Saturday, June 11, 2011

(LUSAKATIMES) Hillary Clinton departs Zambia, holds talks with Michael Sata and HH

Hillary Clinton departs Zambia, holds talks with Michael Sata and HH
TIME PUBLISHED - Saturday, June 11, 2011, 4:39 pm

Visiting United States (US) Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has left Zambia after winding up her schedule in the country where she also addressed the 10th Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum which officially closed yesterday. The plane carrying Mrs. Clinton took off at the Lusaka International Airport at 14-30 hours local time. She has gone to Tanzania on other official duties.

ZANIS reports that the former first Lady was seen off at the airport by Foreign Affairs Minister Kabinga Pande, Tourism and Natural Resources Minister Catherine Namugala, US Ambassador to Zambia Mark Storella and senior government officials from the two governments.

Later in the evening, Mrs. Clinton who arrived yesterday (Friday), in the country private talks with President Rupiah Banda at State House where a dinner was also hosted in her honour.

Today, the US Secretary of State graced the official launch of the Zambia-American Chamber of Commerce at Intercontinental Hotel.

Mrs Clinton also handed over a state of art Pediatric Centre of Excellence at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) to President Banda who received the facility on behalf of the Zambian Government.

Shortly after the handover ceremony, she held private talks with two major opposition political party leaders; Michael Sata and Hakainde Hichilema of the Patriotic Front (PF) and United Party for National Development (UPND) respectively on this year’s elections.

While in Zambia, the United States (US) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has bemoaned the low level of economic cooperation, integration and trade among African countries saying this was an obstacle to sustainable growth on the continent.

Mrs Clinton noted that the benefits of economic integration were well known which included reducing food insecurity by allowing agricultural goods to move efficiently to the places where they are needed and landlocked countries have access to ports and habours.

ZANIS reports that officially closing the 10th Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka yesterday, She added that other benefits of economic integration was that African companies were allowed to tap into a very promising new market.

Addressing more than 3 000 delegates from US and 37 eligible African countries, the US Secretary of State said there was less trade within the Sub Saharan Africa than within any other region of the World and attributed this to partly improving Africa’s infrastructure stressing that the limiting factor was not roads but people.

‘’It is partly a matter of improving Africa’s infrastructure. But the most important limiting factor isn’t roads. It’s people.’’She said.
‘’It is partly a matter of improving Africa’s infrastructure. But the most important limiting factor isn’t roads. It’s people.’’She said.

Mrs Clinton who is also former First Lady cited a number of problems to economic integration noting that trade officials wanted to protect their home-grown industries with Government leaders of smaller countries concerned about larger ones gaining too much influence among others.

She further stated that while these problems were not unique to Africa, they had a powerful and lasting impact and emphasised that it was up to leaders in the Sub Saharan region to decide whether they wanted economic integration.

‘’They will have to take on entrenched interests and respond to concerns about new competition, while making clear to their constituents how they will benefit from expanded regional trade,’’She said.

Host, Commerce Trade and Industry Minister Felix Mutati was present.

In another development, the US Secretary of State hailed women for their significant contribution towards African economies and the rest of the world.

Mrs Clinton noted that evidence showed that small and medium-sized enterprises run by women were major drivers of economic growth adding that when a woman prospered she reinvested her earnings in her family and that the positive effects rippled throughout the entire community.

She further said there was need to help more women connect to the global economy adding that no country could survive when half of its people are left behind.

However, Mrs Clinton observed that cultural traditions continued to make it difficult for a woman to start a business as they discouraged her from handling money or managing employees.

The AGOA Forum was held under the theme: ‘’Enhanced Trade Through Increased Competitiveness, Value Addition and Deeper Regional Integration.’’


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Kavindele’s North-West Railway Company seals US$500m worth deal with US firm

Kavindele’s North-West Railway Company seals US$500m worth deal with US firm
TIME PUBLISHED - Friday, June 10, 2011, 3:03 pm

North-West Railway Company (NWR) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tagos Group of Companies, a United States (US) based company. The MoU is for the implementation of the 405 Kilometre rail project at a cost of US$500 million.

ZANIS reports that NWR Chairman Enock Kavindele said the project is important for the country as it will open up North Western Province to a lot of mining activities. Mr Kavindele disclosed that North Western Province now produces about 66 percent of the country’s copper but that there is no means of bringing ore to smelt the copper.

The North West Rail Company Chairman said during a Press Briefing in Lusaka today at Mulungishi International Conference Centre on the sidelines of the 10th Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) forum that a lot of work has been made.

He said the Province has been been depending on trucks to haul the ore adding that this had resulted in congestion on the road.

Mr Kavindele said the implementation of the North West rail will give a different outlook to the province.

He said about 4000 jobs are expected to be created from the project that will largely be financed by the American company.

He further said Government has given a lot of licences to various mining companies for mining rights and explorations in the province hence the project will help enhance mining activities in the area.

Mr Kavindele described the project as big and that it will require the support of all stakeholders including Government, the Private Sector among others.

Speaking at the same briefing, Tagos Group of Companies Chairman Milton Scot said transparency and a good democratic government was the yard stick for US investment in any particular country in the world.

Mr Scot said Zambia’s positive democratic and transparency record has helped the country attract capital investment from the US.

He urged the Zambian Government to continue upholding transparency and good democratic principles for accelerated US investment in the country.


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Friday, June 10, 2011

(MnG) Malema deal outrages Cosatu

Malema deal outrages Cosatu
MANDY ROSSOUW - Jun 10 2011 00:00

Cosatu will "name and shame" corrupt politicians and government officials in Limpopo next week and hand over evidence of government corruption to the police, according to Dan Sebabi, the union movement's provincial secretary.

This follows allegations that a health department contract was awarded to a relative of Julius Malema to pump funds into his campaign for a second term as the ANC Youth League president.

Zwelinzima Vavi, Cosatu's general secretary, will be present in Polokwane when the names of those involved and details of their transgressions will be made public at a press conference. Afterwards Cosatu members will march to Limpopo premier Cassel Mathale's office.

Last week it was revealed that the health department awarded contracts worth R167-million without following tender procedures. They were for the provision of medical supplies to the department's medical depot in Polokwane, including labels for medicine bottles and patient referral forms. The contracts benefited a relative of Malema's, and Mathale and Malema are close ­political associates.

The Democratic Alliance said the process did not follow the treasury's prescribed procedure for tenders in excess of R500 000 and asked the treasury to investigate the matter. One of the tenders, worth R44-million, was awarded to Tshepo Malema, Julius Malema's cousin.

People to watch: Julius Malema

Ahead of its elective conference on June 16, we'll be running multimedia features looking at the ANC Youth League's main players. First up: Mandy Rossouw dissects the prospects of the youth league's controversial incumbent president, Julius Malema.

More slideshows

Tshepo admitted that he was awarded the contract, but said he had not yet been paid. "Yes, I have contracts. I am a young growing businessman and part of my work is not to respond to newspapers. I didn't even know about the investigation.

"Anyway, I have not received any payment from them. Maybe you can ask them about that," he said.

Joe Maila, the health department spokesperson, said the department was looking into the awarding of the contracts because irregularities had come to the fore, which the department wanted to investigate before it paid for services rendered.

"We suspect somebody is manipulating the process and that there is a problem at our medical depot relating to this," he said. Phil Setsiba, the senior manager for pharmaceutical services, was suspended pending the outcome of investigation, Maila said.

Two sources told the Mail & Guardian that Tshepo Malema received a slice of the contracts to provide funding for Julius Malema's re-election campaign. Julius Malema called the M&G to correct a mistake in the initial story on the M&G's website, in which Tshepo was described as Julius's brother, but he did not deny that some of the money would be used for his campaign.

Last week when the treasury re­leased a list of individuals and companies prohibited from doing business with the government, Limpopo businesses featured prom­inently. "Maybe it is because this is the poorest of the provinces and there is such widespread poverty," said Sebabi.

It is alleged that the premier's office issued an order to allow the contracts to go ahead, but Mathale's office denied his involvement.

People to watch: Lebogang Maile

Ahead of its elective conference on June 16, we look at one of the ANC Youth League's main players: Gauteng sports minister Lebogang Maile, who is considered one of the main contenders for the ANCYL's presidency.

More slideshows

"The premier is not responsible for the awarding of contracts in government. Supply chain management issues are governed by the Supply Chain Management Framework Act. All departments are guided by this legislation when they deal with procurement matters and the premier does not play any role in this process," Phuti Mosomane, his spokesperson, said.

Insiders said the Limpopo government rushed through the contracts without following the normal procedure of advertising a tender and waiting for bids.

The department of health and social development has been dogged by corruption allegations. The pro­v­incial minister for health in Limpopo, Miriam Segabutla, was replaced earlier this year after news reports highlighted irregularities concerning the awarding of tenders. Her replacement, Dikeledi Magadzi, and the head of department have ordered an investigation.

Sebabi said that the trade union federation would demand the arrests of the people who would be named "irrespective of their positions in society". He refused to be drawn on who was on the list, saying that would be revealed next week.

The evidence in Cosatu's possession implicated provincial government departments, parastatals and municipalities, Sebabi said. "The masses of Limpopo are be­hind us on this. People are tired of these things happening all the time."

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(MnG) Cosatu leaders lock horns over Zuma

Cosatu leaders lock horns over Zuma

Union federation Cosatu is expected to make a decision at its next central committee meeting on whether to back the re-election of Jacob Zuma as ANC president in 2012. This comes as Zuma's support within the alliance appears to be waning, with the ANC Youth League leading the charge to replace him with his deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe.

