Saturday, April 21, 2012

(BBC) European Parliament condemns Argentina's YPF nationalisation

European Parliament condemns Argentina's YPF nationalisation
20 April 2012 Last updated at 20:54 GMT

Members of the European Parliament have condemned Argentina's decision to nationalise the Spanish-controlled oil company YPF. They said the move was "an attack on the exercise of free enterprise".

They also demanded that the European Commission take action against Buenos Aires at the World Trade Organization.

Spain meanwhile announced its first retaliatory step, saying it would promote Spanish biodiesel fuel production to reduce Argentine imports.

'Not worried'

Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said Spain was considering further political and diplomatic measures in retaliation for Argentina's decision to take control of 51% of YPF.

Argentine officials have said they are not worried about possible reprisals.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner announced the measure on Monday, saying she was asserting sovereignty over Argentina's energy resources.

The move has wide support in Argentina but has provoked outrage in Spain, which has threatened reprisals.

Repsol has said it wants around $10bn for its stake in YPF, but Argentina has said it does not accept that valuation.

It says YPF did not invest enough to increase output from its oil fields, forcing Argentina to rely on imports.

YPF, Argentina's biggest oil company, was privatised in 1993.

Last year it announced huge new finds of shale oil and gas.

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(HERALD) Zimbabwe — All for minerals, metals and land

To hear Tendai Biti's address to The Atlantic Council, titled "Getting Zimbabwe (And Africa) Back On Track". Also see the neoliberal MDC's finance minister Tendai Biti's opinion of indigenisation: Indigenisation law ‘absurd’: Biti. For the transcript of his speech, see here.

Zimbabwe — All for minerals, metals and land
Friday, 20 April 2012 21:05

I have just been reading C G Tracey’s “All for Nothing?”, itself a weeping autobiography by one of Rhodesia’s leading farmers and, especially after UDI, one of Rhodesia’s leading sanctions-busters. The book is tearful about the loss of Tracey’s Mount Shannon, aka Mount Lothian farm, apparently in the course of our land reforms. But the book gives one the sense that this land loss triggers a long introspection in Tracey, much of it coinciding with major turns and shifts in the life of Southern Rhodesia both before and after UDI.

But that is a story for another day. My interest is one forthright sentence Tracey uses to introduce a chapter of the book. The forthright sentence reads: “Gold mining was the reason that Rhodesia was opened up in the first place, and agricultural development took place around that thrust.”

Land to Niggers

I was struck by the sheer clarity, the remarkably unadorned forthrightness of this simple statement which profoundly summarises my fate and that of my people and country, Zimbabwe. And of course one can choose to treat gold as a singular, specific mineral, or as a metaphor depicting the overriding mining interests that were at the heart of Zimbabwe’s invasion and occupation, at the heart of its long colonialism. And as Tracey’s matter-of-fact statement attests, the mining interests were bolstered by land interests.

My mind then wonders back to the days of Cecil John Rhodes, the man credited with founding us, we who already inhabited the hills and valleys which his rag-tag army only reached for the first time in 1890. A white historian, one Patrick Keatley, quotes Rhodes as saying in a moment of candor: “I prefer land to niggers,” again another pithy, straightforwardly cold statement of fact and unambiguous white interest. The accent is on resources, land-based resources of my country, of my people.

Highly mineralised country

I wonder on, in the process stumbling upon the Rudd Concession whose wording in part reads: “I, Lobengula, King of Matabeleland and Mashonaland and other adjoining territories, with the consent of my Council of Indunas, do hereby grant and assign . . . complete and exclusive charge over all metals and minerals situated and contained in my kingdoms . . . " I cast aside the duplicity involved in that whole document, a document so well couched in the language of English Law, yet purporting to carry the mind of an African Ndebele King, my king, my forbear.

That, too, is a matter for another day. My real focus is on “all metals and minerals” which amount to the centre of this fudged, fraudulent agreement involving a monarch still to build a defending literacy such as we now have, or should have. To all these statements add Ian Smith’s pregnant but often overlooked statement of fact: “Rhodesia is one of the most mineralised countries on the African continent.”

A clear, emphatic thread runs through: across time, across persons, across preoccupations, indeed across temperaments. And in all these utterances, you are struck by the simplicity of white mission, sheer clarity of mission and purpose.

Our own muddled thinking

Contrast this matter-of-factness, this clarity with our own muddled thinking as Africans, muddled thinking in characterising the colonial rain that beat us, and by implication the sunshine that must dry us up in post-independence.

We talk colonialism as if Rhodes and his variegated bunch of thugs and urchins invaded this country solely to misgovern us. They did not. To think and believe so would then imply the dialectic between us and colonialism is over governance issues, over structures of political power. Such a reading gives us a completely different national purpose. But it also misreads history, misreads it disastrously. History records that the so-called pioneers were disbanded soon after the September hoisting of the Union Jack at Cecil Square, now Africa Unity Square. Disbanded to prospect for mines and minerals. Disbanded to identify and take possession of the best land.

Mines, minerals flowed from the myth of the Orphir — the legendary site of King Solomon. And the old workings done by our forbears gave these itinerant ruffians much clue, which is why most of the big mines of Southern Rhodesia developed from sites worked by Africans in their great trade with potentates of Asia, Middle East, Persia and, much later, the Portuguese.

Producers of incredible rice

History records that Mashona contacts with the rest of the developed world centred around trade in minerals and metals. We traded in minerals with older civilisations of Persia, Asia and the Middle East, trade that could have predated AD 1200.

The English do not exist at all when we enter this trade; they don’t even exist as a people, let alone as a nation. They only become a factor close to the occupation of Zimbabwe, even then following far behind the Portuguese and the Germans, the latter represented by Karl Mauch.

And in his record of travels Mauch makes the following entry: “The high-veld of the watershed consists of a grassy plain with trees that can be easily counted. Towards the north-east, the Mashona tribe, which is partly subject to Mosilikatse, produces an incredible amount of rice which served us as an unexpected addition to our everlasting dry meat-fare.” Clearly the land was in use, very productive use for surplus.

Native miner, native beneficiation

In July 1867, the German geologist made an even more dramatic entry which I shall quote in extenso:

“ . . . on the July Hartley brought me the news that, when following a wounded elephant, he passed several pits dug into quartz, and that he suspected that the former inhabitants of the country had dug for metal there, but what kind of metal he had not been able to discover. Following Hartley’s description, I should be able to reach this site from our camp in one day. And so I started the following day, armed with a hammer, to search in the indicated direction. I passed a small river at a distance of about 4,5 English miles, the rubble and sand of which stemmed from ‘talk’ gneiss stone. On the other riverbank I came to a bare patch of brackish soil on which, at a distance of 1,5 miles, a distinct white line across the burnt black ground could be made out. On my approach this proved to be a quartz vein which protruded in places to a height of up to 4 feet. I soon came to this line, and a few paces alongside it, I came to a site which I recognised as a smelting place. This was about 10 feet in diameter and contained slag, quartzstone, pieces of clay pipes, ash and coal. There were some pits 4 to 5 feet deep at a distance of about 50 paces, placed in openings of the quartz vein. Yet further on there was one pit 10 feet deep, but, this was filled with two feet of water, which probably prevented any further digging by the natives. On examining some of the recovered stones, I found ‘Bleiganz’ which was extraordinarily shiny, and had a small silver content, and GOLD. I looked at the extension of the vein and made speculations which, later on, proved to be correct. Highly pleased, I put my hammer into my belt, shouldered my rifle and ran, rather walked, back to camp to impart this good news.”

So was found the Tati goldfields, themselves the focus of Rhodes’ pioneers soon after hoisting the Union Jack. The natives in question are ourselves, already engaged in
mining and minerals processing well before Rhodesia.

What followed this Western discovery was what historians have termed the “shovel and sieve” age, with gold-seekers working extensively on both alluvial deposits, and on deposits more deeply embedded in the hard African stone which make the backbone to our country. Dear Zimbo, mining did not happen after us. It began with us, making us masters of rock, masters of metal. Always bear this in mind when you interact with the world.

Challenging heresies of colonial history

And of course the occupation of Zimbabwe followed well behind a wave of gold-seekers and treasure hunters who invaded and ransacked the country well before Rhodes dreamt of coloring us pink, British pink. I restate, we were invaded and occupied for our minerals, with colonial misgovernance attaching to the whole mining enterprise as a concomitant, an incidental, necessary, bothersome evil needed to stabilise matters for quieter, more profitable mining and much, much later, more profitable, monopoly farming. Serious farming only takes place after the First World War, with colonial reports clearly indicating the settler community lived off the produce of industrious African farmers.

We are people of the land, sons and daughters of the soil. Let no one deceive us; let no one propagate the heresy that we learnt about the soil from the white man, the heresy that this land was empty, unused until the white man came. Simply, it wasn’t.

Small but significant quarrel

Today we talk and think as if the firstlings of settler colonialism in Zimbabwe was governance. That is very flawed thinking, so monumentally flawed as to spawn a train of other lethal mischaracterisations, including and principally an existential one. Do we know why we exist, given our historical circumstances?

