Saturday, May 07, 2011

Change is unstoppable - Mulongoti

Change is unstoppable - Mulongoti
By Patson Chilemba
Sat 07 May 2011, 04:02 CAT

Mike Mulongoti says President Rupiah Banda is going this year because change of government is unstoppable. And Mulongoti said President Banda is being insincere for taking credit over projects which were started by late president Levy Mwanawasa.

Mulongoti, who is former works and supply minister, said the call for change has continued to gain momentum.

“People are calling for change, and this call continues to gain momentum. Whoever stands in the way of that change can just be swept away. The indications that are coming are like the indications we had in 1991,” Mulongoti said.

“So if that is anything to go by, then it can only be assumed that the wish for the people to change is unstoppable. It cannot be avoided. My fear is that I must identify myself with the change, or else I will get swept away.”

Mulongoti said the nation had witnessed a total erasing of late president Mwanawasa’s name in the projects President Banda was commissioning.

“You have got all the posters going up showing President Banda. Some of those projects started much earlier when president Mwanawasa was there. So why is it that the credit just goes to him (Banda) alone? You cannot rub off history because that is part of Mwanawasa’s legacy. To try and just obliterate it is not right,” Mulongoti said.

“Of course the Ndola Stadium was discussed between president Mwanawasa and Chinese President Hu Jintao in China. So the implementation part of it; all those things, were already decided.”

Mulongoti said projects like the new Soweto Market, Chainama Hospital and the hospital in Chongwe were started by president Mwanawasa, although President Banda claimed that they had been done in the last three years.

“Chainama, I mean surely you know that Chainama Hospital, the foundation stone was laid by president Mwanawasa. Everything needed for the implementation was already there. It would be interesting to go and check whether the foundation stone for Mwanawasa is still there,” Mulongoti said.

On George Mpombo’s revelation that he resigned as defence minister because of pressure from President Banda to discuss the arms deal from which the President’s son, James would get a 10 per cent commission, Mulongoti said the issue of that gravity could not be reduced to simple answers like calling Mpombo a madman.

“It is questioning the integrity of the Commander-in-Chief and the President of the Republic. What should be addressed is if what Mr Mpombo is saying is untrue,” he said.

Mulongoti said the other people Mpombo had mentioned were still in the service, and they should be allowed to speak on the matter.

“If the President begins to dismiss the issue quickly, it means he is intimidating those to come out and say something. If he is going to deny, let him just deny, but not to say that the man who said it is a madman. What is he saying?” Mulongoti asked.

“He is telling the people who would want to testify on it to say ‘don’t take the man seriously, he is a madman’. The issue behind this is a very serious one. It should not be consigned to just that simple approach. Arms deals world over have been a source of problems.”

Mulongoti said people could begin to deduce some guiltiness on the part of President Banda and those around him, going by their conduct on Mpombo’s revelation.

“It is a question of just addressing it in a normal way without emotions. I will give you an example, President Obama was questioned over his nationality. What did he do? He just went and processed the birth certificate. That is the approach we need from leadership,” said Mulongoti.

He also condemned the journalism being practiced at the state-owned and government-controlled Times of Zambia for lying that Mbita Chitala was in the United Kingdom, when he was in Mbala.

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Sata returns home from UK

Sata returns home from UK
By George Chellah in London and Ernest Chanda in Lusaka
Sat 07 May 2011, 04:01 CAT

PF leader Michael Sata on Thursday concluded his visit to the UK with a two-hour closed-door meeting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and returned home yesterday. And Sata says President Rupiah Banda’s panic over the PF’s rising popularity is expected.

Sata, who was accompanied by former SADC parliamentary forum secretary general Dr Kasuka Mutukwa, PF London branch chairperson Arnold Zulu and Dr Daniel Mutambo, arrived at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office around 12:20 hours.

Upon arrival at Parliament Square, Sata and his delegation immediately went into an approximately two-hour closed-door meeting with officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth office.

And in an interview after the meeting, Sata described the meeting as successful.

“Our meeting was extremely successful and very educative,” Sata said. “In fact, I am quite grateful that the British government has opened up today.”

Sata said he had learnt a lot during his visit to the UK.

“I have learnt quite a lot. More importantly, I have learnt of the existing gap in terms of relations between Zambia and Her Majesty’s government,” Sata said.

“It’s clear that as a country we need to do a lot of work to bridge that gap. We also want to thank the British High Commission in Lusaka for facilitating the processing of our Visas for this successful trip.”

Sata also thanked the University of Oxford for the invitation extended to him to give a special lecture at the institution.

And Sata said President Banda’s panic over the PF’s rising popularity was expected.

“If anybody thinks the opposition is dead, it might be the other opposition and not PF. Let them continue peddling the propaganda. It’s good they are doing that because the people of Zambia are seeing who is telling the truth and who is lying,” Sata said. “The Zambian people are seeing how they are shamelessly and desperately manipulating and abusing the public media. But as they say, the truth shall definitely come out. At the moment, PF just has to step up informing the outside world on what type of leadership and environment we are operating under as the largest opposition political party in Zambia. The world needs to know the kind of leadership we have running our affairs.”

Sata was in the UK to give a special lecture at the University of Oxford.

On Monday, Sata, who presented a paper under the theme ‘Road to presidency: How to be a successful opposition leader in Africa’, said among other things that a PF government shall vigorously fight corruption by ensuring that provisions in the anti-corruption legislation were strengthened and fully implemented.

“These efforts shall include the reinstatement of clauses which were recently deliberately removed from our anti-corruption law, which has the effect of exempting from prosecution the wrongdoing by the official, simply because the law was not applicable when they were in office. Public officials, including former presidents, who act outside the law, should not expect to get away with their mischief,” Sata said. “The Anti-Corruption Commission shall be revamped and strengthened and so shall the judicial systems that will be needed to give effect to the national laws. If and when we shall find it necessary, we shall not hesitate to seek appropriate assistance from Britain and other commonwealth countries which operate a similar judicial system to our own, to assist us in dealing with cases of corruption.”

He said given the scale of the scourge, and its entrenchment, PF may find it necessary to set-up a special court to deal expediently with white-collar and abuse of office crimes.

Meanwhile, Sata arrived back in the country yesterday afternoon amidst heavy police presence at Lusaka International Airport.

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Push for DPP’s resignation, Citizens Forum urges LAZ

Push for DPP’s resignation, Citizens Forum urges LAZ
By Patson Chilemba
Sat 07 May 2011, 04:01 CAT

THE new LAZ should lead the way in mounting pressure on Chalwe Mchenga to go, says Simon Kabanda. Kabanda, who is Citizens Forum executive director, said people had high expectations for the new Musa Mwenye-led Law Association of Zambia.

He said the position taken by the previous Stephen Lungu-led LAZ for Director of Public Prosecution Mchenga to vacate office should be upheld and effected.

“We are happy with the people that LAZ has put into office. So what we would want to urge them is that they should uphold the decision that was passed by the previous LAZ executive regarding the fate of the DPP Mchenga,” Kabanda said.

“We want them to be putting pressure. This new executive must ensure that they put pressure to ensure that the decision is effected. And this is what we expect from them, nothing less than that.”

Kabanda said not only had the image of the Judiciary been tainted because of political interference from the Executive, people also had a lot of questions on the Judiciary because of people like Mchenga.

He said LAZ should work towards restoring the image of the Judiciary, and one of the ways towards achieving that was pushing judicial officers like Mchenga out of the way.

Kabanda said Mchenga had committed a lot of injustices against the people of Zambia by trying to get in the way of justice over important cases like the attempt to free convicted Kashiwa Bulaya and the decision to withdraw an appeal on former president Frederick Chiluba’s acquittal.

He said illegality should not be allowed to continue rearing its ugly head in judicial offices.

“There is a general perception, and I want to underline this, the general perception in the country is that the Executive has an influence on the decisions the Judiciary makes. Now that perception should not be proved right, the principal actors like the DPP should go so that the image of the Judiciary can be restored,” said Kabanda.

Last year, LAZ came up with a position for Mchenga to resign over assertions that the Executive had usurped his powers.

President Banda had disclosed during one of the meetings that he stopped an appeal in the matter where Chiluba was acquitted by the magistrates’ court over corruption charges.

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Chitala campaigns for PF in Mbala

Chitala campaigns for PF in Mbala
By Ernest Chanda in Mbala
Sat 07 May 2011, 04:01 CAT

MBALA residents have pleaded with Dr Mbita Chitala to use his experience in conducting the parallel vote tabulation system and ensure that Patriotic Front leader Michael Sata’s votes are not stolen in the coming general election. And Dr Chitala has apologised to the electorate in Mbala for persuading them to vote for President Rupiah Banda in 2008 whose government has neglected them.

During a two and half hour meeting which was called by Dr Chitala at Mbala’s Makungo Hall on Tuesday, the residents demanded an assurance that they would not be cheated out of victory. Dr Chitala, who was President Banda’s campaign manager in the 2008 presidential election, was on a mission to uproot MMD in its strongholds in Northern Province.

A Mbala resident, Mathew Mushikiti, told Dr Chitala that Mbala would not have been neglected if he did not campaign for President Banda in the 2008 presidential election.

“Dr Chitala you came here in 2008 and told us not to vote for Mr Sata, even when we wanted to vote for him. You could have stopped this suffering in Mbala if you did not ensure that Mr Rupiah Banda won. You campaigned for MMD in that election and castigated PF, and we listened to you because you are a man of principle,” said Mushikiti.

