Friday, September 17, 2010

(ZIMDAILY) Tsvangirai will never rule Zimbabwe, says Mutasa

COMMENT - Well right on. The MDC is a sellout party, and there is no reason they should be allowed to take over. They can only come to power by lying about what the ZANU-PF is all about, and lying about what they are all about. No one in Zimbabwe wants a return to the austerity of the early to mid-1990s - the MDC does. They want to cut hundreds of thousands of government jobs (Eddie Cross), hand over the country's resources to foreign corporations, and if they could, return land to the white planters who are such a big part of the MDC. They cannot run on that, so they lie. Why would Zimbabwe waste precious years with these people in power, just to 'see what they can do'?

Tsvangirai will never rule Zimbabwe, says Mutasa
By RadioVOP
Published: September 16, 2010

ZIMBABWE-HARARE-Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Didymus Mutasa, on Wednesday declared that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party that gave President Mugabe his first ever defeat in the 2008 harmonised elections, will never rule Zimbabwe.

Tsvangirai beat Mugabe in the landmark elections but failed to garner the fifty plus one majority votes required by law, leading to a runoff that the MDC boycotted citing violence among its supporters. After a legitimacy crisis, Mugabe formed a coalition government with Tsvangirai in 2009.

Mutasa said even defeated in elections proposed to be held next year, Zanu (PF), with a firm grip on executive resources like the army, police and secret service, will not hand over power to the MDC leader.

He said the statements at Bota business centre in Zaka where he was the guest of honour at a field day organised by a Zanu (PF) Agricultural promotional body, the South East Growers Association (SEGA).

“Who is Tsvangirai? He will never rule this country. Never Ever. How can we leave the country be ruled by sell-outs?” Mutasa said.

He added, “Over our dead body. Even if we go to the polls and he Tsvangirai defeats Mugabe, Zanu (PF) and the people of Zimbabwe will not allow that.

“It is a waste of time and resources to hold elections so soon. After all, the electoral playing field is not yet even,” Progressive Teachers Union in Zimbabwe PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou said. “The wounds from the last elections have not yet healed and the situation is not yet conducive.”

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(TALKZIMBABWE) Zimbabwe to become most successful country in Africa: report

Zimbabwe to become most successful country in Africa: report
Posted: Friday, September 17, 2010 4:53 pm

ZIMBABWE could stage an economic recovery within two years and a best case scenario could see it "back as one of the most successful countries in Africa" within 10 years. This is the view of Xan Smiley, the Africa editor of The Economist, speaking at a summit in Johannesburg yesterday on the future of Zimbabwe, hosted by the magazine.

Smiley said there had been considerable progress over the past 18 months especially in light of where the country had been in March 2008. Smiley said the "mood has changed" in the country.

[Really? How did 'the mood change'? Was the Zimbabwean economy talked down enough to get some very cheap deals? Are your bosses all bought up on Zimbabwean assets, and now it is time for them to appreciate again? How has 'the mood changed', and whose mood would that be? The mood in The City? They want to credit the success of the landreform program to the MDC, and pretend that there were no economic sanctions against Zimbabwe, even though they caused the economic collapse, are a matter of record, and are now being repealed through a bill called the Zimbabwe Sanctions Repeal Act of 2010. - MrK]

"In Harare there is a palpable sense of vibrancy (but) the mood is very mixed," he said.

He said levels of violence were "considerably down", compared with two years ago.

Among the improvements he identified, following the dollarisation and "randisation" of the economy, were that inflation had fallen to single digits.

He said: "People are being paid, there is a sense of certainty, goods are available, and there is decent food for those who can afford it."

And he said the agricultural sector was starting to recover.

Smiley said there had been a "widening of the political space" and spoke of the possibility that President Mugabe, who has promised elections next year, despite Tsvangirai's good showing in opinion polls, would seek an "exit strategy".

He said there would be a "fair election" in Zimbabwe and called for "creative diplomacy" on the part of South Africa and the UK to bring it about. He also suggested a lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe.

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(TALKZIMBABWE) MDCs in unity talks: Coltart

MDCs in unity talks: Coltart
By: RadioVop-TZG
Posted: Friday, September 17, 2010 4:15 pm

THE two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) factions are engaged in informal reunification talks following their 2005 acrimonious split, David Coltart, the legal secretary of the smaller formation has said.

Coltart who emphasised that he was speaking in his personal capacity told participants at a lecture series organised by the Students Solidarity Trust (SST) that he regretted the split and the two factions’ failure to form an electoral pact ahead of the 2008 elections.

A fortnight ago Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said he was not opposed to calls for the two factions to reunite ahead of elections expected next year.

The MDC split into two following differences over participation in senatorial elections.

Arthur Mutambara was brought in to lead the smaller faction that also had the late Gibson Sibanda and Welshman Ncube.

Coltart who stuck with the smaller faction and is also the Minister of Education, Sport and Culture said strong leadership would be needed if the two groups were to reconcile.

He said a united front was necessary to challenge Zanu-PF's leadership.

Earlier, Coltart had delivered a lecture on the state of Zimbabwe’s education sector.

Other panelists included former education minister Fay Chung and Raymond Majongwe, the secretary general of the Progressive Teachers of Zimbabwe.

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(TALKZIMBABWE) Zim mining to grow 31pc in 2010

Zim mining to grow 31pc in 2010
By: I-Net Bridge
Posted: Friday, September 17, 2010 4:06 pm

ZIMBABWE'S mining sector is expected to grow by 31 percent in 2010, Desiree Sibanda, the country's Economic Development ministry permanent secretary says.

Speaking at Zimbabwe's second mining indaba in Harare, he also said government had prioritised expunging its nearly USD6 billion debt overhang in order to enhance its credit rating and Harare was pinning its hopes on medium term plan (MTP) to earn USD9 billion by 2015.

Government was intent on value addition to its mineral resources and has held regional roadshows in Malawi, Mauritius and Rwanda to learn how best to attract foreign direct investments.

Acknowledging the problems besetting the country's mining sector, Sibanda, however, reiterated Acting Mines Minister Saviour Kasukuwere's statements that government was on a path to reviewing the current mining taxation regime.

Mining royalties in Zimbabwe are going up from 3.5 percent to 4 percent effective October, Metallon Zimbabwe chief operating officer Shadreck Mashingaidze told the conference.

Metallon, owned by South African magnate Mzi Khumalo, is Zimbabwe's largest gold producer with its five mines, but like most players it is also beset by a myriad of operational problems.

As well as confirming an earlier statement and hint by Kasukuwere that 'the current budget taxation policy is not effective', Mashingaidze, said this fiscal drive would further dampen the key sector's investment outlook.

This also comes at a time the industry is battling power and capital shortages, among other challenges, which have also seen Zimbabwe ranking lowly in key mining benchmarks such as the latest Fraser Institute Report (FIR).

On all the six key perception indices or FIR focus areas such as legislation, skills availability and taxation, Zimbabwe averaged second from last out of 72 destinations, Allan Dolan, managing director of London-based Clarity Capital said.

The conference was also told that Zambia based Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) is partnering Utho Capital to build power stations for Zimbabwean mines, according to its corporate development managing director Michael Tarney.

Apart from Utho, CEC has also roped in South African based Aldwych and the Development Bank of Southern Africa to fund 10 regional projects.

Tarney told the mining summit, however, that projects would be undertaken strictly on 'credible off taker agreements', although the mines are 'usually bankable accounts' themselves.

In Zimbabwe in particular, the company hopes to deliver projects worth USD4.3 billion by 2015 and these include diversified miner RioZim's 1 400 megawatt Gokwe north project, Hwange's expansion to 600 MW, and the costly Kariba south station at 300 MW.

The company is also targeting smaller thermals in the Bulawayo and Harare metropolitan areas as well as the remote Munyati.

The CEC boss further noted that the problem with the current Zimbabwean projects is timing because mines requiring energy now may not be able to access it until plants such as Gokwe are erected in two or three years.

Zimbabwe's erratic power supply has been a major headache for business owners.

Rolling blackouts of up to 18 hours have frequently plunged many factories and homes into darkness, as demand of 2 200 MW outstrips local generation capacity at 1 240 MW, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) chief executive Ben Rafemoyo said. With no capacity - at both state and company level - to improve this situation, Harare has issued a 'tariff model' of up to US0.13 to US0.15 cents per kilowatt hour in bids to encourage independent power producers (IPPs) to invest in the sector.

To date, private investors such as the Impala Group owned Zimbabwe Platinum Mines has invested in its own USD24 million plant to power its Selous operations, a model SAPP analyst Musara Beta said was the only way to go since Zimbabwe could not even access electricity under its day ahead market (DAM) auction facility.

Beta said the region has a pipeline of projects worth USD5.6 billion to add 20 720 MW by 2015 - with Zimbabwe gaining 150 MW next year - and a more ambitious plan of building 57 000 MW in 15 years through a capital injection of USD83 billion. - I-Net Bridge.

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(TALKZIMBABWE) Govt has no regrets on land reform: Mutasa

Govt has no regrets on land reform: Mutasa
By: George Maponga
Posted: Friday, September 17, 2010 1:50 am

GOVERNMENT does not regret embarking on the land reform programme to address historical land ownership imbalances in Zimbabwe, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Didymus Mutasa has said.

Minister Mutasa, who is Zanu-PF’s secretary for administration, said Zimbabwe was addressing scores of farmers at a South Eastern Growers Association prize-giving ceremony in Bonge Village, Zaka on Wednesday. He said it was imperative that Zimbabweans fully used the land as that was the only way to reverse decades of colonial oppression. The minister stressed that Government’s land reforms had transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of marginalised people.

