Saturday, December 10, 2011

(MnG) Zuma blasts NATO's campaign in Libya for 'lasting scar'

Zuma blasts NATO's campaign in Libya for 'lasting scar'
ABUJA, NIGERIA - Dec 10 2011 18:20

South African President Jacob Zuma on Saturday said the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) campaign in Libya left a scar on the continent that will take long to heal.

Zuma, who was part of a high-level African Union (AU) panel that failed to mediate a ceasefire in Libya, complained in a lecture given during a one-day visit to Nigeria about the role of some Western countries in the Libyan crisis.

"The manner in which Libya was treated by some countries in the developed world remains a scar that will take many years to heal for Africa", he said.

"Developed countries with their own national agendas hijacked a genuine democratic protest by the people of Libya, to further their regime change agendas."

South Africa voted for a UN resolution that imposed a no-fly zone over Libya but Zuma later accused NATO of over-stepping its mandate for airstrikes aimed at protecting civilians and of blocking AU peace initiatives.

Africa unite to aid Libya

He said Libya was "bombed for months on end in the name of saving the lives of civilians, and finally [had] its leader killed, not arrested and taken and tried in court if he had committed a crime. It could only happen in Africa, nowhere else. Thus we call on Africans to stand united."

Zuma said the African Union summit next month "will have to deliberate very seriously on the Libyan question, to help this country return to normality."

He said the AU would also look at working with the Arab League to build a democratic Libya.

"We must deliberate as to how to ensure that we will not have a repeat of what happened in Libya," Zuma said.

The lecture was given in memory of a Nigerian politician and ex-vice president, Shehu Musa Yar'Adua, believed to have been killed while serving a jail term for allegedly plotting a coup against late military dictator Sani Abacha in 1997.

Zuma was also due to receive an honorary doctorate degree from the American University of Nigeria, a private university founded by Nigerian former vice president Atiku Abubakar in the city of Yola in the east of the country. -- Sapa-AFP

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(LUSAKATIMES) Zambia could cut back mineral royalty tax if copper prices collapse-Simuusa

COMMENT - Who runs the Zambian economy, the PF or the World Bank? Oh never mind...

Zambia could cut back mineral royalty tax if copper prices collapse-Simuusa
TIME PUBLISHED - Friday, December 9, 2011, 5:36 pm

Mines Minister Wylbur Simuusa has told Reuters today that Zambia could cut back mineral tax royalties if commodity prices collapse next year. Mr Simuusa told Reuters on the sidelines of a London conference. “For now (the royalties) will stay, but if it becomes a crisis, if prices crash, we might have to review the regime… not in 2012 but for 2013, in the next budget,”

Zambia plans to double royalties on copper miners to six percent in order to bring in badly needed revenue, increase social spending and farming subsidies – a move miners have warned may cause them to scale back operations.

The World Bank has said that the policy is unlikely to cripple the industry at current prices but could cause problems if copper prices fall.

Copper miner First Quantum, one of the largest investors in the Zambia’s mining sector, warned the viability of newer projects in the country, especially a newer generation with lower copper grades, could be at risk. It says its Kansanshi copper-gold mine is already among the most highly taxed in the world.

Adam Little, head of tax for First Quantum, indicated the miner hoped reforms to improve Zambia’s tax collection would result in lower royalties, which are based on revenue, not profit, and can be very punitive as prices fluctuate.

“We need to be thoughtful about the impact of revenue-based taxes. The recent 100 percent increase in mineral royalty taxes is damaging, especially for low-margin mines,” Little said.

“If other taxes can become more collectable, then Zambia’s reliance on the more damaging taxes can be reduced.”

Simuusa agreed their could be a re-calibration once Zambia has overhauled its tax and tax collection system.

Foreign mining companies operating in Zambia include Canada’s First Quantum Minerals, London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc, Glencore International Plc, Barrick Gold, Brazil’s Vale and Metorex of South Africa.


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(LUSAKATIMES) The Zambian Declaration: It’s Time For Change

The Zambian Declaration: It’s Time For Change
TIME PUBLISHED - Saturday, December 10, 2011, 4:38 pm
By Jacqueline Musiitwa

Michael Sata and supporters echoed Barack Obama’s mantra of ‘change’ during the 2011 election.

As a child growing up, I recall the fervor and momentum around Zambia’s first democratic multi-party election which took place in 1991. I remember running in the streets chanting, “The time is now…It’s time for change” and other chants focused on the people’s hope for a better future. Little did I understand politics, much less political evolutions or revolutions.

In the last 20 years both Zambia and the world have changed, becoming more loosely bound. We continue to witness the globalization of ideas, politics, economics, social systems, culture, technology and disease. If the Arab up rising has taught us anything, it is that leadership is about responsibility and not power.

Failure to be responsible results in removal from power. This year I have witnessed another change of sorts in Zambian politics. In a relatively peaceful election Zambians made it known that once again it was time for change. The election process demonstrated to me Zambians’ choice to hold leadership accountable for its actions.

The one thing that has remained constant in the lives of all Zambians is the desire to make a better life for themselves. The ever present consensus in African political discourse is that our leaders are the cause of our problems. Although in part true, leaders alone must not take all the blame. As Aldous Huxley said, “People get the government they deserve.”

Considering many African countries’ battle with national self esteem, questionable degrees of patriotism and nationalism, as Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea games have a larger following than parliamentary proceedings, one can only be cautiously optimistic. Based on the assumption that Zambians are committed, inspired and willing to work hard together towards national development, it still begs the question, how can ‘we the people’ ensure the leaders are for the people, of the people and guided by values and ethics (including, but not limited to, transparency and accountability)?

The first step is to consider the words of Barack Obama, “We must educate our children to become like young Egyptian people….” This does not mean taking to the streets, it means uniting young people together for a common cause despite existing differences. The days of silent children who are seen and not heard are gone – younger generations now know that they are an influential and growing part of ‘the people’.

It also means understanding and demanding civic rights, obligations and privileges under the law while using the appropriate means to express grievances. People’s rights need to be taught in schools and other community fora.

The second step is to foster independent institutions buttressed by a strong civil society, free press and unrestricted access to social media. It is through open debate of the issues that people effectively contribute as active and responsible citizens.

People need to express and advocate the views of a diverse cross-section of the population without fear or threat of prosecution. A good example of this is Rwanda’s ‘National Dialogue’ – a process that invites people to converse with government through phone calls, text messaging and email (domestically and from the diaspora) about national challenges, successes, lessons learned and future plans.

Often in Africa political leadership is disconnected from the realities of the people. Being surrounded by a convoy of security in a vehicle with tinted windows or a helicopter because there are no roads to the region for the rare opportunity to visit a village, (that prepares for weeks on end for the visit), is hardly a depiction of the people’s reality.

President Sata, was in part voted because he appears to be ‘a man of the people’. In his first ninety days, people have been watching with anxiety the reforms the government is making. So far the new government is demonstrating its commitment to unifying past political fractures – renaming the airports with names of the founding fathers, whilst demoting military officials that were allegedly unqualified for their posts suggests that a meritocracy could be developing, thus minimizing corruption and nepotism in hiring practices.

Clearly outlining and enforcing the terms and conditions for investors entering into Zambia, especially the Chinese, thus protecting Zambia’s greatest resource, its people, at the forefront of the agenda demonstrates the government’s commitment to sustainable development.

All of the above are great starts, however, the development agenda, be it Vision 2030 or the Millennium Development Goals, need to be accompanied by an active and realistic plan of how to accomplish them. Such a plan is not yet clear. Additionally, the needs of the people change over time, and government must take that into consideration whilst still focusing on such visions. There need to be checks and balances, monitoring and evaluation of leadership performance. And ultimately it is up to the people to gauge when it is time for change and be the necessary agents of change.

Jacqueline Musiitwa founder of Hoja Law Group is a Mo Ibrahim Leadership fellow, a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and an Archbishop Tutu fellow.

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(LUSAKATIMES) Silvia Masebo testifies in William Banda case

Silvia Masebo testifies in William Banda case
TIME PUBLISHED - Friday, December 9, 2011, 10:41 pm

Chongwe Member of Parliament, Silvia Masebo has told the Lusaka magistrate court that Lusaka Province MMD chairman, William Banda organized MMD cadres to go to Chongwe and beat up PF cadres. This is in a matter in which Mr. Banda and four others are facing charges of assault on some Chongwe residents.

Ms Masebo said on 3rd September 2011, she received a call from one of the PF Members in Chongwe, informing her that MMD cadres were beating people in the area. She said when she got to Chongwe she found some PF members who were attacked, by the road side on great east road.

Ms. Masebo says later on she saw Mr. Banda come near her and calling for reinforcement and a few minutes later some MMD cadres were brought in buses and vans.

She says Mr. Banda ordered the cadres to beat and clear all PF cadres because former President Rupiah Banda was to pass there as he was scheduled to have a rally in Chongwe. An emotionally charged Ms Masebo told the court that the MMD youths were armed with Pangas and sticks and were throwing stones at PF supporters.

Ms Masebo positively identified Mr. Banda and another accused person in court, as some of the people who were in the fore front in the Chongwe violence. And Lusaka resident magistrate, Rogers Kaoma warned Ms Masebo against using unpleasant language in court.

This was when responding to a question from defense lawyer Hopday Kabwe, who asked her on whether or not she wanted to outweigh former President Rupiah Banda’s campaign strategy. Ms Masebo had earlier responded that it was nonsense and ridiculous for someone to think that she wanted to outweigh Rupiah Banda.

Trial in the matter continues


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(HERALD) Capitalist democracy: Promise peace and deliver war

Capitalist democracy: Promise peace and deliver war
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 21:31

Hillary Clinton backer, Adolph Reed Junior was dismissed by Barack Obama's supporters after he said: "He's a vacuous opportunist. I've never been an Obama supporter.
"I've known him since the very beginning of his political career, which was his campaign for the seat in my state senate district in Chicago.

"He struck me then as a vacuous opportunist, a good performer with an ear for how to make white liberals like him. I argued at the time that his fundamental political centre of gravity, beneath an empty rhetoric of hope and change and new directions, is neoliberal.

"His political repertoire has always included the repugnant stratagem of using connection with black audiences in exactly the same way Bill Clinton did -i.e., getting props both for emoting with the black crowd and talking through them to affirm a victim-blaming "tough love" message that focuses on alleged behavioural pathologies in poor black communities.

"Because he's able to claim racial insider standing, he actually goes beyond Clinton and rehearses the scurrilous and ridiculous sort of narrative Bill Cosby has made infamous."

Of the four Democrats that voted in favour of the draconian Republican cuts on child welfare during Barack Obama's days as an Illinois state senator, only Obama was non-white.

Rickie Hendon, an African American fellow senator was infuriated over the actions of the four democrats, and he was particularly disturbed with the action of Obama. This is what he had to say about Obama:

"He was running for the United States Senate at the time, and when I asked him with my sad eyes and perplexed, torn heart, he told me he did it because ‘we have to be fiscally prudent.'

"I said ‘Huh?' and he explained to me that we had to show fiscal responsibility during tough budget times . . . Finally, I heard the bill number for a cut in the South Side in Senator Obama's district.

"Barack rose to his feet, and towering over the senate, gave a heart-wrenching speech condemning this particular cut . . . he asked for compassion and understanding . . . his fiscally prudent vote took place only about 10 minutes earlier and now he wants compassion!"

When Obama lost the vote, sharp words were exchanged with Hendon. This was Hendon's narration:

"Barack leaned over and struck his jagged, strained face into my space and told me in an eerie, dark voice that came from some secret place within the ugly side of him, ‘You embarrassed me on the Senate floor and if you ever do it again I will kick your ass!"

"I said ‘What?' He said, ‘You heard me, and if you come back here by the telephones, where the Press can't see it, I will kick your ass right now!'"
Hendon agreed to the duel and he walked to the telephones before another senator rushed and dragged the two apart.

This is according to The Sun Times account.

Hendon concluded later, ". . . in this incident, he proved himself to be bipartisan enough and white enough to be president of the United States of America."
At one time Hendon said Obama was so ambitious that he would run for "The King of the World" position even ahead of Colonel Gaddafi.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has an amazingly massive grip on Washington.