“We will go with you, but please ensure that MMD does not steal the PF vote this time. You were with those people and obviously you know how they were stealing votes. Please identify the strikers and midfielders in MMD, just like in football so that you mark them and they don't steal the vote. For now Mbala has no MP, that's why we want to choose a serious person. And if you let them steal the votes, we will go backwards.”

Another resident, Joseph Chikombo cautioned Dr Chitala against being bribed by the MMD government so that he could go against his stance to support the PF.

Chikombo also complained that the district did not have a community radio station, which could have helped in sensitising communities on the need for a change of government.

A Mr Wilombe asked Dr Chitala to tell freelance journalist Chanda Chimba III who does propaganda documentaries for the MMD that Mbala was bitter with him.

“If he continues I will be forced to become a Muslem, and you know what that means,” said Wilombe as the hall erupted in laughter.

In response, Dr Chitala vowed not to be compromised by anyone.

“I apologise for supporting a person who has not implemented any meaningful programmes for you. And this man lied to us that he would just be there to finish off Levy Mwanawasa’s term and leave. He told me, ba Rodger Chongwe, ba (Mike) Mulongoti; that's what he told all of us. At the time, all of us thought he was a good man and we gave him the chance,” Dr Chitala told a packed audience. “Yes, I admit I’m responsible for this misery because I was his campaign manager. But I can assure you that I’m incorruptible; no one will ever corrupt me. They can fix my businesses, deny me a radio licence or do whatever, but I will always stick to my principles. So, since I conducted parallel vote tabulation for Mr Rupiah Banda and he won, I will do the same for president Sata. I will use my experience to ensure that we mark their strikers and ensure that PF scores massive victory.”

Dr Chitala further encouraged residents to go and vote in numbers to give more votes to the PF. He said Sata and the PF should get a minimum of 60 per cent votes in Mbala.

He urged them to desist from violence, saying politics was a battle of ideas. “If you fail to persuade someone to join the PF, don’t fight them physically. Just leave them and look for other people to persuade. We are all Zambians, so there is no need to shed each other's blood,” said Dr Chitala.

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Arrest Global Fund fraudsters, NGOCC urges government

Arrest Global Fund fraudsters, NGOCC urges government
By Kombe Chimpinde
Fri 06 May 2011, 04:01 CAT

NGOCC says the failure by government to prosecute individuals that mismanaged money from the Global Fund is evidence that the MMD government has opened its doors to corruption.

The government has refunded K9.1 billion to Global Fund as part of the refund of the money that was misappropriated by the Ministry of Health.

In an interview, Non-Governmental Organisation Coordinating Council (NGOCC) board chairperson Beatrice Grillo said that it was shameful for the government to admit guilt of the stolen monies from the Global Fund but fail to prosecute those involved.

Grillo urged Zambians to rise and put a stop to corruption which the MMD government was institutionalising.

This is a typical example of the levels of the lack of concern on corruption by government. Why are we (Zambians) refunding the money?

Is it a sign of admission" Grillo asked. "If that is the case, are you telling me that the whole government of President Rupiah Banda cannot trace and prosecute those people that used the money" said Grillo.

Grillo said it was unacceptable for the government to pay back the stolen funds without making efforts to recover it from known principal recipients who mismanaged it.

"I can?t understand why this government has failed. If I speak against the government and if I do something wrong, they will find me, they will lock me up. Are they saying the whole contingent of officers like the one sent to Mongu to use live bullets on those innocent children who were asking for their rights cannot find the people who stole funds?" Grillo asked.

She said that the scenario could not be explained beyond corruption. "If that's not corruption, then I don?t know what corruption is.

For me it's either government is saying, "if this one goes then we all go", otherwise what other explanation can they give" Grillo said.

Remember we have not yet even recovered from the decision by government to remove the abuse of office clause. It is clear that this government is endorsing corruption. It?s really shameful sometimes when you go out of the country, you feel like burying your head.

In the UK the lawyers who were involved in Chiluba's case have been dismissed but we, the people concerned, are putting a red carpet for the culprit. It's a mockery and I feel Zambians should stand up and say enough is enough' Grillo.

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Government is manipulating people, says Sikwela

Government is manipulating people, says Sikwela
By Edwin Mbulo and Brina Manenga
Fri 06 May 2011, 04:00 CAT

THERE is gross manipulation of the people by the government on various issues of development, says Rev Howard Sikwela. And Rev Sikwela has advised Zambians not to be swayed by MMD's sudden enerosity through the party?s mass distribution of chitenge materials and campaign T/shirts.

In an interview on Tuesday, Rev Sikwela who is Brethren in Christ Church Copperbelt overseer said health workers were frustrated and needed motivation.

"I for one would like to commend the government for the construction of schools and hospitals, but during the commissioning we are shown linen and other things. When we go there, we find these things gone."

There is gross manipulation of the people by the government," Rev
Sikwela said.

"A bill on emoluments was withdrawn from Parliament just before the 2008 elections but soon after winning the elections President Banda signed the bill. What will stop them from bringing back the bill to sell schools after they win".

He said the clergy should not be attacked when they spoke out because their role was prophetic.

"We won't watch the government abuse people. Our schools need teachers with good text books, they need to be in classes with good teacher/pupil ratio. In hospitals, the health workers need to be motivated, that is why some nurses are harsh to patients," Rev Sikwela said.

On violence Rev Sikwela said there was no political will by the MMD to stop violence as some party members were behaving as though they were above the law.

"We shall now need to be moving with a bunch of party cards just like in the UNIP era where one could not get into a market unless with a party card.

William Banda now says the MMD would move into markets. Where are we heading to" Rev Sikwela said.

Meanwhile, PF Nchanga parliamentarian Wylbur Simuusa says Zambians should not be cheated by the government?s development propaganda.

In an interview, Simuusa said government was asking people to vote for President Rupiah Banda based on last minute development tactics.

"The MMD should know that President Rupiah Banda will not win the Zambian people's votes with his last minute developmental tactics.

It is unreasonable for the government to continue saying it has more developmental projects pending which the people of Zambia will see when the party is voted back in power," said Simuusa.

"The MMD has been in power for 20 years and the poverty levels continue to rise. The MMD has continued to accuse many PF councillors of not bringing development but they are the ones that are supposed to be funding that development as the government in power. Zambians need a new government in power because we have seen the failures of the MMD. We have allowed them to govern us for too long."



Miss NRDC urges pupils to take up agricultural courses

Miss NRDC urges pupils to take up agricultural courses
By Allan Mulenga
Sat 07 May 2011, 04:01 CAT

NEWLY-crowned Miss NRDC has bemoaned the apathy female students have towards taking up agricultural courses in higher learning institutions. In an interview, Sibeso Inambao (left) says it was saddening to note that a number of female applicants in colleges and universities is far below that of male applicants.

"The ratios between female and male applicants at NRDC National Resources Development College are unfavourable, if not mistaken, it is 1 to 5. Generally, at this college male students in all the courses are more than female students," says the 20-year-old.

Sibeso, a first-year diploma in food and nutrition student, reveals that in her reign as Miss NRDC, she would embark on schools sensitisation campaigns to educate young people about the importance of pursuing agricultural careers.

"I have seen that after school, most school leavers would like to go to UNZA, Evelyn Hone College, and NIPA, and very few would like to come to NRDC. That´s why I will come up with programmes aimed at sensitising pupils in high school on the importance of taking up agricultural courses in institutions of learning," she says.

Sibeso urges young people to have an open mind in their choice of careers.
"After all, when you do agricultural courses, you do not have to wait for someone to employ you, but you employ yourself. It can even help in curbing the 'cancer' of youth unemployment prevailing in our country," she notes.

On her scooping the first-ever out-of- campus contest held last week at Lusaka´s Fahrenheit Pub and Grill, Sibeso says it was challenging.

"It feels good.. It is the first time I was participating in the beauty contest. Before, I never had an interest in modeling, but then I thought I had what it takes to be a model," she relates.
Sibeso attributes her success to discipline and hard work.

"It was challenging because all the ladies were equally good. Just like the theme of this year´s contest, I believe female students should participate in economic development through agricultural training in the country," she explains.

Sibeso advises upcoming models to prioritize education, saying that education is the key to a brighter future.

"They models should go to school first and do the modeling later. They models should put education on top of everything in life," she says.

Inspired by the former Miss Zambia 2005 Cynthia Kanema, Sibeso intends to contest for the next Miss Zambia beauty pageant.

The pageant notes that after completing her training she hopes to be a career woman and do modeling as part-time.

"If anything I intend to work in a hospital because I have the heart for the people, especially the sick and depressed ones," says Sibeso.

Born to Kazie Lwano (now late) and Mukumbuta Inambao, a clinical officer at Monze District Hospital, Sibeso is the first born in the family of three.

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Friday, May 06, 2011

(HERALD) Police release MDCT's chronicle of intraparty violence

Police release MDCT's chronicle of intraparty violence
Friday, 06 May 2011 00:00
By Tendai Mugabe

THE MDCT is topping the national violence record despite the party's claims that its supporters are on the receiving end of political violence in the country.

Police have just released a report on MDCT intraparty violence countrywide from January to April this year, which shows that the party has been involved in more than 20 incidences of violence.

The report was released on Tuesday.

Most of the violence was committed in the build up to the party's national congress held in Bulawayo last week.

Acrimonious factionalism and skirmishes marred the MDCT provincial elections as party members jostled for positions.

According to the report, on April 25 some MDCT supporters disrupted the party's restructuring meeting convened by the MDCT Harare provincial secretary for administration Mr Willias Madzimure at Harvest House.