Although Cosatu was one of the key ANC allies to push for Zuma to replace Thabo Mbeki as ANC president in 2007, the federation has in recent months become one of the fiercest critics of Zuma's leadership style in both government and the ruling party.

In an interview this week the federation's general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, said Cosatu was unhappy with the ANC-led government because of its poor performance, particularly with regard to job creation and in combating corruption.

"That's why we're so critical of everybody. We want the movement, and the leadership in particular, to pull up their socks," Vavi said.

"When you look at the past three years, they have made mistakes, they put us on a back foot. But do those mistakes amount to abandoning the project? We want to have a decent discussion about that." Vavi insisted that he was not referring to Zuma as an individual.

Vavi and certain leaders of Cosatu's affiliates, including Irvin Jim of metal union Numsa and Thobile Ntola of teachers' union Sadtu, have been accused of opportunistically criticising the Zuma-led ANC and government.

Other Cosatu union leaders, notably National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) general secretary Frans Baleni and Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini, are seen as being closer to Zuma and his strong left arm, South African Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande.

Raising the issue

Speaking to the Mail & Guardian this week, Baleni launched a veiled attack on Vavi and Jim for wanting to push Cosatu affiliates to support Zuma's removal. "It can't be that when some are happy we must smile and when they are angry we must be the same," Baleni said, without mentioning names.

Baleni said NUM had raised the issue that Cosatu should be careful about how it chooses leaders. "Some who didn't understand us then are now changing their tune," he said.

The faction that was strongly behind Zuma in 2007 was now disintegrating, said Baleni. "People had certain expectations. They thought they would benefit. When they didn't benefit, they started changing. We don't want to mention names."

Said Vavi: "We won't be blackmailed into silence and being unable to discuss our challenges as the working class. Where we are wrong, we should be told that we are wrong." Cosatu, he said, would communicate fearlessly what it believed.

"When we think the leadership is not tough on corruption, as we believe now, we say it. We won't run around reassuring people that we have no plans to topple anyone. That would land us back in the Mbeki era, where people had to release statements distancing themselves from the leadership race."

Vavi called the current ANC leadership "our project". "We [workers] are the ones who made sure there was a Polokwane revolt and that the conference resolutions were absolutely progressive -- pro-poor and pro-worker." Those gains had to be protected.

"If that project fails, our political strategies have failed. We should push and push for these leaders to deliver. They must be beaten into it." While voicing support for the ANC leadership, Vavi said Cosatu needed "ammunition" to go back to communities in 2014 and campaign for the party.

"I want to go to people and say we've moved from A to B and they must be able to see it." There was no pressure on Cosatu to take a position on the ANC's leadership contest, he said. "That's opportunistic and far removed from the real issues of service delivery.

"The pressure should be about what we saw during local elections -- people not having water and electricity." Baleni said it was important that the ANC-led alliance invest in organisational programmes and policies instead of giving priority to the leadership race.

"We must assess serving leaders based on delivery. You can't choose leaders like it's a beauty contest."

Vavi has been criticised for communicating through the media instead of through alliance structures. But he defended himself this week. "The difference between me and some people is that I have no fear of talking. I fear no one in the world. For that I've got many admirers and I've made many enemies."

Every public statement he had made was backed by a Cosatu resolution, said Vavi.

Numsa's Jim said Cosatu would discuss the ANC leadership issue when the time was right. Numsa's position was always to defend the Polokwane resolutions. "Where there's a need to criticise, we've done that," he said.

He rejected allegations that he was part of the group that wanted to remove Zuma, calling them "malicious" and their politics "dirty".

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(MnG) Malema mouths off on mines

COMMENT - Julius Malema on nationalisation of the mines. Also see this trailer on Youtube, featuring Julius Malema and Nicky Oppenheimer.

Malema mouths off on mines
MANDY ROSSOUW - Jun 10 2011 00:00

Nationalisation is a fait accompli and the ANC is merely looking for the best way to implement it, ANC Youth League president Julius Malema claimed in a documentary titled: Mining for Change: A story of South African Mining.

"The NGC [national general council] told us to go and look at the best model of nationalisation. We are no longer talking about whether nationalisation is going to happen or not, it's going to happen," Malema said in the documentary, screened at the Encounters Film Festival in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

The documentary was funded by junior miners Nonkqubela Mazwai and Nchakha Moloi, the chief executive and chairperson of Motjoli Resources. Both also feature prominently in it, expressing views about why nationalisation is needed. They are credited as executive producers. Eric Miyeni and Navan Chetty are directors.

But, according to ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu, Malema is jumping the gun. "At the NGC we didn't adopt anything. We said we must look at what the pros and cons are of adopting this policy. We are still at the stage of investigating. You don't adopt a policy without scientific research," he told the Mail & Guardian this week.

Mthembu said ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe had put together a team that would visit 13 countries to study the success of nationalisation in those countries.

People to watch: Julius Malema

Ahead of its elective conference on June 16, we'll be running multimedia features looking at the ANC Youth League's main players. First up: Mandy Rossouw dissects the prospects of the youth league's controversial incumbent president, Julius Malema.

In the documentary Malema argued that the mines needed to be taken by the state without compensation for the owners because they already belong to the people of South Africa.

"Why should I pay for what I own? This is mine. Once I own it, I will decide what size of it I share with you. I've got the minerals, you come and bring the machines and equipment to extract the minerals. That equipment, in their nice English, they call it investment," he said in the documentary.

Malema admitted that the youth league was not taken seriously when it began its campaign to nationalise the mines. "When we started this debate, people were brushing us off. People were saying: 'These are kids, they don't know what they're talking about.' And we said: 'They don't know where the ANC comes from.' "

As he did during the election campaign, Malema referred to "they" -- presumably white colonialists -- who "stole everything".

"They have stolen, they've stolen our minerals, our land, they want to control everything. Now is our time to demand what they've stolen from us." He argued that the balance of forces internationally was not ­conducive to nationalisation when former president Nelson Mandela was at the helm of the country, but this had now changed.

"Now it is not just the United States, now we have China and India willing to work with us. The conditions are favourable now." The nationalisation of key industries, especially mines, will be top of the agenda at the youth league conference next week.

Other policy issues that will receive attention include the relationship between the league and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).

A discussion document prepared for the ANCYL conference, titled "Youth development for economic freedom in our lifetime", delivers a scathing critique of the work of the NYDA.

"While there has been progress since the establishment of the agency, albeit hesitant and fragile, critical challenges still remain, chief among them the resourcing and coordination of youth development work. Structures of youth development within provinces remain in a regrettable state of limbo, with no consistent approach in form, content or location," the document says.

The National Youth Policy was supposed to be a "Freedom Charter-type document for youth", but it is not widely known by young people and society at large, according to the document.

The document also blasts the NYDA for focusing largely on the public sector as a vehicle for youth development and neglecting the private sector. It proposes that the ANCYL "reins in this organ of development in the interest of South Africa's youth".

The document places the NYDA circumspectly as the youth league in government.

"The aspirations of young people as captured through the resolutions of the youth league must find concrete expression in the programmes of the NYDA and all its components." Opposition parties and the Young Communist League complained last year, when the NYDA was established, that it was merely an outlet of power for the league.

The document proposes that the NYDA attend Cabinet meetings four times a year and has direct representation in the National Economic Development and Labour Council and on all government clusters.

Although the discussion document argues in favour of a year of national service after matric, it calls the National Youth Service (NYS) a failure.

"The NYS is used as a supplementary expanded public works programme, in which government is in a frenzy to be seen to be doing something about youth unemployment, implementing programmes such as grass-cutting or school maintenance."

While these are necessary interventions, the document says, they fail to create youth who can be easily employed.

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(MnG, SAPA) Zim Parliament throws out 'absurd' nationalisation laws

COMMENT - Prison penalties for refusing to obey the law on indigenisation of transnational corporations and foreign direct invesmtment is denounced as 'degrading and inhumane' in the pro-DA Mail & Gardian. Hmmm... So it is ok to treat ordinary people this way, but for CEOs and foreign investors, it's 'just going too far'. By the way, the companies mentioned, the Anglo-American De Beers, Rio Tinto and Implats are all owned outright or controlled through single largest shareholder stake by the Rothschild banking dynasty. They also own Reuters outright, nearly half of The Economist, but I don't know about SAPA, although that would make sense, considering they and the Oppenheimers' seminal involvement in the mining industry in South Africa.

Zim Parliament throws out 'absurd' nationalisation laws
HARARE, ZIMBABWE - Jun 10 2011 17:26

Zimbabwe's Parliament has declared that Mugabe-backed regulations seeking to nationalise foreign-owned companies are "unconstitutional, unreasonable and absurd," and called for them to be repealed or revised.

The law, which would force all foreign-owned companies to cede their majority stake to black Zimbabweans, was proposed by the minister for youth, indigenisation and economic empowerment, Saviour Kasukuwere, with the backing of President Robert Mugabe.

"We now expect the minister to come to Parliament and tell us what he (plans) to do," said Shepherd Mushonga, the head of a cross-party parliamentary legal committee.

Kasukuwere was unavailable for comment.

Robert Mugabe and Kasukuwere say the move is necessary to ensure black Zimbabweans benefit from the country's lucrative mineral resources.

