, Harrington said the statement brought out serious questions on the government interference in the judiciary.
“The revelation by the MMD government that it exerts pressure on the judiciary to pass judgments in their favour is frightening ,” Harrington said.
“It’s an open secret that the admission by Mabenga that the MMD had in the past influenced the decisions of the court is extremely frightening.”
He said ensuring that the judiciary is independent was in the interest of every Zambian, adding that Mabenga's statement proved that there had been interference obtaining in the judicial system.
Recently MMD national chairman Micheal Mabenga had said that people like Magande must not claim that they had a lot of support in their areas (Chilanga Constituency) as it took help from the party to help them win the election through the court.
“People like Magande could not have won elections in Chilanga without the help from government. Magande had won through a court ruling,” Mabenga said earlier in an interview with Post Online.
He wondered what kind of picture the MMD was sending to Zambians by making such a statement.
Harrington also observed that the decision by judge Evans Hamaundu to reject an application that sought to register the London judgment that found former president Frederick Chiluba and others liable of stealing from Zambians was unfortunate.
“The government is using its judicial arm to block the judgment from being registered in Zambia again as things stand now it seems President Banda and Chiluba have something to hide or afraid of the consequences when the judgment is registered,” he said.
“If anything, if President Rupiah Banda and his government want to assist Chiluba he should actually be in the forefront of getting the London judgment registered in Zambia so that Chiluba can be availed an opportunity to prove his innocence in inverted commas.”
He warned that Chiluba's cases were going to catch up with him despite the current protection from the government through their refusal to appeal and cautioned him not to celebrate judge Hamaundu’s ruling as it was not only injurious to the people of Zambia but that the case could be reinstated in due course.
And commenting on the revelation that Bharti Airtel has been engaging government to intervene in the negotiation process by the Security Exchange Commission SEC on the price of Zain Zambia Harrington said this was a clear breach of the Constitution amounting to corruption by government.
“This issues are a breach of the Constitution. Why are they by-passing the Zambia Privatization Agency(ZPA) to negotiate or the Zambia Development Agency. That is a form of corruption and has left our systems rotten to the very core,” charged Harrington.
By George Chellah
Fri 10 Sep. 2010, 04:00 CAT
Lusaka businessman Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba popularly known as GBM yesterday resigned as Kasama Central PF member of parliament a few hours after receiving a letter of suspension from his party leader Michael Sata for assaulting his wife.
In a letter to PF leader Michael Sata dated September 9, 2010, which was also copied to Speaker of the National Assembly Amusa Mwanamwambwa, GBM stated that he had decided to resign in order to concentrate on his business.
“Dear Sir, I have decided to tender in my resignation as Patriotic Front member of parliament for Kasama Central with immediate effect to enable me concentrate on my business, which has been affected due to my involvement in active politics,” GBM stated.
“It is a pity that I have made this decision without consulting my people of Kasama Central but I am sure they will understand my situation. And I will be traveling there Kasama to go and explain the circumstances and at the same time I wish to thank them for showing confidence in me for electing me as their area member of parliament last October 15, 2009, under Patriotic Front ticket. Indeed, on my own behalf I wish to thank you for serving in your party as member of parliament and chairperson of elections MCC.”
Earlier in the day, Sata temporarily relieved GBM of his duties as party chairman for elections following his domestic problems.
In a letter to GBM dated September 9, 2010, Sata stated that he had taken the decision in the interest of the party and the public at large.
“I would like to inform you that following your domestic problems which have attracted wide spread media publicity since Tuesday September 7, 2010, I have with immediate effect decided to temporarily relieve you of your chairmanship of the elections committee of the Central Committee until further notice. I have decided to take this decision in the interest of the party and the public at large,” read Sata’s letter.
GBM on Sunday beat up his wife Chama following a marital dispute. Chama sustained a cut on her forehead and complained of general body pains.
And during a live programme on QFM radio yesterday, Sata said he did not condone violence.
“I condemned Dr Solomon Musonda, MMD member of parliament for Chitambo. I have not said anything yet on GBM not because I don’t want to say anything. It’s because I don’t want to interfere with the process of law, which the police is doing at the moment,” Sata said.
“I don’t like violence whether violence is at Lameck Chibombamilimo’s funeral, whether violence is with Dr Musonda or violence with Honourable GBM…because the blood you are spilling is very precious. There is no factory where they make blood.