The report reveals that the supporters accused Mr Madzimure of nepotism and favouritism, resulting in clashes that prompted the police to intervene to restore order.

The report shows that another MDCT member's house, Mr Lucky Parehwa who is also the party's Zengeza West district chairperson was petrolbombed on March 31.

Investigations in the matter showed that the bombing was a result of factionalism within the MDCT. The election of Mr Parehwa as chairperson of Zengeza West district had not gone down well with other party members.

In Bulawayo, the report chronicles that an MDCT member identified as Zulu was attacked by unknown assailants wearing masks who accused her of supporting Mr Gorden Moyo for the party's Bulawayo provincial chairmanship post instead of Mr Matson Hlalo.

"On April 02, Mr Sesil Zvidzai (MDCT national council member) convened a meeting at around 1100 hours, to restructure Bulawayo ward.

"During the process, people aligned to Mr Hlalo started beating drums, singing and blowing vuvuzelas outside the venue. However, Ms Thokozani Khupe (deputy president) intervened and the exercise continued," the report reads.

The report also reveals that MDCT supporters clashed at a meeting at Kubatana Hall in Zvishavane after Ms Llewellyn Sibanda, the party's Midlands South provincial chairperson announced names of candidates. There was violence after it was noted that another member's name, Mr Alois Zhou, was missing from the list.

In Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West and Manicaland provinces, the elections were marred by intraparty violence after several names of prospective candidates for various positions were also omitted from the final lists.

No MDCT senior official could be reached for comment last night.

The police report comes at a time when MDCT leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai has publicly acknowledged during his party's congress in Bulawayo that intraparty violence is a problem.

Mr Tsvangirai told his supporters that the party had resolved to set an independent commission to investigate all cases of violence that rocked the party during the runup to the congress.

He said the culture of violence was not acceptable in the party. There were also some clashes in different provinces with different faction members fighting over who was supposed to travel to Bulawayo for the congress.

However, speaking while closing the congress, Mr Tsvangirai shifted goal posts saying he was now going to visit all the party's provinces to deal with violence. He also claimed ZanuPF was behind the violence that was rocking his party.

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(HERALD) EU not ready to lift sanctions

EU not ready to lift sanctions
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 23:10
Herald Reporter

THE EU has welcomed the progress in the on-going talks between the three parties in the inclusive Government, but still insists the bloc is not committed to immediately lift illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.

The 27-member bloc claims it is watching developments in Zimbabwe and its position on illegal sanctions would be reviewed in due course. EU representative to Zimbabwe, Mr Ado Dell’Aricia, said this yesterday while addressing journalists ahead of the celebrations to mark the EU Day on May 9.

“There is a process on-going in Zimbabwe with support from the region to normalise relations in the country and these are all encouraging signals and we are hopeful that they will lead to an election acceptable to all based on standards that do not necessarily meet EU standards but are standards that have been agreed by Sadc,” he said.

Mr Dell’Aricia said the removal of persons on the illegal sanctions list was an on-going exercise and would be determined by developments in the country.

“It is a continuing process and already several people were taken away from the list, the EU is ready to review the process based on the reports we receive from Zimbabweans,” Mr Dell’Aricia said.

The EU removed 35 people from the travel embargo in February this year and this followed revelations by whistleblower website that MDC-T secretary general Mr Tendai Biti was instrumental in determining the individuals that were denied entry into the bloc.

Mr Dell’Aricia said the EU hoped the three parties would make further progress in talks that were scheduled to be held in South Africa between the negotiators and the facilitation team representing Sadc-appointed mediator and South African president Mr Jacob Zuma.

The EU envoy denied that they had stalled negotiating with the Zimbabwe Government in favour of the Sadc effort.
“The Sadc senior officials visit to the EU is based on a resolution of August last year at the Sadc Summit held in Namibia.

They presented their position and the EU presented theirs,” he said.
Mr Dell’Aricia said dialogue between the EU and Zimbabwe had been transferred to Harare and they were now waiting for signals from Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs Ministry on the next dates for their meeting.

“There is political dialogue and it was transferred to Harare. We have held one meeting since the beginning of the year and we are likely to hold another one depending on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” he said.

Efforts to get a comment from the Minister of Foreign Affairs Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and the permanent secretary Mr Joey Bimha were fruitless yesterday.

The dialogue between the two parties stalled after some members of the Zimbabwean team including Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Chinamasa were denied visas to enter the EU.

Minister Chinamasa who is a member of the team was denied a visa on two occasions and was at one time detained at Frankfurt Airport in Germany on his way to attend the talks in Brussels, Belgium.

The team also includes Minister Mumbengegwi, Regional Integration and International Co-operation Minister, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma and senior Government officials.

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(HERALD) Smallholder tea, coffee farmers see red

Smallholder tea, coffee farmers see red
Friday, 06 May 2011 09:17
By Obert Chifamba recently in CHIPINGE

THE cool climate and the undulating plains of Manicaland have seen generations of people coming and going. For years they have nurtured thick bushes of lush green tea and coffee and have acted as the watershed of economic development and empowerment for many people.

Today, places like Honde Valley, Katiyo, Tanganda, Cashel Valley and Chipinge, traditional heavyweights in tea and coffee production, have experienced waning fortunes owing to a plethora of challenges.

The woes of the tea industry mirror the broad challenges afflicting the Zimbabwean economy at the moment and chief among them liquidity constraints, limited lines of credit and a capacity utilisation of around 60 percent.

This is not so because of lack of markets but lack of vibrant crop yields due to erratic rainfall patterns and the liquidity constraints on the back of the global economic recession.

Tea prices are beginning to firm internationally but this is only felt by large-scale producers like estates, which leaves the new farmers most of whom are in outgrower schemes still waiting on the fringes to get a bite of the cherry.

The price of tea is currently swinging between US$1,80 and US$2 for a kilogramme locally while the international markets are offering US$3 per kilogramme.

On the other hand, coffee prices are ranging from US$3,50 to US$4 on the local and international markets respectively.

Producers however feel the prices fall short of upsetting the high costs of production, which leave them unable to sustain their operations without seeking financial aid from other sources. They also find it difficult to penetrate the lucrative international markets.

"Our biggest undoing at the moment is the slow cash inflows that have left us unable to manage the leaf properly after harvesting and as a result the quality has not been good. This has also translated into very low prices," a farmer contracted to Tanganda's outgrower scheme Lloyd Nemadire said.

He added that it would only be fair if the farmers were able to sell their produce direct to the international markets and not go through middle buyers, which would mean less profit accruing to them.

Another farmer who requested anonymity said the fact that they did not have the resources to diversify into other activities made their situation more precarious as they did not have a fallback position in times of hardship.

Big players like Tanganda, have diversified into the agro and beverages business and have even received a PTA Bank certificate of effectiveness, which enables them to commence drawdown on their facility.

This is actually the second after the first disbursement of US$1,7 million two years ago that was directed to the agricultural division while the latest allocation is meant for tea processing, tractor purchase, factory equipment, beverages division and mechanical tea harvesters.

Tanganda has also ventured into producing macadamia avocado and vegetables to raise income streams that complement the tea cycle.

"We have engaged the University of Zimbabwe Department of Statistics to conduct research into the woe area of efficiencies, which though not complete, has shown that cost containment must be accompanied by other proactive measures to improve competitiveness.

"In addition, a Sri Lankan consultant was able to assist the team to ‘relearn' what the local team already knows, but which knowhow had receded owing to pressures on Zimbabwe's economy," explained Tanganda chief executive Andy Mills.

Places like Chipinge have unique weather patterns lending them to tea and coffee production as well as avocado and macadamia. Ultimately Chipinge is able to retain and employ indigenous people and even attract skills from neighbouring Mozambique.

The Herald recently established that it takes a year or so to establish a coffee or tea nursery, followed by land preparation, then planting after which the farmer starts reaping profits only in the fifth year. This is generally a period of heavy financial and input investment into the crop yet dry in terms of income for the farmer.

"Many farmers involved in outgrower schemes find it difficult to pull through this stage as there will be no income to support their families yet they will be investing a lot of time and human resources into the project. Some have even opted out of the schemes," a manager at Clear Water Tea Estates commented.

He added that most of the small-scale farmers did not have electricity and found it difficult to cure their tea and get good quality and competitive prices in the end.
"Even the big guys are suffering from power cuts at the moment. Tea should be plucked at three leaves and a bud after every 14 days and if it goes beyond this, the quality is grossly compromised.

"Our business is ruined if there is no power. From the field the leaves are withered, crushed, fermented and then dried using electricity so if supplies are erratic as has been the case recently, then we suffer heavy quality losses," he further explained.

Similarly, a manager at Chipinge Holdings Company where they grow coffee, macadamia and avocado pears said coffee production was capital intensive.

"The crop is highly susceptible to fusarium wilt, which if not controlled can cause severe damage and losses. It requires a lot of spraying and is labour intensive right from the nursery, planting, weeding, irrigation, fertilization and harvesting.

"Coffee prices have been very low in recent years. They are only beginning to firm but that is countered by high fertilizer costs. Compound J that is needed for the crop is locally very expensive with the price ranging between US$34 and US$36 per bag," he said.

Many players in the tea and coffee industry have since broadened their scope to accommodate alternative crops to raise their revenue levels.

Tanganda is replacing tea with macadamia and introducing avocado in areas where tea yields are falling below minimum thresholds.

There are already 120 000 hectares under macadamia, a hectarage that will be increased to 150 000ha by year-end while another 120 000ha will be put under avocado.
At the moment macadamia and avocados are making their debut on the markets but are not bringing much as they are being sold locally and unprocessed.