We have just celebrated 32 years of Independence, a quarrelsome lot. And what was the quarrel over? It was over the theme for the commemorations. The committee responsible for State occasions recommended “Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment for Social and Economic Transformation” as the theme for this year. The recommendation went up to Cabinet for adoption. It was adopted virtually uneventfully, with a small but telling suggestion coming from MDC-T. The small but significant suggestion was to trim the theme to “Social and Economic Transformation”. What is now being recorded as MDC-T objection to the theme was a belated protest, an obligatory afterthought that only came well after a decision had been made by Government. Still, that does not lessen its importance and what it portents for the politics of this country.

Old culture of expropriation

The MDC-T objections are quite telling: “We are not opposed to the day, but we are strongly opposed to the message of indigenisation and to use a national day to launch a Zanu-PF theme; that is what we are opposed to.” Tsvangirai went further: “We have disagreed in this Government because there are others who want to perpetuate the old culture of expropriation, looting and self-aggrandisement clad in new and misleading nomenclature such as indigenisation.”

The scope and line of attack is clear; it encompasses land reform as “the old culture of expropriation”, attacks the indigenisation of the mining sector as a new name for an old vice. It is an attack which, as should be clear from the foregoing, is rooted in the history and politics of this country, specifically rooted in composite white colonial interests as they relate to the land which they viewed as better valued than niggers, indeed as they relate to metals and minerals which they gave better regard clean, honest international relations with the Ndebele state.

The only difference is that while in the foregoing I was, of necessity, restricted to culling quotes from white players, this time around I find there is a black mouth, black tongue articulating the selfsame white interests.

Our independence, your sacrifice

And there is an implied mission in Tsvangirai’s frustration with the theme: that MDC-T was put into the inclusive equation to empty the national day of any radical, national message, to give the national day a new, innocuous meaning. Otherwise how does one embrace the day and oppose the message? After all is the day itself not the message?

But one is also hit by the man’s lack of irony. He proceeds: “It is regrettable that Independence Day has been monopolised and personalised by one political party. This is a national day that is greater than Zanu-PF, the MDC, Mavambo or any other political formation. Independence day is a day greater than Morgan Tsvangirai, Robert Mugabe, Welshman Ncube, Arthur Mutambara or Simba Makoni . . . To adorn Independence Day in a Zanu-PF robe is to rob it of its national character and its universal appeal to the diverse people of Zimbabwe who are all too aware of its mammoth significance to the story of this land.”

Maybe we have been too polite for too long. The struggle, with all its horrendous toll, was monopolised by one party, united Zanu-PF. No one worried then, including Tsvangirai who was not only old enough to go to war, but as near to the border with Mozambique as Mutare. He bravely chose to stay inside the country, leaving the reckless Zanu-PF to monopolise the fight. He worried more about the education of his siblings, he tells one of his white biographer. But today political colonialism has fallen and hey, our man bravely thrusts himself into the frontline, ready to be mowed down by deadly bullets of post-liberation peace, post-liberation premiership!

Well, let him get it today: only the united Zanu-PF is the source of Zimbabwe’s Independence. It fought for that Independence; it sacrificed for it, mobilised for it and, what is more, continues to defend it to this day. Let that be pressed home. Neither time nor memory will ever redistribute this historic achievement by Zanu-PF, all to benefit little, latter-day parties, least of all those speaking for, and defending white interests. Never! Those that stayed home, those that betrayed the struggle even, please demand with humility. This our-glory-together-in-independence, your-sacrifice-alone-struggle, shall not wash. To each according to their contribution, that is the mantra.

Biti lipsticks the status quo

But I am running too far ahead. The MDC-T has said more. Tendai Biti, its secretary general, thinks Indigenisation law is “absurd”. “It wasn’t well thought. Due process not being followed, we need to go back to the drawing board and say how we can empower our people. The best way to empower our people at this present moment in time is to expand our economy to create as many sectors as possible.” And then his real point: “The transfer is for value, which is good, but in a situation where the majority are poor, you are just transferring shares from a few rich white people to a few rich black people.” Significantly, Biti was addressing a Washington think-tank and policy group called Atlantic Council.

Enter Ibbo Mandaza, enmeshed in bitterness

Gentle reader, I advert your attention to another opinion on the same matter, that of Dr Ibbotson Mandaza, who signs off as “a member of the Zimbabwe National Liberation Movement from the 1970s to Independence and later a senior civil servant before he was forced into early retirement”. Writing in the Zimbabwe Independent (April 20-26, 2012), Dr Mandaza guiltily locates our current problems in two main factors. The first factor relates to the “colonial legacy and the political economy it bequeathed”. The second factor was resultant, and Dr Mandaza sums it up as “the neo-colonial framework” which rendered the post-colonial state neither a nation-state nor a nation, but ‘simply a state’” moored to interests of the former colonial and other metropolitan powers.

Discounting the self-serving last two paragraphs of his article, paragraphs which can easily be understood as triggered by the bitterness implied in the man’s self-introduction, Mandaza raises from the first weakness an argument which seems to respond to Biti’s founding postulate against Indigenisation: the persistent extractive, white-bourgeois-led colonial state in post-colonial circumstances “stymied” the indigenous people from “developing a national bourgeoisie that would be the anchor class for the post-independence enterprise of nation-state-in-the-making”.

Mandaza emphasises the colonial binary of a political “and perhaps even more so, an economic agenda”. And this aborted anchoring national bourgeoisie is what Biti decries as “a few rich black people”. For Mandaza this class is a national deficit of post-colonial politics, for Biti it is the reason Indigenisation is flawed, gets flawed. This is the muddled national thinking I am talking about, one so remarkably contrasted by the pithy clarity of white Rhodesia.

Slurring the tall men of history

Lets take off the gloves and knuckle in a few hard ones for the thinking side of the MDC formations. Independence is not a day to which you add the adjective "national".

It is a people, a nation, a destiny, a legacy, an aspiration. Above all, it is proprietorship, ownership. You cannot be independent when you don't own what your flag proclaims as your own. And many Zimbabweans know that, which is why they have been angry with Zanu (PF) for breeding and expanding poverty by simply managing and even reinforcing the colonial state in post-independence.

I thought that is Mandaza's gripe, albeit tinged with personal bitterness. And that this is the dominant understanding of Zimbabweans was shown by the massive turnout.

The unhappiness of Tsvangirai and his party about the theme was simply cast aside, in fact played tonic to participation. That gave a sinister meaning to Tsvangirai's peroration that Independence is larger than all politicians, himself included.

Clearly his views, his unhappiness did not matter, shall never matter. And for him to associate his rejection of empowerment with a person like Herbert Chitepo is simply to crave for an associational value resting outside history.

Has he had time to listen to the Herbert Chitepo lecture on land as the essence of class struggles throughout human history? Do his speech writers reflect on his script? How does he seek association with a figure of history whose pronouncements extol what he himself calls "old culture of expropriation"? And does he not, by that very phrase, repudiate Independence and the symbolic day that marks it?

I could go into the whole theories of discrimination in legislation, in legislation, in residency, in economic opportunities, in education. I could go into that, but I will restrict myself to the question of land because I think this is very basic. To us the essence of exploitation, the essence of white domination, is domination over land. That is the real issue.

(Herbert Chitepo: Speech on a trip to Australia in 1973) - MrK

Defending own expropriation

Secondly, historically what is the cut-off point for this "old culture of expropriation"? 2000? 1890? Clearly by his own reckoning, the old culture is a post-independence phenomenon, which means Tsvangirai exonerates colonialism. How does an African whose legacy is shaped by colonial expropriation emerge as a strident defender of that expropriation, indeed emerge as a stout opposer of anything, anyone who challenges such expropriation, who seeks to right it? And on a day marking the demise of politics that underlay such expropriation, why would an African stick their neck out for colonial forces? Why? And if a people do not own resources, how do they attain, let alone celebrate peace, itself a theme which the MDC-T would have proposed as an alternative? It sounds very much like colonial kitchen-talk, guffaws and mouthfuls in the acceptable.

Neo-liberal illusion

Thirdly, and this one for a Tendai Biti who would know better save for his lost politics, how does stopping value from transferring to a few rich blacks end obscenities of "a few rich whites" holding national wealth against the majority who are poor? When do "absurdities" begin, end? When value transfers from rich white to rich black, or when a status quo of "few rich white" against majority black poor remains? Or both? And why haven't we seen Biti hacking at the present colonial legal regimen which preserves "few rich whites" as "absurd"? That would have been quite a revolutionary message to give to the American Atlantic Council on Zimbabwe's national day.

Surely? Then what he thinks is a deceptively wrapped white argument made in the name of the very victims of white economic power. He thinks the alternative to Indigenisation is "to expand our economy to create as many sectors as possible."

What is this lawyer saying in real terms? Who can salvage just a single grain for me? Why is he not doing that if that is possible under the status quo? What is he waiting for? And why is Indigenisation and the expansion of the economy to create many sectors mutual exclusive? ZANU(PF) will point to the expansion in agriculture, the expansion at Marange as cases in point. What is the case in point - one - from his neo-liberal verbosity? It is an argument of live-in-poverty and let-live-in-white- opulence, status quo argument, indeed a cry of defeat, of the political henpecked. It is not an argument of independence, much as it can be made on independence day!