“People of Zambia must learn to be tolerant. The people of Zambia will forgive me…you have seen I have kept quiet on GBM’s case. I don’t want to interfere in this matter because the police are already handling the matter but I don’t like violence.”
On the mining sector, Sata said the government could not abandon the development agreements.
“All the townships on the Copperbelt were built through the mining industry. The roads you are seeing today and part of the hospitals were built through the mining industry,” Sata said.
“And those things we took them into consideration by putting them in the development agreements. This government cannot abandon development agreements and when Finance minister Situmbeko Musokotwane has no money, he wakes up in the morning and says he wants to raise the money.”
Sata challenged mines minister Maxwell Mwale to advertise the development agreement between the Chinese and the Zambian government in Chambishi. He criticised the Chinese investment zones.
“In South Africa you had Bantustans, the Bantustans failed. Today you have Chinese economic zones. You have so many investors who are coming here and why are you piling so much favours on one nation, the Chinese?” Sata asked. “These are the pitfalls which you young people are going to be in big big trouble to pull out because when you have a zone for the Chinamen, they will treat you like dogs.
“You can’t go there zones freely, it’s their own, you have annexed the land to them. This is the only country which is going back to Bantustans. You don’t give an area to foreigners and you say ‘it’s an economic zone’. So those are the difficulties, which we have.”
Sata praised the wisdom of King Lewanika of Barotseland who safeguarded the interests of his people.
“People of Barotseland signed the Barotse agreement. The reason why they brought that Barotse agreement is to protect the people of Barotseland. King Lewanika was the unifier,” Sata said.
“He Lewanika gave concessions outside Barotseland, not within Barotseland and he allowed Barotseland to be for the Lozis. Now that’s a policy Zambians must adopt. We can learn something from that.”
Sata said Zambians were fed up with President Rupiah Banda’s administration.
“In 1991, there was no opposition in Zambia. Everything was one-party. It was the Party and its Government (PIG). But the people of Zambia made up their mind even those who were suppose to rig on behalf of Kenneth Kaunda rigged against him. And that’s what’s going to happen next year,” said Sata.
By Mutale Kapekele in Kasama
Thu 09 Sep. 2010, 15:00 CAT
FINANCE Bank has increased its lending to the agriculture sector by nearly 30 per cent, board chairman Dr Jacob Mwanza has disclosed. Zambia’s agriculture sector has for a long time struggled to access debt capital as banks rarely lend to agro businesses for fear of the high risk involved.
Speaking during the official launch of the new Finance Bank Kasama branch, Dr Mwanza disclosed that of the bank’s current K750 billion loan book, 30 per cent went to the agriculture sector.
The launch of the modernised Kasama branch was witnessed by finance minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane, Bank of Zambia deputy governor Denny Kalyalya, tourism minister Catherine Namugala, lands minister Gladys Lundwe and some deputy ministers from various ministries.
“Our loan book is growing steadily and currently standing at K750 billion of which nearly 30 percent is to the agriculture sector. We have also disbursed K20 billion to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs),” Dr Mwanza said.
“Since I assumed the chairmanship of Finance Bank in April 2010, we have worked hard with the shareholders, government and management to not only stabilise the bank but most importantly put the bank back on its growth track, which I am happy to report we have succeeded in doing.”
Dr Mwanza said as at March 31, 2010, the bank’s deposit base, which is an important measure of performance, had dropped to an average K800 billion from K1.25 trillion as at close of the year in December 2009.
“I am pleased to report that we have now managed to restore the deposits in the last few months to now average just over K1 trillion, which is testimony of the confidence that our customers and public continue to have in Finance Bank,” he said.
“We have made progress on the corporate governance front and accordingly, the Bank of Zambia has granted us approval to constitute a board of directors following the retirement of the previous board. I shall in due course announce the composition of the board. All the members who have been nominated are persons of impeccable credentials and of good standing in society.”
He said the bank would continue to expand its customer base and to invest in branch expansion and, subject to the board’s approval, open Mansa and Mongu branches.
Dr Mwanza disclosed that land had already been acquired for the construction of stand-alone modern branches in the two centres.
Commenting on the modernised Kasama branch, Dr Mwanza said the town was very important to the bank, prompting it to upgrade the branch.