Pro-Israel money plays a significant role in every US election, and AIPAC's approval can be decisive where the race is close.

For this approval there is only one criterion: blind loyalty to Israel and blind denunciation of those who are critical of its policies as bigots and anti-Semites.
Candidates for the US presidency, the House and the Senate from both parties queue obediently at AIPAC gatherings to pledge support and receive largesse.

In 2002, Obama opposed the attack on Iraq and this was possible because he was then a low-profile state senator, and it was politically inexpensive to do so.

By the time Obama was elected president, the US had occupied Iraq for six years, and the new president's first act on Iraq was to retain George W. Bush's defence secretary, Robert Gates, a long time CIA functionary and veteran of the Iran-Contra affair in the Pentagon.

This was a brazen signal of political continuity: one coming from someone who had pledged to end the Iraq war in his campaign and ascendance to power.

Obama had successfully preached and promised peace; only to deliver war.
While Bush promised to pull out all US combat soldiers by December 2011, Obama promised before his election to pull out all US combat forces from Iraq within 16 months of his taking office, ie, by May 2010.

Being the clever Obama he is, he adorned this with a safety clause that this pledge could be "refined" in the light of unforeseen events.

The clause was effected in February 2009 when Obama announced an extension of the withdrawal to September, something that was never fulfilled.

The legacy of the Iraq invasion is on public record: the destruction of the country's cultural patrimony, the brutal dismembering of its social infrastructure, the theft of its natural resources, the sundering of its mixed neighbourhoods, and not least the death or displacement of countless of its citizens, all noted by author Tariq Ali in the book "The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad".

It is a staggering million plus murdered Iraqis, three million refugees, five million orphans, according to conservative government figures.

Obama is still struggling to put in place a reliable puppet government in Iraq while he manoeuvres his way towards a possible war with Iran.

Iran is America's problem state, one that has always posed a conundrum. Here is an "Islamic Republic" always publicly breathing fire against the Great Satan while sometimes quietly extending assistance to the same wherever and whenever most needed, like it did with the collusion with counter-revolutionaries in Nicaragua, or with the invasion of Afghanistan, or more predictably and prominently, with the invasion of Iraq.

Iran's abrasive and ferocious rhetoric is more directed at the rulers of Israel and at the Little Satan in London than it is directed at the two's patrons in Washington.
Israel has for some time now been galvanising its assets in the United States into a campaign to ensure that Washington commits to striking down Iran's nuclear programme.

As usual Israeli objectives are always internalised as little less than nature by US policymakers; and as such Obama has to be at his best in countering Iran's oratorical tirades by dishing out his own, and of course by tightening US sanctions on Teheran.

It does not matter that Obama came into office just short of explicitly saying war against Iran was not an option, when he vehemently preached the idea of a diplomatic settlement in the interest of all parties; denuding Iran of nuclear capability in exchange for an economic package and a political embracing from the West.

This was made hard by the June 2009 presidential election in Iran, when Washington had to opt to prop up the openly pro-Western wing, hoping the puppets would take power on the wave of mostly middle class Western sponsored protest; itself comprehensively defeated by a counterstrike of alleged electoral fraud and militia violence - allegations that were rarely backed by any verification or evidence, as has been the case with each election the Western sponsored MDC-T party fails to win against the Western-hated Robert Mugabe.

The Iran election, just like that of Zimbabwe a year earlier, gave Barack Obama the opportunity for perfect ideological posturing.

In a moving and emotive peerless display of sanctimony, he lamented with tearful grief the death of a demonstrator killed in Teheran on the same day his drones wiped out 60 villagers in Pakistan, most of them women and children.

Obama repeated this ideological posturing when he awarded Zimbabwe's Magodonga Mahlangu and Jenni Williams with the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award in November 2009, kissing the two women passionately, and declaring "You deserve a kiss."

Apparently the two women were being awarded for their outstanding performance in implementing the Western sponsored protests against the rulership of President Robert Mugabe, and more directly against the law enforcement details of the country.

As usual, Obama's ideological cries are fully backed by Western media; and it was comical to see the thwarted candidate in the Iranian contest elevated into an icon of the Free World; that despite that the man has a terrible history of being one of the most brutal butchers of the regime, at least by Washington's own standards, having been responsible for mass executions in the 1980s.

Obama's grand plan for reconciliation between Teheran and Washington was washed away by the misadventure of his backing of Amahdinejad's June 2009 election rival, itself being the initiative of AIPAC on behalf of Israel.

Now Obama has had to borrow and continue Bush's attempts to corral Russia and China into an economic blockade of Iran, in the hope of so strangling the country that the Supreme Leader will either be overthrown by hungry masses or be obliged to come to terms.
Failure of this leaves open the option of an air strike by Israel or American bombers on Iranian nuclear facilities, but this largely looks more like a back up threat than a practical prospect.
Those who argue for this possibility have a strong point in saying that once the West at large, in this case factoring the brazen and violence-loving Nicolas Sarkozy, and his smooth-faced murderous British sidekick David Cameron, and other Western leaders, has pronounced any Iranian nuclear capability intolerable, it is hard to imagine a rhetorical retreat in the event of Iran insisting with its nuclear intentions.

This writer is well aware of British and US intelligence agencies' habitual stoking of dissent and divisions in targeted client states in general, but also highly privileged to have fairly sufficient detail of such efforts in the politics of Zimbabwe, particularly the stoking of tribal dissent pretexted on the imagined and real differences between the Shona and the Ndebele.

We have white authors stumbling upon each other to install themselves as custodians of Ndebele memory over the atrocities that happened between 1980 and 1987 in the country, pumping up humanitarian fury and whipping up emotions in a narrow direction pointing the way of Robert Mugabe - that "land grabbing dictator" whose unforgivable crime is of course the audacity to take away land from "skilled white farmers" and giving it to "unskilled black famers."

Zimbabwe we are one and together we will overcome. It is homeland or death!!

Reason Wafawarova is a political writer based in Sydney, Australia.

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(HERALD) In the name of the Lord Most High . . . Let Zimbabwe go!

In the name of the Lord Most High . . . Let Zimbabwe go!
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 00:00

Prophet Enoch Immanuel Amanor Agbozo of the Enoch Missions, a world missionary outreach movement operating in Africa, Europe, the United States of America, with headquarters in Accra, Ghana was in Zimbabwe recently. He came to Zimbabwe from Botswana and preached and taught in Bulawayo before proceeding to Harare. After Zimbabwe, he took his message to South Africa.

Prophet Enoch also heads the Africa Redemption Mission (ARM) project - "a special project aimed at the reconciliation, deliverance, redemption and restoration of glory to Africa under the Kingdom of God and His Christ".

He says that he is a servant of God commissioned as an Apostle-Prophet by Jesus Christ and God the Father to the church and nations of the world; a voice of God in human and world affairs in the end-times; and, his commission is to "blow the trumpet" and proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom of God, to establish Christ's government and kingdom in the nations, heralding and preparing the way for the second coming of Jesus Christ.

He is also a prolific writer and defender of the Christian faith. One of his pieces, "Let Zimbabwe go!" was published in The Ghanaian Observer newspaper on January 19, 2009.
Below is the full article, reproduced with permission from the author:
"We write in the name of the Lord God Most High a message to the United Kingdom and the United States of America: Let Zimbabwe go!

We have it of Jehovah the Creator of Heaven and earth to tell Africa and the world at large that the Zimbabwe tragedy is not the making of President Mugabe, whatever his weaknesses and mistakes.

That, it is rather the doing of Britain and America which are working to wring life out of Zimbabwe so as to cause Zimbabwe to remain captive in the colonial imperialist rapist ring.

Before going further, let us relate yet another message from the Lord God Jehovah which also has a bearing on the Zimbabwe tragedy. The message is addressed to foreigners and settlers in South Africa.

This is the message from Jehovah. The time has come for foreigners and settlers in South Africa first to thank Him God the Creator for Africa, second, to thank Africa for Africa and third to bless Africa.

The message implies simply that Jehovah God the Creator is declaring that it is time for foreigners and settlers in Africa benefiting from the treasures and wealth of Africa - land, forest products, crops, animal heritage, mineral wealth, labour and market, etc, etc of Southern Africa and Africa as a whole to thank him Jehovah and Africa for her treasures, hospitality and sacrifices towards the good of foreigners and foreign lands and the world at large over the centuries.

The truth is that Africa has made and continues to make immense contributions and sacrifices towards the good and well-being of foreigners and foreign lands.

The time has now come for both the settlers and their "home" countries to appreciate this and to go out to thank God for the treasures of Africa.

It is time for Europe and America in particular to show gratitude and go out to BLESS AFRICA.

It is in this vein that we suggest people must understand and view the message LET ZIMBABWE GO!

It is time for Britain and America in particular to stop the old standing colonial-imperialist racism in Zimbabwe and the oppression of her peoples.

It is time to break the structured poverty, non-dignifying status and low standing livelihood of the black indigenous people of Zimbabwe in their God-given land.

For example, a cursory glance of the economic structure and social standing of the people of Zimbabwe may well reveal a lop-sided structure in favour of the white settler community and foreigners as against the large block of black community, even if both communities are deemed and treated as rightful citizens of Zimbabwe.

It may be apparent in this respect that the political-economy of southern Africa as a whole is of a nature that has historically determined and limited openings for social mobility for the indigenous black Africans. The colonial imperialist and apartheid systems have kind of created openings only in politics and to a lesser extent the professions and commerce for the black peoples.

That has reduced or is it condemned black community to the worker or wage earner status. In short, colour-class stratification is the reality being embedded.
It is here that land ownership is a serious and vexed question in a place such as Zimbabwe, which is essentially a great agrarian economy.

The black peoples of Zimbabwe have little or no chance to own and create capital from the land.

Not only that, they have little or no chance to develop skills in agronomy, provide food from their own farms for themselves such as in the case of Ghana and other African countries.

The land ownership structure and the plantation factory-type agricultural production system have combined to entrench the condemnation of the black peoples to factory-worker status, poverty, low incomes and low level of living in their own God given land.

It will take a change in land tenure system, deliberate and conscious education system and long period of practice and experience for black peoples to produce their own food, raise production levels for the market, domestic and foreign, and build up capital even when the state intervenes with land redistribution.

Though we are not fully apprised about the Zimbabwe economy, it is obvious that Zimbabwe does not have the indigenous Ghana type farmer who owns land, controls and sells his own produce - cocoa, food crop, livestock - which also can form the basis for capital formation, wealth creation, and above all sustained food production and livelihood.

It is here that Britain and America whose citizens or kith and kin own the lands, farms and factories and on the whole control the Zimbabwe economy feel threatened by the nationalist-socialist agenda of President Mugabe.

It is their bid to stop the Mugabe state intervention and economic transformation agenda that is primarily responsible for the Zimbabwe tragedy.

One does not know, for example whether the owners of the tabocco and other farms and factories are resident citizens of Zimbabwe or foreign arm-chair capitalists whose interest in the Zimbabwe economy has nothing to do with loyalty to the nation and commitment to the well-being, advancement and progress of the Zimbabwe people and economy as a whole.

In this respect, one can feel safe to conjecture about the presence of the dirty and dark finger of imperialist manipulation in politics in general and the current political stalemate in particular.

The intransigence on the part of the contesting personalities and parties can be the by-product if not the direct result of the foreign imperialist political manipulations.

We end here by stating that the UK-USA alliance in their effort to remove President Mugabe will not succeed.

[Mr Obama]

Mr Obama
But even if it does succeed, with or without connivance in the political, military and religious arena, Britain and America cannot feel free regarding the blood and deaths, suffering and pain of the people and collapse of Zimbabwe.

They have an account to give to the Lord God Jehovah and the people of Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole for the suffering and deaths of the people and the collapse of the economy.
In doing so, Britain and America should refer not only to their conscience, if at all, but to the historical facts and realities of Zimbabwe.

May we seize this opportunity to appeal to the peoples of good will around the globe to pray for the peace and healing of Zimbabwe.
Soon, the Most High God will cause a special rain to pour down to heal the land and bring hope and laughter to (the) people and (the) nation.
The message of the Most High is LET ZIMBABWE GO!