“This land that we took from whites to give to our people is ours and we do not have any regrets about that as Government.

“The land belongs to us and it is the only birthright that we have which can be used to economically empower our people. The fruits of ownership of our land are beginning to manifest and we should continue to work hard to consolidate the gains of our land reform programme,” he said.

Minister Mutasa said Zimbabweans should not be distracted by Western propaganda.

“There are many people who shed their precious blood for us to get this land and we should fully use it. Let’s not pay attention to what some bully Western nations say because we never sought to resettle our people in America or Britain.

“We are resettling our people in Zimbabwe, which is the only home that we have,” Minister Mutasa said.

He said Zanu-PF would not stand and watch while reactionary forces colluded with erstwhile colonisers to reverse the gains of the liberation struggle.

Zanu-PF secretary for production and labour, Dzikamai Mavhaire, challenged Zimbabweans to develop a culture of working for themselves.

Minister Mutasa handed over Cottco-sponsored prizes to Zaka farmers who excelled in production of maize, cotton, rapoko, sesame and other crops.

The prizes included wheelbarrows, hoes, ploughs, electric generators and a grinding mill.

Earlier, Minister Mutasa toured Zaka Primary School where he planted two avocado trees before addressing schoolchildren and promised to source computers for them.

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(TALKZIMBABWE) Indigenisation will help mining industry

Indigenisation will help mining industry
By: Garikai Chengu
Posted: Friday, September 17, 2010 2:14 am

ZIMBABWE is undoubtedly the richest nation on earth with respect to untapped natural resources per person. With only 13 million people and over 40 exploitable minerals, vast gold deposits, the world's second largest platinum reserves and the capacity to be the world's top diamond producer, the nation will soon become the jewel of Africa.

Zimbabwe's Chamber of Mines expects gold output to rise to 50 tonnes within four years from 3.5 tonnes last year, while platinum output could reach 1 million ounces a year within 15 years from the current 170,000 ounces a year.
Zimbabwe is also expected to account for 25% of the world's diamond production within only three years.

The Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act will help, rather than hinder, the mining industry and ensure that 13 million Zimbabweans benefit from the nation's abundant natural resources.

In order to illustrate how the Act will serve as a catalyst for the mining industry, a popular misconception has to be rebuffed. Government's nuanced approach to individual mines as well as the importance of indigenous diamond beneficiation, must also be understood.

The flawed and yet popular misconception is the belief that potential foreign investors in the mining industry will be deterred by the 51percent local ownership requirement.

For a start, there are many extremely successful and wealthy investors that own far less than 50% of the corporations they invest in. For instance Warren Buffet, who is widely regarded as one of the most successful investors, with a net wealth in excess of US$50 billion dollars, does not own more than 50 percent of any corporation with a threshold over $500,000.

Secondly, foreign investors in the mining industry are steadily streaming into Zimbabwe for four main reasons. Firstly, they appreciate that the return on capital in their own nation is not adequate. Secondly, the potential return on capital in a nation whose mining industry is predicted to barrel along at 30% per annum is simply irresistible. Thirdly, they seek to reduce the cost of production by combining their capital with Zimbabwe's low cost labour; and finally, they seek to use Zimbabwe's abundant natural resources near their origin.

The Indigenisation Act will not change any of this.

Infact, in spite of the Indigenisation Act, Imara, the pan-African investment group, has reported steady increases in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the mining sector as old mines recapitalise and new mining projects begin.

RioTinto has announced that it has begun work on a US$300 million expansion programme for its Murowa diamond mine.

There has also been mention of Zimplats committing a further $500 million for a platinum smelter on top of its stage-two expansion of $445 million.

All in all, Zimbabwe's booming mining industry is too profitable to resist: It's a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains. International investors with money are no different.

Thirdly, the Indigenisation Act will prohibit high levels of foreign shareholding in mining companies. This is desirable because these levels result in excessive profits and dividends being repatriated by foreign investors and worsens the nation's Balance of Payments position.

Infact, ever since Zimbabwe was under the bondage of colonial misrule, it has failed to prosper from its natural resources - human and mineral - while the companies that mine or otherwise employ those resources have.

Indigenisation and empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said that last year mines had export receipts of over US$1 billion, but only US$44 million accrued to the State in taxes and royalties.

Opting to raise levels of corporate tax and mining royalties would merely stifle production.

Instead government should ensure that the nation benefits from mining production by making sure that those that produce, employ, pay taxes and are beneficiaries of government spending are Zimbabweans.

Fears that Government would use a bludgeon where a scalpel is needed by blindly enforcing the 51percent ownership rule across the board are overblown and unfounded.

Government has made it absolutely clear that it will not sacrifice much needed investment for indigenisation, nor will it scale back attempts to redress the wrongs of the past for investment. Government can achieve both simultaneously.

In order to achieve both objectives, government has set up 13 sectoral committees to look at the implementation strategies of the Indigenisation Act.

The mining sectoral committee is expected to submit recommendations to relevant authorities about the minimum net asset value threshold for specific mines required to comply with the regulations.

Crucially, the mining indigenisation committee will be flexible and not apply a once size fits all attitude towards the industry.

Such flexibility is shown by the committee's acceptance of empowerment credits that give companies the option to build schools, railways and pave roads in exchange for retaining greater foreign ownership in their businesses.

The final area that illustrates how indigenising the mining industry can catalyse the industry's growth is that of diamond beneficiation and value addition.

Zimbabwe is set to become the largest producer of diamonds in the world by 2013. The nation is expected to produce 40 million carats per year and earn annual revenues of approximately US$ 2 billion.

The importance of focusing on beneficiation lies in the fact that were Zimbabwe to cut, polish and retail the gems internally this figure would quadruple.

Currently, the government is struggling to deliver services and pay civil servants wages commensurate to their contribution on a meagre budget of US$100 million per month. Set alongside this, beneficiation has the potential to transform the nation’s fortunes.

Indigenous beneficiation's potential should be unlocked by firstly, ensuring that as many local small scale miners as possible are awarded claims within the the approximately 66,000 hectares that are potentially diamond rich.

Preference should be given towards women, youths , war veterans, aids orphans and disabled groups. This will not only empower the local population, but also provide a broad based catalyst for economic growth.

Secondly, the establishment of a multimillion-dollar Diamond Technology Centre should provide locals with the opportunity to venture into new industries associated with the cutting, polishing, dealing, jewellery manufacturing, and ultimately retail of diamonds.

Thereby serving as a catalyst for other downstream industries directly or indirectly related to diamonds, such as banking, jewellery making, security, information technology, and even tourism.

It is therefore heartening that the Affirmative Action Group has reserved units within the Diamond Technology Centre exclusively for indigenous people to be active participants in value addition and beneficiation activities.

The Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act is not merely a moral initiative designed to redress the wrongs of the past, nor will it hinder the mining industry's future. It serves as a pragmatic growth strategy for the mining industry that is designed to realise the nation's full economic potential.

Garikai Chengu is a researcher at Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He can be contacted at The views expressed herein are solely those of Garikai Chengu.

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(STICKY) Govt’s failure to collect taxes from the mines is a scandal – Dr Mphande

Govt’s failure to collect taxes from the mines is a scandal – Dr Mphande
By Salim Dawood
Fri 17 Sep. 2010, 04:01 CAT

UNIVERSITY of Zambia economics lecturer, Dr Mathias Mpande has charged that it is a great scandal by the Zambian government to fail to collect what is due to the nation in terms of taxes from the mining sector.

And Dr Mphande, a former deputy mines minister, has said Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) will not recover the K 8.3 billion mining royalties’ deficit by the end of the year because it has no competent staff to handle the mines.

In an interview with Post Online over ZRA’s revelation that there was an K8.3 billion deficit in mineral royalties collection which it said will recover by the end of the year, Dr Mpande said it would impossible for ZRA to recover the K8.3 billion deficit in mineral collection royalties by the end of the year.

He said the deficit was because the mining companies were not paying as much royalties as they were supposed to pay.

“The mining companies as far as am concerned are transfer pricing, there is also rampant tax evasion and ZRA are not up to the mark to audit the mining companies’ books so that they can have a realistic assessment of what is due,” he said.

“ZRA has just got to be capacitated and employ competent people who are competent in mining taxation. The current people they are employing people who have probably just done administration and economics.”

Dr Mphande said ZRA should employ people who have basic understanding of the mining industry so they could competently deal with issues of tax in the industry.
He said studies in economics and administration were not sufficient for ZRA staff to asses what the mining companies were doing.

“They (ZRA) should employ people who are competent from mining areas as well and train them into accountancy and taxation,” Dr Mphande suggested.

He observed that ZRA officials would not understand how mining companies generate their revenue and how they conceal their costs.

And Dr Mpande has also observed that government was under taxing mining companies describing the situation as scandalous.

He said the government was doing the country a disservice by covering the mining companies from paying the appropriate tax.

“That is a scandal as far as am concerned, the Zambian government is not doing the country a service, we are not getting what is due from our resources and that I have said on several occasions and that is true and it is increasingly getting worse,” he said.

He said the Zambian mining industry was the only industry that was large enough for the country to get revenue that would meaningfully contribute to tangible economic growth and development.

“Now if you have a government or administration that insulates the mining industry for a successive period of 10 to 15 years as if it’s a golden egg, where else can GRZ get money?” Dr Mpande questioned.

He said government was instead stifling business prospects for Zambians that were in business.

“Now they are stifling people who are brewing Chibuku and people who are making soft drinks that’s where they go and get the money (taxes)… they are even getting money from companies that are producing food like mealie meal, that is not good,” he said.