Macadamia nuts can be processed into soap, body lotions and cosmetics while the crushed nut can also be put on cakes.

Zimbabwe has just started exporting the product to South Africa, which in turn exports to Europe and England.

Locally, Chinese business people are buying the crop and sending to China but in both situations the producer is getting the least profits.

Avocados are also sold to markets in Bulawayo while Lever Brothers also absorbs part of the produce.

Producers would be comfortable selling a processed product that fetches a better price.

Tanganda has an outgrower scheme of approximately 1000 farmers.
These farmers benefit from a ready market for their product, and get quick payment for their commodity. The two parties have cultivated a win-win partnership.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) Zimbabwe threatens ban on western journalists

COMMENT - The West can't ban Zimbabwean journalists and then complain about press freedom in Zimbabwe, or anywhere else. And why do they call the Zimbabwean government's press secretary 'President Robert Mugabe's press secretary'? I guess they call him President Robert Mugabe now, which is a step up from 'Mugabe'. Anyway...

Zimbabwe threatens ban on western journalists
by Deutsche Presse-Agentur
05/05/2011 00:00:00

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's press secretary has threatened to reinstate a ban on Western journalists visiting Zimbabwe. The threat was "retaliation" for Zimbabwean state media journalists being refused entry to Europe, the official Herald newspaper reported.

"(Zimbabwean) journalists are being targeted to stop them from the lawful gathering of news outside Zimbabwe," George Charamba was quoted as saying. "This is seriously an attack on the media."

His comments came after Reuben Barwe, chief correspondent of the country's only television network, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), was refused entry to Italy to accompany Mugabe to the Vatican for the beatification of former pope John Paul II.

A power-sharing agreement reached between Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in 2009 saw the relaxation of draconian media controls.

Three independent newspapers have been allowed to go to press and the ban on foreign journalists was almost totally lifted. But journalists have continued to be arrested on charges of undermining Mugabe's authority, while Mugabe's Zanu PF party has staunchly refused to sanction new radio and television stations.

Barwe is one of six state media journalists, along with nearly 200 other members of Mugabe's inner circle, who are the subject of sanctions which prevent them from visiting Europe among other things.

Paris-based press watchdog Reporters Without Borders this week named Mugabe a media "predator," writing that it was "thanks to its president that Zimbabwes privately-owned print media are constantly harassed and that the state-owned ZBC has a monopoly of radio and TV broadcasting."

"Mugabe has no problem with the arbitrary arrests and harassment to which most of the country's journalists are exposed," the report added.

[So the answer is to put travel restrictions on members of the Zimbabwean press? How does that support press freedom? - MrK]

Last week, unidentified intruders broke into the offices of the independent NewsDay newspaper and stole editor Brian Mangwende's computer and hard drives.

The incident came days after the newspaper had reported that army commander and Mugabe loyalist Lieutenant General Constantine Chiwenga had had to be flown to China for urgent medical treatment.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) Tsvangirai backs indigenisation

COMMENT - To whom is indigenisation 'controversial', Mariam?

Tsvangirai backs indigenisation
by Mariam Isa I BusinessDay
06/05/2011 00:00:00

PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has voiced support for Zimbabwe's controversial indigenisation policy, which stipulates that locals should own at least 51% of the shares in foreign companies.

"Indigenisation is not about expropriation or nationalisation ... it’s about setting fair value," he said at a debate at the World Economic Forum in Cape Town .

It was the first time Zimbabwe’s opposition leader made clear he was in favour of the new laws, which took effect in March when foreign mining firms were given six months to sell a majority stake to local black investors.
Mining is one of the few profitable sectors in Zimbabwe and analysts warn indigenisation could curtail capital inflows.

"People have raised concerns about indigenisation," Tsvangirai told reporters. "Across the political divide we agree on the principle of citizenship empowerment."

Tsvangirai said what was important was how the new laws would be implemented. "We are trying to model a matrix that will satisfy both the investor and our desire to see people (participate more in the economy).
"We are contributing the mineral resource, you will exploit it and we will exploit it to the benefit of both of us.

"Companies want political stability and policy consistency, we have been consistent in the area of indigenisation."

Tongue in cheek, Tsvangirai asked a mining panel discussion why there was no metals exchange in Africa or a cartel such as Opec. He criticised the lack of accountability in Zimbabwe’s mining sector, saying that the fiscus had only received a few dollars from the industry.

"We can’t have this .... there must be accountability for how they are dispersed to the benefits of the population."

Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, a member of President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party in the coalition, welcomed Tsvangirai's remarks.

Kasukuwere said he was glad Tsvangirai has "said very clearly" the need for local people to share in resource wealth.

"Just as we talk about civil rights, so we must talk about platinum rights... What we seek to achieve is shared growth," the minister said, calling on western countries to lift sanctions on the country.

"The real issue that faces us is sanctions. Indigenisation is secondary to western sanctions."

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Tsvangirai accused of using mafia-style tactics

Tsvangirai accused of using mafia-style tactics
Posted by By Floyd Nkomo at 6 May, at 00 : 13 AM Print

MDC-T party leader Morgan Tsvangirai has been accused of running that party using ‘mafia-style’ tactics. The party was rocked by violence in the run-up to their Congress and the divisions now threaten to split the party.

“Many disgruntled party supporters now want to leave the MDC,” an MDC-T party member told The Zimbabwe Guardian on Wednesday. “Tsvangirai is running this party mafia-style, in secrecy, and we don’t have a clue what is transpiring in that party or where we are going.

Party leaders are being endorsed without proper electoral processes and this behaviour is unacceptable.”

Tsvangirai and his ‘Kitchen Cabinet’ are said to be mooting the idea of appointing a Council of Elders to accommodate those elements who have threatened to leave en masse after the National Congress, including some of the party’s founding members such as Engineer Elias Mudzuri.

Mudzuri left the Bulawayo Congress reduced to an ordinary card carrying member after losing the organising secretary post to Nelson Chamisa.

Sources within the party say the idea of setting up a Council of Elders is being pursued in an effort to pacify some supporters in Matabeleland and Masvingo who are not happy with the current status quo where their favourite leaders were demoted.

The Council of Elders as the sources claim will have a role of just rubber stamping decisions by the party’s top six.

“The problem with the MDC is that there are a lot of people who consider themselves founding members who should have important posts,” said our source.

“Look at Job Sikhala, he had to go and form what he thinks is an authentic party, MDC-99.

“Welshman Ncube and some members in his party also think they own the party.”

The likes of Mudzuri, Thamsanqa Mahlangu, Njabuliso Mguni, Editor Matamisa and other provincial executive members who lost their posts in the run-up to the Congress will be in such a council.

MDC-T provincial elections were characterized by violence.

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Oxford finds Sata’s concerns genuine

Oxford finds Sata’s concerns genuine
By George Chellah in London, UK
Fri 06 May 2011, 04:00 CAT

MICHAEL Sata seemed to be very genuine about his concern for Zambia, says Dr Abdul Raufu Mustapha.

Giving an assessment of Sata’s special lecture at the University of Oxford on Monday, Dr Mustapha, who is a lecturer in African Politics at the University of Oxford, said he found the PF leader to be quite an interesting politician. “He seemed to be very genuine about his concern for Zambia,” he said.

And Dr Justin Pearce, a postdoctoral research fellow, school of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London said in the academic world they spend a lot of time discussing and debating politics, often in quite an abstract way.

“So it was most refreshing to receive a visit from Michael Sata: someone whose lengthy career has been spent in the world of Zambian politics and who was able to speak in the first person of his experiences,” Dr Pearce said.

“…it was very interesting to hear his vivid account of the challenges he has faced over the last decade and how he has tried to get around them. Congratulations to Dr Nic Cheeseman and Sishuwa Sishuwa for organising the event; it takes a lot of effort and dedication.”

And Daniel Ostendorff, a PhD student in East African History and Politics said credit must be given to the organisers and the various sponsoring agencies for the opportunity to hear from Sata at the University of Oxford.

“It was clear in Mr Sata's lecture that the issues of poverty and unemployment are, for him, two of the most important issues facing Zambia. It was clear why the Zambian people have rallied around him in support,” Ostendorff said.

“Passionate, Mr Sata believes Zambia can become a different, and stronger, nation, but his solutions for achieving those goals must develop further in the coming months if they are to bring any lasting change to the Zambian people.”
And Simukai Tinhu, a graduate student in the MSc in African Studies, Oxford University, had his own way of assessing the event.
“When he arrived, Mr Sata walked towards the audience that was waiting outside the conference room, and then to my surprise straight towards me. He looked sternly into my eyes before he asked who I was.

I told him my name and that I was a student from Zimbabwe studying at Oxford. Mr Sata smiled and said ‘makadini!’ which means ‘How are you?’ in my native Shona language. We had a brief conversation in Shona before he walked into the conference room,” Tinhu said.

“This brief encounter left no doubt in my mind why he is adored so much, particularly by the grassroots populace. Mr Sata is such a man who makes you feel that you are part of his mission. By the time he started giving his lecture, I felt as if I was part of his project to overhaul the Zambian political landscape, which he says is marred by corruption.

“Invited by the University of Oxford through the African Studies Centre and the Department of Politics and International Relations, Mr Sata talked about a wide range of issues, from how he would fix the economy by attracting investment, balancing the budget, and overhauling the tax system.

But his main concern was corruption which he said had destroyed the country. Naming and shaming government officials from both Chiluba and Banda’s administrations, he emphasised on the need to revamp the Anti – Corruption Commission in Zambia.”