Zimbabwe is rich in minerals including diamonds, uranium, chrome, platinum and gold. The empowerment drive is targeting major companies, including Anglo American, Rio Tinto and Implats. But it is not restricted to mining companies, as Nestle also appears to have been targeted.

Most companies have adopted a wait-and-see attitude, putting expansion and retooling plans on hold until there is clarity on how the empowerment plan will be executed.

Firms that fail to disclose how they plan to transfer shares within the stipulated period face prosecution, according to the empowerment regulations.

"The unanimous finding of the committee is that this statutory instrument is both unconstitutional and ultra vires (beyond legal authority)," reads a report by the Mushonga-led committee.

They said the hefty penalties imposed by the law were "grossly disproportionate" to the offences, and therefore "inhumane and degrading".

The imposition of prison terms for offenders was "unreasonable and absurd", the committee wrote, adding that this was unconstitutional, as it neglected the right to the protection of the law.

Mushonga said in an interview that the regulations gave the minister of indigenisation "too much" power, as they allowed him to impose on businesses a penalty which is supposed to be administered by Parliament.

Veritas, a legal monitoring organisation, said that the regulations could be challenged in the Supreme Court if Mugabe did not repeal them. --Sapa-dpa

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(MnG, SAPA) Zim Parliament throws out 'absurd' nationalisation laws

COMMENT - Prison penalties for refusing to obey the law on indigenisation of transnational corporations and foreign direct invesmtment is denounced as 'degrading and inhumane' in the pro-DA Mail & Gardian. Hmmm... So it is ok to treat ordinary people this way, but for CEOs and foreign investors, it's 'just going too far'. By the way, the companies mentioned, the Anglo-American De Beers, Rio Tinto and Implats are all owned outright or controlled through single largest shareholder stake by the Rothschild banking dynasty. They also own Reuters, nearly half of The Economist, but I don't know about SAPA, although that would make sense, considering they and the Oppenheimers' seminal involvement in the mining industry in South Africa.

Zim Parliament throws out 'absurd' nationalisation laws
HARARE, ZIMBABWE - Jun 10 2011 17:26

Zimbabwe's Parliament has declared that Mugabe-backed regulations seeking to nationalise foreign-owned companies are "unconstitutional, unreasonable and absurd," and called for them to be repealed or revised.

The law, which would force all foreign-owned companies to cede their majority stake to black Zimbabweans, was proposed by the minister for youth, indigenisation and economic empowerment, Saviour Kasukuwere, with the backing of President Robert Mugabe.

"We now expect the minister to come to Parliament and tell us what he (plans) to do," said Shepherd Mushonga, the head of a cross-party parliamentary legal committee.

Kasukuwere was unavailable for comment.

Robert Mugabe and Kasukuwere say the move is necessary to ensure black Zimbabweans benefit from the country's lucrative mineral resources.

Zimbabwe is rich in minerals including diamonds, uranium, chrome, platinum and gold. The empowerment drive is targeting major companies, including Anglo American, Rio Tinto and Implats. But it is not restricted to mining companies, as Nestle also appears to have been targeted.

Most companies have adopted a wait-and-see attitude, putting expansion and retooling plans on hold until there is clarity on how the empowerment plan will be executed.

Firms that fail to disclose how they plan to transfer shares within the stipulated period face prosecution, according to the empowerment regulations.

"The unanimous finding of the committee is that this statutory instrument is both unconstitutional and ultra vires (beyond legal authority)," reads a report by the Mushonga-led committee.

They said the hefty penalties imposed by the law were "grossly disproportionate" to the offences, and therefore "inhumane and degrading".

The imposition of prison terms for offenders was "unreasonable and absurd", the committee wrote, adding that this was unconstitutional, as it neglected the right to the protection of the law.

Mushonga said in an interview that the regulations gave the minister of indigenisation "too much" power, as they allowed him to impose on businesses a penalty which is supposed to be administered by Parliament.

Veritas, a legal monitoring organisation, said that the regulations could be challenged in the Supreme Court if Mugabe did not repeal them. --Sapa-dpa

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DEC officers detain Wynter Kabimba at Airport

DEC officers detain Wynter Kabimba at Airport
By George Chellah
Fri 10 June 2011, 04:00 CAT

THE Drug Enforcement Commission briefly detained opposition PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba at Lusaka International Airport when he arrived from South Africa on Wednesday evening. Kabimba, who was held at the airport for almost an hour, confirmed the incident to The Post yesterday. Kabimba said he was aboard a South African Airways flight number 0066 from Johannesburg to Lusaka.

“When the plane landed at 17:45, I cleared my immigration procedures and after collecting my luggage, the only piece of luggage I had on the plane, I was walking out of the arrivals terminal through the ‘nothing to declare’ exit when an officer who was not in uniform stopped me and directed me to report to the other exit and I obliged,” Kabimba said.

“When I got there another officer asked if they could search my bag. I had two pieces of luggage, a travel bag and a plastic bag containing books which I bought at OR Tambo International Airport.”

He said as the officer was about to begin the search, another officer arrived and requested that the search be conducted in the office.

“Obviously at that stage I became suspicious and alert that this was not a normal airport search because I was the only passenger who was being asked to go to some office, which I didn’t know. The rest of the passengers had been let through,” Kabimba said.

“When we arrived in the office I discovered that I was now in the company of two gentlemen and a skinny looking lady. At that point, one of the gentlemen said to me ‘Sir, we are officers from the DEC and we would like to search your bag’. So I said ‘please go ahead.’”

He said the second officer searched his bag thoroughly.

“When he finished searching my bag, he searched the plastic bag where my books were. Then the officer who appeared to be the senior most amongst the three whose name I came to know later to be one Brian Chakulya asked the female officer to leave the office at which stage they asked me if they could conduct a body search to which I obliged,” Kabimba said.

“I emptied my pockets, took out my wallet, my phone…everything I had on me and stretched my arms and I said to the officer ‘please touch everywhere, don’t leave any place. Satisfy yourself that you have conducted a search.’”

He said by the time they finished searching, it was around 18:15 hours.

“After the body search they asked for my passport, which I gave to them. After browsing through the passport, he asked me what I thought really was a silly question as to my purpose of travel to South Africa. At that stage he got a piece of paper and a pen and said he was going to ask me a few questions and he wanted to write down my answers,” Kabimba said.

“But I told him that my travel to South Africa was none of his business and I could only answer further questions if I where under arrest. When he said ‘no, you are not under arrest,’ I told him that, ‘then am not going to answer any questions’.”

Kabimba said he later asked the officers if he could leave since their searches of his bag and body had yielded nothing.

“I could see that the officers looked extremely disappointed. Then the senior officer Chakulya said to me that I could not leave because they where now waiting for the regional commander to come and Chakulya was frantically trying to call the regional commander on his phone to report,” Kabimba said.

“By 18:45 hours, the regional commander had not shown up and Chakulya then apologised to me for the inconvenience that had been caused, still looking extremely disappointed and said that I could leave.

“I told him that I would not accept the apology and I was going to reflect on the matter and decide what appropriate action to take against the DEC. But I didn’t end there; I told the three officers that they where working for a rotten political system which wanted to intimidate innocent citizens and that we shall fight the system.”

Kabimba said as he walked out of the terminal building, he discovered the presence of several OP officers who kept looking at him and talking to each other in low tones.

“Obviously, looking ashamed and disappointed that their intelligence information on me was wrong because I was walking out as an innocent citizen, which I am,” he said.

He insisted that what happened to him on Wednesday was not in any way a normal airport search.

“It was obviously politically schemed and motivated by those in authority using the DEC as an organisation of political intimidation and victimisation of Mr Rupiah Banda’s political opponents,” Kabimba said.

“This is what the Zambian people fought against in 1991 when UNIP was running similar institutions like the Special Investigations Team on Economy and Trade (SITET), which some of the officers at the DEC today worked for,” said Kabimba.

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Rupiah is seeking votes, not reconciliation

Rupiah is seeking votes, not reconciliation
By The Post
Fri 10 June 2011, 04:00 CAT

Rupiah Banda and the MMD are not seeking reconciliation with the leadership of the Catholic Church. What they are seeking is political support from the leadership of the Catholic Church.

There appears to be a realisation in the MMD leadership that their hatred against and attacks on the leadership of the Catholic Church was not going well with the great majority of our people and was starting to be politically costly for them.

This is all that is making them talk about reconciliation with the Catholic Church. Otherwise, what would be the reconciliation for when Rupiah himself has openly said that there were no problems between the MMD and his government on the one hand and the leadership of the Catholic Church on the other.

Rupiah has consistently maintained that they have never differed with the Catholic Church. If they have never differed with the Catholic Church, what is the reconciliation about?

Clearly, these are not sincere people. These are crooks who try to crook their way into everything, around everything. They are realising that their attitude towards the Catholic Church, their hostile statements against Catholic priests and bishops are starting to hurt them politically. And they want to control the political damage of all this.

Nothing worries them other than the loss of elections. Anything that doesn’t affect their electoral chances, they don’t care about it. It is the fear of losing elections that is making them say all these things – things they actually don’t mean.

We don’t think that the Catholic leadership has any problems forgiving anyone who does them wrong. But the MMD leadership has not admitted doing any wrong against the Catholic Church. As we have already pointed out, the position of Rupiah is that they have never differed with the Catholic Church.

It is said that people do wrong things because they do not have sufficient knowledge or freedom. If they are not guilty, what is there to forgive? If there is no contrition on their part, why should there be forgiveness? True, the evildoer’s action is bad or wrong. It hurts us. He knows what he is doing. But how much does he know? Does he know all the implications of his actions on himself or on others?