Erring on the side of capital

Fourthly, why does Biti suddenly become such a sharp lawyer in critiquing black empowerment programmes when he is such a supine bulldog in tackling a colonial status quo so badly requiring overthrowing? We are very incisive in showing why we should not be empowered under the present law which all parties and all MPs, Biti included, supported and passed. Was the easy passage a way of blessing a weak law in order to delay or even defeat empowerment through fatal litigation? We saw this at work in the land saga, with certain elements deliberately inserting fatal clauses in the law to make the whole land reform programme legally vexatious? And why - you a black man - open the flanks against your kind by raising the first legal doubts? Why this legal punctiliousness? Why this reluctance to err on the side of the poor black? And when we go back to the drawing board, does the white man stop eating our heritage? This is one case where permission for continued exploitation is granted through delay. But it does not work. When Zanu (PF) gets bogged down in courts of law, it goes to the highest court in the land, the people who are the final arbiters.

When the world moves

As I write, Argentinian President Cristina Kirchner, is about to nationalise that country's oil and gas company, YPF, which belongs to Spain. The Spaniards are furious and are threatening retaliatory action at diplomatic, industrial, and energy fields. But the lady who recently won a re-election by landslide is not for turning. She wants the energy sector to enable greater growth of Argentinian economy which has miraculously recovered on a model which is completely opposite to a neo-liberal one, backed by the Chinese.

[The light begins to dawn. This is why the British state sent an aircraft carrier to the South Atlantic. - MrK]

The Spaniards, much like our own hoarding so-called investors, have been speculating to the detriment of much needed energy expansion. Besides, Spain is broke, with its limited capital beginning to circumscribe Argentina. This is the growing global ethos. Nationalisation is no longer a dirty word.

Kgalema and his new crusade

As I write and right on the day of our Independence, Deputy President Kgalema Montlanthe of South Africa is pushing for State participation in mining houses.

"Contrary to the view that there must be less State involvement in the economy, the lessons from the recent economic and financial crises are that more State involvement is sought," he told the ninth international mining history congress in Johannesburg.

And of course those for more State participation derive greater joy from the fact that the American government has just recouped handsomely from the bailouts it made at the height of the global financial crisis. What a fillip! Does the MDC-T read all these developments, more important, read the mood in the country? More importantly, does it notice that its age and health arguments from which it has been hoping for electoral manna are being rubbished by the President's age-defying ability to unleash energy crippling through youthful and aggressive ministers under his fold, something Tsvangirai cannot do? Indeed as the Prime Minister recently saw, President Mugabe does not need to be in the country for his agenda to press on, unremittingly. We are dealing with an institution, dealing with an ethos, indeed a zeitgeist!

Tribute from one Hawkins

If they doubt that, I refer them to one of their own - Tony Hawkins. This is what he said this week:

"The belief in Western capitals is that post-Mugabe Zimbabwe will be a very different country. That is based less on thoughtful analysis of the reality on the ground than on the naive assumption that Zimbabwe can somehow go back to its 1980s and 1990s. But the dynamics within Zimbabwe and the region have changed and whoever succeeds Mugabe is not going to reverse his policies on land and Indigenisation. It might be softened at the edges but Zanu (PF) nationalism runs so deep that even if he wanted to turn the clock back, which is doubtful, Tsvangirai would not be able to do so."

Of course the professor is too white to accept the fact that the coming elections may be Tsvangirai's last to lose. Meanwhile, if only my people could be half as clear that it is land, metals and minerals, not independence parades.



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(HERALD) Diamonds: US invites Mpofu to KPCS

Diamonds: US invites Mpofu to KPCS
Saturday, 21 April 2012 00:00
Hebert Zharare News Editor

THE United States government wants Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu and his delegation to attend the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme meeting set for June this year. Sources said the US government, through its Embassy in Harare, wrote the ministry inviting the Zimbabwean delegation to apply for visas.

Minister Mpofu and officials from parastatals that are supposed to attend the KP intercessional meeting are on US and European Union travel bans. “The US Embassy in Harare has written to the ministry inviting the Zimbabwean delegation to apply for the visas so that they attend the KP meeting in America.

“This is a crucial meeting and Zimbabwe as one of the major producers of diamonds should attend,” said the source.

US Embassy Acting Public Affairs Officer in Harare, Ms Jillian Bonnardeaux, yesterday confirmed the US wanted Minister Mpofu and his delegation to attend the KP meeting.

“The US government will expect the minister (Mpofu) and his delegation to attend the meeting. We are looking forward to welcoming the minister and his delegation in the United States,” she said.

Ms Bonnardeaux said the KP meeting was crucial and it was imperative for Zimbabwe to participate.

“The minister and other delegates have not yet applied for the visas . . . they have not been denied the visas yet. The meeting is very crucial and Zimbabwe needs to be represented,” she said.

Minister Mpofu could not be reached for comment yesterday as he was said to be out of the country.

Zimbabwe has faced challenges in marketing its diamonds and recently the US placed Anjin Investments, one of the largest diamond producing companies in the world based at Marange on sanctions.

The Government is however, pinning hope on diamonds revenue to raise money for civil servants’ salaries and pay other critical national requirements.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti, who is in Washington, on Thursday urged the US Government to re-engage Harare.

[Tendai Biti was in Washington addressing The Atlantic Council. - MrK]

He warned that illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West were hurting ordinary people and not President Mugabe.

He said Treasury had also expected a US$600 million boost this year from diamond sales but some of the companies operating in Marange were slapped with sanctions by the US.

Minister Biti said he had not received any money from diamond sales in the first quarter of the year.

He was addressing the Atlantic Council, a Washington think-tank and policy group, on progress made in Zimbabwe’s economic recovery and how to move the country out of its current political impasse.

“We have a shortfall of US$92 million. Part of the explanation is that there were no auction sales recently.

“But (the) question is, is there smuggling and stealing? People talk about that, I don’t have evidence of it so I am not excluding it or including it,” he said.

He said the West should ignore divisions in the inclusive Government and support efforts to help the country recover from a decade-long recession.

“Don’t look at politicians; don’t look at Robert Mugabe and Zanu-PF, look at the ordinary people. The wait-and-see attitude is very retrogressive,” he said.

Minister Biti said Zimbabwe, which defaulted on its foreign obligations in 1999, was being crushed by a US$9,1 billion debt and needs US$14 billion for rehabilitation and development.

“This is part of the things we are battling with on this trip. How to deal with the issue of the crippling sovereign debt? There is no way that we are going to be able to generate these funds,” he said.

According to the latest world ranking, Zimbabwe is now the seventh largest diamond-producing country in the world and it produces about 25 percent of the world’s gems.

KP chairperson Mrs Gillian Milavanovic recently told journalists in a web chat that Zimbabwe, as part of the diamond-producing countries, was not supposed to be sidelined from intercessional meetings.

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(HERALD) Succession: VP Mujuru speaks

Succession: VP Mujuru speaks
Saturday, 21 April 2012 00:00
Takunda Maodza in MT DARWIN

VICE President Joice Mujuru says she will not run for the Presidency as long as President Mugabe is in power. “Handimbochichemera chigaro chavo (President Mugabe) kana varipo. Tinozviziva kuti kune vakuru, kuti kune order . . . Hatife takapanduka isu vamwe nekuti takabikwa tikaibva.” She described President Mugabe as “a gift to the nation”.

The Vice President said this while addressing hundreds of people who thronged Mt Darwin Secondary School yesterday to witness the launch of the First Choice Wholesale programme by President Mugabe. She becomes the second senior Zanu-PF official to dismiss claims that they are targeting the Presidency.

Defence Minister and Zanu-PF secretary for legal affairs Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa this week dismissed reports that he had entered into a secret pact with President Mugabe to take over the presidency once the Head of State and Government leaves office.

Responding to questions by Midlands State University students after presenting a public lecture at the campus on Thursday, Minister Mnangagwa said the rumours were a strategy by Zimbabwe’s enemies and detractors who were always working on reversing the gains of Independence.

“I was as surprised as you to learn that there was a pact between the President and myself to take over office. I also read about it in the Press.

“This is a strategy by our enemies, but we are too mature and intelligent as a nation to fall for that. We do not read much into that,” he said.

VP Mujuru said she first met President Mugabe during the liberation war in 1975 when she was 20-years-old and learnt a lot from the veteran leader.

“I have now known him for 37 years. Our problem as Zimbabweans is that we do not understand our President. Had we understood him well, we were not going to have any challenges. Hanzi n’anga haikudzwe nevayo.”

This comes as the President told the same gathering that Zimbabwe is going for elections this year.

He said this will enable the country prepare for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly to be co-hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe next year.

He said it was impossible to have both events next year.

“We just have to go for elections this year. Moreso as next year we have to prepare for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly with Zambia. We have to have elections this year and leave next year clear,” President Mugabe said.

He challenged the Copac management committee to ensure the Constitution-making process was completed on time and avoid deliberate delaying tactics as a referendum had to be held soon and pave way for polls.

“The management committee should go and demand the consolidated report (from the Copac team) and bring it to us. We want to make decisions as the principals.

We do not want to go into the second half of the year without a referendum,” President Mugabe said.