And Aubrey Kalungia, a Zambian graduate student in the MSc in Pharmacology, University of Oxford, said Sata provided a good portrait background to the landscape of his political career to the present day foundations of his party, the Patriotic Front and its agenda for Zambia.

“I was motivated by his progress on the political arena to rise from the shadows of MMD to lead one of the most popular political parties in Africa, whose movement has been a force to reckon with in Zambia over the years, the proof of which has been demonstrated by the University of Oxford inviting him here to speak at their seminar.

I won’t be surprised to learn that Sata has won this year’s presidential elections,” Kalungia said. “I found his lecture to have been very well suited for the motion of the seminar on Opposition Politics in Africa, as he highlighted in his speech the challenges, risks and futuristic gains that come from running a political party successfully in Africa, Zambia in particular.

He particularly closed his speech well by stating that the future of Zambia is in the hands of every Zambian both at home and abroad, and that political leaders are just there to facilitate the transition into development, and so let every Zambian stand up and be counted indeed”.

And Sishuwa Sishuwa, a Zambian final year graduate student in the Masters of Science in African Studies programme at the University of Oxford, who is also working on Sata’s political biography for his dissertation, said the manner in which Sata easily related to people has overwhelmed many.

“It is the charismatic aspect of Sata’s personality that is simply so irresistible. People came all the way from Cambridge and Sheffield and even South Africa just to listen to Sata speak.

It is clearly evident that they are absolutely delighted that the PF leader came and more importantly delivered such an excellent speech in which he highlighted a number of crucial factors that militate against opposition parties in Zambia and Africa in general, and how he and the PF have attempted to deal with such obstacles,” he said.

Sishiwa said it was the hope of most people who attended the lecture that regardless of the outcome of the elections, Sata would be able to come back to Oxford and share his reflections of the aftermath of the forthcoming elections.

“In no small measure, I feel greatly humbled as one of the two organisers of this highly successful event that so many people could travel from afar, from all corners of the United Kingdom, from various disciplines of the University of Oxford and indeed from around Oxford city itself to lend importance and dignity to this historic occasion,” Sishuwa said.

“Historic in the sense that never before has the University of Oxford officially invited and hosted a Zambian political figure and even better of Sata’s stature and pedigree.

And we are glad that Sata agreed to come and offer the keynote address and share his political experiences with us on this year’s Oxford Research Network on Governance in Africa (OReNGA) Special Lecture at the University of Oxford. It is not so often that one comes in contact with future history. I am therefore delighted that today, history has not only stared into my face but also recognised and summoned my dutiful participation in its making"

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(STICKY) (MnG, SAPA) Malema: 'We're economic freedom fighters'

COMMENT - Julius Malema is the way ahead for a strong and independent Africa.

Malema: 'We're economic freedom fighters'

ANC Youth League president Julius Malema said his organisation wanted 60% of Anglo American, City Press reported on Sunday. Malema was speaking at a gala dinner in Nelspruit on Friday. He said Anglo could do as it pleased with the remaining 40%.

Malema predicted that the nationalisation of South African mines would occur during his lifetime. "Share that delicious piece of cake. Don't eat it all alone!" he said to loud applause. Malema said unemployment was the cause of recent political unrest, and nationalisation was the way to solve it.
The youth league did not advocate taking over all white businesses, it just wanted its fair share, he said.

"If we don't do it [nationalisation], we'll always stay poor. The Oppenheimers don't need to worry because we only want 60% of Anglo American's money," he said.

'Having babies is a revolutionary thing'

Malema said Anglo had agreed to give 51% of its mining interests to black people in Botswana and asked why the company did not want to do the same in South Africa. He accused the mining giant of thinking black people were idiots and of abusing the black population in South Africa.

Malema said political freedom was useless without economic freedom.

"We're now economic freedom fighters. The revolution started to get food. We don't have to apologise, or be shy about this struggle."

He urged a packed hall at the Ehlanzeni District Municipality building to prevent the revolution from losing steam by having as many babies as possible.

"Having babies is a revolutionary thing. You must reproduce!"

Anglo American was not available for comment. - Sapa

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(STICKY) (MnG, SAPA) Malema: This land is ore land, this land is my land

COMMENT - Julius Malema is the future. He has justice, demographics, and economics on his side.

Malema: This land is ore land, this land is my land

Calling for SA to stop exporting raw minerals, ANCYL president Julius Malema has also outlined the league's plans for land expropriation and nationalisation of mines.

The government must stop exporting raw minerals to encourage the establishment of industries to process them locally, ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema said in Pretoria on Thursday.

"With greater state control and participation and ownership of mineral resources, our national budget will have the capacity to be increased and would take care of social responsibilities of the state," Malema told the National Press Club during a talk about the league's programme of action for economic freedom.

He said the problem was that minerals were exported in raw form, only to be imported in their processed state.

"We think we need to deal with that particular situation, we need to beneficiate resources in South Africa."


Malema said the ANC's national general council (NGC) had developed greater consensus on the league's proposal of putting control of the country's mines in the hands of the state. A team was currently investigating the best model of nationalisation that would not plunge the economy into a disaster.

"Leave all the other things that others are saying. When we were going to NGC, they said nationalisation was not on the agenda although it was, and when (it) passed through they still said there were no talks on nationalisation."

Another item on the league's programme was land expropriation. The league wants all land, except residential, to belong to the state. This expropriation without compensation should be done with due consideration for laws and legislation.

"When they took over our land, those owning it today, they never gave anybody compensation. Therefore it will be incorrect to demand that they must get anything from us.

"We have not enough money to buy this land, and if we take the little money we have, we run the risk of failing very important service delivery issues like quality education, housing, sanitation, electricity and water.

"We are trying to address the problem created for us by the colonisers and therefore we cannot be persuaded otherwise because we feel very strongly about this and we need to reverse the crisis caused by colonisers."

Licence to till

Once the state had ownership of the land, Malema reasoned, those who wanted to use it would have to apply for licences, would not be granted leases longer than 30 years, and would have to explain how their use of it would benefit the people.

The government would provide those who intended using land for agriculture with the resources to ensure it remained productive.

He criticised the slow pace at which land was being handed back to blacks, saying only 5% was being transferred every 20 years.

"In 100 years we will have transferred 20%. I'm not prepared to be part of that failure. Hence this radical programme action and need for political will from leadership of ANC."

Malema questioned the government's tendering system, saying it had plunged the country into "political crisis".

Political crisis

"The state depends too much on the tendering system and this has created a political crisis."

Shoddy work was being provided by "corrupt companies, some of which are working with political leadership".

"Everything is outsourced, including cleaning and security services... we want a state that has capacity to deal with all those things." -- Sapa

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Thursday, May 05, 2011

(TALKZIMBABWE) Indigenisation, a win-win situation: Kasukuwere

Indigenisation, a win-win situation: Kasukuwere
Posted by By Ralph Mutema at 5 May, at 13 : 47 PM

THE National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board has now taken over all negotiations pertaining to compliance with the indigenisation law particularly in the mining sector as Government moves to consolidate the programme.

In an interview on Wednesday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on Africa, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, said there was no going back on compliance but stressed the NIEEB would sit down with all parties involved to come up with a win-win situation.

“The board will have technical teams and determine the true value of companies and what contributions the State has made. They will liase with banks, legal experts and others in determining negotiations.

“Contrary to some beliefs, I am not trying to grab anything. I am not forcing anybody … we are just sitting down to discuss business,” said Kasukuwere in apparent reference to reports that his ministry had taken a confrontational approach to pursue selfish means under the indigenisation drive.

“We want to determine the true value of a company and ascertain how much investments have been made and the value of minerals in the ground to determine ownership.

“You shall see that at the end of the day the Government might even own more than 51 percent in some instances going by what will be on the ground,” he said.

Such discussions were currently being pursued with Zimplats, Unki Mine and New Dawn, among others.

Figures were already on the table in terms of the true value of such operations viz-a-viz what the State should own.

“It is important to appreciate the fact that the Government of Zimbabwe and the people of Zimbabwe have value in their resources and it is that value which will form the basis of agreements.

“If value (of minerals in the ground) is higher than investments ,it means we have a higher value already.”

Government on one hand, and the companies on the other, would both bring value to the table, which would then determine ownership.

Under the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act, the Government wants locals to own at least 51 percent shareholding in foreign owned companies with an annual turnover of US$500,000 per annum, though there is a provision to allow more shares to be owned by foreigners in some selected sectors.

Kasukuwere said Zimbabwe’s heritage was in her resources hence the need to redress ‘skewed’ ownership that had existed for too long.

He stressed the need for all ministries to play their part in the indigenisation process. This would also help unlock value in the various sectors of the economy as platforms for wider ownership of the economy.

“Zimbabwe must restore the true value of her assets. There is no other source of funding that we can expect from anybody that is outside our resources.”

NIEEB would warehouse shares, while a significant portion would be allocated to such groups as women, farmers, war veterans and other interest groups.

These would then secure funding for their respective business activities through offering shares as security to banks and other lenders.

This would in turn, help finance other business projects, thus generating more wealth.

“Every deal should be done transparently so that there is no doubt in terms of construction of the deal and the accruing of benefits so that those that want to line themselves will be ridiculed.

“We are taking no prisoners to ensure that there is transparency and order. We are not doing this (indigenisation) to impoverish our people but to see them succeed,” said Minister Kasukuwere.