The Catholic Church, in our view, harbours no bad feelings towards Rupiah and his friends and forgave them a long time ago. And right now, there is nothing to forgive. To realise that there is nothing to forgive is true forgiveness. There is nothing to forgive because the stupid things they were saying, the silly things they were saying were out of ignorance. To forgive just because the other has apologised or admitted his mistake or out of condescension, is not true forgiveness.

Forgiveness is an act of love and in love, one does not put another down. The interaction has to be on the basis of ‘win-win’. When we forgive because the other apologised, it is like saying, “Okay, now that you have realised your mistake or admitted it, we forgive you.”

Forgiveness is difficult, especially for those who have been brought up in an atmosphere of harshness and resentment. But forgive we must, if we are to find peace of soul and health of body. It is said that life is an adventure in forgiveness. Nothing clusters the soul more than remorse, resentment and recrimination. Forgiveness is a gift we need to give not only to others but to ourselves also, freeing us from self-punishment and enabling us to see wider horizons.

There are times when we may feel wronged, betrayed, deceived, humiliated. It would be unhealthy not to react against the outrage. Certainly, we ought not to grant others the right to give us ulcers. Forgiveness is not only a precept of Christ or of religious teachers, but it is also a law of nature. Physical and psychological health depends on forgiveness.

Non-forgiveness, holding a grudge, resentment and various forms of anger, all perform the same task – they keep us protected from perceived danger and away from pain of loss. Much psychic and physical energy is needed to keep up this defensive attitude. Most of us have experienced how resentment fatigues us. Forgiveness on the other hand puts us in contact, again, with people.

This relaxes us, saving us a lot of energy. How do we move onto forgiveness? The first requisite is that we really want it. That decision is ours and we need to make it. Many say that they want to forgive because they know it is a precept of their religion. But deep down, they would rather not forgive if they possibly could.

It is not unusual to hear such people saying, ‘Yes, I have forgiven; but God will teach them a lesson, ‘ or ‘I have forgiven, but see how they pay for what they did to me.’ One sure sign that these people don’t want to forgive is that they harbour with great care the unjust treatment meted out to them. The first step towards forgiveness, then, is to really want it. If such a thought frightens us, we need to pray for the grace to want to forgive.

It is said that people who find forgiveness hard are usually those who have not forgiven themselves. If we do not accept ourselves, we can make demands on ourselves that are impossible to meet. When we fail, we find it difficult to forgive our stupidity and incompetence. A self-forgiving stance, on the other hand, creates an attitude of tolerance and flexibility.

Forgiveness is easy when the violators see the pain they have caused us and sincerely apologise for their wrong doing. But as we have seen from the behaviour of Rupiah and his minions, the trouble is that they may not always apologise. Some people just don’t realise how much pain they cause us.

A critical remark, doing something without consulting or informing us when we can legitimately expect that they do, and so on and so forth, can indeed cause us a good deal of pain. Yet others may feel that they have caused us pain, but are too proud to apologise. They feel that if they do, they diminish in our estimation, forgetting the truth that admitting a mistake is a sign of greatness.

Some try many different things and yet do not succeed in forgiving. Christ tells us three things we can do, as a last-ditch effort, which can help us towards forgiveness, provided, of course, we want to forgive and are ready to do what he asks of us. He says: “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28).

If we want to forgive and love our enemy, we need to do good to them, bless them and pray for them. These are all acts within our power. Forgiveness, like love, is not so much a feeling, as a decision to act in a particular way. Feelings are not directly under our control, but actions are. We may have to do these actions almost mechanically for some time before we begin to experience feelings of forgiveness, namely the absence of resentment and a certain degree of closeness to or freedom with the other person.

The first prerequisite to reconciliation is that we do good to those who have hurt us. This is what St Paul means when he says: “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is Mine to avenge: I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: If your enemy is hungry, feed him: If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head” (Romans 12:19-20).

The second is bless them. “Bless them”, as its Latin root bene dicere means to speak well of the other.

Avoid all criticism, slander and gossip about the others and say good things about them. The last prerequisite is to pray for them; pray, not that they may realise their mistakes and come to apologise to us, but that God grant them their wishes and all things that would make them happy. It is remarkable how those who do these things
get rid of their resentments and come to forgive others.

Some might object that it is hypocrisy to behave towards others as if we love them when we really don’t. There is no hypocrisy here, because we admit that we don’t have feelings of forgiveness but that we are doing these acts precisely because we want to forgive. Hence the saying, ‘enemies are not those who hate us, but rather whom we hate.’

Usually we say ‘forgive and forget’, as if to mean that when we forgive someone, we also forget the incident that caused us pain. Forgiveness does not imply forgetting. As long as our memory is reasonably good, we will remember most of the things of our past, both good and bad. So remembering a painful incident does not mean that we have not forgiven. The test whether we have forgiven or not is whether we behave lovingly towards the other and speak well of him.

One indication of such forgiveness is that we do not get emotional when we think or speak of the event that pained us. However, to forgive does not imply that we are as close to the other person as we were earlier.

This could happen; but not necessarily. It is perfectly okay to forgive one and at the same time decide not to have the other too much around, if that is possible or desirable. If from previous experience we know that temperamentally we do not get along too well with the other, it would be in the interest of both parties to keep a
respectable distance without, of course, alienating the other.

To such as those who thus forgive will peace be given: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with passion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” (Col 3:12-15).

We are also told in a Chinese proverb that “one who pursues revenge should dig two graves”.

Clearly, true reconciliation is to seek and accept forgiveness. Reconciliation cannot remain just mere words; it has to be visible in concrete actions and through eradicating the cause of dissension between people. Let us humbly accept our wrongdoings and ask for forgiveness for the times we have offended others. Contrition and forgiveness are the conditions for reconciliation not only between us and God, but also between people.

But it’s not possible to have meaningful reconciliation when people are not honest with themselves and others. Clearly, Rupiah and his minions are not honest with themselves and others. They are simply crooks seeking nothing but re-election and retention of power and the privileges that go with it.

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Govt’s reconciliation with Catholics not real - Fr Miha

Govt’s reconciliation with Catholics not real - Fr Miha
By Moses Kuwema
Fri 10 June 2011, 04:01 CAT

FATHER Miha Drevensek says the so-called reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the government is fake. Fr Miha, who is Mission Press director, said the reconciliation was nothing real and that the country should look forward to what would happen after the elections.

“Reconciliation means change of mind but what we are seeing is nothing real. These are just empty words and there is no reality in them,” said Fr Miha. He said people like information minister Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikap-washa and others in government were guilty of the attacks on the Catholic Church.

“Shikapwasha told Parliament that we Catholics will cause a genocide in the country and above that he is also using the public media as a platform to insult us including all PF and UPND members. This is satanic, and the so-called reverend is responsible. He is too proud and selfish,” he said.

Fr Miha called on Lt Gen Shikapwasha, President Rupiah Banda’s information minister and chief government spokesperson, to stop abusing the public through what was being reported in the public media.

“President Banda should get rid of people like Shikapwasha, who are capable of licking boots just to stay in authority, if the reconciliation is to be regarded as genuine,” said Fr Miha.

Yesterday, Mansa Diocese Vicar General Fr Mambwe Mpasa said the reconciliation with the Catholic Church that the government leaders were asking for was not genuine.

Fr Mpasa said the MMD and the government leaders should first acknowledge that they were wrong before they could talk about reconciliation.

“This is the same government which has accused the Catholic Church of instigating the 1994 Rwanda genocide. This is the same government that has insulted our bishops and priests, calling them all sorts of names.

And today, all of them including the President are saying they have never differed with the Catholic Church. Are they being sincere to themselves and to the nation?” Fr Mpasa asked.

“In my opinion this reconciliation they are calling for is not genuine because they are not admitting their faults. I believe that for genuine reconciliation to take place there must be an acknowledgement from the parties involved that ‘here we were wrong, let us reconcile’.

Equally if it is one party that is wrong, let them also admit that they are wrong before they call for reconciliation. Otherwise if there is no admission of a wrong, what are you going to reconcile about?”

Fr Mpasa said government leaders should admit that they had insulted the Catholic Church and its leaders.

President Banda's government has been attacking the Catholic Church, accusing it of supporting opposition political parties.

The government attacks on the Church have also not spared individuals like the Archbishop of Lusaka Telesphore Mpundu, former Mongu diocese Bishop Paul Duffy and Ndola Bishop Alick Banda, among others.

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Shakas criticises MMD’s abuse of state media

Shakas criticises MMD’s abuse of state media
By Bright Mukwasa
Fri 10 June 2011, 04:02 CAT

JONAS Shakafuswa on Wednesday strongly criticised the MMD government for abusing the state-owned media. Contributing to debate on the report by the Parliamentary Committee on information and broadcasting, Shakafuswa said what was obtaining in terms of media coverage by the state-owned and government controlled media left much to be desired.

“Are you sure Jonas Shakafuswa is less Zambian than his honour the Vice-President? Are you telling me Jonas Shakafuswa is less Zambian than honourable Muteteka, who they give more air time?” Shakafuswa asked the House.

Shakafuswa, who is Katuba parliamentarian, said the MMD government was championing dictatorship in the manner it was using the state-owned media.

“For people to use the state media where only one view was propagated, it shows they have no confidence in themselves. They are scared of competition, they know they have limited abilities,” he said.