The foreigners and settler communities must take note.
We trust Prime Minister (Gordon) Brown and President (Barack) Obama will heed the voice of God, order and supervise the dismantling of the political and economic siege and the "whipping boy" stance of Europe and America against Zimbabwe. Europe and America must cease from treating Africa as the "dumping ground" and the "whipping boy" for Europe and America.

Africa must be free. God bless Africa!

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(BEIJING TODAY) Rothschild targets China

COMMENT - See here for the book Currency Wars 2, by Song Hong Bing.

Rothschild targets China
July 29, 2011
By Yao Weijie

Lord Jacob Rothschild, the chairman of RIT Capital Partners and the focus of the famous Chinese book Currency Wars, traveled to Beijing this week to promote the JRC private equity fund that will raise the yuan in China and allow Chinese investors to invest overseas.

Rothschild wants to raise $750 million through the fund. It is being operated under the strategy of “raising domestic, investing overseas.”

It is difficult for Chinese individuals and companies to invest overseas because of tight Chinese capital and currency controls. The capital markets have been opening up gradually to allow private enterprises to invest in overseas companies and create opportunities for these companies to enter the Chinese market, but the process has been slow.

The JRC fund, which is a joint venture between RIT Capital, Chinese investment group the Creat Group and investment advisory company Quercus Associates, is one of only two funds that have gained regulatory approval.

“In addition to the $100 million seed funding, the remaining $650 million of the JRC fund will come from Chinese private enterprises. The fund will focus on various sectors in European and American countries, including pharmaceuticals, bio-technology, clean energy, high-end equipment, environmental protection and IT technology,” said Rothschild in last week’s speech at Peking University.

Industrial output is only 3 percent of GDP in China now, which will increase to 20 percent before the end of 2020. “This unique venture will allow China’s private sector to invest in Western companies, while providing opportunities for Western companies to enter China’s rapidly growing and vibrant economy,” said Rothschild when the fund was announced in March.

Some scholars think there are many other benefits as well.

“The Chinese government took many measures to reduce the influence of inflation. The Central Bank has increased interest rates three times and raised the reserve ratio six times during the first half of 2011. The policy took effect and inhibited overheated investment. In this condition, investing idle funds to overseas projects is a good choice,” said Yu Huayi, Professor at the School of Finance of Renmin University.

The first time the Rothschild family came to China was in the 1830s. They operated a small business trading gold and silver out of Shanghai. Today the name is famous in China not only because of Chateau Lafite, the Rothschild wine in high demand among rich Chinese, but also because of the Chinese book Currency Wars, in which the Rothschild family are the main characters.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) Chinese companies 'bleeding' economy: Zanu PF MP

Chinese companies 'bleeding' economy: Zanu PF MP
09/12/2011 00:00:00

ZANU PF legislator, Paddy Zhanda has demanded a review of China’s involvement in the economy as it emerged the government has had awarding contracts worth more than half a billion dollars to foreign companies. Zhanda said Chinese involvement was “bleeding” the economy at a time local companies were struggling to survive with many people unable to find work.

The MP, who chairs the parliamentary portfolio committee on budget, finance and investment promotion, revealed the figure while presenting a report on the 2012 national budget.

"$553m worth of contracts were awarded to foreign companies, and most of these to Chinese companies," Zhanda was quoted as saying.

"Zimbabwe has a very high unemployment rate and a liquidity crisis and we implore the minister of finance, Tendai Biti, to stop this bleeding."
Zhanda reportedly said the projects awarded to foreigners included the construction of flats in Harare at a cost of $7m.

He added: "A few examples of these projects include construction of Lupane State University to cost $10m, National University of Science and Technology to cost $4m, a project at the University of Zimbabwe to cost $2m, Beitbridge Waterworks to cost $4m, construction of the new parliament of Zimbabwe complex in Kopje to cost $134m, and others."

Projects awarded to Chinese companies include the construction of a defence college on the outskirts of Harare.

But economist John Robertson said Zhanda's comments were "unfair" and took a different view.

He agreed that in principle local firms should compete for tenders, but he said that most of the skilled workforce has left the country and Zanu PF policies have destroyed the country's capacity to compete against foreign firms, who have more resources.

"I think Zhanda is being critical for a political reason. Zanu PF members of government are constantly trying to find ways of criticising MDC members for whatever they have done or failed to do" Robertson said.

Zimbabwe received a Chinese loan of $98m to build the college, to be repaid over 20 years through earnings from the Marange diamond fields, which are being mined by Chinese firm Anjin Investments and the Zimbabwe army.

Some of the gems, worth $160m, went on sale this week for the first time since the lifting of an international ban by the Kimberley Process.

The government says China plans up to US$10 billion in investments over the next five years, more than any other country.

Chinese economic activity in Africa is often a source of controversy, with allegations that China is underpaying for mineral resources and either mistreating local workers or importing its own.

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(HERALD) 198 more farms for the landless

198 more farms for the landless
Saturday, 10 December 2011 00:00
Takunda Maodza in BULAWAYO

ZANU-PF'S Department of Land Reform, Resettlement and Agriculture has recommended that the remaining 198 white-owned farms be gazetted for resettlement.

According to the Central Committee report presented by President Mugabe on Thursday to the party's 12th Annual National People's Conference here, there are 198 white-owned farms which the department wants gazetted.

Manicaland has the biggest number of farms yet to be gazetted (106), followed by Matabeleland South (59) and Matabeleland North (17).

Mashonaland East has eight white-owned commercial farms, Masvingo (three), Mashonaland West (one) while Mashonaland Central has none.

"The Department of Land Reform, Resettlement and Agriculture is of the view that these farms should be gazetted as there is still high demand for land for both rural and urban needs.

"So far this year 424,24 hectares have been gazetted for urban expansion," reads the report.

It noted that land redistribution was a continuous process and "the Government must continue the process to address the needs of deserving people".

The report observed that there were still some white former commercial farmers who were refusing to vacate gazetted land.

"A total of 223 former commercial farmers are under prosecution for failure to vacate gazetted land after expiry date as required by the Gazetted Land (Consequential Provisions) Act chapter 20:08 of 2006.

"The refusal by these former farm owners to vacate gazetted farms has disadvantaged 251 A2 farmers who hold offer letters," the report added.

It said the former farm owners were given time to wind up business.

Mashonaland West Province has the largest number with 47.

Manicaland Province comes second with 42 while Masvingo has 35.

Matabeleland South and Mashonaland Central have 13 each while the Midlands Province has 34.

Matabeleland North has the least with just two former commercial farmers still holding on to the gazetted land.

The report implored the Government to come up with a wholesome policy on agriculture input support to cater for different categories of farmers.

Meanwhile, 600 offer letters were processed for model A2 beneficiaries, the report said.

Of this, only five leases were issued to model A2 beneficiaries this year and altogether 127 leases have been registered to date.

On the national land audit, the report noted: "A framework for the national land audit has been submitted to Cabinet. The estimated budget for this exercise is about US$31 million."

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(HERALD) Tobacco growers stranded at ZFC depot

Tobacco growers stranded at ZFC depot
Saturday, 10 December 2011 00:00
Agriculture Reporter

Zimbabwe Fertiliser Company's Coventry Road depot in Harare for over a week waiting to get fertiliser. The farmers are members of the Zimbabwe Progressive Tobacco Farmers Union.

The growers said they paid US$55 per hectare to the union and an extra US$5 to Agritex to get letters of approval but it had taken long to get the fertiliser.
Rusape farmer Mr Brian Chawasarira said he had spent four days camping at ZFC to collect his fertiliser.

"When we applied for the input scheme, our union promised us that the fertiliser will be distributed to nearer points only to be told last minute that we had to process the documents individually," he said.

The farmers said they were surprised to find out there was a lot of paper work that needed to be done before they collected the fertiliser while others were having difficulties filling the forms.

This resulted in most of them having to spend days processing the application forms.
ZFC acting marketing executive Mr Justice Chamuka confirmed the chaos at the depot but said this was due to misunderstanding on the part of the farmers.

Most farmers, he said, were not aware of the application process when they came to ZFC and had to start registering instead of collecting the commodity.
"The fertiliser is being bought on credit and for one to do so there has to be a guarantor.

"For the farmers to benefit from the inputs scheme, they first have to register with their union, the union will remit funds to an insurance company and we get the list of approved farmers from the insurance company.

"The fertiliser is only given to those approved by the insurance company,' he said.
He, however, said the number of farmers coming to collect fertilisers had increased from around 50 per day to more than 300.

The depot is not only serving ZPTFU members but other farmers as well making it more complicated.

"We are now operating at 24 hours from factories and the Coventry depot is now open up to 8pm.

"We are now working over the weekends to ensure farmers are served on time.
"We have even taken staff from the Human Resources to assist serve farmers," he said.

Farmers complained that they should have been working in their fields and their stay at ZFC depot may result in significant loss of production time.

Another farmer, Mr Bright Chademana said he came to Harare intending to collect fertiliser but stayed longer than he had planned.

"I have no relative nearer this depot and can you imagine I am sleeping on the street.

"I was not prepared to stay this long and do not have enough money to buy sadza from vendors," complained Mr Chademana.

Mrs Annah Chiunda said it was disturbing that in a country where agriculture was the backbone of the economy, the farmer was suffering.

"We are suffering. Last season we had problems at the auction floors. We experienced shortages of heissan bags and now its fertilisers.

"Why are farmers being abused? We grow maize, GMB does not pay us on time, we shift to tobacco we get punished," she complained.

Some business people took advantage of the situation to boost their food sales.
They were selling sadza, drinks and bread to the stranded farmers.

"We do not have toilets here and some are relieving themselves on the streets," complained another farmer.

When The Herald visited ZFC depot yesterday, the security officers were struggling to control people visiting the toilets.

Some of the farmers were bathing in the toilets at ZFC while the company's staff complained of blocked toilets.

Yesterday ZFC management held a meeting with some leaders of the ZPTFU to resolve the problems being faced by farmers.

The situation was expected to improve.

Tobacco is one of the country's major foreign currency earners.

Many farmers are shifting to tobacco because of the favourable prices being offered on the market.



(MnG) Do myths about African sexuality hurt the fight against Aids?

Do myths about African sexuality hurt the fight against Aids?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one.
Q: How many sizes do penises come in?
A: Five — “small”, “medium”, “large”, “extra-large”, and “does that come in white?”

That is a very funny joke, yes

African men have been the subject of European myth-making since the very earliest days of contact between the two continents. One of the hardiest and most enduring myths is that African sexuality is somehow different to its European counterpart. Such comparisons are not altogether unflattering to African men, tinged as they are with a certain fascination and awe. One can’t entirely blame African men for becoming complicit in this myth-making. Who wouldn’t want to be known as bigger, better, more potent, more virile, and more active than everyone else?

It's true - a six-pack is the least of my assets

When I was researching my MA dissertation on colonial women writers in the Eastern Cape, I was struck by the combination of fascination and repulsion these women demonstrated toward Xhosa men. They were continually awed by their impressive physiques and by the size of their … spears. And no, that’s not me being facetious. The literature is full of references to long Xhosa spears dangling perilously closely to the skirts of prim Victorian ladies. If the sexual innuendo were any more obvious, it would be dancing the samba in a G-string and pasties.

She was just fine until those Xhosa warriors walked past

But that was then and this is now. Surely white people are over this obsession by now?

Apparently not. The fascination with African sexuality is undimmed, and goes hand in hand with a strong desire to police it. Thus when public figures such as Steve Hofmeyr and Naas Botha are shown to have had unprotected affairs they become national icons. But when Jacob Zuma and Fikile Mbalula do the same, the media trot out phrases like “irresponsible in our current climate” and “setting a bad example”. Black men are seen as carriers of disease in a way that their white counterparts simply are not.

The last few weeks have seen a resurgence of public utterances supporting the contention that African sexual behaviour is driving the HIV/Aids pandemic in Africa. We’ve had Helen Zille’s now infamous “why should we pay for irresponsible sexual behaviours?” tweets, and more recently Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi declaring that “HIV/Aids is a gender-based disease that is spread by men, but suffered by women”.