Dr Mphande said the situation was caused by lack of understanding of how an economy would grow from the utilization of its country’s resources.

He said the Zambian economy was mine based and it was largely through mining that the country’s economy could grow and facilitate development.

He said the low tax that government had allowed the mining companies was encouraging the mining companies to continue “abstaining” from what they were supposed to do.
“They are supposed to upgrade minerals and add value but as a consequence of this government is not adding value,” he said.

Dr Mphande said the level that the of skills and development the country had gotten to, Zambia should have been exporting not less than copper cables, transformers and other finished products.

“Its not possible (for ZRA to recover the K8.3 billion deficit), the mining companies are contributing negatively to the country’s revenue, instead of paying, they sometimes get refunded via VAT (Value Added Tax), a situation that they don’t even contribute, somebody who doesn’t pay tax gets money from you, can you see that as sensible? That is what is happening to ZRA,” said Dr Mphande.

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Antagonising donors in defence of a thief

Antagonising donors in defence of a thief
By The Post
Fri 17 Sep. 2010, 04:00 CAT

We hope that Rupiah Banda is listening very carefully to what the donors he has so carelessly decided to antagonise are saying.

Many of our people today rely on what some of these friends of our country are doing. There are so many programmes running in our country today which are being funded by our co-operating partners. It is easy for someone who lives in Lusaka or in another urban centre to think that the donors are of no use to us.

It is also very easy for Rupiah to try and ignore the work of the donors in our country because his day-to-day existence does not depend on them. The taxpayer meets all his expenses, including medical care and other services. But this is not the case with many of our people.

There are many of our people who are today benefitting from many programmes being run by donor agencies and NGOs that are funded by the same donors. As we have said before, we might wish that this was not the case. This dependence syndrome that we have developed as a country is shameful and unacceptable, and yet it is a reality at the moment.

If Rupiah was working to wean our country from donor dependence, then we would all have to commend him. But that is not what he is doing. Rupiah is antagonising the donors in defence of a thief.

As Rupiah has been reminded by Marion Pedersen, the Danish Liberal member of parliament and chairperson of the Foreign Affairs committee, that Zambia does not need to get money from the donors. If Rupiah believes that this country does not need this money, he should simply say so, instead of insulting the integrity of those who are trying to help our people. But we all know that if the donors pulled out today, our country would have many problems.

We have seen this happen in other countries that are much stronger economically than ourselves, and the consequences have not been good. What is unfortunate is that if this was to happen, it would be the most vulnerable in our country who would pay the highest price.

It is annoying to see that Rupiah is ready to risk aid to our country in defence of a thief, a lazo. What the donors are concerned about is something that any of us would be concerned about if we were giving money to somebody or another country for that matter.

Rupiah wants the donors to continue supporting our country whilst his government is consorting with thieves who have stolen public funds. Indeed there would be something wrong with the donors if they did not voice their concerns about this whole Frederick Chiluba saga.

It is wrong to reduce everything to matters of politics and the next election. There are things that should be more important than cheap partisan politics.

If Rupiah’s government was supplying all the medicines that our people needed and ensuring that our people were able to educate their children, then one would understand the arrogance with which they are approaching the donors. We say this because everybody knows that the donors are doing quite a lot in the area of health provision for our people.

We would not be overstating anything to suggest that the largest proportion of ARVs that are available in our country today are either directly donor-funded or subsidised. There are people who are alive today because of this donor help.

What about education? There is no doubt that quite a lot of donor resources have been channelled to our education sector, which seems to have all but collapsed. Unless Rupiah is telling us that he is able to address all these problems without help from these co-operating partners, he has no right to antagonise them unnecessarily and on matters that are not even beneficial to our people.

In case our people have forgotten, the only public comment that any of the donors made on the Chiluba matter was the one attributed to the American embassy, which observed that in failing to register the London High Court judgment and refusing to appeal, the government had missed an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to fighting corruption.

They also added that the world was watching. How such a terse statement could evoke the kind of venomous reaction that Rupiah gave is difficult to understand. Clearly, Rupiah felt the heat because he knew that the decision he had taken not to appeal the Chiluba case was a wrong one which was going to earn him a lot of criticism and could potentially earn him electoral punishment from our people.

This is why he started accusing the donors of advocating regime change. How does asking the government to collect the money which is due to our people amount to advocating regime change? This is what happens when people are doing wrong things.

They stop reasoning clearly and, in their paranoia, start accusing everybody of being against them. Why should the donors prefer one government to another? Indeed why should they be against Rupiah? He should accept that his alliance with Chiluba is a disaster for him, instead of blaming everybody else for his wrong choices.

We would all agree with Rupiah’s stance if the donors were questioning him about a matter or decision that he had taken in the interest of our people.

But defending a thief can never, under any circumstance, be in the interest of our people. If Rupiah was a reasonable leader, he would be ashamed that it has to take foreigners to tell him that the position he is taking is against the interests of his people.

It’s like a parent, if Rupiah can be likened to a parent, failing to take care of his own children and having to be told by a neighbour, who in the meantime has already been doing a lot to support his family. A normal person would be ashamed of this. But it seems Rupiah does not have a sense of public shame over his failing to defend the interests of the people he claims to serve.

Rupiah also found it reasonable to lambast our people who have condemned him for his wrong stance on Chiluba because according to him, they were being used by foreigners. This is how much this man disrespects our people. He has the audacity to suggest that they cannot judge for themselves that what he is doing is wrong, and they need the donors to tell them how to think.

Well, it is not very difficult to understand Rupiah’s sharp reaction to the donors. This is because not long ago, Rupiah was bragging that he had good relations with investors and the donors.

To him, it is more important to have good relations with donors and foreign investors than with our people. We say this because our people have been unhappy with Rupiah’s decision on Chiluba’s questionable acquittal and now the failure to register the London High Court judgment.

But this does not seem to bother Rupiah. And yet a criticism from the donors seems to have caught his attention very acutely, as though the donors are the voters. This is why he can even accuse them of trying to foment regime change.

The reaction of the donors should help Rupiah to reflect on how our people feel. If our friends from outside our country can feel so strongly about his misdeeds, what about the people who are directly affected by his misrule? It won’t be long before Rupiah realises just how angry our people are.

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Chona calls for responsive leadership

Chona calls for responsive leadership
By George Zulu in Monze
Fri 17 Sep. 2010, 04:00 CAT

ZAMBIA needs leaders who are not only Christian in name but have a wide and deep understanding of challenges facing the people, Mark Chona has observed.

Addressing hundreds of parishioners during the celebrations marking the 20th anniversary for Fr Cletus Mwiila’s priesthood at Chikuni parish in Monze last weekend, Chona said Zambia needed leaders who were Christians not in name only but those responsive to the cries of the people.

“The nation needs leaders who are Christ-like. We increasingly understand how tough it is to be a good shepherd. Your rich experience should help you to strengthen the Church’s ability to face challenging times ahead in our country for Zambia has never faced such a complex and potentially dangerous situation in its history,” he said.

Chona said it was regrettable that the country was experiencing the formation of political parties and churches, a scenario which he said seemed to be for monetary gain.

“Indeed it has become true, with so many ‘tu ntemba’ churches, that some people now use religion as pretext for financial and political ambitions. Ordinary and innocent people are bound to be confused.

There is real danger that more and more money, and I mean billions of kwacha, will be used to control people instead of improving their welfare. The rich will be more powerful and will in future seek to control and manipulate the institutions of democratic governance exploit the majority poor for whom the Church speaks,” Chona said.

He said the Church, as the body of Christ, could not be conformed to the world, adding that well-grounded priests who, like the liberation leaders who embodied Zambia’s founding principles of integrity, truth and honour, must remain vigilant and steadfast in defending the truth.

“For truth cannot be compromised. Lies, no matter how well laundered, cannot turn into truth. Yes, truth gains strength under pressure; stands the test of time and survives any compromise. There can be no compromise between right and wrong; good and evil. Jesus ,who taught with authority, often took a firm position, for example, when he chased those who turned His Father’s house into a den of thieves. I sincerely believe that when there is so much uncertainty and so much greed; it is time for the voice of conscience, the Church, to call the nation to order,” he said.

Chona said it was better to be condemned for doing the right thing than to be applauded for doing the wrong thing.

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IPI General Assembly urges govt to accept ZAMEC

IPI General Assembly urges govt to accept ZAMEC
By Chansa Kabwela in Vienna, Austria
Fri 17 Sep. 2010, 04:01 CAT

THE International Press Institute (IPI) has asked the government to accept the Zambia Media Council (ZAMEC) and refrain from pushing for statutory regulation of the media.

According to resolutions following the IPI’s general assembly on Monday, efforts by the media in Zambia to create a voluntary, self-regulatory mechanism had stalled with the government’s refusal to recognise ZAMEC.

“IPI members resolved that it is important that any media self-regulation be voluntary, and as the African Commission of Human and Peoples‘ Rights has found, the best and only acceptable method of media regulation is through independent, voluntary, self-regulatory bodies that are free of parliamentary oversight,” IPI resolved.

“IPI members call on Zambian authorities to accept the Zambia Media Ethics Council and refrain from statutory regulation of the media.”

IPI appealed to the Zambian government to relinquish its control of the media.

It noted that developments in Zambia indicated that the government was reluctant to accept the consequences of a free press, which included criticism, despite its proclaimed commitment to press freedom.

“The use of judicial sanctions against independent newspaper The Post continued over the past year, with criminal prosecutions against news editor Chansa Kabwela and against editor Fred M’membe, who is appealing the imposition of a punitive four months jail sentence for contempt of court,” IPI observed.