“When you are in power it does not mean you own everything including the state media. When ZNBC calls me it’s in the negative; ‘we hear you have stolen CDF money…’.”

He said it was clear that the majority of the people wanted to hear alternative views considering the numbers of people that attended rallies addressed by opposition leaders than only those from the government.

Shakafuswa, who spoke at length with massive support from the opposition side, said the government should not forget that it used people's money to run the state media institutions.

“Public media does not belong to the MMD, it belongs to the state and the people of Zambia. Those who thought they own that have limited imagination,” he said.

Shakafuswa said the operations of the public media had been taken back to the UNIP days where only one party democracy was propagated.

He said the state media was better managed even in the UNIP days than it currently was, although it was abused by some few leaders then.

He said the current MMD government had diluted the principles and ideals of multi-party democracy that the people had fought for.

Shakafuswa said if the government in power did not want to be opposed then there was something wrong with it.
He said he liked how the PF 'rebel' MPs criticised their party.

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Verify details, British envoy urges voters

Verify details, British envoy urges voters
By Moses Kuwema
Fri 10 June 2011, 04:01 CAT

BRITISH High Commissioner, Carolyn Davidson, has urged voters to go to their respective polling stations and verify their details in the voters’ register. High Commissioner Davidson said this when she visited some polling stations in Munali Constituency on Wednesday.

“It is important that all registered voters go to the polling stations at which they registered and check that their details are correct in the register of voters. By verifying the details, voters will avoid the problem of possibly being denied their right to vote on the voting day just because there is a problem with their credentials,” High Commissioner Davidson said.

Davidson stressed that it was important for people to exercise their right to vote in this year’s tripartite elections and help strengthen democracy in Zambia.
She said this could only be done if people took advantage of the voters register of voter period, which ends on June 12, 2011.

High Commissioner Davidson also said the 2011 elections presented an opportunity for Zambia to burnish (polish) its reputation of holding transparent, free and fair elections.

She said her country and other partners were working with the Electoral Commision of Zambia (ECZ) to ensure they were adequately prepared to conduct transparent elections in which all stakeholders had confidence.

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Mpombo ready to take on Rupiah and his son

Mpombo ready to take on Rupiah and his son
By Patson Chilemba and Namatama Mundia
Fri 10 June 2011, 04:01 CAT

GEORGE Mpombo says he will dissect and expose how contaminated Rupiah Banda is with corruption following the legal action taken against him by the President’s son, James.

And Mpombo has revealed that State House chief of staff Austin Sichinga was fired as energy permanent secretary by late president Levy Mwanawasa because he involved James in one of the trips to South Africa to discuss an oil deal.

Reacting to the action by James to sue him for libel over his alleged involvement in an arms deal involving US $100 million, Mpombo assured James that he would not be intimidated by what he called the “well orchestrated shenanigans” against him.

He said he still had a bit of spine to meet James in court.

“Importantly, this development also gives me an opportunity to rigorously cross examine eyeball to eyeball James, Rupiah Banda himself personally because the details about this arms deal were hatched in Rupiah Banda’s office at State House where he strongly implored me to do everything possible to assist mwana wanu James,” Mpombo said.

“And it will also present an opportunity for Zambians to know exactly how James Banda or President Banda and his sons have reduced Zambia to ‘Rupiah Banda and Sons Incorporated’ as can be seen by the boasting in James’ affidavit that he has international connections of so many companies and three years ago was just a dysfunctional pauper moving from office to office trying to make shoddy deals.”

Mpombo said President Banda’s sons were involved in several national deals as evidenced by Henry’s involvement in the RP Capital scam.

He said the nation would also be interested to know whether the US$100 million arms deal was resuscitated after he left office.

“It court action against him will give me an opportunity so that President Banda is dissected openly.

I am ready to meet President Banda in court so people of Zambia can see how thoroughly his bone marrow is heavily contaminated with corruption. The man has no right to talk about good governance issues,” Mpombo said.

“We have seen in the recent past where financial regulations governing the country have been thrown to the wind, where contracts are being given to friends without tender procedure. There is massive tender rigging where contracts are being given to friends like BY Mwila and the recent contracts that are being given out in Lusaka.”

Mpombo warned that the country would head into un-retrievable economic mess should President Banda continue in office because the controls governing the economy were being done away with.

He said this was what had led to the collapse of nations like Greece and Portugal.

“He has no rights to contract debts for his personal survival,” Mpombo said.
He said James should not claim that he was a clean person.

And Mpombo said when he served as energy minister, the government tried to source where they could get cheaper crude oil material from, until then permanent secretary Sichinga got an inquiry from South Africa whether the nation would be interested in the commodity they had.

He said Sichinga led the delegation to South Africa but there was anxiety raised with some of the people who were included in the delegation.

“In the Zambian delegation that attended that meeting was James Banda and we were wondering how James Banda found himself on that government delegation when he was not part of the government delegation.

So we got worried about the honest outcome of the business transaction having James Banda on a delegation when he was not supposed to be there,” Mpombo said. “So this matter was brought to the attention of president Mwanawasa.

He too was not amused…and obviously James’ presence in that business trip amounted to maybe some sort of middle man arrangement. And then the president at that point made a decision to fire Dr Sichinga from the ministry as permanent secretary…so that goes to show you the kind of person James was.”

Mpombo said Zambia had become a fool’s paradise because of President Banda’s myopic leadership.

He said this was a President who had denied his own people a fair deal from the mines so that they could fund the MMD campaigns.

“People should question Rupiah Banda’s credentials because he has failed the people of Zambia and that is why he is a liability,” said Mpombo.
James has sued Mpombo for libel over allegations he made against him that he was involved in the arms deal.

Banda said he was neither a civil servant nor a politician but the President’s son who had been injured in his credibility and reputation, and brought into public scandal, ridicule, odium and contempt.

He said he was a prominent business executive with various business dealings with local, regional and overseas organisations through various companies which were duly incorporated pursuant to provisions of the companies Act Chapter 388 of the Laws of Zambia.

He said in The Post edition of April 19, 2011, Mpombo alleged that he left government because he did not agree with President Banda’s decision to award a contract of procuring arms to his son’s allies based in South Africa.

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JCTR wary of Rupiah’s projects

JCTR wary of Rupiah’s projects
By Kabanda Chulu in Kitwe
Fri 10 June 2011, 04:00 CAT

ZAMBIA is heading towards a debt crisis because mining tax arrears and loan portfolios provided for in the 2011 budget are not sufficient to pay for the multi-billion kwacha projects being launched by President Rupiah Banda, says JCTR.

And Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) programmes officer Sydney Mwansa has said government’s promise to buy all the maize harvested this year will entail additional borrowing because the 2011 budget had only provided K1.3 trillion but over K2 trillion would be required.

Commenting on the Kitwe and Lusaka urban road rehabilitation projects launched by President Banda, Mwansa has challenged government to be more transparent in the way it contracted loans to avoid another debt crisis.

“The mode of financing these works is of great concern since the K3.1 trillion road allocations in the 2011 national budget did not initially include these new road projects but others such as Mongu-Kalabo road, Siavonga-Sinazongwe road, among other roads, government will have to borrow or reallocate resources from other priority areas to complete these new projects.

Even though government is saying these projects will be financed by mining tax arrears and loans, the K555 billion tax arrears and the foreign and domestic loans of 2 per cent and 1.4 per cent of GDP respectively, provided for in the 2011 budget are not sufficient to pay for these mega trillion kwacha projects,” Mwansa said.

“Government will therefore have to borrow beyond the budgetary ceilings which will certainly worsen the country’s debt burden that lately has been on the increase and these loan amounts, conditionalities attached, loan repayment period and the interest payable on the loan must all be publicly disclosed to ensure transparency and to hold government accountable.”

He said maintaining fiscal prudence as elaborated in the 2011 budget and Sixth National Development Plan was essential for translation of macroeconomic gains achieved into tangible benefits.

“However, recent developments don’t guarantee this process, when looking at how much will be spent on maize purchase and government has already borrowed huge loans for contentious projects like mobile clinics and hearses and any further loan contraction will just destabilise the economy,” Mwansa said.

“It will certainly crowd out the private sector (domestic borrowing) as it exerts upward pressure on the bank lending interest rates and creates inflationary pressures.”

There have been growing concerns over the huge expenditure by government and rapid implementation of infrastructure projects by President Banda in the run-up to elections.

Recently, former finance minister Ng’andu Magande also expressed concern about the handling of projects and expenditures that were not even in the national budget.

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Thursday, June 09, 2011

(STICKY) (NEWZIMBABWE) Clinton shadow on SADC summit

Clinton shadow on SADC summit
by Staff Reporter
09/06/2011 00:00:00

UNITED States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flies into Zambia Friday for talks with President Rupiah Banda on the eve of a key SADC summit on Zimbabwe opening in South Africa.

Banda is the current chair of the SADC troika organ on politics and security, and Clinton’s arrival in the region will be seen as a US attempt to lean on regional leaders to take a tough line on President Robert Mugabe.

United States officials said Clinton would be attending a forum on the African Growth and Opportunity Act which was passed to improve trade with Africa. Representatives of 37 countries are expected to attend.

She is due to meet with President Banda hours before he flies to South Africa where SADC leaders will come under intense pressure from NGO networks and Mugabe’s rivals to apply brakes on his plan to call elections later this year, or early next year.