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(NYASATIMES) Two Ethiopian nationals die in Malawi prison

Two Ethiopian nationals die in Malawi prison
By Nyasa Times
Published: May 5, 2011

An Ethiopian national has died while serving a four-month jail term in northern Malawi for entering that country illegally, authorities have confirmed.

Prison spokesperson Austin Mwasangwale said the convict died of malaria Wednesday barely five days after he begun serving his 120 days of imprisonment with hard labour.

The deceased identified as 31-year-old Moradi Hadallo hailed from Dulame district in Ethiopia and was part of 126 Ethiopian and Somali nationals currently serving various jail terms at the northern region city of Mzuzu and lakeshore district of Nkhata Bay respectively.

Mwasangwale said the deceased was admitted at Nkhata Bay District Hospital after opening bowels before being diagnosed of malaria.

“His body is being kept at Mzuzu Central Hospital morgue. At the moment, authorities from various departments are banging heads on how to repatriate the body,” explained the spokesperson.

His death comes barely a day after police reported that another Ethiopian, Mulafu Abul, 26, had also died after complaining of general body pains and diarrhea and died two days later in hospital.

The 126 were committed to prison late last month after they failed to pay fines ranging from K5000 to K8000 (about US$32 to US$52) after the court found them guilty of entering the country illegally.

A few days later, the court slapped 74 more Ethiopians and Somalis with similar fines but they too failed to pay and were committed to same prisons.

Currently confirmed reports say Mzuzu and Nkhata Bay Prisons have 102 and 98 Ethiopians and Somalis respectively.

Malawi Police in the region have so far arrested about 200 Ethiopians and Somalis for illegally entering the country. Most of them, aged between 17 and 34, pay hefty sums of money to crooked Malawians and people of other nationalities to facilitate their illegal movement.

Generally, these illegal foreigners arrive in Malawi very exhausted and frail after walking for long distances spending days and nights with insufficient foods.

There are over 11000 refugees in Malawi who have been escaping from their countries because of hunger and wars.

Malawi prisons are ‘death traps’ for inmates plagued by overcrowding, malnutrition and rampant disease and that prisoners continue to suffer conditions which are generally poor; in some cases these amount to deliberate cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.–(Reporting by Felie Mzumara, Nyasa Times)



(NYASATIMES) Bande supported Bingu’s demo directive

Bande supported Bingu’s demo directive
By Nyasa Times
Published: May 4, 2011

Malawi’s Minister of Lands and Housing, John Bande , who is embroiled in housing scam at MHC, vehemently supported President Bingu wa Mutharika directive that ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) member should hold street demonstrations in support of his unpopular deportation of British High Commissioner Fergus Cochrane-Dyet.

Nyasa Times sources learnt that Mutharika gave the directive at DPP National Governing Council (NGC) held on April 30 that the party functionaries should stage the demonstrations in all the three regions of Malawi to give the impression to the international community at large that people in Malawi are happy and supportive of his decision to expel the British High Commissioner.

Top government sources told Nyasa Times that the story which appeared in The Nation on Wednesday about the demonstration against British envoy was “credible.”

“Our colleague who always becomes over-zealous when in front of the President, Hon. John Bande, supported the President’s directive by adding that all of us Cabinet Ministers and NGC members should lead the demonstrations by walking in front of the marchers in our respective regions,” added a senior official of the party.

But presidential spokesman Hetherwick Ntaba refused to comment on the meeting which was held at the New State House.

The country’s opposition parties, civil society and religious organizations have widely and openly condemned the President’s decision to expel the British envoy as being myopic and potentially harmful to the country’s well-being. The British Government has since retaliated by ordering the deportation of Malawi’s acting High Commissioner to the U.K. Flossie Gomile Chidyaonga, who has since returned home. –Nyasa Times

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(LUSAKATIMES) Annual population growth rate ‘ outwits ‘ job creation rate

COMMENT - I just saw a tv gidget on population growth, 'especially in Africa' - I guess everone has just 'forgotten' about the so-called HIV epidemic, which was supposed to depopulate large parts of Africa (if anyone remembers the 1980s and 1990s). Beware of messaging and manipulation. Whenever capitalism fails, instead of changing the system, the cry becomes 'there are too many people'. I would say there are too few people in Africa. We need more people for agriculture, manufacturing, infrastructure, etc.

Annual population growth rate ‘ outwits ‘ job creation rate
TIME PUBLISHED - Thursday, May 5, 2011, 2:49 pm

Kalabo District Commissioner (DC ) Jeff Nalishuwa says the annual population growth rate of the nation of 2.8 percent does not correspond with the job creation rate rate in the nation.

Mr. Nalishuwa says that there has increasing unemployment in the formal sector. The area DC was speaing when he officiated at this year’s Labour Day Celebrations in Kalabo last Sunday.

He indicated that government has come up with institutions such as the Citizen Empowerment Commission [CEEC] to help citizens initiate entrepreneurship projects.

” This was one way the country could create more employment and depend less on foreign investors who could decide to relocate to other countries when they felt like doing so, ” he said.

The D.C. said that government would like to see more Zambians involved in establishing manufacturing industries and thus create job security, equity and decent employment.

This is as reflected in the Sixth National Development Plan [SNDP], whose strategic focus was realizing broad-based pro-poor growth,employment creation and human development, he said.

And speaking at the same function, Zambia Congress of Trade Union [ZCTU] Kalabo District Secretary Mukanwa Mukanwa says his union was aware of increased some unscrupulous employers who were victimizing and exploiting Zambian workers.

Mr. Mukanwa said this was the said employers, mostly foriegners were deliberately taking advantage of the high unemployment rate in the country.

He said that said that extreme poverty in Zambia has bred a dangerous working environment were many workers were willing to suffer abuse by their employers for fear of losing the little they earn.




(LUSAKATIMES) Sata favoured to win, Center for Policy Dialogue Poll shows

Sata favoured to win, Center for Policy Dialogue Poll shows
TIME PUBLISHED - Thursday, May 5, 2011, 2:43 pm

Patriotic Front president Michael Sata is the most preferred candidate ahead of this year’s polls according to the opinion poll conducted by the Center for Policy Dialogue.

CPD executive director Neo Simutanyi announced in Lusaka this morning that if elections were held today, PF president Michael Sata would get overall 31 percent of the votes, closely followed by MMD’s Rupiah Banda with 28 percent, with Hakainde Hichilema getting 12 percent.

Dr. Simutanyi further stated that in terms of voter preference of a political party, the Patriotic Front is likely to obtain the largest number of votes if elections were held today, with 29 percent of voters favoring the largest opposition political party.

He adds that the MMD would get 27 percent with the United Party for National Development getting 10 percent of vote preference.

Dr Simutanyi says his organization conducted a public opinion with a national representative sample of 1,200 registered Zambian voters.

He says the poll was conducted from 14th to the 24th of April 2011 and it covered all the nine provinces of the country and 19 districts.

He observed that a closer examination of electoral preferences suggests that there has been little shift from the 2006 and 2008 scenarios.

Dr. Simutanyi stated that the PF and Michael Sata still command support in their traditional areas of Lusaka, Copperbelt, Luapula and Northern Provinces.

He further observed that the support of all major parties declined significantly from 2008 elections in the areas they claim to have support.

The opinion poll further reveals that 47 percent of Zambians consider overall government performance so far as poor or very poor.

He says 43 percent of the respondents reported that they do not approve the performance of president Rupiah Banda.


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28 new media houses open in Zimbabwe

COMMENT - Please explain again how Zimbabwe is 'a dictatorship'.

28 new media houses open in Zimbabwe
By Kingsley Kaswende
Wed 04 May 2011, 13:50 CAT

Zimbabwe has licenced 28 new media houses over the past 15 months, a media commissioner has revealed. Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) chairman Godfrey Majonga said at an event to mark World Press Freedom Day that despite working on a constrained budget, his commission had managed to open media space by licensing various media houses.

“Since assuming office in February 2010, ZMC has met with challenges militating against the rolling out of action meant to improve the media environment for the benefit of all stakeholders,” he said.

“Notwithstanding budgetary constraints which characterise all Government funded entities, the commission managed to achieve much with very limited resources. Since assuming office, the commission managed to issue out licences to 28 new houses.”

Zimbabwe is carrying out media reforms in accordance with the provisions of the agreement that established the inclusive government two years ago.

The reforms are part of the requirement for the country to conduct democratic elections that will end the inclusive government.

Previously, the country had a regime of stringent media laws that saw the banning of various foreign media, closure of newspapers and radio stations as well as several arrests of journalists.

But the media space is now opening up thanks to reforms the inclusive government is pursuing.

However, Majonga bemoaned the uncompetitive remuneration in the media industry.
He said the high number of newspapers on the market should translate to competitiveness in salaries earned by journalists.

At the same occasion, Zimbabwe’s information minister Webster Shamu said journalists in the country must operate freely but within the confines of the law.

Shamu said the country had law that needed to be respected by all people living and working in it.

“We will leave no stone unturned in ensuring genuine freedom of journalists and media houses,” Shamu said.

“Media houses should operate freely but freely in terms of our own laws.”
He said mass media should be encouraged to play a positive role in educating and raising awareness of the public about developmental goals.

Shamu said people had the right to enjoy equal rights, solidarity and self-determination through communication and information.

“Governments are obligated to set up complaints procedures entitling citizens to pursue complaints against mass media services and obtain redress without having to hire expensive lawyers,” he said.

The Zimbabwe chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) urged the Zimbabwean government to open up the electronic media space in accordance with international declarations.

The electronic media space continues to be closed with no licence being granted since the reforms began.