Motsoaledi’s statement has been publically celebrated by black and white women alike, and he has been lauded for “finally speaking the truth”.

Fortunately, before the demonisation of African men could run entirely out of control, a corrective was administered by Francois Venter on Politicsweb. Venter argues with admirable calm the sheer improbability of the notion that African male sexual behaviour is single-handedly responsible for the fact that HIV infection rates in Africa are wildly higher than anywhere else in the world.

I like to think that if HIV/Aids were spread by sneezing, scientists would not have spent so much time urging African men to change their sneezing habits — to sneeze in one direction only, to sneeze less often, to sneeze into a tissue — and more time investigating why the virus was having such an utterly devastating effect on one particular region of the world. Have we been so blinded by the legacy of Victorian myth-making about African male sexuality that we can’t see past it? Have we simply swallowed the myth whole and allowed ourselves to believe that one segment of the human race somehow practises utterly different sexual behaviour to everyone else?

Just think how improbable that is for a moment. Sexual activity is one of the great human levellers, along with eating and sleeping. Is it really even slightly likely that one continent is doing it completely differently to all the others? How did we ever let ourselves get seduced by this red herring?

As Venter argues, it appears increasingly obvious that something else is at play here. I am not a scientist and cannot begin to guess what that might be. Suggestions have been floated such as a genetic predisposition to succumb to the disease, regional differences in the virulence of HIV strains, co-morbidity and the presence of other infections, the debilitating effects of poverty, and so on and so forth. It seems to me that these possibilities should be earnestly and energetically investigated with a view to finding the real reason why Africans are so hard hit by Aids.

The importance of spreading awareness and behaviour-modification programmes can obviously not be overstated, because the one thing that is not in doubt is that HIV/Aids is spread primarily by sexual contact. It has been pointed out to me that Venter doesn’t mention the high levels of sexual violence against women in South Africa, and the possible role that this may have in spreading the disease. But that fails to explain why a country like Botswana, which doesn’t have anything like our sexual violence statistics, should be even harder hit by HIV/Aids than we are.

It is a tremendous shame that the “African promiscuity” model as an explanation for HIV/Aids in Africa has been so unquestioningly accepted for so long. We can only be grateful that it is now being properly interrogated and that other explanations are finally being sought.

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Friday, December 09, 2011

Some MPs are supposed to be in jail - Masebo

Some MPs are supposed to be in jail - Masebo
By Ernest Chanda and Bright Mukwasa
Fri 09 Dec. 2011, 13:58 CAT

CHONGWE PF member of parliament Sylvia Masebo says some members of parliament do not deserve to be in the House. Delivering her maiden speech in Parliament yesterday, Masebo said the MMD government engaged in a lot of corruption during the September 20 general election.

"Those in power at the time abused their offices to gain undue advantage over the opposition. Violence, abuse of State resources and machinery were the order of the day. I'm not surprised to see that we have a big number of petitions in our courts today. If our electoral process was fair, I can firmly inform you that some of these colleagues who are here are not supposed to be here," Masebo said.

"I want to say shame on our country. This is a country where we have leaders who are not supposed to be leaders. We have leaders who are supposed to be behind bars, not just for corruption but even for murder. I have in mind our citizens that were murdered in Mongu, in Mansa, in Mazabuka, Mandevu and so many people who have died of poverty because of bad governance."

Masebo said she had never known such greed and selfishness as displayed by the MMD government.

She said Zambians felt liberated after President Michael Sata won the election, hence the countrywide celebrations the moment he was declared winner.

Masebo said it was a pity that MMD corruption continued even when they are in the opposition, as witnessed in the Chongwe by-election.

"The PF government must clean up the whole electoral process. They must bring about a true and fair electoral system which will ensure that the will of the people prevails, not where we just have leaders buying their way through," said Masebo.

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Exploit cassava's potential - Kapaya

Exploit cassava's potential - Kapaya
By Henry Sinyangwe
Fri 09 Dec. 2011, 12:25 CAT

AGRICULTURE and livestock deputy minister Brigadier General Benson Kapaya says cassava has potential to contribute to the country's economic growth if well exploited.

Speaking during the launch of the cassava day yesterday, Kapaya said the activity was critical for the implementation plan which attempts to bring together all the major chain actors across the country to showcase the potential of cassava.

Zambia should exploit the full potential for cassava to give income to the farmer, create employment for our people in order to contribute to the economic growth of our country, he said.

He said the government placed the agriculture sector as a lead driver of the economy, hence it must put emphasis on the sector.

Kapaya said cassava's potential was not fully developed as it was assumed to be a poor man's crop.



Politics can be decent, says YALI

Politics can be decent, says YALI
By Fridah Nkonde in Ndola
Fri 09 Dec. 2011, 12:25 CAT

POLITICS is not dirty but made to appear so by people involved in it,observes YALI. In an interview yesterday, Young African Leaders Initiative Zambia (YALI) governance advisor Isaac Mwanza said the only problem Zambia was facing was that the older generation wanted to cling to power and abuse youths for their own ends.

"As YALI, we do not view politics as dirty but good because without politics in our society, there can never be leaders. People involved in politics today are the ones making politics look dirty," he said.

Mwanza said politics was a channel to serve the people because it was one of the things that strengthened the country.

He said politics helped to strengthen democracy, adding that there was need for people intending to become politicians to know why they were getting into politics.

"In politics, you cannot say that since I have experience, I can become a president; because there is nothing like experience in politics. Politics is about putting into practice. As YALI, we believe politics is something that is very decent if well understood by the people involved. Imagine what this world would have been without politics," Mwanza said.

He suggested that a programme should be designed in colleges and universities to train people in politics just like other careers.

Mwanza said most of the people involved in politics did not even have a single idea of what was expected of them but only joined politics to use and bribe people in society.

"We need people to be trained and to be given leadership skills who can develop this nation. People can be trained from childhood to help them know what they are aspiring for," he said.

Mwanza said there was need for Zambian politicians to reflect on what sort of politics they wanted to engage in.

During a workshop in Chipata last Friday, Eastern Province information and publicity secretary Joseph Banda said young people viewed politics as a game full of tensions and emotions.

Banda said the level of awareness of the importance of politics among the youths was very low.

"Generally the young people view politics as a dirty game and some of them would not want to expose themselves to that kind of things at a tender age. They don't seem to take keen interest in understanding the important role that politics plays in the governance of the country.

If we have to move forward, I think there will be more need to strengthen the teaching of civic education even in institutions like schools," he said.

Banda said the youths must be taught and educated on the importance of participating in politics because politics determined the country's future.

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First lady urges development of ICT infrastructure

First lady urges development of ICT infrastructure
By correspondent
Fri 09 Dec. 2011, 13:30 CAT

FIRST lady Dr Christine Kaseba says there is urgent need for the country to develop Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure in order to spar holistic economic development in all parts of the country.

Opening the Zambia International Conference on Telecommunication whose theme was ‘Telecommunication and beyond' at Zambezi Sun in Livingstone yesterday, Dr Kaseba said Zambia cannot afford to lag behind in technological advances whose benefits were immense.

"As a country we can longer afford to lag behind in ICT and telecommunication development because these are indispensable instruments that can spar development in all sectors of the economy," Dr Kaseba said.

She said development and expansion of existing ICT infrastructure could help the country achieve the much desired social, cultural and economic development in a bid to end poverty and make sustainable progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

Dr Kaseba observed that the conference was timely as it was taking place at a time when the country was making some steady progress in harnessing ICT and telecommunication through development of the mobile phone industry.

"We need to explore ways on how facilities such as telemedicine can be tapped in order for us to help treat many people in the remotest parts of the country like what other countries like Kenya have done. As we try to look at ways of developing the ICT sector, we should also come up with ways on how the sector can help persons with disabilities and women," said Dr Kaseba.

"The PF government is committed towards achieving universal access to ICTs to all in Zambia including rural areas to enable everyone move in tandem with the modern way of doing things."

And an ICT consultant Professor Victor Mbarika said African countries should shift away from being consumers of ICT information to become producers.

He said most of the ICT information consumed in Africa was irrelevant and not applicable to solving myriad of problems besetting African countries.

"We need to move with the rest of the world by developing ICT solution to address our own problems," said Prof. Mbarika.



Growth-oriented private sector is key - Anttinen

Growth-oriented private sector is key - Anttinen
By Kombe Chimpinde
Fri 09 Dec. 2011, 12:30 CAT

A vibrant and growth-oriented private sector is key to the success of any country, says Finnish Ambassador to Zambia Pertti Anttinen.

During the commemoration of the 94th Finland National Day in Lusaka graced by first Republican president Dr Kenneth Kaunda, Ambassador Anttinen said the growth of the private sector was particularly cardinal for Zambia as the country was faced with a paramount challenge of creating new jobs for the growing population of young job-seekers.

"Economic growth is a vital tool to fight poverty particularly, when it benefits the far and wider society, in an environmentally sound way," Ambassador Anttinen said.

He also said he believed that Finnish companies could play a useful and increasing role in Zambia in transferring green technologies and other Hi-tech know-how to Zambia.

"I also wish to emphasise that the Finnish as well as the whole European Union (EU) markets are open for the Zambian exports, duty and quarter-free," Ambassador Anttinen said.

He added that Finland welcomed the PF government's pro-poor approach, commitment to enhanced governance, fight against corruption, the desire to ensure social justice and human rights as a cornerstone to social and economic development.

Ambassador Anttinen said Finland looked forward to working closely with the new government for the benefit of the Zambian people.

And information and tourism deputy minister Forie Tembo said economic and social relations between Zambia and Finland had continued to grow over the years.

Tembo said the PF government was looking forward to more Finnish-based investments into Zambia that would mutually benefit the two states.

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Sata goes for North-Western Province tribalistic chiefs

Sata goes for North-Western Province tribalistic chiefs
By Ernest Chanda
Fri 09 Dec. 2011, 14:00 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata has warned chiefs in North-Western Province against promoting tribalism in the area. Speaking after he swore in two more people on the constitution technical committee at State House yesterday, President Sata said tribalism could not bring development in the nation.

"Tribe is not a criterion, is not a qualification for employment. I've got people like Mr Mulasikwanda in Western-Province, and I've got the chiefs in North-Western Province. Those chiefs in North Western Province during the campaigns they were lying to people that Sata will bring war. Then again they came to lie; no, no, no Sata is going to take you to Angola. And now today they say they want to remove everybody who is in North-Western Province and employ their own relatives," Sata said.

"If the Solis stood up and said we don't want Mihova the commander of the army, we don't want Kanganja Secretary to the Cabinet, we don't want that permanent secretary in youth and sport; my own personal secretary is from North-Western Province, where is this country going to go? But I want to warn Mr Mulasikwanda of that fake Barotse government and these chiefs in North-Western Province, the law will protect the people of Zambia. And we are not going to be divided on tribal lines. The right brains will protect the people of Zambia. And we are not going to use tribe. You can use tribe in your own house but you don't use tribe when you come to national level."

Meanwhile, President Sata has accused former finance minister Situmbeko Musokotwane of drawing two salaries when he was a civil servant.

He said Dr Musokotwane who is Liuwa MMD member of parliament was drawing a salary from the Bank of Zambia and from government when he served as finance minister.

On Monday, President Sata accused the MMD of having printed fake money, but Dr Musokotwane responded by accusing President Sata of not being serious in his handling of national issues.

And President Sata said he had information that Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia executive director Reverend Pukuta Mwanza and International Fellowship of Christian Churches president Bishop Simon Chihana were supposed to hold a meeting and denounce him for not including them in the technical committee.

President Sata said Rev Mwanza and Bishop Chihana did not have qualifications to deserve a place on the technical committee.

"First they said the team is not balanced, then the latest part you are going to face; two fake pastors are supposed to hold a meeting to denounce me. Please warn them, the existing laws protect me. So Mr. Pukuta Mwanza and Mr. Chihana are supposed to hold a meeting and denounce me. But I'm very thick skinned," President Sata said.

"Mr. Chihana hasn't got the qualities that we want. Pukuta Mwanza hasn't got the qualities I need. During the campaign Pukuta Mwanza and Chihana campaigned against us, why don't they go to Mr. Banda to appoint them? They should go to Mr. Rupiah Banda to appoint them, let him have his own committee."