Jonathan Moyo, a senior member of Mugabe’s Zanu PF party who is already in South Africa, said Clinton’s visit to the region on the eve of the SADC summit had one specific reason.

“She wants to peep into Zimbabwe, she thinks there is a North African window,” Moyo said in reference to the US-backed Libyan and Egyptian anti-government uprisings.

“She hopes the ghost of Livingstone will help her, but she will discover that she is in southern Africa and not North Africa. Everything around her will remind her that Zimbabwe will never be a colony again.”

Mugabe’s supporters are increasingly confident that SADC leaders will pull back from endorsing a report tabled by the region’s point man on Zimbabwe, South African President Jacob Zuma, at the troika summit held in Livingstone in April which Mugabe said was based on inaccuracies.

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(LUSAKATIMES) US to help Africa produce and export competitive, value-added products-Kirk

US to help Africa produce and export competitive, value-added products-Kirk
TIME PUBLISHED - Thursday, June 9, 2011, 8:54 pm

The United States Government has announced that it would provide up to US$120 million over a period of four years under a new trade capacity building initiative, The African Competitiveness and Trade Expansion Initiative (ACTE), to intensify and focus more sharply the work of US Aid for International Development (USAID)’s African Trade hubs.

US Trade Representative and Head of Delegation Ron Kirk said the resources would be provided to improve Africa’s capacity to produce and export competitive, value-added products and to address supply –side constraints that impede African Trade.

Addressing delegates during the official opening of the 10th AGOA Ministerial Forum at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka today, Mr. Kirk noted that even in a very difficult US budget environment, this imitative would put significant resources behind the commitment to expand both US –African and Intra- African Trade.

ZANIS reports that Ambassador Kirk who delivered his speech shortly after President Rupiah Banda officially opened the AGOA Forum noted that investments would help drive economic development in African countries, and enhance trade opportunities among Africans and Americans.

‘’That is why, today, I am pleased to announce that the United States will support a new trade capacity building initiative, The African Competitiveness and Trade Expansion Initiative, or ACTE.

‘’And the hubs produce positive results for African farmers, factory workers, and families. For example, in 2010 alone, the trade hubs facilitated over US$100 million in African goods expors to the world, including $56 million to the United States, and assisted nearly 1, 200 African firms interested in developing or expanding their capacity to export,’’ Ambassador Kirk added

Ambassador Kirk who is also Minister in President Barack Obama’s office stressed the need to recognise that the private sector leaders want to see a high degree of transparency accountability and predictability when making trade and investment decisions hence the move by the US Government to work with African Governments to improve the business climate in their countries.

Mr Kirk further stated that the United States supports African regional Economic integration, adding that reducing barriers to intra-Africa trade and investment would improve Africa’s competitiveness, and that it would benefit American exporters as it will became easier to do business in Africa.

“Many AGOA partners have already enacted far reaching economic and political reforms that have enhanced the business and investment climate, improved governance and addressed barriers such as corruption, lack of capacity and limited infrastructure” he said.

The envoy noted that the US would continue to support countries that took such concrete steps saying when focused on ambitious goals, demand mutual accountability for measurable outcomes, marshal resources in the right ways, bigger things could be done.

He further underscored that the United States was committed to promoting Africa’s economic Growth through Trade, adding that AGOA was a critical pillar in growing the US economic relationship with sub-Saharan nations.

Ambassador Kirk further stressed the Obama administration was also committed to working with congress towards a seamless renewal of AGOA beyond 2015 to provide the predictability needed for US and African businesses, entrepreneurs, buyers and investors.

At the same gathering Ambassador Kirk reaffirmed the US government commitment to work through Public Private Partnerships to address HIV/AIDS crisis noting that millions have access to treatment, HIV incidence rates dropped and people living with the virus live healthier lives.

He reminded African nations that the policies made today would determine the scope of future opportunities. The US envoy noted that the challenges for both Americans and Africans was to work together to get it right so that all the peoples could
compete globally.




Obituary: ZANU-PF founding member Tekere dies

Obituary: ZANU-PF founding member Tekere dies
By Kingsley Kaswende in Harare, Zimbabwe
Wed 08 June 2011, 17:20 CAT

EDGAR Tekere, a Zimbabwean liberation hero and founding member of ZANU-PF who
later became the party’s biggest critic, has died. He was 74. Family spokesperson Dr Ibbo Mandaza confirmed yesterday that Tekere died on Tuesday afternoon in his hometown of Mutare after a long battle with prostate cancer.

“He had been unwell for some time. His condition had been worsening since sometime last year. Comrade Tekere was discharged from hospital on Saturday, but was readmitted on Monday after his condition further deteriorated. He died at 1:30 pm today Tuesday,” Dr Mandaza said.

Despite having been a founding member of ZANU-PF, Tekere always courted controversy with the party, criticised President Robert Mugabe for his policies, and was expelled twice from the party.

At the time of his death, he was closer to Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC than he was to ZANU-PF.

He is known in some circles as having tried to stop President Robert Mugabe from establishing a one party state.

Tekere was instrumental in forming ZANU in 1963, the party that later came to be known as ZANU-PF.

In 1964, he was arrested for political activism and spent 10 years in prison together with President Mugabe.

Upon their release in 1975, they crossed into Mozambique to launch the guerilla warfare that was to usher in Zimbabwe's independence five years later. During the liberation war, Tekere served on the ZANU high command and became secretary-general.

At independence in 1980, he became Minister of Labour and Manpower Planning. He personally invited reggae star Bob Marley to perform at the country’s Independence celebrations.

Marley even stayed with Tekere during the tour.

Tekere was relieved of his duties as a minister after making a series of comments against government policies in 1981, but retained his post of ZANU-PF secretary-general.

He was later to serve as ZANU-PF's Manicaland provincial chairman until 1987. Tekere was expelled from ZANU-PF in 1988 for accusing President Mugabe of deviating from liberation principles, and later formed the Zimbabwe Unity Movement.

He stood against President Mugabe in the 1990 presidential elections, but lost. Tekere then stayed out of the political limelight until he was re-admitted into ZANU-PF in 2006 when he indicated his desire to stand as a senator.

But, the following year, a ZANU-PF national disciplinary committee recommended that he be fired from the party.

Since then, and at every opportunity, Tekere claimed President Mugabe had deviated from the aims of the liberation struggle.

He accused his former colleagues in ZANU-PF of corruption, betraying democracy, and mismanaging the economy.

He authored a book A lifetime of struggle in which he documents his cacophony with ZANU-PF officials and policies.

In 2008, he declared his support for independent presidential aspirant Simba Makoni, a former finance minister who challenged President Mugabe.

In 2009, he was guest of honour at the 10th anniversary celebrations of Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC in Mutare.

ZANU-PF yesterday said Tekere’s contribution to the liberation struggle deserved to be recognised.

ZANU-PF national chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo, said the party had been saddened by Tekere’s death.

“As ZANU-PF, we are saddened to hear of Comrade Tekere’s untimely demise. He played a pivotal role in the struggle to liberate the country. No one can deny him this fact,” he said.

But Moyo indicated that Tekere had fallen out favour because he was inconsistent with party principles.

Party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo described Tekere as a “patriotic man who unfortunately decided to leave the party.”

“It was unfortunate that he left us to form Zimbabwe Unity Movement, but such things happen. That incident robbed us of a man we were with in the trenches.

When we measure an individual, we must take all the factors from birth to death. Some of us believe he contributed immensely to the struggle for Zimbabwe and deserves recognition in the annals of the liberation struggle,” Gumbo said.

The ZANU-PF politburo is yet to sit to officially declare Tekere a national hero so that he can be buried at the National Heroes Acre, a shrine reserved for liberation war heroes. But local newspapers, including the state-owned The Herald, have already declared him a hero.

Tekere is survived by a wife and a daughter.

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(HERALD) Zim, SA relations firm — envoy

Zim, SA relations firm — envoy
Wednesday, 08 June 2011 23:19
Herald Reporter

RELATIONS between Zimbabwe and South Africa remain cordial and firm despite spirited efforts by Western Governments to divide the two neighbours and the entire Sadc bloc, incoming South African Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Vusi Mavimbela has said.

Mr Mavimbela was responding to questions from journalists after presenting his credentials to President Mugabe at State House alongside incoming Korean, Russian and Turkish ambassadors to Zimbabwe.

Although Mr Mavimbela refused to discuss issues regarding the forthcoming Sadc extraordinary summit to be held in South Africa on Saturday, he said relations between Harare and Pretoria remained warm and sound.

"Relations between Zimbabwe and South Africa are very good. Relations between President Jacob Zuma and President Mugabe are very good and that is the most important thing in all this," he said.

Ambassador Mavimbela's remarks come in the wake of claims in some sections of the media that after failing to attend the Sadc Summit in Windhoek, Namibia, last month, President Zuma wanted to humiliate President Mugabe at Saturday's Sadc summit.

Ambassador Mavimbela said the South African mediation team on Zimbabwe's inter party dialogue was committed to play its mandate as assigned by Sadc.

"South Africa is committed to that process. We believe that the fact that there are some papers on the table that are going to be presented and that parties have agreed to a number of issues and a few things are still sticking is a sign that we have made progress," he said.

Before being posted to Zimbabwe as SA's chief diplomat, Mr Mavimbela was the director-general in President Zuma's Office.

New Korean ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Lew Kwang-Chul told journalists after presenting his credentials that his country was keen to invest in mining, agriculture and infrastructural development.