“The value of Kasama branch cannot be overemphasised as history shows that this was the third location among the 52 we currently have,” Dr Mwanza said. “Our multi million kwacha investment in our new branch is a further demonstration of the importance of Kasama. The new branch is equipped with modern equipment supported by a robust information platform to support our customers’ daily banking needs.”
Speaking earlier, Kalyalya urged banks to improve their services and to endeavour to uphold good governance practices.
Kalyalya expressed happiness at Finance Bank’s improvements in the last couple of months and urged the bank to expand its services to other unbanked rural towns.
By Chibaula Silwamba
Fri 10 Sep. 2010, 04:01 CAT
PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda yesterday charged that self-anointed spokesmen for Zambians have been viciously and unjustifiably attacking the judiciary.
And President Banda has tasked new permanent secretary for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services Dr Samson Phiri to devise a clear communication strategy to inform Zambians about the government’s achievements.
Speaking when he swore in Supreme Court judges Muyinda Wanki and Gregory Phiri, and two female High Court judges - Gaundential Milimo Salasini and Anessie Banda-Bobo, who is former registrar of the Patents and Companies Registration Office (PACRO) - President Banda dismissed allegations that his government was interfering with the operations of the judiciary.
“Lately, the judiciary has come under unjustified vicious attacks from a selected group of members of the public who have anointed themselves as spokesmen for the people of Zambia. I would like to say that my government condemns these attacks in the strongest possible terms,” President Banda said.
He said if left unchecked, this unjustified criticism had the potential to erode public confidence in the judiciary.
“There have been allegations accusing my government of interference to the judiciary; let me assure the nation that my government will respect the rule of law and most especially the independence of the judiciary as prescribed by the Constitution of Zambia,” President Banda said. “I wish to urge you to remain steadfast as you discharge your functions. Your decisions should be based on what the law says regardless of public opinion.”
President Banda said the judiciary was a cornerstone institution in any democracy because it was the final arbiter in all the fields.
He said it was crucial that people respect the sanctity of the principle of judicial independence.
“I am happy to note that most of you have come from diverse background in the legal profession. Some of you have been in the public service for a very long time and have distinguished yourselves. On the other hand, some of you have been drawn from the private sector where you have equally distinguished yourselves,” President Banda said.
“It is important that we have a judiciary, which is a blend that is carefully selected in order for the people of Zambia to benefit from a diverse and robust judiciary.”
President Banda said the government had decided to increase the High Court establishment from 30 to 50 and nine to 11 for the Supreme Court. He hoped that the establishment of the full time provincial High Courts in places such as Kasama, Mongu, Mansa, Solwezi and Chipata would be considered.
“This will increase the number of people who will be able to access justice at the High Court level in the provinces,” he said.
President Banda conferred the status of state counsel on Zesco’s former legal counsel Mubanga Kondolo and swore him in as Solicitor General.
“Your client is the government and no one else,” President Banda told Kondolo.
After swearing in Dr Samson Phiri, who was working in South Africa before his appointment, President Banda said it was his intention to appoint qualified Zambians, even those in the Diaspora, to positions of responsibilities.
“My government has invested a lot in infrastructure development in all the provinces. I want you and your team at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services to devise a clear communication strategy, which will inform the nation of these achievements,” President Banda told Dr Phiri.
By Kombe Chimpinde
Thu 09 Sep. 2010, 14:00 CAT
NON- Governmental Organisation’s Coordinating Committee (NGOCC) has charged that access to good health facilities in Zambia had become only for those especially in government that could afford to fly out of the country.
And NGOCC has charged that government is not showing leadership towards the management of the country's health sector judging by the dilapidated state of the country's biggest health institution the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) and other local health centers.
Reacting to a story published in the Post showing patients sleeping on the floor and in corridors due to congestion, NGOCC executive director Engwase Mwale said that it was evident that Zambia needs more than just mobile hospitals in order to improve the health sector that government had insisted on.
“ NGOCC is on record as having indicated that the mobile hospitals are not the best solution for now for our country, because what we need is the availability of medical equipment, the availability of drugs and other accessories,” she said.
Mwale said that it was common that the already established health centres did not have adequate medical facilities and equipment.
“ It’s also regrettable that when the provision of good health service should be increased, government is busy providing mobile health services at a very high cost when the country can’t even service the existing health services facilities. It is a common fact that when people go to the local hospitals they are referred to the UTH because medical facilitates and equipment are simply not adequate in their areas,” she said.