He made the remarks after Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development Minister Nicholas Goche, a member of the management committee and negotiator in the inter-party talks, indicated to the President that they had not received the consolidated report.

“We are not scared to go for elections. We are ready, ready, ready, but we have not seen the consolidated report as the management committee,” said Cde Goche.
He said the management committee will speedily work on the Constitution once it was furnished with the consolidated report.

“If we fail to agree we will refer it to you as principals. We will not waste time,”
Cde Goche said.

First Choice Wholesale is the brainchild of the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operatives Development.

The co-operative-owned wholesale concept intends to establish outlets in rural communities to bring basic goods to the people.

The wholesalers get their wares from local producers and sell them at affordable prices in rural areas.

The Zanu-PF leadership in Mashonaland Central urged President Mugabe to call for elections and do away with the inclusive Government.

They said the inclusive Government was not beneficial to the nation as parties to the arrangement were pulling in different directions.

Said Zanu-PF’s Mashonaland Central provincial chairman Cde Dickson Mafios: “Mashonaland Central is ready for elections. We are tired of the inclusive Government. Let us go for elections united and reclaim the two constituencies lost to the MDC in 2008.”

Mt Darwin South legislator and Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere echoed similar sentiments.

“As Mashonaland Central, if we have elections today or tomorrow, we have a candidate. You are our candidate Your Excellency,” he said.

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(HERALD) Share trust schemes must be led by locals

Share trust schemes must be led by locals
Saturday, 21 April 2012 00:00
Herald Reporter

GOVERNMENT will not allow companies which cede 51 percent stake to locals to hijack and dictate operations of the Community Share Ownership Trusts, a Cabinet Minister has said. Addressing provincial administrators and rural district council chief executives from around Zimbabwe in Harare yesterday, Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister Ignatius Chombo said such “counter-productive” moves were unacceptable.

This comes amid reports that some company officials were taking up influential roles in the administration of trusts set up to benefit the communities where they operate.

“It is expected that respective chief executive officers of local authorities should effectively discharge their secretariat duties as provided for under the enabling policy framework,” he said.

“No other persons should at this stage be assigned to play that role.”

He said some company executives had assumed the secretariat roles.

“It boggles the mind why such a counter-productive scenario should be allowed to develop. This should be reversed with immediate effect.”

Minister Chombo said some companies were recruiting staff to manage the trusts when they are not yet formally constituted.

“Who is recruiting that staff?
“Who will the staff be accountable to?
“Are they going to be loyal to the Trust and Government?”

He said decisions taken before the Trusts were formally constituted are “null and void”.

“Resources derived from the schemes should be used for the development and maintenance of public infrastructure,” he said. To ensure successful implementation of the schemes, Minister Chombo said, Board of Trustees and the respective local authority should forge close linkages.

“It is at this stage that the Trusts should not operate as parallel structures otherwise it will undermine the viability and relevance of the local authority and other governance structures,” he said.

He, however, said local authorities should not sit back and expect the scheme to fund all their development initiatives.

“The schemes were not created to take over service delivery mandate of council. Instead it is meant to complement the development efforts of local and other development agencies,” he said.

Acting Secretary for Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Mr George Magosvongwe said indigenisation was meant to improve the living standards of Zimbabweans.

“You should be in charge not to be under charge . . . This is the time for everyone from the grassroots level to participate in the mainstream economy,” he said.

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(NEWZIMBABWE) Indigenisation law ‘absurd’: Biti

More editorialising from Reuters - why does the empowerment law or land reform have to be preceded by the standard "controversial"? Also, it is clear again that the neoliberal MDC are the sell-out party. From Anglo-American miner Morgan Tsvangirai, to 'human rights lawyer' and now neoliberal economist Tendai Biti, not to mention all the former Rhodesian Front members among their ranks, they are staunch defenders of elite corporate interests over the interests of the Zimbabwean people.

Indigenisation law ‘absurd’: Biti
19/04/2012 00:00:00
by Business Reporter I Reuters

THE government's drive to force foreign businesses to give 51 percent of their shareholding to locals will benefit the few black elite and must be reviewed, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said on Thursday.

The controversial empowerment law is already being implemented in the mining sector, where South Africa's Impala Platinum was forced to hand over majority shareholding in its Zimplats unit to a state fund, employees and local communities.

Speaking at the Atlantic Council, a think tank and public policy group, Biti said while he agreed on the need for Zimbabweans to participate in the broad economy, the initiative being spearheaded by President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party would only benefit the black elite.

"The transfer is for value, which is good, but in a situation where the majority are poor, you are just transferring shares from a few rich white people to a few rich black people," said Biti.

"It wasn't well thought. Due process not being followed, we need to go back to the drawing board and say how can we empower our people.

“The best way to empower our people at this present moment in time is to expand our economy to create as many sectors as possible."

The exercise is widely seen as a ploy by Zanu PF to win votes in elections that must be held by next year with political reforms and a new constitution in place.

[Widely seen by whom? The MDC? Based on what evidence? - MrK]

The government, which plans to have completed the empowerment program in the mining sector by the end of this month, has given no indication how much it plans to pay for any stakes in Zimplats.

Zimbabwe has the world's second largest platinum deposits.

There is also pressure on the four foreign banks to hand over 51 percent of their shareholding, which is being vigorously opposed by both Biti and central bank governor Gideon Gono.

Illustrating what he said was the "absurdity" of the empowerment program, Biti said the four banks - which include Britain's Barclays and Standard & Chartered - have an average market capitalization of $60 million each.

To start a bank in Zimbabwe, the minimum capital requirement is $12.5 million, which means that anyone buying 51 percent of any one of the banks' shares would need to pay about $30 million.

"If you have $30 million, why not just start your own bank? The program has not been well thought out. ... How we are trying to do it is a disaster."

Empowerment Minister, Saviour Kasukuwere recently said he would now target the financial services sector after forcing the major mining companies to comply with the controversial law.

However, Biti and Gono have warned that applying the 51 percent quota to banking could adversely impact the country’s economic recovery.

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Political violence

Political violence
By The Post
Sat 21 Apr. 2012, 13:30 CAT

IT seems the culture of political intolerance has taken root in our country.
This is a culture that was planted by the MMD for two decades. And 20 years is not a short period of time. This culture has become firmly deep-rooted. This culture has permeated all levels of our key political parties.

The seed of intolerance was planted by the MMD and found fertile soil in the other political parties that were victims of their intolerance. We are now at a stage where all our key political parties have acquired this culture and their cadres know no other type of politics except that of violence.

When the MMD was in power, those who were in the opposition took a defensive position to protect themselves from its violence. After some time, they also resorted to being offensive. Today the MMD is on the receiving end of the culture of violence and intolerance that they planted.

But this should not be allowed to continue. The change of government meant the change of everything that is undesirable. This culture of intolerance and violence is undesirable. It is the duty of Michael Sata to ensure that things change and change for the better.

It is good that yesterday he came out strongly against this violence and condemned it. There is need for a general political mobilisation against this violence. All political parties have to take a firm position on this issue. And this also includes the police. No form of political violence should be tolerated from any quarter.

PF cadres who now seem to be on the offensive should not be tolerated by the police the way the MMD cadres were tolerated by them. They have to be dealt with firmly. They should not be treated like they are part of the government. The nonsense of "boma this, boma that" we used to hear should cease. Hooliganism cannot be part of boma.

We ask the PF as a political party to seriously begin to address this issue because it will tarnish their image. This is not what PF stood for and this is not what PF should be seen to be standing for.

And moreover, what were those thugs doing at that funeral? Who invited them to go there? A funeral is not for thugs; it is for decent people who know how to mourn others and who know how to respect the dead. The confusion that characterised the funeral shows that our politicians have not yet grasped the full meaning of democracy.

It is not in our Zambian culture to turn a solemn funeral into a boxing arena.
For this reason, any responsible politician, especially those leading or wanting to lead them, should educate their cadres to desist from any form of hooliganism at a funeral. In fact, a funeral should be an event where healing of old wounds ought to take place.

It should be a place where sworn enemies can reconcile. A funeral should be a time for all of us to reflect on whether we are in good standing, because in Ecclesiastes 7:1, we learn that "a good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth".
Funerals deserve respect; they are very important occasions, more important than the days we were all born.

It is therefore amazing how some politicians can organise cadres into an army of hooligans to disrupt a state funeral service being attended by the head of state.

There is a lot that can be said about this, but it has already been said. All that remains to be said is that political leadership is required to deal with this issue.

And the existence of such high levels of political intolerance is a sign of leadership failure on the part of our political parties. It just goes to show how poorly they are organised and how poorly they are led. For some time now, we have been advocating the introduction of political education in our political parties.

Today, there is no political party that has discernible political education for its cadres. And this is what happens when you turn thugs, criminals and lumpens of all hues into political cadres without any serious effort to mould or orient them, to teach them the values that are necessary in a multi-party political dispensation.

We therefore urge all our political parties to quickly embark on education of their cadres so that they can become better citizens and better leaders. There is need for political parties to become proper institutions of democracy, where there is tolerance for members and non-members.