"We want to strengthen our ties in political and economic areas. We are interested in the mining sector, infrastructure constructional development, agriculture and ICT. We had a very fruitful and constructive meeting with His Excellency the President, sharing ideas. He (President Mugabe) knew very well the areas where Korea has advantages and strong points and this is where our conversation was very useful," he said.

New Russian Ambassador Mr Andrey Anatolyevich Kushakov said: "We had fruitful discussions with His Excellency and I cherished his idea that we must be proud of our political inter exchange and we boost our economic relations.

"We discussed how to do that in future for the benefit of both the Zimbabwean and Russian people."

He said his country was interested in investing energy and mining sectors.

Last to present credentials to President Mugabe was the Turkish Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Kemal Demirciler.

Turkey is opening its mission in Zimbabwe after operating from South Africa for a long time.

Mr Demirciler said his country was ready to strengthen relations with Harare in many areas of co-operation, adding that he wanted more time to study the Zimbabwean environment before embarking on specific projects.

"For long we have had diplomatic relations with the Republic of Zimbabwe. Our embassy in Pretoria was covering most of the countries including Zimbabwe. Our Government decided to open up embassies in Southern Africa and this is a political directive from my Government," he said.

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(HERALD) Zim can apply to rejoin Club: Envoy

Zim can apply to rejoin Club: Envoy
Tuesday, 07 June 2011 22:54
Herald Reporter

THE Commonwealth would want to see Zimbabwe rejoin the club but Harare should re-apply if it wants to be part of the club, Australian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Matthew Neuhaus has said.

Australia was instrumental in unilaterally suspending Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth in 2003 before Harare chose to withdraw from the grouping of Britain and its former colonies.

Mr Neuhaus was addressing the media after paying a courtesy call on Vice President, John Landa Nkomo, in Harare yesterday.

He said Zimbabwe would, however, have to be prepared to ascribe to the conditions set by the club.

But Zimbabwe's other reason for withdrawing was its refusal to be subjected to conditions, which were being selectively applied just to find fault with Harare.
Mr Neuhaus said the Commonwealth was distressed to see Zimbabwe withdraw from the club.

"It was distressing when Zimbabwe withdrew from the Commonwealth after they were suspended. We had hoped they would come back shortly after the suspension but they withdrew.

"Zimbabwe need to re-apply and there is big hope that they will rejoin the Commonwealth but they should be ready to ascribe to the conditions of the Commonwealth like free and fair elections and the rule of law and the elections roadmap," Ambassador Neuhaus said.

He said the Commonwealth had welcomed the Global Political Agreement adding that the club was following progress.

"At the last Commonwealth meeting, the membership generally welcomed the GPA and leaders would now want to review the GPA progress," he said.

Zimbabwe withdrew from the Commonwealth on December 7, 2003 on unfounded allegations of failure to hold free and fair elections.

Turning to his meeting with VP Nkomo, Ambassador Neuhaus said they discussed the need for peace and intolerance to political violence.

"The Vice President is a lead member of the Organ of National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration, so we talked a lot on the importance of the need to make sure there is no political violence.

"I told him I have been travelling all over the country and of the support that the Australian Government is giving to Bulawayo in areas of water," said Ambassador Neuhaus.

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(HERALD) Probe into Biti residence bombing intensifies

Probe into Biti residence bombing intensifies
Tuesday, 07 June 2011 22:54
Herald Reporters

Forensic and bomb experts from the police and army have been to the house of MDC-T secretary-general Mr Tendai Biti in Chisipite as investigations into the alleged bombing of his residence intensify. The circumstances surrounding the incident that took place on Sunday morning have raised more questions than answers to the investigators.

Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena yesterday said the Police Forensic Unit and the Army Bomb Disposal Unit attended the scene on Monday.

"We are still carrying out investigations on the case and the Forensic Unit and the Bomb Disposal Unit went to his (Mr Biti's) house yesterday (Monday)," he said.

No details could be made available yesterday on what they had discovered.
Yesterday, more intriguing issues surrounding the alleged blast continued to emerge.

The Herald yesterday caught up with Mr Biti's gardener, Mr Gift Chitetere (20).
Mr Chitetere said he was alone at the time of the blast as Mr Biti and his wife were away.

The two maids, identified as Prisca and Revai were off duty.

According to Mr Chitetere, journalists from the private and international media started trooping to Mr Biti's house as early as 9am as news of the blast filtered through.

He said Mr Biti only arrived at his house more than 13 hours later despite being notified of the incident as early as 8am.

Also startling is the fact that a police report was made at Highlands Police Station almost 17 hours after the incident.

"I was sleeping in the quarters and I heard something like a gun shot at around 1am. I went outside to investigate and went to the wall and realised that there was a crack."

Asked why he went straight to the security wall, Mr Chitetere said: "I just suspected that something could have happened to it."

He said he then went to inspect the house before returning to sleep.
"I switched off the lights and at around 8 in the morning, I went outside and that's when I realised smoke on the walls.

"Whilst I was examining the wall, one of the (Mr Biti's) drivers, Danny arrived and I told him everything," he said.

He said Danny immediately phoned "mudhara" (Mr Biti) informing him of the incident.

"Soon after that we started seeing news guys arriving and they came and took nyaya dzavo before leaving. We spent the whole day waiting for him (Mr Biti)," he said.
Asked where his boss was at time of bombing, Mr Chitetere said, "I don't know where exactly but what I know is that he was in the country."

He said at around 6pm he later went and reported the matter at Highlands Police Station together with Danny.

"We came with police officers at around 7pm who started investigating the case. He (Biti) managed to arrive at around 9.30pm and took over everything," he said.

Snr Asst Comm Bvudzijena said nobody had been picked up for questioning so far. Police sources say investigations indicated that the matter appeared to be the party's grandstanding ahead of the Sadc summit on Zimbabwe this weekend.

The Sadc extraordinary summit is slated for this Saturday and would be held on the sidelines of the Comesa, Sadc and East African Community Tripartite Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Police sources said it was startling that an official report was made more than 17 hours after the incident.

The sources also claimed that chances were high that evidence could have been tampered with before the report was made. The bombing reportedly happened at around 1am on Sunday.

This is not the first time that Minister Biti has failed to report a case to the police in time.

In August 2009, Minister Biti was fined US$20 after he was involved in an accident and failed to report to police within 24 hours.

He paid an admission of guilt fine at Avondale Police Station.

The accident occurred on July 13 at around 11pm in Kambanji after the minister who was driving an official silver Mercedes Benz hit a bridge barrier along Outspan Road between Geydan and Milanzi Roads.

The vehicle was damaged and he did not report to the police as stipulated by the Road Traffic Act Chapter 13.11.

The accident was, however, reported 25 days later on August 7, 2009 after officials from the CMED demanded a police report when Minister Biti wanted the vehicle repaired.

On Sunday, there was no police guarding Minister Biti's house as a result of manpower shortages in the force.

"Government said reports claiming that Finance Minister, Biti's house had been bombed were part of the MDC-T political grandstanding ahead of the Sadc Summit. Secretary for Media, Information and Publicity, Mr George Charamba, said the reports were riddled with a lot of inconsistencies rendering the story incredible.


"This was a propaganda political petrol bomb so poorly done ahead of the Sadc Summit in South Africa. If the idea was to draw attention to Minister Biti and his party, then the MDC-T needs to be a little bit more inventive next time," said Mr Charamba.

Media reports had sought to blame the State, claiming that the police officer who guards the residence had left the property.

"This whole issue of a police officer being unavailable is nonsense. Anyone enjoying VIP police protection, including myself, one would know that of late the police have been overstretched by way of manpower,

they have been struggling to deploy because of serious transport handicap, thanks to Minister Biti who will not give them resources. Anywhere, I hear that the police officer at the Minister's residence had been taken ill and remedial action was taken immediately," he said.

Recent investigations by the police have revealed that MDC-T was behind some of the petrol bombings in and around Harare.

Earlier this year, a petrol bomb was detonated at Mbare's Siya-So market stalls in what investigations indicated was an attack by MDC-T youths.

In February this year, five petrol bombs were thrown at the Zanu-PF district offices in Mbare by the MDC-T again. The MDC-T supporters are also suspected to be behind petrol bombs, which were thrown at Harare Central Police Station and the CID headquarters in Harare.

Between March 15 and 25, 2007, four police stations in Chitungwiza, Marimba, Sakubva and Gweru were petrol-bombed by suspected MDC-T activists, resulting in serious injuries to two policewomen and damage to property. Police suspected MDC supporters were responsible for both attacks and arrested five suspects in connection with the Gweru attack.

They also attempted to blow up a railway line in Norton.

Presently there are factional fights within the MDC-T with supporters of Mr Biti and party leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai involved in some skirmishes. Previous internal squabbles in the party even led to physical attacks on former senior members, Professor Welshman Ncube, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Trudy Stevenson.

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Abuse of govt resources for campaigns

Abuse of govt resources for campaigns
By The Post
Wed 08 June 2011, 04:00 CAT

There is little doubt that being in government and in control of state resources and public institutions gives the ruling party and its candidates certain advantages that their challengers are unable to match.

Phineas Bbala, a public administration lecturer at the University of Zambia, is right when he says that Zambians will continue witnessing abuse of state resources and public institutions by those in power for party activities in the name of government projects for as long as there remains no clear separation of the two.

There is no doubt that the ruling MMD is using taxpayers’ funds for political activities rather than government purposes. Recently, government ministers were all over the country with government motor vehicles and support staff on MMD electoral and organisation business.