“When you read the papers you see that in some maternity wards women are still been requested to carry buckets when going to deliver and various other accessories like gloves. And even drugs like pain killers are not available. We know that local centres do not even have tetanus drugs, these are essential drugs that must really be made available. So it is really unfair that UTH should be putting blame on the patients that find themselves at UTH that they must first seek treatment at the local health centers.”
Mwale further noted that it was very evident that not much is being done for the health sector and a lot still needed to be done to help improve the situation by the government.
“Such kind of misplaced priorities like what we are seeing now with the focus being placed on mobile hospitals. We find it even shocking from the media that female and male patients are sharing wards. In Zambia now It looks like access to health facilities is only for a few that can afford to fly out of the country,” she observed.
Mwale has since demanded that government puts into perspective the problems emanating in the health sector as they prepare the 2011 budget.
“As NGOCC we also urging government to show leadership in trying to focus on the issue of the UTH which is Zambia's biggest hospital. This will mean improvement of service delivery in existing local health centres which must be a priority. We know that currently the government is preparing the budget for 2011. I think we need to see that the 2011 budget should address the many challenges in the health sector,” said Mwale.
She has also challenged the Minister of Health Kapembwa Simbao to rise up to the occasion and urgently address the problems that are being faced at UTH and the entire health sector.
By Darious Kapembwa in Kitwe
Fri 10 Sep. 2010, 04:01 CAT
OVER 300 families are threatened with displacement in Lupiya area in Kafulafuta Constituency as Nigerian cement manufacturing company, Dangote Industries Limited, intends to start operations in the area.
But Dangote Industries logistics manager Kampewa Nundwe said the company would not remove households but admitted that farming areas might be affected and the victims would be compensated.
According to sources close to the transaction, management of the company had identified Lupiya, an area with more than 300 families, to set up their operations.
The sources said senior government officials involved in the transaction were displeased with the kind of opposition the project faced from area member of parliament George Mpombo and some people from members of the Chiwala Royal Establishment.
“As you are aware, there was that chieftainship wrangle where the person who was widely believed to be the rightful heir John Malokotela stood for the people when this company just came with their displacement proposal and so they saw him as a threat and was dribbled in the courts. Majaliwa was only installed for two things: Firstly to make things right for MMD which are upside down and secondly to protect the interests of the powers in government that are involved in this cement company,” the source said.
The source said Dagonte was back with its plans now that Majaliwa had been installed as chief.
But Nundwe said it was not true that people would be displaced but that the company would establish its quarry in the swamp area.
Nundwe said the company was currently conducting an Environment Impact Assessment on land which had settlements.
He, however, admitted that there was a possibility that people might lose their farming land but the company was ready to compensate them for the loss.
Nundwe said the company would start a scheme for the displaced families and compensation would be set up to ensure that no affected person went away complaining.
“There is land that is available with nobody there. If we find land that is inhabited, we will talk to the chief again and if it is established that there are people doing farming activities, we will start a resettlement scheme on an alternative land for farming and we’ll dig boreholes and we will also give them subsidies for them to start up their lives once again,” he said.
Nundwe said his company had not yet sensitised villagers on the plans because they feared that everybody would rush to the new land in order to benefit from the scheme and other benefits that would come with the programme. Meanwhile, Mpombo said he was opposed to the idea of displacing people from the river area to pave way for the construction of the cement plant.
“What we did is that I found these guys trying to displace people from the river area and I stopped them. But of late I have heard that they have been going ahead but I am yet to consult the local councillor. I have had two meetings in Lupiya area and Lubendo, and I am consistently opposed to the displacement of the people. I am surprised but I have arranged for the meeting with them this weekend,” said Mpombo.
NATASHA MARRIAN | JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Sep 09 2010 15:46
The ANC Youth League was eyeing changes to the property clause in the Constitution after its ardent push for the nationalisation of mines, the organisation's president Julius Malema said on Thursday.
"The ANCYL's view is that the property clause should be amended and that proper legislation should be passed by Parliament to regulate how the state should expropriate private property in the interests of the people," Malema told reporters at ANC headquarters, Luthuli House, in Johannesburg.
"We no longer want township and rural areas, we want our people to live as equals. Where there is land for settlement, let's get that land for our people to settle.
"It doesn't matter where that land is located. If it is in the beachfront of Cape Town, let's use this land for the benefit of our people and let's not sell it to the foreigners."
The government has admitted that the willing-buyer, willing-seller policy for land expropriation was not working.