“ The state broadcaster, the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation, continues to be accountable to Parliament and therefore lacks independence. IPI members further call on the Zambian authorities to ensure that the public broadcaster is independent of government influence. IPI members call on the government to cease immediately its harassment of daily newspaper The Post.”

IPI expressed shock that the South African government appeared to be embarking on conduct, which could result in the destruction of that country’s democracy, after 16 years of attaining it.

It noted that US-based Freedom House, an institution that monitors freedom in countries of the world by measuring the state of the media and general freedom of expression, had downgraded South Africa from a free country to a party free nation.

“Since that rating change in April this year, South Africa has introduced in Parliament a Protection of Information Bill that lays out how official secrets should be graded. It has also begun steps to introduce into law a proposal by the ruling African National Congress that a statutory media appeals tribunal should be set up for action against print media found transgressing ethical and professional standards, so far not defined,” IPI stated.

“ANC spokesmen have referred to such punishments as imprisoning journalists and heavily fining newspapers. IPI has expressed its disquiet to President Jacob Zuma over the bill that is framed in language that allows virtually any issue to be declared secret, allows a cabinet minister to declare material classified and also provides for the very existence of a classified document to remain a secret. It would be possible for someone coming into possession of a document not to know that it is classified. Penalties under this Bill range up to 25 years' jail for possessing or disclosing the contents of classified documents.”

IPI also raised concern about the proposed media appeals tribunal in South Africa which it believes would provide a means to censor information and punish journalists.

It observed that the Bar Council, Law Society and civil society organisations and business people as well as the World Association of Newspapers, international news agencies and the US ambassador had all voiced concern over the legislation.

IPI called on the President Zuma’s government to reconsider the legislation and the potential damage to could do to the country and its standing in the world since the defeat of apartheid.

It suggested that the bill be replaced by one that severely restricts the types of information that could be classified to the absolute minimum so as not to encroach on the media’s constitutional freedom.

IPI also called on the Rwandan government to prosecute and punish those responsible for Umuvugizi deputy editor Jean-Leonard Rugambage’s murder.

It asked President Paul Kagame to end his suppression of the media by shutting down media houses and condemned the repression that surrounded his re-election.

“The government of Paul Kagame suspended critical publications “Umuseso” and “Umuvugizi”, shut down radio stations, arrested journalists and brought spurious lawsuits against them. After “Umuvugizi” defied its suspension by the government-controlled Media High Council, deputy editor Jean-Leonard Rugambage was shot and killed on 24 June,” IPI noted.

IPI also asked the Sri Lankan government to restore press freedom in that country and ensure that those who killed, attacked, imprisoned or otherwise violated the journalists’ rights during the civil war were punished.
It observed that recent constitutional amendments in that country would impact negatively on the media’s ability to act in a free and fair manner.

IPI noted the unprecedented power introduced through amendment on the Executive and the additional powers to seek election to office for unlimited time outside the two-term period that was in force would greatly affect the media’s operations.

IPI stated that the government’s hostility to dissent and intimidation of the media had led to self-censorship.

“The recent spate of court actions and the use of the Prevention of Terrorism Act to incarcerate journalists is condemned. The IPI is also dismayed by attacks and killing of journalists in Sri Lanka. None of these criminal acts have been successfully investigated. The murder of IPI World Press Freedom Hero Lasantha Wickrematunge, and many others, is yet to be solved, although the government has pledged to do so,” IPI stated.

It stated that the plethora of court actions against journalists and media groups in Sri Lanka was viewed with alarm, adding that the senior officials’ intimidation of free media through the public media negatively affected the journalists’ ability to inform the public.

IPI asked the Iranian government to release all journalists currently in detention.

IPI observed that since the re-election of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad in June last year, dozens of journalists, political reformers and human rights activists among others were imprisoned without fair trial because of their participation in or coverage of protests of election results.

“While many journalists have been released, others have been detained, subjected to cruel conditions and in some cases psychological and physical torture.The IPI members resolved that the imprisonment of journalists for their work or opinions is contrary to basic human rights, including the right of free expression and a free press,” IPI stated. “The IPI members calls on the government of Iran to release immediately all journalists in its custody, and allow them to practice their profession without fear of imprisonment.”

IPI appealed to Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovych and his officials to end attacks on journalists and ensure that the media in that country was free to operate without interference.

It observed that after improvement in that country’s press freedom climate, the situation had deteriorated with a spate of attacks against journalists.
IPI condemned the Turkish government’s imprisonment of dozens of journalists, with some awaiting trial.

“Reportedly more than 40 Turkish journalists are currently in prison, some awaiting trial, because of their reports or columns in Turkey, making Turkey one of the world's worst jailers of journalists. Some journalists have been held without conviction for several years. Over 700 other journalists are currently facing lawsuits, with the threat of imprisonment, under specific articles in the Penal Code, press laws and anti-terror laws,” it stated. “IPI further calls on the Turkish authorities to ensure that no journalist must face the threat of imprisonment because of their professional work.”

IPI condemned the censorship and oppression of the media in Fiji and the new legislation introduced this year which established criminal penalties and other sanctions for journalists whose work is deemed against “the public order or interest.”

IPI also condemned Cuba’s failure to process that country’s blogger and Press Freedom Hero Yoani Sanchez’s exit visa in time for her to attend the congress.
”Sanchez, who was named an IPI World Press Freedom Hero in September 2010 by an independent jury, and was to take her place among IPI’s 60 World Press Freedom Heroes at a ceremony at Vienna’s City Hall, was denied permission to leave the country. Sanchez had referred to the award as a “protective shield” that would help her break the “wall of censorship”,” IPI stated.

On Europe, the IPI members unanimously condemned the deterioration in the press freedom climate, notably a strong trend by some established democracies to backtrack on legal guarantees of media freedom.
IPI cited Italy, Hungary, France and Spain, as countries that were trying to introduce or enforce legislation to control the work of journalists.

“The IPI members urge the authorities throughout Europe to live up to their human rights and media freedom commitments and obligations and to ensure that journalists are free to report without fear of imprisonment, bankruptcy, intimidation or assassination,” stated IPI.

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Don’t form party, Mpombo advises Magande

Don’t form party, Mpombo advises Magande
By Patson Chilemba
Fri 17 Sep. 2010, 04:00 CAT

GEORGE Mpombo yesterday advised former finance minister Ng’andu Magande against forming a political party, saying doing so will defeat the unity of purpose among Zambians who believe that President Rupiah Banda has provided mediocre leadership.

Commenting on Magande’s statement that he was eyeing the Republican presidency, saying he was happy that he was out of MMD as that would give him more room to consult, Mpombo - who was recently expelled together with Magande from the ruling MMD - said forming a political party would just bring complications in the country’s political landscape and would result in splitting votes for the opposition.

Mpombo said what people needed now was unity of purpose in the opposition, warning that if efforts were split the impact would be less.

“So it is important that the opposition provide a very formidable challenge by ensuring that they work together. If they are split it means it will be a major disappointment to a lot of Zambians who believe that Mr Banda has provided very clumsy and uninspiring leadership,” Mpombo said.

“People want a government that is a listening government, not a government that will insist even on useless mobile clinics when there are no drugs in hospitals, people sleeping on the floor at the University Teaching Hospital UTH. Right now the priority of government is what we would call top-sturvey, and we therefore do not require fresh opposition.”

Mpombo said the opposition should work together to remove President Banda’s mediocre leadership from government.

“It forming another political party will be a severe setback to the aspirations of the people that believe that this country is being led by a blunder-prone President. So it is going to be a major disappointment,” Mpombo said.

“I have not discussed anything with Honourable Magande. I know he has got his unfettered rights as a citizen of Zambia, but I think it is important to look at the bigger picture because if we formed political parties it is tantamount to abdication of responsibility which should instead ignite unity of purpose.”

Magande recently accepted his expulsion from the MMD, saying he saw no need of re-contesting the Chilanga seat because the next stage of management from being a minister was the Republican presidency.

Earlier, Magande’s supporters on the Copperbelt had threatened that if the MMD frustrated him, they would form another political party.

On President Banda’s desire for a by-election in Kasama, Mpombo said President Banda had developed a habit of wasting national resources. He said this was the same President who was jumping from one country to the other carrying huge delegations at great cost to the taxpayers.

Mpombo said President Banda had no feeling for protecting the country’s meager resources. He said the statement by President Banda in Kasama did not come as a surprise, given his addiction to luxurious travels outside the country.

“Like you have seen the mobile hospitals, instead of addressing issues that are important he is the only President in the SADC region who has traveled so much. And you know information minister Ronnie Shikapwasha should be ashamed of himself for trying to bamboozle the public that as a result of President Banda’s travels this country has harvested US $400 million worth of investment,” Mpombo said.

“This is political hogwash. You don’t have to have such reckless statements coming from a minister. The other day the President was saying a group of investors are coming to see where they can maintain the railway line, but the railway line is in private hands, so where are they going to begin from? So it is not true.”

Mpombo reminded President Banda and Shikapwasha that Zambians were not stupid and could see through their naked lies.

“You see Mr Banda is commissioning projects that where left by Mr Levy Mwanawasa but giving the impression that it’s his own initiatives. You saw the drama at UTH Cancer Hospital? When was the Cancer Hospital opened?” asked Mpombo.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

(TALKZIMBABWE) DPM Khupe 'assaults' police officer at roadblock

DPM Khupe 'assaults' police officer at roadblock
Posted: Thursday, September 16, 2010 10:24 am

DEPUTY Prime Minister, Ms Thokozani Khupe, allegedly assaulted a police officer at a roadblock near Zhombe Business Centre on Saturday, police have confirmed. The incident happened on Saturday morning as the convoy of MDC-T leaders and supporters’ vehicles headed for the party’s 11th anniversary celebrations in Gokwe.