The taxpayer was paying for all this. This should not be allowed to continue. A thick line needs to be drawn between MMD and government business, and it needs to be done soon. Levelling the political playing field will require creating a thick line marking a distinction between the government and the ruling party. Lack of a distinction between ruling party campaign activities and government business creates a climate of abuse and unfairness.

We do appreciate that the party in power may enjoy the advantages of incumbency, but the rules and conduct of the election contest must be fair.

There are some legitimate arguments that it is difficult to establish a dividing line between when the president’s itinerary is purely party political since he also has to discharge his duties as a head of state all the time. It is further argued that the constitutional responsibilities of the president dictate that the incumbent shall be on duty 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

And this makes it impossible for the president to separate his party political responsibilities from his official government responsibilities. Whereas this may be understandable, what about his ministers and other party functionaries who accompany him using these and additional government resources and facilities?

And Bbala is calling for new laws to stop this practice. We don’t think the problem is really of laws.

It is much more a question of enforcement of the law. We say this because the electoral Act number 12 of 2006 and the Electoral Code of Conduct 2006 prohibit any person from using state resources for political party campaigns, but give the president and vice-president an exclusive right to use state resources. Section 7 (k) provides that “…a person shall not use government or parastatal transport or facility for campaign purposes; provided this paragraph shall not apply to use by the president and the vice-president in connection to their offices”.

Despite this prohibition, those in power have continued to use, or rather abuse, government resources and facilities in their election campaigns. In the 2008 presidential elections, Rupiah Banda and the MMD abused government resources and facilities with impunity. Rupiah’s team of image builders was moving in a Ministry of Health motor vehicle. Photographs of them using a government-owned motor vehicle were taken and published by this newspaper. But no action was taken against anyone.

In short, the law was not enforced in any way. Rupiah had friends from the opposition who were supporting him and they travelled with him using government resources and facilities – sometimes even having a second helicopter for those who accompanied him. Rupiah personally distributed sugar, mealie- meal, cooking oil and other things, bought with government money, at election campaign rallies. The then Attorney General, Mumba Malila, advised that this was wrong but they continued doing so in total disregard of his legal advice.

Probably there is need to understand the background to our people’s opposition to those in power abusing public resources and facilities in their election campaigns. In 1991, the MMD proclaimed that once in power, they would eliminate the unfair access to state resources by the party in power.

However, once in power, the MMD did not address the issue and deliberate misuse of state resources continued. After Levy Mwanawasa came to power in 2001, his government, in response to public demands, initiated electoral reforms to enhance transparency and level the playing field. This culminated in the passing of the electoral Act in 2006 and the Electoral Code of Conduct 2006.

Although there is this law, those in power have continued to operate as if nothing stops them from using public resources and facilities in their bid for re-election. The reason why the President and the vice-president were allowed to use government facilities even during their election campaigns were for security. But we have seen an abuse of all this. We saw it in 2008 when Rupiah used government helicopters and planes as if there was no restriction on their use.

His friends were flying around in these planes and helicopters as if they were part of his security team. Some of these were not even government officials. But he carried them around on his campaigns at additional costs to the taxpayer, taking advantage of these privileges in ways that directly support partisan purposes and disadvantage the opposition.

It cannot be denied that it is these abuses of public resources and facilities that have kept the MMD in power for this long, making it very difficult for the opposition to effectively challenge them.

This explains why our electoral politics have been one-dimensional, requiring a revolution or an uprising to change government. This defeats the whole purpose of having a multi-party political dispensation.

With such practices, we will continue having a political party dominating the politics of our country for a very long time even when they have lost the legitimacy to govern. The opposition should not be made to be effectively competing with the state when they participate in elections.

Clearly, there is urgent need to limit or stop these abuses of incumbency because it is not good for democracy; it is not good for good governance, transparency and accountability. We need to put in place mechanisms that can ensure the playing field is levelled and the abuse of taxpayers’ money for political purposes is avoided.

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I want to know the benefits of voting for MMD...

I want to know the benefits of voting for MMD...
By Brina Manenga in Chongwe
Thu 09 June 2011, 04:00 CAT

Senior chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo II of the Soli people has questioned the benefits of voting for the MMD government again after it has failed to deliver development in her area.

Addressing the gathering at a memorial service for Chongwe member of parliament Sylvia Masebo's late mother, chieftainess Nkomeshya also challenged works and supply minister Gabriel Namulambe who was present to report to President Rupiah Banda the feelings of the people of Chongwe on this matter.

“Every year time, we do vote but what is our benefit? There is nothing! There is nothing! I represent the people. I am not a politician but I am a traditional leader. I want to know what our benefits are for voting for the MMD,” chieftainess Nkomeshya said.

“When that day comes for us to go and vote, we are going to vote. I want to ask, ‘Is my vote and the vote of my people worth it to this government?’ If I cannot get the benefit from it, why should they vote if they are not reaping? I am sure even the minister Namulambe as he was coming he saw the type of schools that we have. Most of them are self-help schools.

Where are the government schools? Chongwe Basic School is a missionary and Catholic school which was taken over by government, it was not built by government.”

Chieftainess Nkomeshya said people in her chiefdom had always wondered whether they were part of the country since they were left out on development.

“It is my request Honourable minister Namu-lambe, do not keep it to yourself. Tell them where you are going. Tell them that this is what Her Royal Highness has said. I just want to be quoted and quoted correctly. I am not going to withdraw my statement or say 'No I was misquoted'.

If there are people writing, write exactly what I am saying and I will support it,” chieftainess Nkomeshya said. “It is painful and yet we in Lusaka Province are the ones that are housing the capital city. We are sitting the administration of government.

The benefits we are receiving are almost none. Honourable minister, when coming you travelled on this road and I am sure you have seen what this road is all about. We have waited too long. We are citizens just like any other citizen of this country, and I think we also have the right to share the national cake of this country which other people are sharing.”

Chieftainess Nkomeshya said the late president Levy Mwanawasa's administration had made a commitment to tar the roads, but that commitment has since died with him.

“We question sometimes, 'Where have we gone wrong to our government? What have we done wrong? Aren’t we part of the citizenship? Aren’t we like any other citizen of this country? Isn’t it that we are voters? Haven’t we registered as voters?” chieftainess Nkomeshya asked as the crowd shouted, “Yes!”

She bemoaned the poor road infrastructure in Chongwe district.

“We have no tar mark road to ease the movement of the peasant farmers. Yet you the government are saying that Chongwe is the second district in maize production. The same bumper harvest we are talking about is coming from this area but where is the road infrastructure to help the farmers ferry out their crops to the market? There is nothing,” she said.

Chieftainess Nkomeshya said the people of Chongwe also wanted their children to be educated like others. She said the health system in the district was nothing to be happy about.

“The hospital that is now serving as a district hospital was my palace. I took my dignity to come out of that palace. I gave it to the people so that it could be turned into a clinic to save people's lives,” she said.

“I went further to raise funds to renovate Chongwe Clinic to be what it is today. There is Kampekete Clinic, it is also my house. My nephew died and other relatives wanted to sell it but I stopped it so I could give it to the people.”
Chieftainess Nkomeshya said government has not done anything to improve the health care system in Chongwe district.

“Government wanted land from me to put up a hospital. I gave them but for all these years nothing has been done. Chongwe hospital was launched recently but it is standing as a white elephant. What was the point of launching it? What was the point of opening it if people are not getting the services that they want?” chieftainess Nkomeshya asked .

“People are dying, people are walking long distances when they have a hospital that can help them. That is a hospital without accommodation for the doctors, so where are the doctors going to be living?”

Chieftainess Nkomeshya said government had not constructed houses for doctors, which it had promised to do in the second phase.

“Is the second phase going to come now that we are going towards elections?” she asked.

Chieftainess Nkomeshya said the people of Chongwe were seeing new structures and new roads being built in other areas, but wondered why they were not benefiting.

“There is nothing here. There is nothing. I am saying this without fear or favour. I know I am making a public statement and it will reach everybody. If it will not be censored then people will hear my voice. I feel pain because my people are marginalised when this is our government,” she said.

“MMD is our party, PF is our party, UPND is our party but it is more heavier on you because we have given you MMD the mandate to look after our people. But I think we are not being looked after properly the way other people are being looked after.”

Chieftainess Nkomeshya said she would not be intimidated and would stand to fight for her people.

“For the previous elections our votes have been given to the ruling party. What more does the ruling party want from us? What are we going to get from them?

I am not being rude. I am just stating the facts. I have made this statement in the presence of government because people would have doubted it…so that you take my message to the authorities. If there is any criticism, let them challenge me.” Chieftainess Nkomeshya said as people applauded.

She said she was ready to do anything to ensure that the people of Chongwe lived better lives.

“I have now decided to give land to any investor who is willing to give us a school so that our children can be educated. Government has not done anything. My heart is congested and I am not trying to make you government unpopular. If there is anyone to be made unpopular, it should be me,” said chieftainess Nkomeshya.

In his defence, Namulambe said people should not blame President Rupiah Banda but his ministers. He said ministers were the ones who ensured that development reached respective districts.

And in her speech Sylvia Masebo said her family had put aside a total of K250 million to build a school to honour the late mother.

“The building of a school is a project that has been initiated by the family. This is because we want to honour our mother who believed in the importance of education. She always said that education was the key to the development of any individual and indeed the country,” said Masebo.

She said the building of the school would encourage more people to take their children to school and also discourage early marriages.

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