President Sata swore in Commerce, Trade and Industry permanent secretary Stephen Mwansa and constitution technical committee members Reuben Lifuka and Patricia Jere.

He told the duo that the law of the land would protect him.

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(LUSAKATIMES) Zambia’s human development has stagnated for over 20 years

COMMENT - Neoliberal economics are not about 'development', but about unrestricted exploitation of human and natural resources, for the accumulation of wealth in fewer and fewer hands. That is why it is the ideology of the trillionairs.

Zambia’s human development has stagnated for over 20 years
TIME PUBLISHED - Thursday, December 8, 2011, 4:21 pm

Zambia’s human development has stagnated for over twenty years. This is as a result of inappropriate macro-economic policies implemented in the 1970s and 1980s, which caused a decline in economic growth.

This has been revealed in the latest United Nations Development Programme-UNDP Report on Human Development.

The report states that the structural adjustment programmes sharply increased unemployment, reduced real wages and significantly increased the incidence of extreme poverty.

The Report says the positive economic growth which the country has experienced in recent years, is not enough to fully redress the decline in people’s standards of living.

Zambia’s human development index value for 2010 was 0.395 putting the country in the low human development category.

The country ranked 150 out of 169 countries.



(LUSAKATIMES) 2009 auditor general report out

2009 auditor general report out
TIME PUBLISHED - Thursday, December 8, 2011, 4:18 pm
Auditor General Anna Chifungula

The Auditor General’s report for the year 2009 has revealed glaring irregularities in various parastatals.

Irregularities that have been cited include unretired imprest amounting to K1.4 Billion , 14 Billion Kwacha in unsupported payments and irregular payments totalling K 4 Billion.

Parastal bodies that have been found wanting include ZESCO, the Road Transport and Safety Agency -RTSA- and the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission -CEEC.

Others in the report include ZSIC, Judiciary headquarters, the State Lotteries Board and NATSAVE.

Other irregularities pertain to fuel amounting to 2 billion Kwacha.

The report also sites 1 Billion Kwacha which is unaccounted for and 10- Billion Kwacha of irregular procurements.

This is according to a statement released to ZNBC news on Thursday by Ellen Chikale the spokesperson in the office of the Auditor General.


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Thursday, December 08, 2011

Corrupt leaders must not be tolerated - Citizens Forum

Corrupt leaders must not be tolerated - Citizens Forum
By Kombe Chimpinde
Thu 08 Dec. 2011, 13:00 CAT

CORRUPT leaders must not be tolerated, says Citizens Forum executive director Simon Kabanda. Commenting on ex-South African police chief Jack Selebi whose 15-year jail sentence on charges of corruption was upheld by that country's Supreme Court on Friday, Kabanda said leaders who engage in corrupt activities must be reminded that they are not above the law.

"I want to remind our leaders about a Bemba saying umulandu taubola (A crime is never too old to be tried). If an official is shielded today, they should not think they will be shielded forever. When they hide behind the authorities they should not think that they are above the law," Kabanda said.

"The law catches up with those that perpetrate wrong doing regardless of their status or political affiliation. What is important for our leaders to learn a lesson from what has happened to Selebi all the time is avoid wrongdoing at all times."

Kabanda observed that the case of Selebi was not different from that of some current and senior government officials who engaged in corruption in Zambia.

Kabanda stressed that it was imperative for the country to ensure that the judiciary was independent from the executive and party in power for the effective prosecution of cases of corruption involving senior government officials.

"That is also a demonstration that the courts in (South Africa) are independent and that the executive does not interfere in cases before the law. That's also something we (Zambians) should learn, that the courts must operate freely," said Kabanda.

The Supreme Court of Appeals last week upheld Selebi's conviction for taking bribes worth US$156,000 from convicted drug dealer Glenn Agliotti for him (Selebi) to turn a blind eye to his (Agliotti's) business.

Selebi was a senior member of South Africa's ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) and the most senior official appointed by the government to have been sentenced for corruption.

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Sata personally settles hotel bills

Sata personally settles hotel bills
By Edwin Mbulo in Livingstone
Wed 07 Dec. 2011, 13:55 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata on Saturday personally paid lodging and food bills to Sun International Hotel's Royal Livingstone for over an hour's use of the resort.

After a closed-door meeting with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe who arrived by road from Victoria Falls Town, President Sata joked about President Mugabe's security detail, saying he was better off sending an envoy. A hotel worker who sought anonymity said the President's gesture to personally pay the bill was a sign that he was allergic to corruption.

"What we used to see is that when president Rupiah Banda, Levy Mwanawasa or other senior government officers came for official duties, we were taking the bill to either the PS permanent secretary or the DC district commissioner and we saw a lot of inflations in the original bills being taken out to them and not come back. Sata is really doing the ‘Don't kubeba' style," the hotel worker said.

And President Sata when presented with two bills - one in a brown envelope and another in a hotel folder - queried the hotel staff over the authenticity of the bill.

"What is this?" President Sata asked a Royal Livingstone guest relations officer with the name tag Lydia Namukanda.

"Can you please give me a bill? The problem is that when you young men take off your hair, you also take off your brains. Who is the manager here?" complained President Sata.

President Sata then demanded an audience with the resort manager and mistakenly called out to a tourist before resort manager Giulio Togni approached.

President Sata who was by the driveway at the resort later walked over to the hotel front office desk where he personally paid the bills accumulated by journalists, security and protocol officers from Zimbabwe and Zambia.

And when asked on the agenda of President Mugabe and Sata's meeting, George Chellah who is the President's special assistant for press and public relations said a communiqué would be issued later from Lusaka.

"The meeting was cordial and fruitful and we will give the details by 18:00 Saturday when I get back to Lusaka," Chellah said.

And scores of tourists jostled and begged to get a picture of President Mugabe who left at 16:06 amid tight security.

"Why did he come here like that? He should have sent someone," President Sata joked as he proceeded to pay the bills.

President Mugabe was seen off by Southern Province deputy permanent secretary Alfred Chiingi and police commissioner Brenda Mutemba before President Sata walked over 150 metres from his hotel suite to the lobby.

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(HERALD) Debt slavery: Why it will destroy us

Debt slavery: Why it will destroy us
Thursday, 08 December 2011 00:00
Michael Hudson

Book V of Aristotle's Politics describes the eternal transition of oligarchies making themselves into hereditary aristocracies - which end up being overthrown by tyrants or develop internal rivalries as some families decide to "take the multitude into their camp" and usher in democracy, within which an oligarchy emerges once again, followed by aristocracy, democracy, and so on throughout history.

Debt has been the main dynamic driving these shifts - always with new twists and turns. It polarises wealth to create a creditor class, whose oligarchic rule is ended as new leaders ("tyrants" to Aristotle) win popular support by cancelling the debts and redistributing property or taking its usufruct for the state.

Since the Renaissance, however, bankers have shifted their political support to democracies. This did not reflect egalitarian or liberal political convictions as such, but rather a desire for better security for their loans. As James Steuart explained in 1767, royal borrowings remained private affairs rather than truly public debts. For a sovereign's debts to become binding upon the entire nation, elected representatives had to enact the taxes to pay their interest charges.

By giving taxpayers this voice in government, the Dutch and British democracies provided creditors with much safer claims for payment than did kings and princes whose debts died with them. But the recent debt protests from Iceland to Greece and Spain suggest that creditors are shifting their support away from democracies. They are demanding fiscal austerity and even privatisation sell-offs.

This is turning international finance into a new mode of warfare. Its objective is the same as military conquest in times past: to appropriate land and mineral resources, also communal infrastructure and extract tribute. In response, democracies are demanding referendums over whether to pay creditors by selling off the public domain and raising taxes to impose unemployment, falling wages and economic depression. The alternative is to write down debts or even annul them, and to re-assert regulatory control over the financial sector.

Near Eastern rulers proclaimed clean slates for debtors to preserve economic balance.
Charging interest on advances of goods or money was not originally intended to polarise economies. First administered early in the third millennium BC as a contractual arrangement by Sumer's temples and palaces with merchants and entrepreneurs who typically worked in the royal bureaucracy, interest at 20 percent (doubling the principal in five years) was supposed to approximate a fair share of the returns from long-distance trade or leasing land and other public assets such as workshops, boats and ale houses.

As the practice was privatised by royal collectors of user fees and rents, "divine kingship" protected agrarian debtors. Hammurabi's laws (c. 1750 BC) cancelled their debts in times of flood or drought. All the rulers of his Babylonian dynasty began their first full year on the throne by cancelling agrarian debts so as to clear out payment arrears by proclaiming a clean slate. Bond servants, land or crop rights and other pledges were returned to the debtors to "restore order" in an idealised "original" condition of balance. This practice survived in the Jubilee Year of Mosaic Law in Leviticus 25.

The logic was clear enough. Ancient societies needed to field armies to defend their land, and this required liberating indebted citizens from bondage. Hammurabi's laws protected charioteers and other fighters from being reduced to debt bondage, and blocked creditors from taking the crops of tenants on royal and other public lands and on communal land that owed manpower and military service to the palace.

In Egypt, the pharaoh Bakenranef (c. 720-715 BC, "Bocchoris" in Greek) proclaimed a debt amnesty and abolished debt-servitude when faced with a military threat from Ethiopia. According to Diodorus of Sicily (I, 79, writing in 40-30 BC), he ruled that if a debtor contested the claim, the debt was nullified if the creditor could not back up his claim by producing a written contract. (It seems that creditors always have been prone to exaggerate the balances due.)

The pharaoh reasoned that "the bodies of citizens should belong to the state, to the end that it might avail itself of the services which its citizens owed it, in times of both war and peace. For he felt that it would be absurd for a soldier . . . to be haled to prison by his creditor for an unpaid loan, and that the greed of private citizens should in this way endanger the safety of all."

The fact that the main Near Eastern creditors were the palace, temples and their collectors made it politically easy to cancel the debts. It always is easy to annul debts owed to oneself. Even Roman emperors burned the tax records to prevent a crisis. But it was much harder to cancel debts owed to private creditors as the practice of charging interest spread westward to Mediterranean chiefdoms after about 750 BC.

Instead of enabling families to bridge gaps between income and outgo, debt became the major lever of land expropriation, polarising communities between creditor oligarchies and indebted clients.

In Judah, the prophet Isaiah (5:8-9) decried foreclosing creditors who "add house to house and join field to field till no space is left and you live alone in the land".

Creditor power and stable growth rarely have gone together

Most personal debts in this classical period were the product of small amounts of money lent to individuals living on the edge of subsistence and who could not make ends meet. Forfeiture of land and assets - and personal liberty - forced debtors into bondage that became irreversible. By the 7th century BC, "tyrants" (popular leaders) emerged to overthrow the aristocracies in Corinth and other wealthy Greek cities, gaining support by cancelling the debts. In a less tyrannical manner, Solon founded the Athenian democracy in 594 BC by banning debt bondage.

But oligarchies re-emerged and called in Rome when Sparta's kings Agis, Cleomenes and their successor Nabis sought to cancel debts late in the third century BC. They were killed and their supporters driven out. It has been a political constant of history since antiquity that creditor interests opposed both popular democracy and royal power able to limit the financial conquest of society - a conquest aimed at attaching interest-bearing debt claims for payment on as much of the economic surplus as possible.

When the Gracchi brothers and their followers tried to reform the credit laws in 133 BC, the dominant Senatorial class acted with violence, killing them and inaugurating a century of Social War, resolved by the ascension of Augustus as emperor in 29 BC.

Rome's creditor oligarchy wins the Social War, enslaves the population and brings on a Dark Age

Matters were more bloody abroad. Aristotle did not mention empire building as part of his political schema, but foreign conquest always has been a major factor in imposing debts, and war debts have been the major cause of public debt in modern times.
Antiquity's harshest debt levy was by Rome, whose creditors spread out to plague Asia Minor, its most prosperous province. The rule of law all but disappeared when publican creditor "knights" arrived. Mithridates of Pontus led three popular revolts, and local populations in Ephesus and other cities rose up and killed a reported 80 000 Romans in 88 BC. The Roman army retaliated, and Sulla imposed war tribute of 20 000 talents in 84 BC. Charges for back interest multiplied this sum six-fold by 70 BC.