A source told Chronicle newspaper that a police officer manning the roadblock at Zhombe Business Centre (commonly known as Joel) stopped the convoy and demanded to search all vehicles as he insisted that it was the procedure at all roadblocks in Zimbabwe.

“The chauffeur told the police officer that it was not possible for him to search the car as he was travelling with the Deputy Prime Minister and should be allowed to pass without being searched,” said the source.

DPM Khupe’s car was ahead of the convoy, the source said.

The source said the police officer insisted on carrying out the search.

“Ms Khupe’s driver was adamant that the vehicle could not be searched by the police but the officer stood his ground and insisted that all vehicles were supposed to be searched,” said the source.

The source said the police officer’s action infuriated the Deputy Prime Minister who then alighted from her vehicle and confronted him.

“Ms Khupe held the policeman by the collar and dragged him towards her car. She also squeezed his neck threatening to choke him. The Deputy Prime Minister then demanded his particulars and went away with them,” said the source.

MDC-T party spokesperson Mr Nelson Chamisa who is also the Minister for Information Communications Technology, confirmed the incident.

He however dismissed the incident as minor.

“There was a misunderstanding between the Deputy Prime Minister and a policeman at a roadblock but it’s nothing to write home about. The issue has since been resolved,” said Mr Chamisa.

Chamisa said if the reporter wanted details of what transpired he should talk to Ms Khupe.

Efforts to get a comment from Ms Khupe were fruitless as her phone was not reachable.

Police confirmed the incident

House of Assembly member for Mkoba, Amos Chibaya, also said he witnessed the incident.

He said he nearly got himself into trouble when he forcibly opened the way at the roadblock for the MDC-T convoy to pass.

“I personally asked the police to arrest me if they had a personal agenda against the MDC-T party. I can confirm that I forced them to open the way for the MDC supporters and officials to pass,” said Chibaya.

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(TALKZIMBABWE) Diasporans losing out on empowerment

Diasporans losing out on empowerment
By: Duduzile Bhebhe
Posted: Thursday, September 16, 2010 8:11 am

DEAR EDITOR - There has been a lot of interest in Zimbabwe from foreign investors despite the anti-government campaign by the West.

Zimbabwe is endowed with a lot of resources that the West and any serious investors cannot afford to ignore. Many Western companies are going "behind their governments' back" inorder to take advantage of the investment opportunity in the country.

Unfortunately, a lot of Zimbabweans, some well-to-do, are missing out on the opportunity afforded them by the Zanu-PF government; including the indigenisation and empowerment drive.

These Zimbabweans, mainly based in the Diaspora, will one day wake up to find those that remained home ahead of them and they have no opportunity to invest in their own country.

Despite all the reports that the country has learned people and has the best literacy rate in Africa, Zimbabwe is failing to produce entrepreneurs who can fill the void (that is the business opportunity) that is in that country.

There are a lot of academics, who constantly write in cyberspace and make "predictions" about how good or bad politics in Zimbabwe is going to be in the future and when then the country will be conducive for investment.

Unfortunately these "academics and commentators" are missing the opportunity to empower themselves.

They are happy with the jobs they have in the diaspora: lecturers, engineers, doctors, nurses, care workers. They fight for "leave to remain" in those countries rather than make plans to return home.

President Mugabe, Dr Joshua Nkomo, Herbert Chitepo, Josiah Tongogara and many other heroes have fought hard for Zimbabweans to be empowered and to self-determine.

At 86, President Mugabe is still fighting and many Zimbabweans, unfortunately are failing to realise the fruits of his struggle; believing the West in the anti-Mugabe, anti Zanu-PF campaign.

When Kwame Nkurumah was fighting for Ghana, he was castigated and called many names; oftentimes by his own people. When he died in exile, Ghanaians woke up to a country, once called the Gold Coast, in the hands of foreigners.

Today, the Ghanaians can only dream of owning their own resources; which are now in the hands of the conglomerates from the West. Nigeria is lost too.

This is the tragedy of Africa -- producing too many people who would rather work for someone than take charge of their own affairs.

It is unfortunate that, rather than debate the important issues, many Zimbabweans spend time 'playing God' trying to predict when we will see the last days of President Mugabe. These people might as well wait their lifetime because only God can make that judgment.

Duduzile Bhebhe writes from Cape Town where she is a PhD student in social development.

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(NEWZIMBABWE, REUTERS) Tsvangirai defends empowerment law

Tsvangirai defends empowerment law
by Reuters
16/09/2010 00:00:00

PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said on Thursday a law to increase local black ownership of foreign firms would be implemented gradually and without forced sales.

Zimbabwe's government published regulations earlier this year forcing foreign-owned firms, including mines and banks, to transfer a 51 percent stake to black Zimbabweans, a move that divided the power-sharing government and spooked investors..

"Remember, it's willing buyer, willing seller. There's no expropriation," Tsvangirai told a conference on Zimbabwe's political and economic prospects in neighbouring South Africa's commercial capital.

Foreigners regularly cite the law as their main concern about investing in Zimbabwe, which is desperate for external capital to rebuild the economy after a decade of chronic mismanagement and decline under President Robert Mugabe.

[A decade of economic sanctions like in the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 (s.494 of the 107th US Congress), which is now being put up for repeal through the Zimbabwe Sanctions Repeal Act of 2010, introduced by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) - MrK]

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe told Reuters in an exclusive interview earlier this month he will press ahead with plans to transfer control of foreign firms -- including mines and banks -- to local blacks.

"What's being implemented are minimum thresholds. You can't start with 51 percent," Tsvangirai said. "But you also have to say how, over time, you are going achieve the maximum threshold."

In the more immediate future, companies would have to adopt much lower levels of black ownership while presenting a road map towards ultimate black Zimbabwean majority ownership, he said.

Tsvangirai, whose MDC party is now in a power-sharing administration with arch-rival Mugabe's Zanu PF, said the government was still drawing up the thresholds for the minimum, initial levels of black ownership.

As a hypothetical example, he spoke of a minimum initial black ownership level of 10 percent for the country's key mining sector.

[That's because he is a neoliberal traitor and sellout, who is more concerned about the profitability of foreign corporations in Zimbabwe than the economic advancement of his own countrymen. - MrK]

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Rupiah’s militias

Rupiah’s militias
By The Post
Thu 16 Sep. 2010, 04:00 CAT

A society that condones violence in any form is headed for destruction.
Leaders who think that violence is a legitimate means of ensuring their political success are irresponsible and a danger to society and themselves.

There is no acceptable reason for a leader to condone violence actively or indirectly. But this seems to be Rupiah Banda’s position on violence against his perceived political enemies. Since he became President, he has never been heard to categorically condemn violence perpetrated by his cadres. If anything, Rupiah seems prepared to find excuses and explanations that justify violence perpetrated by the MMD. This is what explains the confidence that people like William Banda seem to have about them. They know that they have the protection of the President.

We say this in light of the threats made against Mongu Diocese Bishop Paul Duffy by Copperbelt MMD information secretary Chiko Chibale. Chibale told the nation that: “I want to warn that Catholic Bishop Duffy of Mongu that we will travel to Mongu for him. We want to go there and sort him out. He is a disgruntled bishop who wants to bring anarchy in this country but before he does that, we will go for him as the military of the party because he is forcing us to take the law in our own hands.” Chibale went further to warn that the MMD Copperbelt crack squad felt that members in Mongu were treating Bishop Duffy with kids’ gloves. He also went further to say as a commander of the crack squad on the Copperbelt, he was not going to allow Bishop Duffy to attack the President. As though what he had said was not unfortunate enough, Chibale also explained what this crack squad he was referring to is. He said: “As the ruling party MMD, we have what we call a crack squad on the Copperbelt. It is more like a military in the political circles and I am the commander of this crack squad on the Copperbelt.”

There are two things that are fundamentally wrong with the way this crackpot is carrying on. First, he has the audacity to publicly threaten violence against a priest whose only sin was to tell the nation that the Western Province of Zambia is ready for change. According to Rupiah’s crack squad, this is an insult for which violence must be meted out to silence Bishop Duffy. In a normal country, Chibale would not be walking on the streets because the police would have swung into action to deal with his threat of violence against a person whose only crime was to exercise his constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression. Bishop Duffy, like any other subject resident in this country, is free to comment on matters that are in the public domain. But clearly, Rupiah does not appreciate the Bishop’s right to comment. We say this because if Rupiah respected Bishop Duffy’s entitlement to a human right of freedom of expression, he would, as president of the MMD and more importantly head of state, condemn this brazen breach of our laws.

No one is allowed to threaten violence. But in this country, it seems it is only those who are in the opposition who are not allowed to threaten violence. Yesterday when Rupiah was in Chawama opening a clinic, he found it appropriate to talk about violence against spouses in clear reference to Kasama Central member of parliament Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba’s, popularly known as GBM, case. But it is clear that his comment on that case had nothing to do with his disapproval of violence. It was just a matter of politics for him. This is clear because the man who was able to condemn GBM did not find time to talk about the serious threat of violence that his party on the Copperbelt is making against Bishop Duffy.

What is more worrying about the behaviour of the MMD on the Copperbelt, over and above threatening violence, is the admission that Rupiah’s MMD has created militias. When we have said before that Rupiah’s MMD is sponsoring violence and condoning it as a result, they have denied it. But today one of their own members has admitted that they have these militias and in fact, he is one of the commanders. Surely, no political party or any other organisation is allowed to form a militia or any other group whose purpose is to carry out acts of violence against those that it may disagree with. This is a criminal offence.