"We need a government that will say we're going to take this land then we will determine the price ... take it, or leave it," he said.
An "unambiguous policy position" was needed for the state to take whatever land necessary for the people and itself decide on the compensation.
"Now we are in charge, it's no longer negotiated settlements ... Through negotiated settlement, we said 'fine, we give you this and you can give us this'. And the Boers agreed," referring to the negotiations during the transition to democracy.
People must know the ANC is in power' "... why should we continue like we are still in a government of national unity. It's important that people know that the ANC is in power."
The ANCYL would push for a change in the ANC's policy position on land after the ANC national general council (NGC), being held in Durban from September 20 to 24.
Malema appeared confident that nationalisation of the mines would be adopted as ANC policy, which would eventually inform government policy.
Malema said that 90% of those attending the NGC would be ANC delegates, and that the ANCYL would mobilise 70% of them to support this position.
He again emphasised the importance of the Freedom Charter, used as a basis for his support of nationalising the mines, in formulating ANC policy.
"This extends to the resolution the NGC should take on banks, monopoly industries, land, housing ... and all the Freedom Charter says we should realise."
The ANCYL wants the ANC to take on a much more "radical economic transformation programme".
"We are using the NGC as a launch event for this radical economic transformation," Malema said.
The ANCYL's aim is to take the ANC in an ideological direction to accomplish this. It would then deal with the question of leadership.
"We are not starting with leaders. We are starting with programmes. We want a leadership that speaks to the programmes we are talking about.
The leader will emerge
"The leader who emerges ... is a leader who will commit to radical economic transformation, transfer of wealth from minority to majority unashamedly.
"We will never embrace a person who still salutes imperialism and colonialism."
Malema also moved to allay fears about top ANC leaders being removed at the ruling party's upcoming national general council.
"There's nothing that poses a threat to this leadership, you can be rest assured," he said.
"If there's anybody we want to remove in the NGC, we will tell you we want to remove this one ... There's no resolution of the youth league to remove anybody."
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), an ANC ally, earlier this year raised concerns about a plot to remove ANC president Jacob Zuma and secretary general Gwede Mantashe at the NGC.
Media reports have also indicated that Zuma has fallen out of favour with the ANCYL, who helped catapult him to the ANC presidency.
The growing dissatisfaction was over, among other things, his comments on the nationalisation of the mines.
Malema blamed the media for "peddling" information about leadership -- reports were "thumbsuck[ing]".
"President Zuma remains our president until 2012, as to what will happen in 2012 will be decided by 2012 conference of the ANC. President Zuma will be defended by us for as long as he's still president."
Malema said only those who "suffered from lack of self confidence" and were "paranoid" were panicking about the leadership question.
"Some of them call us children, 'these children they are going to remove us'. They forget it's the same children who have put them
there. When they were going through difficulties both in their political life and personal lives, the youth league defended them.
"Some of them were going through courts ... children supported them in Pretoria courts. Today they go to papers and say, 'hey children ... you forget, its' nice now. There's no longer Thabo Mbeki who's chasing you, it's nice," he said.
"It was children who made you ... it was children who brought you back into the leadership structures of the ANC."
The ANC NGC is a mid-term policy review and is the highest decision-making body between national conferences. It will see about 2 000 delegates gather, fewer than 100 delegates would be from the youth league. - Sapa
NATASHA MARRIAN | JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Sep 08 2010 07:35
ANC Youth League president Julius Malema on Tuesday attacked ANC leaders who denied that nationalisation was party policy, saying they were "denouncing" the Freedom Charter.
"We have been listening to leaders of the ANC who understand the ANC better than all of us who have been saying nationalisation is not the policy of the ANC," Malema told the Mining for Change Summit in Sandton.
"They are correct when they say its not the policy of government, yes, we agree but it is the policy of the ANC and we want to reactivate it so it becomes policy of the government.
" ... If you say it is not the policy of the ANC ... you are simply denouncing the Freedom Charter ... and you can't be a disciplined member of the ANC who speaks against policy ... discipline means you must respect the policies of the ANC including the decisions of the ANC," he said.
"Everyone else junior and senior must respect the policies of the ANC. We want to nationalise because we want to make profit ... to increase the budget of the state for social development purposes."
Malema said the party adopted the Freedom Charter and nationalisation was part of the declaration, therefore, it formed part of ANC policy.