“MISA-Zimbabwe however, notes with great concern that 10 years after the crafting of the African Charter on Broadcasting (ACB) and enactment of the Braodcasting Services Act (BSA), Zimbabwe is still far from fulfilling the three-tier broadcasting system as envisaged under the Charter. The three-tier system comprises public broadcasting, private commercial broadcasting and establishment of community radio stations,” MISA stated.

“A majority of the 14-member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) now boast of a plethora of privately owned broadcasting stations and community radio stations. Zimbabwe thus remains stagnated as a monolithic pariah state whose airwaves continue to be monopolised by the state controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).

While the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) has taken commendable steps towards fulfilling the obligations of the Windhoek Declaration for a diversified, pluralistic and independent media environment by licensing more than 20 media houses in the print sector, the broadcasting media environment remains restricted and constricted.”

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Non-partisan royal establishments

Non-partisan royal establishments
By The Post
Thu 05 May 2011, 04:00 CAT

IT is surprising that the people who banned our traditional rulers, our chiefs from actively taking part in the politics of our country are the ones today in the forefront of asking them for endorsement in this year’s elections.

If it is wrong for traditional rulers or chiefs to contest political office in an election, it should be equally unacceptable for them to be agents of those seeking elective political office.

All that this means is that our traditional rulers have to come to terms with what it means to live in a multiparty political dispensation. And in our view, the best option is for them to take a non-partisan approach to politics and governance issues in our country. There is need for our traditional rulers to put themselves above partisan politics.

This is not to say they should have nothing to do with politics, they should not speak for their people. They have a duty to remind the government, the politicians in power to pay attention to the human needs and sufferings of their subjects. This is their responsibility, a responsibility they have to fulfil if they are to continue being relevant to the lives of their subjects. They have the duty to speak for their subjects, especially the poor and the disadvantaged.

This means that our traditional rulers will still be political, but not partisan. It is their duty to guide our politicians, especially those in government, in matters that affect the lives of their subjects. They have a duty to contribute toward the reign of justice and charity within the borders of their chiefdoms and between chiefdoms.

The choice of which political party or candidate to vote for is left to the free decision of the subjects.

Our traditional rulers have both the right and the duty to speak out on matters that affect their subjects. They have both the right and duty to participate fully in building a just and peaceful society with all the means at their disposal. A traditional authority is not fully rooted among its people if it is not concerned about their wellbeing.

Our traditional rulers should value the democratic system inasmuch as it ensures the participation of their subjects in making political choices, guaranteeing them the possibility of electing and holding accountable the politicians who govern them, and replacing them through peaceful means when appropriate. However, this does not require them to be partisan, to be agents or supporters of any political party or candidate.

Taking a partisan position threatens the respect and integrity of our traditional rulers. What should stop a subject who does not support the same political party or candidate as their chief from criticising the chief and his political choice? And what happens if the chief happens to be supporting the most unpopular party or candidate?

The end result is that the chief will alienate himself from his people. And his survival will not be based on the prestige and support he enjoys from his people but from the protection he is given by the politicians he supports.

But what type of chief will that be? It is said a chief is a chief because of the respect and support he has from people, from his subjects. A chief without subjects is not a chief. A chief who has been deserted by his people ceases to be a chief; he is as good as a dethroned chief. It’s the support of subjects and their respect that makes a chief a chief.

Partisan politics threaten all this; it has the tendency to bring the chief into conflict with his subjects. Look at the situation in Southern Province where the chiefs had been supporting MMD and Rupiah Banda while their subjects have been voting for UPND. Where does this leave the chiefs? What influence can they claim to have on their people?

What leadership can they claim to be providing to their subjects? Can they even really claim to have subjects?
If what we hear about the Barotse Royal Establishment deciding to be non-partisan is true, then they are headed for better things, for better days and for more prestige and respect among their subjects.

This is what has helped the British Monarch, the Queen of England, to continue enjoying the respect of most of the British people and their politicians. It is believed that the British royal family is much more politically inclined towards the Conservatives.

But it’s difficult to see this in their daily actions and pronouncements. They don’t seem to have any influence on who is elected to form government. The commoners elect their own governments and those governments, in turn, work with the monarch to govern the country.

It will be better for our royal establishments in Zambia to keep away from becoming election agents or servants of politicians who come and go, who win and lose elections.

Moreover, their subjects are spread across the whole political spectrum. This being the case, where do they place those who don’t support the political party or candidate they support? What type of cooperation can be there between them and their subjects who are on the other end of the political spectrum?

We know that our royal establishments are facing a lot of financial hardships because their source of income, the royalties or taxes they used to receive have been taken away from them. But the solution is not partisan politics or political patronage.

The solution lies in the enactment of a good constitution and laws that recognise and respect the role they play in the governance of our country and accordingly supporting them financially and otherwise. Again, this should not be an act of benevolence on the part of any individual politician.

It should be a product of national consensus and decision to give to the chiefs what belongs to the chiefs – it is simply a question of giving to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and not making Caesar beg or play servitude over what belongs to him.

The decision we should make is whether or not we need all these royal establishments in our country. If we need them, they have to be supported financially and otherwise in a dignified manner. If we don’t need them, let’s say so and do away with them.

There are countries that have abolished monarchs. But we have also seen countries which are reinstating the monarchs they had abolished. The choice is ours. But there are always better ways of doing things and let’s do it the best way, whatever effort this demands or calls for.
We have to take responsibility as a people for the type of traditional rulers or chiefs we have.

Since we are the ones who make them chiefs, we should be responsible for what type of chiefs we have. We should take responsibility for the type of traditional leadership we are creating in this country. In the end, what we get is the type of traditional rulers or chiefs we deserve.



Sata seeks help on electoral process

Sata seeks help on electoral process
By George Chellah in London, UK
Thu 05 May 2011, 04:00 CAT

MICHAEL Sata has requested the donor community to assist in establishing a credible electoral system in Zambia. The PF leader said this when he was hosted by Chatham House – an independent British ‘think-tank’ - on international affairs during his ongoing visit to the United Kingdom at the invitation of University of Oxford where he gave a special lecture.

Sata said if the Zambian electoral system was applied in the US, Britain and South African elections, President Barrack Obama, Prime Minister David Cameron and President Jacob Zuma could not have been elected leaders, respectively.

“Where we are going is very dangerous. If I had not appealed to the Zambian people in 2006 and 2008 elections what is happening in Egypt would have been a child’s picnic,” Sata said. “We have to be very careful and that’s where you people should be careful too. Chatham House can assist to remodel and rebuild the world through peace.”

Sata said Zambia was headed for a disaster under President Rupiah Banda’s leadership.

He said Zambia was headed for a disaster especially that President Banda had abandoned the fight against corruption and was determined to fragment the opposition political parties.

“If a person is behaving that way ,he cannot guarantee peace,” he said.
Sata said Zambians relied on donors to voice their concerns on various issues relating to governance but a strong diplomatic voice was currently lacking in the country.

“The government is just quarrelling with the Catholics because they are the ones speaking,” he said.

On corruption, Sata regretted the turn of events in the fight against graft in the country.

“I must apologise, the British government helped us to fight corruption but when Levy Mwanawasa died, the person who was his Vice-President when he took over abandoned the fight against corruption,” Sata said.

He urged the international community to intervene immediately before the country is faced with problems.

Sata said the PF’s plans for the country included, among other key objectives, improving the social services.

He said he had experience in running government and understood the difficulties that come with the task.

When asked about Chinese investment, Sata said Zambia wanted to have a smart partnership with the Chinese.

However, Sata emphasised the need for Zambia to revive its close relationship with the British government.

“Our number one aim will be to revive that relationship, Zambia needs to benefit from the relationship and vice-versa. We need to bring back the tradition,” said Sata.

Sata, who was accompanied by Bob Sichinga and Dr Kasukwa Mutukwa was received by Chatham House Africa Programme head, director: regional and security studies, Alex Vines, who was also flanked by Markus Weimer, Africa programme research fellow.

And Dr Mutukwa, who is former SADC parliamentary forum executive director, during the meeting, said the Zambian government had rejected the usage of the Parallel Vote Tabulation system during this year’s general elections.

“They are claiming that it has never been done, which is not true,” he said.
He called on the international community to intervene.

“It’s a contribution which can be made by friends of Zambia and friends of democracy,” said Dr Mutukwa.

Chatham House is a world acclaimed British research institute on world affairs. The first and last Zambian to have visited and been hosted by the institute was Dr Kenneth Kaunda.

The Chatham House wanted to be updated on the developments in Zambia ahead of this year’s general elections.

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Zambia will get K800bn from sale of Equinox, says Simuusa

COMMENT - The MMD is clearly mismanaging the mining sector and the economy. These deals have to be turned back. It is completely unacceptable that in a country with 40% malnutrition, the government can just get rid of the windfall tax, and be this uninterested in benefiting from the mining industry. Of course they personally benefit from taking bribes to do just that, which is why their excuses make no sense.

Zambia will get K800bn from sale of Equinox, says Simuusa
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Wed 04 May 2011, 16:30 CAT

ZAMBIA will get US$171 million (over K800 billion) from the imminent US$7.68 billion sale of Equinox Minerals, the parent company for Lumwana Mining Company, reveals Wylbur Simuusa. And Simuusa says President Rupiah Banda was celebrating deprivation of Zambians by ground-breaking a large-scale Trident mine wholly-owned by foreigners.