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Cadres clash at Kunda's funeral

Cadres clash at Kunda's funeral
By Kombe Chimpinde, Salim Dawood, Roy Habaalu, Bright Mukwasa a
Sat 21 Apr. 2012, 13:30 CAT

CADRES yesterday clashed at the funeral service for former vice-president George Kunda at the Cathe-dral of the Child Jesus in Lusaka. And President Michael Sata has accused MMD presidential aspirant Pastor Nevers Mumba of ferrying thugs to Kunda's funeral to fan the confusion. But Pastor Mumba said he would not respond to President Sata's accusation.

While the mood was solemn inside the Church, tension and rivalry hang outside the cathedral, where PF and a combined group of opposition MMD and UPND cadres squared off, exchanging invectives.

The PF cadres had seemingly been incensed by some MMD and UPND cadres believed to be Pastor Nevers Mumba's supporters and wearing T-shirts with inscriptions "Don't kutina", an apparent mockery of the PF's "Don't Kubeba" slogan.

The PF cadres continuously taunted the MMD and UPND cadres about their loss of last September's general elections, creating extra work for security, which included army and police officers outside.

Their chanting and singing even subdued the the proceedings inside the cathedral.

The situation nearly turned nasty when the PF cadres surged to the entrance of the cathedral, where the MMD and UPND cadres had taken up vantage point in order to dislodge them.

The cadres hurled insults and disparaging remarks at each other, with the PF side boasting that they were now in power.

Security personnel, who were visibly overwhelmed by the multitude of the ruling PF cadres, eventually managed to bring the situation under control after re-enforcement.

Irate MMD cadres complained to the media and the police of harassment, while PF cadres entertained themselves to spirited music and dance.

The cathedral grounds had been filled with PF, MMD and UPND cadres as early as 09:00 hours, with PF cadres outnumbering the MMD and UPND.

Their singing and chanting, punctuated by the feuding overwhelmed the sizeable number of police officers deployed outside the cathedral and even those inside.

At some point, President Sata abruptly ordered Inspector General of Police Stella Libongani to sort out party cadres that were causing the commotion.

This was when President Sata got incensed by the behaviour of PF and MMD cadres shortly after he gave a brief speech.

When President Sata was about to take his seat after his speech, in which he thanked Zambians and defence chiefs for the service rendered to the Kunda family, and Cardinal Merdado Mazombwe rose to the last ritual before the Mass could conclude, President Sata made his way back to the podium and ordered Inspector General Libongani to sort out those that were causing confusion.

"These self-ordained pastors, have printed T-shirts ‘Don't kutina'and have put thugs outside, who are provoking trouble. Can Zambia Police… Madam Libongani get outside and sort them out. We have come here to mourn and not entertain the thugs," President Sata demanded.

At that point, Inspector General Libongani and a few other officers left the service to go and take charge of the situation.

When contacted after the service for his comment, Pastor Mumba said he found President Sata's attacks against him and the pastors during the service as

"I was in the service myself. I was there myself. There are many things that he said and that he would sort me out. I can't answer the President. We went there to mourn my brother and I would rather keep the honour of Kunda. That was an inappropriate thing to say at that time," said Pastor Mumba.

Earlier in his speech, President Sata said he was amazed that some circles of society were wondering why Kunda was the first former vice-president to be accorded three days of national mourning.

"Madam (Irene) Kunda, on your behalf, I would like to thank the Zambian people who have come to escort you to this unbearable celebration… It's not easy. Some of us have gone through this," said President Sata, who also took time to recognise the presence of several individuals in the audience.

"Don't listen to self-ordained reverends because in this country, we have self-ordained pastors; all they think of is ‘Oh, George Kunda was neglected, he was not evacuated' but last week we evacuated Mrs Nakatindi. Where is she? The same self-ordained pastors, are not saying ‘thank you to government for Mr Robiana who is now walking."

President Sata said that death was God's will that could not be defeated by science.

"They condemned me, (saying) why have I treated Kunda as if he is President, saying ‘this man (Kunda)has been given three days of national mourning and when Gen (Christon) Tembo died, they did not treat him the way they are treating him (Kunda)'," President Sata said.

" I do not want to mention them. I was not President when General Tembo died. Rupiah was President when General Tembo died. I do not know if Rupiah read the regulations of state funeral."

He said Kunda deserved to be respected because he was once vice-president of the country.

President Sata said he was aware of a lot things being said about him but that he had learnt the art of listening rather than just responding to anything being thrown at him.

"Dr (Kenneth) Kaunda has taught me something. When you speak, I treat you as if I am not listening to what you are saying because my tongue can be very sharp," he said amid ululations.

President Sata also thanked the security and defence forces for the services rendered during the mourning period.

And Giving a eulogy, Lusaka lawyer Sunday Nkonde hailed Kunda as a hard worker and defender of his beliefs.

"His work as minister of justice, he constantly resisted revealing what he had advised government as its client even if it meant him shouldering public anger and criticism. He at all times jealously upheld lawyer-client confidentiality even when others would tell him it was to his own detriment. The late honourable Kunda was very steadfast in his advice to government," Nkonde said.

He said Kunda was a man of virtue and who was not tied to political affiliation and status in life.

MMD acting president Michael Mabenga said Kunda's demise was a heartbreaking episode in the MMD's history.

He, however, said the party had to accept God's will.

Meanwhile, in his homily, Cardinal Mazombwe acknowledged various contributions made by Kunda to the country's development.

Cardinal Mazombwe said that every death was painful but that love was bigger than death.

"Love is stronger than death. We are able to endure and accept any pain in life when we love God," he said.

Vice-President Guy Scott, Chief Justice Ernest Sakala, Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini and opposition party leaders joined mourners from all works of life at the cathedral, which was filled to capacity.

Leader of the opposition in the House Felix Mutati sat next to President Sata and first lady Dr Christine Kaseba during the service, and were occasionally seen chatting.

Tributes wre also said by the late Kunda's sons during the service.

And Vice-President Scott said Kunda believed in the diversity of humankind.

During the burial at Leopards Hill Memorial Park yesterday, Vice-President Scott said Kunda spoke openly about the responsibility and duty of all citizens to contribute to the well-being of their community.

He said Kunda believed that there was no magic formula to achieving development and national success.

He said Kunda set high personal standards of discipline and hard work.

"Which included essential elements of integrity and self-sacrifice for the common good of society. It required a brave person like him to stand and eloquently defend the things he believed in and cared for," said Vice-President Scott.

He said Kunda held the view that both lawyers and ordinary citizens had a cardinal duty to contribute and commit themselves to law reforms that would guarantee personal freedoms, peace, national unity and human dignity.

"Even at a time his health appeared to be failing, Kunda never slowed down his work rate and continued his quest for accountable governance and for the need to guard against the abuse of power. He sounded constantly the warnings against the dangers of manipulating by ambitious, dishonest and selfish men and women. He always stressed that for any society to succeed, the citizens had to play a pivotal role and that for this to become a reality and of benefit to them, much would depend on their contribution to it," he said.

Vice-President Scott said Kunda was a very private person in more ways than one.

He said his views on a number of issues did not earn him acclaim among his adversaries but he remained fearless, resolute and forthright in stating them.

He said he was a highly principled man, who made a huge contribution to Zambia's constitutional and law development process.

And Chief Justice Sakala said Kunda had left a mark on the justice system in Zambia, which even his harshest critics would find difficult to erase.

During a valedictory session at the Supreme Court in honour of Kunda, justice Sakala said Kunda had left a legacy that whatever office one holds as a lawyer, the tenets of the legal profession, ideals of justice and the rule of law should never be sacrificed.

He said Kunda, who also once served as Law Association of Zambia president, was a strong supporter of the Judiciary's autonomy and independence and that he did all he could to provide support to the Judiciary.

Justice Sakala said Kunda stood out as a landmark and a beacon for the old as well as the new generation of lawyers.

He said Kunda served the country selflessly and was a strong defender of the separation of powers, good governance and the rule of law.

"Truly Kunda in his coolness of mind, was a paradigm of a good lawyer, a good politician and a perfect specimen of humility," he said.

Justice Sakala further described the late Kunda as a brilliant lawyer who contributed not only to the legal profession but the country as a whole.

He said Kunda would be remembered as a prolific and great legal mind who contributed a lot to Zambia's jurisprudence.

He said in his capacity as a private lawyer and as Attorney General, Kunda made his submissions with clarity, respect, dignity and with a smile.

"We shall also remember him for the various laws he initiated to improve the administration of justice in the country as legal affairs minister," Justice Sakala said.

He said Kunda would be fondly remembered for supporting and ensuring that over 100 new local courts were built in all the nine provinces of Zambia in the last three years.

He further said Kunda introduced and supported legislation which increased the establishment of the Supreme Court and High Court benches.

And Solicitor General Musa Mwenye said Kunda would be remembered as a courageous member of the Zambian bar.

Mwenye said he found Kunda to be a fearless opponent as he had the extremely important attribute of courage.

He said the passing of Kunda had saddened the legal profession as he was the second lawyer in the last 21 years to serve as vice-president of Zambia.

LAZ president James Banda said Kunda was a dedicated member of the association.

Banda said Kunda's death had also created a void in his family and prayed that God would comfort them.

Meanwhile former Attorney General Abyudi Shonga said Kunda spoke his mind and called a spade a spade.