Among Rome's leading historians, Livy, Plutarch and Diodorus blamed the fall of the Republic on creditor intransigence in waging the century-long Social War marked by political murder from 133 to 29 BC. Populist leaders sought to gain a following by advocating debt cancellations (e.g., the Catiline conspiracy in 63-62 BC). They were killed. By the second century AD about a quarter of the population was reduced to bondage. By the fifth century Rome's economy collapsed, stripped of money. Subsistence life reverted to the countryside.

Creditors find a legalistic reason to support parliamentary democracy

When banking recovered after the Crusades looted Byzantium and infused silver and gold to review Western European commerce, Christian opposition to charging interest was overcome by the combination of prestigious lenders (the Knights Templars and Hospitallers providing credit during the Crusades) and their major clients - kings, at first to pay the Church and increasingly to wage war. But royal debts went bad when kings died. The Bardi and Peruzzi went bankrupt in 1345 when Edward III repudiated his war debts. Banking families lost more on loans to the Habsburg and Bourbon despots on the thrones of Spain, Austria and France.

Matters changed with the Dutch democracy, seeking to win and secure its liberty from Habsburg Spain. The fact that their parliament was to contract permanent public debts on behalf of the state enabled the Low Countries to raise loans to employ mercenaries in an epoch when money and credit were the sinews of war. Access to credit "was accordingly their most powerful weapon in the struggle for their freedom," Richard Ehrenberg wrote in his Capital and Finance in the Age of the Renaissance (1928): "Anyone who gave credit to a prince knew that the repayment of the debt depended only on his debtor's capacity and will to pay. The case was very different for the cities, which had power as overlords, but were also corporations, associations of individuals held in common bond. According to the generally accepted law each individual burgher was liable for the debts of the city both with his person and his property."

The financial achievement of parliamentary government was thus to establish debts that were not merely the personal obligations of princes, but were truly public and binding regardless of who occupied the throne. This is why the first two democratic nations, the Netherlands and Britain after its 1688 revolution, developed the most active capital markets and proceeded to become leading military powers. What is ironic is that it was the need for war financing that promoted democracy, forming a symbiotic trinity between war making, credit and parliamentary democracy which has lasted to this day.

At this time "the legal position of the King qua borrower was obscure, and it was still doubtful whether his creditors had any remedy against him in case of default."

(Charles Wilson, England's Apprenticeship: 1603-1763: 1965.) The more despotic Spain, Austria and France became, the greater the difficulty they found in financing their military adventures. By the end of the eighteenth century Austria was left "without credit, and consequently without much debt," the least credit-worthy and worst armed country in Europe, fully dependent on British subsidies and loan guarantees by the time of the Napoleonic Wars.

Finance accommodates itself to democracy, but then pushes for oligarchy

While the nineteenth century's democratic reforms reduced the power of landed aristocracies to control parliaments, bankers moved flexibly to achieve a symbiotic relationship with nearly every form of government. In France, followers of Saint-Simon promoted the idea of banks acting like mutual funds, extending credit against equity shares in profit. The German state made an alliance with large banking and heavy industry. Marx wrote optimistically about how socialism would make finance productive rather than parasitic. In the United States, regulation of public utilities went hand in hand with guaranteed returns. In China, Sun-Yat-Sen wrote in 1922: "I intend to make all the national industries of China into a Great Trust owned by the Chinese people, and financed with international capital for mutual benefit."

World War I saw the United States replace Britain as the major creditor nation, and by the end of World War II it had cornered some 80 per cent of the world's monetary gold. Its diplomats shaped the IMF and World Bank along creditor-oriented lines that financed trade dependency, mainly on the United States. Loans to finance trade and payments deficits were subject to "conditionalities" that shifted economic planning to client oligarchies and military dictatorships. The democratic response to resulting austerity plans squeezing out debt service was unable to go much beyond "IMF riots," until Argentina rejected its foreign debt.

A similar creditor-oriented austerity is now being imposed on Europe by the European Central Bank (ECB) and EU bureaucracy. Ostensibly social democratic governments have been directed to save the banks rather than reviving economic growth and employment.

Losses on bad bank loans and speculations are taken onto the public balance sheet while scaling back public spending and even selling off infrastructure. The response of taxpayers stuck with the resulting debt has been to mount popular protests starting in Iceland and Latvia in January 2009, and more widespread demonstrations in Greece and Spain this autumn to protest their governments' refusal to hold referendums on these fateful bailouts of foreign bondholders.

Shifting planning away from elected public representatives to bankers

Every economy is planned. This traditionally has been the function of government. Relinquishing this role under the slogan of "free markets" leaves it in the hands of banks. Yet the planning privilege of credit creation and allocation turns out to be even more centralized than that of elected public officials. And to make matters worse, the financial time frame is short-term hit-and-run, ending up as asset stripping. By seeking their own gains, the banks tend to destroy the economy. The surplus ends up being consumed by interest and other financial charges, leaving no revenue for new capital investment or basic social spending.

This is why relinquishing policy control to a creditor class rarely has gone together with economic growth and rising living standards. The tendency for debts to grow faster than the population's ability to pay has been a basic constant throughout all recorded history. Debts mount up exponentially, absorbing the surplus and reducing much of the population to the equivalent of debt peonage. To restore economic balance, antiquity's cry for debt cancellation sought what the Bronze Age Near East achieved by royal fiat: to cancel the overgrowth of debts.

In more modern times, democracies have urged a strong state to tax rentier income and wealth, and when called for, to write down debts. This is done most readily when the state itself creates money and credit. It is done least easily when banks translate their gains into political power. When banks are permitted to be self-regulating and given veto power over government regulators, the economy is distorted to permit creditors to indulge in the speculative gambles and outright fraud that have marked the past decade. The fall of the Roman Empire demonstrates what happens when creditor demands are unchecked. Under these conditions the alternative to government planning and regulation of the financial sector becomes a road to debt peonage.

Finance vs. government; oligarchy vs. democracy

Democracy involves subordinating financial dynamics to serve economic balance and growth - and taxing rentier income or keeping basic monopolies in the public domain. Untaxing or privatizing property income "frees" it to be pledged to the banks, to be capitalized into larger loans. Financed by debt leveraging, asset-price inflation increases rentier wealth while indebting the economy at large. The economy shrinks, falling into negative equity.

The financial sector has gained sufficient influence to use such emergencies as an opportunity to convince governments that that the economy will collapse they it do not "save the banks." In practice this means consolidating their control over policy, which they use in ways that further polarize economies. The basic model is what occurred in ancient Rome, moving from democracy to oligarchy. In fact, giving priority to bankers and leaving economic planning to be dictated by the EU, ECB and IMF threatens to strip the nation-state of the power to coin or print money and levy taxes.

The resulting conflict is pitting financial interests against national self-determination. The idea of an independent central bank being "the hallmark of democracy" is a euphemism for relinquishing the most important policy decision - the ability to create money and credit - to the financial sector. Rather than leaving the policy choice to popular referendums, the rescue of banks organized by the EU and ECB now represents the largest category of rising national debt. The private bank debts taken onto government balance sheets in Ireland and Greece have been turned into taxpayer obligations. The same is true for America's $13 trillion added since September 2008 (including $5.3 trillion in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bad mortgages taken onto the government's balance sheet, and $2 trillion of Federal Reserve "cash-for-trash" swaps).

This is being dictated by financial proxies euphemized as technocrats. Designated by creditor lobbyists, their role is to calculate just how much unemployment and depression is needed to squeeze out a surplus to pay creditors for debts now on the books. What makes this calculation self-defeating is the fact that economic shrinkage - debt deflation - makes the debt burden even more unpayable.

Neither banks nor public authorities (or mainstream academics, for that matter) calculated the economy's realistic ability to pay - that is, to pay without shrinking the economy. Through their media and think tanks, they have convinced populations that the way to get rich most rapidly is to borrow money to buy real estate, stocks and bonds rising in price - being inflated by bank credit - and to reverse the past century's progressive taxation of wealth.

To put matters bluntly, the result has been junk economics. Its aim is to disable public checks and balances, shifting planning power into the hands of high finance on the claim that this is more efficient than public regulation. Government planning and taxation is accused of being "the road to serfdom," as if "free markets" controlled by bankers given leeway to act recklessly is not planned by special interests in ways that are oligarchic, not democratic. Governments are told to pay bailout debts taken on not to defend countries in military warfare as in times past, but to benefit the wealthiest layer of the population by shifting its losses onto taxpayers.

The failure to take the wishes of voters into consideration leaves the resulting national debts on shaky ground politically and even legally. Debts imposed by fiat, by governments or foreign financial agencies in the face of strong popular opposition may be as tenuous as those of the Habsburgs and other despots in past epochs. Lacking popular validation, they may die with the regime that contracted them. New governments may act democratically to subordinate the banking and financial sector to serve the economy, not the other way around.

At the very least, they may seek to pay by re-introducing progressive taxation of wealth and income, shifting the fiscal burden onto rentier wealth and property. Re-regulation of banking and providing a public option for credit and banking services would renew the social democratic program that seemed well underway a century ago.

Iceland and Argentina are most recent examples, but one may look back to the moratorium on Inter-Ally arms debts and German reparations in 1931.A basic mathematical as well as political principle is at work: Debts that can't be paid, won't be.

MICHAEL HUDSON is a former Wall Street economist. A Distinguished Research Professor at University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC), he is the author of many books, including Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (new ed., Pluto Press, 2002) and Trade, Development and Foreign Debt: A History of Theories of Polarization v. Convergence in the World Economy. He can be reached via his website,

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(HERALD) Tobacco growers step up transplanting

Tobacco growers step up transplanting
Thursday, 08 December 2011 00:00
Business Reporters

TOBACCO growers have stepped up transplanting following delays caused by late rains, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board has said. TIMB chief executive Dr Andrew Matibiri said as of Friday last week, about 22 000 hectares had already been planted out of this year's target of 70 000ha. Traditionally, tobacco planting officially ends on December 31.

"Tobacco planting delayed this year due to late rains but everything is now on course and we are hoping that by the end of the official deadline, we would have planted the targeted hectarage," he said.

Dr Matibiri said about 150 million kg of the "golden leaf" was expected next year, 12 percent higher than 132 million kg produced past year.

He, however, hinted that the delays in planting might affect output and quality.
Revenue from tobacco sales was about US$357 million in 2010, according to calculations based on production and price figures on the website of the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association. That compares with

US$400 million in 2000 and a low of US$155 million in 2008.

Meanwhile, environment and climate analysts have urged stakeholders in the tobacco industry to educate farmers on the need to grow energy woodlots for tobacco curing to avoid destruction of forests.

The major change in the tobacco grower base from a few white farmers to many black tobacco growers led to a major shift in the source of energy to cure tobacco from the traditional coal with wood now being preferred as an alternative. Consequently, unsustainable harvesting of trees for tobacco curing have continued to threaten the country's indigenous and commercial woodlands.

"It must be noted that while it is good for the country to have high tobacco production, there is also need for preservation of forests considering that many farmers have resorted to wood as an alternative energy source for curing tobacco," said one environment analyst.

"Stakeholders should educate tobacco farmers to grow trees, particularly exotic ones such as gum trees which grow faster than local species."

The Forestry Commission says it will engage farmers to plant fast-growing tree species such as eucalyptus for tobacco curing as a way of conserving forests and providing affordable fuel to sustain tobacco farming.



(GLOBALRESEARCH) Implosion of Contemporary Capitalism: Audacity, More Audacity in Formulating an

Implosion of Contemporary Capitalism: Audacity, More Audacity in Formulating an Alternative to the Existing System.
by Dr. Samir Amin
Global Research, December 6, 2011
Socialist Project

The historical circumstances created by the implosion of contemporary capitalism requires the radical left, in the North as well as the South, to be bold in formulating its political alternative to the existing system. The purpose of this paper is to show why audacity is required and what it means.
Why Audacity?