Chibale’s belonging to such a militia is a matter which should ordinarily invite consequences, but not in Rupiah’s Zambia. To Rupiah, if you are his supporter, you can never commit a criminal offence. It is only his opponents or perceived enemies that commit offences. We have no doubt that if that MMD crackpot was an opposition member, the disgraced Inspector General of Police Francis Kabonde would have swung into action and by now, a chorus of calls for the law to take its course would have come from all sorts of corners, including the usual suspects – the MMD sponsored non-governmental individuals or NGIs who are quick to comment on matters that benefit Rupiah and disadvantage the opposition.

During the Mufumbwe by-election, we told the nation that Rupiah’s MMD had bussed militias from Lusaka and the Copperbelt to go and cause mayhem during that by-election. Kabonde stood by and ensured that the MMD was protected when its cadres unleashed an unusual level of violence against the opposition during that by-election. Our people have not forgotten that rather than arresting the people who were perpetrating the violence, Kabonde targeted the opposition UPND.

The confirmation of the existence of the militias should not be taken lightly by our people. This is a serious matter. Rupiah’s desperation for power seems to have no bounds. This is the only way one can explain why a president who is self-respecting should keep quiet when his party is publicly threatening people and confirming the existence of nefarious bands of thugs that are going to be unleashed on those of our people who express contrary views to what Rupiah and his minions want. It is not the first time that Rupiah is keeping quiet on threats of violence and in some cases, instances of actual violence that have occurred. We as a newspaper have been threatened by the apparent MMD militia commander in chief William Banda. Rupiah, his government and the minions that surround him are quiet. This kind of behaviour gives a clear indication that this is not William Banda’s idea. He is merely expressing a wish that has blessing at the highest level in the MMD. But even worse, Rupiah has failed to categorically condemn violence against journalists. In fact, in one of the few if not the only time that Rupiah has talked about this, he failed to condemn violence but instead justified the behaviour of the hoodlums that he thinks are going to help him win the next election.

The threats of violence by the Copperbelt MMD should not be dismissed as idle threats. The MMD militias are capable of unleashing ghastly acts of violence. Recently, we saw what happened at the funeral of the late Mpulungu member of parliament Lameck Chibombamilimo. Ng’andu Magande was assaulted and his clothes torn. Who from the MMD condemned that kind of behaviour? There was mayhem at the church service where William Banda unleashed his Lusaka militia on a hapless band of PF cadres who were savaged in the most brutal way. Again, no one in the MMD condemned these cowardly acts.

Perhaps one of the worst examples of how deplorable the MMD militia violence can be was the attack on Zambezi West UPND member of parliament Charles Kakoma during the Mufumbwe by-election. This poor fellow was attacked as he slept. Up to today, no one has been arrested or even questioned in connection with that attack. Shameful Kabonde behaves as though he does not know that that incident ever happened.

Kakoma’s experience tells us not to take the threats being made on Bishop Duffy by the MMD militia lightly. They have acted before and gotten away with impunity and there is every reason to believe that they will do it again.

The threats on Bishop Duffy should not be understood to be directed at him alone. This is a threat against all those who dare to speak their minds. The MMD is not ready to listen to contrary views.

But those like Rupiah who seem to have an appetite for violence when they think that it will benefit them politically should know that their schemes cannot do anyone any good, not even themselves. They will live to regret the day when they embraced violence. Violence only begets violence. And the MMD should not think that they have a monopoly over the capacity to cause mayhem. The only reason they might think so is because our people have always chosen peace over violence. But no one should take the people for granted. Rupiah must have the moral courage to say no to violence wherever it is coming from. Rupiah must act to disband the MMD militias that have been created during his tenure as president of the party.

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Sichilima warns north MMD cadres destabilizing party

Sichilima warns north MMD cadres destabilizing party
By George Chellah
Thu 16 Sep. 2010, 04:01 CAT

NORTHERN Province MMD vice-chairman Gaston Sichilima yesterday warned that disciplinary action would be taken against anybody working to destabilise the party in the region regardless of their position or status.

Commenting on revelations that the leadership wrangles in the Northern Province MMD executive committee had left the party in disarray, Sichilima - who is also deputy home affairs minister - said that as provincial vice-chairman in-charge of discipline, he would not tolerate people that want to destabilise the party.

“I have just heard that from you but if those problems are there, we provincial executive committee will go on the ground and see those problems,” Sichilima said. “Like every family, we have frictions and squabbles here and there but that doesn’t mean that if they problems are there then it should destabilise the party.”

Sichilima said anyone found wanting would definitely be disciplined according to the party constitution. He said if there were problems in the party’s provincial executive committee, they would have to meet and table them.

Sichilima said the MMD guidelines were very clear on disciplinary matters.

“The branch cannot expel a fellow member at branch level, they can only recommend to the constituency body and it goes up,” Sichilima said. “Similarly, a PEC official cannot expel a fellow PEC official.”

On Tuesday, well-placed sources within the MMD NEC disclosed that wrangles in the Northern Province provincial executive committee had left the ruling party in disarray and were contributing to President Banda’s dwindling support in the region.

The sources revealed that the wrangles in the party structures were being attributed to the provincial chairman Griever Sikasote whose leadership style is being questioned.

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France refuses to extradite Rwandan genocide suspect

France refuses to extradite Rwandan genocide suspect
By BBC News
Thu 16 Sep. 2010, 06:50 CAT

A French court has blocked the extradition to Rwanda of Eugene Rwamucyo, a doctor suspected of involvement in the 1994 genocide. Dr Rwamucyo is wanted over atrocities carried out in the country's southern Butare region.

The court in Versailles, just outside Paris, also freed Dr Rwamucyo, who had been arrested at a funeral in May. French judges have ruled that suspects extradited to Rwanda cannot expect a fair trial.


Dr Rwamucyo's lawyer, Philippe Meilhac, praised his release as "a victory of law over politics".

But the doctor remains the subject of a complaint filed in Paris by the families of genocide victims alleging crimes against humanity.

An estimated 800,000 people, mostly ethnic Tutsis, were massacred in the course of the violence in Rwanda, which took place between April and July 1994.

In a landmark trip to the Rwandan capital Kigali this March, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that France would do everything possible to ensure that "all those responsible for the genocide are found and are punished."

Rwanda has repeatedly accused France of turning a blind eye to calls for justice and allowing genocide suspects to live comfortable lives in French towns and villages.

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Daka explains $140 million ADB loan to pay farmers

COMMENT - This is OUTRAGEOUS!!! They receive $100 million in taxes from the mines, and they borrow $140 million from the ADB??? I guess they put it on the public tab than no one will notice? Just let the people pay through a devalued Kwacha. No government that does not tax the mines to the fullest extent must resign in shame.

Daka explains $140 million ADB loan to pay farmers
By Kombe Chimpinde
Thu 16 Sep. 2010, 14:30 CAT

GOVERNMENT has said it was forced to borrow US $140 million from African Development Bank (ADB) towards payment for maize bought from farmers because local commercial banks could not immediately mobilize the funds.

Agriculture minister Peter Daka told Post Online in an interview following President Rupiah Banda’s revelation that government had borrowed to finance payment to farmers that farmers needed to be paid while commercial banks did not have sufficient funds to meet the payments.

“We are talking about a bumper harvest of 1.7 metric tonnes so I mean it’s only logical that we borrowed this money because it is not there in government coffers, it’s not budgeted for. You know K100 billion can only procure 40,000 metric tonnes. So really this bumper harvest is unprecedented,” Daka said.

But former finance Minister Ng'andu Magande has described the move by government as absurd and blamed the chaos in the maize marketing sector on lack of planning.

Magande, who is also an economist, told the Post Online that government has failed to properly handle the marketing of maize due to poor planning.

“Here is a bumper crop, what have you written today in The Post? Mazabuka, storage problems, Chipata, payment problems, Chief Chitimukulu, the whole market in problem. But for how long did we know that we were going to have a bumper harvest?” Magande asked.

“When I was an economist in agriculture, we used to do crop forecasts. By 30th of March, we knew what crop was on the market, and then we went to Kabwe Industrial Fabric (Kifco) to order empty grain bags. This is now the time, and people are still crying that they don’t have empty grain bags,” he said.

He said had there been adequate planning put in place by those in government, they would have simply walked into Barclays Bank branches in Kasama and borrowed money to pay farmers in Chitimukulu’s village.

“But instead, somebody has gone overseas to go and borrow foreign currency to come and pay the people in Chitimukulu’s village, how will you pay back that money. So it’s a big problem.”

Magande said it was shocking that government was going to borrow money from an external source instead of utilizing the commercial banks and the central bank.

“I am shocked! Government is now going to borrow almost K1trillion to go and buy maize in mukulaika to go and get maize from villagers. Where are the banks in Zambia ?” Why can’t they ask Bank of Zambia to let them use part of the reserves which they are saying have reached US $2 billion dollars,” he wondered.

“... part of that money came from International Monetary Fund IMF but someone is holding the money on Cairo road at Bank of Zambia saying our reserves are the highest and yet(president Banda) he is forced to borrow US $200 million dollars and I would like to know where they are borrowing this money.”

He observed that it was retrogressive for the country to say that the harvest was unprecedented when the government had a crop forecast survey department under Central Statistical Office.

But agriculture minister Peter Daka said that as far as he was concerned government needed to borrow money from outside the country for them to clear the unprecedented harvest of the country’s staple grain.