Shonga also described Kunda as an exemplary lawyer.

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Critics of fuel donation to Malawi aren't Africans - PS

Critics of fuel donation to Malawi aren't Africans - PS
By Gift Chanda
Sat 21 Apr. 2012, 13:29 CAT

THOSE criticising the government's fuel donation to Malawi are not Africans, says energy permanent secretary George Zulu. And energy minister Christopher Yaluma says Malawi has expressed interest to be supplied fuel from Zambia on a commercial basis in future.

Flagging the first consignment of the three million litres of fuel to Malawi to help facilitate funeral arrangements for late president Bingu wa Mutharika, Zulu clarified that the fuel was a donation.

"...It is a donation... It is a funeral and Zambia is helping," Zulu said.

"Zambia has always been assisting its neighbours. Last time, it donated maize to Zimbabwe when that country had problems. (So) those criticising this gesture are not Africans."

He said the fuel problems in Malawi were real.

Malawi, which consumes one million litres of fuel on a daily basis, has been facing serious economic problems.

"Diplomats cross over to Chipata to buy fuel but we thought the ordinary people cannot manage. So we decided to assist them with this fuel to use during the time they are mourning their leader," Zulu said.

"In an African setup, we help our neighbours when they are in grief."

Zulu also disclosed that the Zambian government would pay the transporters of the fuel.

And Yaluma described the three million litres fuel donation to Malawi as "peanuts".

"The fuel consumption per month in Malawi is 33 million litres. So this fuel will be finished in three days," he said. "But for future assistance, Malawi expressed interest to the Zambian government (to be supplied fuel) when I had a meeting with them."

Yaluma explained that this, however, would be on a commercial basis.
Zambia is currently exploring ways of accessing cheap oil from oil-rich Angola.

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Inquiry urges independent body to purchase oil stocks

Inquiry urges independent body to purchase oil stocks
By Kombe Chimpinde
Sat 21 Apr. 2012, 13:30 CAT

THE commission of inquiry into the procurement of oil has recommended that an autonomous institution be given the mandate of purchasing the country's crude oil stocks.

This proposal outlined in its key recommendations, is in view of irregularities and corrupt practices in the procurement of oil established by the commission during its public sittings.

A source has revealed that the Wynter Kabimba-led commission recommended that the government considers coming up with another body with competence and capacity to be responsible for the effective procurement of petroleum products for the country.

"The commission recommended that government consider as soon as possible the commission of a feasibility study to determine the most feasible model for the government to the private sector as the case in Tanzania and South Africa," the source said.

The source revealed that the commission also recommended for forensic audit of the Ministry of Energy on contracts for procurement of commingled petroleum stock awarded between 2007 and 2011.

"Other recommendations were for a forensic audit to be conducted at the Ministry of Energy on the construction and rehabilitation contracts of fuel storage tanks at Ndola Fuel Terminal and selected provincial depots to establish the actual cost of this infrastructure," the source said.

"The commission has stated that government should also consider changing the tax regime and fees on petroleum products from ad valorem (percentage based) to fixed or absolute amounts in order to bring revenue predictability and reduce tax burden on the final consumer in the light of fluctuating international oil prices."

The commission also recommended for the reviewing of the mandate of the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) whose operations were also scrutinised by the commission of inquiry.

The inquiry report has revealed corrupt practices in the procurement of oil between 2007 and 2011 where former president Rupiah Banda and his son, James, and some former senior government officials have been recommended for investigation over the K2 trillion oil procurement loss.

Sources revealed that the commission had recommended to law enforcement agencies to investigate Banda, James and other named public officers at the then Ministry of Energy and Water Development and Zambia Public Procurement Agency (ZPPA) in relation to various listed procurements contracts.

Also cited in the report are former energy minister Kenneth Konga, former permanent secretaries in the same ministry, Peter Mumba, Teddy Kasonso, Buleti Nsemukila and former information minister Lt Gen Ronnie Shikapwasha.

ZPPA former directors Samuel Chibuye and David Kapitolo, secretary in the Central Tendering Committee (CTC) at ZPPA Justine Matimuna and director in the Ministry of Energy, Oscar Kulumiana, among others.



Zulu defends radar inquiry findings

Zulu defends radar inquiry findings
By Kombe Chimpinde
Fri 20 Apr. 2012, 11:59 CAT

MINISTER of Justice Sebastian Zulu says he was ‘walking a tightrope' when President Michael Sata rubbished his report because he could not defend it as the matter was in court.

Recently, President Sata said the Sebastian Zulu-led commission of inquiry report on radar contracts for three international airports was useless and wondered if the Minister of Justice was trying to protect Dora Siliya. In an interview, Zulu who chaired the commission of inquiry on radar contracts for the airports, said the findings by his commission were justified.

He however said that he could not defend it as it had coincided with the time of Siliya's arrest and appearance before the magistrates' court regarding the same matter and commenting on it would have made it prejudicial before the courts of law.

"Our findings as far as I am concerned were justified. I could not comment on the findings of the report because that matter is in court. It was on the basis of some of those findings that Dora was arrested. So I was walking a tightrope," he said.

"See what I mean? The matter was in court so I couldn't comment on the findings of the report because the matter is in court."

Zulu said that he was also awaiting an appointment to be fixed in which he would present the report on the Inquiry on NAPSA regarding the Meanwood project and ZNBS property development, which the President deferred following his (Zulu) decision to delegate the function because he was reportedly out of the country.

"They will give me a date. They have not given me a date on which to present," said Zulu.

On the Zanaco inquiry which Zulu chaired, Zulu said that the findings had been closed and that he had been waiting to be given time to present it.

Earlier, Zulu said a team of experts comprising all stakeholders to draw up specifications in order to identify the requirement for a new and modern air traffic management system, which would include the radar, should also be set up.

And Zulu clarified that there was a circular released recently to all government departments regarding some changes in State House and government function protocol at which the PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba has been included in the top three but that he was not the spokesperson to divulge the details of the circular.

Responding to journalists who wanted to know if those changes had any attachment to the Cabinet arrangement, Zulu said, "The circular is merely talking about who comes first second and so forth. All I can confirm is there is a circular. But the protocol must not be confused with Cabinet."

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Maintain dumps well, Windhoek mayor urges LCC

Maintain dumps well, Windhoek mayor urges LCC
By Kondwani Munyeka and Lovely Kayombo
Sat 21 Apr. 2012, 13:28 CAT

WINDHOEK mayor Elaine Trepper has challenged Lusaka City Council to take up a key role in ensuring that dumps are well maintained. During the presentation of a preliminary report on the work of the LCC, Trepper advised the local authority to find shelter for vendors for a clean Lusaka.

"My appeal to Lusaka City Council is that they should provide skip containers outside Soweto market because the place looks like a dumping site on its own...there is need to encourage the people to trade in markets because it is not good to turn pavements into markets. The mindset of people needs to change and the council should introduce measures of punishment," Trepper said.

The findings on the preliminary report indicate that the council has a high number of vacant positions and many senior staff in acting positions which makes it difficult for the council to operate effectively.

The report also indicated that there was a shortage of critical skills in the engineering department, poor staff conditions of service and lengthy procurement process of materials, among others.

But LCC public relations manager Chanda Makanta said in an interview that the increase in vacant positions at the local authority was a result of the council's inability to offer attractive remuneration packages to its employees.

"It is not that there are no qualified people to fill the vacancies but it is because the council does not offer attractive remuneration. That is why they shun to come and work here," she said.

Makanta also said the lengthy procurement process at the council was a result of lack of resources.

"The long procurement process is as a result of lack of adequate resources. The council may not have the money to procure things there and then because resources trickle in bit by bit and with the meagre revenue, we are trying to deliver a better service to the people," said Makanta.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

(GLOBALRESEARCH) The European Stabilization Mechanism, Or How Goldman Sachs Captured Europe

COMMENT - Inflating our way out is how we got here. The disastrous supply side economic policies of Thatcher, Reagan and Bush magicked away the jobs, and to compensate, the US Federal Reserve under supply sider Alan Greenspan kept interest rates artificially low for a long time. That worked for about 5 years, when between 1994 and 1999 the Dow Jones doubled in price from about 5,000 to 10,000. And then the markets started crashing again, including the NASDAQ in 2000.

The only real solution, is to a) turn away from supply side economics and toward demand side economics, b) eliminate hundreds of trillions of dollars in toxic assets and c) restructure away the consumer debt, including student loans and mortgage debt.

That is the only way the economy can be saved.

The European Stabilization Mechanism, Or How Goldman Sachs Captured Europe
by Ellen Brown
Global Research, April 19, 2012

The Goldman Sachs coup that failed in America has nearly succeeded in Europe—a permanent, irrevocable, unchallengeable bailout for the banks underwritten by the taxpayers.

In September 2008, Henry Paulson, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, managed to extort a $700 billion bank bailout from Congress. But to pull it off, he had to fall on his knees and threaten the collapse of the entire global financial system and the imposition of martial law; and the bailout was a one-time affair. Paulson’s plea for a permanent bailout fund—the Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP—was opposed by Congress and ultimately rejected.