"This is what our leaders have fought for," Malema said.
Senior ANC leaders -- including treasurer general Mathews Phosa, secretary general Gwede Mantashe and president Jacob Zuma -- have all said that nationalisation of the mines was not ANC policy.
Last year Phosa told investors in London that nationalising the mines was not ANC policy, nor was it government policy.
Policy formulation a 'long process'
Mantashe said nationalisation of the mines was a debate and would have to be subjected to a rigorous process before becoming ANC policy.
Zuma made similar comments, saying policy formulation in the ANC was a "long process".
Malema said the ANC has not succeeded in changing the lives of ordinary South Africans but has failed because the "apartheid structure" of the economy and of patterns of ownership remained unchanged.
To change the conditions of the people of South Africa, a land revolution was also needed. The land revolution was a necessary one, but South Africa was not going to go the way of Zimbabwe, he said.
"We are not going to do it that way [like Zimbabwe]. We are going to pass legislation."
Malema said the state would make an offer to land owners which they would be compelled to take.
"You don't give us an offer ... you are too expensive," he said.
He said large parts of South Africa, in the Western Cape in particular, were in foreign hands.
"This country belongs to the people who live in it, black and white ... its important as we move forward that we redistribute this land to the people of South Africa."
In punting nationalisation of the South African mines, Malema said white men continued to get richer while black women, particularly rural women continued to get poorer.
"If we don't take a radical stance to intervene, rural women will never realise economic freedom in their lifetime."
Black women in rural areas were also denied land -- ownership of which plays a critical role in participating in the South African economy.
Earlier, ANC national executive committee member and former head of policy, Joel Netshitenzhe, said a strategic national plan for the mining sector needs to be developed before looking at nationalisation of mines.
"To pose that question now [nationalising] I think is to miss the point."
Comprehensive mining strategy needed
"The level of state participation ... will be informed by the effectiveness of the mining sector strategy arising out of a compact among all players," said Netshitenzhe.
"What the country needs is a comprehensive mining strategy."
Nationalisation of South African mines was expected to come under discussion at the ANC's national general council (NGC) later this month. The ruling party's youth league, resolved at its own NGC last month to push for it to become ANC policy.
"Ownership should not be treated as an end in itself, but a means of promoting the strategic imperatives," he said, adding that state ownership should be informed by the strategy.
The strategy was long overdue, and should have been formulated "by yesterday".
Black economic empowerment should be "subsumed" to the objectives of the country's mining strategy, he said.
South African Communist Party deputy general secretary Jeremy Cronin told the conference that the narrow black economic empowerment focus had "set back" South Africa's critical mining sector.
"The big nationalisation has already happened and it was nationalisation of the resources ... the state was made custodian of that resources on behalf of SA's people. On the face of it this was a major step forward but in my view this important advancement was seriously compromised from the very start," said Cronin.
" ... What began to trump all else, and this is the elephant in the room, was the 15% equity stake, a target for 2009 rising to 26%, that's the target, the BEE target by 2014.
"This has introduced many anomalies; you just have to open the newspapers in the last few weeks to get a sense of the enormous anomalies this has introduced."
Cronin said billions of rands in public money was spent on driving this "narrow BEE requirement".
He argued that the "potential leverage" for the state in trying to meet its socioeconomic demands by using the country's mineral resources was "squandered".
The debate over the nationalisation of mines has been "eclectic" and the league's position had changed over time, he said.
"There's even been a degree of populism. There was a "scholastic debate" in the ANC about what the meaning of the Freedom Charter --
which Malema charges stipulates that the mines had to be nationalised.
The left, Cronin said, largely supported nationalisation "in principle".
"Some elements on the more centre side of the political spectrum mainly some black junior mining houses, some not so junior, have supported some form of nationalisation.
"In the midst of the global recession ... some of the BEE but not just BEE but some of the mainstream mining houses were lobbying government and some of us as well to consider some kind of nationalisation as a bailout.
"In short the debate around nationalisation has been quite confused, often very acrimonious, I'm not sure how helpful [its been]."
Cronin said entering a discussion on how to leverage the country's resources through a debate on nationalisation was "unhelpful".
"Its far too narrow a doorway in which to enter into this important national discussion that we must have. Need to have serious discussion about how to leverage mining to benefit the SA people."
Cronin and Malema have markedly different views on nationalisation and have clashed publicly about the issue in the past. - Sapa