“You don't bake your own cake and eat it yourself. There are other people that should participate in the cycle so. There are so many Zambians that can export this maize to areas like Congo DR. Government has given a free will to everybody to get a an export license to export the produce. So the challenge is for everybody,” Daka said.

He said planning was not only on the part of government but also needed the participation of the private sector.

“Government works with the private sector, there are millers, there are traders associations, Zambia National Farmers Union. So really it’s not government to give the impetus, government has given a production formula which is the FISP(Farmer Input Support Programme) but you can’t ask government alone to buy all the maize that has been produced. The private sector must participate but not as low as K25,000 per 50 kg bag when the floor price is K65,000,” Daka said.

“We have borrowed 140 million dollars do you think our banks can give us that money. What government planned was K100 billion which could have procured 40,000 metric tonnes. But this production is unprecedented it has never happened before. You know its governments effort that is making sure that the production is increased from the levels that it has been by increasing number of people accessing fertilizer. If you look at the number of people that have accessed fertilizer from 250 to 550 to almost a million now.”

Last this weekend President Banda announced that government had borrowed US $140 million from abroad to enable government pay off the farmers who had supplied maize to FRA.

He made the announcement when he graced the Ukusefya pang'wena ceremony where the Bemba chief, Chitimukulu expressed concerns on the maize marketing problems affecting his subjects in Northern Province.

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Govt proposes K17 trillion budget

COMMENT - How dare they? Their expenditures have gone up $1bn compared to 2004, and what do they have to show for it? Where is the universal healthcare and education, that can EASILY be funded with $1bn, many times over? They should resign in shame.

Govt proposes K17 trillion budget
By Post Online
Thu 16 Sep. 2010, 07:50 CAT

THE government has proposed a K17 trillion budget for the year 2011, Secretary to the Treasury, Likolo Ndalamei has disclosed. In a statement on fiscal trends, strategy and forecast for the 2011 budget and the Medium Term Expenditure Framework for 2011 to 2013, Ndalamei said the K17 trillion budget represented 20 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He said the total expenditure is projected to be K 21 trillion Kwacha representing 21 per cent of GDP. He said the medium term budget spending is proposed to increase to K20 trillion in 2012 and then K22 trillion in 2013.

Ndalamei further explained that government projects to incur a deficit of 3.5 per cent of GDP between 2011 and 2013, to finance ambitious infrastructure expansion programmes in roads and the energy sector.

He however noted that domestic borrowing would reduce from 1.4 per cent in 2011 to 1.2 per cent by the year 2013.

Ndalamei said net external financing was also expected to decline from two per cent to 1.8 per cent in the same period.

He said in the period 2011 to 2013, government will emphasise efficient use of resources and re-align expenditure to create room for development and investment spending.

This will be done by avoiding spreading resources too thinly across many developmental projects and implementing cost cutting measures.

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GBM pleads not guilty to assault

GBM pleads not guilty to assault
By Namatama Mundia
Thu 16 Sep. 2010, 15:10 CAT

KASAMA Central PF member of parliament Geoffrey Mwamba has pleaded not guilty to one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Taking plea before Lusaka chief resident magistrate Charles Kafunda, Mwamba, 51, popularly known as GBM gave his occupation as a businessman and politician of house number 10, Roan Road, Kabulonga.

GBM, who is charged with one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm contrary to section 248 Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia, denied the charge. A calm-looking and jovial Mwamba arrived at court in the company of his wife, Chama.

Particulars of the offence allege that Mwamba on September 5, 2010 in Lusaka did assault Chama Mwamba, his wife, thereby causing actual bodily harm.

Magistrate Kafunda asked if Mwamba understood the charge, and he responded in the affirmative.

“Yes, I understand the charge and I deny it,” Mwamba said.

After plea, Mwamba’s lawyer Mumba Kapumpa applied that the matter be withdrawn because the couple had reconciled.
“…Since he (Mwamba) has been charged, there has been communication and reconciliation between the complainant Chama and Mr Geoffrey Mwamba. To this effect, the complainant has given a statement of reconciliation to the police to withdraw the matter,” Kapumpa said.

But Kafunda said: “Let us set trial dates first and that application can be handled later. Right now, I have a lot of cases to attend to. I will restrict myself to plea because the matter came up for plea.”

State prosecutor Mwewa Musonda indicated to the court that the prosecution would call four witnesses.

And magistrate Kafunda adjourned the matter to October 21, 2010 at 14:00 hours.

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Court finds Mohan, Patel brothers with case to answer in murder case

Court finds Mohan, Patel brothers with case to answer in murder case
By Maluba Jere
Thu 16 Sep. 2010, 04:01 CAT

SUPREME Court judge Gregory Phiri has found Inkteck managing director Mathew Mohan and two brothers with a case to answer in a matter where the trio is alleged to have murdered Cyclone Hardware director Sajid Itowala.

This is in a matter where Mohan, Shabia Patel and Idris Patel are indicted on a charge of murder contrary to Section 200 of the Penal Code CAP 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

Particulars of the offence allege that the trio on July 21, 2009 murdered Itowala. The trio pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Ruling on whether or not the trio had a case to answer, Judge Phiri sitting as Lusaka High Court judge said the prosecution had established a prima facie case against all three accused persons.

He said he had carefully considered the submissions by both parties as well as the evidence by all the 28 prosecution witnesses.

Judge Phiri noted that the prosecution had presented a mixture of evidence in form of direct, real and circumstantial.

He explained that the evidence on record had established that Itowala was murdered in cold blood in broad daylight after he was abducted from House number 1 Ngulube Road in Woodlands.

On the evidence by Lusaka lawyer Frank Tembo who testified that he had no hand in Itowala’s murder but that he and Mohan had a lawyer-client relationship, judge Phiri said that was far from the truth saying there was no doubt that his Tembo involvement was to erase all the evidence implicating his client.

“…Frank Tembo took charge of A1 Mohan from Pamodzi Hotel, he gave him a lift up to the point where he disposed off the murder weapon at the Great East Road. This is clearly far from the truth that his was a lawyer-client relationship,” judge Phiri said.

He also said Tembo was an accessory to Itowala’s murder adding that the prosecution evidence had established that all the conspirators were paid cash values in various amounts to stop them from revealing what they had seen.

Judge Phiri said that behaviour was typical of conspirators in financed murders.

However, judge Phiri said there was no evidence linking the Patel brothers to Itowala’s murder.

He further said it was highly unusual that criminal investigations department (CID) chief for Lusaka could be summoned by a private individual to pick up a person Tofik Danga already on the police wanted list.

“The conspirators had nothing to fear and they cared less. They committed the offence in broad day light and as far as they were concerned, they are rich and powerful and played a game of being connected to police officers and even had a lawyer,” judge Phiri said.

He said the conspiracy leading to Itowala’s death was deep and that justice would be well served if all those named in the conspiracy are given their day in court to explain.

Mohan’s lawyer Bonaventure Mutale told the court that his client would give evidence on oath and intended to call a number of witnesses.

Mumba Kapumpa who is representing the Patel brothers said his clients were not sure whether to give evidence on oath or remain silent and asked for an adjournment to decide on the way to proceed with the matter.

Judge Phiri has adjourned the matter to October 18 and 19, 2010 for defence.

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Transparency, accountability must be given highest priority in governance - Sharma

Transparency, accountability must be given highest priority in governance - Sharma
By Chibaula Silwamba
Thu 16 Sep. 2010, 04:01 CAT

VISITING Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma yesterday said transparency and accountability in public administration must be given the highest priority.

Speaking on arrival at Lusaka International Airport for a four-day visit, Sharma said the Commonwealth leaders were against corruption.

“The position of our leaders on the question of corruption has been very prominent and straight forward which is that transparency and accountability in public administration that be given the highest priority,” Sharma said.

“We try and assist in various ways cooperating in the United Nations context. We hold a lot of workshops on the issue of corruption and accountability. We support national initiatives to fight corruption.”

Sharma said he would discuss with the Zambian government leaders various issues pertaining to youths, women and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) affairs.

Sharma would meet President Rupiah Banda, foreign affairs minister Kabinga Pande and visit the Commonwealth Youth Centre at the University of Zambia.

And welcoming Sharma, sports minister Kenneth Chipungu said there were so many issues that Zambia, as an affiliate to Commonwealth, would learn from the organisation’s secretary general.

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MISA Board dissolves Zambian chapter governing council

MISA Board dissolves Zambian chapter governing council
By Moses Kuwema
Wed 15 Sep. 2010, 16:40 CAT

THE Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Trust Fund Board (TFB) has dissolved the current National Governing Council (NGC) of MISA Zambia chapter and has appointed Fanuel Chembo to look after the governance issues of the chapter up to the Annual General Meeting (AGM).

During the briefing yesterday at MISA Zambia offices, TFB Chairperson Mandla Seleoane said the decision was done in the interest of the organization. Chembo recently retired as MISA Zambia’s executive director.

“We received a recommendation from the trustees of MISA Zambia to suspend all members of the National Governing Council and to appoint a caretaker to look after the governance issues of the chapter between now and the time of the chapter’s Annual General Meeting. Our response to the request was that such a drastic step should be taken as a last resort. I visited Lusaka on September 6 and September 8 pursuant to a resolution of the TFB at its meeting in Harare on July 25, 2010. During that visit I made an effort to reconcile the NGC colleagues. Whilst we were able to find one another in many respects, the question of leadership pending the AGM proved intractable,” Seleoane said.

He said the situation which prevailed prior to his visit to Lusaka last week was that they were two camps in the NGC which tended to meet separately of each other, and make decisions about the organization.

Seleoane said the situation was not only intolerable but was also untenable.