By December 2011, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi, former vice president of Goldman Sachs Europe, was able to approve a 500 billion Euro bailout for European banks without asking anyone’s permission. And in January 2012, a permanent rescue funding program called the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) was passed in the dead of night with barely even a mention in the press. The ESM imposes an open-ended debt on EU member governments, putting taxpayers on the hook for whatever the ESM’s Eurocrat overseers demand.

The bankers’ coup has triumphed in Europe seemingly without a fight. The ESM is cheered by Eurozone governments, their creditors, and “the market” alike, because it means investors will keep buying sovereign debt. All is sacrificed to the demands of the creditors, because where else can the money be had to float the crippling debts of the Eurozone governments?

There is another alternative to debt slavery to the banks. But first, a closer look at the nefarious underbelly of the ESM and Goldman’s silent takeover of the ECB . . . .

The Dark Side of the ESM

The ESM is a permanent rescue facility slated to replace the temporary European Financial Stability Facility and European Financial Stabilization Mechanism as soon as Member States representing 90% of the capital commitments have ratified it, something that is expected to happen in July 2012. A December 2011 youtube video titled “The shocking truth of the pending EU collapse!”, originally posted in German, gives such a revealing look at the ESM that it is worth quoting here at length. It states:

The EU is planning a new treaty called the European Stability Mechanism, or ESM: a treaty of debt. . . . The authorized capital stock shall be 700 billion euros. Question: why 700 billion? [Probable answer: it simply mimicked the $700 billion the U.S. Congress bought into in 2008.] . . . .

[Article 9]: “. . . ESM Members hereby irrevocably and unconditionally undertake to pay on demand any capital call made on them . . . within seven days of receipt of such demand.” . . . If the ESM needs money, we have seven days to pay. . . . But what does “irrevocably and unconditionally” mean? What if we have a new parliament, one that does not want to transfer money to the ESM? . . . .

[Article 10]: “The Board of Governors may decide to change the authorized capital and amend Article 8 ... accordingly.” Question: . . . 700 billion is just the beginning? The ESM can stock up the fund as much as it wants to, any time it wants to? And we would then be required under Article 9 to irrevocably and unconditionally pay up?

[Article 27, lines 2-3]: “The ESM, its property, funding, and assets . . . shall enjoy immunity from every form of judicial process . . . .” Question: So the ESM program can sue us, but we can’t challenge it in court?

[Article 27, line 4]: “The property, funding and assets of the ESM shall . . . be immune from search, requisition, confiscation, expropriation, or any other form of seizure, taking or foreclosure by executive, judicial, administrative or legislative action.” Question: . . . [T]his means that neither our governments, nor our legislatures, nor any of our democratic laws have any effect on the ESM organization? That’s a pretty powerful treaty!

[Article 30]: “Governors, alternate Governors, Directors, alternate Directors, the Managing Director and staff members shall be immune from legal process with respect to acts performed by them . . . and shall enjoy inviolability in respect of their official papers and documents.”

Question: So anyone involved in the ESM is off the hook? They can’t be held accountable for anything? . . . The treaty establishes a new intergovernmental organization to which we are required to transfer unlimited assets within seven days if it so requests, an organization that can sue us but is immune from all forms of prosecution and whose managers enjoy the same immunity. There are no independent reviewers and no existing laws apply? Governments cannot take action against it? Europe’s national budgets in the hands of one single unelected intergovernmental organization? Is that the future of Europe? Is that the new EU – a Europe devoid of sovereign democracies?

The Goldman Squid Captures the ECB

Last November, without fanfare and barely noticed in the press, former Goldman exec Mario Draghi replaced Jean-Claude Trichet as head of the ECB. Draghi wasted no time doing for the banks what the ECB has refused to do for its member governments—lavish money on them at very cheap rates. French blogger Simon Thorpe reports:

On the 21st of December, the ECB “lent” 489 billion euros to European Banks at the extremely generous rate of just 1% over 3 years. I say “lent”, but in reality, they just ran the printing presses. The ECB doesn’t have the money to lend. It’s Quantitative Easing again.

The money was gobbled up virtually instantaneously by a total of 523 banks. It’s complete madness. The ECB hopes that the banks will do something useful with it – like lending the money to the Greeks, who are currently paying 18% to the bond markets to get money. But there are absolutely no strings attached. If the banks decide to pay bonuses with the money, that’s fine. Or they might just shift all the money to tax havens.

At 18% interest, debt doubles in just four years. It is this onerous interest burden, not the debt itself, that is crippling Greece and other debtor nations. Thorpe proposes the obvious solution:

Why not lend the money to the Greek government directly? Or to the Portuguese government, currently having to borrow money at 11.9%? Or the Hungarian government, currently paying 8.53%. Or the Irish government, currently paying 8.51%? Or the Italian government, who are having to pay 7.06%?

The stock objection to that alternative is that Article 123 of the Lisbon Treaty prevents the ECB from lending to governments. But Thorpe reasons:

My understanding is that Article 123 is there to prevent elected governments from abusing Central Banks by ordering them to print money to finance excessive spending. That, we are told, is why the ECB has to be independent from governments. OK. But what we have now is a million times worse. The ECB is now completely in the hands of the banking sector. “We want half a billion of really cheap money!!” they say. OK, no problem. Mario is here to fix that. And no need to consult anyone. By the time the ECB makes the announcement, the money has already disappeared.

At least if the ECB was working under the supervision of elected governments, we would have some influence when we elect those governments. But the bunch that now has their grubby hands on the instruments of power are now totally out of control.

Goldman Sachs and the financial technocrats have taken over the European ship. Democracy has gone out the window, all in the name of keeping the central bank independent from the “abuses” of government. Yet the government is the people—or it should be. A democratically elected government represents the people. Europeans are being hoodwinked into relinquishing their cherished democracy to a rogue band of financial pirates, and the rest of the world is not far behind.

Rather than ratifying the draconian ESM treaty, Europeans would be better advised to reverse article 123 of the Lisbon treaty. Then the ECB could issue credit directly to its member governments. Alternatively, Eurozone governments could re-establish their economic sovereignty by reviving their publicly-owned central banks and using them to issue the credit of the nation for the benefit of the nation, effectively interest-free. This is not a new idea but has been used historically to very good effect, e.g. in Australia through the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and in Canada through the Bank of Canada.

Today the issuance of money and credit has become the private right of vampire rentiers, who are using it to squeeze the lifeblood out of economies. This right needs to be returned to sovereign governments. Credit should be a public utility, dispensed and managed for the benefit of the people.

To add your signature to a letter to parliamentarians blocking ratification of the ESM, click here.

Ellen Brown is an attorney and president of the Public Banking Institute, In Web of Debt, her latest of eleven books, she shows how a private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. Her websites are and

Ellen Brown is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Ellen Brown

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(HERALD) Propaganda, prophecy and prosperity

Propaganda, prophecy and prosperity
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 21:06

The mass media is to the general populace what the clergy is to the Church. Evangelism and the teaching of the word of God in the Church is what news bulletins are to the general public.

Both the mass media and the clergy serve a system for communicating messages and symbols to their respective audiences, having a compelling function to amuse, entertain, inform, and to inculcate values, beliefs, and codes of behaviour designed to orient people into specific institutional structures.

To sustain the inequalities brought about by class differences and interests, the role of the mass media has sadly been to promote a notorious systematic propaganda regime designed to protect the interests of the propertied classes. The Bible says in Matthew 24:11, “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many,” adding in verse 24, “For there shall arise false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”
(The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible)

With these words, Jesus Christ was foretelling a predicament of deception in the Church, warning believers of mass deception at the hands of unscrupulous religious charlatans titling themselves as prophets, less for the anointing they purport to carry and more for legitimising their deceptive ways. One normally starts a church as Reverend so and so, then Pastor, and then Prophet or Apostle — all the time attributing these changes to God’s instruction.

Prophecy, just like propaganda, can be used as a means to control the masses under a tempestuous cloud of loathsome deception. In countries where the levers of power are in the hands of a state bureaucracy, often there is a monopoly control of the media, coupled by official censorship that ensures that the media serves the ends of a dominant elite.

In a Church controlled by a false prophet, there is monopoly control of spiritual and administrative matters by “The Man of God,” ostensibly carrying out instructions from God himself, having a special calling and anointing — a calling quite unique and always superior to that of everyone else that may ever choose to be part of that church. Disagreeing, disobedience and rebellion mean exactly the same thing in a church of this nature.

Just to set the record straight, this writer totally believes in the validity of the word of prophecy, the existence of true prophets, the power of the Holy Spirit, and salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ. Prophecy is always designed to direct people towards God’s plan, whether this may be through encouragement, warning, reprimanding, punishment, or giving direction. It is never about proving a point about the legitimacy of the prophet in question.

God raised so many men of little means and significance as his prophets from the Old Testament dispensation, and it was never God’s worry to necessarily find popular and respected people to be his prophets, and neither did God empower any of the prophets with powers to prove themselves. Even Prophet Elijah’s contest with Baal’s 450 false prophets was not a show of legitimacy for Elijah himself but an exposure of the deception of Baal. It was a redemption exercise and not a mere show of power.

In 2001 this writer answered to an altar call by Prophet Andrew Wutawunashe at the Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex; not so much of a complex these days. Prophet Wutawunashe had prophesied that God was showing him a “few men who are going to climb the mountain of politics,” including some who would “become political writers.”