1. Contemporary capitalism is a capitalism of generalized monopolies. By this I mean that monopolies are now no longer islands (albeit important) in a sea of other still relatively autonomous companies, but are an integrated system. Therefore, these monopolies now tightly control all the systems of production. Small and medium enterprises, and even the large corporations that are not strictly speaking oligopolies are locked in a network of control put in place by the monopolies. Their degree of autonomy has shrunk to the point that they are nothing more than subcontractors of the monopolies.

This system of generalized monopolies is the product of a new phase of centralization of capital in the countries of the Triad (the United States, Western and Central Europe, and Japan) that took place during the 1980s and 1990s.

The generalized monopolies now dominate the world economy. ‘Globalization’ is the name they have given to the set of demands by which they exert their control over the productive systems of the periphery of global capitalism (the world beyond the partners of the triad). It is nothing other than a new stage of imperialism.

2. The capitalism of generalized and globalized monopolies is a system that guarantees these monopolies a monopoly rent levied on the mass of surplus value (transformed into profits) that capital extracts from the exploitation of labour. To the extent that these monopolies are operating in the peripheries of the global system, monopoly rent is imperialist rent. The process of capital accumulation – that defines capitalism in all its successive historical forms – is therefore driven by the maximization of monopoly/imperialist rent seeking.

This shift in the centre of gravity of the accumulation of capital is the source of the continuous concentration of income and wealth to the benefit of the monopolies, largely monopolized by the oligarchies (‘plutocracies’) that govern oligopolistic groups at the expense of the remuneration of labour and even the remuneration of non-monopolistic capital.

3. This imbalance in continued growth is itself, in turn, the source of the financialization of the economic system. By this I mean that a growing portion of the surplus cannot be invested in the expansion and deepening of systems of production and therefore the ‘financial investment’ of this excessive surplus becomes the only option for continued accumulation under the control of the monopolies.

The implementation of specific systems by capital permits the financialization to operate in different ways:

1. the subjugation of the management of firms to the principle of ‘shareholder value’
2. the substitution of pension systems funded by capitalization (Pension Funds) by systems of pension distribution
3. the adoption of the principle of ‘flexible exchange rates’
4. the abandonment of the principle of central banks determining the interest rate – the price of ‘liquidity’ – and the transfer of this responsibility to the ‘market.’

Financialization has transferred the major responsibility for control of the reproduction of the system of accumulation to some 30 giant banks of the triad. What are euphemistically called ‘markets’ are nothing other than the places where the strategies of these actors who dominate the economic scene are deployed.

In turn this financialization, which is responsible for the growth of inequality in income distribution (and fortunes), generates the growing surplus on which it feeds. The ‘financial investments’ (or rather the investments in financial speculation) continue to grow at dizzying speeds, not commensurate with growth in GDP (which is therefore becoming largely fictitious) or with investment in real production.

The explosive growth of financial investment requires – and fuels – among other things debt in all its forms, especially sovereign debt. When the governments in power claim to be pursuing the goal of ‘debt reduction,’ they are deliberately lying. For the strategy of financialized monopolies requires the growth in debt (which they seek, rather than combat) as a way to absorb the surplus profit of monopolies. The austerity policies imposed ‘to reduce debt’ have indeed resulted (as intended) in increasing its volume.

4. It is this system – commonly called ‘neoliberal,’ the system of generalized monopoly capitalism, ‘globalized’ (imperialist) and financialized (of necessity for its own reproduction) – that is imploding before our eyes. This system, apparently unable to overcome its growing internal contradictions, is doomed to continue its wild ride.

The ‘crisis’ of the system is due to its own ‘success.’ Indeed so far the strategy deployed by monopolies has always produced the desired results: ‘austerity’ plans and the so-called social (in fact anti-social) downsizing plans that are still being imposed, in spite of resistance and struggles. To this day the initiative remains in the hands of the monopolies (‘the markets’) and their political servants (the governments that submit to the demands of the so-called ‘market’).

5. Under these conditions monopoly capital has openly declared war on workers and peoples. This declaration is formulated in the sentence ‘liberalism is not negotiable.’ Monopoly capital will definitely continue its wild ride and not slow down. The criticism of ‘regulation’ that I make below is grounded in this fact.

We are not living in a historical moment in which the search for a ‘social compromise’ is a possible option. There have been such moments in the past, such as the post-war social compromise between capital and labour specific to the social democratic state in the West, the actually existing socialism in the East, and the popular national projects of the South. But our present historical moment is not the same. So the conflict is between monopoly capital and workers and people who are invited to an unconditional surrender. Defensive strategies of resistance under these conditions are ineffective and bound to be eventually defeated. In the face of war declared by monopoly capital, workers and peoples must develop strategies that allow them to take the offensive.

The period of social war is necessarily accompanied by the proliferation of international political conflicts and military interventions of the imperialist powers of the triad. The strategy of ‘military control of the planet’ by the armed forces of the United States and its subordinate NATO allies is ultimately the only means by which the imperialist monopolies of the triad can expect to continue their domination over the peoples, nations and the states of the South.
Monopolies Declare War

Faced with this challenge of the war declared by the monopolies, what alternatives are being proposed?

First response: ‘market regulation’ (financial and otherwise). These are initiatives that monopolies and governments claim they are pursuing. In fact it is only empty rhetoric, designed to mislead public opinion. These initiatives cannot stop the mad rush for financial return that is the result of the logic of accumulation controlled by monopolies. They are therefore a false alternative.

Second response: a return to the post-war models. These responses feed a triple nostalgia: (i) the rebuilding of a true ‘social democracy’ in the West, (ii) the resurrection of ‘socialisms’ founded on the principles that governed those of the 20th century, (iii) the return to formulas of popular nationalism in the peripheries of the South. These nostalgias imagine it is possible to ‘roll back’ monopoly capitalism, forcing it to regress to what it was in 1945. But history never allows such returns to the past. Capitalism must be confronted as it is today, not as what we would have wished it to be by imagining the blocking of its evolution. However, these longings continue to haunt large segments of the left throughout the world.

Third response: the search for a ‘humanist’ consensus. I define this pious wish in the following way: the illusion that a consensus among fundamentally conflicting interests would be possible. Naïve ecology movements, among others, share this illusion.

Fourth response: the illusions of the past. These illusions invoke ‘specificity’ and ‘right to difference’ without bothering to understand their scope and meaning. The past has already answered the questions for the future. These ‘culturalisms’ can take many para-religious or ethnic forms. Theocracies and ethnocracies become convenient substitutes for the democratic social struggles that have been evacuated from their agenda.

Fifth response: priority of ‘personal freedom.’ The range of responses based on this priority, considered the exclusive ‘supreme value,’ includes in its ranks the diehards of ‘representative electoral democracy,’ which they equate with democracy itself. The formula separates the democratization of societies from social progress, and even tolerates a de facto association with social regression in order not to risk discrediting democracy, now reduced to the status of a tragic farce.

But there are even more dangerous forms of this position. I am referring here to some common ‘post modernist’ currents (such as Toni Negri in particular) who imagine that the individual has already become the subject of history, as if communism, which will allow the individual to be emancipated from alienation and actually become the subject of history, were already here!

It is clear that all of the responses above, including those of the right (such as the ‘regulations’ that do not affect private property monopolies) still find powerful echoes among a majority of the people on the left.

6. The war declared by the generalized monopoly capitalism of contemporary imperialism has nothing to fear from the false alternatives that I have just outlined.

So what is to be done?

This moment offers us the historic opportunity to go much further; it demands as the only effective response a bold and audacious radicalization in the formulation of alternatives capable of moving workers and peoples to take the offensive to defeat their adversary's strategy of war. These formulations, based on the analysis of actually existing contemporary capitalism, must directly confront the future that is to be built, and turn their back on the nostalgia for the past and illusions of identity or consensus.

Audacious Programs for the Radical Left

I will organize the following general proposals under three headings: (i) socialize the ownership of monopolies, (ii) de-financialize the management of the economy, (iii) de-globalize international relations.

Socialize the Ownership of Monopolies

The effectiveness of the alternative response necessarily requires the questioning of the very principle of private property of monopoly capital. Proposing to ‘regulate’ financial operations, to return markets to ‘transparency’ to allow ‘agent's expectations’ to be ‘rational’ and to define the terms of a consensus on these reforms without abolishing the private property of monopolies, is nothing other than throwing dust in the eyes of the naive public. Monopolies are asked to ‘manage’ reforms against their own interests, ignoring the fact that they retain a thousand and one ways to circumvent the objectives of such reforms.

The alternative social project should be to reverse the direction of the current social order (social disorder) produced by the strategies of monopolies, in order to ensure maximum and stabilised employment, and to ensure decent wages growing in parallel with the productivity of social labour. This objective is simply impossible without the expropriation of the power of monopolies.

The ‘software of economic theorists’ must be reconstructed (in the words of François Morin). The absurd and impossible economic theory of ‘expectations’ expels democracy from the management of economic decision-making. Audacity in this instance requires radical reform of education for the training not only of economists, but also of all those called to occupy management positions.

Monopolies are institutional bodies that must be managed according to the principles of democracy, in direct conflict with those who sanctify private property. Although the term ‘commons,’ imported from the Anglo-Saxon world, is itself ambiguous because always disconnected from the debate on the meaning of social conflicts (Anglo-Saxon language deliberately ignores the reality of social classes), the term could be invoked here specifically to call monopolies part of the ‘commons.’

The abolition of the private ownership of monopolies takes place through their nationalization. This first legal action is unavoidable. But audacity here means going beyond that step to propose plans for the socialization of the management of nationalized monopolies and the promotion of the democratic social struggles that are engaged on this long road.

I will give here a concrete example of what could be involved in plans of socialization.

‘Capitalist’ farmers (those of developed countries) like ‘peasant’ farmers (mostly in the South) are all prisoners of both the upstream monopolies that provide inputs and credit, and the downstream ones on which they depend for processing, transportation and marketing of their products. Therefore they have no real autonomy in their ‘decisions.’ In addition the productivity gains they make are siphoned off by the monopolies that have reduced producers to the status of ‘subcontractors.’ What possible alternative?

Public institutions working within a legal framework that would set the mode of governance must replace the monopolies. These would be constituted of representatives of: (i) farmers (the principle interests), (ii) upstream units (manufacturers of inputs, banks) and downstream (food industry, retail chains) and (iii) consumers, (iv) local authorities (interested in natural and social environment – schools, hospitals, urban planning and housing, transportation), (v) the State (citizens). Representatives of the components listed above would be self-selected according to procedures consistent with their own mode of socialized management, such as units of production of inputs that are themselves managed by directorates of workers directly employed by the units concerned as well as those who are employed by sub-contracting units and so on. These structures should be designed by formulas that associate management personnel with each of these levels, such as research centres for scientific, independent and appropriate technology. We could even conceive of a representation of capital providers (the ‘small shareholders’) inherited from the nationalization, if deemed useful.

We are therefore talking about institutional approaches that are more complex than the forms of ‘self-directed’ or ‘cooperative’ that we have known. Ways of working need to be invented that allow the exercise of genuine democracy in the management of the economy, based on open negotiation among all interested parties. A formula is required that systematically links the democratization of society with social progress, in contrast with the reality of capitalism which dissociates democracy, which is reduced to the formal management of politics, from social conditions abandoned to the ‘market’ dominated by what monopoly capital produces. Then and only then can we talk about true transparency of markets, regulated in institutionalized forms of socialized management.

The example may seem marginal in the developed capitalist countries because farmers there are a very small proportion of workers (3-7 per cent). However, this issue is central to the South where the rural population will remain significant for some time. Here access to land, which must be guaranteed for all (with the least possible inequality of access) is fundamental to principles advancing peasant agriculture (I refer here to my previous work on this question). ‘Peasant agriculture’ should not be understood as synonymous with ‘stagnant agriculture’ (or ‘traditional and folklorique’). The necessary progress of peasant agriculture does require some ‘modernization’ (although this term is a misnomer because it immediately suggests to many modernization through capitalism). More effective inputs, credits, and production and supply chains are necessary to improve the productivity of peasant labour. The formulas proposed here pursue the objective of enabling this modernization in ways and in a spirit that is ‘non-capitalist,’ that is to say grounded in a socialist perspective.