“In order to limit the recurrence of the current dispute in the new National Governing Council, the TFB has ruled that all those who currently make up the NGC will be ineligible to be elected at the forth coming AGM. The TFB appreciates the seriousness of this decision and states that the affected colleagues are barred from standing only in respect of this AGM,” Seleoane said.

He said the majority of the affected people had shown appreciation for them not to stand.

Seleoane said he was hopeful that they will continue to play an active and constructive role in the affairs of the chapter.

He said the AGM has since been moved from September 24 to October 25, 2010 and will be chaired by Gilbert Mudenda in order to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

“Regarding the question whether Mr Henry Kabwe committed any fraud, the TFB is satisfied that on all the documents and statements presented to it, there is no basis for the allegation. Indeed a case was made out for the view that principles of good governance were breached and we are setting up mechanisms to limit the possibility of such a thing happening again,” said Seleoane.

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(STICKY) (LUSAKATIMES) Mining tax revenue above target

Total revenues collected by ZRA: 10.2 trillion ($2.04 billion) (Exchange rate: K5,000/1USD)
From mining: 503bn ($100.6 million)

In other words, the mining companies contributed $100 mn to the ZRA's $2.04 billion revenues. That means the mines contributed 4.9% to tax revenues, even though they are a $5 billion industry.

The mines are getting a special deal that the workers are not getting. This is daylight robbery. I say this: while the GRZ refuses to collect every cent of taxes from the mines, donors have no business 'giving' one cent as 'donor aid'. So I am calling their bluff. Stop donating money to this corrupt government that is clearly uninterested in collecting taxes from their friends in the mines. Stop 'donor aid' now.

Mineral Royalty: 249.4bn ($49.88 million)

This is interesting, because Mineral Royalty tax is 3% of turnover, and the mining industry has a turnover of $5 bn, so 3% should be $150 million, not $49.88 million.

Mining tax revenue above target
Thursday, September 16, 2010, 9:23

THE revenue from mining company taxes collected between January and August this year is above target by K265.3 billion, Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) commissioner general Chriticles Mwansa has said.

Speaking at a Press briefing in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Mwansa said ZRA recorded an overturn of K503 billion against the target of K238 billion in mining company taxes in the period under review.

He however said that Mineral Royalty collections were below target by K8.3 billion having registered an outturn of K249.4 billion against the target of K257.7 billion.

Mr Mwansa said the reason why Mineral Royalty was below target was because the tax was based on what a particular mining firm was able to sell and not on production.

“This is based on what is sold and may not answer to production. I don’t want to believe that this is below target as things may change by the end of the year,” Mr Mwansa said.

The mining audit was progressing well and ZRA had so far conducted the audits for Kansanshi Copper Mines, Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) and Konkola Copper Mines (KCM).

Mr Mwansa said there were some gaps in the audits which were currently being addressed.

Meanwhile, the ZRA collected K10.2 trillion in gross taxes during the same period. Mr Mwansa said the refunds stood at K2 trillion representing 19.8 per cent of the gross tax revenue.

He said the net tax stood at K 8 trillion against a target of K7 trillion, thereby registering a surplus of K542.9 billion.

“This outturn was largely on account of strong performance of Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) and company tax. For the year to date period ending August 2010 compared to the same period in 2009, the trade taxes were above the target in reversing the poor performance last year,” Mr Mwansa said.

He said the increase in trade taxes revenue was attributed to the growth in business volumes where taxable transactions recorded a growth in the value of duty purposes of six per cent as compared to the same period last year.

Mr Mwansa said in the third quarter of 2008, the Government commenced the process of acquiring additional scanners for Katima Mulilo, Kasumbaleasa, Kazungula, Mwami and Nakonde border stations among others.

He said such investment was expected to increase revenue for ZRA. Mr Mwansa said last month, ZRA officers undertook site visits to China to familiarise themselves with the new technology and how it could be applied in Zambia.

[Times of Zambia]

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

(TALKZIMBABWE) Party divisions threaten Copac

Party divisions threaten Copac
Posted: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 2:27 pm

DIVISIONS have emerged in the Constitution Parliamentary Select Committee over outreach meetings in Harare and Bulawayo.

Yesterday, Copac co-chair Mr Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T) reportedly convened a management committee meeting in which he claimed there was agreement that there should be two meetings per ward in the two cities. All other provinces have had one meeting per ward.

However, his co-chair, Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana (Zanu-PF), revealed the management meeting had been called without his consultation and that no agreement had been reached on holding two meetings per ward.

He said Mr Mwonzora had misrepresented to the management committee, calling him a "fraudster" who wanted more meetings in Harare and Bulawayo than in other provinces because these two were perceived MDC-T strongholds.

"Our work plan says one meeting per ward. Any changes require approval by the Select Committee. He called the management committee and lied to them that he had spoken to me and we had agreed on the changes.

"Fortunately, my principal in the management committee, Cde Nicholas Goche, refused to authorise any changes until he had spoken with me.

"I was at a funeral and Mwonzora claimed I had sent him my apologies for not attending the management committee meeting."

Mangwana said Zanu-PF members of the Select Committee will caucus today to review "if we can go forward with a co-chair who is a fraudster".

Mwonzora, earlier in the day had said the Select Committee would meet today to consider the issue of how many outreach meetings should be held in Harare and Bulawayo.

Mr Mwonzora claimed: "Our original agreement was that we would hold two meetings per ward for Harare and Bulawayo.

"Our experience is that any crowd that exceeds 500 is too big for the purpose of the outreach. There are some who believe we should stick to one meeting per ward and we will meet as co-chairs to discuss the matter.

"We are also in the process of setting up thematic committees and drafting committees for the next phase of the constitution-making process," Mr Mwonzora said.

Special outreach meetings for children and youths, sponsored by Unicef, would be held on September 24 and 25.

The outreach is scheduled to end in October and the Copac teams have so far covered more than 80 percent of the country.

The process has, however, been hampered by a shortage of resources that resulted in intermittent stoppages.

Two days ago an outreach team in Masvingo was locked out of a lodge after delays in payment of bills. Approximately 700 000 people have attended the outreach meetings conducted to date.

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(NEWZIMBABWE, AFP) Mining law 'not xenophobic': Kasukuwere

Mining law 'not xenophobic': Kasukuwere
by AFP
15/09/2010 00:00:00

A GOVERNMENT minister on Wednesday sought to assure foreign firms, saying a new equity law requiring them to sell 51 percent stakes to locals did not entail "xenophobic dispossession".

"This policy is not intended for xenophobic dispossession, but to ensure meaningful participation by the local people in economic activities such as mining," said Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere.

"Indigenisation and economic empowerment has become an emotive subject as a result of misconceptions regarding government?s intention," he told a mining conference in the capital attended by 300 foreign delegates.

"We are not declaring a one-size-fits-all for black empowerment in Zimbabwe, cognisant that situations differ across sectors."

The new law took effect on March 1, requiring large foreign corporations to give majority stakes to local shareholders.

The government had given the firms 45 days to report their efforts at complying, but the deadline was extended indefinitely.

The government has also dropped the term "cede" from the law and replaced it with "business transaction", which was welcomed by foreign embassies in the country although they still expressed reservations about the law.

The Chamber of Mines has proposed selling 15 percent to locals, saying government should recognise that most mining companies build schools and roads in the areas where they operate, benefiting nearby communities.

Some of the foreign firms operating in the country include British Petroleum, Total, Chevron, Barclays Bank, Standard Chartered and platinum giant Zimplats.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) Elections: ZAPU wants SADC peace keeping force

Elections: ZAPU wants SADC peace keeping force
by Ntungamili Nkomo
15/09/2010 00:00:00

ZAPU president Dumiso Dabengwa says his party wants the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to deploy a peace-keeping force to Zimbabwe ahead of the next general elections.

The ex-home Affairs Minister said Tuesday that elections should be held next year, arguing that the power-sharing government between Zanu PF and the two MDC factions was ill-conceived and not working.

“SADC, in addition to its observer mission, should have a police monitoring force deployed to ensure that there is no intimidation and that people vote freely,” Dabengwa told a Washington video conference from Johannesburg.

Dabengwa said in the absence of state-sponsored violence witnessed in the 2008 elections, intimidation and retribution, there was no way President Robert Mugabe can win the next round of balloting.

“I foresee a situation where by the haggling in the inclusive government can never end. Give it two more years; the governing parties will still be fighting each other. We believe the only way out is a new poll,” added Dabengwa.

Also speaking from Johannesburg at the same symposium organised by Freedom House to review the operations of the unity government two years on, MDC-T parliamentary chief whip, Innocent Gonese, said his party also wanted elections next year that will produce a clear-cut winner.

Gonese said while his party was concerned at the slow pace of reform and implementation of the Global Political Agreement, it was pleased that the power sharing government had made “considerable strides” in turning the economy around.

“Obviously we are expecting SADC to play a very big role to ensure that the elections are going to produce an indisputable outcome,” Gonese told the conference.

President Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have both sounded the polling bell in recent months, telling their party activists to brace for fresh elections next year.

But some analysts are sceptical over the country’s preparedness for a new round of voting.

Political commentator Takura Zhangazha, who also took part in the video panel, differed sharply with both Dabengwa and Gonese saying the electorate was simply not ready to go to the polls just as yet.

If anything, Zhangazha said, Zimbabwe might end up with another negotiated government.

Despite intense lobbying by both Zanu PF and the MDC-T on elections next year, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has all but ruled out this possibility saying it needs at least 18 months to clean up the widely-discredited voters roll.

It also says it has not financial wherewithal to conduct the balloting.

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