The altar call was not for the Prophet to make politicians and political writers out of members of his congregation, but a confirmation of ambitions and callings already existent within the Church, also an assurance of God’s blessing to such initiatives.

Among the few of us who went forward to “receive God’s blessing” were the likes of George Chingarande, Patrick Huni, and Casper Shumba, all published political writers of various convictions and ideas.

It is this writer’s conviction that the purpose of this prophecy was to keep our inherent ambitions and callings within God’s plan, not necessarily to create future politicians for the Prophet or for his church — it was a plan to breed God-fearing politicians and political writers from within the Church. The 1st Corinthians Chapter 14:4 says the purpose of prophesying is to “edify” the Church, “speaking unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.” (Verse 3).

Today, we read about a populist Nigerian prophet whose idea of edifying and comforting the Church is to make predictions of soccer results, pretty much just like any other gambler in the soccer-gambling syndicates, only that he says God favours him “to watch these matches before they are played.” Just like rogue gamblers fix matches to suit their predictions, false prophets also fix events to suit their prophecies.

Prophet TB Joshua did it with the first match at the World Cup finals in South Africa in 2010, and repeated it when Zambia was about to play Cote d’Ivoire in the Africa Cup of Nations final this year.

When Prophet TB Joshua is not edifying the Church through predictions of soccer results, he is predicting the deaths of prominent people to edify and comfort the same church. It all started with the revisionist claims that he had prophesied the death of Michael Jackson by confiding in a “family friend” of the Jacksons, a friend he claims he had tasked to bring Michael to Nigeria “to avoid this death.” He has paraded the claimed friend before his congregation a few times.

On February 5, Prophet TB Joshua issued a despondency-bound prophecy about the death of an African head of state, indicating the death would be within 60 days.

Immediately after this prophecy the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), the church he founded and leads, issued a statement vehemently denying that the prophet had ever put a date on the prophesied death, only to release a bragging video to the contrary after the death of Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika fell within the prophesied time frame.

The prophecy about the death of an African head of state had been repeated by TB Joshua on March 18, and finally on April 1, where video footages show him twice saying the death was to be on a Thursday, although he says he was not sure which Thursday.

Confirmed reports say President wa Mutharika had a heart attack on Thursday the 5th of April, but it is not certain when he actually died, with some reports suggesting he died on Friday the 6th.

After the death of President wa Mutharika, TB Joshua’s public relations handlers were quite euphoric in proving the preciseness of the prophecy, posting numerous videos on YouTube and also carrying out complementing programmes on Emmanuel TV, SCOAN’s TV Channel. To prove that the prophecy was no fluke, TB Joshua braggingly brought to church a letter he claimed was written to him by President wa Mutharika, purportedly acknowledging that he knew the prophecy was about him. Joshua did not reveal the contents of the letter but allowed photographers to take pictures of the letter’s letterhead and signature.

It turns out that the letter in question was a mere acknowledgment of receipt of a book given to the President by TB Joshua, according to the late Mutharika’s Aide on Religious Affairs, one Billy Gama, and also according to the typist who says she was tasked to type the letter, both of them claiming to have copies of the said letter.

The prophecy about the death of an African head of state initially sounded like most of TB Joshua’s characteristic one size fits all prophecies, with the usual outlet strategy of saying, “I am praying to see if I can stop this,” something Joshua would be assured of boasting about if no head of state had died in the whole of 2012.

But also this seems to have been a classic case of the now common “prophesying from a data base” strategy, so much used by young and popular trickster prophets who mischievously memorise mobile numbers of people from written down prayer requests, only to recite them days later before prayerful and unsuspecting congregations, making impressive claims of having known people’s problems and ailments directly from God.

People blissfully forget that they provided this vital information themselves. Some junior pastors from satellite churches tell the Prophet information obtained during counselling sessions with their church members, only for the prophet to break into a sudden tongue-speaking trance during an ordinary preaching session, calling out the name of a person he says God is telling him about, and proceeding to proudly reveal that person’s problem.

The confirmation of this prophecy by the prophesied person always sends the congregation into raucous shouts of “Hallelujah!” Bibles and jackets hysterically thrown into the air in jubilation, drums and keyboards screaming to high heavens. Back to Prophet TB Joshua, the facts of his prophecy are that the successor of the late Mutharika, Joyce Banda, has been a member of Joshua’s SCOAN since 2009, and she is a widely broadcasted supporter of Prophet TB Joshua.

Joyce Banda had a public fallout with Mutharika and she is on video publicly asking SCOAN members for prayers “on this persecution.” The last visit was in November 2011, after Banda had been reported to be under police investigation for treason, something that emanated from her public endorsement of public demonstrations against President Mutharika. It was also reported that documents linking Banda to a plot to topple Mutharika with the help of “some Nigerians” were in the hands of the Police Chief in Malawi. This man was the first person to be sacked by Banda hours after the confirmation of Mutharika’s death.

The possibility that TB Joshua’s prophecy could have been based on important intelligence possibly provided by Banda and/or her aides cannot be dismissed easily without investigation, just like the likelihood that Mutharika’s death could have been medically induced by people hired to ensure Banda’s ascendancy to power is tempting enough to warrant a call for an investigation. In this case the prophecy could have played a huge role in diverting public attention from the possible criminality behind this death, what with everyone crediting Joshua for expert prophesying.

Investigating these matters would make Prophet TB Joshua a murder suspect at the worst, or an accomplice at the least — undoubtedly making him a heroic target of persecution by those supposedly used by the Devil himself to bring down the man of God; that is in the eyes of his followers.

The major attraction to the churches of emerging prophets is the gospel of prosperity, usually preached on the strength of over-promising and the power of testimonies, sometimes heavily exaggerated by those claiming to have been miraculously prospered “after the Man of God prayed for me,” or after “our father told me” this and that.

Just like the propaganda model in the US uses terrorism as a national religion to control its citizens, prosperity is used as a hook to attract the attention of poverty-stricken people in Zimbabwe and elsewhere in Africa, overfilling them with a vacuous but addictive hope and faith that a prosperity miracle awaits them if they pray, fast and give away the little they have “to the House of God.”

The fear of evil terrorists like the ones who carried out the 9/11 attack is good enough to ensure that Westerners trust almost every word about security that comes from their politicians. Equally the fear of poverty and the desire to attain sudden and miraculous wealth make the prophet’s followers fanatical about the person and character of the prophet, and viciously defensive against any objections that may be raised in regards to the conduct of the revered man of God.

The other day one of the popular prophets in Zimbabwe was exalting back-door dealings by church members for the benefit of himself as “favour from God,” arguing that the person providing the back-door services would have been “strategically placed there by God.” This writer invited the wrath of fellow believers after pointing out that what the man of God had just said was gross heresy.

It is like writing against the brutalities of Israel today. So many times this writer has been warned not to “touch the apple of God’s eye,” whatever that means.

Propaganda, poverty, prosperity and prophecy are the four Ps we must watch out for as we seek to lead lives truly led and blessed of God.

Zimbabwe we are one and together we will overcome. It is homeland or death!
l Reason Wafawarova is a political writer based in Sydney, Australia.

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(HERALD) African countries top tobacco exports

African countries top tobacco exports
Friday, 20 April 2012 00:00
Agriculture Reporter

AFRICAN countries have taken up a combined 43 percent of tobacco exports with South Africa topping the list, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board has said. This is an increase from the same period last year when African countries consumed only 18 percent of the total exports.

Latest statistics from TIMB show that current seasonal tobacco exports to the Far East rose by 4 percent from last season’s 26 percent. The increase in exports has been attributed to improved exports in China. The Middle East, which used to take more than 15 percent of total tobacco exports, made a huge slump to 2 percent in March this year.

According to TIMB, this is a result of an 81 percent decrease in exports to the region. United Arab Emirates is the major player in the region with current monthly imports pegged at 133 000kgs.

The UAE consumes cutrag tobacco, which has firmed up both in volume and price over the past two years.

Exports to the European Union have decreased from 36 percent to 18 percent. As at April 13, South Africa had imported 2,4 million kg of tobacco worth US$7,5 million from Zimbabwe at an average price of US$3,16 per kg followed by China which bought 2,3million kg at US$US$6,35 per kg and Belgium 1,6million kg at US$1,43 per kg.
Hong Kong was offering the highest price buying 415 800 kg of tobacco at US$6,70 per kg.

Countries also offering high prices were Poland US$6,62 per kg, and Azerbaijan which bought 19 800kg at US$6 per kg.

Zimbabwe exports tobacco to African countries which include Mozambique, Angola, Kenya, Congo, Malawi, Tanzania and Lesotho.

Tobacco stocks on hand are expected to go up as a result of increased stocks from the current crop.

Flue cured tobacco imports remained stagnant at 515 152kg at an average price of US$2,70 per kg.

However, seasonal import permits issued increased to almost 12 million kgs as a result of authorisation granted to import 11 million kgs of tobacco.

Tobacco production has been on the increase due to the favourable prices being offered on the market.

The land reform programme has also contributed towards the increase in production with more than 80 percent of tobacco producers coming from the A1 and small-scale sectors.