Simuusa, who is Patriotic Front chairman for mines, said Zambia’s low stake in Lumwana Mining Company would result in the country getting a paltry amount from the country’s record transaction in the mining sector. Barrick Gold agreed to buy Equinox Minerals, whose Lumwana Mining Company, built for over US$1 billion in Solwezi is Equinox Mineral’s primary asset while other operations include a copper development project in Saudi Arabia.

“Hon Maxwell Mwale mines minister should explain what’s going to be the future of ZCCM-IH’s stake in the new company after Barrick Gold takes over Lumwana Equinox Minerals,” said Simuusa, who is also Nchanga Constituency member of parliament. “Because as things stand now, we are only going to receive about US $171 million from this deal but our shareholding might be diluted. So, let Mwale explain.”

Both finance minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane and Mwale could not be reached by press time as their mobile phones went unanswered. Simuusa also regretted that the government position on the transaction of the Lumwana magnitude remained unclear despite the country hosting the mines.

And Simuusa says President Banda was worsening the poverty levels in the country by creating an environment that exclusively favoured growth of the foreign capital. Simuusa regretted that President Banda went to celebrate the opening of the new mine with little benefits for the country.

During the official opening of the over US$1 billion First Quantum Minerals Trident mining in North Western Province, a project to be heralded by Kalumbila Mines in Solwezi, President Banda said it was gratifying that the mining sector had become viable again and contributing significantly to the economic growth of the country. President Banda hailed the Trident project as a boost to economic and social wellbeing of people in Solwezi and the country as a whole.

But Simuusa said President Banda was depriving the Zambian people of their birthright by abrogating the Zambian laws on mining which stipulated that Zambia, through ZCCM-IH needed to retain 35 per cent stake in new mining projects. “What was the President groundbreaking and celebrating about when we don’t have a single share in Trident,” said Simuusa.

In the absence of the windfall tax, and the in view of the projected high copper prices, the future is that we should start increasing our stake in these mines, especially new ones and in that way, we will be benefiting from higher copper prices in the future, that’s more pertinent. But there you have the President celebrating where we are losing out. And since the shareholding is not being handled properly, the foreigners in the end will get everything while we will be left yawning and quarrelling among ourselves. So, the celebration by the President doesn’t make sense.”

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Keep local jobs for Zambians - South African envoy

Keep local jobs for Zambians - South African envoy
By Kombe Chimpinde
Thu 05 May 2011, 04:01 CAT

DO not give away jobs for Zambians to foreigners, South African High Commissioner to Zambia Moses Chikane has advised.

In an interview, High Commissioner Chikane said that it was possible to achieve a higher employment rate in view of the current economic growth and increased investments Zambia was experiencing.

He observed that the benefits from Zambia’s economic growth recorded due to increased foreign investments was not trickling down to the majority because it was not creating jobs for them.

“Foreign investments must translate into job creation. Zambians should not give away jobs to foreigners. We should create jobs for Zambians, that’s the only way you (government) can distribute wealth amongst your people,” High Commissioner Chikane said.

He said that the government should take advantage of the steady growth of the country’s economy by creating more employment for Zambians.

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BRE’s non-partisan stance cheers Milupi

BRE’s non-partisan stance cheers Milupi
By Mwala Kalaluka
Thu 05 May 2011, 04:01 CAT

IT is pleasing that the Barotse Royal Establishment has clarified that it is a neutral and non-partisan institution which does not support any political party, says Charles Milupi.

And dialogue between the MMD government and the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) over the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 controversy has commenced with the government asking for more time.

Milupi, who is Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) leader and Luena parliamentarian, said it was pleasing that the BRE clarified that the statement that was attributed to the acting Ngambela in the public media was not correct.

“That should bring shame to those that were claiming that they were supporting them when in fact not,” Milupi said.

“That is the stance that all of us as politicians and those of us who are subjects of BRE, that is the stance that we expected and in fact it is a parental stance.”

Milupi said any politician regardless of their political inclination should feel comfortable to approach and discuss with the BRE.

“With regard to the statement made earlier, yes it raised concern,” he said.
Milupi said the major concern was how the MMD government was trying to abuse the chiefs using the public media to incorrectly reflect and sensationalise issues relating to traditional leaders.

“I know the BRE very well. It is a renowned institution and I didn't believe for one minute that that was the correct position of the BRE,” Milupi said. “We have seen the same in Southern Province.”

Milupi said the MMD government was desperately and corruptly trying to reduce the status of chiefs because it had realised that it was losing ground.

And highly-placed government sources told The Post on Tuesday that the government finally responded to a petition presented to President Rupiah Banda by the Barotse National Council (BNC) at State House early this year.

Recently, the BRE's acting Ngambela Litia Walubita said the traditional establishment was concerned with the delay by the government to respond to the suggestions of the BNC on how to resolve the problems arising from the Barotseland Agreement.

“Dialogue has started but the government has asked for some time to study the petition. They are saying if they rush it dialogue, the issue might not be addressed completely. They want to find a permanent solution,” the source said.

“Some reply came from the government to say ‘we are looking at that issue, give us a bit of time’. The government replied and the BRE agreed to give them a bit of time, although the government did not specify the time frame.”

The sources said senior chief Inyambo Yeta of Sesheke, senior chief Anang'anga Imwiko of Lukulu, senior chief Amukena Isiteketo of Kaoma and the Litunga of the South, met in Mongu recently to assure the people that the process of dialogue with the government over the Barotseland Agreement had not been abandoned.

But 92-year-old Maxwell Mututwa says the dialogue over the Barotseland Agreement should be finalised before the general elections and should also include the ordinary people of Western Province.

Mututwa, said on Tuesday that the people of Western Province were still in deep sorrow following the death of 70-year-old former treason accused Mwiya Sihope and 16-year-old Mumbwa Barotse detainee, Kabayo Kabayo.

“These children did not fight anyone. They were arrested and it seems the government was fighting with ghosts because the police was getting people from their homes. So who caused the violence?” Mututwa asked. “The police shot and killed people but none has been arrested.”

Mututwa said the people that died over the Barotseland Agreement issue should be honoured.

“That is why we are asking Rupiah Banda to release all the detainees because whatever the police are saying against them are all lies. They arrested people from their homes not on the roads. No one was caught rioting. This government is just troubling these people,” Mututwa said.

Mututwa further complained over the continued police presence in the province, saying such numbers of security agents went to places where there was a war.

“We are asking the Barotse National Council to look at all these issues so that the BRE and the people work together,” Mututwa said. “People of Western Province don't want MMD because MMD has killed innocent people. The people have rejected the MMD.”

Mututwa said only an all-inclusive dialogue strategy could chart the way forward over the issue.

“The people want dialogue before the elections are held and Rupiah Banda should release all the detainees because they are innocent,” Mututwa said.

He said the government should allow the people to hold public meetings over the Barotseland Agreement without instructing the police to arrest or shoot anyone, as this was the only way the government could get the people's true feelings.

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Hansungule urges Rupiah to come out clean over arms deal

Hansungule urges Rupiah to come out clean over arms deal
By Bright Mukwasa
Thu 05 May 2011, 04:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda should respond to specific allegations raised if he claims he does not know anything about the US$100 million arms deal revealed by George Mpombo, says Professor Michelo Hansungule.

Prof Hansungule said in an interview that President Banda should promote constitutionalism as enshrined by coming out clean over the scandal.

“It is a gross violation of the Constitution (Article 44 (1) and, therefore, offensive to the principles of dignity and leadership for the Head of State to even have his name mentioned in scandal.

President Banda has a duty to uphold the Constitution. If, as he claims he does not know anything about George Mpombo’s allegations, why should he not respond to the specific allegations the latter has raised?” Prof Hansungule asked.

He said it could be better for the President to submit the scandal to an independent inquiry which would establish the facts and shame the alleger.

“The public resources the President is accused of trying to influence to the benefit of his son and, therefore, to him belong to the poor people who are also the majority voters in the country. Dignity and leadership requires high level of moral authority which is not consistent with scandals,” he said.

Prof Hansungule said it was unfortunate that investigative wings were unable to take on President Banda as they existed on his mercy.

“One thing we learnt from former president Chiluba and now President Banda is that it is not possible for the ACC to act against the president because it owes its existence to him.

Despite this, however, President Banda should show leadership as defined in the Constitution and subject the scandal to an independent inquiry,” said Prof Hansungule.

He said being at the centre of the scandal, President Banda had a duty to appoint an independent body of experts of repute to probe the scandal.

Prof Hansungule said President Banda could not just brush aside such a serious allegation by throwing the ball back to former Defence Minister George Mpombo.

“A serious allegation such as this which implicates the head of state and his family in serious violation of the Constitution deserves nothing short of a full independent inquiry.

No less important is that the revelation was made by former Minister of Defence, at the time of the scandal, President Banda’s most senior Cabinet minister responsible for the defence and security docket,” he said.

Prof Hansungule said it was incorrect to accuse someone who quit Cabinet on his own conscience of ‘sour grapes’ unless one who had been dismissed.

“More than that, George Mpombo made specific allegations citing names of senior government officials that are privy to this scandal. These are people who are alive and who, therefore, can easily be approached to shed light on the allegations,” said Prof Hansungule.

He also said the ‘James-gate’ scandal showed the low-level of moral decay the country had descended to under the watch of presidents Frederick Chiluba and Rupiah Banda.

“Under presidents Chiluba and Banda, the levels of corruption in Zambia have reached the levels of Zaire’s president Joseph Mobutu Sese Seko,” said Prof Hansungule.

“Constitutionalism dictates that the President particularly where he and his family are named in scandals should respond with the same specific rebuttals the allegations were made otherwise the public would be forgiven if they believed them.”

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