Obviously the specific example chosen here is one that needs to be institutionalized. The nationalization / socialization of the management of monopolies in the sectors of industry and transport, banks and other financial institutions should be imagined in the same spirit, while taking into account the specificities of their economic and social functions in the constitution of their directorates. Again these directorates should involve the workers in the company as well as those of subcontractors, representatives of upstream industries, banks, research institutions, consumers, and citizens.

The nationalization/socialization of monopolies addresses a fundamental need at the central axis of the challenge confronting workers and peoples under contemporary capitalism of generalized monopolies. It is the only way to stop the accumulation by dispossession that is driving the management of the economy by the monopolies.

The accumulation dominated by monopolies can indeed only reproduce itself if the area subject to ‘market management’ is constantly expanding. This is achieved by excessive privatization of public services (dispossession of citizens), and access to natural resources (dispossession of peoples). The extraction of profit of ‘independent’ economic units by the monopolies is even a dispossession (of capitalists!) by the financial oligarchy.
De-Financialization: A World Without Wall Street

Nationalization/socialization of monopolies would in and of itself abolish the principle of ‘shareholder value’ imposed by the strategy of accumulation in the service of monopoly rents. This objective is essential for any bold agenda to escape the ruts in which the management of today's economy is mired. Its implementation pulls the rug out from under the feet of the financialization of management of the economy. Are we returning to the famous ‘euthanasia of the rentier’ advocated by Keynes in his time? Not necessarily, and certainly not completely. Savings can be encouraged by financial reward, but on condition that their origin (household savings of workers, businesses, communities) and their conditions of earnings are precisely defined. The discourse on macroeconomic savings in conventional economic theory hides the organization of exclusive access to the capital market of the monopolies. The so-called ‘market driven remuneration’ is then nothing other than the means to guarantee the growth of monopoly rents.

Of course the nationalization/socialization of monopolies also applies to banks, at least the major ones. But the socialization of their intervention (‘credit policies’) has specific characteristics that require an appropriate design in the constitution of their directorates. Nationalization in the classical sense of the term implies only the substitution of the State for the boards of directors formed by private shareholders. This would permit, in principle, implementation of bank credit policies formulated by the State – which is no small thing. But it is certainly not sufficient when we consider that socialization requires the direct participation in the management of the bank by the relevant social partners. Here the ‘self-management’ of banks by their staff would not be appropriate. The staff concerned should certainly be involved in decisions about their working conditions, but little else, because it is not their place to determine the credit policies to be implemented.

If the directorates must deal with the conflicts of interest of those that provide loans (the banks) and those who receive them (the ‘enterprises’), the formula for the composition of directorates must be designed taking into account what the enterprises are and what they require. A restructuring of the banking system which has become overly centralized since the regulatory frameworks of the past two centuries were abandoned over the past four decades. There is a strong argument to justify the reconstruction of banking specialization according to the requirements of the recipients of their credit as well as their economic function (provision of short-term liquidity, contributing to the financing of investments in the medium and long term). We could then, for example, create an ‘agriculture bank’ (or a coordinated ensemble of agriculture banks) whose clientele is comprised not only of farmers and peasants but also those involved in the ‘upstream and downstream’ of agriculture described above. The bank's directorate would involve on the one hand the ‘bankers’ (staff officers of the bank – who would have been recruited by the directorate) and other clients (farmers or peasants, and other upstream and downstream entities).

We can imagine other sets of articulated banking systems, appropriate to various industrial sectors, in which the directorates would involve the industrial clients, centers of research and technology and services to ensure control of the ecological impact of the industry, thus ensuring minimal risk (while recognizing that no human action is completely without risk), and subject to transparent democratic debate.

The de-financialization of economic management would also require two sets of legislation. The first concerns the authority of a sovereign state to ban speculative fund (hedge funds) operations in its territory. The second concerns pension funds, which are now major operators in the financialization of the economic system. These funds were designed – first in the U.S. of course – to transfer to employees the risks normally incurred by capital, and which are the reasons invoked to justify capital's remuneration! So this is a scandalous arrangement, in clear contradiction even with the ideological defense of capitalism! But this ‘invention’ is an ideal instrument for the strategies of accumulation dominated by monopolies.

The abolition of pension funds is necessary for the benefit of distributive pension systems, which, by their very nature, require and allow democratic debate to determine the amounts and periods of assessment and the relationship between the amounts of pensions and remuneration paid. In a democracy that respects social rights, these pension systems are universally available to all workers. However, at a pinch, and so as not to prohibit what a group of individuals might desire to put in place, supplementary pension funds could be allowed.

All measures of de-financialization suggested here lead to an obvious conclusion: A world without Wall Street, to borrow the title of the book by François Morin, is possible and desirable.

In a world without Wall Street, the economy is still largely controlled by the ‘market.’ But these markets are for the first time truly transparent, regulated by democratic negotiation among genuine social partners (for the first time also they are no longer adversaries as they are necessarily under capitalism). It is the financial ‘market’ – opaque by nature and subjected to the requirements of management for the benefit of the monopolies – that is abolished. We could even explore whether it would be useful or not to shut down the stock exchanges, given that the rights to property, both in its private as well as social form, would be conducted ‘differently.’ We could even consider whether the stock exchange could be re-established to this new end. The symbol in any case – ‘a world without Wall Street’ – nevertheless retains its power.

De-financialization certainly does not mean the abolition of macroeconomic policy and in particular the macro management of credit. On the contrary it restores its efficiency by freeing it from its subjugation to the strategies of rent-seeking monopolies. The restoration of the powers of national central banks, no longer ‘independent’ but dependent on both the state and markets regulated by the democratic negotiation of social partners, gives the formulation of macro credit policy its effectiveness in the service of socialized management of the economy.
At the International Level: Delinking

I use here the term ‘delinking’ that I proposed half a century ago, a term that contemporary discourse appears to have substituted with the synonym ‘de-globalization.’ I have never conceptualized delinking as an autarkic retreat, but rather as a strategic reversal in the face of both internal and external forces in response to the unavoidable requirements of self-determined development. Delinking promotes the reconstruction of a globalization based on negotiation, rather than submission to the exclusive interests of the imperialist monopolies. It also makes possible the reduction of international inequalities.

Delinking is necessary because the measures advocated in the two previous sections can never really be implemented at the global scale, or even at a regional level (e.g. Europe). They can only be initiated in the context of states / nations with advanced radical social and political struggles, committed to a process of socialization of the management of their economy.

Imperialism, in the form that it took until just after the Second World War, had created the contrast between industrialised imperialist centers and dominated peripheries where industry was prohibited. The victories of national liberation movements began the process of the industrialization of the peripheries, through the implementation of delinking policies required for the option of self-reliant development. Associated with social reforms that were at times radical, these delinkings created the conditions for the eventual ‘emergence’ of those countries that had gone furthest in this direction – China leading the pack, of course.

But the imperialism of the current era, the imperialism of the Triad, forced to retreat and ‘adjust’ itself to the conditions of this new era, rebuilt itself on new foundations, based on ‘advantage’ by which it sought to hold on to the privilege of exclusivity that I have classified in five categories. The control of:

* technology
* access to natural resources of the planet
* global integration of the monetary and financial system
* systems of communication and information
* weapons of mass destruction.

The main form of delinking today is thus defined precisely by the challenge to these five privileges of contemporary imperialism. Emerging countries are engaged in delinking from these five privileges, with varying degrees of control and self-determination, of course. While earlier success over the past two decades in delinking enabled them to accelerate their development, in particular through industrial development within the globalized ‘liberal’ system using ‘capitalist’ means, this success has fueled delusions about the possibility of continuing on this path, that is to say, emerging as new ‘equal capitalist partners.’ The attempt to ‘co-opt’ the most prestigious of these countries with the creation of the G20 has encouraged these illusions.

But with the current ongoing implosion of the imperialist system (called ‘globalization’), these illusions are likely to dissipate. The conflict between the imperialist powers of the triad and emerging countries is already visible, and is expected to worsen. If they want to move forward, the societies of emerging countries will be forced to turn more toward self-reliant modes of development through national plans and by strengthening South-South cooperation.

Audacity, under such circumstances, involves engaging vigorously and coherently toward this end, bringing together the required measures of delinking with the desired advances in social progress.

The goal of this radicalization is threefold: the democratization of society; the consequent social progress achieved; and the taking of anti-imperialist positions. A commitment to this direction is possible, not only for societies in emerging countries, but also in the ‘abandoned’ or the ‘written-off’ of the global South. These countries had been effectively recolonized through the structural adjustment programs of the 1980s. Their peoples are now in open revolt, whether they have already scored victories (South America) or not (in the Arab world).

Audacity here means that the radical left in these societies must have the courage to take measure of the challenges they face and to support the continuation and radicalization of the necessary struggles that are in progress.

The delinking of the South prepares the way for the deconstruction of the imperialist system itself. This is particularly apparent in areas affected by the management of the global monetary and financial system, since it is the result of the hegemony of the dollar.

But beware: it is an illusion to expect to substitute for this system ‘another world monetary and financial system’ that is better balanced and favorable to the development of the peripheries. As always, the search of a ‘consensus’ over international reconstruction from above is mere wishful thinking akin to waiting for a miracle. What is on the agenda now is the deconstruction of the existing system - its implosion - and reconstruction of national alternative systems (for countries or continents or regions), as some projects in South America have already begun. Audacity here is to have the courage to move forward with the strongest determination possible, without too much worry about the reaction of imperialism.

This same problematique of delinking / dismantling is also of relevance to Europe, which is a subset of globalization dominated by monopolies. The European project was designed from the outset and built systematically to dispossess its peoples of their ability to exercise their democratic power. The European Union was established as a protectorate of the monopolies. With the implosion of the euro zone, its submission to the will of the monopolies has resulted in the abolishment of democracy which has been reduced to the status of farce and takes on extreme forms, namely focused only on the question: how are the ‘market’ (that is to say monopolies) and the ‘Rating Agencies’ (that is to say, again, the monopolies) reacting? That's the only question now posed. How the people might react is no longer given the slightest consideration.

It is thus obvious that here too there is no alternative to audacity: ‘disobeying’ the rules imposed by the "European Constitution" and the imaginary central bank of the euro. In other words, there is no alternative to deconstruct the institutions of Europe and the euro zone. This is the unavoidable prerequisite for the eventual reconstruction of ‘another Europe’ of peoples and nations.

In conclusion: Audacity, more audacity, always audacity.

What I mean by audacity is therefore:

1. For the radical left in the societies of the imperialist triad, the need for an engagement in the building of an alternative anti-monopoly social bloc.
2. For the radical left in the societies of the peripheries to engage in the building of an alternative anti-comprador social bloc.

It will take time to make progress in building these blocs, but it could well accelerate if the radical left takes on movement with determination and engages in making progress on the long road of socialism. It is therefore necessary to propose strategies not ‘out of the crisis of capitalism,’ but ‘out of capitalism in crisis’ to borrow from the title of one of my recent works.

We are in a crucial period in history. The only legitimacy of capitalism is to have created the conditions for passing on to socialism, understood as a higher stage of civilization. Capitalism is now an obsolete system, its continuation leading only to barbarism. No other capitalism is possible. The outcome of a clash of civilizations is, as always, uncertain. Either the radical left will succeed through the audacity of its initiatives to make revolutionary advances, or the counter-revolution will win. There is no effective compromise between these two responses to the challenge.

All the strategies of the non-radical left are in fact non-strategies, they are merely day-to-day adjustments to the vicissitudes of the imploding system. And if the powers that be want, like le Guépard, to ‘change everything so that nothing changes,’ the candidates of the left believe it is possible to ‘change life without touching the power of monopolies’! The non-radical left will not stop the triumph of capitalist barbarism. They have already lost the battle for lack of wanting to take it on.

Audacity is what is necessary to bring about the autumn of capitalism that will be announced by the implosion of its system and by the birth of an authentic spring of the people, a spring that is possible. •

Samir Amin is director of the Third World Forum. A selection of his books is available from Pambazuka Press.

Samir Amin is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Samir Amin

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